31 October 2011

“Moderate Islamism?” Does It Exist?

Suddenly, a new term is foisted on us without serious debate or proof and we are supposed to rejoice at the triumphs of those now called “moderate Islamists.”

The problem here is not just that I don’t believe such a thing exists but that no case can be made that it does. The tactics of some Islamists (participate in elections, advance slowly) are being confused with principles (impose Sharia law, overthrow all non-Islamist governments, defeat the infidels). [Pajamas Media] Read more

France: "This Mosque Is a Direct Obstacle to the Integration of [Muslims]"

.... The report describes the Muslim population of Marseille as a "marginalized population, poorly informed, uncultured and with a limited understanding even of their own religion, finding themselves in the hands of self-proclaimed imams, barely more competent than their flocks but sufficiently charismatic to obtain their blind obedience."

…. The proposed solution is to "refocus the places of worship" which would "permit a professionalization of the imams, achieve economies of scale and force the Islamic federations and sects to reach a consensus.

It would marginalize extra-national interests and also facilitate relations and observations with our institutional partners. Not more mosques but better mosques." [Hudson New York] Read more

Unstunned slaughter to continue in Australia

Exemptions that allow some Australian abattoirs to conduct ritual slaughters without prior stunning will continue, after the country’s agriculture ministers last week failed to resolve discussions on calls for their withdrawal.

Federal, State and Territory agriculture ministers from Australia and New Zealand met in Melbourne last Friday to discuss a range of issues at the 21st meeting of the Primary Industries Ministerial Council.

On the agenda was calls by animal welfare groups for the removal of exemptions that allow 12 Australian abattoirs to slaughter animals without prior stunning on religious and cultural grounds. [Beef Central] Read more [via Religious Watch]

Should Muslims Wear a Poppy?

The Ahmadiyya's will be out and about today collecting money for the Poppy Appeal.

LM has written previously explaining why Muslims and Non Muslims for that matter should not wear a Poppy however, frankly when leading Muslim basher Ed West has his heart warmed by a Pakistani cult outfit then one realises how dodgy their publicity stunt really is.

These Ahmadiyya comedians who reckon some old duffer called Mirza from a village in Pakistan is a Prophet should be and are treated with the same contempt and disdain as those who claim Elvis is alive and well working in a chip shop down Brick Lane. [London Muslim] Read more

Warning! The OIC Wants to Silence Free Speech Around the Globe

Next to my desk is a framed autographed lithograph of the Muhammad cartoon with a bomb–shaped turban drawn by Kurt Westergaard in 2005 and published along with 11 others in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. It was a gift for an interview I did with the feisty Westergaard when he was in North America in the fall of 2009. [The Iconoclast] Read more

30 October 2011

Swiss Muslims vow to fight stereotypes and bridge misunderstandings

On Saturday, more than 2,000 people gathered in Bern at a protest organized by the Islamic Central Council of Switzerland to demonstrate against discrimination against Muslims.

The protest, which took place at a square in front of the Swiss parliament and had a festive feel to it, also attracted a number of Muslim organizations and dignitaries from other Western countries. They were there to show their support and raise awareness about discrimination against Muslims.

“This event is a pioneering one and is expected to become the biggest Islamic festival in Switzerland which addresses the issue of discrimination against Muslims as well as the stereotypes associated with Islam,” Elie Qassaim, the Swiss Islamic Council’s spokesman, who converted to Islam a few years ago, told the Kuwaiti news agency, KUNA. [Al Arabiya News] Read more

29 October 2011

'Our human rights have been violated': Muslim students accuse Catholic University in 60-page dossier

Muslim students at the renowned Catholic University have complained their human rights have been violated by the college.

They have accused education chiefs of banning them from forming a Muslim student group and failing to provide prayer rooms without Christian symbols.

The Office of Human Rights is investigating 60 pages of allegations against the private university in Washington DC. [MailOnline] Read more

Hudud turns back the clock

PAS' intention to carry out hudud law will cause the nation to backslide and scare away investors, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The impact would be great on foreign direct investments and also tourists who would shy away, he said, adding that several countries practising hudud law were backward except for their rich natural resources.

Speaking to reporters after attending a function at the Hock Lin Gong Chinese temple here yesterday, Dr Chua stressed that even non-Muslims in the country would be affected, especially in terms of economy and education. [LibertyPhile Note: Hudud refers to the class of punishments that are fixed for certain crimes that are considered to be "claims of God." They include theft, fornication, consumption of alcohol, and apostasy.] [The Star] Read more

PAS gets its ass kicked over Elton John’s Greatest Hits concert in Muslim Malaysia

A CALL to ban Elton John’s forthcoming Greatest Hits tour in Malaysia by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has been met with derision by various artistic bodies.

Datuk Freddie Fernandez, President of an association of artists called Karyawan, is quoted here as saying:

These people (protesting the concert) should all go and live in a cave.

Fernandez – who believes PAS’s anti-gay attitude takes Malaysia back to the dark ages when people used to be burnt at the stake – asked: Where’s the freedom and what does the future hold for Malaysians if this continues? No one should discriminate against gay or lesbian people. [The Freethinker] Read more

SpinWatch Lobbying Event Cancelled

It would have been a great photo opportunity for David Miller, the self-styled lobby group guru behind the shady SpinWatch outfit, to pose, all smiles, in front of the camera with the Cordoba Foundation, the pro-Hamas lobby group, and Bob Lambert, recently exposed police spy.

But unfortunately this happy confluence of Islamist lobby groups, police spies and putative anti-lobby group academics that had been arranged around a book launch event at the Jamaat-controlled London Muslim Centre this month will not be going ahead. [The Spittoon] Read more

Islam or Islamist?

Islam or Islamist? That is the question. Is the term “Islamist” a politically correct fabrication to dodge the inconvenient truth that Islam itself is inherently and inevitably chauvinistic and totalitarian?

Or is it a necessary distinction to draw: denominating supremacist Muslims striving to impose on societies a classical, rigid construction of Islamic law, distinguishing them from authentic Muslim moderates who elevate reason, embrace pluralism, and take sharia as spiritual guidance rather than the mandatory law for civil society? [National Review Online] Read more

MP 'threatened at mosque surgery'

An MP has described how he waited for police behind a locked door during a constituency surgery after he was threatened by a group of men.

Mike Freer said it happened at North Finchley mosque in north London as he met constituents on Friday afternoon.

Mr Freer said about 12 people forced their way inside, with one of them calling him a "Jewish homosexual pig".

The trouble began after messages on the Muslims Against Crusades website urged supporters to target him, he said.

Mr Freer said a message posted ahead of the incident on the group's website made reference to Labour MP Stephen Timms, who was stabbed while holding a surgery in east London last year.

It warned the attack on Mr Timms should serve as a "piercing reminder" to politicians that "their presence is no longer welcome in any Muslim area". [BBC] Read more

28 October 2011

Sweden’s Immigration Debate

.... One-third of Malmo’s population is foreign-born. Another 10 percent are of a different nationality. The biggest influx these days is from the Muslim world. Many of them are very traditional-- a small group is quite extreme.

Sweden has a population of 9 million — of those, 1.4 million are immigrants. Approximately 100,000 pour in each year. Ilmar Reepalu thinks that’s a good thing.

“Sweden needs lots of immigrants,” he says, “because otherwise we can’t keep up our welfare system. We, as most parts of Europe, have too few people. Within the coming 20 years, we will have a lack of labor force, so we need more people coming to Sweden. We don’t have enough kids from ourselves.” [FoxNews.com] Read more [via The Iconoclast]

Top Muslim Declares All Christians ‘Infidels’

To what extent was Egypt’s Maspero massacre, wherein the military literally mowed down Christian Copts protesting the ongoing destruction of their churches, a product of anti-Christian sentiment?

A video of Sheikh Ali Gomaa (or Gom’a), the grand mufti of Egypt, which began circulating weeks before the massacre, helps elucidate.

While holding that Muslims may coexist with Christians (who, as dhimmis, have rights), Gomaa categorized Christians as kuffar — “infidels” — a word that connotes “enemies,” “evil-doers,” and every bad thing to Muslim ears. [Pajamas Media] Read more

Religious tolerance bill creates news problems in Indonesia

.... Another legal and political problem is the fact that people with no religion can be easily become scapegoats. Communists, for example, were politically targeted under the regime of President Suharto (1967-1998). Being an atheist is politically dangerous in Indonesia.

The notion of “disseminating one’s faith” is another problem issue according to the clergyman. Each party has its own definition of what proclaiming the faith means, Fr Magnis explained. Christians and Catholics have their own idea about it; Islam has its own, based on a different spirit and atmosphere. [AsiaNews] Read more

mypeace on TV - "islamic values"

mypeace.com.au is an Australian dawah (i.e. missionary) website. It is designed to invite people to convert to Islam. Disingenuously it states that it exists to "address the many misconceptions about Islam".

.... There is multiple irony in MyPeace's add. First the 'life-saver' verse is in fact a Jewish text. Second this verse is followed by and conjoined to a verse which calls for killing, crucifying, and chopping off fingers and limbs of those who oppose Allah and Muhammad 'in the land'. [Mark Durie] Read more

Lawsuit: Man Was Fired Over Muslim Prayers

.... Henderson claims he was fired as a delivery man after he asked his boss to allow him to plan his breaks on Fridays around Islamic prayers.

Henderson says he would conduct a prayer during his downtime between soda deliveries, which usually lasted 5 to 10 minutes. But when he asked to take a lunch break from 1 to 2 p.m. on Fridays so he could participate in weekly Jumu'ah prayers, his manager Bill Hatten said "No, we don’t do that," the suit said.

Henderson then asked if he could work on Saturdays instead of Fridays to make up the hours, to which he was told Saturday shifts were reserved for employees with the most seniority. [CBS Local Media] Read more

Swedish court bans niqab-wearing women

Three women wearing head scarves completely shielding their faces were denied entry to a Gothenburg courtroom on Friday during the remand hearing of one of the suspects in the Röda Sten murder plot case.

”I am responsible for order in this court room and I feel I can't achieve that if I am unable to see the faces of the people present,” said district court judge Stefan Wikmark to Swedish TV4.

The three women were stopped as they were trying to enter the courtroom for the remand hearing 26-year-old Abdi Aziz Mahamud who is under suspicion for plotting the murder of Swedish artist Lars Vilks at an art exhibition in Gothenburg in September. [The Local] Read more

27 October 2011

Multicultural Extremists

Being critical of Islam or multiculturalism isn’t right-wing extremism. Popular resistance against Islamization is now beginning to spread far into the traditional left. Thilo Sarrazin, for example, is a member of the SPD, the Social Democratic Party of Germany and thus a sister party of the Norwegian Labour Party, and even to those who were at Utøya.

But let’s not talk about such things; it will make it much harder for outlets, including Dagbladet, to demonize people they do not like, and it would be sad.

In my opinion, supporters of non-European mass immigration are the extremists, not the opponents of it. Is it not extreme to displace the native population in many parts of Europe, as is happening now? [Gates of Vienna] Read more

French court backs private nursery in Islamic headscarf sacking

.... The ruling creates jurisprudence because it is the first time a private educational establishment has invoked its right to enforce “religious neutrality”, the principle behind the 2004 French law which banned “ostentatious signs of religion” in state schools.

“It’s a victory for us, it’s of course a victory for the nursery and beyond that it’s a victory for France and for secularism,” declared Baby Loup’s lawyer Richard Malka. [RFI English] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

French court cancels permit for Marseille mega-mosque

A French court Thursday cancelled a construction permit for a mega-mosque in the southern city of Marseille that had been touted as a potential symbol of Islam's growing place in France.

The city's administrative tribunal ruled the project, which had already been under suspension for 18 months, would have to be cancelled because of failures to meet urban-planning requirements.

It raised particular concerns over the project's failure to finalise a deal for a 450-place parking lot and to reassure planners that the mosque would fit with the urban environment. [AFP] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

Group asks Sherburne County sheriff to allow woman's headscarf in jail

A civil rights group Thursday asked a sheriff to accommodate a Muslim woman's religious beliefs and let her cover her head with a scarf.

Sherburne County Sheriff Joel Brott said that he'd meet with the group, the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, but that he wasn't changing the policy barring female Muslim prisoners from wearing hijabs.

"We do not intend to change our policy on this," Brott said. "We believe it is a safety and security issue. We don't allow personal clothing in the facility." [Pioneer Press] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

The Economist’s Epic Fail: Libels Moderate Muslim Leader, Then Offers Half-Baked Apology

The Economist recently published an article entitled Now is the time on the subject of Tunisia. In that article, they mentioned Rashid Al-Ghannushi, the leader of ?izb al-Nah?ah, the Tunisian Renaissance Party.

Al-Ghannushi is a well-known Islamic intellectual, so it was somewhat surprising to see The Economist portray him as a fundamentalist; but more outrageously, the article claimed (incorrectly) that Al-Ghannushi threatened to hang a prominent Tunisian feminist!

When they were notified of this horrendous error, the editors of The Economist had the decency to issue a public apology, saying: [loonwatch.com] Read more

All Cultures Are Not Created Equal

.... It is illustrative of the chasm that exists between western culture and the tribal cultures and customs of much of the Middle East. Political correctness decrees that we consider all cultures as created essentially equal but are they really?

Can we be comfortable even coexisting with societies where women are treated as property, denied the right to drive a car, expose their faces or travel without a male relative escort? Can we respect a culture that punishes rape victims and excuses honor killings? Yet we call them friends and allies and ply them with foreign aid. [The Iconoclast] Read more

Anti-Islam Toy Guns

The ever-vigilant Saudi Religious Police have been busy again: A disturbing discovery was made in Saudi Arabia on Sunday by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the Gulf Kingdom’s religious police. Offensive toy guns were found for sale at a market in Jeddah and almost 1,500 were seized by police when it was discovered they issued anti-Islam sounds.

“The guns were found to be issuing sounds which are considered mocking and offending against the Prophet’s wife.”

He was referring to Aisha, the venerated six year old bride of the Prophet Muhammad.... [Mick Hartley] Read more

Egypt must protect the right to insult

.... Of course, I can see why, in a largely religious society, the mocking or deriding of the most fundamental beliefs people hold dear can cause anger. But trying to shut down such debate or jail those who hold contrary views goes against the spirit of freedom embodied in the Egyptian revolution.

And even for those Muslims who do not believe in modern secularism, Islam itself has traditionally guaranteed freedom of belief for all. This is spelt out, for example, in the constitution of Medina and the long tradition Muslim societies have had of tolerating criticism and the ridiculing of Islam. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Malaysia's minorities fear Islamic law changes

Malaysia's Islamic party is pressing for more areas of law to be dealt with under an Islamic legal code, causing concerns among religious minorities, despite reassurances they would not be affected.

There are two Malaysias. One for the Muslim majority - the other for Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and non-Muslims.

For example, Malays do not have the freedom to choose their religion. It is written in the constitution that all ethnic Malays must, by definition, be Muslim. [BBC] Read more

26 October 2011

It's not bigotry to criticise Islam

.... There is ample evidence from both Muslim and secular sources to prove that some Muslims in Britain are creating enclaves governed largely according to their own rules; and that smaller, more radical elements are advocating an Islamic society under sharia law.

This process is not an invention of a few "anti-Islam propagandists". It is a well-documented social change that demands a fair-minded debate. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Silenced: The Federalist Society Capitol Hill Conference on Blasphemy and Apostasy

Below is an announcement of The Federalist Society sponsored program on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on November 4th to launch the book: Silenced: How Apostasy & Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide by Paul Marshall & Nina Shea, Director of the Washington, DC - based Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom.

The Federalist Society draws attention to a forthcoming meeting between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in early December to ‘implement’ Blasphemy declarations made in Turkey this Summer, see our NER article, Fear, Inc. [The Iconoclast] Read more

Tunisia's secular women fret over rise of Islamism

When hundreds of Tunisians drove through the capital sounding their horns and waving scarves this week to celebrate the election victory of an Islamist party, there was little jubilation in the Ennasr neighbourhood.

With its chic boutiques and upmarket cafes, this suburb is a bastion of a segment of Tunisian society left feeling marginalised and even a little fearful by the election result.

Areas like Ennasr are home to middle-class, urban professional women who for decades have been living a lifestyle that in many ways has more in common with Europe than the Arab world. Now they worry that that is going to change. [Reuters] Read more

Muslims who Oppose Islamist Parties are Islamophobes

.... This, incidentally, is the line taken by Islamist politicians, as well. They might even call you an apostate: deserving of death. That is what Rachad Ghannoushi has repeatedly done to his opponents, after all.

He has been accused of an incitement to kill a Tunisian author, accused of writing an “irreverent book” about Mohammed. He also declared the Tunisian feminist, Mongia Souahi, an apostate. Here’s Christopher Hitchens: [Harry's Place] Read more

25 October 2011

The Arab Spring is becoming an Islamist takeover

.... And for those who are not familiar with the dynamics of the Middle East, Sharia law is the complete antithesis of Western-style democracy, as we have seen in Iran these past 30-odd years. So, who wants to support the Arab Spring now? [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Pakistan judge Pervez Ali Shah 'flees death threats'

A Pakistani judge who convicted a Muslim extremist of murder has fled to Saudi Arabia after getting death threats, his colleagues say.

Pervez Ali Shah gave the death sentence to Malik Mumtaz Hussein Qadri for killing Punjab Governor Salman Taseer.

Qadri said he believed Mr Taseer was undermining blasphemy laws, which may lead to execution for people convicted of insulting the Prophet Muhammad. [BBC] Read more

Britain's mosque schools - beatings, humiliation and lessons in hating Britain

.... more than 400 such allegations of physical abuse have been made to local authorities in the UK over the past three years, but there have been only two successful prosecutions.

It’s a shameful indictment of the modern British justice system and one has to wonder if political correctness means the authorities are reluctant to vigorously investigate such crimes for fear of being labelled racist.

The true scale of the scandal is unknown. Many families, it is suspected, are reluctant even to report the ill-treatment of their sons or daughters for fear of upsetting their fellow Muslims. Such fears are more than justified. In some cases, parents have been intimidated and threatened for going to the police. [MailOnline] Read more

UCL's Malcolm Grant and Extremists: Making It Up As He Goes Along

.... For Mahmood, the idea of Muslims living a fully integrated life is truly shocking. He castigates an audience on the idea of assimilating to the British way of life. For moderate, integrated Muslims, Mahmood complains that "Knowingly or unknowingly, many of us give preference to our nationality over our Islamic identity ... and that is the reality of it".

You read that correctly. Mahmood rubbishes the idea that a good Muslim is one who can be at peace with his faith and his identity; Mahmood seeks ultimate supremacy of religion over his duties as a citizen. For him, being a Muslim is not only a faith but a political ideology. [The Huffington Post] Read more

Arab Spring boosts political Islam, but which kind?

More democracy is bringing more political Islam in the countries of the Arab Spring, but Islamist statements about sharia or religion in politics are only rough indicators of what the real effect might be.

The strong showing of Tunisia's moderate Islamists in Sunday's election and a promise by Libyan National Transitional Council leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil to uphold sharia have highlighted the bigger role Islamists will play after the fall of the autocrats who opposed them. [Reuters] Read more

Tunisia's Ghannouchi too liberal for some Islamists

.... Abdul-Rahim Ali, a Cairo-based researcher into Islamist movements, said Ghannouchi's problem could come from hardliners within a political movement that has tried to embrace different trends, itself a shift from the Brotherhood which is famed for its internal discipline and ideological policing of cadres.

"I think his opinions are honest, but his ideas only won out in order to attract the secularists. The hardliners could take over decision-making inside Ennahda," he said, citing preachers such as Sfax-based Habib Allouz.

Saudi preacher Awajy said despite the disputes, Islamists of all persuasions would see Ennahda's victory as a turning point on the long march to Islamise modern Arab societies. [Reuters] Read more

Anti-Shariah conference loses Nashville hotel home

A Nashville hotel has canceled its contract with an anti-Shariah conference out of fear the event could attract protests and disrupt business.

Organizers of the Preserving Freedom conference, who include Lou Ann Zelenik of the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, had planned to meet Nov. 11 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville.

Hotel management said they received complaints about the event from the public and from their clients. Steve Eckley, senior vice president of hotels for Amerimar Enterprises, which owns the Hutton, said he wasn’t aware of the details of the conference until recently. [www.tennessean.com] Read more

Qadri case judge sent abroad

The district and sessions judge, who had handed down two death sentences to Mumtaz Qadri for killing Punjab governor Salman Taseer, has left for Saudi Arabia along with his family after receiving death threats from extremists.

“The death threats have forced Judge Pervez Ali Shah to leave the country along with his family for Saudi Arabia,” Advocate Saiful Malook, the special prosecutor in the Qadri case, told Dawn on Monday.

He said sensing the gravity of the situation the government had arranged the lodging of Mr Shah and members of his family abroad. “Although security was provided to the judge and his family members, the government on the reports of law-enforcement agencies opted for sending him abroad,” he said. [DAWN.COM] Read more

Judge Islamism's apologists for yourselves

Finally, the British Humanist Association has made available video footage of the panel discussion on Islam in a Secular Europe, which you can see for yourselves below.

If you recall, I blogged about it earlier saying give me an Islamist any day - at least they are more honest!

Now you can see for yourselves whether Humeira Iqtida (author of Secularising Islamists) and Maleiha Malik (professor of law) are really - as I said - textbook cases of apologists for Islamism. [Maryam Namazie] Read more

The Transient Arab Despots Go, But The Underlying Despotism Of Islam Becomes Stronger Than Ever

.... It is the mind-forged manacles of Islam that explains the many failures of Muslim states and societies, that explains their penchant for despotism, and the certainty that even the overturning of a despot -- if that despot also managed to suppress Islam as a political force -- will lead not to greater good but a greater mess.

It is Islam that encourages the mental submission that leads to despots. It is Islam that creates a world, the world described in Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira, that is full of violence and aggression, that is devoid of any sense of intelligent compromise, that posits a world where there are only two possible outcomes: that of Victor and that of Vanquished. [The Iconoclast] Read more

Islamists claim win in Tunisia's Arab Spring vote

.... Secularist opponents say they believe this is just a cleverly constructed front that conceals more radical views, especially among Ennahda's rank and file in the provinces.

The party's final election rally last week was addressed by one of Ennahda's candidates, a glamorous woman who does not wear a hijab.

On the fringes of the same rally, stalls sold books by Salafist authors, followers of a strict interpretation of Islam who believe women should be covered up and that the sexes should be segregated in public. [Reuters] Read more

Call to ban Elton John Malaysia concert

Members of an opposition Islamic party have called on Muslim-majority Malaysia to ban next month's concert by Elton John, saying Tuesday that the gay singer promotes "hedonism".

Shahril Azman Abdul Halim Al-Hafiz, an official with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), said the concert at the Genting Highlands resort on Nov. 22 would corrupt young Muslims because of John's homosexuality. [AFP] Read more

Holy Terror comic is 'Islamophobic', say critics

There is nothing subtle about Frank Miller's newest graphic novel, Holy Terror. The book opens with the quote: "If you meet the infidel, kill the infidel", which Mr Miller attributes to the Prophet. From there the jingoism, violence and Islamophobia take off. [The National] Read more

Court confirms acquittal of Frenchman who burned Koran

An appeals court on Tuesday confirmed the acquittal of a French man accused of inciting racial hatred after posting an Internet video of himself burning a Koran and then urinating on it.

Ernesto Rojas Abbate was arrested in October 2010 after posting footage of himself wearing a devil mask and tearing pages from the Islamic holy book before setting it on fire and later urinating on it to extinguish the flames.

The appeals court ruled that, while the video was "wilfully outrageous and deliberately provocative", there was no evidence Rojas Abbate had intended "to arouse feelings of hostility... aimed at provoking discrimination, hate, or violence towards Muslims."

His lawyer, Renaud Bettcher, hailed the ruling, saying: "In a secular and republican society, it is incomprehensible that my client was prosecuted. Blasphemy does not exist in France." [Expatica] Read more

24 October 2011

Statement on Libya and ‘sharia law’

Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) is deeply concerned that the first public act of the Libya’s National Transition Committee has been to proclaim on October 23rd, 2011, that henceforth, a number of laws will be considered annulled and that ’sharia law’ is to replace them.

Libya’s National Transition Committee is an interim government – what it has responsibility for – and what its first action should have concerned, is to put into place a mechanism for elections for the new government after the fall of the Gaddafi regime. [WLUML] Read more

Propagation Of Non-Islamic Teachings To Muslims Can Be Charged In Civil Court

Non-Muslims who propagate their non-Islamic religious teachings to Muslims can be charged in the civil court under the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said provisions in the enactment included offences for persuading, coaxing and instigating Muslims to change their religious faith.

Besides publishing publications on other religions other than Islam, it is also an offence to expose non-adult Muslims to other religions, he said when debating the Supply Bill 2012 in the Dewan Rakyat. [Bernama] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

In The New Libya, Polygamy To Be Legalized

A Libyan girl-woman, obviously raised in the West, was on the BBC this morning defending the decision to re-introduce polygamy. Apparently, her fanatical devotion to Islam outweights any conceivable distaste at the idea of polygamy, and what it says about the status of women -- or perhaps, in the West, that LIbyan Muslim, nicely hijabbed, remained proudly indifferent to, or even contemptuous of, the legal equality that women in the non-Musilm world enjoy. [The Iconoclast] Read more

But If Islam Is So Wonderful, Why Then Are We Afraid Of Any Dose Stronger Than A "Moderate" One?

.... could we have a definition of a "moderate" Muslim? Isn't it a Muslim who doesn't take the Qur'an and Sunnah completely to heart? But if there is nothing wrong with Islam -- as our rulers keep telling us -- then why are they, just as much as we, so afraid of those who take the Qur'an and Sunnah completely to heart?

This obvious question has to keep being asked, on talk shows, in the columns of newspapers, at dinner parties, until the point is made -- Islam is a dangerous ideology, murderously hostile to Infidels, and crushing, in a hundred ways, to those who relish individual freedom. Why not say it?

What are supposed to be afraid of? The reactions of Muslims? Is that it? If we tell them that we understand perfectly what Islam is all about, they will be mad? They will be hostile? So what? They are already hostile. Islam inculcates hostility, even murderous hostility, toward Infidels and everything connected to or identified with, or springing from, Infidels. [The Iconoclast] Read more

Students protest after Hackney college bans segregation curtain used by Muslims

.... Having the curtain is important because in Islam the men and women have to prostrate to pray,” said business student Kamil Alp,20. “It’s very inappropriate if a man does it in the presence of a woman when she is also prostrating.”

Prostration involves having the forehead, nose, both hands, knees and all toes touching the ground at the same time. Several years ago, some students erected their own dividing curtain to support segregated prayer. But it was removed by college staff. [Hackney Gazette] Read more

23 October 2011

Activists thrash headmaster

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) activists thrashed a headmaster, alleging that he asked Muslim students to take off veils (Burqa), while attending classes in government high school in Anantapur on Saturday.

The headmaster K. Tippeswamy, asked a student and her friends, to take off their veils, as school should represent communal harmony. [Deccan Chronicle] Read more

Lawyer warns of faith school abuse

A leading child abuse lawyer has warned physical and sexual abuse in special Muslim faith schools is going unreported and unpunished.

Richard Scorer, who has acted for many victims of abuse within the Catholic Church, claimed cultural differences are at the heart of the problem, with Muslim families feeling unable to speak out.

A recent BBC Radio 4 investigation using freedom of information legislation showed there have been more than 400 allegations of physical abuse in England, Scotland and Wales in the past three years and 30 allegations of sexual abuse in the last two years. [UKPA] Read more

22 October 2011

Egyptian sentenced to 3 years for insulting Islam in his Facebook postings

Egypt’s state media says a Cairo court has sentenced a man to three years in prison for postings on Facebook deemed to be inciting sectarianism and in contempt of Islam.

The MENA state news agency said Saturday a the misdemeanor court found Ayman Mansour had intentionally mocked Islam and used “outrageous and scurrilous” language in describing the religion’s holy book, the Quran, and its prophet and believers. [Associated Press] Read more

Apostasy worse than reported

Himpunan Sejuta Umat said today the problem of Muslim apostasy in Malaysia was greater than what has been reported and suggested this was part of a global plan to destroy Islam.

Himpun chairman Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said while the government had released statistics on the number of Muslims who left the faith, this was just a fraction of those who had converted from Islam.

“That’s what was reported. It’s the ones that were not reported that we’re worried about because there are a lot that weren’t reported,” he told reporters here after closing the Himpun rally that saw just 5,000 Muslims turning up. [The Malaysian Insider] Read more

Malaysian Muslims denounce Christian conversion efforts

About 2,000 slogan-shouting Malaysian Muslims gathered near the capital on Saturday to denounce alleged Christian attempts to convert Muslims, widening a religious rift that could cost Prime Minister Najib Razak minority votes in upcoming polls.

The rally led by non-governmental bodies comes amid an escalating row over accusations of covert conversions among Muslims and a raid on a Methodist church, which has divided Muslims and angered ethnic minorities.

Men, women and families gathered in a stadium in a suburb outside Kuala Lumpur to unite against what they said were attempts to evangelize Muslims, an offence in a country where over half the population follows Islam. [Reuters] Read more

When Islamophobes fall out

The recent spat between Paul Goodman and Douglas Murray .... has attracted some attention, including coverage by Hugh Muir in the Guardian Diary. For those who haven't followed this dispute, the initial cause of the conflict was a difference of opinion over gay marriage, which Goodman opposes and Murray strongly supports (making this one of those rare occasions where I agree with Murray).

A bizarre exchange of insults ensued, with Murray accusing Goodman of conniving with homophobes in the Muslim community in order to block the right of lesbian and gay couples to marry, while Goodman claimed that by refusing to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples Murray was opening the door to "multiple sharia marriages". [Islamophobia Watch] Read more

21 October 2011

Islamists seek to introduce ‘Sharia zones’

A fundamentalist Islamic group wants to set up zones in Copenhagen where Islamic Sharia Law should be upheld.

The group, ‘The Call to Islam’, belongs to a branch of Islam called Salafism, whose followers in the UK attempted to introduce similar Sharia zones in London earlier this summer.

The Call to Islam intends to start patrolling the Copenhagen neighbourhood of Tingbjerg before extending into Nørrebro and eventually the whole of Denmark. Muslims found to be drinking and gambling would be reprimanded for breaking Islamic code. [The Copenhagen Post] Read more

The Left tries to quash open discussion of Islam and jihad

In an attack on Robert Spencer and David Horowitz which National Review Online for some reason decided to publish …., Matt Duss of the Center for American Progress tried to quash open discussion of the most critical factor in any consideration of how to deal with Muslims around the world:

What their religion actually teaches. Not what some tub-thumping preacher in Alabama or smirking professional anti-theist in Manhattan might say that Islam teaches -- what its own holy books and leading international authorities say that it teaches. [Jihad Watch] Read more

Islam and Islamists

".... No one makes this distinction [between Islam and Islamism] other then the Western world, for the sake of having a tidy little system to classify everything. Our religion and political ideology are one. Furthermore, I really wouldnt use the term islamist or Islamism. Many muslims, including myself, find the term deeply offensive."

In other words, IN CANADA, there is an entire generation of Muslims who openly subscribe to 'Islamism' as indistinguishable from Islam. [Jihad Watch] Read more

What is a politically active Muslim?

.... Let us be clear. By “politically active Muslims”, Bob Lambert means “members of organisations which are directly linked to Islamist political parties”. The parties in question are Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood.

.... His partners are supporters of attacks on British troops overseas, and terrorism aimed at innocent civilians. They are cheerleaders of the most horrific misogyny, homophobia and antisemitism. They are institutions which not only hold these vicious beliefs privately, but actively and energetically promote them. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Sharia now the law in Sudan

Sudan is officially declaring sharia to be the law of the land -- and that spells trouble for Christians there.

The government is introducing an entirely Islamic constitution, which means a very strict form of sharia. President Omar Al-Bashir is quoted as saying the new constitution will reflect the fact that 98 percent of the people are Muslim.

"The official religion will be Islam and Islamic law the main source," he stated on October 12. Al-Bashir had voiced similar warnings last December, before the secession of South Sudan. [OneNewsNow.com] Read more

20 October 2011

Islamist prefer male candidates in first vote of Arab spring

Tunisia's elections should be a great day for Arab women, but feminists are deeply anxious.

Much-vaunted electoral rules on running equal numbers of men and women candidates have been downplayed by parties who suggest that in Tunisia's first ever free elections, voters simply "prefer" men to women candidates.

This means the new assembly which will rewrite the constitution could be more than ever dominated by men. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

UCL student society announces event with hate preacher within days of Provost Malcolm Grant claiming extremism is ‘made-up’

Interfaith activists at StandforPeace and students at the University College of London have criticised Malcolm Grant after UCL Medical School Islamic Society announced its intention to host a hate preacher within days of Malcolm Grant telling reporters that extremism on his campus was ‘made-up’.

Zahir Mahmood has been invited to the Islamic Society’s annual charity dinner on the 28th October at UCL. Mahmood has a history of glorifying Hamas, a recognised terrorist group by the EU, and has called for Muslims to refrain from integrating into British society. [StandforPeace] Read more

Muslim mayor shows his true colours

.... then the Labour council leader, achieved the position with the help of the IFE, which works to create an "Islamic social, economic and political order" in Britain. In a filmed interview, he refuses to deny the charge.

Under Lutfur, large sums of council money are diverted to IFE front organisations, a man with close links to the IFE is made the council’s assistant chief executive despite being unqualified for the job, and the respected white chief executive is summarily sacked. In undercover filming, senior IFE activists boast of their “consolidated… influence and power” over the council. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Saudi "Propaganda Center" Sets Up Shop in Vienna

.... The Saudis say the purpose of the multi-million-dollar initiative is to "foster dialogue" between the world's major religions in order to "prevent conflict."

But critics say the center is an attempt by Saudi Arabia to establish a permanent "propaganda center" in central Europe from which to spread the conservative Wahhabi sect of Islam.

Austrian politicians on all sides of the political aisle have criticized the initiative.

The Green Party, which governs Vienna in a coalition, said the center glorified a country "where freedom of religion and opinion are foreign words."

"Austria should not allow itself to be misused in this way, to allow itself to be involved in whitewash by a repressive Saudi regime which is using this center as a fig leaf for its dishonorable human rights situation," the party said in a statement. [Hudson New York] Read more

Imam's on-air death threat 'not hate speech'

It was not hate speech when Swedish public service broadcaster Sveriges Radio (SR) featured a programme in which a Somali imam called for all converts from Islam to be killed, the Swedish Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern, JK) has ruled.

The motivation for the decision not to open up an investigation into the matter was that the presenter protested against what the imam said immediately following the controversial statement.

The decision said that ”the programme features opinions that could be taken as a threat aginst those who have converted from Islam”.

However, due to the responses from the presenter, the Chancellor has decided not to investigate the matter further. [The Local] Read more

Raymond Ibrahim: The Closing of the Muslim Mind (Book Review)

.... In his book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind, Robert Reilly, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, helps explain the Muslim worldview by thoroughly documenting the historic and doctrinal roots behind it; by refreshingly bypassing the overly dramatized question of “what went wrong,” he explains the more pressing “why it went wrong.” [Jihad Watch] Read more

Hertz fires 25 Muslim drivers who refuse to clock out

Hertz has sent termination letters to 25 drivers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after they refused to agree to clock out for daily breaks, during which they normally pray.

The workers — all Somali Muslims who drive the company's rental cars to and from the airport for cleaning and refueling — were among 34 Hertz employees suspended Sept. 30 for failing to clock out before breaks. [The Seattle Times] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

19 October 2011

Democracy begins to tame Islamists

One Western fear about the Arab Spring was that the toppling of secular dictators would open the floodgates to an Islamist takeover of Muslim-majority nations.

But the dawn of democracy has unleashed a more complex dynamic: public debates are raging not only between secularists and Islamists, but also among secularists themselves, as well as among Islamists.

.... And how would an Islamic entity treat its Christian and other minorities — as separate groups accorded protection, as under old Islamic empires, or as equal citizens entitled to the same rights as majority Muslims? [thestar.com] Read more

18 October 2011

Shaykh of al-Azhar: "The Western understanding of human rights is against that which is sacred to us"

The Shaykh of al-Azhar, the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmad al-Tayib, by many considered to be the foremost authority in Sunni Islam, issued a statement yesterday condemning attempts to bring Western notions of human rights and freedom to the Middle East.

Dr. al-Tayib explained that "the Western understanding of human rights is against that which is sacred to us," and that "opening the door for human rights from a purely Western understanding would destroy our homes and clash with our beliefs."

The Grand Imam .... stressed that opening the door for human rights from a purely Western understanding would destroy our homes and clash with our beliefs and with that which is sacred to us. He relates this to the maxim, "He built a palace and destroyed an Egypt," saying, "Not everything which is a right for the Western man is a right for the Arab or Muslim man."

He added during his reception of Dr. Butrous Butrous Ghali, president of the National Council for Human Rights, today at noon, that human rights should not clash with that which is sacred to us, because many of those who brag about defending human rights have taken them as part of a booming trade under the auspices of globalization. [Translating Jihad] Read more

Muslims Rage Against Offending Filmmakers

It was a bad week for filmmakers’ freedom of expression, or for the tender sensibilities of Islamic fundamentalists, depending on your point of view.

The television airing of a “blasphemous” film in Tunisia sent hundreds of offended Tunisians on a rampage. An Iranian actress was sentenced to jail and ninety lashes for appearing in a film deemed critical of the Iranian regime.

And Bollywood filmmakers were ordered to either change the name of a film that “hurt Muslim feelings” or face thousands of angry demonstrators across Mumbai. [Front Page] Read more

Child abuse claims at UK madrassas 'tip of iceberg'

Britain's madrassas have faced more than 400 allegations of physical abuse in the past three years, a BBC investigation has discovered.

But only a tiny number have led to successful prosecutions.

The revelation has led to calls for formal regulation of the schools, attended by more than 250,000 Muslim children every day for Koran lessons. [BBC] Read more

Douglas Murray: A final word on my differences with Paul Goodman

.... Paul for instance fails completely to note my praise and support for progressive Muslim scholars such as Tahrir ul-Qadri (here) and writing in the Evening Standard that, ‘We will have to hope, as ever, that the peaceful Muslim scholars in this millennia-long battle within Islam, can indeed win through.’

Nor does he acknowledge my often-stated belief that though there are problems in Islamic scripture most Muslims thank goodness do not follow the problematic verses, but just like the rest of us get on with trying to lead decent and good lives. Had Paul been honest he might have cited me arguing just this for instance in a prominent speech last year in New York. [ConservativeHome] Read more

Paul Goodman hypocrisy in criticising Douglas Murray

.... Goodman shares with Murray a lazy intellect and a disposition to “make the life of some … citizens harder because of their religion”.

Goodman and Murray both have a track record of misconstruing and deliberately obfuscating the actions and motives of British Muslims engaged in the political and policy process preferring to demonise some as ‘Islamists’ while championing others as ‘moderate Muslims’.

Rarely are their own motives for drawing the boundaries as they do subjected to greater scrutiny. The Spinwatch report, 'The Cold War on British Muslims' does however, shed enormous light on these motives and their impact on “stigmatis[ing] and even criminalis[ing] politically active Muslims”. [ENGAGE] Read more

Headscarf rule keeps girl from parade, spurs bias claim

A Ravenwood High School freshman said her Muslim beliefs were put to the test when commanding officers in her Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program told her she couldn’t both wear a headscarf and march in the September homecoming parade.

Demin Zawity, 14, has since quit the JROTC and returned to regular physical education classes, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations sent a letter of complaint to Williamson County Schools Director Mike Looney.

[A COMMENT] JROTC is not a mandatory course. It is an elective. A course one enrolls in voluntarily. When you voluntarily enroll in a course, you are, to my view, accepting the ground rules, prerequisites if you will, for that class. .... haircut, wear of uniform, and other particulars were well defined .... The rules for wear of the uniform mirror those for the actual military department with which the JROTC program is affiliated.

[A COMMENT] Yeah, so? Who cares what CAIR is troubled by? If this young lady wants to wear muslim headgear and march donning a military uniform, perhaps she is residing in the wrong country. [tennessean.com] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

Why Islam is Not a Religion

.... I think we need to take a few steps back to examine Islam as a whole and to broadly define the outlines of Islam – what it is and what it isn’t.

One thing we can definitely say about Islam is that is it not solely confined to a belief system. If it is a religion it is not a religion only. Islam is a total system of life and contains within itself a particular social system, judicial system, and political system which includes geo-political aspirations - the conquest and administration of territory. [The Iconoclast] Read more

17 October 2011

Was Paul Goodman right to take on Douglas Murray for his views on Islam?

.... As Paul Goodman writes this morning, Murray is waging battle against him. Why? Because Goodman quite rightly distinguishes between Islam and Islamists, while Murray blurs the distinction between the worst extremists and your ordinary Muslim.

Worse, because he is a fabulous agent provocateur, Murray doesn't just portray the Muslim community as rabid Sharia fanatics: he urges Britons – in fact all Europeans – to make life difficult for them.

In a speech to the Dutch Parliament that Goodman quotes, Murray argued that "Conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board." He went on to suggest that mosques be demolished in some cases, and that Muslim immigrants should be banned.

[A COMMENT] I'd suggest that Murray is the braver man …. Its far easier (and morally cowardly) to brush very real and difficult issues about Islamic belief and practice under the carpet, rather than expose it to public scrutiny and debate.

[A COMMENT] No Cristina, to uphold 'tolerance' as some kind of supreme British virtue is *your* politically correct, thoroughly discredited, relativist view of what kind of fate is desirable for Britain.

To quote Aristotle: 'Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society'; if a society has reached such a nadir, where it stands for nothing, has lost any core values it once had …. proclaims tolerance for contradictory world views as its *supreme* value, it has signed its civilisational death warrant. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Halal food market grows, 5 bln-euro potential in Italy

Halal (conforming to Islamic rules) food is seeing double-digit growth the world over and even in Italy - due to rising interest by companies in the sector - it could soon become normal to find ''Islamically correct'' labelled products on supermarket shelves.

[A COMMENT] Very good! It is an indication of the growing Muslim population!! Welcome the culture of the uncivilized Nomads too because it is superiors to yours.

They have their crazy Sharia and expect others to respect it while Sharia has given to the world nothing else but hatred ,bloodshed ,terrorism and crimes against women.... [Ekonom:east Media Group] Read more [via National Secular Society]

16 October 2011

False Reports on Iran Pastor's Retrial Worrisome

Misleading reports about Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani are continuing to spread, raising concern among supporters that the world will soon dismiss the severity of his case.

Nadarkhani has been imprisoned in Iran for two years on charges of apostasy. He's now facing the death penalty after refusing several times in court to recant his faith.

The Iranian media is reporting that a retrial has been set over concerns of how Nadarkhani's case was handled.

But the American Center for Law and Justice confirmed with Nadarkhani's lawyer that no retrial was ordered. [CBNNews.com] Read more

The Lingerie Shop Problem - Or, getting your knickers in a twist

In Saudi Arabia, you may recall, women are not allowed to work as cashiers in supermarkets and the like, because they will then be interacting with unrelated men.

As this applies even to lingerie shops, Saudi women find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to discuss the fine points of their most intimate apparel with unrelated men. Worse, these men are more often than not foreign.

Back in 2005 the Ministry of Labour, made aware of the problem, ordered lingerie shops to employ women only. Nothing much happened. Leading clerics, sniffing heresy, issued a fatwa which confirmed that cashier jobs for women were absolutely not permissible. [Mick Hartley] Read more

15 October 2011

Extremists firebomb home of 'blasphemous' TV station head

.... This was the most serious incident yet in an escalating series of protests against the station's broadcast of "Persepolis" on October 7.

The globally acclaimed animated film on Iran's 1979 revolution offended many Muslims because it depicts an image of God as an old, bearded man. All depictions of God are forbidden by Islam.

Earlier on Friday, police fired tear gas at some demonstrators as some of the protests against the station degenerated.

The main demonstration began peacefully at a central Tunis mosque after Friday prayers, with men and women chanting slogans against Nessma. Thousands of people, many of them Salafist Muslims, were present. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Bashir says Sudan will adopt entirely Islamic constitution

Sudan will go ahead with plans to adopt an entirely Islamic constitution and strengthen Islamic law, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Wednesday, three months after its former civil war enemy South Sudan became independent.

Juba seceded on July 9 after a referendum agreed under a 2005 peace deal that ended decades of civil war between the mainly Muslim north and the South where most follow Christian and traditional beliefs. [Reuters Blogs - FaithWorld] Read more

Egypt’s new theocracy

The massacre this week of Coptic Christians in Cairo stands as a bloody corrective to the idea that the ‘Arab Spring’ was a wonderful uprising of the masses against dictators. Revolutions are not, in themselves, causes for celebration if they create a vacuum that can be filled by evil.

The deliberate mowing down of dozens of peaceful demonstrators by armoured vehicles (hundreds of others were shot at point-blank range by Egyptian soldiers) is the starkest indication yet that the land of the Pharaohs is fast becoming a fundamentalist Islamic state, with the blessing of its powerful military establishment. [The Spectator] Read more

Muslims face negative perception in Canada, study suggests

A new national survey that tapped the level of "positiveness" that Canadians feel toward selected groups suggests that Muslims — significantly more than 10 other subsets of society — remain a magnet for negativity a decade after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Just 43 per cent of the 2,345 people polled by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies expressed "very positive" or "somewhat positive" perceptions of Muslims, while atheists (60 per cent) and aboriginals (61 per cent) also drew relatively lukewarm responses. [Postmedia News] Read more [via Islamophobia Watch]

14 October 2011

Saudi Arabia and Austria defend plan for interfaith dialogue centre in Vienna

Saudi Arabia has defended its plan to fund a religious dialogue centre in Vienna saying Judaism and other faiths would be represented and that it would be free from political interference.

Critics of the centre say Saudi Arabia’s austere version of Sunni Islam means it is an unsuitable country to promote religious debate. Saudi Arabia does not allow other faiths to have places of worship in the kingdom and its Muslims are forbidden from converting to other religions on pain of death.

Austria and Spain will also fund the Vienna-based “King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue”, but Saudi Arabia said it was willing to stump up the lion’s share of cash if needed. “(Our) paying for the operation is to create a fund that makes the centre independent from any sort of political interference,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told a news conference in the Austrian capital on Thursday.

[A COMMENT] Saudi just arrested a man for having a tattoo of Jesus on his arm. You cannot bring a Bible into Saudi. You cannot practice any religion othe than Islam in Saudi Arabia. They are happy to spread their religion in other countries, yet they have no religious tolerance in their own country. [Reuters Blogs - FaithWorld] Read more

Saudi-backed institute for "tolerance" and irony appreciation inaugurated in Vienna

The situation in Saudi Arabia itself proves that this outfit, the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (you can't make this stuff up), is nothing but an outpost for dawah, or Islamic proselytizing, and deception.

If it is good for anything, it sets up a glaring study in contrasts between Sharia as advertised, in this "interfaith" scam in Vienna, and Sharia as observed, in Saudi Arabia. [Jihad Watch] Read more

Pakistani Islamic extremists march in support of assassin Mumtaz Qadri

The Islamic fundamentalist fringe, the association of lawyers in Rawalpindi, a famous judge of the court of Lahore and thousands of Pakistanis are on the streets: a large chunk of the country is challenging the judiciary and the government, guilty of condemning to death Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard and self-confessed murderer of the Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who was killed on January 2 for defending the Christian Asia Bibi and asking for changes to the blasphemy laws. [AsiaNews] Read more

More blasphemy madness in Pakistan

KORANS tend to get overworked in pious places like Pakistan. So much so that they sometimes fall apart, in which case they must be disposed of in an Islamically correct manner: by casting them in flowing water, burying them in the ground, or by burning, if the first two options aren’t possible.

Burning a Koran is permissible under certain circumstances

Well, devout Muslim student Junaid Ahmed, 20, who attended a seminary attached to Imdadia Mosque on Rawalpindi Road in Chakwal, chose the latter, as a well designed to hold discarded bits of the Koran was already full. [The Freethinker] Read more

Protesters attack home of Tunis TV station head

A mob attacked the home of a Tunisian television station owner with firebombs on Friday, following protests against a film his channel aired.

The channel Nessma reported that around 100 people attacked the home of station owner Nabil Karoui at night, hurling firebombs and forcing his wife and children to flee out the back.

Karoui, who has apologized for airing the movie "Persepolis," which religious conservatives deem blasphemous, was not at home at the time.

Earlier in the day, Tunisian police used tear gas to disperse thousands in the capital protesting against the film following weekly prayers.

The demonstrations and home assault represent an escalations in tensions liberals and religious conservatives ahead Tunisia's landmark Oct. 23 election for a constitutional body that will determine the future of this North African nation that overthrew its longtime dictator in January. [Associated Press] Read more

Salman Rushdie is not afraid

.... Why is it always Muslims? Why didn't Martin Scorsese have to run for his life after making "The Last Temptation of Christ"? Why does no one want to murder Woody Allen for making fun of Jews?

"There is a widespread difficulty in the Muslim world, which has to do with how the people are taught about examining their own history. [Haaretz.com] Read more

13 October 2011

Modern Muslim marriage fails to take off

But the Muslim Institute's good and hard work seems to have achieved little. Despite investing in a website and relaunch this summer, it's astonishing and disappointing that so few people appear to have even heard of the new contract.

Those my mum, my fiance and I have spoken to seem reluctant, nervous and wary to embrace something which isn't in line with what has always been. It's in turn made my mum now feel anxious over signing the new contract too, which means she's decided not to follow through.

[A COMMENT] A brave article which sums up the dreadful discrimination that Islam inflicts on British women like Huma. Where are the feminists when you need them?

[A COMMENT] Islam doesn't consider women to be the equals of men, that's why your mother can't be a wali. Personally, I find it bizarre that women would subscribe to a belief system so obviously made by men, but there you go. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Muslim Hijab Sparks New Islam-Related Controversy in Spain

A Muslim schoolgirl in Spain has been suspended from a public school in Madrid after refusing to remove her Islamic headscarf during an exam.

The girl's parents have filed a lawsuit against the school and the incident has reignited a long-running debate in Spain over the use of head-covering hijabs, face-covering niqabs and body-covering burqas in public spaces.

The latest dustup occurred in late September when a teacher at the Enrique Tierno Galván public school in Madrid asked the 14-year-old student to remove her hijab (headscarf) during an exam.

The school has a policy that prohibits the wearing of head coverings, particularly those that cover the ears, due to the increase in cases of students who use electronic devices to cheat on tests. After the girl refused to comply with the teacher's request, she was suspended from the school. [Hudson New York] Read more

With pressure mounting, Iranian Supreme Court could rehear pastor’s case

.... Other countries have been involved, too. Representatives from The European Union, France, England and Germany have all issued statements asking for the Iranian government to halt the execution.

But according to Harris Zafar, national spokesman for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, it is "unnerving" that one distinct voice is missing from pleas to Iran.

"I think what is really missing is a strong Muslim voice," Zafar said. "I am a bit surprised that there aren't more Muslims up in arms about this. Perhaps it is quiet, passive, acceptance." [CNN] Read more

12 year old Christian girl beaten and raped until she converted to Islam

A 12-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped and repeatedly raped for eight months in Pakistan by a man who then falsified marriage documents with her, it was claimed today.

The girl was lured on a shopping trip in Lahore by a friend, before she was driven 120 miles to Tandianwalla and raped by the friend's uncle in January this year.

Two days later, she was forced to sign papers consenting to marriage with the man and beaten for refusing to convert from Christianity to Islam. [MailOnline] Read more

12 October 2011

The Trouble with Muslim Democracy

.... Democracy is a great slogan for Westerners who approach it from their own blinkered perspective and assume that it means the same thing to the people using it thousands of miles away as it does to them.

.... Women can vote in Iran, they just can't vote to change their status. Christians can vote in Egypt, they just can't vote themselves equal rights. Islamism can function as a democratic tyranny, so long as the majority of the population agrees with their basic premises. And if the population doesn't, then elections are rigged, the bullets start flying and the prisons fill up.

.... The trouble with Muslim democracy is that democracy is only as good as the demos. When most of the population is unwilling to engage in self-criticism, but eager to create unity through bigotry, then its democracy will be a lynch mob with a ballot box. And no amount of rhetoric will change that. Only responsible people can use power responsibly, and while we are all irresponsible to a degree, the degree of our irresponsibility can be seen in the practice of our politics. [Sultan Knish] Read more

'The Cold War on British Muslims – The Instigators and Funders'

.... the Middle East Monitor (MEMO) and the Cordoba Foundation (TCF) co-hosted the authors of the recent SpinWatch report on the spread of Islamophobia in the UK. The event took place in the House of Parliament and was sponsored by Simon Danczuk, MP for Rochdale, and chaired by the former foreign affairs editor for the Guardian, Victoria Brittain.

The report entitled "Cold War on British Muslims: An Examination of Policy Exchange and Centre of Social Cohesion" was presented by the co-authors Professor David Miller, Tom Griffin and Tom Mills, who briefly described their findings and their analyses. [Islamophobia Watch] Read more

Secularists must stand up to Islamism!

Secularism is an important demand. Secularism is the strict separation of religion from the state. There aren’t 20 definitions of secularism. I know religious groups and their supporters are trying to water down the concept in order to push back secularism but we mustn’t allow them.

We need secularism more today than ever. We need it.

Of course in a secular society people who are religious or not have a right to believe in what they want.

But don’t forget religion in the state, and educational and judicial system has nothing to do with belief; it has to do with political power. And therefore, this fight is first and foremost a battle against religion in political power. [Maryam Namazie] Read more

Muslim Persecution of Christians: September, 2011

An especially busy month in the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world, September also witnessed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton release the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.

Ironically, aside from Iran and Sudan, none of the countries that habitually appears in this series was designated among the "countries of particular concern," defined by the State Department as countries that are "engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom." [Hudson New York] Read more

11 October 2011

Saudi Women Receive Husbands' Explicit Permission To Celebrate Right To Vote

In the wake of the watershed decision granting them the right to vote in the 2015 elections, Saudi women have received their husbands' explicit consent to rejoice, sources reported Wednesday.

"It is with great pride that women all across Saudi Arabia have been allowed to leave their homes under the guardianship of a male relative and celebrate this cultural landmark," father of four Khalid al-Kazaz told reporters. [The Onion] Read more [via Butterflies and Wheels]

Life-threatening injuries after headscarf caught in mixer

A woman almost got strangled when her headscarf got caught in a dough mixer. The 21-year-old woman worked a dough mixing machine in a tent at a party in Vienna's Krieau on Saturday night when her headscarf was caught in the running machine, strangling her by the throat.

A passer-by noticed the accident and cut the headscarf with a knife, saving the woman. She suffered life-threatening injuries but meanwhile is on the way of recovery, the doctor treating her said. [Austrian Times] Read more [via Islam in Europe]

Pakistan court suspends death sentence of governor's killer

A Pakistani court has suspended the death sentence of Mumtaz Qadri, a security guard who killed a liberal politician over the latter's remarks on the nation's controversial blasphemy law.

"Qadri was provoked by the governor and should therefore be tried for murder, not an act of terror which is what he was tried for earlier" said his attorney Raja Shuja Ur Rehman in confirming the judge's decision.

Earlier this month, a terror court in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near Pakistan's capital, sentenced Qadri to death. The Islamabad High Court suspended the sentence Tuesday until the appeals process is complete. [CNN] Read more

Hopes dim to change Iraq laws to protect women

.... Iraqi experts believe that domestic abuse has increased during the years of war and economic hardship since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. But attempts to strengthen laws to protect women have gone nowhere in the face of heavy cultural and religious resistance.

The World Health Organization has estimated that one in five Iraqi women has reported being a victim of domestic violence, and experts say the rate is much higher. Government officials say for the time being there's little hope that laws giving men wide rights to "discipline" their wives will be changed. [AP] Read more

The Flat Earth of the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an

This video discusses the inaccuracies of cosmology found in the Qur’an which have been derived and passed on from similar misconceptions found in the Torah, the Bible and the works of Aristotle.

In the Islamic tradition these errors have been compounded and corroborated in the various tafsir (interpretations of the Qur’an) of Ibn Abbas (7th century), Ibn Kathir (14th century) and Al Jalalayn (16th century). [The Spittoon] Read more

Guardian Appoints Engage Employee As Stand In Religious Affairs Columnist

Last week, the Guardian’s Divine Dispatches: A Religion Round Up was written, not by their Religious Affairs correspondent, Riazatt Butt, but by Nadiya Takolia. Takiolia appears generally to be writing for the Guardian, so I wonder if she has been given an internship.

Nadiya Takolia works for Engage. Engage (or “iEngage”) is an NGO which attacks Muslim liberals while defending hate preachers and Islamist political parties and institutions, and which attacks the police for arresting terrorist suspects. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Radical Islam Has Settled into Ireland

.... The problem is that al-Qaradawi is also the head of the European Council of Fatwa and Research (ECFR), founded in March 1997, and based on Roebuck Road, 19, Clonskeagh, Dublin – leading the Irish decision to look at the very least naïve.

As stated in the official website of the Council, its main objectives are: "approaching and bringing together scholars who live in Europe and trying to unify their legal opinions regarding the most important legal issues; issuing fatwas that meet the collective needs of Muslims in Europe, solving problems and regulating their interaction with the European community, all within the rules and objectives of the sharia; publish studies and research to resolve the legal issues that arise in Europe in order to achieve the objectives of the sharia and the interests of all people."

In a nutshell, Sharia Law had already come to Europe but nobody seemed to have realized it. [Hudson New York] Read more

Muslim Life of Brian? - That would be frightening

COMEDIAN Terry Jones has admitted that he and his Monty Python colleagues would be “frightened” and “think twice” before poking fun at Muslims in today’s politically correct climate.

The Life Of Brian star says he never believed the 1979 comedy about Jesus would be as controversial as it was at the time. He certainly never expected people still to be discussing it now.

Jones, 69, says he and his fellow comics were able to make the film only because, at the time, religion “seemed to be on the back burner”. [Express.co.uk] Read more

Egypt's move to democracy threatened by attack on Coptic community

.... Much of the blame for the deterioration in relations between Islam and Christianity in the region can be laid at the door of the growing legions of Islamist militants who refuse to acknowledge the other main monotheistic faiths.

They point to the comment made by the Prophet himself on his deathbed, when he instructed his followers that only one faith – Islam – could be tolerated in Arabia.

This interpretation is disputed by moderate Muslims – such as those who joined the Copts for Sunday night’s protest in Cairo – who argue that Islam is a tolerant faith, which allows for peaceful co-existence with other religions. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

10 October 2011

The most powerful woman in Iraq

In an attempt to increase the participation of women in politics, Iraq’s constitution requires that a quarter of the members of Parliament be female. Six years after that constitution was ratified though, it's far from clear that this has had any noticeable effect in advancing the cause of women beyond mere window-dressing. The main beneficiaries, it turns out, have been the Sadrists:

.... Her commitment to education and "the plight of women, widows and orphans" may, one might think, be somewhat compromised by her call for the general enforcement of Sharia law across the country. And, just in case we had any illusions about the nature of her real concerns, here she is giving a public address last month, broadcast on Iranian TV: [Mick Hartley] Read more

Marriage-led immigration creates ghettos

....The problem with family-reunion immigration is not that the partners are an economic burden on the country, although they are (at least in the short term, while having children, although the IPPR concluded that most non-Western immigration was essentially a burden). The real evil is that nothing is better suited towards forming ghettos.

After Jack Straw abolished the Primary Purpose Rule in June 1997, annual marriage-based immigration from south Asia doubled within five years. By 2001 nearly three-quarters of British Pakistani and Bangladeshi children had a mother from abroad (according to MigrationWatch). And almost everyone marries someone from their own ethnic group. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Exposed to other faiths, Malaysian Muslims are ordered to receive counselling

A GROUP of Muslims who attended a multi-ethnic dinner at a Methodist Church hall in Malaysia are to receive counselling because Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the constitutional ruler of Malaysia’s central Selangor state, believes they may have been contaminated by their encounter with the infidels.

Shah is reported here as saying that Islamic officials who inspected a dinner at a Methodist church hall in early August found: Evidence that there were attempts to subvert the faith and belief of Muslims. [The Freethinker] Read more

A Double-Bind Upon the Copts: dhimmitude in action

.... the Copts are in a double bind. If they protest against the abuses brought upon their heads by the dhimma system, they are treated as rebels, and the value of their blood and possessions discounted accordingly: the more they protest, the less right they have under Islamic law even to exist.

On the other hand, the more they acquiesce, the more voracious and emboldened their persecutors will become. This is what happened in Elmarinab: after the Christians made major concessions, their radical Muslim neighbors just demanded further concessions. [markdurie.com blog] Read more

Decades of Multiculturalism have created many problems

British Muslims need to be treated humanely and decently. So many of them are full of promise, ability and a desire for fulfilment in their lives on the glorious British Isles.

We must use both strong measures and compassion to integrate new immigrants and their offspring so that they can fulfill their potential.

We must now begin the necessary measures of assimilation to fight the decades of damage multiculturalism has done to our national identity, by segregating and isolating immigrants. [MailOnline] Read more

The attacks on Egypt’s Copts reflects situation for Christians throughout the Middle East

The violent clashes in Egypt that have resulted in at least 24 deaths have highlighted the deepening plight of the country’s Coptic Christians.

The Copts, who constitute about 10 per cent of Egypt’s 85 million-strong population, have been subjected to a continuous campaign of sectarian attacks since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak last February.

Islamist militants linked to Egypt’s Salafist sect have been blamed for orchestrating the campaign of violence that has resulted in the destruction of several Coptic churches and led to hundreds of Coptic worshippers being killed or injured. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

09 October 2011

Tunisia Salafists 'attack private TV station'

Around 300 Tunisian Salafists on Sunday attacked the headquarters of a private TV station that aired a French-Iranian film and organised a debate on religious extremism, the channel said.

"Three hundred people attacked our offices and tried to set fire to them," Nessma chairman Nebil Karoui told AFP, explaining that death threats had been sent after Friday night's showing of "Persepolis", an animation film on Iran's Islamic revolution. [AFP] Read more

Christians fear Islamist pressure in Egypt

On her first day to school, 15-year-old Christian student Ferial Habib was stopped at the doorstep of her new high school with clear instructions: either put on a headscarf or no school this year.

Habib refused. While most Muslim women in Egypt wear the headscarf, Christians do not, and the move by administrators to force a Christian student to don it was unprecedented. For the next two weeks, Habib reported to school in the southern Egyptian village of Sheik Fadl every day in her uniform, without the head covering, only to be turned back by teachers. [Associated Press] Read more

Dress modestly: Masked men enter girls’ school, thrash students

.... sixty masked men carrying iron rods barged into a girls’ school in Rawalpindi and thrashed students and female teachers on Friday.

The gang of miscreants also warned the inmates at the MC Model Girls High School in Satellite Town to “dress modestly and wear hijabs” or face the music, eyewitnesses said.

Fear gripped the area following the attack and only 25 of the 400 students studying in the college were present on Saturday. The school employs 30 female teachers. [Express Tribune News] Read more

Iranian actress sentenced to a year in jail and 90 lashes

.... "Her lawyer has appealed the sentence, which was handed down yesterday (Saturday)," the report added, without giving further details.

Miss Vafamehr was arrested in July after appearing in "My Tehran for Sale," which came under harsh criticism in conservative circles.

The film, produced in collaboration with Australia, tells the story of a young actress in Tehran whose theatre work is banned by the authorities. She is then forced to lead a secret life in order to express herself artistically. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Muslims respond to Dawkins’ criticism of creationist teaching

Muslim groups in Britain have sharply criticized an atheist professor who attacked Muslim faith schools for teaching creationsim for their students.

"Faith schools are by and large established to enforce the religious teachings of our lives, and the theory of creation is one of the cornerstones of our faith,” Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, from the Muslim Council of Britain, told the BBC.

"To expect faith schools not to teach this kind of religious teaching is unreasonable, but I also think it is important for faith schools to teach science to children as well so they are aware of modern day findings and can use the information to ask further questions and strengthen their faith. [OnIslam.net] Read more

08 October 2011

This brutality is not Islam (Oh yes it is!)

.... Simple fact is, the Hadiths (which the majority of Muslims follow) do prescribe death for apostasy. …. Muslims have a much more literal reading of the Koran and the Hadiths than say most Christians. Much of Christianity moved away from a literal reading of these texts in the last few centuries.

…. I fear that the conditions in Islamic countries won't change that much until a fundamental switch away from literalism takes place. It might be a while yet, but the internet will speed up the process. [LibertyPhile - Surveys] Read more

Richard Dawkins attacks Muslim schools for teaching 'alien rubbish'

.... while he opposed faith schools as a whole, it was the Muslim ones that worried him the most.

"Occasionally, my colleagues lecturing in universities lament having undergraduate students walk out of their classes when they talk about evolution – this is almost entirely Muslims," he said.

.... He said that he noticed the "utterly deplorable" effect they were having first hand after visiting a Muslim school in Leicester as part of a documentary he made last year called Faith Schools Menace?

"Every single person I met believes if there is any disagreement between the Koran and science, then the Koran wins," he said.

"I spoke to a group of girls, and to a senior science teacher who believes the world is 6,000 years old. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Conservative Shock Jock Reels Off Islamophobia's Greatest Hits

Conservative shock jock Bryan Fischer whipped out his best anti-Muslim rhetoric at the Values Voter Summit on Saturday. Some highlights:

"Christians and Muslims do not believe in the same God." "I believe it's important that we have a president who understands that Islam is not a religion of peace, but a religion of war and violence and death."

"Every single Mosque in America is a potential recruiting or training cell for Islamic terror."

"The greatest long-term threat to our security and liberty is not radical Islam, but Islam itself." "This is not Islamophobia, this is Islamo-realism." [TPM Media] Read more

PAS willing to discuss hudud

.... Islamic International University law lecturer Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari said the implementation of hudud law must have the full support of the people.

He added that if PAS won the general election by defeating Umno, it would have absolute control in the implementation of hudud.

“PAS can implement hudud either through political will or with the help of the Malay Rulers,” he said in his speech at the stadium. [The Star Online] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

Hertz: Muslim workers failed to follow break rules

Hertz rental car company, which was met with protests for suspending 34 Muslim shuttle drivers in Seattle in a dispute over prayer breaks, said it would reinstate the workers if they agreed to clock in and out

Hertz said the Somali Muslim employees at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were suspended not for praying but for failing to clock in and out for 10-minute breaks as required under a collective bargaining agreement. Washington state law allows employees two 10-minute breaks during an eight-hour shift. [Reuters] Read more

07 October 2011

Salafi leaders reiterate demands for Islamic Sharia

Prominent Salafi leaders on Thursday reiterated calls for applying Islamic Sharia law in Egypt in place of the man-made laws currently governing the country.

In a conference held by the Salafi-led Asala Party in Matariya neighborhood in Cairo, Salafi leaders lambasted those opposing the application of Islamic Sharia as "adulterers, thieves and immoral people."

Sheikh Shehab al-Din Ahmed said that it is time for the Egyptian people to vote for the party and the candidate that seek to apply Sharia, adding that it would be "a shame to ignore Islamic candidates." [Al-Masry Al-Youm] Read more

Pastor's possible execution reveals nuances of Islamic law

.... Clark Lombardi, an associate professor of law at the University of Washington, said there is more room for interpretation because the Quran is not the only source of Islamic law.

"Most Muslims look past the Quran and say the Quran needs to be looked at in the practice of the Prophet. So they look to see what rules the prophet laid down," Lombardi said.

And, according to Lombardi, if you look at literature about the life of Mohammed, "then apostasy is clearly something very bad. And there are examples of apostates being punished." [CNN] Read more

History of Ottoman empire undermines sharia claims

Hardline Muslim groups often portray the Ottoman empire as a magic template for a global caliphate. This is then used as a springboard for grandiose arguments that paint a caliphate as VIAble, and deem it as the only credible model of governance for the future.

These arguments are based on a belief that the empire adhered to a single interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) for over 600 years, and – crucially – that its success was contingent on this.

[A COMMENT] It is legitimate to point out that in some respects the Ottoman Empire embraced secularism and reform, but the generalisations are wildly overstated.

The Tanzimat reforms were largely negated by the fierce opposition of the religious authorities. Many of the proposed reforms, including an elected Parliament and full equality for Jews and Christians were blocked. [Guardian Cif] Read more

'Humanistic Islam': an inherent contradiction in terms

Muslims and their enablers, fans and dedicated propagandists around the world never tire of spreading the same lies, over and over again, about Islam. Sometimes the lies are baldly blatant, and other times the lies are conveyed VIA convenient and strategic omission of inconvenient facts.

.... What is your stand on freedom of expression – about books that mock religion and God? "Everyone has the right to express his thoughts and feelings freely, as long as it does not infringe on the rights and freedom of others.

Books that mock religion and God would inevitably infringe on the rights and freedom of the adherents of the religion and should be removed from circulation for the public good." [Jihad Watch] Read more

Hertz suspends praying Muslim shuttle drivers

In the three years she's worked as a shuttle driver for Hertz at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Zainab Aweis, had always taken time out of her shift each day to pray.

An observant Muslim, she prays five times a day — with one, sometimes two of those prayer times falling during her shift. "That was the one benefit of the job," the 20-year-old said.

On Friday, she and 33 other drivers — all of them Somali Muslims — were suspended indefinitely from their jobs after they took religious breaks to pray while at work without first clocking out. [The Seattle Times] Read more [via Jihad Watch]

Local Islamists draw on British success in bid for sharia law

THE push to recognise sharia law in Australia has entered an ambitious new phase that draws on the tactics that have handed success to Islamists in Britain.

The latest move, under the guise of helping Muslim women, would give sharia law priority over Australian divorce law. If enacted, this plan would prevent Muslims from obtaining a civil divorce unless they first divorce under Islamic law.

The plan, published by the Alternative Law Journal, would require Muslims to appear first before a proposed Islamic divorce council made up of imams and lawyers who are familiar with sharia and Australian law.

This tribunal would "assess the credibility" of divorce applications from an Islamic perspective. Divorce decrees from this proposed council would be recognised under sharia law and become binding under civil law after approval by a civil court. [The Australian] Read more [via Maryam Namazie]