31 May 2012

Muslim Journalist Challenges Sharia, Gets Accused of ‘Hate’

Mona Eltahawy’s piece in the May/June issue of Foreign Policy criticized a series of practices that are justified in Islamic law, including child marriage, wife-beating, and female genital mutilation. Counter-jihadist activists and writers have been calling attention to these human rights abuses for years, but Eltahawy’s piece was singular in that she is a Muslim journalist.

Muslims for the most part (with some notable exceptions) don’t criticize Muslim practices, particularly those that are rooted in Islam, and mainstream media journalists do so even less often. But the reaction to Eltahawy’s article among her fellow Muslim women is even more striking than her article itself. [PJ Media] Read more

Town Hall climbdown over plans to deduct pay of Muslim employee for time he takes to pray

THE Town Hall last night (Wednesday) backed down on plans to deduct five minutes worth of pay every time one of its Muslim employees takes a quick break to pray.

Children’s department chief Councillor Nash Ali said yesterday that he has asked for the deductions to be stopped after the council’s biggest union cried foul.

The move followed a dispute brought by Camden Unison, which claimed the worker concerned – in the play service – was effectively being penalised for his religious beliefs.

Camden is adamant that the case was not rooted in any religious prejudice and that the tone of the union’s claims, published on its website, had been “inflammatory”. [Camden New Journal] Read more

Plans to ban burkha in the Netherlands deemed 'non-controversial'

.... It had been thought that any legislation would be delayed following the collapse of Mark Rutte’s cabinet last month. Since then the country has been run by a ‘demissionary’ or caretaker government.

.... However, members of the Lower House (Tweede Kamer) decided in a vote on Wednesday that they were non-controversial, thus authorising the caretaker government to press ahead with them. [The Amsterdam Herald ] Read more

The veil is yet another restriction on women

.... It’s ironic how hijabis often portray their wearing of the hijab as a form of liberation from the sexualisation of women in society when it is just one other form of sexualisation and control. In fact, it sexualises girls from a young age and demands that they be covered and segregated so as not to cause fitna or chaos in society.

In the real world, this isn’t called liberating or empowering. It’s called something else and it’s far from a choice for a majority. It’s no more a ‘choice’ than other forms of control and sexualisation, such as female genital mutilation or the chastity belt and foot binding. [Maryyam Namazie] Read more

Anti-Blasphemy Laws in the Arab Spring

The Emir of Kuwait is faced at this very moment with the decision of approving a law that would impose the death penalty against unrepentant Muslims (and varying prison sentences upon others) who exercise their religious freedom of speech in a way deemed blasphemous.

So far, this is the most extreme version of such a law in the region, and it is very surprising that it makes its appearance in enlightened Kuwait. [The Huffington Post] Read more

Muslim school planned for city 'will produce a lost generation'

"It will teach a secularised form of Islam, stripped of all rules and values, and reduced to a crude universal ethos and a few meaningless rituals.

"The result will produce another lost generation who have little idea of their identity, lack basic values of halal or haram, discipline, respect or purpose, akin to the secular youths who participated in last summer's riots and fill single parents' estates across the country."

Opposition parents are unhappy that the detailed proposals include celebrating Christian holidays, adopting a secular ethos, gender mixing, shirt and trouser uniforms and having a non-Muslim head and staff. [Derby Telegraph] Read more

Sudanese woman sentenced to stoning death over adultery claims

A young mother found guilty of adultery in Sudan has been sentenced to death by stoning, prompting an outcry from human rights campaigners.

Intisar Sharif Abdallah was tried without access to a lawyer and is being detained with her four-month-old baby, according to Amnesty International.

Amnesty puts Abdallah's age at 20; Human Rights Watch says she may be under 18.

Her family is appealing against the execution and it is unclear when it will be carried out.

Abdallah admitted to the charges only after her brother reportedly beat her. The conviction was based solely rests on this testimony. The man held with her reportedly denied the charges and was released. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

30 May 2012

Stand-off as Islamic Police Enforce Dress Code in Indonesia’s Aceh

Religious police in Indonesia’s Aceh province, where Islamic law is in force, stopped and reprimanded 53 people on Wednesday during a patrol to enforce the Muslim dress code, sparking a stand-off with some residents.

Sharia police in Aceh regularly carry out patrols to enforce the rule of Islamic modesty and a ban on unseemly contact between unmarried couples.

The operation by the Wilayatul Hisbah, as the Islamic police force is known, targeted women wearing shorts and tight pants as well as civil servants who shirked work, said Yustamin, head of enforcement with the Islamic police. [Deutsche Press-Agentur] Read more

How to Attack the Critics of Islam: A Primer

On Sunday, the story that was front and center on the main page of the website of Le Monde -- France's purported newspaper of record -- was a nearly perfect example of how to go about attacking critics of Islam. Headlined.

"Why Islamophobia is Gaining Ground," the article, written by Frédéric Joignot, begins by noting that Marine Le Pen, the daughter and successor of the fascist anti-Semite Jean-Marie Le Pen, "came first or second in 116 constituencies out of 577, exceeding 25% in 59 of them." Her chief cause: the struggle against Muslim immigration.

As is usual in such articles, Joignot professes to be puzzled by this extraordinary level of support for a politician running on the issue of Islam. How could this be? How could so many Frenchmen have voted for a candidate whose #1 issue is Muslim immigration? What on earth were they thinking of. [Assyrian International News Agency] Read more

29 May 2012

'Allah's enemy!' Radio host slash-attacked for anti-Islam rant on air

A radio host has been hospitalized after being cut 15 times by an unidentified criminal. Two weeks ago the journalist ventured to criticize the founder of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed, on air.

­Sergey Aslanyan, 46, was brought to Moscow’s hospital with numerous non-penetrating knife wounds to the chest, neck and arm.

According to the police report, on late Monday evening an unknown man called to Aslanyan’s flat over the building intercom and called him outside for a talk. When the journalist stepped out of the entranceway he was knocked over the head with a heavy object, after which the assailant brought the knife into play. [RT] Read more

Murfreesboro mosque construction stops after judge's ruling

A judge’s ruling has stopped construction of a Nashville suburban mosque that has been at the center of a rowdy debate for more than two years.

Chancellor Robert Corlew ruled Tuesday that proper public notice was not given for the May 2010 meeting that approved the site plan for the mosque being built near Murfreesboro, a booming city of about 100,000 people southeast of Nashville.

Corlew notes that his opinion doesn’t prevent the Rutherford County Planning Commission from reconsidering the issue and approving the mosque site plan again. The next commission meeting is scheduled for June 11. [AP] Read more

Appeals court upholds three-year sentence for Coptic student defaming Islam

An Egyptian court on Tuesday upheld a three year sentence against a 16-year-old Christian student for posting a drawing on his Facebook page that mocked Islam and the Prophet Mohamed.

The Assiut Court of Appeals said that it has found Gamal Abdu Massoud guilty of defaming religion, state-run news service MENA reported on Tuesday. [Egypt Independent] Read more

Egypt's women have had enough of being told to cover up

While all eyes are focused on the presidential race, on the streets of Egypt, inch by inch, bit by bit, women's rights are shrinking. Women, Muslim and Christian, who do not cover their hair or who wear mid-sleeved clothing are met with insults, spitting and in some cases physical abuse. In the urban squatter settlement of Mouasset el Zakat, in Al Marg, Greater Cairo, women told me that they hated walking in the streets now.

Thanks to the lax security situation, they have restricted their mobility to all but the most essential of errands. Whereas a couple of years ago they could just inform their husbands where they were going (visiting parents, friends or going to the hairdresser for example), now they have to get their husbands or older sons to accompany them if they go out after sunset. [Guardian Cif] Read more

28 May 2012

Islamic fundamentalists force Lady Gaga to call off Indonesia concert

.... “The concert is intended to destroy the nation’s morality. She is from the West, and she often shows her aurat [private parts of the bod]Y when performing."

The gig was due to take place on 3 June, but Gaga was this weekend forced to cancel following threats from the fundamentalist Islamic Defenders Front, which claimed it had supporters with tickets to the event who would take action to stop it once inside. [New Humanist] Read more

MPs want curbs on 'unacceptable' religious slaughter

The government is facing renewed calls to curb the slaughtering of animals that have not first been rendered unconscious - a debate that pits religious sensitivities against the convictions of animal welfare campaigners.

Senior Conservative backbencher Greg Knight has told MPs that the practice of slaughtering cattle, lambs and chickens in this way is "rife".

The law demands that animals be stunned before they are killed - by electrocution, gassing, or shooting retractable rods into their brains - but there are exemptions for animals to be killed according to Jewish and Muslim traditions, without stunning them first. [BBC] Read more

The hijab has liberated me from society's expectations of women

.... The result has been refreshing. In a world as diverse and changing as our own, the hijab means a multitude of things to the many women who choose to wear it. I speak as a woman who just happens to come from the Islamic faith, and for me the hijab is political, feminist and empowering. This dimension is increasingly important for many women who choose to wear it; it's a shame it is understood by so few.

[A COMMENT] You can choose to wear it or not because you live in a modern, pluralist democracy. Most of your sisters in theocratic hellholes like Iran and Saudi have no choice at all. I don't really care how "empowering" you find it, it's still a symbol of female oppression in the vast majority of the world.

[ANOTHER COMMENT] Whatever the case, it doesn't really matter if what you look like doesn't really reflect the kind of person you are, whoever you encounter will already have made up their mind about you. It's politics alright, the politics of religious oppression. Don't try to pass it off as emancipation, because it convinces no one. [Guardian Cif] Read more

26 May 2012

Thousands pray for Istanbul landmark to become mosque

Turkey's secular laws prevent Muslims and Christians from formal worship within the 6th-century monument, the world's greatest cathedral for almost a millennium before invading Ottomans converted it into a mosque in the 15th century.

"Keeping Hagia Sophia Mosque closed is an insult to our mostly Muslim population of 75 million. It symbolises our ill-treatment by the West," Salih Turhan, head of the Anatolian Youth Association, which organised the event, told the crowd, whose male and female worshippers prayed separately according to Islamic custom.

The government has rejected requests from both Christians and Muslims to hold formal prayers at the site, historically and spiritually significant to adherents of both religions. [Reuters] Read more

Afghan women leave the country in fear of Taliban return

A brain drain of bright young women is already taking place in Afghanistan before the 2014 handover that many fear will mean a reversal of advances in women's rights.

The lack of commitment by the Afghan government to equality and to tackling the high rates of ill-treatment of women in the home and in the workplace is raising real fears they will be at the bottom of the political agenda in the push for power after Nato forces leave the country. [BBC] Read more

25 May 2012

Dutch teacher fired for anti-Islam tweets

A teacher from Leiden was fired for anti-Islam tweets. The teacher, Anand Soekhoe, who's also a councilor for Leefbar Leiden tweeted that "Islam is not a religion, but a barbaric backwardness".

Earlier in the week he called upon leftist voters to think of their grandchildren. "Otherwise the next generations will speak Arabic! And Islam will be the state religion. Don't do that to you children.!" Soekhoe had meanwhie removed the tweets. [Islam in Europe] Read more

Malaysia bans and confiscates Irshad Manji book

.... Manji, who advocates for progressive reforms in Islam, first rose to fame with her book The Trouble with Islam Today, which is also banned in Malaysia. The 2003 book sparked much criticism of the openly gay writer, who reportedly faced death threats and harassment for her calls for the incorporation of more liberal values into modern Islam.

Manji is currently on tour with her new book, and also faced harassment in the neighbouring Indonesia earlier this month, where demonstrations forced authorities to shut down parts of her tour. Religious extremists eventually attacked a book discussion with the author, and beat a colleague of Manji with a metal bar. [Index on Censorship] Read more

Prince Ali stunned by FIFA experts' hijab knock back

Evidence from FIFA's medical experts on why the ban on Muslim women footballers wearing the Islamic headscarf or hijab should remain in place was deeply flawed and had no foundation, the campaign's principal supporter said on Friday.

Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, whose presentation to soccer's law-making body IFAB six weeks ago saw the approval of the headscarf pending health and safety checks, said he was "shocked and disturbed" by the evidence presented on Thursday. [Reuters] Read more

Turkish pianist accused of insulting Islam

Turkey's state-run news agency says a prosecutor has proposed charging an internationally known Turkish pianist and composer with insulting Islamic religious values in comments he made on Twitter.

Anadolu Agency said Friday that an Istanbul court will decide whether to accept the proposed indictment against Fazil Say, who has played piano with the New York Philharmonic, Berliner Symphoniker, Israel Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, and Tokyo Symphony. [The Associated Press] Read more

Kansas governor signs bill banning use of Islamic law

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a law aimed at keeping the state's courts and government agencies from basing decisions on Islamic or other foreign legal codes, and a national Muslim group's spokesman said Friday that a court challenge is likely.

The law, taking effect July 1, doesn't mention Shariah, which broadly refers to codes within the Islamic legal system. It says courts, administrative agencies and state tribunals can't base rulings on any foreign law or legal system that would not grant the parties the same rights guaranteed by state and U.S. constitutions. [The Associated Press] Read more

Remarkably Brave Saudi Woman Blasts Religious Police Thug For Ordering Her to Cover Up Her Sexy Nails

Granted power to enforce Sharia Law by order of King Abdullah himself, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice employs thousands of members and volunteers whose sole duty it is to go around and harass people they think are not being Muslim enough.

.... A female Saudi mall patron, irritated by the persistent pestering of a "vice preventor" who had apparently taken offence to her freshly manicured nails, turned on her camera-phone, and began recording her adamant refusal to leave the mall at his behest. [Gawker] Read more

24 May 2012

‘Religious Freedom’ for Atheists

It is hard to imagine a less hateful person than Alexander Aan. Mild and soft-spoken, the 30-year-old Indonesian bureaucrat recently told Al Jazeera, in an interview conducted just outside his jail cell, “As a democracy and part of the global community, because we are not isolated from the outside world, I think we should be more tolerant.

Nobody hurts anyone simply because he has different ideas.” And yet Aan is facing up to 11 years in prison for blasphemy and inciting religious hatred because he voiced his skepticism about Islam on Facebook. [Religion Dispatches] Read more

Police turning blind eye to Asian voter fraud, says MP

A Yorkshire MP has warned police are failing to investigate allegations of serious electoral fraud by members of the region’s Asian population due to fears over “community sensitivities”.

Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell told the House of Commons the Savile Town area of his constituency has grown accustomed to “annual allegations of voter fraud and intimidation” – but that police are apparently failing to act for cultural reasons. [Yorkshire Post] Read more

Erdogan: More Muslims, Please

And if the Muslims reproduce like rabbits, they needn't worry, wherever they don't have the only wealth that saves most of them from poverty (the kind we like to call "abject") because the Western world will decide it must support them, in order, you see, to keep people from poverty which, in turn, as the night doth follow the day, leads to "extremism."

See all these trillions spent to bring prosperity, or stave off poverty, in overpopulated Iraq, overpopulated Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Yemen, and of course "the Palestinian territories." [The Iconoclast] Read more

Hard-Line Muslims Confront Indonesia's Christians

In the city of Bekasi, Indonesia, outside Jakarta, a handful of Christians head to Sunday worship. But before they can reach their destination, they are stopped and surrounded by a large crowd of local Muslims who jeer at them and demand that they leave.

This is the Filadelfia congregation, a Lutheran group. They are ethnic Bataks from the neighboring island of Sumatra who have migrated to Bekasi, and they have been blocked from holding services on several occasions. Recently, a journalist who demonstrated in support of the congregation was beaten by an angry mob. [KERA News] Read more

The Spread of Islamic Creationism in Europe

I recorded the latest installment of the recently acclaimed Point of Inquiry podcast with Johan Braeckman, a philosopher at the University of Ghent, on a very troubling topic for European defenders of science and reason–the spread of Islamic creationism in European countries.

You can listen to the show here; it is getting a lot of downloads now. And not surprisingly; this topic isn’t much discussed, but it is quite disturbing. [The Intersection] Read more

23 May 2012

Olympic Hurdles for Saudi Women Persist

As the clock ticks down to the July opening ceremony, all nations except Saudi Arabia have confirmed that women athletes will participate in the London 2012 Olympics, Human Rights Watch said today.

The International Olympic Committee’s executive board is meeting in Quebec City from May 23 through May 25 to hear reports on the upcoming Games. [Human Rights Watch] Read more

22 May 2012

German magazine steps up security after terrorist calls for killings of employees

.... The Salafist protesters were upset by Pro NRW's anti-Islam signs, particularly those showing the cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that provoked outrage in 2005 when they were first printed in a Danish newspaper. Strict Muslims oppose any depiction of their prophet.

In the video, Bonn-born Yassin Chouka, who is believed to be with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region, calls for Muslims to kill Pro NRW members. [Associated Press] Read more

The burqa and the new religious intolerance

.... Although France is the first country to enact a full ban on the burqa in public space, similar restrictions are being considered all over Europe, and many countries and regions have adopted some type of restriction.

What does political philosophy have to say about all these developments? As it turns out, a long philosophical and legal tradition has reflected about similar matters.

[A COMMENT] .... this country is steeped in a very different tradition and has developed in a secular direction. While on the one hand religious tolerance is something this country would like to give support to that is not a blank cheque so to speak and there are other considerations.

Firstly the wearing of masks is associated in our culture with outlawry and crime and for example you cannot walk into a bank wearing a motor bike helmet without drawing attention of bank security and the law. [ABC] Read more

HuffPo’s House Jihadi

A devout Muslim who has praised Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and publicly branded all non-believers as mentally ill “animals” was recently hired to serve as the Huffington Post’s political director in the U.K.

Mehdi Hasan, a controversial British media figure whom insiders have billed as a mouthpiece for the Iranian regime, recently left his job at the left-wing New Statesman magazine to join the Huffington Post as a senior staffer, according to reports in the British press. [Washington Free Beacon] Read more

Parents 'murdered their Westernised teenage daughter because they thought she was bringing shame on the family'

A teenager was killed by her Pakistan-born parents because they believed her Westernised lifestyle had brought shame on the family, a court heard yesterday.

Nine years after their daughter Shafilea vanished, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed have gone on trial accused of murder.

The court heard that police made a breakthrough in the case when Shafilea’s sister told them she saw them kill the 17-year-old. [MailOnline] Read more

Blasphemy trial stokes Shia and Sunni tensions

A Shia Muslim man has pleaded not guilty to charges of insulting the Prophet Mohamed and the Sunni rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on Twitter.

The charges were brought against Hamad al-Naqi, 26, by a civil plaintiff, who called for him to be put to death as an example to others. [Reuters] Read more

Islington girls forced into marriage at the age of nine

AN alarming number of under-age girls – some as young as nine – are being forced into marriage in Islington, according to a leading campaign group.

The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) claim that at least 30 girls in the borough were forced into marriage in 2010.

The practice was condemned by the Imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, who said such marriages were against Islam and “unacceptable”.

He pledged to invalidate any marriage which he said were carried out by “back-street Imams”. [Islington Tribune] Read more

Islamo-Christian violence in Minya: life imprisonment for 12 Copts, eight Muslims acquitted

An Egyptian court has sentenced 12 Coptic Christians to life imprisonment and acquitted eight Muslims, in a trial heavily criticized by human rights activists and legal experts.

The ruling came yesterday, at the end of a trial called to shed light on the sectarian violence last year in the province of Minya, in the southern part of the country, about 220 km from Cairo.

Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher and expert on Egyptian law, emphasizes that "the acquittal of the eight Muslim defendants" shows that "the investigations started from the beginning by the attorney general are unfair and wrong" because there was "clear evidence of guilt against them, for having set fire to Christian properties." [AsiaNews] Read more

21 May 2012

Thousands of radical Salafis urge bigger role for Islam in Tunisia

Waving black flags embossed with Islamic verses, thousands of radical Islamists rallied in the central Tunisian town of Kairouan on Sunday to demand a wider role for religion in a country long considered one of the Arab world’s most secular.

Draping their banner from the town’s ancient mosque, supporters of Ansar al-Sharia, or the Partisans of Islamic Law, one of the most radical Islamist movements in Tunisia, turned out in a show of force likely to cause alarm among secularists. [Reuters Blogs - FaithWorld] Read more

Court: Anti-Islam group must be protected

The Federal Court says an anti-Islam group has the right to give out leaflets from an information booth if it wants – and the local authorities must protect them.

Fribourg Council banned the group – The Movement Against the Islamization of Switzerland – from setting up an information booth Place Georges-Python during the anti-minaret campaign in 2009.

It said it refused to give permission because of a fear that violence and unrest would break out as a result, provoking a legal challenge. [The Local] Read more

Twitter briefly blocked in Pakistan over "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day" tweets

.... Yesterday, on the second anniversary of the first "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day", the campaign once again resurfaced, with messages appearing on Twitter urging people to participate.

Back in 2010, protests in Pakistan prompted judges to temporarily block Facebook in the country, and Pakistani authorities seem to have taken similar measures this time around, with Twitter being blocked for around eight hours on Sunday.

According to a report in the Washington Post, it is not clear who in the Pakistani government gave the order for the site to be blocked, but the action quickly provoked a backlash among web users, human rights activists, and even government politicians. [New Humanist] Read more

Iranian rapper in hiding, but defiant after call for his death

The Iranian-born rapper marked for death for insulting a ninth-century imam and criticizing Tehran's regime as corrupt is determined to press his message to young fans, according to the German author who hid Shahin Najafi in his home.

Najafi, whose song "Ay Naghi" brought two fatwas, or calls for his death, within days of its release on Facebook, will not be intimidated, though he knows he cannot perform live, according to Gunter Wallraff, a non-fiction writer who hid Najafi until German police found him and placed him in a safehouse. [FOX News] Read more

Twitter row reveals the trouble with Pakistan

.... And that is roughly how things work here. When the threat – or the fear of a threat – comes from religious extremists, then commonsense and leadership routinely go out of the window. Something has to be done and done fast, no matter if the result is a botched infringement of basic freedoms.

The charitable way to view things is to accept that Pakistan is still in the midst of a democratic transition. After a decade of military dictatorship, its civilian rulers are still working out how power work. There will be clashes with the media and the judiciary as everyone works out the limits of their power. Things might be messy, but ultimately Twitter was restored and the right outcome was achieved. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Radical Islamists urge bigger role for Islam in Tunisia

Waving black flags embossed with Islamic verses, thousands of radical Islamists rallied in the central Tunisian town of Kairouan on Sunday to demand a wider role for religion in a country long considered one of the Arab world’s most secular.

Draping their banner from the town’s ancient mosque, supporters of Ansar al-Sharia, or the Partisans of Islamic Law, one of the most radical Islamist movements in Tunisia, turned out in a show of force likely to cause alarm among secularists.

In jail or underground before the 2011 uprising that ousted secular strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and launched the Arab Spring, Tunisian Islamists have since become more assertive. [Al Arabiya News] Read more

Shafilea Ahmed killed by parents for bringing shame on family, court hears

The parents of a teenager murdered her because she failed to conform to their wishes for an arranged marriage and she allegedly "brought shame" on the family, a court has heard.

Shafilea Ahmed, who was 17 when she died in September 2003, was described as a westernised British girl of Pakistani origin at the start of her parents' murder trial at Chester crown court. Her parents, Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, a taxi driver, from Warrington, Cheshire, and his wife, Farzana, 49, a housewife, are accused of murder. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

20 May 2012

Controversial book on Islam and Liberties launched in Malaysia

A Canadian Muslim gay activist launched her controversial new book on liberal Islam in Muslim-majority Malaysia Saturday despite a government minister's attempts to shut down the event.

Irshad Manji launched "Allah, Liberty and Love" at a hastily arranged event in the capital Kuala Lumpur after two other venues pulled out of hosting her, according to local publisher ZI Publications. [AFP] Read more

Islamist calls for murder of German far-right party: media

A German Islamist is calling for the murder of members of a far-right party that regularly provokes ultra-conservative Muslims using cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, a newspaper reported.

According to an article due to appear Monday in the Tageszeitung daily, an Islamist from Bonn in western Germany has appeared in a video on an Islamic forum in which he encouraged "the killing of all activists from the Pro NRW party". [Expatica] Read more

19 May 2012

From Democracy to Sharia

.... Yesterday’s euphoria is melting into today’s harsh reality. In Cairo, home to the Muslim Brotherhood and the sharia jurists of ancient Al-Azhar University, “democracy” has meant the rise of Sunni supremacists. Turns out they don’t do bridge-building.

Their tightening grip has translated into brutalizing dhimmitude for Christians and increasing intolerance of Shiism — which the Sunni leaders perceive less as Islam than as apostasy, an offense that sharia counts as more grievous than treason. [National Review Online] Read more

Popular support for Egypt's Islamist parties on wane: Gallup poll

According to recent Gallup polls, Egypt's Islamist parties appear to have lost popularity since parliamentary elections late last year. The popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), for example, have fallen considerably in recent months, while the Salafists have witnessed a similar – if less dramatic – decline, according to recent opinion surveys.

A poll conducted last month showed that while 63 per cent of Egyptians in February said they supported the Muslim Brotherhood, only 42 per cent claimed to support them in April. The popularity of the group's FJP also fell considerably, from 67 to 43 percent over the same two-month period, according to the poll. [Aswat Masriya] Read more

18 May 2012

Tory cabinet minister Baroness Warsi calls on mosques to act after Rochdale grooming gang scandal

Muslim cabinet minister Baroness Warsi today dramatically hit out at the 'small minority' of Pakistani men who see white girls as 'fair game' for sexual abuse.

In comments following the Rochdale grooming scandal involving nine Muslim men, the Conservative Party co-chairman admitted that race was a factor.

She urged Muslim leaders to address the issue and ensure that men who regard white women as 'third class citizens' are isolated by their communities. [MailOnline] Read more

Prof sues over Muslim tiff

....The complaints were filed last fall amid student protests on the Hammond campus, citing comments Eisenstein, a 64-year-old Orthodox Jew, made inside and outside his classroom.

The complaints followed posts on his personal Facebook page questioning the response of moderate Muslims to other Muslims killing Christians in Nigeria, and insulting the prophet Muhammed.

According to the suit, Keon found in February that the remarks cited in complaints filed by two other professors were protected free speech. [www.journalgazette.net] Read more

The Vilification of CAIR

There is only one national organization in the United States whose primary mission is protecting the civil liberties of American Muslims, and that is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, commonly referred to as CAIR.

Since its inception in 1994, CAIR has battled countless smears and attacks against its work and reputation, which intensified after being named an unindicted co-conspirator in the notorious Holy Land Foundation case in 2007. [altmuslim] Read more

Toronto school board right to shut religious program for anti-Jewish material

There’s no room for hate in our schools – period. That’s why it’s good to see the Toronto District School Board taking quick, firm action to prevent a weekend religious school from using its facilities once it was shown that its curriculum included blatantly anti-semitic material.

Jewish groups were understandably outraged when they discovered that anti-Jewish statements appeared on the website of the East End Madrassah, an Islamic Sunday school that rented space in a Scarborough high school for decades. Among other things, they referred to Jews as “treacherous” and “crafty” and accused them of “conspiring to kill the Prophet Muhammad.” [Toronto Star] Read more

Hindus And Sikhs Protest The BBC's Use Of "Asians," BBC Covers This, But Drops In The Ramadan Foundation To Confuse The Issue

.... The Ramadan Foundation [why is the "Ramadan Foundation" suddenly inserted into the story here? It is a Muslim apologetic group, and has nothing to do with Hindus or Sikhs, whose complaints are supposed to be the subject of this story. Why?] has said grooming is "a significant problem for the British Pakistani community" [why does this BBC report so wantonly confuse things for the reader, in a story about Hindu and Sikh fury at the avoidance of the word "Islam," by including the remarks of a Muslim "moderate" apologist group, the Ramadan Foundation, to the story, which group naturally is careful to discuss "race" rather than the ideology of Islam] [The Iconoclast] Read more

Happy to be Muslim when its a position of honour

.... Muslim mayors are nothing new. Waltham Forest where I grew up has had several going back to the 1980s. About LB Tower Hamlets no need to say more. May is the month when many boroughs elect their Mayors from the ranks of long serving and respected councillors.

But have you noticed that these men and women, who have been chosen by their colleagues for important office, are openly described and identified by the BBC and local press as Muslim? Not Asian. Muslim. [The Iconoclast] Read more

17 May 2012

Iran – Ministry of Intelligence further restricts Farsi-Speaking churches

In addition to the increased restrictions against Iranian Christian converts, the Ministry of Intelligence has now ordered the leaders of the central AOG church in Tehran to compile a list of the names and National ID numbers of its members and submit it to the security authorities.

According to Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, reports from Tehran indicate that leaders of the central AOG church of Tehran asked their congregation in Sunday May 6 service to voluntarily present them with a list of their names and National ID numbers so that they submit the list to the officials. This reveals the identity of Christian converts and enables security authorities to record detailed information about the Christians. [MohabatNews] Read more

Muslim Voters Change Europe

An analysis of the voting patterns that barrelled François Hollande to victory on May 6 as the first Socialist president of France since 1995 shows that this overthrow was due in large measure to Muslims, who voted for him in overwhelming numbers.

The French vote marks the first time that Muslims have determined the outcome of a presidential election in a major western European country; it is a preview of things to come.

.... According to a survey of 10,000 French voters conducted by the polling firm OpinionWay for the Paris-based newspaper Le Figaro, an extaordinary 93% of French Muslims voted for Hollande on May 6. By contrast, the poll shows that only 7% of French Muslims voted for the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Wife-Beating 101 Taken to Court

Regular readers of Counterjihad sites are familiar with Koran 4:34, which lays out the strict rules for beating one’s wife. Now the matter has been brought to court in Switzerland, after a man publicly declared his Koran-inspired views on spousal abuse in a TV documentary. Many thanks to Hermes for translating this article from Donaufalter-Zeitung: [Gates of Vienna] Read more

Hardline Islamists say ruling Egypt will bring about a new caliphate

At A campaign rally for the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for president, a hardline cleric and TV preacher sang Mohammed Morsi’s praises before thousands massed in the stadium of an industrial city in Egypt’s Nile Delta.

“We are seeing the dream of the Islamic Caliphate coming true at the hands of Mohammed Morsi,” Safwat Hegazy blared from his podium.

“The capital of the caliphate and the United Arab States is Jerusalem, God willing,” he added, as thousands cheered and waved the Brotherhood’s green flag, chanting, “The people want to implement God’s law.” [The Scotsman] Read more

Christian couple acquitted in dubious blasphemy case

.... During the hearing, when the prosecutor tried to prove allegations against the couple, he argued that no one can touch the Holy Quran without ablution. However, Justice Naqvi noted that since no one bothered performing ablutions before reading the Holy Quran or Bible in libraries all over the world, and the fact that some non-Muslims had even embraced Islam after reading the Holy Quran.

Munir is currently out on bail, while Ruqayya is imprisoned at Sahiwal Jail. Shakir said that on Saturday they would be able to get a certified copy of the court order and hopefully by Monday Ruqayya would be released from jail. [The Express Tribune] Read more

Shariah Charade: Kansas lawmakers needlessly ban Islamic law

. ... One of the few to vote against the legislation, Sen. Tim Owens (R-Overland Park), rightly raised the point that banning shariah law is totally unnecessary. According to the Journal-World, he said that our courts are already governed by the legal code of the United States as well as the Constitution, which separates religion and government. Owens also asserted that the legislation sends the message that Kansas is hostile to anyone who doesn’t believe in the ideals of the Religious Right.

Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, agreed with Owens, insisting that the measure could make it difficult for some to choose Islamic marriage contracts, implement Islamic wills or be buried based on their religious customs. [Secular News Daily] Read more

British Woman Faces Jail In Dubai For 'Drunken Sex In Back Of Taxi'

A British businesswoman is facing up to three years jail in Dubai after allegedly having sex with an Irishman in the back seat of a taxi.

Rebecca Blake was accused of having sex outside of marriage and being drunk in a public place, and was held in cells for five days after the incident, The Sun said.

Croydon-born Blake, who is head of risk at Manpower Professional, was reportedly arrested alongside Conor McRedmond after a drinking binge.

The pair had apparently met at an all-you-can-drink event at The Irish Village hotel bar, said the Telegraph. [The Huffington Post] Read more

Sheikh Bakri Helps Wafa Sultan Educate All Americans on Islam

.... In all the many works on Mohammedan law no teaching is met with that even hints at those principles of political intercourse between nations, that have been so long known to the peoples of Europe, and which are so universally recognized by them.

“Fiqh,” as the science of Moslem jurisprudence is called, knows only one category of relation between those who recognize the apostleship of Mohammed and all others who do not, namely Djehad [jihad]; that is to say, strife, or holy war.

Inasmuch as the propagation of Islam was to be the aim of all Moslems, perpetual warfare against the unbelievers, in order to convert them, or subject them to the payment of tribute, came to be held by Moslem doctors [legists] as the most sacred duty of the believer. [Andrew Bostom] Read more

16 May 2012

Uncovering Early Islam

.... In a well-written, sober, and clear account, he begins by demonstrating the inconsistencies and mysteries in the conventional account concerning Mohammed’s life, the Koran, and early Islam.

For example, whereas the Koran insists that Mohammed did not perform miracles, the hadith ascribes him thaumaturgic powers — multiplying food, healing the injured, drawing water from the ground and sky, and even sending lightning from his pickax. Which is it? Hadith claim Mecca was a great trading city but, strangely, the historical record reveals it as no such thing. [National Review Online] Read more

With the post-Gaddafi state weak, Libyans look to God for help

.... Since last year’s revolt ended Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule over Libya, people have grown used to looking to their own resources, or to God, to help them out, because they feel they cannot count on their government.

The struggle over this shrine in Zlitan, about 160 km (90 miles) west of the Libyan capital, is the story of Libya as it struggles to re-shape itself after Gaddafi’s rule.

It is the story of the battle for the right to define what it means to be a Muslim in Libya, of theological arguments being settled by weapons, and of an interim government that is so weak that it cannot impose its authority over opposing factions.

The ending has not yet been written. [Reuters Blogs - FaithWorld] Read more

Blasphemy bans threaten 'Arab Spring', religious freedom

Kuwait’s parliament has just passed draconian legal amendments that impose the death penalty on Muslims for blasphemy. The move to stiffen the penalty came after Hamad al-Naqi, a Shi’a Muslim, was arrested in March and taken into custody for allegedly cursing the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter. The fate of the amendments and of Naqi rests in the hands of Kuwait’s emir.

This action is the latest sign of an alarming trend, not just in Kuwait, but across the Middle East and parts of North Africa. From Tunisia to Kuwait, blasphemy bans increasingly are being enforced and expanded. These bans threaten individual rights to freedom of religion and expression and often have led to human rights abuses. [The Hill] Read more

Mosques' advice: 'don't report abusive husbands'

.... The women then asked leaders at the mosques for advice about how to address issues such as polygamy, assault and non-consensual sex.

Six out of the ten mosques visited by the women, who had also claimed that their husbands had multiple wives, told them that they should nevertheless agree to have sex with their husbands even if they didn't want to.

Six of the mosques also advised the women against reporting spousal abuse to the police. Leaders at another mosque were divided on the issue, while women received vague advice from yet another mosque.

Only two of the mosques gave the women clear advice directing them to report their abusive husbands to police. [The Local] Read more

15 May 2012

CAIR Officials Demonize America on Iranian TV

Two officials representing the Council on American-Islamic Relations' New York chapter (CAIR-NY) turned to an Iranian television station this week in order to propagate the dangerous and oft-repeated narrative that the U.S. is at war with Islam and hostile to Muslims.

The narrative—said to be one of the most potent tools in recruiting Muslims to violent jihad—was first put forth by CAIR-NY head Zead Ramadan in an interview Monday with Iranian state-controlled Press TV. During the discussion, Ramadan compared the situation of Muslims in America to that of Jews under Nazi rule.

"In Nazi Germany, they targeted the minority, the Jewish minority," Ramadan told Press TV by phone. "I don't think we will ever get there, but I don't think we should allow the road to continue to be built towards that direction because the comments that are being made against Muslims are very eerily echoing the comments that were being made against Jews by Nazis."[IT News] Read more

Italy: First Muslim televangelist show

.... The imam wants to offer true Islamic television. Abu Ammar says they started the show in order to talk about the role of Islam in the West and in Italy, from a a social, cultural and religious point of view. The show also features reports on Italian Muslims from all over the country.

The show is currently funded by Gulf countries. Abu Ammar says the upcoming episodes will also be sponsored by Italian companies. The imam says that the first two episodes were received well, and that he got congratulatory phone calls from Morocco, Egypt and France. [Islam in Europe] Read more

Lady Gaga gagged in Indonesia after Islamic opposition

Pop star Lady Gaga has been refused a permit to perform in the Indonesian capital next month over security concerns, police said on Tuesday, after Islamic groups voiced strong objections to her "vulgar" style.

Three Islamic groups have expressed their opposition to the concert on June 3, demanding it be stopped, national police spokesman Saud Usman Nasution said by telephone.

Indonesia, a secular state, has the world's largest population of Muslims as well as significant minorities of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. [Reuters] Read more

Iranian Gay Men To Be Hanged For Sodomy

....The new survey, "LGBT Republic of Iran: An Online Reality?," can be viewed here.

In April, The Guardian reported that Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli, an influential cleric and an Islamic scholar based in Iran's holy city of Qom, referred to homosexuals as inferior to dogs and pigs in a speech.

"If a society commits a new sin, it will face a new punishment," Javadi-Amoli said, according to The Guardian's translation of a report by the Iranian news website Khabaronline. "Problems like AIDS did not exist before." [The Huffington Post] Read more

14 May 2012

Whither political Islam?

But Islamists come in many flavors, with different understandings of the meaning of pluralism and democracy. The Muslim Brotherhood, which advocates a gradual path toward Islamic rule, had been favored, having won 47 percent of the seats in parliamentary elections.

Some analysts compare their FJP (Freedom and Justice Party) to the Turkish ruling party, which has Islamic roots. But when Turkish Prime Minister Reccep Tayip Erdogan visited Cairo, and promoted the concept of a secular state with religious values, Brotherhood leaders publicly rejected this out of hand. [Philly.com] Read more

Iranian rapper faces death threats and fatwa for 'blasphemous' song

An Iranian rapper has become "the Salman Rushdie of music" after clerics in the Islamic republic issued fatwas calling him an apostate, which is considered punishable by death under the country's sharia law.

Shahin Najafi, a Germany-based Iranian singer, recently released a song with references to Ali al-Hadi al-Naqi, the tenth of the 12 Shia Muslim Imams, a religious figure highly respected by millions in Iran.

The controversial clip posted on Youtube, watched by hundreds of thousands online, has divided opinions in the country with many finding it offensive and insulting to their beliefs and others defending the song, saying it broke taboos especially in regards to expressing views about religious personalities. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

The Spirit of Geert Wilders

.... As Geert Wilders says of the Muslim world’s general stagnation, “It’s the culture, stupid.” And our culture is already retreating into pre-emptive capitulation, and into a crimped, furtive, (Blair again) subterranean future.

As John Milton wrote in his Areopagitica of 1644, “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience.” It is a tragedy that Milton’s battles have to be re-fought three-and-a-half centuries on, but the Western world is shuffling into a psychological bondage of its own making.

Geert Wilders is not ready to surrender without exercising his right to know, to utter, and to argue freely — in print, on screen, and at the ballot box. We should cherish that spirit, while we can. [National Review Online] Read more

13 May 2012

Mother's Day is "an imitation of the kuffaar from whom we have been commanded to differ

.... Celebrating Mother’s Day is an innovated matter which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions (may Allaah be pleased with them) did not do.

It is also an imitation of the kuffaar from whom we have been commanded to differ. Hence it is not permissible to celebrate it or to obey one's mother in that, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “There is no obedience if it involves sin; obedience is only in that which is right and proper.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 7257; Muslim, 1840. [Jihad Watch] Read more

Anti-Sharia Legislation Passes Undercover of ‘Women’s Rights’ Rhetoric

Last week, the Kansas Senate became the latest state to enact a discriminatory measure against Muslims in America by passing a so-called Sharia ban. The bill goes before Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS), who has not indicated whethere he will sign or veto it.

Oklahoma passed a Sharia ban by ballot in 2010, but that measure has been deemed facially unconstitutional by the courts because it specifically targets Muslims for discrimination. Because of Oklahoma’s experience, state legislatures are moving bills that are more oblique about their discriminatory intent. South Dakota, Louisiana, Arizona, and Tennessee have all passed laws that ban “foreign law in American courts” and don’t mention Muslims or Sharia by name. [loonwatch.com] Read more

Islam does democracy, but what about liberty?

.... But there is another reason for concern: What if elected Islamist parties impose laws that curb individual freedoms, like banning alcohol or executing converts, all with popular support? What if democracy does not serve liberty?

This question is seldom asked in the West, where democracy is often seen as synonymous with liberalism. However, as Fareed Zakaria warned in his 2003 book, “The Future of Freedom,” there are illiberal democracies, too, where the majority’s power isn’t checked by constitutional liberalism and the rights and freedoms of all citizens are not secured. The real debate, therefore, is whether Islam is compatible with liberalism. [The New York Times] Read more

12 May 2012

Kansas lawmakers pass effective ban on Islamic law

.... Mast said research showed more than 50 cases around the United States where courts or government agencies took laws from Sharia or other legal systems into account in decision-making.

Commonly, they involved divorce, child custody, property division or other cases where the woman was treated unfairly, Mast said.

"I want people of other cultures, when they come to the United States, to know the freedoms they have in regard to women's and children's rights," said Mast, a Republican. "An important part of this bill would be to educate them." [Reuters] Read more

Saudi king dismisses conservative adviser

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has dismissed a controversial ultraconservative adviser after he publicly criticized reforms aimed at easing restrictions on women, the kingdom's state media reports.

Sheik Abdul-Mohsen al-Obeikan had told a local radio station that officials were working to Westernize and secularize the country's laws by "legalizing taboos."

"This situation is a very dangerous one that is linked to schemes by influential people to corrupt Muslim society by removing women from their natural position," he said in remarks recently broadcast on the station UFM. [Associated Press] Read more

11 May 2012

Church Row a ‘Dark Time’ for Aceh

Another Christian house of worship has been sealed off in Aceh Singkil district, bringing the total since last week to 17 and marking a new low for religious intolerance in the staunchly Muslim province, a rights group said on Wednesday.

Agusta Mukhtar, a spokesman for the group Pro-Democracy People, said it was regrettable that the local authorities had sealed off the buildings following a protest on April 30 by hard-line groups including the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which oppose the buildings. [JakartaGlobe] Read more

Redbridge’s first Muslim mayor is elected

Cllr Muhammed Javed, who has become the first Muslim borough mayor, donned his robes and chain at the meeting in the council chamber at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

He was elected unanimously across all three parties and follows on from Cllr Chris Cummins who, along with deputy Cllr Felicity Banks, served the borough in 2011/2012 and raised over £40,000 for his chosen charities.

The new first citizen said he was “deeply honoured” to have been chosen, adding that he hopes people from all backgrounds will ”come together” to help him mark the year of once in a lifetime events. [Ilford Recorder] Read more

Religious Freedom, Shariah Take Center Stage During Egypt's Presidential Debate

.... "You once said in a televised interview that Muslims can convert to Christianity and vice versa... is this still your position?" Moussa asked, as reported by Ahram Online. Fotouh reportedly appeared baffled by the question, before stressing the importance of freedom of belief and of a moderate understanding of Islam.

"We want to know your vision about applying Shariah law, especially as you are now backed by radical Islamist groups; and in politics nothing is for free, there must be a deal and we need to know," Moussa continued.

Fotouh, who attempted to paint his opponent as too secular, according to experts, fired back: "What do you mean by the general principles of Shariah?" [The Christian Post] Read more

Anti-Islam teachings 'widespread' in US law enforcement, campaigners warn

.... Sarsour said the latest revelations showed the problem was widespread. "It's not just the department of defense. It's not just the military. It's anywhere from showing a movie like the Third Jihad to 1,500 New York City police officers to training FBI agents that Muslims are easily radicalized to become terrorists."

She said the Islamophobic lessons taught to US military and law enforcement personnel have further damaged national security. "There's already a deficit of trust between the community and law enforcement." [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Egyptians watch first presidential debate with bemusement

.... He insists that Islam rejects compelling anyone to obey behavioural codes such as wearing the veil or giving up alcohol, and when asked whether he believed people should be allowed to convert from Islam to Christianity said there should be no interference in freedom of belief.

But he was also forced by Mr Moussa to admit that he wanted the rules of Sharia to be the basis of Egyptian law, not just its principles, as stated by the current constitution.

Although both men have sought to win over the middle ground, the debate highlighted their differences. Mr Aboul Fotouh was able to make telling points about Mr Moussa's late conversion to the cause of overthrowing Mr Mubarak, whom he served as foreign minister during the nineties. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

City slammed for 'special treatment' of Muslim kids

A Swedish school district has sparked outrage for striking a deal with local Muslim groups ensuring Muslim students can skip out on overnight class trips and Muslim girls don't have to be naked when showering at school.

Her comments came in response to reading a document outlining an agreement between education officials in Jönköping municipality and local Muslim groups ensuring special treatment for Muslim children enrolled in area schools. [The Local] Read more

Kansas lawmakers pass anti-Islamic law measure

A bill designed to prevent Kansas courts or government agencies from making decisions based on Islamic or other foreign legal codes has cleared the state Legislature after a contentious debate about whether the measure upholds American values or appeals to prejudice against Muslims.

The Senate approved the bill Friday on a 33-3 vote. The House had approved it, 120-0, earlier in the week. The measure goes next to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who hasn't said whether he'll sign or veto the measure. [AP] Read more

Muslim leaders warn of far right exploitation of Rochdale child sex case

.... Muslim groups say they have seen an upsurge in hate mail and abusive phone calls since the trial ended this week and community leaders are bracing themselves for more Islamophobic attacks on individual Muslims and mosques across the UK.

"We are already receiving hate mail and hate phone calls even though we issued a very strong statement condemning those involved," said a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain. "If it can happen to MCB, you can just imagine what ordinary Muslims are facing as they go about their day-to-day business." [guardian.co.uk] Read more

10 May 2012

Legislation to ban burqa is liberal overkill, researchers claim

Banning and criminalising the Muslim face veil tests the very foundations of modern liberal society, warn researchers from Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Sussex.

The paper ‘Reasons to Ban? The Anti-Burqa Movement in Western Europe’ examines the move to legislate against, and to criminalise face-veiling which has swept across the EU recently.

The European movement against face-veiling is now widespread, with calls to implement a ban, or a ban being in place, in France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Germany. [Queen Mary, University of London] Read more

Jailed Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani writes thank you letter to supporters from prison

The Christian pastor on death row in Iran has reportedly written a letter thanking his supporters and blasting those who he said use "insulting words" against Islam in what he considers a misguided effort to help his cause.

Washington-based human rights group American Center for Law and Justice released what it says is a letter written by Youcef Nadarkhani earlier this week from a prison in the Lakan Province of Iran, where he is currently being held for charges of practicing Christianity and renouncing Islam. If the letter is real, it is the first time Nadarkhani has been heard from in a year. [FoxNews.com] Read more

Irshad Manji is having second thoughts on Indonesia

Having become the center of conservative backlash against her visit to Indonesia, Canadian liberal Muslim activist Irshad Manji is having second thoughts over the country’s label as the largest Muslim democracy in the world.

In 2008, author Irshad Manji visited Jakarta and Yogyakarta to discuss her first book entitled Faith without Fear: The Challenge for Muslims Today.

The book catapulted the Ugandan-born woman to the forefront of public attention as an advocate of “reformist and progressive” interpretations of Islamic teachings.

The New York Times described her as the late Osama bin Laden’s “worst nightmare”.

In her newest book, entitled Allah, Liberty and Love, Manji included Indonesia as an example of a place where pluralistic Islam could be upheld in the real world. [The Jakarta Post] Read more

Given a sentence of 25 lashes for drawing a caricature of a local MP that was deemed insulting

Cartoonists have condemned the conviction of an Iranian colleague sentenced to 25 lashes for drawing a caricature of an MP that was deemed insulting.

Mahmoud Shokraye was put on trial after an Iranian MP, Ahmad Lotfi Ashtiani, took offence to a cartoon he drew of the parliamentarian in Nameye Amir, a city newspaper in Arak, the capital of Iran's central province of Markazi. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Asian sex gang 'were acting within cultural norms'

The historian said “nobody ever explained” to the men – eight of Pakistani origin and one from Afghanistan – that women could not be treated in this way.

Dr Starkey called for better teaching of English history to create a “common identity” and overcome the challenges of multiculturalism.

But the comments are likely to prompt condemnation just a day after the men were handed sentences of between four and 19 years for the offences. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

09 May 2012

Wilders: Islamization of Europe Can Happen in America

.... Wilders wants to put an end to Muslim immigration to the Netherlands but says Muslims who assimilate into Dutch society are welcome.

"I even acknowledge the fact that the majority of Muslims in our free society are not terrorists, are law-abiding people," he said.

"I don't believe that there will be any moderate Islam--there is only one Islam, let me tell you, and that is the Islam of the Koran, of the hadith and of the Sira of Mohammed," he continued. "That's the only Islam."

"There are, however, people who don't live according to the life of Mohammed, who don't live according to the Sharia or the Koran," he acknowledged. "They are moderate and I applaud that." [CBN News] Read more

Islamists Stall Gender Equality Bill

The fate of a gender equality bill pending in Indonesia’s parliament and aligned with the United Nations convention on the elimination of all forms discrimination against women (CEDAW) has become uncertain after falling afoul of powerful Islamist groups.

No fewer than six major Islamic organisations have formally objected to the equality bill on the ground that some of its articles go against Islamic values in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation where 80 percent of its 238 million people are followers of the faith.

Organisations opposed to the bill include the influential Indonesian Ulema Council, the Indonesian Consultative Council for Muslim Women Organisations, Aisyiah, Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) and the Islamic Community Party. [IPS] Read more

DM Digital censured by Ofcom for inciting violence and is to be considered for sanction

Ofcom noted in particular the following remarks from the Islamic scholar's lecture:

“Under the guidance from Islamic texts it is evident that if a Muslim apostatises, then it is not right to wait for the authorised courts; anyone may kill him. An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him. For this, you do not need to contact the authorised courts. Because the prophet did not question Omar's act.”

“...if someone denies the existence of God, you may have a defensive war with them but if someone insults the Prophet, you should not be defensive but you should aggressively attack them. You should go to their homes and fight them there.” [Religious Watch] Read more

Police investigating Islamic school over curriculum comparing Jews to Nazis

Police are investigating a complaint about a Toronto Muslim school whose curriculum tells boys to exercise so they are “ready for jihad,” refers to “treacherous Jews” and contrasts Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis.”

“Yes, I can confirm for you that a complaint has been made and our Hate Crimes Unit is investigating,” Acting Sergeant Rebecca Boyd, a York Region Police spokeswoman, told the National Post on Monday.

“However, they are in the early stages of the investigation,” she added. The complaint was made by the Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which found the material on the website of the East End Madrassah. [ National Post] Read more

Hardline Muslim assaulted sister-in-law after finding out she had taken his wife to the beach

Muslim husband assaulted his sister-in-law after becoming enraged that she had taken his wife for a trip to the beach, a court heard.

Ismail Belghar attacked his wife's sister, slapping her across the face, calling her a 'slut' and holding her over a car park railing when he noticed his wife Hanife Kokden had 'slightly sunburned shoulders'.

The Moroccan immigrant is alleged to have assaulted his sister-in-law in New South Wales, Australia, after becoming infuriated that his wife had 'displayed her body' on a beach. [MailOnline] Read more

Ofcom may close TV station over show condoning murder for blasphemy

British TV channel that aired a lecture saying it is acceptable to murder someone who has shown disrespect to the prophet Muhammad is facing a significant fine or potentially even closure by Ofcom.

Ofcom has taken the unprecedented step of ruling that DM Digital, which targets the Asian market with programming in languages including English, Punjabi, Urdu, Kashmiri and Hindi, is the first UK broadcaster to break the broadcasting code for airing material "likely to encourage or incite the commission of a crime or lead to disorder". [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Muslims, 'sex gangs' and white working-class women

.... The discussion about the despicable crimes committed by these eight Pakistanis and one Afghani has revealed extraordinary levels of relativism and self-censorship in modern Britain.

Indeed, it seems it is now virtually impossible to have a serious discussion about problematic cultural attitudes, because to do so would apparently offend minorities and, even worse, stir up the passions of the latently racist white masses.

And so, in the name of protecting Muslim communities' sensitivities and dampening down white working-class people's alleged savagery, we keep quiet about certain things; we gag ourselves. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Germany weighs ban on Salafists after clashes

Germany is considering a legal ban on ultra-conservative Salafist Muslim groups, its interior minister said on Wednesday after violent clashes with the police, one of which was provoked by German ultra-rightists.

Last weekend, Salafists turned on police protecting far-right anti-Islam protesters during a regional election rally in the western German city of Bonn, injuring 29 officers, two of them seriously. Police arrested 109 people.

The far-right protesters had infuriated the Salafists by waving banners showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad. [Reuters] Read more

08 May 2012

UK Muslims split over halal slaughter ban proposal

The Daily Mail reported in April that “unwitting members of the public” in Britain are being served halal meat “secretly” in schools, hospitals, pubs and famous sporting venues, claiming that many in Britain, including animal rights campaigners, deem the traditional Islamic way of preparing meat as “cruel.”

Halal meat now accounts for 25 percent of the entire UK meat market, according to Reilly. But his figures have been challenged by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which put the number of slaughtered halal animals at much smaller percentage.

“The results indicate that the number of animals not stunned prior to slaughter is relatively low, accounting for 3 percent of cattle, 10 percent of sheep and goats, and 4 percent of poultry,” an FSA spokesman told BBC.

Meanwhile, the UK government is now drawing up plans to prevent the supply of halal meat to people who are not aware about the method their meat has been slaughtered in, the Daily Mail reported. [Bikya Masr] Read more

The BBC Broadcasts Its Own Dhimmitude

.... The BBC’s asymmetrical approach to Islam and Christianity was palpable long before Thompson admitted to it. An internal memo leaked in 2006 provided an important glimpse of the prevailing worldview by revealing that BBC officials had deemed it acceptable to show a Bible, but not a Koran, being tossed into the garbage.

Numerous insiders have gone public since then to confirm and criticize such policies. In 2008, comedian Ben Elton deplored how “the BBC will let vicar gags pass but they would not let imam gags pass,” which he attributed to “genuine fear … about provoking the radical elements of Islam.”

Former BBC radio host Don Maclean lamented in 2009 that programs “seem to take the negative angle every time” regarding Christianity, even as they are “keen on Islam.” News anchor Peter Sissons, who left the BBC several years ago, echoed him in a book published in 2011: “Islam must not be offended at any price, although Christians are fair game because they do nothing about it if they are offended.” [Pajamas Media] Read more

Rochdale grooming trial: Mohammed Shafiq, the campaigner who stood up to the abusers

.... Mr Shafiq is now chief executive of The Ramadhan Foundation, a moderate Muslim group trying to foster better relationships with non-Muslims.

“In the early days the Asian community thought the exploitation was all made up, just BNP propaganda. Then they realised that it was actually going on and they found it abhorrent.

“But they’ve still tended to ignore it in the hope that it would go away. I hope now that they’re beginning to realise that they have to engage and there has to be more education about the whole issue. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Iraq demo over 'anti-Islam' magazine turns violent

Thousands took to the streets of the Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil on Tuesday as a rally to demand swift punishment for a magazine editor who ran a story decried as "against Islam" turned violent.

.... The article relays a conversation between the author of the piece and God, and was deemed offensive to Islam by regional religious leaders, with Kurdish prime minister Nechirvan Barzani meeting with Islamic groups on Monday, the same day the publication's editor Hayman Ari was arrested. [AFP] Read more

93 Percent Of French Muslims Voted For Hollande

According to a survey of 10,000 voters conducted by Opinionway for Le Figaro .... 93 percent of French Muslims voted for Francois Hollande in the second round of the French election, La Vie reports.

Another poll put Muslim support for Hollande at 85 percent.

A prior Opinionway survey showed that 59 percent of Muslim voters (numbering about two million in total) voted for Hollande in the first round of the French elections, with Sarkozy only managing four percent. [AP] Read more

07 May 2012

Sin has led to Middle East unrest, says Saudi Arabia’s top cleric

Saudi Arabia’s top religious official has blamed Muslim sinfulness for instability in the Middle East, where pro-democracy unrest has toppled four heads of state.

“The schism, instability, the malfunctioning of security and the breakdown of unity that Islamic countries are facing these days is a result of the sins of the public and their transgressions,” Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh was quoted as saying by al-Watan newspaper.

In a Friday sermon, he accused “chaotic” people of wearing mask of “democracy and equality” for actions leading to injustice and instability within the umma, or Muslim nation. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Minister targets anti-Islam caricatures after riots

The Interior Minister of Germany's western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has ordered a ban on far-right groups displaying Mohammed caricatures which provoked riots in Bonn on Saturday. The courts seem opposed.

The Interior Minister of NRW state, Ralf Jäger, has ordered police to prevent a far-right splinter group "Pro NRW" from displaying inflamatory anti-Islam caricatures at further protests outside several mosques this week during the final phase of the state's regional election.

Jäger intervened late on Sunday, saying the actions of the extremist anti-Islam group in Bonn on Saturday had been a "deliberate provocation" that had triggered reprisals by Salafists. They espouse a strict form of Sunni Islam. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

06 May 2012

We Get Exclusive Access to UK's Hidden Sharia Courts

THEY settle domestic disputes, rule on financial disagreements and even grant marriages and divorces.

But Sharia courts that dish out verdicts based on hardline Islamic law operate outside our justice system.

Recent attempts by the Ministry of Justice to investigate the courts were abandoned following a lack of co-operation from Muslim elders. [Daily Star] Read more

Curtailing ‘immodesty’: Ex-lawmaker ‘decrees’ against female education

A former lawmaker and cleric from Kohistan district, Maulana Abdul Haleem, termed formal education for women un-Islamic and asked parents to pluck their daughters from school, or else they would be ‘doomed’.

The nonagenarian, who was elected to the National Assembly from Kohistan on the now-defunct Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal’s ticket in 2002, also railed against non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working in the region in his Friday sermon, calling them ‘hubs of immodesty’. [The Express Tribune] Read more

05 May 2012

Leading vet criticises ritual slaughter of animals

.... Halal meat now accounted for 25% of the entire UK meat market, Prof Reilly added. Anecdotal evidence suggested that almost half of lambs destined for slaughter were killed without prior stunning.

Joyce D'Silva, from the charity Compassion in World Farming (CWF), said: "Judaism and Islam believe that animals are creatures of God; science tells us that they are sentient beings, who can suffer.

"If you hold either view, or both, then your principle concern must be to ensure the least possible suffering for the animal concerned. [BBC] Read more

04 May 2012

Labour condemns contentious Tory leaflet

The leaflet, which was sent out by the Tory party this week, in a last ditch attempt for votes, highlighted the controversial issue of the Dudley Mosque, which was rejected by High Court last month and suggested the Labour Party would be in favour of it if elected. [Dudley News] Read more

Muslim woman wins $5 million verdict from AT&T for discrimination

.... Susann Bashir, a 41-year-old married mother, sued AT&T unit Southwestern Bell for what she said was a pattern of offensive and discriminatory conduct by her supervisors that began when she converted to Islam in 2005, six years after she started working for the company as a network technician.

After Bashir started wearing a religious head scarf known as a hijab, and attending Friday mosque services, her managers and co-workers called her names including "terrorist," and told her she was going to hell, said her attorney Amy Coopman. [Reuters] Read more

Azerbaijan: Sounding the Alarm on Religious Intolerance

Radical Islam’s reach over Azerbaijani society keeps expanding, spreading a cloud of intolerance over the country. The latest sign of darkening skies is the decision of Agalar Mammadov, a professor at Khazar University and a leading Baku intellectual, to seek asylum in April in Sweden.

Mammadov’s flight followed the murder late last year of another leading Azeri secularist, Rafig Tagi. Both developments are connected to Islamic radicals’ efforts to silence those who offer differing visions for how society should be organized. [EurasiaNet] Read more

Religious butchering now commonplace in Britain, leading vet claims

Prof Bill Reilly, ex-president of the British Veterinary Association, said cutting the throats of lambs, chickens and other animals without stunning them breaches legal requirements because it causes significant pain, fear and distress.

British and EU law permits the method of religious slaughter to account for Muslim and Jewish dietary practices, but stipulates that the animals must not be caused "unnecessary suffering."

Prof Reilly called for the practice to be dramatically curbed, suggesting that some slaughterhouses are refusing to stun animals simply to cut costs, rather than for religious reasons. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Europe’s Other Crisis

.... In his important book, Robert Leiken comes down decisively in favor of the French system (which he sees as only a partial failure) and against the British one (which he regards as an outright catastrophe).

His bar for success is heartrendingly low: Leiken finds it encouraging that, in contrast to Britain, where 56 percent of Muslims believe the CIA or Mossad or someone other than Arab terrorists carried out the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, the corresponding figure for France is only 46 percent.

Leiken’s book saw print before the Merah killings. Readers might question certain of his judgments in light of them. But it has a wealth of on-the-ground reporting and many virtues, particularly when it moves beyond France. [The New Republic] Read more

Kuwaiti parliament approves death penalty for cursing prophet Muhammad

The parliament of Kuwait passed a bill Thursday imposing the death sentence for cursing God or the Prophet Muhammad, Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya reported.

The bill, which passed with a 41-6 majority, is the first of its kind in the Arab world, according to the report. The bill still needs to be ratified by Kuwait’s leader, Amir Sabah Al-Ahmad Sabah, before becoming law.

Member of Parliament Ahmad Lari, one of the six who voted against the law, told Al-Arabiya that he did not oppose the idea of severely punishing blasphemers, but that he merely disagreed with the ambiguous wording of the bill. MP Salah Ashour, however, said the law contradicted Islamic Sharia law, and that it was bad for Islam’s image.

The law also prescribes the death penalty for those who curse the Prophet’s wives or claim prophetic abilities. [The Times of Israel] Read more

Restrictions on Islamic dress for women continue to tighten in Iran

With an increased crackdown on regulations for conservative Islamic dress codes for women in Iran, female security officers, known as the ‘morality police’ have been told to step up their efforts to enforce what Tehran Police Chief Hossein Sajedinia says is “bad headscarves, bad dress, and model-type women in vulgar dress.”

Worries about women wearing seasonal summer dress in Tehran as the weather becomes warmer may be part of the problem that has caused worries that ‘less clothing’ means ‘less morals’ for women. Tightening of the dress code for women will be heralding more police surveillance of women at major intersections in Tehran. [Women News Network] Read more

Tunisia's Islamic hardliners score victory in television trial

A Tunisian court yesterday convicted the head of a private TV station for disrupting public order and violating moral values by broadcasting an animated film that some religious leaders say insults Islam.

The court in Tunis ordered Nabil Karoui to pay a 2,400-dinar (£974) fine because his station, Nessma TV, broadcast the film Persepolis in October. The case has pitted liberals and defenders of media freedom against hard-line Islamic groups who say that the film, which includes a depiction of God, is sacrilegious. [independent.co.uk] Read more

Muslim marriages like George Galloway's should be registered

.... "An increasing timebomb" is how Aina Khan, family law specialist, describes the growth of Muslim marriages that have not been legally registered.

It is estimated that 70-75% of Muslim marriages in the UK have not been registered under the Marriage Act. Muslim women and their children have been left open to abuse when they are only registered as having the rights of co-habitants.

If their marriage breaks down or her husband dies, women have little recourse as it becomes almost impossible to seek spousal support and even child support. Many are denied equal sharing and the inheritance of wealth and assets accrued in marriage. [Guardian Cif] Read more

03 May 2012

Who was that conference meant to help again?

I wrote about Pamela Geller’s intervention into the case of Jessica Mokdad here. She recently held a conference about honour killing, exploiting Mokdad’s name against the wishes of her family – Robert Spencer has declared that those with doubts about this event are pro-honour killing.

.... Sheila Musaji writes: Geller is wrong. Opposition to Geller and Spencer’s conference does not equal support of honor killing, gendercide, and the subjugation and oppression of women. Opposition to their conference is because it is just another of their anti-Muslim hate fests.

You don’t have to see eye to eye with all the opponents of the conference, or be indifferent to the dangers posed by Islamism, to think she has it about right. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Muslims upset as Wilders promotes new book

.... Wilders is currently touring the United States in order to promote “Marked for Death." At one of the stops on the tour, he called on Muslims to abandon Islam. During an interview with right wing TV and radio personality Glen Beck, he said he wanted to see "less Islam," although he was not calling for an outright ban.

At times Beck was critical of Geert Wilders' ideas. Beck said it would be better to have moderate Muslims change Islam from within. In the past, Beck has called Wilders a facist. The interview with Beck took place in Dallas, Texas. Beck was once a star of the right wing channel Fox News, but now has his own radio and TV shows on his own pay website. [Radio Netherlands Worldwide] Read more

Mosques and Mormon temples filling fastest in U.S.

Islam and Mormonism are the fastest-growing faiths in the United States over the last decade, according to a religious census based on self-reporting by congregations.

The numbers of Muslims more than doubled while the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, added nearly two million members. [The Globe and Mail] Read more

British architect fined for asking 'When will we finish with the damn mosques?' during meeting in Abu Dhabi

A British landscape architect has been fined after he asked colleagues in a meeting: 'When will we finish with the damn mosques?'

John Hall, 42, the former Millennium Dome site planner, works for the parks and recreation section of Abu Dhabi Municipality, and was appealing against a one-month prison sentence imposed by the Court of Misdemeanours.

Mr Hall’s lawyer persuaded the judge that the word damn could mean ‘strong criticism in an unofficial way’ and he was fined £840 instead. [MailOnline] Read more

Kuwait MPs pass death penalty bill for cursing God

Kuwait's parliament on Thursday passed a bill stipulating the death penalty for Muslims who curse God, the Muslim holy book, all prophets and the wives of Islam's Prophet Mohammed.

Forty MPs, including cabinet ministers, voted for the bill in the second and final round of voting, against six opponents who included all five Shiite MPs present and liberal MP Mohammad al-Sager.

The bill introduces two new articles to the Gulf state's penal code specifically to stiffen penalties for such offences. Non-Muslims who commit the same offence face a jail term of not less than 10 years, according to the bill. [AFP - Ahram Online] Read more

Islamic religious culture

The issue of sex with one's dead wife - which came up last week in an Egyptian context - was originally discussed by Moroccan cleric Abd Al-Bari Al-Zamzami. Here he is giving an address on March 24, 2012:

A few days ago, I was asked by the Al-Sabbah newspaper about men who have sex with their dead wives. The truth is that this question took me by surprise, and I asked the journalist whether there really are people who do this deplorable and disgraceful act, which is not to be expected from a normal, balanced person. Only a mentally or psychologically unbalanced man would do such a thing.

In any case, I do not have the right to prohibit things. Fatwas are not shaped according to one's will or whim. Rather, they reflect the law of Allah... [Mick Hartley] Read more

Indonesia's atheists face battle for religious freedom

When Alex Aan picked up a copy of Karen Armstrong's Holy War from his local library in west Sumatra in 2005, he had little inkling of his own religious battle to come. But after posting "God doesn't exist" on Facebook, the soft-spoken civil servant, 30, faces up to 11 years in jail for what is considered blasphemy in Indonesia.

His case has stoked a debate in the world's most populous Muslim nation, whose 240 million citizens are technically guaranteed freedom of religion but protected by law only if they believe in one of six credos: Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Hinduism. Those who question any of those face five years in prison for "insulting a major religion", plus an additional six years if they use the internet to spread such "blasphemy" to others. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

02 May 2012

Kemalism is dead, but not Ataturk

.... Perhaps the most powerful aspect of Ataturk’s legacy is that he wanted to restore Turkey’s great power status. To this end, Ataturk envisaged stripping Turkey of its Ottoman legacy and instilling in it a set of European standards and beliefs so that Turkey could successfully compete against its historic European rivals.

In other words, Turkey could become more powerful than Europe only by becoming entirely European itself.

Turkey’s new elites have a different view of how to make the country powerful, not by abandoning the country’s Ottoman past or secularizing its religious values, but by embracing them.

Though, the ultimate goal remains the same: Become powerful enough to compete against the Europeans. Even if the post-Kemalist Turkey is not going to emulate Europe, it will still treat it as a measuring stick. [CNN] Read more

Dutch to ditch burqa ban

Interior Minister Liesbeth Spies says the burqa ban she helped prepare can be scrapped along with a proposed ban on holding dual citizenship.

Now that the cabinet has fallen, she "wouldn’t shed a tear" if parliament were to scrap the controversial Freedom Party-sponsored bill. "Now the cabinet has fallen, there’s no longer any payoff," she told national daily de Volkskrant on Wednesday. [Radio Netherlands Worldwide] Read more

Salafist Muslims arrested as protest turns ugly

Around 70 Safalist Muslims showed up outside a mosque in Solingen, North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), where the anti-Islam grouping “Pro NRW” had set up a stand showing cartoons of Mohammed. Some were copies of the Danish cartoons which sparked global outrage in 2005.

Police made 44 arrests and confiscated a bag of rocks from a protester at the apparently unplanned protest, local paper the Rheinische Post reported on Wednesday.

.... On Monday a state court lifted a previous ban on the “Pro NRW” group using Mohammed caricatures in their election campaign in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) – despite criticism that the idea was pure provocation, and amid fears of violence. [The Local Europe] Read more

Not victims of tradition: Women emerge as symbols for girls facing abusive fates

.... But according to surveys by international rights groups, FGM is still widely performed in more than two dozen countries. More than 90 percent of Muslim girls in Somalia, Egypt, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Guinea undergo the procedure, as do a great majority in Sudan, Mali, Gambia and Eritrea.

FGM, aimed at reducing women’s sexual pleasure and urge to stray from marriage, can lead to medical problems including painful urination and sex, complicated childbirth, infection and septic shock. [The Washington Post] Read more

01 May 2012

Does Mona Eltahawy’s Radicalism Advance Arab Women’s Rights?

.... Which puts Muslim and Arab women in the United States in a similar position as those in the Middle East. Should they push their families, communities, and governments to prioritize women’s rights despite other macro challenges or should they wait for better timing?

Should they continue to attend mosques with inferior spaces and amenities for women or should they demand community funds be spent on making mosque facilities more equitable?

Should they continue to support organizations founded and run by men, with a few token women on the board referenced to counter allegations of patriarchy, or should they vociferously campaign for meaningful representation?

History has shown that it is never the right time to fight for women’s rights. And that is precisely why the incrementalists need the radicals to “poke the painful places.” Without the latter, the millions of Arab and Muslim feminists who are the real heroes will not have the political space to permanently heal those painful places. [altmuslim] Read more

The First Amendment Is What We Need in Europe

I am in New York for the release of my book "Marked for Death." It reveals how Islam has already profoundly changed Europe in the last decades. It exposes the cultural relativism which has affected Europe so deeply that many in Europe refuse to stand for liberty and prefer to appease Islam. It explains why Islam is a threat to freedom.

As you know, people who speak out like me pay a steep price for speaking these truths. Apart from legal attempts to silence me, there are also the threats by radical Muslims to kill me. I have been living under permanent police protection for almost eight years now. But I do not regret one word. I see it as my duty to warn the West.

I have traveled widely in the Islamic world. I have read the Koran. I have studied the life of Muhammad. It made me realize that Islam is primarily an ideology rather than a religion. [Gatestone Institute] Read more