31 October 2013

The Quiet Death of Moderate Islam

When I was a child, my relatives would tell me that the hadud punishments of stoning, beheading and limb amputation weren’t part of modern Islam – such practices belonged to another time, in the same way that burning witches in Europe belonged to another time. I was told that the only Muslims that supported such practices were ‘backward’ and the only places that practiced them were ‘barbaric’ – in time ‘education’ would enlighten these simple folk and drag them into modernity.

Yet I’ve grown up and seen the opposite happen.

These days, one can happily believe and even state publicly that the death penalty should apply to anyone who has sex outside of marriage, takes part in a homosexual act, insults the Prophet or leaves Islam without being ‘extreme’.

As long as one says “in an ideal Islamic society”. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Historic revisionism justifies Islamic terrorism

.... Nonetheless, today’s accepted narratives do not come from antiquated historians or primary historical texts; they come from the Saudi-funded ivy league—Berkeley, Columbia, Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton, etc.—all of which peddle pro-Islamic propaganda (I personally had direct experience at Georgetown), including the “freedom loving jihadis” vs. “oppressive tyrants” thesis.

.... the Islamic terrorists waging jihad against autocratic (but secular, religiously tolerant) governments—most notably in Syria today—are easily portrayed in the West as “freedom fighters” against oppressive tyrants and thus deserving of U.S. support in great part because this motif has permeated the social consciousness of America, molded as it is by Hollywood and the news rooms, and based on academic distortions of events that took place nearly fourteen centuries ago. [The Commentator] Read more

Syria’s Christian Community Cries Out for Help

The Vatican news agency Fides reports today that two new mass graves containing a total of 30 bodies were found in Sadad, an ancient Christian town of some 15,000 people between Damascus and Homs, bringing to 45 the number of residents killed there by Islamist militias since October 21.

Surviving relatives and friends uncovered the graves after government forces recently recaptured the town from rebels. Those killed were reported by the local Syriac Orthodox metropolitan, who presided over 30 of their funerals this week, to be Christian civilians, including women and children. A list of their names was provided to the Catholic press. [National Review Online] Read more

Peeling Back The Layers Of Taqiyah

.... Mo starts by saying “as somebody who was born in this country and is British, I think I uphold British values. I am also a Muslim. Islam is not here to take over the country. Islam is not here to take over the world. That is not the Islam that I know. Islam that I know is one that believes in co-existence and honors and respects British values.”

Nothing can be further from the truth. The British and Islamic values are diametrically opposed. They cannot co-exist. The British values are based on democracy. Democracy implies equality.

Iranian Journalist Amir Taheri says, “Equality is unacceptable in Islam. Un-believers cannot be equal to believers and women are not equal to men. Even the non-Muslims are not deemed to be equal. The People of the Book (Jews and Christians) are accepted as second class citizens and allowed to live in an Islamic state provided they pay the protection tax; Jizyah. But the pagans, atheists and idolaters are not regarded as fully humans. According to the Quran, the idolaters are to be killed wherever they are found.” (9:5) [Alisina.org] Read more

Who knew notes could kill?

On October 8, Adnan Masih's life was radically changed when Abid Mehmood, a Muslim man, entered a police station in Lahore, Pakistan and filled a case against Adnan accusing him of making blasphemous remarks against Muhammad and the Quran.

Like all Christians accused of blasphemy in Pakistan, Adnan and his family are now forced to live in a state of constant fear. Pursued by both the police and Islamic extremists, Adnan has gone into hiding fearing for his own life and the lives of his family. [Christian Today Australia] Read more

Secularism in Bangladesh Threatened by Islamists

The country of Bangladesh is facing a new Islamist threat which seeks to usurp the secular nature of this nation. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) opposed the creation of Bangladesh during the independence struggle of this nation in 1971 against the tyranny of Pakistan.

During this period massacres on a scale rarely witnessed in history engulfed the new nation in the making and clearly the treachery of Islamist forces is abundantly clear.

Therefore, massacres on a huge scale occurred based on unimaginable brutality and today the reverberations of the role of Islamist elements is still traumatizing Bangladesh. [Modern Tokyo Times] Read more

30 October 2013

Atheist student faces jail in Egypt

A 20-year-old Egyptian student has been arrested and could face up to six years in jail after he allegedly set up a Facebook page calling for atheism.

Although it is not actually illegal to be an atheist in Egypt, Sherif Gaber, a student in the commerce faculty at Suez Canal University, is accused of "spreading atheism" and "insulting religions". After appearing before a prosecutor he was transferred to national security for further investigation. [al-bab.com] Read more

Freedom of speech and the burqa

This newspaper carried a front page news article (24.10.13) about a verbal assault by a Dutch immigrant on a young female student for wearing a burqa (a full body cover and facial veil) as some Muslim women prefer to do.

For this unprovoked verbal attack the offender was subsequently punished by a fine imposed by a justice of the peace.

This was followed a couple of days later (ODT, 26.10.13) by the reported opinion of two law professors, Rex Ahdar and Andrew Geddis of the University of Otago, that the imposition of a fine was inappropriate: the Dutch woman had only exercised her right to free speech.

Defending the right to free speech is totally appropriate. [Otago Daily Times] Read more

Islam critic refuses to back down despite rock-throwing incident

Ahmed Akkari is going to carry on with his speaking tour despite police arresting fifteen people and confiscating 209 maroons at his latest meeting in Aarhus yesterday

Islam critic and former imam Ahmed Akkari was escorted home by the police after a meeting in Gellerup Parken housing estate in Aarhus last night.

Martin Kjær Jensen, a reporter for the tabloid BT, arrived with Akkari and said people began throwing rocks at them upon their arrival. [The Copenhagen Post] Read more

Saudi blogger held for “blasphemy” released after almost two years in jail

Saudi journalist and blogger Hamza Kashgari, detained for 625 days on blasphemy charges, has been released.

The news was confirmed by Saudi human rights activist Walid Abulkheir, who told AFP: “The authorities freed Kashgari at 6.30 am (0330 GMT)”

This morning, Kashgari himself tweeted: “Mornings of hope…souls that live and never die. Thanks to God.” [Index on Censorship] Read more

Muslim taxi driver penalised for refusing to carry disabled woman’s assistance dog

A Muslim taxi driver in East Sussex has been given 12 penalty points after he refused to carry a disabled woman in his cab because she had an assistance dog with her.

He claimed it was because of religious objections to the dog that he told the woman to find another taxi.

However, anti-discrimination legislation clearly states that taxi drivers cannot discriminate on grounds of disability. [National Secular Society] Read more

Islam vs. Islamism

.... But suppose this is a distinction without a difference. After all, the Islamist is willing to die in order to spread the faith, his death a testament of his religious devotion. Most people would say this is fanatical, but from the Islamists perspective this is a tactic that intimidates religious rivals driving them to appease or convert.

Without having to utter a threat, Jews and Christians know that may criticism of Islam, even mild ones, could lead to retributive violence. This is what gives Islamism its advantage.

Islam, by contrast, is regarded as benign, a pathway to Allah like any other religion. But is this true? Admittedly most Muslims are not violent, yet it is also the case that violence perpetrated against infidels is clearly suggested in the Koran.

Koranic dogma indicates there is only one true religion and its adherents have an obligation to spread the faith. [WAMC Northeast Public Radio] Read more

Egyptian Student 'Arrested Over Facebook Group Calling For Atheism'

A 20-year-old Egyptian student is reportedly under investigation for starting a Facebook group calling for atheism.

The unnamed student who studies commerce at the Suez Canal University in Ismailia, was arrested after the university's administration filed a complaint over his alleged activities, Egypt's largest news organisation Al-Ahram online writes.

The newspaper adds the accused student is now being investigated by national security officials. [Huffington Post UK] Read more

29 October 2013

Muslim taxi driver refused to give disabled woman's dog lift during Ramadan

A MUSLIM taxi driver refused to give a lift to a disabled woman's dog – because he thought it broke the rules of Ramadan.

The cabbie told the woman to use the cab parked behind his as he thought he was barred from carrying the dog for religious reasons.

He was later issued with 12 penalty points following the incident, which happened in August 2013.

The driver, who we can only identify from the name used in council papers as K, was so confused by the incident he contacted his Imam to ask for advice on what he should have done.

He was told by the Imam that he should have given the woman and her dog a lift – as he could have atoned for any breach of Ramadan's rules after the event. [East Grinstead Courier and Observer] Read more

Mo Ansar and “Poppy Fascism”

.... what I did miss, eagle eyed spotters noticed, was Mo Ansar wearing a poppy. Could this be the same Mo who wrote: Poppy Fascism

"Remembrance should be an act which promotes peace in the world, a cessation of hostilities and commemoration of all loss of life regardless of race, colour or creed. Sadly, this is not what the Royal British Legion’s current Poppy Appeal is about."

.... Wear your poppy with pride or do not wear it at all. And always remember: Greater love hath no man that he should lay down his principles to be on TV. [Homo economicus' Weblog] Read more

28 October 2013

Vigilante violence: Women stabbed ‘for shopping’

.... Dr Asim Nawaz at the tehsil headquarters hospital told The Express Tribune that two to three women were being brought to the hospital every day since October 6. He said most of them had been stabbed in the shoulders, back and arms. Some had also been attacked on their faces.

He said four women were brought to the hospital on Saturday. Three of them were referred to the district headquarters hospital in Sahiwal.

One of the injured woman, who did not want to disclose her identity, told The Express Tribune that a masked man stopped her and asked why she was out in the market unaccompanied. She said she ignored him and walked away but he stabbed her in the shoulder. [The Express Tribune] Read more

Iran shuts down newspaper, cites anti-Islamic article

Iran has shut down a reformist newspaper over an article that allegedly undermined Islamic values.

State TV reported Monday that Iran's media supervisory body banned the daily Bahar, citing a law authorizing media closures over articles deemed to violate Islamic values or insult Islam.

Bahar published an op-ed article on Wednesday that expressed doubts the Prophet Muhammad had appointed a successor — a statement that contradicts the beliefs of Shiite Muslims. [THE ASSOCIATED PRESS] Read more

Islam’s invented Golden Age

.... My co-panelist was the first to speak and he began with two assertions with which I agree: that the state of science and rationalist disciplines in the contemporary Muslim world is generally pitiful and that it is a desideratum of the utmost urgency that the situation be remedied.

This was a heartening start, but the aetiology of the current situation that was offered thereafter was deeply flawed. We were told - amidst amusing personal anecdotes - that the reason for the failure of rationalism in the Muslim world must be traced back to the emergence of a neat break between the world of flourishing freethinkers in the classical or Golden Age of Islam (ca. 800-1200) and the Dark Ages (ca. 1200-2013) that followed with the ascendancy of mainstream Islamic orthodoxy.

In the wake of the death knell of philosophy and rationalism sounded by the Sunni theologian, al-Ghazali (d. 1111), the story went, Muslim rationalism fell into a deep slumber. [openDemocracy] Read more

Egypt security investigates student for forming 'athiest' Facebook group

National security officials in the Suez Canal city of Ismailia are conducting investigations into a university student who allegedly set-up a Facebook group calling for atheism.

Police arrested the 20-year-old student of the Faculty of Commerce, Suez Canal University, following a report submitted by the university's administration saying he had formed a group for atheists on the social networking site. [Ahram Online] Read more

Quitting the English Defence League: When Tommy met Mo

This programme’s title puts a spin on recent events which some might dispute. Yes, Tommy Robinson has quit the EDL, and he has also met Mo (ad nauseam). However, according to Robinson’s own testimony, there is little causal association between these two facts. He tweeted:

“If I’m honest, @Mo Ansar strengthened my belief against Islam during our journey!”

Ansar has seemed torn between a wish to claim credit for TR’s change of heart, and a great reluctance to accept that there has been any real reformation. And in fact TR himself is asserting that his core concerns remain the same, even though his tactics and emphases may have shifted. An important new theme, however, is his wish to work with reformist Muslims. [Harry’s Place] Read more

27 October 2013

Repentant adulterer who is stoned to death “wins the Pleasure of Allah”: Hadith posted by MSA Calgary on its Facebook page

MSA Calgary is, according its official website, “the largest organization serving Muslim students in Calgary” and the “the most important organization representing Islam and Muslims on the University of Calgary campus.” The section “About the MSA” also reads the following:

“Established in 1972, the MSA serves more than 300 new students each year with events, initiatives, and programs that are both relevant to the academic and Islamic context. [Alternative Angle] Read more

Saudi Arabian women vow to keep up campaign against driving ban

Saudi women demanding the right to drive said they would keep up their campaign a day after government warnings and a heavy police presence thwarted their call for many women to get behind the wheel.

Activists are asking Saudi women to go on driving in public and posting online photographs or films of themselves doing so, after putting dozens of such videos on YouTube in recent weeks.

A video posted online on Sunday showed Azza al-Shamasi, wearing the black headscarf typically worn by Saudi women, driving with her son to and from Kingdom hospital in north Riyadh earlier in the day. [Reuters] Read more

26 October 2013

Malaysia Bans Ke$ha From Kuala Lumpur Gig, Citing Muslim Sensitivities

The raunchy singer claims that authorities in the country refused to allow a Kuala Lumpur concert venue, because of fears her explicit lyrics would upset cultural sensitivities in the majority Muslim country.

.... Concert organizer Livescape said it received a letter about the decision on the eve of the show, according to the Associated Press. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Why Muslims should love secularism

Muslims should love secularism. But very few of them do, largely because they misunderstand what it stands for and would mean for them.

Secularism as an English term – in contrast to the French concept of laïcité – simply means the neutrality of the state on matters of faith. This bears almost no resemblance to the way in which most Arabs understand the term, whether translated as ‘almaniyya, ilmanniyya, or even dunyawiyya.

Secularism has become strongly associated in the Arab and broader Muslim worlds with atheism, iconoclasm, and anti-religious attitudes and policies. And in the process, one of the most important pillars of building tolerant, inclusive, and genuinely free Muslim-majority societies has been grotesquely misrepresented and stigmatised. [Daily News Egypt] Read more

Thousands march in Montreal for values charter

.... Noisy but peaceful, the marchers braved cold winds and rain to back Les Janettes, a group that grew from a letter published by Bertrand that argued progress on equality between men and women was taking a back seat to religious freedoms in Quebec.

The group has now collected 39,000 signatures for a petition that, among other things, calls for the charter to be renamed the “Secular Charter of Quebec” and for a clear line to be drawn between church and state in order to promote equality between women and men and defend women's rights. [CBC News] Read more

British Muslims defiant over al-Shabab threat

.... The video, which appeared on the internet last week and bore the watermark of the Somali armed group's al-Kataib media wing, is presented by a black-masked narrator with a southern English accent who urges aspiring jihadists to arm themselves with knives from B&Q, a popular DIY or "do it yourself" store famous for the slogan "Don't just do it, B&Q it".

It celebrates the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, south London, in May, and accuses Muslim community leaders who condemned the attack of being on the British government's payroll and of "mutilating the teachings of Islam".

Ajmal Masroor, a London-based imam and broadcaster, said police officers had visited his home late last Wednesday to warn him of a credible threat against his life made in an online video. [Al Jazeera] Read more

Fine for burqa remarks questioned

Farm worker Yuet Rappard should not have been fined for telling a foreign student to remove her burqa, Otago University religious freedom professor Rex Ahdar says.

And free speech professor Andrew Geddis said Rappard's view was valid and a Supreme Court ruling allowed people to cause offence, and upset others, to maintain the freedom of speech.

Rappard was found guilty of offensive behaviour and fined $500 on Wednesday for telling a student on May 17 in a Dunedin supermarket to remove her burqa or leave New Zealand. [Otago Daily Times] Read more

German researcher calls for better understanding of Qur'an in Europe

I couldn't agree more. I'm all for the public's having a better understanding of the Qur'an. Understand this:

9:73 Be harsh with unbelievers

“O Prophet, struggle with the unbelievers and hypocrites, and be thou harsh with them; their refuge is Gehenna -- an evil homecoming!”

9:111 Paradise guaranteed to those who kill and are killed for Allah

“Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”

9:123 Fight the unbelievers, be harsh with them

“O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.” [Jihad Watch] Read more

Muslims Leaders Call Derby Al-Madinah School 'National Embarrassment'

Muslims leaders have called a failing Muslim free schol a "national embarrassment" but said the scandal had been misreported by the press.

The devastating official Ofsted report slammed the Al-Madinah Islamic school in Derby for being "in chaos," amid accusations of introducing strict religious practices.

An inspection at the school, which is run by the Al-Madinah Education Trust, was brought forward after fears were raised over questionable teaching standards and allegations it has discriminated against female staff.

[A COMMENT] Simple solution: All state schools should be secular [non religious] as has been the case in France for a century. Religious instruction is done by religious groups outside school. If parents are desperate to educate their children in a fully religious setting perhaps they should pay for it themselves.

I certainly do not believe the taxpayer should be subsidising religious indoctrination in any way, shape or form. That is not what state schools are for. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Saudi Arabia's women hold day of action to change driving laws

Saudi women are holding a day of action to challenge the kingdom's ban on female driving, amid signs of slowly growing readiness by the authorities to consider reform in the face of strong opposition by the clerical establishment.

[A COMMENT] The problem isn't the house of Saud, but rather Islam, which treats women as subservient to men and allows extreme interpretations to subjugate women in this way.

In many ways, Islam is where Christianity was in the Middle Ages. Hopefully, it won't take as long it did with Christianity for the negative aspects of Islam to be overcome. Another 500 or so years of this nonsense would be hard to take.

[guardian.co.uk] Read more

25 October 2013

Why the Beautiful Game Is Not So Beautiful - And More Islamophobic

The beautiful game was truly left in shatters this week when a group of West Ham fans started hurling racial abuse at a small group of fellow Muslim football supporters who were praying in the concourse of the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand at Upton Park, in east London.

On the Facebook page where the videos were posted, a number of comments made jokes about the incident. One comment made was: "I'm no racist but seeing bout 30 Muslims get their prayer mats out at half time in front of a loada west ham fans at the game in the concourse has to be one of the dumbest things they can do if they don't wana be targeted or stereotyped in society. # Not doing yourself any favours."

[A COMMENT] It's difficult to believe you have considered this for more than a nano second. Anyone holding a prayer meeting in a football ground like this is likely to be ridiculed by the crowd.

No religious group should be immune from being ridiculed for praying in public, if people want to laugh at them, that is their right. If they were jehovah's witnesses would you be calling it racist bigotry? Or Scientologists or Hare Krishnas? Or Christians? [The Huffington Post UK]Read more

A massacre of Muslims in the name of Islam!

.... Through research it had gathered, the medical magazine Lancet analyzed the real and terrible face of these attacks, which we focus on for just a few seconds from far away.

Between 2003 and 2010, 1,003 suicide attacks were carried out in Iraq. While the perpetrators may say they are carrying these attacks out as a part of jihad, and to kill foreign invaders, the truth is that 12,284 Iraqis have lost their lives in such attacks and only 200 foreigners have been killed.

In other words, the number of dead Iraqi civilians is 60 times the number of foreigners killed. As for those wounded, they number in the tens of thousands.[Today's Zaman] Read more

Four Christians sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking communion wine in Iran

Four Christians in Iran will get 80 lashes each for drinking wine during a communion service and possessing a satellite antenna.

The charges come as a United Nations report criticised the Islamic republic for persecuting non-Muslims.

Behzad Taalipasand, Mehdi Reza Omidi (Youhan), Mehdi Dadkhah (Danial) and Amir Hatemi (Youhanna) were arrested during in a house church in December. Taalipasand and Omidi were detained during the Iranian government’s crackdown on house churches according to the Christian Solidarity Worldwide. [Daily Mail] Read more

24 October 2013

Libya's Grand Mufti: Teachers Must Veil

Last week the country’s Grand Mufti, Libya’s top religious authority, issued a fatwa directing women teachers at schools and universities to veil themselves when instructing boys who have reached puberty or are even approaching it.

The ruling by Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani generated social media criticism from activists but not the public outcry it would likely have triggered just a year ago.

After a series of reversals and public humiliations, including women’s meetings being disrupted and male lawmakers complaining about the presence of women at events, many activists have backed off. [The Daily Beast] Read more

American Student Slashed In London, Police Eye “Muslims Patrols”

Francesco Hounye, 22, who lives in Florida, was beaten savagely by the men who surrounded him, who kicked and punched him before smashing the bottle of beer into his face. Hounye was taken to hospital with deep slash wounds to his head. He has suffered permanent scarring and a chipped tooth.

The attack took place in an area where police say self-appointed “Muslim patrols” have been operating. The men have allegedly targeted gay Londoners, drinkers and women they consider to be dressed inappropriately. [The Daily Beast ] Read more

Coventry faith free schools 'detrimental', says NUT

Two free schools due to open in Coventry will have "a detrimental impact on the city", according to a teaching union.

Jane Nellist, from Coventry National Union of Teachers (NUT), said the Seva Sikh school and a Muslim secondary school could increase segregation.

Supporters say faith as a way of life, rather than a belief, is hard to teach in existing local authority schools.

The council backs the schools and says they will be monitored.

The two institutions, which have started recruiting pupils and are due to open next September, will be the first free schools in Coventry.

The Muslim Coventry Leadership Academy for Girls said it would aim for a balance of 50% Muslim and 50% non-Muslim pupils. The Sikh Seva School Coventry said it was hoping for a 50% Sikh intake. [BBC] Read more

Iran gives Christians 80 lashes for communion wine as UN blasts human rights record

Four Iranian Christians were reportedly sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking wine for communion, a shocking punishment meted out even as a new United Nations report blasted the Islamic republic for its systematic persecution of non-Muslims.

The four men were sentenced Oct. 6 after being arrested in a house church last December and charged with consuming alcohol in violation of the theocracy's strict laws, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

They were among several Christians punished for their faith in a nation where converting from Islam to Christianity can bring the death penalty. According to a new October UN report by Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, such persecution is common, despite new President Hasan Rouhani's pledge to be a moderate. [FOX News Network] Read more

More than half of Brits want full face veil banned - 81% support ban in schools, courts or hospitals

An exclusive ComRes poll for Channel 4 News showed that more than half of the public believe women should not be allowed to wear the niqab in public - with 55 per cent backing an outright ban similar to the one in France.

An even greater proportion, 81 per cent, say they support a ban on wearing the niqab in certain public places, such as schools, courts or hospitals.

Controversy has dogged the niqab in recent weeks. In September, a college in Birmingham was forced to drop a ban on Muslim face veils after a Channel 4 News report, but in the same month a judge ruled that Muslim women must remove the full face veil to give evidence.

However, he said that women would be allowed to wear the niqab when facing trial, and called on parliament to provide a definitive answer. [Channel 4 ] Read more

Niqab Ban Supported By More Than Half Of Britons, According To Channel 4 News Poll

More than half the British public think that Muslim women SHOULD NOT be allowed to wear the niqab in public. A ComRes opinion poll for Channel 4 found that 56% of respondents said they opposed the wearing of the full face-veil, while 55% said they would support a national ban, similar to legislation that was passed in France in 2010.

The niqab, which only shows the eyes of the wearer, has been the subject of intense debate in the UK, particularly over whether it should be permissible to wear the covering when giving evidence in court. The poll asked whether the niqab should be banned in public places, such as courtrooms, schools and hospitals, with 81% saying they would support such a ban. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

£350k taxpayers' bill to defend Muslim pubes

.... The whole ethos has become cost-and-time-management conscious. Judges can and do require experts to liaise on narrow issues and only bring matters of serious disagreement for adjudication.

All this seems to have failed. Why might this be?

It is hard to escape the conclusion that this was identified by all concerned as a politically and culturally-sensitive issue which nobody dared to end by an application of intellectual strength and common sense at an early stage.

Nobody ever believes they will blight their career by going along with the politically correct zeitgeist. This would be a good case to disabuse our courts and publicly-funded lawyers and officials of that notion. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

Dreadful at The Dorchester – Jalal ibn Saeed’s Assembly of Haters

.... This is an assembly of death cultists. In this post, let’s look at the record of four of the speakers on just one ghastly topic – why homosexuals should be executed.

Bilal Philips is a Canadian preacher. He has been banned from the UK. This is why he will only appear at the event by video link. For Philips, homosexuality is a simple issue:

.... Zakir Naik is an Indian preacher. He too has been banned from the UK. There’s no room for doubt about his view:

So homosexuality is forbidden in Islam and the punishment for homosexuality is death. [Harry’s Place] Read more

23 October 2013

American student scarred for life after brutal mob attack that was caught on CCTV three days after he arrived in the UK

.... Mr Hounye had been out for the night in the Brick Lane area of East London with a friend he had been staying with when he was attacked.

CCTV images show Mr Hounye and his 23-year-old pal being followed by a number of Asian men as they made their way back to the friend's home in Shadwell, before a confrontation is seen to begin.

.... Police do not know what sparked an argument, but the exchange quickly became heated and the suspects threatening and aggressive.

One of the men grabbed the bottle that Mr Hounye was drinking from and smashed it against his face. [Daily Mail] Read more

Malaysia curbs on use of 'Allah' hurting moderate Muslim image

Malaysia's self-styled image as a global leader of moderate Islam has been undermined by a court ruling that only Muslims can use the word "Allah" to refer to God, with a growing number of Muslim scholars and commentators condemning the decision.

A Malaysian court ruled last week that the word was "not an integral part of the faith in Christianity", overturning a previous ruling that allowed a Malay-language Roman Catholic newspaper to use the word.

Since then, confusion has reigned over the interpretation of the ruling, with government ministers, lawyers and Muslim authorities giving widely diverging views on its scope. Critics of the decision have said it casts a chill on religious rights in Muslim-majority Malaysia, which has substantial minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians. [Reuters] Read more

Five face court charged with Selfridges 'burka raid'

Five men charged in connection with a smash-and-grab “burka raid” at Selfridges’ Oxford Street store are due in court today.

Flying Squad officers investigating two robberies conducted by men dressed in burkas arrested the suspects during dawn raids on addresses in north London yesterday.

The men, aged 18 to 25, are accused of making off with £1.5million worth of luxury watches after posing as rich Middle Eastern women at the store in June. [Evening Standard] Read more

Muslims at Norway Conference Support Sharia Punishments

A common tactic among Islamists is to portray themselves as representing the majority of Muslims. In addition, any objection by the media to the horrific human rights abuses inherent in sharia law is portrayed as “Islamophic.” This tactic was not in short supply at what has been called the largest Islamic event in Scandinavia.

The “Peace Conference Scandinavia 2013,” was attended by 4,000 Muslims and featured nine speakers. One of the speakers explained that every one of the speakers – as well as the audience – would be labeled “extremists” by the media for believing in sharia punishments such as stoning of adulterers and homosexuals and believing that these practices should be implemented worldwide. [Clarion Project] Read more

Yemeni burns daughter to death for contacting fiance

A Yemeni father has burned his 15-year-old daughter to death for keeping in touch with her fiance, police said, sparking further outrage in Yemen, where an eight-year girl died from internal bleeding on her wedding night a month ago.

Police said a 35-year-old man had been arrested after the teenager's death in a remote village in the central Taiz province.

"The father committed this heinous crime on the pretext that his daughter had been keeping contacts with her fiance," the police website said on Tuesday, giving no further details. [Reuters] Read more

22 October 2013

Al-Madinah school head 'left over threats'

The former head of a Derby free school rated as inadequate has said he left after threats were made against his family.

Andrew Cutts-McKay helped set up the Muslim ethos Al-Madinah, which opened in September 2012, but left the following June.

He said the anonymous threats to his children were the final straw after an ongoing row with governors over the school's funding. [BBC] Read more

Qureshi in Norway - what average Muslims think

.... Fahad Qureshi begins by complaining that the media draw attention to preachers who support the death penalty for homosexuals. He goes on to explain that he always responds by insisting that all Muslims support these views and thus that they cannot be seen as extreme.

Then he offers to prove his point on camera, by asking everyone in the audience first to raise their hand if they think they are ‘normal’ Muslims, not extreme types, before establishing if they agree with some further propositions.

Do you agree, he asks, with the punishments described in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, including stoning – do you think that they are the best punishments which could be applied? Everyone seemed to raise their hand very readily, and then also agreed that they were average Muslims, not radicals. Qureshi is delighted, and asks:

“What’s the media going to say now, that we are all extremists, that we are all radicals?” [Harry’s Place] Read more

Saudi Clerics Protest Women Driving, Blaming U.S. For Anti-Ban Campaign

Around 150 clerics and religious scholars have rallied outside the Saudi king's palace, protesting against women seeking the right to drive.

The senior religious leaders said the United States was behind a campaign calling for women to drive on Oct. 26 that claims to have garnered 16,000 signatures.

Since the campaign launched last month, Saudi women have been uploading videos of themselves driving. [The Huffington Post] Read more

Taxpayers foot £350k legal bill for Muslim pubic hair battle

Taxpayers have been left with a legal bill of £350,000 after Muslim parents went to court to win right to shave their disabled daughter's pubic hair.

The mother and father of the young woman, who cannot be named and is referred to as ED in court documents, said their daughter’s pubic hair should be removed in line with Islamic tradition.

But their local council, which has cared for their daughter since 2008, questioned whether the disabled woman had the mental capacity to consent to her hair being removed. [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

In Latest Killing of Egypt’s Christians 2 Young Girls Slain

.... Just this morning, a jihadist group in the Sinai, Ansar Beit-Al Maqdis, issued a statement claiming responsibility for a car bombing on Saturday in the port city of Ismailia that took at least six lives.

In its statement it blamed army intelligence for fueling a war against Islamists that only benefits “Christians and Jews.”

The identities of the two shooters at the Virgin Mary church are not known, nor is their affiliation. The obvious suspects are radical Islamists, but in Egypt the logic of conspiracy often trumps common sense and leaves open the possibility in many minds that the killers were agents provocateurs serving the interests of the Al-Sisi regime.

Probably it will take more than the death of two little girls to turn the Egyptian people massively and decisively against the remnants of the Islamists, and demand of Al-Sisi a better, more peaceful strategy for keeping order. [The Daily Beast] Read more

Stoning for adulterers and amputation for thieves: Sultan of Brunei announces stricter punishments under Shariah Penal Code

.... Awang said, however, that there should be no concerns that foreign travellers might end up avoiding Brunei after the law is implemented.

“Please listen to our answer. Sir, do all potential tourists to Brunei plan to steal? If they do not, then what do they need to fear,” he said. “Believe me when I say that with our Shariah criminal law, everyone, including tourists, will receive proper protection.”

The implementation of Shariah criminal law is not expected to face vocal opposition in Brunei, which has long been known for conservative policies such as banning the public sale of liquor.

Sultan Hassanal, who has reigned since 1967, is Brunei's head of state with full executive authority. Public criticism of his policies is extremely rare in Brunei.

[A COMMENT] Are they trying to pretend that laws are always dispassionate and fair.... that the judicial process is infallible.. that witnesses never lie... that accusations are never false... that the police always use legitimate methods? Monstrous!

[ANOTHER COMMENT] Oh well, there's another backward country to scratch off my travel destination list. [independent.co.uk] Read more

Brunei to bring in tough new sharia law

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah – who is thought to be worth about $20bn (£12.3bn) and exercises tight control over the Muslim-majority country – described the legislation as "part of the great history of our nation" and a form of "special guidance" from God.

"It is because of our need that Allah the Almighty, in all his generosity, has created laws for us, so that we can utilise them to obtain justice," the 67-year-old was quoted as saying in local media.

[A COMMENT] As usual, it'll be the poorest and weakest in society that are on the receiving end of whippings and amputations.

In other countries where amputations and executions are part of the legal system, you never hear of rich people having their hands cut off being beheaded for being witches. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Brunei introduces death by stoning under new Islamic laws

The Sultan of Brunei is to introduce a new code of sharia law which could see stonings introduced for adultery, amputations for thefts and public flogging for drinking alcohol.

Hassanal Bolkiah, who is one of the world's richest men and who has close links to Britain, announced the new legislation yesterday as part of a shift in his kingdom towards a more conservative brand of Islam.

.... "I think any university that has granted an honorary law degree to the Sultan should be thinking again as to whether they want to be associated with him," said Phil Robertson, deputy director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch.

"It's a huge step backwards, a demonstration of the more feudal aspects of Brunei that harks back to the 18th century model of absolute monarchy, and it gives a licence for human abuses to be made law." [telegraph.co.uk] Read more

Egypt Christians mourn after wedding party shooting

Thousands of Christians turned out for the funerals of four members of a family gunned down as they waited outside a Coptic church for a wedding, in what the Christians said was the latest murder by Muslim terrorists.

Fahmy Azer Abboud, 75, sat Monday in the Church of the Virgin Mary, where gunmen the night before fired on a family wedding party with automatic weapons. His son, his wife's sister and two granddaughters, ages 8 and 12, were killed. [USA TODAY] Read more

21 October 2013

Islamists Target Islamists

.... Another Muslim apparently on the al-Shabaab hit list is another figure who has spent much of the last few years attacking all his critics as "Islamophobes." He runs an organization that has had some pretty serious Islamists on board, but it is the people who point such things out who have found themselves on the receiving end of his ire.

He has nevertheless -- and perhaps this is why he has been targeted now -- been exceedingly critical, indeed superbly critical, of one issue in particular. In the now regular cases of the systemic rape of non-Muslim girls by Muslim men who have singled the girls out because of their non-Muslim religious and racial origin, this individual has been repeatedly outspoken.

As pointed out before, it should be not regarded as immensely brave for a Muslim to speak out against the gang-rape of children: that says something in itself. Nevertheless he deserves credit for it, although it does not, or should not, also give him the right to describe all his critics in a manner that suggests they suffer from some irrational mental deficiency.

That these two men are now joined on an apparent hit-list by the former leader of the EDL -- a person who both the above would doubtless still describe as one of Britain's leading "Islamophobes" -- is no small irony. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Egypt gunmen open fire on Coptic Christian wedding in Cairo

Three people, including a girl aged eight, died when gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a wedding party outside a Coptic Christian church in Cairo.

At least nine others were wounded in the attack in Giza, officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Egypt's Coptic Christian community has been targeted by some Islamists who accuse the Church of backing the army's overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in July.

The unidentified attackers fired indiscriminately as people left the church. [BBC] Read more

20 October 2013

British woman wrongly jailed in Dubai for having sex outside marriage lied about husband to avoid adultery charge

.... The recruitment consultant was accused of having sex in the back of a taxi with her friend Conor McRedmond 28, from Tullamore, Co. Offaly and they spent a year fighting the allegations.

Ms Blake said her lawyer told her to keep the fact she was already technically married, from six years ago, a secret as if the authorities knew she was married she could be charged with the more serious crime of adultery. [Daily Mail] Read more

Inmates Bullied Into Converting To Islam

Sky News has learned that increasing numbers of British inmates are being bullied into converting to Islam while in jail.

The Prison Officers Association says it is symptomatic of the growing power and influence of Muslim gangs in prison.

However, there are also concerns that some of those converts could be radicalised by more extremist elements in prison. [Sky News] Read more

19 October 2013

A bad fit: Islam and democracy at home and abroad

.... If Egypt and other Muslim societies were to become Western style democracies, the reasoning goes, they too would become stable societies. So the West supports the "Arab Spring" and democratic elections throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

The problem with this reasoning is that elections are not the basis of democracy. It is a common belief that elections define democracy. But in fact democratic elections are only the by-product, so to speak, of complex historical social values and institutions that are a prior necessity for elections to work. In other words, democracy presupposes a pre-political order, a set of preconditions, without which democratic elections will not work. [The Commentator] Read more

Papering over the cracks will not conceal school’s religious agenda

.... Recent interviews with the governors seem to indicate a willingness to make changes – for example, head scarves will not be required for non-Muslim female teachers.

This is papering over the cracks.

The school employs non-Muslim members of staff because, as yet, it cannot find sufficient qualified Muslim teachers. It now realises that, under the Academies Act, it does not have to employ qualified staff – in fact the schools minister, Baron Nash, runs a free school in Pimlico, London, which employs non-qualified staff, including an unqualified and inexperienced head teacher who resigned early in October.

So, expect to see all teachers at Al-Madinah being Muslim, with female teachers wearing the head scarf.

This type of discrimination is perfectly legal. Last week a Derby Campaign for Inclusive Education supporter in Nottingham – a qualified and experienced chemistry teacher – applied for jobs at Catholic and CofE schools in the city. On both occasions he was politely told that he was wasting his time because "as an atheist you will not be able to promote the religious views of the school".

Next time I have a job to offer perhaps I should state: "no religious people need apply". [Derby Telegraph] Read more

Tommy Robinson: Double standards, not fear of diversity, provoked the EDL

The first time I met Tommy Robinson I told him to fuck off. The English Defence League (EDL) had just formed and Robinson came up to me after a public interview I was doing in London.

Without knowing anything much about them, I am afraid I assumed (white, working-class, Cross of St George at demos) that the EDL were a British National Party front. Which was why I ended up advising him of the procreative way in which to travel.

He took it very politely, said he understood that I didn’t know their views and then said, ‘We’re not racists — we’re just working-class guys who are losing our country and can’t bear it.’ [The Spectator] Read more

18 October 2013

French veil sacking case goes back to court

.... in 2008, Fatima Afif was fired from her job at the private Baby-Loup nursery school in Paris suburb Chanteloup-les-Vignes after she refused to remove her veil while at work.

In April 2013, after years of legal wrangles and appeals, the Court of Cassation (France’s highest court) ruled that Afif was unfairly fired and was a victim of “religious discrimination”, arguing that because Baby-Loup was a private institution, France’s strict secularism rules did not apply.

It also ordered the nursery school to pay Afif a fine of 2,500 euros.

The decision overturned a ruling by an employment tribunal in 2010 – upheld in appeals the following year – that found Baby-Loup had acted legally when it fired Afif in December 2008 on the grounds of serious misconduct.

France’s chief prosecutor François Falletti said on Monday that he considered the nursery school “within its rights to enforce religious neutrality”. [FRANCE 24] Read more

Pakistan polio outbreak puts global eradication at risk

A Taliban ban on vaccination is exacerbating a serious polio outbreak in Pakistan, threatening to derail dramatic progress made this year towards wiping out the disease worldwide, health officials say.

Health teams in Pakistan have been attacked repeatedly since the Taliban denounced vaccines as a Western plot to sterilize Muslims and imposed bans on inoculation in June 2012.

In North Waziristan, a region near the Afghan border that has been cordoned off by the Taliban, dozens of children, many under the age of two, have been crippled by the viral disease in the past six months. [Reuters] Read more

Nigeria Sharia to Cops Crack Down on 'Indecent' Dress

Islamic police in northern Nigeria's Kano state will begin enforcing Sharia law.

Ten thousand officers will be on the streets making sure all citizens, including Christians, adhere to the strict Islamic legal code.

Law enforcement has orders to arrest anyone wearing "indecent dress" such as sleeveless T-shirts and pants that cut off just below the knee.

They'll also be watching the city's small, motorized rickshaw taxis for men and women traveling together. [CBNNews.com] Read more

Islamic University Dean Supports Stoning

The rector of the Islamic University of Rotterdam (IUR) values stoning as an appropriate punishment, NRC Handelsblad newspaper reported Thursday. The Lower House is demanding clarification from Integration Minister Lodewijk Asscher.

The rector, Ahmet Akgündüz, has written a pamphlet on the demonstrations this summer in Turkey. He calls opponents of Turkish Premier Erdogan “enemies of Islam.” The demonstrations were the work of “people with a Western lifestyle.” In addition, he is said to characterise stoning as “one of the prescribed punishments within Islam.” [NIS News Bulletin] Read more

17 October 2013

Prominent UK Muslims under police protection after al-Shabaab threats

A prominent British Muslim commentator is being protected by police following concerns over his safety following the release of a video by Somali-based terror group, al-Shabaab, which singled out several British Muslims for having criticised jihadists in the aftermath of the Woolwich murder.

Mohammed Ansar, a filmmaker and journalist who has spoken out against extremism in Islam and the far right, said police visited his home at midnight on Wednesday, concerned for his safety after Shabaab released an hour-long film, The Woolwich Attack: It's an Eye for an Eye. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Leaving Islam behind is a scary prospect for Britain's ex-Muslims

.... While Maryam said she was "astonished" when she found out how many Muslims there are with atheistic, agnostic, and secular tendencies, she admitted that it's tough for groups like the CEMB to attract them, as most are afraid of airing their beliefs in public.

"Muslims are not homogeneous," she said, emphasising that they don't want their identities to be defined by restrictive labels.

Unfortunately, due to to fears like the possibility of their families disowning them, they often end up falling into line publicly rather than admitting their true beliefs and doubts. [VICE UK] Read more

The struggle for democracy and economic reform in the Muslim world has barely begun

The Muslim world needs democracy and economic reform — on that, almost everyone agrees. As Rami Khouri, columnist for the Daily Star of Beirut, recently complained: “Arab countries . . . have spent nearly a century developing themselves and have so little to show for it.

Not a single credible Arab democracy. . . . Not a single Arab society that can claim to have achieved a reasonably sustainable level of social and economic development.”

But when we talk about democracy and economic reform, do we share a common understanding of what those terms mean? I’m skeptical.[National Review Online] Read more

Beyond the Veil - What Sort of Schools Are UK Taxpayers Funding?

.... The veil debate seems at least partly driven, as do many media-driven debates, by whipped-up hysteria. The public argument, deemed a question of fundamental liberty, is not driven by the issue at hand, but rather by particular ideological forces -- mostly non-Muslim political agitators determined to create the illusion of bigotry even where there is none.

Meanwhile, the real victims are those Muslim women, and schoolgirls, who are coerced into covering their face -- partly because non-Muslim, self-described "progressives" are working so hard to enforce those Muslim women's "rights."

As with other conflicts between Islamist values and a free society, few questions are ever put to British Muslims themselves. Those political activists who claim a veil ban is the product of racism or "Islamophobia," have instead turned to Islamist-controlled community groups to validate their claims. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Islamophobia in the Media – Written Evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobi

Further to yesterday’s post relating to the written evidence I submitted to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia in relation to the media representation of Muslims and Islam, today I am uploading a recording of the oral evidence I submitted.

Some might find it useful to have a copy of the written evidence with them when listening to the recording due to the references being made. If you want to do so, you can download this from here. [bigmouth strikes again] Read more

Okay to say 'Islamist militants'

The press ombudsman has declined a request to ban the use of the words "Islamist militants" and "militant Islam" from newspaper reports.

This emerged in a letter yesterday from ombudsman Johan Retief to United Muslim Nations International, which made the request.

Retief said he could not instruct publications on editorial content or policy as that amounted to censorship.

Retief did not feel the terms in question crossed "ethical borders".

Sheik Faarooq al Mohammedi of the Muslim group said it would appeal against the decision.

United Muslim Nations International maintained the use of terms like " Islamist militants" and "militant Islam" was defamatory and highly offensive, he said. [Times LIVE] Read more

Al-Madinah free faith school expected to be closed by the government

.... The teacher said there was no surprise that the report was so scathing but that the media was wrong to focus on the Islamic practices at the school, such as alleged segregation of boys and girls and asking female teachers to cover their heads.

"This is not about Islam at all. The problem here is poor management, poor financial management, a lack of proper governance and a lack of focus on teaching and learning – not Islam," said the source.

The Ofsted inspectors agreed, reporting that "failures in leadership and management are at the heart of the school's dysfunctional situation." [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Al-Madinah free school in Derby labelled 'dysfunctional' by Ofsted

A Muslim free school has been described by Ofsted inspectors as "dysfunctional" and rated inadequate in every category - within a year of it opening.

An inspection at Derby's Al-Madinah school was brought forward after fears were raised over teaching standards.

The report says teachers there are inexperienced and have not been provided with proper training and that the school requires special measures. [BBC] Read more

16 October 2013

Moscow's Large Muslim Community Faces Violence, Suppression

Moscow is now home to 2 million Muslims - more than any other city in Europe.

So when the faithful gathered Tuesday for the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday, tens of thousands of men unrolled their prayer mats on the asphalt of Moscow’s streets. Last year, they prayed outside in rain and snow.

Looming overhead were the new minarets of the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, a century-old mosque that is now being expanded. It is one of only four mosques in all of Moscow.

“Certainly mosques are needed. Mosques are needed in each micro-district,” said Abdul Bari Sultanov, a Russian Muslim from Tatarstan, a historically Muslim region, after prayers Tuesday. “As well as madrassas, schools, imams so that people would be morally prepared for meeting their God.” [VOAnews.com] Read more

The veil - an old debate in new clothes

.... That is also why, from the other side of the debate, Tariq Modood’s insistence that people should be required ‘to show respect’ towards all cultural mores, and that public arrangements be adapted to accommodate them, is so problematic: it is an approach that eviscerates both civil society and the idea of freedom.

The corollary to the right to wear the burqa is the right, indeed in my eyes the obligation, to challenge the practice of wearing it.

[A COMMENT] Religious apologist. My right to live in a secure free society overrides your right to wear a mask in public. [openDemocracy] Read more

The Malaysian 'Allah' ban is about putting minorities in their place

"Allah" means God, unless you are a non-Muslim Malaysian, in which case you have to find another word. After a recent court ruling in the country, Allah can now be used only to refer to the Muslim God, and non-Muslims (mainly the Malaysian Christian Catholic community and press) have been banned from using it.

It is a decision that has inflamed opinion among minority religions and disheartened Muslims. Apart from all the practical implications of this (re-printing Bibles and so on), there are other intangible but more heartfelt grievances. At first glance it looks like a petty scuffle over semantics, but the roots of the dispute go deep into the issue of national identity.

[A COMMENT] A major part of Islam, as well as other religions, is subordinating the status of others. Please don't try to claim it's nothing to do with religion. [guardian.co.uk] Read more

Sacking of Turkish TV host over low-cut outfit spurs debate over religious influence

The sacking of a Turkish television host after she was criticised for wearing a low-cut outfit has highlighted divisions in the country’s ruling party and sparked accusations it is trying to impose religiously conservative values.

Gozde Kansu, 33, hostess of the music talent show Veliaht, or Heir to the Throne, at the private ATV channel, lost her job earlier this month, following condemnation from an aide to the prime minister. [The National] Read more

Honoring Muslim holidays means more days off for school kids

City kids can expect more breaks from school under the next administration, after both of the leading mayoral candidates agreed Wednesday that two major Muslim holidays deserve to be observed.

Democratic nominee Bill de Blasio and Republic rival Joe Lhota both support recognizing Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as public school holidays – a move advocates have been seeking for years.

“We have a growing Muslim community in the city of New York and their religion needs to be respected as all other religions are respected,” [NEW YORK POST] Read more

Tory Press Plays Islamophobic 'Dog Whistle'

.... Here in Tower Hamlets in the heart of London's East End, we have a very rich cultural history. Traditionally home to successive waves of refugees fleeing persecution, our borough has been home to the Hugenots, Jews, Bengalis, Somalis and people from across the world.

That rich history is reflected in the good relations that exist across our borough. But that rich history has in the past infuriated Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirt thugs, just as it has more recently the National Front and now the English Defence League.

[A COMMENT] Where were you Mr Mayor when the muslim patrols harassed and assaulted gay men in your borough, or harassed and assaulted women clothed in "too short" skirts, or harassed and assaulted people with alcohol?

Where were you Mr Mayor when the hate preachers were were spewing their hatred against non-muslims and advocating violence during their sermons in the mosques in your borough?

And you wonder why people start to dislike and distrust muslims? [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

15 October 2013

Britain's Underage Muslim Marriage Epidemic

More than a dozen Muslim clerics at some of the biggest mosques in Britain have been caught on camera agreeing to marry off girls as young as 14.

Undercover reporters filming a documentary about the prevalence of forced and underage marriage in Britain for the television program ITV Exposure secretly recorded 18 Muslim imams agreeing to perform an Islamic marriage, known as a nikah, between a 14-year-old girl and an older man.

Campaigners against forced marriage -- which is not yet a crime in Britain -- say thousands of underage girls -- including some under the age of five -- are being forced to marry against their will in Muslim nikahs every year, and that the examples exposed by the documentary represent just "the tip of the iceberg." [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Danes: We are too tolerant of Muslims

After numerous heated debates over whether Muslims are imposing their culture upon Denmark, poll shows most think too many concessions are made for the minority.

The public debates over banned Christmas trees, halal meat at schools and cashiers wearing headscarves appear to have made the Danish population more wary about giving their Muslim neighbours cultural concessions.

According to a new survey by market researcher TNS Gallup, carried out for Berlingske newspaper, every third non-Muslim Dane is under the impression that Denmark is too tolerant of its Muslim minority population. [The Copenhagen Post] Read more

Saudi Women Drivers: Threat to State Religion and Politics

As Saudi women's October 26 right to drive campaign accelerates, a novel argument has taken off in favour of the ban on female drivers. Conservative cleric Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Lohaidan claims that driving poses a risk to women's ovaries as it pushes up the pelvis, and could cause birth defects in unborn children.

This pronouncement is in keeping with that of Iranian cleric, Hojatoleslam Kazim Sadeghi, who claimed that earthquakes were caused by women's immodest dress, which led to promiscuity.

It is also congruous with a society where beheadings are punishment for sorcery and foreign housemaids charged with witchcraft were sentenced by a Saudi court to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. [The Huffington Post] Read more

14 October 2013

Malaysian court rules use of 'Allah' exclusive to Muslims

A Malaysian court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God, a landmark decision on an issue that has fanned religious tension and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country.

The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges in Malaysia's appeals court overturned a 2009 ruling by a lower court that allowed the Malay-language version of the newspaper, The Herald, to use the word Allah - as many Christians in Malaysia say has been the case for centuries. [Reuters] Read more

Forced to wed at 14, woman walks out after years of abuse from violent husband

A CHILD bride forced to ­illegally wed at 14 has won a disturbing custody fight that shines rare light on arranged unions in suburban Australia.

Married off as a schoolgirl to a 21-year-old groom by her Muslim parents, the woman endured years of violence and abuse before walking out with their young daughter.

The Federal Circuit Court heard the bride's mum pushed her into the Islamic ceremony, telling the then-teen she'd get to attend theme parks and movies and eat lollies and ice- cream with her new husband.

But once the girl moved in to the man's outer-Sydney home she was locked inside, let out only to attend high school. [HERALD SUN] Read more

Top BBC Muslim broadcaster says no to Islamic dress code

One of Britain’s most high-profile Muslim woman broadcasters has spoken out against the post-9/11 Muslim fixation with “Islamic dress” after being publicly accosted by a “fellow Muslim” who complimented her on her work and then said: “But you’ll have to wear the hijab one day.” To which she replied firmly, “I don’t think so.”

Mishal Husain described it as “an awkward exchange” that made her reflect on “what amounts to Islamic dress”, and on the current debate in Britain over the issue following a series of controversies in recent weeks.

Ironically, the encounter occurred the day she was appointed as the first-ever Muslim woman journalist to present BBC Radio 4's flagship news and current affairs programme Today. [Firstpost.com] Read more

More on the Luton Islamic Centre

There’s a whole range of people campaigning against phenomena and groups associated with Islam/Muslims.

Some of these are either wholly Muslim or have Muslim supporters – Quilliam is one example, and One Law for All another. But other campaigners are anti-Islam, even anti-Muslim. Some want to stop all immigration from Muslim countries.

This position might be identified as far-right or extreme, but it’s not so extreme as the position taken by former Swedish Democrat, Par Norling, who would like Islam banned, and those who persist deported. [Harry’s Place] Read more

13 October 2013

Female teachers must cover face says Grand Mufti

The Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani, has issued a fatwa saying that female teachers in schools and colleges must cover their faces if they are teaching males who have reached puberty.

He made the ruling following a request for advice from the Ministry of Education on the issue. It had said that some female teachers were veiling their faces while giving lessons but it felt that this was having a negative impact on students’ understanding because, by not seeing the teacher’s face, they were not able to interact and properly lean. [Libya Herald] Read more

Swedish Parents Furious Over Halal Meat In Schools

Schools in southern Sweden have been serving halal chicken in their school cafeterias for four years, but some students' parents only recently found out and were furious at the news.

They've since reported the municipality's schools to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate, saying that schools should not be allowed to serve halal meat because it violates Sweden's principal of non-denominational education.

According to The Local, the chicken was originally purchased from suppliers in Denmark. Halal slaughter is slaughter that permissible under Islamic law. To be certified halal, the chickens must have their throats cut with a sharp knife by someone saying, "in the name of God." [The Daily Meal] Read more

12 October 2013

In An Ideal World Gays Must Be Executed says Abdul Qadeer Baksh

Abdul Qadeer Baksh, Chairman of the Islamic Centre in Luton, states gays would be executed in an ideal world – an Islamic state. He defends holding this view because this, sharia, would only happen if all the British people wanted (consented) to it.

Talking about Saudi Arabia he claims sharia acts as a deterrent – punishments rarely happen.

You know, like the ten years imprisonment and 2,000 lashes for dancing on a car at night naked.

Tommy Robinson replied to him that in an ideal Islamic state Abdul wants gay people to be too scared to be gay. Sadly that fear already exists, not just in Islamic States but in Islamic communities. [Homo economicus' Weblog] Read more

French headmaster forced out of Qatar after 'anti-Muslim' charges

The headmaser of a French school in Qatar has been forced to leave the Gulf state because an employee accused him of an "anti-Muslim attitude". After accusing his financial director of making false claims on her CV, Hafid Adnani was thrown into jail and forced to leave the country in a "compromise", according to the Mediapart website.

Adnani, who was headmaster of the Lycée Bonaparte, accused the woman of not having degrees that she claimed to have, only to have her take legal action against him for his allegedly "anti-Muslim attitude". [RFI] Read more

11 October 2013

Lancashire school does U-turn after insisting two 14-year-old Muslim boys shave off beards to comply with dress

Two Muslim boys barred from classes because they would not shave off their beards will be allowed to return to school unshaven.

Both 14-year-olds had been placed in "isolation" from the start of the new term at Mount Carmel Roman Catholic high school in Accrington, Lancashire, and this week were sent home as the school maintained they had to be clean shaven.

But the school has now performed a U-turn to comply with the European Convention of Human Rights, it explained. [Press Association] Read more

Saudi blogger detained, but she's hopeful about campaign to allow women to drive

As a campaign for Saudi women to defy the driving ban in their country heats up, one of the country's leading female bloggers was detained in Riyadh on Thursday after a woman she was with did just that.

Eman al-Nafjan, who tweets as Saudiwoman and has been one of the leading voices urging Saudi women to get behind the wheel on October 26, was in a car that was stopped by police in Riyadh, the capital, as she filmed another woman driving. [CNN] Read more

Angry parents spark halal school lunch spat

The issue was discussed in the municipal council in September and has been the subjected of intense debate among locals and parents on social media.

In their report to the schools agency the parents have argued that the halal chicken breaches the principle of a religion-neutral education, according to a report by Sveriges Radio (SR).

The municipality's schools are reported to have been serving the chicken, which originates from Denmark, for the past four years. [The Local Europe] Read more

Iran: Woman who converted to Christianity jailed

A court in Tehran has sentenced to four years in prison an Iranian woman who converted to Christianity, the Iranpressnews website reported on Friday.

The court found Mariam Naqqash guilty of "endangering national security by spreading religious propaganda in the country", the website reported.

Naqqash was also accused of spying for Britain and Israel and is being held in Tehran's Evin prison.

Rights activists report that numerous underground churches have sprung up in Tehran and the nearby cities amid a sharp increase in recent years in the number of young people converting to Christianity from Islam. [AKI] Read more

Eid means shutdown for Blackburn school

A SCHOOL has decided to close for three days over Eid to prevent absences and children taking religious leave.

Witton Park High School, a free school, will close from Monday to Wednesday next week.

The Blackburn school, which began term early this year to make up the time, said three days were required due to the uncertainty on which day the holiday of Eid-ul-Adha would fall.

Headteacher Dean Logan said the decision was to prevent a large number of Mulsim children taking extra leave which would see them fall behind in their studies. [Lancashire Telegraph] Read more

Egypt's Anti-Christian Sectarianism Is Another Sign Its Revolution Is a Battered Wreck

.... A new Amnesty report paints a bleak picture of Muslim mobs smashing their way into Coptic Christian churches in Upper Egypt this August. The attackers, sometimes hundreds strong, beat up worshippers and church staff, stripped out all the valuables (right down to air conditioning units and electric cables) and then burnt buildings to the ground.

This was raw, politicised, religious hate. The attackers blamed Copt Christians for the army's ousting of Mohamed Morsi in July and then went on the rampage after the army had unleashed its own bloodbath against the pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo on 14 August (Copts perceived as supporting the army authorities). [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Unite Against Jihad: praise be to Tommy and Maajid

On Tuesday 8 October Tommy Robinson left the English Defence League, the organisation he founded in 2009.

In doing so he also made a commitment to continuing his fight against Islamism – and other forms of extremism – by working in partnership with Maajid Nawaz and the counter-extremist think tank the Quilliam Foundation. Nawaz’s Quilliam Foundation “facilitated” the departure of Robinson, and Robinson’s co-leader Kevin Carroll, from the EDL. [The Blog of The Re-Enlightenment] Read more

There Is No Such Thing As Radical Islam

Last night I came across an extraordinary piece by Earl Cox in the Jerusalem Post: "Radical Islam is, in truth, the Normative Islam".

Mr Cox cites half a dozen instances of "Islamic terrorism", including 9/11, the Boston Marathon killings and Woolwich, claiming "the Islamic definition of peace is to see the entire world controlled by Islam and cruel Islamic Sharia law...

There really are no moderate Muslims in that they all are taught in the Qur'an to hate all infidels... They show joy when these murderous deeds are carried out". [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Taliban warn shops against selling Malala’s book

The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has warned that those found selling “I am Malala” — the book authored by Malala Yousufzai — will face serious action as she had not performed any act of bravery but swapped her religion Islam with secularism for which she is being rewarded.

Talking to this correspondent on phone on Thursday, TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said they knew that Malala would get awards from the enemies of Islam.

“Malala abandoned Islam for secularism for which she is being given awards,” he said, adding that the media and the international community should keep in mind that students of Jamia Hafsa, Islamabad, were never given any award despite their immense bravery.

“The Taliban will not lose an opportunity to kill Malala Yousufzai and those who were found selling her book will be targeted.” [DAWN.COM] Read more

Who Needs Tommy Robinson and the EDL, When Islamophobia Has Gone Mainstream?

.... On 8 October, Tommy Robinson (aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, aka Andrew Mc- Master, aka Paul Harris), the co-founder and leader of the English Defence League (EDL), quit the far-right group and joined hands with the Quilliam Foundation, a 'counter-extremism' think tank.

Robinson, lest we forget, has described Islam as a "disease" and the Prophet Muhammad as a "paedophile", and threatened to subject British Muslim communities to "the full force of the EDL".

[A COMMENT] When Islam demonstrates a commitment to peace and harmonious integration with the rest of the world perceptions might start to change. Islam is NOT a forward thinking, progressive or inclusive religion. It belongs in the middle ages. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

10 October 2013

Young poet threatened after TV appearance

18-year-old Yahya Hassan has received death threats after he criticised the Muslim community in the media this week

Yahya Hassan received death threats on Facebook after he went on Deadline this week (Photo: Youtube screenshot)

After his appearance in the DR2 news programme Deadline this week in which he criticised Muslim parents, Yahya Hassan, an 18-year old poet of Palestinian descent, has received more death threats than any other guest in the show's history. [The Copenhagen Post] Read more

If you make her willing, she will be willing: ITV’s Exposure on underage marriage

.... Several statements from mosques distancing themselves from the actions of various Imams were included in the programme. These became cumulatively unconvincing (though of course some of them at least may be sincere).

For example, an assertion that one mosque could prove no such marriages had taken place seems meaningless, given that it is easy enough to perform a marriage secretly, and keep no record.

One Imam, Shahid Akhtar from Birmingham, explained that no formal record would be made and said ‘I’ve spoken to everyone, what happens, and that’s how they do it’, implying that these unofficial marriages are not so uncommon. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Malala earns awards by 'working against Islam': Taleban

The Pakistani Taleban on Thursday said teenage activist Malala Yousafzai had done "nothing" to deserve a prestigious EU rights award and vowed to try again to kill her.

The European Parliament awarded the Sakharov human rights prize to the 16-year-old, who has become a global ambassador for the right of all children to go to school since surviving a Taliban murder attempt. [AFP] Read more

09 October 2013

"Islamophobia Dictionaries," New Mega-Mosques and Other Recent Events - A Survey of Islam in Europe: September 2013

In Denmark, construction crews raised the first-ever minaret on September 3 that will alter Copenhagen's low-rise skyline in a colossal project to build the biggest mega-mosque in Scandinavia.

The so-called Grand Mosque was made possible through a grant of 150 million kroner ($26 million) from Qatar. This gift has led critics voice concern that the mosque will become a mouthpiece for radical Islam in Denmark.

From Britain to Greece, and Spain to Slovenia, Muslim immigration and the accompanying rise of Islam are transforming the European way of life in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. What follows is a brief survey of 20 noteworthy stories involving Islam in Europe during just the month of September 2013. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

French journalist is prosecuted under 19th century press law for questioning Islam during a radio debate

A French journalist is facing a criminal trial under the country’s strict press laws for remarks made during a radio debate about the influence of Islam.

Ivan Rioufol, 61, believes the way he is being treated is an example of how writers are criminalised when the state is able to control the media.

He was summoned to court under strict press laws which date back to the 19th Century following a complaint from a pressure group called the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF). [Daily Mail] Read more

Turkey Cracks Down on Cleavage

How do you know whether a regime that frees women to wear Islamic headscarves at work is liberal and furthering democracy, or Islamist and restricting it?

The question concerns Turkey's government, which in the space of a few days has ended a headscarf ban for civil servants (except in the judiciary and security services), but also caused a female TV music-show presenter to be fired for showing too much cleavage.

The headscarf ban was a piece of unabashed social engineering introduced in the 1920s to make Turkey, the rump of the former Ottoman Empire and Islamic Caliphate, secular. If you are liberal and not Islamophobic, ending the ban is a good thing: Women should not be excluded from the workplace just because they are devout and believe this requires covering their hair, period. [BLOOMBERG] Read more

Koran 'filled with threats to unbelievers'

Unbelievers are hated by Allah and the Koran is packed full of threats of hell against them.

Unbelievers are like "apes and pigs" (5:60), they are "the vilest of creatures in the eyes of Allah" (8:55) and Muslims must not make friends with them.

Jihad is a holy duty of Muslims (66:9), who are to "strike terror into the hearts of the unbelievers" and behead them (8:12) and slay them until they submit and pay the jiyza (9:5), a special tax for subjugated unbelievers.

These passages are supported by the Hadith (traditions) and reflect the actions of the "prophet" as he subdued all in his path. [Belfast Telegraph] Read more

UK Imams agree to perform underage marriages

Religious leaders appeared willing to agree to perform underage marriages at some mosques across the UK, an ITV investigation has discovered.

Two undercover reporters called 56 mosques for Exposure to ask whether they would perform the marriage of a 14-year-old girl.

Two-thirds of those contacted refused to perform the marriage, and many of them made clear they found the request abhorrent. But 18 of the respondents spoken to agreed.

An undercover reporter called the Al Quba Mosque and Shahporan Islamic centre, in Manchester, posing as a single mother who wanted to have an Islamic marriage, known as a nikah, for her 14-year-old daughter. [ITV] Read more

Turkish TV presenter fired over low-cut dress after criticism from AKP spokesman

A television presenter has been dismissed over a low-cut top she wore on a television program, following criticism from ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik.

Çelik criticized the presenter’s costume during a TV program, without giving a name, saying he found the dress “extreme” because of its open cleavage.

“We don’t intervene against anyone, but this is too much. It is unacceptable,” he said.

[Daily News] Read more

08 October 2013

Censoring atheists at LSE is a victory for oppression

.... Grumbling old farts like me often bemoan the diminishing radicalism of students. Often it is unfair – we place expectations on young people from which the rest of us seem exempt.

But 50 years after Ali had his moment of revelation, a mere five years after we finally got around to abolishing the blasphemy law in England and Wales, I find it sad and disturbing that students themselves, and the administrators of their institutions, appear to be voluntarily forbidding anti-religious expression.

[A COMMENT] "Religious hatred, particularly Islamophobia, is a real and corrosive influence in political and media discourse and it needs to be challenged and resisted"

And there Ally is where you try and have your cake and eat it. Because up until then you were making an important point about the freedom to offend sensibilities, however deeply held. With those weasel words you basically back track because now you’ve left a wide open debate about where valid criticism or satire becomes islamophobia? [Guardian Cif] Read more

Mayor of Antibes, says ‘NO’ to Muslim demands for sharia compliance in schools

The Mayor firmly rejected Muslim parents’ demand for the abolition of all pork products in Antibes school cafeterias, adding that Muslims must adapt to France, its customs, its traditions, and way of life, not the other way around.

Muslims must understand that it is for them to change their lifestyle, not the French who so generously allowed them into their country. The French are not racist or xenophobic, they accepted many immigrants before Muslims (while the reverse is not true as Muslims do not readily accept non-Muslim foreigners on their soil) [Bare Naked Islam] Read more

Turkey lifts generations-old ban on Islamic head scarf

Turkey lifted a ban on women wearing the Islamic head scarf in state institutions on Tuesday, ending a generations-old restriction as part of a package of reforms the government says are meant to improve democracy.

The ban, whose roots date back almost 90 years to the early days of the Turkish Republic, has kept many women from joining the public work force, but secularists see its abolition as evidence of the government pushing an Islamic agenda. [Reuters] Read more

Muslim free school Al-Madinah in Derby faces closure over 'practices which discriminate against girls and women'

A Muslim free school has been warned it faces closure if it does not take action to eradicate practices which discriminate against girls and women within a week.

The blunt warning was delivered yesterday in a letter from Lord Nash. the Minister with responsibility for free schools and academies in a letter to the chair of its governing body.

Lord Nash warned the Al-Madinah free school in Derby that the trust running it had “manifestly breached the conditions of its funding agreement by failing to ensure the safety of children at the school: delivering an unacceptably poor standard of education, discriminating in its policies towards female staff and failing to discharge its duties and responsibilities”. [The Independent] Read more

Quilliam facilitates Tommy Robinson leaving the EDL

Quilliam is proud to announce that Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, the leaders of the anti-Islamist group, the English Defence League (EDL), have decided to leave the group. Having set up the EDL, infamous for its street protests, in 2009, they wish to exit this group, because they feel they can no longer keep extremist elements at bay.

Tommy Robinson said: “I have been considering this move for a long time because I recognise that, though street demonstrations have brought us to this point, they are no longer productive.

I acknowledge the dangers of far-right extremism and the ongoing need to counter Islamist ideology not with violence but with better, democratic ideas.” [QUILLIAM FOUNDATION] Read more

07 October 2013

Swedish children already a minority in Sweden's major cities

Here are some figures from Statistics Sweden. The number on the left shows how many children in the 0-4 age group were born in Sweden to two parents who were born in Sweden. The figure on the right shows the total number of children in that age group. [Islam versus Europe] Read more

Saudi Arabia: Teenagers who mock Islam 'face therapy'

The education ministry has told headmasters to deal with reports of students making fun of Islam's rituals or discussing subjects and ideas that violate Islamic law through "behavioural adjustment and life-skills sessions", combined with "voluntary" community service, Arab News says.

It quotes sources as saying the code will suspend miscreants for a year and only allow them back if the local education authority is satisfied with their progress. [BBC] Read more

Clerics at 18 mosques are caught agreeing to marry off girls of 14: Four imams investigated after undercover operation

More than a dozen Muslim clerics have been caught agreeing to marry off girls as young as 14.

Four imams are now under investigation, after they offered to arrange the illegal ceremonies.

Undercover reporters, posing as the mother and brother of a 14-year-old, contacted 56 mosques across the country and asked clerics to perform an Islamic marriage ceremony, known as a nika.

Imams at 18 mosques agreed – including one who has advised the police.

The preacher was prepared to arrange the nika despite being told that the ‘bride’ was being forced to move in with a man against her wishes. [Daily Mail] Read more

Atheists outraged after students told to cover ‘offensive’ t-shirts with cartoon images of Jesus and Mohammed

Atheist students at one of Britain’s top schools were ordered to cover up their t-shirts printed with cartoons of Jesus and Mohammed because of fears they might be offensive.

Abishek Phadnis and Chris Moos, members of the Atheist, Secularist & Humanist Student Society (ASH), claim their right to free expression was curtailed following the dispute at the London School of Economics.

The head of security and a member of the LSE’s legal and compliance team told the students they were creating an “offensive atmosphere” by wearing the t-shirts at a societies’ fair for new students.

Wearing the t-shirts could constitute “harassment,” the British newspaper the Independent reported. They said there had been complaints from other students. [National Post] Read more

Malala was shot for ‘attacking Islam’, rather than for supporting girls’ education in Pakistan

STILL smarting over their failure to kill Malala Yousafzai, a Taliban leader in Pakistan told ABC News that, given the opportunity, they would have another go at assassinating her.

Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said: We targeted Malala Yousafzai because she attacked Islam and make a jokes on Islam, if we found her again then we would definitely try to kill her and will feel proud on her death.

We didn’t target her for spreading education in her area, we targeted her for making jokes of Islam, and that was enough reason for attacking her. [The Freethinker] Read more

05 October 2013

Turkish President Gül warns of 'Islamic Middle Age darkness'

President Abdullah Gül has issued a stark warning over the turmoil across the Middle East, saying ethnic and sectarian identity politics could presage an era of medieval darkness across the Muslim world similar to Europe’s Middle Ages.

Speaking at the Istanbul Forum organized by the Center for Strategic Communication (STRATIM) on Oct. 4, Gül warned against the possibility of a clash “within civilizations” that will be more detrimental than a clash of civilizations in the Middle East, describing it as a doomsday scenario. [The Hürriyet Daily News] Read more

Islamic Tolerance: Myth and Reality

The world today is confronted by the continuing violence by and threats from Islamists seeking to overturn existing political systems and rule on the basis of Sharia law. Some Islamists have made no secret of their ultimate objectives.

Osama bin Laden called for the reestablishing the rule of Islam, beginning with the reconquest of Andalusia (Spain and Portugal). Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood issued a similar proclamation.

For him "Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkans, the Italian coast, are all of them Muslim Mediterranean colonies and they must return to the Islamic fold." [American Thinker] Read more

Peshawar Church Attack Was According To Sharia: TTP

Proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has once again denied having involvement in the attack on a Peshawar church last month but said it was according to Sharia. “We didn’t carry out the church attack.

However, we believe it’s according to the Sharia,” TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid told BBC in a telephonic interview from an anonymous location on Friday. [Pakistan Tribune] Read more

Row over parking congestion on streets near new mosque

A newly-opened mosque has been blamed for causing traffic congestion in surrounding streets.

Residents living close to the Sayyidah-Aminah Jamia Masjid mosque in the former Royal Hotel in Fagley Road, Bradford, claim worshippers are clogging up their streets making it difficult for them to park outside their own homes.

When it was granted planning permission, the mosque had assured councillors that 95 per cent of its users walk to prayers and leave their cars at home and consent was given against a recommendation by officers to refuse it.[Bradford Telegraph and Argus] Read more