30 April 2014

Rania Alayed case: 'Westernised' wife 'murdered by husband'

A mother of three from Manchester was murdered by her husband for becoming "too westernised" and "establishing an independent life", a court has heard.

Rania Alayed, 25, went missing last June but her body has never been found.

Ahmed Al-Khatib admits causing her death, claiming he was "possessed of a spirit" when he pushed her, causing her to stumble, fall and bang her head. [BBC] Read more

State asked to investigate religious discrimination claim

When 13-year-old Noorah Abdo went with her family in August to the Boomers amusement park in Livermore, the ride she especially looked forward to was the go-karts. But when she got to the ticket window, she was told her head scarf, which she wore for religious reasons as a Muslim, violated the park's no-headwear safety policy for that ride. [San Francisco Chronicle] Read more

International outcry as Brunei introduces sharia law and takes country back to the dark ages

The Sultan of Brunei, an absolute monarch who pays for a garrison of British troops to be stationed is his oil rich nation, will on Thursday dismiss the concerns of human rights campaigners and start imposing sharia law. Many of the laws, which include the dismemberment of limbs and stoning to death, will apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

[A COMMENT] Yet more proof that Islam is utterly incompatible with European values and attitudes.

[ANOTHER] Who would have thought that stoning is still considered a civilized method of execution,over 2000 years later,or at least by some Islamic countries.We need to oppose any concessions to Muslims in our country,and not allow Muslim schools.We need to re-affirm that we stand for Western values and Christianity. [The Independent] Read more

Subway removes ham and bacon from nearly 200 stores and offers halal meat only after 'strong demand' from Muslims

Fast food giant Subway has removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets, and switched to halal meat alternatives in an attempt to please its Muslim customers.

It has confirmed turkey ham and turkey rashers will be used instead in 185 of its stores, where all the meat will now be prepared according to halal rules.

The chain, which has around 1,500 outlets across the UK, explained its decision by saying it had to balance animal welfare concerns with 'the views of religious communities'.

[A COMMENT] Well that's me and Subway done, if I wanted halal I'd go to a Muslim country

[ANOTHER] What a bunch of mugs. If we went to a Muslim country and demanded that bacon be put ON the menu, I think we'd be shown the door - and rightly so. So long Subway.

[ANOTHER] If I went into a supermarket and asked them to remove all Halal products I would probably be called a racist. [Daily Mail] Read more

Subways [restaurants] in Burton and Swadlincote remain non-halal

SUBWAY restaurants in Burton and Swadlincote have not cut ham and bacon from their menus despite almost 200 stores in the UK selling halal-only meat.

Subways in The Octagon shopping centre and High Street, Burton, as well as on The Pipeworks, Swadlincote, will continue with its normal menus.

However, in response to the UK’s ‘diverse multicultural population’ and calls from its Muslim customers, 185 Subway restaurants will sell Halal-only meat. [Burton Mail] Read more

29 April 2014

Wills without bigotry – protest against the Law Society

About 70 protesters rallied outside the office of the Law Society to condemn their endorsement of discriminatory sharia law on April 28 2014.

The protest was organised by anti-racist, feminist and human rights groups, namely One Law for All, Southall Black Sisters, Centre for Secular Space, and London School of Economics SU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society.

Chris Moos was the master of ceremonies of the rally.

At the protest, Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters called upon the Law Society to withdraw its guidance:

Our message to you is this: Wake up: You are the Law Society and not a body advising on the compatibility of the law with religious principles! You have no business in normalising discriminatory religious principles in the legal culture and practice of this country. Your business is to ensure that the law is human rights complaint and not anti-rights compliant. Your business is to tear up the guidance. Your business is to stand with us on this side of the fence and on this side of history. [Maryam Namazie] Read more

Birmingham MP calls for teachers to have their say

.... MP Khalid Mahmood said former teachers, heads and governors should be allowed to give evidence without fear of losing their pay-offs or pensions.

He made the call in letters to education secretary Michael Gove and Birmingham Council leader Sir Albert Bore.

Labour MP Mr Mahmood claimed several former staff had contacted him with information about the Trojan Horse claims, which alleged Muslim hardliners were trying to infiltrate Birmingham schools. [Birmingham Mail] Read more

School at heart of alleged Muslim 'Trojan Horse' plot 'allowed students to speak positively about 7/7 and 9/11 terrorist attacks'

A Birmingham school at the heart of an alleged Islamist plot to take over state institutions allowed students to express 'positive views' about terrorism, it has been claimed.

Park View School in Alum Rock, which is under investigation over the 'Trojan Horse' plot, allegedly failed to challenge children's opinions about the 7/7 and 9/11 atrocities due to 'cultural sensitivity'.

It also reportedly advised staff not to bring soldiers into the school for visits, while one employee allegedly spoke of wanting an 'Islamic state', according to the British Humanist Association.

[A COMMENT] It appears to me that Birmingham City Council and their Labour administration together with the Labour ward MP, have serious questions to answer.

[ANOTHER] Why are these schools still open. Stop this lunacy now.

[ANOTHER] Let's hope a ukip candidate doesn't comment on this as the establishment will pounce on their "racism". [Daily Mail] Read more

Brunei adopts sharia law, others in region consider it

The sultanate of Brunei this week becomes the first East Asian country to introduce Islamic criminal law, the latest example of a deepening religious conservatism that has also taken root in parts of neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia.

Brunei, a tiny former British protectorate of about 400,000 nestled between two Malaysian states on Borneo island, relies on oil and gas exports for its prosperity, with annual per capita income of nearly $50,000 (29,715 pounds). It is the first country in east Asia to adopt the criminal component of sharia at a national level.

Run by Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, 67, Brunei has no national elections, but any discontent has been assuaged by high, tax-free incomes and benefits like free education and health care. [Reuters] Read more

Islamist extremists shouldn’t be allowed to preach hate at British universities

More evidence has emerged that Islamic Societies at universities are continuing to host extremist preachers in front of segregated audiences. Last month, students at the University of Westminster invited Murtaza Khan, before replacing him with the equally reprehensible Uthman Lateef. At around the same time, Brunel University Islamic Society hosted Lateef and Dr Khalid Fikry as guest speakers.

Other university Islamic societies including Nottingham, Salford, Kingston, SOAS and Queen Mary have also hosted hardline preachers, despite concern that their sermons stir up sectarian hatred and sow social division.

[A COMMENT] The loathsome individuals referred to here are the direct result of Labour's policy of deliberately importing hoards of people who hate us. Did Peter support that policy of his party at the time?

He says his organisation would take an equally robust line on the BNP. Why does he feel the need to say that? The BNP is small and non-violent, the Islamists are large, well-funded and extremely violent in both thought and deed.

[ANOTHER] Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Jack Straw, David Blunkett, Charles Clarke, John Reid, Jacqui Smith, and Alan Johnson.

Prime Ministers and Home Secretaries of what was once the United Kingdom, TAKE A BOW.

5.5 million new migrants from 1997 to 2010, a good 30-50% of them Muslim. No surprise that thus Muslim extremism has also been imported into Britain too. [The Spectator] Read more

Britain has just witnessed a political arrest. Where is the liberal outrage?

Over the weekend, a candidate was arrested for addressing his potential voters. Clear aside the incidental details, scrape away the mitigating circumstances, and ponder that elemental fact. Paul Weston, standing for election to the European Parliament (against me, as it happens, in the South East) was arrested in the middle of a speech on the steps of the Winchester Guildhall.

When such a thing happens in Burma or Belarus or Bahrain, we report it in suitably shocked tones. Yet here it is happening in Britain, without any discussions on the Today Programme, any Amnesty vigils, any complaints from Liberty. To repeat, a candidate was arrested for making a hustings speech.

.... This is not the first time that the police have invented a right not to be offended, and chosen to elevate it over the basic freedoms we used to take for granted. I often wonder, as a Hampshire ratepayer, whether my local constabulary might not spend less time on politics and more on catching criminals (it hit a low point over Christmas when it chose to investigate for racism the man who had put up this sign).

[A COMMENT] We haven't had free speech in this country for a long time, especially if the topic is Islam. [The Telegraph] Read more

28 April 2014

Florida Senate OKs bill banning use of foreign law in family court cases

Foreign laws would be banned in Florida courts for certain family-related cases, under a bill the Senate sent to the House on Monday.

The Senate voted 24-14 to approve the proposal (SB 386) by Umatilla Republican Alan Hays, who has pushed various versions of the measure the past few years.

The bill would restrict courts and arbitration tribunals from applying foreign law and legal codes to matters of divorce, alimony, division of marital assets, child support and child custody.

The proposal is more defined than last year’s effort, which got House support but failed to advance in the Senate. [The Palm Beach Post] Read more

Euro candidate Paul Weston arrested over Islam remarks

A candidate in the South East European elections has been arrested after making a speech quoting from a book by Winston Churchill about Islam.

Paul Weston, chairman of Liberty GB, was making the speech on the steps of Winchester Guildhall in Hampshire on Saturday after a passer-by complained.

He was detained after failing to comply with a request by police to move on under the powers of a dispersal order.

He was further arrested on suspicion of religious or racial harassment. [BBC] Read more

2010: Muslima dies as hijab caught in go-kart axle. 2014: CAIR demands hijabs on go-karts

The California chapter of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CA) and United Sikhs will hold news conferences tomorrow to “announce the filing of multiple public accommodation complaints with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) against Boomers! amusement parks, a subsidiary of Palace Entertainment Holdings.”

They want Boomers! amusement parks to change its policy forbidding headscarves on go-kart rides, dismissing safety concerns as “unfounded” and claiming religious discrimination. [Jihad Watch] Read more

Intern barred from hotel over headscarf

Seventeen-year-old Omaima Razzag, a student at a local tourism college, had planned to spend three weeks working at the hotel reception in the town of Cattolica, in the coastal province of Rimini, Tgcom24 reported on Monday. But the hotel staff said that in order to complete her internship, Razzag would have to take off her veil.

“They had decided that the work experience students must behave and dress in a certain way. They would only accept me if I took the veil off. I said I absolutely wouldn’t,” she told local journalist Brahim Maarad.

Defending the decision, the hotel manager said: “In the same vein we don’t accept people wearing piercings, large earrings, unusual hairstyles. Our rules are clear, religion doesn’t play a part.”

[A COMMENT] I totally agree with the hotel. This is not discrimination it is a business rule of private company in the hospitality industry in a country that is not an islamic republic. [The Local] Read more

The Churchill Quotation in Full

'How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!,' wrote Churchill.

'Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy.

'The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

'A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.

'The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

'Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it.

'No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.' [Daily Mail] Read more

Arrested for quoting Winston Churchill: European election candidate accused of religious and racial harassment after he repeats wartime prime minister’s words on Islam during campaign speech

A candidate in the European elections was arrested on suspicion of racial harrassment after quoting a passage about Islam, written by Winston Churchill, during a campaign speech.

Paul Weston, chairman of the party Liberty GB, made the address on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, in Hampshire on Saturday.

A member of the public took offence at the quote, taken from Churchill's The River War and called police.

.... The Liberty GB mission statement reveals what the party believes to be the 'most important issues of our time' - namely 'mass immigration from the Third World, the steady rise of fundamentalist Islam and the hijacking of traditional British culture and institutions by well-organised left-wing progressives'. [Daily Mail] Read more

Inside the Trojan Horse

Right now, there are four investigations going on into Birmingham schools, following on from the so-called "Trojan Horse" letter. That document claimed to outline a plot by Muslim hardliners to take over some Birmingham schools.

Ofsted, the Department for Education (DfE), West Midlands Police and Birmingham City Council are, between them, looking at 25 schools. Reports from those investigations are starting to seep out. But it is worth quickly recapping where we now are:

[A COMMENT] How can this be happening? Every school should be secular. No child should be discriminated against because their parents don't believe in the right god - or any god at all.

'Faith' schools are state sponsored educational apartheid. Why should children be separated because of their parents' superstitions?

'Faith' schools are dangerous, divisive & every single one is an affront to rational people. [BBC] Read more

The arrest of Paul Weston

.... People like Weston hamper the efforts of those (including Muslims) who are concerned about both radical extremism and illiberal conservatism. Last night Yasmin Alibhai Brown and Khalid Mahmood laid into Massoud Shadjareh on Channel 4 News over the Birmingham schools issue. We need to reject Weston’s Manichean vision of some kind of struggle to the death against Islam, and welcome Muslim allies.

[A COMMENT] "We need to reject Weston’s Manichean vision of some kind of struggle to the death against Islam, and welcome Muslim allies."

This thing about living in a multicultural society is that we are always "needing" to do all sorts of things. But if we just had restrictive immigration laws we wouldn't "need" to abolish habeas corpus and we wouldn't "need" to abolish free speech, and we wouldn't "need" to reach out to X, Y or Z and we wouldn't "need" to fund A, B and C, all of which seems to a be a lot of effort.

So, the massive elephant of a question remains: if we "need" to do all sorts of things to cope with a substantial Muslim minority, why do we "need" to have them in the first place? [Harry’s Place] Read more

Arrested for quoting Winston Churchill

.... Whether you believe this view of Islam or not ought to be of no legal consequence: no one has the right not to be insulted or offended, especially since the reform of Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, which His Grace supported. It is important to protect freedom of speech, and this fundamental liberty must override any subjective cry of hurt feelings or professed politically-correct disgust.

And yet, with the arrest of Paul Weston, the police appear to have arrived at an interpretation of Section 5 reform which now permits a teenager to refer to Scientology a "cult", but does not allow anyone to criticise Mohammed or assert that Islam may be in any sense economically deficient, intellectually backward, spiritually fanatical, socially dangerous, fearfully fatalistic, legally misogynist or morally degraded. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

Court bans Muslim pupil from wearing face veil

.... The wearing of the face-covering veil during teaching periods, the court wrote in a statement published on Friday, prevented essential non-verbal communication between teachers and pupils.

Judges found that the right of the state to educate took priority over the pupil's right to religious expression.

"Open communication during teaching is based not only on the spoken word, but also on non-verbal elements such as facial expressions, gestures and other body language," the court said.

If these elements of communication are missing, the ruling stated, teachers could no longer properly fulfill their job. [The Local Europe] Read more

27 April 2014

Medical association disrespected Muslims over amputations under hudud, says group

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has disrespected Muslims and Muslim doctors by threatening to axe doctors who perform amputations under hudud, according to Muslim medical practitioners’ group i-Medik.

Muslim doctors have sworn to an Islamic doctor’s oath which also binds them to Islam as a way of life and the implementation of Islamic laws including hudud, it added.

“A Muslim doctor performs his task according to the Islamic medical doctor’s oath, which fully supports Islam as a way of life, and this includes fully supporting Shariah laws,” i-Medik chairman Prof Dr Azmi Md Nor said. [The Malay Mail Online] Read more

Teacher admits campaign to install Muslim staff at schools

Nearly 20 schools in the city are currently being investigated over claims that male and female pupils were segregated, sex education banned and extremist clerics praised in assemblies.

But one of the teachers said that the controversial move - dubbed the Trojan Horse - was aimed at raising attainment levels of Muslim pupils after years of underachievement.

Speaking anonymously to Channel 4 News on Sunday night, the teacher admitted there was a campaign to assert more Muslim influence in schools, describing it as “a very positive thing”.

[A COMMENT] What kind of society are you preparing these children for? Certainly not a western civilised society....its time to stop this insanity. Enough! [The Telegraph] Read more

The political reality of Muslim demographics

Sixty years of Islamic immigration has deeply changed the British cultural and political landscape. As Islamic demographics increase, that cultural and political landscape will be shaped by the new Muslim culture of Britain.

.... Yet mainstream political debate in Britain today ignores this emerging Muslim demographic reality. Political debate still has a pre-immigration flavour to it, like the BBC’s EastEnders, which portrays the East End of London as primarily white cockney when in fact it is Bangladeshi and other ethnic identities.

Such political evasiveness is not a genuine ignorance of the facts of immigrant Britain. Rather it is a desperate burying of heads in the sand, hoping the problems will disappear.

They won’t. Britain must now live with the consequences of sixty years of heavy immigration.

[A COMMENT] .... The problem is 25yrs of lefty PC bullshit which reinforced, and legitimized, the determination of many muslim immigrants to live separately from British society.

Superfluous legislation was forced onto the books, the police, education and local councils have been infiltrated with Common Purpose ideology and the citizenry lied to and brainwashed………..extreme muslims have no interest in being British; they despise us and want to overthrow us. [The Commentator] Read more

Christmas 'was cancelled' at Trojan Horse probe school - claim

Christmas was cancelled at a Birmingham school caught up in the Trojan Horse probe, new reports have claimed.

The father of a pupil at Oldknow Academy in Small Heath alleged neither the festive season nor Easter were observed.

Oldknow is one of 18 city schools examined by Ofsted in connection with claims that hardline Muslims were plotting to seize control.

The dad also claimed his daughter was being forced to learn Arabic and that a £15,000 appeal had been launched to open a Friday prayer club.

He said: “She came home and said there were no Christmas festivities – no cards, no tree, no play – and she was sad because she had found the annual celebrations to be fun in the past. [Birmingham Mail] Read more

Liberty, human rights are godless and faithless ideologies, says Isma chief

.... Since Malaysia’s general elections in 2013, the non-governmental organisation has been growing in popularity, striking a chord with more conservative Malay Muslims who support its push for Malaysia to become an Islamic state.

ISMA’s uncompromising views and bald statements have been criticised mainly by Malaysia’s non Muslim minority and rights groups. Some have likened ISMA to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Speaking at ISMA’ s convention for Muslim women, its president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman also said civil society groups are proxies of a Zionist-Christian agenda that seeks to confuse Muslims with ideologies which are unIslamic. [The Malay Mail Online] Read more

26 April 2014

Guide to school Islamisation, by 'ringleader’ of Trojan Horse plot

The alleged ringleader of the Trojan Horse plot wrote a detailed blueprint for the radical “Islamisation” of secular state schools which closely resembles what appears to be happening in Birmingham.

Tahir Alam, chairman of governors at Park View school in the city, called for “girls [to] be covered except for their hands and faces”, advocated gender segregation in some school activities, and attacked a “multicultural approach” to collective worship.

[A COMMENT] In Mr Alam's view dangerous activities include such things as “potentially harmful forms of music”, schools must not teach any art involving “three-dimensional imagery of humans”, and should ban any play “associated with celebrating aspects of other religions”. But inviting hate preachers into schools and allowing them to preach brainwashing mumbo jumbo and lead the children in anti western chanting is perfectly ok.

How was this individual with such narrow minded, intolerant and offensive views ever allowed to get within a hundred miles of a school, let alone run a group of academies? Ofsted are taking their time getting shot of this nasty piece of work, why is that I wonder? [The Telegraph] Read more

Briton jailed in Pakistan for 'posing as Muslim' tells of ordeal

A British man jailed for "posing as a Muslim", has spoken for the first time since returning to the UK.

Masud Ahmad, 73, was arrested in Pakistan in November under blasphemy laws but fled while on bail.

The 73-year-old is part of the minority Ahmadiyya sect, who are considered heretics in Pakistan.

They were declared non-Muslim in 1974 by the Pakistan government because of their belief in a subservient prophet after Muhammad. [BBC] Read more

Dutch lap up Wilders' hardline message

.... Geert Wilders' Moroccan comments provoked an avalanche of criticism. High-profile PVV members quit, accusing their leader of going too far. More than 5,000 people filed complaints to the public prosecutor, calling for Mr Wilders to be charged with inciting racial hatred.

But this week an email from the PVV appeared in my inbox: "43% of the Dutch want fewer Moroccans", it said, according to an independent poll it had commissioned. It seems Mr Wilders has turned the criticism to his advantage. Citing the findings of his own survey, Mr Wilders can once again claim that he is the only politician unafraid to discuss the real concerns of Dutch voters. [BBC] Read more

25 April 2014

Lloyds drops overdraft fee on Islamic accounts

Lloyds Bank has been accused of religious discrimination after offering free overdraft accounts to Muslims.

The bank sent customers a booklet this month explaining new charges.

While many will have to pay up to £80 a month if they go into the red, Muslims were told they would escape the charges. The document said: “We are removing the monthly overdraft management fee of £6 from our Islamic Account, Islamic Student Account and Islamic Graduate Account. So, if you use an unplanned overdraft on these accounts, there won’t be any charges.”

[A COMMENT] his is discriminatory although probably legal because they will let anyone open an Islamic account. I am beginning to feel like a foreigner in my own country. I was in Westfield London today where a quarter of the women - there are thousands of people there it's the size of a city centre - were swathed in headscarves, veils and robes.

I feel everything is being geared to Islam - halal foods are served by default in so many places so as not to cause offence. I saw Birmingham on TV the other day, it took me 3 minutes to realise it was the UK, it was not multicultural it was 100% full on fundamentalist Islamic. [The Telegraph] Read more

Campaign launched to turn Crawley Nando's into a halal branch so town's Muslims can eat there

A PETITION has been started to convert Crawley's Nando's branch into a restaurant that serves halal meat.

The campaign has been launched by chicken lovers who are unable to eat at the popular eatery in Crawley Leisure Park for religious reasons.

Muslims can only eat certain types of meat that have been slaughtered in a specific way under Islamic dietary guidelines.

The nearest Nando's that serves halal meat is in Croydon and 23-year-old Amany Elmasry believes that if the Crawley branch did the same it would be able to welcome hundreds of extra customers. [Crawley News] Read more

German court upholds school ban on facial veil

A German court has rejected a Muslim student’s lawsuit against a vocational school’s ban on wearing face-covering veils in class.

The Bavarian Administrative Court said Friday the school’s ban didn’t infringe illegally on the right of the student to exercise her religious rights freely.

The student, whom the court didn’t identify in keeping with German privacy rules, saw her admission to the state-run school revoked last year when she refused to attend classes without a face-covering niqab. [Associated Press] Read more

24 April 2014

Death threats issued as Sharia Watch launches in London

A new group has been launched at the House of Lords to campaign for greater recognition of the threat posed by Islamic Sharia law. Sharia Watch UK says it wants to highlight the impact of Islamism in Britain and campaign against the prevalence of Sharia tribunals, particularly where it relates to women's rights.

VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to Anne Marie Waters, spokesperson for Sharia Watch, and to Aina Khan, a solicitor in London who specialises in applying Sharia law within the English legal system. [Voice of Russia] Read more

Muslim Cleric Bemoans New York 9/11 Museum For 'Offensive' Film

The 9/11 Memorial Museum in lower Manhattan has been lambasted by a local Muslim cleric over its plans to show visitors a short film on terrorism, a documentary the cleric said would be "offensive" to members of the Muslim faith.

Within the seven-minute film, called "The Rise of Al Qaeda", the terrorists in the 9/11 attack are referred to as "Islamists" while their successful mission to hit the World Trade centre is referred to as a "jihad". [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Mohammed Blair and the promulgation of orthodox Islam

.... Yet in a keynote speech yesterday at Bloomberg HQ - Why the Middle East Matters - while he explained 'Islamism' via a tour of the 'Islamic world', through Pakistan and Afghanistan, wading through Iraq to Libya to Egypt to Yemen to Lebanon and to Syria, he decreed:

At the root of the crisis lies a radicalised and politicised view of Islam, an ideology that distorts and warps Islam’s true message. The threat of this radical Islam is not abating. It is growing.

It is spreading across the world. It is de-stabilising communities and even nations. It is undermining the possibility of peaceful co-existence in an era of globalisation. And in the face of this threat we seem curiously reluctant to acknowledge it and powerless to counter it effectively. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

23 April 2014

Film at 9/11 Museum Sets Off Clash Over Reference to Islam

.... The film, “The Rise of Al Qaeda,” refers to the terrorists as Islamists who viewed their mission as a jihad. The NBC News anchor Brian Williams, who narrates the film, speaks over images of terrorist training camps and Qaeda attacks spanning decades. Interspersed are explanations of the ideology of the terrorists, from video clips in foreign-accented English translations.

The documentary is not even seven minutes long, the exhibit just a small part of the museum. But it has over the last few weeks suddenly become a flash point in what has long been one of the most highly charged issues at the museum: how it should talk about Islam and Muslims. [The New York Times] Read more

'Trojan Horse' schools: Birmingham City Council tries to blame the Telegraph for revealing the scandal

Birmingham City Council’s leader, Sir Albert Bore, today attacked the Telegraph for its “wholly reprehensible and completely unacceptable” publication of a leaked Department for Education report into three of the so-called “Trojan Horse” schools taken over by Muslim hardliners. This is what in the trade is called “deflection": try to make the story about the leaking of the report, rather than the contents of it.

It’s not hard to understand why Sir Albert wants to change the subject. The contents of the leaked report – which substantiate many of the claims made against the schools – make his and his council’s past behaviour look rather silly.

[A COMMENT] Anywhere with a large Muslim population in the UK is a problem. Luton, East London, Birmingham, to name a few. We need this to end - for our sake and the country's sake.

[ANOTHER] Is this Trojan Horse investigation into schools been extended to other cities that have a large islamic community? Surely Birmingham is not the only city to harbour these wannabe sharia enforcers? [The Telegraph] Read more

Lawyers threaten legal action against Law Society over Sharia law

Lawyers are threatening the Law Society with possible legal action after it issued new guidance on drafting Sharia law-compliant wills. The Lawyers’ Secular Society (LSS) criticised the solicitors’ representation body for being “incredibly naive” and caving into religious lobbying groups. VoR's Tim Ecott spoke to Chris Moos, from the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society. [Voice of Russia]

Read more

Tony Blair warns against the Islamism that he helped foment. Is this his mea culpa?

A lot of people hate Tony Blair, and hate him in particular for what he did in the Middle East, and so when he made a speech today on the need for a broad front to combat Islamism they came out with a torrent of abuse. That is a mistake because most of his speech, properly understood, is a giant mea culpa. Since most people think that this mea culpa is necessary, perhaps they should listen.

He is also right – and a lot of his critics would probably agree - that both political and militant Islamism are giant challenges for the modern era.

[A COMMENT] .... "political and militant Islamism are giant challenges for the modern era." But they wouldn't be such challenges if he hadn't quintupled immigration and embraced multi-culturalism, would they? [The Telegraph] Read more

22 April 2014

43 percent agree with fewer Moroccans

Half of all Dutch people agree with Geert Wilders’ opinion that there should be fewer Moroccans in the country. This comes from research that the PVV requested pollster Maurice de Hond to carry out.

De Hond polled 2500 people, 43 percent of whom expressed that they would rather there be fewer Moroccan people in the Netherlands. Only 3 percent of the people want there to be more Moroccans. [NL Times] Read more

Saudi woman continues fight to wed British beau

A Saudi woman who has been barred from marrying a Briton by a Jeddah court has taken her legal battle to the Court of Appeals in Makkah.

A judge of the Jeddah General Court had initially refused to approve the marriage of the academic to a British aviation engineer, who is Muslim.

He made the ruling after the woman filed an adhl (male guardians preventing women from getting married) case against her family.

The judge based his decision on a saying by the Caliph Omar that he would only marry off women of “good breeds” to men of the same social standard. [Al Arabiya News] Read more

Muslim cleric in UK probe after ‘vile’ Fadak TV rants

A satellite TV station based in suburban England is being investigated after allegations it broadcast a Muslim cleric’s “hate sermons” and “vile rants” to audiences across the Middle East.

The UK’s independent television regulator says it has launched an investigation into Fadak TV, which was founded by Sheikh Yasser al-Habib. The Shia cleric has been accused of making remarks on air considered offensive to Sunni Muslims, and of stirring sectarian tensions in the Islamic world.

Sheikh Yasser’s UK-licensed station is based in a former Christian church hall in the leafy village of Fulmer in suburban Buckinghamshire. [Al Arabiya News] Read more

The feisty baroness defending 'voiceless’ Muslim women

.... Among its proposals is that it be made clear to the bride and groom at Islamic weddings that the ceremony is not a marriage under British law, and that this has implications in terms of property and custody rights.

Another clause – “the one with the sharpest teeth” – makes it a criminal offence to operate in a way that imitates a court. “I went to a divorce hearing recently in a sharia court in the East End of London. The room was arranged just like a courtroom, with three men sitting up behind a bench looking down on us. The woman in question was intimidated into silence because, as she told me later, she believed it was to be a proper constituted court.”

[A COMMENT] 'In Britain’s 85 sharia courts and councils, she says, sharia “seeps” into enforcing divorce settlements, ignoring domestic violence and deciding access to children, all properly the preserve of British law.'

It doesn't 'seep' in - it is actively encouraged by our weak and incompetent Government, whose latest contribution is to alter British law to accommodate Sharia Law in the finance industry.

[ANOTHER] I take it Scottish Law,or English Law is allowed in British Courts in Saudi Arabia or any other Islamic country overseen by British Judges for British ex pats. Dream on they wouldn't allow it nor should we.

This country is based on one legal system and one legal system only. If they don't like it then they should hit the road and leave we don't want them here. [The Telegraph] Read more

21 April 2014

Muslims must accept Britain's Christian values, says former Home Secretary

Muslims must accept that Britain is built on Christian values, a former Home Secretary has said, in the wake of mounting evidence that a group of schools have been taken over in a ‘Trojan Horse’ plot by radical Islamists.

It is “inevitable” that many Muslim communities will not integrate with the rest of British society but it must be made clear that attempts to isolate Muslim pupils from the rest of society are unacceptable, Jack Straw said.

[A COMMENT] Coming from the mouth of one of the quisling rats that caused this mess to start with. They really have no shame do they.

[ANOTHER] .... one question Straw has failed to answer is, what happens when Muslims turn round and say f*** off to Christian values? What's your solution then Jack? [The Telegraph] Read more

Muslim schools 'must respect British values' says Jack Straw as Birmingham MP admits there is a 'Trojan Horse' plot by extremists

Schools with large numbers of Muslim pupils must respect British values, former home secretary Jack Straw said yesterday.

He spoke as a Muslim MP said a radical ‘Trojan Horse’ plot to take over state schools was operating in Birmingham.

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, claimed a ‘small group of individuals’ was trying to change the ethos of schools by stealth.

It was also claimed that roving 'morality squads' have been instituted at the affected schools, and would censor talk of non-Muslim festivals and smash pupils' Easter eggs.

[A COMMENT] Such a tolerant religion ! Great respect for other religions ! The government and DofE need to get to terms with this radicalisation and take over of our schools.

They need to bin the PC attitude which has become the norm when dealing with groups who do not recognise PC values. We must not let this happen. [Daily Mail] Read more

The Halal Version

The Honesty Policy video of Happy British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams' Happy seems to have been an outstanding success in promoting an image of a hip community in tune with modern Britain.

Then along came the Halal Version, with the dancing women removed. The producer, offended by the moving female bodies on display in the original ("haram") version, explains:

Simply trying to find a middle ground to express ourselves without using extreme means of music or women dancing in public.

No no, we mustn't laugh... [Mick Hartley] Read more

Inspired Bigotry: Meet the Salafists Behind the Law Society

.... One of its main references is a book on Islamic inheritance rules by Dr. Muhammad al-Jibaly, a hardline salafi and former President of the notorious Qur'an and Sunnah Society of North America.

If you are in any doubt where the pathological hatred of women that is so central to the Law Society's practice note stems from, you should read Dr. Al-Jibaly, whose views are as clear as they are extreme: "A willful fornicator deserves to be whipped one hundred lashes, and a willful adulterer deserves stoning to death."

.... Despite being a representative body bound by its own Equality Policy, the Law Society has chosen not to base its practice note on the work of those many British Muslims who are managing to reconcile their faith with considerations of equality and human rights.

Instead, the Law Society has elected to ignore the existing progressive voices within British Islam, and enshrined the ideology of a man who so clearly loathes women, non-Muslims and children as a model to emulate. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

20 April 2014

Private school chief linked to Islam Trojan Horse plot says: Stone all adulterers to death

A Muslim hardliner who says adulterers should be stoned to death and that gay men and fornicators should be lashed 100 times has set up an Islamic school that has received almost £1million of taxpayers’ money.

Ibrahim Hewitt, one of Britain’s most prominent Islamic firebrands – who also heads a charity branded a ‘terrorist’ organisation by the US – is the founder and chairman of trustees of the Al-Aqsa school in Leicester, which teaches 250 boys and girls aged between three and 11.

He has vilified homosexuals as paedophiles and said a man can take on a second wife if his first fails to satisfy him sexually. Mr Hewitt has published his views in a book on Islam, which he claims has sold more than 50,000 copies in Britain.

[A COMMENT] When are the idiots in charge of us going to wake up and smell the coffee?... [Daily Mail] Read more

We must confront the challenge of Islamism

According to a special report by the Education Funding Agency, radical Muslims have tried to take control of teaching by first taking control of school governorships. Excellent head teachers were either reduced to the status of figureheads or forced out of their jobs. Girls at Park View and Golden Hillock were made to sit at the back of the class.

At Park View, loudspeakers were used to “broadcast the call for prayer across the school” and a person known for loathing Jews and admiring al-Qaeda addressed an assembly. At Golden Hillock, some Christian pupils were left to “teach themselves” in RE classes.

At Oldknow, Christmas activities were stopped, there were subsidised trips to Mecca and one teacher led an anti-Christian chant in assembly. At Nansen, there were “no lessons in the humanities, arts or music” for an entire year group. Arabic, however, was compulsory learning across the entire school. [The Telegraph] Read more

Ofsted chief Wilshaw takes charge of Trojan Horse

.... Michael is expected to go to Birmingham this week to finalise the reports from these inspections.

Ofsted and the Department for Education are expected to publish their findings in early May.

The Department for Education has ordered its own review of the evidence in the so-called Trojan Horse conspiracy.

There have been claims that a hardline Muslim faction had sought to gain influence over schools and remove staff who were not sympathetic to their religious agenda.

Ofsted has not commented on claims that leaked inspection reports show serious problems in some schools. [BBC] Read more

“Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils”

More of those in Britain who declare themselves to be Muslims than Christians practice their faith. But only a minority adhere to the Salafist version of Islam, and not all of them will agree that, in school, “boys should always be covered between the navel and the knee and girls should be covered except for their hands and faces, a concept known as ‘hijab’ ” (especially in primary school, or before those girls have reached puberty, or both).

[A COMMENT] I dont understand why people did not see this problem coming.

It is obvious that Muslims cannot be trusted with the governance of free schools, therefore these schools should be brought back to state governance immediately or closed.

If they want madrassa's they should do it on their own time.

[ANOTHER] Multiculturalism just doesn't work and we shouldn't pander to it - in education or anywhere else. .... Gove's mistake on free schools was not the concept, which is excellent, but his reliance on OFSTED, which is not fit for purpose. [ConservativeHome] Read more

Hudud cannot exist alongside secular law

Hudud cannot exist alongside secular criminal law and has no place in multiracial Malaysia, said MIC.

Its legal adviser Selva Mookiah said that hudud would create conflicts with the country’s secular criminal law system and the Federal Constitution.

“The Kelantan MPs will of course score vital points among the conservatives by proposing a hudud system to govern the Muslims but they should at least stop to ponder what happens when the two systems collide,” Selva said in a statement.

Citing recent “conversion, divorce, custody care and control of minors debacles”, he said there were many reasons why the hudud and secular criminal law systems would fail to exist parallel to each other. [The Star Online] Read more

19 April 2014

Fatwa banning election of secular candidates in Iraq criticized

.... an Iranian-born Grand Ayatollah in Iraq named Kazem Al-Haeri has recently issued a fatwa (religious decree) which forbids the election by Shiites of any "secular" candidate in this upcoming election.

Haeri used to be a member of the Dawa Party which is headed by the present Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki, whose second term in office — which began in 2010 — is coming to an end. [Digital Journal] Read more

Hunt warns against schools extremism in Birmingham

In a speech to the NASUWT teachers' union, Mr Hunt said schools should not have "gender-based segregation" and that teachers must not be "undermined".

Mr Hunt welcomed Birmingham council's investigation into the "so-called Trojan Horse conspiracy".

The Department for Education is also examining claims of schools being "taken over" by Muslim hardliners.

The inquiries follow an anonymous letter alleging that factions within the Muslim community were seeking to gain influence over schools in Birmingham.

[A COMMENT] There should be no place for religion in schools. It is indoctrination of children. France have got this right.

[ANOTHER] Welcome to the reality of out-of-control immigration in Britain. You are reaping what you sowed. [BBC] Read more

Birmingham's schools must prepare pupils for a multicultural Britain

I received emails from two Brummies desperately concerned about the controversy sweeping the second city's schools.

With fears of an Islamist "takeover" of some Birmingham schools by militant school governors, the first correspondent demands "much more clarity in what defines a state school funded by taxation". He wants the bonds of our multicultural society strengthened through education. "No uniforms chosen by one section of society. No public money on religious visits."

The second correspondent, by contrast, positions the controversy within the context of "the change through generations of the composition and governance of schools in inner-city areas which have large Muslim populations". He points to the success of some Birmingham schools as being dependent upon "a recognition of Muslim identity – making the pupils feel more at ease at their first public institution".

[A COMMENT] F**k 'multicultural' Britain. Whatever our race or colour we're British. We choose to live here.

We should embrace and celebrate it. Just as in the US, where millions of schoolkids salute the flag and revere the Constitution, whatever their background, so we should teach our kids to be British. Or if we don't like it, we should piss off and live somewhere more to our liking. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Islamist plot: six schools face Ofsted special measures

At least six Birmingham schools at the centre of an alleged Islamic takeover plot are set to be placed in “special measures” by Ofsted in a move that could see their entire leadership removed.

The six schools are implicated in the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot by extremists to “Islamise” secular state education in Birmingham which has allegedly seen the illegal segregation of pupils and discrimination against non-Muslim pupils.

[A COMMENT] What happened to the country I was born in? It's like a nightmare..... I cannot believe what is happening in England and why our politicians permitted this to happen. This is a national emergency - the enemy is already within. A truly terrifying story. All voters need to wake up and use their votes to eject the current political class who have betrayed our country. [The Telegraph] Read more

Shadow education secretary warns against religious extremism in schools

Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary, will warn on Saturday that "the pursuit of a divisive religious extremism" – as shown in an alleged conspiracy to take over schools in Birmingham – threatens to undermine Britain's modern multicultural society.

Hunt's remarks to the annual conference of the NASUWT teaching union in Birmingham follow the uncovering of a dossier named Operation Trojan Horse, claiming to reveal a plot to overthrow teachers and governors insecular state schools in the city and run them on strict Islamic principles. [The Guardian] Read more

18 April 2014

UK: Multiculturalism vs. Islamism

.... British Interfaith Dialogue is a natural product of multiculturalist policies: the division of citizens into pre-approved identities. The Inter Faith Network, in fact, rejects some religious groups, such as the minority Muslim Ahmadiyya community, as unsuitable partners for dialogue, apparently for fear of upsetting the Islamist-led organizations that make up its member bodies.

Just as multiculturalism offered supremacy to particular individuals and groups, so too, today, taxpayer-funded interfaith dialogue has damaged relations between different religious communities and has falsely legitimized Islamist groups as representative of all British Muslims. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

State schools isolate non-Muslims

Schools in Birmingham are illegally segregating pupils, discriminating against non-Muslim students and restricting the GCSE syllabus to “comply with conservative Islamic teaching”, an official report leaked to The Telegraph discloses.

Department for Education inspectors said that girls in a school at the centre of the so-called “Trojan Horse” plot were forced to sit at the back of the class, some Christian pupils were left to “teach themselves” and an extremist preacher was invited to speak to children.

[A COMMENT] Britain ended up this way because good people did nothing. [The Telegraph] Read more

17 April 2014

When Muslims renounce their faith

Fearing ostracism by their family, or even death, many former Muslims keep their disbelief secret. A German organization offers support to people who leave Islam for another religion, or for none.

Turning away from Islam? No, she couldn't discuss the subject now, Minna Ahadi said quietly. The phone line faded in and out as her train went from one patchy wireless coverage area to the next. Yet it was not the bad connection that made Ahadi reluctant, but the subject. In a few hours she would be home, where she could talk openly. "But now, in the train, I cannot."

Later, back in her apartment, she apologizes and explains that she does not feel safe when she uses her name or the term "ex-Muslims" in public - even in Germany. She believes this fear is justified: Ahadi continues to receive anonymous letters threatening to shoot her, or warning she will die in a car accident. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

Brandeis University bows to Islamism

They must ponder the consequences of caving in to radical Islam’s increasingly outrageous demands.

There must be some serious soul-searching here.

It is time to protect the long-cherished ideal of free, critical thought, which the West has fought for through many of its own convulsions.

It is time to formulate a cogent response to Islamist assaults on freedom of speech and to implement it in an unflinching manner.

The comment of Brandeis president Fredrick Lawrence that the university chose to back down over the issue of Hirsi Ali’s honorary degree because of “certain of her past statements”, shows there is no place for him on the barricades of freedom.

[A COMMENT] I just keep posting my same, simple, summary: Islam is a bad fit in western society. [TORONTO SUN] Read more

Government review of the Muslim Brotherhood

.... The purpose of the review is to produce an internal report to the Prime Minister to inform government policy towards the Muslim Brotherhood.

The scope of the review covers the Muslim Brotherhood’s origins, philosophy, activities, record in and out of government; its organisation and activities in the UK and abroad which might put at risk, damage, or risk damaging UK national interests.

It will look at the Muslim Brotherhood’s impact on, and influence over, UK national interests, at home and abroad, as well as its wider influence on UK society. It will also look at current government policy as well as allies’ approaches and policies, and assess the implications for UK policy. [GOV.UK] Read more

Teachers call for Muslim pupils to be allowed to use Ramadan as grounds of appeal against poor exam results

Teachers are calling for GCSEs and A-level exams to be scheduled in the morning to help Muslim students who are fasting during Ramadan, it emerged today.

Hundreds of thousands of pupils across Britain could be forced to take 'large entry' tests, such as maths and English, before 12pm under a radical shake-up.

School exam boards and universities are considering the move over the next five years, when the religious period of Ramadan progressively clashes with the exam season in June.

[A COMMENT] When is this madness going to stop? Muslim children do NOT have to acquiesce to the no food rule at Ramadan. Well, put it this way, they don't in Iraq and Afghan where I work but possibly Birmingham and co have different rules. Gimme strength. Teachers who come up with this bile are obviously not fit for purpose.

[ANOTHER] This must be the most tolerant, accommodating, apologetic country in the world. Where else would anyone change their way of living to accommodate minorities they way we are forced to do, here? I would love to know who is responsible for all this. [Daily Mail] Read more

University of East London bans segregated Muslim event from its premises

I blogged yesterday about this "segregated" Muslim event organised by the Islamic Society of the University of East London, due to happen tonight at UEL's main lecture theatre on its Docklands campus.

Much to my surprise, UEL immediately banned it from their campus. See the reaction below by Peter Tatchell, who brought this to public attention:

[A COMMENT] In about 20 year they will reach the required demographic critical mass to impose their ways, and if you think the kind of spineless political ilk that governs our nations today in the West will do anything ,then you are sadly mistaken because they are petrified of the Frankenstein monster they have imported.

The Left is petrified of the truth and mainstream Conservatism Inc. is petrified of the Left. [The Telegraph] Read more

Anti-Muslim suspicion in Britain has a whiff of McCarthyism about it

Allegations that 25 schools in Birmingham are at risk of an "Islamic takeover plot" reached new levels of hysteria recently. An announcement was made that a counter-terrorism expert has been drafted in to conduct yet another investigation.

The minister responsible, Michael Gove, has managed at a stroke to increase fear and suspicion between Muslim and non-Muslim in the city.

[A COMMENT] There is no need to make untrue slurs about islam. There are quite enough damaging truths we can say about it. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Abdullah Al Dawood, Saudi Islamic Cleric, Claims PE Classes For Girls Is First Step To Prostitution

Saudi Arabia is getting closer to adding physical education classes for girls to public schools, but some conservative Islamic clerics are slamming the move as a "Western innovation," according to the Wall Street Journal.

After the kingdom's advisory Shoura Council voted 92-18 on Tuesday to advise the Ministry of Education to look into girls' P.E. classes, conservatives made their ire known on social media -- and they got very dramatic.

[A COMMENT] Women have suffered the most under the male-centered Abrahamic religions. It is so sad to think of the daily struggle many women face just to be treated as a fellow human in the Middle East, Africa,and among many conservative/fundamentalist religious groups in Europe and the US. [The Huffington Post] Read more

16 April 2014

Lutfur Rahman and police denials fall apart: there is a criminal investigation of Tower Hamlets

.... Panorama, too, alleged favouritism in the allocation of council grants and misuse of council resources for electioneering purposes. The fraud allegation didn’t form part of the programme because it wasn’t ready for broadcast in time.

But be in no doubt – as well as the auditor investigation into Tower Hamlets into all the non-criminal sleaze, there most certainly is an ongoing police investigation, for all the Met’s denials to the contrary.

[A COMMENT] So the corruption and nepotism that is endemic throughout the Islamic world is now becoming endemic in the predominantly Islamic areas of the UK, from Birmingham's school system to London's borough councils?

No one could have seen that coming. As we all know from our compulsory diversity awareness training, upon breathing the sweet British air foreigners Immediately abandon the centuries old customs of their homelands and become as British as you or I. [The Telegraph] Read more

Britain’s sharia councils and secular alternatives

In a secular legal system, the right to hold religious beliefs is absolute. However, the right to manifest those religious beliefs is limited by the need to respect the autonomy and rights of others.

A religious or theocratic legal system, on the other hand, does not recognise such limitations – its notion of justice rests instead on the supremacy of its own revealed truths and the whims of the – invariably male – clerical authorities who interpret them.

The Islamic Sharia Council based in Leyton, East London, is the largest Sharia body in the UK. Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad is a board member and its representative.

Amongst other things, he has stated that “a man should not be questioned why he has hit his wife, because this is something between them”.

[A COMMENT] Excellent article! Its a disgrace that these Sharia Courts are allowed to conduct business. [Left Foot Forward] Read more

15 April 2014

Pork is the latest front in Europe's culture wars

Following its significant gains in last month's local elections, the French Front National leader, Marine Le Pen, swiftly announced that school cafeterias would no longer serve non-pork substitution meals to children living in towns won by FN candidates.

Targeting Muslims for another ritual round of public humiliation, while also excluding Jewish children, Le Pen declared: "There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere."

[A COMMENT] Regardless of whether or not you believe Halal slaughter is any worse than our traditional methods (I think it is), we have had a tradition in the UK of moving gradually towards more humane methods of farming and slaughter.

This move back to a religious-driven (as opposed to evidence-driven) method of slaughter should be discussed openly. If this adoption is occurring through state-provided services it is even more of a public concern. [Guardian Cif] Read more

14 April 2014

Gove is right to fail schools for religious bias

Here are five words that liberals should say more often: thank God for Michael Gove. The Education Secretary has sent dozens of inspectors to 15 state schools in Birmingham targeted by Islamic radicals – and now, reportedly, plans to extend the idea nationwide, with new powers for Ofsted to fail schools where religious conservatism prevents balanced learning. He has acted because he knows what others have too long ignored: that schools are the key battleground against Islamism in Britain.

.... Finally, it is sometimes said (not least on the BBC) that any extremist incidents that may have occurred were “isolated”. They weren’t – but even if they had been, can we seriously imagine that line being tenable if the position were reversed? Had there been even one teacher leading white children in anti-Muslim rhetoric, it would rightly be proclaimed a national scandal. [The Telegraph] Read more

France, Islam and the 'Spreading Hatred'

There's an area of French society bleak beyond any let's-pretend action-plan or incantatory chorus about brotherhood.

The country's existential problem of coming to terms with more than five million Muslims in its midst—and how these immigrants and citizens accommodate (or flout) French law and custom—is deepening into a new phase of what is described as intolerance, seeming incompatibility, and political polarization.

.... As real as discrimination against Muslims has become, researchers describe the growth of Muslim communities at the edges of large French cities that are developing parallel cultures. They are said to demand an allegiance to fundamentalist Islam, thus antagonizing the national majority's notion of the French way of life. [The Wall Street Journal] Read more

25 schools probed over alleged takeover plot

An investigation into an alleged hard-line Islamist takeover plot of Birmingham schools has widened, with 25 schools now under the spotlight.

Birmingham City Council said it had received more than 200 reports in relation to its inquiry.

It has appointed former head teacher Ian Kershaw as its chief advisor.

Anonymous claims hard-line Muslims were trying to take over the running of some city schools were made in a letter sent to local authorities last year. [BBC] Read more

13 April 2014

Horror at halal slaughterhouse: Shocking undercover film shows the 'needless suffering' of livestock that are butchered without being stunned first

They were placed onto a conveyer belt with their legs tethered before the knife was drawn swiftly across their throats.

In the seconds after the sudden cut, the sheep strained to raise their heads as blood poured from their wounds. They then twitched and convulsed as they were hoisted by their hind legs on metal hooks to drain their bodies of blood.

In non-halal abattoirs, livestock are stunned before killing to prevent unnecessary suffering. Some halal abattoirs also practise pre-stunning. But the animals we saw at this abattoir were fully conscious when slaughtered – a practice campaigners say is inhumane and needlessly cruel. Killing an animal without prior stunning is illegal in Britain, but the law gives special exemption to Muslim and Jewish meat producers on the grounds of religion.

[A COMMENT] Denmark banned kosher and halal slaughter. It's time for us to do the same. [Daily Mail] Read more

An investigation is not Islamophobia

Because "Islamophobe" is shorthand for "Bad Person", it can sometimes silence legitimate debate – which is what the mayor of the London borough of Tower Hamlets seems to have tried to do to the BBC.

Lutfur Rahman is Britain's first directly elected Asian mayor. On 22 May, he seeks re-election. He says he aspires to the highest standards of transparency and probity and that he welcomes scrutiny.

Two weeks ago, on Panorama, we scrutinised the way he's run this most diverse of boroughs. Instead of welcoming this, the mayor employed a major City law firm and a PR company at huge public expense to try to get the programme stopped.

[A COMMENT] Every time you say something critical about Islam you are automatically branded anti Islamic. Obviously Islam can't take criticism, unlike Christianity where we pan it and make comedies about it, when was the last comedy did you see or hear about Mohammed?

Muslim should remember they live in a society where we can criticize religion or maybe they should go back and live in Bangladesh and Somalia or do they want sharia law in western countries where they live? [The Independent] Read more

Ministers launch inquiries into 'extremist schools’

Teams of inspectors are to be sent into dozens of schools over fears that children are being “radicalised”.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has prepared the way for inspectors to penalise institutions where “religious conservatism” may be getting in the way of teaching.

The move, reported by The Sunday Times, comes as the Department for Education investigates a series of schools over an alleged “Islamic takeover plot” in Birmingham. [The Telegraph] Read more

15 Birmingham Schools Under Investigation Amid Allegations Of 'Plot' By Hardline Muslims

.... All of the city's MPs recently wrote a letter to Mr Gove calling for a full inquiry into the issues in order to settle the matter and help restore confidence in the schools identified in the alleged plot.

A DfE spokesperson said: "The allegations made in relation to some schools in Birmingham are very serious and we are investigating all evidence put to us in conjunction with Ofsted, Birmingham City Council and the police.

"It is absolutely vital these investigations are carried out impartially, without prejudgement.

[A COMMENT] If the reverse of this had happened in a Muslim country with schools being accused of trying to push a hard-line Christian religious policy, the ones believed to be responsible would already be dead, yet we can't even deport them without years of legal battles all at the taxpayers expense.

We have to wake up to the reality of religious extremism in our midst, no matter which made-up fairy tale book they read. [PA/The Huffington Post UK] Read more

12 April 2014

Pakistan Appeals Court May Uphold Christian Woman’s Death Sentence

A senior advocacy official remained concern Saturday, April 12, that a Pakistani appeals court will confirm the death sentence of Christian woman Asia Bibi, who has been charged with blasphemy against Islam.

"Given the recent decisions made against people charged under the blasphemy law, it is not looking likely that the judgment against Asia will be favourable," said Nasir Saeed, a director of the Center for Legal Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), which supports the Christian. [BosNewsLife] Read more

Divided by faith: inside the segregated Madani schools

It's a warm, sunny afternoon and a group of year 11 boys are revising for a science exam. There's nothing unusual about the lesson - except that, unlike in mainstream single-sex schools, these students will never be allowed to be taught by a woman.

Their school in Leicester recently caused controversy when it advertised for a new science teacher - but stated that only men need apply. [Channel 4] Read more

11 April 2014

Brandeis students nix Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali. What a pity.

.... In an online petition, Brandeis senior Sarah Fahmy wrote that Hirsi Ali’s invitation to speak at the school and receive an honorary social justice degree was a “shock to the community due to her extreme Islamophobic beliefs.”

Fahmy said that Hirsi Ali’s selection represented a “blatant and callous disregard” not just of Muslim students “but any student who has experienced pure hate speech” and represented a “direct violation” of the school’s moral code, as well as “the rights” of Brandeis students.

The rights to what? To live your life shouting down anyone with whom you disagree? Spare us from this lesson, please.

[A COMMENT] Thank you Robin Abcarian for exposing two of the main foundation stones of the religion of Islam: Censorship of any criticism of Islam [and] Misogynistic oppression of women. [Los Angeles Times] Read more

Brandeis' mistake on critic of Islam

.... I received dozens of abusive missives from white supremacists. It was a reminder that the flipside of Islamism is anti-Muslim hate. Which, I'm afraid to say, is given propaganda material by the well-dressed, middle-class intellectuals who appear so frequently on our televisions to pronounce that "violence is inherent in Islam."

[A COMMENT] The progressive response to Muslim barbarism and violence is often the "a few bad apples" excuse. But looking at the actual behavior of Muslim societies around the world, this apology is closer to "see no evil". At what point does truth matter?

In which Muslim countries are women or other religions treated with enlightened respect? Pointing out a few exceptional cases of Muslim civility only confirms the fact that in most Muslim countries, civility toward women and "infidels" is the rare exception. [CNN.COM/INTERNATIONAL] Read more

Where is the feminist anger at Brandeis?

‘HONOR DIARIES” might not be coming to a theater near you, at least not if CAIR gets its way.

The award-winning documentary about “honor” violence against girls and women in much of the Muslim world was released last month in honor of International Women’s Day, and it didn’t take long for the Council on American Islamic Relations to slap its all-purpose “Islamophobic” label on it.

The film has been shown in dozens of venues, but CAIR has raised enough of a stink to get screenings cancelled on several college campuses, including the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois.

[A COMMENT] All she did was tell the truth about the abuse of women in Islamic countries. Shameful behavior for Brandeis. [BOSTON GLOBE] Read more

UN concerned at broad application of death penalty in Brunei’s revised penal code

The United Nations human rights office today voiced deep concern about the revised penal code in Brunei Darussalam which stipulates the death penalty for numerous offences, including robbery, adultery, and insult or defamation of the Prophet Mohammed, and introduces stoning to death as the specific method of execution for crimes of a sexual nature.

Rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and murder are the other offences for which the death penalty could be applied under the revised code, which is due to come into force on 22 April. [UN News Centre] Read more

10 April 2014

Too many still fear offending Islam

.... Because they are frightened of being accused of Islamophobia and racism, because they do not want to ally themselves in any way with conservatives who are brave enough to stand up to jihadism, because they often hate the west and Christianity and perceive Islam to be counter to both, and because they embrace the racism of lowered expectations.

Trendy denial plays well at book launches and fashionable dinner parties and those who attend never see the degradation and desperation of the women of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Complacency is a terrible thing. [The Edmonton Sun] Read more

Enforcing Islamic Law at Branseis

When Brandeis University withdrew an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali after a student-professor firestorm branded her an “Islamophobe,” the campus in effect declared itself an outpost of Islamic law, American-style. Officially, Brandeis is now a place where critics of Islam – “blasphemers” and “apostates,” according to Islamic law – are scorned and rejected.

Not that Brandeis put it that way in its unsigned announcement about Hirsi Ali’s dis-invitation, which notes: “She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world. That said, we cannot overlook … her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.” [WND.com] Read more

09 April 2014

Iraq Wants To Legalize Child Marriage

A new law would approve marriage to girls as young as nine in a bid to appease the nation’s conservatives ahead of parliamentary elections.

In a bid to please the nation’s Shi’a Muslim majority ahead of parliamentary elections, Iraq’s Council of Ministers has drafted a law that would legalize marital rape, as well as grant men the authority to marry girls as young as age nine.

The Jaafari Personal Status Law was approved by the Council of Ministers in February, and now awaits likely passage in the Iraqi parliament in the last days before the April 30 election. [The Daily Beast] Read more

The case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali: cowardly Brandeis University capitulates to Islamist pressure

Whether you agree with Hirsi Ali's Manichean view of Islam, she's entitled to express it without being bombarded with death threats or accused of "Islamophobia" which, in this context, amounts to "hate speech" since it's precisely that charge that has led to threats on her life.

You would think that an American university would be a staunch defender of Hirsi Ali's right to free speech and wouldn't capitulate to a mob of politically correct Muslims at the first sign of trouble. If the same institution had offered an honorary degree to Richard Dawkins, it's simply inconceivable that it would change its mind after being attacked by Christians.

Everyone involved in this cowardly decision should be ashamed of themselves. As a liberal arts college, it should be a beacon of light. Instead, it has sent a clear message to everyone in the academic community that vigorous criticism of Islam won't be tolerated. [The Telegraph] Read more

'Outstanding' head teacher allegedly targeted by Muslim radicals confirms that she's retiring

Lindsey Clark, the respected executive head of Park View, one of the Birmingham schools targeted in the alleged "Trojan Horse" plot by Muslim radicals, has confirmed that she is to retire. She becomes the fifth non-Muslim headteacher to leave one of the schools linked to the plot over the last six months.

.... As we reported on Sunday, a former department head at Park View, Nigel Sloan, says he witnessed Mr Hussain giving “mind-blowing anti-Western propaganda” assemblies to pupils at the school, including claims that the Americans were “the evil in the world” and “the cause of all famine.” Mr Hussain is now a candidate to replace Mrs Clark. [The Telegraph] Read more

Brandeis withdraws honorary degree for Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A university has reversed a decision to grant an honorary degree to an advocate for Muslim women who has made comments critical of Islam.

Brandeis University said in a statement that Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali would no longer receive the honorary degree, which it had planned to award her at the May 18 commencement.

[A COMMENT] Shame on Brandeis. Hirsi Ali is a great voice for rationality, equality, and progress. An inspiring figure. [The Guardian] Read more

08 April 2014

Iraq ready to legalise childhood marriage

Children in Iraq could be legally married before the age of nine under sweeping legislation tabled on Tuesday that introduces new religious restrictions on women's rights.

As almost its last act before elections at the end of the month, the Iraqi parliament looks likely to pass new marital rules for its majority Shia community with a draft law criticised by human rights activists as "legalised inquality". [The Telegraph] Read more

'Tell Mama' did exaggerate anti-Muslim attacks: PCC rejects all Fiyaz Mughal’s complaints against us

.... Perhaps it helped that we could point out that the day after our first piece, Mughal himself admitted to the BBC that the number of physical attacks was in fact “quite small;” that within two months, he had quietly dropped his own estimate of the number of “Islamophobic incidents” post-Rigby from 193 in the first five days to “more than 120” in the first week; and that the DCLG, by his own admission, had demanded an “independent review” of his data.

Various police officers and DCLG officials, asked by Mughal to support his case against us, conspicuously declined to do so. [The Telegraph] Read more

'Luton on Sunday' newspaper bows to Luton Taliban

.... This is yet another example of Muslim intimidation of the media into conforming to a narrow interpretation of sharia. The advertisement was accepted by the newspaper, and there is no editorial compulsion to endorse the content or message of any such promotion.

Notwithstanding this, Luton on Sunday felt the need to issue an apology for offending "the Muslim community in Luton", as though the offence caused by such a repudiation to the Ahmadiyya community is of no consequence at all, which, of course, it isn't. [Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

Sharia wills furore missed the point

.... Of more concern than the mainstream media reaction is the possibility that some women from Islamic communities may be dissuaded from making claims under the Inheritance Act. That would be very unfortunate.

Raising awareness of people’s rights in this area would be a better focus than creating uproar about a non-issue. The law has not changed. [Solicitors Journal] Read more

07 April 2014

Why does Britain feel so obliged to accommodate for minorities?

The latest nonsense is a plan to bring forward school exams so they don’t clash with the Muslim period of Ramadan.

This involves a month of fasting, which supposedly might affect students’ performance.

There is an alternative proposal to give extra marks or special consideration to Muslims who have to sit exams during Ramadan.

I wonder if Muslim countries go out of their way to cater for other faiths

The Government also wants to start a sharia-compliant student loans system to get around the Islamic ban on charging interest.

This might mean Muslim students pay back less than others. Solicitors have also decided to work with sharia law and courts and councils spend millions on translation.

I wonder if Muslim countries go out of their way to cater for other faiths. Actually, I don’t wonder. [Daily Express] Read more

Pakistani Christian appeals death penalty for blasphemy

A Pakistani Christian who has been convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death is launching an appeal to the Lahore High Court.

Sawan Masih, a 26-year-old father of three, has been in jail for his alleged crime since March 2013. His sentence also requires him to pay a fine of 200,000 Pakistani rupees (£1,229). [Christian Today] Read more

“How to beat your wife”, according to Islam

The shocking video, which I should mention is ”main stream” in many orthodox Muslim countries – first appeared on mimritv.org in 2007 and has since been shared on Youtube and other venues…

It features some brothers discussing the issue of beating their wives on live TV before a conservative Muslim audience.

It is designed as a kind of “open forum discussion among men in Islam on how to deal with your “unruly wife or wives” – which ever the case may be. [GroundReport.com] Read more

Beyond the veil: What happened after Rebekah Dawson refused to take her niqab off in court

.... In the end, Barnes and Dawson opted not to stand trial. They pleaded guilty at separate hearings and were sentenced last month – he to five years and four months in prison, she to 20 months. Barnes, it emerged, had been a member of the banned extremist organisation, al-Muhajaroun, and had taken part in demonstrations demanding Sharia “law”

[A COMMENT] Islam is not a peaceful religion. It was born out of violence and remains violent towards anyone or anything that opposes this political cultural movement. It is not compatible with this country and Muslims are increasingly growing bold and challenging our way of doing things.

As their population grows they will become increasingly emboldened, and the demands will become greater. If you want a snapshot of what the future holds just look at the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets. You have been warned. [The Independent] Read more

06 April 2014

Plans to overhaul GCSE timetable to avoid clash with Ramadan

Proposals to bring forward GCSE and A-level examinations so Muslim pupils aren't fasting for Ramadan during the exam season are to be debated at an education conference this month.

According to the Mail On Sunday, another option to be discussed at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers Union (ATL) conference is holding exams in the morning when fasting pupils are less likely to be hungry.

It has also been suggested that Muslim students who feel their performance has been affected by their fasting could be eligible for extra marks due to 'extenuating circumstances'.

[A COMMENT] .... will always remember the words of a SaudiAirline pilot, a Brit I think, from when I worked in Saudi Arabia in the early 80's. On approaching Riyadh airport he would announce: "We will presently be landing at King Khalid International Airport, please put your watches back 600 years"

[ANOTHER] What the hell is wrong with Britain? Nothing annoys me more than this b.......!!! They would not change a thing for us so when the hell are we pampering to them? You choose to live in Britain, you abide by British laws or get the hell out. [The Telegraph] Read more

'Extremist’ working as psychiatrist for NHS

.... In 2012 he delivered a talk at the Arab Uprising conference, staged by HT in Manchester, in which he urged the adoption of a caliphate form of government, claiming it offered “superior and sophisticated political, economic and social solutions” to contemporary problems.

He has also said: “Ninety nine per cent of Muslim people anywhere in the world want the same thing, a caliphate to rule them.”

[A COMMENT] WHEN will you realise: This Muslim is NOT an extremist. He is a Muslim displaying the exact views as the vast majority of Muslim immigrants in our country.

There's around 4 million Muslim immigrants in England, and I guarantee you will struggle to find ONE of them who disagrees with this Muslims view.

Which begs the question: Why have we allowed them into our country? And more urgently: Why are we allowing them to grow and multiply?

And why have we allowed them to thoroughly infiltrate our politics, police, television and media? And why have we allowed them to literally colonise our cities? [The Telegraph] Read more

05 April 2014

Bid to bring forward GCSEs so Muslim pupils aren't fasting for Ramadan while they take their exams

GCSE and A-level examinations could be brought forward for hundreds of thousands of pupils to avoid a clash with Ramadan under controversial proposals.

Teachers and lecturers in England and Wales are pushing for the summer exam timetable to be altered to help Muslim students who will be fasting when they sit papers.

School exam boards and universities are considering the radical shake-up from 2016, when the religious period of Ramadan clashes with the exam season.

[A COMMENT] Muslims do not have to fast during Ramadan. They can make up for it at another tome of the year. Keep the exams as they are and stop giving special attention to this group.

[ANOTHER] Is there anything else that we can change for them while we're at it? There can't be many things left!!! [Daily Mail] Read more

Muslim parent: Radical school is brainwashing our children

Children at one of the state schools taken over by hardline Muslims are being “programmed” and have been “drilled” by their teachers to lie to Ofsted inspectors investigating the plot, according to a parent.

Mohammed Zabar, the father of a 10-year-old girl attending Oldknow Academy in Birmingham, today becomes the first person to speak openly about events at his daughter’s school.

Mr Zabar, 44, decided to break his silence after The Sunday Telegraph described how teachers at the supposedly secular school led children in anti-Christian chanting, stopped them from celebrating Christmas, organised subsidised trips to Mecca and required all pupils to learn Arabic.

[A COMMENT] .... These stories make me want to weep, and we can all see similar things going on all around us. When I was at school all ethnicities and religions muddled on together, no special treatment, no ostentatiously identifiable religious clothing just children of different ethnicities and religions living in a liberal democracy and getting on with learning. [The Telegraph] Read more

Couple gets death over 'blasphemous' text message

A court in eastern Pakistan has sentenced a Christian couple to death for sending a blasphemous text message insulting to Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), their lawyer said Saturday.

Judge Mian Amir Habib handed the death sentence to Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar in a jail in the town of Toba Tek Singh on Friday, defence lawyer Nadeem Hassan told AFP.

Prosecution department officials confirmed the sentence.

The impoverished couple, who are in their forties, have three children and live in the town of Gojra, which has a history of violence against Christians, Hassan said. [AFP] Read more

04 April 2014

France's far-right to ban faith-based school lunch options

Far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen said on Friday it would prevent schools from offering special lunches to Muslim pupils in the 11 towns it won in local elections, saying such arrangements were contrary to France's secular values.

France's republic has a strict secular tradition enforceable by law, but faith-related demands have risen in recent years, especially from the country's five-million-strong Muslim minority, the largest in Europe.

"We will not accept any religious demands in school menus," Le Pen told RTL radio. "There is no reason for religion to enter the public sphere, that's the law." [Reuters] Read more

Stockton Morrisons warehouse manager claims he gave muslim couple special treatment

The manager who dealt with a Muslim couple who claim to have been unfairly denied holidays over Ramadan told a tribunal that he frequently gave them special treatment.

A tribunal at Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard claims from Donna and Yassin Tunkara, who say they suffered discrimination, harassment, victimisation and constructive dismissal after bosses at the Portrack Lane warehouse of supermarket giant Morrisons, in Stockton, turned down holiday requests for August 2012.

Peter Woodward, giving evidence, said that he had personally dealt with the request for time off to fast during the last two weeks of Ramadan. [GazetteLive] Read more

Lutfur Rahman, council assets and close personal allies: the evidence

At 8 this morning, Government inspectors arrived on the doorstep of Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets Council, with the power to enter any council building, seize any document and speak to any member of staff. A file has also been handed to the police. Computers have been locked down by the inspectors, I am told, and documents removed.

In its letter appointing the inspectors, the Department for Communities and Local Government asked them to pay particular attention to, among other things, “the authority’s payment of grants,” a subject we covered on the blog yesterday, and the “transfer of property to third parties.” That’s what today’s blog is about. [The Telegraph] Read more

Birmingham 'Trojan Horse' plot 'started 20 years ago'

A former teacher at a Birmingham school alleged to be part of an "Islamic takeover plot" says concerns were first raised more than 20 years ago.

Michael White, who was dismissed in 2003 from Park View School, in Alum Rock, said its board of governors was "taken over by a Muslim sect" in 1993.

He said he told the local education authority (LEA) but his claims were not investigated.

Tahir Alam, chair of governors at Park View, denied Mr White's claims. [BBC] Read more

Far right mayors may insist on pork in school cafeterias

France’s newly elected far-right mayors will re-instate school cafeteria menus featuring pork in the cities they govern, the National Front party’s leader, Marine Le Pen, announced on Friday.

Most French public schools offer an option with no pork for Muslim and Jewish students who follow their religions’ dietary restrictions.

“We will not except any religious requirements when it comes to school cafeteria menus,” Le Pen declared on French radio network RTL, in response to a question about the measures the National Front would implement in the cities they won in last week’s municipal elections. “There is absolutely no reason for religion to enter into the public sphere; that’s the law.” [FRANCE 24] Read more

03 April 2014

UK: Our New Sharia Law

.... The strangest thing of all about this is not the slow erosion of the principle of one law for all. It is not even the offering up of an increasing number of parts of British life to an extremist ideology. It is the ease with which it is all done. "This is not chopping off hands," Sharia's defenders say, scoffingly. "It is not chopping off heads or lashing people," they continue.

Some people already complain that critics of Sharia are giving Sharia as a whole a bad name, lumping in the "bad" Sharia with the "good" Sharia. In reality, of course, Sharia law, officially adopted just this week by Brunei, apparently complete with amputations and stoning, is not compatible with law as we have been practicing it for over 2000 years in the West.

The short-term political gains for the political leaders who support it hardly seem worth the long-term losses that will befall our society if we continue incorporating this system of law into our national life. If we are indeed seeing the beginning of this process, we are far from seeing what lies at the end of it. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Birmingham Muslim school probe 'glacial', MP Byrne says

An investigation into an alleged plot by Muslim hard-liners to take control of several schools in Birmingham must report immediately, an MP has demanded.

Claims that 12 schools in the city have been targeted are being investigated by the Department for Education and Birmingham City Council.

Ofsted revealed on Wednesday that inspectors were visiting two schools.

Labour's Liam Byrne told Radio 4's Today programme the Ofsted probe had been a "glacial process".

Mr Byrne's Hodge Hill constituency includes one of the schools named as part of the alleged plot - Park View Academy.

He said "We just need the truth on the table now." [BBC] Read more

The British Muslim is truly one among us – and proud to be so

.... The integration of Muslims can now be seen as one of the great success stories of modern Britain. While the Dutch and the French have huge troubles with integration, and are caught in agonised struggles about their national identities, Britain is marked out by the trouble that we are not having. Dig a little deeper, and the real story is the striking amount of harmony.

[A COMMENT] Yes, a Mosque coming to your patch soon, over 1500 and rising. They look so at home glittering in the English countryside. The next task is to build 1500 Christian Churches in Saudi Arabia, anyone up for it. Should be easy, it was easy here. [The Telegraph] Read more