30 September 2014

Why is Theresa May pretending that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’?

.... But it is just so sickening. So boringly, tediously, repetitively sickening, to keep watching this parade of Tory politicians reading out passages from the Quran to explain to the British public why Isis are wrong.

We don’t need them to do this. We just need them to uphold the laws of the land, our principles and traditions.

The waters they are leading us into are murkier than they can possibly imagine. But ignoring the violent traditions of Islam only benefits – as I have also said many times – those Muslim extremists who are enraged that a British Home Secretary should be presuming to tell them what they should or should not believe.

And it also benefits the growing number of non-Muslim members of the public who wonder why there is such an appalling effort to cover up what anybody who opens any Islamic holy text can tell straight away.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] I believe Sam Harris has a theory that the lying about Islam - the discourse about Religion of Peace etc - is because our leaders believe that if they say it often enough they can make it so.

That the young Muslim teenager in Tower Hamlets or Birmingham might actually grow to believe May, or Cameron, or Obama, over the Iman in their local mosque of their older Jihadists brothers. Of course this is an insane strategy.

The incessant lying about Islam serves only to poison public discourse and make all of us non-Muslims think that the world had gone utterly mad. Any politician that comes out with the Religion of Peace trope should be considered a traitor. [The Spectator] Read more

29 September 2014

KFC say ban on hand wipes at a Leicester outlet was a 'misunderstanding'

Fast food giant KFC has admitted that a ban on alcohol-based hand wipes in a Leicester branch was a ‘misunderstanding’.

Bosses at the international chain have apologised after a customer who visited an outlet in St George’s retail park was refused a hand wipe because staff said it was against the company’s Halal policy.

Staff said this was because the wipes are soaked in an alcohol-infused liquid and alcohol is forbidden in the Muslim Holy book, the Quran.

However, KFC has now said this was not the case in any of their restaurants. [Leicester Mercury] Read more

Blasphemy laws are deadly serious – we must stand up for Mohammed Asghar

A 70-year-old Briton suffering from paranoid schizophrenia is facing a death sentence in Pakistan. This is no joke

t is part of my job description to be offensive. I can, if I wish, make a joke hoping that Alex Salmond, now he is at the end of his political life, lays 20,000 fish eggs and dies. I can make a joke pointing out that David Cameron told off Sri Lanka for human rights abuses committed with weapons Britain sold it – like Ronald McDonald calling you a fat bastard.

The most I risk from saying such things is alienating a stranger. The same cannot be said of Mohammed Asghar. He is 70, and suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

[A TOP RATED COMMENT 460 votes] "If we don’t protest against the sentence faced by the mentally-ill Briton we condone killing people for what they say, says Frankie Boyle"

Yes indeed and things in Pakistan are awful.

But don't let us pretend it cannot happen here: it can and it has.

For what Rushdie said, a few lines in a book, we had thousands in the streets openly inciting his murder and, in an appalling failure to apply law and order for this serious criminality, there were no prosecutions.

Hell, one guy who said that death was too good for Rushdie was given a knighthood. Just a tiny minority having these attitudes? Absolutely not!!!

In a poll at the time 30% of UK Muslims agreed with the proposal that the Fatwa should be enacted.

[ANOTHER 339v] Islam may excuse the insane from punishment on blasphemy charges but it's the sane blasphemers we need to worry about as well. They are not protected in Islam.

68% of adherants to a particular religion in the UK support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam according to NOP Research. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Islam in the Rear-View Mirror

Broadly speaking, the struggle within Islam is between Muslims who embrace the values of the modern world in terms of freedom, individual rights, gender equality and democracy on the one side, and Muslims opposing these values and insisting on a Sharia-based legal system on the other. Any Muslim who even questions this version of Islam they refer to as a heretic or, worse, an apostate to be killed.

For Muslims who embrace modernity, Islam is a matter of personal belief, not a political system.

A reformed Islam -- greatly desired and sought after by swelling numbers of Muslims -- cannot succeed without the support of non-Muslims. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Iran executes man for heresy

A 37-year-old man has been executed in Iran after being found guilty of heresy and insulting prophet Jonah, according to human rights activists.

Mohsen Amir-Aslani was arrested nine years ago for his activities which the authorities deemed were heretical. He was engaged in psychotherapy but also led sessions reading and reciting the Qur’an and providing his own interpretations of the Islamic holy book, his family said.

Amir-Aslani was hanged last week for making “innovations in the religion” and “spreading corruption on earth”, but human rights activists said he was a prisoner of conscience who was put to death because of his religious beliefs. He had interpreted Jonah’s story in the Qur’an as a symbolic tale. [The Guardian] Read more

KFC leaves Muslims baffled after branch drops alcohol hand-wipes in halal mix-up

Muslim leaders have voiced bewilderment after a branch of Kentucky Fried Chicken refused to give customers hand-wipes containing alcohol for fear that doing so would cause offence.

The fast food chain blamed a “misunderstanding” at the branch in Leicester, which is part of a trial involving halal chicken, after staff were told not to hand out the wipes in case they were against Islamic law.

Muslim leaders described the move as “bizarre” and warned that even well-meaning decisions could be potentially harmful by creating the impression that the community was making “ridiculous” demands. [The Telegraph] Read more

28 September 2014

‘Trojan Horse 2’ in London

AS MANY as a dozen schools in the east London borough of Tower Hamlets face investigation after claims they have fallen under the influence of Islamic fundamentalists.

According to government sources, officials at the Department for Education (DfE) are concerned that the situation may be worse than that uncovered in the “Trojan Horse” scandal earlier this year, in which Islamic fundamentalists attempted to infiltrate secular schools in Birmingham. Emergency inspections of 21 schools in the city by the schools regulator Ofsted resulted in five schools being placed in special measures.

“Tower Hamlets is expected to be the next Birmingham, but even worse, because the problems surrounding Muslim fundamentalists imposing their views on education seem to be more embedded,” said a senior Whitehall source. [The Times (£)] Read more

27 September 2014

ICLA Calls for More Effective Protection of Muslim Women in the UK

On behalf of International Civil Liberties Alliance I would like to suggest that the United Kingdom consider the immediate implementation of one very practical step in order to ensure the effective protection of Womens’ Rights for one of the most vulnerable part of its population : Muslim women.

The International Civil Liberties Alliance ask for an immediate banning of all Sharia courts in the United Kingdom which deal and give judgments about family matters and private conflicts.

Sharia courts apply sharia rules which are denying equality of Right between men and women and generally disregard any kind of compliance or compatibility with Human Rights. [International Civil Liberties Alliance] Read more

26 September 2014

Stop Denying the Obvious: Islam is a Problem

To defeat IS we should do more than just bomb its strongholds in the Middle East; we should no longer turn a blind eye to the violent nature of Islam.

We should demand that those who settle in our countries cast aside values incompatible with ours. There is a huge problem -- also in our countries - cause by the violent exhortations of Islam. Only when we face this truth will we be able to win this war we are in.

Although the majority of Muslims are moderate, thousands of innocent civilians all over the West have fallen victim to terrorists inspired by Islam. IS has announced that every citizen of the West is a target.

70% of Dutch Muslims consider the religious rules of Islam more important than the secular laws of the country where they are living. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Asian Games: Qatar women's team pull out over hijab ban

The Qatar women's basketball team have withdrawn from the Asian Games in South Korea after being denied permission to wear the hijab during matches.

The players were asked to remove the Islamic head scarf before taking on Mongolia but refused and forfeited.

World basketball regulations list headgear and hair accessories among the items that are prohibited on court.

With no sign that the rule would be relaxed before their next match against Nepal, the team decided to pull out. [BBC] Read more

Opinion: Halal meat sign in Derby store means I will not shop at Tesco again

I WENT into Tescos on Monday, a supermarket in which I rarely shop, and I came out absolutely furious.

As I passed one aisle, there was a large sign over it, in big letters saying Halal meat.

Now, do not think for one minute that I am racist or anti-religious, I am most definitely not, but I am anti-cruelty to animals, and, from my understanding, so are a large number of people.

I am appalled that a large supermarket chain sees fit to promote a product which ensures that animals are not killed in a way that the average person approves of.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] From today I will be going back to Asda for my on line food shopping.

[SECOND] Tesco already boycotted

[THIRD] Sorry to widdle on your fireworks Mr Shaky, but I do not hate all Muslims, just the ones who want to blow everyone up along with themselves

[FOURTH] Tesco cannot put a sign up saying "non-halal meat" because alot of the "normal" meat is also slaughtered in the halal way but sold on to customers as regular meat. It isn't just Tesco that do this either, Sainsburys, Co-op, Asda, Aldi etc, do the same.

[FIFTH] For the record, and to correct a bigot here, I think Kosher slaughter should be outlawed. There you go. I also think Halal slaughter should be outlawed. If you don't want either then buy pork.

Bacon is proof positive that at least two major religions are wrong, for no God worth the name would make something so delicious and then forbid it's consumption. Only a devil could do such a cruel thing. [Derby Telegraph] Read more

25 September 2014

I know the actions of Isis are #NotInMyName, and I won't be pressured to apologise for them

Why do we feel the instinctive compulsion to distance ourselves from Isis’s crimes, when we know we’re not responsible? Let’s look at the root causes of violence instead.

A British charity group has given Muslims an opportunity to participate in a social media campaign declaring that the brutal actions of Isis are “#NotInMyName”. Its intentions are good, but does this latest attempt to encourage Muslims living in western countries to dissociate themselves from Isis entrench the opposite view? Really, the campaign says that Muslims are somehow responsible for the atrocities taking place in Iraq and must speak out against them to prove otherwise.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 208 votes] I don't get it. Nobody is asking you to apologise but at the same time they are committing these acts in the name of your religion and it is up to you to say that's not right.

I applaud the notinmyname campaign, can't really believe you are not for it.

All you are doing is assisting those who are prejudiced to believe you're all in it together.

One of the greatest complaints is that moderate Muslims do not stand up, not to say sorry for what others are doing but to vilify them, tell them they're not speaking for you.

Poor effort quite frankly.

[SECOND 194v] Slightly corrupt article

The people in London who are saying not in my name should be commended...they are aware of the need for a debate both within and outside of Islam

Blaming the west for ISLs toxic interpretation of religion is cheap. Patriachal religions lend themselves to aggressive behaviour towards others.

[THIRD 166v] Not many expect you to apologise, but what many do not understand is that hardly anybody stands up and say that ISIS leaders are following those auras from Koran which are not valid today in 21st century. In fact many are saying that they should follow them but accept views which do not conform with conservative Islam.

I read an article in Guardian yesterday whose author claims that if west did not interfere and attack Arab countries, things will improve. This has nothing to do with west. Killing non Muslims and liberal Muslims is an evil agenda and must stop. [Guardian Cif] Read more

The niqab is no reason to deny a girl an education

A school in Camden has barred a pupil for wearing a veil. This is not how a liberal education should work.

This week, it emerged that a 16-year-old girl has been barred from an outstanding London state school because she insists on wearing the niqab, or full-face covering. Camden School for Girls is famous for turning out strong-minded young women but says it can’t teach this one due to an established policy of challenging “inappropriate dress which offends public decency or which does not allow teacher-student interactions”. Hundreds have already signed a petition protesting that what you wear “does not affect anyone else”.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 2068 votes] No-one is denying her an education. She is being asked to abide by a dress-code which applies to all students, to aid identification and allow communication.

Why should she be exempted?

[SECOND 1279v] The full face veil is a political statement, not a religious one.

[THIRD 1172v] "the school is stupid" No, the school is quite sensible. It expects pupils to abide by its dress-code. A stupid school would pander to people like you and her.

[FOURTH 1023v] A Niqab has no place in a liberal education system, there should be no masks within equality.

[FIFTH 933v] The full face covering has no place in a modern secular society.

[SIXTH 848v] "A school in Camden has barred a pupil for wearing a veil." Not quite. The school barred her after she repeatedly disobeyed school rules which prohibit inappropriate dress that does not allow teacher-student interaction.

Seems perfectly reasonable. I assume if she and her parents decide she is able to obey the rules, she can continue her education. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Women’s Rights Activist Executed by ISIS in Iraq

An Iraqi lawyer known for her work promoting women’s rights has been killed by Islamic State fighters, the head of the United Nations human rights office said on Thursday, continuing a pattern of attacks on professional women.

The lawyer, Sameera Salih Ali al-Nuaimy, was seized from her home by Islamic State fighters last week and tortured for several days before a masked firing squad executed her in public on Monday, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, the United Nations human rights commissioner, said in a statement.

Ms. Nuaimy had posted comments on her Facebook page condemning the “barbaric” bombing and destroying of mosques and shrines in Mosul, a northern Iraqi city, by the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS or ISIL. [The New York Times] Read more

ISIS kill women's right activist for 'apostasy' when she criticised them on Facebook for being religious bigots

ISIS terrorists have publicly executed a human rights lawyer in the Iraqi city of Mosul after she criticised the group on Facebook for destroying religious monuments.

Samira Salih al-Nuaimi was seized from her home on September 17 shortly after she allegedly posted messages on Facebook that were critical of the militants' destruction of religious sites in the city.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, al-Nuaimi was tried in a Sharia law court for apostasy, before being tortured for five days and eventually being sentenced to public execution. [Daily Mail] Read more

Isis publicly executes leading lawyer and human rights activist in Iraq

Isis militants have publically executed Samira Salih al-Nuaimi, a leading lawyer and human rights activist, who the terror group claimed that had abandoned Islam.

Al-Nuaimi was kidnapped by Isis (also known as Islamic State) on 17 September after she allegedly criticised the militant group’s destruction of places of worship in Mosul, Iraq, since it had taken control of the city, in comments posted on Facebook.

She was then kidnapped from her home by a group of masked men and tried in a self-styled Sharia court for apostasy, which for the militants is considered to be an act of abandoning Islam by converting to another faith, or by committing actions that are against the Muslim faith. [The Independent] Read more

24 September 2014

Muslim girl banned for wearing niqab quits school as she is 'too hurt to ever go back'

The Muslim teenager barred from one of London’s top state schools for wearing a full-face veil today said she was too “upset, hurt and angry” to ever go back.

The 16-year-old went home in tears after being told by Camden School for Girls that the face-covering niqab was not acceptable.

Today the girl, who the Standard is not naming, said she had decided to quit the school for good and is now studying for her A-levels at a sixth form college that allows her to wear the veil. [Evening Standard] Read more

Labor Court: Institutions can ban Muslim attire at work

The Federal Labor Court in Erfurt, eastern Germany, ruled on Wednesday that church institutions are permitted to ban the wearing of the Muslim hijab headscarf at work if they see it necessary.

The court spokesperson said that employees of a church establishment are obliged to remain at least neutral towards the Christian faith. This new ruling consequently includes the headscarf which is worn by many Muslim women around the world.

The decision comes after a Turkish-born nurse was told that she was not permitted to wear her hijab at work and took the hospital to court to seek compensation. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

German court: church facilities can ban headscarf

A German federal court has ruled that church-run institutions are within their rights to refuse to allow Muslim employees to wear headscarves at work.

The Federal Labor Court ruled Wednesday on a case brought by a former nurse at a Protestant church-linked hospital.

In 2010, the woman offered to return to work after maternity and sickness leave totaling four years and said she wanted to wear her headscarf at work. The hospital said no, and the woman went to court to seek compensation. [Associated Press] Read more

The Men with Many Wives: the British Muslims who practise polygamy

It is estimated that as many as 20,000 polygamous Muslim marriages exist in the UK. In a Channel 4 documentary this week, director Masood Khan will delve into the community of British Muslim polygamists to find out “what makes these people tick” and how a religious group is able to put its own practices above UK law.

Khan was drawn to the subject after hearing about women in Britain – mostly well-educated, third- or fourth-generation immigrants or Western converts – who were considering polygamy a “lifestyle choice”, embracing the idea of the part-time husband. [The Telegraph] Read more

The Men with Many Wives, review: 'deft and fascinating'

It’s the day of Hasan’s wedding. He’s cheerily sorting the last-minute details, including the menu (chicken, isn’t it always?) and the guest list, and now he’s off to the ceremony. “By the time I get back, inshallah, I’ll be happily married,” he beams, before hastily correcting himself. “I already am happily married!” Oops. You have to be careful what you say when you already have two wives.

Think of polygamy and Mormons come to mind, but The Men with Many Wives (Channel 4) claimed the practice is thriving in Britain’s Muslim community. The programme estimated there are as many as 20,000 polygamous marriages in this country, unrecognised by the British courts but permitted under Sharia law.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] One assumes that Hassan and his collection of wives and offspring are living at the expense of the British Taxpayer.

[SECOND] How else do they live? Parasites: I'm sorry if that offends but it's certainly not symbiotic.

[THIRD] "Then he was asked why he required all three wives to take the veil. “Some people, they put those sheets over their cars. They cover their valuables. In a similar way, my wife being covered is protection.”

You mean to say they don't feel "empowered" as the Guardian (of Islam) would have us believe? Looks like the French were right all along when they said it undermined female emancipation in France. But, of course, us Brits are being taken for a ride as we're too nice.

[FOURTH] No wonder they are queuing at Calais to get in. Wives galore, free housing, benefits, kids galore child allowance! Parasites. Please stop calling them British.

[FIFTH] I think these program makers are somewhat confused, there is no such thing as polygamy in the UK only bigamy and that is a criminal offence.

If these people are practising it and not being prosecuted it is clear that this is yet another law / convention applying to all UK citizens from which Muslims are apparently exempt and that is a matter that should concern every non muslim citizen in the UK.

You know your MP get onto him or her and ask some questions people. [The Telegraph] Read more

Parents make children wear ‘halal only’ signs after school serves wrong food

Three children from a Muslim family have been sent to school with ‘Halal only’ signs stuck to their chests after they were served non-halal food.

Talib Hussain claims that his children were served the food on at least six occasions and the school has now been forced to apologise.

Woodside Academy in Bradford, West Yorkshire, has said it is sorry for the mistake which Mr Hussain says amounts to negligence. [Metro.co.uk] Read more

Dr Muhammad Shakeel Auj: Islamic scholar murdered in Pakistan due to his liberal views

While he largely adhered to Muslim orthodoxy, Shakil Auj, a distinguished scholar of Islamic studies, was criticised by many in Pakistan for some relatively liberal views.

It appears as though he may have paid for those views with his life. Auj was on his way to a reception at the Iranian Cultural Centre in Karachi when assassins struck. Two as yet unidentified men pulled up on a motorcycle beside the vehicle that was carrying Auj and his friends.

Two bullets struck the professor, killing him instantly, while a third wounded one of his former doctoral students. [The Independent] Read more

23 September 2014

It is one struggle

Tony Blair may be a divisive figure - many can't seem to even utter the name without the kind of sneer that used to be reserved for Margaret Thatcher - but his long essay The Way Ahead is well worth a read. This section struck me:

"[W]hat is happening in Syria, Iraq, and across the Middle East; and what is happening in Pakistan, Nigeria, Mali, or in parts of Russia or in the Xinjiang province of China or in multiple other parts of the globe, are linked.

They form different parts of one struggle. They all have their individual aspects. They all have unique dimensions. It would be odd if it weren't so. But they have one huge and central element in common: extremism based on an interpretation of Islam which represents a clear ideology that, even if loosely at times, is shared by all these different groups of extremists."

[A COMMENT] .... its a transnational entity, which is supported by many Muslims in the west. You can't bomb their recruits here in Birmingham. You can't fight Islamism without fighting Islam, since Islamism is simply a variety of Islam.

We should be fighting Islam every day, here, by challenging its tenets, ridiculing it, and not regarding it as immune to criticism, but most importantly, by ensuring that no children can avoid exposure to alternative explanations of the world. [Mick Hartley] Read more

Camden school bans Muslim teenager from taking A-levels because she wears the niqab

A Muslim teenager has been barred from starting her A-levels at one of London’s top state schools because she wears a full-face veil.

The 16-year-old, who has studied at Camden School for Girls for five years, decided to wear the traditional Islamic niqab to cover her hair and face when she returned this month to start in the sixth form.

But the north London school is refusing to allow the girl to begin her A levels if she insists on wearing the veil.

Although the school, whose alumni include campaigner Sarah Brown, the wife of former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and actress Emma Thompson, has no uniform, it says the niqab goes against an appearance policy. [Evening Standard] Read more

Test on halal meat destroys argument for ritual slaughter of animals

Halal and kosher meat has been placed under the microscope to undermine one of the key arguments for religious slaughter.

Observant Muslims and Jews, who are forbidden by their religions from consuming blood, believe that an animal’s throat must be cut when it is conscious. Yet scientists comparing meat from cattle that were humanely stunned with samples from unstunned animals found no difference in the retention of red blood cells. [The Times (£)] Read more

Government donation to Muslim Charities Forum denounced as "madness"

A government department donated £18,000 to a charity coalition with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a group whose activities Britain has vowed to curtail following concerns over their extremist links in the Middle East, it has been claimed.

Last week the Telegraph revealed that the government was set to impose curbs on Muslim Brotherhood-linked organisations after a report by a senior diplomat exposed its ties with Islamist armed groups in Middle East and elsewhere. [The Telegraph] Read more

22 September 2014

Mother claims a niqab-wearing school bus driver poses a safety risk

A Toronto mother claims a niqab-wearing school bus driver poses a safety risk because she’s not easily identifiable.

Stacy Joseph says she doesn’t think the niqab, a veil that some women in the Muslim community choose to wear to cover their faces, should be worn while driving her seven-year-old son or her four-year-old boy who has special needs.

“As a parent I’m concerned that I don’t know who is driving them,” Joseph told CityNews. “I know the other bus drivers, I know them by face, I know them by name so I can easily identify them.”

She says this is not about any particular person or religion, it’s about the safety of her children. [680News] Read more

Coming Soon in Aceh: Shariah Law for Non-Muslims

.... Citing the need to end discrimination, Aceh lawmakers plan to pass a bylaw this week that would impose a Shariah-based criminal code on both Muslims and non-Muslims, with offenders facing lengthy caning sessions or jail terms for acts that are legal elsewhere in Indonesia.

Moharriadi Syafari, the secretary of Commission G of the Aceh Legislative Council (DPRA), which oversees religious affairs, culture and tourism, said the council planned to pass the bylaw during its plenary session this week.

A draft of the local criminal code known as Qanun Jinayat, obtained by the Jakarta Globe includes a clause that stipulates that a non-Muslim caught violating Shariah would be given the option of being tried at a Shariah court or at a regular court, based on the national criminal code.

However, if the act is considered a crime under Shariah but not under the national criminal code, even non-Muslim violators would be tried based on the regulations stipulated in the Qanun Jinayat. [The Jakarta Globe] Read more

21 September 2014

Birmingham faces changes with more Muslim children than Christian

The figures show the number of Muslim children in Birmingham is greater than the number who are Christian for the first time, showing the city's demographic shift.

High birth rates and the rise of atheism are behind new statistics showing children in Birmingham are now more likely to be Muslim than Christian, an expert has claimed.

The changing religious beliefs of youngsters in the city has been revealed by data taken from the 2011 census, which has only just been released.

The figures show the number of Muslim children in Birmingham is greater than the number who are Christian for the first time, showing the city’s demographic shift.

Of Birmingham’s 278,623 children, 97,099 were registered as Muslim and 93,828 as Christian in the last census. [Birmingham Post] Read more

Cabinet rift over plan to teach Jesus to Muslims: Education Secretary's proposals drawn up in wake of 'Trojan Horse' plot leads to clash at top of Government

An extraordinary Cabinet row has broken out over plans by Ministers to force Muslim schools to teach pupils about Christianity.

The move by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is intended to stop Islamic extremists from ‘brainwashing’ children. But it has led to a clash at the top of Government, with Home Secretary Theresa May lining up with Mrs Morgan against Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.

Mrs Morgan drew up the proposals in the wake of the ‘Trojan Horse’ plot by radical Muslims to take over schools in Birmingham, which led to the Government rushing in new measures to compel schools to teach ‘British values’ of tolerance.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 461 votes] why not they are in UK i suppose..christian country...so why not...if they don't like...bye..bye

[SECOND 311v] Either NO religion should be taught in schools (as in France) or ALL religions should be taught equally. This is absolutely vital if we are to have an harmonious society in the future. It might have been fine in the past for different church schools to teach predominantly their own beliefs, but with such a diversive religion as is/lam - which in many ways is diametrically opposed to western beliefs - allowing these schools to become the 'norm' will cause horrendous problems in the future. We need to think about the type of society we are leaving our grandchildren.

[THIRD 255v] Why teach any religion? surely our children would be far better off if all that wasted time was use to teach them facts not fantasies. [Daily Mail] Read more

19 September 2014

British Muslims shouldn’t feel obliged to speak out against Isis atrocities

In Europe, Britain leads the way in religious tolerance. But that could easily change – and prejudice seems to grow by the day.

“All Muslims out of the UK!” This was the welcome note that greeted my brother, sticky-taped to the front door of his new home in south-east London. It is just one among many incidents that take place across the country daily, some of which are reported to the Tell Mama (Measuring Anti Muslim Attacks) project. In June it received notice of 56 instances of anti-Muslim prejudice, both online and offline – a noticeable spike that was caused, they believe, by the Rotherham abuse scandal.

Tell Mama has recorded more than 2,040 reports of religious hatred since its inception in 2012, including arson attacks on mosques and violence towards Muslim women.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 958 votes] No they shouldn't be obliged to make their position clear. But then no one else is then obliged to believe that there isn't a high degree of tacit support either.

Muslims are absolutely entitled to not make their position clear on these or any other matters. And other people are absolutely entitled to draw their owm conclusions

[SECOND 696v] "But expecting Muslims to constantly be engaged in a rhetoric of apology is absurd."

No, we're not expecting constant engagement, just the bare minimum of engagement. Please edit your article to remove your accusation of this expectation being a form of "Islamophobia'' - that is an extremely offensive statement.

''integration is not the issue here. It is bigotry and prejudice''

??? Bigotry and prejudice can only occur as a lack of integration. The Muslim community can begin the integration process by embracing one of the key values that Britishness has at its core: freedom of speech. It is unthinkable to me that you would expect integration to come from one direction only, and this is the problem people have.

You say: ''it makes no sense to expect Muslims to apologise for crimes they played no part in''. Of course not. But if you identify as Muslim and British and Isis is comprised of Muslims who have a problem with the British, don't you think you would be very well-placed, not to apologise for the crimes, but to act as a mouthpiece for your fellow British citizens?

'' I still firmly believe Britain is leading the way in Europe in its religious tolerance and inclusivity''

Disingenuous ending as you very, very clearly don't.

[THIRD 644v] The notion that Muslims should feel some form of collective guilt....

In a poll shortly after the horrendous London terror attacks of 7/7, 25% of young Muslims expressed support for the terrorists.

If I were a devotee of the same religion as ISIL, who commit such barbaric attacks on innocents, I would be doing everything in my power to condemn them and dissociate myself from them.

Why the silence?

[FOURTH 584v] It's pretty easy though. All they have to say is ''this is wrong, we are firmly against this''. Why so silent?

[FIFTH 484v] Yes you should. You define yourself by your religion, so if people are claiming they are killing people to further the cause of that religion, you need to step up and say they are not. That's not the same as accepting responsibility for what other Muslims are doing.

If you consider yourself part of society, you should stand up and defend your society.

Look at what happens when people don't take a stance against racism, homophobia and poverty. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Muslim leaders lash out at Jacqui Lambie and Cory Bernardi

Muslim leaders say Cory Bernardi and Jacqui Lambie are assisting the Islamic State to recruit potential terrorists in Australia with their "divisive and inflammatory" statements on burqas and sharia.

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott lauded Muslim arrivals who wanted to "join us, not change us", the maverick Liberal and Palmer United Party senators both issued calls to "ban the burqa" under the cover of Thursday's anti-terrorism raids.

Senator Lambie this week told adherents of sharia to "pack their bags" and get out of Australia. [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more

18 September 2014

The Barbarians Within Our Gates - Arab civilization has collapsed. It won’t recover in my lifetime

.... The Islamic State, like al Qaeda, is the tumorous creation of an ailing Arab body politic. Its roots run deep in the badlands of a tormented Arab world that seems to be slouching aimlessly through the darkness.

It took the Arabs decades and generations to reach this nadir. It will take us a long time to recover—it certainly won’t happen in my lifetime. My generation of Arabs was told by both the Arab nationalists and the Islamists that we should man the proverbial ramparts to defend the “Arab World” against the numerous barbarians (imperialists, Zionists, Soviets) massing at the gates.

Little did we know that the barbarians were already inside the gates, that they spoke our language and were already very well entrenched in the city. [POLITICO] Read more

Women's groups slam 'discriminatory' UK advice on sharia wills

Women's rights activists have accused the professional body representing lawyers in England and Wales of endorsing discrimination against women by refusing to withdraw its guidance on sharia wills.

The Law Society issued its guidance on ensuring that wills drawn up for Muslims comply with sharia in March, drawing criticism in the local press that it was effectively enshrining Islamic law in the British legal system for the first time.

In an open letter published on Thursday campaigners said the guidance, "a source of immense concern," encourages legal services "to accommodate highly gender discriminatory religious laws that are being increasingly defined by religious fundamentalists in our society". [Reuters] Read more

Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death

A blogger in ‘poor psychological condition’ has been sentenced to death after being found guilty of insulting the Prophet Mohammad on Facebook.

.... Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states insulting the Prophet carries a punishment of death, however, article 264 of the Penal Code says if a suspect claims to have said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes.

The anonymous source claims: “Unfortunately, despite this Article and the explanations provided, the judges issued the death sentence.

“They didn’t even take any notice of Soheil’s statements in court in which he repeated several times that he wrote the posts under poor [psychological] conditions, and that he is remorseful.” [The Independent] Read more

Iranians behind Tehran version of 'Happy' sentenced to six months in prison and 91 lashes

A group of seven Iranian men and women who created and starred in their own version of a video for Pharrell Williams’ song ‘Happy’ have each been given suspended sentences of prison time and 91 lashes.

The fun-loving friends were arrested in May after posting their homemade music video ‘Happy in Tehran’ to YouTube.

They were forced to publicly confess and apologise on national television before being released on bail, with police chief Hossein Sajedinia warning others that the video was “a vulgar clip” which “hurt public chastity”. [The Independent] Read more

Liberal professor of Islam shot dead in Pakistan

A professor of Islam known for his liberal religious views has been shot dead in the Pakistani port city of Karachi.

Mohammad Shakil Auj, 54, dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi, was on his way to an Iranian cultural centre to which he had been invited as a guest of honour.

.... Auj, a recipient of a presidential medal of distinction, was known for his unorthodox views and was fighting a court case against his predecessor whom he had accused of circulating a text message that called him an apostate. [The Guardian] Read more

17 September 2014

Islam and the "Killing of Innocents"

.... The Qur'an contains many peaceful and tolerant verses, and these could well be used to create a genuine reformation -- something several genuine reformers have tried to do. But there is a catch.

All these moderate verses were written in the early phase of Muhammad's career, when he lived in Mecca and had apparently decided to allure people. When he moved to Medina in 622, everything changed.

He was soon a religious, political and military leader. During the next ten years, as his religious overtures were sometimes not welcomed, the peaceful verses gave way to the jihad verses and the intolerant diatribes against Jews, Christians and pagans.

Almost all books of tafsir take for granted that the later verses abrogate the early ones. This means that the verses preaching love for all are no longer applicable, except with regard to one's fellow Muslims. The verses that teach jihad, submission and related doctrines still form the basis for the approach of many Muslims to non-believers. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

16 September 2014

Death Sentence for “Insulting the Prophet” on Facebook

A blogger found guilty of insulting the Prophet Mohammad in his postings on Facebook has been sentenced to death. An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the blogger, Soheil Arabi, will be able to appeal the decision until September 20, 2014.

Agents from the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Sarallah Base arrested Soheil Arabi, 30, and his wife in November 2013. Arabi’s wife was released a few hours later, but he was kept in solitary confinement for two months inside IRGC’s Ward 2-A at Evin Prison, before he was transferred to Evin’s General Ward 350. Branch 76 of the Tehran Criminal Court, under Judge Khorasani, found Arabi guilty of “sabb al-nabi” (insulting the Prophet), on August 30, 2014. [International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran] Read more

Muslim academic gets death threats over women and gay-friendly mosque

A Muslim academic is vowing to push ahead with the launch of his woman and gay-friendly mosque in South Africa, despite receiving death threats.

Taj Hargey, director of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, a group of "forward thinking" Muslims, said his Open Mosque will welcome all genders, religions and sexual orientations when it opens in Wynberg, a Cape Town suburb, on Friday.

"You enter the mosque, do I ask you the question who did you sleep with last night? No. It's not my business who you slept with," said Mr Hargey, a native of Cape Town. [The Telegraph] Read more

Saudi human rights activist fined for driving herself to the hospital

A female member of Saudi Arabia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has reportedly been fined for driving herself to the hospital.

When police pulled her over, Aliyah Al Farid said she had a medical emergency and there was no one available to drive her to the hospital so she took her husband’s car. [ArabianBusiness.com] Read more

15 September 2014

Like it or not, Isis are Muslims. Calling them ‘monsters’ lets us off the hook

There are various pieties that politicians observe in the wake of some barbarity committed by Islamic fundamentalists and duly David Cameron observed them in his statement yesterday about the murder of David Haines. Of the perpetrators, he observed:

"They are killing and slaughtering thousands of people – Christians, Muslims, minorities across Iraq and Syria. They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters."

I really wish he wouldn’t. It doesn’t add anything whatever to our understanding of Isis to say that they are not Muslims but monsters. They may not be our preferred kind of Muslims – my own preference is for the C of E sort you used to get in the former Yugoslavia – but they are, unquestionably Muslims of a particularly unattractive stamp. Calling them monsters is an impolite way of abnegating any effort to understand them. [The Spectator] Read more

Daily Mail fact check: Christian children outnumber Muslim children by 6:1

.... We've had a look at the statistics - from the 2011 Census - and before you ask, they are accurate. But they could do with some contextualisation.

For one, you could say the Daily Mail has cherry-picked the councils which present a higher percentage of Muslims kids than Christian kids. In fact, there's only seven of these across England and Wales.

The Daily Mail doesn't seem as concerned about the fact that "traditional religious beliefs" are facing another threat: atheism!

There is indeed a growing proportion of families who say they have no religion, with 21 local authorities having a higher proportion of atheist children than children registered as Christian.

Don't get us wrong: the number of Muslims in the country is growing, from 3% of the population in 2001 to 4.8% in 2011.

But in the same period of time, the proportion of atheists rose from 14.8% to 25.1%. [Mirror Online] Read more

The changing face of Britain: A child in Birmingham is now more likely to be a Muslim than Christian

There are more Muslim children than Christian growing up in Birmingham, figures show.

The latest statistics, extracted from the 2011 Census, give an insight into the fast pace of demographic change across Britain.

They pinpoint several parts of the country where traditional religious beliefs are being eclipsed for the first time.

In England’s second city of Birmingham, of 278,623 youngsters, 97,099 were registered as Muslim compared with 93,828 as Christian. The rest were of other faiths such as Hindu or Jewish, or none.

A similar trend has emerged in the cities of Bradford and Leicester, the towns of Luton, in Bedfordshire, and Slough in Berkshire, as well as the London boroughs Newham, Redbridge and Tower Hamlets, where nearly two-thirds of children are Islamic. [Daily Mail] Read more

14 September 2014

Governor with 'Trojan horse' links to open new free school

Assad Hamed was the chair-man of governors at Moseley School when headteacher Dave Peck was ousted by a small group of Muslim governors in 2008.

Now he is involved in plans to open the Ittihad Free School in Sparkbrook in Birmingham.

Mr Hamed, who also served on the governing body of Al-Hijrah School, which is being investigated by Birmingham City Council, is among a group of 13 “trustees and governors” listed as members of the “Ittihad Free School Team”.

The proposed school’s website claims the “Muslim faith designated free school” will open in September 2015 and its Facebook page suggests it is in the process of submitting a funding application to the Department for Education. [Daily Express] Read more

Saudi anti-Christian sweep prompts calls for US involvement

Some 28 people were rounded up Friday by hard-line Islamists from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in the home of an Indian national in the eastern Saudi city of Khafji, and their current situation is unknown, according to human rights advocates.

"Saudi Arabia is continuing the religious cleansing that has always been its official policy," Nina Shea, director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, told FoxNews.com.

"It is the only nation state in the world with the official policy of banning all churches. This is enforced even though there are over 2 million Christian foreign workers in that country. Those victimized are typically poor, from Asian and African countries with weak governments." [FoxNews.com] Read more

13 September 2014

'Islamic State' is a slur on our faith, say leading Muslims

Imams call on David Cameron and others to stop using phrase which they say gives credibility to a terrorist organisation.

The prime minister and media should stop legitimising the terror group rampaging through Syria and Iraq by describing it as Islamic State, according to a coalition of imams and organisations representing British Muslims. Use of the jihadis' preferred title, they argue, gives credibility to the Sunni militants and slurs the Islamic faith.

Signatories to a letter to David Cameron, including Sughra Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Britain, admit that UK Muslims need to do more to dissuade their young men from being misled into taking part in the group's "hatred and poison". "We shall take every opportunity to continue to say clearly and loudly 'not in our name' and 'not for our faith,' " they write.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 310 votes] So get on the streets and protest against the Daesh (IS) like you all did with the Salman Rushdie affair or the Danish cartoons controversy.

[SECOND 302v] So, finally, the Faith's alleged opinion-formers get upset enough to come together and publicly condemn evil members of their Faith! Even now it's because their Religious name is being subverted!

Where were their collective voices of outrage until 'ISIS' got the publicity? After all, the Sunni, Shi'a bloody slaughter across the Mid East, Africa and Europe and with it the ever rising threat to liberal-Democratic values has been going on for over a decade!

Such a pity these eminent Imams and community leaders were stunningly silent for the best part of the last 12+ years - - far too little too late.

[THIRD 243v] I think this presents a particular challenge to the Muslim community. How can it be that a cartoon about the prophet can draw outrage and bring thousands onto the streets, while mass murder in name of Allah gets a letter about the semantic implications of the use of the word 'Islamic'?

The problem is not with the misappropriation of Islamic identity through the misuse of a label, but the perversion of Islam and basic humanity by these psychopaths.

Muslims may be angry, but they not angry enough and should direct their anger and irritation towards those who are truly responsible for this misrepresentation.

[FOURTH 241v] Protest in the streets in their millions about cartoons. No response to beheadings of peaceful people other than more demands.

[FIFTH 227v] Ask a Muslim what he thinks of the 10-year slaughter in Iraq and no doubt he'll blame the West. Muslims killing Muslims backed by Muslims in other states is somehow entirely the West's fault.

This country will continue to have a problem with Islam for as long as such perverse thinking is regarded. [The Guardian] Read more

Teacher suspended over alleged comment about Muslim student's headscarf at Sunning Hill Primary School in Daubhill

A TEACHER has been suspended after she allegedly made a comment about a Muslim student’s headscarf.

Parents complained to police and Bolton Council following the alleged incident at Sunning Hill Primary School, Daubhill, on Wednesday.

It is claimed a girl at the school was fidgeting with her headscarf and the teacher involved was heard to say: “If she was in my class I would chuck the scarf in the bin.”

The woman is alleged to have made the comments about the traditional female Muslim head dress in earshot of several pupils.

Bolton Council said the teacher had been suspended pending an investigation. [The Bolton News] Read more

12 September 2014

London children as young as ten being 'trained to be junior jihadis,' warns Deputy Mayor, as extent of extremist threat in the capital is revealed

London children under the age of ten are being “trained to be junior jihadis” in a disturbing new sign of the growing extremist threat in the capital, City Hall’s policing supremo warned today.

Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh said that the way some children were being radicalised was “horrendous” as he revealed that both he and Boris Johnson have been briefed on cases in which primary pupils have been subjected to propaganda and “extremist ideology” by their families. [Evening Standard] Read more

'Shariah Police' ditch vests and change name

Meanwhile, the Salafist group which made headlines across Germany when they published photos of themselves in uniform as the 'Shariah Police' announced that they plan to rebrand themselves as 'Pro Halal'.

The group, organized around well-known preacher and German convert to Salafism Sven Lau, will patrol the streets without the official-seeming 'Shariah Police' uniforms which stoked anger among politicians and the public. [The Local] Read more

11 September 2014

Fred Nile moves to ban the burqa in NSW

Christian Democratic Party leader the Rev Fred Nile is again trying to ban the wearing of the burqa in NSW.

Mr Nile's private members bill, introduced in state parliament on Thursday, would prohibit the wearing of the burqa and other face coverings in public.

It follows similar bans in Belgium and France and comes after his failed attempt at blacklisting face coverings in 2010.

Mr Nile denies the bill is anti-Muslim, saying his concern lies with national security. [Sky News] Read more

10 September 2014

Muslim students will be offered sharia-friendly student loans by government in bid to get more Islamic pupils to go to university

Muslim students are to be offered Sharia-compliant interest free loans by the government in an attempt to get more Islamic pupils to go to university.

.... The alternative scheme is expected to be introduced within the next three years, but BIS has denied it will pave the way for compliance with Sharia in a wider sense, saying: 'Sharia has no jurisdiction in England and Wales and the Government has no intention to change this position.'

It also confirmed that students taking out the loans will pay back exactly the same amount as those who use the traditional scheme, essentially making a charitable donation rather than paying back interest.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 5882 votes] Sharia law has no business in the uk, it has no power and I think it's a complete disgrace that this country is even considering introducing even a tiny step into it. Shame on you!

[SECOND 4028v] Is this a sick joke

[THIRD 3436v] What is wrong with this country !!!!WAKE UP YOU IDIOTS!!!!! [Daily Mail] Read more

British-Iranian woman Ghonche Ghavami imprisoned for two months for trying to watch men's volleyball game in Tehran

A British woman has been in an Iranian prison for more than two months for trying to watch a men’s volleyball match.

Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, was arrested along with more than a dozen women as they tried to enter a stadium where the Iranian national men’s team was playing Italy on 20 June.

She was released from custody but when she went back to collect her belongings days later, she was arrested a second time and transferred to Tehran’s notorious Evin jail, which is known for holding political prisoners and journalists. [The Independent] Read more

Saudi Arabia's clerics condemn IS but preach intolerance

When Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh described Islamic State and al Qaeda as "kharijites" last month, he was casting them as the ultimate heretics of Muslim history, a sect that caused the faith's first and most traumatic schism.

That sort of rhetoric aimed at expelling militants from the Muslim mainstream has grown increasingly common among top Saudi clerics in recent weeks as they work to counter an ideology that threatens their political allies in the Al Saud dynasty.

But while Saudi Arabia's official Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam attacks Islamists as heretical and "deviant", many of its most senior and popular clergy preach a doctrine that encourages intolerance against the very groups targeted by IS in Iraq. [Reuters] Read more

09 September 2014

Birmingham Muslims being ‘pilloried’ for their faith, claims council boss

Publicity generated by the Trojan Horse affair has left Birmingham Muslims feeling “pilloried for what they believe in”, the city council’s equality director has claimed.

Mushaq Ally quoted from the results of a focus group study where participants felt strongly that allegations of schools being a seedbed for violent extremism were whipped up by the media without proper evidence.

There was a general denial in the community that any organised extremist plot existed in Birmingham, he added.

Council officers who asked groups of practising Muslims for their views were told the allegations of inappropriate behaviour were an example of “scaremongering about Islamification of the UK”. [Chamberlain Files] Read more


The last month has produced a huge amount of news about ISIS, the latest Islamic violence in the Middle East. We have chosen not to cover it on LibertyPhile in line with our policy.

"The site does not cover terrorism, the Palestinian problem, the wars in the Middle East, and ongoing conflicts in Muslim countries. These are all issues of great concern but they are covered extensively elsewhere."

ISIS is of course a particular and violent manifestation of the issues our news items and links illustrate, Islam's continuing clash with modernity, other beliefs, and secular and democratic ideas.

08 September 2014

Thousands of Muslim marriages conducted in UK are not legal

Thousands of British Muslim women are discovering that their marriages are not legal.

Inside Out talks to Aina Khan, a solicitor dealing with Islamic divorce, who believes that thousands of couples are in marriages that have no legal effect in England.

Reporter Charlotte Callen discovers that the problem is directly related to the fact that 90% of mosques are not registered to perform marriages. [BBC] Read more

07 September 2014

Probe into 'Trojan Horse' school suspected of funding extremism

In June, the entire governing body was barred from the premises of Al-Hijrah School in Bordesley Green, Birmingham, after it was revealed that it was facing a £900,000 deficit.

Now Birmingham City Council has confirmed it is carrying out an investigation into “financial irregularities” surrounding the school’s finances.

Last week the council’s cabinet member for children and family services Brigid Jones was questioned by Parliament’s Education Committee about the inquiry into the 100 per cent Muslim school.

Graham Stuart, chairman of the committee, asked if the “misuse of money could have led to those monies being used for the purposes of extremism”.

She said: “The school has a rent agreement with a trust and we know that money goes into that trust.

“As to what the trust does with the money, that is subject to an investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.” [Daily Express] Read more

06 September 2014

Germany won't tolerate 'Sharia police'

The German government has strongly criticized nightly patrols in the city of Wuppertal by men calling themselves "Sharia police." The 33-year-old behind the patrols claimed that their goal was only to raise attention.

Conservative members of Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition put forward a united front at the weekend against recent developments in the city of Wuppertal. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said civilians wearing uniforms bearing the logo "Shariah police" could not simply start patrolling German streets.

Salafisten in Deutschland

The groups reportedly hovered around sites like discotheques and gambling houses, telling passers-by to refrain from gambling and alcohol. Wuppertal's police have begun pressing charges. [Deutsche Welle] Read more

05 September 2014

Police throw book at Shariah vigilantes

Charges of unlawful assembly and use of uniform in public were brought against 11 members of a group trying to enforce aspects of strict Islamic Sharia law in the North Rhine-Westphalia city, a spokeswoman for the Wuppertal police told The Local.

Officers stopped the 11-man group on the street on Wednesday. Some were wearing orange vests bearing the words 'Shariah Police', in violation of federal German law, the spokeswoman said.

The group has been stopping young people at local drinking and gambling establishments and urging them to abstain from activities deemed to be ungodly according to Islam. [The Local] Read more

Inside Jobs and Israeli Stooges: Why Is the Muslim World in Thrall to Conspiracy Theories?

Did you know that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Isis, was trained by Mossad and the CIA? Were you aware that his real name isn't Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri al-Samarrai but Simon Elliot? Or that he's a Jewish actor who was recruited by the Israelis to play the part of the world's most wanted terrorist?

If the messages in my email in-box and my Twitter timeline and on my Facebook page are anything to go by, plenty of Muslims are not only willing to believe this nonsensical drivel but are super-keen to share it with their friends. The bizarre claim that NSA documents released by Edward Snowden "prove" the US and Israel are behind al-Baghdadi's actions has gone viral.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Great question. How can anyone with an unwavering belief in angels, virgin births, and an unseen supernatural power that writes books and sends down messengers POSSIBLY ever believe in conspiracy theories? [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

The fight against intolerance begins at home - By Eric Pickles

Britain has a duty to oppose religious and political extremism - be it the English Defence League or the supporters of jihad - in every corner of the land.

This summer, we have seen Christians being systematically persecuted and murdered in the Middle East; anti-Semitic attacks and protests soaring in response to the Israeli government’s intervention in Gaza; institutionalised political correctness leading to appalling sexual abuse against children by Pakistani Muslims; and murders carried out by Isil terrorists who may have included Britons indoctrinated to preach evil at home and enact it abroad.

The common theme is the politics of division and hate: attitudes and mantras that seek to divide rather than unite. Aggressive secularists would advocate the suppression of religion in the public sphere. Yet this would only perpetuate the message of intolerance towards others. Religion is the not the problem – political and religious extremism is.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] It's all very well to be tolerant of other peoples and religions - a stance I fully support. However, when a people settle themselves in our home and are intolerant towards us, we have to have the courage to draw a line. So much and no more.

Who amongst you politicians is honest and brave enough to say and act upon what has to be done to defend our own country? Tolerance and respect is a two way street. Appeasement of an intolerant culture never has, and never will bring resolve.

It is profoundly dishonest to speak of the EDL in the same context as people who do us actual harm. I've yet to hear of EDL supporters hacking someone's head off or planting bombs. Do you think, Eric, that you are an honest man?

[SECOND] What the heck is this? Jihadis are directly threatening us, our society and our way of life and in an article about extremists, the EDL gets first billing!

The EDL wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Anjem Choudray and his bunch of misfits (it was their outrageous protests at a military parade for our returning servicemen that caused the EDL to be formed in the first place) and the PC/diversity/multiculti hand wringing non-response of the authorities to it. No, you must tolerate aggressive and threatening protests by extremist loonies, it would be "racist" to object.

Well I'm sorry, but I do object and if Britain is to remain "a place of justice and tolerance towards others" that means dealing directly with those who threaten it, not looking around for excuses and appeasing such appalling behaviour.

[THIRD] Apologies are due the English Defence League and the British National Party - they have been consistently right about the issues which the Establishment has been so miserably wrong about. Go, Mr Pickles, you have nothing to say on this subject worthy of consideration.

[FOURTH] Eric Pickles was Chair of Bradford's Education Committee when Ray Honeyford was persecuted for having the audacity to criticise multiculturalism. And now the fool is lecturing everyone else on 'tolerance'? Sickening. [The Telegraph] Read more

04 September 2014

Geert Wilders: "Recognize that Islam Is the Problem"

.... My critics are right. Indeed, my message had been the same during all these years. And today, I will repeat the same message about Islam again. For the umpteenth time. As I have been doing for ten years and two days.

I have been vilified for my film Fitna. And not just vilified, but even prosecuted. Madam Speaker, while not so many years ago, everyone refused to broadcast my film Fitna, we can today watch Fitna 2, 3, 4 and 5 daily on our television screens. It is not a clash of civilizations that is going on, but a clash between barbarism and civilization.

The Netherlands has become the victim of Islam because the political elite looked away. Here, in these room, they are all present, here and also in the Cabinet, all these people who looked away. Every warning was ignored. [Diana West] Read more

Muslim leader calls for Islamic beliefs to be accepted in Irish schools

.... He also writes that there is “a clash of values” when it comes to the “traditional ways of teaching PE [Physical Education/Gym class]” in Ireland. Selim explains that in some Irish schools “under the guise of health and safety, Muslim girls are obliged to take off their headscarves for PE classes, which is not acceptable to them.”

He claims that if the schools were “persistent” with this rule they should “employ a female PE teacher and provide students with a sports hall not accessible to men during times when girls are at play. "They should also not be visible to men while at play.” He adds that female Muslims should not have to change their clothes in a communal area.

Selim writes that while some Muslims would see music as prohibited if it “is performed using non-tuneable percussion instruments such as drums, most Muslims will have no problem.”

He adds that any “physical contact between members of the opposite sex who can be legally married is forbidden in Islam” and that “gender role-reversal is not permissible.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Now the demands start ... and they won't end. They want to change Ireland to their way of thinking and living, you have to wonder why in god's name did they come but they are trying to do this all over the world and we can't let it happen.

They can believe whatever they want but it's a personal thing and must be kept that way. If Irish schools are not suitable then don't go, if the country is not to your liking and you can't abide by the rules of your host country then leave.

[SECOND] Amazing that when Irish people visit Muslim countries they must abide by Muslim rules , yet when Muslims move to Ireland they want Ireland to bow to their beliefs....very arrogant indeed

[THIRD] What a sectarian bigot! This is Ireland, respect our laws and traditions or go home!!! [IrishCentral] Read more

Spain opens door to ban on burqas

Speaking at a press conference, Díaz said that a ban on burqas could be included in the final version of Spain's draft Citizen Security Law, Spain's 20 minutos newspaper reported.

The draft bill, yet to be passed in the country's parliament, already includes provisions banning people from hiding their faces in demonstrations, Díaz noted.

Now could be a "good moment" to look to obtain "a level of consensus" on this issue, the interior minister noted.

Díaz stressed his department had no powers when it came to issues affecting the dignity of women, but could rule against the wearing of burqas and other full face veils on the grounds they made identification of people difficult. [The Local] Read more

03 September 2014

"Dangerous Laws"

It is more than six years since the then Archbishop of Canterbury gave what history will surely understand to be one of the most destructive speeches in modern Britain. The contents of Rowan Williams's 2008 speech talked of allowing a place for competing religious demands, including sharia law, in a multi-faith society.

The next day he clarified matters. In an interview with the BBC, he said there would "inevitably" be a place for sharia law in Britain and that (more importantly) the idea of there being "one law for all" in a country such as Britain seemed to him "dangerous."

.... They come about not because they are genuinely attractive, competitive moral norms but because of a loss of confidence in our own traditions and laws, and a resulting moral relativism in which nobody wants to make moral judgements. The most grotesque extreme to which this has led us has been on display again this week in the North of England, in Rotherham. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Mosque in Jutland expresses support for IS

Fadi Abdallah, a spokesperson for the Grimhøj Mosque in Aarhus, said he would welcome the establishment of a Sharia-based caliphate in Syria.

“An Islamic state will always be what we Muslims yearn for, and therefore we cannot help but support the IS,” Abdallah told Den Korte Avis. “Even if they have made mistakes, we must wait and see.”

“I understand why they are killing people”

The Islamic State genocide of Iraqis and Syrians, and its apparent beheading of now two American journalists. has angered people worldwide, but Abdallah held fast to his support of the group and said that while he does not support the violence, he accepts it as necessary.

“Things are different down there than they are here, and I understand why they are killing people," he said. [The Copenhagen Post] Read more

Call for State schools to accommodate Islamic beliefs

A spokesman for the Muslim community in Ireland has called for radical change in the educational system to accommodate children with Islamic beliefs.

Dr Ali Selim, of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin’s Clonskeagh and a lecturer in the Mater Dei Institute and Trinity College, has called for “a revolution of inclusivity” in Irish schools and “an upheaval in Irish educational perspectives”.

This was necessary to accommodate the needs of a society which is now “home to a variety of Christian denominations, as well as people of other faiths and of none”, he says in his book Islam and Education in Ireland, to be published next week.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] While I'm sure there will be many a knee jerk reaction to Dr Selim's statement, perhaps instead of condemning one particular faith it would be much more appropriate to remove religious ethos from all state schools. Religious ideology has no place in education in the modern world, it's a personal belief and should be practiced in private.

[SECOND] No. No. No. We need to get religion out of schools. Schools should teach facts not faith based fictions. The Islamic hoards in Iraq have the stated objective of taking over the world. They crave Armageddon and death.

There view of human sexuality is ill considered and based on the trash written in the desert 1,400 years ago and ignores human biology. No wonder his sexually frustrated IS brethren are raping every woman they can lay their hands on in Iraq and Syria. Ali get off the stage and take your twisted religion with you.

[THIRD] This is not about inclusivity at all ... this is about exclusivity! We are moving towards a secular society and this would be a major step backwards. All you need to look at is the trojan horse approach regarding islamic schools in Birmingham.

Under the guise of tolerance and inclusiveness unacceptable practices and teachings became core e.g students were shown fundamentalist videos and anti christian chanting in classes. Muslim immigrants need to adapt to our western way of life otherwise this whole multi cultural project breaks down.

[ANOTHER] With all due respect to Dr. Selim, these are not religious differences, they are societal differences. In our society, boys and girls integrate in school, play sport together, have physical contact, play music, and when they are old enough they receive sex education. These elements of our societal "norms" are not dictated or even guided by any religion or religious beliefs.

.... Can Dr. Selim tell me what are my chances of taking my family to Iran and insisting that my beliefs are accommodated when I put my children into an Islamic school? Impossible, of course. We would be obliged to adjust to the restrictive societal norms of that country and my daughters and I would be obliged to wear headscarves, even if I strongly believe they should not.

It's called integration.

[ANOTHER] From the steaming froth of my pint, listening to music and living in Ireland ... is this guy for real? I will head off to the Levant and preach the replacement their traditons for my atheism and iconography. Like ... bars in their Universities for example ... [THE IRISH TIMES] Read more

A Muslim inmate's beard isn't a security risk. It's his constitutional right

.... soon, the US supreme court will hear arguments as to whether a Muslim inmate has the right to wear a 13mm (0.5in) beard in an Arkansas prison. The inmate, Gregory H Holt, argues that he has a bona fide religious belief that is being impeded by the state by not allowing his long beard, while the government’s rebuttal is that such a beard poses a security threat to his person and other prisoners.

For Muslim prisoners unable to perform congregational prayers every day and who lack access to halal meat, something as seemingly mundane as a beard can be one of the few ways they are allowed to practice their faith. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Saudi Arabia: Court of Appeal upholds sentence of human rights defender Raif Badawi

On 1 September 2014 the Court of Appeal in Jeddah upheld the sentence of human rights defender Raif Badawi. He was sentenced on 7 May 2014 to 10 years in prison, 1000 lashes and a 10 year travel ban to start on expiration of his jail sentence, a ban on using media outlets and a fine of one million Saudi Riyals (about US$266,600).

Raef Badawi is co-founder and editor of the website Liberal Saudi Network, a website and on-line forum created to foster political and social debate in Saudi Arabia. He has been detained since 17 June 2012 in a prison in Briman in Jeddah. His sentence stemmed from the creation of the website and his calls for reforms in the Kingdom. [Gulf Centre for Human Rights] Read more

02 September 2014

Beyond Rotherham: Muslims are also silent victims of sexual abuse

It’s tiring work being a Muslim in the UK today. If we aren’t being asked to defend the actions of extremists, we are distancing ourselves from the “Asian gangs” who are preying on vulnerable white girls to sexually exploit.

The report on the extent of sexual abuse in Rotherham, and the failure of the authorities to protect the young girls they were responsible for is yet another story that has been blamed on failures of “multiculturalism” in the UK.

Sensationalist news stories cry out that Asian men target young white girls due to unresolvable “cultural issues” or “unhappy marriages”, or simply because of a lack of respect for white, British girls.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 502 votes] I'm confused - for the last few days the Guardian have been publishing article after article claiming there isn't really any problem in these communities and it is due to other factors.

Now you are telling us there are issues.

Which is it?

[SECOND 493v] Not surprised by this to be honest. This is a community where women are blamed for bringing shame on the family if they are raped.

There was recently a case in Bradford where a female student studying here from Bangladesh was basically held captive by her abuser, raped, beaten and treated as a sex slave by a manipulative psychopath (of Pakistani origin).

The case made it to court and the abuser was jailed but the girl was shunned by her family as she had 'brought shame on them'. After all she had been through the family decided it was best to cut all ties with her. How seriously fucked up is that?

With this in mind no wonder people in this community keep quiet if they are abused. Truly vile

[THIRD 446v] I have often wondered why, amongst those rather stupid questions about cricket, etc. in the questionnaire for new entrants to Britain, there is not a series of questions along the lines of:

Do you recognise that in Britain women have the same rights as men?

Will you promise not to engage in any of the following practices:
# forcing your relatives into marriage
# forbidding them to engage in relationships with people outside your religious group
# violence against women and particularly shame punishments and killings.

If it was made clear that failure to adhere to these promises might result in deportation, I wonder how many men would start to examine their "cultural traditions" and question them.

[FOURTH 394v] The problem is rooted in a misogynistic culture which sees women as chattels and as vessels of tribal/family honour (defined in purely sexual terms). If a girl or woman is abused or exploited, it is seen primarily as damaging her 'value', not as a crime by her abuser.

How many women and girls are likely to come forward when there is a risk it may lead to them becoming victims again, this time of 'honour crimes'? They need support in this, and there needs to be a real drive towards integration.

[FIFTH 365v] "It’s tiring work being a Muslim in the UK today." This is in very bad taste. After Rotherham, the Birmingham schools, and the proliferation of jihadists, self-pity is the last sentiment I would expect from someone presuming to talk on behalf British Muslims. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Saudi police beat British man who paid female clerk in shop

A British businessman who brought stand-up comedy to Saudi Arabia has been beaten by the country’s religious police while shopping with his wife.

Peter Howarth-Lees and his Saudi-born wife, Abeer al-Fouti, were repeatedly punched and kicked after he had tried to pay a female cashier at a supermarket in Riyadh.

Three members of the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, or Haia, had confronted him, accusing him of breaking the kingdom’s rules by using a female cashier while not part of a family group. [The Times (£)] Read more

Danish mosque declares support for Isis

A spokesman for the Aarhus mosque Grimhøjmoskeen has openly declared the mosque’s support of the terrorist organisation Islamic State, or Isis.

“An Islamic state will always be what Muslims long for, therefore we cannot help but to support the Islamic State. Even if it makes mistakes, we will just have to wait and see,” mosque spokesman Fadi Abdallah told the online news source Den Korte Avis.

“The conditions aren’t the same down there [in Syria and Iraq, ed.] as they are here. I can fully understand why people are getting killed,” he continued.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Destroy that Mosque! Arrest those damn Imans!!! I don't mind Islam, but I mind radical Islam! To me the answer is simple, close down that mosque and arrest and deport all of its preachers and never allow them to come back! [The Local] Read more

Egypt fatwa bans online chats between sexes

Egypt’s top Islamic authority has prohibited online chat between unrelated men and women, triggering a big controversy in the country.

The Dar Al Ifta, Egypt’s official body in charge of advising Muslims on spiritual matters, said in the fatwa (a religious edict) that such chats are religiously impermissible “because they are one of the tools of the devil and a way for spreading discord and corruption.”

The institution also said that a woman should not send her photo to strangers to “protect herself and preserve her dignity”. It added that there is evidence of “moral deviants” who misused women’s photos to malign them. [Gulf News] Read more

Extremist video shown in Trojan school, MPs told

A violent extremist video was shown to pupils in a Birmingham state school, MPs investigating the alleged "Trojan Horse" plot have been told.

"It should have been stopped," said Ian Kershaw, who headed an inquiry into the allegations of a hard-line Muslim takeover of schools in Birmingham.

Former counter-terror chief Peter Clarke, who also investigated the claims, said there was no direct evidence of radicalisation.

But he found an "air of intolerance".

.... Mr Clarke said that he had come across a reluctance within the city council to confront the problems.

He said this had been driven by fears of being accused of racism and worries that it would upset "social cohesion". [BBC] Read more

01 September 2014

Crackdown on British jihadis 'will push youth further towards extremism'

Muslim Council of Britain says constant talk of legislation and monitoring is leading marginalised Muslims towards radicalism.

David Cameron's renewed crackdown on British-born extremists will push marginalised young people further towards radicalisation, the UK's biggest Muslim organisation has said.

Harun Khan, deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), raised concerns about the prime minister's anti-terrorism strategy amid signs of a wider impasse in relations between the government and Muslim groups.

"They need to be talking to us and others to understand what it is that's leading these boys down this route," Khan told the Guardian. "Part of the problem is the constant talk of legislation, harassment and monitoring, stripping people of their passports. This is what's leading young people towards radicalism."

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1024 votes] "Part of the problem is the constant talk of legislation, harassment and monitoring, stripping people of their passports. This is what's leading young people towards radicalism."

No, that is simply untrue. The trends toward radicalism are far deeper than that.

[SECOND 965v] Big part of the problem are organizations such as the Mr Khan and the Muslim Council of Britain burying their heads in the sand and refusing to address the real issues.

[THIRD 772v] God forbid we should 'upset' muslims by trying to stop them indiscriminately slaughtering us all

[FOURTH 617v] Should we make them a cup of tea, give them a back rub and hope they don't blow us up?

We have been down the namby pamby route and it doesn't work.

[FIFTH 503v] How exactly are Muslims treated as the enemy within? Are Muslims arbitrarily arrested, tortured and executed in this country? Are Muslims persecuted for practising their faith in this country?

In fact Muslims in this country have far more rights than they do in Islamic countries. By contrast non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries often face terrible persecution, just look at Egypt, Saudia Arabia or Pakistan. British Muslims (like everybody else in Britain) are privileged to live in such a tolerant country.

[SIXTH 497v] OK Mr Khan & Mr Hussian what exactly has the "Muslim community" done to deal with this problem? What have been the actual results of what you have done? I consider myself a tolerant person but my patience with "the Muslim community" is wearing a bit thin.

[SEVENTH 489v] The sub-text of all this is that racist westerners are the root cause of extremism & terrorism.

Meanwhile in the middle east, extremists who have never even visited a western country burn down churches & execute infidels for being... infidels. Something doesn't add up. [The Guardian] Read more

Rotherham child sex abuse: it is our duty to ask difficult questions

Anyone who wants to fight for emancipation should not be afraid to examine religion and culture.

.... So how are we to deal with all this in our societies? In the debate about Leitkultur (the dominant culture) from a decade ago, conservatives insisted that every state was based on a predominant cultural space, which the members of other cultures who live in the same space should respect.

Instead of bemoaning the emergence of a new European racism heralded by such statements, we should turn a critical eye upon ourselves, asking to what extent our own abstract multiculturalism has contributed to this sad state of affairs. If all sides do not share or respect the same civility, then multiculturalism turns into a form of legally regulated mutual ignorance or hatred.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 551 votes] This was about criminals getting away with what they could get away with. They got away with it for a number of reasons, one of which was the problematic attitudes that some people in civil institutions had towards a kind of communalist identity politics multiculturalism.

That results in cultural and moral relativism, as well as fear of dealing with difficult questions regarding attitudes towards women and non Muslims in a criminal section of specifically British men of Pakistani Muslim origin.

This is a moment for parts of the Left to introspect deeply. Ann Cryer has stated that she was shunned for raising these issues. This catastrophic failure allowed the far-right to exploit the issue. It is imperative that the Left takes ownership of this, defends Muslims in general from generalisation, whilst simultaneously opposing certain cultural and religious attitudes that lead to abuse occuring.

There is a wider problem of the Left not opposing extremist forms of religion strongly enough. Salafis and Wahaabis that perpetuate hateful and supremacist ideas in our society must be opposed. Chauvinist ideas dressed up in the clothes of 'multiculturalism' and 'diversity' and 'moderation' must be opposed by the Left. Silence is no longer an option.

[SECOND 533v] What a curate's egg... Starts very well:

Gets a bit confused:

And finally ends in utter farce:

"Our axiom should be that the struggle against western neocolonialism as well as the struggle against fundamentalism, the struggle of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden as well as the struggle of Pussy Riot, the struggle against antisemitism as well as the struggle against aggressive Zionism, are parts of one and the same universal struggle." Conflating every liberal-leftie bogeyman into the same 'great noble cause'

[THIRD 492v] You guessed it it's very important to keep up the "white man" narrative.

The blame for this scandal lies not with the Pakistani community not with the victims not with middle-aged white men but squarely on the perpetrators and their get out of jail free card for 20 years the liberal left as represented by this paper. [Guardian Cif] Read more

British man beaten by 'religious police' in Saudi Arabia for using women-only queue

A British businessman living in Saudi Arabia was set upon and beaten up by members of the country’s religious police after using a women-only cash till with his wife at a local supermarket.

Peter Howarth-Lees, who is married to a Saudi woman, was knocked to the ground and kicked by three members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, known as the Mutawa, who followed the couple out of the shop. [The Telegraph] Read more

The Plot to Islamise Birmingham’s Schools

.... What Clarke and Kershaw found was that although Birmingham City Council, the DfE and Ofsted had each been separately warned that hardline Muslim governors were targeting schools, none of them were talking to each other or to the Education Funding Agency, whose job is to ensure that the new academies like Park View and free schools comply with funding rules. "There was absolutely no sharing of intelligence," said one official.

.... Yet the roots of the Trojan Horse agenda predate Gove by at least a generation. They go back to the creation of the main umbrella for Muslim schools, the Association of Muslim Schools UK (AMS UK), the International Board of Educational Research and Resources (IBERR), and the MCB.

Tahir Alam and some of the Park View Brothers have been associated with or held positions in these bodies, which have been inspired by a broad global Islamist movement that has morphed from the original Cairo-based Muslim Brotherhood. That movement sees no distinction between Islam as a spiritual faith, a way of life and a political ideology. [Standpoint] Read more

Too many of Britain’s Muslims are failing to integrate. We need to find out why

I don’t know why we have a specific problem of Muslim integration. I’m not sure anyone does. But I suspect one of the reasons is no one has really taken the time or effort to formally try and find out. And now we have to take time.

Because this I do know. The days when we could simply ignore the issue are over. Rotherham represented a watershed. Denial led the to the systematic rape of thousands of our children. It is no longer an option.

I know this as well. We cannot continue to tackle this problem in our current piecemeal fashion. More control orders, and Ofsted inspections and community liaison officers and local authority ombudsmen will not fix what is broken here.

Britain’s Muslims are failing to integrate. We need to find out why.

[COMMENTS ARE CLOSED] [The Telegraph] Read more

Mosul’s first death by stoning

.... An open invitation had been issued by the bearded gunmen roaming the streets of the Bab Al Sham neighbourhood in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul: Come and watch the first death by stoning in this town, they said.

Mosul was taken over by Sunni Muslim extremists from the group now known as the Islamic State in early June, when Iraqi army forces fled the metropolis. Since then the extremists have established their own set of rules and their version of strict religious law. [www.al-bab.com] Read more