31 July 2015

Why I disagree with having a women-run mosque in Bradford

On Sunday 2 August, the Muslim Women’s Council in Bradford will be holding an event to discuss its proposals for the UK’s first women-managed mosque. Some women have experienced exclusion from male-run mosques, and so on the surface this seems a reasonable way forward. Many Muslims in Bradford would agree that we need to work towards greater involvement and inclusion of women in the life of the Muslim community.

.... All of this is why I support Bradford having a mosque that is led by both men and women, that is used by both men and women, which remains true to the Muslim tradition and religious moral law. Such a mosque would be the first to be inclusive of both male and female leadership and also male and female use, so would be a good example of how other mosques could develop, potentially stimulating change and development across all British mosques.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "There are some very good examples of female scholarship emerging in the Muslim community within Bradford and beyond."

That would be scholarship about, say, the development of empiricist philosophy within the Scottish Enlightenment, the Barbary incursions, the Norse influence on the vowels of eastern England? Or is “ scholarship” here being used in a special sense about just one book not subject to the principle of a priori examination that would be normal in other fields? [Guardian Cif] Read more

Prosecution of anti-Islam preacher is “in the public interest”, claims Public Prosecution Service

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) of Northern Ireland have defended their prosecution of James McConnell, the Christian preacher who called Islam "Satanic."

In a letter sent to the National Secular Society, the PPS have doubled-down on their decision to take the case to trial, after the NSS warned that their actions had created a "chilling effect" on free speech. A Christian organisation warned that "many churches will be wary of what they place on the internet until this case is heard and the law is clarified."

Pastor McConnell is being prosecuted under the Communications Act 2003 for sending a "grossly offensive" message. The Pastor said during a sermon that Islam was a "doctrine spawned in hell" and that while there "may be" "good Muslims" in the UK, he didn't trust Muslims generally. [National Secular Society] Read more

Apologists for terror or defenders of human rights? The Cage controversy in context

The attack on Cage is part of the more general assault on politically active Muslims and an attempt to push Muslim organisations to the margins of public life. Cage is not the only group to have had its banks accounts, those of its staff and – let it be emphasised – their children, closed.

Not being a charity, it is not even one of the 55 Muslim charities that are currently being attacked (or 'investigated' as they would have it) by the Charity Commission. The Commission, headed by the neoconservative ideologue Lord Shawcross, has put 'intense regulatory pressure' on charities that have funded Cage to publically declare they will never do so again.

In addition, Amnesty and others have been pressurised to draw a cordon sanitaire between Cage and themselves. This plainly amounts to a campaign to bully and censor people into dissociating themselves from Cage and has had a significant impact on its ability to undertake its human rights work. [openDemocracy] Read more

Halal committee receives hundreds of views

More than 500 submissions have been made to a Senate committee investigating the hot topic of the halal certification of food in Australia.

The majority voiced opposition to the existing system, with many raising the question of whether the money ends up in the pockets of overseas organisations.

"I have no desire to eat halal blessed food and resent having to pay for the process," one said.

A father of five recalled his difficulty in finding non-halal certified products at his local supermarket.

Another suggested a user-pays system, which would result in the costs of having halal certification borne by those who wish to buy it.

"The rapidly expanding halal certification industry is imposing its Islamic tax on farmers, industry, transportation, retailers and customers in Australia," a couple wrote. [Yahoo7 News] Read more

Report: Hundreds of Islamist Extremists Speaking On British Campuses

Between 2012-14 there were over 400 extremist events on British Campuses, a new report has found. The University of Westminster, where Islamic State beheader Jihadi John studied, came top of the list, while opposition to the government’s anti-radicalization initiative, Prevent, was entrenched and officially sanctioned by many student unions.

The report by anti-extremism group Student Rights said there is “evidence that a culture conducive to the promotion of non-violent extremism has developed on a number of UK university campuses.”

It said speakers on campuses are commonly arguing that there is a Western war on Islam, supporting individuals convicted of terrorism and expressing intolerance of non-believers and other minorities. It revealed that well over a hundred extremists are speaking every year, and that “extremist material” is being shared on the social media pages of student societies. [Breitbart London] Read more

Isis killer’s former university hosts 25 radical preachers

The London university attended by the Islamic State murderer Mohamed Emwazi has hosted the highest number of extremist or intolerant speakers over the past three years, a report claims.

The University of Westminster, where the terrorist known as “Jihadi John” gained a computer programming degree, offered a platform to radical speakers on 25 occasions between 2012 and 2014.

They included Shohana Khan and Adnan Khan, representatives from the hardline group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which promotes a caliphate ruled by Sharia. The government has threatened to ban it and it is on the National Union of Students’ “no-platform” list.

A Palestinian scholar who is alleged to have called homosexuality a “criminal act” spoke four times in four months, while other speakers promoting Islamist views were also given a platform. Uthman Lateef, a British preacher who has said, “We don’t accept homosexuality . . . we hate it because Allah hates it”, spoke in 2012. [The Times (£)] Read more

30 July 2015

David Cameron’s Muslim Muddle

The British prime minister didn’t go far enough—though he went further than most politicians.

Listening to and reading Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent speech about Islamic extremism in Britain, I realized why I could never be a practicing politician. Its mixture of good sense, half-truths, evasions, political correctness, and electioneering was anathema to me. It was the stock-in-trade of a man obliged by his position to balance a hundred considerations at once, an obligation that precludes intellectual honesty, even if the latter is desired.

.... Every politician, it seems, must tread on the eggshells of political correctness. Cameron felt constrained to say, “It is here in Britain where success is achieved not in spite of diversity but because of diversity . . . . Every one of the communities that has come to call our country home has made Britain a better place.” Suggestio falsi and suppressio veri can hardly go further. [City Journal] Read more

Islamic identity crisis at the core of radicalisation

Muslim community leaders in Australia are rarely on the same page – except for when it comes to criticising the government's counter-radicalisation efforts.

All stand united against the government for its lack of understanding the issue of radicalisation and not "consulting" them with important policy decisions on the subject.

Yet, when you talk to most of these Muslim community leaders on identifying the problem and proposing tangible solutions one can't help but notice their rudimentary understanding of the subject offering little beyond textbook prescription to focus more on "socio-economic" issues and conducting "true consultations" with the Muslim community leaders.

For a start, the overwhelming claim by Muslim community leaders that "research" suggests socio-economic and political issues drive radicalisation is not only erroneous but reveals a primitive understanding of the debate on the subject. [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more

29 July 2015

UK: David Cameron Declares War on Islamic Extremism

Prime Minister David Cameron has outlined a new five-year plan to fight Islamic extremism in Britain.

The strategy — the specifics of which will be unveiled in the coming months — rests on four pillars: challenging the ideology of Islamism; confronting those who promote Islamic extremism; encouraging moderate Muslims to speak up and be heard; and improving Muslim integration.

Cameron, however, has not offered a precise definition of "extremism," and it remains unclear how his government will balance efforts to silence Islamic extremists with the right to free speech.

Muslim reaction to the plan has been mixed: some have hailed it as "brave," "bold," "overdue," and "an important first step," while others have criticized it as "confusing," "contradictory," "over-simplified," and "Islamophobic." [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Extremism and the conveyor-belt fallacy

.... Interestingly, those keen to deny the links between violent and non-violent extremists often argue the opposite when it comes to Islamophobia. They are very keen to point out the links between groups like the English Defence League, Britain First and anti-Muslim hate crime. Ideology suddenly becomes key and a precursor to violence when it is right-wing but not when it is Islamist.

We have a bizarre situation in this country whereby few are interested in trying to understand radicalisation yet many appear keen to use it to critique their political opponents. In the eyes of the hard-left, radicalized Muslims are a tool to exploit in a grand strategy to oppose western capitalism.

Islamist extremists who preach the importance and necessity of establishing an Islamist state suddenly pretend their efforts are not linked to those seeking to establish their ideology through violent means.

Meanwhile we have sections of the press and academia that have already decided that the real issue is nasty Tory policies like Prevent – rather than extremists advocating religious supremacy. [Left Foot Forward] Read more

Shut up as a woman, Deputy PM Arinç tells female HDP deputy

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arinç has told a female deputy from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), who was responding to him during a speech in Parliament, to “shut up as a woman” in remarks that drew protest from women.

“Lady, shut up,” Arinç told the HDP's Nursel Aydogan, who responded to the deputy prime minister as he was delivering a speech on Wednesday during an extraordinary session held to discuss a proposal to discuss recent terror incidents. After Aydogan continued to respond, Arinç told her to “shut up as a woman.”

HDP Co-chairperson Pervin Buldan called on Arinç to apologize to Aydogan as well as to all the other female deputies.

“It's the expression of his subconscious. Arinç told a deputy to ‘shut up as a woman'. She could have spoken if she had been a man,” Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Aylin Nazliaka said on Twitter. [Today's Zaman] Read more

28 July 2015

Saudi Arabian royals who annexed an entire public beach for their stay on the French Riviera 'ordered local police not to allow female officers near them'

Saudi Arabian royals who annexed an entire public beach for their stay in the south of France have reportedly ordered local police not to allow female officers anywhere near them.

More than 100,000 people have already signed a petition against billionaire King Salman and his entourage having Mirandole Beach, in Vallauris, between Cannes and Antibes, to themselves.

And yesterday, demonstrators - including nude swimmers - made their feelings known during a protest.

Now the police are furious, suggesting the visitors from the repressive Middle Eastern state do not believe in equal rights. [Daily Mail] Read more

Austria launches investigation against Wilders

The Austrian Public Prosecutor has started an investigation against PVV leader Geert Wilders on charges of sedition. Aggrieved Muslims pressed charges against Wilders because of his statements comparing the Koran with Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf and demands that the Islamic holy book be banned during a meeting of the right wing populist FPO in Vienna in March, NU reports.

Interest group Initiative of Musilm Austrians finds that Wilders has made himself guilty of sedition, denigrating religious teachings and breach of the prohibition of reviving Nazi ideology. The theme of his speech in Hofburg, Vienna was “The threat to Europe”.

Wilders reacted on Twitter with the tweet. “It can not get a lot crazier.” [NL Times] Read more

27 July 2015

Why must Britain’s young Muslims live with this unjust suspicion?

At Eid prayers in a rainswept Aberdeen this month, the imam gave thanks to Allah Almighty for the blessings of life in Britain. We had successfully completed a month of fasting while Muslims in China were banned from observing Ramadan and in other parts of the world, many fasted through distressing circumstances of poverty and war. In the sports hall that was booked for the prayers, we listened to the imam in our rain-splattered best clothes before heading for our first morning coffee in a month and the candy floss on sale for the children.

Older, first-generation immigrants understood the logic of Britain being better and freer than “our own home countries”. But the young who were born and grew up in Britain would say that it is hard work being a British Muslim. [1723 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 633 votes] Because young Muslims keep blowing stuff up and shooting people?

[2ND 525] I do not live in the UK but I did live and work in Bradford during 9/11. My sister worked in New York at that time. To watch the asian youths returning from Friday prayers celebrating the event impacted on my attitude towards the asian community and the youths.

[3RD 420] You can write all the articles you want, and so can everyone you know. It won't make a tiny bit of difference. A better use of your time would be to report any information you might know about suspected jihadists to the authorities. Now if you and everyone you know all did that - THAT would make a huge difference. So don't worry about suspicions. That's just a by-product. Focus on the source.

[4TH 392] Another week, another "Someone else's fault" article in the Guardian

[5TH 314] For large numbers of Muslims to demonstrate with the same fervour against acts of terror as against the publications of irreverent cartoons?

[6TH 281] Part 1000 in a never-ending series called 'why muslims are always victims and their religion has nothing to do with anything bad that happens'.

[7TH 247] Reading this I can appreciate how difficult it is to be a young muslim but I still wonder about the never ending stream of articles appearing in the Guardian which further the 'poor me' narrative. Are they truly representative of the muslim community?

Are there not muslims out there who can tell us how they are mobilising within their communities to make them less insular, to connect with the people around them? Is there no one that can appreciate why islam frightens the hell out of people and reflect on that?

Personally I suspect that there is something in the religion that creates an inability to self-analyse, to empathise with others, a sort of 'group-victim' mentality which is cultural, and explains an awful lot about the roots of radicalisation. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Defending obscurantism - Saudi call for worldwide laws against blasphemy

In an Orwellian twist of logic, Gulf states are once again pushing to restrict religious freedom under the guise of promoting tolerance, combating extremism and protecting human rights.

At a conference in France at the weekend, a Saudi official from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs called for the worldwide introduction of blasphemy laws, as a matter of urgency.

The situation, he said, "requires everyone to intensify efforts to criminalise insulting heavenly religions, prophets, holy books, religious symbols and places of worship".

The kingdom, of course, has been setting an example in this respect. It was under such laws that Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 1,000 lashes, 10 years in jail sentence and fined of one million riyals ($266,000). [al-bab.com] Read more

26 July 2015

Muslims take pride in contribution to Scots life

AN INNOVATIVE social media campaign has been launched to highlight the contribution Muslims have made to life in Scotland.

It aims to collect and collate the history of Scotland’s 85,000 Muslims through personal recollections and stories on Facebook and Twitter.

The project, which will last for a year, is the first attempt of its kind to research and celebrate the history of Scots Muslims and is aimed at promoting their positive impact on society to both young Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

“Muslims have made a positive impact on Scottish society”, says Habib Malik, the community interests director at Napiershall Formula, which is managing the campaign on behalf of the Scottish Muslim Heritage Trust.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Muslims are, at present, a relatively small minority of the population and thus show a tolerant outlook to the rest of society. But, as had been shown in England, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and in many other European countries, this mask of tolerance soon slips when Muslims bacome a majority in any area. Scottish left wingers who are so pro-Muslim should just travel south of the border to places like Dewsbury, Rochdale and Tower Hamlets to see what happens when Muslims get the upper hand in any community.

[2ND] Sorry, but I'm sick of hearing about Islam. I played my favourite 'How long does it take to hear a reference to Islam/Muslims on the BBC' game today. Turned on R4 when I went to make breakfast and today's result was a big fat 0 seconds. An article on why Muslims in East London don't feel British.

Then open this website and whammy, here we are, how great Muslims are. We don't have daily updates on Sikhs, Catholics, the Chinese community, Wee Frees, Fraserburgh fishermen, Buddhists and all the other myriad of people that make up our society. Yes, I know there are Muslims out there and that they have problems and cause us problems but just give us peace for one day.

[3RD] Some people should open their eyes, google 'violent passages from the Koran'.

Or maybe they rather see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

[4TH] The misogynistic death cult that masquerades as 'The Religion of Peace' is proving a complete disaster for its adherents and for the rest of humanity. No place for this backward and ignorant nonsense in the UK.

[5TH] Scotland could manage quite well, without any contribution from Islam. [The Scotsman] Read more

UK muslims feel identity under threat since 9/11

POLITICIANS from Scotland’s Islamic community see the need for Cameron’s counter-extremism strategy, but they are wary of a failure to understand what turns young people to terrorism, says Euan McColm

It is a subject so complex that the usual rules of politics don’t apply. When Prime Minister David Cameron set out his five-year counter-extremism strategy last week, even those who might usually be expected to criticise for the sake of criticism were unable to do so.

.... Yousaf said that those concerned about radicalisation should be mindful of the pressure Muslims felt “post 9-11”.

“My perception is that since then many Muslims feel that their identity is under threat in a way it never was.

“We see it in different ways, throwaway remarks. My mum wears a headscarf, for example, and she has had more comments directed against her in recent years. My aunt was in Homebase recently and asked another customer if he would hand her something down from a shelf. He said he would as long as she wouldn’t bomb him.”

Not, perhaps, enough to radicalise a middle-aged woman of moderate views, but an example of the change in mood that may be adding to the frustration some misguided young Muslims undoubtedly feel.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The Saudis, instead of spending their money improving the World, have been squandering their vast oil wealth trying to turn Muslims into Wahhabi, Kaffir hating, misogynistic violent jihadis for the past thirty years.

[2ND] In Muslim terms, if you are not a Muslim, then you are persona non grata. They do not accept any other religion other than Islam. Before the mortally offended start, I'm not anti Islam, but it's time some people faced the truth, and are able to express their opinions on the matter of continued non integration by the Muslim community.

All too often, the media and especially politicians are walking on egg shells, terrified of upsetting the Muslim community every time we are faced with yet another atrocity against western life. We need to be able to criticise without being accused of being anti Islamic, and that's the problem.

[3RD] UK muslims feel their identity is under threat since 9/11 ? So they should, it is time they chose between their past heritage and their present loyalties.

[4TH] News for Sarwar ~ Fact - Scottish people equal with their English friends ARE just as sick of immigrants and WE don't see this integration from the Pakistani community your trying to make out. In General we feel the same and WANT to SEE Massive changes to the immigration system.

[5TH] No one is forcing Muslims to live in the west. They are free to upsticks and return to the homeland of their religion anytime.

[6TH] the Muslim community say they feel under threat? the question is why? they have Sharia courts, schools, they are allowed to build Mosques, their is no restrictions on them and their religion they are with British government permission allowed to create their own Aparthied in the UK then Cameron claims not enough integration!

I would suggest Mr Cameron actually read the Koran integration is not permitted with non Muslims and one has to wonder if friendship is not permitted what`s the chance integration will work? a call for it in effect asking Muslims not follow the preaching's of their Prophet.

Unfortunately the Muslim community worldwide have the same problem Nowhere exists Muslims are not under threat according to Muslims themselves, the teaching of the prophet said he has commanded his followers to make Islam the only dominate faith [The Scotsman] Read more

Muslims who held anti-terrorism Dublin rally faced resistance from some Muslims

A group of Muslims behind an anti-terrorism demonstration in Dublin, say they faced resistance from a few members of the Islamic community, while promoting the event.

The Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council organised the protest against terrorism and the actions of the so-called Islamic State group.

Organisers said that a member of the council was assaulted by someone at a mosque who claimed to support 'ISIS', while he was handing out leaflets to promote today's protest against terrorism. [Irish Examiner] Read more

Banned staff revealed to be teaching at Trojan horse school

At least two teachers accused of involvement in the Trojan Horse plot to “Islamise” Birmingham schools have been reinstated by the academy at the heart of the scandal, despite being banned from the teaching profession.

Shakeel Akhtar, the assistant principal of Park View School, and Saqib Malik, director of student progress, have in recent weeks resumed teaching children in class, in a move that has been heavily criticised by other staff and is understood to have contributed to at least two resignations.

Both men are among more than a dozen teachers allegedly involved in the plot who are still subject to “interim prohibition orders” banning them from teaching. [The Telegraph] Read more

25 July 2015

Can the Middle East tackle Islamist militancy?

.... If you watch Saudi television, as I sometimes do, you will quickly realise that Saudi Arabia is tragicomically caught in the huge gap between the image it tries to project and the reality it pretends does not exist.

Last Saturday was such a moment.

After the announcement that the interior ministry had broken up terror cells linked to so-called Islamic State (IS) and arrested some 400 suspects, Saudi commentators took to the airwaves. They praised the police for thwarting planned terrorists attacks and, crucially, noted the young age of the suspects, most of whom were Saudis.

They talked about how Saudi society could steer those stray, lost souls back to the path of true Islam and away from extremism.

The irony couldn't have escaped anyone who knows Saudi Arabia well.

How could this ultra-conservative monarchy fight extremism when its own brand of the faith - known as Wahhabi Islam - is barely distinguishable from the one practised by the militants in Syria and Iraq? [BBC] Read more

Muslim group welcomes PM's extremism crackdown in UK

.... Forum member Dr Khurshid Ahmed said the way some recent speeches by the Prime Minister had been reported had not been received well because Muslims felt they were all being asked to apologise for the activities of Islamic State and extremists.

Dr Ahmed, referring to the speech, said: “I welcome it. We are all very supportive of any measures we can come up with to deal with extremism, as long as there is a fair approach to all forms of extremism, from Islamist to the right-wing fascist.”

Mr Cameron said it was every citizen’s duty to challenge extremist ideas.

Speaking after his speech, Mr Cameron said: “I was chatting to Abdullah beforehand. He was very inspiring to me because first of all he was taking part in the Balsall Heath Forum which is a great expression of the Big Society – people who got together and weren’t happy with the way things are. [Birmingham Post] Read more

Faith School Bans Pupils From Meeting 'Outsiders'

A Muslim boarding school has been rated "good" by Ofsted, despite threatening to expel students if they mix with other children.

The Institute of Islamic Education in Dewsbury was praised by the education watchdog despite its pupils being taught not to speak to the media and being banned from watching TV, listening to the radio or reading newspapers.

Last week David Cameron criticised some faith schools in a speech on extremism, saying that improving integration was part of the "the struggle of our generation".

.... In its most recent inspection report Ofsted specifically praised the Dewsbury school for preparing its pupils to cater for the changing needs of British Muslims.

"The Islamic Institute of Education provides a good quality of education and meets its stated aims very well," it said.

The school is housed in Dewsbury's Markazi Mosque compound and run by the Tablighi Jamaat sect, which imposes a strict Sharia code on students.

The school has no website, but Sky News obtained copies of documents given to parents which state that students "socialising with outsiders... will be expelled if there is no improvement after cautioning." [Sky News] Read more

Religious Persecution On the Rise: Minorities Under Threat in the Middle East

.... In contrast, majority Muslim nations almost uniformly persecute. The only question is how virulent the repression. Believers are mistreated everywhere, but Christians most suffer in the birthplace of Christianity. The Iraq invasion and Arab Spring have loosed a campaign of religious cleansing across the Middle East.

In the case of the Islamic State death is the norm, though Shia Muslims and many others fare little better than Christians. Reported USCIRF: "When ISIL last June overtook Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, it immediately murdered 12 dissenting Sunni clerics, kidnapped Christian priests and nuns, and leveled ancient houses of worship." Even in relatively tolerant Muslim countries such as Kuwait Islamist radicals call for additional restrictions on non-Muslims. [The Huffington Post] Read more

24 July 2015

Government Steps In To Replace Leadership Of ‘Extremist’ Mosque

.... The Masjid and Madrasah Al-Tawhid Trust, a charity which funds and controls the Salafist ideology Masjid al-Tawhid mosque in Leyton, East London, has been under investigation by the charity commission since 2012 over allegations it had links to terrorist and extremist groups.

Although the local Muslim community dismissed the accusations as stemming from bitter former members of the mosque spreading lies, the Charity Commission has now found grounds to remove a group whose claim to control the charity was substantiated by “procedural flaws”.

.... The al-Tawhid mosque has long been a source of controversy, welcoming a range of extremist speakers to address the congregation. A 2012 BBC London feature made when the enquiry started reported that extremist preacher Abu Qatada, deported from the UK for terror offences in 2013 has spoken there several times, as had senior Al-Qaeda man Anwar al-Awlaki. al-Awlaki, who prosletysed and recruited for al-Qaeda in Europe as well as wrote the terrorist organisation’s propaganda magazine Inspire, was killed by U.S. drone strike in 2011. [Breitbart] Read more

Why has scientific progress stalled in many Islamic countries?

.... For editor Jeremy Henzell-Thomas, research associate at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge, Muslims need to steer a path between two opposing dangers when it comes to higher education and science.

One is the “lame duck” mentality, which frames answers to questions “only in terms of ‘catching up’ with Western models of knowledge production, professionalism, quality assurance, critical thinking, research, liberal arts” and so on.

The opposite trap is “the ‘cosy corner’ mentality, which prefers to occupy a parochial corner in which everything which is not explicitly ‘Islamicised’ is seen as threatening or deviant”.

In his essay, Dr Zou’bi writes that in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf are many “multi-billion dollar educational and scientific projects”. All, however, are “totally dependent on expatriates” and “exist in a culture that is indifferent to science at best, or aggressively anti-science at worst”, as exemplified by a YouTube video of a Saudi theologian in Sharjah telling a large audience that the Sun revolves around a stationary Earth. [Times Higher Education] Read more

I’m a Muslim woman, Mr Cameron: here’s what your radicalisation speech means to me

What did your speech on radicalisation this week actually mean to someone like me?

Despite being born in Manchester, growing up here and being a proud Mancunian (let’s overlook my support for Liverpool FC), for the first time in 37 years I feel as though I don’t belong. And yes, I am Muslim. Just a British Muslim.

I used to hear the term “Muslim community” and think of a peaceful hard-working community who settled in the UK to create a better future for generations to come. Now I hear that and it paints a picture of a misunderstood, frightened community under attack and feeling the need to continually apologise and defend its religious beliefs.

There have been many responses to your speech, and some well-researched analyses. But I need you to listen to someone like me. I need to have confidence that the person shaping my children’s future has an understanding of the impact of legislation imposed by you and your government. [2495 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 935 votes] If you are appearing Westernised, you should have no problems. It is the "men only" mosques, women compelled to hide their faces, children not allowed to mix with non-Muslims, and the impression some Muslims give of despising Western culture, while freely enjoying its benefits. There is also the issue of forced marriages, and the fact that places in the Koran talk about killing infidels. These are some of the factors which lead us to fear Islam.

We do not claim the west is blameless, but we do not see a large part of the Muslim world trying to be members of our society. In fact many of them seem to want to create the sort of culture their families came here to escape.

[2ND 816] So you can speak out against a speech which denounces the violent tendencies within some in your religion, but did you (or even do you) speak out against those very same violent tendencies when outrages are carried out in the Prophet's name?

[3RD 712] Ok so 38 non-Muslim British Tourists were killed the other week for the crime of being British and non-Muslim. But according to your shameful article you are the victim ? Utterly disgusting.

[4TH 697] The Guardian prints lots of these articles - British people of the Islamic faith moaning

I am more than happy to supply an article listing my issues with Islam. I wouldn't charge the Guardian a penny. If they are obliged to make a payment, it could go to Help for Heroes.

They have my email address. I eagerly await their request

[5TH 649] Are you from Palestine or Iraq? Why should their fate concern you any more than any other British person? I don't care more about white people or atheists in foreign countries than any other particular human being, why do you care about Muslims more than others?

Britain doesn't have 12 different foreign policies for each section of its population it has one foreign policy. You have the right to disagree with it but it should not be a marker of your British identity. What an earth is needed to be explained to your two boys that isn't needed to be explain to any two boys in the country.

[6TH 586] Actually the more I read that particular passage the angrier I get. Should a British Prime Minister come round and explain to every white Christian child in the land why our government bombed Christian Serbs because they are white and Christian? What would you like him to explain to your boys? That actually it has bugger all to do with your religion and that their Mum is acting the victim for some reason, that their Mum cares more about strangers in a land she has never visited than the fate of the UK's soldiers?

I think the Iraq war was a colossal mistake and that Blair and Bush are criminals but that has nothing to do with my religion or lack of it.

[7TH 537] 'Actions of a few.'

How long will you keep willfully deluding yourself and pumping out this propaganda? It is not just a few, 1/3rd of young Muslims in this country believe those that switch religion from Islam should be executed and close to half had sympathy for the London bombers.

It is not just the few. Radicalisation and danger is rife within the Muslim community. The only time we hear from self proclaimed moderates like yourself is when someone criticises Islam, as opposed to when Islam attacks someone else.

Sick of it. Islam and the modern world are incompatible.

[8TH 459] That bit struck me the most too.

It suggests that even in the most moderate households, the fate of fellow Muslims around the World is a reason for discontent and bitterness towards Governments who weren't even in power at the time. So, really she means the West!

The writer doesn't want to let her children watch the news in case they are exposed to some islamophobia in the reporting of the Islamist attrocities, not that their fellow countrymen might be the targets of the terrorism. But the fates of fellow Muslims from many years ago is a concern she has about explaining it to her children at some future date! [Guardian Cif] Read more

23 July 2015

Why my own father would have let IS kill me

The group that calls itself Islamic State (IS or Isis) has a special punishment for gay people - it kills them by throwing them off high buildings. Taim, a 24-year-old medical student, tells the story of how he only escaped this fate by fleeing from Iraq to Lebanon.

In our society, being gay means death. When Isis kills gays, most people are happy because they think we're sick.

I first realised I was gay when I was about 13 or 14. I too thought homosexuality was a sickness and I just wanted to feel normal. During my first year of college, I started having therapy for it. My therapist told me to tell friends that I was going through a "difficult phase" and to ask for their support. [BBC] Read more

Salman Rushdie on Islam: 'We have learned the wrong lessons'

Salman Rushdie believes that if The Satanic Verses had been published today, the members of the literary elite who rounded on Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the French satirical magazine winning a PEN prize for courage would not have defended him.

In an interview with the French magazine L’Express, the novelist said that “it seems we have learned the wrong lessons” from the experience of The Satanic Verses, which saw a fatwa issued against him by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, sending him into hiding. “Instead of realising that we need to oppose these attacks on freedom of expression, we thought that we need to placate them with compromise and renunciation,” he said.

.... The novelist told the French magazine that he believes “we are living in the darkest time I have ever known”, with the rise of Islamic State of “colossal importance for the future of the world”. He argued that the taboo surrounding “supposed ‘Islamophobia’” must be brought to an end.

“Why can’t we debate Islam?” he said. “It is possible to respect individuals, to protect them from intolerance, while being sceptical about their ideas, even criticising them ferociously.” [518 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 117 votes] It's true. In the current intellectual climate Rushdie would have been taken to task for insulting Islam.

He should be praised for his honesty.

[2ND 87] Islam in the West hides behind it's minority status when criticised, while quite bizarrely, also taking the very opposite tack by accusing its critics of being against one and a half billion Muslims worldwide, aided and abetted,of course, by useful idiots in the Western liberal establishment.

[3RD 80] .... The impression I've got is that Hebdo happily attacked EVERYBODY - including the Pope and the French Elite. That certain Muslims regarded their particular ideology as above such treatment shows the degree to which they were rejecting, violently, the culture of those among whom they lived. Such behaviour is unacceptable - as acceptance implies a surrender of your own culture.

[4TH 69 ] Yes we have chosen appeasement. I knew this a few years back when Jack Straw publically condemned the original Mohammed cartoons. Our mistake is to believe that religion by default occupies some ethereal plane separate from politics, perhaps understandable given our cultural memory and experience of Protestantism which has dominated the British Isles, and which is on the face of it is highly private and individualising, ostensively apolitical (but probably not immanantly). By appeasing we expect the radicals to go back in a box and Islam to default to its supposed apolitical essence.

[5TH 56] .... most muslims are afflicted by a belligerent sense of victimhood than actual victimhood. What is islamophobia? It is a word that exists only to cut down criticism of a particular religion. It is telling that no similar word exists to protect other religions despite much harsher denunciation of these religions. There is condemnation of some very nasty ideas in conservative islam - ideas that cause real harm and suffering - what the hell is wrong with that?

[6TH 52] Good piece. The moral cowardice displayed by many commentators and politicians when Rushdie was under attack has fed into the current situation. How many of the kids who've run off to Syria have parents who were burning copies of The Satanic Verses?

[7TH 50] Blasphemy laws are a tacit admission by the religious and the liberals they use as human shields from debate, that there is precious little of value held within. Otherwise there would be no fear of it not being able to withstand scrutiny.

[8TH 48] When thousands and thousands marched through streets of cities in Britain calling for Salman to be murdered, we had a problem. The same ideology, the same extremism, manifests today in men and boys who go to join ISIS. We were silent then, we held our tongues, and we are where we are now because of it.

[9TH 46] Salman, as always, is spot on.

He argued that the taboo surrounding “supposed ‘Islamophobia’” must be brought to an end. “Why can’t we debate Islam?” he said. “It is possible to respect individuals, to protect them from intolerance, while being sceptical about their ideas, even criticising them ferociously.”

Now, more than ever, this is needed. The proxy blasphemy codes, the fear, the self-censoring, the blame shifting, these are the fruits of relativism and special religious pleading. In the UK, America and Europe, when we defend dissidents and critics of Islam, we defend them in Islamic countries too. If we can be silenced in liberal secular democracies because of hustled blasphemy taboos and codes, then liberal secularism is dead. The new inquisition will have prevailed.

That is why we will never be silenced, never be quietened.

[10TH 35] There are some seriously mixed up views in Western European polite society when it comes to Islam. On the one hand many are terrified of appearing to be racist or of unfairly making scapegoats of a minority (perhaps fearful of holocaust type echoes) while at the same time they profess to stand for everything the fundamentalists despise. If a sizable portion of a certain religion's followers have not managed to integrate with secular society and culturally evolve to the point that they can allow their religion to be mocked then they clearly don't believe in the ideas on which Western secular societies are based on. That is the fault of the religious followers NOT of authors or satirists that mock and/or challenge the religion. [The Guardian] Read more

Curfew for halal chicken offensive sticker protester

A man who attached offensive stickers to halal chicken in a supermarket has been given a four-week curfew.

Liam Edwards, 29, admitted racially aggravated criminal damage.

The van driver placed stickers on chickens at a Sainsbury's store in Salford which read: "Beware halal is barbaric and funds terrorism".

He insisted his protest was against the halal slaughter of animals rather than being racially prejudiced, Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court heard. [BBC] Read more

Why we need a statutory Prevent strategy in schools

From July 2015 onwards, the British government’s counter-extremism strategy Prevent became statutory for public bodies, including schools, colleges and universities. This was followed by up a speech at a school in Birmingham by David Cameron that signaled a ramping up of counter-extremism efforts across the board, including in the education sector.

In case some of you are in doubt about the importance of tackling extremism in the education sector, a letter published by the Independent offered all the proof one needs. It made a number of misleading assertions about Prevent whilst calling for it to be scrapped, and was signed by various academics and students from across the UK.

Ironically titled ‘PREVENT will have a chilling effect on open debate, free speech and political dissent’, the letter was also signed by a number of extremists including members of the fascist and theocratic group Hizb ut Tahrir (Reza Pankhurst) that seeks to create a global Islamic state that would murder homosexuals and ex-Muslims, whilst rendering non-Muslims and women second class citizens.

It includes notorious hate preachers such as Haitham al Haddad who promotes FGM and believes Jewish people are the descendants of apes and pigs. [Left Foot Forward] Read more

22 July 2015

Only Muslim 7/7 bomb survivor Sajda Mughal reveals mums are oblivious to extremism in Islam

The only Muslim survivor of the devastating 7/7 London bombings revealed that mothers in the Islamic community are often completely oblivious to extremism, during an appearance on Lorraine earlier today.

Sajda Mughal explained to host Fiona Phillips that she now dedicates her life to combating radicalisation and often finds that Muslim mothers are completely unaware of groups like ISIS.

"I work with these women on a daily basis because they are the centre of Muslim families," she said. "But most of them have never heard of the Islamic State. It's actually quite shocking!

"Quite recently, I gave a talk at a hall packed with Muslim mothers and honestly, only about 4% of them knew about Islamic extremism. They are just not aware - I think it's because there is a lack of education. [Daily Mirror] Read more

Pakistan Supreme Court suspends Asia Bibi death sentence

The Supreme Court in Pakistan has suspended the execution of a Christian woman convicted of blasphemy.

Asia Bibi, who has been on death row for nearly five years, was given leave to appeal. No hearing date was set.

She denies insulting the Prophet Mohammed, saying her Muslim accusers were acting on a personal grudge.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive issue in Pakistan - critics argue laws are frequently misused to settle personal scores, often targeting minorities.

The BBC's Shaimaa Khalil in Islamabad says this is the first time in the case that there has been a glimmer of hope for Asia Bibi. [BBC] Read more

Britain is right to cut out the Islamist cancer

Islamic extremism is a cancer that is spreading around the world, claiming innocent lives from Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria, to Chattanooga, Tennessee, here in the US. With every passing year, an increasing share of armed conflict and terrorism around the world is attributable to the pernicious influence of militant Islam.

Yet for more than a decade western leaders — conservatives and liberals alike — have united in insisting that “Islam is a religion of peace” and buying the absurd notion that Islamophobia is the threat we should worry more about. Until this week. On Monday, at long last, the British prime minister stood up and said what urgently needed to be said.

He condemned what he called “Islamist extremism” as a doctrine“hostile to basic liberal values such as democracy, freedom and sexual equality” and based on the conspiracy theory that the West is out to destroy Islam. And he boldly rejected what he called “the grievance justification” for extremism and the violence it spawns. [The Times (£)] Read more

21 July 2015

At last, the Prime Minister is listening to me on Muslim integration

I liked the Prime Minister’s speech on tackling the extremist threat and the failure of Muslim integration very much. So much, I could have written it myself.

In fact, I have written it myself. Week after week, month upon month, year on year in this very column. Those of us who are furious that a policy of cultural appeasement has been adopted towards people who wish to import attitudes and practices that are hostile to our country’s values have had a pretty lonely time of it, to be honest.

“Please don’t write about it any more,” my mum pleads. “I know you’re right, but it makes me nervous.”

Still, I keep going, because I know from your letters and emails how strongly Telegraph readers feel about a subject which, at root, is nothing less than a battle for the soul of the United Kingdom. For our right to be us. [929 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 77 votes] My argument isn't with you Alison, (why would it be) but with Cameron:

''He will play you, I, and the crowd for fools'':

He's an ''appeaser'', when it's leadership the country cries out for. And the recognition that Islam is not a religion, but an ideology, that seeks to impose its will on those countries short-sighted enough to act as a host for its covert agenda of infiltration and subjugation!

Islam is not, nor ever has been, some benign and honourable religion as perhaps Hindu, Sikh, Buddhism or Christianity are. History has more than once demonstrated that Islam is the ''Pariah of all religions'' and never to be trusted a single inch.

Cameron's CV: Short-sighted .. Appeaser .. and Weak ...... and ''Muslims know it'' and play on Cameron's weakness!

[2ND 74] I have been saying this for a very long time. "Islam is incompatible with European and British values."

About time that politicians agreed.

[3RD 69] Alison, a very disappointing article. Have you gone soft?

I have absolutely no faith that neither Cameron or any other Tory is willing to confront the corrosive effects of Islam in these islands. There is a total incompatibility of Islam with the United Kingdom and I say this as someone who is quite socially liberal in many respects.

Cameron has "previous" in making speeches on subjects he has no intention of addressing. This is no different.

Islam has no capacity to reform, therefore realising this should inform any strategy we devise to deal with it.

There's no getting away from it, it's going to be messy. [The Telegraph] Read more

Muslims in Britain must feel and act more British, says SHIRAZ MAHER

For too long, the British political establishment has been in a state of denial and disengagement about the threat of Islamic extremism.

It is an attitude that has been promoted not only by fears – however misplaced – about accusations of Islamophobia, but also by the belief that jihadism is a problem to be resolved solely by Muslims.

But David Cameron’s courageous and wide-ranging speech is one of the most significant recent interventions on this issue by a Western leader.

If his rhetoric is translated into action, then we can finally mount a proper challenge to the vile extremist Islamist dogma that is causing such misery across the world, including here in Britain.

.... The point about Islamist ideology is one that Mr Cameron has made several times before. It was at the heart of a speech to an international security conference in Munich in 2011, when he highlighted the dangers of ignoring the ideological roots of extremism.

Yesterday he went further, arguing that it is the intolerant, repressive dogma of extremist Islamism itself that feeds the unrelenting cycle of violence. ‘An extremist world view is the gateway, violence the ultimate destination,’ he said. [Daily Mail] Read more

Islamic State Is Not Islamic, Sex Grooming Gangs, Sharia Sportswear - One Month of Islam in Britain, June 2015

What follows is a summary of Islam and Islam-related issues in Britain during June 2015, categorized into four broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism; 2) British multiculturalism; 3) Islamic Sharia law; and 4) Muslim integration.

.... House of Fraser, a British department store group with over 60 stores across the United Kingdom and Ireland, launched a new line of Sharia-compliant sportswear for Muslim women. The collection includes unitard bodysuits and lightweight hijabs (Islamic headscarves) for women to wear during aerobics and swimming.

The move is aimed at encouraging headscarf-wearing Muslim women to exercise. According to Marie Claire, a monthly magazine for women, only 30% of all women in Britain exercise, but for Muslim women, that figure drops to 18%. The magazine says that many Muslim women do not participate in sports "because of the risk that their headscarves could become loose and fall off." [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Zurich pulls plug on Islamic kindergarten

Authorities in Zurich have refused to give the go-ahead to a Islamic kindergarten over fears it will be "too religious".

The decision is a further blow to the Al Huda association which had hoped to set up a private preschool for 15 to 20 students in an apartment in Zurich's Volketswil, NZZ reports.

It comes after the Zurich cantonal authorities also rejected Al Huda's plans for the school which planned to hire two kindergarten teachers, a part-time Arabic teacher and a part-time Quranic teacher.

In its non-binding ruling, the court said there was a lack of "clear boundaries" between the preschool's secular and religious teachings. [The Local] Read more

Mohammed Amin: Neutrality in the struggle against Islamist extremism is unacceptable

.... Reactions to the speech amongst Muslims have varied, as one would expect. The Muslim Council of Britain’s initial response is at this link. I was struck by the following extract:

“We worry, however, that these latest suggestions will set new litmus tests which may brand us all as extremists, even though we uphold and celebrate the rule of law, democracy and rights for all. Dissenting is a proud tradition of ours that must not be driven underground.

Challenging extremist ideology is what we all want, but we need to define tightly and closely what extremism is rather than perpetuate a deep misunderstanding of Islam and rhetoric, which inevitably facilitates extremists to thrive.”

I don’t think there is any risk of the government setting “new litmus tests which may brand us all as extremists” because it is not stupid and it understands that a litmus test which branded all Muslims as extremists would be worse than useless.

If the MCB wants to help our country, one of the most useful things it could do is to publish its own criteria for distinguishing between non-violent Islamist extremists (who are beyond the pale) and the overwhelming majority of non-extremist Muslims. [ConservativeHome] Read more

Lancashire Muslims ‘sick and tired’ of David Cameron’s pronouncements on home-grown Islamist extremism

LEADING East Lancashire Muslims say they are ‘sick and tired’ of Prime Minister David Cameron’s pronouncements on home-grown Islamist extremism.

Mr Cameron made a speech yesterday saying the root causes of radicalisation must be tackled and that many people born and raised in the UK don’t ‘identify with Britain and feel little or no attachment to other people here’.

Blackburn councillor Shaukut Hussain said every time this type of announcement was made the local Muslim community felt it had to defend itself.

He said: “I think he needs to be careful he does not want to isolate one community. We are British. Personally I am sick and tired of having to defend Muslims and my community. These extremists do not represent us. I do not feel I have to defend the actions of these idiots.

“Most of these guys have fallen away and what we need to do is to find a way of controlling the internet as that’s where the majority of brainwashing is taking place, not mosques, and I think he is wrong if he is trying to blame one community.” [Lancashire Telegraph] Read more

Malaysian activists question role of Muslim 'fashion police'

Women in Malaysia, long seen as a moderate Islamic nation, have been denied entry to government buildings on the grounds their skirts were too revealing, fanning fears of growing conservatism in a country with large non-Muslim minorities.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's reluctance to intervene on the sudden enforcement of a dress code, analysts say, shows the liberal-minded leader is unwilling to stand up to conservatives at a time when he is battling allegations of corruption.

Ethnic sensitivities can often trigger dispute in Malaysia, particularly as none of those criticised for their clothes was from the Muslim Malay community that forms two-thirds of a population of about 30 million. Ethnic Chinese number 25 percent, and Indians about 7 percent. [Reuters] Read more

20 July 2015

Cameron unveils strategy to tackle Islamist extremism

David Cameron has set out the government's strategy to defeat the "poison" of Islamist extremism.

He pledged to tackle extremist ideology and "the failures of integration" which he said had led to hundreds of Britons joining Islamic State (IS) militants.

Among a number of proposals, the PM promised to allow parents to have their children's passports cancelled if they feared they were at risk.

He also pledged to look at social housing to prevent further segregation.

The Muslim Council of Britain urged the prime minister to "put his words into action" and engage with "all sections of the community including mainstream Muslim organisations and those who have differing views". [2233 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 570 votes] Sick of Muslims playing the victim card. Nobody is accusing all Muslims of supporting IS; that's a clearly a ridiculous statement. What we are accusing you off is tacit agreement with many of the ideals & doing the square root of jack all to address it. This is your culture that propagates the belief that you're a Muslims first and a UK citizen second, not ours. Do something about it!

[2ND 493] Yasmin Qureshi said Muslims were tired of constantly being called on to apologise for the actions of extremists.

Apologise no, but there should be a minimum expectation that Muslims should be proactive in identifying and rooting out those who promote or propogate hatred.

With increasing numbers of British Muslims being radicalised, one feels the Muslim community can do more.

[3RD 466] No wonder many young muslims feel alienated and confused.

Trapped between the devout world of their parents, but living in a Western value society.

So either the Western world gets more fundamental or else Muslim society becomes more Western.

That means no veils in public, no Sharia law, no cousin marriages and no radical preachers either.

But will anyone have the guts to enact it?

[4TH 369] If you look around the world it's quite clear that generally people from totally different cultures do not integrate readily. Why are we surprised that this has also turned out to be the case here. We are far too keen to give UK citizenship and passports to people who will never truly be "UK citizens" in the full sense of that term. Just storing up a problem.

[5TH 343] There is a really obvious solution to the issue being addressed by our PM today. Sadly, that solution is the proverbial elephant in the room. Everybody knows the problem, but we're never allowed to mention it.

[6TH 323] If people want to travel to Syria and join IS, give them a packed lunch and a taxi to the airport - just take away their UK passports as they leave and inform them that their UK citizenship has been withdrawn.

Far better they are in Syria rather than the UK - persuading them to stay, or preventing their departure, merely keeps the problem here - IMHO, best they go.

[7TH 315] If Warsi and Qureshi are protesting Cameron must be on the right lines. [BBC] Read more

David Cameron extremism speech: Muslim leaders give their views on the PM's plans

I am concerned that yet again Cameron is conflating the issue of extremism and terrorism with those of cohesion and integration.

He says that Muslims are not doing enough to integrate and that risks fostering extremism – but just what is enough and how do you measure it?

There is also a contradiction between Mr Cameron extolling British values such as free speech and then suggesting that Muslims who object to gay equality are somehow extremist and their views should not be tolerated.

.... The worry is that the focus is on ideology as the primary cause of terrorism and radicalisation and that does not seem to tie very well with the academic research that seems to suggest that, in actual fact, the causes of terrorism are multifaceted.

There is a risk of over-simplifying the issue. [The Independent] Read more

Muslim charity should have done more to prevent extreme material appearing on its website, regulator says

An Islamic charity found to have material on its website that sought to legitimise the killing of gay people and encouraged the killing of Muslims in certain circumstances should have done more to prevent the material appearing, a Charity Commission inquiry has concluded.

The Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the Islamic Network in August last year after the commission was made aware of material hosted on the charity’s website.

Islamic Network took down its website before the commission began its inquiries, but an analysis of the charity’s archived web data found statements that referred to homosexuality as a "sick disease" and said killing gay people was legitimate. [Third Sector] Read more

Cameron's extremism speech gets mixed response from Birmingham Muslims

Muslims in Birmingham gave a mixed reaction to David Cameron’s speech on tackling extremism, with some echoing his condemnation of British Muslims who had travelled to Syria to join Islamic State, while others argued that he was unfairly stigmatising people.

Below the glass panels of the Bullring shopping centre, Fatema Bandali, a 24-year-old architect from Birmingham, said of the young men and women travelling to Syria to join Isis: “They’re not practising Muslims.

“Islam as a whole is about brotherhood. These people probably don’t feel part of anything and are looking outside to be accepted. Maybe they felt judged within the community and there were expectations they couldn’t meet.” [The Guardian] Read more

The full text of the Prime Minister’s speech on extremism

.... But you don’t have to support violence to subscribe to certain intolerant ideas which create a climate in which extremists can flourish.

Ideas which are hostile to basic liberal values such as democracy, freedom and sexual equality.

Ideas which actively promote discrimination, sectarianism and segregation.

Ideas – like those of the despicable far right – which privilege one identity to the detriment of the rights and freedoms of others.

And ideas also based on conspiracy…

…that Jews exercise malevolent power…

…or that Western powers, in concert with Israel, are deliberately humiliating Muslims, because they aim to destroy Islam.

In this warped worldview, such conclusions are reached…

…that 9/11 was actually inspired by Mossad to provoke the invasion of Afghanistan…

…that British security services knew about 7/7, but didn’t do anything about it because they wanted to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash. [ConservativeHome] Read more

Countering extremism. Cameron’s “struggle of a generation”

.... Today’s speech builds on what has already been done, and sets out four key problems: extremism can seem exciting, especially to young people; people can be drawn from non-violent extremism to violent extremism; extremists are overpowering other voices within Muslim debate, and failures of integration allow extremist ideas to gain traction. It will be delivered in front of a largely Muslim audience in Birmingham.

.... In essence, there are three main elements to counter-extremism policy.

First, government itself must not patronise or share platforms with or promote extremist groups – and get on with barring extremist preachers and websites.

Second, it must ensure that other institutions face up to their responsibilities: for example, it is right that Vice-Chancellors should be chivvied into treating Islamist extremists on campus in the same way that they would treat fascist extremists.

Finally, it must work alongside integration policy more broadly (hence Casey’s review). In particular, the test of the new policy will be whether it practices what it preaches: whether, for example, people who support an Islamic state or Islamist enclaves are kept off public bodies, especially policing ones. [ConservativeHome] Read more

David Cameron: extremist ideology is 'struggle of our generation'

PM to set out government’s five-year strategy, saying: ‘There are people born and raised in this country who don’t really identify with Britain’.

People must challenge the view that people become radicalised because of historic injustices, recent wars, poverty or hardship, David Cameron will say, describing such arguments as “grievance justification”.

In a keynote speech in Birmingham on Monday, the prime minister will set out the government’s five-year strategy for tackling extremist ideology, describing it as “struggle of our generation”.

Cameron will say “the root cause of the threat we face is the extremist ideology itself,” arguing that we need first to understand what makes Islamist extremism so attractive to people in order to prevent it. [The Guardian] Read more

19 July 2015

Boosting citizenship among Muslims will help tackle extremism

.... Yet we must not confuse the extremist violence of a tiny minority with the teachings of a great faith and the values of a peaceful majority. We must not allow these events to cause the division and fear that can further feed the dangerous narrative of religious conflict. Democratic participation and a vibrant public life, in which all can participate, are our strongest defences against this very real danger.

It is this desire to see civil society remain a strong and united force within the UK that has encouraged me to chair Citizens UK Commission on Islam, Participation and Public Life. [Dominic Grieve]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 56 votes] This article, like so many before it, seems to completely miss the key points.

The people who are committing (or planning to commit) the terror atrocities that blight the lives of people in the UK (and around the world) are not purporting to be Muslims, they are Muslims.

Just like many before it, the article goes on to say that the actions of these terrorists are condemned by the wider Muslim community but I don`t see or hear this happening.

Where are the mass protests by the Muslim community condemning what are is being done in their name? We see and hear the protests and anger when Muslims believe someone has insulted their religion or their Prophet but on this issue of terror attacks, nothing.

The article refers to “that many of the overwhelming majority of British Muslims, who condemn the actions of groups such as Islamic State, fear speaking out and taking public action because they believe that whatever they do or say will always be misrepresented”

Given the Muslim community's readiness to protest vociferously on many other issues, I find this difficult to accept.

The article asks why there is a void of participation in public life from the Muslim community and goes on to refer to the commission making recommendations and a timetable of implementation, it also indicates that some of the recommendations may require direct action by the Government.

I cannot be the only person who is tired of the rest of the community having to constantly fit itself around one small part that somehow sees itself as deserving of special treatment and which shows no inclination to proactively engage

[2ND 53] The inevitable conclusion will be that British public life should be more Islamic to make Muslims feel at home. How about changing the weather and asking Muslims to be less Islamic in order to feel at home? Why should the rest of us change? There should be a caveat emptor for people who move here.

[3RD 44] Islam divides the world into one that is populated by believers and the other by non-believers. Folks, usually left-liberals, who are disgusted by "othering" should take note.

Believers must submit to the notion that Mohammed is the perfect man and the Koran is the word of God (and thus infallible). Accordingly, the harshest penalty is reserved for apostasy and blasphemy.

Refer to polls on favoring death penalty for apostasy - Indonesia (18%), Bangladesh (44%), Malaysia (66%) - and these are the "moderate" countries. In Britain, 40% muslims have declared support for Sharia.

Better yet, ask the opinion of an ex-Muslim in the UK. Typical experience: shamed and shunned by the community and living in fear of their lives. How is this permissible in 21st century UK?

Thousands of muslims marched to restore the honor of the Prophet (damaged by a few cartoons) but no marches so far in support of Charlie Hebdo (or for that matter Salman Rushdie 30 years back). Why is tolerating intolerance acceptable?

[4TH 43] The lack of Muslim participation is easily explained. (And the lack of those wanting Muslims to participate).

There is simply no other religion on earth that draws such sharp distinction between its own members and others, or whose holiest text devotes as much time toward condemning and dehumanizing those who merely choose not to follow its dogma.

The problem will continue until Muslims themselves put this right.

[5TH 42] It's time to get much more selective and cautious about who is allowed to be a citizen, regardless of who is offended/hurt by these actions. There will always be those who want to exploit the benefits of living in a developed western country whilst simultaneously hating what it stands for and the freedoms it provides.

I am the son of a Syrian man (non religious) and I know how hard he worked to fit in when he moved to the UK, even taking up British past times and changing his first name so as not to stand out. He simply had no interest in fighting the native culture or standing out, and wanted to progress in his career without an Arabic name holding him back.

Whenever I visit the UK I'm shocked at how it has changed in the last 20 years. I see more women in the Niqab in Brum than in central Istanbul where I live. That is not an exaggeration.

[6TH 40] Sorry but the extremists are just adhereing to the holy text that is central to their religion. If you accept, like muslims do, that the Qur'an is the literal word of god, there is little scope for boosting citizenship or tackling extemism.

[7TH 38] "Yet we must not confuse the extremist violence of a tiny minority with the teachings of a great faith and the values of a peaceful majority."

There is no confusion. The jihadis that commit acts of extreme violence on a daily basis are following a perfectly plausible reading of their doctrine and example of the Prophet. They clearly justify their actions with reference to their faith. It's counter productive to pretend this is not the case and it is only by facing the truth that we can start to address the problem.

[8TH 35] Grieve writes: "Yet we must not confuse the extremist violence of a tiny minority with the teachings of a great faith and the values of a peaceful majority."

Douglas Murray has some interesting thoughts. He notes that

"In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. It was said by George W. Bush after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7 and Tony Abbott after the Sydney attack. It is what David Cameron said after two British extremists cut off the head of Drummer Lee Rigby in London..."

Now here's the really interesting bit. Murray continues

"All these leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie.

Why do they lie?

"The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a ‘noble lie’, provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. ‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake."

Murray's musings make me wonder whether Grieve actually believes what he writes.

[9TH 34] “We need to understand why there is a void of participation in public life from the Muslim community”

This is obvious – Islam is not adaptable or flexible enough to fit in with the direction a modern Britain will travel

“...and why it is a growing issue”

This is also obvious – the population of British people that believe in the Islamic faith is growing. So, see point above

“...and we need to understand the impact of this on wider civil society.”

The not so modern Britain will also continuously ask, ‘why’ should they worry about understanding what an incompatible religious belief should be given any consideration.

[10TH 34] "Yet we must not confuse the extremist violence of a tiny minority with the teachings of a great faith and the values of a peaceful majority."

And yet an Al Jazeera Arabic poll put support for Islamic State at 81%.

[Guardian Cif] Read more

Former Park View Trust chairman Tahir Alam 'facing school governor lifetime ban'

A man allegedly linked to the Trojan Horse scandal is facing a potential lifetime ban from being a school governor.

Tahir Alam, said to be connected to a plot by hardline Muslim governors to take over a number of Birmingham schools, is expected to be handed the ban as part of a new crackdown by the Department for Education.

Sources claim the ban is to be implemented following the recommendations made by the former counter-terrorism police chief Peter Clarke in his report into the Trojan Horse controversy.

His report found evidence of an “aggressive Islamist agenda” and recommended better systems to check on those who are governors, including being able to ban discredited governors from schools in the future.

The move comes amid growing concern about the Department’s failure to implement the report’s recommendations. [Birmingham Mail] Read more

Australian MP George Christensen tells protesters – 'we are at war with radical Islam'

A controversial Australian MP has defended his decision to address an anti-Islamic rally in his constituency.

George Christensen, a Liberal MP for Darwin in the north of the country, spoke at a “Reclaim Australia” on Saturday despite a petition against his presence being signed by over 1,800 people.

In his speech, in his hometown of Mackay, he said he would not stand back and allow a “culture of appeasement” to “fester” in Australian society.

He said: “A petition urged the Prime Minister to prevent me from even attending today. The apologists of the left, the do-gooders, and the politically correct crowd said I should not address you because you were a crowd of: racists, bigots, Islamophobes, extremists, white supremacists, skinheads, and Nazis.

.... He added: “The spread of repressive ideologies under our very noses right here in our own country has already begun. I refer to the slow spread of a Sharia-style dispensation of justice which is quietly executed in Australian mosques on a daily basis.

“It’s sad to see that those who wish to take a stand against the tyranny of Islamic extremism, the ideals of Islamism, are accused of being racist, bigoted or intolerant.” [The Independent] Read more

Government to take firmer stance on Muslims who fail to denounce jihadis

The Government is set to take a firmer stance against Muslims who fail to oppose Islamist extremism.

In a speech to be delivered to an audience of Muslim men and women in Birmingham, David Cameron is expected to announce that only those in the Muslim community willing to take a stand against jihadist violence will be supported and those who “walk up to the border of illegality” will be denounced.

A Downing Street source told The Independent on Sunday: “There are people in the Muslim community who walk up to the border of illegality with the aim of radicalising others – they are the equivalent of David Irving denying the Holocaust.

“There are Muslims who say they are not advocating violence,” said the source, but who still deny the Holocaust, question Israel’s right to exist, and whether men and women and Jews and Muslims should mix. [The Independent] Read more

18 July 2015

ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi BANS extremist group from releasing any more graphic execution videos to 'spare the feelings of fellow Muslims and their children'

ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has issued a decree banning the barbaric execution videos his militants have become famous for - because he's worried about their image.

Al-Baghdadi is said to have sent a letter to all of his media offices saying they were no longer allowed to show graphic, violent scenes in their carefully edited videos, which caught the attention of the wider world with the emergence of 'Jihadi John' in 2014.

He is said to have claimed the decision was based on not offending other Muslims, who might think the videos are scary for children. [Daily Mail] Read more

17 July 2015

Islamophobic attacks rise fourfold in France

Islamophobic attacks in France - home to Western Europe’s largest Muslim population - rose fourfold in the first half of 2015, the French Observatory Against Islamophobia said on Friday.

Citing Interior Ministry figures, the group said there were 274 attacks on Muslims and Muslim sites in the six months of the year, compared to 72 in the same period last year.

Attacks during the first quarter, in the immediate aftermath of the killing of 17 people around Paris in January, were much greater than in the second quarter - 222 between January and March and 52 in the following three months.

Abdallah Zekri, head of the observatory, said the number may be higher as many Muslims were reluctant to file a complaint with the police.

He accused French politicians of being “insensitive to Islamophobic attacks” and called on them to condemn incidents such as violent attacks on individuals and vandalism of mosques.

An estimated five million Muslims, mostly of North African origin, live in France. [Anadolu Agency] Read more

There will be no more Prophet Mohammed cartoons, says Charlie Hebdo editor

The editor of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has said the magazine will no longer draw cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in an interview with a German magazine.

Laurent Sourisseau told Hamburg-based news magazine, Stern, that the magazine had done its job and what it had set out to fulfil.

The weekly magazine's editor, who is known as Riss, said: "We have drawn Mohammad to defend the principle that one can draw whatever they want. It is a bit strange though: we are expected to exercise a freedom of expression that no one dares to.

"We've done our job. We have defended the right to caricature."

He told the German magazine he did not want to believe the magazine was possessed by Islam but maintained that he believed that they had "the right to criticise all religions". [The Telegraph] Read more

Ramadan offers chance to oppose extremism

.... In January, the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi called for a revolution in Islam, saying that outdated interpretations had made the Muslim world a source of destruction.

However, others do not want a revolution within Islam but reinterpretations, or gentler reforms.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi, American scholar Sheikh Hamza Yusuf urged a return to the core tenet of mercy in Islam, describing the religion as a house that had been neglected and was in need of renovation.

"The water taps aren't working, the plumbing's not working. The house is in disarray," he told the Associated Press.

"You don't destroy it, you don't set it aside. You renovate it."

He said Muslims should not oppose even strong reforms, nor feel that everything needed to be changed.

"Because of the urgency of the situation, some people are waking up... and thinking we better do something," he said. [BBC] Read more

16 July 2015

Event Cancelled - More imposed silence

As part of the on-going war on free speech in the UK, my planned event this evening with Bedford Skeptics in the Pub has been cancelled.

Bedford Skeptics have described the cancellation by stating: "Sadly, due to security issues raised by Ann Marie Waters, we have been notified by North End Social Club that they will be unable to open the club on the evening of the meeting due to the concerns of their staff."

Given that the event appeared in the local newspaper, I merely asked that I be collected from the station and returned there, that someone be on the door, and that the police be informed.

This is what I received when told of the cancellation:

"Due to the articles that have appeared in this weeks Beds on Sunday, I am unable to find any staff willing to work. I have also received complaints from several members of the club." [Sharia Watch] Read more

Saudi woman films harassment by religious police in shopping centre 'for wearing eye make up'

A woman turned the tables on Saudi Arabian religious police, filming herself challenging officers harassing her for dressing 'provocatively' in a shopping centre in Riyadh and posting the footage on YouTube.

While shopping in the Saudi capital's Nakheel Mall with her husband, the woman is approached by the muttawa religious police, who enforce the Islamic kingdom's strict interpretation of Sharia law.

The men order the woman to leave the centre, deeming her outfit too provocative, however she refuses, and films six muttawa officers pursuing them. "As you can see, they don't want to leave me and my husband alone," she says, reports France 24. [International Business Times] Read more

Eid row: Parents accuse school of refusing to switch leavers' assembly so it doesn't clash with Muslim celebration

Parents have accused school bosses of being insensitive and inconsiderate after ‘refusing’ to change the day of a Year 6 leavers’ assembly because it clashes with Eid celebrations.

Dozens of angry mums and dads signed a petition urging Manley Park Primary headteacher Tracy Hamilton-Hall to move the assembly at the Whalley Range school from tomorrow - the last day of term - to today.

Parents said scores of Muslim Year 6 pupils would be forced miss celebrating their final day at primary school because of Eid commitments.

In a letter to Ms Hamilton-Hall, parents said they will take their ‘entitlement to an authorised absence for religious observance’. [Manchester Evening News] Read more

Dispatches – Escape from Isis review: a story of appalling brutality, and a glimmer of hope

Last night’s Dispatches – Escape from Isis (Channel 4) contained many horrifying stories from the Sinjar mountain region in north Iraq, an area that is a frontier with the so-called Islamic State.

Last August it was the target of an Isis attack. Hundreds of Yazidi people – an Iraqi ethnic and religious minority – were killed. Isis fighters also captured 3,000 women and young girls who have been sold into slavery, abused, passed around, the spoils of an ugly war.

It’s hard to know what is more unsettling. There is the smuggled footage of Isis fighters bantering in an internet cafe about a slave auction of Yazidi women. There’s the 21-year-old woman who starts to detail her capture, only to find her memories trigger such a violent physical reaction that she has to lie down, gasping for air. How often does this happen, our narrator asks? “Today she’s had five of these attacks,” is the matter-of-fact reply. [The Guardian] Read more

Birmingham Trojan Horse letter 'no hoax'

A letter outlining a plot by some Muslims to take over schools in Birmingham was "no hoax", according to the city's education commissioner Sir Mike Tomlinson.

The anonymous Trojan Horse letter, discovered in 2013, included advice on installing school governors.

It has been the subject of four major inquiries.

Sir Mike said he believed many details in the letter "were happening [in schools], without a shadow of doubt".

The letter outlined a plan to bring in new school governors, undermine head teachers and ultimately introduce changes sympathetic to the group of conservative Muslims.

"Whatever anybody says, it was no hoax," Sir Mike said.

He said evidence uncovered in inquiries by the Department for Education (DfE) and Ofsted "mirrored what was said in the letter". [BBC] Read more

15 July 2015

Belgium eager to expel 4 more imams

The Belgian authorities are monitoring the activities of four imams, who they believe are encouraging young people to become extremists. The four risk being expelled from the country as has just happened with an imam from Verviers.

Belgian Asylum Secretary Theo Francken has told lawmakers that he would like the imams to be expelled. The Asylum Secretary informed MPs that the residence permit of an imam holding joint Moroccan Dutch nationality from Dison has been revoked. The imam was active in radical circles in the Verviers area, the scene of the killing of two Muslim extremist terrorist suspects last January.

The Immigration Department is examining the papers of four other imams suspected of preaching radicalism. They include two Moroccans, an Algerian and an Afghan.

Mr Francken defended the measures he had taken to screen radical imams and jihadi fighters returning from Syria. Some measures are being taken against people who have not been convicted of committing any offence: "All western countries have such a system. I believe it's absolutely necessary and I wonder why it hasn't happened before." [Flanderninfo.be] Read more

Seattle mayor offers plan to help followers of Sharia law buy houses

For some Muslims, it can be hard to buy a house, and Mayor Ed Murray plans to do something about it.

On Monday, Murray's housing committee released its recommendations for ways the city can increase housing in the city. Most ideas were what you'd expect, including increasing the city's housing levy and implementing new rules and regulations to foster development of market-rate and lower-income housing.

One suggestion would help followers of Sharia law buy houses. That's virtually impossible now because Sharia law prohibits payment of interest on loans. The 28-member committee recommended the city convene lenders and community leaders to explore options for increasing access to Sharia-compliant loan products. [Puget Sound Business Journal] Read more

How ISIS sells Sharia law in Libya: Terror group erects chilling billboards ordering women they must wear baggy, heavy hijab that covers them completely and not wear perfume

ISIS has been able to gain a foothold amid chaos in Libya, where two governments backed by rival alliances of militias are battling each other as well as extremist groups.

It has established strongholds in the towns on Sirte and Derna, and smaller bases elsewhere in the country.

It is believed the number of ISIS killers has swelled from just a few dozen in Libya last year to some 2,000.

The latest instrument of oppression - the huge billboard - depicts a woman covered head to toe in a black robe, alongside the list of 'stipulations'.

Clothing must baggy and cover the whole body, and made of heavy material. It must not be made by a famous brand, resemble men's clothes or garments worn by 'female unbelievers', be decorated so it attracts attention, or be scented. [Daily Mail] Read more

14 July 2015

Britain could start calling ISIS 'Daesh', says Fallon amid warnings that Muslims 'recoil' at the suggestion it is an 'Islamic State'

Britain should start to refer to jihadi terrorists in Syria and Iraq as ‘Daesh’ instead of ISIS or ISIL, Michael Fallon suggested today.

The Defence Secretary backed the idea of avoiding any term which contains the word ‘state’ which implies ‘legitimacy’ on the barbarous group plotting terror atrocities in Iraq and Syria.

He is the most senior government minister to back changing the terminology, after David Cameron called on the BBC and other media to stop using ‘Islamic State’ because Muslims would 'recoil' at the phrase being used to justify the 'perversion of a great religion'. [512 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 673 votes] Why are we wasting our time and energy on [this] PC nonsense?!!!!

[2ND 539] They call themselves ISIS. End of. Stop the PC BS

[3RD 410] That's like saying I want you to stop saying the KKK because they're not reflective of all Christians. Their group is dedicated to the setting up of the Islamic Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, therefor they ARE ISIS - any other name is just denial of that fact! [Daily Mail] Read more

Raped, beaten and sold: Yazidi women tell of IS abuse

Three young Yazidi women have escaped from sex slavery in the hands of the Islamic State (IS) group and travelled to London, where they told their horrific stories.

The three girls are fragile, beautiful and very scared. They won't show their faces to the camera because, they say, they still have friends and family being held by the fanatics and they fear the repercussions that they might suffer if they reveal their identities. It is hard to imagine what could be worse than what they have already routinely suffered.

"We were raped up to five times a day," says 20-year-old Bushra. "One girl went to the bathroom and slit her wrist. When she did not die she cut her throat. The guards came to me and said you come and identify her - she's your friend. I could not recognise her. There was so much blood on her face. The guards wrapped her in a blanket and threw her out with the rubbish." [BBC] Read more

Outrage as nine Sudanese women face 40 lashes for wearing trousers

A Sudanese Christian woman arrested for wearing trousers has narrowly escaped the punishment of 40 lashes, in a case that human rights groups say is further damning evidence of the government’s intolerance to its Christian population.

Fardos Al Toum, 19, was arrested for indecency along with 11 other women in June in front of a church in Khartoum by the so-called morality police, who enforce the government’s strict codes, for appearing in public in trousers and skirts.

A judge pronounced his guilty verdict on Monday, and the rest of the nine accused women will appear at separate trials throughout July, the threat of flogging still hanging over them. [The Guardian] Read more

13 July 2015

Muslim parents must challenge mosques which fail to condemn extremism, says Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood

Kahlid Mahmood (Lab Perry Barr) said: “It is a responsibility for the Muslim community and I think the Muslim community needs to look at itself.”

And he said it was wrong to think calls for Muslims to look out for signs of extremism were “picking on the Muslim community”.

Mr Mahmood, the first Muslim MP at Westminster to represent an English constituency, was speaking after Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid (Con) told the BBC that parents should expect mosques to speak out against extremism.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has argued that some extremist ideas - which stop short of advocating violence - are quietly “condoned” in sections of British Muslim communities. [Birmingham Mail] Read more

Younger generation of British Muslims showing shift in attitude to gender roles

Thinktank report shows majority of 16 to 24-year-old UK Muslims disagree that ‘a husband’s job is to earn money, a wife’s is to look after the home and family’.

The difference of views between younger and older British Muslims regarding the role of men and women in society is stark, according to new findings shared with the Guardian from the thinktank Demos, with more than half of 16- to 24-year-olds disagreeing with the statement: “A husband’s job is to earn money, a wife’s job is to look after the home and family.” Fewer than 24% agreed. In contrast, 50% of those respondents aged 55 or older agreed with the statement, while less than 17% disagreed.

The findings, taken from a sample size of 38,952 respondents from randomly selected households, builds on recent census analysis that shows there is a young and increasingly well-educated Muslim population in Britain. In the last census, there were nearly 330,000 Muslim full-time students in the UK, of which 43% were women. But analysis of the 2011 census shows that within the 16 to 74 age band, 18% of Muslim women are “looking after home and family”, compared with 6% in the overall population. [130 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 59 votes] “Recent analysis of the labour force survey found that Muslim women were 71% more likely than white Christian women to be unemployed, even when they had the same educational level and language skills, with discrimination being a key factor according to Dr Nabil Khattab, lecturer of sociology at the University of Bristol.”

How does he reach that conclusion that the key factor is discrimination? There is no evidence presented. In Fact…

If you read his research then you find that “Survey data showed that the unemployment rate among Muslim women was 18 per cent, compared with 9 per cent for Hindu women” So why do Muslim women have twice the unemployment level as a comparable visible minority? Could it be something to do with the culture of the group?

Without evidence looks like someone playing out the victim card…but once again.

[2ND 51] ANOTHER COMMENT SAID "This is hardly surprising and is what I have been predicting for many years now: As time goes on Muslims in this country will become more liberal in line with the rest of Western society.

Conservatives who have warned of Islamification of the West are simply wrong because subsequent generations of immigrants are likely to discard the traditions of their forbears.

Even the Muslim extremists can be seen as part of this trend as they are simply rebelling against their own kind's westernisation." [9 votes]

I think this is very optimistic. Many young Muslim women and girls are adopting the Saudi face veil, for example, when their mothers (mainly of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin in this country) never wore it. The spread of Wahhabism is creating a generation who are far more radical than their parents and grandparents.

[3RD 31] "Is that photo really the best one to reflect the content of the article?"

--Why not, if it shows a high-heeled Muslim woman walking in front of her husband who is carrying her handbag?

Seriously though, it is this para that gets me:

"Dr Sundas Ali, lecturer in politics and political sociology at the University of Oxford, said that while the new findings helped understand some of the “soft” factors – such as as attitude – behind the low economic participation of British Muslim women, they do not take into account factors such as provision for childcare services and perceived discrimination in the workplace."

--Of course, it had to be discrimination in the workplace!! Wouldn't be a worthy Guardian article without it.

[4TH 30] Finding a job is the merest scratch in the surface towards integration with society. Living in mixed communities and intermarrying with the local population is what our society needs for full integration.

[5TH 22] It is clear from this and other studies that the rate of integration of Muslims is much slower than any other group. It is notable that Hindus which are essentially the same race integrate quickly so it is about culture.

We should limit immigration to the most adaptable to British culture and ban all Muslim immigration and encourage conversion away from Islam. Facing up to the clear falsehoods in Islam and incompatibility with British culture is urgently required.

[6TH 21] Good...it needs British Muslim women to challenge:-

restrictive clothing,
non participation in competitive sports,
Opting out if competitive swimming
Sharia family courts run by men for men,
Sharia compliant Wills...

If you're British, you're free and have equality of opportunity...grab it with both hands, reject the medieval hegemony. [The Guardian] Read more