31 August 2015

The 'Birmingham Koran' fragment that could shake Islam after carbon-dating suggests it is OLDER than the Prophet Muhammad

Fragments of the world's oldest Koran, found in Birmingham last month, may predate the Prophet Muhammad and could even rewrite the early history of Islam, according to scholars.

The pages, thought to be between 1,448 and 1,371 years old, were discovered bound within the pages of another Koran from the late seventh century at the library of the University of Birmingham.

Written in ink in an early form of Arabic script on parchment made from animal skin, the pages contain parts of the Suras, or chapters, 18 to 20, which may have been written by someone who actually knew the Prophet Muhammad - founder of the Islamic faith. Comments [1854 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 7498 votes] How can it predate Mohammed, as he founded Islam? That would mean Mohammed was not the prophet sent by Allah surely?

[2ND 6226] Who cares? Religion is the root of all the troubles in the world. People should concentrate on being good, reasonable, caring, empathetic creatures rather than looking for get out clauses on bit of paper to do the exact opposite!

[3RD 4592] Please don't refer to him as "The Prophet Muhammed"as if this is an established title accepted by everyone, unless the editorial policy of the DM is also to refer to "The Messiah Jesus Christ" or "The Prophet Joseph Smith." "Muhammed, the Islamic prophet" will do ok.

[4TH 4579] Not my prophet

[5TH 3699] I need coffee. I read the headline as , 'Korean found in Birmingham.....'

[6TH 3467] Do me a favour - they're all brainwashed beyond redemption. They are never going to believe anything that challenges their beliefs

[7TH 3079] These prophets almost came along likes busses, in olden times. Since we have become a modern civilisation, not a single one for over 1500 years, strange that. [Daily Mail] Read more

Christian couple lynched for blasphemy: the police accused of negligence

The Supreme Court of Pakistan criticized the inaction of the police in front of the lynching of the Christian couple Shahzad and Shama Masih, accused of blasphemy and killed in Kot Radha Kishan, Punjab, on 4 November 2014.

On 24 August, the Court, in a case involving two accused of the lynching, strongly criticized the police for not having intervened to prevent violence and did nothing to protect the two Christian citizens. Five police officers were present at the scene of the crime, while the crowd of extremists who carried out the lynching was made up of about 500 fanatics.

The officers are accused of negligence, while the prosecutor argued that the police tried to stop the angry crowd, but failed. An anti-terrorism court in Pakistan has charged with murder 106 people deemed responsible for the lynching of the Christian couple, but justice, say Christian lawyers, moves at a slow pace. [Fides News Agency] Read more

Germany's Muslim Demographic Revolution

Germany's Muslim population is set to skyrocket by more than 700,000 in 2015, pushing the total number of Muslims in the country to nearly 6 million for the first time.

The surge in Germany's Muslim population - propelled by a wave of migration unprecedented since the Second World War - represents a demographic shift of epic proportions, one that critics of the country's open-door immigration policy warn will change the face of Germany forever.

At a press conference on August 19, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière revealed that a record 800,000 migrants and refugees - the equivalent of nearly one percent of Germany's total population - are expected to arrive in Germany in 2015, a four-fold increase over 2014. He said that 83,000 migrants had arrived in July alone, and that the figure for August would be higher still. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

30 August 2015

Wiping yet more history off the face of the earth: ISIS blow up 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel in Palmyra in latest outrage at the ancient Syrian city

ISIS has severely damaged yet another wonder of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, this time the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel.

That's according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group monitoring the conflict, citing contacts on the ground.

It was feared Bel would be next on the militant's hitlist at the Unesco World Heritage Site in central Syria after the temple of Baal Shamin was dynamited last week.

Dedicated to the Phoenician god of storms and fertilizing rains, the UN called the destruction of Baal Shamin a war crime.

A Palmyra resident, who goes by the name of Nasser al-Thaer, said IS militants set off a huge blast at 1.45 pm on Sunday.

'It is total destruction,' he said of the scene of the explosion. 'The bricks and columns are on the ground.' [Daily Mail] Read more

29 August 2015

Muslim advocate: Scott Walker is 'enabling ISIS' with 'radical Islam' rhetoric

A representative for America's largest Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization said Gov. Scott Walker is "enabling ISIS" by allowing the terrorist group to co-opt the Islamic religion.

"With this, Scott Walker is actually enabling ISIS by characterizing their acts as being Islamic terrorism," said Robert McCaw, government affairs manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "He is taking a peaceful religion of 1.6 billion people and misappropriating it to ISIS, allowing them to wrap themselves in the religion's name and stake a claim to it."

McCaw was referring to Walker's first foreign policy address as a presidential candidate, delivered on Friday at The Citadel military college in South Carolina, during which he referenced Islamic extremists or radical Islamic terrorism 11 times. [Madison.com] Read more

28 August 2015

'I was a hate preacher who radicalised at least one Brit jihadi but I've changed after coming out'

A student hate preacher who radicalised at least one British jihadi in Syria and seriously considered mounting a suicide bomb attack in London has renounced extremist Islamism – and come out as gay.

Sohail Ahmed said he grew up hating the West after being indoctrinated by strict Muslim parents and sent to a hardline madrassa in east London.

The 23-year said he gained respect at college and university as Sheikh ul Islam, telling followers that the West was at war with Islam and that the “kafir” - or unbelievers - were evil.

But Sohail said that doubts about his own sexuality and help from former extremists at the Quilliam Foundation helped him move away from Islamism.

The softly-spoken physics student was born in London to parents originally from Kashmir, Pakistan.

He said: “My Dad came here when he was three, my mother when she married him at 16.

“Up until the age of four or five, my parents weren't really practicing Muslims and certainly not extreme.

“Then they were befriended by another family in our tower block, who introduced them to the hardline Salafi/Wahhabi form of Islam from Saudi Arabia. [Daily Mirror] Read more

Swedish Imam to Muslims: "Do Not Befriend the Unbelievers" - One Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Sweden: July 2015

.... On July 1, the Swedish daily Gefle Dagblad revealed that an imam from the northern city of Gävle was the man behind the now-closed website, www.muslim.se, which stated, among other things, that homosexuality is punishable by death. The imam, Abo Raab, is a prominent figure in the Swedish Imam Association, which has received over 400,000 kronor (more than $47,000) from the government to "combat Islamophobia and racism in society."

When its officials applied for the money, the association claimed to want to create a professional website containing "factual and pertinent information about Islam" and "to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims." But no bridges were built. The website, which was shut down in January for unknown reasons, listed the following as forbidden for Swedish Muslims:

Being homosexual, punishable by death.
Befriending non-believers and liking them.
Joining the communities of the non-believers, joining their political parties, increasing their numbers, adopting their nationalities (except when absolutely necessary), joining their armies or helping them develop weapons.
Imitating their clothing, appearance, speech etc., because this indicates a love for the person or people imitated. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

27 August 2015

Maajid Nawaz: ‘Treat Islamist extremists like the BNP — like racists’

.... The founder of the counterterrorism think tank Quilliam occupies a strange space in the endless debates around Islamist extremism. He has recanted the poisonous politics that landed him in an Egyptian prison cell for four years and reinvented himself as a lone, liberal Muslim voice; the smooth wonk in the expensive suit.

Right now he is much angrier at the “racism” of “privately educated, silver-spooned, champagne-socialist Guardian journalists” than he is at the Daily Mail for publishing pictures of him straddled by a stripper on his stag do before his second marriage. It was a minor scandal in the life of the 36-year-old former firebrand, who went from scrapping with skinheads in Southend as a teenager to joining the radical group Hizb ut-Tahrir and its campaign to create a worldwide caliphate as a student. He now advises the prime minister on how to root out the homegrown extremists.

.... Nawaz wants to see Islamist extremists treated like the BNP or English Defence League. Don’t ban them, he says, just shrink their platform by ostracising their affiliates. “Treat them like racists. Why is it you can’t be a member of BNP and be a police officer, but you can still be a schoolteacher if you’re a member of the Muslim Brotherhood?” [The Times (£)] Read more

26 August 2015

First female voters register in Saudi Arabia - Strict rules will keep the sexes apart

.... the length of time it has taken to reach this point raises doubts about the kingdom's ability to implement reform on the scale that will be needed to avoid an eventual collapse of the system. And the price of granting electoral rights to women is a further entrenchment of gender apartheid.

.... for this year's elections, everything seems to be in place to ensure that male and female voting goes ahead without any possibility of sexual hanky-panky. Of the 1,263 voting centres, more than a third have been reserved for female voters. Candidates will be allowed to address voters of the opposite sex, so long as they don't speak to them directly. Arab News reports:

"Male candidates can address female voters at the women's centres through audio circuit or CCTV, while female candidates can address voters at the men's centres through closed audio circuit." [al-bab.com] Read more

25 August 2015

Tolerant and multicultural, Palmyra stood for everything Isis hates

In May 2015, Islamic State captured the modern city of Palmyra. The adjoining Unesco world heritage site is a breathtaking archaeological complex like no other. In the 2nd century AD this oasis city in the Syrian desert was one of the grandest and wealthiest places in the world, with a total population about the size of modern Cardiff.

Much of the ancient civic and sacred architecture still survives. Perhaps most evocative is the colonnaded street more than 1km in length: in antiquity, caravan traders from all over the Middle East would have processed along this road with their spices and silks towards the city’s religious heart, the magnificent temple of Bel, eyed from above by hundreds of statues of Palmyrene benefactors.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "Isis’s fascistic monoculturalism"

Which from a historical perspective is not without precedence. The Islamic prophet Mohammed conducted a similar act in Mecca, which was previously also, like Palmyra, a 'multicultural' city of pilgrimage and trade (for Christians, Jews and even Hindus). This was all destroyed.

[2ND] Exactly. There isn't a single crime ISIS has committed (including executions, rape and slavery) that Mohammed himself didn't do.

When ISIS claim they are following in the prophet's footsteps, they're 100% right.

[3RD] "And yet nobody seems to be doing anything about it..."

Well no-one wants to be called an imperialist by the Noam Chompsky set, let it burn. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Muslim World and Secularism

In Pakistan and, in fact, most of the Islamic world, the very concept of secularism is completely misunderstood. Somehow the concept has been thoroughly confused and amalgamated with Atheism.

An overwhelming majority of politicians, and even intellectuals, often try to defend themselves when "accused" of being secular, particularly on mainstream online media and Urdu print media. To declare oneself as a secular is considered equivalent to being considered an atheist in the public imagination.

The entire atmosphere is riddled with severe misconceptions about secularism. Due to fear of being branded as "Atheist" and anti-Islamic the word secular, in both letter and spirit, is virtually absent from the discourse. Even those who understand that secularism is fundamentally different from atheism often raise the question: "what good is secularism?" and " All we need is the right interpretation of religion." [The Huffington Post] Read more

Quebec law would stifle free speech

.... Bill 59 will permit Muslims to make complaints to the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) against anyone critiquing Islam or Islamism, triggering lawsuits for hate speech.

As if that wasn’t enough of an attempt to silence Muslims like me, who have struggled all of our adult lives to expose the perils of Islamism, Article 6 of Bill 59 would, “give the QHRC the power to initiate legal proceedings before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal without having to wait for complaints from the public.”

While this serious encroachment on freedom of expression and speech is being pushed through the legislative process in Quebec, none of the leaders of Canada’s political parties have uttered a word on the issue. [Toronto Sun] Read more

Toronto man denied subsidized housing for not being Muslim

A disabled Toronto man had his name removed from the waiting list of a subsidized city apartment because he does not meet the main criteria for living there: being Muslim.

“It doesn’t make any sense; I lived in Texas, that doesn’t make sense even there,” said Austin Lewis, 21, who is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.

Lewis is attempting to find subsidized, rent-to-income accommodations in Toronto. He has applied to dozens of apartments through Housing Connections, an organization that manages a waiting list of applicants applying for subsidized housing. [Global News] Read more

AP Interview: Latvian president supports banning burqa

Latvia's president says he would support a ban on face-covering Islamic veils as the Baltic country readies to receive 250 refugees from Africa and the Middle East.

Raimonds Vejonis told the AP in an interview Tuesday that it's up to Latvian lawmakers to decide whether to outlaw the burqa, as some have proposed, but that he personally favors a ban.

Vejonis, a former defense minister who took office in July, said there's a "security component" to the issue and even linked it to fears of terrorism.

"We haven't any terrorism in our region," he said. "I don't want to somehow escalate the situation and raise the possible threat level in our region. It is my personal opinion on why I support the ban on the burqa." [Associated Press] Read more

Muslim Drag Queens watched by more than 1 million on Channel 4

Channel 4’s controversial documentary Muslim Drag Queens drew more than 1 million viewers on Monday night.

The documentary featured Asif Quaraishi, an activist who performs in clubs as Asifa Lahore, who put police on alert for fear of reprisal following its broadcast after receiving death threats last year.

The 60-minute documentary, which was narrated by Sir Ian McKellen, drew an average audience of 1.1 million viewers and a 6.9% share of all TV viewing between 10pm and 11pm.

The documentary followed the difficulties faced in the lives of three gay Asian drag queens and explores the largely clandestine so-called “Gaysian” community in the UK. [The Guardian] Read more

This Darwin was crazy in the head

Cleric Muzammil Faqiri, in an address at a Sudanese university:

Some students have addressed questions to me. The first question: "I am a Muslim, but I read books by Darwin. A friend of mine brings me these books. What's your advice?"

First of all you must stay away from this friend. What would you do if you had a friend who uses drugs? Your friend is a Communist who brings you Communist books. This Darwin was crazy in the head. He was completely insane. The flies buzzing around here are better than Darwin. By God they are, because they praise Allah. Darwin, on the other hand, was a polytheist, an infidel, and an atheist. He denied the existence of Allah, just like the Communists here.... [Mick Hartley] Read more

24 August 2015

School tells Muslim pupil to take off veil in class

The 14-year-old Muslim girl was sent home from her school in Thun last week after being told that wearing the hijab — a veil that covers the head and chest — contravened a school rule forbidding pupils from covering their heads, reported Le Matin.

Speaking to the paper, the school’s director said they were having “constructive discussions” with the girl’s parents and that “a solution would emerge”.

But a compromise could be difficult to find since there is no legal basis for prohibiting the hijab in class.

In 2011 the Bern cantonal government refused a proposal by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party (UDC) calling for regulation of school uniform, saying instead that schools should have the right to decide for themselves what is appropriate. [The Local] Read more

Muslim model defies insults over Miss Italy bid

A young model of Moroccan origin is determined to ignore insults and threats she has received on social media and pursue her dream of becoming Miss Italy.

.... El Brinis was selected for the title of Miss Elegance for the north-east region of Friuli Venezia Giulia and is due to take part in the semi-final of this year’s national contest.

Her provocative photographs featuring her in scantily clad bikinis and lingerie have provoked a barrage of insults and threats against her on social media for dishonouring Islam.

“Insults and threats don’t hurt me,” she told La Tribuna di Treviso newspaper.

“I will follow my own path. I have the total support of my family and my boyfriend Christian who uses social media to defend me.”

El Brinis says she was raised Muslim but is a non-practising Muslim.

“Everyone is free to choose and follow their religion in their own way,” she said in an interview. “I am aware that there are more conservative people who might think that I am mistaken about what I do. [The Local] Read more

22 August 2015

Groomed as a jihadi bride by her OWN parents: Judge puts girl, 16, in care to save her from a family home filled with ISIS propaganda

A girl radicalised in a family home filled with Islamic State propaganda must be removed from her parents, a judge ruled on Friday.

Bombmaking guides and pictures of beheadings were found at the home of the 16-year-old, who this week achieved a string of As and A*s at GCSE.

Mr Justice Hayden said her ‘deceitful’ mother and father had done as much harm to her as child molesters. She was suffering ‘psychological and emotional harm’ through exposure to extremism and had even tried to travel to Syria to become a jihadi bride.

The High Court judge said she needed to be safe from the pernicious influence of IS propaganda. He read out a list of the disturbing terror documents that police found on electronic files at her east London home. Some of it belonged to her, some to her siblings and parents but police say it was swapped among them all. Electronic devices said to belong to the parents showed lectures inciting armed attacks on non-Muslims. [Daily Mail] Read more

21 August 2015

My madrassa classmate hated politics. Then he joined the Islamic State

.... It was a departure not just of place but also of mind. “The Islam that the Indian [scholars] taught us is totally, totally, away from Islam,” he said, renouncing our joint theological education. The madrassas had not taught him the rules for slavery, jihad or dealing with prisoners of war, he complained.

“I have painfully realized that Indian Islam teaches you to become passive and submissive to infidel, secular laws, which is a kind of unbelief.” And this realization led him to trade the democracy founded by Nelson Mandela for the caliphate of Raqqa in Syria. He surrendered the orthodox commitment about which he had exhorted me and adopted the very idea he had mocked: a toxic version of political Islam on steroids.

.... The Islamic State outlook does not threaten only groups like the Yazidis, Jews, Christians and Shiites. It poses an even greater threat to Islam. As long as mainstream Muslim authorities keep Islamic learning in formaldehyde, they make it easier for many more like Rashid to head for the violent apocalyptic theaters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

I don’t doubt Rashid’s sincere intention to live a pious life any more than I did when we studied together. But he was able to embrace the Islamic State as its lodestar only because Islamic orthodoxy has not offered a humane alternative.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] This only reinforces my contention after studying the Koran, and the life and teachings of Mohammed, that Islam is a wellspring of bad ideas, incompatible with the modern world, and certainly at odds with western values and culture. Almost without exception every Muslim majority country is backward with dysfunctional societies and governments.

[2ND] Anyone who thinks religion can be used to murder people, to rape people, to behead people, to make life hell for people, has a twisted and sick view about God.

[3RD] We keep hearing that Jihadis are only a tiny minority of the world's Muslims.

The problem is that the alleged 'majority' have none of the passion of this allegedly 'tiny' minority. They'd rather just move to Indiana and worry about nonexistent 'Islamophobia.' [The Washington Post] Read more

Raif Badawi: Wife of Saudi blogger launches campaign to free African writer on death row for criticising prophet Mohamed

The wife of Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger sentenced to ten years in jail and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, has launched a campaign to free an African writer who is on death row in Mauritania for criticising the prophet Mohamed.

In an article for The Independent, Ensaf Haider said that while “millions of people around the world” had campaigned for her husband’s release, the case of Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mkhaitir risked being forgotten by the international community.

The 30-year-old journalist was arrested in January last year after publishing an article on the website of the newspaper Aqlame. In it, he criticised the Mauritanian caste system and said that certain social groups were being marginalised because of their religion. [The Independent] Read more

20 August 2015

Men are banned: Muslim women demand female-only beach in Morocco to take off their burkas without ‘offending Allah’

Muslim women in Morocco are demanding a female-only beach so they can enjoy the summer weather without having to worry about keeping their bodies covered.

The women's rights group are campaigning to have their own beach where they can sunbathe with their burkas off - without ‘disobeying Allah’ or ‘being sexually harassed’.

But the move has sparked controversy in the country - as liberals and traditionalists have clashed over the campaign.

Feminist Noor Alhoda said they are a 'conservative' group, who want to be able to both go to the beach and conform with Islamic law - as Islam bans women from showing certain parts of their body in public.

She added that they do not want to ‘disobey Allah by wearing swimsuits in front of men gazing at us’.

‘After the end of Ramadan, everyone wants to enjoy the summer holidays - but the women are not able to enjoy the party and the swimming in the same way as the men,' she wrote.

The women argue that - with a coastline that stretches ‘hundreds of kilometres’ - it should be possible for the country to have both mixed-sex and women-only beaches. [Daily Mail] Read more

Germany refugee riot over torn Koran leaves 17 hurt

An argument over a Koran that erupted at a shelter in central Germany has led to violence in which 11 refugees and six police were injured.

Twenty people tried to lynch an Afghan man of 25 after he tore pages from the Koran and threw them in a toilet, according to reports in the town of Suhl.

When police tried to intervene they also came under attack.

Germany says it is expecting 800,000 people to claim asylum this year.

More than half the numbers of migrants arriving on Europe's borders are heading there, and Germany is also facing a large influx of people from Balkan states such as Albania and Kosovo. [BBC] Read more

19 August 2015

London majority-Muslim school scraps sex segregation - despite angry parents' complaints

The principal of a majority-Muslim school in northeast London has said he will not allow a “militant minority" of parents to derail his plans to abolish gender segregation.

The Crest Academies school was formed by the merger of adjacent two single-sex schools last year, and prior to the arrival of new principal Mohsen Ojja had a “wall of segregation” down the middle of the campus to ensure that boys and girls couldn’t interact, even outside the classroom.

The only non-faith, segregated school in Brent, northwest London, it was put under special measures after failing an Ofsted inspection in February 2015 – and Mr Ojja said it was an “easy decision” to work towards better integration of the sexes.

He has announced that, starting this September, classes and common areas will be mixed, the school’s name will be changed to a singular Crest Academy, and each child will get a new school blazer for free which reflects the “rebrand”.

But there is a vocal group of parents who are not happy. Hundreds of people have signed a petition urging the school to keep the segregation in place, and said that was more important to them than improving standards.

“The challenge has been to persuade parents that just because we have a Muslim majority now of over 90 per cent, we don’t have to be a Muslim school,” Mr Ojja told The Independent.

[EQUAL TOP RATED COMMENT] Why the holy heck can't these parents and their progeny live in an Islamic country? If you come to England - live like the English do - drive cars, ride bikes and eat "curry" and blame the weather for everything.

If you want to live like your great grandfather lived in Pakistan / Indian sub continent - pick your bags and go there.

All these are here because of the free NHS and benefits - they also fill all the prisons now.

Do Hindoos do better - OF COURSE !!! Hindoos just bloody blend into society - and my wife drinks and I don't !!!

[EQUAL TOP RATED COMMENT] The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Muslim countries are great to live in...

Iraq. Killing. Yemen. Killing. Afghanistan. Killing. Libya. Killing. Syria. Killing. Northern Nigeria (the Muslim bit). Killing. Somalia. Killing. Northern Pakistan. Killing. Egypt. Killing. Darfur. Killing.

Why these Muslim parents want to live in our country beats me.

[3RD] Just say No! to Islamic apartheid.

[4TH] "just because we have a Muslim majority now of over 90 per cent, we don’t have to be a Muslim school"

Interesting comment. So as soon as there is a Muslim-majority, Muslims think that an institution has to become 'Muslim'?

Presumably this means jettisoning ideas of education and equality,and begin teaching the 'virtues' of Arabic supremacy?

[EQUAL 5TH] We all know the religion was founded by a man who consummated a marriage with a 9 year old, , and told his followers to kill any of their number who left their religion - it's in your haddiths. We also know you hold him up as an example of someone who has lived the perfect life.

With regards to that, can we have some Gary Glitter fan club schools - just so as not to show prejudice against white people who commit similar acts?

[EQUAL 5TH] They clearly have not adjusted to the British way of life and British values. Time to go home. [The Independent] Read more

Beheaded Syrian scholar refused to lead Isis to hidden Palmyra antiquities

Islamic State militants beheaded a renowned antiquities scholar in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and hung his mutilated body on a column in a main square of the historic site because he apparently refused to reveal where valuable artefacts had been moved for safekeeping.

The brutal murder of Khaled al-Asaad, 82, is the latest atrocity perpetrated by the jihadi group, which has captured a third of Syria and neighbouring Iraq and declared a “caliphate” on the territory it controls. It has also highlighted Isis’s habit of looting and selling antiquities to fund its activities – as well as destroying them.

Syrian state antiquities chief Maamoun Abdulkarim said Asaad’s family had informed him that the scholar, who worked for more than 50 years as head of antiquities in Palmyra, was killed by Isis on Tuesday. [The Guardian] Read more

18 August 2015

Muhammad really is the single most popular boys’ name in England and Wales

Why doesn’t the Office of National Statistics want us to know that Mohammed is the most popular boys’ name in England and Wales? Yesterday, it put out its annual survey of the top 10 baby’s names. In 2014, it reported, the most popular boys’ names were Oliver, Jack and Harry. This contrasts somewhat with a similar survey by the website BabyCentre last December which claimed that the most popular boys’ name was now Mohammed.

When that survey was reported in the Daily Mail it was jumped upon by various left-wing ‘fact-checker’ websites who denounced the survey as an abuse of statistics. Not only were the figures based only on respondents to a single website – which is true – but they had been arrived at by the ‘dubious’ means of adding together various spellings of Mohammed, while ignoring different spellings of other names. Though the Mail reported the survey purely as a matter of interest – as did the Guardian, in fact – the accusation was clear: the tabloids were yet again trying to stir up fears of Britain being over-run by muslims.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Of course we all hate this. Of course this has gone way too far. There really isn't any debate any more, the only question now is when are we going to do something about it?

It's either a diminishing standard of living and surrender to Islam or we deal with it now and it will be very bloody. Freedom or slavery. It's that simple.

[2ND] As I have previously mentioned the current demograph is 5% and historically this has doubled every decade. Simple arithmetic arrives at 40% by 2045 and this does not take into account continued immigration from islamic countries and White flight.

Yesterday we were discussing the very real possibility of Sadiq Khan being elected as London's Mayor - the transformation of secular, freedom loving, civilised UK to an islamic state will be achieved perfectly legally by democratic means.

But let's all worry about the really important things, eh? Eastenders, X factor, football............

[3RD] Muhammed (and its variant spellings) will be the most popular boys name in England in perpetuity since Muslims make up nearly a third of the youth population and will have above replacement birth rates for decades to come increasing the size of Muslim population until they are the eventual majority. There shouldn't be much shock. England has done this to itself. [The Spectator] Read more

Tunisian author: Democratizing Muslim countries means leaving Islam

Can a writer in a Muslim country point this out, or will he be accused of “Islamophobia.

“Democratizing Muslim countries means leaving Islam,” by Salem Ben Ammar (translation from the French by RF), August 18, 2015:

“To hell with democracy! Long live Islam!” One hundred percent of Muslims agree with that. To say anything else is apostasy from Islam. These two competing political systems are antithetical to each other. You can’t be democratic and be a Muslim or a Muslim and be a democrat. A Jew can’t be a Nazi and a Nazi can’t be a Judeophile.

Neither Tunisia nor any other Muslim country is or will be truly democratic. Islam is the brain and the spinal fluid of all Muslims. Outside its path, there’s no salvation for them. Now, it’s rather hard to imagine Muslims abandoning Islam to embark on the democratic path.

They’ll be the first to take advantage of benefits in the West, right up till the day when they become masters of the political game and with democratic legitimacy be able to impose the dictatorship of Islam and put to death individual and collective freedoms. It won’t be an Islamic republic that’ll see the light of day…that’s just an optical illusion as in the case of Iran…it’ll be a caliphate to govern the Muslim Reich, the Ummah. [Jihad Watch] Read more

‘Draw Mohammed’ UK Exhibition Cancelled After Security Service Pressure…

Sharia Watch director and former UKIP candidate Anne Marie Waters has announced today that a forthcoming exhibition of Mohammed cartoons to be shown in London has been cancelled after discussions with counter-terror police.

Writing for Breitbart London, Waters revealed the security services believed the event would be attacked, leading to a “very real possibility that people could be hurt or killed – before, during, and after the event”.

The organisers of the event had approached over 200 galleries with requests to host the exhibition and were turned down by almost all of them. After the final gallery, which had initially agreed had a change of heart the Draw Mohammad exhibition was left homeless. [Breitbart] Read more

Shia hatred is a real and dangerous issue in the UK

In an article entitled, ‘Sectarian Hatred at the Heart of British Muslim community,’ The Times recently highlighted issues of sectarianism that have been bubbling in the UK for some time. These issues have been crystallised after the Syrian conflict which brought matters to a head.

The Times article highlighted a graffiti incident against a Bradford-based Shia institution that had the words ‘Shia Kaffirs’ sprayed across its entrance. TELL MAMA, the national anti-Muslim hate incident reporting project that I manage and founded, picked up this case within hours when a leading member of the British Muslim Shia community reported it into us.

The incident highlighted what many of us knew, that the Syrian conflict, combined with preachers in Muslim communities promoting anti-Shia rhetoric and a mixture of hatred towards Assad and his Shia backers (Hizbollah and Iran), were threatening to upset the fragile cohesion between both faith communities in the UK. [Left Foot Forward] Read more

17 August 2015

New parties profit from Islamophobia

New Czech parties and movements try to attract voters by their proclaimed fight against Muslim refugees or possibly against the whole European Union, while they instead promised to fight corruption a few years ago, daily Právo writes today.

Some of them do not hesitate to use strong words for which they could face prosecution on suspicion of menace and spread of hatred, Právo adds.

Martin Konvicka, leader of the We Do Not Want Islam in the CzechRepublic group and an entomologist by profession, writes on Facebook that “concentration camps for Muslims” should be used if the worst scenario came true. His extremist rhetoric has attracted 146,000 supporters on Facebook, Právo says.

Such support has inspired him to establish the Bloc against Islam with which he would like to run in the regional election due in the autumn of 2016. [Prague Post]

Read more

Coleman backs head-scarf ban for Columbus police officers

Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman said he supports Police Chief Kim Jacobs’ decision to keep officers from wearing head scarves for religious reasons.

But he said the city will try harder to recruit immigrants to the force, including by appealing to the families of potential applicants.

“I’ve said this to our chief and safety director, to step up our efforts in this area,” Coleman said in an interview last week. “I strongly believe that our police force needs to be reflective of every corner of our city.” [The Columbus Dispatch] Read more

Campaign allies on the wrong side of human rights

.... It came after criticism of the charity’s relationship with Cage, an Islamist advocacy group that campaigns for “victims of the war on terror”. Outreach director for Cage is Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who has been described as Britain’s most famous supporter of the Taliban.

Amnesty has campaigned alongside Cage and Mr Begg to highlight “UK complicity in torture abroad”. The relationship led to the acrimonious departure from the charity of Gita Sahgal, who headed its gender unit but was suspended after condemning Cage as apologists for jihadists.

The controversy was reignited in March when a Cage spokesman described Mohammed Emwazi, the Islamic State executioner known as Jihadi John, as a “beautiful young man”. The comments were condemned by Amnesty, which said it would no longer share a public platform with Cage. [The Times (£)] Read more

Amnesty director’s links to global network of Islamists

A senior employee of Amnesty International has undeclared private links to men alleged to be key players in a secretive network of global Islamists, The Times can reveal.

The charity was unaware that the husband of its director of faith and human rights featured in documents released after a criminal trial at which connections were revealed between British supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Arab Islamists accused of plotting to overthrow a Gulf state.

Yasmin Hussein was also linked to a Yorkshire-based aid agency that was banned by Israel for its alleged funding of Hamas terrorism; and criticised by colleagues for holding a private meeting with a Muslim Brotherhood government official during an Amnesty mission to Egypt, and staying overnight at his family’s home. [The Times (£)] Read more

15 August 2015

ISIS post pictures of 'Christian women kidnapped in Syria threatening that they will become sex slaves if ransom is not paid'

Disturbing images which have appeared online could be of three Assyrian Christian women ISIS abducted in February.

In three 'leaked' images shared on social media, the women hold pieces of paper on which their names and a date - July 27, 2015 - are written.

It is feared this means they will be sold to ISIS fighters if their families or charities do not pay ransom for their release, although no figure appears on the signs they hold.

On Tuesday, ISIS released 22 of more than 220 Christians they snatched from several Assyrian farming communities it raided in Iraq's north-eastern Hassakeh province, Syria, earlier this year.

The Assyrian Federation of Sweden has told MailOnline the women's surnames resemble those of families who lived in the region, although they cannot completely verify they are Christians. [Daily Mail] Read more

14 August 2015

The preachers of hate who want to tear ordinary Muslims apart

At a religious conference in Birmingham three months ago, a bearded cleric wearing a white turban shook with anger as he wagged a finger at his audience. The over-amplified voice of Mumtaz ul Haq echoed around the room while he hectored his audience about the differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

This was no thoughtful theological discussion, however. Mr Haq’s lecture, available on YouTube under the title Shia Exposed, condemned the minority denomination as non-Muslims. “Such people are not just kafir [non-believers], they are kufoor [a worse category of non-believer],” he cried.

.... Moderate Sunnis were also quick to distance themselves from sectarian rhetoric. Qari Muhammad Asim, imam at Leeds Makkah mosque, said: “Our faith doesn’t condone takfir [excommunication] of another. This increasing takfir rhetoric is a cancer eating away at the Muslim community.”

The preachers defended their words. Mr Haq said that he never preached violence. “I see my role as a defender of my faith. It’s an issue of theology and they are in response to hatred from Shia scholars against our revered figures.” [The Times (£)] Read more

Sectarian hatred at the heart of British Muslim community

Religious sectarianism is on the rise in Britain’s Muslim community and threatens to spill over into violent crime and terrorism, leading clerics warned yesterday.

An investigation by The Times has found a sharp but largely hidden rise in sectarian tensions between the minority Shia community and the dominant Sunni groups, driven by the long, bitter war in Syria.

Ill-feeling is being stoked by vitriolic preachers on both sides of the divide — including some who lecture at British universities — and incidents such as assaults, attacks on buildings and intimidation online.

Sayed Ammar Nakshwani, one of the world’s leading Shia clerics, revealed that he recently left Britain for the United States after enduring years of intimidation from hardline Sunnis who allegedly threatened his life, followed his parents and vandalised his car. [The Times (£)] Read more

Sadiq Khan's Team Attack LBC Poll On Londoners Being Uncomfortable With A Muslim Mayor

.... The YouGov poll, revealed on Thursday, found that 31 percent, nearly a third, would not like to be led by a man of the Islamic faith.

.... In a letter to LBC, Roberts said the radio station was wrong to commission the poll. He wrote: “People are perhaps inevitably anxious about faiths they don’t know and that is why Sadiq has spent so much of his adult life reaching out across communities to increase understanding.”

He added: “I hope you can reassure me – and Londoners – that your coverage of these issues does not run the risk of undermining the strength of our city with questions that fuel prejudice and risk setting Londoners against each other.”

Khan said in a recent interview that it would be “awesome” if London elected a Muslim mayor for the message it would send to the rest of the world.

.... The LBC poll also revealed that 90 percent of respondents were comfortable with a female mayor, 71 percent were comfortable with a gay mayor and 76 percent were comfortable with someone from an ethnic minority. [The HuffingtonPost UK] Read more

13 August 2015

Bid to keep pork substitutes on French school menus rebuffed

A leader of France's top Muslim organization is criticizing a court decision that could jeopardize a decades-old policy in which public schools offer substitutes to pork when the meat turns up on lunch menus.

Abdullah Zekri of the French Council of the Muslim Faith said Thursday he is worried that the ruling a day earlier in eastern Dijon could sow discord in France — a country that in recent years has struggled to find a balance between its secular principles and its respect for religious beliefs.

A legal defense team for Muslims had sought to block application of an order earlier this year by Gilles Platret, the conservative mayor of nearby Chalons-sur-Saone, to pull pork substitutes from school menus. Such substitutes are offered across France, in addition to vegetarian alternatives. [Associated Press] Read more

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape

Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool.

In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to rape an unbeliever. [New York Times] Read more

Some Londoners don't want a Muslim Mayor. Maybe London isn't so different after all

A third of Londoners aren't comfortable with the idea of a Muslim Mayor, and they're not alone

London is different, we're often told. The capital is meant to be a cosmpolitan hive of diversity and tolerance. Ukip's Suzanne Evans infamously blamed London's "more media-savvy and educated" population for her party's lack of success in the capital during the 2014 local elections, but it turns out that in some ways, Londoners are quite like their fellow Britons.

According to YouGov, nearly a third (31 per cent) of Londoners would be uncomfortable if the next London Mayor was Muslim. The company, which surveyed 1,153 adults for LBC, found that Londoners were more uneasy about the idea of Muslim mayor than they were about one who was female (only 4 per cent expressed discomfort), gay (16 per cent), or from an ethnic minority (13 per cent). [The Telegraph] Read more

12 August 2015

Prevent 'seen as divisive by some', Bradford report claims

The government's Prevent strategy, aimed at tackling violent extremism, is seen as "divisive by some" in Bradford, according to a city council report.

It found right-wing activity and the case of three Bradford sisters who took their children to Syria had increased concerns of community tensions.

It also said measures had been taken to improve the "transparency and accountability" of Prevent.

Council Leader David Green said people had "lost faith" in the scheme.

The Labour councillor added: "One of my criticisms is that it has become tainted and people have lost faith in it.

"We need to build something locally from the ground up to try protect everybody in our community." [BBC] Read more

More evasion from Ibrahim Hewitt

.... I am sure there is no need to remind readers what Haddad’s views are – certainly no one should be accused of bigotry for finding them disturbing.

However sometimes they try to have things both ways – defending ‘normative’ Muslim beliefs yet also trying to brush them under the carpet. Their latest post focuses on Ibrahim Hewitt. Hewitt is concerned that the Murdoch press is trying to whip up anti-Muslim sentiment by branding him an ‘Islamic extremist’. The most revealing section concerns his 1994 book on Islam. [Harry’s Place] Read more

11 August 2015

Halal: Islamic certifier companies are making millions in accreditation fees

Australian businesses are being compelled to sign deals with halal companies to secure lucrative contracts in Asia and the Middle East as certification operators rake in millions of dollars.

The country's two most prominent Islamic certifiers — the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils and the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia — last year increased their annual accreditation revenue by almost $600,000 as an increasingly diverse array of producers choose to have their goods certified.

A survey of supermarket shelves by The Daily Telegraph showed an extraordinary number of products are now accredited as halal, ­including everything from Vegemite and Pods chocolates to Steggles chicken products and Leggos tomato paste, even chewing gum. [Daily Telegraph] Read more

French court to rule on pork school dinners for Jews and Muslims

A French court will rule this week on the decision by a right-wing mayor to ban non-pork meals in schools for Muslims and Jews, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Mayor Gilles Platret announced in March that pupils in his town of Chalon-sur-Saone near Dijon in eastern France would no longer be guaranteed a non-pork option at lunchtime from the start of the next school year in September.

It triggered controversy across the country, including within his Republican party, led by former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

A legal complaint was filed by the Muslim Judicial Defence League, whose lawyer, Karim Achoui, said "a child would be extremely traumatised if a pork cutlet was served to him and he was obliged to eat it after he has been repeatedly told from a young age that it's forbidden food."

Another member of the group, Jean-Baptiste Jacquenet-Poillot, said the removing of non-pork options was a breach of France's stringent laws on secularism, which were about "integration, not assimilation" [AFP] Read more

ISIS 'cannot be reconciled with Islam' says Turkey's religious authority

The actions of Islamic State can never be reconciled with Islam, according to a report from the Turkish government.

Far from being true Muslims, members of ISIS are no better than "bandits" who are engaged in a campaign of "kill and plunder", the report says.

The document from Turkey's religious affairs directorate, Diyanet İşleri Başkanlığı, says the Islamic world needs urgently to explain to the rest of the world why Islamic State's interpretation of the religion is false. It calls on Islamic scholars, mosques and educational institutions worldwide to preach against the "false" doctrines of ISIS.

It spells out some of the chilling propaganda used in recruitment, such as slogans stating that a person will only die once, so why not make that death a martyrdom. [Christian Today] Read more

We need the help of non-violent Muslim extremists against Isis

.... Perhaps fight is the wrong word. What Luton saw was an ambush by a group of Salafists on the local leader of Al-Muhajiroun. Salafists, who make up about 5 per cent of British Muslims, follow a searingly puritan version of Islam.

They seek to return to the way of life at the time of Prophet Mohamed. They hold views – on slavery, for example – that liberal society finds abhorrent. And yet, crucially, they do not support armed struggle, or forcing their religion on others. First comes self-purification. Politics are a distraction.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] At the end of the day Islam is NOT a peaceful religion.... See here

[2ND] "But liberal countries can handle the extremism of a few, without too much bother."

Oh really? Given that some 29% of Britain's 4 million Muslims approve of the activities of ISIS and the Hebdo massacre, that is a pretty sizeable "few" - all of whom have the potential to become violent.

And do you really think you can reason with the sort of disgusting psychopaths who "approve" of disembowelling, dismembering or burning people alive, or raping and torturing young Yazidi girls?

I'd suggest they are beyond any sort of redemption and warrant only contempt and Alienation.

[3RD] Islam is not a western religion and you wonder why we cannot get on with Muslims they think they are superior. Shame they are deluded. [The Independent] Read more

The truth about 'patriarchal' mosques and their women problem

Bana Gora, chief executive of the Muslim Women’s Council, has spent years hearing horror stories from Muslim women about their experiences at mosques in the UK. A recent audit she commissioned of prayer facilities in Bradford showed similar results.

“We found the majority of mosques follow a patriarchal model with poor access for women, and women’s representation on mosques’ governing structures was non-existent,” she tells me.

“We found segregated spaces in mosques were dated and unwelcoming, and there were some accounts of women being turned away down to a lack of space. There were also accounts of women being ushered to basements and not being able to hear or see the imam during prayers.”

Nabeela Hafiz, a member of the MWC, has written of her experience where she accidentally walked into the men-only part of a mosque when she was a student. [The Telegraph] Read more

Khalid Khan and the East London Mosque

The horrors of Islamic State (IS) have roots. Chief among them are the most viciously intolerant strands of Saudi Arabian Islam.

The UK has not been spared, oh no. Consider London preacher Khalid Khan. His website offers Islamic guidance that would be most welcome in Raqqa, the IS stronghold in Syria. Try this one from a Saudi tome:

"The Companions of the Prophet have not differed in killing sodomites, and some of them are of the opinion that a sodomite is to be raised to the top of the highest building in town and thrown from there, followed by stones thrown at him."

There are many more hideous rulings in that document. Apostates and married adulterers too must be killed, like homosexuals. Those who disrupt Muslim “unity” may be killed too. Thieves will lose hands. Even wine drinkers must be lashed eighty times.

.... So, are people rushing to distance themselves from Khalid Khan as David Cameron “gets tough”? Not a bit of it. Mr Khan will be welcomed at the East London Mosque this Saturday. The mosque’s imam Abdul Qayum will speak alongside him. [Harry’s Place] Read more

10 August 2015

I'm pledging allegiance to the Caliphate – and no, before you call the Police, I don't mean Isis

.... As you react with horror, contemplate alerting the police and (worse) consider blocking me on social media, rest assured: I’m not referring to the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Rather, I’m talking about a Caliph you may never have heard of - and who certainly doesn’t get near as much publicity - but is the head of a global spiritual community, described as a champion of human rights and who stands firmly against terrorism. He lives in London too.

.... Like me, they will be affirming their loyalty to him and vow to live by a simple maxim: Love for all, hatred for none. This is sure to raise some eyebrows, and probably startle those who equate caliphate with something closer to a barbaric totalitarian theocracy. And you’d be forgiven for thinking so.

A Caliphate is a system of successorship as old as humankind. But in Islamic theology, it refers mainly to the “rightly-guided” leaders (caliphs) appointed after the Prophet’s death for the protection and progress of the Muslim community. That caliphate came to an end following the assassination of Ali, the fourth successor of Muhammad. [The Independent] Read more

India's Muslim women fight to end triple talaq law that yields instant divorce

Every time Nishat Hussain gets into a fight with religious leaders about women’s rights under Islam, she hits the same wall. They say the rules governing women are sanctioned by scripture and therefore cannot be altered. She says they are sanctioned by custom and most certainly can be.

Hussain finds this divide most frustrating when she is defending divorced women who come to her office near the overcrowded ironmonger’s bazaar in Jaipur. These women have experienced triple talaq, under which a Muslim man can repeat the word “talaq” three times and his wife stands divorced. No questions, no reasons. All objections overruled.

.... But spokesman Mohammed Abdul Rahim Qureshi said the board could not support a government ban. “For one, we don’t want the government to interfere in matters of Muslim personal law and for another, triple talaq is permitted under the hadith [the prophet Muhammad’s sayings],” he said.

That kind of remark makes Hussain, an otherwise calm, soft-spoken woman, furious. “For the women I see in my office – hardworking women, good wives and good mothers – this is just plain and simple cruelty.” [The Guardian] Read more

Bangladesh police chief's blogger warning sparks uproar

Secular activists expressed outrage Monday after Bangladesh's national police chief warned bloggers they faced jail for posting material deemed offensive following last week's machete murder of a secular writer.

Inspector General of Police A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque warned bloggers in the officially secular but Muslim-majority country against hurting religious sentiments.

"No one should cross the limit," Hoque said on Sunday in comments to reporters carried in major newspapers on Monday.

"And for hurting someone's religious sentiment, the person will be punished by the law," Hoque said, adding that the maximum punishment is 14 years in jail.

A gang armed with machetes hacked to death Niloy Chakrabarti, who used the pen-name Niloy Neel, at his home on Friday, the fourth such murder in Bangladesh this year.

Activists accused the police chief of siding with the killers instead of better protecting bloggers who were living in fear. [Daily Mail] Read more

If we want Muslims to embrace our values, we must be clear what those are

As news of fresh Islamist plots hit the newspapers over the weekend, we should remember when, last month, the Prime Minister made British values central to the fight against extremism.

He didn’t refer to the abstract values liberals love to promote such as ‘respect’ and ‘tolerance’ that are so vague as to be of limited value. Instead he clearly articulated historically rooted British values:


The rule of law

Freedom of speech

Freedom of the press

Freedom of worship

He also insisted that these apply to all regardless of their race, sex, sexuality or faith i.e. in this county we have equality before the law and one law for all, not shari’a for some and British law for others.

.... The Prime Minister is absolutely right to make historic British values central to the fight against extremism. We must now clearly articulate them and also celebrate the achievements of Muslims who have actively promoted them and in some cases died for them. [ConservativeHome] Read more

Muslim woman tells Melbourne Islamophobia forum 'racism hurts'

"I was returning from work on the train — a lady started pushing me with her bag and she started yelling at me and telling me to go back to the Middle East. I didn't come from the Middle East," the petite and softly spoken mother of three said.

Nasrin is originally from Bangladesh, but has been in Australia since 1991.

She was attacked twice around that time and admitted she was "shaken inside" and lived in fear.

She would sit next to the emergency button on the train just in case she was attacked again.

"Racism hurts", she told a 200-strong crowd at a forum on Islamophobia in the Melbourne suburb of Coburg. [ABC] Read more

09 August 2015

UAE enacts stealth blasphemy law

According to this report, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, above, said that the “inclusive” decree:

Guarantees the freedom of individuals from religious intolerance.

But Gulf News reports that the legislation makes illegal “any acts that stoke religious hatred” and “any form of expression” that insults religion.

The law, passed by decree at the end of July:

Prohibits any act that would be considered as insulting God, His prophets or apostles or holy books or houses of worship or graveyards.

The legislation purports to allow for an “environment of tolerance” and “broad-mindedness”, but includes potential 10 year jail terms and substantial fines for those who break the law.

Provisions in the legislation include a prohibition on expressing doubt about the existence of God. [The Freethinker] Read more

08 August 2015

The British Left’s Hypocritical Embrace of Islamism

.... It is due to this very same concern for civil liberties that I vehemently oppose Islamist extremism and call for liberal reform within our Muslim communities, for our Muslim communities.

We believe civil liberties cut both ways, for and upon minority communities, and it is due to this same passion for human rights that my organization Quilliam put out this anti-ISIS video only a day after the Guardian’s unfortunate sting. We chose to let our work speak for itself.

But if the regressive-left has its way, why worry about medieval punishments conducted in Islam’s name, such as the lashing of Saudi bloggers like Raif Badawi? Let us not be Uncle Toms, after all. Israel is the real enemy. Keep it real, man. [The Daily Beast] Read more

07 August 2015

Bangladesh blogger killed by machete gang had asked for police protection

A well-known secular blogger in Bangladesh who was murdered at his home on Friday had told police of threats against him and requested protection weeks before he died.

Niloy Chakrabarti, who used the pen name Niloy Neel, was hacked to death with machetes after a gang broke into his apartment in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. He is the fourth blogger to have been killed in Bangladesh since February.

In an interview with the Guardian in May, Chakrabarti said he was scared that he would be killed and that he had tried to file reports with local police about continued harassment. He claimed his complaints were not taken seriously.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 98 votes] I don't know how it's possible to exist in an Islamic state, people must be continually walking on eggshells, at all times. It seems that offending religious sensibilities gives carte blanche to anybody wishing to do you harm, and also removes your right to protection by the police and other security services.

It's like that scene in The Life of Brian where the man is being stoned for uttering the name 'Jehovah', only this is real life and not a work of comedy.

[2ND 80] What sort of insecure, fucked-up god would want his followers to kill people who question his existence?

[3RD 72] Incredibly tragic and so sad for Bangladesh.

It's like a nasty virus infecting parts of the world.

We'll look back in times to come and wonder at how a religious creed was able to wreak such havoc in a relatively modern era. [The Guardian] Read more

As a former extremist who knew Anjem Choudary, I fear for the mentality of British Muslims

Like 33 per cent of British Muslims do, I once supported the idea of a caliphate based upon sharia law. But the debate has now become polarised and poisonous.

Anjem Choudary, Britain’s loudest Islamist extremist, has finally been remanded in custody, charged under section 12 of the Terrorism Act 2000. The charge is related to him sending messages to his 32,000 followers on Facebook, allegedly encouraging people to join Isis. His guilt or innocence is a matter for the courts. What concerns me here is his trajectory.

.... This is how far the Islamic ball has strayed from the democratic court. And when wider society adopts this trope of liberal Muslims being the ‘other extreme’, it shows how low expectations of Muslims have become in the mainstream. How far we all have come since the 90s, and how far we all have to travel – yet - to reach a reasonable centre in this poisonous debate.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] I struggled with the uglier aspects of Islam through my youth. As a kid, Islam fascinated me. I read books that most Muslims gloss over or ignore. Bits of it troubled me. Things that Muhammad did, things in the Quran. Islam isn't for me.

And while I applaud people like Maajid, in the end the fanatics always win because scripture and Muhammad's biography supports the fanatics' understanding of Islam. I left Islam, and I never looked back. There's no fixing this religion. We need to have the courage to say that Islam just cannot fit with modern understandings of morality, rights and decency.

[2ND] Polarised and poisonous? Seems pretty simple to me, you either support the notion of a Caliphate or you don't. If you do support it whilst enjoying the many benefits of a Liberal Democracy you are a hypocrite. It really is that simple.

[3RD] Extremism may use bigotry as an excuse but where are the extremist Sikhs, Hindus, Africans who suffered the same?

Where is the bigotry in the middle east where extremism thrives so well and they're happy to blow up their fellow muslims of the same race, colour and nationality?

Where was the bigotry that incited the Mughals to march into India and murder millions of people who refused to convert to Islam?

Islamic extremism long predates any bigotry towards immigrants in the UK. [The Independent] Read more

The right to rancour

.... Yet another secularist voice in defence of the preacher's right to speak colourfully has been raised by Jacob Mchangama, the Danish lawyer and free-expression advocate (he prefers not to be called libertarian) whom I quoted in my previous posting.

He sees hope in the fact that an imam has spoken out in Mr McConnell's defence: "When those who are supposed to be shielded from offence defend the free speech of the "offenders", there is hope for a virtuous cycle which realigns tolerance and free speech."

Here is another bizarre feature of the pastor's case: the Belfast-based Muslim businessman who first denounced the sermon, and is expected to appear as one of the main witnesses for the prosecution is an Iraqi from Mosul who caused a furore by praising the state of affairs in his home city after its takeover by Islamic State. Raied al-Wazzan said his birthplace "had become the most peaceful city in the world" where "you can walk from east to west without fear". He later apologised and acknowledged having used "the wrong words". [The Economist] Read more

Bangladesh blogger Niloy Neel hacked to death in Dhaka

A Bangladeshi blogger known for his atheist views has been hacked to death by a gang armed with machetes in the capital Dhaka, police say.

Niloy Neel was attacked at his home in the city's Goran area.

He is the fourth secularist blogger to have been killed this year by suspected Islamist militants in Bangladesh.

Imran H Sarkar, head of the Bangladesh Blogger and Activist Network, told the BBC that Mr Neel had been an anti-extremist voice of reason.

"He was the voice against fundamentalism and extremism and was even a voice for minority rights - especially women's rights and the rights of indigenous people," he said.

BBC World Service South Asia editor Charles Haviland says that, like previous victims, Mr Neel was not only secular but atheist and, like two of the others, he was from a Hindu, not a Muslim, background. [BBC] Read more

06 August 2015

Persecution lurks for converts from Islam in Egypt

He is one of many in Egypt to face persecution. But having been locked up in a cell commonly used to detain captives awaiting capital punishment, the psychological burden weighing on Bishoy is exceptionally high.

He has been maltreated; time and again hit in the face. When he asked to receive communion, his request was denied. So too was his wish to keep a Bible. The story of Bishoy Armeya, the first Egyptian to seek official recognition of conversion to a religion other than Islam, is that of a one-man revolt against state oppression. [openDemocracy] Read more

2015 Halal cruises for religiously observant Muslims

The Fusion Tour Company has said they are to offer the first 100 percent 2015 Halal cruises, which will be for religiously observant Muslims. The ship is to set tail at the end of September and will no doubt be a trial run to see how much of a success it will be.

Muslim travellers that join the cruise will find that there are gender-segregated sports facilities, along with Turkish baths, and spas. Not only that, but it will be a dry cruise, meaning there will be no alcohol, along with no pork products or gambling.

The furnishings on the ship will also be carefully considered to fall in line with Muslim tradition, this means no paintings that are against the values of Islam. [Cruise Ship News] Read more

Pastor James McConnell in court over online 'satanic Islam' sermon

An evangelical preacher who called Islam "satanic" and "heathen" should have every right to criticise other religions, a court has heard.

Pastor James McConnell appeared in court on charges relating to the internet broadcast of a sermon he gave at a Belfast church last year.

Belfast Magistrates' Court was told Pastor McConnell will be denying "moral or legal culpability" on the charges.

Several hundred people gathered outside the court in support of the preacher.

His solicitor said the 78-year-old "did not incite hatred or encourage violence against Muslims".

"He simply expressed his view about another religion, not in a personalised manner but in an entirely generalised way," he added. [BBC] Read more

Former Islamic radical claims ‘talk of jihad’ common at Queen Mary University Friday prayer

Former Islamic radical Sohail Ahmed paints a deeply troubling picture of extremism on campus at Queen Mary University of London.

Over the last five years physics student Sohail Ahmed claims to have witnessed fiery speeches about jihad during Friday prayer at Queen Mary University of London, clandestine talks at the homes of “brothers” from the Islamic Society, and one student disappearing to reputedly join Isis and fight in Syria.

The 23-year-old former Islamic radical has spoken out as fears have been voiced about a “culture conducive” to non-violent extremism on campus at Queen Mary - as it is named in a new list of “worst offenders” for hosting radical preachers.

“It poses a very serious risk,” said Mr Ahmed. “I know a good few people who were not radical at all when they entered the university but they end up talking about some very radical views once they’ve listened to a few talks and got riled up and impassioned by fiery speeches. [East London Advertiser] Read more

05 August 2015

'Satanic Islam' sermon preacher: Prosecution is a waste of money

Pastor James McConnell also said he "loved" Muslims but was prepared to go to jail rather than retract the remarks made during a firebrand sermon last year.

The 78-year-old is due to appear before Belfast Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

He said: "I think it is a waste of money. A waste of thousands."

The fundamentalist preacher, who retired last year, sparked a public outcry when he said Islam was "heathen" and had been "spawned in hell". The controversial speech was streamed online in May 2014.

Police initially launched a hate crime investigation but prosecutors have taken a case under the 2003 Communications Act. [Belfast Telegraph] Read more

The cancellation of Homegrown

Why was Homegrown, a National Youth Theatre play about the radicalisation of young people in the East End, cancelled? There are echoes of familiar debates about the causes of radicalisation itself in the heated discussion provoked by this piece in the Guardian.

Homegrown was devised as an immersive, promenade style play exploring what drove young people to join ISIS. Back in June Paul Roseby, artistic director of the NYT, explained why he thought the project was important:

.... The NYT website doesn’t explain why the play has now been cancelled. However a report in The Stage includes a statement suggesting that the production wasn’t up to the required standard: [Harry’s Place] Read more

Islam and jihad

Sir, In your report “Ukip peer says Islam is not a peaceful religion” (News, August 3), you quote the Labour MP Khalid Mahmood as saying: “The prophet always made the point to be at peace with people and he didn’t convert anybody by force. These statements [from Lord Pearson] are absolutely incorrect.”

It is, in fact, Mr Mahmood who is absolutely incorrect. The Medinan (ie later) chapters of the Koran contain hatred for non-believers and contempt for Jews and Christians, together with numerous verses commanding jihad. Pagans are offered a choice between death and conversion.

Muhammad ordered the assassinations of some forty people, including many poets for the crime of insulting him. He permitted the beheading of 700 males of the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza and the enslavement of their women and children. [The Times (£)] Read more

04 August 2015

'We hate Westerners - we are ISIS' - chilling words of Irish Muslim teens to cleric

The Imam of the Al-Mustafa mosque in Blanchardstown also claims that there are now up to 100 extremists in Ireland.

He says that his group, the Muslim Peace and Integration Council, is working to promote peace but are meeting resistance in some quarters.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said: "We need to stop the radicals from spreading their lies to the youth."

But he said that in one mosque, the religious leaders never denounce atrocities carried out in the name of the terror group Isil.

The Muslim community in Ireland is now about 40,000 strong.

Shaykh Al-Qadri warned that radicalisation of Muslim youth through both face-to-face and online interaction is becoming more and more prominent in Ireland.

Young people need to be educated about extremism to prevent this from happening, he said. [Independent.ie] Read more

03 August 2015

Ukip peer says Islam is not a peaceful religion

Islam is not a peaceful faith, according to Ukip’s only peer. Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who led Ukip in 2009 and 2010, is working on a new guide to Islam which he claims will re-educate Britain and challenge some of the misconceptions about the religion.

He wants to start a public conversation about Islam as a means of “integrating Muslim communities better”. They are, he said, “very segregated and with very high birthrates”.

He is preparing to launch an initiative called “Shall we talk about Islam” because, he said, “you may have noticed we are not allowed to talk about it”. Those that do are “branded islamophobic racists or accused of stirring up religious hatred”.

He said he wanted to challenge the assertion that Islam was a religion of peace. “We have to stop saying that . . . because it clearly isn’t.” He intends to highlight two elements of the Koran: “One is the abrogation . . . the Muslim tenet that where there is a contradiction in the Koran, it is the later verses that cancel out the earlier ones.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "After [Muhammad] moved to Medina, and had been there five years, he said you must either convert or exile or I’ll kill you."

Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, said...."The prophet always made the point to be at peace with people and he didn’t convert anybody by force."

There would appear to be some confusion here.

[2ND EQUAL] There is no confusion. Muslims are urged to lie to non Muslims to further the cause. Research Taqiyya

[2ND EQUAL] Christianity has grown alongside our society, becoming a very English version of the faith. So many of our internal and external conflicts have involved various versions of Christianity and only now, after more than a millennium, are we in a situation where (as opposed to say, America) the church can play a part in someone's life and have nothing to do with politics or social issues.

The relatively recent introduction of Islam en masse to our shores has resulted in growing civil unrest and it will continue to increase unless we draw a line. I'm all for freedom of religion but we can't let the medieval mindset of 'my religion should dictate everything I and everyone else does' continue - it's just completely at odds with modern society and a huge step backwards for civilisation.

[2ND EQUAL] He is spot on - it is good that he has the courage to say this, in a country where the establishment bend over backwards not to offend Muslims by surpressing the the truth. [The Times (£)] Read more

Cleric says some Imams in Ireland hold extremist views

An Irish Imam has told of being verbally abused on the street and having a bottle thrown at his head because of negative perceptions of Islam in Ireland.

Speaking ahead of his address to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association’s national convention in Maynooth on Sunday, Waterford native Ibrahim Noonan – who was the first Irish man to become an Imam – said radical Muslim extremism is a problem in Ireland, but one that started more than a decade ago, rather than as a response to recent acts of terror.

“That’s the first sign I saw, in 2003 and 2004, that even in Ireland they are trying to radicalise Muslims here,” said the head of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam in Ireland. [THE IRISH TIMES] Read more

Finns would rather live near a rehab centre than a mosque, poll claims

Attitude survey finds that a Muslim prayer room is second only to a drug users’ needle exchange in terms of unpopular neighbourhood services, while support centres for alcoholics or mental health patients would be more warmly received

Finns would prefer to live near an alcohol rehabilitation centre than to a Muslim prayer room, a new poll claims.

A survey commissioned by Yle on so-called Nimbyism – which stands for “Not In My Back Yard” - asked 1,000 respondents which services they would be happy to see established in their neighbourhood.

43 percent said they would have no objection to a rehab facility for alcoholics being established close to where they live – compared to just 34 percent who said they would be happy living close to a mosque or Muslim prayer room.

The Nimbyism poll, carried out by the organisation Taloustutkimus, claimed that homes for people with disabilities received the warmest response, with 76 percent of those questioned saying they would not mind if such an institution was set up in their neighbourhood.

Other services included in the poll were a reception centre for asylum seekers (accepted by 41 percent), a mental health support centre (accepted by 52 percent) and a support home for young people (accepted by 66 percent). [Yle] Read more

Saudi ministry: 'Free expression is an abuse of religious rights'

Saudi Arabia has reiterated its call for a global blasphemy law, claiming that free speech leads to violations of "religious and ideological rights."

Abdulmajeed Al-Omari, the director for external relations at the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, a government body which is tasked with "propagating Islam", was quoted by the Saudi Gazette as saying, "freedom of expression without limits or restrictions would lead to [the] violation and abuse of religious and ideological rights."

He called for insulting religion to be criminalised, and urged for an 'intensification' of efforts aimed at stamping out affronts to religious symbols.

In what amounts to a call for a global law against blasphemy or 'defamation of religion', Al-Omari added that "everyone" must "intensify efforts to criminalise insulting heavenly religions, prophets, holy books, religious symbols and places of worship." [National Secular Society] Read more

A response to the Guardian’s piece on Maajid Nawaz

Guardian opinion desk editor, David Shariatmadari, has published an interview with Maajid Nawaz that is biased and deliberately misleading. This comes a week after the Guardian published a puff piece for a leader of Islamist extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir by Peter Oborne, in which the two come across as friends who occasionally go out for dinner together.

Maajid himself responded to the interview with a Facebook post in which he itemised the criticisms David made and offered detailed responses he claims were omitted from the final cut.

In particular, he mentions David’s unwillingness to highlight the violent nature of the theocratic revolution Hizb ut Tahrir aspires to, instead taking a cheap shot at Maajid’s failure to get elected as an MP and a number of anonymous negative quotes that point to Maajid’s unpopularity in certain circles.

.... This episode speaks to why we as a society are finding it so difficult to grapple with Islamist extremism. We still have sections of the media which find it useful for scoring parochial ideological points. Brave reformist voices have to contend with slings and arrows from within their communities; but also from activist journalists at supposedly liberal media outlets.

In the meantime, Islamist recruitment and propaganda efforts continue unabated. [Left Foot Forward] Read more

02 August 2015

Maajid Nawaz: how a former Islamist became David Cameron’s anti-extremism adviser

.... For his part, Nawaz sees the blowback as a predictable response to confronting Muslims with uncomfortable facts. When I ask him about Quilliam’s credibility gap, he turns the question around. “What’s my audience? British society. Am I received relatively well? Yes. Is there within that ... if you break it down, challenges with Muslim communities? Of course there are. But that’s like saying men weren’t upset when the suffragettes emerged. Of course they were.”

That last flourish is typical of someone whose speech is peppered with references to meetings at Chequers and dialogue with senior ministers. But comparing yourself to one of the great political movements of the 20th century may be a step too far, even for his supporters. “I wouldn’t blow my own trumpet,” he tells me. “But obviously I’m sitting here with you, everything I’ve discovered about the prime minister’s speech is the advice I gave him really. I don’t know if that’s influence. Judge for yourself.” [David Shariatmadari, 1085 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 150 votes] A COMMENT SAID: He has absolutely no credibility within Muslim communities in the uk. .... he's interested only in what the white liberal elite want to hear.... The man is a joke.

THE TOP RATED COMMENT: 'White liberal elite' do you mean the sane people that want everyone to stop bombing and killing each other?

Yeah, I hate those right on pacifist hippies.

This guy has been neck deep in radical ideology and has come out the other side. Give us an alternative to him if you are so vocal? Because from where I sit up in my secular ivory tower I don't see an army of ex radical willing to stand up and say their piece. I see thousands of Muslims marching for anything anti Israel, but very few marching for anti Isis

[2ND 141] First the Guardian publish a fawning interview of the leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir then they do this hatchet job on a leading secular Muslim. It typifies the extent to which the left has got into bed with extreme Islam.

[3RD 120] Maajid Nawaz is one of the few Muslims in public life who is honest about the issue of apostasy and the issues that Exmuslims face, in the West and around the world.

For this he has been called an apostate and a 'murtad' himself, meaning he is fit to be killed.

That's not the actions of man devoid of goodness. In the absence of other Muslims in public life admitting the problem with apostasy in Islam, its a rare thing indeed.

He was also declared to be 'wajib-ul-qatl' (fit to be slaughtered) after he tweeted how a satirical cartoon called 'Jesus and Mo' did not offend him. I'd mention who was responsible for doing that, but when he wrote an article here recently and it was pointed out, the comment was deleted.

[4TH 91] A very snidy article criticising someone who is spending his life trying to promote liberal values to very conservative Muslims communities.

Combined with the mouthpiece you gave that hate-preacher from Hizb ut-Tahrir last week & i find the Guardians position here to be very troubling.

Also i frequently hear the accusation that "he has no crediblility in the muslim community" well he wouldn't would he being a secular liberal who criticises Hamas as well as Israel.

[5TH 82] Here's the issue. Muslim and western cultures clash over many fundamental things. The most obvious examples are the way women dress, or the attitude to homosexuality. We both think we are right. There seems to have been some idea that muslims coming to the UK would integrate, but does that mean change fundamental beliefs?.

Some have integrated to a degree but many haven't, they have brought with them their attitudes, to the extent that about 40% want to see sharia law in Britain. Why should we be surprised, it is what they believe in. The two initial posts here indicate that this man has no credibility in the muslim community, because he is seen as abandoning his culture.

In England muslims make up 5% of the population, but they are not evenly spread. They have a higher birthrate than non-muslims and the current migrant crisis involves many muslims. We have muslim MPs and councilors. Muslim school governors attempted to make their schools more islamic why wouldn't they, that is what they believe is best for children.

As the muslim population grows, as its representation grows are we prepared to have Britain become more islamic? This isn't a question we can ignore is it? If all British citizens are equal, and if the proportion of muslim citizens is increasing why wouldn't they expect their views to be represented by people they relate to, not by people like this?

We really need to stop pretending there is no problem and ask ourselves how we will deal with a world, and countries, so divided in their cultures and views. Accepting that we have a major issue and trying to work it out is the only way we will have any sort of peace.

[6TH 76] Hmm. I still don't understand why he is held in such contempt by so many British Muslims - it certainly sounds like he is trying hard to build bridges and do some good. Surely in the same way that those who have been in jail can have a powerful impact on troubled youth, Maajid Nawaz could speak with conviction to youth at risk of radicalization?

I hope this piece generates comments from Muslim posters and @ExMuslimsForum. I just don't understand why he doesn't get more support - and I've seen barbs aimed at him by Guardian journalists too, come to think of it. It all seems very bizarre and counterproductive.

[7TH 73] Those who wish to stop radicalization must surely go the whole distance. They must accept that religion is the problem, but they don't. They explain that certain people do not understand the 'true' faith. Mehdi Hassan is an intelligent man but he still believes in a flying horse. Such people, no matter how eloquent they are, are not the answer.

[8TH 67] David Shariatmadari notes that Nawaz's work 'is premised on the notion that it’s important to tackle conservative opinion among Muslims.' The word 'notion' implies an idea that is incorrect or fanciful.

Does he think that it doesn't matter that some Muslims think apostasy and homosexuality should be punishable by death in an 'ideal state'? Does he really think there is no link between non-violent extremism and jihadism? Being right-wing, clearly, is damning though. [Guardian Cif] Read more

New Aussie anti-Islamic party guns for 20 per cent of the vote

Australia officially now has a political party modelled on the far-right wing movements in Europe and dedicated to the idea that Islam is a "totalitarian ideology with global aspirations".

The Australian Liberty Alliance gained approval from the Australian Electoral Commission on Wednesday for registration as a party, having signed up well over the required 500 members and attracted no objections.

Its national secretary, Ralf Schumann, confirmed that controversial anti-Muslim Dutch politician Geert Wilders planned to launch the party on October 20.

Mr Schumann told sympathisers this week that the party faced "a strong headwind and ... some nasty windshears", but reminded supporters that "so did like-minded parties with similar policies in Europe". [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more

Thousands attend Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2015 at Ricoh Arena

The Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2015 was held at the arena over Saturday and Sunday and attracted visitors from across the country as well as international exhibitors.

It brought sectors such as fashion, food and drink, travel, health, beauty and finance together under one roof.

More than 80 exhibitors took part in the event from countries including Malaysia, South Africa, Norway, Turkey and Denmark in the biggest ever showcase of its kind seen in the UK.

Tahir Mirza, founder of the Muslim Lifestyle Expo, said: “The event welcomes people from all faiths and backgrounds and showcases the huge contribution made to the economy by British Muslims.

He added: “This is the biggest event seen in the UK focusing directly at the leading role played by Muslims in the UK in all aspects of society. [Coventry Telegraph] Read more

01 August 2015

Cory Bernardi takes aim at Australian Institute of Sport over dining hall halal

Firebrand Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has set his anti-halal sights on the Australian Institute of Sport.

The controversial backbencher, who is a leading critic of the Islamic certification of food and set up a contentious Senate inquiry into the issue, has demanded answers from the AIS about its halal policies in its dining hall.

In a series of "questions on notice" that have just been made public, the South Australian politician called on the AIS to explain an information manual that says all its dining hall meats are halal certified.

The manual has stoked online controversy among halal opponents. A "Boycott Halal in Australia" Facebook page that has more than 80,000 likes calls the AIS policy "outrageous". Earlier this year readers of Senator Bernardi's blog urged him to get to the bottom of it. [The Age] Read more