30 April 2015

Britain's Labour Party Vows to Ban Islamophobia

The leader of Britain's Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has vowed, if he becomes the next prime minister in general elections on May 7, to outlaw "Islamophobia."

The move — which one observer has called "utterly frightening" because of its implications for free speech in Britain — is part of an effort by Miliband to pander to Muslim voters in a race that he has described as "the tightest general election for a generation."

With the ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour running neck and neck in the polls just days before voters cast their ballots, British Muslims — who voted overwhelmingly for Labour in the 2010 general election — could indeed determine who will be the next prime minister. [Gatestone Institute] Read more

Fear of religious coercion as Muslims are told holy man endorses Labour

Concern that voters are at risk of religious intimidation is growing after Muslims were urged to back a candidate blessed by the Prophet Muhammad’s living descendant.

Anonymous text messages are being sent in the marginal constituency of Pendle, Lancashire, which Labour sees as essential in its quest for an absolute Commons majority.

The religious scholar Sheikh Bahauddin, believed by millions of Sufi adherents to be a direct relative of God’s last prophet, has told The Times that he has no political affiliation. He said the claim that he and his brother, another revered holy man, endorsed the Labour candidate was untrue. [The Times (£)] Read more

29 April 2015

It’s still right to honour Charlie Hebdo

If you thought that the debate following the Charlie Hebdo killings had exhausted the media and literary world’s reserves of feverish self-examination, brace yourself for another round.

Since the American wing of PEN, the international writers’ association, decided to honour Charlie Hebdo with a Freedom of Expression Courage award, six high-profile writers – including Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje and Francine Prose – have decided not to attend next month’s PEN gala in New York in protest. The organisation, they said, had “stepped outside of its traditional role” in honouring a magazine they believe is guilty of “cultural intolerance”. [618 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 132 votes] So these courageous SORRY "allegedly" courageous satirists "might be worthy of recognition".

Do you even realise how weasely and sneering your words sound?

Of course Charlie Hebdo deserves this award and Islam should grow a pair and not get all murderous when it is quite rightfully lampooned.

[2ND 90] ".... but 12 people died when it was attacked on 7 January for depicting the prophet." - The Prophet? Not to me he isn't, and the majority of the Guardian's readership I imagine. So please call him/her/it Muhammed.

[3RD 85] .... time for some wise words from Salman Rushdie;

"At Cambridge University I was taught a laudable method of argument: you never personalise, but you have absolutely no respect for people’s opinions. You are never rude to the person, but you can be savagely rude about what the person thinks.

That seems to me a crucial distinction: people must be protected from discrimination by virtue of their race, but you cannot ring-fence their ideas. The moment you say that any idea system is sacred, whether it’s a religious belief system or a secular ideology, the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible."

[4TH 81] "Yes, Charlie Hebdo has published offensive cartoons"

Increasingly I find these types of articles offensive. You're saying the cartoons were abhorrent, really? How about atrocity after atrocity after atrocity being committed by Islamists. That is truly abhorrent.

[5TH 69] Why is it so hard for anyone in the Guardian to write an article about Charlie Hebdo without including a big, fat, "but..."?

[6TH 63] "Alleged courage" eh? When you next publish satire with death threats from known, armed radicals over your head, come back and talk. Charlie Hebdo were/ are equal opportunity satirists. They targeted all religions. They also targeted right-wing economics. Only one group responded with violence. And of course people continue to confuse derision directed at religion (such derision being an entirely legitimate aspect of democratic society) with racism. [Guardian Cif] Read more

The price that Ed Miliband is prepared to pay to win the Muslim vote

.... Ed Miliband, who told Muslim News last week that a future Labour government would outlaw Islamophobia, making it an aggravated crime.

“We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records, with the police to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime,” said Miliband. “We are going to change the law so we make it absolutely clear of [sic] our abhorrence of hate crime and Islamophobia. It will be the first time that the police will record Islamophobic attacks right across the country.”

This is deeply disturbing. Do you reckon the Labour leader has read any of the recent reports into child-sex grooming gangs? You know, the ones that concluded that the main reason local authorities, police and social services did nothing to protect thousands of young girls from abuse at the hands of mainly Pakistani men was because they were afraid of appearing racist? [The Telegraph] Read more

Student 'in hiding' after father threatens to kill her because of 'Westernised behaviour'

A frightened student is at a “confidential address” after her father threatened to kill her because of her “Westernised behaviour”, a family court judge has been told.

The woman’s father had told her she needed to “die in a religious state” and “I am going to kill you”, Mr Justice Hayden heard. She called police and left the family home with the help of officers when her parents were out, her lawyer said. Details of the case emerged yesterday at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Barrister Katy Chokowry said the woman’s parents did not like her wearing leggings because they were “Western clothing”. She said the woman, in her twenties, who worked part-time at a McDonald’s to help her finance her studies, was “in fear for her safety”. [The Independent] Read more

The narrative of the Charlie Hebdo murders

The prissy self-absorption of the six PEN boycotters is well represented by Francine Prose in the Guardian:

"When I learned that PEN had decided to award the Freedom of Expression Courage Award to Charlie Hebdo, I was dismayed. I had agreed to serve as a literary table host and I wondered what I would do when the crowd around me rose to its feet to applaud an award being given – in my name – to what I felt was an inappropriate recipient."

Count the Is in that opening paragraph. This is all about defining oneself as a person of impeccable liberal opinions. [Mick Hartley] Read more

27 April 2015

Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now by Ayaan Hirsi Ali – review

She also believes that Muslims in the west have a vital role to play in forging a new identity for Islam. She divides followers of the faith into three distinct groups: the Mecca Muslims, the large majority who represent the more tolerant side of the religion, as articulated during Muhammad’s early Mecca period; the Medina Muslims (or the jihadist wing) who are inspired by the harsher aspects of the Qur’an that Muhammad is thought to have expressed during his later consolidation in Medina; and the Modifying Muslims – those dissidents and reformists who actively challenge religious dogma.

The reformers and extremists, writes Hirsi Ali, are currently locked in a battle to win the hearts and minds of the mass of passive Mecca Muslims. She claims to be hopeful that the reformers will prevail, yet she produces little evidence to support such an outcome.

Instead, her strengths lie in showing the difficulties in bringing about reform – not least the widely held belief that as a final and perfect rendition of God’s word, Islam is powerfully resistant to the very concept of reinterpretation. [The Guardian] Read more

Opinion: Fake phobia is preventing much-needed Islam reform

“ISLAMAPHOBIA” is a manufactured left wing concept. Literally. It was made up in 1997 by a British left wing think tank called the Runnymede Trust.

Although the word had appeared in theological texts earlier with a far more limited meaning, the Runnymede definition created a phony problem and in doing so built a fraudulent victimhood industry.

The new term was then exploited by Britain’s Labour Party to stifle any criticism of its disastrous policies towards immigration in general and Muslims in particular.

Much like Australia’s Labor Party, Britain’s Labour Party has benefited mightily over the years from harnessing the Muslim vote.

.... Obviously, harassing individuals based on their clothes or religion is unacceptable. But criticising or questioning the cultural values and teachings being espoused by the religion of choice of a vast immigrant group within the community is — or should be — perfectly legitimate.

Worse, the “Islamophobia” tag prevents Muslims from having the discussions necessary to reform their often sexist and homophobic religion. Suggesting that disagreeing with the values of Islam fuels terrorism is, to use another invented term, pure codswallop. [The Courier-Mail] Read more

26 April 2015

The Guardian view on Lutfur Rahman: ethics must trump ethnicity

The wholly devastating verdict against Lutfur Rahman, the former mayor of Tower Hamlets, found guilty of corrupt practices, vote-rigging, and deliberately smearing his Labour rival as a racist, destroys more than the career of an energetic and illegally unscrupulous politician. It is also a damning criticism of the inadequate ways in which British democracy defends itself against fraud, demagoguery and corruption.

Justice has been done here, but it has been done slowly and at huge personal risks to the four citizens who brought the action and who would have been bankrupted had it failed. There must be a review mechanism that is independent of the democratic process and can correct some of its failures. Who else but the courts can provide it? There is no special virtue in elected officials if the electoral process is itself corrupt. [256 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 156 votes] Should this article not include a couple of sentences to the effect that: 'Several of this newspapers columnists were so taken in by this man and his cronies that they closed their ears over many years to evidence based warnings of what was going on in Tower Hamlets.

They were as vocal as Rahman himself in screaming 'racist' and 'Islamophobe' at those who warned of what was going on and their stance regrettably contributed in no small measure to its continsurance and the poisonous community relations that will now persist in Tower Hamlets for many years'.

[2ND 149] I have been reading about Lutfur & his delightful gang for years in Private Eye, Tower Hamlets is but a a tip of the iceberg.

Why do the mainstream press with all the resources at their fingertips take about 5 years to scream "quelle horror" when it eventually reaches them? it's already in the public domain.

[3RD 136] "The defence of politics as it was practised by Mr Rahman is that it is an effective and probably inevitable response to discrimination and stereotyping from the outside world."

And how was politics practised by Mr Rahman? Well, according to this article, he was

".... guilty of corrupt practices, vote-rigging, and deliberately smearing his Labour rival as a racist"

and

"emerges as a liar, evasive and manipulative, a man who corrupts the electoral process so that he can corrupt its political results, buying votes and media coverage so that once elected he can direct streams of money and patronage at his supporters."

But it's not ultimately Rahman's fault because his behaviour was simply an "inevitable response to discrimination and stereotyping". So ultimately, it's all whitey's fault. No surprise there, then!

[4TH 134] Just a shame that journalists from this paper waded in to defend him less than a year ago. Dreadful journalism.

[5TH 99] Nobody perpetuates identity politics in the UK more than the Guardian. Also, have they eaten humble pie for previously calling the complaints against Rahman a smear campaign? [Guardian Cif] Read more

25 April 2015

Tower Hamlets: how a dictatorship flourished in the East End

In London’s East End, where so many battles against real fascism were fought in the 20th century, “anti-racism” has become little more than a swindle. Far from being just or noble, it was a pretext to bribe journalists, pay off accomplices and frighten poor immigrants into supporting a crooked demagogue, who despised his “own” people so much he would not even grant them the right to participate in an honest election.

The formal reasons judge Richard Mawrey gave for disqualifying Lutfur Rahman from office last week are bad enough.

The now ex-mayor of Tower Hamlets used fake “ghost” voters to win elections and public funds to buy votes. He offered grants to groups “that hadn’t even applied for them”. He took money that was meant to be going to the Alzheimer’s Society and poor wards that needed all the help they could get. He ran a “ruthless and dishonest” campaign to convince the electorate that John Biggs, his Labour rival for mayor, was a racist. [853 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 410 votes] Well said.

And The Guardian was in the vanguard of his supporters, echoing the shrieks of 'racist' at anyone who dared to voice concern about this ghastly man and his acolytes.

Shame on them all.

[2ND 366] Surely identity politics over class issues could never come back to bite us? Oh wait it's a fucking trainwreck of an ideology, based on post-modern garbage, and sold to us by people in this very paper.

Thanks for one person at least not being afraid to tackle an issue without getting tarred with the 'whitesplaining' or other silencing tactics.

[3RD 297] In The Guardian of 30th May 2014 there was an article saying he was completely innocent.

[4TH 288] Spot on as always Nick.

Its odd isn't it that despite the Guardian's wall to wall coverage of Nigel Farage over the last year the same paper has been almost silent about this story. Wonder why that is?

[5TH 272] I'm not talking about 'corruption', I'm talking about being allowed to talk about it, or wages, and not be told to shut up because of skin colour or gender, or some twaddle about the Patriarchy, a complete fairy story made by second rate Academics, peddled by fools in this paper, and about as much use to the people as a baseball bat to fix a broken watch.

[6TH 258] And his campaign was run by the Islamist Islamic forum For Europe, led by Azad Ali who's also a Vice Chairman of Unite Against Fascism, which opposes 'islamophobes'.

The media has largely downplayed the entryist Islamism central to Rahman's rise to power. [Guardian Cif] Read more

24 April 2015

Lutfur Rahman: the election scandal made worse by the authorities

.... Judge Richard Mawrey found Mr Rahman and his supporters had committed a litany of abuses. They were guilty of vote-rigging, seeking to influence the result through imams, wrongly branding rivals as “racist” and allocating local grants in order to buy votes. Mr Mawrey said that while this corruption was not “the consequence of the racial and religious mix of the population”, it is true that Mr Rahman and his supporters played the “race and Islamophobia card”.

The case against Mr Rahman was brought by four brave citizens who were praised by the judge. They had to go it alone because the Metropolitan Police Service had previously chosen not take legal action, citing an absence of evidence.

This was strange. After all, the Crown Prosecution Service felt that it had plenty of reason to chase down journalists for doing their job. And an average of one person a week is jailed because they fail to pay their television licence fee. Nevertheless, Mr Rahman and his supporters were able to operate for so long without the authorities seeing, hearing or speaking about actions that locals and the national press worked hard to expose. Why? Yet again, the system’s priorities appear to be terribly mistaken. [1158 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 102 votes] We import millions of people from cultures that are much more corrupt than ours and our country becomes more corrupt.

Who could possibly have predicted that?

[2ND 79] Andrew Gilligan, Peter Gold and the three other people who dared to stand firm are incredibly brave. I dread to think what they've been put through.

The state functionaries were quite happy to stand back and see four people risk their personal and financial safety, doing the job that these useless seat polishers were too chicken to carry out.

They absolutely disgust me.

[3RD 71] The reason the Met didn't investigate this man is the same reason that 1,200 girls were raped with impugnity in Rotherham.

Fear of being accused of racism.

It is about time that falsely accusing someone of racism became a crime.

[4TH 55] And of course the accusations of “racism” and “Islamophobia” rang out loud and clear on the BBC's “World at One” today when a member of Rahman's “cabinet” was interviewed about this High Court ruling.

This is just the biggest and latest political scandal over corrupt election and voting procedures all of which have involved a single immigrant community. It's must be so comforting to all those advocates of multiculturalism to know the UK has now been been enriched by the exotic - ie: corrupt - political practices of the Third World.

[5TH 47] I hate to say this, but with the possible exception of terror offences which threaten property and the ruling elite potentially, Muslims are beyond the law it seems to me. Rotherham, Tower Hamlets, Manchester, Rochdale

and so many more and the ones we have yet to hear about Now that Rahman and his gang have been exposed, will the police start prosecuting this corrupt mafia and its enablers? [The Telegraph] Read more

Politicians face religious bullying ban to stop another Tower Hamlets

Laws banning politicians from using religion to bully voters will be toughened in a bid to prevent another scandal like Tower Hamlets, it emerged today.

Cabinet minister Eric Pickles is instructing officials to redraft legislation after the courts yesterday deposed Lutfur Rahman as mayor and found he had used religion to push Muslims into backing him. Mr Pickles said voters must never be told they will “burn in hell” if they fail to back a candidate.

It came as Scotland Yard was expected to launch a criminal inquiry into the ousted mayor after he was found guilty of corruption and rigging his election.

Senior officers are urgently examining the 200-page report by Election Commissioner Richard Mawrey after he found the independent mayor oversaw corrupt and illegal practices when he was re-elected last year. [Evening Standard] Read more

23 April 2015

Lutfur Rahman is toast. But picking up the pieces in Tower Hamlets will be hard

And so, after five years of allegations, investigations and complaints, Lutfur Rahman, the East End politician who defied the might of the Labour party that forsook him, the interventions of a Conservative secretary of state and the findings of a nine-month BBC Panorama probe to twice be elected Tower Hamlets mayor, has finally been prised out of the borough’s town hall.

An election petition – a legal challenge to election outcomes – brought by four residents of the historic London borough has persuaded Richard Mawrey QC to declare the second of Rahman’s triumphs void and bar him from office. There may be a criminal inquiry. [710 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 187 votes] The sort of politics that corral voters on the basis primarily of shared ethnicity and/or confessional allegiance is corrupt and morally corrupting. Tower Hamlets is not entirely an outlier so far as this goes. Wherever minority groups form local majorities the choice exists between encouraging them to share in the broader life of the community or permitting them to retreat within their own fortress.

The latter course, under the banner of multiculturalism, does create the perfect breeding ground for the sort of thing we see in Tower Hamlets. Perhaps it's time to consider whether or not this really is the approach which is the best way to make our irreversibly multi-racial country work well.

[2ND 155] "There may be a criminal inquiry."

Surely there has to be a criminal inquiry!!

[6TH 138] Followed by a trial and some custodial sentences, I hope.

[3RD 151 ] ".... a shameless player of the “race card” to silence opponents. He adds: “This attitude has been adopted by his close associates, for whom a cry of ‘racist’ is usually the first reaction to any criticism of Mr Rahman.”

You don't have to go very far for evidence of that, the venerable Richard Seymour having played that particular card in this very organ:

"The thrust of all this is quite plain. It is to depict a democratically elected politician as a sort of Asiatic despot whose supporters, far from being an energised democratic populace, are stigmatised as intimidating by sheer dint of their number and enthusiasm. There is a deep substrate of racism informing this."

[4TH 148] Labour's multiculturalism come back to bite it on the arse, eh? Don't say you weren't warned.

[5TH 139] Unfortunately any discussion on this and related topics has been shut down by the incessant shouts of racist. As a result the divisions in society along ethnic, national and religious lines will become even more entrenched and ultimately irreversible.

[7TH 130] Its tragic, the whole thing. Every manner in which the left has failed in the last 20 years is wrapped up in this tale. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Lutfur Rahman played the Islamophobia card to silence his critics. And too many on the left fell for it

Lutfur Rahman was "more Labour than many in Labour". He was a "democratic success story" whose opponents were engaged in an "Islamophobic campaign of lies".

I challenge you to come up with a selection of sillier statements about the soon-to-be-former-Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

An election court today found that Rahman had "driven a coach and horses" through local authority law and "engaged in corrupt and illegal practices" to win elections. According to the Court, which ruled on a case brought against the Mayor for ballot-rigging, intimidation and racism in the electoral campaign of 2014, rather than being a "democratic success story", Rahman trashed the electoral process in a "ruthless and dishonest manner". To make matters worse the Mayor silenced critics using spurious accusations of Islamophobia and racism.

Those of us who have lived in Lutfur Rahman’s Tower Hamlets in recent years had a fair idea that something wasn’t right. An atmosphere of menace and intimidation prevailed at council meetings and a cult of personality was thrown up around Rahman himself, with posters carrying the Mayor’s face (and little else) increasingly ubiquitous in the borough. Extremist preachers were invited to speak in council chambers and council grants were directed away from secular organisations in favour of groups which mainly served the Bangladeshi and Muslim communities.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 29 votes] The left supposedly support equality of the sexes, support gay rights, support peaceful dialogue and resolution of disputes, tolerance of different religions and despise the concentration of power in the hands of nepotistic, corrupt, kelptocratic elite.

However across the globe if you carry a Koran they will put all this to one side and champion your cause.

Its insane

[2ND 26] The lie of 'Islamophobia' is being used to 'groom' the British people so that they can be exploited. It's the political version of the Rochdale grooming system. Once it gets a grip, resisting Islam's supremacist agenda becomes increasingly more difficult.

Lutfur Rahman used this lie to leverage power and influence.

[3RD 22] What I find most distressing about this whole affair is it had to come from a civil action taken out by 4 voters (Who should all receive honours for services to their country).

What are the Police and Crown Prosecution Service for exactly?

Postal votes from fake addresses constitutes electoral fraud. Electoral fraud is a criminal act!

When a UKIP candidate hands out sausage rolls to children at an event in Southampton, the Police have no hesitation in dragging him down to the yard but rigging an election is fine?!? [The Independent] Read more

Invisible Atheists - The spread of disbelief in the Arab world

Last December, Dar Al Ifta, a venerable Cairo-based institutioncharged with issuing Islamic edicts, cited an obscure poll according to which the exact number of Egyptian atheists was 866. The poll provided equally precise counts of atheists in other Arab countries: 325 in Morocco, 320 in Tunisia, 242 in Iraq, 178 in Saudi Arabia, 170 in Jordan, 70 in Sudan, 56 in Syria, 34 in Libya, and 32 in Yemen. In total, exactly 2,293 nonbelievers in a population of 300 million.

Many commentators ridiculed these numbers. The Guardian asked Rabab Kamal, an Egyptian secularist activist, if she believed the 866 figure was accurate. “I could count more than that number of atheists at Al Azhar University alone,” she replied sarcastically, referring to the Cairo-based academic institution that has been a center of Sunni Islamic learning for almost 1,000 years.

.... Despite the risks and the social and political challenges they’re facing, all the atheist activists I interviewed said they were confident that the future of the Arab world belongs to secularism. Willoughby told me that “atheism is spreading like wildfire” in the Middle East. Brian Whitaker views it as “the symptom of a much bigger thing, which is the battle against oppression.”

The booming Arab underground music scene is another example of the irresistible impetus for change that is quietly transforming the Middle East and North Africa. A full cultural revolution will probably take some time. Speaking about his country, Abdel-Samad said, “I think secularism is a certainty, not just a possibility, for Egypt’s future. All that remains unclear is what price the country will pay first. History tells me blood.”

Waleed Al Husseini told me that he’s “pessimistic for the next 20 years, but optimistic for what’s coming afterwards.” He can afford it: By then, he’ll be only 46. [The New Republic] Read more

Al-Taqwa College principal says he does not believe excessive running causes girls to lose their virginity

Authorities will investigate a principal's denial that he banned girls from running at sporting events because he believed it could cause them to lose their virginity.

The Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority is investigating a former teacher's claims that girls at Al-Taqwa College were discriminated against and prevented from participating at cross country events.

On Thursday Mr Hallak denied the allegations, saying girls at the Islamic school participated in a range of sports including running over a range of distances, basketball, cricket and hockey.

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But he would not say why primary school girls were withdrawn from a district cross country event.

"Girls are encouraged to participate in all activities, with participation subject to parental consent. We do not believe that running excessively may cause female students to lose their virginity or that sporting injuries could render them infertile." [The Age] Read more

Closure of al-Furqan puts spotlight on role of Islamic bookshops in extremism

Dogged by controversy for 13 years, the al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Melbourne’s south-east elected to shut its doors on Thursday, “effectively immediately”.

But its closure is unlikely to mean the end of the influence of its leader, Harun Mehicevic, on young Muslims attracted to his hardline interpretation of Islam.

In Islam, gatherings of the faithful are commonly held in backyards and garages across the country, Kuranda Seyit, the secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, says.

The vast majority are benign. “Only around 10% of these unofficial gathering places would be preaching the firebrand stuff,” he said.

That’s also true of the hundreds of “Islamic information centres” and bookstores that dot the suburbs where Australia’s Muslim communities are concentrated. [The Guardian] Read more

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman is sacked for 'corrupt practices'

Police are facing criticism for failing to investigate allegations of widespread election fraud as the judge who sacked Britain’s first Muslim mayor warned of “postal voting factories” and thousands of ballots being sold across Britain.

Lutfur Rahman was removed as mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London and banned from standing again after an electoral court found him guilty of a string of “corrupt and illegal practices” including ballot rigging, buying votes and lying about his opponents.

Rahman was said to have “cynically perverted” the religious feeling of his Muslim community, before silencing his critics with “accusations of racism and Islamophobia”.

The Metropolitan Police has also come under fire for failing to do anything to address concerns about Rahman’s behaviour since he became leader of the council in 2008 and then the elected mayor two years later.

Instead it was left to four ordinary voters who picked up the case after it was dropped by the police to convince the courts of Rahman’s corruption. [The Telegraph] Read more

22 April 2015

Ex-President: Germans right to fear Islam

Wulff, who once famously stated that Islam is now also a part of German life, said that the Islamic world was gravely destabilized, with fundamentalism stretching from north Africa across the Middle East, the Frankfurter Rundschau reported on Wednesday.

He claimed that Muslims feared living through a "global military confrontation" between Sunnis and Shiites that could parallel the 30 Years' War between Protestants and Catholics that devastated Europe.

“Everyone should do more to make this conflict smaller rather than bigger,” he said.

But Berlin-based Islam researcher Dr Ralph Ghadban told The Local that Wulff had misunderstood the conflicts going on in the Muslim world.

“Of course there is a confessional conflict between Sunni and Shia in the Middle East, but in North Africa, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, it's a battle between traditional Islam and Salafism, and both are Sunni traditions,” he pointed out. [The Local] Read more

21 April 2015

Hampstead liberals can use their vote to fight radical Islam (and silence right-wing bores)

.... Secularism in the Islamic world would make life better for the vast majority of Muslims, and for 100 per cent of non-Muslims. But while spreading secularism is the most important thing that can be done right now, it is also perhaps the most dangerous.

I admire journalists and politicians who speak out when it costs them something, but in the West bravely telling the truth usually involves no more than social snubs or at worst, career decline; whatever one thinks about the liberal metropolitan elite, they don’t tend to behead critics. Speaking out against Islamism, for a Muslim, is something quite different. [The Spectator] Read more

20 April 2015

Two Birmingham teachers accused of beating boy for 'wrongly reciting Koran'

Two teachers are to stand trial accused of beating a ten-year-old boy – for wrongly reciting the Koran.

Mohammed Waqar, 23, and Mohammed Siddique, 60, are accused of assaulting the youngster at the Jamia Mosque in Anderton Road, Sparkbrook.

The mosque is attached to the Sparkbrook Islamic Centre, based at the same site.

Mr Waqar, of Olton Boulevard West, Tyseley, and Mr Siddique, also of Olton Boulevard West, were arrested by officers from West Midlands Police last June.

It is understood the case centres around allegations that a ten-year-old boy had been repeatedly slapped during religious lessons at the Anderton Road site between May 1 and June 13 last year. [Birmingham Mail] Read more

18 April 2015

Top judge's veil views clarified

The UK's most senior judge has clarified his position on whether Muslim women should be allowed to wear a full-face veil while giving evidence.

In a lecture last week, Lord Neuberger said that judges must have "an understanding of different cultural and social habits".

But a spokesman for the Supreme Court said he had not backed the idea of court witnesses being able to wear full-face veils.

.... A spokesman for the Supreme Court said today: "Following various media reports based on a lecture he gave last week, Lord Neuberger would like to emphasise that he did not say that Muslim women should be allowed to wear a full-face veil while giving evidence in court.

"His lecture was aimed at encouraging judges to develop a greater understanding of the perspectives of those less experienced in the criminal justice system, especially when faced with having to give evidence or face cross-examination. [Press Association] Read more

Jakim tries to censor jokes, songs and music on stage

Islamic authorities have set new rules on the kind of personality, dress, music, lyrics and jokes allowed for stage shows and music concerts by foreign personalities, it was reported today.

Men and women are now not allowed to interact on stage. (In January a controversy arose after an online allegation that young Malay women fans had supposedly been “molested” on stage at a concert of the South Korean pop group B1A4.)

The rules were relased by Jakim, the federal Islamic affairs department, which has religious authority in the Federal Territories.

Malay Mail Online reported that the new rules were approved by a national fatwa convention in February.

They are not binding in law but federal Islamic affairs minister Jamil Khir Baharom had previously said that approving authorities were advised to ask event organisers to abide by Jakim’s rules. [Free Malaysia Today] Read more

'Chilling' posters in Cardiff warn Muslims not to vote in the general election because 'it violates the right of Allah'

Posters telling Muslims not to vote in the election were plastered across an area of Cardiff yesterday.

They read: 'Democracy is a system whereby man violates the right of Allah.'

Posters were stuck on lampposts and bus stops across the Grangetown suburb telling the Muslim electorate: 'Islam is the only real workable solution for the UK'.

Cardiff Council have begun removing the posters, dubbed 'chilling' and 'threatening' by locals.

The full message on the poster reads: 'Democracy is a system whereby man violates the right of Allah and decides what is permissible or impermissible for mankind, based solely on their whims and desires.

'This leads to a decayed and degraded society where crime and immorality becomes widespread and injustice becomes the norm. [Daily Mail] Read more

Pray to Allah or drown, Muslims ordered Christians

The rubber dinghy carrying about 100 African migrants across the Mediterranean had started to deflate when one young Nigerian Christian started praying for his life. The Muslims on board insisted that “here we pray only to Allah”, according to one witness, and ordered him to stop.

His refusal, and the desperate fight that ensued, left 12 Christians drowned after they were thrown overboard by their Muslim fellow refugees. [The Times (£)] Read more

17 April 2015

Muslims continue to be less accepted than other minorities in Britain

Attitudes to Muslims in Britain are considerably more negative than attitudes to Jews, Buddhists and Hindus. In other words, it is not being a religious minority in itself that make Muslims a target for prejudice. However, the level of religious belief and commitment among Muslims is on average higher.

This, combined with media reports which focus on cultural differences, may inspire a view of Islam as a threat to secular liberalism, as discussed in my 2011 paper on religion and attitudes to immigration.

This view may be especially pronounced among those who took an active stand against their parents’ generation on questions of traditional religiosity, gender equality and individual autonomy.

Such a perception of cultural threat makes Muslims a target of prejudice for the young as well as the old. As Sobolewska and Ali’s analysis shows, these views may be fuelled by uneven media coverage in left wing as well as right wing newspapers.

.... In summary, the disproportionate unpopularity of Muslims as marriage prospects for close relatives is probably not the result of a general objection to cultural difference which is taking over from a general hostility to physical difference. Rather, a particular negative perception of a specific religious group has been reinforced by news reports, and created new justifications for prejudice. [Democratic Audit UK] Read more

Allah flyers put up in Cardiff tell Muslims not to vote

The notices were put up on lamp-posts and bus stops on Friday morning in Grangetown - an area with a significant Muslim population.

Many have been ripped off and Cardiff council said a cleaning team will remove any remaining ones.

A trustee for the Muslim Council of Wales said the posters did not reflect views of the majority of Muslims.

The flyers stated: "Democracy is a system whereby man violates the right of Allah and decides what is permissible or impermissible for mankind, based solely on their whims and desires.

"Islam is the only real, working solution for the UK. It is a comprehensive system of governance where the laws of Allah are implemented and justice is observed." [BBC] Read more

The stain of genocide on our nation is out of the question

The Turks are getting very annoyed about all this talk of the Armenian Genocide, with the centenary coming up next week. Toys may soon be thrown out of prams. From the Times [£]:

"The ancient cathedral of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul could be reopened as a mosque in response to the Pope’s ­comments on the century-old massacres of Armenians, a senior government cleric said yesterday."

"The Grand Mufti of Ankara, Professor Mefail Hizli, warned of repercussions from remarks on Sunday by ­Francis, who labelled the killings of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as genocide."

.... The obligatory "crusader" reference is telling. The grievance culture, that so much current Muslim rhetoric has come to rely on, finds it impossible to admit that the first genocide of the modern age was perpetrated by Muslims against Christians. [Mick Hartley] Read more

Muslim women should be allowed to wear the veil in court, top judge suggests

Judges should allow Muslim women to appear in court wearing a full-face veil, Britain’s most senior judge has suggested.

Lord Neuberger, the President of the Supreme Court, said it was crucial that courts and judges “show, and be seen to show” respect towards different customs.

He said this included having an understanding of the “different cultural and social habits” of those appearing as witnesses, defendants or jurors in cases.

His comments, in a lecture about the need for courts to be less intimidating, come at a time of uncertainty over the place of the Muslim niqab, or full face-veil, in the legal system.

In 2013 the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, said there was a need for clear guidance on the issue following controversy over the trial at London’s Blackfriars Crown Court of a Muslim woman accused of witness intimidation. [The Telegraph] Read more

Boris Johnson calls for new word to be used when describing Islamic extremists

Boris Johnson has insisted that an alternative word needs to be found to describe extremists who claim to act in the name of Islam.

The Mayor of London told worshippers at the Al Falah Islamic Education Centre in West Acton that he was concerned about the level of Islamophobia in the capital.

And Mr Johnson, whose great-grandfather was a Muslim, added that a "problem in the language" needed to be resolved, with the issue discussed with the Muslim Council of Britain.

The Conservative parliamentary candidate was question by members of the mosque's congregation during a campaign visit.

Chauffeur Hemat Khan, 29, of West Acton, told Mr Johnson about the problems encountered by Muslims.

The Mayor insisted the police could deal with Islamophobia and intimidation, adding: "It's very difficult to distinguish Islam and Isis, Daesh, whatever - we have a problem in the language.

"When anybody says Islamism, Muslim fundamentalist or terrorist or something like that, the wider public hear the word Muslim - you see what I'm saying? [Evening Standard] Read more

Italian police: Muslim migrants threw Christians overboard

Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard -- killing them -- because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday.

Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea, police in Palermo, Sicily, said.

The original group of 105 people left Libya on Tuesday in a rubber boat. Sometime during the trip north across the Mediterranean Sea, the alleged assailants -- Muslims from the Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal -- threw the 12 overboard, police said. [CNN] Read more

16 April 2015

A Golden Age

Jane Corbin's documentary, Kill the Christians, aired on BBC2 last night. It was a predictably grim catalogue of Islamist violence against the dwindling Christian minority in the Arab Middle East. There are some uncomfortable ironies though, which perhaps she could have explored in more depth:

.... "In Erbil in Kurdistan, thousands of displaced Christians are crammed into a half-built shopping mall. I met Leila and Imad Aziz preparing food for a Christian festival with their two little girls. They fled from Mosul last summer when IS occupied the city, giving Christians the choice of converting to Islam, leaving the city or paying the jizya - the heavy tax imposed on Christian subjects by Muslim rulers centuries ago."

"We can't go back to Mosul for fear of being killed, kidnapped or robbed," Imad told me. "I believe that in four to five years, very few Christians will remain. They will be pointing fingers at them saying: 'He's a Christian.'" [Mick Hartley] Read more

Migrants killed in 'religious clash' on Mediterranean boat

Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat heading to Italy.

The Christian migrants, said to be from Ghana and Nigeria, are all feared dead.

In a separate incident, more than 40 people drowned after another migrant boat sank between Libya and Italy.

Almost 10,000 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean have been rescued in recent days. Italy has called for more help from the EU to handle the crisis. [BBC] Read more

Pope’s remarks ‘to accelerate Hagia Sophia’s conversion into mosque’

Pope Francis’ labeling of the mass killings of the Ottoman Armenians as “the first genocide of the 20th century” will only accelerate the reopening of Hagia Sophia to Muslim worship, the top Islamic official in Ankara has suggested.

“Frankly, I believe that the pope’s remarks will only accelerate the process for Hagia Sophia to be re-opened for [Muslim] worship,” Professor Mefail Hizli, the mufti of Ankara, said in a written statement released late April 15.

According to Hizli, the pope’s statement “has reflected a modern color of the crusader wars launched in these lands for centuries.” These lands have long been the “standard bearer” of the Muslim world, meaning many enemies, both from inside and outside of the country, have been launching attacks with different methods. [Hürriyet Daily News] Read more

15 April 2015

Man charged with 'insulting Islam' in Dubai over Facebook post on Isis violence in Iraq

An Indian man has reportedly been charged with “insulting Islam” in Dubai over a Facebook post.

The 41-year-old man, who has not been named, has appeared before the Court of First Instance in the United Emirates (UAE), the Khaleej Times reported.

He allegedly made the offending comments in conversations and posts on the social network in July last year, after watching a video about the escalating violence in Iraq as Isis swept through the country.

.... Another Indian man working in Dubai tipped police off at Al Rafaa police station, the Times of India reported, after he was alerted to the posts by a friend via a WhatsApp message.

The 24-year-old vendor filed an official complaint claiming the posts “insulted Islam”, a criminal offence in the UAE punishable by a minimum one year prison sentence, fines and deportation. [The Independent] Read more

Muslim women much more likely to be unemployed than white Christian women

.... “Economic activity among Muslim women in the UK remains considerably lower and their unemployment rate remains significantly higher than the majority group even after controlling for qualifications and other individual characteristics.”

He said that Muslim women’s high visibility was likely to be a key factor in explaining their exclusion: “They wear the hijab or other religious symbols which makes them more visible and as such exposed to greater discrimination.”

He said that by controlling for the religious intensity of Muslim women in the analysis, it was likely that cultural factors such as the reluctance by some to work in certain jobs were ruled out as a reason for their higher unemployment rate. [University of Bristol] Read more

Morrisons is first supermarket to stock halal pick and mix sweets

Morrisons is trialling a halal pick and mix counter at 10 stores, offering gelatine-free sweets to Muslim customers.

The selection of 36 sweets includes liquorice sticks, cola bottles, jelly beans, gummy bears and sugared lips - all guaranteed to be free of non-halal animal products or alcohol-based colourings and flavourings.

The move is being tested at stores in Blackburn, Bolton, Preston, Bradford, West Bromwich, Birmingham, Leamington Spa and three in London.

It was welcomed by Salim Mulla, chairman of the halal sub-committee at the Lancashire Council of Mosques.

"Sweets are very popular with the Muslim community," he said. "I think the pick and mix will do really well."

At the moment, Muslim shoppers have to look at the ingredients to see if sweets are suitable to eat as some contain animal products that are not halal. [The Telegraph] Read more

Maajid Nawaz sent death threats by ISIS and installs panic alarm at home because of lap dance CCTV

Liberal Democrat hopeful Maajid Nawaz has been ordered to install a home panic alarm by anti-terror police after becoming the target of “specific” death threats from IS militants, he claimed today.

CCTV footage leaked to a newspaper at the weekend showed anti-extremism campaigner Mr Nawaz, who is contesting the marginal Hampstead and Kilburn seat, having a private lap dance at an east London strip club on his stag night last summer.

Abdul Malik, the club’s owner, said he released the video to expose Mr Nawaz, a self-proclaimed feminist who is the co-founder of counter-extremism think-tank Quilliam, as a “hypocrite”.

In a statement on his Facebook profile, Mr Nawaz, 37, said he had since been ordered by Scotland Yard to increase security measures at his home in west London after IS militants made direct calls for his death. [Evening Standard] Read more

14 April 2015

Danish Conservatives go after 'Nazi Islamism'

Radical Islam is "in the same family" as Nazism and must be "fought and eliminated", Conservative leaders said in launching an attention-grabbing campaign.

Although Denmark is not yet technically in an election, political campaigns are becoming increasingly hard to avoid.

The newest campaign to become the talk of the town comes from the Conservatives and their posters bearing the slogan “Stop Nazi Islamism”.

The posters were rolled out in conjunction with an op-ed from party leader Søren Pape Poulsen and former MP Naser Khader, who recently returned to Danish politics after a stint in Washington. [The Local] Read more

13 April 2015

Why is Isis a wake-up call to Muslim women?

.... the 62-year-old African-American professor, the daughter of a Methodist minister, is one of Islam’s leading feminists. Ten years ago, she faced down a bomb threat in New York when she led Friday prayers to a mixed congregation of men and women – something many religious scholars argued was forbidden in Islam. Three years later, she defied protests from local groups to do the same in London. Not content with taking on the mosques, now she has her sights set on revolutionising sharia councils and the laws that underpin them. [364 Comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 102 votes] Religion; Holding back humanity since the day man invented it.

[2ND 93] I have never been able to understand why women, the sex that bears our children, that often ensure there is food on the table and that the children are washed and dressed each day, are treated as though they are in some way inferior to the male. Are men so insecure, so frightened that they will be shown up that they can justify denying women an equal place?

Who is this Mohamed that he can make the likes of Jehadi John a good man for killing people who do not agree with Islam. Who can justify the female genital mutilation, to take away from women something God bestowed upon them? Islam and its Sharia law have no place in today's world. All religions should be stripped of their charitable status and all organizations that discriminate against women should be outlawed.

[3RD 76] This newspaper's bizarre love affair with a religion that, as practised, is utterly antithetical to everything it once stood for goes on.

[4TH 75] I dont understand why when men say women should cover themselves in case they inflame the desires of men ..that they don't realise what they are saying is... men cannot control themselves, cannot control their own basic instincts and desires.

If men cannot control such basic instincts surly they should never be given control of anything important? Put your penises away, stop willy waggling and do something useful.

[5TH 72] "Good. I am glad someone is taking a stand against this wahabist nonsense. Isis makes me hate Islam. I am sure Isis couldn't give a monkeys that people are beginning to loathe Islam, but it should care."

It probably wants us to hate Islam. Then all Muslims are faced with a choice, the kuffar who hate them, or ISIS.

[6TH 52] Alas this is an extreme minority view in Islam: Ayan Hirsi Ali's books are far better guides to the reality of the sacred text and its infallible truths. Wishful thinking by an ex Methodist in an Arab culture of the 7th Century. Why does she adopt this Arab dress code, if she is such a radical? [The Guardian] Read more

12 April 2015

Extremists are setting up anti-British schools, report claims

Nearly 50 unregulated schools set up by extremists are being investigated for being anti-British, it has been claimed.

Education authorities are looking into allegations that these schools impart teachings that go against British values.

Many of these schools were set up by a teacher embroiled in the Trojan Horse scandal that saw radical Muslims infiltrating school governing bodies in Birmingham, it was alleged.

Based around the UK – including Luton, Birmingham, and London, these schools manage to scape prying eyes by operating outside the traditional education system, it was claimed.

Many of the students have been pulled out of the mainstream education system, which is overseen by the schools’ watchdog, Ofsted, and the Department for Education (DfE), and are being home schooled without proper regulation or oversight.

Children of Somali, Bengali and Pakistani origins are thought to be at risk of being radicalised in their own homes, it was reported. [The Telegraph] Read more

11 April 2015

Adherents of Islam, second largest religion in the world, are a “powerless, disenfranchised minority”?

.... Many of the powerful throughout the world are very happy to punch down against cartoonists, and not just against cartoonists who draw Mohammed or who criticize Islam (see, e.g., the recent convictions of cartoonists in Turkey).

I would have thought that one of the most prominent and (at least in the distant past) iconoclastic cartoonists in the world, receiving an award for his lifetime achievement as a cartoonist, would have explained in a bit more detail just which sorts of ideologies should now be immunized from ridicule, and which sort of cartoons should indeed be criminalized or at least condemned by the cartooning elites. [The Washington Post] Read more

10 April 2015

Poll: Majority Have No Sympathy With Extremists

An exclusive poll suggests most Muslims think families are most responsible for stopping young people joining groups like IS.

More than a third of British Muslims say the actions of the authorities are contributing to the radicalisation of young people, according to an exclusive Sky News poll.

Some 39% of Muslims who were asked said the authorities, including police and MI5, were a factor in radicalising the younger generation, compared to 29% of Muslims who said they were not.

The research found the issue of young people travelling to fight with extremist groups, including Islamic State, or becoming so-called 'jihadi brides', remains highly controversial.

.... We asked 1,000 Muslims and 1,000 non-Muslims to share their opinions and found that while 71% of Muslims in the UK said the values of British society were compatible with those of Islam, 16% believed they were not.

[TOP RATED COMMENT ] Color me shocked.

[ANOTHER] So actually 29% of British Muslims (i.e. nearly one million Muslims) DON'T believe UK life is compatible with Islam. Surely that should be the headline!

[ANOTHER] Not integrated or assimilated and most Muslims don't want to be and thats the sad truth about people. The sad truth is that they have come to live in a free and open society but they form their own little ghettoes until it becomes like the medieval hole they came from?

As their numbers grow they seem to get more and more emboldened demanding special treatment and even different laws to live under [Sharia] and people in this country are getting a little bit fed up of them now and i mean Christians,Hindus,Jews and other faiths who rub along together with no issues. My fear is as their numbers increase their will at some time in the future be a flash point and civil unrest will ensue?

[ANOTHER] What absolute garbage! Yet again everyone else is to blame for everything EXCEPT the poor Muslims.

[ANOTHER] Of course it's the fault of the police..... Muslims never do anything wrong.

[ANOTHER] I would love to know exactly who (which NON mozlem population demographic) was targeted and where this survey was conducted. I would wager it was not conducted in Oxford, Rochdale,Rotherham or one of the cities or towns where the pakistani and other mozlem paedophile gangs have mass raped NON moslem British children or areas where izlamist thugs parade up and down demanding sharia law and special treatment for this insular minority group.

Once again we see the race card appear, use of the blame game and denial of the facts by mozlems in the UK. By far, most terror attacks and plots, atrocities are carried out across the world by the followers of the cult of izlam.

Large numbers of young "educated" mozlems,often from prominent families in the UK glorify and admire these murders and acts of cultural annihilation of other belief systems and justify this because their quran tells them to do it.

Even more disturbing is the desire amongst these "young educated mozlems" from Britain to join terror groups like ISIS etc. I wholly disagree with this "surveys" results and suggest the problem of radicalisation of mozlems in the UK lies 100% in the adherence to the texts of their quran and the what they are taught in their homes and mosques.

[ANOTHER] If Muslims don't like it in Britain there are plenty of other countries they can go to.

[ANOTHER] 16% should leave the UK then. That would be a start.

[ANOTHER] Well obviously the 52% should not be here, they should be in an Islamic country that suits their needs. I'll help them

[ANOTHER] Aren't they precious. Is there anything else they'd like us to change to suit them?

[ANOTHER] Simple solution: You have a problem with how we do things in the UK, we will pay, out of the public purse, for a one way flight for you to go to any country you want, and we'll keep your British passport here (if you have one).

I'd be happier for my tax money to go on that than almost any other public service I can think of.

[ANOTHER] Poor Sky, still distracted by the 'moderates' who mean absolutely nothing in the equation of civilisational differences.

It isn't the 3/4 Muslims who we are worried about. It is the one quarter of their ever growing population who are riding on the back of the entire religions level of devout fundamentalism, to establish Islamic extremism, that we are worried about. It is the 89% of Muslims in Pakistan who say they want the death penalty put in place for leaving the religion [PEW poll 2013] who we are worried about.

It is the upwards of 70% of Muslims in Egypt who also want the death penalty put in place for leaving Islam who we are worried about. It is the Saudi funded mosques and the silencing of all debate that we are worried about. It is our governments and their fear of being called 'Islamophobic' that we are worried about.

Islam has to be reformed. How will it be reformed if we accept it as it is, don't demand reformation and instead pretend there is nothing bad coming from its current spread?

Islamism is displacing and murdering hundreds of thousands of Christians right now, and all's the likes of Sky News can do is tell us there is no problem.

Why didn't you challenge these non-fundamental Muslims to speak out and protest against the Imams who are preaching fundamentalism? Why is it left to the likes of the EDL to demand change within Islam?

[ANOTHER] The koran encourages muslims to lie about their religion to non-muslims. Islam is not religion of peace, it's a religion of conquest. The only difference between an extremist and a "moderate" is a matter of patience. [Sky News] Read more

Persecution pushing young Australian Muslims to the margins of society, says leader

Young Australians are joining terror groups because their "blood is boiling" at domestic persecution and international atrocities committed by the West, a local Muslim leader has warned.

Keysar Trad, founder of the Islamic Friendship Association, told a university forum that his comments may be "dangerous" and "politically incorrect" but they were crucial to understanding why more than 200 Australians have taken up arms in Syria and Iraq

In a scathing assessment of Australia's efforts to create a harmonious society, he said constant persecution, hypocritical Australian laws, vitriolic media and repeated invasions in the Middle East were pushing young Muslims "to the margins of society" and driving them to radicalisation. [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more

Parliament cancels Mohammed cartoonist visit

The Finnish parliament has cancelled a discussion event where the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, known for his depictions of the prophet Mohammed. The Secretary General of the Finnish parliament said that the cancellation was made on Security Intelligence Police advice. [Yle] Read more

More Than Half Of Americans Have Unfavorable View Of Islam, Poll Finds

More than half of Americans say they have unfavorable views of Islam, and six in 10 either aren't interested or don't know whether they want to learn more about the faith, according to a new poll.

Younger Americans are the most likely to have positive views on Islam, be interested in learning about the religion and have Muslim friends.

The findings, detailed in a HuffPost/YouGov poll on Americans’ views of Muslims released Friday as part of HuffPost Religion’s week-long Muslim Life in America series, show a nation of fractured opinions and experiences when it comes to Islam, with stark differences among age groups and political affiliations.

Overall, 55 percent of Americans had either a somewhat or very unfavorable view of Islam, while one in four said they were not sure how they viewed the faith. Just 7 percent said they had a very favorable view of the religion, and 14 percent said they saw it somewhat favorably. [The Huffington Post] Read more

Poll reveals over a third of Muslims believe security services play role in radicalisation of young Muslims

The polls reveal some interesting findings on who young Muslims feel is contributing to radicalisation. According to the results, 38.9% of Muslims agreed with the statement “The actions of the police and MI5 are contributing to the radicalisation of young Muslims”. Those disagreeing that the police and MI5 were contributing to radicalisation was under a third, at 28.8%.

Earlier this year, the human rights campaign group, CAGE, argued that harassment by security services played a role in the radicalisation of Mohammed Emwazi, the student from London identified as “Jihadi John”, responsible for killing hostages for Islamic State. For making a causal link with perceived abuse by state authorities and radicalisation, CAGE, were widely condemned as “apologists for terror”. From the survey results, it would seem around 40% of British Muslims are also “apologists for terror”. [MEND] Read more

Poll: Majority Have No Sympathy With Extremists

.... The results found younger Muslims were more likely to see their values aligned to those of Britain, with 73% of those aged 18 to 34 agreeing, compared to 71% of those aged over 55.

Male Muslims were also more likely to agree - 78%, versus 64% for females.

On the issue of integration into UK society, the survey found 58% of non-Muslims believed their Muslim neighbours were not doing enough, with those aged over 55 more likely to be critical.

Two thirds of Muslims, however, said they were doing enough.

Anjum Anwar, one of the Muslims questioned in the survey, told Sky News: "Are we talking about integration or assimilation? That's the problem, because I see integration happening." [Sky News] Read more

MI5 and police partly to blame for radicalisation – say four in 10 British Muslims

Four in 10 British Muslims believe that police and MI5 are partly responsible for the radicalisation of young people who support extremists, new polling has found.

A survey commissioned by Sky News, also found that more than a quarter of British Muslims have some sympathy with those who have left to join fighters in Syria.

Among Muslim women and those under the age of 35, the figure rises to a third.

While almost three quarters of Muslims polled said they believe the “values of British society” are compatible with those of their religion, one in seven said they were not.

But the polling of 1,000 Muslims and 1,000 non-Muslims by Survation, also pointed to a growing sense of alienation between members of Britain’s fastest growing faith group and wider society.

A third of Muslims said they experience more suspicion from others than a few years ago.

The perception is backed up by polling of non-Muslims, of whom 44 per cent – and 49 per cent of men – admitted they were more suspicious of Muslims than they were.

Strikingly, only one in five (22 per cent) of non-Muslims saw Islam as compatible with British values, with just over half saying it is not. [The Telegraph] Read more

09 April 2015

Mohammed Amin: The values that can defeat extremism aren’t British values only – they’re shared, human, universal values too

....When you look at the list of British values in the speech: “regard for the rule of law, participation in and acceptance of democracy, equality, free speech and respect for minorities” they are obviously the values that underlie British society. They have my unequivocal support and these are values that I would fight and die for.

However, in no sense are they exclusively British. These values equally underlie American society, Canadian society, Swedish society, and even underlie French society although I have some concerns about the way that the French implement “Laïcité”! I could list many more countries which also implement those same values.

Somewhat more controversially, because many non-violent extremists would object to what I am about to write, these are the values that underlie my understanding of Islam. I can see how Muslims have applied aspects of them throughout their history. As just one example, Muslim societies treated minorities much better than did Christian societies before the enlightenment.

Instead of talking about “British values” I recommend talking about “the values underpinning British society” or even “our shared human values.” [ConservativeHome] Read more

'This doesn't encourage integration, this encourages separateness': Local council slammed for asking non-Muslim women to wear hijabs to raise awareness and combat Islamophobia

A local council has created controversy by asking non-Islamic women to wear hijabs in a 'social experiment' to increase awareness and education.

The City of Greater Dandenong Council in Victoria to wear the religious headdress for three hours today, as part of its plans to celebrate 'National Youth Week.'

The event, which will also be filmed, has been designed to 'provide awareness, insight and education' for the community.

However, critics of the plan said it will create further division in the community, according to the Herald Sun.

'If we're going to have people dressing up as Muslims for three hours, why doesn't the council encourage people to dress up as Christians,' Institute of Public Affairs executive director John Roskam said. [Daily Mail] Read more

08 April 2015

Two Turkish journalists face jail terms for Charlie Hebdo cover

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking prison terms for two journalists who republished the cover of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo featuring an image of the Prophet Mohammed, their newspaper said on Wednesday.

Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya, columnists at Cumhuriyet daily, both face jail terms of 4-1/2 years for allegedly "insulting people's religious values" for reprinting the caricature of Islam's prophet following the Jan. 7 attacks on Charlie Hebdo in Paris that killed 12 people, Cumhuriyet said on its website, citing a copy of the indictment.

The secular Cumhuriyet faced security threats when it became one of five international publications that printed excerpts of the edition of Charlie Hebdo that appeared after the attacks to show its solidarity with the cartoonists.

"We are being threatened with prison for defending free speech," Karan told Reuters. "To threaten a journalist because he or she printed a drawing that does not include an insult can only come from a religious, authoritarian government. [Reuters] Read more

Anti-Gay Islamist Preacher Led Conference in a Bid to Affect UK Elections

A conference, that was held at the Quaker's Friends House, London, featured American anti-gay cleric Sheikh Yasir Qadhi along with other extreme Wahhabi clerics who are accused of practicing hate.

Muslim leaders from across the UK and USA have criticised the event and some of its participants for promoting an intolerant, divisive and belligerent version of Islam.

The conference, entitled Islam in Britain, that was held this just passed Easter weekend was organised by the Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) boasting links with the Tory and Labour parties and chosen as an "official partner" by the Electoral Commission for the upcoming elections.

MEND has been running more or less the same format of talks/conferences across the United Kingdom attended by leading political figures, such as Tory Baroness Warsi and Kate Green, Labour's shadow equalities minister and vice-chair of its national policy forum. [The Huffington Post UK] Read more

Hardline Islamic group is radicalising Rochdale youths, Muslim academic claims

A hardline Islamic group is radicalising hundreds of Rochdale youngsters, a Muslim academic has claimed.

Haras Rafiq, director of prominent think-tank the Quilliam foundation, claims that Hizb ut-Tahrir - a group banned in many countries - has infiltrated schools and colleges in the town.

The organisation wants to establish a Muslim caliphate under Sharia law.

Mr Rafiq - who lives in Rochdale - says while the group is not affiliated with IS, many of its followers often grow bored and are drawn into more extremist ideologies. [Manchester Evening News] Read more

UK: Sharia Courts Abusing Muslim Women

.... But the Conservative government's track record on confronting Islam has been patchy at best. In November 2013, for example, the government rejected an amendment offered by Cox to the Anti-Social Behavior, Crime and Policing Bill, which would have protected women who are duped into believing that their marriages are valid under British law when in fact they are not.

More recently, the Conservatives quashed a "politically incorrect" inquiry into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain.

While Cox welcomed May's commitment to investigate Sharia courts, she also expressed concern that politicians will once again bow to political correctness. It is important, she wrote, that such investigations "do not fall at the first hurdle, as appears to have happened with previous, similar government-led reviews. Without powers to subpoena witnesses, any independent review — no matter how well intentioned — will be another lost opportunity."

Cox summed it up this way:

"The government's response will be a litmus test of the extent to which it genuinely upholds the principle of equality before the law or is so dominated by the fear of 'giving offense' that it will continue to allow these women to suffer in ways which would make our suffragettes turn in their graves." [Gatestone Institute] Read more

'Britain in danger of being outflanked by growing Islamic population' says church leader

“SPINELESS” politicians are ignoring the rise of Islam in the UK, according to a prominent church minister. And the Reverend David Robertson, who will soon take over as Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, also says there is no such thing as “secular Islam”.

His comments come as debate rages throughout Britain as to how to tackle the issue of radical proponents of the religion without alienating minority communities.

But the minister stressed that although he opposes “racist, jingoistic Islamophobia, the fear of Islamophobia is blinding many of our politicians to the threat we face from Islam”.

Mr Robertson has accused politicians of leading the country down a “path of destruction away from the Christian foundations of our nation” by appeasing Muslims.

Writing on the Christian Today website, he said that politicians are either ignorant of the nature of Islam, or frightened of being labelled racist for speaking out about it. He said: “Christianity is the bedrock and foundation of our secular society. Islam is different. Islam has no doctrine of separation of the spiritual from the political. Islam is, and has always been, a political movement. [Daily Express] Read more

07 April 2015

The Reformation of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

In Heretic Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues that Islam is in need of reform in five key areas:

1. Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran.

2. The supremacy of life after death.

3. Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.

4. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.

5. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war. (p. 24, although I’ve used the summary headings quoted here)

Muslims can be divided into three subtypes: ‘Medina Muslims’ (jihadists) ‘Mecca Muslims’ (Muslims who follow orthodox Islam but don’t practice violence) and ‘Modifying Muslims’, those who press for reform (pp. 15-18).

I share Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s impatience with those who claim that the 9/11 attacks, the crimes of ISIS, and countless other such atrocities have nothing to do with Islam. She is right to find Obama’s emphasis in a 2012 speech perverse: [Harry’s Place] Read more

Islam vs liberalism: the classroom’s silent Culture War

A report published in the aftermath of the race-related disturbances in Bradford in 2001 found that ‘some teachers in Bradford consider the Holocaust to be a difficult subject to approach with Muslim pupils’.

A review published by the Historical Association, Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, reported that a ‘history department in a northern city avoided selecting the Holocaust as a topic for GCSE coursework for fear of confronting anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils’. It also mentioned another history department in which ‘the Holocaust was taught despite anti-Semitic sentiment among some pupils’.

However, the same department deliberately avoided teaching the Crusades at Key Stage 3 because teachers’ ‘balanced treatment of the topic would have directly challenged what was taught in some local mosques’. [spiked] Read more

06 April 2015

Demand for more mosques in France raises tension

Muslim leaders' demand to double the number of mosques in France within two years causes anger.

A call by Muslim leaders for the number of mosques in France to be doubled has aggravated community tensions barely three months after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

"We have 2,200 mosques and we need double that within two years," the Rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, told applauding French Muslims at a conference.

Many Muslims believe local authorities in France block applications to open or build mosques and prayer-rooms, leading to overcrowding and protests over prayers held in the streets.

However, the conservative daily Le Figaro said the comments by Dr Boubakeur, generally considered a moderate, were "provocative".

The paper said he and other "mainstream" Muslim leaders had "lost control" of increasingly radical young French Muslims and "it is not the mass construction of new mosques that will change things". [The Telegraph] Read more

Muslim leader calls for doubling number of mosques in France

The number of mosques in France should be doubled over the next two years in order to provide an adequate number of places of worship for the country’s millions of faithful, a top Muslim leader said Saturday.

Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Muslim Council, said France’s current total of 2,200 mosques was not enough to adequately represent one of Europe's largest Muslim communities.

"We need double (that number) within two years," Boubakeur said during the 32nd edition of the Annual Gathering of French Muslims, a four-day event that brings together more than 250 Muslim associations from across the country.

"There are a lot of prayer rooms, of unfinished mosques, and there are a lot of mosques that are not being built," he added. [France24] Read more

05 April 2015

Senior Muslim lawyer says British teenagers see Isis as 'pop idols'

.... Afzal claims the current strategy relies almost entirely on police and the security services. "It is stale and repetitive and goes only to the usual suspects and the usual charities in our communities."

"I know from experience that the police are often reduced to holding endless meetings with so-called community leaders who represent no one but themselves. This is a new dawn in terrorism and so we need a new dawn in the ways we tackle it."

He wants the next government to mobilise an army of young British Muslims that he believes will be best equipped to turn would-be Isis fighters back from the brink. [826 Comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 140 votes] ".... so-called community leaders who represent no one but themselves."

At last someone with experience finally reveals the truth about these state funded gobshites.

[2ND 102] .... we live in a lefty socialist racist society which alows muslims to say what they like, but non muslims must button it. GOOD AINT IT. [The Guardian] Read more

Diversity and immigration are not the problem. Political courage is ....

Once class identity comes to be seen as a cultural attribute, then those regarded as culturally different have come to be viewed as threats. Hence the growing hostility to immigration. The forces of globalisation or the internal wranglings of the Labour party are difficult to conceptualise.

By contrast, the Polish builder or your Bangladeshi neighbour are easy to see. So immigration has become the means through which many sections of the electorate perceive their sense of loss of social status. It has become both a catch-all explanation for unacceptable social change and a symbol of the failure of the liberal elite to understand the views of voters.

Most politicians today defend multiculturalism and sneer at Ukip policies, while assiduously fostering fears about immigration. What we actually need to do is the opposite – defend diversity and immigration while challenging multicultural policies. And we need to engage with the concerns of Ukip voters while also challenging prejudices about Muslims and immigration. Will any politician have the courage and vision to do this? I’m not holding my breath. [403 Comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 82 votes] "Over the past three decades, a host of economic and social changes – the decline of manufacturing industry, the crumbling of the welfare state, the coming of austerity, the growth of inequality, ..."

The thing omitted from the list is numbers, specifically the growth of the Muslim population, from 553,000 in 1981 to 2,706,000 in 2011. It became 4.89 times larger in thirty years.

At this rate Britain would be a Muslim country in 60 years. This is politically significant. Farage did not mention a "white working class". I don't think he ever does. The implication that UKIP is about "whiteness" is one made by UKIP's enemies. However, Farage has said, "My country is a Judeo Christian country, so we have got to stand up for our values". What I deduce from this is that Farage is against Islamisation, the only politician who is.

[2ND 77] What on earth is the concept of 'community of communities'? I'm afraid that multiculturalism is an experiment carried out mainly on the working class of this country. It seems to have failed. No matter which way you hang it the muslim community does not do integration.

[3RD 71] The problem is that the mainstream media blatantly and continually refuse to discuss or even acknowledge the enormous,unasked for changes wrought on our society by mass immigration , lack of integration, and multiculturalism, and how we deal with them going forward.

Meanwhile, anyone with a pair of eyes can see for themselves that the Balkanisation of this country continues apace,just go to Dewsbury , or Luton , and a myriad other towns, and see the lack of integration, and parallel societies.

Its the Emperors clothes writ large for all to see , but still we dont have a proper discussion about immigration and its effects,just a lot of chivvying round the edges, lest the Gods of PC and Multiculturalism are offended.

Nobody could blame anyone for wanting a better life and coming to Britain , but the infrastructures of Health and Education cannot cope , and as the handwringing continues , so does the immigration.

[4TH 64] This has little to do with immigration and everything to do with British born Muslim's increasingly dangerous fascination with an ancient text.

[5TH 60] There is some truth in what the author states, but also half-truths and a lot of distortion to fit in with his rose-tinted beliefs. He speaks as though the white working class are suffering from a mass illusion of being dispossessed of their culture, and that he of course, as an academic, knows better than they do.

With a little more openness and humility he might acknowledge that they have indeed suffered a massive breakdown of community and cohesion, and that their dispossession is no illusion. It’s not a case of those regarded as culturally different simply ‘coming to be viewed’ as a threat; in large numbers they actually are a threat to the indigenous culture.

Although it is true that economic and political changes have played their part, these formerly strong communities going back many generations can see the injustice in losing out in housing and work opportunities to people who have no connection with their own area.

They can see the disintegration of their own culture when large numbers of people who live among them, in many areas now forming a majority, cannot identify with the host society in terms of language and dialect, humour, attitudes, history, and all the indefinable ties which make up a sense of shared culture.

In very many cases it is the new arrivals who shut themselves off for their own cultural and religious reasons, and the clear outward signifiers of separation can be seen in the mosques, Urdu shop signs, and distinctive Asian dress that are now a part of many urban areas.

In small doses, these differences can be absorbed and add an interesting dimension to a society, but when, by sheer weight of numbers, the incomers break up and largely replace the indigenous population, we can say goodbye to any sense of shared culture and nationhood.

I can’t think of any western society that has changed as rapidly as Britain in the last twenty years. Defending diversity and immigration, as the author suggests we do, is to simply exacerbate the problem. What is needed is a total end to unskilled immigration and a huge effort to integrate the cultures we have already taken in.

[6TH 58] Diversity and immigration is the problem. Political courage is severely lacking in even talking about it.

[7TH 56] British Muslims certainly tend to be highly conservative in their social attitudes, being far less liberal on issues such as homosexuality and abortion than the general public.

You left out the male supremacy and the anti-semitism, but let that pass. Any other group that exhibited such "conservative" attitudes would be vilified as fascist by the left. Just recall how opponents of same-sex marriage were attacked last year.

But despite the burquas, the homophobic hate-preaching, the stream of ISIS recruits, and the blaming of everyone and everything in sight except Islam the Muslim community is deemed to be the victim of a wicked non-Muslim world.

It's time for a reality check against Enlightenment values and an end to excuses.

[8TH 56] “The growing numbers of young Britons drawn to jihadism”. Meanwhile, rising support for Ukip has drawn both fear and contempt”

To any reasonable person, the former deserves infinitely more fear and contempt than the latter.

There is NO equivalence between the two.

[9TH 56] An interesting article.

“The result has been the creation of what many commentators now call the “left behind” working class, who feel politically abandoned and voiceless. The “left behind” have been left behind largely because of economic and political changes. “

This is not the only possible interpretation of this. It would be nearer the truth to say that the white working class was abandoned by the left in the 1980s when the white working class refused to take on the role of the “revolutionary class” assigned to it by the middle class left.

The great turning point came in the election of 1983 when the marxist-infiltrated Labour Party was routed by Margaret Thatcher. The left’s response was to decide to replace the non-compliant white working class with one which would be compliant.

Hence the left’s devotion to mass immigration regardless of the social consequences. (The world is faced with an ecological catastrophe of the gravest kind but the British left advocates unlimited population growth for Britain.) And as for “multi-culturalism” - we’re way beyond the acceptable limits of that now.

“And we need to engage with the concerns of Ukip voters while also challenging prejudices about Muslims and immigration.”

It’s not prejudiced to be revolted by islamofascism (or to be shocked by the appeaser-left’s failure to take issue with it genuinely and seriously), because the essential need now is to bring mass immigration into Britain to an end. Of course this will mean that the British left loses the chance of destroying the Britain it hates. But this is a small price to pay. [Guardian Cif] Read more

Up to 100 Islamist teachers could be banned from schools after investigation into their links with Trojan Horse scandal found dozens claiming Lee Rigby's murder was a hoax

Up to 100 Islamic teachers could be banned from working in schools for life following an investigation into their alleged links to the Trojan Horse scandal.

It is understood a teaching watchdog is working on possible disciplinary cases against current and former staff members at some schools in Birmingham where extremist Islamic views were being forced on pupils and staff.

This includes allegations an al-Qaeda style video featuring masked gunmen was copied in a classroom and teachers punished pupils by making them kneel on tiles.

More than 50 teachers - called the Park View Brotherhood - also alleged exchanged as many as 3,000 messages in a WhatsApp group which included offensive comments about British soldiers and claimed the murder of soldier Lee Rigby was a hoax. [Daily Mail] Read more

The Muslim community

.... I think more important than what the Asians said or did is the attitude of the establishment. Think about how Iqbal Sacranie was knighted despite his repellent views. That's Malik's point - the multiculturalism of the establishment blinded them to looking at Sacranie as if he was a westerner. In order to be non-racist they gave him a free pass despite him saying: "Death, perhaps, is a bit too easy for him". He got the OBE and knighthood after saying that.

The problem with the establishment is that they tried to engage the "Muslim Community" rather than asking individuals to sign up to the political process. Once you do that you are obliged to seek out representatives of what is in fact a very diverse group.

Those representatives are inevitably exemplars of political Islam rather than the secular Muslims that Malik talks about and they in turn treat Muslims as a homogenous group because that gives them greater power. That's how we got to where we are - those "community leaders" were effectively created by Labour and Conservative and having got that power they aren't going to give it up easily. [Mick Hartley] Read more

04 April 2015

Muslim group with links to extremists boasts of influencing election

A front group for Muslim extremists which wants to let British Muslims fight in Syria has boasted that it is “negotiating with the Tory and Labour leadership” to secure some of its demands.

Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend) has built links with both parties – and been chosen as an “official partner” by the Electoral Commission for May’s poll – after claiming to promote “democratic engagement” by Muslims. However, it is actually a facade to win political access and influence for individuals holding extreme, bigoted and anti-democratic views.

Labour’s shadow equalities minister and vice-chair of its national policy forum, Kate Green, spoke at a Mend event last Friday addressed by a man, Abu Eesa Niamatullah, who has called British people “animals,” demanded that women should not work, attacked democracy and said that “the Creator is the one who should decide what the laws should be.” [The Telegraph] Read more

Iran Eases Ban On Women Attending Sports Matches

Iran has partially lifted a ban on women attending men's sports matches, the deputy sports minister said on Saturday, days after a court pardoned an Iranian-British woman who had been jailed for protesting against the law.

Iran's Islamic law bars women from watching men playing sports. In January, the government said it would allow foreign women to attend men's matches, but Iranian women were still forbidden from doing so.

The new policy for women and families will come into effect during this Iranian year, Abdolhamid Ahmadi was cited as saying by state news agency IRNA. The Iranian calendar year ends in March 2016.

However, Ahmadi said some matches would remain off-limits.

"Of course, in some areas of sport families are not interested in attending nor is there a possibility for them to attend," he said. [Reuters] Read more

03 April 2015

Father racially abused school staff and assaulted headteacher after Muslim pupils banned from lesson for refusing to shave beards

A FATHER racially abused school staff and assaulted a headteacher after two Muslim pupils were banned from lessons for refusing to shave off their beards.

Mohammad Liaqat took it upon himself to vent his anger at staff as children were leaving Mount Carmel RC High School, Accrington.

The 34-year-old was found guilty of racially-aggravated behaviour and assault by beating following a three-day trial at Burnley Crown Court.

The Catholic school, which employs workers from across East Lancashire, said the ruling on beards was part of the school’s dress code, but the 14-year-olds wanted to keep their facial hair for religious reasons. [Lancashire Telegraph] Read more

Shocking Survey Results From Australia

Three quarters of Australian Muslims think counter-terrorism policing and laws unfairly target their community according to a new study funded by the Australian Research Council. [1] Muslims in Australia feel under siege. This has generated a community backlash.

The authors say the findings show what the Australian authorities can do to minimise these impacts and generate community cooperation with counter-terrorism strategies.

The police should treat Muslims with respect, impartially, in a trustworthy manner, and give them an opportunity to have a say in counter-terrorism policing. This way Muslims are more likely to trust the police, less likely to feel under siege, and more willing to co-operate.

.... As this report concludes, polite and civilised policing can do a lot to encourage Muslim citizens to support Australia's counter-terrorism laws and measures. It might be added this is true for all citizens who probably believe polite and civilised policing should be the norm for everyone.

It does not address the bigger barrier to support and co-operation for counter-terrorism laws and measures. A substantial proportion of Australian Muslims out of ignorance of history, cultural baggage, and their religious beliefs, in their hearts or in their heads, don't agree with them. [Islam Surveyed] Read more

01 April 2015

Responses to recent YouGov poll on Islam and British values

A recent YouGov poll finds that 55% of British voters (based on a sample of 1641 adults) believe that "There is a fundamental clash between Islam and the values of British society"

The poll appears to have received little media attention – but here’s one comment on its findings:

The poll seems to reflect public concerns about so called “Muslim extremism” which may have been exacerbated by hostile media coverage and a plethora of government statements and policies over tackling radicalisation. [Harry’s Place] Read more

Senator Jacqui Lambie claims Tasmanians are worried about sharia law, foreign aid spend

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie wants to send Australian-made goods to poor countries instead of foreign aid, claiming the money would be better spent "in our own backyard".

The Tasmanian senator has also said voters in her state are worried about Islamic law being imposed in Australia and claimed the size of the Australian Defence Force is a security risk.

The former Palmer United senator has released a 12-point manifesto for her new party, the Jacqui Lambie Network, which she said would give "battlers" a chance to run for Parliament.

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The manifesto includes advocating for defence personnel and their families, campaigning for clearer labelling for halal foods, halving the foreign aid budget and resisting any attempts to introduce sharia law in Australia. [The Sydney Morning Herald] Read more