Author Archives: Faisal

The Duplicity of Jack Straw

Good grief.

Jack Straw reveals more about his own particular ethnicity-bias than he probably wants to when he makes comments as cretinous as this:

“But there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men … who target vulnerable young white girls.

“We need to get the Pakistani community to think much more clearly about why this is going on and to be more open about the problems that are leading to a number of Pakistani heritage men thinking it is OK to target white girls in this way.”

To which Christopher Dillow’s reaction is suitably irritated:

My problem is that this sort of claim bundles up trivially true statements with contentious ones. It’s trivially true that sex crimes, however rare, are a problem. And it’s trivially true that some Pakistani men are sex criminals, just as some whites are. The question is: why bring ethnicity into it? Are men of Pakistani heritage more likely to commit sex crime than others?

Posted in Racism, UK Politics | 9 Responses

Love in a Grey Area

Homosexuality is a crime in Muslim Bangladesh. But it’s not a sin, according to Suleman, a gay imam who spoke to Delwar Hussain. The following is an excerpt from Delwar’s article.

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Suleman has always known that he was attracted to men. He would wear his mother’s saris when she was out of the house and put on his sister’s make-up in the belief that this is what men found appealing. Suleman also knew that he wanted to be a religious leader, an imam. He joined a madrassa (an Islamic religious school) where he began rigorous training. Small in stature with an imposing black beard, he is dressed in a white kurta pyjama with a matching white mosque hat, the ubiquitous uniform for the men of Allah. He is predisposed to following everything up with religious references.

Posted in Sexuality | 4 Responses

Irshad Manji’s Questions for Imam Rauf

Irshad Manji attempts to re-centre the raw, emotional polarised sentimentalism of Park51 here. The underlying point is that offence or sensitivity is not a basis for what can or cannot be built nor for criticising aspects of religion or religious customs.

The Park51 debate has now spilled over into the doomed territory of visceral offence taking. The opportunity to have this debate on issues such as the American Constitution’s provisions for freedom of religion and Islam’s obligation to universal principles in the USA may have been lost for good. Nevertheless Manji takes a crack at articulating a set of questions and demands expected of Imam Rauf should Park51 ever get built.

But for all the restless offense I feel, I step back and force myself to think. As I wrestle with the issues, I realize that an opportunity exists for something more constructive than anger.

Posted in Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Religion | 6 Responses

Why are most of the victims of terrorists Pakistani?

This is an excerpt from an article by Amir Mir, from OutlookIndia, which asks the question: ‘Just who is not a kaafir’?


Family members of victims of the bomb attack at Lahore’s Data Ganj shrine grieve over their loss

The broad Sunni-Shia division does not explain all of it

  • Most Sunnis adhere to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Only 5 per cent of the country’s population belongs to the Ahle Hadith sect or Wahabis.
  • The Sunnis are subdivided into the Barelvi and Deobandi schools of thought
  • The Deobandis and Wahabis consider the Barelvis as kafir, because they visit the shrines of saints, offer prayers, believe music, poetry and dance can lead to god
  • Barelvis constitute 60 per cent of the population. Deobandis and Wahabis together account for 20 per cent
  • Another 15 per cent are Shias, again considered kafir and subjected to repeated attacks
Posted in Islamism, Sectarianism | 1 Response

Islamist Idol

Khurram Sher, 28, has an interesting CV. He graduated from McGill University medical school in 2005. Practised at the Thomas Elgin General Hospital in the Department of Anatomical Pathology in Ontario, Canada. In 2006, he was involved in the relief efforts after an earthquake in Kashmir.

Earlier this month he was one of three men arrested in Ontario, Canada:

Three Canadians arrested in an alleged terrorist conspiracy had bomb parts and plans and posed a “real and serious threat”, Canadian police have said.

The trio, arrested this week, were charged with supporting terrorism.

Hiva Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed were jailed following a court appearance on Thursday.

In 2008, Khurram took part in the auditions for Canadian Idol, where he performed the Avril Lavigne song, ‘Complicated’:

As Khurram told the judges at Canadian Idol, he is from Pakistan and enjoys acting, music and hockey.

Posted in Islamism | 5 Responses

It happened on the way to Ground Zero

Watch the video, it is astonishing.

Warning: Social cohesion it is not. But don’t worry, no ‘black Muslim Puerto Rican types’ were physically hurt in the making of this video.

This is a take of it from gawker.com :

Both supporters and opponents of the “Ground Zero” “Mosque”—a proposed community center—held rallies in lower Manhattan today. Can you guess which side started chanting “no mosque here” at a black guy wandering through the crowd?

While you spent your Sunday trying to teach your cat to go to the bathroom on a human toilet, a group of brave, freedom-loving Americans gathered in New York City to express their extreme disapproval with the Park 51 project, an al-Qaeda plot to build a community center featuring a swimming pool and auditorium on the very site where a Burlington Coat Factory once stood.

Posted in Obscurantism | 9 Responses

Bangladesh bars enforced Islamic dress code

The BBC reports:

A Bangladesh court has ruled that people cannot be forced to wear skull caps, veils or other religious clothing in workplaces, schools and colleges.

This ruling comes after reports emerged that a college in the north of Bangladesh forced women to wear veils.

The high court also ruled that women cannot be prevented from taking part in sports or cultural activities.

The court said that wearing any form of religious clothing, for students and employees, should be a personal choice.

It has also asked the authorities to explain why it should not be made illegal to prevent girls from taking part in sports and cultural activities.

In April this year, the court ordered schools and colleges not to force women to wear the burqa, a garment that covers the entire body except the eyes and hands.

Posted in Secularism | 13 Responses

“So, you’re offended? So fucking what?”

I am amazed that the Park 51 Community Centre or the so called “Ground Zero Mosque” debate in still chundering on, with no end in sight, despite the paucity of cogent arguments on why it should be opposed by those who oppose it.

Alex Massie’s comment on the “Ground Zero Mosque” is spot on:

One of the recurring arguments against the plan is that, however well-intentioned its backers may be, it represents an unfortunate and unnecessary “provocation”. Even if those involved mean no harm and don’t mean to “provoke” they should have been wise enough to appreciate that their proposal was bound to provoke a hostile reaction. Which means they should think again.

Posted in Anti Muslim bigotry, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Religion | 76 Responses

The Anti-Muslim Bigotry of Pickled Politics

Pickled Politics’ blogger earwigca has posted an article which contains this passage:

The problem with feminism is feminists. [...]

Feminists like Dr. Aisha Gill, friend of Gita Sahgal, who worked tirelessly on the pr in support of the islamophobic attack on Amnesty International.

The wording is inexact but the unscrupulous motivation is obvious. Is the writer suggesting that Gita Sahgal and Aisha Gill are “islamophobic” [sic] or is she making that accusation of the “attack” on Amnesty International? Either way, how does she come to this conclusion and what is her evidence?

Of all the accusations and smears made of Gita Sahgal by her many detractors after she took the matter of Amnesty International’s partnership with the jihadist pressure group Cageprisoners to the public, the charge of “Islamophobia” has been the most baseless. Unfortunately, it also is the most pernicious since it requires little or no evidence for the smear to stick.

Posted in Anti Muslim bigotry | 11 Responses

The Paradox of Tolerance

Karl Popper, on the paradox of tolerance, bears repeating:

The so-called paradox of freedom is the argument that freedom in the sense of absence of any constraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. The idea is, in a slightly different form, and with very different tendency, clearly expressed in Plato. Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Response
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