This is a guest post by Amjad Khan
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), which is in fact a front for Salafists and Islamists to promote bigotry dressed as dogma, has also produced a response to the now infamous Tom Holland documentary ‘Islam –The Untold Story’. It is, however, poorly constructed, highly personal and completely misses the point.
There is something quite depressing about the way Muslim activists type respond to anything Islam related that isn’t a glowing tribute to the wonder and beauty of it. Objectivity and rational reasoning based on standard methodology used by historians just isn’t welcome and those who try will be accused of setting out to fabricate lies and deliberately deceive.
It’s almost as if the believing mind simply does not allow for the possibility for there being other interpretations and hence anyone who produces one must be of unsound character and mind. Progress is such an environment is both difficult and perilous.
Also posted in The Qur'an
This is a guest post by Amjad Khan
Last week, Channel 4 broadcast a documentary entitled ‘Islam – the Untold Story’ which was presented by the renowned historian Tom Holland. Holland, who has also written extensively on the subject, attempted to piece together the early history of Islam using available historical resources rather than simply relying on Muslim accounts which, in any case, were produced many decades after events they speak about.
Since Holland came to a number of conclusions which, let’s say, strayed from the orthodox view of Muslim history as relayed by Muslims, he and Channel 4 have managed to attract the wrath of the defenders of the faith. This was inevitable, predictable and quite sad.
However, the press release from the ever reactionary ‘Ramadhan Foundation’ was a real treat. Not only was it semi-literate and nonsensical, it also contained serious errors, something it tried to accuse the documentary makers of. Here it is in full:
Also posted in The Qur'an
Amira Nowaira has a wonderful article on the long and vibrant intellectual tradition of dissidence and freethinking in the Islamic world which goes back to the Middle Ages but which has, tragically, all but disappeared. If there is still any doubt about the breadth of Islamic intellectual diversity during its golden age, Postmodernists and moral relativists could do worse than to compare the ideas propagated by enlightened thinkers such as the 10th century philosopher and scientist Abu Bakr al-Razi and compare him with what passes for religious scholarship in the Islamic world (or indeed, any world) in these dark, ignorant times.
Most prominent among those scholars was Abu Bakr al-Razi (865-925 CE) who believed in the supreme importance of reason. He argued that the mind had an innate capacity to distinguish between good and evil, and between what was useful and what was harmful. According to him, the mind did not need any guidance from outside it, and for this reason the presence of prophets was redundant and superfluous.
Oh no. Not again! [rolls eyes heavenwards]
What is the point of banning an organisation when it will only reappear with the same personnel under a different name?
So far they’ve come up with:
- Al Ghurabaa
- Call to Submission
- Islamic Path
- London School of Sharia
- The Saved Sect or Saviour Sect
Help out Andy Choudary and the girls. What should be the name of their next incarnation?
The Yasmin Fostok Fanclub
i came upon this notice in synagogue this morning. it makes interesting reading – as a piece of satire, of course, which i hoped and prayed it is, but unfortunately, on investigation, it isn’t, although it was, due to its over-the-topness, taken as such by the regulars, which was a relief. i know there are synagogues where it would not occur to anyone to think it might be satire – there is at least one commentator who sympathises, but nevertheless thinks it’s “overstated”!
the state of "yiddishkeit" yesterday
anyway, it appears to be (you can download it from here) from one of the increasingly odd sub-groups of the breslover sect of hasidim, who you may have seen in the recent tv documentary partying at their annual jamboree at the sect founder’s tomb in the town of uman in the ukraine. they are regarded as somewhat odd even by other hasidim (in a kind of sufi high-on-G!D hippy kind of way) but they are rather obsessed with the kabbalistic aspects of correct sexual activity, the piece itself being extremely revealing of the attitudes that filter through in much of the discourse from the haredi world, particularly the hasidic bits, so i thought i’d share it, with some translation and commentary:
Also posted in Activism, Esoterica, Exegesis, Farce, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Religion, Hermeneutics, Jewish Extremism, Laughs, Nutters, Sectarianism, Sexuality
i have been, for some time, a supporter of the “zoo rabbi”, r. natan slifkin, who had the temerity to come out publicly in favour of evolution and has struggled with numerous attacks on his positions and, of course, the inevitable ad hominems and various disgraceful attempts to discredit his work by people of whom decidedly better should be expected.
i came across this particular gem of an essay from his website today. it is an elegant argument for the ability to reconcile scientific and religious viewpoints:
“…Even if the Darwinian mechanisms were inadequate, presumably G!D had some sort of means of transforming creatures via natural law, which science would eventually discover. Dissing the neo-Darwinian explanation would mislead people into thinking that it necessarily happened in a supernatural manner.
This is a guest post by Mr Happy
You may remember The Spittoon featured a story
of Shanna Bukhari, a Muslim girl who had made it to the World finals of the much coveted, Miss Universe competition. ‘Good for her’ were the sentiments from this blog.
But, today, the BBC ran a similar story this time surrounding a faux-controversy over a swimsuit round to pass onto the next stage.
Weirdly, a big chunk of the article has the rants of Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadan Foundation.
Those of you who don’t know who Shafiq is, he rather enjoys blaming Islamic terrorism not on Islamism but on erm … anything else he can think of. In an interview to Haaretz, here is how he describes the Muslim community:
This is a guest post by Mr Happy
You may have missed this piece
in the Guardian today. The story is about Shanna Bukhari, a British Muslim, who has received death threats for being in the popular beauty pageant competition, Miss Universe.
She has received threats from Muslims, white supremacists and even feminists but reading deeper into the article, it would seem most of her problems come from dealing with her own Muslim community.
The most telling paragraphs read:
But even she has been surprised by the furore that her participation in the British heats of Miss Universe has prompted. Rather than confirming her hopes that society had progressed since her childhood, the controversy has made her question the state of multiculturalism in modern Britain. “It has highlighted the divisions that exist, a lack of social integration, a lack of adhesion between white and coloured people, and this needs to be addressed,” she said. “I thought my participation might be something that people did not agree with, but I never thought I’d get abused.”
if the kabbalah centre are to be believed, their recent “power of peace” conference was responsible for the current reshaping under way in the middle east. according to the founder’s wife, karen berg:
“Since we decided to do this conference, it seems to me the energy has gone insane all around the world.”
according to her, this is because of the butterfly effect. as usual, proper science is being pressed into service as pseudo-scientific twaddle in order to bolster outrageous claims of causality and influence, but as we know from that deepak chopra-caused earthquake, that’s nothing new.
what is somewhat more worrying is the attendee list at the conference. a quick scan reveals the following:
- philanthropist / socialite lisa tchenguiz, also known as “britain’s richest divorcée” and sister of the property magnates and entrepreneurs vincent and robert tchenguiz – so presumably, like other celebrity aficionados, a key target for flattery and significant personal and family funding.
Also posted in Esoterica, Nutters
The campaign to hound Dr Usama Hasan out of Masjid Tawhid in Leyton as well as to excommunicate him from the mosque and even going as far as to declare him a murtad (an apostate) and a kafir (unbeliever) has grown apace in the beardier parts of the British Islamic blogosphere.
We have already met the salafi jihadi Abu Zubair, who is on record for calling for Usama Hasan’s death both publicly on the premises of Masjid Tawhid and online.
Hitching themselves to this cowardly crusade are two indigenous English converts to Islam, who like to see themselves as white Muslim examples of Malcolm X’s “field Negroes” because these two brave white men “don’t take shit from the Man”, don’t you know.
First off, Dawud [David?] Mannion aka Daw’ud Abu Abdillah Al-Injaliziy, who issued this diatribe called Usama Hasan and his call to Kufr on his blog The Islamic Standard, of which he uses to criticise British troops and praise terrorists. This is his description of the public reaction to Dr Hasan’s lecture on evolution at the Tawhid Mosque: