On the BBC Radio 4 show ‘Hecklers’, Gita Sahgal takes on the combined force of the Islamists Tahmina Saleem (Islamic Society Britain), Tariq Ramadan (freelance Islamist), Nazir Ahmed (House of Lords), Moazzam Begg (Cage Prisoners) and Daud Abdullah (Muslim Council of Britain)
Faith Matters is launching its paper that offers a brief insight into the Secular reforms of the Ottoman Empire, in order to analyse and debunk claims by extreme groups like Al Qaeda of it being an Islamic Caliphate, strictly governed by Shariah Law. The Ottoman Empire is often presented, by such groups as a model political system upon which to re-build a global Caliphate. Osama bin Laden marked the decline of the Ottoman Empire as the fall of Islam – that the Islamic world “has been tasting this humiliation and this degradation for more than 80 years” and that “the righteous Khilafah will return with the permission of Allah”. Through the implementation of an Islamic legal and political system, extreme groups who mis-use the Islamic faith call for the rejection of liberal values and the current systems in place, which do not fundamentally clash with Islam.
Interesting Meet-up to discuss and debate the issues of Islam and secularism in Europe at Conway Hall on 16 September.
Does the religious freedom of Muslims in Europe depend on secularism?
Are veil and burkha bans secularist or counter-secularist?
What should the relationship be between sharia rules and secular law?
Should the state fund Islamic schools if it funds Christian ones?
Can secularism admit any limitations on freedom of expression in religious matters?
Is there a clash of cultures between European values and Islamic ones?
British Humanist Association and Central London Humanists in association with Conway Hall present this panel discussion which aims to bring together key speakers to explore the effect of secular democracy in Europe.
Secularism is not secularisation. An excellent distillation of this point has been made on CiF by Humeira Iqtidar and it is a must-read for people who (often wilfully) confuse a secular state with a secularised society.
Secularisation is not just the increase or decrease in visible markers of religiosity or in church attendance, but also a fundamental shift in religious belief towards rationalisation and objectification. The Protestant reformers were not arguing for less religion, they were asking for more – for a continuously religious life against the Catholic cycles of sin and repentance. Yet, as Max Weber’s influential work suggests, they ended up rationalising and secularising. To say all this is not to suggest that Pakistani Islamists will have exactly the same impact as the German Protestants. There can be little doubt that they will produce a very different subject and citizen because of the disparity in context.
Professor Abdullahi An-Na’im of Emory University on Islam and the secular state and how the two must co-exist to preserve values such as equality for men and women, freedom of speech and religion. This is increasingly valid in the light of the Arab spring and the role of Islamists in the political future of Egypt, Sudan, Tunisia, Libya and others.
Security forces encircled the RCD headquarters on the Didouche Mourad, the main thoroughfare of Algiers, and set up checkpoints to prevent protestors from arriving in the capital from other parts of the county, or from reaching the Place du 1er Mai from other parts of the city. As depicted in this YouTube video, the trapped protestors – and those on balconies above – waved Algerian and Tunisian flags and chanted “Djazaïr, horra, dimocratia.” (“A free and democratic Algeria!”)
Today’s protest had been organized around very specific demands, set forth in the poster below right:
the lifting of the state of emergency in place since 1992,
In his bestselling book America Alone, the Canadian writer Mark Steyn fantasises about the state of Europe in 2020. The Islamists have stormed to power right across the continent. No English pub can sell alcohol. Holland’s gay clubs have been relocated to San Francisco. And every French woman is forced to be veiled.
The fashion police, at least, have already arrived, a decade early and without any help from Islamists. But rather than forcing women to wear the burqa or niqab, their job is to force them not to. Earlier this month Italian police in the northern city of Novara fined a Tunisian immigrant, Amel Marmouri, €500 for being veiled in a post office. Belgian police are likely to be doing the same after the Brussels parliament outlawed the burqa. France expects to pass a similar law by the autumn. Holland could follow suit. The Spanish city of Lleida has forbidden the burqa in public buildings; the Minister of Labour and Immigration Celestino Corbacho has hinted at a national ban. In Canada, the Quebec government has drafted an anti-burqa law. Australian politicians are demanding one too.
i’ve not posted for a while, mostly because of pressure of work, but there are a number of things which are currently causing me to more or less lose sleep.
recently, i gave up posting on pickled politics, partly because of the level of personal animosity i was facing, but mostly just in frustration at my apparent inability to get my point across. now, i suppose i have nobody very much to blame for that apart from myself, but i’ve never felt that was a problem before now. now, i think i’m starting to work out what it is that is bothering me; certainly, it’s not about the denizens of one blog, or even the blogosphere, or even the media. it’s not any one set of views, not any one person, but a set of trends, a collective movement i sense in wider society.