Eric Pickles, the Conservative UK secretary of state, has plans to build a “curry college” to train unemployed British youth to cook pakora, the samosa and the chicken biriyani to replace cooks formerly hired from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan.
While this is a good initiative for the British workforce, let’s hope it doesn’t turn into this:
The new “curry college” initiative is bound to generate hilarity. No scheme which Pickles leads will fail to engender a good deal of good humoured ribaldry, but there is a serious side to these plans.
In addition to the jobs angle, this initiative also has some worthwhile and far reaching motives for the increasing integration. So instead of the New Labour language of “promoting local community cohesion” will be simpler and tighter ideas like “promoting integration” and increasing “tolerance” as the new watchwords.
Al-Jaʿd ibn Dirham, tutor to the Umayyad Caliph Marwan, said “The Qur’an’s eloquence is not a miracle and people can do the like of it and better.”(1)
The Mu’tazilite scholar Abu Musa said “People are able to produce the like of the Qurʾān as regards eloquence, and composition and rhetorical beauty.”(2)
The 11th century Sunni scholar Abu al-Qushairy said: “We do not claim that everything in the Qurʾān is in the highest rank of eloquence.”(3)
Ibn al-Rawandi (former Mu’tazilite scholar) (d. 910 ad) said “Indeed the Qurʾān is not the speech of a wise god. In it are contradictions and mistakes and passages that are in the realms of the absurd.”(4)
1. Mustafa Sadiq al-Rafiì, “The Miraculous Nature of the Qurʾān and the Prophetic Rhetoric.” Page 160.
2. Al-Baghdadi, “The Difference Between the Groups” Page 164–165; and al-Shahrastani, “The Book of Sects and Creeds”, 1/68–69.
The Saudis are in the highest level of the Islamic religious foodchain and occupy the topmost spot in the hierarchy of Muslim piety. The reason they are held with such esteem by South Asian Muslims is because they’re rich, they’re Arabs and their country happens to be the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammed. Saudi men, however, don’t think much of South Asians and they don’t treat their women as equal citizens either because to do that would be blasphemous, unliteralist and opposed to everything the Prophet preached. Here are two stories concerning the rights of Saudi women which will warm the hearts of your average diaspora South Asian Muslim.
Saudi Women with sexy eyes may forced to cover even them up, if the Saudi government pass a new resolution.
Too sexy for my niqab
Spokesman of the Ha’eal district, Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet said the committee has the right to stop a women whose eyes seem “tempting” and order her to cover them immediately.
The Muslims are not happy!
They’re not happy in Gaza.
They’re not happy in Egypt.
They’re not happy in Libya.
They’re not happy in Morocco.
They’re not happy in Iran.
They’re not happy in Iraq.
They’re not happy in Yemen.
They’re not happy in Afghanistan.
They’re not happy in Pakistan.
They’re not happy in Syria.
They’re not happy in Lebanon.
And where are they happy ?
They’re happy in England.
They’re happy in France.
They’re happy in Italy.
They’re happy in Germany.
They’re happy in Sweden.
They’re happy in the USA.
They’re happy in Norway.
They’re happy in Canada.
They’re happy in any country that is not Muslim!
And who do they blame?
Not their leadership.
Officials from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) have demanded that mobile operators ban text messages which contain ‘offensive’ words. The PTA have drafted a list of some 1500 words and phrases in English and another of 1000 words in Urdu. The list has become an international talking point online while the words on the list have trended on Twitter.
After serious deliberation and consultation, officials from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have come up with more than 50 phrases using the word “fuck” and 17 involving “butt”.
The list includes several apparently innocuous words and phrases, including “flatulence”, “deposit” and “fondle”. Others would likely only make sense to frustrated teenagers.
Among the more printable terms are “strap-on”, “beat your meat”, “crotch rot”, “love pistol”, “pocket pool” and “quickie”.
By and large the reaction has been ridicule and all of it directed at the PTA. Not least from Pakistanis themselves:
As Bob Lambert’s credibility in Londonistan is sinking faster than Euro, it would be wise for anyone commenting on identity politics, foreign affairs and counter-terrorism to try to dissect his motives and background in dealing with the Islamists. We are, by admission, an esoteric group of political scientists and hacks who are trying to understand the complex implications of Bob’s demise. But, are we blinding ourselves to the obvious.
I believe there are a few questions which we need to urgently grapple with before we understand the nature of the beast. We also need to understand that Bob was the figurehead for a greater movement within Whitehall and the British Establishment. The first question being: Is Bob Lambert a liberal or a realist? Also: Does British neoliberal foreign and economic policy rely on having Islamists as union busters, left-wing bashers and regime destablisers abroad?; Was Londonistan build on realist foreign policy or was it developed by multiculturalism?
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.
Babar Ahmed should not be extradited to the USA. He should be tried here in the UK. Hannah Stuart reads him the Terrorism Act:
Regular readers of HJS will know it’s not often I find myself in agreement with either the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), the umbrella group for Islamic societies that in the words of the Prevent strategy, “has not always fully challenged terrorist and extremist ideology within the higher and further education sectors”; or even CagePrisoners, former Guantanamo inmate Moazzam Begg’s advocacy group with a history of supporting radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki killed in a US-drone strike in September.
But this morning I found myself becoming the 120,748th person to sign an e-petition calling for Babar Ahmad, currently fighting extradition to the US on terrorism offences, to be tried in the UK, a campaign which both groups strenuously support. Ahmad, who’s been held in maximum security prisons for seven years without trial, is waiting for a final ruling on his case from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi has an important and well-argued piece on the Charlie Hebdo firebombing and the failure of the liberal-left to stand up for it’s own liberal traditions. Last time it was the Guardian which capitulated to religious obscurantism in reaction to the Mo Toons. This time round it’s Time magazine (yes, that esteemed current affairs journal) which propped up a disgusting and cowardly justification of the incident by Bruce Crumley, on the basis that Muslims should not be expected to tolerate any form of offence to their prophet or their religious politics; not so much because Charlie Hebdo crossed the line of offence but because Muslims are incapable of rational self-critique. Disrespect Muslims at your peril. They might be inarticulate by ‘our’ standards, implies Crumley, but violence is the lingo of the offence takers.