Do Muslims have Special Needs?

This is a guest post by Ibn Khaldun
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Are Muslims a ‘special needs’ case?

An increasing amount of attention and tax payers’ money is being paid towards initiatives which focus on Muslim issues. Muslim participation in politics, Muslim achievement in education, Muslim women’s participation in mainstream life etc. etc. No other faith group or ethnic group is being lavished with such attention and funds. We now even have the YMAG (Young Muslim Advisory Group) which allows young Muslims in sit in on government consultations and put their views directly to Ministers. There is a whole plethora of initiatives to train Imams, to teach them English and about British society in general.

Posted in Misc, UK Politics | 2 Responses

The old new face of British politics

Fascist

Fascist MEP, Andrew Brons

Andrew Brons of the BNP is the second of two newly elected MEPs in the Euro elections. The other, of course, is Nick Griffin. There is more on Brons from HopeNotHate.

Brons, 61, started his nazi career in the National Socialist Movement, an organisation that was deliberately founded on Hitler’s birthday by Colin Jordan, the British nazi leader who died in April aged 85. NSM members were responsible for an arson campaign against Jewish property and synagogues in the 1960s.

Brons appears to have approved. In a letter to Jordan’s wife, Brons reported meeting an NSM member who “mentioned such activities as bombing synagogues”. He declared: “On This subject I have a dual view, in that I realise that he is well intentioned, I feel that our public image may suffer considerable damage as a result of these activities. I am however open to correction on this point.”

Posted in Anti Fascism, UK Politics | 4 Responses

Ban Hussein Ye

This article by Habibi is cross-posted from Harry’s Place

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Later this month a “dawah” (propagation) campaign will get underway in the UK. It is the first big venture of a new outfit, the Islamic Education and Research Academy, or iERA. Events are scheduled in Brighton, Bristol, Manchester and London.

Have a look at one of the speakers – Malaysian cleric Hussein Ye (sometimes spelled Yee). He was trained at the Islamic University of Medina in Saudi Arabia and is considered a Wahhabi in Malaysia. This clip opens with an invocation:

“May Allah help all the mujahideen, especially in Palestine, especially in Iraq, and wherever they are, who fight to protect human rights.”

Ye goes on to claim – in a speech delivered in 2006 – that America has “no hot proof” of who carried out the 9/11 atrocities. Then he slips in this little observation:

Posted in Antisemitism, Islamism, Your View | Tagged , , , | 1 Response

Europe’s faith hinges on its secularism

The question: Is Europe’s future Christian?

[My piece was originally posted in Guardian's Comment is Free: Belief]

The influx of people from a variety of cultures to Europe has seen Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and others practicing their faith as they see fit. Coupled with these relatively new religious practices there is an increasing sense of a lack of faith amongst Christians.

Before the 17th century, Christian religious wars tore Europe apart. Partly, this bitter history has meant that Europe’s post-Westphalian political order has been based on secular and liberal visions for the organisation of society, intended to eradicate the prospect of religious conflicts. Disagreements between peoples of different faiths and belief systems are no longer defined and debated in theological terms, but on the democratic plane.

Posted in Freedom of Expression, Identity Politics, Secularism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Secular State and Abdullahi An-Na’im

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend a talk delivered by the eminent scholar Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im.

Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim

Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

An-Na’im is Professor of Law at Emory Univerity of Law. The Sudanese scholar currently lives and works in the US and specialises in the synergy and interdependence between human rights, secularism and Shari`a. In a thirty minute talk (followed by thirty minutes of Q&A) he compressed the ideas of forty years of study which he put together in his last book, Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari`a.

Professor An-Na’im began by clearing the ground of misunderstanding and fallacy by setting forth definitions of ‘Secularism’, ‘State’, ‘Community’ and ‘Shari`a’. Secularism for An-Na’im does not mean atheism or humanism although he respects those who subscribe to these ideas. For him secularism is the formal seperation of religion from state institutions. He is in favour of the secular state not secularised society.

Posted in Democracy, Secularism | Tagged | 2 Responses

Hook’s bad seed

It is always heart-warming when you see the sons follow the principles and example set by the father.

Radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri was jailed for seven years in 2004 for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred. It is possible that his three sons will be joining their old man in prison for their involvement in the theft of “luxury cars”.

Hamza’s sons, Hamza Kamel, 22, and Mohammed Mostafa, 27, helped to run the two-year operation with the cleric’s stepson Mohssin Ghailam, 28.

Mostafa, of West London, was jailed for three years in Yemen in 1999 for links with a terrorist group. He has admitted two counts of fraud over the use of a false identity to secure a £12,000 loan against a BMW and to get keys for another BMW on April 26 and May 28 last year.

Posted in Crime | 2 Responses

British hostage killed by al-Qaeda

In a disgusting act of ‘jihadi’ terrorism, UK national Edwin Dyer was killed in the Mali border after being kidnapped by an al-Qaeda group in North West Africa, the al-Qaeda Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

Announcing the killing on a militant website, the barbarians said:

“The British captive was killed so that he, and with him the British state, may taste a tiny portion of what innocent Muslims taste every day at the hands of the Crusader and Jewish coalition to the east and to the west.”

Edwin Dyer, along with one German and two Swiss tourists, were kidnapped in Niger, North West Africa, in January. AQIM wanted the British government to release Abu Qatada – described as  ‘Osama bin Laden’s right hand man awaiting extradition to Jordan – from prison, and warned that they would kill Dyer if the government refused, giving the government 20 days to comply. The men were kidnapped by tribesmen and sold to the militants in Mali. Later the German and one of the Swiss nationals were released but the other is still being kept hostage.

Posted in Democracy, Terrorism | Tagged | 5 Responses

Saudi Arabia’s double standards

Sadiq Khan, Minister of Cohesion, visited Saudi Arabia last week and became the first western minister to make the pilgramage to Mecca. He also visited Medina, where he had this to say about the University of Medina:

“I was encouraged by the university’s obvious commitment to ensure that the students have sufficient expertise and knowledge to stand in the way of violent extremism.”

Earlier this month, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates was equally impressed with Saudi Arabia’s rehabilitation program for former militants and its newfound committment to tackling anti-extremism at home and has been helping Pakistan in its efforts to contain the Taliban insurgency there.

Posted in Terrorism, UK Politics | Tagged | 6 Responses

Pakistan: an Islamic State since 1973

A recent article by Ali Eteraz in Dissent Magazine deserves to be flagged up in the light of recent events.

Most people in the world, including some Pakistanis, live under the illusion that the country is secular and just happens to have been overrun by extremists. This is false. Pakistan became an Islamic state in 1973 when the new constitution made Islam the state religion. Under the earlier 1956 constitution Islam had been merely the “official” religion. Nineteen-seventy-three, in other words, represents Pakistan’s “Iran moment“—when the government made itself beholden to religious law. Most western observers missed the radical change because the leader of Pakistan at the time was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a whiskey-drinking, pseudo-socialist from a Westernized family. Those that did notice the transformation ignored it because the country was reeling from a massive military defeat in 1971, which led to half the nation becoming Bangladesh.

Posted in Islamism, Secularism, Sharia | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Muslims vs Takfiris

Here’s an encouraging story for a change, involving the Muslim community of Luton.

The latest violence erupted as arguments raged between fellow Muslims shortly after Friday morning prayers in the Bury Park area of the town.

Passing traffic ground to a halt as the large group of moderates confronted about a dozen extremists.

As the radical Muslims began to set up their stall, they were surrounded by a crowd shouting ‘we don’t want you here’ and ‘move on, move on’.

Angry words were exchanges and scuffles broke out. The extremists responded by shouting “Shame on you” and “Get back to your synagogue”.

Muslims vs Takfiris

Showdown in Bury Park

Mr [Farasat] Latif said: ‘We have been fighting these Muslim extremists for you. They represent nobody but themselves.

‘The community decided to move them on because the police won’t. We have asked them, but they did nothing.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Responses
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