Following the Breivik atrocity, the ‘counterjihad’ blogosphere had a certain amount of shuffled feet and shifty glances. One common refrain is that there is a fire of condemnation heard about the grisly acts from groups who were in the process of excusing it when it appeared to be a Jihad atrocity. That’s true, but it’s a truth that cuts both ways. Another line is that Breivik can’t be inspired by a given person because he also cites a large list of other figures including Churchill, Ghandi etc. Well, I know bad faith and casuistry when I see it. One cannot insist that various jihadist should be taken at face value when they say their religion is their inspiration and then demand that Brevik be taken at something other than his face value.
HOLD THIS DATE – 11 February 2012
A Day to Defend Free Expression
One Law for All is calling for a rally in defence of free expression and the right to criticise religion on 11 February 2012 in central London from 2-4pm.
We are also calling for simultaneous events and acts in defence of free expression on 11 February in countries world-wide.
The call follows an increased number of attacks on free expression in the UK, including a 17 year old being forced to remove a Jesus and Mo cartoon or face expulsion from his Sixth Form College and demands by the UCL Union that the Atheist society remove a Jesus and Mo cartoon from its Facebook page. It also follows threats of violence, police being called, and the cancellation of a meeting at Queen Mary College where One Law for All spokespersonAnne Marie Waters was to deliver a speech on Sharia. Saying ‘Who gave these kuffar the right to speak?’, anIslamist website called for the disruption of the meeting. Two days later at the same college, though, the Islamic Society held a meeting on traditional Islam with a speaker who has called for the death of apostates, those who mock Islam, and secularist Muslims.
In a U.S. Department of Defense memorandum released by WikiLeaks, I have uncovered another, especially devastating source who spoke out against Mr. Aamer in Guantanamo. “UK558″ described Mr. Aamer as a “recruiter” for al Qaeda. He outlined how Mr. Aamer and he traveled to meet members of a European al Qaeda cell in 2000, and how Mr. Aamer fought in Bosnia under the leadership of Abu Zubayr al-Haili, a senior al-Qaeda figure. “UK558″ talked of the training in AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades Mr. Aamer received.
Last Sunday, the BBC hosted an edition of The Big Questions that examined arguments for and against the existence of God. Being an agnostic myself, I found the arguments presented by the ‘for’ side extremely weak and self-contradictory. Even more off-putting was the arrogant and smug manner in which certain individuals presented their arguments, especially the Middle Eastern sounding Muslim chap and Adam Deen. Both of these individuals touched upon the oft-repeated fallacy that the Quran must be the word of God since it contains no errors.
This is a very popular argument used by Muslim preachers who generally rely on audience’s ignorance of the Quran to win the argument. They also have a natural advantage in that people are fearful of criticising Islam and are therefore often reluctant to enter into the debate. It is also an argument that I often made when I was a young Muslim and am therefore very familiar with it.
Gita Sahgal on on Bangladesh’s struggle against the impunity of 1971 war criminals and historians who want to preserve their impunity. In particular, the historical revisionist, Sarmila Bose.
At a December 8th presentation at SOAS, London, Sarmila Bose presented a talk “The legacy of 1971 – 40 years on,” at the invitation of the Center for the Study of Pakistan. During the Q&A session I asked her directly why, in her book Dead Reckoning, she had been dismissive about Razakars, as if it was a figment of fevered Bengali imaginations. She had treated them as a “discourse” rather than a fact on the ground that needs examination. Why was there no discussion of their actions, no mention of peace committees or their political linkages to the Jamaat e Islami? In reply, she simply said that these issues were not her concern and the book dealt with only certain incidents. This evasive response is elaborated in her just-published essay “The question of genocide and the quest for justice in the 1971 war” (Journal of Genocide Studies, November 2011), where she states: “It may be argued that the groups doing the killings were the creation of the regime, but their exact identity and motives remain shrouded.”
On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the 1971 War of Independence and the break up of West and East Pakistan, BBC Radio 4 has produced two remarkable programmes which are still available on iPlayer and are both well worth a listen.
In 1971 U.S. diplomat Archer K. Blood took a heroic stand against Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. Blood was the U.S consul general to East Pakistan – now the independent nation of Bangladesh. Blood and his team were witnesses to a brutal military crackdown and asked for the U.S to denounce the atrocities on humanitarian grounds, but the Nixon team remained silent. Finally Blood’s team sent a dissent telegram accusing the government of being “morally bankrupt”. The ‘Blood Telegram’ marked the first time a whole U.S mission had dissented from their own government.
This is a cross-post by Stephen R. Shalom, professor of Political Science, William Paterson University, New Jersey originally posted at Z Communications
In 1971, Pakistan became engulfed in civil war. Pakistan consisted of two regions separated by more than 1,000 miles, with India in between. The two regions shared a Muslim majority, but differed in language, ethnicity and culture. West Pakistan politically dominated the more numerous, largely Bengali population of the East and exploited them economically. The callous indifference shown by the authorities in Islamabad in the West to a devastating cyclone that struck the East in November 1970 further inflamed separatist sentiment.
Hamza Yusuf is probably one of the pre-eminent Muslim scholars alive today. So it is pleasantly surprising when he talks straight and honestly about the situation as it stands. There is nothing he says in this interview which contains any of the postmodernist dissimulation, the special pleading, the theological victimhood and the question begging we get by the bucketload from Muslims across the board from extremists, moderates and their apologists.
In an interview with the Guardian, he makes a series of cogent but knockout statements about the status quo, the collapse of a body of theology to square with the modern world, the intellectual capitulation to extremists and the preponderance of ignorance and conspiracy-theory mindsets. No doubt he will now be vilified and his good name associated with everything from a “neocon”, a “fitnah spreader”, a “sell-out” (but maybe not a “coconut” since he is white) and any number of other knee-jerk (but “halal”) epithets will follow.
Men in blouses behaving badly? Who would have thought such a thing? Take a look at these wankers.
A debate on Islam in Amsterdam with the Canadian Irshad Manji, author of the book ‘The Islamic Dilemma’, and the parliamentarians of the Green Left Party Tofik Dibi, was disrupted on Wednesday evening by a group of radical Muslims.
The Islamists threatened and spat at Manji. Tofik Dibi accompanied Ms Manji to the police station where she filled a report. He said that “the failure of the debate shows that it is necessary also in the Netherlands to continue the debate on a free and moderate Islam.”
Finally, the police were called to remove the protesters. A police spokesman said later that two of the 22 men involved were arrested, one for threats and another for insulting the police.