Category: sharia law

UK: the East London Mosque condemns the “street vigilantes”

The East London Mosque condemns the "street vigilantes"

Individuals claiming to be self-styled ‘Muslim patrols’ have been harassing members of the public on the streets of east London late at night, including outside our mosque after it has closed. They have anonymously uploaded their exploits to the internet.

These actions are utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord. We wholly condemn them. The East London Mosque is committed to building co-operation and harmony between all communities in this borough. The actions of this tiny minority have no place in our faith nor on our streets.

Earlier this week we contacted the Police and the local authorities to alert them to the presence of these individuals and video. We advise anyone who has been harassed by these individuals to contact the Police.

We will monitor the situation closely and our Imams will be speaking out against such actions.

The East London Mosque | 17th January 2013

UK: London’s Islamist “street vigilantes” harass gay people (video)

London’s Islamist “street vigilantes” harass gay people (video)

 

UK: Sharia courts about as “consensual as rape”, Lords told

One study estimated that there are around 85 Sharia bodies operating in Britain Photo: Paul Grover

Rulings by informal religious “councils” and tribunals are sometimes no more “consensual” than rape, peers were told.
The warnings came in the first ever full Parliamentary debate on the subject in the UK.
Baroness Cox, the independent peer and Third World campaigner, last year tabled a private member’s bill in the Lords setting out plans to rein in a network of unofficial self-styled “courts” which apply Islamic principles.
One study estimated that there are around 85 Sharia bodies operating in Britain, although there is no official estimate.
They include legally recognised arbitration tribunals, set up primarily to resolve financial disputes using Islamic legal principles but which have taken on a wider range of cases.
There is also a network of informal Sharia “councils”, often operating out of mosques, dealing with religious divorces and even child custody matters in line with Islamic teaching.
The bill, which had its first full debate yesterday, would make it a criminal offence for such bodies to style themselves as courts or those chairing them to pose as judges.
It would also limit the activities of arbitration tribunals and explicitly require them to uphold equality laws including women’s rights.
Baroness Cox told the House of cases she had encountered including a woman who had been admitted to hospital by her violent husband who had left her for another woman but still denied her a religious divorce so she could remarry.
Another woman was forced to travel to Jordan to seek permission to remarry from a seven-year-old boy whom she had never met because she had no other male relatives, she said.
A third who came to see her was so scared of being seen going in that she hid behind a tree whole another told her: “I feel betrayed by Britain, I came to this country to get away from all this but the situation is worse here than in my country of origin.”
Baroness Cox said: “These examples are just the tip of an iceberg as many women live in fear, so intimidated by family and community that they dare not speak out or ask for help.”
Meanwhile Baroness Donaghy added: “The definition of mutuality is sometimes being stretched to such limits that a women is said to consent to a process when in practice, because of a language barrier, huge cultural or family pressure, ignorance of the law, a misplaced faith in the system or a threat of complete isolation, that mutuality is as consensual as rape.”
Lord Carlile, the legal expert, was among those backing the bill but the Bishop of Manchester urged caution arguing that it could end up “stigmatising those individuals in communities it is aiming to help”.
And Baroness Uddin, the first female Muslim peer, said it would be viewed as “another assault on Muslims”.
Lord Kalms, the businessman, claimed that self-styled Sharia courts had already reached far beyond mediation to areas such as criminal law.
“To my knowledge, none of these cases has ever received police attention or investigation, and this is a scandal for which the police, among other authorities, must be held responsible,” he said.

The Telegraph | John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor | 20th October 2012

UK: Petition to end discriminatory Sharia court system

We, the undersigned, support the Arbitration and Mediation (Equality) Bill introduced to the House of Lords in 2011, which aims to tackle discriminatory practices, particularly against women and children, in arbitration and mediation carried out in the UK via Sharia courts. We call on the Government to take immediate action, support the passing of the Bill and defend equality for all before the law.

Why this is important

The Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill introduced into the House of Lords by Baroness Caroline Cox in 2011 aims to tackle the discrimination faced by Muslim women within the Sharia court system.
The Bill, which applies to all arbitration tribunals, will firmly outlaw the practice of giving women’s testimony half the weight of men’s.
The Bill’s proposals include:
  • a new criminal offence of  “falsely claiming legal jurisdiction”  for any person who adjudicates upon matters which ought to be decided by criminal or family courts.
  • Explicitly stating in legislation that sex discrimination law applies directly to arbitration tribunal proceedings. Discriminatory rulings may be struck down under the Bill.
  • Requiring public bodies to inform women that they have fewer legal rights if their marriage is unrecognised by English law.
  • Explicitly stating on the face of legislation that arbitration tribunals may not deal with matters of family law (such as legally recognised divorce or custody of children) or criminal law (such as domestic violence).
  • Making it easier for a civil court to set aside a consent order if a mediation settlement agreement or other agreement was reached under duress.
  • Explicitly stating on the face of legislation that a victim of domestic abuse is a witness to an offence and therefore should be expressly protected from witness intimidation.

 

March for a Secular Europe tomorrow: be there!

Human rights are in danger all over Europe – threatened by religious interference in politics. As our own Government threatens to “do God” on a big scale, we must let them know that we won’t tolerate any interference in the lives of those who don’t share, or won’t share, their religious beliefs.

We must not stand by and watch religious doctrine written into law. This march and rally through the streets of London (and Kraków and Russia) is an opportunity to make our voices heard. Full details about the route and joining points and timings. Be there!

 

Kraków: https://www.facebook.com/events/383008128433433/
London: http://www.facebook.com/events/307451025970582/
Russia: http://www.humanism.ru/

“Join the march and rally against religious attacks on human rights. All across Europe, religious leaders are orchestrating campaigns against equality for women and LGBT people,” said Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

“Most UK religious leaders oppose same-sex marriage. They support legal discrimination against same-sex couples. Some faith organisations ban women clergy and bishops. Others oppose divorce, contraception, abortion, donor insemination, embryo research and adoption by same-sex couples. Several have been involved in child sex abuse and the cover-up of these crimes against children.

“Cardinal O’Brien in Scotland has stirred homophobic prejudice and intolerance by comparing gay marriage to slavery and by denouncing marriage equality as “grotesque” and as an “aberration” that will lead to society “degenerating” into “immorality”.

“Saturday’s protest demands an end to religious privilege and to religious exemption from the equality laws. We support women’s rights, children’s rights, LGBT rights & all human rights.

“While we defend the human rights of all believers and non-believers, it cannot be right that faith organisations have special rights and privileges in law.

“It is not compatible with democracy for the Church of England to be the official state religion and for 26 of its bishops to sit automatically in the House of Lords, with the ability to influence legislation. This is an insult to people of other faiths and to those with no faith at all,” he said.

March & Rally in London

Assembly13:30 Storey’s Gate

March:  14:00-15:00  Storey’s Gate, Parliament Square, Bridge Street, Embankment

Rally:  15:00-17:00 Surrey Street (Temple Place)

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS:

  • Robin Ince, Comedian and BHA Distinguished Supporter
  • Chris French, Skeptic and Professor of Psychology, Goldsmiths University
  • Warren Ellis, Writer and BHA Distinguished Supporter
  • Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
  • Joan Smith, Journalist
  • Mejindarpal Kaur, Legal Director, United Sikhs
  • Richard Norman, Philosopher
  • Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs, British Humanist Association
  • Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society
  • Antony Lempert, Secular Medical Forum Chair
  • Adam Knowles, Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association
  • Nahla Mahmood, Council of ex-Muslims of Britain and One law for All
  • Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe
  • Maurizio Turco MP, Italian Radicals

 

Sweden: Mosque advises Muslim women: don’t report abusive husbands

Six out of ten mosques in Sweden gave women advice about how to deal with spousal abuse and polygamy that contradicted Swedish law, a media investigation has revealed.

Using hidden cameras and telephone recording equipment, two women posing as abused spouses visited ten of Sweden’s largest mosques as part of a report put together by Sveriges Television (SVT) investigative news programme “Uppdrag granskning”.

The women then asked leaders at the mosques for advice about how to address issues such as polygamy, assault and non-consensual sex.

Six out of the ten mosques visited by the women, who had also claimed that their husbands had multiple wives, told them that they should nevertheless agree to have sex with their husbands even if they didn’t want to.

Six of the mosques also advised the women against reporting spousal abuse to the police. Leaders at another mosque were divided on the issue, while women received vague advice from yet another mosque.

Only two of the mosques gave the women clear advice directing them to report their abusive husbands to police.

The women were also told by nine of the ten mosques that men had the right – under certain circumstances – to have more than one wife.

Only one mosque told the women that men didn’t have the right to be married to several women at the same time and that their husbands needed to follow Swedish law.

The advice, which in many cases advocated violating Swedish laws, came from imams or family counselors at the mosques.

When “Uppdrag granskning” host Janne Josefsson approached two of the largest mosques featured in the programme to inquire about their official position on matters discussed by the women, the answers he received were totally different than what the women heard.

The chair of the Islamic Association in Uppsala claimed in the story that people should follow Swedish law.

When confronted by what the imam at the Uppsala mosque told the women, the Islamic leader explained that the imam had expressed his personal opinion in urging the women to forgive their abusive husbands rather than report them to police.

The imam with whom the woman met at the mosque in Stockholm defended polygamy and also advised against filing a police report about husbands who beat them.

He suggested instead that the women try to show their husbands more love.

“Don’t refuse to give him love, because then he might change,” said the imam.

Upon seeing the SVT report, however, the board of the Islamic Association in Stockholm (Islamiska förbundet Stockholm) decided to suspend the imam immediately and launch an internal investigation.

“This is a clear breach of Swedish law and they commit professional misconduct in their capacities as imams and associations,” Mohammad Fazlhashemi, a professor and author of books on Muslim intellectual history, told the TT news agency.

Fazlhashemi, who also appears in the SVT report, has reviewed a written transcript of the advice given to the women.

“What these men are saying to the woman violates their human rights. The men demean and insult the women when they say ‘you need to tolerate that these men hit you’,” said Fazlhashemi.

He is highly critical of the imams featured in the SVT report for not following Swedish law.

“Considering the fact that the mosques have received state funding, they have also committed to following Swedish law and the basic principles of democracy,” he said.

Fazlhashemi describes the Muslim leaders featured in the piece as “conservative, letter of the law traditionalists”.

“Now it’s time for some housecleaning. They need to weed out the bad seeds,” he said.

Fazlhashemi, who is also a Muslim, expressed concerns that such outdated mosque representatives benefit Muslim-haters and the far-right Sweden Democrats.

“They confirm the negative picture of Muslims. It’s a real shame that they confirm of the prejudices that Islamophobes have,” he said.

The Local | 16th May 2012

Scotland: Muslim scholar’s groundbreaking campaign against forced marriage

Shaykh Amer Jamil says forced marriage has no place in Islam

A Muslim scholar has launched a groundbreaking campaign against forced marriage in Scotland.

Shaykh Amer Jamil says the practice has no place in Islam.

During the next few weeks leaflets and sermons are being given in mosques as part of an initiative to educate the community.

“In the Muslim community there’s a misconception amongst some people that religion allows this, that parents have an Islamic right to choose partner of their children, and that they don’t have a choice in this,” says the Glasgow-based Imam.

Every week he receives calls, e-mails and texts from concerned young people at risk of being forced to marry against their will.

Today is no exception. In a corridor of a Glasgow building, he speaks to a distressed young woman in her early 20s. Her parents are busy planning her wedding to a man she barely knows and does not want to marry.

“It’s another typical case,” says Amer Jamil.

“She’s saying her parents are not listening to anyone, they’re not listening to her brothers or the grandparents. They’ve given her an ultimatum now, either she does what they say, or she leaves the house.”

More unreported

Mr Jamil wants to make parents aware that this is morally, ethically and religiously wrong.

In 2011 around 35 cases of forced marriage were reported in Scotland, but experts believe that many more go unreported.

While there is a long standing tradition of arranged marriages in Muslim communities – that have the consent of those taking part – forced marriages can involve kidnapping, physical and mental abuse.

Although the majority of victims are women it also affects men.

I spoke to a young, successful businessman in the city.

Last year relatives in Pakistan forced him into a marriage against his will while he was there on holiday. It was to protect the family’s honour, which is why he does not want to be identified.

“There was a guilt factor about the image it would leave in the family. The relationship it would leave my mum and dad with the elders in Pakistan forced me into doing something I would never have done otherwise,” he says.

“It’s certainly an issue within our society and community,” he adds.

He believes community attitudes need to change, and that is exactly what Shaykh Amer Jamil is hoping to do.

On a drizzly evening outside the Al Furqan Islamic centre in Glasgow, worshippers leave the building after sunset prayers.

Amer Jamil hands them leaflets, along with fellow campaigner Razi Mohammed.

So far mosques have responded well to the campaign.

“The mosques are embracing it, working alongside the Shaykh,” says Mr Mohammed.

“We need to overcome this cancer that’s in our community.

“There is oppression here and Islam is totally against any type of oppression no matter what it is,” he adds.

Shaykh Jamil believes that it is time for religious leaders like himself to educate the community that forced marriage is not allowed in Islam.

“The only thing that can break a cultural norm for Muslims is the religion,” he explains.

“So when you come down and say in Islam the prophet was against this practice, nobody can argue with you,” he says.

Shaykh Jamil admits it is a position that has made him unpopular with more traditional elements of the community.

Campaigner Sumraina Akram wants more Imams to speak out

“You’re seen as a troublemaker. But there’s a responsibility to young people who are suffering.”

Last November, the Scottish government introduced the toughest forced marriage laws in the UK.

The Forced Marriage (Protection and Jurisdiction) Act was the first legislation in the UK to make it an offence to breach a forced marriage protection order.

However, campaigners say that legislation alone is not enough. Sumraina Akram wants more Imams to speak out against forced marriage during Friday sermons.

Powerful message

“If we can get the Imams on board – everyone respects the Imams – the grandfathers will go into the mosque and listen to the Friday sermons and they will take it on board, so education is the way forward.”

That view is shared by young people I spoke to at the University of Glasgow.

“What this campaign does is make people aware what a forced marriage is,” says one medical student.

Another student believes it sends out a powerful message to parents.

“We all want to force our way onto other people at times but you can’t, if you believe your child is old enough to get married then respect their maturity by allowing them to marry as adults and don’t force things onto them,” he says.

The campaign is backed by the Scottish government and will be rolled out across the main mosques in cities including Edinburgh, Inverness and Dumfries.

BBC News | Poonam Taneja | 1st May 2012

UK: How freedom goes

Joan Smith has a piece in the Independent about religious censorship of open debate in Britain, a supposedly free country. It is well written and argued, as Smith’s writing invariably is, but what distinguishes it is that it is the only defence of our liberties in the Sunday papers.

Consider the events of the past few days:

i) At Queen Mary, University of London students went to hear Anne Marie Waters speak on behalf of the One Law For All — a campaign to stop Sharia law afflicting British women. An angry young man entered the lecture theatre. He filmed the audience on his mobile, and told them he knew where they lived and would track them down if a single negative word was said about Muhammad. The organisers informed the police and the meeting cancelled.

ii) Secularists at University College, London, came under attack for publishing a cartoon on its Facebook page of ‘Jesus and Mo’ having a drink together. The Muslim group that wants to ban the image got a sympathetic hearing in the media, despite arguing openly for censorship. Extremist websites, meanwhile, reacted with the fanatical language that so often appears on such sites: ‘May Allah destroy these creatures worse than dogs,’ wrote one blogger. I heard on Thursday night that one of the UCL secularists had gone into hiding in fear of his life.

iii) Salman Rushdie was due to speak at the Jaipur Literary Festival, but had to pull out because of threats of violence. He now believes that the local police were complicit in the attempts to silence him. Rushdie is not being paranoid. Credible reports in the Indian press support him. Hari Kunzru read an extract from the Satanic Verses as a gesture of solidarity and then had to flee the country. (You can read his account here)

At least the Indian press covers the story. In Britain there is silence. As Joan asks:

‘Why hasn’t there been a furore about all these incidents? Why aren’t MPs and ministers insisting on the vital role of free speech? None of the people involved was threatening anybody, unlike the three Muslim extremists convicted two days ago of inciting hatred against homosexuals. It’s been left to organisations such as the National Secular Society – I’m an honorary associate – to say that a fundamental human right is being eroded in the name of avoiding “offence”.Most people in the UK don’t condone violence, but a worrying number think we should be careful around individuals with strong religious beliefs. This argument is mistaken, because it suggests that believers aren’t as capable of exercising, or under the same obligation to exercise, judgement and restraint as the rest of us.It’s also based on fear, tacitly acknowledging a link between demands for censorship and threats of violence. One often leads to the other, and it isn’t just atheists and secularists who should be very worried indeed about that.’

My latest You Can’t Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom was published on Thursday. One critic complained that I lambasted liberal-minded people for their cowardice. He did not seem to doubt that they did bite their tongues for fear of violence, or of accusations of Islamophobia or some other kind of religious prejudice, but that the subject should be avoided. I am sorry but it cannot because it is self-censorship of the worst kind: the censorship that cannot admit it exists. Journalists, academics and authors turn away and pretend nothing is happening in case an admission of timidity tarnishes their image as fearless speakers of ‘truth to power’. The result is that this weekend Joan Smith is a lone voice rather than a singer in a chorus of disapproval.

I should not have to add that the people the liberal mainstream lets down are liberal Muslims and ex-Muslims who need help in their fight against theocratic oppression. In my book I quote Pascal Bruckner, who put it better than I ever could. ‘It is time to extend our solidarity to all the rebels of the Islamic world, non-believers, atheist libertines, dissenters, sentinels of liberty, as we supported Eastern European dissidents in former times. Europe should encourage these diverse voices and give them financial, moral and political support. Today there is no cause more sacred, more serious, or more pressing for the harmony of future generations. Yet our continent kneels before God’s madmen, muzzling and libelling free thinkers with suicidal heedlessness.’

Spectator | Nick Cohen | 22nd January 2012

A Rally to defend “Freedom of Expression” has been organised by One Law for All for Saturday 11th February 2012 in London, see details at the following URLs: http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/hold-this-date-11-february-a-day-to-defend-free-expression/ and on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/212823392145531/

 

 

 

 

The fastest-growing ideology both in Europe and in the USA

Shariah4Belgium is a group comprised of Muslim youth from Belgium who answer to the Command of Allah: the call to the good (Tawheed, or Islamic Monotheism) and the warning against the bad (i.e. apostasy). With bleeding hearts they watch the growing number of those who take part in elections, who vote for democracy and so, allow the love for (the implementation of sharia) to vanish – and with it, Islam in her purest form.

First it was WikiLeaks, and Anonymous. Then came Occupy.  Now the movement to watch is Shariah4, as in Shariah4France, Shariah4America, or Shariah4Belgium, members of which threatened earlier this month to break the neck of Muslim activist Irshad Manji during a debate in Amsterdam. Their numbers are growing, and their voices are increasingly being heard in the media around the world. But who are they, exactly? Do they comprise a real movement, even a real threat – or are they just a bunch of religious nuts carrying on as religious nuts often tend to do? (After all, it’s hard to take seriously an organization that calls, as Sharia4America does, for a burqa to be placed over the Statue of Liberty.  But should we take them at their word when they describe plans to destroy the statue altogether?)

The Web site for Shariah4Belgium, one of the more active of the Shariah4 chapters, describes its mission as follows (translation mine):

“Shariah4Belgium is a group comprised of Muslim youth from Belgium who answer to the Command of Allah: the call to the good (Tawheed, or Islamic Monotheism) and the warning against the bad (i.e. apostasy).  With bleeding hearts they watch the growing number of those who take part in elections, who vote for democracy and so, allow the love for (the implementation of sharia) to vanish – and with it, Islam in her purest form.”

The Belgian group takes its cues from Shariah4America, an initiative masterminded by British cleric Anjem Choudary, founder also of Muslims Against Crusades and Islam4UK, (organizations now banned in Great Britain), and whose Web site asserts simply: “The Islamic revolution has begun” (cue video of the White House with minarets).

Yes, in itself, it’s laughable; but other statements by Choudary, who warned of attacks during the wedding of Kate and William, contends that America is colonizing Muslim countries and claims the “call for the Shariah is a universal one,” are somewhat more ominous. Case in point: a statement on his own personal Web site, asserts his belief that “one day Britain and indeed every part of the world (including the rest of Europe, USA, China and Russia etc…) will be governed by and under the authority of the Muslims implementing Islamic Law. This is something that I believe in and strive to see Insha’Allah.”

Choudary has been described by the journalist Farheed Zakaria as “an activist who has praised the 9/11 attack and 7/7 bombings” and a “jihadist.”

Both of these are true, and Choudary, when I spoke with him recently, was proud to say so. Though he has never been convicted of an act of violent jihad (a term he himself, it should be noted, rejects as a “media invention” with pejorative undertones), Choudary wages what some call “stealth” or “creeping” jihad – a non-violent and often insidious means of fostering fundamentalist (political) Islam within democratic societies in an effort to establish a new Caliphate.  Much of his work is performed via the distribution of books, CDs, videos, and other propaganda, and through his frequent appearances on television (he has been interviewed by Zakaria for CNN, Christine Amanpour for ABC, and by Sean Hannity, among others). Yet the irony, of course, is one that Zakaria also pointed out during the CNN interview: “If you said what you say here in Iran,” he noted, “they would kill you. If you said it in Saudi Arabia, they would at the very least imprison you. Here, you get to be on television.”

It’s hard to miss, when listening to Choudary’s remarks in various interviews (available on his site), that he is happy to indulge in some of the wilder conspiracy theories out there (suicide bombers in Afghanistan in Iraq are not Muslims, but agents for American and British governments; Israelis go house to house for the purpose of murdering women and children). And clearly he is quick to take advantage of legal nuances (while he was a leader of an organization banned in the US and Great Britain and supports the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York, 3/11 in Madrid and 7/7 in London, he repeatedly points out that has never been personally convicted (emphasis on the word “convicted”) of any crime. He will take any opportunity to proselytize, having even sought recruits at local “Occupy” demonstrations, promising a reformed economic system based on the Sharia. (Shariah4America’s motto, conveniently, is “”Communism is dead. Capitalism is dying. Islam is the Solution.”) He talks fast, frequently dodges questions, and refuses inconvenient evidence of events he’d rather had never taken place. (He insists, for instance, that Manji concocted the threats against her in Amsterdam, declaring that “these people would not say such things.”)  So you’d think that he carries more bluster and ego than any real influence or power.

But the fact is, his movement is growing, both in visibility and in numbers.  Islam is, as he notes, the fastest-growing ideology both in Europe and in the USA.  Conversions in America are on the rise, largely thanks to Saudi-backed imams within the US prison system, and many of those prison converts adhere to Wahhabist strains of the faith, which promote violent jihad.   More notably, the number of Shariah4 movements is multiplying by the week.  Like the Occupy movement, he says he “offers an alternative,” and it is an alternative that, again like Occupy, is finding followers in cities and countries around the world.

Certainly it has its appeal for some: as an anti-democratic movement (“we are against democracy. We are against freedom,” he has said), the Shariah4 movement is based on the notion that even a minority can rule – and therefore that even if Muslims remain a minority in Europe and America, they can – and should – hold sovereignty over the people, reigning as a Caliphate governed by Sharia law. And just as Occupy began as a fringe movement that has now affected the economic debates and political landscapes of America and our allies, so, too, is it the hope of Shariah4 leaders that their ideology will become part of the political debates across the globe. How that happens is immaterial to Choudary – be it by conversion or by conquest. What matters is the victory of the Islamic state, its flag flying high from sea to shining, deepest sea.

So should we be worried?  Is Shariah4 a real threat?

Probably not, at least for the moment.  Largely, they seem to be yet another version of Nation of Islam extremists like Louis Farrakhan, or even Christian crazies like Jeremiah Wright.  (Remember him?) And they are  probably too visible to get away with any kind of terrorist activity.  But when they start acting out, as the Belgian group did in Amsterdam, with violence and death threats; when their seditious intentions become subversive, inciting violent action among their members – then we need to start taking precautions. And it’s more than evident that Chaudory endorses such actions: his opinion, for instance, about the killing of Dutch filmmaker and columnist Theo van Gogh is that “it should be a warning to people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Salman Rushdie not to offend the Prophet.” So, too, does Shariah4Belgium leader Abu Imran, who last year allegedly issued a death threat against the Belgian defense minister.

Also problematic are the dilemmas these groups pose to non-radical Muslims who insist that Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have “hijacked” Islam. To the contrary, Choudary and Shariah4 members maintain; this is “true” Islam, according to the written word of god. Muslims must defend themselves in any way necessary when their people are attacked, Choudary says, and hence the attacks on the US and other Western states are thoroughly justified under Islam.

Such talk also feeds in to racist, anti-Islam hate; both racists and radical Muslims will agree on this one thing: the claim that “moderate Muslims” do not exist; either you are a Muslim and live according to the words of Mohammed, seeking the conquest of Islam over the world, says Choudary, or you are simply not a Muslim.  It is a position that dovetails disturbingly with the view that “all Muslims are terrorists.”  Moreover, by threatening activists like Manji, who advocate for a modernized, moderate Islam, Choudary and his minions threaten, too, the possibility of a future resolution to the “clash of civilizations” between democracy and Islam – a clash that  defines post 9/11 culture throughout the world.

But these are long-range concerns, and ideological ones that may or may not pose a serious threat to Western culture. (I think we can safely say that it will be a long, long time before anyone sees Lady Liberty in a burqa.) Even so, it is high time that Americans begin having what Barack Obama would call “honest conversations” about the issue.  We – the media and the public –  need to recognize fully what these groups signify: the growing radicalization of Muslims throughout the West. And we must acknowledge the fact that many of those same radical Muslims are indeed already pressuring democracies to modify some of our most sacred freedoms.  These are inconvenient truths. But they are truth, just the same.

And here’s another: Whatever the problem of our time, Islam – Chaudary’s protestations notwithstanding – offers no solutions. Religion never does.

Forbes | Abigail R. Esman | 17 December 2011

 

 

 

UK, London: Children’s rights – seminar

22 November 2011, Seminar on Sharia and the Children Act

Seminar on Sharia Law and the Children Act
22 November 2011
18.30-20.30 hours
Brockway Room, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

One Law for All will host a seminar to explore the terms of the Children Act and whether these are compatible with the tenets and practice of sharia law. It will look at the protections provided to children by the provisions of the Children Act and ask if children in Britain, by virtue of their parents’ religion or culture, are at risk of being denied these protections. In addition, One Law for All will provide information on Catholic Canon Law and how this has been used to facilitate the continued abuse of children in Catholic institutions. Speakers include: Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe; Anne Marie Hutchinson, Dawson Cornwell Solicitors; Maryam Namazie, One Law for All; Diana Nammi, Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation; and Yasmin Rehman, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Domestic Violence Intervention Project. The seminar will be chaired by Anne Marie Waters, One Law for All.

Entry fee: £8 Statutory organisations; £5 individuals; £2.50 student/unwaged

Please complete the below booking form in block letters and post back or email to the address below along with payment before conference. If you are sending a cheque after 10 November, please also email the form to us so that we can add you to the registration list. Please note that registration can also be done on the day from 18.00 hours but pre-registration is preferable.

For a booking form, click here.

One Law for All | 21 November 2011

 

 

Sign up for email updates.

We will not share your details with third parties.




* = required field

Supported by