Why taking on Hizb ut-Tahrir is vital


by Sunny
30th March, 2007 at 11:50 am    

In my email exchange with Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain last week, I underestimated how adept he was at avoiding my questions. I wanted to explore the various ways in which we could tackle violent extremism; he only wanted to talk about the impact of the Iraq war (which I accepted ‘exacerbates’ the problem but he didn’t want to move on from that).

Inayat Bunglawala later adds: “HT are, however, a non-violent party and have every right to spread their ideas peacefully. As I said earlier, you seem to huff and puff a lot, but you just don’t seem to have anything of substance to offer on this topic.”

Let’s see shall we.

Exhibit A: A saved Hizb ut-Tahrir leaflet from 2001 in English is titled, ‘The Muslim Ummah will never submit to the Jews‘. It also includes these passages: “In origin, no one likes the Jews except the Jews. Even the themselves rarely like each other…. The American people do not like the Jews nor do the Europeans, because the Jews by their very nature do not like anyone else.” There is more anti-semitism contained in there.

Exhibit B: Another leaflet on one of their websites ‘Islamic State’ has a leaflet talking about killing Jews “where ever you find them”.

Exhibit C: A HuT activist getting arrested and convicted for inciting hatred in Denmark. The party is also banned in Germany and other European countries for doing the same.

Exhibit D: Their constitution, which I saved on my blog before they took it down, says that all apostates who leave Islam should be killed.

Exhibit E: For a Newsnight programme in 2003 a camouflaged Mosque leader says: “I believe that if Hizb Ut Tahrir are not stopped at this stage, and we continue to let them politicise and pollute the youngsters minds and other gullible people minds, then what will happen in effect is that these terrorism acts and these suicide bombings that we hear going on around in foreign countries, we will actually start seeing these incidents happening outside our doorsteps.”

Exhibit F: A march in London organised by HuT not long ago, Asim Qureshi from Stop Political Terror, who has repeatedly shared a platform with HuT, says: “…we see Hezbollah defeating the armies of Israel, we know what the solution is, and where the victory lies … we know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West.”
At the same rally a HuT poster reads: “Send Muslim armies to defend the innocent.”

Exhibit G: Writer Zia Sardar, who has decades of experience in Muslim politics from around the world, explains: “In fact, violence is central to HT’s goals. Its primary objective is to establish a caliphate. It seeks, I have been told on numerous occasions, a “great Islamic state” ruled by a single caliph who would apply Islam “completely to all Islamic lands” and eventually to “the whole world”. What would be applied “completely” is the sharia, Islamic law.

“No wonder they recognise no compromise. Their ideology argues that there is only one way Muslims can or should be ruled, that those who form this caliphate have the right to rule, that all others must submit unconditionally and that only this political interpretation of Islam is valid and legitimate. In other words, the caliphate of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s vision can be established only by doing violence to all other interpretations of Islam and all Muslims who do not agree with it – not to mention the violence it must do to the rest of the world, which also must eventually succumb.”

Exhibit H: The MCB’s own Abdurahman says on CIF: “Some HuT members had in the past even offered fatwas against the MCB including one calling for the death of Inayat.” Inayat hurriedly distances himself from those comments by declaring that Abdurahman is “talking nonsense”.

Exhibit I: Both Omar Sharif, who blew himself up in Israel, and Muhammad Babar, who had originally planned attacks here, were linked with Hizb ut-Tahrir.

A peaceful group?
Given all the above there are a few points I’d like to make:

1) On Pickled Politics and CIF I have continually highlighted stories where newspapers have lied or exaggerated about Muslims [See: this, this, this, this, this, this, this, or this] because I believe they fit into an atmosphere of demonisation that leads to increased attacks against them. The MCB follows the same line of thinking and has repeatedly talked about ‘growing Islamophobia in the media’.

So if we assume then that propaganda, literature and lies based on hatred can lead people to hurt or kill others out of spite, why not apply this same logic to members of Hizb ut-Tahrir or its off-shoots such as Al-Muhajiroun (now defunct but they pop up in other guises)? Why not apply that logic to the preachers seen on Channel 4′s ‘Undercover Mosque’ Dispatches film and those the MCB’s affiliates invite here?

2) Rather co-indentally, there has also been an increase in anti-semitism across university campuses.

3) I’m not in favour of banning HuT. Vile as they may be their hatred and propaganda mirrors that of the BNP. At least the former does not get public money.

No platform
What I would like to see is so-called “community leaders”, from all faiths, accepting the impact of religious extremists within their own midst and taking on their arguments openly. And yet Inayat Bungalwala seems a tad bit reticent about this prospect. Could it be because he has claimed, live on Pakistani TV while next to a member of HuT, that it should be the duty of every Muslim to be in favour of a Khilafah (Caliphate)? In other words he might disagree with some of their methods but not their aims.

Could this be why last week Inayat is more fixated with Iraq than extremist groups closer to home? After all, as many Muslims too have pointed out, just blaming Iraq is a cop-out. Otherwise they would all be blowing themselves up.

Could it be because social alienation, lack of job opportunities and other socio-economic factors are not sexy enough to campaign about? It is obvious that directly tackling violent extremism is not something the MCB can do – they don’t have the capacity, willingness nor ability. They can only highlight and discuss issues and yet even here so much double-speak is used to render any conversation useless.

More than just tackling violent extremism however, taking on the arguments and ideals of such racists is a vital part of furthering social cohesion. But why should any sane Jew, Hindu or Sikh group take the MCB seriously if they make no effort to distance themselves from such groups?

They present themselves to be more of a barrier to social cohesion, by showing British Muslims in a bad light, than an ally.

[Strawman disclaimer: I have always been against the war in Iraq.]


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  1. sonia — on 30th March, 2007 at 12:34 pm  

    “accepting the impact of religious extremists within their own midst and taking on their arguments openly.”

    yes the difficulty there is we might find out that actually HuT aren’t the only ones about who think apostates from Islam should be killed. perhaps that’s why mr. bunglawala ( what a name!)hasn’t been taking it on openly.

  2. ZinZin — on 30th March, 2007 at 1:48 pm  

    Srawman disclaimer
    Heh heh.

    Sonia he fails the Israel test does our Bunglawala. I do admire the man as he has been playing to the cif gallery with his calls for gay equality and acceptance of free speech.

    He is still a lost cause despite all of that.

  3. Duc De Nemours — on 30th March, 2007 at 2:25 pm  

    Playing to the cif gallery while having any involvement with public life is a bad thing.

  4. bananabrain — on 30th March, 2007 at 2:28 pm  

    i don’t like the sound of these tablighi jamaat types that are building the big mosque in newham that our much admired mayor seems to be so keen on. surely our ken can’t be considering cosying up to unpleasant extremists…….again?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  5. G. Tingey — on 30th March, 2007 at 4:33 pm  

    Hizb are really unpleasant.
    I ran across them doing my MSc, back in the mid-90′s (before they were banned) – they were calling for “jews” to be killed, then.

    But, all they are doing is following what the dictation of the “angel Gabriel” is supposed to have told the deluded old pedophile of Mecca.

    Similarly, the US religious right are following the nastier bits of the christian bible, that all the “moderate” christians carefully ignore.

    So then aswer is to get people to GROW UP, join the modern world, and stuff religion.
    Easier said than done.

  6. Joanna Goodby — on 30th March, 2007 at 4:47 pm  

    Sunny – you seem to have given various links to quotes, which HuT will probably argue have been taken out of context or misquoted. One example of the inaccuracy of your posting is when you say that they have removed their constitution – well not when I last checked their website.

    How do you plan to take on HuT – you have not really expanded on that – I have come across them in my local community in Lozells in Birmingham and my experience of them has been by and large positive. In recent days, they are the only ones on the streets of Lozells trying to calm things down following night after night of Black vs Asian violence. If people like you actually got your hands dirty in community affairs, the situation in our communities may be better – instead it seems that you insist on pontificating from afar.

  7. Sunny — on 30th March, 2007 at 4:53 pm  

    Sunny – you seem to have given various links to quotes, which HuT will probably argue have been taken out of context or misquoted.

    Oh really? Explain to me how In origin, no one likes the Jews except the Jews. can be taken out of context? If you think people are that stupid to take that excuse at face value…. well then you’re the one fooling yourself.

    In recent days, they are the only ones on the streets of Lozells trying to calm things down following night after night of Black vs Asian violence.

    Lozells was over a year ago, and even then it was the police presence that calmed things down, given that a group of Asian boys killed Isiah Young-Sam. Your friends from HuT can’t have been that effective then?

    If people like you actually got your hands dirty in community affairs, the situation in our communities may be better

    See, this is the kind of crap that makes me think you’re a HuT person who has changed their name. In fact I have been ‘down with the community’ for decades, especially in West London where it kicked off with HuT around 1993… so don’t preach to me about the impact these people have on local community cohesion. you have no idea.

  8. lithcol — on 30th March, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    bananabrain,

    You may not follow cricket, but some feel that the Pakistani defeat by that great cricketing nation Ireland was possibly due to half the team including the captain being members of Ttablighi Jamaat.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2006%5C10%5C23%5Cstory_23-10-2006_pg3_1

    http://www.saag.org/%5Cpapers22%5Cpaper2184.html

    Even local muslims in Newham don’t want the mega mosque. In many ways Ttablighi Jamaat.are more of a menace to the wide diversity of muslims in this country than Hizb ut-Tahrir.

    Sunni’s analysis is spot on, Hizb ut-Tahrir are a serious menace on our college and university campuses.

  9. Joanna Goodby — on 30th March, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

    Sunny – I am surprised by the arrogance of your reply.

    By recent days, I mean like last night. You don’t know what is going in Lozells these days and it is you who is out of touch with the situation I’m afraid. Have you not seen the shootings in recent weeks and months in Lozells. There are Asian and Black gangs of youths out every night now and even this week there have been several outbreaks of violence. I am a community worker, not a HuT person, but HuT and other Muslim groups in this area are by and large making a positive contribution to solving these problems. Unlike you, it seems that they are not playing politics with fire.

    Personally, it seems to me that you enjoy the limelight – you don’t seem to have a genuine interest in community affairs from what I can see here.

  10. Jagdeep — on 30th March, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

    Yeah Joanna Goodby definitely seems like a HuT troll — the idea of them damping things down in Lozells or anywhere else is laughable — like putting a pedaeophile in charge of a nursery school. I remember these febrile nazi pricks causing friction with Sikhs when I was at Uni.

  11. Joanna Goodby — on 30th March, 2007 at 5:05 pm  

    Jagdeep – why do you make such assertions withour evidence?

    I invite you or Sunny to come to Lozells and see the work that is being done by many in the community to calm things down.

    However, given the attitude displayed in these postings, I’d be surprised if you take up the opportunity.

    I would be happy to show you around the local scene as it appears that you guys are detached from what is happening on the ground.

  12. Jagdeep — on 30th March, 2007 at 5:10 pm  

    Joanna Goodby I have a family member who spends most of his spare time doing community service at the Sri Dasmesh Gurudwara in Wheeler Street Lozells so don’t try and test me with your stupidity — what the hell are you, HuT boy, some kind of transvestite, coming on here and pretending to be a white woman called Joanna? Are you wearing knickers, stockings, suspenders and a bra too? Get a life you sap.

  13. Chairwoman — on 30th March, 2007 at 5:12 pm  

    Why does your link lead to a site called Drs for Drs?

    Thank you for your input Joanna, Goodbye.

  14. Sunny — on 30th March, 2007 at 5:16 pm  

    I invite you or Sunny to come to Lozells and see the work that is being done by many in the community to calm things down.

    You know Joanna, they call the BNP a very effective local housing campaign group. They also claim to be only standing up for the concerns of the white working classes.

    But you haven’t told us why anyone, apart from silly people such as yourself, should trust a racist and anti-semitic organisation, to encourage community cohesion. There are lots of other black and Asian groups trying to do the same. Instead you try and feed us with this line that they are being mis-understood. I dare you to say the same about the BNP. After all, they only want the best for poor whites, right?

    Sunny – I am surprised by the arrogance of your reply.

    Because you’re silly enough to ask me to ignore the rantings of a group I’ve shown to be clearly racist and anti-semitic, and which is banned around the world for their subversive activities. Don’t worry, BNP sympathisers get the same treatment, don’t feel I’m singling you out.

  15. lithcol — on 30th March, 2007 at 5:30 pm  

    The naivety of many peoples never fails to dismay. I always look a gift horse in the mouth before deciding to accept.

    Yes just like the BNP, Hizb ut-Tahrir does sterling community work, all the time insidiously spreading messages of division and hate.

  16. Don — on 30th March, 2007 at 5:54 pm  

    Ostentatious charity work does not preclude an insidious agenda. Pig soup, anyone?

  17. leon — on 30th March, 2007 at 6:11 pm  

    why do you make such assertions withour evidence?

    You’ve done likewise. Further to this Jagdeep’s word is a great deal more credible on here than yours.

  18. raz — on 30th March, 2007 at 6:21 pm  

    HuT is banned in a lot of Muslim countries, and yet allowed to operate freely in the UK. Crazy. They are a very insidious cult, in my opinion, and members display signs of having been brainwashed.

  19. . — on 30th March, 2007 at 6:28 pm  

    I’m not sure it’s fair to link HuT to Al-Muhajiroun and its off-shoots; as divisive as HuT may be, they weren’t out on the streets calling for those who insult Islam to be beheaded. I haven’t had much experience with HuT, but I know one guy who often reads their website who couldn’t be nicer if he tried. I’m not suggesting that’s universal at all, but trying to paint them all as racists might just be the response some in their number are after.

  20. Don — on 30th March, 2007 at 6:33 pm  

    I tend not to dispute a commenter’s definition of themselves, unless there’s obviously a rabbit off somewhere. But Joanna Goodby comes up with zero results on Google.

    Of course, not everyone shows up there. But most people who are even remotely active get at least a hit or so. Hell, even I get a handful under my real name. (Although the top hit is a blowhard, miracle-working snake-oil peddling tent evangelical.)

    So scepticism over Joanna’s neatly timed debut seems reasonable. If people are wrong, I’m sure they’ll be happy to recognise it. But at the moment, a HuT stalking horse seems plausible.

    By the way, Joanna, if you are still there, does the HuT constitution still maintain that apostates should be killed, which is rather the crucial point?

  21. Sid Love — on 30th March, 2007 at 6:36 pm  

    I certainly think there’s enough material here for a Dispatches documentary on ‘Transvestitism in HuT’.

  22. Sunny — on 30th March, 2007 at 6:55 pm  

    I’m not sure it’s fair to link HuT to Al-Muhajiroun and its off-shoots;

    Most of the stuff I’v linked to is more recent, after Al-M split from them. Some is older, but how are we to be convinced that HuT has changed?? Would these people be happy to accept tht the BNP has changed and is no longer a racist party?

  23. Joanna Goodby — on 30th March, 2007 at 11:32 pm  

    Don – I’m certainly not famous enough to be on Google and I don’t know much about the HuT constitution – their local women activists have told me that the constitution is for an Islamic State, not for Britain – I am more involved in local community groups e.g. looking at how to tackle drugs, local crime initiatives.

    Jagdeep – I don’t doubt that you have a relative who is involved in the Wheeler Street gurdwara – however, places of worship in the area have for too long been distant from the youth – I have not had many dealings with the Wheeler Street gurdwara but I live maybe 3/4 mile from the gurdwara and know it and a few of its congregation pretty well (btw I’m not a Sikh). They’re good people and, by and large, are very well regarded/respected locally.

    Your comments about being a “transvestite” are not helpful and do not warrant a serious reply.

    Sunny – I am not asking you to ignore HuT – I am asking you to stop ranting on and on about them in a very general way – e.g. you say they are racist but in my personal experience in Lozells they have black, white and Asian supporters and have been trying to quell the problems caused by race in the area when others, who should know better, have been pouring petrol onto the flames. As for your point about them being banned around the world, I think it is a perhaps a telling sign of your attitude to brutal dictators in the developing world – as if Syria, Pakistan or elsewhere are the model we should some how be following. Your problem Sunny is that you make the argument personal – by calling me a “silly person” you do not in any way make your point in a stronger way – such a shame.

  24. Amir — on 31st March, 2007 at 1:46 am  

    Another great debunking of Pizza Hut.

    Great blog entry. :-)

  25. Sunny — on 31st March, 2007 at 4:49 am  

    you say they are racist but in my personal experience in Lozells they have black, white and Asian supporters

    No one’s denied they have black, Asian and white Muslim supporters. Doesn’t stop them from becoming anti-semitic does it?
    Unless you can point out how all the exhibits above are bunk, you’re wasting my time.

    And I also know you’re wasting my time because my filter has just caught you trying to post under other Hindu and Muslim names from the same IP address in order to pretend you have a case. Goodbye!

  26. Twining or Black in Blue — on 31st March, 2007 at 11:11 am  

    Sunny, Tackling religious extremists in all our faiths is an issue we must contemplate for it is the lack of this that causes extremism. Islam must deal with itself and reform. It is utter nonsense to hate Jews and those that deny the Holocaust have no belief in God. At the moment things seems to escalate between Islam and the West. Fundamentally Christianity must deal with racism, Islam must do the same, dare I say Hinduism keeps quiet unless it affects the HFB. But we cannot and should not tolerate hatred. There endeth my rant. Wait, if the MCB cannot engage you it just goes to show that we have people with extremist views in power and we wish to consult with them about Islam. How farcical? Also we can flip the coin and see that there are incompetent Black people in power, perhaps incompetence can equate to extremism. There endeth my rant.

  27. Bash — on 31st March, 2007 at 11:21 am  

    I was at a HT Conference in London last night where they published a report on their Way Forward for Iraq. This report goes through the arguments for the various western backed strategies and offers an alternative that is more in keeping with the peoples history, culture and belief.

    The reason I make this point is for me this is something constructive as it opens up the debate and discussion at addressing the problems of millions of people. Where as blogs such as this do nothing constructive.

  28. usman — on 1st April, 2007 at 12:57 am  

    All exhibits which form the collection of evidences above are weak to say the least, all quotes have been tacken out of contex and is an insult to the intelligence. Shallow minded arguments do little to tackle the issue at hand, that is where the real debate needs to be. HuT are a political party who do not advocate violence. The author should have the intelligence to break a weak argument and have a serious attempt not what is above.

    Muslims do not hate jews but do hate the aggression of the zionist state of israel against the palestinians and surrounding territories as even most jews and others will disagree with also, there is a difference between anti semitism and anti zionist.

    The foreign policy of the UK and USA grieve all who have compassion for humanity, as a consequence it has increased anti west sentiments in the muslim world. a failure to recognise this fact is just being intellectually dishonest.

    Other people in the world have their own way of doing things, who gave the UK and USA to force democracy down the barrel of a gun down the throats of other nations when clearly they dont want it. Isn’t it about time the western powers stop intefearing in other peoples affairs and let them decide their own political destiny. The caliphate is not specific to any group or peoples but this is the sentiments of all muslims of all backgrounds.

    When it comes to the topic of violence and terrorism take your mind back to the invasion of Iraq, the first campaign was named shock and awe inflicting much terror in the hearts of the people it was inflicted upon, the killing of 650,000 civilians is convieniently ignored, who is doing the real killing? i’l leave you to think about that.

  29. Sunny — on 1st April, 2007 at 1:41 am  

    all quotes have been tacken out of contex

    yup, standard excuse. The only intelligence being insulted here is ours with that idiotic excuse constantly.

  30. douglas clark — on 1st April, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    Sunny,

    I see that this article is now up on the CiF site. Just a wee point of clarification.

    You say:

    “I’m not in favour of banning HuT. Vile as they may be, their hatred and propaganda mirrors that of the BNP. At least, the former does not get public money.”

    I’ve scratched my head a bit, and I can’t see how the BNP gets public money either. Could you point me in the right (heh!) direction?

  31. Twining or Black in Blue — on 1st April, 2007 at 8:22 pm  

    I cannot understand the anti semetism.Is it me? Why today are people hiding behind faith to cover up hatred?

  32. Twining or Black in Blue — on 1st April, 2007 at 8:29 pm  

    Usman, I am not particularly in favour of war, Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator and I do believe in reasonable force. Why we went into Iraq still remains a mystery. Was it oil? Was it compassion? Was it a fear that Saddam had the potential as a rogue to produce nuclear weapons and was therefore a terrorist threat?

    The Middle East Islamic states had the opportunity to deal with this man. They chose not to. There is also a fundamental question for some extremist Islamic individuals. Do they wish to integrate or do they wish to create separatist parts within cities in this country.

    And what is it to be British and Muslim? To all intents and purposes an Asian is an Asian to the naked eye. Black is Black also. The murderers of Lawrence might well have murdered an Asian lad had an Asian lad been there. A racist does not conjure up particular images and differentiate between faiths when they act against vulnerable people. Islam must show some reform.

  33. Twining or Black in Blue — on 1st April, 2007 at 8:33 pm  

    Are HuT racist? It matters not that they have Asian, Black or White members. If they are anti Jewish then as a whole the policies and views must be deemd to be racist.It just goes to show a mixed group can practice racism also. I am on a role here Sunny….

  34. usman — on 1st April, 2007 at 9:55 pm  

    saddam was an evil dictator, dont disagree with you there however it was the british who helped the baathist to get into power killing many in the process. so the UK and the USA have gone into iraq removed the dictator but also removed a whole infrastucture, iraq is in a state worse now than it was before, before atleast there was some form of security now there is just a mess, the occupation just spends all its energy defending itself while the native people in that land suffer.

    If removing dictators was the reason of the UK and USA going to war then one must question their support for other dictators in the world such as Mr Karimov in Uzbekistan and Musaraff in Pakistan and Mubarak in Egypt along many others. Fact of the matter is as long as a dictator is serving the interests of their colonial master he is fine but as soon as he steps out of line then he must be removed as was the case with Saddam, all excuses used have no credability left one by one have all turned out to be a pack of lies, WMD’s? where are they? they must have used them all we know he had them we sold them to him.

    As for the case of neauclear threat, the only time a nuke has killed people is when only one nation had them and that was the USA, isnt it hypocritical to further develop your own neukes and tell others they cant have none with a track record like the UK and the USA they are more likely to kill people with WMD’s than others. Every nation has the right to defend itself.

    Islamic states in the middle east? where? just because there are muslims living in a country where they make the majority of the population and the leader is a muslim doesnt make it an islamic state. Reality is that these states are secular states who’s rulers are subservient puppets of their colonial masters in the west.

  35. Chairwoman — on 1st April, 2007 at 10:42 pm  

    Usman – I was about to say that I’d rarely read such unmitigated rubbish as your comment, but in the middle of it I found a grain of truth so profound that I must congratulate you on it.

    And here it is:-

    ‘WMD’s? where are they? they must have used them all we know he had them we sold them to him.’

    I’d never considered that possibility previously, but now it seems so glaringly obvious that I don’t know how I missed it.

  36. usman — on 2nd April, 2007 at 12:46 am  

    Chair woman- unmitigated rubbish? maybe you’d like to explain further. Cheap shots dont give any strength to your arguement. unfortunately……

  37. Twining or Black in Blue — on 2nd April, 2007 at 9:33 am  

    Usman, Every nation has the right to defend itself, but rogue states and terrorism take it one step further. The West has it’s problems, racism being one of them, but preaching hatred to the extent that non believers are infidels is a joke. People with such a belief are no different to the BNP racist thugs that promulgate rubbish about superiority of the White race. What race? Islam must look within also. I said Saddam had the potential to fire blanks and real weapons in the future, He was killing his own people. Is this a right that any human being has? Usman, the Middle East is primarily Islamic. These are not secular states. Israel is the only Non Islamic country in the area. Is anti Anti-Semitism ok then?

  38. Chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2007 at 9:38 am  

    What argument? I’m not making one. I did however congratulate you on making a valid point on the WMDs that immemdiately convinced me.

    But if you want some, here goes.

    The UK has had WMDs for 60 years as has the USA, Russia, France and Israel (allegedly). Only the USA has used them, once, in 1945. The other countries have been involved in many conflicts during that time, and have never used them. The USA has been in many conflicts since that time and never used them. How likely do you think they are to use them now?

    Islamic versus secular states. Let’s look at the reality rather than the constitutions. The UK says it’s a Christian nation, but is in reality secular. Most states with a Muslim majority have secular constitutions, but in reality are Islamic.

    As for HuT, if they aren’t antisemitic, why are Jewish students harrassed and harangued at University by them.Katy certainly was in the mid 90s, and I doubt that matters have improved since then.

  39. Twining or Black in Blue — on 2nd April, 2007 at 9:40 am  

    But remember what I said, as a rogue leader, did Saddam have the capacity to turn on the war against terror, and could he have been a real future threat with the development of nuclear capability.

  40. soru — on 2nd April, 2007 at 10:14 am  

    The comments on the CiF thread sure are depressing. It’s full of articulate, presumably intelligent people who:

    1. acknowledge that the stated goal of HuT is to set up an apartheid state where only muslims can vote or run for office

    2. acknowledge that that is something that could not conceivably be achieved without violence

    3. feel that that the above are valid religious, not political, thoughts, and so those expressing them should be shown religious solidarity, never publically disagreed with or criticised, unless it can be explictly shown via scriptural means that they are ‘heretics or apostates’

  41. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2007 at 10:16 am  

    Usman,

    Is it just me, or is it not transparently obvious that Bush the Younger went to war to atone for the sins of Bush the Elder?

    Y’know, guilt and all that stuff. Family name being dragged in the dirt. In other words it was all about ego.

    Maybe.

  42. Twining or Black in Blue — on 2nd April, 2007 at 10:28 am  

    Soru, so it’s people hiding behind faith to practice their own prejudices.

  43. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2007 at 11:13 am  

    Muslims do not hate jews but do hate the aggression of the zionist state of israel against the palestinians and surrounding territories as even most jews and others will disagree with also, there is a difference between anti semitism and anti zionist.

    oh really? so why do at least half of those quotes mention “jews” rather than israel? you must be either blind or unable to read english, in denial or lying through your teeth – and seeing as you’re posting in english, i suspect it’s one of the latter. make no mistake, we can tell that nobody’s going to be making these fine distinctions of context when it actually comes to an act of so-called “jihad”. it takes my breath away how muslims can actually talk like this in complete contravention of the words of muhammad – ever heard of the “great jihad” as opposed to the “little jihad”? get the “great jihad”, the internal one, out of the way before you start telling other people how to live their lives.

    and as for “most jews”, i think i am better qualified to tell you what they think than you are to tell me. and i can tell you that “most jews” want a fair deal for the palestinians, which includes a two-state solution, guaranteed secure access to the Temple mount/haram as-sharif for everyone, a fair and equitable resolution to both the palestinian refugee problem and that of the jews expelled from arab lands, arabs treated equally within israeli society and jews able to live safely and equally within arab society – and that includes in the cities of hebron and nablus, incidentally – whether with palestinian citizenship or not. and until the arab states come to terms with the fact that they’ve kept the palestinian refugees in their countries in camps for the last 60 years (unlike the israelis, who at least tried to resolve this) and the fact that they have benefited from seizure of jewish assets in syria, lebanon, iraq, egypt and so on, there will be no resolution. but let’s at least be clear about what is required, rather than engaging in half-arsed propaganda.

    as for HuT’s behaviour on campus, their language and behaviour were already shocking when i was at manchester in the early 90s and when my siblings were there later on. i note that they have been able to ally with those useful fools on the far left, the SWP and respect in order to take control of the union up until recently, which is a sad state of affairs and one which the student body has now clearly had enough of, thank goodness. nobody should be fooled by these guys – remember, hamas run an efficient and well-organised charitable sector as well; that’s how they build their grass-roots support. jamaat tablighi are clearly another set of islamist nutters from the same stable; the label hardly matters.

    ‘WMD’s? where are they? they must have used them all we know he had them we sold them to him.’

    I’d never considered that possibility previously, but now it seems so glaringly obvious that I don’t know how I missed it.

    go to kurdistan and ask *them* whether saddam’s WMDs were a figment of the imagination or not. and then why not go thank the israelis for blowing up his (french-built) nuclear reactor – or he’d have had nukes as well. what nonsense.

    is it not transparently obvious that Bush the Younger went to war to atone for the sins of Bush the Elder?

    i’d say it was transparently obvious he had to do something post-9/11, compared to his distinct lack of interest in the middle east before then. whether he did the correct thing in conflating the issues of al-qaeda and saddam is entirely another matter – and, clearly, the execution has left something to be desired to say the least. remember, we should have finished the job in ’90, like i’ve said before, but we didn’t want to upset the turks and the syrians and the saudis – and who lost out? the people of iraq, particularly the kurds and the marsh arabs. it’s our own stupid fault for being so fecking selfish.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  44. Twining or Black in Blue — on 2nd April, 2007 at 11:34 am  

    Bananabrain, amen. Can I say that as a Hindu? Islam must reform, we may not like it but it’s true.

  45. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 11:36 am  

    BNP biggest rally: 200ish at some pub in Yorkshire.

    HuT biggest rally: 8000ish at the Birmingham NEC.

    I know who worries me more.

  46. douglas clark — on 2nd April, 2007 at 11:52 am  

    bananabrain.

    Whilst I’d agree with much of your analysis, I have a real difficulty with this bit:

    “go to kurdistan and ask *them* whether saddam’s WMDs were a figment of the imagination or not. and then why not go thank the israelis for blowing up his (french-built) nuclear reactor – or he’d have had nukes as well. what nonsense.”

    Could you elucidate, please? My recollection was that Hans Blix, who was charged with discovering this stuff, never subscribed to that. In other words the Iraq regieme did not have WMD.

    I appreciate you are arguing from a position, but facts ought to be sacred?

  47. Chairwoman — on 2nd April, 2007 at 12:19 pm  

    douglas – I think the esteemed bb is saying that the late Mr Hussein had used WMDs (and don’t forget, they didn’t have to be nuclear) on the his Kurdish citizens.

    Therefore there weren’t any left for Mr Blix to discover, as they’d already been used.

  48. soru — on 2nd April, 2007 at 12:23 pm  

    I assume BB is talking about Halabjah.

  49. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2007 at 12:27 pm  

    @twining:

    you certainly can say “amen” if you feel you would like to. it’s an acrostic – “E-L, Melekh Ne’eman” – a-m-n. the vowels are extra. it means “G!D, Trustworthy King”. of course, you may not wish to do so as a hindu – although from my perspective, you may consider these three elements/characteristics to manifest as theologically distinct entities. either way it is no skin off my behind. or you can just use it in the colloqualial english sense as “i agree”!

    @douglas:

    Could you elucidate, please? My recollection was that Hans Blix, who was charged with discovering this stuff, never subscribed to that. In other words the Iraq regieme did not have WMD.

    well, hans blix, at least in his public pronouncements, doesn’t appear to subscribe to the fact that the iranians want to nuke israel, so i treat his cautious statements with a degree of caution myself. as an ex-auditor, i can tell you that there are things that are pretty hard to find if people want to hide them, particularly if you can afford twenty-odd years of russian-hired experts in maskirovka or “concealment”, especially in a country that big.

    i guess i would be happy to reconcile the two positions by saying, as i think chairwoman auntie suggested, that it is possible that saddam’s wmds ran out in the early 90s after his previous genocidal binge, whereas he had plenty to spare before then, especially during the iran-iraq war which is pretty well documented, the same, of course, being true of the iranians. i don’t know we’ll know the real truth for a long time if ever. suffice it to say that from my PoV, i never needed wmds as an excuse to get rid of saddam – if it had been up to me i’d have done it in 1990, but i’m not in charge of these things, of course. perhaps i should be!

    MUWAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAA.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  50. Twining or Black in Blue — on 2nd April, 2007 at 12:33 pm  

    Amen then. As a Hindu it means the same good things, so I will say Amen.

  51. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2007 at 12:33 pm  

    ooh – and i forgot to say that in reference to this:

    Islam must reform, we may not like it but it’s true.

    i would say that muslims have to change rather than islam. i don’t think there’s anything wrong with islam other than the idiots who interpret it idiotically. an external call for reform is not only unwelcome but counterproductive. and as jews and christians know from their own experience, reforms can throw up just as many problems as they solve. it has to be an internal solution and thank goodness there are muslims who are prepared to start to stand up and say “look, this just isn’t right” – i include ali eteraz, irshad manji, tariq ramadan and a whole bunch of others – not all of whom, incidentally, i entirely agree with, find pleasant, credible or trustworthy, but that is my own affair. it is for muslims to sort out their own mess. what i will say is that blaming everything on “the west” or “zionism” or all that other stuff is simply a big fat hairy cop-out.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  52. Roger — on 2nd April, 2007 at 12:34 pm  

    Saddam used poison gas against Kurds and the Iranians, delivered by bombs or shells. Poison gas is fairly easy to make and use- the technologies are over fifty years old. He had also tried to develop nuclear weapons [that's why Israel bombed an Iraqi nuclear reactor] and possibly biological weapons. Ha also had missiles which could deliver these weapons or small high explosive warheads a comparatively short distance- as used in attacks on Israel in the first gulf war. The charitable explanation is that the US and UK intelligence services in the approach to the invasion of Iraq failed to distinguish between Saddam’s aspirations and what he could actually do, and assumed that what he might have been able to do if everything had gone write and the Iraqi military infrastructure weren’t destroyed was a genuine threat.
    It wasn’t, as anyone who didn’t have good reasons for wanting it to be true, could easily tell.

  53. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 12:39 pm  

    BNP biggest rally: 200ish at some pub in Yorkshire.

    HuT biggest rally: 9000ish at the Birmingham NEC.

    I know who worries me more.

  54. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 1:38 pm  

    I know who worries me more.

  55. David T — on 2nd April, 2007 at 1:43 pm  

    Who?

  56. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 1:52 pm  

    After Admiral Duncan, the Brick Lane and Brixton bombing goof-ups and the Cottage industry? Not to mention a history of low-level violence, beatings, paki-bashings, pub carpark kickings, letter box turd pushing, mosque and synagogue defacing.

    Who worries you more?

  57. Leon — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:01 pm  

    Who?

    Tony Blair, in power, genocidal maniac, just itching to start another way with his mad mate George.

  58. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:06 pm  

    Just been reading the CiF thread. I cannot help but wonder if Sunny’s disgust he reserves for MP, is in fact jealously, after all she could take down Inayat from a 100 paces with just one eye brow.

    TFI

  59. David T — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:16 pm  

    Who worries you more?

    I’d say, on balance, the BNP. It is more likely to get its hands on some small degree of power than Hizb.

    Hizb – in the UK at least, and post Omar Bakri Mohammed – is primarily an ideological organisation. Those who have passed through Hizb have gone on to commit acts of political violence, certainly. However, it isn’t engaged in organising terrorism.

    Hizb is also – generally – pretty open and uncompromising about its politics. It would find it difficult to “rebrand” and reposition themselves, the way that the BNP or the UK Muslim Brotherhood clique have been trying to.

  60. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:16 pm  

    Sid – all those were the actions of one man who’d been thrown out of the BNP. I’m unaware of any BNP support, justification or defence for either him or his actions.

  61. Katy — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:24 pm  

    Well, Sid is likely to be more concerned about the BNP because they hate him for being not white, whereas I am more likely to be concerned about HUT because they hate me for being Jewish. It depends where you’re standing, really. There’s a difference between disliking a group’s ideology and perceiving them as a concrete danger to you personally.

    Except that the BNP hates me too, Jewish councillors or no Jewish councillors, so the wheels have come off my analogy a bit. If it was an analogy in the first place. Oh, whatever…

  62. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:31 pm  

    hahaha
    All one man? That must be the busiest turd pushing, mosque defacer in the whole world.

  63. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:33 pm  

    Katy, they also hate gay people enough to detonate bombs in gay bars in Central London.

  64. David T — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:41 pm  

    That’s weird. I thought I’d posted a response.

    In summary:

    1. On balance the BNP, as it is more likely to gain some small measure of power and influence. However, don’t underestimate the ability of Hizb to promulgate its millenialist, violent, bigoted, and divisive politics within its sphere of influence.

    2. Both Hizb and the BNP – in their present ‘rebranded’ form – are merely conduits for a violent, bigoted and divisive ideology. Hizb has a couple of loosely associated suicide bombers to its name. Copeland is probably too far away from the BNP to count: but it tends to attract a broad range of criminals and thugs

    3. The BNP is probably going to be more successful in recruiting, rebranding and repositioning. Hizb’s ideology is too inflexible to allow it to achieve the sort of makeover that the BNP is going for. They’re primarily an ideological organisation, without the sort of pragmatism of hard headed desire for power that the UK Muslim Brotherhood clique manifest.

    So I’d be more worried about the BNP.

    Fortunately, no matter how hard extremists try to appear reasonable and ordinary, they give themselves away whenever they open their mouths.

    Vide Inayat Bungalawa’s pitiful performance on CiF: which goes some way to illustrating how he scuppered the MCB’s chances of being taken seriously by this, or successive, governments.

  65. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:41 pm  

    The BNP are turd-pushers I don’t deny. Can you say that HuT would never stoop to such actions?

  66. David T — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:48 pm  

    This is weird.

    I keep posting a comment (in very short summary, the BNP, as Hizb are crapper and less flexible: but both are scum)

    For some reason, it just doesn’t appear.

  67. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:50 pm  

    Listen mate, I think in terms of numbers of serious incidents violent actions ALONE, and not merely of the turd-pushing nature, performed by the BNP and their supporters, either card-carrying or simply casual, against blacks, asians and jews compared to those that can be attributed to the HuT speak for themselves.

    And I’m not even counting the cowardly incidents of defacing property, which often largely go unreported.

  68. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 2:59 pm  

    That depends on if you’re conflating the BNP with all anti-foreign incidents, and HuT with all anti-western incidents.

  69. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2007 at 3:13 pm  

    gosh, well i’m afraid that the only BNP-ers i’ve ever really met personally were on the internet and most recently here at PP. on the other hand, my unpleasant acquantance with the pizza-pushers goes back some 15 or so years. the BNP have no plans for world domination that i’m aware of, being a supreme example of isolationist selfishness. the denizens of the HuT, on the other hand, seem intent on sharing their joy with the entire planet by any means necessary – certainly i’ve been far closer to physical violence from islamists than i’ve ever been from the sad specimens that masquerade as a “white resistance”, to say nothing of the fact that i have ethnic and political allies against the BNP, whereas against the HuT i have only the voices of moderate asians and conservative (with a small “c”) democrats; trotskyist appeasers like SWP/respect and weaselmongers like the MCB will not be with us on the barricades if push ever comes to shove. certainly i’m not going to count on the likes of galloway and bungalow-wallah to block my letterbox with their mouths, although it might be fun to watch in a “celebrity deathmatch” kind of way.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  70. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 3:29 pm  

    the BNP have no plans for world domination that i’m aware of, being a supreme example of isolationist selfishness. the denizens of the HuT, on the other hand, seem intent on sharing their joy with the entire planet by any means necessary

    Yeah but the malformed, crtackpot ideologies HuT have absolutely zero probablility of influencing the electorate in the UK, whereas the BNP have quite a sizeable vote bank which Amir would often warn us of, I recall.

    The HuT are far more dangerous of successfully exporting their ideas to impressionable young men and women in the Subcontinent. Here, they are merely tolerated as misguided yoof by their uncles when they stand around outside mosques distributing their leaflets.

  71. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 3:32 pm  

    gosh, well i’m afraid that the only BNP-ers i’ve ever really met personally were on the internet and most recently here at PP.

    I think that that can be attributed to you not being black or asian. And neither is David T or Bert Preast, I’m pretty sure.

  72. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2007 at 3:42 pm  

    believe me, i’m asian-looking enough. my mum certainly met a good few of them in their heyday in the 70s.

    Yeah but the malformed, crackpot ideologies HuT have absolutely zero probablility of influencing the electorate in the UK

    oh, really? have you been a jewish student recently? have you seen how the islamist discourse on jews, to say nothing of israel is indistinguishable from that of the hard left. students grow up – but it appears that their politics are presently failing to do so. that means that the people i was at uni with are now very much part of the electorate and they’re the ones i see on TV and in the talkbacks discussing jews and israel in terms which would make HuT very proud of their influence indeed.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  73. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 3:49 pm  

    That’s very emotive but largely unbased on real facts. Are you saying that the HuT are, pound for pound, the mirror image of the BNP, electorally speaking? Most Muslims have a problem with Israel’s policy towards Palestinians – very little of which is actually influenced by the leaflets of the HuT – a fact of which you can be sure. Most of it is influenced by watching the news.

  74. leon — on 2nd April, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

    How many HuT elected councilors are there? How many BNP elected councilors?

  75. bananabrain — on 2nd April, 2007 at 3:59 pm  

    as far as i can tell, sid, i am speaking from my own personal experience, the facts of which are not in dispute by you i hope, that from my point of view there’s very little to choose between them. they both hate my guts and they both want me dead. the difference is that the bnp is quite happy that my auntie lives in israel and HuT wants her dead. and i can’t be at all sure of the “fact” of how influential HuT’s views are, seeing as you’re not offering any evidence yourself to back your position up! the fact that most muslims seem to agree with HuT about israel is hardly something in HuT’s favour, i hope you’ll agree.

    now, i’ve got to go and prepare for passover – see you guys thursday.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  76. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

    the fact that most muslims seem to agree with HuT about israel is hardly something in HuT’s favour, i hope you’ll agree.

    I think you’ll find that that’s called a non-sequitur because it does not follow that “most muslims” hate Israelis because HuT does. Rather, only Israeli attitudes to Palestinians.

    And I think you’ll find when the BNP detonated bombs in Admiral Duncan or Brick Lane, it didn’t matter where they were happy for “me” to be.

  77. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 4:18 pm  

    and i can’t be at all sure of the “fact” of how influential HuT’s views are, seeing as you’re not offering any evidence yourself to back your position up!

    Oh lord. It follows, simply from interpolation of your logic, that the BNP, who have a comparitively much larger electoral influence than HuT in *real* terms, should affect the opinions of most white British. In which case, you might actually be meeting more BNP followers than you actually know.

  78. Sid Love — on 2nd April, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

    That depends on if you’re conflating the BNP with all anti-foreign incidents, and HuT with all anti-western incidents.

    Or in the case of bananabrain and the dearly departed Amir, conflating HuT’s thinking with that of “most muslims”.

  79. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 2nd April, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    The point of this discussion is what does the actually MCB object to regarding Infidelophobia, rather than some completely spurious BNP vs HuT discussion which is a complete white wash of the topic in hand.

    Sunny’s point is that Inayat is fast to criticize any instance of “Islamophobia”, but fails to see Muslim extremist in any other context than “suicide attacks in London is bad”. This is because we won’t define a model for what Muslim extremism actually is, other than people let of bombs in the UK are extremists.

    The point about the MCB is that they are only an outward facing organization, and Inayat its silken lipped mouth piece. They don’t stand for values and yet are populated with individuals that are highly politicized with highly aligned views. Therefore Inayat will always say “yes, one of our members called for the destruction of Israel and the public decapitation of Blair, but that is not a stated aim of our group.” – but they will never throw a member out for anything they say.

    In my opinion, the MCB is pathologically lying institution and if you want to damage them, don’t focus in Inayat, focus on its policies and statements that organization has made. A close examination of their contradicting press statements produce enough hollers to squewer them with.

    I imagine Inayat stating: “We are vegetarian” with the MCB stands behind him munching down a bacon sardie (maximum insult intended). A better comparison would be the Information Minister from the Iraqi government claiming that the Americans will die before they reach Bagdad, while the troops can be seen behind him.

    TFI

  80. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 4:32 pm  

    The BNP are not being voted for by white supremacists. They are being voted for by people who are annoyed with muslims. There’s a big difference.

  81. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 4:33 pm  

    Has Amir done one then? He had seemed to be edging into insanity these last few months.

  82. Sahil — on 2nd April, 2007 at 4:40 pm  

    “The BNP are not being voted for by white supremacists. They are being voted for by people who are annoyed with muslims. There’s a big difference.”

    Really I thought it was to do with council housing?

  83. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 4:43 pm  

    Sahil – old news. The BNP was broadly anti-foreigner until about three years back until they saw what would win votes. We’ve had hardly a peep out of them about evil jews and what-not since.

  84. raz — on 2nd April, 2007 at 5:56 pm  

    I seriously doubt the BNP are winning council seats in Epping Forest of all places due to supposed anti-Muslim views.

  85. raz — on 2nd April, 2007 at 6:03 pm  

    Bert, did you miss the BNP’s press officer Phil Edwards making disgusting comments about Blacks last year?

  86. Twining or Black in Blue — on 2nd April, 2007 at 6:24 pm  

    The BNP chose to market themselves over the issue of 9/11 and 7/7 and exploited these situations to fuel their hatred towards Muslim people. Behind closed doors I do believe their hatred extends to anyone that is not White, and Jewish people also, but they won’t expose the hatred towards Jewish focussing only on Islam and getting certain Sikh supporters also. Griffin and his right hand men are pseudo intellectual racists, but Griffin and his right hand men are a—h—s also. HuT, if they are hiding behind hatred and any Muslim for that matter that hides behind thier faith to practice seperatism and hatred towards others is equally a person not to be trusted.Who is Bangalawala anyway?

  87. sa — on 2nd April, 2007 at 7:16 pm  

    hi

    i fail to understand the problem of muslims wishing to see the caliphate governace system being applied in muslim lands as a problem. surely muslims in their land should be allowed to determine their destiny. the caliphate, a accuntable, just system looking after and protecting the rights of all citizens including the jews (as history has shown) should be welcomed.

  88. Don — on 2nd April, 2007 at 7:16 pm  

    The BNP are the herpes of British politics; a persistent, socially embarrassing itch with periodic outbreaks of unsightly and virulent discharge. With proper treatment it can be more or less controlled, but the key is to prevent transmission. Seldom lethal, but can have a devastating effect on social life and self image.

    HuT are more H5N1.

  89. soru — on 2nd April, 2007 at 8:38 pm  

    the caliphate governace system being applied in muslim lands

    I think the phrase ‘muslim lands’ is rather begging the question.

  90. soru — on 2nd April, 2007 at 9:22 pm  

    Incidentally, one claim made by the hut supporters on CiF is that Germany only banned HuT because it didn’t recognise israeli occupation of the West Bank.

    What’s the source of that claim? It seems pretty remarkable.

    http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2004/10/a9e085a9-a771-4e5c-b41d-16b3d7d1258f.html

    says they were banned as going “against the concept of international understanding” contained in the German Constitution, a tactic that has been used in the past against Nazi groups, and only after they appeared on a platform with traditional neo-Nazis.

    http://www.apologeticsindex.org/469-hizb-ut-tahrir-2

    German authorities say the group whose name means Liberation party advocates the destruction of Israel and has called for the killing of Jews.

    The Hizb website is silent on the issue.

  91. Katy — on 2nd April, 2007 at 11:21 pm  

    I’m not prepared to burst into an argument about whether the BNP are more influential on white people than HUT are on Muslims; it’s ludicrously unquantiable. What I will say is that as a Jew I have taken more abuse from HUT, particularly when I was at university where I was generally known to be a Jew, and I think most Jewish people of my age would say the same, although most of us are under no illusions that the BNP feels exactly the same way towards us.

  92. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 11:41 pm  

    Raz wrote: “I seriously doubt the BNP are winning council seats in Epping Forest of all places due to supposed anti-Muslim views”

    Why’s that?

  93. Bert Preast — on 2nd April, 2007 at 11:43 pm  

    Raz wrote: “Bert, did you miss the BNP’s press officer Phil Edwards making disgusting comments about Blacks last year?”

    I didn’t say the BNP had suddenly come over all lovely to blacks, did I? I said they’re going for the angle that gets them votes.

  94. Sid — on 3rd April, 2007 at 1:06 am  

    I’m not prepared to burst into an argument about whether the BNP are more influential on white people than HUT are on Muslims; it’s ludicrously unquantiable.

    The claim was that HuT influenced “most muslims”. This is not unquantifiable, it’s simply ludicrous.

  95. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 1:55 am  

    gosh there has been alot of comments sice i last come on, anyway my first comment of the day to ‘Twining or black in blue’ Saddam was not representing an islamic state or islam but killed indescriminately against all who opposed him were it muslim, not muslim, shiah muslim, sunni or otherwise. this guy was an evil guy and the irony is that the very people who have now removed him were the ones who helped him get into power and then armed him with the weapons that he now wasnt allowed to have, which they couldnt find either.

    there is no islamic state in the world today, they are secular states which have nothing to do with islam in their running of the state. hence they are not islamic.

    Islam is not raceist and history will testify to that face, i mean if it was you would not have coptic christians and jews living in the muslim world that have been there for generations even before the caliphate came to those lands and they are still there so what does that signify, clearly islam is not raceist.

    Also at the time of the crusades the invading cristians were relying on two things that would aid them in the conquest of the holy land, 1) the muslims would disunite and not put up much of a resistance and 2) the native christian brethren would join forces with them and fight alog side the crusaders. in actual fact what happened was the opposite the muslims in the region united and native christians joined forces witht the muslims because under islamic rule they lived in peace and security where their rights were provided and secured.

  96. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 1:59 am  

    oh and i forgot to mention then the crusaders killed every one that came their way muslims, jews and christians because they couldnt tell the difference between them.

  97. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 2:20 am  

    Chair woman

    Islamic versus secular states. Let’s look at the reality rather than the constitutions. The UK says it’s a Christian nation, but is in reality secular. Most states with a Muslim majority have secular constitutions, but in reality are Islamic.

    i think we have a problem with definition of secular here, secular meaning that rulings dont come from any form of religeous doctorine. no country in the world uses islam as a source of legislation hence are not islamic.

  98. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 2:38 am  

    Douglas Clark
    The reason for the war in iraq was an american initative to begin with and that was to remove saddam who was not serving their vital interests in that region which was namely the control of the natural resources. A study of the history in the middle east shows that the UK and the USA have been competing with each other since the early 1900′s in that region with saudi arabia, iraq, egypt being part of the british occupied areas to now being inclined to the US through psydo goverments with agents serving their interests which in effect achieve the same as an physical occupation would serve.

    Iraq being the latest in the tug of war between the UK and US, it was evident that the US could go to war and justify it to the world with or without the help of the UK, and Mr Blair knew this, who already had their finger in the pie so didnt really want the US to go to war and remove an agent serving UK interests, and thats why Blair wanted to drag the whole thing through the UN to try and stop it from gaining legitamacy in the eyes of the international community. However that did little to stop the US and went to war anyway, Blair now stuck in a dilemma had to make a choise, get involved and salvage what little influence he could in the reigion or let the US take it all.

    People say that blair is Bushes bitch but in reality they are out to undermine each other all the time

  99. Twining or Black in Blue — on 3rd April, 2007 at 10:08 am  

    Usman Just as Christianity is not racist in itself, there are Christian protagonists that claim superiority. In this same way if non-believers are infidels then is that not a racist stance based on superiority? I am so glad that there are many Islamic scholars who have stepped in to the debate arguing Islam or Islamists must reform. Islam is a World religion. Britain is largely Christian, in that way Iran is largely Islamic. Secular to me means freedom, but in both countries the “other” is not really free. We therefore have a different understanding of secular. Secular to me me is all living together, live and let live. Usman, Saddam did use WPD, not Nuclear but chemical.

    Why did the Middle east not deal with this tyrant of a lunatic? Mugabe is another lunatic I am afraid and his daughter studies in this country……Talk about the here and now…..

  100. Twining or Black in Blue — on 3rd April, 2007 at 10:11 am  

    Sid, I would suggest, if I may that HuT are trying to accesss a minority of fundemantalists. Hey, I like pickled politics.

    I quite like Sunny, Soru, Bananahead, Sid, and Usman, who I don’t agree with, but I like it here…Oh and Katy and Kismet.

  101. Twining or Black in Blue — on 3rd April, 2007 at 10:14 am  

    And Turban head he’s kind of OK too.

  102. douglas clark — on 3rd April, 2007 at 12:32 pm  

    Usman,

    Thanks for your reply. To be honest, it is not an arguement I’ve ever heard put before. Which is interesting in itself. Your analysis may be right, but it starts from later in the history of the build up to war than my speculation.

    The point of my post, way way back at 41 was that there was certainly a case being built to go to war. Based around WMDs, but also human rights abuses and potential aggression. I’d agree that this case was put on the global stage with ulterior motives. My thought was it had as much to do with the unfinished business of the Bush dynasty as anything else. That Bush the Father had listened to coalition members at the end of Gulf War One and did not impose regieme change then. He stopped short of Baghdad. I suspect the Bush family took it personally when Saddam tweaked the tail of the USA in the decade after.

    There is always someone who will make a profit out of war, and Bush is well connected with those that would. You end up with a runaway train.

    That was all I was saying.

  103. soru — on 3rd April, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

    I’m not prepared to burst into an argument about whether the BNP are more influential on white people than HUT are on Muslims;

    That’s not so much the issue in itself.

    To quote HuT’s own words:

    http://www.hizb.org.uk/hizb/images/PDFs/iraq_dossier_3.pdf

    For politicians in a multi-ethnic society, playing on identity politics is an expedient way to garner electoral support. By claiming that he can guarantee the interests of his ethnic group against others who are considered adversaries, the politician guarantees himself a relatively loyal support base. By appealing to real or imagined grievances held by one group against another, political parties who claim to represent their people can maintain support even when their policies do not match their manifestos.

    Correctly, that does not blame one side or the other – it identifies it as a mutual process, with two or more mutually-reinforcing actors. The nastiness of the end result is not dependant on their relative strength, merely on how far the process goes.

    Obviously, their proposed solution is ‘everyone convert, then there is no more ethnicity, at least amongst anyone with a vote’. But that’s not the point right now.

  104. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 2:26 pm  

    Also.
    As to the question of integration would you like to define what it means to be british? If you mean supporting the local or national football team, or eating fish and chips, then fine muslims do not have a problem with this but if you mean binge drinking, binge drugs, binge rape, binge pedophilia, binge crime all of which are on the rise and show no sign of slowing then im afraid this is little incentive for muslims to accept this social degredation as a way of life.

    To integrate means to abandon a set of values and accept another. Values and ideas are accepted though their correctness and appeal to the intellect rather than being the norm of a society. What does it mean to be british? The very fact that there is no definition of Britishness or what it means to be British is evidence that the concept of britishness or definig ones identity to being british is irrational.

    What surprises me though is that the west prides itself as being built on reason. If that is the case then surely had democracy followed its logical end then secularism would be the concept which defines identity. So the problem that people who believe that muslims should integrate and reform or promote democracy and capitalism to the world is proving the correctness of secularism which again is an irrational concept not born out of thought but a compromise solution pre industrial revolution which is another disgussion in itself.

    So please for anyone else who thinks that islam needs to reform or muslims should integrate could you be more clear as to what your asking.

    The real cause for terrorism is western foreign policy, and until the goverment is willing to accept this then the problem will not go away.

  105. soru — on 3rd April, 2007 at 2:44 pm  

    The real cause for terrorism is western foreign policy

    And terrorism is the cause of western foreign policy.

    The question is, what is to be done?

  106. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 3:18 pm  

    Oh and one more thing, your use of the word fundamentalists, the definition of which is one who judges from the fundamental principles of ones doctorine. In that contex Blair is a fundamentalist as he judges from the fundamental principles of secularism. Its important to note hear that we shouldnt get caught up in the connotations attached to words by polaticians as they can change according to the time and interest they seek with the people they are dealing with. for example the taliban at the time of when at war with the communists were known as freedom fighters who gained much praise from the US not only that but weapons and money to help further their cause, which in reality was americas cause to stop the spread of communism.

    Now that the taliban were not aiding their cause (by their oppposition of the gas pipeline coming from the caspian sea) they are convieniently known as terrorists etc etc.

  107. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 4:27 pm  

    Soru,
    foreign policy is the relationship with a state and other states. The ideology of that state defines its vital interests which every nation has. Every nation will use diplomacy to acheive its vital interests, once these means have been exhausted the nation will use millitary force to acieve its interests. As is the case with the UK and the US these are capitalist nations and hence their vital interests are of such nature. The most prominent aspect of capitalism is the economics system and hence all relationships are geared around benefiting the economy of that nation, regardless of the effect it has on others and regardless of the amount of lives which are lost in the process. And if your in doubt of this then look at the comparison of the biggest killer in Africa in comparison of the USA. Biggest killer in Africa is Starvation, biggest killer in USA is obesity, people have too much to eat where the other hardly has enough to eat.

    How is this possible? it baffles the mind, in a land which is the richest in terms of its natural resources the biggest killer is stavation. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Thats capitalism for you. All this is achieved by applying a foreign policy using various styles and means such as the IMF and world bank to cripple and control these countries to suck their blood dry.

  108. soru — on 3rd April, 2007 at 4:57 pm  

    As is the case with the UK and the US these are capitalist nations and hence their vital interests are of such nature.

    That’s way too reductionist. The US won’t do anything that is financially impossible under a capitalist system. That rules out a lot of actions, including taking responsibility for feeding everyone in africa, mainly because that sometimes would mean fighting wars with the people who intend their enemies to starve.

    But that doesn’t come close to determining a single course of action.

    For example, imagine the economics were different, for example some third party paid the US $1 million for every african child who didn’t starve.

    The US still wouldn’t act to prevent starvation in darfur, because that would not be possible without going against the wishes of the government of Sudan that those people, their enemies, should perish. Doing so would inevitably result in ‘islamic’ retaliation, which the US could do without any more of.

  109. Soso — on 3rd April, 2007 at 5:49 pm  

    You’re so chock-full of islamic good-thinking, Usman, your sense of history could be classed as “brain-dead”.

    The reality of life for non-muslims in your caliphate fantasy was brutal and harsh, the treatments and humiliations they were forced to endure are VERY well documented and, in fact, continue to this day in many majority-muslim countires.

    The Caliphate is a form of far-right politics. Like its spiritual predecessor, National Socialism, it dabbles in democratic rhetoric while promoting a viscious and supremacist mind-set aimed at demonising and de-humanising the *other*.

    Simply put, your god is your race and your god is superior.

    Your inability to grasp what it is to be British is telling, as well.

    Binge drinking and paedophilia appear to top your list.

    In a frothing fit of tone-deaf irony, you boldy present a perfect and unadulterated mirror image of the BNP’s view of all Muslims as filthy, violent head-choppers.

    Congratulations!

    However, the hallmark of Britishness can be best described as the ability to think clearly and rationally, to present arguments based on reality rather than on distorted and corrupt fantasies.

    In other words, sweetie, it’s something you’ll never, ever acquire.

    Pity.

  110. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 6:19 pm  

    soru what a load of rubbish, can you give any referances to these ideotic accusations that youve made like
    The reality of life for non-muslims in your caliphate fantasy was brutal and harsh, the treatments and humiliations they were forced to endure are VERY well documented and, in fact, continue to this day in many majority-muslim countires

    very well documented hey? where are they documented exactly??? oh and before you begin the caliphate ended in 1924 before you start mentioning things that have happened in other places and after, duckie! if it aint the caliphate it aint islamic.

    Look at the history of Al-Andalusia now know as spain how non muslims lived in peace and harmony, look at the history of palestine under islamic rule all faiths lived in peace. Oh and as to your other comment about the US and feeding the africans im coming on to that shortly.

  111. Soso — on 3rd April, 2007 at 6:43 pm  

    They are NOT accusations, the are facts.

    Facts like this.http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features_opinion/iraq.html

  112. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 6:48 pm  

    the last comment was for soso not soru, sorry.

    And one more thing soso

    However, the hallmark of Britishness can be best described as the ability to think clearly and rationally, to present arguments based on reality rather than on distorted and corrupt fantasies.

    you still have been unable to bring a worthey arguement againt anything iv said. so much for your reality based rational. Could you bring me a definition for Britishness rater than your hot headed childish banter. joaker looks like you aint thinking clearly.

  113. Soso — on 3rd April, 2007 at 6:58 pm  

    And a brief look at Spain tells us the indigenous inhabitants were so smitten by Islam’s tolerance they couldn’t help but boot it out.

    And if you pine for the infantilised existential security sharia law provides, you have only to go and live in one of the 57 backward, dysfunctional states that have instituted it.

    And in case there’s any misunderstanding, let me just say this: I don’t want your Mecca, your “prophet”, your Koran, your caliphate, your heavan, nor your filthy virgins.

    In any case, harems are the purvey of silver-back gorillas and alpha-male baboons…..animals.

    Me, I’m a human.

  114. Usman. — on 3rd April, 2007 at 7:21 pm  

    soso thats the biggest load of crap iv heard in a long time, where is this rational thinking and clarity you speak about. No one is asking you to accept Islam so why go on about that, what a load of rubbish. and for the record if it wasnt in the caliphate it aint islamic, god iv had to metion that so many times.

    indigenous inhabitants were so smitten by Islam’s tolerance they couldn’t help but boot it out.
    hmmmm so you think iv got history wrong, well soso if you’d av done your home work youd know that it wasnt the locals but the european christians that led the inquisition

  115. soru — on 3rd April, 2007 at 8:14 pm  

    In any case, harems are the purvey of silver-back gorillas and alpha-male baboons…..animals.

    Fighting words: words you say not to communicate information, spread ideas, but to start a fight.

  116. El Cid — on 3rd April, 2007 at 8:50 pm  

    Usman,
    Ignore “Soso’s” intentionally offensive rant. As a white Christian of sorts, I welcome your presence on PP. However, I think your candyland view of Islam is deluded. Islam is no less racist than any other religion where people are defined as equal before God. Just ask the blacks of Sub-Saharan Africa who have been the slaves of their Arab masters for millennia. Was it culture or economics which underpinned such practices? Possibly, as it was with the Atlantic slave trade. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that racism was also part of the story.
    That old Malcolm X moment of enlightenment chestnut about everyone of all colours being called “brother”, is nice but just a little too convenient.

    Bert,
    I really don’t understand why people dismiss your point. But maybe that’s because I’m white. Hmmmmmm I’m sure we can all reach an understanding.

  117. Usman — on 3rd April, 2007 at 9:45 pm  

    i’d av replyed earlier but it seems that my responses are being stopped by a spam filter for some reason.
    soso. giving a link to some website is not evidence, dont take up law as a career i dont think you’d be very good at it, any whoooo.

    you claim to be civalised, and able to “think clearly and rationally, to present arguments based on reality rather than on distorted and corrupt fantasies” im still waiting for your intallectual response in case you havent noticed, you have failed miserably to adaquately refute any of my arguements and have resorted to hot headed childish banter.

    oh and almost forgot, my history isnt fantastic but i assure you if you’d av done your home work my honorable friend you would be enlightend to know that it wasnt the locals who drove the muslims and jews from spain during the inquisition but it was the europeans, oh and another interesting fact for you is that the jews found refuge in Istanbul which was the capital of the caliphate at the time. so your blood thirsty version of events from your fantasy website are almost as deluded as you, they wouldnt have gone to the capital of what you described earlier would they.

    and as for “Fighting words: words you say not to communicate information, spread ideas, but to start a fight” its evident that you dont have the ability to have rational dialogue and just get upset, believe me i dont need to fight you, youve ad enough of a beating already, the weakness of your arguements and your un-intallectual response is an evidence for this.

    real strenght is in ideas clearly you are weak like the very ideals you defend and stand for.

  118. soru — on 3rd April, 2007 at 11:29 pm  

    someone who does not want me to voice my views

    I think somone who only wants you to voice your views once is more likely.

    and as for “Fighting words: words you say not to communicate information, spread ideas, but to start a fight” its evident that you don’t have the ability to have rational dialogue and just get upset,

    err that was me, trying to subtly point out that soso was the kind of uninteresting nutter liable to dominate any thread like this.

    (not that I don’t think you’re a nutter, but you are at least a _relevant_ nutter)

    I suspect he is badly in need of reading a book like Infidels to get a more balanced view of the Reconquista.

    Then again, everyone needs to read that.

    Or, if you prefer fiction, this.

  119. El Cid — on 4th April, 2007 at 9:04 am  

    oh and almost forgot, my history isn’t fantastic but i assure you if you’d av done your home work my honorable friend you would be enlightened to know that it wasn’t the locals who drove the Muslims and Jews from Spain during the inquisition but it was the Europeans,

    No, your history isn’t fantastic — so how excatly would you describe the Iberian-Visgoths-Roman locals of Spain?
    Don’t get me annoyed now

  120. douglas clark — on 4th April, 2007 at 10:35 am  

    El Cid,

    Your post prompted me look up Wiki about the reconquista. Fascinating stuff.

  121. Katy — on 4th April, 2007 at 10:44 am  

    I’m just chillin’. Chillin’ here at the end of the thread. Chillin’.

  122. The Common Humanist — on 4th April, 2007 at 1:15 pm  

    Usman,

    **As to the question of integration would you like to define what it means to be british? If you mean supporting the local or national football team, or eating fish and chips, then fine muslims do not have a problem with this but if you mean binge drinking, binge drugs, binge rape, binge pedophilia, binge crime all of which are on the rise and show no sign of slowing then im afraid this is little incentive for muslims to accept this social degredation as a way of life**

    Are you seriously suggesting that rape and paedophilia don’t occur in Muslim countries? Get real. Women barley have rights in significant parts of the islamic world (try Saudi or rural Iran and Pakistan…Bangledesh and parts of China)

    Including binge rape (WTF? – Google ‘Hudood Laws’ and then come back and debate levels of sexual violence aimed at women in the UK anbd Pakistan), binge drinking etc etc is a lump headed and wrong as myself posting that integration into an islamic country would necessiate anti-semitism, spousal beating and the ‘honour killing’ of female family members perceived to be transgressing.

    National identities are complicated creatures but to say that because some people do things muslims don’t like (and most Brits don’t like TBH) they should not integrate and hold themselves seperate.

    Yeah, that’ll work as a model for community relations. Can’t see any flaws there…….

    So seriously, get real.

  123. Sid Love — on 4th April, 2007 at 1:54 pm  

    well said, humanist.

  124. Usman — on 4th April, 2007 at 8:26 pm  

    Common humanist
    Firstly I’d like to congratulate you on your attempt to address some of the issues which are being discussed. At first glance for someone from a neutral point of view that is besotted by the media propaganda against Islam, might think that you have a relatively strong case. However I have a few issues with your response.

    “Women barley have rights in significant parts of the islamic world (try Saudi or rural Iran and Pakistan…Bangledesh and parts of China)”

    As mentioned earlier there is no Caliphate/ Islamic state in the world today but rather secular states ran by despotic dictators, who do not govern by Islam in any way so are not Islamic. I am not denying that bad things happen in Muslim countries but these countries are as much representatives of Islam as the actions of Bush and Blair are of Christianity, which is an unfair comparison to make, I’m sure many would agree.

    Also there is confusion as to what is from Islam and what is from Culture and yes there is a difference, a big difference so please lets not get into accusations which are out of context.

    The media paints such an oppressive picture of Islam and women that it may occur as a shock to many people that over 70% of converts to Islam are female, I’ll let the stats speak for themselves.

    As we are on the topic of women’s rights I just want to maybe look at the track record of secularism and women’s rights. Only until recently women have been able to withdraw their own money from the bank without the presence of their husbands, the right to vote etc through much effort of feminist movements in the last century, however they have come a long way from the dark ages when the debate was on weather women has souls or not. At the same time in the Islamic world women enjoyed the right to work, education, their own wealth, the right to vote etc 1400 years ago.

    So some may say that we have the model by which women are liberated. I’d like to ask the question, how much do secular societies value the honour of women? The price of a copy of the sun news paper maybe, page 3? Anorexia and other eating disorders are of epidemic levels in this male oriented society where the looks and sexual appeal of a female is given precedence over her academic credentials, in a current pole done be the BBC a women’s yearly income in comparison to her male counterpart is 50% less, in London, Men: 100k average and Women: 50-55k average, to be more precise. Not only that but the only occupation where a women will earn considerably more that men is modelling and prostitution, a far cry from equality clearly. The west want to liberate Muslim women but who will liberate the women from the oppression of the west?

    Going back to the topic at hand, its seems clear that the definition of britishness is still unclear. My point is that to integrate would entail convincing people through strength of ideas, lets discuss what these values are and how correct they are.

  125. Usman — on 4th April, 2007 at 9:03 pm  

    People often give opinions which one may argue are bias towards their viewpoint, so hears one from a neautral person.
    “…I’ll end by telling a story. There was once a civilization that was the greatest in the world. It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins. One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of
    people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilization’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.
    And this civilization was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the
    creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration. Its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things. When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others. While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization
    I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent. Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilization, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers
    like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership. And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population-that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions. This kind of enlightened leadership – leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage – led to 800 years of invention and prosperity…”

    Carly Fiorina, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, 26 September 2001.

  126. Refresh — on 4th April, 2007 at 9:35 pm  

    Usman

    Thank you for your post 125. I read it and I like the reminder.

    Unfortunately I’ve not had chance to catch up on this thread. Perhaps I will later.

  127. The Common Humanist — on 4th April, 2007 at 10:28 pm  

    And since 1400????? (Point of start of decline of classical islamic world – closing down of some of the Bagdhad schools of theology (this is from memory so I could be slightly off with exact specifics).

    OK, being facetious but what happened to Islam in the last 600 years? Why the, lets be honest, backwards progress? From the beacon of global knowlege in, say 1300, to a situation where Greece translates more books then 1.1 billion Muslims is a pretty mighty fall.

    Am a geographer by training so many of my ‘academic heroes’ are arab/north african cartographers as well as Greek and Roman ones. I am not going to argue that somehow the West has a particularly great record upto the Enlightenment when it comes to knowlege and female emancipation. Since then however, it has seen a story of astounding progress – particularly over the last 125 years.

    The modern West (lets say post WW2) is built upon notions of individual freedom and a strong basis of equality of opportunity (though not outcome). This does generate good and bad outcomes. Hence you can look at the West and point out an overlay sexualised culture perhaps but these are the product of personal choices from free individuals. So chance of good, chance of bad.

    Usman, you do seem to have an overley rosey view of Islam – it is impossible to seperate cultural islam and classical if you like. Cultural Islam is how it interfaces with the rest of the world and, to be honest, often its not a pretty sight.

    You can argue that Islam provided women with their fist bill of rights – quite so but its a bill of rights appropriate for well, the medieval period (As an example, when a womens evidence is worth half a mans in court this tends to look, well, deeply wrong. When rape laws put the blame on women and then I watch on Ch4 News the leader Of Pakistans Islamist party state that this is Allahs will then it looks deeply wrong indeed (a move away from literalism is desperately needed BTW)

    The West has enormous problems – none of which will be settled by more religion. We tried religious fundamentalism in the 1600′s – didn’t work out too well (wiki – Civil Wars of the three Kingdoms and the Thirty Years Wars).

    A secular state is by far the best condition for a religion such as Islam to thrive – it can’t be top dog*, but neither can any other religion, or for that matter can secularists discriminate against the religious.

    Anyway, to Western non muslim eyes talk of a Caliphitic State looks like a receipe for a theocracy and they never ever end up well. Anywhere.

    *Avoiding a body count of lefty aethists like me.

  128. Usman — on 5th April, 2007 at 2:19 am  

    No matter how much criticism can be bought forth about the caliphate it was around for 1400 years and in that time in comparison to western secularism which has only been around for a very short time, in my opinion still has a good record. Previously I mentioned women’s right, I could mention the colonisation of many lands, from the start of secularism up to today, I could mention the disparity between the rich and the poor, I could mention the epidemic societal problems ranging from rape, paedophilia etc, crime which is overwhelming the prisons to the extent there are not enough spaces left, I could mention foreign policy, the pensions crisis and on and on as I’m sure you will respond quite eloquently with the cons of Islamic history, none of which will end in a fruitful discussion.

    Unfortunately there is no living example of the Caliphate today but it is the aspirations of Muslims worldwide for it to return once again. As to your point that the caliphate is appropriate for “the medieval period” I would disagree with you, under that pretext would you consider democracy as being out dated as it is even older that Islam some what 1000 years older? No I didn’t think so.

    Modernity for all those who claim to be modern carries specific connotations of the Enlightenment mission, defined as emancipation from self-imposed infancy i.e. from religion. This mission resulted in the development of secularism and the banishing of the Church, its teachings and its dogma to the private sphere. The adoption of secularism then gave rise to new ideals for society, namely human rights, equality and freedom. Soon this historical process was termed ‘modernism’. For secularists, the adoption of secular liberal values is termed modern and anything not compatible with such values is backward and no different to the medieval Church.

    The crux of the argument then is on whether Islam is modern rather than if it concurs with ‘modernity’. For something to be modern it needs to be applicable for all times and places rather then just agree with secular liberal values. Essentially Islam is not part of ‘modernity’ in this sense as its own values; basis and viewpoint differ from the secular basis. The questions we need to ask is can Islam actually work in the modern age. This means is Islamic legislation (Shari’ah) suitable to solve the problems of every age and remain consistent with its own unique basis, without deviating from that basis. With this the validity of Islam as modern can be measured equitably.

    If one looks at Islam it can be deduced that Islamic legislation came to solve the problems humans will encounter in the course of their lives. The Shari’ah in no way is merely a list of do’s and don’ts.

    Sociologists and psychologists such as Weber, Durkheim and Freud after studying empirical evidences could never reach solid consensus on what the human problems were. During their respective times they concluded these problems were many ranging from fear, earning of wealth, procreation, survival and worship etc. Some of these problems are instincts that we know already exist whilst others are still to be found and require incorporation into the body of study when discovered. This was their attempt at looking at the reality of humans in order to define the human problem. The context of this discussion is the looking at the reality of the human being; therefore we are looking at the human being regardless of time and place, as there is no difference between humans today compared to fourteen centuries ago as well as to the human twenty centuries into the future. Human needs and instincts remain the same regardless of external factors.

    The validity of Ideology is in the strength of its basis, if there is to be a serious dialogue then this is where it needs to be. So the task at hand for secularists is to prove secularism as a concept.

  129. The Common Humanist — on 5th April, 2007 at 9:23 am  

    Usman

    This rambling discourse is much appreciated.

    “Modernity for all those who claim to be modern carries specific connotations of the Enlightenment mission, defined as emancipation from self-imposed infancy i.e. from religion. This mission resulted in the development of secularism and the banishing of the Church, its teachings and its dogma to the private sphere. The adoption of secularism then gave rise to new ideals for society, namely human rights, equality and freedom. Soon this historical process was termed ‘modernism’. For secularists, the adoption of secular liberal values is termed modern and anything not compatible with such values is backward and no different to the medieval Church”"

    And within such a framework – with appropriate respect and due to the religions that live within it then society can and does do very well. Particularly religious communities.

    Having to endure the slings and arrows of free speech is a tiny price to pay for not living under dictatorship.

    The problem with Shari’ah is that much of it is Islamic Judicial opinion from Islams expansionist phase in the Maghreb, Middle and Near Easts – C8-C11. So its medieval military law. This creates enormous problems for non muslims who see it as harsh, anti women and anti non muslims. Also, in countries with Shariah there always seems to be an undercurrent of violence or certainly the threat of violence towards sections of society that have differences from an Islamic fundamentalist POV. Shariah’s problem is that it is the opinion of fallible man (judicial opinion from 1300 years ago) in the cloak of the word of a god. When these two factors collide, irrespective of the belief system, tt never ever ends well as humans tend to interpret it as a licence for violence against the perceived transgressors.

    A system of belief that needs ‘religious police’ is in trouble. Which is a shame because there is much to commend within Islam – hospitality, charity and the strong position of the family within Muslim societies.

    “”Sociologists and psychologists such as Weber, Durkheim and Freud after studying empirical evidences could never reach solid consensus on what the human problems were. During their respective times they concluded these problems were many ranging from fear, earning of wealth, procreation, survival and worship etc. Some of these problems are instincts that we know already exist whilst others are still to be found and require incorporation into the body of study when discovered. This was their attempt at looking at the reality of humans in order to define the human problem. The context of this discussion is the looking at the reality of the human being; therefore we are looking at the human being regardless of time and place, as there is no difference between humans today compared to fourteen centuries ago as well as to the human twenty centuries into the future. Human needs and instincts remain the same regardless of external factors”"

    Well put. The similarities between human cultural groups are far smaller then the similarities – I wish that our leaders and media would realise this.

    “”The validity of Ideology is in the strength of its basis, if there is to be a serious dialogue then this is where it needs to be. So the task at hand for secularists is to prove secularism as a concept”"

    Agreed. Would you not agree that both systems have strengths and weaknesses and that discussion of such problems is urgent if human society is to progress?
    (i.e. we cannot ignore problems by obscuring them behind religion/culture/freedom etc etc etc)

  130. bananabrain — on 5th April, 2007 at 10:59 am  

    deary me, usman does live in khloud-khuckoo khalifa-land, doesn’t he? i know a fair bit about jewish life in muslim lands and frankly, far from the PC rose-tinted utopia it is painted by some people, like carly fiorina (blimey!) it is notable that the main advantage for jews is that they were better off under the muslims than they were under the christians. it was a “lesser of two evils”. some jews, like the abravanel for example, even did quite well under the christians. but despite the success of people like ibn gabirol and the flowering of sephardic culture, we were still DHIMMI. it was hardly a democracy. that meant distinctive clothing (if not yellow hats at least) not being able to ride a horse, not being able to build your house higher than a muslim, etc etc. plus all of this good stuff only used to happen when the ruling islamic regime was actually quite *lax* – when there were conservative elements running the show, as happened under the almohads and almoravids, the jews were told “convert, leave or die”, just like under the christians. that’s why maimonides had to leave cordoba at 17 and go and live in morocco. and that’s why he eventually ended up in egypt as doctor to the sultan there, because it got too hot for the jews in morocco and spain. and this was in the C11th, way before the reconquista.

    even when the sephardim left spain and were welcomed in by the turks (the ottoman ruler was quoted as saying something along the lines of “what an idiot – he chucks out his most economically productive and useful citizens! well, they’re welcome here: his loss, my gain. muwahahahahahaaa.”) they were still subject to the restrictions of their millet just like the christians and were hardly equal citizens in the way people are in a democracy. i guess what i am saying is don’t mistreat history in order to suck up to people.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  131. Arif — on 5th April, 2007 at 11:28 am  

    What bananabrain says above about the reality of repressive fashions and rewriting of history to suit current agendas is a key issue for me.

    Muslims calling for Khalifa sometimes describe it as glorious, but that is not the only reason. More often they explain to me why they think it is a Muslim’s duty to aim for one and then treat questions about human rights as quibbling over details which reflect a lack of faith.

    Well, there is good reason to quibble over these details, as we can see from history, and from all the current regimes of actual existing Muslim States, which everyone including HuT seems to agree don’t live up to good Muslim standards. So surely the key issue (if current regimes are so corrupt, cruel and hypocritical) is to understand exactly – in detail – how we will avoid a Khalifa being corrupt, cruel and hypocritical.

    If strong exponents of Khalifa (such as HuT) don’t show the highest standards of humanity and consistency in opposing oppression, then I can’t see any reason that the regime they construct would be any better than all the others we have.

    At best, they might argue their model of Khalifa is better than other societies by their own standards, and any dissenter with other standard is being unIslamic (however piously they derive their own standards). And so it doesn’t seem much better than the Saudi model. They are free to try to convince me otherwise, but seem uninterested in doing so – because they have a faith in the Khalifa.

  132. The Common Humanist — on 5th April, 2007 at 12:03 pm  

    Arif,
    Spot on – A Khalifa doesn’t seem like a model of open and accountable government.

    Its worth bearing in mind the original Caliphate(s) fell apart over succession and scism, the Ottoman Empire was called the ‘sick man of europe’ and with good reason – it was hopelessly corrupt.

    In Tehran the joke goes – If you see a Mercedes, its a Mullahs.

    So hopefully Usman will eventually see that islam does best when it is a religion and not a political ideology and that it flourishes best in free, pluralistic societies – Muslims just need the strength of faith to be able to take the rigours of free speech, thats all.

    I also cannot help but notice that the freer and more pluralistic a muslim country, the better it does for its citizens. And before anyone mentions Saudi take the oil away and they are nothing. Even with the oil they have 20% unemployment.

    Cheers

    The Common Humanist

  133. Sahil — on 5th April, 2007 at 12:06 pm  

    “Even with the oil they have 20% unemployment.”

    SO they say, its probably even worse than that.

  134. The Common Humanist — on 5th April, 2007 at 12:26 pm  

    On the brightside though, if there are further islamist coups and then states around the world then shortly afterwards the best and brightest will leave for the West.

    So for Britain, when the eventual Taliban-esque takeover of Pakistan occurs, the net impact could be very positive for Us. Lots of well educated, liberal urban Pakistanis will come here.

  135. Usman — on 5th April, 2007 at 4:28 pm  

    The rule of law
    The arbitrary rule by the whim of self-appointed presidents and kings that has plagued Iraq and the whole Middle East is anathema to the principle of the rule of law within Islam’s political system. The application of the law is in the hands of an independent judiciary that has a special section called the ‘court of unjust acts’ whose task is to investigate impropriety on the part of members of the executive against the people.
    As for individual wrongdoing – the Khalifah is subject to the same laws and penalties as the rest of the people because he is not considered a sovereign over his subjects. The same cannot be said for the Queen of England – she is, constitutionally speaking, the law itself making it a logical impossibility for her to be subject and sovereign at the same time. Former US President Bill Clinton’s tenure should remind everyone of the events that demonstrate how some men can be above the law in Western government
    with or without a monarchy. We prefer that all the people, including the Caliph(ruler of the caliphate), be subject to the law.

    Representative government
    The finer application of the concept of representation in government is a matter of considerable debate in Western political philosophy. The first political use of the concept is commonly referred back to Thomas Hobbes in the seventeenth century as referring to: “one (legal) person acting on behalf of a group of people, as in the first and still the most influential discussion in political theory.” [Thomas Hobbes, Hobbes's Leviathan Chapter 16, 1651]The conceptual basis of the Khalifah is also considered one of representation, though the logic by which the concept arises is different to the path taken by Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes’ representative derives authority from an assumed human state of nature to become an absolute sovereign who predates law. The Caliph is considered a representative of the people in the sense of implementing pre-existing societal rules that were addressed to the society as a collective whole but require embodiment in an authority tasked with implementation of these rules on behalf of the society. The Caliph is appointed to his position according to the will of the people. The process is called ‘baya’ [literally voluntary pledge] in Arabic and can assume many styles including voting by ticking a card, text messaging or email. The consultative (shura) assembly is the arm of state that will oversee the process whenever the position of Caliph becomes vacant.

  136. Chairwoman — on 5th April, 2007 at 5:03 pm  

    Personally I, in company with the vast majority of citizens of this country, am not in anyway interested in living under a Caliphate.

    I do not understand why this is even being discussed.

    This is Great Britain, a Christian in name but actually secular nation where the vast majority of people do not practice or wish to practice Islam.

    Under those circumstances, unless Islam is going to conquer with the sword, this discussion is frankly purely academic.

    Even I, horribly aware of the apathy of the Brit in the Street, doubt that they’d let themselves be carried apathetically into a Caliphate.

  137. Sid Love — on 5th April, 2007 at 5:12 pm  

    Exactly Chairy aunty. Which is why the HuT will always be no more than a overhyped, overregarded groupuscule of bedroom revolutionaries that create a lot of noise but are, ultimately, nothing more than a bunch of deluded cretins.

  138. Chairwoman — on 5th April, 2007 at 5:20 pm  

    Sid – May I wish you a happy, and extremely smokey, Easter weekend.

  139. Arif — on 5th April, 2007 at 5:27 pm  

    Chairwoman, if you will allow me my arcane debate….

    Usman, since you have been very patient and thoughtful in your explanations, I wonder if you could help me with the kinds of details that interest, when considering the importance of establishing a Khalifa.

    How do I become a law-maker?
    How do I remove a law-maker?
    How is the judiciary appointed?
    How do I challenge unjust laws (as opposed to acts)?
    What safeguards are there against torture?
    What safeguards are there against police brutality?
    What protections are there for minorities?
    How are these safeguards implemented and by whom?
    If minorities feel the system is not serving them, what is their means of redress?
    If some people indulge in haraam activities (in the eyes of the Khalifah) which they believe to be halal (due to a difference in interpretation) what would happen to them.
    If the Khalifah permits activities which some people believe are haraam, how would they persuade the Khalifah to change their opinion?
    If there is corruption to such an extent that the arms of government work against the people, how can they legitimately change the Khalifah or the judiciary?
    Does the Khalifah allow religious minorities their own criminal or civil law system?
    Does the Khalifah allow either different madhabs or sects to have their own civil and/or criminal law?
    Is civil disobedience a right in any particular circumstances?
    Are labour unions permitted?
    What kinds of demonstrations are permitted?
    Are there any circumstances where anyone would be punished for non-violent beliefs?
    Would privacy or any other principles be protected constitutionally? Which principles? And would that allow the judiciary to over-rule the Khalifah’s laws?

    I understand that these may be too many questions to answer in one go, but it may be helpful to our understanding to give your view on the issues that would differ most from the human rights systems declared by non-Muslim regimes.

  140. sonia — on 5th April, 2007 at 5:38 pm  

    “No matter how much criticism can be bought forth about the caliphate it was around for 1400 years and in that time in comparison to western secularism which has only been around for a very short time, in my opinion still has a good record.”

    yeah well you forgot to mention SLAVERY!

    ‘oh yes we must uphold our religion. we could let our slaves go – or hang on, we could have sex with them.’

    PUH-LEESE!

  141. sonia — on 5th April, 2007 at 5:40 pm  

    and yes – of course others were up to the same no-good – but that’s no excuse for enshrining something in RELIGIOUS LAW. saying well the secularist were at it – yeah everyone was at it. so what’s the point of religion then – if they can’t rise up above the rest – well its one thing if you’re an individual – its another saying right let’s regulate in the name of God. in fact it’s worse because its pretending there is divine sanction.

  142. sonia — on 5th April, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

    arif – 131 – good points

    everyone always says ‘oh no islamic state on earth’ but then by that definition there ain’t never going to be . seems to me some people equate islam with perfection, and that may be all very good and well but last time i looked it was humans stuck on this earth and we sure are fallible. Usman my friend you need a long look at history . you might also ask yourself why you’re not calling yourself Uthman! shouldn’t you be all proper and write arabic like it should be written instead of the way south asians write it. not much harking back to the glorious past is it otherwise.

  143. Chairwoman — on 5th April, 2007 at 5:57 pm  

    Arif @ 139 – I really look forward to Usman’s answer to your extremely well-considered questions.

  144. bananabrain — on 5th April, 2007 at 6:24 pm  

    *claps for arif*

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  145. Usman — on 5th April, 2007 at 7:51 pm  

    Arif thankx for that, gosh thats alot… I’l see what i can do. it wont be all at once, il try and cover as many of those points as possible.

    An overview of the Caliphate system of ruling
    The Khilafah is a political system from the ideology of Islam that enshrines: the rule of law, representative government, accountability by the people through an independent judiciary and the principle of representative consultation. It is government built upon a concept of citizenship regardless of ethnicity, gender or creed and is totally opposed to the oppression of any religious or ethnic grouping.

    The highest executive post is the post of Khalifah who appoints ministers without portfolio to assist in ruling and governors (Walis) for the various regions. The legislative sources are the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. While differences of interpretation of these sources can occur, as with any legislative sources, the particular interpretation adopted by the Khalifah must be justified before an independent judiciary, which has the power to remove him from his post should he flagrantly deviate from the boundaries of credible legal interpretation (ijtihad) or the terms of his contract with the citizens of the state.

    The Caliph is appointed by the people and hereditary rule by supposed divine right is forbidden. Consultation is one of the pillars of ruling and is best served by the establishment of representative councils composed of men and women from all religions and ethnic groupings within the state. While this system differs from Western liberal democracy in a number of ways, there are some surface similarities. It must however be realised that though Muslims in Iraq [and elsewhere] sometimes use the term democracy it is the Islamic concept of the rule of law, the right of the people to appoint their own leader and open accountable government that they aspire to. This has hitherto been denied them by the Western backed quisling regimes that have taken away all their political rights and whipped their backs. As an example the darker side of Egypt’s façade of democracy is commented upon by Mona Makram- Ebeid, a prominent Egyptian politician and human-rights activist “They [the government] always manage to get a hold of Islamist leaders and put them in jail, then release them when the elections are over.” Egypt’s President Mubarak has won a majority in each of the four elections held since his appointment twenty five years ago – what helped him was that nobody dared to stand against him and if they did have the audacity to stand, as Ayman Nour did in the most recent elections, then they were jailed on trumped up charges. The Middle East’s experience of democracy to date is of a deceptive formality of elections, which serve only to rubber stamp dictatorial rule. Failure in the West, to realise this has led to frustration in the Muslim world, but perhaps explains why the Muslims of Iraq appear ungrateful to the West for removing Saddam Hussain and offering in his place Western style liberal secular democracy.

  146. Usman — on 5th April, 2007 at 7:58 pm  

    Khalifah/ Caliph means ruler of Caliphate/ Khilafah

  147. Usman — on 5th April, 2007 at 8:01 pm  

    Accountable open government
    Linked closely to the concept that the Caliph is a representative of the people in adopting and implementing divine rules over the society is the concept of accountability. It is a right of the people to question or criticise the decisions of the ruler because he is a servant of the people ruling on their behalf. The widely quoted saying of the first Khalif Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq with which he began his rule encapsulates his perception of ruling as securing the rights of all people without distinction: “by Allah, he that is weakest among you shall be in my sight the strongest, until I have vindicated for him his rights; but him
    that is strongest will I treat as the weakest, until he complies.” The Khilafah system does not permit corporate interests to hijack government at the expense of the interests of the people that it is meant to serve.

  148. Katy Newton — on 5th April, 2007 at 8:22 pm  

    Arif, you are a lawyer. I know you are. I know you are.

  149. El Cid — on 6th April, 2007 at 2:18 pm  

    Usman,
    You didn’t really address Arif’s points specifically, now did you. It’s one thing to provide a text book overview of an ancient body of thought, and quite another to apply it to the demanding circumstances of modern society — let’s call it the difference between a 2:2 and a 1st.
    This bayah contract thing — that’s the glue holding it altogether huh? Sounds like something I could really depend on. Kinda reminds me of Fuenteovejuna, a play by Lope de Vega, when the people rebel against the evil Don and are protected by a natural justice. Course its a 16th Century play and needs to be understood in its historical context and not taken too literally, otherwise it’s bollox, a bit like the Bible, Torah, Koran, and dare I say it The Republic, Das Kapital, Leviathan, et al.
    Anyone who thinks one book holds all the answers is seriously deranged and dangerous to boot.

  150. Usman — on 6th April, 2007 at 2:55 pm  

    El cid
    I aint finished yet on Arifs points, but don’t worry I will respond to your last comment. Oh and by the way making childish comments in response to an argument just proves you have nothing of substance to say. So please do try to be sincere and bring a real argument to the debate.

  151. El Cid — on 6th April, 2007 at 3:05 pm  

    I was being sincere.
    If you were seriously interested in addressing the points Arif made you would have done so directly, but instead you give the impression of some one who likes to corner an audience and bore them to death with everything he knows about a particular subject.
    You wanna talk with the big boys, then raise your game, drop the cut and paste rambling stylee.

    And if you want me to cut you some slack, how about holding your hands up and admitting your historical gaffe about Spain earlier on. Or are you just gonna let it sit there. I know it hurts to admit it, but moslems can be imperialists too.

  152. Usman — on 6th April, 2007 at 3:43 pm  

    regardless of what style it is its a response, as much as i do like this topic im not going to write a book for you or arif or anyone else for that matter, so the next best thing you can expect is an overview. Like it or lump it.
    In terms of cutting me slack its okay carry on all i request is that you be sincere about it.

  153. Usman — on 6th April, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

    Surely dictatorship?

    Amongst the fanfare that surrounds democratisation in this post 9/11 climate, it is often easy to forget that a number of western political philosophers had their own reservations about its workability. Rousseau thought democracy would only work if one could guarantee that the public would always vote in the interest of the collective – the ‘general will’- not selfish, individual interests and went on to articulate a rather stringent, almost unworkable, set of social conditions he believed would achieve that. Despite his elaborate works on a theory of direct democracy, he nonetheless says: “If we take the term in the strict sense, there never has been a real democracy, and there never will be. It is against the natural order for many to govern and the few to be governed.”10 John Stuart Mill believed a democracy should afford the intelligent and educated greater voting power to protect society from the tyranny of the ignorant majority for that would be the result of simple majority rule, and his proposed representative – over Rousseau’s direct democracy – is for its critics no less a move away from the essence of democracy itself. But while Rousseau, Mill and others tried to fill the gaps, one of the biggest critics of democracy per se was Plato. His guardianship by philosopher-rulers – or ‘benevolent dictatorship’ more crudely put – was he believed better at delivering good governance and justice than a democracy because in classical Greek, the word ‘demos’ is the ‘mob’ as much as it is the ‘people’, and so democracy is no less the rule of the mob than it is the rule of the people. Of relevance to our discussion, such theories represent nodes on the spectrum of western political theory, with democracy at one end and – because of his wholesale rejection of democracy and thus thought to represent the alternative – Plato’s dictatorship at the other: if not democracy, rule by the people, then the alternatives are considered either rule by theos, the few, or one.

    The Islamic political system’s rejection of democracy does not render it a form of dictatorial government, as one may conclude if confining its study strictly to the above spectrum. The Caliphate is not a dictatorship for authority lies with the people not the head of state; nor is it premised on the belief that the office of the Caliph is a privileged position beyond the law, the occupant of which can be trusted to manage the affairs of the society without being accounted for how he does so. The Caliph, like every other citizen, is a subject of the law, not beyond it, and an independent judiciary can act to curtail his activities and even remove him. Sovereignty belongs to divine law, but humans understand it and apply it; this human exercise, though entrusted to the Caliph to make final legal adoption, is subject to considerable human accountability and herein lies the distinction between the Caliphate and the totalitarian dictators that were the scourge of the last century.

    Conclusion

    The Caliphate system does not resemble any of the world’s current political structures. It is nether similar to western liberal models – which few may contest – and represents a sharp contradiction to the dictatorships, monarchies and totalitarian governments that litter the Muslim world. The Islamic political system does not grant authority to a divinely appointed individual or to a clergy, nor does it lie in the hands of one individual and thus the Caliphate is neither a theocracy nor a dictatorship; it is a representative system of governance albeit quite different in the sources of law to the western state, and so neither is it a democracy: it is a distinct model of governance.

    We are, possibly, in need of a new set of terms to describe the Islamic system in rhetoric familiar to a western audience for it is characterised by a distinct set of political ideas and political relationships unfamiliar to western political theory. That alone is a big undertaking, but will only be of use if it is first recognised that the Islamic system has of its own a political tradition, extensive corpus of political literature and, indeed, a considerable precedent through the Caliphate’s thirteen hundred year history. Talk of future political models for the Muslim world must acknowledge not only this, but the Caliphate is with indigenous precedent, founded on a value system consistent with, not alien to, those of Muslim populations. The prospect of the Caliphate emerging in the near future would mark an end to the repressive political architectures that plague the Muslim and represent a departure from the ailing dynasties, dictators and monarchs who now come under pressure from both their own populations and the west. Such an event could either be hailed as a significant move forward or condemned as step into the past; but it would be unfortunate if, even after increasing awareness, such opinions lie on a western-Muslim fault line.

  154. soru — on 6th April, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

    1 Every individual must have all his basic needs (food, clothing and shelter) guaranteed completely by the State.
    2 Education at a primary and secondary level should be provided by the State for boys and girls, men and women and for all citizens.
    3 The State should provide free health care for all, not prevent the use of private medical services.
    4 The State is responsible for looking after the security of all of its citizens, against any domestic or foreign threat.
    5 The State should use public property on behalf of any of the citizens’ interests. Resources such as oil, gas and other vital natural resources cannot be privatised due to the legal injunction from the saying of the Prophet: ‘People are partners in three: water, green pastures and fire’ (here ‘fire’ is understood to cover all fuel types).

    Would you agree that the UK state scores higher on those 5 areas than Jordan, Turkey, Iran or any other muslim-majority state?

    Wouldn’t that mean, if you are being honest and consistent, that the UK form of government is closer to the islamic ideal than any existing nominally islamic state?

    If not, why not?

  155. Soso — on 6th April, 2007 at 5:00 pm  

    So surely the key issue (if current regimes are so corrupt, cruel and hypocritical) is to understand exactly – in detail – how we will avoid a Khalifa being corrupt, cruel and hypocritical.

    If strong exponents of Khalifa (such as HuT) don’t show the highest standards of humanity and consistency in opposing oppression, then I can’t see any reason that the regime they construct would be any better than all the others we have.

    Good point.

    “Usman” is firmly locked in orbit around planet Islam.

    His eschatological desire for “heavan-on-earth”, constructed by humans in accordance with so-called divinely inspired laws is a recipe for disaster.

    The outcome of such an enterprise will always be failure, and that failure will be blamed on human beings who will then be called upon to ratchet up the *purity* levels so that the Caliphate (considered “inevitable” by shrill Islamists) can better unfold.

    Human beings are incapable of perfection, so even when the societal game plan ( theory/ideology/theology) appears fool-proof, the resulting polity is always an awkward and dysfuntional excretion whose defects and flaws will be blamed on particulars, on individuals.

    A reign of terror ensues as suspects are rounded up, their purity questioned and found to be wanting.

    Slowly, with the passage of time, human activity grinds to a near halt. Creativity, innovation and incentive are to be shunned, representing, as they do, the potential to introduce unknown elements, and therefore imperfection, into the stasis.

    What you get is not “perfection”, but an immobile human desert in which no one does much of anything for fear of upsettng the static balance.

    We saw a fine example of this a few years back in Afganistan.

    First song, dance and, of course, booze went out the window. Then it was the turn of movie theaters and after that videos. The caliphate didn’t unfold, however, and so next women were placed under virtual house arrest; the logic being that their near complete removal from the public sphere would somehow eradicate troublesome impurites. Failure followed, of course, and so it was then agreed upon to stop educating women. When that became insufficient, it was decided that kite flying would be banned. When that didn’t work the Islamist vanguard finally stooped to banning laughing out loud in public. In fact, by the time the Taliban regime fell the daily routine of most Afgans had been reduced to the most basic huan acts of just eating, sleeping and praying.

    The living dead inhabiting a human desert, a desert devoid of human sin because it was devoid of human activity.

    Both Judaism and Christianity eschew any possibility of perfection in this life; that rejection being the very cornerstone of both faiths, in fact.

    Islam has neither the humility nor the meekness to fess up to THE salient point of the human prediament and THE salient point of the Abrahamic world-view; an irredeemable and unremovable( in this life anyhow) state of imperfection. Right from the get-go its core texts arrogantly and incorrectly claim to offer humanity a path to earthly perfection, and it is willing to go to any extreme, as we’ve seen in Afganistan, to eliminate the endless obstacles (human impurities) that stand in its way.

    Create a human desert, call it “peace”, and then call it a day.

    Same old, same old.

    Judaism and Christianity have their “millinarists”, for sure. The extremist settlers in Israel who pitch stones at secular individuals who dare to *move* on the Sabbath are a Jewish example. The fundamentalist Evangeicals who feel they can midwife and rush the rapture by sparking an incident in the Middle-East are an excellent Christian example.

    In both these cases, and unlike in Islam, these fringe groups are kept under controle by the leash of scripture; they can only go so far until the dog-collar of their core texts yanks their necks. Both faiths are wise, then, and imbued with built-in limits, checks and balances to rein in and chastise religious fascism and its practioners.

    Islam, unfortunately, despite its talk of Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Mary is vastly different in this respect. It has a very poor and very unimaginative grasp of human nature and all the imperfections human nature entails. This defect leaves its adherents vulnerable to the intoxicating siren-calls of a Caliphate, to a futile striving, by ANY means necessary, for a world of earthly perfection that never, ever existed and never will.

    Unlike Judaism and Christianity, it puts no water in its wine.

  156. El Cid — on 6th April, 2007 at 5:34 pm  

    i’d take your references to sincerity more seriously if you admitted to your mistakes. your repeated reluctance to do so makes me question your motives.

  157. Katy Newton — on 6th April, 2007 at 6:01 pm  

    I was thinking about this earlier. Pretty much every system assumes that the people running it will (a) be in a position to decide what is best for the people who are subject to it, and (b) will actually do what is best for the people running it. If that was the case, then every political system would work perfectly regardless of its constitution. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a dictatorship if the dictator chooses to listen to the wishes of his people and generally makes decisions that everyone more or less agrees with.

    The problem is that most people genuinely believe that they are well-intentioned and that they know what is best for everyone. Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin and Stalin and Saddam Hussein probably all genuinely believed that they were doing what was best for their people and where they broke their own rules I should think they justified it on the grounds that they worked very hard and deserved a few perks, like having lots of luxury cigars and foods and palaces when whilst telling the people you ruled that such things were bourgeois, or, er, chopping your wife up and putting her in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.

    It seems to me that the best way to resolve this is to have a system that is run by the people. I think that a lot of Britain’s problems can be traced to a “subject” mentality. We haven’t really got used to being citizens. In America (yes, I know you hate them, but listen), the system is based on government upwards from the people. That’s why they aren’t ashamed of enforcing their human rights: they believe that they are entitled to them. Here the very concept of human rights often evokes a sneer. I’ve even heard people saying stuff like, “Rights? Who needs RIGHTS? We didn’t have rights in my day” (etc etc). Why? Because we still feel like subjects. I’m not actually anti the monarchy as a figurehead, but I think we need to get past that.

    If you ask me, what this means is that Britain needs more democracy, not less. I can’t see that a Caliphate wouldn’t end up with exactly the same problems as democracy or any other system, except that as far as I can see there is no mechanism for the people to opt for a different form of government, or even for different people in government, if things start to go wrong.

    I like democracy. I don’t think it’s a perfect system, but as someone said in earlier no system is perfect. I don’t want to replace it with a theocracy, and that is what the Caliphate is, because it claims to have divine authority for its laws and because it distinguishes between its subjects on the basis of their religion.

    I’m going to take a stand and say: I think democracy is better than theocracy. I wouldn’t want to live under a Caliphate. If other people in other countries do, that’s up to them, but if the Caliphate comes here then by jingo I’m moving…

    … rambling over…

  158. Katy Newton — on 6th April, 2007 at 6:05 pm  

    it distinguishes between its subjects on the basis of their religion

    Someone is probably going to point out, rightly, that there is much religious and racist discrimination in this country. I accept that. But it doesn’t come from the letter of the law; a great deal of effort is expended in making the laws race, religion and most recently gender/sexuality neutral. Where there is discrimination it comes from the mindset of the person applying the law. That’s wrong, and shouldn’t happen – but at least the laws themselves can be applied in a way that doesn’t discriminate.

  159. Usman — on 6th April, 2007 at 6:17 pm  

    Soru as iv mentioned numerous times before there is no Islamic state existent in the world today but these are secular governments, muslim majority states do not constitute and Islamic state. These states are noting like what has been described above. If it isn’t the Caliphate it isn’t Islamic because the style of governance is not from Islam’s political framework. The Taliban never claimed to be a Caliphate and once again like I have mentioned many times was not an Islamic state.

    “The outcome of such an enterprise will always be failure” An assumption made on what you see in the muslim world today unfortunately is weak for reasons mentioned in the last paragraph.

    The validity of Ideology is in the strength of its basis, if there is to be a serious dialogue then this is where it needs to be. Before any secularists can make the claim that Secularism is the only model by which human beings can elevate themselves successfully and is the epitome of civilisation then you need to prove the concept of secularism to be correct. I will patiently await an answer.

    Above is an overview of Islams political model in a nut shell, some may say well we don’t want this model thank you very much which is fair, however it is the aspirations of the muslims in the muslim world to have such a system applied upon them and my point is that Islam is a political Ideology distinct from all others and why should the muslims in the muslim world have democracy forced upon them through military force like we see in Iraq?

    We can argue with each other on petty issues and come to no agreement, but I hope we can agree that like people in the west don’t want to be governed by an Islamic model, people in muslim countries should not be forced to have democracy forced down their throats down the barrel of a gun as they have their own way of doing things.

    Western forces should remove their occupation from these lands as they are making things more unstable and are making the threat of terrorist acts greater in the UK and the west in general, in turn making us all unsafe.

    Muslims in the muslim world should be left to decide their own political destiny. I don’t see how anyone can disagree with this.

  160. Sunny — on 6th April, 2007 at 7:18 pm  

    Usman – what is this cut and paste rubbish? This is not a place to do that. You can link to stuff, but we’re having a disussion here. You address other people’s points rather than copy and pasting vast swathes of text no one is going to bother reading.

    Anyway, theocracies are a pile of crap. The sooner people realise that the better. It’s like communism part 2. The basic idea- that you can construct the perfect state by giving a self-appointed bunch of people supreme power has always been a stupid idea.

  161. Katy Newton — on 6th April, 2007 at 8:23 pm  

    I do agree with you, Usman. If people want to live (in? under? what’s the preposition here, people?) a Caliphate then that’s up to them. I am very much against the idea of forcing democracy on anyone – history shows that even the most oppressed of people will rise up and take democracy for themselves when they’ve had enough of their current system, and I don’t believe in messing with that. If you try to force democracy on people before they’re ready, all that happens is you force them to hold an election and they promptly vote for whatever party will continue system they had before anyway.

    So I agree with you on that. I don’t agree that the Caliphate is preferable to democracy, if that’s what you’re arguing… I’ve sort of lost track of the arguments on this thread now, though. Oh look, there’s Sunny. Hello Sunny.

  162. William — on 6th April, 2007 at 8:33 pm  

    Communism looks good on paper. Also the ex Soviet Union claimed itself to be democratic. But of course this had to be within the limits of a
    version/pretence of socialism. There is as we know a system of voting in Iran again within strictly defined limits. It seems to me that secular democracy despite its own limits still provides more laterality for checks and opposition to human fallibility. If a system of governance has a claimed divine source for its primary structure as well as its boundaries then that is still a theocracy. True opposition still comes from the means to question what we may not like to have questioned this may include questioning the validity of the primary source of knowledge whether that source underpins is for example Marxism, religion or even science or atheism. To this we could add the question “well what about being able to question liberal democracy itself” well we can but I would also ask is there still more laterality in the dynamics of liberal democracy itself than in the others on offer.

  163. Usman — on 6th April, 2007 at 8:52 pm  

    Hi sunny nice of you to join us again, if you want to complain then your barking up the wrong tree my friend i was simply responding to certain people showing an interest in the islamic model.

    But hey as you are back majbe you could add something constructive to the debate. Therocracy is mentioned above in an earlier comment if you havent read it i think you should.

  164. El Cid — on 6th April, 2007 at 8:58 pm  

    i refer the gentleman to #156

  165. soru — on 6th April, 2007 at 11:58 pm  

    Soru as iv mentioned numerous times before there is no Islamic state existent in the world today but these are secular governments

    It might be more accurate to say they are not Usmanocracies, as they do not meet your personal standards, and someone has apparently appointed you as the judge and jury on these things.

    Above is an overview of Islams political model in a nut shell, some may say well we don’t want this model thank you very much which is fair, however it is the aspirations of the muslims in the muslim world to have such a system applied upon them and my point is that Islam is a political Ideology distinct from all others and why should the muslims in the muslim world have democracy forced upon them through military force like we see in Iraq?

    So, in short, you think a thought, write down an idea, come up with a novel political structure, and call that idea Islam. Then you ask any muslim ‘is Islam good?’, and you find their answer sufficient justification for your political program. If people would vote, argue or fight against it, that doesn’t matter, because they are bad or worthless people: they oppose Islam.

    Is that a sincere belief of yours, or just a conscious propaganda technique?

  166. Usman — on 7th April, 2007 at 12:56 am  

    Soru
    “It might be more accurate to say they are not Usmanocracies, as they do not meet your personal standards, and someone has apparently appointed you as the judge and jury on these things. “
    It may be more accurate? I cant see how you came to that conclusion, maybe you would like to elaborate. It may be that people like yourself would like Islam to be secular, unfortunately it isn’t, Islam is political, and as for or those who have not sensed the overwhelming desire in the Arab and Muslim world for an Islamic system there is good empirical evidence for this in the public domain. In the 2004 Zogby poll those surveyed in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE said the clergy should play a greater role in their politicalsystems and as many as 47% of Egyptians supported a greater role for the clergy[Zogby International-Sadat Chair Poll University of Maryland, 2004]. In a recent Gallup poll of ten mostly Muslim countries, the organisation found that in states such as Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Bangladesh, a majority of the people asked said Sharia, or Islamic law, should be the only source of legislation. In four other countries, a majority said Sharia must be a source of law, although not the only source.

  167. douglas clark — on 7th April, 2007 at 4:33 am  

    Katy,

    And there you were, just chillin’ at post 121. See what you started with that chillin’ shit?

    My tuppenceworth.

    Usman:

    You want Islam to be political. I doubt most Muslims see it that way, but what the hell, we’ll grab the headlines, be the vanguard. It is awefully reminiscent of left wing groups like Derek Hatton’s Militant Tendency. They, too, claimed to be the true faith, the upholders of a purer form of Socialism. Who remembers them now? You probably subscribe to the completely ludicrous HuT draft constitution. Tell me why I, as an atheist should give you anything but a raspberry? You make exemptions for other Abrahamic faiths, although they are thought of as subservient. What do you do about, fairly well mainstream, total disbelief in any religion whatsoever? You cannot cope with it. That is what you don’t do. You can’t handle it within your belief system, why should you? Equally, why should I handle this nonsense within mine?

    I have argued all along for allowing different beliefs to live beside each other. Your views are the exact opposite. You believe in your religion, fair enough, but you have zero chance of persuading anyone that it is a solution to the world we inhabit.

    I used to like anarchy. Would you like to debate that? At it’s finest, it was about not letting anyone whatsoever argue from authority.

  168. Sunny — on 7th April, 2007 at 4:34 am  

    Hello Katy, Usman :)

    The Caliphate and Communism both look good on paper (though the former to my mind doesn’t even look good on HuT’s paper), but it is the reality which is the problem.

    In fact, as many of you many know, Muslim aren’t alone in demanding a state run on the principles of their faith. Many Sikh groups want Khalistan, some Hindu groups want India to turn into a Hindu state and there are of course Christian evangelical groups in the States who want a Christian-run society. As there are Jewish groups I’m sure who want Israel to be run only by Jewish law.

    There are several structural problems with theocracies which go into the heart of why they’ll never work. I’ve written some points down as I hve been planning an article on this for a long time… but the main point is this.

    Theocracies rely on everybody ‘cooperating’ with the system. In other words everyone has to accept the laws laid down for them and they are non-negotiable, otherwise the system falls apart.

    The great thing about democracy is that it is a constantly changing, mutating system that is good in places, bad in others. No one is under the disillusionment that everything is perfect and has to remain the same, so there is constant pressure to change the system as society changes. So the system moves with the people.

    Communism will always fail because it relies, even in theory, everyone equally cooperating with the state. If a large enough people don’t want to contribute to the state directly then the system falls apart. Similarly in a theocracy, there is the assumption everyone will want to and is happy under that exact system for eternity. If people challenge it, then the whole system is undermined, since it is not built for change, and the govt has to crack down harshly on those who want even a little bit of change. So that eventually leads a theocracy to become an absolute dictatorship.

    There is no escaping from that. Even when there were semi-theocracies in Muslim history, for example under the early Caliphs, they were all assassinated. The only Sikh kingdom ever survived for a long time only because Maharaja Ranjit Singh treated all religions equally (even though it was predominantly Sikh), because he knew that treating your citizens differently will eventually lead to unrest and a collapse.

  169. Sunny — on 7th April, 2007 at 4:46 am  

    You believe in your religion, fair enough, but you have zero chance of persuading anyone that it is a solution to the world we inhabit.

    The problem here is that the Arab states are in a dire situation, and that makes Muslims worldwide feel a bit annoyed. Many of them, such as Usman, are still obsessed by the Arab states as their ‘home’ as opposed to the UK/USA etc. Muslims who are likely to see the west as their home forever are unlikely to be pining for a khalifah.

    The Arab states a long time ago went for Socialism, then Pan-Arabism and Islam even around the time of the Iranian revolution in 1979. If you read Ziauddin Sardar’s Desperately Seeking Paradise, he recounts how many Muslims around the world then thought the Khalifah was around the corner and Iran would show how its done. Those dreams have largely crumbled… but now the continued destruction in the Middle East has revived the pipe-dream. I think Malaysia can show the way as a successful Muslim democracy but even that is going backwards in many ways.

  170. douglas clark — on 7th April, 2007 at 5:09 am  

    Sunny,

    Interesting post at 168.

    I’ve been thinking – it hurts – a bit about this. It seems to me, as a hypothesis, that there are folk who subscribe to a static view of society. That change is a bad thing. But that’s not quite right either. They don’t like the society they inhabit, fair enough, who does? But their solution is to revert to a golden age that never was. You could call them the Reverts. They look back through rose tinted glasses to eras past, Empire Loyalists, HuT, Earth First, etc.

    We can get into an arguement which, at it’s roots, means that almost all of us should die off, and return to some sort of garden of Eden where we were all hunter gatherers and, so they say, in tune with nature. Above the roots, and in the shoots of this belief system are those that think only their group should rule. And that any disgusting reverts from their position are less than human. I could argue that about most religious beliefs. Or communism as practiced, or ‘right on’ right wing dictatorships as practiced. Whether they were actually kidding us they were of the right, or of the left. We are caught, in that view of the world in a static or argueably fascist environment, where the boot is in the face forever. Whomsoever is wearing the boot.

    The democratic option, seems to me for all it’s faults, to allow human development, as opposed to power development. That is the thought I cling to. Against the vagaries of those arguing otherwise.

  171. douglas clark — on 7th April, 2007 at 5:31 am  

    Sunny,

    Re your post at 169. I largely agree with what you are saying. What I am attempting to say, perhaps extremely badly, is that looking backwards is no way the same as looking forwards.

    I am not, frankly, too interested in theocratic solutions to the worlds problems.

    The political nuances of the Muslim world are interesting, but are reflected, in part, at least, in the history of the West. We’ve all gone through these phases. Sure, Usman can hold up a model, but we’ve been there, seen it and bought the T shirt. It is no more a solution than Church of Scotland ministries to Africans in the 19th C.

    Anyway, I think Usman should tell us whether he is HuT, or not.

  172. Chairwoman — on 7th April, 2007 at 11:52 am  

    The one thing the majority of Picklers have in common, is that some time in the past, our forebears came to this country looking for a better life.

    They may have come as economic migrants, or to escape repressive regimes, but for whatever reason, this country took them in.

    When they came here, it was not, in the vast majority of cases, their intent to overthrow the British rule of law, and replace it with one from their own culture.

    Under these circumstances, isn’t it churlish not to mention presumptive to even discuss the possibility of a Caliphate in this country.

    Usman, should you and others of your mindset wish to live under Shariah law and within a Caliphate, I will be more than happy to support your desires, but not here. This is not what the majority of the inhabitants of the British Isles want.

    If you want to have Shariah courts to settle domestic and religious disputes, in a similar manner to the Jewish Beth Din, I would not only support you, but do whatever possible to help you, but a Caliphate for this country, sorry, no.

  173. Usman — on 7th April, 2007 at 2:52 pm  

    Douglas Clark
    We can debate about Islam being political or otherwise, but one thing I must point out is that if anyone wants to know about Islam and the nature of it, then they should go to the source rather than the people who are meant to be representatives of it. For example if a sports car was given to an individual who cant drive who then performs badly on a race track does that make the car rubbish? This may not be the best analogy but you know what I’m trying to say. (I hope)

    Some may think that anyone who believes Islam to be political is an innovator who is changing the faith. I do not invent beliefs, anyone who studies the history of Islam from the time of the prophet of Islam, studies the Quran and other Islamic evidences, study the history of the caliphate will see clearly if Islam is political or not. On the contrary, a secular version of Islam is a modern day invention and contradicts history and Islamic evidences.

    It may be the desire of those who see the return of the caliphate as a threat to their Interests in the Muslim world, all their efforts and vending machine scholars can not, unfortunately for them, change the nature of Islam or the desire of Muslims for its establishment in the Muslim world.

    As mentioned earlier the west should stop interfering in the Muslim world and let them decide their own political destiny.

    As to “What do you do about, fairly well mainstream, total disbelief in any religion whatsoever? You cannot cope with it.” Islam is very detailed when it comes to the treatment of non Muslim citizens who, hold citizenship even for atheists as the state views all those who live under its protection as citizens and not discriminate against any of them based on creed, colour language or other differences. Islam is also is very detailed with its economics, ruling, social and other systems which I don’t feel I need to elaborate on for the purpose of this discussion, but if anyone want to know about I am more than happy to explain.

  174. Usman — on 7th April, 2007 at 4:43 pm  

    Sunny
    “I have argued all along for allowing different beliefs to live beside each other. Your views are the exact opposite.”
    My views are not the exact opposite, people of different beliefs should live alongside each other.

    “you have zero chance of persuading anyone that it is a solution to the world we inhabit.”
    You can speak for yourself and other secular fundamentalists maybe.

    “Theocracies rely on everybody ‘cooperating’ with the system. In other words everyone has to accept the laws laid down for them and they are non-negotiable, otherwise the system falls apart.”
    The same can be said in any society regardless of ideology, no citizen of the caliphate is compelled to believe in the Islamic belief, this would be a violation of Islamic law. This is clearly stated in Islamic evidences. Citizens would not be told you must accept our values, you must believe in our political culture, like is done in the west, ironically as it is meant to be tolerant and an upholder of freedom of belief.
    “The great thing about democracy is that it is a constantly changing, mutating system that is good in places, bad in others.”
    You may see this as a good thing, I would argue that is a weakness, why should it have to change, human needs and instincts don’t change.

    We can see that men and women find themselves attracted to the opposite sex and that they have maternal and paternal desires. People throughout the ages have always worshipped something, be it the Creator or something else such as a philosopher, a pop star, a ruler, a superhero, fire, a volcano or a planet. Even Communists make pilgrimage to Lenin’s tomb. This again is an unalterable part of the human make-up that has never changed no matter whether the mode of transport was the camel or Concorde. No one can claim to have two brains, four livers, or three hearts. Likewise they cannot claim to possess instincts other than procreation, survival and reverence. The fundamental point remains therefore that no matter what period or region is considered, humans are fundamentally the same, with the same instincts, needs and desires, irrespective of any other considerations.

    Islam views the human being as composed of instincts and the human problem as the need to continually satisfy them.

    This means the human problems are the same and never actually change. This is because what changes throughout time are the manifestations of instincts and not the instinct themselves. So we will not invent new instincts or a fourth instinct but rather they will remain as these three until the end of time, although over the course of one’s life the manifestation may change. So one may change their religion, change which gender they feel attracted to or even decide there are certain commodities they will not buy due to their effect on the environment but one will still worship something, become agitated through attraction and seek some form of possession.

    In summary, the issue which needs to be accepted is that the Islamic texts came to address men and women as human beings, not just as an individual living in the Arabian desert in the seventh century. It neither addressed humanity with relation to a particular time nor place but rather it addressed humanity whether we were living a century ago, today, or in a 100 years time. The simple issue remains that a human living today is the same human who lived 1400 years ago and will continue to be the same human in another 1400 years time.

    “Communism will always fail because it relies, even in theory, everyone equally cooperating with the state. If a large enough people don’t want to contribute to the state directly then the system falls apart.”

    That’s true, communism failed because it doesn’t agree with the nature of Human beings and as a result is very oppressive, which inevitably led to its collapse.

    “If people challenge it, then the whole system is undermined”
    Accountability, checks and balances form individuals, political parties and state mechanisms are all incorporated within the Islamic model which allow for people of all backgrounds to voice complaints, criticisms, and keep the ruler in check.

    “early Caliphs, they were all assassinated”
    Assassinations of rulers is not specific to any ideology.

    Our quarrelling as to what we think will work or not is neither hear nor there. Like I have mentioned before if there is to be a serious debate about validity of ideology then it has to be at its basis.

    I’m not advocating that there be a caliphate in the UK, but what I’m saying is that western forces should withdraw from Muslim lands and let them decide their own system of governance.

  175. Usman — on 7th April, 2007 at 6:40 pm  

    And also just because a ruler is not assassinated doesnt make him a good ruler and vice versa.

  176. Sunny — on 7th April, 2007 at 6:44 pm  

    No one has said you’re advocating Sharia in the UK, there is zero chance of that happening anyway. I think most Muslims in the ME would also want democracy but Bush is not the best person to sell it to them.

    Your first few points quoted were not made by me.

    Accountability, checks and balances form individuals, political parties and state mechanisms are all incorporated within the Islamic model which allow for people of all backgrounds to voice complaints, criticisms, and keep the ruler in check.

    Not really. A theocracy relies on the idea that the rulers take their word from God. This means they have a specific interpretation of the religious texts that cannot be challenged. So that is your first hurdle because most Muslims don’t have the same intepretation of the texts. Most Muslims want nothing to do with Hizb ut-Tahrir for example and do not agree with their interpretations either.

    You also say people will have the freedom. That is rubbish too. I was in a debate with one of the top HuT people, a woman who wears a jilbaab, and she said that Muslim women in their Khalifah would have to wear a hijab and jilbaab.
    On top of that, non-Muslims in such a system cannot challenge the system, women cannot take top positions in govt and neither can non-Muslims. It’s all there in the HuT constitution. That sounds like discrimination to me mate.

    People cannot actually challenge the system in a theocracy because that means challenging the interpretation of religious texts. And basically that means the system cannot be challenged or changed in anyway to reflect changing attitudes… because people don’t like to accept different intepretations of the same religious text.

    You say human instincts don’t change… that may be true. But human circumstances, ideas, values etc do change, and a democratic system keeps up with that.

    And the point is also that if people do want a change, and your system cannot deal with it, ultimately it will have to use force to keep people in order. In a democracy you can have change or you can keep things the same. In a theocracy you cannot change. And if people want some change, the govt will have to crack down hard on them. However you look at it, it will turn into an oppressive regime like the ones in the ME now.

    There would also be no freedom of speech to challenge the govt or abuse the govt, because they will be spiritual / religious leaders. So for example I can criticise and cuss Tony Blair as much as I want. In a theocracy thats not possible since challenging or criticising the leaders means challenging their religious intepretations or their suitabillity – again in a theocracy that cannot be allowed so the government will have to use force to crack down.

    A good example of this not working in practice is Iran.. and the hudood laws in Pakistan. Everyone knows they are biased against women but they are difficult to challenge within the country because the mullahs say they are directly sanctioned by Islam. What happens if this is the case in your theocracy? It cannot change…

    You can speak for yourself and other secular fundamentalists maybe.

    That means nothing. I’m a secular fundamentalist? What does that mean? I want a strict seperation between the state and religion, that’s all. There is nothing ‘fundamentalist’ about it because thats what secularism means.

  177. Usman — on 8th April, 2007 at 2:02 am  

    Is it a Theocracy?
    Does the place of the Shariah, a divine law, in the Islamic political system render the Caliphate a theocracy? The role of a divine text in ruling marks, for the western mindset, a return to medieval Europe when the excesses and abuses by kings and princes were justified by references to sacred Christian texts. As interpretation was the preserve of the literate Christian clergy and those in power frequently justified their status as acts of divine will, there were no means of challenging official interpretations of sacred law or accounting abuses of power for they would represent a challenge to God’s will, no less an act of blasphemy. It is for this reason that some consider the Islamic ruling system to be concerned principally with the piety of the ruler: if there are no workable mechanisms of checking power in a ‘religious’ state then citizens of a Caliphate, similarly, can rely only on the piety of the Caliph to ensure he does not abuse his position.

    Applying this western understanding of a theocracy on the Islamic political system however fails to acknowledge a number of key points: the Caliphate is neither a theocracy nor its practice similar to medieval Europe. There are some very important differences. Firstly, the head of state in a Caliphate system is not divinely appointed nor can lay claim to divine merit: the people appoint the head of state. The post of Caliph is open to anyone who meets the criteria for a ruler without reference to divine privilege. Secondly, a corollary of the first point, while the head in a theocracy is beyond reproach because of claims to divine right, the Caliph is monitored by numerous institutions, the independent judiciary of which has not just the right but the duty to remove him if he violates the terms of the bayah contract, force him to repeal the adoption of a particular law, demand compensation, declare policy invalid amongst other powers. He is thus not beyond the law, but subject to it as any other citizen. The Islamic political system does not rely on the piety of its head alone as the principal mechanism of accountability as it is a system designed for human beings understanding the potential for human error and malevolence.

    Thirdly, the Caliphate is not rule by clergy, or by a religious elite that claims to have a monopoly on interpreting Islamic law. The head of state may be a jurist or a legal advocate by training, but that is not a condition for assuming the role. And the origin of law being from a series of divine sources, principally the Qur’an and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (sunnah), does not mean there is a limited, or no, role for questioning, debate, disagreement and challenge. The Qur’an is not the constitution of the state as such – it is a source of the constitution. Law has to be derived for new problems; to tackle new issues which have not previously been judged requires the extraction of law from Islamic sources through the mechanism of ijtihad, a process open to all those qualified and is not the preserve of a privileged elite. Ijtihad undertaken by different jurists may result in differences of opinion, disagreement and debate, and in Islam, there is no concept of a Pope to make a declaration of divine preference. The Caliph, as head of state with the responsibility for adopting law, will adopt one opinion to bind society to a set of common standards within a declared legal framework, but that does not prevent further debate and amendment.

    In all, the Caliphate is a system run by fallible human beings who implement law derived from the divine sources of the Shariah over society, removable from office if they violate the terms of their agreement.

  178. Usman — on 8th April, 2007 at 3:37 am  

    “You also say people will have the freedom. That is rubbish too.”
    Freedom in secular societies exists with the general framework of the law, when an individual violates a law, law enforcement mechanisms apply punishment on the individual. In the same way citizens living within the caliphate are also free within the framework of the law, when laws are violated, law enforcement mechanisms will apply punishment.

    As for your comment discriminating against women, under the Caliphate system women had the franchise and participated in the political process from the very beginning of Islamic rule. Not only were women able to vote, but they were able to own property, the wife of the prophet Muhammed, Khadija, was in fact a wealthy businesswoman. The right of women to own property is a relatively recent concept in the West. Education is open to men and women and surely this is a necessity rather than a luxury. Women are, however, limited from holding the ruling posts of Khalifah, Wazir or Wali. The limitation is not explained in terms of superiority or inferiority. In this respect the system does limit the political posts a woman can hold – both in practice and principle. That this limitation seems to so preoccupy those who attack the Islamic system is laughable. Other posts of seniority such as the judges, military, managerial, running universities, teaching in schools and civil service are open to women and men upon merit without distinction. Liberal secular democracies may theoretically offer equal access to these areas but in practice the results are so poor, they do not give any license to offer lectures on the woman’s role in society.

    Whilst in principle the President of the US can be a woman there has never been a woman President. Even if one could emerge soon it is despite the fact that in a statistical sense there should be a fifty per cent chance at any given time.

    “But human circumstances, ideas, values etc do change”
    Once upon a time the common form of transportation was horse back, now we have cars, planes etc, in the future we may have new forms of transportation. However is irrelevant as the needs and instincts of human beings don’t change over time. If a system needs to change then this is enough evidence that the system is not in complete harmony with the nature of the human being.

  179. Katy Newton — on 8th April, 2007 at 10:16 am  

    Women are, however, limited from holding the ruling posts of Khalifah, Wazir or Wali. The limitation is not explained in terms of superiority or inferiority. In this respect the system does limit the political posts a woman can hold – both in practice and principle. That this limitation seems to so preoccupy those who attack the Islamic system is laughable.

    I assure you that women do not find it laughable.

  180. Usman — on 8th April, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    Maybe so Katy, that’s a fair point. However in theory in a secular society women would have the same opportunities as men. Unfortunately reality paints a different picture, feminist movements are not going to run out of issues to campaign for any time soon. In Islam the rights and roles of men and women are clearly defined. In terms of status, men and women are equal, but are clearly different in many ways and hence their roles are too. For example men are physically stronger than women, a man can not give birth to a child etc.

    If anyone wants to have a discussion about women’s rights etc I welcome it.

  181. soru — on 8th April, 2007 at 5:49 pm  

    no citizen of the caliphate is compelled to believe in the Islamic belief, this would be a violation of Islamic law.

    That gets to the heart of the double-think in all this stuff.

    1. Islam is political: this specific theonomic neo-monarchist political program _is_ Islam.

    2. Islam supports freedom of religion without compulsion.

    Both of those things can’t be true simultaneously: this is evident as soon as you think of what happens to those people who sincerely believe in a slightly different version of political islam.

    As there is no framework or process available to deal with such people, no way for them to find common ground or agree to differ, the theoretical prediction is that such disputes will be settled by pragmatic means: knifings in back alleys, car bombs in crowds.

    Sadly, this is a case where theory seems to match reality pretty well.

  182. Roger — on 8th April, 2007 at 5:52 pm  

    “Does the place of the Shariah, a divine law, in the Islamic political system render the Caliphate a theocracy?”
    Yes. A political system governed by an allegedly “divine law” is a theocracy by definition.

  183. soru — on 8th April, 2007 at 7:14 pm  

    @Roger: technically that’s not true, it is theonomic not theocratic. See:

    http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?p=1271432

    It also seems to be proposing rule by elected and somewhat limited non-heriditary monarchs

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elected_monarchy

    A Kaliph is a cognate of a King, not a priest, president or general.

  184. Usman — on 8th April, 2007 at 10:51 pm  

    “Both of those things can’t be true simultaneously: this is evident as soon as you think of what happens to those people who sincerely believe in a slightly different version of political islam.”

    How have you made such an assumption?History shows that people of different faiths lived within the calphate.

    “Sadly, this is a case where theory seems to match reality pretty well.”

    I dont see how you came to that conclusion, maybe you could explain further

  185. William — on 8th April, 2007 at 11:52 pm  

    Usman

    ” If a system needs to change then this is enough evidence that the system is not in complete harmony with the nature of the human being.” Also does nature = truth and why should we emulate nature.

    I have wrangled quite hard over the question of what is nature. I would love to find a definition. Also you use the word harmony, could it mean balance?. Is nature automatically balanced?

    My own attempts to look deeply into these things has resulted in situations where the intellect seems to break down beyond a point. Maybe you can help me.
    I am open minded.

  186. William — on 8th April, 2007 at 11:55 pm  

    Usman

    sorry rewrite

    ” If a system needs to change then this is enough evidence that the system is not in complete harmony with the nature of the human being.”

    I have wrangled quite hard over the question of what is nature. I would love to find a definition. Also does nature = truth and why should we emulate nature Also you use the word harmony, could it mean balance?. Is nature automatically balanced?

    My own attempts to look deeply into these things has resulted in situations where the intellect seems to break down beyond a point. Maybe you can help me.
    I am open minded.

  187. Chris Stiles — on 9th April, 2007 at 1:52 am  

    How have you made such an assumption?History shows that people of different faiths lived within the calphate.

    Soru is – I think – not asking a question specifically about different faiths, but about different strands of Islam. It’s a question that is less about religion than hermenutic.

    After all – what happens if a small muslim area on the boundaries of the Caliphate in danger of being taken over is populated by muslims who do not believe that the specific theonomic agenda of the Caliphate is justified by Islamic scripture?

    Historically, their options have been limited to resistance (usually followed by death) or accquiesence accompanied by various strictures/forced mass conversions/recanting etc.

  188. Roger — on 9th April, 2007 at 11:41 am  

    Soru: I think it depends on whether the fact that it is GOD’s law or it is god’s LAW matters more amkes it a theonomy or a theocracy. I wouldn’t want to live under either, however. The important thing about a caliph is that their duty is to make sure that god’s law- whatever that is- has absolute power in the state.
    Usman: “people of different faiths lived within the caliphate.” Undoubtedly- that doesn’t say anything about the alleged virtues of a caliphate though. It’s just as true of the Chinesae and Roman empires or contemporary European governements- indeed, people of rather more faiths and none lived under them.
    The question is whether any system of government that is based on the principles of a faith can rule well or should rule at all. If you are going to use “the [undefined] nature of the human being” as a guideline, then the very fact that the caliphate ceased to exist is proof that “the system is not in complete harmony with the nature of the human being”. If it were it would still exist and rule.

  189. Twining or Black in Blue — on 9th April, 2007 at 12:08 pm  

    Usman may I ask are you Anti Semitic? And what of all the people within Islam that suggest the Holocaust never occurred? Also why is being gay wrong within Islam? Surely being gay, if someone is gay, is because they are gay, they are born that way? God created people as they are.

    I am interested in your views. Are you prepared to state that any person that promotes terrorism must be told they are wrong and actually Jihad is wrong?

    Before anyone jumps to conclusions I am not gay. I am married with three beautiful children and and happily heterosexual. In dealing with anti racism I have also found many gay people who are racist. By the way for my views I am often cautioned and told off by the powers to be in my Force.

  190. soru — on 9th April, 2007 at 2:03 pm  

    @Chris: precisely

    States, being based on the idea of a monopoly of force, follow the Highlander principle: there can be only one.

    If there are two or more views on how a theonomic state should be run, there is no political solution other than ‘cut their heads off before they do the same to you’.

    That creates wars that wouldn’t otherwise exist, that have no semi-rational economic or demographic explanation, wars that can validly be called ‘religious’.

    Example: the Algerian civil war.

  191. Sunny — on 9th April, 2007 at 4:41 pm  

    However in theory in a secular society women would have the same opportunities as men. Unfortunately reality paints a different picture, feminist movements are not going to run out of issues to campaign for any time soon. In Islam the rights and roles of men and women are clearly defined.

    This is lame thinking. Western societies may not be entirely equal as yet but the opportunity for women to get to the highest positions is there, and many have done so. It takes time however for attitudes to change over generation. In a few generations there will be much more equality than in your mythical system.

    Plus, in theory Islam gives women lots of rights, but in practice Muslim women, especially in the Middle East, have very little rights and constantly face oppression. And for that you can’t even blame colonialism or the political dictatorsips since that is how people behave.

    I tell this to every person who wants to bring about a Khalifah – why don’t you go to these societies and try and bring about grass-roots change within people (convince them to educate their daughters for example or not force them into a marriage) and you’ll find that changing people’s attitudes is much much more difficult than you think.

    You have a perfect system in theory. But in practice people don’t follow that system. So even if someone who wants a Khalifah comes into power, their society won’t run according to this system unless people already practise the way the system works. But they don’t, so you’re either going to have to force them to change their ways (which will lead to riots), or sit there with a piece of paper that lays out your Khalifah system with a bunch of people who don’t follow it.

    Basically, the people who want Khalifah are armchair dreamers who don’t take into account that people do not and may not want to go along with their system. Convince me that the ssytem is possible by getting the people on the ground to change their ways and then only you’ll get your Khalifah.

  192. Abu Musa — on 9th April, 2007 at 6:55 pm  

    Sunnys said: “I’m a secular fundamentalist? What does that mean? I want a strict seperation between the state and religion, that’s all. There is nothing ‘fundamentalist’ about it because thats what secularism means.”

    Yeah Right. Then ‘Islam’ means submission and a ‘Muslim’ is the one who submits his will to God. Then you should not use words like fundamentalist and extremists…

    Since it’s just Muslims and Islam. Why demonise Islam?

    You keep talking about people will do this and that, and won’t accept a Caliphate.

    But at the same time the West is prepared to prop-up dictators, exploit us and bomb us. Bush and Blair openly want to stop a Caliphate arising.

    Who is imposing what on whom???

    If you can convince Bush and Blair to stop interferring in the Muslim World, remove ALL their Political, Economic and Military presence in the Muslim World…

    We’d have a Caliphate established in at least one place in the Muslim World within a few weeks.

    The USA’s biggest fear is the House of Saud falling with a Caliphate in it’s place asking for Gold Bullion in exchange for Oil (rather than paper-dollars!).

    Western troops are on Muslim Soil to prevent the establishment of a Caliphate… period.

    If you don’t believe me, I dare them to pull-out.

  193. Sahil — on 9th April, 2007 at 7:20 pm  

    Some of the comments are just nuts:

    “Why demonise Islam?”

    Who is demonising what??

    “But at the same time the West is prepared to prop-up dictators, exploit us and bomb us. Bush and Blair openly want to stop a Caliphate arising.”

    Who is us? And which Caliphate are you talking about? When did anyone ever check the preferences of the public in the “Islamic” world? If anyone did, would that not simply be democracy?

    “If you can convince Bush and Blair to stop interferring in the Muslim World, remove ALL their Political, Economic and Military presence in the Muslim World…”

    That includes Palestine then, or maybe also Kosovo and Bosnia or Chechnya?

    “We’d have a Caliphate established in at least one place in the Muslim World within a few weeks.”

    Really, again when did you ask the WHOLE muslim world’s opinion?

    “Western troops are on Muslim Soil to prevent the establishment of a Caliphate…”

    I thought it was about Oil?

  194. ZinZin — on 9th April, 2007 at 7:29 pm  

    Sahil
    It the Islamophobia myth post 129 with megalomania thrown in. He is the doctor evil of muslims.

  195. Abu Musa — on 9th April, 2007 at 7:52 pm  

    This the problem the West never put the withdrawl of troops and the end of interference in the Muslim World to the test.

    Then complain when their is resistence.

    The West is inherently Colonialist in it’s nature and continues to this very day. To stop butting-in on the affairs of the Muslim World is not an option that is on the table.

  196. soru — on 9th April, 2007 at 7:57 pm  

    I thought it was about Oil?

    The thing about oil is that, unlike say diamonds, you can’t profitably extract it from an ongoing war zone: drivers want too much hazard pay to sit in front of a large, shiny and slow-moving bomb.

    So any movement premised on increasing the amount of war in the world, creating wars where none previously existed, is viewed by the oil-men the same way farmers view BSE.

  197. Sunny — on 9th April, 2007 at 8:22 pm  

    This the problem the West never put the withdrawl of troops and the end of interference in the Muslim World to the test.

    I’m happy for calling for western govts to continue interefering in Middle Eastern states. I do believe it is inherently in support of dictatorships and legitimising opression in the area.

    But there’s no reason to believe this will lead to the establishment of a Khilafah.

    Secondly, assuming a Khilafah gets established in Saudi, the United States can bankrupt it pretty quickly by resolving to stop buying oil from it and expand its sources of oil. Saudi really has nothing else to export. There is hardly any other economic activity in the Middle East, other than Dubai which is now rapidly diversifying). So your Khilafah would quickly become very bankrupt because these states rely on western money to just survive.
    The fact that the USA is now squeezing Iranian money and following through in its embargo (which is leading to the worsening economic situation in Iran) is an example of this.

    Or to put it another way, the only for ME countries to survive is by trading in oil. To paraphrase a famous saying, you can’t feed people religion. Sooner or later they need bread.

  198. Chris Stiles — on 9th April, 2007 at 9:02 pm  

    This the problem the West never put the withdrawl of troops and the end of interference in the Muslim World to the test.

    The seeds that sickened the sick man of europe were all sown internally.

  199. Sahil — on 9th April, 2007 at 11:25 pm  

    “The thing about oil is that, unlike say diamonds, you can’t profitably extract it from an ongoing war zone: drivers want too much hazard pay to sit in front of a large, shiny and slow-moving bomb.”

    I agree, but I’m not sure whether Bush thought there would be the mass carnage that we see everyday in Ayraq. IIRC Wolfowitz said something along the lines during the build up of the war that the Iraqis would finance the war by future payments in oil which would be exportable pretty quickly after the initial confrontation. Either way the Republicans look like a bunch of idiots or criminals.

  200. douglas clark — on 10th April, 2007 at 3:11 am  

    Sahil,

    You are quite correct in your recollection. This, from the Independent:

    “The neo-conservative dream – indulged in by Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney prior to the conflict – that the invasion and reconstruction would be self-financed through a twist of the oil taps, dissipated long ago.”

    See:
    http://comment.independent.co.uk/leading_articles/article2132500.ece

    He had a lot of other extremely stupid things to say too. You might want to look here if you are into schadenfreude, as I most certainly would be over this debacle, if it were not for the human tragedy that these naive, stupid arseholes unleashed:

    http://mondoweiss.observer.com/2006/07/what-were-they-smoking-paul-wolfowitz-on-liberating-iraq.html

    As an exercise in delusion, I think this wins prizes, but you could read the whole post and award prizes of your own. Anyway, my favourite:

    “We’re seeing today how much the people of Poland and Central and Eastern Europe appreciate what the United States did to help liberate them from the tyranny of the Soviet Union. I think you’re going to see even more of that sentiment in Iraq. There’s not going to be the hostility that you described…There simply won’t be.”

    Cognitive dissonance on that scale must hurt. Oh, I hope so.

  201. soru — on 10th April, 2007 at 10:54 am  

    the invasion and reconstruction would be self-financed through a twist of the oil taps

    That’s not quite right – it was only the reconstruction that was supposed to be self-financing: they wanted to avoid the creation of a new Egypt, a country that requires ongoing annual planeloads of US cash just to buy ‘stability’.

    The war itself was always supposed to be paid for by US taxpayers. The ‘someone else’s money’ principle was certainly involved, but the numbers are much closer to adding up when you consider the war as an entertainment product for that market than when looked at from any other angle.

    The war cost something like a trillion, which is obviously over budget, but you could never imagine making back a tenth of a misunderestimate of that figure back from a dodgy oil deal.

    On the other hand, a Hollywood film costs 200 million for 2 hours, the Olympics 10 billion for 2 weeks. For 2 to 3 years of prime time reality TV, a true life story of heroism, liberation and freedom, mixed in with horror, moral dilemmas and drama, with special effects by the USAF, the war starts to look like a bargain.

    Initially it worked – US taxpayers felt they were getting value for money, so they voted back in the executives who greenlit it.

    However, these days it is looking a bit old fashioned, goining on too long, with too many different protagonists, a muddy plot, and no proper charismatic villain to pull in the viewing numbers.

    Hence, the hard financial logic is it will be cancelled this season or next.

    All the actors involved should be planning their next career move on that assumption.

  202. Wills — on 10th April, 2007 at 12:23 pm  

    The HuT (hibz-ut-tahir) is a front for Islamic extremists propergating the idea of Khalifa (islamic superstate imposing 7th century sharia law) and total seperation of muslims and non-muslims. They are the root evil in Britian covertly embedded young impressionable muslim minds with hateful ideology against the state they live in. They should be banned alonged right wing white supremicist organisations such as combat 18, National Socialist White People’s Party and other extremist parties/organisations adovacting hate towards different peoples within the United Kingdom

  203. Twining or Black in Blue — on 10th April, 2007 at 12:27 pm  

    Usman, I need some answers please.

  204. Arif — on 10th April, 2007 at 1:01 pm  

    I understand Usman does not have the time to answer these questions directly. But this is what I have gleaned so far, feel free to put me right.

    1 How do I become a law-maker? Laws are not made in the western sense, the law is considered to be pre-existing in the Qur’an and saying of the prophet. The Khalifa is an executive, not a legislator, who interprets the law with a check by the judiciary. To become the interpreter of the law I need to be “appointed by the people”, the mechanism appears to be by being elected as Khalifa by a representative assembly. To become a judge of the Khalifa Seems to require being qualified as a member of the judiciary through Islamic education and appointed (not sure how) to stand in judgement of the interpretations made by the Khalifa.

    2 How do I remove a law-maker? Either the representative assembly is empowered to regularly re-appoint/depose the Khalifa, or it is a job for life. Similarly for the judiciary.

    3 How is the judiciary appointed? Not answered, but a guess made in 1 above.

    4 How do I challenge unjust laws (as opposed to acts)? Hope that the Khalifa will listen to you. Perhaps a formal means of petitioning would be instituted.

    5 What safeguards are there against torture? Not answered.

    6 What safeguards are there against police brutality? Not answered.

    7 What protections are there for minorities? Minorities will be represented in the assembly which appoints the Khalifah. The more vulnerable they are, the more the Caliph is expected (by the judiciary?) to protect them.

    8 How are these safeguards implemented and by whom? The Khalifah and the ministers he or she appoints.

    9 If minorities feel the system is not serving them, what is their means of redress? Not answered.

    10 If some people indulge in haraam activities (in the eyes of the Khalifah) which they believe to be halal (due to a difference in interpretation) what would happen to them? The Khalifah can do anything the judiciary permits.

    11 If the Khalifah permits activities which some people believe are haraam, how would they persuade the Khalifah to change their opinion? By getting appointed to the judiciary.

    12 If there is corruption to such an extent that the arms of government work against the people, how can they legitimately change the Khalifah or the judiciary? Either they cannot, or the representative assembly is empowered to remove them, or there is some other answer I have not noticed yet.

    13 Does the Khalifah allow religious minorities their own criminal or civil law system? Not answered

    14 Does the Khalifah allow either different madhabs or sects to have their own civil and/or criminal law? Not directly answered, but it appears not, since the Khalifa is empowered as the sole interpreter. If allowances are made for different interpretations or not, is in the gift of the Khalifah.

    15 Is civil disobedience a right in any particular circumstances? Not directly answered, but it appears that the powerless have a right to civil disobedience, while the powerful do not.

    16 Are labour unions permitted? Not answered.

    17 What kinds of demonstrations are permitted? Not answered

    18 Are there any circumstances where anyone would be punished for non-violent beliefs? Not answered

    19 Would privacy or any other principles be protected constitutionally? Which principles? And would that allow the judiciary to over-rule the Khalifah’s laws? The constitution appears to be the Qur’an and hadiths (which hadiths are not specified), however how they are intepreted is down to the Khalifah and the judiciary, so they may decide when to protect privacy and when to demand transparency, or on which principles to invoke. The judiciary can however challenge the interpretation. It is not clear whether this includes challenging the law in general, or its application in a particular case.

    Please help me (Usman or other proponents of the Khalifah) improve my understanding on any of these points. It would help me understand if you could say which point of the 19 you are addressing, and address it as directly as you can. Even if it is just a sentence or two.

    Thank you for your explanations so far. Please forgive any misinterpretations.

  205. Usman — on 10th April, 2007 at 1:09 pm  

    William

    “I have wrangled quite hard over the question of what is nature. I would love to find a definition. Also does nature = truth and why should we emulate nature Also you use the word harmony, could it mean balance?. Is nature automatically balanced?
    My own attempts to look deeply into these things has resulted in situations where the intellect seems to break down beyond a point. Maybe you can help me.
    I am open minded.”
    Maybe nature isn’t the best term to describe what I mean. I think reality would be a better term.
    “Nature=truth” I would say truth= that which is correct because it agrees with reality, and reality is that which is sensed via the senses (i.e. sight, touch, taste etc) either directly or by its effects.

    As to my point I was making, human beings have organic needs and instincts, which need to be organised via some sort of system otherwise it leads to chaos. What you see when man is left to organise these organic needs and instincts is disparity, differences, and contradictions due to mans inability to understand the complex reality of human beings, their instincts, organic needs, and means of satisfying them etc.

    Is nature balanced? I suppose there is a balance in nature.

  206. Usman — on 10th April, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    Chris Stiles
    “not asking a question specifically about different faiths, but about different strands of Islam.”
    Difference of opinions have always been around through out Islamic history from the first generation to now, through good times and bad. So in respect of what would happen if people who had differences of opinions, the Islamic model has incorporated mechanisms within it for people to voice their opinions, Muslims and non Muslims alike. The details of which have been briefly mentioned above in comment 177.

    “Historically, their options have been limited to resistance (usually followed by death) or accquiesence accompanied by various strictures/forced mass conversions/recanting etc.”
    Could you give a reference to this?

  207. sonia — on 10th April, 2007 at 1:54 pm  

    “So in respect of what would happen if people who had differences of opinions, the Islamic model has incorporated mechanisms within it for people to voice their opinions, Muslims and non Muslims alike.”

    what’s that ? issuing fatwas when you don’t like what someone says? And what about if people voice the opinion of ‘this is all crap, sorry im out’?

    sorry Usman, but you know as well as I do – that the reality is far from an ideal situation. ‘NO compulsion in religion’ seems to have been completely forgotten. and what about ‘forbidden’ areas of thought – like theorizing that maybe the Quran has the same issue as the Bible ( or what Muslims seem to be perfectly happy to say about the Bible) i.e. human fallibility – i.e. maybe it was God’s word then, but do we know it is still God’s word now? People don’t seem to be too comfortable with that. Ahmed Deedat spent a lot of time showing how he thought the Bible had been ‘corrupted along the way but can you imagine the furore if he had applied the same analytic skill to the Quran?

  208. Katy Newton — on 10th April, 2007 at 1:55 pm  

    It would help me understand if you could say which point of the 19 you are addressing, and address it as directly as you can. Even if it is just a sentence or two.

    I have changed my mind. You are not a lawyer. You are a High Court Judge.

    :)

  209. sonia — on 10th April, 2007 at 2:00 pm  

    Again – very good detailed points from Arif.

    “If anyone wants to have a discussion about women’s rights etc I welcome it.”#

    well come on then Uthman you old thing, i’m here and waiting.

  210. sonia — on 10th April, 2007 at 2:01 pm  

    heh heh Katy, you’ve got a point there..!

  211. Imran — on 10th April, 2007 at 3:15 pm  

    Good Afternoon ladies and gentleman,

    This has certainly become a popular topic and some very strong opinionated people out there. One thing that I will note is that alot of you are trying to dispel all of Usman’s points but not in a satisfactory manner. It has become nitty gritty about the specific laws and whether they are “right” or “humane”.

    The first problem you will encounter is that this topic then becomes subjective but none of you will define what right or humane is. The state that Usman refers to is a governing mechanism decreed by God through revelation and messengers. If you do not believe in God or do not believe that God has authority over you then I agree this may sound absurd to you. But is it more absurd than acknowledging the fact that human beings are limited, fallible and prone to mistakes. Yet still allowing them to make the decisions on how the entire world should be run.

    It is fact that human beings vary in their understanding and outlooks on things and so this why you see many different laws for the same subjects throughout the world. Would it not then make more sense for someone/something that knows everything about all living things, nature and the entire universe to govern it. Letting humans have rule over things they are not even aware of is like giving a blind man a map and saying off you go.

    Now I am sure, after reading thet way that people respond to posts that people are raring to destroy my points. But before you do,try to think outside of the box and from someone elses point of view as this whole debate will continue to be a head on collision unless we learn to accept that just becase we have benn brought up being told something doesn’t make it true until you research it to be true.

  212. Soso — on 10th April, 2007 at 3:31 pm  

    Islam has a track-record 14 centruries long. Apart from a few bright spots, non-muslims living under sharia were horribly treated.

    People ought to read more history, particularly islamic history as gleaned from sources written before the current post-modern tendancy to romanticise and embellish non-western cultures.

    I have Coptic co-workers, Chaldean Christian co- workers born and raised under political systemes that are only half-sharia, and yet already their experiences of this *tolerance* were so abhorrant they were forced to emigrate. I’m not talking mild irritants like job-discrimination and being forced to veil and such, but rather physical attacks, violence and, in one case, firebombings.

    Even as we speak Mid-East tenors of the tender, tolerant Caliphate have been using the current military crisis as a smoke-screen to expell, murder, kidnap and ethnically cleanse hundreds of thousands of Christians, as well as other religious minorities, from the region. The land must be purified before the califate’s cornerstone can be laid, it seems.

    Muslim apologists claim these people left, not as refugees from islamism, but as economic migrants. That’s total Hog wash. They left the discrimination and oppression wrought by Islam and Islamic law. There is elegant proof of this in the fact that some 75% of ALL Arabs living in North America are Christian, even though the Arab world is more than 90% Muslim.

    This discrepency speaks volumes about just what sort of inhumane treatment non-muslim citizens are subjected to even under régimes considered *secular*.

    Theocratic gov’ts don’t work because theology revolves around perfections we can imagine, but which we can never bring to life. The resulting gap between theory and reality that inevitably results becomes the starting point for “purification” campaigns that lead to reigns of terror.

    Communism, National Socialism, Maoism and Islamism ( and a few others) all emerge from a misguided belief in human perfectability and in the infallibility of human communication. Coupled with this defect is the “vanguard” opinion that the perfect political systeme is pre-ordained by some immutable and transcendant principle, be it god, race or the unfolding of human history.

    A systeme that originally set out to perfect humanity then begins to see that same humanity ( or instances of it) as imperfections, as the reason the divine principles are prevented from sprouting and flourishing and which, therefore, must be excised

    It’s a viscious circle that always grinds to a halt in the form of stagnant, backward dictatorships and tryannies of which many, many examples were to be seen across the Middle East long before the first European colonials (impurities) ever arrived in the region.

    Usman’s vernacular may be 21st century…allowing him to sound progressive…. but his ideas are 7th century and no longer relevant.

    It should be remembered that it was his theoretical Caliphate, at least in part, that inspired both Marx and Robespierre in their humano-heretical view that human beings were prefectable.

    Brilliant and dangerous dreamers with a wonderful command of vocabulary, and not much else.

  213. Sunny — on 10th April, 2007 at 3:38 pm  

    If you do not believe in God or do not believe that God has authority over you then I agree this may sound absurd to you.

    No, what is absurd is that someone can think unchanging religious laws can form the basis of a good society. Beliving in god is not the same as believing in a theocracy.

    But is it more absurd than acknowledging the fact that human beings are limited, fallible and prone to mistakes. Yet still allowing them to make the decisions on how the entire world should be run.

    We know humans are infallible, that is why a democracy is constantly changing and mutating – because humans do not all want the same things or behave in the same way through time.

    It is more stupid to think that a bunch of humans can enact the perfect unchanging political system just because they’ve derived a particular interpretation of religion (or from communism). Socities change – they need to keep changing because people’s ideas and needs change. Don’t worry, Muslims are not alone in this stupidity as I pointed out earlier.

  214. Kismet Hardy — on 10th April, 2007 at 3:38 pm  

    “It should be remembered that it was his theoretical Caliphate, at least in part, that inspired both Marx and Robespierre in their humano-heretical view that human beings were prefectable.”

    i’m so slipping that into conversation in the pub tonight…

  215. douglas clark — on 10th April, 2007 at 3:41 pm  

    Imran,

    “Would it not then make more sense for someone/something that knows everything about all living things, nature and the entire universe to govern it.”

    It would be fine if there was such a benign personage, who actually could treat us all as children. Such intervention would be obvious, clear cut and no doubt just. There is no evidence whatsoever that such a being is involved in the affairs of mankind.

    It therefore seems to me to be necessary to invoke a completely non-interventionist deity, which has, really, to be the default position for all religiously motivated people. Otherwise we’d all be pillars of salt by now.

    So the issue is not actually one of belief, as such. It is a question of which earthly group wields power. Given that god does not intervene, it is perfectly possible for the Church of England to bless a battleship for instance. Or for the motivations of those that call for a theocracy to be questioned.

  216. Soso — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:11 pm  

    The first problem you will encounter is that this topic then becomes subjective but none of you will define what right or humane is. The state that Usman refers to is a governing mechanism decreed by God through revelation and messengers. If you do not believe in God or do not believe that God has authority over you then I agree this may sound absurd to you. But is it more absurd than acknowledging the fact that human beings are limited, fallible and prone to mistakes. Yet still allowing them to make the decisions on how the entire world should be run.

    It is fact that human beings vary in their understanding and outlooks on things and so this why you see many different laws for the same subjects throughout the world. Would it not then make more sense for someone/something that knows everything about all living things, nature and the entire universe to govern it. Letting humans have rule over things they are not even aware of is like giving a blind man a map and saying off you go.

    This is an excellent example of immanantisation.

    Humans are flawed and therefore god should run things. We are blind, and so of what use is a constituional map?

    God hands you a map, calls it a Koran, but everyone, reading it, including Qaradawi, is blind!

    Imran asks: Would it not then make more sense for someone/something that knows everything about all living things, nature and the entire universe to govern it.

    My answer to Imran is this: Well, let us wait until god drops the perfect constitution from the sky and then orders us to act upon it.

    God may know human beings, but NO human being can ever know god or god’s will.

    The absurdity with Islamists is that though human, and therefore flawed, they nonetheless feel they’ve a special and privileged take on divine will and are in a position to implement it.

    It is fact that human beings vary in their understanding and outlooks on things and so this why you see many different laws for the same subjects throughout the world

    And what’s wrong with that? Human beings have an inalienable right to vary their outlook and understanding of things because this is the way they’re made. That’s how god designed us.

    Even “divinely” inspired, over the top islamists cannot agree on how things should be run and on who should run them.

    Let’s face it, Mohammed’s body wasn’t yet cold and already his “successors” were fighting to the death over who would be boss.

    Islam’s *perfection and unity*, then, its infallible roadmap, if you like, was immediately torn asunder by a Sunni/Shia split that continues its murder and mayhem even to this day.

    It’s ironic that the behavior of the caliphate’s tenors provides perhaps the best proof of just how error-ridden and despotic the whole shoddy idea actually is.

    Sunni and Shia can’t agree on the time of day, or even when to start Ramadan, yet both are supremely confident they have the clarity and knowledge to lead humanity to Xanadu.

    Islam and Islamists need humility, they need to put some water in their wine by fessing-up to their many flaws, and by admitting to the fact their viewpoints have no more superiority and/or validity, divine or otherwise, than those views espoused by others, be they secularists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs or whatever.

    Without such an act of atonement, a rejection of supremacism, the Islamic world will never advance; it will never develope a modern economy, a robust agricultural sector( the Muslim world can’t even feed itself) or a leading edge in technololgical innovation. Nothing can be accomplished until the Caliphate arrives, but if, perchance, some progress is made, that progress must then be denounced as harem, as unordained by divine will, even when no-one can agree on just what “divine will” is.

    Perhaps Usman and Imran could start their quest for a caliphate by saving their own asses first!

    Most cultures and countries in the non-Muslim world seem to be doing just fine. It is really only the islamic world, and the Islamic world alone that can’t seem to get a handle on modernity and its challenges.

  217. Usman — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:13 pm  

    Roger
    The Caliphate system does not resemble any of the world’s current political structures. It is nether similar to western liberal models, which few may contest, and represents a sharp contradiction to the dictatorships, monarchies and totalitarian governments that litter the Muslim world. The Islamic political system does not grant authority to a divinely appointed individual or to a clergy, nor does it lie in the hands of one individual and thus the Caliphate is neither a theocracy nor a dictatorship; it is a representative system of governance quite different in the sources of law to the western state, and so neither is it a democracy, it is a distinct model of governance.

    We are, possibly, in need of a new set of terms to describe the Islamic system in rhetoric familiar to a western audience for it is characterised by a distinct set of political ideas and political relationships unfamiliar to western political theory.

    “people of different faiths lived within the caliphate.” Undoubtedly- that doesn’t say anything about the alleged virtues of a caliphate though.”
    Opinions given by individuals at times are bias and even I would be guilty of that. There is above in comment by Carly Fiorina, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard who gives an account of the caliphate if you’d like to read. Comment 125.

    “the system is not in complete harmony with the nature of the human being”. If it were it would still exist and rule.

    On this point I would agree with you. From the 11th century onwards there was a steady decline in the caliphate which ended in its destruction in 3rd March 1924. The initial crack which lead to the decline was the loss of the Arabic language, this was very significant as a vital part of Ijtihad was the Arabic language in its ability to extract rulings from legislative sources on new realities etc, at the same time Ijtihad on a state level was also stopped. The state was spreading into new lands rapidly but not consolidating these lands efficiently, rules were misapplied and eventually not applied at all. After the industrial revolution there were numerous offensive launched by the west ranging from missionary invasions, orientalist attacks and others only accelerated the situation and surely the state was abolished. This is a very big topic but this is a very short summary of what happened. In summary the failures of the State were not the implementation of Islam but rather the non application.

  218. sonia — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:15 pm  

    great points douglas clark.

    and re: what imran is saying: well sure maybe God is in the best place to govern – but seeing as God isn’t lurking about on the face of the earth then we can only guess as to what God’s will is or isn’t. right?

    we can only take the mUllahs word or the Church or whoever’s word that they are ruling in God’s stead. i.e. they are saying it’s God’s will – but then any old person could say that. All back to square one.

    it all comes down to the fact that throughout the ages various people have said they know what is God’s will. Do you believe all of them? Probably not. I could start saying tomorrow that I am the Way – are you going to believe me and start letting me govern?

  219. sonia — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:17 pm  

    “The absurdity with Islamists is that though human, and therefore flawed, they nonetheless feel they’ve a special and privileged take on divine will and are in a position to implement it.”

    quite. and in the process they seem to be quite keen to Deify themselves.

  220. Kismet Hardy — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:20 pm  

    God is the best magician that never lived

  221. sonia — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:29 pm  

    “It’s ironic that the behavior of the caliphate’s tenors provides perhaps the best proof of just how error-ridden and despotic the whole shoddy idea actually is.” Quite – we know how slavery was used in this context.

    “Sunni and Shia can’t agree on the time of day, or even when to start Ramadan, yet both are supremely confident they have the clarity and knowledge to lead humanity to Xanadu.”

    heh good statements. I’m waiting for Uth/usman to respond to Arif’s comments which he hasn’t done so far.

    ‘if we don’t believe in God’s authority’. these people keep saying things like that – for goodness sake – you can believe in God’s authority – and you can at the same time not believe that earthly person x has the authority from God to carry out God’s authority. Is this really hard to understand? Look at the history of the Abrahamic religions fighting each other – all supposed to be believing in the same God.

  222. sonia — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    and frankly the Caliphate has a terrible record – no better than any other Empire loving types.

  223. El Cid — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:34 pm  

    “…no better than any other Empire loving types.”

    The silence is deafening

  224. Imran — on 10th April, 2007 at 4:56 pm  

    If I could just sift though the inconsequential stuff and the intellectual muscle and bravado being shown. The two main points I can see since my last post is this. There is no proof that God exists and the muslim world as it is today shows no reflection of this fanciful,divine system that Usman and I are putting forward….

    If I take the issue of God first, If you are looking for evidence in the scientific sense then I am sorry I cannot provide that. Simply because God is infinite therefore immeasurable, thus scientifically unproveable. But rationally he is the only conclusion. I know that you will all be licking your lips at that last sentence but the subject is long and perhaps not to be done on this forum.

    Secondly if you are looking for evidence of Shariah rule today then it does not exist. So using examples of “muslim” countries for your argument is redundant. It is like saying that a country emloys semi democratic rule. It is not a democratic country in the purist sense (although alot of western countries are proving to be semi democratic).

    Theory and practice seldom hold hands, I understand that. But that does not mean I can’t advocate a theoretically better system. If you feel this is not correct, fine. But is it because it is impracticle and impossible, or because it disagrees with YOUR right and wrongs, which might not necessarily be correct.

  225. Chairwoman — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:11 pm  

    If the majority of the population (not just men btw) in Muslim countries wish to adopt Shariah, and are willing to let people who don’t want to live under that system emigrate, then surely it is a matter for those countries.

    I would however be very concerned if it was about to be forced upon unwilling populaces.

  226. Imran — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:16 pm  

    A very sensible sentiment Chairwoman and I agree whole heartedly. That is all I desire that the muslims are allowed to determine their own political destiny.

  227. douglas clark — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

    Imran,

    For the sake of holding this discussion, I have surrendered a huge chunk of ground to folk with religious sensibilities. For the sake of the discussion, I have assumed that a god does exist. That is hardly showing intellectual muscle or bravado. Let us assume that He is not intervening in any obvious way right now. Let us also assume that the Koran is his immutable word.

    Just answer Sonias’ point:

    “for goodness sake – you can believe in God’s authority – and you can at the same time not believe that earthly person x has the authority from God to carry out God’s authority. Is this really hard to understand?”

    I have a huge difficulty with Popes on the same basis.

    I am advocating discussion here. I do not believe we do have a perfect system of government. It is just that harking back to previous systems that have failed, seems an odd way to go about developing a modern society. And you are probably one of a majority in this country that thinks the past held a golden age, although their golden ages would not be yours and vice versa.

  228. soru — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:21 pm  

    because it disagrees with YOUR right and wrongs, which might not necessarily be correct.

    Obviously, at a certain level, constant endemic religious warfare is a matter of personal preference – some people find that kind of thing fun, and who are we to disagree?

    And if a particular course of action has led to a particular result the last 347 times it has been tried, well that is not mathematical proof that the 348th won’t be different.

    The dispassionate way to view such things is to consider all these religious-idealist political programs as an entertainment product, something made by third world entrepreneurs to be sold on a western market.

    It’s a niche market, consisting mostly of exiles and deculturalised identity-seekers, but nevertheless one in which money and reputations can be made.

  229. El Cid — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:25 pm  

    Burkhas, halal meat, arranged marriages between cousins or uncles and nieces.. all these things are alien to modern western culture, but tolerance has allowed them to seep in. Should the West seek to roll back what — for some people — are the boundaries of multiculturalism?
    I guess what we do is our problem, huh?

  230. douglas clark — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:25 pm  

    Imran,

    I cross posted 227, before reading 226. I agree wholeheartedly with 226.

  231. Imran — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:29 pm  

    Hello douglas,

    Firstly I will apoligize for any offence I was not necessarily talking about yourself. I was referring to the blog as a whole. I also thank you for taking the time out to respond to me.

    As far as Sonias point is concerned. I would take it down another route. You see I am not suggesting that any man has the authority to carry out God’s will. I suggest that all men (and i refer to mankind and not males specifically)have a duty to carry out Gods will. But as with anything the people will elect someone for a final decision or spokesperson for them from amongst them. Naturally this should be someone who is learned and capable of deriving the laws and decisions required.

    Also your point about re installing a failed system does not make sense. I agree. However if it did not break down due to its structure and practices but by outside influences, greed and a disreguard for the system then it is a slightly different case wouldn’t you agree??

  232. Sunny — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:31 pm  

    There is no proof that God exists and the muslim world as it is today shows no reflection of this fanciful,divine system that Usman and I are putting forward….

    Try reading a bit carefully Imran rather than deriving criticisms that you want to hear. Arif has listed several points above, and I replied directly to your point without mentioning those two above points.

    Don’t just hear what you want to hear – please reply to what we actually asked.

  233. douglas clark — on 10th April, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

    Imran,

    I refer you to post 230. :-)

    And I wasn’t taking offence, so there is no need for an apology. I just think reading Wiki on this subject tells a more complex story than is reflected in your Utopia. Nowt wrong with Utopian ideals though. I think majority Muslim nations should be allowed to develop whatever form of government suits them best. But I’d really quite welcome them taking on board some of the more enlightened social and sentencing policies that Western Europe has developed. There you go, stuck my nose in again where it isn’t wanted!

  234. Usman — on 10th April, 2007 at 6:27 pm  

    Twining in black and blue as you have requested a response my answer is no I am not anti semetic, I do not have a problem with Jews.

    Continuing this debate as it is going, is not going to bare fruit as most hear oppose the basis of each others ideals. My simple point is that Islam is a distinct and unique political system, foreign troops should withdraw from Muslim lands and Muslims in the Muslim world should be left to decide their own political destiny.

    People may advocate that democracy is the best way forward for the middle east and the Muslim world at large, and the west are liberators etc However citizens of the Islamic world have a completely different perspective towards the West. Joshua Marshall writing in the Washington Monthly stated “after 1989 the people of those (Eastern and Central Europe) nations felt grateful to the United States because we helped liberate them from their Russian colonial masters…The same is unlikely to happen if we help ‘liberate’ Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The tyrannies in these countries are home grown and the US government has supported them, rightly or wrongly, for decades even as we’ve ignored (in the eyes of Arabs) the plight of the Palestinians. Consequently, the citizens of these countries generally hate the United States and show strong sympathy for Islamic radicals.”[ Will Hutton, “Why the West is wary of Muslims” The Observer, January 11th 2004]

    The selective application of liberal values has also caused a cataclysmic loss of
    confidence in the Western project. As Will Hutton, a British political commentator stated in 2004, “The tally of core Western values and beliefs that we have allowed to become corrupted as we respond is lengthening by the week. Equality before the law, the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial – all have been seen as expedients to be put aside.” He goes on, “We are undermining our own civilisation.” [ Will Hutton, “Why the West is wary of Muslims” The Observer, January 11th 2004]
    Guantanamo Bay, the human rights abuses in Afghanistan and at Abu Ghraib and the rounding up of thousands under draconian legislation have all damaged the reputation of the US and her allies and led many to question the Machiavellian usage of Western values.

    So once again I say, troops should withdraw and let the people in the muslim world decide their own political destiny.

  235. soru — on 10th April, 2007 at 8:30 pm  

    Another thing that is a matter of personal preference, that you either like or loathe: doubt, self-questioning, debate over ethics, values and tactics, the publicised trial and punishment of those who break laws.

    Some think that is weakness: who can say they are wrong?

    Others dislike hypocrisy, for example they might question an advocate of an absolutist religious empire who used words like ‘draconian’, ‘colony’, ‘foreign’ and ‘tyranny’ in a negative sense.

    Who’s to say such hypocrisy is not evidence of moral virtue? Perhaps up is down, left is right, terrorism is peace, evil is virtue, rape is love, war is religion?

    Who can say?

  236. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 10th April, 2007 at 8:56 pm  

    Who’s to say such hypocrisy is not evidence of moral virtue? Perhaps up is down, left is right, terrorism is peace, evil is virtue, rape is love, war is religion? Who can say?

    Suro, have you gone completely mad?

    So once again I say, troops should withdraw and let the people in the muslim world decide their own political destiny.

    If we lived on different world and could be entirely cut off from each other this would be a good suggestion. The thing is that morden communications and missile technology is making the world smaller very quickly. Now that the Muslim world have the fruits of technical process, what if their destiny is to wage war against the non-muslim world? It seems to have happened many time before and history has a habit of repeating itself.

    How many Nukes would the Muslim world have to fire before it learned the lesson the West did with of Hoshima? More importantly, how much hate properganda needs to be generated before the Muslim world learns the lesson of Nazi Germany?

    TFI

  237. soru — on 10th April, 2007 at 10:08 pm  

    Suro, have you gone completely mad?

    Mad, sane, correctly spelled, typo, who is to say?

  238. Usman — on 10th April, 2007 at 10:26 pm  

    TheFriendlyInfidel
    I think what soru is trying to say is that peoples perception of morality is relative, one mans meat is another mans poison, people in different countries, states communities may have their own perception of what is morally good on the same subject matter. For example the age of consent for when a man and woman can come together, all over the world people in different parts of the world will have their own understanding of morality on this subject.

    “If we lived on different world and could be entirely cut off from each other this would be a good suggestion.”

    What difference would it make if everyone was cut off from one another we still have to live on the same earth. Are you suggesting that people in the Muslim world don’t have the right to decide their own political destiny? If you are then how have you come to that conclusion? Who has the right to impose their ideals on another nation, and who decides this right?

    “Now that the Muslim world have the fruits of technical process, what if their destiny is to wage war against the non-Muslim world?”

    So then would you say that it is justified that the opposite is true, that the non Muslim world is waging war on the Muslim world but that’s okay because its Muslims? And you don’t have to look into history for that because its happening now, mass protests in Iraq show the undeniable resentment for the occupation, so the occupation should leave and let them people decide for them selves how to do things.

  239. El Cid — on 10th April, 2007 at 10:40 pm  

    Usman,
    So it’s ok then for someone, say, to argue that mohammed was a paedophile, because they have a different view about the age of consent?

  240. soru — on 10th April, 2007 at 11:00 pm  

    soru is trying to say is that peoples perception of morality is relative

    That sentence would be true if you inserted the word ‘silly’ at the correct point in it.

    Extreme relativism is just nonsense, something that is just a tactic used to avoid any risk of communication happening, the debating equivalent of screaming ‘I can’t hear you … I’m not listening … ‘ over and over.

    Obviously some things are different between cultures, but if you are typing in English on the internet on a UK-oriented web site, we share part of the same culture, and it would be a mistake to get into too much denial about that simple fact.

  241. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:51 am  

    “I suggest that all men (and i refer to mankind and not males specifically)have a duty to carry out Gods will”

    yes well all mankind will therefore first have to determine what God’s will is before carrying it out – right? is all mankind in agreement about what God’s will is?

    I don’t think so. Perhaps you weren’t looking while history was being made..but even a quick peep is enough to establish that there has been serious disagreement..

  242. Halima — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:56 am  

    Yeah like instead of history

    We might’ve ended up with herstory.

  243. Twining or Black in Blue — on 11th April, 2007 at 9:49 am  

    Usman, without debate there will always be polarised views, and this causes conflicts. Are you saying because you are not heard you are not talking? So it is not futile to debate for this may lead to the right answer. I am lost now.

    So it’s OK to do what Chemical Ali did because that was a destiny? That’s where I disagree you see. It wasn’t the destiny of the people killed by WMD to be killed. No tyrant has that right to kill innocent people. What I am saying, is Muslim people have a role to play here also and answer to Human Rights issues such as these murders. It’s not good enough to say this is a destiny.

  244. Twining or Black in Blue — on 11th April, 2007 at 9:51 am  

    Otherwise, the Holcaust was also the right destiny if you argue as you do. In my opinion it was not destiny but it was a path created by man and beliefs, beliefs that were wrong. And actually your beliefs might be wrong.

  245. Twining or Black in Blue — on 11th April, 2007 at 9:51 am  

    Otherwise, the Holcaust was also the right destiny if you argue as you do. In my opinion it was not destiny but it was a path created by man and beliefs, beliefs that were wrong. And actually your beliefs might be wrong.

  246. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 10:28 am  

    Funny post Sonia, you made me laugh :-)

    Soru, you’ve not gone mad I was worried that you were being serious for a minute.

    So then would you say that it is justified that the opposite is true, that the non Muslim world is waging war on the Muslim world but that’s okay because its Muslims?

    Well this is just tosh in my opinon “the Muslim word”, one could almost believe that there were no Muslims living happily and freely anywhere else in the world. If the “Muslim World” wasn’t so keen on perscuting non-Muslims and being run by military dictorships you have a point.

    TFI

  247. Arif — on 11th April, 2007 at 10:31 am  

    Usman, maybe I am in the same boat as you – few share my ideals so it is difficult to be understood.

    Clearly you do not share my preoccupation with human rights – human rights advocates are a minority in any community, so this doesn’t surprise me. But we seem to share similar views about US/UK foreign policy and imperialism. We are both Muslim. From the sound of it, we both live in the UK. I also find what passes for “democracy” a bit of a joke. It’s not like there is a fundamental barrier to communication.

    It may be you are not interested in discussing your view of the Khalifah with me because I come at it with an interest in human rights which you do not share. That’s fair enough. There are bound to be a minority of pro-Khalifah Muslims who do, and when they come by I might see how the Khalifah actually would deliver the kinds of benefits you suggest.

    Until then, maybe you will also hang around and take part in some of the other debates here, so you can deepen our perspectives and deepen your own as well.

  248. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 10:34 am  

    Good morning everyone, I trust everyone feels good and had a terrific noghts sleep.

    To the matter at hand. Apologies to Sunny and Sonia for rubbing them up the wrong way. Not my intention. But to answer your points.

    You seem to have aligned yourselves with Arif’s oh so important questions. But they have no real relevance in this debate. They are specifics that when answered will make no difference to your viewpoint. Therefor futile. If Usman or indeed myself answer the questions to the best of our knowledge then irrespective of the answers it will not sway you. If you have a premeditated position on something then you have more or less closed your mind to anything else. Again the two points that I picked out were the ones worth adressing.

    As far as God’s Will and carrying it out is concerned. The vast majority of muslims agree on their core beliefs. There are certain aspects that are open for interpretation and so what will look like major disagreements and to some degree have become so are merely differences of opinion. This has been compounded by the effects of nationalism. The concept of a global brotherhood has been lost and now if you do not belong to my tribe then you are inferior to me. But you will note that all these things are forgotten when they all congregate at the Hajj pilgimage and there is never any trouble, they pray side by side.

    Ok it is also good to see that the debate has shofetd and we are now talking about whether or not Muslims should be allowed live under a system of their own choosing. The alternative way of asking the question is Should the West impose themselves on the Muslims??

  249. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 10:38 am  

    Arif,

    Can I ask where you got your idea of human rights from?

  250. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 10:49 am  

    yeah who was that who said i wouldn’t die for my beliefs because they might be wrong! bertrand russell ? good one anyway. it makes me wonder when these supposedly religious people who are supposed to think that to err is human are so convinced their beliefs are ‘right’. isn’t that arrogance? i thought they were supposed to be full of humility.

  251. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 10:56 am  

    dont worry imran you havent rubbed me up in any way – wrong or right :-)

    “You seem to have aligned yourselves with Arif’s oh so important questions. But they have no real relevance in this debate.”

    well ho ho ho and a bottle of rum ( do excuse me) no relevance in this debate. Well if that’s what you think( pretty worrying ) i’m glad the Khilafah isn’t about to materialize in that case – I sure am. and if you can’t get why other people might think it’s relevant – well it just goes to show don’t it..

  252. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 11:01 am  

    of course it wouldn’t surprise me if people like Usman and Imran came back with this ‘but there is no morality’ anyway argument -only what God wills- which would throw cold water on all the human rights supporters. ( given that we’ve been hearing the opinion that the early Muslims were behaving oh so perfectly perfect and fully aligned with God’s will – slavery and all)

    goodness – it is a bit of a funny world when you hear moral relativism arguments from hard-core religious supporters. :-)

  253. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 11:04 am  

    Sonia,

    They are not irrelevant questions period. They are just irrelevant as far as this debate and the progression of it are concerned. Thay are valid questions in their own right and I will expect everyone who agrees or disagrees with the Khalifah to ask the question at some point. But whilst people are still debating over the integrity of Muslims governing themselves. How they govern themselves is still a way off.

  254. Arif — on 11th April, 2007 at 11:05 am  

    Imran, my own interest in human rights comes from my emotional reaction to suffering. My desire to remove it. And undoubtedly my conditioning as a Muslim surrounded by news about what happens to other Muslims and by exhortations to do something about it, as a consumer of media who is exposed to information about lots of other suffering around the world and people trying to do something about it, as someone who reads and worries about such things from time to time.

    The questions I put were not to say a Khalifah should have this, that or the other structure. It was an entry point for anyone to start explaining the workings of their own structure, as I would like to see an alternative, and a Muslim alternative would be particularly welcome to me, given my own background.

  255. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 11:46 am  

    Thanks for your response Arif,

    Your sincerity is heartwarming. What I can tell you is that the state would take care of the fundamentals. ie it is responsible for food clothing and shelter for those who do not have the means themselves.

    Where torture is concerned. Every crime has a punishment attributed to it. To apply anything else is a criminal act in itself.

    The courts will not favour Muslims over none muslims. The state has to care for the well being of all its citizens regardless of ethnicity or creed. The state will not allow hoarding. So the rich will not get richer while the poor get poorer.

    If you read about the Khalifs of the past you will see the responsibilty they felt for their people. They also look after the lands and animals. As muslims we belive that even the land and animals will account us for how we treat them.

  256. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:00 pm  

    Sonia,

    I have nothing against human rights supporters. I believe they are sincere people who care about mankind and its future. Why would I want to throw cold water over that. What your saying and correct me if I’m wrong is that religion ignores human rights or God does?

    What I am saying is that religion, in particular Islam addresses the survival and necessities of human beings. It caters for all their instincts and regulates them accordingly. What more can you ask for. Everything above and beyond that is up to you. If you want a higher standard of living then work for it. If you want the finer things in life then go get them but don’t expect the state to provide them for you.

    There are certain things that are prohibited but that is with any state.

  257. Arif — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    Okay, now with the risk that it will upset you, if I translate what you say into western concepts, would it be fair to say:

    1. The government is responsible for social security/welfare to remove poverty.

    2. Corporal punishment would be practiced after due process, but no torture – physical or mental – would be practiced in any other context.

    [I would be interested in what safeguards there would be to ensure this]

    3. The courts will be secular (at least in cases involving people professing different religions)

    4. There will be limits on savings as well as physical assets anyone can have.

    5. You believe the Khalifahs of the past were never corrupted in terms of the Khalif being insensitive to suffering of humans or animals, or to harm to the environment.

    [This is something I find hard to believe, and that is why I keep asking what the safeguards are, could you suggest a source which convinces you of this?]

  258. Twining or Black in Blue — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:25 pm  

    OK a question. Is it possible that a Hindu, a Muslim, a Sikh, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Christian, and well any other faith also is included, but these are the main faiths…Is it possible that these people can pray together from the same location at the same time? And if not, why not?

  259. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:25 pm  

    Arif,

    Great points.

    Point 1 – correct.

    Point 2 – Safeguards would be in place by way of the people who are put in place to carry out or oversee the procedures. I see that this may seem open for corruptness, but that would be down to the failings of the humn being and not the procedure. Also ultimately everyone will be answerable to the almighty.

    Point 3 – The courts would not be secular. They cannot be as all laws are derived from Islamic teachings.

    Point 4 – There will not be limits on savings. There will not be people having wealth and doing nothing with it whilst other people are in desperate need. For example if you look at the world today. Half of the people are obese and wasteful while the other half cannot get their three basic meals. Nothing is being done abouth this. The state would not allow this.

    Point 5 – I simply stated that if you read about them you would find the magnitude of their responsibility and how important the welfare of the state means to them. Certainly there were some that swayed from their responsibilitis and this lead to the decline.

    What convinces me of the system is that like yourself I have considered all the scenarios and how the state would deal with them and have found answers that after scrutiny I agreed with.

  260. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:32 pm  

    Twining in Black and Blue.

    They all have different rituals in prayer so it wouldn’t work. Also they don’t all pray to the same god so to pray together wouldn’t make sense.

    I guess though you are trying to make the point of intolerance to one another. All the people of the faithat that you have named, belive in them. If you are in essence submitting yourself to those faiths then by definition you are discarding the others as false. So to pray with them makes no sense unless you are perhaps hedging your bets.

  261. El Cid — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:39 pm  

    Notwithstanding the insincerity of those on this thread who have repeatedly chosen to honestly acknowledge their historical mistakes (or at least try to defend themselves) and who see the world in terms of a child-like moral relativism, I wish to address the question of why moslems in moslem lands shouldn’t be allowed to live under a system of their own choosing.

    The answer is that of course they should.
    The question is, does that necessarily mean sharia law and is it just a little convenient and simplistic to assume that the west is all that is stopping them? What about all those moslems who represent more secular traditions — as in Turkey or Algeria? And what provisions are there if a majority of moslems change their mind — can sharia law be tweaked, even reversed?

    As for “no trouble at the hajj” — weren’t 400 people killed in 1987 in confrontations between Saudi police and pro-Iranian demonstrators?

  262. Arif — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:40 pm  

    Thanks for engaging with my points, Imran – to continue the discussion, if you are interested…

    Point 2: given human failings, what we see in the world in Muslim and non-Muslim societies alike, safeguards do seem to be necessary. It must be possible to, for example, make an allegation of torture to an institution which is independent of the institution doing the torturing. They would then need to be allowed to go to a court which is also independent of the institution accused of allowing the torture/employing the torturer, so that they are brought to justice.

    Given what we know of how human beings can so easily be tempted to abuse power if they are allowed to, there should be a clear mechanism to bring to light and punish torture in police custody.

    Point 3 – if courts judging non-Muslims are not secular, would they then expect non-Muslims to follow Sharia in the same detail as Muslims?

    Point 4 – This sounds like a limit on consumption, rather than on hoarding. Does this mean redistribuive taxation and a maximum income?

    Point 5 – Given that rulers can sometimes forget their responsibilities, what can be done to remind them, and why has it failed to remind them in the past?

  263. El Cid — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:47 pm  

    Arif, there also some countries which are not moslem but mixed, such as Lebanon and Nigeria. How would it work there?

  264. Arif — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:53 pm  

    El Cid, I do not know, we can make that point 20 in my list of questions (post 204)

  265. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:53 pm  

    “What your saying and correct me if I’m wrong is that religion ignores human rights or God does?”

    no i wasn’t saying that at all. ( though religion has done on many occasions obviously)

    my statement was a little pre-emptive – of course i didn’t know you were going to throw cold water over human rights supporters necessarily! so it’s nice to hear what you’re saying about human rights supporters.

    what i was hinting at: it’s simply that when the issue of reform of fiqh comes up obviously the problematic area is that of slavery. some people say well it doesn’t matter because slavery is illegal anyway blah blah, so what does it matter . but some people also say well since they dont want to criticise the early perfect muslims that our attitude to slavery i.e. that it was wrong – is not correct, and additionally, is insulting to the early muslims. i personally find that attitude problematic as it doesn’t correspond to my rather emotional way of thinking of human suffering. i can’t see how religion justified it.

    but in any case – as i said – i was just pre-empting that sort of argument… but you haven’t said any of that yet – so my apologies.

    However i daresay it becomes a pertinent issue to bring up with any talk of the Khilafah – if it could ignore international law ( say just for argument’s sake) would scholars think it was okay to have slaves again? ( in the way that it is regulated in Islamic jurisprudence of course – what with all the caveats that people say made it much better than other forms of slavery elsewhere – i can’t be bothered to quibble about that now) and what about concubines?

    i think those would be valid concerns of anyone who has issues with certain aspects of Sharia as it was codified in the 9th century. if that code were going to be brought back – what assurance do we have that they are going to leave out the bits about slavery and concubinage? is there any assurance?

    please do help me on this.

  266. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:57 pm  

    good one arif – and i think this is possibly one of the most crucial ones:

    “Point 5 – Given that rulers can sometimes forget their responsibilities, what can be done to remind them, and why has it failed to remind them in the past”

  267. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 12:57 pm  

    Twining in black and blue.
    That was not what I meant, I was making the point about the right of Muslims to decide their own political destiny.

  268. Chairwoman — on 11th April, 2007 at 1:02 pm  

    Goodness Imran, If you can create a state where nobody’s fat, you’re on to a winner.

    What punishments will there be for obesity, and how will this be policed?

  269. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 1:09 pm  

    Always interested in continuing dialogue Arif.

    Point 2 – Your right I should have made it clear. That if this mistreatment goes on then it can be reported and will be investigated.It will not be seperate from the institution, but this is not a problem they have their regulations, if someone is abusing it then that would be looked into.

    Point 3 – The courts do not have to be secular to respect a non Muslims religion. But they still have to obey the laws of the land. Just as I do not believe in Secularism but am bound by its laws when I walk the streets.

    Point 4 – There is not a limit on consumption. You have the right to consume as much as you like. Earn as much as you can. But if you have money or stocks, that are just stored for a rainy day but nothing specific then if and when needed that welth can be redistributed.

    Point 5 – The judges are the ones that should remind the Ruler of his responsibilities and account him for every action he does. What happened was the technique called ijtihad which was the method of extracting rulings from Islam were stopped. This meant that as new things were occurring in the world rules were not being correctly applied therefore the rulers wer becoming dictatorial and judges could not account them as there was nothing to account them to. We would have to make sure this does not occur again

  270. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    Ha Ha Chairwoman,

    If you ever met me you would truely see how ironic that question is. Lets just say I am not the slimmest.

    But it was just an example to illustrate the need for redistribution of wealth and how the state would do that. IT is a requirement. We can see by the ignorance of the world to the fact. This is why we have Live 8, children in need, Oxfam, Comic relief, all these charities try to redress this but the fact that they are still trying to do it 20 years on sees that they are just scratching the surface. This needs to be done properley without having optional next to it.

  271. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 1:55 pm  

    “Well this is just tosh in my opinon “the Muslim word”, one could almost believe that there were no Muslims living happily and freely anywhere else in the world. If the “Muslim World” wasn’t so keen on perscuting non-Muslims and being run by military dictorships you have a point.”
    The military dictators in the Muslim world are supported by the west and are their close allies, so if the people are not living happily and freely then the west is indirectly involved in the injustices against their people. So they should leave and take their puppets with them, let them decide for themselves what political system they want.

    My point to you was that it seems that you don’t think the Muslim world should have the right to decide for themselves, so who gave the west the right to force democracy down the throats of nations the barrel of a gun when clearly they don’t want it?

  272. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 1:59 pm  

    Sorry rewrite
    so who gave the west the right to force democracy down the throats of nations by the barrel of a gun when clearly they don’t want it?

  273. Abu Musa — on 11th April, 2007 at 2:09 pm  

    People are criticizing the Caliphate when one does not even exist. We do not know the form it will take, neither do we know how the institutions will function etc… etc…

    Yes we have different examples from the past but are these necessarily a benchmark to judge how people will run a Caliphate in future.

    Why is it OK for people in the West to have vatious forms of Democracies and run their institution in one form or another according to various constitutions and interpretations of those constitutions.

    Yet when Muslims want to run a State according to a belief system that is held by the ‘majority’ of people in the Muslim World. They are not even permitted to attempt to establish one and even give it a try…

    The West is happy to bomb countries, make sure that colonial-imposed borders stay intact, prop-up dictators, and even if Muslim in Algeria do things the ‘democratic way’ and vote over 90% in favour of Islamic Party ready establish Shari’ah Law – the West backs the army to reverse their mandate and send the country into a blood bath.

    The truth is that the West would not let Muslims establish a Caliphate even if all of us voted for one.

    We are only ‘free’ to do what the West wants us to do, otherwise we will be subject to Democro-Bombing.

    It is important that people to see this, at least if the West stop interferring the Muslim World can no longer blame the West.

    Otherwise we will see more terrorism by against Muslim Countries by Bush, Blair and Co. Which will result in groups commiting counter-terrorism against the West.

  274. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 2:42 pm  

    yes why dont you go and occupy some land or ‘mark it out’ and demand to have a State for your nation there. and whoever wants to live by sharia law can move there, and everyone who’s there who doesn’t want to be there, can move out.

    *oh wait hasn’t that been tried already?*

  275. Chairwoman — on 11th April, 2007 at 2:59 pm  

    Abu musa – When you say the majority of people in the Muslim world, could you be more explicit.

    Does majority mean both sexes and all people of voting age, or are you basically talking of married men over, say, 35?

  276. Chris Stiles — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    People are criticizing the Caliphate when one does not even exist. We do not know the form it will take, neither do we know how the institutions will function etc… etc

    Yes we have different examples from the past but are these necessarily a benchmark to judge how people will run a Caliphate in future.

    So you have a form of idealism that is immune to rational debate (see Imran earlier in the thread) and unexplainable in any terms to those on the outside. Where all the issues raised by people like Arif are ‘solved’ but yet where the solutions cannot be described.

    Yet when Muslims want to run a State according to a belief system that is held by the ‘majority’ of people in the Muslim World.

    What evidence do you have that a majority (Chairwoman’s points taken on board) – are in agreement with the precise nature of the caliphate that you describe? So far you haven’t even described a mechanism for handling internal hermenutical differences – bar that of sympathetic magic.

  277. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    Arif
    As to Imrans post 259
    “Point 3 – The courts would not be secular. They cannot be as all laws are derived from Islamic teachings.”
    This is respect to anyone who violates the law and all citizens are subject to this even the Caliph himself, with respect to disputes between other faiths for example on divorce then it is mandatory upon the caliph to provide courts for these purposes which would enable them to settle the dispute according to their own religious texts.
    As to your point 257
    “4. There will be limits on savings as well as physical assets anyone can have.”
    In the Islamic model there are mechanisms that would restrict the hoarding of wealth. What the Islamic definition in this context would mean having masses of wealth doing nothing, there is a difference between hoarding and saving, saving is having wealth for purpose i.e. for buying a house etc and saving is perfectly allowed. The wisdom behind this is quite profound in the effect it has on the circulation of wealth in a society, if you’d like me to elaborate I will be happy to do so.

  278. Chris Stiles — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:12 pm  

    “Historically, their options have been limited to resistance (usually followed by death) or accquiesence accompanied by various strictures/forced mass conversions/recanting etc.”

    Could you give a reference to this?

    Let’s start off with the treatment of the Ismailis under the Seljuk Turks – or if you want another example, the behaviour of the sixth Fatimid caliph.

    I’m amused though – you and your compatriots keep claiming that the Caliphate has no historical antecedents, whilst simultaneously rolling out the historical Caliphate as an example.

  279. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:29 pm  

    Arif
    I do apologise for not responding to your points, for reasons best described by imran in point 248, my assumption that you were maybe not sincere in your questioning but rather trying to throw a spanner in the works. Again I do apologise.

    “Clearly you do not share my preoccupation with human rights – human rights advocates are a minority in any community, so this doesn’t surprise me. But we seem to share similar views about US/UK foreign policy and imperialism. We are both Muslim. From the sound of it, we both live in the UK. I also find what passes for “democracy” a bit of a joke. It’s not like there is a fundamental barrier to communication.”

    I do share the sentiment of grievance against human rights abuses in the world regardless of who its to, but would maybe disagree with you as to what the solution of them may be as I see the problem as a systematic one and not one that can be solved from within the system. I am a Muslim living in the UK and yes I do feel that democracy is a bit of a joke. We do agree on more than I first perceived.

  280. Soso — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:39 pm  

    We are, possibly, in need of a new set of terms to describe the Islamic system in rhetoric familiar to a western audience for it is characterised by a distinct set of political ideas and political relationships unfamiliar to western political theory.

    Why so? The english language already contains many terms that acurrately describe what a caliphate would look like.

    And any caliphate would be quite familiar, in terms of its political discourse, to anyone who has survived fascism or communism.

    A caliphate simply subsititues “reactionary” and “counter-revolutionary” with “unbeliever” and “Kaffir”, although “women” and “homosexual” are possibilities, as well.

    Western political discourse was introduced to these new terms in the 20th century by nazis and communists. That’s why, in fact, most British converts to Islam are either former denizens of the far right or the far left.

    Islamist, nazi or communist….they’re all the same heresy established by false prophets whose only schtick is to immanantise the Christian eschaton.

    All are doomed to a violent(see Iran)resentful, poverty-stricken futures characterised by samizdata tracts, rampant apostasy and a flourishing black market in booze.

    The truth is that the West would not let Muslims establish a Caliphate even if all of us voted for one.

    Not true!

    The Caliphate is the West’s trump card. Both America and Europe encourage Islamists and have even financed a number of them. Easy access to oil depends, you see, on keeping the natives ignorant, backward and therefore vulnerable and maleable. Were healthy western-style democracies to be established in the M.E., and were these democracies technologically vibrant and economically robust, ( the opposite of a caliphate) it is then, and only then that The West would interfere in order to keep the region on its knees.

    For example, an Islamist political party aiming for the establishment of a caliphate was recently founded in Kuwait, and its inagruation attended by a WHOLE gaggle of smiling American officials. Islam is everything, and nothing fails quite like Islam!

    So obviously it’s very important for The West’s energy supplies to maintain the islamic world in a state of abject backwardness, and the best tool with which to accomplish this end is the prospect of a “caliphate”.

    Americans know one fundamental truth about the human condition, and that truth goes like this; there is a sucker born every minute.

    Radical west-hating Muslims can actually be harnessed ( duped?) by western interests to close and lock the doors to their own cages all the while believing they’re acting in opposition, via islamic morals and ideology, to those same economic interests.

    Islam doesn’t faze Americans at all. It’s the likes of Nasser and nasserian policies of progress and self-reliance that really gets America’s elite sweating.

    Shit, were Usman, Abu, Imran and company to establish a caliphate America’s elites would just crack open the champagne and watch with glee as oil stocks soared through the roof.

  281. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    As for or those who have not sensed the overwhelming desire in the Arab and Muslim world for an Islamic system there is good empirical evidence for this in the public domain. In the 2004 Zogby poll those surveyed in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE said the clergy should play a greater role in their politicalsystems and as many as 47% of Egyptians supported a greater role for the clergy[Zogby International-Sadat Chair Poll University of Maryland, 2004]. In a recent Gallup poll of ten mostly Muslim countries, the organisation found that in states such as Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Bangladesh, a majority of the people asked said Sharia, or Islamic law, should be the only source of legislation. In four other countries, a majority said Sharia must be a source of law, although not the only source.

    citizens of the Islamic world have a completely different perspective towards the West. Joshua Marshall writing in the Washington Monthly stated “after 1989 the people of those (Eastern and Central Europe) nations felt grateful to the United States because we helped liberate them from their Russian colonial masters…The same is unlikely to happen if we help ‘liberate’ Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The tyrannies in these countries are home grown and the US government has supported them, rightly or wrongly, for decades even as we’ve ignored (in the eyes of Arabs) the plight of the Palestinians. Consequently, the citizens of these countries generally hate the United States and show strong sympathy for Islamic radicals.”[ Will Hutton, “Why the West is wary of Muslims” The Observer, January 11th 2004]

    The selective application of liberal values has also caused a cataclysmic loss of
    confidence in the Western project. As Will Hutton, a British political commentator stated in 2004, “The tally of core Western values and beliefs that we have allowed to become corrupted as we respond is lengthening by the week. Equality before the law, the presumption of innocence, the right to a fair trial – all have been seen as expedients to be put aside.” He goes on, “We are undermining our own civilisation.” [ Will Hutton, “Why the West is wary of Muslims” The Observer, January 11th 2004]
    Guantanamo Bay, the human rights abuses in Afghanistan and at Abu Ghraib and the rounding up of thousands under draconian legislation have all damaged the reputation of the US and her allies and led many to question the Machiavellian usage of Western values.

  282. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

    Usman – have you ever lived in the ‘islamic world’?

    you say:

    “As for or those who have not sensed the overwhelming desire in the Arab and Muslim world for an Islamic system there is good empirical evidence for this in the public domain. In the 2004 Zogby poll those surveyed in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE”

    one survey of 3 countries and you’re extrapolating to ‘an overwhelming desire in the Arab and Muslim world’ ?

  283. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:55 pm  

    i’m curious – if you could humour me with a reply it would be so kind of you. perhaps you are basing this on some person observation etc. etc.

  284. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

    why do people have to wait for a Caliphate to try and recirculate wealth?

  285. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:03 pm  

    Sonia you and others cant handle the fact that people want the Caliphate, but lets say for arguments sake your right they don’t want it they still don’t want democracy, I don’t have to live in the Muslim world to see that, keep informed with current affairs, look at the demonstrations in Iraq, it seems like your in denial, reality paints a different picture. I’ve provided references in comment 281 why don’t you chase them up rather than making irrelevant points.

  286. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:04 pm  

    Oh! Oh! bring up slavery! That’s my favorite aspect to the Sharia the return of the glorous and sin free Caliphates. Will it feature in the new one?

    TFI

  287. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

    imran – 253 -> but muslims are governing themselves. last time i looked there are quite a few countries where muslims live and their leaders and governments are made up of mostly muslims. yeah you can say they’re propped up by whoever-and they’re crap or whatever ( sure i agree) but muslims are still governing themselves – in plenty of locations. and they aren’t exactly doing a whale of a job – so being muslim is hardly a guarantee of good government, much as we would like to think so.

    it’s hardly as if its similar to a situation where the Jews wanted to govern themselves and there was literally no country – till the creation of Israel- where it could be said to be the case.

    so who’s questioning #the integrity of muslims wanting to govern themselves?#

    the Khilafah is quite another matter altogether.

  288. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:10 pm  

    well Usman let’s just say i grew up in the Middle East and no one out there wanted the ‘caliphate’. in fact i never heard so much about it till i got to uni in sheffield and found some british pakistanis and bengalis and british south asian muslims in general – listen to some mullah types from libya going on about it in the student’s union. at first i thought it was hilarious and then very quickly realised that a lot of the people listening to this business were in it only to feel some sense of muslim identity and not a clue about governance and what the implications are.

  289. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:11 pm  

    by all means go and do a Khilafah if you like – why not settle mars or something.

  290. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:12 pm  

    TFI – yeah.. and the limitless concubines..

    ooh

    what about the houris?

    oh no hang on – that’s for later right?

  291. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:14 pm  

    i’m going off the rails now, i’d better stop

  292. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:16 pm  

    “I’m amused though – you and your compatriots keep claiming that the Caliphate has no historical antecedents, whilst simultaneously rolling out the historical Caliphate as an example.”

    good one Chris Stiles.

    Usman would you say the Early Caliphate was an imperialist machine much like other imperialist machines?

  293. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:25 pm  

    Sonia, its OK you are going off the rails. You are one of the most sane posters found on this board. Let your head down, treat an idiot like they are an idiot, its quite liberating.

    TFI

  294. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    you are NOT going off the rails …

    honestly I should read my posts sometimes …

    TFI

  295. soru — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:28 pm  

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/19_03_07_iraqpollnew.pdf

    Q17 There can be differences between the way government is set up in a country, called the political system. From the three options I am going to read to you, which ONE do you think would be the best for Iraq now?

    34% Strong leader: a government headed by one man for life

    22% Islamic state: where politicians rule according to religious principles

    43% Democracy: a government with a chance for the leader to be replaced from time to time

    I think that is a reasonably well-phrased question, talking about an islamic state, rather than simply ‘islam’, which certainly means different things to different people.

    Kind of like the americans say ‘do you like freedom, boy? ok, good, now privatise that oil company’.

    You can’t use a liking for one ambiguous word to justify an entire detailed political program.

    You can’t in one sentence use one very specific and personal definition of the word ‘islam’, but then rely on an entirely different, and much broader, meaning in the next sentence to claim ‘Iraq is an islamic country’ – that’s just pure sleight of hand.

    Especially as, even amongst the 22% backing some form of political islam, you would be lucky if 1 in 3 had a program within a million miles of that of HuT.

  296. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

    Soso @ 280

    Amen to that.

    Its China and India that the Americans fear, not the ME. The ME is deterimined to make the same mistake again and again.

    This is clearest with the Islam dislike of interest, a simple finantual tool which everyone else grasps and uses to their benefit.

    What is amusing is the lengths that some Muslims are prepared to go to to hide interest with bazare finantual tools. I don’t see how a omniopent god could be “tricked” into not seeing this as sleight of hand.

    Nothing fails like Islam, indeed.

    TFI

  297. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:50 pm  

    “You can’t use a liking for one ambiguous word to justify an entire detailed political program.”

    spot on Soru!

  298. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    Actually thanks to Sonia, I’ve looked up what “houris” are, and this idea of limitless concubines is very appealing to me as a man … so I’m suddenly seeing the appeal of fundamental Islam! Throw in a few slaves to wash my socks, it sounds great!

    Where to I sign up?

    TFI

  299. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 4:58 pm  

    “why not settle mars or something”
    Is this your intellectual response? Why not live on mars? It feels like having a discussion with an immature child.

    “Oh! Oh! bring up slavery!” I’m sorry, slavery, like you have a good history to compare it to. Please don’t get me started on criticisms of secular states that would never end.

    The validity of Ideology is in the strength of its basis, if there is to be a serious dialogue then this is where it needs to be. So the task at hand for secularists is to prove secularism as a concept.
    I’ve asked this question about 4 times and still no response, why don’t all the vanguards of secularism have a crack at this one. I’ll be patiently awaiting an answer, I know there won’t be one because you haven’t got an answer.

  300. El Cid — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:06 pm  

    Sonia,
    Nice try on the imperialist question.
    Usman has been avoiding that ever since he got my goat with his observations on the history of spain. But why limit it to the early caliphate? What about the Ottomans?

  301. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:06 pm  

    Please don’t get me started on criticisms of secular states that would never end.

    Please do, it will keep you nice and busy.

    Obviously you think that slavery, stoning people, chopping off hands are all things that belong in the past and wouldn’t be reintroduced in this new policital system.

    So the task at hand for secularists is to prove secularism as a concept.

    What do you mean by this question? you don’t prove concepts, you describe them. Could expand it out fully so that we may address the actual question.

    TFI

  302. El Cid — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:09 pm  

    Do you know when the Saudis “officially” abolished slavery? I’ll whisper it quietly, but close your eyes and ears Usman just in case in seeps through: 1-9-6-2

  303. Usman — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:14 pm  

    Prove secularism as a concept to be correct. That’s what im asking TFI

  304. Imran — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

    Oh my word, I go off for a little while and when I come back you have all resorted to sticks and stones.

    Everyone just calm down. There is no way anyone will prove anything by belittling or ridiculing another person.

    Right then,

    Slavery – it was around at the time and so was incorporated within the system. Yet they were given civil rights and people were encouraged to release them. It does not exist anymore so will not be an issue anymore.

    Sonia, did you have a bad experience in uni with some of these young muslims. It sounds as though there is a lot of pent up aggression? What I would say though, and I understand that it is hard but try not to assume that everyone who shares those ideas has the same arrogance.

    Friendly Infidel, is everything ok!!! you seem like you want to aggravate people, but why?
    It’s hardly going to win any respect.

    So to the debates at hand.

    The original blog has deteriorated, so the whole HuT thing was pointless. But now we are trying to determine whether a state is feasable, is it wanted and should it be allowed?

  305. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:23 pm  

    Prove secularism as a concept to be correct.

    Is this a question? Looks like a collection of words forming an approximation of a sentence making no sense to me.

    But first could you confirm that you think that slavery, stoning people, chopping off hands are all things are all bad things.

    I don’t talk to people that feel that performing those things are virtues of a society, I consider those people to be barbarians and not worthy of polite discourse.

    You aren’t a Barbarian are you Usman?

    TFI

  306. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:33 pm  

    Slavery – it was around at the time and so was incorporated within the system. Yet they were given civil rights and people were encouraged to release them. It does not exist anymore so will not be an issue anymore.

    By the system, I assume you mean Islamic law. Unfortunately slavery does still exist and must be stamped out where ever it is found.

    How would the new Caliphate ensure it wouldn’t resurface, but be OK because: Yet they were given civil rights and people were encouraged to release them.

    Yes Imran, I do like agrevating people because when they are angry they say silly things that they regret. They see red, the guard comes down and they slip out what they really think, not the sanitized version they would rather you heard. Have you never paid any attention to the political discourse in this country? We aren’t polite to people for the sake of it, respect is something is earned, not something assumed.

    I’ve no interest in winning your respect, just making sure your convictions are sound and stand up to robust debate.

    “Respect” is what youths shoot each other on the streets in south London. “Respect” is a highly overated virtue, “Tolarance” is a far superior.

    TFI

  307. The Common Humanist — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:39 pm  

    Broadly secular states work. Religious ones tend to fail. Its not the religions fault per se but more that only within a liberal, secular framework can religions co-exist.

    Take India, as a secular democracy it works – but this form of Gov’t takes place in a deeply religious country. When one or the other major religions tries to assert itself then thats where trouble starts.

    Hands up who thinks India would be better off as a Muslim, Hindu or Sikh theocracy? Hopefully no-one.

    (I appreciate this is a less then perfect example but so are all the others – i.e. human states make for imperfect analogies)

    Anyway, we have good examples in Europe of successful secular states – incidently all states where religions flourish. These two things are perhaps related, no?

    The Muslims countries taking a more pragmatic view on like seem to be doing rather better then those that take a more literalist approach.

    Regarding the West and the Muslim World – the more democracy the better and the fewer dictators the better. Plus the West will benefit from the 100,000′s of muslims who don’t want to live in a Talibanised/GIA etc etc etc land (one man, one vote, once etc) or happen to have ovaries.

    Asian immigration has enriched this country so I say – bring on the Caliphate! Bring Us your tired and huddled IT engineers and plumbers!

  308. Chris Stiles — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

    In the 2004 Zogby poll those surveyed in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE said the clergy should play a greater role in their political systems and as many as 47% of Egyptians supported a greater role for the clergy [Zogby International-Sadat Chair Poll University of Maryland, 2004].

    And in the real world policy needs to be fairly specific, it’s no use wandering about beaming benevolently and chanting ‘Be well, be well’.

    A number of questions then arise: How typical of these countries of the ‘Muslim World’ (for amusing results compare and contrast inhabitants of Turkey or Indonesia with Qatar). What exactly are they saying ? What role should the clergy play? A greater role? Not the only role? The statistic you quote is completely absent of any context.

    In a recent Gallup poll of ten mostly Muslim countries, the organisation found that in states such as Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan and Bangladesh, a majority of the people asked said Sharia, or Islamic law, should be the only source of legislation.

    This only makes sense alongside questions which seek to elucidate exactly what people understand sharia to be – and therein lies your difficulty. Who decides which understanding is correct ? Tariq Ramadan? Kulvinder? Abdul Aziz-bin-baz? Sonia?

    Prove secularism as a concept to be correct.

    In what sense? Do you mean “Prove that making sure that people who claim to infallibly know the infallible will of God aren’t allowed to base public policy on that basis is a good idea” ? That’s an easier ask than proving your utopia.

  309. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:56 pm  

    “Sonia, did you have a bad experience in uni with some of these young muslims. It sounds as though there is a lot of pent up aggression?”

    heh heh i come over as aggressive do i? * :-) funny that’s what the HuT lot said to me. no i didnt’ particularly have a bad experience with the students – uni life was great fun. perhaps my irritation with Mullahs in general is coming across? i come from bangladesh you see – there’s a lot of nonsense about – like not letting women into mosques.

  310. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 5:58 pm  

    but thanks for the kind thought Imran, when i can afford therapy, i’m definitely going for it!

  311. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 6:01 pm  

    “Slavery – it was around at the time and so was incorporated within the system. Yet they were given civil rights and people were encouraged to release them. It does not exist anymore so will not be an issue anymore.”

    yes the first bit is what everyone says. the reason i found that disappointing is that i thought the idea was some sort of reform? after all wine drinking was around, praying to many gods were around, but they weren’t incorporated at the time were they? the issue is a thorny one precisely because it might seem a little too convenient that things like slavery continued ( albeit with ‘improved’ terms) and masters thought they could have sex with their female slaves, (but oh you weren’t allowed to eat pork) – and hence get people to question whether these rules were made up to satisfy the desires of some of the community. and we know where that leads to – people might ask – well was the whole thing made up?

    you see – it is a difficult issue. anyhow im off – enjoy y’all

  312. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 6:06 pm  

    like not letting women into mosques.

    Yes Sonia (as of post 298 I’ve switched sides on this whole thing), who gave you permission to speak? I bet you aren’t even wearing your headscarf!

    Usman, what is the word for women like Sonia? Can we stone her now?

    Now, Sonia, would you like commerical, thai sticks or this nice skunk from the dam? I recommend the skunk.

    It so much more fun getting stoned here than in Saudi, but sadly unlike getting stoned Saudi its illegally over here …

    Oh I’m so funny.

    TFI

  313. Chairwoman — on 11th April, 2007 at 6:11 pm  

    Sonia – Women not allowed in mosques? Are you serious? Not at all?

    And I thought we had a bad deal in orthodox synagogues, having to sit seperately, but at least we’re allowed in.

  314. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 11th April, 2007 at 6:12 pm  

    Taking a misquote out of context:

    the whole HuT thing is pointless

    I agree Imran!

    I’m off to enjoy the sun. I’m going to watch 300 at the IMAX and really REALLY enjoy it.

    TFI

  315. Arif — on 11th April, 2007 at 6:56 pm  

    Okay, so I thought I raised a lot of points… now this thread is going all over the place!

    Who wants a Caliphate, who wants secularism, who wants democracy…. big words which we are all trying to get to the bottom of. Usman and Imran have made attempts to explain the Caliphate, I have tried to express what I mean by human rights, so it seems fair enough to ask what secularism means for people who would like to persuade others of its benefits.

    To Imran (post 269)

    On point 2, why would it not be possible in a Caliphate to have separate institutions to investigate, expose and prosecute torture? Or can this be undertaken by non-Governmnental organisations on behalf of people who feel they have no redress within the system. People with bad experiences normally do mistrust the system which mistreats them – and I do not see why a Caliphate would be any different, particularly since the checks against oppression are so few.

    The way she expresses herself may exasperate you, but I feel Sonia has a point when she hints that pious, scholarly and zealous Muslims can be oppressive both towards fellow Muslims and non-Muslims, and so their sense of responsibility alone does not feel an adequate safeguard.

    The judiciary, therefore, seems the key safeguard. How is the judiciary appointed? How is a judge removed?

    On point 3, you and Usman provide slightly different points of view. It was my understanding that non-Muslims can have their own systems and be judged in accordance with them. And that in matters of disagreement between two parties from different religions, there can be arbitration by a mutually agreed party. If this is not the case, is that not creating a form of compulsion in matters of faith?

    On point 4, I am interested to know a little more, Usman. How would you like to institutionalise this rule in a contemporary economy? For example, would it be through State-ownership of banks to ensure that all savers explain the purpose of deposits of money?

    On point 5, I am interested that you believe that ijtihad is valid, and I would definitely agree on this, however this raises several further complications:

    1. The orthodoxy is that the doors have been closed to ijtihad, and I do not think there is a consensus to reopen it.

    2. Different judgments by different scholars could result in selective justice, confusion, and even civil war – unless the Caliphate allows for different interpretation to be followed and does not try to impose its own. If only the Khalifah can undertake ijtihad, then it raises again the human rights issues I mentioned earlier… How to oppose an interpretation which you sincerely believe to be oppressive?

  316. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 8:06 pm  

    el cid – a lot of people who say that the later muslims became corrupted point to the ‘early muslims’ as perfect..

    TFI – hah hah – quite – apparently the concubine thing was ‘instrumental’ in spreading islam – no surprises there!

    usman – absolutely a heck of a lot of societies have had slavery in the past – clearly it wasn’t just the islamic empire. obviously. but the point is where the other empires masquerading as religions? if they were then id say the same thing to them/ can’t go about expecting people to take you seriously if you say this is religion and oh by the way here are the slaves. the assumption being that there would be something good about a religion. Doh! yep this is pretty ridiculous low level conversation!

  317. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 8:13 pm  

    tfi – some skunk please.. and no grit in it either please..

    chairwoman – yep! there are a lot of mosques in bangladesh which don’t let women in. i don’t know if it applies to all but definitely a large number. i know a lot of bangladeshis on going to live in kuwait were suprised they let women in theirs! ( and they thought the arabs were sure to be practising the true religion)

  318. sonia — on 11th April, 2007 at 8:14 pm  

    yeah you’re funny alright TFI! im practically on the floor in fits. i always did love the ‘can we go to the stoning now’ bit in the life of brian. ‘hurry up! they’ll be stoned by the time we get there’!

    ‘are there any women here today?’

    *hyuk hyuk*

  319. soru — on 11th April, 2007 at 8:21 pm  

    Prove secularism as a concept to be correct..

    You can’t prove anything ab initio, but if you start with the Qu’ran, I think you can pretty much do it.

    Secularism, in the Anglo (as opposed to French/Russian/Turkish tradition), really means only the minimal logical consequences of:

    1. freedom of religion
    2. monopoly of force.

    In a secular system, there is ‘no compulsion in religion’, to use an well-known phrase.

    Now, there is certainly compulsion in politics – that’s the way things work on this planet, in this millenium, under a state system (anarchists can start a side discussion).

    Under those definitions, any public claim that someone has divine backing for their politics should be seen as implicitly violating the above rules. You need to seperate political and religious arguments, as they are different types of things, with different moral and logical forces.

    Just as Islam, I think pretty consistently these days, seperates scientific and religious arguments (pity about the americans).

    For example, if a political party or militia claims the name ‘Islam’ exclusively for themselves, they are breaking the rules.

    What secularism, in that tradition, doesn’t mean is, that just because someone is suspected of holding a legitimate political belief for relgious reasons, that needs to be actively suppressed. In the anglo tradition, there is no tearing off of veils, no cutting off the beards of the boyars

    So, in Anglo-secular countries, you still had religiously-inspired political movements like the abolition of slavery, or the campaign for Prohibition.

  320. Soso — on 11th April, 2007 at 8:59 pm  

    The validity of Ideology is in the strength of its basis, if there is to be a serious dialogue then this is where it needs to be. So the task at hand for secularists is to prove secularism as a concept.Usman.

    Usman, I hate to break it to ya, but after reading several of your comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that you haven’t the capacity for serious dialogue.

    And…um….secularism isn’t a some theoretical concept; it is a modern REALITY an one the isamic world must learn to understand, embrace and then put into practice.

    Look at the mess “caliphate” Iran has become. It’s GNP is only about 20% of what it was 30 years ago. The place has a distinct grey Soviet feel to it.

    The Mullahs are heretics attempting to immanantise the Christian eschaton. You should read som Christian theology, or at least someEric Voghelin to understand what’s happenig. The current leader is even under the impression he’s a messiah, the 12th Madhi! The more these fellas chase after islamic purity, the filthier the place becomes.

    Inany case, Islamic fundamentalism has the peculiar capacity of killing off any and all sense of irony its practioners ever possessed.

    You have reached that point, sadly.

  321. Soso — on 11th April, 2007 at 9:08 pm  

    And I agree with Sonia’s point of settling Mars. Why don’t you establish your Caliphate there and leave the rest of us sane humans to live as we wish, in peace and free from the threats, violence and intimidation?

    By the way, the news wires are reporting that the tenors of the caliphate have just detonated a bomb in Algeria, killing 30 and injuring scores of others.

    Yet, it’s the military dictatorship and not the murder of innocents that has you upset.

    So just a quick qestion while the bodies are still warm; how is the murder of innocent bystanders better than a military dictatrship?

  322. Soso — on 11th April, 2007 at 9:19 pm  

    Chairwomen: There is a mosque just down the street from where i work. At its front entrance there’s a clumsily drawn pictogram “instructing” women to use the back entry.

    The mosque is a former home, the women’s entrance is at the back and down through a basement door once used to haul in coal.

    It’s out of sight and down around at the back basement door where the shame of being a women cannot be seen.

    But you shouldn’t take that out of “context” and incorrectly assume, as a result, that Islam is misongynistic.

    It isn’t, it is a boon to women’s right and far ahead of its time in terms of gender equality!

  323. El Cid — on 11th April, 2007 at 10:07 pm  

    Sonia, point taken

  324. El Cid — on 11th April, 2007 at 10:22 pm  

    A statement from Al Qaeda following the bombings in Algiers today says they will not rest until the lands of Islam are liberated from Jerusalem to Al-Andalus.
    Is it in that context that we should see Usman’s repeated failure to address his earlier erroneous comments about Spain?
    If so, then the answer to his question about whether the west should tolerate the restoration of a caliphate — even if moslems wanted it, which i doubt — might have to be a war-like no, due to self interest. If he had had the courage to put his hands up and be, like he likes to say, sincere — and he still can — I might arrive at a friendlier conclusion.

  325. Twining or Black in Blue — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:05 am  

    Imran, so then within religion where is the concept of one race? Sitting on difference and suggesting we cannot pray together is absurd, it is ancient. This is a cause of conflict. So what if we pray differently? I can pray to my God in a Church at the same time Christians may pray to Jesus. Anyone can do this.

    One does not have to believe in Jesus, but one must respect Jesus that others believe he is the son of God. There is no one superior divine power. In some of your arguments, you refute that this cannot happen. It cannot happen because you will not let it happen.

    And this is the saddest thing of all. Here I have seen enough of a childish we can’t do attitude. We can’t do because some of us don’t want to. As long as you do that be warned that you also can cause racism’s. People can live and let live and respect and accept or fight for a corner of the earth that they deem is theirs, but temporarily mind because we all have to go some day. Futile! You have just expalined to me in your answer why religion is a cause of racism.

  326. Imran — on 12th April, 2007 at 10:21 am  

    Good morning,

    Lets go,

    TFI, good luck with your aggravated truth search mission.

    Twining – I think we have had a slight miscommunication here. When I said that they could pray together I was talking as a collective. There is no problem with them praying in the same place. There are certain procedures for each faith when they do their ritual prayers which makes it impracticle. That by no means allows for disrespect to the other religions. I accept that Christians believe one thing and I believe another. I still have respect for them. As all muslims should. If they show disrespect for no reason then this is wrong and I condemn it.

    It is also not a question of me not letting it. All other faiths would agree on this. A sikh will not prostrate in front of God along side a muslim. There is nothing wrong with that nor is it intolerant as long as they do not ridicule or force each other.

    Soso, Iran is not a caliphate. They call themselves the Islamic Republic. You cannot have an Islamic Republic any more than you can have an Islamic Pub.

    As for the killing of civilians this is wrong and these people are accountable for their actions.

    Also, just because secularism is a reality does not make it correct or sound. By this defintion so are cannibalism, paedophilia, beastiality etc. Things can exist but the actions and the thoughts that lead to them can be weak.

    There also seems to be a lot of talk about women and dthe mosque. Then everyone wants to talk about their local mosque. Well my local mosque allows women. They have their seperate entrance and are allowed to pray whenever they want. Look I feel bad for the muslim women in your areas, they should be allowed. But this is not something born from Islam but a cultural problem that has sadly become mixed in like a sour cordial drink. But this is what happens, when the muslim lands were broken up, they all started to veer off in different directions and became diluted.

    Just to finish as I do not want to bore anyone. But respect is a must. Tolerance is born from respect. Respect does not necessarily have to be earned but rather maintained. I joint this forum not knowing anybody but was respectful (i hope) to everyone. If people had to earn my respect then I should have come in all guns blazing. That does not make sense.

  327. Sunny — on 12th April, 2007 at 10:38 am  

    They call themselves the Islamic Republic. You cannot have an Islamic Republic any more than you can have an Islamic Pub.

    Why not exactly? Why are republics not allowed?

  328. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 10:45 am  

    “Is this a question? Looks like a collection of words forming an approximation of a sentence making no sense to me.”

    Secularism does have that effect, don’t worry you aint the only one it doesn’t make sense to anyone.

    “performing those things are virtues of a society”
    Before we start talking about virtue, can you define morality?

    “Broadly secular states work. Religious ones tend to fail. Its not the religions fault per se but more that only within a liberal, secular framework can religions co-exist.”
    Based on what is known about medieval Europe and Christianity, but are still waiting for secularism to be proven correct as a concept.
    “Prove secularism as a concept to be correct.
    In what sense? Do you mean “Prove that making sure that people who claim to infallibly know the infallible will of God aren’t allowed to base public policy on that basis is a good idea” ? That’s an easier ask than proving your utopia.”
    Yes you will be able to prove that if you can prove secularism to be correct, who’s claiming to be infallible? I haven’t mentioned anything like that.
    “Now, there is certainly compulsion in politics – that’s the way things work on this planet, in this millenium, under a state system (anarchists can start a side discussion).
    Under those definitions, any public claim that someone has divine backing for their politics should be seen as implicitly violating the above rules. You need to separate political and religious arguments, as they are different types of things, with different moral and logical forces.”
    There is a compulsion for politics as human needs and instincts can not be organized in any other way, much of what you have mentioned here may be true for a religion which only deals with non-temporal matters, however Islam is an ideology which is political in nature and can not be separated from it.
    “And…um….secularism isn’t a some theoretical concept; it is a modern REALITY an one the isamic world must learn to understand, embrace and then put into practice”
    So its not theoretical? The Islamic world must learn to understand? I don’t think you understand it yourself.

    So at the end of all this, there is still no proof that secularism is right.

    Any one else wanna have a go?

  329. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 10:48 am  

    ah well you’ve put your finger on it Imran. “But this is not something born from Islam but a cultural problem that has sadly become mixed in like a sour cordial drink.” yes well perhaps i think allowing slavery to continue on the part of the early muslims was a ‘cultural’ problem that got mixed up similarly, lots of things are ‘cultural’ problems -i.e. in this context – let’s be clear: human problems. that’s what a lot of people have been saying on this thread: you can see it in this way if you like: the message from the Lord as passed through the ‘media’ (plural of medium) of mankind can perhaps have been polluted ( like the cordial) along the way, so the cordial now up for offering perhaps bears no similarity to the original ‘message’. Seeing as you have admitted that many practices which are sanctioned by people who ought to know better ( i.e. the mosques in bangladesh: and the religious men associated with those institutions) how does anyone know that given a chance to form a ‘Caliphate’ – they won’t do similar ‘cultural’ ‘cordial-spoiling’ tricks. We don’t do we? Some of us take it on faith ( e.g. yourself) and with all due respsect, perhaps you can see why others are not so willing to do so? How is anyone going to know that the same human mistakes will not be made over and over again? How are we to know when the ‘Pure Caliphate’ has arrived? Remember people have been talking about this for eons – what is different now than to before? People keep saying ‘well it wasn’t perfect before, it wasn’t a Caliphate’ – well how is going to be perfect this time? do we know some ‘social engineering’ techniques that we didn’t before? ( the americans would tell you yes – the Television)

    I hope you can understand what I am saying to you. My issues do not rise from the ‘Islamic’ nature of this subject – much though i enjoy slagging off mullahs – I would say the same thing to people who talk about Revolution and how everything will be fine afterwards. I would have said the same to the Russian Communists had i been around then, or any glorious Utopia envisionists. Orwell said it in Animal Farm. The point is not that one cannot have a vision of Utopia but in that case it would be useful to have some concrete ideas and understanding of the differences between here and There. Otherwise – it can be very dangerous.

    if we don’t have that understanding – well let’s look for it. Let’s study society and social organisation and human behaviour.

  330. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 10:58 am  

    Imran you have been pretty respectful – yes – and sometimes things can descend into chaos on PP to mudslinging! i don’t think that’s been happening here on this thread. a lot of irreverence from some of us which of course some might term ‘disrespectful’ but..hey

    For myself I don’t mind at all about the mosques in Bangladesh, if they don’t want me inside their little bit of concrete, fine with me. mosques in Kuwait where i grew up did let women in – and i still only went to one.

    Too much heavy human male disapproval. Personally i find such spaces not very peaceful, stimulating to the mind or soul. i’d rather be out in the middle of nature : if you are interested at all (which you probably aren’t) i don’t much like the ‘collectivity’ idea of organised religion – and this idea of we should pray in the presence of other ‘believers’. i think human beings spend more time worrying what other people will think: the only reason i went to the mosque that one time was because my Mother thought ‘but what will Mrs. X say when they see i have not brought my daughter to Eid prayers? Mrs. X’s daughters are coming..’

    However, if a woman wants to go inside a mosque its very cheeky of the mosque-men to not let her inside. Who gave them jurisdiction?

  331. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:04 am  

    what we need is a thread to discuss which bits of the ‘cordial’ we think ( or some of us think) have become sour along the way with human filtering. It is highly relevant in as much as it might go some way to explaining why some of us are Very Suspicious of the cordial we find in our cups today.

  332. Refresh — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:05 am  

    Sonia

    Excellent post, finally a logical non-emotive perspective (apart from any I have yet to read above). What are the issues and what are the safeguards?

    For myself, I usually start at the other end. Its economics. Economics delivers justice and injustice; econimocs delivers peace and war. Economics delivers a fractured society or one at peace with itself.

    The fractious society feeds on divisions until there is anarchy.

    It would be fair to say that the societies we have at the moment will deteriorate further becuase of the economic model being exercised – voluntarily and militarily.

    Sadly this debate has had to bide its time given the over-emotional responses.

    I have said before, the EU is a model of the Caliphate.

    Continue…..

  333. Imran — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:05 am  

    Sonia,

    Your scepticism is valid. And correct, you or I have not lived under the caliphate so will not know all the issues surrounding it.

    But one thing that you and I must agree on is the current systems applied throughout the world are all incorrect. They do not solve the problems of the world. In fact they do not even attempt to.

    Why is that? Because secularism promotes a fantasy freedom. Show compassion if you want but take care of numero uno’s hopes and desires first. Strike them before they strike you. If you don’t get caught you ain’t done wrong. Life is short get what you can from it and leave someone else to clear the mess when you die. The islamic ideal would not allow these things and attempt to solve them.

    Secularism does not stand for anything as it does not have an ultimate goal so people do their whims and desires. This is in my opinion absurd. Because if everyone is free to do as they please then at some point surely one person freedom will infringe on anothers.

  334. Twining or Black in Blue — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:11 am  

    As individuals if we cannot find peace amongst others, other faiths and nature I wonder what hope is there. We will continue to argue and fight. Faith is in the heart and mind and in nature. Focussing on difference focuses on intolerance and a lack of acceptance in my opinion.

    The problem is HuT and all faith radical groups have no respect for “other” faiths. They believe in superiority theory, and where does it come from? Their interpretation of faith.

    Imran, irrespective of impracticticality was it not Guru Gobind Singh that sat with a Muslim preacher and a Hindu preacher and prayed together all those years ago. I am sorry but rhetoric is what I hear. We cannot excuse HuT, the BNP or the Nation of Islam for that matter. Same ideology, similar beliefs just a different racist organisation. Usman, no ones wants to have a go. I have witnessed elsewhere bigotry from some Muslim people and I have been accused of being Anti Islamic, but I am anti racist…No answers to homosexuality and Sacranie yet?

  335. Twining or Black in Blue — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:15 am  

    When I say anti racist I care not whether if it is Christian, Muslim or whatever, if an interpretation is racist then I will say it…I am having a bad week! A really bad week!

  336. soru — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:26 am  

    There is a compulsion for politics as human needs and instincts can not be organized in any other way, much of what you have mentioned here may be true for a religion which only deals with non-temporal matters, however Islam is an ideology which is political in nature and can not be separated from it.

    So when the Prophet infallibly wrote ‘there is no compulsion in religion’, in your opinion he was wrong. You know better, because your belief in various 17C and later western political theories of the state, for you, overrides the teachings of the Qu’ran?

  337. Imran — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:26 am  

    Twining,

    Why have you applied this accusation to just faith, surely the same would occur for different standpoints on liberalism, sexism, political outlooks, races, regions, anything that makes us different. BUt you cannot eradicate differences. You just have to respect. Now I would say that you and I disagree but are being civil towards each other. I do not expect you to compromise your beliefs to conform with me and similarily you would not expect that of me. This does not mean that we could not get along, co exist or be friends even.

  338. Imran — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:29 am  

    Soru,

    There is no compulsion to Islam. Even when the caliphate spread, the people under it were not forced to change their religions, yet they did flock towards it.

  339. soru — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:39 am  

    @Imran

    So if you set up fair and free elections to a legislative assembly, would you not be able to determine and scientifically measure the degree to which people flocked towards islam by counting the number of votes for islamically-correct laws?

    If what you really sincerely believe what you claim, why would you shrink from testing it?

  340. Twining or Black in Blue — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:51 am  

    Imran, that is my point. You are right I have applied this accusation to faith because faith is a cause in my experience of racism. Where does Liberalism and political outlook come from if not from faith/beliefs? I am not saying we eradicate difference I am considering how to reduce hate crime or incidents and belief in one Superior or Divine foccuses on difference and causes difficulties. Belief in one is problematic. This is why people fight on the streets. Also, we have been discriminated within the faith school system. If we so wish to hold on to our own this is exclusive also. Faith schools are problematic for race relations.

  341. Imran — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:51 am  

    Soru,

    I am not suggesting that everyone turned to Islam. My point was aimed at the fact that it was not imposed on them. They could contiunue to worship whomever they desired. But as they lived in and around it they agreed with its principles and justness and turned to it. It is academic how many changed as it is a personal choice for them.

  342. Twining or Black in Blue — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:52 am  

    Still, no answer to homosexuality. Are there no corroborative links in ideology between fudementalists within the BNP, HuT, Nation of Islam?

  343. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:53 am  

    Thank you Refresh! You’re a hard one to impress :-)
    ( that’s a compliment to you)

    Actually I’ve just remembered- there was a post made by Mezba and he was saying something along the lines of in his opinion – canadian courts are doing a better job of upholding the spirit of * sharia – i.e. justice -better than so-called Sharia courts. which i thought was a sensible acknowledgement. And he also had this post up on why an Islamic State would not be viable – here it is. Another perspective to ponder upon.

  344. Imran — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:55 am  

    Twining –

    Why yearn to go to a faith school if you do not believe in the faith. If there were no other schools then I could see why this is a problem. But what you are asking for is an asexual, robotic global nation that thinks the same. It cannot happen, should not happen and would be tragic if it did.

  345. Imran — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:58 am  

    Twining

    What is it you want to know about homosexuality?

  346. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:59 am  

    Imran – i agree current systems are highly problematic.
    I have lived through a war – that if anything would have shown me had I not already known.

    As a child i heard lots of ( what i thought were idealistic) chants of ‘Arab Brotherhood’ – I thought it doesn’t take much for a sibling to turn on one another. But faith is an interesting thing. Interestingly, this belief i heard around me – of Arab brotherhood – died on 2nd August 1990. I never heard anyone talking about it after that ( in Kuwait that is)

    Generally a lot of people refuse to acknowledge the crappiness of the world we live in and the systems. No offence mate, but a lot of their naivete i hear from you. I’m not sure why you think I would automatically imagine everything is great and its only religion that’s ‘BAD’ – i wish it were that simplistic.

    Sadly though, when a religion says it is from God, and it says a lot of other wonderful things about itself, people naturally have higher standards of it. Would you suggest this is incorrect?

  347. Twining or Black in Blue — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:03 pm  

    Imran, You are twisting my words here my freind…..Faith schools discriminate. Discrimination is not good….We are global…And Imran, Islam is imposed, if a Non islamic was to marry some Islamic individuals then these people have imposed Islam. This is wrong. I am not playing mind games but I feel you are, even if you are being respectful. Imposing a faith is not right, acceptance is far better. Anyway off to work…Godd day all.

  348. Twining or Black in Blue — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:04 pm  

    God works in mysterious ways, I meant good day, and typed it Godd!

  349. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:05 pm  

    you’re new to PP – aren’t you Imran – so you probably don’t know that i am one of the people who are willing to say that there are big issues with the model of social organisation which is the global norm now – the nation-state. i don’t have any answers, im not that clever, but i can spot a problem or two. Of course, a lot of these problems only emerge if you hop around the world from a different state to another.

    In any case. Perhaps you are trying to understand where my objections are coming from. I think i have made that clear. If you truly cannot empathasize with my position – then that is a shame -but fair enough. It worries me doubly though – that if and when people who talk about grandiose ambitions and vision – such as the Caliphate – and can’t understand others’ points of view – if they were to get into power – what then?

    The same as always happens perhaps?

  350. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:07 pm  

    empathasize – empathize i meant

  351. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:17 pm  

    So at the end of all this, there is still no proof that secularism is right.

    I’ve been trying to explain what the concept of secularism is to my dog, but he just cocks his head to the side and looks rather confused.

    Either he doesn’t understand the words I’m using or his mind is made up and closed to the new ideas – I cannot tell which because all he does is look up at me and bark.

    I suppose that because my dog doesn’t have free will, he doesn’t question why he isn’t allowed on the sofa.

    To him I’m a god and my word is law, he cannot question it, but can at least he can test the boundaries by, say, putting his paws on the armrest.

    It could only be worse for him if he had free will, had never met me and yet the other dogs enforced “my will” as they assumed it to be.

    While I’m on the subject of dogs, the one thing I don’t like about them is that they treat their females like bitches.

    TFI

  352. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:40 pm  

    “Still, no answer to homosexuality.”

    When anyone says this is from god it means nothing to someone who does not believe in god or has not had the opportunity to test the argument for its correctness. As to what is morally good or bad like I mentioned earlier is relative. What I would say is that what is morally good or bad is determined by the basis of where it came from. So for Muslims the task at hand is to prove the validity of the source and its correctness and vice versa for any secularist to prove secularism to be correct as these are the two bases of discussion.

    The argument that what the majority believe to be correct is virtue and what the majority see as bad is vice is flawed. When the majority change their mind then the old opinion is wrong and the majority are always changing their mind making the previous opinion incorrect or morally wrong as is the case with homosexuality, once taboo is now generally accepted, today there are discussions on should cannabis be legalised and such like debates. So what is morally good and bad when left to human beings to decide for themselves? Morality goes out the window as there is nothing to measure it to.

    As yet, no one seems to be able to prove secularism to be correct

  353. Abu Musa — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:41 pm  

    There is an assumption being made by some people that anytime there is talk of Shari’ah Law or a Caliphate i.e. the Islamic Ideology. That they can put their principles of Democracy from the Ideology they hold and use it as a yardstick to judge Islam or apply democratic constraints on the Caliphate or the establishment of a Caliphate.

    Islam is an Ideology in it’s own right, it does not need deomcratic principles applied to it. In the same way the West would not constrain their Democratic Capitalism because of Islam.

    So in all fairness Islam has it’s own principles of establishing a Caliphate and running one.

    If people are going to talk about majority then the majority of people in the Muslim World hold the Islamic Belief. The Islamic Belief is that there is one God – Allah, and the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) is the Final Messenger of Allah. Being the final Messenger nessecitates that the Revealtion and Laws he brought are final. So to adopt any other legal system after the final one, does not make a person a Muslim.

    No Muslim will deny this.

    Having said that majority is not a criterea.

    If the Muslim World was not given a vote on being carved up divided and ruled by propped up dictators, then Muslims sure as well do not need to vote to get rid of them (even though they blatantly want shot of the tyrants). We should not be constrained by the Ideology of the Colonialists.

    And until every colonial-imposed border and the propped up regime is removed, the Muslim World is still effectively colonised.

  354. Imran — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:42 pm  

    How would you feel if your dog ignored you and just urinated on your sofa??

  355. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:49 pm  

    TFI
    Your analogy is rather crude, but would say that it does have a lot in common with a secular society and the dog not questioning the masters, or in societal terms someone not questioning the basis of secularism. The faculty of thought is what elevates human beings from the animal kingdom and so should use what we have been given and not just accepting the status quo and move away from behaving like animals like is common place in secular societies.

  356. Roger — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:50 pm  

    “So at the end of all this, there is still no proof that secularism is right.”
    The whole point of secularism and the other aspects of an open society- democracy, the ability to change every law after due process, the complete exclusion of religion from the political sphere- is that there is no proof that any system of government is ‘right’ and every aspect of government and society can be altered and replaced if people don’t think it works.

  357. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:51 pm  

    So at the end of all this, there is still no proof that secularism is right.

    On a non-flippant note, how can secularism be “right”? “right” by what measure?

    For it to be “right” you need to have a set of moral principles to measure it against, a ethical minefield.

    So is it “successful”? How would you measure success?

    Access to food and water?
    Life expectancies?
    Child mortality?
    Freedom of movement?

    By all these measures we are doing very well, better than at any other point in history.

    My granddad used to go on about the good old days, but when I check the history books it seems like they stuck children up chimneys and people died randomly during the blitz. I’ve not idea what he is going on about.

    No one is claiming that current modernity is perfect, far from it, but saying goodbye to electricity and living in huts and dying at the age of 30 isn’t either.

    I hope that the next generation get it good, or better than we have it today, and I hope that we are able to find solutions to the new problems that being so successful has brought with it, i.e. the ones born from consumerism, modern communications and over population.

    All this “lets return to our faith” stuff is as pathetic as claiming that performing abortions cause the world ills. It is simplistic thinking for simplistic people.

    TFI

  358. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

    And treating their women like bitches is another quality synonymous with secular societies which I don’t agree with

  359. The Common Humanist — on 12th April, 2007 at 12:54 pm  

    “”“Broadly secular states work. Religious ones tend to fail. Its not the religions fault per se but more that only within a liberal, secular framework can religions co-exist.”

    Based on what is known about medieval Europe and Christianity, but are still waiting for secularism to be proven correct as a concept”"

    Usman, your statment doesn’t address the point I am making – which is – modern, broadly secular states are ones where religions can happily co-exist because no-one is top dog.

    You can’t see this because your automatic default setting is that Islam is superior and the sooner the rest of us realise it the better, Except you are perhaps too polite to be so explicit.

    Hombre, most of my friends are left of centre aetheists, myself included (the sort of people who end up dead in islamic revolutions) – about the only thing that would put us in uniform is a religious fundamentalist internal threat to this country (christian, islamic, marxist) – so you may find there is considerable opposition.

    We have tried religious fundamentalism – it didn’t work out too well (1400 – 1600′s – high body count) We ain’t doing it again.

    The success of post WW2 Europe, Australasia and the US demonstrates that broadly secular states succeed. POint proven.

    All cultural systems have faults – including both Islam and secularism. The point I suppose is that secular societies tend to address such things and religious societies tend not to or they find that significant sections of their populations are sometimes culturally incapable of such discourse and resort to violence and/or intimidation to prevent such happening.

  360. soru — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

    ‘Islam is an Ideology ‘

    What’s your Qu’ranic justification for that claim, which goes against 13 centuries of islamic thought?

  361. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:06 pm  

    and move away from behaving like animals like is common place in secular societies

    So … getting drunk on a saturday night and having sex on a park bench is behaving like an animal … here we agreed.

    Turning up and pelting someone with stones who is sitting in a pit for any crime is behaving like an animal … do we still agree?

    You see all this system of law is an interesting debate, but personally I cannot get past these barbaric punishments that a few loonisidal muslims consider just.

    TFI

  362. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:10 pm  

    And treating their women like bitches is another quality synonymous with secular societies which I don’t agree with

    There we go! I knew I could do it! Lower you high and mighty lofty “I’m so perfect” ideals down to what you truly feel.

    What other poison would you like to spill?

    TFI

  363. El Cid — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:10 pm  

    Respectful you say Sonia?
    I suggest you check out #116 and #119. Perhaps you have forgotten that I am a Spaniard.

  364. The Common Humanist — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:14 pm  

    **And treating their women like bitches is another quality synonymous with secular societies which I don’t agree with**

    Yeah, like thats how everybody behaves……

    How about:
    ‘Treating their women like property and killing them if they ‘transgress’ (i.e. want to make own decisions about life) is another quality synonymous with Islamic societies which I don’t agree with’

    So I think thats got moronic generalisations out of the way. nOw answer some questions!

  365. Sunny — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:16 pm  

    Because if everyone is free to do as they please then at some point surely one person freedom will infringe on anothers.

    This is a really bizarre criticism of secularism. And in fact Imran, it shows what the true nature of your religious state would be – where people are not allowed to do as they please (within the law) but are dictated lifestyles and thoughts from above.

    The law protects people so that their way of life cannot be infringed upon by others. It is not a perfect system but it largely works, and is changing to reflect changing technology and lifestyles. You don’t have an answer for that, so you’re masquerading this piece of opinion as a fact.

  366. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:20 pm  

    Soru
    Yes islam is an ideology, it’s a political system which has the capability and intricate details on how to organize the needs and instincts of human beings based on an idea.

  367. The Common Humanist — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:26 pm  

    Also:

    “And treating their women like bitches is another quality synonymous with secular societies which I don’t agree with”

    Perhaps you should come here to West Yorks, You might be a bit shocked to find out which particular British ethno-religious group seems to have embraced that sort of behaviour with the most fervour………

  368. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:27 pm  

    Usman did you realise that being polite to someone and respecting them are two completely separate things?

    TFI

  369. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    “On a non-flippant note, how can secularism be “right”? “right” by what measure?
    For it to be “right” you need to have a set of moral principles to measure it against, a ethical minefield.”

    Yes in terms of morality, there needs to be something to measure or as you put it ‘principles to measure it against’. The problem is secularism is the basis from where the principles are coming from, so again my question is, is secularism the correct basis?

  370. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    The Common Humanist, please don’t drop yourself to Usmans level.

    TFI

  371. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:35 pm  

    Usman, do you believe that value system can only exist with a beardy man in the sky an afterlife?

    TFI

  372. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:36 pm  

    Usman, do you believe that a value system can only exist with a beardy man in the sky and an afterlife?

    TFI

  373. El Cid — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:37 pm  

    Actually it’s Usman not Imran who is being the intellectual coward.
    It might be a haymaker which you can see from a distance, but you just can’t get out of its way. The early caliphate was an empire like any other. Thankfully Poitiers is to that period, what Stalingrad was to WW2.

  374. Chris Stiles — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:46 pm  

    There is an assumption being made by some people that anytime there is talk of Shari’ah Law or a Caliphate i.e. the Islamic Ideology. That they can put their principles of Democracy from the Ideology they hold and use it as a yardstick to judge Islam or apply democratic constraints on the Caliphate or the establishment of a Caliphate.

    That’s not quite correct. What I – and others – are questioning is the degree to which the thoughts of Usman et al are intellectually coherent.

    Admittedly we are doing so by bringing forward the problems that democracy and secularism attempt to solve and then asking you how they would be solved in a Caliphate. However, you are at liberty to state that you either don’t find these issues important or that you don’t feel they need to be solved.

    Now, it is – I think – the sneaking suspicion of some on this thread that you are attempting to evade the issue and not really stating your real views in order to avoid the debate. This is borne out whenever we have this sort of airy fairy appeal to generic victim-hood that you trot out here (or the sorts of statistical idiocies trotted out earlier).

    Of course, you could disabuse us of this notion by stating how we are miss-measuring Islam/The Caliphate etc. Which of Arif’s questions do you think don’t make sense according to your own world view?

    On a side note – I suspect that you are closer to committing blasphemy – according to your own ethics – than you realise. As far as I can see, none of the Abrahamic-religions claim that perfectibility of human rule is achievable absent the direct and tangible presence of God on this earth.

  375. Sid Love — on 12th April, 2007 at 1:48 pm  

    Perhaps you should come here to West Yorks, You might be a bit shocked to find out which particular British ethno-religious group seems to have embraced that sort of behaviour with the most fervour

    Whenever people use insinuation to describe “ethno-religious” groups, they end up sounding rather creepy. Which group do you mean? Please don’t assume that your observations are implicit to all of us.

  376. The Common Humanist — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:02 pm  

    Sid et al,
    Sorry, that was a terrible generalisation to make and wasn’t what I intended – I apologise.

    What I should have said was that ‘certain sections of a particular ethno-religious group have embraced etc’

    My point was that all cultural groups tend to have problems to a lesser or greater degree.

    Usmans seeming desire to ignore this might come in for a rude shock were he to come up to where I live. He was expressing the generalisation that ‘treating women etc’ was a secular society thing. My point is that, no, am afraid you find wankers everywhere (Its how we know the BNP etc are wrong)

  377. Sid Love — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:11 pm  

    Humanist,

    The problem is that I could very possibly belong to the “certain sections of a particular ethno-religious group” you refer to. And yet I’m tending to the secular side of this particular debate and therefore on your side of the argument. This is why such guarded references to this or that ethno religious group end up weakening your position and making you sound rather stupid.

  378. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

    imran:

    “Show compassion if you want but take care of numero uno’s hopes and desires first.”

    yes it’s depressing isn’t it.

    i imagine that’s what the scholars thought as well when they regulated slavery. on capturing a prisoner of war: show compassion if you must (i.e. you can free them if you want) but you can also enslave them. who’s hopes and desires do we think that was taking care of?

    imagine the cynicism that results when people find out that not even devout people are above such depressing behaviour.

  379. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:16 pm  

    sorry el cid i guess i was only meaning his comments addressed to me, and then i was referring to his wording i think hadn’t been overtly disrespectful..

  380. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:19 pm  

    351. TFI ..heh, you’re some analogist you are ! :-)

  381. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:23 pm  

    well said Chris Stiles. the final point i think will be a significant one.

    it sounds as if this caliphate is supposed to be heaven on earth or something like that. where are the houris? will there be houris in the Caliphate?

  382. Sid Love — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:23 pm  

    Imran, Usman et al

    If you guys can successfully perform the “simple” task of coming up with Ummah-accepted dates for the Eids, the start and end of Ramadan or the Prophet’s birthday – then I for one will believe that you have the organisational skills required for establishing a Khilafah.

    Until then, you’re just pie-in-the-sky bedroom revolutionaries who couldn’t organise an orgy in a harem.

  383. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:28 pm  

    :-) very apt sid – about the organising of those dates – definitely!

    what i wonder is if either of them have ever been to the Middle East – i did ask politely – but no one answered.

  384. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:30 pm  

    I’d really like Usman and Imran’s opinion on this piece: it deals with traditionalist views on sex slavery

    in conjunction with what has been said about ‘justness’: is this an example of the kind of good practice we can expect? or is this some of the bitter stuff that spoilt the cordial?

  385. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:32 pm  

    How about:
    ‘Treating their women like property and killing them if they ‘transgress’ (i.e. want to make own decisions about life) is another quality synonymous with Islamic societies which I don’t agree with’
    There are no Islamic societies around unfortunately, and things like killing them are not synonymous with Islam either.

    I do find it strange that the west attack islam for its so called evil treatment of women, (even though 70% of reverts to islam are females) when in a secular society the value of a woman is less than human and judged solely on her looks and sex appeal leading to all kinds of oppression.

    In the year 2000, the British Medical Association published a report discussing the reasons for the increasing levels of anorexia in the UK and elsewhere. They wrote, “The media’s obsession with painfully thin fashion models has contributed to the growth in eating disorders among young girls…The degree of thinness exhibited by models chosen to promote products is both unachievable and biologically inappropriate.”

    It is therefore not surprising the US, whose models and actresses are often the role models that many women around the world look to imitate with respect to image, also lays claim to the highest levels of anorexia in the world.

    The dangers of this pressure cannot be overstated because such images of women portrayed by the media and advertising industry are increasingly ensnaring the younger generations and moulding the mentality of children as to how a successful woman should look. A survey performed in 1997 by the British Schools’ Health Education Unit found that 1 in 5 schoolgirls aged between 14 and 15 had nothing for breakfast, 1 in 7 did not eat lunch, and 6 out of 10 felt that they needed to lose weight. In the Anne Collins Diet web site, she states that various surveys found that 80% of 10 year olds were worried in case they became fat; 70% of 6th grade girls said they were concerned about weight, shape and started to diet when they were 9-11 years; 50% of children aged 8- 10 years were unhappy with their size. Such attitudes can so easily transform into eating disorders. 1 in 100 women in the US aged 12 to 18 have Anorexia Nervosa (American Anorexia/Bullimia Association). Dr. Dee Dawson from Rhodes Farm Clinic that treats sufferers of eating disorders stated that children as young as 6 or 7 were seen in the clinic who were worried about being fat.

    Naomi Wolf, in her book The Beauty Myth gives an analogy that is appropriate to describe the reality of a woman in a secular society. It is like the original Iron Maiden that was a medieval German instrument of torture. It was a body shaped casket painted with the limbs and features of a beautiful smiling young woman. The victim who was tortured was slowly enclosed inside her, and then the lid was shut to immobilize the victim who either died from starvation or from some metal spikes embedded in her interior.

  386. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:36 pm  

    From antagonist to analogist all in 20 posts.

    TFI

  387. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:40 pm  

    Usman,

    You are right! If we put them all in full Burka’s they can eat all the cake that they want!

    Also whats this “Revert” stuff about? Don’t you mean convert?

    Rich

  388. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:45 pm  

    Naomi Wolf, in her book The Beauty Myth

    While you are calling about books, what did you think of “The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam” by Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

    Now specifically, you used the analogy of an Iron Maiden, do you know what the Caged Virgin is a euphemism for?

    TFI

  389. soru — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:49 pm  

    Yes islam is an ideology, it’s a political system which has the capability and intricate details on how to organize the needs and instincts of human beings based on an idea.

    I guess you know best. That Mo’ guy was born hundreds of years ago, I can understand how somone might think his ideas are out of date, and should be replaced with some stuff you just made up, or read in a ‘Politics 101′ text book.

    I have to admire your neat trick if, by simple repetition and a variety of 6th form debating tactics, you actually succeed in getting some people to refer to your pet ideas as ‘Islam’.

    If it works, I will have to try the same. Perhaps I can redefine ‘charity’ as ‘sending money to my bank account’.

  390. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:51 pm  

    Usman, reading your posts I come to the conclusion that you don’t like the world that surrounds you much. Rather than bang on about how it “wouldn’t happen in the Caliphate”, why not take a more relaxed humorous stance and read from this book?

    “Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit?: The Encyclopedia of Modern Life”

    TFI (aka. Richard, but you can call me Sir!)

  391. Sid Love — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:53 pm  

    do you know what the Caged Virgin is a euphemism for?

    Peter Hitchens?

  392. Sid Love — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:54 pm  

    I have to admire your neat trick if, by simple repetition and a variety of 6th form debating tactics, you actually succeed in getting some people to refer to your pet ideas as ‘Islam’.

    Well observed.

  393. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 2:55 pm  

    “bringing forward the problems that democracy and secularism attempt to solve and then asking you how they would be solved in a Caliphate. However, you are at liberty to state that you either don’t find these issues important or that you don’t feel they need to be solved.”

    I have tried that, but people don’t seem to be interested, (apart from arif as far as I am aware, who I will address and his points he wants to know about) but prefer slander. I have asked the question on the integrity of secularism and have not had an answer but have found that this is something which is being avoided. Ironic as the west prides itself on reason but then can’t give a reason for secularism. Where is the reason in that? But you never know some one might come up with a credible answer so i wont dismiss this and carry on waiting.

  394. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:06 pm  

    Yes islam is an ideology, it’s a political system which has the capability and intricate details on how to organize the needs and instincts of human beings based on an idea.

    It has a detailed economic system, ruling system, social system and others (all of which would fall under politics)

    For anyone who thinks otherwise maybe you could convince me on why it isn’t.

    And as for out of date ideas, then would you agree that democracy is even more out of date as it is even older than Islam some what 1000 years older?

  395. soru — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:07 pm  

    debating trick #423: keep asking the same question over and over again, ignoring all answers provided.

    If you do take note of any, use one of the previous debating tricks, like ultra-relativism, to dismiss it.

    Then, ask why your question has not been answered.

  396. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:09 pm  

    Actually Usman I’ve seen no slander, teasing, japes and jibes, but no slander. Please point to a slanderous statement and I’m sure who ever said it will retract it.

    integrity of secularism

    By integrity, do you mean an internal logical framework of reasoning that gives rise to the concepts of right and wrong for piece of law or decision?

    Are you saying the concept of “works” “doesn’t work” isn’t a reasonable framework to create a society? After all what works for one, doesn’t another and majority opinon isn’t necessarily the best way to select and make policy decisions?

    If this is your arguement then I’m afraid that I would have to side with the dreaded Melanie Philips and state that if we must pick a value system for the Western world to make moral choices the best bet is to resert Christain values that the West is founded on.

    “Each to their own”

    The same set of values that tolarates your venomous, poisonous, hateful bullshit that you direct at the society that you live whilst allowing you to fantasize about the perfections of a societal system in existance 1400 years ago.

    Now take a deep breath for this bit: You are an idiot.

    That’s an insult, not slander – can you see the difference?

    TFI

  397. The Common Humanist — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:17 pm  

    Usman,
    I have given you a very good reason, you just don’t want to see it.

    To reprise: secularism works because no one religion is on top and all religions can flourish. Look at the world around you – states which are pluralistic do well, fundamentalisms tend not to.

    But I might as well be writing this in Apache for all you will actually read it.

    ***‘Treating their women like property and killing them if they ‘transgress’ (i.e. want to make own decisions about life) is another quality synonymous with Islamic societies which I don’t agree with’
    There are no Islamic societies around unfortunately, and things like killing them are not synonymous with Islam either***

    You really really can’t cope with the idea that social problems afflict muslims too, can you?

  398. soru — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:23 pm  

    And as for out of date ideas, then would you agree that democracy is even more out of date as it is even older than Islam some what 1000 years older?

    I can see you might think so: you are the one calling for the wholesale replacement of traditional forms of religious belief with some stuff made up in the 1950s.

    But not all new ideas are good: there is wisdom in looking at what has been shown to work, and thinking carefully first about why it works, and only then how it can be made to work better.

    Alternatively, you could make up a fake history, like the theosophists going on about the ancient lords of Mu, and then in 15 minutes you have created thousands of years of tradition to back your ideas.

    That seems like much less effort.

  399. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:24 pm  

    Secularism is the bedrock of democracy from where all principles come from. So in short the separation on politics from religion or so called divine source. My question is how has this conclusion/ assumption been made and is this the correct basis to form principles which then societies are then built etc. It has to be rational if it is based on reason.

    As for my ideas being hateful, I resent that, my ideas are not hateful.

    But thanks for your last comment about me being an idiot it did make me giggle, not that I agree with you.

  400. Sid Love — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:24 pm  

    yep, well said.

  401. Sid Love — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:26 pm  

    soru I meant, not the Hassan al-Banna-inspired Modernist of commenter of #399.

  402. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:30 pm  

    “You really really can’t cope with the idea that social problems afflict muslims too, can you?”
    Muslims do have societal problems and in the caliphate will have problems also. But what I will disagree with is the insistence of people comparing the Muslim world of today with the Islamic model which doesn’t work because they are not Islamic. I’ve made this point so many times but it seems the easiest refuge for the people who are attacking Islam to keep going on about it.

  403. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:32 pm  

    secularism works because no one religion is on top and all religions can flourish. Look at the world around you – states which are pluralistic do well, fundamentalisms tend not to.

    The Common Humanist, the reason why he won’t “get it” is because he does believe that Tolkins “The Ring”, Islam is the one religion to rule them all. Its all there in his use of the word “Revert”.

    Usman is polite, but nothing in the content of what he is saying is actually respectful to anyone and until he gets off his supremist BS that puts me, you and the other 4.5 billion non-Muslims below him, he can kiss My Ring.

    TFI

  404. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:41 pm  

    “the reason why he won’t “get it”
    is because it doesn’t make sense, and no one is able to explain to me either. Much of what you accuse me of you are a victim to, “Islam is the one religion to rule them all”
    more like secularism is the one true religion to rule all others. But you can’t explain it, what’s the reason for having no reason?

  405. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:44 pm  

    “states which are pluralistic do well”

    A drug dealer can do really well in the material sense but it doesn’t make it right though does it?

  406. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    Usman, glad to see you demonstrate humour :)

    Secularism is the bedrock of democracy from where all principles come from.

    Sure, and like chocolate it comes in flavours, the flavour in the West is based on Christian ideals.

    Oddly rather than suggesting that you would rather it was Islamically rather than Christain favoured, you disguard the idea of democracy in its entirity?!?!?!?

    Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water …

    TFI

  407. Sahil — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

    Usman what do you want in a society?? Everyone to follow Islam and that there can be no deviation from your interpretation of Islam? If not, and you allow people to follow their own paths you have SECULARISM or a secular society. This type of society allows for difference, its the reason in places like the UK people can practice other forms of religion (or non-religion) than Christianity. Secularism is tolerance for difference. WHat is so wrong with that and why is it so illogical?

  408. Sahil — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:47 pm  

    “A drug dealer can do really well in the material sense but it doesn’t make it right though does it?”

    As opposed to Saudi Prices living it up. And please stop referring to this cheesy and useless argument that there has never been an Islamic Society. There has and still are, they just interpret the quran differently than what you old ideal, and also guess what Human beings can be evil, good and deviate heavily from divine behaviour.

  409. Sahil — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:48 pm  

    “A drug dealer can do really well in the material sense but it doesn’t make it right though does it?”

    As opposed to Saudi Prices living it up. And please stop referring to this cheesy and useless argument that there has never been an Islamic Society. There has and still are, they just interpret the quran differently than what you hold ideal, and also guess what human beings can be evil or good and deviate heavily from divine behaviour.

  410. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:48 pm  

    Dude!!!! Secularism IS NOT a religion!!!!

    … are you simple or something? Look around you and tell me if you are soft room and wearing a shirt with really really long arms?

    TFI

  411. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:50 pm  

    oh phooey, round and round the mulberry bush, this is.

    Usman : are you or are you not saying the Early Caliphate was not a Caliphate?!!

    how was this 300 movie then TFI that you said you were going to see?

  412. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:54 pm  

    TFI. Thanks for the humour your a funny guy, I do appreciate it, but wouldn’t you say secularism is your belief/ religion (call it what you will) that you have submit yourself to blindly? Without reason?

  413. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:57 pm  

    The Saud family have a history of treachery, they are not representatives of an Islamic state, believe me.

  414. Sahil — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

    *Bangs head on wall and walks away from insanity*

  415. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 3:59 pm  

    the thing is: some people seem to have delusions about the reality of the practice of Islam. whether or not this was ‘true’ islam can be argued till we’re all blue in the face and the cows have gone home. nevertheless, stuff happened – and yeah – shit happens. But if people aren’t able to acknowledge that, it just makes them look like Tony B without the reverse gear and brakes.

    And if they then want to propose some radical organisation, well then..questions are going to be asked.

  416. Chairwoman — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:00 pm  

    I logged off at 12.30ish, and when I logged on again 15 minutes ago, you were all still running round in circles.

    The only perfect system of government is the one that suits the population living under it.

    Personally I don’t want to live by laws supposedly made by a Divine Being and dictated to his Prophet (insert Prophet of your choice here) be it 1400 or 6000 years ago. I want a system that lives and grows, not stagnates. I also don’t want to use ‘tricks’ to circumnavigate the Divine Being’s rules.

    Other people, however, do. That is their choice. Surely they too have the right to live under the system of their chosing.

    But not here. It’s not what the majority of the population want. There are several countries where the people say they want a Caliphate (though I don’t see too many moves in that direction). I would suggest that like minded folk get together in one or more of those countries (a word of advice here, experiment with one first just in case it doesn’t taste as good as it looks) and live the dream. Then we could all be friends, stop trying to convince each other who’s right, and be excellent trading partners.

    Can I also say that I am with Usman and Imran on drunkeness, violence, immodesty etc. Thank goodness the majority of people change for the better as they grow up.

    And finally, Imran @ 354. My dog is far too well mannered :-)

  417. The Common Humanist — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:03 pm  

    **But what I will disagree with is the insistence of people comparing the Muslim world of today with the Islamic model which doesn’t work because they are not Islamic**

    Got to hand it to the lad, insulting 1.2 Bn Muslims in one sentence is quite some going.

    Did anyone catch ‘The Power of Nightmares’ – do you remember the bit when after being rejected by mainstream Algerians the fringe of a fringe of the GIA decide that only the 20 or so true believers in the group were ‘real’ muslims and that all other muslims were infidels and should die…….well Usman is the polite end of that mindset or rather he reminds me of that mindset.

  418. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:06 pm  

    Hey, I’ve changed my mind. Islam is a religion, some people follow it, some people don’t, each according to their understanding, and the Prophet is a better authority on what the religion involves than I am.

    In future, I will be distinguishing between my political proposals, based on my understanding of the current situation in the Middle East, as seen through the lens of various forms of modern political theory, and the Word of God.

    Yes, you can tell I am Usman – look at the name. As I have previously established, any two things with the same name can only really be one thing, and so can;t be distinguished between.

  419. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:09 pm  

    Anywho, im off to get some munch see if anyone else can come up with anything by the time I get back

  420. Usman — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:13 pm  

    Comment 418 is not from me by the way, seems like some one has to resort to childishness and submit a comment and put my name on it. haha very funny. Not very intellectual though is it.

  421. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

    Usman, I got a shock while I travelled Asia, when the locals asked which religion I supported, I said I wasn’t really into it and didn’t have one. Their response took me by suprise, they couldn’t understand my answer, they felt that I was souless, I was an empty vessel, something not someone, to be disregarded, ignored, discredited, dirty. So I started claiming to be Christain after a while and they were much happier irrespective of the religion I chose.

    Now I don’t believe in the beardy man in the sky and over here in the Western that is OK. But not believing in a god doesn’t make it a belief system. You cannot “believe” in science, because it isn’t a belief system (although people do make this mistake).

    Now when I step out side my front door, I participate in a series of laws set down by my government, I don’t agree with all of them, I’d like to drive faster and smoke pot, but its a case of “agree with” not “believe in”.

    I think that a fundamental difference in our intepriation of the world is that you don’t see a difference between politics and religion, the rest of us on this thread can. It is an unfortunate part of Islam that combines the concepts.

    “Let god, be gods, and Caesars by Caesars”

    No such concept in Islam, I can understand if you were brought to think a different way this must be a struggle. But it can work, it does work and it clearly works very well.

    There is an arguement that one should influence the other and until very recently it did greatly, but post the Life of Brian this has been broken. A result of this is has made it difficult for us all to decide what is right and what is wrong – this is the confusion that multiculturism has brought us, on what set of moral principles should the decision be based? … in steps “Humanist principles” which I think are rather fuzzy but in principle very sound.

    ———–

    Sonia, I REALLY enjoyed 300 it is the purest boy film I’ve never seen. Bravery, Valour, Pride, all that male nonsense that we boys love and is the cause of most of the violence in the world.

    In short not the sort of movies I’d take you to see

    *flutter* *flutter*

    TFI :)

  422. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:22 pm  

    oh we all know about the SAud family. Im asking about their supposed ancestors. so what are you saying USman? that the so-called Rightly Guided Caliphs weren’t an Islamic model either?

    im sure if that’s what you mean many Muslims would be happy to hear that given all the raping and pillagin and murdering that usual expansion of empire involves. I suppose your Islamic model wouldn’t involve any of that. I would hope so of course.

  423. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:23 pm  

    and a petty point but you haven’t yet explained why you spell your name Usman rather than Uthman. Are you not an Arabic speaker? Do you not know about the th/s corruption?

  424. El Cid — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:23 pm  

    Democracy may be older than Islam, but it remains a work in progress and always will be — that is the source of its richness and intellectual dynamism.

  425. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:24 pm  

    TFI – heh, i suppose the fighting Bedouin spirit would love it then..!
    i work 2 mins away from ze iMAx, ill have to go and see it now, heeh.

  426. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:26 pm  

    “…but post the Life of Brian this has been broken”

    heh heh.

  427. Soso — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:30 pm  

    Soso, Iran is not a caliphate. They call themselves the Islamic Republic. You cannot have an Islamic Republic any more than you can have an Islamic Pub.

    Iran is a dysfunctional human rights hell-hole with more booze than an Irish pub on Saturday night.

    Just last week in the “holy” city of Qom a dozen “seminarians” died from drinking contaminated alcohol. The Mullahs won’t reveal just how many Iranians die each year from adulterated booze, but the figure is thought to be extremely high.

    No, Iran is not a caliphte. To fill the bill it’d have to be much poorer and more violent than it already is.

    As far as caliphates are concerned, the oscar has to go to Taliban Afganistan. In recent history, that régime was perhaps the finest expression of Salafist/Islamist wisdom.

  428. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:42 pm  

    Sonia, you part Bedouin then?? That’s cool, no wonder the HuT boys feared you at Uni.

    TFI

  429. Soso — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:46 pm  

    This is sort of silly.

    Islam should stay in heavan. by that I mean it should get out of the business of “rightly guiding” human secular affairs.

    It’s violent track record clearly demonstrates its incapacity to do as much.

    IN the M.E. just prior to Mohammed and just outside the confines of the Byzantine empire there was a hertetical form of Christianity called Nestorianism. It’s founder, Nestor, claimed to be Christ’s successor. He also claimed he could circumvent Jesus’ maxim my kingdom is not of this world” by building the kingdom of god on earth, in the here and now.

    He was wrong.

    After the Arabs invaded the near East, many, many of Islam’s first converts were disgruntled Nestorians.

  430. sonia — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

    oooh no.i’m not..long way from where im from…heh heh.

    i was thinking the Caliphs would have liked the sound of the film. the HuT lot feared me – well they did i think, at this one lecture i went to and kicked up a fuss, when i went up to quiz the ‘speaker’ about 6 other men had to crowd around and wave angrily and shout at me. of course eventually they couldn’t think of what to say so said the usual ‘ but sister you are not even dressed appropriately’ and waved to one of their wives to ‘lead me away’.

  431. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 12th April, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

    Reverts, Soro, Reverts.

    TFI

  432. Rumbold — on 12th April, 2007 at 5:05 pm  

    Nestor “claimed to be Christ’s successor”.

    Soso, do you have any references for this? I thought that Nestor’s ‘heresy’ was to disagree over the divine and human nature(s) of Christ, an immensely pedantic debate which convulsed Eastern Christianity for a couple of centuries. The first Islamic converts from Christianity in North Africa were monophysites, staunch opponents of Nestor, and they were disgruntled because of the persecution by the Chalcedonians in Constantinople, after the Emperor had rejected both Nestorianism and monophysitism.

  433. Roger — on 12th April, 2007 at 7:03 pm  

    “And treating their women like bitches is another quality synonymous with secular societies which I don’t agree with”
    What evidence is there that this is “synonymous with secular societies”, Usman? What makes you think that the women are are “their” women rather than their own women, anyway? The whole basis of a secular society is that if people disapprove of particular customs or ways of behaviour they can persuade society not to follow them and they are under no obligation to follow them themselves.

    “Yes islam is an ideology, it’s a political system which has the capability and intricate details on how to organize the needs and instincts of human beings based on an idea.”

    There have been other ideologies that made similar claims. Thge evidence is that it’s impossible for only one idea- even if it is right, or rightish- to have that capability. A lot of people died before the failkure of those ideas was recognised. Probably even more people were killed trying to put such ideas into practise than trying to stop them.

    “It has a detailed economic system, ruling system, social system and others (all of which would fall under politics)”…and none of which worked in the past when they weree tried. I use worked in the entirely practical definition of being manifestly superior to every rival system and outlasting them.

    “For anyone who thinks otherwise maybe you could convince me on why it isn’t.”
    Ther very fact that the previous caliphate declined and collapsed is evidence enough.

    “And as for out of date ideas, then would you agree that democracy is even more out of date as it is even older than Islam some what 1000 years older?”
    No. Democracy is merely the basis for deciding how a society should be organised. The very definition of the demos has changed over time. As long as the people accept them and they can be changed if they prove unsatisfactory, democracy means that the people can have any way of government they wish. Islam offers an unbelievably complicated set of rules, culturally bound to the customs of an Arabian city-state, which are to be followed absolutely, whether the people want them or not.

  434. douglas clark — on 12th April, 2007 at 8:38 pm  

    Usman,

    Until you let women like Sonia walk through the front door of your philosophy, stir it up a bit, and be accepted as equals, I’m not listening to you. I have rarely heard such male dominance outside pornography, err, or so I’ve heard.

  435. Refresh — on 12th April, 2007 at 10:11 pm  

    Sonia – Compliments are rare on topics such as these – thanks.

    The purpose of my little note was in the hope that we may get the core issues discussed. It seems there are a number of us who do not accept that we have reached the pinnacle of the good society. Even Fukuyama backtracks rapidly.

    What we need is a debate on how the economy is now and how it could be improved – with the explicit of bringing maximum benefit to all. I think the phrase ‘the many not the few’ is apt.

    Justice and peace is what is required – and I re-iterate its down to the economy and those who control it for the few.

    As far as the Caliphate is concerned, there is absolutely a need for it, as I say the EU is not too far from it. How it looks how it acts and how it delivers outcomes is the key.

    From an economic point of view rejection of interest is the crucial objective. All the rest is a long term negotiation within. No big bang. An evolution.

  436. Twining or Black in Blue — on 12th April, 2007 at 11:26 pm  

    Usman/Imran, I wonder if you are the same person. So, following your argument homosexuality is immoral? God creates us all. So, what about the Muslims that are homosexual? This is a ridiculous argument….It is bigoted, absolutely bigoted. It can be scientifically proven that we are who we are in terms of sexuality because of our make up, it is not a learnt thing. Your arguments are radical, they are not accepting. If they are like this in relation to homosexuality can you accept the existence of other faiths?

    Imran, what about the push to convert if a Non Muslim is marrying a Muslim? Both above examples suggest one thing and one thing only, a desire to live via Muslim moral law, but we are in Britain.

  437. William — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:05 am  

    Usman

    The following is a bit hypothetical but I think it is worth thinking on.

    In the Caliphate what would be the position on the following. Someone out of the spirit of free enquiry wants to research the phenomena of information which is claimed to be channelled from a higher source. In this they investigate the end product of people who relay information which they claim is from angels, God, spirits. At the end of this painstaking and objective research they conclude that they are still open minded but they can find no reason to believe that any one of the claimants are more likely to be authentic than the rest of those selected to study.

    The selection of claimants and their relayed information include

    Neale Donald Walsch, (author Conversations With God) Gordon Smith (spiritualist medium) Eileen Caddy (findhorn community) Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon church) Mohammed (prophet of Islam)

    What would be the position of the researcher be in the Caliphate. Would they be able to think freely and investigate in this way and come to the above conclusion.

  438. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:01 am  

    “Both above examples suggest one thing and one thing only, a desire to live via Muslim moral law, but we are in Britain.”

    As far as the debate is concerned that is unfair. The discussion is not about Britain. As an aside Christian moral law, Judaic moral law, Sikh moral law isn’t that far removed. Lets not pretend it is otherwise.*

    For me its about the muslim world organising themselves on the basis of trade and culture based on Islamis inspiration.

    If other countries want to follow, that will come about as and when those countries or peoples feel its right for them.

    If anyone is suggesting otherwise then they are absolutely deluded.

    *I’ve long thought that there should be a reference table of all the ‘common’ religions and their viewpoint on specific moral issues. At least we can then just refer each other to it, instead of having to deal with each other displaying our ignorance like Peacocks on heat.

  439. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 13th April, 2007 at 10:26 am  

    From an economic point of view rejection of interest is the crucial objective.

    Honestly Refresh, inbetween being a rational person making rational posts, you do come up with some absolute corkers! Despite the ability to use the word economic and claims to understand its impact on society (do read Freaknomics BTW) you betray a complete ignorance to mordern finance and the use of interest to control debt and inflation.

    You risk proving Churchill right, there is NO greater retrograde force in this world than radical Islam.

    As far as the Caliphate is concerned, there is absolutely a need for it,

    But what terms is there an *absolute* need for the Caliphate?

    as I say the EU is not too far from it.

    By this statement Are you suggesting that we turn the EU into a Caliphate? Nice … I look forward to the return of Tyborn and the public stocks and the rest of us paying Jizba (or whatever) while the ruling clerical elite find reason to start fights with the ‘unconquered’ world.

    Its opinons like these that justify Islamophobia and put true Muslims at risk from the BNP.

    Shame on you Usman, shame on you Refresh.

    TFI

  440. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 10:49 am  

    Roger
    As to the treatment of women in secular societies? Tell me something what is the value of a woman in a secular society? What is her honour worth? Is she respected because of her mind and intellect?

    You know what the answers are to these questions. The honour of a woman in this society is what? About the cost of the sun newspaper and many others, I don’t think it does exceed £1.00, where she is used as a marketing tool to sell a newspaper, and not restricted to that but most products on the market.

    So how does the Western society value and judge a woman? The Western writer, Camille Paglia wrote in a college text, entitled, ‘Sexual Harassment – Confrontations and Decisions’, “Western culture has a roving eye. Male sex is hunting and scanning: boys hang yelping from honking cars, acting like jerks over strolling girls; men lunching on girders go through the primitive book of wolf whistles and animal clucks. Everywhere, the beautiful woman is scrutinized and harassed. She is the ultimate symbol of human desire.”

    It is clear to all who look beyond the superficialities of the society that the woman in the West is judged according to the level of her beauty rather than her intelligence. This is at all levels. The majority of men who also carry the Western secular mentality and have been affected by it, seek looks over intelligence in a relationship. They look for the fair, tall, slim, ‘trophy’ to accompany them as they walk down the street – to show off their ‘catch’ or ‘prize’ to their friends and family. It is no surprise therefore that the woman in the West feels insecure with regards to her appearance, feeling that it is her key to getting married or preventing her husband or partner from running away with the next girl who is prettier, slimmer, taller or fairer.

    The reason to explain this reality is simple. The same concept of freedom held by the woman who embraces the Western secular identity who feels that she has the right to dress how she likes and adopt any image that fits her desires, is also held in the minds of the men who adopt the Western secular identity. The view is that they are free to view
    and treat a woman in any way that they wish, for their mind and desires are the standards by which they live their life. Indeed, this is the essence of the concept of freedom and the basis of the Western identity. When it comes to the question of hiring women for employment or promoting them at work, it can be seen that image and beauty is
    becoming increasingly important in all fields, not simply the usual advertising, beauty, and entertainment industry. The citing of a few cases in the West should provide sufficient proof for this reality that is a dominant mentality in both male and female employers in every sector from business to politics, the medical profession to law. In the US in 1975, Catherine McDermott sued the Xerox Corporation because they withdrew a job offer on the grounds of her weight. In the same decade, National Airlines fired stewardess Ingrid Fee because she was ‘too fat’ – four pounds over the line. In 1983, in the US, TV anchor woman Christine Craft sued her ex-employers Metromedia Inc. on the charge that she had been dismissed by them on the grounds that, as she quotes her employer, she was “too old, too unattractive, and not deferential to men.” The judge ruling over the case favored on the side of the company. One journalist said with regards to the case, “There are thousands of Christine Crafts…We keep silent. Who can survive a blacklist?” Dan Air was challenged in 1987 for hiring only pretty young women as air crews. They defended their action on the basis of customer preference for pretty young women. A 54 year old American woman quoted in The Sexuality of Organization, said her boss replaced her one day without warning. “He had told her that he ‘wanted to look at a younger woman’ so his ‘spirits could be lifted’”.

    The manner in which the Western society values the various qualities of a woman can also be seen when we understand that the only professions that a woman consistently gets paid more than a man are modelling and prostitution. A super model can sometimes make £10,000 in one day – the same amount earned by a junior doctor or teacher in 6 months of work.

    Those women who do manage to secure a job or gain a promotion, are often faced with a barrage of sexual harassment where the man does not respect her on the basis that she can perform her job well but still views her as an object simply to play to his desires. A study in 1993 by the Industrial Society found that 54% of women in the UK had been sexually harassed at work. The Claremont College Working Papers (2001) found in one survey that 70% of women who were in active duty in the British army reported some type of sexual harassment in the past 12 months prior to the study. Respondents to queries of sexual harassment by the Equal Opportunities Commission illustrate that such a mentality is not simply present in one sector of the workforce but in every part of the
    society – managers, the police force, the medical and law professions, and the political arena to quote a few examples. In a study reported by the American Association of University Women in 1993, it stated that 85% of schoolgirls had been sexually harassed; 25% of them by school employees.

  441. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 10:52 am  

    This debate is about HuT and fundamentalism. Refresh be reasonable. The BNP I have mentioned. Nation of Islam I have mentioned. If we want one corner of England to remain English and another to remain Islamic and another to be Indian we are heading for trouble and this has already been proved in Oldham and Burnley.

    Conversion to faith is particularly Islamic and based on Supremacy theory. It is by the love of another that one is forced to convert, and this is not by free will that people give up their faith or their family. Don’t be choosy. I am not going to steep to the reference about Peacocks which I think are the national animal of India. Talk about ignorance and look within also. There is a global world. There is no Muslim World or Indian world or maybe mine is an ideology.

  442. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 10:54 am  

    It is clear to see that the woman in the West is valued in the majority of cases and on most levels on the basis of her appearance rather than her intelligence. She is viewed by many of the men within the society simply as a commodity to fulfil their desires rather than a valuable contributor to the society. The ultimate proof for this is surely the epidemic of rape that plagues the Western nations. 1 in 20 women in England and Wales have been raped. 167 women in England and Wales are raped every day (figures from the British Home Office). A woman is raped more than once every minute in the US. In one survey of 114 undergraduates in the US, commissioned by Ms Magazine in 1988, 83.5% of the men gave the reply yes to the statement that “Some women look like they’re just asking to be raped”. This dangerous mentality held by the men in the society based upon the concept of freedom – that they are free to view a woman in any manner that they wish, is also being bred in the minds of the youngsters. In a UCLA study of 14 to 18 year olds, more than 50% of the boys thought that it was ‘OK’ for a man to rape a woman if he was sexually aroused by her. In a Ms Magazine survey of undergraduates in the US in 1988, 1 in 12 of the respondents had raped or tried to rape a woman since age 14. In the UK, boys as young as 13, have been placed on the Sex Offenders Register after performing indecent sexual acts against girls. The expectations for the future of the society can only be described as dire.

  443. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 10:56 am  

    Usman, conversion please. What is the value of conversion? Why do Human beings believe they can enforce faith conversion? There are problems in the Western world of this there is no doubt but there are problems in Hinduism and in Islam. Surely this is not so difficult to admit. You cannot defend the indefensible or perhaps you are trying to. (Peacock).

  444. Chairwoman — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:01 am  

    Of course, hiding them under a shroud, and saying that their evidence is not worth that of a man’s, saying they can’t travel without being accompanied by a near male relative, and not allowing them to drive is such an improvement.

  445. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:10 am  

    Twining what you going on about conversion?

  446. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:14 am  

    Chairwoman
    Not allowing them to drive? Where did you get that from? How can anyone from the west with a track record above have the audacity to criticise any body else, I mean is that what is modern, is this equality?

  447. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:15 am  

    Usman, I asked about homosexuality and conversion for marriage. You kindly answered the homosexuality issue with your beliefs but not the conversion issue. I don’t agree with your views about the immorality of homosexuality. I think they are rather prejudiced. I loved Freddie Mercury as a human being and as a talent, and George Michael, and there are many gay people who have no ounce of racism in them. Folks why do I get the distinct feeling that I am being hammered here?

  448. Arif — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:15 am  

    Refresh, going a bit further along the lines of economics. As I see it the relevance in this discussion is how relative economic and military power impact on the cultural development of both the relatively powerful and the powerless. Let me summarise my interpretation of Amin Maalouf’s position, because I find it suggestive:

    Modern industrial economies are immensely complex and dynamic, so not only can we not understand them clearly, we either have to take it on faith that they will solve the problems they themselves generate, or become active, thoughtful and self-critical about what we are doing.

    As such, people are constructing political or subcultural identities, with values, lifestyles or political ideals at variance with those which actively support business as usual.

    In generating thoughtful solutions, there is a tendency also to make a leap of faith to other economic and social models. I think part of this comes from our desire to be integrated – to have whole and confident identities.

    For whatever reason, the industrial revolution and military technology came together with imperialist ideologies in a very powerful mix in western Europe. The cultures in those countries, though convulsed and developing in ways requiring people to change their lifestyles radically and releasing revolutionary tensions, nevertheless was not development felt as forced by an external culture. Forced by hated elites maybe, with contempt based on class, but not by cultural supremacists.

    For other cultures, modernisation has meant also a cultural compromise which has worked out differently in different places. It is also different in different Muslim countries. In Arab countries, in Turkey and maybe in Iran, it appears that secular nationalism was the order of the day following decolonisation. With the pride of independence they were willing to westernise/modernise as an act of pride rather than humiliation.

    With the development of client states (where elites are effectively colonial governors in the eyes of the population, repressing democracy on their behalf), the ideals of modernisation become increasingly identified as westernisation and stands condemned as imperialism in the eyes of the oppressed.

    The most influential supporters of modernist development in these areas come now not from capitalists or socialists whose discourses are stigmatised, by HuT-type activists. They refer to the Khalifah as a discourse which is opposed to western imperialism and would give the confidence that development is on their own terms, rather than requiring the humiliation of imitating another culture which has shown Muslims too much contempt.

    The traditionalist Muslims have failed. The socialists have failed. The imitators of the west have failed. The failure being military, economic and cultural. The modernist Muslims are providing a confident solution which is adapted to the political and cultural situation now.

    My dispute with them is the same as with all modernist projects – how much suffering will it cause and justify in its self-confidence in its own perfection?

  449. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:16 am  

    I give up!!!!!!!!

  450. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:20 am  

    Any bad driving from anyone will get a yellow card from Twining. Or a fixed penalty notice…..

  451. Chairwoman — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:39 am  

    Usman – Saudi women aren’t allowed to drive. Actually IMHO opinion, nobody wearing a facial covering should be allowed to drive as it obscures the vision.

  452. The Common Humanist — on 13th April, 2007 at 11:44 am  

    Usman,
    I refer you to my earlier comment – you point out the faults of what could be broadly termed the West yet fail utterly to acknowlege that many of these problems exist and are often worse (closed, patriarchal societies) in muslim countries.

    You just can’t compute that human problems are human problems and that no one cultural or belief system has come even close to resolving these.

    You are going to have to come to terms with the fact that Islamism isn’t a solution to humanities problems. In truth it exacerbates them because rigid societies that think they have access to absolute truth tend to flounder when confronted with the new.

    Perhaps this explains your inability to answer questions or see that yours have been answered on this thread.

    Ultimately it has proven a regrettably short walk for people like yourself who think of themselves in possession of such truth to look down on the rest of us, to thinking of us as less then you to promoting hate against us ‘lesser’ beings to undertaking violent acts against us etc etc etc.

    Hence for the millioneth time I state that in liberal, free thinking countries you can hold the narrow views you do and the worst that can happen is that you get a kicking on PP.

    Secularism works. Religious fundamentalism – like other totalitarean systems is doomed because it requires force or the threat of force to maintain it. As it, by its very nature, cannot cope with people who think or act differently or beyond its narrow world view. This is perhaps Islamism greatest weakness (OK, the anti-semitism and chauvinism is worse in the real world) but it is its greatest intellectual weakness.

  453. El Cid — on 13th April, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    TCH
    That was a big clunking fist of a knockout blow! KAPPPPPOW! Excellent stuff.
    But like the knight in Monty Python & the Holy Grail after his limbs are cut off, no doubts Usman will be coming back for more. “It’s only a flesh wound!!”

  454. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 13th April, 2007 at 12:06 pm  

    Usman, gosh I’d like to put in front of some of my girl friends and you try that crap.

    Its the way that you see women as a collective group, a single identity rather a group of individuals that gets me.

    She is the ultimate symbol of human desire

    Indeed the female gender is that. There is no creation on this Earth more beautiful, more captivating than the female and her form.

    She should be placed on a pedestal and worshiped not locked up in a burka and make to use the back entrance.

    Usman, is your distaste for the Western women based on your preference for the back entrance?

    TFI

  455. soru — on 13th April, 2007 at 12:10 pm  

    As I see it the relevance in this discussion is how relative economic and military power impact on the cultural development of both the relatively powerful and the powerless.

    I agree that kind of thing is a very significant area.

    It comes down to two different views of western history:

    1. the West became rich from industrialisation, and some parts of it spent some of the resulting money on killing people

    2. the West became rich by killing people and taking their stuff

    If you honestly believe the second predominated, it becomes a big temptation to do the same. For example, the japanese in WWII seemed to believe something like that, and so made lots of speeches about the evils of imperialism while raping Nanking.

    And if you believe it, then if some guy from a peaceful and rich country says ‘you guys should fight less wars, then you would be richer’, that is pure hypocrisy.

    Viewed from that angle, if religious politics has a tendency to cause more and bigger wars, that’s a feature, not a bug – it provides needed practise.

  456. Roger — on 13th April, 2007 at 12:24 pm  

    “As to the treatment of women in secular societies? Tell me something what is the value of a woman in a secular society? What is her honour worth? Is she respected because of her mind and intellect?”
    What is the value of anyone in any society? Who decides on that value? Is everyone worthy of respect because of their mind and intellect? Those whose mind and intellect- and other qualities- deserve respect receive respect.
    As to honour, the great Jack Falstaff summed it up best:
    “What is honour? a word. What is in that word honour? what is that honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? he that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no. Doth he hear it? no. ‘Tis insensible, then. Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? no. Why? detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon: and so ends my catechism.”

    The whole point about western secularism is that it makes no claims to be a perfect society; only a society where imperfections can be removed and remedied. All the evidence is that the greatest imperfection of all is the claim that a perfect society is achievable and that you know how to achieve it.

  457. Arif — on 13th April, 2007 at 12:50 pm  

    soru – couldn’t you conclude from believing 2 (the west became rich by killing people) – that the lesson is to avoid greed and arrogance in yourself?

    Roger, the people who are promoting the idea of Khalifah, at least on this thread (please note, I am not promoting it), are not claiming it would be perfect, but rather better than the alternatives, in particular any secular alternative.

    The whole point of Khalifah might equally be presented as being that it makes no claims to be a perfect society, just the kind of society which makes room for harmless imperfections while punishing the harmful ones. It might be the kind where there is a constant ijtihad to meet changed circumstances. Constant challenge to adhere to values. Therefore a constant reminder of our own imperfection and humility towards God.

    Secularists and their opponents can both claim to be humble while the other is arrogant. Both can point out that the other is blind to injustice. After all, your post could be misunderstood as justifying the terrible atrocities commited by secular regimes and partisans as relatively minor imperfections. Your preferred form of secularism may be benign. Your opponent’s preferred form of theocracy might also be benign.

    That’s what I’d like to get to the bottom of.

  458. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 12:53 pm  

    It is evident that the criticisms of Islamic history and even Islam are from an orientalist mindset which not surprisingly, is not very rosey. Along side the media propaganda against Islam has cultivated a healthy resentment and fear to a certain extent about Islam in the mind of the masses. One point which I would like to make clear is that the terminology used by politicians is always done with a hidden agenda and can switch as and when needed according to the interest and effect which is desired. For example during the Taliban-Communist war the Taliban were seen as freedom fighters were given weapons money and training from the US and even the UK to fight the cause, fighters were recruited, the prisons in the Muslim world were opened to go fight the communists with the blessings of the west and even the surrounding countries like Pakistan who provided logistics support etc.

    Now that the agenda has changed the terminologies have changed. So my point is to not get caught up with terminologies as they have connotations attached to them for a desired effect. Even orientalist history is given in a negative way for a desired effect, it was the orientalist attacks in the past that were active in the destruction of the previous caliphate.

    So now I expect someone of accusing me of avoiding the issue or something along those lines. Like I have said previously the strength of an ideology is in it’s basis, if there is to be a serious discussion then this is where it needs to be. The material progress of a civilisation is an effect which can be used as a metric to measure success of civilisation. Fundamentally it is the strength of the very ideas and principles upon which it is built which display the true strength of civilisation as even if the material wealth is lost it’s the intellectual wealth that has the ability to revive a society once again.

    As mentioned earlier, there is no Islamic state in the world today, and that’s not an insult to the Muslim world, that’s the unfortunate reality. All civilisations have the good side and bad side, depending on whose version of history you study will be subject to bias when there are agendas at play by the one relaying the events.

    My points from the start have been simple. Islam is a political Ideology distinct from all others and hence can not be secularised. One may accuse me of manipulating or following a twisted version of Islam invented in the 50’s or something like that, this is evidence of what I have mentioned in the first paragraph and would describe such opinions as being the desired opinion of those who have hidden agendas. Islam is clear as to what it is and would encourage anyone who sincerely wants to know about it to go to the source and give it due scrutiny.

    The Muslim world should be left alone to decide their own political destiny. People may argue that if the people want it they can have it, unfortunately its not that simple, for example in Uzbekistan there are 5000 (which the state is declaring) political prisoners (Those who call for political Islam) who are brutally tortured and killed. This is a well documented fact which Craig Murry the ex-foreign ambassador from the UK to Uzbekistan has testified. This is also common place in other Muslim countries such as Egypt and Jordon to mention a few. One thing the dictators in these countries will have in common is that they are either directly or indirectly supported by western governments. A further evidence that when these despots serve the interests of the west they are supported and when not are removed. So it’s not a case of good and evil but rather who is serving the interests, humanitarian issues are not given importance.

    Foreign troops from these lands should be removed as the overwhelming resentment displayed by the indigenous populations of these lands is evident. These troops are victim to attacks daily and are dying unnecessarily. Its this very foreign policy that is increasing grievances in turn increasing the risk of a terrorist attack making us all unsafe.

    We can disagree with each other until we are blue in the face but on the two maybe three latter paragraphs I think we can all agree

  459. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

    454. TFi – Its the way that you see women as a collective group, a single identity rather a group of individuals that gets me.

    yeah that’s what gets me too.

  460. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:06 pm  

    on the latter points we can agree definitely Uthman – there is a problem.

    (interesting how you keep avoiding that question. Perhaps you really don’t know any arabic so hence didn’t get my point)

    there seems to be a big thing with you for ‘foreign’ troops etc. and humiliation by ‘foreign’ powers. does it really matter who is holding the gun or the power mantle? me i don’t care if its someone who is supposed to be one of ‘my group’ or ‘another group’ – it’s the situation that’s problematic

  461. Arif — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:06 pm  

    Usman, since we can probably agree with the two last paragraphs:

    1. Muslim activists are not just diesnfranchised, but tortured and murdered by States with complicity from powerful western governments which claim to intervene around the world to protect human rights.

    2. States should stop occupying land outside their borders.

    The point of discussion is to get a better understanding on points where we disagree. Since it does not follow for me from points 1 and 2 that the solution is Khalifah, that even if this is what most people actually do want it is also something I should want. I would appreciate it if it would be discussed, otherwise I get the sense that someone else’s interpretation of God’s will would be imposed on me whether I accept it or not.

    Even worse, there are no more practical obstacles to a Khalifah practicing 1 and 2 on non-Muslims as there are currently on the supposed defenders of democracy and human rights.

  462. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:10 pm  

    Blue – Black in Blue Usman – I like that. And what about conversion? It was never a destiny as I have earlier said for people in Iraq to be mass murdered by Chemical Ali’s weapons of mass destruction. I won’t say yours is a twisted version of reality, but based on history this destiny argument you propose is not necessarily the truth, is it? Therefore ins places like Iraq Islam or it’s interpretation has been bitterly twisted. The Iranians have bitterly twisted the issue of the sailor’s they captured just like Bush and Blair twisted rice’s visit to Iraq. Whilst this is the truth, both side are wrong in aspects, Islam and some of the West. But what about conversion?

  463. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:10 pm  

    not perfect = but better than the alternatives.

    i daresay thats what everyone said when pakistan was created.

  464. Kismet Hardy — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:19 pm  

    Twining, by your line of argument, it’s pretty fair to say the west have bitterly twisted the definition of democracy…

  465. soru — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:22 pm  

    soru – couldn’t you conclude from believing 2 (the west became rich by killing people) – that the lesson is to avoid greed and arrogance in yourself?

    That might work if you had an entire society full of people of impeccable moral standards, free from the desire for wealth, power, hatred or fear.

    My impression is that there are actually very few significant differences of that kind between societies – every society has more or less the same number of people who would score unsually high or low on those scales, were there a reliable way of measuring them.

    The defeatable enemy is not evil, but error – there are societies that do have significantly different numbers of people that believe various falsehoods and stupidities.

    So all hope for progress is in correcting error, not fighting evil.

  466. Roger — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    “The whole point of Khalifah might equally be presented as being that it makes no claims to be a perfect society, just the kind of society which makes room for harmless imperfections while punishing the harmful ones. ”
    And who decides what is an “imperfection” and what is “harmful”, Soru? It is a society based on the alleged word of god and its leaders are required to enforce the alleged laws of god.

    “It might be the kind where there is a constant ijtihad to meet changed circumstances. Constant challenge to adhere to values. Therefore a constant reminder of our own imperfection and humility towards God.”
    In short a society based on the supposed requirements of god, not of its people.

    ” After all, your post could be misunderstood as justifying the terrible atrocities commited by secular regimes and partisans as relatively minor imperfections.”
    As I made no mention of any atrocities by any regime it would be an achievement to do that. I should make it clear that I do not regard secularism as all that is necessary- indeed, I dislike reliously based governments for the same reason that I dislike some secular governments: because they regard themselves as based on absolute wisdom. Secularism is only one prerequisite of government. I favour what Karl Popper took two volumes to outline as the open society. It is not the benignity of the government that matters but its ability to adapt and respond to changed circumstances and to interfere as little as possible with the lives of its citizens.

  467. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:25 pm  

    everyone twists everything – let’s get that straight. having a silly dichotomy of the west vs the east isn’t particularly useful at all – it just fuels a lot of silliness. the fact is we humans are flying by the seat of our pants and at any moment they might come off as they often have done in the past.

    what i find ironic: many supporters of the Khilafah appear to feel for the Palestinians. But if they are sympathetic to the Khilafah idea – why don’t they get that Jews might have wanted something similar. Perhaps they do – but just don’t want the Palestinians to be on the receiving end of the problems that have resulted. Well in that case – shouldn’t they also realise that the realisation of their Khilafah will probably also result in similar problems?

  468. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:27 pm  

    Can we have our cake and Eat it?

    there are many religious people on this thread: i want to know does anyone know why the Kaaba is hung with those black curtains? i’ve been asking for years and no one will tell me.

  469. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:28 pm  

    well said Roger

  470. Jagdeep — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:31 pm  

    Islam is a political Ideology distinct from all others and hence can not be secularised.

    That’s like saying IKEA is a political ideology, or snooker is a political ideology. It’s just silly. And funny, too.

  471. Jagdeep — on 13th April, 2007 at 1:34 pm  

    Belief in UFOs is a political ideology unlike any else and will not be secularised. Can we have a discussion about that too? Because whether you like it or not, one day some extraterrestrials are going to beam down to earth in flying saucers and unite mankind behind Yoo Eff Oh and peace shall reign.

    Can we spend hours and hours talking about this. And I dont care if you don’t believe me if you dont treat this with respect I’m going to cross my arms and sit in the corner of the room staring at you grumpily.

  472. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:17 pm  

    TFI

    “As far as the Caliphate is concerned, there is absolutely a need for it,

    But what terms is there an *absolute* need for the Caliphate?

    as I say the EU is not too far from it.

    By this statement Are you suggesting that we turn the EU into a Caliphate? Nice … I look forward to the return of Tyborn and the public stocks and the rest of us paying Jizba (or whatever) while the ruling clerical elite find reason to start fights with the ‘unconquered’ world.

    Its opinons like these that justify Islamophobia and put true Muslims at risk from the BNP.

    Shame on you Usman, shame on you Refresh.

    TFI”

    I can’t believe that is what you’ve read from I what I posted. Just goes to show.

    Read what I actually said. Not what you think I mean.

    This is what I said:

    “As far as the Caliphate is concerned, there is absolutely a need for it, as I say the EU is not too far from it. How it looks how it acts and how it delivers outcomes is the key.

    From an economic point of view rejection of interest is the crucial objective. All the rest is a long term negotiation within. No big bang. An evolution.”

    Note the sentence:

    ‘How it looks how it acts and how it delivers outcomes is the key.’

    How what I said above allows you justify Islamaphobia I will never understand. The danger is your mindset not mine.

    I am actually encouraging an open debate here – my analogy is simple. To deliver a sustainable society and societies they need to be at peace with each other. The EU project was there to end centuries of warring in Europe. For me the Caliphate is about having a federation of states with ever closer union.

    It was my way of saying to those who want a Caliphate, that the west is already delivering it, with the prime example being the EU.

    And that is the starting point. Not the stupidity and discourtesy you have shown me.

    As for the interest issue – think about it. What skin is it of your nose if a society decides they do not believe in interest?

  473. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:21 pm  

    “It was my way of saying to those who want a Caliphate, that the west is already delivering it, with the prime example being the EU.”

    Forgot to say, it was also intended for people like you to break out of your intellectual cage so we can have the debate openly.

  474. Jagdeep — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:25 pm  

    Oh God Refresh is a believer in the UFO ideology too.

  475. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:40 pm  

    refresh makes some interesting points. part of what i ask proponents of the khilafah is why not embrace say the global civil society movement as something positive and the sort of networks that need to be built around and across the world> ? bringing down barriers. and as refresh points out, there is much to be said about how the EU is doing that.

  476. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:42 pm  

    “To deliver a sustainable society and societies they need to be at peace with each other”

    Spot on.

  477. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:43 pm  

    Not the stupidity and discourtesy you have shown me.

    Stop it! Stop it! you are making me blush!

    As for the interest issue – think about it. What skin is it of your nose if a society decides they do not believe in interest

    Here’s a new spin on a old joke:

    “Why is an Islamic bank account, not like having sex?”

    “Because once you withdraw you don’t lose interest!”

    While I’m trying to as disrepectful to you, as you and Usman are too my beloved country, government, society and women … please let me complete the stereotype, are you Refresh or Usman\Uthman on benefits?

    Please say yes … please say yes … if you do I’ll be laughing for the rest of the week! Think of the gift it would be to me.

    TFI

  478. Kismet Hardy — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:45 pm  

    Oooh it’s Friday the 13th. A lot of people believe this to be a bad thing. Ergo, it’s a religious tenet

    (skating on thin ice.com)

  479. Jagdeep — on 13th April, 2007 at 2:55 pm  

    sonia, the caliphate jive is predicated on concepts of Islamic imperialist history, the loss of Islamic potency, Islamic power, the ‘tragic’ loss of all that, so diluting it to a level of global brotherhood it loses whatever moth-eaten and ragged logic it contained in the first place. There is no global brotherhood according to this — there is Islamic brotherhood, a pre-requisite to Islamic supremacy and the rest of the dregs and untermenschen of humanity.

    I believe in Yoo Eff Oh

  480. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 3:00 pm  

    Kismet, dDo you remember that conversation where Bush and Blair were caught by a microphone talking backroom politics? That’s what I mean I guess by collusion and twisting.

  481. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 3:37 pm  

    Arif
    I haven’t forgot about you, don’t worry I will address your points shortly, but as to point 2 that western governments will intervene to protect human rights ect, I find this hard to believe as what I see is that only the interests take precedence when interfering or supporting of nations. For example the US will veto all UN resolutions against Israel for human rights abuses, the continued support for dictators who are openly know of human rights abuses and so on. Craig Murry the ex ambassador to Uzbekistan when returning to the UK made the human rights violations apparent and was told to keep quiet and upon refusal to do so was sacked from his position.

  482. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    “While I’m trying to as disrepectful to you, as you and Usman are too my beloved country, government, society and women … please let me complete the stereotype, are you Refresh or Usman\Uthman on benefits?”

    I believe you are being extremely silly, it may well be because you have some assumptions (I won’t call them prejudices) you need to exercise.

    Even so I would like responses to my specific points.

    With regards benefits, it is entirely right and proper that those that need our society’s safety net should make use of it.

    As an aside, I seem to recall you are a software programmer (I may be wrong), I have often thought of asking you for more details; as I could always do with talented programmers. I am not sure given your blinkered view of the world, that you could think outside of your cell long enough to deliver the sort of solutions my company or most forward looking companies would need.

    Yes the last paragraph is a dig.

  483. tfi — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:01 pm  

    Sorry Refresh, i actually feel guilty after that last post.. hard to imagine i know.

    I do find your suggestion that the EU is like a caliphate, why not the USSR or the USA? all are collection of states or member countries with trading zones.

    Rejecting the concept of interest is stupid, to attempt to build a new economic zone without the concept is basically possible. should you manage to do so the people within that system will suffer. Now you may believe that is none of my business, but i don’t like human suffering unless it is caused by my rappier wit.. Your utoper is Taliban rule reborn.

    In fact i distinctly remember you suggesting that we go back to a currency with precious metals because it was more ‘honest’, remembering that reminds me why I show you no respect and treat you like an idiot.

    TFI

    TFI

  484. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:04 pm  

    “In fact i distinctly remember you suggesting that we go back to a currency with precious metals because it was more ‘honest’, remembering that reminds me why I show you no respect and treat you like an idiot.”

    I think your memory is playing tricks.

    “Your utoper is Taliban rule reborn.”

    What the hell are you talking about?

    I am sorry I even disturbed you.

  485. tfi — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:07 pm  

    Sorry Refresh, i actually feel guilty after that last post.. hard to imagine i know.

    I do find your suggestion that the EU is like a caliphate ridiculous, why not the USSR or the USA? all are collection of states or member countries with trading zones. You may as well compare it to a bag of sweets. Besides one lightened numskull informed us until the maps and borders are discarded colonalism is still alive. It seems like a caliphate is desired by many, but i doubt that one could exist and be acknowledged as one, especially should it fail, that would always be because it wasn’t Islamic enough.

    Rejecting the concept of interest is stupid, to attempt to build a new economic zone without the concept is basically possible. should you manage to do so the people within that system will suffer. Now you may believe that is none of my business, but i don’t like human suffering unless it is caused by my rappier wit.. Your utoper is Taliban rule reborn.

    In fact i distinctly remember you suggesting that we go back to a currency with precious metals because it was more ‘honest’, remembering that reminds me why I show you no respect and treat you like an idiot.

    TFI

    TFI

  486. tfi — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:07 pm  

    Sorry Refresh, i actually feel guilty after that last post.. hard to imagine i know.

    I do find your suggestion that the EU is like a caliphate ridiculous, why not the USSR or the USA? all are collection of states or member countries with trading zones. You may as well compare it to a bag of sweets. Besides one lightened numskull informed us until the maps and borders are discarded colonalism is still alive. It seems like a caliphate is desired by many, but i doubt that one could exist and be acknowledged as one, especially should it fail, that would always be because it wasn’t Islamic enough.

    Rejecting the concept of interest is stupid, to attempt to build a new economic zone without the concept is basically impossible. should you manage to do so the people within that system will suffer. Now you may believe that is none of my business, but i don’t like human suffering unless it is caused by my rappier wit.. Your utoper is Taliban rule reborn.

    In fact i distinctly remember you suggesting that we go back to a currency with precious metals because it was more ‘honest’, remembering that reminds me why I show you no respect and treat you like an idiot.

    TFI

    TFI

  487. tfi — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:12 pm  

    Sorry Refresh, i actually feel guilty after that last post.. hard to imagine i know.

    I do find your suggestion that the EU is like a caliphate ridiculous, why not the USSR or the USA? all are collection of states or member countries with trading zones. You may as well compare it to a bag of sweets. Besides one lightened numskull informed us until the maps and borders are discarded colonalism is still alive. It seems like a caliphate is desired by many, but i doubt that one could exist and be acknowledged as one, especially should it fail, that would always be because it wasn’t Islamic enough.

    Rejecting the concept of interest is stupid, to attempt to build a new economic zone without the concept is basically impossible. should you manage to do so the people within that system will suffer from extreme poverty. Now you may believe that is none of my business, but i don’t like human suffering unless it is caused by my rappier wit.. Your utoper is Taliban rule reborn.

    In fact i distinctly remember you suggesting that we go back to a currency with precious metals because it was more ‘honest’, remembering that reminds me why I show you no respect and treat you like an idiot.

    Interest free economies, silver / bronze coins and a big bag of dog crap are all fungible.

    Look it up.

    TFI

  488. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:13 pm  

    jagdeep :-)

    i did used to think that the concept of global ummah i.e. brotherhood of muslims as rubbish, it only has any moral value if its ‘brotherhood’ i.e. any tom, dick and harry and the pigeons and squirrels too. otherwise how is the ummah different to flattering yourselves you are the chosen best people or something like that. which isn’t very universalist now is it.

  489. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:13 pm  

    TFI

    I think you need a break. You are beginning to remind me of Peter Sellars in Dr Strangelove, where he couldn’t control the urge to salute.

    And so it is with your keyboard.

  490. tfi — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:18 pm  

    whoops! i shouldn’t try and post from my smart phone, it isn’t smart enough.

    It is that, or i am not.

    TFI

  491. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:19 pm  

    By the way I was genuine when I said I had thought of making contact regarding your software skills.

  492. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:21 pm  

    TFI

    What’s your view of the Free Software Foundation? OpenSource? The Co-operative movement? The Gameen foundation?

  493. Jagdeep — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:25 pm  

    Sonia Begum

    A sensibility of affinity and fellow feeling is one thing (heck you and I probably share an unspoken South Asian cultural affinity as browns in the hood who eat with their hands not knife and fork) — but elevating a tribal solidarity to the status of ‘ideology’, with the markers of this ideology a bunch of unremarkable rituals and hazy common place ideals found in any religion or humanist belief system, positing it against the wealth of human struggle and experience that represents representative democracy and secularism, wanking itself in the garb of anti-colonial struggle (especially when it’s powered by a naked imperialistic sensibility itself), is so pathetic that it’s just embarassing. I mean, I cringe when I see them chat or read their words, it’s embarassing.

    Let’s believe in the ideology and unifying factor of UFOs instead.

  494. Jagdeep — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    By the way I was genuine when I said I had thought of making contact regarding your software skills.

    If you interview him will you film it and put it on youtube? Would love to see that.

    Refresh:

    What’s your thought on Xoflox 5.1 systems?

    TFI:

    They can facilitate corporate efficiency, as well as increasing integration of management consultants within the Ummah.

    Refresh:

    Good answer. You Zionist pig. Do you have your P45 and National Insurance documents?

    TFI:

    Ahh, you idiotic believer of caliphate. The Taliban is your utopia. When do I start?

  495. tfi — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:31 pm  

    To-ashy! coins (orv however it is spelt) Refresh i like you, you are much more fun than Usman, a damn sight brighter.

    I met an Islamic project manager recently through work and i have to say he was excellent, he especially shone when things got heated, he was a great moderator, a trait you appear to share.

    Meanwhile the weekend is here and I’m even more illerate on this PDA phone thing than normal, so I am going to take your sage advice and bow out for the weekend.

    Apologies if i was not you that said that about currencies, i shall endeavour to search the site and locate the boso in question.

    TFI.

  496. sonia — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:34 pm  

    jagdeep 494 – hilarious! oh this is an amusing friday afternoon thread..we don’t even need the weekend thread at this rate!

    have a good weekend TFI

  497. bananabrain — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:36 pm  

    someone asked a couple of posts back whether the jews want a khilafa-equivalent. the answer is no. we want “moshiach now” – the messianic age, to be precise, which nobody has defined all that well, but there’s world peace for a start and no hunger. it sounds a bit like star trek to me.

    and, incidentally, we would be living in the land of israel, although the idea of nation-states would undoubtedly no longer exist, so no problem with palestinians or anyone.

    an islamic khilafa presents a number of problems for us – firstly, i have no intention of becoming a dhimmi or paying jizya or anything like that. nor am i about to convert. we didn’t do it for the first khilafa (and many of us died for our beliefs, despite what fantasists like usman will tell you, because it dam’ well wasn’t spread by peace and logic alone!) and frankly if we got on well with the muslims, it was despite our experience of each other rather than otherwise, although if you drop the supremacism and supercessionism (same for christianity) and lose the insecure everyone-must-convert rubbish, it’s all happy-happy-joy-joy from now on.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  498. Jagdeep — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:37 pm  

    It’s the feeling of summer being around the corner.

  499. tfi — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:39 pm  

    oooh even on the train i cannot stop, very funny Jagdeep. Until next time Refresh!

    TFI

  500. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:49 pm  

    Oh no – not the next time!!! Stay on the train, hopefully it’ll reach an interminable tunnel with no reception.

    BTW there is no such thing as an Islamic project manager – its a project manager who happens to be muslim.

  501. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:51 pm  

    As to a lot of criticisms made I would like to make a point. These assumptions are made on the premise that secularism and democracy are the standard by which morality is determined. I have a problem with that as I don’t accept the premise. For example from twining on asking about homosexuality, firstly I would say that the claim that this is something inherent within some individuals and have no control over it is incorrect. The instinct is something which is out the control of the individual, the way this instinct is satisfied is according to concepts that the individual holds as to the way the instinct should be satisfied. The instinct can be satisfied in many different ways i.e. with a man, woman, animal, a blow up doll etc. What is appealing to the individual is linked directly to the concepts and thoughts they hold.

    If someone was to make the claim that they are inherently attracted to young children, is this something according to your premise you would accept or say is correct? Paedophilia in society is going out of control how long will it be before this is also legalised? What scares me is that when the Ian Huntly case was going on the Police officer heading the inquiry was caught viewing child porn on his laptop himself.

    The criticisms made by many are on the basis of democracy and secularism, unfortunately have no credibility as no one is able to prove that secularism is correct, a perfect product of an education system which encourages one to question but not think. Is there anyone who could prove secularism?

  502. Chairwoman — on 13th April, 2007 at 4:55 pm  

    Jagdeep – I have the windows open and it’s warm.

    TFI – I hate my PDA it scares the life out of me.

  503. Chairwoman — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:01 pm  

    Refresh @ 500 – How about a manager managing an Islamic project?

  504. The Common Humanist — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:07 pm  

    USman,

    Interesting that you bring up relationships with very young girls………there was this prophet once, quite famous, it is written he married a 9 year old girl.
    You can imagine how that looks…………following a man who married a 9 year old girl and saying he is the perfect individual……….ouch.

    But as to homosexuals – saying it is wrong is like saying God made a mistake. Now, personally I have never been that confident…….

    IT is more then slightly ridiculous to compare love between two adult humans and a adult sexual predator preying on a child. Do you compare the relationship between man and wife as the same as that between rapist and victim? Of course not so less of the homophobia, eh?

    “”Paedophilia in society is going out of control how long will it be before this is also legalised?”"

    Oh please. Get a grip.

    IT will always be a sick, illegal crime as well you know.

    “The criticisms made by many are on the basis of democracy and secularism, unfortunately have no credibility as no one is able to prove that secularism is correct, a perfect product of an education system which encourages one to question but not think. Is there anyone who could prove secularism?”"

    Hello? McFly? Look at the posts from people like myself.

  505. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:16 pm  

    Humanist like I expected from narrow minded individuals like yourself, you are unable to answer the question? Democracy, secularism, is a farce. The weakness is at the very foundation, say what you will, but still no answers humanist. Reason? This is the so called modern world based on rational. With such a decadent ideology based on what? The only response you can give is to insult and belittle. Its pathetic.

  506. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:22 pm  

    “Refresh @ 500 – How about a manager managing an Islamic project?”

    For goodness sake stop it. TFI will worm his way out of his tunnel if he hears about it.

  507. Chairwoman — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:29 pm  

    Usman – You have argued your case through 500 comments, and for 2 weeks, yet you have neither convinced anyone, nor made one valid point to show that the Caliphate is the better way. Finally, having stated categorically that you want to follow laws that have, in essence, not changed for about 1400 years (I admit that I am shaky on dates), you call other people narrow minded, and imply that secularism equals paedophilia.

    Have your Caliphate, enjoy it, it’s your choice, but leave us to do our thing, our way.

  508. Chairwoman — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:30 pm  

    Refresh – He He He :-)

  509. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:35 pm  

    Ecellent article by John Pilger:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2056301,00.html

    “We cannot look from the sides as we are led towards crisis over Iran”

    That should exercise the PP intelligentsia for another 420 posts to give us the longest thread ever. Vast majority of it valueless.

  510. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:53 pm  

    Arif,

    With respect to how the state will implement the non hoarding of wealth, this is something that is at the discretion of the caliph, styles, techniques, methods, technology which are available at the time can be used as long as they are not from the basis of a creed. Items of material progress are universal and not specific to any civilisation and can be used.

    The principle does not change but the way in which is applied can. The principle is ‘use it or lose it’ What happens when wealth is hoarded, it is taken out of the market, reducing the amount of wealth in circulation, reducing the demand for goods and reducing production of goods in turn reducing employment. When wealth is not hoarded, this in turn increases spending and investment circulating the wealth back into society increasing the demand for products increasing production increasing employment.

    It needs to be viewed in its complete context to be appreciated, cant be compared to capitalist economics because its structure is completely different, for example one could argue that take interest away and it would collapse, yes in terms of capitalist economics it would but the Islamic model is completely different with its own structure and principles.

    the topic is very long, check this link out, it will hopefully answer some of your question to do with wealth distribution and how Islam can cure poverty. Etc.

    http://www.newcivilisation.com/index.php/main/newciv/back_issue/summer_05/full_article/42/P0/

  511. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 5:57 pm  

    Usman, please get your facts right. (1) You might be homophobic? (2) It was not the police officer heading the case. It was, I believe, a family Liaison Officer. (3) Your views, are a tad racist, possibly?

  512. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 6:00 pm  

    There are different life ideologies Usman. Is Islam the best ideology? Is that what you are saying?

  513. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 6:03 pm  

    Chair woman you carry on doing things your way all I ask is that the Muslim world be left to do their thing their way. I may not have convinced anyone but I am more convinced about the weaknesses of secularism now more than ever before. It is a sad state of affairs though, every one is so quick to criticise but then can’t answer one simple question and the whole thing collapses, because that’s the basis, everything else is weak and has no credibility. So much for reason. Oh well, it’s like a wise man once said “bring me an intelligent person and I’ll convince him, bring me an arrogant fool and convincing him is impossible.” I think my work here is done.

  514. William — on 13th April, 2007 at 6:05 pm  

    Usman

    You have not answered my questions in #437.

  515. Usman — on 13th April, 2007 at 6:16 pm  

    No we are not the same person, as to homosexuality read comment 501. so are you going to answer my question? No I didn’t think so.

  516. tfi — on 13th April, 2007 at 6:19 pm  

    *TFI rises from the endless tunnel of doom*

    Curses to you Refresh, I heard my name called trice awakening me from my train based slumber!

    Interestingly, I’ve a mate that is working on a building project in Dubia, so he could be described as a Project Manager managing an Islamic project, and boy does he have some amusing stories.

    As for this Pjm chap, perphaps I’m wrong to use language like that, but i work with a couple of Muslims chaps who aren’t very Islamic, whereas this guy is a Muslim and very Islamic. If this use of language appears very politically incorrect, my job here is done :-)

    TFI

  517. Chairwoman — on 13th April, 2007 at 6:19 pm  

    Right back at you, Usman!

  518. soru — on 13th April, 2007 at 6:29 pm  

    BTW there is no such thing as an Islamic project manager – its a project manager who happens to be muslim.

    Interesting to know if Usman would disagree.

    Would he say Gannt charts and timesheets are ‘secular’, and so can’t be used without abandoning the core of his religion?

    Would he say there are some ways of regulating and organising human interaction that are outside the scope of his definition of religion, justified on a pragmatic ‘because it seems to work’ basis?

    Or would he just say: ‘I have here an authentic 800 year old hadith on how to configure MS Project to perform XML data exchage with fellow members of the Ummah’?

  519. Twining or Black in Blue — on 13th April, 2007 at 8:04 pm  

    OK this is the deal, Usman, Chairwoman, Infidel, Refresh, even Imran, let’s all pray together.

  520. Refresh — on 13th April, 2007 at 8:33 pm  

    Soru, what he would be right in saying is that the roots of modern advances (including XML) are in the thirst and search for knowledge established under Islam.

    Bananabrain, you have already said that. I think in this very thread. But you are welcome to keep repeating it, it doesn’t add anything of particular value for it.

    In the meantime the luckless Palestinian need only wait until the messianic age descends.

  521. Chris Stiles — on 13th April, 2007 at 8:41 pm  

    what he would be right in saying is that the roots of modern advances (including XML) are in the thirst and search for knowledge established under Islam.

    Amongst other things, many other things.

  522. Chairwoman — on 13th April, 2007 at 8:48 pm  

    Twining – I’m up for it.

  523. soru — on 14th April, 2007 at 12:08 pm  

    Soru, what he would be right in saying is that the roots of modern advances (including XML) are in the thirst and search for knowledge established under Islam.

    If he would say that, could he not also say that the roots of modern political advances were laid in the same way, and so do not need to be rejected wholesale?

  524. tfi — on 14th April, 2007 at 1:33 pm  

    how silly, XML is a fruit of human advances, not a root.. XML isn’t anything clever either as it is only a data description language, its only benefit over other forms of datastructure is interoperability.

    Now if you had said Object Oriented Design, or Turing Machines I’d not take issue. Of course seeing as Alan Turing, the god father of computing was homosexual, making computing a gay science?

    TFI

  525. Roger — on 14th April, 2007 at 2:00 pm  

    ” all I ask is that the Muslim world be left to do their thing their way.”
    As the last time muslim world was left to “do their own thing” it turned out that one of their own things was bringing the benefits of muslim rule to everyone else regardless of whether they wanted it, and as the HuT islamic state constitution makes it very plain that they intend to de exactly the same thing if they ever get an islamic state, we can’t oblige you,Usman.

  526. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th April, 2007 at 3:08 pm  

    Anyone else wish to share hands with a Hindu as Chairwoman has agreed to do to pray together for peace?

  527. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th April, 2007 at 4:43 pm  

    I meant a Hindu and Chairwoman, I take it that’s a no then.

  528. William — on 14th April, 2007 at 5:27 pm  

    I don’t mind praying with people of all kinds of religions as I have done so in the past so I would be up for it.

  529. Twining or Black in Blue — on 14th April, 2007 at 7:50 pm  

    Thanks William, Usman, Imran, Refreash, Arif?

  530. Refresh — on 14th April, 2007 at 9:33 pm  

    “how silly, XML is a fruit of human advances, not a root.. XML isn’t anything clever either as it is only a data description language, its only benefit over other forms of datastructure is interoperability.”

    I am not sure you are actually reading before you post.

  531. Refresh — on 14th April, 2007 at 9:34 pm  

    “If he would say that, could he not also say that the roots of modern political advances were laid in the same way, and so do not need to be rejected wholesale?”

    Of course he could.

  532. Refresh — on 14th April, 2007 at 9:36 pm  

    “Of course seeing as Alan Turing, the god father of computing was homosexual, making computing a gay science?”

    I think it was you who started the argument – you are welcome to finish it. Seeing that you’ve reversed your own logic.

  533. Refresh — on 14th April, 2007 at 9:38 pm  

    Roger I’ve not followed this thread too closely, nor what you have had to say:

    “” all I ask is that the Muslim world be left to do their thing their way.”
    As the last time muslim world was left to “do their own thing” it turned out that one of their own things was bringing the benefits of muslim rule to everyone else regardless of whether they wanted it, and as the HuT islamic state constitution makes it very plain that they intend to de exactly the same thing if they ever get an islamic state, we can’t oblige you,Usman.

    Utter Utter Tosh

  534. Refresh — on 14th April, 2007 at 9:40 pm  

    Twining what do you want to pray for?

  535. El Cid — on 14th April, 2007 at 11:04 pm  
  536. Anas — on 15th April, 2007 at 12:54 am  

    “Of course seeing as Alan Turing, the god father of computing was homosexual, making computing a gay science?”

    algorithms are named after the great Iranian mathematician al-Khowarizmi, y’know!

  537. leon — on 15th April, 2007 at 1:30 am  

    536 comments!? Isn’t this some kind of record for PP??

  538. Chairwoman — on 15th April, 2007 at 10:19 am  

    Refresh @ 534 – Peace and understanding. Very sixties but the oldies are still the goodies.

  539. Twining or Black in Blue — on 15th April, 2007 at 10:36 am  

    Refresh, peace, understanding, acceptnace of the other, love everyone, hate no one.

  540. Refresh — on 15th April, 2007 at 10:45 am  

    Twin and Chair, please go ahead and think of me.

  541. Roger — on 15th April, 2007 at 11:50 am  

    “Utter Utter Tosh”

    Really, Refresh? Look at the history of islamic expansion for past evidence of the desire to bring the benefits of muslim rule to everyone else regardless of whether they wanted it, while http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info/english/constitution.htm shows that HuT at least still share the same aspirations.

  542. Roger — on 15th April, 2007 at 1:48 pm  

    Yes really!

  543. Twining or Black in Blue — on 15th April, 2007 at 8:16 pm  

    Have no fear, Twining is here. If you have a look at my blog you will see on the latest entry who I am really. It’ s time to realease those shackles. Please do add some positive thoughts or even ask a question.

  544. Refresh — on 15th April, 2007 at 8:31 pm  

    Didn’t mean to impersonate you Roger in #542.

    But Yes really!

  545. Joe Bloggs — on 15th April, 2007 at 11:51 pm  

    if this society is so advanced and correct in its dealings with social issues, why then is rape, peodophilia and incest,so rife?????????

    why does no one trust no one in this country?

    how cum the prisons are full? and how cum all all the celebrities, (you know the people that are ‘living the dream’) have been in rehab at one stage or other in their lives?

    these are just a few illnesses caught by victims of secularism, surley the worlds deadliest disease.

    The invisible killer passive smoking or secularism you decide!

  546. Kulvinder — on 16th April, 2007 at 12:31 am  

    I think this thread shows that if i don’t contribute none of you say anything challenging or interesting.

    In summary; huzzah for me.

  547. tfi — on 16th April, 2007 at 9:43 am  

    Refresh is deluded nonsense to claim that “… that the roots of modern advances (including XML) are in the thirst and search for knowledge established under Islam.”

    That thirst was established long before the birth of Mo. The only claim that could be made for is that modern science / thought is the rejection of mysticism as an explaination of phenomena. This “the age of reason” and the philosophical thought behind it is as Islamic as a bacon sandwich.

    What you are trying to lay claim to is the ability to think or reason as fruit of Islam rather than a fruit of human nature itself.

    I suppose that if you see the world in terms of reverts etc, i.e. that we non-Muslims are already a lapsed Muslims waiting to return to the fold, it is easy to lay claim to any human virtue as rooted from Islam and your god.

    Breathtaking arrogance and is not the sole jurisdiction of islam, but you might as well lay claim to that as well.

    TFI

  548. Refresh — on 16th April, 2007 at 11:14 am  

    TFI

    Fascinating assumptions about me, about Islam, about yourself and your roots.

    As you wish. Not sure we’ve got much to discuss.

  549. Chris Stiles — on 16th April, 2007 at 11:25 am  

    I’m not sure Usman, Imran et al want to discuss reality.

  550. sonia — on 16th April, 2007 at 11:29 am  

    Hmm. Let’s face it, empires have had many things in common. one of which seems to involve certain people looking back and saying, well seeing as the empire brought certain benefits (like railroads in india) using the dodgy argument of the ends justify the means etc. like to say therefore, all in all, empire was a Good thing.

    now sure there were loads of great mathematicians and scientists and what have you who came out of the ‘Islamic empire’. fine, yes there is an element of this is not very well known – but heck, not many people nowadays know much about the past. there is also a tendency for people to be ‘favouritist’ about this and see it as a west/east thing, instead of realising knowledge was built on previous thinking and it was far more cyclical and me vs. you and east vs. west.

    alexandria for example in late antiquity was hugely cosmopolitan with indian sadhus hanging round neopythagoreans etc. etc.

    in any case, it seems while people are happy to recognize the heavy handedness of some empires e.g. in the case of British colonialism, some are not so ready to criticize similar aspects of other empires – e.g. the Islamic empire. Surely there’s no need to be so ‘defensive’. Empires are empires!

  551. Refresh — on 16th April, 2007 at 11:30 am  

    Seems nobody does.

  552. The Common Humanist — on 16th April, 2007 at 11:43 am  

    Usman,
    I reverted to yanking your chain to illustrate the fact that you ignore questions and answers to your own questions……

    TCH

  553. sonia — on 16th April, 2007 at 11:51 am  

    Roger and Refresh:

    525 and 533: my thoughts on this.

    the ‘muslim world’ and was it really ‘one entity’ – {so actually Usman saying now about the ‘muslim world’ should do what It wants – well there isn’t one It, is there.}

    let’s start off with these questions: how did the ‘muslim world’as we consider it now – become ‘muslim’? and once all these different places became ‘muslim’ were they all ‘united’ through the ages?

    so – to start – once arabia had been unified under the Prophet and then the early caliphate went caliph went off and ‘unified’ the levant – under the banner of islam – what was that then? invasion? did those countries/places/people ask to be included? it turned some places into becoming part of what is then referred to as part of the ‘muslim world’.
    So did the countries/regions which can now be considered part of the ‘Muslim world’ vote to join the ‘Federation’? Or did the early Muslims just decide they wanted to spread the word? and behave like empires usually do? Later on we know that the Arabs weren’t the ones in power anymore in the so-called Muslim world. the rise of the seljuk turks etc. etc. who wanted an empire for themselves and happened to be muslim. lots of different people who happened to be muslim wanting to gain power over other people and each other, as it happens. ‘normal’ empire games?

    whether later on the ‘Muslim world’ behaved like one entity or not – clearly it got very complicated by then – my point is that at some point the Muslims in Arabia decided that in order to ‘spread’ Islam they should go around invading some other territories and conquer those. If they decided to do that in the name of religion ( which we don’t actually know – they could have wanted some power and gotten tired of their bit of desert – who knows) then that is a bit worrying isn’t it in the context of these Khilafah discussions? How do we know the contemporary Khilafah types won’t want to follow the example of the Early Muslims? Perhaps that is what is worrying Roger? ( and others)

  554. sonia — on 16th April, 2007 at 11:54 am  

    oops : in 550 when i said “and it was far more cyclical and me vs. you and east vs. west.”

    i meant to say “”and it was far more cyclical than me vs. you and east vs. west.”

  555. Refresh — on 16th April, 2007 at 12:50 pm  

    Lets all worry away

  556. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 16th April, 2007 at 1:37 pm  

    Well said Sonia, but raising points that require self-reflection, honesty and pragmatism from the believers like Ground Hog Day Usman is a fruitless exercise. You may as well sit back, take the piss and enjoy the ride.

    TFI

  557. Roger — on 16th April, 2007 at 3:11 pm  

    I knew it wasn’t me, Refresh.
    You still haven’t said what you think “utter utter tosh”, however. Is it the claim that the early muslims thought they were entitled to conquer anywhere they wanted and to bring the benefits of muslim rule to the inhabitants, the claim thet the HuT constitution shows that contemporary khalifah-fancying muslims take a similar view, the HuT constitution itself (there I’d agree, but many muslims wouldn’t i think) or the claim that a contemporary khalifah would begin with or very quickly acquire just such an attitude? Whichever it is, please produce evidence for your argument
    Well, Sonia, I’d agree about the diversity of ‘the islamic world’ over time. However, as well as behaving as mediaeval states had to behave ["Expand or go under" was the choice according to Richard Fletcher.] muslims could justify their expansion from the quran. The four “righteous” caliphs commanded expansion on a grand scale. They are the model for most contemporary delusions of khalifah and- as the HuT constitution shows- contemporary khalifah-fanciers tend to take the same view of how a contemporary caliphate ought to function and to think that there was then and should now a single “muslim world”. After all, that’s the whole way the khialafah is meant to work in their eyes.

  558. Kismet Hardy — on 16th April, 2007 at 3:12 pm  

    “You may as well sit back, take the piss and enjoy the ride”

    Usman. Sounds like Captain America. US Man.

    I’ll get me coat.

  559. Kismet Hardy — on 16th April, 2007 at 3:13 pm  

    Did the four caliphs ride horses? I heard this one religious story about four dudes on horses and it ended badly

  560. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 16th April, 2007 at 5:13 pm  

    Roger,

    Nicely done, bringing the subject back to the point of the thread.

    There is a certain view from some Muslims in Islam that is not acceptable, it is elitist, chauvinist, morally corrupt, logically inconsistent and revolutionary (which is NOT a good thing).

    It is these ideas that must be attacked, not the track record of HuT, as can be seen Inyanat, Usman, Refresh and Co will always be able to cast aside the evidence at the top in Sunny’s article.

    Political correctness be damned, certain things that Mo said and some of the actions of the old Caliphates must be questioned and held up to critical debate.

    This doesn’t seem to be happening, only the actions of the “West” appear to qualify for this while all other societies are given an easy ride, enabling some of the tosh that we have seen on this page.

    TFI

  561. Twining or Black in Blue — on 16th April, 2007 at 8:42 pm  

    So, Chairwoman is with me. Who else is going to pray for peace, and happiness? No answer from Usman, and Imran, and Refresh just says we should think about him. Monoculture is the route of all failure. Yep, I am thinking Refresh, and what I am thinking is just how sad some people are. Not me of course.

  562. Twining or Black in Blue — on 16th April, 2007 at 8:44 pm  

    And also how un-multicultural and disrepsectful of others some people are also….

  563. Twining or Black in Blue — on 16th April, 2007 at 8:46 pm  

    I meant disrespectful.

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