A growing campaign to defend Usama Hasan and free speech


by Sunny
9th March, 2011 at 2:55 pm    

A group of people, including Yahya Birt, have set up a group on Facebook to rally people in support of Usama Hasan (background here):

In the case of Dr Usama Hasan, an imam at Masjid Tawhid in Leyton, London, who has been persecuted and victimised, we call upon religious scholars, imams, mosque committees, Muslim community organisations and Muslim communities as a whole to reaffirm the following principles so that we may strengthen the basic conditions for civilised and principled Muslim community life:

1. No imam or member of the Muslim community should be subjected to hate speech, intimidation or threats of violence on any matter regarding beliefs or religious rulings as this is contrary to the law of the land which British Muslims are bound to uphold, and most essentially that, under Islamic teachings and etiquette, mob rule has no legitimate place within our community life.

2. No religious scholar or any ordinary Muslim has the legal jurisdiction to declare any fellow Muslim outside of the faith of Islam (takfir) in the United Kingdom, and furthermore that they are duty bound to affirm freedom of religious conscience which is upheld in the United Kingdom.

3. Those who have made takfir of Dr Usama Hasan or who have acted in an intimidating or abusive fashion towards him must publicly retract their statements of takfir immediately and offer an unconditional public apology.

4. That there is a positive duty to uphold the etiquette of differences of opinion, and to condemn those who actively promote hatred and division within our communities. We should all affirm the necessity of developing a mature and wise ethos within Muslim communities so that we may handle matters of controversy with tact and wisdom in recognition of our great diversity.

5. All matters of mosque governance should conform to the Charity Commission’s guidance or any other relevant legislation, and no ad hoc measures should be undertaken in contravention of these rules or legislation in either letter or spirit.

Those are good points that should apply generally too. I hope more people will stand up against this disgusting attempt at physical intimidation.

Update: The MCB have also released a statement condemning the threats.


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  1. Sunny Hundal

    Blogged: : A growing campaign to defend Usama Hasan and free speech http://bit.ly/hoDmbp


  2. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : A growing campaign to defend Usama Hasan and free speech http://bit.ly/hoDmbp




  1. Andrew — on 9th March, 2011 at 4:09 pm  

    Inayat Bunglawala has come down on Usama’s side regarding evolution:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/mar/09/islam-science-evolution

  2. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 4:18 pm  

    “2. No religious scholar or any ordinary Muslim has the legal jurisdiction to declare any fellow Muslim outside of the faith of Islam (takfir) in the United Kingdom, and furthermore that they are duty bound to affirm freedom of religious conscience which is upheld in the United Kingdom.”

    This is nonsense. No qualified scholar or widely accepted scholar has made takfir of Usama Hasan and in some cases Usama Hasan has spoken to major scholars directly himself. The Sufi community is simply using this to bash the Salafi/Wahabi community but those who have made takfir are outside of this community anyway so why the misdirection on this issue?

    The people who may have made takfir of him are unqualified to make these types of decisions and don’t qualify as scholars. If people have made takfir of him then name and shame them but don’t use this Quilliam type approach to label people unfairly.

    If there is to be a campaign then it needs to at least state the facts correctly. The facts are not correct here and in fact I’d say grossly misleading people.

  3. Effendi — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:14 pm  

    “This is nonsense. No qualified scholar or widely accepted scholar has made takfir of Usama Hasan and in some cases Usama Hasan has spoken to major scholars directly himself.”

    You may be right, but a number of “ordinary Muslims” have declared takfir on Usama. You will note that the wording on point 2 states quite clearly:

    No religious scholar or any ordinary Muslim has the legal jurisdiction to declare any fellow Muslim outside of the faith of Islam (takfir) in the United Kingdom

  4. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:18 pm  

    Also can we be clear that it doesn’t matter what Bunglawala or Usama Hasan say, most Muslims believe that Prophet Adam (pbuh) was created by Allah (swt) – God. It is a matter of belief.

    Usama Hasan tried to merge this with science and has yet to answer many question posed on his understanding.

    People have beliefs and it is up to them what they believe and who they pray behind.

    Bunglawala and Hasan should also explain why if Prophet Adam (pbuh) was descended from near human parents then why didn’t they have other children and why didn’t these near human things produce more.

    If you can’t prove your point then don’t hide behind understanding of science.

    As Shaykh Sadlan said to Usama that it is a point of belief. Usama Hasan is told to perform 5 daily prayers but science doesn’t tell him to do that so why does he do it – belief.

    So similarly is the belief in the creation of Prophet Adam (pbuh).

    Muslims don’t stop other people from believing but this is a principle of Islam.

    If Usama Hasan is to have freedom to say what he wants the Muslims have the right and freedom to say back what they believe.

    Aside from the nutters at the meeting Usama failed to convince his own friends and suporters so why is that point being silenced.

    Why is shifting of ground to suit the media by Usama’s sister who denied he ever said that Adam was descended from near human parents?

    Why are people refusing to question the response of Usama and his sister? He said it clearly on tape and she said he didn’t and people were lying.

    Belief in a creator and prophets is central to religion as is darwins theory to evolitionists. Religion is being ridiculed and denied the right to express freely their belief. It is up to people to decide who they pray behind and what belief they find acceptable and as long as they obey the law then that should be fine with people.

    Do Bhuddists get told they can’t believe in Bhudda? Nope. So don’t deny Muslims their right.

    Its a shame the Quilliam and others are so mute on the rights of Muslims who have not threatened Usama not to pray behind him because after all they also helped to make the mosque what it is.

  5. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:26 pm  

    “You may be right, but a number of “ordinary Muslims” have declared takfir on Usama. You will note that the wording on point 2 states quite clearly:”

    And you should note the nonsense from Pickled and Government favourite:

    http://www.quilliamfoundation.org/images/stories/pdfs/usamah.pdf

    “The most damaging – and potentially lethal – fatwas against Usama Hasan have been issued by Salih al-Sadhlan, a prominent Wahhabi cleric based in Saudi Arabia…”

    So how is saying don’t pray behind him and also having engaged in a discussion with Usama be construed as most damaging and potentially lethal? Notice the continual use of the word Wahabi cleric in a derogatory manner which is in direct contradiction to how Usama Hasan explained his discussion with Shaykh Sadlan.

    So why is there no challange here to this nonsense?

    Rightly so the people who have threatened him are being challanged, but then why the muted silence on this nonsense?

    The mainstream Salafi/Wahabi community preach against violence and quietly get on with their lives and yet are continually attacked with incorrect statements which readily go unchecked.

    Why is there no Pickled Politics thread on the nonsense being spouted by Quilliam which when you read what Usama Hasan said is in direct contradiction to their statements. All this at the tax payers expense and not a word of criticism.

  6. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:36 pm  

    Oh and Effendi – I think Usama Hasan has a right to say what he believes without Takfiri/Jihadi types threatening him. Those ordinary Muslims are influenced as was Majid Nawaz, Anjum Choudary and “Ed” X by Sayid Qutb’s sufi/leninist revolutionary style thought. Qutb denigrated Prophet Musa and many nobale companions which a Salafi/Wahabi wouldn’t do. Most of the refutation about Qutb and his deviant ideology has been written by mainstream Salafi organisations.

    So I wish that blogs would stop calling the likes of Al-Bakrihoon Salafi when they are Qutubi in outlook. No major Saudi scholar who is respected by the normal Salafi community has ever endorsed Omark Bakri or Sayid Qutb and it is time Quilliam and others acknowledged this.

  7. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:40 pm  

    Also why are people who have threatened Usama Hasan not been at least questioned by the Police?

  8. Effendi — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:43 pm  

    You will find that the Islam Awakening, Dawood Mannion and the other takfiri reprobates in this episode consider themselves Salafi and not much else.

    But it’s hardly important who happens to be what. Surely that’s a tree obscuring your overall view of that wood.

    The main points are well articulated by the 5 points in the message above.

  9. Sunny — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:47 pm  

    Do Bhuddists get told they can’t believe in Bhudda? Nope. So don’t deny Muslims their right.

    Erm, actually, yes they do. The Buddha is not god, and Buddhists are told not to worship him as god.

    It doesn’t surprise me in the least you’re clueless.

  10. Yakoub — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:47 pm  

    I can’t believe people take the Quranic texts regarding Adam literally. Evolution is as scientifically valid as gravity – those who dismiss it as a theory, etc are simply ignorant. If the real world contradicts your interpretation of the text, then reinterpret the text. Otherwise, you don’t live in the real world.

  11. joe90 — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:53 pm  

    It been said already if threats have been made where are the arrests?

    this back and forth statements and counter statements is getting nowhere, allegations have been made, provide the evidence call the police arrest people involved end of!

    I am not doubting this guy hasan has been threatened, but the quilliam gang have a track record of crying wolf.

  12. sheffielder — on 9th March, 2011 at 5:58 pm  

    #10 – “Otherwise, you don’t live in the real world.”

    Which is the problem with ‘faith’ in a nutshell. How do religious people deal with a real world that bears no resemblance to their ancient texts? Sadly they continue to base their views on the texts rather than the reality in front of them. One of the critics of Usama Husan lambasted him for not believing that God made Adam from clay! , Yes thats right , one man attacks another man for not believing something that a (non brain-washed) 5 year old would laugh at.

  13. Sunny — on 9th March, 2011 at 6:18 pm  

    joe90:
    I am not doubting this guy hasan has been threatened, but the quilliam gang have a track record of crying wolf.

    stop being an idiot. How would you feel if your life was threatened and other people were saying on the web that you had a habit of crying wolf and there was little point?

    Would you say that if someone was called a ‘paki’ as well? The allegations are serious enough to warrant a look or not? If not, say so. Otherwise check yo’self.

  14. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 6:39 pm  

    “stop being an idiot. How would you feel if your life was threatened and other people were saying on the web that you had a habit of crying wolf and there was little point?”

    Look the life threatening issue is serious and needs to be dealt with by the Police. I can’t understand why he was wraned his life was being threatened but what was the action taken against those who did the threatening?

    No-one has said he has a habit of crying wolf as far as I know. What is being discussed is the continual changing positions and statements being made by Usama and yesterday his sister.

    It is a valid question even if you choose to dismiss it.

  15. BenSix — on 9th March, 2011 at 6:48 pm  

    What is being discussed is the continual changing positions and statements being made by Usama and yesterday his sister.

    I wish he hadn’t – as it looks as if he has – backtracked but can you say in all confidence that you’d act differently if your career and life were under threat?

  16. joe90 — on 9th March, 2011 at 6:48 pm  

    post #13

    you didn’t answer the question, if me or anyone is threatened very simple call 999.

    hasan guy if he is under threat where is police in this? what’s the delay?

    no one should put up with threats just for their thoughts and views.

    and cry wolf was directed at your mates at quilliam it’s their bread and butter.

  17. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 6:51 pm  

    Sunny – “Erm, actually, yes they do. The Buddha is not god, and Buddhists are told not to worship him as god.

    It doesn’t surprise me in the least you’re clueless.”

    If you pick up your toys up and put them back in your pram, what I said was not if Bhuddists are told to believe Bhudda is god or not. What I said was:

    “Do Bhuddists get told they can’t believe in Bhudda?”

    The key words are believe in Bhudda which you then changed to say believe in god and went off on one. I am not clueless as I knwo they get told they can’t say Bhudda is god. It does occassionally help if you listen to people as there are a number of issues here. You flew off on one about Shaykh Sadlan and ended up looking clueless and you are at it again.

    The point is that you can’t force belief on people. Usama didn’t convince most of his own friends and supporters which is a point you are clueless about. Thus it is their right to decide who they pray behind.

    As I said here before, proper scholars such as Imam Ahmad actually debated with people who came up with beliefs whcih are not in accordance with Islam, he was imprisoned for holding to his views and eventually proved his point and was released.

    The nutjobs who are threatening Usama migth do well to understand this crucial point thatin Islam there is early history of similar debates.

    Usama Hasan with respect is far from proving his point as is Bunglawala. Have you listened to the debate he had at the Mosque?

    In it he skirts round the issue initially and then says he believes that Prophet Adam’s parents were near human. Then yesterday his sister said he didn’t say that. So why this shifting of positions when he is on record as saying that? In the interim he issued a vague statement saying he accepted the words of the Qur’an and this means he shifted from his earlier position!

  18. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 6:56 pm  

    BenSiz – “I wish he hadn’t – as it looks as if he has – backtracked but can you say in all confidence that you’d act differently if your career and life were under threat?”

    He was shifting positions prior to the threats being made public knowledge. However no-one should have to put up with their life being threatened at all.

    I still can’t understand why this matter has not been pursued by the Police and why he has not been given protection.

  19. Imran Khan — on 9th March, 2011 at 7:04 pm  

    “You will find that the Islam Awakening, Dawood Mannion and the other takfiri reprobates in this episode consider themselves Salafi and not much else.

    But it’s hardly important who happens to be what. Surely that’s a tree obscuring your overall view of that wood.”

    It is important because Quilliam and others use this as a way of bashing anyone who follows Salafi/Wahabi scholars. Have Quilliam ever said anything about Sufi’s/ Brailvis etc in the same way? Nope!

    Takfiri ideology has been best exposed by Salafi/Wahabi scholars as even Hamza Yusuf pointed out so why keep this labelling unless it is to meet an agenda?

    Again the mainstream Salafi community highlighted the dangers of many of those labelling Usama Hasan before anyone else but noone listened.

    Quilliam as a thinktank should not be labelling groups in this manner as it can cause un-necessary harm as we are seeing with this episode. What is groups like the EDL start then targetting law-abiding Salafi’s.

    Again no one seems to care to highlight this issue as it has potential consequences which could be serious.

  20. Don — on 9th March, 2011 at 7:43 pm  

    What if groups like the EDL start then targeting law-abiding Salafi’s.

    You can’t seriously believe the EDL are capable of or interested in distinguishing between schools of thought.

  21. Effendi — on 9th March, 2011 at 8:42 pm  

    “Again the mainstream Salafi community highlighted the dangers of many of those labelling Usama Hasan before anyone else but noone listened.”

    Could you post the Salafi groups/individuals who did? Thanks.

  22. Ravi Naik — on 10th March, 2011 at 9:24 am  

    Belief in a creator and prophets is central to religion as is darwins theory to evolitionists. Religion is being ridiculed and denied the right to express freely their belief…. Do Bhuddists get told they can’t believe in Bhudda? Nope. So don’t deny Muslims their right.

    You are confusing things. First, ridiculing your beliefs is different from denying the right to express freely your beliefs. The latter is untrue.

    Second, there is a difference between believing in God (which science hasn’t disproved), and believing the account of the Bible that the Earth is 6000 years old, and Adam and Eve were the first and only humans at that time – which has been proved wrong by scientific evidence. You are also free to believe that dinosaurs never existed, and that the Earth is at the centre of the universe because of your religious beliefs. Just don’t expect people to respect those beliefs and think you and others like you are a bunch of ignorant fools.

  23. Ahmad — on 10th March, 2011 at 9:35 am  

    Why do I think Ravi that you are under the assumption that the Quran states the same thing?

    There are differences in the recording of the holy texts on the same issue, which you could argue were the origins of the variety in belief between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

    I don’t actually know what Usama Hasan said, but in my understanding evolution must exist as a process of nature. All beings evolve be it physically, psychologically, socially. To deny evolution is to deny any form of progress.

    What mainstream Islam does have issues with is Darwinian theory, which when you look at it, despite it being so popular and documented in so many GCSE Biology textbooks is still a theory. The problem with that is people have blindly believed that as ‘fact’.

    So when the secular scientists start accusing the religiously blind of not seeing the truth, their argument is backed up, at the end of the day by a theory. On that basis it is open to be accepted or rejected on an academic basis.

  24. Kismet Hardy — on 10th March, 2011 at 11:32 am  

    As a recent convert to creationism, I can assure you scientists can’t make nucleotides in the laboratory so it must be god. Eyethangyou

  25. BenSix — on 10th March, 2011 at 11:40 am  

    What mainstream Islam does have issues with is Darwinian theory, which when you look at it, despite it being so popular and documented in so many GCSE Biology textbooks is still a theory.

    What do you have against theories? Yes, evolution a theory. Everything‘s a theory. But, then, there are good and bad theories and it’s way out on the former end.

  26. Yahya Birt — on 10th March, 2011 at 11:57 am  

    To Imram Khan @19:

    As-salamu alaykum,

    If you want to organise an official statement from a or any Salafi organisations along the lines that other mainstream Muslim organisations have done in the last twenty four hours, I would be happy to put a link up to it on the Facebook group.

    Wa s-salam, Yahya

  27. Kismet Hardy — on 10th March, 2011 at 12:36 pm  

    Fuck theories. I believe in angels and magic.

  28. Ravi Naik — on 10th March, 2011 at 1:14 pm  

    Why do I think Ravi that you are under the assumption that the Quran states the same thing?
    There are differences in the recording of the holy texts on the same issue, which you could argue were the origins of the variety in belief between Muslims, Christians and Jews.

    It is not a question of what it states, it is how it is interpreted – whether you think that the literal existence of Adam and Eve are tenets of your faith or not. Not long ago, the Vatican believed that geocentrism and creationism were part of its doctrine.

    What mainstream Islam does have issues with is Darwinian theory, which when you look at it, despite it being so popular and documented in so many GCSE Biology textbooks is still a theory.

    That is a fallacy. Evolution, like gravity, is a scientific theory that provides a scientific model which explains observed phenomena. It is also considered a scientific fact, because there is overwhelming evidence that validates the theory, and none of which contradicts it.

    Creationism is none of these things – there is ample scientific evidence that contradicts it. It is therefore hilarious to suggest that Islam has a problem with evolution because it is just a theory, with the implication that is not scientific enough…

  29. Kismet Hardy — on 10th March, 2011 at 1:27 pm  

    A tin of beans didn’t just appear. It was made. By someone who had beans. And where did the beans come from? The earth. Someone must have made that. Otherwise there’d be no beans. I’ve got this religion thing sussed.

  30. Ahmad — on 10th March, 2011 at 2:20 pm  

    Ravi, the origins of how something is interpreted is on the basis of how it is stated.

    Ravi read my points, I didn’t discredit evolution at all. I’ve just said one of the explanations of it is not full proven, that being Darwinian theory. The theory of gravity has been tested, Darwin’s theory of evolution hasn’t been proven in its totality. If it has, we could all trace our ancestory to monkeys. I know nothing about evolutionary theory (only as far as GCSE Biology) but what I do know that even scientists are in dispute over the origins of man without the influence of religion. Darwinian theory is simply a dominant paradigm now, despite the fact that as a total theory, it is inconclusive.

    Could the scientists prove me wrong if I am indeed speaking out of turn.

  31. Imran Khan — on 10th March, 2011 at 3:00 pm  

    Actually Yahya the Salafi’s did it before you:

    http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=9&Topic=12076&sortby=desc

    They have also exposed the likes of Qaradawi, Qutb, Bakri, Choudary etc. for their errors and quick fire takfir whcih is outside the established principles of Islam.

    They have also refuted Usama Hasan’s regarding his statement that Prophet Adam (pbuh) was decended from near-human parents. However they have not threatened him or made takfir of him.

  32. Kismet Hardy — on 10th March, 2011 at 3:17 pm  

    I went to a zoo and I swear I saw a monkey that looked like me mother-in-law. I rest me case

  33. Kismet Hardy — on 10th March, 2011 at 3:20 pm  

    “Prophet Adam (pbuh)”

    He wasn’t a prophet. He was the first bloke in history that went off to forage for his missus only to come back to find her banging the snake

  34. Ahmad — on 10th March, 2011 at 4:26 pm  

    I think the first man in history would be deemed a suitable candidate for prophethood.

  35. Kismet Hardy — on 10th March, 2011 at 4:57 pm  

    Seeing as you’re serious about this, one man, one woman on earth. Then they multiply. Where do you stand on incest, just out of scientific interest, like?

  36. Sunny — on 10th March, 2011 at 5:08 pm  

    Actually Yahya the Salafi’s did it before you:

    Those posts read like some school boy internet warriors. Did these guys not get a good education at least?

  37. Imran Khan — on 10th March, 2011 at 6:05 pm  

    “Those posts read like some school boy internet warriors. Did these guys not get a good education at least?”

    One minute you are complaining Muslim organisations didn’t speak out quickly enough and now its not good enough for you!

    They spoke out and they are not PR savvy. But they spoke out so where does that leave your friends at Quilliam who incorrectly blame Salafi/Wahabi for everything.

    These are not media savvy people but they go about their lives and try and get people away from extremists. What more do you want?

    Come on at least be fair, they highlighted how nutty the people who were making takfir on Usama were before anyone including Quilliam did and they highlighted how far of the beaten trail these takfirs are.

  38. Imran Khan — on 10th March, 2011 at 6:11 pm  

    “Seeing as you’re serious about this, one man, one woman on earth. Then they multiply. Where do you stand on incest, just out of scientific interest, like?”

    So does evolution prohibit incest then? Just out of scientific interest!

    To answer your question, different Prophets have had different legislation depending on the condition of the people at the time. Prophet Adam’s children were produced as multiple biths and one set of births married another. Once mankind had spread out enough then this law was lifted and this type of marriage was prohibited.

    In evolution when humans evolved they must have been small in number but obviously there was a scientific prohibition on incest so how did they multiply? Also what happened to the sub-humans, species by species? Oh yeah natural selectionkilled them off but we can’t see them even though we can find the tinest fossils we can’t find big 4ft or 5ft or 6ft near humans!

  39. Don — on 10th March, 2011 at 6:22 pm  

    Ahmad,

    You are of course correct when you say that evolution is a fact, observable and demonstrable. To an extent you are correct when you say that the theory of evolution through natural selection is open to dispute. But the disputes are around the details, the mechanisms and the extent to which other factors may or may not come into play. Not that natural selection is a reality, there is no reputable dispute about that.

    You are wrong about a couple of things. No-one claims we are descended from monkeys, we share an ape-like ancestor with apes and are more distant cousins of monkeys. Also, ‘Darwinism’ is not a word that is appropriate, any more than ‘Copernicusism’ or ‘Newtonism’. Darwin is undoubtedly the giant of evolutionary theory but he was not alone and of course had no knowledge of genes. The idea that because the original theory has been refined and expanded it is somehow ‘wrong’ is an error.

    Of course you are not ‘speaking out of turn’ and it is not a question of proving you wrong. I would strongly urge you to read ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ to get up-to-date, as it were, on where evolutionary biology now stands. I realise that some people reject Dawkins because he is an atheist but in this book he is in his area of expertise and I think you would find it helpful.

    However, I’m not sure why your doubts about natural selection are relevant to the issue. Surely the point is that Hasan is being attacked for accepting evolution per se, not because he endorsed a specific mechanism.

    People are of course free to believe whatever they want, however absurd. Go into almost any book shop, look at the shelf space given over to angels, ley-lines, past life regression, homeopathy, channeling, and other woo. Then look at the space given to science. It’s enough to make you weep.

    But I don’t think you do yourself any favours by implying that the objections to Hasan’s acceptance of the clear fact of evolution can be intellectually justified or have any connection with rationality. They aren’t, but they don’t need to be. As I said, people can believe anything they want, no rational under-pinning is needed to support that right. It’s better that way. I myself would be hard put to provide evidence for the fact that, as I look at the night sky and consider the unimaginable vastness of space, deep in my heart I know that somewhere out there Thundercats are fighting.

  40. Don — on 10th March, 2011 at 6:23 pm  

    cross post

  41. Don — on 10th March, 2011 at 6:26 pm  

    So does evolution prohibit incest then?

    If it is widespread and goes on for long enough it is deleterious, so in that sense, yes.

    we can’t find big 4ft or 5ft or 6ft near humans!

    Not 6ft as far as I am aware, but the fossil record contains many smaller extinct hominids (not sub-humans)from whom we may claim descent. Australopithecus for example. Really, read the book I suggested.

  42. Imran Khan — on 10th March, 2011 at 6:51 pm  

    “If it is widespread and goes on for long enough it is deleterious, so in that sense, yes.”

    Skirting around the issue, does it prohibit it or not? Yes or No.

    In creation it didn’t go on for long, only among Prophet Adam (pbuh) children.

    The question was what people felt about incest in the creation belief trying to muddy the waters.

  43. Don — on 10th March, 2011 at 7:14 pm  

    Imran,

    I wasn’t skirting the issue. Evolution does not ‘prohibit’ anything, it has no moral or ethical dimension. In fact it is horribly brutal. It does, however, punish non-adaptational variants. The smaller the gene pool, the less likely the group is to survive as offspring are more likely to have congenital defects. A group which self-limits the gene pool is greatly reducing it’s chances of healthy growth.

    Equally, evolution would not ‘prohibit’ a group which concluded that jumping into a volcano was a sensible rite of passage. But that group would have self-selected out of survival.

    May I suggest that demanding a yes or no answer is, in a discussion such as this, unhelpful. And somewhat abrupt. I think my meaning was perfectly clear.

  44. Don — on 10th March, 2011 at 7:47 pm  

    ‘its’ not ‘it’s’. Drat.

  45. Imran Khan — on 10th March, 2011 at 8:05 pm  

    “May I suggest that demanding a yes or no answer is, in a discussion such as this, unhelpful. And somewhat abrupt.”

    Please accept my apologies. Point taken.

    “I think my meaning was perfectly clear.”
    Not to me hence the question.

  46. Don — on 11th March, 2011 at 12:14 am  

    Accepted. No hard feelings. I hope I have clarified my point.

  47. Boyo — on 11th March, 2011 at 8:22 am  

    Are there people here still arguing against evolution? It’s odd because they are plainly not unintelligent, rather they appear to have chosen the intellectual equivalent of self-lobotomisation in order to justify their other beliefs. How sad.

  48. Boyo — on 11th March, 2011 at 8:27 am  

    As I pointed out previously, when you’re even on the wrong side of the Pope, you’ve got to be in trouble, and this is the inherent problem with with a certain interpretation of Islam – it turns in ever-decreasing circles and goes nowhere, while the rest of the world moves on.

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