Norway highlighted ‘a new form of prejudice’


by Sunny
3rd August, 2011 at 10:24 am    

I rarely agree with Abraham Foxman of the Anti Defamation League, but he has written an excellent piece for the Washington Post:

Europe and the United States have been no strangers to violence motivated by anti-Islamic sentiments over the past decade. Muslims have been assaulted and killed, their mosques and institutions damaged and destroyed. Yet the majority of the attacks have fallen into only a few categories:

Hate crimes typically motivated by culturally or religiously based anti-Islamic prejudice.

Acts of retaliatory or reactionary violence.

Violence by white supremacists, who usually hate the race and religion of the majority of Muslims.

For example, this month Texas executed a white supremacist, Mark Anthony Stroman, who in 2001 targeted and fatally shot convenience store clerks of perceived Middle Eastern appearance in “retaliation” for the Sept. 11 attacks.

The attacks in Norway seem to stem from a different source. They are the first to emerge from a relatively new, specifically anti-Islamic ideology that moves beyond religious or racial prejudices to incorporate anti-Islamic sentiment as the focal point of a larger worldview.

Growing numbers of people in Europe and the United States subscribe to this belief system; in some instances it borders on hysteria. Adherents of this ideological Islamophobia view Islam as an existential threat to the world, especially to the “West.”
….
This belief system goes far beyond anti-Islamic prejudice based on simple religious or racial grounds. In a sense, it parallels the creation of an ideological — and far more deadly — form of anti-Semitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the backs of the previously dominant cultural and religious forms of anti-Semitism.

Meanwhile, Melanie Phillips here believes this was some lone madman and we don’t really know what drive him to kill all those people. Yeah, right.

Two of the people Foxman mentions are Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. I’ll come back to Spencer later, but here is the latest from latter – Pam Geller Justifies Breivik’s Terror: Youth Camp Had More ‘Middle Eastern or Mixed’ Races Than ‘Pure Norwegian’.

It turns out Geller also posted a letter a few years back from a Norwegian fan who said he was “stockpiling ammunition” and preparing for the upcoming battle. She said she had deliberately taken his name off the email she posted to make sure he wasn’t traced back.


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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Norway highlighted 'a new form of prejudice' http://bit.ly/oyZiet


  2. ajit8

    Blogged: : Norway highlighted 'a new form of prejudice' http://bit.ly/oyZiet


  3. Chris Marshall

    Blogged: : Norway highlighted 'a new form of prejudice' http://bit.ly/oyZiet


  4. David McMillan

    Blogged: : Norway highlighted 'a new form of prejudice' http://bit.ly/oyZiet


  5. Joe Gammie

    Blog by @sunny_hundal explores a 'new form of prejudice' made explicit through the tragedy in Norway! http://ow.ly/5TTNq


  6. ursulasmith

    RT @sunny_hundal: Norway highlighted 'a new form of prejudice' http://t.co/qFwBE48


  7. Noxi

    Norway highlighted 'a new form of prejudice' http://bit.ly/oyZiet + #Pamela #Geller :( ( http://ow.ly/5TVQt #oslo #utoya RT @sunny_hundal


  8. cheesley

    Norway highlighted 'a new form of prejudice' http://bit.ly/oyZiet + #Pamela #Geller :( ( http://ow.ly/5TVQt #oslo #utoya RT @sunny_hundal




  1. LibertyPhile — on 3rd August, 2011 at 6:29 pm  

    The Washington Post article concludes: “In America, the polarization, vitriol and fear engendered by anti-Islamic activists must be replaced by reasoned and civil debate.”

    It seems reasonable to assume the author would apply this sentiment to Europe. So here goes. What about a “reasoned and civil debate” on:

    Sharia courts

    Sharia “courts” are divisive encouraging further segregation. Muslim women are pressured to use a sharia system totally biased in favour of men in divorce, distribution of assets, financial support, and the custody of children.

    It is easy for a Muslim man to divorce his wife, but very difficult for a wife to divorce her husband. Muslim women who seek divorce are subjected to an interview process, pressured to remain married and risk losing quite possibly their only financial wealth by being forced to return their dower. There is evidence that these “courts” impinge on cases of domestic violence, a criminal matter, and are forcing Muslim woman to live within violent husbands.

    Disregard for British social norms

    It is believed that only about 20 mosques out of more than 1600 have registered to perform parallel civil marriages. Thus the great majority of Muslim marriages have no legal validity in English law, which is something the wives frequently only find out when their “marriage” breaks up and the wife has no legal rights to property or inheritance.

    This is a problem unique to Islam in this country. Sikh Gurdwaras and Hindu Temples have all registered under the Marriage Act so as to ensure that their marriage ceremonies are valid in English law.

    Halal

    The toleration of halal slaughter (no stunning) in the UK makes a mockery of democratic processes. A lot of people might not be too bothered, some may have strong feelings, but a regulation, a law, exists for a reason. What is the point of having it if a large part of the population can simply ignore it?

  2. jamal — on 3rd August, 2011 at 7:54 pm  

    libertyphillie

    how predictable regurgitating the same mantra of islamaphobic vitriol published on a daily basis by likes of spencer and geller.

    funny you never mentioned kosher or beth din courts in your rant but hey lets not be fussy when hating on one group right.

    liberty seeing as you are anti islamic activist yourself are you on geller’s email list by any chance?

  3. LibertyPhile — on 3rd August, 2011 at 11:52 pm  

    You really have a problem, jamal.

    Regarding kosher I would say exactly the same. Similarly for Beth din “courts” in so far as they run counter to British norms.

  4. Sunny — on 4th August, 2011 at 12:15 am  

    I have no problem with getting rid of Shariah and Beth din courts.

    I used to believe they were harmless but I don’t any more.

    It is believed that only about 20 mosques out of more than 1600 have registered to perform parallel civil marriages. Thus the great majority of Muslim marriages have no legal validity in English law

    Believed from where? Where are you pulling these stats from? Does the fairy godmother believe in this and therefore you say it? Evidence please.

    The toleration of halal slaughter (no stunning) in the UK makes a mockery of democratic processes

    No it doesn’t. But if people want to care for animals (as I do) then they should be fully vegetarian (as I am). Otherwise its just a waste of time as a discussion because its not really motivated by animal welfare.

  5. Hugh — on 4th August, 2011 at 2:05 am  

    The “lover of freedom” who wants to enslave us all to “British norms” oh the irony….

  6. Sarah AB — on 4th August, 2011 at 7:15 am  

    http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/13031

    Libertyphile – here’s a link, above, to a recent article on one of the topics you mention.

    I know nothing about the second topic but, if true, it seems like a fair thing to discuss and I assume one which many Muslims would support.

    Religious communities have an exemption so they are not breaking the law WRT halal. I agree with Sunny – I think there is a case to be made for outlawing kosher and halal slaughter but many people invoke this issue with apparent outrage who, I’m pretty sure, aren’t consistently scrupulous about antimal welfare. I’m pretty anthropocentric so I don’t care that much – and eat halal meat.

  7. bananabrain — on 4th August, 2011 at 9:33 am  

    I have no problem with getting rid of Shariah and Beth din courts.

    I used to believe they were harmless but I don’t any more.

    i’m not returning to PP, but i would like to hear your arguments on the subject. perhaps you might like to start with my piece in cif:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/nov/21/sharia-law-ban-judaism

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  8. LibertyPhile — on 4th August, 2011 at 12:44 pm  

    “Up to 80 per cent of Muslim marriages in Britain are not documented or registered. ‘It’s creating a time bomb’, Aina Khan, Senior Consultant Solicitor at Russell Jones and Walker, told the gathering. “

    Above information from: http://www.lapidomedia.com/muslim-reformers-expose-scandal-of-undocumented-mritish-marriages

    “Fact, less than 20% (probably a lot less) of mosques have registered to have their marriages recognised by civil law.”

    “It is not necessary for there to be a separate registry office wedding because any Mosque can register under the Marriage Act and 120 (out of 3000 +) have registered”

    “Less than 20% of mosques have registered. Thus most Muslim marriages are not being registered and therefore have no legal validity, which is something the wives frequently only find out when their “marriage” breaks up or their “husband” comes home with another “wife”.

    “All mosques need to do is to have a registrar present at the time and ensure the legal formalities are followed, e.g. Baptists, Jewish weddings, Gudwaras, all of who do this without exception. However, the vast majority of mosques don’t do this and less than a 1/3 of nikah marriages in the UK are married in the eyes of the law.”

    “It is believed that only about 20 mosques out of more than 1600 have registered to perform parallel civil marriages.”

    Above information quoted by various authors and commentators in Guardian CiF posts and comments:

    Lady Cox’s bill is not so controversial, Neil Addison, 23 June 2011
    commentisfree/belief/2011/jun/23/lady-cox-bill-sharia

    Sharia bill is based on a false premise, Musleh Faradhi, 22 June 2011
    commentisfree/belief/2011/jun/22/sharia-bill-lady-cox

    What is Lady Cox’s bill really about? Nesrine Malik, 20 June 2011
    commentisfree/belief/2011/jun/20/lady-cox-bill-womens-rights

  9. LibertyPhile — on 4th August, 2011 at 1:30 pm  

    Halal slaughter

    The point does concern democracy. The issue could be parking on double yellow lines (why can’t I park on the ones outside my house?) or fox hunting (why shouldn’t people who live in the country or who farm be excused the ban? It’s a norm that doesn’t suit them.)

    If it’s not to do with “animal welfare” what was the purpose of the law/regulation in the first place?

    I know a senior government veterinary scientist (not in the UK) and she and her husband (also a vet and the manager of a slaughter house) are quite adamant about the cruelty of bleeding to death a large animal like a cow.

    @Sarah AB Thank you for the link.

  10. Refresh — on 4th August, 2011 at 2:12 pm  

    I am not aware that mosques, generally, were places for marriage ceremonies. None of the muslim weddings I’ve been to were ever held in a mosque.

    Typical procedure would be a public ceremony followed by a trip to the registry office. So mosques wouldn’t in normal circumstances need to be registered.

    ‘The ceremony

    The actual Muslim wedding is known as a nikah. It is a simple ceremony, at which the bride does not have to be present so long as she sends two witnesses to the drawn-up agreement. Normally, the ceremony consists of reading from the Qur’an, and the exchange of vows in front of witnesses for both partners. No special religious official is necessary, but often the Imam is present and performs the ceremony. He may give a short sermon.’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/islam/ritesrituals/weddings_1.shtml

    LibertyPhile,

    You have been reading and ingesting ill-informed material.

    Its not your fault.

  11. LibertyPhile — on 4th August, 2011 at 5:45 pm  

    @Refresh

    The imam (if there is one!!) performs the ceremony somewhere. Perhaps he is happy to do it in your front room, in which case it seems remiss of him not to do it somewhere, where it can also be a marriage under English law.

    “Typical procedure would be a public ceremony followed by a trip to the registry office. So mosques wouldn’t in normal circumstances need to be registered.”

    This isn’t happening, is it!

    I have never been to a Muslim wedding, though I have recently been to a Muslim funeral. I was surprised the imam had to be asked to come to the graveside.

  12. Refresh — on 4th August, 2011 at 5:55 pm  

    ‘This isn’t happening, is it!’

    Really? Is that piece of info as reliable as the other stuff?

    As I said, its not your fault.

  13. Don — on 4th August, 2011 at 6:31 pm  

    As far as I know, only CoE weddings automatically combine ceremony with legality. Anyone else has to register. It is possible for wedding venues to become registered, be they chapels, mosques, stately homes, cruise ships, holiday resorts, a pretend blacksmith’s or walking widdershins and sky-clad around a rowan tree at midnight. But if they don’t register you need to go to the office. Takes a few minutes.

  14. LibertyPhile — on 4th August, 2011 at 7:35 pm  

    @Refresh

    Alright, so you have better information. Please share your source of reliable statistics with us.

  15. Sunny — on 4th August, 2011 at 7:54 pm  

    I don’t think its an issue that doesn’t exist, and I’m happy to see some tighter regulation around it and awareness raising – but it needs more facts and evidence before people start accepting that as truth.

    That source has one person saying it at an event but its not clear where the figure comes from.

  16. LibertyPhile — on 4th August, 2011 at 9:31 pm  

    I missed this for inclusion in the sources I mentioned @8

    Comment on the Neil Addison CiF article:

    “I recently attended a seminar at Cardiff University involving a study of Catholic marriage tribunals, Jewish Beth Din and a sharia tribunal. Both the Catholic and Jewish marriages were always legally registered while over half of the wives before the sharia tribunal had never been legally married in the first place.

    23 June 2011 1:23PM – I’m pretty sure the figures given out at the Cardiff conference were that 20 out of 27 marriages in the cases they observed were not registered and that a total of 2 mosques have registered to solemnize marriages, but all mosques can apply to register and haven’t done so.

    And: “It is believed that only about 20 mosques out of more than 1600 have registered to perform parallel civil marriages.” is mentioned on the Lapido website.

  17. LibertyPhile — on 4th August, 2011 at 9:48 pm  

    “Up to 80 per cent of Muslim marriages in Britain are not documented or registered. ‘It’s creating a time bomb’, Aina Khan, Senior Consultant Solicitor at Russell Jones and Walker, told the gathering.”

    I took the “gathering” to be those who were present when “Reformers took another small step forward this week with the launch of a new website promoting a written contract of marriage.

    ”Eight thousand people downloaded the prototype contract from the Muslim Parliament website over the past two years, which so far has moral but not legal force.”

    See the link given above. It seems to me that these people would have a reasonable “measure” of the situation, in the absence of a professional survey.

  18. Hugh — on 5th August, 2011 at 10:06 pm  

    Given that a very large percentage of Muslim marriages are to men or women from overseas and therefore require registration to make their spouses legal residents I would say the 80% claim is utter nonsense. Practically every Muslim wedding I have attended was preceded or followed by a civil ceremony. I suspect those unregistered are generally 2nd, 3rd and 4th wives who cannot legally get married.

  19. Hugh — on 5th August, 2011 at 10:08 pm  

    And given the utterly disorganised manner in which most mosques are run I think has nothing to do with rejecting British norms as to do with simple lack of awareness. I would think most Mosque committees would leap at the chance to get some extra donations for the ease of having one ceremony in one place.

  20. anon — on 6th August, 2011 at 1:42 am  

    “…if people want to care for animals (as I do) then they should be fully vegetarian (as I am). Otherwise its just a waste of time as a discussion because its not really motivated by animal welfare.”

    If people want to care for animals then they should be fully vegan. Otherwise its just a waste of time as a discussion because its not really motivated by animal welfare.

  21. Hugh — on 6th August, 2011 at 2:29 am  

    In a reasonable and rational debate about halal and kosher slaughter, it might be worth actually examining the scientific research into animal’s mental activity during ritual slaughter as opposed to western slaughterhouse methods- http://www.mustaqim.co.uk/halalstudy.htm
    Rather than just people screaming about how brutal and savage ritual slaughter appears to be….

  22. KB Player — on 6th August, 2011 at 12:45 pm  

    I try not to eat any meat that’s factory farmed and I agree it’s more important to be concerned about how the beast you’re tucking into lived rather than died.

  23. LibertyPhile — on 6th August, 2011 at 6:12 pm  

    @Hugh

    I think I’ll stick with the estimate given by the solicitor (with an Asian name) and the views of those who have taken the trouble to draw up a Muslim marriage contract rather than your personal guesswork (unless you can quote a reputable source)

    Are you serious in your reference to 2nd, 3rd and 4th wives who cannot legally get married?

  24. LibertyPhile — on 6th August, 2011 at 6:29 pm  

    @Hugh

    Your reference concerning halal and slaughter appears to be 40 years old. Again I think I’ll stick with up-to-date opinion. The government veterinary scientist I know says that when she goes to international conferences and meetings that touch on this matter all the vets agree with one another, cutting the throat of a large animal like a cow to bleed it to death, is cruel*. It’s the civil servants and politicians who get in a muddle.

    *The fact that other practices might be considered cruel is irrelevant. Those practices can also be “stopped”.

  25. Hugh — on 7th August, 2011 at 2:05 am  

    So “Libertyphile” you’re going to stick with your anecdotal opinions because a lawyer has an asian name, sounds a bit racist frankly and people who drew up a Muslim marriage contract who are a fringe group with an axe to grind… good luck with that. As for the percentages of Muslim men and women marrying overseas brides and grooms there are plenty of well published sources showing this to be the case and has been discussed on this forum amongst others. I think I will prefer a scientific study (however old it may be) over the anecdotal remarks of a nameless vet and their claims about what other vets think, especially given that vets tend not to be experts in neurology. If you can bring some “up-to-date” scientific evidence that supports your case I’ll be happy to look at it.

  26. Hugh — on 7th August, 2011 at 2:15 am  

    http://www.glasgowmuslims.com/story/find-wives-britain-not-pakistan-india

    This is true of England as well, especially in the north where most young Asian Muslims are married to a first or second cousin from “back home.” BTW despite my name I have been a Muslim for over ten years, if that helps make me more credible in my testimony…

  27. LibertyPhile — on 7th August, 2011 at 7:01 am  

    @Hugh

    I pointed out the lady solicitor has an Asian name so that she might not be so readily thought to be an “Islamophobe” and that (unlike you, apparently) she would have been brought up in and know a great many people from the community we are talking about. She is also a solicitor and professionally may deal with this kind of thing, I would class her opinion as more than anecdotal.

    If it is so convincing, it is a surprise that your 40 year old research hasn’t been repeated, expanded, enlarged upon, widely publicised, over the 40 years since it was carried out, especially as the issue it addresses is important to a lot of people.

  28. Hugh — on 7th August, 2011 at 5:01 pm  

    An opinion is anecdotal until it is supported by proper research, so leaving aside appeals to dubious authorities, what needs to happen is actual research- there is a reason why large numbers of young Muslim women cannot get married here and that’s because most young Muslim men are getting married overseas and therefore having to have British marriages to get their spouses resident here. Anyways your original argument is deeply flawed in any case- are the large numbers of long term co-habitees who have no interest in getting a civil marriage rejecting “British norms” as well?
    If you are so unconvinced by the research why don’t you produce some research that says otherwise or is it because your view is utterly unsupported. The fact is that those groups who regard Halal slaughter as cruel also regard stunning as cruel or regard the data relating to stunning as inconclusive. So are we to leave one “cruel” method of slaughter for another or one method whose effects are known to another that is not. What exactly is the alternative, do you have any, if not, why not?
    You strike me as someone who is very far from loving freedom, you seem intent rather on forcing everyone to embrace your view of the world….

  29. Refresh — on 7th August, 2011 at 10:55 pm  

    ‘You strike me as someone who is very far from loving freedom, you seem intent rather on forcing everyone to embrace your view of the world….’

    And a whole lot more it would seem.

    But its not his fault.

  30. LibertyPhile — on 8th August, 2011 at 5:34 pm  

    @Hugh @Refresh

    OK, so you don’t like the phrase “British norms”. Let’s tackle this from another angle.

    Putting aside what might be considered a “British norm” what do you think of this:

    It is easy for a Muslim man to divorce his wife, but very difficult for a wife to divorce her husband*. Muslim women who seek divorce are subjected to an interview process, pressured to remain married and risk losing quite possibly their only financial wealth by being forced to return their dower. There is evidence that these “courts” impinge on cases of domestic violence, a criminal matter, and are forcing Muslim woman to live within violent husbands.

    [*The UK Sharia Council charges a man £100 but a woman is charged £250 “as her word has to be corroborated”. I believe this is the same organisation whose head says there is “no rape in marriage”.]

    Is the above your “norm”?

    And are you happy that a national law should apply to some people but not to others and if so what is your justification for this. Which laws (or types of laws) might this apply to?

    What is your “norm” in relation to the application of law?

  31. Refresh — on 8th August, 2011 at 6:21 pm  

    Libertyphile,

    Recall, this is the ADL who has finally woken up – and if that hasn’t been enough of a clue as to the severity of the situation the Norway terrorist attack highlights then you deserve to be ignored.

    Do you really think people will keep responding to your immature research?

  32. aki2k — on 8th August, 2011 at 7:38 pm  

    at LibertyPhile

    £100 to divorce what a bargain it would cost me thousands through the civil courts

    bring on shariah i say :)

  33. Hugh — on 9th August, 2011 at 2:43 am  

    “Liberty Phil” no it’s not our norm! The Islamic Shairah Court in London is what you are talking about (not the UK Shariah Court!) which is run by a bunch of hardline Wahhabis and is mainly ignored by the majority of Muslims in the UK. There are dozens of other Shariah courts which run very good services throughout the country, yes our divorce laws are different, but that’s our buisness and our choice. That’s what we call freedom. In Muslim countries it has been established practice for non-Muslims to have their own courts applying their own laws for their own civil and criminal affairs for the past 1400 + years. We are not asking for that. We are just asking to be left alone to mind our own civil buisness through the process of arbitration. No-one but a few fringe elements are asking for anything else. I suggest you stop reading exaggerated and misleading articles on the internet and actually meet some Muslims and find out how they really live and what their values are. You will be shocked and amazed that on the whole they are not vastly different to your own. The national law has loads of exceptions for loads of different groups for numerous different reasons.

  34. Hugh — on 9th August, 2011 at 2:46 am  

    And if you are suggesting that MAT are forcing women to stay with abusive husbands, then you have clearly not noticed that one of their highly publicised campaigns is to eradicate domestic violence in the Muslim community. But hey let’s just cherry pick to suit our pre-concieved prejudices.

  35. Hugh — on 9th August, 2011 at 2:48 am  

    Whilst the other campaign is against forced marriages. What what’s that you say Muslims using Shariah to stamp out cultural practices which are against “British norms” no stop it can’t possibly be true….

  36. LibertyPhile — on 9th August, 2011 at 11:57 am  

    It’s called the Islamic Sharia Council. What do you suggest is done about this “bunch of hardline Wahhabis”?

    In English law Family matters can not be subject to arbitration. I think you mean mediation, which is something else.

    The founder and chairman of Muslim Arbitration Tribunal’s (MAT) governing council is reported to have criticised the British media for its obsession with beheadings and other extreme punishments. “They constitute only 10% of sharia.” he said. Well, that’s a relief!

    Sounds as if he isn’t that far removed from those hardline Wahhabis.

  37. Hugh — on 9th August, 2011 at 3:30 pm  

    I suggest you let them mind their own buisness. No one is forced to go to their council despite hysteria to the contrary.

    What do you what the chairman of MAT to do- lie about Shairah, it is what it is- we have had far worse punishments in this country than anything in the Shariah- hunging, drawing and quatering come to mind and I would say that death by the electric chair is far more cruel an execution that beheading and that still happens in the US. But again the chairman of MAT isn’t asking for Shariah criminal laws to be introduced into this country, he is rather making a point about the hysteria surrounding the whole topic of Shariah.

    But anyways I see that talking to you is like talking to a brick wall. You have no interest in actually having a reasoned and rational debate. Even when you are clearly shown to be wrong, you refuse to admit it and just start harping on about something else.

    If you really are interested in community cohesion and better understanding come and visit me, God Willing after Ramadan, I can even introduce you to the chairman of MAT if you like. I dare you to actually meet some Muslims in real life rather than through the prism of the Daily Mail or some other rag.

  38. Hugh — on 9th August, 2011 at 3:39 pm  

    Meanwhile in the real world, it seems to be only the Muslim community that is doing anything to protect buisnesses and drive off looters where the police fear to tread in many parts of London.

  39. jamal — on 9th August, 2011 at 4:32 pm  

    extremist right wing islamaphobes, pamella gellar and robert spencer still begging for money and funding using the norway tragedy and laughably portraying themselves as the victims!

    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2011/08/01/284365/geller-spencer-fundraising-norway/

  40. Refresh — on 9th August, 2011 at 6:11 pm  

    Lets hope Geller and Spencer are being fully exposed in Norway. The Norwegians at least could then be in a position to extradite both these fascists with support of their public; at least subpoena them for the forthcoming trial.

    Of course, we must never forget Daniel Pipes.

  41. douglas clark — on 9th August, 2011 at 8:06 pm  

    Hugh,

    Perhaps you could lay out for us the authorities you accept, those that you reject and those that you are a bit iffy about? ‘Cause I for one is totally lost.

    I live in Glasgow and it is perhaps apocryphal but muslim women born here seem to be finding it hard to find muslim husbands. So I welcome, sort of, what you highlighted at 26. Ususal caveats apply.

  42. Hugh — on 9th August, 2011 at 10:57 pm  

    Douglas,

    I belong to the traditional Sunni Hanafi (Brelvi)form of Islam which is predominant amongst south asian Muslims in this country and probably has control of some 80% of mosques in this country though probably a lesser percentage in London and far less vocal than other groups. I don’t accept Wahhabi (Saudi) or Shi’a (Iranian) interpretations of Shariah. Hope that helps.

  43. douglas clark — on 10th August, 2011 at 12:35 am  

    Hugh,

    Thanks.

    Could you spell out for non muslims such as me what Sunni Hanafi (Brelvi) muslims stand for?

    We, non muslims, seem to always be facing the Wahhabi – the Sayyid Qutb interpretation of islam – as perhaps the only ‘true’ version. I assume you would agree that that is not a particularily attractive version of islam. Indeed it is not a particularily attractive view of humanity….

    Perhaps you see that as a ridiculous assumption on my part. That an outsider, me, should have a view on islam. Well, you’d be right, if it weren’t so apparently aggressive.

    Y’know, that version of islam.

    Yet I have never met, on a personal basis, an aggressive muslim.

    I read about them, they are hateful and horrible people, but I repeat, I have never met one.

    It is that disconnect between personal experience and convenient demonisation that frightens me frankly.

    We, non muslims, it seems to me are buying into the voices of the worst of muslims, as if they represented anyone but themselves.

    When they don’t.

    It requires people like you Hugh to shout a heck of a lot louder, it seems to me.

    ____________________________________

    Not my greatest ever post here, but you see the point, I hope

  44. Hugh — on 10th August, 2011 at 4:20 am  

    It represents the 14 century tradition of Islam as it has been practiced by Muslims in the Indian subcontinent and the the Muslims who brought it there from central asia. It represents an attachment to Sufism- a method of character building and self-development ultimately leading to experience of the Divine and service of creation- Khidmat ul Khulq- regardless of race and religion. Of course like all other Muslims we would like others to see the truth of Islam and embrace it, we value the Shariah but our scholars draw on 14 centuries of legal precedents using complex hermenutical principles to flesh out rulings in a given context rather that pulling verses out of context to justify whatever we feel angry about at the time. We also draw lessons from the generations of Muslims saints- the Friends of Allah and an appreciation for traditional Islamic art, poetry and music are also important aspects of this tradition.

    I think the issue is a two fold problem, one the silent majority likes to be just that- silent, left alone to mind their own buisness. Secondly media outlets love controversy and sadly that’s why the fringe groups get to have a field day.

  45. Dez — on 10th August, 2011 at 10:00 am  

    What a bizairre and alarmist article.

    Do we condemn all those who have concerns against the settler movement in Israel for the child murders of the fogels, perhaps Tom Paulin should be tried over them?

    Remember Paulin wished death on these people, perhaps all those in the Palistinian Solidarity Campaign can be added to the list of those who encourage murder.

    And on a wider scale didnt one of Osama Bin Ladens rants mention Jimmy Carter, lets put him in the dock.

    And what point does this childish smearing stop?

  46. LibertyPhile — on 10th August, 2011 at 12:23 pm  

    @Hugh

    Thank you for the invitation to meet the chairman of MAT but I will pass this time.

    Perhaps when you see him you might ask, as he is apparently willing to proffer public statements (at least about the British media), why doesn’t he say something about the “bunch of hardline Wahhabis” and the endless examples we have of saying and doings in the Muslim world that alarm and disgust non-Muslims. For example:

    • Saudi Arabia’s religion police step up crackdown on women drivers;
    • A woman should not report rape unless she has four witnesses;
    • Fatwa body bans mingling of sexes;
    • Pakistani Muslims demand a ban on the Bible;
    • Female Saudi doctor appeals to top court for right to choose a husband;
    • Iran to blind criminal with acid in ‘eye for an eye’; (since stopped by his victim)
    • Iran to make university courses more Islamic;
    • Pakistan’s blasphemy vigilantes kill exonerated man;
    • Muslims told to ignore calls for change because ‘democracy goes against Islam’;

    Perhaps the hardliners are not such a small minority in many parts of the Muslim world, and, indeed one might ask, what is to stop them having more influence in this country when Muslims like you just want a quite life and do and say nothing.

    Attitude studies in the Muslim world regularly produce disturbing results. “Most Muslims favour stoning to death for adultery, whipping or amputation for theft, and the death penalty for apostasy.” [Pew Global Attitudes 2010] And this study excluded Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    And closer to home we have the edifying example of a former spokesperson of the Muslim Council of Britain saying (on the Guardian website) that he personally isn’t in favour of stoning to death for adultery but if people want that as the law in their country then that is fine by him. He couldn’t bring himself to say that something condoned by his Prophet was not appropriate for the 21st century.

  47. Sarah AB — on 10th August, 2011 at 1:00 pm  

    Libertyphile – Although I think some people are readier to overlook something bigoted if spoken by a Muslim than a non-Muslim (in an overcompensatory move against Islamophobia) – I think, that although the things you cite are very negative, there are plenty of other bad things happening in non-muslim countries (I mean directly comparable things, and things endorsed by the state, not simply individual acts of violence or whatever) and also plenty of Muslims who are are keen on democracy or who do want women to be able to drive etc. It’s difficult to get the line and length right on this one.

  48. Sarah AB — on 10th August, 2011 at 1:06 pm  

    On the subject of what kind of Muslim might have more influence in this country, Libertyphile, I have every sympathy with Muslims who are busy doing other stuff and so don’t get involved in blogs or politics, less for those, often non-Muslims, (particularly on the left) who like to gravitate towards hardliners – and to those (more on the right) who like to give still more extreme figures sensational publicity.

  49. Hugh — on 10th August, 2011 at 4:14 pm  

    “Libertyphil” like I thought you are a timewasting person who just loves to suck up as much anti-Muslim venom as possible and then spew it out again, you have no real interest in creating a dialogue and integrating communities- if you want to ask the chair of MAT those questions, then accept my invitation, otherwise don’t waste everyone’s time.

    There are some 1.5 billion Muslims in the world (at least) if the Media is playing a support role in a “war against terror” then it can find plenty of time to flush out as many nutty fringe groups as they can find. If we wanted to do the same in the Christian world we could do so as well- look at so much of the southeren states of the USA to start with. Why for example people busy doing surveys asking about attitudes to Shariah punishments anyways? Before the modern era, Shariah punishments were very rarely ever exacted because of the incredible difficult manner of proving them and also because any ambiguity was a means of waving such a punishment. Also because they were part of a complete system of political, social and economic reality in the Muslim world which made most of those crimes fairly non-existant. It is of course true things need to be revised in light of modern realities and certainly the issue of apostacy is one of them (which in the medieval world was usually accompanied by sedition given that ALL states at that time linked loyalty and religion together). But how do you think that will happen, by you and others like you trying to ram your values down our throats and organising witch hunts against all Muslims? Is that what liberalism means to you?

    The problem is what you want us to do is embrace every one of your liberal values just because you think they are superior- without any sort of argument on your part as to why they should be so. There are some great things about liberalism- but there are also some really bad things that we really don’t want in the Muslim community- such as excessive greed, the “I’m alright Jack” mentality, the disintegration of the family unit and the fracturing of society along racial, class and wealth lines. I suggest you focus on the young employed who are looting the UK’s major cities and get them to integrate before focusing on British Muslims who have been protecting communties and businesses in London over the last few nights where the police were impotent to act.

  50. Hugh — on 10th August, 2011 at 4:18 pm  

    Muslims are laying down their lives to protect homes and businesses in this country- http://www.metro.co.uk/news/871907-birmingham-riots-three-killed-protecting-their-neighbourhood-from-looters

  51. Refresh — on 10th August, 2011 at 4:29 pm  

    ‘The problem is what you want us to do is embrace every one of your liberal values just because you think they are superior- without any sort of argument on your part as to why they should be so.’

    No, Hugh, he doesn’t. He wanted to hijack the thread to keep everyone away from discussing the topic – the european/US based demonisation of muslims which has now reached its 10th year. He does not want the light getting under his stone.

    Unwittingly, I fear you have helped him along.

    Libertyphile’s supposed interest in seeking answers is nothing of the sort.

  52. Hugh — on 10th August, 2011 at 4:36 pm  

    Refresh, true, I will no longer feed the troll.

  53. jamal — on 11th August, 2011 at 12:04 am  

    Looks like the right wing christian extremist anders breiviks violent actions, have boosted the faltering support of the ruling labour party!

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/190294/20110801/norway-election-breivik-murder-labour-conservative.htm

  54. LibertyPhile — on 11th August, 2011 at 4:26 pm  

    @Sarah AB

    “there are plenty of other bad things happening in non-muslim countries (I mean directly comparable things, and things endorsed by the state, not simply individual acts of violence or whatever)”

    Yes there are and they should be publicised, criticised and stopped. But that is no reason to shut up concerning the topics I’ve mentioned here.

    And I find it hard, for example, to think of something equivalent to a major political figure in the western world saying “a woman should not report rape unless she has four witnesses” or something as barbaric as “Iran to blind criminal with acid in ‘eye for an eye’” or a head of state calling for the execution of the citizen of another country for “blasphemy”.

    And we have this:

    “…. things that we really don’t want in the Muslim community- such as excessive greed, the “I’m alright Jack” mentality, the disintegration of the family unit and the fracturing of society along racial, class and wealth lines.”

    What kind of “excuse” is that!

    Do you know anyone (liberal or otherwise) who is in favour of excessive greed, “I’m alright Jack” mentality, the disintegration of the family unit and the fracturing of society along racial, class and wealth lines.”? I don’t

    And yes, you are also right “It’s difficult to get the line and length right on this one” but it is worth trying, and fatuous comments like the one made above “you are a time wasting person who just loves to suck up as much anti-Muslim venom as possible and then spew it out again” are certainly wide of the mark.

  55. LibertyPhile — on 12th August, 2011 at 2:06 pm  

    On the subjest of Sharia – An account of recent proceedings at a Shaia “court” in Birmingham

    “After being beaten repeatedly by her husband – who had also threatened to kill her – Jameela turned to her local Sharia council in a desperate bid for a way out of her marriage. Today she discovers the verdict.

    Playing nervously with her hands, the young mother-of-three listens as the panel of judges discuss whether they should grant her a divorce.

    …. Although the judges appear sympathetic, they are concerned about the rights of the father, as Islamic law says he is still responsible for his children’s education. “For the sake of the children, you must keep up the façade of cordial relations,” says Dr Naseem. “The worst thing that can happen to a child is to see the father and mother quarrelling.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8686504/Sharia-a-law-unto-itself.html

    For myself I think it worse for a child to see the father beating the s**t out of the mother.

  56. jamal — on 12th August, 2011 at 5:51 pm  

    on the subject of shariah courts
    Increasing numbers of non-Muslims are turning to Sharia courts to resolve commercial disputes and other civil matters, The Times has learnt.

    http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article6721158.ece

    looks like some non muslims like the look of them more than you would think:

    unlucky libertyphillie i know this story must pain you, by the way you must be gutted the edl march has been banned from telford this weekend :)

  57. Hugh — on 12th August, 2011 at 6:07 pm  

    But conveniently miss out the bit about them granting the divorce and advising her to have her next marriage officially registered huh Libertyphobe.

    Keep it up, before long we’ll have 100 Norwegian style maniacs attacking the Houses of Parliament and the Runnymeade Trust….

  58. Sarah AB — on 12th August, 2011 at 7:44 pm  

    To pick up just one point in the article Libertyphile links to – I don’t think the prevalence of shops selling halal meat in an area is relevant/a particular concern.

  59. douglas clark — on 13th August, 2011 at 3:17 am  

    Hugh,

    The introductory sentence in the Telegraph piece read:

    After being beaten repeatedly by her husband – who had also threatened to kill her – Jameela turned to her local Sharia council in a desperate bid for a way out of her marriage.

    Assuming that that is true, what is your point?

    Dunno about you, but I’d have thought that was unacceptable to anyone.

    Stop apologising for thugs.

  60. Sarah AB — on 13th August, 2011 at 8:08 am  

    Douglas – I can see why Libertyphile’s mode of commenting, and perhaps the tone of the article he links too as well, might make even someone who is sceptical about Sharia courts (and particularly a Muslim) feel a bit defensive. In the same way, the tone of some reporting of Israel is rather biased and tendentious so if you were a supporter of Israel you might immediately focus on the biased nature of the article, – even if you essentially agreed with the point it was making.

  61. Refresh — on 13th August, 2011 at 3:30 pm  

    Douglas Clark,

    ‘Stop apologising for thugs.’

    I didn’t see he was.

    The point was Libertyphile’s dishonest and immature research throughout this exchage.

    Even his own links disprove his assertions. That is what I think Hugh was referring to.

    So question is can anyone come and hijack a serious PP discussion? It seems, going by this thread, that they can.

    Sunny did the right thing putting up this post, and yet Libertyphile has turned it into discussing sharia which no doubt he thinks is the spur for the massacre in Norway.

    And how many times must we discuss the same topic year in year out, based on the same article resulting in the same obfuscation and the same outcome? To indulge someone who isn’t really interested in debate.

  62. Refresh — on 13th August, 2011 at 3:33 pm  

    I assure you Libertyphile has less than zero interest in Jameela’s welfare.

  63. Hugh — on 13th August, 2011 at 4:23 pm  

    Douglas,

    As I pointed out previously the MAT, which I personally have alot of respect for is running a campaign against domestic violence, so I should think my views on that matter are clear.

    My point was about the resolution of the matter in the very same article- the request for divorce was upheld by the council and she was advised to officially register i.e. having a British legal wedding, in future. So the two earlier points by Liberyphobe about our community not conforming to the British legal system in terms of having British marriages and the supposed difficulty of obtaining a divorce even where there is domestic violence were both shown to be utter nonsense. That was my point.

    On a related point however I would like to make a personal point. My parents were both Roman Catholics. My father sadly beat up my mother several times when I was too young to remember. My mother got a restraining order out against him and until I was 16 I never laid eyes on him or even spoke to him on the phone. Now I don’t blame my mother, but as a young man I needed contact with my father growing up as do probably so many of those young boys and girls who were out rioting the other night. It also doesn’t help any young man to be continually told that you are the child of a thoroughly wicked man again and again, what do you think that does a child’s self-esteem? So I appreciate the fact that although the terribly wronged sister was granted the divorce- which was the right thing to do- she was advised to maintain a civil manner when talking to her ex-husband in future in front of her child(ren)when he has contact with the child(ren). Whilst Liberyphobe and others have problems with many aspects of Shariah (which is their right) I have a problem with a legal system that is deeply unforgiving- for example people who have done minor crimes and have paid their debt in prison but still have to carry the albatross of a criminal record around their necks for the rest of their lives, making it many cases difficult to get a good job and thus pushing them back into the desperate circumstances which may cause them to reoffend.

    I agree with Refresh and I apologise for feeding the troll. It is heartening however that even the Daily Mail in light of the recent bravery and patience of Tariq Jahan has decided to change it’s view on British Muslims and even some of it’s readers are repenting in the comments for the stereotypical thinking and I thank Allah for this Ramadan miracle:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2025393/UK-riots-Haroon-Jahan-death-Legacy-society-believes-nothing.html

    Libertyphobe on the other hand seems intent on whipping up the kind of hysteria that will lead some body to emulate the Norwegian tragedy. If it ever does happen he and people like him should be held to account.

  64. LibertyPhile — on 14th August, 2011 at 8:09 am  

    “Family disputes – like Jameela’s – are common. After listening to Jameela’s husband, who agrees to the divorce, the judges grant her wish – but advise Jameela that if she remarries she should have the union officially registered.”

    So because the husband has agreed they grant the divorce!

    Whichever way you look at it, this way, that way, there is no gender equality in Sharia. The following drives this home.

    “In most schools of Islamic teaching, women would not be allowed such a position of authority, but Amra was asked to become a member of the council after she impressed Dr Naseem with her knowledge of Sharia law”

    Regarding the last point about Amra it might be a step in the right direction but taken mainly as a response to the prevalent criticisms of Sharia by non-Muslims (and many Muslims) and a late attempt to get some positive PR. (And Dr Naseem knows all about publicity over the years.)

    In @33 we are told there is a small minority of establishments “run by a bunch of hardline Wahhabis and is mainly ignored by the majority of Muslims in the UK”

    Now we see this minority isn’t that small. Just a couple of courts would be worry enough. (And what is it like in Muslim majority countries?!)

    “…. the Islamic Sharia Council … oversees about a dozen Sharia courts… It is estimated that there are as many as 85 Sharia courts in Britain. One of the judges who sits on the Leyton council, Dr Suhaib Hasan, wants Britain to introduce the penal law where women are stoned for committing adultery, and robbers have their hands amputated.”

    The court also tell her next time she gets married to make sure she has the “union officially registered” (an English civil marriage!), so perhaps there are “British norms” Muslims can learn from.

  65. LibertyPhile — on 14th August, 2011 at 8:11 am  

    @Sarah AB

    If you are still reading this you can do one of three things.

    (1) Disagree with me explaining why there is nothing wrong with Sharia courts in the UK.

    [I did note @4 that Sunny Hundal would have “no problem with getting rid of Shariah and Beth din courts”; so much for trolling!]

    (2) Agree with me and by example show how one can say something critical of Islam and Muslims without eliciting personal abuse and childish name-calling

    (3) Sit on the fence (and pander to the name-callers)

  66. joe90 — on 14th August, 2011 at 1:23 pm  

    that’s weird this topic is about islamaphobes like pamela gellar and we have libertyphillie diverting the topic onto halal meat and the limited shariah courts,who would’ve guessed that one!

    mr phillie what is your opinion on islamaphobes spreading hate in places like norway and britian?

  67. Hugh — on 14th August, 2011 at 4:06 pm  

    Yawn, this is getting old now. So tell us Libertyphile- is 12 out of 85 a minority or a majority- or is your maths as bad as your researching ability. Secondly name these 12 or even better yet refer to the Islamic Shariah Council- which is the only one where you can pull all your sensationalist quotes from- and ask them for a list. If I was a gambling man I would bet they couldn’t proudce it- that’s because I know they are full of it and are talking themselves up because they want to be seen as credible in the eyes of the media and the government. I know that because I live and work in the Muslim community.

    Women being judges in Shariah courts has been an accepted norm since the legal schools were codified over a thousand years ago. I would also dispute the claim that this women is the only one sitting on a shariah council in Britian, MAT has at least one female judge. I wonder what the ratio of male- female judges is in England and whether it is 50:50, I somehow doubt it.

    I’m sorry if you got offended by the name calling but frankly entitling yourself with such a nom de guerre just opens yourself up to ridicule. Your comments don’t help either.

  68. Sarah AB — on 14th August, 2011 at 5:21 pm  

    Libertyphile – I do have concerns about Sharia courts/councils. I don’t think they were relevant to this thread though, and your approach is a bit bludgeoning. Why mention halal, when I assume the same objections are true of kosher slaughter, for example? I wrote something on a related topic (about Christina Patterson on Sharia). I don’t believe it was critical of Islams or Muslims, in fact, but it was implicitly critical of Sharia courts, and, at least in a postscript, of iEngage. I might be critical of individual Muslims, such as Qaradawi for example, but I don’t assume their views are shared by all Muslims – in fact it tends to be those *most* critical of Islam who are keen to assume that the most hardline voices are the most typical.

  69. LibertyPhile — on 14th August, 2011 at 6:19 pm  

    For those who are bothered go back and look at my first comment @1 which concerns the central point/topic of Sunny Hundal’s post, a Washington Post article. (which I read). It calls for “reasoned and civil debate” so I chose a few contentious issues with the result you see above!

    A half of judges in magistrate courts in England are women. (It is very easy to look up.)

    No, I’m not offended by the name calling, I mention it as an indicator of the quality of what the name callers say.

    @Sarah AB

    “Why mention halal, when I assume the same objections are true of kosher slaughter, for example?” Why not?

    [Is it not just a tiny bit conceivable that those who are against Sharia courts and non-stunning halal slaughter are fair minded and have exactly the same views regarding Beth din and Kosher. No, I suppose that is asking too much.]

    “I might be critical of individual Muslims, such as Qaradawi for example, but I don’t assume their views are shared by all Muslims.”

    Meaning what? So I do, do I?

  70. Hugh — on 14th August, 2011 at 8:18 pm  

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/01/too-many-white-judges-marcel-berlins

    Magistrates courts- yes well known for dealing with family matters. Let’s face it libertyphile you can’t answer anything that has been put to counter your rather silly arguments so you whinge about name calling.

  71. joe90 — on 14th August, 2011 at 10:39 pm  

    post # 69

    libphlllie you been found out dude enough with the diversions

    it no wonder you didn’t answer my question about your opinion on islamaphobes like pamela gellar you share the same opinions as her, judging by your blog.

    and at a time when a slaughter has just taken place in norway you have got some cheek!

  72. Sarah AB — on 15th August, 2011 at 8:09 am  

    Libertyphile – responding to the very last question in your last comment 69.

    In your question (2) to me above (comment 65) you made a reference to not being able to criticise ‘Islam or Muslims’ – I think it’s telling that you frame your grouch in that way – if I have concerns about Sharia courts I don’t tag this strongly as ‘to do with Islam’ but as ‘human (particularly women’s) rights’ – for that reason I don’t strongly associate it in my mind with halal (which doesn’t bother me anyway). (Of course I don’t completely blank out the Sharia/Islam connection – that would be silly, and some people *do* get touchy about anything which looks like a criticism of Islam.)

  73. LibertyPhile — on 15th August, 2011 at 7:10 pm  

    @Hugh

    The link you provide contains the following comment:

    “The entry of women and ethnic minorities into the judiciary (especially its higher echelons) continues to be painfully slow. Last week yet another report, commissioned by the government, listed the problems and made recommendations.”

    How many equally authoritative reports have there been from Muslim bodies in the UK (or anywhere) pointing out the lack of women in Islamic legal matters?

    The “yet another report” refers to 19% female judges in 2009. When I looked up the figure some months ago I made it “nearly a quarter”. Not bad, plus all those female magistrates and solicitors. Women play a big part in all English legal processes at all levels.

    A lot of family issues can be sorted out though solicitor provided mediation. One of the big criticisms of sharia councils is that they pretend to provide mediation when they actually are doing what a court would do.

  74. LibertyPhile — on 15th August, 2011 at 7:11 pm  

    @Sarah AB

    “I don’t completely blank out the Sharia/Islam connection – that would be silly,” Indeed it would.

    “and some people *do* get touchy about anything which looks like a criticism of Islam” If that means keeping quite then I’m afraid it won’t do.

    And you can see amply demonstrated above what being touchy does for the quality of discussion.

    On the matter of halal slaughter without stunning I happen to feel quite strongly if there is a law then everyone should obey it. Whether or not animals suffer is “almost” another question.

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