The Guardian (and me) on British Muslims after 7/7


by Sunny
21st November, 2005 at 5:05 am    

The Guardian today publishes its annual report on what British Muslims are thinking about and how they see themselves. It was first published last year and given the events in July, they saw it fit to carry on.

This is how it works: they gather about 60-80 Muslims in a room, send them off to discuss various issues, then report back on the consensus. A discussion ensues with (this year) Tariq Ramadan and govt. minister Paul Goggins there to address the issues. I know this because I was present at the event last week and the only non-Muslim to take part.

Here are my observations:
1) The group was not reflective of young British Muslims. This was a middle-class, socially conservative group that was passionate about political Islam. And it was full of Pakistanis, with only a few African Muslims and Bangladeshis. Ordinary Muslims not too obsessed by religion were not to be found either. In other words treat these words as those of a significant, but vocal (and educated) minority.

2) A lot of the “usual suspects” were there. That was to be expected of course. I get the feeling there is a bunch of us who go from event to event :)

3) I’m annoyed that the Guardian has no mention of the word “extremist” next to Hizb ut-Tahrir. Either way, people at the conference mostly ignored them or did not get riled up about the issues they raised (incitement of hatred legislation).

4) Most Muslims were there about active engagement in British politics and again marginalised HuT on their stance of non-engagement. The consensus was also that Respect was merely a protest vote against the war.

5) I wish the Guardian had printed Tariq Ramadan’s speech in full. It cussed the audience pretty brutally, in his nice way of course.

6) The two biggest issues were the need for British born imams and more women Muslim to participate in community affairs. Don’t expect the MCB to take up those causes up anytime soon. Infact they’ve been campaigning hard, along with Sikh and Hindu groups, to allow external priests.

7) Mostly likely I will be changing my position on the religious hatred law. Will write more about this later.

8) The most potent discussion was about the subject: ‘Who is to blame for the 7/7 attacks’. The level of denial on this subject was hilarious. Madeleine Bunting writes:

In one exchange, participants pondered the respective responsibilities of Tony Blair and the bombers for the July attacks: 50/50, said one; 80/20 Blair, said another; while the last concluded that the attacks were Blair’s fault alone.

Even she admits there is a lot of denial over the issue, but then spoils it by offering excuses around government policy of engagement and alcohol (wtf? this is more social exclusion than a reason for terrorism).

Tariq Ramadan was straight up. There were two issues here: a religion issue and a political issue, he said. Opposing the war was a political issue that should be dealt politically (getting organised, lobbying MPs etc). The religion issue was the one British Muslims had to confront and oppose. The bombers were not just “un-Islamic, they were anti-Islamic”, and it essentially came down to British Muslims to confront that ideology head on and defeat it otherwise they would forever be mired in confusion.

I really wish the Guardian had published his lecture. I have to be honest here – many British Muslims are mired in denial and victim mentality. After the Moroccans were bombed, they marched against Al-Qaeda. Last week even the Jordanians turned against Iraqis and Al-Qaeda (going to the extent of praising USA). When will British Muslims march against Al-Qaeda?

Why is the global Ummah referred to when talking about issues such as Palestine and Iraq, but after 7/7 it was “well you can’t blame all British Muslims for that”. No, you can’t, but they have the responsibility to confront Al-Qaeda and its ideology, as Fe’reeha pointed out last week.

All us Asians need to move away from a victim mentality because it is de-moralising. Blaming someone else for your problems, or allowing people like Bunting and Lee Jasper to blame others, means you don’t gather the courage to deal with the problem. It is not empowering.

When our parents came to this country they didn’t blame racism and sat around the house doing nothing. They worked twice or four times as hard to get somewhere. To defeat terrorism, racism, bigotry and xenophobia: we all need to work twice as hard too – rather than just blame others.

[Update: Guardian Newsblog has a discussion on this (with a PP plug), while David T has focused more on the alcohol issue.]


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  1. Global Voices Online

    [...] Picked Politics picks on a report about British Muslims and their perceptions. [...]


  2. Englishman in New York

    [...] Or as Sunny of Pickled Politics more accurately puts it: The group was not reflective of young British Muslims. This was a middle-class, socially conservative group that was passionate about political Islam. And it was full of Pakistanis, with only a few African Muslims and Bangladeshis. Ordinary Muslims not too obsessed by religion were not to be found either. In other words treat these words as those of a significant, but vocal (and educated) minority. The Guardian (and me) on British Muslims after 7/7. Sunny of Pickled Politics. [...]


  3. C L O S E R

    [...] Sunny, one of the participants, has some usefull comments about it. All us Asians need to move away from a victim mentality because it is de-moralising. Blaming someone else for your problems, or allowing people like Bunting and Lee Jasper to blame others, means you don’t gather the courage to deal with the problem. It is not empowering. [...]




  1. blue mountain — on 21st November, 2005 at 5:48 am  

    How did you sneak in ?

  2. Mirax — on 21st November, 2005 at 9:18 am  

    Sunny, am I to assume that you are now in support of the Religious hatred bill?

    I wonder if you read this in the Guardian on Saturday:

    Phillip Pullman’s analysis is masterly; so clear and cogent that pickled politics would do well to link to and discuss it.

  3. Jez — on 21st November, 2005 at 10:16 am  

    There’s also a funny interview with Yasmin Alibhai-Brown : ‘You get flak if you are uppity and black’ .

  4. Siddharth — on 21st November, 2005 at 10:56 am  

    Damn! I would loved to have gone to that. How are people to find out about these things. I would have done my best to bring along a bunch of Bangladeshis (Bengalis in Platforms) to redress that balance.

  5. rizwand — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:07 am  

    Good observations amigo.

    From my experience the sense of brotherhood/sisterhood in Islam seems to make feel people like traitors when they speak up against another muslim or group. However, we are quick to group together as a mob when non-muslims say or do anything against the religion.

    We need to open our eyes and get over this complex.

    Reminds me of the Pogo quote: “We have met the enemy and he is us”

  6. j0nz — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:08 am  

    I’m quite disappointed. Sunny you made a very good, well balanced and well reasoned post .

  7. Siddharth — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:23 am  

    Even she admits there is a lot of denial over the issue, but then spoils it by offering excuses around government policy of engagement and alcohol (wtf?).

    Right, and the whole tiresome ‘they don’t drink alcohol and feel excluded’ guff will be picked up as a weapon against Muslims, because Bunting (who else) has plied it as way of excuse for Muslims to bear. This is becoming as boring as clockwork.

    Sunny, you’re not half right.

  8. Old Pickler — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:29 am  

    Jonz – Sunny’s posts here are always sensible. It’s at HP that he goes off on one, and needs to be kept in check by the measured and balanced postings of Old Peculier.

  9. Siddharth — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:39 am  

    OP: Could that be because on HP, more often than not, post discussions descend into mutual consensual masturbation for you and your Islamophobic friends? Just a suggestion.

  10. Jai Singh — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:46 am  

    Apparently over 100,000 Jordanians held a protest march against Al-Qaeda over the weekend.

    It would be nice to see something similar here in the UK.

  11. Siddharth — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:47 am  

    It would be nice to see something similar here in the UK.

    Damn right. Any ideas on how to organise something along those lines for the UK?

  12. Jai Singh — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:50 am  

    =>Damn right. Any ideas on how to organise something along those lines for the UK?”

    It’s primarily the British Muslim community who needs to figure that out.

    Although of course other Brits should join in too.

  13. Vikrant — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:52 am  

    Jai Singh… they were also saying “Muslims dont kill Muslims” what are kaffirs gonna make of that?

  14. Jai Singh — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:53 am  

    Which “they” are you referring to, Vikrant buddy ?

  15. j0nz — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:53 am  

    Well I think the pre-requiste for a mass Muslim march against Al-Qaeda would be for the victims to related to the Palestinians, or at least be fellow Muslims.

    Sad, but true, methinks.

  16. Vikrant — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:57 am  

    Jordano-Palestinians ofcourse

  17. Siddharth — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:57 am  

    Although of course other Brits should join in too.

    I think the large majority of British Muslims, practicing and not, are moderate. But they are stuck between a rock and hard place, as it were, and most are not politicised in any way or form. But there is definitely consensus for this sentiment (big time) in the community.

  18. Jai Singh — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:57 am  

    Jonz — You mean if Al-Qaeda bombed civilians in Pakistan or even (accidentally or deliberately) predominantly Muslims here in the UK ?

  19. Jai Singh — on 21st November, 2005 at 11:59 am  

    =>But there is definitely consensus for this sentiment (big time) in the community.”

    That’s encouraging to hear. They should definitely arrange something, then. It would be a fantastic symbolic gesture (and would get worldwide publicity).

  20. Vikrant — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:02 pm  

    BTW about the march… sure…
    Nother funny thing i’ve been noticing is that some guy has been putting up Anti-Muslim leaflets on SouthWest Trains to Reading. Now thats giving me ideas.

  21. j0nz — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:02 pm  

    Jai,

    Well yes. I don’t think there’s anything intriscally wrong with that I suppose, solidarity is a human condiiton.

    But I imagine if the 7/7 attacks had happened to kill 90% Muslims in the East end of London? There would be a very large anti-al-qaeda feeling replacing many previously perhaps sympathetic viewpoints.

    Jordians have generally shifted their view points on the legitimacy of Al-Aqaeda since the attacks.

  22. Vikrant — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:06 pm  

    No Jonz… they were merely trying to correct AQ.

  23. Jai Singh — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:13 pm  

    Good point Jonz. Ideally one should have sympathy for one’s fellow human being’s suffering irrespective of their religious affiliation, but since some people have a primary empathy for their co-religionists first and foremost, maybe they should consider that a) many Muslims also died on 9/11, b) several Muslims were killed on 7/7, and c) the victims of the recent attacks in Jordan were also Muslims.

    So technically, since the global Muslim community is meant to be “one Ummah” and an attack on one of them is interpreted as an attack on them all, perhaps a march here in UK as an act of solidarity with the Muslim victims over in Jordan would also be a logical extrapolation. Hypothetically, of course.

  24. Siddharth — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:30 pm  

    Thats a superb suggestion Jai.

    The problem is the Muslim community is in ‘Seige Mode’ at the moment. I know for a fact that many were thinking about organising a march to express solidarity with the victims. The discussions were even moving fruitfully along to outright rejection of Al-Qaeda ideas altogether. But then the second attack happened in July and the mood changed altogether, discussions were shelved and Muslims went into hiding, so to speak.

  25. norbert — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:33 pm  

    When is the government going to deal with the rampant sexual exclusion that I have to deal with.
    Just because my religion (evangelical norbertism) prevents me from washing, i am placed at a disadvantage in Britain’s ‘cleanliness obsessed’ culture.
    Why should I change my religion-mandated behaviour to conform to this obsessively twisted culture?!?!

  26. norbert — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:34 pm  

    Wahey. I just grasped the nettle and became an atheist, so no more stupid bloody rules on washing.
    Ladies – whenever you’re ready…

  27. Jai Singh — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:34 pm  

    =>But then the second attack happened in July and the mood changed altogether”

    I don’t get this. Was it because they were afraid that any protest march would be attacked by Al-Qaeda-sympathisers, or that irate members of the indigenous population would attack them ?

  28. Sunny — on 21st November, 2005 at 1:15 pm  

    I know someone at the Guardian who told me the event was coming up and invited me to attend. I of course jumped at the chance. This was before PP was set up so I couldn’t let you guys know of the chance, sorry.

  29. Pablo — on 21st November, 2005 at 1:19 pm  

    One thing I just dont understand about this Ummah concept.

    If the global Muslim community is one Ummah and an attack on one is an attack on all, then surely, an attack by one member of the Ummah is an attack by all?

    In other words, using Ummah logic, all Muslims were responsible for the 7/7 bombings.

    This is crazy.

    Muslims need to break the shackles of this Ummah mentality and develop a more nuanced and self-critical approach.

  30. Pablo — on 21st November, 2005 at 1:21 pm  

    norbert

    Your attempt at satire and comedy is lame – give it a rest, please, you cant do it.

  31. Siddharth — on 21st November, 2005 at 1:45 pm  

    Jai: No, you have to understand the mood during the time of the July bombings. It was bizarre and after the second attack, the Muslim community was not in a position to deal with self-reflection. The mood of recrimination and outrage prevented that.

    Tariq Ramadan’s speech which Sunny has rightly applauded should be the starting point for this.

    Sunny: do you have a link to his speech in full?

  32. Mirax — on 21st November, 2005 at 1:58 pm  

    understand the mood during the time of the July bombings. It was bizarre and after the second attack, the Muslim community was not in a position to deal with self-reflection. The mood of recrimination and outrage prevented that.

    I do not quite understand, Siddarth.
    1. In what way was the mood of the muslim community ‘bizarre’ after the 7/7 bombings?

    2 why would the muslim community not be in a position to deal with self-reflection (and hopefully, a demonstration of disawowal of terrorists) after the 2nd wave of attacks? What changed? Do you mean that the mood of recrimination and outrage of the non-muslim british public revented this?

  33. Chris — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:01 pm  

    “The mood of recrimination and outrage prevented that.”

    You seem to imply that the ‘Muslim community’ – NB I thought one of the purposes of this blog was to help us avoid such generalisations – was not itself outraged?

  34. Siddharth — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:15 pm  

    Mirax, Chris:
    Sorry, my typos. I meant the mood in the country in general was quite bizarre immediately after and during the month of July. Recriminations against the Muslim community had already started to fly, a young man was shot dead in Stockwell, and mood of fear and ignorance in general. The second wave almsot suggested we were in some kind of concerted campaign of bombings, but this turned out not to be the case. The Muslim community was devastated.
    I was involved in an effort to organise some kind of public gesture to against terrorism in general. But the climate of fear didn’t lend itself.

    Its imperative now for Muslims to voice that disavowall. And that means to springboard off the mood expressed in Jordan over the weekend.

  35. j0nz — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:17 pm  

    I think what Siddarth was getting at that in a sense all Muslims became potential suicide bombers in the eyes of the public. I remember reading accounts of Muslims feeling suspicious of fellow Muslims on the tube and trains!

    Siddarth does rather like to shift accountablity somewhat, (it was the Islamphobes fault there was no march!) …but he can’t help it its a reflex action being a loony lefty.

  36. j0nz — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:19 pm  

    In a nice way.

  37. Jeet — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:25 pm  

    It wasnt just Muslims who were getting dirty looks after 7/7 – all Asians of Sikh, Hindu or None of the Above were getting suspicious glances – and even people of mixed race and some Meditteranean appearence were getting stared at, especially after the Brazillian guy was shot – those were tense and nervous and crazy times for anyone not blonde and blue eyed.

  38. j0nz — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:29 pm  

    Well all Londoners were nervous. We didn’t know what was gonna happen next. But something Muslims can march alongst non-muslims to rally against Al-Qaeda would be fantastic.

    Sadly, at present the only marches of Muslims & non-Muslims march seem to be Socialists Without Principles and the MAB / and the loony Respect coalition, or Hamas & Hippies marches, or blow Al-Quds blow Israel off the map marches…

  39. Chris — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:30 pm  

    Getting stared at – tense, nervous and crazy times indeed.

    Please don’t forget that even we blonde and blue-eyed boys were a little nervous too…of being blown up.

  40. Sunny — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:34 pm  

    Siddartha – Unfortunately no one transcribed it, certainly not the Guardian, so I can’t link to you to it.

    Rizwan – true mate, I think this is a problem that affects all of us. I see many a Sikh and Hindu brother also fall into a victim mentality whenever some issue comes up. Grrr….

    Mirax – I did read that piece, but am not entirely convinced. I shall explain more later, I need to have a few discussions with people on this first.

  41. Mirax — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:41 pm  

    Its imperative now for Muslims to voice that disavowall.

    I cannot agree more.

    And that means to springboard off the mood expressed in Jordan over the weekend.

    I still think that post 7/7 was the best time to do it but better now than never.

  42. Chris — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:44 pm  

    Go for it – but, very sadly, I’m not holding my breath.

  43. Mirax — on 21st November, 2005 at 2:49 pm  

    Not entirely convinced by what precisely, Sunny?

    Will watch out for your piece when it comes out.

  44. Francis — on 21st November, 2005 at 4:48 pm  

    I like your view. It makes a lot more sense than Ms Buntings. I have had some affitional commentst at my blog

  45. sonia — on 21st November, 2005 at 7:58 pm  

    This Sunny fellow seems to speak some sense. perhaps i shouldn’t hang about on this forum, seeing im not British, and had been majorly ‘othered’ by lots of british asians when i was at a british university. – but hey! people are suspicious of difference right? :-)

    anyway i think Sunny’s point about empowerment is really good. too many people i’ve met have felt okay expressing racist ideas because they felt they’ve been victims of racism. which they may well have – but it doesn’t excuse being racist back does it?? and i think that’s sticking with the victim mentality- ah well ive been treated like this, so i’m going to carry on being like this. that’s never going to get anyone anywhere.

  46. Bikhair — on 21st November, 2005 at 8:18 pm  

    Rizwand,

    “From my experience the sense of brotherhood/sisterhood in Islam seems to make feel people like traitors when they speak up against another muslim or group. ”

    What a strange phenomenon when it is the Quran and the Sunnah that are supposed to bring Muslims together not the fact that they are Muslims.

    Only those stinking Hizbis, which England happens to be polluted with, would build upon being a Muslim.

    Sorry, but I aint gonna unify with no grave worshipping, saint loving, takfiri spewing, Hindu wanna-be Muslims.

    What should bring the Ummah together in these times should be what brought the Ummah together during the time of our Noble Messenger (sallalahu alaihi wa salam)

  47. Bikhair — on 21st November, 2005 at 8:23 pm  

    Siddharth,

    “Damn right. Any ideas on how to organise something along those lines for the UK?”

    I have a question for you, my dear sister. When the Messenger of ALlah (sallalahu alaihi wa salam) and his companios wanted to repell an evil (similar to the takfiris that you speak of today) did they organize a protest against that evil? When Muslims protest it seems like it is more about appealing to the kafirs than it is about actually stopping these kinds of evil.

    The best thing for Muslims to do is refer back to thier religion, teach it, live it, and hold on to it. You can protest Al Q all you like but thier deviance will remain unless it is put to flight with truth.

  48. Mirax — on 21st November, 2005 at 8:51 pm  

    “Sorry, but I aint gonna unify with no grave worshipping, saint loving, takfiri spewing, Hindu wanna-be Muslims”

    isn’t the use of Hindu here entirely gratuitous and offensive? Then again, I cottoned on quite quickly to the fact that you are either not entirely sane or seriously trolling, so should just continue ignoring you.

  49. sonia — on 21st November, 2005 at 9:03 pm  

    could be construed as offensive.

  50. Al-Hack — on 22nd November, 2005 at 12:29 am  

    Sonia we ain’t got nothing but love for everyone girl, so don’t feel excluded. btw, your website is interesting. Is that your own blog?

  51. Refresh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 12:52 am  

    Sunny I am not sure I always understand where you’re coming from.

    There was nothing more than a report of the proceedings by Madeleine Bunting – and an attempt to present the issues in the round.

    I too was impressed with what Tariq had to say (as reported by Bunting) about grabbing the bull by the horn and British muslims taking a lead. He rightly points out that there are things being done by some extremists which are anti-Islamic.

    He also suggests that there should be a concerted effort for training and recruiting Imams from Britain – but here is the rub. Not to be paid for and not to be licensed by the state. And that is a major issue – for a religion to be state-controlled is very much like a Stalinist answer. Which is no answer at all.

    The question of banning recruitment of priests, Imams and the like from abroad is ludicrous. The practise in time will change and I expect there will be an opportunity in the future (if Tariq Ramadan is right) where Imams from here will be going abroad on secondment.

    In terms of denial – not sure that is entirely true. Yes there is denial to the degree that people cannot believe that these things would have happened on the basis of Islam. THAT is a positive thing – a good starting point. Contrary to your appreciation of denial.

    As for the effect of foreign policy on British Muslims and very very many others who marched against the war – that is something that’s been brushed under the carpet. And thanks to the London bombings, a not too difficult task. This view is also supported by others including the Chatham report and opinion polls. Do they point to denial too?

    Now to the march against Al Qaida – 2 million people took to the streets to stop Tony Blair taking us to war on a ‘false prospectus’ against a country that was already on its knees; that had lost 500,000 children (UN Report) thanks to the sanctions – and it did not achieve anything. In fact the dissembling got worse, it became more concerted and the fallout was David Kelly, Gilligan and the BBC, Colin Powell etc. oh, and the truth.

    What would be the purpose in marching against Al Qaida, who would happily seek out victims from ‘their own’ if it suited their purpose – other than to show to the Islamaphobes that we are with you.

    And would that take the heat off the muslims? No.

    There is a way forward and Tariq Ramadan points it out. Muslims have to be represented politically at all levels. In the green movement, in demands for education for all, a better health service, transport, housing, employment – and yes human rights and foreign policy!

    For this to happen there is a question of how muslims can get involved in a practical sense. And this is where Madeleine Buntings comments about alcohol are particularly relevant.

    Having been involved with politics at the party level, believe me most of the political level is not within meetings – its, you’ve guessed it, in the pub, wine bars, and at drinks parties. This by the way is also true within Westminster – why else do they need so many bars?

    Even within the green movement, so many of the meetings are held within pubs or rooms hired within pubs.

    I recall only too vividly the old racist school of thought – ‘can’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink’.

    Admittedly getting pissed together does help you gel.

    So alcohol IS relevant to the question.

    But state-sanctioned identity is not.

  52. Bikhair — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:09 am  

    Mirax,

    “isn’t the use of Hindu here entirely gratuitous and offensive? Then again, I cottoned on quite quickly to the fact that you are either not entirely sane or seriously trolling, so should just continue ignoring you. ”

    If by trolling you mean that I post and run, I certainly dont do that. The reason I used Hindu is because I know my audience is Indo-Pak and lets be honest, some of the religious practices of Muslims from that region is influenced by Hinduism or is your typical Paki Indian jahiliyah that they just cant shake.

  53. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:13 am  

    LOL. MY comments get deleted but Bikhair stays!

    No surprise there!!!

    Did I advocate anyone to die? No. “But that’s fine! I don’t mind you saying heretics or adulters should be murdered! just don’t swear or critisce my Muslim sista!”

  54. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:15 am  

    Here’s the REAL left on 40 reasons why Tariq Ramadan is a reactionary biggot.

  55. The Don — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:19 am  

    ‘What would be the purpose in marching against Al Qaida, who would happily seek out victims from ‘their own’ if it suited their purpose – other than to show to the Islamaphobes that we are with you.’

    So being opposed to AQ is Islamophobic?

  56. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:25 am  

    Refresh, thanks for the response. Here is mine:

    The question of banning recruitment of priests, Imams and the like from abroad is ludicrous. The practise in time will change and I expect there will be an opportunity in the future

    If you were at the conference (did we meet each other?), then you would have seen that the demand is very much there. Why is there a need to delay? We’ve been here for decades, why is it taking so long? We have 4th generation British Muslims growing up now, so I don’t see why time is a factor in this. Its a matter of someone taking up the issue, no? And then pumping the money to train someone.

    As for govt control – well it depends on the extent. The MCB wanted govt interference when Omar Bakri (or Abu Hamza?) had taken control of the Finsbury Park mosque, but now they don’t want any interference? In light of 7/7 I think people have a right to be concerned about what imams are preaching.

    Yes there is denial to the degree that people cannot believe that these things would have happened on the basis of Islam.

    The denial is over the fact that it is an issue they have to deal with, confront, and defeat. As Ramadan said, there needs to be a seperation of the religious and political aspect.

    People link the two, but why should anger against the war translate to suicide bombings? That is a huge step to make and a result of some hardcore brain-washing. The point is why is this brain-washing taking place, who is doing it, and what can be done to stop it. The war in Iraq is merely a recruiting tool for Al-Qaeda – they’ve been killing Muslims and non-Muslims for years before that.

    thanks to the sanctions – and it did not achieve anything.
    I went on the march too. But political decisions don’t always go your way. This is a long political struggle that Muslims should get involved in. Just having one march, and then expecting things to go your way is politically naive. The CND spent years campaigning against nukes before they made a serious impact.

    What would be the purpose in marching against Al Qaida, who would happily seek out victims from ‘their own’ if it suited their purpose – other than to show to the Islamaphobes that we are with you.

    Do I really have to point this out? It’s a symbolic act towards Muslims and non-Muslims. How exactly does it show solidarity towards Islamophobes? If this country was full of Islamophobes than the extent to which Muslims are treated would be a lot, lot worse. You forget that Muslims have killed more people than non-Muslims have in religious hatred crimes (taking 7/7 into account).

    Even within the green movement, so many of the meetings are held within pubs or rooms hired within pubs.

    It is essentially a lame excuse. You seem to be quite naive if you think politics revolves around the pub. Despite that, they don’t have a “no Muslims allowed” sign. Go in there and drink an orange juice. After all, alcohol is served in restaurants and Muslims have no issues going into them.

  57. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:29 am  

    j0nz – I have no real love for Bikhair and her scattergun condemnation of anyone who doesn’t agree with her.
    I just prefer we keep the usage of profanity when addressing each other to a minimum.

  58. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:42 am  

    Fine! So if I don’t swear and say perfectly normal responses can you Al-Hack or yourself or whoever from deleting my comments!

    For multiplying’s sake.

  59. Refresh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 2:35 am  

    Sunny,

    The gist of what I was trying to say was that I don’t understand your swipes at Madeleine Bunting. Either you read a different article or went to different events or both.

    And your response to mine, is similar in vein to how you dealt with the Bunting article.

    In summary – what I was saying is that British Islam has every opportunity to offer progress for muslims by being active within all spheres of British life. Something I’ve been advocating for the last couple of decades years.

    If these things are not achieved with dignity they will prove to be worthless. Having the state controlling your religious life would not attract youngsters. Unless you know otherwise.

    Marching against Al Qaida will come, but it will be from a position of strength and confidence and that means muslims participating in the mainstream. That will be when it will really make a difference. Bear in mind Asians in general are not known for marching.

    I am not naive when it comes to participation – I have done the circuit. No issue for me. But seeing that its not going to do it for others is whats going to matter. It should not be something you should dismiss lightly.

  60. Refresh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 2:40 am  

    Don,

    That’s not what I said. Please read it again. Otherwise it will end up us all walking on eggshells.

  61. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:13 am  

    Refresh – My problem with Bunting’s analysis here is that she is not as forthcoming as Tariq Ramadan was in his views. She hints at it, talking about the denial, but then makes excuses.

    Avoiding alcohol is not an excuse for why British Muslims should feel excluded – I have plenty of Muslim friends who work around this (by opting for OJ/coke or making attempts to socialise outside those areas). These are the sort of arguments that Hizb ut-Tahrir trots out because they need any excuse to say why they don’t want to “participate” and unfortunately Madeleine has taken those silly excuses at face value.

    Tariq Ramadan was more straightforward. Firstly, we all have to make compromises to learn about each other and work with each other.

    Secondly, the problem with making excuses (as I point out above) is that it allows complacency and point the fingers at others. There is no time for messing around here really, we all have to work hard to build bridges, understand each other and defeat religious extremism and bigotry.
    He said that Muslims need to defeat the “anti-Islamic” ideology of the Al-Qaeda. That can only be done when people accept there is a problem and that work needs to be done.

    By making excuses, as Bunting has done – she is dis-empowering Muslims by letting them just lazily point fingers at each other, rather than forcing them to stand up and deal with the issues.

    If these things are not achieved with dignity they will prove to be worthless.

    Exactly – and that dignity will come through self-examination, through coming face to face with issues that need to be resolved (forced marriages, honour killings, poor education achievement, religious bigotry etc). It will not come through making excuses.

    Btw, the above points also refer to the Sikh and Hindu communities. I hate it when people cook up controversies just to keep pushing their victim mentality (as in the case of Behzti the play, the recent stamp controversy and more importantly the Gujarat riots of 2001).

  62. Refresh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:23 am  

    Sunny

    As I said at the beginning, I think she was reporting back.

    I read the alcohol issue as a very important one. Not an excuse but a factor that needs to be recognised. Otherwise it’ll be just you and me ( and your mates on OJ).

    I have no idea what Hizb Ut Tahrir trot out.

    But empowerment will come from participation – and that we are agreed is essential.

  63. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:38 am  

    Refresh – I was there, she was there, Tariq Ramadan was there. I think she’s a really nice woman who has great ideals, but she doesn’t realise the harm that can be caused by making excuses for someone else.

    All I’m saying is that she is exaggerating the reasons for alienation. Tariq Ramadan quite rightly did not swallow any of those reasons. The Muslim community is not powerless and it is not impotent. There are plenty of very intelligent, articulate, resourceful and successful people there. They didn’t make excuses – they just got on with it. That’s what the “leadership” now need to do. Inayat was just making excuses and Madeliene dutifully exaggerated them.

    Hizb are good at continously trotting out one thing – rubbish.

  64. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:00 am  

    Sunny and all,
    Re : deleting that twat Jonz’s comment

    It is highly ironic that you object to a fairly innocuous phrase like ‘get the fuck back to the 7th century’ on the grounds of profanity when you run an entire thread next to this on nothing but swearwords! What gives fellas? The problem about censorship is that you have to be fairly consistent with your own proclaimed standards.Otherwise you just look silly and immature. You could take the ‘it’s our blog and we will do as we please , so shove it!’ line but think about how teenagish that sounds.

  65. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:16 am  

    There is a difference between swearing at someone, and discussing swear-words in general.

  66. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:26 am  

    Did you just see how silly you look now because you allowed my post -where I called jonz twat (and I mean it too, most sincerely!)- stand though I am guilty of the same offense of swearing at a poster?
    Come on, Sunny! Please don’t go down this road; it’s a deadend.

  67. Refresh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 9:21 am  

    Sunny – an aside.
    What is the relationship between DavidT, Harry’s Place and you?
    May or may not be relevant to future discussions – but its always good to get your bearings. Particularly if PP has only been going for 11 weeks.

  68. sonia — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:08 pm  

    hey hang on a sec. i don’t get it – one place some one slags muslims off for solidarity then someone says oh if there’s going to be a march against al-qaeda it ought to be organized by the british muslims.

    ?!!

    fundamental human rights is what we should ALL be supporting. none of this clicquey nonsense ( are you muslim or british or some other group – sorry – if people die anywhere that’s crap. HUMAN = homo sapiens. in case anyone hasn’t noticed – we’re NOT separate species, though we tend to act that way.

    why should it be a bunch of muslims who march against ‘al-qaeda’ – it should be anyone who has a sense of decency and humanity. just like the anti-war marches were full of people from all over the place.

    Really some of you people in this blog really want to keep people in boxes don’t you!

  69. sonia — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:10 pm  

    well i definitely agree with Sunny that Hizb ut Tahrir talk complete rot.

  70. sonia — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:19 pm  

    hi al-hack – thanks! no don’t worry :-) im not feeling excluded heh heh – as you can see – im quite happy to elbow my way in!

    yes that is my own blog – its a wordpress blog – like this one i believe!

  71. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:23 pm  

    What is the relationship between DavidT, Harry’s Place and you?

    Refresh – How do you mean? I’ve never met David T. We agree on some issues, disagree on others. Why?

    Mirax – There has to be a limit somewhere and I was merely trying to enforce that. Twat is not that offensive in my books, though British Asian women (in that survey) clearly find it very bad :)

  72. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:40 pm  

    So Sunny, where are the out of bound markers? Please do share.

    I like to swear at silly cunts if feel they deserve it and I hate the childish deceit that goes with abbreviations ffs,deliberate mispelling (cnut) and symbols.
    Sorry to be giving you grief over this but I just hate ad hoc censorship.

  73. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 1:56 pm  

    but I just hate ad hoc censorship
    I, on the other hand, love it :)

  74. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 2:02 pm  

    Sunny

    I just sent you a link about Nadia Anjuman, afghani woman poet, murdered recently. It’s hell a lot more a serious issue than sania mirza or khushboo imo, though I understand how you guys need any excuse to run that pic of SM one more time…

  75. Geezer — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:21 pm  

    “Sorry, but I aint gonna unify with no grave worshipping, saint loving, takfiri spewing, Hindu wanna-be Muslims”[ Bikhair ]

    Let me make something very clear to you Bikhair your hatred for the “takfiri” people fools no one….Your aqeedah [meaning belief] is EXACTLY identical to the venom that Al Qaeda churns out. There is little difference between the bastardised Wahabi version of Islam you follow and that of the terrorists who have cut a bloody path through out the world. The terrorists themselves who are all mostly of Salafi extraction follow the same Imams you do for example men like Ibn taymiyah, Abdul Wahab. They just simply put the gun into the equation whereas you use other tools such as glossy books; harsh words etc to further your erroneous beliefs.

    Your zealot like behaviour is quite clear in the derogatory way you refer to us Sufi’s and other faiths in this case Hindus. It was the Sufis who paved the way for the advances in the Muslim world of old, it was us who defended the rights of Non Muslims to practice their faiths in the midst of brutal oppression [see the Sikhs], it is we who offer Islam in its true sense rather than a path of hate that is spiritual devoid of any blessings.

    I too do not wish unity with the likes of yourself and your barbaric brothers who have bought nothing but misery to this world and wreak the name of our faith at ever given opportunity.

  76. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:35 pm  

    Heh, gwaaan geezer!

  77. Jai Singh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:35 pm  

    Big hand for Geezer :)

    I’m so glad to hear that, finally, the voice of Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid etc can be heard in the 21st century too, especially in our troubled times.

    Geezer, the Ummah and the world as a whole needs more people like you to speak up and, indeed take back control of Islam from modern-day Aurangzebs like OBL and his Wahabbi supporters.

  78. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:42 pm  

    I like it that he thoughtfully posted it twice – Bikhair is probably crosseyed…

  79. Geezer — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:44 pm  

    Hey Sunny!

    Jai Singh the great voices of Bulleh Shah and other saints have always been here and inshallah will never die out. There are a great many of us around but the sad thing is many Sufi’s tend to stay away from politics or are just reeling under the onslaught from Saudi funded organisations. But we are becoming more vocal and indeed our numbers increase daily.

  80. Siddharth — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:50 pm  

    About time someone planted their foot into bikhair’s fucked up ideology in the behind.

  81. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:54 pm  

    I have never forgotten what an impression a muslim scholar who wrote an article in the N American muslim magazine, Minaret, made on me roundabouts june 2001. the Taliban had then instituted that the few remaining non-muslims -hindus and sikhs-in Kabul be identified by special clothing- patches of yellow cloth. This man was so indignant over the edict that he resolved to wear a yellow patch himself as a sign of solidarity with the non-muslims and urged his congregation /readership to do so as well. He made mention of the prophet’s birthday at that time, so he was no salafist.

    Unfortunately, clear moral voices like his or geezer’s just now seem rather infrequent. there are too many bikhairs around…

  82. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:58 pm  

    Geezer – you rock. Power to you.

  83. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:02 pm  

    But we are becoming more vocal and indeed our numbers increase daily.

    Good for muslims. Good for all of us.

  84. sonia — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:06 pm  

    i thought norbert was quite funny..

    “So being opposed to AQ is Islamophobic?”

    no of course it isn’t – but can you see the day when it might be considered to be the case? Perhaps its not so unrealistic.

    Why a lot of my Jewish friends have a real terrible time because people assume that Jewish = Zionist – same thing, when clearly it isn’t. Some people even say to be a non-Zionist is to be ‘a self-hating Jew’. !! Who’s got the monopoly on saying what’s ‘Jewish’ and what’s not?
    I can see the day when a bunch of mullahs try to tell everyone that they have the monopoly on knowing what is islamophobic and what isn’t.

  85. Geezer — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:07 pm  

    Thank you Jonz and Mirax for your kind words.

  86. Siddharth — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:08 pm  

    Yeah the voices of the Sufis, the moderate and just normal, workaday Muslims in general have been out-shouted (and out-funded to be honest) by the people who Bikhair represents – Saudi Wahhabi.
    Is it time to reclaim Islam back from these backward perverts or what?

  87. Jai Singh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:22 pm  

    =>”But we are becoming more vocal and indeed our numbers increase daily. ”

    I sincerely hope so. If you were to look at all the Al-Muhajiroun types shooting their mouths off in the media — one was even on “More4″ news a couple of nights ago — and indeed some of the Asian-focused discussion forums (the BBC Asian Network message board is a good example), you’d get the impression that the opposite was true.

    So more power to you and all the other Sufis out there ;)

    God bless you all, and for the sake of the rest of the global Muslim community and indeed the human race as a whole, I hope you achieve victory.

  88. Geezer — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:28 pm  

    Brother it has already started, I and others have been involved in the effort against them for many years. Our emphasis should be on educating other Muslims about the grave threat they pose.

  89. Geezer — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:42 pm  

    Thank you very much Jai Singh for your encouragement and words. Sadly the air time given to these louts is incredible and even, with our great endeavours we are frequently ignored by some of the media and air time is given to thug who “recruits” for the Taliban.

    Just giving you an example that occurred a week or so ago, did you see a program called Sufi Soul on Channel 4? The program was put out so late at night you would think they were airing adult material, it won rave reviews and many journalists wrote of their dismay that it was aired so late at night while idiots are given the chance to talk on Islam during prime time slots.

  90. sonia — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:36 pm  

    siddarth – even if the voice of ‘reasonable’ muslims were around – it only takes one psycho to kill someone or do something – and boom! if you’re going to judge a crowd by a few people you’re always going to have this problem.

    there is an additional problem where people imagining they can ‘blame’ their actions on an idea when at the end of the day they have to take responsibility for their actions.

  91. sonia — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:37 pm  

    sorry siddarth – i didn’t mean ‘you’ as in You personally, i kinda used in place of ‘one’. ( which doesn’t work well in britain cos everyone thinks you’re being ‘posh’ ) heh.

  92. fotzepolitic — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:47 pm  

    That “Oh, I don’t drink, so I’m excluded” crap totally cracks me up. As an American, after 3 years here I STILL can’t get over how much Brits drink. It’s obscene. I’ll drink a cocktail once a month or so, but I have no problem being in a bar where everyone else (including my formerly Muslim boyfriend) is tanked but me. The worst thing that happens is that they think they’re being terribly funny and I don’t. ;) For crying out loud, people, drink a coke and no one will blink twice. I know lots of Sikhs that don’t drink either, and I’ve never heard them complain. And this is coming from someone who DOES feel really alienated in this culture! I just think the reasons are more emotionally complex than if you drink or not, and more dependent on how you’ve been brought up to socialize and form connections with people. Someone who honestly believes the sexes should be separated will have problems at work gatherings. Someone who gets wound up about the concept of drinking alcohol is likely to find themselves inhibited about casually conversing with a drinker.

    Recently I heard a bunch of young bearded Muslims whining about the lack of Asians on TV. When I mentioned this to some Hindu friends, they snorted and said that they can’t get away from Asian news presenters and Asian-themed documentaries every time they turn on the TV. Does a victim mentality play into these kinds of perceptions as well?

  93. Bikhair — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:58 pm  

    Mirax,

    “Unfortunately, clear moral voices like his or geezer’s just now seem rather infrequent. there are too many bikhairs around…”

    What is that supposed to mean? Did the Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wa salam) make the mushriks wear distinguishing clothing? If If anything Muslims are supposed to distinguish themselves from the disbelievers in thier dress.

  94. Bikhair — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:05 pm  

    Geezer,

    “Let me make something very clear to you Bikhair your hatred for the “takfiri” people fools no one….Your aqeedah [meaning belief] is EXACTLY identical to the venom that Al Qaeda churns out. There is little difference between the bastardised Wahabi version of Islam you follow and that of the terrorists who have cut a bloody path through out the world. The terrorists themselves who are all mostly of Salafi extraction follow the same Imams you do for example men like Ibn taymiyah, Abdul Wahab. They just simply put the gun into the equation whereas you use other tools such as glossy books; harsh words etc to further your erroneous beliefs.”

    Except that you wouldnt have to be bending over backwards for these kafirs if these takfiris were simply doing what the salafis do, i.e. you use other tools such as glossy books; harsh words etc.

    Rather you should refer to what we Salafis do as Tarbiyah and Tazkiyah. But ofcourse this isnt your religion Geezer. Your religion is protecting people who hate and insult Allah (azawajal) with thier evil beliefs. That’ll get you into Jennah, though i doubt you would want to go because there will not be any Hindus there.

  95. Siddharth — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:07 pm  

    Sonia: True enough. But we have to take a position and not remain quietists. But what can start in the UK could escalate to a mass movement all over the world. Can we really allow the radicalists to hold the vast majority of Muslims to ransom, which they have, and not resist this perversion of Islam to become its one and only interpretation to become currency with non-Muslims?

    Also, were this to become a worldwide movement can you imagine how much strength this would give to countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia who are having great trouble rooting radical Muslim out of society? It would be, quite literally, a praadigm shift.

    oh please, please, please let me get what I want this time!

  96. Geezer — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:27 pm  

    If you call speaking the truth “bending over backwards” so be it…Don’t kid yourself the next step for a “salafi” is relentless violence against those who do not share their outrageous beliefs. Your one and the same thing, you are what I call the “silent partners” in their crimes. You lay the ground work through your ideas and propaganda then sit back and watch the show and take on he wolf in sheep’s clothing routine saying “hey we condemn those guys”.

    Yes my religion does involve projecting people especially form the likes of you who do nothing but dream of slaughtering those “evil doers”

    Thanks for calling me a Hindu again, why you use this in a derogatory manner I do not know. Anyway your post just goes to show your vile hate filled nature but then again being a Najdi what else can we expect from you?

  97. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:37 pm  

    Well if Bikhair was a Saudi it would make sense on her slurring Hindhus (the polytheists)

    In Saudi Arabia a Muslim man’s life is worth 33 times that of a Hindu woman.

    In the April 9, 2002 issue, The Wall Street Journal published the concept of blood money in Saudi Arabia . If a person has been killed or caused to die by another, the latter has to pay blood money or compensation, as follow.

    100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man
    50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman
    50,000 riyals if a Christian man
    25,000 riyals if a Christian woman
    6,666 riyals if a Hindu man
    3,333 riyals if a Hindu woman

  98. Geezer — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:39 pm  

    Also Bikhair Tarbiyah is not something I would use to describe what you teach more like “samm”, as for “Tazkiyah”, purity is something we Sufi’s specialise in through the endless hours of do. I suggest you go along one day to ziker circle and then maybe you could rid yourself of the venom that infests you.

  99. Geezer — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:43 pm  

    100,000 riyals if the victim is a Muslim man
    50,000 riyals if a Muslim woman [jonz]

    This information is incorrect as you forgot to add that is price for an ARAB Muslim not a Pakistani, Bengali, Indian etc. They have a far lower value and you can see evidence of this in Bikhair’s posts…

    some of the religious practices of Muslims from that region is influenced by Hinduism or is your typical Paki Indian jahiliyah that they just cant shake.[Bikhair]

  100. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:51 pm  

    I do wonder what my life as an atheist woman is worth in KSA.

  101. The Don — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:59 pm  

    Refresh’

    re; “So being opposed to AQ is Islamophobic?”

    Sorry if I misread your post, but I’ve re-read it and still see it that way.

    ‘What would be the purpose in marching against Al Qaida, who would happily seek out victims from ‘their own’ if it suited their purpose – other than to show to the Islamaphobes that we are with you.’

    How about showing your neighbours, milkman, GP, window-cleaner, teacher, and just Joe Public that you are with them?

    Don’t want anyone walking on glass, but that was rather dismissive.

  102. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 7:00 pm  

    Bikhair

    You silly bigot.

  103. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 7:03 pm  

    Well j0nz Hindus are not polytheists. They believe in one truth, but recognise that it is multi faceted. Its a complex philosophy ranging from monism,dualism and what-not-ism. Hinduism even has space for atheism. Even though i’m an atheist, i’m Hindu in cultural sense.

    BTW J0nz apparently Jews(even if one managed to sneak in) are free.

  104. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 7:12 pm  

    I have a great respect for the Hinudu philosophy, the reason I say polytheists is because thats the way Islamists define Hindus..

    BTW J0nz apparently Jews(even if one managed to sneak in) are free

    LOL no real surprise there..

  105. Siddharth — on 22nd November, 2005 at 8:17 pm  

    I do wonder what my life as an atheist woman is worth in KSA.

    Well, if you’re white, you’re immediately well up on the Saudi foodchain. Non-Arabs, especially if they’re non-white, mean nothing to Saudis irrespective of whether they’re Muslim or not. They do give a bit more respect to Muslims if they’re coming for Hajj.

    If you’re a Indonesian/Bangladeshi/Phillipina woman you’re just so much more nurse/cleaner/maid material.

    If you’re a white woman, you’re prospective wife material into the Royal Family as a prospect you go!

    OTOH, If you’re American or British or European, you’ll be rewarded with the top jobs, facilities regardless of whether you’re anti-Saudi or not.

    Very similar to how Multi-nationals and the UN grade the “races”

  106. Mirax — on 22nd November, 2005 at 8:24 pm  

    Thanks Sid. So kind of you to confirm what I suspected- worth less than nothing!

  107. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 8:41 pm  

    Thanks Siddarth + Vikrant I wasn’t aware of the Saudi racism I only knew they openly discriminated on ground of religion…

  108. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 8:42 pm  

    Thanks Geezer I mean! Oh sod it thankyou everybody.

  109. Jai Singh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 9:43 pm  

    Bikhair,

    =>”Your religion is protecting people who hate and insult Allah (azawajal) with thier evil beliefs.

    1. You seem to be woefully misinformed about Sufism.
    2. You seem to be grossly misinformed about the rest of us too if you think our beliefs are “evil”. In fact, exactly which religious beliefs are you referring to ?
    3. If you think we actually “hate” Allah/God/whatever name you wish to use, then you have either been told lies by some malicious party, or you cannot see the truth right in front of you and you are psychotically delusional. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, we can hope it is merely the former.

    =>”That’ll get you into Jennah, ”

    There’s no such place. Hell, or Jennah to use your term, is being spiritually separated from the Almighty. In fact, by being here on Earth right now, except for those who are exceptionally spiritually-aware, we’re already all in Hell. Including you.

    =>”though i doubt you would want to go because there will not be any Hindus there”

    I’m not a Hindu. Neither is Sunny, along with a number of other people on this blog. I would gently suggest you learn a little about Sikhism before making such statements.

  110. jamal — on 22nd November, 2005 at 10:06 pm  

    yeah, how did you sneak in?

    But i do agree, such event have a tendancy to not be representative of the actually people it is supposed too. How did they advertise for this?

  111. Refresh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 10:54 pm  

    Don, perhaps I was trying to be clever with my sentence.

    To paraphrase, marching to the tune of the Islamaphobes will be a journey never destined to be completed.

    Solidarity with my fellow countrymen and women has never been the issue. And there are very many ways of expressing that, and we all probably do it everyday. At work, on the street, at school.

    The solidarity that will really matter is one for all communities to stick together – not for any one to be hounded.

    The biggest expression of this, as Sonia points out, was the collective marches against war and against terror. These were the one and the same. Joined by milkmen, GPs, bus drivers, firemen, politicians, and yes neighbours.

  112. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 11:39 pm  

    Lol! Bikhair you chat so much rubbish.
    All that pride and arrogance in your heart girl – you’re getting nowhere near heaven! Maybe like your Salafi bretheren who keep blowing themselves up, you’re dreaming of some virgins in the after-life. Keep dreaming because you ain’t getting anyhere with all that arrogance.

    Your one and the same thing, you are what I call the “silent partners” in their crimes. You lay the ground work through your ideas and propaganda then sit back and watch the show and take on he wolf in sheep’s clothing routine saying “hey we condemn those guys”.

    Geezer summed it up perfectly.

  113. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 11:44 pm  

    As to the question of how I got in… well I have friends on the inside ;)

    I proposed that we have a discussion around media portrayals of Muslims and Islamophobia in the media, but they said it would possibly come out in the conference so invited me here instead.

    Jai:
    I would gently suggest you learn a little about Sikhism before making such statements.

    Bikhair is chatting out of her arse again. Islam is not as black-and-white about “believers” being exclusively Muslim and “kafirs” being all the non-Muslim. That only applies to these nutters and their ideology. I’ve spoken to enough people who know more about Islam than Bikhair who say is it is more about generally believing in God with love and without arrogance. So Islam is not as dismissive as Bikhair would like us to believe and the rubbish she spouts doesn’t make me think any different.

  114. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 2:38 am  

    J0nz heres hepful link: http://muttawa.blogspot.com

  115. Mirax — on 23rd November, 2005 at 5:25 am  

    As an atheist, jenna/heaven or who ends up in it is completely irrelevant to me. You theists can have whatever pissing match you want.

    But what’s is with the Sikh who fulminates against someone calling Sikhism a ‘cult’ but declares he does not give a toss about the Qadianis being murdered or the Sikh who counters B’s observation there will be no Hindus in heaven, with the rather disingenuous,”but I am not a hindu, I am a sikh” ?

    Sorry, but I just happen to be the sort of person who notices these little things…

  116. Jai Singh — on 23rd November, 2005 at 5:09 pm  

    Mirax,

    =>”the Sikh who counters B’s observation there will be no Hindus in heaven, with the rather disingenuous,”but I am not a hindu, I am a sikh” ? ”

    You’re misinterpreting my statement. I wasn’t responding to her (erroneous) claim about “no Hindus in heaven”; I was referring to the fact that Bikhair appears to be assuming that Geezer is “siding” with Hindus (only), or that the people here on PP supporting Geezer are all Hindus themselves.

  117. sonia — on 26th November, 2005 at 4:21 am  

    i can safely say to you jOnz that saudi arabia is not a very welcoming country at all – particularly to non-arabs and non-arab muslims! they’re not nice at all to the Hajji’s – quite the opposite. its a bit sad/ironic to see all these eager pilgrims rushing along in hordes imagining their muslim ‘brethren’ will welcome them with open arms – and ha bl**dy ha what awaits them?! the reality of human pettiness that’s what.

    its good to see actually wakes you up and shows you the world like it is.

  118. DavidP — on 28th November, 2005 at 8:54 am  
  119. felix — on 28th November, 2005 at 10:38 am  

    I wish Muslims would stop apologising for 7/7, those Leeds lads were framed, the families have been given no evidence they boarded trains at King’s Cross. The government are lying through their teeth every day about it.
    check the facts – nineeleven.co.uk + checktheevidence.com

  120. DavidP — on 28th November, 2005 at 12:59 pm  

    Since Sunny seems to be such a fan of Tariq Ramadan (whom I have myself defended on several occasions), I wonder if anybody has a reply to the criticism voiced by Denis MacShane in the New Statesman:

    Yet the kind of censorship the nationalist secularists are trying to impose on Pamuk is identical to the censorship favoured by the likes of Tariq Ramadan, the Islamic scholar who first came to fame in his home city of Geneva when he mounted a campaign to stop a play by Voltaire (himself a champion of free speech) being staged, because he felt it was disrespectful to Islam.

    This took place in 1993.

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