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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Libdems, Yasmin A-B and Muslims


    by Sunny
    19th September, 2009 at 4:46 pm    

    - Libdem leader Nick Clegg will be in conversation with journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown discussing what it means to be British in the wake of protests outside a Harrow mosque last week. The interview comes on the back of the paper ‘Imagining New Britain’ which Alibhai-Brown will launch at the party’s Autumn Conference. You can read the paper here (PDF file) as I’ve been given an exclusive copy.

    - As Britain’s Muslims begin to prepare for Eid, far-right fascists may protest in Luton and gather in Manchester next month. Quilliam Foundation have (quite rightly) sent a letter to mosques asking for their active role in minimising local tensions. The letter calls on imams and mosque committees to do the following:
    1. Hold open-days in UK mosques for the local public.
    2. To raise money on Fridays for local schools and hospitals, not just for Muslims.
    3. To refuse platforms to Islamist and extremist Muslim groups who bolster the message of the far-right.
    4. To ensure that young members of their congregation do not respond to the far-right with violence.

    - Fringe event at the Labour Party conference: Magali Rheault, Senior Analyst with the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, will present key findings from opinion polls conducted in over 35 predominantly Muslim countries around the world.

    The Q & A Session will be hosted by Muslim West Fact Project (MWFP) joined by Henry Hogger and Salman Shaikh respectively. Monday 28 Sept from 5pm - 7pm at Ramada Jarvis Hotel in Brighton.


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    Filed in: Events,Race politics






    36 Comments below   |  

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    1. Denim Justice — on 19th September, 2009 at 4:58 pm  

      1. Hold open-days in UK mosques for the local public.
      2. To raise money on Fridays for local schools and hospitals, not just for Muslims.
      3. To refuse platforms to Islamist and extremist Muslim groups who bolster the message of the far-right.
      4. To ensure that young members of their congregation do not respond to the far-right with violence.

      WTF? Nothing about asking people to organise a counter-protest? Just telling the Mussies to be on their best behaviour and suck up to the white man, cause no trouble, keep their heads down, don’t speak out of turn? Nothing criticising the actual extremists, i.e. the nazi EDL?

    2. Andrew — on 19th September, 2009 at 5:05 pm  

      All Muslim organisations should do this. I notice that the MCB has issued a press release along the same general lines:

      http://www.mcb.org.uk/media/presstext.php?ann_id=365

    3. Shatterface — on 19th September, 2009 at 5:12 pm  

      Bearing in mind how counter-productive the ‘counter protests’ have been, these suggestions seam sensible and proportionate.

    4. falcao — on 19th September, 2009 at 5:30 pm  

      Mosques have their own committees some good, some not so good who work in their community they are best ones to judge what to do, not a bunch of overpayed leeches like the neo con quilliam foundation who justify their 1 million pound cheque from the british tax payer by sending email alerts or a letter patronizing mosques on what to do or not!

    5. qidniz — on 19th September, 2009 at 5:36 pm  

      2. To raise money on Fridays for local schools and hospitals, not just for Muslims.

      Could that be Islamic? Or, wouldn’t that need a fatwa?

      (E.g.: How much money was raised, by Muslims from Muslims, for disaster relief when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit even, oh my gosh, Muslim areas such as Aceh? Answer: practically zip, lest any such aid might, just might, go to non-Muslim recipients. That’s Islam’s exclusivism for you.)

      3. To refuse platforms to Islamist and extremist Muslim groups who bolster the message of the far-right.

      And what about Islamist groups that claim to be spreading the message of Islam? They all do, by the way.

    6. douglas clark — on 19th September, 2009 at 8:35 pm  

      Sunny,

      I can’t read what Nick Clegg had to say. This link doesn’t appear to work (PDF file) Perhaps others heve had the same problem?

    7. qidniz — on 19th September, 2009 at 8:35 pm  

      BTW,

      The link to the PDF of YA-B’s paper doesn’t work. (“Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.”)

    8. fugstar — on 19th September, 2009 at 8:56 pm  

      YABadabadoo.
      qwillyam and sunny sitting in a tree
      coproducing banal toxicity

    9. Sunny — on 20th September, 2009 at 1:54 am  

      whoops, that’s been rectified douglas.

    10. Frank — on 20th September, 2009 at 11:38 am  

      2. To raise money on Fridays for local schools and hospitals, not just for Muslims.

      Taxes?

      qidniz: (E.g.: How much money was raised, by Muslims from Muslims, for disaster relief when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit even, oh my gosh, Muslim areas such as Aceh? Answer: practically zip, lest any such aid might, just might, go to non-Muslim recipients. That’s Islam’s exclusivism for you.)

      Before committing such bollocks to print, you could have checked out the UK’s two biggest Muslim charities, Islamic Relief and Muslim Aid, to see just how much they did contribute.

    11. camilla — on 20th September, 2009 at 1:37 pm  

      Denim Justice

      |||… suck up to the white man, cause no trouble, keep their heads down, don’t speak out of turn? ||||

      “white man”? excuse me. do you have any problems with somebody’s skin colour? they are your enemies, right?

    12. Paul — on 20th September, 2009 at 2:50 pm  

      I had to scroll down to page 14 of the paper, before truth was out…

      “… there are binding values based on human rights and social responsibilities which must apply to everyone. Cultural values which are manifestly unjust should not be patronised or tolerated. … renewed national identity by having the nation discuss and agree core principles by which all must live.”

      This is nationalism pure and simple, and it is racist because only the cultural practices of minorities will “not be patronised or tolerated”. It leans heavily on the German and Dutch version of monoculturalism, the core-value approach.

      The Dutch government is currently running exactly the national discussion on core values which she proposes. No less than 0.004% of the population has contributed to the website, so the project will probably die a natural death.

      Just as well, because a state-enforced list of compulsory core values can never be anything but repressive. It is an extended version of the ‘loyalty oath’, which is also actively promoted by integrationist nationalists. The aim is, by definition, to punitively target a section of the population, and to punitively exclude them in some way. In this case, presumably, by deportation. But since Sunny knows her, why not ask her: what happens to those who refuse to accept, respect, affirm and apply the national core values?

    13. damon — on 20th September, 2009 at 10:41 pm  

      Paul @ 12. That seems to be presuming the very worst.

      Do you think it’s impossible to say what ”Cultural values which are manifestly unjust” might be?

      It’s hardly going to include arranged marriages is it?
      Or wearing hijabs, or even be able to enforce an anti-niqab law.
      I’m not saying that any rules or guidelines that were drawn up wouldn’t be a bit of a dog’s breakfast (as they well may be), but I don’t see how even the idea of them should be called racist at this stage.
      We don’t even know what they are yet.

      Goodness knows what you’d have to insist on (that was strongly disapproved of) to be deported.

    14. Paul — on 21st September, 2009 at 10:59 am  

      One of the primary uses of this list will be to rule on citizenship applications, and as criteria for judging otherwise undecided immigration cases. It could not be used, under present EU policy, to exclude EU citizens. So, given the comparable ruling in France, it would indeed be used to refuse citizenship / entry to women wearing a niqaab or burqa. Here’s the case:

      Burka-wearing woman denied citizenship for being ‘submissive’

      Presumably this paper will show up again in this blog, so perhaps more comments on it then.

    15. damon — on 21st September, 2009 at 1:29 pm  

      Yes, I could see that happening. I’d be interested to know what Yasmin Alibhai-Brown herself would say on case like that. She said in july that she found ‘the burka’ abhorrent.
      http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/yasmin-alibhai-brown/yasmin-alibhaibrown-wearing-the-burqa-is-neither-islamic-nor-socially-acceptable-1743375.html

      And by the sound of her in that article, she too (as someone who cares for this country particularly) might think that giving citizenship to people like that was injurous to this society.

      She particularly lambasts white liberals, who she says ”frame this sinister development in terms of free choice and tolerance.”

      Myself,(being a white liberal) I’m not sure what to think on that one. You wouldn’t want too many Salafists coming into the country though (would you?)

    16. persephone — on 22nd September, 2009 at 11:03 am  

      That was a good article by YAB but her last sentence relating to ‘my people’ contradicted the intent of her article

    17. Reza — on 22nd September, 2009 at 3:23 pm  

      “Quilliam Foundation have (quite rightly) sent a letter to mosques asking for their active role in minimising local tensions. The letter calls on imams and mosque committees to do the following:
      1. Hold open-days in UK mosques for the local public.”

      Great. And perhaps the Imam can answer questions truthfully. But I doubt it.

      A couple of years ago, I sent the following letter to Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra of the MCB. He didn’t bother answering.

      Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra
      Chair, Mosque and Community Affairs Committee
      Muslim Council of Britain

      Dear Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra

      Dispatches: Unholy War

      I listen to your comments regarding the killing and punishment of ex-Muslims with interest on Monday evening.

      I noted that when you to disagreed with the killing or punishment of converts you seemed to choose your words carefully. You spoke of “British Muslims” living in “Britain” obeying “British Law”.

      My understanding of the Islamic principle of Dar al-Amn, is that Muslims living in non-Muslim countries (in which they are tolerated and allowed to practice their faith) have a covenant to obey the laws of that country and not to make war against it.

      1. Therefore were the words “British” and “Britain” used as caveats?

      In 2004 Prince Charles urged the Muslim leaders in Britain to criticise openly the traditional Islamic law on apostasy and call for it to be abolished throughout the world.

      2. Are you willing to criticise openly the killing and punishment of apostates in Britain and throughout the world?

      3. What is the position of the MCB on the killing and punishment of apostates in Britain and throughout the world?

      4. How many Imams affiliated to the MCB have openly criticised the killing and punishment of apostates in Britain and throughout the world?

      5. How would the MCB deal with an Imam who supported the killing or punishment of apostates either in Britain or elsewhere in the world?

      Thank you for taking time to consider these questions.

      Yours sincerely

      Reza V*****
      London

    18. Reza — on 22nd September, 2009 at 4:03 pm  

      There is a huge and ugly truth within Islam. A truth that many Muslims go to great lengths cover up with weasel-words, lies or denial.

      That is whether it is ‘Islamic’ to kill or punish Muslims who convert to another religion or none.

      And non-Muslim liberals, in the interests of their multiculturalist-fantasy-world (and the warm fuzzy feeling which their love of ‘minority causes’ gives them) also prefer to ignore this ugly truth. Or else they choose to believe the weasel-words, lies or denial.

      However, the ugly truth is plain for all to see. All the major Islamic schools of jurisprudence agree that a Muslim who converts to another religion (or none) should be killed. Or at the very least, punished. Even the darlings of the liberal left, the likes of Tariq Ramadan, don’t deny this. Nor condemn it unequivocally. They speak of “obeying British law” or of having “a moratorium” on such killings until the Caliphate is established.

      But in my view, any Muslim who believes (whether or not in an ‘ideal’ world) that converts ought to be killed or punished, has no right whatsoever to be considered as a member of a religion that should be ‘tolerated’.

      And any belief system, that refuses to allow it’s members to freely leave it is not ‘morally equivalent’ to the other major world religions.

      Unless a mosque committee is willing to openly and unequivocally uphold the right of a Muslim to leave Islam, both here and throughout the world, then that Mosque does not deserve one modicum of respect.

    19. falcao — on 23rd September, 2009 at 9:36 am  

      Reza let me guess you have an agenda?

    20. Reza — on 23rd September, 2009 at 10:48 am  

      falcao asks: “Reza let me guess you have an agenda?”

      “A poll conducted by the Policy Exchange last year suggested that over a third of young British Muslims believe that the death penalty should apply for apostasy.”

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7355515.stm

      Why don’t you think that highlighting this glaring and ugly truth is an agenda worth promoting?

    21. persephone — on 23rd September, 2009 at 1:27 pm  

      Reza

      If there is something substantive you feel needs to be discussed why not put together a coherent post on this & submit it to PP authors as a guest contributor. Otherwise it comes across as sniping or having an agenda.

      This site does cover issues tackling ‘cultural’ & religious practices so a well reasoned post on a subject that I believe has not been covered lately may be used. That would be a more positive way of getting things off your chest.

    22. Reza — on 23rd September, 2009 at 4:50 pm  

      You’re right Persephone

      I know I tend to fly off the handle whenever I hear about mosques “engaging with the community”.

      I’ll knock up an piece for discussion and see if you want to run it.

    23. sonia — on 23rd September, 2009 at 7:39 pm  

      Everyone’s got an agenda (whether that can be defined into fitting into some particular existing-ism is another matter) and I don’t see what’s wrong with realising that/admitting it. its when people pretend they don’t , that its suspicious.

      I agree with Persephone that it would be interesting to read something coherent that Reza has put together. HOwever whether he does or not, he has some good points.

    24. sonia — on 23rd September, 2009 at 7:42 pm  

      Actually I fail to see why a mosque has to engage with anyone or other at all. I don’t like mosques, never did, because it underlined female inferiority for me, being taken there as a mUslim female. But, if people accept that, that’s their business. we can’t blame the mosques can we, if people say that’s a fair enough aspect of their faith, well that’s really the problem for the women/etc. to accept or not.

      Also I hardly see that we can demand mosques start fundraising for some other cause - at the end of the day, it ain’t going to happen, and you can’t force them to. You can’t force a water charity to start raising money for AIDs for example. If you want more holistic and wider partnerships between the various fundraising entities who focus on single interest groups - that is a wider matter. And that applies to lots of people = not just mosques.

      So there are some very silly and unrealistic statements being made here - why i#m not sure, just for the sake of coming up with a list methinks.

      Open days in mosques - heh. well that might be nice for us, but actually, the mosque, unless it wants to, shouldn’t have to do it. Unless its architecturally interesting, (and then could be part of the Open House weekend, the Ismaili institute opens up on that day) what are we going to see in it anyway? You can’t force people to ‘integrate’ in this way - its very infantile. So we all troop to the mosque and have a ‘ooh look’ sort of museum visit - what does that serve? do we really think the mosque is going to operate as per normal on the ‘visit’ day? If a place of worship is a place of worship, well let the people get on with it. This is a very odd sort of thing to come up with - smacks of old style anthropology ‘.

    25. sonia — on 23rd September, 2009 at 7:48 pm  

      But as usual, the crux of the problem: the endless warbling about British values.

      for fucks sake people. What if all the other nations follow suit? we have an A-Z of [country x] values? Do we really think Country z is going to put down bad things as its values? What is the point of this exercise? Certainly not to really ‘attribute’ a list of values - if we are talking about human rights, we are talking about human rights and there is a UN Declaration anyone can refer to . anyone can say it signs up to that common human framework. and that their values are those that have been identified, and if they want to go above and beyond and think of something ‘extra’ that the others haven’t thought 0f - well fair enough then. ENlighten us as to this ‘special’ set of values that are peculiarly [Country x]/British.

      Ridiculous..more international competition all this, more nation-building. its insulting to the global community to come up with British values, french values, american values, and so on and on. What - can we not see they are common HUMAN values? Also, its insulting to British people. Do they need to be told ‘what values’ they hold???? Do we think Brits are so dumb they need to be told/listed what values are what? Only an unholy nexus between politicians and journalists could come up with such ludicrous nation-building efforts. (+ copying the Corporate Team-Building days)

      this so much of an ‘lets make the immigrants’ feel at home exercise, it wants to make me cringe when i see people falling for this group=think shit. Its really Quite Nazi though. Aryan values anyone??

    26. KB Player — on 23rd September, 2009 at 8:31 pm  

      A true British value is to be horribly embarrassed if asked to define what a British value is or to celebrate Britishness. It’s very unBritish to go on about British values.

    27. sonia — on 23rd September, 2009 at 10:55 pm  

      heh good one KB :-)

      actions speak louder than words anyway :-)

      I daresay if we must have a list we’d have to have whinging about the weather at the top. Is this a “value”? what are we calling “values” anyway! valuing life? valuing liberty? Isn’t that what everyone wants to say are their values?

      I mean - look at the so-called “Islamic” values which many an Islamic community will rabbit on about. What’s the point of that? The only people who are fooled are diasporic Muslims (for whom it is a matter of hearsay) and not actual lived reality. Say one thing, do another. Why bother being hypocritical.

      Anyway, we have had enough forced nationalism, it doesn’t get anyone anywhere. It is hardly as if there is a “values” breakdown in society at large here. What point labelling things British? Is this really going to make people feel ‘included’?? Who are we trying to include and who are we excluding? Really one would think the only people on this island are British, what about everybody else? Unless we mean under the term ‘British’ we lump everyone here? I am confused - no one ever explains. are we just trying to unify the welsh, scottish, irish, and english elements into one? what is this exercise actually trying to achieve? who are we trying to convince anyway - “ourselves” - or the French?

      socially enforced “group” pretend jolly happy nationalism and blind abstract patriotism is why the United states of America is so boring to live in, is why its people are so god-damn uncritical that anything in the name of the “State” is pushed through unquestioned (even then they say we don’t want Socialism, what idiots, giving their individual liberties up in the name of the State and thinking they’re not living in Authoritarian Socialism highly disguised) ANd its why i live here rather than there. NOw we want to have the same thing over here? Bollocks, i’ll have to go somewhere else now. Navel-gazing about identity on this level is not only a waste of time, its dangerous.

      Honestly, it is rather funny. Let’s go to the Pub and Discuss what are “British” Values.

    28. damon — on 23rd September, 2009 at 11:03 pm  

      Persephone @ 16

      That was a good article by YAB but her last sentence relating to ‘my people’ contradicted the intent of her article.

      I think her using the term ”my people” is OK, when you guess she has multiple ways of viewing herself.
      She’s a world citizen, a Brit who grew up in Uganda, an Asian, a Muslim and a Shia. A liberal and anti-racist (and perhaps more).

      Having seen the amount of vitriol she got on the Harry’s Place website when they were laughing about the Independent closing down, I feel I like her more.
      But she did surprise me a bit with the way she was so fierce in that article.
      People get called Islamophobes for saying such things.
      Maybe she’s like one of these (so called) self hating Jews who criticise Israel?

      (Which is a stupid term IMO).

    29. persephone — on 23rd September, 2009 at 11:08 pm  

      Anyhow values can change over time so overtly stating them can defeat the object.

      For example the stiff upper lip, british bulldog spirit– seems to have waned given the ease with which many rely on and continue to exist upon the welfare state.

    30. sonia — on 23rd September, 2009 at 11:21 pm  

      this is all a waste of time -seriously those of you who think this project should be run on the nation-state level, are seriously blinkered. Do it on the world collective, consciousness level.

      the problems which people seem to be trying to solve by raising this re-appropriation of the “British” identity - are there and valid. But it’s foolish to think there ever really was ‘one’ identity anyway - it was much more fragmented as much as this new one will be. its all very well for some ‘outsider’ to turn up and say ‘oh you were all OLD british, now you must be NEW British’.. Eh? is it that simple?

      anyway governments have always tried to push identity onto people- and ought to be resisted.

    31. sonia — on 23rd September, 2009 at 11:27 pm  

      People seem to confuse values and identity anyway. this is all a load of rot and i shall run like the wind if i hear more mention of Britishness. I spent my whole bloody life escaping categorisation and i refuse to have it foisted on me now i have arrived in this so-called liberal bastion. This is just like My Momma saying I must be more “bengali”. she couldn’t have said that if there were a “loose” definition of being Bengali.

    32. sonia — on 23rd September, 2009 at 11:33 pm  

      But what can we expect from politicians and journalists anyway??? Political parties have vested interests, we know what governments want : to control their population, and journalists these days - show very poor critical skills and understanding of basic human and group pscyhology. Certainly YAB has written a very shallow paper - she can’t understand much social pscyhology, or much about group dynamics if she thinks you can produce a new british identity out of a hat, and one that the Lib Dems of all people - will be able to champion. I mean - goodness, they do a great job of branding themselves don’t they???! Hilarious.

      Moving towards inclusive societies: requires fewer labels, my dear YAB and everyone else out there. Not more, “new” ones. God!! Really sometimes people are SO thick.

    33. persephone — on 23rd September, 2009 at 11:37 pm  

      Reza

      “ mosques “engaging with the community”. “

      Pity that they did not engage with your letter. Perhaps they only see people who do not seek to challenge or question them as being the real community.

      One solution is to start your way of engaging with the community – that prevents them from having the monoploy on how and what to engage. I see blogs like PP as a way of doing that.

    34. persephone — on 23rd September, 2009 at 11:41 pm  

      Damon @28

      Its part of a continuum that traverses towards my people vs all the others.

      So when ‘the others’ enter or influence the enclave of ‘my people’ it comes out as HBV, apostasy, segregation, FGM and the veiling of women. Thats why I am averse to it.

      I can see why she may have included these words as she has been criticised for being a traitor ie not behaving in a way prescriptive of ‘my people’. So yes all kudos to her for making a stand. But as Sonia describes the methods do not stack up

    35. filthy kafur — on 28th March, 2010 at 10:21 am  

      Why….. when one stands up against the Islamisation of the UK do they have to be “Right wing” or “Facist”.

      Im not a Fascist but I certainly am completely against us one day becoming an Islamic state, or filling the government up with Muslim MPs that will surely bring about that transition!

      I applaud Chinese, Dutch, french, Hindu or ANY other race or religion in my government…so CANT be fascist…but I do not want ISLAM to run my life..to start with im gay, so thats a death sentence!!

      Islam is EVIL………… pure Evil, its not based on religious love for God, its based on TERROR of a God and the implementation of his terror to rule.

    36. dirty hetero — on 28th March, 2010 at 12:47 pm  

      filthy kafur

      “Why….. when one stands up against the Islamisation of the UK do they have to be “Right wing” or “Facist”.”

      Because only right-wing loons believe there is an “Islamisation” of the UK

      Its like saying “Why….. when one stands up against the homosexualisation of the UK do they have to be “Right wing” or “homophobic”.”

      “Im not a Fascist but I certainly am completely against us one day becoming an Islamic state, or filling the government up with Muslim MPs that will surely bring about that transition!”

      So your not a facsict but you believe in swivel eyed conspiracy theories that an ethnic minority of less than 3% is going to take over the UK (how?) and oppose people being elected MPs because they belong to a particular religion.

      Imagine if someone said :

      “Im not a homophobe but I certainly am completely against us one day becoming a homosexual state, or filling the government up with Gay MPs that will surely bring about that transition!”

      Would you consider that facistic?

      “I applaud Chinese, Dutch, french, Hindu or ANY other race or religion in my government…so CANT be fascist…”

      Hahaha. Classic. Its OK because you restrict your hate to just one group. So what if someone said “I applaud all groups being part of society except gays”. Would that be fascist?

      Sorry to bring up facts, but if one looks at the perpetrators of homophobic attacks in the UK virtually none of them are Muslims. Presumably “dirty kafur” believes the evil Moslems are waiting till they seize power before they enact their attacks on gays.

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