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  • SIOE condemned by rabbis


    by Rumbold
    9th December, 2009 at 10:48 am    

    SIOE’s (Stop Islamisation of Europe) plans for a demostration outside a Harrow mosque on Sunday has been condemned by a number of local rabbis, who criticised calls by SIOE for Jews waving the Israeli flag to turn up:

    In an attack on “those whose only purpose is to spread hatred and fear”, they wrote: “We share the desire of the Muslim community of Harrow to respect our mutual traditions, to learn from each other’s cultures and ways of life, and to live together in peace.”

    The rabbis represent Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, Middlesex New Synagogue, Harrow and Wembley Progressive Synagogue, and Kol Chai Hatch End Jewish Community.


                  Post to del.icio.us


    Filed in: Muslim,Race politics






    41 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. pickles

      Blog post:: SIOE condemned by rabbis http://bit.ly/5j9lRj


    2. Tom Griffin

      Pickled Politics: SIOE demo condemned by rabbis http://bit.ly/7mPwj2?




    1. bananabrain — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:00 am  

      it's also been condemned roundly by the cst and good on everyone concerned for not falling into this idea that jews must be automatically anti-islam.

      b'shalom

      bananabrain

    2. Reza — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:32 am  

      How altruistic. But not surprising.

      Judaism and Christianity are inherently altruistic ideologies. How many times have we seen Jewish and Christian individuals, religious leaders and organisations defending Muslims. Defending the plight of Arabs living in the occupied territories.

      It is ironic however, that there appears to be a lack of reciprocity from Muslim individuals, religious leaders and organisations when it comes to defending the freedoms of Jews and Christians in the Muslim majority world. This lack of reciprocity is apparent from Muslims living in the West and more so from those throughout the Muslim-majority world.

      One of the attributes of altruists is having one (higher) standard for themselves and another (much lower) standard for others.

      Altruists see this as a virtue. A strength. Nepotistic Muslims see it as a weakness, and proof of the inferiority of the others’ belief systems.

      If only we could hear Muslims demonstrating such altruism.

      We won’t.

      Anyone who understands Islam understands that this is ideological.

    3. mangles — on 9th December, 2009 at 3:36 am  

      Excellent news and highly commendable of the Rabbis and Jewish community to put religious differences aside and come out in condemnation of these hate mongers.

      Rab Rakha!

    4. marvin — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:00 am  

      Reza,

      If only we could hear Muslims demonstrating such altruism.

      Many do. Muslim groups in this country are increasingly condemning other Muslim extremist groups. This should be applauded by ex-Muslims such as yourself. You need to praise progress Reza otherwise you'll never get anywhere. Your constant doomsaying is counter-productive. Praise the good, the progress, and chastise wrong, where you see it, but be specific to guilty Muslim individuals or groups.

    5. jamestheVIII — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:40 am  

      The SIOE are bunch of idiots with plenty of time on their hands it seems muslim bashing is current fashion of right wing polticians and media outlets which i find disturbing because they often go unchallenged. Many of the claims these little hitler groups make are exaggerated or more often outright lies.

      We saw similar tactics used against the irish in the 1980's and black community during 1970's.

    6. Reza — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:40 am  

      Marvin

      You’re misunderstanding the subtlety of Islam.

      It is only ‘Islamic’ for Muslim groups here to condemn the so-called ‘extremist’ groups in the UK.

      In Britain, Muslims are able to practice their religion freely. Under these circumstances, Islamic law is clear: A covenant is deemed to exist and Muslims should obey the laws of this land and must not make war on the British people in Britain.

      Many Muslim scholars will also condemn suicide bombings (particularly among the Shia) and the targeting of non-combatants as being un-Islamic.

      A common mistake made by ‘Islamo-sceptics’ is to assume that people like the 7/7 bombers are somehow supported by Islamic law. They are not.

      However, it is considered ‘Islamic’ by many reputable scholars for British Muslims to leave Britain and fight British soldiers in countries where a Jihad has been called.

      So don’t let the condemnation of ‘extremist’ groups fool you. This is not ‘altruism’ at work. This is Islam.

      And that’s all very good.

      However, you will have to look very hard to find any prominent Muslim groups or individuals that promote equal freedoms for non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries. Because here, Islam is also clear. Non Muslims are not ‘equal’, (although Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians have specific rights and protections).

      Similarly, the silence from prominent Muslim organisations and individuals regarding the lack of freedom to change religion for Muslims living in the Muslim majority world is deafening.

      And again, Islam is clear on this. Apostasy is a crime. Not merely a ‘sin’. A crime, ultimately punishable by death.

      Unfortunately, naive and dare I say gullible non-Muslims, hear the condemnation of suicide bombers and home-grown terrorists as demonstrating a ‘moderate’ and tolerant version of Islam. It is not. It is simply Islam, as interpreted by the majority of prominent Islamic scholars.

      If you or anyone has evidence of a prominent Muslim organisation or individual in the UK defending the rights of non-Muslims and converts in the Muslim-majority countries then I would be very interested to see it.

    7. Stephen Gash — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:41 am  

      The CST was completely deceitful. After a long telephone conversation the CST conceded that it should publish why the skull-mosque cartoon advertising the Harrow demo was chosen. The CST person correctly stated that Erdogan was imprisoned for reading the poem. However, the point I made about him being voted into power AFTER his release was not mentioned in the article.
      The rabbis have accused us of “outrageous lies” without referring to any particular lie.
      The link to SIOE's appeal to Jews (who are asked to come to all of our demonstrations, along with Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, seculars etc incidentally) so readers can choose which are lies and which are facts.
      We have had alot of support from Jews especially after Peter Oborne's 'Dispatches' programme.
      I see another multiracial “racist” group has started called “Former Muslims United” so SIOE is not alone in being a multiracial “racist” organisation (not that it ever was).

    8. Stephen Gash — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:46 am  

      The CST was completely deceitful. After a long telephone conversation the CST conceded that it should publish why the skull-mosque cartoon advertising the Harrow demo was chosen. The CST person correctly stated that Erdogan was imprisoned for reading the poem. However, the point I made about him being voted into power AFTER his release was not mentioned in the article.
      The rabbis have accused us of “outrageous lies” without referring to any particular lie.
      The link to SIOE's appeal to Jews (who are asked to come to all of our demonstrations, along with Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, seculars etc incidentally) so readers can choose which are lies and which are facts.
      We have had alot of support from Jews especially after Peter Oborne's 'Dispatches' programme.
      I see another multiracial “racist” group has started called “Former Muslims United” so SIOE is not alone in being a multiracial “racist” organisation (not that it ever was).

    9. jamestheVIII — on 9th December, 2009 at 4:49 am  

      Like is said previously the SIOE are bunch of right wing idiots with plenty of time on there hands see above!

    10. bananabrain — on 9th December, 2009 at 5:08 am  

      If you or anyone has evidence of a prominent Muslim organisation or individual in the UK defending the rights of non-Muslims and converts in the Muslim-majority countries then I would be very interested to see it.

      why, so you could quibble about whether they're really “prominent” or not? get over yourself, reza. sometimes it's important to do the right thing without demanding reciprocity in advance.

      The CST was completely deceitful.

      that must be why it enjoys such excellent relations with the law enforcement community and the rest of the community and has a track record as one of the most effective anti-racism organisations in the country.

      We have had alot of support from Jews especially after Peter Oborne's 'Dispatches' programme.

      care to quantify that? or qualify it in any way over and above mere assertion? wouldn't your assertion above about the cst have sat well in oborne's script?

      SIOE is not alone in being a multiracial “racist” organisation (not that it ever was).

      nothing “deceitful” about that, is there? i do love it when organisations try to get jews on board to prove they're not racist, as if jews are never racist, stupid fools.

      b'shalom

      bananabrain

    11. Reza — on 9th December, 2009 at 5:25 am  

      Stephen

      “We have had a lot of support from Jews…”

      This doesn’t surprise me. I sometimes attend a South London Synagogue where a good friend of mine is the cantor. Most of the Jewish people I speak to recognise the danger they face from an increasing Muslim demographic.

      You may be aware of this:

      (Financial Times, November 22-23, 2003). “The European Union's racism watchdog has shelved a report on anti-Semitism because the study concluded Muslims and pro-Palestinian groups were behind many of the incidents it examined.”

      However, it is unlikely that many Jewish people will turn up at your demonstrations. My Jewish friends say that it’s “difficult” for Jews to openly criticise Muslims given their history of persecution and the situation in Israel.

      In any case, a large Jewish presence will simply convince the already paranoid and conspiracy-prone Muslim population that the escalating anti-Islamic sentiment throughout Europe is being driven by powerful Zionist forces.

      I heard this joke in Eilat a couple of years ago:

      Old man Chaim is sitting on a bus reading “Falastin” (a pro-Hamas newspaper). A couple of passengers turn to him and say: “Hey, old man, what are you doing reading that garbage?” Chaim replies: “Whenever I read the Jewish papers it’s bad news. All these people hating us and wanting to kill us. But when I read this it makes me happy. It says here we rule the world!”

      Good luck with the demo.

    12. bensix — on 9th December, 2009 at 5:57 am  

      Amusingly, Reza's gone from dismissing the Rabbis concerns as part of Judiasm's inherent altruism* to declaring that SIOE's “support from Jews” “doesn't surprise him“.

      [*] I thought, by the way, Reza, that you didn't like assumptions of motive. Is that only when they spring from people you disagree with?

      Hi Stephen,

      Is this still a fair summation of your views?

      We do not believe in moderate Muslims. We believe there are Muslims and those who want to leave Islam. Some Muslims are more active than others, but all Muslims want sharia law and Islam to rule the world. Moderate Muslims are those who watch non-Muslims being killed, but still say Allah u Akbar when the killing is happening.

      Therefore, we obviously oppose Islamists because Islamists are merely Muslims, and Muslims are Islamists.

    13. Reza — on 9th December, 2009 at 5:57 am  

      bananabrain

      “…why, so you could quibble about whether they're really “prominent” or not? get over yourself, reza. sometimes it's important to do the right thing without demanding reciprocity in advance.”

      Spoken like a true altruist. That’s one of the reasons I have so much respect for Judaism. In common with Christianity, your ideology believes that decency will inevitably be repaid with decency.

      However, your history shows that this is not the case.

      As I said before, altruism is simply not seen as a virtue in the Muslim world. And any tolerance and respect shown to Muslims by non-Muslims in the West is not seen as something Muslims should be grateful for. It is seen as a divine right. Islam is, after all, the most uncompromising and supremacist among the world religions.

      As all history and current events demonstrate.

      “Prominent” is important in this context. Because clearly, individual Muslims have the capacity to be as decent or intolerant as anyone. However, we can only trust Islam when organisations or individuals representing large numbers of Muslims demonstrate ‘decency’. Currently, few are doing so.

      Therefore it is only right to treat this ideology with suspicion.

      Doesn’t the Medrash teach, “Whoever is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind.”

      And one definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again each time expecting a different result.

      Think about it.

    14. marvin — on 9th December, 2009 at 6:16 am  

      Reza.

      I do not misunderstand. I am an atheist, and find the Islamic belief system antithetical to virtually all of my values and beliefs, apart from the one about if you kill one person it's as if you've killed all of mankind. That's nice. Shame it's surrounded by fire & brimstone. I have nothing against ordinary Muslims. They are just people. And of course 95% of Muslims will have been born in to the religion.

      But you are comparing the Islamic world to the Christendom, which if you look at it timescales, “we've” had a 700 year head start on the path to science & reason. Do you think in 700 years little will have changed in the Islamic world?

      I understand your crusade, to enlighten, so to speak, others on the nature of Islamic thinking, but, generally speaking, most people are quite aware of the problems. Does it really help to keep banging on about it? And why do you insist that all Muslims as direct agents of Allah and his Prophet? Are all Catholics direct agents of the Pope?

    15. Stephen Gash — on 9th December, 2009 at 6:50 am  

      Like I said, left wing and right wing have no meaning anymore. Is stoning a woman to death left wing or right wing? I'll never get an answer.

      If all you can do is bandy insults about then I suggest you pack it in. You've obviously got too much time on yours hands and too little of substance between your ears.

    16. Reza — on 9th December, 2009 at 7:00 am  

      Marvin

      “…apart from the one about if you kill one person it's as if you've killed all of mankind.”

      With the greatest respect to you, this statement alone demonstrates just how easy it is for a non-Muslim to misunderstand the subtleties within Islam.

      Surat 5.32 of the Qur’an actually states:

      “…if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind…”

      So in effect it doesn’t prohibit the killing of a person. It prohibits the killing of an ‘innocent’ person. The next time you hear a 'moderate' Muslim scholar or spokesman ‘condemn’ an act of killing, listen for the caveat “innocent”.

      “Innocent” is a purely subjective term. Who is innocent? It is believed that before planning the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden sought advice from Islamic scholars as to whether the targets could be considered as “innocent”.

      Such is the importance of this caveat within Islam.

      And the significance of these subtleties are routinely played-down by many Muslims.

    17. Ravi Naik — on 9th December, 2009 at 7:10 am  

      As I said before, altruism is simply not seen as a virtue in the Muslim world. And any tolerance and respect shown to Muslims by non-Muslims in the West is not seen as something Muslims should be grateful for. It is seen as a divine right. Islam is, after all, the most uncompromising and supremacist among the world religions…

      And one definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again each time expecting a different result.

      If altruism is a virtue, why are you advocating against it when it comes to Muslims to the point of calling it stupid? Perhaps like the Muslims in your head, you feel that altruism is a weakness. The irony of you criticising others for something you are actually advocating.

      Let me tell you how it works, Reza. We are not going to lower our standards because of what happens outside Britain, or because of what you think goes in the minds of Muslims. Our society is multicultural and secular and should safeguard the beliefs of every individual. If Muslims, Christians or Atheists are unhappy because other groups have that freedom, then I say, though. If people actually bothered with their own lives instead of the lives of others, there would not be a problem, now would it?

    18. marvin — on 9th December, 2009 at 7:15 am  

      I believe it's near a violent verse too if I remember correctly.

      But the fact is you and I tend to know a lot more about Quranic verses because we've looked at them, whereas the majority of Muslims in this country really haven't analysed or read much of the Quran. When I used to work with Muslims I could help but pose some of the obvious questions, but more often than not they did not realise, or in some cases did not even believe me when I asked about death for apostasy etc! The point is that there's not much point holding up the Quran to ordinary Muslims in the UK, you probably know more verses than they do. Being a Muslim is normally a learned experience, perhaps going to the mosque on Fridays, avoiding alcohol and pork, saying Salaam etc. Few will have studied the Quran in much depth… So attacks on these cultural Muslims for what they believe is crazy.

      40% or so said they'd like sharia law in the UK. I'd wager a fair few of those, just like the general public aren't too bright or educated, and quite a few do not have a realistic view of what this would entail. Wouldn't you have to agree Reza?

    19. bananabrain — on 9th December, 2009 at 7:40 am  

      Spoken like a true altruist.

      rubbish. in the long run, this is not just about being nice to others, it is also not about just benefiting us, but it is about what ultimately benefits everyone. i wouldn't call that altruistic.

      Doesn’t the Medrash teach, “Whoever is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind.”

      the midrash teaches a lot of things, including that adam was 600 feet tall and covered in spikes and that the mountains poked into caves to kill the amalekites - you cannot take midrashic statements as authoritative statements, merely as “asmakhta” - support for a position. we are entitled to take any reasonable aggadic position we wish, it's not a matter of halakhah.

      And one definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again each time expecting a different result.

      what, like you banging on about how terrifying islam is and how i ought to be scared of muslims and so on? yes, perhaps.

      I understand your crusade, to enlighten, so to speak, others on the nature of Islamic thinking, but, generally speaking, most people are quite aware of the problems. Does it really help to keep banging on about it? And why do you insist that all Muslims as direct agents of Allah and his Prophet? Are all Catholics direct agents of the Pope?

      well, this is the thing, marvin, reza appears to be convinced that all muslims are direct agents of omar bakri mohammed, which is more or less equivalent of all catholics being direct agents of mel gibson's dad. it's paranoid and reductionist. i am well aware of the structural issues of ideology in islamic thought and i have no intention of accepting dhimmi status or the reintroduction of slavery, but i hardly think taking the statements of ignorant beardy bigots as Irreducibly Representative Of The True Beliefs Of Mr Khan Down The Shop If He Were Ever To Do Some Reading is really conducive, in the short, medium or long term, to peace, dialogue and understanding. the issue for me is education - by letting saudi arabia and iran finance islamic education for the last couple of decades we have created a monstrous perversion of islam in their ideological image. that can be undone, but not by demonising and marginalising muslims, but rather by appealing to the good stuff in islamic history and thought. less sayyid qutb, hassan al-banna and khomeini and more ibn rushd, ibn sina, al-ghazali, ibn arabi, al-farabi, rumi and all those people jai keeps mentioning in india. personally, i think stephen gash would benefit from intravenous injections of nusrat fateh ali khan until he lightens up.

      b'shalom

      bananabrain

    20. Ravi Naik — on 9th December, 2009 at 8:06 am  

      Innocent” is a purely subjective term. Who is innocent? It is believed that before planning the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden sought advice from Islamic scholars as to whether the targets could be considered as “innocent”.

      This is the sort of argument that I think even Mel Philips would think is ridiculous… but then again, I might be wrong.

    21. Bill Corr — on 9th December, 2009 at 8:42 am  

      REZA at 1.25 pm [above] referred to an EU scandal which drtopped down a MEMORY HOLE of infinite depth

      Here's the story as I remember it:

      Commissioned on the basis of their impeccable reputation, researchers at Berlin Technical University were sent out to report of racist / xenophobic attacks within the EU and came back with a documented hard factual report which included plenty of assaults on Jews by Muslim youths …

      The EU commissars howled wirth dismay and told the researchers to rewrite it so that most reported nastiness was being done by neo-Nazi skinheads - a version suitable to be broadcast on the BBC and on EURONEWS, in fact - and the researchers staunchly refused and stood by the report as they had written it so the report was shelved but not before a few 'samizdat' copies had escaped and a very few honest journalists told the tale aloud.

    22. Sunny H — on 9th December, 2009 at 8:49 am  

      Lol, why am I surprised Reza sounds like Stephen Gash?

      Stephen - you should encourage Reza to come to your event! Get him to demonstrate! Show that he's not just an armchair warrior.

    23. Jai — on 9th December, 2009 at 9:57 am  

      personally, i think stephen gash would benefit from intravenous injections of nusrat fateh ali khan until he lightens up.

      That's actually a very good point.

      Stephen Gash,

      Do you believe the following statements attributed to the SIOE are applicable to the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ?

      We do not believe in moderate Muslims. We believe there are Muslims and those who want to leave Islam. Some Muslims are more active than others, but all Muslims want sharia law and Islam to rule the world. Moderate Muslims are those who watch non-Muslims being killed, but still say Allah u Akbar when the killing is happening…..Therefore, we obviously oppose Islamists because Islamists are merely Muslims, and Muslims are Islamists.

      In a nutshell, are you claiming that the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was an “Islamist” ?

    24. Bill Corr — on 9th December, 2009 at 9:59 am  

      Here is one version of the Tale As Told By Reza:

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?…

    25. Jai — on 9th December, 2009 at 10:00 am  

      Stephen Gash,

      Further to my question above, some answers to the following queries previously addressed to you would also be constructive:

      Your statement:

      Hindus tell me the Taj Mahal is in fact a Hindu temple that was converted into a mausoleum.

      (Source: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6595#co…)

      My subsequent response, from the same thread:

      There are over 800 million Hindus in the world, the vast majority of them in India itself. Based on spurious alleged evidence which actually has no credibility amongst respected mainstream Indian academics, a very tiny fraction of them believe what you have stated. Perhaps you are unaware that the rest of the global Hindu population does not, and within India, the type of Hindus you are referring to are ridiculed as a laughing stock and a lunatic fringe group by the majority of that country's Hindu population.

      Do you personally believe that the Taj Mahal is actually a converted Hindu temple ?

      I am not extreme, I am just more knowledgable than most non-Muslims.

      Are you claiming that you are more knowledgeable about Islam and Muslims in relation to the Indian subcontinent than Guru Gobind Singh was ?

      See: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6688

      Are you also claiming that you are more knowledgeable about Islam and Muslims in relation to the Indian subcontinent than Guru Hargobind was ?

      See: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/6771

      Regarding your other references, history is constantly re-written. Historians have their own agendas every bit as much as I do and every bit as the Taqiyya merchants in the mosques do.

      I am just more knowledgable than most non-Muslims

      Finally, are you also claiming that you are more knowledgeable about Islam and Muslims in relation to the Indian subcontinent than the British historian William Dalrymple is ? And are you accusing William Dalrymple of lying in the various books & published articles he writes about the subject ?

    26. Reza — on 10th December, 2009 at 12:51 am  

      Bill Corr

      “Here is one version of the Tale As Told By Reza:”

      http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?…

      You'll never get any acknowledgement, never mind discussion from lefties and multiculturalists regarding dirty little truths such as these.

      If they can't be denied they’ll be ignored.

    27. Reza — on 10th December, 2009 at 1:06 am  

      “Lol, why am I surprised Reza sounds like Stephen Gash?”

      See, when an issue becomes complicated, you don’t seem to be able to get your head around it. Stephen and I actually differ on this issue. I accept that this is difficult for some people to understand.

      Particularly those people who see the world in one-dimension: left or right; multiculturalist or racist; open-borders immigration or BNP bigotry.

      “Stephen - you should encourage Reza to come to your event! Get him to demonstrate! Show that he's not just an armchair warrior.”

      I wish Stephen well, and have offered financial support to his group in the past. I spoke to him a couple of years ago, when the organisation was first established in the UK and raised some of my concerns then.

      The fundamental point on which I disagree with Stephen is that the main danger we face is from the ideology of Islam and certainly the interpretation of Islam that is becoming the accepted wisdom in British mosques and among organisations representing “The Vast Majority of Moderate Muslims”.

      I disagree that Individual Muslims are necessarily a threat, although I recognise that they are being used as “ballast” by the forces of Islamification.

      I have ideas on ways of dealing with this, but suspect they’ll be too complicated for lefties to comprehend.

      So I’ll leave you pretending everything is okay and the future is going to be just peachy.

      And sniping at anyone who argues otherwise.

    28. Ravi Naik — on 10th December, 2009 at 3:00 am  

      I have ideas on ways of dealing with this, but suspect they’ll be too complicated for lefties to comprehend.

      Actually I get it Reza. Both you and Stephen live in Mel Philip's world, and most of us don't. And every day you feel the need to share that paranoid world of yours to us. If you need psychotherapy, there are professionals to help you.

      As far as I know, besides ranting about Islam, you never attempted to say what you would do about the things you rant about if you were in power. I just have trouble understanding how you differ from the BNP, and this would be a good opportunity for you to make a case. Please, lay down a series of actions that would solve the problems of your world using bullet points.

    29. douglas clark — on 10th December, 2009 at 3:26 am  

      Ravi,

      Are you sure you want either Steven or Reza to use bullet points?

    30. douglas clark — on 10th December, 2009 at 4:29 am  

      To paraphrase Steven Gash,

      We do not believe in moderate Catholics. We believe there are Catholics and those who want to leave Catholicism. Some Catholics are more active than others, but all Catholics want Christian law and the Pope to rule the world. Moderate Catholics are those who watch non-Catholics being killed, but still say the rosary when the killing is happening…..Therefore, we obviously oppose Catholics because Opus Dei are merely Catholics, and Catholics are Opus Dei.

      Make sense?

      Err.

      No.

    31. Reza — on 10th December, 2009 at 5:01 am  

      Ravi

      This is a huge subject, but I’ll make a start on the basis that you may actually set aside your default hostility and try to think about the ideas I propose.

      The first thing we need to do is agree on and define which interpretation of Islam is the version that our society accepts as representing ‘moderate’ Islam. The Islam that deserves tolerance and respect. The Islam that is appropriate to ‘value’ and ‘celebrate’ and what people like you would describe as “enriching the wonderful mosaic of our happy, harmonious and diverse society”.

      Now everyone, both non-Muslims and “The Vast Majority of Moderate Muslims” accepts that fanatics such as Anjem Choudhary do not represent ‘moderate’ Islam. You’ll agree that his version of Islam doesn’t ‘enrich’ our society. It doesn’t deserve ‘tolerance’ or ‘respect’.

      But the existence of people like Choudhary create problems that many people like you fail to see.

      He is a convenient bogyman. He simplistically exemplifies ‘extreme’ Islam. And this leads naive multiculturalists to the utterly spurious conclusion that every Muslim who doesn’t subscribe to Choudhary’s world-view must be ‘moderate’. This leads multiculturalists to bury their heads in the sand and stop asking questions. They have their ‘extreme’ Islam. Our society only needs to counter Choudhary’s views and everything will be just peachy. And what’s more, that view is supported by only a small minority of Muslims, so countering isn’t even a big problem.

      That approach is no less stupid than saying that anyone who doesn’t support the mass deportation of ethnic minorities isn’t a racist.

      Now what steps are necessary to define the version of Islam that is acceptable to British?

      Firstly we need to encourage that in order to be recognised by the State, any organisations that represents Muslims, Islamic schools, mosques and imams subscribe to a declaration that puts down acceptable values for our society. (I understand that moral relativists would have problems with singling out Islam, so we’d probably have to do the same with all religious organisations).

      These values would reflect our laws and cover areas such as the equality of women, tolerance towards homosexuals (whilst obviously understanding the right to consider it a sin), the acceptance of the supremacy of British law, respect for secular democracy and the freedom of people to change their religion or marry whomever they wish to marry.

      The next stage would be to appoint State-recognised Muslim leaders (such as in France, as well as most of the Muslim-majority countries). A Mufti for the Sunnis, a Grand Ayatollah for the Shia and appropriate State-recognised leaders for the other divisions or sects.

      Each of these leaders will have subscribed to the values above.

      Mosques and Islamic institutions would operate under the direction of these leaders who would be responsible for allowing the appointment as well as forcing the dismissal of imams. They would sanction the building of mosques and have an input on the curricula of Islamic schools.

      Another important step would be to prevent the importation of ‘extreme’ versions of Islam from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. Currently, these countries are active in funding the building of mosques and provide imams and mullahs into this country.

      Similarly, the funding of mosque building and provision of imams would be banned from organisations considered to promote what has been defined as the ‘extreme’ interpretation of Islam.

      I don’t believe that it would be particularly difficult to legislate against organisations in countries that prevent freedom of religion being allowed to send money and people to propagate their version of Islam in the UK.

      This won’t solve all of the problems. Obviously people like Choudhary will refuse to accept a State-recognised Mufti. I suspect many Muslims might.

      However, these groups will no longer be able to describe themselves as mainstream British Muslims. We have many odd-ball and extreme Christian groups operating outside the Church of England, the Catholic Church etc. It doesn’t create problems.

      Our society doesn’t feel under pressure to accommodate their demands as representing ‘Christianity’. We can ask our recognised Christian leaders who will confirm it doesn’t. And we treat those demands appropriately: As coming from a tiny and unrepresentative cult or sect.

      A practical example:

      When a Muslim ‘demands’ an ‘extreme’ or unreasonable accommodation and claims that it is part of Islam, instead of the Daily Mail having a fit and employers feeling intimidated by ‘discrimination’ laws, instead of costly and socially divisive court cases like this:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R_%28Begum%29_v_He…

      we ask the Mufti, “is this requirement part of Islam?”

      And if he says “no”, we reply, “no, you can’t rely on our ‘freedom of religion’ laws to fight for this accommodation as it is not part of the religion of Islam as recognised in this country”.

      It works to some extent in France. It could work here.

    32. Sunny H — on 10th December, 2009 at 5:35 am  

      I wish Stephen well, and have offered financial support to his group in the past. I spoke to him a couple of years ago, when the organisation was first established in the UK and raised some of my concerns then.

      Thanks Reza - that's all I needed to know.

    33. Bill Corr — on 10th December, 2009 at 5:38 am  

      Readers ay have missed this.

      Since all talk of x million expellees from Palestine and y million from Islamic countries [i.e. Arab lands plus Iran] in the direction of what is now Israel, the realities of postwar Europe merit reflection:

      http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/dec2009/stei-…

    34. Ravi Naik — on 10th December, 2009 at 5:50 am  

      The first thing we need to do is agree on and define which interpretation of Islam is the version that our society accepts as representing ‘moderate’ Islam. The Islam that deserves tolerance and respect. The Islam that is appropriate to ‘value’ and ‘celebrate’ and what people like you would describe as “enriching the wonderful mosaic of our happy, harmonious and diverse society”.

      I have no idea why you think we need this sort of thing. I consider people like you extremists because of your disgraceful contempt against non-whites and immigrants in Britain (see race replacement rant) and Islamophobic comments. I also consider those who oppose gay rights and marriage as extremists. But I would never go so far as to want the government or society to dictate in strict terms what is moderate and what is extremist, because I believe that goes against freedom of speech, and this is away for society and government to censor people. The discussion of what values are moderate and extreme is something that we - as a society - need to have in every generation, and writing things on a stone is not the way a healthy society which values freedom of speech should go on about doing business.

      These values would reflect our laws and cover areas such as the equality of women, tolerance towards homosexuals (whilst obviously understanding the right to consider it a sin), the acceptance of the supremacy of British law, respect for secular democracy and the freedom of people to change their religion or marry whomever they wish to marry.

      Catholics do see homosexual behaviour as a sin, see sex outside marriage as a sin, and are against all types of abortions. These values are very different from the mainstream but I do not see you whining about them. Your list is specifically targeted for the people you do not like. I do believe every group has the right to their own values, and that includes those that we consider racists, bigots and intolerant.

      The next stage would be to appoint State-recognised Muslim leaders

      That is not totally unreasonable. But I believe that in the long run is a bad idea. I think we are far better when religion is not mixed with government, and one is not influenced by the other, which is something your idea would lead to.

      When a Muslim ‘demands’ an ‘extreme’ or unreasonable accommodation and claims that it is part of Islam, instead of the Daily Mail having a fit and employers feeling intimidated by ‘discrimination’ laws

      In a liberal democracy, every individual has the right to make demands, and you should not be paranoid when Muslims do it. If there is a compelling reason for why we have certain laws (like health issues), then they should be explained clearly and it should override any religious or non-religious demand. In any other cases, I would expect a tolerant society to accommodate that.

      I do think that even though a decision to make a Muslim (or a non-white) more comfortable in this country does not affect you in any way, nevertheless a part of you dies inside.

    35. Reza — on 10th December, 2009 at 6:52 am  

      Ravi

      -“I have no idea why you think we need this sort of thing.”

      Okay, Ravi, will you define for me, what is a moderate Muslim or moderate Islam?

      Do you think that it is appropriate to ‘respect’ or ‘value’ the religious opinions of someone who believes that, in an ‘ideal’ world religious converts, homosexuals and people who have sex outside of marriage should be killed?

      I’m not talking of ‘sin’ here. Not a belief that these issues will damn someone in an afterlife. I’m speaking of the support for the punishment of these people in an ‘ideal’ world and in other countries. Is it appropriate for someone with those views to be running a state-funded school?

      -“I consider you an extremist because of your disgraceful contempt against non-whites and immigrants in Britain (see race replacement rant) and Islamophobic comments.”

      So you do have views on what is ‘extremist’?

      -“I also consider those who oppose gay rights and marriage as extremists. But I would never go so far as to want the government or society to dictate in strict terms what is moderate and what is extremist, because I believe that goes against freedom of speech, and this is away for society and government to censor people.”

      I agree. However, the issue here is what is acceptable in our state institutions. It would be reasonable to demand that schools do not teach opposition to gay rights. Indeed this is probably covered by our laws.

      -“The discussion of what values are moderate and extreme is something that we - as a society - need to have in every generation, and writing things on a stone prevents that sort of discussion.”

      Nothing would be written in stone. Definitions would change over time to reflect our laws.

      “Catholics do see homosexual behaviour as a sin, see sex outside marriage as a sin, and are against all types of abortions. These values are very different from the mainstream but I do not see you whining about them. Your list is specifically targeted for the people you do not like. I do believe every group has the right to their own values, and that includes those that we consider racists, bigots and intolerant.”

      I have no issue about people believing that something is a ‘sin’. That doesn’t make one an extremist. However, if a Catholic leader was seen to advocate laws that punished homosexuality and sex outside of marriage, or advocated or supported violence against abortion doctors in other countries, then they would be an ‘extremist’ and as such they would have no place running schools or preaching in churches.

      A Muslim leader or organisation that believes a convert will burn in hell for eternity is not an ‘extremist’. However, if they supported the execution or imprisonment of converts in other countries or wished for that to be the case here then they would be an ‘extremist’.

      “That is not totally unreasonable. But I believe that in the long run is a bad idea. I think we are far better when religion is not mixed with government, and one is not influenced by the other, which is something your idea would lead to.”

      I am not suggesting that religion should be mixed with government. These would not be ‘State-appointed’ leaders. They would be ‘State-recognised’. And as I said, this happens in France and throughout the Muslim majority world. The State must have criteria for recognising a view as representative of Islam. Otherwise, we are left in the current situation where we have self-appointed ‘Muslim leaders’ funded and supported by countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia.

      -“In a liberal democracy, every individual has the right to make demands, and you should not be paranoid when Muslims do it.”

      Yes, every individual should have the right to make demands. However, those demands currently carry a great deal of extra weight when the ‘demander’ claims a religious motivation.

      There have been cases where the demands of self-declared ‘Jedis’ have been laughed away, because it is not recognised as a religion. However, as an employer, I would feel justifiably intimidated if a Muslim employee made a demand, which I felt was unreasonable, and claimed a religious basis. They would currently be able to rely on discrimination laws. I have practical experience of this:

      A little while ago we interviewed a Muslim man who refused to shake hands with women or to look them in the face. Regardless of whether you “expect a tolerant society to accommodate reasonable demands”, the job would have involved meeting and dealing with external clients, at a senior level, in a professional commercial environment. It was felt, unanimously, that this person would not be acceptable to our clients. However, in rejecting the applicant, we had to give other reasons, then sit back and worry about whether we’d be taken to an industrial tribunal.

      Regardless of any of this Ravi, I’m interested; do you have any suggestions to address the problems that exists disproportionally among Muslims in the UK?

      Or do we not have a problem?

    36. Bill Corr — on 10th December, 2009 at 7:23 am  

      Ravi Naik - Like it or not, race replacement is a reality throughout the First World. A stroll arouynd Rotterdamistan or Oldhamistan is all you need to confirm this.

    37. Abu Miftah — on 10th December, 2009 at 10:07 am  

      “or wished for that to be the case here” ah yes Reza's thought police to save his liberal democracy from the thought crimes and expressing opinions which run counter to the present values of society- which of course in a liberal democratic society have changed in the past and will change in the future- but don't worry Reza's values and commandments are the only ones that matter. Hypocrite…..

    38. Ravi Naik — on 10th December, 2009 at 12:46 pm  

      Do you think that it is appropriate to ‘respect’ or ‘value’ the religious opinions of someone who believes that, in an ‘ideal’ world religious converts, homosexuals and people who have sex outside of marriage should be killed?

      Is that a rhetorical question to insinuate that multiculturalists respect and value individuals who believe that people should be killed for having sex outside marriage? Give me a break. But let me ask you, what do you intend to do with people with those beliefs?

      Nothing would be written in stone. Definitions would change over time to reflect our laws.

      Let's not conflate things. Having moderate or extremist views is not against the law, and I obviously think that moderate voices should challenge extremist voices, and everything is fine as long as people do not resort to violence and do the the sort of things that violate our laws. What you propose is to have some arbitrary definition to cage Muslims with labels - moderate and extremist - and only listen to those considered moderates. I think that's undemocratic, and when one group is not heard and is turned into pariah, then they would will tend to resort to violence.

      A little while ago we interviewed a Muslim man who refused to shake hands with women or to look them in the face. Regardless of whether you “expect a tolerant society to accommodate reasonable demands”, the job would have involved meeting and dealing with external clients

      That is not a reasonable demand - PERIOD. In fact, even if the job didn't involve meeting with clients, I would not hire this man (real or imaginary) using the same justification as one would not hire a racist who refuses to work with non-whites, or has a tendency to rant about “race replacement” and how non-whites are conspiring to destroy Britain for the sins of colonisation. This is a non-issue, and there is no way you would get in problems for not hiring a misogynist. I mean, do you really think that someone who discriminates against women would win a case against you?

      Regardless of any of this Ravi, I’m interested; do you have any suggestions to address the problems that exists disproportionally among Muslims in the UK?

      What specific problems do you refer?

    39. MiriamBinder — on 11th December, 2009 at 4:59 am  

      Go away for a few days and come back to find that nothing has really changed. Haven't had time to really look at all the various comments but just of the cuff as it were … I would imagine that one of the main reasons that these Jewish leaders are against joining the demonstration is because the Jewish memory isn't that short; the history of ani-semitism hasn't faded from the memorybanks and the Islamophobia raging in some sectors is very reminiscint of the pre-progrom drum-beating that used to take place.

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