Muslim manifesto for 2007


by Sunny
19th January, 2007 at 3:44 am    

Dr Tahir Abbas, the well known academic from Birmingham university, has published an interesting ‘British Muslim Manifesto for 2007′ on his blog.
He has also just got back from Poland on commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day and writes about his experiences and thoughts on that.

Jews died for what they believed. They died because a fascistic killing machine deemed it so. And yet, we sit aside and avoid an official recognition. An important spiritual, cultural and politically strategic opportunity is being sadly missed, and it does not bode well for British Muslims if the official voice of British Islam continues to refuse to attend this austere occasion.


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  1. Nick — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:08 am  

    Sorry to be a pedant, but actually the Jews died WHATEVER they believed. Just because they were Jews.

    This makes the MAB’s snub all the more disgusting – one can choose to be Muslim if one wishes, or not. Islam is an ideology, and millions have died because of religious or political ideologies over the past 2000 years.

    But the Jews just died because they were Jews, whether Bolsheviks, Capitalists, Christians or even Muslims, and this is what we remember. The MAB’s snub is very much in the spirit of the Nazis – it condemns a race. And that is what makes it so despicable.

  2. sonia — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:45 am  

    “Jews died for what they believed. They died because a fascistic killing machine deemed it so.”

    these two points seem to contradict each other. sorry to be pedantic as well!

  3. Chairwoman — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:53 am  

    Nick has it right. You only had to be Jewish to be killed. Your value, or lack of it, to society had no bearing on the issue, neither did the state of your belief in or practice of the religion. You’re a Jew. You die.

  4. Bert Preast — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:54 am  

    Good article, not sure on this bit though:

    “That the not so new labour party of today works in the same not so mysterious ways is of little surprise. Some Muslim politicos may feel it is the only way to get representative office or a junior cabinet post but as Faust discovered, sell your soul to the Devil and there is no return.”

    Is he saying democracy is pointless, or just that Labour is pointless?

  5. Katy — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:01 pm  

    Many people died in the Holocaust just for being the way they were. Jewish, gay, Catholic, gypsy, trade unionist, physically or mentally disabled, etc etc etc.

  6. Roger — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:30 pm  

    You didn’t have to be jewish to be killed. You merely had to have ancestors who were jewish.

  7. Kismet Hardy — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:35 pm  

    Random, but i’d like to know cos i believe it cos someone told me when I was a kid and I haven’t checked and while i could go on the net now I can’t be arsed so if you know tell me

    Was Hitler sort of jewish?

  8. Kismet Hardy — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:36 pm  

    As in did he have some jewish blood in him?

  9. Kismet Hardy — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

    And is there a distinction between Jewish with a capital J and a little one or just bad grammar?

  10. Kismet Hardy — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:37 pm  

    And is kosher the same as halal?

    (genuinely ignorant.com)

  11. Leon — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:49 pm  

    You merely had to have ancestors who were jewish.

    Very chilling drama Conspiracy (shown a few years back on BBC) showed the meeting where the Nazis worked out who would die etc.

  12. bananabrain — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:55 pm  

    hitler being “kind of” jewish is a much-repeated urban myth. other versions of it have him getting a dose of clap off a jewish prostitute (lovely!) and others have other things, probably via his stepmother (i think he had a stepmother) possibly being jewish or some nonsense like that. it has about as much veracity as the occasional assertion that he was vegetarian, which he wasn’t. it’s all bollocks.

    “jew”, “jewish” and “judaism” are all customarily capitalised (no jokes please) in the same way as christ, christian or muslim would be. there are some people (like stephen fry, for example) who customarily refer to their “jewishness” in lower-case, i don’t know why, possibly because they see it as an ethnic identity and aren’t religious at all, which i suppose they are entitled to do according to their reasoning, although i don’t agree. and don’t get confused by my own bananic web style. a notable exception is the unpleasant and generally shunned verb “to jew someone” (meaning to swindle them, now fortunately out of general usage) which *would* be lower-case, but that’s strictly a grammatical point.

    kashrut (the noun, kosher being an adjective)and halal are more or less the same thing. as in several other areas (one of which being sexual contact laws, incidentally) the regulations and procedures are broadly similar, but the jewish version is about ten times more stringent, which is why shari’a law permits muslims to eat kosher meat, but not vice-versa. both involve cutting the animal’s throat as fast as possible in order that it loses consciousness as near-as-dammit instantaneously with a very, very sharp knife and then draining the blood out, because blood is prohibited for consumption – which, incidentally, ought to tell you that the various blood libels that have taken place over the centuries (and have recently made prime-time tv drama in egypt and syria) are the worst sort of lies.

    also, kashrut is not just about meat, it’s about everything – we have to separate milk and meat. for the interested, i recommend:

    http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm
    http://www.myjewishlearning.com/daily_life/Kashrut.htm

    i applaud this dr abbas, by the way. good man. and, incidentally, it is possible to read the two sentences about “what they believed” and “deemed it so” as a rhetorical way of saying that both caused jews to be killed, so everyone can be right.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  13. Kismet Hardy — on 19th January, 2007 at 12:56 pm  

    Thanks man

  14. Bert Preast — on 19th January, 2007 at 1:04 pm  

    ““jew”, “jewish” and “judaism” are all customarily capitalised (no jokes please) in the same way as christ, christian or muslim would be. there are some people (like stephen fry, for example) who customarily refer to their “jewishness” in lower-case, i don’t know why, possibly because they see it as an ethnic identity and aren’t religious at all, which i suppose they are entitled to do according to their reasoning, although i don’t agree”

    As a pointless talking monkey I refer to all religion in lower case, my reasoning being that religions refer to atheism and theism in lower case so it’s my rather pathetic attempt at vengeance.

  15. bananabrain — on 19th January, 2007 at 1:10 pm  

    i am more than happy to capitalise atheism if it goes on acting like a religion, hur hur hur. mine is a linguistic point, however, rather than a political one. i believe communism can be either capitalised or not.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  16. Chairwoman — on 19th January, 2007 at 1:23 pm  

    Kismet – Hitler’s perceived Jewishness is an unsubstantiated rumour. The rumour is that he was the illegitimate son of Jewish travelling salesman.

    Big J, little J just bad grammar.

    Halal and Kosher have similarities. The animals in both systems have to be slaughtered in a similar fashion, and it has to done under the auspices of a member of the clergy. The pig is banned by both systems, but we also don’t eat shellfish or horses (locusts are however acceptable :-) ).

  17. bananabrain — on 19th January, 2007 at 1:30 pm  

    not all locusts – only locusts where there is a valid tradition concerning a kosher variety; for that you have to ask the yemenite community.

    it is my understanding that of the four islamic schools of fiqh, two say shellfish are halal and two say not. i forget which, but clearly the one most bangladeshis follow says they are, hence the king prawns.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  18. Chairwoman — on 19th January, 2007 at 2:00 pm  

    bananbrain – Is there anything you don’t know :-)

  19. bananabrain — on 19th January, 2007 at 2:08 pm  

    well, most of these questions get asked over and over again, so i get used to answering them. on the other hand, i can say that when i don’t know, i can generally find out pretty easily these days.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  20. Chairwoman — on 19th January, 2007 at 2:13 pm  

    You keep me on my toes. Most of these things are just what I grew up with, so I don’t think about them, or as with the locusts, a snippet from Hasmo in the 60s.

  21. Electro — on 19th January, 2007 at 2:30 pm  

    Jesus! You read this guy’s blog and you’ve the impression that the only individuals who know nothing of Islam are Muslims themselves.

    Like countless other faux moderates, this guy would probably qualify the channel 4 *outings* as “not helpful”.Hmmm…. to the process of healthy integration or to the *agenda*?

    Many, many ‘moderates’ these days are adopting the term “not helpful”, and so I’ll leave it to the gentle readers here to contemplate just what that means.

    The good intellectual states: >i>The year is 2007, and we begin again in earnest. 2006 was a particularly difficult year for British Muslim communities, no less so than 2005. So what went wrong again? 2006 saw a number of high profile arrests of Muslims, Forest Gate in June 2006, the foiled terror plot of August 2006 and the Jack Straw Niqab debacle are some of the most memorable. The political and media fuss in relation to these debates was vast, expansive and ultimately deleterious for society as a whole. The hugely-anticipated speech by Tony Blair on multiculturalism in December 2006 was a flat, unexciting, but ultimately safe set of words. The international scene in 2006 did not help either. We have many Muslims dying everyday in Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya, and still the wider western world waits in the wing. The July 2006 invasion of Lebanon and the use of chemical weapons by Israeli armed forces are quickly forgotten

    Can you read english, Sonny?

    Take the last sentence. What appears to have been “quickly forgotten” is that Islamist nutjobs snuck across an internationally recognised border,m attacked and kidnapped Israeli soldiers from Israeli soil… and this on SEVERAL occasions…. thereby triggering a muscled and MOST justifed response.

    And Iraq? Yeah, some 35,000 Muslim civilians have been killed…..mostly at the hands of their own co-relgionists.

    His angst about Holocaust remembrance just bleats! It stems not from concern for Jews or neo-facism, but rather the worry about what NOT participating in the ceremonies will do to damage the public image of “THE CAUSE”.

    His lament, then, is not about the presence of extremists, but rather the unfortunate setbacks those extremists encountered in their attempts to further islamise the UK’s public sphere. Nothing more!

    Now, I realise Sunny wants to position himself in the moderate middle; that aromatic rose-garden of rationality between the brazen apologists at “islamophobiawatch” and the rabid frothing hate speech of *bigots* such as I, but such tactics condemn the unwary to embracing those fanatics whose moderation amounts to mere TONE and nothing else.

    It’s 2007, Sunny, and over the comming 12 months I shall expect a great deal more rigour on your part.

  22. Nyrone — on 19th January, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

    Thanks for that link Leon, looks really interesting.

  23. Sid Love — on 19th January, 2007 at 5:53 pm  

    it is my understanding that of the four islamic schools of fiqh, two say shellfish are halal and two say not. i forget which, but clearly the one most bangladeshis follow says they are, hence the king prawns.

    Most Bangladeshis follow the Hanifi school (madhab) of fiqh. Named after Imam Al Azam Abu Hanifa, the first and often regarded as the most ‘liberal’ of the four imams of the Sunnah.

  24. Leon — on 19th January, 2007 at 6:13 pm  

    Nyrone, yeah it was hard watching but necessary.

  25. William — on 19th January, 2007 at 6:51 pm  

    Didn’t know that kosher and halal had such broader meanings. Just thought kosher referred to ok to eat food and halal was killing animals quick to avoid suffering. Learning something new!!

    Have heard that Hitler may have had some Jewish blood by some cousin or other but not sure if true or not.
    There was a psychoanalytic theory that he became so anti semitic because his mother was treated for cancer with hydrogen mustard (a derivative of mustard gas) by a jewish doctor. The resultant trauma his mother went through because of this contributed to his specific pathology of hatred. Wouldn’t explain the general wider phenomena of anti-semitism that existed within German society though.

  26. bikhair aka taqiyyah — on 19th January, 2007 at 10:03 pm  

    What the hell is this about British Islam? You mean Paki Jahiliyah?

  27. Sunny — on 20th January, 2007 at 7:35 pm  

    I shall expect a great deal more rigour on your part.

    I can assure you Electro, I’ll do and say everything not to make you happy in 2007 otherwise I know I’d have betrayed my own principles :)

  28. Tahir — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:42 am  

    Sorry Sunny. Tahir Abbas isn’t so well respected academic on race relations. His only book on the subject is an edited account compiled from other researchers . Otherwise we worked as a civil servent in the Home Office. Not sure I would trust him to compile a manifesto for Muslims in 2007. Plenty of others that could do the job.

    Not being personal but was surprised you picked out his blog or article as a source of authority on this important universal subject – the Holocust.

  29. sonia — on 21st January, 2007 at 12:57 am  

    i personally can’t understand what a ‘Muslim Manifesto’ is. This bloke seems to have missed the point about the ‘Ummah’ – I suspect he thinks of it as a global community of Muslims. Ethnocentrism wherever you go.

  30. ZinZin — on 21st January, 2007 at 1:33 am  

    Sonia, my dear Islam is not an ethnicity it is a religion.

  31. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 22nd January, 2007 at 3:46 pm  

    > Sonia, my dear Islam is not an ethnicity
    > it is a religion.

    Indeed, it comes with the instant ability to have sympathies only for other Muslims:

    “We have many Muslims dying everyday in Iraq, Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya.”

    We have non-Muslims dying in these places to, as well as else where in the world. When you come to Islam you can let go of these concerns and focus on Muslim concerns (and ignore Afgainstan, Somilia and Southern Thailand).

    If male you can superceed the girls, even when writing about the lack of empowerment of women in Islamic communities you can summerise: “So men, get your act together, and soon.” ?!?

    You can make great generalizations about the demographic of Muslims, ignoring the wide range of socio-ecomic backgrounds and countries of origin: “On average, Muslim men do not fare as well in the labour market as non-Muslim men” is it really that following the teachings of Islam lower your poputentual in the labour market?

    For all my cincism, did I liked his wrap up, his fifth point about the intellectuals, looking forwards not back etc. That had my nod of approval.

    TFI

  32. Sunny — on 22nd January, 2007 at 3:57 pm  

    We have non-Muslims dying in these places to, as well as else where in the world.

    It seems TFI they are not alone in selective concern for people they feel kinship with. One only has to look at the coverage in the news about people dying in Britain or America versus people dying in developing countries.

  33. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 22nd January, 2007 at 4:35 pm  

    Sunny, indeed you are right. Stories of mass slaughter in developing countries don’t sell many papers here. The epitamy of this was the lack of coverage from the coverage of the Mumbai Bombings – even though it was the same Koran thumbing Jihadi nonsense that we bitch about here.

    Still there is a difference between having a religous principle that is inclusive of others than exclusive of others.

    TFI

  34. Omar Shah — on 23rd January, 2007 at 10:58 am  

    I would like to say that a million people have died in Iraq and the number is rising. This doesn’t include, Palestine, Lebenon, Chechnya, Afganistan or Somalia.

    I as a Muslim recognise the Holocaust but, do my Jewish brothers and sisters recognise the Holocaust of Muslims not in one country but all over the world?

    So isn’t it time to stop religious, racial and other types of hatred?

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