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  • 10th November, 2011

    Wusses from Muslims Against Crusades back out of protest

    by Sunny at 5:03 pm    

    So… Muslims Against Crusades have been banned as of midnight. For people not aware of the context, this isn’t new. Anjem Choudhary’s two previous reincarnations of the same sect - Al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK - were also banned in the past.

    As Jeromy Taylor points out:

    RE Muslims Against Crusades. Since 2001, 31 people have been charged with proscription offences. 15 have been convicted.

    The ban isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that they decided to cancel their protest tomorrow (by richards). After all, Anjem Choudhary and his motley crew are used to just turning up under a different name.

    But it is also the case that they hate their publicity stunts being neutralised. The last time British Muslims for Secular Democracy openly called for a counter-protest, Anjem Choudhary and his lot decided not to turn up at the last minute. This time too, they’ve decided to call it off.

    If you’re reading guys - don’t worry we’ll be there every time you try and hold one of your stunts.

    Filed under: Islamists

    Press release: Muslims to protest against poppy-burning extremists

    by Sunny at 1:44 pm    

    MAC are being banned from tonight, according to the Home Secretary. But we’re assuming they’ll still turn up under a different name

    On Friday 11th November 2011, at the 11th minute of the 11th hour, a growing number of individuals and organisations will be observing the nation’s silence at the Royal Albert Hall, to counter an incendiary protest by the group Muslims Against Crusades (formerly known as Al-Muhajiroun).

    Led by the Alliance Against Extremism, an umbrella body for many of the organisations and individuals involved, banners will also be held to send a clear message to Muslims Against Crusades (MAC).

    The vast majority of British Muslims - irrespective of their diverse views on particular armed conflicts - recognise that British soldiers continue to serve in difficult circumstances.

    Continue Reading...
    Filed under: Islamists
    9th November, 2011

    More information on our demo against poppy-burning extremists on Friday

    by Sunny at 10:22 am    

    As promised, we’re organising a demo against Muslims Against Crusades (Anjem Choudhary and fellow band of bandars) for this Friday morning. Man. I hate getting up early morning.

    Full details on the FB page. I quote:

    Last year, extremists from the small group Muslims Against Crusades (MAC) burnt a big poppy on Armstice / Remembrance Day as a stunt to rile up anti-Muslim and anti-British sentiments.

    MAC (formerly known as Al-Muhajiroun) are planning a similar stunt this year on Friday, at the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP.

    We are calling on all right-minded people to join us.

    This initiative is being led by a new umbrella group - Anti-Extremism Alliance (AEA) - and supported by other individuals and organisations including Islamic Society of Britain, Pickled Politics and more.

    The humble poppy is a symbol of our common quest for peace. It represents a stand taken by civil society against fascism, racism and hate preaching. It represents the ordinary citizen against the ideas of groups such as Muslims Against Crusades and the English Defence League.

    Someone also made us a video! Come down, even for a little bit. Strength in numbers and all that (by severly).

    Filed under: Islamists
    5th November, 2011

    We’re planning to disrupt Anjem Choudhary’s Remembrance day demo

    by Sunny at 10:54 am    

    Extremist Muslim group Muslims Against Crusades are planning their annual Remembrance Day stunt again, on 11th November.

    The Daily Mail, which always reports on their actions in advance, says the demo, which will mock the charity for injured soldiers Help for Heroes, is due to take place outside the Royal Albert Hall, the same location where a poppy was burned last year.

    The Muslims Against Crusades protesters, who have sought permission from police to hold the rally, aim to chant and disrupt the minute’s silence held in honour of the war dead.

    Like last time - when we stood against them at their 9/11 demo - a group of us are organising a little protest against Choudhary and his band of monkeys on Nov 11th.

    Come down and join us on the day! More details will be posted soon.

    Filed under: Islamists,Religion
    25th July, 2011

    The unbelievable Tom Harris MP

    by Sunny at 2:20 pm    

    The Labour MP Tom Harris writes:

    I got it wrong and I apologise. I should not have jumped to conclusions, especially not so early on in such a terrible sequence of events.

    But (and of course there’s a “but” or I wouldn’t be writing this), the palpable relief that swept through the left when the identity of the terrorist was made known – a 32-year-old Norwegian christian fundamentalist – was revealing. Here, thank God, was a terrorist we can all hate without equivocation: white, christian and far right-wing.

    When he first heard about the attacks, he pointed the finger at Muslims. There was little evidence for it but you know, they’re fair game right? When it turned out it wasn’t some Islamist terrorist, he issued a reluctant apology, and was criticised quite heavily for it on Twitter. So in an effort to make himself look further like a prat, he goes ahead and writes the above.

    When the recent terrorist bombs went off in Mumbai - I was reading the news on Twitter. As some may recall, I instantly started live-tweeting news from Mumbai even though everyone else was talking about the phone-hacking scandal. I didn’t speculate about who it was, though the Indian govt blamed Islamic militants (I reported this). It is likely to be Islamic militants, though in the past Hindu militants have threatened bombs attacks to counter Muslims (Yes, really). I didn’t speculate however about who would be “relieved” by such an attack because such discussion would be highly insensitive and… well, just idiotic.

    The disgusting blog-post by Tom Harris above is exactly that. Apparently people aren’t horrified by the deaths and the bombs. Apparently, people aren’t talking about it because they were horrified by his hate-filled rants and his Neo-Nazi ‘manifesto’.

    No, making those kind of assumptions would be to require that sometimes people have benign motives. Tom Harris can’t assume that, he has his pride to think about.

    So let me get this straight. If the next terrorist attack was by a Muslim, would it be legitimate to accuse Tom Harris of being “relieved” that it wasn’t a white-Christian terrorist so he could hate with impunity? Is that the level of discussion that a member of Parliament should be at? It boggles the mind.

    Update: Melanie Phillips echoes Tom Harris:

    The supposed beliefs of the Norway massacre’s perpetrator has got the left in general wetting itself in delirium at this apparently heaven-sent opportunity to take down those who fight for life, liberty and western civilisation against those who would destroy it.

    He’s in good company.

    22nd July, 2011

    Muslims and the media

    by Sunny at 4:40 pm    

    A national poll of Britons has found that the media industry is seen as most to blame for ‘fear of Islam’.

    Muslims abroad and far-right parties such as the BNP and EDL come a joint distant second in the poll by Comres.

    They were asked: “Which one of the following groups, if any, do you think is most to blame for Islamophobia, fear of Islam, in the UK?”

    29% of Britons blamed the media. 14% blamed Muslims abroad and 13% blamed far-right parties.

    Just 11% blamed Muslims in the UK for ‘Islamophobia’, with politicians getting the same amount of blame at 10%.

    Around 1% agreed with the statement: “I do not think that Islamophobia exists in the UK”. They’re the ones who spend most of their time trolling websites.

    Another question by ComRes asked whether people thought the Qur’an justified use of violence against non-Muslims.

    Around 14% thought it did, while around 65% disagreed.

    Filed under: Islamists,Media
    23rd June, 2011

    Did Geert Wilders deserve to be acquitted over ‘free speech’?

    by Sunny at 5:46 pm    

    Reuters reports:

    Dutch populist politician Geert Wilders was acquitted of inciting hatred of Muslims in a court ruling on Thursday that may strengthen his political influence and exacerbate tensions over immigration policy.

    The case was seen by some as a test of free speech in a country which has a long tradition of tolerance and blunt talk, but where opposition to immigration, particularly from Muslim or predominantly Muslim countries, is on the rise.

    But its a fallacy that Geert Wilders is just a critic of Islam as a religious doctrine - he frequently makes a jump from criticising Islam to demanding discrimination against Muslims. The idea that Geert Wilders believes in free speech is also a fallacy.

    Both myths keep getting perpetuated by a media that pays no attention to what Geert Wilders says nor make any attempt to pay proper attention to the issue.

    In a completely under-reported speech by Geert Wilders a few years ago, he laid out a “ten point plan to save the west”. These were the ten points:

    1. Stop cultural relativism. We need an article in our constitutions that lays down that we have a Jewish-Christian and humanism culture.
    2. Stop pretending that Islam is a religion. Islam is a totalitarian ideology. In other words, the right to religious freedom should not apply to Islam.
    3. Stop mass immigration by people from Muslim countries. We have to end Al-Hijra. 4. Encourage voluntary repatriation.
    5. Expel criminal foreigners and criminals with dual nationality, after denationalization, and send them back to their Arab countries. Likewise, expel all those who incite to a ‘violent jihad’.
    6. We need an European First Amendment to strengthen free speech.
    7. Have every member of a non-Western minority sign a legally binding contract of assimilation.
    8. We need a binding pledge of allegiance in all Western countries.
    9. Stop the building of new mosques. As long as no churches or synagogues are allowed to be build in countries like Saudi-Arabia we will not allow one more new mosque in our western countries. Close all mosques where incitement to violence is taking place. Close all Islamic schools, for they are fascist institutions and young children should not be educated an ideology of hate and violence.
    10. Get rid of the current weak leaders. We have the privilege of living in a democracy. Let’s use that privilege and exchange cowards for heroes. We need more Churchills and less Chamberlains.

    Only a fool would call those demands the hallmark of an advocate of free speech.

    Saying that, I think Muslim organisations in the Netherlands are making a mistake by making this about discrimination, when they should point to these speeches and make it an issue about free speech.

    Filed under: Islamists,Media
    6th June, 2011

    Combating and monitoring extremism

    by Rumbold at 3:07 pm    

    Theresa May, the Home Secretary, has criticised universities for not doing enough to tackle extremism on campus. The comments come ahead of the release of the updated Prevent (terrorism) strategy:

    “I think for too long there’s been complacency around universities,” she said. “I don’t think they have been sufficiently willing to recognise what can be happening on their campuses and the radicalisation that can take place. I think there is more that universities can do.” Mrs May said universities had to “send very clear messages” and “ask themselves some questions about what happens on their campuses”.

    She also criticised the Federation of Student Islamic Societies for not challenging extremism sufficiently. “They need to be prepared to stand up and say that organisations that are extreme or support extremism or have extremist speakers should not be part of their grouping,” Mrs May said.

    Universities should (and often do) make clear what is acceptable, and societies breaching these rules should have their funding withdrawn and barred from using campus facilities. But beyond this, there are limits to what they can do. There are dozens of societies on campus, and universities cannot be expected to vet all their speakers and events. Nor can they ban societies unless they get proof about what they are up to, which can be difficult. Universities should stop societies using campus facilities from hosting extremists if they are warned in advance (with proof provided), but they lack the resources to do much more.

    Some of the Prevent proposals do seem more well thought out however; the government is going to withdraw funding from a number of groups, on the basis that although they do not support terrorism, they are not moderate. This is right, as it moves away from the narrow ideal that the world can be divided between those who support terrorism and those who don’t.

    The greater focus on white far-right terrorism is welcome too, as there have been a number of far-right terrorists convicted. It also helps dispel the myth that Muslims are the only ones capable of supporting and carrying out terrorist attacks, which encourages people to ‘other’ Muslims by viewing them as uniquely dangerous.

    5th June, 2011

    Cameron admits Hizb ut-Tahrir can’t be banned

    by Sunny at 10:32 am    

    Today’s Observer has this nugget:

    The Conservative manifesto named Hizb ut-Tahrir as a group it wanted to proscribe; in 2009 the then shadow home secretary, Chris Grayling, promised to “immediately ban” the group if the Tories were elected.

    But they won’t. The new Prevent review - on how the government deals with counter-terrorism - will avoid anything on Hizb ut-Tahrir.

    Its hardly surprising though. I’ve been pointing out for ages that banning HuT is like banning the BNP - idiotic and an attack on free speech. But while banning the latter would have raised hackles amongst Conservatives, attempts to ban HuT have been met with embarrassed silence by Conservatives who claimed to be for defending free speech.

    The main observation in the article is that:

    Home Office sources say that Cameron has quashed Nick Clegg’s argument for a more tolerant attitude to Muslim groups by insisting on a strategy centred upon the notion that violent extremism is incubated within the ideology of non-violent extremism.

    The shift in approach will be outlined when the government’s counter-terrorism strategy is unveiled by the home secretary, Theresa May, on Tuesday. Central to the Prevent strategy is a broader definition of extremism that will be extended beyond groups condoning violence to those considered non-violent but whose views, such as the advocacy of sharia law, fail to “reflect British mainstream values”.

    I suppose I’ll have to dust off my arguments on why this is a bad idea and makes us all the more unsafe.

    11th May, 2011

    The fetishisation of Anjem Choudhary by some middle-class luvvies

    by Sunny at 3:28 pm    

    Last week BBC Newsnight decided, in their infinite wisdom, to invite Anjem Choudhary (who heads up various now-banned Islamist groups) as representing Muslim opinion on the death of Osama Bin Laden.

    Now it turns out some philosophy festival in Hay has invited him to debate on two separate panel discussions.

    Anyone who has watched Choudhary debate as long as I have can tell you he’s not a particularly bright chap. He’s a master at pulling stunts to attract publicity, but his thought-process is boiler-plate extremist rubbish that Hizb-ut-Tahrir and al-Muhajiroun types have been spouting for years. I could probably predict his response to most political questions.

    So why invite him? Will he add to the discussion in an intelligent way? Or will he simply represent the ‘Muslim radical’ that some luvvies can’t get enough of?

    Yahya Birt, who probably has more brain-cells in his pinky finger than Choudhary has in entirety, asked them why he had been invited.

    Their response:

    Yahya - thanks for your interesting post. Anjem Choudary hasn’t been invited to speak because he has a ‘mandate’ from the British Muslim community. He’ll be expressing views that are his and his alone. As mentioned below, the fact that he’s… speaking in debates and not delivering a solo talk means that he’ll be forced to defend his views and held to account by his fellow panelists - and, indeed, the audience.

    Ultimately it’s for individual members of the audience to decide for themselves who to disagree with and who to support.

    Do these idiots actually think that Choudhary is there because he relishes the intellectual battle of ideas?

    I already know who most of the audience will support, and it wont be Choudhary, because this isn’t meant to be a serious debate but more a spectacle. He’s being fetishised in a way that Nick Griffin wouldn’t be by the same crowd. Double-standards? I shall leave that for you to decide…

    Filed under: Culture,Islamists
    10th May, 2011

    Trying to draw equivalence

    by Sunny at 11:31 am    

    Are writers for CagePrisoners - the organisation which aims to work only to highlight cases of people politically imprisoned (esp in Gitmo) - on mind-altering drugs?

    I only ask because, in response to the killing of Osama Bin Laden, they’ve decided that the best response would be to draw equivalence between Obama and Osama and do a mock-up of Obama being shot by authorities. (via Harry’s Place).

    It’s not even absurd, its a pathetic attempt at equivalence. On the one hand these people believe people should be able to defend themselves, but apparently that does not apply to America.

    I have no problem whatsoever with the assassination of OBL. He declared war on the USA and got killed in retaliation. Case closed. CagePrisoners should go back to highlighting cases of injustice and stop trying to be clever. Their funders may also want to take note of the actions of the people they’re funding.

    Filed under: Islamists
    4th May, 2011

    BBC Newsnight patronises British Muslims again

    by Sunny at 10:07 am    

    Yesterday BBC Newsnight needed ‘Muslim reaction’ to the death of Osama Bin Laden’. They couldn’t find any Muslim who would support OBL, so they thought that would not balanced. They wanted some sparks and needed Muslims to argue with each other, so they invited Anjem Choudhary.

    ANJEM CHOUDHARY! The guy who leads about 50 nutjobs and has been banned from almost every Mosque in the country. The guy who is constantly ridiculed and pilloried by other British Muslims for his attention-seeking stunts and promoting his extremist minority sect. This is the guy BBC Newsnight decide should be part of a two-man panel representing British Muslim voices!

    It boggles the mind how patronising some people at the BBC still are. They aren’t interested in representing a broad range of mainstream Muslim opinion: they just want to see the ethnics argue.

    At one point Jeremy Paxman turns to Taj Hargey and says, “What do you think of that response [referring to Choudhary] when you hear it, purporting to represent your community“. - oh FFS! Paxman, we’re not in the fucking British Raj any more.

    No one owns or leads entire ethnic or religious communities. It boggles the mind that this is 2011 and this is how BBC Newsnight still conduct their debates.

    25th April, 2011

    What do the Guantanamo Files tell us?

    by Sunny at 1:51 pm    

    This is just a summary:

    » 172 prisoners are still held there.
    Previous inmates included an 89-year-old Afghan villager, suffering from senile dementia, and a 14-year-old boy who had been an innocent kidnap victim.

    One man was transferred to the facility simply because he was a mullah and could have had “special knowledge of the Taliban”. He was released after a year. Another was shipped there because he knew the areas of Khowst and Kabul since he was a taxi driver”.

    An al-Jazeera journalist was held six years so he could be interrogated about the Arabic news network.

    » US authorities listed the main Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI as a terrorist organisation alongside groups such as al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iranian intelligence [there is going to be a massive fallout from this]

    » A number of British nationals and residents were held for years even though US authorities knew they were not Taliban or al-Qaida members. [goodbye Habeas Corpus!]

    » Why Obama has found it difficult to close down Gitmo:

    The range of those still held captive includes detainees who have been admittedly tortured so badly they can never be successfully tried, informers who must be protected from reprisals, and a group of Chinese Muslims from the Uighur minority who have nowhere to go.

    A trial of these prisoners and an expose of their conditions, the US army and Pentagon no doubt pointed out, would severely damage the credibility of the US govt itself.

    » How the leaks came about.
    The NYT approached NPR and the Guardian with files leaked to them. But WikiLeaks was already working with the Telegraph, Washington Post, McClatchy newspapers, Le Monde, El Pais and Der Spiegel, according to HuffPo. The latter group have now been forced to bring forward publication date.

    » While the Guardian has led with how badly the prisoners were treated, the Telegraph focuses on what al-Qaeda were planning.

    * A senior Al-Qaeda commander claimed that the terrorist group has hidden a nuclear bomb in Europe which will be detonated if Bin-Laden is ever caught or assassinated. The US authorities uncovered numerous attempts by Al-Qaeda to obtain nuclear materials and fear that terrorists have already bought uranium. Sheikh Mohammed told interrogators that Al-Qaeda would unleash a “nuclear hellstorm”.

    * The 20th 9/11 hijacker, who did not ultimately travel to America and take part in the atrocity, has revealed that Al-Qaeda was seeking to recruit ground-staff at Heathrow amid several plots targeting the world’s busiest airport. Terrorists also plotted major chemical and biological attacks against this country.

    The Washington Post takes a similar angle.

    » Glenn Greenwald says:

    WikiLeaks is responsible for more newsworthy scoops over the last year than all media outlets combined: it’s not even a close call. And if Bradley Manning is the leaker, he has done more than any other human being in our lifetime to bring about transparency and shine a light on what military and government power is doing.

    That is also spot on.

    19th April, 2011

    Anjem Choudhary banned!

    by Sunny at 2:46 pm    

    Have just heard Muslims Against Crusades aren’t going to be allowed near the Royal Wedding. Just as I predicted.

    The refusal of permission to demonstrate outside the abbey does not prevent them from protesting elsewhere, but Owens warned that any action to burn the union flag would be seen as an offence under the Public Order Act.

    Go on Anjem - are you really going to listen to what the police says? Surely you’re going to ignore them and do whatever you want? Otherwise people might start calling you a wuss..

    Filed under: Humour,Islamists
    9th March, 2011

    A growing campaign to defend Usama Hasan and free speech

    by Sunny at 2:55 pm    

    A group of people, including Yahya Birt, have set up a group on Facebook to rally people in support of Usama Hasan (background here):

    In the case of Dr Usama Hasan, an imam at Masjid Tawhid in Leyton, London, who has been persecuted and victimised, we call upon religious scholars, imams, mosque committees, Muslim community organisations and Muslim communities as a whole to reaffirm the following principles so that we may strengthen the basic conditions for civilised and principled Muslim community life:

    1. No imam or member of the Muslim community should be subjected to hate speech, intimidation or threats of violence on any matter regarding beliefs or religious rulings as this is contrary to the law of the land which British Muslims are bound to uphold, and most essentially that, under Islamic teachings and etiquette, mob rule has no legitimate place within our community life.

    2. No religious scholar or any ordinary Muslim has the legal jurisdiction to declare any fellow Muslim outside of the faith of Islam (takfir) in the United Kingdom, and furthermore that they are duty bound to affirm freedom of religious conscience which is upheld in the United Kingdom.

    3. Those who have made takfir of Dr Usama Hasan or who have acted in an intimidating or abusive fashion towards him must publicly retract their statements of takfir immediately and offer an unconditional public apology.

    4. That there is a positive duty to uphold the etiquette of differences of opinion, and to condemn those who actively promote hatred and division within our communities. We should all affirm the necessity of developing a mature and wise ethos within Muslim communities so that we may handle matters of controversy with tact and wisdom in recognition of our great diversity.

    5. All matters of mosque governance should conform to the Charity Commission’s guidance or any other relevant legislation, and no ad hoc measures should be undertaken in contravention of these rules or legislation in either letter or spirit.

    Those are good points that should apply generally too. I hope more people will stand up against this disgusting attempt at physical intimidation.

    Update: The MCB have also released a statement condemning the threats.

    Filed under: Islamists,Religion
    8th March, 2011

    Poppy burning is a free speech issue too

    by Sunny at 4:45 pm    

    The Sun and other tabloids are screaming about how a publicity-stunt artist from Al-Muhajiroun only got fined £50 for burning a poppy on Remembrance Day.

    The Sun rails:

    What kind of deterrent is £50 to other Islamic fascists bent on sowing hate throughout Britain? How much longer must we tolerate their free speech over-ruling the sanctity of the Remembrance Day silence?

    As this Economist blog post points out, a lot longer we should hope. The right to political protest and free speech should not be banned by the law however abhorrent the majority finds it.

    But there is another point to make. Critics of multiculturalism like Douglas Murray take a similarly muddled approach.

    The tabloids and Murray are either always attacking Muslims for not fitting in (sentiments diametrically opposed to creating a democratic, liberal society that allows people to live how they want to), or attacking Muslims for not embracing free speech and democracy. They want to have their pie and eat it too. The Sun, like Douglas Murray, is flip-flopping depending on what issue they can use to attack Muslims.

    Lastly, the fanatic from al-Muhajiroun will undoubtedly be ecstatic for the coverage today - their entire aim with these stunts of 10-20 people is to grab media attention. They feed off the Sun, and vice versa.

    Related: Alex Massie agrees, and is right to wish we also had more of a first amendment rights culture here, like in the US.

    Filed under: Islamists,Media
    27th February, 2011

    Fear and Hope report into faith, identity and race

    by Rumbold at 2:17 pm    

    The campaigning organisation Searchlight has released a new report examining English attitudes towards faith, identity and race. I am always very sceptical about polling. Samples can only ever be so representative, and different polls on the same issues will produce different results, as the questions are structured differently and asked to different people. Yes Prime Minister sums up my views of polling:

    Anyway, the key points of the report are summarised below, which is more useful for examining broad trends rather than precise numbers:

    Continue Reading...
    17th January, 2011

    The religious Muslims campaigning against Al-Muhajiroun

    by Sunny at 4:00 pm    

    A video from Luton, where a group of conservative Muslims are actively campaigning against the extremist group Al-Muhajiroun (aka ISlam4UK, Muslims Against Crusades).

    Update: Jerome Taylor at the Indy wrote a piece about one of the organisers in 2009.

    Filed under: Islamists,Religion
    23rd October, 2010

    Luftur Rahman wins in Tower Hamlets

    by Rumbold at 10:35 am    

    Luftur Rahman, the former Labour council leader, has been elected as the mayor of Tower Hamlets. Mr Rahman was exposed earlier this year as working with a group, the Islamic Forum of Europe, which pushed an Islamist agenda at the council:

    The council chamber has hosted at least one debate with an anti-homosexual Islamic preacher. Until last month, Tower Hamlets public libraries stocked hundreds of items of extremist Islamic literature, bought at taxpayers’ expense and available to borrow. These included hundreds of audio tapes of sermons by the extremist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, blamed for inspiring September 11, the Fort Hood terrorist massacre and the underwear bomb plot.

    After Dispatches exposed this entryism, Mr Rahman’s position became increasingly precarious, and led to his removal as leader of the council and Labour’s candidate for mayor of Tower Hamlets, leading Mr. Rahman to stand as an independent. Thanks to the support of people like Ken Livingstone, Mr. Rahman was elected, winning just over half the vote. No doubt part of this vote was due to the support of the IFE, but it also reflects a communalist, block voting tendency (which major parties are happy to exploit when it suits them).

    27th September, 2010

    Releasing extremists

    by Rumbold at 11:54 pm    

    An expert on Islamist prison radicalism is bemoaning the dominant strategy of those jailed for terrorism-related offences, in response to the head of MI5 warning about the dangers of soon to be released terrorists/terrorist supporters:

    Rehabilitation is not the main priority of the British prison system. However, during my research, in the case of prisoners convicted of terrorist offences, it was not even taken into consideration. Rather, intense surveillance, sometimes to the limit of removing the prisoner’s human rights, and in some prisons, abuse by the other inmates (and in some cases prison officers) were often the norm rather than the exception…

    The former government, as I explain in my book, made an enormous effort to show that radicalisation within prisons was controlled and the mass media reports of Muslim radicalisation behind bars were addressed. Yet it did not care about the future of prisoners or about the issues less covered by the media, such as re-integration.

    Prisoners who still pose a danger to wider society are always a thorny issue, especially as it is draconian to continue to hold them after they have served their sentences, unless new and concrete evidence is presented in a court of law. Yet many of those released are unlikely to have softened their views of the British state or society, so what can be done? The system needs to be reformed, but what about those being released now? Certainly non-EU citizens should be deported, whilst the others should be watched initially, but without any other interference in their liberties (unless they are being released early under specified bail conditions).

    (Hat-tip: Naadir Jeewa )

    24th August, 2010

    Junoon’s Salman Ahmad interviewed on BBC HARDtalk

    by Jai at 4:45 pm    

    This is a follow-up to the previous PP article discussing the Pakistani Sufi rock group Junoon and its founder/current lead singer Salman Ahmad (recently also interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine). As discussed previously, Junoon have been heavily involved in opposing Islamist extremism along with promoting pluralistic interfaith understanding & friendship; Salman himself is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, and has worked in conjunction with both the Clinton Global Initiative and Dr Tahir ul-Qadri’s Sufi organisation Minhaj ul-Quran, along with giving a concert at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 2007.

    Salman Ahmad, who is currently based primarily in New York, recently visited the UK and was interviewed at length by Stephen Sackur on BBC 24’s HARDtalk programme. They discussed a range of topics, including Islamist extremism, terrorism, Sufism, the West, and American Muslims, and you can see the full interview in three parts via Youtube below:

    Continue Reading...
    22nd August, 2010

    Now Douglas Murray wants “sensitivity” regarding Muslims

    by Sunny at 11:08 am    

    A debate on radio or TV between various panelists took place yesterday, featuring Maajid Nawaz from Quilliam Foundation and Douglas Murray of Centre for Social Cohesion.

    Listen below

    Thankfully - Maajid Nawaz made all the points I wanted to make - specifically highlighting Douglas Murray’s hypocrisy when it comes to Muslims. He didn’t want “sensitivity” shown to Muslims during the Danish cartoons furore - in fact he urged them to be published as a matter of principle. He wanted Geert Wilders to be let into the country as a matter of principle. And yet now he wants Muslims to “show sensitivity” in building some cultural centre several blocks away from Ground Zero 10 years after the terrorist attack - and even when the people building this centre are the kind of moderates Osama Bin Laden hates. What happened to those principles of free speech and right of religion now?

    Then the discussion moves on to funding - and Murray asks why the money isn’t donated to Pakistan instead. Maajid makes the excellent point (which the panel then try and ignore) that the application was made several years ago.

    It’s also amusing that anti-Islamists constantly rubbish the idea of ‘the Ummah’ and say Muslims in the west should be loyal first to their own countries. But as soon as a Muslim country is crisis-stricken, they mock Muslims for not helping their brethren enough.

    6th August, 2010

    Quilliam Foundation respond to the Guardian’s accusations

    by Sunny at 3:42 pm    

    by Maajid Nawaz of the Quilliam Foundation

    Breaking news! Quilliam dispatched a paper to ministers advising them that the ideology of Islamism is not the same as Islam the diverse faith. Rather, Islamism is the politicisation of Islam.

    And finally, that though non-violent Islamists have a legal right to exist, they should not be endorsed or facilitated by Government. We then proceeded to identify those groups most influenced by the ideology of Islamism.

    You may be thinking…hold on, is that not what Quilliam has been consistently advising since its inception through both the Labour and coalition Governments? So what’s new?

    The mere repetition of our stance in the form of a briefing paper for the new coalition Government was enough for certain regressive commentators to shout ‘McCarthyism’! By ‘Regressive’ I mean some who claim allegiance to the left yet fail to apply their anti-fascist principles when confronted with brown-skinned fascists, seeing them as alienated minorities and therefore choosing to ally with them.

    Continue Reading...
    22nd June, 2010

    Zakir Naik’s exclusion from Britain

    by Rumbold at 9:18 pm    

    Zakir Naik, an Indian-based Islamist preacher, has been banned from entering Britain after the home secretary revoked his visa due to his comments on Osama Bin Laden, Jews and other issues:

    While it is evident that most of Naik’s views are out of step with the values of any 21st-century liberal democracy, this in itself does not provide sufficient justification to exclude him from the UK. As Lord Justice Sedley stated in the notable high court judgement Redmond-Bate vs Director of Public Prosecutions [1999]: “Free speech includes not only the inoffensive, but the irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and the provocative, providing it does not intend to provoke violence. Freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.” Incitement to violence is a crucial caveat of this fundamental principle, and forms the basis of the Home Office’s “unacceptable behaviour” policy.

    I am always dubious about such bans, and am not sure what to think. No one has a right to enter this country, Britain is unlikely to benefit from Mr. Naik’s presence, and he is clearly an unpleasant anti-Semite, but do his utterings constitute an incitement to violence? Perhaps.

    13th June, 2010

    Nick Cohen and the “collapse in liberal principles”

    by Sunny at 1:19 am    

    Nick Cohen has some rambling blog-post in which he juxtaposes a whole bunch of events, described very briefly, to come up with the radical and original conclusion that there is far too much “liberal cowardice”. You never saw that coming did you? He writes at the end:

    The collapse in liberal principles in the past decade has been so widespread that one vignette was bound to become a representation of the wider disintegration.

    Liberal principles eh? Do you think those might include not trying to justify torture [link fixed]? How about demanding that governments respect Habeas Corpus? What about not defending state terrorism? Does a person who stands up for liberal principles defend Sarah Palin? Do you think they’d have mates justifying black ops and Guantanamo Bay?

    A funny definition of “liberal principles” that. But then, Cohen has also always claimed he stood up for universal human rights.

    Filed under: Humour,Islamists
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