Aisha Azmi has lost her appeal today. An employment tribunal had found that she had not been discriminated against, but she appealed the decision to the Employment Appeals Tribunal. She has now lost there too. Labour MP Shahid Malik told the BBC that he hoped Mrs Azmi would now "leave this alone. Having said that, she can still, and maybe has already, put in an appeal for unfair dismissal. This saga could continue".
Last year we revealed Ms Azmi's links to radical Islamist group Tablighi Jamaat (a group called "an antechamber to fundamentalism" by French intelligence). It later emerged that Azmi was wearing the veil under orders from her local Tablighi Jamaat Imam Mufti Yusuf Sacha.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Aisha Azmi has lost her appeal today. An employment tribunal had found that she had not been discriminated against, but she appealed the decision to the Employment Appeals Tribunal. She has now lost there too. Labour MP Shahid Malik told the BBC that he hoped Mrs Azmi would now "leave this alone. Having said that, she can still, and maybe has already, put in an appeal for unfair dismissal. This saga could continue".
The Telegraph reports that the EU has confirmed that it has produced a confidential handbook telling governments what words they should avoid when describing terrorism. Among the words are "jihad", "Islamic" and "fundamentalism".
An official said:
Careful usage of certain terms is not about empty political correctness but stems from astute awareness of the EU's interests in the fight against terrorism. Terrorists exploit and augment suspicions.
Some British MEPs have hit out against this. Conservative Syed Kamall said, "It is this kind of political correctness and secrecy that creates resentment among both the mainstream in Europe and in Islam."
And UKIP MEP Gerard Batten said, "This type of newspeak shows that the EU refuses to face reality. The major world terrorist threat is one posed by ideology and that ideology is inspired by fundamentalist jihadi Islam."
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wokingham Borough Council was forced to remove a piece of graffiti in a shopping district of Woodley. A local newspaper reports that:
On Tuesday morning, a picture of a man with a grenade for a head praising suicide bombers had been stencilled on the side of Brighton's Newsagents in the pedestrian precinct.It quotes a local resident saying, "It's totally disgusting and offensive. Words fail me, quite frankly. Who in this area is so full of hate that they feel they have to do this?"
A Conservative MP, Philip Davies, has said that Muslims should fly the Union Jack over their mosques. His statement was part of an early-day motion that was congratulating Australian Muslims for adopting the idea and expressing the hope that it will become practice in Britain too. He said that such a move would, "show everyone that those in the Muslim community are very keen to integrate and positively contribute to good community relationships in the UK."
Muslim leaders have complained that they are being singled out and that this idea is not suitable.
The point that Mr Davies is trying to make is that the impression given by Muslims in this country is that they do not feel a part of Britain. This gives rise to suspicion. And, frankly, Muslims have not done enough to convince the British public that they are opposed to Islamic terrorism. Sure we get condemnations, but we get condemnations of the police as well. We get denial of the causes of Islamic terrorism. We get people insisting that suicide bombers are not real Muslims, and that Islam means peace.
Before the war on Iraq we had hundreds of thousands of people (most Muslim groups included) marching to the message, "Not in our name". When did we ever see Muslims doing the same thing about Islamic terrorism?
It isn't nice being singled out but the community is singled out already by their coreligionists here and abroad. For as long as the Muslim community refuses to take a strong and public stand against Islamic terrorism, and for as long as it refuses to give its full backing to the police and security services, it will remain under suspicion.
MPACUK reports on an interview given by David Cameron for The Jewish Chronicle. The report itself accuses the Jewish Chronicle of trying to force Cameron to "pledge his love for Israel"; questions why Cameron, when talking of a future Palestinian state, didn't include Jerusalem in it; and slips in claims of apartheid for good measure.
Just as a side point, it should be noted that apartheid is the discrimination of some citizens based on race. Palestinians are not citizens of Israel and therefore their differential treatment isn't apartheid or even racist. The Arab citizens of Israel are treated the same as any other citizen.
Anyway, back to the main point. The MPACUK report includes the following line:
Zionist institutions such as The Jewish Chronicle...It may not seem like much, but it again indicates that MPACUK uses the word "Zionist" in place of "Jew", or "Zionism" in place of "Judaism". This is a tactic used to conceal anti-Semitism as anti-Zionism. In the All Party Parliamentary Report into Antisemitism, they were accused of exactly this. In paragraph 141 it states:
The use of ‘Zionist’ as a replacement for ‘Jewish’ is common on the MPACUK website. The CST submitted evidence that in one explicit case of this the Talmud, a Jewish religious text written many centuries ago, was described as a “Zionist holy book”. The website also posed the question: “Is this the most Powerful and Racist book in the world?!”
Well, here is another explicit case. The Jewish Chronicle was established in 1841 and has been running non-stop since then. It predates Zionism and is obviously a Jewish institution not a Zionist one.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Croydon Council has been given £50,000 by the government to tackle Muslim extremism in the borough. Deputy council leader Steve O'Connel is quoted as saying:
The Government clearly recognises that it is local communities who understand their own areas best. We all know that it is just a small minority of individuals who are out to cause trouble.
The aim of this project is to find new ways of working with our local Muslim communities to engage with them in a bid to prevent opportunities for vulnerable individuals to be drawn into extremism.
Let's hope it works.
Just for background purposes, the 2001 census indicates that the Muslim community in Croydon makes just 5.3% of the population of the borough. Croydon has the 41st largest Muslim community in England and Wales and the 22nd (out of 33) in London.
Healthcare Republic, part of Haymarket Medical Media, has a news item from Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt. Mrs Hewitt was speaking to the Fabian Society in London last week and told the audience:
Some women patients in some Muslim communities are feeling they can’t trust their own GP who is from the same community and knows their extended family.
If they go for particular situations, such as a sexual health problem or domestic violence, they fear they will share that information with other members of the family or community.
It is obviously hard to judge whether this is a problem solely in the Muslim community or not. Chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain’s health committee Dr Abdullahi Shehu told the website that, "reluctance to talk about sensitive issues with members of your own community is human nature; it’s not purely applicable to Muslims."
The Department of Health said that Mrs Hewitt had simply "recounted evidence from the Muslim Women’s Network on Health".
The fact that Muslim GPs were singled out implies that there had been no similar allegations from other faith groups. I don't buy into the inevitable claims that Muslims are being targeted by New Labour. If this was a problem in many close-knit communities Mrs Hewitt would have said so.
If what the Health Secretary has said is true then it indicates that there is a general feeling within the Muslim community that community comes before country which would be cause for concern. Nevertheless, no-one should get too worked up about this as these are, as yet, allegations and would only be anecdotal in any case.
Monday, March 26, 2007
A former British Islamic terrorist, Hassan Butt, has given a frank interview about the tactics used in Britain to recruit terrorists and raise funds. The interview was, of course, in America as we don't get such things in Britain. He reveals how Imams worked to radicalise young Muslims, how he convinced criminals to give a share of their money to terrorists in exchange for forgiveness, how money is sent to Pakistan without trace. This really is a must see; watch the full interview on this webpage. (via LGF)
Meanwhile, here are some extracts taken from the transcript:
What I've come to realize is that killing for the sake of killing, and killing in the name of Islam for the sake of killing, is completely and utterly prohibited. And there's a big disease, a big problem and a cancer in the Muslim world. And it's a very dangerous cancer, and it needs to be dealt with," he says.
"The position of moderate Muslims is that Islam has nothing to do with terrorism. Do you buy that?" Simon asks.
"No, absolutely not. By completely being in denial about it's like an alcoholic basically. Unless an alcoholic acknowledges that he has a problem with alcohol, he's never gonna be able to go forward," Butt argues. "And as long as we, as Muslims, do not acknowledge that there is a violent streak in Islam, unless we acknowledge that, then we are gonna always lose the battle to the militants, by being in complete denial about it."
MPACUK claims to be a "civil liberties group". However, its main focus is 1) to campaign against the way Mosques are run and 2) to demonise Israel wherever possible. It is anti-Semitism that defines MPACUK.
In 2004 the National Union of Students included MPACUK in a "no platform" order because of its anti-Semitism. In 2006 it emerged that MPACUK founder Asghar Bukhari had sent money and support for Holocaust-denier David Irving. He later claimed that he didn't realise that Irving was anti-Semitic.
The All Party Parliamentary Report into Antisemitism, published in 2006, had a number of paragraphs devoted to MPACUK. The report showed that they use the term "Zionist" in place of "Jew" to try and hide their anti-Semitism; one proof was an article which referred to the Talmud (a Jewish book) as a "Zionist" one.
The report condemned MPACUK for taking material directly from neo-nazi websites, spreading anti-Semitic conspiracies, and campaigning against an MP by claiming she was Jewish. The report said, "it is concerning to see the ‘accusation’ of being Jewish being used in such a way". (read the report here [pdf])
On this site we have reported on MPACUK's encouraging terrorism, declaring war and calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
The MCB has published an extract from an article by Inayat Bunglawala, assistant Secretary-General, under the headline, "How do we defeat violent extremism?". Here it is in full:
In short, a comprehensive response to violent extremism needs to involve greater vigilance on the part of all of us, a closer and more trusting relationship between local Muslim communities and the police, and a genuine reassessment by the government of some of its actions and policies overseas.So, the MCB three steps to stopping violent Islamic extremism:
1) Everyone must keep an eye out.
2) The police must stop arresting so many Muslims (in order to have a "closer relationship").
3) Britain must surrender to the terrorists' demands and change foreign policy to suit them.
What is missing from the MCB's method of tackling extremism? Here are some suggestions:
1) An acceptance that Islamic terrorism stems from an ideology not foreign policy
2) An acceptance of the responsibility of Muslim leaders and groups to educate young Muslims.
3) An acceptance of the need to disabuse young Muslims of the lies concerning 9/11, Israel, The Holocaust and just about everything else.
4) An acceptance of the need to prevent radical clerics from poisoning the minds of young Muslims.
5) An acceptance of the fact that the police must do their job and that mistakes will happen.
6) An acceptance of the need to encourage Muslim integration into the UK culture rather than trying to establish their own mini-state.
In short, the MCB is turning a blind eye to the causes of terrorism and is simply handing over the list of demands from these terrorists to the government. So, when Ruth Kelley indicated that the MCB was not one of "those organisations that are taking a proactive leadership role in tackling extremists and defending our values", was she wrong?
Iran is refusing to allow British diplomats to see the 15 kidnapped sailors. They have refused even to let diplomats know where they are being held.
Iranian officials have tried to defend their kidnapping by claiming that the boats were in Iranian waters. They even claim that the sailors "confessed". But, to be honest, even if that were true, any other country would have simply escorted the boats back again not kidnapped the sailors.
The BBC reports that:
Students belonging to the paramilitary Basij group, which is close to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have called for the Britons to be put on trial.Meanwhile, effectively buried by this kidnapping, is news that the attacks on British troops in Iraq are being orchestrated by Iran. Col Justin Masherevski has revealed that "the vast majority of the violence against us is inspired from outside Iraq" and that "the people here very much believe that is Iran".
An extract from the BBC article:
"All the circumstantial evidence points to Iranian involvement in the violence here in Basra which is disrupting the city to a great extent."
The standard of weapons being used against British troops was such that it could only have come from outside Iraq, he [Col Masherevski] said.
"These are not old munitions being used from the Iran-Iraq war, they're much more modern - some of them produced in 2006. "The locals are telling us these are coming in from Iran."
And it was believed Iranian agents were paying "up to $500 a month for young Baswari men to attack us", he added.
Finally, Robert Tait, in Tehran, has written an article for the Observer explaining that the Iranians hate Britain more than America or Israel. He says:
It may be news in the UK, where most assume that top of Iran's most-hated list is the US or Israel, but in reality it is perfidious Albion that in the Iranian world view is regarded as the dark mover behind the scenes, arranging acts deeply inimical to the Islamic Republic.
Here we have Iran, a country whose people hates us, kidnapping our sailors, arming and paying for people to kill our soldiers and all the while working on building a nuclear bomb. Is it time yet to take proper action?
Friday, March 23, 2007
News is breaking that Iranian forces have effectively kidnapped 15 British Navy sailors and marines. The personnel were operating in Iraqi waters carrying out a routine patrol. They boarded a ship suspected of smuggling cars when they were seized at gunpoint. We'll try and keep you updated.
UPDATE: A statement from the MoD:
The group boarding party had completed a successful inspection of a merchant ship when they and their two boats were surrounded and escorted by Iranian vessels into Iranian territorial waters.
Forcing them into Iranian waters sounds like a kidnapping.
UPDATE: Some BBC reporters are treating this as a kidnapping. The BBC news website quotes Commodore Nick Lambert as saying, "I hope we find this is a simple misunderstanding at the tactical level."
Meanwhile, over at MPACUK forums we have two members expressing their desire that these sailors not be freed but rather used as human shields!
Following on from yesterday's example of the hatred on display at the MPACUK forum, here we have another example.
If you find any more examples of this please let us know. Hopefully, we can put some pressure on MPACUK to stop their members calling for the death of British soldiers.
The word "purdah" has been banned by the Welsh Assembly lest it offend Muslims. The word has been in use in English for decades to refer to a period before an election in which the ruling party should not make announcements to influence the election. It derives from Persian where it refers to the separation of women from men, whether physically or through clothing.
The Welsh Assembly has insisted that the term not be used but be replaced with "pre-election period." However, they said that the ban was made last year and was because the new term was being used often anyway.
Conservative MP, David Davies, said:
This really is political correctness gone mad. Language is always evolving, and it should be obvious to everyone that the use of the term 'purdah' is not meant to be offensive or insulting.
This seems to me to be the latest example of white middle-class public sector employees imaging [sic] people will be offended when there is no evidence of that whatever. I would be very surprised if any Muslim group had complained.
The BBC is reporting that Sir Menzies Campbell is going to attack the police stop-and-search powers in a speech later today. He is expected to claim that their overuse is "alienating ethnic minority communities".
The BBC quotes figures from the Lib Dems of 167,000 stops under terrorism laws and only 40 convictions. It's probably safe to assume that the figure "40" comes from the Home Office statistics and, once again, conveniently ignores the other 186 convictions, the 98 on-going trials and the 74 people handed over to immigration.
Furthermore, it is safe to assume that the "ethnic minority communities" referred to are Muslim communities; the speech is due to be given in a mosque in Birmingham. This also ignores statistics from the Metropolitan Police Authority (read all here [pdf] pages 45-46). These show that approximately 50% of all stops are of white people and that in the region of 16-18% are of Asian people (except in South London where the figure is 21%). They also report that a total of 12% of the population of London is of Asian origin. In other words, the Asian community is being stopped-and-searched slightly more often, but not a huge amount.
The statistics show that the police stop-and-search powers are not being abused. All that is left is the feeling that they are. This feeling is partly due to poor communication from the police on wider anti-terrorism matters, partly due to poor reporting, but mostly due to political exploitation. It suits Sir Menzies to pretend that police are abusing their power. It suits Muslim leaders to pretend that they are being unfairly victimised. It suits the angry Muslim youth to feel angry.
But one final point. If Muslims were being targeted by stop-and-search powers, why would this be? Of course, it would be because they are more likely to be terrorists than other people. This is a harsh fact that so many Muslim people do not want to accept.
It is a fact that there are Muslims in Britain who want to kill and maim innocent British civilians and that casts a shadow over every Muslim in Britain. That means that Muslims will have to work harder than most to convince the public that they mean no harm. In the years since 9/11 and even since 7/7 we have not seen such an effort. Sure we have had condemnations of terrorist attacks; but we've had stronger condemnations of the police. We've had threats of "2 million terrorists". We've had angry protests against terrorism arrests and the Iraq war and against Israel. But when was the last time we had a protest against terrorism?
It will no doubt be hard work, but if Muslims want to remove the suspicion they must put in that effort.
Three men have been arrested over their alleged involvement in the terrorist attacks on July 7 2005. The Telegraph reports that the men are "believed to be British nationals of Pakistani background". The three had been under surveillance but the police were forced to arrest them when they discovered that two of the men were about to board a flight to Pakistan.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Naturally, it would be nice to keep tabs on goings on there. However, when this was tried, I was banned. The reason? Well as you can see, "No reason was specified".
Makes sense, given that I hadn't posted anything yet. So what ground was there for banning? Probably, the e-mail address used for it. This post also explains a lot about the process of banning. That user name is now "Invalid". Dear "Ali Abdullah", worry not, I can read the vile hate on the forum without being a member.
The MCB was launched in 1997 as an umbrella group for Muslims in the UK. It is currently headed by Dr Muhammed Abdul Bari. It was the government's favoured Muslim group up until last October when it was announced that the government was switching funding away from groups who do not take a "pro-active" role against terrorism.
The MCB presents itself as a mainstream Muslim group, and indeed many of its positions are wholly sensible. However, it sends out lots of extremist messages.
The most famous of these is its refusal to attend National Holocaust Memorial Day events. It insists that the day be renamed to a "Genocide Memorial Day" and should include the (fake) genocide of Palestinians.
Its current head, Dr Bari, threatened the government with "2 million terrorists", last September. He told a newspaper, "If that demonisation continues, then Britain will have to deal with two million Muslim terrorists, 700,000 of them in London".
Panorama journalist, John Ware, wrote an article about the MCB. He reveals that the former MCB secretary-general was also a trustee of a terrorist-encouraging group; that the deputy secretary-general affiliated himself with Hamas; and that the MCB refuses to categorically reject the myths about 9/11 or the idea that the Iraq war is a war on Islam. He states, "the MCB is also good at keeping young Muslims angry."
Continuing our profiling of radical Muslim groups in Britain, we give some information on the extremism of the Islamic Human Rights Commission. The group was set up in 1997 by Massoud Shadjareh, who remains its chairman. On its website it claims to "campaign for justice for all peoples regardless of their racial, confessional or political background." A brief look at their website, however, reveals that they only campaign for the human rights of Muslims.
Listed as number 2 in their aims and objectives is: "To promote a new social & international order, based on truth, justice, righteousness & generosity, rather than selfish interest." "Selfish interest", one supposes, would be capitalism; so is the new order to be communist in nature or Islamic? Clarification has been sought from them on this point and we await a response.
Their chairman, Massoud Shadjareh has reportedly called for "financial, logistical and informational support” for Hezbollah, and draped himself in their flag. He later defended wearing their flag on the basis that lots of people do it.
A 2003 report from the Tel Aviv university regarding anti-Semitism in the UK identifies the IHRC as a "radical Islamist organization" that "supports jihad groups around the world". The report goes on to state that the IHRC "subscribe to the radical Islamist belief that Jewish conspiracies are afoot to undermine Muslims."
The report also reveals that a number of IHRC advisers are extremists. Two, in particular, are mentioned: Muhammad al-Mas‘ari and Muhammad al-‘Asi. The former of these has declared British troops in Iraq as legitimate targets for terrorism and has posted beheadings on his website. He also runs a radio station calling for jihad. Read more on him here.
Muhammad al-‘Asi is an American based Muslim who has called for jihad and denied the Holocaust. Read more on him here and here.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The Driving Standards Agency yesterday produced new rules regarding veils and driving tests. The guidance states that if a woman turns up to a driving test wearing a veil she must lift it for ID purposes before being allowed to take the test. The aim is to prevent fraud. The guidance also says that the identification should be performed by a woman in a private room.
The BBC is running a poll on its website with the question, "Should the veil be banned in schools?". There have been 9345 votes and a staggering 83.16% have voted yes. Only 13.54% voted no. The BBC puts a caveat that the results may not reflect public opinion.
UPDATE: Two schools in Peterborough due to open next year have revealed that they will ban the full face veil. Both schools say that they have special arrangements for the hijab but draw the line at allowing pupils to completely cover their faces. (read more here)
Before this post starts let it be clear that we hope that Alan Johnston is released unharmed by his kidnappers. Let it also be clear that this is not an attempt to somehow "gloat" over what has happened or belittle it in any way.
The BBC's Gaza correspondent has been kidnapped. He was the resident reporter there for three years. Amongst the messages urging his release is one common theme; Alan Johnston is a "friend" of the Palestinian people. There is nothing wrong with being friendly to Palestinians but the implication is that Johnston should be released because his reports benefited the Palestinians. In other words he was biased in their favour.
Tom Gross picks up on a couple of examples. Firstly a statement from Paul Adams, the BBC diplomatic editor, saying is was "his [ Johnston's] job to bring us day after day reports of the Palestinian predicament”. It wasn't Johnston's job to report the facts, only the predicament.
Gross also quotes from Palestinian news sources in which a report quotes the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate as urging Johnston's release because he is "famous for his opinions which are supportive of the Palestinians.” (Hat Tip: Rop for this source)
Another example is a statement from Mr Johnston's father who told the BBC, "It it is no way to treat a friend of the Palestinian people."
We all hope and pray that Alan will be released unharmed, but the tragic event of his kidnapping has revealed that his reporting over the last three years has been heavily biased in favour of the Palestinians.
The government announced that schools will now have the power to ban the full face veil if they wanted to. The decision doesn't actually ban it, rather it allows Headmasters to make the decision based on the local situation and in consultation with parents.
Some Muslim groups have welcomed the decision. Dr Tag Hargey of the Muslim Education Centre of Oxford, who has stated in the past that the veil is purely cultural not religious, said:
When you conceal the face, that actually not only dehumanises the person involved, but also creates a chasm, a gap, a bridge of non-understanding between communities and I think the sooner we can get rid of this veil, this face veiling, this face masking in Muslim societies across Britain, so much the better.
Even the MCB wasn't complaining, mainly because it did not "alter the position very much".
However, the IHRC was making a fuss about it. A press release states:
IHRC is concerned that these guidelines will be counter productive. There was no consultation with the Muslim community before introducing these guidelines......To now proceed to issue guidance against Muslim communities is simply shocking.
Clearly, Mr Shadjareh hasn't read the report. The guidelines are not "against Muslim communities" they are giving headteachers the right to decide what is best for the local community. Furthermore, the fact that there has been no consultation is irrelevant because the guidelines are that consultation should be on a local level.
Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, has created a post of "radicalisation co-ordinator" and plans to make 5 more similar positions to tackle preachers who encouraged violence such as Abu Hamza. He is quoted in The Telegraph as saying:
The preacher of hate issue is one of growing public concern and we expect to be bringing more cases of this sort. It is dangerous and it requires a vigorous response from us and the police.
Watch this space for any reactions.
Two terror suspects have lost their appeals against extradition. Both are being extradited to the US.
In one case, Syed Hashmi is wanted for helping to supply weapons to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Because he is a US citizen, the US want to try him over there. His appeal was based on the claim that the original warrants were flawed. Lord Justice Baker said the claim was "wholly technical and without substance".
The other case is of Syed Talha Ahsan , wanted in America for running a website there whose aim was to raise money for terrorism across the world. He had tried to claim that his Human Rights would be at risk in the US, but this was flatly rejected by the judge.
Both cases now go before the Home Secretary for a final decision, and it is unlikely that he will object.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Due to a heavy workload the site will not be updated until Wednesday. However, rest assured that (barring any unforeseen eventualities) we will be back then.
Also, please use this entry as an open thread for discussion.
Friday, March 16, 2007
The German academic who was prevented from giving a speech at Leeds University on the link between Nazism and anti-Semitism in the Islamic world has hit back at Britain. He said:
It is a worrying trend. If I say something which is not positive about a particular brand of Islam, the imposition is that I am inciting hatred of every Muslim. I am very concerned about this - it is an attack on academic freedom. We are seeing it more and more, particularly in the UK.
There is nothing wrong with holding beliefs but you must be able to challenge and question them. Academic integrity is all about the exchange of positions and the search for truth - I think this is in danger in the UK.
The organisers accused the university of bowing to pressure after receiving e-mails from Muslim students complaining about the talk. One claimed, "The only intention that you have for doing this is to increase hatred as I clearly regard it as an open racist attack."
The university insisted that the speech was cancelled because of security fears. Presumably they were concerned about the possibility of violent protests by the Muslim students.
(Relevant links: The Times, The Telegraph)
The decision to rename the Three Little Pigs to Puppies has been overturned by the council. Council education spokesman Jim Dodds, said, "There is something barmy going on here and it has happened on my watch. I can tell you now that the three little pigs will be back into the school musical festival."
He added that, "The decision (to ban the pigs) was made by well-meaning people."
Mohammed Imran, of the Hanfia Mosque and Educational Institute in Lockwood, also praised the intention of the decision. He said, "I think it's great that the festival organisers are considering things which might offend Muslims."
However, not everyone was happy with the thinking behind the decision. Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley said:
My view is that the people responsible for this are completely bonkers. It is the type of political correctness which makes people's blood boil. As usual it is done in the name of ethnic minorities but it is perpetrated by white, middle class, do-gooders with a guilt complex and far too much time on their hands.
Would "white, middle class, do-gooders with a guilt complex and far too much time on their hands" be a fair description of most of the radical Islam loving liberal elite?
(Relevant links: The Telegraph, BBC and The Huddersfield Daily Examiner)
Lord Carlile of Berriew, QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, has made some suggestions, according to The Times. Foremost among them is that judges should be given the power to add another 5 years to sentences of non-terrorism offences if the crime assisted terrorism. For example, credit card fraud whose purpose was to raise money for terrorism.
He also suggested that the legal definition of terrorism be extended to include attacks which aim to advance "racial, ethnic or other similar causes", and that terrorism should be considered attacks that aim to "intimidate" rather than "influence" the public.
Finally, he rejected calls to allow the defence that the crime was justified by an oppressive regime as long as non-combatants were not targeted. Lord Carlile said that no such change could be implemented while remaining within the bounds of existing international law. Furthermore, he added, any such change would require a difficult decision on what was considered a "bad" regime.
MPACUK has posted an article about the latest proposed UN sanctions against Iran. The proposal has been agreed on by the 5 permanent members of the Security Council and Germany and is now being presented to the other members. The headline MPACUK chooses is:
Zionists Draw Sanctions On Iran A Step Closer - Mosques Still Asleep
Israel is not on the Security Council and so is not involved in drawing up the proposed resolution. Nevertheless, MPACUK sees fit to declare that the sanctions are a Zionist plan. Are MPACUK simply using "Zionist" as a pejorative term to describe states that they do not like, or are they implying that Zionists are actually behind the sanctions?
Are they, in fact, implying some sort of worldwide (including Russia and China) Zionist conspiracy against Iran? And wouldn't such an implication be simply a modern version of the worldwide Jewish conspiracies invented by earlier anti-Semites (for example the Protocols of the Elders of Zion)?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Here's just a short thought on the debate over whether to renew Britain's (semi-)independent nuclear deterrent. We can ignore the views that Britain should disarm in order for others to follow suit, or because we do not need them anymore. The first is disingenuous, the second simply fool-hardy.
The only argument in favour of scrapping Trident that makes any sense is that we can rely on the Americans to protect us. Now, were all the "Blair = Bush's poodle" people, who want Britain to distance itself from the US, demanding that Britain asserts its independence by having its own nuclear arsenal? It didn't look like it.
A school in Yorkshire has decided to rename the story of the Three Little Pigs to Three Little Puppies so as not to offend Muslims. The decision has been roundly criticised. Let's just take a quick look at some of the quotes (from The Daily Mail).
The headteacher said, "We have to be sensitive if we want to be multi-cultural", clearly stating that this decision was about multi-culturalism and reinforcing the fact that multiculturalism doesn't produce many cultures living within the host culture but rather the erosion of the host culture.
Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra from the Muslim Council of Britain said, "Every time we get these stories Muslims are seen more and more as misfits. We have to accept there's a predominant culture here." That first sentence leaves doubt over the sincerity of the second sentence. Is he condemning it because Muslims should bend to British culture or because such stories make Muslims look bad?
And a local paper reports:
So, we have a mixture of multiculturalism and radical Islamism. Multiculturalism which insists on the removal of the predominant culture in the face of any other. And Islamism instilling fear in the decision makers.
Clr Terry Lyons was upset to learn of the decision. The independent, whose ward includes Honley, said: "I can't believe that Muslims would be offended by this. This is pandering to a few extremists."
Clr Lyons believes the people who made the decision may have been influenced by the controversy surrounding the sacking of teaching assistant Aishah Azmi in Dewsbury last year. He said: "There's an element of fear evident since the veil dispute and I don't think that's healthy."
A man convicted of possessing items for terrorism purposes has had his sentence cut from 15 years to 10 years. Andrew Rowe was arrested in France on his way back to Britain. He was in possession of an instruction manual on how to fire mortars as well as a code book for secret communications. The prosecution had argued that he was actively planning attacks at the time of his arrest and that his methods and contacts had the hallmarks of Al Qaeda.
The judges turned down his appeal but ruled that the 15 year sentence was "too high" overall, and reduced it to 10 years. (Read the BBC article here).
The Telegraph is reporting that Leeds University has cancelled a speech by Matthias Küntzel entitled, "Hitler's Legacy: Islamic Anti-semitism in the Middle East" citing security concerns. The article says:
In a statement yesterday, two academics in the Leeds German department, which had organised the event, claimed the university had bowed "to Muslim protests".That statement added:
The reason the university gives for the cancellation of the talk and seminars by Dr Küntzel are security concerns. 'These concerns are founded on emails received by the office of the Vice Chancellor. The sudden cancellation is a sell-out of academic freedom, especially freedom of speech, at the University of Leeds.Dr Küntzel is quoted as saying, "My impression was that they wanted to avoid the issue in order to keep the situation calm. My feeling is that this is a kind of censorship."
He also said the contents of emails described to him did not overtly threaten violence but "they were very, very strongly worded''.
So, within one week we have an attempt to prevent a member of the Israeli embassy from speaking on the grounds that Israel is a "racist, illegal state" and now we have the University bowing to Muslim pressure to stop someone suggesting that some people in the Islamic world are anti-Semitic. And all brought to you by the university who defended a motion (passed by the student union) to prevent the Jewish Society from making legitimate complaints. A bastion of intellectual enlightenment or a haven for radical Islamic extremism?
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Alan Johnston the BBC correspondent in Gaza has been kidnapped. News of the kidnapping is in every newspaper; the Muslim Council of Britain has even called for his release. Let's hope that he is released quickly and unharmed, and without a forced conversion to Islam.
Nevertheless, one odd thing is that the BBC is refusing to report it as a kidnapping. The BBC article states:
The BBC is continuing to try to locate its Gaza Strip correspondent, Alan Johnston, who has gone missing. ....These reports have been accepted by every other media outlet in this country. In fact, on the Editors' Blog in the "BBC in the news" section it states:
The corporation has not commented on Palestinian reports that he had been kidnapped.
All papers: Report that the BBC has been unable to contact reporter Alan Johnston in Gaza.It then provides 5 links, all of which mention that he has been kidnapped.
So, the question is why the BBC are refusing to mention it. Some commenters on the biased-bbc site have suggested that this is because of ongoing negotiations between the BBC and the kidnappers. However, The Independent report:
There has been no contact between the kidnappers and the BBC.It is difficult to think of a reason why the BBC would not report this as a kidnapping, like everyone else. Do they perhaps know something the rest do not? Are they concerned that admitting that their Gaza correspondent was kidnapped would raise questions about why he was there. After all, Johnston is the last foreign correspondent still living in Gaza. Perhaps it is because the kidnapping may raise questions about the freedom of the press in Gaza?
Perhaps there is a simple explanation, please leave a comment if you have any ideas.
UPDATE: The BBC has produced a new article by Katya Adler (BBC correspondent in Jerusalem). This article still refuses to state that Mr Johnston has been kidnapped. Instead it says:
Renewed attempts are being made to find BBC Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston, who has been missing since Monday afternoon and is feared kidnapped.
The BBC has sent a team to Gaza to liaise with Palestinian officials.
That last sentence seems to confirm The Independent's report that the BBC has had no contact with the kidnappers. The report further states:
Palestinian security officials say he was kidnapped from his car by masked gunmen, but the BBC says it cannot independently verify these reports.
Other reports in Gaza say he is healthy and negotiations are under way with the abductors to secure his release.
Even according to these "other reports" he was still kidnapped, so why are the BBC still refusing to say so?
A local newspaper reported that a Muslim woman was allowed to use the swimming pool and sauna of a health centre wearing "her head dress and robe down to the floor", even though this contravened the centre's own health and safety regulations. Taj Hargey, of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, said:
If this woman wants to wear this garb it's not Islamic custom, it's a cultural tradition which has nothing to do with faith. This is political correctness gone crazy and there should be one set of rules and regulations for everyone, regardless of their culture or religion.
One member of the centre asked the manager about breach of the rules and was told that "they had to observe her religious customs". The general manager said that "Whereas we respect the religious beliefs and customs of all members, the health, hygiene and safety of members is always the first priority."
Of course the manager may well be in a position to make an exception if they so wish. However, the impression is that the manager felt he had no choice but to make an exception.
Another important question is why this woman thought she should be allowed to use the facility if she could not keep to the rules. Isn't it a bit like walking into McDonalds and then insisting they serve you with Halal burgers? If you choose to live life in a certain way and with certain rules, you must accept that those rules will prevent you from using other services or facilities.
UPDATE: The Sun is now reporting on this case and their report concurs with our original analysis. They state:
Muslim woman in full hijab robes was allowed to swelter in a sauna because worried staff did not want to offend her.
and then go on to say:
He [Taj Hargey] added the incident demonstrated a problem among some Muslim women in Britain.
He said: “They think this is their way of making a statement, but this is the worst possible statement. They are shooting themselves in the foot.”
Yesterday we referred you to an article by John Hooper revealing the shocking silence of women's rights groups to a so-called honour killing in Italy. As Hooper pointed out this problem is not confined to Italy alone. In fact, the same problem is evident in Britain.
Ongoing is the trial of the father and uncle of Banaz Mahmod. She was allegedly murdered by them for refusing her arranged marriage and instead choosing a boyfriend. According to the prosecution they were helped by another man, Mohamad Hama. The group first tried to kidnap the boyfriend but failed. They told him:
We're going to kill you and Banaz, because we're Muslim and Kurdish. We're not like the English where you can be boyfriend and girlfriend. We're going to leave now but we'll be back again.Again, there seems to be a silence about this case from Western human rights groups. Liberty do not seem to say anything. A search on the websites of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reveal no results. A Google search using the name "Banaz Mahmod" and "rights" reveals that the only rights groups mentioning this case are Kurdish or Middle Eastern ones. No Western group seems able or willing to protest.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Further to the posts about extremism in British universities, here is something from Leeds.
MPACUK has published a letter from one "Waleed Kamal" (former head of the Palestinian Solidarity Group at LU) informing of a speech to be given by the Director of Public Affairs for the Israeli Embassy, Ronit Ben-Dor. The letter states:
As a Muslim, a Palestinian, and a Justice supporter, I thought it is a duty to email you as I do not want the University I graduated from to be labeled as providing a Platform for RACISTS....
One is today proud that the University he/she has graduated from is supporting freedom of speech, and is allowing the oppressed to express their views. Yet, it would be a big shame to see the same university who has twinned to support the right to education for Palestinian Students, giving a platform for an advocate of an illegal state on campus.
Well, hold on. If you're proud that the university allows people to express their views why do you want to stop this person expressing her views? And furthermore it is hard to see how Leeds University is supporting freedom of speech. Just last December the Palestinian Solidarity Group sponsored a union motion stating that any complaint from the LU Jewish Society should be ignored "as long as Judaism as a faith is not offended." Disgracefully, that motion was passed. It can hardly be claimed that the PSG is a bastion of free speech.
The letter goes on to say:
The talk deceives the students, and prohibits them from getting the fair and right picture in regards to what is happening in the Occupied Palestinian territories, and the Israeli barbaric behavior.This is, of course, complete nonsense. Hearing the Israeli side of things could not possibly "prohibit"someone from finding out what is going on. The letter concludes:
I ... would regard it as a pity if Our university is advocating the acts of the illegal Zionist state of Israel.This letter indicates that extremism is prevalent on British campuses, and following in the MPACUK mould, it often appears in the form of seething hatred of "Zionists".
In recent weeks there have been accusations that Muslims are using "aggressive techniques" to force young Hindu and Sikh university students to convert to Islam. This site already looked at the MCB's reaction. Today MPACUK has reproduced a letter from some Muslim academics to Sir Ian Blair. In this letter they state:
Your statements appear to have been made on the basis of claims by the Hindu Forum of Britain who have not presented any evidence that such forced conversions‚ are taking place. In fact the notion of forced conversions‚ of young Hindu women to Islam is part of an arsenal of myths propagated by right-wing Hindu supremacist organisations in India and used to incite violence against minorities. For example, inflammatory leaflets referring to such conversions‚ were in circulation before the massacres of the Muslim minority in Gujarat exactly five years ago which left approximately 2,000 dead and over 200,000 displaced.
As a matter of interest, the wikipedia article on the Gujarat violence contains no mention of these leaflets, nor is it obviously flagged up by a Google search. That isn't conclusive, obviously, but it makes it unlikely that Sir Ian Blair (or most Britons) will have heard about it. Furthermore, the implication here is the the Hindu Forum of Britain is a Hindu-supremacist group. Again, a wikipedia search shows no articles about Hindu-supremacists nor does a Google search reveal much.
This argument also fails to explain why Sikh groups have made the same allegations. The letter already noted that Sikhs had also made a complaint. The letter goes on to say:
In our view, it is highly irresponsible to treat such allegations at face value
In the light of the fact that there is almost no way Sir Ian could know whether these allegations are an age old myth (and taking into account that its being a myth is unproven) it is shocking to tell the police not to investigate. The police must always take all allegations at face value.
Finally, the letter finished with the traditional "victimhood" claim:
we can only see statements such as yours as contributing to the further stigmatising of the Muslim community as a whole and as a pretext for further assaults on civil liberties in Britain.
John Hooper, in The Guardian's CiF section, criticises the Left for their failure to confront radical Islam. His starting off point is a case in Italy in which a young Muslim girl was killed by her family because they didn't approve of the way she was becoming Westernised. He exposes the fact that none of Italy's feminist groups got involved in the case. Only one lone woman took action, Ms Gemilli, she explained the problem:
Her explanation, which at least one noted feminist agreed with, is that Italy's women's groups - all of the left - were scared witless of seeming racist or anti-immigrant.Hooper goes on to say:
This is not really a story about Italy at all. Another woman commentator said feminist groups in Germany had reacted in a similarly paralysed fashion to the case of a lawyer of Turkish origin who had been beaten up for defending the rights of Muslim women.
So if feminists and the left are not going to help, who will? The case of Hina Saleem offers a possible answer. It was not till last month that she was buried. Only one woman - apart from Loredana Gemelli - turned out for her funeral. Her name is Daniela Santanche and she is a member of the Italian parliament for the "post-fascist" National Alliance.
For anyone who regards himself or herself as liberal, that is cringe-makingly shameful.
What Hooper appears to be saying is that the Left has become unable to campaign for equal rights, while at the same time, the Right has learnt to accept equal rights but has retained the moral fibre necessary to take strong action to bring about these rights.
Some will no doubt claim that the Right was only there to score political points out of this as part of an Islamophobic attempt to gain more votes from the far-Right. Perhaps so. But that shouldn't take away from the fact the the Left has become unable to criticise certain people for their abuses.
Monday, March 12, 2007
This is an interesting article in The Mirror written by Tony Parsons. He gets right to the heart of the problem of muliculturalism:
The problem is we do lot [sic "not"] need more diversity, we need less. You can't believe in everything. You can't simultaneously believe that gay people should be invited for tea and that gay people should be exterminated. You can't simultaneously believe that men and women are equal, but also that women should cover their faces and be subjected to arranged marriages. You simply can't believe in everything.
Abdul Muhid and his kind should be trying to fit in with us - not the other way around. We should stop bending over backwards to keep everyone happy. We're learning that multi-culturalism doesn't mean lots of cultures living merrily side-by-side. It means a country with no culture at all.
He finishes off with:
And, above all, we need to restore pride in being British.
That's what they should be teaching in those citizenship classes - say it loud, I'm a Brit and I'm proud.
Now, for those out there who think the very mention of being proud to be British is racist please think about this. Who is British? Anyone with a British passport. Who has a British passport? All sorts of people. When we talk of being proud of being British we mean pride in our national achievements and history.
Some people think British pride must mean a pride in being an ethnic Briton. This is racist nonsense. British pride means taking pride in our history and achievements. This is open to any Briton of any ethnicity and background. Just as in America, immigrants are proud to be American, so too we need to be allowed to be proud of being British. Not pround of being an ethnic Briton, but proud of being a person with British values and living with British achievements.
The Sun is reporting that a video has been posted on extremist Muslim sites featuring the "video will" of 7/7 bomber Mohammed Sidiqe Khan. The video comes with English subtitles. The newspaper quotes Neil Doyle (an internet terror expert, according to them):
The message of the video is quite clear: Mohammad Sidique Khan and others have given their lives — you should too. Khan is dead, but he is gradually becoming an important digital recruiting sergeant for al-Qaeda.
The report goes on to say:
The video has been produced by an al-Qaeda online media unit called the Jihad Media Battalion that experts believe is based in the UK. Mr Doyle reckons extremists linked to hate preacher Omar Bakri are behind the recruitment drive.It looks like Al Muhajiroun is getting bigger and looking for more members, both online and in universities (see here). This group poses a clear danger to the public with their extremist rants, protests and by encouraging terrorism. We can only hope that the police have this group firmly in their sites.
The film includes images of posters produced by Bakri’s group calling the 9/11 hijackers “the magnificent 19”. Download links to the film have also been posted to a website used by Bakri supporters.
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, besides demonising Israel and using "Zionism" in an attempt to cover its anti-Semitism, also spends a lot of time attacking the older, less radical, members of the Muslim community. Their main targets are, naturally, the mosque leaders. As part of this they have published an article from the BBC about a fire in Bradford in which a 5-week old baby girl died. The headline that MPACUK gave this article is:
MPAC,you've stooped to a new lowThe headline given by MPACUK is not really surprising; this is one of their tactics. They often try to link a group into a story that has nothing to do with them. For example, they printed an article from The Guardian about Patrick Mercer's sacking with the headline:
A complete idiot lacking any knowledge, manners and basic common sense must have posted this article. MPAC lacks serious intellectual clout if they can't even see the error of posting this. What has the Mosque got to do with this situation?
Headline "Could MPAC have saved this five week old baby?"
Sub text: Some Muslim group(s) will use any opportunity to divide the community yet claim it is trying to wake the community up. However many Muslims are now fed up with this self-virtuous type of journalism, realising that these groups, just like the ones they critise delude themselves into thinking that only they know best.
Whoever thought of that ridiculous title should be ashamed of themselves.
I felt sick someone was trying to make political capital out of this tragedy
UPDATE: MPACUK is trying to cover itself. In a new post with the headline, "If Mosques Can Save Us From Hell Fire - Why Not This Fire?" they apologise and claim, "We were simply trying to encourage a debate on mosques beyond their current role." They have also changed the headline of the other article to, "Is It The Mosque's Job To Teach Fire Safety?".
Their claim seems somewhat unlikely. It takes a very large strecth of the imagination to think that the headline they put (with no other indication whatsoever) was meant to launch a debate about fire prevention.
Furthermore, after the initial complaining on the MPACUK forum they added in a note of condolence but did not change the title or mention anything about fire prevention at that point. As the day progressed, a few ingenious people started coming up with this idea about it being a critique of mosques and fire prevention. Only after seeing this life-line did MPACUK produce the new article.
As a spin job it isn't too bad, but they may need some more help if they are to be convincing. Let's just hope that people are clever enough to see through it.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
On the sidebar is a new section with links to articles. These articles will serve to provide a hub for the posts that are made about radicalism in these groups. It will probably take a few days to fully populate the section. The first entry is for Al Muhajiroun as they are the subject of an earlier post today.
Prof Anthony Glees, the director of Brunel University's Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, has warned that Al Muhajiroun is still targeting campuses across Britain. He produced a report last year detailing how at least 31 universities had radical Islamic Societies and is quoted by The Telegraph saying:
We must accept this problem is widespread and underestimated. Unless clear and decisive action against campus extremism is taken, the security situation in the UK can only deteriorate.Omar Bakri was quoted by an Arabic newspaper (translated and reported by the Institute for Counter-Terrorism) detailing how he targeted the main campuses and would deliver up to 30 lectures a week. Anjem Choudary was also quoted telling the newspaper that "students of Omar Bakri still continue to preach in campuses."
Friday, March 09, 2007
I have become aware that members of the MPACUK forum have identified this site as a far-right, fascist, Islamophobic etc etc site. Please allow me to reply to these allegations.
First up, I am not a member of the BNP (as so many of you assume). I never have been nor ever will be. I deplore many of their tactics and do not really believe in their supposed transformation.
The purpose of this site is not to attack Muslims or Islam; it is purely to keep people informed of the activities of radical Muslims in Britain. There is a difference between general attacks on Muslims and specific attacks on identified individuals or groups.
When you read the articles it is clear that they are not about Islam in general but on specific groups and individuals. For example, we do not report on random crimes that happen to have been committed by a Muslim. To set out to identify a criminal as a Muslim where there is no indication that he acted due to his religion is to stir up unnecessary religious tension. However, when a Muslim commits a crime in the name of Islam it is most certainly not racist to mention it.
This site will often take a look at press releases and articles from prominent Muslim groups and analyse them. These groups often exhibit radical tendencies which can be exposed in this way. For example, the MCB's boycott of Holocaust Memorial Day must surely be recognised as a radical stance. These radical stances are not only unhelpful but are dangerous because if the centre is shifted then more people end up on the extremity, and those people are the ones who commit mass murder.
MPACUK is one such group. They limit themselves to political activity but nevertheless have a radical stance. They actively radicalise their readers which is dangerous. So, for example, their article calling for Jihad may have envisaged purely political activity but will inspire the more radical reader to the other forms of Jihad (namely suicide bombings etc).
It is clear to me that there is no racism in any of my posts (save where it is being challenged by us). If you have found any such things then do not hesitate to e-mail or leave a comment so that it can be discussed. Those who accuse us of racism or Islamophobia do so because they see a site critical of some Muslims and do not look at what is actually written in it.
My hope, therefore, is that you will start to actually read the articles and, instead of dismissing them out of hand, take a minute to think about them. If you still object then that objection can be discussed rationally. If you find a statement that is untrue, let us know. But if all you can do is sit on the sidelines and shout Islamophobia then you may well be the radicals this site is about.
A commentor going by the name "jb" has left this comment on our story of the BBC's using the wrong photo:
Your claims of bias on this score are mistaken.
PA labels this picture on its wires:
Cartoons Protest Muslim demonstrators outside the Danish Embassy in London 03/02/2006 Press Association.
It then goes on to say "french embassy", as per your link.
So who knows where those pesky muslims were...
"Those pesky Muslims" has some undertones of religious intolerance. So, imagine the surprise when an IP trace showed that the comment originated from BBC HQ in London!
Most likely, the commentor thinks that everyone on this site is a racist and will therefore be more inclined to listen to his defence if he slipped in some racist sentiment. Unfortunately for them, this site is not racist and never has been. The BBC will be made aware of this comment and we await their response.
(Oh, and just so you know, the PA doesn't label that picture that way. In fact, that description does not return any result on google.)
Thursday, March 08, 2007
In a self-congratulatory article, MPACUK demands that all Muslims join the Jihad. "The Defence of Allah's people is a Fard [an obligation] on us. Jihad is Fard. The Muslim Leaders have no right in Islam to neglect it." While this article does not itself define Jihad, it does link all the words "Jihad" to this page.
The aim of this other article is to show that Jihad can be achieved through political means. It does this by quoting many Islamic sources. However, those sources serve to prove that it includes physical fighting. Here are some examples:
Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi: To change people's views by means of the pen and the tongue, and to bring about a revolution in their minds, is also jihad.
Maulavi Zafar Ali Khan: jihad is not simply that one should pick up a sword and dash into a battle-field, but it also includes struggle by speech and writing.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad: Many people think that jihad means only to fight.....This effort [what he calls Jihad] could be with one's life, or property, or expenditure of time, or by bearing labour and hardship, or fighting the enemy and shedding blood.
These show categorically that Jihad has many forms, one of which is to take up arms and kill the enemy. A huge number of Muslims in the world choose to fulfill Jihad in this way, including many in Britain. When MPACUK demand Jihad from their fellow Muslims, they may well have purely political activities in mind. However, they are surely aware that many will choose to follow the more violent option.
MPACUK's articles serve to arouse anger in Muslims and to then point those angry Muslims in the direction of an undefined "Jihad" is irresponsible at best. Unfortunately, it is entirely possible that while MPACUK themselves have chosen political Jihad they do not mind if others choose physical fighting. After all, neither article indicates any opposition to terrorism or fighting.
Over the last couple of weeks there have been reports that Muslim radicals in universities are using aggressive techniques to "force" Hindu and Sikh girls to convert to Islam. The Hindu Forum of Britain has made the Met aware of the problem. The police insist that they have not received any details or allegations of specific cases.
The Muslim Council of Britain has today called for any evidence to be submitted to the police. There is no outright rebuttal of the allegations but the statement makes clear that the MCB is saying "put up or shut up". However, Ramesh Kallidai, secretary-general of the Hindu Forum of Britain, has said that those affected will not go to the police because of shame and fear.
While the MCB's anxiety is understandable, they are not helping by putting pressure on victims (if they exist) especially when they ask that the evidence be publicised as well as just given to the police.
An interesting point is the wording of this paragraph:
If these reports prove to be true the MCB would unreservedly condemn the practice of forced conversion as it goes against a fundamental tenet of our religion - there is no compulsion in matters of faith.Why will the MCB only condemn the practice if the allegations are true? Surely, they should be condemning the practice anyway. A cynic might suggest that the MCB doesn't really find forced conversions condemnable but will have to condemn it if it is proven that the practice happens in Britain.
The MCB finishes off with the tried and tested "victimhood" claim:
In the absence of any hard evidence of forced conversions though, many British Muslims will suspect that this is an underhand attempt to smear them.Finally, readers should note that last September a man was sent to prison for very similar things to what are now being claimed. He sent abusive text messages to a student and tricked her into sleeping with him. He threatened to kidnap her and force her to convert to Islam.
This may have been an isolated incident, and there may never have been intent to actually force a conversion. Nevertheless, it is a real case in which the tactics that the Hindu and Sikh community are complaining about were employed.
UPDATE: Forced conversion to Islam has definitely taken place in Britain. Last September we also mentioned a gang called "The Muslim Boys" who carried out forced conversions. (Jihad Watch has a similar report from last January)
Yesterday we looked into the way the IHRC has abused the Home Office statistics and the way the MSM fell for it. Today, the Muslim Council of Britain has used the same figures with new lies to further their political agenda.
In a statement they say:
It is a shocking revelation that evidence to justify the laying of charges was found satisfactory in a very small proportion of those arrested and only 3 percent of those were found guilty.
In fact, charges were brought against 407 people (out of 1166). This amounts to 35%. And far from "3 percent of those" being found guilty the figure (excluding those awaiting or on trial, for obivous reasons) is 74.5%. Compare this figure to the conviction rates at the end of 2005 which stood at 76% in murder cases, and 63% in cases of sexual assault.
The MCB goes on to say:
Given the media circus that attracts arrests carried out under terrorism legislation it is now manifestly obvious that this legislation has blighted the lives of more than a thousand innocent individuals and their families. This must not be allowed to continue.Where innocent people are arrested in the course of an investigation, at the very least their innocence should be publicly acknowledged in proportion to the publicity attracted by their arrest. This process will assist in improving the image of the police with the communities.
Obviously no one has told the MCB that it is the media, not the police, that makes a big fuss over arrests and ignores the releases.
Finally, the MCB calls for a public inquiry into the causes of terror. Obviously, the MCB thinks that any public inquiry (besides for wasting lots of money) will link the Iraq war to terrorism and the MCB will be able to use that to bash the government with. A public enquiry is completely pointless because we are all aware that the cause of terrorism is ideology and everything else simply serves as fuel.
Chief superintendent Ali Dizaei was passed over for promotion and the MSM is trying to make into a race issue. First, some background. Ali Dizaei is Iranian-born and has duel-nationality. In 1999 an investigation was launched against him for various offences, he was finally acquitted of all charged in 2003. Since then he has written a book, "Not one of us", that was serialised in The Times only last week. The book is highly critical of the Metropolitan Police. The promotion had three places and ten applicants.
The MSM is making this into a race issue, either overtly (as in the Evening Standard and The Guardian) or more subtly by making clear that Mr Dizaei is Asian with headlines like "Anger as Asian police chief misses promotion" (from The Telegraph).
Now, there are two issues. One, was there any bias in the decision and secondly, was that bias racial or personal. The Black Police Association which has alleged bias has not shown any proof. As The Times leader points out:
That the MPA did not elevate Mr Dizaei to this especially senior rank this time is no more a slight on him than on the other six officers whose applications were unsuccessful....But the more interesting part of this story is that every media outlet is claiming that if there was any bias it was race related. Yet, that wasn't what was alleged by The Black Police Association. Their spokesman said:
It [The Met] should not be unfairly accused of a “vendetta” on the basis of evidence that is no more robust than that once deployed against Mr Dizaei.
I do not want to start levelling accusations of racism, but it worries me it could be a personal vendetta against Ali."
I am hoping that the Met would not be so vindictive as to say because he has written this book we will not promote him.
It seems clear that the concern is of a "personal vendetta" as a result of Mr Dizaei's book. In fact, Damian Hockney, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said:
Many of us felt that the timing of Mr Dizaei's book was designed to put pressure on those making this selection and I'm reassured that the panel clearly did not bow to any such pressure.
The central point here is this book the Mr Dizaei has written and very recently published. If there was any bias it is recognised as being as a result of the book, not Ali's race or religion.
Remember Aisha Azmi, the teaching assistant from Dewsbury? She was suspended from her job because she refused to remove her full face veil when working and children complained that they couldn't understand her properly. The case was taken to a tribunal who ruled in favour of the school. Well, today she is appealing the tribunal's decision.
Frankly, there doesn't seem to be a case to answer; she couldn't carry out her job properly. Yes, she has the right to dress as she pleases (even if her choice does stretch the level of tolerance we have in this country) but she must live with that choice. Her decision to wear a veil means that she cannot be a teacher, in the same way as a person's decision not to study nuclear physics means that they cannot be a nuclear physicist.
However, it should be noted that her decision to wear a veil was because she was told to by her local Imam (see here), who was a member of Tablighi Jamaat, a radical Muslim group. As was noted at the time (see here) Azmi's father was working in an Islamic school also run by Tablighi Jamaat.
A man from Walthamstow, who was arrested last week on suspicion of terrorism, was released yesterday without charge. He was held for 8 days. This is interesting because of the fuss made when the Home Office revealed that just over half of those arrested on suspicion of terrorism are released without trial.
As was pointed out in this post the statistics do not give any indication of how long these people were being held for before release. So, here we see that in one example it was 8 days. While this is just one case it shows that not all of those released were held for the maximum amount of time.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
A Muslim man was found guilty of soliciting murder during the infamous protests against the Danish cartoons. The discussion of his past and connections is in the post below this one. This post is going to focus on the BBC's report of the verdict, or, to be more accurate, on the photo accompanying the report. The report is here and the picture is below:
The picture is interesting as it shows Muslims praying with their faces covered while being watched by a policeman with his face also covered. Before moving on to analysing the picture let's first locate the source.
The photo was taken by Andrew Parsons and can be seen here. The information about this picture is that it was of Muslims praying outside the French Embassy in London. Compare that to this photo of the protest in question which says it was outside the Danish Embassy in London. In other words, the BBC is using a photo of a different protest! And if you're interested, here is a google map showing the distance between the two embassies (about 1 mile).
So, the question becomes why did the BBC use a photo from a different protest? One might be generous and say that they are simply inept and unable to read the description of the photo. However, there is a more cynical possibility; the BBC is trying to make a point. Knowing the BBC's penchant for multiculturalism and moral equivalences it is not beyond the realm of possibility that this photo was used to equate Muslim protestors who cover their faces to the police who also do.
In all probability the police have their faces covered to keep warm, the protest was in the beginning of February. However, the BBC has used a photo from a peaceful protest that took place about a mile away to illustrate a story about an infamous protest. Is this bias? Quite possibly.
One thing is for sure, though, the BBC chose not to use a photo of the actual protest that would show the vile placards that were on display. That decision alone is almost certainly either ineptitude or bias.
UPDATE: Further investigation confirms that the two protests could not have been the same. The Sun reports that the offensive protest went from Regents Park Mosque to the Danish Embassy. This google map shows all locations nearby the Danish Embassy that are flagged by "Regents Park Mosque". As you can see all of them are north or north-west of the embassy (marked with a green arrow). The French Embassy is just south of Imperial College London which is due west of the Danish Embassy. Therefore, no sensible route could take one from any point marked "Regents Park Mosque" to the Danish Embassy via the French one. Therefore, they must have been seperate protests.
Abdul Muhid has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of two counts of soliciting murder. The charges were in connection to the now-infamous protest about the Danish cartoons. The prosecutor said:
This behaviour shows what the demonstration was really about. It was an exhortation, an encouragement to terrorism.
Muhid has a rich history of Islamist activity. The Guardian reports that in August 2004 he was fined £50 for smashing a bus shelter which, the prosecution said, "was displaying an advertisement which he said offended his religious beliefs". The prosecution went on to say that "That incident took place after another incident in which it was alleged he had been asserting that British soldiers would die in Muslim lands."
In 2005 the CPS brought charges against him for racial hatred and public order offences. However, the charges were dropped because there was "not a realistic prospect of conviction".
That article (from The Telegraph) states that Muhid is alleged to have been a leading member of The Saviour Sect. The Saviour Sect and Al Ghurabba were both formed from Al Muhajiroun after that organisation was banned. However, both organisations contain the same leaders (Abu Izzadeen and Anjem Choudary amongst them) and both are under the control of Omar Bakri Muhammed. Effectievely, Al Muhairoun just changed name and carried on as before.
The BBC says that Muhid is suspected of having organised the Danish cartoon protest. This all ties in as the BBC also reported that Al Ghurabba organised that protest. Also, it was this group that tried to disrupt John Reid's speech to Muslims, organised a protest outside Westminster Cathedral (proven by us here), and fought with the police during the trial of another member.
Omar Bakri is stuck in Lebanon, Izzadeen was arrested a couple of weeks ago and now Muhid has been found guilty. Finally, Al Muhajiroun seems to be being dealt with in an effective manner. Pity it took so long.
Jack Straw has said that Asian/Muslim women should learn to speak English before being given a passport. This was part of a speech in which he said:
One of the things we need to recognise is that there is a big cultural divide between Muslims and the rest of us, more than say with the Afro-Caribbean community.
It does seem logical that Muslim culture will be more different than Afro-Caribbean. After all, the Caribbean was colonised by Europeans for quite a long time, such cannot really be said about the Middle East. And, it is also true that some aspects of Muslim culture are stretching the tolerance of the West.However, it is illogical to assume that speaking English will make much impact on this. As Hamid Qureshi, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, points out, the younger generation of Muslims can all speak English fluently and yet lots of them are still radical.
Learning English should be a priority for any foreigner who comes to this country and it probably is for the vast majority. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine that the cultural divide between the more extreme Muslims and the "rest of us" (as Straw puts it) can be bridged by having a common language.
Yesterday it was widely reported that more than half of suspects detained on terrorism charges are released without trial. Unsurprisingly this has been latched on to by certain parts of society. Before addressing the issue of whether this data does in fact indicate a problem and what to do about it, let's first look at the reaction.
Reuters, The BBC and The Independent all quote Massoud Shadjareh, chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, with regards to these statistics. In none of these cases are government sources quoted and in only one case (the BBC) is any other opinion mentioned and then it is that of (left-wing) Shami Chakrabarti of human rights group Liberty (we'll come back to that). So, the scene is set for some biased reporting time to find out what they said.
All the reports focus on the relatively small number of people charged. Reuters fairs best because it focuses on the fact that more than half of those arrested are later freed without charge. (652 / 1166). The BBC and The Independent, on the other hand, state that less than 1 in 20 of those arrested are charged with terror offences. True, but deliberately misleading.
While it is true that only 221 people have been charged with terrorism offences it is also true that another 186 have been charged with other offences. The BBC does give this figure but the article does not present these figures clearly. The Independent does not make any mention of it at all.
What The Independent focuses on is the statistic plucked by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), namely that only 3.5% of those arrested for terrorism have been convicted of terrorism (40/1166). This statistic serves beautifully to hide the facts. It includes those who were released without charge while ignoring those convicted of other crimes.
In fact, the proportion of those charged and convicted of terrorism to those charged is 18% (40/221). Include the number of people convicted of all crimes and we get a figure of 56.4% (226/401). If we go further and exclude from our count all those awaiting or on trial (98) we get a figure of 74.5% (226/303). This makes it quite clear that the statistic used by the IHRC and The Independent and dutifully quoted by the BBC is extremely misleading.
The statistics actually show two things: 1) A large number of offences are covered by other laws, hence the 186 convictions not under anti-terror law and 2) More than half of those arrested are released without charge. The overall conviction rate of those charged is almost three in four so the only issue here is the large number of people released without trial.
The statistics do not show how long the average person is in prison for before his release. It is possible that many of those incorrectly arrested are released within hours, possibly not. The statistics do not say which leaves us with three possibilities:
1) Most people are released within a short time, in which case there is no problem and nothing to discuss.
2)Most people are held for sometime and then released when evidence is found that they are innocent. In this case it would seem that the police are doing the correct thing. While Sir William Blackstone said, "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer." it is hard to imagine that he would say "Better that ten guilty persons escape and commit mass murder than that one innocent suffer." In these times, the consequences of allowing a guilty man to escape may be far worse than those of arresting (for 28 days) an innocent man.
3) Most people are released because the police run out of time and have to let the suspect free. In this case we should surely be giving the police more time to find the evidence they need to either charge or clear the suspect.
Let's then deal with category 3 for a minute. The BBC reports:
Shami Chakrabarti said:
"Inevitably, more people are arrested than charged and more are charged than convicted, yet this is all the more reason to make sure that innocent people are not locked up for longer and longer periods in pre-charge detention."
Shami's argument is only relevant if most people fall into category 3. Assuming this is the case then we must surely agree with her that allowing people to be held for too long is not acceptable. But then, we should expect her backing for the alternative which is to allow police to continue questioning suspects after they have been charged.
UPDATE: Thanks to Mairi Clare (in the comments) for pointing out that Liberty were actually the organisation that originally made these suggestions. You can see a relevant Liberty press release here.