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25 February 2015

Readers Comments - What People Think of Islam

This is a survey of reader's comments on articles dealing with Islam and Muslims published over the nine months May 2014 to January 2015 by leading newspapers. It is divided into sections covering the Left and Right of British politics.

1.0 Summary
2.0 What People Think of Islam
3.0 The Guardian
4.0 The Guardian & Charlie Hebdo
5.0 The Independent, The Huffington Post UK
6.0 The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Spectator
7.0 Regional & International Press

1.0 Summary

There is widespread distrust and criticism of Islam in Britain

It is found amongst readers of ALL newspapers, the popular and the quality press, and across the political spectrum. Guardian readers are as distrustful and as critical of Islam as Daily Mail readers.

At least 8 out of 10 readers' comments are anti-Islam.

The Guardian is an interesting case. It regularly gives space to Muslim spokespersons and publishes articles by non-Muslims that take a sympathetic view of issues concerning Islamic practices and beliefs.

When Muslim veils hit the headlines during 2014, it ran in the space of a few days five articles with headlines like:

"Just what was Birmingham Met thinking of when it tried to stop women wearing the niqab?",
"Don't follow France's burqa ban. It has curbed liberty and justice".

The Guardian made its position very clear. In complete contrast its readers on its website responded with thousands of comments on those articles, and tens of thousands of votes on those comments, that were overwhelmingly against the the Muslim veil.

The huge majority of Guardian readers did not approve of that Islamic practice, despite the paper's editorial line. This clash happens again and again! It happened again after the Charlie Hebdo outrage. Articles entitled:

"Charlie Hebdo: We cannot let the Paris murderers define Islam"
"After the Charlie Hebdo attack, we must resist the clash-of-civilisations narrative"
"The Paris attackers hijacked Islam but there is no war between Islam and the west"

.... and similar, were comprehensively flooded with negative comments. As one Guardian reader put it....

"I don't think I have ever seen as many Guardian readers so diametrically opposed to the paper's editorial policy, and I have to say that I'm not surprised, because if you genuinely believe that Islam is the victim in all of this then you're hopelessly out of touch not only with the prevailing public mood, but also with the very values the Guardian is supposed to promote.

The UK's leading liberal voice, bending over backwards to accommodate the sensitivities of a religion .... which hates gays, hates Jews, subjugates women and places arbitrary limits on free expression - I never thought I'd see the day." [Emphasis added]

There are at least 10 times more Guardian readers highly critical of Islam than there are who support the Guardian's Islamic apologetics line.

This Survey

This is a survey of reader's comments on articles dealing with Islam and Muslims [1] published OVER THE NINE MONTHS May 2014 to January 2015 by leading newspapers. It is divided into five sections, covering the Left and Right of British politics.

Covered in Survey
Survey SectionsArticlesReaders' Comments
The Guardian7059,500
The Guardian on Charlie HebdoIn aboveIn above
The Independent, The Huffington Post UK [2]31
The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Spectator43
British regional and international press 17

What the Survey gives ....

The most popular readers' comments are presented per article or news story. For each article or story you have (1) the date it was published, (2) the title, and (3) a short extract that gives the gist of the piece or its main message.

This is followed by a selection of readers' comments on that article or story with the highest number of votes, or recommendations, or likes, from other readers.

The top three to seven comments are usually given out of many 100s and sometimes 1000s of readers' comments.

In many cases statistics are given for the actual number of recommendations, or votes, or likes, given to a comment, as well as for the total number of comments made on that article or story.

Some comments have been edited for brevity and dots (...) are shown where words or phrases have been omitted

Comments which are particularly pertinent or representative are in bold.

A Huge Sample

What you see here regarding the distrust and criticism of Islam comes from a huge sample of the British public.

The average number of comments per article is 850 comments for the 70 Guardian articles covered in this survey. The top comment typically gets between 500 and 1000 readers' votes.

We estimate that typically some 5,000 - 10,000 readers are involved in the voting on just one article. (Allowance has been made for the fact that readers can vote their agreement on more than one comment.)

In the case of the Daily Mail, a single top rated comment attracts 10,000 to 20,000 reader's votes!

Understanding the Real Problem

Muslims who take note of the public distrust and criticism of their religion nearly always have one, and only one, reaction.

They lambast the press, especially the popular press, for sensationally negative coverage of news concerning Muslims and Islam and even accuse it of deliberate misrepresentation.

One Muslim spokesman recently said "It should be threatened with sanctions to make it stop its misrepresentative portrayal of Muslims (and other minorities)". [3]

Another said “Irresponsible journalism, mainly tabloid sensationalism around a minority of extreme individuals seems to have become the focus of the mainstream media .... This gradual but constant negative media focus serves to exacerbate the issues through groups such as the Far Right who feel justified in vilifying all things Islamic because the media in a sense legitimises and reinforces their stereotyping." [4]

They ignore the fact the majority of news stories are an accurate and fair reflection of events. Even sympathetic news media tell the same story.

The Truth is ....

Lord Leveson said in his report following his extensive year-long inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press ".... it is important that stories .... are accurate, and not calculated to exacerbate community divisions or increase resentment. ..... the majority of the Press appear to discharge this responsibility with care ...." [5]

The simple truth is many Muslims in this country and abroad inspired by Islam as they see it do and say a great number of things from the trivial to the very important that annoy, puzzle and repulse non-Muslims and they are reported by the media.

It is all there:

● Gender inequality ● Segregation ● Subversion of English law by sharia tribunals, ● Special treatment (veils, halal slaughter) ● Under-age marriage ● A Muslim can marry only another Muslim (or someone who converts) ● Polygamy ● Homophobia ● Supremacism ● Suppression of free speech (often by threat of violence) ● Violent punishment including death for apostasy, and ● Persecution of religious minorities ....

The problem has very little to do with the media and a lot to do with Islam.

NOTES

[1] The following topics are excluded; the fighting in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and Africa, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, terrorism, and topics of a strongly cultural nature such as FGM and honour killings. There is coverage of ISIS as the latest manifestation of Islamic beliefs and practices.

[2] The Huffington Post UK is a website only. There is no printed version

[3] Mehdi Hasan, columnist and political director of the Huffington Post UK, speaking in a personal capacity at a media industry event hosted by Mindshare UK, as reported by The Guardian, 17 November 2014. (For Guardian readers' reaction to Mr Hasan, see p16)

[4] Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar speaking ahead of a MEND event as reported in Mancunian Matters, 22 November 2014.

[5] The Leveson Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press. HMSO. Report, November 2012

2.0 What People Think of Islam

This is a small selection of top rated readers' comments that reflect and summarise what most people think of Islam.

The title of the article or news story on which the comment was made, or that prompted it, is followed by the selected comment. If the title is not relevant only the date is given.

From The Guardian

Paris attacks: in this debate fear is the factor that dare not speak its name - 16 January
But the problem is not just the small number of jihadis. As the excellent Panorama last week pointed out the problem is also the large number of conservative Muslims who hold the same ideology as the jihadis: that Muslims are superior to unbelievers, that sharia is best for the whole world, that apostates and blasphemers and homosexuals should be punished, that women aren't equal to men etc.

The vast majority of these conservative Muslims are not terrorists, but they are ripe for radicalisation and their beliefs do fundamentally contradict those of western societies. [Guardian Cif]

15 January
"One thing that has emerged in the wake of the Paris killings is the large degree to which westerners do respect the idea that Muhammad should not be represented figuratively"

No - this is wrong - it has finally woken many up to the fact that medieval, fascisitic types are using their 'offence' to impinge upon our liberty.

If you are a Muslim don't read the effing thing. [Guardian Cif]

Paris attacks: unless we overcome fear, self-censorship will spread - 11 January
(1) With a few admirable exceptions, Guardian comment pieces have been the usual trope of "don’t blame Muslims", which insults the readership – no one but idiots blames "Muslims", and most of us understand that discrimination is real and exists.

But the Guardian has never really challenged the illiberal ideology of Islam because to do so is just too intellectually difficult for journalists who see themselves as left wing, and cannot bring themselves to criticise an ideology followed by people they see as oppressed by the west.

(2) I'm sorry to have to say it, but we have to face the terrible reality of our situation: .... When our ancestors fought and defeated the Nazis, they had to fight the Germans as a whole.

By the same token, we cannot defeat the islamofascists without also defeating the Muslims as a whole. Therefore, the only long-term solution to the problem, in the absence of the reform of Islam, is to eject the Muslims who won't accept the Western secular state from the West. [The Observer]

The Paris attackers hijacked Islam but there is no war between Islam and the west - 9 January
No right-thinking person believes all Muslims are responsible for these atrocities, but the situation is not helped by the eagerness among Muslim commentators and intellectuals to absolve the religion itself of blame, to talk only about poverty and jobs and to point fingers at 'the West'.

There is a common tone in these articles that demonstrates a frightening absence of self-analysis. Where are the Muslim academics, historians, theologians and social scientists asking what it is about their religion that means mass murderers are committing atrocities in its name on a daily basis? [Guardian Cif]

Heroes of 2014: Innes Bowen, the woman who mapped British Islam - 21 December
"You can’t understand today’s Britain without reading this."

The more I understand about the ideology known as Islam, the more I see the need to oppose the idea that it can ever be said to be part of Britain. [Guardian Cif]

16 December
There is no modern Islam, Islam needs a reformation but will not get it. .... there is a worldwide Islamist movement running along the lines of their war Lord prophet where people have to be conquered and subjugated by the sword.

Muhammad lived that way, and they wish to lead their lives the same, trying to spread Islam by violence if they must. Loners or groups, they all use scripture to justify their acts. [Guardian Cif]

Pakistan’s sickening massacre isn’t about religion – it’s about intimidation - 16 December
Of course it's about religion and one religion's desire to dominate and exert its will with extreme violence. Denying it is akin to burying your head in the sand. [Guardian Cif]

Germany’s ‘pinstripe Nazis’ show the immigration debate is overheated - 16 December
(1) In my working life, I have worked alongside many, many people of, shall we say, 'muslim heritage'.

I have to say that, the more "Islamic" they were, the harder they were to get on with. Those who didn't bother, or who only paid lip-service, included many splendid people I'm proud to have known. The problem is Islam, not race.

(2) "Somehow the temperature has to be reduced before the lid blows." At last someone on the Guardian gets it.

We need to drastically reduce immigration, and aggressively promote integration, by asserting a common set of core enlightenment values. No more pandering to minority cultures, and the liberals' beloved multicultural experiment must be thrown down the toilet. [Guardian Cif]

Schools accused of failing to protect children from extremism - 19 November
Yup. Welcome to the results of fourty years of multiculturalism, a pernicious, self defeating and destructive ideology which encourages the separation of communities who know little of each other and have massively different beliefs and standards. [The Guardian]

Why I don’t believe people who say they loathe Islam but not Muslims - 5 November
This is nonsense. Islam is a vile, backward belief system that not only threatens world peace but represses its adherents. But Muslims are not vile! They are as much the victims of this medieval voodoo as anyone else, particularly the women. [Guardian Cif]

19 October
The apologists for Islam are becoming ever more desperate in their attempts to defend the indefensible. Name-calling, illogical cultural relativism .... and the ever present threat of violence have run its course. Time to put the "teachings" of 7th century desert nomads into the history bin where they belong. [Guardian Cif]

8 October
People aren't deaf to muslim condemnation of extremism, it's just that the condemnation isn't very loud. In fact it's a whisper compared to the accompanying screams of 'Islamophobia!'. [Guardian Cif]

My faith has been hijacked by extremists. After Alan Henning’s murder, we must reclaim it - 5 October
"If Muhammad – a man who was sent as a “mercy to the world” – were alive today..."

...he'd be on trial at the Hague for crimes against humanity. [Guardian Cif]

The niqab is no reason to deny a girl an education - 25 September
"A school in Camden has barred a pupil for wearing a veil."

Not quite. The school barred her after she repeatedly disobeyed school rules which prohibit inappropriate dress that does not allow teacher-student interaction.

Seems perfectly reasonable. I assume if she and her parents decide she is able to obey the rules, she can continue her education. [Guardian Cif]

British Muslims shouldn’t feel obliged to speak out against Isis atrocities - 19 September
No they shouldn't be obliged to make their position clear. But then no one else is then obliged to believe that there isn't a high degree of tacit support either.

Muslims are absolutely entitled to not make their position clear on these or any other matters. And other people are absolutely entitled to draw their own conclusions. [Guardian Cif]

26 August 2014
(1) Speaking as someone whose politics are left of centre, I certainly don't celebrate the fact that we have increasing numbers of people in this country who are deeply hostile to Western culture, and who want that posture accepted as "all part of the rich tapestry of multiculturalism."

(2) "Islam is the religion of peace, equality, brotherhood and respect. Those who don't believe this are Islamophobes."

Yes, I've noticed this peace and brotherhood spreading itself around the Middle East lately, and closer to home with street marches calling for the execution of cartoonists and film makers. It's people like you, who utterly fail to see the impression you make on the rest of the world, who are to blame for the suspicion with which Islam is treated in any modern society. [Guardian Cif]

It’s no longer only Christians who shape UK foreign policy - 18 August
That's the same old story: let's appease UK's Muslims by supporting the causes they are sympathetic to, and thus buy their loyalty. That simply doesn't work. [Guardian Cif]

We must be intolerant of intolerance - 8 August
No one will say it but Islam is inherently intolerant, hateful towards difference and others and incites violence. I was raised in the faith and I know. [Guardian Cif]

22 July
All this talk of "communities". The most natural thing in the world would be for some of those emigrating from Muslim-majority lands to gradually integrate and intermarry with the local population. And it would also be the most natural thing in the world for some to decide that Islam was not the religion for them after all.

These two, natural things cannot happen when Islam contains laws that explicitly prohibit them. Stay apart, stay separate, you are different, the locals are ungodly, you are 'oppressed', don't leave the group, it is 'us and them'.

More integration, and less self-segregated "communities", please. The suspicion would start to melt away. [Guardian Cif]

Not all Muslims are jihadists – and it's a shame such reassurances are needed - 30 June
.... it is predictable that we're heading towards civil war. The fact that most muslims are perfectly nice people is neither here nor there.

Ultimately they'll rally as an umma and the UK will cease to be a secular democracy and will become hell. [Guardian Cif]

The Trojan horse row shows the failure of Michael Gove's centralism - 9 June
"Running an English school in a community that is near 100% Muslim is exceptionally difficult and delicate."

Well this is the problem in a nutshell. This is why so many thought the kind of primary immigration that was going on for decades would be massively destabilising to the kind of society we had and aspired to. Race doesn't come into it.

Polly Toynbee came close to advocating 'bussing' to ensure an ethnic mix in schools (although presumably not for the schools she and the likes of Dianne Abbott educated their children)... but given relative birthrates that can only ever be a short term fix. No wonder Scotland wants out. [Guardian Cif]

From The Independent, The Huffington Post UK

Egypt's President Calls For A 'Revolution' In Islam - 9 January
.... the world would be better off without Islam. Geert Wilders is 100 percent correct with his criticism along with Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Orianna Fallaci, Salmun Rushdie, Robert Spencer, Theo Van Gogh, Geert Wilders, Wafa Sultan. [The Huffington Post]

Government's obsession with faith and free schools 'breeds social and racial segregation' - 31 December
(1) This is a social tragedy. Some of the Muslim kids are really lovely people, and they are being denied the opportunity to build important life-skills. The few parents we have an opportunity .... in passing at the school gates .... have been lovely too.

But it is as if, when communicating with us they are forever looking over their shoulder out of fear. The blame for this tragedy lays within the Muslim community. There are some unpleasant forces operating within it.

(2) I am a supply teacher and I have worked in numerous schools across London.

In my experience muslim children as well as being the least integrated are also the most bigoted when it comes to religion. I predict the impact on cohesion will be devastating within a generation in the UK. [The Independent]

The Far-Right Marched In Record Numbers Through Dresden On Monday Night - 23 December
I think there is going to be civil war in many European countries within the next decade. Damn the politicians who led us down this path with their warped multiculturalism ideals. [The Huffington Post UK/AP]

British Muslims face worst job discrimination of any minority group, according to research - 27 November
You have a section of society that does not want to integrate, wants to use its own language, dress, social practices, even when they are illegal in this country, even when they are 2nd or 3rd generation born here, and they are surprised they are not treated equally.

.... The ones who get on have integrated. The ones who want to live as if it was 1200 years ago will not be welcome until they do integrate. Or they could go 'home' rather than living in their enclaves here. [The Independent]

We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist - 24 August
(1) Muslims - or enough of them to matter at any rate - choose to live in their own self-created ghettoes, choose not to integrate into British society, choose to keep alive medieval cultures and traditions, sometimes illegally (like FGM), choose to keep women as virtual prisoners in their own homes, cut off from the society they now blame, and sometimes never even learning to speak a word of English in case they are contaminated by TV and radio.

Their own little oasis of the Swat Valley, brought to your doorstep in Bradford.

Muslims alone are to blame for this cancer. And it is going to take radical measures, by the Muslim community as much as by "society", to cut it out and kill it stone dead.

(2) If Muslims are having problems living peacefully with their non-muslim neighbors in Britain, France, Holland, U.S., Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Kenya, Australia, India and so many other countries then maybe, just maybe, the problem lies with Muslims themselves? [The Independent]

9 August
I am sick to my teeth of hearing about Muslims. Every day. Every where these people live there is division and hatred. They separate themselves off, they expect me to embrace their culture even thought it is offensive to me, but they refuse to embrace my culture in my land. Just go away will you. [The Huffington Post UK]

Trojan Horse Report Finds 'Aggressive Islamic Ethos' In Birmingham Schools - 22 July
The fact that we have tolerated this for so long .... demonstrates what a wondrous multicultural wonderland we have in Britain.

.... Anyone can come over to Britain and create their little bit of Somalia, their bit of Pakistan, or their piece of Ethiopia and live as if they were back home - only integrating when requiring benefits and the NHS of course. [The Huffington Post UK]

A ban on the niqab is contrary to British values - 15 July
The angry and entitled way Muslims demand the right to do this, that and the next thing just demonstrates we're about 5/10 years away from a serious national debate about the repatriation and resettlement of the Muslims who live here.

Islam simply isn't compatible with European ideas such as democracy and equality. Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, even the Chinese manage to live happily in this country - who are the ones who don't? [The Independent]

From The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Spectator

'Religion of peace' is not a harmless platitude - 17 January
The warning signs were there 20 years ago with the Rushdie affair who was given damn all support at the time, the hysterical reaction of so called "moderates" to the faintest criticism of Islam means we have a very long way to go.

If Islam can not find its own "enlightenment" it will remain totally incompatible with Western Democracy. [The Spectator]

Moroccan-born mayor of Rotterdam tells fellow Muslims who do not appreciate the 'freedoms' of living in the West to 'pack your bags and f*** off' on live TV - 13 January
(1) Finally a man with the strength to say what needs to be said. He's not being racist and he's Muslim. He's totally right.

Not just for Europe but for here too. .... Give this man the presidency of Europe. His faith isn't important. It's the fact he's spoken sense and words that should have been said by those in power for over 15 years!. A thousand thankyous to this man.

(2) OMG! I've just chocked on my coffee!! He's the first politician I've seen with balls since Maggie Thatcher! Can we have him as our PM? [Daily Mail]

27 November
Has David Cameron said "This has nothing to do with Islam" yet? I hope I haven't missed it because it cracks me up every time. One of the funniest catchphrases ever. [The Telegraph]

British Muslim woman: why can’t I make any white friends? - 17 November
People of various religions and creeds mix very easily in Britain today. Only one particular group has issues and it is entirely of their own doing. [The Telegraph]

18 October
This is the real immigration problem - not the EU immigrants who very often take on work at minimum pay and zero hours contracts.

It might be a sweeping generalisation, but it appears that the majority of Muslim immigrants do not integrate into their host society and accept their values. Unless and until these immigrants are prepared to accept British values and integrate fully into the British system, there will always be problems. [The Telegraph]

29 July
"...the upholding of British laws in a diverse, plural society ..." neatly sums up the absurdity of the idiotic doctrine of multiculturalism.

It's like trying to square a circle.

There is no such thing as a "diverse, plural society". If it's diverse, it's not a society. If it's not a society, its laws will not be accepted by all.

It makes government meaningless, for government is supposed to be drawn from the people and to act on behalf of the people. If the 'people' has been destroyed, there is no legitimacy to government. All attempts at government have to be increasingly oppressive to maintain any degree of 'cohesion'. [The Telegraph]

Why the surprise at Birmingham's Trojan Horse plot? We saw it coming 20 years ago - 25 July
The problem is, Lord Tebbit, that although it is perfectly clear that the policy of multiculturalism has been a disaster, and that preserving 'community peace' has led to suppression of news reports, police investigations, CPS prosecutions and the like, as well as tolerating the development of religious fiefdoms in schools, in local government and increasingly in academia, no one in power shows the slightest inclination of doing anything about it. [The Telegraph]

Iraqi Christians are raped, murdered and driven from their homes – and the West is silent - 21 July
Can you imagine the howls of outrage all over the Muslim world if Christians in the UK made similar threats to Muslims here? [The Telegraph]

Hopeless’ Warsi ‘resisting’ David Cameron’s fight against extremism - 8 July
Extremism is not the threat, the threat to my way of life is an alien culture which can't live with the native culture.

It isn't the extremists, the Islamists, it is the general population of moderate Muslims who don't much like our culture but want to live here under their own rules. That's the problem.

We have Police, spies and laws to deal with extremism. Nobody is even trying to deal with the real problem.

Yes, they might be lovely people, but they are a problem at some population level where they begin to be a 'community'. [The Spectator]

New rules 'could bar conservative Muslims from being school trustees' - 20 June
"The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) told the Guardian that the new rule would make it very difficult to become a school governor if conservative Muslim beliefs were deemed to be incompatible with "British values"

They are absolutely right. Islam is incompatible with everything it comes into contact with. [The Telegraph]

Trojan Horse: how we revealed the truth behind the plot - 15 June
The very fact there are Muslim teachers in a secular school is the problem. Being a Muslim 'means' they do not believe in the same things as a non-Muslim. Islam is totally incompatible with equality and democracy, it is as simple as that. [The Telegraph]

British mosques aren't that moderate after all - 14 June
The predominance of the Deobandi influence explains a great deal and this is the first time I have seen a clear explanation of their numbers and influence.

If the Deobandis control almost half of the mosques in the UK, then when politicians and left-leaning members of the media trot out their catch-phrase of "the vast majority of ordinary, moderate Muslims..." we know they are talking rot.

Given that the Deodandis are not the only extreme sub-sect of Islam operating in UK mosques, we can assume a majority of British Muslims are anything but "moderate". [The Spectator]

3.0 The Guardian

Lady Warsi launches bitter assault on coalition strategy towards Muslims

Lady Warsi has delivered a blistering critique of the government’s approach towards Britain’s Muslims, warning that failure to engage properly with communities across the UK has created a climate of suspicion and undermined the fight against extremism.

In her first major intervention on the relationship between Muslims and the rest of society since she resigned from the cabinet five months ago, Warsi says the coalition’s policy of non-engagement has caused deep unease and resentment towards the government.

.... She says: “The reality is if you haven’t cultivated a friendship, if you haven’t fostered trust, then a letter out of the blue to a mosque… with whom government has refused to engage creates a climate where even the most benign of correspondence can become toxic.” [3094 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1358 votes] Might be a better idea to encourage the Muslim community to engage with the rest of Britain.

[2ND 916] .... I would bet that most Muslims in the UK were born here as British citizens. And that is worrying. They choose alienation by religion and culture instead of enjoying the benefits of integration. And it is from within that group of British born Muslims that violent Islamism is emanating.

[3RD 856] In an Islamic state, Baroness Warsi would be flogged for her audacity.

[4TH 825] It is maddening that the Muslim voices that the media allows us to hear are invariably those who view everything through a filter of victimhood.

Could we please hear from some liberal Muslims who wish to see a reformation in their religion, who wish to improve integration, who believe that it is possible to be both a proud Muslim and and a Briton simultaneously, who wish to see an end to horrific notions of 'apostasy', who wish to see gender equality and an end to homophobia?

[5TH 707] I like her in the conservative party. She's a great embarrassment to them.

[446] Perhaps if they integrated more, there would be less of a problem?

[424] And what does she mean by "engage"? Roll over and sell out all we value about our culture and democracy in order to appease fanatics who chose to live here and would impose their values on us? No thank you. It should have been like it or lump it from the start, in no uncertain language, if Muslims want the benefits of living in the UK they can adapt or live where there is a Muslim state. [The Guardian, 25 January 2015] Read more

Dear Eric Pickles – why single out Islam for this patronising treatment?

You question our loyalty for no reason other than our spiritual beliefs. Will you ever sit down with the diverse peoples who make up Britain and really listen to us?

Serious question. Will you be sending a letter any time soon to members of the Roman Catholic church following the child-abuse scandals in Catholic institutions? Or a letter to the Board of Deputies of British Jews on the subject of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank? No? Thought as much.

.... You are communities secretary. You have a duty of care to the diverse peoples who make up Britain and define British values. Sadly, it seems the only time you engage with us is under the rubric of counter-terrorism. [2879 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1467 votes] "Why single out Islam?"

That should be pretty obvious!

[2ND 1188] "Do you really think that little of our young people? That they can’t tell the difference between right and wrong?"

.... there is .... a problem when hundreds of your young people go out to fight for an organisation which carries out such dreadful crimes against humanity as ISIS. I suggest you are in denial of this.

[3RD 885] "We already know that 83% of Muslims living in the UK say they identify with British values"

OK and how many of that 83% thought that a publication in the UK (consistent with British values of a free press and freedom of speech) should be permitted to print an image of the prophet?

That's the problem. Its all very well claiming to identify with British values but its meaningless if its a cherry picked interpretation and one that is subordinate to an identification with religious values.

[4TH 871] .... The pattern of violence and aggressive disregard for human suffering that is persistent in Muslim history and contemporary attitude toward non-believers reflects the message of the Quran, which is one of personal superiority and arrogance.

.... There is simply no other religion on earth that draws such sharp distinction between its own members and others, or devotes as much time of its holiest text toward condemning and dehumanizing those who merely choose not to follow its dogma.

[6TH 853] Well, it wasn't Buddhist extremists that attacked Charlie Hebdo.

[10TH 601] "Dear Eric Pickles – why single out Islam for this patronising treatment?"

Yeah, what about all those Mormons running around shooting cartoonists?

[11TH 563] The catholic church has admitted its culpability in turning a blind eye to that abuse, no such admission from Islam for turning a blind eye to radicals amongst them.

What Israel does is condemned by all political parties and across all faiths including Jews.

Yet we see daily pictures of Muslims celebrating extremism in their midsts and the atrocities carried out in the name of their religion. [Guardian Cif, 20 January 2015] Read more

Germany’s anti-Islamic movement Pegida is a vampire we must slay

As suspicion of Muslims grows in Germany and France, the danger of a vicious spiral is palpable. We need to counter this xenophobia now – before it is too late.

.... While never compromising on the essentials of an open society, including free speech, we non-Muslim Europeans must keep sending these small signals to our Muslim fellow Europeans, both online and in our everyday personal interactions. The best signal of all is the one that indicates no explicit signal is necessary.

This is what happens most of the time in a city like London: you just take it as given that Muslim British people are as much Brits as anyone else – that in truth there is no “they”, just a larger, gloriously mixed and muddled “us”. [Timothy Garton Ash, 1608 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1188 votes] What is it about the sexist, anti-intellectual, barbaric religion, that wishes death on all non believers that people dislike so much?

[2ND 1185] I suspect that in Germany, as in the United Kingdom, the elected leaders have simply ignored the rise of Islam. We have constantly been told that there is no problem with Islam; and often it has been said that it's our fault anyway.

.... many will take a lot of convincing before they see the right as a bigger threat than Islam

[3RD 1099] The Islamic problem is much more pressing than the Pegida problem. Only an ostrich would disagree.

[9TH 935] A shocking 57% of non-Muslim Germans now see Islam as a threat.

Every day in the news we see atrocities carried out in its name. The Muslim demographic is increasing dramatically in many European countries and with it comes more influence – inhumane killing of animals, harassment of women, Sharia law courts, Female Genital mutilation, Muslim patrols around mosques, etc.

.... I just see that all my liberal and humanist values are negated and challenged by political Islam. [Guardian Cif, 18 January 2015] Read more

France’s much vaunted secularism is not the neutral space it claims to be

.... there is a huge difference between targeting grand bishops in Rome and a beleaguered, economically fragile Muslim community that has received a great many knocks at the hands of the French state and its colonial past.

Rabelaisian derision aimed at the House of Saud or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is one thing. But aimed at the disaffected banlieues it is bullying and goading.

You have to be suspicious that French secularism is not the neutral thing it purports to be when racists such as Le Pen start defending it so enthusiastically. And yet there is nothing the leaders of al-Qaida want more than the French state to be seen to declare war on its religious citizens once again. [Giles Fraser, 1600 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 807 votes] "You have to be suspicious that French secularism is not the neutral thing it purports to be."

You have to be suspicious about Giles Fraser's belief in liberty when he writes apologias like this. Charlie Hebdo was crass. The Islamists were murderers.

[2ND 705] "There is a huge difference between targeting grand bishops in Rome and a beleaguered, economically fragile Muslim community"

No there isn't, they are both fair game for the harsh light of wider societies scrutiny.

[3RD 665] Giles, I'm sure you're a nice guy, but a mere few days after the murders and with other plots foiled yesterday (every day) that sounds too much like "the aggressors are the victim here" talk.

[4TH 661] "You have to be suspicious that French secularism is not the neutral thing it purports to be when racists such as Le Pen start defending it so enthusiastically."

.... there are lots of left-wing anti-racists who also defend it enthusiastically and last week, four million people from all walks of life staged the largest demonstration in France's history to defend secularism.

Your nasty attempts to smear secularism as some kind of evil, right-wing conspiracy won't wash.

[5TH 598] So what are you saying then Giles. The French state "had it coming?"

.... Personally, I think folk hearing directly, or indirectly, from God that they MUST murder others are completely bonkerooni, and require some corrective therapy. Preferably secularist in nature.

[6TH 551] .... Economically fragile Muslim community: why are other religious communities not economically fragile? Maybe because they educate themselves in schools instead of madrasses? Speaking of which, these get financed by economically very robust oil sheiks; why do the wealthy ME oil countries get or take so few poor Muslim immigrants?

[7TH 375] So you're comparing Charlie Hebdo with Le Pen and the FN - and implying they're part of a whole under your usual boogeyman of 'secularism'?

Nice try, Giles - anyone even remotely familiar with CH's output will know they mock the FN alongside Islam as a whole.

And that's the critical difference - the religion as a whole has power, which is what makes the religion a target for scrutiny, critique and ridicule.

[8TH 339] Those who perpetuate the victim narrative are really not helping, even though they might have good intentions.

Like the invasion of Iraq it is a failed tactic - we need some fresh ideas here. [Guardian Cif, 16 January 2015] Read more

No, we haven’t banned books on pigs – but sensitivity is key in global publishing

At Oxford University Press we have to balance children’s cultural and learning needs, while retaining some healthy common sense.

.... Managing cultural sensitivities isn’t about reducing educational quality, pandering to minority views, restricting freedom of speech or self-censorship. It’s about ensuring the educational value of our publishing is able to navigate the maze of cultural norms for the benefit of students around the world. [597 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 339 votes] "It’s about ensuring the educational value of our publishing is able to navigate the maze of cultural norms."

In other words: you can bet your bottom dollar we are all about reducing educational quality, pandering to minority views, restricting freedom of speech or self-censorship.

[2ND 271] "So, for example, a definition of a pig would not be excluded from a dictionary, and we wouldn’t dream of editing out a “pig” character from an historical work of fiction."

Does that mean you would not have a pig in a future work of children's fiction?

So to satisfy the mind-bogglingly irrational demands of imported cultures/religions we will have an ever-growing list of proscribed animals.

[3RD 239] Your post might've made more sense if 'Islamophobia' wasn't just a way of trying to shoehorn criticism of religion into the 'racism' definition.

.... Muslim people can of course be lovely, kind people. Islam itself as a so called moral code is dreadful ....

[4TH 229] I guess "Animal Farm" is on the dodgy list.......

[5TH 218] It's self-censorship to avoid offending people.

[7TH 215] What a disgracefully mealy-mouthed apologia for censorship.

[8TH 181] "So, for example, if animals are depicted shown in a background illustration, we would think carefully about which animals to choose. In doing so we are able to ensure children remain focused purely on their learning, rather than cultural characteristics."

So effectively it's a ban on depicting pigs in new work. Why not just have the guts to come out and say it. [Guardian Cif, 15 January 2015] Read more

This cruelty to Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is a cruelty to all Muslims

.... To all those who proclaim bafflement at the actions of those punishing Badawi with such gross barbarity, the answer can only be that it is being done to remind Muslims that they should fear and respect Islam.

.... One thing that has emerged in the wake of the Paris killings is the large degree to which westerners do respect the idea that Muhammad should not be represented figuratively. Before the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were slaughtered, their own provocations were not widely encouraged or reprinted. [550 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 459 votes] "One thing that has emerged in the wake of the Paris killings is the large degree to which westerners do respect the idea that Muhammad should not be represented figuratively."

This is utter, utter rubbish; the vast majority of Westerners, either publicly or privately, want Muslims to take their religion and its repressive diktats, and do something unnatural with the lot.

I have no compunction at all with drawing pictures of Mohammed. Muslims are not allowed to draw images of Mohammed, but I am not a Muslim, and will give no more credence to Islamic scripture than I do the works of L. Ron Hubbard, or those of JRR Tolkien, or any other work of fiction for that matter.

[2ND 445] "One thing that has emerged in the wake of the Paris killings is the large degree to which westerners do respect the idea that Muhammad should not be represented figuratively"

No - this is wrong - it has finally woken many up to the fact that medieval, fascisitic types are using their 'offence' to impinge upon our liberty.

If you are a Muslim don't read the effing thing.

If you are Saudi then change the system of government. The problem is the only real opposition is even more religiously fanatical than the ruling family.

The problem is the religion.

[3RD 322] It is difficult for us in the West to appreciate that a large proportion of Muslims do not want to let go of their mediaeval beliefs.

The imposition of Sharia law is popular not just in Saudi Arabia or other parts of the ME, but also among many Muslims living in the West.

Hence the upset about the ludicrous concept of 'blasphemy' and demands to curtail our freedom of expression. [Guardian Cif, 15 January 2015] Read more

The role of Islam in radicalisation is grossly overestimated

There is no empirical evidence that religion and ideology are primary motivators for violent extremism. Radicalisation is a social issue.

.... The removal of passports and legal measures to arrest and detain returned fighters are part of Australia’s counter-terrorism approach. The UK and Canada have taken similar measures. While removing the opportunity to carry out violence is important, these measures cannot stand alone. They need to be supported by measures that approach radicalisation not just as a security problem but as a social issue that can be prevented. [902 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 241 votes] Hahahah. I'm glad satire is still alive, and hasn't been shut down by the Islamo-Fascists at the weekend.

This has, easily, been the best laugh I've had all week, a subtlety nuanced, perfectly pitched satire of a bankrupt pscho-babble ideology: "lets go and talk to their parents"....hahaha...its like something out of the mid 70s.

[2ND 234] "Excellent article. Hopefully this can be the start of some intelligent discussion on this issue." (This comment got 22 votes)

It is not, and she is being an apologist for murder and beheading.

[3RD 219] The terrorists literally state while they are committing terrorist acts "We are doing this in the name of Islam" and yet we still have countless people from the west saying "Oh that has nothing to do with Islam"

[4TH 188] This is just another attempt to argue that we are somehow responsible for people becoming terrorists.

.... Further, this article makes no mention of the fight to create a Calliphate that extends over Europe and Australia.

[5TH 169] The idea that the ideology of Wahabism, Qutb-ism, Maududi-ism, the theocratic streams that emanate from Ibn Tamiyah and the theology of 'takfir', the rich beliefs and ideas of Salafi-Jihadism, and political Islamism, the idea that these have nothing to do with violent extremism is simply not credible.

That is not to say that there are not different factors that feed into why men and women turn to jihadism.

It's to say that to discount and absolve these ideas, propagated by ideologues consistently and purposefully, even though they don't represent the 'true' face of Islam (because Islam as practised is diverse), but are very much a part of Islam as a varied faith -- to say it has nothing to do with Islam is a form of avoidance, an ethical absurdity, dangerous, and lacks moral integrity. It is, frankly, preposterous. [Guardian Cif, 14 January 2015] Read more

Saudi blogger to be publicly flogged on charges he insulted Islam

A Saudi blogger who was sentenced last May to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes will be publicly flogged for the first time after Friday prayers outside a mosque in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, according to a person close to his case.

Raif Badawi was sentenced on charges related to accusations that he insulted Islam on a liberal online forum he had created. He was also ordered by the Jeddah criminal court to pay a fine of 1m Saudi riyals, or about $266,000. [525 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Good job he didn't do something REALLY serious, like draw a cartoon of some long-dead preacher

[ANOTHER] This is an ISIS government in action but they also do brisk business with the "free world" which makes them "moderate". There is no regime in the world more barbaric than that of Saudi Arabia!

[ANOTHER] Where are all the Guardian journalists to tell us this "isn't about Islam" and that it's no reason to be concerned at all about the lovely religion of peace?

[ANOTHER] Can't we just have a section named "The Daily Islamic Atrocity". At least we could then keep all this stuff in one place. After all, there is a hell of a lot of it.

[ANOTHER] A question for the politicians and commentators who have told us that the Hebdo killers do not represent Islam. Does this flogging by the Saudis represent Islam? [The Guardian, 8 January 2015] Read more

Saudi Arabia is right to be anxious over its ideological links with Isis

.... So far, Saudi efforts to confront Isis ideologically have mainly taken the form of denunciations from tame clerics – figures who have no prospect of influencing Isis supporters and sympathisers – but it is difficult to see what else they might do without calling their own state system into question.

The king and his princes have dug a hole for themselves by harnessing religion in the pursuit of power. Religious credentials bolstered their claim to legitimacy and helped them assert their authority. For a long time, those credentials served them well, but now they are becoming a liability and it may be too late to unfasten the harness. [Brian Whitaker, 334 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "The problem here is that the Islamic State and the Saudis’ Islamic kingdom are ideologically similar"

So all the stories about how ISIS is not really Islamic were wrong ?

What should be done about all the Mosques paid for by Saudi Arabia - after all, their ideology is similar to ISIS. [Guardian Cif, 6 January 2015] Read more

Heroes of 2014: Innes Bowen, the woman who mapped British Islam

Innes Bowen is a Radio 4 producer on current affairs who has spent much of the last eight years doing some serious journalism in her free time. What she has come up with is not sensational, but is enormously important.

Her little book on British Islam, Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent, lays out for the first time in terms accessible to a lay audience something of the inner structures and dynamics of Islam in Britain. [342 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 272 votes] .... I'd like some kind of truth .... to find out from the politicians who oversaw this epoch ending level of migration, just what it was they thought they were doing and why.

Whole cities and regions have changed character .... but with the willing cooperation of governments who controlled their borders. I'll never forgive them, but I'd like to know 'why' before I die.

[ANOTHER 143] Don't give up hope yet - France is where the next act of this drama will play out. The leftists there are in revolt against faux-leftism and seek to reassert the primacy of French culture. No doubt, much blood will be spilt, but such is life.

[2ND 234] It would be nice to say that Islam has made positive contributions to Britain but I can think of none. The maladaptations have been all too evident in the news in recent years, especially in 2014, in regards to Islam in the UK.

[3RD 207] ".... their continuing closeness to the societies and histories from which the original immigrants came"

You could rephrase this to say: "their reluctance to integrate and accept the values of the host society."

[4TH 165] "You can’t understand today’s Britain without reading this."

The more I understand about the ideology known as Islam, the more I see the need to oppose the idea that it can ever be said to be part of Britain.

[5TH 153] Yawn - another attempt to bury the truth. A Radio 4 producer who thinks Islam is fecking brilliant. Who'd have guessed!!

[6TH 143] I know how Muslims, at least a lot of them live, and what they believe. Outsiders are not really in a position to judge, as most Muslims pretend to be more tolerant when talking to non Muslims. Here are some atitudes:

1. All the world events involving Muslims (in not nice things) are viewed with suspiction.

2. Hardly anybody thinks that in this 21st century any change is needed in original Islamic teachings.3. Terrorist activities initiated by Islamists are not taken on face value and claim to be done by others to give Islam a bad name.

4. Very few believe in equal rights for women. Most beieve their daugters should accept the choice of their parents. Boys normally have good time with girls of other faiths, but girls are prohibited to have relationship before marriage. Some girls do, but without the knowledge of parents and brothers.

5. Most of get togethers see women and men sitting seperately and they do not talk to to each other (men and women). [Guardian Cif, 21 December 2014] Read more

Before he flew the black flag, Monis was just a desperate man with a violent past

.... Monis’s use of the flag was detached from the reality the symbols of Islam ought to represent. It was detached from the communities who own these symbols. It was detached from knowledge, detached from debates, detached from Islamic law. It was detached even from his own life.

Perhaps most tellingly, it was detached from Isis itself, who would never have accepted him, and need not accept him to carry out violence in their flag’s name. [292 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 146 votes] There is no modern Islam, Islam needs a reformation but will not get it. .... there is a worldwide Islamist movement running along the lines of their war Lord prophet where people have to be conquered and subjugated by the sword.

Muhammad lived that way, and they wish to lead their lives the same, trying to spread Islam by violence if they must. Loners or groups, they all use scripture to justify their acts.

[2ND 145] ISIS asked people to commit lone wolf attacks in Australia,.... That was what Monis did. .... he had issues, but at the end of the day it was done in the name of Islam ....

[3RD 94] ".... and like all of those who are convinced that they are right and the rest of the world is wrong he took actions that unjustly hurt others".

What!? I've met quite a few people who think they are right while everyone else is wrong, but they didn't go around deliberately hurting or killing people.

[4TH 87] The thing is we know this guy was a nutter, and we know most Muslims are perfectly decent people, but it's impossible to ignore that right now, around the world from Nigeria, to Libya, to Syria, to Iraq, to Pakistan, Afghanistan etc, SOME Muslims are doing some pretty unspeakable things in the name of Islam. [Guardian Cif, 16 December 2014] Read more

Pakistan’s sickening massacre isn’t about religion – it’s about intimidation

.... we are weeping as we see the images on our televisions of schoolchildren being carried out an army school in Peshawar in their blood-spattered uniforms, victims of a Taliban attack which has so far killed 126 people.

Most of the children killed were between 10 and 16 years old, children of army officers who were listening to a speech being given by a senior military officer when the gunmen struck. [1025 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 833 votes] "Pakistan’s sickening massacre isn’t about religion – it’s about intimidation"

Of course its about religion and one religion's desire to dominate and exert its will with extreme violence. Denying it is akin to burying your head in the sand.

[2ND 627] "Pakistan’s sickening massacre isn’t about religion – it’s about intimidation"

Indeed: "Follow my religion, or else..."

[3RD 537] If there is one thing I have learned from reading the Guardian it is that Islam is never at fault for anything. [Guardian Cif, 16 December 2014] Read more

Germany’s ‘pinstripe Nazis’ show the immigration debate is overheated

Rightwing parties are on the rise across Europe. Should we worry?

.... The Pegida rallies – Germany’s “pinstripe Nazis” – now drawing thousands of marchers to German cities, are specifically anti-Muslim. But are they different from similar movements in France, Sweden, the Netherlands or Britain?

Any expression of racial hatred from Germany is bound to be alarming, but every nation has its political fringe. [Simon Jenkins, 443 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 206 votes] In my working life, I have worked alongside many, many people of, shall we say, 'muslim heritage'.

I have to say that, the more 'islamic' they were, the harder they were to get on with. Those who didn't bother, or who only paid lip-service, included many splendid people I'm proud to have known.

The problem is Islam, not race.

[2ND 198] "Somehow the temperature has to be reduced before the lid blows." At last someone on the Guardian gets it.

We need to drastically reduce immigration, and aggressively promote integration, by asserting a common set of core enlightenment values. No more pandering to minority cultures, and the liberals' beloved multicultural experiment must be thrown down the toilet.

[3RD 126] If it's overheated, it's only because the bloody minded mass migration brigade have refused to listen when people say they simply do not want this happening to their countries.

[4TH 107] "The temperature has to be reduced."

I suspect Jenkins means that we should criticise Muslims less, rather than Muslims should, you know, DO something about problems in their community. [Guardian Cif, 16 December 2014] Read more

Islamophobia is racism, pure and simple

The Dresden protests are illegitimate and the attitude of German politicians towards false fears of ‘Islamisation’ needs to change.

Islamophobia is on the rise in Germany. That is troubling enough. But what’s even more concerning is that many of those whom I would define as Islamophobic feel very good about it. They see themselves not as racist or xenophobic, but as defenders of democracy and human rights against the adherents of a religion they believe is incompatible with both. [1146 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 843 votes] You may well argue that it is a bigotry, or a prejudice, but it is not racism, since muslims come in all colours.

[2ND 704] Right, so the sole premise of the argument is that Islamophobia is wrong because Islamophobia is racism.

Since that statement is quite clearly false, the argument is junk.

[3RD 672] Islam is a belief system, I believe that this belief system is largely regressive, if I want to criticise it then that doesn't make me a racist. People shouting racist and islamaphobe and trying to shut down any debate are damaging democracy.

[4TH 671] Islam is not race.

[5TH 606] If it were my faith I would want to know why the word 'phobia' never seems to be attached to any other of the worlds religions.

[6TH 535] "Islamophobia is racism."

It isn't. And labelling it as such feels like an attempt to shut down any criticism of Islam - reasonable or not - by simply yelling 'RACIST!'

[7TH 498] Sigh. Islam is not a race. [Guardian Cif, 10 December 2014] Read more

Islamic women’s groups welcome call for imams to denounce domestic violence

Islamic women’s groups have welcomed a call by the peak body for Australia’s Muslim clerics that imams around the country should use their sermons this Friday to denounce domestic violence.

The president of the Australian National Imams Council .... has appealed to Islamic religious leaders to speak out against family violence in their khutbah, a sermon usually delivered before prayers on Friday, Islam’s holiest day of the week. .... “Islamically, it’s very clear that violence against women is very much forbidden.” [30 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] If they're serious then they should start by denouncing the old Surah 4:34. You know the one, when God says it's OK to beat disobedient women. Can't see it happening though.

[2ND] You beat me to it ... Sura 4:34 (Pickthall translation): "Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women).

So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great."

Good luck getting a .... "moderate" interpretation of the sura from the imams. [The Guardian, 27 November 2014] Read more

British fear of Islamists and Saudi fears about atheists are two sides of the same coin

.... British fears about Islamists and Saudi fears about atheists are two sides of the same coin. Ideas that were once alien or unknown can now leap across national borders and take root in unexpected places. Globalisation is making national cultures less monolithic and more diverse – and, thanks mainly to the internet and the ease of international travel, it is likely to happen on an ever-increasing scale.

Trying to prevent that is as futile as trying to stop wind or rain. Far better to recognise that it’s happening and adjust to it. Nor is it necessarily bad. [Brian Whitaker, 1088 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 694 votes] Remember that story the other week where an atheist group had members blow themselves up in a crowded market, just before another of their members beheaded somebody on live television?

No, nor me. Stop talking nonsense.

[2ND 556] Or how about that atheist practice of hacking off the clitoris of their beautiful daughter?

Or the one which riots with signs adorned with "Behead all those who insult atheism!" when somebody drew a cartoon of Richard Dawkins in a newspaper in a secular country thousands of miles away.

The fear of extreme Islamism is not one based on the 'unknown'. It is one based on the repeated acts of Islamic extremists over the past several decades.

[3RD 445] "The aim of education, according to Saudi Arabia’s basic law, is “instilling the Islamic faith in the younger generation”, which in principle is not very different from Michael Gove’s idea of instilling “British values” in English schools."

Haha, nice try. Where to start? One difference (among many) being that we don't execute people if they later reject these British values. [Guardian Cif, 24 November 2014] Read more

Schools accused of failing to protect children from extremism

An outstanding state secondary school and a group of independent Muslim faith schools in London’s east end are to be criticised for safeguarding failures and branded as inadequate after Ofsted inspectors raised a string of concerns over protecting pupils from extremism, the Guardian has learned.

Among the issues highlighted were 6TH formers at one school posting links to Islamist extremist matter via a Facebook page claiming to be associated with the school, and separate entrances for boys and girls at the same school. [793 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 411 votes] Why is it not illegal to have sex segregation in public places? If there was a "main entrance" and a "black persons entrance" on anything it would be an outrage, sex discrimination should be the same.

[ANOTHER 394] Education should be secular. Every faith is prejudiced against all other faiths and atheism and yet we allow that prejudice to continue unchallenged simply because it is faith. The best way to eradicate the prejudice is to remove the source from public life.

[ANOTHER 314] Faith schools need to be abolished, end of. They have no place in modern society.

[ANOTHER 232] Tower Hamlets is a suburb of Riyadh isn't it? God, what a mess you Brits have created for yourselves.

[ANOTHER 240] Yup. Welcome to the results of fourty years of multiculturalism, a pernicious, self defeating and destructive ideology which encourages the separation of communities who know little of each other and have massively different beliefs and standards. [The Guardian, 19 November 2014] Read more

Christians and Muslims have co-existed peacefully before and must do so again

.... For centuries the two faith communities have managed to co-exist peacefully in almost all countries in the Middle East and elsewhere. Islam has recognised Christianity as a sister Abrahamic faith.

Places of worship have been respected, freedom of worship accorded and lives and property protected. The oldest known Christian community that speaks the language Jesus allegedly spoke has co-existed with Muslim neighbours until the recent troubles. [353 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 326 votes] What if a Muslim wanted to leave Islam and join Christianity?

[ANOTHER 298] The basic fact is .... Islam generates poor violent and unjust societies.

The only solution barring other religions leaving the planet or conversely, Muslims leaving Earth, is for reform of Islam. (Gasp).

[ANOTHER 269] Indeed. And does this co-existence allow Muslim women to marry non Muslims?

[ANOTHER 239] No doubt you will get a sympathetic hearing from the CofE when you address them. I dare you to go in person with the same message to ISIS and see what your fellow Muslims think

[ANOTHER 225] Jews also lived well in Moslem countries as long as they follow the Dhimmi statutes with only a few pogroms etc. Now I suggest that the readers look up those statutes and see if you are willing to live under such rules! [Guardian Cif, 18 November 2014] Read more

Mehdi Hasan: sanctions for 'dishonest, demonising press coverage' of Muslims

Misrepresentative portrayals of Muslims and other minorities will not stop unless newspapers are threatened with sanctions, Mehdi Hasan said yesterday.

The columnist and political director of the Huffington Post UK said the press has proven “singularly unable or unwilling to change the discourse, the tone or the approach” towards Muslims, immigrants and asylum seekers.

Hasan, who was speaking in a personal capacity at a media industry event hosted by Mindshare UK, said: “We’re not going to get change unless there is some sanction, there is some penalty. This is not just about Muslims; it is about all minorities.” [46 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] This is the guy who believes atheists are cattle. Now he wants censorship to protect his nonsensical beliefs. And he isn't a critic of Islamophobia, he is a supporter of a made up word designed to stop criticism of the silly belief.

[ANOTHER] So he wants his religion to be immune from criticism. Quelle surprise...

[ANOTHER] Yes, that's what we need a major assault on freedom of expression. Then we can become like one of the many Islamic paradises we see around the world. [The Guardian, 14/17 November 2014] Read more

Why I don’t believe people who say they loathe Islam but not Muslims

It is a trope among people who loathe and fear Islam that their fear and loathing has nothing in common with racism because Islam is not a race, the implication being that hating Muslims is rational and wise whereas hating black people is deeply irrational and stupid.

Some people who claim that Islam is profoundly evil will also say that they bear Muslims no ill will but I don’t think they are telling the truth. It is really difficult and indeed psychologically unnatural to claim that you hate an ideology without hating the people in whose lives it is expressed. [Andrew Brown, 1070 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 272 votes] This argument is complete nonsense. I despise many aspects of Catholicism but my wife and family are Catholics. In the same way I loathe many aspects of Islam but that doesn't stop me liking Muslims who are nice to me.

[ANOTHER] False. First paragraph, and you're already distorting the argument. It's not that "hating Muslims is rational and wise". It's that disliking Islam is rational and wise. And no, saying so doesn't make anybody "islamophobic": some few, brave Muslims say so themselves:

[ANOTHER] This is nonsense. Islam is a vile, backward belief system that not only threatens world peace but represses its adherents. But Muslims are not vile! They are as much the victims of this medieval voodoo as anyone else, particularly the women.

[ANOTHER] "Some people who claim that Islam is profoundly evil will also say that they bear Muslims no ill will but I don’t think they are telling the truth."

It's more like pity - it's perfectly possible, for example, to hate the regime in North Korea and yet feel sorry for the poor bastards who have to live under it. I think Catholicism is an evil, backward religion but I went to Catholic school and I don't hate my former classmates, I'm still good friends with a good proportion of them.

[ANOTHER] It is perfectly reasonable to single out one particular religion as particularly bad if there is evidence to support it. Not all religions are exactly the same, and at this present time Islam is ... being used to justify some of the most repressive, conservative and inhumane regimes on the planet.

Simply recognising that Islam is particularly bad is no indication of racist attitudes. [Guardian Cif, 5 November 2014] Read more

Tunisia is showing the Arab world how to nurture democracy

.... Events in Tunisia are significant not only for its 11 million inhabitants, but for the wider region. The birth of this first fully fledged Arab democracy could offer a model of hope amid the feverish voices of despair and nihilism, and the backdrop of military dictators, corrupt theocrats and militant anarchists. [168 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Rereading this piece I noticed an extraordinary hypocrisy. This is what Ghannoushi says now:

"Tunisia’s strongest asset may be its cohesive society. With no sectarian, ethnic, religious or tribal divides, political and ideological differences do not turn into societal divisions."

In other words, Tunisia's strongest asset is its lack of multiculturalism, pluralism, and religious diversity. Tunisia was once of course a Christian place, home to great Christian intellectuals, in the days before the Arab conquest. But now it is 99% Islamic and bans Christians from trying to attract new believers. This enforced homogeneity, Ghannoushi now implies, is Tunisia's unique source of strength.

So when she lived in London what was her attitude to pluralism? What was her attitude to the spread of Islam in lands that had never had a single mosque until living memory? Did she lament it as a political curse, a source of 'societal division'?

Of course not. Look at some of these excerpts from her previous columns in The Guardian. They're all about how nasty Europe is not to be more open to diversity, by which she usually means not being more open to Islam. [Guardian Cif, 25 October 2014] Read more

My brother wanted to be a jihadi – and society is creating many more like him

.... The inherent problem in attempting to tackle radicalisation is that often it is too late. By the time its signs begin to show, the scene is already set. Extremism of any kind is a symptom of an unhealthy society and, like any illness, in order to eradicate it, we should look to treat its cause.

Yes, charismatic ideologues play a part in the radicalisation process. But deep down, for those who are vulnerable, it’s not really about religious conviction or saving the world from oppression or defeating the evil west – these are just emotional vents; justifications for appeasing the deep lonely spaces of the human condition. It’s about feeling important, valued and ultimately, having a stake in the world surrounding them. [1385 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1061 votes] Oh, right. It's societies fault. That must be why there are millions of ordinary UK citizens over in Syria fighting a war.

Or maybe it's just a lot of clueless fuckwits with dreams of martyrdom and glory?

Good riddance to them.

[ANOTHER 477] Islamic apologist bullshit. It's not society's fault that your brother is a psychopath. We live in the 21st century. To most of us killing in the name of religion is unthinkable.

[ANOTHER 384] No, I don't think 'society' is to blame for Islamic extremism. Islam is to blame for Islamic extremism.

[ANOTHER 328] And for every person like your brother there are a thousand lonely vulnerable people our society is failing and yet they do not go on to become religious freak wannabe murderers. [Guardian Cif, 22 October 2014] Read more

'Violent' Muslims? 'Amoral' atheists? It's time to stop shouting and start talking to each other

Lost in the venomous arguments that have recently been flying back and forth between Muslims and atheists .... is just how much these two marginalized, underrepresented groups have in common.

According to a Pew poll conducted this year, Muslims and atheists are the two least favorably viewed religious or ethical groups in the US.

Both communities are severely underrepresented in the general population – roughly 2% of Americans identify as atheists, compared to 1% for Muslims. Both face rising levels of animosity from the general public. And both tend to be defined by the loudest voices within their communities. [970 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 425 votes] Can we stop comparing atheists with 7th century supremacist political ideologies please?

[ANOTHER 338] "At the same time, the atheist community continues to struggle with fraught debates over anti-theism, sexism and racism among atheists."

That's news to me. Atheism is simply the lack of belief in the existence of God, that's it. How that has anything to do with race or sexism is unfathomable.

[ANOTHER 283] "When 46% of Americans think Islam is more violent than other faiths but only 37% even know a Muslim."

But this is a completely meaningless statistic. I don't really know any Muslims personally outside of work however, recent history has taught me that a minority of Muslims who murder in the name of Islam tend to give everyone else of the same faith a reputation for violence and intolerance.

[ANOTHER 193] The apologists for Islam are becoming ever more desperate in their attempts to defend the indefensible. Name-calling, illogical cultural relativism .... and the ever present threat of violence have run its course. Time to put the "teachings" of 7th century desert nomads into the history bin where they belong. [Guardian Cif, 19 October 2014] Read more

The Lahore court’s decision to uphold Asia Bibi’s death penalty is far from just

.... The power of extremist groups, and the acquiescence of politicians, has had a big impact on the direction of public discussion in Pakistan. The targeting of anyone who speaks out about blasphemy laws has had a chilling effect, and even outspoken liberal voices are reluctant to make the case for reform publicly. [430 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] And those of us fortunate to live in modern societies must fight this at every level. We should sanction Islamic regimes who kill blasphemers and apostates, and we should resist the pressure for censorship at home. Next time let's hope the Guardian prints the cartoons.

[ANOTHER] It is utterly crazy, and not a little frightening, that a country with a nuclear capability clings to outmoded and outdated religious beliefs within their laws.

[ANOTHER] "Asia Bibi’s death penalty is far from just." Understatement of the year.

Why not have a headline that actually reflects what's in the article? Something like "Bibi's death penalty is at outrage to civilisation" or "Bibi's Death penalty shows religious intolerance at its worst" or "shows Pakistan to be as barbaric as ISIS". [The Guardian, 18 October 2014] Read more

The Sun’s ‘Unite against Isis’ campaign is a proxy for anti-Muslim bigotry

You, Muslim! Is your Islam ‘British’ enough? Are you standing up to extremism? If not, you are Part of the Problem, apparently.

Imagine your average British Muslim family sitting around the breakfast table with the papers this morning. On the front page of the Sun, an image of a woman in a hijab fashioned out of the Union Jack and the headline “United Against IS” hollers out at them. In the right-hand corner, a subheadline urges them to “stand up to extremists”. [1593 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1581 votes] If you want to be part of a decent society, you are expected to stand up to anything that threatens that society.

If you define yourself through your religion, you should really stand up and say these people don't represent my religion.

[2ND 1453] "Police swoop on first suspected Islamic terror cell in UK" and it gets twisted to be about "Islamophobia". Why am I not surprised?

[3RD 1251] But a tiny minority of Muslims are proving to be an enemy within, aren't they? They undeniably exist. A few have joined IS. They are happy to listen to anti-British hate-speech at their mosques, they bring up their children to think of mainstream society as inferior and contemptible. Why aren't you directing your fury at them?

.... Bloody hell. You behave as though mainstream society should just ignore this in order that some Muslims are not 'offended'. I mean, really?? You are quite comfortable with things continuing to escalate and pour contempt on people like Sara Khan who are trying to help?

[4TH 1225] People aren't deaf to muslim condemnation of extremism, it's just that the condemnation isn't very loud. In fact it's a whisper compared to the accompanying screams of 'Islamophobia!'.

[5TH 1039] .... this would never have been a problem if British Muslims had done more to integrate into society in the first place. No other community seems to have the same problems. [Guardian Cif, 8 October 2014] Read more

The niqab makes me feel liberated, and no law will stop me from wearing it

.... Tony Abbott and Jacqui Lambie say that any restriction on the burqa or niqab is a matter for national security. I completely understand, but their claims are ignorant: in fact it is is part of sharia law that we must uncover our faces for identification. When I went to get a parking permit at my university, I asked if I needed to show my face.

Banning the niqab or burqa would take away my right to live in the way that fits me. That restricts my freedom and puts me in a position where I must be especially cautious of my surroundings. Violence and abuse against Muslim women has increased as a result of the fear-mongering on this issue.

No matter what law is passed on the niqab, it will not stop me from wearing it. I don’t want to be controlled and told what I can and can not wear: that is oppression. [1534 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 968 votes] And you should accept that the rest of us are just as free to choose what we deal with .... Do you wonder whether people may not actually want to see or deal with someone with so much bad faith towards them?

[2ND 621] "I feel liberated by the fact that I choose what you see." And I choose what I interact with. This will not include you. If you do not trust me then you are not asking for my trust, either.

[3RD 598] "When we meet, I choose what you see." Can you not see why hiding yourself from us is a guarantee that you will be faced with suspicion?

[4TH 592] I don't think I've ever read such a self referential in a very long time... "I" this "I" that, Perhaps, for a pleasant change, the author could take time out to consider Us & We instead of making the usual demands of her ilk.

[5TH 561] "Violence and abuse against Muslim women has increased as a result of the fear-mongering on this issue."

The greatest perpetrators of violence against muslim women are other muslims.

"I completely understand, but their claims are ignorant: in fact it is is part of sharia law that we must uncover our faces for identification."

So why hasn't the Muslim community been proactive in the debate about covering and identification? and I'm not sure that appeals to sharia law will sway people to your arguments.

"When you deal with me, you deal with my mind, my personality, my emotions and what I have to offer as a person – and that’s it."

No we don't. We deal with a person who has their face covered and all the baggage that that entails. [Guardian Cif, 6 October 2014] Read more

My faith has been hijacked by extremists. After Alan Henning’s murder, we must reclaim it

.... This is why, last week, we launched #makingastand. The campaign encourages women to take the lead in exerting influence in their communities and to root out extremists who are preying on their children.

But it is also designed to provide an alternative narrative for young British Muslims: to pledge their allegiance to their country, to respect human rights and to be a peaceful, thoughtful member of British society. [883 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 612 votes] "If Muhammad – a man who was sent as a “mercy to the world” – were alive today..."

...he'd be on trial at the Hague for crimes against humanity.

[2ND 595] "... and even violates the basic tenets of mercy, peaceful co-existence and love spoken of in the Qur’an?"

Yes, I'm sure that are such words in the Qur’an. Unfortunately, there are lots of other words that mean the opposite and those are the ones ISIS believe.

You will just have to get it into your head, one day, that the Qur’an is a mish mash of human thought (and legend) from late antiquity much of it put together by a clever individual struggling for power and influence.

[3RD 485] In reality this is a civil war between different strains of Islam with tragic consequences. I don't know which side is in the majority. What I do know, and I have demonstrated, is that the jihadi/ISIS strain of Islam did not come out of nowhere. It was nurtured by Saudi and other Gulf money and was espoused by the leaders of the British Muslim community for decades.

"If the prophet Muhammad – a man who was sent as a “mercy to the world” – were alive today, what would he make of these followers?"

I'll leave it to people to read the koran and the ahadith and form their own opinion on that question. However, in truth, we all know the answer. Any 7th century warlord would have welcomed such a dedicated band of followers.

If you take your moral compass from a 7th century load of codswallop of dubious provenance you need to face up to realities like that. If Muhammad existed he would have welcomed them. [Guardian Cif, 5 October 2014] Read more

Headscarf ban turns France’s Muslim women towards homeworking

Every day Meryem Belmokhtar turns her tidy sitting-room into a workshop. She lays out the equipment on the table, puts on rubber gloves and dips into various jars to make up 250g bags of sweets.

Belmokhtar, 39, lives in Compiègne, northern France, and manages the Candine Halal website (a pun on candy in English and dine, religion in Arabic), which markets the usual chocolate-coated marshmallow bears, preserved cherries and acid drops, except that hers contain no pork gelatine and are halal. In other words, they comply with Islamic dietary rules. [33 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Are we supposed to feel sorry for her? Forgive me if I don't.

Although this article speaks of a headscarf ban as if this is something radically new, the principle of not wearing religious items of clothing or jewellery in public workplaces and schools has been in place for decades.

If she wants to be petty minded and refuse to work because she can't wear a scarf, fine. But the problem is with her, not with the French government. [The Guardian, 3 October 2014] Read more

Look at France - Don’t underestimate the role of the burqa ban in turning teenagers into would-be militants

Teenage angst can cause all kinds of unfortunate behaviour, but when schoolgirls tell their parents they want to join the fight in Syria and Iraq, then society has a serious problem. Alarmingly, this is increasingly happening in France, as young Muslims express their desire for jihad.

Worse still, an estimated 100-150 young women and girls have actually joined groups such as the self-styled Islamic State (Isis), travelling to a war zone to devote their lives to setting up a highly militarised caliphate and, if necessary, dying for the cause.

.... Choice of clothing might rightly be regarded as inconsequential in the context of a terrorist movement carrying out atrocities against its western enemies but, as the French case shows, the influence of repressive and discriminatory legislation on vulnerable young minds should not be ruled out. [921 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1410 votes] Banning the burqa is the best thing France could do. The logic of these poor suffering victims of discrimination is amusing:

"She texted her parents, telling them to search her bedroom where, under the mattress, they found a pained letter saying she was “heading for a country where they do not prevent you from following your religion”."

So they are leaving a country that bans the repression of women to join a clan that beheads people of different religions or none. France should celebrate this exodus.

[2ND 1117] It is, of course, reactionary western 'intolerance' of muslim cultural choices that lies at the root of the problem. Sheeesh! I wouldn't have guessed it.

[3RD 1051] "Don’t underestimate the role of the burqa ban in turning teenagers into would-be militants." Absurd. What a stupid argument; These Muslim supremacists would not be killing people if people were not so mean to them. They are fascist. They believe in Fascism, not Burqas.

[4TH 935] I think they should respect her choice and let her go. I also think France should tell her to fuck right off if she wants to come back. You make your bed, you better lie in it.

[5TH 803] The problem is Islam not our society. Stop pointing the finger in the wrong direction and see the big elephant in the room, i.e. a 7th century moral code that has no place in this day and age. [Guardian Cif, 3 October 2014] Read more

Sudan's 'morality' laws used to punish women, report finds

Amira Osman Hamed knows better than most how Sudan’s so-called morality laws can make life a nightmare for women in her country.

A civil engineer, Osman faced a public flogging after her arrest by 10 police officers last year for falling foul of a catch-all provision barring “indecent dressing” because she failed to cover her hair.

She was spared a lashing only after a global outcry and now Osman and other women’s rights activists are hoping to gain international support to overturn Sudan’s public order laws. [34 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Another Sharia success story. Can anyone point to an example of this vile, disgusting ideology being "correctly" implimented?

All we hear from moderate western Muslims is how Sudan, Nigeria, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, Niger, ISIS, Saudi, Qatar, all have Sharia "wrong." Apparently these regimes have all read the same texts and reached the same incorrect conclusions.

What exactly is Sharia supposed to produce if not the total shite that it's produced so far? [The Guardian, 2 October 2014] Read more

Blasphemy laws are deadly serious – we must stand up for Mohammed Asghar

A 70-year-old Briton suffering from paranoid schizophrenia is facing a death sentence in Pakistan. This is no joke

It is part of my job description to be offensive. .... I can make a joke .... that David Cameron told off Sri Lanka for human rights abuses committed with weapons Britain sold it – like Ronald McDonald calling you a fat bastard. [Frankie Boyle, 803 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 460 votes] "If we don’t protest against the sentence faced by the mentally-ill Briton we condone killing people for what they say, says Frankie Boyle."

Yes indeed and things in Pakistan are awful. But don't let us pretend it cannot happen here: it can and it has.

For what Rushdie said, a few lines in a book, we had thousands in the streets openly inciting his murder and, in an appalling failure to apply law and order for this serious criminality, there were no prosecutions.

Hell, one guy who said that death was too good for Rushdie was given a knighthood. Just a tiny minority having these attitudes? Absolutely not!!!

In a poll at the time 30% of UK Muslims agreed with the proposal that the Fatwa should be enacted.

[ANOTHER 339] 68% of adherants to a particular religion in the UK support the arrest and prosecution of anyone who insults Islam according to NOP Research. [Guardian Cif, 30 September 2014] Read more

The niqab is no reason to deny a girl an education

This week, it emerged that a 16-year-old girl has been barred from an outstanding London state school because she insists on wearing the niqab, or full-face covering.

Camden School for Girls is famous for turning out strong-minded young women but says it can’t teach this one due to an established policy of challenging “inappropriate dress which offends public decency or which does not allow teacher-student interactions”. Hundreds have already signed a petition protesting that what you wear “does not affect anyone else”. [1910 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 2068 votes] No-one is denying her an education. She is being asked to abide by a dress-code which applies to all students, to aid identification and allow communication.

Why should she be exempted?

[2ND 1279] The full face veil is a political statement, not a religious one.

[3RD 1172] "the school is stupid" No, the school is quite sensible. It expects pupils to abide by its dress-code. A stupid school would pander to people like you and her.

[4TH 1023] A Niqab has no place in a liberal education system, there should be no masks within equality.

[5TH 933] The full face covering has no place in a modern secular society.

[6TH 848] "A school in Camden has barred a pupil for wearing a veil." Not quite. The school barred her after she repeatedly disobeyed school rules which prohibit inappropriate dress that does not allow teacher-student interaction.

Seems perfectly reasonable. I assume if she and her parents decide she is able to obey the rules, she can continue her education. [Guardian Cif, 25 September 2014] Read more

British Muslims shouldn’t feel obliged to speak out against Isis atrocities

.... “All Muslims out of the UK!” This was the welcome note that greeted my brother, sticky-taped to the front door of his new home in south-east London. It is just one among many incidents that take place across the country daily, some of which are reported to the Tell Mama (Measuring Anti Muslim Attacks) project.

In June it received notice of 56 instances of anti-Muslim prejudice, both online and offline – a noticeable spike that was caused, they believe, by the Rotherham abuse scandal. [1333 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 958 votes] No they shouldn't be obliged to make their position clear. But then no one else is then obliged to believe that there isn't a high degree of tacit support either.

Muslims are absolutely entitled to not make their position clear on these or any other matters. And other people are absolutely entitled to draw their own conclusions.

[2ND 696] "But expecting Muslims to constantly be engaged in a rhetoric of apology is absurd."

No, we're not expecting constant engagement, just the bare minimum of engagement. Please edit your article to remove your accusation of this expectation being a form of "Islamophobia'' - that is an extremely offensive statement.

"integration is not the issue here. It is bigotry and prejudice"

Bigotry and prejudice can only occur as a lack of integration. The Muslim community can begin the integration process by embracing one of the key values that Britishness has at its core: freedom of speech.

You say: "it makes no sense to expect Muslims to apologise for crimes they played no part in." Of course not. But if you identify as Muslim and British and Isis is comprised of Muslims who have a problem with the British, don't you think you would be very well-placed, not to apologise for the crimes, but to act as a mouthpiece for your fellow British citizens?

"I still firmly believe Britain is leading the way in Europe in its religious tolerance and inclusivity."

Disingenuous ending as you very, very clearly don't.

[3RD 644] The notion that Muslims should feel some form of collective guilt....

In a poll shortly after the horrendous London terror attacks of 7/7, 25% of young Muslims expressed support for the terrorists.

If I were a devotee of the same religion as ISIL, who commit such barbaric attacks on innocents, I would be doing everything in my power to condemn them and dissociate myself from them.

Why the silence?

[4TH 584] It's pretty easy though. All they have to say is ''this is wrong, we are firmly against this''. Why so silent?

[5TH 484] Yes you should. You define yourself by your religion, so if people are claiming they are killing people to further the cause of that religion, you need to step up and say they are not. That's not the same as accepting responsibility for what other Muslims are doing.

If you consider yourself part of society, you should stand up and defend your society.

Look at what happens when people don't take a stance against racism, homophobia and poverty. [Guardian Cif, 19 September 2014] Read more

'Islamic State' is a slur on our faith, say leading Muslims

The prime minister and media should stop legitimising the terror group rampaging through Syria and Iraq by describing it as Islamic State, according to a coalition of imams and organisations representing British Muslims. Use of the jihadis' preferred title, they argue, gives credibility to the Sunni militants and slurs the Islamic faith.

Signatories to a letter to David Cameron, including Sughra Ahmed, president of the Islamic Society of Britain, admit that UK Muslims need to do more to dissuade their young men from being misled into taking part in the group's "hatred and poison". [1086 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 310 votes] So get on the streets and protest against the Daesh (IS) like you all did with the Salman Rushdie affair or the Danish cartoons controversy.

[2ND 302] So, finally, the Faith's alleged opinion-formers get upset enough to come together and publicly condemn evil members of their Faith! Even now it's because their Religious name is being subverted!

Where were their collective voices of outrage until 'ISIS' got the publicity? After all, the Sunni, Shi'a bloody slaughter across the Mid East, Africa and Europe and with it the ever rising threat to liberal-Democratic values has been going on for over a decade!

Such a pity these eminent Imams and community leaders were stunningly silent for the best part of the last 12+ years - far too little too late.

[3RD 243] I think this presents a particular challenge to the Muslim community. How can it be that a cartoon about the prophet can draw outrage and bring thousands onto the streets, while mass murder in name of Allah gets a letter about the semantic implications of the use of the word 'Islamic'?

The problem is not with the misappropriation of Islamic identity through the misuse of a label, but the perversion of Islam and basic humanity by these psychopaths.

Muslims may be angry, but they not angry enough and should direct their anger and irritation towards those who are truly responsible for this misrepresentation.

[4TH 241] Protest in the streets in their millions about cartoons. No response to beheadings of peaceful people other than more demands.

[5TH 227] Ask a Muslim what he thinks of the 10-year slaughter in Iraq and no doubt he'll blame the West. Muslims killing Muslims backed by Muslims in other states is somehow entirely the West's fault. [The Guardian, 13 September 2014] Read more

Beyond Rotherham: Muslims are also silent victims of sexual abuse

It’s tiring work being a Muslim in the UK today. If we aren’t being asked to defend the actions of extremists, we are distancing ourselves from the “Asian gangs” who are preying on vulnerable white girls to sexually exploit.

The report on the extent of sexual abuse in Rotherham, and the failure of the authorities to protect the young girls they were responsible for is yet another story that has been blamed on failures of “multiculturalism” in the UK.

Sensationalist news stories cry out that Asian men target young white girls due to unresolvable “cultural issues” or “unhappy marriages”, or simply because of a lack of respect for white, British girls. [1201 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 502 votes] I'm confused - for the last few days the Guardian have been publishing article after article claiming there isn't really any problem in these communities and it is due to other factors.

Now you are telling us there are issues.

Which is it?

[2ND 493] Not surprised by this to be honest. This is a community where women are blamed for bringing shame on the family if they are raped.

There was recently a case in Bradford where a female student studying here from Bangladesh was basically held captive by her abuser, raped, beaten and treated as a sex slave by a manipulative psychopath (of Pakistani origin).

The case made it to court and the abuser was jailed but the girl was shunned by her family as she had 'brought shame on them'. After all she had been through the family decided it was best to cut all ties with her. How seriously fucked up is that?

With this in mind no wonder people in this community keep quiet if they are abused. Truly vile

[3RD 446] I have often wondered why, amongst those rather stupid questions about cricket, etc. in the questionnaire for new entrants to Britain, there is not a series of questions along the lines of:

Do you recognise that in Britain women have the same rights as men?

Will you promise not to engage in any of the following practices:
# forcing your relatives into marriage
# forbidding them to engage in relationships with people outside your religious group
# violence against women and particularly shame punishments and killings.

[4TH 394] The problem is rooted in a misogynistic culture which sees women as chattels and as vessels of tribal/family honour (defined in purely sexual terms). If a girl or woman is abused or exploited, it is seen primarily as damaging her 'value', not as a crime by her abuser.

How many women and girls are likely to come forward when there is a risk it may lead to them becoming victims again, this time of 'honour crimes'? They need support in this, and there needs to be a real drive towards integration.

[5TH 365] "It’s tiring work being a Muslim in the UK today." This is in very bad taste. After Rotherham, the Birmingham schools, and the proliferation of jihadists, self-pity is the last sentiment I would expect from someone presuming to talk on behalf British Muslims. [Guardian Cif, 2 September 2014] Read more

Crackdown on British jihadis 'will push youth further towards extremism'

Muslim Council of Britain says constant talk of legislation and monitoring is leading marginalised Muslims towards radicalism.

.... Harun Khan, deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), raised concerns about the prime minister's anti-terrorism strategy amid signs of a wider impasse in relations between the government and Muslim groups.

"They need to be talking to us and others to understand what it is that's leading these boys down this route," Khan told the Guardian. "Part of the problem is the constant talk of legislation, harassment and monitoring, stripping people of their passports. This is what's leading young people towards radicalism." [1687 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1024 votes] "Part of the problem is the constant talk of legislation, harassment and monitoring, stripping people of their passports. This is what's leading young people towards radicalism."

No, that is simply untrue. The trends toward radicalism are far deeper than that.

[2ND 965] Big part of the problem are organizations such as the Muslim Council of Britain burying their heads in the sand and refusing to address the real issues.

[3RD 772] God forbid we should 'upset' muslims by trying to stop them indiscriminately slaughtering us all

[4TH 617] Should we make them a cup of tea, give them a back rub and hope they don't blow us up?

We have been down the namby pamby route and it doesn't work.

[5TH 503] How exactly are Muslims treated as the enemy within? Are Muslims arbitrarily arrested, tortured and executed in this country? Are Muslims persecuted for practising their faith in this country?

In fact Muslims in this country have far more rights than they do in Islamic countries. By contrast non-Muslims in Muslim majority countries often face terrible persecution, just look at Egypt, Saudia Arabia or Pakistan. British Muslims (like everybody else in Britain) are privileged to live in such a tolerant country.

[6TH 497] .... what exactly has the "Muslim community" done to deal with this problem? What have been the actual results of what you have done? I consider myself a tolerant person but my patience with "the Muslim community" is wearing a bit thin.

[7TH 489] The sub-text of all this is that racist westerners are the root cause of extremism & terrorism.

Meanwhile in the Middle East, extremists who have never even visited a western country burn down churches & execute infidels for being... infidels. Something doesn't add up. [The Guardian, 1 September 2014] Read more

Rotherham child sex abuse: it is our duty to ask difficult questions

Anyone who wants to fight for emancipation should not be afraid to examine religion and culture.

.... So how are we to deal with all this in our societies? In the debate about Leitkultur (the dominant culture) from a decade ago, conservatives insisted that every state was based on a predominant cultural space, which the members of other cultures who live in the same space should respect.

Instead of bemoaning the emergence of a new European racism heralded by such statements, we should turn a critical eye upon ourselves, asking to what extent our own abstract multiculturalism has contributed to this sad state of affairs. [966 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 551 votes] .... They got away with it for a number of reasons, one of which was the problematic attitudes that some people in civil institutions had towards a kind of communalist identity politics multiculturalism.

That results in cultural and moral relativism, as well as fear of dealing with difficult questions regarding attitudes towards women and non Muslims in a criminal section of specifically British men of Pakistani Muslim origin.

.... There is a wider problem of the Left not opposing extremist forms of religion strongly enough. Salafis and Wahaabis that perpetuate hateful and supremacist ideas in our society must be opposed. Chauvinist ideas dressed up in the clothes of 'multiculturalism' and 'diversity' and 'moderation' must be opposed by the Left. Silence is no longer an option.

[2ND 533] What a curate's egg... Starts very well:

Gets a bit confused:

And finally ends in utter farce:

"Our axiom should be that the struggle against western neocolonialism as well as the struggle against fundamentalism, the struggle of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden as well as the struggle of Pussy Riot, the struggle against antisemitism as well as the struggle against aggressive Zionism, are parts of one and the same universal struggle."

Conflating every liberal-leftie bogeyman into the same 'great noble cause'

[3RD 492] You guessed it it's very important to keep up the "white man" narrative.

The blame for this scandal lies not with the Pakistani community not with the victims not with middle-aged white men but squarely on the perpetrators and their get out of jail free card for 20 years the liberal left as represented by this paper. [Guardian Cif, 1 September 2014] Read more

Tolerance is bigotry's counterpart in keeping Muslims divided

Every time a controversy plays out, more conditions are added to our being ‘tolerable’. We deserve our rights – including to places to practice our faith without political interference.

Everyone knows the game. It’s called “asking the Muslim question”. We’ve been playing it a lot this year. Can Muslims be trusted with a mosque in Bendigo? Are Muslims who travel overseas going to fight as terrorists? Are they Australian if they are prepared to speak about “honour” killings? Do Muslims turn the suburbs in which they live into “monocultures”? [386 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 321 votes] Very anti-white. Which majority black or Muslim countries would you like to put forth as an example of tolerance and inclusion of minorities or women? Pakistan? Saudi? Nigeria? The very notion of tolerance and multiculturalism is a white, Western one.

[2ND 289] "We shouldn’t need to defend what is our basic right – to have a place to practice our religion. Nobody should, this is the whole point of having rights."

Switzerland (one of the few remaining bastions of common sense and democracy) has already shown that the right to practise one's religion does not mean the right to erect constructions that are culturally alien to a given environment. Mosque design should reflect Australian tastes.

[3RD 275] "The left graciously tolerates, even celebrates, our otherness, our exoticism."

Speaking as someone whose politics are left of centre, I certainly don't celebrate the fact that we have increasing numbers of people in this country who are deeply hostile to Western culture, and who want that posture accepted as "all part of the rich tapestry of multiculturalism."

"Al-Qaeda and bin Laden, suppression of women, irrational beliefs and various other imaginations of barbarity and backwardness."

I see, so the clear evidence of barbarity and backwardness we see in the news every single day is actually all "imagined". That's very reassuring.

[4TH 220] "Islam is the religion of peace, equality, brotherhood and respect. Those who don't believe this are Islamophobes."

Yes, I've noticed this peace and brotherhood spreading itself around the middle east lately, and closer to home with street marches calling for the execution of cartoonists and film makers. It's people like you, who utterly fail to see the impression you make on the rest of the world, who are to blame for the suspicion with which Islam is treated in any modern society. [Guardian Cif, 26 August 2014] Read more

It’s no longer only Christians who shape UK foreign policy

Britain is a multicultural nation and its minority communities are having an increasing influence on its voice in the world

.... The extent to which religious difference – exemplified by the Christian-Muslim-Jewish divide – threatens to impinge on UK foreign policy, however, is new, and will only grow. It is no wonder Cameron is wary of granting the bishops’ request to save persecuted Christians before others, but his very hesitation speaks eloquently of changing times, at home as well as abroad. [897 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 455 votes] ... and the vast majority of people in the UK, who are irreligious? Where do they fit in within this fatuous "diversity" pluralism? Once again, multiculturalism prioritises cultural and religious zealots at the expense of the vast majority of easy-going, reasonable people.

[2ND 387] Religion has no place in any policy.

[3RD 346] So long as there are large numbers of militant people who have allegiance to a religion based in other countries, and have little or no allegiance to this country, there is a danger of Britain's interests being subverted.

[4TH 277] "The UK may be a Christian country, but it is not only a Christian country, and if persecuted Christians are privileged above other asylum seekers, how might this be interpreted by the growing non-Christian (especially Muslim) part of the population?"

The fact that this even has to be asked shows what a disaster multi-culturalism is becoming.

[5TH 267] That's the same old story: let's appease UK's Muslims by supporting the causes they are sympathetic to, and thus buy their loyalty. That simply doesn't work.

[6TH 259] The sooner that no religions effect our policy, the better. [Guardian Cif, 18 August 2014] Read more

We must be intolerant of intolerance

.... The rationale behind those who would claim the Will Crooks estate for their worldview is Balkanisation. They are not alone. Others in recent memory have proclaimed where they live to be “gay-free zones”.

There are zealots who have taken it upon themselves to harass people drinking alcohol, or women they see as immodestly dressed. This displays a baleful mindset, a complete misunderstanding of how we lived in shared space. We should leave no room for doubt: we are intolerant of such intolerance. [1017 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] No one will say it but Islam is inherently intolerant, hateful towards difference and others and incites violence. I was raised in the faith and I know.

[ANOTHER] Islam does not do 'shared space' or 'tolerance'. As a non- believer you have already sinned against God and only when you 'revert' (take note of that term) to the natural order of Islam will you be saved.

Saying there are 'moderate' Muslims is like saying there are moderate 'fascists' or moderate BNP supporters and no doubt there are but the ideology tends to tip over into intolerance and fear of others, of difference and yes, violence too. [Guardian Cif, 8 August 2014] Read more

This Islamic State nightmare is not a holy war but an unholy mess

.... Islamic State may wrap itself in the flag of jihad, but its success owes more to medieval lawlessness than medieval religious enmity – helped by the very 21st-century decline of the global behemoth.

Our world is being shaken, but the persistence of religion is more a symptom than a cause. The larger problem, as old as mankind, is power and the lack of it. For sometimes weakness can be just as dangerous as strength. [Jonathan Freedland, 785 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] I am pretty sure it's both. I don't know about you but those IS fellows seem pretty zealously religious to me.

It seems that the mistake was made by the West, it was assumed that the Middle East was in the 20th/21st Century when in reality it was still very much in the Middle Ages with just a veneer of modernity layered over the top. Once that veneer was stripped away it revealed the true horrors beneath.

[ANOTHER] In countries where education is restricted by religion in both breadth and depth we cannot expect 21st century attitudes towards human and civil rights.

Perhaps we should bear this in mind when giving evermore freedom to religions, and - in doing so - religious bigots, taking over the education of our children in this country.

[ANOTHER] "It isn’t religious zeal, it’s the collapse of state power that makes the clash in Iraq feel like a return to the dark ages."

Sorry, for me its definitely the religious zeal that makes IS (great rebranding, guys!) seem like they want a return to less enlightened times.

[ANOTHER] And yet another Guardian piece telling us that it all has little to do with Islam..... a power vaccuum, nothing else, no need to woorry. You can all go home then. [Guardian Cif, 8 August 2014] Read more

Turkish women defy deputy PM with laughter

Twitter in Turkey broke into a collective grin on Wednesday as hundreds of women posted pictures of themselves laughing.

They weren't just happy. They were smiling in defiance of the deputy prime minister, Bülent Arinç, who in a speech to mark Eid al-Fitr on Monday said women should not laugh in public. [365 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Probably true that Turkish women under AKP rule don't have much to laugh about from under their govt-pressure-forced headscarves.

[ANOTHER] "In 2012, when the government tried to massively curb the right to abortion, Ankara mayor Melih Gökcek said on public television: "'Why should the child die if the mother is raped? The mother should die instead.'" Yeah, because it surely was her fault. That remark is truly horrible and reveals his mind.

[ANOTHER] I'm glad women - and men - in Turkey still have the freedom to laugh at him. I wonder how long that will continue if Turkey descends into yet another chaotic and repressive Islamic state? It certainly sounds like that process is already underway. [The Guardian, 30 July 2014] Read more

Mecca’s changing face matches the needs of its Muslim pilgrims

.... While Mecca is a site of great historical religious significance, it cannot be preserved in the familiar sense, as its history has not ended. You might not appreciate what it looks like – but it matches the tastes and requirements of the present, as every place of pilgrimage has done in its heyday.

Who can say that in 2,000 years the Mecca clocktower that people deem so ghastly will not be treated with as much reverence as the palaces of the Vatican are today? [757 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT 637 votes] We've spent two centuries putting the idiocy of religion in its place, and now it looks as if we're going to have to start all over again.

[ANOTHER 422] One of my muslim friends tried to explain to me the spiritual euphoria he felt taking the pilgrimage to Mecca: feeling a profound sense that humanity is one, regardless of superficial differences - a sort of divine universal energy, if you will.

If only non-muslims weren't excluded by pain of death.

[ANOTHER 281] The Horrible House of Saud has been engaged in destroying the relics of Islamic past since they first cut their way to power - they have merely stepped up their barbarous game in recent times. This reads like an apologia. [Guardian Cif, 27 July 2014] Read more

Muslim Council of Britain rejects findings of Trojan horse report

The Muslim Council of Britain has warned education authorities "not to be sidetracked by culture wars initiated by divisive commentators", as it rejected many of the findings of a government-commissioned report that found a co-ordinated effort by extreme Muslims to take over some Birmingham schools.

The MCB said the report, written by Peter Clarke, the former Met counter-terror chief, was guilty of "conflating conservative Muslim practices to a supposed ideology and agenda to Islamise secular schools". [204 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] What actually is The Muslim Council of Britain? What is it for? Who are their members? Are they elected?

What interests do they represent, and why do they command front page Guardian headlines?

[ANOTHER] What I want to know is when is The Guardian going to give the same sort of coverage to the grossly bullied teachers.

They were given pretty good airplay on Radio 4 .... their stories of horror - of gross bullying by Islamist governors trying to instill a hate regime - made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

.... The Guardian is instead choosing to give several uncritical articles to the Islamist hate machine.

[ANOTHER] Yes. And apart from interviewing teachers who were bullied, it would additionally be fair to interview those concerned Muslim parents who first sounded the alarm. They have also been bullied in their 'community' for daring to stand up to the zealots. Why the Guardian insists on taking the part of the bullies every single time is quite beyond me.

[ANOTHER] Islam has no place in UK institutions and dare I say in the eyes of most British people no place in modern Britain. To what extent does a tolerant society tolerate an intolerant faction of that society? If the Muslim leaders do not condemn this it means they approve and it means they are incredibly damaging. [The Guardian, 23 July 2014] Read more

Stigmatising Muslims won’t solve problems in Birmingham schools

.... Clarke, a former counter-terror police chief, found that a small number of governors in a small number of schools have sought to influence curriculums with bigoted views.

He says: “There has been coordinated, deliberate and sustained action, carried out by a number of associated individuals, to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools."

“The effect has been to limit the life chances of the young people in their care and to render them more vulnerable to pernicious influences.”

.... The challenge now is to rebuild trust and repair damaged relationships. We need to ensure community representatives can work with Birmingham city council to formulate a vision of the principles and values of education in our city, and to chart a way forward that puts our children first. [821 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] It would no doubt help in that process if the communities themselves were more insistent on having representatives who did not attempt to to introduce an intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos into a few schools.

[ANOTHER] I find the very word 'community' divisive. Who decides the entry criteria to be member of this 'community'?

What people really mean when they use the word 'community' is 'our race' or 'our religion' or 'our culture'.

It seems many people who put themselves forward as 'community leaders' are purely there to defend vested interested so that they can retain their power and influence and resist the much needed change and reform of their 'community'.

[ANOTHER] "The moderate Majority has to be much, much more vocal in their criticism of the intolerant Minority."

But the problem is they are intimidated by the minority, and the liberal left that controls the media gives them no support whatsoever. In fact, papers like the Guardian specialize in making excuses for the intolerant minority.

[ANOTHER] "Stigmatising Muslims won’t solve problems in Birmingham schools."

You have a point there. But how do you solve the problem of a section of society that wants to remove themselves from that society based on weird oppressive religious belief?

[ANOTHER] The author claimed in the previous comment piece that there was no evidence of a "plot" by Islamists to promote their radical views within certain schools. She has been proven wrong. Will she admit that? No, clearly not. [Guardian Cif, 22 July 2014] Read more

Muslims aren't shocked to discover we are watched. But we won't be scared

.... Many from outside the Muslim American community have been shocked by these revelations and others like them. But for me – beyond the feeling that my long-held suspicions have been confirmed – the knowledge that my faith makes me suspicious in the eyes of the government to which I've pledged my allegiance, well, that fazes me less and less everyday. [237 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] All this talk of "communities". The most natural thing in the world would be for some of those emigrating from Muslim-majority lands to gradually integrate and intermarry with the local population. And it would also be the most natural thing in the world for some to decide that Islam was not the religion for them after all.

These two, natural things cannot happen when Islam contains laws that explicitly prohibit them. Stay apart, stay separate, you are different, the locals are ungodly, you are 'oppressed', don't leave the group, it is 'us and them'.

More integration, and less self-segregated "communities", please. The suspicion would start to melt away. [Guardian Cif, 22 July 2014] Read more

Birmingham council a 'disastrous failure' over Islamism in schools

Birmingham council "disastrously" failed to act when a group of Muslim men began to promote, sometimes illegally, a fundamentalist version of Islam in some schools, because officials were afraid of being accused of racism or Islamophobia, a report has found.

The investigation, carried out by the independent adviser Ian Kershaw, was commissioned by Birmingham City council (BCC) as a result of concerns raised in a letter dated 27 November 2013, known as the "Trojan horse" letter, which suggested a number of schools in the city had been "taken over" to ensure they were run on strict Islamic principles.

.... Particularly damning is Kershaw's finding that "a significant number of those governors acting unreasonably have been local authority governors", that is, appointed by the council. [589 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] How many of these 'officials' will be disciplined or sacked for failing to intervene to stop the illegal promotion of a fundamentalist version of Islam. Probably none. Not doing your job is often no cause for action in the public sector. It'll probably be another 'systemic failure' with nobody to blame and no jobs or pensions affected.

[ANOTHER] Another inquiry putting the Guardian's previous reporting into an unhappy perspective. End of term report: Must do better in future.

[ANOTHER] The Guardian's reporting as veered from (a) there is no problem, to (b) it is only a small problem, to (c) it must all be the fault of someone other than those who did the infiltrating - in fact it must be the fault of the person who ordered the inquiry!

[ANOTHER] This politically correct nonsense began twenty something years ago when the fatwah was placed on Salmand Rushdie.

We should have realised then that there was a sizeable minority of Muslims in this Country that wanted to promote their vision of an Islamic state in our Country. The salami slicing attempts at Islamization has to be resisted by all right thinking people otherwise it will only get worse. [The Guardian, 18 July 2014] Read more

Fears of Islamophobia gave activists free rein in Birmingham schools

A group of fundamentalist "activists", mostly men of Pakistani origin, infiltrated the management of at least 10 schools in Birmingham, sometimes breaking the law in order to introduce Muslim worship and sex segregation, according to a highly critical report.

Their activities were unimpeded by council officials who were fearful of allegations of Islamophobia, who forced ousted teachers to sign gagging clauses rather than treating their complaints seriously as whistleblowers, Ian Kershaw, the authority's independent adviser, concluded.

.... at Golden Hillock school, one of Kershaw's interviewees reported that a teacher told children not to listen to Christians because they were "all liars"; another allegedly told pupils they were "lucky to be Muslims and not ignorant like Christians and Jews". [950 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] "Female pupils were also ordered to return from a tennis coaching programme "because the school policy … does not allow girls to have a male coach and take part in any activity with boys" and a netball tournament was cancelled because organisers were not able to guarantee there would be no men present."

WTF??? There should be no place in British schools for the people who ordered or condoned this.

[ANOTHER] Will their be arrests and prosecutions amongst the staff? And what to do about all those parents who are presumably quite comfortable with their children being exposed to this hardline Islamism? Give them a slap on the wrist and keep our fingers crossed? [The Guardian, 18 July 2014] Read more

The Isis demand for a caliphate is about power, not religion

.... beyond this first century, the history of the caliphate is far more troubled, bloody and contested than many realise. For most of Islamic history the title of caliph has been disputed by a succession of Muslim leaders who were anxious to give sacral legitimacy to conquests already achieved – what the Israelis like to call "facts on the ground".

As ever in the Middle East, religion is a useful mask assumed by the powerful as a way of holding on to power. [479 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] The first century of the Caliphate was every bit as troubled, bloody and contested as the subsequent ones. Three out of the first four, "rightly-guided", Caliphs were murdered.

The nascent Umayyad empire went through two civil wars in its first fifty years of existence, and by the year 700 virtually the whole of Mesopotamia was being ruled as if it were a hostile territory on account of near-constant Shia and Kharijite rebellions.

The Islamic Golden age as an age of internal harmony and unity exists only in the imagination, though in the imagination of many. [Guardian Cif, 13 July 2014] Read more

I am Muslim and Republican – and was attacked by people in my party

.... Yes, I am Muslim, and I am a Republican – and that's why I was at the Heritage Foundation panel on Benghazi last month, where I asked the now-infamous question about how conservatives deal with the vast majority of people of my faith who are peaceful. Americans don't expect minorities – especially Muslims – to be Republicans, and it happens often in conservative circles that I am the only Muslim woman in the audience.

I became Republican because I felt that my Islamic values – pro-life, pro-traditional family, pro-business, pro-trade – aligned best with the Republican party platform. I identified as a Democrat for several years when I was younger, but found it hard to defend liberal values as they were so often in conflict with my deeply-held beliefs. [860 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] You come across as a muddled individual politically blinded by your religious indoctrination unfortunately. Maybe if you were to let go of your religion, things will become more clearer.

[ANOTHER] "Islam comes from the word salaam which means peace." It comes from the triconsonantal root SLM. It means 'submission' (to God). [Guardian Cif, 4 July 2014] Read more

Not all Muslims are jihadists – and it's a shame such reassurances are needed

.... For example, a poll last year revealed that 60% of 18- to 24-year-olds in Britain thought the public had a negative image of Muslims, while 44% said Muslims did not share the same values as the rest of the population.

More than a quarter distrusted Muslims, believed Britain would be better off with fewer of them, and thought Islam was not a peaceful religion. Less than a 3RD believed Muslims were doing enough to tackle extremism.

A reaction to such negative perceptions is the constant need to reassure the public that the vast majority of British Muslims are "decent, law-abiding citizens". For example, words to that effect were repeated ad nauseam on the BBC's Question Time last week. [811 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] I find it annoying when you are trying to denounce radical Islam, you are often met with 'not all Muslims are terrorists'.

I'm aware of that, but what are you going to do about the ones that are radical.

[ANOTHER] Jihad is only one of many issues that the average Briton has with Islam.

The total intolerance of any minority exhibited in most Islamic countries probably disturbs people just as much whether it's the murder of Christians in Egypt, kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria, denial of education to girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan, denial of careers to women in Saudi, death sentences for supposed adulterers in Sudan, "honour" killings and forced marriage just about anywhere, etc, etc.

[ANOTHER] .... it is predictable that we're heading towards civil war. The fact that most muslims are perfectly nice people is neither here nor there.

Ultimately they'll rally as an umma and the UK will cease to be a secular democracy and will become hell. [Guardian Cif, 30 June 2014] Read more

Islamophobia's victim and unwilling accomplice

Islamophobia is not just bigotry or fear. It's a frenzy that fills the gaps in our social imagination. As Badar's cancelled talk shows, it also doesn't require the Muslim to say anything. [499 comments]

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] The question is always just how tolerant should we be of an ideology as intolerant as Islam?

Now I am delighted to see so many here who are willing to stand up and be critical of the totalitarian ideology that is Islam, sadly there are so many on the left who will do anything to avoid criticizing this faith no matter what affront they may present to our secular values.

[ANOTHER] So outrage at giving this guy a platform for his abominable views is "xenophobia " now? [Guardian Cif, 26 June 2014] Read more

Was the 1980s Bradford headteacher who criticised multiculturalism right?

.... Ofsted's report finds that in Park View school, the sexes are segregated inside the classroom, their sports events are scheduled for different days and that a "madrasa curriculum" denies evolutionary theory and omits reproduction from biology classes.

One teacher has handed out a worksheet stating that women must always obey their husbands, and another has been using school facilities to copy Osama bin Laden DVDs. [661 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Yes - of course he was. What is happening now could have possibly been predicted all those years ago. Muliticulturism, interspersed with cultural marxism, (political correctness) was bound to fail. It might all look good on paper, and as an idea or ideology - the unpredictable part of the equation are "People and their attitudes and behaviours!"

They do not always bend to the whims of the social scientists who create these social systems and ideas.

[ANOTHER] Ray Honeyford was pilloried by the left because he disagreed with them. Now we know he was right all along.

The left's blind faith in multiculturalism has done incalculable damage to the social and cultural fabric of this country, and we will be reaping the consequences for years to come.

[ANOTHER] He was right. Fundamental Islamic beliefs are clearly incompatible with Western values of democracy, equality, freedom of conscious and freedom of expression. The West certainly doesn't always live up to these values, but at least they are still considered Western values.

They might not remain so if so many Western political, media and academic elites keep undermining them with slavish devotion to political correctness and willful blindness to the obvious faults of Islamic ideology. [Guardian Cif, 13 June 2014] Read more

Michael Gove's toxic assault on schools is based on naked discrimination

.... the campaign to bring to heel Birmingham's schools and humiliate the Muslim community in the process is a wider threat in a country where war-fuelled Islamophobia is already rampant. Dog-whistling to Ukip bigotry might seem a cute electoral trick.

However, it risks driving Muslims from participation in public life, pushing Muslim pupils out of the state sector and boosting the extremism the government claims to be battling. Gove's assault on Muslim schools in Birmingham isn't about British values: it's a poisonous campaign of discrimination and intimidation. [Seumas Milne, 918 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 944 votes] "It's just that they have nothing to do with extremism or terrorism."

Apart from inviting an extremist terrorist-recruiter to speak at one of the schools, just off the top of my head... no, nothing to see here...

[ANOTHER 563] "This is the defining example of a right wing Murdoch journalist getting the chance to carry out all his wildest dreams."

Like enforcing secularism in state schools and ensuring that children are not taught that being LGBT is wrong or that girls are inferior to boys? [Guardian Cif, 11 June 2014] Read more

Gove imposing 'British values' is simply old-school political meddling

.... Gove's other show of strength was the apparent introduction of British values into our curriculum. For those wondering, British values are not weather-related moaning; neither are they the phrasing of commands as though they were questions.

Instead they are focused on respect for fellow citizens, the rule of law and democracy. We might ask how these values are uniquely British rather than, say, Icelandic.

Or why a government minister, aware of the staggering rise in Islamophobia, is happy to mouth empty nationalistic phrases. [487 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 429 votes] Astonishing isn't it, despite being diametrically opposed to the values that liberals hold dear hard-line Islam gets not just a pass but active support from a large part of the left.

[ANOTHER 462] I agree with Gove, and I am on the left.

[ANOTHER 392] What's wrong with British schools promoting British values?

[ANOTHER 385] There are such things as British Values. They exist. You should not be allowed to create religious enclaves in Britain. We have to abolish faith schools and follow the example of France.

[ANOTHER 198] So what if it is meddling? Based on all the evidence we have seen it is essential if belated meddling. We need an education system that teaches tolerance and secularism, not that one that tolerates or even espouses intolerance.

Just because that intolerance calls itself a religion it should not be protected, especially given its attitudes towards women, homosexuality and other faiths. [Guardian Cif, 10 June 2014] Read more

The Trojan horse row shows the failure of Michael Gove's centralism

.... Two things are clear from what has been revealed at the group of schools recently re-inspected. The first is that most of them are excellent on the measure that Gove has so far regarded as critical, exam results.

The second is that a policy of marrying the school more closely to the local Muslim culture, which seems to have contributed to this success, is controversial.

Some schools felt that engaging parents and governors in the school's life and work would avoid open clashes. This involved the risk of entryism which, in some cases, appears to have come unstuck. [Simon Jenkins, 298 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The answer is simple, separation of church and state. All schools must be free of religious influence. For those parents who want religious training (brainwashing) for their children they should send them to Sunday school or similar facilities.

[ANOTHER] "Running an English school in a community that is near 100% Muslim is exceptionally difficult and delicate."

Well this is the problem in a nutshell. This is why so many thought the kind of primary immigration that was going on for decades would be massively destabilising to the kind of society we had and aspired to. Race doesn't come into it.

Polly Toynbee came close to advocating 'bussing' to ensure an ethnic mix in schools (although presumably not for the schools she and the likes of Dianne Abbott educated their children)... but given relative birthrates that can only ever be a short term fix. No wonder Scotland wants out. [Guardian Cif, 9 June 2014] Read more

What the Meriam Ibrahim case can tell us about the state of Islam

The tragic story of Meriam Ibrahim, a 27-year-old woman sentenced to death for apostasy in Khartoum, where she is being held with her 20-month-old son, has shocked and saddened millions of rational, moral and empathic people around the world.

Along with other leaders from the international community, I have written personally to the president of Sudan seeking Ibrahim's release and am very hopeful she will soon be reunited with her family. [Hassan bin Talal, 664 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Even though these extreme-evil type hardline Islamic groups don't represent the majority, I do think Muslim groups need to acknowledge that they are real, rather than staying in denial.

They also need to accept the damage they do to Islam's image and do something to change it, rather than expecting people from Western cultures to read this stuff and still not become "Islamophobic". Sane Islam is too quiet on this stuff.

[ANOTHER] Westerners understand force being used against force, but the issue has recently been that force has been used against words and/or freedoms.If you believe that you are entitled to use force because your faith or beliefs are being questioned, that questioning beliefs is an explicit attack we have a problem.

[ANOTHER] In many Muslim countries the punishment for apostasy is death. If it is not carried out by a court, a mob will get you. If you are in a secular country and decide to change your religion, your family and community will disown you as this is what a lot of the clergy and 'scholars' or imams encourage.

There are many Muslims throughout the world who are just cultural Muslims, i.e. Don't really practice it, simply because in this day and age religion has outlived its usefulness - not spirituality but religion. [Guardian Cif, 2 June 2014] Read more

Why I stand by my decision to send my son to Park View academy

.... The school has encouraged him to develop all parts of who he is, which includes being a Muslim, giving him the opportunity to express his faith if he so chooses. For example, he is able to use the school's washing facilities and do a daily prayer at lunchtime if he wishes, entirely at his own discretion. [445 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Given that the complaint is that the school unduly favours Muslim boys, it would be more balanced to give the views of the parent of a Christian or Jewish pupil, particularly a female.

[ANOTHER] Are there really places where the population is 98% Muslim? Sad and depressing.

Also so what if it is 98% of any particular faith, where is the Guardian support for secular state schools? Why is the religion of its pupils of any relevance whatsoever?

[ANOTHER] The accusations against the school may be wholly or partly false. However, the real point is that there would be no basis at all for such accusations if we accepted as a society that the practice of religion should be out of all of our schools.

By not facing up to this we are expanding religious control over schools and thereby sleepwalking towards social and religious divisiveness that we will one day regret.

[ANOTHER] As a parent, would you not like your son to have the opportunity to widen his group of peers? Do you not think that putting him in an environment where he meets only fellow-Muslims that you are actually preventing his successful integration into mainstream British society? Will he live in Britain all his life? If so, isn't it desirable for him to play with all types of children? [Guardian Cif, 30 May 2014] Read more

The smear campaign against Lutfur Rahman is an insult to democracy

.... There had been a concerted effort by the media and political establishment to smear Rahman. This culminated in a Panorama exposé, followed by Eric Pickles sending in police to investigate the documentary's claims.

And though the investigation turned up no credible evidence of wrongdoing, Labour insiders were confidently expecting victory. To be defeated by a convincing margin in an election where the turnout was London's highest must have hurt. [251 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "There is a deep substrate of racism informing this."

Thanks for playing the race card.

[ANOTHER] Tower Hamlets is the best recruiting ground for UKIP nationally. A truly rotten borough.

[ANOTHER] Yeah, yeah it's racism. That should shut everyone up. Pathetic. Never mind the fact that there have been allegations from all over the place any neutral observer can see that there are some real questions that need answering.

[ANOTHER] He does refuse to answer questions of fellow councillors, only employs fellow bangladeshis in the cabinet and funnels public money into institutions that support him. Some legitimate questions I think. [Guardian Cif, 30 May 2014] Read more

4.0 The Guardian & Charlie Hebdo

The readers’ editor on… the Guardian’s values and Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons of Muhammad

I am aware that many Muslims, some of them friends and colleagues, will have been offended by the Guardian’s use of that image, and I am sorry for that. However, I believe the countervailing argument is that on this occasion the image of the cover had an important and legitimate news value.

Showing the magazine’s response in the wake of the deaths was an important part of telling the story, and the Guardian did so in a measured, restrained fashion. It has to feel free to tell it in its own way. [1050 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 710 votes] "I am aware that many Muslims, some of them friends and colleagues, will have been offended by the Guardian’s use of that image, and I am sorry for that."

You shouldn't be.

[2ND 510] "There were also articles that sought to separate the actions of terrorists from the deep offence felt by many Muslims at the depiction of images of Muhammad."

But none did it successfully. The central point is, being 'offended' when seeing a cartoon is profoundly absurd – it's condescending to reform-minded Muslims as well as the secular majority to say "well WE all understand that this is just a cartoon, but you can't expect everyone to understand". Why not?

Charlie Hebdo sought to highlight this absurdity and paid the price for it. The Guardian, by paying lip service to these preposterous "sensitivities", just continues this strange status quo where the absurd is to be "respected".

[3RD 431] "The Guardian used a thumbnail picture of the cover with a warning that some readers might find the image offensive. There were also technical issues to overcome to ensure that the image stayed as a thumbnail across all platforms."

Who needs satire when reality is this absurd?

[4TH 358] I think, overall, the Guardian struck the wrong balance, and that nearly everyone will be in agreement that by refusing to do more than sneak a tiny image of the commemorative Charlie Hebdo cover into one article, you have bowed to the demands of terrorists.

However, that's small potatoes when compared to the hundreds (probably literally) of subsequent articles drumming home the message that Islam is the real victim.

I don't think I have ever seen as many Guardian readers so diametrically opposed to the paper's editorial policy, and I have to say that I'm not surprised, because if you genuinely believe that Islam is the victim in all of this then you're hopelessly out of touch not only with the prevailing public mood, but also with the very values the Guardian is supposed to promote.

The UK's leading liberal voice, bending over backwards to accommodate the sensitivities of a religion .... which hates gays, hates Jews, subjugates women and places arbitrary limits on free expression - I never thought I'd see the day.

[11TH 250] .... A supposedly free press should not make such an abject, grovelling apology to religious fanatics for simply reporting the news.

[12TH 228] So basically, the Guardian wants to surf on the back of Charlie Hebdo's fight for freedom of speech but doesn't actually want to put its head above the parapet and invite jihadis with AK's into their offices? [Guardian Cif, 19 January 2015] Read more

Paris attacks: in this debate fear is the factor that dare not speak its name

In the debate that has been raging these last 10 days, fear is the factor that dare not speak its name. In the public sphere, the discussion following the Paris killings has been intense, wrestling with questions of philosophy and principle, especially the rights, responsibilities and inconsistencies of free speech.

But in the private sphere the conversation has been quieter and more anguished. It has grappled above all with a sentiment that few voice with pride: namely, their own terror. [Jonathan Freedland, 1032 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 533 votes] We have to face up to the fact that Islam in Europe and the West is a problem, not simply a 'challenge'.

[2ND 517] But the problem is not just the small number of jihadis. As the excellent Panorama last week pointed out the problem is also the large number of conservative Muslims who hold the same ideology as the jihadis: that Muslims are superior to unbelievers, that sharia is best for the whole world, that apostates and blasphemers and homosexuals should be punished, that women aren't equal to men etc.

The vast majority of these conservative Muslims are not terrorists, but they are ripe for radicalisation and their beliefs do fundamentally contradict those of western societies. And ultimately as the number of Muslims in the west grows including large numbers of conservative Muslims, either they will have to change or the west will.

[3RD 498] "But perhaps it can be seen as the sometimes painful price of living in a free society, one that makes freedom of religion – and the freedom to live as a Muslim – possible."

But isn't living in a free society and living as a Muslim something of a contradiction in terms?

[4TH 495] If allowing people to practice Islam means allowing people to murder you for insulting Islam then I don't want to live in a free society any more.

[5TH 480] Why on Earth should we be afraid? I'm far more likely to die crossing the road to go the shop to get a pint of milk than I will from dying from a terrorist attack.

If we live our lives in fear then they win and I'm not going to be afraid of some silly wankers who believe in silly sky fairy stories.

[6TH 401] On the radio this morning they had a group of Muslims on who stated they loved Mohammed more than their own family, why do I have to respect that, it's simply awful. I wouldn't for a second say they aren't allowed to give that view but why on earth should I respect it.

[7TH 354] Isn't another "undercurrent" put forward by those among the Muslim community who would like to see non-Muslims prevented from depicting Muhammed one of immense hubris. That their opinion and beliefs to which they adhere should be adhered to by all?

[8TH 337] One thing in the past week has terrified me, left me very, very fearful. The reaction from nearly every Muslim commentator, either above the line, below the line, on social media, in print or on television.

Save a few sane voices, the majority of opinion has saddened me beyond words. We say, almost as muscle memory "of course it's a small minority" whenever we talk of any group, muslim or not, who are in the public eye when something terrible occurs.

But the polling shows that the beliefs, if not the methods of the murderers in Paris are shared by a great many Muslims across the globe.

[9TH 323] The fanatics are not tiny in number and they are not a handful. Addressing reality on this fact should be a priority,

[10TH 305] "One is the default insistence that western foreign policy is at the root of all this evil. It’s reassuring, offering the comforting hope that what we are up against is not a fanatic death cult but rather the armed wing of the Stop the War Coalition, a movement that will be placated as soon as our governments make the right moves on the geopolitical chessboard.

But that assumes the likes of the Paris murderers have the same analysis of international affairs as the anti-imperialist left – and they don’t."

Finally Guardian, Finally.

[11TH 299] "... the default insistence that western foreign policy is at the root of all this evil. It’s reassuring, offering the comforting hope that what we are up against is not a fanatic death cult but rather the armed wing of the Stop the War Coalition, a movement that will be placated as soon as our governments make the right moves on the geopolitical chessboard.

But that assumes the likes of the Paris murderers have the same analysis of international affairs as the anti-imperialist left – and they don’t.

... It’s soothing to imagine that the blame, and therefore the solution, lies in our own hands. But it’s hardly convincing."

Well said Jonathan. When will you be telling Seumas Milne this? [Guardian Cif, 16 January 2015] Read more

Paris is a warning: there is no insulation from our wars

The attacks in France are a blowback from intervention in the Arab and Muslim world. What happens there happens here too.

The official response to every jihadist-inspired terrorist attack in the west since 2001 has been to pour petrol on the flames. That was true after 9/11 when George Bush launched his war on terror, laying waste to countries and spreading terror on a global scale.

It was true in Britain after the 2005 London bombings, when Tony Blair ripped up civil liberties and sent thousands of British troops on a disastrous mission to Afghanistan. And it’s been true in the aftermath of last week’s horrific killings at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket in Paris. [Seumas Milne, 2037 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1091 votes] It was our fault. Should have known.

[2ND 626] I'd wondered to myself how long it would be after the attacks before Seumas turned up and explained why it was all the fault of the West. I presume the delay is due to the fact that he's had to take his default article of blaming everything on the Iraq War and tweak it because France didn't take part.

Still, the time taken has paid off. This is a masterpiece of contorted logic, trying to explain that French foreign policy is what led to attacks on, er, cartoonists and a kosher supermarket.

[3RD 578] So Seaumus, kindly explain why the terrorist attacks started BEFORE Iraq and Afghanistan?

Do you remember 9/11?

[4TH 555] I really don't know how the author manages to live in our society.

He hates it so much he does it down at every turn.

[5TH 466] .... France famously did not get involved in the Afghan/Iraq shitfest. The only areas they do tend to get involved (Francophone Africa) tend to be seen by most people (Muslims included) as generally the correct course of action. Certainly the intervention in Mali was justified.

[6TH 384] Seamus seems to be suggesting that everything that ever happens in the wider world is more or less a refraction of US foreign policy, i.e the Chomsky position.

All those theocratic states that are in crises for one reason or another have not arrived at such a position because of their own belief system, that concept does not compute for Seamus or Noam.

[7TH 370] It's a ludicrous article. Towards the end, Milne seems to have remembered the French were not involved in Iraq, so contradicting some of what he's already written, but he covers it with yet more bollocks and just carries on. [Guardian Cif, 15 January 2015] Read more

Did Charlie Hebdo's cover get it right? Our writers' verdict

The first edition of the magazine since the attack in which 12 people were killed has a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad on its cover. Our writers share their views.

Myriam Francois-Cerrah: The magazine drifts into racist caricatures
Timothy Garton Ash: We must not allow the assassin's veto
Nabila Ramdani: This shows how muddled the debate has become
Padraig Reidy: It manages to be both respectful and irreverent
Joseph Harker: This smashes a moment of genuine hope
Jonathan Jones: It's a life-affirming work of art
[2691 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1620 votes] "In depicting the prophet Muhammad it is deliberately offending the vast majority of Muslims around the world."

I find the Koran's references to unbelievers offensive. Fuck'em.

[2ND 1522] Panel comments on magazine that suffered terrible losses and still has the courage of its convictions in newspaper that didn't and doesn't.

Ok then.

[3RD 1391] "Joseph Harker: This smashes a moment of genuine hope."

It does no such thing and it's rather sad that you should even suggest as much.

[4TH 1347] And the comments of the panel are aligned according to their previous positions: those who support free speech continue to support it; those who believe that the avoidance of 'insulting' Muslims at all costs trumps free speech, continue to hold this reprehensible (to my mind) view.

[5TH 1120] Islam is currently the only religion that, on pain of death, is off limits to criticsim. Why is that? No other religion gets this treatment.

Yes, Charlie Hebdo got their cover perfectly right.

[6TH 1114] The cover is beautiful because it shows The Prophet weeping for both those who were killed and for the followers of Islam who have been duped by the evil maniacs who prostitute the religion for their own ends and fill young men and women's hearts with poison.

The only thing they could do better in my opinion is to have a follow up picture of Christ with his arm around Mohammed saying "It's OK. It gets better with time."

Loved it.

[7TH 963] It's a great choice. That there is a chilling, violence-enforced taboo on depicting Mohammed, even in places like the UK (just look at the comments by the editor of The Independent) is surely apparent, and ought to be deeply worrying to anyone who cares about freedom of expression. CH have been a lonely voice defying it, have paid a terrible price, and have now used the opportunity, with the eyes of the world on this cover to a degree that will likely not be the case again, to refuse to bow to intimidation. Bravo.

[8TH 959] "Millions of French people took to the streets at the weekend to express their unity against terror attacks, but it has taken just 48 hours to undo this spirit."

That unity means absolutely nothing if Charlie Hebdo can't continue to ridicule whoever it damn well chooses.

[9TH 679] Myriam Francois-Cerrah once again trying to portray the dead cartoonists as racists and conflating religion with race.

Apologists like her only seek to deflect criticism which in turn shields non-violent extremism and leads to more division. [Guardian Cif, 13 January 2015] Read more

Paris attacks: unless we overcome fear, self-censorship will spread

We have a blasphemy law. No electorate has approved it. No parliament has passed it. No judge supervises its application and no jury determines guilt beyond reasonable doubt. There’s no right of appeal. And the penalty is death. It is enforced not by a police bound by codes of conduct, but by a fear that dare not speak its name; a cowardice so total it lacks the courage to admit it is afraid.

.... most journalists have lived a lie for years, as have many in the arts, academia and comedy. We take on the powerful – and ask you to admire our bravery – if, and only if, the powerful are not a paramilitary force that may kill us.

.... Fear of radical Islam is not only driving support for the National Front in France and Ukip here, but providing an excuse for more attacks on civil liberties, including, despite David Cameron’s pious words after Charlie Hebdo, attacks on freedom of speech.

I hope I am wrong, but I cannot see a culture shift on this necessary scale happening. I fear we must look forward to a lying and frightened future. [Nick Cohen, 2073 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 783 votes] .... With a few admirable exceptions, Guardian comment pieces have been the usual trope of ‘don’t blame Muslims’, which insults the readership – no one but idiots blames ‘Muslims’, and most of us understand that discrimination is real and exists.

But the Guardian has never really challenged the illiberal ideology of Islam because to do so is just too intellectually difficult for journalists who see themselves as left wing, and cannot bring themselves to criticise an ideology followed by people they see as oppressed by the west.

Steve Bell comes across as simply lost, with nothing meaningful to say, and the usual commentators you get on just carry on doing their thing without any real thought. That would be too hard.

[2ND 771] A brave article. It's nice to see someone trying to address the real long-term problem.

"My friend and comrade Maajid Nawaz was a jihadi before he converted to liberalism and understands the totalitarian mind. He says that people still do not realise that radical Islamists do not just want to impose their taboos at gunpoint. They want to “create a civil war” so that European Muslims accept that they can only live in the caliphate; to encourage the rise of the white far-right so that ordinary coexistence becomes impossible. If they win one demand, as they are winning in Britain, then they will up the tension and move to another."

I'm sure this is true, but what do we do about it? In the absence of the reform of Islam, it seems to me that we only have three options:

1) Appease the religious fascists, and surrender our freedoms, and then hope that the fascists will leave us alone.

2) Defy them, and take the violent consequences (which includes accepting that many Muslims approve of attempts to silence the critics of Islam by force).

3) Eject the Muslims who don't accept the Western secular state from the West.

I'm sorry to have to say it, but we have to face the terrible reality of our situation: Solutions 1 & 2 won't work. When our ancestors fought and defeated the Nazis, they had to fight the German as a whole.

By the same token, we cannot defeat the islamofascists without also defeating the Muslims as a whole. Therefore, the only long-term solution to the problem, in the absence of the reform of Islam, is to eject the Muslims who won't accept the Western secular state from the West.

[3RD 737] Call Islam what it is. A medieval, man-made pile of bullshit and abuse just like so many other religions. There really is no god or lines of virgins awaiting the faithful.

Also time to get all religion out of our schools where it is little more than a form of child abuse.

[4TH 641] Self censorship is already with us, and has been for decades. It is policed and enforced with ruthless zeal by the very liberals who Nick Cohen believes should now be taking a stand against it.

For instance, when is the last time that anyone has been able to hold a well informed, honest debate about immigration or race or multiculturalism without some Left wing bigot shouting " Racist " within the first five seconds? There are many other similar totems of the Left where open discussion is impossible.

[5TH 550] The truth. Finally.

[314] Yes. And meanwhile the editorial rolls over and plays dead.

[6TH 544] Absolutely, after all the mealy-mouthed equivocation, something with guts and balls that really gets to the heart of the matter.

Most of the rest of the Guardian's other columnists and writers (you know who you are!) who've penned pieces on this subject in the past few days should hang their heads in shame.

Cohen seems to be the only columnist speaking out and robustly defending the liberal values this paper so smugly claims to support.

[7TH 544] Bravo Nick Cohen. Finally someone in the Guardian willing to put in writing the blindingly obvious truth.

[8TH 471] At last, the beginning of a lucid analysis is printed in the Guardian. Until now we have been told, as is the Guardian’s way, to ignore whatever visceral feelings you may harbour, ignore what your own eyes and experiences tell you and to sing kumbaya while reveling in white liberal guilt as it’s been all your filthy, white Western fault.

Recent events have had nothing at all to do with Islam, the shouts of “allahu akbar” were misinterpreted and the shite who perpetrated this abomination apparently have been tying themselves in knots of existential crises while debating millennia of suppression and their ongoing daily persecution.

[9TH 380] "But the guardian has never really challenged the illiberal ideology of islam because to do so is just too intellectually difficult for journalists who see themselves as left wing, and cannot bring themselves to criticise an ideology followed by people they see as oppressed by the west."

This a thousand times.

Western nations are seen by the left as the bad guys, the oppressors and Muslims as amongst those oppressed by western nations and, thus, the good guys. When it's explained to those on the left that the Muslim good guys might be practising a bad religion i.e. a religion whose core texts preach violence and oppression, it creates a huge cognitive dissonance. Good guys practising a bad religion?!?!?!

And often this cognitive dissonance is dealt with by ignoring what the core texts say, or by aligning oneself with pseudo-scholars who claim the core texts teach a message of peace, or by shouting "Islamophobia" at any criticism of Islam, no matter how well reasoned.

Anything to avoid a thorough, objective intellectual examination of those pesky core texts.

[10TH 327] The condemnation and misrepresentation of the wording of Enoch Powell's so called "Rivers of Blood" speech was clear proof censorship of necessary and open debate on a very contentious issue had already taken root amongst the political hierarchy of Westminster.

The British public have been left to suffer the consequences past, present and future.

As my old Dad used to say: "You always get it in the neck when you tell the truth about touchy matters". [The Observer, 11 January 2015] Read more

The Paris attackers hijacked Islam but there is no war between Islam and the west

.... The shootings have been described as an act of war. I can understand why some might characterise it that way. But they are wrong to do so, for isn’t this exactly what the violent extremists such as Da’esh, so-called Islamic State, want? They want to say the west is at war with Islam, but if we are to take the action of marginal groups and use that as evidence that there is a war between Islam and the west, aren’t we merely falling into a trap?

.... One sees difficult days ahead as yesterday’s dramatic events in France showed; and there is the issue of media organisations intent on publishing the most offensive Charlie Hebdo cartoons, claiming that it would strike a blow for free speech. I support free speech, but I would urge them to desist, for what they plan to do is not courageous and will do nothing to afford people dignity. It will be another example of targeting all Muslims. [Tariq Ramadan, 1591 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1638 votes] Ok we get it. Don't criticise Islam, and Muslims are the real victims here. Number 435 in a series from the Guardian.

Fine, multiculturalism in the west is lovely. Right, now when can we start talking about how to introduce multiculturalism and freedom of conscience to Muslim countries also? Because that's what it'll take to end Islamic extremism here and make Muslim countries happier and better places for everybody.

[2ND 1530] No right-thinking person believes all Muslims are responsible for these atrocities, but the situation is not helped by the eagerness among Muslim commentators and intellectuals to absolve the religion itself of blame, to talk only about poverty and jobs and to point fingers at 'the West'.

There is a common tone in these articles that demonstrates a frightening absence of self-analysis. Where are the Muslim academics, historians, theologians and social scientists asking what it is about their religion that means mass murderers are committing atrocities in its name on a daily basis?

[3RD 1528] This article does not address the question that most people must surely be asking. Why do the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks, now seemingly at the rate of two or three a day, take place under the banner of Islam?

[4TH 1335] There's no such thing as 'Islamophobia' - a phobia is an irrational fear. Fear of Islam is perfectly rational.

[5TH 1169] ".... our common principles"? This is precisely the problem. Many Muslims in the UK hold alarming views on many topics, equally they believe their right to be "offended" should take precedence over the right to free speech. It would appear that for many Muslims their take on Islam is essentially incompatible with life in a modern liberal democracy which tries to treat all citizens equitably.

[6TH 1090] I wonder when the Guardian will start a series of articles addressed to Dear Muslim People in the way it has been doing with articles addressed to Dear White People.

Why does the Guardian think it reasonable to treat white people as a homogeneous community whilst arguing how wrong it is to ascribe universal characteristics to other communities?

[7TH 1085] Yet another piece saying Islam isn't all that bad!.

[8TH 1072] "These murdering arseholes were just that, a bunch of murdering arseholes"

Who had no support whatsoever from the wider Muslim community ... yadda, yadda, yadda. Yes we've heard that a hundred times before and we're beginning to think it's bullshit.

[9TH 1044] "That said, there is also a wider political side to this equation. We condemn what happened in France. We condemn the violent extremism that is targeting westerners. But it is not only westerners. We are reacting emotionally because 12 people were killed in Paris, but there are hundreds being killed day in, day out in Syria and Iraq, and still we send more bombs. We have to look at the big picture. Lives matter, but it is important to be clear that the lives of Muslims in Muslim majority countries have as much value as our own lives in the west."

What is the point in making this statement? And I think you'll find that the vast bulk of that killing is being perpetrated by your fellow Muslims. Without any help from the west at all, unless you think we shouldn't bother attacking IS?

You are trying to lessen the deaths in Paris, you are trying to say "well lots more get killed in Syria, so really you shouldn't be complaining that much".

.... This terrible opinion piece spends about a ¼ of the time saying how awful this crime is, and a the rest of the time reeling off the usual this has nothing to do with Islam (funny, what they did is fully justified in the Quran)- CH was very unwise to print those cartoons>
- They had double standards when it came to cartoons about Jews>
- Islam is under attack in France and Western Europe>
- Yes you can have free speech but we'd strongly advise you not to insult the prophet

[10TH 986] There is a war between radical segments of Islam and western liberal democracy and we have every right to reassert the values of tolerant and free societies.

[11TH 945] C4 broadcast a documentary on hate preachers in mosques several years ago. It showed hate preachers calling for the death of kafir. The upshot was that the documentary makers were taken to court charged with inciting religious hatred. Until all religions and ethnic groups are seen to be treated the same under British law the authorities are only succeeding in stoking the fires of hatred.

[12TH 936] "They said they were avenging the prophet. That was wrong. In fact, it is the message of Islam, our principles and values, that have been betrayed and tainted. They refer to Islam to justify what they did. From a religious viewpoint, I feel it is my responsibility to say that this has nothing to do with the message of our religion."

Tell that to the swathes of the Muslim world that would have censored these cartoons. And imprisoned the cartoonist. Or executed them.

Tell it to the significant Muslim population that would have rioted over these cartoons, and demanded the death of the cartoonists.

[13TH 921] Kind of hard to ignore the religious element to it when they're shouting 'Allah Akhbar'. [Guardian Cif, 9 January 2015] Read more

Charlie Hebdo: We must not stop laughing at these murderous clowns

.... Don’t fool yourselves that this is about Islam. It was the Islamists’ secularist enemy Bashar al-Assad who got his thugs to break the fingers of the Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat four years ago. The Palestinian cartoonist Naji al-Ali was murdered in London in 1987 by a student who claims to have been a double agent for Mossad and the PLO.

The British cartoonists’ names in the Gestapo death list were just another manifestation of how hateful laughter is to despots throughout history. Which is why, now more than ever, we mustn’t stop laughing this latest bunch of murderous clowns to scorn. [Martin Rowson, 1003 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 407 votes] One simple question for you Martin. Have you ever, in your career, drawn a cartoon featuring a representation of God? If so, why do you feel entitled to ignore the Jewish restriction on graven images while arguing for respect for the Islamic restriction on images of their prophet.

[2ND 361] You seem to think reproducing the cartoons of Big M is a step too far, but are quite happy to run with images of the last moment of a policeman pleading for his life.

[3RD 337] "But don’t fool yourselves this is about Islam."

Don't fool yourself that, in this instance, it very much is.

[4TH 311] Yes we should laugh

But also be serious about the underlying conflict of values

[5TH 290] erm why aren't the cartoons on the broadsheet of every UK paper then?

Because the Guardian's commitment to free speech is, er skin deep.

[6TH 272] May I suggest a cartoon showing Allah looking down on the killers, with a speech bubble "Stupid idiots, don't they realise I'm just pretend".

[7TH 254] "But don’t fool yourselves this is about Islam."

“we have avenged the prophet Muhammad” Er, it's probably a little bit about Islam. [Guardian Cif, 8 January 2015] Read more

Charlie Hebdo: The ‘them and us’ narrative is a dangerous downward spiral

It has already started – the talk of a clash of civilisations. After the horrific Paris attack in which 12 people were killed, there is a palpable sense of a Europe on the edge, teetering between righteous anger and tense restraint. Many of the subsequent reactions have fallen along the predictable lines of reasserting the difference between “us” and “them”.

.... Whether it is Islamic State (Isis), al-Qaida or lone actors, they will use religiously focused grievances as a vehicle for political, personal and mental maladies. Don’t buy it. The way to honour the dead and find a way out of what seems like a depressingly inevitable downward spiral would be to resist the polar narrative altogether. It will not only heal painful rifts, it might even save lives. [Nesrine Malik, 1243 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1184 votes] "It is, however, important to not keep repeating the same mistakes, trying to trace the perpetrators to some certain origin. They have none. They belong to no single community or country or mosque."

They belong to no single community? Really? Incredible.

[2ND 1070] "anti-Muslim demonstrations in Germany."

Nice warping of words - it was actually anti-Islamisation not anti-Muslim.

[3RD 974] "It is certainly not the time to issue rallying cries, and to ventriloquise on behalf of terrorists that speak for no one."

Yeah, time to just roll over and take it as usual.

Europe is done with this BS tolerance. What you are seeing is the reaction of people who have been force-fed crap like this article for a very, very long time now.

[4TH 928] They belong to the Muslim community so I don't know why this writer is pussy-footing around the fact that yes, they all do belong to one community.

Here are the first links that pop up when you run a search for the Guardian publishing articles containing the words "Muslim community".

So clearly they believe it can be talked about as a single community. See here, here and here

[5TH 876] ... between this and the Owen Jones hand-wringing nonsense, it's difficult to tell one disgraceful Guardian commentary after the other....but they sure are coming thick and fast today!

[6TH 640] You don't really provide evidence that the reaction has generally been an "us and them" sort of reaction. I'm not sure it has. Not what I've seen, anyway.

In terms of asserting our own identity and values and large numbers of people coming together to tell these murderers that we don't share their values, I struggle to see how that's a bad thing. We can't refuse to condemn brutality, and refuse to celebrate freedom of speech, because it might upset some people

[7TH 511] Doing nothing is not an option - Arresting those responsible and prosecuting them to the fullest extent of the law is a start. The Muslim community needs to speak more loudly in favour of tolerance, at the moment it is being drowned out by its intolerant murderous side.

Islam needs a reformation, but I cannot see where it will come from. [Guardian Cif, 8 January 2015] Read more

After the Charlie Hebdo attack, we must resist the clash-of-civilisations narrative

.... Then came the seemingly reasonable calls, which always seem to accompany such atrocities, for Muslims to condemn the attack. While this demand may sound inoffensive, it implies that all Muslims, not just extremists, are implicated or secretly agree with all attacks undertaken by people in the name of religion anywhere in the world, unless we explicitly state otherwise.

It is easy to assume that terrorism works only if demands are met: if a magazine is closed down, if political changes are made. But terrorism also feeds itself by exploiting our society’s fears and fissures.

Outright Islamophobic attacks and the subtler but relentless questioning of the loyalty of Muslims create feelings of alienation that are all too easy for extremist organisations to use for their gain. In the rush to show terrorists they can’t win, solidarity and unity should not be trampled underfoot. [Homa Khaleeli, 589 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 835 votes] You are quite correct. This is not a clash of civilisations; it's a clash between a civilisation and something which is not a civilisation.

[2ND 761] Sadly the intense desire of some to deny a clash of cultures is leading to a bigger problem

Moderating these arguments just hides the problem

[3RD 673] There is a clash of civilisations. Many have been self-delusional, or tried to deny it. How much longer?

[4TH 622] Indeed, if we hadn't been so horrid, we literally forced them to do this, the gunmem are the real victims, etc.

[5TH 582] "Less violent but still divisive was the way the attack was depicted as a battle between Islam and freedom of speech"

It is that very battle. And it's one certain elements of the left like the Graun would have us lose.

[6TH 561] I hope this will be the turning point at which we all start standing together to defend Enlightenment values and stop trying to appease the fundamentalists.

[7TH 544] Most of what you have written before is rubbish and I wasn't disappointed at this. It's about time The Guardian admits it simply has got it wrong on militant Islam, immigration and race.

[8TH 527] "I suspect the purpose of this attack was at least in part to provoke a backlash, thus in turn driving alienated Muslim youth into the hands of extremists."

No. The purpose is to prevent criticism of Islam. It works, as this article illustrates.

[9TH 516] "Less violent but still divisive was the way the attack was depicted as a battle between Islam and freedom of speech"

No doubt about it, that's what this is.

The important distinction now is to separate Islam (the idea) from Muslims (the people). People deserve respect, whatever they believe. Ideas do not. Islam can't be ring-fenced from mockery, and right now that's more important to remember than ever. Otherwise these deaths are for nothing. [Guardian Cif, 7 January 2015] Read more

Charlie Hebdo's spirit will endure, despite this atrocity

.... Charlie Hebdo, for all its faults, showed courage like no other publication. Yes, its decision to print a cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad can be seen as questionable and inflammatory. But, as the veteran journalist Mark Colvin remarked this morning, Charlie Hebdo is an absolute equal-opportunity offender of satire: everything and everyone was fair game, starting with the pope (for whom they reserved special sardonic treatment) and all other religious leaders.

.... Charlie Hebdo partly shaped my political views as a teenager. I especially remember the delight I felt when it called for a huge mobilisation in my hometown, Tours, before Jean Paul II’s visit, damning the Catholic church for its position on condom use. I remember the grace and humanism of a column it gave to Patrick Pelloux, an ER doctor working in a poor suburb, detailing how the healthcare system was failing the poorest among us. I remember its tireless commitment to defending women, especially to the right to have an abortion and the right to have a sex life without shame. [Jessica Reed, 525 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 387 votes] Good to see The Guardian showing courage and solidarity with Charlie by illustrating this article with a cover of the magazine mocking the Pope.

Just when I thought this "newspaper" couldn't sink any lower. Truly, truly despicable.

[2ND 381] Charlie Hebdo is one of the most gloriously offensive, derogatory magazines in the world and it should be defended at all costs. If the Enlightenment gave us anything, it's the right to speak truth to power without fear of reprisal.

[3RD 381] If the Muhammad cartoons are to be described as "questionable and inflammatory" what then are the cartoons of the pope or anyone else?

Why are they ok and "fair game", but anything blasphemous against Islam is not?

I can only think its because people are petrified of offending muslims because of precisely what happened to today. That's cowardice, pure and simple, and Charlie Hebdo were brave enough to publish what most of us already feel.

Which makes today all the more tragic .... I hope the rest of the media think long and hard about this before they dismiss Charlie Hebdo's work as "questionable and inflammatory"

[4TH 322] "Yes, its decision to print a cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad can be seen as questionable and inflammatory."

In other words, be very afraid or politically correct and don't publish such cartoons.

They are winning

[5TH 273] Charlie Hebdo was alone in reprinting the Danish cartoons. The rest of Europe's media including The Guardian did not stand by their journalistic code of freedom of the press, they in effect left the Danish cartoonists and Charlie Hebdo out in the cold through their cowardice.

If all of the media had reprinted that cartoon of Muhammed then Charlie Hebdo would not have been a target.

[6TH 223] Yes the Guardian really has got its knickers in a twist on this issue. Desperate to be "the worlds leading liberal voice" yet even more desperate not to appear to offend anyone, even zealots. [Guardian Cif, 7 January 2015] Read more

The Charlie Hebdo killers must not silence us. We should ridicule them

.... But there is not “a clash of civilisations”. There is a deep and ongoing conflict between liberal values and a small subset of a world religion. This subset acts in an utterly modern way, depending on social media to spread its message, operating more as a criminal gang than a political movement. Therein lies its instability.

.... In response we must fight them. And we must laugh, ridicule and ultimately disrespect them. Fanatics, as Amos Oz said, don’t really do jokes. There cannot be peaceful coexistence with those who are want to return to a fantasy of the 7TH century. They brook no dissent. They fear laughter. [Suzanne Moore, 327 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1955 votes] Honor his name by showing his muslim cartoons here on the Guardian or do what you always do and cower in fear and make apologies.

[2ND 1444] Sadly, Suzanne, I expect that the general response to this atrocity will be further curtailment of free speech in the West.

We're not allowed to say X, Y or Z because 'it may offend'.

The Guardian has been, and I expect will remain, one of the primary cheerleaders for this spineless and wrong attitude.

[3RD 1376] The Guardian should publish the cartoons and announce unequivocally that it will not be held to ransom or censored by barbaric thugs.

If it doesn't, then true journalists who see their work as more than just a job, but a vocation, should consider whether they wish to be associated with such craven appeasement in the face of those who wish to destroy everything good in our society.

[4TH 1256] The more I think about this it is a big test for the Guardian editorial team and Steve Bell. It is not enough to produce the usual platitudes, but to react with courage. [Guardian Cif, 7 January 2015] Read more

Charlie Hebdo: We cannot let the Paris murderers define Islam

The killing of journalists in Paris on Wednesday was not only an attack on France but also an assault on Islam and the very freedoms that allow 30 million Muslims to prosper in the west.

Free speech is not a western concept: it is a universal craving of the human soul. The gunmen ran away shouting that they were “avenging the prophet Muhammad”. How dare they? We cannot let the murderers define Islam.

In seventh-century Mecca, it was the prophet Muhammad who fought for free speech to proclaim one God as the creator of life and worthy of worship. The city’s pagans were his violent persecutors. [Ed Husain, 253 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1164 votes] Sorry but all religion is bollocks, bleating on about some 6th century desert warrior's compassion at this time is rather insensitive.

[2ND 1069] Asked about attitudes towards free speech .... 78% of Muslims thought that the publishers of the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed should be prosecuted, 68% thought those who insulted Islam should be prosecuted .... See here

Seems like quite a few Muslims don't agree with freedom of speech to be honest.

[3RD 869] Don't tell us. Tell the Muslims. Do it now!

[4TH 675] "In sixth-century Mecca, it was the prophet Muhammad who fought for free speech to proclaim one God as the creator of life and worthy of worship."

Didn't he actively suppress pagan worship and decree apostasy a capital offence?

[5TH 615] That's three articles on the trot , this one, Simon Jenkins and Suzanne Moore telling us what WE must do or not do.

How about an article telling them, namely the religion of peace, what THEY must do?

[6TH 494] "In sixth-century Mecca, it was the prophet Muhammad who fought for free speech to proclaim one God as the creator of life and worthy of worship. The city’s pagans were his violent persecutors."

And then he expelled or killed all of the non-believers and all non-Muslims have been banned from Mecca ever since. That's free speech?

[7TH 454] I started to read the koran a few years ago and it reads like an angry rant. Not compassionate or caring. I stopped in disbelief that people live and die by this bollocks. [Guardian Cif, 7 January 2015] Read more

Charlie Hebdo: Now is the time to uphold freedoms and not give in to fear

.... Today’s French terrorists want a similarly hysterical response. They want another twist in the thumbscrew of the surveillance state. They want the media to be told to back off. They want new laws, new controls, new additions to the agenda of illiberalism. They know that in most western nations, including Britain, there exists a burgeoning industry of illiberal bureaucrats with empires to build.

.... That is why the most effective response is to meet terrorism on its own terms. It is to refuse to be terrified. It is not to show fear, not to overreact, not to over-publicise the aftermath. It is to treat each event as a passing accident of horror, and leave the perpetrator devoid of further satisfaction. That is the only way to defeat terrorism. [Simon Jenkins, 3736 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 3349 votes] Every newspaper in the world should publish Mahomet caricatures now. How can anyone kill because of some drawings is beyond me.

[2ND 2647] "That is why the most effective response is to meet terrorism on its own terms. It is to refuse to be terrified."

Absolutely. The Guardian should print those cartoons on the cover tomorrow.

[3RD 2214] "Every newspaper in the world should publish Mahomet caricatures now. How can anyone kill because of some drawings is beyond me."

Agree 1000%

[4TH 1810] Every newspaper in the world should print them. What Ed Miliband should also do is ban Labour members like Livingstone from getting on platforms with people like Lutfur Rahman who is a front for Jamaat e Islam and Dianne Abbott who is sharing one with the Chair of the Muslim Council of Britain a front for the Muslim Brotherhood.

[5TH 1637] #JeSuisCharlie

[6TH 1536] "Now is the time to uphold freedoms and not give in to fear."

We've been telling you that for years. [Guardian Cif, 7 January 2015] Read more

5.0 The Independent, The Huffington Post UK

As a Muslim, I'm Fed Up With the Hypocrisy of the Free Speech Fundamentalists

.... Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren. Context matters, too. You ask us to laugh at a cartoon of the Prophet while ignoring the vilification of Islam across the continent (have you visited Germany lately?) and the widespread discrimination against Muslims in education, employment and public life - especially in France.

You ask Muslims to denounce a handful of extremists as an existential threat to free speech while turning a blind eye to the much bigger threat to it posed by our elected leaders.

[TOP RATED COMMENT 2122 likes] This is such a ridiculous article. .... the idea that the consequences of free speech - which in this case include the threat of death by fanatical extremists - should be borne by Charlie Hebdo is complete capitulation to the killers because it legitimises their threat of violence.

.... Unfortunately, this article seems to deflect the problem completely, going instead for the ever predictable line of Muslims are victims .... The fetish that many of the Left have for victims (especially of the capitalist, imperialist west) has distorted our ability to fully comprehend the issue at hand.

[ANOTHER] All this from a fruitcake who was recorded whilst debating with Richard Dawkins that he loved the prophet Mohamed more than he loved his son, what a brainwashed creep of a father. Sorry no time for a person like this. [The Huffington Post UK, 16 January 2015] Read more

Nigel Farage claims that Muslims are running UK 'ghettos' according to Sharia law

Nigel Farage has claimed that "ghettos" in parts of the UK are being run according to Sharia law as authorities "turn a blind eye" because of their "moral cowardice".

The UKIP leader claimed that “big ghettos” had sprung up in Britain and Europe where child sex abuse, female genital mutilation, extremism and Sharia law were allowed to flourish.

"We've been turning a blind eye to preachers of hate that have been coming here from the Middle East and saying things for which the rest of us would be arrested," he added.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "Moral Cowardice", Yes Rotherham for starters know all about that. The truth that dare not speak its name.

[ANOTHER] Farage is right .... readers who have become hysterical over his comments seem prepared to hide from the truth, because they just don't want to believe that Islamisation - albeit on a small-scale - is taking place.

[ANOTHER] Sharia courts are allowed legally to operate in the UK. If you want evidence then come to Oldham, Rochdale, Bradford, Luton, etc, etc. In fact watch Stacey dooleys show on Luton!!!!

[ANOTHER] While it may not be every Muslim in Britain it is certainly a respectably-sized group of extremists who do not like what Britain stands for.

This is the extremism we have turned a blind eye to. Sexual grooming in Rotherham, and Islamic plots in schools are small in comparison.

[ANOTHER] Well Farage is right. [The Independent, 14 January 2015] Read more

Egypt's President Calls For A 'Revolution' In Islam

Egypt's president opened the new year with a dramatic call for a "revolution" in Islam to reform interpretations of the faith entrenched for hundreds of years, which he said have made the Muslim world a source of "destruction" and pitted it against the rest of the world.

The speech was Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's boldest effort yet to position himself as a modernizer of Islam. His professed goal is to purge the religion of extremist ideas of intolerance and violence that fuel groups like al-Qaida and the Islamic State.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... the world would be better off without Islam. Geert Wilders is 100 percent correct with his criticism along with Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Orianna Fallaci, Salmun Rushdie, Robert Spencer, Theo Van Gogh, Geert Wilders, Wafa Sultan.

[ANOTHER] .... this is the overwhelming problem with religion in general, not specifically Islam. .... Christianty is not the cure for Islam. Religion is never the cure for religion. Education...and only education...is the cure for religion.

[ANOTHER] A critical problem with Islam is that it has a multitude of rules to control every aspect of society. In contrast, Christianity has this: "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God." That is, it accepts a fully secular rule. [The Huffington Post, 9 January 2015] Read more

Government's obsession with faith and free schools 'breeds social and racial segregation'

Segregation between different classes and ethnicities in Britain is worsening due to increasing numbers of faith schools and the opening of free schools, a leading campaigner on social equality has warned.

Matthew Taylor, the respected chair of the Social Integration Commission, called on governors to issue regular reports on how their pupils are mixing to prevent serious divisions in society – saying that Muslim schools were of particular concern as their intakes tend to be less diverse.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Whilst faith and independent schools exacerbate the problems, please do not be distracted by the bigger and far more pressing issues. My white European children have attended central London state schools where the majority of students are Muslim.

.... Most Muslim parents simply will not allow their kids to visit the houses of non-Muslim friends, even if, to accommodate them at parties, we have ensured food is appropriately Halal.

This is a social tragedy. Some of the Muslim kids are really lovely people, and they are being denied the opportunity to build important life-skills. The few parents we have an opportunity to exchange communication in passing at the school gates with, or, on incredibly rare occasions, to visit for a meal, have been lovely too.

But it is as if, when communicating with us they are forever looking over their shoulder out of fear. The blame for this tragedy lays within the Muslim community. There are some unpleasant forces operating within it.

[ANOTHER] One nation Britain is a thing of the past thanks to short sighted incompetent arrogant conceited politicians.

[ANOTHER] Sadly this division is led by a single grouping. No other religious group is as divisive. When we have examples of the teaching of extremism within these same schools it is a recipe for disaster.

Let us not beat around the bush, this issue is Islam and Islamic schools and its lack of any real desire to integrate. Other religious schools show no similar traits whether they be RC, CofE or Jewish.

The solution is simple, these Islamic schools should be banned or closely regulated.

[ANOTHER] I am a supply teacher and I have worked in numerous schools across London.

In my experience muslim children as well as being the least integrated are also the most bigoted when it comes to religion.

I predict the impact on cohesion will be devastating within a generation in the UK.

[ANOTHER] "Faith and free schools breed social and racial segregation."

Of course they do. Anyone with half a brain recognises that.

The depressing fact is that most faiths, and one in particular, are fully in favour of imposing such religious and ethnic apartheid. [The Independent, 31 December 2014] Read more

The Far-Right Marched In Record Numbers Through Dresden On Monday Night

A record number of right-wing protesters stormed through the eastern German city of Dresden for the latest in a series of anti-Islam demonstrations that have alarmed the country's politicians.

Police estimated that some 17,500 people attended Monday's rally, staged by the group calling itself Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, or Pegida. This week, the protest was billed as a carol-singing gathering in front of the Semperoper opera house.

Those numbers would make it the biggest gathering since Pegida's weekly protests started in October.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] This will be happening in every city in the world soon, unless governments do something about this creeping colonisation of every country in the world.

[SECOND] .... People of all classes,all religions, are absolutely sick to death of hearing about what they want, what they are entitled to, and how they should be treated, there is an obvious answer, if you dislike the country you are in, go back to the democratic countries, like Pakistan,Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iran, Irag, Libya, Syria, where a warm welcome awaits you.

[THIRD] I think there is going to be civil war in many European countries within the next decade. Damn the politicians who led us down this path with their warped multiculturalism ideals. [The Huffington Post UK/AP, 23 December 2014] Read more

Should We Allow Mentally Ill 'Lone Wolves' To Call Themselves A Terrorist?

.... Lone wolf attackers like Monis portray themselves as terrorists or freedom fighters, demanding to be thought of as part of the global jihadi cause, associating themselves with big headline-grabbing groups, from Al Qaeda to Islamic State.

"Islamic State is the biggest brand around", Raffaello Pantucci, director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) told HuffPost UK.

"It's a big anti-establishment brand, that has eclipsed all else. It's a brand that other people want to be associated with, they want to catch that spotlight."

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Why get into a semantics argument over whether the Huffington Post wants to call him a terrorist or not?

Moreover, there is no clinical evidence that this murderer in Australia was any more or less mentally ill than those who behead innocent care workers in Iraq because they happen to be American or British.

It was a criminal act, yet another atrocity committed in the name of Islam.

[ANOTHER] I think a better question would be – "Should we allow a violent, intolerant, backward ideology to be called a Religion?"

[ANOTHER] More to the point, should we allow the Huff to blacken the name of millions of people with mental health issues in order to divert attention from the common factor in most terrorist crimes against humanity?

Time and again it is ISLAM [The Huffington Post UK, 18 December 2014] Read more

Far Right Numbers Swell As 10,000 Germans March Against 'Extreme Islam'

German extremists converged on Monday night for one of the biggest far-right rallies the country has seen in years, with so-called "anti-Islam" marches now becoming a near-weekly occurrence.

Thousands descended on downtown Dresden in a march organised by a group calling itself "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West", known by its German acronym PEGIDA.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Just the beginning methinks and not just in Germany. The politicians have a lot to answer for with their failed multicultural policies.

[ANOTHER] Islam is a cancer spreading through the world and will eventually have to be dealt with just like any cancer.

[ANOTHER] It's not the far right in Germany, no swastikas, it's the ordninary people. I've talked to some German friends, its just the ORDINARY PEOPLE. [The Huffington Post UK, 9 December 2014] Read more

Islam Is Not The Problem

I was appalled by Bill Mahers and Sam Harris' coverage of Islam and terrorism several weeks ago.

.... Islamophobia .... is dangerous and leads to disenfranchisement toward so many in the Muslim community. Muslims are no different than anyone else, they have the same goals and aspirations as anyone else.

Islam is not the problem, and has never been the problem. We must ask ourselves, what is religion?

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Islam is certainly the problem, as it and its followers promote ideology that leads to violence and the subjugation of women.

[ANOTHER] I agree wholeheartedly with Bill Maher attitude towards Islam, I took a course in grad school on religions of the world. Believe it or not the course was being taught by an ex Muslim.

He was extremely against the religion he was taught, he quoted passages of the Koran which basically said if your Islamic, its your duty to deny, and hate other religions. He said that radical groups take this even farther by executing defectors, and women who go against Islamic Law.

[ANOTHER] If the Koran explicitly tells you to kill the infidel that does not convert to Islam then I think it is a problem! [The Huffington Post, 5 December 2014] Read more

British Muslims face worst job discrimination of any minority group, according to research

Muslims are facing the worst job discrimination of any minority group in Britain, according to new research which found that they had the lowest chance of being in work or in a managerial role.

Muslim men were up to 76 per cent less likely to have a job of any kind compared to white, male British Christians of the same age and with the same qualifications. And Muslim women were up to 65 per cent less likely to be employed than white Christian counterparts.

Muslims were the most disadvantaged in terms of employment prospects out of 14 ethno-religious groupings in the UK .... Skin colour made little difference to the figures.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] You have a section of society that does not want to integrate, wants to use its own language, dress, social practices, even when they are illegal in this country, even when they are 2nd or 3rd generation born here, and they are surprised they are not treated equally.

.... The ones who get on have integrated. The ones who want to live as if it was 1200 years ago will not be welcome until they do integrate. Or they could go 'home' rather than living in their enclaves here.

[SECOND] Try getting a job with a Muslim employer if you are not a Muslim. It ain't gonna happen. These essentially anti-white headlines sicken me.

[THIRD] Under no circumstances whatsoever would I employ a Muslim of whatever nationality, whatever age or qualification. They are enemies of democracy and enemies of Christianity and we have made a serious mistake in allowing them into the country. Whatever they might tell you publicly they all support the Muslim extremist organisations.

[FOURTH] Should we perhaps learn tolerance from how Muslims treat Christians in Islamic countries?

[FIFTH] "They are perceived as disloyal and as a threat rather than just as a disadvantaged minority."

Here we go; the muslim as victim. Again. Nothing to do with their attitude, e.g. taking jobs in British supermarkets but refusing to sell alcohol or pork to the customers, or turning up for work with their faces covered? Who would have guessed that an attitude like that might have deterred companies from employing them? Amazing! [The Independent, 27 November 2014] Read more

John Cleese & Bill Maher Debate Political Correctness - 'You Can't Make Jokes About Muslims, They'll Kill You'

“Who are the people you can’t make jokes about?” Quick as a shot, Maher replies with a knowing laugh: “Muslims. Try that, see what your Twitter feed says.”

.... Cleese cracks up, as does the audience, but the 75-year-old quickly makes the distinction he was referring to fundamentalists.

He said: “I think it’s terribly important. But the problem is if you make jokes about people who are going to kill you… there is a sort of tendency to hold back a little, isn’t there?"

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... he is not wrong in saying making a joke about Islam is more dangerous than any other religion. In fact doing anything that could be regarded as insulting is dangerous.

There are no other religions I know of in which a small but influential segment go insane and pronounce death sentences, on a fairly regular basis, about cartoons, comedians, rubbish YouTube videos or authors.

Other religions do have insane minorities too - it's just they tend to be ignored by all but a few nutters and they don't hold very much sway. [Huffington Post UK, 27 November 2014] Read more

Challenging Anti-Muslim Bigotry and Challenging All Forms of Bigotry, Within and Against Muslim Communities

Over the last three years, I have been involved in formulating, implementing and managing the TELL MAMA project that has built up a substantial amount of information and expertise in the monitoring, mapping and measuring of anti-Muslim hatred or Islamophobia.

Our work has supported over 2,000 people nationally since mid-2012 and has also filled a much needed gap for victims of anti-Muslim bigotry.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... Pointing out Imams and Islamic organizations in the U.K. who preach hatred towards non Muslims, incite their followers to support terror, and encourage mistreatment of women, is not Islamophobia.

Demanding that British Muslims follow British law is not Islamophobia.

Expressing anger at radical muslims for intolerant statements is not Islamophobia.

[ANOTHER] There's no place for bigotry in in the modern world. There is also no place for the tribal superstitions that religions trade on; people are free to believe in whatever nonsense they want, but ridiculous beliefs deserve to be ridiculed, not promoted and publicly financed.

That is not islamophobia, it's just logic. It's logical to stand against any religion or cult that indoctrinates, divides and promotes utter intolerance. [The Huffington Post UK, 5 November 2014] Read more

Anti-Muslim Hate Crime Soars In London, According To New Police Figures

Muslim hate crime in London has shot up by almost 65% in twelve months, with spikes in violence linked not to Islamic State beheadings, but to incidents closer to home like the Rotherham grooming scandal.

Metropolitan Police figures show that incidents of hate crime rose from 344 to 570 in the last year, and women are key targets because of their identifiable Islamic dress.

Fiyaz Mughal, director of the Islamophobia monitoring group Tell MAMA, said that he had been expecting an increase of between 30-50%, and had not predicted such a dramatic rise.

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] Hate crime will increase against Muslims for as long as Islam keeps preaching stone age dogma ....

[ANOTHER] I am surprised that hate crime has soared in London against Muslims because more than half the population of London is no longer of British origin.

[ANOTHER] Tell Mama: This organisation has been shot down and discredited before for trawling the internet for anti-Islamic posts, just like this one, and logged them as Hate Crime or violent incidents against Islam.

The only actual physical crime reported being someones tyres being popped. Come on, who in the right mind, in Britain today would physically assault or verbally threaten a Muslim? That would be a one way ticket to jail as the Police and the Courts would take it very seriously.

On the other hand, if you walk to the Mosque on a Friday night and get pushed into the middle of the road by a Muslim Patrol for walking on the pavement on the same side of the road as the said Mosque, and you report that to the Police, they laugh at you. [The Huffington Post UK, 1 October 2014] Read more

We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist

British society, its political class and community leaders must share the blame for the "jihad generation" of young men and women joining the Islamic State terrorist organisation, a former senior Muslim Army officer says today.

.... "We must not be afraid to ask the difficult questions and to thoroughly cleanse our ghettoised communities from feeling so distant from the ideals of what it means to live in a free society where you can choose to practise faith or not to, where you can live alongside every faith and none, where your rights are protected under law and you are an equal citizen. These are noble values, yet in Muslim communities I have almost never heard these being discussed with young people in inner-city areas."

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Muslims - or enough of them to matter at any rate - choose to live in their own self-created ghettoes, choose not to integrate into British society, choose to keep alive medieval cultures and traditions, sometimes illegally (like FGM), choose to keep women as virtual prisoners in their own homes, cut off from the society they now blame, and sometimes never even learning to speak a word of English in case they are contaminated by TV and radio.

Their own little oasis of the Swat Valley, brought to your doorstep in Bradford.

Muslims alone are to blame for this cancer. And it is going to take radical measures, by the Muslim community as much as by "society", to cut it out and kill it stone dead.

[SECOND] How dare he blame British culture. It is Islam that has failed these young people. It is their own culture who have insisted on self segregation (and worse).

We owe them nothing. They were given everything and every opportunity and all they have done is build walls round themselves.

Islam itself is the reason this is happening.

[THIRD] If Muslims are having problems living peacefully with their non-muslim neighbors in Britain, France, Holland, U.S., Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Kenya, Australia, India and so many other countries then maybe, just maybe, the problem lies with Muslims themselves? [The Independent, 24 August 2014] Read more

Mehdi Hasan Tells Wilderness Festival The 'Hysterical' British Press Is Encouraging Islamophobia

.... To pretend that this "relentlessly hostile coverage" of a minority has no effect on community relations or on integration "is naive, if not disingenuous," he argued.

"From a moral point of view it is wrong… to smear or stereotype minority communities, to pretend or give credence to the idea that the actions of a minority within a community are somehow representative or the fault of the majority of members of that community. That is the very definition of bigotry."

"It has to change, it has to stop and, frankly, it’s un-British," he concluded.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Don't you just get sick and tired of Muslims telling us that they are a part of British culture? They are not! they are a different culture no matter how nice the individual

[ANOTHER] I am sick to my teeth of hearing about Muslims. Every day. Every where these people live there is division and hatred. They separate themselves off, they expect me to embrace their culture even thought it is offensive to me, but they refuse to embrace my culture in my land. Just go away will you.

[ANOTHER] .... it is Muslims themselves who are turning people against them with their constant take over bid and whining when things do not go their own way. They will not integrate and view us non Muslims as nothing more than dirt. [The Huffington Post UK, 9 August 2014] Read more

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan tells female journalist: 'Know your place, you shameless militant'

Turkey’s Prime Minister has called a prominent female journalist a “shameless militant woman” who should “know her place”. Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Amberin Zaman, the Turkish correspondent for The Economist, on Thursday while speaking at an election campaign rally.

Remarks she had made while interviewing the opposition leader, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, on television the previous day had been condemned as “insulting to Islam and Muslims” by pro-Government supporters on social media.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Mr Erdogan - no extremist when compared with Salafists and Wahhabists or with people like al Baghdadi of the Islamic State or al Zawahiri of al Qaida - usefully demonstrates attitudes which are general among ordinary run-of-the-mill non-extremist mainstream Muslims.

Which should make clear that Islam is a completely alien creed in terms of the values generally accepted in western Europe. Its beliefs are simply incompatible with those which, these days, are current here.

[ANOTHER] And incredibly, this country is held up by some Muslims as an example of tolerant, peaceful, non-misogynist Islam. Thanks, but no thanks.

[ANOTHER] The Muslim world is an economic, social, and or political basket case. The one partial exception to that was Turkey. Now the rise of Fundamentalist Islam is threatening that. [The Independent, 8 August 2014] Read more

'Islam is reviving British values', says former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan William

Islam is rejuvenating “British values”, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has claimed while lambasting sections of the press for presenting Muslims as “un-British”.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Islam and western liberal deocratic values are incompatible.

[ANOTHER] What a sad, confused, out of touch silly old man. He has the temerity to compare our values to barbaric Islamic so called values. Anyone for a suicide vest?

[ANOTHER] Islam is as dangerous in a man as rabies in a dog. - Sir Winston Churchill

[ANOTHER] The man's totally doolally. Time he was packed off to a 'home'.

[ANOTHER] And they wonder why the Church of England is dying, it's because of brainless left-wingers like this.

[ANOTHER] This was the worst Archbishop of Canterbury ever, thank goodness he is gone. When Christians are being killed or expelled by Moslems all over the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, he comes up with this drivel.

Christian communities like the one in Iraq, which existed for centuries are being wiped out. What kind of values does he actually mean? [The Independent, 2 August 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse Report Finds 'Aggressive Islamic Ethos' In Birmingham Schools

... The investigation, led by former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke concluded that there had been "co-ordinated, deliberate and sustained action" by a number of individuals to introduce an "intolerant and aggressive Islamic ethos" into a few schools in the city.

.... His report is the last of four separate probes into the allegations in Birmingham ... His findings differ from those contained in Ian Kershaw's inquiry for Birmingham City Council, which concluded there was no evidence of a "conspiracy to promote an anti-British agenda, violent extremism or radicalisation in schools in east Birmingham".

.... Last month Ofsted issued a damning verdict on the running of a number of Birmingham's schools as it declared five failing and placed them into special measures.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The fact that we have tolerated this for so long .... demonstrates what a wondrous multicultural wonderland we have in Britain.

.... Anyone can come over to Britain and create their little bit of Somalia, their bit of Pakistan, or their piece of Ethiopia and live as if they were back home - only integrating when requiring benefits and the NHS of course.

[ANOTHER] Moderate Islam is the Trojan horse that allows in Extremist Islam! Everybody knows it! [The Huffington Post UK, 22 July 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse report: Birmingham schools broke law with Islamic assemblies and banned sex education

Hardline governors in some Birmingham schools were guilty of “serious malpractice” and headteachers were undermined in order to introduce Islamic worship and ban sex education, a damning report into the “Trojan Horse” allegations found today.

Schools introduced Islamic assemblies without permission and used the Muslim call to prayer which had “led to the coercion of young people” to participate in worship during the school day, the report commissioned by Birmingham City Council found.

.... He said: “The report has highlighted areas where we have either taken no action, were too slow to take action, or have simply done the wrong thing. The report further states this has often been because of the risk of being seen as racist or Islamophobic. Our proper commitment to cohesion in communities sometimes overrode the need to tackle difficult questions about what was happening in a small number of schools.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Islamic values are incompatible with European ones.

[ANOTHER] Once again we see fear of being accused of being "islamophobic" as the reason for not dealing with this threat. A phobia implies an irrational or unfounded fear but when it comes to Islam it is a rational response to an existential and demonstrable threat - so no "phobia".

[ANOTHER] What did people think would happen if we did not put checks and measures in place when witnessing Muslim majority schools?

The PC Brigade has been shameless in giving succour to beliefs that fly in the very face of a liberal society. Trying to spin at every turn the consequences all around us and persistently playing down the countless victims in many parts of the world. [The Independent, 18 July 2014] Read more

A ban on the niqab is contrary to British values

Would it bring better community cohesion? I’d would suggest ‘no’ to these important questions. No matter what you think of the niqab - I for one am no fan of conservative religiosity, or conservative religious symbolism, but that does not matter - backing a unilateral ban on wearing it in public spaces is not going to answer these questions.

Ultimately, we must defend the right for women to freely wear what they want and when they want. That is fundamentally a British value.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The author above writes "Ultimately, we must defend the right for women to freely wear what they want and when they want".

So how come when it comes to women in Islamic countries, this statement is turned on its head. Many Islamic countries demand a dress code of all women - including non Muslim women - irrespective of their personal choice.

Bizarre that Muslims in muslim countries do all they can to enforce a dress code, but once in the West were niqab's are culturally unacceptable, argue how dress codes are intolerable. Try and tell Muslims in many muslim countries that women are free to wear what they want, and you will probably get flogged.

[ANOTHER] I would refuse to deal with a veiled woman, as I regard her attire as an obstacle to the sort of communication that is part of my cultural heritage, as someone brought up in the modern world, not 7th century Arabia or a village in the North West Frontier.

[ANOTHER] The angry and entitled way Muslims demand the right to do this, that and the next thing just demonstrates we're about 5/10 years away from a serious national debate about the repatriation and resettlement of the Muslims who live here.

Islam simply isn't compatible with European ideas such as democracy and equality. Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, even the Chinese manage to live happily in this country - who are the ones who don't? [The Independent, 15 July 2014] Read more

Schools' Trojan Horse Probe Has Led To Backlash That Increases Islamist Radicalisation Risk, Say Campaigners

A crackdown on the so-called "Trojan horse" schools in Birmingham has only increased the risk of children being radicalised, through the Governments "provocative and unhelpful" response, it has been claimed.

Two weeks ago the head of Ofsted Sir Michael Wilshaw, concluded there "was a culture of fear and intimidation in some schools" after the publication of an unprecedented series of inspections, triggered by the so-called Trojan Horse claims.

Campaigners say the central claim, contained in the Trojan Horse letter sent to the local council, that there was an extremist agenda remain "unproven" following those inspections.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] So much time, money and vital police and security effort is put into this tiny (but growing) religious minority and their inibility to assimilate into British society.

[ANOTHER] These schools have been found wanting, and they don't like it, so what do they do!..They try and discredit Ofsted, and turn the blame on radicalization back on the government. Get over it, either adopt all of the governments and Ofsted's findings, or face closure.

[ANOTHER] She is simply making a threat. When Muslims complain we should listen, but when folk complain about them, we should do nothing - or else.

[ANOTHER] OOOHHH.. if there is a problem, do not speak of the problem, do not challenge the problem, do not even suggest there is a problem .. and that will make the problem go away ... can someone explain to me how that helps?

[ANOTHER] In other words, every problem caused by Muslims (of which there are many) must be ignored for fear of them taking offence and creating even worse problems. [The Huffington Post UK, 27 June 2014] Read more

Could Gove 'Effectively Stop' Muslims Becoming School Governors, With 'British Values' Rules?

.... Unacceptable actions are defined as anything "aimed at undermining the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs".

The Muslim Council of Britain has raised fears that the reforms, which will apply to new academies and free schools, could prevent people with conservative Muslim beliefs viewed as incompatible with "British values" being involved - a claim the Department for Education denies.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] If someone does not like our values, they shouldn't be living here or educating their kids here, it's as simple as that.

[ANOTHER] "Could Gove 'Effectively Stop' Muslims Becoming School Governors, With 'British Values' Rules?" I certainly hope so.

[ANOTHER] I don't care what religion you are, if you don't believe in democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs then you shouldn't be governing a school. End of.

[ANOTHER] Religion shouldn't be a factor in education, all faith schools should be phased out. Most kids are too young to make a decision about their religion, they just have it forced upon them by their parents and school. RE should, at the very least, be optional. [The Huffington Post UK, 20 June 2014] Read more

Baroness Warsi At Odds With Michael Gove Over Extremism Claims in Schools

Baroness Warsi has distanced herself from the education secretary's response to allegations of an Islamist plot to take over Muslim-majority schools in Birmingham - and took a jab at Gove for not having any relevant life experience on the issue.

.... She made the comments after being asked about Gove's desire to "drain the swamp" of Islamist extremism. Warsi replied: "I'm not going to comment on the language other people have used."

[TOP RATED COMMENT] She has come out like the good Muslim she is and defended her Muslim brothers as that is what she has to do to save face with her community and religion. The truth is as she well knows her religion and community have no intention of integration.

[ANOTHER] Trouble is Muslims want their own countries free of any faith other than their own but also want the freedom to indoctrinate their religion into the countries they have chosen to emigrate to.

We simply mustn't be so stupid as to rollover in the name of multiculturism and freedom of religion. [The Huffington Post UK, 10 June 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse schools: 'British values' must be promoted in the classroom, says Michael Gove

Schools will be told they must promote “British values” in the classroom in the wake of the Birmingham “Trojan Horse” investigation into allegations of a takeover of the city’s schools by hard-line Islamists.

.... A small group of governors is making significant changes to the ethos and culture of the academy without full consultation, says the report.

“They are endeavouring to promote a particular and narrow faith-based ideology in what is a maintained and non-faith academy,” it adds. “Many members of staff are afraid to speak out against the changes taking place in the academy.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT] And how many other schools in other inner-cities? If its happening in Birmingham then I bet there is islamist infiltration in Luton, Bradford, Preston, etc. .......

[ANOTHER] Time to do what the French do. No manifestation (or even infestation)of religion is permitted in state funded schools. No priests, no imams, no crucifixes, no veils and certainly no teaching/preaching. [The Independent, 9 June 2014] Read more

Islamic Olive Tree Primary School Found To Have Books Promoting Stoning, Lashing And Execution

An Islamic primary school has been deemed failing by the education watchdog after it was found with books promoting stoning, lashing and execution. Ofsted rated Olive Tree Primary School in Luton, Bedfordshire, as inadequate after inspectors found "pupils' contact in school with people from different cultures, faiths and traditions is too limited to promote tolerance and respect for the views, lifestyles and customs of other people".

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The problems here started decades ago when we didn't insist on people coming here having to adapt and integrate.

It will probably never change as most Muslims will tell you that their Religion comes first, before family, and the country that gave them a home, comes a very poor third. [PA/Huffington Post UK, 9 June 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse: Ofsted says schools were targeted

"A culture of fear and intimidation has taken grip" in Birmingham schools caught up in the Trojan Horse claims, says Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw.

Head teachers have been "marginalised or forced out of their jobs", said Sir Michael, as he delivered his findings on claims of hardline Muslim takeovers.

The Ofsted chief said there was evidence of an "organised campaign to target certain schools".

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] It is about time we followed France and make all our schools Secular.

[ANOTHER] Religious schools have no place in a modern society, the idea that my invisible friend's better than your invisible friend needs to removed totally from the education of children. Stick to facts not fairy tales.

[ANOTHER] The media for years have ensured we could not talk about anything that portrayed Islam in an negative manner, and look what happens? I'm talking about you BBC.

[ANOTHER] There should be no faith schools, religion should be something practised in church, temple, mosque and synagogue. Not in a place of learning.

[ANOTHER] "Teachers in assembly calling children 'white prostitutes' because they weren't covered head to toe."

I despair of what is happening to our country, I really do.

[YET ANOTHER] Where next? Rochdale, Leicester, Leeds, Luton, Oxford, Bradford and so on ... The UK is sleepwalking toward re-colonisation by stealth. But the politically correct fools deny it to us plebs. Wake up UK! [BBC, 9 June 2014] Read more

Birmingham 'Plot': Don't Deter Muslims From Entering Public Life, Warns Sadiq Khan

The manner in which ministers and the media have reacted to accusations of a so-called Islamist plot to take over schools in Birmingham is putting off British Muslims from entering public life, Labour's shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan has warned.

In an interview with The Huffington Post UK, to be published later this week, Khan said society as a whole would suffer if the coverage of the story "deters people coming forward" to serve their communities.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] One only need to look at what has happened in Tower Hamlets to see what happens when muslims take public office here.

[ANOTHER] Typical reaction from Muslim spokesmen complete rejection of the criticism and its causes regardless of the amount of proof available. Then almost in the same breath they attack those that have exposed their programme of radicalising our kids. [The Huffington Post UK, 9 June 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse Schools 'Covered Up Activities', Put On Christianity Lessons To Fool Inspectors

.... David Cameron has ordered a "robust response" to the situation in Birmingham after investigations suggested some of the schools had attempted to fool inspectors by putting on "hastily arranged shows of cultural inclusivity", including in one case a religious education lesson on Christianity.

Education watchdog Ofsted could step up its use of unannounced visits as a result of the findings and will also maintain a regular presence in the Birmingham schools involved, reporting directly to the Prime Minister and Education Secretary Michael Gove, who has been at the centre of a political storm over his handling of the so-called Trojan Horse plot.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Religious instruction or whatever they call it these days should not be taught in schools, because it's not real, if you have a certain belief then take your child to church or to your temple or wherever your god might be, or failing that teach them at home, hopefully when they get a bit older they can make their own mind up.

[ANOTHER] Isn't it time we took religion out of British schools. My preference would be a total ban on religion in the UK. Religion is and has always has been the route of all the major problems in the world. [PA/Huffington Post UK, 9 June 2014] Read more

How Do I Tell My Daughter That People Across Europe Fear Minorities Like Us?

In 2006, at the height of the hysteria over the face veil, the Guardian's Jonathan Freedland imagined what it must be like to be a Muslim in Britain. "I wouldn't just feel frightened", he wrote. "I would be looking for my passport."

On Sunday, as the European election results began to flood in, with far-right parties on the march from Scandinavia to the Club Med, I joked with my (American) wife that we might have to start packing our bags and head across the pond.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "People fear minorities like us!"

Just as a thought, Could it have something to do with the apparent lack of any united condemnation of Stonings, Honour Killings etc etc? The majority of educated Muslims do condemn these actions. But there seems to be no collective voice, No Authority figure saying it's wrong.

[ANOTHER] Things are unlikely to change while Medhi Hasan and others dismiss all criticism of matters 'Islam' as hysteria. The word was plastered over his paper just a few weeks ago when many people were genuinely concerned about having halal foisted upon them without choice. [The Huffington Post UK, 29 May 2014] Read more

Apostasy woman in Sudan sentenced to death forced to give birth 'with her legs chained'

.... Daniel Wani said his wife Meriam Yahya Ibrahim gave birth to a girl in the early hours of Tuesday morning in the hospital wing of Omdurman Women’s Prison.

"They kept a chain on her legs," he told The Telegraph. "She is very unhappy about that."

Amnesty International said Ms Ibrahim has been shackled in heavy chains since being sentenced to death, a customary practice for prisoners facing execution.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Stop all Aid to Sudan. Only reinstate it when they, as a country, decide to rejoin humanity. Islamic values are utterly incompatible with European ones. [The Independent, 29 May 2014] Read more

Young and in love in Indonesia? Beware, in Banda Aceh the sharia police are watching

.... “Patrols come at night, they check the hotel registry and if they suspect unmarried couples might be staying there, they check their rooms and IDs,” he says. If couples prove to be unmarried, they're taken to the police station.

Sitting at a cafe in central Banda Aceh, Davi, and two of his female friends .... share stories about friends arrested for wearing tight clothes or walking around with someone of the opposite sex.

A sharia police truck carrying a dozen officers drives by. “They raided this cafe two weeks ago,” comments 23-year-old Davi. “It's a bit too much. We just hang out, we do nothing wrong.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT] As usual the religion of peace practising hate. There is no place for Islam in the 21st century.

[ANOTHER] Yes of course, but why do our leaders keep telling us that everything is hunky dory with it?

ANOTHER] Coming to a town near you soon. This stone age religion has no place in our country. [The Independent, 20 May 2014] Read more

Pakistan is using its blasphemy code to silence opponents

The murder this week of Rashid Rehman, a human rights lawyer, draws attention once again to the dangerous fragility of the Pakistani state. Mr Rehman was defending Junaid Hafeez, a university lecturer charged with blasphemy after the student wing of a religious political party accused him of insulting the Prophet Mohamed.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Another manifestation of the loathsome religiosity which infests this highlyly dysfunctional corner of the world.

Some of whose folk, by migrating here, have sadly imported their sick politics and perverted religion into the UK. [The Independent, 8 May 2014] Read more

Pizza Express will review halal policy on menus after campaigners say clearer labelling needed

... That Pizza Express has changed its supplier to provide exclusively halal chicken is not news, but the lack of clarity on its menus has raised concerns that customers are not being allowed to make an informed choice.

The restaurant said that it was “no secret” that all the chicken used in its dishes was halal slaughtered, adding that all birds are stunned before being killed.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Why is it that the vast majority of the population have to eat meat that was slaughtered according to the religious beliefs of a small minority.

[ANOTHER] LOL how far the western world is prepared to bend to anything rather than be considered racist.

If baby hamsters being boiled alive was part of islamic rules then the supermarkets would willingly go with it.

[ANOTHER] .... These rules probably made good sense in ancient times in hot countries, but in modern times and with refrigeration, they make no sense at all. [The Independent, 7 May 2014] Read more

6.0 The Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Spectator

This section also includes items from The Spectator

'Religion of peace' is not a harmless platitude

The West’s movement towards the truth is remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault.

In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. ....

.... We have spent 15 years pretending things about Islam, a complex religion with competing interpretations. It is true that most Muslims live their lives peacefully. But a sizeable portion (around 15 per cent and more in most surveys) follow a far more radical version.

The remainder are sitting on a religion which is, in many of its current forms, a deeply unstable component. That has always been a problem for reformist Muslims. But the results of ongoing mass immigration to the West at the same time as a worldwide return to Islamic literalism means that this is now a problem for all of us. [Douglas Murray, 873 Comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 697 votes] .... The liberal left have too much to lose by admitting they were wrong about Enoch, wrong about Honeyford, wrong about Rushdie and wrong about everything since. That's why were in this mess.

[ANOTHER] The warning signs were there 20 years ago with the Rushdie affair who was given damn all support at the time, the hysterical reaction of so called "moderates" to the faintest criticism of Islam means we have a very long way to go.

If Islam can not find its own "enlightenment" it will remain totally incompatible with Western Democracy. [The Spectator, 17 January 2015] Read more

'Hang the cartoonists!' Pakistani Muslims demand death sentence for Charlie Hebdo staff for committing 'worst act of terrorism' by drawing the Prophet Mohammed

Pakistani Muslims today called for the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists to be hanged for drawing the Prophet Mohammed on its latest front cover.

As worldwide protests continued for a second day, nearly 300 people from a religious group rallied in the eastern city of Lahore, carrying placards saying 'Down with Charlie Hebdo'.

One banner read: "Making blasphemy cartoon of the Prophet is the worst act of terrorism. The sketch-makers must be hanged immediately." [1939 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 11,715] Why do they come to the WEST??

[2ND 10,520] Is their religion so frail that a cartoon can end it?

[3RD 8294] And we fund this country to the tune of £400m a year! Perhaps they should direct their energy towards protecting children from the appalling levels of sexual assault in their country.

[4TH 7272] We could always stop sending them millions in aid..... [Daily Mail, 15 January 2015] Read more

Moroccan-born mayor of Rotterdam tells fellow Muslims who do not appreciate the 'freedoms' of living in the West to 'pack your bags and f*** off' on live TV

The Moroccan-born mayor of Rotterdam has said Muslim immigrants who do not appreciate the way of life in Western civilisations can 'f*** off'.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, who arrived in the Netherlands aged 15, spoke out in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris last week.

Appearing on live television just hours after the shootings, Mayor Aboutaleb said Muslims who 'do not like freedom can pack your bags and leave'. [5249 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 26,271 votes] I couldn't have put it better myself. Let's hope the idiots take note.

[2ND 20,172] Can he come to England and do the same please?

[3RD 15,753] London wants a new mayor come over mate??

[4TH 12,292] Couldn't have put it better myself!

[5TH 11,781] We could do with him coming to Britain to give our government some lessons

[6TH 10,277] Finally a man with the strength to say what needs to be said. He's not being racist and he's Muslim. He's totally right.

Not just for Europe but for here too. .... Give this man the presidency of Europe. His faith isn't important. It's the fact he's spoken sense and words that should have been said by those in power for over 15 years!. A thousand thankyous to this man.

[7TH 9168] OMG! I've just chocked on my coffee!! He's the first politician I've seen with balls since Maggie Thatcher! Can we have him as our PM? [Daily Mail, 13 January 2015] Read more

It's tragic that so many of my fellow British Muslims are turning their backs on freedom

A few weeks ago, I published a book in which I argued that Muslim women should not be forced to wear the veil because it represents too often their subjugation by men.

When I arrived in this country from Uganda in the Seventies, British Muslim women did not wear headscarves or cover their faces. But it has been revived as a practice, partly thanks to the exporting of hardline Islam from Saudi Arabia around the world.

Last week in Saudi, a young Muslim man, Raif Badawi, who set up a free speech website, was flogged 50 times. He now awaits 950 more lashes and nine years in jail. [419 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 4669 votes] With their culture of oppression and the prevention of free speech, what are they hoping to achieve? More importantly, what are these men so afraid of?

[2ND 3718] This is defiantly the right approach Muslin women should be advised to enjoy their freedom in UK and told of their right as free women in UK.

[3RD 3247] My respect for Yasmin has soared. She understands completely how important it is to have freedom in life, freedom of choice, freedom of speech and above all, freedom to think. [Daily Mail, 13 January 2015] Read more

Turkish president accuses 'the West' of being behind Charlie Hebdo attacks and deliberately 'blaming Muslims' as conspiracy theories sweep the Internet accusing Israel of orchestrating it

The President of Turkey has suggested French security forces are to blame for the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week, since the culprits had recently served prison sentences.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the West of 'playing games with the Islamic world', warning fellow Muslims to be 'aware'.

Erdogan said Muslims are 'paying the price' for the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish kosher supermarket in Paris last week. [1127 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 3679] One more reason why Turkey should NEVER be allowed into the European Union.

[2ND 2474] This guy is such an idiot!!! Atatürk, the founder of modern day Turkey, is probably turning in his grave...sigh

[3RD 1406] And that's why turkey should never be allowed to join the European Union...NEVER

[4TH 1316] And Cameron wants Turkey to join the EU. Get real Mr. Cameron, they have shown their true colours. Vote UKIP [Daily Mail, 13 January 2015] Read more

Muslim faith schools are causing serious divisions in society because of their lack of diversity warns top equality campaigner

The rise in Muslim faith schools is breeding social and racial segregation in Britain, a leading equality campaigner said today.

Matthew Taylor, chairman of the Social Integration Commission, said that the increase in faith and free schools is stifling diversity and stopping children from different races and backgrounds mixing.

He was particularly critical of Muslim faith schools because they have the least diversity. [720 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 3187 votes] This was blatantly obvious from the beginning but of course the pc brigade insisted that it would offend others if this was not allowed.

[2ND 2210] Tell me something I don't know.

[3RD 1857] What's wrong with English schools. Why do they have to have Muslim schools.

[4TH 1841] What are the government going to do about this? Naff all that's what!

[5TH 1540] If people don't want to integrate into the general population of this country, perhaps they should go and live somewhere that suits their way of life better. [Daily Mail, 1 January 2015] Read more

Halal and kosher food labelling: shoppers will be told how their meat has been killed

.... There has been growing concern that consumers are unwittingly buying meat that was the result of religious ritual slaughter after it emerged that diners had been unknowingly served halal chicken in Pizza Express and other restaurants.

Early next year, the European Commission is due to report on whether meat sold in the European Union should bear labels detailing how the animal was slaughtered.

Mr Eustice appeared to rule out UK products being labelled “halal” or “kosher”, but said meats could in future be sold as “stunned” or “unstunned” – effectively alerting shoppers as to whether their meat was killed according to religious guidelines. [1100 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... If I didn't know better, I would think our politicians don't have the courage to offend minorities.

[SECOND] .... it's easy to understand where these ideas came from and why they were a good idea at the time. However here in Europe, we are relatively modern and relatively civilised. We no longer burn witches.

.... We've also managed to develop modern methods to slaughter animals, where pain and suffering is minimised. We also have refrigeration. There is no place for religious claptrap trumping the rights of animals to end their lives as painlessly as possible. In short, NO!

[THIRD] Why does the British Government want to cover up whether an animal has had a prayer said over it by a 'minority' religion, whether marked 'stunned' or 'unstunned'?

I do not want to eat meat that has been 'blessed' by a religion I don't subscribe to, yet successive governments and all of this Parliament think this is acceptable. Why?

[FOURTH] Buy your meat from a traditional British butcher's shop that puts the beef and pork side-by-side in the display.

[FIFTH] Halal/Kosher unstunned slaughter should be made illegal. Unspeakable animal cruelty has no place in these islands. It's just another example of where our culture has been permitted by the gutless establishment to be overturned by immigrants. Enough. [The Telegraph, 19 December 2014] Read more

Lord Mayor walks out of Islamic charity lunch after his lady consort was told she had to sit downstairs at the event

A Lord Mayor walked out of an Islamic charity lunch after discovering that he would have to be segregated from his female consort.

Labour councillor John Thomas, 70, arrived at the function last Sunday with consort Margaret Corley, 72.

But Councillor Thomas, the Lord Mayor of Leicester, was said to be upset at being told he would have to dine in an upstairs function room with male guests, while his consort would be seated downstairs with the other women. [2632 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 17,031 votes] Well done. This is stand for English culture and the respectful way we treat our ladies if they are not happy with this they are free to return to their own country

[2ND 13,040] Well done Mayor.

[3RD 11,726] Unbelivable they thought they could still get away with this sort of thing!

[4TH 10,274] MP Jim Fitzpatrick faced a similar situation and walked out with his wife. Good man, Jim!

[5TH 9171] In this country, men and women are not segregated. We find it insulting to regard women as inferior, unclean, or unbearably tempting. [Daily Mail, 5 December 2014] Read more

Veena Malik and the modern witch-hunt of Pakistani blasphemy laws

It’s hard to read about the blasphemy convictions handed down to Pakistani actress Veena Malik and her husband Asad Bashir, media owner Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, and television presenter host Shaista Wahidi without a sense of frustration and confusion over the arbitrary application of the country’s blasphemy laws.

Malik and Bashir took part in a restaging of their wedding on a programme on Geo TV, owned by Shakil-ur-Rahman. Playing in the background was a song about the marriage of one of Mohammad’s daughters. That, apparently, was enough to trigger a prosecution. [175 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Has David Cameron said "This has nothing to do with Islam" yet? I hope I haven't missed it because it cracks me up every time. One of the funniest catchphrases ever.

[ANOTHER] And the lesson is - don't let any more followers of the Prophet into this country! [The Telegraph, 27 November 2014] Read more

By caving in to religious misogyny, ‘anti-racist’ liberals reveal their inner racist

Even by the low standards of English lawyers, the men and women who run the Law Society have behaved like shameless hypocrites. Instead of confining themselves to offering professional advice, they set themselves up as Islamic theologians.

In a practice note on Sharia-compliant wills, the Law Society advised the 125,000 solicitors in England and Wales to urge Muslim clients to discriminate against women, non-Muslims, adopted and ‘illegitimate’ children.

"Male heirs [should] in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir," it said, and "non-Muslims may not inherit at all". Likewise "illegitimate and adopted children are not Sharia heirs" and should not be left a penny. [274 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Sharia should be illegal in Britain. We have a perfectly adequate moral and legal system, which should apply to everyone with no dispensations to members of minority sects.

[SECOND] Every push back against the racists and sexists is a step forward for humanity. The "racism of lower expectations" seems to be gaining ground in the US and other places, as liberals protect the right to be racist and sexist, as long as your racism and sexism is part of your religious or minority culture.

Human rights are for everyone. Allowing or even considering the sexism-borderline-misogyny of these religious chauvinists is tantamount to brain death.

[THIRD] Indeed a very shameful act, one body that you might have thought would defend Common law would have been them, the Law Society, yet with this ruling they were acting as agents for its demise. It will take a very long time for them to live this down.

What is it with the establishment that values so little of our culture? The politicians undermining Parliament and our constitutional law, and the Law Society seeking to put a nail in the coffin of Common Law. [The Spectator, 24 November 2014] Read more

The battle against Islamism should start in schools

.... Last week, Ofsted condemned seven schools in Tower Hamlets for failing to protect children from radical influences. In one institution, they found that pupils did not know the difference between sharia and British law, and that the curriculum “focused solely” on Islamic themes.

At least four of the seven schools have links to the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE), which wants to create a sharia state and controls a mosque that has hosted many preachers of hate. The IFE’s activists are thought to enjoy considerable clout within Tower Hamlets’ notoriously Byzantine politics. [268 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Sectarian education is a recipe for civil conflict. Teaching the values of a cult that is barbaric, mysognistic and cruel has no place in Europe.

[SECOND] Just closed the schools down, not compatible with a western country.

[THIRD] And the mosques, all of them, and ban the Death Cult altogether. [The Telegraph, 23 November 2014] Read more

British Muslim woman: why can’t I make any white friends?

.... My experience of being a British Asian Muslim and feeling like ‘the other’ in the country I was born in has led me to create this microcosm of family friendships, despite my parents moving here from Pakistan some 40 years ago.

You see I’ve had too many typical "awkward race moments" in the UK - such as walking into a cafe in a predominantly white area and being ignored. Or feeling embarrassed when friends tell me I’m no fun because I choose not to drink.

.... As mother of a two-year old little girl, I hope things will be different for my daughter. I really do. With every generation, people from immigrant backgrounds tend to integrate further. I doubt she will learn Urdu from me but I still want Islam to be a part of her life because it's a massive part of mine. [357 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Ah, of course, its all our fault.

[ANOTHER] What a whingefest - one of life's great lessons for all of us is that 70% of other people's behaviour towards us is caused by us - so if you want people to change how they react to you then change yourself and your behaviour first !! and amazingly it works !!!

[ANOTHER] People of various religions and creeds mix very easily in Britain today. Only one particular group has issues and it is entirely of their own doing. [The Telegraph, 17 November 2014] Read more

Islamic extremists infiltrating schools, university campuses and scout groups across the UK in 'unprecedented scale', report warns

Islamic extremists are infiltrating schools, university campuses and scout groups across the UK, a new report has claimed.

Hardline groups, blamed for radicalising young British Muslims, have posted invitations on social media sites and at university campuses to public talks in an 'unprecedented scale', according to Sharia Watch UK.

The group, which monitors Islamic extremists, will publish its report highlighting the operations of 15 people it claims hold 'extremist views' who were allowed to give public talks or lectures at 20 institutions. [88 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1029 votes] "Islamic extremists infiltrating schools, university campuses and scout groups across the UK in 'unprecedented scale', report warns."

That's what you get in subversive lefty/Liberal-minded tolerant societies ... just before they disinetgrate into chaos!

[2ND 944] Wake up UK... and Stop all of this political correctness... Mao Tse Tung ... "Give me two generations, and I will take a country without firing a single shot."

[3RD 914] What's happened to the Governments supposed crackdown on extremism? More empty words. [Daily Mail, 11 November 2014] Read more

Revealed, the private academy set up by teachers barred over Trojan Horse plot

Teachers sacked, suspended or banned for their roles in the Trojan Horse plot have set up a private academy and are continuing to teach children.

It can also be disclosed that Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, has written to one of the five school at the heart of the plot, expressing regret at the publication last week of highly critical Ofsted reinspection reports saying the schools had done little to fix their problems.

Mrs Morgan questioned the timing of the reinspections, which were done early in the new term, saying they were only a "snapshot" of the position at that time and claiming that "a great deal of progress" had been made in the month or so since. [Andrew Gilligan, 248 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] This is the real immigration problem - not the EU immigrants who very often take on work at minimum pay and zero hours contracts.

It might be a sweeping generalisation, but it appears that the majority of Muslim immigrants do not integrate into their host society and accept their values. Unless and until these immigrants are prepared to accept British values and integrate fully into the British system, there will always be problems.

[ANOTHER] Their Koran tells them "Do not make friends with any but your own people".

With an instruction like that, integration is impossible.

[ANOTHER] The fact that most Muslims are law abiding doesn't detract from the fact that Islam itself is inherently violent, supremacist and highly anachronistic.

It's quite telling when there are such convoluted explanations from apologists about certain verses and hadiths which are quoted by Jihadists as their justification in order to make the literal reading of those texts the exact opposite of their 'explanations'. [The Telegraph, 18 October 2014] Read more

Ofsted: Trojan Horse schools 'still failing to promote British values'

The education watchdog said "very little action" had been taken to address major failings at five Birmingham schools suspected of being subjected to an alleged takeover plot by hard-line Muslims.

.... This includes an example of one school that requires pupils to teach themselves about any faith other than Islam, including Christianity. At another, a supply teacher taught a religious education lesson that "appeared to promote an inappropriate Islamist agenda".

One school even took pupils on a trip to Mecca despite telling governors that it had been cancelled "due to failures in safeguarding". [884 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Do you honestly believe these schools or councils will carry out these recommendations? They will carry on as before, knowing that the government will do nothing.

[SECOND] "Tristram Hunt, the Shadow Education Secretary, said: “It is utterly incomprehensible that six months after these serious concerns became public David Cameron’s Government has still not taken action".

Shame he chooses to overlook the fact that Labour Birmingham City Council did its best to ignore the problem and cover it up, and is still doing so.

[THIRD] "Failing to improve", "Struggling to promote", "Too much poor practice" remaining "unchallenged."

These are all polite euphemisms for "they've dug their heels in". And "very little action" means "nothing's been done". So, to interpret, they've dug their heels in and nothing's been done. [The Telegraph, 4 October 2014] Read more

The Men with Many Wives, review: 'deft and fascinating'

It’s the day of Hasan’s wedding. He’s cheerily sorting the last-minute details, including the menu (chicken, isn’t it always?) and the guest list, and now he’s off to the ceremony.

.... Think of polygamy and Mormons come to mind, but The Men with Many Wives (Channel 4) claimed the practice is thriving in Britain’s Muslim community. The programme estimated there are as many as 20,000 polygamous marriages in this country, unrecognised by the British courts but permitted under Sharia law. [64 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] One assumes that Hassan and his collection of wives and offspring are living at the expense of the British Taxpayer.

[SECOND] How else do they live? Parasites: I'm sorry if that offends but it's certainly not symbiotic.

[THIRD] "Then he was asked why he required all three wives to take the veil. “Some people, they put those sheets over their cars. They cover their valuables. In a similar way, my wife being covered is protection.”

You mean to say they don't feel "empowered" as the Guardian (of Islam) would have us believe? Looks like the French were right all along when they said it undermined female emancipation in France. But, of course, us Brits are being taken for a ride as we're too nice.

[FOURTH] Wives galore, free housing, benefits, kids galore child allowance! Parasites.

[FIFTH] If these people are practising it and not being prosecuted it is clear that this is yet another law/convention applying to all UK citizens from which Muslims are apparently exempt and that is a matter that should concern every non muslim citizen in the UK.

You know your MP get onto him or her and ask some questions people. [The Telegraph, 24 September 2014] Read more

Muslim students will be offered sharia-friendly student loans by government in bid to get more Islamic pupils to go to university

Muslim students are to be offered Sharia-compliant interest free loans by the government in an attempt to get more Islamic pupils to go to university.

.... The alternative scheme is expected to be introduced within the next three years, but BIS has denied it will pave the way for compliance with Sharia in a wider sense, saying: 'Sharia has no jurisdiction in England and Wales and the Government has no intention to change this position.'

It also confirmed that students taking out the loans will pay back exactly the same amount as those who use the traditional scheme, essentially making a charitable donation rather than paying back interest. [607 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 5882 votes] Sharia law has no business in the UK, it has no power and I think it's a complete disgrace that this country is even considering introducing even a tiny step into it. Shame on you!

[2ND 4028] Is this a sick joke

[3RD 3436] What is wrong with this country !!!!WAKE UP YOU IDIOTS!!!!! [Daily Mail, 10 September 2014] Read more

The fight against intolerance begins at home - By Eric Pickles

Britain has a duty to oppose religious and political extremism - be it the English Defence League or the supporters of jihad - in every corner of the land.

This summer, we have seen Christians being systematically persecuted and murdered in the Middle East; anti-Semitic attacks and protests soaring in response to the Israeli government’s intervention in Gaza; institutionalised political correctness leading to appalling sexual abuse against children by Pakistani Muslims; and murders carried out by Isil terrorists who may have included Britons indoctrinated to preach evil at home and enact it abroad.

.... Aggressive secularists would advocate the suppression of religion in the public sphere. Yet this would only perpetuate the message of intolerance towards others. Religion is the not the problem – political and religious extremism is. [787 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] It's all very well to be tolerant of other peoples and religions - a stance I fully support. However, when a people settle themselves in our home and are intolerant towards us, we have to have the courage to draw a line. So much and no more.

.... Tolerance and respect is a two way street. Appeasement of an intolerant culture never has, and never will bring resolve.

It is profoundly dishonest to speak of the EDL in the same context as people who do us actual harm. I've yet to hear of EDL supporters hacking someone's head off or planting bombs.

[SECOND] What the heck is this? Jihadis are directly threatening us, our society and our way of life and in an article about extremists, the EDL gets first billing!

The EDL wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Anjem Choudray and his bunch of misfits (it was their outrageous protests at a military parade for our returning servicemen that caused the EDL to be formed in the first place) and the PC/diversity/multiculti hand wringing non-response of the authorities to it.

No, you must tolerate aggressive and threatening protests by extremist loonies, it would be "racist" to object.

Well I'm sorry, but I do object and if Britain is to remain "a place of justice and tolerance towards others" that means dealing directly with those who threaten it, not looking around for excuses and appeasing such appalling behaviour.

[THIRD] Apologies are due the English Defence League and the British National Party - they have been consistently right about the issues which the Establishment has been so miserably wrong about. Go, Mr Pickles, you have nothing to say on this subject worthy of consideration.

[FOURTH] Eric Pickles was Chair of Bradford's Education Committee when Ray Honeyford was persecuted for having the audacity to criticise multiculturalism. And now the fool is lecturing everyone else on 'tolerance'? Sickening. [The Telegraph, 5 September 2014] Read more

Why the British jihadis fighting in Syria and Iraq are so vicious

.... A second factor is the belief, however warped, that they are doing Allah’s work.

The majority of the British jihadists I spoke to genuinely wanted to die in their religious cause, thinking their membership of Islamic State would guarantee them a place in paradise.

The accelerating cycle of violence is seen as the route to salvation. Indeed, Hamindur’s father recalled that, in one of his last calls home, his son ‘asked us to pray for him and said he wanted to become a shaheed (martyr) for Allah’. [242 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The radicalization of young Muslims in Britain is rife, and has been for many years. The government need to clamp down on schools, university's, Mosques that are responsible! (there maybe 500 British Muslims fighting over there, there's still 1000's that think the same here). [Daily Mail, 21 August 2014] Read more

John Lewis's new line, hijabs to wear at school: Department store signs contract with schools in London and Liverpool to offer conservative Islamic clothing

John Lewis is offering the hijab in its school uniform department for the first time.

The headdress is to be sold in the company’s stores in London and Liverpool after it signed contracts with two schools – one which was set up to educate Muslim girls and a second that welcomes pupils from all religious communities.

The hijab covers the head and chest and is worn by Muslim women after the onset of puberty as a sign of modesty in the presence of men who are outside their immediate family. [829 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Bye Bye JL, will take our money elsewhere

[ANOTHER] Oh well, thats no more John Lewis for me then. Shame, they are a great store.

[ANOTHER] The photo of the black hijab from John Lewis, fills me with dread and darkness......

[ANOTHER] Seriously? we're encouraging it now? When is the UK going to stop trying so hard to shove the word "diversity" down people's throats?

[ANOTHER] What in the world is going on? I can't believe this is happening in Great Britain... Shameful and disgusting. [Daily Mail, 16 August 2014] Read more

Why aren't British Muslims condemning the maniacs killing in the name of Islam? From a leading Muslim voice, a troubling question...

.... What is terribly worrying is that, in the face of the IS atrocities, and extremist British Muslims' involvement in jihadism, mainstream Muslims here have remained largely silent at what is happening in Iraq today.

Where is the mass outcry against the systematic killing of the Iraqi Yazidis, the deadly harassment of Christians and the mindless destruction of their churches?

Where are the co-ordinated protests against the Islamic State? Where are the popular calls for an end to organised genocide by Sunni Muslim militants in Iraq?

This is pure hypocrisy and double standards from British Muslims. Only last week, more than 200,000 people — a large proportion of them British Muslims — took to the streets of London and Manchester to protest against Israel. [1118 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Well said, the voices raised against the IS are all Shia, therefore ignored by the Sunni's this is a theological war of domination by one sect over another, a sort of inquisition 600 years late.

And unfortunately the dominant theory of British Muslim life, of not integrating and rejecting multiculturalism just feeds it.

[ANOTHER] One problem with the Koran is that it contradicts itself. The orthodox Islamic rule is that one obeys the latest edict on any topic.

So quoting early Koranic verses on tolerance us disingenuous, as these are contradicted by later verses calling for the slaughter of all non-believers. [Daily Mail, 15 August 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse plot: we must not excuse bigots on the grounds that they are Muslim

.... Let’s be clear. These bigoted views are exactly that – bigoted. As a Muslim I object to those hardliners who aggressively suggest such views are Islamic. They are not. Yet this hate peddling was done in the name of Islam.

I have seen over the years how sexist, homophobic and intolerant Muslims deliberately manipulate my faith to justify sexism, homophobia and intolerance to other faith communities. They hide behind the excuse of "Islam", and argue they are within their religious rights to hold such bigoted views – and British society too often acts as if these are the natural rights of all Muslims.

Such an attitude was seen, frustratingly, in the Muslim Council of Britain’s statement in response to the Trojan Horse findings, but also from Birmingham City Council .... [609 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 138 votes] "...the upholding of British laws in a diverse, plural society ..." neatly sums up the absurdity of the idiotic doctrine of multiculturalism.

It's like trying to square a circle.

There is no such thing as a "diverse, plural society". If it's diverse, it's not a society. If it's not a society, its laws will not be accepted by all.

It makes government meaningless, for government is supposed to be drawn from the people and to act on behalf of the people. If the 'people' has been destroyed, there is no legitimacy to government. All attempts at government have to be increasingly oppressive to maintain any degree of 'cohesion'.

[ANOTHER 121] It's time for Muslims to revise their incoherent message. They could start by revising the Koran. After all what civilised people would promote a 'holy book' that instructs its followers to kill or subjugate anyone who disagrees with them?

And in fact how stupid are western government authorities who fail to immediately ban both Islam & the Koran until this hate propagating 'religion' fixes its fundamentals?

There may be 'moderates' in Islam who ignore its teachings but that is hardly a cause for comfort. It's the true believers that are the ones who keep it alive.

[ANOTHER 88] Time for muslims to celebrate their qualities by leaving these shores and going to live somewhere like Yemen or Saudi Arabia where they can live their lives unfettered by democracy, tolerance and individuality.

[ANOTHER 85] When did we last see a march by Muslims protesting at the "eradication" of the Christian community in the Middle East?

No, when push comes to shove, they will excuse, or at best turn a blind eye, to any atrocity committed against anyone not adhering to their medieval barbaric creed. [The Telegraph, 29 July] Read more

Extremist Muslim bullies forced out headteacher

The teacher broke his silence to tell of his ordeal at the hands of his own school governors. .... He told the council what was happening and was offered no support. Later he was told to resign by council bosses.

Now he has decided to speak out despite being banned from discussing his ordeal after signing a compromise agreement.

.... “I spoke to the local authority numerous times and I was told that if things ever got too bad they would step in but then they didn’t and it was at that point it became clear that I was going to have to leave.”

On the day the head was asked to tender his resignation, he was under the impression the local authority was finally going to intervene. [143 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] In their own countries we see muslims as backward primitive peasants constantly at war with themselves and anyone who does not share their ideals.

The problem is they are bringing these ideals here and are gradually infiltrating and changing our society which is their ultimate aim.

[ANOTHER] Is this the same Birmingham City Council (Labour controlled) that said there was no evidence of Islamification of the school. Now it seems that several subsequent investigations show the complete opposite. These in turn backed up claims made by Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood. [Daily Express, 27 July 2014] Read more

Why the surprise at Birmingham's Trojan Horse plot? We saw it coming 20 years ago

.... For over 20 years I have been warning of the dangers of the poisonous cocktail of multiculturalism, political correctness and unlimited, uncontrolled immigration from countries which do not share our British culture and standards. It has not been a comfortable time. I have been under constant attack for doing so.

Some 17 years ago I was widely criticised for saying that: "Unless we share standards, moral values, language and national heritage, we will constitute neither a society, nor a nation, but just a population living under the same jurisdiction … One cannot uphold two sets of ethics, nor be loyal to two nations any more than a man can have two masters … nationality is in the long term more about culture than ethnicity."

.... Nor did I pretend that we were free of blame for the problems which I predicted. A decade ago I noted that "It is hard to beat something with nothing, and Islam is certainly something", and "Until we change and our society regains faith in its own values almost any faith or movement with faith in its own culture will challenge that of 21st-century Britain. Certainly Islam will."

Why was anyone surprised at what has been happening in Birmingham? Not only could it have been foreseen. It was foreseen. [Norman Tebbit, 875 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Well, you may recall Enoch Powell made some similar predictions. He didn't come out so well and, until the British media stop creating taboo subjects, nobody else will either.

[ANOTHER] The problem is, Lord Tebbit, that although it is perfectly clear that the policy of multiculturalism has been a disaster, and that preserving 'community peace' has led to suppression of news reports, police investigations, CPS prosecutions and the like, as well as tolerating the development of religious fiefdoms in schools, in local government and increasingly in academia, no one in power shows the slightest inclination of doing anything about it.

[ANOTHER] Political correctness and not just with respect to matters like this, has made cowards of our politicians and police. The rest of us are going to pay a heavy price for that.

[ANOTHER] So, in otherwords, Lord Tebbit, the Immigration policy your government, like every other post War government pursued, KNOWINGLY accepted into the country hundreds of thousands of people whose whole world view was UNDERSTOOD FROM THE START to be incompatible with British traditions and of which a significant minority were ideologically committed to the destruction of that country.

[ANOTHER] Twenty years ago, my Lord? Try forty. Indeed it was 1968 when Enoch Powell made his much misrepresented rivers of blood speech. And Ray Honeyford made his views public in 1984.

That makes 46 years of cowardice and betrayal by the political class, including a large chunk of time when the Tories were in office. [The Telegraph, 25 July 2014] Read more

Iraqi Christians are raped, murdered and driven from their homes – and the West is silent

For the first time in 1,600 years, Mass is not being said in Mosul: an ancient culture has been wiped out in a matter of weeks. It's a war crime that, strangely, no one seems to want to talk about.

Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq and the place where many Christians believe Jonah was buried. Since the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) rode into town, their faith has been forced underground. Bells have been silenced, the hijab enforced with bullets. Tens of thousands fled after being offered an unattractive choice: convert, pay a religious tax, or be put to the sword. [1191 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Can you imagine the howls of outrage all over the Muslim world if Christians in the UK made similar threats to Muslims here?

[ANOTHER] .... people are often less interested in the suffering of innocents than in making sure the causes they adopt mark them out as members of the moral 'in crowd'.

This also explains why there is little interest in the suffering Christians of Iraq. It is a cause to which very little status attaches. It carries little social and political weight. It would fall flat at a dinner party, if you dared to bring it up. [The Telegraph, 21 July 2014] Read more

Why banning Sharia courts would harm British Muslim women

.... The fact that individuals in Sharia councils are able to dispense dangerous advice is deeply worrying. But a grassroots movement to reform and regulate Sharia councils is burgeoning.

Rigorous vetting and training need to become standard, better regulation is undoubtedly necessary to help those being let down by the ad hoc nature of sharia councils. But a politicised and overly rash ban would only disadvantage women - those who seem most reliant on the services. [1420 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Taqiyya. This is England. Our legal system is the English Common law. Anybody who wants sharia law now has an Islamic state - shut the door on your way there.

[ANOTHER] This is BRITAIN and in BRITAIN we have BRITISH courts and a BRITISH justice system. If you want a justice system aligned to particular muslim religious preferences then move to a muslim country with muslim courts. It really is that simple.

[ANOTHER] Women in this country have been well enough protected without sharia law in the past. Why do Muslim women need special protection. If Muslim women don't like English law I suggest you all try moving to somewhere that practices Sharia. You won't be missed. [The Telegraph, 17 July 2014] Read more

Hopeless’ Warsi ‘resisting’ David Cameron’s fight against extremism

Baroness Warsi is alleged by multiple sources in and out of government to have consistently resisted calls to develop a proper strategy on integration and tackling extremism at its roots, even though this is the Prime Minister’s policy and part of her job at the Communities and Local Government department.

One source says: "Sayeeda made clear when she got the job at CLG that she didn’t agree with the Prime Minister and that she simply wasn’t going to do this bit of her job.’"

The minister has clashed with the Prime Minister over his efforts to tackle extremism, most notably during the drafting of a report from the Extremism Taskforce, when, as Coffee House has previously reported, the pair had an argument while Warsi was on a plane. [166 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Extremism is not the threat, the threat to my way of life is an alien culture which can't live with the native culture.

It isn't the extremists, the Islamists, it is the general population of moderate Muslims who don't much like our culture but want to live here under their own rules. That's the problem.

We have Police, spies and laws to deal with extremism. Nobody is even trying to deal with the real problem.

Yes, they might be lovely people, but they are a problem at some population level where they begin to be a 'community'. [The Spectator, 8 July 2014] Read more

It's time for Sudan to focus on the real villain in Meriam's ordeal

.... The case has demonstrated a common feature of so many fragile states: It is terribly difficult for common sense to prevail.

Once has an allegation has been made and a police report filed, the justice system takes on a creaking momentum of its own. There are rules to be followed. Forms to be filed. Procedures to complete. [277 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "He has played the system brilliantly, using every arcane corner of Sudanese law to keep his sister from choosing how to live her life."

Far from it, all he has done is to use the basic, universally agreed provisions of Sharia law as implemented throughout the Islamic world for the last 1400 years and now in literally dozens - the number is growing constantly - of countries worldwide,

1) The child of any Muslim parent must be a Muslim no matter how she is raised, so Meriam is guilty of apostasy - penalty, death by stoning.

2) The head of every Muslim family is the eldest male - in this case, Meriam's brother now that her father is dead.

3) A Muslim woman cannot travel without the permission of her family head.

4) Marriages between Christian men and Muslim women are illegal because Christians are inherently inferior (but sex between Muslim men and Christian women is sanctified by rule 1 above.)

5) Since her marriage is illegal Meriam is guilty of adultery - penalty death by stoning. She also still belongs to her brother, not to her "husband"...

6) ...so in addition to her crimes of apostasy and adultery Meriam is committing a further crime by attempting to travel without her brother's permission. Penalty is imprisonment.

All of these points rise naturally from Sharia law. Of course they are brutal, mediaeval and inhumane - that is what Sharia law is and must always be. Confusion only arises when people like Rob Crilly here, Rowan Williams, Prince Charles, Baroness Warsi, Barak Obama and so on persistently lie to us about the real nature of Sharia by pretending that it can somehow be made compatible with the modern world. [The Telegraph, 27 June 2014] Read more

Why an Isis caliphate is no more than a pipe dream

.... But ISIS’ leaders are ultimately power-hungry ideologues. I am sceptical that they can keep up this charade. Sooner or later, they will move towards draconian sharia law, prompting the sort of backlash they faced last year in Syria.

.... Moreover, where will the money come from? Iraq’s north and west depend on subsidies from the capital. Isis is rich, but it can’t run its own state in perpetuity.

Reports of the Middle East’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Isis is laying the foundations for a caliphate, and it may remain entrenched in Iraq and Syria for years, but its grandiose, imperial vision is a pipe dream. [641 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] An Isis caliphate may be "no more than a pipe dream" but with fanatics ready to die for Allah in order to collect their "reward", the question is how much slaughter, carnage and misery will they cause, not just in ME but here in the UK, before we stop them?

These nutters haven't found something new hidden in the Koran, something that goes against Islam, they preach the pure message of the Koran, it's supremacy, it's intolerance, it's misogyny and it's hate. They revel in the extreme violence of it all, beheading civilians will the usual Allah ackbar, yes how great to brutally slaughter someone.

They have been brainwashed, but not by extremists, by Islam itself and they need to be deprogrammed or crushed. [The Telegraph, 25 June 2014] Read more

New rules 'could bar conservative Muslims from being school trustees'

.... The Department for Education has inserted new clauses into the model funding agreement for academies stipulating that its governors should demonstrate "fundamental British values", and giving the Education Secretary powers to close schools if they do not comply.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) told the Guardian that the new rule would make it very difficult to become a school governor if conservative Muslim beliefs were deemed to be incompatible with "British values", and that it put too much power in the secretary of state's hands to define those values. [252 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) told the Guardian that the new rule would make it very difficult to become a school governor if conservative Muslim beliefs were deemed to be incompatible with "British values"

They are absolutely right. Islam is incompatible with everything it comes into contact with. [The Telegraph, 20 June 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse: how we revealed the truth behind the plot

.... Asked about reports in this newspaper that Asif Khan, Oldknow’s Arabic teacher, led nine- and 10-year-old children in anti-Christian chanting, he said: “As far as the staff are aware, nothing of the sort happened.”

Christmas had not been cancelled, Mr Rauf insisted, and as for Oldknow’s non-Muslim headteacher, Bhupinder Kondal, her absence was due merely to “sick leave, and I pray that she recovers quickly”.

Mr Rauf has since disappeared from our TV screens after this newspaper revealed last Sunday that he is in fact a key member of a group called “Educational Activists”, in which he discussed how to pursue an “Islamising agenda” in another school where he is a governor. [Andrew Gilligan, 459 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] As a retired lecturer I can pass on my experience of Teaching Unions, both in schools and Colleges ..... they have an agenda which is to help promote and protect minorities against the perceived values and principles of the host country.

They have been actively involved in pushing Islamic values and practices in inner city schools which have dominant Muslim demographics. They will actively undermine and frustrate any Govnt, initiatives to promote " Britishness" and "British values "seeing it as inherently "racist" ....

[ANOTHER] The very fact there are Muslim teachers in a secular school is the problem. Being a Muslim 'means' they do not believe in the same things as a non-Muslim. Islam is totally incompatible with equality & democracy, it is as simple as that. [The Telegraph, 15 June 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse plot driven by same 'warped' Islamic extremism as Boko Haram, says Tony Blair

The alleged Islamic extremism seen in the 'Trojan Horse' scandal in schools in Birmingham is the same as that practised by Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist network, Tony Blair has said.

The Trojan Horse 'plot' to bring hardline practices into Birmingham classrooms is part of a global extremist movement stretching from Britain to Africa to the Far East, the former Prime Minister claimed. [787 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... By the way, it's not "extremism", its simply the legal and political aspects of the Islamic WAY OF LIFE.

That's actually what Islam is - a way of life, that also incorporates aspects of a cult - such as not being allowed to leave it after you joined and the founder member being above criticism.

[ANOTHER] Tony Blair appears to be peddling the (deceptive) "myth" of a “warped” version of Islam.

Boko Haram (et al) are not following a “warped” version of Islam. They are following the SAME Islam as set out in the Koran and Sunnah. .... In reality, Boko Haram “understand” Islam ALL TOO WELL

[ANOTHER] I would very much like a politician who clings to the idea of 'moderate' Islam to point to one Islamic country where 'moderate Islam' is the prevailing doctrine.

Of course they can't because it doesn't exist. That is not to say that all muslims would volunteer for a spot of Jihadi extremism or would relish the prospect of Shari'a law if it was coming for their neck or hands. [The Telegraph, 15 June 2014] Read more

British mosques aren't that moderate after all

The introduction of a madrassa curriculum at a secular state school in Birmingham and talk of Christian pupils at risk of ‘cultural isolation’ seem to have come as a revelation to non-Muslim Britain. They should not have.

Islam in Britain is dominated by a very specific, and rather illiberal, version of the faith - one that, if anything, seems to be becoming more conservative over time.

As the Muslim population became more established, one might have assumed that a westernised form of Islam would have come to dominate Britain’s mosques. According to a database of British Islam, however, only two out of 1,700 mosques in Britain follow modernist interpretations of the Koran.

It’s not the same elsewhere in the West. In a 2011 survey of Islam in the United States, 56 per cent of mosques described themselves as following an interpretation of Islam adapted to modern circumstances. This has not happened in Britain. [344 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] One particular piece of information struck me. Someone brought up the subject of the Pakistani "diaspora" in the West, and how they might positively influence the problem developments and extremism in Pakistan.

This notion was greeted by the experts with great scepticism. One (a cleric I think) said he had spent some time in the UK and his impression was that Pakistani Britons were overall significantly more extreme than mainstream Muslims in Pakistan itself.

[ANOTHER] The predominance of the Deobandi influence explains a great deal and this is the first time I have seen a clear explanation of their numbers and influence.

If the Deobandis control almost half of the mosques in the UK, then when politicians and left-leaning members of the media trot out their catch-phrase of "the vast majority of ordinary, moderate Muslims..." we know they are talking rot.

Given that the Deodandis are not the only extreme sub-sect of Islam operating in UK mosques, we can assume a majority of British Muslims are anything but "moderate". [The Spectator, 14 June 2014] Read more

Trojan Horse debate: We were wrong, all cultures are not equal

.... The crisis in Birmingham made me look up Ray Honeyford. The headmaster of a school in Bradford, Honeyford published an article highly critical of multiculturalism around the same time that I was wondering why Muslim girls in west London weren’t allowed to learn how to swim.

Honeyford was damned as a racist and forced to take early retirement, but how prophetic his words seem now. The alarmed headmaster referred to a “growing number of Asians whose aim is to preserve as intact as possible the values of the Indian subcontinent within a framework of British social and political privilege”. [6510 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT 1080 votes] If it is racist to want to see British schools teach and promote British culture and British values as the overriding and paramount culture, then I am a racist.

If it is racist to desire to live amongst people of my own ethic background, then I am a racist.

If it is racist to see sensible limits on immigration from third-world countries, to protect our infrastructure, our healthcare, our education, our services, then I am a racist.

If it is racist to want our major cities to remain free of multicultural ghettos and the social problems associated with them, then I am a racist.

If it is racist to want to live in a country that is not overwhelmed by adherents of a mediaeval religion and social structure, then I am a racist.

If it is racist to expect that the law, its enforcers, and the social services behind them , treat those who have lived and contributed to this nation at least as well as it treats incomers who have arrived in droves solely to suck at the taxpayers' teat, then I am a racist.

If it is the decision of those of our leaders who hate their own people and seek to have them replaced by outsiders, to call me a racist in the hope of silencing me,then let them; for we will one day have our revenge. They themselves will be cast out and reviled for always and replaced by a party that puts British values , British culture and the historically indigenous people of Britain FIRST. [The Telegraph, 11 June 2014] Read more

Cameron must do to Britain’s Islamists what Thatcher did to the trade union barons

.... evidence was found elsewhere of the axeing of parts of the curriculum, bars on sex education, the segregation of boys and girls, discrimination against non-Muslim pupils, prejudice against gay people, and the presence of extreme speakers and the preaching of anti-western doctrine at religious assemblies.

Some of the more colourful allegations include children chanting anti-Christian slogans at Oldknow academy primary school in Birmingham and being banned from dancing at Park View Secondary. Five of the schools will be placed in special measures. [159 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... When I moved to a northern mill town in the early 1980s, there were no burkhas and only very old men wore clothing that you might have seen in rural Pakistan. Immigrations were keen to blend in as best they could; it was a decade later that I began to detect a significant change in attitude.

This shift in cultural and religious matters has been described as conservatism: it is nothing of the sort. It is an artificial construct resurrected, imported and actively encouraged by the disastrous policy of multiculturalism: it is a creation of radical, progressivism.

[ANOTHER] It's far too late. Unfettered immigration from Asia and sub Saharan Africa has injected a mass of people who are culturally and socially backward in their beliefs and behaviours.

Our political class has been too cowardly to rigorously confront medieval Islamism in the past and I see no evidence that they will change now. On the contrary, the Left still sees fundamentalist Islamism as a convenient pretext to attack and destroy all faith schools in the State sector. No, it's just too late, and our children will face the consequences.

[ANOTHER] However there is a real problem with Muslims who are keen on imposing their views on others, and who would like to balkanise British society into precisely defined religious groups each with their own internal authorities, in a pious attempt to recreate their vision of the past.

The principal victims of such attitudes are actually other Muslims. We had an example today on Sky TV when two anonymous female pupils at one of the schools explained how they are enveloped by a restrictive regime aimed at stopping them talking with male fellow pupils. That is no way to teach pupils in 2014. [ConservativeHome, 9 June 2014] Read more

The damning verdict on Trojan Horse schools: Shocking Ofsted report reveals culture of fear, segregated boys and girls even Christmas banned at schools Islamists plotted to control

Music was banned at one primary, raffles and tombolas were axed from fetes for being unIslamic and boys were forced to change for PE in a store cupboard to preserve their modesty.

One primary spent £32,000 on a five-star trip to Saudi Arabia from which non-Muslim pupils were barred. Children as young as six at the same school were told that Western women were "white prostitutes".

Launching long-awaited reports on 21 schools, Sir Michael said the widespread conspiracy had involved fundamentalists infiltrating governing bodies. [504 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Is it not time to take back control of the British way of life? Britain promotes an excess of tolerance that in turn is allowing the intolerant to take over. Madness!

[ANOTHER] OK, so they've had their chance and demonstrated beyond any doubt that they cannot be trusted to have any meaningful input into how schools are run. Time now to ban any of these people from holding such positions and impose strict guidelines on how British schools are to be run in Britain. They have nobody to blame but their fanatical, bigoted, underhand representatives.

[ANOTHER] ...And the irony is if we speak against this multiculturalism disaster we are branded a racists. [Daily Mail, 9 June 201] Read more

Trojan horse: never mind schools, what about the parents?

.... Almost all of the debate about Birmingham schools so far appears to proceed from the assumption that a child's education and world-view is solely a product of that child's schooling. But we know that's not the case. Parents matter.

So what were the parents of children in those schools doing when their children were being warned about white prostitutes, hearing staff refer to non-Muslims as Kaffirs, being told that Christmas was nothing to celebrate?

I don't know the answer, but all the possible answers are worrying. [387 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] When millions of muslims were given permission to settle in the UK were they told it is a country of Christian values to which they would be expected to adhere? Let's hope they are now.

When I applied to emigrate to Australia I was told this in no uncertain terms and I am white, British and Christian. .... Why can't Britain do the same? Does Britain have any pride?

[ANOTHER] I hate to have to tell you this, James Kirkup, as it should be blindingly obvious, but the parents of the children at these schools are in all probability in favour of the Islamist agenda or, if not, then much too frightened to speak out against it.

The parts of Birmingham in which these schools are located, that is Alum Rock and Sparkbrook, have long since been ethnically cleansed of their original English population.

They are now inhabited almost exclusively by Muslim immigrants, who would no doubt much rather see their children taught in the Pakistani manner so that they become good little jihadists just like their cousins back home who they will eventually marry. [The Telegraph, 9 June 2014] Read more

Radical Islam in secular schools: now the shocking truth emerges

"Students' understanding of the arts, different cultures and other beliefs are limited." That's one of the complaints about Birmingham schools made by Ofsted in their leaked report. It sounds like a relatively mild criticism.

Not so. What the Trojan Horse scandal has revealed is that leaders of the Muslim community in Birmingham have been creating a Wahhabi-inspired counterculture in secular, not faith, schools.

Put simply, the interpretation of Islam that's sweeping through the Muslim world, thanks to Saudi money, seeks to deprive children of any exposure to the arts, which it condemns as idolatrous. Even listening to music is haram, forbidden. [3075 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] How much longer do we have to put up with this crap. Every single day, another story about the disastrous effect on our country due to the mass immigration of Muslims. ....The Islamization of our country gathers pace with each passing day. If we do not stand up NOW and say ENOUGH, our country will be finished.

[ANOTHER] All this should have been reported in the MSM, and the DoE and Ofsted could have intervened years ago.

But nooo - that would have been racist, and offensive to the religion of peace!

So in the name of holy diversity and multi culti, all those in power and authority - and the hack pack who would rather accuse normal British people of racism - have looked the other way and have sacrificed our children on the altar of PC.

[ANOTHER] Very true words - "secular state schools in Birmingham are not part of Muslim culture, and their ghettoisation under the years of Labour government is a scandal".

Scandal indeed. We do not have integration but segregation. Labour have pandered to this.

They've allowed illegal practices to happen in the name of some weird notion of political correctness. Some parts of Birmingham resemble streets in India. We do not have a community but lots of little "communities" with so-called "community leaders". Immigration should be about enhancing people not creating ghettos with their own social control and exclusion demands. [The Telegraph, 7 June 2014] Read more

Six schools in Islam Trojan Horse plot in Birmingham face closure after inquiry finds they did too little too protect children from extremism

Six schools at the centre of an alleged Islamist takeover plot are facing radical reform and even closure after being officially judged as failing, it emerged last night.

A three-month inquiry has found the Birmingham schools did too little to protect children from extremism and female staff were intimidated.

One of the six, Golden Hillock, has been rated ‘inadequate’ in every criteria. A leaked copy of its Ofsted report says ‘staff views are polarised’ about leadership and that sex and relationships education has not been delivered properly. [222 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Don't bother trying to reform them.......the extremists will just try another way to get round the rules. CLOSE THEM DOWN and move the children to separate law abiding schools so that they can see what a normal fanatic free school day is like and be respected as individuals.

However our spineless government will now instead bend over backwards to be all inclusive and multi cultural!!! [Daily Mail, 2 June 2014] Read more

Bad Muslims are to blame for shackling Meriam Ibrahim

.... A half-brother apparently furious that she had gone her own way, choosing her own husband and planning to emigrate to America, was simply not going to allow it. Never mind that Meriam had never practised as a Muslim, he cried “apostasy” and accused her of converting to Christianity.

So while it is tempting to blame the government in Sudan, the mullahs, or Islam itself for Meriam’s terrible fate, the real problem is the abuse of such laws by her half-brother and all those people who want to use religion for personal gain. The problem is not Islam – but bad Muslims and the mad men prepared to take its name in vain. [320 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] A pathetic apologia for barbarism. Her half-brother may be taking advantage of the law, but he did not write it, he does not administer it, he does not employ the police, the prison guards, the prosecutors, the judges, the legislators or the President.

Her half-brother did not write the Koran, he did not write the Haddith, he was not responsible for the 1500 years' worth of Islamic precedent or the whole libraries-worth of Islamic legal theory upon which this sentence was based.

[ANOTHER] Cringe crawl, its not the fault of Islam, cringe creep and then wring hands, Muslims cannot be blamed, a few isolated cases blah blah ....

[ANOTHER] It’s NOT “bad Muslims”, it’s Muslims doing “bad things” because their “religion” (i.e. Islam) states that these “bad things” are “good things”. They are NOT “misunderstanding” Islam, they are “understanding” it ALL TOO WELL. [The Telegraph, 30 May 2014] Read more

Lutfur Rahman adviser: there will be street violence unless people stop complaining about Tower Hamlets election

.... Desperate to stop the widespread concerns about voter intimidation which have completely ruined his boss’s great re-election triumph, Mr Zaidi has today written a quite extraordinary post on the Trial by Jeory blog saying: “If those who still seem unable to accept the result continue as they are, it will spill out onto the streets where even the cleverest machine politicians will not be able to manage it.”

He will no doubt say that this is not a threat, but a prediction. The truth is that whatever his intentions it will be read as a threat. [Andrew Gilligan, 770 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Reminds me of the time when the disgraced Lord Ahmed said that muslims would riot if Geert Wilders was allowed to come to the UK. And we still get politicians and journalists wondering why there is islamophobia!

[ANOTHER] This is what you voted for folks, if in the past you voted Liblabcon. This is what multiculturalism is. This is what 'celebrating diversity' is. And this is also what the future is. Unless we take action now and stop it.

And only UKIP can do that. Liblabcon has stood and watched this disaster unfolding for years, and done nothing. Worse, they have tried to sweep it under the carpet and hoped we do not notice. [The Telegraph, 28 May 2014] Read more

Lutfur Rahman: 30 things you need to know about the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets

Tomorrow thousands of real voters – plus, if past Tower Hamlets elections are any guide, quite a few fake ones – will deliver their verdicts on the borough’s extremist-linked executive mayor, Lutfur Rahman. Rahman’s council is currently under investigation by both the police and an official inquiry ordered by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles. [Andrew Gilligan, 745 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Welcome to the face of Britain that the PC multi-culti brigade have promoted and pandered to for the last decade. While we wring our hands in despair at the generation of British-born muslims who appear to become more radicalised by the day, the likes of Rahman have inserted themselves into mainstream Britain, infiltrating our state funded schools and local government.

Rahman showers public money in his wake, further cementing his position and power among his cronies. Suddenly, we wake up to find that Sharia and extremism have become established in this country - the genie is out of the bottle and at the behest of the PC brigade, the forces of law and order do nothing to offend or inflame muslim sensibilities. [The Telegraph, 21 May 2014] Read more

Anti-Muslim prejudice – inflamed by Islamists

Much of the fear of Islam is simply prejudice against immigrants. Dislike of Muslims is in this respect no different from dislike of any other migrant group, be it Jews at the turn of the last century, Poles at the turn of this one, Romanians and Bulgarians now, and lots of other peoples in between.

Racial prejudice is always a despicable trait, especially when it hardens into hatred (though it is not to be confused with opposition to mass immigration, a view that is held by all ethnic groups). It has inflamed some of the reporting and corrupted some of the coverage of the halal meat controversy. [49 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The issue is one of integration. Many groups of people have come to these islands over the centuries and generally adapted to the social and cultural norms of their newly adopted home and enhanced our economy and culture.

vWhat we have seen with recent mass immigration is the lack of integration and the attempt by immigrant communities to continue their own utterly alien cultural and social practices with little regard, and some cases, contempt for the host population. [ConservativeHome, 12 May 2014] Read more

7.0 Regional & International Press

Man dressed in burka tries to rob NatWest bank, Oadby

The man, who was also carrying a white handbag and wearing sunglasses, wore the traditional female Muslim robe during the raid on the branch of NatWest, in The Parade, Oadby.

He threatened staff and ordered them to hand over cash. Witnesses have told police they believed the man was carrying a gun.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] I personally find seeing burkas in the UK offensive - it segregates the women that wear them - it's an extreme religion - and I class the Burka as symbol of an extreme - no place in our society.

[ANOTHER] Should do the same as France!! Ban the Burka

[ANOTHER] Full face covering is a barrier between people that makes communication more difficult. We need more communication/understanding between people, not people shutting themselves away behind barriers. [Leicester Mercury, 16 January 2015] Read more

Why There Are So Many Jihadists in Belgium

.... What is going on in Belgium? About 6 percent of the country’s population is Muslim, predominantly North African and Turkish immigrants living in isolated neighborhoods in major cities.

As the Belgian blogger and freelance terrorist tracker Pieter Van Ostaeyen writes, “The Belgium government over the last several decades never really succeeded integrating the Islamic communities.”

Moroccan and Turkish immigrants and their children are far more likely than other Belgians to live in serious poverty. Many in the Muslim community were also angered by bans on the public wearing of hijabs in Antwerp in 2009 and nationwide in 2011.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] European notions of multiculturalism are at least, in part, to blame. Rather than foster tolerance, multiculturalism may have only exacerbated isolation of ethnic/religious sub-groups in Europe.

This problem is compounded by the fact that obvious friction exists between Islamic social and cultural values and European ideas of secular liberalism.

.... This puts Europe in a terrible predicament. A genuine threat exists to European culture that as a matter of demographic reality may only increase.

.... Certainly, not all Muslims — not even most Muslims — are responsible for terrorist attacks. However, there is sufficient active and passive support within the Muslim community for the Jihadist ideology to pose a serious threat to Europe and other Western nations. [Slate, 15 January 2015] Read more

‘Charlie Hebdo’ killings are a test for France and all Western Europe

.... These are toxic fumes wafting across a frightened continent. The killers chose their targets well, and clearly with some planning. The rights to speak, read and watch freely, the right to mock — all are embedded in the European psyche. Indeed, the struggles to secure these rights were largely carried on the continent. And as a by-product, they have killed police officers, the protectors of citizens.

The test is a civilizational one. How far can the response be a measured one? How far can the majority of Muslims be brought into the fight against extremism as allies, not as suspects? How far will elections — this year, 2015, will see many of them at various democratic levels — reflect the desire of the citizenry to be protected by leaders like Le Pen and Farage? That’s what’s at stake — the depth of civilized society itself.

[A COMMENT] I’m afraid these events were inevitable as too many Muslim immigrants fail to integrate into western society.

I think the governments (French and British) as well as most of our media are partly to blame through being overly cautious about challenging Islamist fundamentalism. One only has to look at how the BBC, Sky and the British newspapers have reported this matter over the last two days.

Not one of them has sought to publish the original Danish cartoons – which would have been the strongest way to rebuff this attack on the freedom of speech.

Islamists have sought, very successfully, to place Islam beyond reproach. Accordingly, our politicians and media treat Islam with kid gloves. Christianity and Judaism receive scrutiny and satire on a routine basis, but nobody dares to challenge Islamic philosophy and ideas. Few journalists get this.

Appeasement didn’t work with Nazi Germany and it won’t work with Muslim fundamentalism either. It needs to be tackled head on.

[ANOTHER] Very nice words. But it still doesn’t address the question: Why are Muslims at the epicenter of much of the world’s violence, be it internecine terrorism or terrorism against others? Although the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists, it seems that the vast majority of terrorists are Muslim. The Muslim community needs to do some serious introspection as this problem cannot be solved by outsiders. [Reuters, 9 January 2015] Read more

For Muslim apostates, giving up their faith can be terrifying, alienating and dangerous

In many Muslim-majority countries, renouncing Islam is a crime punishable by death. But even in the liberal West, some ex-Muslims continue to fear leaving their faith. Although reformists point to the Qur’anic ruling,”there is no compulsion in religion,” they hide their disbelief or risk being ostracized by their families and the wider ummah (community) of believers.

In extreme cases they believe their status as “apostates of the faith” puts them in danger. Simon Cottee, a senior lecturer in criminology at Kent University, England, interviewed 35 former Muslims in Britain and Canada as part of the first major sociological study of ex-Muslims in the west. He based this piece on fieldwork in Canada.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] What a ghastly cult. Those folks are well out of it. [National Post, 2 January 2015] Read more

Legal opinion revealed after Muslims reject vaccine for children in Kirklees

The flu vaccination of children in Kirklees has been declared “unlawful” for discriminating against Muslims, a patient’s charity has claimed.

Thousands of children missed out on protection from flu this winter because the nasal spray vaccine is not halal. This year’s only vaccine – Fluenz – contains pork gelatine.

Muslim law prevents the consumption of pig based products unless it is a life or death scenario.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] You have to worry for humanity when a silly religious taboo trumps the health and welfare of children.

[SECOND] If the vaccine offered free by the NHS is not to your liking, then go pay for one that is. Simple.

[THIRD] Parents are needlessly putting their children and others at risk by refusing to have them vaccinated. The parents are forcing their religious beliefs on to their children who are not old enough to make their own decisions or question why they cannot have the vaccine. Common sense should prevail in these circumstances not religion. [Huddersfield Examiner, 23 December 2014] Read more

Sharia and English law - A secularist success

.... back in August, a row has been raging among practitioners of English law over how far they should go in accommodating the desire of Muslim clients to handle and bequeath their property in accordance with the strictures of Islam.

Secularists were horrified when the Law Society (a prestigious professional body for solicitors) issued a guidance note to its members designed to help them formulate an Islamic will.

The note recalled, for example, that in many circumstances a male relative can expect to receive twice as much as a female, and that non-Muslims cannot inherit at all.

The objectors insisted that they were not trying to overturn the cherished English axiom of testamentary freedom, the right to leave your property to anybody you please; but they felt it was wrong for lawyers to be put in the position of offering "Islamic" advice.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] The question is simple: do we wish to live in a society of superstition and primitive ideas or do we want to live in an evolving society that increasingly respects individual rights and responsibilities in a humane manner?

[SECOND] The irony is delicious; the left has been up in arms for decades over Christian sidelining of secularism (often real enough in US, mostly imagined in Europe), only to find out that their pet minority - Muslims - are the real threat.

[THIRD] .... The only real hope for the decline of fundamentalism is the steady discrediting of religion in general.

Although Cameron is a Christian (at least, he says he is), Milliband and Clegg are self-declared atheists. At some point, there will be a majority of atheists in the Commons and then we may hope for the disestablishment of the Church of England and the abandonment of religious teaching in schools.

Only when the West has comprehensively abandoned official support for superstition can we seek to dissuade those places that are currently fundamentalist to develop into modern secular societies. [The Economist, 25 November 2014] Read more

Reactions to Channel 4's 'Make Leicester British'

Channel 4’s Make Leicester British took eight people from different backgrounds and asked them to spend a week together. The resulting documentary, which some have unfavourably compared to a multicultural episode of Big Brother, has predictably divided opinion. Ciaran Fagan gets reaction and gives an overview.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... I don't think they [Somalians] realise that there isn't a never ending money pit, and that all the money being paid to support them is reducing the funds in the treasury. Maybe they should go to back to Somalia and ask the government to give them shelter, benefits, new car without working for it.

[ANOTHER] As I have said elsewhere, what ever happened to integration? Multi-culturism just means we have a number of parallel communities that don't mix and lead separate lives in a fractured society.

[ANOTHER] .... She's very loud and proud about being a Somalian so why doesn't she go back and let the Somalian government give her a home a car and educate and feed her children. She wants what Britain can give her, but she doesn't want to integrate or contribute. [The Leicester Mercury, 5 November 2014] Read more

Let’s be honest, Islam has a problem right now

When television host Bill Maher declares on his weekly show that “the Muslim world .... has too much in common with ISIS” and guest Sam Harris says that Islam is “the mother lode of bad ideas,” I understand why people are upset. Maher and Harris, an author, made crude simplifications and exaggerations. And yet, they were also talking about something real.

I know the arguments against speaking of Islam as violent and reactionary. It has a following of 1.6 billion people. Places such as Indonesia and India have hundreds of millions of Muslims who don’t fit these caricatures. That’s why Maher and Harris are guilty of gross generalizations. But let’s be honest. Islam has a problem today. The places that have trouble accommodating themselves to the modern world are disproportionately Muslim.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "A small minority of Muslims celebrates violence and intolerance and harbors deeply reactionary attitudes toward women and minorities."

No. A small minority of Muslims PERPETRATES violence, but unfortunately a far larger subset - perhaps a majority - permit it, enable it, and harbor it.

[ANOTHER] "So, the strategy to reform Islam is to tell 1.6 billion Muslims, most of whom are pious and devout, that their religion is evil and they should stop taking it seriously? That is not how Christianity moved from its centuries-long embrace of violence, crusades, inquisitions, witch-burning and intolerance to its modern state."

Sorry Fareed, but that is exactly what happened. The West started to take our holy book less seriously. The Old Testament is just as warlike, intolerant, sexist, and homophobic as the Koran. But we started to take things like constitutions and democracy and science and human rights more seriously than religion. And until Islam does the same we will have problems. [The Washington Post, 9 October 2014] Read more

Muslim leader calls for Islamic beliefs to be accepted in Irish schools

.... He also writes that there is “a clash of values” when it comes to the “traditional ways of teaching Physical Education/Gym class” in Ireland. Selim explains that in some Irish schools “under the guise of health and safety, Muslim girls are obliged to take off their headscarves for PE classes, which is not acceptable to them.”

He claims that if the schools were “persistent” with this rule they should “employ a female PE teacher and provide students with a sports hall not accessible to men during times when girls are at play. They should also not be visible to men while at play.” He adds that female Muslims should not have to change their clothes in a communal area.

.... He adds that any “physical contact between members of the opposite sex who can be legally married is forbidden in Islam” and that “gender role-reversal is not permissible.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Now the demands start ... and they won't end. They want to change Ireland to their way of thinking and living, you have to wonder why in god's name did they come but they are trying to do this all over the world and we can't let it happen.

They can believe whatever they want but it's a personal thing and must be kept that way. If Irish schools are not suitable then don't go, if the country is not to your liking and you can't abide by the rules of your host country then leave.

[SECOND] Amazing that when Irish people visit Muslim countries they must abide by Muslim rules , yet when Muslims move to Ireland they want Ireland to bow to their beliefs....very arrogant indeed.

[THIRD] What a sectarian bigot! This is Ireland, respect our laws and traditions or go home!!! [IrishCentral, 4 September 2014] Read more

Call for State schools to accommodate Islamic beliefs

A spokesman for the Muslim community in Ireland has called for radical change in the educational system to accommodate children with Islamic beliefs.

Dr Ali Selim, of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Dublin’s Clonskeagh and a lecturer in the Mater Dei Institute and Trinity College, has called for “a revolution of inclusivity” in Irish schools and “an upheaval in Irish educational perspectives”.

This was necessary to accommodate the needs of a society which is now “home to a variety of Christian denominations, as well as people of other faiths and of none”, he says in his book Islam and Education in Ireland, to be published next week.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] While I'm sure there will be many a knee jerk reaction to Dr Selim's statement, perhaps instead of condemning one particular faith it would be much more appropriate to remove religious ethos from all state schools. Religious ideology has no place in education in the modern world, it's a personal belief and should be practiced in private.

[SECOND] No. No. No. We need to get religion out of schools. Schools should teach facts not faith based fictions. The Islamic hoards in Iraq have the stated objective of taking over the world. They crave Armageddon and death.

There view of human sexuality is ill considered and based on the trash written in the desert 1,400 years ago and ignores human biology. No wonder his sexually frustrated IS brethren are raping every woman they can lay their hands on in Iraq and Syria. Ali get off the stage and take your twisted religion with you.

[THIRD] This is not about inclusivity at all ... this is about exclusivity! We are moving towards a secular society and this would be a major step backwards. All you need to look at is the trojan horse approach regarding islamic schools in Birmingham.

Under the guise of tolerance and inclusiveness unacceptable practices and teachings became core e.g students were shown fundamentalist videos and anti christian chanting in classes. Muslim immigrants need to adapt to our western way of life otherwise this whole multi cultural project breaks down.

[ANOTHER] With all due respect to Dr. Selim, these are not religious differences, they are societal differences. In our society, boys and girls integrate in school, play sport together, have physical contact, play music, and when they are old enough they receive sex education. These elements of our societal "norms" are not dictated or even guided by any religion or religious beliefs.

.... Can Dr. Selim tell me what are my chances of taking my family to Iran and insisting that my beliefs are accommodated when I put my children into an Islamic school? Impossible, of course. We would be obliged to adjust to the restrictive societal norms of that country and my daughters and I would be obliged to wear headscarves, even if I strongly believe they should not.

It's called integration.

[ANOTHER] From the steaming froth of my pint, listening to music and living in Ireland ... is this guy for real? I will head off to the Levant and preach the replacement their traditons for my atheism and iconography. Like ... bars in their Universities for example ... [THE IRISH TIMES, 3 September 2014] Read more

Islam 'does not belong in German society' - poll

A majority of Germans have rejected former President Christian Wulff's famous statement that "Islam is now also a part of Germany", with 52 percent against the idea.

Just 44 percent of people surveyed by the Forsa opinion institute for Stern magazine agreed with the former head of state that Islam was part of Germany.

However, a second question asking how people thought Germany should deal with hostility to Muslims found that 53 percent of people believed that it should be treated as seriously as anti-Semitism.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... the problem is the Sharia, the islamic law which denotes an Islamic way of life that is more than a system of civil or criminal justice.

If you read about it you will see that it can´t be allowed in any civilized country, after that, they can pray to whoever they want. [The Local, 7 August 2014] Read more

Sharia and the legal profession - Turning your lawyer into an imam

.... The question some lawyers are asking is how far their profession should go in facilitating the use of Islam in settling family affairs. In March, the Law Society (the representative body for solicitors in England and Wales) issued what it called a "practice note" to its members on Islamic inheritance rules.

It spells out the basic principles of sharia-based wills. One is that male heirs should in most cases get double the amount due to female heirs of similar proximity; another is that only fellow Muslims can inherit. As the document explains, it is intended to "assist solicitors who have been asked to prepare a valid will which follows sharia succession rules" and it represents the Society's "view of good practice" in this area.

.... campaigners argue that through the note, the legal profession is not just tolerating but actively facilitating practices which violate basic principles of equality and fairness.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] This is just more multicultural nonsense, and destructive nonsense at that. Secular societies are governed by secular law, not religious law, period. Otherwise Sharia law and Biblical law will have us cutting off hands, stoning people to death, treating women as not fully human, and at least maiming people attracted to the same sex.

Opening up the law to parochial, superstitious, barbaric, and parochial norms based on supernaturalism is not only a bad idea, it is a very real threat to the national identity and security of the countries that allow it.

[ANOTHER] The Law Society joins a long line of organisations that feel obliged not simply to tolerate non-indigenous cultures but to actively fall over themselves in their enthusiasm to embrace them, however contrary they may be to British values. The Law society has no business in advising on Islamic values and its guidance should solely concern British law.

[ANOTHER] There is a much larger point here: how far should a modern secular society go in order to accommodate the superstitious/religious beliefs of a minority group?

The UK does not accept female genital mutilation simply because more primitive societies still inflict it on their females. The UK does not accept public stoning or amputations, despite the fact some more primitive societies still believe these things are sanctioned by their magical deities and cultural traditions. [The Economist, 1 August 2014] Read more

Should Germany ban the burqa?

Opponents of such a ban here say it would heavily infringe on personal, cultural and religious freedoms and only serve to inflame tensions.

Advocates insist the burqa has no place in progressive, pluralistic German society.

In Frankfurt am Main, a city of 700,000 residents, including a large Muslim population, the issue has split Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU Party and the Greens within the ruling coalition.

Currently, staff in the municipal administration are not allowed to wear veils at work, and there are calls for this to be extended into public life.

[A COMMENT] They should be banned in all western civilizations. We are not allowed to show our religious freedoms in their countries. If they want to move to western society they need to integrate, plain and simple.

[ANOTHER] Cliques, ghettos and self-segregated communities that are fuelled by religion, that do not want to be a part of the society that they want to move to, live in and enjoy the benefits of, should respect the culture they move to.

Or they can always stay in their country of origin where they are free to practice. It's the 21st Century. Society should reflect that. Not pander to people wearing burqas. [The Local, 15 July 2014] Read more

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declares himself leader of all Muslims—who don’t buy it

The difference is that this preacher, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, styles himself not a local emir but a caliph, the presumed commander of all the world’s 1.5 billion faithful.

And another difference: his jihad has so far been waged not so much against infidels as against fellow Muslims. But perhaps the most significant innovation is that Mr Baghdadi had his performance filmed in high-resolution video, a slick advertisement both for his band of international terrorists, now titled the State of the Islamic Caliphate (SIC), and for his hitherto-reclusive self.

[A TOP RATED COMMENT] .... They have more radical interpretations than some, but Islamic law always centers around fear and compulsion.

Some will say that ISIS represents a real departure from Islam, but what ISIS represents is nothing new in the Muslim world.

There have been many violent, messianic movements before, especially in this part of Iraq. Believing Muslims will never oppose Islamic law openly, but when they feel the oppression of religious enforcement, they find they don't really like it that much.

.... That is why the Islamic world has been stuck in a ditch for centuries upon centuries. The only thing that can change this is improved education and a turn away from literal belief in the written words of "Allah" and "Muhammad". [The Economist, 12 July 2014] Read more

No-go areas in Leicester for Muslim women wearing niqab

Muslim women who wear a full veil say there are no-go areas in Leicester which they feel frightened to visit – even in a car. They claim they are subjected to abuse every day and that it is getting increasingly difficult to avoid such incidents in the city centre.

The revelations are contained in a new book by two criminology lecturers at the University of Leicester.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] "The veil stands for social division, not piety" ... and goes on to say "British Muslim women put a black curtain between themselves and society, but never ask why it provokes hostility"

[ANOTHER] Playing the victim card again I see. I've seen women spat at in highfields for showing too much skin. Why is this never reported?

[ANOTHER] I think the full veil should be banned. In this country. As it is in France. I feel intimidated in my own country by women that wear them.

[ANOTHER] If you turn Dr Zempi's research round the other way, people who don't wear the niqab are seen as more approachable and socially inclusive than people who do - something to think about. [Leicester Mercury, 8 July 2014] Read more

South Yorkshire mum’s anger over school burger mix-up

An angry mum is demanding an investigation after her son was mistakenly served a non-halal burger for his school lunch.

Thirteen-year-old Hassan Ramzan was given the wrong meal at Rotherham’s Brinsworth Comprehensive School.

.... Mum Imtiaz Khan, of Raby Street, Brinsworth, said she had felt sick after hearing about the incident. “As Muslims we are simply not allowed to eat non-halal meats and for someone to say sorry to Hassan just doesn’t cut it,” she said.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] I'm absolutely sick of these hate mongers trying to dictate to us, if you want Halal go and live in Saudi Arabia or all you have to do is say Bismallah before you eat anything!

[ANOTHER] You choose to live in the west, if you want everything to cater for you there are plenty of Islamic hell holes to choose from.

[ANOTHER] Is there any religion anywhere in the world that demands as much understanding, tolerance and acceptance from others as this one? Is it any wonder why most people are sick of it? [The Star, 27 June 2014] Read more

Meaty row over halal-only KFC

A LOCAL Muslim leader has defended the use of halal food after a fast-food restaurant was criticised for dropping a popular item from its menu.

A customer was angered when she tried to order four KFC “Quadwraps” — chicken and bacon in a tortilla — at the chain’s Centre Retail Park, Royton, branch - only to be told it no longer sold them because it was one of 100 branches selling halal-prepared meat only

Fazal Rahim, Oldham Interfaith Forum co-ordinator, said: “Bacon is something Muslims and Jews have in common. They won’t consume bacon or use any derivative of it".

[A COMMENT] Remove a staple food of the vast majority of the population to accommodate the medieval barbarism of around 5% of the population. Sounds fair to me!

[ANOTHER] What country are we in? [Chronicle Online, 17 June 2014] Read more