Islamic Lawfare – Introduction

Much has been written about “Islamist” Lawfare, which mostly refers to the use of the law to defend terrorists and terrorist organizations. However I see a wider problem, which I call Islamic Lawfare. By this phrase I mean any attempts to use or worse, alter, the law (particularly in countries whose populations are majority non-Muslim), with the intention of protecting Islam from criticism.

The worst and largest case of this I am aware of to date, have been the attempts by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to try to persuade the UN to sanction a de facto worldwide blasphemy law protecting all religions from criticism. Supporters of this gross, worldwide attack on freedom of speech seem oblivious to the fact that Islam itself blasphemes against other religions (1). Of course their real intent is to protect Islam alone from criticism, they really do not care about other religions.

In future posts, I am going to look in detail at a few examples of such Islamic lawfare in the UK. I call on all readers to join me in condemning these acts of lawfare against freedom of speech, and to add their voices to the chorus of opposition by protesting and writing to your MPs!

References:

(1) http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/251204/islam-banned-blasphemy-raymond-ibrahim

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organisation_of_Islamic_Cooperation
http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2015/06/human-rights-group-warns-against-global-blasphemy-law

Useful sites:

http://thelawfareproject.org

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“Representative” “Democracy”

You see what I did there, in the title? I put both the words “Representative” and “Democracy” in quotes. Is there anything really very representative or democratic about our political system here in the UK?

Ever since the 1950s, the UK has been experiencing high net migration into the country. At no time at all was the issue of immigration not high on voters’ minds, and at no time at all did the majority of voters want to see such high levels of net migration into the country. When Enoch Powell tried to warn the people about the dangers of mass immigration he was vilified and ousted from office by his fellow Conservative politicians. This was in spite of the fact that he had a lot of support among the electorate. Decades later we find ourselves in a divided “multi-cultural” society, where one particular section of the population, the Muslims, seem increasingly hostile towards the society that has welcomed them in. Significant numbers in fact even want to overthrow our most cherished freedoms, such as freedom of speech. The majority had the right instinct about “multi-culturalism”, but the politicians ignored their concerns.

After being elected in 1997 the Labour party under Tony Blair accelerated the rate of net migration into the country, despite having no democratic mandate to do this. There is seldom a candidate or party with whom a voter agrees 100%, but here we had a party enacting a policy that wasn’t even in their manifesto. Once you elect a representative, there is currently no way for the electorate to prevent the government from pursuing policies even if a majority object to those policies. There is also no way of taking a government to task if they fail to enact policies that they promised in their manifesto. The Conservatives were elected on the promise that they would reduce net migration into the country “no ifs no buts” said David Cameron, but they have scarcely even attempted to do this as far as immigration from the EU is concerned.

Here in the UK, there have long been two major parties, the Conservative Party and the Labour party. In the last election UKIP overtook the Liberal Democrat party, to become the third party in terms of vote share. UKIP won 12.6 percent of the votes overall but only gained one single member of parliament, which meant they only had around 0.1 percent of the representatives in parliament.

The Labour party have recently lurched much further to the left, with Jeremy Corbyn’s election as their leader. UKIP voters are now faced with a dilemna. Do they vote for the party they favour, and run the risk of Labour gaining the most votes? Or, should they vote “tactically” and vote for the Conservatives, who are at least closer to their political ideals in most cases?

Winston Churchill is famously supposed to have said: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”. However, in fact our current “Representative Democracy”, with the first past the post system, is not the only kind of democracy that exists. Perhaps it is time to look seriously at some alternatives.

Before we do that I would like my readers to consider the points I made in the last 2 posts, if they have not already done so. If we are to move to a more direct form of government, I think it is essential that we reduce incentives for rash short term policies first, by depriving those who are dependent on state largess of the vote:

Universal Suffrage Was A Mistake

Universal Suffrage – Alternatives

MULTIPLE MPs PER CONSTITUENCY

In Denmark, they have much larger constituencies and voters elect several representatives per constituency. So, even if you live in a constituency where your favoured candidate is not the most popular, that candidate can still be elected if they get enough votes. This leads to a much more proportionate representation of different parties in parliament. It also means that regions are still represented in parliament, so it seems to me the best of both worlds is achieved (1). I won’t go into the details of this system, as they are already well described in the Wikipedia article which I have linked to in the sources at the end of this post.

Particularly at the moment parliamentary debate in the UK is very stifled, those with anti-immigration views are almost not represented at all. This leads to a climate of “group-think” where challenging ideas are never heard, and so the views of the public at large are very much suppressed. This is very bad for democracy, I think we would get a much healthier democracy if we switched to the Danish system.

It would also increase engagement with politics generally. At the moment someone who lives in a “safe seat” but supports a different candidate to the one who is expected to win, are discouraged from even bothering to vote. This increases a feeling of helplessness and disconnection from politics which is not good for democracy.

If you wanted to raise a particular concern you had about policy, you could raise that issue with the representative most likely to listen to your concern.  If you had a problem with the authorities, if your single representative was unsympathetic you might find another representative takes your case seriously. As such we are really quite dependent on our single representatives at the moment, in such eventualities.

An argument against this form of voting is that it leads to more coalition governments that are unable to make decisions. However, if you examine the Conservative party for example, you soon realize that they are by no means a monolithic entity with a single view on important issues. On possibly the most important issue of the present, whether to remain in the European Union, there are many Conservatives on both sides of the divide. Whether a coalition government say including the Conservatives and UKIP would be any less decided on such an important issue, is open to question.

Another argument against this is also concerned with the nature of coalition governments. A small party can refuse to join a coalition unless certain conditions are met, and thereby wield power far in excess of its vote share. However the experience of the last UK coalition between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives, did not particularly lead to the Liberal Democrats having such a disproportionate influence.

Both of these objections around coalition governments also seem to be based on the assumption that governments SHOULD be constantly lurching in radically different directions from previous governments’ policies. This has been a feature of UK politics since the end of the Second World War, as I discussed in “Universal Suffrage Was A Mistake”, and much upheaval and destructive chaos has resulted. Perhaps in fact a future with less government meddling, less new laws being constantly created and less state intervention in general might actually be a very GOOD thing. A while ago the Belgian parliament was suspended for 6 months because agreement could not be reached on a coalition, and an improvement in prosperity actually resulted.

Certainly one problem with the Danish system is that it is somewhat more complicated than our current first past the post system. On balance however I think this is outweighed by the advantages that I stated above.

Note: this system is not to be confused with the Alternative Vote system (this was rejected in a referendum in the UK in 2011) (2).

REFERENDUMS WITH THE POWER TO CHANGE GOVERNMENT POLICY

In Switzerland, referendums can be called at any time by any member of the public that can challenge any laws that are proposed by the government, or already existing laws as well. Referendums can also be called to propose laws as well, and this process was successfully used to create a ban on minarets (3), despite opposition to this proposal from the Swiss government. As with our own government, it seems the Swiss government is somewhat constrained by “political correctness”. I believe that we should very seriously consider adopting such a referendum system in the UK.

This was in fact proposed in the last UKIP manifesto.

References:

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Denmark#Danish_general_election.2C_2015

(2) http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/alternative-vote

(3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_minaret_referendum,_2009

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Denmark

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2015/results

Universal Suffrage – Alternatives

Part two of a two part series questioning universal suffrage.

First part: Universal Suffrage Was A Mistake

The rights of prisoners to vote has become something of a first battleground over suffrage in recent years. Of course the left tend to be more lenient towards prisoners, so they are more likely to vote left. There is no doubt at all in my mind that people who have been convicted of crimes, and are now having to be housed at huge cost to the taxpayer, should NOT have the right to vote.

Beyond that I have found the question of exactly who should have the right to vote quite a difficult one. Of course the concept of universal suffrage is a very simple one, one person one vote, any alternatives are likely to be more complicated. However I think there is a very good argument to be made that anybody that is not working and is dependent on the state financially should not have the right to vote. Thus those on any kind of welfare benefits but also those on state pensions and students in receipt of grants as well would also lose the vote.

Some people would go further and say only taxpayers should have the right to vote. Why should those who are not paying any tax have a say in how that tax is spent? A problem with limiting the vote to only taxpayers is that governments don’t just spend taxes, they also pass laws. Everyone is affected by the law, regardless of whether they pay tax, it might lead to unjust laws. Such a restriction would mean housewives without their own income would lose the vote. Such a restriction would also exclude pensioners who had worked hard throughout their lives, and responsibly saved to provide for themselves in their retirement. These people are often the wisest members of society, their wisdom earned from a lifetime of experience. For these reasons I don’t think that the right to vote should be limited only to taxpayers.

Some people would go further still and say only taxpayers should have the vote AND they should get a proportion of the vote in line with the AMOUNT of tax they pay. Why should someone who pays only £1 tax have the same voting rights as someone who pays £1 million? However, in addition to the objections I raised in the last paragraph to the general idea of taxpayer only voting rights, there is also the problem that rich people are not necessarily the wisest. George Soros is a very rich man, as are Leonardo di Caprio and Paris Hilton. I think that giving the rich a disproportionately high share of the vote would be likely to narrow the electorate too much.

Some people would say that public sector workers should also be excluded. This is a tempting proposition, because public sector workers often vote left, generally they are more in favour of state power. They are likely to vote for a government that will give them more pay and shorter working hours. However for similar reasons to the above I think this would be a step too far, it would narrow the electorate too much.  Public sector workers such as the police, fire service, armed forces also risk their lives for the public good, it would hardly be right to exclude them.

An objection to all these restrictions on universal suffrage might be that in time of war, every able bodied man of a certain age, would be required to fight in defence of his country. No doubt the sacrifices of so many men in World War I was a contributory factor in the granting of universal suffrage in the first place. However, after nearly a century of universal suffrage, I think the drawbacks have become too obvious and there is now a real risk that the left will actually destroy “Western” civilization if they are simply allowed to continue. There are simply now too many people dependent on state largess.

Another restriction I have heard mooted is that there should be some sort of literary/knowledge of public affairs based test for voters. However I see this as impractical as it would be easy for the answers to the questions to be widely distributed.

In summary then I think the right to vote should be taken away from prisoners, those dependent on welfare and state pensions, and students who are dependent on government loans. Possibly the latter might be excluded simply by raising the age of suffrage back to 21. The vast majority of those under 21 years of age have either contributed little or nothing at all so far in taxes, so I think this would be fair.

Universal Suffrage Was A Mistake

Part one of a two part series questioning universal suffrage.

The concept and application of universal suffrage, one person one vote, is actually a relatively recent phenomenon in human history. In this post I will be explaining why I believe universal suffrage has been a factor in the decline of “Western” civilization. I will be referring specifically to the experience of the UK, but I believe the trends are in fact common to most “Western” countries, which have followed a similar course.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOCIALISM IN THE UK

With the ‘Representation of the People Act 1918’ all men over 21 in the UK gained the vote (previously voting had been restricted by property ownership constraints). This was followed by the ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928’ when all women over 21 also gained the vote. This paved the way for socialism to gain the upper hand in UK politics. After the Second World War, politics swung heavily to the left with the election of a very socialist Labour government under Clement Attlee.

This government introduced the National Health Service and the Welfare State. A large scheme of council housing began, over a million new homes were built by the government. A huge program of nationalization of industries took place including the railways, telephony, coal mining and steel production to name just a few. There’s no question that in the beginning the living and working conditions of large numbers of people had been improved rapidly. Quite how quickly the free market would have produced the same improvements we’ll never know.

By the 1970s however things were not going so well. High inflation led the government to cap public sector pay increases and trade unions reacted by going on strike. Coal production fell and electricity consumption had to be rationed, leading to a 3 day working week for a time. A Labour government was elected and wages were increased again to placate the unions. However soon even the Labour government could not keep the trade unions happy and there were widespread strikes during the “Winter of Discontent” (1978-1979). Finally the Conservatives were elected under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, and politics swung heavily to the right, and a large program of denationalization began. Even the Labour government elected later in 1997 was quite right wing in comparison with the Attlee era.

MASS IMMIGRATION AS A FORM OF GERRYMANDERING

Since the 1950s, the UK has experienced fairly high levels of immigration. However, this greatly increased from the “New Labour” period onward (1997 – present). At least in part this was due to a deliberate policy by that left wing government. A secret memo later came to light that that government was deliberately “rubbing the Right’s nose in diversity” by allowing in huge numbers of people from poor countries. Of course, these poor immigrants were expected to become Labour voters, as they would be on low wages and benefit from the more generous state handouts promised by Labour, as well as free education and health care. Thus this immigration policy can be seen as a hugely irresponsible form of gerrymandering by the left – altering the population to increase the left’s vote in the future. Quite how much these immigrants have contributed to the economy is disputed. Of course many are hard working but there is a tendency of the children of immigrants to not be so hard working and many end up on benefits.

A Conservative government was elected in coalition with the Liberal Democrats in 2010, partly thanks to their promise to vastly reduce the rate of immigration, which was causing disquiet among the general population. They have completely failed to deliver this, net migration has continued at very high levels. This situation is in part due to the UK’s membership of the EU, which is heavily dominated by left wing ideals and is also committed to free movement of people.

THE PRESENT DAY

In the present day many UK voters were born and lived in an era of prosperity and they have no recollection of the most problematic days of socialist governments. Many new arrivals from foreign countries near and far are also quite ignorant of this history. Extreme left-wing ideas are once more on the rise and the Labour party have a new leader called Jeremy Corbyn who is ready to promise the earth to gullible voters who believe that money grows on trees. He has quite literally suggested that a government under his leadership would print money and give it to poor people.

Despite the fact that relatively right wing politicians have been in power since 1979, many of the left wing changes brought about by Attlee’s government remain. The welfare state and the free health care service are still intact.  Most children receive free education.  Students in higher education receive generous loans which often are never repaid. Some welfare reform has been achieved, but very large numbers of people are still dependent on handouts from the state. In addition, increasing life spans have increased the numbers of people living on state pensions. The state is struggling under a huge national debt burden, something like £1.5 trillion. A lot of taxpayers’ money is simply servicing this debt.

All these burdens are being carried by the less than half of the population who are taxpayers. There are only 29.3 million taxpayers out of an official population of 63 million (2011 census). The actual population of the UK may be considerably higher due to illegal immigration. Furthermore, of those taxpayers quite a substantial number are public sector workers. Of course these people provide some value in services, but their wages are paid for by the state through the taxes of those working in the private sector, so in a sense the taxes they pay are merely token. Thus, substantially less than 29.3 million people, maybe as little as 30% of the population, are supporting all the rest to varying degrees (19% of the workforce are employed by the public sector but not all of these will be taxpayers).

The left are also now pushing for another form of gerrymandering, through the further lowering of the voting age to 16 years. Of course, younger people are more likely to be left wing, as they have less experience of the realities of life.

SUMMARY

Allowing those who only take from the state to vote is a little bit akin to parents giving their children an equal say in how their household finances should be run, clearly a recipe for disaster.  The introduction of universal suffrage has led to the election of left wing governments in the UK whose policies have been based on promises of unrealistic state largess. Even the current “Conservative” government is in fact quite left wing in many ways, in part because they know that they simply could not get elected on a more right wing manifesto.

Furthermore, the left’s hold on politics has deliberately been strengthened by mass immigration and they are trying to strengthen it further by lowering the voting age. It has also been strengthened, crucially, by the sheer numbers of people now dependent on the state financially. Large numbers of immigrants arriving in the country have also increased the vote for the left because the left favours more immigration, and immigrants want to be able to bring more of their relatives and people from their culture here to join them.

Reducing any of these unrealistic expectations is extremely difficult politically because all those dependents of the state have a vote. A return to property ownership based voting rights would not be a fair option, because many hard working people who pay taxes also rent their homes and own no property. In the next post I will examine other possible alternatives.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_immigration_to_the_United_Kingdom

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/pse/public-sector-employment/q2-2013/sty-public-section-employment.html

http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/pressarticle/83

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

Ahmadiyya Islam

In the wake of the horrific murder of Mr. Asad Shah in Glasgow, the Ahmadis are in the spotlight again. Not for the first time, the Ahmadis are being used as an ideological football by the apologists for Islamic ideology. The Ahmadiyya slogan:

‘love for all, hatred for none’

is being repeated far and wide.

The first thing to emphasize about the Ahmadis is that they are a tiny sect both in the world overall and within the UK. There are only around 30,000 Ahmadis in the UK. Their beliefs are radically different from those of mainstream Islam, because they believe in a messiah called the Mahdi who lived in the 19th century. Unlike the example of Mohammed’s career, the Mahdi’s teachings were truly peaceful, and so Ahmadiyya beliefs can also be categorized as peaceful, except in self-defence.

Should we criticize the Ahmadi beliefs? Since their beliefs are peaceful it is tempting not to, but I find their beliefs very problematic for a number of reasons. In the first place, they revere Mohammed, who is not a man who should be revered. Even if you overlook the violence of his career, there are still insurmountable problems with other aspects of his life, such as the marriage to the 6 year old Aisha. Then there are also the many bad and dangerous ideas Mohammed had about hygiene, such as that described in Abu Dawud 1,67. The Ahmadi apparently do not believe in abrogation, rather they believe that all statements in the Koran were valid at the time they were supposedly made. This effectively condones some truly terrible and unnecessary events, such as the Banu Qurayza massacre. It would also appear to condone Mohammed’s taking of captives as slaves (see Koran 33:26).  There is also the very problematic statement that the disbelievers are the “vilest of animals”, not something that really warms the heart of any Muslim towards the disbelievers (see Koran 8:55).

The biggest problem I see with the Ahmadis however is the way they sometimes inadvertently cloud the understanding of Islam among the uneducated non-Muslim population. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK ran a campaign on London buses where they prominently displayed the words:

“Muslims for Loyalty, Freedom & Peace”

and the “Love for All, Hatred for None” slogan was also contained as part of their website URL, also displayed prominently. Only in much smaller letters in the bottom right corner were the words “Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK” displayed. Such a campaign could easily lead the uneducated into thinking that these are the messages of mainstream Islam, which they are not.

They have long suffered persecution from mainstream Muslims in Pakistan particularly, and tragically it now seems that persecution is more and more a feature of their life in the UK as well. Imams have been reported as encouraging their congregations to boycott Ahmadi shops, for example:

Tooting Imam Agitated Against Ahmadi Shopkeepers

An attempt to stage a condolence event for the murder of Mr. Shah apparently had to be cancelled when the organizers were threatened:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/659496/Asad-Shah-condolence-event-Bradofrd-cancelled-threats-mosque

The very first mosque to be built in London was an Ahmadi mosque called the Fazl mosque. In fact the Ahmadi are known for often being the first to have made contact with other countries more widely as well. Could it be that their early arrival on our shores helped to lure us into a false sense of security about the Islamic faith more generally? Perhaps the Ahmadi community could do us all (including themselves) a favour and in future make it absolutely clear that they are representatives of the Ahmadiyya movement, and not representatives of Muslims in general.

Sources:

loveforallhatredfornone org – Bus Campaign.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadiyya#Persecution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fazl_Mosque,_London

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/04/07/muslim-brotherhood-umbrella-group-wont-kill-ahmadis-arent-muslims/

Further reading:

Responding to Islamic Violence – Which Interpretation of the Quran is the right one?

The Trials of Tommy Robinson

Once again Tommy Robinson, the former English Defence League (EDL) leader and now a leader of PEGIDA UK, is due to stand trial. The trial is due on April 14th.

[UPDATE 15 April 2016: The judge through the case out of court and criticized the police motives.

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/04/14/tommy-robinson-walks-free-from-court-judge-slams-police-persecution/

]

Everything I have heard about his former imprisonment and subsequent tussles with the law leads me to be believe that the authorities are misusing the law for political ends, and against freedom of speech. The most fundamental principles of British Justice are being tossed aside. The timing of the trial, as discussed in the links, should be especially concerning. If there was really a case to answer then this latest trial should have happened quite some time ago.

One of the most important principles of British Justice is equality before the law.  This means that whoever you are, whatever you have done, you will receive equal treatment if a crime has been committed against you, or if you have been accused of a crime.  This has been repeatedly ignored in Tommy Robinson’s experiences with the law.

The most glaring affront to British Justice can be seen in the terms of his release (from his previous conviction for mortgage fraud), which had nothing whatever to do with the crime he was convicted of. This is discussed in the links.

The details of his shocking experiences are described at length here:

Jamie Glazov Interviews With Tommy Robinson

Please donate to Tommy’s legal costs if you can, here is the link:

Please help with Tommy’s legal costs.

[UPDATE 11 April 2016: It looks as if this campaign has now reached target.]

It is also clear that our prisons, especially our high security prisons for the most violent offenders, are not safe places for a critic of the Islamic religion. Someone convicted merely for mortgage fraud should never have been put anywhere near such violent offenders. This is what led to the incident he is now being put on trial for, the authorities are responsible for it!  This is also highlighting the fact that there are major causes for concern about the prison system more generally as well.

Whatever you think about the EDL, PEGIDA and Islam you need to understand that when you allow the authorities to abuse the law for political ends, by your complacency, it is YOUR freedom that is being undermined. We have freedom of speech so that bad ideas can be challenged. Whatever you believe today, those ideas could be wrong.

The UK authorities are increasingly behaving like an Orwellian police state, more reminiscent of the East German STASI than the once world renowned British justice system. This subject was also discussed in my previous posts on the “Prevent” strategy. See particularly the post on “Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders”.  Things are going to get much worse if these orders become law.

The Pretend Strategy – The Story So Far

The Pretend Strategy – A New Orwellian Direction

Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders

The Pretend Strategy – From Chamberlain to Cameron

 

The “Lived Faith” of UK Muslims

(An account of a debate with Mr. Samuel Hooper)

I recently engaged in a debate with Mr Samuel Hooper, a blogger at http://semipartisansam.com/. The full debates can be seen in the Comments sections of the URLs given.

Before I describe the details of this debate, I wish to make it very clear that I salute Mr. Hooper’s writing in defence of free speech. I think that my freedom to make the points I make here is a very important test of that freedom.

The debate begins at this article:

The Daily Toast: After Paris, Andrew Neil’s Bravura Anti-Islamist Speech

I accused Mr. Hooper of dodging the truth by using the word “Islamist”, a word that also featured prominently in Mr. Neil’s pompous rant, that was the subject of the article. I quoted Koran 9:29. I also said that “Islamist” is a weasel word.

Mr. Hooper hit back at my accusation with these words:

“I am not dodging any truth, and I disagree with your effort to tar all Muslims (and an entire religion) with the same brush.”

“I use the term Islamist because it serves to distinguish between peaceful adherents of Islam and the more extremist fundamentalist sects (such as the jihadist salafism of ISIS).”

Note these words carefully: “your effort to tar all Muslims (and an entire religion) with the same brush”. Was I tarring all Muslims with a brush by quoting from the holy book that all Muslims say is the word of their god, Allah? Is it unreasonable to suggest that the followers of a religion believe in the words in their holy texts?? Surely Muslims are tarring themselves with that brush simply by calling themselves Muslims?

When Jesus said “Love thy neighbour”, is it unreasonable to tar all the Christians of the world with a suggestion that they might actually believe that we should love our neighbours? I can be forgiven for thinking that this was an emotive attempt to silence criticism of Islam by attempting to somehow shame me, and I do think that.

Perhaps Mr. Hooper was mainly responding to this statement that I had made:

“Islam is an ideology that promotes violence and intolerance. It is right to criticize its followers and try to persuade them to lose their religion.”

Could it be that he thinks it is wrong to suggest that Islam promotes violence and intolerance? Saying so does not in any way imply that all the followers of that religion are routinely engaging in such violence. Does he think we should not attempt to persuade the followers of a religion to lose their religion? It certainly is a very dangerous thing to do in the case of Islam, but does that mean we should not attempt to do it? I remain at a loss as to what he was implying by this statement.

He then made a most astonishing and grossly offensive statement:

“Failing to make this distinguish dishonours the memory of people like Asad Shah, murdered by *Islamists* for daring to set an example of how Muslims can peacefully coexist with and within the West.”

I had not even mentioned that gentleman, nor, even more importantly I did not anywhere suggest that Muslims can not peacefully co-exist with and within the West. Obviously millions of Muslims currently are doing just that! What a ridiculous claim to make, that I was dishonouring anybody by questioning Islamic beliefs. All the more ridiculous, given the fact that that gentleman was an Ahmadi Muslim, a member of a tiny persecuted sect that I also had not mentioned.

I responded by pointing out that the Ahmadi religious beliefs are very different from mainstream Islamic beliefs. I also questioned how he defined a peaceful adherent of the Islamic religion:

“How do you define a peaceful adherent? One who wants Sharia law? One who isn’t actually engaged in violent jihad at the moment? How do you know what they would do if their leaders told them it was time for jihad? You don’t.”

All that I was ACTUALLY implying through my comment was that there might be a connection between the actions of Muslim terrorists and their religion. Not an unreasonable statement given all the incitements to hatred and violence that exist in the Koran, and the warlike and intolerant example of Mohammed.  Its also not unreasonable given the fact they are telling us that they see such a connection.

This exchange was all the more curious given what Mr. Hooper had written in another article at his blog:

“When Is The Islamic State Not The Islamic State?”

When Is The Islamic State Not The Islamic State?

In this article, Mr. Hooper suggests that it is unreasonable to call the Islamic State anything other than the Islamic State. Well said Mr. Hooper, I agree with this entirely. Surely then its equally ridiculous to refer to a Muslim terrorist as anything other than a Muslim terrorist. A Muslim terrorist identifies himself as a Muslim, he believes his actions are correct according to his religion. Why refer to him as an “Islamist”? Unless of course, you are trying to avoid the reality that he is inspired by his religious beliefs….

Mr. Hooper did not respond to my reply on the article about Mr. Neil’s rant. I therefore decided to revive the debate by challenging him again on a different article. This article related to some tweets by one Matthew Doyle:

“No Prosecution For Matthew Doyle, But Free Speech Is Still Diminished”

No Prosecution For Matthew Doyle, But Free Speech Is Still Diminished

I began this exchange with a deliberately provocative challenge:

“Its become clear from a previous debate I had with Mr. Hooper that he not only sees no connection between bad deeds of individual Muslims and the Islamic religion, but he regards any suggestion of such a connection to be dishonouring to Muslims. He seems to elevate religious beliefs to a higher plane than other beliefs. ….”

He replied:

“Balderdash. I never said that there was no connection – merely that the fundamentalist literalist interpretation of many terrorists does not represent the lived faith of many peaceful Muslims. ….”

(A good word that, “Balderdash”, I must use that word more often :-).)

I proceeded to point out to him the findings of the Times newspaper which had revealed in 2007 that nearly half of the UK’s mosques were being run by the Deobandi movement, with a quote from wikipedia;

“about 600 of Britain’s nearly 1,500 mosques were under the control of “a hardline sect”, whose leading preacher loathed Western values, called on Muslims to “shed blood” for Allah and preached contempt for Jews, Christians and Hindus”

I also pointed out to him the results of a Pew Forum study:

“around 83% of Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh believe Sharia law should be the law of the land and of those around 76% of Pakistanis and 44% of Bangladeshis favour the death penalty for apostasy (many more will favour other punishments).”

I ended with this final thought:

“In any case, you simply are not in a position to make an assertion about what the ‘lived faith’ of most Muslims in the UK today is. To make such an assertion you would have to be able to get inside the heads of all the millions of individuals.

My position is that I take someone at their word. If they say they are a Muslim then I take it as read that they believe that the Koran is the word of Allah, and that Mohammed was his messenger and also the most perfect man who ever lived.

Considering that we would today liken such a career as his to that of a career criminal, then I take them at their word that they admire a career criminal as the most perfect man who ever lived. I have no doubt whatsoever that many living Muslims in the UK today (I simply cannot know HOW many) would feel entirely justified in killing me for making this statement, and I have little doubt that the number is large and significant.

I will not therefore feel completely safe until every Muslim (with the possible exception of the Ahmadis) has left the UK or denounced his religion. It is the fear that Islamic texts provoke, shared by many, that is eroding our freedoms, and you will not be successful in protecting our freedoms until you realize this. You may win the odd battle, but you will lose this ideological war.”

I will be exploring these questions in more depth in forthcoming posts.