Would a reformed Islam be a tolerable Islam? 9

An Imam who wants to reform Islam speaks to Tommy Robinson:

He is self-contradictory on the main issue, saying both that Islam will “never” be reformed, and that preparation should be made now for it’s reformation some centuries hence.

But he says quite a lot that explains why Tommy Robinson and he can discuss Islam amicably with each other. This Shi’a Imam wants the sharia courts of Britain to be abolished. He wants the Saudis and other Arab leaders to stop pouring money into institutions for indoctrination, such as university colleges and professorial chairs. He wants the madrassas to be done away with. He opposes the failed policies of Saddiq Khan, the Muslim mayor of London, pointing out that London has lost respect among many Arab Muslims for electing the Pakistani. He puts heavy blame on the Left, calling Leftists “the real bigots”. He declares that to be against ISIS is a humanitarian position, not a political one.

Our British associate Chauncey Tinker, editor of The Participator, writes an interesting critique of the interview at Altnewsmedia. We quote it in part: :

About half way through the interview the imam reveals his views on the Koran and the Hadith (he doesn’t mention the Sira but I think we can assume his remarks about the Hadith can probably be taken to include the Sira as well). He says that in order to reform Islam, violent passages should be removed from the Hadith, but not the Koran – the Koran cannot be altered in the imam’s view. From what he says here I infer that he is what is called a Koranist (or Quranist), or at least he is something very similar – he speaks of throwing the Hadiths out of the window. A Koranist is a Muslim who rejects the Hadith and Sira and believes only what is written in the Koran.

Incidentally at one point Tommy and the imam discuss the question of Mohammed’s marriage to Aisha when she was only 6. The imam gives quite an astonishing explanation for this which I have never heard before, Tommy was equally surprised …

Tawhidi maintains that Aisha was actually 21 when Muhammad married her, but it was so important to Islam that Muhammad’s wife be a virgin that they reduced her to infancy to ensure that she could not be suspected of being unchaste. Islam holds virginity to be a much higher virtue, apparently, than refraining from pedophilia. What the Imam seems to have forgotten, is that Muhammad’s first wife (according to all the accepted records of his life such as they are) was a widow!

Unfortunately there is a fundamental problem with the Koranist viewpoint in general, which has been identified by Islamic scholars. According to verse 33:21 of the Koran, Mohammed’s life is a most beautiful example for Muslims to follow, but the Koran contains only a tiny number of fleeting mentions of Mohammed, there is simply not enough information in the Koran for Muslims to learn very much at all about Mohammed’s life. It is only by studying the Hadith and Sira that Muslims can learn much about Mohammed’s life, and thus learn properly about this “beautiful example” that they are supposed to follow. Perhaps it is not surprising then that the Koranist movement is relatively only a tiny movement, because their beliefs simply don’t make sense. As he states in the interview, there are probably only a few million Koranists worldwide. The exact numbers are hard to know as the Koranists are regarded as apostates by many mainstream Muslims and therefore tend not to be open about their beliefs. …

The imam speaks of the existence of many different interpretations of the Koran in the interview …

There are, he says, “hundreds of thousands of interpretations” …

… and asks why he should not be able to reform the religion by making his own interpretation. He suggests that the violent passages (for example verse 8:12 that speaks of striking terror into the hearts of the disbelievers) can be interpreted as only applying in the time and place of Mohammed’s battles. Of course if we only refer to the Koran there is somewhat less certainty about everything, because the Koran is much less explicit than the Hadiths. If we look again at verse 33:21 of the Koran though, this  context interpretation is hard to take seriously – Mohammed waged wars against the disbelievers to propagate his religion, so surely the Koran at the very least condones this kind of behavior. In fact, violent acts of war are one of the few things about Mohammed’s life that actually are mentioned in the Koran. What’s more, verse 33:21 that states that Mohammed’s life is a “beautiful example” comes right in the midst of other verses describing a very violent period, including the reference at verse 33:26 to what is either the Banu Qurayza massacre or a very similar event:

And He brought down those who supported them among the People of the Scripture from their fortresses and cast terror into their hearts [so that] a party you killed, and you took captive a party.

Finally on this question of context, there is nothing in the passages that explicitly states that the violence is only justified in the particular context. The references are for example to “the disbelievers” rather than to “the disbelievers in this particular settlement at this particular time”. For example Koran 8:55 says that:

The disbelievers are the vilest of animals … 

Even if we were to accept this context-driven interpretation of the Koran alone though … there is still a huge and inescapable problem with all attempts at a peaceful reformation of Islam. Let us imagine for a moment that at some point far into the future the majority of Muslims worldwide eventually accepted the imam’s interpretation of the Koran, and rejected the Hadith. As long as there are significant numbers of people in the world who believe that the Koran is the unquestionable word of Allah and that Mohammed was his last prophet, the door will be left ajar for any other interpretations of the Koran to return to prominence – including of course the violent interpretations. This is the reason I say that a peaceful reformation of Islam is not even a desirable goal,  the religion must be rejected altogether.

We strongly agree!

There is simply nothing worth reforming or preserving about this religion, it is a belief system that must be defeated so that freedom of speech can flourish and human thought can progress unhampered by threats of violence.  As the imam rightly points out, the texts cannot be physically destroyed, but there are many means available that should be used to persuade Muslims to reject their religion including reason and debate, economic pressure and social ostracism.

At one point the imam says to Tommy that we will never be able to stop the growth of Islam in the UK.  He cites the demographic trend, which is indeed suggestive of the continuing growth of the Islamic population if all else stays the same.  However, Tommy responds with some perfectly plausible suggestions about government policy changes that would in fact help to slow (and possibly even halt) the growth of Islam in the UK.

In particular he points out that if the British tax-payer were no longer to provide Muslim immigrant families (sometimes consisting of multiple wives and their children) with social security, free schooling, free health care, housing and legal defense, they would be less eager to come to Britain, or to stay in it.

… Beliefs can change, they are not a fixed aspect of a human being.

We are also in a new age of mass communication now, a point that the imam may not have properly considered. Never before has this religion (or any other) been subjected to such an enormous amount of scrutiny all around the world. The internet is enabling a revolution in human thought, and I truly believe we are only just seeing the beginnings of this revolution today. We simply don’t know the full impact that this degree of almost instantaneous around the world communication, exchange and clashing of ideas will have in the longer term.

While it is indeed refreshing to come across an imam who has the courage to so frankly discuss all these issues with an unrestrained critic of Islam such as Tommy Robinson (others could take note), I feel it necessary to point out all these problems with his belief system nonetheless. What we certainly don’t want to do is start moderating our criticisms of Islam for fear of upsetting this and other (probably well-meaning) reform attempts. Let us boldly speak the truth as we see it, and may the best argument win – if the imam’s interpretation cannot stand up to rational scrutiny then it is unlikely to catch on in any case.

… [M]y highest regard will continue to be reserved for those Muslims who, as it were, “go the whole hog” and throw not just the Hadith and Sira but also the Koran out of the window as well, and become EX Muslims.

A preference we echo.

Oh for a god-free world!

Posted under Islam, jihad, Muslims, Religion general, Videos by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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To do with Islam 4

Pat Condell on how Islam “has nothing to do with Islam”:

And this is from an article  in the The Participator by Chauncey Tinker, titled Terror Attack in the Heart of London:

Following this week’s attack in Westminster, the subject of extremism is back once again on the front pages.

The purpose of the UK’s “Prevent” strategy is not to deal directly with these kinds of terrorist attacks. “Prevent” is only one “work stream” of four in the UK’s larger counter-terrorism strategy called “CONTEST“. “Prevent” is supposed to stop people from becoming “radicalized” in the first place, by challenging those promoting “extremist” ideologies, and intervening early to influence those at risk of becoming “radicalized” away from “extremist” ideas.

IS THE PREVENT STRATEGY HAVING ANY EFFECT AT ALL?

The Independent reported in November last year on “an extremist group with links to 140 Isis fighters active in UK”. Here the Independent show pictures of the group openly selling Korans in Oxford St., London. Quote from the article:

Members of an extremist group banned in Germany for inspiring more than 140 Isis fighters with its “violent” ideology are active in the UK and seeking to recruit followers in Britain’s largest cities, The Independent can reveal.

It seems quite extraordinary does it not that over a decade after the “Prevent” strategy was first introduced, things like this are still going on openly in a busy street in the heart of the capital. However, this is just the tip of a very large iceberg of course.

In an effort to reassure the Muslim population that the “Prevent” strategy was not exclusively targetting members of their faith, the authorities recently publicized their work to “de-radicalize” a 14-year old boy in Yorkshire:

He was saying that Muslim women shouldn’t be allowed to wear the niqab and he had his head filled with nonsense that Muslims were trying to take over the country.

Nonsense perhaps that has also been expressed by Muslims as well, for example a Muslim caller on a BBC Asian Network program recently said:

Sooner or later Islam is going to be taking over anyway.

I would also like to cast readers’ minds back to a speech given by the UK’s first Muslim government minister, Shahid Malik, where he expresses the view to a large Muslim audience that:

At this rate the whole parliament will be Muslim.

He then adds (with a big smirk):

… but just to say, in case there are journalists here today, that is not my objective.

Has Mr. Malik been de-radicalized by the “Prevent” strategy yet, I wonder? During his time in government he held a number of posts including Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice. Surely the extremist view of a prominent politician (indistinguishable from that schoolboy’s view) is far more in danger of radicalizing impressionable youngsters than the rants of a lone schoolboy in a school playground?

During Mr. Malik’s time as “Cohesion Minister”, he was accused of “going soft on Muslim youths in the war against extremism”. According to an article in the Daily Express, Mr. Malik may in fact have been personally responsible for the original change in direction of the policy that led it to target this young schoolboy in Yorkshire. Strange then, that his own views are so very similar. They both seem to believe that Muslims are taking over the country.

Cohesion Minister Shahid Malik said the £45 million-a-year “Prevent” strategy would also work in deprived white areas rather than concentrating on Muslim youths.

Its also odd that this young boy was targeted by the Prevent strategy when many others including prominent politicians have expressed similar views about the more extreme forms of Islamic dress, for example from the Daily Telegraph:

MP calls for burkas to be banned in Britain

I wonder if Mr. Hollobone (Conservative MP for Kettering) is currently being “de-radicalized” by the “Prevent” strategy as well?

I would describe what is going on here as state bullying of a minor, nothing more dignified than that. The authorities imagine that by bullying the odd hapless schoolchild here and there they can hoodwink the UK public into thinking that they are getting tough on real extremism. By real extremism I mean direct and credible incitement to violence, not merely suggesting that the niqab should be banned, or simply projecting current population trends into the not so distant future. …

The hypocrisy of the UK’s current “leadership” is truly breathtaking to behold.

As is the same hypocrisy of the leaders of almost every country in the West  – President Trump being the most important of the rare exceptions.

He insists that the acts of terrorism carried out by Muslims are “Islamic” – and saboteurs among his White House staff try to remove the word.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

In one instance, Trump administration officials found evidence that the administration’s executive order banning travel from certain Muslim-majority nations had been selectively altered to bring it more in line with Obama-era talking points.

Several hours before the orders were set to be signed by Trump, officials noticed that language concerning “radical Islamic terrorism” had been stripped from the order and replaced with Obama-era language about countering “violent extremism”.

Because although the terrorist acts are carried out by Muslims in the name of their religion, to fulfill the Islamic religious duty of jihad, they still have

NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM

Posted under Britain, Islam, jihad, Muslims, United Kingdom, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

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Political parties: disintegration and realignment 22

Political parties in the Western world are undergoing dramatic and permanent change.

In America, Donald Trump has changed the Republican Party. It will not go back to being what it was before he became its most popular candidate for the presidency.

The Democratic Party was always a racist cabal, and now it’s a criminal racket under the dictatorship of the Clintons. They have been “nudged” towards the wilder shores of Leftism by the surprising popularity of the  “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders, who stood against Hillary Clinton for the presidential candidacy – but was not allowed to win, of course.

The Libertarian Party’s support is growing. There is even talk of it replacing the Republican Party. In any case, the Libertarians want the two-party system to fade away and new parties – chiefly their own – to enter the competition for power with a fair chance of winning.

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for the presidential elections, says: “I think 30 million people here are up for grabs that are probably Libertarian; it’s that they just don’t know it.”

In Europe, new parties are emerging and old ones re-emerging in new forms and with new policies, in response to the governing elites’ disastrous immigration policies, by which millions of Muslims have poured into the continent from the Third World, bringing their customs of violence and misogyny with them.

In Britain, the established political parties are showing signs of disintegration and possible re-alignment.

Our British contributing associate, Chauncey Tinker*, writes:

Jeremy Corbyn, the present unpopular leader of the Labour Party, will cling on to power until he feels a suitable loony leftie has appeared who can replace him. Corbyn is not having a great time being the leader but he cares about the loony left’s future in politics and he is not going to hand power back to the centrist Blairite arm of the party in a hurry. He repeatedly says he has the mandate of the “party membership”, and he actually really seems to feel duty bound not to disappoint them. I do think winning general elections is not the biggest priority in his mind, its much more about representing the real loony left. 

The former leader, Ed Miliband, made a disastrous decision to open the membership to anyone with £3 to spare, so changing the party membership, allowing the proper lefties to take over (and there are suggestions that some mischievous Tories also pitched in) and I don’t think they can easily undo this, without splitting the party in two. They are still joining at an astonishing rate apparently, even though the membership fee has been increased to £25 to try and stop this. But it looks as if it will ensure a majority vote for Corbyn.  

Could the party split in two? There has been quite a lot of speculation about it. The Blairite / loony left ideological split has been going on since Tony Blair arrived on the scene.  However I can’t help feeling that the Blairites have just lost faith in their own cause. Corbyn’s chief rival for the leadership, Owen Smith, seems in many respects to be not really that far away from Corbyn; but – so far at least –  without the tendency to seem like a supporter of Islam. And I have yet to hear him suggest that the government should print money and give wads of it to poor people. As such he maybe doesn’t deserve to be thought of as a loony leftie, just a normal leftie. There’s a short clip of him talking in the Telegraph (see here). He would certainly win the votes of the “always voted Labour, always will” types, and might even stand a chance in a general election – although apparently he has hinted in favour of a second referendum on Brexit, which might well be a vote loser considering at least 52% voted to leave the European Union.   

If they did split Labour it would be a huge breath of fresh air for UK politics, and give the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) a chance to get a foot in the door with more MPs. I think UKIP’s chances right now would be good if it were not for the fact they are also in disarray. Nigel Farage has resigned the leadership, and I don’t find the frontrunner Steven Woolfe impressive. But maybe he will improve.  

Overall its just deeply uninspiring on all fronts, and the new Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May,  looks almost unshakeable with this rabble of an opposition.

It seems possible that she could even reunite the Conservative Party after the deep divisions within it over Brexit. But for how long?

* Chauncey Tinker was a computer programmer for many years.  He writes: “I had always had a keen interest in current affairs but around 2012 my interest turned to real alarm.  I began to read about the Islamic religion and became increasingly troubled by what I learned, especially in view of the ever increasing presence of Islam in the West.  By 2013 I was beginning to realize just how much the mainstream media is dominated by a certain warped and narrow way of thinking (far away from my own fairly libertarian views), how freedom of speech was being eroded and stifled by “political correctness”.  More alarmingly still I also began to notice how governments were beginning to pass laws that could actually criminalize views that dissented from theirs. Determined to challenge this trend, I left my computing career and began to study current affairs full time. I began my blog late in 2015.”

To do and not do 1

The established elites who govern the western world do not really like democracy. They’ll let us vote, but if we don’t vote for what they want, they’ll look for a way to nullify our choice.

British Home Secretary Theresa May voted in a recent referendum for Britain to remain in the corrupt bureaucratic dictatorship of the European Union (EU). A majority voted for the country to leave it.

Yet Theresa May is one of the most likely candidates to replace David Cameron, who is resigning as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister because he had voted to remain; and then it would be she who’d be tasked with carrying out the withdrawal of Britain from the EU.

We quote from an article on the website of our British blog-roll associate, Chauncey Tinker.

The effect of the Brexit result for the EU referendum has had a seismic impact on UK politics. Both the two main UK political parties, Conservatives and Labour are in disarray.

The prime minister has announced his resignation triggering a leadership contest for the Conservatives. Boris Johnson, long touted as Cameron’s probable successor, has had to drop out of the race soon after it began because it became clear he did not have enough support.  George Osborne, also long rumoured as another possible successor, vanished from public view altogether for quite a while despite the fact that he is still the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He might have had to be registered as a missing person if he had stayed out of sight for much longer than he did. He had backed the Remain campaign.

Worst of all, Theresa May the home secretary, has thrown her hat into the ring and has so far garnered by far the most endorsements from Conservative MPs. This is something of a worst case scenario as far as I am concerned. She announced for Remain, in a totally cynical and calculated career move. She gambled and lost. The vote went for Leave, it is ridiculous that she is even standing in the leadership contest.

She would very likely do her utmost to delay setting the process of withdrawal in motion as long possible.

As part of her leadership bid announcement she has stated her plan to delay the Brexit process AT LEAST until the end of the year, i.e. for 6 months, and hey, who knows maybe even longer. [She said: -]

And there should be no decision to invoke Article 50 until the British negotiating strategy is agreed and clear, which means Article 50 should not be invoked before the end of this year.

You never know, it could even take a year or two…

To a degree extraordinary even among politicians, she has the knack of serving both of two opposed causes simultaneously

One of the issues that mattered most to the voters who want British independence from Europe, is that of immigration; in particular – though it is not often or loudly said – Muslim immigration.

In 2015 [Theresa May] made a tough-sounding speech saying that high immigration was bad for social cohesion. She made this speech at a time when immigration was running at the highest rates of all time, and – she was the home secretary and had been in that post for nearly 5 years This also despite the fact that the Conservative party she was a part of had been elected on the promise that they would reduce net immigration to the tens of thousands (“no ifs, no buts” were Cameron’s words). The home secretary is responsible for immigration, just as a window cleaner is responsible for cleaning windows. You would not expect a window cleaner to make a speech about how dirty the windows are, after he had failed to clean the windows.

Many foolish people were eagerly expecting this speech was going to be the start of her bid for leadership of the Conservatives. However, their expectation was also that she would lead the LEAVE campaign because surely, surely, she would not have a hope of reducing net immigration while we remained a part of a union that regards free movement of people as one of its most important principles?? In the event, she decided her best bet was to come out for REMAIN, and sit on the sidelines! A wait and see approach that was clearly all about maximizing her chances of gaining the leadership following what she expected would happen, a vote for REMAIN. By announcing for REMAIN but also staying out of the campaign she was hedging her bets and also crucially, avoiding the alienation of the Tory MPs who were campaigning for LEAVE. No principles involved. If you are doubting this, just ask yourself, why did she not CAMPAIGN FERVENTLY for Remain if she believed it was the best course for the UK to stay in the EU?

Her talent for seeming to uphold a principle while at the same time advocating for its opposite is manifest in what she says about free speech:

An example of great oratory or an example of Orwellian doublespeak?:

We’re not talking about curbing free speech. We recognize that free speech is one of our values. But we have to look at the impact some people have in terms of the poisonous ideology they plant in people’s minds that will lead them to challenge, lead them to undermine the values we share as a country.

I’ll translate – what she was saying here is that she is planning to curb free speech. Apparently one of “our” values is tolerance of those who have no tolerance of our way of life. In her view, If we have a problem with these intolerant beliefs of other people, then we should shut up about it, because it might make those intolerant people angry.

Just as she defends free speech by arguing against it, and tolerance by submitting to intolerance, she defends democracy by silencing the people:

Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders (will soon be before parliament). Around the time she first proposed these orders, she was calling for it to be made illegal to ‘undermine democracy’, but these orders would themselves undermine democracy because they would give the government of the day the power to silence their critics, and interfere with freedom of speech in any way they saw fit. Democracy has no meaning without freedom of speech. A home secretary who creates legislation that (if applied logically and consistently at least) would criminalize herself and her colleagues in the government is a type of idiot that should not be in government in the first place, let alone be the Prime Minister (why am I even needing to point this out to people?).

Snooper’s Charter – she has pushed for internet history of all UK citizens to be stored for a year as part of this bill … The objective of this bill is not to catch Islamic terrorists, contrary to the prevalent misconception. The bill is designed to enable the government to gain more power over the oiks, the ordinary people, you and me. The records will be used in conjunction with the Extremist Banning and Disruption Orders to find and silence the government’s critics. Most Islamic extremists tend to hide in plain sight and are quite easy to spot, for example the killers of Lee Rigby were known associates of Anjem Choudary, one of them even appeared in a video available on Youtube with that notorious Islamic preacher. There is no need whatever to gather data on every single person in the country in order to find these people. Targeted investigations are what is needed.

The intolerance to which she has ambivalently submitted is of course Islamic intolerance. Only she will not call it Islamic:

She has routinely trotted out the “Nothing to do with Islam” line following terrorist attacks perpetrated by Muslims, even when they were justifying their acts with direct recitations from the Koran.

She has claimed that Sharia Courts benefit Britain.

Yet she is against the unequal treatment of women which Sharia law demands.

For more on this, we turn to a report in the Telegraph:

Sharia teaching is being “misused” and “exploited” to discriminate against Muslim women, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has claimed, as she unveiled plans for an independent inquiry into the issue.

But she insisted that many British people “benefit a great deal” from the guidance offered by Sharia teaching and other religious codes.

Prof Mona Siddiqui, the expert in Islamic theology and regular on BBC Radio 4’s Thought For The Day slot, is to chair a review lasting up to 18 months to investigate whether British law is being broken in the name of Sharia ideas. …

Mrs May emphasised that it would look at how Sharia ideas were being “misused or exploited” rather than a broader examination of whether the teaching itself discriminates against women.

Mrs May added:

Many British people of different faiths follow religious codes and practices, and benefit a great deal from the guidance they offer. A number of women have reportedly been victims of what appear to be discriminatory decisions taken by Sharia councils, and that is a significant concern. There is only one rule of law in our country, which provides rights and security for every citizen.

There are some 85 Sharia courts operating in Britain.

Here in summary are some of the laws it is their business to enforce:

A man is entitled to up to four wives, but a woman may only have one husband.

The husband (or his family) pays a “bride price” or “dower” (mahr, which is money or property paid to the bride). This “mahr” is in exchange for sexual submission (tamkin). Sexual submission is traditionally regarded as unconditional consent for the remainder of the marriage. [In other words, he buys her.]

A man can divorce his wife by making a declaration (talaq) in front of an Islamic judge irrespective of the woman’s consent. Even her presence is not required. For a woman to divorce a man (khula), his consent is required.

“Temporary marriage” (even for less than a half an hour) is allowed by some scholars, others regard it as a form of prostitution. A report by the Gatestone Institute charts its development in Britain.

Wife beating is permitted [in fact, prescribed –Koran 4:34].

There is no minimum age for marriage.

In addition:

A divorced Muslim woman loses her children.

A woman inherits only half as much as a male heir.

A woman’s testimony is court is treated as half the value of a man’s testimony.

A woman must be “cut” [genitally mutilated].

Women are segregated in mosques and other assemblies.

Women must cover themselves in public.

These are not “interpretations” of Sharia. They are explicitly part and parcel of Sharia law. And they are all utterly incompatible with British common and statute law. 

No one in any British government apparently thought to read Sharia law before permitting the establishment of institutions to enforce it. (The former Archbishop of Canterbury, the top primate of the established Anglican church, was particularly zealous in campaigning for Sharia courts to operate in Britain.)

How does Theresa May, whether in her present capacity as Home Secretary, or as a possible future Prime Minister, propose to preserve Sharia courts, whose business it is to discriminate between men and women, and at the same time make sure that only British law, which insists on treating all sane adult persons equally, rules in Britain?

How will she, aided by the review being conducted under a Muslim chairwoman, “interpret” Sharia to make women equal under it as they are under British law?

Well, if anyone can manage it, Theresa May is the one. Self-contradiction is her speciality.