UN, Saudis Conspire to Stifle Free Speech by David J. Rusin Harun Yahya: Win over Darwinism by P.K. Abdul Ghafour By pretending to highlight unfounded rumours, Seymour Hersh ends up taking sides Does anybody know how to deal with political Islam? By Tariq Ali Terror-mastermind Rashid Rauf was a "very pious Muslim" Kuala Lumpur: Islamic councils say courts have no right to decide on ‘Allah’ Abraham: The focus of Haj Iraq's Kurdish areas prepare to ban female circumcision Think tank: Betrayal of Muslim reformers Compil
UN, Saudis Conspire to Stifle Free Speech by David J. Rusin
Harun Yahya: Win over Darwinism by P.K. Abdul Ghafour
By pretending to highlight unfounded rumours, Seymour Hersh ends up taking sides
Does anybody know how to deal with political Islam? By Tariq Ali
Terror-mastermind Rashid Rauf was a "very pious Muslim"
Kuala Lumpur: Islamic councils say courts have no right to decide on ‘Allah’
Abraham: The focus of Haj
Iraq's Kurdish areas prepare to ban female circumcision
Think tank: Betrayal of Muslim reformers
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
But it’s just as well if the mullah refuses;
Jimmy Carter was instrumental in putting Robert Mugabe in power, and now he and Kofi Annan have been barred from entering
Karzai hoped the offer would speed up plans for a reconciliation process in the landlocked Asian nation and had promised the Taliban leader safe passage if he decided to return to
Terrorism experts believe Mullah Omar is hiding in the
The Idi Amin Memorial Complex named after its late and most famous occupant, recently became available, and may be just the thing to convince Mullah Omar to come to sunny
Someone should send Mullah Omar the details:
For immediate occupancy: Idi Amin Memorial Complex.
Three buildings, comprising 58 rms/w/vu of decapitation sites in the city square, 64 baths, 3 half-baths all with gold fixtures. Five restaurants, each attached to a separate designer kitchen with granite countertops, professional Mohn stove and restaurant-quality refrigerators. Kidney-shaped swimming-pool. Large multi-ethnic harem provided, and constantly re-stocked at no additional charge, along with an experienced staff of a dozen black eunuchs whose tongues have been thoughtfully removed. Completely furnished in the pharaonic style, this propert is one of the most desirable in all of
But hurry. This one’s bound to go fast.
UN, Saudis Conspire to Stifle Free Speech
By David J. Rusin | 22 Nov 2008
As if the endless tales of corruption, ineptitude, and financial waste were not enough to sully one's view of the United Nations, here is another reason to look askance at
United Nations General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann said on Tuesday [November 11] that the world body should ban defamation of all religions and disagreed that such a move would impinge upon freedom of speech.
"Yes, I believe that defamation of religion should be banned," he said in response to a question at a press conference to highlight the interfaith conference at the UN headquarters. No one should try to defame Islam or any other religion, he said, adding: "We should respect all religions."
President d'Escoto, a former Sandinista foreign minister and recipient of the International Lenin Peace Prize, was speaking prior to the UN's Culture of Peace Conference, held on November 12 and 13 at the behest of
The meeting intended to build on a Saudi-led forum in
Consider one key draft resolution at the event. Introduced jointly by the
But the document then goes on to emphasize the "special duties and responsibilities necessary for the respect of the rights or reputations of others, protection of national security or of public order, or of public health and morals."
Translation: Don't even think of publishing those Danish cartoons or anything even close to them. And forget about questioning authorities in places like, say,
Of course, this is just the latest attempt to silence critics of radical Islam. Proposed blasphemy laws will fail to win much support from Americans or Europeans, but they underscore the agenda that Islamists are already enacting through politically correct appeals and soft intimidation. Culture of peace? This is the culture of censorship and the West should have none of it.
Source: http://www.islamist-watch.org/ 11:16 AM 11/23/2008
Harun Yahya: Win over Darwinism
P.K. Abdul Ghafour
Harun Yahya is the pen name of Adnan Oktar, a prominent Turkish intellectual and writer based in
Speaking to Arab News in
Yahya has so far published over 300 books of which 60 have been translated into different languages including Arabic, English, French, Russian and Spanish. “I have written and published over 45,000 pages. About 80 million copies of my books have been downloaded from our websites in 2008. These are astonishing numbers which show that people are interested in my work and this makes me extremely happy,” he said.
Yahya’s books and documentaries, based on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, have been instrumental in deepening the faith of Muslims in God and making young Muslim men and women proud of their religion. Many television stations around the world telecast his documentaries that reaffirm the existence and power of God. His analytical writings on Darwinism, atheist Zionism, Marxism and Freemasonry have helped in exposing the hollowness of these ideologies.
The Turkish scholar applauded Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for his efforts to promote inter-faith dialogue at the international level. “I have been observing King Abdullah’s activities very closely. He’s a very sincere person and a true believer. I respect his decisions and ideas because I know that he is working to promote world peace.”
During his detailed interview with Arab News, Yahya also spoke about his ideas to end the protracted Arab-Israeli conflict. “The solution to this conflict needs to be as simple as possible in order to enable people in the region to live in unity and friendship,” he said.
He praised the Arab peace initiative, originally proposed by King Abdullah of
“The real problem in
The Turkish Islamic Union is one of Yahya’s fond dreams. He says: “Muslims have a Qur’anic obligation to act in unison as brothers. The Turkish Islamic Union is essential to achieve that goal. The Muslim and Turkic states must come together under the umbrella of this union in which every state will deal with its internal affairs independently and work together to realize their common objectives.”
He said the Turkish Islamic Union has the potential to open up to all countries of the world. “It will have no enemies because it will have the ability to transform enemies into friends,” he said. About 95 percent of people in the Islamic and Turkic states are looking forward to such a union. “The only thing we need to do is to encourage our heads of state and politicians to form it. People are already talking about a customs union, a common market and a single currency. It shows people in their minds have already accepted such a union.” He is optimistic that the Turkish Islamic Union could become a reality within the next 10 years.
Most Turkish people are religious and their women wear headscarves, he said. “It is true that wearing headscarves is not allowed in public institutions such as schools and universities but this is not the decision of the Turkish people. It is the decision of the
A fierce opponent of Darwinism, Yahya takes the credit for defeating the theory of evolution. “First, we offered Darwinists around the world 100 million fossils, which prove that this world came into being as a result of God’s creationism and not because of evolution. Second,
Polls conducted by newspapers in Germany, France, Switzerland and Denmark showed that 85-90 percent of Europeans no longer believed in the theory of evolution.
According to Yahya, the 9/11 attacks in the US, the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the defeat of the Iraqi military and the global financial crisis are signs of the second coming of Jesus (peace be upon him). “Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has already given these signs. The continuing wars, bloodshed, hopelessness, etc. show that the time for the arrival of Messiah is approaching,” he said. “The arrival of Messiah will bring about a golden age where people are happy and with a lot of wealth.”
Asked about the allegation Yahya does not believe that Prophet Muhammad was the last prophet, he said: “This allegation could have been spread by the misunderstanding of a certain group of people who are not happy with the second coming of Jesus (pbuh) and the things that I have explained about it. Our Prophet (May God bless him and grant him peace) is the last prophet and the last messenger with a book. No other prophet or messenger with a book will ever come again. I have clearly mentioned that when Jesus (pbuh) comes, he would not bring a new Shariah or a new message or a new sacred book. He will come as a Muslim and follow the Shariah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).”
Yahya refuted allegations that the Qur’an promotes terrorism. “Islam is a religion of peace and it promotes virtue and tolerance. It stresses brotherhood. The Qur’an says very clearly that if you kill one innocent person, it amounts to killing the whole mankind.
Referring to the accusations against Abul A’ala Moudoodi and Syed Qutb that their books promoted terrorism, he said: “I have read their books carefully and have not seen anything encouraging terrorism and violence. I believe that they were very sincere Muslims and true believers. Those who criticize them or find faults with them should go through their books again and read them carefully.”
He highlighted the efforts of his organization, Global Publishing, to spread the message of the Qur’an and Sunnah in English through his websites harunyahya.com and harunyahya.net. “We have plans to publish a translation of the Qur’an in English and produce Islamic movies but they are projects that need a lot of time and funds. If God bestows upon us such material means, we’ll try to implement them.”
Yahya recalled French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s encouraging comments after reading his book, Atlas of Creation. “Sarkozy said that in everyone’s heart the love of God resides. It is God who constantly sends to people the messages of humility and love, peace and brotherhood, and tolerance and respect. We should conform to those messages. God does not enslave man but frees him.” Atlas of Creation, he said, had also influenced former French President Jacques Chirac and former British Premier Tony Blair.
Yahya urged Muslims not to believe in the false accusations made against him by those who oppose his views and ideas. “Atheist Zionists, Masons and Darwinists spread these allegations because they want to silence me. If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to ask me directly or email to my website. We will be glad to answer them. God has urged believers to investigate accusations before believing them,” he said. Source: http://www.arabnews.com/?page=9§ion=0&article=116604&d=23&m=11&y=2008
By pretending to highlight unfounded rumours,
Syrian propaganda is behind stories of Lebanese terror in
Seymour Hersh, investigative reporter with The New Yorker, concluded a two-week trip to
Hersh's expected report fits perfectly, with or without his knowledge, into a concerted Syrian propaganda campaign to prove that Saudi-funded terrorism is taking hold of northern
On 26 September, Al-Assad deployed massive troop numbers on the Syrian side of
Pro-Syrian Lebanese media started reporting on Hizbullah and the Lebanese Army Intelligence unveiling a Lebanese spy ring that worked for
Still anxious to prove how disturbing "Lebanese terror" had become for
On that same day,
On 10 November, pro-Syria Lebanese lawmaker Michel Aoun entered the fray by commenting on Syrian accusations of Al-Hariri funding Fatah Al-Islam, highlighting an American report by none other than Hersh, saying that Hersh's story was proof enough that Al-Hariri stood behind this Sunni radical terror. So what did Hersh exactly write that is being repeatedly quoted by
On 5 March 2007, The New Yorker ran a story entitled "The redirection" in which Hersh tried to prove that the pro-Washington Lebanese government, an ally of Al-Hariri and
Crooke told Hersh that one "Sunni extremist group, Fatah Al-Islam, had splintered from its pro-Syrian parent group, Fatah Al-Intifada, in the Nahr Al-Bared refugee camp, in northern
Thus a rumour was born based on Crooke, who was "told" the government offered Fatah Al-Islam arms and money "presumably to take on Hizbullah".
Despite this flaw in Hersh's story, some information could not be disputed: Fatah Al-Islam was a splinter group of Fatah Al-Intifada, one of half a dozen Palestinian factions loyal to
The story of Fatah Al-Islam shows undisputed Syrian involvement in its creation. Its leader Al-Absi was arrested but released from prison in
Also in a story by sources more credible than The New Yorker and Hersh, The Associated Press (AP) reported 8 June 2007, 20 days into Fatah Al-Islam's battle with the Lebanese army, that Al-Absi "was received with open arms by Fatah Uprising and its deputy leader, Abu Khaled Al-Amleh, who was based in
Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, an official of Fatah Uprising, told AP that his group trained Al-Absi's men in Yanta and Halwa in eastern
In a nutshell Syria released Al-Absi from prison, sent him and his men for training in the camps of its staunchest Palestinian allies in Lebanon, dismissed accusations of strange behaviour against him, then invited Hersh to write in The New Yorker that a certain Crooke told him that he was "told" that the Lebanese government, Al-Hariri and the Saudis were behind the group and offered it money and weapons.
But in a region as sensitive as the
The writer is a journalist based in
Does anybody know how to deal with political Islam?
PAULA NEWBERG, November 22, 2008
BEYOND TERROR AND MARTYDOM
The Future of the
By Gilles Kepel, Harvard University Press, 328 pages, $33
By Tariq Ali
Scribner, 288 pages, $29.99
Bin Laden, Zawahiri, Zarqawi and Mehsud. And, of course, the Taliban and al-Qaeda. We now recite effortlessly these inventories of politics and wars, fear and survival, unknown to most of us a decade ago.
But incantation is not comprehension. The focus of our global engagements has moved from old alliances and customary enemies to a vague collection of insurgents, ideologues and borderless forces that is hard to identify and harder to understand. The first years of this violent century have underscored the fallibility of our state system, and the deep fault lines within states. Governments, armies, spies and money - diplomacy's traditional arsenal - seem weak, unfocused and distressingly unprepared to cope with the passing of everyday global politics.
Like other moments of deep political transformation - the fall of Rome and the rise of Islam in the eighth century, the sack of Eurasia by the Mongols, the rise and fall of European colonialism and the end of Pax Americana - only retrospection illuminates change. French scholar and author (Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam) Gilles Kepel, in Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East, and British-Pakistani historian, novelist, filmmaker and activist Tariq Ali, in The Duet: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power, set out to map this evolving terrain. Exploring the misconceptions that beset policy-makers and powerbrokers in Europe and the
Beyond Terror and Martyrdom is the more ambitious of these two volumes, and Kepel's efforts to decipher the meaning of political Islam - or more precisely, the political languages embedded in Islam - frame his treatment of today's militants. He crisply identifies two narratives, often erroneously conflated, that are rooted in the jihadi tactics of terror and martyrdom. The first, expostulated by Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden from their Pakistani mountain retreats, is triumph-list and grand, seeking to bring Islam to its "heralded victory." The second, a narrative of global Islamic resistance outlined in the writings of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Abu Musab al-Suri, conceived a global Islamist struggle that surfaced in the Middle East and
Kepel's detailed analysis of the conflicting tactics, strategies, justifications and goals that underscore these ideologies is among the clearest available to date. His tour of the global political landscape illuminates not only the broad contours of Islamist thinking since 2001, but also the nuanced political theologies that pit sects, tribes, jihadis and governments against one another.
The bin Laden-Zawahiri vision prompted the West's war on terror, a failed utopian crisis that, as Kepel notes, pitted a quest for universal democracy against one for a universal Islamist state. These failed "transformative fictions," as Kepel aptly calls them, have nonetheless dramatically altered the way the modern state system confronts challenges to its habitual writ. Zarqawi's and Suri's action agenda - a systematic counterpoint to the U.S.-prosecuted
Indeed, the consequences of multiple Islamism’s for Europe’s societies lead Kepel to dissect Europe's immigration policies, its varied models of social incorporation and exclusion, and the effects of distant insurgencies on its Muslim youth. It is not simply that would-be shoe-bomber Richard Reid found his religion in
This is where Kepel and Ali find common ground. Just as Kepel notes that "the war on terror embodied the same policy objectives that the
There was a time when this story was encapsulated in the fractious politics of the post-partition Indian subcontinent, but no more. Ali's reading of
With Pakistan caught between the rock of extremism and the hard place of ill-formed governance, Ali's "flight path" metaphor has become real: Its relationship with the United States is rocky, militancy has overtaken portions of the state and civil society, and successive governments cannot see their way through the thicket of opportunistic, often duplicitous alliances - domestic and foreign - to notice that its interests and those of its allies are not always the same.
The Duet has a long reach, from the beginning of the state to this year's headlines. A breezy, occasionally repetitive read, it chronicles expectations trumped by wars, pieties trumped by politics, and the pieties of politics trumped by a world that often takes account of
Kepel's response to such questions is to argue for a new multipolarism, a "framework of commitments" for peace and prosperity that overtakes routine enmities and alliances in Europe and the
Of course, this is easier said than done. The Duet reminds us that "politics in a land of perpetual dictatorships and corrupt politicians is undoubtedly depressing." Should international relations ever provide this new space,
Paula Newberg is an international consultant specializing in governance and development. Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081122.BKNEWB22/TPStory/Entertainment
Terror-mastermind Rashid Rauf was a "very pious Muslim"
From aspirations of owning a gas station to blowing up ten infidel-laden jets
Thanks to Jeffrey Imm, here's an article about Rashid Rauf (just killed, see below) from over a year ago. Like many others Misunderstanders-of-Islam, he seems to have believed that jihad (of the militant variety, mind you) is "obligatory for every Muslim." Also, like many other jihadists, he seems to have become "radicalized" in the West, citing the latter's "un-Islamic" -- synonymous with debauched and depraved -- qualities. Interestingly, however, Rauf's friend says the former was planning on becoming a simple gas-station owner, and yet, over a year later, we find him as a fugitive on-the-run living in an al-Qaeda stronghold. The obligation of jihad must have returned to haunt him -- either that or he or his friend or both were just lying about the gas station bit.
"Jihad obligatory for every Muslim: Rashid Rauf," from the Daily Times, April 17, 2007:
“Rashid wants to live in
“Rauf told me that he was arrested during a journey to
Ilahi, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal National Assembly member Maulana Abdul Aziz’s brother, was reportedly arrested on August 25, 16 days after the foiling of the
Islamic councils say courts have no right to decide on ‘Allah’
By Debra Chong
Kualalumpur, Nov 21 — The ongoing lawsuit filed by the Catholic Church in Malaysia seeking a judicial review of the government decision to ban it from using the word “Allah” is not a matter that can be decided by the courts, says lawyer Mubashir Mansor.
“We are making an application under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act for the High Court to stay the effect of the proceedings in order to state a case to be determined by the Federal Court on the effect of relevant provisions of the Federal Constitution,” he said.
“The effect is whether or not the present issue is justifiable, something that should be decided by a court of law.
“We are saying that this issue is not,” he added.
Mubashir is acting on behalf of three state Islamic councils, namely Malacca,
He told reporters at the High Court here that he would be filing his application to the Federal Court in Putrajaya in the next two weeks.
A total of eight Muslim organisations today joined the Home Minister and the federal government as respondents in the suit filed by the church on the right to use the word in its publication and practices.
The other five are the Federal Territory Religious Council, Selangor Religious Council, Kedah Religious Council, Johor Religious Council and the Malaysian Chinese-Muslim Association.
The Malaysian Gurdwaras Association, representing the Sikh community, had also sought to be included in the court case for the right to use "Allah" in their religious practices.
Justice Lau Bee Lan, of the KL High Court of Appellate and Special Powers Division, fixed Feb 27 for mention to enable the various Muslim organisations time to file their affidavits.
The Catholic Church's official publication, The Herald, had in May this year won the right to challenge the Home Minister's decision to ban it from using the word "Allah" as a synonym for God in its Malay-language section.
The counsel for the church, Porres Royan, said that the church had previously objected to the inclusion of these parties seeking to intervene in their case, but had changed its mind.
Asked to comment on Mubashir's claims, Porres replied that he did not understand what they wanted.
He affirmed that the church merely wanted the Home Minister's decision overturned.
"The Home Minister decided that we cannot use the word 'Allah'," he said.
"We are saying that decision is wrong," he concluded.
Abraham: The focus of Haj
By Ahmad Wahaj Al-Siddiqui
ABRAHAM (peace be upon him) is the main pivot around whom the religion of Islam revolves. He was put to such severe tests that no other Prophet ever faced. It was all because the coming generations of the Muslims should know that the Father of this Ummah did never hesitate to offer the sacrifice of his dearest things.
He stood firmly while calling the people to leave idol-worship and believe in Allah Alone. He smashed the idols and stood in the face of Nimrod the Barbarian who cast him in a massive blazing fire but Allah ordered the fire: “O fire! Be you coolness and safety for Abraham.”
Abraham was a great devotee of Allah who surrendered to his Sustainers Will and Plan. In return Allah too accepted his sacrifices and made his memory everlasting for the Muslim generations in the form of Haj till the Last Day.
Allah blessed him with a son at the age of 86 but he was directed to leave his breastfed son Ismael and his mother Hagar in a barren and stony desert having no animate beings in the treeless valley of Hijaz.
They were the very first inhabitants on the land which was destined to later become the cradle of Islam. Hagar’s breast dried up, her throat choked with extreme thirst, the cries of her infant baby made her to run in search of water between the two hills now known As-Safa and Al-Marwah. Every time she was desperate in her great agony to find some animate being or some trace of water but she could find nothing.
On her seventh run to Al-Marwah, she heard a sound coming from the direction of her son. She saw someone standing by the side of her son. She ran back to find an angel had struck the land with big wing making the water to spring in a fountain. She said ‘Zamzam.’ This Zamzam became the food and drink for the mother and her son for years to come.
Allah loved the mother’s running to save the life of her son and later preserved it as Sa’ee an ingredient of Haj and Umrah.
A caravan from
The submission of both the father and his son are the greatest example for surrendering to the will of Allah. Then when they had submitted themselves (to the Will of Allah) and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead for slaughtering. It is said that Abraham had covered his eyes with a cloth and he put the knife on the neck of his son and was about to cut through it, to find that Allah has replaced Ismael with a male sheep.
Allah said, “We called out to him: ‘O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream. Verily thus We do reward the good doers. Verily, that was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e. a ram).” (Qur’an, 37:102-107)
Allah loved this sacrifice so much that he made it an eternal remembrance for the Muslims who come for Haj and offer this sacrifice.
After a lapse of good time Abraham came again and told his son to lend a helping hand in building the House of Allah, i.e. the Ka’ba.
“And (remember) when Abraham and (his son) Ismael were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka’ba at Makkah) saying: Our Lord accepts this service from us.” (Qur’an, 2:127)
After building of Ka’ba Allah sent Arch Angel Gabriel who came following the prayer of Abraham, “Our Lord, make us submissive unto you and of our offspring a nation submissive unto you and show us our Manasik (rituals of Haj and Umrah).” (Qur’an, 2:128)
So Gabriel taught Abraham the Tawaf, Sa’ee, both done in seven circuits, then Gabriel took him to Mina, where Satan tried to interfere with the Haj rituals. So Gabriel gave Abraham seven pebbles to throw at Satan saying ‘Allah Akbar’. Satan tried three times and so we have three places now known as Jamarat. Gabriel showed all other rituals of Haj including going to and staying Muzdalifa and Arafat. He also showed Abraham the all-round boundaries of the Haram.
Lastly Allah ordered Abraham: And proclaim to mankind the Haj. They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Haj).
Is it not amazing that this proclamation was made 6,000 years age and now we see the millions of believers coming for Haj and Umrah from every corner of the world?
Thus we see that our obligatory Haj is the outcome of severest tests put to Abraham (peace be upon him). Our Prophet comes from his progeny and he re-instituted all the rituals of Haj as he said‚ “Take from me your rituals of Haj.” (Agreed upon)
Nov 22, 2008
"A bill making circumcision illegal will be presented in parliament over the next few days," Dr Hala Suheil told AFP, saying it would impose jail terms and fines on offenders.
UNICEF, the UN children's fund, regards "female genital mutilation" as "one of the most persistent, pervasive and silently endured human rights violations."
He was speaking on Friday at a three-day conference on violence towards women, held in Arbil, capital of the province of the same name, 350 kilometres (219 miles) north of
Circumcision involves the partial or complete removal of the female external genitals. It can cause death through haemorrhaging and later complications during childbirth.
It also carries risks of infection, urinary tract problems and mental trauma.
The German non-government group Wadi carried out research in 201 villages in the three autonomous provinces and in the predominantly Kurdish
It found that 3,502 out of 5,628 women and girls surveyed had been mutilated -- an average of more than 62 percent.
The practice, encouraged by some clerics, does not appear to exist in other parts of
"The ministry of religious affairs should tell imams to speak out against female circumcision in sermons during Friday prayers so their flocks shun the practice," Abdel Rahman said.
"The education ministry should also introduce programmes in schools to encourage girls not to submit to their parents' wishes in this regard."
While widespread in the African continent, it is not known how female circumcision was introduced into northern
"This practice began in the region so long ago, and we have no idea where it comes from. But the ancients justified it by saying it would preserve a girl's chastity," said Dr Suheil, adding that no precise statistics are available.
"Old women circumcise young girls using barber's razors and even shards of glass, often causing terrible haemorrhaging and sometimes death," the MP said.
Sheikh Sayyed Ahmad Abdel Wahab al-Panjawini, imam of Arbil's Hajj Jamal mosque, said "I It may be an old custom, but it has nothing to do with Islam.
"No religious text mentions this practice. It is a custom that some have introduced to the Muslim way of thinking."
In a recent article in the Kurdish daily newspaper Hawlati, the secretary general of the Islamic Women's
"Many of the problems experienced by women are the result of erroneous traditions, and Islam is not to blame," she said.
"Sharia (Islamic law) is a long way from such practices, and circumcision exists because some people interpret the Koran in a false manner," she said, alluding to obligatory male circumcision. Source: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jcsln6xzqEFbUUMl8Lo5D2EzUQjQ
Think tank: Betrayal of Muslim reformers
Moderate voices are denied official support
Douglas Murray, November 23, 2008
Last month Mark Thompson, the director-general of the BBC, admitted that he thought Islam should be treated more sensitively than other religions. As the London-based publisher of The Jewel of Medina (the novel about Muhammad and his youngest wife Aisha) could tell you, it can pay to be careful.
The Centre for Social Cohesion has produced a publication which details the cases of almost 30 Europeans born to Muslim parents who are risking their lives to speak out against aspects of their faith and culture. The most important rarely receive more than passing attention. But they deserve our focus. For the risks that they – and many other reformers – are taking will in the end is for us all.
The individuals profiled range from cabinet ministers to journalists, writers, academics, artists and even pop singers. Most are in trouble for having criticised elements of what they see in
Ehsan Jami, 23, the Dutch Labour party politician and founder of the Central Committee for Ex-Muslims, was repeatedly assaulted before being guarded by the Dutch police. He now requires constant protection but his own political party, instead of assisting his right to speak out about what he saw in the religion he was born into, tried to make him tone down his public statements about the treatment of women, apostates and homosexuals within Islam.
Those like Jami who have left Islam are often treated, by our governments and broadcasters as much as by the Muslim communities, as though they are out of the discussion. The British government has repeatedly elevated orthodox and highly conservative Muslim groups here but steers clear of former Muslims or still-practising Muslims who are seen to have harsh critiques of certain Islamic practices. In doing so it operates a terrible double standard. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares “freedom of speech and belief” as among “the highest aspirations of the common people”. But freedom of belief for Muslims in
Deepika Thathhaal (or Deeyah), the Norwegian-born London-based pop singer, was attacked on stage at a concert in
As Deeyah has said herself: “What’s been a hard and sad thing for me to realise is how not one single person from the religious establishment within the community has shown any support.” Earlier this year she launched a project called Sisterhood to support female Muslim rappers and singers. Daud Abdullah, deputy secretary general of the Muslim Council of
Muslim reformers, whether believers or not, are not extended the same rights that the rest of us enjoy. They find themselves stuck between reactionary, self-appointed Muslim spokesmen and a European artistic and political establishment which is either too cowed or too misguided to notice that it is applying a different standard to people born here to Muslim parents.
Government talks a lot about elevating the right voices in the Muslim community. None hit more important or more fundamental notes than the figures profiled in Victims of Intimidation. It is time that our leaders finally started encouraging the true progressives – the people who are the best hope not just for Muslims but for us all. Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5213325.ece