Muslims Need to do More…

June 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm

For a good while now, every negative news story involving either a Muslim, a group of Muslims or even a person with a vaguely ‘Muslim-looking’ face or a ‘Muslim-sounding’ name is swiftly followed by one sentence of immense stupidity:

Muslim communities need to do more to root out (insert crime here).

‘Why is this such an immensely stupid statement?’ I hear you ask.

When a white Briton commits the very same crime, and they do (quite often as it happens), do we see media outlets ask the same question of white British communities? Never. Do white British communities do enough to root out Paedophilia? It’s a ridiculous question to ask. Is it a cultural thing that means Paedophilia within white Britons is more likely than other communities? Of course it isn’t. Do white people need to apologise for every white Paedophile or rapist? Don’t be absurd.

So why do we see that minority communities in Britain face these very same questions? Muslims in particular face the pathetic accusation that we ‘Don’t do enough to root out terrorism and extremists in our midst’. If the accuser would stop for just a moment to allow the brain-mouth link to function correctly they may begin to understand why it is so ludicrous.

I’ve been to a great many mosques over the past five years. I’ve been to Pakistani mosques, Indian mosques, Somali mosques, Bengali mosques, Libyan mosques, Iraqi mosques, mixed mosques, Arab mosques, revert mosques, university mosques, multi-million pound mosques, garden shed mosques, multi-storey mosques, mosques in India, Nepal, Egypt, UAE, Palestine, Turkey and Britain. Not one of them had a dark little hideaway labelled ‘Terrorist Corner’.

What you must understand before asking whether Muslims ‘do enough’, or just outright declare that we don’t, is that terrorists or extremists in our midst don’t exactly shout their opinions from the rooftops. They probably don’t even discuss their views within the mosque itself and there’s actually a damned good reason for that too: It isn’t Islam. It isn’t welcome in our mosques, it isn’t welcome in our communities and it definitely isn’t welcome in our name. Our imams don’t preach hatred or talk of commandeering these isles in the name of Islam or of enforcing ‘Sharia Law’ on the native white population. They preach love and tolerance, equality and peace.

I often wander around inside mosques, casually eavesdropping on conversations and surprisingly enough I’ve never encountered any hushed groups of four to five angry, bearded, robed men sat around the blueprints of a major landmark discussing strategically placed plastic models of TNT. Usually they’re talking about the beauty of the Qur’an, talking about it’s pronunciation or meaning, talking about the Almighty or his Messenger. Mosques are not sinister breeding grounds for extremism and misogyny.

Consider this: how many ‘Dawn raids’ do police carry out on mosques on Counter-Terrorism grounds? None. The raids are always on houses, usually belonging to another seemingly mundane member of the local community. Usually the inhabitants eat, sleep, shower and s**t in that house. Often, they actually leave the house to buy food or talk to people about sport, news, the weather or family. Sometimes they invite people into that house, other times they’ll visit other people’s houses. They seem to be ordinary people. In fact some of them don’t even live within a ‘Muslim Neighbourhood’, some have the audacity to live next to White British people.

The problem then for the Muslim community then becomes a little more apparent don’t you think? In Islam, we believe in many miracles. Sadly mind-reading is not one of them. So tell me: What should Muslims be doing exactly? And what are you doing about Paedophiles, Rapists and Murderers?

What Are Whites Doing to Combat White Crime?

October 6, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Wow, some things never change. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was writing this. And since then not really a lot’s changed, today the BBC’s Sunday Morning Live show asked the question that seems to be in vogue at the moment: ‘Do Muslims do enough to combat extremism?‘ It’s a ludicrous and infuriating question that actually hints at the possibility that Muslims at worst agree with extremist viewpoints or at best tolerate them. I won’t go over old ground too much, but there isn’t a great deal we can do about it. These extremist types are incredibly aware of the unpopularity and sensitivity of their own viewpoints, so generally only share their thoughts with like-minded individuals.

Also I noticed via this tweet from Mohammad Ansar, a story on the Quilliam Foundation:

 

The article talks about a forthcoming report from the Quilliam Foundation (set up by two ex-extremists interestingly enough) that pretty much decries all ‘mainstream’ Muslim organisations as Extremist apologists. It seems clear that Quilliam is smearing other organisations in an attempt to retain its Government funding, but this little episode does raise a difficult question for News and Television editors: ‘Which Muslims should we invite comment from?’

Unfortunately, it seems the balance at the moment is tipped in favour of those Muslims who think Islam and Muslims should drastically change to meet the demands of the West. Muslims who think that Islam and the West don’t really need wholesale changes to co-exist are largely ignored, how many can you name? On the whole is Islam is poorly represented in the mainstream press, possibly because the opinions of ex-Muslims, ‘Secular’ Muslims or ‘Moderate’ Muslims sell more copy as they are likely to pander to white audiences. I don’t often see ‘Muslim’ Muslims on TV, you know the ordinary Muslim who is interested in clean living, clean earning, worship, family and equality for all. If you do see ‘Muslim’ Muslims on TV, I tend to find it’s either teenagers who, like any teen, are a bit under-developed with their ideas or nervous to be on TV, or it’s nice people like Myriam Francois-Cerrah who seems to get rapturous applause on their rare appearances.

Of course I think representation of Muslims and Islam on the tellybox is more than just a little unfair but that’s nothing new and is highly unlikely to change any time soon. Islamophobia does play a big part in this, but I think we as Muslims must also accept that another aspect of this is the general negativity of Western Media. Negativity sells copy, media outlets are in fierce competition in an increasingly shrinking marketplace so as unfortunate and unfair as it is, Muslims just aren’t going to get much good press (unless we run 5,000m faster than anyone else). That doesn’t mean to say that we should lie down and accept it, we just need to understand that isn’t necessarily all about hatred of Islam.

That hatred does exist though, and it doesn’t always manifest itself in an obvious or direct manner. We only have to look at how often the ‘Do Muslims do enough to…’ question pops up in comparison to the ‘Do Whites do enough to…’. I have never seen any news outlet ever question the efforts of white people, despite the fact that as of June 2013 73.8% of prisoners are white. So 73.8% of all convicted prisoners currently serving are white. That kind of statistic really does beg the question:

What are White People doing to combat this?”

The answer of course is nothing in particular, but why is this question never asked? I’m white, so according to the logic of the BBC and other mainstream outlets, should I be out on the streets campaigning against White Crime? Maybe I could have a little niche of my own and go out campaigning against White Muslim crime, maybe I should cast a judging eye over every white person I see and if they look like they might commit a crime, ask them how they are? After all, it’s my duty as a white person to help combat the ever-increasing scourge of British society: White Crime.

Or maybe it’s my duty as a white person to pressurise minority groups into action over their criminals instead? After all, I pay my taxes and as a result am an asset to society. They don’t and they aren’t. Right?

British Values, ISIS & Welfare Bills

July 20, 2015 at 11:35 pm

A busy day in the world of politics today saw David Cameron start us off with a nice big speech that was apparently ‘years in the making’. It always fascinates me when politicians talk about ‘Islamist Extremism’, mostly because they haven’t a clue what it actually is, why it exists or how to stop it. This complete lack of awareness is fuelled by something similar to what NHS employees see every 5 years or so, people at the top turning up in their hospitals telling them how things ought to be run.

Why does this happen? It’s all part of the Westminster bubble effect that the SNP have been talking about for the past decade or so. Cameron and his ilk surround themselves with people who want to ‘make it’ in the world of politics, not with people who might actually have a bit of expertise in… something. Anything. Today’s speech was very much another product of this bubble. Nobody in the Conservative Party has a clue about extremism, except that they have to be seen to be doing something after 38 British Citizens were murdered in Tunisia.

Not only do they have no clue, they don’t have any friends who have a clue either. News that Maajid Nawaz, a former extremist himself and occasional stripclub-frequenter, allegedly helped David with his speech is no surprise either. Whilst the political elites in London think he’s the best thing since Halal Chicken, the rest of the Muslim population see him for exactly what he is: a fraud. He may well be a former extremist, but he doesn’t have a clue about British Muslims, yet claims to speak on our behalf. Note that his instantly forgettable book(s) about himself and how wonderful he is for becoming an extremist and turning his back on that are available in all good pound shops. Autographed with a personal message. Probably.

Anyway, the point is that the government seem to be using him, and people similar to him, as some kind of sounding board or yardstick for everyday Muslims in the UK. Which is almost as preposterous as the EDL using Anjum Chaudhary for the same purposes. They’re a pair of idiots on the opposite end of the scale: one’s an extremist that represents nobody and the other is a self-involved former extremist that represents nobody. And this is quite concerning, because Maajid seems to think that Muslims aren’t doing enough to combat extremism and now the government think this too. It’s no longer enough to condemn ISIS, we’re told. What more we must do, we are not yet told.

But let’s get something clear. Extremists don’t walk around the streets of Britain wearing Osama t-shirts or fluttering ISIS flags around in the wind. They don’t even talk about their ideas in Mosques. So on that basis, we genuinely don’t know who they are. Interviews on the tellybox with relatives/friends/neighbours of people who have left for ISIS or blew themselves up all have a pretty common theme: nobody saw it coming. Why? Because extremists don’t broadcast their views. Why? Because they know 99.99999999% of people they know are against it. Often in these interviews you’ll hear the friend pluck something innocuous out of thin air like: “He started boycotting Coca Cola, he changed after that”. It feels like this is the basis of this new government strategy to tackle extremism. Which is partly why it feels like thought crime. If I don’t want to buy Israeli chilli peppers, it’s because I don’t want to contribute towards a nation that kills children with impunity. Not because I harbour extreme views.

The new strategy gives the impression that British Muslims who oppose ‘conventional wisdom’ or Government policy are non-violent extremists and are on the fast-track to becoming the next Jihadi John. If you’re White and reading this, you may think that’s absurd, but it’s not you living in fear of your own thoughts. You may retort that you’re instead living in fear of your life, but as Mr Cameron himself said, these extremists kill Muslims too.

Just a quick note on the welfare bill that passed in the commons tonight, Labour MPs were told to abstain. But I’d suggest that had the people they claim to represent had done so in the same proportion on election night, their defeat would have been even more resounding. The rank hypocrisy of a system that urges you to vote, yet fails to vote itself makes me feel a little bit sick. Whether you agree with cutting £12bn from the poorest households and most needy in society is irrelevant, everyone who voted should feel betrayed by Labour’s disgusting mass abstention.

 

The Banning of Halal and Kosher…

March 18, 2014 at 6:12 pm

I’m not sure if it’s just me being good at ignoring things or whether there’s been a genuine upturn in chatter on this subject, but either way I’ve seen a lot more calls to ban the practice of halal and kosher slaughter in the UK. I do have to say that I’d be all for a blanket ban on these slaughter practices if the following conditions were met:

  1. If the pro-banning campaigners demonstrated a genuine care for animal rights, which would in turn lead to;
  2. A complete ban of all animal slaughter in the UK at the same time.

So yes, if both conditions were met, of course I’d support any ban of Halal and Kosher slaughter. Of course that’s not going to happen, given that in January 2014 alone approximately 90 million live poultry were slaughtered (see here for data), that’s not even getting in to the number of pigs, cows, lamb, sheep, goats and ahem horses were slaughtered for our human consumption. I think at this point I should probably stress that I am by no means a vegetarian or vegan, but on the other hand I’m certainly not a rampant carnivore either.

This entire debate around Halal/Kosher doesn’t stem from genuine animal rights concerns at all and, whilst many will be tempted to do this, I don’t even think I could attribute it to Islamophobia either. What it boils down to is a mixture of the misplaced fear that Islam wants to conquer the United Kingdom, enforce ‘our rules’ (whatever they are) upon the native population and enslave them into ‘our way of life’ (again, not sure what that is) and protectionism from Vets and Farmers who delight in eating meat but want some form of ban to placate animal rights activists . The fact that Kosher has been brought in to this debate, and I’ve never, ever seen anyone do this until very recently, seems to be a cynical attempt to legitimise the campaign and give it the appearance of an animal welfare one.

If it were a serious campaign with deep-rooted animal welfare concerns attached to it, surely the campaign would also seek to tackle ‘non-halal/kosher’ slaughter too, given that there isn’t really a humane way to kill any animal for its meat. Besides, given that there about 3 million declared Muslims and Jews living in Britain, leaving about 57 million non-Muslims/Jews, it should become fairly clear that the overwhelming majority of meat available for consumption in the UK is not ‘sacrificed’ by religious methods at all.

Couple that with the fact that scientists just can’t agree on which method of slaughter is more or less humane than the other, you must begin to see that arguments against Halal and Kosher are paper-thin and constructed upon a destructive concoction of fear, hatred and misinformation. The standard method of slaughter is often overlooked, do you know how your meat is killed? It is done using a bolt-gun and the method is described in some detail here. To take a little passage from that:

 ”The stunner uses a pointed bolt which is propelled by pressurized air or a blank cartridge. The bolt penetrates the skull of the animal, enters the cranium, and catastrophically damages the cerebrum and part of the cerebellum. Due to concussion, destruction of vital centres of brain and an increase in intracranial pressure, the animal loses consciousness. This method is currently the most effective type of stunning, since it physically destroys brain matter (increasing the probability of a successful stun), while also leaving the brain stem intact (thus ensuring the heart continues to beat during the bleed. This however has no bearing on the efficacy or speed of the bleed, as cardiac output requires a venous return, as venous supply is severed, this does not occur. The bleed hence relies on gravity and not a heartbeat). One disadvantage of this method is that brain matter is allowed to enter the blood stream, possibly contaminating other tissue with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, colloquially known as mad cow disease).”

Forgive me, but if one is to argue that halal and kosher slaughter is inhumane, how can one simultaneously argue that bolt-guns aren’t?

I don’t know an awful lot about Shechita (Jewish method), but I do know a fair bit about Dhabiha (Islamic Method) and if the rules are followed correctly, the entire lifetime of an animal being reared for slaughter is far, far better. For instance, if one is genuinely concerned about animal welfare, why then do conventional slaughterhouses allow animals to see other animals being slaughtered? For Dhabiha to be considered Halal, the animal has to be cared for during the process, it cannot see the blade until the very last moment, must not be under the impression it’s about to be killed and must be kept calm at all times. When the cut is delivered, it is a single incision to the carotid artery, preventing blood from reaching the brain.

Perhaps why this might seem humane is the fact that you can hear and see the blood gushing out of the animal, it’s a sickening and disgusting image, whereas the conventional method used smashes through the skull of the animal and tears the brain to pieces so you can’t really see much and it doesn’t look quite so disgusting. But appearances aren’t everything, and whilst scientists are not in agreement over which is more or less humane, to call for a ban to one and not the other is the epitome of hypocrisy.

The Dark Art of Condemnation

February 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Ever since 9/11, or possibly before but I was too young to notice or care, regular followers of current affairs and news have found themselves bombarded with a common phrase every time somebody does something really bad to somebody else. Whether that somebody is a country, a group, a politician, a pop star or just an ordinary person there always follows a wave of condemnations from a plethora of important people.

If there’s a bombing in a city however near or far, Obama will condemn, Cameron will condemn, Merkel will condemn, Hollande will condemn, Bob the Builder will condemn, Joey Essex will condemn, your average Tweep will condemn et cetera, et cetera… But I often ask myself, why? Why do these world leaders feel the need to condemn? It’s pretty obvious that bombing innocent people is not a very nice thing to do, why do we need our world leaders to tell us so? If they didn’t stop everything they were doing at that moment and summon a press conference immediately, would that affect our opinions of them or of the act itself? Would we think they were pro-bombing? Would we think bombing is good? I don’t think so, I don’t think so at all.

I look at the long list of people condemning these obviously gruesome and twisted acts and notice one or two common themes: They’re mostly white, and the ones that aren’t white are in a position where it pays to appease white people. Next time there’s some horrible unspeakable tragedy, note who condemns it.

That kind of brings me on to the reason I started writing this piece. I noticed Mo Ansar had been getting a bit of grief from career troll Louise Mensch and a whole host of hangers-on attempting to hound him in to condemning stoning. I didn’t follow the whole thread because I could feel my blood temperature rising, so I don’t know what provoked them into this frenzied keyboard attack but it did make me question what difference would it make if he did condemn it then and there? None, none whatsoever. If somebody had intended on stoning someone before the condemnation, their mind wouldn’t be changed after it.

This condemnation that was being sought, would have been a purely hollow one. Strikingly the people demanding it were all white, and this leads me on to my next point: why does Mo Ansar have to condemn acts carried by people purporting to be Muslim? Is it because he too is Muslim? Should we ask white female author and former politician to condemn every negative act ever carried out by whites, females, authors or politicians? Of course not, it’s ludicrous to suggest such a thing, but why do the white majority increasingly feel that minority communities within the UK must condemn horrid acts committed by said communities? It could be said that the white majority are actually characterising these horrid acts with that community, which may go some way to explaining the disgusting treatment reserved for black communities by the police. We are forever seeing the Daily Mail, Express, Star, Sun, Telegraph and Times publishing brash headlines characterising truly despicable acts as belonging to minority communities. Think Romanians, Bulgarians, Muslims, Blacks and even stretch it to include Welfare Claimants.

Britain’s spectrum of ‘normality’ is becoming increasingly narrow, whether that’s a product of harsher economic times, our current government or a mixture of both I’m not sure, but it is quite worrying that minority and/or vulnerable groups of people are being targeted by the white majority in such a way. The likes of Mensch and her merry little band of white keyboard bashing sheep are becoming increasingly common and increasingly racist. Mo didn’t respond to them by outright condone stoning, and why should he? Mo hasn’t partaken in the stoning of anyone or came out in favour of it before, neither does he belong to Mensch. He is not her slave to be ordered. Minority communities of Britain are not duty bound to condemn the acts of their brothers and sisters, no more than whites are not duty bound to condemn the acts of their fellow whites.

The next point about condemnation in the public eye is of course the outright hypocrisy of the condemnation. Barack Obama is a fine exponent of the hypocritical condemnation. Any time, any place, Barack is amongst the first to condemn an act of terror. So long as it isn’t carried out by US or NATO armed forces of course. If one of his own weapons of mass destruction were to, I don’t know, kill an entire wedding party in Yemen, then it’s a ‘regrettable mistake’ or something along those lines. Yet if a Yemeni insurgent who, I don’t know, is fed up of Americans killing innocent Yemenis kills a few US Soldiers then Barack is out there at the front of his blue-curtained press room condemning it as a violent, provocative act of aggression and terrorism. Other condemnations include Cameron criticising the likes of Iran for providing weapons to Syria. Sure, that’s no good thing. But on the other hand, Cameron sells weapons to Bahrain. To Saudi. To Egypt. All repressive regimes, all using it against their own people to stop them protesting.

So what’s the point of condemnation?

There is none. It’s empty, meaningless PR drivel aimed at programming the white majority into believing that whites are great and others less so, and turning the others against themselves, furthering the white cause.

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