Hypocrisy

There are those who cry at being called Islamophobe yet think nothing of calling others anti-Semitic.  These people sometimes threaten to sue for libel if called ‘racist’, while accusing others of being anti-Semitic often merely because they choose not to stand with Israel on every issue.

Most of the people on the right applaud and cheer when I speak the truth about Islam and the many harmful practices that occur in the Muslim communities. Yet many of these very same people are shocked and disgusted if I mention the Jews or Judaism in anything other than positive terms.

Why?  Why is it okay to criticise one and not the other.  When did this protection occur and when did we become so scared to say anything for fear of being labelled a Nazi or an anti-Semite.

The first known use of the word ‘anti-Semitism’ was in 1860 and originated primarily because one group of people thought that they were superior to another.

This very thing is happening right now with any criticism of Islam, as high-profile Muslims are trying to change the law in order to make criticising Islam a criminal offence.  Some political parties and groups are accepting definitions of Islamophobia that don’t even make sense.  What is ‘expressing Muslimness’?

Islamophobia is a made up word created, some say, by the Muslim Brotherhood to protect Islam from scrutiny.

Where is the protection for Christians from both Muslims and Jews? Are they not afforded the same protection from ‘Christianphobia’ by ‘anti-Christianites’?

When we discuss the paedophilia, which is all too common in the Catholic Church, no one accuses us of being a racist or a “Catholicphobic”. Nobody tries to silence us or smear us, and all discussions and criticisms are allowed.

Try to get into a discussion about the rabbis who suck the circumcised penis of an eight-day-old baby boy and just you wait for the accusations of anti-Semite.  The more ‘open-minded’ people will tell you it is their culture and who are we to interfere.

Where are the feminists protesting about the femicide of Muslim women? When is the Women’s March going to take place in solidarity for all the women murdered for being women and not behaving quite as the men wanted them to? Smash the patriarchy but not the Islamic one? And again the ‘hush now its part of their culture’ excuse is given. We are supposed to be in a post-enlightenment world!

Draw a cartoon of Mohammed and then watch as the Muslims in Islamic countries, Pakistan especially, riot and burn effigies of whoever organised it while calling for the death of all those who insult Islam and Mohammed. This behaviour is rightly criticised by those ‘on the right’.

But draw a cartoon of Trump walking Benjamin Netanyahu on a leash and watch how they call it ‘deeply anti-Semitic’ and are disgusted by it.

Draw a cartoon of Jesus smoking a spliff or cross-dressing and there is a deafening silence and lack of concern and manufactured outrage.  I remember singing ‘Jesus Christ Superstar, wears frilly knickers and a Wonderbra, the bra’s too big so he wears a wig and that’s why we call him a sexy pig,’ in the school playground.

So why can we mock and ridicule Christianity yet Islam and Judaism are protected, or at least treated very differently?

We live in a world where you can be jailed for denouncing Islam and for saying the Holocaust was fake or that you doubt the numbers of deaths, yet we can have total freedom of speech for mocking Jesus and Christianity. Who is setting the ‘freedom of speech’ rules?

Muslims and Jews are always portrayed as victims, even when we see that it is Christians who are being persecuted and massacred all over the world.

If Muslims kill in a terror attack, mosques are guarded for fear of a ‘far right’ backlash (that never happens).  On the rare occasion that Muslims are the victims of terror, then an attempt to crack down on the whole of the right wing happens as we saw after Christchurch.

If you don’t stand with Israel then you are an anti –Semite because according to the accusers, Israel is responsible for the stability in the Middle East.  Stability for whom?  The Middle East is always fighting; holy wars for oil and the accusers want us to believe there is stability.

The same accusers don’t call me Islamophobic for not standing with Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

The same people who are outraged over sharia patrols in the UK are silent about Shomrim, an Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood watch group that patrols the streets of northeast London protecting the Jewish population.

Those same people have probably never even heard of Hatzola, a voluntary ambulance service funded by the Jewish community for the Jewish community.

Outraged over halal meat yet silent on kosher.  We have even incorporated kosher into every day language ‘ if it’s kosher it’s good.’

People allow them to get away with it because they are a small group and by doing so they allow others, who are a much larger group, to have free reign.

Both groups believe they are God’s chosen people and both groups call us kuffar or goyim.

Believing you are God’s chosen people must instil in you some sort of superiority complex.

Christianity is one of the biggest religions yet Christians are not given free rein and are held accountable for the crimes of their ancestors.

Christians in the Middle East or Pakistan trying to escape the brutality and oppression they are suffering are not given asylum in the UK.  Take Asia Bibi, for example, refused asylum in the UK for fear of upsetting Muslims.

Jews have a home to go too if they are being persecuted and Muslims too can go back to their ancestral homes.  Where can Christians go?  Where is their home?

And why am I an anti-Semite or Islamophobe to ask these questions?

Anti-Semitism means to be hostile or prejudiced against Jews and I am neither hostile nor prejudiced.

Islamophobe means a person with a dislike or prejudiced against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force, I loathe Islam with a passion because I have seen what it does first hand.

I believe that all religions, ideologies and people should be held to the same standard of scrutiny and that no one race or religion should be given a free pass.  Freedom of speech and freedom of thought is under threat when religions are protected by laws solely created to quell criticism.

We should all resist this before it is too late.

 

 

Rape Enablers

My account was suspended on Twitter for ‘hate speech.’ I tweet about FGM and Pakistani Muslim rape gangs raping Pakistani Muslim children, as these are two of the barbaric harmful practices I am most passionate about bringing attention too.

I tweet about forced marriage and Islam too. Sometimes I will share a picture of cake, as that is another passion of mine, eating cake to help me cope with the horror that is inflicted on our children.

There are a few verified Twitter accounts who take great joy in shutting down accounts who they believe are ‘racist’ and full of ‘hate speech.’ One verified account in particular has decided that I am Enemy No1 on Twitter and that I ‘spew hate’ and that I am a racist. I am worse than ISIS, Islamists, white supremacists and the real racists, in his eyes, which are obviously painted on.

If I was a racist I would give not one f*ck if Pakistani Muslim children were being raped or Muslim girls were having their vaginas mutilated. Racists tend not to care what happens to little brown children.

There are idiots who also accuse me of saying ALL Pakistani Muslims are rapists. Where? Where do I say this? Nowhere. To say ALL Pakistani Muslims are rapists is ridiculous and a way of shutting down any discussion about the rape gangs.

I get suspended for highlighting and raising awareness of the harmful practices that occur in the Pakistani Muslim community and the rape enablers celebrate that my account has been suspended.

Imagine they devoted the time and energy to mass report my account to shutting down REAL hate on Twitter? Paedophiles accounts of which there are many? I report these accounts and rarely does Twitter shut them down.

Where are these accounts and their groups of people, mass reporting any account that is critical of Islam, FGM, rape gangs and anything else they deem as hateful? Where are they when it comes to the accounts that share images of children being abused and raped? Are they viewing these accounts? Getting off on it? Is that why they are happy to have these accounts stay on Twitter and rejoice the ones they get suspended, the accounts that want to protect children from rape?

Crazy isn’t it? That is the state of Twitter and the rape enablers with their sick and depraved ways. Shut down the accounts of those who wish to protect children, accuse them of being racist, mass report and then rejoice. Yet stay silent on the actual hate.

The police are no better than the rape enablers. Money given to campaigns to shut down people who insult adults yet accounts on Twitter with horrific sexual abuse/rape of children and no money to go after those to shut them down. Why? Why are we ignoring the abuse of children online and going after those who criticise Islam, because let’s be honest that is who they are after with their ‘mean tweets’ campaign.

Well they can mass report every single account that I create, it is hardly a chore to create another one. There are many good people out there who make the account and send me the log in details along with the password. Simple, you sad sacks.

I would stay away but seeing as it infuriates them I keep coming back. They also like to stalk me online and see what I am saying or doing – hello I have three accounts on Twitter that are active and another three that have yet to tweet.

Reforming Islam

William Henry Quilliam was born on 10th April 1856 to a wealthy family in Liverpool. He was brought up as a Methodist and converted to Islam in 1887 after visiting Morocco. Quilliam opened Britain’s first mosque, on Christmas Day 1889, with funding he received from Nasrullah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan.

He changed his name from William to Abdullah after converting to Islam and he argued for a global caliphate and swore allegiance to the Ottoman Empire. Nice guy, clearly.

In 2007, three former members of Hizb-ut Tahrir established a “think tank” called The Quilliam Foundation. For those who don’t know, Hizb-ut Tahrir is an Islamic supremacist group operating in dozens of countries around the world, and banned in some. They employ subversive tactics to infiltrate governments and military institutions in order to bring about an Islamic revolution, with the express ambition of turning the entire globe into a totalitarian Islamic caliphate, ruled under Sharia law. Presumably, this is something that Mr Quilliam would have approved of.

One has to ask exactly what “thinking” was going on, if any, when the founders of The Quilliam Foundation stumbled upon the idea of naming their think tank after a man who wanted a global caliphate. Was it in homage to what Mr Quilliam advocated? Or did the founders merely like the name?

I first heard about The Quilliam Foundation through one of its founders, the former Muslim extremist Maajid Nawaz, who I followed on Twitter. I purchased his book ‘Radical’ as I was interested in reading about the experience of other Pakistanis who had grown up in Britain.

Although our upbringings were different, I learnt that we had both experienced racism from white people. Nawaz was lucky that he did not receive any racism from Pakistani people, whereas I did, simply for being the white woman’s daughter.

I was inspired by Nawaz and believed that he could help bring about change. Like many others who placed their hopes in him and his foundation, though, I have been sorely disappointed. I have even come to dislike them and – worse still – distrust them.

It is not Nawaz’s fault that he is hated and loathed by his fellow Muslims and so I don’t dislike or distrust him for that reason; if anything I have sympathy with him on that front. It shows how difficult and futile his task is. No, I have come to question the priorities and even the motives of Nawaz and Quilliam.

To learn something of his background, let’s refer to a speech he gave on stage at Ted Talks.

“At the age of 16 I joined Hizb ut-Tahrir. At 17 I was recruiting people from Cambridge University to this organisation. At 19 I was on the national leadership of this organisation in the UK. At 21 I was co-founding this organisation in Pakistan. At 22 I was co-founding this organisation in Denmark. By the age of 24 I found myself convicted in prison in Egypt, being backlisted from three countries in the world for attempting to overthrow their governments, being subjected to torture in Egyptian jails and sentenced to five years as a prisoner of conscience.”

Prisoner of conscience?! What a pleasant, human rights-laden description of someone who sought to overthrow governments through coercion and espionage and usher in a global caliphate. How conscientious indeed. Describing his behaviour as a matter of conscience should tell you something of his character. How is that any different from terrorists sitting in prison cells right now? Perhaps we should sympathise with their predicament too?

His talk goes on:

“If we look at Islamists, if we look at the phenomenon of far right fascists, one thing they’ve been very good at is communicating across borders, using technologies to organise themselves, to propagate their message and to create a truly global phenomena.”

Although Quilliam’s focus is on “counter-extremism against Islamism”, strangely enough their most well-known and tangible “achievement” to date concerns Tommy Robinson, the founder and former leader of the English Defence League. Robinson established the English Defence League in response to the alarming Muslim extremism he witnessed in his hometown of Luton, England and many other areas.

Following a series of discussions with Robinson, in October of 2013 The Quilliam Foundation proudly boasted of its success in “decapitating” the English Defence League of its leader – which is a conspicuous choice of words considering only a few years previously Nawaz was devoted to implementing sharia which includes actual beheadings, and considering also that this “achievement” of Quilliam’s came shortly after the grisly, medieval butchering of the soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of London. Robinson’s head is metaphorically sitting in Nawaz’s trophy cabinet.

A think tank tackling ‘Islamism’ yet they tackle the ‘far right?’ Makes sense I guess when you see the number of far right churches and organisations calling for the death of Muslims. I mean they are opening up all over the UK.

When they’re not “decapitating” the most vocal anti-Islam group the West has seen to date, in their spare time I am told Quilliam are also looking to “reform” Islam. A think tank named after a convert who wanted a caliphate are hoping to reform Islam?

Consider this during the four years he spent in an Egyptian prison, Nawaz committed half the Koran to memory. Imagine the devotion necessary to memorise 40,000 words! Following his release he was quoted as saying, “I can now say that the more I learn about Islam, the more tolerant I become.”

Does that sound like someone who believes Islam is in need of urgent reformation? Does that sound like someone who can say clearly, unapologetically and unequivocally that the problem we face today is Islam?

Quilliam ask us to accept their preordained language, consisting of a never-ending list of definitions, -isms and –isations, and replete with euphemism and vague platitudes about the ‘need to reform,’ labelling anyone who strays outside of these definitions or dares to question the feasibility of reformation as bigots, racists, populists, white supremacists, fascists, xenophobes and far right extremists – which coincidentally is the very thing they accuse the so-called ‘regressive left’ of doing to stifle debate. These labels marginalise and discredit anyone with the audacity to hold Muslims accountable for their beliefs and who wish to point the finger directly at Islam, and indeed these labels also marginalise and discredit anyone with the audacity to ask Quilliam questions beyond kindergarten levels of difficulty.

As a matter of fact Nawaz applied this very tactic while a member of Hizb-ut Tahrir at university in Britain, as the following quote from his book ‘Radical’ verifies:

“We knowingly presented political demands disguised as religion and multiculturalism, and deliberately labelled any objections to our demands as racism and bigotry.”

Ask Nawaz or Quilliam the mildest probing questions, or politely query whether a 1,400 year old religion of war and conquest can indeed “reform”, or at least reform in a reasonable timeframe, and you will be treated by Nawaz to a masterclass in aggressive, petulant, narcissistic behaviour. You will be guilt-tripped into a reminder that Nawaz and Quilliam staff face physical risks in what they do (as though they are the only ones – just ask Tommy Robinson, Anne Marie Waters, or Robert Spencer), and they will conveniently lump you into the same category as the “Far Right” and Muslim extremists. It’s safe to say that Nawaz and Quilliam don’t take very kindly to criticism no matter how delicately or constructively it is put to them. It doesn’t take much to stoke them into playing their Muslim Victim Card.

Non-Muslims look at Nawaz and see a smartly dressed, well-spoken man, not displaying any overt signs of his Muslim faith. They see him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray and a host of other notable and respected public figures. They hear him speaking out against the myriad of Islamic terrorist groups and simply assume that he must be a trusted voice in the fight against Islamic extremism. What’s concerning to me is that they also see him as the unquestionable reference point of acceptability in this debate: “Saint Maajid said X, so X must be the reasonable position”; “Saint Maajid approves/disapproves of person X and so I will approve/disapprove of person X too”.

When exactly did everyone start thinking it was a good idea to let former Muslim extremists set the terms of debate for combatting Muslim extremism or speaking about Islam? Shall we also let former rapists set the rules for discussing the problems of rape?

Like the spoilt kid in the playground who shouts “My ball, my rules”, with the threat of taking it away and sulking in the corner, Nawaz has set a rigid and uncompromising strategy which is entirely reliant on decoupling Islam from its evil “political” twin “Islamism”. Whether intentional on his part or not, this exploits western liberals’ desperation, ignorance and gullibility to believe that Islam is inherently good and is being “misinterpreted” or at the very least is benign and merely in need of some nips and tucks by way of “reformation”, and that instead all the nasty things are attributable to “Islamism”. The general public comes away a bit bamboozled and punch-drunk from definitions and post-modern language games, with some Z-list celebrity stardust sprinkled upon them, with a warm glow in their stomach that Nawaz and Quilliam have set western civilisation on the right path to save itself, and that “Islam good/ok, Islamism bad”. Again, whatever Nawaz’s intentions, this hapless army of anaesthetised, clueless and desperate non-Muslims then go on to misinform more non-Muslims. And all this is supposed to be a good thing?

There are many Muslims and non-Muslims who publicly speak out against ISIS, but who profess that ISIS and similar groups have “nothing to do with Islam”. Nawaz’s rhetoric is different, and better (which isn’t exactly difficult). In fairness to him he does acknowledge the link between the holy texts and the actions of terrorists groups. However, he immediately rows back and then attempts to balance with one toe on a pinhead: Muslim terrorism isn’t “nothing” to do with Islam; nor is it “everything” to do with Islam, he will plead. No, it’s merely “something” to do with Islam according to Nawaz. His explanation is that extremism is simply one of an infinite number of possible “interpretations” of Islam, and that Islam is a bit like a slinky spring or jelly: you can play around with it and come up with whatever “interpretation” you want. If you want to use Islam as the basis to cut off heads, or gang-rape girls, or give gay people flying lessons from rooftops, then sure, you can do that – it’s a “plausible” interpretation of the texts. But if you want to interpret Islam in such a way as to be totally compatible with the 21st century liberal secular democracy then hey you can do that too so stop being a racist and get out of my lane while I do this reform thing.

On Quilliam’s website they ask the question, “What is Islamism?” and provide the following answer: “It is the belief that Islam is a political ideology, as well as faith. It is a modernist claim that political sovereignty belongs to God, that Shari’ah should be used as state law, that Muslims form a political rather than religious bloc around the world and that it is a religious duty for all Muslims to create a political entity that is governed as such.”

This isn’t an off the cuff remark. This is their official position. The premise of this definition is categorically false and misleading.

Everything about the words contained in the Koran and the example of Islam’s prophet Mohammed is the antithesis of free will, autonomy, freedom and democracy. If you sat down at a desk today to design an ideology with the express intention of being as hostile towards and incompatible with western civilisation as possible, you would produce Islam. The literal translation of the word Islam is “submission”.

Islam is a highly structured system of governance with roughly 6,000 sharia laws that dictate the actions and behaviours of its followers, both in public and private life. It’s a holistic system that commands Muslims to obey the will of Allah and follow the example of Mohammed as the path to eternal salvation.

Secularism is a betrayal of Islamic teachings, those teachings being unambiguously detailed in the Koran, Sura and Hadiths. Those instructions make clear that each and every Muslim should strive to live in accordance with Islamic law. To reject, criticise, or attempt to undo codified Islamic jurisprudence is considered highly blasphemous – a crime carrying the death penalty. This is the main reason the majority of Muslims are so hostile to any talk of reformation.

In essence Islamic “reformers” such as Nawaz are asking Muslims to denounce the life and teachings of the prophet of Islam and the words of the creator of the universe.

The Koran is believed to be the literal and perfect word of Allah. The text is said to be immutable (unchangeable), timeless.

Said to be God’s final messenger, Mohammed is revered by Muslims, and hailed as the exemplar for human behaviour. A man who coordinated 67 armed battles, beheaded 600 Jews in a single afternoon, raided towns and looted travelling caravans, raped the widows of his victims, had 15 wives in total, the youngest being six years old, sanctioned spousal necrophilia, and ordered the stoning to death of adulterers, apostates, homosexuals and blasphemers. This is the man Muslims are supposedly meant to emulate? This is the highest standard of human behaviour?

Mohammed is said to be an example for ALL times, not merely the pre-modern era. If his teachings aren’t fit for the 21st century and beyond, did Allah choose the wrong person?

This debate is far too important to concern ourselves with sparing Nawaz’s feelings. His proposals are counter productive and extremely dangerous. In effect we are being asked to place a huge bet: we are expected to bet western civilisation on the likelihood that a totalitarian ideology which has wrecked havoc for 1,400 years wherever it has gone and which has now positioned itself perfectly to conquer the West, will choose this moment in human history to “reform”. Nawaz in his narcissism believes he can bring this reformation about, and dumb desperate liberals are soothed into thinking that his plan will work because, well, Nawaz says so. These smug, dumb liberals will lecture you on the supposed differences between Islam and “Islamism” like a parrot sitting on Nawaz’s shoulder, while wearing Quilliam’s latest #solidarity t-shirt merchandise.

While Nawaz’s plans continue to fail spectacularly, thousand of sharia compliant Muslims flood into the West each week. Nawaz and Quilliam remain silent about and even hostile towards any de-Islamization policies, which might help stop the rot, such as restricting or stopping Muslim immigration to the West, or having a moratorium on the building of new mosques.

Using Nawaz’s definition “An Islamist is someone wanting to impose a version of Islam over society” would encompass anyone in favour of Sharia law. Polling data indicates two-thirds of Muslims globally want to live under Sharia law. This means there are roughly 1.1 billion Muslims who fall under Nawaz’s definition of an “Islamist”.

This idea that Muslims will quickly and en masse adopt Nawaz’s new age, spliff-smoking, liberal version of Islam is absurd – and dangerous. Considering the widespread hate and mistrust Muslims have for him and his organisation and the zero credibility he and Quilliam have amongst Muslims, unfortunately I have to reluctantly ask: who is his target audience?

Exactly what, or who, are you actually trying to reform, Mr Nawaz?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The victims we know so well

Every time there is an incident involving the followers of the not so peaceful religion, MSM is quick to contact Muslims to discuss it. Whether it is a terrorist attack or another rape gang being jailed, the panel is mostly made up of Muslims.

The same type of Muslims who wrongly believe that to criticise the Muslims who carry out these attacks is somehow criticising ALL Muslims. Muslims who will argue that the terrorists who carried out the latest knife/truck attack and the rapists are not REAL Muslims.

How do they know? Do they know them personally? Who are they to decide who is a Muslim? Before they carried out the terror attack they would have been Muslims. When they are buried they are given a Muslim burial. So why say they are not Muslims? To protect the image of Islam? Let’s be honest that image needs more than a few lies to protect it.

Same story with the rape gangs, from the panel of Muslims and others in MSM who write articles and give their opinions. The majority of them claim that these paedophiles are not Muslim because they drank alcohol, sold drugs, and raped the girls and so go against the teachings of Islam.

Muslims drink alcohol, take drugs, sell drugs, have sex, eat non halal meat, rape girls, sodomise boys and never pray five times a day. The only time many Muslims pray is Jumma prayers, prayers on a Friday. Pray on a Friday and Allah will forgive the sins committed all week. This is why the busiest day of the week at any mosque in the UK is a Friday. Or Eid prayers, then it is busy and funerals. Any other time the mosque is not very busy.

To claim that these Muslims who carry out terror attacks are not Muslims is ridiculous. They are REAL Muslims who literally follow the words of the Koran.

Time and time again we hear of another mosque where a hate preacher has been found to be spreading hate, poisoning the minds of young Muslim men and boys to hate the west, the infidels, the Jews and to wage Jihad. Mosques and many Muslim homes where children are raised to believe one day the world will be Islamic.

Recently an Islamic school was in the news because the children were being taught that rape was ok. Where do the teachers get this information from, where do they learn this to pass it on to the young? Could it be the Koran?

Any time there is an attack by Muslims, be it in the UK, Europe or the Middle East we see the same high profile Muslim voices quick to condemn the West, foreign policy or the Iraq war to name a few of the excuses that they come out with. Never do we hear them say terror attacks occur because these Muslims hate us and our way of life and that they dream of a global caliphate. Even when ISIS claim responsibility for the attacks and tell us why they attack they still refuse to discuss this.

Anytime there is another rape gang uncovered the usual high profile Muslim voices are quick to deflect to Jimmy Savile, point out that most rapists, paedophiles are white men, jails are full of white paeados and other excuses to stop the much needed debate as to why gangs of Pakistani Muslim men are raping white girls in towns and cities across the UK.

A pig’s head was left outside a mosque in Bolton and all the usual high profile Muslim voices are outraged. Disgusted. Shocked and sickened. Yet little or no outrage for the rape of children in their communities. You can bet if it was white men raping their little girls and boys there would be a war on the streets of Britain. When it is their own men raping and sodomising the children in the community it is somehow ok? No roaring, no outrage, no Britain burning. Sad. Sad that they devote so much time and energy towards fake Islamophobia and do little to deal with the real hatred in the community. Hatred towards children, women, gays, white people, the list is endless.

To even dare to discuss the rot in the heart of the community somehow means ALL of the community is rotten. If the community carries on like it does, in denial, always the victim, refusing to address the harmful cultural practices then the rot will spread and it will be beyond any help.

 

 

 

 

Reforming Islam

William Henry Quilliam was born on 10th April 1856 to a wealthy family in Liverpool. He was brought up as a Methodist and converted to Islam in 1887 after visiting Morocco. Quilliam opened Britain’s first mosque, on Christmas Day 1889, with funding he received from Nasrullah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan.

He changed his name from William to Abdullah after converting to Islam and he argued for a global caliphate and swore allegiance to the Ottoman Empire. Nice guy, clearly.

In 2007, three former members of Hizb-ut Tahrir established a “think tank” called The Quilliam Foundation. For those who don’t know, Hizb-ut Tahrir is an Islamic supremacist group operating in dozens of countries around the world, and banned in some. They employ subversive tactics to infiltrate governments and military institutions in order to bring about an Islamic revolution, with the express ambition of turning the entire globe into a totalitarian Islamic caliphate, ruled under Sharia law. Presumably, this is something that Mr Quilliam would have approved of.

One has to ask exactly what “thinking” was going on, if any, when the founders of The Quilliam Foundation stumbled upon the idea of naming their think tank after a man who wanted a global caliphate. Was it in homage to what Mr Quilliam advocated? Or did the founders merely like the name?

I first heard about The Quilliam Foundation through one of its founders, the former Muslim extremist Maajid Nawaz, who I followed on Twitter. I purchased his book ‘Radical’ as I was interested in reading about the experience of other Pakistanis who had grown up in Britain.

Although our upbringings were different, I learnt that we had both experienced racism from white people. Nawaz was lucky that he did not receive any racism from Pakistani people, whereas I did, simply for being the white woman’s daughter.

I was inspired by Nawaz and believed that he could help bring about change. Like many others who placed their hopes in him and his foundation, though, I have been sorely disappointed. I have even come to dislike them and – worse still – distrust them.

It is not Nawaz’s fault that he is hated and loathed by his fellow Muslims and so I don’t dislike or distrust him for that reason; if anything I have sympathy with him on that front. It shows how difficult and futile his task is. No, I have come to question the priorities and even the motives of Nawaz and Quilliam.

To learn something of his background, let’s refer to a speech he gave on stage at Ted Talks.

“At the age of 16 I joined Hizb ut-Tahrir. At 17 I was recruiting people from Cambridge University to this organisation. At 19 I was on the national leadership of this organisation in the UK. At 21 I was co-founding this organisation in Pakistan. At 22 I was co-founding this organisation in Denmark. By the age of 24 I found myself convicted in prison in Egypt, being backlisted from three countries in the world for attempting to overthrow their governments, being subjected to torture in Egyptian jails and sentenced to five years as a prisoner of conscience.”

Prisoner of conscience?! What a pleasant, human rights-laden description of someone who sought to overthrow governments through coercion and espionage and usher in a global caliphate. How conscientious indeed. Describing his behaviour as a matter of conscience should tell you something of his character. How is that any different from terrorists sitting in prison cells right now? Perhaps we should sympathise with their predicament too?

His talk goes on:

“If we look at Islamists, if we look at the phenomenon of far right fascists, one thing they’ve been very good at is communicating across borders, using technologies to organise themselves, to propagate their message and to create a truly global phenomena.”

Although Quilliam’s focus is on “counter-extremism against Islamism”, strangely enough their most well-known and tangible “achievement” to date concerns Tommy Robinson, the founder and former leader of the English Defence League. Robinson established the English Defence League in response to the alarming Muslim extremism he witnessed in his hometown of Luton, England and many other areas.

Following a series of discussions with Robinson, in October of 2013 The Quilliam Foundation proudly boasted of its success in “decapitating” the English Defence League of its leader – which is a conspicuous choice of words considering only a few years previously Nawaz was devoted to implementing sharia which includes actual beheadings, and considering also that this “achievement” of Quilliam’s came shortly after the grisly, medieval butchering of the soldier Lee Rigby on the streets of London. Robinson’s head is metaphorically sitting in Nawaz’s trophy cabinet.

A think tank tackling ‘Islamism’ yet they tackle the ‘far right?’ Makes sense I guess when you see the number of far right churches and organisations calling for the death of Muslims. I mean they are opening up all over the UK.

When they’re not “decapitating” the most vocal anti-Islam group the West has seen to date, in their spare time I am told Quilliam are also looking to “reform” Islam. A think tank named after a convert who wanted a caliphate are hoping to reform Islam?

Consider this during the four years he spent in an Egyptian prison, Nawaz committed half the Koran to memory. Imagine the devotion necessary to memorise 40,000 words! Following his release he was quoted as saying, “I can now say that the more I learn about Islam, the more tolerant I become.”

Does that sound like someone who believes Islam is in need of urgent reformation? Does that sound like someone who can say clearly, unapologetically and unequivocally that the problem we face today is Islam?

Quilliam ask us to accept their preordained language, consisting of a never-ending list of definitions, -isms and –isations, and replete with euphemism and vague platitudes about the ‘need to reform,’ labelling anyone who strays outside of these definitions or dares to question the feasibility of reformation as bigots, racists, populists, white supremacists, fascists, xenophobes and far right extremists – which coincidentally is the very thing they accuse the so-called ‘regressive left’ of doing to stifle debate. These labels marginalise and discredit anyone with the audacity to hold Muslims accountable for their beliefs and who wish to point the finger directly at Islam, and indeed these labels also marginalise and discredit anyone with the audacity to ask Quilliam questions beyond kindergarten levels of difficulty.

As a matter of fact Nawaz applied this very tactic while a member of Hizb-ut Tahrir at university in Britain, as the following quote from his book ‘Radical’ verifies:

“We knowingly presented political demands disguised as religion and multiculturalism, and deliberately labelled any objections to our demands as racism and bigotry.”

Ask Nawaz or Quilliam the mildest probing questions, or politely query whether a 1,400 year old religion of war and conquest can indeed “reform”, or at least reform in a reasonable timeframe, and you will be treated by Nawaz to a masterclass in aggressive, petulant, narcissistic behaviour. You will be guilt-tripped into a reminder that Nawaz and Quilliam staff face physical risks in what they do (as though they are the only ones – just ask Tommy Robinson, Anne Marie Waters, or Robert Spencer), and they will conveniently lump you into the same category as the “Far Right” and Muslim extremists. It’s safe to say that Nawaz and Quilliam don’t take very kindly to criticism no matter how delicately or constructively it is put to them. It doesn’t take much to stoke them into playing their Muslim Victim Card.

Non-Muslims look at Nawaz and see a smartly dressed, well-spoken man, not displaying any overt signs of his Muslim faith. They see him rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray and a host of other notable and respected public figures. They hear him speaking out against the myriad of Islamic terrorist groups and simply assume that he must be a trusted voice in the fight against Islamic extremism. What’s concerning to me is that they also see him as the unquestionable reference point of acceptability in this debate: “Saint Maajid said X, so X must be the reasonable position”; “Saint Maajid approves/disapproves of person X and so I will approve/disapprove of person X too”.

When exactly did everyone start thinking it was a good idea to let former Muslim extremists set the terms of debate for combatting Muslim extremism or speaking about Islam? Shall we also let former rapists set the rules for discussing the problems of rape?

Like the spoilt kid in the playground who shouts “My ball, my rules”, with the threat of taking it away and sulking in the corner, Nawaz has set a rigid and uncompromising strategy which is entirely reliant on decoupling Islam from its evil “political” twin “Islamism”. Whether intentional on his part or not, this exploits western liberals’ desperation, ignorance and gullibility to believe that Islam is inherently good and is being “misinterpreted” or at the very least is benign and merely in need of some nips and tucks by way of “reformation”, and that instead all the nasty things are attributable to “Islamism”. The general public comes away a bit bamboozled and punch-drunk from definitions and post-modern language games, with some Z-list celebrity stardust sprinkled upon them, with a warm glow in their stomach that Nawaz and Quilliam have set western civilisation on the right path to save itself, and that “Islam good/ok, Islamism bad”. Again, whatever Nawaz’s intentions, this hapless army of anaesthetised, clueless and desperate non-Muslims then go on to misinform more non-Muslims. And all this is supposed to be a good thing?

There are many Muslims and non-Muslims who publicly speak out against ISIS, but who profess that ISIS and similar groups have “nothing to do with Islam”. Nawaz’s rhetoric is different, and better (which isn’t exactly difficult). In fairness to him he does acknowledge the link between the holy texts and the actions of terrorists groups. However, he immediately rows back and then attempts to balance with one toe on a pinhead: Muslim terrorism isn’t “nothing” to do with Islam; nor is it “everything” to do with Islam, he will plead. No, it’s merely “something” to do with Islam according to Nawaz. His explanation is that extremism is simply one of an infinite number of possible “interpretations” of Islam, and that Islam is a bit like a slinky spring or jelly: you can play around with it and come up with whatever “interpretation” you want. If you want to use Islam as the basis to cut off heads, or gang-rape girls, or give gay people flying lessons from rooftops, then sure, you can do that – it’s a “plausible” interpretation of the texts. But if you want to interpret Islam in such a way as to be totally compatible with the 21st century liberal secular democracy then hey you can do that too so stop being a racist and get out of my lane while I do this reform thing.

On Quilliam’s website they ask the question, “What is Islamism?” and provide the following answer: “It is the belief that Islam is a political ideology, as well as faith. It is a modernist claim that political sovereignty belongs to God, that Shari’ah should be used as state law, that Muslims form a political rather than religious bloc around the world and that it is a religious duty for all Muslims to create a political entity that is governed as such.”

This isn’t an off the cuff remark. This is their official position. The premise of this definition is categorically false and misleading.

Everything about the words contained in the Koran and the example of Islam’s prophet Mohammed is the antithesis of free will, autonomy, freedom and democracy. If you sat down at a desk today to design an ideology with the express intention of being as hostile towards and incompatible with western civilisation as possible, you would produce Islam. The literal translation of the word Islam is “submission”.

Islam is a highly structured system of governance with roughly 6,000 sharia laws that dictate the actions and behaviours of its followers, both in public and private life. It’s a holistic system that commands Muslims to obey the will of Allah and follow the example of Mohammed as the path to eternal salvation.

Secularism is a betrayal of Islamic teachings, those teachings being unambiguously detailed in the Koran, Sura and Hadiths. Those instructions make clear that each and every Muslim should strive to live in accordance with Islamic law. To reject, criticise, or attempt to undo codified Islamic jurisprudence is considered highly blasphemous – a crime carrying the death penalty. This is the main reason the majority of Muslims are so hostile to any talk of reformation.

In essence Islamic “reformers” such as Nawaz are asking Muslims to denounce the life and teachings of the prophet of Islam and the words of the creator of the universe.

The Koran is believed to be the literal and perfect word of Allah. The text is said to be immutable (unchangeable), timeless.

Said to be God’s final messenger, Mohammed is revered by Muslims, and hailed as the exemplar for human behaviour. A man who coordinated 67 armed battles, beheaded 600 Jews in a single afternoon, raided towns and looted travelling caravans, raped the widows of his victims, had 15 wives in total, the youngest being six years old, sanctioned spousal necrophilia, and ordered the stoning to death of adulterers, apostates, homosexuals and blasphemers. This is the man Muslims are supposedly meant to emulate? This is the highest standard of human behaviour?

Mohammed is said to be an example for ALL times, not merely the pre-modern era. If his teachings aren’t fit for the 21st century and beyond, did Allah choose the wrong person?

This debate is far too important to concern ourselves with sparing Nawaz’s feelings. His proposals are counter productive and extremely dangerous. In effect we are being asked to place a huge bet: we are expected to bet western civilisation on the likelihood that a totalitarian ideology which has wrecked havoc for 1,400 years wherever it has gone and which has now positioned itself perfectly to conquer the West, will choose this moment in human history to “reform”. Nawaz in his narcissism believes he can bring this reformation about, and dumb desperate liberals are soothed into thinking that his plan will work because, well, Nawaz says so. These smug, dumb liberals will lecture you on the supposed differences between Islam and “Islamism” like a parrot sitting on Nawaz’s shoulder, while wearing Quilliam’s latest #solidarity t-shirt merchandise.

While Nawaz’s plans continue to fail spectacularly, thousand of sharia compliant Muslims flood into the West each week. Nawaz and Quilliam remain silent about and even hostile towards any de-Islamization policies, which might help stop the rot, such as restricting or stopping Muslim immigration to the West, or having a moratorium on the building of new mosques.

Using Nawaz’s definition “An Islamist is someone wanting to impose a version of Islam over society” would encompass anyone in favour of Sharia law. Polling data indicates two-thirds of Muslims globally want to live under Sharia law. This means there are roughly 1.1 billion Muslims who fall under Nawaz’s definition of an “Islamist”.

This idea that Muslims will quickly and en masse adopt Nawaz’s new age, spliff-smoking, liberal version of Islam is absurd – and dangerous. Considering the widespread hate and mistrust Muslims have for him and his organisation and the zero credibility he and Quilliam have amongst Muslims, unfortunately I have to reluctantly ask: who is his target audience?

Exactly what, or who, are you actually trying to reform, Mr Nawaz?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stupid it burns

I deactivated my Twitter account. The news I read depresses me and the comments people make on the depressing news some times depresses me even more. Social media really shows how depressingly stupid the majority of people who use it are.

Another terrorist attack in Berlin this time, killing 12 innocent people and injuring many others and media, BBC and Sky, to name two reported it as ‘a truck has crashed into a German Christmas market.’ A truck? A fucking truck?

Before the identity of the truck driver was revealed, social media had already decided he was of Muslim heritage. Many were outraged that Muslims were once again being blamed for this carnage. Never mind that it was similar to the terrorist attack in Niece carried out by another truck, killing 86 people, many of them children and injuring 434! The driver of that truck was a Muslim and ISIS claimed responsibility.

Many, it seems, are always outraged, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, at the fear of Islam, acts like this, instil in us. The Islamophobia card comes straight out and is waved by all and sundry. The innocents who have been butchered in cold blood, while the killers cried ‘Allah Akbar’ – Allah is great,’ have been forgotten already and it is the Muslims we need to feel sorry for, the backlash they will receive. A backlash that never really materialises.

Bristol city officials have upped their police presence in their city centre to tackle any Islamophobia as a result of this attack. I can understand why people are disgusted by this response. The way our government is dealing with the problem of Islam is a laughing joke on social media; the way Muslims and non-Muslims interact with each other on social media is frustrating. Facts no longer mean anything and if someone disagrees with you then you are a racist. I was told I was a racist and when I pointed out that my father was Pakistani, I was asked so what. I laugh at the accusations of ‘racist’ because I am the proud daughter of a white woman and a Pakistani man and I love both sides of my heritage. I am a racist in the eyes of some because I criticised Islam, a religion, not a people. But hey these days it is possible to be racist towards Islam.

Islam has many privileges here in the UK, we are not allowed to insult, we are not allowed to host ‘Draw Mo’ competitions, we are made to feel scared if we dare to offend this special religion and its followers. People have anonymous accounts to enable them to speak freely because if their identity was known then they might lose their jobs, they fear for their safety, or they are Muslim and do not wish to be alienated in their communities.

We give hate preachers, who are banned from preaching their hate in Pakistan, a visa and allow them to preach their hate to Muslims here. Yet we stop people who want to talk about the evils of Islam, from entering the UK. We refer to all who dare criticise Islam as the ‘far-right’ and liken them to Hitler.

Saying that Islam is evil doesn’t mean all followers of Islam are evil. Islam is an idea, a religion, a thing that has no feelings, cannot be offended. People have feelings and people can be offended. If insulting an idea causes you offence and makes you want to kill and silence those who are criticising then the problem lies with you.

Some Muslims follow Islam and they are loving and peaceful people, I shouldn’t even have to say this but say I must because instead of focusing on the problem people will say ‘Not all Muslims.’ As easy as that the debate shuts down and smearing tactics continue and any reasonable solution to the problem of Muslims killing in the name of Islam doesn’t happen.

It doesn’t happen for a number of reasons and one of them is that Muslims are unable to criticise their religion, their prophet and their Allah. Strangely though there are many Muslims who would kill you for insulting their prophet and not bother so much when you insult Allah. For these Muslims the prophet is given more respect than the creator who supposedly created him. Madness. But then again many of these Muslims are mad. You have to be mad to take a lorry and drive it into people, causing utter terror and carnage. You have to be mad to video yourself with your two young daughters who you have brainwashed into thinking that blowing themselves up in a crowded place killing innocent people is what Allah desires, what makes him happy. They see no irony in their claim that their religion is peaceful while sending their small daughter to be blown up.

Growing up in a Muslim home I never questioned any doubts I may have had about Islam and religion. As a child I was never really allowed to question anything and so I believed the stories I was told and heard about the prophet and life in the 7th century. I left Islam in my early 20s when I was disowned for leaving a forced marriage. I created a new life for myself amongst the white people as my Pakistani father and community had decided I was no longer welcome. I wore Western clothes, I went clubbing, I smoked and drank and I dated. I would still tell people I was a Muslim, just not a very good one.

When white people criticised Islam in front of me it annoyed me and I was ‘offended.’ Laughable I know but the indoctrination runs deep. I wonder if people from other faiths who have left their religion feel the effects of indoctrination in the same way? Do Catholics get offended when you mock their Saints? Do Jews get offended when you eat non-kosher meat in front of them?

As a Muslim your duty since you were old enough to understand was to defend Islam against insults, you may not have been told it directly but it was just something you knew, subconsciously perhaps. Those around you, family, friends and those in the wider community spoke highly and respectfully about the prophet and Islam. Growing up I never hear a bad word uttered about the prophet, no one ever discussed whether there were parts of Islam that could be reformed. It was perfect as it was and needed no altering or changing. That’s not to say all Muslim families were like my family and I know there are families that debate the tenets of Islam. What people sometimes forget is that Muslims are human and like all other humans are unique. Idiots and evil people exist in all of the races as does goodness and kindness, and the Muslim race is no different.

I stared questioning Islam a few years ago and became aware of people leaving Islam, Ex-Muslims is what they called themselves. I had never heard of this way of describing yourself. I started reading blogs and connecting with people on social media. Finding other people who had the same questions as me. ‘Why would Allah create us to make us suffer in the hell fire forever more? Replacing our scorched skin with new skin so we may feel the pain for eternity?’ ‘Why is hell fire full of women?’

When I asked that question the Muslims in my life would say ‘because women are responsible for seducing men and because they are bad for gossiping.’ Women are the naughty ones while the poor men can hardly control themselves. No wonder Allah has 72 virgins waiting in heaven for them.

Even though I no longer say I am a Muslim, good or bad, a tiny part of me still gets ‘offended’ when Islam is insulted. Blame it on the indoctrination. I did say it runs deep. So when I see people demanding that Muslims, in the public eye and the media, say Islam is bad and their prophet is not a good role model, I can understand why they won’t. Even if they secretly have doubts, they will never do this. To insult the religion means, for some, that they will no longer be welcome in their family, their friends may shun them and their community most certainly will no longer welcome them. In the Muslim community people don’t generally sit around discussing the flaws of Mohammed or the flaws in the Quran, they sit and praise him and pray five times a day. The religious scholars say without five times a day prayer you are not a good Muslim.

In Muslim majority countries those who insult Islam are jailed, flogged and killed. Raif Badawi is a Saudi writer known for his blog, ‘Free Saudi Liberals’ and I, as have thousands of others, have signed many petitions to free him from jail and weekly lashes. His crime is that of insulting Islam and apostasy charges. How many others have signed the petition yet still believe Islam is peaceful? If Islam cannot be shown to be peaceful in Muslim majority countries what makes these people think it will be peaceful in the western countries? You can cry that this is not Islam all you like but when Muslim majority countries dish out the same punishment for ‘crimes’ then Islam is the problem. The rulers in Saudi Arabia have jailed Raif Badwai, the rulers in Pakistan would have done the same, and the rulers in Iran would have done the same. In Iran they hang gays from cranes, ISIS throw them off tall buildings. The atrocities are never ending and yet it is Islamophobic to bring light to them.

To refuse to name Islam, as the problem for fear of offending your fellow Muslims is dangerous and just makes you look stupid and the stupid it burns.

 

It has everything to do with Islam

Islam is never out of the news. If it wasn’t for bad news about Islam, there would be no news about Islam.

Never have I experienced a time when Islam and Muslims have been discussed daily in the news, social media sites, the water cooler and the hairdressers. There are atrocities being committed in the name of Islam right across the world, pretty much every single day, and probably as I write these very words.

Some say it has “nothing to do with Islam”; some cannily hedge their bets and say it has “something to do with Islam” and some say it has “everything to do with Islam”. The bickering continues with insults, threats and deaths to silence any honest and grown up discussion around Islam.

Well, sitting on the fence gives you a sore behind so I say it has everything to do with Islam and the Mullahs and Sheikhs who control their communities, and who tell us that all our problems can be solved by reading a 1,400 year old book about violence, conquest and intolerance.

There are over a billion Muslims in the world and many of them are angry that they are being tarred with the same brush as the ones who are not so peaceful, but unfortunately poll after poll demonstrates the at huge numbers of Muslims, in the Muslim world but also the West, hold views which are simply incompatible with civilisation, with humanity, with normality.

It’s important to observe countries where Muslims are the majority and where Sharia law is the only law. These are countries where the rulers and politicians think nothing of beheading someone for being gay, or stoning to death a victim of rape or jailing and lashing those who question Islam. The problem in these countries isn’t that the rulers and politicians are “misinterpreting” the Quran and Hadiths. The problem is that they are accurately interpreting them.

When I see the stories of injustice, brutality and total control and oppression of women, who in some Muslim majority countries must be veiled and are not allowed to drive or even to leave home without the permission of a male relative, I am sickened. When I see men hanging from cranes by their necks as punishment for being gay, I cry, at the senseless loss of life. I cry when I hear of children being raped and murdered and their rapists and killers escaping justice because men are rarely punished for crimes of rape in Muslim majority countries.

Adultery in these countries is for women punishable by stoning to death, buried up to the neck, stones and large boulders, thrown by a baying crowd of men; I even read one story where the woman’s own father threw the first rock. I guess that’s what European feminists call “male privilege”. Men can also be killed but not in exactly the same brutal way. They get the same stone and boulder shower, but they’re buried in the ground “only” to the stomach, not right up to the neck.

So why then is it “racist” to be scared of Islam? It seems entirely rational to be scared of Islam. Why is it that when someone like the commentator Douglas Murray speaks up about this kind of horror that is real life for many people in Islamic countries, he is called a far right extremist? Murray is gay, an atheist and a critic of Islam. In my book, he has three exceptionally good reasons to be scared of Islam.

I have even seen a petition calling for the BBC to issue an apology for having Murray on some programme or other. Seriously? Somebody has sat down and thought Douglas Murray is the real threat here, forget that in countries where Sharia law is the law, Douglas Murray would be one of the first people thrown off a tall building or swinging from a crane.

Muslims who live in the Western world and are protected by Western laws wouldn’t last long living under Sharia law either. In the West we can go where we want, with whom we want, when we want, wearing clothes we have chosen. We can go to pubs with friends and we can choose whether to drink or not, we can choose to date, study at school and learn to drive. Simple things in life we all take for granted but for women, especially, in countries where Sharia law is enforced, these things are not within reach. For many, they are not even a memory.

If Islam really is peaceful then my suggestion, for Muslims in the Western world, is to allow the ‘Draw Mohammed’ competitions to take place. These are cartoons, that’s all. And think about it: no one knows for sure what the prophet looks like, so technically it isn’t really a drawing of Mohammed.

When Muslims hear of the rape of children by Pakistani Muslim men in the UK, they are silent, other than to press their big shiny red RACISM buzzers when others bring up the subject. But when Muslims hear of children dying in Palestine they march in their thousands with ‘Free Palestine’ banners. When someone attempts to stage a ‘Draw Mohammed’ event, Muslims mobilise to protest in huge numbers and huge volume. But when ISIS drag the planet back to the Stone Age, or rather the Stoning Age, Muslims can barely fill a broom cupboard in protest – if they protest at all.

Here in the UK, grooming gangs have already raped thousands of children and there is no suggestion this phenomenon has stopped. Muslims are silent because they do not want to admit there is a cancer at the root of our community. Muslims have organised no marches to show they are disgusted at the way our men have behaved. On the contrary, Muslim groups asked the police to ban a recent Pegida march in Rotherham highlighting the abuse. Get that into your head: Muslims are trying to stop protests about children being raped by Muslims, but they’re not trying to stop actual rapes of children by Muslims.

Muslim men are also raping Muslim children in their communities and we as a community stay silent again. Organise a ‘Draw Mohammed’ competition though and we will take to the streets, lobby the right people, and instil such a fear into the hearts of the organisers that the competition has to be cancelled, due to safety reasons.

To show the world that everyone has got it wrong about Islam why don’t we direct that passion and anger towards the men who are raping our children and end it? Why don’t we gather in our thousands and march to Westminster and demand that action be taken to end the misery of thousands of children in the UK?

If we can stop people criticising and mocking Islam, if we can stop people drawing cartoons of the Mohammed then surely we can attempt to stop the rape of children, here in the UK, where Sharia law is not (yet) the law?

Muslims must focus on their own behaviour, not that of their fellow Muslims

 

Everyone, it seems, is interested in what religion you follow. In Glasgow you are usually asked what school you went to and if you reply Saint this or Our Ladies that then the person asking will know you are a Catholic. I have been asked many times if I am Muslim as I have a Muslim name. Am I a Muslim? I suppose I am, because I was born into a Muslim family, even though my mother is a Catholic. She gave up her religion when she met my father and converted to Islam. In Islam, the religion of the father trumps the religion of the mother and I have never felt an affiliation to Catholicism.

I never knew anything about the Catholic religion when I was growing up and even today I know little about it apart from confessions, Mass and Hail Marys.

Religion should be a private matter between individuals and their chosen God. All religions declare that ‘Only God can judge me’ yet its followers spend a huge amount of time judging each other. It’s a human trait no matter what religion you follow or don’t follow.

Many Muslims who leave their religion call themselves Ex Muslims. There was recently even a popular hashtag on Twitter #exmuslimbecause, where people were leaving comments as to why they left Islam. I also left a comment or two even though I do not see myself as Ex Muslim; I did this in solidarity with those who had left Islam and in solidarity with those who live in countries where it is punishable by lashings and death.

“I am of Muslim heritage” is how I describe myself to people who ask. I tell them my father is a Muslim and my mother a Catholic. I did not choose to be a Muslim it was forced upon me, at birth, by my parents. Why, then, do I hold onto the Muslim label, you may wonder, when I do not pray five times a day, I rarely eat halal meat, I drink alcohol and on rare occasions I even eat a bacon sandwich? And as crazy as it sounds I have no idea why I have this need to label myself as someone of Muslim heritage. I don’t go around shouting it for all to hear, just my answer when the discussion comes round to religion.

Growing up in a Muslim home the indoctrination runs deep, the fear of the hell fire never quite leaves you and also turning your back on the religion is a sure way of being shunned by your family and the community. For me the problem of being shunned is no big deal, as I was disowned many, many years ago. For other Muslims, though, it can be a matter of life and death in some countries and even in the UK, where it is relatively safer, the fear of losing contact with all that is familiar, your family and the community, means it is just easier to say you are still Muslim.

I am lucky that my Muslim friends don’t really care if I am religious or not, and they accept me for who I am. They themselves are not overly religious. Some drink alcohol but eat only halal meat; some pray only on Eid and at funerals. Some give nothing to charity and have not been on Hajj (something that all Muslims are encouraged to do in their lifetime, at least once). Many are Muslim by name only. Who decides if they are good enough Muslims or not? Not me. And it should certainly not be fellow Muslims or Mullahs, Sheikhs and self-proclaimed scholars of Islam. It’s between that individual and God.

Being Muslim is on a different level, today, to when I was growing up. Back then it was racism and ignorance from non-Muslims that was our biggest fear. Today the hatred towards Muslims from their fellow Muslims is, in my opinion, far worse than the racism I experienced growing up, which now actually seems quite trivial in comparison. Hatred from fellow Muslims is worse because it is so much more dangerous than the racism I grew up with, and also because it’s incredibly hypocritical too: how often do you hear Muslim ‘leaders’ take to the airwaves to tell us how compassionate and peaceful Islam is? Sadly, this compassion rarely extends to allowing fellow Muslims to practice Islam as they choose, as individuals, and it certainly doesn’t include letting Muslims leave Islam safely. All the other religions have no problems with their followers leaving and most family members still love and welcome their children if they choose to stop attending the church or the chapel. With Islam it is a different story and openly leaving Islam is dangerous for many, regardless of where you live in the world.

Maybe social media is partly to blame, as we can now connect with people from all over the world and not all connections are positive. There are so many different labels for Muslims: progressive, liberal, secular, moderate, ex, and depending which label you give yourself, your fellow Muslims will attack you for not, in their eyes, being a good enough Muslim. And if you are a liberal Muslim woman then the hate and vitriol aimed at you will be ten times worse than what the men have to put up with.

London now has a Muslim mayor and people are divided about how they feel about this. There are many Muslims and non-Muslims who are rightly questioning his links with extremists and then there are those who are claiming he is not Muslim enough.

Maybe if the Muslim community stopped gossiping about each other’s business, and also stopped playing the racism/Islamophobia card at the drop of a hat (something the new Mayor of London did when his extremism connections were questioned in the electoral campaign), and focus instead on their own individual relationship with God, rather than everyone else’s, our news wouldn’t be filled to bursting point with so many sickening stories whose common factor is Islam. Until Muslims, en masse, can get even a basic handle on the concept of personal liberty and freedom – something people of other faiths and no faith throughout Europe have generally managed to do- I fear that as far as the harm Islam can cause, we really ain’t seen nothing yet.

 

 

Islam kills women

 

When I was asked to write a piece on the campaign ‘Islam kills women’ I instantly thought of all the women and girls, who had been murdered in the UK or around the world, and whose tragic stories I had read. I thought of the women who are oppressed in countries ruled by Sharia law, countries in which women are killed by Muslim men, in the name of Islam.

We know it happens. And we know the difficulties women face in Islamic countries if they challenge the laws.

I have lost track of how many petitions I have signed in the hope that prisoners will be released. Prisoned for questioning the hypocrisy and barbarity that is evident in all Islamic countries.

We know it happens here, in the UK, where figures show 12 honour killings a year are reported. When I was asked to write this piece I did not for a minute think or ask, “Why pick on Islam only?” I did not for a minute think it was racist or bigoted to focus on Islam and only Islam, and the women killed by Muslim men who believe Allah will be pleased by their murderous actions. How easy it is for some people, though, to look the other way when faced with blatant injustice, through fear of being called names, or simply through sheer ignorance and denial.

Whenever I read the desperate stories, I cannot help but think back to my own upbringing, in a Muslim home. It was an upbringing in which I did not dare question the different treatment of men and women in the family, an upbringing in which it was normal for the men to have more freedom than the women.

I may not have been allowed freedom at home but at school it was a different matter. There, even though I was discouraged from mixing with boys by my father, I did still talk to boys and I even dated boys, with only the fear of getting into trouble rather than the fear of being killed, for defying my father’s orders.

My punishment for bringing ‘shame’ onto the family name was to be married off to an unsuitable distant relative, a stranger who I met for the first time on the night of the forced marriage. I was 18 years old, when I was forced into this marriage, and I think of myself as one of the lucky ones rather than a victim because I escaped with my life for the crime of becoming too westernised. My father did not take the law into his own hands and kill me, nor did he consult the community leaders and wider community for an opinion on what to do with his wayward daughter, and then allow some other family member to carry out an honour killing, on his behalf.

I am lucky to be alive but nonetheless, I was forced into a life of never ending misery. Days after the forced marriage took place, in Glasgow, Scotland, I knew there would be no happy ever after for me. How could there be when I had been married off against my will to become someone else’s responsibility, because my father was no longer able to control me, and my ‘husband’ had married me with his eyes more firmly placed on a British passport than any interest in me. My husband cared not one bit about my feelings, my dreams or my plans for the future.

From the start he made it clear that our marriage would not be equal and that he was the boss. I was there to cook, clean, wash and bear him a child year after year. Six months into the marriage I ripped up the marriage certificate and threw the papers at him, demanding a divorce. I screamed three times at him, ‘I divorce you! I divorce you! I divorce you!’ He laughed at me and that was how I found out that only Muslim men could divorce their wives this way, because women don’t have this unilateral right of divorce.

I begged him to divorce me but the British passport was more important to him than my unhappiness. Forced to stay in the misery of a marriage, unable to escape, I became depressed and thought of suicide. It’s the only time in my life when I have suffered from such low thoughts. I was living a life with a man I did not even like, never mind love, a man who I knew felt the same about me. He spoke down to me, as though I was an idiot, he criticised every aspect of my life down to the way I spoke and if I dared speak back or defend myself, which I did often on those days he used his fists. I was more than able to defend myself in a vocal argument with him but when it came to fists, I was terrified. He was a man and he was stronger than me. I hated him.

In the very early days, though, when I became pregnant with his child, just weeks into the marriage, this pleased him. He was even quite charming and I thought maybe it could work out. I would soon learn, though, that having his baby would change nothing, and any thoughts of happiness soon disappeared.

Being pregnant releases hormones and women often feel happy. They are said to be “glowing.” That wasn’t my experience. I was depressed. I had nobody to turn to and no way out of the life I was being forced to live. Forced into a marriage, and then forced into a pregnancy and then forced into becoming a mother, suicidal thoughts were often in my mind. I never thought of how I would kill myself, I just wanted to die and for the pain and misery to be over.

Despite my emotional frailty, the birth of my first son was a happy moment. I remember being proud of the perfect little boy I had created – even though the nurses and mums in the beds beside me all thought my ‘husband’ was my father coming to visit his grandson. Nothing and no one could have spoilt the joy I felt, at least initially, at having given birth to my son.

The feelings of joy didn’t last long and I soon slipped back into depression, this time even worse than before as I now had a baby to care for. Families either do not realise or just do not care when they force their young children to marry and then to become parents, which makes them take on responsibilities they are mentally unprepared for. I was not ready to be a wife and I was even less ready to be a mother. Thankfully my mother took over the caring and well-being of my son, visiting every day, making sure the baby had been bathed, taking over feeds and generally taking care of him.

I spent a lot of time at my parent’s home, during my forced marriage. Anything to escape having to share a bed with my husband. After my son was born, I began to spend even more time at my parents’ home, as I hated being alone, cooped up in a flat with just me and the baby. My parent’s house was busy and there was always someone wanting to hold the baby. I could pretend I was still living at home, pretend I had no husband and pretend that the baby belonged to someone else.

However, I knew I could only pretend for so long and that I would eventually have to face reality and go back to my husband. Until one day, that is, when having had enough of pretending I found the strength to walk out and take control of my own life and to be responsible for my own decisions and choices. I knew it would mean losing my son, who would be sent to live with his grandparents in Pakistan and that it would also mean losing the Pakistani side of my identity. When my son was 11 years old he came to Glasgow for a visit and I was allowed to have a brief reunion with him.

I escaped from my forced marriage and once again my father chose not to kill me. Luckily for me the Islam he followed told him there was no honour in killing. His punishment was limited to merely disowning me from the family and in turn from the entire Pakistani community, in Glasgow, thus forcing me to live amongst white people (oh, the shame). As he saw it, he was forcing me to live amongst people who neither knew me nor cared about me, people who were strangers and whose cultures and traditions were just as strange.

I quickly learned to stifle my Pakistani traits. Having been raised in a Pakistani home I knew of no other way to be, but to integrate and fit in with my new friends I had to change. Such is the powers of family tradition that, even where it causes misery, as in my case, I still saw giving up my Pakistani traits as a punishment. In my darkest moments I saw this as worse than death.

Loneliness was a new experience, and I found it difficult to deal with. In the Pakistani community, especially for women, there is little time to be alone. With extended families living together in large numbers – a popular practice for the Mirpuri community where they think nothing of forced first cousin marriages – the only time you are alone is in the bathroom or your bedroom. Otherwise there is always someone around, young and old. So as you can imagine, being alone for the first time was both terrifying and exhilarating.

I was in my early 20s and for the first time in my life I had freedom. Freedom is a strange thing to have when your entire life has been controlled for you, and discovering freedom for the first time I behaved recklessly and believed I was invincible with this newfound freedom. At first I often kept to Pakistani friends – it was the only community I had ever known, after all – because I still had the need to be part of something familiar. I would see my Pakistani friends go home to their own families and be welcomed, even though many were doing what I was doing – ‘haram things’- but I knew I would never again be accepted by my family.

It would always be my flat that everyone chilled out in without fear of being caught. This was because I had been disowned and there was never a risk of anybody from my family turning up announced, as Mirpuri families are famous for.

I am now in my 40s and I have been dead to my father for longer than I spent living at home being his obedient daughter. In that time I have seen an increase in the honour killings and crimes towards Muslim girls and women. The first time I heard of an honour killing was when I was a teenager. I remember there was a story on the front page of the newspaper about a Muslim family from somewhere in England, who had murdered their daughter for becoming too westernised. This was to protect their honour in the Pakistani community, a community, like every other community in the world that loves nothing better than to have a good gossip. We all do it, we all pick up the phone or meet friends for coffee and a chat, and somewhere in that chat, a little bit of gossip is shared. For some in the Pakistani community they thrive on the gossip and never for a minute stop to think of the consequences their gossiping may have on someone’s life.

The community leaders and preachers in the UK and around the world could put a stop to the killing of Muslim girls and women just by changing what they preach to their faithful followers. There was a time in the UK when Pakistani women wore vibrant and colourful shalwar kameez – traditional outfits consisting of long dress and trousers – with a dupatta – a scarf draped over their neck or over the back of their head. Then the community leaders started preaching their nonsense and the sheep in the community started listening and whereas before a father didn’t mind his daughter going out uncovered he now demanded she wear the hijab. Now, in some towns and cities, there seems to be more Pakistani girls and women covered head to toe in black than wearing the colourful and vibrant colours of the past.

Fathers who had previously understood that their daughters would need to speak to the opposite sex at school, college, university and work, and who had understood that this was part of living in a secular society, all of a sudden kept their daughters at home until they could be married off or quietly killed, depending on how much the fathers idolised and listened to the hate and sheer nonsense spouted by their local community leaders.

Muslim men are killing their daughters, or forcing them to live in misery, with no sense of remorse or guilt, purely because of Islam. These men think only of pleasing their own retarded notions of pride and the egos of hate filled preachers, whose sermons they have listened to day after day, whether at the mosque in an audience of other local Muslim men from their communities or in the comfort of their own homes, watching the latest guest on the Islamic TV channels.

Anyone who has allowed Muslim women’s voices to be silenced, by allowing Muslim community leaders, always men, to speak on behalf of women and the issues that affect Muslim women, which are issues that need the expertise and experience of (funnily enough) Muslim women, is complicit in perpetuating the killing and subjugation of Muslim women in the name of Islam. They are guilty of putting the neuroses and insecurities of Muslim men over the rights of Muslim women regardless of how loud the Muslim women were shouting to be heard, and they are guilty also of prioritising their own fear of being labelled a racist above all else, resulting in the shameful appeasement of the demands of Muslim men at the expense of real, brutal suffering of Muslim women.

 

Islam – submission to the will of Allah

I was raised in a Muslim home although home life was more about the Pakistani cultures and traditions of my father than the specific teachings of Islam. Nevertheless I was sent to mosque every day after school to read the Quran and to learn namaz – prayers. I never prayed five times a day I never even prayed once a day. I did think it strange having to read and pray in Arabic, a language I could not speak or understand, and which therefore meant I had no idea what I was reading. But I was not allowed to question this, or anything to do with Islam. I went to mosque until I was about 14 years old and not once do I recall being taught any hatred towards the West, or a distrust or dislike of ‘kaffirs.’ I, like many other, Pakistani Muslims, went to mosque simply to read the Quran.

Like so many other Muslims, my family was not a religious family. We were not forced to wear hijab and music was not forbidden. Family gatherings were not segregated (well, unless my father had white friends visiting, in which case the men would sit separately from the women). A hatred of Jews was also not passed onto us.

However, in other aspects my family was backwards in their ways. For example, they saw nothing wrong with forced marriage, and integrating with the Scottish community was not allowed. Even though my father welcomed Scottish neighbours and his Scottish friends into our home, we were discouraged from visiting white friends, or any other friends unless they were Muslim.

I was forced into a marriage with a much older man when I was eighteen years old. Three years of misery was more than enough and I walked out on my so called ‘marriage.’ For that my family and the Pakistani community disowned me.

I still described myself as Muslim, when people asked what religion I was, as people generally do, thanks to my Muslim name. My reply was ‘I am a Muslim, just not practising.’ I still prayed no times a day, I smoked and drank alcohol, I had relationships of my own choosing and none of these ‘haram’ activities bothered me in the slightest. I knew many other Muslims who also behaved like me without the fear of hell fire.

The only thing, and still to this day that I struggle to do without fear is eating the meat from a pig. I do occasionally have a bacon roll and when I do, I have to fight the inner voice telling me I will be sent to the fires of hell, the inner voice telling me how dirty and disgusting the pig is, even though the taste of bacon is heaven. I eat no other meat from the pig, just the bacon. Silly I know, when I do more ‘haram’ things than eat bacon. Sex before marriage is up there with the top three sins you can commit in Islam yet that never worried me, or millions of other Muslims. I was raised to avoid the pig at all costs whereas I think my parents took for granted that alcohol, drugs and sex would not feature in my life. Ha! The pig indoctrination runs deeper than the other forbidden things.

Other silly things, like an upturned shoe continue to have a powerful, irrational effect on me: I have to turn it back over. I remember as a child being told it is a sin to leave a shoe like that as the dirty sole is facing Allah and is an insult to him. All these years and still I need to turn the shoe over. Crazy what stays with us and continues to influence us. What bothers me may not bother other Muslims and vice versa.

Islam is the number one talked about topic nowadays. Muslims argue with other Muslims for not being the ‘true’ Muslim, non-Muslims argue with Muslims over whether Islam is the religion of peace. Muslims are killing each other yet we still argue over how peaceful the religion is. I remember asking my father what sect of Muslims we belonged to and his reply was ‘We are Muslims.’ He believed we were just all one, which I suppose is a better approach than what is going on in the world today. Sunnis killing Shi’ites, Shi’ites killing Sunnis and ISIS killing anyone – all for the pure sake of killing, it seems. Saudi Arabia killing the innocents in Yemen, the Taliban killing in Pakistan. It never ends. Every day, it seems, brings more misery, and that is even before we start talking about Muslims killing non-Muslims.

Only God can judge me – that is what Judgment Day is for, after all. The day when Allah/God decides who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. Yet here on Earth we have all these crazy lunatics deciding they are God and that their God will be so pleased with them for killing innocent people, in his name.

The drawing of Mohammed also causes many people to lose their minds and want to behead those who have drawn the picture or insulted the prophet. Many have been killed and many have gone into hiding for fear of being killed. Is this peaceful?  As someone who was born into a Muslim family, does it bother me when I see pictures of Mohammed, or insults aimed at him? No, I ignore it and move on.   If you are a pious Muslim and praying five times a day, then there should be no anger, no rage, in you that makes you to want to kill. There should be no time in your life for you to even think about these things. But when you have hate preachers, preaching at the mosque you attend, about the infidels, the kaffirs, and the “corrupt West” in which you are living and making a life or claiming benefits, then you can see where the hate and resentment can start to grow. These radical hate preachers brainwashing the minds of young Muslims attending their prayer classes, still continue to live in the “corrupt society” they preach is the worst of the worst. They brainwash the minds of the young to not have any fun, everything is deemed haram, for females especially. Covered from head to toe these women are allowed only to see through a slit in the niqab they have been forced to wear.

Even though many women will argue it is their choice to cover up, you know it is the religious interpretation of the Quran and Hadiths that the males in the family have chosen to follow. When I was growing up as a Muslim, in the 70s and 80s, the hijab was nowhere to be seen and the niqab rarer still. Very few Pakistani Muslim families made the females feel ashamed and dirty for not being covered and thus “tempting” to all the males around them. We were more relaxed back then. Today the hijab is a popular choice for many females, young and old, and the niqab is also fashionable in some town and cities across the UK. It is a political statement for many and for many others they have been brainwashed by the likes of Zakir Naik, preaching his hate via Muslim channels, viewed in many homes in the UK.

There are also those that negatively judge a woman who may choose to wear a hijab yet continue to wear Western clothes with it; they’ll say her clothes are too tight or that it’s pointless wearing a hijab, Astaghfirullah – God forgive her and many other catty comments. Many strong Pakistani Muslim women have been speaking out against the hate preached in their communities, they have been vocal about forced marriage and honour violence too. The males in the Muslim communities, the males that dictate how everyone should live, have shut out their voices. This in turn has led to non-Muslim men and women being “de-programmed” so as not to express concern or solidarity with women of a Muslim heritage. Otherwise decent people have been silenced for fear of offending the Muslim men who are responsible for the suffering of Muslim women.

Islam does not mean peace; it means submission to the will of Allah and it is supposed to be a way of living your life. If only it would evolve with the times, as other religions have done, and not be stuck 1400 years ago.

Muslims boast about Islam being the first to give women rights yet are silent at the treatment of women in Muslim majority countries today, and are trying to silence women in Western society from speaking out against the atrocities carried out in the name of Islam. Many of those who view Islam as the religion of hate and war only need to point out the endless and senseless fighting that is occurring amongst Muslims in Middle Eastern countries, and those that argue back that Islam is a religion of peace need to stop with the denial and silence. Denial and silence is what causes extremism to flourish in communities. Denial and silence is what causes evil in places like Rotherham. Silencers and deniers will resort to any diversionary tactics they can: when you talk about the serious issues that are occurring in Pakistani communities, especially the raping of young underage white girls, you are accused of somehow implying all non-Muslim men are perfect and commit no crimes. It doesn’t take long for someone to shut down discussion of thousands of rapes in Rotherham and other English towns with the words “Jimmy Savile.”

Until we can have honest discussions, involving both Muslim men and Muslim women, the elephant in the room will never be named and terrible harms will continue to take place. Young children have been brainwashed into thinking that beheading someone for insulting their religion, or killing someone for being gay or an apostate or lashing and stoning to death those that commit adultery, or daring to question Islam in any way, are reasonable responses and a way of life to aspire to. Some of these young children have maybe married and have children of their own and so another generation is being raised in hate.

The time for women to be involved in the debate of Islam has never been so important. Mothers send their children to mosques, sometimes but certainly not always, blissfully unaware of what is being taught, glad of the few hours of peace every night and for some weekend visits to mosque are a must also because of community pressure. It has been proven that mosques are a breeding ground for hatred. There is no need to link to articles and references just listen to the Pakistani women in the community who have been shouting for long enough about this abuse and still the Government allowed molvis and mullahs to enter the country and preach a version of Islam that belongs in the 7th century and helped create a society that lives in fear and hatred of each other. People are fearful of Muslims because they think they want to behead them, or blow them up and Muslims hate the non-Muslims because Muslims consider themselves superior to them and their kaffir ways.

Where as this taken us? It’s created a society in which young and old, those born Muslims and those who have converted to Islam, have left the safety and prosperity of Britain to join ISIS, a cult that is the most barbaric of Islamic terrorist organisations I have seen in my lifetime – against some stiff competition.

Muslim heritage is my identity and nothing will ever change that for me. But unfortunately it is the actions of many in my community, and not just a few as we are often told, that is the problem: credible polls regularly show that support for Sharia law is sadly very high amongst British Muslims.

However, there are many Muslims who are against Sharia, especially women, and we must do everything we can to amplify their voices. At the same time, though, the obligation isn’t simply on people to listen to these women: there is a firm obligation on these women to speak up and do much more. If they won’t speak up in the relative safety of the secular West, where Muslim populations are still relatively low and Islam has no formal state power, then there is little hope these problems will ever be solved from within the community. If Muslim women in the West won’t loudly speak up now, and in large numbers, the question of whether Islam is at all compatible with the West is an entirely legitimate one to ask.