Archive for the ‘Multi-Culturalism’ Category
” Hello Andrew,
Appreciate you are probably with the LRC, but thought you may be interested to see these.
Enclosed two “Original” Briefings.
I have great respect for the comrades who produce this journal (this is not made up)
It’s always good news to learn that Bob Pitt of Islamophobia Watch and ex-WRP is still spilling bile against secularism.
One would have though that the Arab Spring, and the relentless fight of Egyptian democrats against his old mate Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s Muslim Broherthood would have led him to shut his gob.
Liberty, Equality and Islamophobia is his latest offering to the only left journal willing to give him space.
Pitt has got this theory that there is some kind of ‘left-wing’ wave of Islamophobia going on in France.
On the basis of some tiny crank orgs who have recruited a couple of former far-left individuals (Cassen and Engleman - yes I underlies a couple that is 2 people) he manages to suggest that there is some kind of widespread turn to the far right of French secularist lefties.
But the bite is in the tail.
“there are hardline secularists in Britain too, some of them active in the labour movement, whose claim to oppose all forms of religious belief doesn;t prevent themselves with the right in portraying Islam as a particular threat to civilisation”.
Now we know that Bob is referring to one main target who is tapping away at the keyboard now.
Readers of the ‘Original’ Briefing will not be any the wiser as to who the other ‘hardline secularists’ are by reading the obituary of hardline secularist Terry Liddle in the same issue.
In Stalinist style it does not mention Terry’s secularism once!
Joseph Anton. A Memoir. Salman Rushdie. Jonathan Cape. 2012.
In early September demonstrations against the video The Innocence of Muslims, took place across the world. Wednesday the 19th of the month saw the French leftist satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo published, to more protests, caricatures of Mohammed.
Two days later, Tahar Ben Jelloun argued, in Le Monde (21.9.12) against any concessions to Islamist inspired rage. He began by asking why Islam seemed so fragile that fiction, cartoons, or a bad film, His answer was the some Moslem countries encouraged this reaction to stave off creating states based on individual rights. Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses was the template for this strategy. It been used by the Iranian regime to quash any criticism of Islam, and to cement an “appartence absolue à la communité” (absolute adhesion to the community). Jelloun had no time for the provocations of Charlie. Yet he recommended ignoring them, and turning to the transcendental spirit of Islam.
Tareq Oubrou, the Rector of the Bordeaux Mosque, wrote on the same Le Monde Débats page, even more clearly against those who wished to suppress ‘blasphemy’. “La liberté de conscience et d’expression est un aquis occidental incontesté et incontenstable. Une avancée et un progrès philosophical-moral réels de notre humanité.” – Freedom of speech and conscience are established, unchallenged, and indisputable facts in the West. This is a step forward and real moral and philosophical progress for humanity”. Oubrou did not just repeat the standard argument (even sued by some Islamists, in the absence of a state ruled by the Sharia) that Muslims should submit to French law. All criticism of writing and art should be within their own terms, “La critique d’art se fait par l’art, la philosophie par la philosophie, and les idées par les idées.”
On the publication of Salman Rushdie’s Joseph Anton, at the end that Month Le Monde put the author on the front page followed by a long, respectful, article/interview. It dealt with Rushdie’s criticisms of “Actually Existing Islam” as well as the Satanic Verses and the Khomeini Fatwa that has marked his life.
The present work does not neglect this political-religious theme, “During the worst excesses of Soviet Communism…Western Marxists had tried to distance ‘actually existing Socialism’ from the True Faith, Karl Marx’s vision of equality and justice.” Now, with Communism’s faults there for all to see, “it was no longer possible to believe in a True Faith untainted by the crimes of the real world.” Yet, “as Islamic states forged new tyrannies, and justified many horrors in the name of God, a similar separation was being made by Muslims; so there was the ‘actually existing Islam’ of the bloody theocracies and there was the True Faith of peace and love.” (Page 356) The crisis is profound, and cannot be wished away by this appeal, Rushdie says, “something was eating away at the faith of his grandfather, corroding or corrupting it, making it an ideology of narrowness and intolerance, banning books, persecuting thinkers, erecting absolutions, turning dogma with which to beat the undogmatic. That thing needed to be fought and to fight it one had to name it and the only name that fitted was Islam.”(Pages 356-7) Read the rest of this entry »
Jimas, whose national HQ is Ipswich based, has long tried to become embedded in the Suffolk Establishment.
It is a Salafist, that is, purist, Islamic missionary organisation.
Its Ispwich leader, Abu Muntasir, (Muhammad Manwar Ali) has an extensive public profile.
But he rarely mentions that he fought in the jihad against the Soviet-backed Afghanistan left government.
Though obliquely he talks of moderation – indicating that perhaps he was not always so.
Initially his activities received official Saudi funding. But he fell out with them (see below).
Later he helped recruit other ‘Mujahideen’ to fight to Holy War in countries such as Bosnia and Kashmir (claimed in document linked to below).
It is alleged that Jimas has also more recently raised money to “fight in the cause of Allah”.
But now Muntasir poses as an open-minded peaceful person. He hopes to win support from the whole ‘community’.
Hence the below,
Ladies and Gentlemen. Citizens of Ipswich. Good evening. Assalam Alaykum.
Thank you for inviting me to this JIMAS-organised event.
I understand that one of the central tenets of Islam is that of tawhid; unity.*
I recognise that there are many facets to unity; a unity between the creator and his or her creation is the most obvious.
Equally, I believe in the unity of all creation and within that the unity of humankind.
Whilst celebrating the amazing diversity of what it means to be human as expressed in our physicality, religious beliefs or none, political systems and overall culture, we must never forget the underlying similarities, the inherent unity between us all.
That is why I am so honoured, on behalf of the Ipswich & Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, to be amongst you now.
Within ISCRE’s very DNA is a commitment to both celebrate diversity whilst recognising that for that diversity to be an expression of joy and freedom as opposed to an expression of exploitation and hatred, all have a fundamental right to be treated equally.
For some, this might appear to be a contradiction.
For us, it reflects a profound reality and that is that a belief in equal treatment for all recognises that all come from the same source, the same material if you will.
Here in Ipswich and across Suffolk, we are fortunate to have many organisations which embrace that seeming contradiction: celebrating diversity, whilst acknowledging unity.
JIMAS is one of those. And this project to convert – but not obliterate, far from it - St Michael’s Church into a community centre for all is an important expression of that striving for unity and equality expressed in and accepting of diversity.
Now you do need to remember that I am here as the chair of ISCRE. I am, as some of you may know, also an Ipswich Borough Councillor. My views wearing both hats usually accord with each other and they do here as well.
Your project for that building on Upper Orwell Street deserves the support and encouragement of all peoples and organisations of goodwill in this town.
You are striving to create a space, an experience even that is safe.
Safe for those looking for friendship and a chat.
Safe for those looking for new outlets for their energies and curiosity.
Safe for those who want to talk and listen to others’ from different backgrounds, of different religions and from different parts of the globe.
I truly hope you achieve this, we achieve this. I truly hope that this community centre becomes the place for the purest and best expressions of everything that Ipswich and its communities stand for and strive to be.
I commend the vision of Manwar and JIMAS and everyone who sees how important a safe space for our communities to come together actually is.
When the fire happened last year and the extent of the damage done was revealed, like many others I was devastated, shocked and fearful.
But because of your vision, you – we, the people of Ipswich never gave in and the vision remains and the project moves forward.
With the backing of those communities, with their direct and indirect sense of ownership of this safe space and with sufficient capital and revenue expenditure to make it happen, you know I think St. Michael’s could become the focal point for all our communities to come together in all their diversity and on equal terms.
* Tawhid (Arabic: توحيد tawḥīd; English: doctrine of Oneness [of God]; also transliterated Tawheed, Tauheed, and Jahweed.) is the concept of monotheism in Islam.It is the religion’s most fundamental concept and holds God (Arabic: Allah) is one (wāḥid) and unique (ahad).
What is JIMAS?
“JIMAS is a UK based Charity Organisation that has been operating since 1984. Thus it has a pioneering history going back over twenty five years. During these years it has gathered much experience and good results by the grace of Allah. It carries out all its activities according to the truth of Allah’s final revelation to mankind, namely the noble Quran and the blessed teachings of His last Messenger to humanity, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Its primary role is education through promotion and maintenance of projects that achieve all three types of actions mentioned in the narration below. Thus its main objective is to facilitate recurring charity (sadaqa jariyya) for Muslims and this underpins all activities without any compromise.” (Here)
The dossier, JIMAS & Abu Muntasir, looks closely, and at length, at Munstair and Jimas’s real beliefs which are anything but about the “expression of joy and freedom” . (Full text: Here ).
It begins by saying, “JIMAS is first and foremost a salafist organisation and hence is involved in disseminating the revivalist creed of salafism throughout the UK”.
Salafism is also the name given to extreme-right Islamist groups who have come to prominence in Egypt. The boudneries between their politics and pious religious preaching are permeable. Our Tunisian comrades have fought physical battels to defend free speech and secularism against Salafists.
They are anything but modern.
The document exposes the narrow-minded religious agenda of Jimas’s Salafism.
If JIMAS are ‘purist’ and do not openly endorse violence (except as legal penalties under the Shariah) they are not ‘moderate’.
Their ideology could be charitably described as unalloyed dogma.
One book, published by Jimas, Living By The Law – Muhammad Ibrahim, offers an extreme defence of Sharia law – here
Muntasir, the authors of the study assert, can be found to have made statements advocating hatred of non-Muslims – the Kuffar (notably see Page 26).
Is this a fit person to be associated with the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality?
Are their links with even more bigoted Islamism in the past?
The dossier concludes by looking at two hate-preachers, Suhaib Hasan and Salim al-Amry - invited to speak at the Jimas Da’wah Conference.
Suhaib is noted for saying (here),
“Even though cutting off the hands and feet, or flogging the drunkard and fornicator, seem to be very abhorrent, once they are implemented, they become a deterrent for the whole society.
“This is why in Saudi Arabia, for example, where these measures are implemented, the crime rate is very, very, low,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.
In a documentary to be screened on Channel 4 next month, entitled Divorce: Sharia Style, Dr Hasan goes further, advocating a sharia system for Britain. “If sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country into a haven of peace because once a thief’s hand is cut off nobody is going to steal,” he says.
“Once, just only once, if an adulterer is stoned nobody is going to commit this crime at all.
“We want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, it is for their good and if they don’t accept it they’ll need more and more prisons.”
He has failed to weasel out of this.
This Conference was in 2011.
This year, 2012, the 19th Annual National Jimas Conference features Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi (listed here) as a key speaker,
Wikipedia says, “The Daily Telegraph reported that, in 2001, Qadhi (whom the newspaper characterized as a “hard-line conservative preacher”) described the Holocaust as a hoax, and claimed that “Hitler never intended to mass-destroy the Jews”, and “All this [the Holocaust] is false propaganda”. The telegraph also reported that Qadhi later retracted his statements, stating that he had been misled.
Faced with the charges, Qadhi, acknowledging that he had briefly held mistaken beliefs about the Holocaust, wrote that even in the 2001 lecture he did not deny “the actual occurrence of the Holocaust, or express any support or admiration for Hitler, or claim that all Jews were worthy of being despised or hated”. He called it a “one-time mistake”, stating that “I firmly believe that the Holocaust was one of the worst crimes against humanity that the 20th century has witnessed.”
Other sources allege other ”mistaken beliefs”,
And this very year, this very spring, Yasir Qadhi was in Cambridge to address a meeting of the Islamic Society of Boston in Cambridge, a meeting at which Taha Abdul-Basser was surely present. A group monitoring the louche matters surrounding the building, on city-owned land sold in a secret sweetheart deal, arranged by a Muslim employee of the Boston Redevelopment Authority, had this to say about that meeting:
“We also are very troubled by a recent sermon given by a visiting preacher, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, at the ISB’s Cambridge center. Sheikh Yasir Qadhi has previously denied the Holocaust, claimed that Jews want to destroy Muslims, and called all non-Muslims (including Jews and Christians) a “spiritually filthy substance” whose lives and property hold no value and are forfeit to Muslims during Jihad.” (Here)
Details of the factional battles within British Salafism from which JIMAS emerged - which resemble factional splits on the far-left – are complex. One key issue is that Muntasir was opposed, on religious grounds, to allowing American bases in the Islamic land of Saudi Arabia A good overall account is given here.
One thing is certain, Muntasir is a divisive political figure whose ideas do not promote the ‘unity of mankind’, except on Islamic terms. His moderation does not extend to doctrinal purity.
Is this is the kind of group the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality should support?