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London Bridge Attack - Open Letter to Main Political Parties

London Bridge Attack - Open Letter to Main Political Parties

Author(s):

Dear Sir/Madam,
 
Following the latest jihad attack on London Bridge and the on-going rows regarding anti-Semitism and Islamophobia we feel that these issues need to be addressed as part of the debate in the current general election.
 
Ladies and gentlemen the time for sitting on the fence has passed. The UK needs and deserves a leader and in fact, politicians generally who will face facts, even unpleasant ones that raise more questions than are answered.
 
In response to the London Bridge attack the  which seems to imply all those criticising Islam are 'hateful extremists' trying to divide communities. That is not helpful response or really a recognition of reality given that jihad attacks occur on an almost daily basis somewhere in the world.
 
To expect people not to be angry and concerned about these repeated attacks is totally unrealistic. The obvious difference in approach between far right attacks where the motivations and background influences are exhaustively examined versus jihad attacks where the exact opposite occurs doesn't go unnoticed. This is breeding cynicism and resentment in many people.
 
The usual responses of 'not all Muslims believe that' and the current official position of:

“ The Government is clear that there is no single pathway to radicalisation for Islamist inspired, right-wing, or any other form of terrorism. People become radicalised when background factors, together with radicalising influences, combine during a period in a person’s life when there is an ideological opening and, crucially, when there is a lack of protective factors. Universal psychological needs for identity, esteem, belonging, and others underpin this process.”

which focusses totally on individuals whilst ignoring what provides the “ ideological opening” in the case of Islamic jihad is a classic case of not seeing or wanting to see the wood for the trees!
 
We as a country face a stark choice in respect of Islamic jihad. It is either continue to crackdown on criticism of Islam and its doctrines, in effect a backdoor Islamic blasphemy law or politicians publicly acknowledging that there are issues with Islamic doctrines and teachings?
 
The former approach will be cheered on by the likes of Anjem Choudary, Begg and the mobs in Pakistan who demanded the death of Asia Bibi. It will also continue the alienation of a large swathe of the UK public who may not know the finer details but who do know that there are issues with Islam.
 
The latter approach is the harder course and will raise many very difficult questions but it will offer a route to solutions that address the underlying issues with Islamic jihad because lighting candles and mouthing platitudes whilst claiming these repeated attacks are 'nothing to do with Islam' will only ensure we and others around the world will be doing that for a long, long time, not only in the UK but around the world.
 
In the light of that and the evidence presented below that jihad is clearly rooted in authoritative Islamic texts and teachings, we would like to pose four questions to each of the main parties and their leaders vying to either form the next government or influence which party provides our next PM.
 
The questions are, do you and your party agree with:

 
 
     1. This 2003 ECHR judgment summary here?
ECHR Judgment Summary: "sharia law is incompatible with democracy and human rights"

Noting that the Welfare Party had pledged to set up a regime based on sharia law, the Court found that sharia was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as set forth in the Convention . It considered that “sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it”. According to the Court, it was difficult to declare one’s respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverged from Convention values , particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervened in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.

Source: “Annual Report 2003 of the European Court of Human Rights, Council of Europe”  

  1. This 2016 report by the Council of Europe, especially paragraphs 13 to 15?
 
In this study I shall be looking at the general principles of Sharia law in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights...Sharia law is understood as being ‘the path to be followed’, that is, the ‘law’ to be obeyed by every Muslim.”


13. In Islamic family law, men have authority over women. Surah 4:34 states: ‘Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and forsake them in beds apart, and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme.’ While wives clearly have a duty of fidelity, husbands do not. In Sharia law, adultery is strictly prohibited. Legal doctrine holds that the evidence must take the form of corroborating testimony from four witnesses to prove an individual’s guilt. These witnesses must be men of good repute and good Muslims. The punishment is severe and degrading, namely ‘a hundred lashes’. In the case of rape, which is seldom committed in public before four male witnesses who are good Muslims, punishing the rapist is difficult if not impossible. In practice, this obliges women to be accompanied by men when they go out and is not conducive to their independence. While divorce by mutual consent is enshrined in Islamic law, the application has to come from the wife, since the husband can repudiate his wife at any time. There is also the question of equal rights with regard to divorce arrangements such as custody of children.
 

14. For division of an estate among the heirs, distinctions are made according to the sex of the heir. A male heir has a double share, whereas a female heir has a single share. The rights of a surviving wife are half those of a surviving husband. 15. In criminal cases, cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments are authorised by Sharia law, including death by stoning, beheading and hanging, amputation of limbs, and flogging.


Apostasy results, firstly, in the apostate’s civil death, with the estate passing to the heirs, and, secondly, in the apostate’s execution if he or she does not recant. 
Lastly, non-Muslims do not have the same rights as Muslims in civil and criminal law, which is discrimination on the ground of religion within the meaning of Article 14 of the Convention.

  1. Resolution 2253 from the Council of Europe in January 2019 which was signed by the UK delegation and adopted formally by the UK according to the Council of Europe website?
 
Particularly these statements:


“The Assembly considers that the various Islamic declarations on human rights, adopted since the 1980s, while being more religious than legal, 
fail to reconcile Islam with universal human rights , especially insofar as Sharia is their unique source of reference.”


 The Assembly is also concerned about the “judicial” activities of “Sharia councils” in the United Kingdom. Although they are not considered part of the British legal system, Sharia councils attempt to provide a form of alternative dispute resolution, whereby members of the Muslim community, sometimes voluntarily, often under considerable social pressure, accept their religious jurisdiction mainly in marital issues and Islamic divorce proceedings but also in matters relating to inheritance and Islamic commercial contracts. The Assembly is concerned that the rulings of the Sharia councils clearly discriminate against women in divorce and inheritance cases.”
 
  4. These quotes from Islamic scholar , the General Secretary of the largest Muslim organisation in the world and a member of the panel advising the  President of Indonesia?

 

“Among Muslims and non-Muslims, there is an urgent need to address those obsolete and problematic elements of Islamic orthodoxy that underlie the Islamist worldview, fuelling violence on both sides. The world’s largest Muslim organisation, Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama, of which I am General Secretary, has begun to do exactly that.
 

The truth, we recognise, is that jihadist doctrine, goals and strategy can be traced to specific tenets of orthodox, authoritative Islam and its historic practice. This includes those portions of Shariah that promote Islamic supremacy, encourage enmity towards non-Muslims and   It is these elements – still taught by most Sunni and Shiite institutions – that constitute a summons to perpetual conflict.”  Also available in this PDF: 

and this paper which he presented to an Islamic conference held in Istanbul November 2017:
 The way I see it, what ISIS did was that they want to force the reality of today’s living to be following what is in the source of Islamic teaching. Everything they [ISIS] did, they have the justification from the authoritative references of Islamic teachings.”
 
 
We trust that any disagreements you and your party may have with answering yes to all of the above will be backed up with reasoned arguments based on sound evidence rather than simple rejection because it doesn't accord with your personal view of the world.
 
 
The background to this is the Shafi'i manual of sharia law available from Amazon:
 the English translation of which was endorsed by the scholars at al-Azhar university in 1991, the leading institute of Sunni theology, as:

“we certify that the above-mentioned translation corresponds to the Arabic original and conforms to the practice and faith of the orthodox Sunni Community (Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama'a). There is no objection to printing it and circulating it.”

That statement is extremely important given especially chapter 'o9 JIHAD' which states at the start:

“Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion.”

That spells out the intent of jihad and places in Islamic law the intent of this Quranic verse, analysed here by  website:

  -  "Not equal are those of the believers who sit (at home), except those who are disabled (by injury or are blind or lame, etc.), and those who strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with their wealth and their lives. Allah has preferred in grades those who strive hard and fight with their wealth and their lives above those who sit (at home).Unto each, Allah has promised good (Paradise), but Allah has preferred those who strive hard and fight, above those who sit (at home) by a huge reward " This passage criticizes "peaceful" Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah's eyes. It also demolishes the modern myth that "Jihad" doesn't mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle. Not only is this Arabic word (mujahiduna) used in this passage, but it is clearly  not  referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption. (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man's protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad, which would not make sense if it meant an internal struggle).  (See also:   )

 
 
Secondly this paper, “TO OUR GREAT DETRIMENT”: IGNORING WHAT EXTREMISTS SAY ABOUT JIHAD, written in 2007 by a US military intelligence analyst, Major Stephen Coughlin, on the danger of ignoring what the jihadists say and the doctrinal basis for their actions. It is directed at the position of the US administration at the time but it is still very relevant to us now in the UK.
 

“ It is the conclusion of this thesis that Islamic law forms the doctrinal basis for the jihadi threat that can only be understood through an unconstrained review of the Islamic law of jihad. Answering the three research questions, it turns out that:

  • When the Chairman said that we have yet to read what our enemy’s have said, he confirmed that we have failed to do a doctrine-based threat assessment of the enemy;
  • Had the IC done so, it would have quickly found that the doctrinal basis of the jihadi threat is the law of jihad in Islamic law in just way the enemy claims; and The only way to understand this doctrine is to return to a threat-based analysis of the enemy that starts with an undelegated and unconstrained assessment of those motivating doctrines the enemy self-identifies as being the basis for his cause of action.


    From the earliest Islamic legal authorities to modern American 7th grade school texts on Islam, it turns out 
    that all agree that Islam is a complete way of life governed by Islamic law . There was nothing to indicate that there are recognized forms of Islam that are not governed by Islamic law. The national constitutions of most Muslim countries, and all Arab countries surveyed, formally reflect this subordination. All the Islamic authorities identified jihad as a duty incumbent on all Muslims at the communal and individual levels. When the authorities spoke to Islamic law of jihad, its meaning was limited to that of warfare against non-Muslims to establish the religion. Because this finding is in line with Quranic verses from surahs from the later periods of revelation, it reflects abrogation’s doctrinal influence on Islamic law. Because jihad’s legal status reflects scholarly consensus, it means that the rules of jihad as stated in Islamic law are absolute and hence cannot be contravened or annulled.”

 
 
Both the Council of Europe report:

“ Sharia law is understood as being  the path to be followed’, that is, the ‘law’ to be obeyed by every Muslim . It divides all human action into five categories–what is obligatory, recommended, neutral, disapproved of and prohibited ...”

and the ECHR judgment summary on sharia:

“ sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it...the way it intervened in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.” 

echo the sentiment that “that Islam is a complete way of life governed by Islamic law”.
 
The other key message of that paper by Major Coughlin is this:

Because jihad’s legal status reflects scholarly consensus, it means that the rules of jihad as stated in Islamic law are absolute and hence cannot be contravened or annulled.”

Also as this government review into the Muslim Brotherhood states:

the Muslim Brotherhood historically focused on remodelling individuals and communities through grassroots activism. They have engaged politically where possible. But they have also selectively used violence and sometimes terror in pursuit of their institutional goals. Their public narrative – notably in the West - emphasised engagement not violence. But there have been significant differences between Muslim Brotherhood communications in English and Arabic;”

In effect, we are being deceived by certain factions of the Islamic demographic.
 
Finally, according to statistics, there are 51 mosques in the UK that admit to being themed on 'Islamic Movement' and this paper spells out the aims of that movement.

ABSTRACT: Islam as a religion and social order which seeks power, state and governance of a polity in line with the external principles laid down in the Holy Quran and Hadith and demand every believer to actively participate and struggle to establish supremacy of the righteous moral conduct. Consequent upon the above, the reformist calls on believers across the Muslim world to build a fair, just and acceptable society based on principles of Islamic ideologies of governance to restore human dignity and social cleansing. As a result, some Islamic Movements emerged in places like the Mahdi Movement in Sudan, Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jama’atmi Movement in Pakistan, Taliban in Afghanistan, Islamic Revolution in Iran, the Sokoto Jihad in Nigeria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Palestine that try to seek power, state as well as establish good governance. However, so many challenges came on their ways among which include internal and external problem. This paper therefore, attempted to assess and analysis the struggle of Islamic movement, power and state and above all the challenges of governance using Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan as a state model.

 
 
However there are apparently also 37 umbrella groups for Islamic Movement in the UK which suggests a rather wider spread of influence than just the 51 mosques that admit to that theme.
 
 
 
No government should be ignoring the clear threats presented above and should be robustly and publicly tackling those threats. We hope that all political parties and their leaders will face up to and publicly answer these important questions before we suffer another London Bridge, 7/7, Westminster, Manchester Arena etc attack.
 
 
Your faithfully,
 
 
 
Sharia Watch UK