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Response to speech by Sara Khan given in Leeds 2019-11-05
Response to speech by Sara Khan given in Leeds 2019-11-05
Last updated 19/01/2020.
Sara Khan is the lead commissioner at the Commission for Countering Extremism.
Our overall assessment looks at three aspects in general plus some specific points:
You quite rightly want to build trust in and between communities and groups and that is something that we all would like.
However, trust cannot be built on deception and evasion. As we have previously stated in our letter to you, the elephant in the room remains the unwillingness to address the nature of Islam and Islamic doctrines and we have provided evidence from unimpeachable sources to support our assertions that there are solid grounds for concerns regarding Islam-sharia. As this article on the Gatestone Institute site points out there is a stark choice facing us between ever stricter suppression of free speech and freedom to try and mute criticism of Islam as a belief system or facing the truth honestly:
Muslims in Britain and other Western nations are free to spread teachings that are hateful towards non-Muslims. Yet because non-Muslims such as Robert Spencer pointed out that some teachings are hateful and have inspired actual atrocities, UK authorities banned Spencer for spreading "hate."
One sees, then, that restrictions against "hate speech" often do not really ban hate speech; instead they may actually be protecting certain forms of hate speech against legitimate inquiry.
As the reports on police Operation Augusta against grooming gangs in Manchester and the admission by South Yorkshire police that they ignored grooming gangs for decades have recently shown, the results of such denial can be the protection of criminal activity against children as well. Despite the best efforts of the media and politicians to bury these issues, they are still known about and they do not engender trust and honesty in either Islam as a belief system nor in the public services in this country. It seems that the climate of fear Islamic threats and jihad engenders causes our politicians police and journalists to surrender rather than face any possible confrontation between the values of Islam and our own. Two different police forces, same story and there must be suspicions that the same fears prevented police action in the Sunderland case study in your report!
A senior police officer admitted that his force ignored the sexual abuse of girls by Pakistani grooming gangs for decades because it was afraid of increasing “racial tensions”, a watchdog has ruled.
The report added that officers were aware of many community issues around policing in South Manchester in 2002 and 2003. It would appear the fear of race relations and community cohesion were seemingly more important issues than upholding the rule of law and providing protection to young vulnerable girls.
" There was an educational issue – Asian males didn’t understand that it was wrong, and the girls were not quite there. They were difficult groups to deal with. We can’t enforce our way out of the problem.” - Constable B
Trust is best built by talking openly about issues in our opinion. The problem is that no one wants to talk about these issues!
We hope we are wrong here but the impression we have formed to date from your report and speech plus the underlying reports you commissioned is of interaction with a large echo chamber of officially recognised counter-extremism groups who by virtue of being endorsed by or funded by national or local government all espouse an orthodox, politically correct and essentially left wing/'liberal' mindset. A mindset critiqued in various ways by these articles:
WHY THE LEFT CAN’T UNDERSTAND ISLAM:
The left’s greatest intellectual error is its conviction that the world can be divided into a binary power struggle in which both sides agree on the nature of the struggle, but disagree on the outcome.
Douglas Murray Spectator 17th January 2015:
"In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’... All these leaders are wrong. In private, they and their senior advisers often concede that they are telling a lie. The most sympathetic explanation is that they are telling a ‘noble lie’, provoked by a fear that we — the general public — are a lynch mob in waiting. ‘Noble’ or not, this lie is a mistake. First, because the general public do not rely on politicians for their information and can perfectly well read articles and books about Islam for themselves. Secondly, because the lie helps no one understand the threat we face. Thirdly, because it takes any heat off Muslims to deal with the bad traditions in their own religion. And fourthly, because unless mainstream politicians address these matters then one day perhaps the public will overtake their politicians to a truly alarming extent."
Various examples from a fairly random search: https://shariawatch.org.uk/?q=search/node/why%20the%20left
Also this paper, written in 2007 by a former US intelligence analyst, Stephen Coughlin, on the danger of ignoring what the jihadists say and the doctrinal basis for their actions:
“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.”
Deradicalisation programs don't work! They have been tried in France and a cross party report branded them a "total fiasco". The Times reports:
The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT), the so-called nudge unit formerly part of the Cabinet Office, examined 33 deradicalisation programmes across the country designed to safeguard vulnerable people from far-right and religious extremist threats. The Times understands that most were funded by or fell under the label of Prevent.
Deradicalization works only if it defies this suicidal Western political correctness by tackling the real causes of this kind of terrorism, which are in the Islamic texts. "Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them", says the Koran (9:5). Usman Khan apparently saw Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones as "unbelievers", not as "rehabilitators". If we do not change our rules of engagement, more of the same will follow.
Anti-Semitism within Islam:
This is one of the most virulent and rising forms of extremism in the UK today, yet the role Islamic doctrines and teachings play here are largely ignored. From Panorama 2010:- "British Schools, Islamic Rules" teaching children questions such as "List the reprehensible qualities of the Jews?" through to surveys by ADL (Anti-Defamation League) which show anti-Semitism by Muslims in Europe to be circa 4.9 times greater than the general population in the UK.
Cardiologist Vera Kosova, a German Jewish immigrant from Uzbekistan, provided these balanced, pellucid insights on such findings when interviewed recently at the Frankfurt Book Fair, 10/19-20/19 (posted with English subtitles 11/7/19):
“It is important that the Antisemitism debate be led openly, honestly and broadly. There’s a right-wing Antisemitism; there’s a left-wing Antisemitism, and there is Muslim Antisemitism. Muslim Antisemitism clearly dominates in the statistics, and also does especially among the surveys done among the Jews. The German police crime statistics don’t apply, because they do not represent the reality. That’s because as soon as the perpetrator cannot be clearly identified the crime is assigned to the ‘right’ end of the spectrum. We’re not going to solve these problems in this country by doing this, and that’s certainly not going to stop Antisemitism.”
Finally, it is imperative to acknowledge and hold accountable the most authoritative, mainstream Islamic religious teaching institutions—Sunni and Shiite alike—that continue to promote canonical Islam’s most virulently Antisemitic tropes from the Koran, and traditions of Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Sunni Islam’s Vatican, Al-Azhar University, and its previous and current Grand Imam Papal equivalents, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (d. 2010), and Ahmad Al-Tayeb, respectively, epitomize these trends.
Tantawi, arguably the greatest modern commentator on the Koran, in addition to serving as Al-Azhar Grand Imam from 1996 until his death in 2010, provided this summary gloss on the Koranic depiction of Jews, emphasizing its timeless relevance:
(The) Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah (see Koran 2:61/ 3:112 ], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places (4:46) , consuming the people’s wealth frivolously (4:161), refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do (3:120; 5:79), and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted (lascivious) envy (2:109)…only a minority of the Jews keep their word…[A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims (Koran 3:113), the bad ones do not.
More ominously, Tantawi’s exhaustive modern analysis of Islam’s defining, canonical sources concluded by sanctioning bigoted—even violent—Muslim behaviors towards Jews.
[T]he Jews always remain maleficent deniers….they should desist from their negative denial…some Jews went way overboard in their denying hostility, so gentle persuasion can do no good with them, so use force with them and treat them in the way you see as effective in ridding them of their evil. One may go so far as to ban their religion, their persons, their wealth, and their villages.
The politically correct mindset, dominant in most official bodies in the UK and critiqued above, we believe, excludes the concerns of many ordinary people such as the lady I happened to meet in a hospital car park a few months ago. She was in her 70s, quite ordinary but a mention of immigration brought forth the statement “Tommy Robinson is right, I don't know if you have heard of him...”. As was expressed in our initial letter, it is those concerns that lead to large numbers of people in the UK thinking:
“Most Brits Think Islam ‘Incompatible’ With UK, Third Say It Is Violent”
and “New research points to significant and widespread levels of public anxiety over immigration from mainly Muslim states”
You can either dismiss the concerns behind those points as people being fooled by 'far right' activists and continue down the path of censorship and silencing people/groups that voice concerns about Islam-sharia. Alternatively you can try and understand why, across the world, there are a plethora of groups and individuals voicing concerns regarding Islam-sharia, concerns that are not echoed for other groups such as Buddhists, Hindus etc.
The former path of trying to silence or at least mute criticism of Islam will, we are sure, be warmly welcomed by the likes of Begg and Anjem Choudary as it is in effect a backdoor Islamic blasphemy law. Indeed we are close to that with the appalling definition of 'Islamophobia' produced by an extremely gullible set of MPs and the likes of CAGE and MEND.
The latter path is a much harder and uncomfortable philosophical position as Scruton pointed out in this excellent article:
The problem is that bad philosophy is attractive and optimistic – why else would you be taken in by it? – whereas good philosophy is sceptical, with nothing to recommend it besides its truth, which is also its most depressing feature.
It is undeniable that criticising Islam-sharia as a belief system will reflect to some extent on the Islamic community as a whole but when we are faced with Islamic texts and doctrines as they are and systemic misquotes of the Quran after scenes of horrific slaughter, those criticisms are something that they need to face.
Our present Prime Minister reportedly seemed to understand this back in 2007. Whether that is still the case is another matter? “Boris Johnson insisted that 'Islam is the problem' and Islamophobia is a 'natural reaction'”
Equally, the journalists and politicians that fail to expose the deliberate misquoting of verse 5:32 by excluding the context and the exceptions are complicit in perpetuating the problem for the sake of having a quiet life now!
The ordinance is in reference, as per the preceding verses, to the killing of Abel by his brother Cain. Verse 32, which begins “for that cause” (reason), meaning “for the reason Cain killed Abel,” is followed by the decree given to “the Children of Israel” (i.e., the Jews) who, according to Muslims, received an earlier set of scriptures. Effectively speaking, this is applied to Muslims who as the new chosen people should not kill other Muslims. The verse likewise sanctions killing as an act of vengeance against those who kill or cause disharmony in the umma. Based on the two verses that follow (33–34), what appears on the surface to be a peaceful message is in reality a warning:
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment; Except for those who repent before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.—Sura 5, 33–34
Also this is a very good explanation of this misleading misquotation of verse 5:32:
“…whosoever killeth a human being…[exceptions omitted!]... it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind…”
3 A 'sticking plaster' approach:
Concerns regarding Islam, misrepresented as “anti-Muslim prejudice” and the counter narrative of 'nowt to do with Islam' are evident in the examples you cite of Sunderland and the local council that continued to work with an extremist.
The latter two are both sides of the same coin of denial and for that matter so is the “it is unfortunate to see an anti-counter-extremism lobby regularly peddle these false claims.”. These are examples of the echo chamber mindset of political correctness that has been pushed so heavily that is has become the dominant philosophy.
You deal with the surface expressions of concern regarding Islam-sharia which, I would agree in general terms, are frequently poorly expressed and sometimes based on misinformation. However, the commission neither appear to see nor are willing to recognise the undercurrents that have produced people and groups questioning Islam-sharia around the world.
What you do not address is the essentially reactive nature of these concerns about Islamic doctrines and actions in the name of Islam, you simply file them under the heading “hateful extremists”, essentially something to be squashed. As stated above, an approach that adherents to Al-Muhajiroun will no doubt happily endorse.
There is no hint of even an attempt at understanding the motivation behind those protesting about Islam-sharia. What analysis the commission have done appears to be either of the genuine far right such as National Action or the commission has mutated concerns about Islam into “anti-Muslim prejudice”.
The commission state that they want to take a “human rights and evidence” based approach to extremism, thus it is frankly amazing that, so far as we have being able to determine, none of the many items quoted by Sharia Watch have been cited in either the main report or in the sub-reports on specific issues, especially our KEY DOCUMENTS!.
That is, in our opinion, a serious failing of both this speech and the report on which it is based but one that fits with the head in the sand 'Islam is innocent' approach or as Macron recently put it after the latest slaughter of police staff in Paris, “a distortion of Islam”. We have previously addressed concerns about the report here. To date we have only received a holding reply.
French President Emmanuel Macron has warned against “stigmatising” Muslims or making the link between Islam “with the fight against terrorism.” Macron also condemned what he called the “irresponsibility” of political commentators for the “fatal shortcut” of linking Islam with terrorism.
It is disturbing that Emmanuel Macron’s views align with those of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, who also argued against all fact that “it was wrong to ever equate Islam with terrorism, declaring that any form of ‘radical Islam’ does not exist. Khan continued (at the UN) to declare that ‘there is no radical Islam. There is only one Islam.’”
In our view, you need to commission another paper dealing with the impact of Islamic doctrines on both Islamic thinking and society as a whole. In this, the approach needs to be a world-wide, holistic view because negative influences on people within the UK can just as easily emanate from the Middle East, Pakistan or elsewhere eg:
Pakistani Islamism – Flowing Into The UK:
Will the UK become another Pakistan? The definitive answer is yes. The only question is when. In November of 2017, Islamists from the Sufi school of Islam laid siege to Islamabad for three weeks on the issue of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat ("finality of the prophethood of Muhammad"), a belief that is part of Islamic shari'a's blasphemy laws. The ideas articulated by Islamists in Pakistan are being preached in British towns and Europe – publicly and in mass rallies, as discussed below. In an earlier article, I have defined Islam as a movement of ideas, Islamism as the peaceful methodology of Islam and jihadism as the weaponised version of Islamism.
In recent decades, Ahmadi Muslims, pejoratively dismissed by clerics as Qadianis and persecuted by the Pakistani state and society, have found shelter in the UK. Ahmadi Muslims will be at the receiving end of Pakistani Islamism flowing into the UK because they are accused, inaccurately, by Islamists of not believing Muhammad to be the last prophet. Ahmadis do believe that Muhammad was the last prophet, but also argue, much like the Sufis do, that God talks to and mediates with mystics. However, the Islamists – Deobandis or Sufis – have determined that Ahmadis are guilty of blasphemy by not believing in Muhammad to be the last prophet.
Jamaat-e-Islami Official Tells Crowd In Birmingham: "Unless Nizam-e-Mustafa [The Prophet Muhammad's System Of Governance] Is Established... There Cannot Be Peace"
To some extent that approach is understandable from national politicians and government who do not want the extremely thorny problems that will be thrown up by addressing the nature of the Islamic belief system e.g.
Islamic Civilisation: Four Challenges: Extract from a paper presented to an Islamic conference in Istanbul November 2017 by an Islamic scholar:
“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.”
Among Muslims and non-Muslims, there is an urgent need to address those obsolete and problematic elements of Islamic orthodoxy that underlie the Islamist world view, 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 require the establishment of a caliphate. It is these elements – still taught by most Sunni and Shiite institutions – that constitute a summons to perpetual conflict.
Essentially, the above are simply denied/ignored, at least in public, by government bodies in the UK. That is as Douglas Murray described it possibly a "noble lie" to try and suppress public concerns. The same approach from a body that has deliberately set itself apart from government in order to be able to critique government policy where required isn't as understandable.
The commission classes “Islam teaches these men that women are nothing and that they can beat and abuse them at will...” as 'hateful extremism', therefore we need to look at the evidence behind the original statement because we believe it to be a simple statement of the truth. This is something the commission have conspicuously failed to do. In particular verse 33:59 (Sahih translation):
O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves [part] of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.
The implication of "they will be known and not be abused" being that Muslim women will be known by their mode of dress, whilst non-Muslim women who aren't dressed in an Islamic manner are open to 'being abused'!
The author has little personal knowledge of the case in Sunderland so cannot comment on the specifics of that particular case but the wider narrative behind it is of some Muslim men abusing women. That has been noted in some of the more honest media outlets e.g. Daily Telegraph:
“Men of Pakistani heritage treated white girls like toilet paper.”
The logic behind your current approach would suggest that you class the Daily Telegraph and the columnist as 'far right' based on that commentary. To some extent we would class the comment as dubious because it refers to “Pakistani heritage” and not to predominantly Muslim men who happen to be of Pakistani heritage in the UK. Similar problems elsewhere in Europe have occurred with Muslim men of Arab and North African heritage.
This quote from a court case illustrates the problem:
was taught that women were "worthless" at the Islamic faith school he attended, also claiming that he was not aware it was illegal for him to have sex with a child because his education had left him 'ignorant' to British law.
Report on Operation Augusta:
There was an educational issue – Asian males didn’t understand that it was wrong, and the girls were not quite there. They were difficult groups to deal with. We can’t enforce our way out of the problem.” -Constable B
Another incident, small but telling! These men are getting their ideas from the teachings of sharia: - Council of Europe - "In Islamic family law, men have authority over women"
“Austria: Kosovar at police check says ‘I do not talk to women, they have no rights,'” translated from “Österreich: Kosovare bei Polizeikontrolle ‘Ich rede nicht mit Frauen, die haben keine Rechte,'” PolitikStube, December 4, 2019 (thanks to Searchlight Germany):
The kidnap and forced conversion of non-Muslim girls is a regular occurrence, particularly in Pakistan but also in other places within the Islamic world (e.g. Chibok girls):
“according to Aurat Foundation, around 1,000 women and young girls from religious minorities in Pakistan are forced to convert to the religion of the majority [Islam] and marry their kidnappers every year. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan believes that more than 20 Hindu girls are kidnapped every month. “
The connection between Islamic doctrines and CSE/attitudes to women is briefly discussed here: https://shariawatch.org.uk/?q=content/link-between-cse-and-sharia-law
Then there is the report by the Council of Europe quoted in our initial letter:
In this study I shall be looking at the general principles of Sharia law in relation to the European Convention on Human Rights...
In Islamic family law, men have authority over women.Surah4:34 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,18 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.
The ECHR judgment expressing concerns regarding: “its [sharia] rules on the legal status of women”
Council of Europe resolution 2253:
The Assembly denounces in particular the fact that in divorce and inheritance proceedings – two key areas over which muftis have jurisdiction – women are at a distinct disadvantage.
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.
Then there are the references in the Quran:
Does Islam teach that a woman is worth less than a man? Absolutely. The only debatable point is by what degree.
In Islam, sexism is mathematically established.
Quran (2:282) - (Court testimony) "And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not found then a man and two women."
Muslim apologists offer creative explanations to explain why Allah felt that a man's testimony in court should be valued twice as highly as a woman's, but studies consistently show that women are actually less likely to tell lies than men, meaning that they make more reliable witnesses.
Quran (2:228) - "and the men are a degree above them [women]"
This is often taken to mean authority or responsibility - although it is not literally in the Arabic text.
Quran (5:6) - "And if ye are unclean, purify yourselves. And if ye are sick or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have had contact with women, and ye find not water, then go to clean, high ground and rub your faces and your hands with some of it"
Men are to rub dirt or water on their hands to purify themselves, following casual contact with a woman (such as shaking hands).
Quran (2:223) - "Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will..."
A man has dominion over his wives' bodies as he does his land. This verse is overtly sexual. There is some dispute as to whether it is referring to the practice of anal intercourse. If this is what Muhammad meant, then it would appear to contradict what he said in Muslim (8:3365).
Quran (4:3) - (Wife-to-husband ratio) "Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four"
Inequality by numbers.
Quran (53:27) - "Those who believe not in the Hereafter, name the angels with female names."
Angels are sublime beings, and would therefore be male.
”And all married women (are forbidden unto you) save those (captives) whom your right hands possess. It is a decree of Allah for you. Lawful unto you are all beyond those mentioned, so that ye seek them with your wealth in honest wedlock, not debauchery. And those of whom ye seek content (by marrying them), give unto them their portions as a duty. And there is no sin for you in what ye do by mutual agreement after the duty (hath been done). Lo! Allah is ever Knower, Wise.”
“O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war, and the daughters of thine uncle on the father's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the father's side, and the daughters of thine uncle on the mother's side and the daughters of thine aunts on the mother's side who emigrated with thee, and a believing woman if she give herself unto the Prophet and the Prophet desire to ask her in marriage - a privilege for thee only, not for the (rest of) believers - We are Aware of that which We enjoined upon them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess - that thou mayst be free from blame, for Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.”
A man is permitted to take women as sex slaves outside of marriage. Note that the verse distinguishes wives from captives (those whom their right hand possesses). [Verse 33:50 also provides a convenient exemption for Muhammad!!!]
The last point on Quranic verses 4:24 and 33:50 is echoed in the Shafi'i manual of sharia law:
K32.1 Women and children of the land that has been conquered are considered booty of the war and they are considered slaves. Everything belongs to the Imam first and after he takes a fifth of the booty the rest is given to the soldiers who were involved in the war. If the slave becomes a Muslim this conversion does not set him free and he will stay a slave. Captivity is the absolute consequence of Muslims war with non-Muslims and is not exclusive to elementary Jihad or defensive Jihad, even in the presence of the prophet or Imam and with their permission. If Jihad was done without the permission of prophet or Imam, all the booty is given to the Imam.
K32.3 The master who owns a woman slave can use her in any way for his sexual pleasure; he can marry her if he wants. In intercourse the satisfaction of the female slave is not important at all. The female slave does not have to be Muslim convert. Even if she is pagan the sexual intercourse is Halal (permissible). A female Muslim is not allowed to have sexual relation with her slave without marriage. The male slaves are considered “mahram (impermissible, taboo)”. The Koran has emphasized this point. The Mola (Master) not only has the right to marry his female slave without her consent but he is also allowed to lend her to another man without her consent to have sexual intercourse without marriage. He also has the authority to marry her to one of his male slaves.
Similarly from the Maliki school of sharia:
32.6b. Women of the People of the Book It is halal to have sexual intercourse with women of the People of the Book if you own them as slaves or are married to any of their free women, but it is not halal for either a free man or a slave to have sexual intercourse with slave girls from among the people of the Book through marriage to them.
[This is based on the ayat of Allah, "or what your right hands own." We read in adh-Dhakira that because the People of the Book have been honoured by the Book and addressed by the Almighty Lord, their women and food are permitted. Others lack this honour by their deprival. It is reported from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar ibn al-Khattab that it is not permitted to marry a free Kitabi woman by evidence of the ayat of al-Baqara. He says, "There is no shirk greater than her statement that her Lord is 'Isa."]
The above, being part of the Quran and sharia law, is being reflected in at least some mosques in the UK:
"Yes, boys, you CAN have sex slaves: Outrage as British Muslim cleric at mosque where Cardiff jihadis were radicalised tells teenagers that 'captives' are permissible under Islam in vile sermon"
Reflect on the above in the context of how ISIS treated the Yazidi people! Also, the Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram! Summing up the above in a speech or a tweet as “Islam teaches these men that women are nothing and that they can beat and abuse them at will...” is hardly extremism, more a reflection of a reality that too many wish to ignore. As Scruton said:
“good philosophy is sceptical, with nothing to recommend it besides its truth, which is also its most depressing feature.”
As this article says:
The problem is that some — many — of the worst teachings plaguing the Islamic and non-Islamic worlds are derived directly from those texts deemed entirely reliable. The Koran, for example, very clearly permits the sexual enslavement of non-Muslim women, the beating of one's wife, and polygamy. The Koran calls on Muslims to have hate for and when convenient to war on non-Muslims just because they are non-Muslims.
Other points from your speech:
1. “They spread anti-minority disinformation and conspiracy theories online and offline”
Response: If you feel any of the points we make falls into those categories, please explain why? Sharia Watch is open to debate.
2. “Thanks to those of you who attended our workshop yesterday, we want to hear your thoughts on how our definition works on the ground.”
Response: It doesn't work so long as it refuses to consider the role of Islamic doctrines especially sharia.
3. “To date there has been little discussion of the victims of extremism; “
Response: This is very true, especially of ex-Muslims whose apostasy from Islam is punishable by death under sharia law! Council of Europe:
“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.”
Nissar Hussain, an apostate who was beaten with iron bars and required an armed police guard to collect the family belongings after being forced from their home!
4. “They spread anti-minority disinformation and conspiracy theories online and offline, amassing hundreds of thousands of views to normalise hate and recruit others to their cause. Stephen Yaxley Lennon in conjunction with Rebel Media for example promoted one campaign which amassed 100,000 views.”
Response: The real problem here isn't SYL, it is the sharia and Islamic doctrines that promote intolerance, make non-Muslims 2nd class citizens, make men superior to women and sanction jihad. That is what most people who are concerned about Islam are opposing. That should be clear from the many ex-Muslims who are extremely critical of Islam-sharia. Although that isn't to say that SYL's methods are always the ideal way to approach a particular issue. To re-iterate various earlier points and please do say if you think that any of these points constitute “disinformation” or a “conspiracy theory”?
Islamic scholar Yahya Cholil Staquf: “This includes those portions of Shariah that promote Islamic supremacy, encourage enmity towards non-Muslims”
5. “Some councils felt able to talk about some forms of extremism in their area, for example the far right, but found it uncomfortable to discuss others, for example, Islamist extremism, in fear of causing offence or a lack of understanding. Our report also gives an example of one council who did not take a more robust response to an extremist in their area, even after the High Court declared this individual, an imam of a mosque, to be an extremist who had spouted religious violence, antisemitism and other extremist behaviour. Our case study showed, that despite the High Court’s ruling, it appeared to be business as usual for this imam and a poor response from the council and civil society (including other faith leaders), contributed to a lack of an effective response in challenging his extremist behaviour and beliefs – and not challenging this is how normalisation happens.“
Response: “found it uncomfortable to discuss others for example, Islamist extremism” - What you fail to recognise is that what that imam was quoting is sharia law e.g. "non-Muslims must step out of the way of Muslims" can be found in the Shafi'i manual of sharia, The Reliance of the Traveller, section o11.5 item 4 "non-Muslims must keep to the side of the street" = step out of the way of Muslims. The real question here is, Why was such a key point as the ECHR judgment on sharia omitted from your timeline? In truth, if the commission cannot face up and publish/discuss the ECHR judgment on sharia law and the subsequent follow ups by the Council of Europe are you any better than those councils?
6. “or a lack of understanding”
Response: The commission can help to rectify this for those councils that lack understanding by initiating discussion of the ECHR judgment on sharia and other points made in our recent letter. Open, robust debate is by far the best way to spread knowledge.
7. “Some of the accusations levelled at the counter-extremism strategy included the claim that “taking counter-extremism money in any circumstances legitimises the strategy of the state which approaches Muslims as criminals” and that the “counter-extremism strategy relies on premise that Muslims are predisposed to violence and therefore require monitoring and surveillance”. “
Response: This is a common tactic, switching focus away from Islam-sharia as a belief system to Muslims(individuals). It is Islamic doctrines that require scrutiny. What flows from such scrutiny will possibly be many awkward and painful choices but that is no reason to avoid subjecting the Islamic belief system to proper, indepth scrutiny. The very visible damage being inflicted around the world on a daily basis by adherents of that belief system cannot be ignored.
That is why we are calling on the commission to initiate a proper, robust debate on the points we have raised! This point about what we should tolerate and not tolerate is very appropriate:
“Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error.”
What a crucial point! The greatest barrier to dialogue is our failure to separate people from their ideas. When that happens, people become afraid to challenge bad ideas because they feel like they’re demeaning the person who holds them. But people are not their beliefs—they have beliefs, but they are not identical with their beliefs. That’s a vital distinction, which Sheen helps us see.
8. Your definition of hateful extremism: “Behaviours that can incite and amplify hate, or engage in persistent hatred, or equivocate about or make the moral case for violence...That draw on hateful, hostile or supremacist beliefs directed at an out-group, and that cause or are likely to cause harm.”
Response: Given the above and the points below would the commission agree that is exactly what sharia law does?
Islamic scholar Yahya Cholil Staquf: “This includes those portions of Shariah that promote Islamic supremacy, encourage enmity towards non-Muslims and require the establishment of a caliphate. It is these elements – still taught by most Sunni and Shiite institutions – that constitute a summons to perpetual conflict.”
Abstract of an academic paper:
"This work argues that Islamic law is not simply a collection of religious precepts and rules, but a comprehensive legal system styled to preserve the interests of Muslims ["hateful, hostile or supremacist beliefs directed at an out-group" - that is discriminate against non-Muslims] and to regulate their relations with the rest of the world in times of peace and war. In the light of Qur’anic injunctions, Prophetic tradition, and the doctrine of jihād ["make the moral case for violence" - see Shafi'i manual of sharia below], Muslim jurists unanimously agree on the permissibility of concluding peace treaties with the enemy. They also consent to diplomatic, commercial, and political ties with non-Muslim States, in order to protect the public interest of Muslims, whether they live in dār al-Islām, under Islamic dominion, or in other territories. These relations could be classified under so-called Islamic theory of international relations, in the modern sense of the term, namely: (a) al-mu‘āhadāt (treaties), which include al-amān (safe-conduct); al-hudna (armistice); and al-dhimma (pact, security); (b) al-mu‘āmala bil-mithl (reciprocity); (c) al-tahkīm (arbitration); (d) al-hiyād (neutrality); (e) tabādul al-wufūd wal-safārāt (diplomatic exchange); and (f) al-tijāra al-Khārijiyya (foreign trade). The implication of this theory will be the object of analysis in this work."
Council of Europe:
" non-Muslims do not have the same rights as Muslims in civil and criminal [sharia] law, which is discrimination on the ground of religion within the meaning of Article 14 of the Convention." ["hateful, hostile or supremacist beliefs directed at an out-group" - that is discriminate against non-Muslims]
Your report already defines one aspect of sharia as hateful extremism. That is "non-Muslims must step out of the way of Muslims" which is expressed in the Shafi'i manual of sharia as "must keep to the side of the street;"
o11.5 Such non-Muslim subjects are obliged to comply with Islamic rules that pertain to the safety and indemnity of life, reputation, and property. In addition, they:
(1) are penalized for committing adultery or theft, thought not for drunkenness;
(2) are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar);
(3) are not greeted with "as-Salamu 'alaykum";
(4) must keep to the side of the street; [out of the way of Muslims]
(5) may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims' buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed;
(6) are forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays;
(7) and are forbidden to build new churches.
Other aspects in that manual include non-Muslims should not look after Muslim children and the chapter on jihad which opens with:-
"Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion"
Boris Johnson brands sharia "absolutely unacceptable in the UK":
Sharia being implemented in prisons:
Islamist extremists are presiding over Sharia trials, pledges of allegiance to ISIS and dishing out punishment beatings in UK jails, an ex-inmate has revealed.
The key point here is that implementing sharia is the aim of all jihadi groups.
Report by Danish Professor on lack of Islamic integration:
["hateful, hostile or supremacist beliefs directed at an out-group" - that is against non-Muslims]
In the new report, Akkari (quoting Aarhus University professor of political science Mehdi Mozzafari) defines Islamism as the “religiously based ideology, which contains a totalitarian interpretation of Islam that seeks to conquer the world.” Akkari suggests that traditionalist interpretations of Islam wield a monopoly of power over Muslims. This monopoly prevents them from integrating into Western societies, because it prevents them from thinking and acting freely concerning Islam. Akkari writes:
“Here my point is that Islam has never fully assimilated into any society and that Muslims have never fully adapted into non-Muslim cultures. With an increasing number of Muslims in the West, this will end in conflict.
“Most conflicts result from Islamism’s control of the definition of ‘what it means to be Muslim’… Many Muslims do not really use the mosques in their daily lives and do not listen… to the imam’s advice and guidance. These are Muslims of culture and of background. Although they are many, they are unable to influence understanding or interpretation because cultural Muslims are not legitimate…
“Islamism works against cohesion with the West — also when it preaches understanding and democracy — and it produces a counter-pressure that shows itself in terrorism, gangs and politicized groups. It shows itself in cynical speculation of influencing political power, not because it accepts democratic life, but because it thereby attempts to become strong enough to overcome it…
“The problem with the Muslim minority in the West… is that it dare not be independent, when it comes to religious issues… because the strong religious and cultural elite governs… and posits itself as self-elected representatives of Muslims”.
The other challenge, writes Akkari, is that:
“As Islamists influence Western Muslim circles, Western political parties engage with them to win more votes, and therefore make unfortunate alliances with forces that really… reject the established system…The dilemma is that by seeking Islamist votes they allow those who wish… Denmark to become Islamized to be strengthened… the same sort of dilemma as if one sought the votes of a neo-Nazi, fascist or Stalinist group”.
Akkari blames Islamism for the failure of Muslims to integrate into Western societies.
“Islamism works against integration of Muslims with its active proselytizing and because Islamism with its palette of more or less fanatical and extremist groups creates a tumor in public society”.
Akkari stresses that Islamism should not be confused with Islam or Muslims in general. He names Islamist mosques in Denmark as a significant problem that works against integration.
“Many mosques were formed to be a spiritual and religious space for believers, and not as places where violence, hatred and political agendas should dominate. Nevertheless, the leading mosques in Denmark are characterized exactly by a pseudo-Islamic influence under the control of small strong elites of Islamic leaders. In that world, influence, not numbers, counts, and therefore it is not possible to say that Islamism is weak, just because it only exists in one quarter of all mosques, which I estimate”.
Akkari writes that the Islamic cultural and religious elite in Denmark, “… Uses its influence over Muslims to negotiate with typically the left-wing… ”
“They use the support of the left to strengthen the grip on Muslims’ choices. They do so by standing as their representatives (often without having asked them for legitimacy of the representation)… The left supports the positions and representatives of the [Muslim, ed.] elite by helping them to stand for election or to have dialogue and cooperation with them during and after the elections. The left… shows good will for dialogue with the [Muslim, ed.] power elite. They increase their political votes with this relationship and use it actively…”
Akkari writes that up to one quarter of all Muslims in Denmark listen to the agendas of the Islamists in Denmark to some extent and that the latest election proved this, as the number of votes for the far-left Enhedslisten and the center-left Det Radikale Venstre went up significantly in areas with a concentration of Muslims.
For clarity, this response will be published on Sharia Watch and possibly elsewhere. If you feel any of the above points are wrong or misrepresent Islam-sharia or your own position please let us know because we agree with you that open, robust debate is the best way forward. As the Phil Collins song goes, “We always need to hear both sides of the story”!