Thursday, December 13, 2007

Islamic Circle of North America

For the story of Aqsa Parvez, the National Post turns to one Mohammad Al-Nadvi to downplay Islam as a cause of her death. Why does the media turn to such people for points of view? I'm not attacking this point of view with an ad hominem here -- I'm not even attacking the point of view at all; I think the role Islam played in this case is fairly well established (given the amount of evidence we have to work with) by the details of Aqsa's life given by her friends, but will be established more definitively one way or another as the trial moves a long. So, anyway, let's look at just a tidbit of Al-Nadvi's connections.

He's a "Central Department Head" of the Islamic Circle of North America. The ICNA describes themselves here as "working for the establishment of Islam in all spheres of life." Not just the religious sphere of life? All spheres? The only way I can understand this is that they are saying that are a revolutionary Islamist political group. Maybe they're just bad with words though. But, let's see a little more. Joe Kaufman looks at how the ICNA sent money to Hamas, another revolutionary Islamist (and terrorist) group which seeks the exact same thing as the ICNA does, as according to their self-styling anyway. Coincidence, then? I doubt it.

But is it a coincidence that when media covers some number of views on any story relating to Islam, they always seem to include the totalitarian Islamist one? Again, I doubt it. What, you say? Conspiracy? No, not at all. The media is just credulous to anyone who gets out there as a "cultural" group. And these Islamist groups are doing just that. We need someone in Canada doing the same thing that Joe Kaufman does in the States.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jason Kenney on CIC/Steyn; Elmasry Defends Hezbollah Terrorists

I believe this to be the first time a politician has spoken on the Canadian Islamic Congress/Steyn affair. It's Conservative Jason Kenney:
"To be attacking opinions expressed by a columnist in a major magazine is a pretty bold attack on the basic Canadian value of freedom of the press and freedom of expression," Kenney said in an interview. "I think all Canadians would reject that kind of effort to undermine one of our basic freedoms."
This isn't the first time there has been some interaction between Jason Kenney and the CIC. Mohamed Elmasry, the president of the CIC, previously described Jason Kenney as a man who subscribes to "dubious ideologies." But what establishes Kenney as such? In Elmasry's mind, it is because Kenney said: "The world was wrong to negotiate with [the Nazis] then, and it would be wrong to negotiate with Hezbollah today." Hezbollah is a terrorist group, yet Elmasry defended them when he got the chance, and equivocated them with every other political party and described them as "legitimate." This is the man leading the Canadian Islamic Congress which purports to represent the Canadian Islamic community in its entirety.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Murdered for not Wearing Hijab

Today in Mississauga, a 16-year-old girl was apparently murdered yesterday by her father because she wouldn't wear the hijab. "She was really into fashion" her friend described her, as I believe most teenage girls are. However, being like most girls wasn't good enough for Aqsa Parvez's father Muhammed, it seems:
Friends of Aqsa Parvez said she feared for her life in the days prior to her murder.

The 16-year-old Applewood Heights Secondary School student was strangled on Monday morning inside her family's Longhorn Trail home.

Friends of the teen say she feared for her life and had been embroiled in a cultural dispute with family members in the weeks before her death.
...
The victim's 26-year-old brother, Waqas Parvez, is charged with obstructing police.
...
The News spoke with several students at Applewood today. They said their friend, known by those close to her as "Axe," feared her father and had argued with him over her desire to shun the hijab, a traditional shoulder-length head scarf worn by females in devout Muslim families.
...
Carla Gianetti said Parvez's father imposed several restrictions on his daughter, all in the name of religion.
The Canadian Press has room for Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress (the now infamous Mark Steyn persecutors): "I don't want the public to think that this is really an Islamic issue..." Strange comment, seeing that this was apparently done in the "name of religion", that being Islam. And Elmasry in the past called author Irshad Manji, who also refuses to wear hijab, "anti-Islam", promoting the same attitude toward women who see Islam differently that seems to have led to this girl's death. But I don't blame Elmasry for trying. This comes at a time when him and his CIC are complaining that kafirs like Mark Steyn are endangering Muslims, but this incident shows the opposite: It's Muslims who are hurting Muslims in Canada. Has the opposite ever happened, has any Muslim in Canada ever been killed by the supposedly oppressive non-Muslim majority for their choice to wear the hijab?

And, from the same Canadian Press article, quoting Atiya Ahsan from the Canadian Council of Muslim Women: "If you know that your girl is good and she practises her faith, she's not hopping around in what we consider lewd behaviour, then for heaven's sakes you know, let the girl have a chance..." Another strange comment. I mean, is not what's being said here: If the opposite is the case, that she isn't practising Islam, then, don't let the girl have a chance?

Here's something else to think about; the dark irony in being throttled into wearing the hijab: If another girl was strangled by her father for this reason yet lived, and so was frightened into wearing the hijab, what do you think the chances of anyone else seeing the bruising around her neck when it is covered by the hijab? And I do suspect this is the case: This incident was found out because it went to death; I don't doubt that there are many more cases where children are abused into wearing the hijab which are never uncovered.

But then you have the addendum from these apologetics: "...
most Muslim women in this country wear the hijab as a result of their own choice..." But who is actually saying that Muslim women don't wear the hijab as a result of their own choice? The real question is why do they choose to wear it? Is undue pressure from their fathers, even violent pressure, a factor in that choice? I don't doubt it, as this very story illustrates. And indeed, there are schools in Canada that force girls to wear the hijab lest they be barred from attending. And many girls are sent to these schools by their parents: What possible recourse do they have then? And I add for good measure: I couldn't say the contrary, that there is even a single school in Canada that forces girls to not wear the hijab.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Did he do it for the "lulz"?

Mark Steyn responds to a review of his debacle from one Jim Henley. Henley quotes only one sentence from Steyn's article: "Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes" and calls this statement "frank bigotry" on Steyn's part. Unfortunately for Henley, these were actually the words of Norwegian imam Mullah Krekar, not Steyn. You might think that Henley would then make a post about the "frank bigotry" of Mullah Krekar instead. But no, the imam gets a free pass, and Mark Steyn is still liable for the rest of his article, which is really just showing the why and how behind the imam's statement -- that's why it is used as the final and concluding statement of the piece.

And this gets to the absurdity of the CIC and HRC's case against Mark Steyn. According to these accusers of him, he is subjecting Canadian Muslims to "hatred or contempt" by showing how the words of a Norwegian Muslim leader about Muslims in Europe are true. How truly "flagrantly Islamophobic" to state that a Muslim leader is correct! Sinister really. Just imagine if someone moves from this already egregious bigotry of agreeing with Muslims, to such catastrophes as standing up and saying that Muslims are wrong! Oh the horror! Or...errr...wait?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Who's actually endangering Muslims?

Andrew Coyne writes more on the Mark Steyn affair and also a decent bit on the Human Rights Commissions in general.

Coyne points to the irony of the CIC making these charges against Steyn. It was CIC president Mohamed Elmasry who declared Tarek Fatah to be "anti-Islam" and that we was "smearing Islam." Such labels are exactly what Mr. Fatah was attacked for in 2006 when thugs smashed the windows in his car, threatening him because he was "anti-Islam." The irony is palpable. Has any Muslim in Canada been attacked for being "part of a disastrous demographic sea-change in Europe," as Mark Steyn, as I paraphrase, charges of Muslims? None, yet there is a Muslim in Canada attacked for being "anti-Islam" just as Elmasry charges of that Muslim. Maybe the CIC should bring itself before the Human Rights Commission...or just leave Mark Steyn alone.

Also, Elmasry was in favour of the sharia courts for Muslim family disputes in Ontario, this would further hurt Muslims. It would subject Muslims to the obscurantist decisions of the fundamentalist Islamic scholars and keep Muslims, women in particular, one step further from equality under law. And this sets a precedent for evermore introduction of sharia, bringing even greater harm to Muslims.

And I wish to make a more general point, that the CIC's stifling of open discourse hurts Muslims as well. It's doesn't hurt to hear criticisms of your side, even if it does hurt your sensibilities.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Misconceived

"What's so scary about Muslims?" asks . Only "misconceptions," he answers. But don't feel bad: we're all at fault for these misconceptions, Muslim and kafir alike.

But he's right, I think poorly of Islam because of my misconceptions of it. Misconceptions such as that it is a tenet of Islam that the Quran is the uncreated word of Allah which has existed with Allah for all eternity, or at least that it existed when Musa supposedly existed, between 1436 and 1316 BC. This despite the fact that it is written in Arabic, which, to the best linguistic research, descended originally from a proto-Semitic language and immediately from Ancient North Arabian between 400BC and 300AD, well past the date when the Quran supposedly existed. How was there a text written in Arabic, before Arabic even evolved? But no, I shouldn't ask. That's just a misconception: Muslims don't actually believe in anything delusional like that; they really believe that the Quran was just written by people over a period of time in the 7th century, as the scholars hypothesise in accordance with scientific evidence. Oh? What? They do believe the delusional one? Oh, jeez, I feel like I may be stumbling into some serious hate speech already! I better zip-it or the Canadian Islamic Congress and the Human Rights Commission may write me up for inciting contempt toward a group of people on the basis of religion, all for rightly calling Muslims delusional.

Islam grows in Canada due to the active policies of the government: multiculturalism with mass immigration from Muslim majority countries. Is growth in Islam good? I think it's not. I think the fundamental tenets of Islam are wrong because they are delusional, as in the example I just gave, and so anyone who believes in Islam is wrong as well. So the governmental policies actively increase the ranks of adherents to a fundamentally wrong ideology.

If you like Islam, great, good for you, you're getting what you want -- keep on importing delusions. If you don't, then maybe you should start opting for a change of policy. This more or less brings us to the article for which Mark Steyn is being investigated for breaking the Human Rights Code: he says, under the current policies, areas of Europe and Canada have become and are becoming majority Muslim, and the continuation of these policies will eventually lead to the entire relevant countries becoming majority Muslim. What would these countries look like at that time? Would they maintain a secular legal system, or have something more in line with sharia law? I bet on the latter, because every Muslim majority country has laws based on sharia to some extent (what a radical inference!). Again, if you would like a sharia-based system, then keep the current policies. If you wouldn't, then the time to change the policies is now, not later.

If this is hate speech, I'm sorry, sincerely, but I don't retract it, for I think it's true.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The West is Anti-Islam?

"I condemn Islam. I bring against it the most terrible of accusations that ever an accuser put into words. It is to me the greatest of all imaginable corruptions.... It has left nothing untouched by its depravity. It has made a worthlessness out of every value, a lie out of every truth, a sin out of everything straightforward, healthy and honest. Let anyone dare to speak to me of its humanitarian blessings! To do away with pain and woe is contrary to its principles. It lives by pain and woe: it has created pain and woe in order to perpetuate itself. ... The mosque is the rallying post for a conspiracy against health, beauty, well-being, courage, intellect, benevolence - against life itself..."

Replace "Islam" with "Christianity" and "mosque" with "cross" and you have the actual quote from The Anti-Christ by Nietzsche. Nietzsche is taught at pretty much every Canadian, American, and European university to some extent, some courses dedicated solely or mainly to him, but most often he is read just as part of a wider-ranging philosophy course. ***

The Islamic advocacy groups complain that Islam receives unfair criticism. But I disagree. Islam has barely received any criticism, nowhere near what Christianity has received, as represented in Nietzsche.

On the hand, you have this demand that Islam is and be treated like any other religion in the West, yet everywhere there is this bemoaning the even small amount of criticism of Islam that has begun. Unfortunately for such demanders, they must have missed the fact that for the last 500 years, religion has not had a free-pass from the researchers and theorists in the West. But it's not clear that Islam can survive unscathed such a dispassionate and thorough examination of its roots and fundamentals, as Christianity has and continues to receive. Perhaps, in their minds, such an existential threat justifies anything that might maintain Islam's inviolable position, including double standards. I have no doubt this is why the Islamic world reacted so sourly to the Mohammed caricatures and the Pope's relatively tepid criticisms of Islam at Regensburg: the truth hurts. (Imagine if the Pope said the quote as I gave it above.)

*** And who suggests that this should end? That Nietzsche should not be taught because of what he says against Christianity? He doesn't just say, you know, some kind of bad stuff about it, he says it himself: "I bring against it the most terrible of accusations that ever an accuser put into words." So people are free to say the most terrible things about Christianity, and that's considered reasonable criticism, not hate speech. But how are such accusations against Islam met? Usually with the charge of hate speech and, so, beyond the pale. (A scene at a university somewhere: "D: Yes, I'm a big fan of Nietzsche. / L: Oh, that's nice. Have you read Oriana Fallaci? I like her. / D: You vile Islamophobe.")

More on Steyn

Ezra Levant writes a bit more on the CIC vs. Steyn affair. And he has more on Mohamed Elmasry -- about his antisemitism. He also writes about a parallel human rights commission case against him in Alberta for republishing the Danish Mohammed Cartoons.

I think it's just a tragedy that in Canada a person would have to face a tribunal because he insulted a "prophet." To show my support for freedom of speech and my opposition to theocracy, and hopefully not just because I'm confident one would not actually be prosecuted for these things, I'll post one of the Danish cartoons again. I don't think this is hate speech. I've said this before. I think this a poignant criticism of a character in a religious text that represents an actual political leader in the 7th century. The caricature makes him out to be both violent and deceitful in his wielding of this violence by the obfuscation of the bomb in his headdress. Both of the traits are seen in the character of Mohammed as he is portrayed in the Islamic texts. Calling it like it is isn't hate speech. It's no different from any other political caricature; and the banning of as much would be an instance authoritarianism, especially when you consider the political influence this character still has:

Saturday, December 1, 2007

CIC Against Mark Steyn

A while back, I wrote about how the HRC could be used to silence critics of Islam. The Canadian Islamic Congress, whose leader, Mohamed Elmasry, has said before that he seeks to silence critics of Islam, has done just that. It has launched a suit with the HRC that seeks to charge Maclean's magazine with something like "flagrantly Islamophobic" hate speech as a violation. Maclean's has been hosting articles by Mark Steyn, and they published an excerpt from his book America Alone, which is the "offending" material. You can read it for yourself, as it is still up at the Maclean's website here.

One may ask, why would they try to quash the web article, but not the book? Well, as I said in the article I mentioned, the Human Rights Code section 13 which deals with "telecommunicated" speech is different from all other sections of the Code. It prohibits any telecommunication "that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination." There's nothing similar for non-telecommunicated speech, such as in a book. Maybe they didn't want to be known as Canada's book-burners, which would be the eventual result of banning books. The removal of webpages isn't such a dramatic image of this contempt of free speech.

Friday, November 30, 2007

"Don't Try"

That's Bukowski's epitaph, "Don't Try." I'm not sure, but I think Bukowski was standing for philosophical skepticism. I don't think we was trying to say don't try to do anything, but, rather, he was trying to express that it's silly to take up anything serious or dogmatic, i.e., an ideology, just as the ancient Skeptics like Sextus Empiricus tried to express. And I think Ehab Lotayef is trying to say something similar here as well. To the Quebecois he speaks: Don't try to defend your culture, because all cultures will be destroyed anyway:
Let me give you the bad news and get it done with: No culture is safe. None ever survived forever and none will.
...
The values, ideas and beliefs that are worthwhile will survive and become a part of the new global culture, and those that aren't will fade away, without sorrow. This is in the interest of the human race as a whole and no one in his or her right mind should fight it or try to prevent it.
Immediately I'm struck with the nonsense of this. Judaism has existed since, well, since we don't even know when, as it was so far back, yet Judaism is still around. Hinduism too. There's still some Zoroastrians around. Et cetera. When will these pieces of culture disappear? I don't think it's clear they ever will; not before humankind disappears with them.

As Islam grew exponentially in Quebec over the past 20 years, the result of the active policies of the government of both Canada and Quebec, no one like Mr. Lotayef stood up and said, "Hey, don't promote this cultural growth, because cultures don't matter; no point promoting one over the other." But now, as the majority rethink multiculturalism and consider taking active policies that would promote their culture instead of Islam, this is when Mr. Lotayef says that. Strange, no?

But, if cultures just have to disappear, I vote for Mr. Lotayef's to be the first to go.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Born With Hijab

One Syed Soharwardy, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (why not drop the Islamic? Just, Supreme Council of Canada. I like that.) says that Safaa Menhem, who was pulled from a soccer game a while back because a headdress like the hijab was not allowed to be worn on the field, should not have been. The decision was racist, he says:
I don't buy it because a person could also pull a shirt and choke a person. This is not a safety issue. It is just a racist and discriminatory decision against Muslims
How could it be racist? Well, if hijab-wearers formed a race, maybe then? But no one is born with a hijab. Or if hijab-wearing was limited to some races? But this isn't true either, because people of all races wear hijabs. Or maybe if hijab-wearing was necessarily correlated with some races? But there is no necessary correlation: There could be any proportion of people of any number of races that could wear the hijab. So we are left with the claim that it is racist because, as a matter of accident, hijab-wearing is not currently correlated with all races indifferently. Pretty bizarre definition, unlike how racism is normally defined, I would say. But we can take it anyway. Here's something else:
Her rights should be respected -- this is her free choice.
So she has this right, but, then, where do the rights of the league to determine uniforms go? Did they not freely choose to define the uniform code as they did? Is the league not allowed to define what is an appropriate uniform for their soccer games? Really, everyone should be allowed to wear what they want, so this girl should be allowed to wear the hijab? But that's actually not what the Islamic groups are saying: Not everyone should be allowed to wear what they want, but rather, only hijab-wearers get this benefit. Out with the old rights, in the with the new, I guess. The new are looking more like they are defined by sharia everyday.

How does this sound: The soccer leagues allow anyone to wear the hijab, if Islamic organisations allow anyone to not wear the hijab. Surely, as per our working definition of racism, requiring someone to wear the hijab is a racist and discriminatory decision against kafirs! For some reason, I don't suspect these groups will go for this fair and equitable agreement, because they don't want fair and equitable.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Freedom For Whom?

The Star reports that an Islamic group called Refusing Intolerance in Quebec spoke out concerning the Bouchard-Taylor commission on reasonable accommodation. I don't find any information on this group, but the Star's quote from them exists in this "Citizen's Statement"(sic) on the Montreal Muslim News site, which is apparently from Mohamed S. Kamel of the Canadian Muslim Forum. The Statement says, "We therefore call for a true debate, an unhurried debate carried on in an atmosphere of peace of mind and unfailing respect for the rights of all, men and women, who live in Québec." Alright, let's start this debate then.

On the one hand, those behind the Statement,
"reject any limitation of rights, any reduction of fundamental freedoms." On the other hand, they say that the hijab shouldn't be allowed to exist as "an obstacle to...full participation in social life, in the labor market..." But how does forcing the other people in those realms, in employment for example, to accept the hijab, not reduce their fundamental freedoms? For example, if the public rejects the message of hijab, just as they may reject the message of the swastika for example, yet is not allowed to ban the hijab from the public schools which it controls, just as it is allowed to ban the swastika, are not the rights of the public reduced? Or if an employer disagrees with Islam, just as she may disagree with national socialism, yet is not allowed to pick someone else for employment over an adherent of Islam, just as she is allowed to pick someone else over an adherent of national socialism, are not this employer's freedom of association reduced?

This gets to my main criticism with how the West treats Islam. Islam has political implications, it is a "total way of life" that involves political ideology. Yet it's adherents are protected from the discrimination that is allowed with other political ideologies, because it takes up the banner of "religion." So the propagation of a political ideology must be permitted in all spheres of life, even those under the control of people who disagree with the ideology, lest they commit the sin of "discrimination on the basis of religion." Don't hire someone because they are a Muslim: you're a bigot and a criminal. Don't hire someone because they are a Communist: you're just exercising your inalienable freedom of association. This double standard must change.

Let's do a little bit more. Look at how they define secularity: "the neutrality of the state with regard to the opinions, beliefs and practices of its citizens." This is just bizarre, because the state never remains neutral on all the practices of citizens. Pedophilia is a practice of citizens, yet who would suggest the state remain neutral on it? Perhaps they meant religious practices? Well, one could easily found a religion involving pedophilia. But take an actual example: sati, the Hindu practice of sacrificing, on the husband's funeral pyre, a wife who is unfortunate enough to outlive her husband. No one suggests tolerating that religious practice in Quebec, so we can agree that no one suggests tolerating all religious practices, only some. So the question is, which do we tolerate and which don't we? The Quebec public seems to want to stick a few Islamic practices in with the "do not tolerate" pile. In a democracy, the public is sovereign.

One more quote from the Statement:
Just as the values and principles dear to Quebeckers are not for sale at any price, neither are equally universal values and principles of other cultural horizons that enrich Québec. The two are not in opposition, rather they enhance one another, with the same quiet resolve and the same far-reaching commitment to justice, sharing, and equality that we believe motivate us all.
Is this true, that they are not opposition? This is what Mohammed said to do: "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him" (Bukhari 9:84:57). Compare that sentiment with something more Quebecois. Here's a passage I like from the end of Simone de Beauvoir's The Blood of Others (Le Sang des autres), which I think grasps something about the West in general, its relationship with freedom:
But if only I dedicate myself to defend that supreme good, which makes innocent and vain all the stones and the rocks, that good which saves each man from all the others and from myself -- Freedom -- then my passion will not have been in vain.
In the latter, we have the sentiment of dedication to freedom above all else, in the former we have the denial of freedom: You are only worthy to exist as long as you do not go against Allah. How are these two sentiments "not in opposition" as the Islamic groups would have it?

I can only say, it's not intolerant to not tolerate the intolerant.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Bit More on Elmasry

Last post I wrote about Mohamed Elmasry, a professor at University of Waterloo and head of the Canadian Islamic Congress. I've collected more information on him here.

In September 2004 he called for alcohol to be banned from campuses. He said that his position did not derive from the Islamic point of view, but I sure wonder; seems a little weird that the leader of an Islamic political group would call for the banning of alcohol and it not have anything to do with Islam when Islam involves just that. If I would guess, I'd say he was trying to gain support for his organisation by calling for more implementation of sharia law. And indeed, Elmasry supported the introduction of sharia courts for family issues.

One month later he said all Israelis over the age of 18 are legitimate targets of suicide bombings. There was, of course, much brouhaha about this, with the angry letter writing and calls for resignation and all. The comments were even investigated as hate crimes. You might think this ironic considering that Elmasry speaks so thoroughly against hate speech:
In fact, the swollen hate-language of anti-Islam voice messages received recently by the CIC, reads as if the callers were trying to outdo Falwell and his colleagues: "Muhammad was a pedophile, a mass murder, a demon-possessed maniac, a false prophet," said one. "Islam is a false religion. The Qur'an and the Hadith are both books of lies and deception," said another. And so on; it is offensive even to repeat such words in making a case against them. There was no doubt that those who left these, and messages like them, could be charged with hate-crime.
But how could they possibly be charged with hate crimes for saying those things? As he is portrayed in the Islamic texts, he was a pedophile -- he consummated his marriage with Aisha when she was only 9 years old. He was a mass murderer -- he killed or expelled all the Jews from Medina. He was demon-possessed -- that was the whole issue of the Satanic verses, where the devil possessed him to write certain things into the Quran. And that he was a false-prophet -- wouldn't pretty much every non-Muslim hold this belief? How could making any statement about a character of a literary work be considered a hate crime? Let alone ones that are, in the relevant sense, true? Elmasry is blinded to all reason by his devotion to Mohammed.

Indeed, Elmasry seems to have a thing for defending Mohammed's make-believe honour. When the Western Standard republished the Danish Mohammed cartoons, Elmasry was on the case as well, saying that "his organization will seek to have charges laid against the magazine under Canada's laws against distributing hate literature." Of course, it was never charged, because the images aren't hate speech -- though, admittedly, many Muslims hate them because they were poignant criticisms of their ideology.

Hate speech according to Mohamed Elmasry:

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Canadian Prof on Islamic Scientific Advancements


Mohamed Elmasry of the University of Waterloo has some dawa for Media Monitors Network, wherein he writes on the scientific achievements of Islam.

But, try to find in any of the advancements listed one that comes from Islam itself, or from the characters of Islam, Mohammed or his companions, rather than from regular scientific people who were also Muslims. I don't find any, just as when I looked at this phenomenon before.

The best that Elmasry can do in showing that these achievements derive from Islam is to say that they are "a reflection of the Islamic faith in the mathematical concept of a universe whose creation by God is an unending, or infinitely living process." Which is a pretty nebulous claim in itself, and, further, doesn't even appear to be true, since I think the Muslim opinion is that at some point the universe comes to an end. Here's what the MSA says about the "Last Hour": "At this point, the Day of Resurrection commences in which the skies and earth are destroyed by Allah." Elmasry says also that they "expressed the fundamental aims of Islam, which urged a never-ending quest to understand God’s visible signs in the cosmos." A much less nebulous claim: Islam actually promotes these advancements. But, again, one without base. This commandment doesn't exist, and again, how could the quest to understand the cosmos be never-ending when the cosmos themselves are not "never-ending?"

No one is denying that Muslims are people who can do good things. What I'm denying is that Islam is an ideology that can do good things.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sohail Qureshi -- pro-Taliban, anti-democracy, and....relativist?

Sohail Qureshi of Calgary was arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of terrorist activities. He traveled there this year. He has since been released and is back at home. From the article:
He talks about Islam as historically being "spread by the sword." He urges the removal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and other Muslim lands. He lauds the period when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan.
...
His father also spoke to a local imam of his son's extreme religious views, including an announced intention to become a jihadist in Afghanistan. The imam, in turn, reminded the young man the Koran prohibited such actions.

"After he confirmed this was his intention, I told him he had to stand down," Imam Sheik Alaa Elsayed recalled.
...
Mr. Qureshi, however, has much to say. Mr. Elsayed spoke without having the "slightest bit of evidence" about why he was captured in Afghanistan, Mr. Qureshi says, adding that the imam is spreading false interpretations of the Koran.

"The reason is because he and others following his path wish to please the Christians and Jews by creating an image of Islam and Muslims which they will accept, instead of trying to please Allah by spreading the true Message of Islam," he explains.

Qureshi writes about sharia and democracy in Canada:
"It is quite difficult for Muslims to live in Canada according to the true Message of Islam," Mr. Qureshi wrote. "This is because they are ruled in their everyday lives by secular, democratic law, which is in opposition to the values of Islamic sharia."
He also says, "the allegations made against me is terrorism from the point of view of those in the West" This is really the same thing you hear a lot: "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. " Whenever this is said it always strikes me as the most inane comment. I mean, of course that's true! No one actually believes they're doing the wrong thing. Who actually believes that terrorists go to bed at night thinking "Oh, I'm an evil terrorist; it's too bad I have to wake up tomorrow to do more evil things." It's obvious they believe they're on the side of good, but it's equally obvious that, despite their belief, they are not actually on the side of good. And that's why the statement always betrays a relativist sentiment: "Whatever you believe actually is true!"

Last point. Look at his reason for traveling to Afghanistan:
Afghan officials said at one point that Mr. Qureshi claimed to be in Afghanistan to find work, due to lack of employment opportunities in Canada.
Oh yeah, real hard to get a job in Alberta lately. And his father's a millionaire, why would he need a job so badly that he would travel to the other side of the world for? And he has a university degree in computer-science: How many positions in computer programming are there in Afghanistan? Wait? From a millionaire family? And he's a university graduate? So much for poverty being the cause of extremism.

Well, aren't you glad he's back? No, me neither.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

No Borders

Little bit on the Taylor-Bouchard commission. They quote a group "No One Is Illegal" who the CBC simply calls a migrant rights group.

This is a nominally Marxist group and calls for the abolishment of all borders and immigration control, which goes along with the, you know, general abolishment of Western nations: they never seem to ask for non-Western nations to open up their borders. Perhaps this has something to do with their association with Islamists who would otherwise have nothing to do with Marxism.

Unless you abolish your borders and allow absolutely anyone and everyone to move to your country and commit yourself to Marxism, you are a fascist. So this group gives citizens of Western nations two options: communism or fascism. Talk about a false dichotomy.

Here's something else from the first link, quoting Carmen Chouinard, of the Centre Islamique Libanais:
"There was no problem in Quebec. Were people being beaten in the streets, assassinated? Not at all, things were going well," she told reporters.
That's very telling I think. Her assumption is that whenever people have problems, they necessarily turn to violence. As if there could be no non-violent airing of issues. And then when people do start this airing, she responds with disbelief: "There couldn't actually be a problem! You're not killing and maiming people! You must not actually be serious." A very common Islamic attitude, I would say.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More of the Same

In the same vein as the last post, Woman claims discrimination for not being allowed to wear hijab at work at Pearson aiport:
She rejected a below-the-knee uniform skirt and wanted a longer garment to conform with Islamic dress code, which calls for women to wear loose-fitting clothes that cover the entire body except the face, hands and feet.

She sewed herself an ankle-length skirt in the uniform fabric and colour and wore it for about six months until the company, citing uniform regulations set by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, refused to allow the change and suspended her in August.

Really the name "uniform" says it all. One form. The idea is that having one form for all the employees helps the business in some way. If you are allowing employees to not wear the uniform because of religious requirements, I say you have, in effect, committed to allowing employees to wear whatever they want, because anything can be a religious requirement. Bring in the giraffe hats for this one too.

EDIT:
Oh yeah, something else. A lot of news stories are saying she was fired, but this is not true. She's free to come back to work as normal if she wears the work uniform.

Judo Hijab

A small girl was barred from fighting a judo tournament in Winnipeg because she wanted to wear a hijab. CAIR, of course, is up and about, lying away:
"Dave Minuk's decision effectively bars Muslim women from judo. For decades, women have fought hard for their rights and Minuk's call is taking them away," said the statement from the Council of American-Islamic Relations Canada.
This has nothing to do with women. If the person who wanted to wear the headscarf had been a male, it would have had the same result.

One Stacey Ashley in this CTV article has to lie as well in order to make her point, saying, "Judo Manitoba gave a bureaucratic boot Saturday to a little girl who just wanted to participate in a tournament." She didn't just want to participate in the tournament. If that's what she wanted, she would have! Instead, she wanted to both participate in the tournament and wear a prohibited headdress. Do not all sane people see the difference there? CTV doesn't.

If they change their decision for the sake of accommodation, I encourage anyone in the relevant tournaments and who disagrees with as much just to wear whatever they want on their head and necks. Maybe like a big old giraffe hat, they look pretty cool, something like this. That'd be pretty intimidating too. Just say it's a requirement of your religion -- you'll have as much justification as Muslims do for wearing the hijab.

The mother of the girl said she is contacting Sport Manitoba who apparently has some say in these matters. May I suggest to all those who are interested to offer their own opinion on the matter? Sport Manitoba's contact information is here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Safe Haven for Convert from Islam

Here' s a story of Allan Mamemi, a convert to Christianity from Iran, who sought refugee status in Canada:
Ali had to remain in Iran for compulsory military service. While there, according to his story, he held hands in a public park with a woman whom he failed to realize was married. For this he was beaten, and ordered to report to a labour camp. Instead he left for Canada, arriving in 1999.

But his claim of refugee status was denied. In May of 2006 he was ordered deported. At that point he went into sanctuary at St. John’s and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He remained in sanctuary, either at St. John’s or briefly at two other parishes, which Meakes declined to name.

Meakes said that before going into sanctuary Monemi converted to Christianity and asked that people call him Allan. At his baptism, MP Don Bell became one of his godfathers. His conversion raised the stakes, since leaving Islam can be a capital offense in Iran.

We seem to have more of a problem with deporting people like Said Jaziri and Mahmoud Jaballah than people like Allan Mamemi.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Westerners seek real Middle East...at an American School

Here's an article about increased study of Islam and the Middle East in general since 9/11:

The number of American students at the University, known as AUC, has about tripled since 2002 and reached a record of more than 400 this year.
...
After unrest in Lebanon dimmed the appeal of the American University of Beirut, Arabic programs in Cairo are meeting demand from the United States, Canada, and European countries.

Notice that, even though they're in Cairo, they go to an American-ran, liberal arts school, and not an actual Islamic institute. The "foremost" Islamic school is actually in Cairo too: al-Azhar University. But, Americans might have a hard time going there...because they ban non-Muslims from enrolling. Of course, not a single university in the West forbids Muslims from enrolling, not even the most devoutly Christian universities. Where is the reciprocity? And who is really holding back dialogue? Just another example of what I've been talking about. Why don't groups like CAIR push for opening up Islamic universities to non-Muslims if they actually want non-Muslims to learn about Islam, as they say?

Here's something else from the article:

Weakley, the Baylor student originally from Kentucky, said he would try to reverse some stereotypes about the Arab world when he returns to Texas.

"People think everyone here is a terrorist or they hate you because you are Christian," he said. "That's not the case. When I get back I am going to tell my friends that these are good people."
How many people actually believe such sweeping generalisations? Sounds like he has some stereotypes of his own.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

English: the language of ad-Dajjal?

At the Jawa Report:
Armed men arrived at the school in the Sayed Karam district of Paktia province and grabbed a 16-year-old student and dragged him outside.

“Taliban militants took the boy out and killed him outside the school just because he was teaching English to his classmates,” said General Esmatullah Alizai, the police chief of Paktia province.

But hey, the Taliban are rising Islamically, and to fight them would be a war against Islam, according to McMaster students.

Don't Stand Down, Hijab at School

Islam means something. It actually says something, it prescribes things. Islam can have influence and this influence can have actual results.

This should be kept in mind when talking about religious accommodation, for example religious symbols in schools. This is one of the issues in the debate in Quebec. Some complain that preventing women from wearing hijab as teachers or as students, is "very intrusive, very discriminatory." Yes, it is discriminatory against the message of Islam as embodied in the hijab. But, a public school is put together by the public in order to, in some part, educate and raise children. The public always discriminates among the wide variety of ideologies which exist and thereby decides what messages the children are exposed to. If the public disagrees with the message of Islam, they have both the right, as they have the final say as to what transpires in the schools, and the responsibility to not allow that message in the school. There's no absolute reason to accommodate ideologies you disagree with. One doesn't allow a teacher or a student to wear whatever symbol they wish to at school, and no one argues against this. For example, a NAMBLA t-shirt wouldn't be worn for very long in a public school. So, everyone agrees the issue is not in deciding whether to accommodate every point of view, but rather the issue is in deciding which points of view should be accommodated and which should not. The public, of Quebec at least, doesn't want to accommodate the Islamic point of view that some wish to bring to schools. I think they're right: it's a very poor ideology, both in message and in results. Those who agree on this shouldn't stand down.

If the public thinks the message of Islam is bad, then why should they have to allow the propagation of that message at the schools they are in charge of? The French know the answer, and that's why they banned the hijab at their public schools, with a bill
"passed by 494 votes to 36." I'm sure if a similar movement was brought in the Quebec National Assembly, it would find similar support.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dr. Ahmad Shafaat on Apostasy, and more

I was just perusing around reading stuff, like I do. I thought this was interesting. It is Dr. Ahmad Shafaat at Concordia University in Montreal. Here he's talking about apostasy from Islam. He takes up the same assumption that I've talked before: anyone who disagrees with Islam must be simply mistaken, or have less than noble motives -- certainly not interested in truth anyway. And he doesn't deny apostates should be punished, though he tries to gloss over it I would say.

He divides apostates into two possible categories: 1) those who leave because they are ignorant of Islam, and 2) those who leave for base, worldly gain. See how there is no option like: and those who leave because they actually disagree. But he does mention a third category, but it's not like the other categories in that it doesn't refer to the reasons behind leaving Islam. It rather refers to the actions taken by the apostate upon leaving. It reads:
3) The third type of apostate is one who leaves Islam and then engages in hostile actions against Islam and Muslims, e.g. knowingly engages in propaganda against Islam and Muslims blatantly ignoring facts that he is expected to know well, passes secrets to the enemy, takes part in fighting against the Muslims. Such an apostate can be punished by anything from exile to death.
So there we have the ever present punishment. Note these "hostile actions" include "engag[ing] in propaganda against Islam." So how would this be any different from criticising it? Even if what is being said is bombastic and off the wall, how's the apostate's freedom of speech faring? Not very well with the punishment of "anything from exile to death" bearing down. This is why Ibn Warraq uses a pseudonym and Ayaan Hirsi Ali needs round-the-clock security to protect her life -- both of them being apostates and critics of the religion.

What else, yes. I came upon that apostaty piece when I saw a claim made by Dr. Shafaat that Muslims were considered "enemy aliens" in Canada during World War I, and I tried to read more. Can anyone confirm this? I'm at a loss, and he offered no sources.

Taliban Supporters at McMaster?

The occupation of Afghanistan is part of a "war against Islam" according to the the McMaster University group Muslims for Peace and Justice. A war "in particular against countries that are rising Islamically." The invasion of Afghanistan was done of to remove the Taliban from power, the Taliban who were supporting al-Qaeda including harbouring Osama bin Laden, and who, in their own terms, had declared war on the United States (who, call me crazy, I take as an ally of Canada) and who had just attacked there, killing over 3000 Americans.

Anyway, is this group saying that Afghanistan under the Taliban was the right thing and that it was "rising Islamically?" I don't see what else could be being said. If they're saying that the Taliban represents Islam manifest, hey, maybe -- I won't contest that. That the Taliban was a good thing...that punishing as far as executing people for personal, victimless actions, such as sexual relations out of wedlock, homosexual relations, drinking alcohol, criticising religion, freely choosing one's own faith, etc...that these atrocities are good things is just absurd.

Update on Detained MECA Members

I wrote last week that two members of the Toronto-based Middle Eastern Christian Association were arrested in Egypt. This came just two days after two other members of the group were released having been under arrest since August on charges of "anti-Islam" statements. Now it appears that rather than two members it is three men, and they are indeed being charged with defaming Islam as well.

You find a link off that page that goes to a sad story on the site about a thoroughly persecuted man who converted to Christianity in Egypt and is fighting the government to recognise him as no longer Muslim. Apostasy is forbidden in Islam. Mohammed said "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him." (Bukhari 9:84:57)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More on Censorship, and Human Rights in Canada

I mentioned yesterday how censorship was rampant in the Islamic world. Gates of Vienna has a post featuring Danish Prime Minister Anders Rasmussen defending free speech, and lamenting a recent United Nations Human Rights Council decision that would, at least, lend itself to the stifling of freedom of speech, if not outright doing so. Rasmussen, when the Danish Mohammed cartoons crisis hit, refused to apologise when Muslim leaders were demanding so and threatening violence. Danish embassies were attacked and set on fire in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, and over 130 people died.

The Human Rights Council decision just mentioned, is actually in large part an extension of these Muslim demands. An export, if you will, of censorship to the rest of the world. The resolution was sponsored by Pakistan and voted for by the other 17 Organisation of the Islamic Conference members that were on the Council at the time, except for one. (That article says one did not vote for it, but this offical UN release doesn't list any Islamic countries which voted against or abstained.) The West voted against it.

The resolution encourages combating "defamation of religions" and mentions only Islam. Freedom of expression, the resolution says, "may...be subject to limitations as provided by law and necessary for...respect for religions and beliefs."

But in Canada, basis for such combat may already be on the books. The Canadian Human Rights Act says in Section 13:
It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate telephonically or to cause to be so communicated, repeatedly, in whole or in part by means of the facilities of a telecommunication undertaking within the legislative authority of Parliament, any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.
Those "prohibited grounds of discrimination" include religion. It was on the basis of Section 13 that got Free Dominion investigated for making "anti-Islam" statements by the Human Rights Commission. And this is much different from Section 12, dealing with general, non-telecommunicated speech, which says:
It is a discriminatory practice to publish or display before the public or to cause to be published or displayed before the public any notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that

(a) expresses or implies discrimination or an intention to discriminate, or

(b) incites or is calculated to incite others to discriminate

if the discrimination expressed or implied, intended to be expressed or implied or incited or calculated to be incited would otherwise, if engaged in, be a discriminatory practice described in any of sections 5 to 11 or in section 14.

This deals with what the Human Rights Act does mainly deals with it, and what it was really meant to deal with: discrimination against people in government-controlled programs and employment. But Section 13 expands out and is used to deal with "contempt" in any scene of the country including the speech of private citizens, and not just governmental discrimination of peoples based on the prohibited grounds, including religion.

And, of course, including religion among things which cannot be spoken against (no matter how hard the terms) is just absurd. For what's the method to distinguish religious belief from political or social belief, or otherwise? For example, Conservatives: why don't you just call your political platform a religion and Stephen Harper a prophet? You wouldn't have to see those pesky caricatures of him in the newspaper anymore, and you wouldn't have to defend your positions!

So, for Canadians criticising aspects of Islam, my only suggestion is to make clear that you are criticising a wide-ranging form of ideology which includes, in particular, political ideology, and not just merely a personal religion that has no impact on politics. As is said of Islam, it is not just a religion in the Western sense, but a "total way of life." Even the most sly, disingenuous human-rights body couldn't get away with closing political debate in Canada, though they try, as seen in the Free Dominion example.

Anyway, I say, there seems to be no attempt to open up debate by the Islamic countries, and in fact they want to stifle criticism further by exporting their censorship through the UN. And such calls to infringe freedom of expression would land into very receptive arms when heard by the multiculturalists of the West, such as those behind the so-called "Human Rights" (which apparently doesn't include free speech) in Canada.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Censorship in the Islamic World

I said yesterday that the ISU was on the case of blocking this site in Saudi Arabia. Apparently they've done so, and now apparently the United Arab Emirates is doing the same. I note that the visits by the censoring agencies of these countries were the only visits to this site from those countries. They censor me before anyone else from their countries even manages to find my site! Makes me wonder what their procedure is -- a pretty thorough-going one anyway. **

But what it really makes me wonder about is the level of censorship in the Islamic world. It's high across the board, and another. And it's not limited to websites. Books too are banned indifferently from websites in many Muslim countries, and press freedom infringed as well.

And, again, here I think of the call for dialogue we always hear between the West and Islamic societies. I've mocked this call for dialogue before, and now I find a new ground on which to question it. How could there be dialogue if so many Muslims cannot even gain access to the side that is critical of their ideology? In the West we have no problem reading their positions: Saudi propaganda, even though it is much hated, floods into Canada, the US, and Europe for example. But nothing that breaks the party line is let into Saudi Arabia.

Let Muslim countries uncensor the critics of Islam. Then perhaps dialogue can begin. How could it be otherwise? The start of dialogue is 100% depending on this first action of the Islamic world, not the Western world.

** UPDATE: Apparently all traffic is routed through the ISU, and so it was not at all necessarily the ISU itself that was viewing the site. I apologise for the assumption.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Jean Charest Still a Sell Out

Around a couple weeks ago I made a post about Jean Charest implying that Quebeckers were being bigoted with what they've been saying in the religious accommodation debate, and that the rest of the world was frowning on them for it. I said that the world would be doing no such thing.

The National Post posted a review of the international press yesterday and concludes the same as I predicted: the world is not thinking poorly of Quebec. Jean Charest, for attempting to shame his own people for the sake of money, should be the one being frowned upon.

Who is Innocent?

The words of the many apologists of Islam sound so confident. They speak of equality, an idea which has much currency in the West. No one is worse than another, regardless of if they differ in race, or gender, or intelligence, or wealth, or good looks. Everyone, they say, is equal, except as far as they differ in piety. That makes it sound so nice. But what is this piety of theirs? The one who is more pious is more Islamic. So what they're really saying is everyone is equal...as long as they are Muslim. Don't take to these pleasant sounding words that harbour their boatloads of disdain for all things non-Islamic! Everyone is not equal in Islam. Kafirs are far inferior to these oh so enlightened people.

Knowing this, you can peek behind the curtains of another claim you hear often. That nothing about Islam is violent: the killing of innocent people is never justified by Islam. Ah, again, how nice. But who is innocent? Just think for a moment if you would be considered innocent, you who rejects Islam, the command of the very Lord of the universe! Are you innocent?
Lo! Those who hide the proofs and the guidance which We revealed, after We had made it clear to mankind in the Scripture: such are accursed of Allah and accursed of those who have the power to curse. (The Quran, 2:159)

Multiculturalism as an Escape from Reality

Here's an interesting look at cultural malaise in Europe. From the piece:
Cultural relativism is an interesting highlight of Europe’s neo-leftist disposition. It’s generally touted as an umbrella to shield the mostly Muslim immigrants from cultural scrutiny but in reality it’s largely a self-serving construct. It serves as an outlet for collective neurosis through escaping reality. ... The core of Europeans’ passion for political correctness lies in their psychological need of escaping reality, of hiding their heads in the sand, of refusing to acknowledge their ideological failures, and avoiding a much needed objective assessment of their situation.

Many Europeans channel these repressed needs by applying the sophistry of cultural relativism to their backward immigrants, but in reality it’s themselves they are trying to shield and protect. When the clash between their culture and the savage Islamic influx is truly shocking, most Europeans don’t know how to react. They are so invested in cultural relativism that the path of least resistance is often appeasement.
Much the same situation in Canada I would say. "Appeasement" takes on the form of the loss of freedoms: freedom of speech and association, where speech against Islam is snuffed out. So really the cultural relativism of multiculturalism doesn't end up tolerating all expressions of culture: only those that agitate for recognition from the multicultural enforcers, with violence or threat of violence (implicit or not so). And indeed you see this take on the implicit form very often, like: "Sacred Islamic topics mustn't receive any insults or there could be extremism." Such a sentiment is already too extreme for me.

Remembrance Day

Thought I would make a post to mark Remembrance Day. It was my great-grandfathers who fought in WWI and my grandfathers in WWII.

Hello Saudi Internet Services Unit

I see that the Saudi Internet Services Unit has been perusing this website. They do the work of determining what sites should be blocked from access in Saudi Arabia. So I may be banned already. I direct the rest of my post to those people at the ISU. **

ISU, everything I say is in good faith. If you block my site from the areas under your control, you are depriving people of information and debate which is all healthy. You quote Joseph in your Quran, saying that Allah was right to "divert" plots which would have drawn him into ignorance
(12:33-34). You say this justifies some censorship. I won't debate that, but I will say that I have none of these plots so THOSE VERSES DO NOT APPLY TO ME. I say nothing to draw anyone into anything bad, but speak only to create dialogue in order to learn. By what verse of your texts would you justify silencing a person who seeks the truth through dialogue? If you think I am mistaken on topics, then show me where I am wrong, or at least let others.

To ban me is to do me an injustice.

** UPDATE: Apparently all traffic is routed through the ISU, and so it was not at all necessarily the ISU itself that was viewing the site. I apologise for the assumption.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cross-Dressing Canadian Criminals Fund Islamic Terrorists

I would say this pretty much makes them terrorists too and should be charged with regards to whatever relevant laws there are for funding terrorist activities. Oh yeah, the cross-dressing. They dressed up in burkas while they used counterfeit credit cards to steal money from bank machines.

The burka has been used in the US for more than one bank robbery. Here and here.

More Christians in Egypt Detained

Two more members of the Toronto-based Middle East Christian Association were arrested in Egypt today. This happens just two days after the authorities released two other members of the group. Those two were arrested since August for making "anti-Islam" statements and released without charge; it's not clear what these two are being detained for.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Congratulations to Faisal Kutty

Faisal Kutty is a lawyer in Ontario. He is Vice-Chair of the Canadian branch of CAIR, a group which was recently named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF terrorist funding trial. As is usual with members of CAIR, he is not at all concerned with promoting "relations" between Muslims and kafirs, as CAIR claims to want to, but is rather concerned with advancing particularly Islamic goals with no regard for kafirs. Let's just go over some of these.

He argues in favour of the implementation of Sharia courts in Canada. He pulls on there being a backlog in the courts as a reason for implementing Sharia courts to deal with family-issues of Muslims. Why not just buttress the secular system if it is backlogged? Far too radical an idea for Kutty -- we clearly need Sharia law.

He pushes for even more Sharia in Canada with the establishment of Sharia-compliant banks.

He wants to strengthen the Human Rights Commission in order to combat "rising...Islamophobia." Even though he produces no examples of Muslims' human rights being abused, and certainly not of them being abused in any way over and above non-Muslims. This is the same Human Rights Commission that was investigating Free Dominion for making "anti-Islam" statements, as if criticising a religion was somehow a crime.

He hopes for the Canadian government to quash Jewish charities that send money to Israel. Apparently it's not enough just to defend Muslim interests, one must also attack the interests of members of other religions.

He laments the existence of free speech in Canada as seen in the republication of the Danish Mohammed cartoons and calls these "hate speech." He looks at various ways that those who publish the cartoons might be tried in Canada. Here's an example of this supposed hate speech:This is not hate speech. It is a poignant caricature of a historical (or not so historical) political leader. It's wit lies in graphically connecting him with violence and deceit by the inclusion of an obscured bomb as part of his headdress. Islamists want to stop the publication of this cartoon because it calls them what they are, and their ideology what it is: violent and deceitful. If Muslims disagree that their prophet was essentially wicked, then they are free to counteract that perception with their own arguments. But Kutty and the extremists would rather just try to silent their critics, as if that helps their case.

Finally, here's one of the most bizarre claims made by Kutty in an article about the Islamic practice of the Hajj: "In fact, as part of the spiritual experience, the [Hajj] links people across religions who believe in the common origin of humanity through a past shared by several Abrahamic traditions." What? Kafirs are specifically forbidden from going to Mecca as the Hajj does. How does a pilgrimage, which excludes non-Muslims, "link" Muslims and non-Muslims, as Kutty contends? How is excluding like linking? It's the exact opposite! That anyone would make such a claim is almost beyond belief. But Kutty, you did it. Congratulations.

Faisal Kutty's idea of "linking" people of different faiths put into practice in Arabia:

Review of CFS "Final Report"


Here's a look, in French, at the Canadian Federation of Students' (CFS') Final Report of the Task Force on Needs of Muslim Students. I offer my own quick and dirty translation of the review below.

I wish to fully review this report in my own way in the future. It's on the to-do list. But you can read the report yourself (in English) here [pdf]. It's a fairly large document.

The CFS has been putting out these "anti-Islamophobia" buttons with this image on them. May I suggest to students the buying of a Gates of Vienna, "Proud to be Islamophobic" button in riposte? You may have to watch out though, CFS and others are of the nature of, bizarrely, defining Islamphobia as a form of racism, even though Islam has nothing to do with race and is, in part at least, a political ideology and should be subject to criticism just like any other ideology. So keep this in mind before you start publicly opposing political Islam on your campus.

Anyway, here's my translation:
The Canadian Federation of Students (CFS) published a report on the needs of Muslim students. The report contains about sixty recommendations which the report asks the Canadian universities to implement, at their expense, in order to fight “Islamophobic discrimination” on campuses.

The recommendations, based on a rigorous look at Islam, relate to, in particular: the places of prayers; adaptation to Muslim practices and religious festivals; segregation of the sexes in sporting installations (with screening of windows for the hours resevered for women); prohibition of alcohol at receptions; and a system of Sharia-compatible (interest-free) student loans; with public funds.

The CFS reminds the university authorities and the government their legal obligations with regards to matters of accommodation and asks them to implement, as soon as possible, what are described as "relatively modest recommendations." But, in fact, one sees here more significant requests which will have an impact on the university and taxpayers. Many of the concessions demanded of the unviversites, which are asked to conform to Islamic values, is an attempt to impose a particlar "Absolute Truth" over others, which paves a way that will likely become a highway towards Islamisation of Canadian campuses.

We comment on here some of the recommendations of the report :

Prayer-rooms and financing of Muslim associations

The report recommends rooms for multiple prayers easily accessible from all the points of the campus, reserved exclusively for Muslims, with matched installations for ritual ablutions. The cost of the management and maitenance of these installations should be assumed completely by the universities. It also requests that the universities assure an adequate financing of Muslim student associations.

One will remember that this question was discussed in Quebec last year when a Muslim student association of the advanced school of technology affiliated with the University of Quebec complained over discrimination on the basis of religion when the school refused its request for buildings dedicated to religious practice for the exclusive use of the Muslim students. The Commission of the rights of the people decided that the fact of holding exclusively a room for the practice of one religion could constitute a compromise causing an "excessive constraint" for the school, since they would likely have to support requests of the same order from students of other beliefs.

The association also required that the school grant an official recognition and financing to it. The Commission of the rights of the people refused this application. (Surely a fascinating act that this school with a secular character can refuse to accredit religious associations!) According to the Commission, this refusal does not prevent the Muslim students from gathering in association and thus does not infringe their freedom of association.

This decision of the Commission is in much the right direction. The university authorities of the other provinces would do well in imitating.

Segregation of the Sexes

The places of prayer should include the segregation of men and women. In the same way, the sporting centers and the swimming pools should include hours reserved exclusively for women. Curtains or screens should cover the windows so as to hide women from the sight of men.

But which vision of humanity is this promting here? How can one assert"segregation " in the name of the freedom of eligion and place "burkas" on the windows? The Charter of Rights recognizes the principle of eqal dignity of woman and man. The public institutions cannot endorse the opposite. They must refuse to entertain an obscurantist vision of the world wanting that the man is not responsible for his instincts and that it is fitting for the woman to have to hide in order to prevent the sin of effecting the thoughts and self-control of the man. This vision of the world, which runs against the Canadian values, reduces the woman to a sex object. It is also insulting for the men, who are seen as beings dominated by their uncontrollable instincts.

Prohibition of Alcohol

Dry periods, where no alcohol is in use, should be planned for the receptions and orientations sessions organized on campuses.

This recommendation amounts to imposing on others an absolutist lifestyle based on religious rules. A respectful compromise, of the pluralist character befitting Canada and its freedoms, would consist, rather, in replacing the traditional "wine and cheese" with a "wine, juice and cheese." [That is, rather than removing the wine altogether. And I point out that this "pluralist, Canadian" compromise of having non-alcoholic drinks is already the case --KC]

Student loans without interest in conformity with Sharia law.

Interest-free loans, as the Sharia requires, should be granted to Muslim students by the government.

The authors of the report indicate that Islam prohibits usury and loans with interest. The Muslim students would thus be placed in the unacceptable situation of having to infringe the precepts of their religion in order to attend university.

It claims here not a "legal right," but a "preference" to be financed by the community. No institution should have to accommodate the entire precepts of one religion. The loans with interest do not constitute an unreasonable obstacle to the exercise of, by Muslim students, their right to university instruction under respectful conditions of their dignity. Why should the mode of financing of university students be seen as forming part of the substance of the freedom of religion?

Islamic Perspectives in Courses

Students suggest integrating the Islamic perspective in the contents for course such as marketing, finance and nursing – fields where there would be specific differences between the Islamic and Western perspectives.

Why stop with the Islamic perspective? This is not equality being claimed here, but a complete reform of the contents of the university programs. If it was necessary to take action on this suggestion, one would also have, in a concern ḏegality, to introduce the perspective Christian woman, Hindu woman, Judaic, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Shamanic, etc. Do universities have to integrate the various versions of creationism into science programs?

The perspective of one religion given should be reserved for the courses relating specifically to the worldview of the various religions or beliefs. Otherwise, one falls into institutionalised proselytising.

Risks hostile reactions

The irony of CFS's initiative is that, instead of supporting the integration of young Muslims, it is rather likely to produce the contrary effect. The excessive character of the requests will reinforce the prejudices towards Muslims and will slow down spontaneous sociability between students of various beliefs. As one recently saw at the University of Toronto, where unhealthy tensions emerged when Muslim students asked for the prohibition of alcohol and music at a restaurant located on the campus.

By Annie Lessard

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Soldiers of Allah in Canada

Martin Mawyer looks at a video released by Sheikh Mubarak Gilani called "Soldiers of Allah", and reviews Gilani's organisation, the "Muslims of the Americas." From the article:
Copying the video is something that Sheikh Mubarak Gilani warned his fellow jihadist Muslims against, saying “you should not make copies of this film, so that it doesn’t fall into the hands of the enemies of Islam.”
...
He said jihadist friends from all over the world can receive, “highly specialized training in guerilla warfare,” in his words, at camps in the United Sates and Canada.
Gates of Vienna has a made a number of articles about Sheikh Gilani and his organization. And you can find the story behind the "Sheikh Gilani Lane" there as well.