Monday 31 October 2016

Canberra Islamic Centre opens its doors for National Mosque Open Day

Whenever you see some outfit offering to "dispel the myths" of Islam or to "correct the stereotypes" of Islam, you should turn around and walk briskly in the opposite direction. 
Take it from me: I've seen innumerable such offers and they are inevitably a mix of obfuscation and outright duplicity. Honey to make the Islamist pill go down smoothly.  
And so it is with this Islamic centre offering from Canberra, a town I spent much of my life in. Shame on the Canberra Times!
"Meet real Muslims!" is the offering here. I'm sure those ordinary Canberran Muslims would all be delightful people. I've met Muslims world wide and nary a one have I found unlovable. The same in the then Soviet Russia of the 80s or the then communist China of the 70s. Fine and peaceable Russians and Chinese. But that says nothing about the nastiness of communism. Same here: the fact of lovely Muslim folk -- your neighbors -- says nothing about the ideology of Islam. Which taken from its core texts of the Loran, the Hadith and the Sirah of Muhammad is irredeemably horrid. 
The imam quoted here says that Jesus is just like Muhammad. Well that's bollocks for a starter. Jesus was the "son of god".  For Muslims that's blasphemy: there's only one god and his name is Allah. To associate others with Allah, Muslims call "shirk". It is the "worst of crimes", punishable by death. Again: Muslims don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus. 
Again: Jesus was a peaceful carpenter. Muhammad was a warlord. 
Need I go on?? It is duplicitous nonsense, a simple plain lie to make such a claim. 
Shame on the Canberra Times for running this islamapologist article. 
And shame on the fellow in the article who is "in the process" of converting to Islam. How could you, man,? Have you not read the doctrines?  They are horrid. 

National Secular Society - Review: The Battle for British Islam, by Sara Khan with Tony McMahon

I heard Sara Khan some months ago, talking to the Godless Spellchecker (IIRC)*. I was impressed. She was sound on Islamic doctrine and also supports Britain's "Prevent" policy, which aims to counter extremism.  Extremist Muslims, of course, attack "Prevent".

Here's a nice review of her book, "The Battle for British Islam".

* actually on BBC's Hard Talk of 1 September 2016. Try this link

Islamic Spain in Middle Ages no paradise for Christians, Jews, women

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise

This is what I have known for some time.  Good to have a new book on the issue.  There are so many myths about "golden ages" of Islam, the "contribution to science" of Islam, and so on.  (eg. this bit of complete nonsense from the Huffpo).

Whereas I think the fair assessment is that the birth and life of Muhammad have been a net big negative to the world.

See, for example, my fact-checking of claims by Muslims of their so-called "contributions to science".


Islamic Spain in Middle Ages no paradise for Christians, Jews, women

The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise: Muslims, Christians, and Jews Under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spain, by Dario Fernandez-Morera (ISI Books, 336pp, $59.95 hardback)
There is a widely held belief that in Spain, during the European Middle Ages, Islam, Christianity and Judaism co-existed peacefully and fruitfully under a tolerant and enlightened Islamic hegemony. Dario Fernandez-Morera, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University in the US, with a PhD from Harvard, has written a stunning book that upends this myth.

‘I Live in a Lie’: Saudi Women Speak Up -

Interesting letters from Saudi women to the New York Times about life in the horrid misogynistic Saudi Arabia, America's "most important ally" in the Middle East. And the largest customer of American arms sales. Which it uses to massacre civilians in southern Ethiopia. And prop up its cruel, misogynist dictatorship. 
What a joke. 
Of course the downside of abandoning this "ally", might well be hugely worse: yet another conflagration, then victory of ISIS-like Sunni extremists. 
Still, does the US leadership really have to remain silent about these gross abuses? To those that say "mind your own business" that was not the way of the world when it came to South African apartheid. This is sexual apartheid. Even worse, some might say as women can be freely beaten and are not free even to leave the home without a male guardian.
In Saudi we see Islam in operation. 
Most of the responses focused on frustration over guardianship rules that force women to get permission from a male relative — a husband, father, brother or even son — to do things like attend college, travel abroad, marry the partner of their choice or seek medical attention. 
LATER: And French Muslim author Kamel Daoud in his essay, "Saudi Arabia, an ISIS that has made it". He says it all in the first sentence of his article.  For which, of course, he's been labelled as an "Islamophobe".
What a truly horrid country, and what a scandalous shame to call it our "ally".

Saturday 29 October 2016

Yes, Apostasy really is a capital offence in Islam

I know many who simply cannot get their heads around the fact that apostasy from Islam -- that is, leaving it for another religion or none -- is punishable by death.  But it is.
It's in the Koran as well as the Hadith -- the doings and saying of Muhammad.  It's also in the official Manual of Islamic Jurisprudence, the Umdat al-Salik (08.1 et seq).
Some apologists say that the death penalty for apostasy is only pushed by the most extreme of Muslims.  That's also not true. Egypt's highest authority is Dr Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar University in Egypt, Islam's oldest University (The Oxford of Islam, if you will). He is widely viewed as a "moderate Muslim".
Yet during this year's Ramadan, Sheikh al-Tayeb said:
“Those learned in Islam [al-fuqaha] and the imams of the four schools of jurisprudence consider apostasy a crime and agree that the apostate must either renounce his apostasy or else be killed.”
Pretty clear.

LATER (3 November): this is an article about 45 Singapore graduates of Cairo's Al-Azhar university who are going to go back home and talk about the wonders of peaceful Islam. It mentions the grand mufti, al Tayeb, who, as we have seen above, says the punishment for apostasy is death. This is the wonderful peaceful message that these graduates are bringing back, to make sure we know the "true nature of Islam", that it's really a religion of peace.
What a joke. Another in the long line of articles claiming to "dispel the myths" of Islam. Whereas the ideas we have of Islam-- that it's a horrrid and violent cult -- is really pretty much spot on.

Waleed Aly -- out of the box, but not out of the closet...

A friend of mine sent me a link to an Australian ABC Radio talk: Waleed Aly: out of the box with Richard Fidler interviewing, on 28th September 2016. (MP3).
I've known of Aly for some time, known he was the Aussie go-to guy for matters Islamic when a "moderate Muslim" voice was needed. But I'd also had a slight suspicion that he was a bit of a Tariq Ramadan-type: silky smooth, comforting, but at heart an Islamist.  To be sure he didn't come across as oleaginous as the oily Ramadan.  But still, at each new Islamist atrocity, Aly was, like, "nothing to see here", and in some cases critical of the critics.  Critical of those who criticised the terrorist-enabling Islamic ideology, which strikes me as Islamapologist.
Still, I listened to the above talk and found Aly charming, well-spoken, erudite, well read and amusing.
Yet, listen closer: and again there's no discussion at all of matters Islamic, except a quick sliding by, by both Richard and Waleed. I would have liked it if he'd had the guts to acknowledge that Islam does indeed have problematic doctrines.  And say something about that.
I later came across an article by Paul Monk, on the occasion of Waleed Aly's having been honoured with the Voltaire award. (Quite a year for Aly, then!).
Monk makes the same point I do, but rather more elegantly.
"Waleed Aly must step up on Muslim free speech at Voltaire Award", The Weekend Australian, July 13, 2016.
I know many people object to we non-Muslims making such demands.  "Muslims must speak up" "Muslims must criticise extremists", Muslims "must" this and "must" that, and so on.  Isn't that asking too much, for Muslims always having to comment or criticise each new atrocity committed by their co-religionists? But is it really?  There are many Muslim and ex-Muslims out there, bravely making these points.  And they need more support. More support to press for a reading of Islam more congenial to enlightenment values (as hard as that project may be).
Someone with the visibility, charm and credibility of Waleed Aly would be a powerful force for good; a powerful force for the moderation of Islam more compatible with the secular values of free countries like his own home Australia.
So, Waleed Aly may be, as the ABC has it, "out of the box", but on matters of open and honest free speech about Islam, pressing for its reform, Aly is clearly still in the closet.

Britain’s GMO Liberation - WSJ

Hurrah! At last some sanity on Genetically Modified Organisms. "Britain's GMO liberation", WSJ, 28 October 2016. ($).
Britain is going to regulate the growth of the GMO industry with a policy that is "science-based and proportionate".
Greenies are always saying that we should listen to the science when it comes to global warming. But they resolutely fail to accept the overwhelming science about the safety of GMOs -- which they scorn as "Frankenfoods".
That idiocy impacts many poorer countries where GMOs could have major positive impacts: in productivity, in health and even in green-ness (e.g. fewer pesticides).

What the China Trade Warriors Get Wrong - WSJ

Free trade is good for the US and the world, not bad. Unemployment in the US is more due to productivity and technology gains than much to do with international trade.
And China is not the bogey-country Trump makes it out to be.
Still it's clear that dislocations of the working classes, the long-term unemployment that is becoming endemic, need better solutions from both parties. I'd expect a Democratic president to do better on that front.
When talking about trade, both presidential candidates have been marching voters down a dead-end street. Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton claim larger imports or trade deficits are associated with weaker economic growth, which is the opposite of the U.S. experience. Before peddling risky solutions to a misunderstood problem—such as threatening huge tariffs on countries or U.S. companies—the candidates might first take more care to understand, define and explain what they are hoping to fix.
What the China Trade Warriors Get Wrong, Wall Street Journal.

Friday 28 October 2016

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Demand for Anti-Muslim Bigotry – SEDAA – Our Voices

I first read, via Sam Harris' Twitter, about the Southern Poverty Law Centre's labeling of Maajid Nawaz as an "anti-Muslim extremist".
This is complete nonsense. Maajid speaks for moderation in Islam, having once been jailed for his own Islamist extremism.
SPLC's listing of Aayan Hirsi Ali is also nonsense. I've read all her books and articles. She is a powerful voice for women's rights in Islam.
I read SPLC's write ups on these two, and found them mean-spirited and tendentious. Clearly dishonest. I was going to do a point by point rebuttal, but now don't need to as it's been done by Mr Khan below.
SPLC is a hard left outfit and on this issue of critics if the ideology of Islam can be safely ignored. Note that they list "hate groups", but not a single one is Islamist or jihadist.
Sedaa gets stuck into them

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Demand for Anti-Muslim Bigotry – SEDAA – Our Voices

I first read, via Sam Harris' Twitter, about the Southern Poverty Law Centre's labeling of Maajid Nawaz as an "anti-Muslim extremist".
This is complete nonsense. Maajid speaks for moderation in Islam, having once been jailed for his own Islamist extremism.
SPLC's listing of Aayan Hirsi Ali is also nonsense. I've read all her books and articles. She is a powerful voice for women's rights in Islam.
I read SPLC's write ups on these two, and found them mean-spirited and tendentious. Clearly dishonest. I was going to do a point by point rebuttal, but now don't need to as it's been done by Mr Khan below.
SPLC is a hard left outfit and on this issue of critics if the ideology of Islam can be safely ignored. Note that they list "hate groups", but not a single one is Islamist or jihadist.
Sedaa gets stuck into them

"A poisonous refugee policy", New York Times, 27 October

Waleed Aly accepts, without question, all the criticisms by Amnesty International of Australia's asylum-seeker policy. But he refutes, without evidence, all Australian government rebuttals. ("A poisonous refugee policy", International New York Times, 27 October). 
Amnesty charges that Australia's offshore detention of asylum seekers "amounts to torture". Aly is there to assure us that our government's denial of such torture is just so much farrago. 
I've read the Amnesty report. Am I surprised that the answer to their question of asylum seekers --  "are you being tortured?" -- was "yes"?  
Color me cynical, but no, I'm not surprised. It's been well documented that refugee groups worldwide understand the power of torture charges. 
Still, even Amnesty and Aly accept that the offshoring of would-be asylum seekers to Australia has resulted in a complete stop to human trafficking to Australia and the end of refugee deaths at sea. 
Surely that's a strong positive for our current policy. 
If there's another policy that would maintain these gains and better assist would-be asylum seekers, perhaps Amnesty or Aly would tell us. So far neither Amnesty nor Aly have favored us with their wisdom on such a policy. 
Peter F

Challenging China’s Illegal Maritime Baselines - WSJ

The whole "China in the South China Sea" issue has been a subject of some heated debate en famille here in our Hong Kong home. 
This article, "Challenging China's Illegal Maritime Baselines" in the Wall Street Journal, talks about an issue I didn't know about: "straight baselines". 
The U.S. Navy on Friday conducted a freedom of navigation operation (Fonop) near disputed features in the South China Sea, its fourth in the past year. A destroyer, the USS Decatur, sailed "in the vicinity of the Paracel Islands," close to but not within the 12-nautical-mile territorial limits of land features in the Paracels. 
In past Fonops, U.S. warships sailed within the 12-nautical-mile zone of land features claimed by China and other countries in the region. Those operations challenged unlawful requirements that a warship seek prior authorization or provide advance notification to exercise innocent passage in territorial waters.
The latest operation was different. It broadened the target of U.S. Fonops in the South China Sea to include China's illegal straight baselines around the Paracels. Straight baselines join the outermost points of an island or a group of islands, and have the effect of enclosing the waters within them as "internal waters."

Thursday 27 October 2016

BBC's Hard Talk with Romanian FM about the Niqab and Burqa

LETTER TO BBC, For Hard Talk's Stephen Sackur. 
Stephen Sackur should read something about what moderate Muslim women and ex-Muslim women say about the Niqab and Burqa before talking again about the "freedom"'for Muslim women in the west to wear the horrid garb. (As he did recently in a Hard Talk with the Romanian Foreign Minister). 
Wearing body bags or masks is nothing to do with freedom and pretty much all to do with the oppression of Islamic patriarchy spreading to female Muslim immigrants in western societies. 
Eiynah, a Pakistani-Canadian ex-Muslim talks about being abandoned by western liberals in the battle of reforming Muslim women to ditch medieval garb. 
She criticises  western liberals for siding with conservative Muslims (those championing the niqab and burqa) as opposed to supporting reformist Muslims who want to do away with an oppressive uniform. 
Quote from her article, via Professor Jerry Coyne of Chicago Uni's blog in which she decries the championing of niqab/burqa by well meaning western liberals (link below):
During last year's federal election and the controversy surrounding Stephen Harper's veil ban, Tabatha Southey of the Globe and Mail tweeted"By fighting a veil ban, Ms. Ishaq schools us on how to be Canadian" with very little regard for what the face veil represents to many other Muslim women – like those who are forced into veils and are fighting to be free of them. Around the same time, The Huffington Post Canada declared, "someone made a 'Niqabs of Canada' Tumblr and it's Great, comparing them to hockey masks, helmets, scarves and hoods shielding from the cold – all of which have other purposes than to shame women into modesty.
The Guardian touts headlines like "My hijab has nothing to do with oppression, it's a feminist statement" with seemingly no appreciation for what kinds of strict modesty guidelines lay behind the wearing of hijabs. Yes, some women in the west have the privilege of choice, but many, many of the women wearing face veils or headscarves in the Muslim world do not have such a choice, especially when it is mandated by the state. Even in the west, there lies the threat of being shunned by your family if you reject religious dress code. Articles glorifying this are doing women in vulnerable positions no favours at all. Yes, we must oppose anti-Muslim bigotry, but we must keep in mind that this doesn't mean glorification of modesty codes that target women.
My social media feeds are inundated with well-meaning liberal friends sharing article upon article praisingcelebratingglorifying religious garments like the hijab/niqab. But it's a garment used exclusively in its original form to ensure women cover up lest they provoke the lust of men. Ironically, even Playboy has jumped on this trend. The Muslim girls who want to be ballerinas, athletes or models and aren't hijabis simply aren't given very much coverage. All this achieves, is that it synonymizes Muslim with "conservative Muslim," which is incredibly unhelpful to our community in this political climate.
As someone who immigrated to Canada from Saudi Arabia, who was forced by morality police to cover her hair, threatened with a cane, I cannot stomach the fetishization and praise surrounding these practices that are primarily used to control and hold women back.

Sent from my iPhone

"The Lesser Evil", Sam Harris on the election

Another great talk by and with Sam Harris

Renewables overtake coal as world’s largest source of power capacity

A bit of light in the tunnel, from the Financial Times.
I didn't know that renewables had hit this mark already: overtaking coal in electricity production capacity. 
But note the difference between capacity and production. Fossil fuels still produce more electricity than renewables because they generate continuously, as opposed to renewables generating only when the sun shines or wind blows. 
Still it's nice to see some good news on the fighting global warming front. 
It follows an interesting article in the latest Spectator by Matt Ridley, that the world is getting greener, literally. ("Climate of ignorance ", 22 October). [*]
That is, satellite photos apparently show that there are 14% *more* trees and grasses on the globe now than 30 years ago. This is because of "fertilization" by CO2. 
If that's true (and I presume it's confirmable one way or the other, scientifically), then you wouldn't know it from announcements by Friends of the Earth or Greenpeace. 

"Driverless cars will make your life worse", Toby Young, Spectator, 22 October

I suspect Toby Young's prediction ("Driverless cars will make your life worse", 22 October) will be viewed in future with the same amusement as we now view Tom Watson's in 1943: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers".
Toby says "Driverless cars will be slower, more expensive and socially divisive". Really? On the basis of a couple of his dubious speculations about "algorithms"?
Meantime, my daughters in Australia have sold their cars because they find it easier, faster and cheaper (yes, faster and cheaper) to use Uber.
Probably In their lifetime, and certainly in that of their children, we shall have fleets of autonomous vehicles in our cities, faster, cheaper and cleaner than any human-based ones we have now.
Toby's call to "nip this technology in the bud" has about as much chance of happening as Dr Lardner's in 1830, when he called for the abandonment of fast railways because passengers would be asphyxiated.
Peter F.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

The Myth of the Racist Cop - WSJ

I've written about this before. 
Basic fact: cops in America kill blacks at a lower rate than they kill whites. A major study showing this was done by a Harvard professor, himself a person of color. The article below mentions a couple of other studies than come to the same conclusion. 
Another basic fact: because of the myth of cops being black-killers, many more cops are now being killed than before. Courtesy of the myth propagated by the Black Lives Matter movement. 
Yet another basic fact: Obama has clearly bought into the BLM myth. 
No government agency is more dedicated to the proposition that black lives matter than the police. If the next administration continues to disregard that truth in favor of a false narrative about systemic law-enforcement racism, the next four years will see more urban violence and race riots, and more dead cops.
Read the rest in the Wall Street Journal 

Monday 24 October 2016

Is Islam compatible with Australian values? » The Spectator Australia

In a word, "No". It's not.
Waleed Ali also mentioned here, as disingenuous.  I wonder about Ali.  Well spoken and often in the media, as a moderate, but I wonder abou this true leanings.

Saturday 22 October 2016

Charlie Hebdo Survivor: ‘The “Islamophobia Ruse” is Driven by “Great Ignorance”’ | Creeping Sharia

We must admit that Islamism today is applied Islam," El Rhazoui — who describes herself as an "atheist of Muslim culture" – writes, responding to politicians, religious figures, Islamophobia opponents and media commentators who claim after every jihadist attack that "real Islam" has nothing to do with such terror.
"When we apply Islam to the letter it gives Islamism, and when we apply Islamism to the letter it gives terrorism. So we need to stop saying Islam is a religion of peace and love. What is a moderate Islamist? An Islamist who doesn't kill?"

The rest here.

Monday 17 October 2016

The Freethinker - The voice of atheism since 1881 » Islam’s Non-Believers

The "Religion of Peace". Kill those that leave it....
I remember saying to my mum, 'I don't think I believe in God anymore,' And her saying, 'You can't tell anybody else because they'll kill you, we are obliged to kill ex-Muslims,' and that it would put me at extreme risk if anybody else was to find out, so that conversation ended there.

Saturday 15 October 2016

The Roots of America’s Mideast Delusion - WSJ

Just after his election, and on taking office in 2009...
Mr. Obama did almost everything liberal critics of the policies of George W. Bush wished him to do. And he failed. Or rather, he found that the Arab world was afflicted with pathologies that placed it beyond the reach of his words and deeds.
I still remember his Cairo Speech on June 4, 2009. The media loved it. I was appalled. 
It was a shocking surrender to multi- culti moral relativism and everything was the fault of the United States. The MSM loved the speech. The blogosphere I follow, the counter/jihadi blogosphere, skewered it. And guess who was right? That horridly Islamophobic blogosphere, of course. 
As the article below shows, America can never be in the right side of Arab opinion. No matter what it does it'll be wrong. So better it follow hard headed self interest, which includes, or should, the self interest of the west. 
James Traub writing below in the WSJ, concludes that the United States should not "trust appealing strangers", should not "try to be too clever", and should "lower expectations". 
Now, read on....

Ezra Levant’s Yom Kippur message to liberal Jews —and everyone else (Full length) - The Rebel

I like Ezra Levant a lot. Not that I agree with all his views: on the Canadian Oil sands, for example, and I think he veers to anthropogenic global warming denialism. Still, he's *very* sound on free speech, issues of Islam and, as in the video below, the case of naive liberal Jews supporting the import to Canada of refugees who are most likely, by all polls, to be bigoted against women, gays and Jews, not to say the concept of democracy itself.
On free speech, some years ago Ezra was taken to court for having written, in Canada's Maclean magazine, about Islamic supremacism on which point he was charged for quoting an Islamic cleric! The imam had said that Muslims would take over Canada as they "breed like mosquitoes" (the imam's words, and spoken approvingly by him, of course). When Ezra quotes this as an example
of Islamic supremacism, plod was smartly at his door, handcuffs in hand.
At the same time Ezra had been one of the very few in the west that had had the courage to reprint the Danish cartoons of Muhammad. For that he was dragged to court.
I followed the case quite closely at the time including the blow by blow account of in-court battles. Ezra's defense cost him a lot of money. He won in the end. Good for him. Though, IIRC, he didn't get back the money he'd spent on his defense.
So as you watch this video think of him as a most principled defender of free speech and a critic of an ideology that would kill and bury naive Jews.

Thursday 13 October 2016

Fwd: Sharia councils and parallel legal systems are abusive and discriminatory against women

Hello dear friend
I wanted to write and give you an update of the work of One Law for All. 
Our new Spokesperson
I'm really pleased to announce that Gina Khan, a long-time women's rights campaigner, has become a Spokesperson for the organisation. You can hear Gina's experience with Sharia courts on BBC Radio 4 along with other media coverage on on our concerns:
Boycott of Theresa May Inquiry into Sharia Councils
Following an open letter to the then Home Secretary Theresa May signed by an unprecedented number of women's rights groups and campaigners, we have called for a boycott of the inquiry with others because of serious concerns, including that the inquiry is set up as a theological investigation rather than one centred on human rights. The letter calling for a boycott can be seen here:  
Home Affairs Committee on Sharia Councils
We have, however, submitted evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on Sharia Councils and will be giving oral evidence. You can see our submission and that of some of our other partners here: 
One Law for All:
Southall Black Sisters:
British Muslims for Secular Democracy:
We continue to collect shocking testimonies from women whose rights have been violated by Sharia courts: If you have personal experience with these courts, please contact us.
Public Meetings
In order to continue raising awareness on the detrimental effect of parallel legal systems, One Law for All will be speaking at public meetings in London and Manchester organised by Southall Black Sisters as well as a public meeting at the Houses of Parliament. To find out more about these events and others, see here:
Thanks to all of those who supported the crowdfunding campaign to get Elham Manea's book on Sharia Law and Women into the hands of MPs: We raised enough to get 127 books into the hands of key MPs and Ministers. We will write to donors with more details soon.
Please continue supporting us
Please support our work by donating to our organisation: No amount is too small and every little helps. A special thanks to those who donate on a regular basis. We can't tell you what a difference it makes.
In addition to donating, please buy tickets to the 22-23 July 2017 International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression. If you can't come, please try and donate towards conference costs. That is one important way to help us. It will be a historic conference - one that you can join for as little as £85 a day (including refreshments, lunch, cocktails, and a brilliant line up of speakers and acts). Find out more about the conference here:
Looking forward to hearing from you and seeing you at some of the public events and the 2017 conference.
Thanks again and warmest wishes
Maryam Namazie
One Law for All
BM Box 2387, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

Fwd: Islam's Non Believers On ITV Exposure on 13 October

Islam's Non Believers, a new film by the award-winning film-maker Deeyah Khan, will be aired on 13 October 2016 on ITV Exposure at 10:40-11:40pm London time:
The film is the first in depth documentary following the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and investigating the lives of young women and men in Britain who face threats, ostracisation, discrimination and even violence for leaving Islam.
It also highlights the heinous violence faced by ex-Muslims in countries under Islamic rules (including the death penalty in 13 countries); draws attention to the role respected "community leaders" play in encouraging discrimination and violence; and makes important links between the transnational Islamist movement in Britain and internationally. Moreover, the film reveals the extent of non believers amongst Muslims and the international nature of the ex-Muslim resistance movement.
According to Sadia Hameed who is featured in the film: "There is  a link between family disownment due to apostasy and a rapid decline in mental health that is being neglected. Ex-Muslims are left feeling as though there is something wrong with them for thinking critically and asking questions or wanting answers".
According to Maryam Namazie, a founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain: "Many young ex-Muslims feels desperate and isolated  but they are not alone. There are millions of us in every home, every family, every country – though we are often ignored, silenced and persecuted. Deeyah Khan's film has given us the chance to speak for ourselves and to remind the world that Islam's non believers need support and solidarity to end apostasy laws, social discrimination and violence".
Per Rayhana Sultan who is also featured in the film: "This documentary is a bold step towards promoting the rights of ex-Muslims around the world and for years to come".
ITV Exposure's Press Release on "Islam's Non Believers" is available here: 
See also The Independent's "Islamic communities contain 'tsunamis of atheism' that are being suppressed":

Wednesday 12 October 2016

We must have the freedom to mock Islam | Coffee House

Good to see the good ol' Speccie take up this issue: the demonising of a British gymnast who mocked Islam. Just a bit of fun on a private video. That would have meant nothing if he'd mocked Catholics, or Mormons, or Buddhists, or atheists.
I wrote about it a few days ago saying our reaction should have been "So what??".
In fact it's been the opposite and we've done the job of Islamists: we have instituted the Islamic sharia law on blasphemy. We have done it for the Islamists and the jihadists. We have done it on their behalf. We have carried water for the Islamic extremists.
Shame on us.

The U.S. and U.N. Have Abandoned Christian Refugees - WSJ

This is long-known to those of us who have followed the blogs. Especially Raymond Ibrahim's. 

Finally the MSM catches up with the story. Christians -- and other religious minorities -- are being slaughtered in the Middle East. Yet the West and the UN, turn a blind eye. Most shocking is UN secretary-general elect Antonio Guterras' comment that we should not be taking Syrian Christians as refugees because they are "part of the DNA of the Middle East."  So, they should be thrown under the bus because they were there first.

Scandalous. Or ought to be. Problem is, it's ignored. The practice of willful blindness perfected. Allowing yet another genocide, when we have promised "never again". Sadly that noble vision has become "again, and again, and again..."
... the Obama administration's expanded refugee program for Syria depends on refugee referrals from the UNHCR. Yet Syria's genocide survivors have been consistently underrepresented. State's database shows that of 12,587 Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S. in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, only 68 were Christians and 24 were members of the Yazidi sect. That means 0.5% were Christians, though they have long accounted for 10% of Syria's population. In 2015, among 1,682 Syrians admitted, there were 30 Christians and no Yazidis.

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, Seven Years Later - WSJ

Mr. Putin's pilots are also increasingly menacing European homelands, with the French Defense Ministry revealing Wednesday that Russian military aircraft last month skirted the airspaces of France, Norway, Spain and the U.K., forcing all four countries to scramble jets. This, too, is the fruit of the humbler Washington the Europeans wished for in 2009.
Read on... 

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Sam Harris: The Frontiers of Political Correctness

Another great podcast from Sam, talking to Gad Saad.
Gad talks about something that concerns me, namely, the extent to which increasing Islamisation of western countries will lead to societies less like the ones we value in the west.  Given that foundational doctrines of Islam are inimical to all our liberal enlightenment values: freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and equal rights for minorities, women and gays.
Also Gad on Sharia and the US constitution, at 1hr35.
That comes around 40 minutes, but it's all worth a listen, when you have 1.5 hours at your gym!

Gad Saad is Professor of Marketing at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada) and the holder of the Concordia University Research Chair in Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences and Darwinian Consumption. He has held Visiting Associate Professorships at Cornell University, Dartmouth College, and the University of California–Irvine. Saad has pioneered the use of evolutionary psychology in marketing and consumer behavior. His works include The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography, and Gift Giving Reveal About Human NatureThe Evolutionary Bases of ConsumptionEvolutionary Psychology in the Business Sciences, along with 75+ scientific papers, many at the intersection of evolutionary psychology and a broad range of disciplines including consumer behavior, marketing, advertising, psychology, medicine, and economics. He received a B.Sc. (1988) and an M.B.A. (1990) both from McGill University, and his M.S. (1993) and Ph.D. (1994) from Cornell University.

Reefer Republic -

The day will come when we will look back and wonder at the stupidity, the cruelty, of the "War on Drugs".  Which will have been consigned to the dustbin of history. 
Those most impacted by the WoD are people of colour. They are about 13% of the population, but 57% of prison inmates, even though they offend at the same rate as whites. 
But all of society suffers: from unnecessary imprisonment (the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world), to the corruption of the police and political systems. 
It is not just the west coast of the US that's experimenting with a better system of decriminalisation of marihuana and treatment of addiction. Portugal is doing the same, with great positive results. 
Bring on decriminalisation of drugs and treatment of addiction!
 "As with most social reforms, it only seems impossible until it's obvious."
Timothy Egan in the New York Times:
"A clear majority of Americans now favor pot legalization. The problem is the federal government, which still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, alongside heroin and L.S.D. If pot was legalized nationwide, with a tax on every sale designated for treatment, it would free up the police to get at serious crimes, while ensuring that no addict would be denied treatment for lack of funds. As with most social reforms, it only seems impossible until it's obvious."

Monday 10 October 2016

A Decade of Failure in the War on Drugs -

Of course drug use should be decriminalized and made a public health issue. Actual experiments in doing so are unequivocal: this policy works. Whereas the "War on Drugs", begun by Nixon in the seventies, has clearly failed.
Here's a more optimistic story from Portugal:
More than 15 years ago, Portugal decriminalized drug possession for personal use and created a system for drug treatment and social reintegration; cannabis use has leveled, the number of heroin addicts is down 70 percent, and deaths by overdoses have also been reduced. In the Netherlands, a cafeteria-style system has created a legal work force around cannabis and, in part because users are not prosecuted, that country's jails are virtually empty. Recently, a lack of business has led to the closing of a few Dutch prisons. Drug use — of all drugs — is a health issue, not a criminal one. And it should be dealt with as such. 

Sunday 9 October 2016

Articles: The Disinformation Campaign of Islam

This article from the American Thinker discusses a topic I've often wondered about. Why is it that Muslims and apologist non-Muslims alike, constantly tell us, we critics of Islam, that we should "learn more about Islam"? On the assumption, one presumes, that in learning more we will come to love it.
I first wondered about this after I educated myself about Islam, soon after 9-11.
George W Bush had been repeating that Islam was a "religion of peace". Yet nineteen Muslims, clearly Muslims, and clearly pious Muslims, had just flown planes into the WTC.
So I thought I'd better learn more so I read the Koran.
Boy! Was that ever an education!
It scared me. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I thought "if this is what these people are reading and following, we have a real problem". And of course we do have a real problem. And it's a problem precisely because Muslims follow the doctrines of their faith.
Then I read past the Koran. I read the Hadith, the sayings and doings of Muhammad, and the Sirah, the authorised life of Muhammad. They didn't help. They are all just as violent and sectarian, as the Koran. Just that they have some more detail. A while later I also read the Umdat Al-Salik, the Classic Manual of Islamic Jurisprudence, which has been certified, as recently as 1997, by the most authoritative university in Islam, the Al-Azhar university in Cairo.
So why, when they face criticism of Islam, do Muslims and their fellow travellers call on us to "learn more about Islam"? It's only going to make us ever more wary of Islam. For its doctrines are unremittingly anti free speech, violent, misogynist, anti-semitic, homophobic and apostasy-phobic.
In the ironically amusing case reported below, a judge in the US sentences a woman to learning about Islam in the curious, or simply ignorant, belief that this will "cure" her of Islamophobia.
Actually, reading the doctrines of Islam will make any sentient being Islamophobic. Or better word: islamocritical. For there's nothing in that doctrine which improves humankind. Nothing. Only if you are born into it can you follow it. Unless you are one of the idiotic converts (or "reverts" as Muslims call them, as they have reverted to the "original" religion!), which enter into a category I call "things I don't get".
Anyway read on for the bizarre musings of a US Judge. And an equally bizarre sentence.

Louis Smith accused of 'mocking' Islam as he jokes about '60 virgins' in shock video - Mirror Online

Surely the response to Louis Smith "mocking Islam" ought to be "So what?"
No one would bat an eyelid if he'd been mocking Catholics, Anglicans or Buddhists. And if imams are upset, well: "get over it".
This is where we've got to, the crappyness of double standards in the UK where Muslims have played the victimhood card so loudly and so often that non-Muslim Britons are now implementing sharia law on their behalf.

Saturday 8 October 2016

Aleppo Is Obama’s Sarajevo - WSJ

Obama is being hit from right and from left on his Syria failure. It's egregious. Yet he seems weirdly proud of his failure.

"Decent but downcast"?

Dear Mr Stephens,
Am I one of those, that you describe as "decent but downcast"?  ("Demagogues reach beyond bigotry", Financial Times, 7 October). 
A lifelong Labor voter (in Oz) I find the Left now bereft of principle when it comes to Islam, Islamism and jihad. 
You say "There is no easy blueprint to rebuild trust". How about those elites in government and media treat seriously the concerns about Islam and Muslim immigration of the horrid "populists"? 
After all, Islam (or Islamism, if you must) is inimical to all of which the Left is supposed to be in favour: free speech, freedom of conscience, equal rights for women, gays and ethnic minorities. 
Peter F

How Sweden became an exporter of jihad - BBC News

Here's an interesting thing: the lovely Aussie reporter, Yalda Hakim, now with the BBC, has done a show, which I watched this morning on BBC tv here in Hong Kong. (I missed its name, but I guess it's the same as this article).
Good enough. But rather late in the day.
The problems in Sweden from the largest per capita intake of Muslim immigrants in the world, have been extensively covered in the blogosphere for many years. And when first covered, eg by, around ten years ago, they were dismissed as "Islamophobic".
Well, the warnings by we Islamophobes have come true -- and we know this, when even the leftie BBC reports on it.
Thing is, young Yalda, for all her keenness, still misses important issues. At one point she says people are asking "what on earth happened?" Well, the answer is simple:
Islam happened.
Again: she refers over and over to "radical" or "extreme" versions of Islam. Perhaps this is a tactical reference, so as not to conflate
the whole of Islam with those committing barbaric acts in its name. Maybe. But the fact is that the allegedly "radical sharia", for example, is simply mainstream sharia. You can see this in the officially-approved "Umdat al-Salik", the Manual of Islamic Jurisprudence. From the way Yalda talks, I believe the poor little bunny doesn't know this.
That apart, at least the problems of large-scale Muslim immigration is being aired in a key mainstream media outlet.
Perhaps on time they will come for the MSM to accept that the problems are not just with "radical" Islam, but with the doctrines of Islam itself.
A young pMuslim Swedish man, face covered, says he wants sharia for Sweden because he loves Swedish people and this is the best for them. How can you debate this with that sort of world view? It's foundational Islamic doctrine and can only be countered by challenging foundational Islamic doctrine. And, in this endeavour, as Sam Harris says, you need to have reforming Muslims and ex Muslims on your side in that battle. (The likes of Sarah Haider and Maajid Nawaz). See Sam's latest podcast in conversation with Gad Saad.
Again, nothing of that from Yalda and the BBC. Instead you have her covering, sympathetically, the views of Sweden's only police "integration officer" who blames, guess who? -- the Swedish police! That's right. It's not the fault of Islamic thugs and the doctrines they follow. But Sweden, that welcoming country, is at fault. I'm sure that immigrants to Sweden must include Christians, Buddhists and atheists. Yet it's only the Muslims who cause the problems: who are "exporters of jihad".
It's the doctrine of Islam, stupid.
Perhaps in time BBC and other MSM will. listen to we Islamophobes. *Before* the problems become worse.

Thursday 6 October 2016

Pakistani scholar ordered home from Australian tour after anti-Semitic video emerges

This is the warped thinking that religion -- especially Islam -- leads grown men to. 
"We are peaceful people, so the Jews must be slaughtered, every last one."
This is from the Canberra Times, via a Harry's Place commenter -- commenting on an article about murderous anti-Ahmadi rhetoric from an imam in the UK. Apparently nothing is being done about this very real hate speech in the UK.  Indeed it's incitement to mainstream Muslims to kill Ahmadi Muslims (because the mainstream Muslims consider Ahmadis heretics, and hence ripe for slaughtering.  And we know it has effect, this sort of speech, as an Ahmadi shopkeeper was murdered by a Sunni quite recently. And nothing is done. 
At least in Australia, something was done about the Jew-hating Muslim. But note that it was done by the Australian Pakistani Association, not our government. 
I'd guess it's even more unlikely that the UK Pakistani association would do something similar,as they appear to be more radical than those in Oz. 

GMOs Are a Necessity—for Farmers and the Environment - WSJ

What about all those folks who say that "the science is settled" and must be accepted in the case of global warming, but who simply refuse to accept the science in the case of Genetically  Modified Organisms?
This article in the Wall Street Journal summarizes the finding of the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine:
These conclusions could not have surprised anyone who follows the issue. They're consistent with the findings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and other highly respected groups. Thousands of independent researchers have consistently found that GMOs benefit not only farmers and the public, but also biodiversity, soil quality, water quality, carbon sequestration—in short, the environment.
Still, I know people who close their ears and shut their eyes when they are confronted by the science. At least then they should empathize with the visceral views of "climate deniers". They're coming from the same place.
For the record and for myself, I'm convinced by the science of global climate change and the need to address it. That's why I'm in favour of nuclear, as well as all the renewables stuff.
And I'm equally convinced by the science of GMOs. They're part of the solution to global problems.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

"Cutting the study of Islam a mistake"

Do you daily use soap, shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush, coffee, a clock, a camera, a fountain pen? Did you study algebra, chemistry or the scientific method at a university? Do you own a guitar or magnifying glasses in your home?
If your answer is yes to any of these, you have Islamic civilization to thank [*], from which all of these inventions and scientific disciplines, plus many more, were developed during the medieval period.
From "Cutting the study of Islam a mistake".  October 2, 2016.
[*] No, we don't!

Ok here's me the blogmeister commenting on these so-called "inventions" of the Islamic world:

  • Soap was invented in Egypt in ~200 BC, about 900 years before Muhammad (PBUH) came on the scene. 
  • Shampoo came much later and was a Hindu invention.
  • Coffee came out of Ethiopia about 600 years ago, but was as likely a Christian discovery as an Islamic one. I'll award half a point for coffee, then.
  • The first Clock was invented by an Englishman. 
  • As was the first Camera.
  • Algebra came out of India, not the Islamic world.
  • The Scientific method came out of enlightenment Europe, not the Islamic world. Indeed Islam specifically rejected the scientific method in the intellectual wars of the 13th century, won by the anti-scientific Al-Ghazali. This is recounted in Robert Reilly's "The Closing of the Muslim Mind".
So, that's just what I know, sitting here on an airplane in Moscow, and without doing any more research. In short, I've just debunked virtually every one of the claims of Islam's contribution to world inventions and science.
Nearly ALL of these claims about Islamic contributions to the world are bogus. [Later: see end of post: only 0.5 out of 10 of these items have anything to do with Islam]
They also reveal a great insecurity in Islam. Islamic apologists are always trying to show how Islam has contributed to the world's scientific progress. Whereas on closer inspection, their claims are revealed to be bogus. Like the religion itself. A bogus "religion of peace". A bogus addition to mankind's wellbeing. A bogus "perfect life" of the "prophet" to live by.
These claims, often repeated -- and perhaps even believed by their authors -- show just what a huge inferiority complex Islam has.
It is, in short, a deeply bogus and dangerous ideology. Its claims for having added to scientific advance are simply pathetic. Its totalitarian ideology is a retrograde force.
These laughable claims bring to mind Richard Dawkins' tweet a few years back that Trinity College in Oxford had won more Nobel prizes than the whole of the Islamic world. He was slammed for saying that, by sensitive leftie luvvies, who called him "hateful". But it's true, nonetheless. Imagine that: more scientific firepower in one college than in the 1.6 BILLION people in the Islamic world. Muslims ought to be thinking about that, rather than trying to blind us with soap and shampoo.
The article here is a classic in the genre of Islamic apologia. Misdirection and obfuscation.
LATER (25/10/16): the Fountain pen was invented by a Romanian living in France at the end of the 17th century. Nothing I can find places the fountain pen anywhere near the Islamic world (so why claim it??).
LATERER (29/10/16):

  • Guitar: For its history see here.  The sum of that is that early guitars were developed out of the Lute (European) and the Oud (Moorish, and hence "Islamic", if you wish).  So, I'm going to score that as a half a point. Yay! for Islamic inventions!
  • Magnifying glass was first described in ancient Greece, with a modern version credited to Roger Bacon in England in the 13th century.  
  • Toothpaste goes back to 5,000 BC, in Egypt, China and India.
  • Toothbrush: the bristled version like we used to day was invented in China in 1498.  Earlier versions go back to 3,000 BC.
  • Chemistry's "invention", that is, its modern form, was by Robert Boyle, with the publication of his Sceptical Chymist [sic] in 1661.

SUM: out of 13 items claimed to have been invented by Islam, I score a half for coffee and a half for guitar = 1 out of 13.
Let's see: that would be 7.7% of those "inventions and disciplines" claimed as Islamic actually have anything to do with Islam.  I class that as: Fail.
A final note: as with other "Islamic inventions" I've looked into, there's an interesting little trick these folk do: if something was invented, say, in ancient Egypt, or ancient Persia -- in other words well before Islam invaded them --  it will be claimed as Islamic because those places are now Islamic!  A great cheat.  But just another example of the bogus of Islam, the deception we've become used to.  They're still up to it with the greatest deception of all: that it's a "Religion of Peace".

Sunday 2 October 2016

EU Commission's Willful Blindness on Islamist Terrror | Clarion Project

Like my two most recent posts this is from my Google Alert on Islam. Seems there's a new rash of willful blindness just like Obama and Brennan (director of the CIA), in the last two posts below.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
How have we come to this???
Gotta give it to the Islamists for having scared all good leftists and progressives into silence for fear of being labelled racists and Islamophobes.

CIA Director: Terrorist Groups ‘Are Driven by This Ideology That Is Not Rooted in Islam’

My god another one! Just after the one of Obama's in the post below we now have CIA Director Brennan telling us that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam and that its rooted in poverty and lack of opportunity. Here.
This is spectacularly, scandalously, soul-searingly stupid. Or else willingly ignorant.
No wonder the Obama administratuin has done so little to roll back Islamic terrorism.

PressTV-Obama: Why I won't say 'Islamic terrorism'

My god he's at it again! Obama speaking of whereof he knows nothing or is willingly ignorant. This time reported in Iran's Press TV. They're loving it! That their Sunni enemies are given this free pass on the religion.
I've written often of how ISIS is specifically and particularly Islamic. As have many other experts.
Obama's nonsense is dangerous. For how can you fight what you refuse to name properly.