The Problem of Muslim Leadership – WSJ.com

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Another Islamist terror attack, another round of assurances that it had nothing to do with the religion of peace.


I've seen this before. A Muslim terrorist slays a non-Muslim citizen in the West, and representatives of the Muslim community rush to dissociate themselves and their faith from the horror. After British soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death last week in Woolwich in south London, Julie Siddiqi, representing the Islamic Society of Britain, quickly stepped before the microphones to attest that all good Muslims were "sickened" by the attack, "just like everyone else."

This happens every time. Muslim men wearing suits and ties, or women wearing stylish headscarves, are sent out to reassure the world that these attacks have no place in real Islam, that they are aberrations and corruptions of the true faith.

But then what to make of Omar Bakri? He too claims to speak for the true faith, though he was unavailable for cameras in England last week because the Islamist group he founded, Al-Muhajiroun, was banned in Britain in 2010. Instead, he talked to the media from Tripoli in northern Lebanon, where he now lives. Michael Adebolajo—the accused Woolwich killer who was seen on a video at the scene of the murder, talking to the camera while displaying his bloody hands and a meat cleaver—was Bakri's student a decade ago, before his group was banned. "A quiet man, very shy, asking lots of questions about Islam," Bakri recalled last week. The teacher was impressed to see in the grisly video how far his shy disciple had come, "standing firm, courageous, brave. Not running awSome refuse even to admit that this is the question on everyone's mind. Amazingly, given the litany of Islamist attacks—from the 9/11 nightmare in America and the London bombings of July 7, 2005, to the slayings at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009, at the Boston Marathon last month and now Woolwich—some continue to deny any link between Islam and terrorism. This week, BBC political editor Nick Robinson had to apologize for saying on the air, as the news in Woolwich broke, that the men who murdered Lee Rigby were "of Muslim appearance."

Memo to the BBC: The killers were shouting "Allahu akbar" as they struck. Yet when complaints rained down on the BBC about Mr. Robinson's word choice, he felt obliged to atone. One can only wonder at people who can be so exquisitely sensitive in protecting Islam's reputation yet so utterly desensitized to a hideous murder explicitly committed in the name of Islam.

Written By: Ayaan Hirsi Ali
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  1. I think you should reread the article but more importantly watch the video.

    She did not say that Breivik had “no choice but to use violence.” She was merely stating that he said that he had no choice. She was not agreeing with him. In fact she said his views were abhorrent.

    In reply to #2 by The Grapes of Roth:

    Ah yes, terrorist sympathiser Ayaan Hirsi Ali:

    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/06/01/492884/ayaan-hirsi-ali-breivik-norway-terrorist/

  2. Nothing to do with Islam? Forbidden by the religion of peace?

    If the murderers of Lee Rigby had been caught eating pork and drinking alcohol, then we would know that they were not real Muslims.

    • In reply to #3 by stevencarr:

      Nothing to do with Islam? Forbidden by the religion of peace?

      If the murderers of Lee Rigby had been caught eating pork and drinking alcohol, then we would know that they were not real Muslims.

      Perhaps we can use this idea as a test of whether these criminals are real muslims or not. If they are fed pork products in prison and the wider muslim community protest about the treatment of poor hard done too fellow muslims then I guess we know the truth.

  3. Brilliant as ever. UK politicians, and the BBC, are too cowed by the need to be “sensitive” to a minority who account for barely 4% of the UK population (most of whom despise this murder) to understand the need to act for the greater good of, well, the 96%. Who are fed up of excuses and apologists.

    There is something rotten at the core of Islam and its name is violence. It’s all there in that “perfect” book. Islam needs a reformation, an enlightenment, a “new testament” to supplant its pre-medieval and frankly abominable old testament.

    Without that, Islam is a clear and present danger to world peace, to the lives of hundreds of millions of people. And whilst I am happy to accept that most Muslims abhor violence, I also suspect that if push comes to shove and any such global conflict erupts, they may well not be choosing our side.

    We’re getting past some kind of tipping point where something must be done.

    • In reply to #4 by Stevehill:

      Without that, Islam is a clear and present danger to world peace, to the lives of hundreds of millions of people. And whilst I am happy to accept that most Muslims abhor violence, I also suspect that if push comes to shove and any such global conflict erupts, they may well not be choosing our side.

      I’m sorry, Steve, but this sounds like the sort of paranoid nonsense that gets innocent people hurt, and is exactly the attitude the killers of Lee Rigby and their kind wish to instil in the minds of those of us in the West: the belief that ordinary Muslims in non-Muslim countries will, if signs begin to appear that an uprising may be imminent, drop any opposition they previously claimed to violence, grab anything in their kitchen sharp enough to cause harm, and take to the streets seeking to do violence against their infidel neighbours with whom they previously got along quite nicely.

      If you’re happy to accept that most Muslims abhor violence, what makes you think they would take the side of the presumed aggressors in your global conflict scenario? If Iran were to acquire a doomsday device and aim it at Israel or the US, would it activate some sort of hitherto dormant gene in all those violence-abjuring Muslims who would then revert to their natural state of murderousness?

      Nor am I entirely sure what “our side” refers to. Non-Muslims, I guess. I hate to be lumped together with Christians and others whose views I don’t share just because I happen to be included among them in the list of those the ravening hordes of Musselmen will have in their sights come the Day of Uprising.


      We’re getting past some kind of tipping point where something must be done.

      I shudder whenever I hear statements like this one. They’re usually grunted at approvingly in the pub or on the factory floor and in the majority of cases drift off into the ether never to trouble anyone again. But then there’s a financial crisis such as the one in Greece, or an appalling murder like in Woolich, and before you can get in a verse of Tomorrow Belongs to Me, you have Golden Dawn, and people ripping off the veils of women doing their shopping or dropping the kids at playgroup, and others being pushed under subway carriages. The sentence “We’re getting past some kind of tipping point where something must be done” should never be spoken except in a domestic tiff over the state of an overflowing kitchen trash can and whose turn it is to empty it.

      (I’m not too happy with “[Islam is] a clear and present danger to world peace…”, neither. Harrison Ford can get away with that; on anyone else it just looks silly.)


      Brilliant as ever. UK politicians, and the BBC, are too cowed by the need to be “sensitive” to a minority who account for barely 4% of the UK population (most of whom despise this murder) to understand the need to act for the greater good of, well, the 96%. Who are fed up of excuses and apologists.

      Are you saying that taxpayer-funded institutions such as the BBC and the political establishment shouldn’t bother with the sensibilities of UK citizens unless and until their particular social group accounts for a percentage of the population greater than four?

      What was that line that kicked off the American War of Independence: No taxation without representation, wasn’t it? If I were a Muslim and the Beeb was consistently insensitive or hostile to my community, I think I’d feel justified in refusing to pony up my license fee. Similarly, I might be inclined to withhold tribute if my Member of Parliament consistently ignored issues affecting his Muslim constituents. It’s part of the social contract that if you pay your taxes you have to at some level be represented by those receiving them.

      If anything, these bodies have a responsibility to be more sensitive when dealing with issues concerning minorities because minority groups in society are always the most vulnerable; the four percent will always be somewhat at the mercy of the other ninety-six.

      Speaking of whom, and I’m sorry to repeat yourself:

      …understand the need to act for the greater good of, well, the 96%. Who are fed up of excuses and apologists.

      I wouldn’t be assuming, as the proud member of the ninety-six that you clearly are, that everyone else in this group thinks and feels the same way you do. Some of us are capable of seeing the bigger picture.

    • In reply to #4 by Stevehill:

      And whilst I am happy to accept that most Muslims abhor violence, I also suspect that if push comes to shove and any such global conflict erupts, they may well not be choosing our side.

      What exactly do you mean by “our” side?

  4. There is, of course, another problem which the issue of Islamic extremism inadvertently highlights: the fact that there are many Christian extremists who regularly commit atrocities across the Western world. From those who oppress (i.e. western “evangelistic” efforts in Uganda), beat and/or kill homosexuals because of their faith in a particular interpretation of an “ancient” book, to those who engage in acts of violence against abortion providers again specifically because of their particular interpretations of their faith. These are the most common, and most notorious (respectively), but by no means the only examples. It doesn’t take much digging to turn up pages of stories of horrific family lives created out of extreme interpretations of scripture. And I feel sure one could find a variety of other examples besides these…the difference is that when Christians do these things they are uniformly dismissed as “crazy” or “misguided” and no one seriously ponders what poisonous influence their faith may have had on their actions. Few people – if any – respond to such events with a call for the televangelists and preachers to answer for their destructive messages. And of course no Western politician wants to touch that Pandora’s box either. So should it be surprising that, being so unaccustomed to addressing poisonous expressions of the dominant faith in European/American nations in a meaningful way, no one seems prepared to adequately or coherently address poisonous expressions of minority faiths?

  5. There is a game being played on Twitter. Over the last week, I have seen articles retweeted by religious type commentators/writers. These articles are written by Muslims, eg Medhi Hasan and generally have the “nothing to do with Islam” statement as well as quoting the “Do not kill” verse from the Koran. Bear in mind that these people also follow Richard Dawkins.

    Obviously there is the article above and others retweeted by Sam Harris, which are also written by Muslims (like this one), but are critical, eg blaming the ideology of Jihad, or simply directly saying that Islam IS the problem.

    Do the people mentioned above retweet these, even though they receive them? It seems they do not.
    So on the twitter landscape, there is a division of views from Muslims commentators and writers, but they are selected out by different Tweeters for what they say.

    To be fair, I suppose Richard Dawkins or Sam Harris wouldn’t retweet an article that defended Islam, at least without criticism of it up front. Richard can correct me here if I’m wrong.

    So the only way to see that certain views are being sent out by certain people is to follow both.

    At least that way I can make my own mind up on which make more sense to me. However, it makes me wonder why those religious types follow Richard dawkins if they don’t engage in debate.

  6. I dont think that anyone can make them confess that islam is not a religion of peace no matter how much evidence we throw at their faces. I think that they already know it. And all their energies are being put into two things – denying to others and denying to themselves what they already know to be the truth. It is a trait common in all believers. This insane capacity to willfully deceive themselves. And this habit leads invariably to the only outcome that is possible – violence when forced to think and when forced to accept reality. I think that the question we need to ask ourselves is this – how do you make a person see who does not wish to see, who wants to remain in the dark?

  7. …After British soldier Lee Rigby was hacked to death last week in Woolwich in south London, Julie Siddiqi, representing the Islamic Society of Britain, quickly stepped before the microphones to attest that all good Muslims were “sickened” by the attack, “just like everyone else.”

    This happens every time. Muslim men wearing suits and ties, or women wearing stylish headscarves, are sent out to reassure the world that these attacks have no place in real Islam, that they are aberrations and corruptions of the true faith.

    If there’s one thing I find sickening it’s when Muslims try to disassociate themselves from the evils done in the name of their religion. Wait, wait, no I mean the one thing I find sickening is when they don’t come forward after such an attack and immediately condemn it.

    In America, too, the question is pressing. Who speaks for Islam? The Council on American-Islamic Relations, America’s largest Muslim civil-liberties advocacy organization? Or one of the many Web-based jihadists who have stepped in to take the place of the late Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born al Qaeda recruiter?

    You go with the web-based jihadists, obviously. The same way you accept that the Westboro Baptist Church is the real voice of American Christianity.

    Some refuse even to admit that this is the question on everyone’s mind.

    Really? Everyone’s mind? Or just those who take the Rupert Murdoch shilling?

    Amazingly, given the litany of Islamist attacks—from the 9/11 nightmare in America and the London bombings of July 7, 2005, to the slayings at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009, at the Boston Marathon last month and now Woolwich—some continue to deny any link between Islam and terrorism.

    Nope, nobody’s doing that, Ayaan. No one on the planet is denying that there’s a link between Islam and terrorism.

    This week, BBC political editor Nick Robinson had to apologize for saying on the air, as the news in Woolwich broke, that the men who murdered Lee Rigby were “of Muslim appearance.”

    Memo to the BBC: The killers were shouting “Allahu akbar” as they struck. Yet when complaints rained down on the BBC about Mr. Robinson’s word choice, he felt obliged to atone.

    Shame on Mr Robinson. These men were clearly kitted out in the traditional Islamic dress of jeans, duffel coats and in one case, a woollen hat.

    rdf richard

    And Robinson can’t not have been unaware as the news broke of what the men had shouted. One could almost imagine he was apologising for being a bad journalist in that instance by presenting facts not yet in evidence, or even worse was rushing to stop a wave of attacks occurring on others in the Woolwich area and elsewhere in the country who might be similarly attired.

    Some of us, no doubt to our eternal shame, still think racial or religious profiling just isn’t cricket and if we accidentally do it ourselves should issue a mea culpa as soon as possible.

    One can only wonder at people who can be so exquisitely sensitive in protecting Islam’s reputation yet so utterly desensitized to a hideous murder explicitly committed in the name of Islam.

    This one can only stand amazed at the presumptuousness of someone who can claim a fellow human must be desensitized to violence because of one apology.

    And yet, after nearly a decade of similar rhetoric from Islamists around the world, last week the Guardian newspaper could still run a headline quoting a Muslim Londoner: “These poor idiots have nothing to do with Islam.” Really? Nothing?

    …acknowledging that there is a link between Islam and terror is appropriate and necessary.

    Darn straight it’s appropriate. As in the case of Mr Robinson, though, the Guardian’s quoting the Muslim Londoner’s assertion that the attackers’ actions had “nothing to do with Islam” may have had something to do with trying to keep a lid on all the tension being whipped up by other news providers, including those owned by a certain former denizen of the land Down Under. I think the Graun often does more harm than good in adopting such positions; it just give fuel to red-faced, blustering types who splutter about political correctness gone mad and how the world is going to the dogs.

    I don’t blame Western leaders. They are doing their best to keep the lid on what could become a meltdown of trust between majority populations and Muslim minority communities.

    If you don’t think illegal wars, random and relentless drone attacks and the continuing existence of facilities like Guantanamo Bay are deserving of opprobrium, Ayaan, and the West is but a victim of the black sheep of Abrahamism that is Islam, then you’ll find yourself very popular here at our little oasis. You might want to limit stuff such as the following, though:

    Of course, the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not terrorists or sympathetic to terrorists. Equating all Muslims with terrorism is stupid and wrong.

    Statements like this go against our dogma here.

  8. I wonder what would happen if Muslim leaders like Julie Siddiqi started a public and persistent campaign to discredit these Islamist advocates of mayhem and murder.

    This is a superbly directed challenge. Where are the decent leaders of decent Muslims who have the gonads to not simply register dismay at terrorism in the name of their religion but to howl at the Clerics and warlords who defame it so?

    Where are the Massouds, the hugely popular fearless fighters for good? Where is the courage and the humanity that we know has existed before?

    It will take courage, I have no doubt. Massoud and Bin Laden were arch enemies and for all the right moral reasons and Bin Laden had Massoud assassinated on September 10th 2001. Massoud, being on the right side of the moral fence, was by far the more likely of the two to end up dead. It will take huge courage to speak up loudly enough.

    Ayaan is right to say the ball is in the court of Muslim leaders alone to point the condemnatory finger at Clerics for others to find their courage and gather behind. But the countries leaders, Cameron, Theresa May, must put in place very high levels of discrete protection for any Muslim leader prepared to so put their life on the line.

  9. I’m reading to Koran for understanding of Islam after reading several histories including “Power, Faith and Fantasy- America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present”. Islam is a religion of political conquest that relied on slave soldiers. Jihad does mean Holy War against unbelievers, and Mohammed did encourage lying as a means of deceit. Moral standards required in the Umma (Community of believers) do not apply to non-believers. I did find one verse that does not advocate violence: 42.043 “But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs” that follows an “eye for an eye” biblical justification for revenge. The Koran is a badly plagiarized inclusion of Old Testament scriptures that for every chapter is a repetition of these premises: 1. God is Great; 2. God rewards those who submit to him; 3. God punishes those who refuse to submit; 4. God forgives those who submit to him. Peace comes through submission, but not through any personal redemption. Although Jesus is mention minimally, none of the teachings of Jesus is mentioned. The Koran imprisons those who believe or convert, and any effort of independent thought is forbidden in Shiite Islam and curtailed in Sunni Islam.

    Islam does have some history of humanism, but most of which has been suppressed or punished. Many of the Islamic radicals embrace the concept of taqlid (requirement of Muslims to follow clerics on all matters without asking for explanations of their decisions) which parallels Christian fundamentalism for the literal interpretation of scriptures. Ijtihad is a contrasting concept that derives from Jihad, but means strenuous endeavor or independent thinking and refers to a conscientious examination of sacred texts in order to discover for oneself the truths of Allah. (from a Wealth of Insights, Humanist Thought since the Enlightenment p357).This chapter on Humanism in the Muslim World is worth reading,

    Most Muslims are like most Christians, comfortable in the community of believers for personal and social reasons, likely to accept other people with a sense of dignity and respect, but subject to feelings of offense and persecution if their beliefs are questioned. From a policy standpoint, the freedom to participate in a religious community is a right, but the radicalization against non-members to the point of violence should not be tolerated. For Christians, violence against others is prohibited but often ignored. For conservative Muslims, violence against others is justifiable revenge for a given offense. As a secular humanist, I would like to understand the precepts and context which motivates religious violence, and find those pivot points that link people together. It is very evident that Islam fails to be a religion of peace just as much as Christianity fails to be a religion of compassionate love; luckily there are many peaceful Muslims and compassionate Christians.

    • In reply to #11 by dan.slaby.5:

      As a secular humanist, I would like to understand the precepts and context which motivates religious violence, and find those pivot points that link people together. It is very evident that Islam fails to be a religion of peace just as much as Christianity fails to be a religion of compassionate love; luckily there are many peaceful Muslims and compassionate Christians.

      I totally agree. I fail to understand why anyone would want to belong to a religion or movement that maintains the “sacredness” of the scribbles of past humans as being anything close to relevancy for the 21st century. Humans have advanced so many ways in the past 1500 years, and it’s surely time that the holy books were re-written by inspired people of the current day and age to embrace modern thinking and be rid of the attitudes of Bronze Age desert nomads once and for all.

  10. “Of course, the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not terrorists or sympathetic to terrorists. Equating all Muslims with terrorism is stupid and wrong. But acknowledging that there is a link between Islam and terror is appropriate and necessary.”.

    The difficulty is that even as “liberals” as Tariq Ramadhan could be, his view is not widely accepted by the mainstream (yet)..

  11. Something that Greta Christina has brought up that strikes my interest (and rage) is the quickness with which alleged representatives rush to the defense of Islam, saying “that’s not us.” but this isn’t unique to Islam.

    Greta Christina was specifically noting the tendency of Christians, when someone commits a faux pas in God’s name, to claim “well he’s not really a Christian.”

    [It’s a double issue for me because a. your first impulse shouldn’t be to protect the alleged infallibility of your club, and b. there are already plenty of problems regarding Christians rejecting Christians for ideological reasons. Typically, the Catholics reject everyone else, the conservatives reject Catholics and liberal churches (like the Unitarians), or “cults” such as the LDS or Jehovah’s Witnesses]

    When Scott Roeder gunned down Dr. George Tiller (in church!) all the anti-abortion activist groups immediately raced to their podiums to disassociate themselves with this lone wolf. It was pretty obvious they were cheering off camera. Randall Terry’s “reaped what he sowed” comments followed by his invite of the press to beer and chicken wings made it clear he wasn’t losing any sleep over an atrocity in which Operation Rescue’s involvement was likely.

    So I’m thinking this really is an automatic human phenomenon related to institutionalized ideologies. It’s probably related to the scandal-control efforts both in the RCC and in other groups such as Quiverful in which victims are pressed hard to not raise a stink.

  12. Of course, we have to accept that Muslims have a religion which tells them it is wrong to behead a total stranger in the middle of a London street.

    Just like they have a religion which tells them it is wrong to eat pork or drink alcohol.

    Their religion tells them what is right or wrong.

    Isn’t that the problem?

  13. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a moron to complain about the reaction to Mr Robinson’s words. If she thinks such words are acceptable, perhaps she can describe to us what a stereotypical Jew looks like. (Oh, wait, sorry? She doesn’t want to do that? Gee, I wonder why.) ‘Of Muslim appearance’ is a racist statement just like ‘of Jewish appearance’ would be – and objecting to such prejudice has nothing to do with the defence of Islam.

    And she is stupid beyond words for not understanding this.

  14. I think she pulls her punches towards the end of the article, finally saying:
    “I wonder what would happen if Muslim leaders like Julie Siddiqi started a public and persistent campaign to discredit these Islamist advocates of mayhem and murder. Not just uttering the usual laments after another horrifying attack, but making a constant, high-profile effort to show the world that the preachers of hate are illegitimate. After the next zealot has killed the next victim of political Islam, claims about the “religion of peace” would ring truer.”.

    The religion itself is fundamentally flawed, and no amount of mealy-mouthed platitudes uttered by its representatives will change that simple salient fact.

    World, we have a problem!

    • In reply to #18 by Stafford Gordon:

      Hi Stafford,

      I liked your comment.

      Just one small thing, if I may.

      Ayaan:

      I wonder what would happen if Muslim leaders … started a public and persistent campaign to discredit these Islamist advocates of mayhem and murder … making a constant, high-profile effort to show the world that the preachers of hate are illegitimate.

      Stafford:

      … no amount of mealy-mouthed platitudes uttered by [‘moderate’ Muslim] representatives will change [the fact of extremism].

      First a quick aside. When you say things like:

      The religion itself is fundamentally flawed …

      … you’re failing to address the problem. You’re building a wall to fight over, not advancing the cause of greater Humanity.

      Back to my main point.

      There is a major disconnect between these perspectives. If ‘moderate’ Muslims were to take up Ayaan’s challenge platitudes will be well down the menu of subjects for discussion.

      Ayaan’s approach would force anyone who identifies themselves as connected to ‘moderate’ Muslim faith to challenge their received wisdom and knowledge of the Koran – in order to take ‘extreme’ Muslims to task.

      Here’s Anthony Flew, writing in 2001:

      Not all Muslims or all Arabs are terrorists. Nor are they implicated in the horrendous [recent] events … Police protection for individual [moderate] Muslims, mosques and other institutions must be increased. However, to pretend that Islam has nothing to do with [terrorism] is to wilfully ignore the obvious and to forever misinterpret events. Without Islam the long-term strategy and individual acts of violence by [Usama bin Liner] and his followers make little sense.”

      In more than a decade nothing has changed.

      But notice the similarities between the approaches of Flew and Ayaan. Both call for moderate Muslims to engage:

      • With their faith

      • With those who claim the same faith, but are preaching ‘extreme’ Islam

      The tendency of all Muslim apologists to sacrifice their intellectual integrity in order to salvage their cherished beliefs is no different to the old Christian religion before the Reformation. You may think the Reformation didn’t change Christianity that much – Christians must still suspend their Nature-endowed scepticism to believe. But it did create a schism that split the Catholic church and created churches that allowed us all to recognise the fundamentalists and hard-liners.

      Thus: Flew and Ayaan, in calling for a renewal of Muslim faith, are effectively saying it is time for the Muslim Reformation.

      It is a great pity that Christian Leaders, such as the various popes and archbishops, are not taking up this call. One suspects that they may be secretly jealous of a faith that can still sow mayhem … ? What does that say about them. But I digress.

      After more than a decade of Islamic Terrorism I still can’t tell the difference between ‘moderate’ Islam and ‘extreme’ Islam. As far as I can see a ‘moderate’ is simply a Muslim that hasn’t tried to kill anyone yet. Is s/he planning to try to kill someone tomorrow? I have no way of knowing.

      But I can tell the difference between a Bible-thumping fundamentalist and a Catholic or – even easier – an Anglican, Methodist, or Quaker.

      More importantly, so too can the Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists and Quakers.

      All those who are secularists – whether we are ‘moderate’ Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Bhuddists, Atheists, or whatever – have a duty. We have a duty to say to Muslims what Ayaan has said:

      Muslim leaders, start a public and persistent campaign to discredit these Islamist advocates of mayhem and murder

      Because, if the situation has not changed – again – in the next ten years, it seems to me that we will be perfectly entitled to say that there really is no difference – that all Muslims are the same.

      I set down those words with a heavy heart. I have made friends of Muslims. But enough is enough.

      Peace.

  15. I do not think that there is any conspiracy or plan, it is all just incompetance, weakness and cowardice by the authorities. They include the «far-right» in their terrorist evaluations to save face, which I find insulting. The only violence we see from the right-wing is in response to Muslim terror, crime and arrogance. Take out Islam and any supposed threat from the right will melt away. The problem is Islam and the source of our woes is Islamic immigration. The obvious solution and the only solution is to repatriate every single Muslim that lives in Britain.

    • In reply to #19 by philip.smeeton:

      I do not think that there is any conspiracy or plan, it is all just incompetance, weakness and cowardice by the authorities. They include the «far-right» in their terrorist evaluations to save face, which I find insulting. The only violence we see from the right-wing is in response to Muslim terror, crime and arrogance. Take out Islam and any supposed threat from the right will melt away. The problem is Islam and the source of our woes is Islamic immigration. The obvious solution and the only solution is to repatriate every single Muslim that lives in Britain.

      I make gag comments too sometimes. It’s fun, isn’t it, to see how many likes you can get from those who don’t know you’re joking and would never question the logic of repatriating people out of the country they were born in?

      If I may make a suggestion, though, it’s best not to overplay your hand by claiming that right-wing thugs are not innately violent and stupid. Subtlety is the key here and when you say stuff which is patently untrue, it gives the game away a bit.

      Still, a very good effort, if I may say so.

      • In reply to #29 by Katy Cordeth:

        Hi Katy,

        I vowed earlier to not log in again today – but I just had to after reading your Comment 29.

        Outstanding!

        If I could vote Like 10 times I would for that.

        Peace.

  16. The “Nothing to do with Islam” claim around the Woolwich murder really is untenable and an insult to peoples’ intelligence. In the much-viewed video in which Michael Adebolajo speaks directly to a videophone camera he states clearly and explicitly “We swear by the almighty allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone.” And later “We are forced by surat al-Tawba…” (which is mostly anodyne but contains some verses about killing non-believers). These parts are usually covered with reporters’ voice-overs in most on-line versions.

    Of course a majority of UK muslims are genuinely distressed by the Woolwich events, in the same way as a majority of UK christians are genuinely distressed when christian extremists take murderous action against abortionists and the like. The unknown factor is the exact proportion of believers in Islam who comprise that majority. Since security forces find it impossible to keep a close eye on all potential extremists — we’re told they number in their thousands — then we can’t go along with the old claim that the fanatics are just a tiny handful, that’s for sure.

    I hope a gentle, steady process of education away from the worst idiocies of the Koran will become future reality. But this cannot happen overnight. Remember, within the past 40 years we still had “ladies only” waiting rooms at railway stations and within the past 80 years many unmarried females were still not allowed on dates without chaperones. We may think we’ve made a lot of progress, but these things do take time.

  17. The sad thing is nothing will change here. Too many people like Katy Cordeth who instantly defend the entire islamic religion whenever terrorists strike will make sure of that. The next soldier to die outside of his barracks, possibly even myself, will get the full backing of the Muslim council of Britain saying that the attackers were not real Muslims. Im sure Lee Rigby and his family are comforted by that knowledge. And Im sure Cameron will be happy when this isnt news and he can yet again make no tough choices.

    In my rather uneducated soldier opinion, for the safety of the majority, the influence of islam needs to be severly reduced. Or this will just keep happening. Yes there may be decent Muslims in Britain. They arent all evil etc. But that isnt enough. How many more Glasgow airport attacks, London nightclub nail bombs, 7/7 Underground attacks, Soldiers murdered on the streets of Britain do we need before we will realise it cannot be tolerated? Or are we forced to adopt the apologists view and sit back and allow it to happen, drinking heavy into how moral we are not to tar everyone with the same brush.

    • In reply to #22 by AtheistSquaddie:

      Hi Squaddie,

      The sad thing is nothing will change here.

      Way to go with the pessimism mate.

      Too many people like Katy Cordeth who instantly defend the entire islamic religion …

      She didn’t, she defended ‘moderate’ Muslims.

      The next soldier to die outside of his barracks, possibly even myself, will get the full backing of the Muslim council of Britain saying that the attackers were not real Muslims. I’m sure Lee Rigby’s family are comforted by that knowledge.

      Good point. Something needs to change, and change now.

      I’m sure Cameron will be happy when this isn’t news and he can yet again make no tough choices.

      Probably. Of course, if we really believe that democracy works – on any level – we should be able to hold his feet to the fire. I’m not, however, holding my breath for the media to make a good fist of holding any politician to account.

      In my … opinion, for the safety of the majority, the influence of islam needs to be severely reduced.

      Got a plan?

      Or this will just keep happening.

      Given that it has happened in every year since 2001, that would seem to be a given.

      Yes there may be decent Muslims in Britain

      That’s what we are told – though how you tell the difference is a mystery to me. Although I have met and befriended Muslims I’m even starting to question my own judgement. I’d like to see a political columnist or interviewer ask a prominent politician repeating this assertion how they tell the difference. On the other hand, what if it weren’t true? 4% of Britain’s population is Muslim – if they were all ‘extremists’ we would be experiencing terrorist attacks every week.

      The last thing we need is any policy that radicalises more Muslims.

      But that isnt enough. How many more Glasgow airport attacks, London nightclub nail bombs, 7/7 Underground attacks, Soldiers murdered on the streets of Britain do we need before we will realise it cannot be tolerated?

      Who is tolerating this? I see politicians saying we need to remain amicable to Muslims in general – and condemning the ‘extremists’.

      Now, if you were to say to me that talk is cheap – and condemning someone you can’t even see (while banning their organisations so you don’t have to get into a discussion with them) is doubly so – I would agree with you. It’s typical UK politics – give the public any platitude to make it look like your involved, then do nothing.

      Or are we forced to adopt the apologists view and sit back and allow it to happen.

      I don’t think much of your plan mate – nothing will change.

      Or are we forced to [drink] heavy into how moral we are not to tar everyone with the same brush.

      That’s a separate question. As per my previous comment (No. 21) we need to give ‘moderate’ Muslims time to act. The problem for most us, I suspect, is that our patience is running out.

      How do we change things? Ayaan has just given you the best answer that I know.

      Will things change? That’s up to the politicians. It would be good to see them at least try to earn their self-appointed ‘professional’ status.

      Bottom line: Britain is on a fast track to major social unrest while its politicians idle.

      Peace.

      • In reply to #27 by Stephen of Wimbledon:

        In reply to #22 by AtheistSquaddie:

        Hi Squaddie,

        Way to go with the pessimism mate.

        Oh sorry for that, im forgetting the huge leaps forward we have made in the last 10 years of stopping the spread of hate in muslim communities leading to vile murders of the nations soldiers in the street.

        People die at the hands of these so called British citizens. People Die. Theyre not having rights taken away of being oppressed or being profiled and held up by police officers for a few hours while they conduct a random check. Those harsh horrible things that are done to Muslims in a foreign country. Nothing like that. People are being killed by Muslims in the name of the Islamic god. Their lives had been ended. If society changes and their rights are reduced in order to try and prevent the spread of the pain they bring on people then they have gotten off lightly. They arent being murdered in the streets are they. They are being profiled, big deal. Im profiled because of my hair style, and what? We are a judgemental species. Welcome to life, it aint perfect for any of us. Deal with it.

        How do we change things? Ayaan has just given you the best answer that I know.

        Its good but its not the right one. I have yet to see any Muslims come out directly and say that this is a hugely criminal and disgusting act and that the whole true Muslim community is against it. They have had plenty of chances to do this and have failed. What does this show, that they care, of course not. All they care about is the back lash and how its not fair that people target them etc etc. They sweep it under the carpet asap because they would rather not admit that their religion causes a lot of problems.
        Incidently I did see a news report of an EDL march and there was a Glasweigen Muslim in the crowds. He had travelled to England to take part in the protests because this was his country and his soldiers are being killed etc. Thats one. Where’s the rest. As unpopular and highly opinionated as this comment may be, I suspect they are all sitting at hope unmoved by what has happened or secretly are happy that another infidel has been slaughtered.
        On a side note, why did the BBC choose not to interview Nick Griffin or get an EDL opinion on this crime. We asked enough Muslims including that waste of skin and benefit money Choudary.

        The problem for most us, I suspect, is that our patience is running out

        This is far past true. This country has bent over backwards to muslims arriving here from all over the world. We turn a blind eye to islamic oppression of women and their rights,no one seems to be stopping the rule of sharia courts and we have a police force scared to arrest a group of Muslim peadophiles for fear of being labelled racist. We give out benefits, we allow the building of mosques, we try to help them integrate in this foreign culture they have decided to come and live in (something few of them bother with) And then they kill our people in the streets. Our patience should be gone

        Bottom line: Britain is on a fast track to major social unrest while its politicians idle.

        True. Maybe thats what it will take for change to be put in place.

        [Slightly edited by moderator to bring within Terms of Use. Please avoid discussing other users of the site. Thank you.]

        • In reply to #33 by AtheistSquaddie:

          Hi Squaddie,

          Way to go with the pessimism mate.

          Oh sorry for that, I’m forgetting the huge leaps forward we have made in the last 10 years of stopping the spread of hate in Muslim communities leading to vile murders of the nations soldiers in the street.

          I think we’ve covered that already. It’s time to stop looking backwards, and to try to look forwards. Better yet; try to plan forwards.

          People die at the hands of these so called British citizens.

          They’re called that because they are British Citizens. Don’t shoot the Messenger mate – I’m just giving you the facts, I didn’t write the rules.

          What’s more it would take some kind of Herculean, inhuman, effort to put that particular Genie back in its bottle. It will be far simpler if our plan starts with where we are – with reality – than where we would have liked to have been.

          There are British people, and about 2½ million of them have some kind of connection with Islam.

          People Die [are dying]. They’re not having [their] rights taken away [or] being oppressed or being profiled and held up by police officers for a few hours while they conduct a random check. Those harsh horrible things that are done to Muslims in a foreign country. Nothing like that.

          True Squaddie. I’m not running away from the issue.

          People are being killed by Muslims in the name of … Islam.

          Again, I have no argument with you there.

          If society changes and [the] rights [of Muslims] are reduced in order to try and prevent the spread of the pain they bring on people then they [got] off lightly.

          At this point we must part company Squaddie.

          I cannot agree that because a minority of Muslims are murderous, all Muslims must pay.

          That is Fascist nonsense.

          The reason Britain is a great country, and Muslims have been coming here to live, is precisely because we strive to treat every citizen equally. All are innocent until proven guilty, all are free to speak and to listen (more about media in a moment) – to take part in the political debate, all are equal under the law. We invented that – not the French, not the Americans, nor any other country that makes claims to a superior democracy or a freer citizenry.

          What are you suggesting? Maybe we should get all Muslims in Britain to wear a large yellow star when out in public?

          They [Muslims] aren’t being murdered in the streets are they[?]

          Not yet. The Police have been working hard at keeping the vicious elements to one side. But, now that Michael Adebolajo has shown how easy it is, can the Authorities keep a lid on this? Again, Squaddie, it’s about looking forwards.

          They are being profiled, big deal. I’m profiled because of my hair style, and what? We are a judgemental species. Welcome to life, it ain’t perfect for any of us. Deal with it.

          I didn’t know that Muslims are being profiled in Britain, so thank you for educating me. It is probably inevitable when they don’t heed the calls of political moderates like Flew and Hirsi Ali – and engage with the abject fear you so clearly personify.

          While I have some sympathy – religions are all about separateness, so it can be difficult to see beyond that – the concerns of the other 57½ million Britons must, surely to goodness, be obvious even to the most obtuse Muslim by now.

          Profiling is a policy of defeatism. The politicians – if, indeed, they were involved – are giving up on debate and engagement if they are resorting to this kind of nonsense. Of course, it is exactly what was always going to happen if ‘moderate’ Muslims didn’t heed the calls for engagement.

          While I deplore this policy I can see that the State cannot sit on its hands forever, sooner or later they will bend to the electorate’s will and step in where the ‘moderates’ fear to tread.

          But, in the longer term, profiling will simply make the situation far, far worse. Have we learned nothing from Northern Ireland?

          Terrorists are sustained by groups of people around them – like-minded people who see a connection, no matter how tenuous.

          Profiling 2½ million people is not only ruinously expensive it’s stupid. It will simply harden attitudes, draw lines, and will only harvest a sense of persecution and oppression. Separateness, and in-group solidarity that keeps the Group together as a hiding place, is what the extremists want and, if what you say is true, the Government have just conceded millions of hearts and minds. Idiots.

          How do we change things? Ayaan has just given you the best answer that I know.

          It’s good but it’s not the right one.

          • Why not?

          • What’s the better one?

          I have yet to see any Muslims come out directly and say that this is a hugely criminal and disgusting act and that the whole true Muslim community is against it.

          I live near a large Mosque. They were in the local paper saying exactly that – with their local MP. They also have a very large sign that says: Love for all, hatred for none.

          So you see it’s not just that there are 2½ million of them – at least some of them have a hippie peace-and-love attitude.

          They have had plenty of chances to do this and have failed.

          By that I assume you mean: Muslims have had the chance to get to grips with extremism and to help the authorities to root it out. I have already said that I agree.

          All they [Muslims] care about is the back-lash and how it’s not fair that people target them etc. etc. They sweep it [their inactivity and reluctance to engage with the fact that the terrorists claim to be Muslim(?)] under the carpet ASAP because they would rather not admit that their religion causes a lot of problems.

          Again, that is the perception that we are left with, inescapably. Hirsi Ali and I are saying to ‘moderate’ Muslims that there is still time to change this.

          Incidentally I did see a news report of an EDL march and there was a Glaswegian Muslim in the crowds. He had travelled to England to take part in the protests because this was his country and his soldiers are being killed etc.. Thats one.

          Come come Squaddie, if we believe that statistics can ever be informative one must surely mean many Muslims are disgusted by Lee Rigby’s murder.

          It would, I agree, be nice to see a lot more Muslims speaking out against ‘extreme’ Muslims – that is exactly what Hirsi Ali requested.

          However,is anyone surprised that Muslims tend to avoid joining EDL marches in order to make that point. They could have a march of their own …

          As unpopular and highly opinionated as this comment may be …

          I defend your right to speak Squaddie. Go for it. You’re wrong of course, but do carry on Sport.

          I suspect they [Muslims] are all sitting at home unmoved by what has happened or secretly are happy that another infidel has been slaughtered.

          Paranoid, much?

          On a side note, why did the BBC choose not to interview Nick Griffin or get an EDL opinion on this crime? We asked enough Muslims including that waste of skin and benefit money Choudary.

          I agree that the BBC reporting – indeed the British media in general – continue to underwhelm with their coverage of the political debate. Nick Griffin is a duly elected MEP and if he has an opinion it should be heard. I for one would love the opportunity to shout at his silly face, and laugh at his moronic posing.

          You have to understand, Squaddie – just as Hirsi Ali pointed out in the OP – the politicians are sitting on a powder keg. The Media are under intense pressure from the Government, police and others not to blow this thing up. The EDL and their allies are facing up to the UAF and the Trade Unions. Two sets of extremes with no shortage of thugs on both sides sharing brain cells and looking for a punch-up.

          In addition, the BBC and others will argue that they have a limited resource (time) so to be politically fair they have to at least try and apportion that time according to any politician’s apparent support among the electorate. I don’t necessarily agree – in fact I think it smacks of an excuse to censor – but you’ll be hard pressed to make a case for Nick Griffin to get more airtime than he already does.

          The problem for most us, I suspect, is that our patience is running out

          This is far past true. This country has bent over backwards to Muslims …

          Surely forwards, Squaddie?

          … arriving here from all over the world. We turn a blind eye to Islamic oppression of women and their rights, no one seems to be stopping the rule of sharia courts and we have a police force scared to arrest a group of Muslim paedophiles for fear of being labelled racist.

          That seems irrelevant to me, in terms of the terrorism question. Certainly, there’s a lot not to like about the religion of the Prophet but simply throwing insults around doesn’t really get us anywhere – and it rubs up the ’moderates’ the wrong way.

          I think it best we park the intolerant bigotry.

          We give out benefits, we allow the building of mosques, we try to help them integrate in this foreign culture …

          British, dear boy, they’re British.

          … this foreign culture they have decided to come and live in (something few of them bother with)

          I agree that it would have been far better if previous governments had actually followed through on the idea of immigration going hand-in-hand with social and cultural integration, rather than the failed policy of multi-cultural-ism.

          But, and I make no apology for repeating this Squaddie, looking backwards and thinking about what might have been is a non-starter. We are where we are. Look forward.

          Bottom line: Britain is on a fast track to major social unrest while its politicians idle.

          True. Maybe that’s what it will take for change to be put in place.

          I had a feeling that you would react that way, so I just had to set that up.

          If there are any ‘moderate’ Muslims reading this – look, look at what Squaddie is saying. Time is running out.

          Peace.

    • In reply to #22 by AtheistSquaddie:

      …The next soldier to die outside of his barracks, possibly even myself, will get the full backing of the Muslim council of Britain saying that the attackers were not real Muslims. Im sure Lee Rigby and his family are comforted by that knowledge.

      More than you know, apparently: Drummer Lee Rigby’s family reject “extremist” groups using Woolwich murder for political gain:

      In a statement released through the Ministry of Defence, family members including his mother Lyn, stepfather Ian, wife Rebecca and son Jack, said: “We would like to emphasise that Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others.”

      I hope the subjects of these photographs got this message:

      rdf image rdf image rdf richard rdf richard

      The gentleman giving the Nazi salute is a British soldier by the way, a Pte. Craig Orwin. He’d be the one on the far right.


      In my rather uneducated soldier opinion, for the safety of the majority, the influence of islam needs to be severly reduced. Or this will just keep happening. Yes there may be decent Muslims in Britain. They arent all evil etc. But that isnt enough. How many more Glasgow airport attacks, London nightclub nail bombs, 7/7 Underground attacks, Soldiers murdered on the streets of Britain do we need before we will realise it cannot be tolerated? Or are we forced to adopt the apologists view and sit back and allow it to happen, drinking heavy into how moral we are not to tar everyone with the same brush.

      sighs Look, I made the point I’m about to make on another recent thread, so I hope the mods won’t reprove me for beating the same drum, again, but here goes. All the events you mentioned, the one in Glasgow, 7/7, the murder of Lee Rigby, were carried out with the same goal: to increase animus towards Muslims. They want you to react the way you have; they want membership of the EDL and BNP to increase; they want attacks from these quarters to become more frequent and a climate of distrust to develop so ordinary Muslims will themselves become radicalised and racial/religious warfare will result. Christ, it’s not rocket science.

      The very nice Phil Rimmer wants me to concede that “You are unintentional enablers of Islam“, and I would dearly like to. I’d like to think the far right has good intentions. I’d like to think if every Muslim disappeared from the planet tomorrow, the English Defence League and British National Party wouldn’t then turn their attentions back to Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and any others whose existence offends their fucked-up notions of what it means to be British.

      I’d like lots of things, though. I’d like this guy to be Prime Minister, not for what he said in 2004, but because he’s awesome generally. I’d like Simon Cowell to stop ruining music and the 11th Doctor to turn back into the 10th one. I’d quite like a Frappuccino; mocha, maybe. And I would like to believe that far right groups remain blissfully unaware of the enabling effect they have on Islamist recruitment and radicalisation.

      But I can’t, I just can’t. No organisation can be that collectively blind unless by sheer act of will. So no, I don’t think it’s unintentional; I think at the very least it’s irrelevant to these people, and at the very worst they’re quite aware of the effect they have and are as hungry for death and destruction as their Islamist soulmates. This is the upper echelons I’m talking about: the obergruppenführers; not the rank and file, most of whose higher brain functions have been permanently compromised by a combination of genetics, diet and infected neck tattoos.

      We need to send the same message to these hate groups trying to capitalise on a horrific crime that Lee Rigby’s parents and Help for Heroes have sent: No thanks. Now if you wouldn’t mind crawling back under the rock you came from, that’d be super.


      Besides, the BNP took against Stephen Fry, even threatening to kill him, when he revealed his Jewish ancestry. I’m 5’8 with a slim build, so not exactly physically intimidating, but if any of you harms a single hair on that man’s head, you really will get to experience the Wrath of Cordeth™. And we Cordeths are part honey badger. And honey badger…don’t…care.

    • In reply to #23 by Bigtimedwarfer:

      A refreshing insight after the ramblings of Russell Brand that are currently filling my Facebook timeline.

      I just mistakenly trod in that little piece of self-congratulatory, mealy-mouthed, cliches-dressed-as-insights, arse-water as well. I have no idea why I read it other than the fact I must have been taken in by the bold statement that he’s somehow better than journalists or politicians yet the only thing i learned was his ability to remotely diagnose mental illness.

      all the shite about flowers and religions all being lovely really came as no surprise, but then he’s not one to ever surprise us with originality.

      maybe if he took his inane ramblings onstage and and blurt them out too fast for the audience to stop him and say “that analogy is self-defeating”, perhaps in a slightly baby-ish voice in the hope of coming across endearing, he might one day pass himself of as a sort of comedian but for teenagers who don’t understand comedy…?

  18. Frank Mill #20.

    I agree with you entirely. Secular societies must not bow to intimidation or stoop to the abysmal depths of those who are, murderously, against democracy and freedom of expression.

    Religion is a human construct which presents huge avoidable and unnecessary problems, but of all religions this is by far the most pernicious and suicidal.

    Because of historical figures such as Abu Hamid al-Ghazali, Mesopotamia [1050-1111], who, in what was known as The Cradle of Civilization, decreed that all the learning was the work of the devil, and it duly petered out.

    Mainly I suspect because the vast majority of the population at that time were blamelessly illiterate, therefore prone to intimidation and easily turned against those in the enclaves of academe, just as I guess many Muslims now are cowed into silence by the fearful doctrines of their blind faith.

    On that last I’m guessing and, may perhaps be being unfair.

    Anyway, nowadays we are faced with a massive problem and I don’t know what the solution is; although education seems a good idea.

    But then, there are biology students at Imperial College who are Muslim and don’t believe evolution is true! Now that really is a problem.

  19. The politically correct media and politicians have made it extremely hard to actually report news. The judeo christian myth is going to be the end of western civilization. Lets call a spade a spade. In America, the anti abortion blokes do the same. Blowing up clinics, assassinating doctors. The larger problem lies with the Judeo Christian myth which unlike any other has a monopoly on the truth. Muslims across the world need to accept that there is a problem within their ranks and root out this extremist core which will justify the most heinous act based on a book written in the middle ages.

  20. we need more articles like this!

    Future commentators and writers will have rich pickings when it comes to this age. the whole western world behaving like a slightly reactionary old character from a sit-com. Future Basil Fawlty’s will be on screen advising future hotel guests “They’re Muslim. Don’t mention the Jihad!” and audiences will roar with laughter at the shocking outpourings that result from years of self-imposed political correctness, and viewers will chuckle while as an aside saying “no but seriously, he’d have had his house firebombed for saying that once”

    there’s a filthy great machete weilding elephant in the room with it’s blade against every journalists’ necks who are all reporting that there is no conneciton between elephants and machetes (my analogy is breaking up, someone help!). I heard just yesterday about a war memorial being desacrated with islamist graffiti, reported as part of a “series of race related incidents”. Sorry but if this has anything to do with race than I’m an eskimo because I just converted.

    Too often when I speak my tiny mind I’m shouted down with the mantra that actually it’s got nothing to do with islam and the terrorists were just using it. Well I’m fairly happy to say catholicism has nothing to do with child rape but that doesn’t make the church innocent.

  21. Ms. Ali’s article is well presented and reasoned, the need for the “leaders” of the faith to honestly address the issue of violence and terror as something that can be found and justified in their holy book must be confronted head on.

  22. Why focus on the religion of the murderers ? How many protestant, catholic and athiest murderers are in our jails? Im not religious at all – but I do see a lot of scare mongering when incidents like these occur…Lets not forget the IRA and their reign of murdering – but we didn’t condem all Irish people. Don’t attack muslims in general for these individuals warped mental state….. if any people kill – its criminal, they should all be treated the same, Murder is murder in any country or religion and there simply is no reason for acts like these, no one made these people kill, even if they encouraged them with words, Most people would never kill anyone no matter what someone told them and anyway you cant fight hate with hate or you get no where but war.

  23. Without wanting to stereotype anyone included in nationalistic or recently immigrated minorities it is rightly expected that trouble arises from them, if statistically it can be without any bias proved to actually be the case. I’d focus limited police investigative resources on such groups and thus augment chances of uncovering some socially destabilizing terrorist scheme.

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