Katie Hopkins’ Anti Muslim Rants: My Thoughts

Katie-Hopkins-most-awful-tweets-everUp until today, I didn’t know who Katie Hopkins was. After reading her horrible, anti-Muslim tweet about Palestinians, I became curious to know more about this woman. And quite frankly I regret googling her. Its like the time when I first heard about Katie Price, I googled her only to realise I’d wasted my time thinking she was anything remotely important. Both are publicity junkies, as the saying goes, ‘any publicity is good publicity, even if its bad publicity’. I don’t understand why the media gives her attention, well that’s a lie, I do understand why. As long she is getting you ratings, she can be any arrogant D list celebrity. Katie Hopkins is a regret the UK surely won’t miss once it’s gone.

With regards to her tweets on Muslims and Palestinians, and inciting terrorist attacks, she should be sent to Guantanamo Bay, right? If a Muslim tweeted about starting a ‘bombing campaign’ on the UK or America, then he’s pretty much asking for a one way ticket to the place.

People have taken to Twitter for her arrest to happen and I pray she is arrested swiftly, but somehow I think Katie Hopkins will be treated lightly even if she is. I’ll leave it to the readers’ imagination to think as to why that might be.

Not only does she call for genocide on Palestinians, she also doesn’t like fat people and pokes fun at Ebola sufferers. She also thinks kids named ‘Tyler’ belong to lower class families and don’t do their homework. She clearly isn’t not all there.

There are plenty of famous individuals who incite Islamophobic and offensive remarks, she isn’t the first. Bill Maher, Sam Harris, Ayan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray, Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, Robert Morey and many more, all of who make no apology conversing regular anti Muslim rhetoric. Katie’s offensive rant on Twitter came to me as no surprise, and it shouldn’t really surprise anyone from where I see it. Yes people are angry at her and I understand that, we all should be angry at her, but it is quite clear by her personality, she revels in our frustration at her.

Of course one’s reply, to hateful and anti-Muslim comments like Katie Hopkins’, should be for her to educate herself. But I believe she knows that. I believe those like her who spit anti-Muslim and offensive rhetoric, choose not to educate themselves on what they speak. They pick what to read and listen to according to their narrow view and how they want the world to be. Muslims and good people in general shouldn’t be distracted by such Islamophobic people and what they say, we should spend less time worrying about what offensive things they’re going to say next and think more about educating those who want to learn. I do believe in tackling Islamophobia, but I believe a greater benefit is achieved by educating those who clearly aren’t Islamophobic and have good intentions to learn about the Muslim faith. Thank you.

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EDL Girls – Don’t Call Me Racist: my thoughts

BBC 3 aired what may be one the most disastrous, basic reports – sorry, I meant to say ‘documentaries’ –  last night, EDL Girls – Don’t Call Me Racist. I call it a ‘basic report’ because it took only accounts and statements from a bunch of racists and uneducated bigots without challenging them in any way. Giving such such a hateful propaganda like the English Defence League’s a platform to spew their ill-informed views for the world to hear can be argued as extremely counter productive, and down right dangerous and outrageous when done so unchallenged. Just ask, what is to be achieved with this show now aired? The educated and sensible in our society will dismiss it without a doubt, but for the closet racists who are secretly searching for people with similar views, this show does nothing but encourage them to take action for their spiteful views.

BBC 3 is being criticised for giving “hateful propaganda” a platform. Matthew Collins, a researcher for the organisation Hope Not Hate, lambasted the BBC for broadcasting such “banal, ill-informed dross where a bunch of racists went unchallenged.”    

Nevertheless this shoddy excuse for a documentary was entertaining, it got a few laughs from me. I mean, who wouldn’t want to watch an uneducated bigoted fellah speak passionately about how ‘halal’ his loaf of bread is. “A few pennies of that (Kingsmill bread) went to the Taliban to put bullets in guns” says Jay. The Muslims are taking over Jay, one slice of bread at a time! Another EDL member on the show stated “anyone can join the EDL, even Muslims”, how generous of them. People took to twitter to express their opinions regarding the show. 

The show introduced Gail, a so called mother figure for the EDL who likes to yell “YORKSHIRE” repeatedly. Her struggle was with the courts trying bring two Asian men to justice who apparently brutally beat her up. I wonder how the BBC missed the opportunity to interview these two Asians to hear both sides of the story.

For a moment the show was slightly reassuring to show us Katie, who after constant bombardment and pressure from her family to join the EDL with them, decided not to as she didn’t want to be labelled as a racist.

What I found most worrying was the case of Amanda. How isolated individuals can find comfort in extremist organisations like the EDL in exchange for a sense of belonging.    

There isn’t much else to say about this show, so I shall conclude.

So what is it we Muslims should do about this? – simple, educate them. No matter how ignorant they may be, our duty is to at least try to convey the truth of our faith to them, whether they take it or not. People are humans at the end of the day and can learn from their mistakes and change. One of the greatest qualities Muhammad peace be upon him had was that he could change the heart of his enemies towards him to love him, we need acquire this quality in our society. Thank you.                            

Britain’s Debate on the Niqab: My Thoughts

niqabLast week, Turkey’s parliament has allowed female MPs to wear the Muslim veil for the first time since it was banned from public buildings. “There is nothing in parliamentary bylaws that stands as an obstacle to this,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister. “Everyone should respect our sisters’ decision.”

As western countries have growing concerns about the Islamic head coverings, be it the face veil (niqab) or the headscarf, I believe this particular news is a sign in the right direction. I hope the Niqab debate which is now popular in the UK (thanks to Channel 4 and a few MPs) can benefit from Turkey’s example.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, I’m sure you’re all aware of the concerns people are having regarding the Islamic face veil here in the UK. There’s no hiding it or sugar coating it, non-Muslims are voicing their unease of women covered head to toe, walking and talking as British citizens. On the other hand it is obvious to some, and may be less obvious to others how much some of the issues on this topic are being blown out of proportion by the media. Issues are raised from thin air and given emphasis as if they’re major obstacles. Such as ‘the niqab in hospitals’. This is a problem which doesn’t exist within the NHS as far as my research goes. Mainly because any member of the NHS who observes the face veil is clearly aware that she has to take it off when on duty in public buildings simply on the basis of security. This is the type of unnecessary dialogue we certainly want to avoid, we want to deal with real concerns and questions about the face veil and not superficial sensationalism.

Where other countries have already banned face veils, and even minarets, here in Britain we do things differently. We like to discuss, talk, evaluate, dialogue, conversate, debate etc. You get the point, its a very British thing, but it is good thing.

Channel 4 held a discussion/debate on ‘Britain’s niqab‘ at the East London Mosque. With a complete female audience, and Douglas Murray, the only male out of the six panellists, sure it was joy to watch. Especially Murray, watching him sweep in with his generalised statements, but that didn’t surprise me at all. What did surprise me was Yasmin Alibhai Brown’s plea to the audience to ask the Taliban for their opinion on the face veil. The Niqab has been part of Britain for some twenty odd years now or even more. Free thinking, independent Muslim women pick the Niqab today out of their own choice to please their Creator. These are intelligent women of Britain, not blind followers of the Taliban. Her’s wasn’t the only surprisingly absurd contention raised that evening.

In the face of all the issues fired up in the space of 20 minutes, I believe the sisters discussed the topic very well. However, there are some points raised in this discussion that I would like to clarify as I understand them, which in future discussions I am certain can help the debate move forward.

The debate on whether the Niqab is mandatory or not is ongoing even within in Islam. Muslim women do realise this, and they are either of the opinion that it is mandatory or it isn’t. Both opinions are perfectly valid and can be justified. Even women who believe it isn’t mandatory still take it on as free choice. Islam allows this type of freedom of opinion on issues such as this. The argument that the Niqab isn’t mandatory is a misleading one. It should be noted that while majority of Muslims believe it isn’t mandatory, there is a minority which have the view that it is, and both views have to be considered. Also, whether or not the face veil is a cultural practice, it is more important to understand the freedom allowed regarding it in the context of religion and society. To say the face veil is a cultural practice is a false assumption to make. It can simply be validated as a religious practice by looking at basic historical evidence, the wives of the Prophet used to practice it, and it was never refuted or deemed as un-Islamic by the Prophet peace be upon him or by his companions.

Shalina Litt made a very important point. Whose discomfort are we going to favour? As a multicultural society we have to recognise we all live in different ways. We may not like the way one chooses to dress or look a certain way, but at least respect that it is within the boundaries of a diverse community. It is understandable that one can be discomforted by the sight of a face veil, but is it really justified by getting Muslim women to remove them? The discomforted is now comforted and the comforted discomforted, clearly this isn’t a solution. There is a better way, I believe in dialogue and discussion. The more we talk about the issues concerning us the better we understand each other, responsibility belongs on both sides of the fence. Sisters observing the face veil need to understand that parts of the British public are genuinely bothered by it, may see it as a sign of oppression and therefore may be intimidated. It is first and foremost the duty of these sisters to help remove the misconceptions about it, and the best way to go about that is communication. However, those who may not be familiar with the Islamic practice of veiling, should make attempts to understand the philosophy behind the act, ask a sister who veils or enquire about the validity of the niqab in social and religious dynamics. If we want to get to that heart of the issue this is the type of attitude I believe we should be having.

I am not convinced the debate on the niqab is about Muslim exceptionalism. Rather exceptionalism in the context of the religious has been a part of multicultural Britain for many years. It is because of our exceptionalistic society that Britain is the most multicultural and tolerant place to live in the 21st century. Of course there are limits and boundaries, it isn’t apparent that the practice of the niqab is beyond reasonable limits. It isn’t a harmful practice, nor is it worn to offend anyone. By all means if it does offend any person, it shouldn’t be dealt with by speaking against the practice, but by making a positive case for it and highlighting the benefits in it which many Muslim sisters wear it for.

Douglas Murray was of course a delight to watch voicing his simplistic black or white generalisations. His style of arguing was quite an authoritative type, and so he made some startling statements without any real logical reasoning. He first made the assertion that nobody knows who Fatima Barkatullah is due to her face veil. Well I’m sure Channel 4 know who she is, Jackie Long introduced her with name and profession right at the beginning of the debate as she did for the other two veiled panellists. They all spoke clearly and made valid points, and I’m sure everyone understood what they were saying regardless of their head coverings. Sahar Al-Faifi was correct in stating that the majority of the world’s communication isn’t face to face, examples such as Twitter, Facebook, texts and that amazing app called WhatsApp. These are all great examples of how we’ve evolved our preferences of social interaction, we feel just as connected to one another via phone calls and texts as we do face to face. Also picking on Douglas’ point, ‘Muslim women who veil in France have taken it off, is it so negotiable?’. The face veil is negotiable when it is a matter of security, and the reason why so many have taken off their niqabs is not because they wanted to, but simply because they are forced to by the French government. Many cannot afford the fine and therefore have to compromise their religious practice for a law which instead of preventing bigotry and Islamophobia, attracts such qualities.

The debate on the British niqab may be a long one, or we may be distracted by some other news sometime in the near future and forget all about it. But it remains to be seen whether or not Britain will follow in the footsteps of the French and ban the niqab. The niqab is a simple piece of cloth which a Muslim woman chooses to cover her face with in modesty and worship to her Creator. It harms no one nor is it meant to offend anyone. Veiled women still contribute to society and interact with other people on a day to day basis. Douglas was right on one thing, ‘Britain is the most tolerant place to live even as a Muslim’, but if we impose a ban on the veil then we would be taking a step in the other direction. What crucially needs to be recognised, is the veil is misunderstood in parts of Britain and we need to deal with this problem before anything else, people are at unease and concerned, this can only be resolved by dialogue and education, not by a ban. We must consider the rights and concerns of everyone collectively, and we mustn’t force a minority of women in Britain to assimilate to western culture by taking off their covers.

Woolwich

22/5/13, we learnt of a man been brutally murdered in a machete attack in Woolwich, South East London. Two suspects have been arrested after being shot and wounded in a police fire. Met Police have said a murder inquiry is being led by its Counter Terrorism Department. There are unconfirmed reports that the dead man was a soldier.

My deepest prayers and condolences go out to the victim and his family and friends. I hope the murderers and anyone else who may be in connection to this heinous crime are brought swiftly to justice and pay for the agony and pain caused.

The people who carried out the attack were heard saying “Allahu Akbar” meaning “God is Great” – BBC political editor Nick Robinson reported.

Thugs and murderers are not serving God, they have no place in religion with this act of violence and crime. I and many, many other Muslims and non Muslims worldwide condemn such a hideous action of hatred wholeheartedly. Islam and God completely forbid these people for what they have done with the harshest punishment.

“Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men.” – Qur’an 5:32

It is sad to hear these types of violence taking place in Britain and in other parts of the world. Street violence is a problem especially in the UK. As “self proclaimed thugs” walk the streets in broad daylight hours causing havoc in public; we as ordinary people of the country suffer greatly and even more so the victims. As a society we should find this alarming. We should question what is happening and what is being done about it rather than blindly nod our heads along with politicians. Is the government more interested in foreign policy and intervention than the problems occurring within our youths today? What are they prioritising? What efforts are they making? Pressuring the government in these types of issues and unifying our condemnation are the first steps towards banishing such acts of violence off our streets.

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The Qur’an – in the words of non-Muslim academics

Rev. G. Margoliouth describes the impact of the Qur’an.

“The Koran admittedly occupies an important position among the great religious books of the world. Though the youngest of the epoch-making works belonging to this class of literature, it yields to hardly any in the wonderful effect which it has produced on large masses of men. It has created all but a new phase of human thought and a fresh type of character. It first transformed a number of heterogeneous desert tribes of the Arabian Peninsula into a nation of heroes, and then proceeded to create the vast politico-religious organizations of the Muhammadan world which are one of the great forces with which Europe and the East have to reckon today.”

Karen Armstrong, a British author of a number of books on comparative religion, mentions about the Qur’an in her book: A History of God.

“It is as though Muhammad had created an entirely new literary form that some people were not ready for but which thrilled others. Without this experience of the Koran, it is extremely unlikely that Islam would have taken root. We have seen that it took the ancient Israelites some seven hundred years to break with their old religious allegiances and accept monotheism but Muhammad managed to help the Arabs achieve this difficult transition in a mere twenty-three years. Muhammad as poet and prophet and the Koran as text and theophany is surely an unusually striking instance of the deep congruence that exists between art and religion.”

A learned compiler of English-Arabic and Arabic-English dictionaries – Dr Steingass was quoted in Hughes’ Dictionary of Islam.

“Here, therefore, its merits as a literary production should perhaps not be measured by some preconceived maxims of subjective and aesthetic taste, but by the effects which it produced in Muhammad’s contemporaries and fellow countrymen. If it spoke so powerfully and convincingly to the hearts of his hearers as to weld hitherto centrifugal and antagonistic elements into one compact and well-organised body, animated by ideas far beyond those which had until now ruled the Arabian mind, then its eloquence was perfect, simply because it created a civilized nation out of savage tribe and shot a fresh woof into the old warp of history.”

The Qur’an is without a doubt one of the most widely read books in the world. It has been a source of interest since it was put together around fourteen hundred years ago. Read for religious purposes, spiritual purposes, intellectual purposes etc. Throughout history we can see both Muslim and non-Muslims looking at the Qur’an and scrutinizing and dissecting the book to understand it, and then concluding studies with completely opposing views to the other. And the debate of whether the Qur’an is a revelation from God or not is still on-going. With this small entry is an attempt to present a different perspective on the Qur’an, not in my own words but in the words of non-Muslim historians, popular intellectuals and outstanding personalities from the past. Though many a times now we hear hyped up negative interpretations of the Qur’an from non-Muslims, there are those who are not Muslims who speak positive of the holy Book, whose works on Islam we can truly appreciate. Such as the likes of Karen Armstrong, a non-Muslim who has written several books on Islam, her efforts of which are now valued by the Muslim community.

Hopefully I will be expanding on this article soon…

And the award for the worst argument goes to…

With all due respect, is there anyone else who thinks David Wood has slightly lost his plot here? Just when I think I’ve heard the worst argument against Islam, I listen to this. I have to congratulate Mr Wood for breaking the record.

The way David has presented his case in the video; it really wouldn’t take much effort for an educated person to see where he has gone wrong, and refute what his position. The argument holds no weight, its poorly constructed and entirely based on a single incorrect assumption – that God would fall subject to the same rules He has set for His creation.

So, lets see, does Allah commit shirk? The following are three reasons why David is wrong.

Firstly, Muslims don’t have a problem with this; it’s really not even an issue for anyone (well apart from David of course). It’s there in plain sight: Allah swears by his creation, it’s not something that Muslims are trying to cover up or hide. In fact, it’s something to be proud of, Allah is emphasising the importance of His creation in this way. No Muslim would ever conclude that Allah is committing shirk by swearing by His own creation. Every single Muslim scholar would disagree with David here.

Secondly, this rule – that we should only swear by Allah – is clearly meant for the followers of Islam, not Allah Himself. I cannot understand how David Wood has missed this point. We cannot start to assume whatever Allah commands of His creation are meant for Him self as well. For example, Allah commands Muslims to pray, does Allah pray? Muslims have to fast, does Allah have to fast? Anyone with basic knowledge would say “no”. So if Muslims cannot swear by anything but Allah, then that is fine, it doesn’t then mean that Allah has to follow the same pattern.

Thirdly and lastly, I believe I am right to say, Allah has the greatest right to swear by his own creation. This is not a contradiction in Islam and it doesn’t mean Allah is committing shirk. It sounds very logical that Allah would swear by his creation.

David Wood has a great sense of humour but we can see his poor sense of logic in this video. The reason of his argument is very weak and I’m surprised that he thinks it’s an issue that Muslims would bother with as a theological problem. David Wood is an accomplished debater on comparative religious topics, and has debated many Muslims on various issues on Islam and Christianity, so I think he is capable of providing better argumentation than what we see from the video. Thank you.

Yes, I am an extrimist…

A very interesting and humorous reply.

We shouldn’t be afraid to express our faith to society now. Allowing the media to define definitions of particular societies is counterproductive. However, it is astonishing how us Muslims number well over a billion in the world, and yet the media can feel free to portray a comical cliché picture of the religion. And its such a comprehensive way of life, but we have, what is now a trend in the media, non-Muslims who are so called “experts” on Islam.

Islam, a misunderstood religion? Yes. Who is to blame? Well what do you think?

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