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Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Secularism | 14 comments

Is Islam A Threat to Western Culture and Values, Or Is That Just Hyperbole?

Birmingham Central Mosque

Birmingham Central Mosque

My criticisms of Islam have earned me all sorts of accusations, from Islamophobia (as if that were a bad thing!) to xenophobia and racism (rather hilariously, given that I was raised Muslim and in the Middle East). But as a  skeptic, I remained committed to the evidence. And evidence suggests that at least in one Western nation, Islam is becoming a bigger problem every day. That country is the UK, where both armed jihadism and “softer” forms of Islamization have been a transforming force, and not for the better.

Let’s look at some recent developments.

1. The BBC is taking instructions from Islamists (who compare homosexuality to compulsive gambling, pedophilia, and murder) on what it may or may not ask them:

Free Speech, the BBC 3 debate show, deliberately dropped the question “When will it be right to be Muslim and gay?” on its March 12 episode at the request of the Birmingham Central Mosque where it was being filmed.

The live programme, which featured a panel including government minister and Lib Dem peer Susan Kramer, broadcast a pre-recorded question by Asifa Lahore, who bills himself as Britain’s “first and only gay Muslim drag queen”.

However, the host Rick Edwards, interrupted before any of the panel or studio audience had a chance to answer, saying the question had been dropped in response to the concerns of the mosque.

A week on, Dr Mohammad Naseem, the mosque’s long-time chairman, defended his decision in a letter sent to Huffington Post UK, the news website.

He wrote: “There are people with homosexual tendency in Muslim countries but they respect the law and control their desire as others do.

“Human beings do have weaknesses and tendencies which are not socially acceptable and so they try to have a control over them and do not give in.

“A compulsive murderer, gambler, paedophile etc. could present the same logic and ask for accommodation by the society. Are we going to accept on the basis of freedom of action?”

In case you are wondering, this scum presides over one of Europe’s largest Islamic centers. But to those of us aware of the ubiquitous homophobia among British Muslims, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

2. Islamic Sharia is being integrated into the British legal system.

Islamic law is to be effectively enshrined in the British legal system for the first time under guidelines for solicitors on drawing up “Sharia compliant” wills.

Under ground-breaking guidance, produced by The Law Society, High Street solicitors will be able to write Islamic wills that deny women an equal share of inheritances and exclude unbelievers altogether.

The documents, which would be recognised by Britain’s courts, will also prevent children born out of wedlock – and even those who have been adopted – from being counted as legitimate heirs.

Anyone married in a church, or in a civil ceremony, could be excluded from succession under Sharia principles, which recognise only Muslim weddings for inheritance purposes.

The guidance, quietly published this month and distributed to solicitors in England and Wales, details how wills should be drafted to fit Islamic traditions while being valid under British law.

It suggests deleting or amending standard legal terms and even words such as “children” to ensure that those deemed “illegitimate” are denied any claim over the inheritance.

It recommends that some wills include a declaration of faith in Allah which would be drafted at a local mosque, and hands responsibility for drawing up some papers to Sharia courts.

The guidance goes on to suggest that Sharia principles could potentially overrule British practices in some disputes, giving examples of areas that would need to be tested in English courts. [Emphasis added]

And we already know how “Sharia courts” operate: their “arbitration” in cases of domestic abuse essentially is telling the victims to suck it up.

One study estimated that there were now around 85 Sharia bodies operating in Britain. But the new Law Society guidance represents the first time that an official legal body has recognised the legitimacy of some Sharia principles.

It opens the way for non-Muslim lawyers in High Street firms to offer Sharia will drafting services. The document sets out crucial differences between Sharia inheritance laws and Western traditions.

It explains how, in Islamic custom, inheritances are divided among a set list of heirs determined by ties of kinship rather than named individuals. It acknowledges the possibility of people having multiple marriages.

“The male heirs in most cases receive double the amount inherited by a female heir of the same class,” the guidance says. “Non-Muslims may not inherit at all, and only Muslim marriages are recognised. [Emphasis added]

Similarly, a divorced spouse is no longer a Sharia heir, as the entitlement depends on a valid Muslim marriage existing at the date of death. This means you should amend or delete some standard will clauses.”

Fabulous, isn’t it?

3. A column by the Mayor of London on the legal process against Islamists committing murder in broad daylight:

Every day in London and other big cities, there are thousands of counter-terrorism officers doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe. They have to work out who are the most vulnerable young people, who are the most susceptible – and they have to stop the infection of radicalisation before it is too late. That will sometimes mean taking a view about what is happening to them in their homes and families – and I worry that their work is being hampered by what I am obliged to call political correctness.

There is built in to the British system a reluctance to be judgmental about someone else’s culture, even if that reluctance places children at risk…

[L]ook at the appalling failure of this country to tackle the evil of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). This practice is utter savagery. It involves the excision of the female exterior genital organs, including the clitoris, so as to minimise the possibility of sexual pleasure. The mutilation can cause infection, death, or constant pain.

Both Britain and France banned this barbarism in the mid-Eighties; and yet the French have been much more effective in tackling it than we have. They have jailed about 100 people, and started proceedings against a dozen doctors. [My hat is off to the French for their firm stance against Islamism-NoCrossNoCrescent.] We have thousands of victims in Britain, thousands of girls being cut every year, and yet we have managed not a single prosecution – let alone a conviction.

Again, there is that fatal squeamishness about intervening in the behaviour of a “protected group” – in this case ethnic minorities, often but by no means always from the Horn of Africa. There are still Left-wing academics protesting that the war on FGM is a form of imperialism, and that we are wrong to impose our Western norms. [Which is why I rolled my eyes whenever I hear the word “imperialism“-NoCrossNoCrescent]

I say that is utter rubbish, and a monstrous inversion of what I mean by liberalism. On the contrary: we need to be stronger and clearer in asserting our understanding of British values. That is nowhere more apparent in the daily job of those who protect us all from terror – and who are engaged in tackling the spread of extremist and radical Islam.

We know that the problem of radicalisation is not getting conspicuously worse – but nor is it going away. There are a few thousand people in London – the “low thousands”, they say – who are of interest to the security services; and a huge amount of work goes into monitoring those people, and into making sure that their ranks are not swelled by new victims of radicalisation.

What has been less widely understood is that some young people are now being radicalised at home, by their parents or by their step-parents. It is estimated that there could be hundreds of children – especially those who come within the orbit of the banned extremist group Al-Muhajiroun – who are being taught crazy stuff: the kind of mad yearning for murder and death that we heard from Lee Rigby’s killers.

At present, there is a reluctance by the social services to intervene, even when they and the police have clear evidence of what is going on, because it is not clear that the “safeguarding law” would support such action. A child may be taken into care if he or she is being exposed to pornography, or is being abused – but not if the child is being habituated to this utterly bleak and nihilistic view of the world that could lead them to become murderers. I have been told of at least one case where the younger siblings of a convicted terrorist are well on the road to radicalisation – and it is simply not clear that the law would support intervention.

This is absurd. The law should obviously treat radicalisation as a form of child abuse. It is the strong view of many of those involved in counter-terrorism that there should be a clearer legal position, so that those children who are being turned into potential killers or suicide bombers can be removed into care – for their own safety and for the safety of the public.

Kudos to you, Mr Mayor, for saying it like it is. But I doubt you are going to be taken seriously any time soon.

***

Going back to the initial question: is Islam a real danger, or is that just hyperbole? Or maybe the question should be, are we even supposed to ask this, or should we shut up lest we get called names (some of which listed at the beginning of this post)?

The critics can call us whatever they want. But if it is the UK today, why are we supposed to think it won’t be other nations (including the US) tomorrow?

  • ThePrussian

    I’m naming no names here, but there is a certain someone who thinks that Islamic anti-semitism is just BECAUSE ISRAEL, despite Islamic antisemitism long predating Israel, and that the jihad attacks are just BECAUSE AMERICA, despite jihad long predating America – I’m just wondering if he thinks that Islamic homophobia is just BECAUSE DRAG QUEEN!

  • Johnny_5

    Honest question, from someone who knows basically nothing about British law. From a strictly legal point of view, does a Muslim not have the right to portion out his accumulated wealth to whomever he wishes, on whatever basis he wishes, upon his death? Are there any legal restrictions on this process, and if so, do these Sharia-compliance guidelines actually contradict them? I’m trying to understand why stories about this have been popping up in atheist Reddit circles lately, and no one has yet had a satisfactory explanation for why this is so concerning, beyond the precedent it sets with respect to giving force of law to customs at odds with prevailing British practices. Thanks in advance to whomever takes a sec to help me understand this position.

    • NoCrossNoCrescent

      Individuall Muslims hsystem need for this in order to be sexist and tribalistic. What this does is give attorneys instructions on how to help Muslims practice sexism and tribalism, and that is where it goes too far. If Muslims seek the help of their clergy to guide them how to be good sexists that is one thing. But when attorneys who have a duty to the legal system become instruments in the service of systematized discrimination against women and non-Muslims, that is a different matter altogether.

      • Johnny_5

        Right, I get all of that. And I don’t disagree. I’m asking about the legal ramifications of this, in the context of existing British inheritance law. Was there anything preventing this sort of will from being written before? Was there anything preventing, for example, a non-Muslim from bequeathing all her earthly goods to her first-born son (which is how it used to be, AFAIK) or, for that matter, daughter? Or to a complete stranger, or to anyone else she wishes? Does existing British law grant certain rights to children to challenge the provisions of a parent’s will, which these new Sharia rules might then nullify or at least challenge? That’s the sort of thing I’m wondering.

        • NoCrossNoCrescent

          I am not sure about the will being challenged. The main problem is with the lawyer, an officer of the court, be told that a client wants it to be Sharia compliant and then proceed to draft it in such a way to disinherit a daughter, for example, who got remarried without her divorce being rubber stamped by a Sharia court. The client can disinherit whoever he wants. The lawyer coming up with the idea,though, is entirety different.

          • Anon

            “The lawyer coming up with the idea,though, is entirety different.”

            No, it really isn’t. The lawyer is not working as a servant of the court in the case of drafting a will, but as an independent expert on the law. They serve the purpose of expediting the process and providing an honest translation of the clients wishes into legal wording.

            Bear in mind that the proper practice for a lawyer would be to reach for these guidelines only after being requested to make the will sharia compliant, or having received some other indication to the same effect. The lawyer might ask a practitioner of Islam whether they wish to apply these rules, but any prompting aside from this would be improper practice for reasons that have nothing to do with religion.

          • NoCrossNoCrescent

            Wrong. The lawyer is bound by a code of ethics. He/She is not responsible to the client only, but as an officer of the court, he cannot come up with suggestions that would be unfair to third parties. The client can be as unfair as he wants, at the instruction of his clergy or otherwise, but it is not the job of the lawyer to double duty as the clergy.

  • Peter

    The suppression of women goes way back to the dawn of history and predates Islam by millennium. Women have made giant strides beginning in the early 20th century but they are not there yet. As far as inheritance goes even in any so-called “civilized” societies you it was the sons not daughters who inherited other than, perhaps, a substantial dowry controlled by that future husband. But you’re talking about the UK and I can’t envision it happening elsewhere and certainly not in my country, Canada.

    • NoCrossNoCrescent

      But in the UK no one thought it was possible either…

    • ThePrussian

      Hey, in Canada you’ve already gotten the separation of girls and boys for Islamic prayer in public schools, and separation of menstruating girls away from the rest as being ‘unclean’… It can’t happen? It already is.

      Yes, oppression of women goes back a long way. Islam is the only global force trying to reassert 7th century norms.

      • Peter

        We talked about that a long time ago Prussian. That was one school in one school district in Toronto with a large Muslim population. It was not all of Canada. And that link you referred to was put out by a fundamentalist Protestant/Catholic organization and thoroughly discredited by the local media. Tell me what young teenage girl tells anyone other than her girl friends and mother she’s having her period? She certainly wouldn’t tell her teacher or the boys. But the suppression, sexism, of women still goes on in subtle or even
        blatant ways. Up here, how many woman, 52% of the population, are members of Parliament or CEOs? I was referring to inheritance in my comment and favouring the sons still goes on, that’s what probate courts are all about. When the founder of a company dies who inherits the company, the eldest son or his older sister. The Walton family is a case in point.

        • ThePrussian

          So because there isn’t parity among the CEOs, telling menstruating girls they are unclean isn’t a problem. Oh, it’s one school… for now. That’s how it happened in Europe.

      • Aisha Green

        Mothers of Faithful Believers (Ummahaatu’l Mu’minin)

        1.Mary mother of Jesus
        2.Khadijah.Ra
        3.Aisha.Ra
        4.Fatima.Ra

        How they live, eat, dress, communicate with others even what they like/dislike
        They are perfect examples (Role Models) for us Muslim for ever-after!

        peace be upon you! ^_^!

        • NoCrossNoCrescent

          Perfect, the only one who worked out of home was Khadija, and that started BEFORE there was such a thing as Islam! And both Aisha and Fatima where married off at 9! Misogyny, meet pedophilia!