Western Leaders Confuse Endangering the Innocent for Compassion

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, April 3, 2017:

In London, the Prime Minister (and the previous Prime Minister) and many members of Parliament say the recent jihadi attack in Westminster has nothing to do with Islam, and call for embracing the Islamic community.

In Germany, Angela Merkel has opened German borders to people from sharia-adherent jihadi nations, has defended jihadis as being “un-Islamic” and, in the face of towns being overrun by jihadis, she has doubled-down on her posture.

In France, establishment leaders continue to denounce Marine Le Pen’s call for a truthful dialogue about the threat from Islamic refugee populations, and a call for French pride and liberty as being bigoted and closed-minded.

In Canada, similar malaise sweeps the land as leaders fight for who will bend over backwards farther to appease and please their Islamic residents and immigrants.

In the United States, the previous three Presidents and five or six recent Secretaries of State have belched out comments that Islamic teachings are contrary to those of Al Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Abu Sayef, Boko Haram, or any of the other hundreds of jihadi organizations on the planet despite the fact they all claim to act in the name of Islam and all of their actions are supported by core Islamic teachings and sharia.

Leaders of North American and European Jewish organizations unwittingly stand with Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood leaders because they “know” what its like to be singled out and wrongly targeted for persecution and bigotry.

The same is true in European and American churches where pastors of all denominations throw the Apostles Creed out the window in order to be liked by their “Muslim neighbors” under the guise of “Jesus told us to love everyone – even our enemies.”

Since both government and church leaders hold that love and compassion should be our guide – a noble and just pathway – we must contemplate this from an objective, rational, and reasonable perspective.

Does compassion towards a group of people whose doctrine and belief system call for the destruction of yours take precedence over protecting the innocent in society?

Do muslims who do not believe in or want to abide by sharia constitute a “different version” of Islam? Since objectively, muslims who are speaking out against Sharia are unanimously threatened with death, we must take this into consideration if our thought process is to be considered reasonable.

Did Jesus merely command his followers to be “gentle as doves” which has been extrapolated by some Christian leaders to mean soft-hearted and soft-minded like fools, or was there more to it?  “Wise as serpents” maybe?  Has the bar for what is right and just become only those things that make our enemies “happy” or is there more to love than that?

These are relevant questions because the fate of Western society hangs on the answers.

From the perspective of Western civilization, the government has a role to play as does the Church in civil society.  In neither case is the intentional destruction of innocent civilians an acceptable trade off for surrendering authority and power to an enemy whose stated goal is the killing of innocent non-muslims. We are called to lay our lives down for others in pursuit of righteous causes, not to allow evil to destroy what is good.

That requires us to know objective good and objective evil.

As Sir Winston Churchill said:  “Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the
religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.”

Saint Thomas Aquinas was clear as well:  “Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning.”

It appears the fate of Western civilization is in the hands of the people.  Citizens of free nations will either once again stake a claim in liberty and truth and risk everything for its future, or they will risk being extinguished by the cancer called Islam spreading across the globe.

Londonistan: 423 New Mosques; 500 Closed Churches

Gatestone Institute, by Giulio Meotti, April 2, 2017:

  • British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place.
  • British personalities keep opening the door to introducing Islamic sharia law. One of the leading British judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural, which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips, also suggested that the English law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law.
  • British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The academic guidelines, “External speakers in higher education institutions”, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At the Queen Mary University of London, women have had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands, just as in Riyadh or Tehran.

“London is more Islamic than many Muslim countries put together”, according to Maulana Syed Raza Rizvi, one of the Islamic preachers who now lead “Londonistan“, as the journalist Melanie Phillips has called the English capital. No, Rizvi is not a right-wing extremist. Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate for Literature, was less generous; he called the UK “a cesspit for Islamists”.

“Terrorists can not stand London multiculturalism”, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said after the recent deadly terror attack at Westminster. The opposite is true: British multiculturalists are feeding Islamic fundamentalism. Above all, Londonistan, with its new 423 mosques, is built on the sad ruins of English Christianity.

The Hyatt United Church was bought by the Egyptian community to be converted to a mosque. St Peter’s Church has been converted into the Madina Mosque. The Brick Lane Mosque was built on a former Methodist church. Not only buildings are converted, but also people. The number of converts to Islam has doubled; often they embrace radical Islam, as with Khalid Masood, the terrorist who struck Westminster.

The Daily Mail published photographs of a church and a mosque a few meters from each other in the heart of London. At the Church of San Giorgio, designed to accommodate 1,230 worshipers, only 12 people gathered to celebrate Mass. At the Church of Santa Maria, there were 20.

The nearby Brune Street Estate mosque has a different problem: overcrowding. Its small room and can contain only 100. On Friday, the faithful must pour into the street to pray. Given the current trends, Christianity in England is becoming a relic, while Islam will be the religion of the future.

In Birmingham, the second-largest British city, where many jihadists live and orchestrate their attacks, an Islamic minaret dominates the sky. There are petitions to allow British mosques to call the Islamic faithful to prayer on loudspeakers three times a day.

By 2020, estimates are that the number of Muslims attending prayers will reach at least 683,000, while the number of Christians attending weekly Mass will drop to 679,000. “The new cultural landscape of English cities has arrived; the homogenised, Christian landscape of state religion is in retreat”, said Ceri Peach of Oxford University. While nearly half of British Muslims are under the age of 25, a quarter of Christians are over 65. “In another 20 years there are going to be more active Muslims than there are churchgoers,” said Keith Porteous Wood, director of the National Secular Society.

Since 2001, 500 London churches of all denominations have been turned into private homes. During the same period, British mosques have been proliferating. Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Britons who identify themselves as Anglicans fell from 21% to 17%, a decrease of 1.7 million people, while, according to a survey conducted by the respected NatCen Social Research Institute, the number of Muslims has grown by almost a million. Churchgoers are declining at a rate that within a generation, their number will be three times lower than that of Muslims who go regularly to mosque on Friday.

Demographically, Britain has been acquiring an increasingly an Islamic face, in places such as Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. In 2015, an analysis of the most common name in England showed it was Mohammed, including spelling variations such as Muhammad and Mohammad.

Most important cities have huge Muslim populations: Manchester (15.8%), Birmingham (21.8%) and Bradford (24.7%). In Birmingham, the police just dismantled a terrorist cell; there is also a greater probability that a child will be born into a Muslim family than into a Christian one. In Bradford and Leicester, half the children are Muslim. Muslims do not need to become the majority in the UK; they just need gradually to Islamize the most important cities. The change is already taking place. “Londonistan” is not a Muslim majority nightmare; it is a cultural, demographic and religious hybrid in which Christianity declines and Islam advances.

Thousands of Muslims participate in a public outdoor prayer service in Birmingham, England, on July 6, 2016. (Image source: Ruptly video screenshot)

According to Innes Bowen, writing in The Spectator, only two of the 1,700 mosques in Britain today follow the modernist interpretation of Islam, compared with 56% in the United States. The Wahhabis control six percent of mosques in the UK, while the fundamentalist Deobandi control up to 45%. According to a survey from the Knowledge Center, a third of UK Muslims do not feel “part of British culture.”

London is also full of sharia courts. There are officially 100. The advent of this parallel judicial system has been made possible thanks to the British Arbitration Act and the system of Alternative Dispute Resolution. These new courts are based on the rejection of the inviolability of human rights: the values ​​of freedom and equality that are the basis of English Common Law.

British personalities keep opening the door to introduce sharia. One of Britain’s leading judges, Sir James Munby, said that Christianity no longer influences the courts and these must be multicultural — which means more Islamic. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Chief Justice Lord Phillips also suggested that British law should “incorporate” elements of sharia law. The British cultural establishment is rapidly capitulating to Islamic fundamentalists in accepting their demands.

British universities are also advancing Islamic law. The official guidelines of the university, “External speakers in higher education institutions“, published by Universities UK, provide that “orthodox religious groups” may separate men and women during events. At Queen Mary University of London, women had to use a separate entrance and were forced to sit in a room without being able to ask questions or raise their hands — as in Riyadh or Tehran. The Islamic Society at the London School of Economics held a gala, in which women and men were separated by a seven-meter panel.

After the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the head of MI6, Sir John Sawers, recommended self-censorship and “some restraint” in discussing Islam. The British ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Simon Collis, converted to Islam and completed the pilgrimage to Mecca, the hajj. He now calls himself Haji Collis.

What will be next?

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Islam and the Jihad in London

Security forces respond to the attacks outside Parliament in London, March 22, 2017. (Reuters photo: Stefan Wermuth)

It’s not non-Western. It’s anti-Western.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, March 25, 2017:

It was a careful choice of words, Bernard Lewis being nothing if not careful. In 2004, the West audibly gasped when its preeminent scholar of Islam famously told the German newspaper Die Welt,“Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century,” if not sooner.

Listen carefully. He did not say that Muslims will be the majority population in what is still recognizably Europe. No, Professor Lewis said “Europe will be Islamic.

We are not talking about Muslims here. We are talking about Islam. Lots of individual Muslims desire peaceful coexistence, even assimilation. But Islam’s aim is to prevail. So, yet again this week, Lewis’s foreboding has been brought to the fore by a jihadist mass-murder attack, this time in London.

As we go to press, five innocent people are dead after Khalid Masood, a terrorist acting on unambiguous scriptural commands to war against non-Muslims, rammed his rental Hyundai SUV into dozens of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, many of them tourists taking in the iconic views of Parliament. About 50 people suffered injuries, some of them grave, so the death toll may yet rise.

Masood, a burly 52-year-old weightlifter with a long criminal record that included vicious stabbings, then crashed the car through the gate at Westminster Palace, home of the West’s most venerable democratic legislature. He alighted brandishing two long knives, which he used to kill Keith Palmer, a police officer who, pursuant to British policy, was unarmed despite being assigned to provide security at one of the world’s foremost terror targets. Masood was finally shot dead by a protection officer attached to England’s defense minister.

There immediately began the ritual media pondering over Masood’s motive. Yes, what could it possibly have been?

I’m going to stick with the patently obvious.

Masood was born as Adrian Russell Ajao on Christmas Day, 1964, in Kent county, just outside London. His 17-year-old single mother remarried two years later, and he was known as Adrian Elms (his stepfather’s surname) until converting to Islam when he was about 40. Prior to that point, while fathering three children with his wife, he had several arrests, some for violent attacks. During at least one of the resulting stints in prison, like many inmates, he began indoctrination into Islam.

Between 2004 and 2005 came the critical transition: the formal conversion, marriage to a Muslim woman, and relocation to Saudi Arabia (you know, be our “ally” against terrorism). For five years, Masood was immersed in the kingdom’s Wahhabism — fundamentalist Islam rooted in scriptural literalism. He became an English language-teacher working for the Saudi government.

Masood returned to England from Jeddah about seven years ago. By the time of Wednesday’s attack on Westminster Bridge, he had seamlessly gravitated to Birmingham, a city increasingly enveloped by sharia enclaves that, to varying degrees, have become “no-go zones” for non-Muslims and agents of the state, including police.

There is diversity in Islam, including millions of Muslims who adhere only to its spiritual elements or see themselves as more culturally than doctrinally Islamic. But when we speak of Islam, as opposed to Muslims, we are not speaking about a mere religious belief system. We are talking about a competing civilization — that is very much how Islam self-identifies. It has its own history, principles, values, mores, and legal system.

Islam, thus understood, is not non-Western. It is anti-Western.

Like the conversion of Masood, the conversion of Birmingham has been a function of this defining Islamic attribute. Individual Muslims may assimilate, but Islam doesn’t do assimilation. Islam does not melt into your melting pot. Islam, as Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna proclaimed, is content with nothing less than political, cultural, and civilizational dominance.

As Soeren Kern relates in a comprehensive Gatestone Institute report on Islam in Britain, the metamorphosis of Birmingham, along with several other U.K. population centers, signifies this resistance. When the Islamic presence in a Western community reaches a critical mass, Islam’s hostility to Western mores and demands for sharia governance result in non-Muslim flight. Marriages between Muslims resident in the Western community and Muslims overseas tend to result in childbirth rates and household growth that dwarfs that of the indigenous population. Arranged, intra-familial, and polygamous marriages, endorsed by Islamic mores, drastically alter the fabric of communities in short order. Birmingham, in particular, has been ground zero of “Operation Trojan Horse,” a sharia-supremacist scheme to Islamize the public schools.

Kern repeats an account of life in “inner-city Birmingham” by the wife of a British clergyman, first published by Standpoint in 2011. She explained how the neighborhood in which she’d lived for four years had become a “police no-go zone,” in which the large number of newly arrived Somali immigrants now approached that of Pakistanis already resident. Then she recalled her husband’s encounter with an immigrant who had just arrived from Belgium — on an EU passport, like an increasing number of Muslims these days. The migrant was surprised when the clergyman asked why he had chosen to move into their neighborhood. Finally, he replied, “Everybody knows. Birmingham—best place in Europe to be pure Muslim.”

The memory moved the clergyman’s wife to a salient insight:

Well, there must be many places in Europe where Muslims are entirely free to practice their faith, but I suspect there are few places in which they can have so little contact with the civic and legal structure of a Western state if they choose.

To a London reader, born and bred with multiculturalism, I know that my stories may come across as outlandish and exaggerated. . . . When I recently told a friend how a large Taliban flag fluttered gaily on a house near St Andrew’s football stadium for some months, her cry of “Can’t you tell the police?” made me reflect how far many of our inner cities have been abandoned by our key workers: our doctors and nurses drive in from afar, the police, as mentioned before, have shut down their stations and never venture in unless in extremis — they and ambulance crews have been known to be attacked — even the local imam lives in a leafier area.

It is in that milieu that Khalid Masood made his decision, rented an SUV, and drove to Westminster Bridge.

Naturally, the Islamic State terror network (ISIS) took credit for the atrocity, as it has been wont to do since issuing its plea that Muslims conduct attacks “in place” — i.e., against the Western societies where they live. Western leaders have been content to accept these claims, at least as inspirational, if not operational. It is easier to indulge the fiction that ISIS catalyzes jihadism then to ask what catalyzed ISIS.

But the remorseless fact is that before ISIS and al-Qaeda and the Khomeini revolution and Hezbollah and the Blind Sheikh and the Brotherhood and Khalid Masood, there was the single thing that unites them all. There was Islam.

Western political and opinion elites remain willfully blind to this. They cannot help but project onto Islamic beliefs and practices their own progressive pieties — which take seriously neither religion nor the notion that there is any civilization but their own.

In their minds, and therefore ingrained in the media’s coverage, is the notion that a Muslim community is just like any other community. Same with the mosque — it is just a “house of worship,” no different from a church, a safe harbor from worldly concerns and hostilities. Islam, however, does not separate mosque from state; the mosque is every bit as much a center for sharia indoctrination, assimilation resistance, and anti-Western politics as it is a prayer venue. That is why al-Banna regarded the mosque and the Islamic community center commonly attached to it as the “axis” of the “movement” in every community where Islam takes hold.

The movement does not want cohabitation. It wants conquest. It starts with assimilation-resistant enclaves that nurture sharia supremacism today and thereby breed the jihadists of tomorrow. This week, it took the campaign to Westminster Bridge.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is as senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

 

Steve Emerson on BBC Radio Discussing the Attack in Westminster

IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on BBC Radio
March 22, 2017

Host: Right then. Let’s get to Steven Emerson, who’s the executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, talking to us out of the United States this evening. How are you, Steven?

Steve Emerson: Good evening.

Host: Thank you for your time and tell us, first of all, how you’ve reacted to the events in Westminster.

Emerson: Well, I have no more information than British police and Scotland Yard have released to your public. But there are obviously major patterns of similarity between these quote, ISIS-inspired attacks, here in the United States versus those occurring in Britain, Belgium and in Paris. The only difference today was that this person was just one person with one car able to basically almost insert himself inside the, from Westminster Bridge, inside the Parliament. He didn’t get that far, but can you imagine what would have happened had there been an army of self-styled ISIS soldiers of maybe 30 to 40 storming the Parliament?

I just think about that when I think about what happened last week with one intruder who got 15 minutes into the White House lawn. He wasn’t a terrorist at all but considering the fact that these major icons of Western society – the Westminster Bridge, the Parliament, the U.S. White House, the icons in Paris, the Brussels airport, the underground – it shows that the terrorists know exactly the underbelly and the vulnerability of Western institutions and how to cause mass casualties and, at the same time, cause as much fear and panic as possible with as little investment as possible.

I would imagine that the cost of this type of operation was minimal, even though the cost to the British public was horrendous – five dead, or four dead, a policeman dead. And the British public shouldn’t have to pay for this. No one should have to pay for this. I heard a commentary today on American television saying, ‘Well this is the cost of an open society’ and I was thinking to myself is this really the cost of an open society? Should we have to pay for this? Are there things that can be done to keep an open society, to make sure that there is a mosaic, diversity, and not succumb to the notion that you have to be deemed sort of a racist by saying we’ve got a problem here with radical Islam?

One thing that is very different, last point, the way the United States has reacted in previous years under the Obama administration, from the killing in Ft. Hood that killed I think about 14 people in 2009 to even the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, was that the U.S. government did not label them Islamic terrorism for at least 5 or 6 days. The British government, to its credit, same thing with the French government and the German government, after each of the attacks in the last 2 or 3 years, quickly within three or four hours, were able and willing to label it Islamist terrorism. That’s what should be done.

Host: Steven, thank you for talking to us. Let me just clarify a point there, that the Prime Minister did refer to the attacker as a terrorist but the Prime Minister has not made any reference to Islamic terror in her speech. Mark Rowley did, the acting deputy commissioner of the Met police, and he said that overseas Islamic fundamentalism is forming the basis of their investigation. I just wanted to clarify those comments for you.

London’s Muslim Mayor Introduces the Thought Police

jk

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, August 18, 2016:

London’s new Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, is allocating over two million dollars (£1,730,726) to an “online hate crime hub” enabling police to track and arrest “trolls” who “target…individuals and communities.” There can be no doubt, given the nature of the British political establishment today, which “trolls” these new Thought Police will be going after, and which “communities” will be protected from “hate speech.” “Islamophobia,” which David Horowitz and I termed “the thought crime of the totalitarian future,” is now going to bring down upon the hapless “trolls” the wrath of London’s Metropolitan police force — and this totalitarian new initiative shows yet again how easily the Leftist and Islamic supremacist agendas coincide and aid each other.

“The Metropolitan police service,” said a police spokesman, “is committed to working with our partners, including the mayor, to tackle all types of hate crime including offences committed online.” Given the fact that Khan, in a 2009 interview, dismissed moderate Muslims as “Uncle Toms” and has numerous questionable ties to Islamic supremacists, it is unlikely that he will be particularly concerned about “hate speech” by jihad preachers (several of whom were just recently welcomed into a Britain that has banned foes of jihad, including me).

And the “partners” of the London police are likely to include Tell Mama UK, which says on its website: “we work with Central Government to raise the issues of anti-Muslim hatred at a policy level and our work helps to shape and inform policy makers, whilst ensuring that an insight is brought into this area of work through the systematic recording and reporting of anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes.” Tell Mama UK has previously been caughtclassifying as “anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes” speech on Facebook and Twitter that it disliked. Now it will have the help of the London police to do that.

“The purpose of this programme,” we’re told, “is to strengthen the police and community response to this growing crime type.” This “crime type” is only “growing” because Britain has discarded the principle of the freedom of speech, and is committing itself increasingly to the idea that “hate speech” is objectively identifiable, and should be restricted by government and law enforcement action. Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003criminalizes “using [a] public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety,” and no groups are better at manifesting public annoyance than Islamic advocacy groups. A pastor in Northern Ireland, James McConnell, ran afoul of this law in 2014 when he dared to criticize Islam in a sermon; he was acquitted after an 18-month investigation and a trial, but the Metropolitan police will not want to be seen as wasting their new “hate speech” money; others will not be as fortunate as McConnell.

Behind the push for “hate speech” laws is, of course, the increasingly authoritarian Left. Increasingly unwilling (and doubtless unable) to engage its foes in rational discussion and debate, the Left is resorting more and more to the Alinskyite tactic of responding to conservatives only with ridicule and attempts to rule conservative views out of the realm of acceptable discourse. That coincides perfectly with the ongoing initiative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to intimidate the West into criminalizing criticism of Islam.

This is not the first time that a Sharia imperative and a Leftist one coincided during the relatively brief (so far) mayoral tenure of Sadiq Khan. The London Evening Standard reported on June 13 that “adverts which put Londoners under pressure over body image are to be banned from the Tube and bus network.” This was because “Sadiq Khan announced that Transport for London would no longer run ads which could cause body confidence issues, particularly among young people.”

Said Khan: “As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies. Nobody should feel pressurised, while they travel on the Tube or bus, into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies and I want to send a clear message to the advertising industry about this.”

And so no more ads featuring women in bikinis on London buses. People often puzzle about how the hard Left and Islamic supremacists can make common cause, when they have such differing ideas of morality; Khan’s ad ban showed how. The Left’s concern with “body-shaming” and not putting people “under pressure over body image” meshed perfectly with the Sharia imperative to force women to cover themselves in order to remove occasions of temptation for men.

What next? Will London women be forced to cover everything except their face and hands (as per Muhammad’s command) so as not to put others “under pressure over body image”? And if they are, will anyone who dares to complain about what is happening to their green and pleasant land be locked up for “hate speech” by London’s new Thought Police?

Welcome to Sadiq Khan’s London. Shut up and put on your hijab.

Also see:

One cannot have discourse if there is no opportunity for opposition. We are now seeing European courts, the European Commission, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the UN Human Rights Council seek to silence those whose views they oppose.

It even turned out, at least in Germany last September, that “hate speech” apparently included posts criticizing mass migration. It would seem, therefore, that just about anything anyone finds inconvenient can be labelled as “racist” or “hate speech.”

Censoring, ironically, ultimately gives the public an extremely legitimate grievance, and could even set up the beginning of a justifiable rebellion.

There is currently a worrying trend. Facebook, evidently attempting to manipulate what news people receive, recently censored the Swedish commentator Ingrid Carlqvist by deleting her account, then censored Douglas Murray’s eloquent article about Facebook’s censorship of Carlqvist. Recently, the BBC stripped the name Ali from Munich’s mass-murderer so that he would not appear to be a Muslim.

Yet, a page called “Death to America & Israel“, which actively incites violence against Israel, is left uncensored. Facebook, it seems, agrees that calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state is acceptable, but criticism of Islam is not. While pages that praise murder, jihadis, and anti-Semitism remain, pages that warn the public of the violence that is now often perpetrated in the name of Islam, but that do not incite violence, are removed.

Even in the United States, there was a Resolution proposed in the House of Representatives, H. Res. 569, attempting to promote the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Defamation of Religion/anti-blasphemy laws, to criminalize any criticism of “religion” – but meaning Islam.

Yesterday, at an airport, an advertisement for Facebook read, “A place to debate.” Should it not instead have read, “A place to debate, but only if we agree with you”?

PICS: One Dead, Six Injured In Potential Terrorist Attack In Russell Square, Central London

Breitbart, by Raheem Kassan, Aug. 3, 2016:

One woman has been killed and five people have been injured “Somali Origin” man with a knife attacked people, apparently at random, in the busy area of Bloomsbury in Central London.

Update 1200 — Attacker of “Somali Origin” 

Metropolitan Police have given some more details on the attacker and victims, including the nationality of the killer — Norwegian — and his heritage which is described as “Somali Origin”. Police have emphasised they do not believe the attack was motivated by terror, and there are no indications of radicalisation. The attack has been described as “random and spontaneous”.

The murdered woman, described as being in her 60’s has been identified as an American citizen. Those injured are British, American, Australian, and Israeli.

The story so far:

Extra armed officers have been deployed in a high visibility precautionary role this morning after police received reports of a man attacking people in Russel Square at 10:33pm yesterday evening. Officers responded to the incident within five minutes of the first call according to a Metropolitan Police statement. Discharging a Taser stun-gun, officers were able to arrest the attacker.

The arrival of officers and ambulance crews were not fast enough to save the life of one victim, a woman described to be in her 60’s who was pronounced dead at the scene. A body bag was observed to be removed from Russel Square in the early hours of this morning.

Another woman and four men were injured and as of this morning two have been discharged from hospital, suggesting they had relatively light injuries.

The attack came on the same day the Met Police announced 600 extra, armed police officers for London and just days after the head of London’s police said that an attack on the British capital was a matter of “when, not if”.

The Metropolitan police Homicide and Major Crime Command is being assisted in their investigation by the Counter Terrorism Command, and a spokesman for the force has said they are keeping an open mind over a potential terror motivation for the crime, although mental health issues are also being considered.

Initial speculation that suggested “gang violence” was responsible appear to have now been discounted on by police.

The identity of the attacker is presently unknown, with London’s police declining to provide a description. Eye-witnesses reported by Sky News have described the killer variously as being “dark skinned, possibly African”, and being a “chubby faced white man”.

The Metropolitan Police’s latest statement released this morning reads:

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following an attack in north London last night, Wednesday 3 August, which left one woman dead and five others injured.

Armed police and London Ambulance Service attended and the woman, who is believed to be in her 60s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police received the first call just after 22:30hrs reporting a man armed with a knife was assaulting people at Russell Square, Camden.

Numerous other calls were made by members of the public between 22:30 and 23:00hrs with reports of a man attacking people with a knife between Russell Square, Montague Street, Bloomsbury Square and Great Russell Street.

Armed officers attended the scene within approximately five minutes of receiving the first call. A Taser was discharged during the arrest of the suspect, a 19-year-old man. No shots were fired. After receiving treatment at hospital he currently remains in custody at south London police station.

Two women and three men received various injuries in the attack. Two victims remain in hospital while the others have been discharged (no further details at this stage).

We continue to focus our lines of inquiry on mental health while retaining an open mind regarding the motive.

The Metropolitan Police Service’s Homicide and Major Crime Command is leading the investigation, supported by officers from the Counter Terrorism Command.

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “This was a tragic incident resulting in the death of one woman and five others being injured. Early indications suggest that mental health was a factor in this horrific attack. However we are keeping an open mind regarding the motive.

“As a precautionary measure, Londoners will wake up this morning to notice an increased presence on the streets of officers, including armed officers today. We would urge the public to remain calm, alert and vigilant.”

Officers are continuing to interview witnesses and most of the cordons have been removed. One partial road closure remains in place.

PICTURES:

Police forensics teams work through the night at the crime scene (Breitbart London/Rachel Megawhat)

Police forensics teams work through the night at the crime scene (Breitbart London/Rachel Megawhat)

See more

The Mail reports that Paul Hutchinson, a taxi driver, said: “I drove past Russell Square and the road wasn’t shut but the pavement was all taped off by police, lots of armed police, lots of cars and the body was just lying on the floor. You could see the boots sticking out from under the cloth.

“Loads of armed police, cars with lights on and the body on the floor.”

Russell Square was one of the sites of the 7/7 bombings of 2005, when 52 people were killed by Islamist terrorists.

In December 2015 a knife man was tasered and arrested at Leytonstone tube station after stabbing three people. Attacker Muhaydin Mire was heard to be shouting “This is for Syria, my Muslim brothers” as he stabbed passers by. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Russell Square is, though usually quiet at that time of night, a location populated by students, tourists, social housing, and just moments away from London’s legal district. It is a nine-minute walk from the British Museum.

Video: Why I Left Islam and Now Help Others Who Are Doing the Same

why-i-left-islam-and-now-help-others-who-are-doing-the-same-1455725081Vice News, By Imtiaz Shams, February 17, 2016:

The first thing you need to know about ex-Muslims is that the best term in Arabic to describe us is basically a swear word: murtadd, meaning someone who “turns their back” on Islam. The word has a dirty, spit-on-the-ground feeling to it, with a rolling “R” and a sharp drop at the end. This is where you need to start if you want to even begin unpacking the ubiquitous, systematic discrimination we face that can pervade all aspects of our lives.

One key form of discrimination is the erasure or downplaying of our experiences through stereotypes, the most common of which is, “You probably weren’t a real Muslim.” I spent half my life growing up in Saudi Arabia, travelling to Makkah every year for Umrah, a holy pilgrimage. My first book was a gorgeous red and gold-trimmed copy of the Riyad us-Saliheen, a compilation of hadiths (transmitted sayings and actions) of the Prophet Muhammad and his Sahaaba (companions). I’ve been praying, fasting and memorizing the Quran since as long as I can remember and would devour books proving Islam’s truth through scientific miracles and its moral code.

My family moved to the UK just before 9/11, and many Muslims will understand what I mean when I say the atmosphere changed after that day. At school boys gave me the nickname “terrorist” and to this day I still own a shirt where some of them drew explosives and bombs on my last day of high school. That discrimination didn’t affect what was then a deep and abiding love for Islam — it just strengthened it.

So what happened? If everything was geared towards me spending my life as a practicing Muslim, why would I leave? One of the key tenets of orthodox Islam is its perfect nature and the infallibility of the Quran, two claims I unwaveringly held on to for two decades. But as I grew older and my critical thinking developed, the accepted truths about the morality of the Prophet’s actions and the miracles described in the Quran got harder to swallow.

Watch the VICE News documentary: Rescuing Ex-Muslims: Leaving Islam:

I stopped believing mountains were “stakes” or “pegs,” protecting the Earth from earthquakes. Ironically, mountains are actually most common where earthquakes are most plentiful: in tectonic zones.

I no longer believed that Islam had come down to slowly phase out the loathsome institution of slavery. Instead I began to feel that the institutionalization of slavery in Islamic scripture under the auspices of “prisoners of war” allowed for millions of Africans and other non-Arabs to be taken as slaves by the various Caliphates, in some places exceeding even the horrific Transatlantic slave trade.

I had thought that Islam had given women equal rights to men, and this may or may not have been true if we were talking about 1,400 years ago. However, taken literally the same scripture can be used to reduce the inheritance and legal rights of women, enforce certain ritualistic clothing and practices on women but make them either a choice or non-existent for men, ban women from marrying non-Muslims but extend that right to men… the list went on and on in my mind.

Yet through all this I could not internally accept I had left Islam because I didn’t know I could leave. The very idea that one could be a practicing Muslim but then leave Islam was completely and utterly alien to me. I was finally forced to accept I no longer believed in Islam at the beginning of 2012, but I had no identity to go to and nobody who understood what I was going to speak to. My friend Aliyah described this stage as being like an “alien in your own skin,” and I felt like a complete outcast.

Another feeling that hovered over my leaving Islam was fear. Islam had presented itself as a complete and objective blueprint for my life, in charge of dictating my role in this world and my relationship to death and an afterlife. This left me believing that without the religion, even if I lived life making a difference in this world I would no longer be abd Allah, a slave of Allah, and thus my life would be aimless. It told me that that apocalyptic Yawm al-Qiyamah(day of judgement) would come when I would be judged as an apostate, one of the worst of sins, and put into Jahannum (hell). The language around hell in Islamic scripture can be terrifying — is it any wonder many new ex-Muslims have to cope with the anxiety it creates?

This period of fear and isolation did not last very long as I quickly found others out there when I stumbled on a Reddit group called /r/exmuslim. Suddenly I had access to thousands of active ex-Muslims, their stories, advice and experiences of discrimination. Almost all of these Redditors were anonymous because of the inherent physical and social risks to leaving Islam, so I began to reach out. I came up with a vetting protocol, carefully checking people out one at a time and hosting private ex-Muslim socials of sometimes up to 60 people. Sharing your story for the first time with another ex-Muslim is exhilarating, and there were so many of us to share with! Sure we still felt like aliens, but there were a lot of us aliens and we felt more comfortable in our own skin.

Around this time, I had a chance meeting with two gay lawyers who gave me some advice: what really changed for LGBTQ people in Britain was not just that they organized into communities but that they began to come out publicly. This resonated strongly with me so I joined forces with Aliyah Saleem, a feminist ex-Muslim activist, and we started what grew to become “Faith to Faithless,” an organization that creates online and offline platforms to promote apostate voices.

The very first Faith to Faithless event was a year ago at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Although we had members of the QMUL Islamic society and some da’wah(preaching) groups leafleting our event, it was a massive success. Some of the ex-Muslims we met there have since spoken at other events. Although we received support from the wider public (including Muslims), we also received plenty of hate mail and abuse. I’ve had people spit on the ground and call me a murtadd, while insults to female Faith to Faithless speakers are always framed in disgustingly sexist terms. Even worse is that we’ve often been let down by the very people who should be helping us, including some feminist and leftist activists who have used racialized terms like “native informant” to describe us, undermining our agency as a minority within a minority.

As you would imagine, many ex-Muslims contact Faith to Faithless for advice or urgent help and have faced abuse in different forms. Some, although accepted as members of their family, are constantly told that they are going to “burn in hell” and should repent. Others are forced out into the streets with no financial support whatsoever. Some are physically abused, such as one ex-Muslim girl who was kicked in the stomach by her brother and then locked into her room by her parents.

It’s important to note that not all Muslims have treated ex-Muslims in this way. Some of the most important voices to me were my Muslim friends who privately messaged me giving me their support and love. We need to be able to stand together to fight both anti-Muslim and ex-Muslim discrimination, which can often go hand-in-hand. If you’re a young ex-Muslim who has left their faith and feels alone or isolated, get in touch. You are definitely not alone.

Follow Imtiaz Shams on Twitter: @imtishams