Archive for the ‘Formerly Great Britain’ category

UK: Extremely Selective Free Speech

October 12, 2017

UK: Extremely Selective Free Speech, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, October 12, 2017

(Please see also, Britain Moves To Criminalize Reading Extremist Material On The Internet. — DM)

The issue is not hate preachers visiting the UK from abroad. While banning them from campuses will leave them with fewer venues, it by no means solves the larger issue, which is that they will continue their Dawah or proselytizing elsewhere.

The question probably should be: Based on available evidence, are those assessments of Islam accurate? Particularly compared to current messages that seemingly are considered “conducive to the public good.”

At around the same time as the two neo-Nazi groups were banned at the end of September 2017, Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused to ban Hezbollah’s political wing in the UK. Hezbollah itself, obviously, does not distinguish between its ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings. In other words, you can go ahead and support Hezbollah in the UK, no problem. Support the far right and you can end up in jail for a decade.

Apparently, 112 events featuring extremist speakers took place on UK campuses in the academic year 2016/2017, according to a recent report by Britain’s Henry Jackson society: “The vast majority of the extreme speakers recorded in this report are Islamist extremists, though one speaker has a background in Far-Right politics….” That one speaker was Tommy Robinson both of whose events were cancelled, one due to hundreds of students planning to demonstrate to protest his appearance. The report does not mention student protests at any of the Islamist events.

The topics of the Islamist speakers included:

“Dawah Training… to teach students the fundamentals of preaching to others… Western foreign policy towards the Islamic world in general… Grievances…perceived attacks on Muslims and Islam in the UK… [calling for] scrapping of Prevent and other government counter-extremism measures [critiquing] arrest and detention of terrorism suspects… [challenging] ideas such as atheism and skepticism… religious socio-economic governance, focusing on the role of religion in fields such as legislation, justice… finance… religious rulings or interpretations, religious verses or other texts, important historical or scriptural figures…”

London was the region with the highest number of events, followed by the South East, according to the report. The most prolific speakers were affiliated to the Muslim Debate Initiative, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF), the Hittin Institute, Sabeel, and CAGE. Most speakers were invited by Islamic student societies, and a high proportion of the talks took place during campus events such as “Discover Islam Week”, “Islam Awareness Week” and “Islamophobia Awareness Month”.

One of the most prolific speakers, Hamza Tzortis, is a senior member of iERA. He has said that apostates who “fight against the community[…] should be killed” and that, “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom”.

That so many extremist speaker events continue to take place at British universities should be cause for alarm. In March 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (CTSA) imposed a dutyon universities, among other public bodies, to pay “due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism”, yet at 112 events last year, the number of extremist Islamist events on campuses have not dropped significantly. In comparison, there were 132 events in 2012, 145 events in 2013 and 123 events in 2014.

Evidence shows that the danger of becoming an actual Islamic terrorist while studying at British university campuses is also extremely real. According to one report, also by the Henry Jackson society:

“Since 1999, there have been a number of acts of Islamism-inspired terrorism… committed by students studying at a UK university at the time of their offence…there have also been a significant number of graduates from UK universities convicted of involvement in terrorism, and whom… were at least partially radicalised during their studies”.

The most well known case is probably that of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who in 2002 was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl. He is believed to have been radicalized while studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the early 1990s.

While removing extremist speakers from campuses might possibly reduce the risk of radicalization, extremist speakers are readily available to talk to Muslim youths outside of campuses. The issue is not hate preachers visiting the UK from abroad. While banning them from campuses will leave them with fewer venues, it by no means solves the larger issue, which is that they will continue their dawah or proselytizing elsewhere.

What, then, have been recent responses by the British government to the issues of Islamic radicalization and terrorism?

One response has been a proposal to tighten existing law on viewing ‘terrorist content’ online. People who repeatedly view terrorist content online could now face up to 15 years jail, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced. The law will also apply to terrorists who publish information about members of the armed forces, police and intelligence services for the purposes of preparing acts of terrorism. Tightening the law around viewing terrorist material is part of the counter-terrorism strategy the government is reviewing after the increased frequency of terrorist attacks in Britain this year.

Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that people who repeatedly view “terrorist content” online could now face up to 15 years jail. (Image source: UK Government/Flickr)

Amber Rudd has included ‘far-right propaganda’ in the new law, saying:

“I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law.”

What is ‘far right propaganda?’ Based on previous British policies, ‘far right propaganda’ would likely include reading Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch or Pamela Geller’s ‘Geller Report’. While local hate preachers from legal Muslim organizations freely roam UK campuses, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller were both forbidden entry to the UK in 2013 by the British Home Secretary, because their presence would “not be conducive to the public good”. This is what Geller was told:

“After careful consideration…you should be excluded from the United Kingdom on the grounds that your presence here is not conducive to the public good…You have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviours by making statements that may foster hatred, which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK…You co-founded Stop Islamization of America, an organization described as an anti-Muslim hate group… You are reported to have stated the following: ‘Al-Qaeda is a manifestation of devout Islam … it is Islam’ [and] ‘If the Jew dies, the Muslims will die as well: their survival depends on their constant jihad, because without it they will lose the meaning and purpose of their existence.’ The Home Secretary considers that should you be allowed to enter the UK you would continue to espouse such views…”.

The letter to Robert Spencer was in almost identical form:

“The Home Secretary notes that you are the founder of the blog Jihad Watch (a site widely criticized for being Islamophobic). You co-founded the Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which have been described as anti-Muslim hate groups. You are reported to have stated the following: “… it [Islam] is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers… for establishing a societal model that is …incompatible with Western society…”

The question probably should be: Based on available evidence, are those assessments of Islam accurate? Particularly compared to current messages that seemingly are considered “conducive to the public good.”

It is also conceivable that reading quotes from Winston Churchill’s book about Islam online would be seen as ‘far right’ and therefore punishable by up to 15 years in jail. In 2014, Paul Weston, chairman of the Liberty GB party, was arrested on suspicion of religious/racial harassment for quoting an excerpt on Islam from Churchill’s book, ‘The River War’ — written in 1899 while he was a British army officer in Sudan — in a public speech.

Another recent government response to terrorism has been to outlaw two far-right groups: Scottish Dawn and NS131, which are aliases for the group National Action, a fringe neo-Nazi group, banned in 2016. Being a member of these groups or merely supporting them is now a criminal offense that carries a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Amber Rudd said in September:

“National Action is a vile racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic group which glorifies violence and stirs up hatred… Our priority as Government will always be to maintain the safety and security of families and communities… we will continue to identify and ban any terrorist group which threatens this, whatever their ideology”.

Apparently, however, to paraphrase George Orwell, some terrorist groups “are more equal than others.” Amber Rudd recently refused to ban the political wing of Hezbollah, an equally racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic group that has actually committed terror attacks all over the world, as opposed to the banned neo-Nazi groups. Banning Hezbollah’s political wing would have closed a legal loophole that allows demonstrations in support of the political wing of Hezbollah, while its military wing is banned in the UK. Hezbollah itself, obviously, does not distinguish between its ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had written to Amber Rudd asking her to close the legal loophole after Jewish groups pleaded with him to stop a large Al Quds day march, which nevertheless took place in London in June 2017 and featured Hezbollah flags. While the British government decided that supporters of fringe neo-Nazi groups should be jailed for up to 10 years, it apparently thought that supporting Hezbollah is just fine. In response to Khan, Amber Rudd wrote :

“The group that reportedly organised the parade, the Islamic Human Rights Commission, is not a proscribed terrorist organisation. This means they can express their views and demonstrate, provided that they do so within the law. The flag for the organisation’s military wing is the same as the flag for its political wing. Therefore, for it to be an offence under Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000, for an individual to display the Hizballah flag, the context and manner in which the flag is displayed must demonstrate that it is specifically in support of the proscribed elements of the group”,

In other words, you can go ahead and support Hezbollah in the UK, no problem. Support the far right and you can end up in jail for a decade. Evidently, free speech in the UK has become extremely selective.

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Britain Moves To Criminalize Reading Extremist Material On The Internet

October 5, 2017

Britain Moves To Criminalize Reading Extremist Material On The Internet, Jonathan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, October 5, 2017

(What do “extremist” and “far right” mean in this context? For example, is anything deemed “Islamophobic” or critical of government policies “extremist” or “far right”? — DM)

 

Rudd told a Conservative Party conference that she wants to crack down on people “who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions.”   So sites deemed “far-right propaganda” (but not far-left propaganda) could lead to your arrest — leaving the government with a sweeping and ambiguous mandate.

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For years, civil libertarians have warned that Great Britain has been in a free fall from the criminalization of speech to the expansion of the surveillance state.  Now the government is pursuing a law that would make the repeated viewing of extremist Internet sites a crime punishable to up to 15 years in prison.  It appears that the government is not satiated by their ever-expanding criminalization of speech. They now want to criminalize even viewing sites on the Internet.  As always, officials are basically telling the public to “trust us, we’re the government.”  UK home secretary Amber Rudd is pushing the criminalization of reading as part of her anti-radicalization campaign . . . which turns out to be an anti-civil liberties campaign.

We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here).  Even the Home Secretary has been accused of hate speech for criticizing immigrant workers.

Prime Minister Theresa May has previously called for greater government control of the Internet.  Now, the government not only would make reading material on the Internet a crime, but would not necessarily tell you what sites will be deemed the ultimate click bait.  Rudd told a Conservative Party conference that she wants to crackdown on people “who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions.”   So sites deemed “far-right propaganda” (but not far-left propaganda) could lead to your arrest — leaving the government with a sweeping and ambiguous mandate.

The law would move from criminalizing the downloading of information to simply reading it.  The move confirms the long criticism of civil libertarians that the earlier criminalization would just be the start of an ever-expanding government regulation of sites and speech.  Rudd admits that she wants to arrest those who just read material but do not actually download the material.

In the past, the government assumed near total discretion in determining who had a “reasonable excuse” for downloading information.

Britain has long relied on the presumed benevolence of the government in giving its sweeping authority in the surveillance and regulation of speech, including the media.  This move however is a quantum shift in government controls over speech and information.  Indeed, this comes the closest to criminalization not just speech but thought. It is a dangerous concept and should be viewed as disqualifying for anyone who want to hold (or retain) high office.

What is particularly striking is that this new law seeks to create a new normal in a society already desensitized to government controls and speech crimes.  There is no pretense left in this campaign —  just a smiling face rallying people to the cause of thought contro.

Sound familiar?

“We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”

George Orwell, 1984

UK: How Much More Abuse of Children Do We Permit?

September 17, 2017

UK: How Much More Abuse of Children Do We Permit? Gatestone InstituteKhadija Khan, September 17, 2017

In 2014, an inquiry by Ofsted, the body that regulates schools in England, to inspect the teachings of Muslim private schools, emerged with findings that are devastating. According to Ofsted, some children were unable to understand the difference between Sharia Law and British Law, and sounded more committed to religious teachings than to British laws.

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How is it that we never see demands for legislation to ban dragging young girls into a system of misogynistic beliefs?

The West accepts pampering these extremists in the name of freedom of expression when these extremists themselves do not believe in any such freedom.

Female genital mutilation (FGM), despite having been banned since 1985, takes place in the UK every hour. This criminal behavior is made possible only by the British authorities’ indifference.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is also chairman of Transport for London (TfL), has issued a belated apology for depicting — in an advertisement launched by the Children’s Traffic Club London (created by TfL to promote traffic safety) — a small girl in a headscarf as representative of a Muslim minor. In Islam, headscarves are not usually worn until a girl has reach puberty. The Independent reported: “TfL apologised for any offence caused and said the images will be removed from the campaign. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, chair of TfL, also apologised for the campaign”.

The apology, however, sounds more like just lip service: none of the British authorities has bothered to notice the escalating trend of making Muslim baby girls wear a veil.

It took a campaign advertisement to make them realize how a headscarf, the hijab, a symbol of modesty, might be abusive to the minor girls by seemingly sexualizing them at an early age.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan issued a belated apology for depicting — in a public-service ad — a small girl in a headscarf as representative of a Muslim minor. (Image source: Transport for London, Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Muslim parents of these baby girls, as well as the schools run by Muslims, are mainly responsible for the increase in the frequency of veils for increasing younger girls, even though to may, the requirement is nothing short of a child abuse.

The reaction of British authorities to this controversial practice was in the general mode of, “We cannot endorse this nonsense, but if you want to carry on discriminating against your girls in the name of your belief system, we will not stop you”.

The current and growing trend of concealing even baby girls in the name of a religion, and then indoctrinating them, needs more than just an apology — both from the government and the so-called left-wing fringe. It is precisely their decades-long pattern of accommodating these extremist Muslims that has led to such degenerate behavior.

It is the height of irony — and a low state of affairs — that even government authorities have fallen prey to the propaganda of extremists who are now covering even their infant girls with a headscarf — and selling that practice as a symbol of modesty.

The civilized world should dread the day when burqa-clad girls and women will take over representing Muslim women. It is this attire that represents the coercive ideology that aims to subjugate women through and violence and threats of violence.

What is fortunate is that a traffic awareness campaign gone wrong exposed the plight of these girls: Islamic schools, run by the fundamentalists under the shadow of apologetic British authorities, had encouraged hiding them.

Heartbreakingly, so many people, often well-intended, seem carried away by the pro-veil campaigns of these Muslim extremists. They not only market their demands to conceal women as a symbol of modesty; they also brainwash young girls that those who do not wear these burqas or hijabs have a baser character.

In the West, where people are allowed to wear what they wish, putting a woman behind a veil looks like anything but “modesty”. It looks more like coercion, control and domination.

“It’s like a cage. I wish men could also be trapped like this so that they would understand how much we suffer,” said a woman in Afghanistan.

The extremists who hide girls are robbing them of their childhood.

How is it that we never see demands for legislation to ban dragging young girls into a system of misogynistic beliefs?

The West accepts pampering these extremists in the name of freedom of expression, when these extremists themselves do not believe in any such freedom. Many in the West, in fact, have been trying to knock down the humane laws of the civilized world to have them with the restrictive Islamic laws of Shariah.

Muslim private schools in Britain are increasingly inspired by the Islamist ideology, which promotes beating women; killing homosexuals, apostates and blasphemers; discouraging any kind of interaction with non-Muslims; eradicating Jews and spewing hatred against people of other faiths.

In 2014, an inquiry by Ofsted, the body that regulates schools in England, to inspect the teachings of Muslim private schools, emerged with findings that are devastating. According to Ofsted, some children were unable to understand the difference between Sharia Law and British Law, and sounded more committed to religious teachings than to British laws.

That extremists get away with such manipulations seems directly connected to the lack of any legal means to curb extremist practices by conservative Muslims. Objectionable behavior is simply ignored. A British court in 2016, for instance, ruled that Ofsted was “erroneous” in viewing the segregation of boys and girls in an Islamic school as discriminatory.

Female genital mutilation, despite having been banned since 1985, takes place in the UK every hour. This criminal behavior is made possible only by the British authorities’ indifference.

Just calling some practices illegal clearly does not deter anyone, unless it is followed by tough action and harsh sentences against those who violate the law.

Official, willfully-blind, political correctness is causing irreparable damage to those girls. They are being simultaneously sexualized and ranked as sub-human by these pseudo-religious and cultural practices.

Mayor Sadiq Khan did the right thing by apologizing for the misguided ad campaign — the same way he earned respect from Londoners by supporting equality for LGBTQ community.

Now we please need him to support tough legislation to ban discrimination against Muslim children under the excuse or religious beliefs — even if that could mean offending some of his friends.

Khadija Khan is a Pakistani journalist and commentator, currently based in Germany.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: July 2017

August 26, 2017

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: July 2017, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, August 26, 2017

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the government would not publish a much-delayed report into the funding of Islamist extremism in Britain…. Opposition parties condemned the government for not publishing the report. They said that the decision appeared to be intended to bury any criticism of Saudi Arabia.

The British government lacks reliable immigration statistics and has no way of accurately tracking who is entering or leaving the country, according to a new report released by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee.

A father-of-five, Anjem Choudary, an Islamist who is serving a five-and-a-half year sentence for urging support of the Islamic State, has claimed up to £500,000 ($640,000) in benefits, which he has referred to as “Jihad seeker’s allowance.”

July 1. Two men, both aged 21, one from Leicester and one from Birmingham, were arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of terrorism offenses after arriving on a flight from Turkey. Two days earlier, a 21-year-old woman was arrested, also on suspicion of terrorism offenses, at the same airport, as she arrived on a flight from Istanbul. In May, a 30-year-old man was arrested at Heathrow, on suspicion of preparing for terrorist acts after he stepped off a plane from Istanbul.

July 2. Sahnoun Daifallah, a 50-year-old Algerian chemist, sentenced to nine years in prison for contaminating supermarket food with his own excrement, avoided deportation for seven years. Daifallah came to Britain in 1999 and was granted refugee status two years later. In May 2008, he used a weed killer spray bottle to contaminate food with a mixture of urine and feces at several supermarkets in Gloucestershire. Damage to the businesses was estimated at £700,000 ($900,000). Daifallah was told he would be deported in 2010, but apparently bureaucratic incompetence has kept him in immigration custody since February 2013. The 54 months he has spent in detention have cost British taxpayers around £155,000 ($200,000), not including his legal bills which have added at least another £100,000.

July 2. A new report — “The Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All” — concluded: “It is of great importance that British-born imams, who have a good understanding of British culture and who fluently speak English, are encouraged and appointed in preference to overseas alternatives.” The 18-month inquiry — commissioned by Citizens UK, a community organizing charity, and chaired by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve MP — was set up to examine ways in which the participation of Muslims in the public and community life, outside of their own faith groups, might be improved. Imams were told they must take a “stronger stance” against persecution of others, including Jews, Christians and other Muslims. “The Commission has heard a great deal about the need for better leadership within the UK’s Muslim communities,” the report said. “The management committees of the UK’s mosques need to better understand, and respond to, modern British life.”

July 3. BBC One broadcast a documentary — “The Betrayed Girls” — about the Rochdale child exploitation ring, in which dozens of underage girls were raped and trafficked by a gang of men from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The 90-minute film, which featured interviews with individuals from the case, including some of the victims, former Detective Constable Maggie Oliver and Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal, provided insights into the failings of police and other official bodies to investigate the large-scale sexual abuse, which occurred between 2008 and 2009.

Oliver, who resigned from the Manchester police force after claiming that hundreds of cases of alleged sexual abuse by Muslim grooming gangs were mishandled or ignored, criticized police for failing to tackle the abuse. Appearing on Lorraine, a television show, Oliver said:

“We are 15 years on now and there is not one senior police officer that has been held accountable. Most of them have retired with big pensions. I think it has gone way beyond the racial debate, I see it as a class debate also….

“These girls had no voice, just like the people that they stuck in Grenfell Tower. They are not living in big fancy apartments in the West End of London so those in positions of authority they have got an attitude and an arrogance that they can do what they like. It shouldn’t matter where anybody’s from, a rapist is a rapist.

“What puzzles me is at what point in the life of police officer…at what point in that climb up the slippery pole do they lose sight of why they joined and what is right and what is wrong, and what has happened is wrong and nobody has been brought to account.”

July 3. Haroon Syed, 19, from West London, was sentenced to 16-and-a-half years in prison for plotting to attack an Elton John concert in London on the fifteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Syed admitted to researching potential targets on the internet, including an Elton John concert in Hyde Park and Oxford Street, a busy shopping district. He also used the internet to try obtain weapons to use in a possible attack, and used social media to contact people he believed were supporters of Islamic State. In one message, he wrote: “So after some damage with machine gun then do martyrdom…that’s what im planning to do.”

July 3. Armed police swooped down on a Megabus from London after a “disruptive” man, shouting “praise Allah” and “something’s about to happen,” caused a driver to pull over and evacuate worried passengers. A Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police spokesman said: “The bus stopped on Central Park Drive where a 47-year-old man from Manchester was detained under the Mental Health Act. He will now undergo a mental health assessment.”

July 3. Britain’s domestic intelligence agency, MI5, reportedly has deployed agents to Ireland to monitor jihadists there. A source interviewed by the Irish Star said:

“Ireland is a major area of concern for the British there is no doubt about that. They are here specifically to watch jihadis. They are here because they think we are a weak link in terms of their security. They want to know about potential threats to the UK from extremists living here. The British think our security here is too lax and MI5 are here to try and spot any problems in Dublin before they get to England.”

July 4. The National Health Service (NHS) recorded 5,391 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) during the past year. Almost half of the victims involved women and girls living in London. One-third were women and girls born in Somalia, while 112 cases were UK-born nationals. Although FGM was banned in the UK in 1985, not a single person has been convicted of the crime. Many victims are said to be reluctant to report offenses because it would require them to give evidence against members of their family. This has made it difficult for authorities to secure prosecutable evidence.

July 4. Sally Jones, a former punk rocker who became the leading female recruitment officer for the Islamic State, married a now-deceased jihadist and moved with her son to Raqqa, reportedly wants to return to Britain. In an interview with Sky News, “Aisha,” the wife of a Moroccan jihadist in Syria, said: “She was crying and wants to get back to Britain but ISIS is preventing her because she is now a military wife. She told me she wishes to go to her country.”

July 4. Haleema Butt, the 28-year-old sister of the London Bridge terror attacker Khuram Butt, was fired from her job at Heathrow Airport after an internal investigation. Her husband, Usman Darr, was suspended from his job, also at the airport. Both were security staff. A Heathrow spokesman said: “Heathrow took appropriate action in close cooperation with the authorities in relation to two colleagues employed at the airport.”

July 4. Northern Ireland’s lead prosecutor, Barra McGrory, said he has no regrets about charging Pastor James McConnell for hate speech for making “grossly offensive” remarks during a May 2014 sermon in which he said that Islam is “satanic” and “heathen.” McConnell was acquitted of the charges in January 2016. McGrory said:

“The remarks were sufficiently offensive in my view to bring it over the prosecutorial threshold, as did those who worked on the case here. The fact that the district judge didn’t think that the remarks were over that threshold is not something I’ve any great issue with.

“It’s not OK to offend people, but it’s not a criminal offense to offend people in the context of using language to get across a doctrinal point. The case was taken on the basis that we believed there were points in the sermon where he strayed outside the strict doctrinal debate and used language which we considered to be offensive beyond the doctrinal context.

“The judge in the end decided that it was all within a doctrinal context and only on that basis, the remarks weren’t considered to be grossly offensive. So, it was a very fine judgment.

“There are laws which control and limit free speech in certain contexts. It’s a prosecutor’s nightmare trying to make these finely balanced decisions on whether or not such comments do or do not stray across the line.”

Northern Ireland’s lead prosecutor, Barra McGrory, recently said he has no regrets about charging Pastor James McConnell (pictured above on December 16, 2016) for hate speech for making “grossly offensive” remarks during a May 2014 sermon in which he said that Islam is “satanic” and “heathen.” (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

July 5. A new report — “Foreign Funded Islamist Extremism in the UK” from the Henry Jackson Society — highlighted the need for a public inquiry into the foreign-based funding of Islamist extremism. The report’s conclusions include:

“The foreign funding for Islamist extremism in Britain primarily comes from governments and government-linked foundations based in the Gulf, as well as Iran.

“Foremost among these has been Saudi Arabia, which since the 1960s has sponsored a multimillion dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the West.

“In the UK, this funding has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have apparently, in turn, played host to Islamist extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature. Influence has also been exerted through the training of British Muslim religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, as well as the use of Saudi textbooks in a number of the UK’s independent Islamic schools.

“A number of Britain’s most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology and are apparently linked to Islamist extremism sponsored from overseas, either by having studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programs, or by having been provided with extreme literature and material within the UK itself.

“There have been numerous cases of British individuals who have joined Jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria whose radicalization is thought to link back to foreign funded institutions and preachers.”

July 5. Several of the most dangerous and radicalized extremists in the British prison system were moved into the first of three special “jihadi jail” separation units across England and Wales. The first specialist center is at HMP Frankland near Durham; two other centers, at HMP Full Sutton near York and at HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire, are due to open in the coming months. The three centers combined will hold up to 28 of the most subversive extremist prisoners in the system, far short of the 186 prisoners convicted of terrorist or extremist offenses.

July 7. A 17-year-old boy who grew up in a Christian family and converted to Islam allegedly plotted a “lone wolf” attack on a Justin Bieber concert in Cardiff. Counter-terrorism police said the boy, who was not identified because of his age, was radicalized in less than a week online. The attack was to take place on June 30 as more than 40,000 fans descended on the Principality Stadium for the concert. The boy was arrested during a raid on his rural home hours before the performance.

July 8. Nazim Ali, a director of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), claimed that the victims of the fire at the Grenfell Tower “were murdered” by Zionists who fund the Conservative party. Ali said:

“As we know in Grenfell, many innocents were murdered by Theresa May’s cronies, many of which are supporters of Zionist ideology. Let us not forget that some of the biggest corporations who were supporting the Conservative Party are Zionists. They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell, in those towers in Grenfell, the Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.

“It is the Zionists who give money to the Tory party, to kill people in high rise blocks…. Careful, careful, careful of those rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies, who have got blood on their hands.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “We received an allegation of anti-Semitic comments and it is being investigated by detectives from Westminster. The inquiry continues.”

July 9. Zohair Tomari, 20, was sentenced to 12 years and nine months years in prison for raping a 17-year-old girl and sexually assaulting two other girls, aged 13 and 14. Tomari, who claims to be from Morocco but is believed to be from Syria, raped the 17-year-old after plying her with alcohol. He was granted bail and went on to attack the two younger girls.

July 12. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said that the government would not publish a much-delayed report into the funding of Islamist extremism in Britain. The review was commissioned by former Prime Minister David Cameron in November 2015. Rudd said:

“It gives us the best picture we have ever had of how extremists operating in the UK sustain their activities…. Having taken advice, I have decided against publishing the classified report produced during the review in full. This is because of the volume of personal information it contains and for national security reasons.”

Opposition parties condemned the government for not publishing the report. They said that the decision appeared to be intended to bury any criticism of Saudi Arabia. Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, said that the public “has a right to know if any governments, foreign or domestic organizations or individuals are funding extremism in this country.” She added:

“There is a strong suspicion this report is being suppressed to protect this government’s trade and diplomatic priorities, including in relation to Saudi Arabia. The only way to allay those suspicions is to publish the report in full.”

Caroline Lucas, the Green co-leader, said that Rudd’s “utterly vague statement” was unacceptable:

“The statement gives absolutely no clue as to which countries foreign funding for extremism originates from, leaving the government open to further allegations of refusing to expose the role of Saudi Arabian money in terrorism in the UK.”

The Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, said the decision to not publish the report was “utterly shameful.” He said:

“Instead of supporting the perpetrators of these vile ideologies, the government should be naming and shaming them, including so-called allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar if need be.”

July 12. British Transport Police released a CCTV image of an elderly Muslim man suspected of having sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl on a train between Preston and Blackburn. A police spokesman said: “We do not tolerate any form of unwanted sexual behavior and we are working to identify and trace the offender. The victim was understandably left distressed and shaken by what happened.”

July 14. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Britain’s most senior police officer, said that a “very large number of plots” have been foiled over the last few years. “Some of them were very close, we would say, to an attack, very close.” Pressed on exactly how many attacks have been thwarted, she said that five had been averted in “just the last few weeks.” She added:

“Overall I think it is well into the teens in the last couple of years, where we know people were intent on attacking and that has been stopped. In addition, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of arrests of people who are radicalized, and are either spreading hatred or supporting terrorism, or want to carry out a terrorist attack.”

July 14. Muslim leaders filed a complaint with the organizers of London’s Pride festival after placards allegedly bearing Islamophobic messages were spotted at the event. Banners bearing slogans such as “Allah is gay” and “F*** Islamic homophobia” were carried at the event by members of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB). Maryam Namazie, spokeswoman for CEMB, said the group was protesting the treatment of LGBT people in states under hardline Islamic leadership, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is a capital offense. She added:

“Pride is full of ‘God is gay’ and ‘Jesus had two fathers’ placards as well as those mocking the church and priests and pope, yet hold a sign saying ‘Allah is gay’ — as we did — and the police converge to attempt to remove them for causing offense.”

July 14. Jahed Choudhury, 24, thought to be one of the first British Muslims to be in a same-sex marriage, said that since his wedding, he had received death threats online and abuse on the streets: “The worst messages say, ‘the next time I see you in the streets, I’m going to throw acid in your face.’ Even if I walk down the streets, I have people spitting on me and calling me pig.” He added: “I’ve been brought up Muslim and the Koran mentions you cannot be gay and Muslim. But this is how I have chosen to live my life. I will never get rid of my faith.”

July 15. An investigation revealed that Imran Miah, a 27-year-old ISIS supporter who threatened and mocked non-Muslims on Facebook, has been working as a teaching assistant at several state schools in London. Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terror legislation, said Miah’s online statements warranted a police investigation. Lord Carlile said they may breach the Terrorism Act of 2006, which bans indirect encouragement of terrorism, as well as hate crime laws. “It is alarming that somebody was being employed as a supply teacher, given that this type of internet activity was not compatible with someone being a supply teacher,” Lord Carlile said.

July 16. Aniso Abulkadir, 18, from Harrow, London, claimed that she and her friends were racially assaulted at the Baker Street Tube station. After reporting the incident to the police, Abulkadir shared a photo of the alleged attacker online and described how he attempted to remove her headscarf before hitting her. When the picture went viral, the man in the image identified himself on Twitter and refuted the allegations. Pawel Uczciwek, 28, from London, said he was protecting his girlfriend and attempting to defuse what he called a “racist attack from three random females.” Uczciwek wrote: “The police is fully cooperating with me and will be able to obtain CCTV footage showing the three women attempting to attack my partner because we are in an interracial relationship.”

July 19. Jihadists linked to the Islamic State called on supporters to carry out “lone wolf” attacks on Jewish businesses and places of worship in Britain. The threat, posted on a pro-ISIS social media site called Lone Mujahid, included a list of every synagogue in Britain, as well as a list of Jewish shops and delis across the country.

July 20. Rachida Serroukh, 37, a single mother of three, filed a lawsuit against her daughter’s school, the prestigious Holland Park School, dubbed the “socialist Eton,” after being told she could not wear a face veil on its premises. The school said it is a safety issue to be able to identify all of those on school premises. Serroukh’s lawyer, Attiq Malik, said it was a “straightforward” test case of religious discrimination. “The government constantly talks about British values. To me, those values include diversity and multiculturalism.”

July 21. The British government lacks reliable immigration statistics and has no way of accurately tracking who is entering or leaving the country, according to a new report released by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee:

“The available data on migration are extremely poor. They fail to provide an accurate number of migrants entering or leaving the country or the number of migrants in work. The data, based upon flawed sample surveys, are wholly inadequate for policy making and measuring the success or otherwise of the policies adopted. The margin of error for the latest net migration statistics was 41,000. The Government must prioritize plans to improve the longstanding flaws in the data if it is to take effective control of migration.”

July 22. A freedom of information request revealed that Anjem Choudary, an Islamist who is serving a five-and-a-half year sentence for urging support of the Islamic State, has received more than £140,000 ($180,000) in taxpayer-funded legal aid for his unsuccessful bid to avoid prison. The figure is set to rise as his lawyers continue to file claims. The father-of-five has claimed up to £500,000 ($640,000) in benefits, which he has referred to as “Jihad seeker’s allowance.”

July 22. Zana Hassan, a 29-year-old Iraqi who has been living illegally in Britain for nine years, avoided deportation after he stormed into a Methodist church and threatened churchgoers. “I will kill you and kill all the English,” he shouted. The Crown Prosecution Service deemed the offense a “low-level disorder,” which allowed Hassan to avoid time in jail. Hassan walked free after Home Office officials failed to take the opportunity to seek a deportation order. Ukip MEP Mike Hookem asked, “Do we really need this sort of person in our country?” George Richardson, Conservative county councilor for Barnard Castle East, said, “It seems someone needs to be killed before they get a bigger sentence.”

July 25. Mujahid Arshid, 33, was charged with kidnapping, raping and murdering Celine Dookhran, a 19-year-old Indian Muslim, in a suspected “honor killing” in London. Prosecutor Binita Roscoe told the Wimbledon Magistrates’ Court that the teenager was of Indian Muslim heritage and had started a relationship with an Arab Muslim man.

July 25. An inmate at a prison in Norfolk shouted “this is for Allah” before slashing the throat of a guard. After being moved to another prison, the man attacked a second officer. An official source said that the suspect was not serving a sentence for a terror-related offense, a statement that raised the possibility that he had been radicalized in prison.

July 26. A 15-year-old girl was raped at a railway station in Birmingham. She was then raped again by the driver of a passing car she flagged down to help her. Police described the first attacker as an “Asian” man in his early 20s and of a skinny build. Police said the second man was also “Asian” and in his 20s and of a large build.

July 27. Victoria Wasteney, a Christian NHS worker, lost an appeal in her legal battle which erupted because she shared her faith at work with her Muslim colleague, Enya Nawaz. Wasteney, the former Head of Forensic Occupational Therapy at St. John Howard hospital in East London, was suspended in June 2013 for “gross misconduct” after Nawaz complained that Wasteney had been attempting to convert her to Christianity. Wasteney said she was surprised by the allegations because she thought she and her colleague had become friends over the 18 months they worked together. Wasteney lost the case when she took the trust to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. In October 2015, Wasteney won permission to appeal on grounds of religious freedom. After losing the appeal in April 2016, she decided to challenge the decision, but lost once again.

July 27. An official report revealed that Omar Deghayes, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay who was paid £1 million ($1.3 million) in compensation by the British Government for the time he spent at the detention center, passed some of the money on to teenage jihadists who later died fighting in Syria. Deghayes is alleged to have paid young Muslim boys to attend a gym where children were “vulnerable to radicalization.” The Serious Case Review revealed that police and other authorities were warned about a network of teenage jihadists attending the gym, but that those concerns were ignored.

July 27. Four members of the Rochdale sexual grooming gang received £1million ($1.3 million) in taxpayer-funded legal aid to fight their deportation to Pakistan. Lawyers for Shabir Ahmed, Abdul Aziz, Adil Khan and Abdul Rauf, paedophiles who raped and abused girls as young as 13, are leveraging Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which safeguards the right to family life. David Spencer, of the Center for Crime Prevention think-tank, said:

“These men have been convicted of some truly abhorrent offenses and it beggars belief that they are now able to run up even bigger taxpayer-funded bills making spurious appeals in an effort to extend their stay in the UK.”

July 28. Iman FM, a radio station in Sheffield, was taken off the air by Ofcom, the media regulator, after it broadcast 25 hours of lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki, a former leader of al-Qaeda who was killed in an American drone strike. Ofcom said Iman FM was guilty of “extremely serious breaches” of the broadcasting code by airing material that “was likely to incite or encourage the commission of crime or to lead to disorder.” Iman FM said it “fully accepted” that breaches had taken place but insisted they were due to “recklessness, but not deliberate intent.”

July 28. The government appeared to abandon its two-year-long attempt to ban teachers caught up in the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham, after those in the remaining cases were told that disciplinary action against them has been halted. Fifteen teachers and senior staff were accused of trying to Islamize schools in Birmingham, but letters from the National Council of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) — an arm of the Department for Education — to lawyers for the remaining teachers involved were told that the proceedings have been discontinued. The decision means that only one teacher out of the 15 who faced proceedings by the government has received a classroom ban, while the other 14 have had their cases dismissed, overturned or dropped.

July 30. Mubarek Ali, the ringleader of sexual grooming gang in Telford, was told he would be released from prison just five years into a 22-year sentence. Ali was one of seven men convicted at Worcester Crown Court in 2013 for preying on girls as young as 13. Telford MP Lucy Allan condemned the decision, which could allow Ali back into a community where his victims continue to live. She said:

“Victims and members of the public would have expected a 22-year sentence to mean that the community could have time to heal and victims would be able to get on with their lives. What we see in this case is that the one of the main perpetrators is being released into the community only five years after the trial….

“What is unacceptable is that in this case there was no attempt by the authorities to reach out these young women and prepare them for this wholly unexpected event. Worse still is the prospect that this person may be returned to Telford and naturally this has caused huge anxiety to victims, many people have had to look for Afinil in order to get rid of their anxiety.”

July 31. Amin Mohmed, 24, Mohammed Patel, 20, and Faruq Patel, 19, were sentenced to between 18 and 42 weeks at a young offenders’ institution after rampaging through Liverpool city center attacking strangers because they were white “non-Muslims.” One of the men stopped Gary Bohanna and said, “I’m a Muslim, what are you?” When Bohanna answered, “I’m a Christian,” the attacker shouted, “Why aren’t you a Muslim?” before punching him twice, breaking his glasses and causing a 2-cm cut above his left eye. The group then encountered St. Helens councilor Paul Lynch and his girlfriend. Faruq filmed Mohmed punching Lynch with a “sickening blow” that could be “seen and heard.” The judge said: “References to the fact he was not a Muslim were made and you appeared to justify your actions because of certain beliefs you held.”

Forced to Resign for Calling Out Rape Gangs

August 18, 2017

Forced to Resign for Calling Out Rape Gangs, Clarion ProjectMeira Svirsky, August 17, 2017

Some of the men convicted in the child sex grooming gang in Rotherham

The Rotherham gang as well as other Muslim child sex grooming gangs in the UK that have recently come to light were known to police and social workers. However, for fear of being called racists, authorities took no steps to prevent their horrific abuse of young, white British children.

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“Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”

For making this statement of fact, Sarah Champion, a Labour MP and tireless campaigner for the victims of these gangs, has been forced to resign (at least it would appear forced) from her position as shadow secretary for women and equalities (in the opposition).

Frustrated that years after recommendations were made to endless government commissions that measures haven’t been taken to support victims and prevent such abuse in the future, Champion wrote an article in The Sun to further this cause.

Labour MP Sarah Champion

In the article, Champion went on to say, “There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?”

Most pointedly, Champion made the point, “The irony of all of this is that, by not dealing with the ethnicity of the abusers as a fact, political correctness has actually made the situation about race.

“The perpetrators are criminals and we need to deal with them as such, not shy away from doing the right thing by fearing being called a racist.”

The Rotherham gang as well as other Muslim child sex grooming gangs in the UK that have recently come to light were known to police and social workers. However, for fear of being called racists, authorities took no steps to prevent their horrific abuse of young, white British children.

Other politicians and social commentators have rightly made the same point, namely that the problem must be recognized “for what it is, which is profoundly racist crime.

Those words were spoken by Lord McDonald, a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords and former director of public prosecutions, who added, “Not all sex crime belongs in a particular community, but there is a particular issue about some men in some communities who feel that these young girls are trash who are available for sex.”

In a scathing talk in which he excoriated authorities for not protecting these girls, Muslim activist Majid Nawaz said, “They were men like me from my community and in all but three the victims were white teenage girls.

“That is the truth, and what I’m saying is so uncomfortable that we’ve been ignoring it for years. As a result of ignoring it this problem has been growing and growing to a point where it now has led to racial tensions.”

Nawaz continued, “We haven’t been speaking about it, what did you expect? The alternative to speaking about problems is violence.”

It is a sad commentary on life in our world that it has become so “politically correct,” that our moral compass has become so skewed that government authorities – whose job it is to protect the public – judged that the possibility of being tainted with the charge of racism was more important than preventing children from being drugged and raped.

That a segment of the population engaged in such activity — clearly without a thought of regret toward their victims – is the story that needs to be addressed.

Not the tar and feathering of a politician honest enough to call it out.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: June 2017

July 28, 2017

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: June 2017, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, July 28, 2017

Nazir Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor and one of the most prominent Muslim lawyers in Britain, warned that an “industry” of Islamist groups in the country is undermining the fight against terrorism. He singled out the Islamist-dominated Muslim Council of Britain and also condemned “self-appointed” community leaders whose sole agenda was to present Muslims “as victims and not as those who are potentially becoming radicals.”

Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, charged London Mayor Sadiq Khan with “appeasing jihadists” for authorizing the Al-Quds Day march.

More than 40 foreign jihadists have used human rights laws to remain in Britain, according to an unpublished report delayed by the Home Office.

June 3. Khuram Shazad Butt, a 27-year-old Pakistani-born British citizen, Rachid Redouane, a 30-year-old who claimed to be Libyan and Moroccan and Youssef Zaghba, a 22-year-old Moroccan-Italian, murdered eight people and injured 50 others in a jihadist attack on and around the London Bridge. The three assailants were shot dead by police. It was the third jihadist attack in Britain in as many months.

Floral tributes at London Bridge on June 6, 2017, following the 3 June 2017 terrorist attack. (Image source: Matt Brown/Wikimedia Commons)

June 3. Nazir Afzal, a former chief crown prosecutor and one of the most prominent Muslim lawyers in Britain, warned that an “industry” of Islamist groups in the country is undermining the fight against terrorism by peddling “myths” about the Prevent strategy, the government’s key anti-radicalization policy. He singled out the Islamist-dominated Muslim Council of Britain, and said he was shocked that in the agenda for its annual meeting there was “nothing about radicalisation and nothing about the threat of people going to Syria.” Afzal, who prosecuted the Rochdale sex-grooming gang, also condemned “self-appointed” community leaders whose sole agenda was to present Muslims “as victims and not as those who are potentially becoming radicals.”

June 3. Khalid Al-Mathkour, chairman of Kuwait’s sharia council, and Essam Al-Fulaij, a Kuwaiti government figure known for his anti-Semitic diatribes, are listed as trustees of a UK-registered charity that is building a mosque in Sheffield, according to the Telegraph. They have helped channel almost £500,000 ($650,000) into the project from Kuwait. Another £400,000 ($525,000) has been donated to the charity, the Emaan Trust, by a Qatari organization. The stated aim of the new mosque, which will have a capacity for 500 worshippers, is to “promote and teach Islamic morals and values to new Muslim generations.”

June 4. Prime Minister Theresa May said there was “far too much tolerance of extremism” in Britain and promised to step up the fight against Islamic terrorism after the London Bridge attack. “Enough is enough,” she said. May also claimed the jihadists held to an ideology that was a perversion of true Islam: “It is an ideology that claims our Western values of freedom, democracy and human rights are incompatible with the religion of Islam.”

June 5. Conservative election candidate Gordon Henderson said that Muslims are duty bound to report extremists in their midst:

“The only people who can defeat the Islamic terrorists are the British Muslims in whose midst they find sanctuary. It is time for peace-loving Muslims to start providing information to the police about those within their community that they suspect of plotting attacks. The only other option is to put all suspected terrorists in internment camps, and that is not a route I would like to go down. We tried it with the IRA and all it did was make the prisoners into martyrs.”

June 6. Khuram Butt, one of the London Bridge attackers, was known to British authorities, according to the Telegraph. He had appeared in a Channel 4 documentary about British extremists called “The Jihadis Next Door.” Butt was also filmed at events attended by questionable Islamic preachers, and had tried to go to Syria to become a jihadist there.

June 7. Three “Asian girls” shouting “Allah will get you” slashed a woman near a nursery in Hermon Hill, London. The victim, named as Katie, was walking along the street when she was ambushed from behind. Police said they were not treating the attack as a terrorist incident.

June 10. Conservative peer Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim woman to serve in a British cabinet, said that Britain’s relationship with its Muslim community needs to be reset from scratch:

“When things go wrong with an iPhone or a coffee machine, pressing the restart button is usually a good, safe place to start. Right now, Britain’s relationship with her Muslims is within that frozen, overloaded, splurging episode — we need to press the button….

“Just because you don’t speak English does not mean you’re going to be a terrorist — the majority of terrorists speak good English. Secondly, there’s always a fraction of religious groups that choose to live separate lives and that is not an issue of integration. We have to keep the issue of terrorism and integration separate.”

June 10. Police increased patrols at local mosques in Cambridge after strips of bacon were left on four cars parked at the Omar Faruque Mosque. A 19-year-old man was arrested and charged with religiously aggravated criminal damage.

June 11. Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick said that jihadists do not discriminate between Muslims and non-Muslims in their attacks:

“An attack in London is an attack on all of us. I understand Muslim communities are feeling shattered and there are concerns within the community that it may find itself as a target of hate crimes.

“What I will say to the Muslim communities is that we must all stand up in the face of terrorists. The London Metropolitan Police are here to work with Muslims, to protect them and to work with them to stop crimes. If you are a target, we will work hard to protect you.”

June 13. Mak Chishty, who recently retired as the most senior Muslim police officer in Britain, said it was time for Muslims to stop “skirting around the issues” and have some “very difficult conversations.” He issued a “call to action” to all British Muslims, urging them to launch a social media blitz to let the rest of the country know how strongly they feel about extremism:

“I would like to issue a call for action today for every single Muslim, from a young person all the way through to my mother-in-law who is well in her mid-60s but has got a WhatsApp or a Facebook, to get on there and start to denounce extremism as not theirs.

“All of a sudden, maybe you will find that these extremist voices start to shrink… remove their dominance, starve them of oxygen. Make sure they have got a powerful lobby against them. We can do that now, we can do that today.”

Chishty also said that terrorism and extremism is “hurting” Islam:

“It is the Islamic duty of every Muslim to be loyal to the country in which they live and we are now asking questions to understand how extremism and hatred has taken hold within some elements of our own communities. Muslims must do more to stop such attacks from happening again and we want to know how we can play a greater role in the future.”

June 13. Lugman Aslam, 26, was sentenced to five years in prison for plowing his van into five men in Leicester after an argument during Ramadan. Aslam admitted to dangerous driving and attempting to inflict intentional grievous bodily harm. Recorder Justin Wigoder said:

“You quite deliberately drove your van at that group who were walking along the pavement. I’ve seen it on CCTV and you deliberately mounted the pavement and drove straight at them and right through the middle of them at speed…. I accept it was completely out of character. You’re of very positive good previous character and I’ve received a considerable number of references setting out all the good that is in you. You’re a good family man with a young daughter and I take that very much into account.”

June 14. Shamim Ahmed, a 24-year-old Bangladeshi from Tower Hamlets, East London, was sentenced to six years in prison for trying to join the Islamic State in Syria. During his trial, Ahmed pointed his finger at Judge John Bevan QC and warned him he, Ahmed, would continue to “wage jihad”: “Give me 20 years, I will come out the enemy.”

June 15. New statistics showed that in the year to March 2017, police arrested 304 people for terrorism-related offenses — a 20% increase compared to the previous 12 months. Combined with those held since March, the total arrests in 2017 may top the previous record of 315, set in 2015.

June 18. Hundreds of anti-Israel protesters carrying Hezbollah flags marched through the streets of London to mark Al-Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), an annual event initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, ostensibly to support the Palestinians, but undoubtedly to promote hatred of Jews. At a rally outside the U.S. Embassy after the march, one speaker blamed the fire at London’s Grenfell Tower public housing project on so-called Zionists. “Some of the biggest supporters of the Conservative Party are Zionists,” the speaker ranted. “They are responsible for the murder of the people in Grenfell. The Zionist supporters of the Tory Party.” Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, charged London Mayor Sadiq Khan with “appeasing jihadists” for authorizing the march.

June 19. Darren Osborne, a 47-year-old unemployed father of four, drove a van into a group of worshippers close to the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London. One person was killed and eight others were injured in the attack, which police said was premeditated. Osborne was “self-radicalized into his extremist hatred of Muslims,” according to the Guardian.

June 20. Armed police were deployed to the Neolithic Stonehenge to protect thousands of pagans celebrating the summer solstice from jihadist attacks. David Spofforth of the Pagan Federation said it was “very sad” that armed police were necessary: “I am not saying I am welcoming this, I sadly accept it. But you just have to look at the events such as at Finsbury Park, a peaceful religious gathering where people suffered so much by the actions of one hate-filled individual.”

June 22. A Muslim woman sued her former employers after allegedly being ordered to remove her black headscarf because the garment had “terrorist affiliations.” The estate agent had been working for Harvey Dean in Bury for almost a year when she says managers took issue with her hijab. A complaint filed at the Manchester Employment Tribunal said the woman was told that moving from a back office into public view meant “that it would be in the best interest of the business for her to change the color of her hijab, due to the supposed terrorist affiliation with the color black.” The woman said she felt “singled out” as the only Muslim woman in the office and claimed the company discriminated against her on the basis of both religion and gender.

June 23. Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, the schools regulator, vowed to crack down on Islamic extremism in British schools. She said that school children must be equipped with the “knowledge and resilience” required to combat the violent rhetoric “peddled” by hate preachers who “put hatred in their hearts and poison in their minds.” She added:

“One area where there is room to improve is the active promotion of fundamental British values in our schools. Recent attacks in Westminster, London Bridge, Manchester and Finsbury Park have brought into stark relief the threats that we face.”

June 24. More than 40 foreign jihadists have used human rights laws to remain in Britain, according to an unpublished report delayed by the Home Office. The study, a copy of which was leaked to the Telegraph, describes how lawyers, funded by legal aid, have successfully prevented foreign-born terror suspects from being sent back to their home countries.

June 25. Michael Adebolajo, who together with Michael Adebowale murdered British soldier Lee Rigby outside Woolwich barracks in south-east London in May 2013, is now regarded as the most dangerous prisoner in the British penal system, according to prison sources. A prison officer described him as “violent, unpredictable and a major danger to other prisoners.” He has also radicalized dozens of inmates, including non-Muslim prisoners who are said to have converted to Islam and sworn allegiance to the Islamic State. One prison official said:

“Adebolajo spends most of his waking hours preaching his distorted form of Islam to anyone who will listen. He sees every inmate as a potential Islamic State soldier whether they are Muslims or not. He has a big personality and is very charismatic and some of the more vulnerable prisoners will fall under his spell. He is a very dangerous individual.”

June 27. Muslims launched an online petition to oppose a new veil policy at John Thursby Community College, in Burnley, Lancashire. The school announced plans for a universal-length headscarf that some Muslims said is too short and not sufficiently modest. Previously girls were free to choose any length they pleased. Some feel that the move is aimed at deterring girls from wearing headscarves at all. Local councilor Shah Hussain said: “The whole point is that it is supposed to protect the wearer’s modesty, and that does not happen.” The school’s head teacher David Burton said he may reconsider the policy. “We are sorry there have been suggestions that the school is against headscarves. This is not true. We fully respect the wishes of girls to wear a headscarf.”

June 28. The trial began in London of four jihadists — Naweed Ali, 29, Tahir Aziz, 38, Khobaib Hussain, 25, and Mohibur Rahman, 32 — for allegedly plotting a knife rampage on British soil. The men, who called themselves “The Musketeers,” were accused of sharing “the same radical belief in violent jihad.” Prosecutors said the terror plot involved a samurai sword and a meat cleaver with the word “Kafir” (unbeliever) scratched onto the blade. The four men were arrested after a stash of weapons, ammunition, and a pipe bomb were found in Ali’s car during a counter-terrorism operation in Birmingham.

June 29. Three men were arrested in the Armagh and Coalisland areas of Northern Ireland for displaying anti-Muslim posters and stickers. Police said the material — which included the slogan “Rapefugees Not Welcome” — was likely to stir up “racial hatred.”

June 30. Tarik Chadlioui, a 43-year-old Moroccan cleric living in Birmingham with his wife and eight children, was accused of recruiting jihadists for the Islamic State. Chadlioui, a Salafist, is wanted in several European countries and is believed to be the spiritual leader of an Islamic State cell in Spain. Chadlioui, also known as Tarik Ibn Ali, is said to have formed links with jihadist groups which aim to impose Sharia law in Europe.

Off Topic | The Enduring Lesson of Charlie Gard

July 25, 2017

The Enduring Lesson of Charlie Gard, Front Page MagazineLloyd Billingsley, July 25, 2017

Connie and Chris have been battling a government monopoly, and in this system patients get only the care the government wants to give them. The British health service didn’t want to give Charlie the experimental treatment available in America. More important, the system also blocked Connie and Chris from taking Charlie to America, even at their own expense. He languished in hospital until, as the parents said, “the point of no return.”

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Connie Yates and Chris Gard have decided to end their five-month legal battle to take their son Charlie Gard to the United States for treatment. The baby suffers from a mitochondrial condition and on June 30 British officials ordered Charlie’s life support turned off. The child remained on life support as offers of help poured in from, among many others, Pope Francis and U.S. President Donald Trump.

A judge told Connie Yates and Chris Gard that “no parent could have done more for their child,” but that is not quite right. The parents sought to do everything they could to save Charlie, but the British government monopoly health system prevented them from doing so. 

The parents blamed “a whole lot of wasted time” for the deterioration of Charlie’s muscles revealed in a recent MRI scan. As they told reporters, “Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy” adding, “Our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought.” Their son Charlie, “has been left with his illness to deteriorate, sadly, to the point of no return.”

Charlie Gard was born a healthy baby on August 4, 2016, but at eight months diagnosed with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage. Charlie began to lose weight but in January 2017 Connie Yates found an American doctor willing to offer the trial therapy known as nucleoside.

Connie succeeded in raising enough money to cover Charlie’s travel to America by air ambulance and the cost of the experimental treatment. But then the British legal system handed Charlie a setback.

On April 3, 2017, a High Court judge questioned whether Connie and Chris should be allowed to take Charlie to America for treatment, and whether doctors at the Great Ormond Street Hospital should turn off the baby’s life-support system. On April 11, the court ruled that the doctors were in fact permitted to do so.

The decision devastated parents Connie and Chris, both in their thirties. In late April, more than 110,000 people signed a petition calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to release Charlie for travel to the United States. Charlie remained in hospital and on May 25, three Court of Appeal judges ruled that doctors should end the child’s life-support treatment.

On June 8, three judges of the Supreme Court rejected the parents’ appeal but told doctors to keep Charlie on life support for another day so the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, could consider the child’s case. On June 13, the ECHR ruled that Charlie should be kept on life support until Monday June 19.

On June 27, the European court rejected the parents’ plea to intervene in the case of Charlie Gard.

As the ECHR statement put it, “the decision is final.”

Charlie would be “allowed to die,” and the parents were told that this was in his best interest.  Great Ormond Street Hospital bosses said they would be in no rush to change Charlie’s care and would engage in careful planning and discussion about the child’s fate.

As of this writing Charlie remains on life support. Connie and Chris will “let our son go and be with the angels,” but his story is far from over. Indeed, it brims with lessons for all but the willfully blind.

As the ordeal of Connie and Chris confirms, parents care more for their child than politicians, judges, courts, and hospital bosses. In tragic cases like Charlie’s, the parents need to believe they have exhausted all possibilities to save their child. Despite somber proclamations by British judges, Connie and Chris were not allowed to do so.

Connie and Chris have been battling a government monopoly, and in this system patients get only the care the government wants to give them. The British health service didn’t want to give Charlie the experimental treatment available in America. More important, the system also blocked Connie and Chris from taking Charlie to America, even at their own expense. He languished in hospital until, as the parents said, “the point of no return.”

As Charlie’s case confirms, government monopoly health care can involve a surrender of freedom of movement, the freedom to travel abroad. Once freedom of any kind is lost, it is hard to get it back. So best not to lose it in the first place.

Those working on health reform in the USA can learn a lot from the ordeal of Connie Yates and Chris Gard. The brave parents fought the good fight, but the government prevented them from doing their utmost for their beloved child.  That’s the injustice inherent in the kind of government monopoly system Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders want.

Adoption of that kind of system in America could be a point of no return for the people’s freedom of choice in health care. In cases of infants with rare conditions, it could be a matter of life and death. That is the enduring lesson of Charlie Gard, born on August 4, 2016.