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Showing posts with label Sharia Law. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sharia Law. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More Than Half A Million Christians Ordered to Leave Sudan

From AllAfrica

Sudanese Christians who have barely a month to leave the north
or risk being treated as foreigners are starting to move, but Christian leaders are concerned that the 8 April deadline set by Islamic-majority Sudan is unrealistic.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shari’a Court Consents to Destruction of Churches in Northern Nigeria

Three Protestant churches and a pastor’s home were demolished on May 15 and 19 in Kano state in northern Nigeria after a local Shari’a court consented to their destruction.

“It is unacceptable that churches can still be destroyed on the whim of a few extremists,” said an official of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. “These demolitions violate Nigeria’s constitutional and international legal undertakings to uphold religious freedom and freedom of assembly. In addition, the constitution stipulates that non-Muslims cannot be brought before Shari’a courts unless they have agreed to this in advance and in writing; thus there is no valid basis for these demolitions.”

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom recently named Nigeria a country of particular concern because of “ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom” there.

50% of the nation’s 142.5 million people are Muslim; 25% are Protestant, 15% are Catholic, and 10% retain indigenous beliefs.

Source(s): these links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Geert Wilders: "If Something is True, How Can It Be Illegal?"

Geert Wilders, the great Dutch freedom fighter, legislator, and opponent of the Islamization of Europe, has been put on trial in Amsterdam by leftist, European ideologues for standing bravely and heroically against the Islamization of his country and, indeed, that of all the West.

Wilders has always made clear that he has no objection to Muslims, but rather to a radical Islamist ideology that advocates violence, intimidates all opposition, and seeks to impose Sharia Law on Western nations.

The political show trial to which he is being subjected by suicidal, European socialists is only beginning, but Wilders has given an eloquent and historic opening speech reminding his countrymen that:
"of all our attainments, freedom is the most precious and most vulnerable. It is what people have dedicated their lives to and what people have given their lives for. Our freedom in this country is the fruit of centuries."
Invoking Thomas Jefferson, Wilders speech is a clarion call for the remnants of Christian civilization to wake up before it is too late. The barbarians are inside the walls.

Hat Tip to Gates of Vienna for the following video and their preeminent reporting on this issue.

Friday, March 6, 2009

UN May Ban Criticism of Islam, Making It a Criminal Offense in the U.S.

The response of the United States government to this proposal should finally awaken Americans to their act of national suicide last November. Will the Obama Administration surrender your First Amendment free speech rights to the UN?

Friday, January 16, 2009

It's an Injustice to NOT Marry Girls Aged 10, Says Saudi Cleric

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, the Kingdom's grand mufti, prays during the funeral of a Saudi woman and her daughter last February

From the Daily Mail

Ten-year-old girls are ready for marriage, according to Saudi Arabia's most senior cleric.

Sheikh Abdul-Aziz Al Sheikh, the country's grand mufti, told Al Hayat newspaper that those saying ten or 12-year-old girls are too young to marry are being 'unfair' to them.

Read the rest of this entry >>

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Lawsuit Filed Against Treasury Dept: Stop AIG Bailout Financing Terrorism

From The Thomas More Law Center

A federal lawsuit was filed this morning against U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. and the Federal Reserve Board to stop all bailout funds from going to American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”). According to the lawsuit, the U.S. government, through its ownership of AIG, is not only violating the Constitution, but also promoting and financing the destruction of America using American tax dollars.

The basis of the lawsuit is that AIG intentionally promotes Shariah-compliant businesses and insurance products, which by necessity must comply with the 1200 year old body of Islamic canon law based on the Quran, which demands the conversion, subjugation, or destruction of the infidel West, including the United States. To help achieve these objectives and with the aid of federal tax dollars, AIG employs a three-person Shariah Advisory Board, with members from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Pakistan. According to AIG, the role of its Shariah authority “is to review operations, supervise its development of Islamic products, and determine Shariah compliance of these products and investments.”

Read the rest of this entry >>

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Are Losing Europe to Islam

By Diana West

With Wall Street convulsing, and the White House race intensifying, the question “Who lost Europe” is on no one’s lips, let alone minds. Indeed, the question begs another: “Is Europe lost?”

The answer to the second question is, “No, not yet.” And losing Europe, I would add, is by no means inevitable. But that doesn’t mean the continent isn’t currently hell-bent to accommodate the dictates of Islamic law, bit by increasingly larger bit. Such a course of accommodation, barring reversal, will only hasten Bernard Lewis’ famous prediction that Europe will be Islamic by century’s end.

And what do I mean by “accommodation”? Well, to take one tiny example, one snowflake in a blizzard of such examples, there are schools in Belgium that not only serve halal food to Muslim and non-Muslim alike (old news), but, according to a recent French magazine report, no longer teach authors deemed offensive to Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot; the same is increasingly true of Darwin. (Don’t even ask about the Holocaust.)

For a more substantial, indeed, keystone example of accommodation, we can look to England, where, it pains me to write, Sharia courts are now officially part of the British legal system. According to press reports this week, the British government has quietly, cravenly elevated five Sharia courts to the level of tribunal hearings, thus making their rulings legally binding.

It may be difficult to quantify the impact of a Voltaire vacuum on the continent, but we can instantly see the inequities of British Sharia (I can’t believe I’m writing that phrase). Among the first official verdicts were those upholding the Islamic belief in male supremacy. These included an inheritance decision in which male heirs received twice as much as female; and several cases of domestic violence in which husbands were acquitted and wives’ charges were dropped.

In a decidedly minuscule minority, I say we ignore the spread of Islamic law across Europe, from the schoolroom to the courtroom, at our peril, particularly given that in so doing, we also ignore the vital political parties that have arisen in reaction to this threat to Western civilization. Why at our peril? Because the same type of liberty-shrinking, Sharia-driven accommodation is happening here.

Is advocating freedom of speech “extreme” or “fascist”? Is opposing Islam’s law, which knows no race, “racist”? Is supporting Israel (which these parties do far more than other European parties) “Nazi”? The outrageously empty epithets of the Islamo-socialist left seem calculated to stop thought cold and trigger a massive rejection reflex. In this way, resistance becomes anathema, and Islamic law, unchecked, spreads across Europe.

Does that sound “Islamophobic”? You bet. How can anyone who values freedom of conscience, equality before the law and other such Western jewels not have a healthy fear of Islamic law, which values none of these things? Incredibly, this is an emotion that is supposed to be suppressed — and, in Europe, on pain of prosecution. Indeed, because Filip Dewinter admitted to such “Islamophobia” in an interview, his party, the Vlaams Belang, has been taken to court in Belgium on charges of racism, and, if convicted, will be effectively shut down through defunding by the government.

That hasn’t stopped Dewinter, who, in accepting an award at a memorial event dedicated to Oriana Fallaci in Florence, last week, said: “Islamophobia is not merely a phenomenon of unparalleled fear, but it is the duty of every one who wants to safeguard Europe’s future.”

Of course, even as Dewinter admits to fearing the Islamization of Europe, he and his colleagues act with exceptional political — and physical — bravery in rallying voters against it. This coming weekend, he joins several other politicians on the Sharia-fighting right in Europe — among them two other men I interviewed, Mario Borghezio of Lega Nord, which is part of Italy’s ruling coalition, and Heinz-Christian Strache of Austria’s Freedom Party, which is expected to become part of Austria’s ruling coalition after elections this month — in Cologne, Germany. In that ancient cathedral city, where the city council recently approved the construction of a long-controversial mega-mosque, these men will address a rally against European Islamization. (Contrary to initial reports, Jean-Marie Le Pen will not be at the demonstration.) The Sharia-fighters expect 1,500 demonstrators. Police expect 40,000 counter-demonstrators.

These are frightening odds — a metaphor, perhaps, for Europe’s chances of staving off Islamic law. Who lost Europe? If it does happen, we certainly won’t be able to say we weren’t warned.

Diana West is a columnist for The Washington Times. She can be contacted via

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sharia Courts in Britain Now Legally Binding

From The Brussels Journal
By A. Millar

Before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, few us knew anything about Islam, and no one had heard of sharia law. A couple of years ago even, it seemed unimaginable that Britain would adopt Islamic law.

We have sunk further and quicker than we thought possible. Today we learned that sharia courts (which have operated illegally in Britain until now) are being re-classed as tribunal hearings, making their judgments legally binding. According to the Daily Express, “new powers have been given to tribunals in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.” According to the Daily Mail, this “[…] new network of courts […] agree[s] to be bound by traditional sharia law, and under the 1996 Arbitration Act the court's decisions can then be enforced by the county courts or the High Court.”

It is almost unbelievable that this should occur in a modern, democratic, Western country, and, moreover, under a government that claims to be liberal, and to care about the right of women and homosexuals among others. But, tracing the actions of the pro-Islamic Labour Party, and of modern liberalism more generally, it should have been predictable. Modern liberalism is not a force for human rights and equality (though it still uses these terms where they can be of use in breaking down British tradition); it is a selfish urge for freedom for one’s own self – others be damned. Multiculturalism frees the liberal from the demands of ‘culture.’ Mass immigration frees him from the need to know his history. Invoking the Inquisition of three hundred years ago frees him from having to confront the reality of Islamic fundamentalism. The establishment of sharia law no doubt frees him from holding any position whatsoever.

I have pointed out before, that the Labour government has colluded with extremist Muslims, even employing a Holocaust denier as an advisor on Muslim affairs. Ken Livingstone, the former Left-wing Mayor of London, has also openly embraced Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a man who believes that wives can be beaten into submission, that homosexuals should be executed, and pregnant Israeli women should be murdered. The UK’s Left-wing Respect Coalition Party asserts that opposition to radical Islam is “the new racism,” and this dangerous sentiment is now received wisdom among those closer to the center of the political spectrum. But Islam is neither a race nor ethnicity, but a religion, and one that has Asian, Black, and White followers. A 2006 UK government report entitled ‘Young Muslims and Extremism,’ notes that a significant number of White Britons were being drawn into Islamic terrorism, and we have seen a few example of White Muslim jihadis since then.

The sharia courts operating in Britain, will hear and pass legally binding judgment on cases involving divorce, financial disputes, and even domestic violence. But, it will not end there. According to the Daily Mail, sharia court officials have said, that they hope, “[…] to take over growing numbers of 'smaller' criminal cases in future,” and extremist clerics have already asserted their aims to establish sharia law for everyone in Britain. Only yesterday, the Sun newspaper showed a video of radical clerics announcing plans to take over Britain:
It may be by pure conversion that Britain will become an Islamic state. We may never need to conquer it from the outside.

This, among other similar pronouncements, was made at a rally billed as a debate on whether the West had “learned the lessons” of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Apparently, we have not.

Sharia law regards women as inferior to men, and non-Muslims as inferior to Muslims, and it demands the execution of homosexuals. Sharia courts in Britain have already tried cases in domestic violence, and have issued no punishments beyond requiring the abuser get mentoring from Muslim elders and to attend anger management classes. In my opinion, this is an entirely unacceptable judgment for those who inflict violence on women. According to the Daily Mail, again:

In one recent inheritance dispute in Nuneaton, a Muslim man's estate was spit was between three daughters and two sons with each son receiving twice as much as each daughter – in keeping with sharia law.

The establishment of sharia law in Britain, even on a minor scale, not only undermines British law and culture of equality ‘under the law,’ with cases judged by a jury of one’s peers, but is implicitly menacing to people of all non-Muslim religions, atheists, conservatives, women, homosexuals, and people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Conservatives and Christians have criticized the so-called “gay lifestyle,” and liberals have always furiously denounced those conservatives and Christians for saying this. But liberals are those who have remained utterly silent when extremist Muslim clerics have called for the execution of homosexuals or the beating of women. The liberal establishment generally, and the Labour government in particular, has betrayed their professed belief in human rights and equality, and are ushering in extremism and intolerance. If their proposed new Bill of Rights for the UK goes ahead as planned, extremist Muslims may have yet another advantage, as it is proposed that religious minorities will be given additional rights, thus possibly reinforcing sharia.

Whatever their difference, the people of Britain must form a broad coalition to oppose such extremism. The homosexual man or woman, the Hindu, Sikh, and atheist, have as much to lose as the White British Christian.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Schism over Shari'a in the Church of England

From American Thinker
David J. Rusin

The debate over the trajectory of the Western sociopolitical system and its strained relations with Islam is the most pivotal of our time, as approaches decided upon today will impact billions not yet born. Two prelates in the ever more fractious Church of England provide a microcosm of this discourse.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali have emerged as central combatants in the dispute between two fundamentally opposed models of social organization: multiculturalism and universalism. The former bestows equal standing upon different cultures in the public square. The latter bestows equal standing upon individuals who wield a common set of rights and responsibilities. Which system prevails will ultimately determine the level of danger that homegrown Islamists pose to Britain, Europe, and the broader West.

Nazir-Ali believes that Britain's campaign to reconstitute itself as a multicultural society has failed, and he explained why in a January 6 op-ed. By emphasizing differences over common values, his country has promoted alienation among Muslims, many of whom are "living as separate communities, continuing to communicate in their own languages, and having minimum need for building healthy relationships with the majority." Since segregation breeds extremism, Islamist-dominated "no-go areas" now dot the map.

Indeed, as Britain increasingly accommodates the strictures of Islamic law in both welfare and finance, the radicalization of its Muslims continues apace. According to a 2006 Channel 4 survey, nearly one-quarter see the 7/7 London bombings as justifiable. A 2007 Policy Exchange poll found that 40% of Muslims under 24 prefer to be governed by Shari'a, while a shocking 36% believe that apostates from Islam should be "punished by death." Extremist views are far more common among younger Muslims, portending trouble on the horizon.

The death threats that followed Nazir-Ali's essay only bolstered his thesis. "The irony is that I had similar threats when I was a bishop in Pakistan," he noted, "but I never thought I would have them here." The rejection of reason is particularly disturbing to this learned man: "If you disagree, that must be met by counterarguments, not by trying to silence people. It was a threat not just to me, but to my family. ... It gave me sleepless nights."

Rowan Williams was likewise losing sleep -- over the "damage" done by Nazir-Ali's frank assessment of multicultural pieties. Speaking to the BBC on February 7, he ignited a firestorm of his own by suggesting that the official acceptance of some facets of Shari'a not only "seems unavoidable," but could actually improve social cohesion. To Williams, the idea that "there's one law for everybody and that's all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts -- I think that's a bit of a danger."

In one sentence, Britain's most influential cleric effectively discarded the primary achievement of Western civilization: a system in which all live as equals before a single standard of law. The logical consequences of his worldview were underscored by Melanie Phillips: "If there is no one law, there is no one national identity and therefore no society but instead a set of warring fiefdoms with their own separate jurisdictions."

Williams and Nazir-Ali also illustrate how one's preferred method of social organization -- multiculturalism or universalism -- frequently boils down to whether one acknowledges the righteousness of the Western enterprise. Preoccupation with the real and imagined crimes of the West can serve as a gateway to Islamist apologetics. And the archbishop is Exhibit A.

Regarding the free market, Williams sees only suffering: "Every transaction in the developed economies of the West can be interpreted as an act of aggression against the economic losers in the worldwide game." And America's role on the international stage is, of course, the height of iniquity. In contrast, he often excuses horrors committed in the name of Islam. While condemning terrorism, he has suggested that terrorists can "have serious moral goals." He also laments the challenges faced by Middle Eastern Christians, but portrays them as victims of Western policies rather than of the Islamists threatening their lives.

Unlike Rowan Williams, Michael Nazir-Ali witnessed the realities of Shari'a law and radical Islam firsthand as a young Pakistani. These experiences eventually led him to Britain's shores -- and to an admiration for the freedoms nurtured in the West. Like Magdi Allam, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, Salman Rushdie, and Ibn Warraq, the future bishop escaped the stifling oppression of Shari'a to become an outspoken champion of Western values.

Shari'a "would be in tension with the English legal tradition on questions like monogamy, provisions for divorce, the rights of women, custody of children, laws of inheritance and of evidence," Nazir-Ali said in response to Williams' BBC interview. "This is not to mention the relation of freedom of belief and of expression to provisions for blasphemy and apostasy." His statement reveals a keen understanding of the two groups that suffer an inferior status under Shari'a: women and non-Muslims.

Not satisfied with abstract musings, Nazir-Ali applies this knowledge to contemporary problems. In March he quizzed a Home Office minister on whether women threatened by forced marriages are being adequately protected, and last year he urged Muslim leaders to condemn violence against apostates. Williams, in contrast, has said little about either issue. The bishop of Rochester has also criticized amplification of the call to prayer, demanded that Britain carefully scrutinize foreign imams, and spoken out against face-covering veils -- even as Williams insists that an attempt to limit them would be "politically dangerous."

Nazir-Ali contends that the Western ethos did not arise by chance, but proceeded from "the Bible's teaching that we have equal dignity and freedom because we are all made in God's image." Islamist encroachments are therefore symptoms of a more fundamental problem. "The real danger to Britain today is the spiritual and moral vacuum that has occurred for the last 40 or 50 years. When you have such a vacuum something will fill it," he recently warned. "Do the British people really want to lose that rooting in the Christian faith that has given them everything they cherish -- art, literature, architecture, institutions, the monarchy, their value system, their laws?"

Only time will tell.

Historians may one day look back on these two prelates and the church they serve -- a body faced with plummeting attendance and approaching disestablishment -- as symbols of the early twenty-first-century discourse over the future of the West. For now, Michael Nazir-Ali and Rowan Williams illuminate the diverging paths before us: one paved with an ardent defense of Western liberties, the other with a nihilism that leads inexorably to dhimmitude.

David J. Rusin is a research associate at Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Pennsylvania. Please feel free to contact him at

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

“Sharia Creep” Around the World


By Kathy Shaidle

In the blockbuster action movie Independence Day, alien spacecraft hover simultaneously above strategic spots around the globe, the better to maximize chaos and destruction when they finally attack all at once.

A more mundane version of that scenario played itself out in real life this week, when three new stories appeared within 24 hours, all documenting a worldwide phenomenon that has come to be known as “sharia creep.”

In Australia, Muslim students (mostly Saudi citizens) asked Melbourne universities to adjust class times to fit in with their daily prayers. They also requested female-only recreational areas on campus.

One institution rejected their demands outright. "That would seriously inconvenience other people at the college and it is not institutionally viable," La Trobe University’s Martin Van Run told The Australian. "We are a secular institution ... and we need to have a structured timetable."

In a surprise reaction, the Saudi Government unveiled a plan to curb radicalization among its students in Australia by ensuring they make up only one percent of the student body at any given campus.

The idea is to prevent radical students from reaching critical mass, and thereby encouraging all Saudi-born students to mingle with non-Muslims.

“The move is a marked turnaround from past initiatives by the Saudi Government,” reported The Australian, “including allegedly bankrolling hard line Muslim clerics, such as Canberra-based Mohammed Swaiti who openly praised jihadists; and pumping an estimated $120 million into the local Islamic community since the 1970s to influence its ideological bent.”

Meanwhile, on February 26, local officials in Zwolle, Holland decided to lift a ban on Muslim women wearing so-called “burkinis” in public swimming pools. The garment, also known as a hijood, leaves only the wearer’s face, hands and feet exposed.

But the next day, a different municipality pledged to retain the burkini ban, because the garment doesn’t meet regulations and “might scare off” other swimmers. However, the same Hanzebad public pool has already offered female Muslim swimmers separate hours for several years.

The Dutch TV newsmagazine Netwerk sent a reporter wearing a burkini to various public pools. According to one report, “the fiercest reaction shown was by a Muslim man, who said the burkini was an example of oppression of women and tolerating it an example of the influence that orthodox Islam is gaining in the Netherlands.”

Closer to home, Harvard University announced new women-only access times at the student gym, to “accommodate religious customs that make it difficult for some students to work out in the presence of men.”

This decision came one month after men were banned from the athletic center during certain times, following successful petitions from the Harvard Islamic Society as well as the Women’s Center.

Harvard Islamic Society's Islamic Knowledge Committee officer Ola Aljawhary said she does not consider the women-only gym hours discriminatory against male students or a “case of minority rights trumping majority preference.”

"We live together in one community, it only makes sense for everyone to compromise slightly in order for everyone to live happily," she said.

As one blogger observed, “I also like how minorities have ‘rights’ while the majority has a ‘preference.’ And here I was thinking we all had exactly the same rights. How silly of me.”

News stories like these have multiplied exponentially during the past few years. Hardly a day goes by without similar reports, such as Muslim nurses in the UK refusing to roll up their sleeves to scrub up before surgery, claiming that sharia modesty rules trump concerns about contamination.

“It’s all part of the campaign of soft jihad,” wrote Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion. “Traditional jihad is waged with scimitars and their contemporary equivalents, e.g., stolen Boeing 767s, which make handy instruments of mass homicide. Soft jihad is a quieter affair: it uses and abuses the language and the principles of democratic liberalism not to secure the institutions and attitudes that make freedom possible but, on the contrary, to undermine that freedom and pave the way for self-righteous, theocratic intolerance.”

Western countries do not always go along with the plan, however. Witness the public outcry back in 2003, when some Muslims in the province of Ontario, Canada demanded they be allowed to set up sharia courts, ostensibly to arbitrate domestic disputes in the manner of pre-existing Catholic and Jewish tribunals.

Public protests in Canada, as well as abroad, led Premier Dalton McGuinty, who’d initially voiced tentative support for the new courts, to rule against the move. Unfortunately, that meant that those long established Catholic and Jewish tribunals throughout the province had to be shut down too, in the interest of “equality.”

Author and expert on radical Islam Robert Spencer has been sounding the alarm about “sharia creep” for years at his website DhimmiWatch. In an exclusive interview with, Spencer reflected on whether or not his efforts to warn the public were paying off:

I think we may be getting through to a very small number of people, but Muslim Brotherhood front organizations in the U.S. are still making tremendous headway by portraying these Sharia-creep initiatives as simple matters of civil rights, and playing on fears among public officials, and the public at large, of being seen as racist and bigoted.

It is getting worse, because there is a concerted effort by the MSA's on various campuses and other groups to push Muslim accommodation issues aggressively, but this effort is relatively new. We didn't see it on this scale ten or even five years ago. I think it is a natural outgrowth of the post-9/11 anxiety on the part of government and media not to appear ‘Islamophobic.’ As long as that continues to be a matter for concern, there will be continued accommodation of Muslim practices and Islamic distinctiveness, which only aids and abets the Islamic supremacist agenda.

At the same time, Spencer sees “an increasingly discussion of the creeping Sharia/stealth jihad issue by an increasing number of writers.” Writers like Daniel Pipes and Diana West have devoted recent columns to the domestic front on the War on Terror. But despite the work they and others do, the “level of awareness right now is so abysmal,” continued Robert Spencer, “that I think the main thing people can do is try to call attention, via letters to the editor, contacts to their elected officials, the blogsophere, etc., to the explicit campaign being undertaken here. The idea would be to awaken as many people as possible to what is going on here -- who the groups are that are pursuing this agenda, and what the agenda really is, behind all the talk of ‘hate speech’ and accommodation of cultural practices in the name of multiculturalism and diversity.”

And that agenda seems to be everywhere – from the big issues right down to British fish and chips. When it was revealed in late February that a popular British snack food contained traces of alcohol, a Muslim Council of Britain spokesman declared, “Certainly we would find it very offensive to have eaten food with alcohol.”

In turn, Richard Kimball voiced “a modest proposal, which I offer to British Food and Beverage industry free and for nothing: start putting a bit of alcohol in everything edible or potable.”

“It’s only a start, Kimball continued, “but from a tiny acorn the mighty oak does grow.”

A blogger since 2000, Kathy Shaidle runs Her new e-book Acoustic Ladyland has been called a "must read" by Mark Steyn.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Archbishop Vindicated. British Government Prepared to Say Yes to Sharia Law

From The Brussells Journal

Britain is to become the first Western nation to issue bonds approved by Muslim clerics in line with sharia law, which bans conventional loans involving interest payments as "sinful". The scheme would mark one of the most significant economic advances of sharia law in the non-Muslim world.

It will lead to the ownership of Government buildings and other assets currently belonging to British taxpayers being switched wholesale to wealthy Middle-Eastern businessmen and banks. The Government sees sharia-compliant bonds as a way of tapping Middle-East money and building bridges with the Muslim community.

But critics say the scheme would waste money and could undermine Britain's financial and legal systems. […] Other Western nations have been reluctant to issue Islamic bonds. In the United States the bonds are banned partly as a result of claims that the money could be linked to terrorism. […]

However, The Mail on Sunday has established that Chancellor Alistair Darling is ready to give the go-ahead to sharia-compliant bonds – known as "sukuk", an early Arabic form of cheque. Treasury officials have been working behind the scenes for months on the plan. […] Treasury officials say the aim is to attract big investors as well as making it easier for British Muslims to invest in National Savings products at banks and post offices. The Government has already backed Islamic car loans and mortgages.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Christian Leaders Should Not Advocate Sharia Law - Moscow Patriarchate

Geneva, February 14, Interfax - The values of other religions, just as secular ones, should not be advocated by the heads of Christian Churches, said Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, who represents the Russian Orthodox Church at European international organizations.

"Our role is not to protect Sharia law, to glorify an alternative style of behavior or to preach secular values. Our sacred mission is to announce what Christ announced, to teach what his disciples taught," Bishop Hilarion said at the opening of a session of the World Council of Churches (WCC)'s Central Committee in Geneva.

He was commenting on a recent statement by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams that it was inevitable that several aspects of Sharia law will have to be included in British law. His speech caused a public uproar in the UK.

"Many Christians around the world are looking up to Christian leaders with hope that they will defend Christianity against all the challenges it faces," Bishop Hilarion said.

He also criticized ‘liberal’ and ‘politically correct’ Christianity which Protestant and Anglican communities started promoting several dozens years ago. The Russian Church’s representative said that the gap between ‘traditional’ and ‘liberal’ Christianity grows so dramatically that today it's impossible to speak about one moral system preached by all Christians.

‘Politically correct Christianity will die. We have already been watching the process of liberal Christianity’s gradual decline as newly introduced moral norms lead to splits, discrepancies and confusion in several Christian communities,’ the bishop said.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Archbishop Faces Fresh Pressure Over Queen’s ‘worry’ at Sharia Speech

The Times

The Archbishop of Canterbury faces renewed pressure today after the Queen was reported to be concerned about his comments on the use of Islamic law in Britain.

The Queen was said to be worried about the continuing controversy surrounding Dr Rowan Williams’ belief that it was “unavoidable” that aspects of Sharia would be incorporated into the English legal system.

The Times has learnt that the Prince of Wales has already distanced himself from the Archbishop’s speech last week, fearing that his comments have damaged multi-faith relations.

According to The Daily Telegraph today, the Queen is also distressed over the controversy which she fears threatens to undermine the authority of the Archbishop and damage the Church of England, which already faces schism over homosexual clergy.

A royal source told the newspaper: “I have no idea what her view is on what the Archbishop said about Sharia. But the Queen is worried, coming at such a difficult time in the Church’s history, that the fallout may sap the authority of the Church.”

The Queen, as Supreme Governor of the Church of England, is the only person with the power to dismiss the Archbishop of Canterbury, but she would not act unless instructed to by the Prime Minister.

However, Dr Williams’ position would become untenable if it became known that he had lost the monarch’s confidence.

The Prince of Wales, a champion of good relations with Islam, has told friends he is concerned that the Archbishop’s speech is in danger of being taken out of context and distilled into scaremongering headlines.

The Prince fears that the misinterpretation of the Archbishop’s comments that Sharia was inevitable in Britain could harm relations with Islam and the Islamic world.

The Archbishop admitted on Monday that his intervention on the issue had been “clumsy" but refused to back down. He apologised to the Church of England for any “misleading choice of words” but made clear that he stood by his right to tackle such issues.

The Queen’s affection for the Commonwealth is well known and many Commonwealth countries with large Muslim populations, such as Nigeria, are incredulous at the Archbishop’s apparent appeasement of Islam.

The Queen is reported to have intervened previously in Anglican affairs over the appointment of an openly homosexual priest as the Bishop of Reading in 2003. She is said to have twice raised the issue with Tony Blair, then the Prime Minister.

The Queen has become increasingly interested in multi-faith issues. She used her last Christmas speech to call for all religions to work together to bridge the divide between young and old. The broadcast also featured unprecedented scenes from a mosque, a Hindu temple and a Jewish reception.

The content was seen as moving her closer to the Prince of Wales’s strongly held view that the monarch should be the “defender of faiths”.

The Queen emphasised that it was easy to focus on the differences between religions rather than what they have in common. “The wisdom and experience of the great religions point to the need to nurture and guide the young, and to encourage respect for the elderly,” she said.

Buckingham Palace refused last night to confirm or deny that the Queen had expressed concerns about the Archbishop’s views. A spokes-woman said: “I have never heard a view expressed by the Queen at all. We are not confirming or making any comment on this story.”

Lambeth Palace and the Church of England also declined to comment.

The Prince of Wales, who will take the title Defender of the Faith when he becomes king, has said previously that he wished to be seen rather as a defender of faiths. However, his wish for a multi-faith coronation was dismissed by the Church of England which asserted the importance of a Christian-only service designed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

A history of conflict

—— Thomas à Becket and Henry II: when Henry reasserted his ancestral rights over the Church, Becket refused to comply. Four knights murdered Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170

—— Cardinal Wolsey and Henry VIII: the Cardinal fell from grace when he was unable to persuade the Pope that Henry should be granted a divorce from Catherine of Aragon

—— Thomas Cranmer, who compiled the first English Book of Common Prayer, was the first Protestant Archbishop. Queen Mary had him burnt at the stake for heresy and treason in 1556

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Real Clear Politics

The United Kingdom, from common language and shared heritage, offers us our best window into what is happening in Europe. This is especially so when we try to come to grips -- if we have the courage to do so -- with the historically sudden irruption, and rapid spread, of Islam across Europe.

There are parallel developments in all the nations on the Continent: high immigration rates from Islamic countries, comparatively high birth rates among that immigrant population, and the radicalization of their young in Wahabi mosques financed by the oil wealth of Arabia. But for many English-speaking Canadians, it is the British experience that brings the phenomenon home.

The demographic issue is at the centre of much controversy. There can be little dispute over the statistical facts, which are quite dramatic, and as exhilarating from an Islamist point of view, as they are ominous for those who fear the loss of everything associated with western civilization. For, owing to the prior triumph of the leftist "multicultural" ideology, which holds that one "culture" is as good as another, and therefore it is wrong to preserve our own way of life, there is considerable opposition to discussing these facts.

We have seen this in Canada, where journalists Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant have been hauled before "human rights tribunals" -- kangaroo courts in which defendants are stripped of all the traditional protections of court law, and where judgments may be passed against them by people with no legal qualifications on the basis of whim and hearsay.

Mr. Steyn, in particular, stands accused of having openly discussed demographic questions. Mr. Levant stands accused of having published materials the mainstream media had been cowed into suppressing by the fear of Islamist violence.

In both cases, the journalists are being prosecuted by Muslims who advocate the imposition of Shariah law, but are using an apparatus that was designed by the Left for the persecution of those expressing right-wing views.

The British system works differently, and the media in Britain remain more robust than the media in Canada, and willing to report things that would be studiously ignored in a Canadian newsroom. On the other hand, by sheer force of numbers, and the intimidation value of several Islamist atrocities on London's streets, the "fear factor" in Britain is much higher, and the Labour government has proved much more responsive to Islamist demands.

The chief, and most consistent Islamist demand, is for the imposition of Shariah law, at least for Muslims, but ideally by the whole state. In fact, many Shariah courts are already operating informally in Britain, dealing mostly with routine civil questions of marriage, divorce, inheritance, and financial disputes, but sometimes with crime. For instance, a Shariah court in the London district of Woolwich was allowed recently -- apparently with the co-operation of police -- to pass judgment on unnamed Somali youths in a knifing incident. (The assailants were released in return for an apology to their victim.)

In various other ways, Shariah is being recognized, semi-formally. For instance, although bigamy remains nominally a crime in Britain, the Labour government has approved new social provisions by which extra welfare payments, council housing privileges, and tax benefits may be claimed by polygamous households, and the cash benefits to which the extra wives are now entitled may be paid directly into the account of their husband.

At a higher level, the (Anglican) Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, publicly called this week for the recognition of "some form of" Shariah law for Muslims in Britain, and said it should be given equal status with parliamentary law. While Archbishop Williams has a long history of muddled pronouncements, and is widely observed to be emotionally unstable, the strength of his office is now engaged on the Islamist side.

Muslim groups such as the Ramadhan Foundation responded luke-warmly, welcoming the suggestion but criticizing the archbishop for having failed to punish his Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, who is under police protection after recently suggesting that various Muslim districts in Britain had become "no-go areas" for people who are not Muslim. (The Anglican Archbishop of York is also under fire, for making remarks critical of radical Islam.)

The saddest part of this, is that so many "moderate" Muslims emigrated to Britain (as to Canada) expressly to escape from societies in which Shariah law is normative. And what they are learning now, is that, thanks to the triumph of multiculturalism in the West, "you can run but you can't hide."