Monday, September 21, 2009

"But the things which come out of the mouth come from the heart"

In a New Statesman article over the summer Mehdi Hasan (Senior Political Editor) firmly rebuts any accusations of his being an Islamist or Islamic extremist, even though he was never accused of being such.

Touchy people, these New Statesman journalists.

Mr Hasan had made a speech at the The Islamic Unity Society, in which he implied it was correct to call “The kaffar, the disbelievers, the atheists who remain deaf and stubborn to the teachings of Islam, …. a people of no intelligence, … like ignorant cattle …”

Harry’s Place took him to task over this, which seemed a reasonable thing to do as he is a senior editor of a national magazine seeking to inform and influence its readership. One was therefore perfectly entitled to ask why he used those phrases and what he understood by them. A veritable blog war ensued between Harry’s Place and various supporters of Mr Hasan.

His supporters accused Harry’s Place of taking the words out of context; it was really the whole speech that he should be judged by.

So, what of the speech?

The greater part of it is an exhortation for Muslims to seek knowledge, especially from non-Muslims. Mr Hasan quotes instances of how Islam and Islamic teaching in the past have been a strong force for education and literacy. He explains how the Qur’an is full of encouragement for individuals to expand their knowledge even from non-Muslims, even from as far away as China. In fact, ‘knowledge’ is what Islam itself is really all about.

The offending words emanated from the Mr Hasan’s mouth and suited his rhetoric perfectly. And it was the style which some found disconcerting. It is a fiery sermon – the speaker’s voice is raised and one can picture him banging the podium and gesticulating. The audience cannot but participate, responding in unison with religious incantations to the speaker’s cues, as they are heard to do whenever Mohammed is mentioned by name.

He condemns the backwardness of the Islamic world in respect of science and he provides figures for how little Islamic countries spend on research and development compared to other countries. They spend far too much money on bombs, he says. He quotes the well-known statistic for Nobel prizes, with Muslims having a pathetic handful for all their 1.2 billion adherents worldwide.

In a brief anecdote to illustrate the ignorance of Muslims of the non-Muslim world he tells how he challenged a well-educated young woman at a conference on Palestine for saying that Fox News could not be trusted because it was controlled by Jews. He mocks the Taliban for calling themselves ‘students’.

Like many Muslims, he compensates for his stinging criticism of the Islamic world by referring to its past glories. He says Islam had a significant if not decisive influence on Western science. He names an Islamic scholar whom he describes as the father of modern chemistry and physics.

Such claims are dubious, to say the least.

But about 40 minutes into the speech, the style and rhetoric undergo a dramatic transformation.

The turning point is the speaker’s reference to the Imam Ali and how he is or represents a gateway to knowledge.

He goes on to a mouth-foaming rant about the trials and tribulations of Muslims and refers to specific cases. This continues for the remainder of the sermon – a further 20 minutes of fanatical hyperbole. He whips his audience up into an emotional frenzy – the whole room is crying or moaning.

Mr Hasan exhorts Muslims to go out and seek knowledge from others, non-Muslims, even to China. But a pre-requisite in the search for knowledge is an open mind: to be prepared to let new information and new knowledge change one’s understanding. Mr Hasan appears to display little of this quality.

He may not be an Islamist, he may not be an extremist, but he is undoubtedly vulnerable to accusations of being a Qur’an-thumping believer.

Cranmer would like to ask him:

(1) Does he believe that democracy with man-made laws is the best form of government?

(2) What is his position on Freedom of Speech? In particular, what is his view on the Salman Rushdie fatwa? Was it right or wrong? And what about those Danish cartoons?

(3) Is he in favour of integration or multiculturism? Is he in favour of the growing use of Shari’a courts to settle Muslim domestic affairs and business-related disputes?

(4) Given the British distaste for covering the face, what does he think of Muslim woman in this country who wear a burkah?

(5) Should women be treated as equal to men in all marriage, family, and legal matters such as divorce and inheritance?

(6) What, if any, does he believe should be the punishment for apostasy?

Perhaps the New Statesman might interview him, for his appointment as political editor raises more than a few concerns. This speech, available for all to hear, is no different from the Islam of Abu Hamza, Abu Qatada, Ayman al Zawahiri, Anjem Chaudary, or any of the other ‘moderate Muslims’ who believe that Islam must dominate by whatever means are at its disposal.

If, as the magazine avers, the Conservative Party is 'institutionally racist', is the New Statesman becoming occupationally Islamist?


Anonymous Maturecheese said...

Your Grace
Yet another very good post. I don't expect you will get any answers to your pertinent questions. We all know that Islam is beyond rebuke.

I just heard advertised on radio 4, that it is airing a programme either tonight or tomorrow about the protests against 'Islamification' and it seems they are going to focus on 'racism' amongst the protesters, rather than the spread of the influence Islam.

21 September 2009 at 09:58  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

This is indeed a difficult subject. It is clear that progress in ‘Islamic’ science came to a halt in the Middle Ages. It produced no industrial revolution.

It may be that Judaeo-Christian scientists pursued science with the same value as Sir Isaac Newton: to think God’s thoughts after Him.

Whilst Muslim scientists thought of God as impersonal and therefore Man is unable or should not attempt to even try and think of inferring what God might have thought when He created, say, the Honey Bee.

Those who suggest that Islamic lands did not have great rivers or vast resources of metals and minerals then need to explain the vast territories that Islamic empires once occupied – which did contain such deposits.

21 September 2009 at 11:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are we always surprised when we read about a so-called tolerant Muslim espousing intolerant, often racist or anti-Semitic, views? By now, I would have thought, we would be aware of the anti-humanism, the totalitarianism, that lies at the core of Islam.

Why are we always surprised when the political or cultural left defends Muslims who give voice to such sentiments? I would have thought we would know that the left no longer has the capacity to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad.

21 September 2009 at 12:03  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Should we be surprised by Hassan's Islamic outburst, Your Grace? Well here's one "kaffar" who wouldn't buy a copy of the low circulation, loony leftist rag even if hell froze over...

21 September 2009 at 12:09  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

As to Islam and democracy, I suggest that this is a non-starter with Muslim political thinkers.

Democracy, it seems to me, is essentially a Judaeo-Christian idea. We believe that all men are at risk of corruption and therefore a mechanism must exist through which we can eject by peaceful means, a prime minister or president.

Of course, the modern conception of democracy has been corrupted by the atheist, humanist and the wretched socialist who believe that the core value of democracy should be to deliver equality.

That is why, it is suggested, that the present government of socialists have made such a bad job of government. They believe, like Jacqui Smith (former Home Secretary) that propulsion on the basis of equality (regardless of knowledge) eminently qualifies them to govern. Of course Smith has now confessed that she was not qualified to govern (as she was ill prepared).

It may be that the Eton set are the natural candidates to govern. After all, as is said in other fields (for example on war): the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton.

It is not so much that the Eton set are genetically pre-programmed to govern but that the cultural values in our elite schools imparted to their pupils better fits them than the socialists’ BOG standard comprehensive.

21 September 2009 at 12:16  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"Of course, the modern conception of democracy has been corrupted by the atheist, humanist and the wretched socialist who believe that the core value of democracy should be to deliver equality."

You just can't let your poisonious views go for one second can you.

It has not in anyway been corrupted by the atheist.

Atheists only agree on one point, there is not a god. They are quite free to disagree on any other points (and quite often do). So to say that atheists have corrupted the concept of democracy is yet another out and out lie from yourself.

As for the other groups I can't comment not being one of them. Funny though that clearly you can.

I'm quite sure your good book mentions something about judging.

21 September 2009 at 13:25  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

However, in reply to the actual article, I would like very much to get answers to these questions too.

I won't be holding my breath however.

Fine points raised.

21 September 2009 at 13:27  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Being of a practical turn of mind, I’m delighted when the Mehdi Hasans of the Muslim world let their masks slip. The sooner the true nature of Islam becomes apparent, the sooner politicians will have to face up to the inevitable conclusion: there is no place for Islam in Britain, or in any civilized country. What joy it will be to walk in our own streets without being called pigs and cattle.

21 September 2009 at 13:58  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Note to the Glovner 13:27, if you please, Your Grace:

Presumably 'poisonious' (sic) is defined in this instance to mean 'a view which I don't agree with?'

The same, one imagines, in other spheres as objections in point of principle are usually dismissed as 'shrill,' by someone who doesn't like them.

But I was interested to learn that atheists are free to be democrats. That nice Mr Dawkins of yours comes across as being slightly to the political right of Ghengis Khan when it comes to telling people what they can or can't believe in.


21 September 2009 at 15:06  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Old Grumpy

You have, it seems to me, suggested a 'new' line of thought.

The majority of atheists are evolutionists.

If evolution is determanative and combine that with survival of the fittest concept; then upon what basis can the atheist support democracy?

Why! I suggest he is in the same league as the Muslim fundamentalist.

What will be, will be!

21 September 2009 at 17:42  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Was going to let it slip but seems appropriate now

Christian hotel owners hauled before court after defending their beliefs in discussion with Muslim guest

21 September 2009 at 20:04  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"I suggest he is in the same league as the Muslim fundamentalist."

You can make whatever suggestions you like, but when you make them from a position of having no knowledge on a subject you make a flimsy suggestion built on shaky ground to say the least.

21 September 2009 at 20:07  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mrs Glovener

Would you mind considering posting on the BBC's Religion website? The Judaeo-Christians are far more intellectually tolerant there.

I say this because you risk being seen as flea here.

Indeed, as I study your posts, it is clear that you are progressively being diminished to incoherent jibbershish.

Alternatively, you risk attracting that which the Devil fears:

being mocked.

21 September 2009 at 20:37  
Anonymous Simon said...

Your Grace,

I should be worried by anyone who believed that democracy with man-made laws is the best form of government. I gain more comfort from those who believe that, in practice, democracy with man-made laws is the least bad form of government.

21 September 2009 at 20:39  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Gosh. Fascinating.

I bet the circulation of the Red Rag is skyrocketing in response to it all!!!

22 September 2009 at 07:41  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"Mrs Glovener"

Mr actually and you have an extra "e" in there. But you are probably just (like usual) attempting to be condescending, but coming off looking like an idiot.

"Would you mind considering posting on the BBC's Religion website? The Judaeo-Christians are far more intellectually tolerant there."

Well they aren't really now are they, since the BBC sites are all moderated and if they don't like what you say you are not allowed to say it, which i'm sure is how you would prefer life to be but unfortunately for you other people are allowed to have differing opinions.

"I say this because you risk being seen as flea here."

Really? The only evidence I see of this would be from yourself and len, and forgive me for saying but your opinions of most things leave a lot to be desired so your opinions of me aren't really that important to me.

"Indeed, as I study your posts, it is clear that you are progressively being diminished to incoherent jibbershish."

I find it hard to believe you have studied anything. Well maybe politics as you seem quite adept at never answering the questions asked of you and never backing up any statements you make. But once again this is your opinion of me and that is something that matters very little.

"Alternatively, you risk attracting that which the Devil fears:

being mocked."

Go ahead, mock away, I think you have already been trying to do that to be honest, almost everything you write is mocking to anyone that doesn't share your views. You attack entire groups of people quite happily tarring them all with the same brush. It wouldn't be so bad if you were the only person doing it but I see it more and more today in society and it makes me fearful of the future.

22 September 2009 at 07:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just about to say that the entire animal kingdom are atheists, but then I realised that I have absolutely no evidence to support such a statement.

I like to seriously consider everything that everyone has to say, and the word 'poison' needed to be clarified in my mind. I have formed my own conclusion now about what a poison is, and what can and cannot be poisoned.

Poison (from Wikipedia [hence all the little reference numbers]).

In the context of biology, poisons are substances that can cause disturbances to organisms,[1] usually by chemical reaction or other activity on the molecular scale, when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism. Legally and in hazardous chemical labelling, poisons are especially toxic substances; less toxic substances are labelled "harmful", "irritant", or not labelled at all.

In medicine (particularly veterinary) and in zoology, a poison is often distinguished from a toxin and a venom. Toxins are poisons produced via some biological function in nature, and venoms are usually defined as biologic toxins that are injected by a bite or sting to cause their effect, while other poisons are generally defined as substances which are absorbed through epithelial linings such as the skin or gut.

Some poisons are also toxins, usually referring to naturally produced substances, such as the bacterial proteins that cause tetanus and botulism. A distinction between the two terms is not always observed, even among scientists.

Animal toxins that are delivered subcutaneously (e.g. by sting or bite) are also called venom. In normal usage, a poisonous organism is one that is harmful to consume, but a venomous organism uses poison to defend itself while still alive. A single organism can be both venomous and poisonous.

The derivative forms "toxic" and "poisonous" are synonymous.

Within chemistry and physics, a poison is a substance that obstructs or inhibits a reaction, for example by binding to a catalyst. For an example, see nuclear poison.

Paracelsus, the father of toxicology, once wrote: "Everything is poison, there is poison in everything. Only the dose makes a thing not a poison." The phrase "poison" is often used colloquially to describe any harmful substance, particularly corrosive substances, carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens and harmful pollutants, and to exaggerate the dangers of chemicals. The legal definition of "poison" is stricter. A medical condition of poisoning can also be caused by substances that are not legally required to carry the label "poison".

22 September 2009 at 08:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You chooses your poison and apply faith to the rest. God bless ya!

22 September 2009 at 09:10  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Anon

How pleasing it is to see that you did not suggest that all the animals are atheists.

If I recall correctly, Prof. CS Lewis once argued that our animals 'see the world through their owner' as it were.

Indeed, the whole of creation groans waiting for the sons of God.

It may be that our animals follow us through to Heaven - perhaps every blade of grass that we have walked upon and every flower we have smelled or touched follows us through - Homeward bound.

God bless you.

22 September 2009 at 09:17  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...


Poisonous in the context used here would fall into this dictionary definition:

Poisonous :

Marked by apparent ill will: "poisonous hate . . . in his eyes" (Ernest Hemingway).

It is worth noting that the words we use in common language more often than not have more than one accepted definition. No point settling for the first on you find.

Which is the impression I get with almost ever opinion Mr Singh (I assume it is Mr, if not apologies) feels the need to share.

As it is there is no point in furthering this discourse. So I will be the bigger man and walk away.

22 September 2009 at 12:11  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Apologies, the pargraph order was a bit messed up there as I added an extra one in before sending it.

When refering to the impression I get from D.Singh I was of course refering to his opinions seemingly marked by apparent ill will.

22 September 2009 at 12:12  
Blogger D. Singh said...

‘Poisonous hate… in his eyes’? A tame one from Hemingway.

Try this for size:

‘"Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Sink all coffins and all hearses to one common pool! and since neither can be mine, let me then tow to pieces, while still chasing thee, though tied to thee, thou damned whale! Thus, I give up the spear!"

Moby Dick, Herman Melville

22 September 2009 at 12:22  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Sorry if I missed your point.

I was providing justification for the context in which I used the word "poisonous", nothing more.

Unless you are suggesting I (and other athesits) am the whale and the religious are Captain Ahab?

In which case you would just be backing up the word "poisonous" and the context in which I used it.

22 September 2009 at 12:48  
Blogger D. Singh said...

I accept your apology.

It is time for lunch.

Now bring me the next atheist so that I can chew on his words and spit out that which is nonsense to my dogs.

22 September 2009 at 12:59  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

I might join you, off to get a plate of babies to eat.

22 September 2009 at 13:14  

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