Islam



There was once a civilisation that was the greatest in the world.

It was able to create a continental super-state that stretched from ocean to ocean, and from northern climes to tropics and deserts. Within its dominion lived hundreds of millions of people, of different creeds and ethnic origins.

One of its languages became the universal language of much of the world, the bridge between the peoples of a hundred lands. Its armies were made up of people of many nationalities, and its military protection allowed a degree of peace and prosperity that had never been known. The reach of this civilisation’s commerce extended from Latin America to China, and everywhere in between.

And this civilisation was driven more than anything, by invention. Its architects designed buildings that defied gravity. Its mathematicians created the algebra and algorithms that would enable the building of computers, and the creation of encryption. Its doctors examined the human body, and found new cures for disease. Its astronomers looked into the heavens, named the stars, and paved the way for space travel and exploration.

Its writers created thousands of stories. Stories of courage, romance and magic. Its poets wrote of love, when others before them were too steeped in fear to think of such things.

When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilisation thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilisations, this civilisation kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.

While modern Western civilisation shares many of these traits, the civilisation I’m talking about was the Islamic world from the year 800 to 1600, which included the Ottoman Empire and the courts of Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo, and enlightened rulers like Suleiman the Magnificent.

Although we are often unaware of our indebtedness to this other civilisation, its gifts are very much a part of our heritage. The technology industry would not exist without the contributions of Arab mathematicians. Sufi poet-philosophers like Rumi challenged our notions of self and truth. Leaders like Suleiman contributed to our notions of tolerance and civic leadership.

And perhaps we can learn a lesson from his example: It was leadership based on meritocracy, not inheritance. It was leadership that harnessed the full capabilities of a very diverse population–that included Christianity, Islamic, and Jewish traditions.

This kind of enlightened leadership — leadership that nurtured culture, sustainability, diversity and courage — led to 800 years of invention and prosperity.

In dark and serious times like this, we must affirm our commitment to building societies and institutions that aspire to this kind of greatness. More than ever, we must focus on the importance of leadership– bold acts of leadership and decidedly personal acts of leadership.

With that, I’d like to open up the conversation and see what we, collectively, believe about the role of leadership.

HP

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Europol releases an annual study of terrorism; the results do not support claims that “(nearly) all Muslims are terrorists”

Islamophobes have been popularizing the claim that “not all Muslims are terrorists, but (nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”  Despite this idea becoming axiomatic in some circles, it is quite simply not factual.  In my previous article entitled “All Terrorists are Muslims…Except the 94% that Aren’t”, I usedofficial FBI records to show that only 6% of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by Islamic extremists.  The remaining 94% were from other groups (42% from Latinos, 24% from extreme left wing groups, 7% from extremist Jews, 5% from communists, and 16% from all other groups).

But what about across the pond?  The data gathered by Europol strengthens my argument even further. (hat tip: Koppe)  Europol publishes an annual report entitled EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report.  On their official website, you can access the reports from 20072008, and 2009.  (If anyone can find the reports from earlier than that, please let me know so we can include those as well.)

The results are stark, and prove decisively that not all terrorists are Muslims.  In fact, a whopping 99.6% of terrorist attacks in Europe were by non-Muslim groups; a good 84.8% of attacks were from separatist groups completely unrelated to Islam.  Leftist groups accounted for over sixteen times as much terrorism as radical Islamic groups.  Only a measly 0.4% of terrorist attacks from 2007 to 2009 could be attributed to extremist Muslims.

Here are the official tables provided in the reports…

For 2006:

20063b

For 2007:

2007b

For 2008:

20081b

(According to the report, there was 1 “Islamist attack” in the UK in 2008, which was omitted in the table above.  It has been included in the bar graph below.)

Just glancing at those tables is enough to know how absurd it is to claim that “all terrorists are Muslims.”  That statement is nowhere near the truth.  If we compile the data, it comes out to this:

barchart-copy

 

On p.7, the 2009 Europol report concludes:

Islamist terrorism is still perceived as being the biggest threat worldwide, despite the fact that the EU only faced one Islamist terrorist attack in 2008.  This bomb attack took place in the UK…Separatist terrorism remains the terrorism area which affects the EU most. This includes Basque separatist terrorism in Spain and France, and Corsican terrorism in France…Past contacts between ETA and the FARC illustrate the fact that also separatist terrorist organizations seek cooperation partners outside the EU on the basis of common interests.  In the UK, dissident Irish republican groups, principally the RIRA and the CIRA, and other paramilitary groups may continue to engage in crime and violence.

Perception is not reality.  Due to the right wing’s influence and propaganda, people mistakenly think that Islamic terrorism is the greatest threat to the Western world.  It is even a commonly held belief that Islamic terrorism poses an existential threat–that the very survival of the Western world is at stake.  Of course, the reality is that there are other groups that engage in terrorism on a much larger scale, yet these terrorist incidents are minimized.  Acts of terrorism committed by Muslims are purposefully sensationalized and focused upon, culminating in the idea that “(nearly) all terrorists are Muslims.”

Terrorism from Islamic extremists is certainly a cause for concern, but it need not be an issue that creates mass hysteria.  Nor should it be allowed to be such a critical issue that we are willing to sacrifice our ideals or civil rights for fear of it.  Neither should we be reduced to a status of absolute sissitude.  We have analyzed data from America and Europe (a good portion of the entire Western world), and the threat from Islamic terrorism is much more minimal than commonly assumed; in the U.S., it accounts for 6% of terrorist attacks, and in Europe not even half of a percent.

It is only through sensationalism and fear mongering that the topic of Islamic terrorism is allowed to be used to demonize a religious community that happens to be a minority in the West.  When confronted by such lunacy, we ought to respond with the facts and the truth.

In a future article, we shall analyze the data for terrorism on the world stage in order to further strengthen our argument…

Source: LoonWatch

 


A cartoon that does not depict the Arabs/Muslims as evil just the way they look. If you compare Saladin in the film ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, he is already portrayed as an evil person by the character chosen. The character of Saladin in the film ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ has dark black curly hair and long pointed nose with squinted eyes, in comparison to the main character from the European side, who is young, with short brownish hair with fair complexion.

Images portray a thousand words. The audience is forced to make a decision about who is good and evil by the way the characters look.

wasapninworld


An alleged Holocaust denier has been arrested by police after flying into Heathrow Airport in London.

The Met Police’s extradition unit detained Australian Frederick Toben under an EU warrant issued in Germany.

He is accused of publishing material on the internet between 2000 and 2004 that “denies, approves of or plays down the mass murder of Jews by the Nazis”.

Mr Toben, 64, later appeared before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court and was remanded in custody.

A further hearing will take place on Friday.

He told the court he did not consent to extradition and would fight attempts to send him to Germany.

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Mr Toben, who had been in transit from the US to Dubai at the time of his arrest, represented himself at the hearing.

He said his apprehension had been an abuse of process.

The arrest warrant alleges that Mr Toben committed the offence in Australia, Germany and other countries, and that the material is also “of an anti-Semitic and/or revisionist nature”.

It was issued by a court in Mannheim, Germany, where Mr Toben was given a 10-month jail sentence in 1999 after publishing a newsletter which denied the mass extermination of Jews in gas chambers at Auschwitz.

Source: BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7646556.stm)

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What happened to free speech? The Australian ‘Fredrick Toeben’, was previously given a 10 month jail sentence in Germany for ‘incitement and insulting the memory of the dead’. What about  the controversial cartoon artist ‘Kurt Westergaard’ who created the cartoons of Mohammed and depicting him as blood thirsty terrorist or the editor of the Jyllands Posten ‘Roger Köppel’, who actually authorised the publication of those cartoons or even the Dutch politician ‘Geert Wilders’ who made the film ‘fitna’, calling all Muslims who believe in Islam as terrorist.

All of the above can be charged with ‘incitement and insulting the memory of the dead’.

It seems free speech is about what the West feels passionate or guilty about and not about what the rest feel passionate about.

As Henry Ford proclaimed in his Autobiography ‘You can have any colour you want, as long as its black’

wasapninworld


Two thirds of newspaper stories in the UK portray British Muslims since 2000 as `a threat` or `problem,` according to new research.

A forty-page report, entitled Images of Islam in the UK, showed that the press in the UK increasingly utilize negative and stereotypical imagery about Muslims.

The authors, the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, found that British tabloids and broadsheets sought to engage with the “routine, everyday coverage of British Muslims” over and above the coverage which occurred around key events.

Coverage of British Muslims was also shown to have increased significantly year on year, and by 2006 had reached a level twelve times higher than that in 2000.

The authors describe how such a coverage generated a momentum all of its own, “lasting well beyond and independent of” newsworthy events.

At the same time, the report found that the context in which British Muslims were portrayed was of a consistently negative nature.

The main focus for a third of stories on British Muslims was either terrorism or the ‘war on terror.’

Eleven per cent of all stories focused on Muslim extremism, while in stark contrast, only 5 per cent covered “attacks on or problems for British Muslims.”

The notion of Islamophobia was said to have “scarcely featured as a news topic” in 2001 and 2005.

A significant yet subtle shift in stories involved a steady increase in the proportion which focus on religious and cultural differences, to such a degree that by 2008 these stories had overtaken terrorism as the single largest subject matter.

It was argued that this change in focus reflects the shift in British government policy, under the cloak of its “community cohesion” 
framework, which quietly insinuates that ‘British’ and ‘Muslim’ are mutually exclusive identities.

The consequence was that coverage about anti-Muslim racism and attacks on British Muslims has vastly reduced from 10 per cent in 2000 to only 1 per cent in 2008.

In comparison with four of the five most common story threads associating Islam and Muslims “with threats, problems or in opposition to dominant British values,” only 2 per cent suggested “that Muslims supported dominant moral values.”

In particular, the report highlighted a number of articles which frame Britain as “becoming a place of Muslim-only, ‘no-go’ areas, where churches were being replaced by mosques, and Sharia law would soon be implemented.”

The perception of Islam as a threat or a problem was further enhanced by the choice of descriptive language in the articles surveyed.

The most common nouns employed in relation to Islam or Muslims were ‘terrorist’ or ‘extremist’ whilst the most widely used adjectives included ‘fanatical’, ‘fundamentalist’, ‘radical’ and ‘militant.’

Overall, “references to radical Muslims outnumber references to moderate Muslims by 17 to one” and was consistently used by both broadsheet and tabloid newspapers. –IRNA

Source: http://mathaba.net/news/?x=605956


‘Non-Muslim Massacre’ computer game condemned as tasteless by the world

September 11, 2008

A computer game in which players control a Muslim soldier on a mission to “wipe out the Non-Muslim race” has been condemned as tasteless and offensive by the International Community.

The game called Non-Muslim Massacre, which is available as a free download over the internet, allows players to take control of a “Muslim Hero” whose goal is to “ensure that no Non-Muslim man or woman is left alive.”

After being parachuted into the West armed with a machine gun and rocket launcher, the aim is to kill as many Non-Muslims as possible – some dressed as terrorists, others apparently civilians.

Players progress through various levels where they take on George Bush, Freedom and finally Democracy.

The game’s creator, a freelance programmer known as Abdullah, described the game as “fun and funny”, but it has sparked anger amongst the International Community who accused it of glamourising violence against Non-Muslims in the world.

“Encouraging children and young people in a game to kill Non-Muslims is unacceptable, tasteless and deeply offensive,” said John Smith, chief executive of The Free World Foundation, a leading British Non-Muslim youth organisation.

He added: “’If it was the other way around, with a game featuring Non-Muslims killing Palestinians or Pakistanis, there would be uproar and rightly so.”

Mr Smith called for internet service providers to remove the site from its services.

There was confusion as to whether the game, as some had argued, was a parody of Muslim foreign policy.

Writing on an online forum, Abdullah, said: “I think it’s pretending to be legitimate commentary and I’m sure there will be lots of people who defend it on those grounds, but ultimately it’s just a game where you blow the gently caress (slang for a common swear word) out of Non-Muslims.”

“Anyone is free to believe whatever they won’t (sic) though, because I don’t even know how to interpret it myself anymore. The bottom line is that I enjoyed making it and it’s fun to play.”

But later, he added: “The Non-Muslims represented in the game aren’t meant to be based on actual Non-Muslims.

“If I was to try and come up with a meaning for the game at this moment, it would probably be something along the lines of metaphorically destroying the stereotypical depiction of a Non-Muslim.”

Source:

http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article4730864.ece


Mark Steel: Wife-beating? That’s fine – unless you’re a Muslim

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The Sun newspaper has come over a bit modest. Following a Channel 4 documentary about media reporting of Muslims, the paper accepts some of its stories were “distorted”. But they’re not doing themselves justice. They weren’t distorted – they were entirely made up. For example, a story about a Muslim bus driver who ordered his passengers off the bus so he could pray was pure fabrication.

But if reporters are allowed to make up what they like, that one should be disciplined for displaying a shocking lack of imagination. He could have continued, “The driver has now won a case at the Court of Human Rights that his bus route should be altered so it only goes east. This means the 37A from Sutton Coldfield will no longer stop at Selly Oak library, but go the wrong way up a one-way street and carry on to Mecca. Local depot manager Stan Tubworth said, ‘I suggested he only take it as far as Athens but he threatened a Jihad, and a holy war is just the sort of thing that could put a service like the Selly Oak Clipper out of business’.”

Then there was a story about “Muslim thugs” in Windsor who attacked a house used by soldiers, except it was another invention. But with this tale the reporter still claims it’s true, despite a complete absence of evidence, because, “The police are too politically correct to admit it.” This must be the solution to all unsolved crimes. With Jack the Ripper it’s obvious – he was facing the East End of London, his victims were infidels and he’d have access to a burqua which would give him vital camouflage in the smog. But do the pro-Muslim police even bother to investigate? Of course not, because it’s just “Allah Allah Allah” down at the stations these days.

Maybe Muslim newspapers should retaliate by publishing their own made-up stories. So it will be reported that “Barmy PC teachers in Leicester have banned children from playing Noughts and Crosses, claiming the cross reminds Church of England kiddies of the suffering undertaken by Lord Jesus. A spokesman for the Board of Education said, ‘We have to be sensitive. Which is why we’ve replaced the game with ‘Noughts and Hexagons’. We did look into calling it ‘Noughts and Crowns of Thorns’ but decided Hexagons was more appropriate.”

Or, “Doctors have been told that patients are no longer to be referred to as ‘stable’, as this is offensive to followers of Jesus, who was said to have been born in one. So medical staff have been informed they must use an alternative word, or if they can’t think of one just let the patient die.”

The most common justification for ridiculing Islam is that the religion is “backward”, particularly towards women, as a fundamental part of its beliefs. The Sun’s old political editor suggests this as a defence of his newspaper’s stance, saying that under Islam, “women are treated as chattels”. And it’s true that religious scriptures can command this, such as the insistence that, “a man may sell his daughter as a slave, but she will not be freed at the end of six years as men are.” Except that comes from the Bible – Exodus, Chapter 21, verse 7.

The Bible is packed with justifications for slavery, including killing your slaves. So presumably the Sun, along with others who regard Islam as a threat to our civilisation, will soon be campaigning against “Sunday Schools of Hate” where children as young as seven are taught to read this grisly book. And next Easter they’ll report how, “I saw a small child smile with glee as he opened a Cadbury’s egg filled with chocolate buttons. But behind his grin I couldn’t help but wonder whether he wanted to turn me into a pillar of salt, then maybe sprinkle me on his menacing confectionary treat.”

In his defence of making stuff up, the Sun’s ex-political editor spoke about the amount of domestic violence suffered by Muslim women. But there’s just as much chance of suffering domestic violence if you’re not a Muslim, as one of the 10 million such incidents a year that take place in Britain. Presumably the anti-Islam lobby would say, “Ah yes, but those other ones involve secular wife-beating, which is not founded on archaic religious customs, but rational reasoning such as not letting him watch the snooker.”

And finally the Sun’s man defends the line of his paper by saying that, after all, these Muslims “are trying to bomb our country”. So it’s their civic duty to make stuff up – the same as keeping a look-out for spies during the Second World War.

So we should all do our bit, and every day send in something, until the press is full of stories like “Muslims in Darlington have been raising money for semtex by organising panda fights.” Or “In Bradford all nurseries have been ordered to convert their dolls’ houses into miniature mosques so that Muslim teddies have somewhere to pray.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-wifebeating-thats-fine-ndash-unless-youre-a-muslim-862898.html

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