A UKIP candidate who previously said the Prophet Mohamed was a “gang leader” and likened Islam to organised crime has announced that he would want to “licence mosques” if elected. Magnus Nielsen, who is UKIP’s parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, told the Ham & High that his “great aim” was to “licence the mosques and licence the clergy”.
“So that if the clergy are preaching doctrine that is in contravention of UK law and human rights then they lose their licences,” he added. “If the mosque can’t find a licensed imam, they have to close down until they can.” The 65-year-old, who joined UKIP in 1993, has often stressed that his views on Islam are not official UKIP policy.
In a blog post published a day after the attacks in which 17 people were killed by Islamic extremists, UKIP MP Gerard Batten argued that individuals who practice the faith should sign the charter to mark themselves out from the “tiny minority of Muslims who want to return to the Dark Ages of Arabia and live under Sharia Law”. When reports of the charter emerged in 2014, party leader Nigel Farage distanced himself from it and said its contents “are not and never have been UKIP policy”.
Bright moments in the Dark Ages
If “1001 Inventions” does nothing else, it teaches that “Dark Ages” is a misguided moniker.
The period between the seventh century and the Renaissance was, in fact, a time of explosive creativity in the expansive Muslim world, which stretched from Spain to China. The breakthroughs in science, math, astrology and medicine continue to be influential.
The “1001 Inventions” exhibit, visited by more than 1 million people during its stops in the United Kingdom, Istanbul and New York, currently resides at the California Science Center. A 376-page companion book includes additional facts about the era.
No, it’s not “Harry Potter.” But this 13-minute film starring Ben Kingsley as a librarian who becomes a famed old-world inventor serves to grab a young person’s attention, and explains in simple terms what the exhibit entails.
At the end of the exhibition’s opening movie, Kingsley says, “Spread the word.” That’s what the creators of “1001 Inventions” hope to accomplish. They want the “Dark Ages” to be relabeled the “Golden Age.”