Tory candidate for Brentwood South resigns after tweeting that Islam was the “religion of rape”

A Conservative local election candidate who tweeted that it was good to be anti-Islam and that the Islam was the “religion of rape”, has had to resign just weeks after being chosen to represent the party in the Brentwood local elections.

David Bishop, who was due to stand as the Conservative candidate for the ward of Brentwood South, Essex, later this month, resigned yesterday after local press discovered anti-Islamic and homophobic tweets on his twitter account.

 

In a tweet posted just two days after being selected Bishop posted that Islam was the “religion of peace’ & rape”, after it was announced that four Muslim men had been arrested for the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Chesham, Buckinghamshire.

 

Initially, when questioned by The Brentwood Gazette about the tweets, Bishop has said that they had been posted to make such views look stupid.

 

He stated the following after handing in his resignation: “I recognise that someone standing for public office should show leadership and seek to unite communities, not divide them. I hope the residents of Brentwood South can forgive my lack of judgement in time.”

 

This was followed by a statement from Louise McKinlay, group leader of Brentwood Conservatives, which said that the views of Bishop had “no place in our team”.

 

Bishop’s inflammatory comments are on the same day when UKIP announced that they would be suspending one of their election candidates after he made similar comments on twitter. Harry Perry, who was seeking election in the Offerton ward in Stockport, was suspended by the party after tweeting that Islam was “evil” and homosexuality was an “abomination before god.”.

Mosque leader compares being gay to paedophilia and murder

March 20, 2014

 

The chairman of a mosque at the centre of a BBC censorship row over the issue of being both Muslim and gay has compared homosexuality to being “a compulsive murderer, gambler, or paedophile”.

Free Speech, the BBC 3 debate show, deliberately dropped the question “When will it be right to be Muslim and gay?” on its March 12 episode at the request of the Birmingham Central Mosque where it was being filmed. The live programme, which featured a panel including government minister and Lib Dem peer Susan Kramer, broadcast a pre-recorded question by Asifa Lahore, who bills himself as Britain’s “first and only gay Muslim drag queen”.

A week later Dr Mohammad Naseem, the mosque’s long-time chairman, defended his decision in a letter sent to Huffington Post UK.

He wrote: “There are people with homosexual tendency in Muslim countries but they respect the law and control their desire as others do.” Human beings do have weaknesses and tendencies which are not socially acceptable and so they try to have a control over them and do not give in. “A compulsive murderer, gambler, paedophile etc. could present the same logic and ask for accommodation by the society. Are we going to accept on the basis of freedom of action?”

Dr Naseem said Lahore “does not know his religion and has not got much links with it. He would have, otherwise, known that it is prohibited in Islam. If he wants to pursue [sic] his inclination then he is free to leave Islam and follow any ideology that suits him.”

Dr Naseem said the subject of homosexuality was not the topic for a TV discussion show but something that should be investigated by specialists and added that “Not being able to accept them in religion should not be confused with denying them their human rights such as their right to have education, employment, housing and respect.”

Free Speech said in a statement: “The Birmingham Mosque had offered the venue as a location for an episode. When asked if there were any issues for discussion that would be off limits, no concerns were raised. As a result the production company, together with the BBC and the mosque, made the decision to postpone the debate of the topic homosexuality and Islam until March 25th but agreed to show the pre-recorded segment.

 

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/10710750/Mosque-leader-compares-being-gay-to-paedophilia-and-murder.html

The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/03/19/gay-muslim_n_4993241.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-26576673

The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/mar/14/bbc3-free-speech-debate-gay-muslim

 

The Muslim Taxi Driver

February 28, 2014

 

If you want to kill legislation that protects the right of Christians to withhold business services from same-sex couples, here’s one way to do it: Don’t warn people about Christians. Warn them about Muslims.

That strategy was on display in the campaign against Arizona Senate Bill 1062, which would have shielded businesses from discrimination suits if they acted on religious beliefs. Everyone understood that the bill would have allowed conservative Christians to refuse services for a gay wedding. But in Arizona, that wasn’t a strong enough argument against it. So opponents went for the Muslim angle.

Many Americans who talk about religious freedom are really just interested in the rights of conservative Christians. They’re not so keen on Muslims. In fact, they worry about Muslims imposing their beliefs on Christians. Two days ago, in praise of the Arizona bill, Rush Limbaugh complained, “Religious beliefs can’t be used to stop anything the left wants to impose—unless they’re Muslim religious beliefs, and then we have to honor those. But any other religious beliefs are not permitted.”

The first reference to Muslims in the Arizona fight, as far as I can tell, came from the Anti-Defamation League in a letter to state senators and in testimony before a state Senate committee on Jan. 16. If the bill were to pass, the ADL’s assistant regional director told the committee, “A Muslim-owned cab company might refuse to drive passengers to a Hindu temple.”

This week, as lawmakers voted on the bill and Republican Gov. Jan Brewer weighed whether to sign it, the chorus grew. On Feb. 20, the editorial board of the Arizona Republic warned Brewer, “The proposed law is so poorly crafted it could allow a Muslim taxi driver to refuse service to a woman traveling alone.” On Feb. 21, John Aravosis, the editor of Americablog and a political consultant, brought up theMuslim cab driver and other scenarios raised by the ADL. On Feb. 22, Box Turtle Bulletin, a gay rights blog, published a post titled “Did the Arizona Legislature Just Legalize Sharia Law?

On Feb. 24, USA Today columnist Owen Ullman asked, “if religious beliefs are a justification for refusing gay couples, shouldn’t Arizona extend the principle to all religious beliefs? Devout Muslims should have the right to refuse service to women who are not covered in burqas.” On Feb. 25, fellow columnist Kirsten Powers, a former communications consultantadded:

I can’t prove that all this Muslim talk influenced Brewer’s decision to veto the billlast night. But it definitely caused trouble. During the state Senate debate on Feb. 20, the bill’s sponsor struggled with the Muslim taxi driver question. (Skip to minute 1:22 of the video.) On Feb. 25 the state’s Capitol Media Services raised the taxi driver scenario in an analysis of the bill’s legal ramifications. On Feb. 26, CBS News asked the president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which helped craft the bill, whether it would “protect a Muslim wedding photographer who does not want to photograph a Jewish wedding.” She said it would.

Slate.com: http://www.slate.com/blogs/saletan/2014/02/27/arizona_s_antigay_bill_did_warnings_about_muslim_religious_freedom_help.html

USA Today.com: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/24/voices-column-on-arizona-anti-gay-bill/5775081/

Westminster University students ‘furious’ after controversial Islamic preacher booked for charity dinner talk

November 14, 2013

 

National Charity Week began in controversy after Westminster Islamic Society (ISOC) asked an anti-gay and anti-Semitic Muslim scholar to give a speech to over 300 students. ISOC had originally arranged for the moderate Wasim Kempson to come in as a guest speaker, but students were left confused after the controversial figure Sheikh Haitham Al-Haddad replaced Kempson less than 24 hours before the dinner.

Al-Haddad’s views on many subjects are outspoken to say the least. In a recent article published online with his name underneath it, entitled “Standing up against homosexuality and LGBTs”, the words “the scourge of homosexuality” are used, which is referred to as a “criminal act”.

During his speech the Sheikh revealed that he had been “invited to Westminster many times” before going on to talk about how “privileged” he had felt by his welcome.

While many students were left up in arms about the last-minute swap, the student union claims that ISOC “passed all requirements” and that “all relevant processes were followed” in Al-Haddad’s invitation.

A statement was later released which read: “UWSU as an organisation does not endorse or support any views expressed by external speakers, neither does it seek to prevent freedom of speech.”

The Islamic Society at the University of Westminster could not be reached for comment.

 

The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/westminster-university-students-furious-after-controversial-islamic-preacher-booked-for-charity-dinner-talk-8939980.html

African nations and predominantly Muslim countries are among the least accepting of homosexuality

The world is divided over the acceptance of homosexuality, a survey released Tuesday (June 4) finds.

There is broad acceptance of homosexuality in North America, the European Union, and much of Latin America, according to the Pew Research Center survey. The survey was conducted by telephone and face to face in 39 countries among 37,653 respondents from March 2 to May 1. The margin of error for the survey ranges from plus or minus 3.1 to plus or minus 7.7 percentage points.

Juliana Horowitz, the report’s lead author and a senior researcher at Pew, says, “I can’t think of any question we have asked where we have this sort of global polarization. In North America, Europe and several countries in Latin America, we have really high acceptance of homosexuality. In predominantly Muslim nations and in sub-Saharan Africa, we have equally widespread views on the other side.”

African nations and predominantly Muslim countries are among the least accepting of homosexuality. For example, about 98 percent of people in Nigeria say homosexuality should not be accepted. In Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country in Southeast Asia, 93 percent say homosexuality should be rejected.

A new wave of Muslim feminists

Amongst the many contemporary reformist movements of Islam, one is concerned with the promotion of progressive and inclusive ideals such as gender equality and deals with questions on sexuality, homosexuality and transgender identities. What is called Islamic feminism is a tradition which emerged in Iran as an intellectual movement based on the critical exegesis of the Quran. The movement of Islamic feminists consists of religious women and religious feminists who refuse to be discriminated by their religion. They claim the right to reject bias and unjust interpretations of Islam and are open towards the inclusion and integration of LGBT Muslims.

The recent debate on same sex marriage in France and the institutionalisation of a “French Islam” renders greater importance towards progressive and inclusive interpretations of Islam. As such, reformist movements like that of Islamic feminism might help to eliminate gender bias and sexual discrimination amongst Muslims in France. As the imam of Bordeaux, Tareq Oubrou, recently declared, homosexuality is not condemned by the Quran or the sunna.

Some reformist movements in France have embraced Islamic feminism and the opening of the first inclusive mosque in France which conducts same sex marriages indicates that there are sections amongst the Muslim population that are receptive towards these progressive ideas.

“Gay Muslims are Muslims too”

11/10/2010

Rue 89

Tareq Oubrou, the imam of Bordeaux, opposes homophobia and the state sanctioned persecution of homosexuals in Muslim majority states. The imam wants to disassociate Islam with homophobia and anti-semetism by calling for more tolerance towards homosexuals in general, as well as homosexual Muslims.

Oubrou states that the practice of homosexuality isn’t approved by the Quran but gay Muslims are still Muslims in their own right. He argues that the seven Muslim majority states the practice of homosexuality with the death penalty base their jurisdiction upon unverified hadiths.

Update: Sharia4Holland Member Arrested in Amsterdam

May 29, 2012

 

Following statements last week from a member of the Sharia4Holland threatening politician Geert Wilders, the Freedom Party called for a ban on the organization. Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten stated that the organization posed a violent risk in the country.

Though a ban is impossible as the organization is not a legal entity, the public prosecution as well as police began an investigation into Sharia4Holland, subsequently arresting the spokesman responsible for last week’s comments, a 29 year old man.

Reports also note that the leader of Sharia4UK was also present at the press conference, and spoke briefly at the gathering, but did not make controversial comments.

Sharia4Holland is an offshoot of Sharia4Belgium. Both call for the establishment of a caliphate in their respective countries as well as the introduction of sharia law. Sharia4Belgium publicly condemns homosexuality, and established a sharia mediation court in Antwerp earlier this year.

The Dutch branch is considerably less established than the Belgian, with estimations of some one dozen members. Sharia4Belgium is headed by Fouad Abu Imran, whose slated appearance in Amsterdam generated the events leading to this week’s arrest.

 

Radical Preacher Bilal Philips Asked to Leave After Giving Speech in Germany

21 April 2011

German security forces expelled radical Islamist preacher Bilal Philips from Germany. Philips participated in a rally, “Islam – the misunderstood religion”, organised by Salafists in Frankfurt and gave a speech together with his German radical counterpart Pierre Vogel. The Interior Ministry was not aware of when or where Philips had entered Germany, and he was asked to leave within three days.

The rally had been cancelled at first and was only permitted at the last minute with 16 requirements, including a prohibition to force gender segregation upon the audience – although the event turned out to be segregated in the end. Philips and Vogel adhered to keeping to a peaceful rally without inciting hatred or issuing any condescending or discriminatory remarks about people of different faith, knowing that they were closely watched. In the past, Philips has called for the death penalty for homosexuals, which he did not repeat at this occasion, however he underlined that homosexuality was a sin, but that he did not hate these people. Salafist groups have been increasingly monitored after the Frankfurt attack in March, in which two US soldiers were killed by a radicalised Islamist who had previously had contacts with Salafists in Frankfurt.

2nd imam is out at Islamic center near WTC site

Shaykh Abdallah Adhami, a Muslim scholar who on Jan 14 was named as the new senior imam at the Islamic center being built near the World Trade Center site has given up the job. The 44-year-old had been announced as the new imam on Jan. 14, after its co-founder, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, was given a reduced role.

Shaykh Abdallah Adhami said Friday in a joint statement with the center’s developer that he will no longer serve as a religious adviser to the center. “It is important for me now to devote my time to the completion of my book, which assists English readers in understanding and facilitating the language of the Quran. I wish the project leaders well,” said Adhami.

However, shortly after his appointment, news reports questioned his views on homosexuality. In one recorded lecture, he said he believed that homosexuality was linked to childhood abuse.
That prompted El-Gamal to issue a statement last month in which he said that Adhami would not be a leader of the center, called Park51, but just one of a number of religious figures invited to participate in programming.