Thursday, March 09, 2006

Telegraph Bows To Political/Police Pressure ? Or Not

A couple of weeks ago the Telegraph published an interview by Alasdair Palmer with Patrick Sookhdeo, a Muslim convert to Christianity who among other things runs the Barnabas Fund, campaigning against the oppression of Christians in many countries.

The piece was titled "The day is coming when British Muslims form a state within a state" and was published here.

The Pub Philosopher among others quoted it.

I can't find the reason why it's been removed and the Telegraph don't seem to be saying. You can find links to it here and here, but I'd better post it while it exists (I disagree with his ideas about faith schools and accepting Britain's secular nature. Britain was until very recently in practice, and is still in theory, a Christian society).

UPDATE - the reason appears to be here. Mr Cock-Up once again triumphs over Ms Conspiracy.

"The Sunday Telegraph acknowledges that Dr Sookhdeo's remarks did not refer to The Noble Qur'an, A Rendering of its Meaning in English, but to a completely different translation. The Sunday Telegraph apologises for this mistake and for any offence caused by it."

As regular readers will know, I have a great deal of time for Islam and am quite a fan of the late Sayyid Qutb. I have therefore excised the incorrect name. It does not detract from the force of the argument, although it's always nice to get one's facts right. So I've been told.

Could I offer a warm welcome to readers from Conservative Home.

The day is coming when British Muslims form a state within a state By Alasdair Palmer (Filed: 19/02/2006)

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2006.

For the past two weeks, Patrick Sookhdeo has been canvassing the opinions of Muslim clerics in Britain on the row over the cartoons featuring images of Mohammed that were first published in Denmark and then reprinted in several other European countries.

"They think they have won the debate," he says with a sigh. "They believe that the British Government has capitulated to them, because it feared the consequences if it did not.

"The cartoons, you see, have not been published in this country, and the Government has been very critical of those countries in which they were published. To many of the Islamic clerics, that's a clear victory.

"It's confirmation of what they believe to be a familiar pattern: if spokesmen for British Muslims threaten what they call 'adverse consequences' - violence to the rest of us - then the British Government will cave in. I think it is a very dangerous precedent."

Dr Sookhdeo adds that he believes that "in a decade, you will see parts of English cities which are controlled by Muslim clerics and which follow, not the common law, but aspects of Muslim sharia law.

"It is already starting to happen - and unless the Government changes the way it treats the so-called leaders of the Islamic community, it will continue."

For someone with such strong and uncompromising views, Dr Sookhdeo is a surprisingly gentle and easy-going man. He speaks with authority on Islam, as it was his first faith: he was brought up as a Muslim in Guyana, the only English colony in South America, and attended a madrassa there.

"But Islamic instruction was very different in the 1950s, when I was at school," he says. "There was no talk of suicide bombing or indeed of violence of any kind. Islam was very peaceful."

Dr Sookhdeo's family emigrated to England when he was 10. In his early twenties, when he was at university, he converted to Christianity. "I had simply seen it as the white man's religion, the religion of the colonialists and the oppressors - in a very similar way, in fact, to the way that many Muslims see Christianity today.

" Leaving Islam was not easy. According to the literal interpretation of the Koran, the punishment for apostasy is death - and it actually is punished by death in some Middle Eastern states. "It wasn't quite like that here," he says, "although it was traumatic in some ways."

Dr Sookhdeo continued to study Islam, doing a PhD at London University on the religion. He is currently director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity. He also advises the Army on security issues related to Islam.

Several years ago, Dr Sookhdeo insisted that the next wave of radical Islam in Britain would involve suicide bombings in this country. His prediction was depressingly confirmed on 7/7 last year.

So his claim that, in the next decade, the Muslim community in Britain will not be integrated into mainstream British society, but will isolate itself to a much greater extent, carries weight behind it. Dr Sookhdeo has proved his prescience.

"The Government, and Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, are fundamentally deluded about the nature of Islam," he insists. "Tony Blair unintentionally revealed his ignorance when he said, in an effort to conciliate Muslims, that he had 'read through the Koran twice' and that he kept it by his bedside.

"He thought he was saying something which showed how seriously he took Islam. But most Muslims thought it was a joke, if not an insult. Because, of course, every Muslim knows that you cannot read the Koran through from cover to cover and understand it.

The chapters are not written to be read in that way. Indeed, after the first chapter, the chapters of the Koran are ordered according to their length, not according to their content or chronology: the longest chapters are first, the shorter ones are at the end.

"You need to know which passage was revealed at what period and in what time in order to be able to understand it - you cannot simply read it from beginning to end and expect to learn anything at all.

"That is one reason why it takes so long to be able to read and understand the Koran: the meaning of any part of it depends on a knowledge of its context - a context that is not in the Koran itself."

The Prime Minister's ignorance of Islam, Dr Sookhdeo contends, is of a piece with his unsuccessful attempts to conciliate it. And it does indeed seem as if the Government's policy towards radical Islam is based on the hope that if it makes concessions to its leaders, they will reciprocate and relations between fundamentalist Muslims and Tony Blair's Government will then turn into something resembling an ecumenical prayer meeting.

Dr Sookhdeo nods in vigorous agreement with that. "Yes - and it is a very big mistake. Look at what happened in the 1990s. The security services knew about Abu Hamza and the preachers like him. They knew that London was becoming the centre for Islamic terrorists. The police knew. The Government knew. Yet nothing was done.

"The whole approach towards Muslim militants was based on appeasement. 7/7 proved that that approach does not work - yet it is still being followed. For example, there is a book, [excised - LT] which is openly available in Muslim bookshops.

"It calls for the killing of Jews and Christians, and it sets out a strategy for killing the infidels and for warfare against them. The Government has done nothing whatever to interfere with the sale of that book.

"Why not? Government ministers have promised to punish religious hatred, to criminalise the glorification of terrorism, yet they do nothing about this book, which blatantly does both."

Perhaps the explanation is just that they do not take it seriously. "I fear that is exactly the problem," says Dr Sookhdeo. "The trouble is that Tony Blair and other ministers see Islam through the prism of their own secular outlook.

They simply do not realise how seriously Muslims take their religion. Islamic clerics regard themselves as locked in mortal combat with secularism.

"For example, one of the fundamental notions of a secular society is the moral importance of freedom, of individual choice. But in Islam, choice is not allowable: there cannot be free choice about whether to choose or reject any of the fundamental aspects of the religion, because they are all divinely ordained. God has laid down the law, and man must obey.

'Islamic clerics do not believe in a society in which Islam is one religion among others in a society ruled by basically non-religious laws. They believe it must be the dominant religion - and it is their aim to achieve this.

"That is why they do not believe in integration. In 1980, the Islamic Council of Europe laid out their strategy for the future - and the fundamental rule was never dilute your presence. That is to say, do not integrate.

"Rather, concentrate Muslim presence in a particular area until you are a majority in that area, so that the institutions of the local community come to reflect Islamic structures. The education system will be Islamic, the shops will serve only halal food, there will be no advertisements showing naked or semi-naked women, and so on."

That plan, says Dr Sookhdeo, is being followed in Britain. "That is why you are seeing areas which are now almost totally Muslim. The next step will be pushing the Government to recognise sharia law for Muslim communities - which will be backed up by the claim that it is "racist" or "Islamophobic" or "violating the rights of Muslims" to deny them sharia law.

"There's already a Sharia Law Council for the UK. The Government has already started making concessions: it has changed the law so that there are sharia-compliant mortgages and sharia pensions.

"Some Muslims are now pressing to be allowed four wives: they say it is part of their religion. They claim that not being allowed four wives is a denial of their religious liberty. There are Muslim men in Britain who marry and divorce three women, then marry a fourth time - and stay married, in sharia law, to all four.

"The more fundamentalist clerics think that it is only a matter of time before they will persuade the Government to concede on the issue of sharia law. Given the Government's record of capitulating, you can see why they believe that."

Dr Sookhdeo's vision of a relentless battle between secular and Islamic Britain seems hard to reconcile with the co-operation that seems to mark the vast majority of the interactions between the two communities.

"Well, it isn't me who says Islam is at war with secularisation," he says. "That's how Islamic clerics describe the situation."

But isn't it true that most Muslims who live in theocratic states want to get out of them as quickly as possible and live in a secular country such as Britain or America? And that most Muslims who come to Britain adopt the values of a liberal, democratic, tolerant society, rather than insisting on the inflexible rules of their religion?

"You have to distinguish between ordinary Muslims and their self-appointed leaders," explains Dr Sookhdeo. "I agree that the best hope for our collective future is that the majority of Muslims who have grown up here have accepted the secular nature of the British state and society, the division between religion and politics, and the importance of allowing people to choose freely how they will live.

"But that is not how most of the clerics talk. And, more significantly, it is not how the 'community leaders' whom the Government has decided represent the Muslim community think either.

"Take, for example, Tariq Ramadan, whom the Government has appointed as an adviser because ministers think he is a 'community leader'. Ramadan sounds, in public, very moderate. But in reality, he has some very extreme views. He attacks liberal Muslims as 'Muslims without Islam'. He is affiliated to the violent and uncompromising Muslim Brotherhood.

"He calls the education in the state schools of the West 'aggression against the Islamic personality of the child'. He has said that 'the Muslim respects the laws of the country only if they do not contradict any Islamic principle'. He has added that 'compromising on principles is a sign of fear and weakness'."

So what's the answer? What should the Government be doing? "First, it should try to engage with the real Muslim majority, not with the self-appointed 'community leaders' who don't actually represent anyone: they have not been elected, and the vast majority of ordinary Muslims have nothing to do with them.

"Second, the Government should say no to faith-based schools, because they are a block to integration. There should be no compromise over education, or over English as the language of education. The policy of political multiculturalism should be reversed.

"The hope was that it would to ensure separate communities would soften at the edges and integrate. But the opposite has in fact happened: Islamic communities have hardened. There is much less integration than there was for the generation that arrived when I did. There will be much less in the future if the present trend continues.

"Finally, the Government should make it absolutely clear: we welcome diversity, we welcome different religions - but all of them have to accept the secular basis of British law and society. That is a non-negotiable condition of being here.

"If the Government does not do all of those things then I fear for the future, because Islamic communities within Britain will form a state within a state. Religion will occupy an ever-larger place in our collective political life. And, speaking as a religious man myself, I fear that outcome."

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2006.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Laban.
we should all support Patrick Sukhdeo, he is one of the few who really knows what's going on and is brave enough to speak out. His Barnabus Fund is surely doing essential work for those living in great fear. Yet he is marginalised.

Let's all support him and his work.

Anonymous said...

truepeers said...

Hi Laban, thanks for visiting my Sookhdeo post, a man about whom i knew nothign at the start of the week and now am getting to know quite well, thanks to his censors. The link you left at YARGB for the Bradford paper is not working - 404 - at the moment. More disappearing going on?

Graham Smith said...

I find this quite disturbing and consider it should be brought to the attention of more people. It was good therefore to see that ConservativeHome have linked to it.

Anonymous said...

Well done for bringing this article to our attention.

British politicians are naive, gullible and deluded. They show a near wilful ignorance about the situation facing Britain. If they need advice they should speak to the Christian Arabs minorities living in the Middle East about what living in an Islamic country is like. Or the minority Serbs now living in Kosovo, Bosnia, Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro. Or the Armenians living in Turkey. The Arab Christians in Lebanon can tell you about how quickly a Muslim minority can become the majority, so can the Bosnian Serbs or the Kosovo Serbs.

Chamberlain's cries of peace with honour, peace in our time, cost millions of lives in the years later. We appease at our peril.

The result of attempts to democratise the Muslim world has shown how fanatically religious the Muslim populations are with extremist fundamentalists being elected in many Islamic countries.

Anonymous said...

I said many years ago that Halal meat should not be provided in schools, council establishments, etc: and, because I am Jewish, was derided accordingly. Yet many Muslims saw this as the first capitulation of the Christian state....the rest is history

Anonymous said...

Muslims in the West demand and expect to be given rights and treated well and given freedom to practice their religion and the West gives the Muslims living in Western countries equal rights and opportunities.

It is about time the world was told how badly Muslims countries treat their own Christian minorities and how Christians living in Muslim countries are denied their basic human rights and discriminated against and have no civil rights and no liberties or freedom to practice their religion.

Anonymous said...

I haven't got the paper to hand, but I think there was correspondence in last week's ST to the effect that Sookhdeo had got his facts wrong about the book "The Noble Koran - a new rendering..." and may have libelled the author and publishers.

Anonymous said...

Letter is here -

Anonymous said...

Even the Torygraph submits to PC pressure in the end.

Does anyone remember Will Cummins?

Larry Teabag said...

"First, it should try to engage with the real Muslim majority...
"Second, the Government should say no to faith-based schools...
"Finally, the Government should make it absolutely clear: we welcome diversity, we welcome different religions - but all of them have to accept the secular basis of British law and society."

Eminently sensible I'd say. And you don't agree with any of them.

Anonymous said...

Ah the real muslim majority, we do hear a lot about them dont we. Those moderates who are just as sick of the fundamentalists as we are of extreme christians. Hellooo, muslims (real ones) are you there? Helloo? Anybody? No? Thats odd, maybe you dont exist then?

Larry Teabag said...

Anonymous, if you wish to find moderate Muslims to chat to, may I suggest you look for them somewhere other than the comments sections of ultra-conservative Christians' weblogs?

Anonymous said...

We are allways told by the BBC that say the Iranian ruling classes are ultra conservative...

Why aren't they here?

Rob Read

Anonymous said...

Her's some classified documents about how the state is appeasing radical i-slam with your money.

Larry Teabag said...

Why aren't the Iranian ruling classes in Laban Tall's comments section?

Well that's one of the most bizarre questions I've ever been asked.

Two Passports said...

It's scary. I teach a lot of Muslim kids and you wouldn't believe some of the comments that come out - anti-semitism, rants about how much they hate the UK etc.
By the way, I've linked to your blog. I've just started mine.

Anonymous said...

Muslim countries in the Middle East persecute and oppress their Arab Christians minorities, and under political pressure the world media and press are told to hush it up or else....

What I am going to say is something that is not publicised and kept quiet by the media and the press and has also been hushed up by do-gooders and liberal Western politicians.

This is what happened in Lebanon. Within less than 50 years the Arab Chritians in Lebanon became a minority and the Muslims in Lebanon became the majority and a civil war started.

If this is not enough in Bosnia and Kosovo the Christian Serbs used to be the majority and again since after 1970 the Bosnian Muslims and Kosovo Muslims became the majority and the Balkan Wars started.

There are a number of other Western European countries who in 50 years time will face similar problems.

Anonymous said...


By Brigitte Gabriel
February 20, 2006

[Editor's Note: Below are excerpts from Brigitte Gabriel's speech delivered at the Intelligence Summit in Washington DC, Saturday February 18, 2006].

We gather here today to share information and knowledge. Intelligence is not merely cold hard data about numerical strength or armament or disposition of military forces. The most important element of intelligence has to be understanding the mindset and intention of the enemy. The West has been wallowing in a state of ignorance and denial for thirty years as Muslim extremist perpetrated evil against innocent victims in the name of Allah.

I was ten years old when my home exploded around me, burying me under the rubble and leaving me to drink my blood to survive, as the perpetrators shouted “Allah Akbar!” My only crime was that I was a Christian living in a Christian town. At 10 years old, I learned the meaning of the word "infidel."

I had a crash course in survival. Not in the Girl Scouts, but in a bomb shelter where I lived for seven years in pitch darkness, freezing cold, drinking stale water and eating grass to live. At the age of 13 I dressed in my burial clothes going to bed at night, waiting to be slaughtered. By the age of 20, I had buried most of my friends--killed by Muslims. We were not Americans living in New York, or Britons in London. We were Arab Christians living in Lebanon.

As a victim of Islamic terror, I was amazed when I saw Americans waking up on September 12, 2001, and asking themselves "Why do they hate us?" The psychoanalyst experts were coming up with all sort of excuses as to what did we do to offend the Muslim World. But if America and the West were paying attention to the Middle East they would not have had to ask the question. Simply put, they hate us because we are defined in their eyes by one simple word: "infidels."

Under the banner of Islam "la, ilaha illa allah, muhammad rasoulu allah," (None is god except Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) they murdered Jewish children in Israel, massacred Christians in Lebanon, killed Copts in Egypt, Assyrians in Syria, Hindus in India, and expelled almost 900,000 Jews from Muslim lands. We Middle Eastern infidels paid the price then. Now infidels worldwide are paying the price for indifference and shortsightedness.

Tolerating evil is a crime. Appeasing murderers doesn't buy protection. It earns one disrespect and loathing in the enemy's eyes. Yet apathy is the weapon by which the West is committing suicide. Political correctness forms the shackles around our ankles, by which Islamists are leading us to our demise.

America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy: Islam. You hear about Wahabbi and Salafi Islam as the only extreme form of Islam. All the other Muslims, supposedly, are wonderful moderates. Closer to the truth are the pictures of the irrational eruption of violence in reaction to the cartoons of Mohammed printed by a Danish newspaper. From burning embassies, to calls to butcher those who mock Islam, to warnings that the West be prepared for another holocaust, those pictures have given us a glimpse into the real face of the enemy. News pictures and video of these events represent a canvas of hate decorated by different nationalities who share one common ideology of hate, bigotry and intolerance derived from one source: authentic Islam. An Islam that is awakening from centuries of slumber to re-ignite its wrath against the infidel and dominate the world. An Islam which has declared "Intifada" on the West.

America and the West can no longer afford to lay in their lazy state of overweight ignorance. The consequences of this mental disease are starting to attack the body, and if they don't take the necessary steps now to control it, death will be knocking soon. If you want to understand the nature of the enemy we face, visualize a tapestry of snakes. They slither and they hiss, and they would eat each other alive, but they will unite in a hideous mass to achieve their common goal of imposing Islam on the world.

This is the ugly face of the enemy we are fighting. We are fighting a powerful ideology that is capable of altering basic human instincts. An ideology that can turn a mother into a launching pad of death. A perfect example is a recently elected Hamas official in the Palestinian Territories who raves in heavenly joy about sending her three sons to death and offering the ones who are still alive for the cause. It is an ideology that is capable of offering highly educated individuals such as doctors and lawyers far more joy in attaining death than any respect and stature, life in society is ever capable of giving them.

The United States has been a prime target for radical Islamic hatred and terror. Every Friday, mosques in the Middle East ring with shrill prayers and monotonous chants calling death, destruction and damnation down on America and its people. The radical Islamists’ deeds have been as vile as their words. Since the Iran hostage crisis, more than three thousand Americans have died in a terror campaign almost unprecedented in its calculated cruelty along with thousands of other citizens worldwide. Even the Nazis did not turn their own children into human bombs, and then rejoice at their deaths as well the deaths of their victims. This intentional, indiscriminate and wholesale murder of innocent American citizens is justified and glorified in the name of Islam.

America cannot effectively defend itself in this war unless and until the American people understand the nature of the enemy that we face. Even after 9/11 there are those who say that we must “engage” our terrorist enemies, that we must “address their grievances”. Their grievance is our freedom of religion. Their grievance is our freedom of speech. Their grievance is our democratic process where the rule of law comes from the voices of many not that of just one prophet. It is the respect we instill in our children towards all religions. It is the equality we grant each other as human beings sharing a planet and striving to make the world a better place for all humanity. Their grievance is the kindness and respect a man shows a woman, the justice we practice as equals under the law, and the mercy we grant our enemy. Their grievance cannot be answered by an apology for who or what we are.

Our mediocre attitude of not confronting Islamic forces of bigotry and hatred wherever they raised their ugly head in the last 30 years, has empowered and strengthened our enemy to launch a full scale attack on the very freedoms we cherish in their effort to impose their values and way of life on our civilization.

If we don't wake up and challenge our Muslim community to take action against the terrorists within it, if we don't believe in ourselves as Americans and in the standards we should hold every patriotic American to, we are going to pay a price for our delusion. For the sake of our children and our country, we must wake up and take action. In the face of a torrent of hateful invective and terrorist murder, America’s learning curve since the Iran hostage crisis is so shallow that it is almost flat. The longer we lay supine, the more difficult it will be to stand erect.

njuk said...

more dhimmitude by the british press and as far as the councils and government go it,s a case of no fatwa in my back yard . when will they learn or was 7/7 some horrible nightmare they hope to wake up from, islam only fears strength not weakness. 6 million muslims in the uk and growing not 1.5 million as you keep getting told

njuk said...

more dhimmitude by the british press and as far as the councils and government go it,s a case of no fatwa in my back yard . when will they learn or was 7/7 some horrible nightmare they hope to wake up from, islam only fears strength not weakness. 6 million muslims in the uk and growing not 1.5 million as you keep getting told

Anonymous said...

In your excitement you have got your figures muddled, njuk.

There are six milliom Muslims in America, not Britain. Perhaps that's what you were thinking of.

The 2001 Census found just over 1.5 million in England and Wales. Even allowing for their high birth rate and illegal immigration, the figure is highly unlikely to exceed two million today.

Anonymous said...

I can confirm that in the Home Office privately the figure of 6 million Muslims in Britain is the now accepted as an accurately estimated figure now being used unofficially.

The "official" figure of 1.5 million is what the government currently releases out. This figure based on the 2001 Census which is now discredited. The reason is that the Census depends on the information that people give and send back and this is not accurate.

The reason that the 6 million Muslims in Britain figure is not yet made public by the Home Office is because:

1. It would make Muslims demands for a greater representation of political power etc.
2. It may make people panic and take extreme actions.

"A civil servant"

Anonymous said...

FYI - The US unoffical figure has now been raised to 12 million Muslims living in the US..

Like the UK government the US government has not yet released the figure because it might cause alarm among the citizens.

"A civil servant"

Anonymous said...

Yet the Census can be cross-referenced with information gained from other sources, such as the Department of Education.

You are claiming that there are four million people unaccounted for.

Somehow, in this increasingly bureaucratic country of ours, these four million people have evaded Child Benefit, have no visible means of support, don't go to school, make no NI payments, claim no pensions, drive unlicensed cars, and don't sign on. They live completely outside the system. Four million Muslim Anne Franks.

Even better, the Government have hushed this up. The same Government which is intent on introducing ID cards for everyone, thus uncovering its incredible deception.

With an active imagination like yours, I'm surprised you can't think up a monicker for yourself here, Anonymous.

Of course, if you have evidence beyond the 'Trust me, I know about these things' level, then I'm all ears.

Anonymous said...

"...sections of ultra-conservative Christians' weblogs?"

my my larry, is that your view of this blog I am bemused by your wrongness.