DM Digital Appearance- Question Time on Pastor Jones entry to UK

On Monday 13th Dec 2010, I was invited to speak on the DM Digital Channel Show “Question Time” – a Live show which deals with Domestic current affairs affecting the Muslim community in Britain. The subject of debate was the entry of Pastor Jones, the organiser of ‘Burn a Quran Day’, who was now seeking entry to the UK to attend an English Defence League rally and address the topic of ‘The evils of Islam’.

On the show I focused on addressing the wider picture and not just Pastor Jones’ Islamophobia. In the age of the ‘War on TERROR’ there are similar discussions happening weekly across the world where “experts” and misinformed people easily attack aspects of Islam. Domestically here in Britain, this is the same case, where politicians have lined up to attack Islam all the while hiding behind the cloak of seeking better integration of communities, and questioning citizens loyalty to their state.

The politicians have been fuelling propaganda against the Muslim community. This has been capitalised on by thuggish groups like the English Defence League, who are comfortable in aligning themselves with Pastor Jones to come to Britain and resume the false and baseless rhetoric against Islam.

So what is the track record of politicians whose words and actions have been more damaging than those of an unheard man with 50 meagre followers? Wasn’t it the now London Mayor Boris Johnson who back in July 2005 said,

“The proposed ban on incitement to ‘religious hatred’ makes no sense unless it involves a ban on the Koran itself…”

He further added,

“What makes modern Islam so politically troublesome is that some Muslims can be induced to take offence not just at an insult to Islam, but at any injustice suffered by one of their co-religionists, and it is this deep personal sense of outrage – scarcely explicable to our post-enlightenment souls – that helps the whacko imams to warp the alienated young men into becoming suicide bombers….” Daily Telegraph, 21 July 2005.

The British government pre and post-Labour have been more vocal than Pastor Jones on their discrediting aspects of Islam. Their objectives? No different to Pastor Jones. Publicity for Politicians, aims to criminalise and target a community for votes, campaigns for leadership contests both local and national, and using a scapegoat to achieve the results in the process. Lets see Labour’s record of “integration” who were in power for the last term:

1.       Labour was behind the introduction of Draconian anti-terror laws which singled out Muslims.

2.       Jack Straw attacked the niqaab which fuels the propaganda for EDL.

3.       Jim Fitzpatrick criticised and ridiculed Muslim marriage arrangements (segregation between male and female at weddings) in 2009.

4.       Labour launched vicious wars in Afghanistan and Iraq based on flimsy evidence in a sexed-up dossier that was proven to be false.

5.       John Reid said Muslim parents should spy on their children for signs of extremism.

6.       Ruth Kelly in 2006 said she wanted to create a British version of Islam and created a government curriculum for masjids/madrassas for this.

7.       Hazel Blears designed the Muslim women’s assertiveness course which pushed women to spy on their husbands and brothers and report them to police if they believed there were ‘signs’ of radicalisation (growing a beard, wearing an abaya – long tunic – and attending the mosque regularly).

8.       Dennis McShane said we must confront “Ideological Islam” (an Islam which puts forward a world view on how Muslim countries should base their laws from the Shari`ah).

9.       David Blunkett was responsible for introducing debate on Muslim marriages in 2002 as a way of controlling immigration from South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) which in essence targeted Muslim marriages.

10.       David Milliband introduced the Forced Marriages Act 2007 which wrongfully associates forced marriages with Islam and pushes a more liberal perspective for our young children on marriage, including an encouragement to become gay or lesbian if they want to.

11.       Charles Clarke said that Shari`ah and the Caliphate in the Muslim world are non-negotiable for the British government (they will never accept its existence).

12.       Labour was behind the creation of PVE which says that the Islamic form of Government, Khilafah, as detailed in thousands of Islamic books over the last 1000 years and documented in the legal works of the four main Schools of Islamic thought, is a ‘fascist state’ and anyone who calls for it is an extremist.

The track record for the Conservatives in not exactly gleaming either. It was the now Prime Minister, David Cameron, who pledged to break up “Muslim ghettos” and regarded “rising Muslim consciousness” as a threat to social stability. His security spokesperson Pauline Neville-Jones in the last  years produced reports labelling the Muslim Council of Britain as extremist and accused  Tablighi Jamaat of association with terrorism. Leading figures from the Tories like Philip Davies, Michael Gove and Patrick Mercer are not exactly your “pro-Muslim” cheerleaders!

Muslims in Britain need to confront this hysteria whipped up by influential figures; they have created the climate for people like EDL and Pastor Jones to globally voice their un-educated thoughts in public while hiding behind the glamorised Hollywood style concept of ‘Freedom of Speech’.

Let us ask Julian Assange (wikileaks guy) what Freedom of Speech really means!

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