Islamophobia3a
Civil Liberties

If Labour wins, Islamophobia will become a crime and truth stifled

This is a guest post by the Rev’d Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden – author, theologian and Chaplain to the Queen (one of c35)

___________________

I had never heard of the Armenian genocide until I met Greg. He was an Armenian living in Toronto, and we were both part of a chamber group of musicians playing concerts to ‘lifers’ in Canadian jails. He told me how the determination of the Muslim Turks to eradicate all Armenian Christians had continued decades after the genocide. A Muslim threw a grenade into his family kitchen when he was 4. His mother screamed, overturned the kitchen table and dragged him behind it. It shielded them from the shrapnel. They survived. They left the Middle East for Canada.

I had recently left school and received an expensive education. But at no point do I remember anyone drawing my attention to the fact that one and a half million Armenian Christians had been systematically slaughtered by the Muslim Turkish Government in a programme that started in 1915, half a century ago then – and the centenary of which occurs now. It wasn’t only the people of course. The Churches and the monasteries were also burnt to the ground or wholly demolished. All memory of them was eradicated.

Clearly no one had told the Secretary General of the UN about this either. Last week he denied there was a genocide. He preferred the euphemism ‘atrocity crimes’. Turkey refuses to acknowledge the genocide. It claims there were some casualties during a period of civil ‘unrest’.

One has to be careful at this point, because if Ed Miliband wins this General Election, he has promised to make Islamophobia a crime. Greg was Islamophobic. That grenade in his kitchen left him both wary and fearful. They had murdered his grandparents in Turkey and wiped out his whole community. He remained afraid.

We have pathologised our culture in a way that makes it difficult to tell the truth. But we need to make a distinction between facts and opinions. It is right to afraid of some things; it may be neurotic to be afraid of others. But if Miliband does make the expression of Islamophobia a crime, it will be a criminal offence to tell the truth.

There are, of course, many kind, dignified and wholly attractive Muslims. It would be a terrible mistake not to be able to distinguish between gentle, amenable Muslims and Islam itself.

The West has tried to do this by adopting two words in particular– ‘radical’ and ‘extreme’– to qualify Islam. The problem with this approach is that it mistakes the basic tenet of Islam, which is the requirement in the Koran and the Sira for all Muslims to imitate as closely as possible the life of Mohammed. What concept are the adjectives ‘radical’ and ‘extreme’ supposed to be qualifying?

One must ask: ‘Was Mohammed himself ever radicalised?’ ‘Was Mohammed ever extreme?’ The answer to that is partly yes. He taught a spiritual religion for his 13 years in Mecca in the absence of violence. His followers throughout this period amounted to several hundred, and no more. But when he left for Medina, the Koran and his activities developed a political and violent dimension that, under the principle of abrogation, supersede his benign ‘spiritual’ stage. However, the radical Mohammed becomes the normative Mohammed. It is historical ignorance or determined prejudice to apply the epithets ‘radical’ or ‘extreme’ to violent Islamic actions which model themselves on the normative actions and teaching of the later Mohammed. Such a diagnosis involves a category error. They may be radical when compared to the Golden Rule, but Islam has no Golden Rule – it restricts itself to following the example of Mohammed himself.

When the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo were assassinated, many commentators said that it was unfair to blame Islam for such radical and extreme actions. But they were neither: they were simply and directly imitating Mohammed. When a Jewish woman poet Asma Bint Marwan satirised him in 624, Mohammed had her assassinated while she slept with her children.

Is ISIS extreme or radical ? Between 622 and 632 Mohammed led 74 violent expeditions against people who refused accept or follow him. After the Battle of the Trench, he executed – by cutting off their heads – between 600 and 900 Jewish men women and children who had simply failed to overtly support him.

Any attribution of extremity needs to assessed in a broad historical context. What is that context? Islam’s record of violence over the last 1400 years amounts to something like 270 million non-Muslims killed – because they were non-Muslims. It set out to destroy the Christian civilisation in all the Middle East, Egypt, Turkey, North Africa (where St Augustine of Hippo was based), and succeeded. It didn’t kill only Christians (estimated at 60 million) but also 10 million Buddhists, and 80 million Hindus. Persian Zoroastrian culture and African animists were also wiped out.

I was taught at school that the Crusades were an overflow of Norman violence; younger sons restive for booty. I remember only too well writing in essays that it was the dispossessed younger sons who trekked off to smite a few Saracens. In fact, all the recent research tells us that this was nonsense. There was no such distinction amongst those who risked their lives and their lands in response to a plea for help. The facts are that as Islamic armies spread up through Palestine, and Syria, just as ISIS is spreading in Iraq today, Christians living there begged for help and protection. The crusades were a response to that plea for help in the face of violent Islamic military expansion.

Boko Haram recently summarily executed prisoners held in slavery. Is slavery normative in Islam? There is very little mention among commentators that Mohammed practised, endorsed and encouraged slavery. But he did. Focused as we often are on the turbulence in American cities that flows from the early years of slavery in the States, we appear to have no historical memory that between the 16th and 19th centuries one million West European men, women and children were captured and forced into slavery. The numbers of black Africans also enslaved is estimated to be about 17 million.

Rochdale has had trouble with the grooming of young girls. Is this extreme or abnormal in an Islamic context? Mohammed married his youngest wife Aisha at six, and consummated the marriage when she was aged nine.

There may be political reasons why Ban Ki-Moon does not want to upset the Turkish Government and cannot tell the truth. Now I know a little more history than I was taught at school, I’m not surprised that Greg and the Armenian Christians experienced Islamophobia. But if it becomes an offence in English law to experience and express fear of Islam, many more of us may be unable to tell the truth without becoming criminals.

  • bluedog

    The Labour Party faces a dilemma. So many of its white British working class constituencies have been repopulated with Muslims that it now needs to reflect the demands of its Muslim demographic. Creating the thought crime of Islamophobia gives Labour street cred and demonstrates respect for the Ummah, and as such is an entirely rational and prudent initiative. In time the Labour Party may change its name to the Muslim Brotherhood or even Hamas (an offshoot of the MB) to more accurately represent the franchise operation that it will inevitably find itself running. The prospect of Labour/Hamas forming a government in coalition with the SNP assumes a particular piquancy. Both entities would appear to be determined to destroy the United Kingdom.

    Any one for civil war after tea?

    • Jeremy Poynton

      Yup. That would seem to be the way things are heading, as long as the West keeps it head buried firmly in the sand regarding Islam.

      • sarky

        The politicians may have their heads buried, but the people don’t. The failure of politicians has caused a groundswell of sympathy for far right groups across Europe. The politicians need to grasp the nettle and deal with extremism firmly and quickly, otherwise we are heading to a place that history tells us is a frightening place to be.

        • CliveM

          That perhaps is what Ed thinks his proposals will do? He clearly see’s Islamophobia as a problem of the right.

          • sarky

            But that’s like trying to stop malaria by making mosquitos a protected species?

          • CliveM

            I wouldn’t disagree, but that is the way the Left operates. Extremism is allowed as long as it’s not from the right!

    • dannybhoy

      Could Ed then be forced to decapitate the members of his family who cling to their Jewish heritage?

      • bluedog

        What a dreadful thought db, one does hope not. In fact one suspects that the Muslim leadership would derive satisfaction from knowing that a politician of Jewish descent was at their beck and call.

        • dannybhoy

          He holds his heritage more lightly than he does his ambitions..
          As I have said before, the tragedy of Ed is that he acts like a second hand car salesman desperate to sell you a lemon…

  • Dreadnaught

    An excellent precis, deserving the widest readership. Well done Sir.

  • dannybhoy

    “This is a guest post by the Rev’d Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden – author, theologian and Chaplain to the Queen (one of c35)”

    In the light of what yer man has written above I have only one question:
    “Why then is the CofE leadership continuing to engage in interfaith dialogue, and why are they recognising Mohammed as a prophet, who only recognised our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God as ‘one of the prophets’?

    • Dreadnaught

      Fear for Christian safety world wide.

      • Shadrach Fire

        We dare not give into them. Be wise but not submissive.

        • Dreadnaught

          But you have given in to them.

    • Anton

      Because the Rev’d Canon Dr Gavin Ashenden is not the Archbishop of Canterbury.

      • dannybhoy

        But he is the Chaplain to the Queen is he not? Does that not allow him any say in the deliberations of Church leadership, either on or off the record?

        • Anton

          No. Or at least, only by any influence he has over Her Majesty.

          • dannybhoy

            These guys don’t talk to each other about matters of interest to the CofE?
            C’mon…

          • Anton

            That’s simply not the way the Church of England works. (Please note that I am neither defending nor attacking its modus operandi here.)

          • dannybhoy

            As Father Ted would say..

            “That’s the great thing about Catholicism (and the CofE) – it’s very vague and no-one knows what it’s really all about.”

            I rather think people in positions of responsibility in the church do talk to each other Anton.
            I’m the deanery and diocesan rep for our church, and at these gatherings I know they all talk to each other..

          • Anton

            Sure they talk to each other, but do they ask each other hard questions about Islam’s rise in England? I doubt it.

          • dannybhoy

            That’s more like it Anton.
            I may have mentioned a conversation with a retired London bishop I had at a synod. He didn’t believe the basics even..
            More seriously what about all those Anglicans looking for coherent leadership?
            Not going to get it are they?

          • Anton

            That’s why I shifted to the Frees. Reluctantly at the time but I now wish I’d done it sooner.

          • dannybhoy

            Huzzah for the nonconformists! That’s where our hearts lie too.

          • ….or vice versa.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Good post sir,
    Was it not the North African Muslims that captured the Africans and sold them into slavery on the west coast? Was it not the North West African Muslims who came to Britain and enslaved whole villages? Bulgarians I know talk of the hundreds of years that they were persecuted by the Turkish Muslims.
    I do not know of any group of people that have behaved so atrociously to those around them. And has their ‘Book’ changed any over the years? They now try to claim that you can only only understand the Quaran if it is read in Arabic. Bunkum I say.
    Bet no national paper would publish this.

    • Coniston

      Moors from North Africa certainly raided villages in Ireland; some got as far as Iceland is search of slaves.

      • bluedog

        Lundy Island was a semi-permanent base for Barbary pirates for many years.

  • CliveM

    I had this argument with a labour supporter. His argument was look at the slaughter of Acre. Even if we allow that King Richards behaved abhorrently, I couldn’t make the labour supporter understand that whilst the founder of Islam would have endorsed such behaviour, Christ wouldn’t.

  • Hi

    Let’s ban Jesusphobia as well….. actually Islam is a religion /ideology just like any other, so deserves to be critiqued and not be beyond criticism. Besides which we are in Britain and not a caliphate and we are not dhimmins who have to bow s poo an and not criticise Islam or its teachings. To wit I’d add my own faith to that as well, although I’d not sanction antisemitism.

    Except and here is the rub, islam is a religion, whereas Judaism is both a religion and peoplehood which you are born into and antisemitism can happen to you even if you give up the Jewish religion or are an atheist. One can disavow Islam or Christianity or even Judaism, but Judaism is the only major religion that I know that people still describe themselves as Jewish(rightly or wrongly ) even if one doesn’t follow or believe in the religion : Ed Miliband the self confessed atheist Jew is one such example….. I’ve not yet heard of atheist Muslims or Christians that call themselves that, when they’ve stopped following their religion..

    • dannybhoy

      Hannahle
      I think you’ll find that Muslims believe they are born Muslims just as Jews believe that through their mother they are born Jewish. I think although I may be wrong, that this is true for pretty much all religions
      One can convert from one to another of course.
      But only Christians are not born Christians. It is a conscious personal choice, even though some babies are baptised at birth, it doesn’t make them Christians until they as mature individuals declare themselves followers of Christ Jesus.

      Is Ed a true Jew if he doesn’t believe the basics, doesn’t believe in the existence of God? Yes, he was born of a Jewish mother, but if as an adult he no longer believes..?

      • Hi Danny

        The point being made by me is that even if a Muslim is born into the faith and automatically becomes a Muslim from birth, I think the Catholic Christians have cradle Catholics as well, if that person later disavowed that faith, into atheism or indeed another , they wouldn’t continue to be self-described as a Muslim. Same for Christians who are born into Christianity, but who later become atheists or become Buddhists.

        A Jew, who is an atheist or non observant will still self describe as a Jew and as we’ve had this discussion before, even a Jew who becomes a Buddhist or a Christian he or she will prefix this with “Jewish christian” ( or “messianic Jew”) or Buddhist Jew. So regardless of what I think, there are clearly Jews who still like to keep describing themselves as Jews, which I just don’t see in other faiths. As for Ed Miliband , if his mother was a Jew, then yes he is a Jew : but he is an atheist and not one who follows the Jewish religion, that is Judaism. But if he did wish to become Torah observant he wouldn’t have to reconvert.

        • dannybhoy

          No he wouldn’t have to reconvert, true; and yes, we have had this conversation before.
          However, if a Jew is still a Jew regardless of what he or she believes and practices, then what does it mean to be Jewish apart from an accident of birth?
          If a Jew can be anything they want to be why remain Jewish? What makes them any different from non Jews is what I am getting at. A practicing Jew I can understand. But a Jew for whom being a Jew means nothing, why not just be a goy?
          It’s a lot easier!

          • Hi Danny

            I never said that a Jew can be anything they want to be, I said that people who are non observant etc “self describe” themselves as Jews, in a way that members of other faiths do not. Furthermore I also said “regardless of what I think”. However it is true that one is a Jew ,in orthodoxy at least, if your mother is Jewish and it is expected that one follows the Jewish faith. It does not always happen like that.

            As for your question, my answer is a spiritual one : that deep down atheist and Christian Jews know that their real family are fellow Jews and that their real God and religion is that of the Torah. As much as they try and forget or deny this, there is probably a part which doesn’t or can’t quite let go.

          • I’d also add that one can become Jewish by conversion, but my specific remarks were about those who were born into a faith and then later abandoned that faith. Actually that’s a good example, if a Christian became a Jew, he or she wouldn’t identity as as a Christian Jew…

          • dannybhoy

            Quite so.
            My sister as you know, converted to (Reform) Judaism. She’s in the choir and her husband is involved in their schul, but he doesn’t actually believe the basics of Judaism either. He’s very influenced by eastern philosophy -all is one, God is unknowable etc etc.
            So then one wonders why do the whole feast and high holy day bit if you don’t actually believe the reasons for it..

          • Hi Danny

            *Hugs*

            My thought –

            well that’s up to God and your sister and brother in law. Tongue in cheek : That’s our reform guys and girls for you

          • dannybhoy

          • Hi Danny

            I always try to send hugs to those whom I disagree with but nevertheless respect as commentators…

          • dannybhoy

            Well that’s a lovely thing to do Hannahle.
            You’re a sweetie.

          • Dude

            my sis is a velvet glove in an iron fist ….. or a Jewish woman (like my better half Dominique ) as in “wear the trousers”.

          • Hi Sam

            Grrrrrrr! Just because we watched Dr who on the the horror channel rather than holby city and that doctor who u fancy…

          • That and the Pink Fluffy Dice in our car – but what doctor on holby ??? Dumb NOT gay….!

          • Dr Zosia March?

          • Mea culpa…..

          • *gasp*
            Sam fancies the Doctor?

          • Hi

            No, camilla arfwedson.

          • dannybhoy

            I liked your sister from the first reading of her blog..

          • Dude

            The fags whiskey and beer with a side order of herring are on mye . I loved my sister – in a brotherly way – when she popped out of my mother’s womb , right after my other sister .

          • dannybhoy

            Family is family Shmu’el. Kol hakevod l’kha.

          • “Family is family”

            And that dude is why I’m Jewish.

          • Hi Danny

          • Dominic Stockford

            Dear Hannah,
            I am a protestant Christian Jew. My mother’s mother’s parents both being practising Jews. So I agree with you about some of what you say here.You can be a Jew without practising or even holding the faith.

          • Jack knows a person whose father converted from Judaism to Catholicism. He also regarded himself as a Christian Jew.- in both ethnic and religious ways.

          • Linus

            Here in France there are two kinds of anti-semitism.

            The first “hard” kind is mainly seen in the Muslim community, although it’s also present in the ranks of the far right FN. It’s characterized by the unreasonable, unreasoning hatred of all Jews and all things Jewish and is both religiously and racially motivated.

            The second “soft” kind of anti-semitism is less radical but, unfortunately, far more widespread. It has little or nothing to do with religion or even race. It’s targeted at the Jews as an exclusive socio-economic group and is based around resentment of their (real or perceived) prosperity and their tendency toward endogamous economic activity. In other words, Jews deal with Jews and make money doing it.

            The same can also be said of other groups as well, for example the Vietnamese. Any cohesive and closed group with a strong identity that marks its members out as being different and more successful from others carries with it the risk of resentment and suspicion.

            While there are things that can be done about the “hard” kind of anti-semitism, such as banning the expression of overtly anti-semitic propaganda and racially motivated insults, the “soft” kind is more insidious and I’m not sure it will ever be completely eradicated. It’s part of human nature to be suspicious of the “other”. We identify with groups and those who are not part of our group are automatically seen as outsiders, especially when they’re doing better than us.

          • Hi Linus

            I agree with that analysis.

  • Simon Gardner

    I agree this has been calamitous. It’s also not the first time Labour has tried to pass a blasphemy law. Last time was in 2005/2006 it culminated in the diluted 2006 Racial and Religious Discrimination Act which – as predicted by its opponents – has resulted in the stifling of public discourse around the ideology of Islam.

    This was why so many news outlets at the time of the Charlie Hebdo Islamist atrocities this year, refused to show anyone in Britain the cover of the Charlie Hebdo Survivor’s Edition. We had the comedic spectacle of Sky News (14/1/15) taking the prominent French writer Caroline Fourest suddenly off air in the middle of an interview with a clearly terrified Sky presenter Dharshini David when she raised that cover from the stricken Charlie Hebdo offices.

    The original and more ferocious blasphemy law Labour had tried to pass in 2006 was opposed in the Lords and finally lost by just one vote in the Commons. Ed Miliband had voted for it. This is his attempt to pass again a blasphemy law in Britain.

    • Anton

      Yes, and it lost by one vote in Blair’s absence. Had he been present then precedent dictates that a dead heat goes in favour of the government. Will God protect us this time? Do we deserve it?

      • Simon Gardner

        Not quite right on your Erskine May, I think. In the event of a dead heat, Mr Speaker votes for more discussion. If there is still a tie, Mr Speaker votes to keep the status quo and it would not have passed. [My MP is Mr Speaker.]

        • Anton

          Thank you.

  • Andym

    phobia ……. a person suffering from irrational or uncontrollable dread….

    Would a rational fear of Islam still be allowed?

    • Simon Gardner

      No.

      • dannybhoy

        That would probably merit a stoning..

  • big

    Here we go again….now which god fearing Christian countries was it that started an illegal war of aggression against Iraq……. yes USA and the UK ……..and they have their favourite allied country in the region……..yes that wound be Saudi Arabia……last time i looked i think theyd chopped off more heads than ISIS…..and why exactly are ISIS a problem?……..because god fearing Neocon ideologes from god fearing countries keep bombing secular Arab states…… as for Labour …..nothing more than the usual Hegelian dialects……so to some up…. more propaganda … more fear… more restrictive laws….more hypocrisy…. more dead civilians….brilliant…just brilliant.

    • carl jacobs

      “Illegal war of aggression”

      Illegal according to whom? What authority exists over the nations? The US has all the authority it needs to go to war when and where it chooses. That authority is rooted in the Constitution of the US and the sovereignty assumed therein. The US doesn’t need permission.

      • big

        I take it your American?

        • carl jacobs

          I take it that this is your subtle way of admitting you can’t answer my question.

          But, hey, if you think I am wrong, you are free to suggest a remedy.

          1. A Security Council resolution perhaps.
          2. Maybe you could file a lawsuit with the US Supreme Court.
          3. I know. The ICC could take a break from prosecuting Africans to file charges against the Criminal Bush.

          Illegal means punishment, ya know.

          • big

            No illegal means enything America wants it to mean to justify aggression

          • carl jacobs

            Since you have lost the whole concept of international law in this subthread, it’s time to revisit your definition.

            1. “Legal” means you agree with it.
            2. “Illegal” means you disagree with it.

          • Old Nick

            Remota itaque iustitia quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia ? quia et latrocinia quid sunt nisi parua regna?

          • carl jacobs

            What is is not necesarrily what is good. But what is cannot be changed. And so we must deal with it.

          • big

            Look up Benjamin B Ferencz also Kofi annan they also seem to think the war illegal but what the hell do they know!

          • carl jacobs

            I don’t much care about the opinions of either man. What I asked for is an authority. By what authority does either man presume to judge the war illegal?

          • Anton

            Great question. One might be dubious about the US/UK action in Iraq but the point you are making is that “International Law” is bullshit and you are right.

          • big

            Its not bullshit and he is is not right.

          • Anton

            Then answer his question, if you can.

            A code of law is enforced by a particular jurisdiction in a particular area. The government of country X sets and enforces the law in the territory of country X. There is nothing like that arrangement for so-called international law. There are only international treaties that harmonise laws in signatory countries, and extradition treaties. (NB I am talking about criminal law, not civil law as contracts between two parties anywhere in the world can be agreed to be under eg English law.)

          • big

            The Nazis had laws to murder Jews where did they get their authority? Of course after the unpleasant episode ended the international powers created the UN maybe thats a hint!

          • Anton

            If you think that the UN has authority over the USA then you are mistaken. Only resolutions of the UN Security Council are binding on UN members and the USA is a permanent member of the Security Council with power of veto.

            Would you know answer Carl’s question that you have been avoiding: By what authority does either man [Ferencz or Kofi Annan] presume to judge the war illegal?

          • big

            No the UN unfortunately has no control over USA. and you didnt answer my question where the Nazis got theirs from! since carl says he doesnt care about opinions whats the point!

          • carl jacobs

            No the UN unfortunately has no control over USA.

            I’ll take that as an admission that you know there is no authority.

            you didnt answer my question where the Nazis got theirs from!

            Where did the Nazis get their authority? From the barrel of a gun. That is where all states get their authority. The nations are beasts and they interact as beasts. That’s reality. The question you should really ask is “Where did the victorious allied powers get the authority to conduct Nuremberg?” There was no theoretical or moral basis. The authority behind Nuremberg was Patton’s 7th Armored Division. That’s why the Germans were prosecuted andcthe Russians weren’t.

            since carl says he doesnt care about opinions whats the point!

            A man’s opinion is only as good as the authority behind it. Kofi Annan has no authority to define international law. So his opinion on its own is worthless. What you want to say is “The authority is the U.N.” But you know that isn’t true. The UN is subordinate to the US. Besides, the US could remove itself from any theoretical obligation by a simple exercise of sovereignty. That’s a funny kind of law.

          • big

            Good morning carl, the Nazis authority for persecution was all legall in Nazi Germany.between 1933-1939 over 400 laws were enacted against jews. the question should be is the law just or unjust? Will the outcome of a law contribute to the greater good or against it ? Thatcher and the Poll Tax is a good example between authority to create laws and their acceptance by the public. The whole point of the UN was to stop countries acting in a way contrary to the greater good. has US foreign policy created harm in the middle east? has it contributed to the greater good? Are US policies just? therefore the issue is not about authority but legitimacy.The fact you describe all nations as “beasts” under scores the need for legitimate law,incidentally without the Red Army i dont think Patton would have done to well,and it was the soviet union not russia. So my fine friend its seems to me what your saying is law of the jungle,and since USA is the biggest beast in the jungle it can do whatever it wants ,and sod eny one who doesnt like it, welcome to carls version of mad max!

          • carl jacobs

            big

            Turkey has been in Cyprus for 41 years. Is that a just outcome? Did it contribute to the greatet good? Depends on the perspective adopted. Turkey didn’t want a Greek military base on Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriots were afraid of being killed. So 200,000 Greek Cypriots were dispossessed by the Turkish military. It is still there. No one is going to remove it. There has been 40 years of peace. Yet the island is divided and the desire of the majority for union with Greece is frustrated. The UN condemned the Turkish invasion but otherwise did nothing. So tell me.

            Was this invasion a just action or an unjust action?

          • big

            Your losing it carl , admit it , go on ,say US policy in the middle east is disastrous. What was it Einstein said about doing the same thing over and over? Its been good fun but i most go to prepare for the election so for now….. bye carl “mad max, law ot the jungle” jacobs….. p.s heres a little gift for you and dannyboy…..TONY CAMPOLO:WHY CHRISTIANS SHOULD VOTE FOR HILLARY………enjoy!

          • big

            Law or Law of the jungle your choice bud.

          • carl jacobs

            You keep talking about this law, but you haven’t told me the authority behind it, yet.

          • God’s law … in the end it will triumph. Why not give Pope Francis a bell (he answers the phone) and discuss it with him.

          • carl jacobs

            Chapter and verse, Jack.

            And I could just as well talk to you since you have as much authority as the Pope.

    • magnolia

      One problem, big, is that you make an assumption that these were Christian atrocities planned by Christians. I think otherwise. I believe that Jesus would say the same. I cannot imagine Jesus recommending bombing civilian populations right, left, and centre, or saying “attaboy” to the American soldiers caught on that gruesome piece of film wikileaks so famously leaked. Can you?

      • big

        George Bush is a Christian,Tony Blair is a Christian ergo war planned by Christians.

        • dannybhoy

          On what basis do you see them as Christian, big?

          • big

            Its not important how i see them, its how they see themselves.I think if you asked them they would call themselves Christian.

          • dannybhoy

            Dunno about that. It’s not Christianity as I understand it

          • big

            Yes i agree but actions speak louder than words.

          • dannybhoy

            We don’t do Crusades any more big. There are no truly Christian countries, and the churches which launched crusades and holy wars no longer have the power they once had.

            This I consider a very good thing.

            There is still some lingering Christian morality around, but by and large those countries are now what we would call secular societies guided by humanist/humanitarian values.

          • big

            Humanitarian values or humaniterian war?

          • dannybhoy

            Christians do not control western societies big. If you were a Christian you would know that. Since ww2 the western world has see a dramatic rise in atheism and agnosticism, guided by humanistic values.

          • big

            Have you heard of the National Prayer Breakfast? Hillary “We came, we saw ,he died” Clinton has attended every year since 1993 ,she just loves to have a good old prayer session between assassinations! You see the point is shes a ……. drummroll…..yes a CHRISTIAN…. and she may possibly make it all the way to the White house.So please spare me the ….”Christians dont control western society” blather…but in your perfect world i suppose Clintons also not a” Christian” ….find out more about Hillary at www .Conservapedia com. …..have a nice day!

          • dannybhoy

            Hilary Clinton does not behave like a Christian!
            Hilary Clinton was brought up in a church going family. Hilary Clinton attended church, but went on to study the teachings of Saul Alinsky. (As did Barack Obama)
            http://www.christianpost.com/news/can-you-vote-for-hillary-clinton-with-a-clear-conscience-138099/

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/24/AR2007032401152.html

            A true Christian will always struggle in serious politics because the ethos of poltics is compromise and collusion to achieve a goal. The goal is more important than personal morality.
            A true Christian seeks to follow the clear teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and to serve Him here on earth.

          • big

            You dont get it do you,Hillary thinks she is doing gods work!

          • dannybhoy

            It doesn’t matter what she thinks she’s doing, Jesus said that ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’ and no Christian is going to go against the clear teachings of Scripture. They might put their own interpretation on some of the more difficult aspects of the faith as pertaining to modern thinking, but we all do that.

          • big

            But plenty of Christians will vote for her.

          • dannybhoy
          • big

            As an atheist i found it a bit stodgy.

          • dannybhoy

            Ah,
            you’re an atheist.
            Thats why you can’t differentiate between what a person says and a person does. So how would you build a better world?

          • big

            I’ve left you a gift with carl.

          • big

            Oh forgot to mention unlike this dreadful article they offer an alternative……we call that ballance.

          • CliveM

            Ok why don’t you identify the errors of the article for us. Also would you describe this article as islamophobic? Why does the article have to have balance, this isn’t the BBC. You’ve made no argument relevant to the points made, simply wittered on about International Law and America. None of which is relevant to the article.

          • big

            You havent been paying attention have you…! you allow millions of people into the country …… you have ( conservatives that is ) your noise rubbed in multiculti diversity….. you react……. labour propose new law to limit speach and i may add thought…… you bomb muslim country…… more anger ……. more reaction……its not my fault you didnt pick up on reference to hegelian dialects. try harder next now i most go.

          • CliveM

            Stop showing off, your embarrassing yourself, read the questions I asked and answer them. If you can.

          • big

            You people never learn, no wonder the left destroyed you!

          • CliveM

            And yet you still don’t answer the questions.

            Interesting. I see you made another irrelevant point.

          • big

            Clive its people like you who have become irrelevant you have effectively disenfranchised yourselfs …… but then thats your prerogative…… you can see what i have written so the rest is up to you…… now let me get back to my short crust pastry.

          • CliveM

            No you haven’t. You embarressed yourself by saying the US had broken international law then couldn’t back it up. You’ve then gone on about how the US and Christians have caused the problems by their policies in the ME. You have tried to show off by throwing in ‘Hegelian dialects’. All irrelevant to the post. You finished by saying the post was a poor one, but seem unwilling or unable to identify its deficiencies. You seem confused as to whether a fear of Islam is reasonable, which at times you suggest it isn’t, or it’s our fault because of the British Empire and the US’s ME policy.

            Go back to your pastry, it’ll probably be grey.

            And you still fill your post with irrelevancy. You clearly don’t have any answers.

          • big

            My pastry is delicious ……. yum..yum . Enjoy election night.

          • big

            Let me explain in todays rights based world humaniterian values lead to the concept of R2P this means people like carl jacobs and his American friends have an almost devine right to wage aggression on all and sundry.Hope that helps.

          • carl jacobs

            Now all you have to do is find someone who is willing to exercise the responsibility to protect. Those most enamored by it:

            1. Don’t join the military.
            2. Don’t live in countries with the capability to fulfill the obligation.

            What do they want? They want to tell the Americans to do it. That’s what the US military is for, doncha know. Intervening where it is told to intervene by those who feel the obligation of R2P. Lord knows they can’t do it. Someone might shoot at them

          • big

            Carl have you served in the military? and are you American?

          • carl jacobs

            Yes and yes.

          • big

            Yes and no at least we have something in common.

        • big

          Oh i forgot to mention the US President is also commander in chief of Army.Sounds like a Christian warrior to me

          • dannybhoy

            Are you a Muslim by any chance?

          • big

            No.

          • dannybhoy

            No, you’re not a Muslim,
            or
            No, it’s not by chance that you’re a Muslim.

            I just like to understand where people are coming from…

          • big

            I dont like hypocrisy the thrust of this blog post is Muslims bad! Did Britain not have a slave trade? Did Britian not have an Empire ruled with an iron fist? Did Britian not invade Iraq? finally does Britian not have problem with its own child abuse? i am thinking Jimmy Savile! This article talks about context there is non only one sided half truths.Sorry your correct iam not a Muslim.

          • dannybhoy

            The thrust of this thread is the consequences of any law Ed Miliband may bring in to ban Islamaphobia.
            Islam did not originate in the British Isles, and the extremists or the faithful or whatever you want to call them have not got a good track record in settling into their adopted or birth country.
            That’s the issue.
            Is Islam a religion of peace?
            Well, going by the experience of Christians and Jews in Muslim nations over the centuries (actions remember), we’d have to say no.
            Does Islam threaten our way of life? In some quarters, yes it does. Whilst most Muslims are law abiding the religion itself is all about conquest and spreading the caliphate.
            So I don’t think we’re being hypocritical, but rather facing up to a very real problem.
            What faith did you say you are?

          • big

            My doughter goes to a school half full of Muslims do i feel threatened? not at all every body gets on ok.and i think the tories just as likely to impose such law ! as i said hegelian dialects.

          • How silly you are.

            1). Did Britain not have a slave trade?

            Yes and the British abolished this as well enforcing it . Thanks to evangelical Christians and the royal navy .

            2).Did Britian not have an Empire ruled with an iron fist?

            See above. No the British empire was a civilising force for good in the world.

            3).Did Britian not invade Iraq?

            Yes and in 1920s Iraq my family had never been more prosperous : Indeed Iraqi Jews helped to build up Iraq and were rewarded with hate and expropriation of wealth. Only when the Islamic hate got out of control and Arabs came to power did Jews start to suffer. There were 160,000 jews in Iraq in 1940. By 2003 just 3.

          • big

            I doubt enyone here would want to live in Iraq now ! You should try reading Jan Morris trilogy on the British Empire.Bengal famine …. Boar War concentration camps…The torture of Kenyans….apparently India had the worlds 3rd highest GDP before the British arrived, after they left Indias economy was a basket case …. lets not go into the Opian Wars ….or Scientific rascism…..and Eugenics advocates such as William Inge…. I am very sorry about the fate of Jews in fact all faiths who suffer persecution but lets lose the rose tinted glasses in relation to British Empire.

          • Linus

            Ah the Boar War. Now there was one swine of a conflict. The British behaved like pigs and locked all those poor Boars up in filthy concentration sties, where radicals like Trottersky and Hammond were able to develop their terrible theories about the dictatorship of the gammon man and the sowvereignty of the most suetable.

            The end result? One of the worst régimes the world has ever seen. The abomination that was aporktheid!!!

          • Inspector General

            Johannesburg, murder capital of the world, so they say. Could it possibly be the indigenous race to blame…

          • big

            Its predominate faith is also Christian,infact 80% follow the teaching of the good book.maybe their not the right kind of Christians ,or maybe all that Imperial evangelical preaching failed?

          • Inspector General

            Have given up on the negro. Decades ago. Suggest you do also…

          • big

            Stiff upper lip old boy. Never give up.

          • Hi Linus

            In your British hate, we find the pot calls kettle black…

            The French didn’t have an empire or say problems in Algeria or Vietnam and of course Vichy never existed….

            Ps “Boar War”. You mean Boer war? Tut tut I should get upset with your incorrect usage of English. Not unlike you do with people who use French. Especially when they used it in jest.

          • Pubcrawler

            You aim at the wrong target, Hannah: the ‘Boar War’ solecism came from big; Linus was being witty (as far as a Frenchie can).

          • Inspector General

            What’s ‘piss poor humour’ in French…

          • Pubcrawler

            Molière

          • Linus

            I’ll let this comment slide because you clearly didn’t read the comment that my comment was intended to parody. Your knee-jerk francophobia just kicked in and you had to lash out, didn’t you?

            No, I meant Boar War. If you can figure out why, it may even raise a smile. But I’m not holding my breath. There are more humorless Brits out there that you would think given their reputation for irony…

          • In that case , Linus, I apologise and withdraw my comment.

          • CliveM

            Hi Hannah,

            I think Linus was actually highlighting an earlier error by Big!

          • Inspector General

            Linus, turn up in Johannesburg today, the outskirts, and announce yourself as a white European batty boy. When they’ve had their fill torturing you, and they strip you naked and penetrate your anus with a loaded pistol, you might, just might be able to say to them “chaps, I’m electing for necklacing, if that’s alright”

          • On form tonight, Linus.

          • Whatever…..

          • Inspector General

            You are wrong about India, sir.

          • big

            Maybe i am, i can only make statements on what i read and i do try to expand my knowledge by looking from the other side.

          • Inspector General

            The British left a superb infrastructure. Railways especially. It is also the world’s largest democracy, again thanks to the British.

            It all depends where you are coming from. If you are a modern socialist arse of an individual, you will be beside yourself with grief at Britain’s involvement in the sub continent. If you are an educated man, we can talk…

          • big

            Of course we can talk but no truly “educted” man calls some one else an arse.The point is did they need Imperial rule to get a railway or domocracy? probably not.and if Imperial rule so good why dont we invent Empire 2.0 solve all the worlds problems?

          • Inspector General

            My dear fellow, please do not take offence as none was meant. Empire 2 would indeed solve much of the world’s problems.

            Without the British, there would be no India and no Pakistan and no Bangladesh. What you would have is the many peoples encapsulated in the sub-continent each forming their own state, as indeed that is how they were before colonisation. Ruled by Maharajas and the like. Needless to say, they would all have been at each other’s throats, as indeed they once were. An added complication would be the muslims slaughtering the Hindis and vice versa. The certainly wouldn’t be a billion of the blighters as there is today. As we have seen elsewhere, Islam acts as a brake on population growth. Even more effective than malaria, what!

          • Anton

            It is worth reading Lawrence James’ history of the British empire, an intelligent book written out of the tension between an empire won and maintained by force or its threat yet which demonstrably left behind a decent legacy. It closes with a quote from Nelson Mandela praising the Empire.

          • big

            The issue isnt about what was left, but what could have been created independently.

          • Anton

            You don’t get to decide the issue by yourself.

          • big

            You do if your the top dog.

          • Anton

            Who would that be?

          • big

            How can you be a Muslim by chance?

  • carl jacobs

    Politicians don’t want to talk about Islam because they can’t answer the obvious question. “If Islam is the problem, then what do we do about it?” Religion is supposed to be incidental once secularism comes to dominate. People are expected to leave their religion at home and adopt the regnant “civic religion” when entering the public square. Except that civic religion is largely Christian in origin. It’s not compatible with Islam. There is a subtle assumption that Islam will be “Christianized” in the West. So what then happens when Islam refuses to be “Christianized”? What happens when it refuses to adapt to the culture and instead trys to adapt the culture to Islam? That’s the question politicians fear.

    Secularists want equivalence of religion but not really. They want to maintain the conclusions of Christianity without the support of Christianity. They want a vaguely Christian.irreligious state. Islam challenges the viability of that vision. And secularism doesn’t have the metaphysical tools to confront it.

  • Anton

    WHEN will the bishops stand up and coordinate a Sunday in which they all say from their pulpits no more than what Canon Ashenden has written above? Or back up any vicar in their dioceses who does likewise by repeating the vicar’s words and demanding to be arrested similarly?

    How can such a law be phrased? Can Muslims be warned that their comments about Christianity will also be criminalised? If the DPP systematically declines to prosecute the latter, it would be time for a huge reporting to the police of such comments as “hate crime”. If the police accept such complaints by Muslims but not by Christians then it is time for major public demonstrations.

    • Graham Wood

      Anton. Absolutely. It is a case of “Choose you this day who you will serve”
      (Josh 24:15)

    • bluedog

      A useful start would be to declare the Koran to be a criminal manifesto, being an incitement to violence and a number of other criminal acts.

      • Anton

        The UK needs its Geert Wilders.

  • john in cheshire

    As the writing in the heading picture essentially says, there is no such thing as islamophobia; it’s a made up word and muslims would have us believe it to mean whatever they choose it to mean. If Labour ever try to legislate to outlaw criticism of islam, then the consequences for our country will be tragic and probably quite bloody.

  • Billo Qasira

    Should this happen and Labour seeks to pass such a law, I and many like us will go to (peaceful) battle over this evil oppressive legislation. When Hell freezes over, is when a blasphemy law protecting Islam be hung over the heads of England.

    • Anton

      The secret to opposition is action that is unified, consists of too many people to take legal action against, and peaceful.

    • Now that avatar made Jack jump!

      • Pubcrawler

        Remind you of someone from your murky past?

  • sarky

    Just as an aside, if this law is passed I suggest a group is formed to visit the Inspector in prison. Prehaps Mrs Proudie could volunteer to smuggle in his weekly snuff allowence in her undercrackers!

  • Je suis Charlie didn’t last very long, did it?

    • Anton

      No Christian should have said that given the cartoons of the Godhead they published.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Freedom of speech does not mean simply the freedom to say things that we agree with. It also means freedom to say things we strongly disapprove of. If you cannot see that then you are no better than Miliband or militant muslims.

        • Anton

          I agree with you. Please critique what I said rather than what you think I meant.

          • Royinsouthwest

            OK. I am glad you clarified that. I think their “humour” was often very malicious and I don’t approve of their attacks on Christianity either, but allowing such tares to grow among the wheat is a price we pay for living it what is supposed to be a free society. Unfortunately society is becoming much less free, partly because of the activities of people who would call themselves “liberals” with a lower-case “l” even though when I was a teenager in the 60s such people were among the strongest opponents of censorship.

    • Simon Gardner

      The somewhat sickening development yesterday was all those people tweeting #JeSuisEd – oh the irony – given the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists would have been imprisoned by Ed.

  • Inspector General

    If Islamophobia becomes a crime, you can bet someone will squeeze homophobia in on the bill too. And then there is the treasonable act of wishing to withdraw from the EU – EUphobia. Perhaps even the offence of criticising a Labour prime minister – Marxistphobia…

    Best go round calling everybody ‘comrade’ to be on the safe side. It’s been done before, you know. Let’s try it then. “Good day to you, comrade muslim”. You’ll soon get the hang of it…

    • Hi inspector

      When I said on my blog I’d be voting conservative , I got third angry reaction from a guy called “socialist worker”:

      “In reality David Cameron leads a government which has dished out a great deal of unnecessary pain, having introduced the bedroom tax, cut welfare benefits to the bone, demonised the sick, disabled and unemployed and raised VAT, which hits working-class people the hardest — all while cutting income tax for the richest 1 per cent. He’s like a little bee pollinating with pollution the lives of everyone but the most wealthy.

      We’ve now been told by Chancellor George Osborne that if Cameron and co are returned to power they will cut welfare benefits by £12 billion. Further cuts on this scale would make the bedroom tax look like small beerIt is pretty obvious that the working class will shoulder the majority of such cuts — otherwise why would the Tories be so unwilling to say which benefits would be cut?

      What arrogance. What monumental skulduggery to put out a general election manifesto without telling the electorate on whose shoulders the burden of these cuts will fall.It epitomises perfectly the lack of common decency which Cameron and his Cabinet ministers have displayed since they came to office in 2010

      If elected on May 7, none of us will be able to claim we weren’t forewarned of Cameron and Osborne’s intent to turn the clock back to the 1930s. This was a decade when life was very harsh for the majority of British people as there was no welfare state or NHS.

      Will I be disappointed by a Miliband government? Almost certainly, although less so perhaps than that of Blair’s new Labour administration. However on some of the core issues which are important to me — the NHS, the welfare state, housing and foreign wars — there is clear blue water between the Tories and Labour.

      It’s time for some bright sunny uplands, an end to Cameron’s awful diet of austerity and fear, come May 7 I will cast my vote for Ed Miliband and the Labour Party with a slight glimmer of hope in my heart.”

      How to cope with this stuff ??

      • Inspector General

        First met the ‘Socialist Workers’ in the late 1970s. They are neither workers nor are they particularly socialist in the soft Marxist sense. Nay, they are Trotskyist secret policemen. Or at least they will be, come the revolution…

        • Hi inspector

          I will….

        • Hey, Jack was a member of ‘Socialist Worker’ back in the day.

          • grutchyngfysch

            I *knew* you weren’t working class! 😀

          • Natural member of the intelligentsia, was Happy Jack.

          • carl jacobs

            [Bites lip really really hard]

          • Hi

            Apparently my other bro first meet his wife at a Liberal party student meeting in 1983 :he’d also joined the Tories, Labour and SDP (who?), so it all sounds like a giant dating thing to me…

      • Pubcrawler

        He’s from the same brain-addled school of thought as the terminally loopy ‘fabian_solutions’, who used to contaminate the Telegraph blog comments and has now found her way to Breitbart.

      • Michael Gould

        By admitting to yourself that it is true?

        • No, it’s like my uncle used to say : “Bolsheviks run mad”

      • not a machine

        I think I might ask that guy “socialist worker” what country he would prefer to moan about poverty in if not this one

      • bluedog

        Hannah asks, How to cope with this stuff ?? Demand repeal of the 1832 Reform Act.

      • Just delete it or put comment moderation on.

        • Hi happy Jack

          I like a good argument though…..

          • dannybhoy

            Hannah,
            it was Tony Blair who (mis)led us into Iraq…
            Not that that’s a reason for you not to vote Labour. Please go ahead. If you’ve maxed out on your credit cards, an additional zillion billion of national debt won’t cause you any sleepless nights..
            It’s a fact that no Labour government has ever left our economy in better shape than when they came to power..

          • Hi Danny

            Clearly you haven’t caught my latest blog post, where I’ve declared who I will vote for.

          • dannybhoy

            Hugs to you.
            (I do this to ladies I like ,even if I disagree with them..)
            Okay, I’ll go have a look..

          • dannybhoy

            (Returns, breathing heavily)

            -you have that effect on me, Hannahle- 🙂

            “The liberal democrats have portrayed themselves as pawn brokers in this election and I use that word deliberately. They want to be power brokers, but will do so by pawning off their policies bit by bit. I still remember their tuition fee pledge and how quickly that was dumped.”

            The LibDems are desperate to survive; they will present themselves as anything you want them to be..

            “UKIP have some interesting policies, such as subsidising building on Brown field sites for housing and an Australian style points system for immigration. However, I feel as a party they are still not quite with it. Farage has really gaffes this election and it appears to me that many of the UKIP are quite homophobic , racist and a little bit too right wing for my tastes.”

            I agree, Nigel has muffed it this time around, but the core UKIP policies are still sound. No matter what the outcome, it will still be the EU who pulls the strings at Westminster.

            “or the foaming mouths of UKIP supporters ,as seen on the daily mail and guardian blogs.”

            This I resent. I am not homophobic, (nor I think) especially right wing; and I would imagine that UKIP members as a whole are no more homophobic than any other political group.

            David Cameron introduced ssm out of the blue. It was not in the Tory manifesto, there was no debate anywhere and it has done more to upset devout Jews, Muslims and Christians than civil partnerships could ever have done.
            Yes there are ‘undesirables’ in UKIP, but we are working to get them out. Our main concern is to free the UK from the dead hand of Brussels bureaucracy, get control of our borders again, and rebuild our sovereignty and build a fairer society built on British values and traditions.

  • Dominic Stockford

    If Labour wins some of us will be in jail within 2 years. Baggsy the top bunk.

    • Inspector General

      Cranmer probably will. If he’s lucky, he’ll get to share a cell with Scott. If that pairing possibility is in any way deemed to be fortunate…

    • Christians don’t wish each other “Good luck” but I will be praying for a good result for you tomorrow.

      • Dominic Stockford

        Thank you.

    • Might be safer on the bottom one with some of the types in prison these days. At last one’s rear will be covered from nocturnal assaults.

    • dannybhoy

      I don’t mind as long as you haven’t any bladder control problems..

      • CliveM

        Considering the average age of this blog, the prostate will be playing up with more then a few. Regular night time trips to the loo…………..

        • dannybhoy

          My doc’s put me on something called Finasteride..
          Works wonders..
          No more soggy pyjama bottoms….

          • CliveM

            Lovely……………

          • dannybhoy

            🙂
            Knew you’d be pleased..
            Actually I only said that for effect.
            I sleep commando.
            Have done since …..
            (sobs uncontrollably)

          • CliveM

            Enough!

          • Dominic Stockford

            Currently I have no such problems – to clear that up. However, once I have been beaten up a few times who knows what bits of me will work or not work…

          • CliveM

            If DB beats you up, get him moved!

  • Graham Wood

    Not quite on current thread but still hugely relevant just before polling day is Gerald Warner’s take on the GE. A must read for anyone with a faint heart and looking for a moral booster before the wolves are let out.

    – says it all I think! (Posted on Breitbart under London window)

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/05/06/forget-tactical-voting-the-strategic-vote-is-ukip/http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/05/06/forget-tactical-voting-the-strategic-vote-is-ukip

  • Graham Wood

    Typo my last message:
    Oops should have read ‘morale’ booster, but I suppose the word ‘moral’ is equally relevant anyway.

    • Inspector General

      You could have edited your post. Still can. Try it…

  • Athanasius

    Good points, excellent article. I wonder how many appreciate that the last Muslim slave raid on European soil took place as recently as 1815, the year of Waterloo. When I mentioned this simple fact in the laughably named “Comment is Free” section of the oh so right-on Guardian, our moral superiors in liberalism removed the comment. Presumably, I was engaged in hate speech. And this is what sets the moral tone these days. Sudan split in two because Muslims tried to impose Sharia on Christians and pagans and the Christians and pagans physically threw them out. Islam stops when and where it is physically stopped.

  • Royinsouthwest

    If the Labour party does gain power, even as part of a coalition, and it does pass a law on “Islamophobia”, then the law will be counterproductive because people will blame the muslims for restrictions on freedom of speech.

    If such a law were used to cover up any future sexual abuse scandals, as in Rotherham, or vote rigging as in Tower Hamlets, then people would tend to think that all muslims are collectively responsible for that state of affairs.

  • Phil R

    If you truly believe that the election will achieve something

    Then vote for whoever will put a stop to this sort of perversion

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-32603514

  • not a machine

    It is interesting listening to politicians in this bargaining phase of avoiding political wounds , we find red lines each playing in a position for the other , so quite a bit of computing has been going into a fairly non ideological manifesto based election in the hope that politics has become akin to a river delta , a slow meander of shifting banks and channels , will somehow provide that much loved arrangement of the left (when it suites) politics via committee. Its just so subtle reduction of governing “if we all agree we will make good polices” except that whilst it is promoted to the electorate as a good thing , there are times when a committee just becomes an expanding franchise and starts to subsume its constituents and becomes anti libertarian and then seeks a parasitic relationship and against healthy units.
    For those of us that value our liberty and health we see that it is best to leave some things to the individual , not in a throw away sense , but in that valuing it creates a much better response signal to government bodies interacting , rather than en bloc either rot , famine or feast . These arrangements suggest we should , we have to resist any imbalance or tyranny.
    Our Christian faith implores us to consider and not to chose a pathway of sin and to seek repentance and to understand forgiveness and Christ risen , to receive the holy spirit and see God through our hearts .
    Islam is a highly legal construct still not fully permeated with much of western scientific thinking of the last 400 yrs , it looks upon Darwin as spurious , it is theologically poor ,as rather bluntly someone who questions it is cast out , so it isn’t necessarily a religion that does much thinking around many of the themes that shape western thinking . I haven’t read much on it , but have encountered some its meetings with western culture via news reports and more recently seen from the swat valley , sharia court invasion and beatings to its images in Syria of sharia combining with jihad to go beyond limb chopping to execution for simply representing opposition .Democracy is a study subject on weakness compared to the full patent of sharia and Islam , as sharia has only one response to the non Muslim and that is to suffer until you accept the might and will of Allah.
    To outlaw Islam phobia is something cooked up to not question it as its offence to its believers , is Islam so weak it cannot take criticism , cartoons even ? Then again our clergy who have strayed onto multifaith , must no doubt have considered how they would have to explain sharia as offering that bit more/better than Christianity to the people/voters , as evidence of there own wisdom in Christ and what St Paul had to say, who was not saved by Mohammed , but by Christ .
    If labour inflict this spurious law of Islam phobia in the UK then we will be in rather different position of considering if something intolerant must overwhelm something tolerant . As it stands at the moment I am not prepared to consider this a good law for the people , indeed if being a nice Christian you cannot see that it is political overreach then you may as well consider Christ to be of little meaning .
    If this law comes in I shall be thinking that a case be made against its imposition and I predict the beginning of a great deal of pain for this country.

  • Linus

    As election day dawns and the weather forecast for the UK looks decidedly stormy, with violent Gaels poised to sweep down across the country from the North carrying all before them, one can only wish the English the best of what used to be called British luck.

    It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, of course. And for the violent Gaels riding on the wings of this particular storm, it will probably be a pretty good day. As they soar into London in vast flocks and start to wheel around the Palace of Westminster before settling on its roof and picking the place clean, you might well reflect that when chickens come home to roost, the problem isn’t so much the noise or the feathers or even the awful smell. It’s the guano they deposit…

    So, as Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond land on the Elizabeth Tower and start to lift their kilts, whatever you do, don’t look up! Or, if you do, make sure you’re equipped with one of those plastic see-through umbrellas favored by your queen, for a panoramic view of the fate about to befall you. Between the bridies and the Irn-Bru and the fact they’ve been holding on for the past 300 years waiting for this opportunity to dump all over their colonial masters, I truly would not like to be in your position come 8 o’clock this evening, or whenever it is that the first estimations are announced.

    • big

      Love it .

      • dannybhoy

        Hmmmmmm..

        • big

          Look i gave him a big uptick.

        • Linus

          Our country isn’t falling to bits though.

          With or without a draconian new law (which BTW isn’t nearly as controversial as that incredibly poorly expressed article you linked to is trying to make out), France is still France. But following the results of your election today, Great Britain’s days may be numbered. This time next year you could find yourself in the position of Belgium, i.e. on the verge of dissolution with no effective central government.

          Makes our minor problems with strict laws against terrorism pale in comparison, don’t you think?

          • avi barzel

            France is still France ….

            …and will still be France when a third of the country becomes Muslim, another communist, another fascist and the dozen remaining Jews who missed the airlft to Ben Gurion are hunted by all sides. Makes Britain’s woes pale in comparison, don’t you think?

          • magnolia

            And they can’t pay for a second hand car with cash, not even a beaten up old citroen, as it has become illegal to pay for things with above a certain amount of cash in case they are drug smugglers, or so the story goes. So much for “liberté”.

          • avi barzel

            Hmm. Means probably that the underground cash economy is growing. The wages of inefficient bureaucracy, layers upon layers of regulations, fees and conditions on businesses and taxation which makes a mugging on the street a financial break. Back to Germany grabbing the whole of Europe, with Britain and Russia on the peripheries, glaring at each other across Charlemain’s…uh, make that Karl der Grosse’s…empire. Or the Fourth Reich, if you’re a pessimist. Nothing like continuity and tradition in old Europa.

          • Linus

            Can see the future, can you?

            Hmmm, I doubt it. Something tells me you’re about as prophetic as Harold Camping…

          • avi barzel

            The future? Nah, I just see the present better than you. Wake up and smell the croissants; your nation’s already on the marble slab. Just the nerves are twitching…and that’s never pretty.

          • Linus

            France has been around for a long time and will still be around long after you’re no longer here. “On the marble slab”, eh? Amazing how the hysterical and easily excitable always predict death and destruction on the back of statistics that shift by a couple of percentage points either way. Neurotic Chicken Littles, the lot of them.

            The only country in Europe with a real statistical likelihood of breaking apart in the immediate future is the UK. Even Belgium and Spain are more stable. If the first exit polls are to be believed and the SNP wins every seat in Scotland bar one, the Union could end sooner than anyone could ever have predicted. But let’s wait and see…

        • avi barzel

          Interesting version of Franklish…lots of missing words. A Galic shrug, a wave of the hand when that word just doesn’t come to mind, “Oo cares, zey can figyoor out vot I tink, ze Anglais.”

  • Lucy Sandwich

    I would’ve thought the author would have converted to Islam by now considering he likes to take advantage of underage girls.

    • avi barzel

      Reverend Ashenden represented the Deanery of Jersey against abuse allegations. He apropriately advocated and questioned the credibility and competence of the claimants. This does not, in the ordinary world as we know it, make him an abuser.

      • CliveM

        I’m surprised the post has been left.

        • avi barzel

          His Grace must be at his devotions.Or on Twitter.

          • CliveM

            Or busy at Conservative Central Office.

          • avi barzel

            ‘Tis the season. Bunching up and hanging the bunting. Passing around buttons and porkpie hats, jamming the copier with his beard. Hey, you should be there too, lest you want to hear the Ed and SNP duo for the next four years.

          • CliveM

            I once stood behind Thatcher at a conference rally. Those days are long gone……..

            Politics is a mugs game.

      • Lucy Sandwich

        Not sure what you’re talking about – I was talking about the teenage girls he’s personally taken advantage of while his partner was unaware.

  • Roberto Buffagni

    Dr. Ahende

  • Roberto Buffagni

    Dr. Ashenden’s post is very interesting, and I share its general point of view about Islam, but there’s a factual mistake about Armenian genocide, which has been planned and executed by the “Young Turks” government, led by Kemal Ataturk, who very resolutely forced “disislamization” on Turkey after Ottoman’s Empire defeat and fall in WWI. in other words, the Armenian genocide has been executed for political and nationalistic, not religious reasons.
    Of course, the soldiers and the ordinary people who persecuted Armenians almost always were islamic: the great majority of Turkish people were (and is).

    • Dominic Stockford

      I disagree – it was religious.

      • Roberto Buffagni
        • Dominic Stockford

          Wikipedia is, by definition, written eitherby tthe last person, or the one who has most desire to spread their point of view. On this occasion, probably written by someone who likes islamists.

          • Roberto Buffagni

            OK, Mr. Stockford, as you like it. I quoted wikipedia for expediency. If you want, you can go to any library in your neighborhood, read some history books, and make your mind on the matter. If you do not want, be my guest. Goodbye.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I have studied, written and considered the subject.

            I have my opinion. It is clearly not yours, but it is in synch with the majority of commentators in the UK.

          • Roberto Buffagni

            In Italy we have a saying, “il mondo è bello perchè è vario”, meaning “the world is beautiful because there’s so many differences”. Friendly yours.