Frustrated with the mounting civil war in Syria and the inaction of the world powers’ to unite to stop the war in the Arab state, the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, announced his resignation as United Nations special envoy for the conflict in Syria effective August 31, 2012.
Annan stated at a news conference in Geneva that he is bowing out because of the "finger-pointing and name-calling" in the UN Security Council and because of President Bashar al-Assad's pertinacity in not doing what is right for his country. He voiced that he took the impossible task of being a mediator hoping to end the mounting tension at Syria and secure a nonviolent transition of government, but cannot do it if the 15-nation Security Council doesn't fully back him up.
The Muslim Brotherhood has received a video warning from the internet activist movement, “Anonymous.” In a video posted on YouTube by The AnonMessage, and titled “Operation Brotherhood Takedown,” a computer-generated voice says that “Anonymous has decided to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood.” It says that Anonymous “shall proceed to dismantle any form of its [the MB’s] organization from the internet. Nothing will stop us. We will show no mercy. Operation Brotherhood Takedown engaged.”
The MB, founded by Hassan Al Banna in Egypt in 1928, is believed to have branches and affiliates all over the world, including in the US and Great Britain.
Unfortunately, freedom of expression is under unprecedented threat. Any broadcaster, commentator, or newspaper editor – whether from the left or the right – will confirm that they are operating under greater restrictions than they were ten or even five years ago. For them, and their proprietors, self-censorship is rife, and is growing. They are worried about powerful, well-financed and litigious religious groups, as well as the criminal law. Just ask yourself why Britain is one of the few European countries to have not even republished one of the Danish cartoons.
Until relatively recently, we have taken for granted our freedom to argue, offend and mock.
The recent announcement by the British government to introduce a system of presumed consent in place of the current system of organ donation has caused uproar among certain minority groups against a background of widespread commendation by the British Public.
With Britain, like much of the developed world, suffering from a shortage of organs for transplant, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has advocated a change in policy in which doctors will be given licence to assume a deceased person's consent for the removal of his/her organs for the purpose of organ donation unless such a person has "opted out" before death. A similar change in policy recently occurred in Spain, where changing to a system of presumed consent has seen an increase in the availability of organs for transplantation there.
"The meaning of the religious text", the Californian based Professor of Islamic Law, Khaled Abou El-Fadl, contends, "is often as moral as its reader. If the reader is intolerant, hateful, or oppressive, so will be the interpretation of the text."
All sacred texts provide possibilities of intolerant as well as tolerant interpretations. The challenge for religious and spiritual leaders – as religion once again claims many lives through violence all round the world - is to acknowledge this, no matter how distressing it may be, and then to find authentic ways of dealing constructively with these texts, symbols and rituals that legitimate and sacralise violence and hatred. (Alas, extremist religious leaders by their nature do not think pragmatically, so they cannot be trusted to deliver overnight the results the free world required yesterday).
The following explanation on how to discipline children was found on a British jihadi forum. It shows the brutality of Islamic parenting when taken from an extreme viewpoint, such as - in this case - the Salafi brand of Islam. (Of course Islamic forms of parenting are not all brutal - just as the parenting suggested by other faiths can often be just as brutal - nonetheless, in a Europe with an increasing number of extremist-run Faith Schools and extreme Islamist homes, we must expose these illegal teachings).
As someone who went through a similar upbringing (and have the scars to prove it!), I would urge all to take note of this document, keep your eyes open to people who parent in this way and report them to the police and child protection charities.
Each month Westminster Journal will be adding an Muslim individual and feature it. This individual will be recommended by Editorial process. Any submissions would be welcomed - simply send through details of the Feature Section you wish to recommend and give the reasons why you feel they deserve their place.
Ed Husain (born 25th December 1975 in London) is the pen name of the British writer Mohammed Mahbub Hussain who is the author of The Islamist. Husain's father was born in India and his mother originates from Bangladesh. He grew up in the Limehouse area of London where there is a large Bengali community. Hussain attended Sir William Borough School, Stepney Green School, Tower Hamlets College and Newham College. He later worked for HSBC and the British Council in Saudi Arabia and Syria before enrolling at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He later joined the Labour Party.
There is a negativist school of thought that cites the inevitable decline of Europe that is entirely premised on the claim that Europe will become Islamic in a few generations, based purely on the higher birth-rate of Muslims compared to Non-Muslims.
Liberals in particular are accused of being 'lazy breeders' whose lack of future progeny will see Western Liberalism 'die out' in Europe. This claim seems to treat Liberalism, a cultural meme if ever there was one, as if it was a genetic trait, as if no liberals have ever come from conservative families or vice versa, as if once a conservative always a conservative. The maths used is badly flawed and extrapolated from a set of premises that conveniently overlooks biological, sociological and historical counter-factuals that contradict them almost at every turn.
If international law enforcement authorities and Western intelligence agencies had discovered a twenty-year old document revealing a top-secret plan developed by the oldest Islamist organization with one of the most extensive terror networks in the world to launch a program of “cultural invasion” and eventual conquest of the West that virtually mirrors the tactics used by Islamists for more than two decades, such news would scream from headlines published on the front pages and above the fold of the New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, Le Monde, Bild, and La Repubblica.
If that’s what you might think, you would be wrong.
It is a fundamental human trait to locate the source of anything bad happening and try to neutralize it. There are, however, times that the source of the harm cannot be pinpointed or when successfully recognized it cannot be eliminated. Failure to recognize the source or neutralize it is frustrating. And frustration triggers a variety of emotions and reactions. The feeling of victimization is one possible reaction that frequently goes hand-in-hand with displaced aggression on a convenient safe target. The aggression can be verbal, physical, or a combination of the two.
The Mullahs presently ruling Iran are faced with monumental threats. Internally, the great majority of the populace is against their misrule. Labour unions, teachers associations, student groups, religious and ethnic minorities, journalists and many others have suffered and continue to suffer inordinate hardship under the heavy-handed Mullahs and their front-men. Externally, they are engaged in brinksmanship with the United States and Israel, while trying to wrestle the mantle of Islamic leadership from the Sunni Saudis and their Wahhabi cabal.