The debate around sharia tribunals in Ontario has led to a phobia about Islam and increased the public's misunderstanding and hatred of Muslims, according to a coalition of Muslim groups.
The recent polemic around faith-based arbitration has perpetuated negative stereotypes of Islam as oppressive to women, Katherine Bullock, with the Islamic Society of North America, told reporters yesterday. "The debate around faith-based arbitration for Muslims has raised the notion that Muslim values are somehow outside the Judeo-Christian tradition, and Jewish and Christian family law are fine but Muslim family law is somehow oppressive to women," Ms. Bullock said at a news conference in the ISNA mosque in Mississauga. "Taliban-style Islam in Canada has been invoked as a way to suggest Ontario shouldn't embrace faith-based arbitration."
The Muslim Association of Britain has formally written to the editor of Observer stating that a catalogue of inaccuracies, errors and distortions have appeared in Observer over the past few weeks by both Nick Cohen and Anthony Barnett.
"Western societies' fundamental philosophical and ideological structures and institutions including our democratic government, laws and rights and freedoms have derived from and are based on the bedrock of Judeo-Christian perceptions, principles, values, mores and ethics. Though evolving over the centuries, our Western societies have remained true to our Judeo-Christian heritage.
"It has been pointed out in countless news reports, sage and well researched and documented articles and books that there is much within the doctrines of Islam that is incompatible and antithetical to our Western societies. Add to that, the various Islamic edicts against non-Muslims and the often noted mandated obligation on all Muslims to aid in achieving Islam's manifest destiny of world domination and Islam appears to many to be a very real threat to our Western way of life."
A congressman is asking the US government to reconsider the crescent-shaped design of the memorial to those aboard a plane hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, because some may think it honors the terrorists. Rep. Tom Tancredo, a Republican, says the design, called "Crescent of Embrace", could invite "controversy and criticism". In a letter sent Tuesday to National Park Service Director Fran Mainella, Tancredo said many have questioned the shape "because of the crescent's prominent use as a symbol in Islam – and the fact that the hijackers were radical Islamists". In July, Tancredo angered Muslims and others by suggesting on a radio program that the United States could "take out" Muslim holy sites if Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. with nuclear bombs.
For CAIR's response, see here
An Islamic scholar who has been accused of supporting suicide bombers was likened by Ken Livingstone, the London mayor, yesterday to Pope John XXIII. He said that Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based imam who is banned from America, was "an absolutely sane Islamist engaged with the world" who believed in democracy and an increasing role for women. "Of all the Muslim leaders in the world today, Sheikh Qaradawi is the most powerfully progressive force for change and for engaging Islam with western values," Mr Livingstone told the Commons home affairs select committee. "I think his is very similar to the position of Pope John XXIII."
See also Islam Online, 14 September 2005
Jittery British holidaymakers grounded an airliner in Cyprus for nearly a day when two British Muslims alarmed other passengers. The Excel Airways flight from Larnaca to Manchester was due to leave Cyprus on Sunday – the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks – but was cancelled after passengers refused to fly amid fears they were being targeted by bombers.
The scare began when two Muslim men, believed to be British of Pakistani origin, boarded the flight. Passengers yesterday said cabin crew became suspicious when one of the men refused to leave the onboard toilet as the plane prepared for take-off. When he finally emerged, he told a stewardess he had been praying. The men were then removed from the aircraft and questioned by police, and the flight was cancelled after many of the passengers remaining on board refused to fly.
"The threat of the radical Islamists taking over Europe is every bit as great to the United States as was the threat of the Nazis taking over Europe in the 1940s. We cannot afford to lose Europe. We cannot afford to see Europe transformed into a launching pad for Islamist jihad."
Tony Blankley in the Washington Times, 12 September 2005
"The Ontario government's decision to reject the introduction of Islamic arbitration courts in its jurisdiction is an important victory against the spread of political Islam in Canada and a severe blow to those who preach it. This victory could not have been celebrated without the tireless activism of Canadian Muslims such as Homa Arjomand, a woman who fled her native sharia-ruled Iran and knows first-hand the inequities of Islamic law."
A right-wing Zionist applauds the efforts of the Worker Communist Party of Iran and condemns mainstream Jewish organisations in Ontario for their capitulation to political Islam.
But where did everyone get the idea that comrade Arjomand, a leading figure in a far left sect characterised by its extreme, dogmatic secularism and fanatical Islamophobia, is a Muslim? Well, it could just be that they were encouraged in that illusion by exchanges like the following, from a TV interview:
Interviewer: Ms Arjomand, if we could get your bona fides, are you a Muslim? And have you had personal experience of sharia law?
Homa Arjomand: Yes, I have. I was born and raised in a Muslim family, and I lived in an Islamic state, Iran, and I experienced lots of horrible, horrible things ... I fled Iran....
See the video clip here
Of course, it was to the advantage of the WPI to pass themselves off as Muslims because it gave their opposition to the proposed arbitration courts much greater credibility than it would have had if they'd come clean about their actual politics. And in their role as "Muslims" they provided a useful cover for the right-wingers and racists with whom they promoted the same hysterical caricature of Islam.