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Terror across three continents

with 6 comments

If you’re anything like me, you were expecting to have the Friday feeling as soon as you left work. The anticipation of the weekend was unfortunately blighted by the horrific news that terrorists attacked sites in France, Tunisia and Kuwait.

In Tunisia, a gunman opened fire at a beach resort, killing at least 37 people before security forces shot him to death. In France, an attacker stormed the a chemical plant near Lyon, decapitated one person and tried unsuccessfully to blow up the factory. The suspect was identified as Yassine Salhi.

And finally, in Kuwait City, Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in one of the largest Shiite mosques, killing nearly 30 people. The suicide bomber was identified as Khalid Thamer Jaber Al-Shamri, a Saudi citizen born in Kuwait.

My heart goes out to all those people who have lost a loved one in these barbaric attacks.

After the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, many commentators predicted that it would not be long before we would see another terrorist attack in Europe.

The Institute for the Study of War predicted earlier this year that IS would launch global offensives a year after declaring a caliphate. Unfortunately, they have all been proven correct.

Progress at last

SCOTUS APRIL 2015 LGBTQ 54663

While some people are determined to keep us in the Middle Ages, others are keen for us to progress. Well done to the US Supreme Court for ruling same-sex legal nationwide.

In a landmark decision, the court ruled, 5-4, that the Constitution requires same-sex couples be allowed to marry in all 50 states.

On a day where there were three separate terrorist attacks, this was the light at the end of the tunnel.

Children should not be fasting

Barclay Primary School in Leyton, east London, issued a letter to parents informing them that it would not allow children to fast in order to ‘safeguard the health and education of the child’. In the letter, the headteacher said children would not be able to fast without meeting with him first.

Some Muslim groups were in an uproar, and said schools should support parents instead of ‘blanket enforce’ their own rules when it comes to religion.

I am with the school on this. They are put in a position where they are responsible for the child’s welfare and all heath and safety matters.

Children should not be fasting. True, only healthy adults are required to fast during Ramadan. And I appreciate that  the school felt it had to consult with Islamic scholars in order to win round some Muslim parents. But at the same time, it is not within the remit of a secular school to decide what is or is not Islamic, and I fear this will be heading into dangerous territories.

On the BBC Asian Network (15 minutes in) the father of one 11-year-old was happy that his son was fasting because it’s “a challenge”. I’m not sure about you, but ‘challenge’ is not quite the word I would use to describe a child being deprived of food and water for 19 hours.

The children being interviewed said fasting is difficult, with one feeling guilty because he was unable to for half the month. This comes down to parenting. One teacher, a Mr Ishmael, said the children feel pressured by the parents to fast. Parents should not be encouraging their children to fast. Even if they do not actively encourage them, they will not discourage them, citing ‘choice’ as a reason.

My mum forbade me from fasting when I was in primary school, after I came home one day insisting I had to fast because one friend of mine was doing so. But when I saw my friend being very sick the next day, I decided perhaps it wasn’t for me! Children, naturally, want to copy what adults do and this is no different in Ramadan. When one of my young cousins insisted he was going to fast, my aunty played along and said that of course he could fast – between breakfast and lunch! He was none the wiser and thought he was sharing in the Ramadan experience.

Tahir ul Qadri – an ideological salesman?

Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, of Minhaj-ul-Quran International, is a respected figure in the West. He gained widespread media attention when he issued a 600-page Fatwa on Terrorism, in which he said that “Terrorism is terrorism, violence is violence and it has no place in Islamic teaching and no justification can be provided for it”.

Earlier this week, MQI  announced the launch of the first Islamic ‘counter-terrorism curriculum’ (aka this has nothing to do with Islam), which was welcomed by both the counter-extremism think tank the Quilliam Foundation and Faith Matters.

There’s just one problem. As the ever eloquent Pakistani journalist Kunwar Khuldune Shahid pointed out in Left Foot Forward, Qadri proudly takes ownership of formulating Pakistan’s blasphemy law, which has been abused to intimidate and incite the murder of religious minorities through mob violence.

He goes on to write:

Qadri is renowned for saying whatever sells, whether it’s anti-government fascism through his politics and a bigoted version of Islam back home, or apologism in the garb of Islamic ‘moderation’ in the West.

With Islamist terrorism reverberating all over the world and over 700 British citizens having fled to fight along with ISIS, the need for reform among Muslims around the globe is evident.

However, ideological salesmen who change their ideas to suit the audience’s demands can never be reformists.

If the aim is to counter extremism, why invite the man responsible for one of the most abused laws in the world? Surely that is counter productive?

And if one is to argue that there is a ‘true’ version of Islam, what would stop the extremists from preaching that theirs is the authentic one?

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Written by Iram Ramzan

June 26, 2015 at 7:33 pm

6 Responses

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  1. On the school thing regarding “banning” or “having a chat with parents” (however that’s been reported) about kids fasting.
    What is a teacher to do if a kid bungs a sweet in its gob during the day and the parents have banned it?
    Is the teacher (of whatever religion or none) supposed to tell him/her to spit it out? Has the Head given instructions about that? That would be mad.

    Prior to all of this absolute “Those (of a religion) *must* do this,” I think back to something that really didn’t bother me, but there were some who “did a bit” so to speak, or at least attempted to. That was/is Lent. This is giving up something for 40 days. Maybe chocolate for example.
    Perhaps (in an alternate world) a parent tells the Head of a school that her child *must not* eat chocolate for 40 days. If that kid takes a sneaky bite at a chocolate cake at school, what is the teacher supposed to do? Tell her to spit it out? That would be mad.

    I think I’m only left with “That would be mad,” for both instances.

    Aside from the school thing, Usama Hasan has created a fatwa regarding fasting hours and how they should reasonably fit with northern hemisphere countries – particularly Scandinavia where it could be 21 hours between “sunrise and sunset,” and completely unhealthy. He made the point of how it has been acceptable to go with “Mecca hours” where it might be 9 or 10 hours if you live in such a country. Who knew the world had different sunrise/sunset times when the Koran was written? But that’s a digression.
    He made absolute sense, but got pilloried from various characters, particularly the very smug Dilly Hussain on Sunday Morning Live.

    And a “groan” moment. I thought Qadri had a bit of a step forward (and he might have to an extent), but I hadn’t seen that thing about him regarding blasphemy. Two steps forward, one step back.

    bootjangler1

    June 26, 2015 at 8:21 pm

  2. Reblogged this on New Day Starts.

    NDS-AdminTeam

    July 2, 2015 at 6:48 pm

  3. Reblogged this on awsomenotes.

    awsomenotes

    July 5, 2015 at 5:20 pm

  4. Reblogged this on khoujetelkhilcatherine.

    catherinekhoudelkhil

    July 6, 2015 at 3:50 pm

  5. same sex marriage is light at the end of tunnel! i feel it a weird statement by a Muslim!

    abeerhafiz

    July 9, 2015 at 8:08 am


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