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Muslim Canadian Congress – UnVEILED November 14, 2006

Posted by Taleb Haqq in Proggies, Religion.

A few days ago, the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) – [See here and here], decided that it needed some sort of media attention. In the face of growing attacks against the Muslim community and the way that some of us dress – especially our women – these people decided to defend against these criticisms by, you guessed it, Rejecting the Niqab! These people need to understand that the Niqab is a choice that anyone should have. Anyways, they are entitled to their opinions I suppose. There is one disturbing fact that I did notice in their statement, however. See the following quote:

The Muslim Canadian Congress acknowledges that women have the right to dress as they please—but the rights of the individual have to be balanced with the rights of society. We must keep in mind the impact we have on Canadian society when we exercise our rights. Wearing veils—whether as an expression of religious identity, or as a means of political defiance, is not in the best interest of Canada’s Muslim communities. Nor is it a requirement of our Islamic faith.

Notice how they use the words “niqab” and “veil” interchangeably. Which one is it MCC? Are you rejecting the niqab? Or any sort of veil?

Salutes to Dr. M for pointing out this story.


It’s Ramadan October 2, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Religion.
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Well I have been quiet lately! Put it down to a keenness to benefit from the blessings of Ramadan, a time of growth and purification for everyone who aspires to be a true servant and worshipper of Allah, and Him Alone.

May this month bring every joy and success to every Muslim and help us all to realise where we are going wrong, and to set ourselves aright. Your comments and reflections are welcome.

Since the “28 year old Christian female” of Disputed Mutability has posted such a nice link to our blog, I thought I’d return the favour and link to her, especially this post where I posed a question about “ex-gay” ministries and got an interesting response.

Beware the fire… September 2, 2006

Posted by Mujahid Mustaqim in Media, Religion.

I agree with the archbishop: Church supports gay-snub firemen

The nine firefighters are based at Cowcaddens and were asked to distribute community safety advice to people attending the Pride Scotia festival in George Square on 24 June.

A fire service spokesman earlier said the firefighters’ refusal was a “fundamental breach of their core responsibilities”.

“Firefighters cannot, and will not, pick and choose to whom they offer fire safety advice.”

Yes, but should they be punished for not accepting the discomfort of this specific occasion? I believe not. After all, there is nothing to indicate that the men would not give advice in other times and places to people who happen to identify as homosexual.

Muslim Canadian Congress: Fatah’s Latest Failure August 6, 2006

Posted by Taleb Haqq in Homosexualists, Islam, Media, Proggies, Religion.

A little bit of background information first.

 The Muslim Canadian Congress (not to be confused with the older, more mainstream and established Canadian Islamic Congress) is a “grassroots organization that provides a voice to Muslims who are not represented by existing organizations; organizations that are either sectarian or ethnocentric, largely authoritarian, and influenced by a fear of modernity and an aversion to joy.”  No joke, this is from their website.  It seems that they brand all other organizations under those  4 categories….anyways, that’s for a different post I guess.

They are a hodgepodge group willing to stir up anything that will remotely go against fundamental understandings of Islam and mainstream Muslims.  They sport the likes of El-Farouk Khaki of Salaam Canada fame (previously blogged about on this page)

So, recently, Canadian news services reported that the MCC’s Communications Director, a certain Tarek Fatah, as having quit his affiliation with the group because he fears for his and his family’s safety.[see CBC, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star amongst others]  The big discussion going on on the Globe and Mail site is focusing on the importance of free speech and how sad it is that he’s getting these threats etc.  But there is something that is quite important here.  I normally detest the National Post, but, in their article, they cite Fatah’s resignation letter to the MCC board in which he stated that the reason for his departure is “an increasing heavy load of work”.  It also makes mention of an upcoming book.  That’s interesting, this fact is not mentioned in all of the articles…so what’s the true reason?

Anyways, add this to Tarek’s latest failures…the PMUNA (The Progressive Muslim Union of North America), which claims Fatah as a member of its board, lost 3 of its board members almost a year ago (they resigned).

Fatah needs to realize that moderate Islam IS tolerant and that he is doing nothing except take an unnecessary extreme that is based on obscure teachings an unfounded stances.

Guidance to all inshallah.

Tariq Ramadan on respecting people June 22, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Islam, Religion.

I'm not sure what to think of Tariq Ramadan nowadays, as his ideas on Islamic reform seem occasionally to be veering towards the extremes displayed by certain less intellectual/Islamic people. Still, this interview is an interesting one, and here's what he had to say in response to a (rather strange) question about homosexuality…

Q: But realistically, how far can you go in a non-literalist interpretation of the Koran? Let's take the issue of whether someone can be both gay and Muslim. In Christianity you'll get a variety of answers. Broadly speaking, in Catholicism homosexuality is a sin. But like all other sins in Catholicism, a little bit of penance can get you out of it before judgement day. In some versions of evangelical Protestantism, homosexuality is a complete sin because evangelicals tend to be literalists. But in the Church of England there are a large number of openly gay Anglican clergy. The argument being that the Old Testament has to be contextualised. Is it possible to have a similar reading of the Koran? Or is it that homosexuality is simply wrong. Could you imagine there ever being a homosexual imam in the same way that the Anglican church in the US has just consecrated a homosexual bishop? Would that be possible?

Tariq Ramadan: It could happen if such an imam did not declare that he was homosexual. You cannot expect to see homosexuality being promoted within the Islamic tradition. Homosexuality is not perceived by Islam as the divine project for men and women. It is regarded as bad and wrong. Now, the way we have to deal with a homosexual is to say: "I don't agree with what you are doing, but I respect who you are. You can be a Muslim. You are a Muslim. Being a Muslim is between you and God." I am not going to promote homosexuality but I will respect the person, even if I don't agree with what they are doing.

Mufti leading the homophobia? May 26, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Islam, Religion.
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Islamophobia Watch has noted that Peter Tatchell, in his latest article, has apparently magnified the role of Muslims in leading the negative reactions to Russia's Gay Pride parade.

What caught my eye were his quotes from the Mufti:

"Sexual minorities have no rights, because they have crossed the line. Alternative sexuality is a crime against God."

It's strange to see someone who is so opposed to homosexuality using terminology that affirms its status as a "sexual minority" and "alternative sexuality". I wonder what he said in his own language, and how accurate the English rendering is.


CNN “ex-gay” video May 24, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Religion.

The most popular video on the CNN website right now is 'Gay cure' controversy, a report by Deborah Feyerick featuring Richard Cohen and various perspectives. Check it out.

UPDATE: Now that it's been archived by CNN, here's an alternative accessible link at YouTube.

Ex-gay billboard defaced (USA)
We’re not “ex-gay”

Same-sex marriages banned in Nigeria April 11, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Media, Religion.
1 comment so far

The Muslim News reports that Nigeria is reacting to advances in "LGB rights" in the UK and elsewhere:

Nigeria has banned same-sex marriages after Justice Minister Bayo Ojo called them ‘unnatural and un-African’. […] 

Even though homosexuality is already illegal in Nigeria and in the north can be punishable by stoning the guilty party to death, a further bill was deemed necessary following developments abroad. Gay unions in Nigeria are now punishable by five years imprisonment without the option of a fine. Minister Ojo added that people who support or aid these gay unions could be liable for the same punishment. Furthermore, pro-gay protests and public displays of homosexuality have all been made punishable offences.

[…] When presenting the Bill, Minister Ojo said that the Bible and the Koran prohibit gay unions.

Note: I placed "LGB rights" in inverted commas not because I believe that people identifying as L, G or B shouldn't have any rights, but because I don't believe it's right to consider same-sex unions as equivalent to marriage, either morally or legally.

Think about it… March 31, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Media, Religion, Responses.
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I've just been sent this link to an American site called We Are Thinking, made by some people who have also made several television messages, which can be viewed on the site.

Their aim is to challenge the hitching onto (or even hijacking of) the civil rights movement by LGBT campaigners. I'd urge everyone to watch the commercials, which are rather provocative. They feature a Jewish man, a man in a wheelchair and an African-American saying the following, respectively (excerpted):

[On homophobia] "They use other words for us too, like hatemonger, or Nazi. But I'm no Nazi: I'm a Jewish American. And I don't believe that people should be given special rights based on who they have sex with."

"Civil rights protect Americans with immutable attributes like race, gender and disability… Gay sex is an action, not an attribute… Sex is an option, but cerebral palsy isn't."

"Our parents did not march with Dr. King so Tom and John could get married."

There are a couple more, including some interesting comments from psychiatrist Robert Spitzer.


Irony that almost hurts March 26, 2006

Posted by Rasheed Eldin in Homosexualists, Religion.
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Yesterday was the colossal March Against Muslims For Free Expression, which you can read about over at Lenin's Tomb, with a few more links at Islamophobia Watch. Summary: it was a damp squib.

Peter Tatchell was one of the speakers. Now, to be quite honest, I am getting sick of mentioning the guy, but he keeps supplying me blog material. What can I do? Maybe he would like me to give him his own tag. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Tatchell's self-congratulatory article announcing his attendance contained the following bemusing note:

In January, I challenged Sir Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain when he denounced homosexuality as immoral, harmful and diseased. But I did not seek to ban him, nor did I support calls for his prosecution. I defended Sir Iqbal’s right to free speech.

What?! I recall Tatchell calling for the UAF conference to withdraw its invitation to Sacranie to speak at a rally against anti-Muslim racism, in his capacity as the head of the main umbrella body for British Muslim groups.

Which makes these other excerpts from Tatchell's self-indulgent nonsense even more absurd:

Some of my friends on the left are refusing to take part. Preferring to remain marginal but pure, they object to the involvement of right-wing groups like the Libertarian Alliance and the Freedom Association. I share their distaste for these groups. But my participation on Saturday is based on supporting the statement of principle, not on who else is taking part. I will not let the dubious politics of others dissuade me from supporting what are important, progressive humanitarian values. […]

As a left-wing Green, committed to human rights and social justice, I do not share the politics of some other speakers and rallyists. But this is the whole point of Saturdays’ demo – to defend the free speech of those with whom we disagree.