Pressure Works: UK Denies Entry to Hizbullah Official

(HH here: IT seems sense may be breaking out. Or at least a good imitation. Lets see how far they take it.)

by Avraham Zuroff

(IsraelNN.com) After mounting pressure to deny entry of a senior Lebanese member of the Hizbullah terrorist group from entering British borders, the UK’s Home Office denied an entry visa on Friday to Ibrahim Moussawi.

Britain’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, faced growing pressure to deny Moussawi’s visa, after details of his intended visit were first published in the British Daily Mail last month. Despite the newly-appointed Hizbullah media relations director’s anti-Semitic background, Moussawi had been allowed into the UK to speak publicly in December 2007 and February 2008.

British officials granted senior Hizbullah member Moussawi a visa to visit the country on Thursday, and revoked it the next day. Moussawi intended to lecture at a conference on political Islam at the University of London on March 25.

Secretary Smith revoked the entry permit after critics said his entry would represent a “double standard” in visa refusals. Dutch MP Geert Wilders had previously been banned from presenting his film about Islam extremism, Fitna, out of concern that it would threaten “community harmony.” Conservatives stated that Smith’s ban of people who threaten community harmony while allowing in members of terrorist groups would emit the wrong message.

The British government granted Moussawi a permit to visit Britain in 2008, as well. During that visit he appeared at events sponsored by the British group Stop the War.

Moussawi, who has been quoted as calling Jews “a lesion on the forehead of history” and justifying attacks on Israeli civilians, insists that he is not an anti-Semite. “I’m a bridge-builder and I’ve always been an advocate of dialogue and discussion,” he claimed in response to criticism of an earlier visit.

Moussawi also edits Al Manar, Hizbullah’s weekly paper. In the past, he served as political editor of Hizbullah TV, which has been banned in the United States as well as some European Union nations due to its anti-Semitic content.

Backdoor sharia seeks to get Imams to participate AT ALL in British law

(HH here: Here we have the whole spectrum of players; Western pols seeking to appease, Muslim activists seeking to blend sharia into Western society, Muslims who do NOT want sharia in Western society, pols who do NOT want to compromise equality under the law and finally Muslims who do not allow any dilution of sharia at all. WHEW, you need a program to keep track of the players.

New model Muslim marriage contract ‘revolutionary’ for UK women
‘Shariah Law by the back door’ says barrister

(HH again: Someone fire this reporter! The headline is clear, concise, non-sensational and actually reflects the content of the article! Obviously a subversive character!)

Lapido Media
8 August 2008

Experts are divided about the impact of a proposed new Muslim marriage contract being launched today (Friday) in London with the backing of Ann Cryer MP, that would, claims one, give recognition to shariah law.

The new contract, drafted by the Muslim Institute, launching at the City Circle, would provide women with written proof of their marriage under Islamic law. It would also outlaw polygamy in the UK.

But discrimination barrier Neil Addison says it would mean shariah law by the back door.

With government members approving it, it gives pseudo-legitimacy to Islamic marriage and to shariah by the back door, without giving any real reason why this contract is necessary and what’s wrong with civil marriage.’

Up to now, Muslims, alone among all religious groups, do not register their religious buildings in order to perform marriages that conform to English law. The new contract encourages registration.

(HH here: In my opinion they need to have a law that requires ANY group claiming to create an enforceable marriage “contract” to conform to secular law and register. In the U.S. even a Pagan Priestess has to have an o.k. from the secretary of state to perform legal marriages. Can ANY bloke in England say two people are married under whatever terms they like?)

The nikah is not recognized by the British courts and shari’ah interpretation has up to now been discriminatory.

As a result, Muslim women who face talaq – Muslim divorce – have no financial redress and become outcast, suffering loss of honour, status and social and financial support.

(HH: So, as I read this a Muslim marriage does not exist under British law? BY the choice of the Muslims no less!! By not registering it is the Imams that keep the British courts out of their marriages. This contract provides a tiny back window for a tough, determined woman to attack discrimination via courts, but it opens an enormous front door to abuse of women in divorce due to legalizing the inequities of the Muslim marriage contract. Given the predilection of hardliner Muslims to resort to beatings and even killings to control “rebellious” women legitimizing the inequalities, human and financial, of a Muslim marriage would bring on more abuse than reform. Why can’t all Muslims conform to the law in marriage like every other religious group in the West?)

Dr Ida Glaser, a Director of the Centre for Muslim Christian Studies, and an expert on women’s issues, told Lapido Media: ‘It can be an unbelievable nightmare, so what is proposed is absolutely revolutionary.

‘It’s advocating recognition of the woman’s role in marriage both in English and Islamic law. It’s a very, very egalitarian interpretation of Islamic law. It’s not outside of Islamic law, but it’s a much more modern interpretation of Islamic law and one to be greatly encouraged.’

(HH: It fair because it enshrines in British law the inequalities forced on a Muslim woman in marriage? Sure it allows her to enforce those inequalities for the first time instead of allow new ones to be piled on by a male oriented divorce “court” but it enshrines the inequalities that already exist!!)
MP Ann Cryer has also endorsed the contract, describing it as ‘an excellent piece of work’.

She said: ‘I feel confident in recommending its findings to women (and men) of the Muslim faith contemplating marriage. The advice contained will, I am sure, help thousands of young people.’

(HH again: Yes Ann, you think it is just fine for the Muslims, but do you think it is good enough for all British citizens? Do yo cooperate in keeping them separate because YOU want them separate as much as the radical Imams? Is this a “gentle racism” in operation here?)

The contract is the work of Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, Founder Director of the south London-based Muslim Institute, who since 1994 has been working to persuade leading Muslims in Britain including the Muslim Council of Britain and others to reform the written contract that forms the basis of the nikah.

He said: ‘Now they are realizing the need for this. I think partly they were living in their own ghettoes.

‘Many young people thought marriage through an imam was acceptable. Now if the marriage breaks down, it is only then that the woman realizes she has lost everything.’

(HH: I don’t think this man is working for nefarious goals but he IS infected with the notion that British law should conform to Islam at least as much as Islam should conform to British law. What we need is a secular set of limits and rights in marriage with which all faiths and non-faiths need comply.)

The reforms in the contract include:

removing the requirement for a ‘marriage guardian’ (wali) for the bride, who, as an adult, can make up her own mind about whom to marry.
enabling the wife to initiate divorce and retain all her financial rights agreed in the marriage contract.

(HH: THIS is the major weasel worded part. IT does not spell out the financial rights and their basic inequality.)

forbidding polygamy whether formally or informally in the UK or abroad
encouraging mosques to register to perform marriages
Dr Siddiqui said the contract would bring Muslim marriages in Britain into line with positive developments in Muslim family law ‘across the Muslim world.’ It did not however have the support of the salafist UK Islamic Shari’ah Council – or Muslims who are against shariah recognition of any kind.

(HH: which is why it won’t work. If the government tries to force all marrying Imams to use it they will rebel because the government is trying to limit ONE religion’s marriages. They need to establish a secular boundary for ALL religious marriages. Legitimizing the religious laws of one sect and allowing them to have the force of law is not in the tradition of Western freedoms. The last 400 years have been a steady progress away from such laws. Why now suddenly reverse a course that has proved quite successful?)

Other British lawyers were sceptical about the contract. Discrimination lawyer, Neil Addison author of Religious Discrimination and Hatred Law described it as ‘an encouragement to illegality.’

‘Though I can see that the intention behind this contract is good, it continues the unfortunate trend of separating Muslims from the general community in Britain. Which is the goal of those promoting it, on all sides.

‘The Contract will still permit Imams to perform Muslim Marriage ceremonies when the couple are not married in accordance with British Law; indeed the existence of such a ‘model’ contract endorsed, as this is, by lawyers and MPs gives the seal of approval for the continuation of marriage ceremonies which have no legal legitimacy under British law.

‘It is in fact an encouragement to illegality.’

He said Jews, Catholics, Sikhs, Hindus and Quakers all carried out marriage ceremonies in accordance with British law either by insisting that the couple had a civil ceremony before the religious ceremony, or by registering for marriages and incorporating the legal requirements for marriage into the religious ceremony.

Muslim organisations are the only religious group encouraging their members to ignore the British law of marriage, and that is harmful to Muslims because it deprives them of their legal rights under British law.

He added there was nothing in civil marriage that was contrary to Islam.

(HH: Actually this is not true, the civil contract is supposed to over-ride any religious contracts or legal authority. Conservative Islam holds that no man-made law can over ride a law of Allah.)

British Muslims: How the government lost the plot


Feb 26th 2009
From The Economist print edition

A desperate search for a new policy towards Islam has yet to produce results

Guzelian

A WAR, a riot, a terrorist attack or a row over blasphemy: not long ago, Britain’s government knew exactly what to do when a crisis loomed in relations with the country’s Muslims. As recently as July 2005, after bombs in London killed 56 people, Tony Blair was confident that he could avoid a total breakdown of trust between Muslim Britons and their compatriots.

Using an old formula, the prime minister called in some Islamic worthies and suggested they form a task force on extremism. Then, hours before the worthies were due to reconvene and mull their response, Mr Blair breezily announced that a task-force of top Muslims had just been created. They moaned, but dutifully went to work.

That system of trade-offs, the equivalent of the “beer and sandwiches” once used to woo trade unionists, had some big drawbacks. It gave hardline Muslims—generally male, old and new to Britain—disproportionate sway. It also led to some dubious bargains; for example, Muslim resentment of British foreign policy was parried by, in part, huge generosity towards the cultural demands of some Muslims—such as the right to establish schools where the curriculum bears scant relation to the lessons other young Britons get.

Now that system, and its unspoken compromises, lies in ruins. It was jettisoned in the autumn of 2006, when the government downgraded existing ties with the Muslim Council of Britain (in which movements close to the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists of Pakistan were strongly represented) and tried to find different interlocutors.

(HH here: Simply targeting the new, mostly Saudi funded, Mosques and Madrassas would go a long way toward stemming the tide of extremism.)

But attempts to define a new policy towards Islam in Britain have been floundering since then.

The government is under fire from the political centre-right for being too soft on radical or reactionary Muslim groups who stop just short of endorsing violence. (HH again: Just short? What about letting groups that DO endorse violence go about their merry business unmolested?) It is also attacked from the left (Muslim or otherwise) for using the fight against terrorism as an excuse for a general assault on Muslims and their cultural rights.

Hazel Blears, the communities secretary, sought to clarify official thinking in a speech on February 25th, … The government, she said, would reserve the right to deal with people whose ideas were unpleasant through a “spectrum of engagement, carefully calibrated to deal with individual circumstances”. With groups that have “an equivocal attitude to core values such as democracy, freedom of speech or respect towards women” there might be “some scope for limited engagement”, the minister carefully added. But on certain forms of “absolutely unacceptable behaviour”—such as homophobia, forced marriage or female genital mutilation—the government would firmly enforce the law with no regard for a cultural “oversensitivity” that had gone too far.

But the failure of current policies aimed at fostering moderate Islam can hardly be overstated. After spending lavishly on a strategy called Prevent that was supposed to empower moderates—at least £80m ($116m) will have been dished out on such efforts by 2011—the very word “prevent” has become discredited in the strongholds of British Islam, which include east London, Birmingham and a string of northern industrial towns. At the Muslim grass roots, there is a sense that any group or person who enjoys official favour is a stooge.

(HH: Why can’t people see that the first failure here was allowing too many immigrants with too little exposure to Western values. Does it really take genius to see that floods of people with no experience in our culture of laws and equal treatment under the law will be a source of crime and tension? The saddest part is that if immigration is shut down totally in order to correct past abuses in the other direction the people who will suffer most are the ones living in non-Western countries that do NOT accept the values of Islam and want to change. IT is hard for us here to say to them “Stand up for yourself, all you have to lose is your head”.)

Many in the government, meanwhile, think their partners are not delivering value for money. The whole relationship has deteriorated since August 2006. After a foiled plot to blow up transatlantic flights, and amid huge ire over the war in Lebanon, a group of prominent Muslims, including two now in government, signed an open letter arguing that British foreign policy in general, and its softness towards Israel in particular, was an important factor behind a surge in extremist sentiment.

(HH here: this points up the total difference in world-view with these people who did not grow up with our cultures. In the West it does not MATTER if you are “upset” about your government’s foreign policy, you simply do not, in a CIVILISED society RIOT and commit murder and mayhem in response. As the British say; “It just isn’t DONE!” But in their home society’s it IS done all the time. Riot and murder and daily tools of “politics” in tribal cultures. Can anyone explain t me why Europe and America et al. should go BACKWARD into a more tribal future? The bottom line is that it is not the place of an immigrant to try to completely revolutionize their new land. We welcome immigrants because they want to JOIN us in OUR future together. Their kids or grandkids will stand as equals to native born they hope. Are we also required to welcome those who come to our lands in order to make them more like the third-world hellhole from which they came? Are we even required to take their “arguments” for their lack of integration seriously?)

The government says … two problems are related: poor, frustrated and mainly self-segregated groups are more likely to produce terrorists. Muslims as a group lag behind other Britons in qualifications, employment, housing and income (see chart). But in fact the overlap between exclusion and extremism is messy. And attempts to fight terrorism through tougher policing, which can alienate whole communities, make boosting cohesion harder.

(HH: I think that a tough but fair stance that says that the door is wide open for ANY immigrant who integrates and gives realy loyalty to their new nation but anyone who lives as a hostile, alien ghetto-dweller and seeks to remain unintegrated and defiantly ignorant of the local laws should be treated like a hostile alien. Give that policy a few years and I think you would see the ghetto shrinking. Muslims would better understand the issue if posed in terms of a good or bad guest. The host-guest relationship is supposed to be sacred in Islam. Why not use that image? Western society needs to stop apologizing for being more tolerant than any of theses people’s original nations. I have always been taught that if I go into another persons house or country it makes no difference, I am inn THEIR home and should make every effort to fit in by THEIR standards. IF their ways are too different I leave. Is that a bad thing?

Among those who claim to speak for disadvantaged Muslims and articulate their grievances, there has been an outpouring of indignation over the government’s stated aim of “preventing violent extremism” by making Muslim communities more “resilient” and better at dealing with hotheads. The idea seems to stigmatise all Muslims, many complain, while the violent extremism of, for example, the white far right is ignored.

(HH here: Wow! I get this image in my head of a Muslim man standing amongst several bodies, blood everywhere. The cops are about to arrest him and he points to a 12 year old who just beat up a little kid for his lunch money. The little kid has a bloody nose. The man indignantly yells at the police that they must pay as much attention to the 12 year old or they are racist. There is no doubt that there are nut-case neo-nazi types running around. But they commit very little violence because society has no tolerance for their games. They talk a lot and beat up a few people here and there but they know that if they were caught committing any serious violence against society they would be stomped on by virtually everyone without dissent. Now if there are any local towns in Britain where skinhead gangs are running rampant and Muslims are committing violent crimes no more than the average of native British then of course the LOCAL response might need to be adjusted. That is a lot of ifs!!!!)

Probing and pre-empting attacks by Muslim extremists is now understood to occupy about 75% of the energy of the British security services, who claim to have had some success in reducing the number of terrorist plots that are stopped only at the last minute. Another less obvious factor in British thinking is strong American concern over the risk that a British-born Muslim could enter the United States and commit a terrorist spectacular there. A healthy slug of America’s anti-terrorism spending goes to forestall just such a possibility.

But successful British Muslims as well as poor ones resent the fact that the rest of society often sees them mainly as potential extremists. Sarah Joseph, a convert to Islam who edits the glossy monthly Emel, says Muslims are fed up with being asked if they are against violence; they want people to know what they are for, such as social justice. The sad fact, in a country that has come to live in fear of terrorism, is that many Britons are indeed more interested in assessing Muslims’ potential for violence than in anything else about them.

Read it all at The Economist by clicking on the post title