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Moderate London Imam terrorized by fundo thugs
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 07, 2014 02:37AM

[www.theguardian.com]

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London imam subjected to death threats for supporting evolution

Mosque suspends engineering lecturer Usama Hasan for 'antagonising' community and backing women's rights

Rowenna Davis

The Guardian, Sunday 6 March 2011 10.47 EST

An imam of an east London mosque has been subject to death threats and intimidation for expressing his views on evolution and women's right to refuse the veil.

Dr Usama Hasan, vice-chairman at Leyton mosque and a senior lecturer in engineering at Middlesex University, ceased delivering Friday prayers after 25 years of service when 50 Muslim protesters disrupted his lecture by handing out leaflets against him and shouting in the mosque for his execution.

A statement from the secretary of the mosque, Mohammad Sethi, that was leaked to extremist websites, said Hasan had been suspended after his lecture resulted in "considerable antagonism" from the community and for his "belief that Muslim women are allowed to uncover their hair in public".

Sethi's letter, dated 24 February, said Hasan's views were in "violation of the constitution of the Masjid Trust" and that the decision had been made for the "safety and security of all parties".

But Suhaib Hasan, who is the imam's father and chairman of the mosque, posted a counter-statement on the mosque's website on Thursday. It claimed his son had been the victim of a "vicious and predetermined agenda" by a "faction of trustees" and their decision to remove him was void because their meeting was inquorate.

The chairman said the threats and disruption had come largely from Muslims outside the mosque's community.

The death threats against Hasan were made in an anonymous leaflet handed out by protesters. It quotes religious authorities saying that any Muslim who believes in evolution is an "apostate" who "must be executed".

Hasan says he believes the leaflets were produced by the website Islamic Awakening. The website's leader, Abu Zubair, has led a long campaign against Hasan including making threats when Hasan was delivering a lecture in January.

An online petition against Hasan has apparently attracted 1,100 signatories, although they are not listed publicly. The petition says they are "horrified" by his views on evolution and call for him to be removed before the mosque becomes a "hotbed of modernist extremism".

Suhaib Hasan said the petition was set up in the name of the mosque illegitimately by trustee Arif Saleem, a man Usama brought on to the trust two years ago after they studied together at Imperial College.

Hasan, who has taken out extra security on his house where he lives with his wife and four children, said he was adamant he would not be leaving the mosque, although he would not be returning to give prayers for the time being.

"I'm not leaving," he said. "I've been here for 25 years and I fear that the mosque could fall into the hands of extremists. There are plenty of other mosques in the country that have gone that way. My supporters [at the mosque] don't want that and are encouraging me to stay to fight our corner.

"I've stopped giving prayers because they were interrupted by outsiders who were making some women members feel intimidated. Most people come to the mosque once a week for a quiet space to pray and find peace and inspiration and I want to respect that."

However, he did issue a statement apologising for some of his "inflammatory" statements about evolution and retracted them.

Maajid Nawaz, executive director of the Quilliam Foundation, a thinktank on Islamic extremism where Hasan has worked, expressed concern about the case.

"Dr Hasan comes from strong Islamist routes and is the son of a famous Wahhabi scholar," said Nawaz. "It's terrifying that he is being hounded out of his position. I question the support the police and government have given him, particularly after the prime minister's recent comments that we should be doing more to support Muslims who stand up to extremism.

"Until Cameron's speech, government policy has sent a message that it's OK to be an extremist as long as you don't blow yourselves up. But if extremists like these are left to be the gatekeepers of our communities, we're in real danger."

Hasan said the police had been slow to take the death threats against him seriously, but that they were now monitoring his case.

Harun Yahya, a popular Islamic creationist scholar from Turkey, begins a UK tour in London on Monday, adding to the debate. Last December Salir al-Sadlan, a senior Saudi-based scholar Salir al-Sadlan, said Muslims shouldn't pray behind someone who believed in evolution in a speech at Green Lanes mosque in Birmingham.

Inayat Bunglawala, chair of Muslims4UK, a group promoting Muslim engagement in British society, said there was "widespread ignorance" about evolution among the Muslim community. "Many traditional imams are grounded in ancient books in Arabic but have very little grounding in science. I find it staggering how they can be so strongly opposed to evolution without reading about it. That seems to be opposite of the very first commandment of the Qur'an, which is to read," Bunglawala said.

"Some of the language being used by Dr Hasan's opponents smacks of fanaticism. The shame is that, if his congregation do reject him, then it may well deter other imams from undertaking a study of evolution and speaking about what they have learnt."

Islamic Awakening and other members of the mosque could not be reached for comment. Hasan said the dispute over his suspension would be taken to the charity commission if it was not resolved soon.

"I've been a Londoner all my life and I grew up in that mosque," Hasan said. "I'm very passionate about living our lives in a modern way but, as far as they [my opponents] are concerned, that makes me an extremist. I'm going to have to live with extra cautions for the rest of my life."

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community or minority pressure group w a long term agenda?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 07, 2014 05:16PM

"Mosque suspends engineering lecturer Usama Hasan for 'antagonising' community and backing women's rights

Did this pressure group represent the entire community which worship at
the masjid?

Or is it merely a small group whose interpretation does not at all represent
the community which worship at the masjid long term?

Small and well organized groups can achieve tyranning of the minority if
care is not taken to stay calm amidst uproar and to get a representaive
survey of long term members of the masjid community.

Decades ago, our peace activist group operated on what was called consensus.

That was the stated ideal.

In practice, what happened was that at this long and tiring consensus meetings,
persons who had to get up early next morning to go to work, persons who had to
go home early to take care of small children, persons who just could not
stay awake late into the night -- they would leave.

Those persons left at the meeting to the very end were the ones who remained
to establish 'consensus'.

One veteran of the scene termed this 'consensus by attrition'.

This was not a representative sample of the larger membership.

By contrast, the pastor of one church held an important budget meeting that
affected the entire congregation.

He got advice and scheduled the meeting one hour after Sunday Mass.

That ensured virtually everyone (young told old, wealthy to modest) was present.

And because it was noon, the old and frail persons didnt have to leave early
to avoid going home in the dark.

Instead of small and vigorous minority, this was a pretty reprsentative
sample of the entire community.

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And Now a Word from Salem, Iran...
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: July 08, 2014 08:13AM

Video included: Iranian Cleric Claims: Israel Uses Sorcery for Espionage

This would be funny if it wasn't real... Scientific views of Islamic scholars and leaders.


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Where are the Monuments Men When You Need Them?
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: July 08, 2014 12:17PM

ISIS Is About to Destroy Biblical History in Iraq
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Iraqi antiquities officials are calling on the Obama administration to save Nineveh and other sites around jihadist-occupied Mosul...

Last month, a new marauder descended on Nineveh and the nearby city of Mosul. He, too, came down like the wolf on the fold, but his cohorts brandished Kalashnikovs from pickup trucks, not shining spears; their banners were the black flags of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham.

The risk now—the virtual certainty, in fact—is that irreplaceable history will be annihilated or sold into the netherworld of corrupt and cynical collectors.

Soon afterward the minions of the self-appointed caliph of the freshly self-declared Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, paid a visit to the Mosul Museum. It has been closed for years for restoration, ever since it was looted along with many of Iraq’s other institutions in the wake of the culturally oblivious American-led invasion of 2003. But the Mosul Museum was on the verge of reopening, at last, and the full collection had been stored there.

“These groups of terrorists—their arrival was a brutal shock, with no warning,” Iraqi National Museum Director Qais Hussein Rashid told me when he visited Paris last week with a mission pleading for international help. “We were not able to take preventive measures.”

WHY DO THEY DO IT? Interesting answer. Why Islamists want to destroy the Pyramids and other priceless artifacts

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From the article:
The recent occupation of Timbuktu by Islamists and their destruction of invaluable cultural artifacts has brought to light the controversial Islamic practice of cultural vandalism. Why they do this is no mystery, even if it is poorly understood by outsiders.


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Taliban Islamists notoriously destroyed two statues of the Buddha in Afghanistan, despite pleas to spare them for their cultural value. More recently, extremists looted the city of Timbuktu and destroyed the fabled "End of the World" gate in that city as well as thousands of historical manuscripts.

They have also called for the destruction of the pyramids, 5,000 year-old structures that were considered ancient, even in the time of Christ.

Why do they do this?

First, it should be understood that this is not a mainstream Islamic practice. The vast majority of Muslims are tolerant of such artifacts and have as great a respect for them as anyone else. These singular acts of historical vandalism are presently unique to Islamic extremists who feel they represent a form of idolatry and superstition.

Second, the destruction of such artifacts is nothing new. History has shows that many cultures, even from ancient times, have destroyed precious artifacts belonging to their opposition. In ancient times, the burning of temples and the destruction of statues were ways of showing that false gods had no power to defend their shrines, nor their people. It was a way of bringing people into submission.

In the 6th century, Pope Gregory ordered the destruction of many ancient Greek and Roman statues, which is why today those that survive are missing arms and other features.

It was Christians who burned the Great Library at Alexandria and murdered Hypatia in 415 A.D., one of the greatest mathematicians the world has known, and also a woman.

During the Protestant Reformation protestants systematically destroyed many Catholic artifacts, whitewashing famous murals on cathedral walls, among other things.

None of these practices are unique to Islam.

Many are unaware that the same Islamists have also destroyed cultural sites associated with the Prophet Muhammad, fearing that people would become more devoted to the memory of Muhammad than Allah.

This is part of the motivation. Strictly interpreting Koranic verses to condemn idols of any kind, Islamic fundamentalists seek to cleanse the world of idols. Added to this is the desire to impose Islam on others, by whatever means necessary.

While this is not a mainstream movement, it is understandable in a religious context.

However, the cultural cost of their depredations is so great that it cannot be measured in dollars. If given the opportunity, these extremists would destroy the pyramids of Egypt, and every other cultural site that offends a cleric in some way.

Perhaps this is as good a reason as any to resist their efforts to exert control over wider swaths of people and territory.

Few Christians today would endorse the actions of Pope Gregory, or of those who burned the Great Library of Alexandria and murdered Hypatia. One would be hard pressed to find the Christian who agrees with the crusader's sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade, or the whitewashing of priceless Catholic artworks during the reformation.

If Islamists wish to follow their fundamentalist beliefs in the security of their desert kingdoms, who are we to tell them they cannot? However, when they leave these enclaves and attempt to impose their beliefs by force, destroying the world's cultural heritage in the process, we have a duty to our ancestors and their legacy to say no.

The world should do all it can to ensure that Timbuktu is the last act of destruction on the part of such people, no matter what their religious beliefs may be. Such a crime is a crime against all humanity and it cries for prosecution.

I just watched the movie The Monuments Men Not a great movie but it made me wonder, "Where are the Monuments Men now when we need them?"

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About the movie The Monuments Men:
Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, the film is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys - seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 - possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements.

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Re: Islamic Pan Uber Cult Attacks on Holy Sites
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: July 08, 2014 02:40PM

Attacking Islam is off topic and not relevant to this message board.

All religions have radical fringe groups.

Be specific and discuss fringe groups by name such as various ultra-Orthodox Jewish groups, Christian fundamentalist groups, Islamic fundamentalist or Jihadist groups etc.

Attempting to blame Islam as a whole for the acts of extremist fringe or terroist groups is not on topic and is a religious debate.

See [forum.culteducation.com]

"The purpose of this message board is not to promote a specific religious and/or political viewpoint."

This thread is closed.

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