A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: March 2017 by Soeren Kern

  • “Have you seen some of those ISIS propaganda videos, they are cut like action movies. Where is the counter narrative?” — Riz Ahmed, actor.

  • Britain’s foreign aid budget is reportedly funding at least two dozen Palestinian schools, some of which are named after terrorists and murderers and which openly promote terrorism and encourage pupils to see child killers as role models.
  • An estimated 400 home-grown jihadis have returned to the United Kingdom after fighting in Syria, but only 54 of those have been prosecuted, according to a Mail on Sunday investigation, which also discovered that some returned jihadis are roaming free on the streets of Britain.

March 1. A new Channel 4 documentary series called “Extremely British Muslims” showed the inner workings of a sharia court inside Birmingham’s Central Mosque. In the first episode, viewers witnessed the case of mother-of-four Fatima, 33, as she sought permission to divorce her drug dealer husband she says has abused her throughout their 14-year marriage. According to sharia law, Muslim women must plead their divorce cases in court, while Muslim men need only to say the words “I divorce you” three times to obtain a divorce. Birmingham Central Mosque said it allowed the sharia proceedings to be filmed in an effort to “break down misconceptions about Islam.” Some 100 sharia courts in Britain are now dispensing Islamic justice outside the remit of the British legal system.

March 2. English actor Riz Ahmed warned that the lack of Muslim faces on British television was alienating young people, driving them towards extremism and into the arms of the Islamic State. Delivering Channel 4’s annual diversity lecture in Parliament, Ahmed said that television had a pivotal role to play in ensuring that Muslims felt heard, and valued, in British society:

“If we fail to represent, we are in danger of losing people to extremism. In the mind of the ISIS recruit, he’s the next James Bond right? Have you seen some of those ISIS propaganda videos, they are cut like action movies. Where is the counter narrative? Where are we telling these kids they can be heroes in our stories — that they are valued? If we don’t step up and tell a representative story we are going to start losing British teenagers to the story that the next chapter in their lives is written with ISIS in Syria.”

March 3. The Amateur Swimming Association changed its swimsuit regulations to allow Muslim women to wear full body outfits, after a request from the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation. The rule was changed to encourage more Muslim women to take part in the sport. Rimla Akhtar, from the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation, said:

“Participation in sport amongst Muslim women is increasing at a rapid pace. It is imperative that governing bodies adapt and tailor their offerings to suit the changing landscape of sport, including those who access their sport.”

March 4. Ryan Counsell, 28, a jihadist from Nottingham who left his wife and two small children to fight with the Abu Sayyaf Islamist group in the Philippines, blamed his behavior on the Brexit vote. He told the Woolwich Crown Court that increased tension within the local Muslim community after Brexit sparked his decision to leave. He said that he wanted to escape Britain’s political climate and seek an “idyllic life” under sharia law. He was arrested at Stansted airport in July 2016 and was later sentenced to eight years in prison.

March 5. Homegrown terrorism inspired by the Islamic State poses the dominant threat to the national security of the United Kingdom, according to a comprehensive new report on violent Islamism in Britain. The 1,000-page report — “Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015)” — was published by the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank based in London.

The report found that number of Islamism-related offenses (IROs) in Britain doubled between 2011 and 2015 from 12 to 23 a year. More than half (52%) of IROs were committed by individuals of South Asian ancestry: British-Pakistanis (25%) and British-Bangladeshis (8%). Other offenders had family ties to countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Forty-seven percent of IROs were committed by individuals born in the UK.

The also report showed a clear link between terrorism and growing up in Muslim-dominated neighborhoods. London was the place of residence of 43% of IROs, followed by West Midlands, with 18%. Of the latter, 80% of IROs were in Birmingham. The third most common region was North West England, with 10% of IROs. Together, these three regions contained the residences in almost three-quarters (72%) of cases. East London was home to half (50%) the London-based offenders, while the three most common boroughs — Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest — contained the residence of offenders’ in 38% of all London IROs (and 16% overall).

March 6. British security services have prevented 13 potential terror attacks since June 2013, according to Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism police officer. He also said that there were 500 live counter-terror investigations at any given time, and that investigators have been arresting terror suspects at a rate of close to one a day since 2014. The official threat level for international terrorism in the UK has stood at severe — meaning an attack is “highly likely” — for more than two years.

March 7. The National Health Service (NHS) revealed that there were 2,332 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Britain between October and December 2016. That brought the total of new cases in 2016 to nearly 5,500.

March 7. The managers of the cash-strapped Sandwell General Hospital near Birmingham are considering the construction of a special kitchen for preparing halal meals for Muslim patients and staff. The move follows complaints about the quality of halal meals that the hospital has outsourced to local vendors. A spokesman said: “We are still reviewing options around creating a separate halal kitchen and the best ways to provide a range of healthy halal options to patients and staff who want them.”

March 10. The BBC announced that it would begin outsourcing production of Songs of Praise, a Sunday worship program that has been produced in-house for 55 years. Critics of the move said they feared that Songs of Praise will lose its Christian focus in favor of Islam. Anglican priest Lynda Rose said a recent Songs of Praise episode featuring a segment about the Muslim faith, including Church of England children visiting a mosque, exemplified the “Islamization of the BBC.” More than 6,000 people have signed an online petition calling for MPs to investigate the BBC after it appointed Fatima Salaria as the BBC’s head of religious programming — the second Muslim in a row to hold the post.

March 11. Britain’s foreign aid budget is reportedly funding at least two dozen Palestinian schools, some of which are named after terrorists and murderers and which openly promote terrorism and encourage pupils to see child killers as role models. A Mail on Sunday investigation found pictures of “martyrs” posted on school walls, revolutionary slogans and symbols painted on premises used by youngsters, sports events named after teenage terrorists and children encouraged to act out shooting Israeli soldiers in plays.

Head teachers openly admitted to flouting attempts by British and European donors to control the curriculum at schools. They reportedly print overtly political study aids for pupils, some even denying the existence of Israel, while teachers boast of encouraging pupils to emulate teenage “martyrs” killed in terrorist attacks in the region.

One senior teacher from a prominent West Bank school, when asked what he would say to a pupil threatening to attack Israelis, said: “I would tell them go in the name of Allah.”

March 11. Islamic preachers may be asked to begin delivering their sermons in English under measures being prepared to rid Britain of hate preaching. The Telegraph reported that the government’s counter-extremism taskforce is working on the plans amid concern that preaching in foreign languages enforces divisions between Islam and mainstream British society and can foster radicalization.

March 12. An Islamic bookstore in Alum Rock, a predominately Muslim suburb of Birmingham that has produced 10% of all of Britain’s convicted terrorists, was found to be openly selling books promoting jihad. The Sunday Express visited the Madina Book Centre and bought a copy of the 440-page “Bringing up Children in Islam” for £5 ($6). The book encourages parents to “keep alive in the children the spirit of jihad.” It says:

“They [your children] may be inspired to strive for the restoration of the glory of Islam and Muslims. Jihad of warfare is where all humans spend their energies to stop a tyrant from being oppressive, for example when a tyrant makes it difficult for people to fulfill the commands of Allah to propagate Islam.

“Tyrants must be subdued whether they rule in an Islamic or non-Islamic land, or whether they are on a battlefield.

“It is the duty of Muslims to divert people from worshipping created things to the worship of the Almighty Allah alone.”

The book also rails against cinema and theater, arguing they are the work of “evil-minded” Jews, and warns of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. The book supports adulterers being stoned to death and Muslim schoolchildren being kept separate from others: “Education under unbelieving and atheist teachers results in them going astray. Dangerous, communistic and materialistic ideas grow in their minds.”

March 14. A father who describes himself as “Anglo-Saxon” lost a legal battle to prevent his Muslim ex-wife from sending their 10-year-old son to an Islamic secondary school. The man, who was not named for legal reasons, said he wanted to prevent his son from attending a “school inside a mosque” on the grounds that he would be “marginalized” by his son if he enrolled at the London-based school. The man’s lawyer said that the mother and father had “different world views” and that it was client’s wish that his son be educated in a “neutral” environment. The man and his ex-wife, both in their 40s, had divorced more than three years ago following a nine-year marriage. The man had converted to Islam but renounced his faith following the separation. The lawyer argued that the boy’s Muslim faith could be adequately catered for at a secular school. A High Court judge dismissed the man’s appeal on the grounds that an earlier ruling made by a judge at a family court — that the man would not be marginalized by his son — was correct.

March 15. Lawyers warned that a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), which allows employers to ban staff from wearing Islamic headscarves at work under certain conditions, will not automatically apply in Britain. The ECJ ruled that prohibiting the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination. The judgment was delivered in cases brought by two employees, one in Belgium and one in France, who were dismissed for refusing to remove headscarves. Lawyers said that British companies adopting the ban could easily be sued for discrimination. The Muslim Council of Britain, the country’s largest Islamic organization, condemned the ruling:

“At a time when populism and bigotry are at an all-time high, we fear that this ruling will serve as a green light to those wishing to normalize discrimination against faith communities. Many will be worried that this action will prevent Muslim women who choose to wear the scarf from securing jobs. And it sends a message that we cannot accept a plural society that recognizes and celebrates religious differences.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said that the government should not tell women what to wear:

“We have a strong tradition in this country of freedom of expression, and it is the right of all women to choose how they dress and we don’t intend to legislate on this issue. There will be times when it is right for a veil to be asked to be removed, such as border security or perhaps in courts, and individual institutions can make their own policies, but it is not for government to tell women what they can and can’t wear.”

March 17. The former owners of a bookstore in Bradford apologized after copies of the Koran and other Islamic literature were found in a garbage dumpster outside the store. Police were called to the store after a group of Muslim males began shouting at and abusing staff. The imbroglio began after the bookstore’s 80-year-old owner decided to close down his business, and the new owners gave him a month to move out the stock, which included a number of Korans and other Islamic books. A spokesman for the bookstore said:

“It has come to our attention that some Islamic materials were found in a skip [garbage dumpster] next to Book Centre. While the Book Centre site is being cleared, no Islamic material of any sort was purposefully disposed of. A small workforce was instructed to clear two storerooms from which some material made its way into the skip. This is wrong, unacceptable and a genuine mistake. The skip will be looked at as a matter of urgency and any materials removed.”

A spokesman for Baker Reign Solicitors, which represents the new owners, said:

“Should our client have been aware that the previous owner would have sought to dispose of the Holy Koran and other books in this manner, they would have assisted in distributing the books to various mosques throughout the city.

“Our client now hopes that the previous owner takes a more responsible course of action by distributing the books to those less fortunate and in need of Islamic guidance.”

March 17. Zameer Ghumra, a 37-year-old Leicester pharmacist accused of showing a beheading video to two young children, was released on bail until his trial begins at Nottingham Crown Court on September 25. He has been charged with distributing terrorist publications under section two of the Terrorism Act 2006.

March 18. The BBC apologized after a tweet from the BBC Asian Network account asked, “What is the right punishment for blasphemy?” The tweet provoked criticism that the BBC appeared to be endorsing harsh restrictions on speech. In an apology posted on Twitter, the network said it had intended to debate concerns about blasphemy on social media in Pakistan. “We never intended to imply that blasphemy should be punished,” it said.

On March 18, the British taxpayer-funded BBC Asian Network account asked, “What is the right punishment for blasphemy?”

March 19. A British jihadist reportedly used social welfare payments to move his family to Syria to join the Islamic State. Shahan Choudhury, 30, who was radicalized at Belmarsh Prison while serving an 18-month sentence for allegedly stabbing to death a 17-year-old hospital worker over an alleged £15 ($18) drug debt, vanished from his apartment in London and has since used social media to urge other British Muslims to carry out terror attacks in the UK.

March 20. Mohammed Karamat, 45, an imam at a mosque in Coventry who assaulted four children as young as nine, was spared jail time. Magistrates watched footage of Karamat twisting a child’s arm, slapping a child, and using a pen to stab a child and pricking a child’s hand with the lid of a pen. He was filmed attacking the children during a six-day period. Karamat, who admitted to four counts of assault by beating, was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid work.

March 21. Minister for Higher Education, Jo Johnson, ordered British universities to include a clear commitment to freedom of speech in their governance documents to counter the culture of censorship and so-called safe spaces. In a letter, Johnson wrote that it was the “legal duty” of universities to ensure as far as practicable that freedom of speech is secured for “members, students, employees and visiting speakers.” This meant that all university premises should not be “denied to any individual or body on any grounds connected with their beliefs or views, policy or objective.”

March 22. Khalid Masood, 52, drove a car at pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge and, armed with two knives, stormed the parliamentary estate. He killed five people and injured more than 50 before he was shot dead by police. Masood, a convert to Islam, was born in Kent as Adrian Elms. During his school years, he used his stepfather’s surname, Adrian Russell Ajao. A former English tutor, he was unemployed at the time of the attack and had been living on social welfare benefits. Masood, who had a history of criminality — he had previous convictions for assaults, including grievous bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons and public order offences — was reportedly radicalized in prison.

March 23. A total of 29 people were charged after girls as young as 11 were raped and sexually abused in Huddersfield. West Yorkshire Police said the 27 men and two women men face numerous offences including rape, trafficking with intent to engage in sexual exploitation, sexual activity with a child, child neglect, child abduction, supply of Class A drugs and the possession and making of indecent images of children. They are accused of committing the crimes against 18 girls in Huddersfield when they were aged between 11 and 17, between 2004 and 2011.

March 23. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the Westminster attack. “The perpetrator of the attacks yesterday in front of the British parliament in London is an Islamic State soldier and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of the coalition,” the group’s Amaq news agency said in a statement.

March 23. Prime Minister Theresa May said that it would be “wrong” to describe the jihadist attack on Westminster Bridge and Parliament as “Islamic terrorism.” Instead, she said, it should be referred to as “Islamist terrorism” and “a perversion of a great faith.”

March 25. Mark Ashdown, a childhood friend of Westminster terrorist Khalid Masood, described how Masood had completely changed after prison, where he converted to Islam. Ashdown said:

“When he first came out he told me he’d become a Muslim in prison and I thought he was joking. Then I saw he was quieter and much more serious. I gave him some cash-in-hand work for a few months as a laborer. He said he needed time to pray and read the Koran — something about finding inner peace. I heard he’d split from his partner and got even more deeply into religion.”

March 25. Police investigating the Westminster attack concluded that Khalid Masood acted entirely alone for reasons that may never be known. “We must all accept that there is a possibility we will never understand why he did this,” deputy assistant Metropolitan police commissioner Neil Basu said. “That understanding may have died with him.” Meanwhile, British security services reportedly do not like the term “lone wolf” because they feel it glamorizes an attacker. They prefer using “lone actor” instead.

March 25. An estimated 400 home-grown jihadis have returned to the United Kingdom after fighting in Syria, but only 54 of those have been prosecuted, according to a Mail on Sunday investigation, which also discovered that some returned jihadis are roaming free on the streets of Britain.

March 28. Kevin Lane, a convicted murderer who spent 20 years in British prisons, including HMP Woodhill and HMP Frankland, told the BBC that he saw many inmates pressured to convert to Islam and carry out attacks on other prisoners. “I have seen many attacks within the prison system,” he said. “One man boiled fat and poured it over someone’s head because of an insult to Islam.” A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “The allegations put forward by the former prisoner are historic.”

March 29. The BBC tried to downplay Westminster attacker Khalid Masood’s ties to radical Islam by airing an interview with a former employer of Massood. The man, identified only as Farasat, was a manager at an English language school where Massood worked between 2010 and 2012: The interview follows:

Q: Who was the man that you knew?

A: As a teacher, a very professional man. He was an excellent teacher. He got on well with his non-Muslim colleagues. A very friendly, stable kind of guy, really. He was not interested in the politicized version of Islam. He had no contact with any of the extremist groups. He was more a practicing Muslim who was committed to his faith, committed to his family and was focused on his career. I don’t think he was influenced by extremist groups at all…. In fact, I’d go as far to say that he was the antithesis of a violent radical.

Masood was, in fact, known to police and security services and had once been investigated by MI5 over concerns about violent extremism.

March 30. Acting Metropolitan Police Commissioner Craig Mackey said there was a slight increase in “Islamophobic incidents” following the Westminster terror attack. Breitbart London reported: “The statement which New Scotland Yard sent along with its figures suggests the rise may not be due to a genuine increase in Islamophobia, but could instead be due to a ‘community engagement plan’ which sees the authorities actively encourage Muslims to come forward with allegations following what they describe as ‘trigger events.'” The Met, the police service for the Greater London area, now employs 900 specialists focused on monitoring so-called Islamophobia.

March 31. A new biography of Prince Charles revealed that the heir to the British throne tried to halt the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to “honor” Ramadan. He made the plea in an “urgent call” to William Farish, the American ambassador to London, four weeks into the huge military operation launched after the 9/11 terror attacks. Farish recalled: “Prince Charles asked me if it would be possible to stop the invasion to honor Ramadan, and if I could convey that request to President Bush.” The ambassador replied that it would be difficult to halt a military invasion already in full swing, but the prince allegedly protested: “But Americans can do anything!” Farish asked: “Sir, are you really serious?” Prince Charles replied: “Yes I am.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: February 2017 by Soeren Kern

  • Muslim pupils outnumber Christian children in more than 30 church schools, including one Church of England primary school that has a “100% Muslim population.” — Sunday Times.Six Muslim men shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court for a total of 81 years for sexually abusing two girls — including one who became pregnant at age 12 — in Rotherham.

  • “By 2030, one in three people will be a Muslim in the world — that is a huge population.” — Romanna Bint-Abubaker, founder of modest fashion website Haute Elan.
  • A Chatham House survey of more than 10,000 people from ten European countries found that an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.

February 1. Jim Walker, a 71-year-old volunteer at Carnforth Station, was banned from the premises after someone complained about an alleged racist comment. Walker, who, for more than a decade, has been winding a famous clock at the station, was overheard discussing a newspaper article about young migrants entering Britain from the French port of Calais. Walker said:

“Carnforth Station Trust received a complaint from a visitor who was not happy about me speaking to somebody about the issue…. What they are doing is outrageous. It is absolutely unbelievable, it is a violation of free speech….

“I must be the only man in Carnforth who has a document saying where he can and can’t walk and all for expressing a point of view and quoting an editorial from a newspaper. Now [winding the clock] is no longer possible.”

February 1. Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons that women should feel free to wear the hijab, a traditional Islamic headscarf. Several European countries have imposed bans on parts of Muslim religious dress. “What a woman wears is a woman’s choice,” May said after she was asked — on world hijab day — if she supported the right of women to wear the garment.

On February 1 (“world hijab day”), UK Prime Minister Theresa May said that women should feel free to wear the hijab, a traditional Islamic headscarf, stating: “What a woman wears is a woman’s choice.” Pictured above: Theresa May (then Home Secretary) wears a headscarf while attending an interfaith event at Al Madina Mosque in East London, in February 2015. (Image source: Imams Online video screenshot)

February 2. Six Muslim men shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court for a total of 81 years for sexually abusing two girls — including one who became pregnant at age 12 — in Rotherham. Three brothers and three other men were convicted of crimes including rape, indecent assault and false imprisonment after the pre-teen victims were “systematically groomed.”

February 4. Almost half of the new homes built in the next five years will go to migrants, according to government figures. Soaring immigration means that Britain will need to accommodate as many as 243,000 new households each year for the next 22 years. It is estimated that an extra 5.3 million new properties could be needed to meet the growth in population, and an extra 2.4 million of the new homes will be needed for migrants alone. In other words, one new home must be built every five minutes to house Britain’s burgeoning migrant population.

February 5. Muslim pupils outnumber Christian children in more than 30 church schools, including one Church of England primary school that has a “100% Muslim population,” according to the Sunday Times. St. Thomas in Werneth, Oldham, is reported by the local diocese to have no Christian pupils, while at Staincliffe Church of England Junior School in Batley, West Yorkshire, 98% of pupils “come from a Muslim background.” The Church of England estimated that about 20 of its schools had more Muslim pupils than Christians and 15 Roman Catholic schools had majority Muslim pupils, according to the Catholic Education Service. Some church schools include Islamic prayers in their services.

February 6. The Deputy Mayor of London, Sophie Linden, warned that people who inflict female genital mutilation (FGM) on girls have escaped justice “for too long.” Linden said that “inconsistencies in the way these crimes are recorded” had allowed perpetrators to avoid charges, despite FGM being a “widespread” problem. Although FGM has been illegal in Britain since 1985, no one has ever been successfully prosecuted for such offenses.

February 7. Zakaria Bulhan, a 19-year-old Norwegian national of Somali origin, was sentenced to indefinite confinement at Broadmoor Hospital after he admitted to killing American tourist Darlene Horton and wounding five others in a rampage in central London on August 3, 2016. Bulhan, from Tooting, South London, pled guilty at the Old Bailey to “manslaughter by diminished responsibility” on the grounds that he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of the attacks. He had been charged with murder and attempted murder, but the court accepted his plea. During his arrest, Bulhan repeatedly muttered “Allah, Allah, Allah,” and police found a Muslim prayer book, “Fortress of the Muslim,” in his pants pocket. The court decided that Islam was not a factor in Bulhan’s behavior.

February 7. A Chatham House survey of more than 10,000 people from ten European countries found that an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed and 20% disagreed. Majorities in all but two of the ten states agreed, ranging from 71% in Poland, 65% in Austria, 53% in Germany and 51% in Italy to 47% in the United Kingdom and 41% in Spain.

February 9. A 44-year-old man from Hertfordshire was arrested at Gatwick Airport on terrorism charges after he disembarked from a flight from Iraq. He was charged under Section 5 of the 2006 Terrorism Act: suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts.

February 12. A National Health Service (NHS) project based on research by Leeds University claimed that Muslims with mental health issues could be helped by re-embracing Islam. Traditionally, therapists have shied away from talking about religion as part of treatment. Lead researcher Dr. Ghazala Mir, of the university’s Leeds Institute of Health Sciences, said:

“We know that in Muslim populations people can get quicker results from faith-sensitive therapies that have been tested elsewhere in the world. They tend to use religion as a coping resource more than people in other religious groups.”

Mir has helped to create a new treatment. Patients are asked if faith was part of their life when they were well. Those who stopped being religious because of depression are re-introduced slowly using a self-help booklet, which highlights passages from the Koran that illustrate that “even people with strong faith” can become depressed and that it does not mean Allah is displeased.

February 13. Nadeem Muhammed, a 43-year-old Pakistani national, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London after security officials at Manchester Airport discovered a pipe bomb in his hand luggage prior to boarding a flight to Italy. Muhammed, who lives in Greater Manchester, was arrested on January 30 but was later released on bail and was allowed to travel. He was re-arrested when he returned to Britain on February 11 and charged with possessing an improvised explosive device.

February 14. Clayton McKenna, a 22-year-old Briton who converted to Islam while in prison, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court after he carried an axe through the streets of Boldon Colliery, apparently with which to confront his Christian father over “religious differences.” McKenna allegedly told police that he was on his way to his father’s home “to ask him to bow down to me.” Judge Penny Moreland told McKenna:

“It appears you were sober, you had not been drinking or taking drugs. There has been an examination by the mental health team and they are satisfied there are no mental health issues I ought to be taking into account.

“You made a series of statements, both at the scene and in interview shortly afterwards, as to what you intended to do and what was in your mind. It is right to say they were confused and contradictory.

“The statements included a suggestion that you were going to use violence against your father, amongst a number of reasons you said was because he was a Christian and you were a recent convert to Islam.

“I am concerned that there is no real explanation for your confused thinking that morning, nor for those threats made, even though they appear to have been without substance.”

February 15. Faisal Bashir, a 43-year-old father of two from Ilford, was forced to move out of his home after he renounced Islam and stopped attending mosque. Bashir said he was subject to harassment, but police dismissed his pleas for help as “just a nuisance.” He explained:

“These people knew I had become an atheist and soon enough my whole family was being harassed. At least once a week they would hang around near my house, shouting and swearing at me. I was called an apostate, a non-believer, I was told I had betrayed my God and my faith. Sometimes they would even say things to my children — they are far too little to know what was happening, they were very frightened.

“Police always said they could not really do anything because no physical altercation ever took place. But I am not the kind of person to get violent with anybody. Also, it was always different people so they claimed they could not log it as similar complaint. Eventually a police officer told me I should just move house to get away from it all.

“We were not left with any other choice…. The new house is over a mile away, but they still managed to find us again.”

The Chairman of the Ilford-based British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), Wilson Chowdhry, said:

“Police and councils up and down the country just don’t understand the level of animosity people choosing to leave Islam can face.”

February 16. Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, Britain’s top police officer, urged Muslim scholars to step up their efforts to counter the violent ideology of the Islamic State. He said he believed that IS fighters and terrorists were “political criminals” who were carrying out “horrific violence” which had no justification in Islam. In an interview with the Evening Standard, Hogan-Howe repeated the politically correct dogma that the Islamic State is not Islamic:

“The hardest part for the Western world is to interrupt this philosophy that Daesh [Islamic State] is perpetuating which is that Islam in any way supports this horrific use of violence.

“There is no interpretation I would argue that could say that, but some people are getting away with that. Muslim scholars have got to come up and be really challenging of that and be very clear that this can never be acceptable. There is no interpretation that can ever conclude it is okay to kill people. We cannot be at all sensitive to religious beliefs. We have all got to say that is wrong.

“The Muslim community feel particularly sensitive because Islamism is about people who profess to be Muslims. I would argue that they are political criminals — it just happens to be masked in religion. But when you are dealing with that issue you have to be sensitive to the majority who are good people trying to do the right thing.”

February 18. Britain’s first-ever “modest” fashion event was held in London with more than 40 designers displaying garments that comply with Muslim values. Event organizer Romanna Bint-Abubaker, founder of modest fashion website Haute Elan, told Sky News:

“The fastest growing global consumer is at the moment the Muslim market. By 2030, one in three people will be a Muslim in the world — that is a huge population.”

February 19. Counter-terrorism police launched an investigation into claims that Trish O’Donnell, head of Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham, was being forced to work from home after death threats from Muslim parents opposed to her Western values. O’Donnell reportedly has been subject to “harassment and intimidation” in the form of “aggressive verbal abuse” and “threats to blow up her car” from parents pushing conservative Muslim ideals. The school is mostly filled with Pakistani pupils who do not speak English as a first language.

February 20. Members of Parliament debated U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s state visit to Britain. Left-wing MPs called for the invitation to be withdrawn to protest Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries. Conservative Party MPs accused their opponents of hypocrisy and insulting the American people. The debate was triggered after an online parliamentary petition seeking to prevent Trump from making a state visit attracted nearly two million signatures. A counter-petition received over 300,000 signatures. After three hours of debate, Sir Alan Duncan, the deputy foreign secretary, reaffirmed the government’s intention to host Trump on a state visit, tentatively set for October 5-8, 2017.

February 21. Rezzas Abdulla, a 33-year-old man from South Shields, was sentenced to eight months in prison, a sentence then suspended so that he could receive treatment for mental health problems, for assaulting a woman and her nine-month old baby. Rebecca Telford, 25, and her daughter Layla-Jean, were strolling in South Shields in January 2016 when Abdulla leaned into the baby carriage and spat into the baby’s mouth, and allegedly said, “white people shouldn’t breed,” before launching into a tirade of racial abuse. Telford told police:

“There was no eye contact and no words had been exchanged. I had never seen him before. I believe he spat on her purely because we are white, I was a lone female and an easy target.”

February 22. Jamal al-Harith, a 50-year-old British convert to Islam, blew himself up at an Iraqi army base in Mosul on February 20. He had received £1 million (€1.1 million; $1.2 million) in compensation from the British government after being freed from Guantánamo Bay in 2004. Al-Harith, originally named Ronald Fiddler, was born in Manchester to parents of Jamaican origin and took the name Jamal al-Harith when he converted to Islam. He was also known more recently as Abu-Zakariya al-Britani. Captured in Afghanistan in early 2002, and released from Guantánamo Bay after two years, he later joined IS.

February 23. The BBC paid “very substantial” libel damages and broadcast a full apology to Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, founder member of the Muslim Council of Britain, who was falsely accused of calling for the lynching of author Salman Rushdie.

February 26. Shahriar Ashrafkhorasani, a 33-year-old Iranian-born convert from Islam and who is set to be ordained as a Church of England priest, accused Oxford University of discrimination and bias after he was told he could not ask a lecturer critical questions about Islam. During a seminar about love in religion, Minlib Dallh, a research fellow at Regent’s Park College in Oxford, allegedly pointed at Ashrafkhorasani and said: “Everybody can ask a question except you.” Ashrafkhorasani said that Dallh had discovered during a coffee break that he was a convert from Islam. He said that Dallh refused to let him ask questions about the lecturer’s description of Islam as a religion of love and peace. Dallh’s project was partly being sponsored by the King of Jordan. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who was a senior fellow at Wycliffe Hall until last year, said that a “politically correct” atmosphere is “very widespread in the university as a whole.” He added: “If people are taking money from these [Muslim] sources, then that can limit the critical approach to the study of Islam and Muslim civilization generally.”

February 27. A spokesman for the West Midlands Police wrote on social media that parents caught practicing female genital mutilation (FMG) on their children should not be prosecuted. He revealed that the force is opposed to “prosecuting/jailing” parents for FGM because it would be “unlikely to benefit” children who fall victim to the crime. He added that the best course of action is to focus on “education.” Tim Loughton, a member of the Home Affairs Committee, condemned the reluctance to pursue prosecution:

“It is absolutely key to expose perpetrators and to nail them for it. The police must go after offenders. This is deeply disturbing because a key part of eradicating the violence of FGM is exposing, prosecuting, and nailing the perpetrators. Every time a prosecution fails to materialize, it encourages those that are behind this that it is not a serious crime, and they can get away it.”

February 28. Patrick Kabele, a 32-year-old convert to Islam, was found guilty of preparing terrorist acts — namely attempting to travel to Syria — contrary to the 2006 Terrorism Act. During his trial, jurors at Woolwich Crown Court heard how Kabele, from Willesden in North London, tried to join the Islamic State in Syria, where he wanted to buy a “nine-year-old virgin, the younger the better.” He added that if he had enough money, he would buy four wives. Kabele was arrested after he tried to board a flight from Gatwick to Istanbul, Turkey on August 20, 2016 with £3,000 in cash. Kabele, who was born in Uganda and became a British citizen, told police after his arrest that he did not “owe an oath of allegiance” to the United Kingdom.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: April 2017 by Soeren Kern

  • Some forms of “honor based” abuse, such as “breast ironing,” often go undetected because teachers are unaware that it exists. Helen Porter said: “Breast ironing has been carried out for many generations and is usually performed by mothers who wish to prevent their daughters from being sexually attractive to men in a bid to protect them from child marriage and pregnancy, sexual harassment, rape and the spread of HIV… In the UK, girls in London, Leicester and Birmingham are most at risk.”

  • The Charity Commission asked Islamic Relief to explain why it invited a hardline Muslim preacher to star in a fundraising tour of Britain. Yasir Qadhi, a Saudi-educated American academic, has been recorded telling students that killing homosexuals and stoning adulterers was part of Islam. Qadhi, who featured in an eight-city tour, described Islamic punishments such as cutting off the hands of thieves as “very beneficial to society.” The commission also questioned two other charities, Muslim Aid and Read Foundation, about their sponsorship of a speaking tour by Qadhi in 2015
  • Sainsbury’s and Asda, two of Britain’s largest supermarket chains, refused to sell Easter eggs that tell the story of Christianity. Both chains, however, sold eggs that are not specifically Christian, including a halal version made by the Belgian firm Guylian. Stephen Green, of the lobby group Christian Voice, said: “You are whitewashing the Christian message out of Christian holidays. It’s difficult to find any explicitly Christian products, like Christmas cards, in supermarkets.”
  • “It’s all right for the judge respecting the human rights of the prisoner, but what about the human rights of the prison staff he was threatening to behead?” — Philip Davies, a Tory MP for Shipley.

April 1. The British Home office stripped Sufiyan Mustafa, 22, of his UK passport after he traveled to Syria to fight with jihadists. Mustafa is the youngest son of the cleric Abu Hamza, who was sentenced to life in prison in the United States after being convicted of terrorism charges. Mustafa complained that he is now stateless and stranded in Syria:

“Britain is the place where I was born and lived. I have never been a threat to national security in Britain and will not commit aggression on its population because our religion does not allow attacks on unarmed innocents.”

April 1. Frankland Prison in County Durham became the first of its kind to open “a prison within a prison” to isolate Islamic extremists. Convicted terrorists are to be moved to a “jihadist prison block” to reduce the risk of other inmates being radicalized. A government report recommended that the “most subversive extremist prisoners” should be jailed separately to tackle the problem of jihadists radicalizing their fellow inmates.

April 5. A BBC investigation found that online services in Britain are charging divorced Muslim women thousands of pounds to take part in “halala” Islamic marriages. Halala involves the woman marrying a stranger, consummating the marriage and then getting a divorce, after which she is able to remarry her first husband. Some Muslims believe that halala is the only way a couple who have been divorced, and wish to reconcile, can remarry. The BBC reported that women who seek halala services are at risk of being financially exploited, blackmailed and even sexually abused. One man, advertising halala services on Facebook, told an undercover BBC reporter posing as a divorced Muslim woman that she would need to pay £2,500 ($3,250) and have sex with him in order for the marriage to be “complete” — at which point he would divorce her. The man also said he had several other men working with him, one who he claims refused to issue a woman a divorce after a halala service was complete.

April 5. The Salafi Independent School, an Islamic private school in Small Heath, was found to have placed an advertisement for a male-only science teacher. Although the advertisement, which breached the Equalities Act, was retracted, the headmaster claimed that the role must be occupied by a male teacher because of “religious observance reasons.” The decision prompted calls for the school to be investigated, amid fears it promotes “gender-based discrimination” and threatens to undermine “British values.”

April 6. Ummariyat Mirza, a 21-year-old from Birmingham, was charged with planning to carry out a jihadist attack with a knife. He was also charged with possessing a bomb-making guide, the Anarchist Cookbook, and an extremist document called the Mujahideen Poisons Handbook. Police also charged Zainub Mirza, a 23-year-old from Bordesley Green, Birmingham, with sending Islamic State propaganda videos and executions to others to encourage jihadist attacks.

April 7. The Food Standards Agency launched an investigation into the Malik Food Group, one of Britain’s largest halal slaughterhouses, over allegations of animal cruelty after an undercover video showed a slaughterman repeatedly sawing at the necks of sheep with a knife as they passed down a conveyor belt. The animals appeared not to have been killed instantly and some were seen heaving and jumping as they went down the line. More than 100 million animals are killed in the UK every year using the halal method, which forbids stunning animals prior to having their throats cut. The filming was carried out by the pressure group Animal Aid. Its spokesman Luke Steele said:

“Our investigation has uncovered barbaric and deliberate cruelty being inflicted on animals, in horrific scenes unlike any we have ever seen before. There is no doubt that law breaking continues to be an inherent problem in abattoirs.”

April 9. The Brexit pressure group Leave Means Leave called on the British government to adopt a five-year freeze on unskilled migrants and impose a 50,000-a-year cap on all new arrivals. The group, backed by former Cabinet ministers as well as 15 Tory MPs, says that Brexit provides a “golden opportunity” to stem immigration. The group is especially concerned about unskilled migrants, who are believed to make up some 80% of newcomers to the EU. Former Conservative cabinet minister, Owen Paterson MP, said:

“Mass migration at its current level has fostered resentment, depressed wages and placed an excessive burden on our public services. Once we have left the EU, the government must enact a new bespoke immigration policy — like a British Working Visa System — to bring immigration levels down to the tens of thousands.”

April 10. Walsall Council backed out of a pilot project to introduce voter identification measures at elections amid concerns over how staff would handle Muslim women wearing veils. Conservative leader Mike Bird said the idea was “more trouble than its worth” and may lead to “confrontation” at polling stations. The government is planning to run the pilot schemes at local elections in 2018. It would see participating councils request identification from voters at polling stations to crack down on electoral fraud.

April 10. Two Birmingham teachers at center of Trojan Horse affair — an alleged plot to introduce conservative Islamic ideology into several Birmingham state schools — applied to have disciplinary proceedings against them thrown out. A lawyer representing Hardeep Saini, the former deputy head of Golden Hillock School and Monzoor Hussain, the former principal of Park View School, said the case against his clients is prejudiced. The teachers appeared with three others before a disciplinary panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership in Coventry.

April 10. Azad Ali, an Islamist who has said that he supports killing British soldiers, was named a director of Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend), a controversial Muslim pressure group which advises the British government. Ali recently said that the jihadist attack at Westminster on March 22, 2017 was not an act of terrorism.

April 11. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers, a teachers’ union, called for more information and training for school staff on how to spot the signs of “honor-based abuse.” Some forms of abuse, such as “breast ironing,” often go undetected because teachers are unaware that it exists. Helen Porter, who proposed the motion, said:

“Breast ironing or breast flattening, is the pummeling or pounding of a pubescent girl’s breasts with hard or heated objects in an attempt to stop them developing. It often lasts for 20 minutes at a time and may be repeated daily for up to 10 months. To state the obvious it is extremely painful and can contribute to breast infections, cysts, cancer, depression and complications in breast feeding.

“Breast ironing has been carried out for many generations and is usually performed by mothers who wish to prevent their daughters from being sexually attractive to men in a bid to protect them from child marriage and pregnancy, sexual harassment, rape and the spread of HIV. It is practiced in Cameroon, countries of western central Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. In the UK, girls in London, Leicester and Birmingham are most at risk.”

April 11. The Charity Commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales, asked Islamic Relief to explain why it invited a hardline Muslim preacher to star in a fundraising tour of Britain. Yasir Qadhi, a Saudi-educated American academic, has been recorded telling students that killing homosexuals and stoning adulterers was part of Islam. Qadhi, who featured in an eight-city tour, described Islamic punishments such as cutting off the hands of thieves as “very beneficial to society.” The commission also questioned two other charities, Muslim Aid and Read Foundation, about their sponsorship of a speaking tour by Qadhi in 2015.

April 13. Twenty nine people, facing more than 170 charges relating to the sexual exploitation of 18 children, appeared at Huddersfield Magistrates Court. The 27 men and two women were charged with offenses including rape, trafficking, sexual activity with a child, child neglect, child abduction, supplying drugs and making of indecent images of children.

April 14. Sainsbury’s and Asda, two of Britain’s largest supermarket chains, refused to sell Easter eggs that tell the story of Christianity. Both chains, however, sold eggs that are not specifically Christian, including a halal version made by the Belgian firm Guylian. The Real Easter Egg range, which claims to be the only one that names Jesus on the box, includes a 24-page story-activity book explaining the death and resurrection of Christ. It says that “eggs are a symbol of hope and new life.” Meaningful Chocolate boss David Marshall said Sainsbury’s and Asda appeared to be “not very comfortable, for some reason, with stocking Easter eggs for the Christian community.” Stephen Green, of the lobby group Christian Voice, said: “You are whitewashing the Christian message out of Christian holidays. It’s difficult to find any explicitly Christian products, like Christmas cards, in supermarkets.”

Sainsbury’s and Asda, two of Britain’s largest supermarket chains, refused to sell Easter eggs that tell the story of Christianity. (Photo [illustrative] by Graeme Robertson/Getty Images)

April 15. Pupils at the Kilmorie Primary School in Lewisham, London were taken on a school trip to the Lewisham Islamic Centre where they met Shakeel Begg, an imam whom the High Court recently described as an “extremist” who “promotes and encourages religious violence.” The trip by state school students, aged eight and nine, to meet Begg, the imam at the mosque attended by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the killers of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, provoked widespread outrage. Mr. Justice Haddon-Cave warned that Begg’s role as imam put him in a position to “plant the seed of Islamic extremism in a young mind.” Begg praised the children for their desire to learn about Islam.

April 22. Mohammed Aslam, an independent candidate for mayor of Greater Manchester, caused controversy after he delivered his election manifesto completely in Urdu on the BBC. Janice Atkinson, an independent member of the European Parliament, tweeted: “If you can’t/won’t speak English you have no right to stand in elections. You cannot represent our people, culture and values. Stand down.”

April 22. Nadir Syed, a 24-year-old jihadist serving life in prison for plotting to behead someone in a jihadist attack, won a High Court case which ruled that his human rights were breached after he was placed in solitary confinement. Syed was placed in isolation at the top-security Woodhill prison after he led other Muslim inmates in chanting “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is Greatest”), banging on cell doors and threatening to decapitate wardens. Philip Davies, a Tory MP for Shipley who sits on the Justice Select Committee, said:

“It’s all right for the judge respecting the human rights of the prisoner, but what about the human rights of the prison staff he was threatening to behead? The reason why so many people have lost faith in the justice system is because you get ridiculous decisions like that.”

April 23. Ahmadi Muslims in Cardiff said they were facing discrimination from other Muslims in the city. The Ahmadi branch of Islam believes Mohammed was not the final prophet, a view considered blasphemous to other Muslims.

April 24. The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), in its new general election manifesto, pledged to ban the burka from being worn in public. Party leader Paul Nuttall said the Muslim face coverings are “a deliberate barrier to integration” and also pose a security risk. The manifesto also proposed to outlaw Sharia law and make it a legal obligation to report female genital mutilation to police.

April 25. Prime Minister Theresa May was accused of ignoring Muslim voters after she scheduled the general election in the middle of Ramadan. Muslim politicians from Labour and the Scottish National Party said they feared reduced voter turnout among Muslims on June 8, during Ramadan, which takes place between May 26 and June 24. Labour’s Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, said:

“It is unfortunate that Theresa May has scheduled the election to take place during the holy month of Ramadan. I know this will present challenges to Muslim voters and those who wish to campaign. At best I can only suggest that this did not even feature in her thinking, which is disappointing.”

SNP MSP Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands added:

“I think it would be fair to say that a lot of people in the Muslim community feel that they were certainly not even factored at all into the conversation or the thinking because it will have an impact, I suspect, on turnout.”

April 26. Palestinian leaders vowed to sue the British government after it refused to apologize for the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for the creation of Israel in 1948. The British government said:

“The Balfour Declaration is an historic statement for which HMG does not intend to apologise. We are proud of our role in creating the State of Israel. The task now is to encourage moves towards peace.”

Manuel Hassassian, the Palestinian “ambassador” to the UK, said the response meant that “the Queen and the Government of Britain will not apologize to the Palestinian people.” He said that unless the position was reversed and the UK formally recognized the state of Palestine, a lawsuit would be pursued. “This is the only condition upon which we can close this file permanently,” he said.

April 26. Damon Smith, a 20-year-old convert to Islam, appeared in court on charges that he left a bomb on a subway in London on October 20, 2016. Footage from surveillance cameras showed Smith getting onto a carriage with a backpack and then, four minutes later, getting off the train without the bag, which contained a homemade bomb and which did not go off. Jurors at the Old Baily court were told that Smith had downloaded an al-Qaeda article entitled, “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom,” which contained step-by-step instructions on how to make a homemade bomb. The court also heard that Smith had a keen interest in Islam, guns, explosives and gambling, and collected pictures of extremists, including the alleged mastermind of the 2015 Paris terror attacks. Smith, who suffers from autism, admitted to making the device but claimed he only meant it as a prank.

April 26. Wealthy Pakistani asylum seekers with £250,000 ($325,000) in savings who claimed asylum in Britain before taking £40,000-a-year in benefits were each sentenced to ten months in prison. Syed Zaidi, 41, and his wife Rizwana Kamal, 40, claimed they were being persecuted at home so flew to Britain with their family asking the Home Office for food and shelter. The couple, who have three children, were given free accommodation and other welfare payments worth £150,000 over four years at taxpayers’ expense, despite having more than £250,000 saved in seven different bank accounts. They then bought two cars and moved in a Victorian terraced house in Denton, near Manchester, but were prosecuted after a whistleblower called the Home Office.

April 27. The Church of England said that British children should be required to learn about Islam. Derek Holloway of the Church of England’s education office said that Christian parents who do not want their children to learn about Islam should not be allowed to withdraw their children from religious education lessons. At present, parents can insist that their children take no part in religious education lessons and do not have to provide a reason. Holloway said that parents with “fundamentalist” Christian beliefs who did not want their children to learn about other world views risked leaving pupils with little understanding of Islam and without the skills to live in a modern and diverse Britain. Holloway did not say whether Muslim children should to be required to learn about Christianity and Judaism.

April 27. Khalid Mohamed Omar Ali, 27, was arrested on suspicion of preparing a jihadist attack near the British Parliament. He was detained with a backpack full of knives just five weeks after six people were killed in a jihadist attack in the same area.

April 27. Police revealed that Khalid Masood, the 52-year-old convert to Islam who killed six people (including himself) and injured 50 others in the jihadist attack in Westminster, London, on March 22 left a last message: he declared that he was waging jihad in revenge against Western military action in the Middle East. Immediately after the attack, Deputy Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Neil Basu said that Masood’s motives may never be known: “We must all accept that there is a possibility we will never understand why he did this. That understanding may have died with him.”

April 27. Haroon Syed, 19, from Hounslow, West London, pleaded guilty to plotting a jihadist attack on an Elton John concert in Hyde Park on September 11, 2016. The court heard how Syed tried to obtain weapons online, including a bomb vest or explosives, and surfed the web to find a busy area in London to launch a mass-casualty attack.

April 28. Jade Campbell, a 26-year-old convert to Islam from West London, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for possessing materials likely to be useful to a person planning or committing an act of terror and for making a false statement to obtain a passport. Police searching her mobile phone found a copy of the al-Qaeda article, “Make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom.” Another article concerned sending and receiving encrypted messages. Internet searches found on her phone included “how to join ISIS” and “how to marry someone from ISIS,” as well as searches for flights to Istanbul and border crossings between Turkey and Syria.

April 29. Mohamed Amoudi, 21, was arrested on charges of planning a jihadist attack on a crowded tourist area of central London. Amoudi was investigated for allegedly attempting to travel to Syria to join ISIS, and had been held by police in 2015. Born in Yemen, Amoudi has been linked to the controversial human rights group Cage, which campaigns against what it says is oppressive counter-terrorism policing against Muslims.

April 30. Cardiff Crown Court sentenced Mohsin Akram, a 21-year-old asylum seeker from Pakistan, to 15 months in prison for attacking his wife, Mariam Hussain, with a hammer when she forgot to cook his dinner. Sentencing Akram, Judge Tom Crowther said:

“It seems to me you wanted not a real person but some imaginary figure who not only would bear your children but would constantly dote on you. So angry did you become that your life didn’t correspond to this teenage fantasy that you started to belabor her with a hammer, first one then two in a sustained attack that left her badly bruised all over her body and deeply shaken. During the attack on her in a gesture clearly designed to isolate her and underline your control over her, you made a point of breaking a tablet computer that was the only link she was allowed to the outside world.”

Hussain said she was furious that the judge chose not to deport Akram and called on the Home Office to review his asylum status once he is released from prison.

A Lebanese satellite TV station affiliated with terror group Hezbollah reported

A Lebanese satellite TV station affiliated with terror group Hezbollah reported on details of assassinated arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar’s last will and testament, claiming it calls for revenge against Israel.


 

Wall Street Journal correspondent Sam Dagher reported on Twitter that Kuntar’s supposed will was published in Arabic on the website almanar.com.

In the will, Kuntar, who was assassinated late Saturday night in Syria and buried in Lebanon on Monday, asks that Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah carefully plan the precise time and place to retaliate against Israel, which has been blamed for the strike, rather than responding immediately. He said Israel “deludes itself into thinking that by killing us it can drag the Resistance into a confrontation whose timing and place it chooses.” Kuntar added that Nasrallah is aware of his “responsibility to avoid being dragged into a battle, the timing and place of which have been determined by the enemy.”

Kuntar, a high-ranking Hezbollah official who spent 30 years in an Israeli prison for the slaughter of a Nahariya family, was killed near Damascus in an airstrike. While foreign media outlets and Hezbollah attributed the mission to Israel, the Jewish state has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

By: The Algemeiner

A Guide to the Palestinian Lexicon by Khaled Abu Toameh

  • Many Palestinians refer to cities inside Israel proper as “occupied.” Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Ramle and Lod, for example, are often described in the Palestinian media as “Palestinian Cities” or “Occupied Cities.” Jews living in these cities, as well as other parts of Israel, are sometimes referred to as “Settlers.”

  • Many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. For them, this not only about the “occupation” of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The real “occupation”, for them, began with the creation of Israel in 1948.
  • Non-Arabic speakers may find this assertion baseless, because what they hear and read from Palestinian representatives in English does not reflect the messages being relayed to Palestinians in Arabic.
  • It is no secret that Palestinian leaders have failed to prepare their people for peace with Israel, and deny its right to exist.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” — George Orwell, 1984.

What do you do if you do not like Israel, but have only one outlet for that dislike: expressing it in rhetoric and print?

Well, if you are a Palestinian, you can always come up with your own terminology — one that sheds negative light on Israel and anything that is associated with it. This is precisely the tack Palestinians have taken over the past few decades, inventing their own terms and phrases when talking about Israel.

George Orwell, of course, saw through this behavior. For him, “language can also corrupt thought.” The anti-Israel sentiments, delivered for decades by Palestinians, not only corrupt thought, but also incite people against Israel, by creating incendiary situations that are designed to burst into flames.

To be clear: this is not the familiar incitement in the Palestinian media that is discussed in international forums.

This is a different color. This incitement demonizes Israel and Jews. In this narrative, Israel is evil, as well as alien to the Middle East.

Orwell, in his wise remarks on language, did not mention the deceit of multiple tongues. But that deceit is deeply embedded in the Palestinian discourse on Israel.

Political affiliations somewhat determine which terminology is employed by Palestinians with reference to Israel. Yet across affiliations, Palestinians employ extremely negative terms to discuss Israel.

Until the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the “moderate” Fatah faction, currently headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, referred to Israel, as its Palestinian brothers do today, as the “Zionist entity.” That was before the PLO officially recognized Israel under the terms of the Oslo Accords. Back then, it was considered disgraceful and unacceptable to call Israel by its name, lest that be interpreted, God forbid, as recognition of Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking in Arabic at a press conference broadcast December 24, 2014, used the word “Israel” in explaining that he refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. (Image source: Palestinian Media Watch)

More than two decades later, Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Palestinian Authority (PA) still find it difficult to mention the name Israel.

Since its creation in 1994, the Palestinian Authority’s official policy (in Arabic) has been to refer to Israel as “the Other Side.” These were the instructions handed down to PA civil servants and security personnel, and they remain in effect today.

In those days, when the PA security forces were still conducting “joint patrols” with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers in many parts of the West Bank, Palestinian policemen were banned from using the name Israel or IDF, especially when they were communicating with their colleagues and commanders through walkie-talkies. The names Israel and IDF were replaced with “the Other Side.”

A senior Palestinian security official who was asked about this back then admitted that the orders came directly from the office of Yasser Arafat. “Yes, we signed an agreement that recognizes Israel, but most of our officers and policemen still have a real problem mentioning the name Israel,” the officer said.

The instructions remain in effect even as the Palestinian Authority continues to conduct “security coordination” with Israel. Palestinian security and civilian officials who maintain daily contact with their Israeli counterparts regularly refrain from uttering the names Israel or IDF. In a sliver of good news, they no longer refer to Israel as the “Zionist Entity.”

Yet the Palestinian media and representatives of the PA, in their statements (in Arabic), continue to use terminology that is degrading and even abusive when it comes to dealing with Israel.

Israel, for example, is often referred to as the “State of Occupation” and the Israeli Government is described as the “Government of Occupation.”

Many Palestinians remain opposed to the use of the name Israel because they simply do not recognize its right to exist.

Palestinian writer Muhsen Saleh criticized some Arabs and Palestinians for sometimes using the name Israel in their speeches and writings:

“For many years, the Arabs and regimes and their media outlets refused to use the name ‘Israel’ when referring to the usurper entity that was established on large parts of the land of 1948 Palestine. They used to refer to it as the enemy, the Zionist entity or the Occupation, or at least they used to put the name Israel in quotes as a sign that they do not recognize it. Today, however, the name ‘Israel’ is being used without quotes and without embarrassment.”

The prime minister of Israel, regardless of his identity or political affiliation, is often called the “Prime Minister of Occupation.” Some prefer to use the term “Prime Minister of Tel Aviv.”

The Israeli Defense Minister, again regardless of his identity or political affiliation, is often referred to as the “Minister of War.” The implication: Israel is at constant war with the Palestinians and Arabs. Needless to say, the IDF is always referred to as the “Occupation Forces,” whose only mission is to kill Palestinians, destroy their homes and turn their lives into misery.

Another sign of the difficulty many Palestinians find in using the name Israel can be found in their talk about the Arab citizens of Israel.

Palestinian officials and media outlets regularly refer to these citizens as “the Arabs of the Inside” — implying that the “inside” is actually an internal part of “Palestine.” Others refer to these citizens as “the Arabs of 1948” or the “Palestinians Inside the Green Line” or “the Arabs living inside the 1948 Occupied Territories.”

And we still have not talked about the fact that many Palestinians refer to cities inside Israel proper as “occupied” cities and towns. Jaffa, Haifa, Acre, Tiberias, Ramle and Lod, for example, are often described in the Palestinian media as “Palestinian Cities” or “Occupied Cities.” Jews living in these cities, as well as other parts of Israel, are sometimes referred to as “Settlers.”

Jews visiting the Temple Mount, or Haram Al-Sharif, in Jerusalem are regularly described by Palestinian media outlets and officials as “Herds of Settlers” and “Settler Terrorist Gangs.”

These are only a handful of examples of the language of the Palestinian narrative. Such language exposes the truth: that many Palestinians have still not come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. For them, this not only about the “occupation” of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The real “occupation,” for them, began with the creation of Israel in 1948.

It is no secret that Palestinian leaders have failed to prepare their people for peace with Israel. Even worse, the terminology adopted by these leaders and a growing number of Palestinians is a clear sign that these leaders, through their rhetoric and media outlets, continue to promote a policy that not only delegitimizes Israel and depicts it as an evil state, but also denies its right to exist. Non-Arabic speakers may find this assertion baseless, because what they hear and read from Palestinian representatives in English does not reflect the messages being relayed to Palestinians in Arabic.

The international English-speaking audience would do well to get some accurate translations of what is being said about Israel in Arabic. It is the only way out of Palestinian Newspeak, although it might make Orwell roll over in his grave.

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist, is based in Jerusalem.

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