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Archive for February 12, 2011

CallToIslam? More like RunFromIslam!

Going by the name of ‘CallToIslam’, you would expect this group of people to be a leading example for Muslims in Britain, showing the beauty of the religion rather than using it as a tool to slander people and attempt to discredit them. CallToIslam is the website of “Masjid Ghuraba Islamic Centre”, not to be confused with Call2Islam, the group behind the Belgian embassy protests.  On their website they making the following claim:

“This website by the permission of Allaah, is a humble response to our realisation of a great responsibility:

to help produce for the Muslim and non-Muslim public, materials that convey the pure message of Islam in the way that it was understood and practiced by its early righteous pioneers – the sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)) and their true followers.”

All I can say to that is if they really do convey the true message of Islam, I’d be the first to walk away! Following Saira Khan’s article describing her views on the niqab, CallToIslam wrote their response.  While CallToIslam and Saira Khan are both within their rights to have their own different views, that CallToIslam describe themselves as pioneers of the “pure message of Islam” means we, as Muslims, have every right to speak out and say they absolutely do not represent any form of Islam that we recognise and love.

Most people in this country would be pretty disgusted with their reply to the so-called ‘disturbing’ article. They share some extremely worrying views and although I myself don’t particularly agree with the original article, I fully support Saira Khan’s right to speak her own mind. Instead of writing a balanced reply, explaining fairly the parts they disagreed with, they chose to resort to attacks on Western society and promote their awfully sexist views, going out on the attack against a woman with the audacity to speak her own mind.

I first take issue with this comment:

“What could cause a Muslim to stand in the trenches of a people who have declared war on the core values of our beautiful religion?”

There is absolutely no need for the war-talk or use of such hyperbolic language. As a Muslim I don’t feel under attack, and I don’t feel my religion is under attack. The only people I do see constantly attack anybody brave enough to have a different opinion and share it are the likes of extremists such as CallToIslam, as their response proves. Yes, the media doesn’t help in trying to see Islam and Muslims represented fairly, but newspapers have no duty to do this; they are merely there to be sold and to make money. 

I also take issue with the following comment:

“Do the words ‘As a British Muslim woman’ provide us with an initial clue to where some of Khan’s loyalties lie?”

Are they suggesting there is a problem with having loyalty to one’s country? Are they suggesting it’s not possible to be British and Muslim at the same time? Their later comment would suggest so: “How can any Muslim declare “I’m totally English, more English than the English” and not expect to find themselves standing in opposition to the teachings of Islam”. Now that declaration that it is impossible to be both English and Muslim sounds just like something the BNP would come out with. It just goes to show how simliar all extremists really are! Who on earth are they to decide she cannot be classified as a Muslim? Equally ridiculous is their claim that Khan has “taken up verbal arms against Islam”. Khan identifies herself as Muslim, it is not their job to decide whether she is one or not purely because her views differ from theirs. Neither is it their job to tell the rest of us if we are to be Muslims we cannot identify or hold any loyalty towards our country. If they don’t want to be part of this country and this society they are most welcome to leave.

As self-appointed experts on Islam, I would question why they seem to equate being white with being non-Muslim, as in their stating Khan is a woman “who has been divorced (as it were) from Muslims who live by Islam and has entrenched herself within the white non-Muslim arena”. As a white Muslim, I’d like to know where they think I fit in. Perhaps they have forgotten that Islam is a religion that has no colour or race, it belongs to each and every person.

They seem to be yet another group of people who have objections to women making their own decisions, as they show when expressing their dislike of Khan’s mother’s own decision to ‘fit into’ British society after making their decision to move here:

“The first baffling thought that comes to mind is how she considers her mother’s voluntary assimilation as a virtuous, admirable trait, despite it being at odds with a sharia’ based principle. So is there really no “fuss” in going out of one’s way to adapt ones dress to resemble the Kuffar? “

I would hazard a guess that the ‘voluntary’ part annoyed them slightly! I cannot see how it is at odds with Islam to mix in with the community you choose to live amongst. To stereotype all non-Muslims in such a way is distasteful and disrespectful, and ignores the fact that there is no ‘one’ type of clothing that non-Muslims wear. In fact was the headscarf not worn by Jewish women prior to Islam coming about?! The robes that these men most probably wear were worn by all Arabs, not solely Muslims, as they are still today. If they have such a dislike for non-Muslims, I strongly suggest they move to a Muslim-majority country. Though they may find their right to speak out and have their own views heard slightly stifled, freedom of speech not being a respected right in many of those countries as it is here! Quite how they manage to equate a woman’s choice to choose how she dresses as siding with enemies in a time of war, I don’t know. To quote “… And if any amongst you takes them [Jews and Christians] as Awliya’ [friends, helpers]), then surely, he is one of them…”” is a desperate attempt to twist Islamic teachings to fit their oppressive views.   

It’s clear from the sources they provide that they believe a woman should be completely covered, as shown in their link to “An Essay on the Hijab by Shaykh Muhammad bin Salih al-‘Uthaymeen – The Obligation of the Veiling the Hands and Face”.  Though they are entitled to their views, they should also have the decency to let other people make up their own minds, and should have the humility to realise that theirs is not the only authentic view.

Weirdly enough, for a group of people living in Britain they seem to have no difficulty in sourcing ‘proofs’ that have such animosity towards the West. Here they are again picking up on the use of the words ‘British’ and ‘Muslim’ together:

“We are  given the impression here that Khan has a problem with the ‘burkha’ because ‘it is an imported Saudia Arabian tradition’. This leads us to believe that she just hates it because it is an imported item and not a native custom or tradition. However, when we skip back to the start of her sentence, she tells us that she doesn’t mind her ‘British’ (that word again!) “Muslim friends covering…”

In an attempt to patronise and humiliate Khan for daring to speak her mind and expect to be treated as an equal to men, they go on to accuse of her having issues with her gender!

“Khan tells us in her own words: “I think I am a strong person and I am equal to any man out there.” Which translates psychologically as: “I have a gender complexity.”

I would suggest men who are afraid of women speaking their own minds and making their own decisions are the ones with gender inferiority issues. They go on to prove their point that to be British and support and uphold British values of gender equality and free-mixing are at odds with being Muslim:

“If you are a zealous supporter of unconditional gender equality, free-mixing and other concepts and ideals which are at odds with the teachings of Islam, then of course the niqab, and many other aspects of Islam, will become direct obstacles in your pursuit to attain what your heart yearns and longs for.”

They act as if they are defending women’s choice to veil, but they in no way actually support women’s rights. They only ‘support’ women who conform to their own ways- that is not what I call support.  Their patronising attitude towards Muslim women and their warped idea of the Western lifestyle is exemplified by them suggesting a Muslim woman can be “deceived into believing her potential life is obstructed because she lacks the freedoms of western women”

Their response is littered with derogatory stereotyping, insults and anti-Western views, including:

“So we say to Sarkozy and his ilk: We do not take advice from those whose own kith and kin consist of infected AIDS victims, prostitutes and those who sell their bodies for money and fashion”

 “…let us provide Khan with the honour of good suspicion and move on the premise that she sincerely believes that Islam and western ideals are synonymous.”

“It means the man is in charge of the woman; he is her leader, the ruler over her who disciplines her if she goes astray.”  “Because Allah has made one of them to excel the other” means, because men are superior to woman, and a man is better than a woman.”

Perhaps the women who are involved with people like CallToIslam should have a little think about their disgusting views towards women. Despite the numerous Koranic quotes showing the equal status of men and women in God’s eyes, these chauvinist pigs think they know better. If they espoused the same views against black people as they do against women, they would be rightly condemned. Try swapping the word ‘woman’ for any other group and see how acceptable it looks. That some women stand side by side with them is really quite shameful, and extremely worrying. CallToIslam go on about how Islam liberates and honours women, quite how they think their views are liberating is beyond me!

“Here we should note that there are some people who speak of ‘equality’ instead of ‘justice’, and this is a mistake. We should not say equality, because “equality” implies no differentiation between the two”

Nobody believes there is no difference between men and women, but we all believe men and women should be treated equally as human beings, something CallToIslam cannot seem to get their heads around.

“Let us get this straight: we must ban a practise which stems back over 1400 years because it violates human-rights dictated by a people who are the leaders in shirk, kufr, pornography, interest, alcohol, smoking, homosexuality and every other illicit evil” 

Since when was what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms anything to do with anybody else? To be concerned with the so-called ‘evil’ of homosexuality when this group of people (CallToIslam) espouse truly abhorrent and hateful views towards so many sections of our society is ridiculous.

For people living in a majority non-Muslim society they yet again show their dislike of anything non-Muslim, and seem frustrated that Muslim women are looking outside of the Muslim community for help in getting our voices heard. That a woman has the “sheer audacity to use a non-Muslim newspaper” seriously seems to bother them. Tough.

CallToIslam have also got their knickers in a twist over Khan’s so-called “desperation for Muslims to integrate and incorporate the ways of a people, which contradict the ethos of Islam”.  If they don’t want to integrate, they can, and should, leave.

I think this little gem really sums up the total idiocy of CallToIslam:

“… obedience of the Muslim woman to the Muslim man is in fact obedience to Allah and His Messenger…”

Since when were men Gods??