When the Shia tried killing Abu Taymiyyah & when they killed Hamza a young kid from Leicester.
Interview with Imran Ibn Mansur and Abu Taymiyyah
It has been my attempt to relate the human cost of the PREVENT counter-extremism programme on this blog. Whether it is teachers going through the humiliation and stress of being called “extremists” only to be exonerated two years later, or whether it is children suffering effective psychological child abuse upon coming into contact with the PREVENT referral apparatus. The theoretical analysis and argumentation can sanitise the real cost of such decrepit neoconservative policies like PREVENT.
Two years ago, it was suggested by CAGE’s Asim Qureshi that there was a possibility that children would be taken from their parents under PREVENT. Those PREVENT-milking state-collaborators in the persecution of the Muslim minority were rolled out repeatedly to discredit CAGE using specifically this claim to highlight that CAGE was “fearmongering” and spreading “myths”. Exactly who is linked to propaganda departments within the Home Office, and who is regurgitating their black propaganda “messaging” is known well-known. The reality is that the Muslim minority had already anticipated the child-snatching policy. Boris Johnson was foreshadowing the removal of children from “radical” parents as early as March 2014. The claims by PREVENT-supporters that children will not be taken away through the implementation of PREVENT has proven to be as vacuous and deceptive as their state-prostituted and ventriloquized minds.
“Through the CTS Act 2015 and PREVENT programmes, the government has sought to intervene in the homes of families where there is a risk of ‘radicalisation’, often forcing removal of children from the home.”
Forcing Compliance: “They are going to make my life difficult”
Two days ago, at a seminar hosted by CAGE’s Asim Qureshi and Professor David Miller on the report “The Science Behind PREVENT”, a distraught Muslim mother of a baby and four-year-old child was reduced to tears as she described her ordeal at the hands of PREVENT. In her moving account, she stated that her house was raided by counter-terrorism police the day she had given birth to her child, and despite the father being taken away, the social services came and questioned her, threatening her with the removal of her children on the basis that she could not safeguard them. Demonstrating the sinister side of PREVENT, she further states that PREVENT was used to threaten and intimidate her, consequently impacting her family and friends:
“PREVENT has said to me that if I don’t work with them, they are going to make my life difficult. They gave me a warning, they called me on Eid day, and gave me that warning… They’ve been constantly on my back… I am scared to even say that I am bringing my children up as a Muslim… Everyone is scared my friends are scared, they said they want to support me but they are scared to support me, because they fear their children may get taken away.”
Based on her account, it seems PREVENT officers are using psychological tactics reminiscent of the German Stasi’s Zersetzung strategy to mentally destabilise individuals into compliance. The climate of fear and intimidation perpetuated by PREVENT is reaching levels of insanity. It is being used as a weapon against Muslims to force compliance. Family courts have even gone to the extent of forcing teenagers to watch television as a prescriptive antidote to “radicalisation”.
EDL? “Neither here nor there”
So far many of the cases concerning the issue of radicalisation and children involve Muslims. There is, however, precedent for judges taking a completely different line of thinking in the context of non-Muslim, white, far-right-linked parents.
In February 2015, it was reported that the council was trying to prevent a father from bringing up his own toddler due to him being an activist with the EDL, which social workers called “barbaric”, that he was immoral, drank too much, smoked cannabis, and had numerous criminal convictions. One social worker argued, “The distorted thinking of those within the EDL is barbaric and their actions inappropriate… therefore the mentality of those involved has to be brought into question”. In other words, he possessed possibly an “extremist” mentality due to his association with a fascist and often violent organisation, or, at the very least demonstrated “vulnerability to radicalisation”. The social workers further argued that the child should be brought up in an “environment that supports difference, equality and independence”. The judge rejected the arguments stating that courts and social workers were not “moral guardians” and that the parent’s membership with the EDL was “neither here nor there”. The “top” family court judge further warned:
‘We must guard against the risk of social engineering.’
The EDL, which is regarded as perpetuating far-right ideology, is not a risk to the child’s well-being. In the context of Muslims, the judge’s arguments are defenestrated and social engineering, to the point where mothers are threatened with the removal of their children to force compliance with PREVENT, teenagers are being forced to watch television”, and individuals are subjected to CHANNEL deradicalisation mentors whom teach them the “right” Islam along with truncated Western history, is adopted as a policy wholesale. Discriminatory social engineering, at least in reference to the Muslim minority has become institutionalised thanks to PREVENT. The whole project has echoes of the Nazi Germanization of thousands of kidnapped Jewish children to “cleanse” them of their Jewish heritage. The difference, aside from the war context, is that a bogus ideological counter-extremism premise has been created by neoconservatives to justify the “kidnapping” by the state.
PREVENT is damaging, a point which is increasingly being recognised across the Atlantic. The US-based “Open Society Justice Initiative”, after examining seventeen PREVENT/CHANNEL referral cases, concluded today that the policy “suffers from multiple, mutually reinforcing structural flaws, the foreseeable consequence of which is a serious risk of human rights violations.” The structural flaws included, “the targeting of ‘pre-criminality’, ‘non-violent extremism’, and opposition to ‘British values’.” The author of report, Amrit Singh, in a separate piece further lambasted PREVENT for “creating a climate of fear”.
These are not exactly new findings. The Muslim minority has known this through experience for a long time. The distressed mother worried about her children being snatched from her represents the precipice of the various forms of fear PREVENT is manifesting. My question is, how many more mothers and fathers will need to have their children removed from them in a totalitarian fashion before the Muslim community takes an uncompromising, non-negotiable stance against PREVENT?
Written by Umbreen Ali, Writer and Columnist for Asianimage.co.uk
A Muslim revert says the community has a lot to learn about how to treat newcomers to Islam.
Ben Moore, now known as Abu Zayn, converted to Islam seven years ago and has spoken out against racism, accusations of being a spy and becoming an outcast because of people’s cultural norms.
Abu Zayn’s journey towards Islam and subsequent conversion induced an adverse reaction from the onset. “When I converted to Islam I was still living in Dorset. There are almost no Muslims there at all.
“Yet after becoming a Muslim, the local community called me a traitor.
“The EDL took pictures of me on their phone and printed it on leaflets and distributed them in the town centre labelling me a ‘terrorist’ and an ‘extremist’.
Ben, as he was known aged 23, took his shahada in Bournemouth in a Syrian mosque which hosted an ample Arab community.
“They were so accepting and warm and welcoming, the complete opposite to Blackburn.
“The Muslim community in Blackburn have shouted at me and told me I’m a spy.
“If a spy was going to be put in a mosque in Blackburn, no authority would use a white guy with a ginger beard!
“There is a divided community in Blackburn in which there is a lot of cultural mistrust between the community themselves.
“It’s the reverts who inadvertently get caught up in the mistrust.
“There’s a big sectarian divide in Blackburn, between the Deobandi’s and the Brelvi’s.
“The various communities in Blackburn stick to their own mosques. They’re the ones who hold firmly onto racial bias.”
Reverts feel ‘isolated’ and ‘displaced’
He said there were only a handful of reverts in Blackburn, but hostile sentiments from the local mosques had led to him and other reverts feeling ‘displaced’ and ‘isolated’.
“The reverts here are put off going to mosques and would rather pray at home.
A newcomer to Islam speaks out about being white and Muslim
“We’re too white to be Muslims in Blackburn.
“As a revert I am expected to conform to Asian culture.
“A so called ‘mufti’ told me that I am not allowed to take anything from my English culture as it’s not Muslim culture.
“However, according to this man, we are allowed to take anything from the Pakistani culture because it’s a Muslim country.
“Therefore, I am supposed to dress in shawlar kameez and not jeans otherwise I am imitating the kufar.
“Yet the irony is, the men in Blackburn who wear the jubba, the shalwar kameez or the turban are the most arrogant people I have met.”
Abu Zayn said much of the prejudice he had encountered has taken place within local mosques in Blackburn, leading him to question the significance of Asian culture over religious etiquette.
“Before Ramadan, a Hafiz offered to teach me some Quran. I’m passed basic level in reading but he just helped me out with my Tajweed.
“As we sat in the Masjid reciting, the Imam, who can’t speak English, came over and stared at me for about five minutes before talking to the Hafiz in Urdu.
“The Hafiz translated the message and told me that the Imam wanted to inform me that I was being disrespectful to the masjid because I wasn’t wearing a hat.
“I can’t help but think, you have a revert in the masjid who is sat willingly learning the Qur’an and instead of giving me salams and offering me support and asking if I want help like an Imam should, you chose to just pick on me about an item of clothing!
“It’s very petty and pathetic.
“Wearing a hat is not a wajib anyway or a sin if you do not, but of course I could not sit and debate with the Imam.
“On another occasion, an uncle reprimanded me for wearing socks in the mosque. He said that the carpet will start to smell if I wear my socks. Despite the fact that there was no sign saying ‘remove your socks’ and unsurprisingly, everyone else present in the mosque was wearing socks.
“It feels like he targeted me because he thinks I’m dirty.”
Don’t call me a ‘gora’ I don’t like it
He feels that Imams find it difficult to communicate with the younger generation and with reverts.
“I approached an Islamic school where you can do an Alim Course. I was categorically told I was not allowed to study there because I don’t speak Urdu.
“So I asked to take Urdu classes. I was given another lame excuse to prevent me from doing that.
“And I know for a fact that there are Arab students that study there.
“But I wasn’t allowed because I’m white and they equate that with me being a spy.”
“Darussalam is the only mosque in Blackburn that has been accepting.
“Other reverts attend Darussalam too.
“Other mosques in Blackburn don’t have a curriculum for reverts, so there is no access for learning.”
As well as facing discrimination from local mosques, Ben says that the casual racism he has experienced from the Asian youth in Blackburn leaves him feeling disillusioned.
“My Pakistani friends still call me ‘the gora.’
“I find that term so offensive. I ask them how they would feel if I called them ‘paki.’
“They have patent double standards.
“There’s a guy that work in a local takeaway. He has a long beard and wears clothes that people would associate with religious men.
“Yet when I say ‘salam alaikum brother’ he always responds with ‘alrite Dave.’
“He is blatantly taking the p***.”
Muslims are just as racist towards other Muslims
However, it is not just subliminal racism towards him that he found alarming, but also racism between the Asian communities.
“Pakistani’s in Blackburn are more racist towards Indians and vice versa than they are to white people.
If you’re seeking ruqyah from someone then beware of the following bad practices and don’t let anyone take advantage of you:
● Charging extortionate amounts for ruqyah – yes it is permissible to charge but be careful of those who vary their prices wildly depending on how gullible you sound. In my opinion £60 for a ruqyah session is ridiculous – unless the raqi is travelling out and his travel expenses are included. Or if you’re paying that much then do not accept a 20 minute or half hour session. £60 should bring at least 90 minutes of recitation in my opinion. On average, £30 is reasonable for a session but no session should ever be 20 minutes long. If the raqi can’t give you more time then he shouldn’t book you in. Simple.
● Charging money and then holding group sessions – if you’ve paid your money then you should have the total attention of the raqi. Do NOT pay money and then accept group sessions. Or at best, pay £10 for a group session at most. This is a common instance of these sharks trying to make as much money as possible. They have 10 people, each of whom has paid 20 – 40 pounds. Absolutely outrageous.
● Block booking sessions – telling you that you need 10 sessions and booking you in and taking a deposit or the full amount. Tell them to fear Allâh.
● Doing “ruqyah” on the house and then charging obscene amounts for walking around and “purifying” your home. You have 2 situations revolving around the house
1. There are jinn living in the home and they think the house belongs to them or they dont want to have anyone in that home along with them. They’ll cause problems to try to get the people out of that place.
2. The jinn are there because they are affecting the people e.g. sihr related. In this situation even if the person moved to a cave the problems would persist.
How to deal with the issue.
For case 1. You wud need to recite baqarah in the home regularly, make adhaan regularly, do a lot of superogatory prayers etc. This is not a one off “ruqyah” on the house because they might leave for that period when the raqi is there. But they can easily come back
For case 2. Make ruqyah on yourself. Reciting on the home will do nothing at all.
● Touching the woman in disgraceful ways and then saying it’s due to necessity. There is NO need to touch a woman in ruqyah unless an exceptional circumstance arises.
● Claiming to be able to cure all illnesses and claiming they are qualified – there is NO qualification for becoming a raqi and if the person claims to be curing all illnesses then they have serious problems with their aqeedah.
● Bringing “specialist” sheikhs and then charging ridiculous amounts to be seen by them – often the sheikh himself is unaware of the crazy figures these people are charging – yes, they have knowledge and experience and we respect them. But by Allah, they cannot cure you, nor will they recite a special ayah from the book of Allah which you cannot do yourself
Myself and Muhammad Tim have been trying for years to demist this smokey field of ruqyah for the masses. It has made us extremely unpopular with the “raqis” but frankly we couldn’t care less. This is for Allâh. This is to help our brothers and sisters. This is to give people the tools to help themselves. This is to prevent innocent people from being extorted.
Please. If you or a family member are in need of ruqyah then seek knowledge, learn, practice and take charge of the treatment yourselves. This is exactly why me and Muhammad work alone and don’t associate with any other raqi. Of course this doesn’t mean that good, genuine brothers don’t exist because I’m sure they do and they’re much better and more knowledgeable BUT it’s an absolute minefield.
Just be careful and use your common sense. And perfection is with Allâh alone and He knows best.
O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.
Quran translation, Surah al-A’raf, 7:31
Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,
We’re all used to hearing about an unrealistic body image being promoted for women in the modern world and yes this is a terrible problem, leading to depression, anxiety, eating disorders (over as well as under eating) and suicides among many, including our young (and sometimes not so young) sisters. We cannot deny how huge an issue this has become but are we not guilty as a society of the same when it comes to men?
THE UNACHIEVABLE MALE BODY IMAGE
Given these same eating disorders are now affecting males, as well as physiological problems relating to health and fitness I think it’s fair to state now that modern media, social media, artwork and overall society is promoting just as an unhealthy body image of men as they’ve done in the past with women. Body images which are just as unreachable as those female equivalents that are now so widely recognized as so damaging on the minds and bodies of women that we see some city authorities wanting to ban from the public space so should we not recognize the dangers to men also?
STRUGGLING WITH DEMOTIVATION
This unachievable male body image was something which disheartened me recently as I’ve looked into getting back to a more healthy state. I just knew I am never going to be thin nor will I ever be the right shaped human to get that V upper-body figure most men crave.
I’m a human being, and as I read article after article on health and fitness it affects me on some level seeing the accompanying images (most likely photo-shopped), a body image I’ll never achieve no matter how long or how often I worked out or did sports.
This was something which can be a huge downer and as I read others blogs and online material I know it is something which can make many, men and women, want to give up almost before they start. I think if it was not for the fact I know I’m failing in my Islamic obligations by being so out of shape I’d have been far more tempted to give up myself by now after just a few weeks or eating more sensibly and a wee bit of regular exercise.
Narrated by A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) who said: “The first calamity for this nation after the Prophet’s death is fullness of their stomachs; when their stomachs became full, they became obese and their hearts weakened and their desires became wild.”
Sahih al Bukhari
Thinking about all of this brought my wandering and desperate thoughts back to my favourite part of the Quran, a couple of verses I come back to again and again when faced with difficulty in life.
Do think the people that they will be left because they say, “We believe” and they will not be tested?
And indeed, We tested those who (were) before them. And Allah will surely make evident those who (are) truthful and He will surely make evident the liars.
Quran translation, Surah al-‘Ankabut, 29:2-3
So I knew I just had to keep going, even with the occasional slips, and disheartening as it is get to the best I can be and in every instance of being tested we have difficulties, and I find if you keep looking at a problem from different angles you’ll find a way through the problem.
AN EPIPHANY THROUGH FACEBOOK
So I kept walking as I do when I want to think, or just to relax and still this problem would trouble me, I couldn’t think of a way through until one day on opening facebook in the morning the following image came up.
I looked, and looked again and it hit me that the 1st image on the left, that is something I can never achieve, but the 2nd image, the one of the right, yes I could see myself looking like that after plenty of work.
Guidance from Allaah comes sometimes in the strangest places, one conversation, one quote, one meme or picture can change our perception for us, Allah opens up our minds and allows us to view things from a different perspective.
As I continued to think about the problem I realized there is no one ideal body shape, or even just a few different body images, each difficult or almost impossible to achieve for myself and most others. Instead each of us has our own ideal size and strengths we can work towards.
As I read more about this topic I realized more and more the ‘healthy’ body image given to us is actually unhealthy, and almost impossible to achieve hence why men are now increasingly resorting to plastic surgery to get that ‘perfect’ muscle structure implanted into their bodies.
You may be small, wiry, you’ll also never achieve that V upper body, but maybe you’ll run marathons one day which I’ll likely never do. You may be large like myself and aim to be strong and healthy in a different way. Each is good, none is wrong, none are ideal for everyone, each of us needs to tailor our health and fitness to best suit the hand we’ve been dealt.
Though the Sahabah all sought to be healthy, as taught in the Quran and by our beloved Nabi Muhammad ibn Abdullah (Sallallahu alayhi wa salam), they were a differing bunch of people as we all are today.
Some thin like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him), some large like Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), some tall and some short, differing looks, differing physiques, they strove and struggled just as we do today and by living a moderate life according to the guidance given to them and us they achieved a balance in such matters of health and fitness as they sought balance and a moderate path in all areas of life.
So for myself I know I need to keep working hard, striving for the sake of Allah and know Allah doesn’t measure me against others but against myself, knowing what I am personally capable of doing.
My health didn’t get so bad in just a matter of weeks, it took years of neglect and it will take many more months and years to get back to something approaching acceptable and I have to accept that and keep going.
For those of you in the same boat as me, all need to remember it’s not just a physical battle we’ve got going on here, but a mental, emotional, even spiritual battle as well to get ourselves and keep ourselves in the best possible health and I think we need to put to one side and maybe ignore many of the things we see around us, instead aiming for a body image which is personal to us, the best each of us can be.
Ibn Abbas radiyallaahu-anhu said: “there is no minor sins if you repeat them continuously, they become major.”
Originally posted to ilmfeed.com. Link contains images of women without hijab but full article posted here.
After a huge social media commotion over the last couple of days on various platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram, I came to realise that the British television network, ITV, would be broadcasting a documentary as part of their ‘Exposure’ series on the subject of Ex-Muslims and some of the issues they may face from their community after leaving Islam.
Initially, I saw mixed responses from individuals within the Muslim community on whether to watch the documentary or not, many encouraged to watch it and other warned against watching it as they viewed it to be a means for the media to deploy negative press on the Muslim community. The second type of response is what intrigued me to watch this since, as a Muslim, I am confident to face any form of critique that is put forth in my direction whether it be of my faith or individuals who follow the same faith.
Although a range of Ex-Muslims, namely Zaynab, Safiya, Samina, Rehana amongst others, where interviewed on the show, the problems they all faced were all very common therefore it isn’t hard to summarise some of main issues within this article. The majority of them were from a Bangladeshi background and whilst some had lived there and left to the UK, some where born in the UK and had left their homes.
Reasons given for leaving the Islam
By analysing the perspective of the interviewees, I came to realise that, the majority of their reasons for leaving the faith were emotional and cultural as opposed to being intellectual reasons. This can be demonstrated amongst the Ex-Muslim female Safiya,who wanted to go to another city to attend university but since her parents disapproved of her idea amongst her attempts to run away, they kept her in the house, disallowing her to go out. She then thought that if she told her parents that she left Islam, they may have kick her out of the home, enabling her to fulfil her future ambitions, however, this wasn’t the case as they made conditions worse for her.
Other interviewees such as Rehana, who was born and raised in Bangladesh suffered from abuse by her mother who unsuccessfully tried to comfort her by telling her that each part of her body that got beaten would enter paradise, a belief that has no basis amongst the teachings of Islam. Maybe it is these types of false teachings that parent’s attribute to the religion which gives the child a distaste towards the faith.
The cultural context is clearly seen within this documentary as most of the cases are linked to the South Asian country of Bangladesh, where there is an increase in the number of individuals within its atheist community. As a result, there has been an opposition movement who vehemently speak out against the phenomenon of atheist bloggers of Bangladesh.
The issue at hand
There are two main issues in my opinion; the first, being that Ex-Muslims who leave their religion expect the same treatment and acceptance they had in the community like when they were not openly a Non-Muslim. I personally find this very problematic when put into perspective; an important point that readers need to understand is that Islam is one of the most practised faith’s in the current context and is not separate to ones daily life as opposed to other religious traditions. Islam is a holistic faith that governs and caters for all aspects of life and is therefore very dear to a Muslim’s heart, therefore when a Muslim child approaches their parents’ and tells them that they want to leave the faith, they would also be leaving the community, dismantling their parents expectations and discarding something that is very dear to their family which will result have its repercussions.
This is by no means a justification for parent’s to abuse their children if they mention this with them; rather by speaking with them and attempting to tackle this intellectually and emotionally will help tremendously as violence is not the answer as demonstrated in these cases.
The second issue which I have identified is the agenda’s of aggressive atheist bloggers and propagators who may instigate members of the Muslim community to respond back. This can be noticed in the case of one of the interviewees, Arif Rahman, who admitted to using provocative language online against Islam, in other clips in the documentary, Muslim protesters are seen to be explaining how one of the atheist Ex-Muslim bloggers called the Prophet Muhammad a fool. This trend is nothing new within the Neo-Atheist community and their figureheads such as the writer Sam Harris who highlights in his bestseller book, ‘The End of Faith’, ”We are at war with Islam. This is not to say that we are at war with all Muslims, but we are absolutely at war with the vision of life that is prescribed to all Muslims in the Koran”. Views like these are clearly provocative and increase tensions between the atheist and Muslim communities.
To conclude, we have acknowledged that within this documentary there has been a trend of born Muslims from South-Asian backgrounds who have left the Faith due to mainly emotional and cultural reasons and feel a sense of loneliness since they are seen as outcasts, not being viewed the same by the very parents that raised them. On the other hand we have explored what Islam means to a Muslim and how it may be difficult for a Muslim parent to tackle this but also appreciate how an aggressive-atheist mindset can be provocative as well as insults towards the religion of Islam. I would urge parent’s who may be going through this to tackle this issue intellectually as well as emotionally to help their child in this confusing situation and would also urge those who have chosen to leave their faith to understand how it may be hard for their parents to accept this.
p.s: If any Muslim parents are in need of any advice or guidance with these situations, they may contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cover image: Fuuse Film Production / ITV