Islam

Now pay attention, I’m only going to show you this once

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There’s been a bit of a run on virgins lately.

A Taliban suicide bomber accidentally killed himself and eight fellow militants after triggering his explosives vest by mistake.

The jihadist fighters had been ordered to carry out an attack in Kunduz city, Afghanistan, but all died before their got there.

However, one of the militants detonated his vest shortly after leaving a Taliban base in Dasht-e-Archi, triggering everyone elses explosives, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.   Read more »

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Australia’s own home-grown alleged terrorist child of “moderate” parents

Radicalised online; I bet they will be telling us that he was a good boy too.

A 16-year-old Sydney boy was intercepted on an online chat site talking about obtaining a firearm and using it for a terror attack on Anzac Day, police allege.

Officers from the Joint Counter-Terrorism Team were forced to act with just hours’ notice on Sunday, raiding the boy’s home and arresting him in a street nearby just after 3pm.

Sources close to the investigation told Fairfax Media that the boy, who doesn’t attend school, has been on the counter-terrorism team’s radar for just over a year.

His association with one of the Operation Appleby targets, a young western Sydney extremist who is now in custody, meant police were monitoring him although he was not considered a “prime person of interest”.

Over the weekend police picked up on an online conversation between the boy and an offshore male in which the boy mentioned sourcing a gun and Anzac Day services.   Read more »

Then comes the third stage, the issue of beating

As part of our general attempts to look into Islam in a way that it can be accepted and integrated into New Zealand life, I offer the following for further study.

As you can see, if we, as a country, allow people who hold these kinds of values to come to live here, how do we expect there to be a peaceful integration?

Our politicians must be made aware that unrestrained and unfiltered immigration of Muslims who share these values should not be allowed; they should not be able to reside in our country.

 

– Pete

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Now that you’re all over the initial shock…

Last week Spanish Bride and I visited a mosque in Auckland, and we both wrote completely different articles based on our experiences.

After years of providing our readers with information about Islam that basically can be summed up as “since we can’t tell which ones to trust, and which we can not, we might as well not trust any of them”, I decided that wasn’t good enough.  We must be more discerning than that.

At the same time, New Zealand has – so far – exactly zero incidences of radical Islam hitting out against Kiwis.

So there is a huge gap between what we fear and what is happening so far.

We have all seen, many times now, that when sufficient Muslims are allowed to congregate in a country, the requirement of these Muslims wanting to turn their own life into one fully dedicated to Allah appears to exclude the concurrent coexistence of those who do not.  Eventually a parallel Sharia law is proposed, at least in small places.  And then it grows.

And as we’ve seen in Europe, that’s not a place any western country wants to end up if it can avoid it, because our values in general do not match those of radical Islam, most visibly when it comes to the highly paternalistic nature of Islam versus our culture, the different kind of dress, and the fact there is no separation of church and state once Islam is implemented in full.

Peaceful coexistence is something of a core Kiwi value.  And by allowing the immigration of people that, once they have sufficient numbers to democratically alter the structures of our society, are duty bound to their own God to change New Zealand to one fully supportive of Islam, we too will be facing the troubles seen overseas.   Read more »

A lapsed Catholic agnostic and an Imam walk into a New Zealand mosque…

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And the Imam says, “why the long face?”

Actually, the above didn’t happen.  But I did visit New Zealand’s largest mosque the other day by tagging on to the coat tails of Spanish Bride who had contacted them in the first place.   SB will have her own story to tell.

This is the first of mine.

 

 


We have covered Islam extensively on Whaleoil over the last 3 or 4 years, but never from a personal perspective.

At the Whaleoil end of year function, I actually spoke about this to SB and said I was keen to go do some “real journalism” and go find out some real stories about Muslims in New Zealand.

Up to the visit to the mosque, I had taken the opportunity to do clandestine interviews.  As I ran into people in my daily life, and I could identify them as Muslim through dress or something they said, I would interview them about their life, their experiences and their thoughts.

As I did, I became increasingly frustrated about two things.

The collective attempt to educate ourselves about Islam on Whaleoil had turned into quite a single-sided story about terrorism and the complete irredeemability of Muslims and Islam in general.

We basically have taken our information from the world’s worst events, most of them international, added this to the worst possible views we could find on the Internet, and then proceeded to create our own feedback loop based on fear and ignorance.

Let me stop for a minute and tell you that terrorism is real.  Radical Islam is real.  Some of it exists in New Zealand.  But where I know some of us have gone too far is by throwing all of Islam and all Muslims into the same category.

And if we are honest with ourselves, complete homogeneity is highly unlikely to be true about any large group.

I have a personal technique which is, somewhat ironically, a bible based test:  by their fruit ye shall know them.

This is a technique that I use to assess people, groups and organisations.  Most barrage you with what they want you to think and know.  Add to that your own preconceptions and what the media feeds you on a daily basis, and there is a lot of information swirling around in your head.

One way to cut all that noise out is to look at what actually happens.  What are the actual outcomes?

So I’ve been searching for Muslims that are a threat to our lives in New Zealand, and I’ve not been able to find any personally in my day to day dealings.

The Chemist that fills my prescription even wished me Merry Christmas as I collected my meds.  And she is Muslim.

The two boys I spoke to at length on a school bus trip about life as a Muslim in a New Zealand public school were also impossible to fit into the one-dimensional all-Muslims-are-bad-Muslims picture we’ve talked ourselves into.

The Muslims that live in my street and do their daily walk past my home.  They are friendly and don’t seem to carry any weapons or wearing suicide vests.

It became clear to me that Whaleoil readers have been done a disservice by our narrow and fear-based view of Islam.  We have also attracted single-issue commenters that perpetuate the same damaging stereotypes.

Let me repeat however, that ISIS is real, suicide bombers are real, radical Islam is real, and Muslims that are a threat to our way of life living in New Zealand are real.

Spanish Bride and I were met by Shafiq ur Rehman whose business card claims he is “Missionary in-Charge”.  Both of us were somewhat nervous.  I can only speak for myself, but I am a true adherent of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, so I was keen to be respectful, listen carefully, and try not to do something dumb while at the away game.  I asked for guidance on protocol.  There was no need for any as the visit was informal and relaxed.

Mr Rehman was very thorough and gave us an introduction to the functional areas of New Zealand’s largest mosque.  I believe we got to see it all, including the ablution facilities.  The building is fairly new, opened in 2013 in fact, and can fit up to 700 worshippers on two levels.  Men upstairs, women downstairs.  It’s all open, light, breezy and modern.

The prayer areas are large but basic.  White ceiling, white walls, carpet.  That’s it.  The objective is to focus your prayer on Allah, so there are no distractions.

This particular group of Muslims, the Ahmadiyya, also introduced the first Maori translation of the Koran.  Created over a period of 25 years, it has been written, checked and rechecked that it says exactly the same as the original text in Arabic.  It was a 25 year labour of love to produce it.

After the tour, we sat down with the National President of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at New Zealand Inc, Iqmal Mohammed, and the General secretary as well as secretary External Affairs, Eqmal Khan for some tea and biscuits.

We talked about so many things, it is going to require a number of articles to touch on them all.

What I want to share with you today is that I still have failed to find Muslims that want to take over New Zealand and turn the country into a Islamic state.  I have found Muslims that are actually just like you and me.  The only difference is that they pray to Allah.

They too are disgusted, disappointed and fearful about the perversion of Islam through the actions of those who are essentially a few.

But writing this I can just feel your emotion rising.  Surely they did a snow job on me?  Surely I’ve been convinced and been told stories?  Surely, as soon as I left the mosque, they opened up the gun safe and took out their Kalashnikovs and fired off a few rounds in pure joy?

One meeting doesn’t mean a lot.  And yet it does.  It is the beginning a relationship that I want to build between Whaleoil and the New Zealand Muslim community.

“Why is it”, Iqmal Mohammed said, “that every time I make public statements condemning terrorism and violence in the name of Islam, nobody in the media reports it?”.

And that is the pivotal point.  Because I said “Why is it that every time something happens, we hear nothing from the Muslim community in New Zealand?”

Iqmal Mohammed doesn’t speak for all Muslims in New Zealand.   But the objective was to find the Muslims that want to do us harm.   They exist.  We spoke of other mosques in Auckland, which for the purposes of not inflaming inter-Muslim relationships further, I won’t identify.

But Mr Mohammed does represent a voice of Islam that has the same objectives for New Zealand and New Zealanders that we share.  He doesn’t want Islam to take over.  He wants to live in peace alongside everyone.  He operates an open community that welcomes and embraces everyone.  And literally too.  Some time ago he invited Jews to the mosque and they were physically embraced.

We need balance, we need hope, and we need to be honest to ourselves when dealing with Radical Islam.  And from here on in, Whaleoil will do this through having open conversations with Mr Mohammed and his friends.

This is also an invitation for other Muslim leaders to approach me.  We can not continue to live in fear and ignorance once we meet face to face, hold each others hands and look into each others eyes.

Isolating all Muslims and treating them poorly will in itself become a self-fulfilling prophecy where anger and resentment are allowed to build over time and generations.  Those two boys on the school bus are burned into my mind.  They go to a New Zealand school and they are constantly being called terrorists.  As they told me, the tears welled up in their eyes.

Through our fear, our ignorance and our own behaviour, we could be creating the next generation of Muslims that will grow up resenting us.

Through the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at organisation we have opened a door and Whaleoil will give it a voice.

We can’t solve the world’s problems.  But we can continue to work hard to protect our own way of life.   One way to do that is to ensure that New Zealand immigration is tuned in such a way that we do not import the same problems as other countries have.

Also, we need to be smart enough not to treat the Muslims that are already living here, born here, and actual Kiwis in such a way that their anger and resentment builds against their own neighbours.  Against you, and me.  And our children and grandchildren.

There is no point allowing someone to come here who resents our way of life and there is no point in cultivating our own home-grown terrorists.

And that exact point is what we share with Shafiq, Iqbal and Eqbal.

And on that basis alone, we have common ground to work towards preserving a New Zealand way off life that we can be justifiably proud of.

 

– Pete

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He is sorry, oh so sorry, for getting it so, so wrong

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We don’t need to be sorry here in New Zealand; we need to learn from Britain’s mistakes. We must learn from Britain’s mistakes. Muslims are not the problem: we are. We are the ones who  assume who they think the same as us. We are the ones who assume that they migrate to our country intending to assimilate like so many other cultures have before them. We are the ones who assume they share the same values as us.

The former head of Britain’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips, has admitted he “got almost everything wrong” on Muslim immigration in a damning new report on integration, segregation, and how the followers of Islam are creating “nations within nations” in the West.

Phillips, a former elected member of the Labour Party who served as the Chairman of the EHRC from 2003-2012 will present “What British Muslims Really Think” on Channel 4 on Wednesday. An ICM poll released to the Times ahead of the broadcast reveals: 

  • One in five Muslims in Britain never enter a non-Muslim house;
  • 39 per cent of Muslims, male and female, say a woman should always obey her husband;
  • 31 per cent of British Muslims support the right of a man to have more than one wife;
  • 52 per cent of Muslims did not believe that homosexuality should be legal;
  • 23 per cent of Muslims support the introduction of Sharia law rather than the laws laid down by parliament.

Writing in the Times on the issue, Phillips admits: “Liberal opinion in Britain has, for more than two decades, maintained that most Muslims are just like everyone else… Britain desperately wants to think of its Muslims as versions of the Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain, or the cheeky-chappie athlete Mo Farah. But thanks to the most detailed and comprehensive survey of British Muslim opinion yet conducted, we now know that just isn’t how it is.”

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Here’s a rare admission (take note!): I was wrong

Supplied via Newshub

Supplied via Newshub

I predicted the replacement “billboard” would be gone by the end of this weekend.  (I guess it still could…).  But something else has happened now:

An Auckland church billboard made famous for its depiction of US politician Donald Trump is in the headlines again as the victim of an Islamic hate act.

The billboard depicting the Republican front-runner for US president – or a cartoon of his likeness – was originally erected outside The Community of Saint Luke church in Remuera last month, where he criticises a crucified Jesus for being a “loser”.

It was stolen just before Easter, but was resurrected after several days.

However, it seems the billboard has proved too much temptation for an anti-Islamic vandal, who has pasted over Trump’s original words with the message “Islam hates us”. Read more »

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Anything that harms the body is unlawful

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Some cultures have sacred cows that you are not allowed to eat. Others promote vegetarianism because they think it is wrong to kill animals. Another culture says that alcohol is forbidden because it harms your body. To be fair, they may have a point because, used to excess, it can harm your body but then many things harm our bodies if taken to excess. If I eat too much I harm my body, for example. Should food be forbidden?

Anyway, I am sure that a culture that cares so much about our bodies must think of our bodies as a temple. That has to be a good thing doesn’t it? They are only wanting the best for us after all. I am sure that if they discovered that you had drunk a teeny tiny glass of wine or one small beer they would understand…

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Herald confused about Al-Azhar

The Herald editorial today buys the peaceful Islam line and that the Egyptian imams coming to take over to “reduce” radicalisation and jihadism are here to help:

It is a measure of this country’s confidence in its Muslim communities that it comes as a surprise to learn clerics are being sent from Egypt to bring a moderating influence to mosques and Islamic centres here as well as in other Western countries. One security observer, Paul Buchanan, called it “perplexing”. Beyond the possibility of “one or two hotheads”, radicalisation was not a problem here, he says. “Australia has a radicalisation problem, we do not.” He can be that categorical because if diatribes against the West and its religion and values were being delivered in mosques and learning centres here, it would be news – just as it has been in Britain, Australia and some other places.

The moderation and maturity of Muslims in New Zealand was evident once again in their response to the Egyptian initiative. Rather than express fearful resentment at the implication they needed a moderating influence, the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand welcomed the imams as emissaries from Egypt’s Al-Azhar university, the oldest and most respected seat of learning in Sunni Islam.

Egypt’s Government is sponsoring this mission to the world and it ought to be welcomed by all concerned.

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They may have stopped drawing Muhammad but Charlie Hebdo still has something to say

You could be forgiven for thinking that after having most of their staff slaughtered by Muslim terrorists, Charlie Hebdo would be given a free pass when it comes to their bias about Islam. After all, the few remaining staff alive after the massacre were so badly affected that they committed to never draw Muhammed again. This decision was not because they thought drawing Mohammed was wrong but because of fear. It is quite understandable that an organisation that had their staff slaughtered for the crime of drawing a cartoon would have a very dim view of the religion that spawned such intolerance. Despite this, critics have not held back from savaging a recent article in the magazine.

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