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18 December 2012

Why Has the Number of Muslims in the UK Risen So Much? - What Huffington Post Readers Think

In a recent Huffington Post article Dr Leon Moosavi, expert on Muslims in Britain, Islamophobia and conversion to Islam, asks the question “Why Has the Number of Muslims in the UK Risen So Much?”

He gives several answers:

Muslims have a higher birth rate than people of other faiths.

Many Muslim societies are dominated by conflict which has led to a significant number of Muslims seeking more secure prospects in the UK.

The presence of an existing Muslim population has played a role in encouraging Muslims to come to the UK. Prospective migrants know they will find relatives, friends or a prospective community well established here.

The growing number of Britons who are choosing to convert to Islam. There are estimations that hundreds of Britons convert to Islam every month which certainly contributes to the steadily increasing number of Muslims.

He then asks: So what does the growth in the number of Muslims mean?

And provides more answers:

The large number of Muslim residents, most of whom are citizens who hold a British passport, are entitled to vote and pay their taxes, should be respected as a significant part of the nation who may have unique needs, but who also have a unique contribution to make to the nation.

.... By the next census Muslims may even double again and make up 10% of the population. These statistics encourage us to think more carefully about the provisions made for British Muslims and the ways in which they are an integral part of the nation.

No doubt you will have your own views (and some questions) about this but what of Huffington Post readers, are they in sympathy with Dr Moosavi? Are they happy we have so many Muslims who apparently may have “unique needs”?

You have probably guessed the answer! But what will surprise and shock you is the scale and virulence of the dislike for the large number of Muslim immigrants we have allowed in the UK shown by these Huffington Post readers.

YES, this is the publication that has as its Political editor, Mehdi Hasan, a former New Statesman journalist described as a devout Muslim who has praised Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is on record in a video clip saying “Once we lose the moral high ground we are no different from the rest of the non-Muslims, from the rest of those human beings who live their lives as animals, bending any rule to fulfill any desire.” And, NO, the Huffington Post readers in question are not a flash mob of BNP/EDL members.

You have to sign up to comment on the Huffington Post and some of those whose views are reported here are so-called “HUFFPOST SUPER USERS” and most have “Fans” numbering from a handful to thousands. They are Huffington Post regulars.

Dr Moosavi’s article attracted 284 comments, a high number for the Huffington Post.

71% say we have too many immigrants and Islam is a problem. This could be as high as 80% if those comments that were removed by Huffington Post moderators are assumed to be anti-Islam and anti-immigrant (a reasonable assumption)

18% of comments were neutral, unclassifiable, just chit-chat, or off-topic.

2% had something friendly to say about Dr Moosavi’s analysis

9% of comments were removed by the HP

These results are summarised in the following table.

Analysis of 284 comments
Type of comment%
Too many immigrants / Islam is a problem 71
Neutral/unclassifiable etc.18
Something friendly to say2

So much for the scale of dislike, now for the virulence.

Extracts from a selection of comments in the order they were made are given below. Several which are particularly notable are maked with a hash#

There are hand-outs to just about everyone who lands on our shores.

Once one member of a family is here, a whole family, whether skilled, gifted, or whatever age, whether they have financial resouces or not, seems to then be able to get on the next plane to follow.

Meanwhile, other [citizens] who are in desperate need even for a short time, during periods of unemployment, or sickness, get very little indeed, and yet have contributed to the welfare pot for years.

There is a need for integration, & for all sections of the UK population to recognise the need to limit family size.

Maybe a law should deal with it

To the MP 's of this country [labour, conservative, & lib's ] YOU HAVE LET US DOWN. ......... as of now I & my family will be voting UKIP.

Good post, I'll be voting that way too!

All countries that have Islam as their main faith are torn apart by war, suffer poverty, have no idea how to operate a democratic society, look what is happening in Egypt. Once they have power they will not let it go. This is the thin end of a very disturbing wedge

Stevie Bee
Muslims come to the UK, breed more than the norm, and naturally expect and get whatever it is they want too make them happy. Essentailly not caring less if anyone else is upset, distressed or simply irritated by it. As long as they're catered for they're okay... and protest loudly when they're not. Oh, and throw in a few accusations of racist too for good measure.

They come here because they know they can turn whichever part of this country they choose to live into a mini islamic ghetto.
They come here because the benefits they receive here far outweigh their expected income in their home country.
They come here because life here is better.
They come here because they can use our economy to further their own faith, knowing that similar Christian behaviour would not be tolerated where they originate from.
They come here to have their children and then educate those children at the UK's expense.
They come here because they can.

NO. Of course these statements do not apply to all muslims there are thousands of hard working muslims who want nothing more than a reasonable life for them and their families.,

Sadly too many DO fall into one or more of the preceding categories outlined and I DO believe we must guard against the rising tide of islam in our own country.

Am I a racist or a xenophobe?

No I am a miniscule part of middle England, but I have concerns that unless we begin to reassert the culture of our own country we will be overwhelmed eventually.

I am here because my father came here in the early 60s from Pakistan, worked until retirement and has always been very positive about the UK and against the way some Muslims have gone – lack of work ethic and not being loyal to their country.

Personally, I think UK should massively reduce immigration from poor countries and restrict it to only those with a skill and/or well educated. We don't need more un skilled un educated immigrants who go in to low pay jobs and then need welfare to survive. Also english should be made essential before they are allowed in or only in exceptional cases, can they come in before learning English.

Child benefit should be stopped after the 2nd child. Housing benefit should only be for a year, if they need welfare for most of their income, they should be deported. For myself, I hold a MSc and have worked since it (non stop-since 95) in various govt and private organisations. My wife is a dentist and we have 1 daughter and she'll probably be the only one we have.

Mr Sanity
For the most part, the native population can read the Qur’an and see it for the hateful drivel that it is.

What was it Gaddafi said?..."by the wombs of our women, we will conquer lands without a single shot being fired"

Why has the number of Muslims in the UK risen so much? Is he joking. Where else in the world would they be handed a house? more money than they have ever had in their lives? free health care, free education? no need to work?

What right have successive Governments had to throw the hard earned money of the working population at these people?

Mr Sanity
There is a certain difficulty with expecting the younger generation of Muslims to discard religion as have former Christians in that they have a much more controlling culture, with rejection from family, former friends, and/or their entire community being one of the most common outcomes of open apostasy.

What a stupid question WHY? We all know why, a house with a proper roof on it, benefits - free NHS - etc etc etc, they hate us but are quite happy to use of system to the max …. they breed like rabbits because that way they can get more and more benefits

Muslims don't mix well [and] do not assimilate They don't help themselves much either with people like Abu Hamza calling the UK a "toilet" (while claiming benefits).

It’s a historical fact that Christians and Muslims never get along and even their Koran says not to trust us etc. Yet successive govts continue to allow them in and the people are ignored.

One day there will be a point when the people have had enough and the UK is overcrowded, and all those years ago Enoch Powell will be right - all be it, not black v White, but it will be Muslims against the rest..

Enoch Powell was often ridiculed for his "Rivers of Blood" speech bit in essence much of what he predicted has come true. Thanks to the last Labour government under Blair & Brown we have had almost uncontrolled immigration over the last ten years added to which is the incompetance of the Borders Agency who do virtually zero to find and eject overstayers. As Powell said “we must be mad".

Our country is silently being invaded by immigrants many of them Muslim who are intent on creating an Islamic state with Shariah Law in United Kingdom. They are already in the majority in London, Birmingham and Leicster and at the rate they reproduce no doubt other major cities will follow until the white anglo saxon is the exception to the rule.

Can we trust our politicians to get a grip of the situation ... NO They are too busy feathering their own nests and fiddling their expenses.

I work with a Muslim and he is married to, and has had kids with his cousin. He was also born out of inbreeding and as a number of health related issue. Multiply this with all the others and you have one big drain on the NHS.

Colonal Gaddafi summed it up this way. In an interview on Al Jazeera he said this, "Islam will take over Europe without violent force within a few decades

We have 50 million Muslims in Europe, there are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe – without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades, if Turkey is added to the European Union, Europe will have another 50 million Muslims”.

There is no way that Islam as an ideology can sustain a modern stable, prosperous, technological civilisation such as our own.

This country will be ruined as will the rest of Europe. Look at the state of the Islamic world, only the Gulf states have a decent GDP per capita and that's because of hydrocarbons and is dependent on Western know how and expertise.

None of them are capable of producing anything the world wants, either economically or culturally. The Islamic world is completely parasitical on the developed world and is dependent on it for aid to pay for essentials.

At the current rate it's a question of when not if. Thankfully I'll be dead and buried when the black flag of Islam hangs over Downing Street. The politicians have been warned repeatedly but they just don't listen.

I would say it's because we're not allowed to kick them out!!

Not just london, they are spreading at an alarming rate into the surrounding towns. Like someone said in a post above, this isn't immigrantion - this is an invasion.

Rabbits come to mind, what's up doc, oh I'm preggie again

Time for the government to limit them to one child, let the NHS start sterilising them when they go into hospital..

Your ideas look like the ones 70 years ago, Nazi Germany. Bit extreme if you ask me.

It couldn't possibly be that more and more are coming here, having more children therefore claiming more child allowance, claiming as many benefits as possible, getting free housing, taking advantage of a free health service etc. could it?

Free Housing, Free Medical Treatment, Free Money, Free Education, Free Dentists, Free Opticians, so why wouldn't you want to come here?

It is because they have done what Hitler could not do - INVADE US.

With Labours blessing!

Everyone should notice that the huge increase in immigration of Muslims and non-Christians took place during New Labour’s watch.

The doors are wide open and the first ones that have crossed the dam decades ago are followed in plane - and ship loads.

Loads of (for instance) Pakistani and Indian ladies in the UK, but no, the families/men need to import new ones from the 'motherland' as the local ones are too developed and 'western'.

Lack of Zyclon B?

Enoch Powell, a great man, shouted down by the left for telling the truth

I refuse to comment on this story as I would be branded a racist for speaking my mind

Mickey Mouse 1
To carry the projections further, it is not unrealistic to see the Muslim flag flying over Westminster.

Really aren’t we all sick of muslims?

"Why has the number of muslims risen so much?" let me think......they breed like rabbits? We let them in without question? ...shall I go on?

They do have more kids per family then the traditional English family yes. Twice as many if not more. And they marry younger as well.

Stop the benefits system, see the numbers drop. Simple.

Labour relaxed the primary purpose rule allowing spouses to settle here. They also seem to have had ideological reasons for basically rendering the Border Agency and its predecessor completely unfit for purpose so that illegal immigrants never left the country. It really isn't that hard running a bureaucracy and its associated database/filing system. To get it this wrong is automatically going to raise suspicions this was done by design.

As for contributing a significant proportion of our GDP only a minority of immigrants are in high earning jobs, many don't work at all and contribute nothing. When you consider the costs of health care, schooling and all the other infrastructure needed to support the additional numbers then it is highly probable that mass immigration lowers the key GDP per capita figure.

"There are several reasons why the number of Muslims has doubled." Yes, this could possibly be because this joke of a country lets every Tom, Dick and Harry in to it. Then again why wouldn't you come here, housing, benefits, free health care, why not!!

"So what does the growth in the number of Muslims mean?"

One day this country will be a Islamic country, because they will just take over. Only ones that should be able to come here are the ones that are going to be beneficial to our country, i.e doctors. Apart from that they should not be allowed here. Bet their country's wouldn't allow us to go over there and sponge off their government. Absolute joke.

The UK benefits system is so sloppy and open to abuse that it must be a significant pull factor for the poor in third world & developing countries.

By simply getting residence status, you can sign on and get money for life (much more than you will get working in Africa or Pakistan), council-funded accommodation AND child benefit for each child you have (providing an incentive to have more and more kids), thus creating a vicious circle of an ever-increasing Muslim percentage of our population.

1. They have more kids than their non Muslim counterparts
2. We have sloppy immigration controls
3. You can get money for staying at home in this country
4. Then you can work as a private hire driver and live a decent lifestyle without paying a penny in tax.


The issue of high birth rates within the muslim community seems to be only skimmed over in this article, even though this is clearly a greater contributor than actual new migration and far greater than conversion.

There are at least three factors we have known for some time which affect fertility rates: low socioeconomic status, under-education of women, and the average age of marriage. We can see in pretty much every country in the world that birth rates are significantly higher among the poor, uneducated and young.

Without wishing to make too many generalisations, the islamic community in the UK tend to reside in deprived, urban areas and their tradition is one which encourages early marriage, particularly for women. If these conditions persist, it is reasonable to assume that the growth of the population will continue apace.

However, it is not reasonable to assume that increased integration into UK society - which is happening, however slowly - will not have an affect. We are already seeing that teenagers of South Asian origin are more likely to stay in school post-GCSE and the numbers are applying to university are increasing steadily.

Furthermore, women of South Asian origin are actually more likely to go than men. This should absolutely be encouraged, not just for their own benefit, but for the reduction in fertility rates which education tends to cause. We can do this by lowering, or preferably eliminating tuition fees and promoting higher education wherever possible.

06 December 2012

German poll indicates a widespread fear of Muslims and Islam

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has commissioned an opinion poll to find out what Germans think about Muslims. Generally, the results are regarded as "catastrophic".

Respondents to the poll were asked to choose which of 21 statements they were offered about Islam that most closely reflected their opinion. 83% of them think that Islam is associated with impairing women's rights, 77% thought Islam was a literalist religion; 70% said Islam is associated with religious fanaticism and radicalism.

A significant part of Germany's population also believes that Islam is ready for violence (64%), hatred (60%), active missionary activity (56%), and striving for political influence (56%). Only 13% of respondents associate Islam with love for neighbours; 12% - with charity; 7% - with openness and tolerance. [National Secular Society] Read more

Germans polled on views about Islam

.... Respondents were asked to select from 21 statements those which applied to their view of Islam. 83% thought that Islam is characterised by discrimination against women and 77% that adherence to fundamentalist beliefs is typical of the faith, while 70% associated it with fanaticism and radicalism.

Clear majorities believed that Islam is characterised by violence (64%), a tendency to revenge and retribution (60%), missionary zeal (56%) and the pursuit of political influence (56%). [Islamophobia Watch] Read more

06 November 2012

Dutch Muslims are becoming more religious

An increasing number of second generation Dutch Muslims are visiting the mosque at least once a week, according to research published by the goverment's socio-cultural policy unit SCP.

The new survey among Dutch Muslims is an update on one carried out in 2004 which concluded Muslims were becoming less religious. That is no longer the case, particularly among people of Moroccan origin, says the SCP.

Between 1998 and 2011, the number of mosque-attending Moroccans rose from 9% to 33% while the number of Turks increased from 23% to 35%. Of the Turkish Netherlanders between the ages of 15 and 24 10% pray five times a day. For young Moroccan Netherlanders the percentage is 61%.

The Moroccan-Dutch are more likely to fast during ramadan and eat halal every day. The women are also more likely to wear a headscarf, says the SCP. [] Read more

04 November 2012

This is Why - Part 8

A continuous survey of causes of “Islamophobia”. Conflicts in Muslim countries and terrorism are excluded. See here for explanation of survey.

November 2012

Pakistan school head held over 'blasphemous' test

No end in sight to Pakistan's blasphemy laws
A mob of more than 200 people set fire to a girls' school in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Wednesday on accusations that one of the teachers of the school distributed "blasphemous" material to her sixth grade students.

West Ham residents reveal mega-mosque plan fears
“But the scale of this mosque is completely unsuitable for this location, I would feel the same if it was a church of that size”.

Off with their … tongues? Salafis in Egypt punish man for ‘cursing’ Islam

The evidence coming out of Tunisia points in one direction. The extremists are on the march

Mother murdered son for 'failing to learn the Koran'
The beatings were so brutal that the boy died from his injuries, and his mother tried to burn the body to destroy the evidence, Cardiff Crown Court was told

October 2012

France expels Tunisian imam who preached holy war, violence against women

Muslim Candidates Vow Islamic State After Belgium Win

Turkish police clash with secularists

Back Sharia or go to Hell - Egypt's Voters Warned on Constitution Poll

Christians persecuted throughout the world

A Trip Through Hell - Daily Life in Islamist Northern Mali
.... Then Omar Ben Saïd, the senior executioner, pulls a knife out of its sheath. "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful," he calls out, takes the convicted man's hand and begins to slice into it, as blood squirts out.

Norway: Salafist organisation allows men and women to mix in order to receive state funding (17,000 USD)

Muslim Girls Miss Own Weddings

How families on both sides of the law face tough choices in Somalia
Relatives of murder victims must pardon the perpetrators, kill them or demand blood money – currently set at about $20,000.

Saudi king urges UN action against religious insults

Al-Shabaab order woman stoned to death for sex offence

Islamic world unleashes the demons of misogyny
The words of the Taliban's chief spokesman .... A bullet had Malala's name on it, he explained to the news media, because ''she has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it''. He also called her ''the symbol of the infidels and obscenity''.

Parents roast school over halal meat
A TOWN primary school sparked outrage after announcing plans to serve halal meat in meals to all pupils.

Survey exposes French anxieties over Islam
Six out of ten French people believe the influence of Islam in France is “too big” and 43 percent see the religion as a “threat” to national identity, according to the results of an opinion poll published on Thursday.

Hate content against religious minorities rampant in school textbooks across Pakistan'

More women are getting married under religious law, unaware they lack legal rights
Religious quasi-courts run in parallel to British courts, but unlike our courts, they operate behind closed doors and make decisions that are likely to be unfair to women.

After slitting his wife’s throat, Toronto man complained of unbearable burden of children’s insufficiently Muslim clothes

NGO decries endorsement of girl child marriage by Sudan’s state-controlled clerics

Mali: no rhythm or reason as militants declare war on music

Qatar aims for UN sponsored blasphemy law

"I Will Answer Only to Allah"
Murat .... claimed that the attacks on the police officers were justified because the German state had allowed offensive images of the Prophet Mohammed to be shown in public.

Sharia should be enforced without vote - says Salafi

Sharia courts ‘as consensual as rape’, House of Lords told
MUSLIM women in Britain are being forced to “live in fear” because of the spread of unofficial and unregulated sharia courts enforcing Islamic rules, the House of Lords was told.

Pak man shot dead after being acquitted of blasphemy

Turkish schoolbooks denounce Darwin, Einstein as 'Jews'

Turkish pianist on trial for insulting Islam

Saudi Textbooks Incite Hate, Say Leaders in American Publishing

Egyptian teacher 'cut hair of schoolgirls who refused to cover heads'

The church of San Francesco attacked in Karachi: the Franciscans in fear

Religious freedom could lead to devil worship: Salafist leader

Mali: Girl in Timbuktu whipped for speaking to men

Taliban says its attack on Pakistani schoolgirl justified

Canada immigration confusion: Multiple wife visa requests by Saudi men

Muslims protest 'age of mockery' as thousands descend on Google HQ

Iran Launching Massive Arrests Of Evangelicals

The terrifying world of child brides: Devastating images show girls young enough to be in pre-school who are married off to older men

Newcastle United's Muslim players told wearing Wonga-sponsored shirts infringes Sharia law

Germany: Co-ed Swimming Goes to Court
In its ruling, the court said the girl could wear the full-body swimsuit (also known as the "burkini"), which is already being used by several other Muslim girls at her school, and that this solution would be sufficient to guarantee her religious freedom.

Sharia Law: Man Gets Seven Lashes In Indonesia For Playing Dominoes

Sharia-Medicine: Egyptian Clinic Treats People with Camel Urine Per Prophet’s Advice

Egypt women face uncertain future as constitution draws near
.... The article causing a fury is Article 36 of the new Egyptian constitution (under the duties and freedom section) that states that both genders are equal, but there is a caveat, as long as Sharia law is not affected

Can Islam handle rational criticism?
.... the few Quranic verses that seemingly promote equality, peace and justice are more often than not overridden/nullified by later verses that validate such things as terrorism and legalistic restrictions on routine human and women’s rights.

Koran art exhibit pulled in France after near riot
.... on Tuesday evening, with no preventative measures in place, the video was projected onto the busy bridge and quickly attracted the attention of locals who gathered to try and stop people walking over the verses.

Egypt Christian boys, 9 and 10, taken from parents, arrested after accused of desecrating Qur’an

The lunacy of Islam #14,998 (or thereabouts): Halal cat food

Posting on Calgary Muslim website suggested ‘lightly hitting’ disobedient wives

No females allowed! IKEA under fire for deleting pictures of women from its Saudi catalogue

September 2012

Bangladesh Muslim protesters torch Buddhist temples over Facebook photo

Court rules Muslim girl must take swim class
A German court on Friday refused to allow a Muslim student to skip swimming lessons after she said she was uncomfortable being so close to bare-chested boys.

Egypt sheikh says girls should be married, have children starting at 14-years-old

Many Muslim countries complaining about "blasphemy" and "hurt feelings,' are themselves are rife with the vilest caricatures, programs, films and books

Egypt: Christians flee homes, town after militant threats

Pope must apologize for Catholics freeing Spain from Islamic invaders

Oslo Muslim prayer room veto censured
.... establishing a separate prayer room in Oslo schools is out of the question. The school is an institution of knowledge, not a religious one.

No males? No Mecca for you, ladies!
A DIPLOMATIC row has erupted between Nigeria and Saudia Arabia after hundreds of female pilgrims were detained when they arrived in the Islamic kingdom unaccompanied by men.

Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy
Islamic supremacists deny the right to make law that contradicts sharia in any way. That divide cannot be bridged; it’s too basic.

Rights groups condemn detention of atheist on blasphemy charges
Saber was originally arrested over claims that he published the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” on Facebook, but when it emerged that there was no evidence to support the claim, he was later charged on the basis of an atheist video that he had made.

Anti-Islam film: Pakistan minister offers bounty
A Pakistani government minister has offered a $100,000 (£61,616) reward for the death of the maker of an anti-Islam film produced in the US.

Pakistan protests against anti-Islam film leave 17 dead

Christians face arrest, persecution in Iran, U.N. experts say

Afghanistan: 100 lashes for teen shows why climate of violence against women must be tackled

Iran Cleric, Claims He Was Beaten Up By 'Badly Veiled' Woman
.... A cleric in the northern province of Semnan claims he received the beating of his lifetime last month after advising two women passing by a mosque to cover up.

Shocking video shows girl, aged EIGHT, speaking of her love for Jihad during Muslim conference in Australia

The truth about Muhammad and Aisha
Critics allege that Aisha was just six years old when she was betrothed to Muhammad, himself in his 50s, and only nine when the marriage was consummated.

Did Mohammed have a sense of humour?
Ayatollah Khomeini …. once said: "An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam."

DC Comics Mainstreaming ‘Islamophobia’ - And don't you dare call Batman "the Caped Crusader."

Islam blasphemy riots now self-fulfilling prophecy
.... of course, it is only speech that offends Muslims which comes under progressive suspicion; the same liberals who insist that the tender sensitivities of Muslims be respected have no problem with speech that maligns religious Christians and Jews.

Why is the Muslim world so easily offended?

The ugly truth about Islam and homosexuality

Sharia marriages for girls of 12 and the religious courts subverting British law

Sydney sheikh in court over 'female genital mutilation'

Unrecorded Muslim Marriages, Bigamy, and Polygamy

German Welfare System Supports Muslim Polygamy

BBC is full of liberals afraid to mock Islam (says veteran of the BBC)

Channel 4 cancels Islam documentary screening after presenter threatened

Mali Islamists chop hands, feet off five suspected robbers

The British child brides: Muslim mosque leaders agree to marry girl of 12... so long as parents don't tell anyone

This is an ‘Islamic’ republic: You can’t sit next to your wife!

Freed Pakistani Christian girl 'will need armoured vehicle to protect her
A lawyer representing a Pakistani Christian girl accused of desecrating the Qur'an who was granted bail on Friday said he will not push for her to be released from jail until her security can be guaranteed.

The myth of how the hijab protects women against sexual assault
It’s about the fact that there needs to be real protection for women in Islamic societies, at home, on the streets, and in the workplace—not just miracle garments.

Maldives teenager faces lashing for pre-marital sex

Tunisia’s constitution seeks to ban criticism of religion

Muslim tycoon in divorce fight over affair 'allowed under Sharia Law'

August 2012

Pharmacist who asked colleague what her favourite sex position is LET OFF at tribunal because he had a 'restrictive Muslim background'

Halal toothpaste, anyone? Religious observance has become a global brand
There is halal perfume, toothpaste, "beer" (it's awful), bacon (delicious), cosmetics as well as "halal" hotels and holiday resorts. The definition of halal has become so broad, it seems to encompass everything that caters to Muslim sensibilities.

Guidelines on wife-beating
From bearded loon Egyptian cleric Abd Al-Rahman Mansour, on Al-Nas TV: Islam instructs a man to beat his wife as a last resort before divorce, so that she will mend her ways, treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.

Pakistan blasphemy case: 'Muslims could take law into their own hands'
A lawyer representing the man who accused a Pakistani Christian girl of blasphemy has said that if she is not convicted, Muslims could "take the law into their own hands".

Religious violence growing in Indonesia
Intra-Islamic religious intolerance is growing in Indonesia, says Dr Greg Fealy, an Australian specialist on Islam in the country.

Heavily made-up girl in a hijab provokes storm of complaints as BBC is accused of insulting Muslims with new sitcom Citizen Khan

Taliban behead 17 at dance event
The Taliban have beheaded 17 Afghans for attending a dance party that flouted Islamic extremist rules.

Muslim exhibition for women's eyes only
A Lower Hutt art gallery is fielding complaints following the announcement that men will be banned from viewing an upcoming exhibition that shows Muslim women without veils.

Sharia poses problems, says judge
THE idea sharia could operate as part of Australian law was ''misconceived'' and minority practices that offend moral standards should be abandoned, the former High Court judge Sir Gerard Brennan said last night.

Iran Universities Ban Women From 77 Fields Of Study
Women are to be excluded from 77 BA and BSc courses at 36 Iranian universities in the coming year.

Anger as Iran bans women from universities

Copts in Upper Egypt Attacked, Beat, Plundered
Christian Copts in Upper Egypt are under attack, hours after a call for their eradication appeared in the form of leaflets calling on Muslims to kill Copts, specifically naming regions of Upper Egypt.

Schools Cease Teaching Holocaust, Demand Students Pray to Allah
A report by Britain’s Department for Education and Skills noted that an increasing number of schools are ceasing to teach the Holocaust in history lessons in order to avoid offending Muslim students.

Mentally challenged child jailed for ‘blasphemy’

Nadira Naipaul exposes arranged marriages and honour killings in the UK

Egyptian Muslims given sharia authorization to murder protestors
.... Noted Muslim cleric Hashem Islam Ali Islam stated that those who protest against President Mohammed Morsi later this month, can in good conscience and under Sharia law, kill the protestors.

Salafists attack Tunisia festival, 5 wounded

Judge attacks forced marriage that put disabled woman 'at risk’
A judge has said the forced marriage of a Muslim woman with learning difficulties should be annulled and condemned the “insulated” families who arrange them.

Muslim woman files suit against Disney over headscarf dispute
The ACLU is suing The Walt Disney Co. on behalf of a Muslim woman who claims the company discriminated against her by not allowing her to wear a headscarf while working in a Disney restaurant in Anaheim.

Tunisian Olympic medalists draw radicals’ ire amid debate over role of Islam, women

Saudi Arabia plans new city for women workers only
A women-only industrial city dedicated to female workers is to be constructed in Saudi Arabia to provide a working environment that is in line with the kingdom's strict customs.

No man’s land: Women-only city planned for Saudi Arabia

Marseilles: Restaurant Owner Attacked Because He Refused to Close for Ramadan

Halal abattoir meets growing opposition
The ‘Say NO to halal slaughter in Skegness’ facebook group was set up after it was announced a business practising the religious methods was preparing to move into the town’s Heath Road abattoir.

Should pre-marital sex be legal?
The editor of Morocco's Al-Ahdath Al-Maghribia daily newspaper, Moktar el-Ghzioui, is living in fear for his life after he expressed support for pre-marital sex during a local television debate. "The next thing there was a cleric from Oujda releasing a fatwa that I should die," he says.

Saudi Arabia's female Olympians face cold return home
Her father, a judo referee who said he wanted his daughter to make "new history for Saudi's women," is reportedly incensed at conservative Saudis who showered her with racial slurs on Twitter and called her a “prostitute” for participating.

Veiled French Muslim woman charged with inciting riot
.... She allegedly said she did not have time and did not want to show her ID card and covered herself up with another veil as she walked away, the police source said, asking not to be named.

The centre, in the predominantly Asian area of Sparkhill, Birmingham, has defended the man ban, claiming Muslim mothers welcomed it for cultural reasons.
Equalities watchdog probes women-only nursery

Riyadh deports 35 Ethiopian Christians for praying

Riot Leaves an Egyptian Village Without Christians

Egypt Arrests Another Facebook User for ‘Blasphemy’

Sudan woman shackled with baby, faces death by stoning

Somali comedian who mocked Islamists is shot dead

July 2012

Immigrants with multiple wives will get more benefits, officials admit

Mali unwed couple stoned to death by Islamists

Judge’s matrimonial ruling is bound to horrify sharia law proponents
.... According to this report, in traditional Muslim societies there is often no expectation that the ex-husband will pay maintenance to the divorced wife and that she has to look to her extended family for support.

Churches Should Not Be Built In Islamic Countries, Say Preachers
.... Furthermore, Sheikh Sayed A-Rifae Al-Husseini expressed displeasure towards Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, and the Municipality for approving the construction of a new church in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, stressing that it is not permissible as per the Sharia.

Veiled women are face of new channel
Maria TV is run primarily by women. .... Shrouded in long flowing black robes and scarves known as niqabs, with black gloves to match - the women are distinguishable only by their voices and the slits for their eyes.

Tony Blair: 'The West is asleep on the issue of Islamist extremism'
.... ''We must engage, but also challenge,’’ he warns. The Middle East ''won’t achieve democracy unless it understands that democracy is a way of thinking as well as voting. The key question is how the majority treats the minority.’’

LGBTs, liberalism, pluralism are enemies of Islam
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community along with liberalism and pluralism were today branded as enemies of Islam by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. “LGBTs, pluralism, liberalism? all these ‘isms’ are against Islam and it is compulsory for us to fight these,” he said.

Suit against security company who fired Philadelphia woman for wearing headscarf

Muslim men in Egypt demand to wear beards
.... All over the country, Muslim men are demanding to wear beards - and Muslim women the hijab hair covering - in police stations, banks, airliners, television news programs and other places where they have long been banned by law or custom.

Muslim Congressman: Islam in America Must Not Retreat
America will never tap into educational innovation and ingenuity without looking at the model that we have in our madrassas, in our schools, where innovation is encouraged, where the foundation is the Koran. .... in places like Pakistan where they abound, they don’t seem to be producing a wealth of world-class scholars or highly-trained professionals, but they do seem to produce a virulent hatred of things un-Islamic.

Saudi Arabia considers law against insulting Islam, including in social media

Many Islamist men don't understand imperative of consent
Women are "raw meat" waiting to be devoured by men because of their dress, declared an Australian imam in 2006.

How Political Correctness Is Transforming British Education
In Cheshire, two students at the Alsager High School were punished by their teacher for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class.

Iranian police shut down dozens of restaurants and coffee shops
.... Regular officers and members of the “morality police” raided 87 cafes and restaurants in a single district of the capital Tehran on Saturday and arrested women for flouting the Islamic dress code, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).

Muslim cab drivers allowed to refuse riders with dogs

Son: Iranian dad arrested for my Facebook posts
.... a 25-year-old Iranian says his Facebook activity has led to his father's detention in a notorious prison in Tehran. And now he's struggling to find a way to free him.

Concerns over mosque leader's polygamy post
A vulnerable Melbourne Muslim woman who was desperately seeking advice about her marriage has been told polygamy is better than divorce, it has been claimed.

Pakistan Lynching a 'Chilling Reminder' of Dangers of Blasphemy Laws
Amnesty International today demanded that members of a baying mob who lynched a man accused of breaching Pakistan's blasphemy laws be brought to justice as a matter of urgency.

Lankan facing death for worshipping Buddha statue
Bodu Bala Sena says a Sri Lankan youth is facing death for having worshipped a Buddha statue in Saudi Arabia.

Germany: Main complaint of Muslim women - husbands beating them

Suez knifing stirs fears of 'moral' policing in Egypt
Twenty-year-old engineering student Ahmed Said was stabbed to death on Sunday in the Egyptian canal city of Suez – allegedly by bearded men – while walking with his fiancée.

Numbers Count: Why Religious Population Growth Underpins the Islamist Surge
In a 2005 ARDA youth survey, 94% of young Saudis favoured a system of government where 'religious authorities have absolute power.'

Parallel justice? Germany says No to sharia law

'We're going to destroy everything before we apply Sharia in this city'
Islamist rebels say they will continue to destroy historic sites in Timbuktu before they implement strict Sharia law, as Mali's government compared the destruction to "war crimes".

June 2012

Amsterdam Gets a Harsh Lesson in Islam 101
.... By the end of the evening, al-Haddad had made it absolutely clear that he supported the gradual implementation of sharia law in the West – starting with relatively innocuous-seeming stuff like divorce tribunals and Islamic finance, then moving bit by bit into ever more serious territory.

Iranian women are oppressed by the systematic, gender-apartheid policies of the Islamist dictatorship

Art show riot reflects religious divide in new Tunisia
Tunisian artists have gone to ground since Salafi Islamists broke into Abdeliya Palace on June 10 and destroyed a handful of works at the Printemps des Arts fair to protest against art they deemed insulting to Islam, then ran riot for days.

YMCA Offers Women-Only Swim Hours For Muslim Women

Two Iranians face death for use of alcohol

Mother is turned away from parents’ evening because she refused to remove full-face veil

No racial hatred charges for British Sharia law expert
.... Anti-Islam campaigner Ehsan Jami had called for legal action against al-Haddad after he told the debate ex Muslims deserve the death penalty, as outlined in Sharia law.

Islamic Mediators and Germany's 'Two Legal Systems'
Islamic Mediators and Germany's 'Two Legal Systems'
.... imams and arbitrators in Berlin, the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein apply Sharia law on a daily basis, even though it is sometimes incompatible with the German constitution and German family law.

Saudi man executed for 'witchcraft and sorcery'

Bangers ban in hundreds of schools
Pork is being banned from school dinners even where the majority of parents have no religious objection to it.

Why Islamism cannot be pluralistic
.... That is the heart of the matter in the political war between secular and non-secular Muslims; between Muslims who peacefully practice their faith and Islamists who violently and non-violently enforce their practices on others.

Prison term for Indonesian atheist who posted views on religion online
.... In passing the sentence, the presiding judge Eka Prasetya Budi Dharma told the the Muaro Sijunjung district court in western Sumatra that Aan had "caused anxiety to the community and tarnished Islam".

Muslim woman who subjected girl, 10, to 45-minute beating with steel ladle for not reading enough of the Koran is jailed

UK: Automated poultry slaughter rejected by Islamic scholars
Leading Islamic scholars in the UK have unanimously rejected the automated slaughter of halal poultry, insisting each bird must be killed with a hand held knife.

Turkey: fundamentalists forbid girl in shorts to board bus

Saudi Arabia's Got Talent... so long as you're NOT a woman and don't sing or dance (but religious chanting is allowed)

20 churches in Aceh face threat of demolition
.... Worse still, Eva said, was a local edict that forbade Muslims from approving the construction of houses of worship other than mosques, which made it impossible for the churches to fulfill the requirements.

Iran bans women from Euro 2012 screenings

In Turkey the right to free speech is being lost

Somali workers walk out of Minnesota bakery in protest of new dress code
.... the owner of Dianne’s Fine Desserts, told the Faribault Daily News that the new guidelines were installed for safety concerns. Somali workers, however, call the new rules an attack on their Muslim religion.

Sudan's haphazard sharia legal system has claimed too many victims
Last month Intisar Sharif Abdullah, a young mother, was found guilty of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning in Khartoum.

Kuwaiti gets 10 years for Twitter blasphemy
A court sentenced a 26-year-old Kuwaiti to 10 years in prison on Monday after ruling that he had endangered state security by insulting the Prophet Mohammad and the Sunni Muslim rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on social media, his lawyer said.

Christians are being ethnically-cleansed from the Middle East's hollow new democracies

Polygamy in Islam: The women victims of multiple marriage
.... "As a Muslim woman I'm supposed to keep a low profile. I feel like I've committed a crime here although I'm the victim.

May 2012

Stand-off as Islamic Police Enforce Dress Code in Indonesia’s Aceh
Religious police in Indonesia’s Aceh province, where Islamic law is in force, stopped and reprimanded 53 people on Wednesday during a patrol to enforce the Muslim dress code, sparking a stand-off with some residents.

'Allah's enemy!' Radio host slash-attacked for anti-Islam rant on air
A radio host has been hospitalized after being cut 15 times by an unidentified criminal. Two weeks ago the journalist ventured to criticize the founder of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed, on air.

Appeals court upholds three-year sentence for Coptic student defaming Islam

Egypt's women have had enough of being told to cover up

MPs want curbs on 'unacceptable' religious slaughter
The government is facing renewed calls to curb the slaughtering of animals that have not first been rendered unconscious - a debate that pits religious sensitivities against the convictions of animal welfare campaigners.

Malaysia bans and confiscates Irshad Manji book
.... Manji, who advocates for progressive reforms in Islam, first rose to fame with her book The Trouble with Islam Today, which is also banned in Malaysia.

Remarkably Brave Saudi Woman Blasts Religious Police Thug For Ordering Her to Cover Up Her Sexy Nails

The Spread of Islamic Creationism in Europe

German magazine steps up security after terrorist calls for killings of employees

Parents 'murdered their Westernised teenage daughter because they thought she was bringing shame on the family'

Islington girls forced into marriage at the age of nine

Iranian rapper in hiding, but defiant after call for his death
The Iranian-born rapper marked for death for insulting a ninth-century imam and criticizing Tehran's regime as corrupt is determined to press his message to young fans, according to the German author who hid Shahin Najafi in his home.

Radical Islamists urge bigger role for Islam in Tunisia
Waving black flags embossed with Islamic verses, thousands of radical Islamists rallied in the central Tunisian town of Kairouan on Sunday to demand a wider role for religion in a country long considered one of the Arab world’s most secular

From Democracy to Sharia
Their tightening grip has translated into brutalizing dhimmitude for Christians and increasing intolerance of Shiism — which the Sunni leaders perceive less as Islam than as apostasy, an offense that sharia counts as more grievous than treason.

Toronto school board right to shut religious program for anti-Jewish material
.... Among other things, they referred to Jews as “treacherous” and “crafty” and accused them of “conspiring to kill the Prophet Muhammad.”

Uncovering Early Islam
... whereas the Koran insists that Mohammed did not perform miracles, the hadith ascribes him thaumaturgic powers — multiplying food, healing the injured, drawing water from the ground and sky, and even sending lightning from his pickax. Which is it?

Mosques' advice: 'don't report abusive husbands'

Iranian Gay Men To Be Hanged For Sodomy

Mother's Day is "an imitation of the kuffaar from whom we have been commanded to differ

Islam does democracy, but what about liberty?
…. there are illiberal democracies, too, where the majority’s power isn’t checked by constitutional liberalism and the rights and freedoms of all citizens are not secured.

City slammed for 'special treatment' of Muslim kids
A Swedish school district has sparked outrage for striking a deal with local Muslim groups ensuring Muslim students can skip out on overnight class trips and Muslim girls don't have to be naked when showering at school.

Islamists Stall Gender Equality Bill
The fate of a gender equality bill pending in Indonesia’s parliament and aligned with the United Nations convention on the elimination of all forms discrimination against women (CEDAW) has become uncertain after falling afoul of powerful Islamist groups.

DM Digital censured by Ofcom for inciting violence and is to be considered for sanction
Under the guidance from Islamic texts it is evident that if a Muslim apostatises, then it is not right to wait for the authorised courts; anyone may kill him. An apostate deserves to be killed and any man may kill him. For this, you do not need to contact the authorised courts.

Hardline Muslim assaulted sister-in-law after finding out she had taken his wife to the beach

Ofcom may close TV station over show condoning murder for blasphemy

UK Muslims split over halal slaughter ban proposal
…. “unwitting members of the public” in Britain are being served halal meat “secretly” in schools, hospitals, pubs and famous sporting venues, claiming that many in Britain, including animal rights campaigners, deem the traditional Islamic way of preparing meat as “cruel.”

Sin has led to Middle East unrest, says Saudi Arabia’s top cleric

.... Sharia courts that dish out verdicts based on hardline Islamic law operate outside our justice system.
We Get Exclusive Access to UK's Hidden Sharia Courts

Curtailing ‘immodesty’: Ex-lawmaker ‘decrees’ against female education

Leading vet criticises ritual slaughter of animals

Kuwaiti parliament approves death penalty for cursing prophet Muhammad

Restrictions on Islamic dress for women continue to tighten in Iran

British architect fined for asking 'When will we finish with the damn mosques?' during meeting in Abu Dhabi

Forced marriage campaign targets mosques in Scotland

April 2012

Saudi girls school defies clerics with basketball

'Cheat genital mutilation ban by going abroad': British Muslim leader caught on camera advocating female circumcision

Divorce, Saudi style: Man splits with ‘disobedient’ wife during live broadcast
The unnamed man said his wife “offended his manhood” by traveling from the Saudi port city of Jeddah to the capital Riyadh for a business conference, alone and without his approval.

Female Genital Mutilation Is 'an Honor' per Islam

Moroccan Muslim Brotherhood PM refuses to talk with female Belgian minister

Saudi Arabian Mufti, Says Girls Ready For Marriage At 10 Years Old

Islamic teacher under fire for calling on Welsh muslims to support fight for sharia law abroad
Abu Hajar, of Grangetown, Cardiff, is one of the leaders of the Islamic group Supporters of Tawheed, which on its website says its core belief is the “domination of the world by Islam”.

Why Arab women still 'have no voice'
She is largely skeptical of recent developments and says, if anything, the Arab Spring has only highlighted the continuing “second-class citizenship" of women in the region.

Salafis call for death of Tunisian TV boss after "Persepolis" airing

Human rights have no place in Islam

Merkel ally says Islam not part of Germany
A leading conservative politician said on Thursday that Islam did not belong in Germany, fuelling tension at a conference on integrating Muslims that also debated a controversial Salafist campaign to hand out copies of the Koran across the country.

An atheist on trial for religious defamation in Padang, West Sumatra

Homosexuals are inferior to dogs and pigs, says Iranian cleric

Polygamy, Too
.... France, home to the largest Islamic population in Western Europe, was estimated in 2006 to host 16,000 to 20,000 polygamous families — almost all Muslim — containing 180,000 total people, including children.

Muslim taxi driver dumps family out of his cab after spotting an unopened bottle of wine saying it was against his religion

31 October 2012

Poll finds what Muslims really think about Constitution, Shariah

Nearly half of 600 Muslim-American citizens polled who plan to vote in the 2012 presidential election believe parodies of Muhammad should be prosecuted criminally in the U.S., and one in eight say the offense is so serious violators should face the death penalty.

The results came in a groundbreaking scientific poll for WND by the public-opinion research and media consulting company Wenzel Strategies. It was taken Oct. 22-26 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.98 percentage points.

The poll also found 40 percent of Muslims in America believe they should not be judged by U.S. law and the Constitution, but by Shariah standards. [] Read more

26 October 2012

Survey exposes French anxieties over Islam

The role of Islam in France was once again under the spotlight on Thursday after right-wing daily Le Figaro published the results of an opinion poll that suggested 43 percent of French people believe the religion is a “threat” to national identity.

Six out of ten French people believe the influence of Islam in France is “too big” and 43 percent see the religion as a “threat” to national identity, according to the results of an opinion poll published on Thursday.

.... Two thirds of people surveyed said they thought French Muslims and people of Muslim origin were not well integrated into French society. Among them, 68 percent blamed this lack of integration on Muslims’ “refusal to integrate”, while roughly half said they believed it was a result of “insurmountable cultural differences”. [France24] Read more

25 October 2012

Most French see Islam too influential in society: poll

An increasing majority of people in France believe Islam plays too influential a role in their society and almost half see Muslims as a threat to their national identity, according to a poll published on Thursday.

The survey by pollster Ifop in Le Figaro newspaper showed that 60 percent of people believed that Islam was "too important" in France in terms of its influence and visibility, up from 55 percent two years ago.

It found that 43 percent of respondents considered the presence of the Muslim community as a threat to their national identity, compared with just 17 percent who said it enriched society. Forty percent of those questioned were indifferent to the presence of Islam, Le Figaro said. [Reuters] Read more

26 September 2012

Most Republicans think west and Islam are in fundamental conflict, poll finds

An overwhelming majority of Republican voters in the United States regard the west and Islam as being embroiled in "a fundamental conflict which only one side can win", according to new YouGov-Cambridge polling seen exclusively by the Guardian.

.... Opinion was reasonably evenly split on both sides of the Atlantic, and indeed somewhat more tolerant in the United States. Overall, Americans rejected the view of a fundamental clash of cultures that can only have one winner – only 39% adopted this view, against 47% who believe that "it is possible for the west and Muslims to coexist in peace".

In Britain, by contrast, the respective figures were 43% and 41%, suggesting that British opinion towards Islam is somewhat more hostile overall. [] Read more

16 September 2012

Voters more likely to back an anti-Muslim party than reject it – poll

.... In addition, 37% admitted that they would be more likely to support a political party that promised to reduce the number of Muslims in Britain and the presence of Islam in society, compared with 23% who said it would make them less likely.

Matthew Goodwin of the Extremis Project, an independent group monitoring extremism and terrorism that commissioned the research, said that, although Britain lacked a successful extremist political party, much of the public was susceptible to far-right ideology.

He said: "The results clearly point towards enduring public anxieties over the performance of mainstream political and business elites, immigration and also the role of Muslims and Islam in society." [] Read more

10 August 2012

Has multiculturalism failed in the UK?

.... It also shows that only one fifth of Muslims would support a proposal of sharia law in Britain. Yes, critics may worry it is this high, and we can't deny that some support for separatism does exist, but similarly we can't deny that some white British people support ethnic exclusionism.

From these results it would seem the characterisation of minorities as living separate lives, rejecting British values and integration into British society is, to put it mildly, a slur on those British citizens.

[A COMMENT] One in five Muslims across the board. Imagine what it’s like in Muslim areas. And you think there isn’t a problem. You are living in cloud-cuckoo land! [Guardian Cif] Read more

Further Information

This article references several surveys.

(1) The 2007 England and Wales citizenship survey

(2) The 2010 Ethnic Minority British Election Survey (EMBES)

EMBES is primarily concerned with political party preference, vote choice in 2010, attitudes towards the main party leaders and so forth – but also includes questions on topics such as language fluency, perceptions of discrimination in different fields, cultural orientations, social relationships and social capital and a small number of religious items were included in the questionnaire.

(3) The 2012 Ethnic Minority British Election Survey (EMBES) which has not been published yet. This is the survey which finds “one fifth of Muslims would support a proposal of sharia law in Britain”.

09 August 2012

The World's Muslims: Unity and Diversity

The survey, which involved more than 38,000 face-to-face interviews in over 80 languages, finds that in addition to the widespread conviction that there is only one God and that Muhammad is His Prophet, large percentages of Muslims around the world share other articles of faith, including belief in angels, heaven, hell and fate (or predestination).

While there is broad agreement on the core tenets of Islam, however, Muslims across the 39 countries and territories surveyed differ significantly in their levels of religious commitment, openness to multiple interpretations of their faith and acceptance of various sects and movements. [The Pew Forum] Read more


Pew Research Releases Telling Survey of World's Muslims

.... The results, however, show a high level of agreement about one of the most debated issues concerning Islam: Whether Muslims believe Islamic teaching is subject to various “interpretations” or only one.

As Islamic teaching is derived from the Qur’an, the Sira, and the ahadith (which together are the main sources for Sharia, or Islamic law), in essence this was a question about Muslim beliefs about the fundamentals of their faith.

.... According to the Pew survey results, a majority (more than 50%) of Muslims in 32 of 39 countries believes that “There is only one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion.” [] Read more

25 July 2012

Bad language, racism and dodgy votes at the Guardian

Guardian Cif had a field day the other week running several articles highlighting the BTL abuse thrown at Muslim writers and journalists. The first was by Mehdi Hasan who asked “who will stand with me” against this unwarranted hatred.

He was quickly answered by Jonathan Freedland in his article “I stand with Mehdi Hasan against the torrent of Islamophobic abuse” and added “By all means disagree with me below the line. But no one should have to put up with vile racism and bigotry”

Freedland’s view can be summarised by this passage:

... it is racism, of the crudest kind. That last quotation is the easiest example [Hasan was told "Get out of my country, goatfucker"], but the subtler ones are not much better. They can be confusing, because they often dress up in progressive, Guardian-friendly garb – slamming Islam as oppressive of gay and women's rights, for example – but the thick layer of bigotry is visible all the same. Call it progressives' prejudice.

His article attracted 885 reader comments (this is a high number even for Cif) and the one with the greatest number of reader recommends (a massive 4407) fully supports him. It has even been awarded the accolade “Guardian pick”. It says:

“The attraction of Islamophobia to bigots is that it provides them with 'plausible deniability', i.e. despite the fact that most Muslims are non-White, bigots can still claim that their hatred has nothing to do with racism, because Islam is a religion and not a race.

Whenever someone scratches the surface when it comes to groups like the EDL and BNP, beneath the Islamophobic exterior, there is often a racist motivation. If most Muslims were Anglo-Saxon, I doubt that Islamophobia would hold much appeal for the likes of the EDL and the BNP”. [islamophobiasucks (4407 votes) 10 July 2012 1:33PM]

No doubt some White people can pursue their hatred of non-Whites by attacking some other characteristic not to do with colour. But who are they, these bigots?

How did Freedland himself fare in his robust defence of Muslim fellow writers? Did he, in fact, attract comments from these bigots and was he in his turn subjected to this rampant BTL abuse? He must have stood out in their eyes as just as bad.

The comment critical of Freedland with the highest number of recommends (a lowly 1590 compared with the Guardian pick quoted above), says:

“I feel what you've written is very patronising. You seem to find it unacceptable that people can have strong views about Islam which in my opinion are understandable. For instance you state that critics of Hasan and Islam use language that ' they often dress up in progressive, Guardian-friendly garb'. But perhaps these people really are progressive but do not find Islam to be, probably because it isn't.

I found very little of the 'language and imagery so vile' that you spoke and I read them all, the moderator removes most such things and others which are not offensive anyway so not sure what you're referring to as they weren't there.

I don't know Jonathon I really don't know why you're so obsessed with calling anyone a racist who objects to the obvious unpleasantness of this religion. Also you may accept Hasan's explanation of his deeply offensive comments but that doesn't mean everyone else has to.

Let me add my own brief explanation of myself so as not to be labelled racist/fascist or whatever term is being used at present. My Grandfather came to UK from Germany (guess why?). My Grandmother is from a family of Irish Gypsys (usually referred to as Pikeys). My wife is the daughter of immigrants from Bangalore. I could go on …” [Stowlawn (1590 votes) 1st 10 July 2012 1:41PM]

The man who wrote this is not a bigot. He is not a racist. In fact, it is very hard to find any measure of bigotry or racism in the comments critical of Freedland (and indeed in the critical comments on the Mehdi Hasan article which set this ball rolling).

There are a good number that might have been better worded but then we don’t all possess the literary skills of a Guardian journalist such as Freedland who can produce brilliant non-bigoted phrases such as “.... the thick layer of bigotry is visible all the same. Call it progressives' prejudice.“

The fact is, despite the “Guardian pick” comment quoted above with its massive 4407 recommends, the great majority of Guardian Cif readers are critical of Islam and those that try to promote it, and they are not bigots or racists, and they show their disapproval without resort to abuse. The table below shows the numbers for Freedland’s article.

Analysis of first 250 published comments
Type of CommentReaders Comments% of commentsReaders Votes% of votes
Critical of Mr Freedland142563560866
Supportive of Mr Freedland53211397526

27, about one in ten, of all the commenters in the period examined had their comments removed. The only explanation given is “.... removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards”.

Typical published comments are:

“I agree that vile personal abuse is wrong, and has no place. It is a pity Mehdi Hasan has fled CIF. However, all Muslims must be able to take criticism of their belief and faith, and be prepared to uphold them intellectually, with reasoned arguments based on intelligence, detailed questioning and understanding.” [Existangst (1498 votes) 3rd 10 July 2012 1:33PM]

“.... Sorry, that sounds suspiciously like a means of dismissing any rationally argued point that happens to ask uncomfortable questions of the Islmaic faith.... “ [ToastandMarmite (1189 votes) 5th 10 July 2012 1:43PM]

And one commenter uses the f#### word!

“Muslims can quote insulting passages from their holy text which are rude about us, is apparently what you and he are saying, but we mustn't be rude about them back, is what this boils down to. I call that fooey. [southlondonerabroad (531 votes) 15th 10 July 2012 1:49PM]

“So is there a way that one can criticise the oppression of gay people or the inferior position of women in Muslim countries, or homophobic statements by high-profile Muslims in the UK, without being accused of merely "dressing up" bigotry?” [Heresiarch (167 votes) 63rd 10 July 2012 2:09PM]

I used to think I abhorred National Socialism. Now I realise I am just bigoted against Germans. [CruiskeenLawn (94 votes) 92nd 10 July 2012 2:47PM]

There is another dimension to all this. If you click rapidly enough on the recommend button you can rack up more than one recommend, even increasing the count by several votes. Anyone can fiddle the Cif readers’ recommends number.

The process is however time consuming and it takes a very dedicated hacker to increase recommends by “hundreds” on just one comment. There is also supposed to be a programme which the technically competent can use to increase recommends.

There is a question mark hanging over all the recommends both those criticising and those supporting Freedland.

The comments themselves are on firmer ground as coming up with and posting a large number of original sounding comments from different identities is a much bigger challenge.

Though that does not rule out someone sufficiently infuriated with or in admiration of Mr Freedland having a go. In the opinion of the present writer who has read the first 250 comments and scanned the rest the comments are all or very nearly all from different people.

In this particular case there is another factor.

If a line of comment is popular, many comments repeating that line will get high recommend scores, even if a few especially at the beginning of the comment period get very high scores.

Now, amazingly, the top three comments (out of 53) in support of Freedland with 4407, 2594, and 1715 recommends respectively account for 62% of all his supportive recommends. After these top three all you get are a few low 100s and lots of 10s.

In contrast, the top three comments criticising him (out of 142) with 1590, 1520, 1498, recommends respectively account for only 13% of the total recommends going against him.

Somebody or something has been getting at those top recommends in Freedland’s favour. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

It doesn’t help that the highest scoring pro-Freedland comment with 4407 recommends has been given the label “Guardian pick” and that the second highest scoring comment with 2594 recommends , published only five minutes after Freedland’s article itself and first in the stream, is by a Guardian Cif employee who comes up with this:

“Excellent point [Freedland’s remarks quoted at the top]- it's easy to spot and dismiss out and out racist comments, a few of which are highlighted above, but the subtle hate speech is just as damaging.

Has Guardian Cif finally lost the plot? [LibertyPhile]