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20 March 2015

Most Canadians say faces shouldn’t be covered at citizenship ceremonies: poll

A new Global News/Ipsos Reid poll indicates most Canadians agree with the prime minister when it comes to face coverings while taking their oath at citizenship ceremonies.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently said that wearing the niqab is “rooted in a culture that is anti-women” and that it is “offensive” for someone to keep their face shrouded during the citizenship ceremony.

The poll indicated that 88 per cent of Canadians strongly or somewhat support the “requirement that people show their faces during Canadian citizenship ceremonies.” [] Read more

Canadians oppose niqab during citizenship ceremony, poll suggests

Two-thirds of Canadians oppose allowing women to wear the face-covering niqab during citizenship ceremonies, a new poll by Forum Research suggests.

The public opinion survey, conducted Friday and Saturday, found that 67 per cent of respondents oppose the idea, while fewer than a quarter (22 per cent) are in support. Ten per cent are undecided.

A total of 1,370 Canadian adults took part in the survey.

Regionally, opposition was highest in Quebec, where 87 per cent of respondents oppose the niqab during citizenship ceremonies, and lowest in the Atlantic provinces, where 54 per cent of respondents oppose the idea.

Sixty-three per cent oppose it in Ontario.

The issue has come to public prominence after Zunera Ishaq refused to take off her niqab during the oath swearing portion of her citizenship ceremony. [17 March, Toronto Star] Read more

16 March 2015

Three-quarters of Muslim Australians feel they are unfairly targeted by terror laws, study reveals

Muslim Australians believe overwhelmingly that they are unfairly targeted by counter-terrorism laws but say terrorist groups distort the true meaning of Islam, a survey of community attitudes has revealed.

Around one in five of the 800 Muslims polled believed that terrorist groups sometimes have legitimate grievances, the survey found, hinting at the delicate task Australian community leaders face in countering the propaganda war waged by groups such as Islamic State.

The researchers, including University of Queensland criminologist Adrian Cherney, said the findings showed that police, especially those in Sydney, needed to do more to build trust and a willingness to cooperate among Muslim communities. [421 comments]

[TOP RATED COMMENT] .... WELL, of all the immigrants in Australia, it isn't maoris, Tongans, Chinese, Japanese, Italians, Dutch, Swedes, French, Germans, Jews, English, Americans Spanish, Irish etc etc etc who are behind the terrorist acts that have brought about the changes to our laws.

To deny there is a link between terrorism in and against the West and muslims beggars belief. Who would think that the terrorist laws drawn up in almost every Western country are not reasonably targeted at muslims? Nobody else did the 9/11 Twin Towers...nobody else did the Paris shootings and nobody else did the Lindt Cafe killings......and most importantly, only muslims to any degree express sympathy for the perpetrators.

Are muslims completely stupid to the extent that they can't work out why they're the target of anti terrorism laws? I know they're reputed to have lower than average IQs but this is ridiculous.

I think muslims don't like infidels because we're not religious enough, yet, they choose to live amongst us infidels, and then complain about us carrying on our lives in the way that we always have.

[ANOTHER] "One of the most damaging and enduringly damaging things this regime has done is to continually highlight and isolate Australian Muslims through its actions and words and the use of conflict as a tactic when its poll rating flag."

Wrong - Muslims have isolated themselves.

[ANOTHER] It is such a difficult situation. I know a number of Muslims personally and also professionally. There is not one unpleasant statement I can make about any of them. they are all polite, intelligent, hard working and caring, yet at the same time I cannot dispute the fact that more than 90% of terrorist acts that I read about are undertaken by muslims, on behalf of muslim organisations, in the name of Allah and are simply barbaric

wiser minds than mine need to work out a way to maintain the safety of the public and not offend what are no doubt the majority of peace loving muslims

[ANOTHER] Holding rallies calling for the deaths of those who insult the prophet might have something to do with it.

Ceasing the anti-Israel rhetoric might also help.

Clamping down on the halal certification scam (named as such by muslims themselves) would be a good idea, too.

I'd start with attitudes like that.

[ANOTHER] one in five believe terrorist groups have legitimate grievences? seriously and this backwards culture wonders why it is targeted. 400 000 Muslims in Australia , statistically thats 80 000 muslims that admit to holding these views in this country.

[ANOTHER] A few years ago I worked in an M.P.s office for a while in Western Sydney and one day received a call from a journalist from a Muslim newspaper.

The caller complained that "the level of hostility is rising" and wanted his M.P. "to do something about".

I passed on the message but what I should have said to him was that if he wanted more acceptance then the best thing to do would be to denounce individuals like Taj El-Din Hilaly, the former Imam at Lakemba mosque who made statements comparing women to uncovered meat as a justification for rape.

Other Muslims that I have spoken to believe that the September 11 attacks and the Taj Mahal hotel attacks in Mumbai were the work of the CIA as a means to "discredit Muslims".

Until these sorts of ideas - which are evidently prevalent in the Muslim community - are themselves discredited, little progress will be made in improving the acceptance of Muslims in the wider population.

The Dutch politician Geert Wilders described the attitude of many Muslims as that of "settlers" in a new land that they intend to occupy and one that they will eventually dominate with the introduction of Sharia Law and Islamic culture.

No other group believes that they have the right to force their beliefs on to the rest of the population so why should the Muslim community be surprised if hostility and rejection are the consequence of that insistence?

[ANOTHER] Islam belongs in the dark ages from where it came, and that is why in EVERY western civilised country they find themselves at odds with the citizens they have begged to live with and aspire to be like....the thing is, you can't have the Western goodies without playing the Western game and behaving like you're living in Moses' time is not a great start...

[ANOTHER] Tough luck. Islamic extremism is pretty real and people are scared of it. The govt may be overplaying it for politics, but there is legitimate fear too.

I'm pretty well over muslims telling us that ISIS and those like them are not true muslims. I don't buy that.

.... The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.

[ANOTHER] Muslims are in a hard place, Australian Law contradicts Islamic Law and hence why they feel targeted

Death for being Raped, Apostasy, Homosexuality, the fact that women are equal, children are not allow to marry, polygamy etc contradicts Islamic Law and why they see Australian society as unfare. [The Guardian] Read more

01 March 2015

Playing the victim card - BBC survey

There are problems in some Muslim communities that allow for unpleasant and often dangerous views to fester.

A BBC poll of 1,000 British Muslims, published last week, found that 27% had sympathy for the motives for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. A Muslim man from Bradford, when asked on Radio 4 about the cartoons, remarked, “If they hadn’t poked fun at our prophet, no one would have died.”

Even seemingly modern Muslims share these views. Many do not support violence or murder, but they believe their communities are always under attack and unfair scrutiny. Just listen to the BBC Asian Network’s phone-in show on any given day and hear how many Muslim callers either deny the existence of Isis, insisting it is a CIA plot (no, really), or condemn as non-Muslims anyone who follows a different interpretation of Islam. [Mick Hartley] Read more

BBC defends reporting of Muslims survey

The BBC has defended its coverage of a survey that showed that more than a quarter of British Muslims have some sympathy for the motives behind last month’s Islamic extremist murders in Paris.

The News Letter asked the corporation why it highlighted other findings from the ComRes poll for Radio Four’s Today programme ahead of the finding of 27 per cent sympathy for the motives for the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Wednesday’s 7am Radio Four news report on the survey first mentioned the fact that two-thirds of British Muslims oppose violence against those who publish offensive images without any immediately accompanying reference to the 24 per cent who did not oppose violence.

.... Yet the poll had numerous alarming findings, such as the fact that 11 per cent of those questioned expressed sympathy for those who want to fight against the Western interest.

It found that almost half of British Muslims, 45 per cent, were unable to agree with the notion that Muslim clerics who preach that violence against the West can be justified are out of touch with mainstream Muslim opinion.

A quarter of the people surveyed (24 per cent) disagreed with the statement that acts of violence against those publishing images of the Prophet can never be justified. [27 February, News Letter] Read more

BBC spins disaffected Muslims to deflect from emerging Islamists

The BBC published the results of a ComRes poll yesterday, which they spun in their own inimitable multiculturally-sunny and cloudless way. ‘Most British Muslims “oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals“‘, they informed us, with verifiable quantitative analysis:

95% of British Muslims feel a loyalty to Britain.
93% say they should obey British laws.
73% said they had no sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.

This isn’t so bad, you might think, until you consider the statistical corollaries:

5% of British Muslims feel no loyalty to Britain.
7% say they should not obey British laws.
27% said they had sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.

[26 February, Archbishop Cranmer] Read more

Over a quarter of British Muslims have sympathy for the Charlie Hebdo terrorists. That is far too many

This morning the BBC published details of a major poll of the attitudes of Britain’s Muslims. The headline on the front of the BBC website linking to the research states: “Muslims ‘oppose cartoon reprisals’”. This of course relates to attitudes within the Muslim community towards the recent Charlie Hebdo attacks.

It’s a reassuring headline. It’s also wrong. Many Muslims - a majority - do indeed utterly oppose the murderous killings in Paris. But a very, very large number of Muslims don’t.

Presented with the statement “I have some sympathy for the motives behind the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris”, 27 seven percent agreed with the statement. A further 2 per cent refused to answer the question. And an additional eight percent said they were unsure whether they had some sympathy or not.

....All of this raises two serious questions. The first relates to the BBC’s reporting. Let’s set aside their use of the word “reprisal” in the headline (reprisal for what, exactly?). Imagine if the BBC had commissioned a poll in the wake of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and that poll had found 27 per cent of white Britons agreed with the statement “I have some sympathy for the motives behind his stabbing”.

Imagine if, in an additional finding, 32 per cent of white Briton’s refused to endorse the statement “acts of unprovoked violence against black men can never be justified”.

Rightly, there would be outrage at those findings. [25 February, The Telegraph] Read more

Most British Muslims 'oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals'

The majority of British Muslims oppose violence against people who publish images depicting the Prophet Muhammad, a poll for the BBC suggests.

The survey also indicates most have no sympathy with those who want to fight against Western interests.

But 27% of the 1,000 Muslims polled by ComRes said they had some sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.

Almost 80% said they had found it deeply offensive when images depicting the Prophet were published. [25 February, BBC] Read more

We can debate the extremists, listen to them, scream and shout and insult them. But we must never ban them

.... I’ll repeat: the fact that 27 per cent of British Muslims have some sympathy with the motives of the Charlie Hebdo attackers is not a cause for celebration but for shame. The principles of an inclusive and secular society cannot be sacrificed on the altar of religious freedom. The schism opening up between Britain’s Muslims and the rest of British society can no longer be ignored or tolerated.

But these issues have to be discussed face to face. Driving organisations like Cage onto the dark web will solve nothing. What next, ask Paul Loughran if he’ll agree to voice the words of Moazzam Begg, like he used to for Gerry Adams when the Sinn Fein broadcast ban was in place?

We have to listen and we have to talk and we have to shout and we have to scream and we have to hurl insults and obscenities at one another. But above all, we have to engage.

Maybe Moazzam Begg is a monster. But if he is, I want him out in the sunlight, where I can see him, and study him, and understand why and how he wants to devour me.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] Imagine if 27% of Chelsea fans said they had some sympathy with keeping black people off trains? Or 45% of white football fans thought racist chanting at matches wasn't being out of touch with race relations? The newspapers and BBC would erupt. The data would be headlines for weeks. A poll that suggests almost 700,000 Muslims in the UK have sympathy with men who machine gun cartoonists brings barely a murmur.

Until we are ready to challenge evil, even if it is wrapped up in minority communities and religions, then our own way of life will be under threat.

Incidentally, it took less than 24 hours after Muslims murderers had "avenged the prophet" before the words Islamophobia were uttered on the BBC .. Stockholm syndrome writ large.

We are at war. Only one side seems to know it. [The Telegraph] Read more