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Focus on Islamism
Sunday 22nd November 2009
The Madness of Stephen Gash

BY ALEXANDER MELEAGROU-HITCHENS

In Comment is Free (CiF), Shaaz Mahboob, the Vice-Chair of British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD), has written a piece in which he asks Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) to call off their planned demonstration outside the Harrow Mosque.  BMSD have also written an open letter to the SIOE head, Stephen Gash, which carries the same message.

  This exercise has helped to expose the truly extreme and illiberal nature of Gash and the SIOE. In the BMSD letter, Mahboob writes:

[...]we would like to point out that just like the majority of law-abiding British Muslims and non-Muslims, we too are extremely concerned about the rise of extremism and political Islam in Britain, which has been used to justify or demand non-democratic practices. On this issue, I am sure your organisation and ours share a common concern and would like to see a halt to the spread of these.

In the comments thread of Mahboob's CiF blog, Gash makes it very clear that BMSD are wrong when they say that the groups share any common ground (some of his more offensive comments have now been removed).  SIOE are not against extremist or political Islam, they are simply against all Muslims.  Constantly referring to ‘Muslims' as if they are all one big bloc of violent maniacs, Gash refuses to accept the very existence of a moderate Muslim:

We do not believe in moderate Muslims and I told Shaaz Mahboob and his colleagues so at the demonstration he wrote about in his article.

Here Gash is using a well known argument which patronisingly instructs Muslims that they are deluding themselves if they think they are moderates.  Gash repeatedly implies that simply by practicing their religion, Muslims are by definition extremists.  Not quite what one would expect from a man who says he stands for liberal values such as religious freedom.

In the same comment, Gash launches an all out attack on the BMSD, thus fully cementing his bigotry:

Shaaz Mahboob and the BMSD are practising :-

Taqiyya - lying to further Islam
Kitman - withholding the truth/facts to further Islam

These comments are shameful.  BMSD are working very hard, often at their own personal risk, to promote anti-Islamism amongst Muslims.  By accusing them of taqiyya, Gash makes it very clear that no Muslim will ever pass his test, no matter what they do.  Gash is also seemingly unaware, as are many who use the taqiyya argument, that the concept also allows Muslims to declare themselves as non-Muslims if it helps their cause.  Why would a taqiyya Muslim draw the line at protesting extremism?  Surely they could just pretend to renounce their faith, gain Gash's favour and then subvert his cause from the inside?  In his CiF comments, Gash praises former Muslims Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Wafa Sultan, not realising that they are just as eligible to be accused of taqiyya as the BMSD.

I saw Gash briefly at the BMSD anti al-Muhajiroun protest and he had a sort of looming Nosferatu quality to him which made me feel instantly uneasy in his presence.  At the time I knew very little about him, but soon found out that my instincts were right.  Not only does he hold extreme views about Muslims, but his website also writes in support of Radovan Karadzic, who is now in The Hague facing charges of war crimes against, among others, Bosnian Muslims (of which he stands accused of killing 7500).  Let's just hope that SIOE's solution to ‘stopping the Islamisation of Europe' does not mirror that of the Serbian ultra-nationalists.

Searching the SIOE site one can also find rather reassuring signs that SIOE are so crazy and fundamentally unserious that they can't possibly have any influence.  Take, for example, this cheap and poorly produced picture which says:

Islam + International Socialism + Communism + Fascism + Nazism = Internazislam

What an incisive and revealing political analysis!  These are nothing more than the frenzied gibberings of a paranoid fool who has nothing to offer to a highly complex debate.

Islamism is a very real threat to our society, and this is what our blog is dedicated to exposing.  Not only do SIOE not understand the Islam/Islamism distinction, they actively seek to discredit and attack moderate Muslims who do.  Gash's disgraceful behaviour towards BMSD illustrates just how detrimental his organisation is in the fight against Islamism, and all true liberals should join forces in condemning the SIOE.

focusonislamism@standpointmag.co.uk

 
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Stephen Gash
January 19th, 2010
6:01 PM
Readers may be interested in this explanation of taqiyya by Raymond Ibrahim http://tool.donation-net.net/Images/Email/1097/Taqiyya_and_Islam_s_rules...

Martin
December 16th, 2009
4:12 PM
Islam is more than a religion. It is a totalitarian & expanding ideology. The "spiritual" aspects are merely the sugar on the cake to guarantee subjection. up to & including suicide murder. Today, a muslim lady friend of ours (very moderate, & de facto ex muslim) repeated that all of Europe will fall within 50 years because they produce many children & import spouses who are ideologically driven & make no attempt to integrate. The vile doctrine of multiculturalism + satellite TV has resulted in Europe importing millions of fifth columnists. Biding their time.

Carl
December 5th, 2009
3:12 PM
You don't have to look as far as tossers like Gash for people who deny moderate Islam. One of Alexander's old man's mates (no reflection on Alexander himself) Sam Harris, who opined that if you were a moderate Muslim you were practising wrong. Others in that New Atheist cohort like Michel Onfray said that Islam is fundamentally at odds with civil society. Sudanese liberal Muslim Mahmoud Taha made it explicit; Islam should be more Medina and less Mecca

Anonymous
November 25th, 2009
7:11 PM
"you don't even know the basic tenets of taqiyya and still have the nerve to throw that accusation at any non Islamist Muslim that comes your way." Forgive me Alexander but what makes you an expert on taqiyya then? Again, I must insist anybody that wants to get a better understanding of this gets it from the horse's mouth. Dr Ali Sina explains it better than anyone in his book 'Understanding Muhammad a Psychobiography'. Also, I utterly refute the allegation that Islam is a Religion. Islam is a Cult, a very old one granted, but still a Cult. Pretty much every Cult there has ever been has had a strange fascination with death...enter the Muslim Suicide bomber! No other "Religion" is currently engaged in violent conflict with every other major religion, I mean, how the hell do you get into a fight with a bunch of Buddhists??? It seems to me you still think there's hope this Hate filled religion can be appeased or even changed. Unfortunately, it's had 1400 years to do this and has got nowhere...infact it's got even more violent. Most normal people (and I would suggest that be people that live in that bit of land outside of London they call ENGLAND) are just sick and tired of what they see, what they hear and what they know is WRONG. More and more Muslim's refuse to 'join in', instead preferring to wear traditional Arabic / Islamic robes You can pretty much be sure that any Muslim despite where he/she comes from will always see Isreal as the guilty, showing no diversity of opinion which is yet more evidence of Cult behaviour. No, times up I'm afraid. Muslims fight because they feel strong, much like their hero Muhammad, make peace when weak and break the peace when strong. There will be no peace on earth as long as this Cult remains. Muslims must be shown the authentic hadith's and exactly what there wonderful profit used to get up to. The "Radicals" already know this and follow his example which makes them GOOD Muslims. Liberals will tell you a Good Muslim is one that has respect and love seeking a harmonious existence with all others. The Quran & Hadith's tell you they're bad Muslims. It would also indicate that Bin Laden is the perfect Muslim. Jihad is the highest form of worship according to the Quran. GOD HELP US!

Stephen Gash
November 25th, 2009
1:11 AM
Belgium does not recognise Rastafarianism as a religion if I am not mistaken. It only recognised Islam as a religion somewhere around 1961. Germany does not permit Scientology. Liberal democracy does not mean a free-for-all. We had a long Cold War to keep out communism while allowing communists in the West. One could argue that that policy was all over the place. I've argued that religions should be treated as political parties, especially if they lend their name to political parties http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/iiosi-letters-emails--texts... I don't believe any religion should be protected in law from ridicule and criticism. Can freedom of religion be taken to mean children may be cut up and dumped in the Thames? If your answer is not, then you are with me. Anders Gravers tried to get certain verses removed from the Koran because they conflict with the Danish Constitution. Geert Wilders tried to get the Koran banned because it resembles Mein Kampf. If a religion conflicts with English law then it should be stopped, or those parts that conflict should be stopped. That is what I mean by not believing in freedom of religion. Instead we see creeping sharia, which simply will not stop unless organisations like SIOE prevent it. If people are still using the Koran as an instruction book for killing the kuffar after 1,300 years then that is a problem for Muslims to solve. They have failed because they have not tried, which is why we don't believe in moderate Muslims. The only reason the Ottoman Empire stopped the jizzya tax was because of pressure from the West. It was not that long ago, less than 200 years. If Muslims took control of Europe, the jizzya would immediately return.

Stephen Gash
November 25th, 2009
1:11 AM
@ Alexamder Melea Quote: "I also find it quite revealing that both here and in other forums you have not made any effort to deny your support for Radovan Karadzic" What we said in SIOE is he will not get a fair trial. The West was totally biased against Serbia. Readers can Google "Nasir Oric" and see what happened with his court case. Few if any in Europe (outside of the former Yugoslavia) know who he is or what he was accused of because of the anti-Serbian bias of the media. My SIOE colleague Anders Gravers was among the first NATO troops to enter Sarajevo. His opinion was that Serbian prisoners were in far worse condition than those incarcerated by the Serbs, but the West glossed over this fact. There was one report about the beheadings of Serbs by Muslims, to my knowledge, that of Adam Boulton on Sky News. If the media actually stopped being biased in favour of Muslims there would be no need for SIOE to exist because virtually all Europeans would believe what we believe. Today reports were made about killings by Muslims in the Philippines. The only reason this happened was because some of the murdered were journalists, you know, the hallowed race. If journalists had not been involved, no reports would have been made. This is not a coonspiracy theory, it is fact. The same is true of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and most Muslim countries where atrocities against the kuffar happen daily. Around 500,000 Christians were murdered in the Sudan by Muslims from the north. Not that you would know it from the British media, or the UN. However, when Arab Muslims turned on Black Muslims in Darfur, the whole world soon knew about it and the UN for perhaps the first time called it genocide. The news coverage of the Bosnian conflict was an absolute disgrace and was nothing more than rabid anti-Serb propaganda. However, it was typical of the Western media. So don't get high and mighty about Karadzic.

Anonymous
November 24th, 2009
3:11 PM
DO NOT LISTEN TO PEOPLE LIKE ALEXADER. LISTEN TO EX-MUSLIMS. They have been there and knoe the truth. Visit www.faithfreedom.org. The people of CSC are scared stiff of them. This site provides the truth and Muslims cannot bear it.

Alexander Melea...
November 24th, 2009
1:11 PM
also, my claim in the blog about your support for religious freedom was based on your own protests where you call for respect of english law and values. One of those values AND LAWS is freedom to practice whatever religion you want. You also campaign for secularism in Iran, but obviously not the type of liberal secularism followed in the west, but a form of authoritarian and intolerant secularism which gives the concept a bad name. Your values are all over the place Stephen, and you should give up and stop helping to give the rest of us a bad name. There is nothing wrong with criticising religious texts, and no doubt the primary Islamic texts contain some very disturbing messages and concepts. There is a sensible debate to be had about this, but you have shown yourself to be incapable of that.

Alexander Melea...
November 24th, 2009
11:11 AM
Stephen, First off, thank you for confirming to everyone that a)you stand against western liberal democracy - 'I do not beleive in freedom of religion' b) you have a very limited and simplistic grasp on an issue about which you feel qualified to preach to people about - you don't even know the basic tenets of taqiyya and still have the nerve to throw that accusation at any non Islamist Muslim that comes your way. You and people like you are PART OF THE PROBLEM, the sooner you realise this, the better for the people who actually know about the problem of radical Islam and how to deal with it. That you even think BMSD are in league with Islam4UK is absolutely absurd and suggests you are also a conspiracy theorist, just like the Islamists who think there is some sort of Jewish conspiracy. I also find it quite revealing that both here and in other forums you have not made any effort to deny your support for Radovan Karadzic - that is very disturbing considering he is a mass murderer of Muslims. The only point where i do agree with you is that CiF should not have deleted your comments, you should be allowed to make it very clear where you stand and just how dangerous your beliefs are.

Anglo Saxon
November 23rd, 2009
10:11 PM
Here are some of The Islamic laws (Sharia) which Christians & Jews lived under. 1-They can not pass on the right of A Muslim but on the left 2-They can not testify against Muslims in court of law. 3-They can not ride a horse or a camel but only a donkey or a mule. 4-They should wear special costumes to be identified ,when walking in the streets 5-They should wear tag in their neck as prove that they have paid their Taxes (Jizyah) 6-They can not own any weapon to defend themselves. 7-They are not allowed to defend themselves ,i.e .if they were beaten by a Muslim,but they may try to cool him down 8-Religious celebrations in Public are not allowed, crosses in Public and on Churches are not allowed. 9-Their Houses and Shops should not be higher than Muslims but may be lower. 10-Preaching their beliefs is not allowed, touching The Koran or reading it , is prohibited 11-They should pay yearly Jizyah (non Muslims special taxes) ,these Taxes,should be paid in a festival,Muslims should remind them ,that they are infidels, and slap them on their necks as a reminder. 12-Their Jobs should not be higher than Muslims ,but only in necessity,(i.e) if they can not find Muslim to fill the Job 14-Children Of Muslims are encouraged to threw stones on them,when they walk in the streets 15-They are not allowed to build new churches or restore the old one 16-A Musilm should not be Punished (Executed) for killing Non-Muslims, 17-Any of these Laws broken they are subject to slavery,Jail,Execution and their wifes ,will be taken as concubines, and their children as slaves, source http://www.members.tripod.com/joe_matalski/ cross baned in Italy no doubt to appease muslims by the EU http://www.interfaith.org/2009/11/05/eu-bans-crucifix-from-italys-classr...

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About Focus on Islamism

Focus on Islamism is a blog dedicated to analysing and exposing the modern ideological phenomenon known as Islamism.

Shiraz Maher is a writer and broadcaster.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens is a PhD student at King's College, London.  He has contributed to various online and printed publications including, The Daily Telegraph, Lebanon's Daily Star, Standpoint and NOWLebanon. 

To contact the authors, click here

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