Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda exposed: The facts
Original Guest Post
by Jai Singh
There is currently increasing journalistic scrutiny of the atheist
British scientist Richard Dawkins and his ally Sam Harris’ statements
about Islam and Muslims. In December 2012, the Guardian published an excellent article
highlighting the acclaimed physicist Professor Peter Higgs’ accurate
observations about Dawkins’ pattern of behaviour when it comes to
religion in general; Professor Higgs (of “Higgs Boson particle” fame)
has forcefully criticised Dawkins. More recently, superb articles by Nathan Lean in Salon (focusing on Dawkins), Murtaza Hussain for Al Jazeera (focusing on Dawkins, Harris etc) and Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian (mentions Dawkins but focuses predominantly on Harris; also see here)
have received considerable publicity. Readers are strongly advised to
familiarise themselves with the information in all of these articles.
Before I address the issue of Richard Dawkins, it is worthwhile
highlighting some key information about his ally Sam Harris. As
mentioned in Glenn Greenwald’s extensively-researched Guardian
article, Harris is on record as a) claiming that fascists are “the
people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to
Europe”, and b) stating “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks
like he or she could conceivably be Muslim”. Furthermore, bear in mind
the following paragraph from a previous Guardian article
about Harris: “…..But it tips over into something much more sinister in
Harris’ latest book. He suggests that Islamic states may be politically
unreformable because so many Muslims are “utterly deranged by their
religious faith”. In another passage Harris goes even further, and
reaches a disturbing conclusion that “some propositions are so dangerous
that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.”
Richard Dawkins’ “atheist anti-religion” agenda has noticeably become
increasingly focused on Islam & Muslims; his online statements
(recently including his Twitter account )
have now become so extreme that a great deal of them are essentially
indistinguishable from the bigoted, ignorant nonsense pushed by the
English Defence League leadership and the main US-based anti-Muslim
propagandists such as Robert Spencer etc.
In fact, as Nathan Lean’s Salon article mentioned, the following very revealing information recently surfaced: It turns out that Dawkins has publicly admitted
that he hasn’t even read the Quran even though (in his own words) he
“often says Islam is the greatest force for evil today”. Mainstream
Islamic theology (including the associated impact on Muslim history) is
not based solely on the Quran, of course, but Dawkins’ admission is
indicative of a number of major problems on his part. So much for the
credibility of Richard Dawkins’ “scientific method” in this particular
subject. It goes without saying that this also raised questions about
exactly which dubious second-hand sources Dawkins has been getting his
information on Islam and Muslims from, if he hasn’t even taken the
normal professional academic steps of reading the primary sacred text of
the religion he has also described as “an unmitigated evil”. Not to mention the question of Dawkins’ real motivations for his current fixation with Islam and Muslims.
Well, it appears that some answers are available. It certainly
explains a great deal about Richard Dawkins’ behaviour. In the main part
of this article beneath the “Summary” section below, I have listed 54
anti-Islam/anti-Muslim statements posted by Richard Dawkins on the
discussion forum of one of his own websites. (The list of quotes also
includes embedded URL links directly to the original statements on
Summary of Richard Dawkins’ actions
1. There is a direct connection to Robert Spencer’s inner circle. As
confirmed by the URL link supplied by Richard Dawkins in quote #11,
Dawkins has definitely been using that cabal’s anti-Muslim propaganda as
a source of “information” for his own statements; Dawkins specifically
links to the “Islam-Watch” website, which is a viciously anti-Muslim
site in the same vein as JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna
(both of which were the most heavily cited sources in the terrorist
Anders Breivik’s manifesto). More pertinently, as confirmed by this affiliated webpage,
the core founders & members of that website include the
currently-unidentified individual who uses the online alias “Ali Sina”.
This is the same fake “atheist Iranian ex-Muslim” who is a senior board
member of “SIOA”/“SION”,
an extremely anti-Muslim organisation whose leadership is formally
allied with racist white supremacists & European neo-Nazis and has
even organised joint public demonstrations with them. “Ali Sina” himself
was also cited by Breivik in his manifesto.
Note that the SIOA/SION leadership inner circle includes: a) AFDI and JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer, an ordained Catholic deacon
who has been proven to have repeatedly made false statements about
Islam & Muslims and has publicly admitted that his actions are
heavily motivated by his (unilateral) agenda for the dominance of the
Catholic Church; b) AFDI and Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela Geller,
who is now on record as advocating what is effectively a “Final
Solution” targeting British Muslims, including mass-murder; c) the
English Defence League leadership; and d) David Yerushalmi,
the head of an organisation whose mission statement explicitly declares
that its members are “dedicated to the rejection of democracy” in the
United States. Furthermore, Yerushalmi believes that American women
shouldn’t even have the right to vote.
Extensive details on “Ali Sina” are available here.
Quite a few of the quotes in that article are horrifying. Bear in mind
that this is the person whose website Richard Dawkins has publicly cited
and promoted. “Ali Sina” is on record as making statements such as the
“Muhammad was not a prophet of God. He was an instrument
of Satan to divide mankind so we destroy each other. It is a demonic
plot to end humanity.”
“I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin.
It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a
Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”
“Muslims, under the influence of Islam lose their humanity. They
become beasts. Once a person’s mind is overtaken by Islam, every trace
of humanity disappears from him. Islam reduces good humans into beasts.”
[Addressing all Muslims] “We will do everything to save you, to make
you see your folly, and to make you understand that you are victims of a
gigantic lie, so you leave this lie, stop hating mankind and plotting
for its destruction and it [sic] domination. But if all efforts fail and
you become a threat to our lives and the lives of our children, we must
amputate you. This will happen, not because I say so, but I say so
because this is human response. We humans are dictated by our survival
instinct. If you threaten me and my survival depends on killing you, I
must kill you.”
“Muslims are part of humanity, but they are the diseased limb of
mankind. We must strive to rescue them. We must do everything possible
to restore their health. That is the mission of FFI [“Faith Freedom
International”, “Ali Sina’s” primary website]. However, if a limb
becomes gangrenous; if it is infected by necrotizing fasciitis
(flesh-eating disease), that limb must be amputated.”
[Addressing all Muslims] “But you are diseased. You are infected by a
deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a
limb infected by flesh eating disease, you are now a threat to the rest
of mankind…..Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway?
Does it mean you are moderately diseased?”
“But there was another element in shaping his [Muhammad’s] character:
The influence of Rabbis. Islam and Judaism have a lot in common. They
have basically the same eschatology and very similar teachings…..These
are all secondary influences of Judaism on Islam. The main common
feature between these two faiths is their intolerance. This intolerance
in Judaic texts gave the narcissist Muhammad the power to do as he
pleased…..How could he get away with that? Why would people believed
[sic] in his unproven and often irrational claims? The answer to this
question is in Judaism. The Rabbis in Arabia had laid the psychological
foundations for Islam among the tolerant pagans…..The reasons Arabs fell
into his [Muhammad’s] trap was because of the groundwork laid by the
Rabbis in Arabia.”
“Muhammad copied his religion from what he learned from the Jews. The
similarity between Islamic thinking and Judaic thinking is not a
“By seeing these self-proclaimed moderate Muslims, I can understand
the anger that Jesus felt against those hypocrites whom he called
addressed, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will
spit you out of my mouth.”
“In Christianity, it wasn’t the religion that needed to be reformed but the church. What Jesus preached was good.”
“The image portrays the words of Jesus, “the truth will set you
free.” That is my motto…..After listening to this rabbi, I somehow felt
sympathy for Jesus. I can now see what kind of people he had to deal
2. After Nathan Lean and Glenn Greenwald published the aforementioned Salon and Guardian
articles, both “Ali Sina” and Robert Spencer rapidly wrote lengthy
articles on their respective websites defending Richard Dawkins and Sam
Harris. It would therefore be constructive for Richard Dawkins and Sam
Harris to publicly clarify if they welcome or reject “Ali Sina” &
Robert Spencer’s support. It would also be constructive for Dawkins and
Harris to publicly clarify the nature and extent of their involvement
with “Ali Sina” & Robert Spencer.
3. Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim narrative (including the
stereotyped caricature and his own convoluted strawman arguments) is
essentially identical to the hatred-inciting, theologically-,
historically- & factually-distorted/falsified propaganda promoted by
Far-Right groups such as the English Defence League and especially the
owners of JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna. This is clearly not just a coincidence, considering Dawkins’ online sources of [mis]information.
4. Richard Dawkins is now on record as making a series of extremely
derogatory statements in which he bizarrely refers to Islam (a religious
belief system) as though it were a conscious, sentient entity (see #5,
#32, #36, #49). The nature of those statements suggests that Dawkins is
actually referring to Muslims. (Also see #7).
5. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly defending Sam
Harris, including Harris’ claims about Muslims and Islam (see #42, #43).
6. Richard Dawkins is now on record as enthusiastically praising the Dutch Far-Right politician Geert Wilders (see #50).
7. Richard Dawkins is now on record as publicly claiming that
“communities” has become code for “Muslims” (see #18) and that
“multiculturalism” in Europe is code for “Islam” (see #19).
8. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly praising &
defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali (see #20, #26, #50). Hirsi Ali has been proven
to have fabricated aspects of her background/experiences (as confirmed by the BBC). Hirsi Ali is also on record as
revealing the full scale of her horrific beliefs, including the fact
that she sympathises with Anders Breivik and blames so-called “advocates
of silence” for Breivik’s mass-murdering terrorist attack.
9. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly promoting the
Far-Right conspiracy theory that British police avoid prosecuting
Muslims due to fears of being labelled “racist” or “Islamophobic” (see
#1, #24, #28, #45). Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller’s closest
European allies, the English Defence League leadership, are amongst the
most vocal advocates of this ridiculous conspiracy theory.
10. Richard Dawkins is now on record as explicitly describing himself as “a cultural Christian” (see #54).
11. Richard Dawkins is now on record as proposing what is basically
an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy, specifically in terms of
Christians vs. Muslims (see here and here.
Also see #16). This raises questions about exactly how much support
Dawkins has secretly been giving to certain extremist anti-Muslim
individuals/groups, or at least how much he is personally aware that
these groups are explicitly recycling Dawkins’ own rhetoric when
demonising Islam & Muslims.
12. Richard Dawkins is now on record as exhibiting very disturbing attitudes towards the British Muslim Member of Parliament Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and the British Muslim Independent journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown,
including repeatedly making highly offensive claims that they are
“tokens” with zero qualifications for their respective jobs and are in
positions of seniority/influence solely because they are “female, Muslim
and brown/non-white” (See #25, #29, #30, #31, #35, #53). Dawkins
clearly shares the EDL leadership’s noticeable hostility towards
Baroness Warsi in particular; furthermore, note Dawkins’ sneering “open
letter” to Baroness Warsi (see #29), and also note the fact that the EDL
leadership recently published a similar “open letter” to Baroness Warsi on their main website, written by an unidentified anonymous author.
13. Richard Dawkins has published a lengthy diatribe by Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller/EDL ally/SIOE co-founder Stephen Gash.
14. Richard Dawkins has enthusiastically republished a large number of viciously anti-Muslim comments originally posted on the discussion thread of a Telegraph
article written by Baroness Warsi. Dawkins claimed that the only reason
he was reproducing these comments on his own website was “because the Telegraph is apparently censoring them”.
15. Despite the claims of Richard Dawkins’ defenders that he is an
“equal opportunity offender” in terms of his criticisms of various
organised religions, the aforementioned 54 quotes speak for themselves
and Dawkins’ real pattern of behaviour is self-evident. Amongst other
things, it raises the question of whether Dawkins was already perfectly
aware that the anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda he is basing his
statements on originates in members of Robert Spencer’s extremist inner
circle and their respective hate websites (which would have very nasty
implications about Dawkins himself), or whether Dawkins has been
astonishingly incompetent about researching his sources of
16. Further information on Richard Dawkins’ other activities targeting Islam & Muslims is available here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Examples of statements by Richard Dawkins:
#1: [Quoting: “No
I don’t think it was racist to feel that way. If you saw a European
mistreating his wife in public wouldn’t you feel the same? “] “Of
course. In that case I might have called a policeman. If you see a
Muslim beating his wife, there would be little point in calling a
policeman because so many of the British police are terrified of being
accused of racism or ‘Islamophobia’.”
#2: “Religion poisons everything. But Islam has its own unmatched level of toxicity.”
#3: “Religion poisons everything, but Islam is in a toxic league of its own.”
“…..But let’s keep things in proportion. Christianity may be pretty
bad, but isn’t Islam in a league of its own when it comes to sheer
#5: [Quoting: “He blamed ‘radical stupid people who don't know what Islam is,’”]
“They are certainly stupid, but they know exactly what Islam is. Islam
is the religion that wins arguments by killing its opponents and crying
‘Islamophobia’ at anyone who objects.”
“This horrible film deserves to go viral. What a pathetic religion: how
ignominious to need such aggressively crazed defenders.”
“Muslims seem to suffer from an active HUNGER to be offended. If
there’s nothing obvious to be offended by, or ‘hurt’ by, they’ll go out
looking for something. Are there any other similar examples we could
think of, I wonder, not necessarily among religious groups?”
“Paula’s letter in today’s Independent (see above) will doubtless
provoke lots of fatuous bleats of “Oh but Islam is a peaceful
#9: [Quoting: “But it has nothing to do with Islam.”]
“Oh no? Then why do the perpetrators, and the mullahs and imams and
ayatollahs and ‘scholars’, continually SAY it has everything to do with
Islam? You may not think it has anything to do with Islam, but I prefer
to listen to what the people responsible actually say. I would also love
it if decent, ‘moderate’ Muslims would stand up and condemn the
barbarisms that are carried out, or threatened, in their name.”
#10: “What is there left to say about Sharia Law? Who will defend it? Who can find something, anything, good to say about Islam?”
#11: [Quoting: “needed to respect other religions”]
“That word ‘other’ worries me and so does ‘respect’. ‘Other’ than what?
What is the default religion which makes the word ‘other’ appropriate?
What is this ‘other’ religion, which is being invoked in this
high-handed, peremptory way. It isn’t hard to guess the answer. Islam.
Yet again, Islam, the religion of peace, the religion that imposes the
death penalty for apostasy, the religion whose legal arm treats women
officially as second class citizens, the religion that sentences women
to multiple lashes for the crime of being raped, the religion whose
‘scholars’ have been known to encourage women to suckle male colleagues
so that they can be deemed ‘family’ and hence allowed to work in the
same room; the religion that the rest of us are called upon to ‘respect’
for fear of being thought racist or ‘Islamophobic’. Respect? RESPECT?”
#12: “All three of the Abrahamic religions are deeply evil if they take their teachings seriously. Islam is the only one that does.”
#13: “Yes, Christians are much much better. Their sacred texts may be just as bad, but they don’t act on them.”
“Quite the contrary. I think the problem [with Islam] is with the
MAJORITY of Muslims, who either condone violence or fail to speak out
against it. I am now praising the MINORITY who have finally decided to
stand up for peace and nonviolence.”
#15: [Quoting: “Actually
I think linking to every video this bigot releases does look like an
endorsement, even if it's unintentional. Why not link to some news items
by some other right wing bigots the BNP or the EDL, they're always
banging on about Islam so it should qualify.”] “I support Pat
[Condell]’s stance on Islam. It is NOT based on racism like that of the
BNP, and he is properly scathing about so-called ‘Islamophobia’.”
“After the last census, Christianity in Britain benefited, in terms of
political influence, from the approximately 70% who ticked the Christian
box, whether or not they were really believers. With the menacing rise
of Islam, some might even be tempted to tick the Christian box, for fear
of doing anything to boost the influence of the religion of “peace””.
#17: [Quoting: “What
sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the
name of justice,” Mosammet's father, Dorbesh Khan, 60, told the BBC.] “What sort of justice? Islamic justice of course.”
“Just as ‘communities’ has become code for ‘Muslims’,
‘multiculturalism’ is code for a systematic policy of sucking up to
their often loathsome ‘community leaders’: imams, mullahs, ‘clerics’,
and the ill-named ‘scholars’.”
“Forgive me for not welcoming this judgment with unalloyed joy. If I
thought the motive was secularist I would indeed welcome it. But are we
sure it is not pandering to ‘multiculturalism’, which in Europe is code
for Islam? And if you think Catholicism is evil . . .”
“I don’t think this is a matter for levity. Think of it as a foretaste
of more serious things to come. They’ve already hounded Ayaan Hirsi Ali
out of Holland and their confidence is growing with their population
numbers, encouraged by the craven accommodationist mentality of nice,
decent Europeans. This particular move to outlaw dogs will fail, but
Muslim numbers will continue to grow unless we can somehow break the
memetic link between generations: break the assumption that children
automatically adopt the religion of their parents.”
“I said that Islam is evil. I did NOT say Muslims are evil. Indeed,
most of the victims of Islam are Muslims. Especially female ones.”
“Whenever I read an article like this, I end up shaking my head in
bafflement. Why would anyone want to CONVERT to Islam? I can see why,
having been born into it, you might be reluctant to leave, perhaps when
you reflect on the penalty for doing to. But for a woman (especially a
woman) voluntarily to JOIN such a revolting and misogynistic institution
when she doesn’t have to always suggests to me massive stupidity. And
then I remember our own very intelligent Layla Nasreddin / Lisa Bauer
and retreat again to sheer, head-shaking bafflement.”
“Apologists for Islam would carry more conviction if so-called
‘community’ leaders would ever go to the police and report the culprits.
That would solve, at a stroke, the problem that has been exercising
posters here. ‘Community’ leaders are best placed to know what is going
on on their ‘communities’. Why don’t they report the perpetrators to the
police and have them jailed?”
“Presumably we shall hear all the usual accommodationist bleats about
“Nothing to do with Islam”, and “It’s cultural, not religious” and
“Islam doesn’t approve the practice”. Whether or not Islam approves the
practice depends – as with the death penalty for apostasy – on which
‘scholar’ you talk to. Islamic ‘scholar’? What a joke. What a sick,
oxymoronic joke. Islamic ‘scholar’!
It is of course true that not all Muslims mutilate their daughters, or
approve it. But I conjecture that it is true that virtually all, if not
literally all, the 24,000 girls referred to come from Muslim families.
And all, or virtually all those who wield the razor blade (or the broken
glass or whatever it is) are devout Muslims. And above all, the reason
the police turn a blind eye to this disgusting practice is that they
THINK it is sanctioned by Islam, or they think it is no business of
anybody outside the ‘community’, and they are TERRIFIED of being called
‘Islamophobic’ or racist.”
“Apologies if this has already been said here, but “Baroness” Warsi has
no sensible qualifications for high office whatever. She has never won
an election and never distinguished herself in any of the ways that
normally lead to a peerage. All she has achieved in life is to FAIL to
be elected a Member of Parliament, twice (on one occasion ignominiously
bucking the swing towards her party). She was, nevertheless, elevated to
the peerage and rather promptly put in the Cabinet and the Privy
Council. The only reasonable explanation for her rapid elevation is
tokenism. She is female, Muslim, and non-white – a bundle of three
tokens in one, and therefore a precious rarity in her party. You might
have suspected her lack of proper qualifications from the fatuous things
she says, of which her speech in Rome is a prime example.”
#26: [Quoting: “Muslim
extremists have called for Aan to be beheaded but fellow atheists have
rallied round, and urged him to stand by his convictions despite the
pressure.”] “For one sadly short moment I thought the ‘but’ was
going to be followed by ‘moderate Muslims have rallied round . . .’ Once
again, where are the decent, moderate Muslims? Why do they not stand up
in outrage against their co-religionists? Maybe Ayaan Hirsi Ali is
right and “moderate Muslim” is something close to an oxymoron. How can
they not see that, if you need to kill to protect your faith, that is a
powerful indication that you have lost the argument? It is impossible to
exaggerate how deeply I despise them.”
“There are moves afoot to introduce sharia law into Britain, Canada and
various other countries. I hope it is not too “islamophobic” of me to
hope that the “interpretation” of sharia favoured by our local Muslim
“scholars” will be different from the “interpretation” favoured by
Iranian “scholars”. Oh but of course: “That’s not my kind of Islam.””
#28: [Quoting: “Richard,
I really dislike disagreeing with you. However, female genital
mutilation is not really based on Islam. My wife is from Indonesia and I
have asked around and none of them know of anyone who does that in
their country. From all that I have read and seen, it seems like it
predates Islam and is mostly found in Africa and to a lesser extent the
Middle East.”] “Even if you are right (and I am not necessarily
conceding the point) that FGM itself is not based on Islam, I strongly
suspect that the British police turning a blind eye to it is very
strongly based on Islamophobophobia – the abject terror of being thought
#29: “Dear Lady Warsi
Is it true that the Islamic penalty for apostasy is death? Please answer
the question, yes or no. I have asked many leading Muslims, often in
public, and have yet to receive a straight answer. The best answer I
heard was from “Sir” Iqbal Sacranie, who said “Oh well, it is seldom
Will you please stand up in the House of Lords and publicly denounce the
very idea that, however seldom enforced, a religion has the right to
kill those who leave it? And will you stand up and agree that, since a
phobia is an irrational fear, “Islamophobic” is not an appropriate
description of anybody who objects to it. And will you stand up and
issue a public apology, on behalf of your gentle, peaceful religion, to
Salman Rushdie? And to Theo van Gogh? And to all the women and girls who
have been genitally mutilated? And to . . . I’m sure you know the list
better than I do.
#30: [Quoting: “Blimey
Richard! This really has got up your nose, hasn't it? Your comments are
usually a great deal more measured. It's not exactly uncommon for a
Minister to “rise without trace”. I think we can all agree that our
political system is “sub-optimal” to put it politely. Tokensim is one
possibility (though if the Tories were really just after the muslim vote
its interesting that they opted for a female muslim token).”] “I
didn’t mean to suggest that the Tories were after the Muslim vote. I
think they know that is a lost cause. I suspect that they were trying to
live down their reputation as the nasty party, the party of racists,
the party of sexists, the Church of England at prayer. More
particularly, the ceaseless propaganda campaign against “Islamophobia”
corrupts them just as it corrupts so many others. I suspect that the
Tory leadership saw an opportunity to kill two, or possibly three, birds
with one stone, by elevating this woman to the House of Lords and
putting her in the Cabinet.
I repeat, her [baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s] qualifications for such a
meteoric rise, as the youngest member of the House of Lords, are
tantamount to zero. As far as I can see, her only distinction is to have
stood for election to the House of Commons and lost. That’s it.
Apart, of course, from being female, Muslim, and brown. Like I said, killing three birds with one stone.”
“Baroness Warsi has never been elected to Parliament. What are her
qualifications to be in the Cabinet? Does anyone seriously think she
would be in the Cabinet, or in the House of Lords, if she was not a
Muslim woman? Is her elevation to high office (a meteoric rise, for she
is the youngest member of the House of Lords) any more than a deplorable
example of tokenism?”
“I too heard Paul Foot speak at the Oxford Union, and he was a
mesmerising orator, even as an undergraduate. Once again, Christopher
Hitchens nails it. It is the nauseating presumption of Islam that
marks it out for special contempt. I remain baffled at the number of
otherwise decent people who can be seduced by such an unappealing
religion. I suppose it must be childhood indoctrination, but it is still
hard to credit. If you imagine setting up an experiment to see how far
you could go with childhood indoctrination – a challenge to see just how
nasty a belief system you could instil into a human mind if you catch
it early enough – it is hard to imagine succeeding with a belief system
half as nasty as Islam. And yet succeed they do.”
“Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of
Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of
extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made
me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be
telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If
‘moderate’ Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit,
wouldn’t you think it should have been easy enough to find enough
‘moderate’ Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the
bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are ‘moderate’ Muslims so thin on
“It is almost a cliché that people of student age often experiment with
a variety of belief systems, which they subsequently, and usually quite
rapidly, give up. These young people have voluntarily adopted a belief
system which has the unique distinction of prescribing execution as the
official penalty for leaving it. I have enormous sympathy for those
people unfortunate enough to be born into Islam. It is hard to muster
much sympathy for those idiotic enough to convert to it.”
[Quoting: “Why do any media outlets keep repeatedly inviting her
[Yasmin Alibhai-Brown] (excluding more capable, intelligent, qualified
guests) as if she is some kind of authority or expert on anything at
all?”] “Do you really need to ask that question? Media people are
petrified of being thought racist, Islamophobic or sexist. The
temptation to kill three birds with one stone must be irresistible.”
#36: [Quoting: “I'm
surprised nobody has acknowledged the elephant in the room -- namely,
multicultural appeasement of Islam. The fact that (a) the paper was
accepted, and (b) it took only five days to get accepted, suggests that
there's something funny going on here. Could it be that the referee of
the paper was a subscriber to the popular opinion in Britain that
anything associated with Muslims short of murder in broad daylight is
somehow praiseworthy and something to be encouraged?”] “Yes, I’m sorry to say that is all too plausible. Perhaps the Editor decided it would be “Islamophobic” to reject it.”
#37: [Quoting: “I seem to remember a very bright young muslim lad”] You mean a bright young child of muslim parents.
“Oh, small as it is, this is the most heartening news I have heard for a
long time. What can we do to help these excellent young Pakistanis,
without endangering them? If, by any chance, any of them reads this web
site, please get in touch to let us know how we might help. If anybody
here has friends in Pakistan, or elsewhere afflicted by the ‘religion of
peace’ (it isn’t even funny any more, is it?), or facebook friends,
please encourage them to join and support these brave young people.”
#39: [Quoting: “The obvious question is: who cares, are we saying when it was a catholic school it was ok and a Muslim school is worse.”] “Yes. It is worse. MUCH worse”
“I was even accused of having converted and married into another
religion. But I wasn't worried as I'm a true Muslim," says the feisty
young woman.”] If only she were a bit more feisty she would cease to
be a Muslim altogether – except that would make her an apostate, for
which the Religion of Peace demands stoning. Indeed, you’ll probably
find she’d be sentenced to 99 lashes just for the crime of being
#41: [Quoting: “Disgusting
and hideous as this practice is, I think the article makes it quite
clear that it's not limited to any one religion or community. It's
common to Christians, Muslims, Hindus, yezidis and many others.”] I just did a rough count (I may have missed one or two) of the named victims Robert Fisk mentioned. As follows:
But of course, Islam is the religion of peace. To suggest otherwise would be racist Islamophobia.”
“Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris’s article quoted above, and
whether or not he is right about the NY Masjid, the following two
paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating.
At least 130 people are injured and three dead after
two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday
afternoon. The injuries include dismemberment, witnesses said, and local
hospitals say they are treating shrapnel wounds, open fractures and
limb injuries. An eight-year-old boy is one of the three known dead,
multiple news outlets reported, and several of the injured are also
At a Monday night press conference, Gov. Deval Patrick urged
Bostonians to be vigilant on their morning commute Tuesday, and to
report any suspicious packages to the police. The FBI has officially
taken over the investigation, and is treating it as a potential
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis stressed that the police had no
suspect in custody yet. "I'm not prepared to say we are at ease at this
time," Davis said, when asked if the area was safe.
"This cowardly act will not be taken in stride," Davis said. "We will turn over every rock to find out who is responsible.''
Davis said Boston police were not aware of any specific threat to the
marathon before it began. Police said they had no one in custody and no
suspects, but the Boston Globe reported that a "person of interest" who
was injured in the blast was being questioned at Brigham and Woman's Hospital Monday night.
[Related: Full coverage of the Boston marathon explosions]
Two large explosions, just 50 yards apart, went off at 2:50 p.m. ET,
more than four hours into the race. One of the explosions happened near
the entrance of the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Copley Square. The blast
scattered hundreds of onlookers and runners, and left a bloody scene of
injured spectators, including children. Local news reporter Jackie Bruno
wrote that she saw some people with their limbs blown off.
The Boston Police Department said it is looking for video footage taken
from the finish line as part of its investigation. Video footage shows
first responders and bystanders rushing to the scene of the blast to
help the wounded.
Boston Medical Center took in 20 patients, including two children,
most of whom are being treated for "lower leg injuries," a spokeswoman
said. A spokeswoman for Tufts Medical Center said the hospital is
treating nine patients for conditions such as shrapnel wounds, ruptured
ear drums, and "serious orthopedic and neuromuscular trauma to the lower
legs." At least one patient was as young as three years old.
President Barack Obama warned Americans in a brief statement Monday
evening not to jump to conclusions before authorities find out who
committed the crime. "We will find out who did this," Obama said in an
appearance in the White House briefing room. "Any responsible
individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of
justice." A White House official said the incident is being treated as
an act of terror.
NBC News, citing anonymous law enforcement sources, reported Monday
that a "small homemade bomb" is believed to be responsible for the
explosion. The FAA created a no-fly zone around the area. Cell phone
service was shut down in the area, the AP reported, to prevent any
remote detonations. Family and friends of marathon runners or spectators
can call 617-635-4500 for information on their loved ones.
This video from the Boston Globe shows the moment the bomb went off, and the paper has also pulled together dramatic photos from the aftermath. According to marathon officials, several thousand runners had not finished the race when the explosions detonated.
Police have evacuated the area on
Boylston Street to continue sweeping for more devices. Runners who had
not yet finished the race were stopped at mile 25 and directed to Boston
Common. The Boston Police Department called in all off duty officers in
the city. This New York Times map shows where on the route the explosions took place.
[Related: Photos from the scene of the Boston Marathon explosions]
Patrick called it a "horrific day in Boston" in a statement.
The New York Police Department is stepping up security around the
city in response to the explosion. At the White House, yellow police
tape was used to block off Pennsylvania Avenue from pedestrians in front
of the White House's north gates and secret service were positioned
along the perimeter. Credentialed pass holders continued to be permitted
entry and exit from both the White House and the Executive Office
--The Associated Press contributed to this report.
25 March 2013
Last updated at 02:52 GMT
The hardline Buddhists targeting Sri Lanka's Muslims
Hardline monks and Buddhist groups are trying to outlaw halal certification
After a series of attacks on Masjids, wild rumours about animal slaughter and
an attempt to outlaw the halal system of classification, the BBC's
Charles Haviland investigates how Sri Lanka's Muslim minority is being
targeted by hardline Buddhists.
On a January morning a crowd of Buddhist monks storm a law college, yelling, chanting and even
hitting one or two seemingly random people and pushing back the police.
Furiously they shout that the exam results have been distorted to
A few weeks later, apparently abetted by the police, monks attack a slaughterhouse in Dematagoda, Colombo, alleging that calves are being slaughtered inside (illegal in the
capital) or the meat is improperly stored.
Both are incorrect, but the monks spread rumours that the facility is Muslim-owned as most of the truck drivers are Muslim.
Sri Lankan monks are now taking this so-called "direct action" every few
days. It is part of a growing wave of anti-Muslim activities in Sri Lanka carried out by new hardline Buddhist groups - a trend that is making many people anxious, even fearful.
It comes four years after the army in this mainly Sinhalese Buddhist country defeated Tamil separatists.
During Sri Lanka's bitter civil war war the Muslims - a small Tamil-speaking
minority, about 9% of the population - kept a low profile, although
many suffered violence.
Muslim leaders have shied away from any kind of confrontation with the state
Muslims are seen as having remained largely loyal to the state during the
26-year conflict. Indeed in 1990 they were expelled en masse from the
north of Sri Lanka by Tamil rebels with just a few hours' notice.
But they now fear that ethnic majority hardliners are trying to target them.
At their recent rallies, the most prominent new hardline group, the
Buddhist Strength Force (Bodu Bala Sena, BBS) have used coarse,
derogatory language to describe Muslim imams and have told the
Sinhalese majority not to rent property to Muslims.
At one meeting attracting thousands, the organisation's secretary,
Gnanasara Thero, told each Buddhist present to become "an unofficial
policeman against Muslim extremism" and said "so-called democrats" were
destroying the Sinhala race.
Away from the rallies, I visited a temple in the suburb of Dehiwala as the early morning sun hit the majestic bo tree.
The presiding monk, Akmeemana Dayarathana, has founded another
ultra-nationalist Buddhist group, Sinhala Echo. He says the Sinhalese
have real grievances, that Muslims are trying to convert people,
building too many Masjids - even having too many children. In fact
statistics show that both the Sinhalese and Muslim population
percentages have grown slightly over three decades.
He says, without giving any evidence, that Muslims propagated a message that Sinhalese families should be small.
"Then they started to increase their own population," he says. "This is the only country for the Sinhalese."
He proceeds to give a unique take on geography and religion.
"Look around the world - Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and
others, they were all Buddhist countries - but the Muslims destroyed
the culture and then took over the country. We worry they're planning
it here too."
A few days later his organisation stormed a house where they alleged Christian conversions were taking place and verbally abused the family inside, some of them - according to a local
website - physically assaulting a woman.
Since last April, when monks led an attack on a Masjid during Friday prayers
in the town of Dambulla, there have been regular accounts of Masjids
being attacked or vandalised, for instance with graffiti or pictures of
pigs. There have also been assaults on churches and Christian pastors
but it is the Muslims who are the most concerned.
In the south of the country on 18 March, a mob of hundreds including monks
surrounded a pastor's house, set fire to tyres outside and shouted
abusively to those inside.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said monks are there to protect country, religion and race
"Muslims are worried all over the country," Mufti MIM Rizwe tells me. "Everybody is [in] fear."
He is president of the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the main
organisation of Muslim clerics, and meets me at a hotel where imams
have come together for emergency discussions on the situation.
He defends the halal system of food classification, which the hardline
monks are now trying to outlaw, and strongly denies that the community
is fostering extremism as they claim. He rejects their accusation that
Muslims have been destroying Buddhist holy sites.
"You can't show one incident that Muslims have reacted in this way," he
says. "No single statue or any religious worship places have been
targeted by Muslims, totally not. Muslims have never done this. We hope
we are guiding our Muslims to be calm and respect every religion."
Days later his organisation appears on a platform with moderate Buddhist
monks who have decided to distance themselves from the hardliners. The
hardliners are withering in their description of the moderates, calling
them "unethical and immoral".
It has become clear that the BBS has top-level support. At its ceremony to open a new
training school, the guest of honour was the powerful Defence Secretary
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of the president.
"It is the monks who protect our country, religion and race," he said in a speech.
"No one should doubt these clergy. We're here to give you encouragement."
President Mahinda Rajapaksa was reported to have told a BBS delegation in January
not to promote "communal hatred", but the official communique was
issued only in English, not in Sinhala.
It is also apparent that Muslim leaders have shied away from any kind of
confrontation with the powerful monks or any supporters they may have
in government on this issue, remaining largely conciliatory in their
language and actions.
Mood of triumphalism
Civic society activists are concerned. Sanjana Hattotuwa, editor of a citizen
media initiative, groundviews.org, showed me some of the anti-Muslim
web pages that are fast growing in number.
Some civil society activists believe the dominant mood in the country is one of triumphalism
The main picture on a Sinhala Facebook page called "My Conscience", with
more than 8,000 followers, shows a lion - symbol of the Sinhalese -
devouring a wild boar depicted with a crescent and star on its
Mr Hattotuwa believes the dominant mood in
the country is one of triumphalism, four years after the Tamil Tigers
were beaten, and that this is encouraging victimisation of a new
"The country is seen today as Sinhala
Buddhist," he says. "Everybody else has a rightful place. If they
articulate concerns that question the dominant narrative then they
should be put into their place. So the end of the war ironically has
given the space for new social fault lines to occur."
He rejects the concern voiced by some people that the socially conservative Muslim community is doing too little to integrate.
"Integration means a recognition that this country is comprised of many communities
and each one of them has the right to live where they want, how they
Clearly not everyone in the government - which
in any case contains Muslim ministers - is happy with the rise of the
Some Sinhalese ministers have expressed unease and a prominent newly retired diplomat, Dayan Jayatilleka, calls the BBS an "ethno-religious fascist movement from the dark underside of
Many Sri Lankans feel there are uncomfortable echoes of the 1983 pogroms, when Sinhala violence against Tamils precipitated the war.
But hardline Buddhist rallies and "direct action" stunts are happening all the time now. And
their social and political influence is expanding.