This is a controversial and meandering piece: but it is also necessary – I wonder if people will react with intellect or emotion?
There is no doubting that the whole Muslim Ummah is currently starring in a straight-to-video production of ‘Under Siege 3: Let’s Bash Muslims’, starring Steven Seagal (and possibly filmed in Eastern Europe). For those who do not ‘get’ or care for the pop-culture references, I mean that Muslims are being caricatured and represented by the mainstream media in ways which would be unacceptable (only recently though) for our Jewish brothers. And yet many politicians, commentators and comedians seem to think that Muslims are being ‘protected’ by the media and Islam is a ‘no-go area’. They would like to see more criticism of Islam and Muslim practices (no doubt many of these people are the ideological grandchildren of those who likewise thought that the National Socialists being too politically correct about the Jewish community and that there needed to be a more ‘frank and open discussion about the role of Judaism in Germany’).
Meanwhile, the dearly departed Christopher Hitchens compares religious believers with the plague-carrying rats in Albert Camus’s novel ‘The Plague’ and his equally generous bedfellow Sam Harris explains ‘If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion.’
Sam helpfully goes on to clarify that perhaps some people should be put to death for holding sufficiently dangerous ideas. But of course.
People Don’t Like Muslims
It is well known that these and other commentators worst vitriol is reserved for Muslims. People who think these kinds of people are ‘treading on eggshells due to Islam’s protected minority status’ probably think Hitler was ‘holding back’ at the Nuremberg Rallies.
Disturbingly, we have individuals such as Robert Spencer insisting that ‘Islamophobia’ (yes, that’s what he calls it, not me) is acceptable – he has published a book called ‘Islam: Religion of Bigots’: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Islam-Religion-Bigots-Robert-Spencer-ebook/dp/B00EYQZS9Y/ref=pd_sim_b_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=0AFKZ9P8NGZ3D6MRS5JQ. Someone equally noxious has managed to get away with publishing ‘The Case For Islamophobia’ and getting it sold on ‘Amazon’!
Look boys and girls, this isn’t difficult like rocket science or twerking: we don’t need to get into a deep discussion of what Muslims believe or what the Quran says. It is, quite rightly, still illegal to deny the Holocaust (despite the current probability of a repeat performance by Europe/the Catholic Church being rather remote), purely for the reason that such rhetoric could lead to the danger of a resumption of the persecution of Jews and of course hurt their feelings. There is, fortunately, no wide-scale campaign to legalise Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic rhetoric in Europe. Likewise, if you publish a book called ‘Judaism: Religion of Bigots’ and start quoting the Old Testament about killing ‘kuffaar’ (or Caananites as they are known in that particular book), you would get locked up faster than Lindsey Lohan can locate the local Crack dealer. There is no modern book on Amazon called ‘The Case for Anti-Semitism’ nor would one be allowed. The fact that this is considered licit towards Muslims and Muslims only is ample evidence that Islam and Muslims are considered an ideological ‘free-fire’ zone due to their status as ‘enemies’ or ‘civilizational threats’ and ‘non-conformists’ i.e all of the terms that were applied to Jews throughout most of European history. And students of history are advised to remember what Jewish scholars know only too well: the Holocaust did not begin with the ‘Final Solution’ but with Anti-Semitism.
Perhaps the prize for most skewed representation should go to the otherwise remarkably untalented Douglas Murray, who has actually written a book called ‘Islamophillia’ where he shows us ‘how so many…have, at some point chosen to abandon any hope or wish to criticize Islam and instead decided to profess some degree of love for it. Love, that Murray points out, is often irrational and certainly misguided’ (*exchange ‘Islam’ for ‘Judaism’ and you know what’s up, although if you bought this you are probably still awaiting delivery of a brain from ‘Amazon: God’ so…).
And who are these people who are ‘sparing the rod’ to Islam?
Well, Liam Neeson for one (who just made two blockbuster movies where he kills the living s**t out of dozens of Muslims and shows them that he ‘knows Kung – Fu’ for trafficking ‘white women’).
And Richard Dawkins.
Yes, you read that right. Richard Dawkins suffers from ‘Islamophillia’, which must be an excessive love for or sexual fetish towards Islam.
You know who else suffers from it though according to Douglas Murray?
That’s right. Apparently, George Bush should have criticised Islam, as well as bombing the crap out of Iraq, killing loads of Muslim civilians and then not finding any weapons of ‘Mass Destruction’. Yes: killing Muslims is not enough – you have to cuss them out too to show that you are an honest intellectual.
‘The Telegraph’ described his book as ‘Superb’.
It is likewise abundantly clear when one watches ‘Fox News’ or the somewhat saner ‘BBC’ that reporters and commentators alike are not giving any consideration to political correctness when talking about ‘Islamic terrorism’ (yes, that’s a legitimate phrase now, much to the horror of practising Muslims). It would be unthinkable to talk about ‘Buddhist terrorism’ (despite what has happened in Burma and Sri Lanka lately – where death mobs were actually run by legitimate Buddhist clergy) or Jewish or Hindu terrorism (not surprising though when it took the authorities twenty five years to admit to what our Sikh brothers had to go through: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2610663/Sting-operation-says-police-let-1984-rioters-run-free.html). Yet it is fine to say that terrorism can in some sense be ‘Islamic’. But no, Islam is still allegedly a no-go area and Muslims are getting ‘special treatment’ from the media.
We also got ‘special treatment’ from the media when, during the massacres in Bosnia and Kosovo, the worst genocides in Europe since the mass extermination of Jews in WWII, the media, to a key, referred to ‘Serbs, Croats and Muslims‘. Two ethnic groups and a religious designation. Why not ‘Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Muslims’?. Well because we are ‘protected’ of course! It’s a shame people didn’t ‘protect’ us from massacres such as Srebrinica, which Europe tolerated with relative ease of conscience until American disgust (and military might) forced Europe’s hand.
But maybe Muslims are spared and treated with ‘special leniency’ in the media but not when it comes to killing them eh?
The subject of the current widespread acceptability of Islam bashing or ‘Islamophobia’ has been more than adequately covered by talented writers and journalists such as Chris Hedges, Robert Fisk as well as many others (such as here: http://thesultansjester.com/2013/05/07/behave-yourselves-the-crimes-of-tim-winter-and-the-new-atheists-compared/).
So, even without mentioning the Iraq war, problems in Afghanistan and such, we can see that Muslims feel they are getting a hard time. That many in the West feel that Muslims deserve a hard time is no argument against the victimisation felt by that community at all.
Muslims Just Want To Feel Good About Themselves
Thus is is more than understandable that Muslims take great pride and comfort, as they always have, when a member of that ethnic or national group which is seen as being ‘oppressive’ to Islam or at least indifferent to it, in fact converts to their faith.
Islam must be an acceptable way of life if people are converting to it – the convert is a proof thus of the superiority of Islamic to western civilization or belief systems, and if she is a woman, it exonerates Muslims from the charges so often levelled at them about the mistreatment of women.
The ‘feel good’ factor is immense – not just for Muslims around the convert but for the wider community: it is a break from being ‘Under Siege’. It’s not only that the person’s salvation has been achieved (from a Muslim perspective though, not all that go to ‘Muslim Paradise’ or ‘Jannah’ need be Muslim) but the Muslim community has been exonerated: a child of the European enlightenment, Liberalism, secularism, whatever, has ‘apostated’ and joined the ranks of Islam.
Many go on to be ‘celebrity converts’, supporting Muslim causes and speaking on behalf of Islam. The 21st century archetype was of course Muhammad Ali. Nowadays we have people like Cat Stevens (in education and belatedly, music), Tim Winter (in academia), Yvonne Ridley (in journalism) and most importantly, the late, great, Gai Eaton (in everything).
And we also have people like Abdur Raheem Green, Hamza Tzortzis and most of the ‘Islamic Research Foundation’ (set up by Zakir Naik) alumni from Yusuf Estes to Hussain Yee are converts. In most dawah material and events, converts feature heavily in both marketing and fundraising as Muslims are told to part with their cash to facilitate conversions by paying for ‘dawah literature’ or ‘dawah packs’. We are constantly reminded that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West and that 75% of new converts are women.
A lot of Muslims believe that the numbers of converts are so large that they may reach some kind of ‘critical mass’ in the West.
Islamophobes incidentally, feel the same way.
It’s vindication for Muslims.
And also Islamophobes, who warn of an Islamic takeover of Europe.
I am afraid I must hurt both groups’ feelings.
Muslims ♥ Converts
Having large numbers of Muslims makes us feel better but does it prove anything? Having celebrity converts makes us feel even better, but since Ali or Cat Stevens (who sadly immediately was made to retire from his blossoming musical career), we have not really had any globally famous people convert to Islam, perhaps with the exception of Mike Tyson. Likewise, Tom Cruise and the disproportionate number of celebrities who are into Scientology or Kaballah are not a proof of these systems either. A religion stands and falls on it’s ideas or truth claims, not celebrity endorsements. In short, Islam is not ‘Pepsi Cola’.
In fact, disingenuous groups of Muslims are forever announcing that people, usually celebrities, have converted (when they haven’t) just to get a ‘hit’ of that feel-good vibe they get from it. Recently it was Russell Brand. Before him Rowan Atkinson. People even got their hopes up when Rihanna visited a mosque. And I have lost count of the number of times that I was told that Will Smith has converted (he hasn’t) or Michael Jackson (he seemingly eventually did, like ten years after Muslims said he did). Or Neil Armstrong after hearing the azaan on the moon (he did not. And why was the azaan being given on the moon anyway? Like, ‘in space no one can hear you scream’?).
Numbers are not that big a deal – for many years, Islam was confined to a small group of followers around The Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and contrary to the polemics of many modern day Muslims, they were not all oppressed people and slaves but included a disproportionate number of nobles and wealthy individuals such as Abu Bakr, Hazrat Khadijah, Hamza and even celebrities and athletes (such as Umar), as well as slaves and non-Arabs. So maybe celebrity endorsements are important after all…
But of course, in any case, having large numbers of converts or celebrity converts makes us feel better.
But should it?
Sometimes feeling good can be dangerous, lull you into a false sense of security and make you both over-confident and under achieve. Islam is itself much more suspicious of emotional proofs, akin with Judaism (and distinct from Christianity).
That is to say nothing about what the apparent dependence on demographics and ‘conversions’ reveals about Muslims own feelings of persecution. Or perhaps, as Fanon or Malcolm X might say, their possible inferiority complex. Why do they need vindication of this kind? Jews do very well without it, in fact they even celebrate their minority and ‘exclusive’ status (though of course, they are not a proselytising religion).
It may be scandalous to say out loud, but could the attitude towards converts and the diatribe about ‘Islam being the fastest growing religion’ may reveal more about Muslim insecurities than it does about the demography of religions?
We are indeed told endlessly that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the West (and the rest of the world). Further, Dawah organisations (who after all like most charities are after your donations, for better or for worse) never tire of telling us that most of these converts are women (75% according to some).
There is something wrong here: looking at one article that made these ideas popular, such as this in the UK’s ‘Independent’ newspaper http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-islamification-of-britain-record-numbers-embrace-muslim-faith-2175178.html, atheist fundamentalists find serious methodological flaws:
”A closer look at the figures quoted by the Independent shows it hides a classic non-story. A religious think tank has calculated the number of annual conversions to Islam by polling London mosques – who have an obvious incentive to over-estimate – and extrapolating the figures nationwide.
Even the head of the New Muslims Project, a group set up to support converts, is quoted as calling the hardly earth-shattering guess of 5,200 converts per year ‘a little on the high side’.”
Further, it is just not rational to claim that most new Muslims being women is a vindication of Islam: it rather implies a kind of reverse sexism by God where he has made the religion more attractive to women than to men. If you think about it. Of course, most people don’t.
A likely alternative explanation is that most of excess conversions of women vis-a-vis men are due to intermarriage, just as some apostasies from Islam are due to marriage as well. A more measured voice from Japan makes this point very well – he refuses to include conversions due to marriage into statistics for his country (I don’t agree with this) but the result is sobering:
When asked for conversions to Islam in Japan (a country of some 130,000,000 people), Professor Ko Nakata says that excluding marriage only about one hundred people have accepted Islam (an abysmally low figure):
”Interviewer – How many ethnic Japanese have converted to Islam?
Hassan Ko Nakata – Very few, not more than 7,000. And most of them are Japanese women who have married foreign Muslim men. Genuine converts like me are very few in number.
Interviewer – How many are we talking about, several hundred perhaps?
Hassan Ko Nakata – I would say there are less than one hundred”
Kind of anecdotal…But actually, if one reads about the spread of Islam in all countries of the world, especially outside Arabia, marriage, adoption and Sufism, as opposed to ‘dawah tables’ were very important factors. Thomas Arnold in his masterful ‘The Preaching Of Islam’ correctly identifies this and provides strong evidence in the Chinese and Indian cases at least. Intermarriage was also important in the Malay Sultanates. In fact, in India some scholars (for example Shahrastani) went so far as to try and consider if Hindus are ‘People of the Book’ and others tried to sanction intermarriages, just as can be done with Jews, Christians and ‘Sabians’ (what Sabians are seems to be contested some say ‘Sabians’, some say Buddhists – Hamza Yusuf makes the case here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/42124877/Buddha-in-the-Quran-by-Sh-Hamza-Yusuf).
Getting emotional about the ‘huge growth in the number of converts’ and not knowing how Islam spreads and sustains it’s diverse communities and ignoring Geography 101 is not a good way to secure the future of Islam in Britain or anywhere else. And this is why such emotionality is counter productive: we as a community are getting so full of ourselves by the alleged proliferation of converts that we are in danger of assuming that the survival of Islam in the West is a done deal.
This is hubris.
Can We Handle the Truth?
Also there are some unconformable truths about conversion. American academic Sylviane A. Diouf estimates up 15% of slaves trafficked to the New World were Muslims. Some were famous huffaz (Quran memorisers) and scholars. That is some millions of people. But Islam did not survive in the US or even South America and had to be re-introduced (again, Dioufs’ book ‘Servants Of Allah’ is much needed and sympathetic to Muslims). Many if not most converts in the States were due to the NOI – a heretical group founded by the mysterious Waly Fard Muhammad, many of whose members leave and become orthodox Muslims, like Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X and others.
And where are the Muslim descendants of Yemeni sailors who opened mosques in Liverpool a hundred + years ago? Or those who went to Abdullah Quilliam’s mosque more recently? What became of these Muslim communities? Did they even survive?
It is uncomfortable to ask – but if we want to make a viable community we need to see what became of people who came before us and how and did they manage to sustain their faith community.
Could it be that non-Muslims lose their religion and become Muslims when immersed in Muslim culture and neighbourhoods and the same seems to happen to Muslims? It is a complicated and vitally important dynamic that needs to be properly studied: will Muslims face the kind of mass apostasy that Jews have in the West. It is easy to say no, but they have been here a lot longer than us. He who does not learn from ‘History’…and the Prophet (SAW) said that we would follow the Jews and Christians step by step.
For example, the Jews have been in Europe in far greater penetration than Muslims for a long time: they also have very similar personal and family laws, different dress and sadly, until recently, they were even regarded as ‘racially’ distinct (a racist error, since most are of Eurasian and not Middle Eastern descent, in Europe at least). However, Jews have a huge amount of diversity now in their community and of most relevance here is that many of the most high profile members of the Jewish community, from intellectuals such as Naom Chomsky to artists such as Woody Allen, have left their religion. The obvious question is; will the same thing happen to Muslims when they have been around for as long as our Jewish brothers?
Are there more Muslims because of the well known fact that developing countries (which includes all Muslim countries) have much higher birth rates, as do immigrant communities (something every Geography student in high school knows)? Is the increase in Muslims absolute? Relative? How much of the increase in Muslims is due to immigration and how much due to conversion? What is the conversion rate of non-Muslims living in Muslim populated areas such as London versus largely ‘English’ areas such as, say, Taunton?
Most importantly, what is the apostasy rate? What is the incidence of Muslim women and men marrying outside their faith and how many of them keep their religion? What about their children?
No answers to any of these important questions: no facts or statistics (apart from by Islamophobes: http://wikiislam.net/wiki/Muslim_Statistics_(Population))
Further, we can look at the worrying alleged proliferation of Atheism within a single generation (or perhaps two) in the Central Asian Republics during their incorporation into the Soviet Union: of course, figures are hard to trust due to their Soviet provenance, but if these countries went from being nearly all Muslim to having significant numbers of Atheists (and then back again, much like Russia and the case of Orthodox Christianity), we need to seek lessons from this: we need to ask the difficult questions such as what causes Muslims to leave their religion in these and other cases.
Most relevantly, we need Ibn Khaldun’s ‘scientific approach to history’ (latterly ‘borrowed’ by Jared Diamond et al) and investigate what is the fate of Muslims in largely non-Muslim countries and societies where they have little or no political representation. What strategies do they employ to survive? Do they even survive? Or is it like the case with slaves and perhaps Yemeni Sailors?
The test cases here are China and India, which the Arab-centric and salafist movements of today are largely unwilling to investigate (along with all the other things they don’t investigate. It is much the same in the disproportionate amount of dawah and apologetics directed at Christians – and this despite the fact that the main group of people ‘shopping’ for religion today are Chinese Buddhist/Daoist/Confucianists, but since Christians are the main non-Muslim monitory in the Middle East, then that becomes a focus for Arab-centric Salafist dawah movements).
We need proper research – are people living in heavily Muslim areas more likely to convert, the role of marriage, conversion versus apostasy, map of distribution of converts etc. None of this is forthcoming. And it means we are ill equipped to make a plan for the challenges to be faced by our community in the future.
I myself feel uncomfortable asking these questions, it is painful. But we need to know. Maybe it is all hunky dory as IRF, IERA and others would have us believe. But if it is not, we are being led up the garden path with images of conversions at conferences and events that resemble the ‘proofs’ of Midwestern Tele-Evangelists who always wheel out someone who has been possessed by the ‘Holy Spirit’ or as they do now, make endless ‘Christian themed’ movies such as ‘God’s Not Dead’ and ‘Son of God’ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=3788&p=.htm.
They take great comfort from the (sort of) box-office success of these and the numerous attendees at their rallies. Meanwhile, the US is becoming more irreligious than ever and Evangelicals are losing the ‘Culture Wars’, as both the legalisation of Gay Marriage and marijuana (possibly in Florida) show. They also take cold comfort in the spread of Christianity in Africa and China (a strategy which IERA has now copied in the case of Africa).
Basically, Evangelicals in the US think they are doing great.
Everyone else can see they are getting hammered by secular and atheist interests.
Meanwhile, we are being lulled into a false sense of security by evidence free anecdotes from dawah organisations such as IERA eager to prove their efficacy.
I am waiting for a single piece of empirical evidence, such as a study, even if not published in a sociological journal, that:
1) ‘Dawah organisations’ such as IRF are responsible for significant numbers of conversions to Islam
2) That these people who do convert stay Muslims (in light of evidence that many converts apostate: http://mohamedghilan.com/2013/01/02/alienation-of-islam-rise-of-atheism/ or this heartbreaking account from a American scholar and Imam: http://imamluqman.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/seven-out-of-every-ten-converts-leave-islam-by-imam-luqman-ahmad-2/)
What does happen, much like the Midwestern U.S Evangelical conferences, whose methods and even theology these organisations ape, is that people who are ready to convert anyway or have done so through marriage (the majority it seems) are wheeled out and taken ‘credit’ for and used to prompt further donations from a grateful public.
Further, since Salafist organisations such as IERA have the most funding and profile (as well as leeway from the government due to Saudi diplomatic intercessions) and are the ones running the courses for new Muslims or at least monopolising them, most new Muslims fall in with these groups and are thus ‘taken credit for’.
Where is the ‘Research’, as IERA’s name suggests, showing us their track record converting or keeping Muslims with the vast sums of public money they use (close to £1 million last year)?
The total lack of empirical data by an organisation that makes ‘conversions’ it’s main selling point (‘Pay for a dawah pack! Pay for a Dawah leaflet!’) is illustrative. One might ask the ‘Islamic Education and Research Academy’, where is the research about converts (or anything else for that matter)?
No smoke often means…no fire.
Converts Get ‘Good Cop, Bad Cop’
It isn’t all about how the existing community feels in any case – converts have to bear huge pressures and they in turn can be a trial and a test for the existing community – one that Muslims are often handling poorly. Many converts are bombarded with ideologies and practices they had no idea about before converting, from being declared kaafir for not believing in an ahad hadith to being press-ganged into marrying straight away. The heartbreaking and classic account (and treatment) of this is Lang’s magnificent and under-rated epic battle to stay Muslim, ‘Losing My Religion’. A necessary warning is also well articulated by this author:http://islamwich.com/2013/06/14/9-lessons-from-converting-to-islam/?c=431#comment-431
The instant celebrity status handed to many converts is also very dangerous – look at the bizarre utterances A.R Green for example https://asharisassemble.com/2014/04/18/10-problems-with-dawahmen/.
Nonetheless, it must be conceded that a disproportionate number of converts have gone on to represent Islam with aplomb. Yet at the same time, these people again come under serious pressure: talented speakers and intellectuals such as Gary Miller and Jeffrey Lang (both well educated mathematicians who tried to understand Islam on a deep level) and even our own Paul Williams, were forced to retire from public life due to constant harassment by Salafist groups about their alleged heterodoxy (which to Salafists means following one of the Four Madhabs or Sufism i.e orthodox Islam) or being ‘hadith rejecters’ amongst other alleged calumnies. Famously, Muhammad Asad had to retire to Spain in the face of constant Salafist threats and allegations, merely for narrating from the Salaf in his commentary on the Quran (his commentary remains a hugely useful tool for anyone refuting modern allegations against Islam).
Asad is often wheeled out as a ‘feel good’ story for Muslims: the Jew, a child of parents killed in the Holocaust, who became a commentator on the Quran. But how many recount his hounding and death in exile?
And you cannot mention people like Gai Eaton or Martin Lings without hearing howls of ‘perennialists’ or even worse.
Celebrities like Cat Stevens and Kristiane Backer have faced the loss of their high profile careers, harassment over what kind of headscarf they are or are not wearing – but both showed great courage by sticking with Islam despite the fact that Stevens for example was mislead about the illicitness or lack thereof of music (as evidenced by his belated return to the art). I wonder how many of us would give up being an acclaimed rock star (the next John Lennon as he was called) for our faith and then stick with that faith when we found out that we had been lied to. Most born Muslims have never had to make such choices.
Some female speakers, for all of their misguided feminist posturing, have been mercilessly hounded already. But they can hardly be blamed for questioning Islamic norms when these are alleged to include clitoral mutilation, advocated by those same groups and individuals (Haddad, Tzortzis etc – you get the picture) who are supposed to be training and securing new Muslims in their faith. We have talented speakers today such as Australian Abdullah Kunde, but how long before they are hounded like those before them?
The ‘rule’ is in fact very worrying: any convert who kowtows to the Salafi methodology can expect instant celebrity status, funding and widespread access to speaking engagements and hearts and minds – whether they deserve it or not. Any convert however who continues to exhibit the kind of intellectual honesty and strength of character that brought them to Islam in the first place can expect to be harangued with allegations of heresy, perennialism, hadith rejection etc etc in the same way as Gai Eaton, Jeffrey Lang, Martin Lings and even Tim Winter and Hamza Yusuf and many others have been. They then have a choice to put up with constant anathematisation or retire from public life.
Imam Razi (yet another great scholar of Islam who Salafist overlord and self appointed Sahahbah-basher Ibn Taymiyya declared an unbeliever, along with Al Ghazzali, Ibn Arabi, Ibn Sina…) supported these individuals in the strongest terms by saying that those who say that the job of the persons intelligence is to bring them to Islam and henceforth it is to be used no longer are in fact calling the means by which the person came to Islam false.
On the other hand we have ‘Carte Blanche’ given to Salafi converts such as Green, Tzortzis and Estes etc who make the most embarrassing statements and did not undertake even a fraction of the learning of Eaton (who despite his various ijaazas, mastery of Arabic never even claimed to even be a scholar).
So converts, depending on where they ‘fall’ after conversion, are either harassed to the point of persecution or given a free license to talk rubbish and become instant celebrities.
Some of the best have chosen to spare themselves and their families the constant harassment (and at least in the case of Hamza Yusuf and Gary Miller, physical violence at public events) and retire from the field, leaving it to deranged amateurs like, Green who, in post 7/7 Britain where Muslims have it hard anyway say nonsense such as:
‘The purpose of the jizya is to make the Jew and the Christian know that they are inferior and subjugated to Islam, OK? Even by some statement that you can make.
For example, slandering and attacking the Muslims unjustly, such as you find many Muslims have done this about the Taliban. Slandering them and attacking them and reviling them based upon news that has come from the disbelieving media, helping the kuffar against the Muslims…
You know guys, I’ll tell you something right? I’ll probably, someone at least is probably going to want to assassinate me after what I’m going to say here but you know, I don’t really get very sad when, you know, a non-believer dies’.
This religious and national embarrassment, instead of finding employment as a walking billboard for Islamophobia, in fact runs not only courses for ‘new Muslims’ but despite being unapologetic for these and many other venomous comments, has taken it upon himself to teach Muslims how to integrate into British life:http://muslimnow.com/overcome.html
People like Green and their well funded cronies are not the ones to get spat at and attacked on the streets of London or wherever, it is usually hijaabed women who had nothing to do with such stupidity that have to pay the price for it. Just as how the actions of Bin Laden, who Greens’ teacher Haitham Haddad admires openly as a ‘martyr’, resulted in him enjoying a ten year vacation in Pakistan (until it was suddenly cut short by Seal Team Six) with not one but two Pakistani girls (nice work if you can get it) while hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and Afghans bore the consequences of his actions.
So Muslims are happy to feel good about converts, but when it comes to representing Islam, there are ‘acceptable’ and unacceptable’ representatives. Unless of course you are independently famous such as Ali or Cat Stevens or to a lesser extent Lauren Boothe or Yvonne Ridley.
I would end by saying that no convert should be sacrificed for the self-esteem of existing Muslims. Nor should they have to put up with the kind of victimization they get when they step out of the Salafist line.
Some, like Winter and Eaton are more than capable of defending themselves and their (correct) conception of their new faith.
Others, like Miller and Lang disappear into the sunset, taking their scintillating intellects with them. And this is a loss for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
UPDATE: I came across this heartbreaking piece on this blog: http://www.daysgonebyeblog.com and simply had to include it – his eloquence sums up the pain and situation of many converts much better than I could:
I am a Muslim but am I part of the Muslim community?
I’ve been to a grand total of two weddings and one walimah since I became a Muslim nearly twenty years ago. I’m sick and tired of hearing for the first time about my “friends” weddings on Facebook.
I have never been married and I am tired of looking for someone I’m attracted to who has any interest in me (for what ever reason – Allah knows best)
Because of the housing crisis in London I’ve never been able to settle in one place. And no I don’t want to live in Birmingham or Norwich. My job and my history is in London.. If it wasn’t for Tasawwuf I would have given up on Islam and Muslims all together after rejecting the Cold hearted, culturally sterile Salafism I was force fed as the one true path when I converted for the second time in the 90′s.
I found Islam as a child purely on a spiritual and intellectual level with no Muslim influence around in my Essex suburb. I often reflect on the fact if I had known more Muslims before I read about Islam I may never have become a Muslim.
So here I am lonely in a crowd. Allah has preserved my faith when so many reverts have given up on an impotent, fractured, delusional, self destructing British Muslim community that to this day pigeonholes it’s converts for jihad, celebrity scholar or to be completely ignored.
Rabbi inni lima anzalta ilayya min khairin faqir
My lord, I am in absolute need of the good You send me [Qur’an, 28:24]