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Is it time for a Real Debate about Islam?

May 23, 2013
English Defence League protesters clash with police

English Defence League protesters clash with police

For a long time now, the Islamic faith has managed to avoid any intense scrutiny partly due to a prevailing sense of political correctness from some corners of the mainstream media.

In a sense, level-headed minds have adopted a measured approach to reporting events involving so-called “Islamic extremists.”

Western society has to date, been careful to report events carried out by extremists with a fair degree of balance, almost always countering their behaviour with commentary from “moderate” Muslims, brought in to denounce the extremists’ conduct and to reaffirm to “the rest of Australia” (and the world), that the conduct of a few Islamic extremists does not reflect the views of the rest of Islam in some sort of damage-control exercise to reassure the rest of Western mainstream society that we need not be afraid.

However, emotion is high and religious/racial tolerance is being sorely tried following the bloody murder of a British solider by two alleged Islamic extremists.

Have we finally reached a breaking point?

In the UK it certainly seems so.  Earlier today, far-right activists in balaclavas  clashed with riot police in London after following  the soldier’s violent attack.

More than 100 supporters of the “English Defence League” (EDL), some in paramilitary dress, gathered at a train station in Woolwich near where the man was hacked to death, according to London’s Daily Mail and Channel Four websites.

The EDL activists, who oppose what they say is the spread of Islamism in the UK, gathered at Woolwich Arsenal station in South-east London, waving a flag of St George and chanting “no surrender to the Muslim scum”.

Leader Tommy Robinson told the crowd: “We have got weak leadership. They have allowed this to happen. People are scared to say the word Muslim. They are scared to offend them.

“You know what? We are offended. People in this country are angry. They have had enough.”

The crowd, chanting “Rule Britannia” and “EDL”, as well as “England”, marched to the cordon where the killing took place. Others chanted “No surrender to al-Qaeda.”

The Woolwich killers are believed to be of Nigerian background but both are British citizens.

The men, who are being treated in separate hospitals while under arrest, are most likely to have converted to a radical form of Islam.

They are not thought to have links to terror groups based in Nigeria, such as the jihadist militant organisation Boko Haram.

Witnesses said they set about the soldier with a number of weapons including knives and a meat cleaver while shouting the name of “Allah”.

They apparently encouraged passers-by to video them.  One of the alleged attackers was filmed wielding a bloodied meat cleaver, saying:  “We must fight them as they fight us. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

“I apologise that women have had to witness this today, but in our land our women have to see the same. You people will never be safe. Remove your government, they don’t care about you,” he said.

In another clip, the man can be heard adding: “You think David Cameron is going to get caught in the street when we start bussin’ our guns? You think politicians are going to die?

One witness, identified as James Heneghan, said he and his partner saw two black men attack a young man of around 20 in a Help for Heroes T-shirt with kitchen knives like he was “a piece of meat”.

“They were hacking at this poor guy, literally,” he told LBC radio. “They were hacking at him, chopping him, cutting him.”

There’s no denying that the sheer scale of 9/11 shocked the world as we witnessed events unfolding on our TV screens, but when any one of us can be bludgeoned to death on the streets at any time anywhere, is this a new form of Terrorism, that may well be replicated in copy-cat attacks, be something that we all now need to be afraid of…?

Is it time for a real debate on the impact and influence of Islam in Western Society…?


47 Comments leave one →
  1. Zak permalink
    May 23, 2013 7:44 pm

    Why is he speaking English, with a London accent? Something isn’t right here. Are we being manipulated? I never once heard this guy say anything about religion.

    Where does he say anything about Islam?

  2. egg permalink
    May 23, 2013 7:46 pm

    jihadists are shits

  3. egg permalink
    May 23, 2013 7:51 pm

    ‘It is understood the men, who are being treated in separate hospitals while under arrest, are most likely to be British citizens of Nigerian descent who have converted to a radical form of Islam.’

    Read more:
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  4. May 23, 2013 7:52 pm

    Point of fact.

    The horrendous murder wasn’t carried out by all muslims in the name of Islam.

    It was perpetrated by a debased pair whose actions have been condemned, very quickly, by right thinking muslims in the UK.

    But yeah, jihadists are shits.

    Just keep in mind that the majority of muslims are not jihadists.

    Much as the majority of Catholics are not kiddy fiddlers.

  5. urbanvictim permalink
    May 23, 2013 7:54 pm

    The media is shit cared of reporting this as it happened. How convenient that every time this footage is shown on television, his first sentence is edited out. His first sentence in which he bases this murder on the Koran. We just can’t be allowed to see that can we in case it upsets the muslims. Even when highly educated muslims fly into buildings while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’, we fill in their real motivation for them, saying it’s all about poverty and politics, while masochistically blaming ourselves and western governments for what they do. Bin Laden predicted this Western cowardice. It’s time we all woke up.

  6. IPA address permalink
    May 23, 2013 8:00 pm

    Not All Muslims . . .

  7. May 23, 2013 8:13 pm

    Hey look!

    A propagandising compendium of ‘Not All Muslims’ from a US rightwing source!

    How very balanced. Best just disregard the fact that the murder has actually been condemned by moderates promptly. Best also disregard the fact that ‘all muslims’ weren’t the ones hacking that poor bastard up with cleavers then.

    Maybe we should ban all muslims?…or just incarcerate & reeducate them? 🙄

    Killing in the name of made up gods. Yep, no doubt, that’s why they did it.

    It was definitely ‘All Muslims’.

  8. egg permalink
    May 23, 2013 8:15 pm

    Jihadists have taken over the Syrian oilfields, with the intention of reshaping the whole Middle East in their own particular way.

  9. egg permalink
    May 23, 2013 8:22 pm

    Jihadists ‘cannot wait for ideological change, but must use violence to create the Caliphate, which will maintain the struggle against unbelievers.’

  10. IPA address permalink
    May 23, 2013 8:22 pm

    You’re deliberately missing the point. Not All Muslims carried out those atrocities, but all were muslims. Who knows, maybe there’s a link. At the very least it’s a discussion point for this “real debate”.

  11. May 23, 2013 8:46 pm

    No, you’re missing my point.

    I readily concede that misplaced religious beliefs are absolutely the reason that those two animals killed the UK bloke. I’m not the one trying to cover up the blatantly obvious in the media (too scared of baiting extremists, presumably) .

    Having said that…and after the predictable attacks upon mosques by nationalist fuckheads following the murder (how is attacking a mosque any less affrontery than burning effigies/flags etc.?)…I think it’s reasonable & necessary (for the sake of the ideologically lame, who tend to reflexively put the spotlight on Islam in its entirety) to mention that not ‘All Muslims’ are involved or supportive; not even most of them.

    Remember, I think y’all are deluded in your fantasy worship, not just the biblewankers…ALL OF YOU . But I’m not advocating banning the root cause.
    So, if you’re so abhorred by Islam, whaddaya gonna do about it? apart from point the finger.

    Once again, how retarded does it sound when I say…”Not all Catholics are kiddy fiddlers, but all kiddy fiddlers in that church are Catholic”. 🙄 Perhaps there’s a link? 😯

    It smacks of drawing predetermined conclusions, which is fine, based upon gross generalities, which is not.

  12. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 23, 2013 8:49 pm

    “Where does he say anything about Islam?”

    He says, “Surat at-Tawba through…many, many ayat throughout the Qur’an that…we must fight them as they fight us…”

    Surat at-Tawba is the ninth chapter of the Qur’an, and according to Islamic scholars is the last one or one of the last ones to have been revealed that contain doctrinal content — which means that it takes precedence over the others. Some highlights:

    “And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” — 9:5

    “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people and remove the fury in the believers’ hearts. And Allah turns in forgiveness to whom He wills; and Allah is Knowing and Wise.” — 9:14-15

    “Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.” — 9:29

    “O Prophet, fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the destination.” — 9:73

    “O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous.” — 9:123

    There isn’t one thing that is “Isalm”. All we can do is look at particular doctrines and practices done in the name of Islam and condemn them.

  13. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 23, 2013 8:50 pm

  14. deepaknow81 permalink
    May 23, 2013 8:56 pm

    Islam is a blight on the planet and should be challenged at every opportunity. Their wonderful peace loving book the Kuran, openly declares that all non-believers should be killed.All these hard working, honest, peace loving Muslims we hear so much about… I wonder if they wouldn’t suddenly join in the killing of us, the infidels, if Islam started really getting serious in the world. That’s when we’ll all find out how peace loving they are… fucking nutters… every fucking one of em!

  15. May 23, 2013 9:01 pm

    “There isn’t one thing that is “Isalm”. All we can do is look at particular doctrines and practices done in the name of Islam and condemn them.”

    What even is Isalm? 😯

    But seriously, I agree, splatter, and that’s more or less what I was getting at.

    As if I, a staunch atheist & lifelong ridiculer of religion, have any sympathy for religious murder or barbarity. I don’t even like the misplaced judgement of religious moderates, of any stripe, when they base their opinions on made up holy shit.

    I can however accept that religion is a benign crutch for the majority of those who adhere to its lunacy. It may even be a net positive for most of them. That’s fine, live & let live etc.

    I only pipe up when I sense an attack against a religion by adversaries/competitors from another religion…& only then if they’re opportunistically tarring the whole ‘movement’ with the same brush.

    I’ve made the kiddyfiddler analogy enough times now to have made myself clear, I think.

    That Daily Caller stuff, with cranks like Krauthammer in the sidebar. Should be seen as what it is.

  16. egg permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:03 pm

    ‘Islam is a blight on the planet and should be challenged at every opportunity.’

    Deepa goes for the broad brush approach, whereas it would be cheaper and more sensible to round up the jihadists and debrief them.

    God is not great.

  17. May 23, 2013 9:04 pm

    Thanks, deepaknow81, for making my point for me, you pantywetting dickhead.

    Paranoid & ignorant much? 😯

    What a mindless, baseless categorical statement this is…”That’s when we’ll all find out how peace loving they are… fucking nutters… every fucking one of em!”


  18. May 23, 2013 9:07 pm

    Just to be clear.

    I have no doubt that the two men who killed the guy in the UK this morning were absolutely motivated by their radical beliefs. They said as much. It can’t really be disputed with any sense of credibility.

    Obviously they, and all like them, stand condemned.

  19. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:07 pm

    Bottom line is that it is useless attacking ‘Islam’. It is too vague a term to be meaningful.

    If on the other hand peoples’ religious views include the killing of infidels and blasphemers, or even having laws against blasphemy, or discriminating against women and gays, FGM, punishment of apostates, if you believe in the Koranic rules on beating your wife, or that the fact that Muhammad had sex with Aisha when she was nine justifies a low age of consent then they are stone cold fuckwits and deserve all the shit they cop.

    Instead of staying silent about stupid ideas we should call them out, not as your bog stupid leftist does, label critics of these ideas as Islamophobes.

    And don’t be dumb as dogshit like Obama and install Islamist regimes in Tunisia and Libya and Egypt and Syria. What do you think will happen? It is already.

  20. deepaknow81 permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:11 pm

    @toiletcantankerousnightsoil so if it was your son/brother/father hacked to death with a machete in broad daylight while they were going about thieir normal business you would be okay with that. Didnt think so.

  21. IPA address permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:13 pm

    It was only a matter of time before “pantswetter” got a run, the only query was what would come first, that or “Boltlicker”.

  22. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:16 pm

    deepa you are reacting emotionally and overgeneralising. To be effective you first need to make sure you identify the corrrect target. It is completely counterproductive targeting people who despise as much as you do what happened in the UK.

  23. IPA address permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:18 pm

    (Reb knows how to push the right buttons. He says just enough without really saying anything, then steps back and watches the fun. 😯 )

  24. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:21 pm

    There is a serious battle to be fought here. But to attack all people who practice some form of Islam is wrong.

    This site has catalogued about 20,000 terror attacks since 9/11 carried out in the name of Islam. So yes, there is a serious problem. But the only rational way to deal with it is to be clear about who the bad guys really are. Most muslims will not be in that category.

  25. IPA address permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:24 pm

    Bill Maher from the video above: “There’s only one religion that threatens violence and carries it out.”

  26. egg permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:29 pm

    The chemical attack in Syria last week was carried out by Sunni jihadists from Iraq, not the Syrian government armed forces.

  27. deepaknow81 permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:32 pm

    Typical bullshit “It’s the media. It’s the govenment. It’s not our fault.” What will it take for people to realise that Islam is incompatible with Western values.

  28. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 23, 2013 9:45 pm

    “The chemical attack in Syria last week was carried out by Sunni jihadists”

    They are the ones Obama is supporting (whether he knows it or not).

  29. IPA address permalink
    May 23, 2013 10:04 pm

    “That Daily Caller stuff, with cranks like Krauthammer in the sidebar. Should be seen as what it is.”

    ‘Charles Krauthammer is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator, and physician. His column is syndicated to more than 350 newspapers and media outlets. He is a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard, a weekly panelist on the PBS news program Inside Washington, and a nightly panelist on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier.’

    A right-wing nutjob, no doubt.

  30. May 23, 2013 10:19 pm

    Perhaps you should try reading what I actually typed, deepaknow81.

    I’m not the one making ridiculous, hyperbolic generalisations.

    In fact, I tend to agree with the more measured things which splatter is saying.

    You are simply attacking me for what you (incorrectly) think I mean.

    I’ve been pretty clear. You are the pantswetting nutjob on this thread (so far).

    So PIA Undress, if this…”All these hard working, honest, peace loving Muslims we hear so much about… I wonder if they wouldn’t suddenly join in the killing of us, the infidels, if Islam started really getting serious in the world. That’s when we’ll all find out how peace loving they are… fucking nutters… every fucking one of em!”…doesn’t characterise hysterical, exaggerated pantswetting, what does?

  31. May 23, 2013 10:21 pm

    Who the fuck said that Islam was compatible with Western values?…and further to that, why must we assume that the entire planet functions under them?

    You sound like a caricature.

  32. May 23, 2013 10:22 pm

    I suppose you are asserting that The Daily Caller isn’t just a clearing house of rightwing UScentric memes? 🙄 …and that Krauthammer is balanced [guffaw]

  33. Neil of Sydney permalink
    May 23, 2013 10:26 pm

    “Who the fuck said that Islam was compatible with Western values?”

    Well we have been fighting with Islam for a long time i think. What were those Crusades about during the middle ages?? I have been told that Islamic people remember them like they were yesterday

  34. May 23, 2013 10:28 pm

    As usual, I get mistaken for defending jihadi animals, when all I’m doing is pointing out that reflexive attacks upon a religion in its entirety are dumb & ignorant & utterly inaccurate.

    Somehow, this is twisted into me trying to pretend that extremists don’t kill in the name of their particular offshoot of made up divine crap & that the media shouldn’t mention the motivations of the perpetrators even when those motivations are undisputed.

    *shrug… comprehension deficient

  35. May 23, 2013 10:29 pm

    You’re stepping right into the same trap, Neil.

  36. IPA address permalink
    May 23, 2013 10:34 pm

    “I suppose you are asserting”

    You’re the one doing the asserting (“cranks like Krauthammer”). I’d say Daily Caller is right leaning, but I wouldn’t know if Krauthammer’s “balanced” or not, would you?

    Wiki: Within the American political spectrum, Krauthammer has been called a conservative. However, on domestic issues, Krauthammer is a supporter of legalized abortion; an opponent of the death penalty; an intelligent design critic and an advocate for the scientific consensus on evolution, calling the religion-science controversy a “false conflict”; a supporter of embryonic stem cell research using embryos discarded by fertility clinics with restrictions in its applications; and a longtime advocate of radically higher energy taxes to induce conservation. Meg Greenfield, editorial page editor for The Washington Post who edited Krauthammer’s columns for 15 years, called his weekly column “independent and hard to peg politically. It’s a very tough column. There’s no ‘trendy’ in it. You never know what is going to happen next.”

  37. Evil Walrus permalink
    May 23, 2013 10:58 pm

    Islam transcends borders and it is not just a religion but a lifestyle, social, financial and political system all dressed as “peaceful” when they are at the extreme.

    Most other religions have moved on from that bullshit.

  38. Meta permalink
    May 23, 2013 10:59 pm

    (Speaking of meanings, would Western values and laws have a name for mayhem on the streets? ‘Cause my old history teacher once suggested that named crimes tend to be not all that exceptional in a civilization in which the naming of them occurs.)

  39. Evil Walrus permalink
    May 23, 2013 11:02 pm


    “when they are at the extreme disgusting”

  40. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 24, 2013 9:27 am

    I’m not sure whether it’s related to religion, but the Middle Eastern countries I’ve visited (Moslem) seem more darkly brooding and grumpy than the (say) Central and South American ones (Catholic).

    Just an observation, and I’ve put it down to availability of alcohol.

  41. May 24, 2013 9:36 am

    Religious Conservatism is dark & brooding.

    Humans under unnatural impulse repression, for the sake of synthetic dogma.

  42. grodo permalink
    May 24, 2013 2:06 pm

    The Christians don’t mind the occasional drop and it would be a saner world if that other mob could just lighten up.

    Personally I’m expecting the four horsemen of the apocalypse to turn up any day now.

  43. Tom of Melbourne permalink
    May 24, 2013 2:34 pm

    It isn’t simply the religion, it’s how seriously it is taken. If the culture of a region regards religious compliance as its most important duty, you can be assured that the culture will be dark brooding and grumpy.

    Drinking alcohol lightens the mood.

  44. May 24, 2013 2:43 pm

    from the mail box , sweden
    Police in the deprived, largely immigrant suburb of Husby shot a man dead last week after he reportedly threatened to kill them with a machete.
    *similar in denmark too, but can`t find the link*

  45. TB Queensland permalink
    May 24, 2013 3:02 pm

    What will it take for people to realise that Islam is incompatible with Western values.

    About the same time as people realise that Western values are incompatible with Islam … ’cause they are not … another red herring …

  46. TB Queensland permalink
    May 24, 2013 4:09 pm

    Is it time for a Real Debate about Islam?

    If “real” = informed … and after reading some of the posts here, a resounding YES

  47. Splatterbottom permalink
    May 24, 2013 5:26 pm

    TB, here is my view.

    An issue this attack raises is Sudden Jihad Syndrome – the lone wolf attack. One potential strategy the jihadists have is that they can behave like a distributed network needing only limited centralised command structure.

    If jihadist ideology is spread widely enough and information is readily available about the mechanics of conducting terror attacks then there is no reason to wait for al Qaeda to organise a carefully planned strike like 9/11. All it takes is a small group or even one person to commit to the process. This will be more likely to happen where there is also a sense of injustice or political grievance such as that expressed by the London head-loppers. It doesn’t matter if it is utterly wrong-headed, it can still provide the motivation to take the final step. Alternatively a general call from al Qaeda for action to be taken may provoke attacks from people otherwise unconnected.

    A group like Hizb ut Tahrir, which does not actually carry out violent acts, has a role to play in terms of spreading a radical view of Islam which is supportive of jihadi ideas. Reformed jihadist Ed Hussain argues that Hizb ut-Tahrir ought to be banned as it is an incubater for jihadism. Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in some places like Germany and Jordan,. but legal in the UK and here. I wouldn’t ban it, but I would keep a close eye on it.

    One way of dealing with lone wolves is to convince the muslim community that these people are there worst enemies and to try to make jihadist ideas unacceptable within the majority community. Ideally there would be a situation where people on the ground provide intelligence about groups spreading these ideas. It seems the London head-loppers were known to the authorities, so I assume something like this is already happening.

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