Session 5: Islam in a secular democracy – Q&A

thank you too well I’ll speak as we had
puzzles Umbra he razza about the historical phases of
Islam the lack of wish to establish political power the form of secularism
that prevailed historically its best detentions of today partly fermented by
the exported of this ideology by oil-producing countries the different
responses from Canada would resistance in the UK with some accommodation she
also set the scene with some striking statistics in her film margin then made
the case of compatibility Islam the history the historical precedent in
theological precedent for secularism and Islam being compatible with the
exceptions possible in Andalusia and the Ottomans the current intention to impose
Sharia law being a more modern innovation an imposition of modern
concepts on historic in ancient Scripture and politically political
translations of those scriptures but Ken Ken the genie be put back in the bottle
and finally Douglas just I think he went on to say that the perhaps echoing that
the point that traffic pave pay this morning about the resurgence of this
problem after the fall of the Berlin Wall
which had been kept in check somehow during the Cold War that this is a
problem that we’re facing now in the last 20 30 years which no one’s prepared
to and our response has been woefully inadequate failure to call spade a spade
however understandable has compounded the problem and perhaps a slightly
concerning view that the European public thinks that Islam is incompatible with
Western values and liberal democracy so with that background I’m going to open
it to questions please put your hands up say who you are and wait for microphones
before you speak we’ll start with mr. Berg here followed by a gentleman at the
back there please although I take issue with the idea that there’s a clear
distinction between militant fundamentalist Islam and not
Islamist a non fundamentalist Islamists because people do who let’s say very a
little bit in their views according to the circumstances is what I would like
to challenge most of all is that they are the answer or the problem lies not
or the immediate problem and which needs to be tackled is not so much within the
Muslim community as in the failure of our political system to deal with the
weakness in the political system because what is happening is that a community
leaders rather than it Imams in the name say we can deliver the Muslim vote to
your party if you go along with what we say now overall that’s about four
percent block of the road which is very attractive in many constituencies that’s
15 percent which is very decisive and that and there’s it’s particularly the
delivery to the Labor Party but it’s not exclusive maybe it can react brother ok
so oh isn’t it a matter that it is the politicians like in America in the civil
rights movement where they will the road to a lot in standing up in the South
they’ve got to be prepared to take it on and that’s rather than allow our
democracy to be exploited in tweaking its weakest point okay so we will pick
up another one gentleman in the Czech shirt I think it is okay thank you
I’ve really admire all the speakers and thanks for some really interesting
speeches I’m an atheist and a secularist and I’m also strangely enough for PhD
students to being the Protestant Reformation which is a strange cocktail
of things to be but they go and there are a lot of people talking about reform
in Islam and I saw that aspiration I share as well but I just wonder looking
at the Protestant Reformation it kind of reveals that there’s no real guarantee
that our Reformation in itself leads to a prosperous more
secular safe society I just wanted what strategies are there to ensure the
Reformation in other religions if needed have positive resource for everybody
because it is a great aspiration I just hope that it can be it can’t repeat the
mistakes of Reformation that have taken place in the past thank you okay
we’ll take one more from the gentleman with a beard please yeah I my name is
will TG Miller I worked for that good at this on secular Center I’m also a former
Muslim I hope you don’t mind me promising this point very slightly I
just wanted to start off by saying that religious freedom we don’t have
religious freedom in this country really in the sense that Jews can’t walk around
sacrificing goats Christians can’t walk around burning witches and Muslims
cannot you know beat their wives if they’re disobedient and that is from the
Koran by the way like margin I’ve memorized a bit of it well let alone and
Osuna watch it open a film about it a water balloon so given that we don’t
really have it but there’s one thing we do allow in the name of religious
freedom which is religious dress so women are allowed to wear the niqab
LaPorta the job even right and we do this because we say okay this is your
this is your religious right this is your religious freedom to wear this what
we do by saying this is we legitimize an interpretation of Islam which says the
woman’s hair is an OP is in is an object to be fetishized to be hidden to be
sexualized we legitimize that and we call that modesty and by doing that all
Muslim women who don’t wear the veil like our very own reveal rise over there
become outside of that modesty if they become immodest at worse they become
whores or you know these horrible dirty words are applied to these women and my
own girlfriend who is a conservative Muslim who wears the hijab is unable to
take it off for fear of being branded in that way by her social circle by her
family and it’s very sad for me to see that so again we don’t allow her just
religious freedom because the harm principle correct I think that the hijab
the burqa are harmful enough to legitimize banning them based on that
very same principle that what you’re saying is if you don’t wear it you’re a
whore could you please tell me what you think of that
thank you we’ve gone sorry we’ve got a question on the so I can’t read my own
handwriting I’ll take the the question on community leaders and the mister how
to avoid the mistakes of the Reformation and I know my co-panelists are also free
to pick any of those questions and address them as they like and I know a
hill wants to come in on the last comment there by the way you read that
passage very first person we clearly memorize the Quran oh that that was some
Arabic speed there yet the question all the community leaders yes you know this
raises a huge question about but you know the mistake of politicians when
engaging in this debate is similar to the mistake of those who are
ideologically driven to encourage fundamentalism and theocratic Islamism
within Muslim communities those are those who I’ve referred to as the
regressive left politicians do so for different reasons they may not be
ideologically driven they’re just bloody spineless and the reason they’re
spineless is because they have to know I’m sorry I know I ran for Parliament
okay I have an experience with this okay now I think partly why I really didn’t
fit in in that world is it the the fact that people are prepared to say what
pleases the electorate well if the electorate is demanding something that
is fundamentally at odds with the interests of this country then a
politician’s job is still to try and gain those votes and that’s why their
language is always by default bland because they don’t wanna offend anyone
you know you try running a campaign with Islamism and how to challenge it as one
of your main feature points right the problem is it becomes incredibly
polarizing so what politicians have done with a community leader aspect is as you
rightly pointed out there’s this tendency that those who are deemed as
community leaders invariably are the religious leaders within the community
now forgive me for pointing out but I can guarantee you the vast majority of
Muslims in the world especially in the West but even in the world outside of
those countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran where praying is perhaps enforced
but certainly in those countries like Pakistan where it’s not enforced by
but still your one is expected to pray the vast majority of Muslims do not pray
five times a day what does that tell us about their attitudes when it comes to
elections in countries like Pakistan the jamaat-e-islami the kind of Muslim
Brotherhood of Pakistan has never won an outright election right so what’s going
on when politicians go into Muslim communities a bit like neo orientalists
you know bigotry of low expectations and think somehow that when a Muslim wants
to express themselves they must automatically want to do so through
their local religious leader who is invariably the least educated within the
community who has the worst track record on gender rights on homophobia issues
who really doesn’t understand the world but somehow the politician is pandering
to this guy for votes so there’s a self reinforcement cycle going on here and
actually I can assure you that most Muslims in this country would rather
speak as women as husbands as fathers as mothers as educationalists as doctors as
nurses as street cleaners as or whatever they are because they have multiple
identities and it’s high time that our politicians recognized that we are not
unilateral – sorry sort of one-dimensional creatures who can only
ever speak as Muslims and who only ever want to be identified as Muslims and so
there’s that form of there’s that form of bigotry of low
expectation imagine you had a problem with some white young lads who are out
of work because you know the fast pace of change in this country’s affect to
their employment abilities you know that I feel strongly about this – there’s a
disproportionate number of young white men who are out of work there’s a higher
proportion of them in prison and there’s a disproportionate number of them going
succeeding today in the education system and achieving university degrees right
so white white young working-class men are under represented now if you as a
politician wanted to solve that problem would you go and find a priest right so
why on earth are we going to Muslim religious leaders to solve the problem
of delinquency within Muslim communities that delinquency especially from up
north is created by joblessness by a lack of education by their parents
coming from villages in countries like Pakistan from mere port to be precise
that who have a village mindset and they came to this country and have
transferred a lot of that to how they’ve raised their children there are genuine
social problems if you care for social justice a message here directly to the
regressive left if you care for social justice as you claim to then stop being
racist with this bigotry of low expectations
thinking Muslims can only ever want to speak through their religious leader
it’s ridiculous you’d never do that watching while it finally sorry–but on that
point of the reformation very quickly on this one because I know he took a lot of
time on that last question that Reformation and whether it’s possible
yes the Protestant Reformation was incredibly bloody you know there was
there were Wars a lot of people were massacred and even in fact you know we
now look back in history and say thank God that the Protestant Reformation
happened more though the Protestants also massacred a whole bunch of people
you know in Germany the peasants they killed them on mass right so their hands
weren’t you know blood free they engage in a lot of murder and so in a sense
when we see what’s happening with Isis today people say where’s the Muslim
reform and I use the word reform so so not not say that we’re going to
replicate the Reformation which has a particular Christian context to it but
where’s the Muslim reform well actually part of the fact that proof that we’re
in it is what Isis is doing those bloody wars are largely young men who are
feeling threatened by modernity and the challenges that modernity poses to a
literalist vacuous understanding of religion so they’ve decided to insist
that it’s always been like this and we’re going to enforce it exactly like
this and if you don’t like it we’re gonna kill you so we’re in the middle of
it as well but one of the only ways I think we’re going to avoid some of those
mistakes and ensure the success of the Muslim reform project is we require
allies from public from society but also from within governments and that touches
on some of the stuff I said in my last answer as well young gentleman who asked
the question that the new carbon bucha are very clearly Islamic symbols which
are connected to a political agenda and this has been presented to Muslim women
as a boxed and packaged form of Islam that if you step out of this you’re not
considered a credible Muslim you should read on the blog my story about how BBC
had approached me to give a comment as a Muslim woman and then they saw my
picture on my website and decided I wasn’t a good enough Muslim woman
because I wasn’t covered and so you’re absolutely right so in Canada what we
did my organization Muslims facing tomorrow lobbied our government who did
the previous government had our year and we are working on a
show your face law we don’t use the term niqab or vodka but essentially we say
that showing your face in public space should be a requirement which in other
words means ban the bottom vinegar so a lady here in the white shirt
then the chap the blue shirt just behind her and then to the chat mr. speaker sorry I come from Saudi Arabia time I
hold the mic so so in my country people who spoke who promoted secularism are
sentenced to 10 years in prison and a thousand lashes and some are sentenced
to death now where I come from I’m concerned constantly scrutinized for
having liberal modern ideologies and my safety is jeopardized in my country but
at the same token I’m also criticized in this country for still being a Muslim
I’m gonna try to wrap this forgive my nervousness but the question is and and
I feel like there’s some kind of denial as to these conservative like extremely
religious countries whether they’re ruled by Sharia law only or by other
factors and I believe they are ruled by tribal law other political agendas so
which have been mentioned by you so so if we were to remove Islam from the
equation how do we ensure that how can we ensure that there would still be
peace given the political agenda and that law wouldn’t you know dictate
another you know forceful means to implement that that you know these this
to serve this political agenda thank you very much I’m gonna catch my breath so
gentlemen there in the blue shirt measured
I’m atheist from a sort of Islamic background technically from from an
apostate cult but never mind the question that I have for you really is
that the overwhelming majority of my moderate Muslim friends and I genuinely
mean that they’re moderate they’re they’re not sort of practicing they’re
not that committed they’re pretty relaxed about it they hate you with a
passion and they hate the Reformers within Islamic circles with such vitriol
and passion that I just find genuinely bizarre why is that firstly I can tell
you what they tell me about Muslim reformers they think that they’re all
sellouts or Mossad agents or something of that sort but what’s your take on it
and Douglas given the numbers that you presented and the sort of statistic that
you presented and they rise of what’s now being dubbed the alternative right
and these kinds of dimwits this is the only polite word that I can use where do
you see us going I mean the level of social conflict that we’re seeing and
the rise of new forms of very anti-semitic right-wing movements that
are also anti Islam it’s pretty scary where do you see this going
and finally chapter could I ask everybody to please keep their comments
as 16 it’s possible now behind you yeah my name is emtiaj James I’m a
trustee of the PHA but I also have I do stuff with the organization called fates
– faithless so we work with the PHA States my question is about education on
the topic of Islam this which people out because I think we need more Islam and
as an ex-muslim who’s it’s called the Mossad agent or
Isis depending on what racist or whatever I’m talking to because everyone
like Douglas says has it politicized Islam is so politicized everyone has a
view and but there’s actually some really amazing academic work when it
comes to the history of Islam theology all this kind of stuff like the late
patricia crone keziah ali etc cetera but none of this is in the wider public so
Muslims have a very if I’ve got to be honest a very shit watertown version of
Islam usually they barely know what a mother hub is often they don’t I mean
the school of thought they don’t know a lot about Islam secular sumers often
also have the same problem you know we don’t really know Islam we just picked
the bad bits and we’re like this is Islam and we’re doing the same thing and
I think the trick is that we need a better education about Islam and Islam’s
you know what which historically it’s just been all over the place just like
in any religion as you’d expect so and and the problem is we can then move it
away from the Southey’s you promote why I called like a cult version of Islam so
my question is I’m not sure how this can be done so this is not a question about
theology or you know this is a question of literacy right how do we convert this
amazing academic work for to make it digestible for people how do we compete
with the reams and reams of publishers that are funded by often South Arabian
these kind of in all Hara and all these kind of things I know in Quilliam you
have like the amazing for Hana Maher who does some fantastic stuff with stuff
with hermeneutics but other than her I don’t really see that many people who
are writing stuff that you know everyone else can read I mean the Safa battery is
just undigestible so how do you do that my question thank you again that that’s
covered what it’d be quite quick good – let me be very quick first of all though
just a little bit about the Saudi point I mean with all of these regimes we’ll
all just have to work out ourselves to what extent are they actually religious
and to what extent are they riding the tiger and to what extent they just
taking the piss and if you if you go around London now you will see all of
the princes of these so wholly religious countries who have flown over there
Ferraris and race some down Knightsbridge like grand theft auto and
when as they sometimes do they crash one they get out and leave it there and get
into another a life is a computer game for these rich brats and I think by the
way they don’t get enough hell from this country or from anyone else for the
hypocritical people they are because these are the same people who come to
London and play the rich Dhofar and go back and they take part in a system
which enriches them which kills everybody who would be our friends and I
think it’s it’s just the reprehensible situation this countries in among others
as for very quickly if I may you’re the gentleman there I can’t do justice that
excellent question but just one thing I mean I am like a lot of other people
very nervous about the idea of the rest of time it has to be spent in a sort of
Islamic theological discussion yeah yeah yeah I learned some great box sets I
still haven’t seen you know and then and I sort of think people are better off
doing that and wading through Bukhari and you know but I will leave Majid to
answer the wonderful question that why he’s hated but may I say may I say is
somebody who doesn’t hate magic that one explanation for this is that what he
says hurts a lot of people and as we all know what hurts you most is what is most
truthful and that may be one of the reasons why as for your question of
where is it going the statistics I cited in Europe are not good I’m afraid
not good at all and one of the reasons is that for years now everybody who has
alerted anybody else to this problem has been smeared with the most vicious the
most violent the most appalling names the career-ending names and that has
happened to everybody whether Muslim or non-muslim white black brown it’s
happened to everybody black friends have been called racists because of saying
some things about extreme Islamist groups that aren’t you know FA it’s it’s
been endless and meantime we have the serious problem of people totally
lacking distinction on political sides that they feel generally opposed to the
continent now is awash with our continent is awash with rising parties
of the right not all of which are far-right certainly not all of which are
fascists some of which have votes have voiced very big concerns about Islam
instead of identifying everybody who voices these concerns as fascist I think
a much better use of our time is to look seriously at what they believe really
analyze the fourth really find out if they are anti-semites if they’re
actually racists and so on and so forth but you know very few people exercise
that kind of judgement because they sort of need all of these guys to be Nazis a
lot of people do that because they kind of say well you know if I can kind of
call all those guys Nazis then some way down the line I might be allowed to
criticize his book too here you know it’s a sort of political thing they do
finally very quickly at the previous round but it answers to other things
about the thing about political courage and also about the hijab I’ve got to
tell you this story thirteen years ago was so now whenever it was when in
France first but banned the headscarf in public buildings I remember doing a BBC
discussion with a left-wing politician who will remain nameless and a rhenium
journalist friend of mine who who is far more hardline than me on some of these
questions and the question was on this I said well you know the French state has
a right to do this when you know what people say who is the French government
well they are the government of the Republic of France and do you know
one can agree or disagree but they do have that right and anyhow the Labour
politician spent the entire program lambing into me and my Muslim Iranian
colleague for for our stance we were called Islamophobes everything else the
usual going to get used to in the years ahead but I’ll never forget that when we
exited the studio this person clapped me on the back and said never forget
Douglas were all with you and and I said well what about the half hour alive on
air we just had which was the more pertinent
moment to make any such support felt and the reply was straight for his you’ve
got to understand I’ve got a very large Muslim constituency to which my Iranian
friend said in one of the most beautifully polite Persian things
devastating things I’ve ever heard said ah I see you are a coward anyhow budget mattered would you care to
explain why you’re so universally haters question takes a life of its own and
becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because you notice what just happened
the questioner didn’t say University hates it and that’s how it got
interpreted right we’ve got to be very careful don’t get me killed we’re going
to be very careful now I’m not even joking
it’ll be very careful because actually the sort of people that hate me are of
course the Islamists of course the fundamentalist and then what was
described as moderate Muslims who behaved moderately yet don’t like what I
say I would question so whether they are moderate I know you think they are but
actually even Isis al-qaeda considers Isis extreme today right where does that
tell you about the spectrum of opinion when 50% over 50% of Britain’s Muslims
when asked said yes being homosexual should be made illegal I suspect you’re
hearing from that same 50% who hate me but there’s another 50% that don’t but
by definition they’re not vocal because by definition they haven’t gone out
there to define themselves as Muslim and engage with the public as Muslims
they’re not wearing Islam on their sleeve but obviously because of what I
say I have to come a a comma against those who are wearing Islam honestly for
whom Aslam is their primary identity so when they hear me criticize the notion
of Islam being your primary identity of course it’s going to upset them I’ll
tell you a small story a little anecdote when I was around 17 years old and I
first became an Islamist a year earlier and I joined his battalion and I
remember standing outside a mosque one day distributing a flyer that literally
said the Prophet Muhammad was involved in politics help us re-establish the
caliphate that was the title of the flyer and as a young hizmet a very loud
I was distributing this outside a mosque I walked a big like a lot bigger than me
older than me bearded religious Muslim with a prayer cap and walked straight up
to me and punch me in the face right and he said how dare you defile our religion
by bringing into it politics this is when I was 17 years old fast forward and
I’ve traveled a lot around the world to challenge extremism including in Park
where I went to the week that Malala was shot in the head I went to Mingora the
town where she was shot and organized a public protest against the Taliban in
that town I’ve also been to Quetta which was the headquarters of Taliban and
organized a huge rally which Newsnight filmed with thousands of Valachi
students in the university and me speaking against the Islamist theocrats
on that trip in Pakistan I was sitting in a cafe having a coffee mining my own
business and up walks a bearded Muslim and punches me in the face and this time
he says how dare you promote secularism in the Muslim countries now what those
two anecdotes tell you apart from the fact that people seem to like punching
me in the face is that actually in the in the gap of me
for me being 17 to me being I think I was around 28 29 when I went to Pakistan
maybe around 29 right in that gap in those intervening years those Islamists
such as myself who had been advocating for a Caliphate had been so successful
in shifting public opinion within Muslim context that we’d gone from mistake
where Muslims were punching other Muslims for perhaps for having the
audacity to try mix Islam in politics to where they’re punching them and now far
worse than punching them and I got off lucky there but killing them chopping
their heads off for suggesting that Islam should be separated from politics
so the point is it wasn’t always like this it’s it’s like this now because of
the success of Islamist campaigning and Islamist campaigning has been successful
because in fact in the 90s during Islamists heyday they did manage to take
the cream of the crop of Western Muslims and across the world I know in
particular with Britain Muslims were studying at Oxford Cambridge I did my
Arabic and degree at that so us and my master’s in political theory at the LSE
people that were going to some of the best universities of the world were
joining Islamist organizations that the man who is accused in Pakistan of
beheading Daniel Pearl went to the NSE for God’s sake right so when they took
the cream of the crop from the 90s and the zeitgeist of the 90s for young
rebellious Muslims wants to become an Islamist no wonder that you end up with
a situation today where these so-called moderates who behave as Douglas Douglas
was saying hypocritically enjoy all the benefits of
yes I mean I wouldn’t be surprised if they went out for a drink with you they
hypocritically enjoy all the benefits of the West and even if it’s not alcohol
it certainly is the freedoms of this country and our democratic system while
romanticizing a form of a medieval caliphate in their minds because that
cancer that ideology has already entered as we know from those who join Isis you
don’t need to be devout to advocate for a theocratic ideology it’s already being
romanticized which is why people convert overnight from being Street pimps to
becoming Isis recruits because a lot of that ideology has already been
internalized that’s what we’re experiencing and it’s that section of
society of course they’re gonna oppose me I say often if that if those guys the
sort of guys the over 50% of British Muslims who support the banning of
homosexuality in this country if they were supporting or what I’d be saying
I’d be incredibly worried I would be incredibly worried it means I’m saying
something wrong of course they’re gonna propose where I’m saying because that’s
where the state of opinion is today finishing off on the question of Saudi
Arabia and by the way I want to encourage you to continue speaking out I
think you’re incredibly brave and your article for Sisterhood magazine on the
Saudi guardianship laws was fantastic and it’s a rare thing to sit in it by
the way she’s not Saudi born in Britain she’s Sally from Saudi Arabia it’s a
rare thing to hear that insight and to hear that voice because she has to one
day maybe oh I think you’re right that actually
when societies justify things by religion it tells us a lot more than
just what what they use it to justify their behavior which is the religion of
course it tells us that they are also a incredibly misogynistic tribal society
and also a poorly educated society all those things are I think in they are
intertwined and we can’t separate them they go hand in hand if you look at
countries like Afghanistan where religion is justified – a hell of a lot
it also happens to be an incredibly tribal society
likewise with Pakistan and honor killings so I think those things are
inseparable and I don’t think we can separate them I think that those
societies have to involve in all of their attitudes whether they’re
tribalism whether their understanding of religion they misogyny their hatred of
women and all of those things come hand in hand and I’ll leave the I’m going to
take one minute to just respond very quickly to the young lady to say that
use the freedoms of this country to develop your your voice and speak out
more because this is what the beauty of living here is to the young gentleman
who spoke about education this is what Quilliam is doing this is what we’re
trying to do is provide an alternate narrative it’s not theology of Islam
that’s beautiful but actually an alternate narrative to the narrative of
how the extremists have interpreted Islam and last but not the least Majid
you don’t have the monopoly on being hated it it comes in many ways and forms
and I will just end on a very fine anecdote here about the latest hate mail
that I got was you know you terrible fall at a words Zionist agent you must
be living in a mansion amount of money that is being paid to you to do all of
this and I wrote back and I said you know from my two bedroom apartment I’m
looking down at my high end eye and wishing that the Zionists was really
listened to you and provide that final thing so thank you very much thank you all I will run out of time for
any further questions so this is the last session of the day we invite Terry
to come and give some closing remarks but again please could you thank our
three speakers Rahill raza that was Mary imagine no us yeah

Maurice Vega

35 Responses

  1. Maajid, thx for the awesome answer. Tho I was a bit mystified about the asymmetry in "Muslims don't always wish to speak as Muslims any more than white people don't always want to speak as white people". I mean, I get the thrust of the point about Muslims there. And I agree. But then why phrase the comparison as "religious group" vs "racial group"? Why not "Muslims don't always want to speak as Muslims any more than Christians always want to do so as Christians or atheists as atheists."? Why suddenly jam white people – irrespective of religion – into the latter half of that comparison?

  2. Raheel Raza, Maajid Nawaz and Douglas Murray? Such a great panel! Thank you NSS for uploading this and all the great work you do. Brilliant discussion.

  3. I absolutely agree I do not want a perpetual debate about Islam. Clearly everyone has an individual interpretation of any religious text. Perhaps moving towards a more individualist society and away from collectivism generally will help.

  4. First stage is to dilute the meaning of the word muslim and create a category of "Muslimish". Next stage is, when I fee like It. Dabble in islam, don't sell out to sharia. The rest of its text is bad poetry, or wishful thinkingk as to its imagined benefits. At least then we delete it's threat, amd reduce Islam to poor literature.


    1. You shall never relinquish your critical thinking in favor of a conceptual entity the existence of which you cannot validate.
    (We must all recognize the fact that today, religion is the most serious impediment to any sensible management of the worlds peoples. Religion and belief in conceptual entities, divides humans into competing groups that will invariably argue, fight and kill each other's children over these unfounded beliefs. This has to stop as should the "polite tolerance" of totally implausible religious claims. It is time for us all to think. To think rationally; to think for ourselves. We must have the honesty, integrity and courage to admit when we do not know the answer and that the answers will not be found on our knees with our eyes closed.)
    2. You shall never elevate your cause above your humanity.
    (Humans can be moral without a belief in a conceptual entity. Develop your empathy – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.)
    3. You shall stop the practice of genital mutilation of your young (male & female) for religious reasons and the presentation to them, of implausible religious claims, as absolute truth.
    (Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.)
    4. You shall not tolerate cruelty or the subjugation and mistreatment of people. (Women in particular have had an inferior status based upon ancient religious text.)
    5. You shall honor your father and your mother.
    6. You shall not murder.
    7. You shall not have sex irresponsibly, without consideration of it's consequences or without empathy and consideration for others and you will always insist upon safe sex practices.
    8. You shall not steal and cannot escape judgment if you rob people with a false prospectus rather than with a weapon, nor will you "rip people off" in the name of religion.
    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    10. You shall not covet. (You shall learn to control your envy and utilize it as a motivation for self improvement .)
    11. You shall not condemn people on the basis of their ethnicity or their color but you should rigorously question their unfounded beliefs. (Contemplation is acceptable, unprovable assertions are not.)
    12. You shall not condemn people for their inborn non-violent nature.
    (Why would your "God" (a conceptual entity) create so many homosexuals only in order to torture and destroy them?)
    13. You shall not use people as private property, as owned, or as slaves.
    14. You shall accept responsibility for what you do and shall not defer such to a conceptual entity, the existence of which we cannot validate. (Scapegoating, or having someone else die for your sin is not moral.)
    15. You shall rigorously pursue a verifiable truth, develop your empathy and have respect.
    (Be aware that you, too, are an animal, and dependent upon the web of nature. Think and act accordingly.)
    16. You shall strongly oppose all and any efforts to incorporate religion into government or the military, shall insist on the separation of Church and State and guard against religious literalism.
    17. You shall wear clothes for protection, modesty, fashion or humor but not as a propitiation to a conceptual entity, the existence of which we cannot validate.
    18. You shall refrain from dragging inappropriate, unverifiable and meaningless beliefs and rituals from the past, into the present and shall recognize that cultism is a damaging and corrosive pursuit.
    (Human beliefs and strange rituals are learned, they are not part of human DNA. It is time to understand that we can all get along if properly educated.)
    19. You shall not present religious pseudoscience as education or as literal and will accept that we are mortal beings with finite lives, whose purpose is for us to collectively and individually determine.
    20. Governments should discontinue tax exemption for religion and stop the support and perpetuation of implausible religious claims that cannot be validated. (Belief in a conceptual entity should not absolve you of your obligation to pay for the umbrella of infrastructure and defense under which you enjoy your freedom)
    Some input courtesy of Christopher Hitchens

  6. fantastic discussion well done to Raheel Raza, Maajid Nawaz and Douglas Murray, you are all modern day hero's

  7. The ordinary so-called moderate practicing muslim on the street will NEVER speak out against their own religion.1) They fear ostracization from their own people2) They fear repercussion from their own people3) Deep down they are actually radical because they were being brainwashed since young. They are like sleeper agents.The muslim community is a very close knitted and tight community. They ruled each other with an iron hand and make sure each other don't step out of line. They will NEVER take the side of a non-muslim however right  the non-muslim was. Although personally they don't condone to the killing of non-muslim unjustly but nor will they speak out or fight for the non-muslim right to live. If you questioned them why don't they speak out about these unjustified killings of non-muslims they will reply it's their way of life that was governed by the hateful book call koran. Mein kampf came to mind. A muslim will not hesitate to kill a non-muslim friend no matter how good the friend was. Reason – their fucking hateful book said so. Oh, sure they will give you 'choices'. but the choice is really not a choice. Submit or be subjugated by islame or die.'Thankfully' but slowly there are indeed quite a number of muslims denounced the hateful religion. It's like they woke up from the nightmare like Neo in Matrix finally realized what he lived in or believed in was really all a lie. Hopefully these apostates really stay apostates and won't sell out the other apostates to cover their own backside like Cypher – the betrayer in Matrix!

  8. Ban Muslim/Islam, and do not allow your children to attend R.E. lesson which involves Islam, it's a propagandist brainwashing cult, that no child should be exposed to

  9. Just be honest and admit Islam has no place anywhere else but within its own country
    Allowing it to fester and grow here is simply fanning the flames that will lead to an outright civil war

  10. what we need to do is reclaim our christian culture and values and enforce them and not be unequally yoked to unbelievers i.e. any religeon that does not worship yawha god and jesus christ

  11. What gets me is how seemingly intelligent people like Maajid Nawaz and Raheel Raza can square their
    beliefs with their secular instincts. Why claim to be a Muslim when everything you say, says you aren't?

    I just can't square the circle; the cognitive dissonance here, while not strident, is disturbing.
    Why cling to beliefs that you know to be patently absurd? The same could be said about intelligent,
    self-professed Christians.

    The difference, of course, is that while the depredations and dangers of Islam (reformed or not?) loom
    over us, creeds like Christianity (today's versions) are comparatively innocuous.

    Of course, the fact that religious belief' in general has regressed to a state of infantile, tribal narcissism, may be why
    fundies of any stripe see other fundies as their adversaries, if not their mortal enemies.

    Moreover, the undeniable fact that Christian evangelism, when seen for what it is, is the obverse of the same
    coin as Islam, further indicates how the mindless meme of religiosity has spread its poisoned tentacles.

    As for Islam, it's no more than a derivative, second-hand cult, with large chunks of its 'holy book' lifted
    wholesale from the Jewish Torah. Oh, the irony!

    And, just for good measure, the average Jew is culturally Jewish; Jews, in general, are far too smart to be
    taken in by religious blarney.

    Godlessly yours.

  12. 20:19 – love it. "to what extent are they actually religious, to what extent are they riding the tiger and to what extent are they just taking the piss".

  13. islam is good and better model and against secular democracy/ libralism for these 3 are basically models does not even work objectively

  14. Yes sir you are right. In pakistan by Islamic lawys people's are getting killed suffering in jails and mantel torturers insult all things happening through Islamic laws the government police Cots the all r one.

  15. A NAKED Questioner?
    Why should you stop at banning only hijab, niqaab, etc? Why not BAN both OVER and UNDERWEARS?
    If don't ban underwears, even atheists would continue to call naked people mad, crazy, etc.

  16. I believe that Islam is culturally superior or even
    culturally equal to the ideas of the Western Enlightenment. The Western
    Enlightenment was in large part a reaction against orthodox Christianity; but go
    back to the era of Harun al-Rashid (766-809) and Baghdad would have been a far
    better place to live than Rome or Paris or in any western country.
    To all the haters in this world, if you want to know more
    about Islam read about Prophet Mohammad peace be upon Him and his household.
    Don't depend everything on what you hear from people and especially media,
    because nothing's easier than spreading out rumours. Yes I am a Muslim lady,
    but I have Christians friends, Jewish friends, Buddhist friends.. so we're not
    anti-social and bullies… and Thank God we respect everyone because that's what
    the Holy Quran tells us to do 🙂 Here's the story Mohammad PBUH is just a
    messenger not an inventor. Allah almighty sent Mohammad to make him introduce
    Islam to the people. Don't insult Islam, normal Muslims like me don't sit &
    talk to insult the other religions or the other people. This is wrong! Islam
    respects the other religions or EVEN people who don't believe in
    Before accusing all Muslims as terrorists, make sure you
    civilize yourself with true facts. Do not depend on media and rumours… You are
    all blinded with stereotypes.. so in other words, you are all ignorant ! Thank
    God our religion taught us how to respect peoples religion and opinions.
    Whatever you say reflects who you follow.. so thanks for proving us right
    Do you guys have ever read the history of Ustmaniyah
    Kingdom in turkey before the WW1? if u guys see the real history of Ustmaniyah
    kingdom, you will agree with all of his points. cuz the in that kingdom, they
    are not only Muslims, but also Christians and Jews and they were living in
    peace. UNTIL the world sees it as a threat to the world (bcuz of course they
    could getting bigger and bigger) they interrupted them and mixed them with
    politics. just saying though. if u r not convinced, read history
    ISLAM and Quran is against terrorist. Prophet Muhammed was
    driven from his city and moved to another city while being chased by non Muslims

    who hated him for preaching his religion, when he came to
    settle in another city, the enemies wanted to invade and kill him, that's the
    only reason why him and his army fought, to protect themselves
    Spousal abuse is not just a Muslim issue, you know how
    many of your fellow white, non Muslim British men assault and abuse their
    wives? With their drinking levels it happens at an astonishingly high rate.
    Does it concern you?
    West must learn to respect and tolerate those who are
    different. Islam is Islam and it in nothing to do with extremism. The meaning of
    Muslim is Submit to will of God. The reason why i keep banging on about the same
    thing (maybe I'm not explaining it properly) about Capitalism, racism, Crime etc
    the world would definitely be a better place for guaranteed. Interest is
    strictly forbidden, excess spending is forbidden, racism is forbidden, looking
    after your family, neighbours, orphans, the poor are obligatory. We get these
    teachings from the Quran but the way to implement was shown through Prophet
    Muhammad. Think about it a society without alcohol, adultery, murder, stealing
    would definitely be a better place. The punishment is severe and there for a
    reason. You look nowadays you commit a crime you go in do your time and your
    doing the same thing again and go back in. If there was severer punishments it
    would make people think twice. By the way these things require evidence and
    under Islamic law if you follow it properly there has to be a full jury and then
    the verdict is given.
    There is lot more in Quran which is Undiscovered yet….
    The Quran is a book of signs not a book of science, it contains some of science
    like(the big bang and embryology etc…) so can the scientists think about this
    as a book of God cuz an illiterate man in a desert 1400 years ago (prophet
    Muhammad PBUH) could never be able to know those information's by himself. Only
    God could know that 1400 years ago.
    Muslims are fundamental to the advancement of science and
    many other areas in the modern era.
    If Islam is so bad, then why is it the WORLD’S FASTEST
    GROWING RELIGION! It is also one of the youngest religions. However no matter
    how hard everyone tries to give Islam a bad name, it will be twice as more
    populated. So let’s get straight to the point yeah?, Basically Islam is the most
    hated religion I don’t know why hmm maybe because it is also the most fastest
    growing religion and 2nd largest but no one will be able to stop this religion
    from growing.
    Islam is the fastest growing faith in Britain. Hundreds
    and thousands of Brits are reverting to Islam. By the middle of this century,
    over half of Brits would be Muslims.
    “I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high
    estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which
    appears to me to
    possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase
    of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him – the
    wonderful man and in my opinion for from being an anti-Christ, he must be called
    the saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the
    dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a
    way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied
    about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of
    tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.” [G.B.
    Shaw, THE GENUINE ISLAM, Vol. No. 81936.]

  17. "Islam in a secular democracy" becomes biggest danger for both secularism & democracy , the very moment it acquires critical electoral mass.

  18. The NSS looks like a Zionist front, especially with Douglas Murray on board. Not heard him speak out about the Torah or Talmud.

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