On 31st October 2009, thousands of Muslims from up and down the country plan to converge in the heart of Central London in a spectacular procession to make their demands for the overthrow of the British establishment clear.
At the time of writing, that message, which was posted on 4 March 2009, is still on the website of Islamist nutjobs, al-Muhajiroun. But a few days ago they added another message, in the form of a press release, saying that it had
become apparent that certain right-wing/anti-Islamic organisations had become intent on preventing the march from going ahead, using threats of physical violence, including bomb and death threats to any member of the Muslim community who happened to attend the march.
In light of this, organisers of the March4Shariah campaign, after careful consultation, have decided to relocate the march in favour of securing the safety of the hundreds of Muslims who may have attended the march to voice their support for the Deen of Haq (Truth). Continue reading
I see that both the English Defence League (EDL) and their opponents in Unite Against Fascism (UAF) are in the news again after a bunch of EDL supporters turned up in Manchester today to stage a protest against Islamic extremism. Apparently, the UAF didn’t like it so staged a counter-demonstration. The short clip viewable here shows EDL placards saying ‘Patriotism is not racism’ and ‘No more mosques in England’, while crowds of UAF people shout “Nazi scum: off our streets!” Predictably, EDL supporters commenting on the web today saw the UAF counter-demo as an attempt to suppress free speech and called them ‘Unashamed Actual Fascists’, and suchlike.
Anyway, aware that the messages of the newly emerged EDL (which seems to have evolved from a group calling themselves Casuals United) and the Stop Islamification of Europe group (SIOE) have resonated with at least a few nice, respectable, secularist folk, I decided to take a closer look at what they and their opponents are about.
It was good to see people enjoying themselves and celebrating diversity with such enthusiasm at London’s Gay Pride yesterday.
These guys on the right gave a great performance. They’d obviously been rehearsing a long time and — it may be a cliché — but they lived the part.
I was at the Pride by accident. I’d forgotten it was on but I emerged from Charing Cross station into Trafalgar Square and found myself in the middle of it. I didn’t stay long because I wanted to catch the last few hours of the nearby summer science exhibition, which was fab, by the way.
I was sorry I missed the parade through Central London an hour earlier but was delighted to catch this piece of street theatre by a small group of players, mainly old men and a few women wearing strange hats. Continue reading
Or something like that. Last night I went to the Conway Hall Humanist Centre in London’s Red Lion Square for a meeting organised by the Central London Humanist group.
For those that don’t know it, the Conway Hall was built some 90 years ago by the South Place Ethical Society — a Society dedicated to fostering “freedom in moral and spiritual life and thought”. The SPES describes itself as “the oldest freethought community in the world. It was founded in 1793 as a dissenting congregation and for more than two centuries has been a focus for serious discussion of basic ethical principles. By 1888 SPES had rejected the existence of God and became an Ethical Society, the only one which now survives. SPES is now an educational charity and maintains a proud tradition of free enquiry in all areas of thought and action.”
So it was a bit of a surprise and actually quite alarming to arrive there on a hot summer evening and find a number of women shrouded from head to foot in black being shepherded upstairs by men who were dressed a good deal more comfortably.
Do you consider yourself a good person?
Have you ever told a lie?
Have you ever stolen anything?
Have you ever used God’s name in vain?
Have you ever coveted anything?
You need to answer ‘yes’ to all of the above to hear 13-year-old Deborah Drapper say, in all seriousness,”So you’re a lying, thieving, blasphemous, coveting person. Do you still think you’re a good person?”
BBC documentary, Deborah 13: Servant of God, which aired on Tuesday 11 March 2009, was a programme that changed the way I think. Continue reading
The No Sharia: One Law for All campaign was launched at the House of Lords on International Human Rights Day (10 December 2008). I attended the launch and, yesterday, I marked International Women’s Day by joining several hundred protesters at the anti-Sharia demo in Trafalgar Square for a march to Red Lion Square. Continue reading