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IW News Brief: Adoption Jihad, Halal Hysteria, and More
by David J. Rusin • Mar 4, 2013 at 10:46 am
Islamist Watch (IW) maintains an extensive archive of news items on nonviolent Islamism in the Western world. The complete collection can be found here; lists organized by topic are accessible on the right side of the IW homepage.
The following are some of the recent developments covered in the IW database:
Shari'a worms its way into Spanish adoption law
"Spain has acceded to the demands of the Islamist government in Morocco by agreeing that Moroccan children adopted by Spanish families must remain culturally and religiously Muslim," reports Soeren Kern of the Gatestone Institute. "The agreement obliges the Spanish government to establish a 'control mechanism' that would enable Moroccan religious authorities to monitor the children until they reach the age of 18 to ensure they have not converted to Christianity"; annual trips to Morocco have been suggested. This would institutionalize the Islamic kafala system, in which adults can gain guardianship over Muslim children not their own, though the kids effectively continue to be someone else's — a far cry from Western adoption. Such planned changes to Spanish law sacrifice religious freedom to appease Islamists who wish only to keep these abandoned children tethered to the society that failed them in the first place.
Kern explains that France has similar laws. Foster care also has seen interfaith friction. A UK foster mother was axed in 2008 after a Muslim teen in her home embraced Christianity. The woman angered the local council by not stopping the baptism; she was reinstated following a legal battle. Now AFP reveals that "Turkey has embarked on a campaign to retrieve children of Turkish immigrant families living in Europe who are fostered by foreigners," i.e., non-Muslims.
Halal hysteria in Great Britain
A dinner lady at the state-funded yet "halal-only" Moseley School in Birmingham, England, has been dismissed after unintentionally serving non-halal meat one day in December. Some parents want more heads to roll. "There must be people at the top responsible too who also need to be sacked," a father argued. "It is an insult to our faith." The Birmingham City Council — which, like many local authorities in the UK, is a provider of halal food — has dutifully apologized.
The firing highlights Britain's ongoing controversies involving Muslims and non-halal meals. The uproar began in earnest when traces of pork DNA were detected in halal products destined for prisons. It has escalated into boycotts of school cafeterias, lawsuits against the government, and finger pointing among rival Muslim groups. Also noteworthy are the pandering comments of public figures such as Juliet Lyon of the Prison Reform Trust: "This is not a matter of dietary preference but of Islamic law." Meanwhile, few ask why non-Muslims, like those at Moseley, frequently are given no choice but to eat halal food.
Killing of homosexuals defended on English campus
"In this Islamic society which you strive for, in this caliphate, would you feel confident enough, personally and morally, to execute the gay man?" The question was posed by University of Manchester student Colin Cortbus at a February 13 discussion organized by the campus group Global Aspirations (GA). "Absolutely," replied the meeting's unnamed female speaker in a disturbingly casual tone. The woman discarded objections to these and other Shari'a-sanctioned penalties, such as the stoning of adulterers, in this manner: "Who even says that those things are inhumane?" (Unfortunately, the covert recording has just been removed from YouTube. IW-transcribed quotes differ from those published elsewhere.) The chair of GA, which reportedly is linked to the global Islamist entity Hizb ut-Tahrir, laughably complained that the Mancunion, the student paper that broke the story, is "ignorant of Islam" and "decided to play the media rhetoric of Islam equates to harsh punishments and lack of humanity." GA has since disbanded.
Once termed "the most conducive environment an Islamic extremist could inhabit outside Waziristan," British campuses have been hotbeds of Islamic radicalism for years. Some are wising up. For example, City University in London has been locking a room previously used for Friday prayers because the school "cannot exercise reasonable supervision."
Gita Sahgal not done shaming Amnesty International
Gita Sahgal, former head of Amnesty International's (AI) gender program, has launched the Centre for Secular Space (CSS), a human rights organization poised to continue her crusade against the legitimizing of Islamists. AI suspended Sahgal in 2010 after she criticized its alliance with onetime Gitmo detainee Moazzam Begg. "To be appearing on platforms with Britain's most famous supporter of the Taliban, whom we treat as a human rights defender, is a gross error of judgment," she said. Sahgal later quit. The first CSS report, Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights, builds on this theme and, in the words of Shiraz Maher, "demonstrates … that it is perfectly possible to speak up for human rights abuses without whitewashing those who would themselves perpetrate similar injustices."
As detailed in a 2010 IW article by Johanna Markind, rights groups often turn a blind eye to radical Islam. Also note a recent piece by Ryan Mauro that exposes the ACLU's Islamist connections. Given this track record and the alarming affinity for Islamists in certain sectors of the left, Sahgal's call for ending double standards in human rights should be applauded.
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For additional news and analysis, please visit the IW website.