March for Free Expression

The next phase

Monday, March 20, 2006

New Endorsement - Sayyida Rend Shakir al-Hadithi

Rend Shakir is a Muslim, a feminist, a technologist and a human rights activist. She mailed us, saying:
You are demonstrating about a subject close to my heart due to my witnessing of human rights abuses of Iraqis and experience of the dangers of losing freedom of expression.
Her title, Sayyida, means she is a direct descendant of the Prophet.

Clearly, people like Rend are the future of Islam, so we should listen carefully when she speaks. And we will be fortunate enough to have an opportunity to do just that on the 25th, because she has agreed to be a speaker at the rally.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If she is a Sayyida she should be ashamed of herself and ask herself what her great grandfather will say to her on the Day of Judgement when she has joined with people encouraging people to insult him

7:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so funny this site, whenever a single "Muslim" says they will support them, they get all excited and put up a whole post for them, cos they're not islamophobic no no of course not, they just want the right to ridicule the Prophet (peace be upon him), not Islamophobic in the slightest then...

7:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Feminist and a human rights activist, in other words someone who is in love with the western ideology and probably doesn't even believe in Islam, thus not counting as a Muslim

7:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to see the sidebar back in operation :-)
I don't like being 'anon' but I wouldn't want to bring myself to the attention of the kind of people that hold the attitudes displayed in the last three posts. What does post number 3 mean - 'she is a non-person because she doesn't play by the rules of a religion as perceived by him/her?' why, does she use lipstick? Read the Radio Times? Once you write someone off as a human being for whatever reason, then we all know the next step. If I ever had any doubt that dangerous forces are at work in our society then some of the reactions to this march 'Freedom of Expression' remember, have confirmed for me that we are heading into troubled times if we don't stand up and be counted, right, left, up or down or whatever you are, if you have belief in Democracy- it is time to act!

8:58 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to see the anonymous commenters from the Muslim Action Committee getting so worried.

9:09 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think these comments speak volumes really.

Again, as an anti-racist activist of two decades standing, the denigration of feminism, human rights and western decadence is something I formerly associated with the BNP.

People aren't prepared to sit back and see left values cast aside in the name of trying to endear oneself to the enemy's enemy or for fear of being labelled 'racist'.

10:10 am  
Anonymous Nick Pullar said...

I think the first three posters here are showing why the March is important. Note, they say that because someone does not wish to practice their religion in the same way that they do, then she is faulty, or damned, or not even a real Muslim!

Surely we need to move to a place where people can disagree about how to practice a religion without being condemned for it!

11:59 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick: I'm all for a country where people *can* be condemned for whatever anybody feels they should be condemnend for be that religion, politics or whatever. I just don't equate condemnation with violence or feel that one can ever directly cause the other.

Anon: I'm a capitalist and I value free speech too!

12:59 pm  
Anonymous Nick Pullar said...

Hi Anon

I take your point, but it seems to me that the first three commentators are attempting to deny Sayyida Rend Shakir al-Mousawi a voice. They say that she is "in love with western ideology and probably doesn't even believe in Islam, thus not counting as a Muslim" and "she should be ashamed of herself".

While I fully support these people's right to their opinion, I think it's a stupid opinion. Note the difference. They don't say that Sayyida Rend Shakir al-Mousawi is entitled to her opinion, and they disagree, they start abusing her and calling her very right to speak into question.

For them, there is only one version of Islam, and that is whichever strain they happen to hold. There are some people who think that Islam cannot be reformed - I suspect our three anonymous contributors are in that class, but all reform needs to succeed is an understanding that people of goodwill might have different perspectives, all of which have a right to speak without being shouted down or threatened.

That's what freedom of expression is all about.

1:17 pm  
Blogger Serf said...

A Feminist and a human rights activist, in other words someone who is in love with the western ideology

So you are saying that in your opinion women are second class citizens and human rights unimportant?

I don't think you will be able to convince many people of your ideas.

2:35 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

It's gratifying to see an actual Muslim stand up for humanity and freedom. I just wish this wasn't such a rare occurance.

My own view is that Islam has to be eliminated the way we did smallpox. It's just too dangerous. I'm personally no fan of any organized religion but at least the others at their worst are never as much a threat as Islam.

Rastaman, Hands across the water, promoting your March. The world is watching.

4:29 pm  
Anonymous abu shuayb said...

Mr Rastaman is a Islamophobe, who will be happy when all Muslims are wiped off the face of the earth. It's a shame such fascists are using the liberal to peddle hatred.

6:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little comment to the original post:

Having 'Sayyida' in her name does not necessarily mean that she's a direct descendant of the Prophet. It's actually a common name in Arabic means 'lady'. There are thousands of women bearing the same name in the globe.

7:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh but rastaman has a point, I think the vast majority of people in this country are Islamophobes when it comes to the MAC's brand of Islam. You might as well call us all Naziphobes.
Giving you're bigotry, 'Allahs' or Muhammad's stamp of approval doesn't make you any better than any run of the mill neo nazi.

It's the usual MAC argument - labeling anyone who finds their quasi-religious fascism abhorrent as fascists... go figure.

7:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must confess I'm getting a little sick of the hypocrites and grandstanders in the so-called 'Global Civility' outfit who, as a manifestation of the ulema growing in Britain may truthfully be said to have in years past reacted to various terrorist atrocities carried out in the name of their faith with the serenity of Hindu cows (oops blasphemy - many apologies) and yet can fly into an unholy rage at the merest suggestion that a scribble in some obscure Danish newspaper is a representation of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. What they would make of the suggestion that a cynic might make to the effect that 'The Prophet' was not a prophet at all but merely a canny and sometimes brutal Arabian warlord with a penchant for convenient visions at appropriate moments in his rather impious career of raiding and conquest is anyone’s guess. My guess is the civility would be of a similar nature to the tolerant and open-minded response of many Muslims towards Salman Rushdie after the publication of the Satanic Verses.

Indeed the great trouble with Global Civility is the ‘peace on our terms’ subtext that permeates the group and its mission – an attitude that requires us to acknowledge the inviolable reputation of this prophet and the necessity of showing deference to the taboos surrounding him otherwise who knows what might happen if 1 (or is it 1.2) billion Muslims get angry?

But on the other hand I do not wish to be rude to those who wish to make politeness a virtue… even if it is only for their own Prophet. Of course I believe in the right of all Muslims to practice their faith in this country but I also expect them to note that I and many other people have doubts and criticisms about their faith. Moreover we have every right to express those doubts and criticisms since Islam makes some fairly sweeping claims about Man and his place in the Universe. If Muslims claim the Koran and the Prophet are proofs of Allah and his Will it stands to reason that both should be subject to investigation and, if found wanting, then criticism. Criticism can come in the form of cartoons or in the form of a tirade from Wafa Sultan but most revealing is the nature of the response by Muslims, which certainly seems to be a lot more passionate in condemning a slight bit of mockery by a small newspaper in a tiny non-Muslim country than to all the terrorist attacks conducted against non-Muslims by Islamists in the name of their religion.

Many now question the priorities and sense of proportion of the Imams, Mullahs and plague of self-appointed sheiks that have set themselves up as ‘community leaders’ in this country through such organisations as the MAC.. Many will support the Rally for Free Expression out of the concern that these clerics and their rent-a-mob acolytes are pushing against free speech out of a desire to squash criticism from Muslims and non-Muslims regarding their long term agenda.

8:32 pm  
Blogger Sonic said...

Nice bunch you are getting together here Voltaire.

From one of your supporters website.

"" Muslims routinely destroy property, threaten death and bodily harm to those who speak out against them, and they constantly fund terrorism throughout the world. In Syria they have burnt an embassy, in Europe Muslims have been responsible for murdering people who have written out against Islam or made movies, and other forms of art. These actions are also approved by Islamic teachers (Imams) and religious leaders, not just undertaken by warped loners claiming to represent Islam quite against the will of the majority or authority. ........... With this ridiculous cartoon issue, we have seen that Islam has no sense of perspective. ........... Islam has become the KKK of the 21st century. The sooner we awake to this truth and take steps to ban the religion, or somehow curtail its pernicious influence the better."

Hard to argue with facts. The terrorist assault going on all over the planet has one source: Islam."

12:33 am  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

"Hard to argue with facts. The terrorist assault going on all over the planet has one source: Islam."

Islam isn't the sole source terrorism, but it is the source of much of the terrorism that is happening in the world today.

Thats the truth, its uncomfortable for nice Moderate Muslims to accept, but it is the truth.

2:16 am  

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