Friday, July 16, 2010
More than 2.5m Muslims threaten to leave Facebook after four Islamic pages are taken down
Good riddance to bad rubbish? It's probably a pretty empty "threat" anyway. The Islamic alternative is probably pretty boring. Facebook is fairly resistant to calls to modify its content so it will be interesting to see where this one goes
More than 2.5million users will leave Facebook unless certain Islamic pages are reinstated, it has been claimed.
A template letter that has been pasted into numerous Facebook pages accuses founder Mark Zuckerberg and other senior members of Facebook of 'ignoring the feelings of more than 2.5million Muslims'.
The Muslim community is angry that four extremely popular Islamic pages were removed from the site and the letter warns that unless its demands are met Facebook's Muslim users will move to an Islamic alternative.
The letter demands not only that the pages are reinstated but that new rules are introduced which make it a violation of Facebook’s terms to post anti-Islamic comments.
And Facebook is given notice that unless the changes are introduced then 2.5 million Muslim users will leave to join madina.com, a social networking site for Muslims.
The letter reads: ‘Although you have attended the world’s best communication skills courses you have been most successful in growing great hatred and hostility between you and Muslims around the world, but seriously this time you have caused an almost unrepairable [sic] damage.’
It accuses Facebook of ‘irresponsible behaviour’ for allowing to host ‘Everybody Draw Mohammed Day’ pages which sparked controversy for encouraging users to draw portraits of the Prophet.
There is no specific ban on images of Allah or the Prophet Mohammed in the Koran but there is one line which is commonly taken to mean that it is impossible for human hands to recreate his likeness. To attempt to do so would is an insult to Allah, it is believed.
The letter demands that the four deleted pages are reinstated, disrespecting Islamic religious symbols is banned and any Facebook page which does so is disabled.
Madina.com was a social networking site set up specifically for the Muslim community.
It pledges to abide by the 'highest Islamic principals' and encourages Muslim unity. Female users are asked not to use pictures of themselves as profile pictures.
It is unclear exactly why the Islamic Facebook pages, which included 'I love Mohammed' and 'Quran Lovers' were taken down in the first place.
Turning Britain into a nation full of suspects
‘A man’s home is his castle’. Rarely has this 400-year-old quipped defence against the arbitrary exercise of state power seemed quite as quaint as it does today. Because whatever else a man’s home is, whatever else he feels his private sphere to be, it is certainly not impermeable. In fact, due to a whole raft of legislation over the past 10 years, our private existence has never been quite so transparent. The state, should it so wish, can read our emails, can check which websites we visit, can watch us take our dogs for walks, can follow us on our way to work…in fact, the possibilities for state surveillance are endless. And the chief reason for this is a spectacularly snide piece of legislation called the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
Just hours before the House of Commons broke up for its summer recess in 2000, RIPA came into force. This Act granted the police, the intelligence services, Customs and Excise and the Inland Revenue unprecedented power to check upon all our communications, from intercepting emails to compelling internet service providers to hand over information about our surfing habits. So alongside the power to watch and monitor our real world activity (‘direct surveillance’), these state bodies could check upon our virtual toings and froings, too, so as to ‘obtain a picture of [a person’s] life, activities and associates’. The justification given back then for such explosively intrusive potential was internet crime and paedophilia.
As the Noughties progressed, and New Labour’s distrust of people deepened, so RIPA grew. Its liberty-snubbing surveillance powers, once the preserve of law-enforcement agencies, were extended - albeit in a slightly limited form - ever further into the public sphere. By 2002, 500-or-so more public bodies had been given the power to peep and pry, including the National Health Service, the Food Standards Agency, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the Charity Commission, the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, and, as it turned out, snoop-happy local councils. The number of organisations now in possession of investigatory powers stands at nearly 800.
However, quite why so many of the state’s tentacles were now being equipped with the power to check-up on people, to root around in their private existence, was never quite clear. In September 2003, as the issue of terrorism got added to the list of excuses for this intrusion, then home office minister Caroline Flint did have an attempt at justifying the expansion of RIPA: ‘These proposals are about vital investigatory tools being used now to prevent and detect crime and, in some cases, save lives.’
There is certainly no doubting that these ‘vital investigatory tools’ were being used. In 2008, for instance, it was estimated that there was something in the region of 3,000 RIPA operations active on any given day. Sadly for Flint, this was not evidence of widespread paedophilic depravity or terrorist plotting. In fact, what was shocking about the vast majority of RIPA operations lay not in what was being spied upon but in the sheer pettiness of the spy. Given that by far the largest portion of RIPA operations were undertaken not by MI6 but by those bastions of litter-picking vigilance, local councils, perhaps that is not surprising. As numerous reports have since revealed, over the past few years local councils have used investigatory powers to check for, amongst other heinous crimes: fly-tipping, dog fouling, retailers selling furniture not up to fire safety standards, cleaners pulling sickies and care assistants claiming too much on travel expenses. It was even revealed that Westminster borough council authorised a spying operation on greengrocers refusing to convert from imperial to metric measures.
While the stories of state snooping have been laughable for their triviality, what RIPA represents – a transformation in the relationship between state and civil society – is rather more serious. Effectively, it renders state intrusion into our private lives routine. No longer does it take something exceptional, such as grounds for suspecting that someone is about to commit a murder, for the state to authorise a stakeout. Rather, under RIPA, all that is necessary is for a council official to query whether a family really does live in the catchment area for a particular school – as happened to a Devonshire couple and their children in 2008 – and that family can then have their everyday activity monitored and scrutinised by the state. In RIPA, then, the state’s changing relationship with civil society gains legal form. We as citizens come to be viewed as potential objects of suspicion – and investigation. Our private activity, far from being of no interest to the state unless it breaks the law, is suspect in advance. We cannot be trusted, therefore we must be watched.
At the same time as the state’s power of surveillance, and its distrust of private individuals, has been cemented under RIPA, so the state is able to withhold those same investigatory powers from non-state bodies and persons. Thus while it might be okay for the state to check our emails and watch our movements – in 2008 the equivalent of one in 78 adults came under some form of surveillance by the authorities – for an investigative journalist to do likewise, to peer, for example, into the life of a public figure is criminalised. Hence last year the broadsheet Guardian newspaper claimed that journalists for the tabloid News of the World had broken the law when reports that they had allegedly hacked the phones of several public figures emerged. If RIPA legitimises massive, and – as the numerous tales of council-stalking woe indicate – unjustified state intrusion into our lives with one hand, with the other it makes the attempt of a private individual to do likewise illegitimate. To pry, to poke around and to spy is the state’s right and its alone. It denies to the private individual what it wants to arrogate to itself.
The continued existence of RIPA – despite the recent, largely bureaucratic changes made to the way in which local councils can use it – degrades those in whose name the little-loved Labour government introduced it. It transforms our everyday activities, no matter how mundane, whether that’s sending emails, taking dogs for a walk or taking your kids your school into suspect, possibly dodgy activities. By allowing so many with so little justification, to monitor our behaviour, to peek at our emailed thoughts, divests us not just of our privacy, but what that entails, namely our freedom to exercise our own judgement about how best lead our lives. Under RIPA, the right to make that judgement now belongs to the state.
Anti-Islamic crusader launches recruitment drive in UK
Controversial anti-Islamic politician Geert Wilders has pledged to form an international 'freedom alliance' to spread his gospel of Muslim intolerance across western nations - including the UK.
Wilders, whose Freedom Party made big gains in the Netherlands general election in June, says Britain along with Canada, the U.S., France and Germany are the core states he wants to target.
The politician made a speech outlining his plans today in The Hague.
Once banned by Britain as a hatemonger, Wilders was allowed in to speak with MPs at Westminster in March to expand on his thesis that Islam is a "fascist" religion entirely incompatible with democracies.
He says he has chosen the five western nations to spread his message based on the fact that all have high levels of Muslim immigrants, liberal democratic processes and all face Islamic terror threats.
He also cited a recent crime study in Germany claiming young Muslim males are more prone to violence than any other immigrant group. The study said the findings will probably hold up in other countries with high Muslim populations where hardline Muslim clerics wield undue influence over young male followers.
The study, based on interviews with 45,000 boys and girls aged 14 to 16, also concluded that male supremacist views and a preference for violent videos and computer games link closely with mosque attendance among the young.
Wilders, who is still slated to stand trial in Holland in the autumn on race-hate charges, believes Britain in line with the others should end all immigration from Islamic nations.
‘I have a problem with the Islamic ideology, the Islamic culture, because I feel that the more Islam that we get in our societies, the less freedom that we get," he said recently.
'I believe we should have a stop of the mass immigration from Islamic countries, not because the people are bad, but because they bring a culture that really is against everything in our own values.'
Guarded permanently by an armed security detachment, Wilders became a target for assassination after making the film Fitna. Although only 17 minutes long, Fitna shows selected excerpts of the Koran, interspersed with media clips and newspaper cuttings showing or describing acts of violence and hatred by Muslims.
The film attempts to demonstrate that the Muslim holy book motivates its followers to hate all who violate Islamic teachings. Consequently, the film argues that Islam encourage acts of terrorism, antisemitism, violence against women, violence in general, subjugation of 'infidels' and is firmly against homosexuals.
He has in the past compared Islam to Nazism, the Koran to Adolf Hitler's hate-filled autobiography Mein Kampf, and branded Islam 'retarded'.
In Holland he boosted the showing of his party in the general election by mooting a tax on Islamic headscarves and banning the Koran altogether.
'Wicked' woman who cried rape is jailed for three years in Britain despite being seven months pregnant
There is an epidemic of false rape claims in Britain but at least the Brits do jail some of the liars
A young woman who ripped her clothes and gave herself a black eye to support her rape lies was yesterday jailed for three years. Leyla Ibrahim, described as wicked by a judge, is seven months pregnant and will give birth in prison.
Her false rape claims started a £150,000 police investigation in which four students were arrested and subjected to humiliating examinations.
They were questioned for nearly three days during which time one attempted suicide. They were later victims of public abuse, and one has since left the area.
But the 22-year-old woman had invented the whole incident in order to teach her friends a lesson after they abandoned her at the end of a night out, a judge said.
The four wrongly accused - two of whom were under 16 - are still suffering as a result of the stigma caused by the false allegations, Carlisle Crown Court was told.
All were 'subject to name calling and abuse in the street' following their arrests, with one describing the ordeal as torture.
Another said he was devastated by the harrowing experience and had been unable to eat or sleep. One suspect complained: 'We were treated like s*** and not a stint (sic) of an apology.' Even the doctor in the case described the examinations as 'intimate, embarrassing and uncomfortable'.
A senior police source said the four were still 'really struggling' with the aftermath of the case.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.