Monday, October 31, 2005

Trick or Treat Citizenship

Guy Fawkes should have been part of the new British citizenship test, after all it would be a fun way to demonstrate that the fight against terror is an age-old British occupation – not to mention the crusades, of course.

I don’t know if any questions about cricket have been included, but if so it is a relief that people settling in Britain from Germany, France, Italy, or Poland won’t have to sit the test: they know nothing about the intricacies of this game which separates the civilised from the savages. Pakistanis, on the other hand, would do quite well in that department, but would nonetheless fail Norman Tebbit’s cricket test.

The odds are also weighted against other Muslim arrivals from the Commonwealth, where you’d think they know a lot more about Britishness than the continentals, because the citizenship test confirms that however anti-racist our politicians claim to be, Britain remains culturally prejudiced. If you answer the question on the age limit for buying a lottery ticket with “irrelevant” because Islam prohibits gambling, you’re likely to fail and will have to re-sit the test. This will teach you that it is very British to give a dishonest answer in order to pass.

And what about the question on the right etiquette should you accidentally spill a pint of beer on your neighbour in a traditional British pub? Aha, gotcha, if you’re not prepared to buy him a pint because your religion prohibits alcohol then you shouldn’t be in a pub in the first place. And if you don’t like going to a pub then you shouldn’t even bother applying for British citizenship. Binge drinking is part and parcel of it. As is contradicting yourself like by passing legislations for 24 hour pub openings at the same time as wanting to control the outcome with anti-social behaviour orders.

One thing, however, the designers of the British citizenship have missed altogether: The British are NOT citizens but subjects of Her Majesty the Queen. Shame on you for turning the UK into a republic by the back door!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Rice Straw might still save us

When British foreign secretary Jack Straw visited US President George Bush recently he left official business behind and went off with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who had invited to entertain him at her home town in Alabama. It is said that they enjoyed a good time together and that Jack Straw has invited her back to Blackburn, Lancashire.

On 21 October the Guardian quoted British officials as saying about this “special relationship”: "This is a chance to spend some real quality time together. It does make a difference if you have good quality relationships at this level. If you're at the sharp end of negotiations, it can make a difference."

Today, the Guardian Newspaper Group has gone a step further. In an article about in-fighting in the British cabinet in the Guardian’s weekend sister paper The Observer Andrew Rawnsley writes: “Deputising for the deputy was Jack Straw, who had only just returned to Britain from his love tryst in Alabama with Condi Rice. The Foreign Secretary, still wiping the lipstick off his collar when he took the chair for the meeting, began by telling his colleagues that he wasn't briefed on the issue…”

Are we soon going to be treated to a revelation that the special relationship between the US and the UK governments is being cemented by a love affair between their representatives? This would, of course be anything but a solid foundation for policy making, because Rice already hinted that she was not going to be faithful. According to the Scotsman “she planned to invite other foreign ministers to undertake similar tours elsewhere in the country”.

So if Jack and Condi eventually fall out with each other over a sidestep with, maybe, Philippe Douste-Blazy, the French minister for foreign affairs [the name is getting a whole new meaning], will this mean that there is finally hope that the special relationship will also come to an end and the UK can start pursuing a foreign policy more beneficial to the British people? Let’s hope so.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Which moon to follow?

Following the discussion on Ramadan Radio Luton tonight in which I participated I am posting some relevant links here to enable readers to do their own research on the matter of the beginning and ending of the Islamic lunar month. The lunar month is of great importance to the practice of Islam as it determines the beginning of the fast of Ramadan, the holy night of Qadr, the day of Eid celebrations, the timing for the Hajj pilgrimage.

A lack of understanding coupled with divided loyalties has created divisions year after year amongst Muslims to a degree that one mosque may be calling for Eid prayers to mark the end of the fasting month whilst the mosque next door is still observing the fast. I have commented on this in an article on Mathaba at the start of this Ramadan.

To see whether the moon could possibly be sighted on a given day of the month in a particular part of the world go to HM Nautical Almanac Office where you will be presented with a welcome screen asking you to accept their terms for browsing and thereafter arrive at a page which, amongst many other useful links, including Islamic prayer times, there is a link for the first visibility of the new moon crescent.
A good place to learn more about the topic is the Moonsighting Committee Worldwide particularly their page about the start and finish of Ramadan 1426, i.e. this year.

For a more specific discussion of moon sighting in Saudi Arabia a very detailed article has been published by Dr. Salman Shaikh.

The question of whether we can sort this issue out for the UK or other places in Europe depends largely on whether the Muslim community in those locations has sufficiently matured to develop a unified approach. It seems that in North America this has already happened, but here in the UK we still look to places far ashore for guidance.

For the times they are a-changing

The clocks will have to be moved back tonight as the official Summer Time or Daylight Saving Time comes to an end. Twice a year we follow this strange ritual of confusing ourselves by adjusting the clocks.

The idea was that by making people get up earlier in the summer energy could be preserved. The economic savings, however, did not materialise, and on balance it is thought that there is even a negative impact. But that doesn’t mean we’re soon going to stop the experiment, although a report assessing the impact of the European Directive on Daylight Saving Time is due at the end of 2007, so there is still a shimmer of hope. But usually, if ideas have become tradition by the time they have proven to be follies, we cling to them nonetheless.

Some people even suggest we should stick with Summer Time all year round, instead of the natural arrangement where the sun actually reaches its zenith at noon. We live in an artificial world, and for the Nanny state it must be satisfying that it controls time as well. However, as rightly pointed out in the criticisms of Daylight saving time, farmers have to suffer the most because they haven’t managed to teach their animals how to read the clock.

For Muslims there is the added inconvenience of having to change their prayer and fasting times, too, so for the time change to happen during Ramadan can be a real nuisance.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Redrawing the map?

Should Israel be wiped off the map or Palestine be added to the map? There is a simple solution: one man one vote. The Palestinians, being in the majority, might want to rename their country Palestine, but at least Israelis could then once more live peacefully in their land enjoying the proverbial Arab hospitality. And we would actually bring real democracy to the Middle East. But that would be wishful thinking. Israelis don’t want to share their space with the natives any more than the American settlers did want to share the New Continent with the Indians.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Iran and Israel

Nuke them! Iran has committed the ultimate crime: criticising Israel. In fact Iran’s president went as far as denying Israel’s right to exist and called for her to be wiped off the map. There is condemnation all around. The British government found the remarks “sickening”, the French foreign minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, stated that those remarks were unacceptable and that he condemned them with the greatest firmness, forgetting that France’s own ambassador, Daniel Bernard, had not too long ago called Israel “that shitty little country”.

In fact they all miss the point. Other than in the eyes of Western governments blackmailed into supporting Israel through the collective guilt of holocaust compliance Israel is anything but the darling of the world. And people around the world don’t loathe Israel because of her Jewishness but because of her behaviour.

Let’s face it, Israel is a rogue state in illegal occupation of another country which has flouted 65 security council resolutions against it (and an almost equal number having been vetoed by the United States), has a secret nuclear arsenal but, unlike Iran, never signed up to the non-proliferation treatment, is an apartheid state rather than a democracy where non-Jews are second class citizens and even the Semitic Sephardic (oriental) Jews are discriminated against by the non-Semitic Ashkenazi (Eastern European) majority. Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid and has already cost the US tax payer several trillions of dollars, whilst also milking Germany for compensation and going after Switzerland and other countries to cough up for alleged confiscated art treasures.

To boot it, Israel is also the inventor of international terrorism: The first act of air piracy in the history of civil aviation was carried out by Israel in December 1954 when a civilian Syrian airliner was forced down in Tel Aviv and its passengers and crew held hostage for days. And the first act of shooting down a civilian airliner was deliberately carried out by Israel when a Libyan airliner was shot down by Israeli jet fighters over Sinai in February 1973 on the direct orders of then Israeli prime minister Golda Meir killing 107 of its passengers and the entire French crew on board.

But none of that should matter to us – the important thing is that now, finally, we have a valid reason to go to war with Iran…

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

German thought-police

The leopard does not change its spots and the thought police is still alive and kicking in Germany – all that has changed is the colour of the flag. With the same vigour that the Simon Wiesenthal centre is pursuing octogenarian alleged Nazi war criminals and doesn’t mind if it sometimes gets its facts seriously mixed up, the German state is pursuing anyone who dare question any aspect of the official holocaust story line so that they can charge them under section 168 of the Federal Criminal Code for “defaming the memory of the dead”.

Numerous people who dared speaking out linger in German prisons for such thought crimes, and the most recent case is that of Gemar Rudolf whom Germany wants extradited from the United States because he had the audacity to conduct scientific experiments relating to gas chambers and publish his results. When fact becomes fiction and history becomes myth, then people will get burned at the stakes for challenging the official dogma. In Rudolf’s case only his book was ordered to be burned, an act probably justified by the holocaust industry (see Finkelstein) as protecting the highly esteemed democratic tradition of freedom of speech from being abused. [Salman Rushdie’s defamation of the prophet of Islam, on the other hand, is a laudable exercise, and burning his book an outrage].

Of course, the official holocaust version has changed many a times when an earlier Hollywood version became unsustainable. The truth will eventually out. I am not defending crimes against humanity whether conducted in peace-time or war-time, but victors’ justice is usually somewhat one-sided, and both history and humanity would be served better if the facts would speak for themselves instead of being dressed up as drama (e.g. Schindler’s list). Instead, historic and other scientific research becomes heresy and is being punished by an over-zealous thought-police.

What the holocaust lobby and the German prosecutors forget is that once a dogma needs the protection of the law more and more people are beginning to doubt its validity and whether it can really stand up to scrutiny without being legislated. Locking up so-called revisionists is therefore anything but counter-productive.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Small is beautiful

Luton airport wants to expand in time for the London Olympics. The airport always had great ambitions. It called itself London Luton although it is more than 50 miles away from the capital, about the same distance as Southend. It used to be a regional airport for charter plane and private aircraft, but with budget airlines littering the landscape offering flights to far-off holiday destinations for less than the cost of the car journey to the airport it started expanding. With the expansion came arrogance. Luton, like many other former regional airports in the UK does not want general aviation aircraft around any more and discourages them by charging exorbitant landing fees and handling charges. Thus an important part of the infrastructure disappears.
Travel by small piston and turbo planes is point to point and economically most efficient, unlike commercial air travel which is only cheap because it is heavily subsidised. Airlines pay no duty nor VAT on their fuel and are exempt from lots of other charges. In the long run all this is unsustainable and the bubble will burst. Then Luton will go the way of the only recently developed Sheffield City airport which initially banned single engine aircraft in the hope to become rich from budget airlines. When those airlines, however, preferred other locations, Sheffield airport became almost dysfunctional and had to try hard to invite private flyers back to retain some reason for its existence.
Luton might expand in time before the 2012 olympics, but there is no certainty it might survive as a viable operation much beyond then. Transport policy in Britain is very short-sighted.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Paying the Price - taxation without representation

It’s that time of the year again: my local council is sending out leaflets: Priorities for Next Year’s Budget – Have your Say… It would be nice if they told me that everything is going well and then asked what additional services I might want them to deliver in return for my ever increasing council tax. But no, they promise to try their best to keep future tax rises reasonable and then ask which services I would be prepared to cut. We’re getting ever less in return for ever higher taxes.

The key reason for this is the steady flow of funds from the public to the private sector, both nationally and locally. I’m not talking about the use of private contractors here, I’m talking about debt financing. Our government has the right to issue money. It delegates that right to the banks and then borrows the money which it could have issued itself back from the banks at interest. The banks issue the money at no risk to themselves because it is backed by absolutely nothing (other than our taxes, of course). In return they get to milk the national cow forever.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild, the founder of the world’s leading banking dynasty was a great visionary in this respect when he declared: "Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes its laws". Today all governments are in debt and that debt is serviced through our tax payments. Yet nobody seems to ask how come that individuals or even companies have more assets than all the governments and the people of the world put together? Otherwise, how could they have lent those vast sums which whole nations could not produce? We have been falling for a confidence trick since the days of William of Orange where bankers lend us what they haven’t got and then charge us handsomely for it. And they do so legally, because once the bankers corrupted the government with their money, they listened to them and not their people.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil - but keep doing it

It's official, our government is wearing large blinkers. They don't only ignore public opinion at home and abroad, they even refuse to listen to their own strategists and advisers. As reported in the Observer the MOD's own survey in Iraq told them clearly that Iraqis don't want them there and that a majority of Iraqis are in support of attacks against American and British soldiers. But the government will stay the course until the elected Iraqi government can maintain control. Fact is that an occupying power or, in legal speak, a belligerent occupier, remains responsible for what happens in the occupied country and cannot abdicate that responsiblity to a puppet regime no matter how hard they try to legitimise it. Did not George Bush himself say (about Syria and Lebanon) that you can't have free elections in a country under occupation? So the Brits are there to stay and get shot at until the Americans had enough and pull out. Until then they will keep talking about an insurgency being fuelled by foreigners (oh no, not Britain and America, they're not foreign, they own the place) and about establishing democracy and fighting terrorism. There is no doubt though that they are loosing the fight. The same Observer article quotes another leaked government memo indicating that the hastily contried new anti-terror measures are being counter-productive.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Race and riots

Another race riot in Birmingham. In spite of all the self-congratulating talk by the race industry (e.g. the race equality council) and the government, we haven't moved forward much. In fact, we might be going backwards, because we ignore some simple truths. Racial tension is not resolved by long questionnaires about ethnic background. Tension is created by inequality - housing, job prospects, economic disparity. People turn on their neighbours when they feel frustrated, and when city planning creates housing ghettos the problem is made worse.

It is a folly to think that race problems are linear, whites are racist and blacks are victims. In the Lozells area of Birmingham the dividing line is between Blacks and Asians who are both just as capable of being racist as white people are. Of course, white racism also comes into play here in that the government would rather see different sections of the community bash each other's heads in than rebel against the way they are governed. The elite's nightmare does not consist of race riots but that people of all backgrounds would unite against injustice. To prevent that they would much rather ferment animosity between communities.

The recent witch hunt against Muslims and singling them out in stop and search operations attests to that. Somebody lost his life in these latest Birmingham riots and a ball bearing gun was used. Would identiy cards have prevented this from happening? Or the right to lock up anyone as a suspect for three months? To the contrary: heavy-handed policing against law-abiding people drives real criminals further underground. Armed police result in armed gangsters. What the government and the police are foolishly doing is upping the stakes. Peace-times might be over in England's green and pleasant land.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Liberal voyeurism

Word has just come in that the German Liberals are anything but that. The leader of their parliamentary party in the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein, where they run the government jointly with the conservatives, wants to strip Muslim ladies of their cover by prohibiting teachers from wearing headscarves to school. Dr. Papke also states that Muslims must give their women a greater level of “self-determination” and “freedom” – talk about contradicting yourself!

In times of terror...

Terrorism continues to dominate the agenda. Terrorism is used as a political tool to frighten people into submission. The key question which will lead to an idea about who really is behind certain events is “Who Benefits”. Are our governments capable of inflicting harm on their own population in order to strengthen their own power base? Power corrupts. Therefore, the answer must be yes, they are. The only check on corrupt power is free discussion. Prime minister Blair does not want an investigation into 7/7 anymore than President Bush wants a serious investigation into 9/11. On 9/11 I have published a booklet looking at some of the issues: Has the World Changed?

The discussion of the inconsistencies in the official story have since gathered pace. For issues surrounding 7/7 I’ll start off my blog by referring to another article written shortly afterwards: In times of terror the truth takes a tumble.

And a little satire: Will the moderate Muslim please stand up.

A Muslim portrayal of Jesus

The following booklet written by Dr. Sahib was recently published in England.

For they killed him not – A Muslim portrayal of Jesus.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Profile: The Flying Imam

I was born in Heidelberg in Germany where I took up journalism whilst still at school and was also involved in numerous political activities. As the student protests swept Europe we held out in a school strike for a whole 3 days. After completing my school education I travelled a lot and encountered different cultures. In 1980 I converted to Islam after having read the Qur’an in translation and took a sabbatical year to teach myself Arabic. I left mainstream journalism and went into typesetting and reprographics, then publishing. I also got involved in translating.

On one of my trips to England I got married and have held a permanent residence in the UK for the last quarter century – too long, I know. I became actively involved in campaigning for Muslim schools and in 1989 founded the Islamic Party of Britain with like-minded people. I edited its magazine Common Sense for over a decade and still serve as its general secretary. Due to apathy amongst Muslims and a general unfavourable climate the Islamic Party is today more of a think tank than a fully fledged political party. Have a look at its archive and you will find a wealth of well researched materials there.

My professional work these days is mainly in translation. I hold a Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists whose member I am. I also obtained a PhD in Applied Linguistics after going back to study part-time. I am also involved in various educational, publishing and public relations activities, and for many years I served part-time as Imam at Woodhill High Security Prison in Milton Keynes, where I live. In the early nineties I took up flying and gained my PPL and later an instrument rating. I have been awarded the Golden Wings by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), a body lobbying for the interests of private pilots. I fly my own AA5 Cheetah from a local airfield and am hence the “flying Imam”.

I used to keep fit by doing Kyokoshinkai Karate up till 5th Kyu, but then moved to the less aggressive Tai Chi Chuan, Jang style. I have published numerous books, booklets, pamphlets and audio lectures, and many of those are available free of charge from either my publishing site or the Islamic party’s website, of course, you are welcome to make a donation to support this work. I also regularly give lectures at events and debates organised by university societies and participate in radio and television programmes. If you want me to take part in an event you are organising, just send me a message.


A small selection of my publications are listed below and some of these are available on line: