Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Glasgow Imam (04/04/16)

The BBC reports that the Glasgow Muslim preacher, Habib ur Rehman, who has been pilloried for expressing his support for a fanatical religious murderer is adding insult to injury by continuing to insist that his ill-judged comments were somehow 'misconstrued'.

Now the imam, a 'holy' man, has had time to reflect on what he said and to offer up sincere apologies for being so stupid, yet he continues to pretend that his comments were taken out of context, and that his support for a cowardly assassin could be compared to the French resistance fighting the Nazis in World War Two. 

If you ask me, I can't see the good people of Glasgow, including sensible Muslims, putting up with this nonsense and the weasel words of someone who is supposed to be a mainstream religious leader and respected member of the wider community.

The point is not to charge him with a criminal offence, but to require the imam to explain himself publicly - and either defend or withdraw his insulting remarks 

Extremism claim imam will not be charged

BBC Glasgow & West Scotland

Image caption - Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman said he condemned "extrajudicial killing and anarchy"

The religious head of Scotland's largest mosque who praised an extremist executed for committing murder in Pakistan, will not face charges.

Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman of Glasgow Central Mosque used WhatsApp to show his support for Mumtaz Qadri.

Qadri was hanged in February after murdering a local politician who opposed strict blasphemy laws.

Police Scotland said it had reviewed the messages but said "no criminality has been established".

The imam said the series of messages about Qadri, in which he reportedly called the killer a "true Muslim", had been "taken out of context" and were about his opposition to Qadri's hanging and the Pakistani justice system.

Image caption - Imam Maulana Habib Ur Rehman is the most senior imam at Glasgow Central Mosque

Speaking at a conference in Glasgow on Thursday representing differing strands of Muslim faith, imam Habib Ur Rehman repeated that his comments were "misconstrued" and said the situation had added to his "sense of tragedy" following recent terror attacks.

He said: "I condemn extrajudicial killing and anarchy. The spirit of Islam is a spirit of peace."

Police Scotland Superintendent Jim Baird said: "Officers have reviewed all comments as reported to Police Scotland and, whilst it is appreciated that individuals raise issues that concern them, on this occasion no criminality has been established.

"Police Scotland thank the members of the public who raised this issue with us.

"Each person who reported their concerns to the police, and who were not anonymous, was responded to individually. This assisted us in directly answering the specific points they raised."

Religion of Peace? (25/03/16)

"How can Islam be described as a 'religion of peace' when its mainstream spiritual leaders praise the actions of fanatical Muslim murderers?"

Now that's the question that jumped into my head when I read the following report from The Herald newspaper regarding the words of the imam of Glasgow Central Mosque, Habib ur Rehman, who compared the cowardly behaviour of an assassin with the heroic fight of the French resistance in World War Two.

Now as any reasonable person would observe the French resistance were fighting for freedom and against tyranny, whereas Mumtaz Qadri murdered the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, whose only 'crime' was to defend the rights of Christians being persecuted under Pakistan's notorious blasphemy laws.

Now this is taking place right in my own back yard and I feel the need to do  and say something about these outrageous comments, so I think I will be contacting my local MP and MSP as well as writing directly to the Glasgow Central Mosque. 

But well done to David Leask The Herald newspaper because no one reading about this kind of behaviour should just shrug their shoulders and walk on by.

Imam at Scotland's biggest mosque praises Islamist assassin

Spirital eader of Scotland's biggest mosque praises Islamist assassin as concerns of radicalism rise

By David Leask - The Herald

The spiritual leader of Scotland's biggest mosque has praised an Islamist assassin amid fresh concerns about the threat of radicalism at the Muslim centre of worship.

Habib ur Rehman, the imam of Glasgow Central Mosque, said extremist Mumtaz Qadri was a "true Muslim" and equated his actions with the French resistance against the Nazis during World War Two.

He made his remarks last month as he protested the execution of Qadri for the 2011 murder of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab who had championed the rights of Christians being persecuted under blasphemy laws.

Religion of Peace? (27/03/16)

We all have a problem on our hands, including sensible Muslims, when religious leaders use 'weasel words' in a desperate effort to cover up their intolerance.

The 'imam' of Glasgow Central Mosque, Habib ur Rehman, says he is being 'misunderstood' and that he merely wished to convey his opposition to a murderer's hanging by the Pakistan Government.

I'm with the imam on that score, as an opponent of capital punishment myself, but these were the words that were actually used by Mr Rehman:

"A true Muslim was punished for doing (that) which the collective will of the nation failed to carry out.

"According to some he was a murderer but according to many others he did what was the collective will of the umma (Muslim community).

"Just when France was occupied by the Nazis, French did all they had to do to protect their nation. They were national heroes."  

Now these are vile and incendiary things to say - and they are a million miles away from simply opposing the death penalty, so well done to the Glasgow lawyer, Aamer Anwar, for calling a spade a spade with the following comments:

"Many within the community are horrified and scared that such views will filter down the Muslim community and radicalise our children. To describer a convicted terrorist as a 'true Muslim'  or draw parallels with the 'French resistance fighting the Nazis' is grotesque.

"There can be no moral or religious justification for remarks which glorify murder."

But rather than simply driving the imam out of his current lofty position, surely this is an opportunity to debate the issues involved and emphasise the values that underpin democracy including freedom of expression, non-discriminatory laws, tolerance and respect for minorities.