With all this carnage in the cause of Islam, the UK is weighing legislation to institutionalize the definition of Islamophobia in racial rather than religious term. No jokes:
“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”
Soeren Kern explains:
- …..t would effectively shield Islam from scrutiny and valid criticism.
- “We have here a clash between two very different ways of viewing a society: broadly individualism and collectivism…. In a collectivist society the aim is for the rulers to determine how individuals should behave … those in power lay down a detailed code and threaten punishment for non-compliance. And they do not welcome criticism as a device for mutual learning and holding power to account.” — David Green, The Spectator.
- “We are concerned that allegations of Islamophobia will be, indeed already are being, used to effectively shield Islamic beliefs and even extremists from criticism, and that formalizing this definition will result in it being employed effectively as something of a backdoor blasphemy law.” — Open letter signed by 40 British academics, writers and public officials to Home Secretary Sajid Javid.
Days after the British government rejected its preferred official definition of Islamophobia, the Muslim Council of Britain, the biggest Islamic organization in Britain, called for the ruling Conservative Party to be officially investigated for Islamophobia.
Writing for The Spectator, David Green, the founder and chief executive of Civitas, a non-partisan public policy think tank based in London, warned:
“If this definition becomes law, no one would be sure which forms of words could land them in court. It is precisely such uncertainty that makes the difference between a police state and a free society. Historically the term ‘rule of law’ was used to describe the political system in which everyone knew when the law could be used against them and when they were free to act as each believed best. As John Locke put it, in England there was a ‘standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society’ which meant ‘a liberty to follow my own will in all things, where the rule prescribes not; and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another’….
“Using words with the intention of stirring up racial hatred is not protected [under British law] and — no doubt for this reason — the APPG definition claims that criticizing Islam is a form of racism. But race and religion are very different….
“We have here a clash between two very different ways of viewing a society: broadly individualism and collectivism. Individualism sees the primary aim of the state as being to facilitate development of our personal qualities….
“In a collectivist society the aim is for the rulers to determine how individuals should behave … those in power lay down a detailed code and threaten punishment for non-compliance. And they do not welcome criticism as a device for mutual learning and holding power to account.
“We have encountered these authoritarian ideas throughout the history of Europe and thought we had advanced beyond them…. The APPG definition is an attempt to recreate the atmosphere of the past….
“There is wide public support for freedom of speech and it is unlikely to be officially ended by an act of parliament, but it can be chipped away bit by bit. Giving official recognition to the APPG definition of Islamophobia will be a giant step towards an arbitrary police state.”
Senior British police officials have cautioned that the proposed definition of Islamophobia could cause confusion among police officers and hamper the fight against Islamic terrorism. In a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May that was leaked to The Times, Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), wrote that the AAPPG’s definition risked exacerbating tensions with the Muslim community and could undermine counterterrorist policing powers and tactics:
“We are concerned that the definition is too broad as currently drafted, could cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge legitimate free speech on the historical and theological actions of Islamic states.
“There is also a risk it could also undermine counterterrorism powers, which seek to tackle extremism or prevent terrorism.”
‘This is how you gut an infidel’: Jokes at London Bridge terrorist’s barbecue three weeks before attack revealed
- Terrorist Khuram Butt hosted a barbecue to celebrate the birth of his son
- One guest said ‘this is how you gut a Kuffar’ while skewering meat on a barbecue
- The jibe was witnessed by Butt’s brother Saad, who worked against extremists
- The comment was made at the inquest of London Bridge terror attack victims
Giving evidence at an Old Bailey inquest Mr Butt said the family was only moderately religious going up.
‘We would still fast and do all the regular things, but in terms of praying five times a day – no,’ he said.
The court heard that as a teenager Khuram Butt was ‘the life and soul of the party’, having multiple relationships and smoking cannabis.
Mr Butt first noticed a change in his brother’s demeanour shortly after their father’s death.
‘I started noticing a positive difference in him.
‘He gave up his parties, girlfriends and cannabis around that time.
‘I noticed a visible difference from what he was wearing before,’ he said.
Mr Butt described beginning to realise the extent of his brother’s religiousness when he attended his wedding.
His reignited religious fervour was so extreme he insisted his new wife Zahra was hidden from view behind a screen.
‘He was extreme in everything he did. With the parties, he had multiple girlfriends, sex with random individuals,’ said Mr Butt.
‘Now that he is starting practicing Islam he wanted to do it fully, to impress God.’
Alarms bells went off in February 2015, when Butt announced to his family his intention to move to Syria.
The terrorist’s brother, Saad Butt was giving evidence at an inquest into the eight victims of the attack in June 2017
Butt committed the attacks along with Racid Redouane, left, and Youssef Zaghba, right
He bought a one way ticket to Turkey and was eventually planning to move to the Islamic State stronghold.
‘From my understanding, he wanted to fight the armed forces with ISIS,’ said Mr Butt.
‘His cover story was that he wanted to settle in a majority muslim country.’
The family was ‘shocked and appalled’ at the decision, and threatened to disown him in order to change his mind.
Mr Butt, who had worked for the anti-extremism organisation Young Muslim Advisory Group until 2012, was asked why he didn’t report his brother to the authorities.
‘I felt very capable of monitoring him.
‘I felt confident, because of my background, I could keep an eye on him,’ he said.
Mr Butt continued meeting with his brother on a weekly basis, and was eventually reassured he planned to settle in the UK.
Despite their frequent meetings and his attempts to challenge his brother’s views Mr Butt said he was largely ignorant of his more extreme associations.
‘I was meeting him, but I am not MI5, I am not police,’ he said.
Jonathan Hough QC, for the coroner, told him: ‘Did it occur to you it might be a good idea to call the authorities that could, perhaps, involve the sort of people you describe?’
In his attempts to sway his brother away from the path to radicalisation, Mr Butt also strongly discouraged him from his plans to take a second wife in 2015.
‘We were quite shocked, that with a lovely wife and mother he had and with a child, he was thinking about aecond wife,’ he said.
‘We reinforced to him that Jihad was also to be home with your wife and child.’
Mr Butt was questioned on why he failed to alert authorities to his brother’s extremist views
The documentary The Jihadi Next Door, which featured Khuram Butt and highlighted his extremism aired in 2016, but his brother claimed to be unaware of it.
Mr Butt said he was devastated after the tragic death of his three-year old daughter.
Mr Hough said: ‘Some might think it surprising that your brother appeared in a national television program associating with extremists and you were not told about it by the rest of the family.’
‘My daughter died because of third degree burns and I think that as far as the family was concerned that was the least of my worries,’ he replied.
Overtime, Butt became increasingly bold in his expression of ant-Western and islamist views.
He posted inflammatory messages in a Whatsapp group both brothers were in.
‘Allah has promised the believers victory’, read one.
‘That is a message that suggests he doesn’t like the country he is living in,’ said Mr Hough.
Mr Butt described feeling relieved when his brother told him he was being looked at by MI5 under the pretext of a fraud investigation.
He believed that now that somebody was monitoring his brother the situation was under control.
On the 14 May, Khuram Butt hosted a barbecue in front of his estate to celebrate the birth of his second child.
A lot of men his brother only knew from the Whatsapp groups were there, wearing traditional muslim garb.
‘One of those that were doing the barbecue stuck a skewer in the meat and said ‘This is how you gut a kuffar’, that means a non-Muslim,’ said Mr Butt.
Asked whether he told his brother everything afterwards, Mr Butt said the only thing they spoke about was a whole in the fencing that could be a safety hazard for Butt’s young son.
On the day of the attack, the family had been up late to break their fast and did not notice Butt missing.
But his brother became concerned after Butt’s wife called him the next morning to tell him he had not come home.
After asking his brother’s friends if they’d seen him, he called the police to report him missing.
‘Were you later contacted by a friend of Khuram’s asking you to check the images of the attackers online?, asked Mr Hough.
‘This friend thought one of the attackers was Khuram?’
‘Yes,’ replied Mr Butt, his voice breaking.
The inquest continues.
Timeline of terror: How killers planned deadly rampage which claimed the lives of eight people
Acting Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley told the Old Bailey about the men’s preparations in the days leading up to the attack.
January 14, 2017: All three attackers were working together. They regularly trained at the Ummah Fitness Centre in Ilford, east London, and went on Sunday swimming trips to nearby Stratford
May 14: Redouane was pictured at Butt’s barbecue celebrating the birth of his daughter
May 15: Pink 12in Ernesto ceramic knives were bought by Redouane at Lidl in East Ham at 10.15pm
May 29: The attackers were seen on CCTV footage meeting at the fitness centre
May 30: Redouane went back to the same Lidl to buy wine bottles for the makeshift bombs. The mock suicide vests worn by the attackers were made from four bottles covered in silver tape attached to a brown belt.
DNA analysis suggested Redouane made the fake suicide belts, with help from Zaghba, the court heard.
June 3, 11am: On the day of the attack, Butt made an online booking to hire a van from Hertz. He had tried to hire a 7.5-tonne lorry but the branch he asked to collect it from had closed at 11am that day, the court heard.
Midday: Shortly before midday, Butt had gone walking with his family in a park. He was captured on CCTV withdrawing cash to hire the van, accompanied by his oldest child. The young boy was shown tugging at Butt’s shirt before his father gathered him into his arms at the cashpoint.
5.50pm: They arrived at the B&Q store in Romford and parked up next to the van. Redouane’s red Corsa was later seen arriving at the B&Q in Harold Hill, Romford, to collect the van.
The attackers also bought 29 bags of gravel, which were put in the back of the vehicle to add weight.
They left the B&Q at 6.34pm, with Zaghba driving the van and Butt in the front passenger seat, while Redouane followed with his daughter in the Corsa. Redouane dropped off his child before joining the others at Zaghba’s home in Fairfield Road in Ilford.
7.45pm: The attackers stopped off in the van at a Shell garage at 7.54pm, where they bought diesel, drinks and snack bars before heading to Butt’s Barking address.
8.10pm: The vehicle stopped for 10 minutes, leaving at 8.20pm and arriving at Butt’s flat where Butt and Redouane loaded some chairs that had been left outside the block and Butt added a red suitcase.
8.55pm: The men set off towards central London, but missed the turning for the A12 and had to double back, before leaving at the Bow Flyover to join the A11.
9.32pm: They drove down Whitechapel Road, and entered the City at 9.32pm along Fenchurch Street, before driving a circuitous route around Fenchurch Avenue, onto Leadenhall Street and then Gracechurch Street.
9.58pm: They were at London Bridge, but continued over the bridge and down Borough High Street before turning around at Marshalsea Road, returning.
10.06pm: At Monument Station on the north bank, they turned around again and then drove south over the bridge again, mounting the curb at 10.06pm.
10.17pm: Within 10 minutes, they had killed eight people and injured many more before they were shot dead by police marksmen.
The eight victims killed in the London Bridge terror attacks
Spaniard Ignacio Echeverria was stabbed to death as he tried to fight off the terrorist attackers with his skateboard.
The 39-year-old had been in the UK for over a year was working as a financial crime analyst at HSBC.
Mr Echeverria joined unarmed police constables Wayne Marques and Charlie Guenigault in fighting off the three attackers as they set upon Marie Bondeville, hitting at least one terrorist with his skateboard.
‘His courageous efforts were to seek to stop the attack,’ Chief Coroner Mark Lucraft said.
Mr Echeverria was the youngest of five siblings and was a Catholic who went to mass every week. He could speak English, German and French fluently.
Nurse Kirsty Boden was fatally stabbed as she tried to tend to the wounded and the dying.
Miss Boden, 28, moved to London in 2013 from the small town of Loxton, in South Australia.
She was a senior staff nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and lived with her British boyfriend James Hodder in a flat in Hampstead.
Mr Hodder said: ‘She loved people and loved her life helping others. To Kirsty, her actions that night would have been an extension of how she lived her life.’
Alexandre Pigeard was working as a waiter at Boro Bistro when he was attacked.
The 26-year-old Frenchman had moved to London to further his ambitions as a dance music DJ.
Minutes before he was fatally stabbed, he video-called his father Philippe during a break from work at the French restaurant.
Mr Pigeard had planned to return to France in the autumn of 2017 to help open a restaurant in Nantes and to record an EP with his musician father.
Mr Pigeard senior told the inquest: ‘I’m present here as a devastated father who has lost a child in such circumstances – an inconsolable father.’
James McMullan was stabbed in the chest near the Barrowboy and Banker pub while he was celebrating getting financial backing for his online education company.
The British-Filipino entrepreneur was watching the Champions League final with friends in the pub.
The 32-year-old, from Hackney in East London, was attacked when he stepped outside to have a cigarette.
He had dreamed of helping children without access to education through his e-learning company.
Mr McMullan’s father Simon described his son as ‘funny, charming and clever’ and said ‘his fearlessness could never be underestimated’.
The mother of chef Sebastien Belanger said she does not forgive the terrorists who ‘mutilated and killed him’.
Her 36-year-old son was drinking at the Boro Bistro when he was stabbed repeatedly in the chest.
His mother Josiane Belanger said: ‘We miss him so much, his smile, his joie de vivre. I do not forgive what they did to him.’
Originally from Angers in western France, Mr Belanger started work at the Coq d’Argent in the City and was promoted to the role of head chef.
Australian au pair Sara Zelenak was on the ‘trip of a lifetime’ when she was stabbed to death while on a night out with a friend.
Miss Zelenak’s mother Julie Wallace said ‘every sliding door’ put her daughter in ‘harm’s way’.
‘She was meant to be working and at the last minute she got the night off,’ Mrs Wallace said.
‘At 10pm Sara’s phone rang and her friend said ‘I’ve finished at the rugby’ and so she left her safe haven and walked out into a terrorist attack and was stabbed to death.’
Before leaving for UK in March 2017, Miss Zelenak worked with her stepfather Mark as a crane truck operator in Brisbane to save up for her trip.
Her parents have since set up Sarz Sanctuary to help other families to cope with grief.
Xavier Thomas was walking over London Bridge with his girlfriend Christine Delcros when they were hit by the van.
The 45-year-old father-of-two was catapulted into the Thames and his girlfriend suffered life-changing injuries. His body was recovered downstream three days later.
Mr Thomas, who had arrived in London on the day of the attack, lived near Paris and worked for American Express.
Miss Delcros said: ‘Since Xavier disappeared in such tragic and traumatic circumstances our whole world has fallen apart.’
Canadian tourist Christine Archibald told her fiance Tyler Ferguson she loved him seconds before she was mowed down.
Miss Archibald and Mr Ferguson were walking across London Bridge after dinning at a nearby restaurant when the atrocity unfolded.
Her fiancé said: ‘At one point Chrissy stopped me out of nowhere, grabbed me close and gave me a passionate kiss after telling me she loved me.
‘I remember it being a warm summer’s evening and the sun had just gone down.. And then the attack took place and Chrissy was killed.
‘No words can express how I felt when this happened. I was absolutely devastated and inconsolable. Nothing has ever been the same since.’
Miss Archibald’s engagement ring was lost during the attack, but later recovered from the bridge. Mr Ferguson now wears it on a chain around his neck.
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