Sheila MusajiPosted Apr 14, 2012 •Permalink • Printer-Friendly Version
Another fake story about Muslims demanding special treatment
by Sheila Musaji
First let’s see how the Islamophobes slanted yet another story, and then we’ll look at the facts.
Pamela Geller posted an article Imposing Islam: London University mulls alcohol ban. She posts an article from The Telegraph with this introduction Another nail in the coffin. Here again we see the imposing of Islam on the public square, all part of the ongoing campaign of the islamization of the West, as meticulously documented in my book, Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. The bottom line is, if alcohol is haram for Muslims, then don’t drink it. Period. Don’t impose Islam on non-Muslims.
Bare Naked Islam posted DON’T BAN BOOZE, BAN MUSLIMS! referring to the same Telegraph article, with the introduction You are now entering yet another Sharia-Controlled Zone in England: London Metropolitan University has just announced that it is considering banning alcohol on campus because it is ‘offensive to Muslims.’
Here is a sample of the comments under the Bare Naked Islam story:
— Muslim slaughter innocent people as the devil himself…There is “Nothing” religious about the Muslim Satanic cult! Not only do the Muslim hate non-Muslim, they HATE dogs also…If you would see what Muslim do to dogs this to would make your blood boil! There is NO place for a Muslim on earth…You want peace in the world, then rid the world of the vile creatures called Muslims and Commies!! How many more Million among Millions of innocent people have to die before the vile creatures are killed?!
— Many people are offended by moslems; myself included, so why can’t we ban islam?
— The ENTIRE Western world ought to ban Muslims from entering their countries. Further, they also need to start a crusade to drive Islam out of sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, East Asia, and any part of the Americas, Australia/Oceania where it’s taken serious hold. Do them as they have done non-Muslims for 1400 years.
— If Muslims HATE our way of life so much, then why do they come in such huge numbers to our countries? Oh, I momentarily forgot; they come to CONQUER and impose Islamic sharia law where defenseless non-Muslims have NO human rights.
Now we get to the facts that set off this hate-fest. Once again, just as in the incident at Catholic University when Muslim students were falsely accused of “wanting crosses removed”, no Muslim students made any request to the University in England regarding alcohol. There was no “imposition”, no “demands”, no “creeping Sharia”, no attempt at “Islamization of the West”.
Engage, a British Muslim group in England published an article outlining what actually happened.
There is coverage in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and the London Evening Standard on comments by the vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University that the university is considering creating ‘alcohol-free zones’.
He stated that this was to cater for a “21st-Century balance”, given its diverse student population. Almost 20% of the LMU’s students are Muslim, and according to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Malcolm Gillies “For many students now, coming to university is not about having a big drinking experience.”
The Guardian headlines with ‘University where 20% of students are Muslim considers alcohol-free zones’. The article states:
“A London university is considering establishing alcohol-free zones on its campuses because so many of its students consider drinking to be immoral.
“Professor Malcolm Gillies, vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University, said the selling of alcohol was an issue of “cultural sensitivity” at his institution where a fifth of students are Muslim.
“Speaking to a conference of university administrators in Manchester, he said that for many students, drinking alcohol was “an immoral experience”.
“He told the Guardian the makeup of his institution had changed considerably over the past few decades. In the past it had been “substantially Anglo Saxon – now 20% of our students are Muslim,” he said.
““We therefore need to rethink how we cater for that 21st-century balance. For many students now, coming to university is not about having a big drinking experience. The university bar is not as used as it used to be.”
“Alaa Alsamarrai, the vice-president of student affairs for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, said Muslim students wanted universities to be inclusive so that students “from all walks of life can come and share experiences”.
““Alcohol is a barrier to many Muslim students participating in freshers’ events and often in society activities, so we are in support of moves to have alcohol-free zones and events,” she said. “However, if a student wants to drink, we don’t want to ban them from doing that.”
Contrast this reporting with the sensationalist headlines in the Daily Mail and Evening Standard.
The Daily Mail headlines, ‘London University considers stopping sale of ‘immoral’ alcohol on campus because it offends their Muslim students’, whilst the ES headlines, ‘London university to ban alcohol because students say it’s ‘immoral’ ’
Both are factually inaccurate, as the restriction on alcohol selling would only apply to some areas on the campus, the so-called ‘alcohol-free zones’. This is something which is not clarified at all in the LES, whilst the Daily Mail makes it clear much later in its article, where it states, “Professor Gillies said he would work with the student body to move towards having areas on campus where ‘one serves alcohol and others don’t’”.
Moreover, the Daily Mail’s claim that the move is to be considered on grounds that it ‘offends Muslims’ is ludicrous. Nowhere in the comments of Professor Gillies is there the suggestion that the arrangement is motivated because alcohol causes offence to a particular group. Rather he states that it is an issue of “cultural sensitivity”, and that he is “raising the issue of changing values in student populations and the question of how a responsible university responds.”
The Daily Mail’s report is typical of its habit of publishing stories on the latest thing to ‘offend’ Muslims. Such sensationalist, and irresponsible reporting, serves to embed the false impression that Britain’s Muslim communities require ‘special’ or ‘exceptional’ treatment, apart from the rest of society.
Islamophobia Watch reports on another important detail left out of the irrational Islamophobic accounts.
The right-wing press has latched on to an interview with Prof Malcolm Gillies of London Metropolitan University in which he reportedly said he wants to create alcohol free areas on campus out of “cultural sensitivity”.
... Also worth noting is the following statement by the London Met branch of the University and College Union:
1. London Met Uni has some 25,000+ students studying in over a dozen buildings – all of which have alcohol-free coffee bars/student areas, across two distinctly separate campus areas in North and East London, with only a single student bar at each campus (the only places that serve alcohol at the university).
2. There have been no complaints or demands from students directly or via the students union for alcohol to be either banned, or partially-banned, on campus.
3. Gillies is currently selling off large sections of the university estate, including ‘The Hub’ –the student union facility (inc student bar) at the City Campus. The VC’s comments need to be seen in that light – i.e., they are simply a convenient cover for reducing student social facilities.
4. The language adopted by the VC in this regard is extremely divisive and is already stoking tensions where none had previously existed between the multiplicity of London Met’s student constituencies. The fact that the EDL (English Defence League) and other extreme Right and fascist groups have latched on to this is a major concern.
5. If Gillies were serious about student welfare and wider social and cultural equality and fairness, why has he personally defended the following university management decisions:
i) direct links with the Uzbekistan regime – noted for the torture of its opponents (primarily Muslim incidentally), and forced sterilisation of woman (see this week’s BBC report on the issue – http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01fjx63)
ii) cutting of most of the university’s student chaplaincy service – including the forced redundancy of the Imam;
iii) the drastic reduction in the opening hours of the Women’s Library (down to only 1 day per week), and its eventual closure;
All of this is happening at a time of huge cuts to student courses/modules – including the majority of the ‘critical’ subjects – such as philosophy and history, and mass redundancies amongst staff – both academic and student service related.
At best, Gillies utterances are a crass example of the disconnect becoming more and more evident at London Met between university management and the staff and students they supposedly represent. At worst, it is a quite cynical attempt to stir-up a divisive atmosphere in order to deflect attention from the far more serious issue of the deliberate destruction of a once proud inner city ethnically mixed and vibrant modern university.
After this interview with Prof. Gillies was published, the BBC asked some Muslims what they thought about possible alcohol free zones. Here are a couple of the responses:
Alaa Alsamarrai, the vice-president of student affairs for the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), said: “We want our universities and unions to be inclusive - where students from all walks of life can come together and share experiences. “Alcohol is a barrier to many Muslim students participating in freshers events and often in society activities - so we’re in support of moves to have some alcohol-free zones and events. “Though if a student wants to drink in their lifestyle, we of course don’t want to ban that.”
Farooq Murad, Muslim Council of Britain secretary general, said that thousands of Muslims attended university and as far as he was aware there had never been a demand for an alcohol ban on campuses. “There has always been a balance between social life and studying. We believe university authorities should be able to decide what works best for them in managing their campus space. Muslims have studied at universities for decades and we cannot imagine that others drinking alcohol will impede them from continuing to attend.”
The Times Higher Education reports on MORE FACTS that completely undermine the Islamophobic take on this story.
The president of London Metropolitan University students’ union has called for the vice-chancellor to apologise after he suggested the sale of alcohol should be banned from parts of the campus because some Muslim students believed drinking was “immoral”.
Claire Locke said Malcolm Gillies had “offended” Muslim students by generalising about their beliefs. There had been no calls from students to create alcohol-free areas on the London Met campus, she said.
Ms Locke argued that London Met’s Muslim students were “respectful of other people’s cultures”. Muslim students’ union officers were currently fighting for a new student bar to be opened at the university’s City campus, she added.
The Telegraph has published the following letter from Muslim students at the University:
Dear Professor Gillies,
We are responding to your recent comments regarding the proposed alcohol ban within the university on religious grounds.
London Met is a diverse and multicultural university with approximately 30,000 students representing over 150 different countries. We, as Muslim students, value democracy and respect diversity and multiculturalism and we also acknowledge that we are able to practice our faith more freely here in the UK than in many Muslim countries around the world. We find your recent comments regarding banning alcohol on university premises being based on religious grounds, as an attack not only on the values we hold, but also on the values of the wider non-Muslim community. Your comments clearly showed that the alcohol ban you proposed is based on gross generalisation about the views of Muslim students.
We hold the view that such a proposal should have been put forward to all students regardless of whether they are Muslim or not. Your failure to consult the Students’ Union (a democratically elected body representing students’ views) and the two Islamic societies at the university raise the question of how you came to the conclusion that the Muslim population at London Metropolitan are calling for an alcohol-free campus. More importantly there has never been a demand for an alcohol ban on campus from Muslim or non-Muslim students. The Muslim population at London Met stands at approximately 20%, so assuming all Muslims at the campus were in favour of the ban, this could not be imposed as it would go against the fundamental principal of democracy i.e. imposing the will of minority on 80% of non-Muslim majority.
We are aware that the current leases for the student bar located at City Campus is due to expire in the near future. All indications show that the university does not have any plan to renew the lease or replace it with a permanent licensed bar. Muslim students are being used as a scapegoat because it is deemed an easier way out than to explain to those students who use the bar that to renew the lease would be costly, and having to face backlash from the students who are paying for their ultimate ‘university experience’. To use Muslim students to justify cuts is not acceptable and certainly immoral. If the university finds that running the bars is not economically viable then you should put forward a ‘business case’ and not a ‘religious case’ to justify the closure of bars and the creation of an alcohol-free campus.
We find your argument to ban alcohol on religious grounds baseless, divisive and irresponsible and we are concerned about the welfare of the students. Your stance has already had negative impacts both within the university and in the wider society. Internally it has initiated the process of polarisation of the student body and creating resentments towards Muslim students. For example, there has already been anti-Muslim remarks appearing on various social media websites and there have also been actual incidences of student confrontations which have been reported to the Student Union, and it is only a matter of time before a Muslim student is physically assaulted.
If you are sincerely concerned about the Muslim students’ experiences at the university then we like to know why you have removed the Muslim Imam from the chaplaincy, and have not even attempted to replace him.
The media has always portrayed Islam and Muslims negatively and they would use any excuse to escalate this further. Such an unreasonable proposal which clearly many non-Muslims view as an attack by Muslims against their way of life, is absolutely of no benefit to the Muslim students and the wider Muslim community at all. In fact it demonises them even more and it will be used as baseless evidence to show how Britain is becoming a ‘shariastate’, particularly by far right groups such as the EDL who have already capitalised upon this and added it to their campaign against minority groups.
Your remark to ban alcohol on religious ground does not only undermine community cohesion, which the Home Office, CLG and numerous non-governmental organisations work hard to build post 9/11, but it also adds to the growing hostility towards Muslims. This only gives rise to Islamophobia, and incites religious hatred towards vulnerable Muslim communities across the country.
Students look up to you as a role model and a learned scholar who regularly contributes to debates in the higher education sector. We did not expect such an intellectually dishonest stance from a person of such calibre. Your undemocratic, ill devised and misleading remarks have caused tension within the university campus and in the wider society; therefore we demand a retraction of your comments and an unreserved apology.
Yours Sincerely, LMU Islamic Society & Shia Muslim Society
Outright lies or distortions about anything concerning Islam or Muslims is so common among the Islamophobes that on TAM we have an article collection that we try to update regularly called What Everyone “Knows” About Islam and Muslims. The demonization industry has become so prolific that it is difficult to keep up with the updates as they churn this crap out daily.
The most commonly repeated false claims about Muslims and Islam are that:
Everyone “knows” that most or all terrorists are Muslims, and there are no Christian and no Jewish terrorists (or terrorists of any other religious stripe), and that Muslims are all militant, inherently violent, more likely to engage in violence against civilians, and more likely than other Americans to be radicalized.
Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not interested in dialogue. That Muslims don’t help Christians in need. That Muslims can’t have Christians as friends, and are anti-Semites, Holocaust deniers, and intolerant of other faiths.
Everyone “knows” that Muslims don’t unequivocally denounce terrorism, that American Muslim leaders have not responded to radicalization in their community, that mosques are the source of radicalization, that 85% of mosques are run by radicals, that Muslims don’t cooperate with law enforcement.
Everyone “knows” that Muslims are not equivalent to real Americans, that they are the enemy within, and a fifth column, that good Muslims can’t be good Americans, that Muslims are not loyal to America, that they are not a part of our American heritage,
Everyone “knows” that Islam itself is the problem and makes Muslims “backward”, that Muslims have made no contribution to the West, that Islam is “of the devil”, a Crescent menace, a “green peril”, that was spread by the sword, an “evil encroaching on the United States”, and not a religion.
Everyone “knows” that this is a Christian nation, which the Muslims are trying to take over, starting with getting an Eid stamp which is the first step towards shariah law which is a threat to America, and a threat to our judicial system, by purposefully having more children than others to increase their numbers, and they will be the majority in this country in 20 years. Muslims are a threat to America
Everyone “knows” that the Muslims’ goal is world domination under a Caliphate, and the proposed Cordoba House in NYC is a demonstration of supremacism and triumphalism, and that Muslims planned to open it on the anniversary of 9/11.
Everyone “knows” that Islam is a monolith and all Muslims are the same, like the “Borg”. This means that every act committed by an individual who is a Muslim is directly attributable to Islam, and never because the individual is crazy, criminal, or perverted.
The problem is that what “everyone knows” is wrong. These self-righteous and incorrect statements are usually followed by a demand that the Muslim community do something about whatever is the false flag of the day or face the inevitable consequences.
In addition to these “everyone knows” statements of demonization and misrepresentation, there is also a whole industry of simply connecting with Islam or Muslims with any negative idea, event, or societal trend (even when there is no sane connection to make). These I think of as “Through the Looking Glass” claims.
For example, lots of “news” items never happened, or are simply not true.
— Arabs didn’t celebrate 9/11 at a Dunkin Donuts in New Jersey.
— Budweiser did not pull all its product from the shelves of a convenience store where there was celebration of the terrorist attacks - this never happened.
— The Muslim statement of faith (Shahada) is not an expression of hate.
— An American Missionary in Africa didn’t face possible murder charges and hanging because of a traffic accident.
— There is no verse of the Qur’an on “The Wrath of the Eagle”.
— The supposed bomb threat made by an Arizona student that led to an evacuation of the school was a hoax by non-Muslim students.
— The story that Iran was considering forcing Jews to wear a yellow star appeared in several publications and it was totally false.
— The story that Iran was going to attack the U.S. and/or Israel with nuclear weapons on August 22, 2006 was a lie.
— The slaying of the New Jersey Coptic family was falsely charged to Muslims.
— The story about the British banks banning piggy banks so as not to offend Muslims never happened.
— Muslims are not more likely to support terrorism and violence than Christians or Jews.
— Muslims did not destroy the Library of Alexandria.
— Nurses in Britain were not “ordered to drop everything and turn Muslims’ beds toward Mecca five times daily”.
— There is no Muslim sword through the 41-cents mark on the U.S. Eid stamp.
— Sirhan Sirhan is a Christian, not a Muslim.
— The Virginia Tech massacre had no connection with Islam.
— The University of Oklahoma bombing had no connection with Islam.
— A bus driver in Britain didn’t tell passengers to get off the bus so he could pray.
— Rachel Ray’s Paisley scarf is not a symbol of “murderous Palestinian Jihad” (and neither is a Keffiyah).
— A Muslim student in Florida did not refuse to stand for the pledge of allegiance.
— There were no Muslims acting suspiciously on Air Tran flight 297.
— Wearing a tee-shirt with Arabic writing on it does not make a person dangerous.
— A Madrassah is simply a school.
— The zebibah (prayer bruise) on some Muslims foreheads is not a sign of a “commitment to jihad”.
— There is no “spit jihad”
— There is no hijabi employment jihad
— There is no Muslim “marriage to important men” jihad plot
— Jihad is not terrorism.
— Ashura is not a “Muslim blood festival”.
— Muslims are not forbidden to have non-Muslims as friends.
— The Shahada (declaration of faith) is not an “expression of hate” that is “closely identified” with terrorism.
— The Nuclear Security Summit logo is an atom on a circular path, not an Islamic symbol.
— The U.S. Missile Defense Logo is not evidence of ‘Submission To Shariah’, and neither is the Flight 93 memorial.
— The Google Veteran’s Day logo doesn’t display a secret Muslim agenda.
— Muslims also died on 9/11.
— Barack Obama is not a Muslim, but so what if he was?
— Mattel is not promoting Sharia with a subversive doll that supposedly says “Islam is the light”.
— The Hamas “child bride” incident was nothing of the sort.
— The best buy Happy Eid statement on an ad was not a subversive attempt to “water down” American holidays
— The “Muslim plot” to kill the Pope never happened
—The story about a flight from London to Malta being stopped because a Muslim man was praying in the aisle was a lie
— Five American Muslim soldiers never plotted to poison their fellow soldiers.
— There is no devious Muslim plot to groom attractive Muslim women to marry important men or politicians - an Islamic/socialist/left wing plot to advance a pro-Muslim Agenda and take over America.
— Straight prayer lines, beards, hijabs, gender segregation during prayers, wearing a watch on your right hand, wearing “non-western” clothing, etc. are not “Sharia adherent behaviors” that might correlate with the promotion of violence.
— Muslim environmentalists are not part of a sinister plot to colonize the west.
— All of the rapes Oslo, Norway over the past three years were not “committed by Muslim immigrants using rape as a weapon of cultural terrorism”.
— There was no Muslim plot hatched in an on-line forum to attack British Jews over Israel’s actions in Gaza, and there was no “Islamist” named Abu Islam making these fake postings.
—Ayatollah Mohammad Taqi Mesbah-Yazd did not justify and provide Islamic guidelines for the raping of prisoners. The story was a lie.
— Keith Ellison’s use of the Qur’an in the photo op after his swearing in was not “undermining American culture”
—There is no Muslim scholar named Sheikh Haron, and everything he does or says as a supposed member of the Muslim community is a lie.
—Muslims do not block New York streets to pray every Friday.
—There is no plot to have terrorist babies born in the U.S.
—Stephen Coughlin, a Pentagon anti-terrorism specialist was not ousted because his superiors thought he was too critical of Islam
—The Holocaust museum shooting had nothing to do with Islam.
— Anders Breivik’s terrible massacre in Norway was not “a jihad” or even commited by a Muslim
— The word Slav does not come from the word for slave and has nothing to do with Islam. Slavery is not only a Muslim problem.
— There is no Muslim vehicular jihad plot
— All rapes in Norway have not been committed by Muslims (not even most)
— Whole Foods offering halal products during Ramadan was not “shilling for jihadist interests”
— There is no plot by Muslim cabdrivers in New York City to impose Sharia on America
— Muslims are not more likely than non-Muslims to approve of violence against civilians (PEW poll)
— Muslims are not intolerant of other faiths (Gallup poll)
— Claims about Muslim inferiority due to “inbreeding” are racist and a misrepresentation of the issue
— The photo of a Yemeni passenger on the Mavi Marmara holding a dagger was totally misrepresented
— There was no assassination attempt on an EDL leader in Britain
— Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf did not make a comment blaming “the Jews” for 9-11
— “Islamophobia” is not an “attempt to silence freedom of speech”
— There was no Muslim Thanksgiving turkey “stealth jihad” plot
— The ridiculous complaints about crosses at Catholic University were not made by Muslims
— The White House Iftar was not a “ghoulish” or “disgraceful” attempt to appease Muslims
— Muslims don’t hate dogs
— Muslim handshaking customs are not an attempt to force Sharia on others.
— The tragic Belgian massacre by Nordine Amrani was not a “jihad” attack and Amrani wasn’t a Muslim
— The Hollywood shooter, Tyler Brehm was not a Muslim
— An Eid party for Muslim special needs kids was not any sort of “stealth jihad”
— Requesting reasonable religious accommodation in the public sphere is not “creeping Sharia”.
— Muslim students did not “target Jewish students” with eviction notices at a Florida University.
— A spelling bee for students at Muslim schools was not an example of the inability of Muslims to integrate.
(Note: click on the links to see responses to particular claims or incidents
Where do these false claims come from? They come from a relatively small group of individuals and organizations involved in an Islamophobia industry. Please see A Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry where The American Muslim (TAM) has collected information about these individuals in an easy to use format. Just click on the links provided to go to in-depth articles and backgrounders on these individuals.• Permalink