The killing of so many girls and young people in Manchester this week by thugs of Middle Eastern extraction was dastardly.
Some of the background to the Manchester brutality seems to involve the Islamic religion. The Times newspaper includes articles on this aspect including one entitled:
"Many Islams exist in the world - this death cult is one of them."
The political allegiances of UK newspapers are not always clear at least to me. I know that the Guardian is ostensibly left wing and the Daily Mail right wing though to their credit both do from time to time publish articles which are critical of aspects of the political parties which they usually 'support'. Given that The Times is part of the Murdoch media group it is presumably politically right of centre though still has some leanings towards political neutrality.
The article questions who in the Islamic religion is responsible for defining what is within or without the faith or for making the rules? Who decides how to pray, how to wash and even the clothes to wear let alone defines jihad and when war may be waged for the sake of Allah?
The Times then looks at the Islamic religion's attitudes towards women now and over the centuries and points out that in all Islamic sects, girls become women and eligible for marriage at the age of puberty. It suggests that some Islamic men schooled in that kind of upbringing and/or teaching, "struggle to treat western women with respect".
Part of the article's gist seems to be that the UK has been too timid to respond appropriately to this kind of culture and gives an an example the 2014 OFSTED report on what it describes as "Britain's leading Islamic seminary". OFSTED is said to have hailed the Islamic seminary's production of exemplary British citizens yet a website promoting the seminary's teachings, according to the Times, states that "Satan uses women as his avenue to create evil in society." It also reports that the website states that women should always remain in the home. If a woman should venture out, her clothing should conceal her entire body. Unless hidden from view, she will inevitably attract men like swamps of flies are attracted to uncovered streets."
If the Times article has any truth to it then in my humble opinion the situation is appalling. The website referred to above then apparently goes on to suggest that marrying a non-Muslim risks filtering "the Christian or Jewish repulsive qualities into Muslim homes".
The newspaper article goes on to refer to Sayyid Qutb an Egyptian Islamic writer in the 1950s who is reported spitting contempt on western women.
All this would be very sad if the article concerned but a few extremists but the Times specifically adds:
These are not fringe opinions. In 2013 a study of 38,000 Muslims by the Pew Research Centre found that 46% of Pakistanis and 59% of Bangladeshis believed it was sometimes justified for family members to kill women as a punishment for pre-marital sex or adultery. More than 80% of Muslims in Jordan, Egypt and Pakistan said that a wife must always obey her husband. In Iraq Morocco and Tunisia it was more than 90%..."
Other sections of the article make for even more difficult reading, for example:
Dewsbury is far from Sinjar but it was no surprise when Baroness Warsi suggested that in her West Yorkshire home town, some Pakistani men "see women as second-class citizens and white women as third-class citizens."
The Times article concludes:
"When it gleefully claimed responsibility for the slaughter of 22 "crusaders" by its "soldier of the caliphate", Isis condemned the Arena event as "shameless". It said that the bomb plot succeeded "with Allah's grace and support." There are many Islams in this world. The death cult is one of them.
Whether this article is just right wing nonsense or contains more than an element of truth, I cannot say. That it may be the former is perhaps supported by the newspaper's headline on page 1 reading "UK home to 23,000 jihadists", which hopefully is an exaggeration.
Nonetheless there is no doubt that the UK state has had the velvet gloves on for too long as regards the traditions practices and beliefs of immigrants to the UK from certain Muslim, countries. This tragically, is exemplified by the many years of delay in prosecuting the 19 Muslim criminals of Rotherham for abusing so many vulnerable young girls. Sadly men including pastors, of other religions also abuse boys and girls but there is no apparent compunction on questioning their religion or religious leaders when the matter is reported added to which many civil law claims for damages against the religious organisations result in large sums of compensation being paid to survivors.
The law must be changed to ensure that any apt Islamic institutions can be made liable for damages in civil suits brought by survivors and other claimants in the same way as for institutions of non-Islamic religions.