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National

Murtaza Ali Shah
November 21, 2013

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Sayeeda Warsi defends Islam in British parliament

Sayeeda Warsi defends Islam in British parliament

LONDON: In a strong rebuke to the extremist views of UK Independence Party member Lord Pearson, Faith Minister and Britain’s most senior Muslim politician, Baroness Warsi said he was either “ignorant” of Islam or was deliberately attempt to perpetuate a “distorted” image of the faith.
Lord Pearson in an outrageous and deeply intolerant speech during a debate on Islam in the House of Lords said there was a growing “dark side” within British Muslims. He said “part of Islam’s problem” were sections of the Holy Book that “commands the faithful to kill the unbelievers.”
“We see large and growing Muslim communities which are set against integration with the rest of us. We see thousands of home-grown potential terrorists. We see Sharia law running de facto in our land and we see a birth rate which is several times ours.”
Lord Pearson, the former leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), is a close friend of Girt Wilders (Dutch anti-Islam MP who made the film Fitna) and often rants against Islam.
Lord Pearson’s, speech and his extremist views were challenged by every single parliamentarian participating in the debate: Lord Bhatia, Lord Sheikh, Baroness Uddin, Lord Ahmed, the Bishop of Birmingham and several others.
Responding on behalf of the UK Government, Lady Warsi said: “Islam, like all world religions, neither supports, nor advocates, nor condones terrorism. Al-Qaeda’s ideology is fundamentally at odds with both classical and contemporary Islamic jurisprudence. That is why the majority of Muslims across the globe reject their ideology.
Talking about the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby, she said: “If Islam justified terror, then we would never have seen the out and out condemnation of this brutal murder by the British Muslim community.”
She added: “To be an adherent, one must also be a historian. This is a point that the late Benazir Bhutto, the first female Prime Minister of a Muslim country, once put particularly well when speaking of teachings in the Quran. She said: “In an age when no country, no system, no community gave women any rights, in a society where the birth of a baby girl was regarded as a curse, where women were considered chattel, Islam treated women as individuals.”
Baroness Warsi recently visited Washington DC to deliver a series of speeches on faith and to highlight the persecution of Christians and other minorities including Shias around the world. She told Lord Pearson not to use his position in parliament to tell “scare stories” about any one religion.
“Deep, entrenched anti-Muslim bigotry goes against everything this great nation stands for,” she said. “I am concerned that the deeper Islamophobia seeps into our culture, the easier becomes the task of extremists recruiting.”

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