By Guest Nicole
Religion has always been a feature of schooling in England. The Education Act of 1944 made the study of Religion the only compulsory subject in school and it was to be accompanied by a “daily act of worshipÂ” for all pupils. Back then religion was largely synonymous with Christianity.
But a recent survey from the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education shows there appears to be aÂ growing problemÂ with parents taking their children out of school RE lessons. The findings show that parents are withdrawing children from lessons on Islam, or visits to the Mosque, calling into question their preparation for life in modern Britain.
RecentlyÂ published researchÂ suggests that Â“withdrawalÂ” has been requested in almost three quarters of schools. More than 10% of those withdrawing are open about the fact that they are doing so for racist or Islamophobic reasons.
In 2017, the RE Council set up an independent commission to review RE. ThisÂ Commission on REÂ has heard much anecdotal evidence of Islamophobically-inspired withdrawal. Teachers up and down the country have stories of parents not wishing their children to learn about Â“that terrorist religionÂ”. This conflicts with the duty of schools to promote Â“British ValuesÂ” of tolerance and respect and to challenge extremism.
Recently, the teaching union, the Association of Teachers and Lecturer, passed a motion condemning Â“racistÂ” parents who pull their children out of RE lessons. The union has urged the government to putÂ a stop to it.
The law on withdrawal
Parents are able to pull their children out of RE lessons by drawing on theÂ 1996 Education Act, which states that a parent can request that for their child to be wholly or partly excused from religious education and religious worship in the school.
A voluntary Â“conscience clauseÂ” existed in some church schools since the 1820s and became part of the 1870 and 1944 education acts. Put simply, if the only school in the village was a Roman Catholic school, and Anglican and nonconformist parents did not want their children indoctrinated into Catholicism (and vice-versa) they could be excused from the religious instruction offered there. They could then provide their own denominationally suitable religious instruction either at school or elsewhere.
Some parents didnÂ’t want their children to visit a mosque.Â Shutterstock For decades this clause appeared to cause few problems. IndeedÂ research I carried outÂ suggests that there was little to be worried about. In a handful of schools, occasional families with a particular background Â– often JehovahÂ’s Witnesses Â– would not take part in assemblies or RE lessons and would instead, work quietly on their own materials. But it seems now, times are changing.
Read more:Â http://theconversation.com/parents-are-pulling-children-from-re-lessons-so-they-dont-learn-about-islam-95235
INTRODUCTION: The following was written in response to the accusation that Jehovah's Witnesses only hold their position of non-participation in political wars because they live in free and democratic countries that will respect that choice; the implication being that Jehovah's Witness do not practise their religion nor could they possibly maintain such a position in Islamic countries.
There are currently just over 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide and this includes in countries with a predominently (over 50%) Muslim population, for example there are currently 26,741 Jehovah's Witnesses in Indonesia which is 88% Muslim, 2829 in Turkey (99% Muslim), 1,263 Witnesses in Senegal which has a 94% Muslim population.
Are there any Jehovah's Witnesses in extremist Islamic states?
There are approximately dozen or so countries that claim the totality or near total of its citizens are Muslim (95-100%). There are for the most part absolute monarchies or totalitarian regimes that do not ascribe to the principal of freedom of worship. Noteworthy however is the fact that nearly all of them (with the possible exception of the Islands of the Maldives) have had a small Witness presence at some time during their modern day history (see fig 1). The 1974 yearbook of Jehovah's Witesses states the following, regarding the Arab-speaking countries "Here we find very small groups of JehovahÂ’s witnesses [...]. These are all preaching the Kingdom good news, but under very severe difficulties. Trying to present the message of GodÂ’s kingdom to Moslems is most difficult. Furthermore, conditions continue to be very tense in the Middle East" - yb74 page 21 para 2. For example the yearbook of 1975 gives the example of the North African country of Morocco with a 99% Muslim population that "the work in Morocco continues in its second year under ban, but the brothers are very strong spiritually. It was necessary for quite a few Europeans to move out, so there was a decrease of about twenty publishers during the year." - yb 1975 p.8 par 5.
Why are there no current figures for extremist or totalitarian Islamic States?Â
Many of the countries now viewed as estremist Islamic republics were, during some period in their recent history, relatively liberal. The women in Iran for example in the 1970s were free to dress as the liked and the countries accepted Christian missionaries. In such climates the Jehovah's Witnesses religion generally discretely introduced to the areas. With war, politcal upheaval or a change in religious climate in most of the arab world, things changed, missionaries were forced to leave many of the countries and no figures have been published since (for the most part) the early to mid 1970s. This however does NOT mean there are is no longer a Witness presence in the country.Â
Out of sight but still active
History testifies that even if literature and foreign missionaries are banned interested native residents once contacted (either from letters or calls from overseas relatives or another means) generally continue to make progress and in turn preach to family, friends and discreetly to acqaintences and colleagues. The JWs numbers have historically continued to grow even under total ban or blanket oppression. For example the 1992 yearbook, report of the activity in Yemen: "field service and meeting reports are sketchy, but meetings continue to be held. A sister from another country, though separated from the other publishers, conducts several Bible studies. Thus, in fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, even in this country some witness is being given." of Qatar, the 1971 yearbook (p. 194) explains "The one brother in Qatar has carried on by himself during the year preaching the Kingdom good news to those who will listen. In this Moslem land the preaching of Christianity is not looked upon kindly, and the brother is not able to work openly from house to house. But through personal contacts he is able to spread the truth and place some literature, thus opening the way for further calls."Â
The Jehovah's Witness leadership often continue to receive reports from these regions and support these ones as best they can but the Watchtower Society will not publish specific figures or inform their members of what measures are taken to help their brethren under ban. These figures,if available would come under the heading "other countries" in their public reports. According to the 2017 Report there are 31 Other lands where the witnesses are active but their work is restricted (R) or banned. The number of Witnesses in these lands totals 41,775. (see post above)
LEGAL BATTLES IN ISLAMIC STATES
It should be noted that the majority of countries in the above catagory do not guarantee freedom of religion and/or are failed States, in States that are more politically stable or Islamic States that are democratic in nature such as Turkey, Pakistan and Senegal the Witnesses numbers are higher despite the country being almost exclusively Muslim. That said in a number of these countries (such as Egypt, Eritrea, and countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union such as Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and most famously Russia) the Witnesses have still faced imprisonment and restrictions and/or are presently engaged in legal battles to protect the rights of their membership (links provided). The relevance of this is that these legal battles themselves constitute proof that the Jehovah's Witnesses continue to practise their faith in these predominently Muslim countries. The 1980 report on Syria well illustrates the situation in all these countries, stating: "What the political and social future of this troubled land will be is uncertain. But it is certain that Jehovah will continue to accomplish the preaching of the good news in Lebanon and Syria until the Â“great tribulationÂ” ushers in his peaceful new system of things. The brothers in these countries pray that Jehovah will continue to use them in that work until it is finished"
- yb 1980 p. 209 par 1
source: Legal developments (by region)
When a State completely fails or war threatens the lives of the population the Witnesses like others may have to flee for their lives or go into hiding; they carry their faith with them and will even in those extreme circumstances look for opportunities to share their hope even if physically isolated from their brotherhood. Jehovah's Witnesses remain politically neutral even during ethnic conflicts.
POLITICAL NEUTRALITY IN ISLAMIC STATES
Jehovah's Witnesses take a very firm stand against violence and do not engage in military service. This position is not exclusive to democratic countries or countries with a predominently Christian population. For example in the African country of Eritrea (50% Muslim) 55 of it's members are currently in prison (some in perpetuality for 24 years) a number of whom were arrested for their position as consciensous objectors. This is also the case in countries such as Kyrgyzstan (80% Muslim) and Turkmenistan (89% Muslim) all of which have failed to comply with the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The exitence of these prisoners prove that the Jehovah's Witness position is held in Christian and Muslim countries no matter what the personal cost may be.
ERITREA: Full list PDF download (scroll down)
CONCLUSION: The available data indicates that Jehovah's Witnesses practice their religion in both free and democratic countries as well as in countries which have a predominently Muslim population and which do not respect internationally recognized human rights. The facts testify that their position as regard to the refusal to engage in military service (as well as what they see as the divine instruction to meet together for prayer and fellowship and preach the bible) continues even if their literature is banned and they are driven underground. Their experiences under totalitarian regimes such as under Hilter or in Stalin's Russia, testifies that being cut off from the free world does not mean that, as a people compromise their position. The accusation that Jehovah's Witnesses should "Go to [an] Islam[ic]" country before they have the right to speak about neutrality, as if they are cowardly restrict their activities to where they know their rights will be respect, displays an ignorance of the facts.
By Guest Nicole
Lina Lashin, 16, Amal Qayum, 16, and Sara Lashin, 14, were among members of the Peace Mosque Islamic Community and Conference Centre who were on hand to great the public during the mosque's grand opening.
“Don't hear about us, hear from us.Â”
That was the message Kahled Gebril hoped to share on Saturday at the Peace Mosque Islamic Community and Conference Centre opened its doors to celebrate its grand opening.
Â“The message that we want to give is ... we can all live together stronger if we know each other,Â” the religious leader at the mosque said.
The congregation at the Calendonia Street mosque on Saturday hosted a public event as a way to introduce itself to the neighbourhood.
Invitations were sent to residents in the area as well as to various faith groups in Niagara.
Â“This is not just a place of prayer, rather it's a community centre and by community I mean the Niagara community and not just the Muslim community,Â” Gebril said. Â“This space is for everyone.Â”
The day-long open house included a fun fair, bazaar and barbecue.
Â“We wanted to have a carnival that was open to all the kids in the community,Â” said Lina Lashin, 17.
Â“Everyone is welcome here and we wanted to spread the word around, to say welcome to the community.Â”
Gebril said the open house was also an opportunity to clear up any misconceptions non-Muslims may have about Islam.
Â“What you hear in the media is not always a fair representation or a correct picture,Â” Gebril explained.
Â“What we want to tell people is that we're just like you...we're doctors and engineers and businessmen. We are all about peace.Â”
The congregation acquired the building in May after it outgrew its previous home on Stanley Avenue.
The new location, former home of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, will give members an opportunity to expand its services to include youth sports programs and a tutoring program for high school students.
The mosque plans to hold a food drive in the near future as well as offer a soup kitchen for those less fortunate.
Â“Our beliefs say that we're here to give. We're here to help,Â” Gebril added. Â“If we don't do this, then we haven't fulfilled our mission.Â”
“We Will Cease To Exist! Our Values! Our Identity! Will Be Taken Away By Islamization Of Our SocietyBy TheWorldNewsOrg
“We Will Cease To Exist! Our Values! Our Identity! Will Be Taken Away By Islamization Of Our Society
By Guest Nicole
La cantante y su esposo han seguido las tradiciones musulmanas
Estos actos supuestamente han desatado una guerra santa entre la familia de Wissam Al Mana y la familia de Janet Jackson, que son Testigos de Jehová.
El nacimiento del hijo de Janet Jackson es el nuevo suceso que parece confirmar que la cantante adoptó la religión musulmana, la que profesa su esposo, Wissam Al Mana.
Fuentes cercanas a su familia le revelaron a Radar Online, que los nuevos padres han realizado los rituales tradicionales que dicta la religión tras el nacimiento de un niño, desde que el pequeño nació el 3 de enero. Incluso asegura que Eissa, como lo llamaron, fue inmediatamente bautizado bajo el Islam.
“Tan pronto el niño nació, Wissam le susurró en el oído derecho la palabra `Adhan’, que le inculca al niño que Alá es el único Dios y Mahoma el único mensajero”, dijo la fuente, quien también aseguró que Wissam le pasó al bebé una fruta dulce por la lengua, una práctica que se realiza para que el recién nacido herede los buenos atributos de sus padres, especialmente del padre.
Como parte de las costumbres también se sacrificó un animal, que al dar su último respiro el padre susurró “Alá” en el oído del bebé.
“Nos dijeron que sacrificaron un cabro o una oveja, que es la tradición en cada nacimiento de un verdadero musulmán, cuando los padres quieren complacer y agradecer a Alá”, afirmó la fuente.
Estos actos supuestamente han desatado una guerra santa entre la familia de Wissam y la familia de Jackson, que son Testigos de Jehová.
Jackson, quien se casó con el multimillonario de Qatar en el 2012, desde hace unos años ha dado muestras de que estaba adoptando costumbres de la religión musulmana, pues en público había sido vista usando ropa femenina musulmana como las burkas, dejando atrás la ropa provocativa que la distinguió en su carrera. También había integrado frases musulmanas en sus canciones y presentaciones en vivo.
El nombre que le dieron al niño parece que fue lo que primero causó problemas entre las familia, pues los Jackson quería que Janet le pusiera el de su fenecido hermano Michael, sin embargo la fuente asegura que Wissam se opuso, ya que en la tradición musulmana es el padre quien elige el nombre y no permitiría que usara un nombre cristiano.
La familia de la artista sostiene que su esposo le ha lavado el cerebro.
By Guest Nicole
Many Muslims would be glad to see Europe conquered by Islam, an Austrian cardinal and leading future candidate for the papacy said. He also warned that the Christian heritage of Europe risked disappearing, with the statements raising much controversy online.
By Guest Nicole
Muslim pilgrims cast pebbles in a symbolic stoning of the devil, during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, in Mina outside of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
By Guest Nicole
By The Librarian
Dog owners have been given leaflets telling them to keep their pets off the streets for religious reasons. The handouts were published by a movement called ‘for public purity’, it claims the area has a large Muslim population who would be upset with seeing dogs on the streets.
By Guest Nicole
Sweden's state broadcaster scrapped plans to air a documentary about anti-Semitism and jihad, fearing it could offend the nation's growing Muslim population, Danish media reports. The station says it won't be aired because it failed to document reality.
“A muslim man can have sexual pleasure with a little girl as young as a baby. But he should not penetrate her vaginally, however he can sodomize her”. (Tehriro vasyleh, fourth edition, Qom, Iran, 1990)
EVIDENCE THAT ISLAM ALLOWS CHILDREN TO ENGAGE IN SEX BEFORE MENSTRUATION
First, we need to establish that Islam allows female children to be married and engaged in sex prior to their first menses (prepubescent). For that we turn to the Islamic source materials. Starting with the Quran:
If you are in doubt concerning those of your wives who have ceased menstruating, know that their waiting period shall be three months. The same shall apply to those who have not menstruated. As for pregnant women, their term shall end with their confinement. God will ease the hardship of the man who fears him. 65:4, Dawood
Brother Sam Shamoun comments on this verse:
The surrounding context deals with the issue of the waiting period for divorce, and remarriage. The Quran is telling Muslims to wait for a certain period of time before making the divorce final or deciding to forego it. The Quran exhorts men to wait a period of three months in the case of women who either are no longer menstruating or haven’t even started their menstrual cycles! (Source)
Since Muslim men are to wait 3 months before divorcing a prepubescent child it means that they have been engaging in sex with those children.
Borrowing from Sam’s work (*) I quote three Islamic scholars commentary related to 65:4 and the subject of sex with prepubescent children:
Ibn Kathir writes regarding 65:4
<divorce them at their `Iddah>, "The `Iddah is made up of cleanliness and the menstrual period." So he divorces her while it is clear that she is pregnant, or he does not due to having sex, or since he does not know if she is pregnant or not. This is why the scholars said that there are two types of divorce, one that conforms to the Sunnah and another innovated. The divorce that conforms to the Sunnah is one where the husband pronounces one divorce to his wife when she is not having her menses and without having had sexual intercourse with her after the menses ended. One could divorce his wife when it is clear that she is pregnant. As for the innovated divorce, it occurs when one divorces his wife when she is having her menses, or after the menses ends, has sexual intercourse with her and then divorces her, even though he does not know if she became pregnant or not. There is a third type of divorce, which is neither a Sunnah nor an innovation where one divorces A YOUNG WIFE WHO HAS NOT BEGUN TO HAVE MENSES, the wife who is beyond the age of having menses, and divorcing one's wife before the marriage was consummated. (Source; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Al-Tabari said regarding 65:4
The interpretation of the verse "And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the 'Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubt (about their periods), is three months; and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their 'Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise". He said: The same applies to the 'idaah for girls who do not menstruate because they are too young, if their husbands divorce them after consummating the marriage with them.
Tafseer al-Tabari, 14/142 (Source: Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)
(Question #12708: Is it acceptable to marry a girl who has not yet started her menses?)
Regarding sex with prepubescent children, Abu-Ala’ Maududi states:
"Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl at this age but it is permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Qur’an has held as permissible." (Maududi, volume 5, p. 620, note 13, emphasis added)
It is clear: Muslim men can engage in sex with prepubescent children!
By Guest Nicole
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