Fewer than one in four people now believe that following Islam is compatible with a British way of life, Britain's most senior Muslim minister will warn today.
Highlighting unpublished research showing that a majority of the country now believes that Islam is a threat to Western civilisation Baroness Sayeeda Warsi will say that "underlying, unfounded mistrust" of Muslims is in itself fuelling extremism.
And she will cite new figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers showing that between 50 to 60 per cent of all religious hate crimes reported to police in Britain are now perpetrated against Muslims.
I wonder to what degree that is because the police won't receive hate crimes perpetrated against Christians.
"My fear is that seeing one community as the 'other' is a slippery slope that will enable extremists to advance their twisted interests unchecked," she will say.
"I don't have to remind anyone what happens when an unfounded suspicion of one people can escalate into unspeakable horror."
Two years ago Baroness Warsi, who has responsibility in Government for faith and communities, was criticised claiming that Islamophobia in Britain "had passed the dinner table test".
Typical Muslim reversal of the truth. The Islamic world is a notable sea of fire in an otherwise generally placid world. Because all its various neighbours are conspiring against it, or because Islam's the cause of all the trouble? Occam wouldn't have to strain himself to draw the obvious conclusion.
Warsi needs a lesson in The Basic Blinding Obvious.
TURKEY'S prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, believes that one of the keys to prosperity is a young population. He would love to ban abortion and he nags families to have at least three children. His campaign received an unexpected boost from a respected Islamic theologian, who said on a popular television show that sex was a form of worship. "Sex is a part of worship and, indeed, is the same as namaz (Muslim prayers)," Ali Riza Demircan told Haberturk TV. A conservative backlash then forced him to clarify that sex and prayers were not of equal virtue.
To the delight of TV channels, the Islam and sex debate is growing noisier. A young Islamic counsellor, columnist and TV host, Sibel Uresin, has jumped in, saying that "the path to proper namaz goes through proper sexual union." Mrs Uresin (her name means "should reproduce") also believes that polygamy should be legal because "the Koran says so." To prove her sincerity she has "offered" a friend to her husband.
"Lego has been accused of racism by the Turkish community over a Star Wars toy allegedly depicting a mosque.
"The critics claim that the Jabba's Palace model, part of Lego's Star Wars range, offends Muslims as it resembles the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul -- one of the world's most renowned mosques." I guess Christians should be offended, too, SINCE IT USED TO BE A FUDGING CHURCH!
Decades ago, George Lucas and his creative team built structures that share engineering similarities with a mosque and a minaret, an act that now apparently constitutes cultural insensitivity. The Islamic group took issue with the "terrorists" who inhabit Jabba the Hutt's palace, interpreting the scoundrels of Tatooine as some sort of cultural dig at the Muslim faith.
The Turkish Cultural Community of Austria might want to take note: Mr. Lucas has taken political pot shots at individuals using his work, but most of them were aimed at former President George W. Bush. The billionaire behind the franchise -- and avid Obama supporter -- is most certainly not subversively attacking Islam through plastic Legos.
To definitively get to the bottom of this controversy, it would be interesting to interview director "Theo" van Gogh. Mr. van Gogh created the documentary "Submission" with Somali activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. But he's dead -- murdered by Islamic extremists. French intelligence agent Denis Allex would be the next logical choice, but he's also dead -- murdered by Islamic extremists in Algeria.
Murder by religious fanatics is culturally "insensitive." Plastic toys created by Lego are not, and leaders who placate the perpetually aggrieved only make the former more likely in the future.
There are many interpretations to the surprising election results in Israel. But one, perhaps overlooked thing, is clear. The Oslo Accords have lost all relevance. Thirty-five political parties participated in the election campaign and not one dared link the Oslo Accords to their political platform. Oslo has become a four-letter word for Israelis. Signed with much fanfare on September 13, 1993 by the late PM Yitzhak Rabin and former PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, the ill-conceived accords will go down as an historical folly.
Leadership in Israel has not changed in 2013 but the core issues have. Israelis have realized that after 20 years of endless deliberations, senseless withdrawals and delusional Palestinian demands, a viable peace agreement is unattainable in the foreseeable future. And so the national agenda must change.
Netanyahu, Lapid and Bennett can bring that change.
The only party leader that challenged Netanyahu's premiership got less than half his mandates. Before Labor's Yachimovich decided to declare herself as a candidate for prime minister, the polls gave her 23 mandates. But due to that misguided declaration voters gave her party 15 actual mandates on Election Day.
A sea change has come over the situation in Syria. "The French foreign minister said on Thursday there was no sign the Syrian crisis was going to be resolved anytime soon, in contrast to his prediction last month that the end was near for President Bashar al-Assad."
...There are signs that the opthalmologist of the Damascus is off the hook. Abderrahim Foukara, the Washington bureau chief for Al Jazeera International claimed in an NPR interview that President's inaugural speech signals that Assad can keep his skin. "I should say that if Bashar al-Assad were listening to the speech that President Obama made on Inauguration Day, he would probably have rejoiced in some parts of it. The president said that as far as he's concerned, the decade of wars is over. And Bashar al-Assad would probably interpret that that the United States is not going to come directly to the rescue of the armed opposition in Syria."
Foukara gave two reasons for the about face. The first was the steadfast support of Russia and Iran for Assad. They were not backing down. The second was the realization stemming from Benghazi debacle. "The other concern is that the United States has for some weeks now been saying that jihadi groups, as it's called them, are operating in Syria, having come from Iraq, affiliates of al-Qaida, and giving weapons to the Syrian opposition may end up in the wrong hands. So they will not do that."