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Archive for June 7th, 2011

A Drunk And A Mosque.

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Another sign of open anti-Muslim bigotry, the Torygraph explains:

“Jamie Knowlson, 30, also draped slices of meaton railings outside the mosque as his victims prayed inside.

He was then caught on CCTV hurling abuse at worshippers after they confronted him over his act.

Islam teaches its followers to avoid pig meat as it makes them impure and unclean.

Knowlson initially told police the stunt was a drunken joke but later admitted that he was fully aware of the offence his actions would cause.

He pleaded guilty to causing racially or religiously aggravated harassment and could have been jailed for up to two years.

But he walked free from Bristol Crown Court with a suspended six-month prison sentence because he had returned to the mosque to apologise for his actions.

Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Carol Hagen said: ”It is difficult to imagine a more offensive incident.

”Not only the fixing of meat to railings but aggravated, in my view, that members of the mosque were inside praying at the time.”

The court heard that Knowlson, from Kingswood, Bristol, targeted the Al-Baseera mosque in the St Judes area of the city which is used by more than 2,000 Somali Muslims every week.

He crept to the mosque from nearby Redwood House homeless shelter on January 9 this year – putting ham in footwear and on railings outside the building as worshippers prayed.

CCTV footage showed him returning to the shelter, where he was confronted by the mosque’s caretaker Abdi Djmaa.

As Mr Djmaa returned to the mosque he heard shouts of ”the next visit will be harder”, ”bad meat” and ”girls” coming from the direction of the building.

David Hunter, prosecuting at Bristol Crown Court, said it had been a premeditated attack specifically targeted at the Muslim community.

Ian Halliday, defending, said: ”This was a brutal, misconceived, drunken prank. He returned to the mosque and offered his apologies in person.”

Knowlson sat in tears as he was handed a six-month suspended sentence and 150 hours of unpaid work.

A second man is due to stand trial in connection with the incident later this month.

After sentencing, Mubarak Mohamud, one of the three imams at the Al-Baseera mosque, claimed the inflammatory act had upset the Muslim community.

He said: ”There wasn’t anger, people were more upset and shocked.
”We don’t eat pork and we are banned by our faith from eating it, as it makes us impure when we are going to our prayers.

”We don’t hate the man – we just suppose he doesn’t know us.”
Knowlson refused to comment after leaving court.

A drunken reveller had urinated through the letter box of the same mosque a few years ago. “

Update 1: Any racists or thickarses tempted to comment on this post should first read my comments policy, then go else where.

Update 2: Readers might like to peruse this post as well, Site Of The Month: I’m Not Racist, But.

Written by modernityblog

07/06/2011 at 14:17

A Thin Skinned SNP Councillor, The Middle East And Boycotts.

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I was going to forward a good letter on West Dunbartonshire Council’s boycott of all Israeli products to the Council and Councillor Jonathan McColl, but alas they are blocking communications on Twitter.

They seem naive and thoughtless, to imagine that their actions would not receive a response, but worse than that they haven’t really adjusted their positions. Instead they have become truculent and defensive, which is a pity for the Scottish National Party, as it makes them look small-minded and parochial.

This letter from Pete Tobias‎ to Councillor Jonathan McColl of the SNP is well worth a read:

” June 1st 2011

Dear Councillor McColl,

I have just watched your video blog on YouTube and would like to apologise for the abuse that you and your fellow council members have received from members of the public who are responding inappropriately to your council’s decision to impose a (somewhat selective) ban on goods produced in Israel. I shall refrain from commenting on your interesting views how items such as mobile phones purchased in stores Glasgow owe nothing to Israeli technology, or how you seek to avoid any accident that might require you to receive medical treatment pioneered in the country you and your council seem to have singled out as the sole perpetrators of human rights abuses and atrocities.

Please allow me to be slightly more constructive and make some suggestions as to how you might restore the image of your council as a legitimate and sensible authority rather than appearing to be anti-semitic by focusing exclusively on the State of Israel for your ‘symbolic’ gesture.

Why not propose a motion at your next Council meeting condemning the violent and oppressive treatment of the Syrian people by their own government? And in case you think what is currently happening is an isolated incident, check this out: http://bit.ly/mBGcr9 . Worth a symbolic protest of some sort, don’t you think?

Or how about the Democratic Republic of Congo? www.savethecongo.org.uk. Darfur? Burma? Tibet? Sadly, the list of places in which human rights abuses are perpetrated by one group of people against another is a long and painful one.

As a rabbi, I have consistently found myself being vilified by my own community for comments that I have made criticising Israel’s actions. We are, after all, a people who are taught to think of ourselves as ‘poor we us’, as you so rightly observe, and how dare one of the Jewish people’s own leaders dare to add his voice to those who demand no less than Israel’s destruction? But when I do so, I try to balance my arguments (eg http://bit.ly/kLFUky , http://bit.ly/bYbSAI) – and I also recognise that there are other regimes in the world worthy of criticism.

That last point, I am afraid, is where your claim that West Dunbartonshire Council’s venture into international relations represents a genuine concern with human rights smacks of the anti-semitism that you seek to deny. Your council’s actions are unbalanced, are directed towards one individual country’s failings, but do not even try to take into account the numerous other human rights’ abuses that exist in our troubled world.

Councillor McColl, if you are genuinely concerned about human rights, and you genuinely want to demonstrate that West Dunbartonshire Council is similarly dedicated to such issues, might I suggest that you seek out one or two other causes to champion in your Council Chambers, some different human rights’ violations over which to make a ‘symbolic’ gesture? Otherwise, I am afraid, your protests that you are not behaving in an anti-semitic manner founder on the knee-jerk reaction your Council has made to one situation while ignoring numerous others.

I look forward very much to hearing that West Dunbartonshire Council has passed a resolution condemning the actions of the Syrian government, the Libyan government, the Egyptian government, the Burmese government, or any other cause of your choice. If you are unable or unwilling to do this, then I am afraid you are guilty as charged, and your position in singling out Israel is indefensible.

Yours sincerely,

Rabbi Pete Tobias”[My emphasis.]