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Sleeping with Islam

Continuing the liberal BBC’s policy of finding strange bedfellows the Sunday Programme today 26/7/15 came from the East London Mosque, the oldest mosque in London.

We were told by Salman Farsi of the London Mosque Trust, that the place is packed at prayer time.
‘It’s jam packed with people,’ said BBC presenter Ed Stourton, sounding hugely impressed.

‘There are ‘7,000 people praying here at one time,’ came the reply.
What Stourton and Farsi meant by ‘people’ was MEN. Stourton was careful not to ask about this, or mention gender segregation at all, but Farsi did point out that the women also have a new place, somewhere else.

There is an attempt by the ‘Strange Bedfellows integration Movement’ to normalise Islam as much as possible, and the possibilities are never ending from that recumbent view point. Among other organisations involved in this are local ‘interfaith groups,’ Citizens UK, which aims ‘to develop the capacity and skills of the members of the socially and economically disadvantaged communities of Britain,’ The Centre for Theology and Community, run from the crypt of a Hawksmoor Church in east London, and people, mainly women, currently organising ‘garden festivals’ and girls youth clubs in Tower Hamlets and Hackney.

None of these good people will tackle gender apartheid, which is surely the main issue which will prevent the ‘Komoonities’ ever really getting together. In the Sunday programme we heard about these groups and their good work, and there were several patronising mentions of the mythical, ‘Mrs Khan and Mrs Green’ getting together over their sewing. The sub-text was, as one young Muslim girl put it, we in the wider society must listen to Islam and not criticise them or try to change their practices in any way.

This ties in with the acceptance by UCL in 2013 allowing gender segregated lectures, at Queen Mary’s there were lectures in which women were only allowed to speak through men. They were only stopped from holding these events after a public demonstration and reproving words from the Prime Minister. UCL was supported by Universities UK which represents all the universities apart from the Russell Group. Their website still insists that legally, students can be taught in segregated classes if they choose to do so.

The silence of all these groups on the status of women in Islam is part of the ethos among liberals in the British establishment; judiciary, education and medicine, which explains the lack of prosecutions for FGM, the continuing sex grooming of young girls by Muslim men, and the daft idea that the

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