Can Benoît Hamon inspire a new, inclusive French secularism? | Naïma Benallal

The Guardian World news: Islam - 3 February, 2017 - 14:19
At the heart of this presidential showdown are two competing visions of laïcité, and the space accorded to Islam and multiculturalism in French society

The second round of the leftwing presidential primary last weekend showcased two diametrically opposed concepts of French secularism. The victory of the rebel outsider Benoît Hamon marked the rejection by leftwing voters of the version of secularism fiercely defended by the former Socialist prime minister Manuel Valls.

Related: French Socialists choose leftwing rebel Benoît Hamon for Élysée fight

Related: Paris knife attack: soldier shoots man outside Louvre in 'terrorist' incident

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More than 150 UK mosques hold open day for non-Muslims

The Guardian World news: Islam - 3 February, 2017 - 11:50

Visit My Mosque day on Sunday is aimed at fostering a better understanding of religion in effort to counter rising Islamophobia

More than 150 mosques around the UK will open their doors to non-Muslim visitors this weekend to offer people a better understanding of Islam and the chance to ask questions about the faith.

Thousands of people are expected to take part in the third annual Visit My Mosque day on Sunday, visiting mosques from Inverness to Plymouth. Most are in cities with large Muslim populations, but there are also smaller mosques, for example in Craven Arms in Shropshire, Bangor in north Wales, Belfast, and Maidenhead, the constituency of the prime minister, Theresa May.

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President Trump and Modern Muslim Emotionalism

Muslim Matters - 3 February, 2017 - 10:05

The Prophet ﷺ advised; “don’t get angry”, yet, anger is arguably the single most unifying emotion of Muslims today. When it comes to Muslims, anger is the emotion that people appeal to the most to get an expected response and it is the single emotion that we all seem to find common ground upon. One thing that people can bet on time and time again is Muslim outrage. It has been demonstrated throughout recent history that Muslim outrage is the most incendiary, and most frequently the go-to emotion that we have in our moral arsenal. It has also shown to be a proven distraction.

Stoking the fires of Muslim outrage is a sure way to get Muslims to focus their anger, their despair, and their umbrage and disappointment into a fixed emotional receptacle or personality, yet meanwhile forget about our own actions, forget about Iblis, forget about what our scriptures say about how to deal with things, and forget about all the other underlying issues that we have yet to adequately come to grips with. In the process, we even forget about our Lord and our own moral obligations! Some of us even get angry when other Muslims do not share our outrage. We question their faith as if conspicuous outbursts of anger in response to issues are a bona fide sign of one’s piety.

The sad reality for Muslim Americans is that we show very little resistance or even awareness to emotional manipulation. Our approach to things is more episodic than foundational. When things happen we tend to respond with emotion instead of principle. Our so-called core values change with the changing of political climates and that does not bode well for a people who regard themselves as a people of faith. In fact, most of the time we don’t even know who is pulling the strings, who is choreographing our outrage, or who it is that constructs the assembly of issues for us to pounce upon at any given time. Muslims frequently end up supporting accompanying issues by default that contradict our faith, and don’t even realize it.

So since the anger of the week these days seems to be directed at President Trump, does that mean that we’re not angry at ISIS anymore? And when someone new is added to the Muslim collective anger list, does that mean that someone falls off the list? Or does the list just grow and grow? And who’s in charge of the Muslim anger list anyway? A few years ago the radio talk show host Michael Savage was on the list, Bashaar al-Asad, the president of Syria, was on the list at one time. Don’t know what happened to that.

In this post truth, post critical discernment world of ours, everyday Muslims are simply pawns in the game politics and issue assignment. Oftentimes there is no room for debate, no room for dissent, no room for reasoning and more increasingly, less room for scripture in our community when it comes to dealing with real-time issues. On any given day, there are hundreds of events around the world that affect Muslims in one way or another. Yet, as things happen, the media reports what will evoke the most sensation, Muslims in turn, jump on it in anger, protest and outrage, and then the rest of the American Muslim community are corralled or bullied onto the bandwagon.

We need to change our way of thinking. There is no such thing in these times as a Muslim side versus a non-Muslim side. There is truth, there is falsehood, and there is ambiguity — as well as reason and irrationality. If we want to look at an authentic, legitimate Muslim side of things then we need to refer to our scriptures; (Quran and the Sunnah), which when confronted with today’s emotionalism, many Muslims are unwilling to do.

We seem to be forgetting that there are other untapped emotions that we could summon in times of trial and duress like forgiveness, patience, and fortitude, and that we could build movements and consensus around. By sticking to anger as the go to emotion of choice, we open the door for all the other sentiments that accompany anger such as revenge, hate, blame, scorn and outrage.

Finally, if you view the Trump ban as a wakeup call and feel inspired to now go forth and perform acts of kindness, goodness and charity then that is a good thing. These new policies on immigration can serve as a reminder. However, when you go forth to do good, do it for the sake of Allah because it is the right thing to do, and not simply for image building. Do it for faith; and not fear, politics or headlines.

American born Luqman Ahmad is a Sunni Muslim, the son of converts to Islam. He is a Philadelphia native, a writer, consultant, and until recently, has been the Imam of a Northern California mosque for twenty years. He blogs at and can be reached at

I broke bread with Malcolm Turnbull. Now he's breaking my heart | Yassmin Abdel-Magied

The Guardian World news: Islam - 3 February, 2017 - 00:34

Malcolm Turnbull claims to be committed to multiculturalism but his failure to condemn Donald Trump’s discriminatory travel ban tells another story

Malcolm Turnbull is breaking my heart. Why are all citizens equal, but some are more equal than others?

It was only a few months ago that we broke bread together. He talked about how much he valued the Muslim community. I was so proud of what I hoped were changes in the attitude of the the Australian government – it was the first ever Iftar (which is the breaking fast meal during Ramadan) held at Kirribilli House – that I wrote an article supporting the event following criticism it received in the press.

Related: 'Big personality': Australian PM puts brave face on phone call with Trump

Our commitment to multiculturalism & a non-discriminatory immigration system is well known.

For over a decade, Muslims in Australia have been made to feel like our citizenship and Australian-ness is conditional.

Related: Australia needs to adapt to the new circumstances of Trump’s America | James Curran

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BlackMuslimBan | Take Down the Wall in Your Hearts

Muslim Matters - 2 February, 2017 - 18:02

It’s encouraging to see what happens when, despite our differences, we come together for the greater good. Seeing droves of people around the nation and world stand up with us against the unjust #MuslimBan gives me hope for a better world. However, I can’t help wondering what we as a Muslim community in America are offering our refugee and immigrant brothers and sisters once the ban is lifted and they are given the right to live here. Will we invite them to our (non-existent) loving, united Muslim community, which is based on the Islamic teachings of tolerance and inclusion that the #MuslimBan seeks to obliterate? Or will we do what we’ve always done: invite them to support the bans we hold closest to our hearts, the most sacred of which seems to be the #BlackMuslimBan.

It is no secret that one of the pieces of advice many immigrants receive upon settling in America is to dissociate from African-Americans, at all costs. Thankfully, there are exceptions to this, as there are intercultural communities and organizations in which grassroots work is being done to combat racial and ethnic division in the Muslim community in America. However, the problem of anti-Black racism remains quite widespread and is manifested in the common advice passed around in communities comprised of mostly immigrants and their American-born children and grandchildren. Sometimes the advice is overt, other times subtle. But the message is passed on (and understood quite clearly) nonetheless: African-Americans are violent, immoral, and intellectually inferior, they are told, and they blame racism for all their problems; meanwhile the real problem is themselves—whether due to lack of personal motivation and laziness, or to the pathological “breakdown” of their families.

This racist message is so widespread and accepted among non-Black-Americans that aspects of it were echoed at the 2016 RIS (Reviving the Islamic Spirit) Conference from one of the most celebrated American Muslim scholars in the world, Hamza Yusuf. Ironically, his racially insensitive remarks were made in a context in which he was being asked about the collective Muslim responsibility in joining efforts to combat anti-Black racism. When there was an uproar (and justifiably so) against his sharing grossly misleading information about African-Americans being killed by police, he said this during the clarification of his point: “[My point is that] the biggest crisis facing the African-American communities in the United States is not racism; it is the breakdown of the Black family.”

Wow. We can talk about his apparent sincerity, his apparent love for his Black Muslim brothers and sisters, and even his heartfelt apology and retraction (if we could be so generous as to call it that). But the fact of the matter is, what happened at that conference was not (and will never be) about Hamza Yusuf the person. I imagine that he, like so many privileged White men in America and abroad, is well-meaning and sincere as he inadvertently furthers a system that destroys Black lives as a matter of course. Like Hamza Yusuf did at RIS, far too many ostensibly sincere White men and women have for generations used savior-complex rhetoric while hiding behind podiums and scholarly titles (secular and religious) when sharing “facts” and “research” to tell Black people what our problem is. They tell us we’re suffering from anger issues, paranoia, hallucinations, and even mental illness when we recognize that, outside the normal spiritual, personal, and family struggles faced by all human beings on earth, racism is in fact the biggest crisis facing Black people, nationally and internationally.

However, it bears repeating that Hamza Yusuf isn’t the problem here. Yes, he is definitely an emotional trigger for so many Black people (myself included) suffering from the trauma of America’s generational racism passed down most insidiously through many “sincere” White people who think they’re only trying to help. And yes, what he said was egregious and needs to be refuted, unapologetically. Nevertheless, on a personal level, the weighty wrong of his words rests on his shoulders and soul alone, and only he can stand before Allah and answer for that. It is not for me to label him racist or anything else, good or bad. In fact, I find the discussions of his sincerity, his love for Black people, and his apology not only irrelevant in light of the widespread harm he caused, but also a means to (even if unintentionally) further anti-Black racism itself, hence my blog “He Apologized? We Have No Idea What an Apology Means”.

In truth, what the Hamza Yusuf tragedy brought to light was something much bigger than any single human being: His words ripped the cover off the nasty underbelly of the anti-Black racism that has divided the Muslim community in America for generations. His words forced those with sincere, vigilant hearts to take notice of a problem that they likely imagined didn’t exist, at least not on that scale. If a respected and celebrated White Muslim scholar could feel justified (even if only briefly) in making such blatantly racist remarks to a public (predominately non-Black) Muslim audience, his words were certainly only the tip of the iceberg in highlighting what is really going on in our communities in the West.

The truth is, however, Hamza Yusuf’s words were nothing new for many Black-American Muslims, though many didn’t expect such horrific sentiments to come from him. Interestingly, this is similar to the shock-and-revelation that happened to many sincere White Americans when they heard the words of Donald Trump. However, Trump’s rhetoric was blatantly pernicious, while Hamza Yusuf’s was merely the result of the ever-so-familiar “good White person” causing so much harm while he is trying to do good.

The #BlackMuslimBan

It is ironic that many Muslims will, in front of (and alongside) non-Muslim allies, cry for tolerance and acceptance when demanding their constitutional rights. But they’ll go right back home and teach their own children something that even many disbelievers have graduated beyond: anti-Black racism, or as I’ll call it in this blog: the #BlackMuslimBan.

The #BlackMuslimBan states that a respectable Muslim shouldn’t befriend, live around, trust, or intermarry with Black people. If anyone does, they become the shame of their own people. Thus, except for the few obligatory token Black people propped up when their presence (or service) is needed or desired somehow, Black people are either overtly or covertly banned from entering non-Black communities, masjids, or families in any meaningful role. And ironically, this ban is most obvious in Muslim communities comprised of immigrants and their children and grandchildren—yes, some of the same communities we are (and rightly so) shouting our support for in combatting Trump’s #MuslimBan.

Black Muslim Activism and the #MuslimBan

I remember hearing a lecture about the reason for the divisions in our ummah, and the scholar said something that few Muslims would even consider: that the root of our division lies in our refusal to stand shoulder-to-shoulder and foot-to-foot with our Muslim brothers and sisters in prayer. What he was alluding to was the hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) advised Muslims to close the gaps in the prayer lines lest we allow the Shaytaan to come between us. He said that many Muslims would think this root cause is overly simplistic, but when you look at what’s happening in our masjids, it really isn’t, he said. In other words, if it’s so simple, why are gaps and crooked lines a continuous problem for us? The answer: Because our hearts are divided, and it’s reflected in our inability to even line up properly for prayer.

“Yes,” he said, “you as an individual might realize the necessity of closing the gaps during prayer, but you can’t do it alone. Have you ever tried?” he said challengingly, slight humor in his voice. “You can’t. Why? Because solid, straight prayer lines are something that require everyone’s participation.” You might close one gap, but a few people down, there is another one, and if you somehow miraculously achieve an entire line with no gaps, chances are, the line is obviously crooked.

I mention this lecture here because it is such a profound analogy regarding what is happening with African-American Muslims participating in political activism, social justice, and intra-religious tolerance in Muslim communities. We show up to defend the rights of our non-Black-American Muslim brothers and sisters, and will continue to inshaaAllah. However, as soon as victory is tasted, we’re stepped over, trampled, and ignored. The gross injustices we face in the school-to-prison pipeline, mass incarceration, eugenics programs, and the continuous killing of Black bodies are denied, trivialized, and even blamed on us. And when we speak up about it, we’re met with the racist rhetoric echoed by Hamza Yusuf at the RIS Conference: the problem is you and your horrible families.

In other words, like Trump’s #MuslimBan in the eyes of many Americans, the #BlackMuslimBan can be viewed as justified due to the inherent pathology of Black people and their “broken” home life. Such a degenerate reality would almost necessitate a protective wall being built to keep Black people out so that they don’t infect “good non-Black families.”

Yes, I know. Hamza Yusuf didn’t intend to strengthen the #BlackMuslimBan. But that’s highly irrelevant because his words did.

And here’s the problem: Allah will not give us victory in overcoming an external enemy until we fix the problems within ourselves. So as we all stand together and shout against Trump’s #MuslimBan, we better be prepared to stand up against the nasty underbelly of the #BlackMuslimBan that so many of us have held sacred for far too long. And as many Black Muslim activists continue to do their part in fighting for the rights of those who continuously disregard and disrespect them, we Black Muslims cannot close the gaps in this ummah alone. This solidarity of standing shoulder-to-shoulder and foot-to-foot in front of our Creator is something we all must participate in.

“But Black People Aren’t Faultless!”

If there’s one message I would love to be resonated over and over, it is the very one often used to dismiss the anti-Black racism I discuss in this blog: Black people aren’t angels! They do wrong too!

SubhaanAllah. That’s precisely the point. Black people are human beings just like you. Therefore, of course they aren’t angels, and of course they do wrong. There’s absolutely no difference between them and you. And given how rampant anti-Black racism is in both Muslim and non-Muslim circles, I highly doubt that anyone is genuinely under the impression that Black people are faultless angels.

In fact, it is our inability to be non-angels and flawed human beings without being severely punished for it that makes anti-Black racism so destructive. The rhetoric of Hamza Yusuf makes this point chillingly clear. Meanwhile, many White American families suffer from incest, alcoholism, sexual abuse, adultery, drug abuse, and narcissistic personality disorders, problems so widespread that fields of psychology were developed (and zillions of books written) just to address them. Yet a White man feels comfortable standing before an international audience to say that there is something uniquely pathological in the “breakdown of the Black family.” It is no secret that part of the goal of America’s systematic racism (historically and presently) has been to literally tear apart the Black family. Therefore, if there is something uniquely wrong in our homes, it likely lies in that very deliberate anti-Black racism funded and furthered by White supremacy, which informs both national and international policy till today. So even if we were to discuss the “broken” families of Black people, my question is, what’s White people’s excuse?

I don’t ask this to be sarcastic, or to suggest that White people have a family pathology that non-Whites don’t. I ask because in highlighting the dysfunction present in families of White people (whom our collective inferiority complexes make us want to emulate), we can understand what should have been obvious in the first place: White people, like Black people and others, face the same human problem: They are children of Adam and thus subject to all the good, bad, and ugly that comes along with being flawed human beings.

Moreover, we’re all suffering from the effects of generational racism, as the blatant and subtle messages of generational racism affect both White and non-White psyches, hence the reality of PTSS (post traumatic slave syndrome) which is till today suffered by both Black and White Americans, as discussed by Dr. Joy DeGruy. This PTSS leads many Whites to either consciously or subconsciously believe they are superior to others. However, America and the rest of the world like to pretend that the effects of this nation’s history is a stigma carried only by Black people, allegedly because we refuse to let go of “the past,” even as our concerns regard what we are facing in the present.

Thus, when I hear someone say, “Black people aren’t faultless!” in discussions of anti-Black racism, I think to myself, “I agree.” However, I wish we as African-Americans were given the human dignity to not be stereotyped as inherently anything except human. As cliché as it sounds, I don’t believe Black people are better than Whites, or vice versa. As I discussed in the blog Judging People As Good Is Also Prejudice, I see absolutely no benefit in viewing any group of people as superior to another, even if that group is an oppressed minority.

Likewise, I certainly don’t view any people (or their families) as inherently more “broken” and dysfunctional than others. Yes, each culture and people have their unique struggles that naturally manifest themselves in different ways based on historical and cultural contexts. However, having personal fault and family dysfunction is not a Black problem, just as racism is not an “American problem.” Both are human problems; thus, they are by extension Muslim problems too.

Therefore, it would help tremendously if we as Muslims, individually and collectively, would stand up firmly for justice, as witnesses in front of Allah, in countering rhetoric that suggests anything else, regardless of whether it comes from the mouth of a U.S. president or a respected Muslim scholar, or even from our own homes, communities, and families.

Lift the #BlackMuslimBan

The fact that Muslims continue to deny the subtle and blatant anti-Black racism that is rampant in our own communities should be a cause for serious concern regarding our future in America (and abroad). Our future success does not lie with convincing Donald Trump (or any other corrupt leader) that a wall shouldn’t be built to keep Muslims out, even as our continuous opposition to the #MuslimBan is necessary. Rather, our future success lies in our being convinced in front of Allah that the wall we’ve built in our hearts against each other must come down. Now.


Want to support grassroots community work aimed at strengthening our ummah? Email  

Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of more than fifteen books, including the If I Should Speak trilogy, Muslim Girl, His Other Wife and the newly released self-help book for Muslim survivors of parental and family abuse: Reverencing the Wombs That Broke You, with contributions by Haleh Banani, behavioral therapist.

To learn more about the author, visit or subscribe to her YouTube channel.

It’s not just Trump’s US. Anti-Muslim hate threatens Europe too | Joe Mulhall

The Guardian World news: Islam - 2 February, 2017 - 17:09
The Islamophobic ideologues at the heart of the new US administration have allies on this side of the Atlantic. We must all fight the spread of their divisive lies

While Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration has dominated headlines, it is important to place his anti-Muslim policies in an international context. Far from an anomaly, this is part of a much wider process of mainstreaming anti-Muslim prejudice, which has been present on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond for a decade or more.

Related: A chronicle of fear: seven days as a Muslim immigrant in America | Mona Chalabi

Ukip has been a key part of the process of mainstreaming of anti-Muslim ideas

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After the Quebec mosque attack, Canada needs to take a hard look at itself | Emer O'Toole

The Guardian World news: Islam - 2 February, 2017 - 14:32

The six Muslims who were murdered on Monday lost their lives in a context of creeping intolerance, fuelled by Canadian politicians as much as Trump

On Monday, a gunman walked into a mosque in Quebec City and murdered six innocent people. And now, as is human after tragedies like this, we’re trying to figure out why.

Much has been made of the prime suspect’s support for Donald Trump. After all, we know this act of terrorism happened two days after the Muslim ban took effect at American borders, one day after a mosque in Texas was burned in a suspected act of hate. There has also been considerable attention to Alexandre Bissonnette’s support for Marine Le Pen, linking his apparent Islamophobia to the wave of far-right populism in Europe. These contexts are crucial. We should ask questions about the relationship between far-right politics and far-right terrorism. We should ask whether the “sermons” of Trump or Le Pen are enough to radicalize someone like Bissonnette.

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Time for Europhiles to divide and rule

Indigo Jo Blogs - 2 February, 2017 - 13:33

Black and white picture of Jeremy Corbyn taken from the right, standing in front of a lectern with a microphone, with a camera pointing towards the audience from his left.So, in the last few weeks Jeremy Corbyn has shown his true Euro-Sceptic colours, issuing a three-line whip to order his MPs to vote in favour of the government’s bill to trigger Article 50 (which, of course, he knows a large section of his MPs will simply ignore) while a number of Labour MPs and Labour-associated columnists (most recently Mark Seddon in the Guardian) running scared of the working-class Brexit vote in the North, which in places voted heavily for leaving the EU (he cites Easington, County Durham, which voted 57.5% to leave), which it fears could turn towards UKIP, much as working-class Americans voted for Trump even as their leaders (e.g. union shop stewards) advised them to vote for Hilary Clinton. He puts this down to yet another campaign to undermine and remove Corbyn. I’m not convinced.

For a start, why would anyone want to undermine Corbyn — apart from the fact that he’s the least effective opposition leader in recent history, unable to command a majority of MPs despite his support among ordinary party members, and the fact that being part of the EU was a key plank in the platform that kept Labour in power for 13 years and one that Corbyn always opposed, except during his lukewarm pre-referendum performance? But really, I very much doubt that these MPs want to sabotage Article 50 in order to undermine Corbyn; it is more likely to be the other way round, since they believe passionately in British membership of the EU and what it represents, and believe that leaving will leave Britain isolated, attempting to strike trade deals singly with other major powers, all of them thousands of miles away from British shores, rather than being part of a ready-made bloc of several of the world’s strongest economies which is on our doorstep.

But there is more to the EU than just the economics. Barack Obama was still president of the US when the referendum was held seven months ago and the smart money appeared to be on Hilary Clinton winning the election to succeed him. Today, an incompetent, racist buffoon is in charge and has made protectionist noises, put fascists in key national security positions and has threatened everyone’s security by killing a small girl in the Yemen while targeting the house of someone the US had a grudge against, and sparked a constitutional crisis and possibly the revival of the mostly moribund al-Qa’ida by deliberately barring and harassing legal immigrants from several Muslim countries on completely spurious grounds and then openly defying court orders to desist. Are we going to choose to tag along with this goon, or be a bit-part player in a US-Russian axis, or remain in a bloc with 27 other stable democratic countries? The choice should be obvious; if we leave, our ‘closest ally’ will soon be somewhere that British citizens cannot guarantee being able to do business because of lawlessness and state harassment.

Paul Nuttall, a white man with a short beard, wearing a yellow and purple tartan cloth cap and jacket and a yellow and purple striped UKIP tie, standing next to Richard Gibbins, a shorter white man with glasses, wearing a black rimmed hat, cream jacket and a black and white tuxedo and bow tie underneath; both wearing UKIP rosettes, standing outside a converted shop unit on a corner with 'Paul Nuttall' displayed in big letters above the doorway along with posters showing UKIP promises.Labour MPs are being asked to disregard their London voters (characterised as students, ethnic minorities and the “loony left”) so as to shore up their votes in the Midlands and North, where there is a substantial anti-EU Labour vote. This is exactly what they did in the 90s, disregard those very people so as to chase after middle-class votes in the Midlands and the Suburbs; now they fear losing their votes to UKIP. For this to happen, however, UKIP would have to put up some credible candidates. It is a sign of their lack of talent that their leader, Paul Nuttall, is being parachuted in from Merseyside to stand in Stoke-on-Trent in the forthcoming by-election where he does not know such facts as which six towns make up Stoke; if they were a well-organised party with a strong working-class base, they could have found someone local in a city that voted 70% to leave the EU. Labour should be countering the threat from UKIP the same way as they countered the BNP: by exposing their lack of any concern or commitment to working-class people, their incompetence, their hypocrisy, not by leading us into a damaging action because “it’s what people want”. Whatever they think they want now, if the Brexiteers’ promises are not met, people’s anger will be channelled towards ‘immigrants’, including ethnic minorities, both in political distractions and in outright violence. Labour has a duty to protect its loyal supporters from this, not just give white working-class voters “what they want”.

Labour must, of course, work out ways of reviving areas of the North that were destroyed by Thatcher, but this cannot be done by poleaxing the entire economy through self-imposed political and economic isolation. If it does this, we might no longer have an immigration ‘problem’, but this would be because there is no reason to immigrate, much as you don’t get people from all over the country moving to places like Middlesbrough. In the past, when people have demanded things of government that are undesirable (such as restoring capital punishment) or impossible (such as removing VAT on domestic fuel or menstrual hygiene products), politicians say “we can’t”. Labour must say this to its base: we cannot jeopardise the British economy, the hard-won peace in Northern Ireland, even the United Kingdom itself, just to honour a referendum held seven months ago when the world was a different place and the campaign for which was based on outright lies, promises that have since been ripped up or which fell apart within days of the referendum, and years of propaganda from the commercial right-wing media (and as a politician has been removed from office in this country on the basis of “undue spiritual influence” over Bangladeshi Muslims, i.e. local imams had supported him, the influence of the gutter press over this referendum should count as a reason to set it aside).

Let us not forget that the result was narrow and that the proportion of people who voted to Remain was higher than that which usually wins elections. UK-wide, it was 48.1%; in England alone, it was 46.6%. Chuka Umunna, a south London Labour MP, has said that Labour cannot cast itself as the party of the 48%, but parties have secured majorities in Parliament on the back of the votes of the 43% (as with Labour after the 1997 landslide) or even less (such as 35.2% in the case of Labour’s last government). If anti-Brexit candidates form an alliance at the next election, particularly if one is called before 2020 as some have suggested it might be, enough MPs could be elected to defeat this reckless proposal even in England (we would not have to form any such alliance in Scotland). Even in the areas of the north which voted in favour of leaving the EU, a large enough Remain minority exists to divide two or three pro-Leave candidates. If the Labour leadership will not defend the greater good, it is time for the rest of us to use divide and rule tactics: leave the Labour party to the Marxist dreamboats and unprincipled, careerist bully-boys. The Daily Mail can throw around accusations of unpatriotism all they like, but a Britain on its own outside the EU in the near future will not be a country worth living in, much less fighting for.

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UK's Christian leaders condemn Trump's 'fear-based policies'

The Guardian World news: Islam - 2 February, 2017 - 10:58

Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster say policies based on exclusion will yield ‘terrible results’

Britain’s Christian leaders have attacked the policies of Donald Trump, saying they are based on fear and could lead to disastrous outcomes.

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the global Anglican communion, said he would welcome the opportunity to try to change Trump’s mind.

Related: Evangelical Christian leaders: travel ban violates religious beliefs on refugees

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Khizr Khan, Gold Star father, warns of anti-Trump boycott after travel ban

The Guardian World news: Islam - 1 February, 2017 - 20:51

Speaking outside US Capitol, father who opposed Trump during 2016 campaign says: ‘We will boycott anything and everything Trump if this continues’

Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who became the face of resistance to Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, reiterated his opposition to the president’s travel ban on refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Standing outside the US Capitol on Wednesday, Khan warned that the public was on the side of those affected by Trump’s aggressive shift in the nation’s immigration policy.

Related: Artists from Muslim-majority countries deal with chaos from 'absurd' travel ban

Related: UN chief decries discriminatory border bans in rebuke to Trump travel decree

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Artists from Muslim-majority countries deal with chaos from 'absurd' travel ban

The Guardian World news: Islam - 1 February, 2017 - 16:28

Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi and acclaimed musician Rahim AlHaj are among the singers, film-makers and comedians whose plans are thrown in disarray

“Dear Mr AlHaj,” reads the letter crowned with its majestic White House letterhead and ornate signature by Barack Obama.

“Folk and traditional arts are fundamental to our nation’s rich creative history, bridging differences and revealing our common humanity.” The letter continues: “I hope you take pride in the ways your accomplishments are now imprinted on the landscape of American art.”

Related: 'Trump doesn't care about culture': how will his presidency affect the arts?

Related: Late-night hosts on Trump's travel ban: 'He can really get a lot of stuff undone'

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A chronicle of fear: seven days as a Muslim immigrant in America | Mona Chalabi

The Guardian World news: Islam - 1 February, 2017 - 11:00

Last week, I stood staring at my bathroom shelf. How many new rolls of toilet paper should I buy? The question is so difficult it makes my throat close up

When the roll of toilet paper ran out this morning, I stood there, staring at my bathroom shelf for a full minute. There are three rolls left. How many new ones should I buy? The question is so difficult it makes my throat close up. I stand naked, perfectly still, staring at the remaining rolls of toilet paper. How long will I stay in America?

Related: Donald Trump's executive order means he is now officially gunning for Muslims | Moustafa Bayoumi

Related: Suddenly, Muslims are America’s pariahs | Nesrine Malik

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