Muslim Action Committee

Friday, March 31, 2006

We have reached the Islamic month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the month in which the Prophet (PBUH) was born and Muslims all over the world celebrate his coming into the world and blessing it with his light. In most Muslim countries the 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal is a public holiday.It is a time traditionally for reading the life of the story of the Prophet (PBUH) and so on that note and in light of a lot of lies and propaganda being spread to tarnish his good name MAC would like to suggest some good biographies in English:
Muhammad, his life according to the earliest sources- Martin Lings
Muhammad: The Messenger of Islam- Hajjah Amina AdilMessenger of God Muhammad: An analysis of the Prophet's life- Fethullah Gulen
Sirat-ur-Rasool volume one- Professor Tahir-ul-Qadri
Muhammad, Messenger of Allah- the shifa of Qadi Iyad translated by Aisha Bewley

Thursday, March 30, 2006

New York University embraced the concept of civility and the Danish cartoons were not shown at the "Free Speech and the Danish Cartoons" debate. Proof for Peter Risdon and others that they do not need to be present to have a debate.

The event, titled “Free Speech and the Danish Cartoons,” displayed easels with blank panels instead of the cartoons after NYU demanded that the cartoons be removed from display if the public was admitted. Panelists for the event, sponsored by the Objectivist Club, were Peter Schwartz of the Ayn Rand Institute; Andrew Bostom, who edited "The Legacy of Jihad"; Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education; and Jonathan Leaf, the resigned editor of the New York Press.
“Realistically, one can have a discussion on smallpox without actually handing out the the live virus to the audience,” university spokesman John Beckman said. “Any institution has a responsibility that events on its grounds go smoothly and without disruption.”

CAS junior James Ferguson said it was unfair that so much time was spent on attacking Islam.
“To demonize a religion is not going to help anything,” Ferguson said. “When did free speech turn into a hateful generalization of Islam?”
CAS junior Muniba Hassan said the panel will provoke hatred of Islam, which has caused many of her Muslim friends to be afraid to walk home at night.
“They used free speech as a way to hide their xenophobic agenda,” Hassan said.
GSP sophomore Rizvan Moosvi said the panel didn’t fully understand Islam.

We'd like to congratulate NYU Muslim Chaplin Imam Khalid Latif, Sister Yvonne Ridley, Stop Political Terror and everyone who joined our email campaign to advance Global Civility at NYU.
All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds and may his blessings be upon our beloved Master Muhammad, his family and companions.

(In response to an open letter to the Muslim Action Committee at

Dear Peter,

Thank you for your letter, we would like to thank you and the other organizers of the March for Free Expression for showing sensitivity towards Muslims concerns and asking people not to bring the Danish cartoons. I understand your rally went well, as did ours. Although I do not agree with many of the sentiments expressed at your rally, I appreciate people felt strongly about the issues involved. As we have said from the outset, we are not against the right of freedom of expression. After all it is the principle of freedom of expression that enables us to carry out our own peaceful protests and rallies. However it is also important to remember that in a civilised society other values such as tolerance and civility are also of great importance.

I can understand and see that you feel threatened by the MAC, and this is not right. Our purpose is to open up a genuine and real dialogue in society. That’s why our campaign is called "Global Civility." It is not about forcing anyone to do anything.I find it somwhat distasteful that you are still attempting to bracket us together with terrorists by suggesting that if we should decide to peacefully protest against your exhibition (which will doubtless be a public affair) that we are somehow facsist or fanatical. I think you should be aware that after 9/11 Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi convened a conference of Ulema who categorically condemned the atrocities and suggested some important steps that the global community could make to prevent further terrorism, especially a reduction of military interventions. Our shock and horror at the events of 7/7 are as one with the rest of society.

You say you are intending to exhibit these cartoons and have a public meeting and debate about them. I have to ask you Peter, what good does this serve? Anyone who wants to see the cartoons are able to do so by searching on the internet and will probably have done so by now. It is also quite possible to hold a debate and discussion about them without them being displayed. I hope you are not merely seeking to gain publicity at the expense of embracing an unique opportunity to melt the climate of fear and mistrust that is being encouraged lately by our own government to put through legislation, such as the Legislative and Regulatory Reform bill that will affect us all.

You ask us not to stir up controversy, but you must realise that your own actions in exhibiting them will do exactly that. The world’s spotlight is on the cartoons now. We’re both aware of a deepening rift between our communities, and would like to do something about that . The cartoons issue only serves to emphasise to me what a huge gulf in understanding has been allowed to develop between our communities. One of the best things that has come out of this I think is that Muslims and non-Muslims have begun a dialogue about issues that are emotive for many and we can unite in opposing government attempts to exploit our fear of each other to effect sweeping legislation that will impact upon the fundamental freedoms and human rights of us all.

We are not trying to impose shariah law or Muslim taboos on you or the wider society. We are asking you to have civility towards your neighbours who have been profoundly hurt by these insulting images. I doubt many mothers of soldiers who’d died in Iraq would appreciate it if you were to display pictures of their corpses on the battlefield. I’m sure they would protest because they felt deeply hurt and angered by their display whether they saw them or not.

We have said that we are willing to debate with you on these issues and any other issue regarding our faith. To hold these debates and discussions in public will be an important step forward. To display these cartoons which have no academic or artistic merit can only cause controversy which will only further damage trust and understanding between


Ismaeel-Haneef Hijazi
Muslim Action Committee (MAC)

Postscript: Clarification about the Danish Cartoons Affair:

Your description of how the cartoon controversy started misses out a number of facts, which we trust you have not done on purpose. Therefore I’d just like to take this opportunity to highlight them. When the cartoons were published in Denmark, the Imams took recourse to the legal system, as it is actually an offence in Denmark to attack religious symbols. This was thrown out of court by the Judge who said that despite the law existing, the right to freedom of expression had precedence. The ambassadors of the Muslim world then called upon the Danish PM to hold a meeting with them to discuss their concerns. He refused to meet any of them, hardly a diplomatic move. When they had exhausted their avenues of redress in Denmark, they toured the Middle East with a dossier including the original cartoons and others sent as hate mail to Danish Muslims. This was out of a concern about the growing trend of post 911 Islamaphobia in Europe.There was then a period of time when a boycott set in across the middle east, it was not however until twelve newspapers in Europe reprinted the cartoons on the same day that we saw widespread demonstrations. If we are going to condemn trouble makers, let us condemn these newspaper editors.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Following MAC's successes recently in preventing extremists rallying in large numbers at the March for Free Expression (see posts below), the MAC is moving ever foward.
A meeting between leaders of the MAC and the PCC board is due in the next week or so, which will act as a preliminary meeting before meeting with the board that deals with amending the code.
Also a debate is being set up by the Oxford Secular Society between us and the organisers of the March for Free Expression for the first week of May, Allah willing. Hopefully this will be the first of many.
We're getting a lot of feedback asking how people can donate, Allah willing there will be an announcement on this blog in the next couple of days about this.Please keep up your support, more organisations have written to us giving their support in the last week and they will soon be updated on our supporters list.
We'd like to thank all those people who wrote into the GLA and the Metropolitan police and the IHRC team for organising the campaign material at such short notice.

The NYU instends to display the cartoons, please send emails asking for civility.
We have just recieved this letter from Stop Political Terror one of our supporting organisations, by our sister Yvonne Ridley.
as'salaamu alaykum,
Our brothers and sisters in New York desperately need our help and support.
On March 29th, this Wednesday, an event is being held by a student organization at New York University called the Objectivist Club. The event's purpose is to analyze the issue of free speech with an emphasis put on the vile cartoons published in Denmark that depicted the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and Islam in a highly offensive manner.
The student group is also planning on displaying the cartoons at the event. I joined Muslim students in an emergency meeting with the university and its administration on Friday to ensure the display will not go ahead. The event itself poses no problems but the pictures, as you know, are racist, offensive and there is really no justification in preaching something that breeds that kind of hate against Muslims. The students at NYU need our help. Can we all send a simple, polite email to John Sexton, the president of NYU, as well as Bob Butler , the director of student activities as NYU, letting them know of your concerns.
I did tell the students that I would try and rally s upport overseas - so let's show the NYU administration that if they mess with our brothers and sisters in New York they mess with all of us.
The following is a letter that has already been sent to President Sexton earlier by the imam of the Islamic centre.
Your sister in Islam
Yvonne Ridley

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Although we have been critical of the March for Free Expression, we are also aware and appreciative that the organisers did their best to deter extremists and their demonstration was all the better for it. We still cannot accept their principal of statement that includes the phrase "the right to mock" however.
All Praise is due to Allah, sister Sayyida Rend Shakir al-Hadithi gave her own personal views on what the Campaign for Global Civility at the march means, in an attempt to start a dialogue. Her speech does not neccesarily reflect the views of all the supporters of the MAC but certainly embody the spirit of this campaign. I reprint it in full below:

Trafalgar Square
25th March 2006
Sayyida Rend Shakir Al-Hadithi

Thank you for giving me the ability to speak.

9/11, Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, Saddam’s Iraq, the Holocaust – which happened. Death threats, murders, and imprisonment in response to the expression of what any person feels or believes is unreservedly wrong. Such violent threats, acts and situations should never arise in the name of any civilised value, religion, government or ideology. We stand here today. Not only united against such acts. But historically, in the UK, in solidarity against such acts, not as white people, or Europeans, but as people from all places, all backgrounds, and all walks of life.

Many people have asked me why I think that the principles of Freedom of Expression and Global Civility can co-exist. Just to clarify - Freedom of Expression and forced civility cannot co-exist. But Freedom of Expression and Civility should co-exist, in fact do co-exist, naturally, whenever we have a right to offend or insult another but choose not to use it. Freedom of Expression loses it's power as a means of challenging and questioning ideas and concepts when it is used merely to abuse and humiliate.

This is important to emphasise – not because of the rights and wrongs of one argument or another - but because of two principles: The first is that communication is a two way thing. It’s something that happens between people. There is both a sender and a receiver of any message and it is not much help when either party is made to feel small, belittled, denigrated, or worse intimidated.

The second is that it is not a great PR victory for free speech and free expression for the entire discussion to be centred around the freedom to insult X Y or Z. This threatens free speech for the simple reason that fewer people will take it up. Because a campaign that centres around insulting one particular group or even several groups – rightly or wrong – simply does not have the same appeal as one that is seen to serve humanity, welcoming and even being attractive to anyone who subscribes to its fundamental principles.

And it requires a dialogue between people of different backgrounds and perspectives. Historically that dialogue has begun. There are enormous gulfs in our understanding of each other – at the same time – we are frightened and extending mutual hostilities. We do not know what other people might see as intimidating. We do not know but would like to know, because we care about avoiding it. That’s what Global Civility is about. As Martin Luther King puts it: “No individual can live alone – no nation can live alone – and anyone who thinks that he can live alone is sleeping. Through our technological and scientific genius we have made of the world a neighbourhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will perish together as fools.”
Let there be no doubt. Free speech and free expression is absolutely vital, essential for the progress of humanity. And for the progress of any civilisation. Once the Church locked away a man who believed the earth was round. Wanted to impede the progress of science by imposing a doctrine that was not true. Science would not even get started without free speech. We need to be able to criticise and debate freely in order to learn.

We are facing a monster right now and I say that monster is not Islam, my brothers, my sister, cousins, parents and grandparents are all muslim, and they are – at least the last time I looked - not monsters. They are not monsters. They are not monsters.

We are facing a monster right now and that Monster is Fear. Right now we are being made to feel frightened. And it is a natural human tendency when we are frightened to single out another to humilate or degrade in order to improve our own situation. A natural human tendency but one that we must try to resist at all costs.

This time last year US officials seized a - document sent by an Al-Qaida carrier, which referred to igniting religious hatred and strife between Sunnis and Shias and exploiting other divisions. It implied a well organised drive masterminded by an established terrorist network aimed at rendering Iraq ungovernable once coalition forces are withdrawn. At the same time another agenda to remove individual liberties and fundamental freedoms is taking place right now under the label of protecting us from terrorism. ID Cards, The Police and Justice Bill, the Legislatory Reform Act. All under the rubric of “anti-Terror.”

We must not allow these forces to use us – to exploit our –disagreements –in their attempts to bring about a revolution through fear, -violence, or oppression. That was how change was brought about in the world of yesterday – and we will not allow it to become the world of tomorrow. What we need today is men and women who will ask – what will happen to humanity if I don’t help? To overcome our differences, to dispel our fears, we must dedicate ourselves to the goal of freedom. There now remains the rest of the world, whose support and whose cooperation in this is needed and - honesty sought.

However – Let those who would shatter peace, who would spill more blood, be aware that we, who are gathered here today, and others who will join us tomorrow, will vigorously wage peace. It has been said, and I quote, "Peace has one thing in common with its enemy, with the fiend of battles, with war; peace is active, not passive; peace is doing, not waiting; peace is attacking; peace plans its strategy and encircles the enemy; peace gathers its weapons and pierces the defence; peace, like war, is waged."

In the Holy Koran, we read: "But if the enemy incline towards peace, do also incline towards peace, and trust in Allah; for He is the One that hears and knows all things."
So let us now lay aside hostility, fear, and aggression. Let us now reward all those who hunger for freedom and democracy in the world. Let us now, and from this point forward, allow our people the freedom to express their fears and their criticisms in security and dignity. Let us now enjoy the adventure of becoming fully human, fully neighbours, fully brothers and sisters. We pray, we pray together that these dreams will come true. I believe they will. Thank you very much.

Despite gaining support from a wide range of speakers and organisations, support for the demonstration had apparently been growing amongst those who saw the demonstration as an opportunity to attack Islam and Muslims publically by parading the Danish Cartoons.When the organisers of the March for Free Expression said the cartoons would not be welcomed, the characters who had been parading anti-Islamic sentiments on the free expression blog all turned their wrath on the march's organisers demanding their money back, declaring they were not going to attend and condemning the march altogether.
From what may have been an ugly rally for Islamophobia by hundreds of BNP supporters and others with an axe to grind against the Islamic faith, the March for Free Expression was moved along the path of civility. However unfortunately for the organisers a little too late and thus the poor turnout.One positive outcome is that Peter Risdon has got to speak to some Muslims and understand their concerns and sensitivities a bit better. We hope Allah willing that he will continue down the path of dialogue, debate and discussion to understand his Muslim neighbours best.
Sayyida Rend Shakir Al-Hadithi has written a letter thanking him for this action.
She says: "I reject the concept that civilised values, such as "free expression" necessary for the advancement of Science, are at odds with Muslims or Islam. If this were the case, there would be no algebra. It is an agenda from the far right to claim such concepts as their own, and vilify Muslims. I am not an apologist for crimes of justice in any religious or secular governing entity, but I am against the vilinisation of a religion for such crimes. Such vilinisation is not only against rational reason or logic, but is loaded with double standards."All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds and blessings and peace be upon the Mercy to the Universe, our master Muhammad.

The Campaign for Global Civility is an ongoing campaign to get people globally to accept the need to revive the concepts of civility in their discourse and debate. It aims to have people worldwide sign up to the principles in the Proclamation of Global Civility as voluntary self-regulating principles.
Civility and especially Global Civility is the requirement of the time. The world is becoming increasingly polarised as the right of free expression is squandered to abuse, humiliate and demonise individuals and communities. The value of Free Expression is in challenging and advancing ideas against others. This can only truly be achieved through establishing a common minimum benchmark of civility by which all can feel truly comfortable to express their views without fear of intimidation and without their audience feeling intimidated.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Shaykh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi
Salma Yaqoob
Peer Munnawar Shah
Qazi Abdul Aziz Chisthi
Shaykh Ghulam Rasool Chakswari
Shaykh Muazammil Hussain Shah
Imam Ghulam Rabbani
Shaykh Noor-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi
Shaykh Tauqir Ishaq
Maulana Niyaz Siddiqi
Qamar Butt
Ismaeel-Haneef Hijazi

Thursday, March 23, 2006

MAC calls on GLA and the Met to prevent demonstrators from bringing Islamophobic placards and t-shirts.
Many demonstrators going to the March for Free Expression are still planning to bring Islamophonic placards and t-shirts with the Danish cartoons and other anti-Islamic abuse.

MAC calls on the GLA and the Metropolitan police to prevent any demonstrators from displaying these images on Saturday in Trafalgar Saquare. MAC leaders fear there will be a disturbance of the peace if this does not happen.

MAC commends the IHRC team, one of our key supporters for working so hard and so quickly to orchestrate a campaign of letter writing which has already contributed to pressure being exerted on the GLA and the Metropolitan police.

We now urge all MAC supporters to continue to write letters to the GLA and the metropolitan police to call upon them to avert a crisis in community relations.

The March for Free Expression says No to Danish Cartoons!!

In discussion between MAC and the organisers of the March for Free Expression it became clear that placards depicting the cartoons would be an intimidation to Muslims and would perpetuate the BNP campaign that is very openly being conducted in the run up to the May local elections.

The Campaign for Free Expression was set up to defend the right to speak out, but the organisers have now come to the realisation that with that right comes with it responsibility: the need for civility.

Mr Risdon has now made a big step and done the right thing in telling people not to bring placards and t-shirts with the Danish cartoons on. He has also admitted he was mistaken in welcoming them in the first place. He said to us that he didn’t want the demonstration to be one in which Muslims couldn’t feel welcome and that would be humiliating and intolerable for them due to the presence of the cartoons.

Key to this process of discussions has been a Muslim speaker due to speak at the March for Free Expression: Sayyida Rend Shakir al-Hadithi. Rend was concerned about the tone that the March was taking and contacted MAC. Following that discussion, she spoke to Peter Risdon one of the co-organisers of the demonstration and he spoke to us. We encourage Peter to continue down this road of understanding the concerns of the global community and appreciating the need for civility. This is an excellent first step.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We at MAC would like to congratulate Brian Kelly and his brave collegues who have left their jobs working for the Blanket website because the website decided to publish the Danish cartoons. Mr Kelly phoned me because some unscrupulous characters had tried to use my piece at against him. He had claimed the cartoons were racist, I had said we had reacted to them primarily because it was an attack on our faith not because of politics not race. That doesn't mean there is no politics or racism behind these cartoons and it is dishonest for these people to place those words in my mouth. I have sent a letter clarifying my position to Brian to use as he sees fit. Meanwhile we republish his and others joint letter of resignation:

Letters to the editor
Publication of cartoons step too far
As writers and activists who have contributed in the past to The Blanket and who had hoped, for a time, that it might play a positive role in pushing forward the coalescing of a principled, anti-sectarian left in the North of Ireland, we write to disassociate ourselves completely from the journal and to request that the editors immediately remove from The Blanket archives any articles or letters submitted by us in the past. While the quality and the political integrity of The Blanket have been visibly deteriorating for some time, the recent decision of editors Carrie Twomey and Anthony McIntyre to republish deliberately provocative, racist anti-Muslim cartoons, commissioned originally by the right-wing Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, is a step too far. In our view, their publication marks the end of any positive role that The Blanket might play in a world saturated in anti-Muslim prejudice, a world being dragged from one bloody war to the next in the name of superior “Western civilisation”.The Belfast Telegraph commented that The Blanket was “known for its anti-establishment views” but this decision is just the latest confirmation that it has instead been transformed into the cyberdarling of an establishment now set on permanent war footing. We will not allow ourselves to be associated with such an endeavour at a time when people are being assaulted in the streets, subjected to harassment by governments across Europe, hunted down by Iraqi “death squads”, kidnapped and tortured in far-flung concentration camps, subjected to aerial bombardment and chemical warfare, and shot down in their homes under the guise of bringing “civilisation” to the Muslim world.
Brian Kelly, Belfast;Eamonn McCann, Derry;Barbara Muldoon, Belfast

After extensive discussions between the Ulema (Religious Scholars and Imams) in different areas, it has been decided to reschedule demonstrations throughout the country.

This has been due to a number of factors. Firstly we are almost into the Islamic month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the month of the Prophet (pbuh) blessed birth and the traditional season for the nationwide Milad (birth celebration) processions. The Ulema have rightly decided it is better to focus our attentions and resources on combining our demonstrations with these celebrations of our love for the beloved of Allah (pbuh). This will Allah willing highlight these wonderful celebrations and show to our neighbours the deep love and affection in which we hold our Prophet (pbuh) in a more positive manner.

Two processions have already been scheduled for the 9th April in East London and Manchester, others are to be confirmed. We'll update you as we find out.

Secondly and more sinisterly demonstrations have been blocked by police and councils in many towns especially in the North West where repeated obstacles to mounting demonstrations have been placed in local organisers way. It has been reported to us that threats have been made by people claiming to be members of the BNP to local councillors in the north west.

However the demonstration in Birmingham will still be taking place this Saturday in Victoria Square and will be followed by a march. All the details will be on the main site tonight Allah willing.


The latest discussion at the March for Free Expression featured this:

alex said...
Oh why oh why aren't we as organized as that Global Civility lot? Such a shame. One look at their website shows a well presented argument, with information on British laws, values, and other things, which really do put our march to shame in comparison. And, all the banners they have made too. I fear we could be eclipsed (all the more reason to march). I am going anyway, but it's such a shame that our march isn't anywhere near as articulate and well thought out really.
2:02 AM

and later:

I simply have concerns, and those are that those other folks seem to be much better organized and united on what they are marching for, whereas most of us seem to have very different ideas what we are marching for, and there are reports of alliance with right wing groups on ours. Reports are that Right Wing donators are part of our march, and that concerns me. Sure, we cannot sift through and check out each person joining a march. But that does concern me and I don't want to be associated with them. Part of me wants to go, to challenge the nationwide marches of this Global civility group. Yet, I still want to know more about who is organizing our march, and what the clear goals are. That's why I had to admire the pre-planning of that other group.

And now a full expose of this group of proponants of free speech:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Charles calls for religious tolerance
Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:04 PM GMT

By Tom Perry
CAIRO (Reuters) - Prince Charles told Muslim scholars and students on Tuesday that the backlash over Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad showed the danger of religious insensitivity and intolerance.
Addressing 800 people at al-Azhar University, the heir to the throne who will one day become head of the Church of England said mistrust between the West and Islam was having "dreadful results" and urged tolerance.
"The recent ghastly strife and anger over the Danish cartoons shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others," he told the audience at one of Sunni Islam's top seats of learning.
The publication of the cartoons, one of which depicted the prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban, sparked violence in the Muslim world. They were first printed in a Danish newspaper and then reprinted across Europe and other parts of the world.
Charles, who has urged the West to learn from Islam and received an honorary doctorate from al-Azhar on Tuesday, is on a tour which includes Saudi Arabia, Islam's birthplace, and India.
Mutual respect between faiths needs to be restored so as to overcome the distrust that poisons so many people's lives, Charles said.
"This, of course, is made infinitely more difficult by the stereotypes and absurdities propagated by certain sections of the media," he said.
Charles said it was not acceptable to stigmatise Muslims in Europe or to discriminate against Christians in the Islamic world.
"I think of the experience of Muslims living in Europe who are subject to varied and continuous expressions of Islamophobia by fellow-Europeans.
"I think of Christians living within some Muslim nations, who find themselves fettered by harsh and degrading restrictions, or subject to abuse by some of their fellow-citizens," he said.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Further to our previous post on this subject, we have called upon the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police to have a meeting with us to prevent the Danish cartoons being paraded through London on placards and t-shirts by Free Expression demonstrators this Saturday

We'll have all the info and model letters on our main site tomorrow inshaAllah. But for the time being please go to and go to the top of the alerts section to copy model letters to the Police and Ken Livingstone. Every letter counts, get your families and friends writing a letter each and let's stop this catastrophe from happening in a city where 1 in 8 people is Muslim.


The no for the Coventry demo on the main site is slightly wrong. The last digit should be a 3 not an 8. InshaAllah we'll change it on the main page soon.

While Peter Risdon, one of the two organisers of this saturday's march for free expression claims on their blog that their march is not against Muslims, it seems he is pulling a "Nick Griffen". Nick Griffen and the BNP constantly say they are not against Muslims, they are against Islam which they view as a monster. It appears that Mr Rison has the same viewpoint.

Even taking a cursory look at his own personal blog is full of anti-Islamic sentiment.

Anyway the MAC have said from the start that this march is primarily to attack Muslims and Islam and as time goes on more and more evidence comes to light.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Danish company urges Muslims to reconsider boycott By ASSOCIATED PRESS KUWAIT CITY

The Denmark-based Arla Foods appealed to Muslims through full-page advertisements in Arab dailies Sunday to reconsider their boycotts of its products in response to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
Arla, Europe's largest dairy group, said its 40 years working in the Middle East enabled it to understand and respect the Muslim response "to that irresponsible and unfortunate deed," a reference to the cartoons first published by a Danish newspaper.
"In this long period, we came to know the Islamic culture and values, and that justice and tolerance are basic Islamic teachings," the ad read. "Therefore, we hope that you would reconsider your stand, and we are totally prepared to work together to reach a solution for the problem of boycotting our products."
Arla Foods, is thought to be the worst hit by a Mideast boycott, losing an estimated US$1.6 million (€1.35 million) each day. Arla has some US$430 million in annual sales in the Middle East, its main market outside Europe.

Sierra Leone Muslims hold protest against cartoons
19.03.2006 - 18:01FREETOWN (Reuters)
- Several thousand Muslims in Sierra Leone held a rally in the national sports stadium on Sunday to protest against cartoons published in Europe depicting the Prophet Mohammad.Many Muslims consider the cartoons, first published in Denmark last year, blasphemous. The drawings sparked widespread demonstrations, some violent, across the Muslim world after they were reprinted in European papers earlier this year."We want the world to know that we, the Muslims of Sierra Leone, strongly disapprove and condemn the blasphemous act of cartooning the Holy Prophet Mohammad," said Mohamed Alpha Barie, the head of Sierra Leone's Muslim Union.He told the 6,000 protesters at the peaceful rally that the Danish newspaper editor who originally published the cartoons was a "pagan" who should be prosecuted by Denmark's government.At least 50 people were killed in violent protests against the cartoons in Asia and the Middle East, Danish embassies were attacked and many Muslims boycotted Danish goods.Protests by Muslims in West Africa have generally been peaceful, except those held in Nigeria.

In response to the March for Free Expression's decision to welcome people bringing the Danish cartoons on placards and t-shirts, we are requesting our supporters to write to the Metropolitan Police asking them to prevent anyone carrying or wearing these disgusting cartoons on the basis that it will lead to a disturbance of the peace.

InshaAllah we'll have a model letter and an address on the site tomorrow and we'll be having a meeting with the police as well.

UN: Denmark Acted Irresponsibly in Cartoon Crisis By Hasan Cucuk, Copenhagen Published: Sunday, March 19, 2006

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, which prepared a report about the cartoon crisis, breaking out after the publication of insulting images of Prophet Muhammad, accused the Danish government of acting irresponsibly during the crisis period.
UN Higher Commissioner Louis Arbour’s special reporter Doudou Diene made harsh criticisms in his report about the Danish government and intellectuals along with the Danish daily Jyllands Posten, which published the blasphemous images first. The report stressed that “beliefs should not be humiliated under the veil of freedom of expression” as it dwelled on the importance of fighting against Islamophobia.
Diene remarked that xenophobia and taking sides before Islam reached an “alarming” level in Denmark with the publication of the insulting images admitting that, “When political leaders do not fulfill their responsibility about xenophobia and insult to religion, Europe has entered a path, which will confirm the thesis of “clash of civilizations”. The reporter emphasized that Jyllands Posten daily attacked Muslim believers by “showing Islam equal to terrorism”, which is an old prejudice and it acted under the veil of auto-censorship and freedom of expression. “The cartoons are absolutely insulting” said the reporter as he directed his criticisms towards the Anders Fogh Rasmussen government, which did not fulfill its responsibility. Diene’s report highlighted the violation of international agreements by the Danish government guaranteeing freedom of expression and respect to thoughts and beliefs.
The UN report said the Danish government had to make decisions against the cartoon crisis for its international responsibility and responsibility to 200,000 Muslims in the country. It also noted that the Danish Government’s lack to show sensitivity for insulting religions and Islamaphobia as it showed against anti-Semitism was dreary. Emphasizing the cartoon crisis arose in Denmark due to rising xenophobia, the UN report stated Jyllands Posten stands against tolerance and supports the clash of civilizations. The Senegalese reporter said “Their defense that freedom of speech is limitless contradicts international rules. There is a great need to establish a balance between freedom of speech and freedom of faith. This publication explicitly shows a lack of understanding and emotion for believers. The newspaper also helped Islam and terror to be likened.”
Danish intellectuals were criticized in the report. The UN reporter emphasized that it was wrong to divide the world into two as secular and modern society on the one side and undeveloped Muslims on the other. The reporter addresses UN at the end of his report and called it to struggle against Islamaphobia and insulting religions. It also demanded repercussion for people who see Islam equal to terrorism.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The organisers of the March for Free Expression, haven't answered any of our questions (see below), however they have shown that they belive in the right to misrepresent our campaign.

On their blog ( they say the following about us:
Global Civility place their own campaign in perspective by including an article on their site headed:
The Obligation to believe in the Prophet, obey Him and follow His Sunnah
the implication clearly being we are campaigning to force people to obey and believe in the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Of course we'd love for everyone to embrace the powerful realities of the two proclamations of faith- there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him). However Allah, glorified and exalted is he, has made it clear in the Qur'aan 2:256 "There is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clearly from the wrong way. Whoever therefore rejects the forces of evil and believes in God, he has taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way, for God is All Hearing and Knowing". The purpose of the article was clearly to illustrate for non-Muslims the deep importance of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) to Muslims at every moment of their lives.
They then go on to say:
In their statement they demand restrictions on speech that would effectively prohibit any and all discussion of religion, unless it is flattering. They also demand that copyright of the Danish cartoons be handed over to "Muslims" and that Jyllands-Posten perform a monthly penance (there's a distinctly sadistic undertone to these demands for ever more baroque forms of apology and self-abasement).
I'm not sure how they believe that our asking for changes to the PCC code which is a voluntary and self-regulating code for the press will effectively prohibit any and all discussion of religion unless it's flattering. We've said the same thing in all our public statements and written articles that we're asking for civility, that we stop hurling abuse at us. If people want to be critical about Islam or what to debate it with us that's fine, but a civilised debate does not involve the need to abuse your opponant. Those who resort to abuse and insult to win their arguments are those who are devoid of true intellectual arguments and evidence. We want to civilise our debates and discussions to facilitate understanding, instead of this name calling that everyone is engaging in now.
It is however clear that, that is what the March for Free Expression wants to defend: the name calling and the petty abuse, so they can keep on attacking Muslims. Despite their vocal denials:
This campaign is not specifically directed at Islam and that fact that they feel under examination by us just reflects their own view of their own beliefs.There has been a pattern of attempts to restrict freedom of speech and expression from a number of religions and from secular sources as well. In some ways, the secular threats to our freedoms are the most sinister, something the volubility of Mr Siddiqi and his associates can blind us to. Orwell understood the value, to an authoritarian regime, of a perpetual state of emergency and a "War Against Terror" provides exactly that.
It is interesting that despite their claims that they are against the War against Terror and the ani-terrorism laws, not one of their posts to date have dealt with these issues, whilst many have attacked Muslims, their beliefs and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), also their posters all seem to include the Danish flag. Why could that be I wonder......

The Free Muslims Coalition a US based group who are supporting next Saturday's March for Free Expression, whose organisers have welcomed people bringing placards and t-shirts of the Danish cartoons, are not a coalition of Muslims.

When we found out that the Free Muslims Coalition was planning to back this March for Free Expression, we sent them an email asking them to talk with us and to reconsider their misguided decision. They have not had even exercised the basic adab- manners of responding to us one way or the other. Meanwhile the organisers boast about having Muslim groups supporting them. Despite the fact it is only one group and they are based in the US, i.e. they couldn't find anyone misguided enough in this country from amongst the Muslims and in fact they are not all Muslims.

Even a cursory look at their site:
shows that they are a coalition of "Muslims and Arabs of all backgrounds", so presumably including Christian, Jewish, atheist, communist, liberal and agnostic Arabs as well. They also say that anyone can be a member whether they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim. This seems to contradict their stance that Arabs of all backgrounds are part of the "Free Muslims Coalition". It's also very unfair to all those Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists who might have wanted to join.

As far as I remember the word Muslim in Arabic means one who has surrendered and is commonly used to refer to those people who follow the Islamic faith, i.e. they have surrendered themselves to Allah, glorified and exalted is he. However according to the "Free Muslims Coalition" anyone can be a "Free Muslim" as long as they back western civilisation to the hilt, patronise all Muslim leaders who don't agree with them and are willing to accept the insults being made against our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).

The MAC is clear, there will be no Muslims supporting the March for Free Expression next week, because to support and stand with people and a movement who are insulting the beloved of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) takes you out of the fold of Islam.

Anas reported that the Messenger of Allah, salla'Llahu 'alayhi wa sallam, said, 'None of you will have iman until I am more beloved to him than his children, his father and all other people.' And, taking it a stage further, when 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, radiya'Llahu 'anhu, said to the Prophet, salla'Llahu 'alayhi wa sallam, 'I love you more than anything except my self which is between my two sides,' he replied, 'None of you will believe until I am dearer to him than his own self.' 'Umar said, 'By the One who sent the Book down to you, I love you more than my self which is between my two sides!' The Prophet then said, ''Umar, now you have it.'

Denmark PM's India visit put off
ReutersPosted online: Saturday, March 18, 2006 at 1423 hours ISTNew Delhi, March 18:

India said on Saturday that Denmark's Prime Minister had put off a visit to New Delhi due next month, amid fears that the trip could provoke fresh protests by Muslims against cartoons of Prophet Mohammad.
Anders Fog Rasmussen's visit was planned much before the controversy over the cartoons, first published in a Danish newspaper, erupted earlier this year, triggering a storm of protests by Muslims in the Middle East and Asia.
"The two sides have found that the proposed timing for the visit was not optimal," Foreign Ministry spokesman said in a statement without elaborating.
But ties between the two countries were 'strong and excellent' and both looked forward to the visit at an 'early date', the statement added.
India, home to more than 140 million Muslims, the third largest Islamic population after Indonesia and Pakistan, has witnessed large but peaceful protests across the country against the cartoons.
At least 50 people have been killed in protests elsewhere in Asia and the Middle East, three Danish embassies attacked and many Muslims have boycotted Danish goods due to the row.
Islam considers images of prophets disrespectful and caricatures blasphemous

Forthcoming Debate with the Organisers of "The March for Free Expression"
The Freedom of Expression people still have not responded to our questions, insisting that we tell them whether we will send a speaker to their demonstration. We sent the following response:
I doubt very much that the demonstrators who will be coming to your march will be inclined to listen to our views, i believe that by coming out in support of your demo they are pretty much nailing their colours to the mast. I therefore think little will be accomplished by us sending you a speaker when we have 30 other odd locations on which to express our views that day.If however you are interested in engaging us in a debate in any other forum, for example a university, radio programme etc we would be more than willing to oblige in sending someone to challenge your views.Which of course comes back to what your views actually are, would you mind kindly answering our questions and a number 8 which was suggested to be today
8) Do you belive in the right to question the official record of the Holocaust?

Ismaeel-Haneef HijaziMuslim Action Committee

They responded with this:

OK, to summarise:I have offered you an opportunity to put your case to the free expression campaign, and you have refused.Instead, you have challenged me to a public debate, in a university debating chamber or on a radio programme.I accept.

And they posted this on their blog:

I will make the arrangements. The rest of this discussion can wait until then.I will of course approach the BBC and several university debating societies to see whether any are willing to offer a forum. As an aside, I can tell you that the list of seven questions above have been put to all the organisations listed in our sidebar. I have been copied into a couple of responses.

So inshaAllah we await the coming debate with eager anticipation.

Friday, March 17, 2006


For those of you who have wanted to see photos of the demo on the 18th February here is a link with loads of them on:

The March for Freedom of Expression is Targetted against Islam and Muslims

It seems we have upset the organisers of the March for Freedom of Expression through our press release, because Shaykh Faiz Siddiqi mentioned them as causing anger in the Muslim Community along with the BNP. They claim that we have dishonestly associated them with the BNP. I think that's unfair we just said they were both causing anger in the Muslim community by publishing the Danish cartoons. In fact the March for Free Expression people have gone further and printed a new cartoon on their blog.
They claim that their march is not targetted at the Muslim community, however their poster is a number of lego men backed by a Danish flag. They also say the fact that we are demonstrating is the "Greatest Compliment". So obviously they were attempting to upset us. They have also posted up a link to a site which has a "Muslim offense meter".
It is also interesting to note that the organisers have repeatedly avoided answering some pertinant questions about whether freedom of expression should include the following rights:
1) The right to insult the Queen?
2) The right to divulge state secrets?
3) The right to incite racial hatred?
4) The right to incite murder?
5) The right to incite religious hatred?
6) The right to glorify terror?
7) The right to slander people?

It seems quite clear that this demonstration is not about defending a right to freedom of expression but it just another opprtunity to attack Islam under the rubric that is uncivilised.


What do people think about asking our supporters for donations? The march for freedom of expression which is intent on causing chaos and misery for Muslims in this country by parading the Danish cartoons through central london has managed to raise over £1000 in 48 hours for their demo.

Below is an article about the March for Freedom of Expression last week in Toronto, a similar debacle is about to occur in London on the 25th March in Trafalgar Square, see

Toronto marchers back right to publish Muhammad cartoonsLast Updated Sat, 11 Mar 2006 22:03:47 EST
CBC News
More than 100 demonstrators took to the streets in Toronto on Saturday to support free speech.
TIMELINE: Muhammad cartoons

They were protesting against the sometimes violent riots that targeted Denmark and its embassies after a Danish newspaper published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad last year.
The strong reaction to the cartoons has highlighted the conflict between the Western ideal of freedom of speech and what some Muslims say is a blasphemous offence against a religious figure.
The Toronto demonstrators marched in front of the Danish consulate, where former TV news anchor Peter Kent said "any democracy worth its salt should be strong enough to endure the most controversial speech."
Kent represented the Canadian Coalition for Democracies, which seeks to change Canadian policy that they say "consistently fails to support sister democracies who share our values," such as India, Taiwan, the U.S. and Israel.
Daniel Dale, a York University student who helped organize the protest, said "we will not stand idly and meekly by while a democracy and ally is violently and senselessly attacked."
He does not endorse the cartoons, but backs the right to publish them, as Calgary-based Western Standard magazine did in February.
FROM FEB. 13, 2006: Western Canadian magazine publishes Muhammad cartoons
Most Western publications did not reprint the cartoons, many saying they didn't want to give unnecessary offence. However, critics have said the publications had been intimidated.
Ezra Levant, Western Standard publisher, will speak in Toronto on Tuesday to explain why the magazine reprinted the cartoons.

From the Times online:,,3-2090914,00.html

Danish Muslims sue over Muhammad cartoonsBy Jenny Booth and agencies
Danish Muslim groups are to report Denmark to the UN Commissioner on Human Rights for failing to prosecute the newspaper that first published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The 27 Muslim groups also plan to sue the newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, for defamation in a Danish court, according to their lawyer, Michael Christiani Havemann.
"Denmark is obliged through the UN to secure the civil rights of its citizens," Havemann said by telephone. "The national prosecutor won’t pursue the case and, therefore, acts as a barrier to justice to the complainants."
Henning Fode, Denmark’s director of public prosecutions, announced on Wednesday that he would not charge Jyllands-Posten, ruling that the drawings it published last September did not violate Denmark’s laws against blasphemy and racist speech.
Mr Fode said that the cartoons could be considered an affront to the Prophet, but did not break Danish law. The prosecutor’s decision prompted the Foreign Ministry to upgrade its travel warnings for Danes traveling in Muslim countries from Algeria to Malaysia
The cartoons, one of which shows Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb, were reprinted by media worldwide in January and February, and sparked a wave of protests around the Islamic world.
Protesters were killed in some of the most violent demonstrations, a number of Arab countries broke off diplomatic relations with Europe, and several European embassies were attacked. A boycott on Danish goods started in Saudi Arabia on January 26 and spread to dozens of Muslim countries.
Sunni Muslim tradition bans any image of the Prophet, since depicting him risks insulting him or encouraging idolatry.
Mr Havemann said that he would file the complaint within weeks to the Geneva-based human rights commission. "We think we have a good case," he said.
Protests against the cartoons have yet to die down. Today more than 20,000 supporters of a radical Islamic group held a peaceful rally in eastern Pakistan, accusing their Government of being "soft" on the West over the controversy.
"The government should have taken a hard stance against those countries where these cartoons were published to insult our beloved Prophet Muhammad," said Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, the leader of Jamaat al-Dawat group.
The Pakistan Government recently put Mr Saeed under house arrest for several days to stop him from leading rallies against the cartoons, after five people died in violent protests last month.

In the Name of Allah the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All Praise is due to Allah, glorified and exalted is he, Lord of the Worlds

May Allah's blessings be upon our beloved Master Muhammed and upon all the Prophets sent to mankind, their families and companions.

Welcome to the Muslim Action Committee Blog, we have decided to set up this blog to facilitate quicker updates and news. We also hope that this blog will allow more interactive feedback from our supporters and involve all in useful debates about the Muslim Action Committee and the Campaign for Global Civility. Allah willing this will soon be linked to our home page
Your moderator is myself Ismaeel-Haneef Hijazi, i am a spokesperson for the Muslim Action Committee and a servant of the Ulema of Ahle-as-Sunnah-Wal-Jammat. I don't claim to be technically adept so please excuse the amateurish nature of the site for the time being.
I hope Allah willing this becomes a useful forum for the whole Muslim community.
Any suggestions for what types of posts and other activities this blog should be used for will be most welcome.