Sorry, Stella, but this IS Islam

ByRoger Watson

-August 31, 2021

LABOUR MP Stella Creasy, referring to the Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, claimed that ‘this is not Islam’. I am not so sure it is that simple.

I was being driven through Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a few years ago with a UK-educated engineer and Saudi national. His sister, one of my former PhD students, had invited me there to deliver some lectures. I asked him if the prominent brand of Islam adhered to in the kingdom was Sunni or Shia. He reminded me that it was the former, but went on to explain that, while they seemed divided, mainly for political reasons, they were ‘all one’. I pushed him on this and asked him if they were all one with Islamist terrorists such as Al Qaeda. He did not say ‘yes’ directly.

Instead, he pointed to a woman by the side of the road clothed in black from the top of her head to the tips of her fingers; some women wear black gloves and have no visible slit for vision, being completely covered. He said that she was not Saudi, probably an immigrant and represented a much stricter version of Islam than the one to which he adhered. But, still, they were all one. Islam was not like Christianity with its denominations. It was all one; it was ‘a continuum’. I took this as an indirect ‘yes’ to my question about Al Qaeda.

Some of my best friends, colleagues and students are British, Pakistani, Jordanian and Saudi Muslims. All are horrified at Islamist terror groups. They completely disown them. But the words of my driver in Jeddah have stuck with me. Moreover, they have become more relevant as the murderous, maiming and raping hordes of the Taliban are poised to return Afghanistan to a fundamentalist Islamic hell hole with strict Sharia law and no place for women except in bed or in the kitchen.

The problem with Islam is that it is indisputably a religion of the sword, as made abundantly clear in the national flags and symbols of most Middle Eastern Arabic Islamic states. That includes the beautiful, tolerant and peace-loving state of Oman.

Justin Marozzi’s excellent and pro-Islamic book Islamic Empires describes how the Prophet Muhammed came to prominence. He led an army of 10,000 men into Mecca, the city of his birth, went on a spree of executions and established it as the capital of the Islamic faith.

Christianity is not a religion of the sword. The Old Testament is replete with stories of war and slaughter, but the New Testament represents a distinct departure from the ‘eye for an eye’ philosophy of its predecessor. Of course, as covered by Marozzi and Bettany Hughes in her detailed Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities, we Christians have meted out a great deal of Old Testament-type vengeance on Muslims.

Purportedly, the Crusaders were ‘up to their knees in blood’ during some campaigns. Quite a feat, given that they were on horseback. The claim is undoubtedly false, but surely reflects the ferocity of the fighting. With reference to the Crusades it is hard to avoid the playground accusation that the others ‘started it’; but they did. It is often overlooked, for example, that the Iberian Peninsula was under Muslim rule for nearly 800 years.

We should not lose sight of the notion of the ‘continuum’ referred to by my friend in Jeddah. The precepts of Islam and strict Sharia law, for example death to converts from Islam to Christianity, remain. In fact, in Islam generally the bar is set quite low for punishment by death as exemplified by the weekly public slaughter by beheading and removal of other body parts in the major cities of Saudi Arabia. We are lucky to live in a country where our Muslim compatriots largely take these precepts more figuratively.

We are unlikely to see the Taliban marching down The Mall. Nevertheless, the recent stabbing of Christian convert Hatun Tash and events at Batley Grammar School suggest that a sliding scale of belief in Sharia Law exists within our British Muslim communities. We need to be vigilant.


Government of Canada Announces Funding for COVID-19 Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites in Ontario

Government of Canada Announces Funding for COVID-19 Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites in Ontario

From: Public Health Agency of Canada

News release

August 13, 2021 | Ottawa, Ontario | Public Health Agency of Canada

The Government of Canada is working with partners to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in Canada. Self-isolation is one of the most effective ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19. However, for some people in Canada, crowded housing conditions and high costs can make it unsafe or impossible to self-isolate, putting themselves, their families and communities at risk through no fault of their own.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced funding for projects across Ontario to operate safe voluntary isolation sites. The funding will support the following four projects:

  • the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board for sites in Timmins, Cochrane, Hearst, Kapuskasing and Moosonee;
  • the County of Hastings for a site in Belleville;
  • the Kenora District Services Board for sites in Kenora and Sioux Lookout; and
  • the City of Hamilton.

These sites help people who have COVID-19—or have been exposed to it—access safe isolation accommodations to keep themselves and their community safe. These are in addition to the sites available for people experiencing homelessness who need to isolate because of a positive test.

Voluntary isolation sites reduce the risk of spreading the virus among household contacts in situations where people are faced with crowded housing and do not have an alternative. These sites are one of the rapid response tools established to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and can be deployed to communities facing outbreaks.

The Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program directly supports cities, municipalities and health regions that are at-risk of COVID-19 community transmission. Sites selected under the Program provide an accessible location where people can safely self-isolate for the required period. Local public health officials determine eligible people who may be offered the option to transfer to the isolation site on a voluntary basis to keep them and their household contacts safe during an outbreak in their community. 


“Protecting Canadians from COVID-19 and helping stop the spread is a community effort. The Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program supports municipalities across Canada, including these projects in Ontario, so they can assist residents with safe places for self-isolation.” 

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“We appreciate the funding and support from the Government of Canada to aid in Hamilton’s community COVID-19 response. This funding helps sustain and offset the costs of a critical support in our community response to COVID-19 providing access to isolation accommodations to eligible community members who otherwise cannot safely isolate at home—protecting their families and keeping their community safe.”

Fred Eisenberger
City of Hamilton Mayor 

“On behalf of Hastings County Council, I would like to thank the Public Health Agency of Canada for their work in helping to support our vulnerable population. These isolation sites will help prevent the spread of COVID-19, especially for our residents that live in crowded or precarious housing conditions, who will now be able to safely isolate and keep themselves, and those around them safe.” 

Warden Rick Phillips
Hastings County

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing up to $5,525,126 in funding to four projects across Ontario to operate nine isolation sites totalling 194 rooms, including: 
    • up to $1,374,788 with five sites totalling 120 rooms for the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board; 
    • up to $1,551,066 with one site totalling 20 rooms for the County of Hastings; 
    • up to $2,275,600 with two sites totalling 40 rooms for the Kenora District Services Board; and 
    • up to $323,672 with one site totalling 14 rooms for the City of Hamilton. 
  • The Government of Canada is providing a total of approximately $100 million in funding to municipalities and health regions to establish safe voluntary isolation sites across the country. This funding is part of Canada’s rapid response to the spread of COVID-19. 
  • To date, the Safe Voluntary Isolation Sites Program has provided $100.6 million to establish sites in Ontario, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Nova Scotia. 
  • Since the first safe voluntary isolation site opened in Toronto in September 2020, approximately 9,432 people have sought access and support through one of the federally-funded sites across the country. 
  • Regular monitoring and reporting of safe voluntary isolation sites is conducted in coordination with local public health officials. 
  • The sharing of best practices is encouraged among the selected isolation sites to improve how the sites operate and how services are delivered to the people who access them.
  • To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Canadians are advised to follow local public health measures, avoid places that do not have controls in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to stay home if they are experiencing any symptoms.

Associated links


Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

COVID-19 public enquiries:


Coming soon to your country…”1. Third Covid shot will be available immediately for entire population aged 12+”

Arwen~ For those who have chosen vaccinations, you do realize that this will never end? You have complied for the “two shots” but now you need a third and boosters to come. Unless you keep up with all the shots, your vaccine passports will be useless. Still think the gov’t has your best interest at heart? Still think this is about your safety?

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'Dr. Eli David @DrEliDavid Today Israeli government decided: 1. Third Covid shot will be available immediately for entire population ageo 12+ 2. Covid passport ("green pass") will be revoked for those without third shot, i.e., vaccinated with 2 shots unvaccinated Coming soon to your country'

Trudeau Doesn’t Get To Divide The Country And Then Pretend He’s The Victim


Trudeau Anger

We must not allow Trudeau to get away with pretending he’s a passive observer or victim of the rising level of anger in Canada. He has divided the nation for his own selfish political gain, and that has led Canada to this moment.

WATCH: Former Disney artist EXPOSES Disney’s woke takeover in video parody

‘I’m tired of watching my country go down the drain. It’s time to do something’

‘We are burning our cultural inheritance’

Heather Mac Donald on how high culture has been destroyed by the culture war.

SPIKED28th August 2021

‘We are burning our cultural inheritance’


Since the Black Lives Matter explosion of last summer, institutions have fallen over themselves to prove their commitment to anti-racism. From the corporate boardroom to the university seminar, wokeness has taken over. Even high culture and classical music have been hit by this mini cultural revolution.

Heather Mac Donald is a New York Times bestselling author and Thomas W Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute. She joined spiked’s editor on the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill Show to talk about America’s racial hysteria and how the culture war has consumed high culture. What follows is an edited extract from their conversation. Listen to the full episode here.

Brendan O’Neill: I want to touch on the explosion of wokeness over the past 18 months. The explosion of the Black Lives Matter movement after the killing of George Floyd. The tearing down of statues, the self-flagellation of various cultural institutions across the West, the constant apologies made by the supposed guardians of Western culture. You have written about whether classical music can survive this culture war. Can you give us an outline of what you have found?

Heather Mac Donald: Classical music is one of the greatest expressions of human passion, sublimity, sorrow, longing, suffering and beauty. But it is a target of BLM race-mongering and the poison of identity politics. On a daily basis, it is being pushed further to the margins of our culture. Its salience in the popular experience grows less and less. And the classical-music press in the US and the UK is using the power of racial virtue to complain that classical music is white supremacist to its core.

You have classical music critics apologising for the whiteness of classical-music composers and audiences. You have the New York Times’ main classical-music critic, Anthony Tommasini, calling for the so-called de-blinding of orchestra auditions. Auditions are currently blind – that is, they occur behind a screen so that the judges don’t know the sex or race or anything else about the professional identity of the musician. Yet somehow, the blind audition is now seen as racist.

Like everything in the US, there was a history within classical music of utterly callous, contemptible mistreatment of black people. That is undeniable and heart-wrenching. But things have turned around 180 degrees. For the last four to five decades in the classical-music field, the reality has not been white privilege but black privilege. Orchestras have made efforts to get more black people into the field, giving them free tuition and instruments. Now, if you are a black conductor or soloist, it’s to your advantage.

What I find most astounding is the cowardice of the guardians of classical music. They are silent before this attack. We are giving young people the excuse not to expose their ears to classical music. They can use the same excuse that they use against the study of literature, classics and art history – that they are all dead, white and male. All you need to say against an institution or an individual is that it is white and you have created an almost irrebuttable presumption that it is therefore illegitimate.

O’Neill: What you just described points to one of the most problematic dynamics in all of this. It’s not necessarily BLM campaigners bashing on the doors of elite institutions and demanding that they make changes – though that is happening. It’s the supine nature of institutions and the people charged with guarding the greatest achievements of mankind and transmitting them to future generations. It’s their willingness to go along with it all, to say that they are white supremacist. I sometimes feel that some people on the right focus too much on the ‘Marxist’ horrors of BLM and too little on the fact that professional, highly educated people in charge of cultural institutions are just very open to this critique. How do you see the dynamic working out between those two things?

Mac Donald: I have to complain about one of your exports to the US, Simon Woods, who is British. He’s the head of the League of American Orchestras, which is the trade group for all orchestras. In a Zoom conference at the Peabody Institute earlier this year, he expressed concern about seeing the whiteness on stage when concerts restarted post-Covid restrictions. He was essentially telling people that the most important thing in the concert hall was not the sonic experience but the racial demographics of the performers and the audience.

There is no greater privilege than being a literature professor or a music professor and passing on an inheritance from one generation to the next. These people are not doing that. They are burning their inheritance. It is outrageous.

I don’t agree that the right fails to focus on the elite enablers and focuses too much on the race activists. I think that the conservative response is actually to say that this is all a function of the elites – and to let the ground-level race activists off the hook. In truth, it is both. But in any case, the result is the end of Western civilisation as we know it.

O’Neill: We have a situation where in universities, the seats of learning, the greatest literature is being written off as the work of dead, white, European males. We have the decolonisation campaign, which is just an attempt to replace great works of literature with often less great works of literature, if we’re being frank. Classical music has been undermined and education is being hollowed out and replaced by the massaging of self-esteem, the promotion of a cult of fragility and a defensiveness about the gains of Western civilisation. And, of course, we have the imposition of critical race theory in some schools. There are so many examples of education, culture and art being throttled. There genuinely is a crisis of Western civilisation and what looks like the suicide of the West. What do you think can stop this trend?

Mac Donald: You can’t exaggerate how pervasive and absolutely heartbreaking it is. What needs to happen is – and it’s very dangerous for me to say this – whites need to say that these people are wrong and that none of the evils of white civilisation are unique to whites. They are the product of human beings. None of this is going to change until white people say ‘stop the bullshit’.

All countries and tribes have all engaged in genocide. There’s not a single group in human history that did not aspire to enslave others. The ideas that made that morally offensive and off-limits came exclusively out of Western civilisation. The ideas of equality, tolerance, fairness and due process are exclusively Western-generated ideas. The ideas that the left is using against the West are Western ideas.

Heather Mac Donald was talking to Brendan O’Neill in the latest episode of The Brendan O’Neill Show.

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