Abdullah Al-Andalusi: Terrorism With An Intellectual Face

Muslim Speaker, Debater and Apologist Abdullah Al-Andalusi whom I've had the dishonor of having several exchanges with, finally got sprung by his MI6 government employer for his (long term) Islamist position. Of course anyone who watched a few of his videos even on his private blog, also offered at MDI and on his YT Channel knew this long in advance.

How could I blogger and apologist half way across the world be aware of something so essential that the intelligence offices in the British government were not? I offer this as a theory.

The British government are oblivious to the widespread nature of Islamism, they don't understand the over-all problem of Islam (still thinking that *western* democratic values are compatible with this totalitarian political ideology). They over-zealously over look any hindsight in their employment processing due to want to avoid charges of racism or bigotry. Well if that's how you want to operate your incompetent security system, be my guest. Just look at yourself, England. Churchill might just be rolling over in his grave, but don't worry you will soon join him.

"The Government watchdog which inspects police forces’ readiness for terrorism admitted that it employed one of Britain’s most notorious Islamic extremists.

For almost two years Abdullah al Andalusi, led a double life, the Telegraph can reveal.

By night, he taught that the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) was “no different to Western armies,” said that “kaffirs,” non-Muslims, would be “punished in hell” and claimed that the British government wanted to destroy Islam.

By day, using a different name, he went to work for the same British government at the London offices of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the official regulator of all 44 forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The disclosures will be intensely embarassing to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, who has criticised parts of Britain’s Muslim communities for “quietly condoning” Islamist extremism.

HMIC’s staff, who number less than 150, are given privileged access to highly sensitive and classified police and intelligence information to carry out their inspections.

The inspectorate’s work includes scrutinising police forces’ counter-terrorism capabilities and top-secret plans for dealing with terror attacks.

It has also recently published reports on undercover policing and the use of informants.

HMIC admitted that Mr al Andalusi, whose real name is Mouloud Farid, had passed a security vetting check to work as a civil servant at the inspectorate.

He was subsequently promoted to executive grade, a management rank, placing him at the heart of the security establishment.

He was only sacked after bosses spotted him on television defending extremist Islamic positions on behalf of his organisation, the Muslim Debate Initiative, which is heavily dependent on Saudi money.

The inspectorate insisted that he did not handle classified material but former friends of Mr al Andalusi said he had done so.

“His work did involve security areas. He said he had a role in overseeing the police response to terrorism and there were areas he couldn’t talk about,” said one former colleague at the Muslim Debate Initiative, who asked to remain anonymous.

“He would discuss the reports that HMIC were working on and the data they needed to present.

“His story is so odd and so scandalous in many respects. He had these two completely incompatible lives that went on for years. He despised Britain, yet worked for the British government. He would talk about the right of oppressed people to take up arms against the oppressor and yet he was overseeing the police.

“Opportunities came along to do dawah [preaching] as a full-time job, but he was never tempted to do that because he had a stable income and pension with the civil service.”

One anti-extremism activist, who knew said Mr al Andalusi, said: “[Al-Andalusi] admitted it to a few people. It is the hypocrisy of it that surprises me.”

MPs have called for a full investigation into how someone with as long a record of extremism as Mr al Andalusi had survived vetting and been appointed to his post.

Under the name by which he was known to HMIC, Mouloud Farid, his links with the Muslim Debate Initiative were a matter of public record.

He was registered as a director of the organisation at Companies House, though he earlier this year changed to yet a third name, Wazir Leton Rahman, on the companies register.

“This man’s unsuitability for sensitive work should have been obvious from the start,” said Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr.

“There is a lack of understanding of different strains of Islam in the civil service. I will be asking why the systems designed to prevent this did not work.”

Mr al Andalusi, a prominent figure on the extremist lecture circuit, is closely associated with the extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir, which believes that voting and democracy are un-Islamic.

He is also a strong supporter of the terrorist lobby group Cage, which sparked outrage earlier this year when it defended the Isil hostage-killer Mohammed Emwazi, “Jihadi John,” as a “beautiful” and “gentle” man who had been radicalised by MI5. Like Cage, Mr al-Andalusi fiercely supports the right of British citizens to travel to Syria to fight.

He spoke at a Cage rally outside his own employer’s parent department, the Home Office, to demonstrate against the arrest of the former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg, on Syria-related terror charges, later dropped. Alongside him were other high-profile extremists and hate preachers including Haitham al-Haddad and senior figures in Hizb ut Tahrir.

Mr al Andalusi has spoken at at least three other Cage events in the last ten months, including on September 20 last year when he claimed that, as part of its “war against Islam,” the British government wanted to force Muslims to eat non-halal meat.

He says that Western liberal society is committed to the “destruction” of all Muslim belief and shows on his Facebook page a picture a concentration camp with a Nazi swastika and “21st century” written on the watchtower.

In the foreground is a gallows with a short route to the hangman’s noose for “Islamists” and a longer route for “Muslim moderates.”

A spokesman for HMIC said: “Mr Farid was investigated for gross misconduct by taking part in public activity that compromised his impartial service to government, thereby breaching the Civil Service Code. He was suspended immediately whilst investigations were ongoing.”

The HMIC accepted Mr Farid’s resignation in July last year, the spokesman added. But the security lapse has only just emerged – coinciding with the government putting a new statutory duty on public bodies, including schools, to monitor and root out extremism.

In a talk at Queen Mary University, in East London, on 16 January, he asked why the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra, was treated as a terrorist organisation by the West while the moderate Free Syrian Army was not.

He condemned memorials to 9/11, describing the terror attacks as “the day a vicious world empire [the US] found a publicly-acceptable excuse to bomb others, invade non-threatening nations, torture political dissidents and kill at least 300,000 innocent people.”

After Isil took over large portions of Iraq last year, he wrote that “most Muslims would be jubilant at the return of the caliphate [Islamic state], which is a vital obligation upon Muslims that has been conspicuously missing for so long.”

He condemned the group for killing civilians but said that the West had “no basis to judge Islamic State” because “IS are no different to Western armies and even some of the ‘founding fathers’ of Western nations… IS’s crime is being actually a good student of the West, right down to their corporate structure and organisation and ability to use social media.”

He said that “those who reject IS merely because IS’s school of thought is disagreeable to them should remember that Islam permits difference of opinion. To reject something as outside the fold of Islam, due to it being a different school of thought to one’s own, makes one a purveyor of disunity among Muslims.”

The former friends of Mr al Andalusi said they had left the Muslim Debate Initiative when it became increasingly extreme and dominated by donations from a wealthy Saudi businessman." (More Here At The Telegraph)

The Closet Dam Thing To Happy

(Disclaimer: This article is out of place for this blog and is better suited towards: self development, it maybe removed in the future)

I think there were two similar versions of happiness I imagined growing up. Firstly the kind of 'large success' version. This entailed being very wealthy (including super rich) and being very famous (perhaps through acting or music, or a sports star or whatever). Basically this version of happiness presupposes that you would win the lottery and become an overnight super-star in life. Fanatics who follow this model, truly will never feel complete until they achieve this state. For them basically that is their way out of the present suffering and misery, almost like redemption.

The second version of happiness I imagined was that of 'moderate success'. In this version you have a relatively stable income and admirable career, with a loving beautiful partner and awesome family. You have an interesting life, with fascinating hobbies. You graduate college, you graduate University (or some other higher end institution). You go to work every day 9-5, you retire when you become 65-70. The glory is in your retirement. You finally worked all that time to be rewarded. Finally you can relax, take it easy, and have a few laughs with the grand children and enjoy living out your days in peace.

With regard to the first version, obviously there is no genie in a bottle for most of us and our chicken wish bone probably got fried over night or thrown out by accident. Maybe if we wrote a song about some neighborhood peeping tom perving in our home window at the age of 16 we could become instantaneously rich and successful like Taylor Swift, but a gambler isn't going to place one on this. This leaves us with the secondary option, which is what all of society is in actuality based upon.

Now with regard to the second version, I grew up in that model, and well, it turns out it was kind of bunk (at-least for me personally which impacted my perception of it in general). I will relate that model of happiness upon some of my personal history and we can judge the outcome.

My brother was thrown out of our home early, I was bullied at school, I was beaten up everywhere, at home and at school, and my dad and brother would be physically violent to one another, sometimes even my mum would to my dad (as little as a woman could). One day I remember as an 11 year old even attacking my own mother. Why? My parents were divorcing, I was being forced to move away from everything and everyone I ever knew. This attack resulted in my grandparents never truly loving me the way they once did. Their daughter was the most precious person in the world to them. And so I craved for them to love me again in the same way they always had, but they never did, as a young child, I couldn't understand, all I wanted to do was prove myself to them, that I wasn't that way anymore, but I never felt like I convinced them.

Now both of my parents were single for years, lonely, and never truly happy, just well 'surviving'. My parents handled life post-divorce differently. My dad became more spiritual and less carnal and my mum moved back home (in which event I was now living and under my grand parents who I now dreaded for hating me). My mum felt more at homely in her home town, she seemed more social, and often attempted to find a new partner, eventually she got remarried, but it took along time, and it was late in her life. So really none of them get their 'happy ever after' at-least not exactly how they might have anticipated or planned for it, yet they continued on that path anyway, straining to get the result, as that is all they knew and indeed all that I knew.

Personally with me after the divorce, I moved with my mother. I got beaten up on the first day of my new school (that happened quite a few more times), but atleast I made it to college (high school) but I didn't pass school cert, I didn't pass sixth form or seventh form (that's Years 12-13), hence I didn't go to University. In fact puberty in a way came much later for me, I was often clowning around for most of college, I even failed my favorite subject at the time: music

Academia never interested me, until that one important day (when all my chances were over) I realized it impacted my very identity. Was I a child of God? Where do I come from? What is my place in history? That is the point where a light bulb went off, and I became interested in Science and the Bible initially, then eventually this passion extended to many other areas, actually branching off, the world was interesting to me now, not just because of whom I am, but because every topic in itself was fascinating but it is some how interconnected to me and everybody!

So I blew it academically. then later every time I tried to work (once I was old enough) I would get nervous break downs, and become extremely anxious, and no one understood me so I felt incredibly judged, resulting in even more anxiety and an extremely introverted young adult-hood. I had something similar to GAD (General Anxiety Disorder). At-least I found several jobs, where I was almost the only employee! Later I realized a nurse pointed out to me, I have symptoms of Bipolar. And to top it off I always had some variant degree of depression, ranging from low to moderate to extreme that I have been prescribed medication for, but knowingly rejected it, claiming I would deal with the issue myself, I love to refuse help. What can I say? Maybe it's a man thing. At an early age I also had no idea how to talk to women or how to meet a girlfriend, so there went the whole idea about family and marriage. For me there will be no great retirement with grand-children, no family, no wife, no diamonds, no cash, no 'merry Christmas' unless God changes my heart towards these things.

So since these two options aren't going to work in my case I thought I would broaden the range of what constitutes happiness, the happiness meter, if you will. So firstly lets look at a Forbes article: 

"The Legatum Prosperity Index is based on a study of 142 countries comprising 96% of global population. Nations are analyzed and ranked on 89 indicators in 8 categories such as education, government and economics. Per capita GDP — basically how rich a nation is — is a factor in the index, but the whole point of the Legatum study is to look beyond such a simple measure at all the myriad issues that make up wellbeing and prosperity. 
In general, the most prosperous (thus “happiest” in my book) countries enjoy stable political institutions, a strong civil society with freedom of expression, good education and healthcare, personal freedom and a feeling of being safe and secure." - "The Happiest (And Saddest) Countries In The World"

That seems pretty rational on the surface level. Freedom of speech? Sure why not? Equality? Sure that's a great contribution to happiness. Being safe and secure? Sure! That is until you contemplate this a little further.

Firstly we have to remember our ancestors had none of this. Even if we go back to the 2nd millennium before Christ, there was no health care, there was no personal freedom, there was no guarantee of safety and security, there was no adequate education, governmental or economic system. There certainly was no prosperity other than raiders and rulers, everything was chaotic. Obviously none of these things are 'fundamental' to happiness, but some can be additional components in the same way money could. But yet if real happiness existed, despite all of this. How was it then possible? Was no one happy before our generation? Was materialism the source of all satisfaction? Was accumulating material objects and wealth and having stable living conditions really all there was to life and being happy? I already have all this, but it doesn't by default make me happy? I don't get it. And i'm pretty sure happy-people existed before our modern era.

Well the immediate answer might be to go to God or the transcendent. But even that old saying is applicable here: 'God only helps those who helps themselves'. This still intuitively seems true. In other words God can satisfy your spiritual needs and spiritually fulfill you, or when you reach out to God he will gratify this primitive urge, however God is not going to physically force you to take a bath like your mother or grand-mother may have as a child. You have to treat your body with respect. God can't force you to work out every morning, yet this is generally good for your well being and health and overall happiness. Hence while I personally believe your world view and your relationship with God is essential and fundamental to your spiritual well being, it cannot encompass everything happiness has to offer, it's the foundation. One way to put this as a philosopher might put it is 'the conditions are necessary but not sufficient'. God has so wired us to fill our happy-meter by other criterion as-well. 

We could perhaps catalog all the above three models of happiness as 'external'. This is most evident in the last example, political and economic conditions, or are we under slavery? But this is also true of the first two. Money and Celebrity are obviously external elements. And finally but less obviously having a partner and home, and viable career, would also be part of the more external range of happiness. But what if you lost all of this? What if every one of these external pillars fell on it's head? Could I then still be happy?

And this left me with one final model for happiness, which I personally resonate with, I would call this more 'internal'. I believe this is the best model and can individually apply to me or anyone who needs this and resonates with this version:

"Gallup, The American Institute of Public Opinion, conducted a study to find out which country had the happiest citizens. The survey results were striking as it was discovered that citizens of the poorest countries were the happiest. The list of the happiest countries was topped by El Salvador, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Trinidad and Tobago. What is the secret of Hispanic happiness? Specialists of the Gallup Institute released data from a study conducted back in 2011. Experts conducted a survey in 148 countries around the world to find out in which countries people were more likely to experience positive emotions. People were interviewed in person and on the phone, and each person was asked five questions, all about the ways they spent the previous day. Social scientists asked whether the respondents felt joy, whether they felt rested, and how often they laughed and smiled. In addition, the researchers asked whether their interviewees felt respected by their peers, as well as whether they learned something new the day before. According to the Gallup, the happiest people on the planet were the citizens of El Salvador, Panama and Paraguay. These three countries were the "happiest". The top ten included 7 countries in Latin America - in addition to the above, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala and Costa Rica made the list. Russia, however, did not even make it to the top one hundred of the happiest countries, occupying one of the lowest spots (along with Iran and Algeria)."- "Citizens of poorest countries are happiest in the world

The article goes on to state 'Panama' as happiest country in the world. And describes some interesting variables that may explain why:

  1. Standard of living in Panama is relatively high.
  2. The mortality rate is low (high life spans for both male and female)
  3. Majority of the population lives in urban areas
  4. Only the price of goods and services is several times lower than U.S.
  5. The level of health care in Panama is also high 
  6. Health insurance is much cheaper than U.S.
  7. The country's favorable climate plays a significant role. The temperatures remain virtually unchanged all year round at the level of 25-28C degrees in the afternoon.
  8. In 2005, Panama won the first place in the global index of the most comfortable countries in the world. 

So are these external factors really the keys to happiness, is this what our knowledge of the world really has to offer?

Alas it turns out the article demonstrates quite the opposite:

"Despite the fact that El Salvador and Paraguay took the second and third places in the Gallup ranking, experts still say that the standard of living in these countries is low. The urban population in these countries is under 60 percent, and the economy is based on agriculture. The unemployment rate in these countries is somewhat higher, but it is easier to find a job here than in Panama - mainly in logging, and cotton and sugar cane plantations.

Average life expectancy in other Latin American countries, however, is the same as in Panama - 73 years for men and 79 for women. However, the level of health care in these less developed countries is poor. For example, this year, Paraguayan doctors sounded the alarm as the country faced an epidemic of yellow fever. According to the Associated Press, in 2012, the state government appealed to various international health organizations asking for 600,000 vaccines for prevention of yellow fever.

The results surprised the researchers from the Gallup Institute as it turned out that the happiest people live in poor countries of Latin America. If the standard of living in Panama is comparable to that of developed European countries, residents of such countries as El Salvador, Uruguay, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago cannot boast similar conditions. Scientists explain this by historically formed mentality of these people who see happiness in things other than material goods. According to them, people in poor countries can find joy in the moral satisfaction that often is not available to citizens of the developed countries."

And it concludes by making an interesting example:

"Some of the world's media cited an example of two attitudes - a successful and wealthy businessman from Singapore and a poor woman who sells tea in the streets of Paraguay. "We keep working and don't get paid enough," complained the 33-year Singaporean Richard Lowe. "Wealth does not bring happiness, but only problems. Life is too short, and there is no place for sadness," said Maria Solis of Paraguay
Singapore, Iraq and Armenia closed the list of the happiest countries in the world. It may be true that it is not the standard of living in a particular country, but the attitude of the citizens that matters."

What can we take from this? Well first of all we have probably had a few misconceptions all of our lives. That old seductive and conniving formula: success = happy. Now you can observe that you can be happy without success as are those citizens of the most poorest nations in the world happen to be. You can also observe the most successful nations are not at the top of the list as the most happy, hence success neither provides happiness nor sustains it. From a historical or evolutionary perspective, perhaps you could imagine those tribes in the Americas, Africa and Papa New-Guinea who were dancing around a fire laughing their asses off who were truly joyful, excited about life, excited about living, the threat of death was imperative, but the living pulse they had gave them such excitement and joy. Yet they never heard of this system the West offers. It's easy to conceive of true happiness, when we try.

But if happiness is neither dependent on success nor does success grant happiness, then what have you indeed been working towards your entire life?  Why are you doing what you do? I thought of this question a few times myself. Stay tuned for the next post of this series.

If the Qur'an is Absurd then...

Apparently the best argument for the Qur'ans divine origin is it's sublime insurpassable eloquence. Earlier I had provided a few quotes as to why many Arabic scholars and speakers cannot sincerely concede this claim. The following authors really highlight what the unfortunate result of this argument is:

From the literary point of view, the Koran has little merit. Declamation, repetition, puerility, a lack of logic and coherence strike the unprepared reader at every turn. It is humiliating to the human intellect to think that this mediocre literature has been the subject of innumerable commentaries, and that millions of men are still wasting time absorbing it. (Salomon Reinach, Orpheus: A History of Religions, (1909))

And what does this say about human intellect?

"On the whole, while many parts of the Koran undoubtedly have considerable rhetorical power, even over an unbelieving reader, the book, aesthetically considered, is by no means a first-rate performance... Muhammad, in short, is not in any sense a master of style. This opinion will be endorsed by any European who reads through the book with an impartial spirit and some knowledge of the language, without taking into account the tiresome effect of its endless iterations. But in the ears of every pious Muslim such a judgment will sound almost as shocking as downright atheism or polytheism. Among the Muslims, the Koran has always been looked upon as the most perfect model of style and language. This feature of it is in their dogmatic the greatest of all miracles, the incontestable proof of its divine origin. Such a view on the part of men who knew Arabic infinitely better than the most accomplished European Arabist will ever do, may well startle us. In fact, the Koran boldly challenged its opponents to produce ten suras, or even a single one, like those of the sacred book, and they never did so. That, to be sure, on calm reflection, is not so very surprising. Revelations of the kind which Muhammad uttered, no unbeliever could produce without making himself a laughingstock." - (Nöldeke, Theodor. "The Qur'an," Sketches from Eastern History. Trans. J.S. Black. London: Adam and Charles Black, 1892.)