Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Throughout the country, Fianna Fáil is working really hard to get our message across and our candidates elected. I've been to every corner of the country, listening to voters, meeting our candidates and working to get them elected next week. I've been hearing what they have to say and helping spread the message about our comprehensive plan to turn the economy around and improve the lives of Irish people.
With such a short amount of time left, I've recorded a short video message I'd like to you watch. I want as many people as possible to see it, so after you've watched it, share it with your friends:
Our plan is clear. We will stabilise the public finances, sort out the banks, maintain and create jobs and help those out of work return to employment as soon as possible.
Locally, we'll freeze business rates for three years where we have a controlling majority on councils and we'll invest in creating 12,000 new jobs in rural enterprise.
In Europe, we've got to work together. Only 12 of the European Union's 736 MEPs are from Ireland. That's why we've got to send people to the European Parliament who will work hard and will co-operate with colleagues from across Europe to fix this global recession. The last thing the country needs is representatives in Europe who'll roll back the progress we've made. Fianna Fáil is a committed, pro-European Party. We have the skill and experience to work with our European partners to build a sustainable recovery.
Fianna Fáil have had to take tough decisions but they are the right decisions. In a global recession, our opponents have too often put their own narrow political interests above the national interest. They bicker amongst themselves, offering dangerous and conflicting policies - Fine Gael wants spending cuts while Labour wants increases. Their risky and divergent plans would wreak havoc on Ireland's economy and stifle recovery.
The choice is clear - progress and co-operation from Fianna Fáil; or instability, retreat and division from the opposition.
Take a moment to watch this short video message and share it with your friends and family:
Fianna Fáil's candidates have Ireland's best interests in their hearts and the commitment and ability to fight for Ireland locally and in Europe.
I urge you to vote Fianna Fáil on June 5th.
Brian Cowen, T.D. Taoiseach
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The speech, at the end of a meeting between the pope and Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergy engaged in contacts among the three main religions in Jerusalem, angered both the Vatican and Israel's chief rabbinate, which said it would boycott the dialogue forum until the Palestinians barred the cleric.
Referring to Palestinian Muslims and Christians, Sheikh Taysir al-Tamimi said: "We struggle together and suffer together from the oppression of the Israeli occupation.
"We look forward together to liberation and independence and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state."
The incident further marred the start of the German-born pope's five-day tour of Israel and the Palestinian territories, after criticism by some Jews that a speech at a Holocaust memorial did not go far enough to mend Catholic-Jewish rifts.
Pope Benedict, in his own speech to the gathering of priests, rabbis and sheikhs, praised their efforts to seek common values and mutual respect to overcome differences in religious practices that "may at times appear as barriers."
The final speaker from the platform at an auditorium in a Roman Catholic institution was Tamimi, the chief judge of the Muslim religious courts in the Palestinian territories.
In uncompromising language, he welcomed the pope to "Jerusalem, the eternal capital of Palestine" -- a direct riposte to Israeli claims to the same city -- and enumerated many of the complaints Palestinians have against Israel.
He said Israel had "desecrated" the Old City's holy sites since capturing it from Jordanian forces in the 1967 Middle East war and was defying international law by demolishing homes, seizing land, building Jewish settlements and erecting a series of walls and fences that had turned the city into "a prison."
Tamimi won a round of applause from some of the assembled clerics for comments referring to Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip in January in which 1,400 Palestinians died.
Addressing the pope at the end of a six-minute address, he said: "Your Holiness, I call on you in the name of the one God, to condemn these crimes and press the Israeli government to halt its aggression against the Palestinian people."
Tamimi shook the pope's hand as he left the podium and the meeting broke up as scheduled immediately afterwards.
The director general of Israel's Chief Rabbinate, Oded Wiener, said: "Sheikh Tamimi embarrassed the pope."
He said Tamimi, a familiar and fiery figure in Palestinian public life, had pressured the Catholic organizers to be allowed to speak and that the Jewish members would no longer take part in a long-standing, three-way interfaith dialogue until the sheikh was barred from attending.
"The Chief Rabbinate will not continue it as long as Tamimi is part of the Palestinian delegation," Wiener said.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said: "The speech by Sheikh Taysir Tamimi was not scheduled by the organizers of the meeting. In a meeting dedicated to dialogue, this intervention was a direct negation of what a dialogue should be. We hope that such an incident will not damage the mission of the pope aiming at promoting peace and also interreligious dialogue."
Friday, May 8, 2009
At the moment there is no crime of blasphemy on the statute books, though it is prohibited by the Constitution.
Article 40 of the Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of speech, qualifies it by stating: “The State shall endeavour to ensure that organs of public opinion, such as the radio, the press, the cinema, while preserving their rightful liberty of expression, including criticism of Government policy, shall not be used to undermine public order or morality or the authority of the State.
“The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent material is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.”
Last year the Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution, under the chairmanship of Fianna Fáil TD Seán Ardagh, recommended amending this Article to remove all references to sedition and blasphemy, and redrafting the Article along the lines of article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which deals with freedom of expression.
The prohibition on blasphemy dates back to English law aimed at protecting the established church, the Church of England, from attack. It has been used relatively recently to prosecute satirical publications in the UK.
In the only Irish case taken under this article, Corway -v- Independent Newspapers, in 1999, the Supreme Court concluded that it was impossible to say “of what the offence of blasphemy consists”.
It also stated that a special protection for Christianity was incompatible with the religious equality provisions of Article 44.
Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern proposes to insert a new section into the Defamation Bill, stating: “A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000.”
“Blasphemous matter” is defined as matter “that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.”
Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court may issue a warrant authorising the Garda Síochána to enter, if necessary using reasonable force, a premises where the member of the force has reasonable grounds for believing there are copies of the blasphemous statements in order to seize them.
Labour spokesman on justice Pat Rabbitte is proposing an amendment to this section which would reduce the maximum fine to €1,000 and exclude from the definition of blasphemy any matter that had any literary, artistic, social or academic merit.
Not merely will this enable any group of nutters to claim their religion has been insulted -- well, by whom? Kevin Myers? Ian O'Doherty? -- but it will also enable our many Muslim immigrants to feel thoroughly at home.
Because that is a defining feature of every Islamic society throughout the world: an intrusive and punitive legal code which destroys the lives of those adjudged guilty of insulting the Prophet or Allah. In Afghanistan, it is the death penalty. Pakistan too. Egypt as well. And so on. Why not the same, sooner or later, in dear old Eirestan?
Christianity as a potent, political and legal force is dead in Europe. Islam is not. Christians do not expect their religion to be protected by law from religious insult. Muslims do. A blasphemy code will, in effect, turn out a new variant of a local shop for local people: but here in secular/Christian Ireland, it will become a Muslim law for non-Muslim people.
The minister's proposed bill declares: "Blasphemous matter ... is (that which) is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred to any religion thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of the religion; and he or she intends, by the publication of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage."
We know what "causing outrage among a substantial number of adherents of the religion" means (and the minister's term, "the religion" really does apply here). For we saw it in 1989, when the Ayatollah proclaimed his fatwa on Salman Rushdie for 'Satanic Verses'. Over 40 people were killed in the violence that followed. We saw it with the Danish cartoons, which were so meaningless that they could have been of anybody: but label them "Mohammed", and yet again, more people were killed.
Religious "outrage" is an almost unknown phenomenon in our culture: but it is so common on the Islamic street that one often wonders: do Muslims know any other public mood? And whereas I can ask this question today, might it not be blasphemous under Dermot Ahern's new law? For some Muslims might hold that it is grossly abusive or insulting to things they hold sacred, to dispute their right to endless public anger.
Moreover, who decides whether Muslims get angry? Is it a spontaneous phenomenon, or does it depend on what they are told in morning prayers by the imam? And is that assembly, in effect, then the jury? For it clearly is a self-deciding issue, if the law says the something is an offence because enough members of the public consider it is so. The rule of law then passes from law-maker and lawyer to whatever rabble-rousing cleric is able to make enough people angry, and by their numbers alone they then decide whether an offence has been committed.
Dermot Ahern's justification for his dangerously silly proposals is that successive attorneys general have told their ministers for justice that the Constitution obliges the State to have blasphemy laws. Good. So if so many ministers for justice have been able to ignore that advice in the past, why should he now seek to heed it? And worse still, why should he do so by allowing the interpretation of blasphemy -- which is otherwise a piece of string of unknown length -- to be defined by the mob? This merely reduces the courts to being instruments of Barabbas-type justice.
Yet in one sense, the minister's proposals are irrelevant. For Europe already has an informal blasphemy law, which is enforced by Islamic cut-throats, with or without a fatwa.
We all know it. We just don't say it. So I can call the Virgin Mary, who most Irish people believe to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of Mankind, a whore, and no-one will open my carotid. But were I to make any such remark about Mohammed's wives, which is what Rushdie was accused of doing -- and I wouldn't: O believe me, I wouldn't -- then at best, I would be spending the rest of my life under armed guard, or at worst, I would be strumming my harp alongside Theo van Gogh. He was, remember, killed without fatwa, and his murderer, Mohammed Bouyeri, is now an Islamic hero.
That doesn't mean we should corrupt our legal code in order to propitiate Islamicists. Yet all media discussion on this and related topics is dominated by state-subsidised bodies -- the intercultural this, and the multi-ethnic that. The primary function of these quangos is apparently to be gravely insulted whenever their quivering multicultural sensibilities are offended.
And then they can institute legal action to silence -- or even imprison, which was the threat hanging over me last year -- those whose voices they disapprove of. These arms of the State now constitute a cultural Fifth Column, possessing a clear and dangerous agenda. The minister's proposed blasphemy law can thus only pander to the deranged instincts of an absolutist, intolerant immigrant minority, and its politically-correct, pseudo-liberal native allies: Lenin's useful idiots, yet again.