Plea for Asia Bibi

Providing the Pakistani state permit her survival, or contingent on prevailing health, 2019 will mark the 10th year of Asia Bibi’s arrest and subsequent imprisonment over what was, quite literally, a dispute between her and Muslim women at a local well. If you don’t know at this stage (particularly as I’ve attempted to highlight her ordeal numerously on this platform), Khala Bibi’s case remains as one of the most prolific – in Persecuted Christian terms at least. The fact that a local Christian woman, a local labourer in Punjab, Pakistan has been left to languish in a jail cell for a decade – over essentially what was local Muslim objection to an ‘infidel’s’ use of a village well, spells out not only the dire state of Pakistani Islamisation that shows no signs of reversing; but also the unashamed indifference towards Bibi. Not necessarily only amongst many Pakistani politicians and its judicial system but within countries officially professing Christianity as their state religion. And of course, the Global Christian Church.
Whilst it is encouraging that Bibi’s plight has not slipped from global attention, however sporadic, (the European Parliament awarded Bibi its 2017 Sakharov Prize, for Freedom of Thought), identity politics and the politics of ‘altruism’ does not directly influence the daily treatment of a mother and wife; deprived of her children and in constant deterioration health-wise. I have been following Bibi’s suffering from the moment her ordeal surfaced in 2009. I was 14/15 at the time. I simply can not pen how such draconian circumstances have allowed almost a decade to pass by, with an innocent villager still sat behind bars. It is incomprehensible to the civilised mind.
However, that has been Asia Bibi’s cross to bear and continues to remain so. I don’t write this post to reiterate all past mentions of her. (All past posts can be found by punching her name into the blog’s search engine). Rather, I recieved alarming news from a reliable source, that Bibi’s health is rapidly on the decline. Duties of care concerning detainees is not applicable in countries in Pakistan, particularly a vulnerable Christian woman who has been accused of blasphemy – the most contentious and salient political issue that has seen the murders of former Minorities Minister, Bhatti and former Punjab Minister, Taseer,murdered for daring to challenge the blatant anti-nonMuslim mentality and motives within Pakistan’s penal code. After 9 years of sitting on what has been death row in a country that continues to chip away at its founding promise to enshrine religious and ethnic minority rights, one can imagine the state of Bibi’s health.
Without major campaigning for her release, effective lobbying to our local/national leaders, who barely speak out against Christian persecution, much less instill financial impositions on the billions of aid pumped out to Muslim-oriented countries such as Pakistan; Bibi is fundamentally at the mercy of the Pakistani state. Her family continue to live in terror, tainted by blasphemy and in constant flight for their lives.
 
Today I have been informed that Asia continues to cough up blood whilst being denied access to medical treatment.
 

 
 

Manchester Arena Attack

‘You just don’t think it’s going to happen at a pop concert’ exclaimed one eye-witness, in the aftermath of a suicide bombing that left 22 confirmed dead and 59 injured, on May 22nd 2017.
We’re running out of places where it’s not going to happen. Yesterday’s attack on British freedom and civility must be placed in the wider and ongoing context of Islamically-motivated barbarism – in what feels like every public space spanning Europe.
The Religion of Peace website has documented 15 case examples of Islamic terrorism in European cities throughout 2017 alone.
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The Manchester Arena attack is now the 16th attack Europe has endured in 5 months.
Whilst Islamic terror can be traced to the days of Muhammadist conquests and therefore nothing new, these attacks within Europe in 2017 have escalated to become subliminal, intense and deeply personal. These are no longer sporadic and sparse but systematic, rigorous and familiar – as the perpetrators seem to revel in past, notorious dates regarding terrorism – and habitually strike again. Yesterday’s attack – 4 years to the day British Fusilier Lee Rigby was openly beheaded on the streets of Woolich – is no coincidence. The Westminster Attack – exactly a year on from the Brussels airport bombing is no coincidence.
A clear pattern is emerging and we can’t be complacent in thinking that prior sui generic catastrophes such as 9/11 can never be applied to Europe. It is overtly obvious that there are depraved savages, bellicose in their schemes to target the most unsuspecting and vulnerable sects of our society in order to unleash maximum desecration. Again such attacks have now assumed a ‘European’ feel, as Britain and Belgium will now pay double homage to its fallen every 22 March. And so on, as the list will inevitably proliferate.
Political correctness facilitates the madness. I’ve recently stumbled across the brilliant Paul Joseph Watson and his very apt and relevant clip below succinctly summarises the dangers of unbridled PC.

Political correctness kills because it is an amalgamation of wilful ignorance, paralytic fear, selfishness and Taqiyyah (method of deception in Islam) – the latter of which garners prominence within mainstream media and is incorporated into the very Islam-is-peace-liners in political speeches that indoctrinate, confuse and subjugate anyone who has never picked up the Hadiths/Quran to know what Taqiyyah means. An ignorance deception thrives and relies upon.
Realistically speaking, Islamism cannot be reversed so I wouldn’t waste my platform to claim that it can. Puritannical Islam is incorrigible and therefore by default any opposing cultural and religious norm will be locked in an ideological battle with it. We are fully immersed in a war with those who take a literalist viewpoint and application of Islamic doctrine.  A war we are losing. For 8 year old Saffie we’ve already lost.
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We lose every time we are silenced through the ‘Islam is peace’ crusade, dominating our mainstream media and prominent national political and security figures. We lose every time we post another #PrayforNice #PrayforBrussels, #PrayforWestminster #PrayforManchester on our twitter, facebook and instagram feeds. I’m a Christian not a cynical atheist, but if the torrents of #prayer were genuine and heartfelt then we wouldn’t be picking pieces of human flesh off one another. Why? Because the actual God-fearing, Jesus-following generation 70 years ago sacrificed their privileges and loved ones; to be blown to smithereens in order to safeguard their fellow Englishmen and preclude any existential threat. Those fervent prayer-folk had premonitions as to the dangers of unregulated, mass immigration from tribal, Muslim lands. Every pew was occupied across every Church in the land, as Britain and wider Europe was birthed from and shaped by Christendom. Our definitive laws, norms and practises – English civility emerged from the belief of the Grace of our God. The kind of tenacious, passionate belief in Christ that ensured its dominance throughout Britain, rendering other beliefs to be respectfully secondary in the pursuit and defence of The Faith.
We are fast becoming a minority in our country. Not in number but ideologically. We now live in a country that tells us that terror is now part and parcel of living in big cities, that does not challenge the 100 odd Sharia courts that facilitate polygamous marriages in spite of the fact they directly contravene British civil law. We live in country that sells Halal chocolate and delegating the importance of Easter, omitting the Lord’s Prayer at Christmas, stripping traditional Nativity plays from school and removing Bibles from public holiday inns. We live in a country where  we must not preach Christ on the streets whilst allowing the Anjem Choudharys and Abu Hamzas to preach hatred against the very system that provides them with welfare. We live in a country where we’ve become so post-secular that we facilitate the de-Christianisation of Europe, thereby creating a vacuum that literalist Islam has filled. We live in a country that screeches against Conservatism rhetoric – levelling every racist, Nazi and fascist slur – substantially softening the actions of the Nazis that murdered the generation of their own grandparents.
And now you want to pray? To feign virtue? When 22 are dead, 59 injured, an 8 year old never to return to her parents?
We are weak. Europe is still sleepwalking. We were warned in 1967 through the incomparable Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech. And if we continue to be this spineless, then how long will it be until this warning fulfils as a Prophecy?

Thesis Chapter I: Literature Review

                               Yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights [to religious freedom] hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal [an act granting those religious rights]; or to narrow its operation, such act shall be an      infringement of natural right. (Thomas Jefferson, 1779:1)
The concept of freedom of religion is one of antiquity, as is the philosophical, sociological and political literature that debate the theoretical significance religious freedom holds, as an attribute of liberal democracies. Yet for the purpose of the dissertation, this chapter aims to analyse the relevance of religious freedom to modern liberal democracy, utilising the work of prominent libertarians during the Age of Enlightenment from 18th Century Europe as a starting point. The chapter will firstly establish a correlation between freedom of religion and the development of the very liberal democratic conditions existing and functioning in a post-1945 Europe, before challenging the congruity of religion through the secularisation theory/thesis; which fundamentally argues that the rise of secularism in Europe in the aftermath of the World Wars, has rendered religion obsolete –and therefore the debate concerning religious freedom is inapplicable to ‘European exceptionalism’. Finally, the chapter will advocate the re-emergence of religion, using the proliferation of Islam throughout Europe via the entrenchment of Multiculturalism as a case example and thereby proving that the free practise of religion is most relevant in an era of post-secular, European societies to conclude that religion continues to be of salience and relevance to modern Europe; as the historical focus on Christianity alone in a western context is inapplicable to a current region with a pluralism of religion.
1.1 The Relevance of Freedom of Religion in 21st Century Europe
Perhaps the notion of freedom of religion continues to exist in current political and intellectual debates and literature, due it to its contribution towards the very civil liberalism that characterises modern European democracy. Fowler (1989) believes that liberalism and religion can be regarded as unconventional partners, fundamentally alluding to a co-operative dichotomy in which religion provides the moral and cultural underpinnings for a liberal society. This is particularly applicable to Europe, as classical liberalism emerged from a set of ideas rooted in Christian ideology, specifically seeking to derive a set of norms stemming from the belief in the dignity and freedom of each individual. This paved way for a conception ‘of democracy based on the Christian view of humanity’ (Grabow 2011: 7).
Although the coinage of liberal democracy precedes 17th/18th Century European libertarian literature, key thinkers such as Locke (1689) and Mill (1859 ) argued in favour of religious freedom, necessary for a cohesive and civil state. This concept of ‘toleration’ which rose to prominence in John Locke’s (1689 ) Letter of Toleration essentially advocates for the plurality of religions , which would reduce the natural domination of one belief and thereby create political stability.
Yet, this promotion of individual equality by way of religious freedom within a state fails to recognise the divisive element to religion and its natural, intermittent desire to compete and conflict with opposing ideologies. Thomas Hobbes (1660) in opposition to Locke (1689 ) believes that the religious emphasis of certitude in one’s belief and totality of commitment to God creates the very political instability evidenced in the Religious Wars of Europe. In this sense religion can be regarded as a source of political instability, in contrast to the rhetoric of Locke (1689) and Mill (1859).
However such libertarians converge or diverge on the political prowess freedom of religion should acquire in both the public and private sphere, the fact remains that religious freedom per se has emerged an inalienable right. The Peace of Westphalia 1648 sparked an unprecedented global recognition and respect of differing beliefs, entrenching such semantics into internationally acclaimed Human Rights Instruments such as the 1945 United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR), the 1950 European Charter of Human Rights (ECHR) and the 1966 International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); thus enshrining freedom of religion as of the hallmarks of contemporary liberal democracies post-1945.
1.2 The Secular versus Sacred Debate
In spite of the globalisation of human rights, which has irrevocably shaped international, supranational and national policies concerning the liberty of each citizen primarily of the West; the case to suggest that freedom of religion is no longer the pinnacle of other inalienable rights continues to gain ground. Leading sociologists of religion, Grace Davies (2000) and Peter Berger (1997 ) fundamentally argue that religion is now obsolete across Western societies, more so in the region of Europe than anywhere else in the globe and therefore the historical necessity to discuss and deliberate the position religion should hold in the private and/or public spheres is now virtually non-existent in Europe today.
Furthermore, Mills (1959) establishes a correlation between the process of European industrialisation and the permeation of secularisation. The key tenets of urbanisation, rationalism and bureaucratisation during the industrial period, leads Mills (1959) to surmise:
Once the world was filled with the sacred in thought, practise and institutional form. After the Reformation and Renaissance, the forces of modernisation swept across the globe and secularisation; a corollary historical process loosened the dominance of the sacred. In due course, the sacred shall disappear altogether, except, possibly in the private realm. (Mills 1959: 33)
Mills (1959) echoes the work of the ‘seminal social thinkers of the nineteenth century, such as Auguste Comte (1851) , Max Weber (1930 ) , Karl Marx (1844) and Sigmund Freud (1927) ‘ (Norris, Inglehart 2006:223). All believed that religion would gradually fade in importance and cease to be significant with the advent of industrial society. The case for religious diminution is evidenced by the rise of empiricism and the development of scientific knowledge, consequently providing answers at a time where a deity or superstitious beliefs would otherwise suffice.
Moreover, Davies (2000 ) and Berger (1997 ) develop Weber’s (1930) notion of the secular Weltanschauung , or ‘secular worldview’ through their posit of the secularisation thesis, whereby the onset of European modernity inevitably led to the decrease in public and institutionalised Christianity; to the extent that ‘religion in Europe is like an iceberg, most of what is interesting is under the water and out of view’ (Davies 2003 ). Davies’ (2003) notion of believing without belonging or the privatisation of religious belief is evident through the separation of church and state throughout Europe, the emergence of secular, bureaucratic states and push for secularity within the socio-political framework of the European Union.
Davies ( 2000) labels Christianity in Europe a ‘vicarious religion’ (2000:1), where there is a ‘decline of institutional belief against an otherwise global trend of sustained or increased religiosity’ (Finke, Stark 2000: 79); feeding into the wider concept of European exceptionalism. Pellivert (2008) hails the work of religious sociology on the secularisation thesis as ‘widely acknowledged as a thorough and accurate explanation of current change in European religion’ (Pellivert 2008: 25).
However, the secularisation thesis which essentially establishes a positive correlation between countries of high development by way of intellectual and technological advancement and low levels of religiosity has been severely challenged over the past three decades. The sustained levels of practised Christianity –monitored through regular church-going and high support for Christian political rhetoric in the United States, to the increase in religious Muslim political parties in the Islamic world for example are case study examples in dissent of the thesis.
Furthermore, placing the notion of European exceptionalism in the context of religious vitality –where European religiosity tends to be vicarious against the global trend of rising zealotry is also flawed. The correlation between modernity and secularity in Europe cannot be wholly applied to Islam, ‘which rejects a dualistic worldview that would compartmentalise areas of life into the religious/sacred versus the sacred/profane. Islam will not readily acquiesce to the privatisation of belief and practise that Christians have undergone’ (Leigh 2013: 5).
Through further analysis of such developments, Peter Berger (1999) , a leading advocate for the secularisation theory during the 1960s recanted his earlier claims in stating:
the world today with some exceptions is as furiously religious as it ever was, in some places more than ever. This means that a whole body of literature by historians and social scientists loosely labelled ‘secularisation thesis’ is essentially nonsense (Berger 1999 ).
In addition to Berger’s (1999) new findings, Stark (2000) and Finke (2000) dismiss the validity of the secularisation thesis in stating:
After nearly three centuries of utterly failed prophecies and misrepresentations of both present and past, it seems time to carry the secularisation doctrine to the graveyard of failed theories and there to whisper ‘requiescent in pace’  (Stanley, Finke 2000: 279).
It would appear therefore, that religiosity rages on.
1.3 Research Literature on the establishment of Islam as a minority religion in the United Kingdom
European state accommodation of Islam continues to remain an increasingly political salient issue, more so especially in light of the ongoing refugee crisis spilling into the region. As of 2010, the European Union is home to 13 million Muslim migrants (Pew Research 2016), ‘making them the largest religious minority in the region’ (Fetzer; Soper 2005:2). The religious freedom provisions of the international human rights instruments, specifically the UNHR (1945), the ECHR (1950) and ICCPR (1960) in granting ‘ freedom [of religion], either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance’ (Article 18, UNHCR 1945; Article 9, ECHR 1950; Article 18 ICCPR, 1966); is implemented in the rise of Islamic institutions across Europe, over historically dominant Catholic or Protestant churches for example.
Whilst it is important to note that ‘Muslims demonstrate a diversity of affiliation to Islam varying from a refusal to proclaim the faith, silent agnosticism or indifference, (Buijs, Rath 2002:2) to ‘culturalist’ Islam, to a more zealous, missionary approach – the fact remains that Islam has become entrenched, across many European states; as evidenced through the erection of Mosques and religious centres throughout the region exempli gratia.
Academic explanation as to the public assertion of the Islamic faith and identity is debated within the research literature which examines cultural and religious minorities throughout Europe. For the purpose of the dissertation the starting point within the hotchpotch of European Muslim migrant literature will initiate from the New Islamic Presence period of the 1950s onwards (Gerholm & Lithman 1988). The New Islamic Presence refers to the ‘guest worker scheme implemented in most western European countries, or the family reunification scheme’ (Buijs, Rath 2002: 6); which enabled a large influx of Muslim migrant resettlement in the region.
The research literature in this field is predominated by sociologists and anthropologists of religion, typically branching into two strands of thinking: the first strand advocates the notion of Muslims being Islamic by default, thereby any study of Muslim political aspirations or social life revolves around the need to retain or be governed by religiosity (Shahid & van Koningsveld 1992). However this approach is ‘criticised as being Orientalist or essentialist, implicating that Islam is thought to be eternal and unchanging, untouched by social development’ (Buijs, Rath 2002: 120) and thereby only compatible across traditional Muslim lands. Furthermore, Krämer (2010) labels this Oriental perspective as:
A project that presents, or ‘constructs’, or ‘represents’ Islam as a distinct, homogenous and timeless entity that is essentially defined by its normative texts –ie the Quran as divine word and the Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad. For the unreformed Orientalist, Muslims are defined by their being Muslim’ (Krämer in Varisco 2010: 7).
According to this approach the rise of Islam throughout Europe is inevitable within significant communities of Muslim migrants, as they have a natural instinct to practise and spread their faith- whether through missionary work and proselytising, or establishing Muslim organisations. Additionally, the rise of hijab-wearing and religious education are all indicative of the importance to preserve the Islamic faith across host countries, perhaps one rationale behind the shift of private to public religiosity and the consequential establishment of Islam as a minority religion.
The second strand of literature assumes a dialectical approach, examining Muslim adaption to their new environment in contrast to the Orientalist approach. The ‘divergent and convergent patterns of accommodation of Islam in Europe are due to the normative, legal and institutional pressures stemming from European integration’ (Maussen 2007: 62), which has given rise to the domestication or Europeanisation of Islam; as evidenced by the inclusion and participation of Muslim representative councils or local religious leaders in inter-faith dialogues for example. However, this notion of a Euro-Islam, is challenged by Höffert & Salvatore (2000) who regard this form of modernism as a threat to the Muslim identity.
Yet it is imperative to highlight that irrespective of the tide of Islamic ideological development throughout Europe, the fact remains that the prominent position of Islam in European society is significantly dependant on state accommodation of such – namely via facilitative political and legal policies designed to publicly recognise and uphold the Islamic presence throughout Europe. Fundamentally, both strands of the research literature fail to sufficiently highlight the instrumental role of Multiculturalism in the official/public establishment and rise of Islam in the region.
1.4 The role of Multiculturalism in the rise of Islam throughout Europe  
Today, a French person is not necessarily Catholic, Protestant etc. Today a person is French through an act of citizenship, by sharing common values and by [supporting] everyone’s right to find happiness. But in the end, a French person can be a Muslim, can be a Catholic, a Jew; a Buddhist. [Muslims should enjoy religious liberty ] just as other [French] citizens do (Saïda Kada (2001), President of Femmes Françaises et Musulmanes Engagées, in Fetzer, Soper 2005: 1).
Kada’s (2001) speech stems from French President François Mitterrand’s coinage of le droit à la difference ,emerging from a wider normative framework of tolerance for pluralistic diversity and the concept of an overarching common identity; all synonyms of the political theory of Multiculturalism – initiated in North American politics- ‘largely seen as a normative framework and set of state policies, which advance tolerance and recognition of cultural differences’ (Howarth & Andreouli 2015:1. It is important to note that in studying Multiculturalism there are multiple labels attributed to the concept, contingent upon whether the approach is sociological (Hall 2000), philosophical (Taylor 1992), anthropological (Vertovec 2007) or psychological (Berry 1997) .
However, with regard to examining the role of multiculturalism in facilitating the rise of Islam across European societies, Abbas & Reeves (2007) refers to Rex’s (1996) ‘egalitarian multiculturalism’ (Abbas & Reeves 2007:10) effectively explicates the overhauling of Western, colonial discrimination of indigenous races and religions, thereby feeding into post-colonial guilt and the consequential necessity to replace previous racial/ethnic hierarchy with advocating and accommodating for minority rights during the onset of ethnic immigration from the late 1960s, in particularly western Europe.
It is imperative that egalitarian multiculturalism be contextualised as part of a larger ‘human rights revolution in relation to ethnic and racial diversity’ (Vertovec, Wessendorf 2010:33), providing the very ‘liberal-communitarian’ (May, Modood, Squires 2004:4) constructivist framework existing in racial/religious (western) European state policies today. The change in European social structure, explicitly influenced through the UNDHR (1947) et al recognition of manifestation of belief and which was instrumental in the development of multiculturalism -meant that the establishment of religious institutions was a tangible reality to particularly Muslim families permanently settling across Europe, given the sheer volume of migration from South Asia, North Africa and the Middle East.
Islam and Muslims have certainly gained a new kind of public visibility in Europe, during the past three decades. In contrast to first-generation Muslims, ‘who believed that in order to avoid potential problems with the state it was best to minimise the religious features of their identity’ (Ramadan 1999: 113); for many second and third-generation immigrants, Islam provided a sense of cultural belonging and pride, that could now permeate publicly due to multiculturalist policies – in terms of access to Islamic facilities’ (Nielsen 1992: 119). Therefore ‘the provisions of facilities for prayer, teaching Islam to children, access to halal food and religious burial now had to be consciously sought out’ (Vertovec & Peach 1994: 22).
The rise of Muslim identity politics is significantly due to policies of inclusion in which the Kulturkampf struggle and ‘pillarisation’ process, particularly in northern Europe , influenced European cities such as Copenhagen, Stuttgart, Vienna, Zurich and Dublin to build diversity principles into their current policies and practise (Spencer 2008). This is evidenced in the cases of Austria and the Netherlands, where ‘instruction in Islam is paid by the Austrian state…similar to public financing of the Islamic TV and Broadcasting Corporation’ (Waardenburg in Shadid & van Koningsveld 1991:38) in line with Dutch minorities policies.
In conclusion, it is evident that religion and religious accommodation of ethnic minorities in particular, continue to hold salience across European in especially welfare and social politics. This concept of egalitarian multiculturalism has adopted a rather religious approach particularly from the 1980s across wider Europe, not just the United Kingdom – thus dispelling claims of diminishing religiosity, as the traditional literature in this field has historically focused upon the changing patterns of Christianity. Such literature fails to factor in the Islamic Question in Europe, which has risen to public prominence and setting a precedent an Islamic era in the face of de-Christianisation; evident in the recognition of public Islamic institutions, apparel and media attention.

Masters Thesis Challenging the 'Freedom of Religion' Concept with regards to the Apostasy Question in Britain.

Much of my inactive blog platform is due to the year long slog of putting this Masters dissertation together, for the purpose of finalising my university degree. Given that I had the freedom to highlight any topic within the field of international relations and granted 15,000 words to do so; naturally it was my opportunity to highlight the ex-Muslim predicament here in the UK.
Rather than upload a 15,000 document, I’ve decided to compartmentalise all sections of my thesis, thereby posting successive chapters daily.  This  blog post will focus on providing the backdrop to my dissertation.
 
Challenging whether Freedom of Religion exists in the United Kingdom, with regards to the rise in persecution of Apostates from Islam
 
 Anniesa Hussain, Masters of Science (MSci)  in International Relations & Global Issues with Honours, University of Nottingham 2016.
 
ABSTRACT
The primary focus of the dissertation is to investigate whether freedom of religion exists in relation to Muslim persecution of apostasy within the United Kingdom, drawing upon ratified, Human Rights provisions; prominently enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights as a legal basis for the report research. The topic is one of relevance, given that Islamist oppression is primarily confined to the Islamic world, with much less reported and documented within Muslim diasporas across the non-Muslim world. A quantitative approach was taken in researching for the dissertation as the issue of apostasy remains a taboo concept. Taking the findings of the dissertation into consideration and through the case studies of British apostates and ex-Muslim, Christian converts, it is evident that freedom of religion exists but for a few. The violent repercussions as a direct result of the renunciation of the Islamic faith and the intolerance towards the case study apostates undertaken, is indeed a dire blow to British values and promises of religious freedom.
 
INTRODUCTION
The primary focus of the dissertation is to investigate whether freedom of religion exists in relation to Muslim persecution of apostasy within the United Kingdom, drawing upon ratified, Human Rights provisions; prominently enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights as a legal basis for the report research. The topic is one of relevance, given that Islamist oppression is primarily confined to the Islamic world, with much less reported and documented within Muslim diasporas across the non-Muslim world. Chapter One explores whether and why religion bears any salience to 21st Century Europe, concluding that religiosity is as fervent as ever, with Islam in particular rising to prominence in the public domain through European egalitarian multiculturalism. Chapter Two introduces the concept of the Muslim Cultural Defence, officially creating a parallel, alternative system in a British society, essentially highlighting certain failures of Multiculturalist policies and concluding that the Cultural Defence is intolerant of heterodoxy in a Muslim context. Chapter Three develops the Cultural Defence by applying it to the Orthodox versus Heterodox paradox, concluding that apostasy is explicitly intolerable to the hierarchal Muslim orthodoxy. Chapter Four outlines Islamic scriptural verses and theological rhetoric and interpretation, debating the concept of freedom of religion in Islam and providing scriptural basis for the death penalty for apostates. Chapters Five and Six examine case studies of British apostates to firmly conclude that there is no freedom of religion where apostasy from Islam is concerned.
 
A quantitative approach was taken in researching for the dissertation as the issue of apostasy remains a taboo concept. The fact that there were only a few select cases of British, public apostasy cases confirms this. There is also an overwhelming lack of academic and political literature on apostasy in a Western context, with the majority of literature adapted from news articles and religious organisations’ reports.

The Islamism Neologism is a Misnomer

*This article is not written by me but a guest blogger who wishes to remain anonymous. A first guest-written piece and an interesting,  insightful perspective!*
Exponents of the term “Islamism” most commonly describe Islamism along the lines of “ohhh it’s just a warped interpretation of Islam that is about politics and nothing inherently to do with the religion of Islam” but there is no distinction at all made in Islamic doctrines between “Islam” and “Islamism” as being just a political interpretation of Islam that is not essential to Islam. Most crucially Mohammed didn’t describe himself as an “Islamist” and according to Islamic sources themselves he was the political/militant leader of the whole of the Arab peninsula by the end of his life.
So we see today Muslims who today desire to emulate Mohammed’s political and military legacy are erroneously misbranded “Islamists” by most people. The archetype “Islamist”Mohammed is (as you are probably aware of) the same person who is the founder of Islam and himself regarded his political and militant accomplishments as Islam and implementing Allah’s will then, yet embarrassingly some(including academics) categorise “Islamism” as something completely separate from mainstream Islam or what they regard as “True Islam”.
A lot of non Muslims and even some who call themselves Muslim use the term “Islamism” because they are afraid of being branded as Islamaphobes or Racists by Muslims and Guardian readers, yet despite going out of their way to mollify Muslims by using the term “Islamism” when criticising the negative effects of Islam they are still condemned as “Islamaphobes” and “racists”, so it has to be asked what purpose does it serve to continue this disingenuous expediency?
The narrative that Islamism is just a “distorted political/militant ideology that is separate from the true Islam” actually impedes addressing the doctrines of Islam used by fundamentalist Muslims. It’s perilous to not to precisely discern nefarious ideologies as it leads to them not being tackled holistically and any level of evasiveness in analysing the enemy’s ideology allows them to get away with even more iniquity than they could otherwise. To inoculate a dangerous strain of a virus, it must firstly be correctly diagnosed then it can be given the appropriate vaccination required to eliminate it as best as possible. Mollycoddling how Islam has been put into practise only helps those who desire to follow Islam thoroughly and seriously in the format it has expressed itself almost in its entirety since its inception when and where it has and had authority and governance.
There are thick books written about the political and militant components of Islam within Islamic doctrines, but here I will exhibit it briefly. The Verse known as the verse of the Istikhlaf (http://quran.com/24/55) elucidates the Islamic basis for a Caliphate(A Political Entity led by an Islamic leader) for the believers. This verse of (http://quran.com/4/59) digresses how political discourse amongst authority should refer to Allah and his messenger. There are countless verses validating conditional militancy against non-believers. This specific verse is the only verse (http://quran.com/9/29) that instructs an unconditional order to kill.
Being forthright is a virtue and it’s candour to call the Muslims who don’t for whatever reason bother following the political/militant aspects of Islamic doctrines as “apolitical Muslims” or “selective Muslims”. Putting it frankly there is no “Islamism”, the actions and views of those categorised as Islamists has always been part of normative/orthodox Islam unless you consider 1300 years of Militant/Political entities of Islamic Empires as mythology or folk tales that are as fictitious as the stories of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.