Once Again, London Has an Islamist-Run Borough

ResearchInvestigationsOnce Again, London Has an Islamist-Run Borough
By Sam Westrop May 11, 2022

The United Kingdom’s local elections at the beginning of May were dramatic. Across Britain, much was made of the fact that the ruling Conservative Party lost almost 500 council seats in the wake of scandal and sleaze. Meanwhile, endless hours of analysis on the BBC have been dedicated to Northern Ireland, where Sinn Fein, the political offshoot of the IRA, achieved a majority for the first time.

But it is in the London borough of Tower Hamlets where more focus should perhaps be placed. The Islamist-linked Aspire Party has just won a sweeping victory. It now controls a majority 24 of the 45 seats available, with the party’s founder – Islamist activist and fraudster Lutfur Rahman – now the mayor.

This is not Rahman’s first stint in charge of this important London borough. He served as mayor from 2010 to 2015, initially as a representative of the Labour Party. His tenure was marked by widespread Islamist extremism, cronyism and outright corruption – all exposed by expertly-conducted documentaries and investigations from mainstream British media, although largely ignored or downplayed by police and national politicians.

The danger Rahman posed was apparent from the beginning. In his first year, Rahman was thrown out of the Labour Party for his Islamist links, after a local secular Bangladeshi politician, Helal Abbas, revealed Rahman’s ties to the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE).

Abbas’s warnings concerned many. The IFE was founded in 1990 by Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a leading member of the violent Islamist movement Jamaat-e-Islami – one of the most active extremist groups in South Asia, of which offshoots include terrorist organizations designated as such under U.S. law.

In November 2013, a Bangladeshi War Crimes Tribunal sentenced Mueen-Uddin to death in absentia for his role in the abduction and murder of 18 journalists and intellectuals during the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan. Mueen-Uddin was reportedly in charge of Jamaat-e-Islami’s Al-Badr killing squad, which collaborated with the Pakistani regime.

Mueed-Uddin then imported his extremism to Britain. For the last three decades, IFE has served as a key “European wing” of Jamaat-e-Islami.

A 2009 training course organized by the IFE for its members featured hardline Jamaat-e-Islami literature, with one IFE official, Muhammad Rabbani, explaining that “Our goal is not simply to invite people and give da’wah [call to the faith]” but to “mobilise those believers into an organised force for change who will carry out da’wah, hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law] and jihad.”

To achieve this new political order, the IFE “strives for the establishment of a global society, the Khilafah … comprised of individuals who live by the principles of … the Shari’ah.”

An IFE event with Anwar Al-Awlaki, at the time a leading extremist preacher, who later became leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, before his death in a 2011 U.S. drone strike.

In East London, the IFE has been working to impose this political vision. A series of investigations by leading British journalist Andrew Gilligan uncovered that the IFE had been crucial in the election of Rahman and other radical politicians.

George Galloway, a frequent fellow traveler of Islamists (and today a leading apologist for Vladimir Putin), as well as an ally of Rahman, declared in 2005 during a speech at the IFE headquarters, following his own election victory: “I am indebted more than I can say, more than it would be wise — for them — for me to say, to the Islamic Forum of Europe. I believe they played the decisive role … in this historic victory.”

In return for the IFE’s support in 2010 for Rahman, the Bangladeshi Islamist mayor appeared to hand the Islamist group significant levels of control, appointing IFE activists to senior council positions, and handing out grants to IFE sister organizations.

Councillor Abjol Miah, an IFE activist who worked closely with Rahman and who belonged to Galloway’s Respect Party, told an undercover reporter that: “We’ve actually consolidated ourselves now.  We’ve got a lot of influence and power in the council, councillors, politicians.”

(Years later, Miah joined the Liberal Democrat party, before he was suspended for deeply anti-Semitic posts on his social media)

The extent of Islamist influence and control over this sizeable London borough and its government was extensive and disturbing.

Critics even widely suspected the IFE and Rahman of masterminding revenge against Helal Abbas, a Labour candidate, for having dared to speak out. Shortly after exposing the Islamist grip on the borough, Abbas was the target of spurious smears by a free Bangladeshi East London newspaper supportive of Rahman’s campaign, the London Bangla, which accused him of “wife-beating.”

The paper’s usual run of 30,000 copies handed outside mosques in London was tripled to 90,000 for this special edition, paid for by a “mystery funder.”

But eventually, this corrupt Islamist cabal was stopped.

Rahman’s downfall was dramatic. In 2015, now representing the Tower Hamlets First party, Rahman was removed from office and banned from running again for five years, after an election court found him and his party guilty of electoral fraud.

Rahman and his party were found, James Bloodworth summarizes, “to have engaged in postal vote fraud, given false statements, committed bribery and used ‘undue spiritual influence’—illegally warning voters that it was a ‘sin’ to vote for rival candidates.”

Despite the litany of misconduct and radicalism, for many years, Rahman and his cronies simply got away with it, and Islamists became significantly stronger all across East London – which emerged, during and after Rahman’s time in office, as a key recruiting ground for ISIS.

No, Seriously, You Could Go to Hell

Some Christians think the possibility of going to hell is solely for unbelievers. But it’s a possibility for Christians, too, and a sobering one at that.

Some Christians think the possibility of going to hell is solely for unbelievers. They don’t believe that a true born-again Christian can lose his salvation, hence the common phrase once saved, always saved.

But for other Christians, hell is a stark reality to contend with, even for justified Christians, since they believe that a Christian can lose the gift of salvation initially received. There are several Scripture passages they commonly turn to for support—e.g., Hebrews 6:4-6, 10:26-31 and  John 15:2-3. Each of these passages warns Christians about removing themselves from the source of salvation—namely, Jesus—which implies the possibility of damnation even for Christians. So it’s more like once saved, better stay saved.

There’s a way to rebut these biblical passages, but we’ll have to see how good it is. To get a good look at it, we can check Protestant theologian Michael Norton in his chapter of the book Four Views on Eternal Security.

Basically, the argument goes, scriptural warnings about falling away from the Faith refer to those Christians who trust only in their baptism rather than in what baptism signifies: faith in Christ. Such Christians, it’s argued, are satisfied with having merely an external relation with Christ. As Norton puts it, these are Christians “in the covenant [via baptism] but not personally united by living faith to Jesus Christ.” Such Christians would be akin to those Jews who trusted in their natural descent from Abraham as grounds for their membership in the New Covenant but were cut off (Rom. 11:19-22).

Note that the interpretive principle here entails that someone can be in the covenant via baptism, and thus a member of the covenant community, but at the same time not be regenerate, or saved, or justified. Now, there seem to be only two ways that this could be true.

Either . . .

A) A believer was initially regenerated through baptism, became a visible member of the covenant community, and then lost that saving grace,

. . . or . . .

B) A believer became a visible member of the covenant community through baptism but was never regenerated in the first place, which implies that baptism doesn’t make someone regenerate, or, as Norton puts it, “united by living faith to Jesus Christ.”

Of course it can’t be A, because then everyone agrees, and there’s no argument. So it has to be B—but B is not true. Baptism does regenerate and unite a person to Christ by living faith.

Consider what Paul teaches in Romans 6:3-4:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Paul furthers spell out the effects of this union with Christ through baptism. In verses 6-7, he writes,

We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died [the baptismal death] is freed [Greek, dedikaiōtai] from sin.

What’s interesting about this passage, as pointed out in Catholic circles by apologist Jimmy Akin, is that the Greek doesn’t say “freed from sin.” The Greek word translated “freed” is dikaioō, which means “to put into a right relationship (with God); acquit, declare and treat as righteous.” This is the same word Paul uses when he speaks of our justification by faith: “Since we are justified [Greek, dikaiōthentes] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). So the phrase “freed from sin” in Romans 6:7 can literally be translated “justified from sin.”

Modern translations render it as “freed from sin” because the context is clearly about sanctification. In the verse before Paul speaks of baptismal death, he speaks of those in Christ as having “died to sin.” As quoted above, Paul speaks of those who have died the death of baptism as “no longer enslaved to sin.”

So, for Paul, justification can include sanctification, which is the interior renewal of the soul whereby the objective guilt of sin is removed. And that justification, or regeneration, takes place in baptism.

So the contention that baptism doesn’t make us “united by living faith to Jesus Christ” is false. It has to be. And if so, then we can reject the idea that “trusting in baptism” is somehow to be separated from “trusting in Christ,” and doing the former keeps you off the heavenly guest list.

There’s one more thing to bring up here. The “trusting in baptism” principle fails to account for the other Scripture passages that are often cited for the belief that regenerate believers can lose their salvation, like Galatians 5:4. The text reads,

You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

Notice that Paul says the Galatians were “severed from Christ” and that they had “fallen away from grace.” Both statements imply that the Galatians were saved, or regenerate, since to be in Christ and in grace is to be free from condemnation (Rom. 8:1). If you’re trying to reject the Catholic position on losing salvation, you can’t say here that these Christians merely had an external relationship with Jesus by being members of the Christian community through their baptism. They were in Christ.

Why would Paul speak of the Galatians being in Christ if they didn’t have faith in him? It’s not as if Paul were talking about baptized infants or baptized people who can’t use reason. How can someone who doesn’t fall into these categories of baptized people be in Christ, and thus be not subject to condemnation, and not have faith? Isn’t faith necessary to be free from condemnation, at least for those who can exercise it? It is: “without faith it is impossible to please [God]” (Heb. 11:6).

In the end, the interpretive principle embedded in the counter-response above introduces a novel theology that we shouldn’t accept as Christians: baptized adults united with Christ but without faith. Paul’s teaching on baptism in Romans 6:3-4, 7, and 17-18, and his teaching that believers can be “severed from Christ” (Gal. 5:4), provide the reason why.

The possibility of hell is not a message just for unbelievers. It’s a message for Christians as well, and a sobering one at that. Let’s not forget it.

The Triumph of Natural Immunity

BY MARTIN KULLDORFF TIME MAY 7, 2022

A new CDC study shows that around 75 percent of American children—and nearly 60 percent of adults—have already had COVID. That means they have strong natural immunity that protects them from COVID infections as they get older. Despite this, the CDC, the FDA and other government agencies are pushing all of them to get vaccinated.

Why?

One important role of public health agencies during a pandemic is to conduct seroprevalence studies to determine how many people have developed antibodies to the disease from having been infected. That way we understand how the disease has spread and how it varies geographically and among different age groups. Spain did such a large, randomized survey early during the pandemic while Sweden did a series of smaller randomized surveys at regular intervals.

In the United States, this important task was left to individual scientists, but they only had resources to conduct small surveys in limited areas, such as the Santa Clara County Study. The CDC has now finally got its act together with a national survey. The results are illuminating.

In April 2020, the Santa Clara study showed that 3 percent of its population had been infected. In February 2022, the CDC study shows that at least 58 percent percent of Americans have had COVID, as evidenced by their anti-nucleocapsid antibodies, which are produced due to infections but not the vaccines. The numbers vary by age.

Epoch Times Photo

What does this mean? We know that natural immunity after COVID recovery provides excellent protection against future infections, and, while COVID will be with us for the rest of our lives, it will be something that our immune system will cope with in the way it’s handling the other four widely circulating coronaviruses.

It means we’re now transitioning from the pandemic stage to the endemic stage, and we’ll eventually reach herd immunity, the end point of every pandemic no matter what strategy is used.

Given these numbers, why are the CDC, the FDA, and the government pushing hard for all children to get vaccinated against COVID? Why are some schools and universities mandating COVID vaccines for children and young adults? The majority already have superior natural immunity.

All of them are at minuscule risk from dying from COVID even if they haven’t had it, a risk that’s smaller than dying from any of a whole range of other causes such as motor vehicle accidents, drowning, homicide, suicide, drug overdoses, or cancer. While anyone can get infected, there is more than a thousand-fold difference in COVID mortality between older and younger people.

To sell a drug or a vaccine, we require pharmaceutical companies to conduct a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to show that it works to prevent serious health outcomes or death. Pfizer and Moderna haven’t done that. For adults, they only showed a reduction in symptomatic disease.

To remedy this, a recent Danish study used the RCTs to evaluate all-cause mortality. For every 100 who die in the placebo group, there are 103 deaths among mRNA vaccinees, with a 95 percent confidence interval of 63 to 171. This contrasts with the adenovirus-vector vaccines (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson), with 37 deaths among the vaccinees (95 percent CI: 19–70).

For children, we don’t even have this. The randomized COVID vaccine trials show that they can prevent mild disease in children without a prior COVID infection, but from observational studies, we know that this protection wanes rapidly. The RCTs also show that the vaccines generate antibodies in children, but 75 percent of American children already have superior antibodies from natural infection.

There are no RCTs that show the vaccine prevents deaths or provides any other tangible benefit to children, while there could be harms. All vaccines come with some risks of adverse reactions, and while we know that they cause an increased risk of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) in young people, we don’t yet have a complete picture of the safety profile for these vaccines.

The CDC, the FDA, schools, and universities are pushing COVID vaccines without having shown any benefit to the majority of children who have already had COVID. It’s stunning how these institutions have abandoned 2,500 years of knowledge about natural immunity. For the minority of children without a prior COVID infection, the RCTs only show a short-term reduction in mild disease.

The CDC could instead focus on catching up with regular childhood vaccines for measles, polio, and other serious childhood diseases. Those vaccinations were severely disrupted during lockdowns, and we now see an increase in measles and polio worldwide. Yet more collateral damage from two years of disastrous public health policy.

The medical establishment used to push for evidence-based medicine as a counterweight to “alternative medicine.” It’s tragic how that philosophy has now been thrown out the window. If Pfizer and Moderna want these vaccines to be given to children, they should first conduct a randomized controlled trial that shows that they reduce hospitalization and all-cause mortality. They failed to do so for adults. They shouldn’t get away with that for our children.

Instructional Practice to Foster Intellectual Engagement Centered on Instructional Equity

Student places sticky notes in front of class

University-level instructors need strategies to assist with engaging students intellectually in the critical work of centering classroom thinking and scholarship on equity and social justice. In my case, students in my classes are full-time teachers enrolled in a graduate transformational leadership program (GSTs). As an instructor, my goal is two-fold: (1) to teach and model a strategy that will engage my adult graduate students, and (2) to inspire the strategy’s application to students in their own PK-12 classrooms.

In the example that follows, the instructional goal of my lesson was to elicit the GSTs’ understanding of “achievement gaps” and “instructional root causes” for perceived student underperformance. In the lesson described below, I adapted the Eisenhower Matrix and Stephen Covey’s (1989) version of the Matrix to facilitate cognitive brainstorming and to capture student thinking.

The lesson description of “University Instructor Moves” combines adaptations of the Matrix as well as Frank Lyman’s (1981, 2016) Think-Pair-Share and Example to Idea strategy from the Think Trix. This combination served the GSTs well as they were engaged with the content, process, and product. Note: This idea can be adapted for in-person or virtual instruction.

The Eisenhower Matrix Covey Adaption:
Horizontal axis label: sense of urgency
Vertical axis label: scale of low to high

HIGH LOW
HIGH Urgent and important Not urgent but important
LOW Urgent but not important Not urgent and not important
Figure 1. The Eisenhower Matrix Covey Adaptation

University instructor moves

University instructor move 1:  Create and explain the Matrix template

I created a blank, four-quadrant Matrix with only the HIGH and LOW labels on the physical (or virtual) board and shared with students that this adapted Matrix would be used as the class discussion structure.

HIGH LOW
HIGH
LOW
Fig. 2 Blank Matrix

University instructor move 2:  Provide a focus question for the brainstorm

I asked the GSTs, “What kinds of instructional lessons are being prepared, taught, and assessed for all learners? Think about the typical instructional strategies used daily in classrooms and provide specific examples.”  Students were given Wait Time to think, and then were asked to independently write specific activities and brief descriptions on adhesive-backed notecards (if in person) or on their own paper (if virtual).

Example: “What kinds of instructional lessons are being prepared, taught, and assessed for all learners? Think about the typical instructional strategies used daily in classrooms and provide specific examples.”

HIGH LOW
HIGH
LOW
Fig. 3 Blank Matrix with instructor-led focus question

University instructor move 3:  Discuss key terms and concepts

I engaged the GSTs in a discussion and review of key concepts that supported or informed their thinking in this lesson. I also provided time for students to prepare additional notecards (examples of themes elicited by the instructor and students included: equity, access, rigorous content).

University instructor move 4: Facilitate a discussion on the themes discerned by the group

I used Think-Pair-Share to foster small group discussions on concepts provided, such as engagement and rigor. For virtual instruction, I used breakout rooms for pair discussion.

University instructor move 5: Place notecards and/or ideas into the quadrants

Based on the GSTs’ ideas, I created (internally) an initial label for each axis as an organizational tool to gather students’ ideas. Although not shared with the students, an example of each axis label may include:

Horizontal axis label: Level of engagement fostered for all learners
Vertical axis label: Level of rigor taught and assessed to all learners

HIGH ENGAGEMENT LOW ENGAGEMENT
HIGH RIGOR High engagement and high rigor Low engagement and high rigor
LOW RIGOR High engagement but low rigor Low engagement and low rigor
Fig. 4. Sample Matrix using student-generated ideas

Additional university instructor moves:

I called on one student, or pair of students, to either bring their notecard to me, share it verbally, or share it in writing within a virtual space. I then placed the idea in one of the quadrants without making any comments and without labeling the quadrants for the students—or explaining why the activity was placed in a specific quadrant.

  • As an example, one group may provide a notecard or verbal idea that says, “STEM-based experiment.” Another may say, “Using markers to make posters and then sharing the posters with the class.” Without explaining why to the GSTs just yet, I placed the student notecards into specific quadrants—this is based on the student description and where I initially believe the idea belongs.
  • NOTE: I may deem something to have low rigor and low engagement, but I do not give any comments or explanation to the students about why I placed it in the quadrant. And although students may suspect the axes labels, they do not know yet.
  • I repeated this process three or four more times, calling on students one at a time, and placing the card or idea into the quadrant that I felt, at first glance, to which it belonged. It is important to be sensitive to students and be realistic that instructors don’t have a full picture of the activity described yet. It is likely (and expected) that some of the notecards will be misplaced and will need to be moved later in the lesson.

After several cards were placed, I asked GSTs to read the notecards on the Matrix and use Think-Pair-Share to generate possible labels for the quadrant’s horizontal and vertical axes. However, I did not confirm each axis label; rather, the students were asked to provide an example that seemed to fit the criteria for one of the quadrants (example to idea). GSTs will surmise that the activities in the quadrants have some similarities and will generate activities they feel “fit” the quadrant, but still, they are not permitted to supply each axis label.

After repeating this process a few more times, I eventually ask for axes labels, and modify the labels as appropriate to reflect the student-generated ideas, as well as to move any misplaced activities. Once the axes labels are in place, and after restating the goal of the lesson (“to identify what kinds of instructional lessons are being prepared, taught and assessed for all learners as possible root causes for student underperformance”), students share anonymous and authentic classroom/school practices that meet the descriptions students created for the axes.  As a result, this lesson creates a shared understanding of terms, concepts, and experiences as a foundation for the discussion on instructional equity and root causes.

This strategy has been impactful in my graduate classroom. In both the virtual and in-person environments, the level of concern for equity which students voiced, the stated awareness of impact from instructional choices made, and the lively discussion within the class were three evidentiary artifacts that this thoughtful lesson made an impact to teacher agency.

Margaret Sanger and Eugenics

​​​​Sanger’s concern is runaway “defectives” who will cripple the future
Sanger’s Pivot of Civilization states:

There is every indication that feeble-mindedness in its protean forms is on the increase, that it has leaped the barriers, and that there is truly, as some of the scientific eugenists have pointed out, a feeble-minded peril to future generations—unless the feeble-minded are prevented from reproducing their kind. . . . Every feeble-minded girl or woman of the hereditary type, especially of the moron class, should be segregated during the reproductive period. Otherwise, she is almost certain to bear imbecile children, who in turn are just as certain to breed other defectives. 

​​​​Sanger’s concern is runaway “defectives” who will cripple the future. But what makes an individual “feeble-minded” or “defective”? Sanger speaks as if such people can be identified by established clinical benchmarks. But later in the same work, she writes:

Are we to check the infant mortality rate among the feeble-minded and aid the unfortunate offspring to grow up a menace to the civilized community even when not actually certifiable as mentally defective or not obviously imbecile? 

Sanger’s subjectivism is dangerous. Who determines whether someone is “feeble-minded”? Who determines whether someone is a “menace to society”?

The Nazis Point to the United States as Their Inspiration
The government decides who lives and who dies
Moving towards a stronger, healthier, and more intelligent race
In the early 1900s, eugenics is seen as cutting-edge thought in human health and development. It pushes back against Darwin’s noble instinct and uses the coercive power of the State to limit undesirables by the restriction of marriage and even compulsory sterilization. As shocking as it may seem, the United States backs forced sterilization. After all, it is scientific! Indiana in 1907 becomes the first state to force individuals to be sterilized, and more than thirty states follow. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1927 upholds as constitutional a Virginia law allowing for the compulsory sterilization of patients of state mental institutions.

Eugenics is promoted through the American Birth Control League, established by Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) in 1921. In 1942, the League changes its name to Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Its aim is published in its Birth Control Review:

To promote eugenic birth selection throughout the United States so that there may be more well-born and fewer ill-born children―a stronger, healthier and more intelligent race

 

Eugenics is an international concern. In 1933, Sanger’s magazine reprints an article written for its English readers, titled “Eugenic Sterilization,” by Ernst Rudin, the chief architect of the Nazi sterilization program.

During the same year, the Nazi government passes the Law for the Prevention of Progeny with Hereditary Diseases. Its goal (and the goal of others like it) is to purge German society and its territories of undesirables to breed a pure Aryan society. It calls for the sterilization of all persons who suffer from mental illness, physical deformity, feeble-mindedness, learning disabilities, epilepsy, blindness, deafness, and severe alcoholism. All of these things, according to the science of the day, are hereditary diseases.

But who or what determines whether a person suffers from a mental illness or a learning disability?

The government does.

What if a person believes that National Socialism is evil? Does he suffer from a mental illness or feeble-mindedness? Moreover, why stop at sterilization? Aren’t these people still a drain on society? It is the State that decides, and the State is limited only by what it is willing to do. The National Socialist government is prepared to do whatever is necessary to achieve its national goals.

After this act, the Nazis ramp up their propaganda against the disabled, referring to them as “life unworthy of life.”

When the Nazi leadership are put on trial at Nuremberg after World War Two, they try to justify their sterilization program—which sterilized nearly a half a million people in less than a decade—by pointing to the United States as their inspiration.