Biffers, Islamists, God and me

I’m not really very religious but I thought perhaps I should have a little word in God’s shell-like. Too much stuff didn’t make any sense. So I sat down in a quiet room with curtains drawn and meditative candles duly lit, all set to talk to my maker.

It wasn’t a long conversation but it seemed to straighten a few things out for me. It went like this…

dear-god-biffers-isis-never-knew-me

Advertisements

Simple solutions to complex problems

Every complex problem has a simple solution – and it’s always wrong!

The current refugee crisis is the result of a complex conspiracy of circumstances involving geo-politics, financial exploitation, religious tensions, racial stereotyping and opportunist extremism. That’s exactly the sort of complicated melting-pot of variables that Britain First is least equipped to comprehend. But that doesn’t stop the Biffers from wading in with their ill-conceived suggestions.

BF Greece refugees header

It’s hard to imagine just how desperate you would need to be to leave everything you have and walk across hostile territory to a foreign land, risking death from exhaustion, exposure, drowning or even kidnap and slavery along the way. We at EBF freely admit that we just cannot imagine how that must feel – and we count ourselves fortunate because of it.

Such desperation is far beyond our experience. All we really know is that the decent thing, the compassionate thing (and for those of us who believe, the Christian thing) is to help our fellow humans in their hour of need.

Let’s have a look at what the ‘Christian’ Biffers want to do. How would they handle the situation?

BF Greece refugees comments 1

It seems that they have a very different view of Christian charity from the rest of us. It’s small wonder that every single British church group has condemned their rhetoric and their actions in no uncertain terms.

BF Greece refugees comments 2

These are not the considered, measured words of intelligent, caring leaders. These are not the attitudes of people we would want to ‘take our country back’ from its current, compassionate state. These are not the ‘elite’ defenders of British values that Dutchy would have us believe. These are callous, hypocritical, ill-informed, bloodthirsty, fascist scum.

These are the people who must never gain power in UK.

BF Greece refugees comments 3

It’s easy to come up with simple solutions when you have no real responsibility for solving the problem. Just like their followers, Fuhrer Golding and Dutchy Fransen have no real world authority (Fransen managed only 56 votes in the Rochester and Strood by-election and Britain First didn’t even stand a candidate in the last General Election). They’re not even a party in opposition – they’re a party with absolutely no elected representatives at any level in UK. They don’t even have any parish councillors (the lowest level of British government)!

So they can spout whatever jingoistic rubbish they like without ever having to think about how to make it work or the damage their ridiculous policies would cause. That’s the one great advantage of powerlessness. You never have to prove what you say – you just keep on saying it and your followers, at least those stupid enough to remain your followers, will believe it and repeat it.

There’s a simple solution to every complex problem. And it’s always wrong!

BF Greece refugees comments 4

Churches condemn unChristian Biffers

Just as Britain First was preparing to carry its weaponised crosses through Dewsbury in the name of Jesus this article condemning their racist crusade was published. It carries criticisms of Britain First from almost every major Christian organisation in the country. Official statements from just about everyone who knows anything about Christianity demonstrate just how united Christians are in their opposition to the divisive, anti-ecumenical message of Folding Golding and Dutchy Fransen.

Just as Jim Dowson prepared to reprise his rabble-rousing ‘sermon’ distorting Christ’s message of love and peace into a clarion call for hatred and violence representatives of various denominations decried his message of destruction.

BF church do not speak for Christians Golding

Just as Folding Golding get ready to give Muslims in West Yorkshire a right good telling off for having the audacity to exist, religious representatives throughout UK came together in a show of unity that the far right can only dream of.

Not so very long ago Jim Dowson was talking about tapping into the Christian churches as a way of mobilising their combined congregations behind Britain First’s racist cause. He almost got what he wanted. They combined, alright – but not in the way Dowson had hoped.

Britain First has awoken a sleeping giant. The Christian community has become aware of the threat of fascism that Britain First represents in a massive way and they’re not happy.

Some time ago we developed a briefing pack for Christians and church leaders together with an invitation to join us in spreading the truth about the way that Britain First has distorted the message of Christ for its own, exceedingly unChristian ends. Those church leaders who responded to our invitation were extremely positive and have been quietly going about their congregations and local synods spreading awareness on our behalf. We’d like to think that we at EBF have played some small part in today’s development through those church activists’ excellent work and the use of our resource pack.

EBF BF Church leaders briefing pack in Jesus name

The pack is still available. You can download it here. We’d be grateful to anyone concerned about the way that Britain First has hi-jacked Christianity for racist purposes for sharing this post or the one linked here, especially to Christians and Church leaders.

Together we’ll beat them.

No pasaran!

That was restful

Quite a few people have contacted the Facebook page asking about me. They’d noticed that I hadn’t written anything for a few weeks and wanted to check that I was OK. That was really nice of them (they know who they are) and I want to thank them for their concern. I’m grateful to my colleagues at EBF for responding to them in my absence to put their minds at rest.

The truth is, I’ve been on holiday. Hubby and I took the girls off to my hometown, a beautiful cathedral city in the East Midlands for Christmas. We visited relatives and friends and even got to take our beautiful daughters to local sites and museums describing our shared heritage from the past. They’re getting to be old enough to appreciate that stuff now.
The city still bears the evidence of Roman and Viking settlements, of Saxons and Normans, of Jewish traders and of more modern influxes of people like the Poles and other East Europeans who fled occupied Europe during World War 2.

Roman 1

And as we went around these places it struck me just how ridiculous it is for any modern British citizen to argue about race, religion or national identity as though it’s something we can isolate and separate from the rest of the world. So I bought myself a little exercise book and I took notes. There was a blog forming in my head.

Britain First pretends that it’s easy to tell who is who. The Biffers pretend that ‘ethnic English’ is actually a thing when in truth we all bear the historical hallmarks of regional and international influences.
The black African auxiliaries who fought with the Roman armies left their mark alongside the Anglo-Saxons who settled here from Germany. Vikings from Scandinavia spread across the continent and settled in the North and East of the country. Apparently there’s more Viking blood in this neck of the woods than there is in any other part of England.

The main shopping centre in my home city is built on the site where a Viking longship used to lie buried in the mud. I can still remember my dad showing me photographs of it when I was just a little girl. I didn’t understand why he was so excited about it at the time. I do now.

Other parts of the country have different influences. The South West has almost no Viking at all so in the racial purity stakes I have to wonder what would happen to the good people of Somerset and Cornwall. Would they be with us or against us? More to the point – who the Hell are ‘us’?

Middle-Eastern Jews came here fleeing persecution from the Christian crusaders who didn’t quite know who they were supposed to be fighting. That didn’t work out too well for them. Within a couple of hundred years their flourishing community was persecuted by the locals alongside their relatives in more famous massacres like that in York. But not before they’d left their mark on the gene pool.

On the top of the hill, the only proper hill in town, stands the magnificent Norman castle. It’s a testament to the French invaders who beat back the earlier German invaders to make this land their home. They had a big influence on the gene pool too. Across a little courtyard is a three-arched gateway called Exchequergate. That leads to the Norman cathedral where Christians went to pray. They still do.

It’s where believers go to meet, to practice their faith and to hear sermons about peace, love, charity and remember stories of God’s grace like that parable of The Good Samaritan – you know – the one who helped a foreigner even though he was himself persecuted. This is where they learn about the biblical instruction to love thy neighbour – something that Biffers like Jim Dowson try to distort into a grotesque version of selfish, cruel, hateful barbarism.

I remember attending services there myself on occasion. I’m not a Christian myself, more of an agnostic but I still used to enjoy the midnight service at the Cathedral. The whole, huge interior seemed to flood with feelings of love and peace, kindness and goodwill to our fellow humans. We took the girls this year to hear the Bishop give a sermon. I was moved as usual – I think my little princesses’ experience was more a combination of boredom and exhaustion. They had just spent the day being told how much they’d grown by a very long succession of friends and relatives as we went house to house throughout the city. I’m not sure what Hubby took from it. The religion he grew up with is different and although he feels just as much at home in a Christian Cathedral I’m sure there were things he thought a little strange. He doesn’t talk much about religion though so I haven’t asked. Perhaps he’ll tell me once he’s read this blog.

Morning chapelWe travelled home yesterday. It was about time. But before we did I managed to steal an hour for myself and rekindled an old habit of mine. Yesterday I went back to that beautiful Norman cathedral and sat quietly in the little ‘Morning chapel’, just off the main body of the Cathedral. It’s always been a place of calm and quiet for me, not for religious reasons – just because it is. There’s something reassuring about that place. It lets me clear my head and ‘find myself’. It always has.

I sat there in my old bolt hole and reviewed my life, what’s important to me and what I should be doing with my life right now. Family matters. Especially the girls. But beyond those I love the most I experienced an intense feeling of purpose about what we’re doing here at EBF. I won’t say I’ve never felt anything like that before but I will say it’s not something I’ve experienced often. I don’t know if it was the Morning Chapel itself that brought it on, the effect of having a couple of weeks break from the blog I’ve been writing for almost constantly since last Spring or something more spiritual. I’ve really no idea. But I do know that the hour I spent in my favourite spot recharged my batteries for another round of fash-fighting.

Come on 2016, let’s do this! I’m a woman with a purpose!

EBF PAW copy

Out of the frying pan – into the Fryer

BF Wendy Fryer Australia candidate NSW New SouthWales.jpgThe Fash really are feeling the (international) love right now. Not content with fleecing folks in the Northern hemisphere the Biffers continue to extend their vile, weed-like tendrils further South into the Antipodes. They’ve been raking in the Aussie dollars for ages but now they’re trying something different.

Britain First, a group that claims to support national identity against immigrant take-over and religious intolerance is now supporting a group of immigrants who’ve already taken over another country and who now want to implement their own form of religious intolerance.

If you think that doesn’t make sense it’s because you’ve missed the real agenda. It’s not about nationality – it’s about religion and it’s about skin colour. The Biffers only ever support white Christians.

Wendy Fryer plans to stand for election on behalf of the Love Australia Or Leave Party (LAOLP), a so far unregistered political group (not yet a party) whose ‘manifesto’ bears a striking resemblance to the Biffers own, racist, neo-nazi bullshit. Wendy’s pictured here wearing her Britain First polo shirt (she’s such a patriotic Australian)! We bet they fleeced her on postage for that. At least her Biffer merchandise arrived though. Perhaps that’s because the Royal Mail don’t deliver to Australia.

But what exactly does this bunch of Aussie fascists stand for? And how exactly do they relate to Britain First?

diggers oath

We love that ‘Diggers Oath’, or as we prefer to think of it…
Cobblers for Cobbers!

We confess that so far we don’t really know how they link in with the Biffers. We do know that Britain First never promotes any rival group on their page unless the apparent competition isn’t real. Britain First promotes the things that make money for Britain First. We’re not sure what the link is but we’ve little doubt that there is one – and we’re sure it’s expected to be a lucrative one too.

Like Britain First, LAOLP (AKA LOL, AKA LMAO, AKA PMSL, AKA LMFAO AKA ROFL AKA ROFPMSL) is a Facebook based operation. Like Britain First it pretends to be patriotic but really it’s just Islamophobic and colour prejudiced.

Love Australia or leave no likes FB November 2015.png

So far their ‘sophisticated’ political strategy seems to involve making discriminatory memes for use on social media and blaming Muslims for literally everything they don’t like. They even go so far as to say so directly alongside ridiculous memes like this one.

LAOLP FB islam on trial

The LMFAO Party’s list of ‘issues’ is pure Biffer. Just change the words Britain and British for Australia and Australian and you’ve got some ready-made, completely transferrable far-right stupidity just waiting to make its mark in the Southern Hemisphere. Undoubtedly for profit, of course. They even have a ‘donate’ button on every internet page – just like their counterparts at Britain First.

Love Australia or leave issues November 2015.png
A quick look at the policies of the LMFAO party also reveals them as pure Biffer. They even want to ban the word ‘racism’. How much more ‘Fransen and Golding’ can you get?

Love Australia or leave policies November 2015.png
Nazis!

Sky News, Jayda Fransen and a spate of hate crime in Rotherham

A few days ago we launched The EBFington Post. It’s part of a wider plan to step up our campaign against Britain First and the far-right in general. Britain First is on its way out but tin-pot neo-nazis will remain. We’ll have to wait and see which ludicrous banner they flock to next. For now the job of EBF is to deliver Britain First’s final death blow. It’s a war of ideas and Britain First is losing ground fast but it’s not quite dead yet.

The EBFington Post’s newly appointed editorial team aims to make The Post a resource for Antifascists to stay informed for many years to come – long after the Biffers have been forgotten. Our library of free information guides begins with this inaugural special edition, EBFington post Britain First exposed.

Please download it, use it for reference and pass it around to all your contacts. And remember to bookmark this blog to make sure you don’t miss future editions as they’re published too.

BF EBFington Post Britian First Exposed PDF image

EBFington post Britain First exposed

In the light of the recent spate of hate crime in Rotherham and Jayda Fransen’s ignorant rant about Muslims and paedophilia (aired today by SKY News) we couldn’t have been more timely. Here’s an extract from EBFington post Britain First exposed to whet your appetites…

BF Jayda Dudley speeches 3Paedophilia

Another favourite of Fascist propaganda is the claim that all Muslims are paedophiles. The argument is that since Mohammed married a child, Aisha and since several Muslim paedophile rings have come to light then the inescapable and obvious reality must be that all Muslim men are child sex abusers. Or are they….?

Unfortunately for ‘the fash’, the argument falls flat in some crucial ways…

Mohammed’s child bride

Aisha was Mohammed’s second (and favourite) wife. Estimates of her age at the time of her marriage vary. The best we can say with confidence is that she was somewhere between the ages of 9 and 21 on the day of her betrothal. That’s a pretty big margin of error. Some far-right Islamophobes claim that she was actually only 6 years old when she married but that seems extremely unlikely. Marriage at such a young age would have been against the rules of the Ummah (Islamic community).
We can say with confidence that there is absolutely no evidence that the marriage was consumated during Aisha’s childhood. That’s very important. It means that there’s nothing to suggest that Aisha had sex before she came of age, despite her marriage to Mohammed, which may not have been until her early twenties anyway.

But let’s consider the lowest plausible age. Let’s assume that she was only 9 years old.

It’s important to remember that we are talking about the customs and practices of a nomadic tribal community in the early part of the 7th century. The betrothal of children was common throughout both the East and the West at the time. European history records many Western monarchs who not only married long before puberty but who also produced children as soon as they were biologically able to. There’s nothing unusual about child brides in the context of the time. There is something unusual about Aisha and Mohammed though. They appear not to have had sex until long after Aisha hit puberty.

Aisha is said to have joined Muhammad on the raid that culminated in the Battle of Badr, in 624 CE. Since only those aged 15 or over could have been present at the raid, Aisha must have been at least 15 by then which means she must have been 13 at the very least on her wedding day in 622.

According to Tabari, Aisha was first offered in marriage to a different man in 615. The minimum age for Muslim betrothal at the time was 9 years old which would have made her at least 16 years of age by 622.

Aisha was one of Abu Bakr’s four children, all of whom were born prior to 610 and the beginning of the Islamic era. This would put her at no younger than 12 years at the time of her betrothal (an absolute minimum). Significantly older than many contemporary Christian brides.

None of this suggests that sex with children is acceptable in modern UK. It simply demonstrates the double standard of Britain First and the rest of the far-right Islamophobic groups who delight in chanting “Mohammed was a paedo” on the streets of Britain. The evidence against Muslims in this regard is far less damaging then is the evidence against Christians. And in both cases the ‘evidence’ has been taken so far out of its historical context that it is both meaningless and stupid.

Aisha calligraphy

(Aisha)

Muslim grooming gangs

There have been some very high profile cases involving Muslim men, especially of Pakistani origins who committed a range of crimes against children. The scandal against young people in Rotherham is a particularly well-known and prominent example, although it’s not the only one.

BF demo muslim grooming paedo sex rotherham

However this doesn’t mean that all Muslim men, or even all Pakistani Muslim men are paedophiles any more than all Catholic priests can be accused of paedophilia on the strength of the Roman church’s unfortunate relationship with (and protection of) paedophile clerics. Recent child sex scandals within the Anglican and Methodist churches don’t reflect upon all protestants either.

There are paedophiles in every community.

1400 years ago every community accepted child marriage, sex and childbirth at a very young age. If these things are enough to convict all Muslims then they also must convict all Christians by the very same logic.
This stuff doesn’t convict all Christians, of course. And it doesn’t convict all Muslims either. It does reveal an awful lot about the bigotry and selective attention of modern neo-nazis who will grab on to even the flimsiest fantasy to demonise their Muslim neighbours.

More stuff and nonsense about Creeping Sharia

BF ShariaBritain First are at it again. Upstanding citizens like Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen, apparently tired of their High Court appearances and the seemingly endless injunctions and Section 12 notices served against them have decided to become all law-abiding instead. That’ll make a nice change.

In keeping with their new-found respect for existing British law they’ve rekindled one of their old hatreds. They learned to rant about this particular emotive cash cow during their EDL days when fears about ‘creeping Sharia’ were as rife amongst the legislatively illiterate as they evidently are today. We’re sure it’s still good for a few quid and Golding and Fransen will certainly be happy to fleece their supporters for a bit more cash by pretending to defend this nation’s law against the invading Moose Limbs. There’s just one problem – it’s all bollocks.

What we’ve come to know as Sharia ‘courts’ are in reality nothing more than religious arbitration councils. This country operates a range of arbitration services which, with the consent of all involved can acquire a legally binding status in exactly the same way that other forms of contract have binding status.

EBF BF Sharia factcheck 1

They’re no different from organisations like ACAS or industrial tribunals in that respect. They don’t deal with matters of criminal law (because criminal cases are about affronts to the state). They only deal with civil matters and they do so with consent. Not that Britain First’s followers are interested in such trivial details…

BF Sharia comments criminal

We read in the same fact-checking article…

“Law versus reality

The last government has said that it doesn’t think that changes are needed to mediation or arbitration, or to regulate Sharia councils. From a purely legal perspective, the courts have the powers they need to protect people from coercion and unequal treatment.”

https://fullfact.org/law/uk_sharia_courts-39429

The Biffers have their own ideas though…

BF Sharia comments felony

We agree. Operating an illegal court would be a felony. However…

Religious arbitration is perfectly legal here in UK, just like any other form of arbitration. Not that the Biffers have noticed…

BF Sharia comments illegal

There are concerns that religious courts, including Sharia courts may be coercive.

“But campaigners like Baroness Cox reply that whatever about the strict legal position, “the power of Sharia councils lies in how they are perceived by their communities”

https://fullfact.org/law/uk_sharia_courts-39429

That seems a legitimate enough issue to us. But it doesn’t mean that Sharia should be singled out for special hatred whilst their Jewish and Christian counterparts are ignored – unless of course there’s some sort of anti-Islamic bias motivating Golding and Fransen. Surely not!

Some of the Biffers still seem to think that the British legal system is based upon Christianity.

BF Sharia comments Christian based law

The law is very clear but for the hard of understanding one of the country’s senior Law Lords, Lord Justice Mumby laid it out as follows…

“However, it is important to realise that reliance upon religious belief, however conscientious the belief and however ancient and respectable the religion, can never of itself immunise the believer from the reach of the secular law. And invocation of religious belief does not necessarily provide a defence to what is otherwise a valid claim.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2011/feb/28/christianity-gay-rights-english-law

Christian Barrister, Paul Diamond agreed, possibly (but not necessarily) through gritted teeth…

“Some cultural beliefs and practices are simply treated by the law as being beyond the pale. Some manifestations of religious practice will be regulated if contrary to a child’s welfare. One example is the belief that the infliction of corporal punishment is an integral part of the teaching and education of children and is efficacious … And some aspects of mainstream religious belief may even fall foul of public policy. A recent striking example is Westminster City Council v C and others [2008] EWCA Civ 198, [2009] Fam 11, where the Court of Appeal held on grounds of public policy that a ‘marriage’ valid under both Sharia law and the lex loci celebrationis despite the manifest incapacity of one of the parties was not entitled to recognition in English law”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2011/feb/28/christianity-gay-rights-english-law

Even the Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton has weighed in on the side of common sense …

“The individual conscience is free to accept such dictated law, but the State, if its people are to be free, has the burdensome duty of thinking for itself.”

“So it is that the law must firmly safeguard the right to hold and express religious beliefs. Equally firmly, it must eschew any protection of such a belief’s content in the name only of its religious credentials. Both principles are necessary conditions of a free and rational regime.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2011/feb/28/christianity-gay-rights-english-law

The foam fest continues unabated over at Biffer towers.

BF Sharia comments illegal in UK

One Biffer has identified a solution though…

BF Sharia comments problem solved

Phew! We’re glad that’s sorted out!

Sharia courts are not only legal in the UK, they are also subject to the law and have no place in the administration of criminal matters. Criminal matters like inciting violence or stirring up religious hatred for example.

BF Sharia comments maggotts filth

To put it another way – they cannot mete out the kinds of punishments regularly claimed by the likes of Golding and Fransen. They only have a role at all in civil cases where both parties actively choose and agree to pursue the Sharia route. If even a single participant refuses to abide by the Sharia ‘court’ the case automatically moves on to the civil courts or some other form of arbitration. We might almost forgive Golding for his lack of legal understanding but Fransen, who claims to have a law degree really should understand this basic (and obvious) fact. Perhaps she’d be kind enough to put some of her followers straight.

BF Sharia comments no other religion does this

Erm…

The legal basis of British Sharia courts is no different from that of their British Christian and British Jewish counterparts.

EBF Beth Din law Jewish court

Much the same can be said for Christian ‘courts’ which also operate within UK and have done for centuries alongside both their Jewish and Islamic equivalents. In each case, criminal matters are referred to the secular courts because, as we reported above, no British religious tribunal has any jurisdiction in criminal matters.

The Assemblies of God (AOG) operates its own Christian arbitration ‘courts’ too – and it does so along very similair lines. Perhaps someone should tell the vociferous (and extremely silly) biffer who left this next comment.

BF Sharia comments Christian law

Perhaps we’re being a little too hard on poor old Kipmutai though. The real blame lies with Fransen and Golding who continue to mislead their followers, presumably as a result of the Dynamic Duo’s remarkably inadequate legal awareness.

The following describes how the AOG ‘courts’ operate (albeit taken from an American branch of the AOG ‘family’)…

http://www.gate-way-fellowship.com/about-us/bylaws/article-xiv-arbitration-of-disputes.html

“Inasmuch as the Scriptures require Christians to take their disputes to the saints and not to the civil courts (1 Corinthians 6:1-8), all disputes which may arise (1) between any member of this church and the church itself, or (2) between any member of this church and any pastor, officer, director, employee, volunteer, or other worker of this church, shall be resolved by binding arbitration if efforts to mediate or conciliate the dispute have failed…

All arbitrators must be born-again, Spirit-filled believers who are members of an Assemblies of God church…

The arbitrators may hear and determine the controversy upon the evidence produced notwithstanding the failure of a party duly notified to appear. The parties are entitled to be heard, to present evidence material to the controversy, and to cross-examine witnesses appearing at the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by all the arbitrators, but a majority of them may determine any question and render a final award…

The arbitrators may in their absolute discretion admit as evidence any affidavit or declaration concerning the matters in dispute, a copy thereof having been given at least 5 days previously to the party against whom the same is offered, but the person whose evidence is so taken shall be subject to cross-examination by such party. The arbitrators shall have the power to order and direct what they shall deem necessary to be done by either of the parties relating to the matters in dispute. Cost of the arbitration shall be determined and assessed by the arbitrators…

The decision of the arbitrators shall be binding on both parties, and both parties submit themselves to the personal jurisdiction of the civil courts in this state (including federal courts), as well as the courts of any other state which may have jurisdiction over any dispute contemplated by this Article, for the entry of a judgment confirming the arbitrators’ award. The arbitration process is not a substitute for any disciplinary process set forth in the constitution or bylaws of the church, and shall in no way affect the authority of the church to investigate reports of misconduct, conduct hearings, or administer discipline.”

You can find your nearest UK AOG church here…

http://www.aog.org.uk/

We think that Golding and Fransen would have more credibility (despite their obvious naivety about how the law actually works) if they were a little more even-handed. They can object to religious arbitration systems if they wish. They can even describe them as ‘courts’ if that makes them happy. But it’s clearly unfair, inappropriate and partisan to single out only Muslim organisations as the objects of their displeasure.

We wonder how long it’ll be before they object to Christian and Beth Din ‘courts’.

Don’t hold your breath!