July 15, 2019
Christian belief has halved in Britain in 35 years with just one in three people now identifying as Christian – while atheism and Islam continue to rise.
Figures published by the British Social Attitudes Survey reveal the widest ever margin between staunch atheists and believers who are certain that God exists.
Of almost 4,000 people polled by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), 38 per cent described themselves as Christian – a fall from 50 per cent in 2008 and 66 per cent in 1983.
Those identifying as Muslim increased from 1 per cent in 1983 to 3 per cent in 2008, and 6 per cent in 2018.
No doubt due to the increasing influx of immigrants from the Middle East.
The survey shows that the biggest change is in the number of people who define themselves as “confident atheists”, which rose from 10 per cent in 1998 to 18 per cent in 2008 and its record high of 26 per cent in 2018.
In contrast, researchers found that an overall 55 per cent of the population express some sort of belief in some kind of God.
Nancy Kelley, deputy chief executive at NatCen, said that the steady decline in religion and belief among the British public is “one of the most important trends in post-war history”.
“As our society has become more secular, the role of religious institutions and religious identities in determining our moral and social norms has weakened. Other world views, such as scientific rationalism and liberal individual-ism, now play a more significant part in British society.”
The report’s authors said the survey suggests Britain is becoming more secular “not because adults are losing their religion” but because older people with an attachment to Christian denominations are “gradually being replaced in the population by unaffiliated younger people”.
They added that religious decline in Britain is “generational” as people tend to be less religious than their parents.
Dave Male, the Church of England’s director of evangelism and discipleship, said: “For many people ticking a box marked ‘Church of England’ or ‘Anglican’ is now an active choice and no longer an automatic response. In spite of this, the Church of England remains at the heart of communities.”
Andrew Copson, the chief executive of the non-religion charity Humanists UK, said: “With these trends set to continue, policymakers in every field, from education to constitutional law, to health and social care, need to wake up to such dramatic social changes.”
June 29, 2019
An Afghan court has sentenced a mullah to 20 years in prison after finding the religious teacher guilty of raping a 10-year-old girl.
The sentence, passed by a Kabul judge on Saturday, has been welcomed by family as well as women’s support groups as a rare victory in their fight for justice for female victims of sex crimes. Rape is often treated as adultery in Afghanistan, and victims can face prison themselves.
Hassina Sarwari, who runs a shelter for women in northern Kunduz province, where the rape took place, said on Sunday that if the trial had not been transferred to Kabul the result would probably have been very different.
The rape took place in May in the girl’s home village near the provincial capital, also called Kunduz.
“If the case would have not been transferred to Kabul, we were so worried that the mullah would have not been punished in Kunduz for his crime,” said Sarwari. When she saw the girl, Bershna, who like many Afghans only uses one name, for the first time in the hospital she was in a bad condition and required transfer to Kabul for additional treatment.
Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini said his colleagues were shocked at first to hear the story but acted immediately to apprehend the mullah. “We sent a police unit to make the arrest, and we caught mullah Mohammad Amin while he was trying to flee,” he said.
Sarwari, who followed the case closely, said the crime occurred after the mullah chose three girls to help clean the village mosque. Two escaped when they discovered his intentions but Bershna fell into a nearby stream while trying to flee and Amin took her back to the mosque where he raped her.
“The mullah threatened Bershna, saying that if she told anyone what had happened she and her family would be killed,” but the child suffered injuries that could not be hidden.
Mohammad Rasoul, Bershna’s uncle who attended the trial, said the family was happy with the sentence.
“We welcome the decision by the judge as that is the maximum punishment he could be given according to our country’s law,” Rasoul said.
June 20, 2019
Toronto police have arrested an Imam for sexually assaulting a woman after a lengthy investigation.
Investigators say the woman came forward in early 2019, accusing her Imam of sexual assault.
The woman met the Imam at a Mosque in 2008. Shortly after, he went to her home and convinced her she was possessed and he could help her.
She was brought back to his living quarters where the victim alleges she was sexually assaulted during what the Imam claimed was a religious ceremony.
Over the next several years, it’s alleged she was continually sexually assaulted and he threatened to harm her on numerous occasions. Police also allege he threatened to expose her to the community and congregation.
On Tuesday, Imam Syed Zaidi, 49, was arrested as he tried to board a plane to leave Canada at Pearson Airport.
He’s been charged with breach of trust, three counts of sexual assault, threatening death and criminal harassment.
June 14, 2019
An Imam found guilty of sexually abusing two young girls who he privately tutored has been jailed in United Kingdom.
According to Metropolitan Police, Hafiz Azizur Rehman Pirzada, 76 (19.08.42) of Laughton Road, Northolt was sentenced to a total of eight years’ imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 21 January for child abuse offences.
Pirzada will also have to sign the Sex Offenders Register for life and a Sexual Harm Protection Order was issued.
He was found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault of a child, and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity after a trial at the same court in September 2017.
During the trial, the court heard how the victims, both sisters, came forward to speak to police in July 2015.
Between 2007 and 2009 the two girls, aged between nine and 11 when the abuse took place, were taught the Quran by Pirzada when he was an Imam appointed by the family.
On 28 July 2016, Pirzada was arrested at his home address and bailed pending further enquiries. He was later charged with all ten counts on 16 March 2018; eight counts of sexual assault with a female under 13, and two counts of causing a child to engage in sexual activity.
Detective Sergeant Tony Killeen, from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Team, said: “This is a case which dates back more than ten years, but despite the length of time since the incidents Pirzada has been convicted of his crimes.
“Pirzada exploited the trust placed in him as a religious leader to assault these two young girls.
“The victims have shown great courage, persistence and determination in securing the conviction, having persevered with the allegation and supporting the police investigation.
“The victims have had to live with this trauma and the appalling abuse they endured for the years they were taught by Pirzada, and will have to live with these memories for the rest of their lives.
“I would urge anyone who has been a victim of Pirzada to contact police; specially trained officers will be there to support you.”
June 3, 2019
A Madrassa teacher from Kerala who is believed to have sexually abused several children over a period of many years has finally been arrested by the police.
The 63-year-old has been identified as Yusuf, a Madrassa teacher hailing from Aluva who was employed at a local mosque in Kottayam.
For the last two years, Yusuf was teaching at a mosque in Thalayolaparambu where he sexually abused several of his students, police say.
“The Chief Imam of the mosque would not visit the Madrassa for three days a week. This is when Yusuf would pick his victims, take them to a private room and abuse them,” Soofi TM, Sub Inspector of Thalayolaparambu station told TNM. The accused would carefully choose victims of 10-years of age or below, to ensure his crimes were never reported.
“Since children that young are naive and are unlikely to understand what sexual abuse is, he relied on this,” Soofi added.
The accused also earned the confidence of local residents by holding long prayers and speeches to avoid suspicions. He later convinced the mosque authorities to set aside a private room for him, where he would go on to abuse most of his victims.
“He would lure children, especially girls, by promising them sweets and nicknacks and taking them to the room. Here he would abuse them,” Soofi added.
How Yusuf was exposed
Yusuf’s predations came to light 2 weeks ago, when he abused a young boy by promising to teach him the Holy Quran in his private room. The visibly disturbed boy returned home and disclosed the incident to his parents when they questioned him, noticing a difference in his behaviour.
The family immediately complained to the mosque authorities who fired the accused and then filed a complaint with the local police police.
The accused used this opportunity to flee from the place. Instead of returning to his native place of Aluva, he visited mosques and addressed gatherings in Thrissur and Palakkad during the month of Ramzan.
The Thalayolaparambu police finally nabbed him from Kodungallur on May 27th, as he was getting ready to address a mosque gathering.
The exact number of children Yusuf abused remains unconfirmed. The police have got in touch with the Mosque authorities to see if more students would speak up.
Accused was a victim of child sexual abuse
While this is no way excuses what he did, it does go to show that the abuse of children can lead to the victims themselves becoming abusers.
Following his arrest, Yusuf claimed that he too was a victim of child sexual abuse.
Yusuf told the police that his first victim, a girl, was the daughter of a man who had sexually abused him and that he’d committed the crime as an act of revenge.
“He told us that he continued to abuse young children after this and did not stop as he was never caught. We believe he may have abused at least 19 children and we are yet to probe the case deeper,” a police officer said.
May 3, 2019
An imam who fled the country after being convicted of historical sex attacks has been jailed for eleven and a half years.
Hifiz Rahman, 58, was found guilty of five sexual assaults at Queens Cross mosque in the West Midlands between March 1986 and August 1987.
He took a flight from Birmingham Airport to Bangladesh the day after his conviction last month.
Rahman was sentenced in his absence at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
Judge Nicholas Cartwright said the father-of-seven from Netherton, who had not attended some of his trial because he claimed he was too unwell, had deceived his victims and own solicitors by lying about being sick.
Speaking about the offences, he said: “What he did was a gross breach of the trust placed in him.”
The court previously heard how Rahman, of Ballard Road, carried out “almost daily” assaults on one victim.
One woman, who was seven when the imam started assaulting her, said he was treated like a “god” by people associated with the mosque in Cradley Heath.
Hifiz Rahman was imam at the Queens Cross Mosque in Cradley Heath when the assaults took place in the 1980s
On one occasion, when she threatened to report him, he invited himself round to her parents’ house for dinner, she said.
Rahman’s passport was surrendered before the trial but a second one, unknown to solicitors, was used to fly to Dakar in Bangladesh.
Prosecution barrister Peter Arnold said “strenuous efforts” were being made to get him back to this country.
Vinny Bolina, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said it was in dialogue with its international division about the possibility of applying for an extradition.
Speaking after the sentencing, one of the victims said: “It’s over for now, we just need to get him back here to serve his time.
“His life is over and mine can now restart.”
Rahman was also told to pay £5,590 in costs and banned from working with children.
ISIS supporters celebrate deadliest-ever attack with poster of burning Pope, Trump and a statue of the Buddha
April 26, 2019
When people really believe the tenets of their religion what often happens is carnage.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- At least 359 people killed and 500 injured after nine suicide bombers attacked three churches, four hotels and a block of flats in Sri Lanka
- Thirty-nine foreigners were killed including eight Brits, ‘several’ Americans, one Dutch, one Chinese, two Turkish, three Danes and one Portuguese national
- 40 suspects have been arrested
- Authorities name local Islamic terror group National Thowheeth Jama’ath as being responsible for the attacks saying they were helped by ‘international network’ of jihadis
- ISIS claims the suicide bombers were ‘soldiers of the Islamic State’
After claiming responsibility for the atrocity, the brainwashed death cult’s official media channel Amaq issued a disturbing poster.
The chilling propaganda post featured the masked extremists believed to have carried out the bombings in Sri Lanka above images of the Pope, US President Trump and a statue of Buddha.
And a clerk from the downtown Colombo KwikiMart.
Along with splatters of blood, the sinister image also includes depictions of fire.
On the poster, the warped militants wrote: “We will not make you cry of blood, enemies of religion and the first of the clouds shall fall upon the rivers of unclean blood.”
The coordinated attack, which involved nine suicide bombers, is believed to the terror group’s biggest ever mass murder.
ISIS’s previous largest attack was a bomb assault on a shopping district in Karrada, Baghdad, which left 340 dead in 2016.
Their deadliest attack in Europe remains the Paris massacre in November, 2015, which claimed the lives of 130 innocent people.
Meanwhile, one of the suicide bombers who studied in the UK has been identified as Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed.
He is believed to have attended a university in the southeast of England between 2006 and 2007, security sources told Sky News.
He was responsible for the smaller suicide blast at the Dehiwala hotel in southern Colombo hours after the later explosions, it has been reported.
Officials earlier revealed that the twisted ISIS extremist also studied for a post-graduate degree in Australia.
It has since emerged that he attended a university in Melbourne, reports the Age.com.
Speaking at a news conference, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said: “We believe that one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and later did his postgraduate studies in Australia before coming back to settle in Sri Lanka.”
The bombshell revelation that one of the depraved extremists studied in the UK has sparked fears that he could have been radicalised while living in this country.
Isn’t religion wonderful?
The number of people who have no religion has risen 266 per cent – one third of the population – in three decades
April 5, 2019
- People with no religion accounted for 23.1% of the U.S. population in 2018
- By comparison, Catholics make up 23% and Evangelicals account for 22.5%
- The three are now statistically tied as the largest religious groups in America
- Meanwhile, mainline Protestant Christianity has seen a 62.5% decline in believers since 1982, to now account for just 10.8% of the U.S. population
The number of Americans who identify as having no religion has risen 266 percent since 1991, to now tie statistically with the number of Catholics and Evangelicals, according to a new survey.
People with no religion – known as ‘nones’ among statisticians – account for 23.1 percent of the U.S. population, while Catholics make up 23 percent and Evangelicals account for 22.5 percent, according to the General Social Survey.
Those three groups now represent the largest the religious groups in America.
The survey has tracked a broad swath of American trends since 1972, offering comprehensive insight into the evolving face of religion over more than four decades.
Ryan Burge, a political science professor at Eastern Illinois University who analyzed the data, said that experts have several theories about why the number of ‘nones’ has risen so dramatically in recent decades.
‘One of them is that many people used to lie about what they were,’ he told DailyMail.com. ‘Many people were (always) atheist or non-religious, but it was previously culturally unacceptable to not have a religion in America.’
March 10, 2019
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The special police team has arrested former Tholicode Imam Shafeeq Moulavi, who has been accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl. The accused and his aide Fazil, a native of Perumbavoor, were arrested from a lodge in Madurai, putting an end to almost three weeks of man hunt. District Crime Branch DySP D Asokan said Fazil was the driver of the 35-year-old accused and had taken him to several places to avoid the police net. Before being holed up in Madurai, the accused took shelter in more than 10 places.
“After leaving the state, he went into hiding in several places in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. He changed his appearance to give the police a slip,” Asokan said. The police said Noushad, one of the relatives of the former Imam, was into plywood business and hence he knew several places in TN and AP. “Noushad was the one who dissuaded the accused from surrendering before the police. He suggested the accused the places to go into hiding,” the officer said.
The police ascertained the accused did not go to Bengaluru and statements to that effect were given to derail the probe. After grilling Noushad and another person, Sudheer, who was also arrested for his connection in this case, the police came to know the accused was in Madurai. A seven-member team led by Asokan went to Madurai and arrested the accused, his driver and also seized their car.
January 11, 2019
Mohammad Masroor, accused of sex crimes all over the world
and looking like a fugitive from Middle Earth
Toronto police have released the identity of a Toronto-based imam arrested in connection with an ongoing sex assault investigation that may have involved victims from outside the country.
Police said the suspect has worked and taught at the Baitul Mukarram Isalmic Society on Danforth Avenue in Toronto since 2008. The imam also worked in Florida, Michigan and Bangladesh among other locations.
Mohammad Masroor, 48, was arrested on Aug. 10 in Calgary and was transferred back to Toronto.
Masroor faces 13 charges in relation to alleged offences committed between Nov. 1 2008 and July 28, 2011.
“We believe there are other victims as Mohammad Masroor has lived and worked worldwide,” Const. Karen Armstrong said Wednesday morning.
Armstrong said that Masroor “is a person who is seen as a leader in the community and in a position of trust.”
Police said the investigation currently involves five victims, but anyone else with information is asked to contact investigators. According to the allegations, Masroor conducted classes out of his homes in Florida, Michigan and Bangladesh.
He has also travelled through France, Germany, Singapore and Hungary, among other countries, CTV Toronto’s Tamara Cherry reported.
On Wednesday, community members celebrating Ramadan and heading into the Danforth mosque were shocked to hear of the charges.
“I’m really surprised to hear this thing,” said Abdul Chowdhury. “We’re not expecting to hear this complaint about
Really?!? How can anyone still be surprised at clergy sex abuse?
Parent Shabin Coudhury said that his son was a student of Masroor and received lessons about the Qur’an three times per week.
Masroor also lead prayer services, shared messages of goodwill and peace and just last week, he was in Calgary on a spiritual journey and attending seminars on how to become a better Muslim.
Mohammed Bellal Hossain, another local community member, said that Masroor is a well-respected imam with a reputation as a good teacher.
“Easy to approach, friendly, jokes around with everyone. He has kids of his own, he has like three kids, so he’s a family guy,” said Hossain.
December 9, 2018
Mohamed Rawat, drug mule
A Muslim chaplain has been arrested after allegedly trying to smuggle £60,000 worth of illegal drugs into one of Britain’s most notorious prisons.
Mohamed Rawat was caught at Belmarsh jail allegedly carrying more than 60 sheets of paper soaked in the highly addictive synthetic substance spice.
The 49-year-old imam was dramatically detained at the prison gates after a secret probe by the anti-corruption unit at the Category A jail in South East London.
Inmates there have included extremist preacher Anjem Choudary, and Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, the jihadi killers of soldier Lee Rigby.
Volunteer chaplain Rawat has been banned from going back to the prison while he is under investigation.
The audacious plot to allegedly use a trusted cleric as a mule shows the determination of criminal gangs to sell drugs to inmates.
Dealers have recruited dozens of prison officers to smuggle in drugs while others have used drones to fly contraband over the walls.
Spice is particularly sought-after behind bars because it cannot be detected in drugs tests and can be sprayed on to sheets of paper.
All prisons now seize letters and books sent to inmates and give them photocopies, in case the originals are saturated in spice.
The drug causes similar reactions to cannabis but is far stronger and causes some users to become violent and delusional.
Earlier this year Prisons Minister Rory Stewart warned: ‘There are many drivers of prison violence – the greatest is probably the surge in the use of spice and other mind-altering drugs.’
Its widespread use in prisons puts a huge strain on the NHS as ambulances have to be sent to inmates who have overdosed, and it has been linked to suicides and violent deaths in cells. Last year guards at Belmarsh fell ill after accidentally inhaling the drug.
The jail now has sniffer dogs, a body-scanner machine in the reception area and an ‘itemiser’ that can test for drugs in the post room.
November 29, 2018
Faruque Ahmed, child molester
An Islamic tutor has been jailed for 14 years for sexually abusing two young girls during home study sessions.
Faruque Ahmed was employed to teach the sisters Arabic during two-hour lessons held every weekend at their home in the Black Country.
But over the two-year period, the 46-year-old routinely sexually assaulted the youngsters underneath the marble dining room table around which the classes were held on Saturdays and Sundays between 2009 and 2011.
The young girls kept quiet about the abuse – until one of the sisters told an NHS mental health nurse about the offences in September 2016.
A specially trained Public Protection Officer from West Midlands Police then spoke to the younger girl and uncovered the extent of Ahmed’s abuse.
She disclosed how Ahmed, a Imam living in Stoke, regularly touched her between the legs – and told how she would be struck with a bamboo cane if she resisted.
Ahmed was arrested in February 2017 and in interview he admitted tutoring the two girls but denied ever assaulting them.
He was charged with multiple counts of sexual touching a child and sexual assault of a child.
He was jailed for 14 years having been found guilty on 10 of the 13 counts against him at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday.
He was also given a sexual harm prevention order – preventing him from working with children – and will be on the sex offenders register for the rest of his life.
Detective Constable Sarah West, from West Midlands Police’s Child Abuse Unit, said: “Both victims want to raise awareness within their community and to urge anyone who’s suffered abuse to speak out.
“They know first-hand how victims can feel pressured to remain silent – that by reporting offences it somehow brings shame on the family – but they recognise now that by doing so it allows offenders to continue offending and puts other children at risk.
“The girls have now got justice for the horrible abuse inflicted on them by Ahmed and are getting the support they need to move on with their lives… and they want other survivors of abuse to do the same.
“They felt powerless to speak at the time, they were scared young girls, confused, and didn’t really know what was happening. They had never had any sex education discussions either with their parents or at school.
“One of the girls described how it was surreal at the time – whilst abusing them under the table he would continue teaching Arabic, he was very calm and natural so no-one would realise there was anything untoward going on.
“With the passing of time, though, it’s become clear to them that they were being abused by a sexual predator – and they have now found the courage to speak out to get justice and potentially spared other girls the trauma of suffering at his hands.