Requisite Ramadan Observance for Non-Muslim East London Councillors


…NOT !!




From Stephen Pollard  September 1, 2008 in The Times of London:


Head of Democratic Services at Tower Hamlets Council in East London, John [any relationship to Anglican Archbishop Rowan?] Williams last week e-mailed each of the borough’s 51 councillors with these instructions, according to Pollard:


For the duration of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, they are, he [Williams] told them—every one of them, Muslim, Catholic, Jew or atheist—to behave during council meetings as strict Muslims. They are not to eat or drink; they are to break for Muslim prayers; they are to do as they are ordered by the Muslim religion. Strict Muslims do not eat or drink between sunrise or sunset during Ramadan. Because sunset will fall during the meetings, there will be 45-minute adjournments so that councillors can break their fast and pray. And to make things easier, there will only be seven council meetings during the month.


Pollard concludes with these apt observations:


This is, let me remind you, happening not on Karachi borough council but in Tower Hamlets in London. As far as I am aware, the United Kingdom has not yet been absorbed into the Caliphate. The last time I checked, we allow citizens to practise all religions and none. If I wish to stuff my face with chocolate during the fasting hours of Ramadan, I will. And if you wish to go out for a slap-up lunch on Yom Kippur, you can feel free.


Yet Mr Williams—he’s the man with the “democratic services” label, a title so Orwellian that his existence simply had to involve promoting the opposite of democracy and service—appears to have concluded that Islamic practices must take precedence over any other practices. Instead of individual councillors being allowed to decide for themselves how they wish to behave during Ramadan, he is deciding for them.


It should come as no surprise that it is not the borough’s Muslim councillors who are demanding that their non-Muslim colleagues obey Islam. As almost always, it is a caricature liberal-left non-Muslim idiot who thinks he is being racially aware who does the real harm to race relations. Respect for religious practice can only be given voluntarily. Mr Williams’s prescription leads only to anger.


Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus, 2005) and The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism " (Prometheus, November, 2008) You can contact Dr. Bostom at

One response to “Requisite Ramadan Observance for Non-Muslim East London Councillors

  1. Gulen was charged, in Turkey, with leading a movement whose aim was to subvert the Turkish constitution and Islamize the country. He wisely left the country and began organizing abroad. He currently has a large following in the West. Recently the case against him returned to court in Turkey and ended in an acquital. It’s not clear to what extent this is a whitewash arranged by the current government — as seems likely to me, particularly in light of some of this information here, which surely was brought up in court, and would surely be decisive.

    On a related note, I did some research earlier this year on Gulen’s teaching and found, that if one digs far enough, one finds that he is quite open about aspects of his movement that are very much at odds with the characterization of it that is promoted in the west.

    In particular, he advocates (in no uncertain terms) violent jihad fi sabil-Allah against the unbeliever, and is quite specific in his advocacy for the muslim state to actively pursue an aggressive stance relative to any unbelieving nation. In spite of the claims of his apologists that he teaches ecumenical egalitarianism and commonality of humanity as a basis for peace and justice, his writings are rife with dehumanizing words about the kuffar (nonmuslims). His words cited here regarding cloaking the agenda ring very true when one compares his words to his disciples versus the message of his apologists to the general public.

    Here is a useful site,

    You have to dig — but not far — to find this stuff.

    For example, here’s a nice essay by Gulen on Jihad that makes his position quite unmistakable:

    Note that this site is an “authoritative” and very much pro-Gulen site; this posting therefore cannot be construed as an anti-Gulen forgery.

    Another lovely piece, on a page ironically titled “Gulen — a life dedicated to peace and humanity”, used to be found here:

    But I notice that it’s been taken down. I’ve discovered that a few other choice pages at this site have recently been removed. There may be some effort underfoot to cover up aspects of Gulen’s teaching that don’t server his agenda in the West.

    Perhaps someone should make an effort to capture them while they are available (I have a few extracts but I don’t have time to pursue them all). Given the size of the Gulen movement it is worthwhile recording its actual agenda before they get wise enough to cover it up altogether.