iERA Statement in Light of the Woolwich Attack


Whenever there is some heinous terrorist attack perpetrated by Islamists, non-Muslims ask, “Where are the cries of condemnation from all those moderate Muslims that are supposedly out there?”. Well, today I received this notice in my email.
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) would like to issue a statement in the wake of the gruesome attack that took place on the streets of Woolwich yesterday, Wednesday 22nd May 2013.
Islam does not condone nor encourage acts of criminality; this is abundantly clear in its teachings. iERA as an organisation will continue in its commitment to motivate and empower Muslims to articulate a positive and compassionate case for Islam through positive civic engagement and dialogue.
iERA strongly believes that it is through fostering better understanding of our fellow citizens that will help in uniting our society in good and prevent further acts of violence on our streets.
Islamic teachings provide a clear moral compass for individuals and communities to organise their lives in a harmonious and peaceful way.
Therefore, we as iERA espouse these teachings and urge the Muslim community in Britain to continue to present Islam and to be compassionate and engaged citizens who benefit all communities.
Well isn’t that nice.

However I must remind anyone reading this that the iERA is headed by one Hamza Tzortzis who PZ and I met when he crashed the World Atheist Convention in Dublin Ireland. Hamza tried to convince PZ to get into an iERA car where they intended to take him to an undisclosed location for a private discussion. Sensing the insanity of that invitation, I altered the challenge to invite Hamza onto the Magic Sandwich Show instead.
While on our show, DPR Jones asked Hamza what would be the appropriate and reasonable response to apostates, and Hamza Tsortzis, head of the iERA said non-believers should be decapitated. He said it was the only humane thing to do, as he belives sawing someone’s head off to be a merciful and painless way to correct opposing opinions.
So this note from the iERA is pretty much meaningless dishonest bullshit -like everything else they say.

Comments

  1. Abu Ilyaas says

    You should be ashamed of yourself! I have seen that video, and the discussion was specifically on the punishments for apostates that are violent. He just mention that swift decapitation is painless from a medical perspective. Also, he has retracted his statements many times, check his twitter timeline. You should be ashamed of misrepresenting what happened. Its very irresponsible. You should correct your lies.

    • Lord Narf says

      After you’ve experienced that sort of decapitation, I’ll accept your expertise on the subject. Until then, you’re making crap up.

      And I’ve seen plenty of other videos with this guy, man. He advocates for the death penalty for apostasy. If he didn’t explicitly say it in that video, he’s said it in others.

    • EnlightenmentLiberal - formerly codemonkey says

      discussion was specifically on the punishments for apostates that are violent

      What does apostacy have to do with it? If you’re for the death penalty for certain violent crimes, I don’t find that too unreasonable, but what does apostacy have to do with it? If being an unbeliever colors your judgment of whether death is a fit punishment at all, which it seemingly does, then nothing relevant has changed, and you are a despicable human being.

    • No One says

      Tzortzis specifically said decapitation was ok for those who physically fight against islam. The Woolwich attacks where against a soldier who had served in Afganistan. This is exactly what Tzortzis endorsed. Fuck off Abu.

      • Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

        Fuck off Abu

        Just a quibble: “Abu” is not a personal name, it means “father of” in Arabic. It’s not uncommon for Muslim (particularly Arabic-speaking) men to adopt such a name when they have a son. So correct would have been:

        Fuck off Abu Ilyaas

        with which sentiment I thoroughly concur.

    • Ed says

      The trial of the two men accused of murdering the British soldier Lee Rigby turned up an interesting detail in the last couple of days. One of the two accused, Michael Adebolajo, claimed that in trying to cut off Rigby’s head (something in which he came close to succeeding) he was attempting to kill Rigby in what he felt was the most humane way.

      You can read more about this here. But it seems to me an interesting correspondence with what Hamza Tzortzis asserted during the Magic Sandwich Show cited above. This decapitation-is-humane motif seems to be something of a meme.

      Ed.

  2. Lord Narf says

    Yeah.

    “You advocate death for apostasy and for 13 year-old rape victims. I’m sorry. It doesn’t matter what else you have to say; you have an inferior moral system, and you’re a monster. Nothing you can say after that can mitigate that first point.”

  3. says

    What is abundantly clear in the teachings of Islam is that it is perhaps the most group-ish religion of all the major religions. Jihad is a violent affair in the Koran- no two ways about it. It is war against infidels and apostates. And it is one of the prime ways to get to heaven. For its time and place, one can argue that Islam introduced a few moral and social advances. But it also authored virtually immediate and unceasing warfare as policy and duty. For today, it is simply not a reasonable social system, especially if one reads and follows the original teachings.

  4. L.Long says

    I don’t care if ALL the moderate hypocrite muslins got together and screamed ‘We don’t believe in killing!!!!’
    I say to them as I do to the moderate hypocrite xtians, ‘When you TEAR the hateful – killing – sexist BS out of your holey books then I will believe you are about luv!!!’

    • EnlightenmentLiberal - formerly codemonkey says

      I still prefer those who at least make some efforts, like some christians who say that the old laws no longer apply anymore. Instead, we have lots of muslims who sometimes say violence is bad, but will also say that death is the proper punishment or proscribed punishment for apostacy. The christians who say “oh, that part isn’t binding anymore” are still miles ahead as far as I can tell.

      Is there a big muslim group with the openly stated position that apostacy should not be punished? I’d suspect that in any majority islamic country, if such a group exists and was influential, then members would start getting shot. That’s another area where christian culture in the west seems to be miles ahead.

  5. Smiley says

    That encounter in Dublin shows the dishonesty of Hamza and his buddy. When PZ refuted the claims about the scientific revelations of embryology in the Koran, and described the actual process, Hamza’s friend turned around and stated that the Koran described that process too, as if one description didn’t contradict the other. It was obvious that he was willfully ignorant and most likely, intentionally dishonest.

  6. spike13 says

    Deseminaton of deceit is a common tactic encouraged by the more extreme leaders of islamic sects such as the wahhabi.They aren’t alone in this, as we have letters from Augustine of Hippo advising evangilizing members of his church to lie their asses off whenever being confronted by skeptical or confrontational questioners.

  7. spike13 says

    Never going to happen, that cow is out of the barn,down the street and crushing the neighbors begonias. We’re dealing with people who think that they are on a mission from god, nothing you,I or anyone says to them will have any impression what so ever. Hope does spring eternal though, so it is up to us to engage, reason and expose the falsehoods that hey hold so dear.

  8. evilDoug says

    Hamza’s statement, in my interpretation, says “Muslims, don’t do that kind of thing. It is bad for our image.”
    I see absolutely nothing in his statement that can be construed as a condemnation of the murder.

    “acts of criminality” – as defined by UK law or as defined by Sharia?

    • says

      I don’t know about Tzortsis, but the Chairman of iERA, Abdur Raheem Green, wrote, in an essay that I have not seen him retract…

      The final form of jihad is that of the hand, or sword, where one expends life and property. It is characterized by its use against unbelievers, but can also be used against deviant groups under the authority of the Muslim ruler. This jihad of the hand, often termed “Holy War”, is further compartmentalized into three stages. The first is that of it being forbidden, as it was in the early days of Muhammad’s prophethood. If the Muslims are weak, and fighting is liable to cause only harm and no benefit, then they should desist. Such is the case of those dwelling in non-Muslim lands.

      At least when he wrote these words, then, he would have opposed such a deed for precisely that reason.

      • Draken says

        So in a manner of speaking, Abdur Raheem would not attack me in a street surrounded by anglicans, catholics and atheists; but if I were to meet him in a dark alley with his muslim mates, he’d rip me an extra butthole in the throat. Mr Green sounds like a fine piece of work.

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Shouldn’t True Believers start getting on Hamza’s case for borrowing Apple’s peculiar nomenclature?

    Rendering “islam” as the only word not to get a capital letter in an organizational acronym clearly merits a big fat fatwa, or at least an emergency meeting of the ulema!

  10. kreativekaos says

    Here’s a link to a short video capture of Lawrence Krauss almost walking out of a debate with Tzortzis over coed seating for the debate (the Islamists wanted segregated seating for the sexes.)

    • Lord Narf says

      Heh, that’s beautiful. How long did it take the Islamists to realize he wasn’t joking?

  11. randay says

    Richard Dawkins finds it difficult to get a direct answer about Islam’s penalty for apostasy from a Muslim Cleric.

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  13. Dan says

    Woolwich murderer Michael Adebolajo says “This is the reality” when speaking to passers-by about his perception of the treatment of Muslims overseas.

    “This is the reality” is a phrase oft-used, in exactly the same tone and context, and with identical pronunciation and enunaciation, by one Hamza A. Tzortzis.

    Just saying.

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