All they have done is put stickers all over the place

The theocratic Islamist campaign to convince UK Muslims that “VOTING FOR MAN-MADE LAW IS SHIRK” has popped up in Leicester, the BBC reports.

Bright yellow stickers have been posted in areas of Leicester with large Muslim communities saying voting is “shirk”.

Shirk is the sin of worshipping someone other than Allah and is considered the most grievous crime for a Muslim.

Which just goes to show how anti-human and revolting religion can be at its worst. The most grievous crime, ahead of murder, rape, genocide, torture. Plus of course there’s the fact that voting for X≠worshipping X.

Dr [Ather] Hussain, an imam in Leicester and surrounding cities, said: “It’s laughable. Logically and religiously speaking they haven’t got a leg to stand on.

“I fail to see how voting would be considered as the most grievous crime possible for a Muslim to commit.

“The argument is shallow, baseless and it has absolutely no standing religiously or theologically in our religion.”

And he added that those who posted the signs probably did not believe it themselves.

“If they had a sound argument perhaps they would operate in mosques and in the right public spaces.

“But quite cowardly, all they have done is put stickers all over the place without any context, without telling us who they are, without giving us any indication about where we can find more about these ridiculous beliefs.”

It’s a sort of graffiti. But, unfortunately, it’s a sort that some people will find impressive and convincing.


  1. says

    Ah, yes, ‘shirk’. How those who fear being seen through attempt to rule people pointing out their increasingly obvious flimflammery out of bounds…

    Right. I hereby declare myself a secular prophet, and declare printing and distributing these ugly things the sin of ‘jerk’.

    (/The prescribed punishment, naturally, is more mockery.)

  2. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Muslims are taught that Allah forgives everything except shirk. I remember this being one of the very few things I dared question as a child. Can’t recall what the answer was but I’m sure it was some version of “His ways are unknowable”.

    AJ Milne,

    Right. I hereby declare myself a secular prophet, and declare printing and distributing these ugly things the sin of ‘jerk’.

    I agree with the sentiment, but if you were going for a rhyme, I’m afraid it doesn’t work. The i in Shirk is pronounced like the i in milk.

  3. johnthedrunkard says

    And of course, no report is possible without giving a free platform to a convenient ‘moderate’:
    “The argument is shallow, baseless and it has absolutely no standing religiously or theologically in our religion.”

    Don’t tell US, go and explain it to THEM.

  4. says


    Heh. While I know where you’re going with this (ah, vowels; I only a few weeks ago finally tuned my French /y/ to the point that my Parisian language exchange partner does not cringe), the English ‘shirk’ and ‘jerk’ certainly rhyme to my ear, and, worse, asking me to take the vowel from ‘milk’ and terminate it with an ‘r’ is going to sound very much the same, and I suspect this would be pretty common across accent accents in my region. But, sure, it’s at best a line requiring a fairly naive reading of the transliteration.

  5. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    AJ Milne,

    I understand. I wasn’t trying to be nitpicky, just thought I’d offer the correction. 🙂

    I studied French for a few years too. But that was a while ago, and my pronunciation is probably a mix of English, French and Urdu by now.

  6. moarscienceplz says

    In other words, these people are saying you can be a Muslim, or you can be a true British citizen, but you can’t be both.

  7. Blanche Quizno says

    Apparently, one of the things that’s happening here in the US is that more and more people of color are being prohibited from voting, through gerrymandering, poll shenanigans, and felony convictions, which means that their concerns are not being addressed democratically (although I’d say that effect is being felt by some 99% of us). As in Ferguson, MO, where less than 6% of police officers are black, despite the population there being over 67% black. This gives the impression that they are not being represented and, in fact, may well be targeted instead of protected. If the goal of these Muslim stickers is to cause Muslims to feel marginalized and to perceive that their concerns will not be addressed by the culture at large and the government specifically, this could lead to the sort of hostility and backlash we have seen in so many black communities here. Granted, Britain does not have the same history of abusive race relations within its religious communities, not that I know of, and the fact that the Muslims are being requested to actively participate in their own marginalization won’t escape the notice of too many of them, I hope. However, people are famously irrational, so maybe the leafleteers hope they can get it going, however clumsy their strategy. Seems to communicate rather a disregard for Muslims’ intelligence, frankly…

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    Saad… @ # 2: The i in Shirk is pronounced like the i in milk.

    I tried to do that, several times, and my closest attempt (to my ear) came out as two syllables.

    Does Arabic have a vowel (or diphthong) unknown to English?

  9. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Pierce, #9

    That’s interesting, because I’m trying and I can’t seem to make it come out as two syllables. Do you mean you’re putting a vowel between the r and the k? Guess it depends on what you’re used to.

    I don’t actually speak Arabic. Just have some familiarity with it because of Urdu and learning to read the Qur’an. Arabic does have a couple of diphthongs. One of them is like the au sound in fauna. For the other one I can’t think of an Arabic word off the top of my head that uses it to be able to compare it to an English sound.

  10. says

    Hidden somewhere in this lecture–whos-in-charge-here-anyway

    is an experiment where a Hindi word is read out over a loudspeaker, however it turns out to be two different Hindi words (one of them apparently quite rude going by the reaction) but the only people who can hear the difference are those brought up speaking Hindi.

    Sorry, the vid is an hour long and the clip lasts about 3 minutes so I don’t have time to find the exact time.

    One of the great joys of being Welsh and living in England is to challenge English people to pronounce Welsh place names with the “ll” consonant. The challenge usually starts after some pub bore has spent 5 minutes telling me how great England is and how crap Wales is, so I reply…

    “if you’re all so great , why cant you say Llanelli?”

    As any patriotic Englishman should be able to do anything a mere Welshman can, I then have 5 minutes of fun listening to various attempts at “clanekli”, “thanessly”, “klanecklee” before the bore storms off and I’m left to enjoy the silence.

    Its a perfectly simple word , its pronounced “Llanelli”.

  11. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    I hate linking to a video of this horrid man (think a Muslim physician version of Pat Robertson), but here is how the word sounds: YouTube video. The woman says it in the beginning and Naik talks about it afterwards.

    (He says it with a Urdu/Hindi accent, but that’s how the letter i sounds in it)

  12. Saad: Openly Feminist Gamer says

    Also, note the amazing diversity in the audience! [/snark]

    What’s probably happening there is that the room is partitioned into two sections with one section being for the women. Of course being women, they are not supposed to be seen, hence why the camera is only shows the men’s section. You wouldn’t know women were even present in the hall if it weren’t for hearing the woman who asked the question.

  13. sonofrojblake says

    it’s a sort that some people will find impressive and convincing

    Citation needed. I mean, by definition as sky-pixie-botherers Muslims fall into the “gullible dumbass” demographic, but if you’re really contending that they’re so benightedly thick that they’ll be persuaded against their best interests in this matter by a sticker on a lamppost (rather than say their imam telling them not to vote), you’re even more contemptuous of them than I am.

  14. Pierce R. Butler says

    Saad… @ # 13: …YouTube video.

    To my ear, it sounded like both questioner and answerer said “chick”, with the first consonant a little more sibilant – “schick”, maybe. The “r” just doesn’t come through to me.

    My own attempt, before hearing that, was closer to “shi-urk”. (“shi-” as in shin, ship, etc). Combining the “ih” and “r” sounds may be possible, with enough practice, but getting the tongue to those different places without a pause in between seems to interpolate a sort of schwa-sound.

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