How well do we understand Islam and the threat that it poses? Does the next leader have a good understanding of it, and relevant policy proposals?
A questionnaire was sent to all candidates. Anne Marie Waters (AMW), Ben Walker (BW), David Kurten (DK), and John Rees-Evans (JRE) answered the questions. David Allen and David Coburn replied, declining to answer. The remainder failed to reply to repeated requests.
Note that these are the stated views of the candidates themselves, and that those who have endorsed them may have differing views.
Should we have “One Law For All” only?
DK: “Yes. The law should operate without prejudice. …there should not be special rights for people with ‘protected characteristics’.”
Should Sharia Councils be banned?
DK: “Muslim Arbitration Tribunals use Sharia Law where women have fewer legal rights than men. They should be banned … women suffer as a result.”
Should Sharia Finance be banned (i.e. Sharia mortgages and bonds)?
DK: “I am not against financial instruments where the repayment is based on a share of the profits of a business rather than a fixed rate of interest. However, those which have conditions attached such as non-investment in Israel or ‘halal only meat’ in the canteen should not be allowed.”
JRE: “Yes. There is evidence that property (such as the Admiralty) financed by Sharia-governed bonds infers application of Sharia law within that building. This militates against the principle of one law for all.”
Have you read the Koran?
BW: “Yes, some of it. In the process of reading it all.”
DK: “Yes, some of it.”
JRE: “Yes, some of it. For 12 years I have hosted a website that critiques Islam …“
Does the Koran incite terrorism and hatred of non-Muslims?
DK: “There are verses in the Quran and the Hadith which incite violence if taken literally: “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” (Quran 8:12) and “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.” (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992).”
JRE: “In the minds of some Muslims, certainly. … it is clear from even a cursory glance of history that a violent understanding appears to be the norm.”
Is Islam incompatible with Human Rights?
BW: “Yes, as are most religions.”
DK: “There are versions of Islam where the adherents integrate well into Western society. Especially so are the Ahmadiyya and Ismaili Muslims. There are also sects such as Wahhabis and Tablighis which view all non-Islamic countries as Dar al Harb (House of War) which must be converted into Dar al Islam (House of Submission) and want to establish a global Islamic caliphate with full Sharia Law. These are obviously incompatible with Western civilization.”
JRE: “It depends how we define ‘human rights’, or whether we accept the United Nations’ description of what rights ought to be ‘universal’. I believe entry to Britain should – amongst other criteria – be dependent on whether the person is willing to live in accordance with our own British Bill of Rights and as such yes, … very few exegetical schools within Islam whose teaching would be compatible with these rights.”
Marriage between first cousins has a high risk of recessive genetic disorders. Should it be banned?
BW: “My personal belief is that types of marriage such as these are a form of incest and should be actively discouraged. I have some reservations about a ban due to being a libertarian however, could be persuaded with a reasoned argument.”
DK: “It is currently legal in the UK. The risk … is no greater than that for a woman having a child in her 40s.”
JRE: “No. To the best of my understanding, within Common Law, the marriage of first cousins has never been proscribed as a prohibited degree of kinship. To innovate against established legislative practice … is in my view tenuous.”
There are thousands of Islamic terrorist sympathisers known to the security services. Of those who cannot be deported would you consider internment to be an option?
BW: “Yes following investigation where proven guilty.”
DK: “No. Internment is likely to inflame more violence than it prevents. However, electronic tagging of known suspects and sympathisers is a good option.”
JRE: “Where there is clear evidence of a desire to cause harm, insurrection or sedition, yes. Internment of ‘sympathisers’ is legally very problematic…”
Should farm animals be treated as humanely as possible?
Should non-stun and inadequate “stun to stun” slaughter methods be banned?
DK: “90% of halal is pre-stunned. There is no need for non-stun halal slaughter and it should be banned in the UK. I would allow licenses for a small number of shochets to perform shechita slaughter for the Jewish community, where animals are treated much more carefully than in non-stun halal slaughter.”
JRE: “… animal suffering should be minimised to the greatest degree possible, within the context of whatever relevant technology is available to assist this process.”
In just a one sentence soundbite, please express your own thoughts and feelings on the matters raised in these questions:
AMW: “We can see what Islam does simply by reading its scriptures and observing its influence in the world, the problem is that those in power don’t seem to want us to do this, therefore we need new people in power.”
BW: “There should be one rule of British law: anything that is incompatible with our way of life, culture and existing legislation has no place in our country and should be dealt with accordingly.”
DK: “It is important in all of these issues to make policy with careful thought, not to make policy on the hoof and to consider any possible negative unintended consequences of implementing our policy as law.”
JRE: “The government will not deliver what the people want in relation to combating aggressive Islam, until the people take control with Direct Democracy.”
Many thanks to those who answered the questions. A shame that the other candidates have squandered this opportunity to communicate with UKIP members.