I tend to agree with Bart about this one, Matthew. Evidence-based public policy and eventual legislation are the optimal way to proceed on many issues. It's why I support both medicinal cannabis and genetically modified crops.
At least this'll make it easier to decriminalise medipot as a first step- that is, when NORML and ALCP get real about reform and stop faffing around doing civil disobedience in defence of recreational use instead getting medical use penalties off the statute books first. Why does New Zealand have such useless pot lobby groups?
I'm going to hold my nose and vote for change because I think this is a first, faltering step on the way toward more comprehensive redefinition of our political culture. Key should have stepped back and not become so closely associated with the Yes campaign, it has muddied the issue too much.
Where are NORML and the ALCP during this tragic situation? When will both New Zealand cannabis lobby groups wise up and adapt their strategies to reflect the successful ones in the United States which have led to decriminalisation of medicinal cannabis derivatives across many US states? If they're this useless given Helen Kelly's sad situation, better that they stand aside and reconstitute themselves as a more effective lobby organisation based on lessons from successful legislative reform initiatives overseas. I support Helen in her fight, but one of the chief obstacles to reform seems to be the pot lobby itself.
It would seem that Hooton is trying out the same smear tactics that are being used against Corbyn in the British Labour context. And as for 'left' credentials, the far left views Andrew Little and EPMU as anathema, given that they are supposedly a 'conservative' trade union, whatever that means. To be honest, though, Matthew Hooton is equivalent to Chris Trotter on the left- a loose cannon with little coherent strategic sense. Although I wouldn't mind betting that someone more integrated into the centre-right spin machine does try it on...
And this is a redacted version of the greater document:
1. It is forbidden in Islam to issue fatwas without all the necessary learning requirements. Even then fatwas must follow Islamic legal theory as defined in the Classical texts. It is also forbidden to cite a portion of a verse from the Qur’an—or part of a verse—to derive a ruling without looking at everything that the Qur’an and Hadith teach related to that matter. In other words, there are strict subjective and objective prerequisites for fatwas, and one cannot ‘cherry-pick’ Qur’anic verses for legal arguments without considering the entire Qur’an and Hadith.
2. It is forbidden in Islam to issue legal rulings about anything without mastery of the Arabic language.
3. It is forbidden in Islam to oversimplify Shari’ah matters and ignore established Islamic sciences.
4. It is permissible in Islam [for scholars] to differ on any matter, except those fundamentals of religion that all Muslims must know.
5. It is forbidden in Islam to ignore the reality of contemporary times when deriving legal rulings.
6. It is forbidden in Islam to kill the innocent.
7. It is forbidden in Islam to kill emissaries, ambassadors, and diplomats; hence it is forbidden to kill journalists and aid workers.
8. Jihad in Islam is defensive war. It is not permissible without the right cause, the right purpose and without the right rules of conduct.
9. It is forbidden in Islam to declare people non-Muslim unless he (or she) openly declares disbelief.
10. It is forbidden in Islam to harm or mistreat—in any way—Christians or any ‘People of the Scripture’.
11. It is obligatory to consider Yazidis as People of the Scripture.
12. The re-introduction of slavery is forbidden in Islam. It was abolished by universal consensus.
13. It is forbidden in Islam to force people to convert.
14. It is forbidden in Islam to deny women their rights.
15. It is forbidden in Islam to deny children their rights.
16. It is forbidden in Islam to enact legal punishments (hudud) without following the correct
procedures that ensure justice and mercy.
17. It is forbidden in Islam to torture people.
18. It is forbidden in Islam to disfigure the dead.
19. It is forbidden in Islam to attribute evil acts to God.
20. It is forbidden in Islam to destroy the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions.
21. Armed insurrection is forbidden in Islam for any reason other than clear disbelief by the ruler and not allowing people to pray.
22. It is forbidden in Islam to declare a caliphate without consensus from all Muslims.
23. Loyalty to one’s nation is permissible in Islam.
24. After the death of the Prophet, Islam does not require anyone to emigrate anywhere.
Mainstream Muslims declare their outrage at the blasphemous, sacreligious travesty of "Islam" perpetrated by ISIS and declare their perversion of the Quran anathema to mainstream Muslim sensibilities:
This is what it says:
In response to the recent atrocities happening in Iraq and Syria, a large group of our esteemed scholars got together and wrote an open letter to the ‘Islamic State’ leader Dr. Ibrahim Awwad Al-Badri, alias ‘Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’, and his fighters. May Allah Most High make the efforts of our scholars successful and bring clarity in these unsettling times.
Due to the far reaching negative effects brought about by such atrocities, we feel it is important to study this letter and the points it raises to refute ISIS/IS philosophies. It is important to be armed with knowledge and the deeper understanding of balanced Islamic principles that have been with the Ummah for fourteen hundred years.
Our Beloved Prophet (may peace and blessings of God be upon him) was sent with a peaceful ideology and as a mercy to the world. We are not a people who hold enemy-centred ideologies. Below is a brief taste of what is in the letter as well as a link at the end to the whole document:
[Don’t Oversimplify Islam]
“It is not permissible to constantly speak of ‘simplifying matters’, or to cherry-pick an extract from the Qur’an without understanding it within its full context. It is also not permissible to say: ‘Islam is simple, and the Prophet (may peace be upon him) and his noble Companions were simple, why complicate Islam?’
…And the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said: ‘Whoever speaks about the Qur’an without knowledge should await his seat in the Fire.’
[Respect the lives of Ambassadors and Emissaries]
“It is known that all religions forbid the killing of emissaries. What is meant by emissaries here are people who are sent from one group of people to another to perform a noble task such as reconciliation or the delivery of a message. Emissaries have a special inviolability.
Ibn Masoud said: ‘The Sunnah continues that emissaries are never killed.’ …Aid workers are also emissaries of mercy and kindness, yet you killed the aid worker David Haines. What you have done is unquestionably forbidden (haram).
[Know the Ethical Conduct of War]
“When Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (may God be pleased with him) prepared an army and sent it to the Levant, he said: ‘You will find people who have devoted themselves to monasteries, leave them to their devotions… do not kill the old and decrepit, women or children; do not destroy buildings; do not cut down trees or harm livestock without good cause; do not burn or drown palms; do not be treacherous; do not mutilate; do not be cowardly; and do not loot…’
“As for killing prisoners, it is forbidden in Islamic Law. Yet you have killed many prisoners including the 1700 captives at Camp Speicher in Tikrit in June, 2014; the 200 captives at the Sha’er gas field in July, 2014; the 700 captives of the Sha’etat tribe in Deir el-Zor (600 of whom were unarmed civilians); the 250 captives at the Tabqah air base in Al-Raqqah in August, 2014; Kurdish and Lebanese soldiers, and many untold others whom God knows. These are heinous war crimes.
[Don’t Declare People Non-Muslims]
“Quintessentially in Islam, anyone who says: ‘There is no god but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God’ is a Muslim and cannot be declared a non-Muslim. God Most High says: ‘O you who believe, when you are going forth in the way of God, be discriminating and do not say to him who offers you peace: “You are not a believer”, – desiring the transient goods of the life of this world. With God are plenteous spoils. So were you formerly, but God has been gracious to you. So be discriminating. Surely God is ever Aware of what you do.’ (Al-Nisa’, 4: 94).
The meaning of ‘be discriminating’ in the above verse is to ask them: ‘Are you Muslims?’ The answer is to be taken at face-value without questioning or testing their faith.
[Respect People of Other Faiths]
“People of the Scripture: Regarding Arab Christians, you gave them three choices: jizyah (poll tax), the sword, or conversion to Islam. You painted their homes red, destroyed their churches, and in some cases, looted their homes and property. You killed some of them and caused many others to flee their homes with nothing but their lives and the clothes on their backs.
These Christians are not combatants against Islam or transgressors against it, indeed they are friends, neighbours and co-citizens. From the legal perspective of Shari’ah they all fall under ancient agreements that are around 1400 years old, and the rulings of jihad do not apply to them.
[Don’t Destroy the Resting Places of Prophets and Companions]
“Destruction of the graves and shrines of Prophets and Companions: You have blown up and destroyed the graves of Prophets and Companions. Scholars disagree on the subject of graves. Nevertheless, it is not permissible to blow up the graves of Prophets and Companions and disinter their remains, just as it is not permissible to burn grapes under the pretext that some people use them to make wine.
[The Rule Regarding Rebelling Against a Country Leader]
“Rebelling against the leader: It is impermissible to rebel against the leader who is not guilty of declared and candid disbelief (al-kufr al-bawwah); i.e. disbelief that he himself admits to openly and where all Muslims are in consensus regarding such a person being a non-Muslim—or by his prohibiting the establishment of prayers. The evidence of this is in God Most High’s words: ‘O you who believe, obey God, and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you …’ (Al-Nisa’, 4:59)
[Is Your ‘Caliphate’ Legitimate?]
“In your speech you quoted the Companion Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (may God be pleased with him): ‘I have been given authority over you, and I am not the best of you.’ This begs the question: who gave you authority over the ummah? Was it your group? If this is the case, then a group of no more than several thousand has appointed itself the ruler of over a billion and a half Muslims.
This attitude is based upon a corrupt circular logic that says: ‘Only we are Muslims, and we decide who the caliph is, we have chosen one and so whoever does not accept our caliph is not a Muslim.’ In this case, a caliph is nothing more than the leader of a certain group that declares more than 99% of Muslims non Muslim.
On the other hand, if you recognise the billion and a half people who consider themselves Muslims, how can you not consult (shura) them regarding your so-called caliphate?
Thus, you face one of two conclusions: either you concur that they are Muslims and they did not appoint you caliph over them—in which case you are not the caliph—or, the other conclusion is that you do not accept them as Muslims, in which case Muslims are a small group not in need of a caliph, so why use the word ‘caliph’ at all? In truth, the caliphate must emerge from a consensus of Muslim countries, organisations of Islamic scholars and Muslims across the globe.”
Like hell. Here's a backgrounder by yours truly on (a) Serco, which mentions its record of cumulative mismanagement of its privatised penal facilities:
(b) Australian refugee and asylum policy:
The Prime Minister will *not* get away with whitewashing Serco's incompetence and Australian's repressive approach to human rights and civil liberties for refugees and asylum seekers.
So what do the rest of you think about introducing the Single Transferable Vote for Auckland City local elections?
This is why I love the DPA page on Facebook. It's full of anger, debate, networking and radical ruminations. Someone urgently needs to reform the disability section of the Human Rights Act 1993 and close all of these ridiculous discriminatory loopholes.