Ireland: Athletic club drops cross from logo after ISIS attack on website

Source: Athletic club drops cross from its crest over Isil fears weeks before Dublin Marathon – Independent.ie

An athletic club has decided to temporarily remove a cross emblem from its crest on new sportswear after its website was attacked by someone claiming to represent so-called Islamic State.

The Crusaders Athletic Club wrote to members last week telling them that a decision had been taken to remove the cross from new singlets to be worn by some runners competing in the Dublin City Marathon in two weeks.

The decision to remove the cross from the crest caused major disquiet among members of the Dublin club, with some threatening to leave if the logo is changed.

In an email sent to members, which has been seen by the Sunday Independent, the club said a final decision had not been taken to change the crest but it would be discussed at the annual general meeting.

“As some of you may or may not have heard, our website was hacked (twice) by persons unknown purporting to be from Islamic State and threatening messages sent to us,” it said.

“The second attack pretty much wiped the site out. The committee has a responsibility to discuss and take measures to protect the club and a lot of time and energy was spent trying to figure out how best to deal with this.”

The email said the cyber attack led to a “wider debate” about the club’s identity and there was also a discussion by the organisation’s committee about changing its name due to the religious and historic association with the Christian crusades of the middle ages.

“Threats have to be taken seriously and although any real danger is unlikely, it was decided that as an interim measure and as a compromise to some views in the committee to temporarily suspend the use of the cross logo until the proposal could be put to the members at the AGM,” it added.

The club is the latest in a line of sporting organisations to discuss changing their names due to historic associations.

The Washington Redskins have been under pressure for years to change their name as it is seen as offensive to native Americans.

The Exeter Chiefs rugby union club in the UK faced similar calls to change their name and logo due to offence it causes.

In 2009, the Middlesex Crusaders cricket club changed their name to the Middlesex Panthers after complaints from Jewish and Muslim communities about the link to the crusades.

Jihadi terror group Isil regularly brands US-led military action against its strongholds in Iraq and Syria as attacks by “western crusaders” against Muslim communities.

The Crusaders Athletic Club, which is Dublin’s biggest running club, is a non-religious organisation and members stress that its name has no direct association with the crusades in the Middle East.

It is understood that the majority of the runners in the club are in favour of retaining the club logo and name.

Organisers expect almost the entire team that it has entered in the Dublin City Marathon to wear older singlets which include the cross crest rather than the new ones ordered following the alleged attack on its website by Isis.

A Crusaders spokesman said there has been many versions of the club’s singlet since the organisation’s formation.

“Some have displayed the club’s emblem and some have not,” he said.

“This year we will have over 50 runners competing in the Dublin Marathon, each wearing a singlet of their choosing. Many will display the official club crest.”

The club has recently modernised its website to include new features and mobile optimisation. It said this was a scheduled and planned upgrade.

“Crusaders AC has no religious affiliations and is proud to have one of the largest memberships in Ireland,” the spokesman added.

“Our history is one of inclusivity and openness and we celebrate the diversity that comes with being a modern athletic club.”


The Crusaders AC may have no religious affiliation but if it weren’t for the various Crusades, Islam may have overtaken Europe a long time ago.

Dhimmitude in the US too:

Denver: Christian school dropping ‘Crusaders’ mascot to appease Muslims

Wisconsin: Christian College Drops ‘Crusaders’ Nickname Because…of Islam

Ireland: Students required to study Koran as part of Arabic exam

HolyfookingkoranSource: Concern over requirement to study Koran as part of Leaving Cert Arabic exam

A requirement that all students who sit the Arabic exam in the Leaving Cert must study the Koran is to be reviewed by education authorities.

Ever since the subject was introduced to the Leaving Cert in 2004, extracts from the “Holy Koran” have been prescribed material for all candidates.

However, a Syrian father whose Christian daughter is due to sit the exam says the requirement is unfair for students and discriminatory.

“She, as a Christian, has never studied the Koran,” said Marwan, who asked that his surname not be used.

“I am very distressed that having arrived in Ireland and having been granted refugee status on the basis of the threat to us as Christians we should now be discriminated against in this way.

He added: “Since my daughter’s exam is only weeks away I would respectfully appeal to those in a position to rectify this injustice to do so immediately.”

In a statement, the State body for development subject material, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), said the Koran was included on the basis of its linguistic and literary value and not because of its association with religion.

It said the requirement for questions based on the Koran are explicitly stated in the syllabus.

In the Arabic exam, candidates are presented with three texts: an extract from the Koran, a portion of Arabic verse and an extract from a work of modern Arabic prose.

The questions related to the Koran are mandatory for all candidates, while candidates may choose from a portion of verse and modern prose.

The NCCA said the syllabus is being reviewed and this will consider the “range and sources” of prescribed texts.

This includes concerns over the mandatory status of questions relating to Koran.

Eight separate sections of the Koran are identified as prescribed texts in the exam.

One of the sections urges, for example, says followers should “remember Allah’s favour on you when you were enemies of each other” and that “while you were on a brink of a pit of Fire then He delivered from it!.”

It goes on to advise believers to “be not like those who separated, and disagreed after clear evidences had come to them; and these are they that will have a grievous chastisement.”

About 55,000 students sit the Leaving Cert each year, while between 100 and 150 students undertake the Arabic exam.

In common with other minority languages, the proportion of students who receive honours in the exam – about 85 per cent – is particularly high. This, say teachers, is due to the number of students who are native speakers.


Jihad Watch writes of the Koran quote above:

That’s Qur’an 3:103.

It goes on to advise believers to “be not like those who separated, and disagreed after clear evidences had come to them; and these are they that will have a grievous chastisement.”

That’s Qur’an 3:105.

How did this requirement get put in place at all? Probably it was done by Islamic supremacists who were counting on the ignorance and complacency of Irish authorities, and were quite correct in assuming that no one would notice or care. The “Leaving Cert,” or Leaving Certificate Examinations, are the final exams in Ireland’s secondary school system.

Ireland: Pastor not guilty of ‘grossly offensive’ remarks about Islam

…McConnell “should never have been in court in the first place”.

“The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) need to explain why this case was brought and assure everyone that this will not happen again.”


Source: Pastor McConnell not guilty of ‘grossly offensive’ remarks about Islam – BBC News

Evangelical Christian preacher Pastor James McConnell has been found not guilty of making “grossly offensive” remarks about Islam.

The 78-year-old, from Shore Road in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, denied two charges relating to a sermon he gave in a Belfast church in 2014.

A judge said while he considered the remarks offensive, he did not consider them “grossly” offensive under the law.

Supporters of the pastor applauded when the verdict was given.

Speaking outside Belfast Magistrates’ court, Mr McConnell said his only regret was the response from the Muslim community that he was “out to hurt them”.

He said: “There was no way I was out to hurt them. I wouldn’t hurt a hair on their head.

“But what I am against is their theology and what they believe in.”

He said he would do it again, but would be conscious that he was “hurting innocent Muslims”.

Mr McConnell had denied two charges – improper use of a public electronic communications network and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

He made the remarks at the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in north Belfast in May 2014. His sermon was also streamed online.

During the trial, Mr McConnell said that he still believed in what he had preached, and did not go into church to “provoke anyone”.

A prosecution lawyer had said his words were not “a slip of the tongue”, while a defence lawyer said he should not be convicted.

Judge Liam McNally told the court he did think the pastor’s passion in preaching meant it “had caused him to lose the run of himself” and advised him to consider the impact of his words in future.

However, he concluded that the words upon which the charges were based, while offensive, do not reach the high threshold of being “grossly offensive”.

“The courts need to be very careful not to criminalise speech which, however contemptible, is no more than offensive,” he said.

“It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances.”

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP Sammy Wilson and Catholic priest Fr Patrick McCafferty appeared as character witnesses for Mr McConnell.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback programme, Mr Wilson welcomed the news, saying Mr McConnell “should never have been in court in the first place”.

He said: “Anyone who is engaged in public debate or speech ought to be happy at the result today.

“We live in a free society and in a free society, people should be free to express the beliefs that they hold.”

He added that if Mr McConnell had accepted a police caution, it would have introduced “a chill factor” into issues of public speech.

Peter Lynas, of the Evangelical Alliance Northern Ireland, said the verdict was “a victory for common sense and freedom of speech”.

“However, until the law is changed or clear guidance is issued there will still be concern about further prosecution,” he added.

“The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) need to explain why this case was brought and assure everyone that this will not happen again.”

Boyd Sleator of Atheist Northern Ireland said: “His (Mr McConnell’s) comments were offensive but we are allowed to be offensive and I would never want to see anybody prosecuted for being offensive. His comments were idiotic, his comments were silly,” he said.

In a statement, the PPS said “it was clear from the judgement that the court considered Pastor McConnell had a case to answer and that the decision on whether the comment was offensive or grossly offensive was not only finely balanced but one for the court and the court alone to take”.

“The decision to bring this prosecution was entirely consistent with the duty of the PPS to put before the court those cases in which it is considered there is a reasonable prospect of a conviction.”h


Muslims and their sharia are creeping in Ireland – click here to read our archives.

Ireland: Pastor Under ‘Hate Crime’ Investigation for Sermon Against Islam

via Irish Pastor Under ‘Hate Crime’ Investigation for Sunday Sermon Against Islam | Christian News Network.

BELFAST, Northern Ireland – A 75-year-old Irish preacher was subjected to a police probe after he condemned Islam in a sermon and was accused of ‘hate mongering.’

James McConnell, pastor of the Whitewell Metropolitan Church in North Belfast, Ireland, discussed the religion of Islam during an evening sermon on Sunday, May 18th. During the sermon, McConnell denounced Islam and said the contrast between it and Christianity is stark.

“The God we worship and serve this evening is not Allah,” he proclaimed, according to a video of his sermon. “The Muslim god—Allah—is a heathen deity. Allah is a cruel deity. Allah is a demon deity.”

McConnell then criticized the “foolish” British government for attempting to appease Muslims financially, saying Islam is “a doctrine spawned in hell.” He also noted that Christians around the world are persecuted for their faith by the “fanatical worshipers” of Allah.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, McConnell’s remarks were inspired by the current plight of Meriam Ibrahim—a professing Orthodox Christian woman in Sudan. As previously reported, Ibrahim was sentenced to hang after she was convicted of apostasy for refusing to deny her faith and convert to Islam.

Following McConnell’s May 18th sermon, the Police Service of Northern Ireland investigated the preacher for allegations of hate crime. Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described the preacher’s comments as “hate mongering” and said the anti-Muslim statements “must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”

After McConnell’s sermon was publicized, numerous people denounced his message through social media and online comment threads. Furthemore, the Whitewell Metropolitan Church’s website was attacked by hackers and—as of late this week—was  unavailable.

“There are currently attempts to hack and compromise our church website,” the church’s Facebook page explains. “The website is temporarily unavailable. Please be patient as we investigate further.”

In the midst of the attacks from non-Christians, many others have rallied to support McConell. Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson said he has personally visited Whitewell Metropolitan Church several times and was thoroughly impressed by McConnell’s preaching.

“There isn’t an ounce of hatred in his bones,” Robinson stated in a newspaper interview. “This is someone who preaches the gospel.”

Later, Robinson clarified his comment in a statement:

“I strongly believe that Pastor James McConnell has the right to freedom of speech,” he explained. “I will defend his right just as I defend the right of others to express views with which I disagree. People have the right to express their differing views and indeed the essence of democracy is the ability to do so in a way that is free from fear and intimidation.”

Others have supported McConnell through social media.

h/t The Right Scoop who has video.

Click the “Ireland” link below for more on how sharia is creeping there.

 

Islam Is Ireland’s Fastest Growing Religion

Happy St. Patty’s Day

via Islam Is Ireland’s Fastest Growing Religion. h/t TROP

The Republic of Ireland may be intimately associated with the Roman Catholic Church, but the fastest-growing faith on the emerald isle is Islam — at such a rapid rate that Muslims are projected to replace Protestantism as the second-most popular religion by the year 2043.

Ireland’s Central Statistics Office reported that between 1991 and 2011, the percentage of Irish residents who were Muslim jumped from 0.1 percent to 1 percent (equating to about 49,000 people). By 2020, Ireland’s Islamic population will more than double to at least 100,000. The increase is attributed to both immigration and population growth. The second fastest-growing faith in Ireland is Orthodox Christianity, largely due to immigration from Eastern Europe — doubling in just five years between 2006 and 2011 to more than 45,000 people.

As their numbers climb, Muslims in Ireland have embarked on projects to build more mosques, including a new $50 million complex in north Dublin that will commence construction in 2014 and become the country’s largest mosque. Illume Magazine reported that the new mosque, at the Clongriffin Centre, will be large enough to hold more than 3,000 people and feature two minarets, a prayer hall, a cultural center, offices, bookshop, a library, a mortuary, a 600-seat events center, school and even a fitness center and apartments. Muslims in Ireland are also free to wear the veil and hijab, unlike in France.

Can’t say you didn’t see this coming.

 

Ireland changes 125-year-old law for Muslims

via Change to 125-year-old Victorian law means Muslims can be buried with no coffin in Ireland h/t halalporkshop

After expressed concerns from members of the Muslim community in Ireland, Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan approved a change to the burial regulations established in 1888, which will allow human remains to be buried without a coffin.

On June 1 the reform will override the original rule that no burials are allowed, “unless the body be enclosed in a coffin of wood or some other sufficiently strong material.”

The Irish Times reported that a spokesman for the Department of the Environment explained that, “The change to the rule follows concerns recently expressed by members of the Muslim community regarding their traditional burial rituals,” although the option to go without a coffin will not be exclusive to people of muslim faith.

It is reported that the Environmental Protection Agency, HSE and the City and County Managers Association all approved of the change.

As we warned in 2010:

Sharia and Jihad, Creeping in Ireland

Ireland: Cost of non-Muslim burial plots to increase 33%, Muslim plots $0

Criticizing Islam now a crime in Ireland under sharia-like blasphemy law

Ireland: Cost of non-Muslim burial plots to increase 33%, Muslim plots 0

via Cost of burial plots in south Dublin to increase by a third – The Irish Times

The cost of burial plots in south Dublin is set to increase by a third next year while the cost of a cremation plot is set to rise by 80 per cent.

South Dublin County Council voted yesterday to increase the cost of plots from January 1st for the second year in a row.

The cost of a single burial plot will increase by a third from €1,800 to €2,400. This is a doubling of the cost since 2011.

The cost of a double burial plot will also increase by a third from €3,600 to €4,800. A cremation plot will increase from €550 to €1,000. The 12 other burial ground charges are frozen for 2013. The cost of an Islamic plot, which doubled last year, will not increase.

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