Julie Siddiqi, Co-Founder of the Jewish and Muslim Women’s network

And in the Big News today from a Faith Perspective, I’ve been to Portugal. Portugal used to be great under the Muslims.

Muslims believe in diversity, honestly. Muslim countries today are famous for their religious, cultural and sexual diversity.


15 thoughts on “Julie Siddiqi, Co-Founder of the Jewish and Muslim Women’s network

  1. Siddiqi says there shouldn’t be an “us and them” attitude but then proceeds to talk about us and them. Portuguese history teaching in schools probably ignores the Muslim period in the same way as any muslim country ignores pre-muslim history. That is no surprise when the winner writes the history.
    My father in law was Portuguese and became a catholic priest in Macau before leaving the priesthood to marry. My wife and her brother are not religious. Neither of them really care about their Portuguese heritage, and they certainly don’t care about their Catholic heritage. They are British and atheist.
    Sometimes, Julie, you just have to move on to a better life.


  2. Oh yes pull the other one it has bells on…It has to join Alex Haley as the most successful plagiarism of race and religion launched upon a population. The BBC transmitted that as well at the same time as the film called Jesus of Nazareth. Converts convert their religion into such nonsense as this as does diversity and multi faith mishmash.Give me strength.


  3. Historical Islam is visible everywhere I’ve been in Portugal. It’s not being hidden, not being suppressed, not being belittled so I don’t understand Co-Founder Julie’s point (assuming there was one)?
    At least she mentioned Jews in this TFTD. Does Jasvir (of the ‘Faiths Forum’ variety) ever mention anyone but Sikhs?


    1. The Wikipedia page about the genetic make up of the Iberian peninsula – https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_history_of_the_Iberian_Peninsula – shows that there are eight major inflexion points in Iberian genomic history so the Muslim period is no more important than any of those.
      I imagine the Spanish and Portuguese who turned mosques into churches at the end of the Moorish colonialism did so to remove what they saw as an invasive overbearing culture.


  4. Last night’s news included a distressing report of an Afghan family selling their youngest child in order to survive; there was a very strong suggestion that this was not an isolated incident.

    This is Afghanistan in the C21st, run (a loose term) by a group of men who believe they are upholding a particularly pure form of Islam. Not the least hint there, I would suggest, of Julie’s ‘diversity’ as commanded by the Qu’ran.

    It can be said of most religious cultures that ‘at some time they advanced science/ technology/ social relations/ medicine’ etc. But less worthy behaviour or achievement has to be acknowledged alongside these merits. In the late C19th and early C20th Germany was amongst the most culturally and technically advanced and democratic nations in the world; seat of advanced philosophy and science, sport, arts, and all the rest. But look what happened there, and the bestial depths into which it plummeted. No one, assessing German history in 400, 500 years time would speak of the glory without mentioning the shame.


  5. Thanks for the comments above.

    I’m glad Julie Siddiqi had a nice holiday. We’re on holiday in Northumberland. I’m mortified and ashamed to say that we’ve never stayed here before. We went to Newcastle today, which I’m even more m. and a. not to have done.

    I don’t think there’s enough of our lives left for us to get to understand and appreciate this place properly, but we’ve made a start by visiting the utterly compelling Discovery Museum. This sets the Newcastle of today in the context of the development of the city and its culture through the ages. It’s an honest and revealing narrative; and what it revealed to me was how contingent, and largely irrelevant, religion has been to the Toon culture.

    Yes, there were monks, and bishops, and cathedral functionaries; and selfless priests who devoted themselves to education or poverty relief. But the complete infiltration of society by religion, as Ms Siddiqi thinks she’s detected in medieval Portugal? Nope.

    And that might suggest why Newcastle has prospered, and indeed reinvented itself, between about 1300 and today, while most of the Islamic world has regressed into intellectual irrelevance.


    1. But now the Islamic world is going to imprint itself firmly on Newcastle through the football team. If in five years time they win the league maybe Islam will get 50000 converts.
      Mind you, not if they have to forgo Tyneside Floddies (traditionally made from grated potato, finely chopped onion and a bit of chopped streaky bacon), saveloy dips or Newcastle Broon.


      1. Well, I would like to think that the influence could work the other way. Almost all the Saudis I got to know through work loved their whisky and wine. It wouldn’t take much cultural education to teach them to appreciate decent beer. Even their psychopathic Crown Prince likes a drop or two.


      2. These quips about Newcastle and Muslim religion in Portugal work on a certain level but seriously you should all consider the threatening juxtaposition now maintained by the BBC of clear exposure of the inhumanity manifested in Afghanistan since the Muslim Taliban took over its government and the permitted broadcast of fabricated nonsense designed only to tell how marvellous and civilising Islam is supposed to be. It comes from this woman who broadcasts regularly on Thought for the Day and is the brief of Jim al Khalili at the back of The Life Scientific. They are as far removed from the truth of the matter as blacks insisting that James I was a person of their colour and Chine Macdonald who seems to think.that Christianity originated among Africans. I would like to see the exaltation and misrepresentation of Islam banned as long as we continue to be responsible for the rescue of oppressed persons and have to fight the threat of its fanatics on our streets in the form of terrorism. I see no need for any more dream weaving on the part of people who are blind to what a destructive and unbearable creed it really is and would say that they have no right to destroy history so it reads in favour of what it is not.


      3. “and is the brief of Jim al Khalili at the back of The Life Scientific”

        Jim al Khalili is an atheist. I can’t see what he has to do with the promotion of Islam.


      4. Maybe I have the wrong person but there is a distinctly over exalting tone in many of the scientific documentaries on radio and tv. Sorry about the gaffe if he is indeed not religious.


      5. Incidentally I have signed a petition calling for the end of Thought for the Day and Prayer for the Day on radio. A benighted Methodist trying to pray about the Bash Street Kids was too much to bear and I also wish they would give us means to drop Sunday Morning Live and the putrid playback called Songs of Praise on tv. But no such luck. What did people make of the horrendous spectacle of mentally ill people being forced into the arms of the religious maniac Pastor Mick Fleming? His Church on the Street featured in BBC religious programmes and now this which is too much to consider. Talk about exchanging one kind of madness for another. If he is the future of religion and mental health in this country then God help us .His brandishing a syringe and the awful music they all sing together with his clerical suit are fake enough for Thought for the Day. No doubt he will soon appear spouting his obnoxious pretend piety as panacea for such unfortunate peoples ills and suffering.


  6. Jason – “ These quips about Newcastle and Muslim religion in Portugal work on a certain level but seriously…”
    Platitude for the Day – a satirical commentary on Thought for the Day.
    You can usually make a better point with satirical humour than harsh words of personal criticism of people who often are just trying to understand their world.


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