From 13.00 to 14.00, a meeting with Equalities, a newly formed Government body to co-ordinate policy on women and gender equality issues in Government. I wanted to inquire whether they had considered Gypsy and Traveller inequality or would do so, and the answer is that Traveller organisations concerned with women's rights should submit evidence to them, and I'm drawing this to the attention of the UK Association of Gypsy Women.
At 15.390, a one hour debate on Iran in which all except the mover and David Howell, the Minister who wound up, had a mere three minutes, see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/101130-gc0001.htm#10113044000138. There's so much to be said that a one-hour debate isn't appropriate, though arguably a psychopathic regime that stones its victims to death executes children and stones people to death for 'blasphemy' isn't susceptible to criticism from the House of Lords.
In the evening, a meeting in Committee Room 16 to launch the report of the Parliamentary Human Rights Group on the mission to Pakistan, to look into the current situation of the Ahmadiyya Muslims. They are suffering violent persecution, repression and discrimination, yet they steadfastly uphold their principle of 'Lover for all, Hatred for None', even in the face of atrocities like the suicide bombing of their two principal mosques in Lahore in which 92 worshippers were killed and scores more seriously injured.
There is a growing number of fanatics who believe in the division of the world into Dar el-Harb, the realm of the infidel, and Dar el-Islam, the realm of the believers. This is not yet a geographical division, because there is no country in the world that is governed strictly in accordance with the principles of the 'rightly-guided Caliphs' who immediately succeeded the Prophet. When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan, they approached this ideal, and the objective is to re-create the Caliphate in one country, as a preparation for extending its rule throughout the world. Getting rid of the infidels in countries that are prevented from adopting rules of governance and jurisprudence derived from the Qur'an and the Sunnah is a first step towards this ideal, and because those infidels are 'wajib ul-qatl', worthy to be killed, there are rewards in paradise for the assassins who kill them.
So it isn't only the Ahmadis who are systematically murdered and driven from their homes and jobs by the Salafist fanatics, and it isn't only in Pakistan that religious hatred is driven to these extremes by Salafist prayer leaders in the mosques and madrassas Christians, Hindus and Shi'a Muslims are also on the receiving end of terrorism throughout the Islamic world, and the propagators of hatred are even establishing a foothold here in Britain. It is futile to imagine that we can defend ourselves against this threat militarily in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Somalia or Yemen. when the real need is for an ideological counter-attack in which the interpretations of Islam that are based on tolerance and coexistence are given the prominence they were accorded by the Prophet himself.