Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 23, 2014, 12:16:18 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
83003 Posts in 2257 Topics by 1067 Members
Latest Member: Shinobi Dog
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities
| |-+  Politics & Religion
| | |-+  Islam in Europe
« previous next »
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 9 Print
Author Topic: Islam in Europe  (Read 107347 times)
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #200 on: September 17, 2008, 10:20:11 PM »

Actually Rachel, I think it is quite relevant; in many societies "women get the raw deal" not just under Islam.
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #201 on: September 17, 2008, 10:45:43 PM »

[quote author=Crafty_Dog link=topic=977.msg21143#msg21143 date=1221687272

@GM:

The piece you post is powerful. Before spreading it around, I find myself wondering about these numbers:

"More than a hundred and thirty million women living today have been victimized by this horrifying crime, and more than two million girls are assaulted by it each year. In other words, we are talking about 6,000 girls every day -- 6,000 girls today."

Lets see.  1.3 billion Muslims= 675,000,000 women.

130/675= approximately 20%.  If we screen out girls too young for the amputation, the percentage is even higher. 

This number seems questionably high to me.  My understanding is that the clitorectomies tend to take place in Ethiopia, Somalia, Egypt, Yemen-- not through out the Muslim world-- though the larger point of the neuroses about women remains.
[/quote]

Crafty, you are right to question these numbers.  FMG is primarily an African problem; few examples exist anywhere else in the Middle East.  And according to UNICEF it is not an Islamic problem, but one of poverty and ignorance.  UNICEF found "no evidence of FMG in the middle east".  While I always doubt absolute numbers, the tradition predates Islam and primarily is centered in Africa; I am not saying examples do not exist, but the problem is not prevalent (rarely exists?) in the US or Europe among Muslims or even in the Middle East.  Yet FMG is a terrible problem.  But ignorance and tradition is the problem.  IF you have AIDS, but sleep with a virgin in Africa, you are cured??? hmmm No, you just simply spread the AIDS problem....  It's not Islam's fault, but simply ignorance.  Sometimes I think on this forum we blame Islam for every little problem in society today; better to look around us or simply just look in the mirror. 



Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31504


« Reply #202 on: September 17, 2008, 11:33:14 PM »

You had me, until this:

"Sometimes I think on this forum we blame Islam for every little problem in society today". 

Examples please?
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #203 on: September 17, 2008, 11:58:50 PM »

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP148307

Special Dispatch Series - No. 1483
March 1, 2007   No. 1483

Al-Azhar University Scholars Argue over the Legitimacy of Female Circumcision Practiced in Egypt on Al-Arabiya TV
The following are excerpts from a TV debate between Egyptian Al-Azhar University scholars Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mussayar [1] and Sheikh Mahmoud Ashur, who is a member of Al-Azhar's Islamic ResearchAcademy (or Islamic Research Council) on the issue of female circumcision. The debate aired on Al-Arabiya TV on February 12, 2007.

TO VIEW THIS CLIP: http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=1392
Mahmoud Ashur: "Female circumcision is a traditional custom, and not a religious act. All the hadiths dealing with female circumcision are unreliable. Moreover, the hadith cited by those who support circumcision calls to refrain from it more than it calls to perform it.

[...]

"Female circumcision is not part of Islam. Rather, it is a traditional custom. Under no circumstances should we follow this custom, because it leaves a deep wound in the souls of these girls, which has a psychological, emotional, and social impact on their lives. Female circumcision does a lot of damage. This damage is harmful, and it shatters the girl's soul. Therefore, it is absolutely forbidden to perform this custom. No person should do this, because it is harmful and causes damage.

[...]

"This is a despicable, ugly, and evil custom. It is performed by a woman who uses inappropriate and non-sterile instruments. She may be passing on to the girl a terrible disease, or causing her a wound that never heals, because the person who performs this custom lacks expertise and experience, and does not know how to sterilize the instruments, and therefore she inflicts terrible diseases upon the girls."

[...]

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "All the jurisprudents, since the advent of Islam and for 14 centuries or more, are in consensus that female circumcision is permitted by Islam. But they were divided with regard to its status in shari'a. Some said that female circumcision is required by shari'a, just like male circumcision. Some said this is the mainstream practice, while others said it is a noble act. But throughout the history of Islam, nobody has ever said that performing female circumcision is a crime. There has been a religious ruling on this for 14 centuries."

[...]

Mahmoud Ashur: "In the days of Jahiliya [i.e. the pre-Islamic period] and in the early days of Islam, a man whose mother carried out this custom was scorned by people who called him 'you son of a clitoris cutter.' This proves that it was never part of the religion of Islam. As for male circumcision, it is the approved mainstream practice, as determined by Islam and as instructed by the Prophet Muhammad."

[...]

"There is no doubt that we must reach agreement on this issue. There must be a decisive view and a resolute decision on this custom especially, because it is evil. When people perform it, they do so out of extreme ignorance, and it has a severe impact on marital life."

[...]

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "First of all, there are reliable hadiths in Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim which support female circumcision. The Prophet Muhammad said: 'If a circumcised woman and man have intercourse, they must undergo ablution.' Unreliable hadiths do not cancel out the reliable ones. We have unreliable hadiths regarding prayer, fasting, charity, and pilgrimage. Should we abolish prayer and charity just because some hadiths are unreliable? According to some hadiths in Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim, 'If a circumcised woman and man have intercourse, they must undergo ablution.' People would curse one another by saying: 'You son of a clit woman' - the son of a non-circumcised woman. The objections to circumcision are illogical and unnatural.

Interviewer: What is the justification for doing this?"

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "First of all, allow me... Regarding the claim that the instruments are not sterile - this is the reality and is not part of religious law. If there are dentists who do not sterilize their instruments, should we abolish medical faculties and dental clinics, or should we demand that they rectify the situation? Flawed reality cannot serve as a religious argument. The claim that female circumcision leads to barrenness is not true. The Muslim woman bears more children than any other woman. It is the Western woman who is barren, even though she is not circumcised. Moreover, when talking about nervous breakdowns... This is considered a day of celebration for the family."

Interviewer: "A day of celebration for the family?! Let me begin with the psychological effects. According to some studies, when there is a celebration, and sweets are given to the girl, and then an act is performed in which the girl's flesh is cut off... this makes her lose trust in her family, first of all. This generates an inner problem. As for the medical, physical problem, there is a problem in childbirth. There are lacerations, microbes, deformities - this is what the doctors say."

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "Sterilization is necessary in such cases. Cutting off a part of the human body does not mean a violation of its sanctity. How many human body parts are cut off in plastic surgery, and so on, yet we do not consider this offensive to the woman?"

Interviewer: "What is the reason for circumcising girls?"

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "First of all, the claim that this is a Pharaonic or Jahili practice..."

Interviewer: "Let's assume that this is a religious requirement..."

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "It isn't..."

Interviewer: "Nevertheless, hypothetically speaking, what is the main reason for this?"

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "Some sources said: 'Reduce, but do not remove.' In other words, it is neither about removing the organ, nor about leaving it. It is a trustworthy Muslim doctor who makes the decision. She decides whether the girl needs it or not. We do not obligate every girl to undergo circumcision. We say it should be left up to the doctor, and she can evaluate the case and determine whether the girl needs circumcision or not."

Interviewer: "Why would she need it? Sheikh Mahmoud Ashur, would you like to comment? What are the reasons that one could say... Go ahead..."

Mahmoud Ashur: "If it is left up to the doctor, then it is a custom and not part of the religion."

[...]

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "Female circumcision is no less valid just because it was practiced in Pharaonic times and in the Jahiliya. Islam accepted some customs, which were harmonious with human nature, and rejected others, which contradicted human nature."

[...]

Interviewer: "Some studies show that the upbringing at home is the main thing, and that 95% of all prostitutes [in Egypt] are circumcised."

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "And 100% of the prostitutes in the West are not circumcised, so what is the problem?"

[1] For more on Muhammad Al-Mussayar, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 183, "Al-Azhar Sheikh Al-Mussayar: Instead of Merely Defending Islam, Muslims Must Confront Non-Muslims," July 12, 2004, http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=183 , and MEMRI TV Clip No. 102, "Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mussayyer on Wife Beating in Islam," June 7, 2004, http://www.memritv.org/search.asp?ACT=S9&P1=102 .
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #204 on: September 18, 2008, 12:00:55 AM »

JDN,

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #205 on: September 18, 2008, 12:46:34 AM »

JDN,

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?

Gosh, did I miss a day of geography class?  To be fair, it's been a while.  But, I mean, isn't Al=Azhar University still in Africa?Huh?  Or did it move and I missed it?
Wasn't I (I'm sorry I mean WHO and UNICEF) clear enough in my post above that this is an "African problem", a terrible problem, but it is not necessarily an Islamic problem and rarely does it appear
among practicing Muslims in the Middle East or Europe or the US?  To answer your question, No, I don't plan on going to Al-Azhar in Africa, or Ethiopia, or Somalia, or Yemen,
or ...... or any other place in Africa and lecture on female genital mutilation.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #206 on: September 18, 2008, 01:10:27 AM »

Do you know the importance of the Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim ahadith in sunni theology?
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #207 on: September 18, 2008, 01:29:00 AM »

JDN,

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?

Gosh, did I miss a day of geography class?  To be fair, it's been a while.  But, I mean, isn't Al=Azhar University still in Africa?Huh?  Or did it move and I missed it?
Wasn't I (I'm sorry I mean WHO and UNICEF) clear enough in my post above that this is an "African problem", a terrible problem, but it is not necessarily an Islamic problem and rarely does it appear
among practicing Muslims in the Middle East or Europe or the US?  To answer your question, No, I don't plan on going to Al-Azhar in Africa, or Ethiopia, or Somalia, or Yemen,
or ...... or any other place in Africa and lecture on female genital mutilation.

**A perfect example of your utter ignorance on this topic.**

http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/mashaykh_azhar.htm

Al-Azhar is the world's oldest university, older than Cambridge or Oxford. Situated at the heart of Cairo, Egypt's capital, Al-Azhar has been the greatest learning centre for Muslims since it was first built by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD. 

The Fatimids were of Shiah belief. They erected Al-Azhar as an institution to propagate the teachings of the Isma'iliya madhhab. When the Ayyubids took over Egypt, they turned Al-Azhar into a school that taught the Sunni understanding of Islam.

Rich in tradition and knowledge, Al-Azhar had produced brilliant ulama throughout history. Examples of Imam Suyuti, Imam Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani and Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami bejeweled its glorious past. Contemporary ulama produced by this university include Shaykh Ghazali and Shaykh Sha`rawi. With thousands of others, these giants of Islamic knowledge became the symbol of Al-Azhar supreme position among Muslims, something unrivalled thus far.

Today, Al-Azhar is not just a university, but an institution that vanguard the teachings of Sunni Islam, and an umbrella body to which thousands of ulama affiliate themselves with. The Head of Al-Azhar, called the Grand Imam (Imamul Akbar Shaykhul Azhar), was previously appointed by a committee of Azharian top scholars (shuyukh). But now it is under the appointment from the Egyptian President from the advice of the committee. Recently however, the Egyptian government is getting inclined to leave the matter of appointment purely in the hands of the Azharian ulama.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #208 on: September 18, 2008, 01:44:37 AM »

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sd&ID=SP127406

Special Dispatch Series - No. 1274
August 31, 2006   No. 1274

Saudi Historian: Muslim Student Organizations in U.K. are Rife With Extremism, Xenophobia, and Discrimination Against Women
On August 21, 2006, the online Saudi daily Al-Iqtisadiyya published an article by Saudi university lecturer Dr. Hatoon Ajwad Al-Fassi titled "The Extremism of the Muslims in the West and Our Responsibility." In it, she wondered how it could be that the Muslim students on U.K. university campuses conduct, along with the usual student activity, Islamic activity that is rife with racism, separatism, extremism, and discrimination against women.

The following are excerpts from the article: [1]

"Manchester... was Jam-Packed With Young British-Asian Muslims Who Realized That Education was the Way to Fight... Marginalization"

"... In my previous article, I wrote about the elements of the identity of the Muslim community [in the U.K.], that range from British racism and socio-politico-economic marginalization [of the Muslims], to the winds of [Muslim] extremism that have reached from the [Arab] deserts to the island [of Britain] and begun [to sweep over] the Muslim youth that is in constant search of its self.

"In the 1990s Manchester was - and still is - jam-packed with young British-Asian Muslims who realized that education was the way to fight this marginalization, and we began to see them in not insignificant numbers at Manchester's four universities. Furthermore, [the Muslims] maintained a strong presence [at these universities] by establishing Islamic associations under the [general] students' unions at each of the universities. This enabled them to hold many Islamic, humanitarian, and social activities, such as breaking the fast [i.e. banquets] for the fasting students, holiday celebrations, etc.

"[The participants in these activities included] many male and female students, who succeeded in attaining a high level of coordination among the Islamic associations at the universities... By means of democratic struggle, these associations managed to obtain a permanent place allocated to prayer at the university, which the male and female [Muslim] students took care to use constantly, not only for prayer but also for holding religious study groups and Koran study... Fridays presented a wonderful picture, as the Muslim students of this city answered the call [to prayer, and prayed] before they scattered to eat lunch at the kebab and shawarma restaurants in the area, or returned to the lecture halls and the library..."

"I Don't Remember a Single Week in Which I Didn't Sense Provocation Rising From the Friday Sermons"

"But perhaps here I need to fill in the picture with what was happening on the sidelines on Fridays, and especially in the sermons. I don't remember a single week in which I didn't sense provocation rising from the Friday sermons. There was usually a different preacher every week, in accordance with whoever was available.

"Rarely, one of the students would take it upon himself to deliver the sermon. But in most cases the person giving the sermon was someone considered to be capable and successful in public speaking. Because people like this are hard to find, we were witness to sermons that dripped with the smell of racism, separatism, extremism, and discrimination against women. Since most of the worshippers were young people with no religious experience, such as, for example, the [experience] provided by our [Saudi] environment, they accepted these statements submissively and thought that Islam advocates discrimination against women, against every Muslim who disagrees with us, or against 'the People of the Book' [i.e. Jews and Christians] among whom we live...

"Only rarely did the preacher address the women, whom he couldn't see during the worship; the sermon was meant only for the men. The situation reached the point where the preacher would [sometimes] deliver his sermon in Arabic, and say that every Muslim should know Arabic thoroughly, and if he did not, this would detract from his religion. This made the Western Muslims [feel] a permanent sense of inferiority to the Arabs, who present themselves as the only ones bearing [the message] of the true religion, while [in fact] they ignored the true call of Islam, to whom it was addressed [i.e. to all humanity], and who raised its banner. Many statements [in the sermons] were, in my opinion, loaded with racism and one-sidedness - and I try to clarify to women... that the preacher was expressing his personal opinion, and not the religion of Islam in all its wide scope."

Despite University Regulations Against Discrimination, "Women Heard [the Lectures] From Behind a Partition"

"Gradually, we found that the activity of the Islamic association was characterized by an extremist character, which is in fact contradictory to its status [as a student organization], as well as to the places where these activities were being held. For lectures to which speakers from outside Manchester were invited, two halls were allocated - one for women and one for men, such that the women heard [the lecture] from behind a partition, or through a microphone [i.e. speaker], because closed-circuit TV technology had not yet reached them. Or else you would find them allocating seats in the back for the women, as though we were worshipping at a mosque. Or, they were fearful of the presence of women, and didn't know what to do and how to act with the British women - who in no way accept the discriminatory positions against women that were taken at such events. And then, [because of our objections,] the event's organizers would retract their statements - thus entering into [a state of] internal contradiction.

"What was even stranger was that all these activities were carried out on the university campus, one of whose statutes forbids discrimination among students on the basis of gender, race, or religion, and where all these [male Muslim] students studied together with their Muslim sisters at lectures, morning and evening, as well as with the non-Muslim [female students]...

"On the sidelines of these meetings, one could find religious pamphlets with fatwas on issues of how to act towards a non-Muslim, towards a woman, and other matters of controversy in day-to-day life, translated into every language, and especially into English. These pamphlets bore the imprimatur of councils of the most prominent 'ulama in Islamic countries, which, as far as [these students] were concerned, constituted the source of authority on [proper] behavior and religious law."

Before These Youth Understood Islam’s Spirit, Morals, Tolerance, and Lofty Message… They Had Already [Absorbed] Hatred of Non-Muslims and... of Anything Coming From Western Civilization

"Before these young people have understood the morals of Islam, its tolerance, its spirit, and its lofty message that led people far and near to embrace it... they already diligently [absorbed] hatred of non-Muslims and hatred of anything coming from Western civilization - or even from [non-fundamentalist] Islamic civilization, and have already discussed controversial issues such as veils for women, music, and even photography, as part of the religious guidelines that they receive from the sheikhs who occasionally visit from [Saudi Arabia], Pakistan, and other countries, where they have this same dogmatic [system of] single-sex schools...

"I saw many young people, men and women, who are sick to death of the activities of their colleagues, which are contradictory to their European environment and even to their Pakistani or Indian environment. Some of them have begun to withdraw and to try to ignore anything having to do with Islam, while others find extremism to be [a tool] by means of which they can benefit from an authority that they do not have in their regular surroundings."

[1] http://www.aleqtisadiah.com/article.php?do=show&id=2979 , August 21, 2006.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #209 on: September 18, 2008, 01:51:00 AM »

FIGHTING WORDS
The Caged Virgin
Holland's shameful treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, May 8, 2006, at 3:44 PM ET

Three years ago, at a conference in Sweden, I was introduced to a Dutch member of parliament named Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Originally born in Somalia, she had been a refugee in several African countries and eventually a refugee from her own family, which had decided to "give" her in marriage to a distant male relative she had never met. Thinking to escape from such confines by moving to the Netherlands, she was appalled to find that radical Islam had followed her there—or in fact preceded her there—and was proselytizing among Turkish and Moroccan and Indonesian immigrants. In ancient towns like Rotterdam and Amsterdam, where once the refugees from Catholic France and inquisitional Spain had sought refuge, and where Baruch Spinoza had been excommunicated and anathematized for his opposition to Jewish fundamentalism, there were districts where Muslim women were subjected to genital mutilation and where the Dutch police were afraid to set foot.

Entering politics to try to alert the European left to this danger, she was first elected as a deputy for the Labor Party, but after 9/11 she changed her allegiance to the Liberals. This, she explained, was because many Labor spokesmen preferred to think of immigrants as possessing "group rights." They had become so infatuated by their own "multi-culti" style that they had ignored the rights of individuals—especially women and girls—who were imprisoned within their own ghetto. (That, by the way, was precisely Spinoza's problem as well. The Dutch rabbis cursed him and condemned him in their own sectarian "court," of which the Christian authorities approved because it took care of dangerous secularism among Jews.)

At the Swedish event, Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke calmly and rationally about the problem. I never know whether or not it's right to mention, with female public figures, the fact of arresting and hypnotizing beauty, but I notice that I seem to have done so. Shall I just say that she was a charismatic figure in Dutch politics, mainly because of the calm and reason to which I just alluded? She was the ideal choice of collaborator for the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (a distant descendant of the anguished painter) on Submission, a film about the ignored problem of enslaved and oppressed women in Holland. Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote the screenplay and provided the movie's voice-over.

You probably remember what happened next: Van Gogh was bicycling to work one morning in 2004 in the capital city of one of Europe's most peaceful and civilized countries when he was shot down in the street and then mutilated in a ritual fashion by an Islamist fanatic. The murderer (who had expected to become a martyr but who was only wounded in the leg by the gentle Dutch cops) left a long "martyr's letter" pinned to van Gogh's corpse by an equally long knife. In it, he warned Ayaan Hirsi Ali that she was the next target, and he gave a long and detailed account of all the offenses that would condemn her to an eternity in hell. (I noticed, reading this appalling screed when it was first published, that he obsessively referred to her as "Mrs. Hirshi Ali," as if trying to make her sound like a Jew. Other references to Jews in the text were even less tasteful.)

She has had to live under police protection ever since, and when I saw her again last week in Washington, I had to notice that there were several lofty and burly Dutchmen acting in an unaffected but determined way somewhere off to the side. I would urge you all to go out and buy her new book, The Caged Virgin, which is subtitled An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam. The three themes of the story are: first, her own gradual emancipation from tribalism and superstition; second, her work as a parliamentarian to call attention to the crimes being committed every day by Islamist thugs in mainland Europe; and third, the dismal silence, or worse, from many feminists and multiculturalists about this state of affairs.

Before being elected to parliament, she worked as a translator and social worker among immigrant women who are treated as sexual chattel—or as the object of "honor killings"—by their menfolk, and she has case histories that will freeze your blood. These, however, are in some ways less depressing than the excuses made by qualified liberals for their continuation. At all costs, it seems, others must be allowed "their culture" and—what is more—must be allowed the freedom not to be offended by the smallest criticism of it. If they do feel offended, their very first resort is to violence and intimidation, sometimes with the support of the embassies of foreign states. (How interesting it is that the two European states most recently attacked in this way—Holland and Denmark—should be the ones that have made the greatest effort to be welcoming to immigrants.) Considering that this book is written by a woman who was circumcised against her will at a young age and then very nearly handed over as a bargain with a stranger, it is written with quite astonishing humor and restraint.

But here is the grave and sad news. After being forced into hiding by fascist killers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali found that the Dutch government and people were slightly embarrassed to have such a prominent "Third World" spokeswoman in their midst. She was first kept as a virtual prisoner, which made it almost impossible for her to do her job as an elected representative. When she complained in the press, she was eventually found an apartment in a protected building. Then the other residents of the block filed suit and complained that her presence exposed them to risk. In spite of testimony from the Dutch police, who assured the court that the building was now one of the safest in all Holland, a court has upheld the demand from her neighbors and fellow citizens that she be evicted from her home. In these circumstances, she is considering resigning from parliament and perhaps leaving her adopted country altogether. This is not the only example that I know of a supposedly liberal society collaborating in its own destruction, but I hope at least that it will shame us all into making The Caged Virgin a best seller.


Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair.
Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2141276/
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #210 on: September 18, 2008, 01:56:20 AM »


Hirsi Ali: shut anti-woman, anti-gay Dutch mosque

22 April 2004

http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=19&story_id=6851

AMSTERDAM — Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali demanded on Thursday the closure of an Amsterdam mosque that sells books supporting female circumcision, beating wives and the murder of gay people.

The Dutch Parliament is to hold an emergency debate about the El Tawheed mosque next week. MPs want Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk to explain what they intend to do about the book "De weg van de moslim".

The publication — translated as The Way of the Muslim in English — is said to advocate violence against women and killing gay people

Gay people should be thrown head first off high buildings. If not killed on hitting the ground, they should then be stoned to death, the book allegedly suggests.

In her column in newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, Hirsi Ali — who was raised as a Muslim — went one step further and called on the government to close the mosque. The MP has been a strident opponent of Islamic teachings on women and gay people.

The Liberal VVD party MP said it was time for the Justice Ministry to indicate whether it intended to go to court to have the mosque banned.

Hirsi Ali said the latest revelations about the book advocating beating women and killing gay people was the last straw. Closure of the mosque was a question of "political will", she wrote.

"This mosque has been warned repeatedly by the authorities that intolerance against non-Muslims and undermining the law is unacceptable in the Netherlands," Hirsi Ali said.

"The Way of the Muslim" is one of the publications on sale at the El Tawheed mosque. Earlier this month the mosque was at the centre of a storm about another book available at its open day organised to help combat the mosque's negative public image.

That book "Fatwas of Muslim Women" says that women who lie deserve 100 blows and the husband's duty of care for his wife is negated if she refuses him sex or leaves the home without his permission. One of its most controversial aspects is the call for Muslim girls to be circumcised.

A fatwa is an official statement or order from an Islamic religious leader.

MPs in the Dutch Parliament have indicated they want the second book, "The Way of the Muslim", banned if it supports violence towards women and killing gay people.

VVD parliamentarian Geert Wilders has called for the emergency debate next week.

Another MP, Mirjam Sterk of the Christian Democrat CDA, said imams (Islamic religious leaders) must distance themselves from the book's content. If not, the imams must be prosecuted or deported.

An Islamic cleric was deported from France to his native Algeria on Wednesday after he caused uproar by his endorsement of wife-beating and polygamy.

Clerics at El Tawheed feel they have been unfairly singled out in the media as part of a wider campaign against Islamic institutions in Europe.

MPs and media commentators attacked the Amsterdam mosque previously when one of the imams referred to non-Muslims as "firewood for hell". He also forbade Islamic women from leaving the family home without the permission of their husbands.

RTL Television reported on Thursday a cameraman was assaulted when a news team attempted to buy "The Way of the Muslim" at the mosque.

Eventually RTL's female reporter managed to buy the book, albeit while accompanied by police protection.
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #211 on: September 18, 2008, 09:27:15 AM »

JDN,

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?

Gosh, did I miss a day of geography class?  To be fair, it's been a while.  But, I mean, isn't Al=Azhar University still in Africa?Huh?  Or did it move and I missed it?
Wasn't I (I'm sorry I mean WHO and UNICEF) clear enough in my post above that this is an "African problem", a terrible problem, but it is not necessarily an Islamic problem and rarely does it appear
among practicing Muslims in the Middle East or Europe or the US?  To answer your question, No, I don't plan on going to Al-Azhar in Africa, or Ethiopia, or Somalia, or Yemen,
or ...... or any other place in Africa and lecture on female genital mutilation.

**A perfect example of your utter ignorance on this topic.**

http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/mashaykh_azhar.htm

Al-Azhar is the world's oldest university, older than Cambridge or Oxford. Situated at the heart of Cairo, Egypt's capital, Al-Azhar has been the greatest learning centre for Muslims since it was first built by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD. 

The Fatimids were of Shiah belief. They erected Al-Azhar as an institution to propagate the teachings of the Isma'iliya madhhab. When the Ayyubids took over Egypt, they turned Al-Azhar into a school that taught the Sunni understanding of Islam.

Rich in tradition and knowledge, Al-Azhar had produced brilliant ulama throughout history. Examples of Imam Suyuti, Imam Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani and Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami bejeweled its glorious past. Contemporary ulama produced by this university include Shaykh Ghazali and Shaykh Sha`rawi. With thousands of others, these giants of Islamic knowledge became the symbol of Al-Azhar supreme position among Muslims, something unrivalled thus far.

Today, Al-Azhar is not just a university, but an institution that vanguard the teachings of Sunni Islam, and an umbrella body to which thousands of ulama affiliate themselves with. The Head of Al-Azhar, called the Grand Imam (Imamul Akbar Shaykhul Azhar), was previously appointed by a committee of Azharian top scholars (shuyukh). But now it is under the appointment from the Egyptian President from the advice of the committee. Recently however, the Egyptian government is getting inclined to leave the matter of appointment purely in the hands of the Azharian ulama.


Ahhhh GM I never said Al-Azhar university isn't a fine university or isn't "rich in tradition and knowledge"; I (a study by WHO and UNICEF - read unbiased source) simply stated that FMG is an AFRICAN PROBLEM ergo Al-Azhar being in Africa represents an African take on the problem.  IF Al-Azhar was in in the Sudan or Ethiopia or Somolia it would be the same; they are all in Africa; got it?  FMG according to unbiased references (often you seem to have a hard time finding these) is a result of poverty and ignorance; yes Islam in Africa supports FMG as does a dozen or more other religions in Africa. And elsewhere, people talk of it, a few people are proponents of it, but not a significant number and even then in nearly every case they are from Africa. That one or a very few Islamic individuals promote it does not make a majority of Muslims supporting it. Most Muslims abhor it and do not practice FMG.  Again, my point, the vast majority of Muslims are good people as are most Buddhists, Christians and Jews, and most....  but all religions have extremists and they are dangerous.  But to bash all Muslims seems wrong to me.

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #212 on: September 18, 2008, 01:01:49 PM »

JDN,

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?

Gosh, did I miss a day of geography class?  To be fair, it's been a while.  But, I mean, isn't Al=Azhar University still in Africa?Huh?  Or did it move and I missed it?

**I guess I need to help you out in reading the important parts of what I post.

"Today, Al-Azhar is not just a university, but an institution that vanguard the teachings of Sunni Islam, and an umbrella body to which thousands of ulama affiliate themselves with. "

Al Azhar is the most important theological institution in the world for sunnis. You not knowing this is like not knowing that Vatican City has a global impact on catholic theology and trying to assert that theology being formulated in the Vatican applies only to southern europe. There is no hierarchy in islam like the pope and college of cardinals, but you are very mistaken in trying to assert that what theologians in Al Azhar say doesn't sway sunnis around the planet. My state has a law specifically banning female genital mutilation. Can you guess why? Last time I checked my map I live a long distance from North Africa.**


Wasn't I (I'm sorry I mean WHO and UNICEF) clear enough in my post above that this is an "African problem", a terrible problem, but it is not necessarily an Islamic problem and rarely does it appear
among practicing Muslims in the Middle East or Europe or the US? 

**The UN and it's WHO UNICEF are hardly fair and impartial. Would you like me to deconstruct this assertion? What is "rare" when it comes to female genital mutilation outside of africa?

"That book "Fatwas of Muslim Women" says that women who lie deserve 100 blows and the husband's duty of care for his wife is negated if she refuses him sex or leaves the home without his permission. One of its most controversial aspects is the call for Muslim girls to be circumcised."

Why would this book be sold by a mosque in the Netherlands if FGM is just "an african problem" and has nothing to do with islamic theology?**


 To answer your question, No, I don't plan on going to Al-Azhar in Africa, or Ethiopia, or Somalia, or Yemen,
or ...... or any other place in Africa and lecture on female genital mutilation.

**A perfect example of your utter ignorance on this topic.**

http://www.sunnah.org/history/Scholars/mashaykh_azhar.htm

Al-Azhar is the world's oldest university, older than Cambridge or Oxford. Situated at the heart of Cairo, Egypt's capital, Al-Azhar has been the greatest learning centre for Muslims since it was first built by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD. 

The Fatimids were of Shiah belief. They erected Al-Azhar as an institution to propagate the teachings of the Isma'iliya madhhab. When the Ayyubids took over Egypt, they turned Al-Azhar into a school that taught the Sunni understanding of Islam.

Rich in tradition and knowledge, Al-Azhar had produced brilliant ulama throughout history. Examples of Imam Suyuti, Imam Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani and Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami bejeweled its glorious past. Contemporary ulama produced by this university include Shaykh Ghazali and Shaykh Sha`rawi. With thousands of others, these giants of Islamic knowledge became the symbol of Al-Azhar supreme position among Muslims, something unrivalled thus far.

Today, Al-Azhar is not just a university, but an institution that vanguard the teachings of Sunni Islam, and an umbrella body to which thousands of ulama affiliate themselves with. The Head of Al-Azhar, called the Grand Imam (Imamul Akbar Shaykhul Azhar), was previously appointed by a committee of Azharian top scholars (shuyukh). But now it is under the appointment from the Egyptian President from the advice of the committee. Recently however, the Egyptian government is getting inclined to leave the matter of appointment purely in the hands of the Azharian ulama.


Ahhhh GM I never said Al-Azhar university isn't a fine university or isn't "rich in tradition and knowledge"; I (a study by WHO and UNICEF - read unbiased source) simply stated that FMG is an AFRICAN PROBLEM ergo Al-Azhar being in Africa represents an African take on the problem.  IF Al-Azhar was in in the Sudan or Ethiopia or Somolia it would be the same; they are all in Africa; got it?  FMG according to unbiased references (often you seem to have a hard time finding these) is a result of poverty and ignorance; yes Islam in Africa supports FMG as does a dozen or more other religions in Africa. And elsewhere, people talk of it, a few people are proponents of it, but not a significant number and even then in nearly every case they are from Africa. That one or a very few Islamic individuals promote it does not make a majority of Muslims supporting it. Most Muslims abhor it and do not practice FMG.  Again, my point, the vast majority of Muslims are good people as are most Buddhists, Christians and Jews, and most....  but all religions have extremists and they are dangerous.  But to bash all Muslims seems wrong to me.


Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #213 on: September 18, 2008, 02:03:38 PM »

http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2008/01/22/clarification-of-islamic-law-support-for-female-genital-mutilation-by-dr-mark-durie/

Clarification of Islamic Law Support for Female Genital Mutilation, by Dr. Mark Durie
January 22nd, 2008 by Andrew Bostom |



Indonesian toddler following her ritual FGM

Dr. Mark Durie is the author, most recently of Revelation? Do We Worship the Same God?—Jesus, Holy, Spirit, God in Christianity and Islam, 2006. His cogent analysis, “Isa, the Muslim Jesus,” is available online, here. 

Dr. Durie has also studied the Acehnese (i.e., from Aceh, Indonesia), and published many articles, and books (here, here, and here, for example) on their language and culture. 

Dr. Dure writes—

In Februrary 2007 Dr Muhammad al-Mussayar of Al-Azhar University, referring to reliable hadiths from Muslim and al-Bukhari, stated: 

“All jurisprudents, since the advent of Islam and for 14 centuries or more, are in consensus that female circumcision is permitted in Islam.  But they were divided as to its status in the sharia.  Some said that female circumcision is required by the sharia, just like male circumcision.  Some said this is a mainstream practice, while others said that it is a noble act.”

Of the four Sunni schools of sharia, it is the Shafi’is who have said that circumcision of girls is compulsory. The Reliance of the Traveller, a respected manual of Shafi’i jurisprudence, states  “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris” (section e4.3).  [The English translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (certified by Al-Azhar University) disguises the true meaning of the Arabic text by offering the following bogus English ‘translation’: “For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert).” ]

As Indonesia is a country in which Shafi’i Islam predominates, it is hardly surprising that female circumcision is commonly practiced among Indonesian Muslims, from Java to Aceh. There is a close correlation between Shafi’i Islam and the frequency of FGM.  Regions where the Shafi’i school predominates are also the places where FGM is more frequent.  These include Egypt, southern Arabia, Bahrain, Kurdistan, Somalia, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. The oft-recited claim that FGM is not a religious practice is proved false, not only because it is more frequently found in Shafi’i areas, but also because it was introduced, along with Shafi’i Islam, into Southeast Asia, a part of the world where it had previously been unknown.

It is only the teachings of the sharia  which account for this practice being followed in Bandung Java today, and specifically the doctrinal formulations of the Shafi’i school of sharia.  Imam Shafi’i may be long-dead, but he has a lot to answer for to the Muslim women of the world.
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #214 on: September 18, 2008, 02:20:04 PM »

A while ago I posted to the effect, "... Muslims getting blamed for everything."  Perhaps it's not true, yet if I read this forum, especially GM's posts, it seems all the evils of the world are caused by and propagated by Muslims.  Otherwise, America is perfect; Europe is perfect, Israel is innocent, etc.  yet it is simply not true.  There is plenty of blame to pass around if one just looks for it.  And many of the problems are multidimensional; it is not black and white.

I worked out at my gym with my attorney friend yesterday (Cambridge - Law; not as old as Al-Azhar or equal to Columbia  smiley  but not shabby either).  He is from England (Wales). His comment was that yes, the Muslims are a problem, not necessarily for religious reasons, but rather poverty and ignorance.  He lived through the Irish times; they were much much worse he said, although not that much different.  Today, Ireland is doing great.  He went on further to say that the Muslims, "are really not a big deal", they "just get bad press".  As for arbitration, he said that arbitration has existed for many years and often religious leaders from all denominations will intercede. 

After we finished our beer, he left, but I had scotch  smiley in the Library and picked up this month's Foreign Affairs Magazine (I should be grateful to this forum; a few months ago I might have picked up a wine or cigar magazine while I drank).   grin

Now as I read this forum, especially GM's posts, Muslims, the Palestinians, seem to always be the "bad guy"; I rarely if ever (did I miss a post?) see a positive article by GM on Muslims or Palestinians.   Yet, as I read the article/review by Shlomo Ben Ami, the former Israel Foreign Minister I realized that two sides do exist.  I love his line, "The ability to engage in a sober inquiry, into the past (or present) is an essential test of free democracies."

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080901fareviewessay87511/shlomo-ben-ami/a-war-to-start-all-wars.html

Now, I am sure he is a good Jew and that he truly loves Israel, but the article goes on to honestly talk of the atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers.  And how "Zionists deliberately killed far more civilians and prisoners of war and committed more acts of rape" than the Palestinians ever did.  In a similar manner, instances exist where America has done wrong, Europe, and other allies of ours have done wrong.

My point is that all sides often contribute bad and nearly all sides can and do contribute good.  A balanced approach or at least one that is not so biased might be better?  I think a "sober inquiry" means an open mind; one that is not blinded by racial or ethnic prejudices.  Lately, this forum, led by GM seems to be a "dump on Muslim" forum.  I think there are good Muslims, frankly I think most Muslims are good, just as I like to think most Christians, Jews, Buddhists are good.  And, there are a few bad apples.  I am not defending the "bad apples".  Those of ANY religion that publicly promote FMG, violence, killing of gays, etc. should be stopped, arrested, incarcerated and frankly, if they don't stop I don't care what you do to them.  But don't only blame the Muslims; there are many other participants and religions to share the blame.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #215 on: September 18, 2008, 03:33:22 PM »

A while ago I posted to the effect, "... Muslims getting blamed for everything."  Perhaps it's not true, yet if I read this forum, especially GM's posts, it seems all the evils of the world are caused by and propagated by Muslims.  Otherwise, America is perfect; Europe is perfect, Israel is innocent, etc.  yet it is simply not true. 

**Lacking any valid point, all you can do is offer this pathetic straw man argument? Where have I ever said that all the world's evils are caused by muslims, or asserted that the US, Israel or europe is perfect? Answer: I haven't.**


 There is plenty of blame to pass around if one just looks for it.  And many of the problems are multidimensional; it is not black and white.

**This is why some people actually bother to read up on and study issues rather than endlessly parrot the same mindless talking points. Yes, not every muslim is a jihadist, but EVERY jihadist is a muslim, and is motivated by core elements of islamic theology. I actually read up on a topic before rendering an opinion, you might give it a try sometime. I've made an in depth study of islam and islamic theology a major aspect of my life since 9/11 and have spent endless hours reading about the theological roots of violent jihad. I don't love wading through fatwas and the writings of Ibn Taymiyya and Sayid Qutb, I do it to understand what we face today with a complex understanding of the multidimensional nature of this problem.**

I worked out at my gym with my attorney friend yesterday (Cambridge - Law; not as old as Al-Azhar or equal to Columbia  smiley  but not shabby either).  He is from England (Wales). His comment was that yes, the Muslims are a problem, not necessarily for religious reasons, but rather poverty and ignorance.  He lived through the Irish times; they were much much worse he said, although not that much different.  Today, Ireland is doing great.  He went on further to say that the Muslims, "are really not a big deal", they "just get bad press".  As for arbitration, he said that arbitration has existed for many years and often religious leaders from all denominations will intercede. 

After we finished our beer, he left, but I had scotch  smiley in the Library and picked up this month's Foreign Affairs Magazine (I should be grateful to this forum; a few months ago I might have picked up a wine or cigar magazine while I drank).   grin

**I don't doubt that your are much more qualified to render an opinion on cigars or wine than I am. I'll defer to you on these topics.**

Now as I read this forum, especially GM's posts, Muslims, the Palestinians, seem to always be the "bad guy"; I rarely if ever (did I miss a post?) see a positive article by GM on Muslims or Palestinians.   

**Ok, let's post in the Israel thread. I'll post all the scientific advances, books published, nobel prizes and contributions to medical science that have come from Israel. You can do the same for that "Palestinians". Want to wager as to who will have the longer list?**

Yet, as I read the article/review by Shlomo Ben Ami, the former Israel Foreign Minister I realized that two sides do exist.  I love his line, "The ability to engage in a sober inquiry, into the past (or present) is an essential test of free democracies."

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20080901fareviewessay87511/shlomo-ben-ami/a-war-to-start-all-wars.html

Now, I am sure he is a good Jew and that he truly loves Israel, but the article goes on to honestly talk of the atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers.  And how "Zionists deliberately killed far more civilians and prisoners of war and committed more acts of rape" than the Palestinians ever did.  In a similar manner, instances exist where America has done wrong, Europe, and other allies of ours have done wrong.

My point is that all sides often contribute bad and nearly all sides can and do contribute good.  A balanced approach or at least one that is not so biased might be better?  I think a "sober inquiry" means an open mind; one that is not blinded by racial or ethnic prejudices.  Lately, this forum, led by GM seems to be a "dump on Muslim" forum. 

**A rational examination of the global jihad and the theological roots behind it isn't just "dumping on muslims". Again, Islam isn't a race or ethnicity and more than Roman Catholics are a race or ethnicity. Just as there are blue eyed, blond catholics, there are blue eyed, blond muslims. The majority of the planet's muslims live in asia, not the middle east. There isn't a muslim "race" or ethnicity.**

I think there are good Muslims, frankly I think most Muslims are good, just as I like to think most Christians, Jews, Buddhists are good.  And, there are a few bad apples.  I am not defending the "bad apples".  Those of ANY religion that publicly promote FMG, violence, killing of gays, etc. should be stopped, arrested, incarcerated and frankly, if they don't stop I don't care what you do to them.  But don't only blame the Muslims; there are many other participants and religions to share the blame.


http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html

Christianity: 2.1 billion

Islam: 1.5 billion

According to the website below, the global jihad's deadly attacks since 9/11/2001 is 11490 as of 7/21/2008.

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/

Can you provide stats for attacks by "christianists" worldwide? So then the question would be, if islamic terrorism is from a "tiny minority of extremists" from out of the larger muslim population, and the number of christians is larger than the number of muslims, then why the "extremist gap"? Please explain.**

Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #216 on: September 18, 2008, 03:42:58 PM »


**Ok, let's post in the Israel thread. I'll post all the scientific advances, books published, nobel prizes and contributions to medical science that have come from Israel. You can do the same for that "Palestinians". Want to wager as to who will have the longer list?**


Ahhh GM no doubt you will have the LONGER list; but long isn't everything...   grin

Maybe you should have a good glass of wine and a cigar; it might be good for you   evil
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #217 on: September 18, 2008, 03:48:50 PM »

The last time I drank wine, it was red and came out of a box. I couldn't tell the difference between a cuban cigar and a Philly blunt without looking at the label. I'm a blue collar guy, what can I say?
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #218 on: September 18, 2008, 04:02:23 PM »

http://www.ajcongress.org/site/DocServer/congressmonthly_energy_new_.pdf?docID=1441

Q: When we reach our goal of independency from oil-soaked nations that use their oil for terror, then what do you see becoming of them if they no longer have wealth? Will they be forced to educate themselves and develop with the West? Will poverty force them, as in Afghanistan, to turn to drug trafficking? The populations are generally poor or nowhere near the level they should be with such oil wealth, except for the Emirates. Basically, what is their future?

A:They will have to get work. Twenty-one Arab nations, plus Iran, have about the same population as the United States and Canada. Other than fossil fuels—mainly oil, of course—they export to the world less than Finland, a country of only 5 million people. If the world moves away from oil, these countries will have to learn from countries like Finland that have no oil but that produce decent lives for their people by educating their women, teaching engineering, math, and science in their schools and colleges—not just the rote memorization of religious texts—and otherwise move out of the 7th century. Indeed there is a fine role model quite near them, a nation that operates in this fashion, practices freedom of speech, press, and religion, and has a GDP per capita of over $18,000 per year (as contrasted to Saudi Arabia's of some$13,000 per year). This country—Israel—has virtually no natural resources except for farmland it has reclaimed from the desert. Tours should perhaps be organized for those who want to learn how to start with little more than sand and resolve, and from those create a prosperous democracy in the Middle East.

R. JAMES WOOLSEY served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1993-95. During a long career in government service, he served both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Logged
tankerdriver
Guest
« Reply #219 on: September 18, 2008, 10:42:20 PM »

I totally agree with G M.  These muslims want to have their cake and eat it to. When they go to another country they want special treatment, but have no tolerance for others outside islam. If I were to go to a muslim country I would be forced to live by their rules and laws. Look at our soldiers in Iraq, they have to abide by certain rules and regs so they won't unecessarily offend the locals and their muslim practices. On the other hand muslims come over here and they want foot baths in public restrooms special prayer rooms, they talk trash about our religions, but if anyone says anything bad about the Koran they get their panty's in a bunch and go for the first lawyer within earshot. Many western scholars have read and interpreted the Koran. The cats out of the bag. They can't sit there and tell us they want peace! We know what they want, so come and try to get it. Any Red Blooded American already knows what they need to do, and thats is to fight tooth and nail for our Great Country. The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANET!!!!!!!!
Logged
tankerdriver
Guest
« Reply #220 on: September 18, 2008, 10:46:52 PM »

Yes sir, we are just laymen, speaking in laymens terms!!!!!
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31504


« Reply #221 on: September 18, 2008, 11:02:51 PM »

JDN:  A while ago I posted to the effect, "... Muslims getting blamed for everything."  Perhaps it's not true, yet if I read this forum, especially GM's posts, it seems all the evils of the world are caused by and propagated by Muslims.  Otherwise, America is perfect; Europe is perfect, Israel is innocent, etc.  yet it is simply not true.

GM: **, , ,Where have I ever said that all the world's evils are caused by muslims, or asserted that the US, Israel or europe is perfect? Answer: I haven't.**

Me:  JDN, I think you may be confusing having a fundamental problem with certain aspects of the Muslim religion and blaming them for everything.  Anyway, I agree with GM that he has not made the blanket assertions that you assert that he has.  IMHO he may make his points with little concern for the ego of the other  cheesy but I find that he HAS done quite a bit of reading and thinking on these subjects.  I for one am impressed with his ability to come up with pertinent pieces that support his point on a tremendous variety of aspects of the larger question. What do you think?   Agree with him or not, the invitation to you is to answer with similar specificity (or acknowledge when you can't) as well as broad statements.

Speaking for myself, I think in this moment we wrestle with the key difficulty for the west.  Let the conversation continue!

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #222 on: September 30, 2008, 05:41:48 PM »

- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Who’s Sleeping More Deeply — Europe or America?
September 30, 2008 - by Bruce Bawer

In my 2006 book [1] While Europe Slept, I expressed concern about the will of Europeans to defend their freedoms in the face of the continent’s Islamization. I contrasted them in this regard with Americans, for whom, I argued, freedom is a living reality for which they are willing to fight and to sacrifice.

My book came out in the midst of the Danish cartoon crisis. And during that crisis I saw things in Europe that — quite frankly — surprised and impressed me. I saw the editors of a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, stand up for freedom of expression in the face of worldwide rioting, vandalism, and murder by Muslims and contempt on the part of foolish Westerners. I saw a Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in defiance of the UN, the EU, and most of the “international community,” stand by that newspaper and refuse to meet with Muslim ambassadors who were out to intimidate his country and to force Sharia-like restrictions on Western liberties. I saw the people of Denmark, in overwhelming numbers, stand behind their prime minister in his refusal to yield to jihad. And I saw major newspapers across Europe reprinting the Jyllands-Posten cartoons in acts of free-speech solidarity.

I don’t mean to paint too rosy a picture. The Danish response wasn’t perfect. Not a single newspaper in Britain reprinted the cartoons. And both the Swedish and Norwegian governments provided textbook cases of cowering dhimmitude. But none of that was really a surprise. What did surprise, and disappoint, me was the American political and media establishment. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush condemned the Jyllands-Posten cartoons out of hand. The State Department denounced them too, and only reversed itself after getting an earful from the Danish government, one of its few allies in Iraq. In the entire United States of America, exactly one major newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, reprinted the cartoons. And while the major broadcast networks, as well as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, reported extensively on the cartoon riots, none of them ever showed the cartoons at all.

A big part of the reason for this dismaying American response to the cartoon affair is, of course, that Islamization hasn’t progressed as far in America as in Europe, and there’s consequently an incredible level of ignorance in America both about what’s really going on in Europe and about the very nature of Islam. In the current presidential campaign, only a small portion of the electorate seems to think that the war with jihadist Islam is a major issue. The one candidate who understood best what we’re up against, and who took it most seriously, Rudy Giuliani, was ridiculed across the political spectrum for being obsessed with 9/11 — as if the events of that day had been some kind of fluke or accident that has virtually no meaning for us today.

In depressing numbers, in short, Americans seem not to grasp the lessons of 9/11 — which should hardly be a surprise, considering how many journalists and politicians keep repeating that the terrorists are betraying a great and peaceful religion, that jihad means doing good works, and so on. A while back, in response to rumors that Barack Obama is a closet Muslim, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof argued that it would be a matter of [2] utter indifference if the president of the United States were a Muslim. Of the hundreds of people who commented on this article on the Times website, the overwhelming majority applauded Kristof for his extraordinary courage in standing up to Islamophobia. Only a tiny handful of readers noted that there are, in fact, good reasons for free people to be concerned about the possibility of a U.S. president with a devout commitment to Islamic theology and law. The American media that do report honestly on the less attractive truths about Islam, moreover, tend to be media that people are encouraged to look down upon.

Make no mistake: if Europeans are, on average, more aware than Americans of the realities of Islam, it’s no thanks to their media but rather because they can see with their own eyes what’s going on around them. Yet many of them feel cowed — not only by Muslims but by politically correct politicians and media — into keeping their opinions to themselves, and feel powerless to prevent what now seems to many of them, in any event, inevitable. In other words, fatalism has taken hold.

In While Europe Slept I also contrasted European and American approaches to immigration. Ever since the Muslim influx began some decades ago, European countries have encouraged the newcomers to retain their cultural identity, to live apart from mainstream society, and to become clients of the welfare state. America, by contrast, has traditionally expected immigrants to learn English, to get a job, and to obey the law, and if they do so they’re every bit as American as anyone else. I didn’t argue in While Europe Slept that America was invulnerable to Islamization, but I did suggest that — thanks to this very dramatic difference both in the general public’s attitudes toward immigrants and in government immigration policy — America stood a far better chance than Europe did of seeing Muslim newcomers turn into loyal citizens rather than enemies within. I think I had a valid point there, though if I were writing the book today I’d probably be somewhat less sanguine about America’s ability to integrate absolutely everyone into its melting pot. I might also be less sanguine, I’m afraid, about the endurance of Americans’ love of freedom in an age of poisonous multicultural relativism.

I do feel, however, that there’s one very important difference between America and Europe when it comes to resisting cultural jihad, and that is this: that in America, a large proportion of the people who recognize the threat of Islam and who are determined to resist it are consciously fighting for freedom — for, that is, the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. In many parts of Western Europe, this kind of certainty and unanimity about freedom — simple freedom — as a first principle can be discouragingly hard to come by. The blogger Frank Martin has written about a teenage tour guide at a World War II battlefield in the Netherlands who told him that the Allied soldiers who fell there had been “fighting for bridges, how silly that they would all fight for something like that.” Somebody like that boy, who didn’t grasp that those soldiers had died for the very freedom that he had taken for granted his whole life, is incapable of standing up for freedom against Islamofascism. Yes, there are Europeans who realize that the opposite of Islam is indeed human freedom. But in Europe, with its checkered history of fascism and socialism, there are also all too many people on the right who are mounting the barricades in the name not of freedom but of ethnic identity, cultural tradition, or religion, and all too many on the left whose cri de coeur is not individual liberty but the welfare state.

Meanwhile Europe’s cultural elites are dominated by people who seem likely to continue to smile upon Islamization right up till the moment they’re stoned to death. At a recent Norwegian conference on integration, the Swedish government representative was asked: “Is Swedish culture worth preserving?” “Well,” she replied dismissively, “what is Swedish culture?” To people like that, European culture is a void waiting to be filled with something, and that something might as well be Islam. Granted, things aren’t quite that bad in the U.S. — not even at the New York Times. Yet to an extraordinary extent, the political and cultural elites on both sides of the Atlantic are in sync in their denial of the reality we’re up against.

This was driven home to me a few months ago when I took part in a day-long conference in Washington, D.C., about the America/Europe relationship. Nearly all the participants and audience members, I gathered, were Americans or Europeans who worked in the diplomatic corps. The day was crammed with panel discussions, and from early morning until late in the afternoon we talked about nothing but America and Europe. Yet aside from me, only one other person even mentioned Islam. And he did so in the most indirect way, as if he were bringing up something indelicate. Everybody present seemed to share an unspoken understanding that this subject was off limits. Indeed, pretty much everybody seemed to agree that Europe is doing great — that it’s moving from strength to strength — and that America should be more like it in every way.

How I even got invited to such a conference I have no idea. In any case, everything I said was dismissed out of hand. One genial fellow who seemed desperate to correct my folly and bring me into the tent came up to me after my talk and said, almost pleadingly, “But don’t you think that the real problem is not Islam but Islamophobia?” And on the panel that followed my talk, a retired diplomat with decades of experience (and a masterly command of the art of condescension) mentioned in a tone of both wonder and whimsy that I wasn’t alone in my peculiar affliction; even Walter Laqueur — the distinguished octogenarian historian of Europe whom the retired diplomat, as his tone made clear, had once, but no longer, held in high esteem — had written a book making the same bizarre arguments I was making! But neither this retired diplomat nor anyone else was willing to entertain the possibility that if both Laqueur and I, and many others, had made certain arguments, there might actually be something in them; no, it was as if, in their eyes, we had all simply been bitten by some exotic bug or contracted some mysterious new infection or had giant alien pods placed under our beds while we were sleeping.

Among those who are considered experts on Europe, or on transatlantic relations, that patrician diplomat’s attitude is ubiquitous. Tony Judt, in [3] Postwar, his acclaimed 2005 book on Europe since 1945, pronounced the continent in magnificent health and all but ignored Islam. Timothy Garton Ash, in his 2004 book [4] Free World, did the same, only pausing briefly on pages 197 and 198 to admit parenthetically that addressing Europe’s Islamization is “the single most urgent task of European domestic politics in the next decade” — after which he amazingly returned to pretending, as he had on the preceding 196 pages, that Europe’s most urgent tasks lie elsewhere. Meanwhile one book after another on the America-Europe relationship has contended that it’s America that’s the problem — that America is out of step with the world and needs to get back into line, pronto. In the title of Clyde Prestowitz’s 2005 book, America is a “[5] rogue nation” because it refuses to go along and get along with the rest of the planet under the wise auspices of the UN. I don’t know exactly how to characterize or understand this mass self-deception, this determination to cling to an illusion of the West in which the ongoing Islamization of Europe simply is not a factor; it would appear to be rooted partly in confusion, partly in cowardice, partly in careerism — and partly, I think, in a perhaps not entirely conscious conviction that some truths are just too sensational to speak without sounding hysterical, too repulsive to be honest about without sounding (to some ears) vulgar and bigoted, and too challenging to face without being utterly overwhelmed by the scale and the horror of it all.

What happens to the West will depend, in large part, on what happens to this pervasive self-denial and to those men and women of power and influence who cling to it as if to a life raft in a raging sea. Will Europeans who have faced the facts manage to gain power and turn things around before Europe passes the point of no return in its gradual surrender to Sharia? Will the European elites collaborate to realize Nicolas Sarkozy’s dark dream of a Mediterranean Union and develop it in the same ominous way in which the EU itself was developed, steadily compromising individual freedom and representative democracy — and leaving America increasingly out in the cold? Or will the next president of the U.S. be someone who is every bit as eager to appease Islam as the archbishop of Canterbury, resulting in a strong transatlantic alliance devoted not to the joint preservation of freedom but to the joint pursuit of dhimmitude? I’m sorry to say that a year or so ago, when it looked as if the major-party presidential candidates would be Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton — the former of whom obviously gets it, and the latter of whom, I suspect, does so as well — I was considerably more hopeful on this score than I am now.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/who%e2%80%99s-sleeping-more-deeply-%e2%80%94-europe-or-america/

URLs in this post:
[1] While Europe Slept: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FWhile-Euro
pe-Slept-Radical-Destroying%2Fdp%2F0385514727&tag=pajamasmedia-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789
&creative=9325

[2] utter indifference: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/09/opinion/09kristof.html?ex=1362718800&en=90b821a5d81b7e98&e
i=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

[3] Postwar: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FPostwar-Hi
story-Europe-Since-1945%2Fdp%2F1594200653&tag=pajamasmedia-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&
;creative=9325

[4] Free World: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FFree-World
-America-Europe-Surprising%2Fdp%2F1400062195&tag=pajamasmedia-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&
amp;creative=9325

[5] rogue nation: http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2FRogue-Nati
on-American-Unilateralism-Intentions%2Fdp%2F0465062792&tag=pajamasmedia-20&linkCode=ur2&
camp=1789&creative=9325

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #223 on: September 30, 2008, 05:56:18 PM »

JDN,

I strongly suggest you read Bruce Bawer's book.
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #224 on: September 30, 2008, 06:19:19 PM »

JDN,

I strongly suggest you read Bruce Bawer's book.

You mean his book "While Europe Slept" published in 2006?  If yes, no need to respond, I will check it out.  If no, please tell me which one. Also, odd, I tried to go to his
webpage and it seems down.  Simple repairs, or?
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #225 on: September 30, 2008, 06:32:57 PM »

http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_2_cultural_jihadists.html

BRUCE BAWER
An Anatomy of Surrender
Motivated by fear and multiculturalism, too many Westerners are acquiescing to creeping sharia.

An example of Western self-censorship: Belgian officials prohibited Shark, by David Cerny, depicting Saddam Hussein as an aquatic predator.
Islam divides the world into two parts. The part governed by sharia, or Islamic law, is called the Dar al-Islam, or House of Submission. Everything else is the Dar al-Harb, or House of War, so called because it will take war—holy war, jihad—to bring it into the House of Submission. Over the centuries, this jihad has taken a variety of forms. Two centuries ago, for instance, Muslim pirates from North Africa captured ships and enslaved their crews, leading the U.S. to fight the Barbary Wars of 1801–05 and 1815. In recent decades, the jihadists’ weapon of choice has usually been the terrorist’s bomb; the use of planes as missiles on 9/11 was a variant of this method.

What has not been widely recognized is that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 fatwa against Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie introduced a new kind of jihad. Instead of assaulting Western ships or buildings, Kho meini took aim at a fundamental Western freedom: freedom of speech. In recent years, other Islamists have joined this crusade, seeking to undermine Western societies’ basic liberties and extend sharia within those societies.

The cultural jihadists have enjoyed disturbing success. Two events in particular—the 2004 assassination in Amsterdam of Theo van Gogh in retaliation for his film about Islam’s oppression of women, and the global wave of riots, murders, and vandalism that followed a Danish newspaper’s 2005 publication of cartoons satirizing Mohammed—have had a massive ripple effect throughout the West. Motivated variously, and doubtless sometimes simultaneously, by fear, misguided sympathy, and multicultural ideology—which teaches us to belittle our freedoms and to genuflect to non-Western cultures, however repressive—people at every level of Western society, but especially elites, have allowed concerns about what fundamentalist Muslims will feel, think, or do to influence their actions and expressions. These Westerners have begun, in other words, to internalize the strictures of sharia, and thus implicitly to accept the deferential status of dhimmis—infidels living in Muslim societies.

Call it a cultural surrender. The House of War is slowly—or not so slowly, in Europe’s case—being absorbed into the House of Submission.

The Western media are in the driver’s seat on this road to sharia. Often their approach is to argue that we’re the bad guys. After the late Dutch sociologist-turned-politician Pim Fortuyn sounded the alarm about the danger that Europe’s Islamization posed to democracy, elite journalists labeled him a threat. A New York Times headline described him as MARCHING THE DUTCH TO THE RIGHT. Dutch newspapers Het Parool and De Volkskrant compared him with Mussolini; Trouw likened him to Hitler. The man (a multiculturalist, not a Muslim) who murdered him in May 2002 seemed to echo such verdicts when explaining his motive: Fortuyn’s views on Islam, the killer insisted, were “dangerous.”

Perhaps no Western media outlet has exhibited this habit of moral inversion more regularly than the BBC. In 2006, to take a typical example, Manchester’s top imam told psychotherapist John Casson that he supported the death penalty for homosexuality. Casson expressed shock—and the BBC, in a dispatch headlined IMAM ACCUSED OF “GAY DEATH” SLUR, spun the controversy as an effort by Casson to discredit Islam. The BBC concluded its story with comments from an Islamic Human Rights Commission spokesman, who equated Muslim attitudes toward homosexuality with those of “other orthodox religions, such as Catholicism” and complained that focusing on the issue was “part of demonizing Muslims.”

In June 2005, the BBC aired the documentary Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic, which sought to portray concerns about Islamic radicalism as overblown. This “stunning whitewash of radical Islam,” as Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson put it, “helped keep the British public fast asleep, a few weeks before the bombs went off in London subways and buses” in July 2005. In December 2007, it emerged that five of the documentary’s subjects, served up on the show as examples of innocuous Muslims-next-door, had been charged in those terrorist attacks—and that BBC producers, though aware of their involvement after the attacks took place, had not reported important information about them to the police.

Press acquiescence to Muslim demands and threats is endemic. When the Mohammed cartoons—published in September 2005 by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten to defy rising self-censorship after van Gogh’s murder—were answered by worldwide violence, only one major American newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, joined such European dailies as Die Welt and El País in reprinting them as a gesture of free-speech solidarity. Editors who refused to run the images claimed that their motive was multicultural respect for Islam. Critic Christopher Hitchens believed otherwise, writing that he “knew quite a number of the editors concerned and can say for a certainty that the chief motive for ‘restraint’ was simple fear.” Exemplifying the new dhimmitude, whatever its motivation, was Norway’s leading cartoonist, Finn Graff, who had often depicted Israelis as Nazis, but who now vowed not to draw anything that might provoke Muslim wrath. (On a positive note, this February, over a dozen Danish newspapers, joined by a number of other papers around the world, reprinted one of the original cartoons as a free-speech gesture after the arrest of three people accused of plotting to kill the artist.)

Last year brought another cartoon crisis—this time over Swedish artist Lars Vilks’s drawings of Mohammed as a dog, which ambassadors from Muslim countries used as an excuse to demand speech limits in Sweden. CNN reporter Paula Newton suggested that perhaps “Vilks should have known better” because of the Jyllands-Posten incident—as if people who make art should naturally take their marching orders from people who make death threats. Meanwhile, The Economist depicted Vilks as an eccentric who shouldn’t be taken “too seriously” and noted approvingly that Sweden’s prime minister, unlike Denmark’s, invited the ambassadors “in for a chat.”

The elite media regularly underreport fundamentalist Muslim misbehavior or obfuscate its true nature. After the knighting of Rushdie in 2007 unleashed yet another wave of international Islamist mayhem, Tim Rutten wrote in the Los Angeles Times: “If you’re wondering why you haven’t been able to follow all the columns and editorials in the American press denouncing all this homicidal nonsense, it’s because there haven’t been any.” Or consider the riots that gripped immigrant suburbs in France in the autumn of 2005. These uprisings were largely assertions of Muslim authority over Muslim neighborhoods, and thus clearly jihadist in character. Yet weeks passed before many American press outlets mentioned them—and when they did, they de-emphasized the rioters’ Muslim identity (few cited the cries of “Allahu akbar,” for instance). Instead, they described the violence as an outburst of frustration over economic injustice.

When polls and studies of Muslims appear, the media often spin the results absurdly or drop them down the memory hole after a single news cycle. Journalists celebrated the results of a 2007 Pew poll showing that 80 percent of American Muslims aged 18 to 29 said that they opposed suicide bombing—even though the flip side, and the real story, was that a double-digit percentage of young American Muslims admitted that they supported it. U.S. MUSLIMS ASSIMILATED, OPPOSED TO EXTREMISM, the Washington Post rejoiced, echoing USA Today’s AMERICAN MUSLIMS REJECT EXTREMES. A 2006 Daily Telegraph survey showed that 40 percent of British Muslims wanted sharia in Britain—yet British reporters often write as though only a minuscule minority embraced such views.

After each major terrorist act since 9/11, the press has dutifully published stories about Western Muslims fearing an “anti-Muslim backlash”—thus neatly shifting the focus from Islamists’ real acts of violence to non-Muslims’ imaginary ones. (These backlashes, of course, never materialize.) While books by Islam experts like Bat Ye’or and Robert Spencer, who tell difficult truths about jihad and sharia, go unreviewed in newspapers like the New York Times, the elite press legitimizes thinkers like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito, whose sugarcoated representations of Islam should have been discredited for all time by 9/11. The Times described Armstrong’s hagiography of Mohammed as “a good place to start” learning about Islam; in July 2007, the Washington Post headlined a piece by Esposito WANT TO UNDERSTAND ISLAM? START HERE.

Mainstream outlets have also served up anodyne portraits of fundamentalist Muslim life. Witness Andrea Elliott’s affectionate three-part profile of a Brooklyn imam, which appeared in the New York Times in March 2006. Elliott and the Times sought to portray Reda Shata as a heroic bridge builder between two cultures, leaving readers with the comforting belief that the growth of Islam in America was not only harmless but positive, even beautiful. Though it emerged in passing that Shata didn’t speak English, refused to shake women’s hands, wanted to forbid music, and supported Hamas and suicide bombing, Elliott did her best to downplay such unpleasant details; instead, she focused on sympathetic personal particulars. “Islam came to him softly, in the rhythms of his grandmother’s voice”; “Mr. Shata discovered love 15 years ago. . . . ‘She entered my heart,‘ said the imam.” Elliott’s saccharine piece won a Pulitzer Prize. When Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes pointed out that Shata was obviously an Islamist, a writer for the Columbia Journalism Review dismissed Pipes as “right-wing” and insisted that Shata was “very moderate.”

So it goes in this upside-down, not-so-brave new media world: those who, if given the power, would subjugate infidels, oppress women, and execute apostates and homosexuals are “moderate” (a moderate, these days, apparently being anybody who doesn’t have explosives strapped to his body), while those who dare to call a spade a spade are “Islamophobes.”

The entertainment industry has been nearly as appalling. During World War II, Hollywood churned out scores of films that served the war effort, but today’s movies and TV shows, with very few exceptions, either tiptoe around Islam or whitewash it. In the whitewash category were two sitcoms that debuted in 2007, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Little Mosque on the Prairie and CW’s Aliens in America. Both shows are about Muslims confronting anti-Muslim bigotry; both take it for granted that there’s no fundamentalist Islam problem in the West, but only an anti-Islam problem.

Muslim pressure groups have actively tried to keep movies and TV shows from portraying Islam as anything but a Religion of Peace. For example, the Council for American-Islamic Relations successfully lobbied Paramount Pictures to change the bad guys in The Sum of All Fears (2002) from Islamist terrorists to neo-Nazis, while Fox’s popular series 24, after Muslims complained about a story line depicting Islamic terrorists, ran cringe-worthy public-service announcements emphasizing how nonviolent Islam was. Earlier this year, Iranian-Danish actor Farshad Kholghi noted that, despite the cartoon controversy’s overwhelming impact on Denmark, “not a single movie has been made about the crisis, not a single play, not a single stand-up monologue.” Which, of course, is exactly what the cartoon jihadists wanted.

In April 2006, an episode of the animated series South Park admirably mocked the wave of self-censorship that followed the Jyllands-Posten crisis—but Comedy Central censored it, replacing an image of Mohammed with a black screen and an explanatory notice. According to series producer Anne Garefino, network executives frankly admitted that they were acting out of fear. “We were happy,” she told an interviewer, “that they didn’t try to claim that it was because of religious tolerance.”

Then there’s the art world. Postmodern artists who have always striven to shock and offend now maintain piously that Islam deserves “respect.” Museums and galleries have quietly taken down paintings that might upset Muslims and have put into storage manuscripts featuring images of Mohammed. London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery removed life-size nude dolls by surrealist artist Hans Bellmer from a 2006 exhibit just before its opening; the official excuse was “space constraints,” but the curator admitted that the real reason was fear that the nudity might offend the gallery’s Muslim neighbors. Last November, after the cancellation of a show in The Hague of artworks depicting gay men in Mohammed masks, the artist, Sooreh Hera, charged the museum with giving in to Muslim threats. Tim Marlow of London’s White Cube Gallery notes that such self-censorship by artists and museums is now common, though “very few people have explicitly admitted” it. British artist Grayson Perry, whose work has mercilessly mocked Christianity, is one who has—and his reluctance isn’t about multicultural sensitivity. “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art,” he told the Times of London, “is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

Leading liberal intellectuals and academics have shown a striking willingness to betray liberal values when it comes to pacifying Muslims. Back in 2001, Unni Wikan, a distinguished Norwegian cultural anthropologist and Islam expert, responded to the high rate of Muslim-on-infidel rape in Oslo by exhorting women to “realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”

More recently, high-profile Europe experts Ian Buruma of Bard College and Timothy Garton Ash of Oxford, while furiously denying that they advocate cultural surrender, have embraced “accommodation,” which sounds like a distinction without a difference. In his book Murder in Amsterdam, Buruma approvingly quotes Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen’s call for “accommodation with the Muslims,” including those “who consciously discriminate against their women.” Sharia enshrines a Muslim man’s right to beat and rape his wife, to force marriages on his daughters, and to kill them if they resist. One wonders what female Muslims who immigrated to Europe to escape such barbarity think of this prescription.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury and one of Britain’s best-known public intellectuals, suggested in February the institution of a parallel system of sharia law in Britain. Since the Islamic Sharia Council already adjudicates Muslim marriages and divorces in the U.K., what Williams was proposing was, as he put it, “a much enhanced and quite sophisticated version of such a body, with increased resources.” Gratifyingly, his proposal, short on specifics and long on academic doublespeak (“I don’t think,” he told the BBC, “that we should instantly spring to the conclusion that the whole of that world of jurisprudence and practice is somehow monstrously incompatible with human rights, simply because it doesn’t immediately fit with how we understand it”) was greeted with public outrage.

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #226 on: September 30, 2008, 06:34:12 PM »

Another prominent accommodationist is humanities professor Mark Lilla of Columbia University, author of an August 2007 essay in the New York Times Magazine so long and languorous, and written with such perfect academic dispassion, that many readers may have finished it without realizing that it charted a path leading straight to sharia. Muslims’ “full reconciliation with modern liberal democracy cannot be expected,” Lilla wrote. For the West, “coping is the order of the day, not defending high principle.”

Revealing in this light is Buruma’s and Garton Ash’s treatment of author Ayaan Hirsi Ali—perhaps the greatest living champion of Western freedom in the face of creeping jihad—and of the Europe-based Muslim scholar Tariq Ramadan. Because Hirsi Ali refuses to compromise on liberty, Garton Ash has called her a “simplistic . . . Enlightenment fundamentalist”—thus implicitly equating her with the Muslim fundamentalists who have threatened to kill her—while Buruma, in several New York Times pieces, has portrayed her as a petulant naif. (Both men have lately backed off somewhat.) On the other hand, the professors have rhapsodized over Ramadan’s supposed brilliance. They aren’t alone: though he’s clearly not the Westernized, urbane intellectual he seems to be—he refuses to condemn the stoning of adulteresses and clearly looks forward to a Europe under sharia—this grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna and protégé of Islamist scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi regularly wins praise in bien-pensant circles as representing the best hope for long-term concord between Western Muslims and non-Muslims.

This spring, Harvard law professor Noah Feldman, writing in the New York Times Magazine, actually gave two cheers for sharia. He contrasted it favorably with English common law, and described “the Islamists’ aspiration to renew old ideas of the rule of law” as “bold and noble.”

With the press, the entertainment industry, and prominent liberal thinkers all refusing to defend basic Western liberties, it’s not surprising that our political leaders have been pusillanimous, too. After a tiny Oslo newspaper, Magazinet, reprinted the Danish cartoons in early 2006, jihadists burned Norwegian flags and set fire to Norway’s embassy in Syria. Instead of standing up to the vandals, Norwegian leaders turned on Magazinet’s editor, Vebjørn Selbekk, partially blaming him for the embassy burning and pressing him to apologize. He finally gave way at a government-sponsored press conference, groveling before an assemblage of imams whose leader publicly forgave him and placed him under his protection. On that terrible day, Selbekk later acknowledged, “Norway went a long way toward allowing freedom of speech to become the Islamists’ hostage.” As if that capitulation weren’t disgrace enough, an official Norwegian delegation then traveled to Qatar and implored Qaradawi—a defender of suicide bombers and the murder of Jewish children—to accept Selbekk’s apology. “To meet Yusuf al-Qaradawi under the present circumstances,” Norwegian-Iraqi writer Walid al-Kubaisi protested, was “tantamount to granting extreme Islamists . . . a right of joint consultation regarding how Norway should be governed.”

The UN’s position on the question of speech versus “respect” for Islam was clear—and utterly at odds with its founding value of promoting human rights. “You don’t joke about other people’s religion,” Kofi Annan lectured soon after the Magazinet incident, echoing the sermons of innumerable imams, “and you must respect what is holy for other people.” In October 2006, at a UN panel discussion called “Cartooning for Peace,” Under Secretary General Shashi Tharoor proposed drawing “a very thin blue UN line . . . between freedom and responsibility.” (Americans might be forgiven for wondering whether that line would strike through the First Amendment.) And in 2007, the UN’s Human Rights Council passed a Pakistani motion prohibiting defamation of religion.

Other Western government leaders have promoted the expansion of the Dar al-Islam. In September 2006, when philosophy teacher Robert Redeker went into hiding after receiving death threats over a Le Figaro op-ed on Islam, France’s then–prime minister, Dominique de Villepin, commented that “everyone has the right to express their opinions freely—at the same time that they respect others, of course.” The lesson of the Redeker affair, he said, was “how vigilant we must be to ensure that people fully respect one another in our society.” Villepin got a run for his money last year from his Swedish counterpart, Fredrik Reinfeldt, who, after meeting with Muslim ambassadors to discuss the Vilks cartoons, won praise from one of them, Algeria’s Merzak Bedjaoui, for his “spirit of appeasement.”

When, years after September 11, President George W. Bush finally acknowledged publicly that the West was at war with Islamic fascism, Muslims’ and multiculturalists’ furious reaction made him retreat to the empty term “war on terror.” Britain’s Foreign Office has since deemed even that phrase offensive and banned its use by cabinet members (along with “Islamic extremism”). In January, the Home Office decided that Islamic terrorism would henceforth be described as “anti-Islamic activity.”

Western legislatures and courts have reinforced the “spirit of appeasement.” In 2005, Norway’s parliament, with virtually no public discussion or media coverage, criminalized religious insults (and placed the burden of proof on the defendant). Last year, that country’s most celebrated lawyer, Tor Erling Staff, argued that the punishment for honor killing should be less than for other murders, because it’s arrogant for us to expect Muslim men to conform to our society’s norms. Also in 2007, in one of several instances in which magistrates sworn to uphold German law have followed sharia instead, a Frankfurt judge rejected a Muslim woman’s request for a quick divorce from her brutally abusive husband; after all, under the Koran he had the right to beat her.

Those who dare to defy the West’s new sharia-based strictures and speak their minds now risk prosecution in some countries. In 2006, legendary author Oriana Fallaci, dying of cancer, went on trial in Italy for slurring Islam; three years earlier, she had defended herself in a French court against a similar charge. (Fallaci was ultimately found not guilty in both cases.) More recently, Canadian provinces ordered publisher Ezra Levant and journalist Mark Steyn to face human rights tribunals, the former for reprinting the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, the latter for writing critically about Islam in Maclean’s.

Even as Western authorities have hassled Islam’s critics, they’ve honored jihadists and their supporters. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth knighted Iqbal Sacranie of the Muslim Council of Britain, a man who had called for the death of Salman Rushdie. Also that year, London mayor Ken Livingstone ludicrously praised Qaradawi as “progressive”—and, in response to gay activists who pointed out that Qaradawi had defended the death penalty for homosexuals, issued a dissertation-length dossier whitewashing the Sunni scholar and trying to blacken the activists’ reputations. Of all the West’s leaders, however, few can hold a candle to Piet Hein Donner, who in 2006, as Dutch minister of justice, said that if voters wanted to bring sharia to the Netherlands—where Muslims will soon be a majority in major cities—“it would be a disgrace to say, ‘This is not permitted!’ ”

If you don’t find the dhimmification of politicians shocking, consider the degree to which law enforcement officers have yielded to Islamist pressure. Last year, when “Undercover Mosque,” an unusually frank exposé on Britain’s Channel 4, showed “moderate” Muslim preachers calling for the beating of wives and daughters and the murder of gays and apostates, police leaped into action—reporting the station to the government communications authority, Ofcom, for stirring up racial hatred. (Ofcom, to its credit, rejected the complaint.) The police reaction, as James Forsyth noted in the Spectator, “revealed a mindset that views the exposure of a problem as more of a problem than the problem itself.” Only days after the “Undercover Mosque” broadcast—in a colossal mark of indifference to the reality that it exposed—Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair announced plans to share antiterrorist intelligence with Muslim community leaders. These plans, fortunately, were later shelved.

Canadian Muslim reformist Irshad Manji has noted that in 2006, when 17 terrorists were arrested in Toronto on the verge of giving Canada “its own 9/11,” “the police did not mention that it had anything to do with Islam or Muslims, not a word.” When, after van Gogh’s murder, a Rotterdam artist drew a street mural featuring an angel and the words THOU SHALT NOT KILL, police, fearing Muslim displeasure, destroyed the mural (and a videotape of its destruction). In July 2007, a planned TV appeal by British cops to help capture a Muslim rapist was canceled to avoid “racist backlash.” And in August, the Times of London reported that “Asian” men (British code for “Muslims”) in the U.K. were having sex with perhaps hundreds of “white girls as young as twelve”—but that authorities wouldn’t take action for fear of “upsetting race relations.” Typically, neither the Times nor government officials acknowledged that the “Asian” men’s contempt for the “white” girls was a matter not of race but of religion.

Even military leaders aren’t immune. In 2005, columnist Diana West noted that America’s Iraq commander, Lieutenant General John R. Vines, was educating his staff in Islam by giving them a reading list that “whitewashes jihad, dhimmitude and sharia law with the works of Karen Armstrong and John Esposito”; two years later, West noted the unwillingness of a counterinsurgency advisor, Lieutenant Colonel David Kilcullen, to mention jihad. In January 2008, the Pentagon fired Stephen Coughlin, its resident expert on sharia and jihad; reportedly, his acknowledgment that terrorism was motivated by jihad had antagonized an influential Muslim aide. “That Coughlin’s analyses would even be considered ‘controversial,’ ” wrote Andrew Bostom, editor of The Legacy of Jihad, “is pathognomonic of the intellectual and moral rot plaguing our efforts to combat global terrorism.” (Perhaps owing to public outcry, officials announced in February that Coughlin would not be dismissed after all, but instead moved to another Department of Defense position.)

Enough. We need to recognize that the cultural jihadists hate our freedoms because those freedoms defy sharia, which they’re determined to impose on us. So far, they have been far less successful at rolling back freedom of speech and other liberties in the U.S. than in Europe, thanks in no small part to the First Amendment. Yet America is proving increasingly susceptible to their pressures.

The key question for Westerners is: Do we love our freedoms as much as they hate them? Many free people, alas, have become so accustomed to freedom, and to the comfortable position of not having to stand up for it, that they’re incapable of defending it when it’s imperiled—or even, in many cases, of recognizing that it is imperiled. As for Muslims living in the West, surveys suggest that many of them, though not actively involved in jihad, are prepared to look on passively—and some, approvingly—while their coreligionists drag the Western world into the House of Submission.

But we certainly can’t expect them to take a stand for liberty if we don’t stand up for it ourselves.

Bruce Bawer is the author of While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within. He blogs at BruceBawer.com.
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31504


« Reply #227 on: October 11, 2008, 08:07:04 AM »

The West’s Islamic legacy challenged
A French scholar has sparked a controversy by challenging the conventional wisdom that we emerged from the Dark Ages guided by Muslim teachers.
Sylvain Gouguenheim | Aristote au Mont saint-Michel – Les Racines grecques de l’Europe chrétienne | Seuil, Paris | 2008 | 280 pages

In France, historians writing about the cultural formation of Christian Europe throughout the Middle Ages do so at their own peril, as Sylvain Gouguenheim, professor of Medieval History at the École normale supérieure de Lyon (ENS-L), recently discovered. Because his latest book argues that the contribution of Islam to the cultural and intellectual development of Europe has been largely overemphasized, a petition was drawn up last spring by faculty colleagues lamenting its “ideological positions [inconsistent with] the pedagogical serenity and the scientific reputation of the ENS-L”.

The controversy quickly spilled into the French press with various specialists of the Middle Ages debating the book’s merits and demerits for weeks on end. Although Le Figaro (moderate right) and Le Monde (left) both published positive reviews, other publications such as Libération (far left) and Télérama (Catholic progressive) accused Gouguenheim of pursuing a “repugnant objective, that of annihilating the very notion of Arabian identity”. This led some world known authorities on the Middle-Ages, notably Rémi Brague and Jacques Le Goff, to take Gouguenheim’s defense. The book was also hotly debated on French television.

To understand why the controversy arose in the first place, one must bear in mind that there are currently three schools of thought about the relationship between Greece, the Islamic world and Medieval Europe.

The first school is premised on the notion of the “Dark Ages”, a period allegedly running from about 400 AD to 1200 AD (or earlier, depending on various historians) during which almost any form of learning would have ceased to exist except in monasteries. It holds: a) that the works of Greek philosophers, doctors and mathematicians would have first been discovered by the Arab-Muslim world beginning in the 9th century, thus giving rise to an “Islamic Enlightenment” fostered by the Abbasid Dynasty; b) that, thanks to the translation of these works from Arabic into Latin, Greek knowledge would have then penetrated into Christian Europe beginning in the 12th century; and c) that the West grew out of its “darkness” largely as a result of this “Islamic Enlightenment” and is therefore culturally indebted to the Islamic World. (1)

While this school held sway until the early 1950s, it was gradually overtaken in recent decades by a second school, one that might be termed the “self-development” view, which holds that Western civilization essentially grew out of a synthesis of Greek philosophy, Roman law and the Christian faith. Although it admits of some limited cultural influence exerted by the Islamic world on the West, it emphasizes the autonomy of Western cultural development based on a self-directed assimilation of our Greek heritage.

The third school argues that the notion of a vital continuity, whether directly from Greece to Europe, or indirectly from Greece to Arabia to Europe, is highly debatable and that, indeed, the very concept of “cultural roots” on which historians have traditionally relied should be called into question.(2)

Because the relatively new “self-development” view of the Middle Ages has been increasingly challenged in recent years by upholders of the first and third schools mentioned above, Gouguenheim has undertaken to buttress it and to respond to the arguments of its challengers. His book is essentially a synthesis of scholarly works published in the last 40 years (the bibliography includes more than 250 books and articles) by well-known French, British, Italian and American historians who contributed to the “self-development” interpretation of the Middle Ages.

So what does Gougenheim’s synthesis tell us? Four things.

First, Greek thought never really impregnated the Islamic world because the latter carefully subjected all “foreign” knowledge to an “Islamic filter” designed to determine its consistency with Muslim beliefs. Consequently, what Islamic scholars retained from Greece was limited “to that which did not contradict the teaching of the Koran”. This created major problems, notably with respect to Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics. More specifically, the Greek concept of causality was deemed incompatible with the Koranic understanding of God’s omnipotence, which it seemed to limit. And although some scholars like Al-Farabi, Al-Andalusi, Avicenna and Averroes were genuinely receptive to Greek influences, they were unable to reconcile Aristotelian metaphysical concepts with the content of Islamic revelation.

Moreover, Islamic works that did reflect Greek influence were usually not well received. Averroes’ books were burnt (only Latin translations of his commentaries on Aristotle have survived, all of his commentaries in Arabic having been lost or destroyed) and his disciples were found only among Jews and Christians. While the Koran may well offer its adherents a rational view of the world, Muslim rationalism has very little in common with Western rationalism. The notion of kalâm, sometimes translated as “Islamic philosophy”, was understood by the famous Muslim theologian Al-Ghazali as a means of “protecting the faith against the disruptions of innovators” and was, therefore, alien to the Greek concept of philosophy.

Finally, Muslim scholars were quick to realize that Aristotle’s political theories were inapplicable in a Muslim state, where politics, law and religion are closely intertwined. This explains why the Greco-Roman legal system was never envisaged, even by Averroes, as a source of juridical thinking in the Islamic world.

Second, Greek knowledge became accessible to the Islamic world thanks to the work of Eastern Christian scholars who translated Greek works into their own Syriac language, and then from Syriac into Arabic. More importantly, however, Islamic civilization is itself culturally indebted to early Christian scholars. For example, because the translation of Greek documents into Arabic raised major problems occasioned by the total absence of scientific terms in that language, it became incumbent on Christian Melkite translators to develop most of the Arabic scientific vocabulary. They were responsible in particular for translating into Arabic 139 medical books by Galen and Hippocratus and 43 books by Rufus of Ephesis. Also of interest is the fact, attested by several Muslim writers, that the Arabic “coufic” writing was developed by Christian missionaries in the 6th Century.

Third, Islam did not pass on its intellectual heritage to the West. The knowledge acquired by the West is the product of its own discoveries. The West benefited from the translations done at the request of abbots and bishops by clerics familiar with the Greek language, like Jacques de Venise who, after studying several years in Byzantium, spent the rest of his life translating Aristotle and other Greek philosophers at the monastery of Mont Saint-Michel, in Brittany. The West also benefited from a constant relationship with Byzantium, where Greek was the everyday language and Byzantine scholars were quite familiar with the Greek heritage. Thus, most of the knowledge discovered or transmitted throughout the period extending from the 8th to the 12th centuries resulted, not from Islam, but from the intellectual appetite of European Church elites. This explains the first Western Renaissance, known as the Carolingian Renaissance, which took place at the turn of the 9th Century.

Fourth, far from having been a “dark” or “barbarian” age, the period from the 8th to the 12th century, from Charlemagne to Peter Abelard, was characterized by the gradual assimilation of Greek philosophy and science and by an exceptional intellectual dynamism. It is throughout this period that Europe acquired the frame of mind of Greek and Roman antiquity and developed an understanding of the world and of science which became a specific character of Western civilization. The period set the stage for the 13th century, which witnessed a new intellectual “take-off” that manifested itself in the philosophical and theological works of Bonaventure, Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas, as well as in the scientific works of Roger Bacon, Campanus de Novare and Pierre de Marincourt.

Anyone interested in understanding the cultural roots of Western civilization will benefit greatly from reading Gouguenheim’s book. It provides overwhelming evidence in support of the notion that the Islamic world and the West reacted very differently to Greek knowledge, with the former remaining relatively impermeable to its influence and the latter making it very much its own. No one who reads Guggenheim can fail to realize how true remains the contention that Western civilization was built on the combined heritage of Athens, Rome and Jerusalem.

Finally, one is hard put to find any evidence in this book in support of the view that it is ideologically biased. The grievances against the author call to mind Matthew 7:3 – “Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?”

Richard Bastien is director of the Catholic Civil Rights League for the National Capital Area in Canada and a contributor to Égards, a French language journal of ideas.

Notes

(1) This is the view held by historians such as R.-R. Menocal (The Arabic Role in Medieval Literary History: A Forgotten Heritage), A. de Libera (Penser au Moyen Âge), A. Miquel (L’Islam et sa civilisation) and R. Mantran (L’Expansion musulmane).
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31504


« Reply #228 on: November 19, 2008, 08:15:51 AM »

The always suspect NY Times, on a subject wherein it is particulalry suspect:
==============================

Britain Grapples With Role for Islamic Justice
by ELAINE SCIOLINO
Published: November 18, 2008

LONDON — The woman in black wanted an Islamic divorce. She told the religious judge that her husband hit her, cursed her and wanted her dead.

Suhaib Hasan spoke with a woman who was trying to divorce her husband in London. But her husband was opposed, and the Islamic scholar adjudicating the case seemed determined to keep the couple together. So, sensing defeat, she brought our her secret weapon: her father.

In walked a bearded man in long robes who described his son-in-law as a hot-tempered man who had duped his daughter, evaded the police and humiliated his family.

The judge promptly reversed himself and recommended divorce.

This is Islamic justice, British style. Despite a raucous national debate over the limits of religious tolerance and the pre-eminence of British law, the tenets of Shariah, or Islamic law, are increasingly being applied to everyday life in cities across the country.

The Church of England has its own ecclesiastical courts. British Jews have had their own “beth din” courts for more than a century.

But ever since the archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, called in February for aspects of Islamic Shariah to be embraced alongside the traditional legal system, the government has been grappling with a public furor over the issue, assuaging critics while trying to reassure a wary and at times disaffected Muslim population that its traditions have a place in British society.

Boxed between the two, the government has taken a stance both cautious and confusing, a sign of how volatile almost any discussion of the role of Britain’s nearly two million Muslims can become.

“There is nothing whatever in English law that prevents people abiding by Shariah principles if they wish to, provided they do not come into conflict with English law,” the justice minister, Jack Straw, said last month. But he added that British law would “always remain supreme,” and that “regardless of religious belief, we are all equal before the law.”

Conservatives and liberals alike — many of them unaware that the Islamic courts had been functioning at all, much less for years — have repeatedly denounced the courts as poor substitutes for British jurisprudence.

They argue that the Islamic tribunals’ proceedings are secretive, with no accountability and no standards for judges’ training or decisions.

Critics also point to cases of domestic violence in which Islamic scholars have tried to keep marriages together by ordering husbands to take classes in anger management, leaving the wives so intimidated that they have withdrawn their complaints from the police.

“They’re hostages to fortune,” said Parvin Ali, founding director of the Fatima Women’s Network, a women’s help group based in Leicester. Speaking of the courts, she said, “There is no outside monitoring, no protection, no records kept, no guarantee that justice will prevail.”

But as the uproar continues, the popularity of the courts among Muslims has blossomed.

Some of the informal councils, as the courts are known, have been giving advice and handing down judgments to Muslims for more than two decades.

Yet the councils have expanded significantly in number and prominence in recent years, with some Islamic scholars reporting a 50 percent increase in cases since 2005.

Almost all of the cases involve women asking for divorce, and through word of mouth and an ambitious use of the Internet, courts like the small, unadorned building in London where the father stepped in to plead his daughter’s case have become magnets for Muslim women seeking to escape loveless marriages — not only from Britain but sometimes also from Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Germany.

Other cases involve disputes over property, labor, inheritances and physical injury. The tribunals stay away from criminal cases that might call for the imposition of punishments like lashing or stoning.

Indeed, most of the courts’ judgments have no standing under British civil law. But for the parties who come before them, the courts offer something more important: the imprimatur of God.

“We do not want to give the impression that Muslims are an isolated community seeking a separate legal system in this country,” said Shahid Raza, who adjudicates disputes from an Islamic center in the West London suburb of Ealing.

“We are not asking for criminal Shariah law — chopping of hands or stoning to death,” he continued. “Ninety-nine percent of our cases are divorce cases in which women are seeking relief. We are helping women. We are doing a service.”
======
Page 2 of 2)

Still, there is ample room for clashes with British custom. Three months ago, for example, a wealthy Bangladeshi family asked Dr. Raza’s council to resolve an inheritance dispute. It was resolved according to Shariah, he said. That meant the male heirs received twice as much as the female heirs.

Courts in the United States have endorsed Islamic and other religious tribunals, as in 2003, when a Texas appeals court referred a divorce case to a local council called the Texas Islamic Court.

But Shariah has been rejected in the West as well.

The Canadian province of Ontario had allowed rabbinical courts and Christian courts to resolve some civil and family disputes with binding rulings under a 1991 law. But when the Islamic Institute on Civil Justice there tried to create a Shariah court, it was attacked as a violation of the rights of Muslim women.

As a result, Ontario changed the entire system in 2006 to strip the rulings of any religious arbitration of legal validity or enforceability.

In Britain, beth din courts do not decide whether a Jewish couple’s marriage should end. They simply put their stamp of approval on the dissolution of the marriage when both parties agree to it. The beth din also adheres to the rules of Britain’s 1996 Arbitration Act and can function as an official court of arbitration in the consensual resolution of other civil disputes, like inheritance or business conflicts.

“People often come to us for reasons of speed, cost and secrecy,” said David Frei, registrar of the London Beth Din. “There’s nothing to prevent Muslims from doing the same thing.”

In Britain’s Islamic councils, however, if a wife wants a divorce and the husband does not, the Shariah court can grant her unilateral request to dissolve the marriage.

Most Shariah councils do not recognize the Arbitration Act, although Mr. Straw has been pushing them in recent months to do so. The main reason for their opposition is that they do not want the state involved in what they consider to be matters of religion.

The conflict over British Shariah courts comes at a time when Islamic principles are being extended to other areas of daily life in Britain.

There are now five wholly Islamic banks in the country and a score more that comply with Shariah.

An insurance company last summer began British advertising for “car insurance that’s right for your faith” because it does not violate certain Islamic prohibitions, like the one against gambling.

Britain’s first Shariah-compliant prepaid MasterCard was begun in August.

Here in London, Suhaib Hasan’s “courtroom” is a sparsely furnished office of the Islamic Shariah Council in Leyton, a working-class neighborhood in the eastern corner of the city. It has no lawyers or court stenographer, no recording device or computer, so Dr. Hasan takes partial notes in longhand.

“Please, will you give him another chance?” he asked the woman in black who was seeking divorce — that is, before she brought in the weighty voice of her father.

“No, no!” the woman, a 24-year-old employment consultant who had come seeking justice from 200 miles away, replied. “I gave him too many chances. He is an evil, evil man.”

“I’ll give you one month’s time to try to reconcile,” Dr. Hasan ruled.

Then her father tipped the scales.

“He was not a cucumber that we could cut open to know that he was rotten inside,” the father testified. “The only solution is divorce.”

Apparently convinced, Dr. Hasan said he would recommend divorce at the London Central Mosque, where he and several other religious scholars meet once a month to give final approval to cases like this.

Dr. Hasan, a silver-bearded, Saudi-educated scholar of Pakistani origin, handles the Pakistani community; an Egyptian ministers to the ethnic Arab community, while a Bangladeshi and a Somali work with their own communities.

The council in Leyton is one of the oldest and largest courts in the country. It has been quietly resolving disputes since 1982 and has dealt with more than 7,000 divorce cases.

Under some interpretations of Islamic law, a woman needs the blessing of a scholar of Islamic jurisprudence to be divorced, while a man can simply say three times that he is divorcing his wife.

Dr. Hasan counsels women that they must have their civil marriages dissolved in the British civil system.

“We always try to keep the marriages together, especially when there are children,” said Dr. Hasan’s wife, Shakila Qurashi, who works as an unofficial counselor for women.

If the husband beats her, she should go to the police and have a divorce, Ms. Qurashi said. “But if he’s slapped her only once or something like that,” she said, “and he admits he has made a mistake and promised not to do it again, then we say, ‘You have to forgive.’ ”

One recent afternoon, the waiting room was full of women and their family members.

A Pakistan-born 33-year-old mother of five explained that her husband would beat her and her children. “He threatens to kill us,” she said, as her daughter translated from Urdu. “He calls me a Jew and an infidel.” Dr. Hasan told her to immediately get police protection and request an Islamic divorce.

Another woman, 25, wanted out of a two-year-old arranged marriage with a man who refused to consummate the relationship. Dr. Hasan counseled dialogue.

“Until we see the husband,” he said, “we can’t be sure that what you’re saying is true.”
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 01:07:53 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #229 on: November 19, 2008, 10:17:15 AM »

Crafty; just a thought, this article is similar to ones that have been posted and debated in Sharia 101; you might consider moving it.

As discussed in the other forum, what's the problem?  It's no different than voluntary arbitration, a common practice here in America.
Whether the mutually agreed upon arbitrator is a retired judge, a lawyer, a businessman, a layman, your priest or rabbi, it doesn't matter.  The system
of voluntary arbitration has faults and issues, but also significant advantages.  One being of course that it unclogs the legal system. And,
“People often come to us for reasons of speed, cost and secrecy,” said David Frei, registrar of the London Beth Din. “There’s nothing to prevent Muslims from doing the same thing.”

Most of the "objections" raised in this article could also be raised against other religious arbitration and non religious arbitration here in America.
"They argue that the Islamic tribunals’ proceedings are secretive, with no accountability and no standards for judges’ training or decisions."

Yet in American arbitration proceedings are often "secretive, with no accountability and no standards for judges' training or decisions."

And as Jack Straw says in you article,
“There is nothing whatever in English law that prevents people abiding by Shariah principles if they wish to, provided they do not come into conflict with English law,” the justice minister, Jack Straw, said last month. But he added that British law would “always remain supreme,” and that “regardless of religious belief, we are all equal before the law.”

Arbitration has existed in England and this country for many years; it works.


 
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #230 on: November 19, 2008, 01:05:12 PM »

**Sharia is to equal protection under the law, what islam is to free speech.**

LONDON — The woman in black wanted an Islamic divorce. She told the religious judge that her husband hit her, cursed her and wanted her dead.

Suhaib Hasan spoke with a woman who was trying to divorce her husband in London. But her husband was opposed, and the Islamic scholar adjudicating the case seemed determined to keep the couple together. So, sensing defeat, she brought our her secret weapon: her father.

In walked a bearded man in long robes who described his son-in-law as a hot-tempered man who had duped his daughter, evaded the police and humiliated his family.

The judge promptly reversed himself and recommended divorce.

**What if this woman had no male relative to offer witness on her behalf? Remember that under sharia, a muslim woman's testimony is only half that of a muslim male's.**
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 01:21:52 PM by G M » Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #231 on: November 19, 2008, 01:20:40 PM »

http://www.islamic-sharia.org/general/on-the-testimony-of-women-2.html

On the testimony of women:       
Asalaamu-Aleikum

I would like to know why two women are the equivalent on one man in an Islamic court. I thought we were different, but equal. Please reply with an in-depth explanation as to why this is.

Please bear in mind the following facts regarding this issue:
   
1. There are issues where only women's testimony is enough like those related to birth of a child, the period of suckling and weaning. In such cases, which are normally handled by the women, testimony of a single lady is accepted. For example, when a woman said, looking at a newly-wed couple: "I suckled you both", the Prophet (SAS) nullified their marriage and asked them to separate from each other.
 
2. Cases of serious nature, like that of fornication, adultery and rape attract a very hard punishment in Islam. Flogging a hundred times for unmarried couples and stoning to the married ones. To prove such an allegation, even two male witnesses are not enough, but four of them are required. Suppose those who witnessed were women alone. If the number of witnesses is doubled, less would be the chance for the implementation of this punishment. Many people do not object a lot to these ways of punishment but they do not realize how difficult it has been made in Islam, to prove such allegations.
   
3. The text (Surah Al-Baqara 2:282) which requires two female witnesses in place of one male witness, gives a clear reason for it i.e. "if one of them forgets, the other reminds her." Is this derogatory to the status of the women or is it a revealed secret about the nature of the women? Though much has been said about the difference between a man's brain and that of a women but I would rather like to quote the latest research made about this issue. According to a survey, as published in Los Angeles Times (U.S.A) , made involving fifty men and women for quite a considerable time, the out come was as follows:
 
Man's mind is uni-focal while the women's mind is multi-focal. In other words, a man would be fully occupied with the task he is involved with; he may not be distracted by anything else while being engaged in his activity. On the other hand, a woman may be busy in kitchen work and she will be easily alert to a phone buzzer or her infants cry from the cradle. In a way she is found to be more sensitive and active in her dealings. Thus she has got a very praise worthy character but that is not so good for a case of testimony which requires more attention and concentration. What is wrong then, if a second woman is needed, only to remind her is she fails to deliver her testimony completely. So it is a case of verification of the testimony, not that of degradation to the status of the women at all.
   
4. In many other matters, the nature of women are considered. For example, the right of divorce is vested in the hand of the man while she is allowed to ask for divorce either directly or through a Qadi (Judge). Why? Because the women are kind-hearted human beings who are governed by their emotions, a character strongly needed for bringing up the children. On the other hand, man is governed by his mind more than his emotions. He would think twice but more than that before uttering the word "Talaq" (divorce). Even if he misuses this word (as noticed again and again) a long procedure following a divorce i.e. the Iddat period of a woman, allows him to retract the step he has taken. He can revoke that Talaq within this cooling period of approximately three months time.
   
To deny the difference between the two genders is a denial of truth. Allah who created us, gave us rulings according to our nature. And all is well as long as we go by the nature.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #232 on: November 19, 2008, 01:40:04 PM »

http://www.islamic-sharia.org/general/deeming-shariah-islamic-law-as-incompetent-2.html

Deeming Shariah (islamic law) as incompetent       
 
Introduction:
As we know that He is our Creator and the reason behind our existence is submission to Him and to His Laws whether we understand the wisdom behind each and every single one of them or not. Our role is not to question Allah as He says in Quran;
"He can not be questioned as to what He does, but they will be questioned" [1]
 Rather we say
"we hear and obey" [2]
We do not question the legitimacy of His Laws as they are built upon His vast Wisdom and our comprehension is limited to His Will as He says in Quran;
"And they will never compass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills" [3]
Rather His Laws are perfect and are there for us as a test to see who will obey the message and who will turn back on their heels as Allah says in Quran;
"And we made the Qiblah which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels" [4]
This is clearly illustrated in the story of satan and Adam. The reason why satan refused to prostate was because he used logic/analogy over submission. This is what has prevailed in this era. People have forgotten the submission and are heading towards logic and analogies as to claim that they know better than their Creator.
Those who deem Law of Allah as incompetent should read the conversation between Allah and His Angels when He disclosed to them the creation of Adam.
"And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels "Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generations after generations on earth". They said: "Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, - while we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You."
Look at the questions raised by the most noblest of creations. Those who are pure by essence and never disobey His commands. Even they were not able to comprehend the Wisdom of Allah behind creating humans whom are bound to shed blood, cause corruption, while they are there already praising Allah, sanctifying Him, glorifying Him. How would we, those who are drench in sins, away from Islam and its teaching - how could we ever comprehend His Wisdom? But look at the response of Allah!
"He (Allah) said: "I know that which you do not know" [5]
Questions & Answers

Q1)  what is the Islamic ruling on statements stating the shariah law as barbaric and what is the ruling on saying Hudood are incompatible wit contemporary life?
As a Muslim we should know that our religion is perfect without any imperfection as Allah says;
"this day, I have perfected your religion for you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion" [6]
Therefore, belittling them or calling them as out-of-date constitutes disbelief as Allah says;
"Then do you believe in part of the scripture and reject the rest? Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do."[7]
It is mentioned in the book by Al-Haafiz Abil Hassan Ali bin Al-Qittan Al-Faasi  he says:
? Huh? Huh HuhHuh? Huh? ? Huh?? ?? ?? Huh? ? Huh Huh? HuhHuh Huh?? HuhHuh? Huh ?? HuhHuh Huh? Huh?? Huh? Huh Huh?? ?? Huh? Huh Huh HuhHuh
"and the people of Islam have agreed upon from the Jinn and humans in every time and in every place with sound confirmed agreement that the Quran which has been sent down by Allah upon His prophet is the truth and a necessity for every person to follow it"[8]
Leaving any part of Quran or changing it is going against the consensus of entire Muslim nation. The author mentions another consensus in his book;
? HuhHuh ?? ?? Huh Huh?? Huh?? ? HuhHuh ? Huh ?? Huh ?? Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh? ? ?? Huh ?? HuhHuh? ?? ?? HuhHuh ?? ?? Huh? ?? Huh Huh Huh ?? ?? ?? Huh?? Huh Huh ?? Huh Huh Huh Huh Huh? Huh ?? Huh Huh? Huh Huh?? ?? ?? ?? ?? Huh ? Huh Huh Huh Huh? Huh? Huh? Huh? ?? Huh Huh? Huh??
"and they all have agreed (unanimously) that whosoever believes in Allah and His prophet and in all that which has been reported from him authentically and did not have doubt in Tawheed of Allah (Lordship, Worship & Names and Attributes) or in prophethood or in Muahmmed (himself) or in any single letter which he has come with or in the shariah which he has come with narrated from him authentically, so whosoever negates in any of the things which we have mentioned or have doubt in anything from them and he dies upon that state then he dies as a disbeliever mushrik, inhabitant of Hellfire forever" [9]   
If you were to ask: "is every single shariah law unchangeable"? We say that shariah law is constituted in two segments:
1) Laws which are fixed for certain crimes such as adultery, murder, theft etc
2) Laws which are not fixed and are executed based up liaising between individual and society such as drinking wine etc. These laws or punishments are initiated by religious scholars or supreme leader who can choose to implement various methods for such actions such as either to lash them, or expel them from country or imprison them etc
Now the question is asked whether these laws are barbaric or not?
Barbaric is truly a conformist word where they emulate certain punishments of the old and replicate them in modern day society to symbolize how cruel they were for mankind. However, if one was to look at modern day warfare, it is evident in their usage of artillery being more barbaric and leaving no mercy at all for the enemy. Countries are accumulating atomic warheads, chemical arsenal etc for their so called "peace" missions whereas they are causing more havoc, destruction, and cruelty to people than others.   
So who determines what is barbaric and what is not? Rather Allah says in Quran
"And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisas (the law of equality in punishment), O men of understanding that you may become the pious" [10]
So the underlining factor behind laws are to deter criminals from committing crimes and we know that not all will adhere to them so which system is applicable? Look at the current systems in placed and see their results and compare them to those countries using Islamic criminal law. The results are overwhelmingly supporting for the implementation of shariah law. 
There are statements of companions and their students (Tabieen) collected regarding those who denied the law of stoning by Huh? Huh Huh Huh? ?? HuhHuh HuhHuh:
Huh- HuhHuh? ?? Huh?? Huh?? HuhHuh HuhHuh Huh Huh Huh HuhHuh?? HuhHuh? Huh
?? Huh ?? Huh ?? Huh? ?? Huh?? Huh: Huh?? Huh Huh? HuhHuh?? Huh?: Huh Huh? Huh ?? HuhHuh Huh? HuhHuh?? Huh?: "Huh? Huh?? Huh Huh?? ?? Huh Huh?? Huh?? HuhHuh HuhHuh ? HuhHuh HuhHuh? ? HuhHuh HuhHuh ? HuhHuh HuhHuh?? ? HuhHuh HuhHuh? Huh?? ? HuhHuh Huh? HuhHuh ?? Huh?? Huh?? HuhHuh?"

"Chapter: Warning from school of thoughts of those people who deny the shariah which is a compulsory upon Muslims to have certainty in:
Ali bin Zayd reported from yusuf bin mahraam who said; ibn Abbas gave us a sermon in Basra so he said, Omar bin Khattab the leader of Muslims stood within us so he said:
                "O people! Verily there will be people from this nation who will deny Rajm (stoning) and deny Dajjal and deny the pond of prophet and will deny the intercession of prophet and will deny the punishment in the grave and will deny that some people will be taken out from the hellfire after they have been punished" [11]
In another place.........
?? Huh ?? Huh ?? Huh? ?? Huh?? ?? Huh Huh? ? Huh: Huh Huh ?? HuhHuh :"Huh Huh? Huh? ? Huh Huh Huh ? Huh? Huh' ? Huh? Huh HuhHuh HuhHuh ? HuhHuh HuhHuh? ? HuhHuh HuhHuh ? HuhHuh HuhHuh?? ? HuhHuh HuhHuh? Huh?? ? HuhHuh Huh? HuhHuh ?? Huh??
"ali bin zayd narrated from yusuf bin mihraan who narrated from ibn Abbas who said that Omar bin Khattab said;
                "O people! Indeed rajm (stoning) is truth, so do not deviate from it and the proof is that the prophet stoned and abu bakr stoned and I also stoned. Hence there will be people from this nation who will deny stoning, who will deny dajjal......"[12]
In another place he mentions
?? Huh Huh?? HuhHuh? Huh? ? ?? Huh ? Huh Huh HuhHuh  ? ?? Huh Huh ? ?? Huh Huh Huh Huh? Huh?? ? Huh? ?? Huh ? ?? Huh HuhHuh Huh HuhHuh ? Huh?? Huh Huh?? ? Huh (( HuhHuh Huh?? Huh? ?? ? ?? ? HuhHuh Huh? Huh? Huh?))
"verily the prophet stoned two Jews who fornicated and verily abu bakr stoned and omar bin khattab stoned and Ali bin abi taalib stoned a woman called Shuraaha who committed fornication while she was a divorcee/widow so he lashed her on Friday and stoned her on Saturday and said;
                "I stoned her in accordance to the Book of Allah and upon the sunnah of prophet Muahmmad"[13]
Now by looking at all these statements of the companions, there remains no doubt that they never saw such laws as barbaric because they knew that it has come from the Most Wise the Most Merciful and He would never do injustice upon His slaves.
Q3)  what is the ruling who denies the Sovereignty of Allah as lawgiver and ruling on the concept that Islamic state is alien to Islam?
Denying Allah the right of Lawgiver means he has taken someone else as partners besides Allah who has the right to determine how this individual should conduct his life. The one who does not recognises Allah as his Master to govern him then surely he has found another god to administrate him. He is a clear disbeliever outside the fold of Islam.
"the Hukm is for Allah alone. He declares the truth and He is the best of judges" [14]
"and whomsoever does not judges according to what Allah has revealed then surely they are the disbelievers"  [15]
"say O people of the scripture,! You have nothing (as regards guidance) till you act accordance to the Torah, the Gospel and what has been sent down to you from your Lord (the Quran)". Verily that which has been sent down to you (Muhammed) from your Lord increases in most of them (their) obstinate rebellion and disbelief. So be not sorrowful over the people who disbelieve"[16]
"[say (O Muhammad):] "shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book (the Quran), explained in detail."[17]
As for the second question that is Islamic state alien to Islam? Lets look at scholars and see how they defined Islamic state
Imam abu yusuf said;
"a place is recognised as Islamic state by manifesting Islamic law, even if majority of the people are non-Muslims. Similarly a non Islamic state is in her manifestation of non Islamic law even if most of the people living there are Muslims. [18]
Another hanafi scholar called al-kisaani said;
"there is no disagreement between our companions (within their school of thought) that a dar ul kufr becomes dar ul islam with the manifestation of Islamic rules"[19]
So in the light of these two definitions given by the scholars and generally most of the scholars agree that Islamic state has to manifest Islamic shariah if not then it will not be considered as Islamic state. Hence, those who say that Islamic is alien to Islamic state need to be educated.     
Q5)  Ruling on those who search for rare opinions to provide modernist interpretation of Islam?
Sheikh ul islam ibn taymiyyah said;
Huh Huh?? HuhHuh? ?? Huh? Huh? ? Huh?? Huh? HuhHuh? Huh Huh Huh? "Huh?? Huh? ?? HuhHuh?" ? Huh Huh?? "Huh HuhHuh Huh? Huh?? Huh ?? HuhHuh?" ? HuhHuh ?? Huh? Huh? Huh HuhHuh Huh?? HuhHuh ?? HuhHuh ? HuhHuh ? Huh Huh HuhHuh? ? Huh ?? HuhHuh Huh? Huh Huh?? Huh Huh? ? Huh? HuhHuh HuhHuh Huh??  Huh? Huh Huh?? Huh? ?? Huh??  HuhHuh Huh?   Huh? Huh Huh?? Huh? ?? Huh?? HuhHuh Huh? Huh Huh? Huh? Huh Huh?? HuhHuh HuhHuh? ? HuhHuh? ? Huh?? HuhHuh? ? HuhHuh?

"Ahlul sunnah strive hard in serving Allah and His prophet in accordance to their ability as Allah said
"Fear Allah as much as you can"[20]
And the prophet said,
"When I have commanded you with something then do that as much as you can"[21]
And they know that Allah has sent Muhammad with the welfare in people's livelihood and customs and that he ordered with conciliation and forbade us from corruption. So if there was an action containing welfare and corruption, we would give preference to the predominant. So if its welfare outweighs corruption, we would give it precedence. And if its corruption outweighs the welfare, then we would leave that action. For indeed Allah sent His prophet to acquire welfare and to shun corruption and make it lesser any way possible" [22]     
This principal clearly outlines that any action agreed by majority will be for people's welfare and interest and any rare opinion will serve less interest for people and for their welfare. Thus, any opinion or interpretation which is rare can not be made as a mainstream view and compelled to be accepted. Example is one scholar going against the majority. If for instance the practice in a country is based upon majority opinion then suddenly to be changed for the rare opinion and made that as mainstream practice then it is incorrect. This illustrates that majority was in error and the rare view was rightly guided? This in itself by logic is absurd.

[1] Chapter 21 verse 23
[2] Chapter 2 verse 285
[3] Chapter 2 verse 255
[4] Chapter 2 verse 143
[5] chap 2 ver 29   
[6] chap 5 ver 3
[7] Chap 2 ver 85
[8] HuhHuh? ?? Huh?? HuhHuh?   volume 1 page 127
[9] HuhHuh? ?? Huh?? HuhHuh?   volume 1 page 126
[10] Chapter 2 verse 179
[11] Huh? HuhHuh? volume 3 page 1192
[12] Huh? HuhHuh? volume 3 page 1195
[13] Huh? HuhHuh? volume 3 page 1197
[14] Chapter 6 verse 57
[15] Chapter 5 verse 44
[16] Chapter 5 verse 68
[17] Chapter 6 verse 114
[18] Almabsoot lil sarkhasee volume 10 page 144
[19] Bada'eul sanaai'e volume 7 page 130
[20] Chapter 63 verse 16
[21] Narrated by Abu Hurayrah. Reported by Bukhari & Muslim
[22] Minhaaj us sunnah volume 4 page 527
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #233 on: November 19, 2008, 04:15:35 PM »

Funny enough  huh = Arabic script

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #234 on: November 19, 2008, 04:19:47 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/11/19/german-outreach-to-muslims-backfires/

German outreach to Muslims backfires
posted at 3:17 pm on November 19, 2008 by Ed Morrissey   


An attempt by German Academia to provide outreach to moderate Muslims may have significantly backfired, with its leading light becoming an apostate.  Muhammed Sven Kalish has written a paper asserting that the prophet Mohammed never existed at all, and that Islam started as a Christian heresy.  Needless to say, the same people who threatened death on editorial cartoonists merely for depicting Mohammed are not pleased:

Muhammad Sven Kalisch, a Muslim convert and Germany’s first professor of Islamic theology, fasts during the Muslim holy month, doesn’t like to shake hands with Muslim women and has spent years studying Islamic scripture. Islam, he says, guides his life.

So it came as something of a surprise when Prof. Kalisch announced the fruit of his theological research. His conclusion: The Prophet Muhammad probably never existed.

Muslims, not surprisingly, are outraged. Even Danish cartoonists who triggered global protests a couple of years ago didn’t portray the Prophet as fictional. German police, worried about a violent backlash, told the professor to move his religious-studies center to more-secure premises.

“We had no idea he would have ideas like this,” says Thomas Bauer, a fellow academic at Münster University who sat on a committee that appointed Prof. Kalisch. “I’m a more orthodox Muslim than he is, and I’m not a Muslim.”

Of course, Christians and Jews have dealt with critical research for many years on the historical accuracy of their scriptures.  Claims that Jesus, Moses, and David didn’t exist have been made, debunked, and made yet again so often that they no longer make news any more.  Christians and Jews express annoyance at times with these claims, but they don’t react to them with violence and rage.

Neither should Muslims, Kalisch says, and the reluctance to even offer such a hypothetical amounts to bigotry:

Most Western scientists turn down such an hypotheses out of respect for Islam or because they are afraid of the reactions of their Muslim friends or because they think it is speculative nonsense.

The word “respect” sounds wonderful but it is completely inappropriate here because one really refers to the opposite. Whoever thinks that Muslims can’t deal with facts puts Muslims on the same level as small children who can’t think and decide for themselves and whose illusions of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny one doesn’t want to destroy.

Whoever really bases his thoughts on the equality of all human beings must expect the same intellectual performance. Really treating Muslims with respect would imply that they are strong enough to deal with their religion on the basis of our modern level of knowledge. “Islamophobes” think we Muslims are barbarians, the “kind-hearted” take us for “noble savages”… The result is the same: Muslims are seen as different from the rest of the world — they either belong in a “petting zoo” or in cages for wild animals, but by all means they belong in a zoo.


I agree with Kalisch’s response, but I think he misplaces the blame.  Western intellectuals have this reaction because of the massive rage that comes not just from a few nutcases but millions of Muslims when the Koran or the Hadiths receive any sort of critical scrutiny at all.  The Prophet Cartoon outrage was particularly instructive, as the resultant demonstrations had millions of participants worldwide calling for death to the editorial cartoonists — and they just drew pictures of Mohammed.  It’s that predictable rage that makes Western academics place Muslims in general in the category of ill-tempered children.

However, I’d take his hypothesis with a large, Lot’s wife-sized grain of salt.  Modern academics show little respect to the value of oral traditions in these revisionist theories.  It’s certainly possible that Mohammed never existed, but it strikes me as extremely unlikely.  Just because his story didn’t get written in a traditional paper medium during his life doesn’t make him a fable.  It could certainly impact the veracity of his quotes and the stories told in the Koran, but his existence?  Especially given the disputes over his succession that broke out after his death — all of which have fairly clear records and resulted in the Sunni-Shi’ite split within a generation or two — I’d call Kalisch’s theory a long shot.

Nevertheless, it’s precisely this kind of critical thinking that Islam requires to bring it into modernity and toleration.  Unfortunately, it’s also this kind of critical thinking that provokes the most reactionary behavior, which them shuts down critical thinking.  This will be a long process indeed, one I’m certain Germany’s academics had no intention of starting with such a controversial launch.
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #235 on: November 20, 2008, 11:53:01 AM »

**Sharia is to equal protection under the law, what islam is to free speech.**

LONDON — The woman in black wanted an Islamic divorce. She told the religious judge that her husband hit her, cursed her and wanted her dead.
Suhaib Hasan spoke with a woman who was trying to divorce her husband in London. But her husband was opposed, and the Islamic scholar adjudicating the case seemed determined to keep the couple together. So, sensing defeat, she brought our her secret weapon: her father.
In walked a bearded man in long robes who described his son-in-law as a hot-tempered man who had duped his daughter, evaded the police and humiliated his family.
The judge promptly reversed himself and recommended divorce.
**What if this woman had no male relative to offer witness on her behalf? Remember that under sharia, a muslim woman's testimony is only half that of a muslim male's.**

We have had this discussion before.  I am not questioning or discussing the merits or unfairness of "islamic law"; only the law in England.
This post was in "Islam in Europe". 

Before the Courts of England a Muslim, Christian, or Jew are equal.

“There is nothing whatever in English law that prevents people abiding by Shariah principles if they wish to, provided they do not come into conflict with English law,” the justice minister, Jack Straw, said last month. But he added that British law would “always remain supreme,” and that “regardless of religious belief, we are all equal before the law.”

However, IF BOTH parties agree to arbitration and IF BOTH agree to be heard in an Islamic Court, my point was/is "what's the problem"?  And my answer is there is no problem.  It is fair.  People choose
voluntary arbitration for many practical and different reasons, but the key word is "voluntary".  If you don't like it, don't do arbitration and you will then not be subject to Islamic Law; only English Law.  But if you voluntarily agree to arbitration, and there truly are benefits, and then don't like the decision, why am I to feel sorry for you?  I don't - you knew the possible risk and benefits of arbitration before you agreed.  The same is true of arbitration here in America.

Voluntary arbitration has existed for a long time in England and does here as well.  And it may well be religious based.  As Crafty's NY Times article pointed out, the Church of England as does the Jewish faith offer arbitration.  “People often come to us for reasons of speed, cost and secrecy,” said David Frei, registrar of the London Beth Din. “There’s nothing to prevent Muslims from doing the same thing.”

In your example, the woman sandbagged her husband.  She, as does everyone who participates, voluntarily agreed to Islamic Arbitration.  Her husband thought he had the upper hand, and then walked in her father.  Great strategic courtroom tactics; she won a quick and decisive victory for herself; clever girl.  And if she did not have a male relative, well then she should pass on arbitration and take her chances in English court.  It's all strategy, but fair for everyone.  Don't blame Islamic Law; they are only offering a voluntary service for members of their faith.










Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31504


« Reply #236 on: November 20, 2008, 01:11:29 PM »

1)  For the record "In Britain, beth din courts do not decide whether a Jewish couple’s marriage should end. They simply put their stamp of approval on the dissolution of the marriage when both parties agree to it."  This is different than determining whether the divorce should take place.

2) GM:  JDN's point seems fairly reasoned.  What say you?
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #237 on: November 20, 2008, 03:45:44 PM »

**Sharia is to equal protection under the law, what islam is to free speech.**

LONDON — The woman in black wanted an Islamic divorce. She told the religious judge that her husband hit her, cursed her and wanted her dead.
Suhaib Hasan spoke with a woman who was trying to divorce her husband in London. But her husband was opposed, and the Islamic scholar adjudicating the case seemed determined to keep the couple together. So, sensing defeat, she brought our her secret weapon: her father.
In walked a bearded man in long robes who described his son-in-law as a hot-tempered man who had duped his daughter, evaded the police and humiliated his family.
The judge promptly reversed himself and recommended divorce.
**What if this woman had no male relative to offer witness on her behalf? Remember that under sharia, a muslim woman's testimony is only half that of a muslim male's.**

We have had this discussion before.  I am not questioning or discussing the merits or unfairness of "islamic law"; only the law in England.
This post was in "Islam in Europe". 

Before the Courts of England a Muslim, Christian, or Jew are equal.

**Not in sharia court. And yet, in the UK's attempts to appease by giving the pre-existing sharia  courts legal standing, they feed the destructive force they wish to restrain. Has "seperate, but equal" ever been anything but a mask for oppression? Do the neo-nazis get their own civil courts as well? If not, why not?**

“There is nothing whatever in English law that prevents people abiding by Shariah principles if they wish to, provided they do not come into conflict with English law,” the justice minister, Jack Straw, said last month. But he added that British law would “always remain supreme,” and that “regardless of religious belief, we are all equal before the law.”

However, IF BOTH parties agree to arbitration and IF BOTH agree to be heard in an Islamic Court, my point was/is "what's the problem"?  And my answer is there is no problem.  It is fair.  People choose
voluntary arbitration for many practical and different reasons, but the key word is "voluntary". 

**What mechanism is there to ensure that muslim women, in the growing islamic enclaves in europe, would be protected if they chose not to go to "voluntary" sharia court. You ignore the religious, cultural and potentially physical coersion that they face.**


If you don't like it, don't do arbitration and you will then not be subject to Islamic Law; only English Law.  But if you voluntarily agree to arbitration, and there truly are benefits, and then don't like the decision, why am I to feel sorry for you?  I don't - you knew the possible risk and benefits of arbitration before you agreed.  The same is true of arbitration here in America.

Voluntary arbitration has existed for a long time in England and does here as well.  And it may well be religious based.  As Crafty's NY Times article pointed out, the Church of England as does the Jewish faith offer arbitration.  “People often come to us for reasons of speed, cost and secrecy,” said David Frei, registrar of the London Beth Din. “There’s nothing to prevent Muslims from doing the same thing.”

In your example, the woman sandbagged her husband.  She, as does everyone who participates, voluntarily agreed to Islamic Arbitration.  Her husband thought he had the upper hand, and then walked in her father.  Great strategic courtroom tactics; she won a quick and decisive victory for herself; clever girl.  And if she did not have a male relative, well then she should pass on arbitration and take her chances in English court.  It's all strategy, but fair for everyone.  Don't blame Islamic Law; they are only offering a voluntary service for members of their faith.

**Islam, from the time of it's invention has never been about free choice, only forcing submission. Many, if not all of these women are being forced to submit to sharia. This step toward imposing sharia is but the first step in the "stealth jihad". Those that support it have the same goals as al qaeda, the difference is they way they work towards those goals.**









Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31504


« Reply #238 on: November 20, 2008, 04:37:27 PM »

Pulling up the chair and the popcorn , , ,

Over to you JDN  grin
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #239 on: November 21, 2008, 09:44:19 AM »

Pulling up the chair and the popcorn , , ,

Over to you JDN  grin


More likely you are paraphrasing Caesar before the battle! 
And like good centurions, are we to say, "we who are about to die salute you!"    grin

I repeat myself, before the Courts of England a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew are equal.  Again, I quote, Jack Straw, "regardless of religious belief we are all equal before the law.".

Sharia "court" is only a VOLUNTARY court of arbitration.  For example in America, many matters are settled through arbitration and/or outside the US Court system.  It's voluntary; both parties
approve of the arbitrator.  And both parties are or should be aware of any biases of the arbitrator.  Sharia court is separate but equal just like the Church of England and other arbitrator's are separate
but equal.  In all instances, English Law and in American Law participation in arbitration is VOLUNTARY on the part of the participants.   Benefits exist; i.e. speed, cost, and time among them.  Nearly anyone can be the arbitrator.  However, both parties must mutually choose the arbitrator; if you don't like sharia arbitration court, or any other arbitration court, don't participate; it's very simple.

As for "protection of muslim women if they chose not to go to voluntary shiria court"  they have the same protection that you and I have if we are threatened.  Again, as justice minister Straw said, "we are all equal before the law.".  If someone threatens me, I call the police.  If someone harasses me, I call the police.  etc.  Muslim women have no more, but no less protection than any other citizen of England.  They are equal.

Islam may or may not be about "forcing submission"; I don't know.  But I do know that if a women was physically "forced to submit to sharia" in England the perpetrator upon the victim filing charges would probably be arrested; at minimum I presume a restraining order could be obtained.  That is the same protection any other woman has in England; again, no more no less.

As for "stealth jihad" that sounds like the ninja animation movie I watched last time I was in Japan.  Flying in the air, doing triple flips and killing 100 to one; he too looked pretty ominous, but after I finished my popcorn, we all got up and left for the bar to have a few beers and a few laughs. It was good good story.

So Crafty, do you have any popcorn left, or hopefully do you suggest we move on?   smiley

I mean you have have already watched this same movie in Sharia 101 if I recollect.  Reruns are usually pretty boring.   grin



 
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #240 on: November 21, 2008, 10:46:17 AM »

Pulling up the chair and the popcorn , , ,

Over to you JDN  grin


More likely you are paraphrasing Caesar before the battle! 
And like good centurions, are we to say, "we who are about to die salute you!"    grin

I repeat myself, before the Courts of England a Muslim, a Christian and a Jew are equal.  Again, I quote, Jack Straw, "regardless of religious belief we are all equal before the law.".

Sharia "court" is only a VOLUNTARY court of arbitration.  For example in America, many matters are settled through arbitration and/or outside the US Court system.  It's voluntary; both parties
approve of the arbitrator.  And both parties are or should be aware of any biases of the arbitrator.  Sharia court is separate but equal just like the Church of England and other arbitrator's are separate
but equal.  In all instances, English Law and in American Law participation in arbitration is VOLUNTARY on the part of the participants.   Benefits exist; i.e. speed, cost, and time among them.  Nearly anyone can be the arbitrator.  However, both parties must mutually choose the arbitrator; if you don't like sharia arbitration court, or any other arbitration court, don't participate; it's very simple.

**It might be simple for you or me, not so much for non-english speaking women imported from other islamic garden spots, who are kept locked away and abused, as allah intended.**

As for "protection of muslim women if they chose not to go to voluntary shiria court"  they have the same protection that you and I have if we are threatened.  Again, as justice minister Straw said, "we are all equal before the law.".

**Ah yes, "seperate but equal" again. Nothing uncomfortable about that concept for you?**

If someone threatens me, I call the police.  If someone harasses me, I call the police.  etc.  Muslim women have no more, but no less protection than any other citizen of England.  They are equal.

Islam may or may not be about "forcing submission"; I don't know. 

**Islam most closely translates to submission, as in "submission to the will of allah". Submission and slavery are some of the most common themes in islamic theology.**

But I do know that if a women was physically "forced to submit to sharia" in England the perpetrator upon the victim filing charges would probably be arrested; at minimum I presume a restraining order could be obtained.  That is the same protection any other woman has in England; again, no more no less.

As for "stealth jihad" that sounds like the ninja animation movie I watched last time I was in Japan.  Flying in the air, doing triple flips and killing 100 to one; he too looked pretty ominous, but after I finished my popcorn, we all got up and left for the bar to have a few beers and a few laughs. It was good good story.

**Did you see the movie where 19 jihadis killed about 3000 people in about two hours? There has actually been several movies made about that one. Did you have beers and laughs after watching one of those?**

So Crafty, do you have any popcorn left, or hopefully do you suggest we move on?   smiley

I mean you have have already watched this same movie in Sharia 101 if I recollect.  Reruns are usually pretty boring.   grin


**You are so quick to accuse someone of being a racist without evidence, and yet you are such a fan of policies that result in the oppression, suffering and deaths of the minorities that you allegedly are so concerned about. Who is the racist?**
 
Logged
Body-by-Guinness
Power User
***
Posts: 2790


« Reply #241 on: November 21, 2008, 10:47:27 AM »

I dunno, as someone who has seen a lot of Muslim women show up to school in burqas, change over to jeans and a blouse before class, and then change back before they are picked up at the end of the day--women aren't 'sposed to drive, don'tcha know--I have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of "voluntary paternalism." When we see women in many Muslim societies making "choices" women in less restrictive ones go a long way to avoid, are we not adopting dissimilitude should we label those choices "voluntary?"
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #242 on: November 21, 2008, 10:57:46 AM »

**Celebrate diversity!**

'Family turned a blind eye' as teenage bride was beaten to death by arranged husband

by CHRIS BROOKE
Last updated at 13:06 08 January 2008

A teenage bride was beaten to death by her husband while her in-laws who shared the same house ignored her sickening ordeal, a court heard yesterday.

Sabia Rani, 19, was repeatedly attacked over a three-week period, suffering bruising over 90% of her body and 'catastrophic' injuries usually only seen in car crash victims.

The 'vulnerable' teenager, who had arrived five months earlier from Pakistan for the arranged marriage, required emergency treatment in a hospital intensive care unit, the jury at Leeds Crown Court heard.

Beaten to death: Sabia Rani was repeatedly attacked over a three-week period by Shazad Khan (right)

But not only did four members of her husband's family do nothing to help her, they turned a blind eye as he continued the beatings and ultimately murdered the helpless young woman at the house they all shared, it was alleged.

The victim's mother-in-law and a sister-in-law blamed her horrfic injuries, which included at least 15 fractures on 10 fractured ribs, on 'evil spirits, curses and black magic.' While two of the family allegedly lied under oath while giving evidence in husband Shazad Khan's murder trial in a deliberate attempt to help him cheat justice, the court heard.

Khan, 25, of Oakwood Grange, Leeds, was convicted of murdering his wife at Leeds Crown Court last January. After the trial police launched an investigation into the role of other family members sharing the house.

Detectives arrested and charged the victim's mother-in-law Phullan Bibi, 52, sisters-in-law Nazia Naureen, 28, sister-in-law Uzma Khan, 23, and her husband Majid Hussain, 28. All four denied a charge of allowing the death of a vulnerable adult. Khan and Hussain also denied a charge of perjury.

Summarising the prosecution case Simon Myerson, QC, said of the defendants: 'They did nothing. She was in severe pain, but not one of them did anything about it.'

Sabia grew up in the Pakistani region of Kashmir and arrived in the UK in December 2005 to marry her cousin Shazad Khan and live with his family in Leeds. Although they 'signed a marriage certificate' in Pakistan three years earlier, they were not formally married until a ceremony on 15 January 2006.

The teenage bride didn't speak English, knew no one else apart from her husband's family and never went out alone, the court heard.

Paramedics were called to the family home at 11.28 am on Sunday 21 May 2006 to find Sabia's fully-clothed and dead body in an upstairs bathroom. They claimed Sabia had been found dead in the bath, but the court heard she was 'probably killed in the garage' and her body taken upstairs.

Mr Myerson said Khan had inflicted a number of brutal attacks during the last three weeks of Sabia's life. The final attack which killed her was 'prolonged and vicious,' the court heard. Her agonising rib fractures were caused by 'kicks, stamps or very hard punches.'

The court heard Sabia would have been in terrible pain and her injuries 'couldn't have been hidden by simple stoicism.' She was given paracetemol, but needed powerful medication and hospital care.

However, the defendants claimed they saw no injuries on her body and didn't realise she was in pain.

Mr Myerson said this explanation was a lie and because they shared the same home and regularly spent time with Sabia they must have realised the ordeal she was enduring alone.

He said: 'There must have come a time when each defendant knew Sabia Rani was ill and in pain. They must have known or suspected Shazad Khan was the cause of her illness and pain and must have known it was unlawful.'

He added:'This family disliked Shabia from almost the beginning. That dislkike grew until it turned into violence by Shazad Khan.'

Bibi, the mother-in-law, was said to shout at Sabia continously over 'petty things' and the teenager would 'tip toe around the house trying not to upset her.'

The court heard Khan said she was told by a 'holy man' who examined an item of the victim's clothing that she had been 'possessed by evil spirits.' But Mr Myerson said:'This is not a question of faith, this is a question of evidence.'

He said there have been no scientifically verified cases in which 'evil spirits have beaten a girl to death.' 'The evil spirit who beat Sabia Rani was Shazad Khan and Uzma Khan knew that perfectly well.'

The case continues.


Find this story at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-506686/Family-turned-blind-eye-teenage-bride-beaten-death-arranged-husband.html
Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31504


« Reply #243 on: November 21, 2008, 11:04:59 AM »

JDN:

I get your point about the legal theory of it all, and I suspect that GM does too, but is that really responsive to his point about the real world of it all?  His post about the poor Sabia Rani seems to support his case rather vividly , , ,
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #244 on: November 21, 2008, 11:22:02 AM »

**Note that the Guardian is very left in it's orientation.**


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2008/nov/19/religion-islam

Dangerous liaisons
Is there really any place for polygamy in English law, as a leading Muslim figure recently argued?
 
Rosa Freedman
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday November 19 2008 14.30 GMT

The bodies of the Knights Templar were surely spinning under their effigies last night, as someone they would have regarded as an infidel delivered a lecture within the walls of Temple Church entitled "Family Law, Minorities and legal Pluralism: Should English Law give more Recognition to Islamic Law?".

The lecture focused on Islamic marriages and divorces in this country, with Sheikh Faiz ul-Aqtab Siddiqi (of the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal) speaking candidly on many areas. One such topic was that of polygamy, and the refusal of English law to recognise such relationships. Siddiqi boldly stated:

In a jurisdiction where rights are afforded to a mistress, or many mistresses, and where there are same-sex marriages … polygamous marriages should not be such an alien concept.

Siddiqi is a practising barrister, and has been involved with the process of reforming English law to accommodate Muslim cultural practices, especially within the area of family law. As a religious leader, he is at the conservative end of the spectrum. However, he is a well-respected member of a number of unifying Muslim organisations and is at the forefront of attempts to find common ground between sharia law and English law.

Later, after a question from the floor, he clarified his position as being one of confusion as to why relationships such as extra-marital affairs should be recognised under English law, and furthermore how men could be permitted to marry other men, and women other women. He argued that if such relationships were not considered abhorrent, then current attitudes towards polygamy could not, and should not, be justified.

The main problem with using this argument in favour of recognition of polygamous marriages both inside and outside this country is that of proof as to whether these marriages have been entered into willingly and freely by the women involved. No one forces a person to have an extra-marital affair, or to enter into a civil partnership, but there is widespread evidence of the forcing of women into polygamous relationships in many religions and in many parts of the world. To compare consensual relationships with forced ones, whether physical or emotional coercion is used, is completely misguided.

Siddiqi said that polygamous marriages derived from the need to protect women from destitution, or from being "business for ... pimps". He alleged that prior to polygamous marriages female children were buried alive because they were seen as a burden to their parents. He spoke of the widows and divorcees left to starve; impoverished and abandoned. The Prophet Mohammad was said to have allowed polygamous marriages in order to give kind and benevolent men the opportunity to save these poor wretches.

He expressed the view that women are no longer in such a position today, glossing over – or, perhaps, forgetting – about women in places like the Indian subcontinent who are still viewed as being inferior to their male counterparts, with some female children still suffering terrible fates. He spoke of the opportunities and choices that women now have, which is true in the western world, but less so in predominantly Muslim countries where some women are denied education and other basic rights.

The crux of this argument was that polygamous marriages should be permitted in a country where sensitivity is professed for people's rights to individual and cultural needs. He asserted that these marriages would be relatively few in number, due to the advances made by women in society negating the need to "save" them from destitution, and that any entered into would be through the free choice of the woman. This line of reasoning contradicted his earlier remarks about the subjugation of women through their lack of knowledge of their legal rights in England, and the dire consequences for such women upon divorce. Similarly, warning bells rang when he spoke of the need to deal with domestic violence through arbitration tribunals due to women's fear of approaching the police as it would lead to marital breakdown. The idea of encouraging a woman to remain in a violent relationship, and for an arbitration tribunal to "deal" with the situation through encouraging the man to change his behaviour, suggests that we can't be confident polygamous marriages would be freely entered into by Muslim women.

The final position Siddiqi put forward by the for the acceptance of polygamous marriages under English law was that of the time-honoured herd mentality. He pointed to the 1.5billion Muslims living across the world, and asked the audience whether so many people could be deemed "stupid" or "wrong" for believing that polygamy is acceptable. The ability of leaders to influence large numbers of people's thoughts and actions does not necessarily mean that the underlying principles are correct. Far be it for me to equate religion with brainwashing, but we all know the answer when such logic is applied to groups such as the Unification Church, or to people living under regimes such as Stalin's Russia.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #245 on: November 21, 2008, 11:55:43 AM »

**Just footnoting islam=submission**

http://www.ummah.net/what-is-islam/_other/main.htm

ISLAM means submission, that is, submission to the will of God, the characteristic attitude of members of our faith. MUSLIM (also spelled Moslem) is based on the same Arabic root as Islam (s-l-m) and means one who submits to God, that is, a believer in Islam.
Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #246 on: November 21, 2008, 12:15:32 PM »

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/ayaan-hirsi-ali-my-life-under-a-fatwa-760666.html

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: My life under a fatwa

Born and raised by fundamentalist Muslims, Ayaan Hirsi Ali fled her native Somalia for a new life in the Netherlands. Her talents bought fame as a feminist, writer and MP; her criticisms of Islam made her a target for violent extremists. Johann Hari meets a woman who dared to stand up for her beliefs – and paid the price

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

 
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was stabbed into the world's consciousness three years ago. One wet afternoon in November 2004, her friend Theo van Gogh – a film-maker, and descendant of Vincent – left his house and was about to cycle off through Amsterdam. But a young Dutch-born Muslim called Mohammed Bouyeri was waiting for him – with a handgun and two sharpened butcher's knives.

Wordlessly, he shot Van Gogh twice in the chest. Van Gogh howled: "Can't we talk about this?" Bouyeri ignored his pleas and fired four more times. Then he pulled out a knife and slit Van Gogh's throat with such strength that his head was almost severed from his body. He used the other knife to stab a five-page letter on to Van Gogh's haemorrhaging corpse.

Ayaan explains: "The letter was addressed to me." It said that Van Gogh had been "executed" for making a film with her that exposed the widespread abuse of Muslim women. Now, she would be "executed" too – for being an apostate.

She says that, even now, "every time I close my eyes, I see the murder, and I hear Theo pleading for his life. 'Can't we talk about this?' he asked his killer. It was so Dutch, so sweet and innocent." At the trial, Bouyeri spat at Van Gogh's mother: "I don't feel your pain. I don't have any sympathy for you. I can't feel for you because I think you're a non-believer."

This is the story of how a 25-year-old bogus asylum-seeker from Africa came to Europe in search of freedom – only to be nearly murdered here by a Dutchman, on the streets of Amsterdam, for speaking out against religion. The story opens in the blood-strewn streets of Somalia, and it closes amid the shiny white marble of Washington, DC – yet it also ends where it began: with Ayaan's life in danger. This is the story of the refugee who rocked Islam.

****

Her light, slight figure walks into the room so quietly that I would not have noticed her. But then the bodyguards follow: big, with their eyes darting into every corner in search of the long-awaited assassin, and you realise – yes, she is here. The internet is littered with pledges to torture and slay Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Yet, just a few weeks before we meet in London, the Dutch government has stripped away her security detail. She is paying for her own bodyguards now – and she could soon run out of cash.

So how did this soft-voiced woman come to be so hated – and to be abandoned by the country that gave her sanctuary?

The life of her mother hangs over Ayaan as a morality tale, a warning of what she might have been. "I was determined to never let what happened to my mother happen to me," she says, looking away. "I think that has made me the way I am."

By the time her mother gave birth to Ayaan in a hospital on the outskirts of Mogadishu in 1967, she was a broken woman. Like all Somalian women, she had been pressured all her life to suppress her personality, to sublimate everything to men and to God – to become what Ayaan calls "a devoted, well-trained work-animal".

In her youth, her mother had moments when she fought back, briefly and bravely. She insisted on leaving her family. They were desert nomads, in effect living in the Iron Age, with no writing, few metal objects, and a belief that Allah's angels and demons were constantly tinkering with reality. At 15, she walked out of their desert to the city of Aden.

But when her father called her back to be married to a man she had never met, she submitted. There was another flickering moment of freedom: exceptionally for that time and place, she later insisted on a divorce, and got one.

But this was all gone when Ayaan was born. The woman striving for independence had soon remarried, and crashed into the sheer weight of cultural expectation. She had been persuaded that "God is just and all-knowing and will reward you in the hereafter for being subservient". Her personality became deformed by it.

"She remained completely dependent," Ayaan says. "She nursed grievances; she was resentful; she was often violent, and she was always depressed." She would take it out on Ayaan, tying her arms behind her back and lashing her with wire for the slightest misdemeanour.

When Ayaan first menstruated, her mother screamed at her: "Filthy prostitute! May you be barren! May you get cancer!" Ayaan tried to commit suicide not long after. But now she says she knows that "all the abuse wasn't really directed at me, but at the world, which had taken her rightful life away."

When her second husband left her, Ayaan's mother was too infantilised to react. "It never occurred to her to go out and create a new life for herself, even though she can't have been older than 35 or 40 when my father left," Ayaan has written.

She remembers waking up every night as a small girl to hear her mother wailing. Once, she went into her mother's bedroom and placed a hand on her cheek; her mother screamed and beat her. After that, Ayaan would simply crouch at the door, listening to the wails, wishing she knew what to do.

Somali culture began to demand that Ayaan too become a submissive woman who scrubbed away her own personality and sexuality. When she was five years old, she was made "pure" by having her genitals hacked out with a knife. It was a simple process; her grandmother and two of her friends pinned her down, pulled her legs apart, and knifed away her clitoris and labia. She remembers the sound even now – "like a butcher, snipping the fat off a piece of meat". The bleeding wound was sewn up, leaving a thick tissue of scars to form as her fleshy chastity belt. She could not walk for two weeks.

Ayaan soon realised that, in a culture so patriarchal that it could not tolerate the existence of an unmaimed vagina, "I could never become an adult. I would always be a minor, my decisions made for me. But I wanted to become an individual, with a life of my own."

By reading novels, she heard whispers of a world where this was possible. For her, even poring over Enid Blyton and Barbara Cartland seemed transgressive, because they depicted a world where boys and girls played together on the basis of equality, and where women chose their husbands rather than having them forced on them by their fathers. Imagine a world so patriarchal that Barbara Cartland seems like a gender revolutionary.

Yet, on the road to this self-determining life, Ayaan turned first to its polar opposite: the very Islamic fundamentalism that now wants to kill her. Ayaan was taught from infancy to revere the Prophet Mohamed and the Koran, and she believed it all. She desperately wanted to please Mohamed, and his path seemed to her the only one.

So, once her family had moved to Kenya, a country where few people wore the headscarf, she chose to don one. She has written: "It had a thrill to it, a sensuous feeling. It made me feel powerful: underneath this screen lay a previously unsuspected, but potentially lethal, femininity. It sent out a message of superiority: I was the one true Muslim."

She began to go to a prayer group where the texts of Sayyid Qutb and Hassan al-Banna – the intellectual inspirations for al-Qa'ida – were pored over. When the Ayatollah Khomeini declared that Salman Rushdie should be murdered for what a maniac says in one of his novels, Ayaan wanted him dead. "I supported it," she says now, "and the logic of my position is that I would have become a martyr myself, or supported the people [who did become martyrs]."

What would that girl, who took to the streets to call for Rushdie's death, say if she could see you now? Would she think you should be killed too? For the first time in our interview, Ayaan pauses. A long pause. "What would that girl of 1989 think of this girl?" she repeats. "I think... well... people change." Another pause. "She would at least approve of it. That's why I try to explain – there is a reason why so many Muslims are silent when, in the name of Islam, violence is committed. It's because we believe that jihad is the sixth obligation. Those, then, who are brave enough to commit acts of jihad must deserve our commendation."

Then, one day, as she slid into jihadism, her absent father reappeared and announced that he had found her a good husband. Ayaan thought the potential life-partner stupid and ugly – but she had no choice. He was from the right clan, he had the right fundamentalist beliefs, and he wanted her. She knew what was expected: "A Muslim girl does not make her own decisions or seek control."

****

But she could not – would not – do it. She ran. She ran all the way to the Netherlands, on a plane, to claim asylum. She was terrified when she landed in the heartland of The Infidel. She expected to find depravity on every corner. But she was amazed. Here was a peaceful land that seemed like Paradise.

"In the Netherlands, I saw people we called infidels living an amazing life – men and women mixing, gay people being free, you could say whatever you wanted," she says. "Then I went back to the asylum-seekers' centre and almost everyone was from a Muslim country begging for the charity of these infidels. And I thought, 'If we're so superior, why are we begging from them?'"

She experimented in stepping out on to the streets without her hijab, expecting she would be harassed and raped by the sex-crazed infidel. Nobody looked twice. She began to test other democratic freedoms. She drank alcohol, she found a boyfriend – and she headed for the library to discover the principles that had created this place. She began to pore over the works of Enlightenment philosophy.

"Sometimes, it seemed as if every page I read challenged me as a Muslim. Drinking wine and wearing trousers was nothing compared to reading the history of ideas," she says. "The Enlightenment cut European culture from its roots in old fixed ideas of magic, kingship, social hierarchy and the domination of priests, and regrafted it on to a great strong trunk that supported the equality of each individual and his right to free opinions and self-rule." She found that all this was a profound challenge to the severe Islam she had been pickled in since childhood.

She began to study for a political science degree and was slowly rethinking her faith when, one bright morning in September 2001, the island of Manhattan became swathed in smoke. The chief hijacker, Mohammed Atta, was exactly the same age as Ayaan. She feels like she knows him, and that if her life had taken a different turn – if she had stayed in Kenya, with the jihadis – "perhaps I could have done it." And she says something very revealing: "I realised I could either go mad, join the Bin Ladenists, or step out of the religion."

This fanatical form of Islam was, she realised, around her in the Netherlands. On the night of September 11, a small group of Muslim men took to the streets to celebrate the massacre. The country's domestic violence shelters were disproportionately crammed with Muslim women fleeing male terror. Forced marriages and "honour killings" continued at a startling rate in Dutch cities. But she found that many otherwise good people were reluctant to speak out against this abuse of women and gay people within immigrant communities.

The Netherlands had a policy called "emancipation within your own circle", and Ayaan saw this as a betrayal. Multiculturalism, she believed, was "elevating cultures full of bigotry and hatred towards women to the stature of respectable alternative ways of life. I wanted Muslim women to be aware of just how bad, and unacceptable, their suffering was. I wanted to help them develop the vocabulary of resistance."

Logged
G M
Power User
***
Posts: 12074


« Reply #247 on: November 21, 2008, 12:16:46 PM »

She took the great English feminist Mary Wollstonecraft as her lodestar, and began to campaign for the state to log the rate of "honour" killings, because nobody was even bothering to count. This led to the centre-right Liberal Party asking her to run to be a member of parliament.[/b]

She accepted, and got one of the highest personal votes in the country. This in turn led her into the path of Theo van Gogh – and to his slaughter. After that, Ayaan was placed under full-time surveillance by security guards and was barely permitted to leave her house.

****

At this point, two Ayaans were born, with clashing and contradictory views on Islam. Sitting here now, I can feel their presence; I can hear them alternate in her mind. I call the first "revolutionary Ayaan", and this Ayaan says about September 11: "This was not just Islam, this was the core of Islam. Mohammed Atta believed he was giving his life for Allah. This is beyond Osama bin Laden, it is based in the basic roots of Islam."

Without pausing, she continues: "You have to ask – is it a fact that the Prophet Mohamed conquered lands using the sword? Is it a fact that Muslims are commanded to commit jihad? Yes it is."

She has no time for what she sees as the ignorant, woolly Islam-is-peace message of Western liberals, insisting: "I see no difference between Islam and Islamism. Islam is defined as submission to the will of Allah, as it is described in the Koran. Islamism is just Islam in its most pure form. Sayyid Qutb didn't invent anything, he just quoted the sayings of Mohamed."


Revolutionary Ayaan believes that the religion cannot be reformed or changed, only defeated. The millions upon millions of Muslims who are not violent – "the wonderful, decent, law-abiding people" – simply do not really follow Islam. They ignore it, or they live uncomfortably with the explosive "cognitive dissonance" of simultaneously supporting human decency and the demands of Islam.

She lists the awkward truths about the Prophet Mohamed. "All Muslims believe in following his example, but many of the things he did are crimes. When he was in his fifties, he had sex with a nine-year-old girl. By our standards, he was a pervert. He ordered the killing of Jews and homosexuals and apostates, and the beating of women." That is why she concludes that "the war on terror is a war on Islam", and "Islam is the new fascism".

But then there is "reformist Ayaan". This Ayaan says the opposite: that internal reform within Islam is both possible and necessary. She insists: "It's wrong to treat Muslims as if they will never find their John Stuart Mill. Christianity and Judaism show that people can be very dogmatic and then open up. There is a minority [within Islam] like [the reformists] Irshad Manji and Tawfiq Hamid who want to remain in the faith and reform it.

"Can you be a Muslim and respect the separation of church and state? I hope a large enough number of Muslims will agree you can, and they will find a way to keep the spiritual elements that comfort them and live in a secular society."

Ayaan's life story is strewn with Muslims who rejected Bin Ladenist fanaticism. Her father, for example, was revolted by the Wahabbism he witnessed in Saudi Arabia, and told her: "This is not Islam – this is Saudis perverting Islam." She hesitates when I ask her about this fracture line in her thinking; I can almost touch the cognitive dissonance.

Then "reformist Ayaan" says: "Well, my father was trying to combine the commandments in the Koran with his conscience. He has reached a level of civilisation because he's living in the 21st century, but he was also trying to follow a religion founded in the seventh century. So on the one hand he thinks you should accept that the content of the Koran is the true word of God, and on the other hand he is a decent person. He tried to move on by saying that we should only convert non-Muslims by example, not by violence, and [by saying] that only the Prophet Mohamed can call for a jihad." But then "revolutionary Ayaan" adds: "That's not what the Koran says. It says you can never change the faith."

Is there is a danger that the language of "revolutionary Ayaan" is undercutting the very people "reformist Ayaan" wants to encourage? Does she worry that by calling all Islam "fascism" she might encourage the hard right, who want to deny women like her the chance even to come to Europe as refugees?

"I do," she says. "But the group of Europeans, white Europeans, who want to stop immigration altogether, and who reject Muslims, today in 2007, is not that large. But they could become larger if European governments continue the policy of accommodating and appeasing fascist demands made by radical Muslims. They need to oppose fascist demands by Muslims, and the fascist demands by far-right white groups. I think that if there is equal treatment on both sides, the traditional populations of Europe will say that it's fair play."

As we discuss this, I realise there is something odd about this conversation. It is all so disconcertingly normal. Ayaan is speaking in a level voice, at a level volume. If you didn't speak English and you saw us talking, you could assume that we were discussing bus timetables, or the weather. It's not that she seems passionless – not at all – but that her personality seems to be coiled up within her, and I am only seeing the carefully considered tip of it. When she describes the people who want to hack her body to pieces, it is in paragraphs that feel prepacked. Perhaps it is all she can bear to show.

And so we continue. She looks at me politely and says that Europe needs to be more confident about standing up to Islamic fundamentalism. "When we come here as immigrants, we know it will be different to where we come from. It's a choice to come, and we can always choose to leave. If we do not want to adopt European values, we should expect to be criticised."

For example, she says, the veil she used to wear is "a political statement, it's not just a religious statement. It says: I'm different from you and I reject what you stand for." She stresses that she doesn't want to ban it, just to see it challenged. "I'm opposed to banning of political expression, but I'm very much a proponent of competing political expression.

"The message of liberals is so much better, so much stronger, that you don't have to resort to banning. You can wear whatever it is that you want, you can give out whatever message that you want to give out – but you have to understand that if that message is rejected, then you can't call people Islamophobic and expect to be taken seriously. If you choose to wear a veil, people might ridicule and oppose you. That's their right, too."

****

She speaks with such eloquent intensity because she is arguing against another, younger version of herself. The Ayaan of 2007 is attacking the Ayaan of 1987 – who is damning her right back. If there is a clash of civilisations, it is happening within her. It's hard to remember, as we sit here, that there are tens of thousands of people who want to prematurely bring this fizzing debate inside Ayaan's head to an end – with a bullet.

She fell in love with Holland because of its tradition of unabashed free speech, but it seems the country's politicians have judged that she took free speech too far for them. Last year, the Dutch government began to reinvestigate the lies in her original asylum claim. Ever since she entered public life she had been totally candid about this: she exaggerated the degree of state persecution she faced because being abused by your family isn't enough to be granted refugee status. Now the government was twitchy about the rows she was stirring up – so they suddenly decided to strip her of her seat in parliament. Amid efforts to revoke her Dutch citizenship as well, she fled to Washington and a job with a conservative think-tank.

Her alignment with the American right doesn't seem like an easy fit. She is a militant defender of atheism, feminism and gay rights – all forces they have demonised for decades. She is an illegal immigrant, their ultimate hate figure. But, as our interview goes on, I realise she has depressingly begun to adopt some of their ideas. She wants to abolish the minimum wage. She no longer calls for the closing of all faith schools, but simply Muslim ones, because "they are the only ones that do not respect the division between secular and divine law".

She has even begun to touch on the American hard right's preposterous predictions that Muslims are "outbreeding" the continent's traditional populations and will impose sharia law "within decades". When I challenge her on this, she says that "experts" say it is true.

Then, this month, the Dutch government went further and stripped away her security protection, saying she should pay for it herself. The US government will not pick up the tab – the only mechanism they have for protecting private citizens full-time is the Witness Protection Program, which isn't appropriate.

"Only 11 members out of the 150 MPs voted to keep my security detail," she says. "So it's an overwhelming decision, and when I saw that I did feel betrayed. It's not only a betrayal of me, it's a betrayal of the idea of free expression.

"I think they believe that supposedly provoking Muslims will only make them more angry and hostile. The four large cities in Holland have now got very large Muslim populations, and that number is increasing – the estimate is that they're about 40 per cent. With that kind of electoral power [they think] it's best not to provoke them." Even if that means sacrificing basic Dutch values? "Yes."

She is revolted by the people who claim that it is she, Ayaan, who has "sold out" Muslims. "Tell me, is freedom only for white people?" she has written. "Is it self-love to adhere to my ancestors' traditions and mutilate my daughters? To agree to be humiliated and powerless? When I came to a new culture, where I saw for the first time that human relations could be different, would it have been self-love to see that as a foreign cult, which Muslims are forbidden to practise?"

So here she is, with the last sliver of protection she can afford standing between her and the people determined to murder her, still speaking, still fighting. Her family have said that they will never speak to her again. She knows she can never return to the country where she was born. Is she frightened? She answers quickly, as if reciting a reassuring script. "I know that is what these terrorists want me to be," she says. "So I try not to be scared." Then she pauses, and looks down. "But sometimes. Yes."

She looks up again. "But I am lucky. There are so many crossroads where my life could have become so much worse. If I had stayed in Kenya with the [jihadist] prayer group, if I had entered into the marriage my father wanted... I could have lived like my mother." She nods with confidence. "How many girls born in Digfeer Hospital in Mogadishu in November 1969 are even alive today? And how many have a real voice?"

Ayaan Hirsi Ali was in London to address the Centre for Social Cohesion
Logged
JDN
Power User
***
Posts: 2004


« Reply #248 on: November 21, 2008, 01:23:57 PM »

JDN:

I get your point about the legal theory of it all, and I suspect that GM does too, but is that really responsive to his point about the real world of it all?  His post about the poor Sabia Rani seems to support his case rather vividly , , ,

I am not sure GM really does get my legal point, i.e. Sharia court is voluntary; don't participate if you don't want to.  Instead, he seems to ignore the law and talk about extraneous matters.  Please remember, one is always welcome to use the English legal system, however arbitration is often faster and cheaper. The debate was not about Islam per se, but rather VOLUNTARY arbitration in England.  Voluntary arbitration is fair and just for all by definition since you choose to participate.; if you don't like it, don't participate in it. It is really a very simple clear legal point.

As for poor Sabia Rani it is tragic.  But domestic violence is real; it happens in America among all religions and ethnic groups.  Also, it is very hard to prevent.  And in the Rani case like any other case in the real world the police investigated the matter and if I read the article correctly, the perpetrators are being tried for murder.  It's tragic, but at least the law is equal and fair for all.  If a Christian beats his wife (it happens too often) or a Muslim beats his, both are wrong and both should be severely punished according to the law.  That is the law in England and America.  One law for all; isn't that fair?


Logged
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 31504


« Reply #249 on: November 21, 2008, 02:44:47 PM »

"The debate was not about Islam per se, but rather VOLUNTARY arbitration in England."

No, the debate is about WHETHER the REALITY of it is voluntary.
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 3 4 [5] 6 7 ... 9 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!