Thursday, 19 August 2010

Hope For Saudi Arabia?

A role reversal comedy shown on Saudi television recently depicted a woman marrying four husbands in a deliberate attempt to place the boot on the other foot regarding the male right in Islam to practice polygamy. The comedy was an episode in Saudi Arabia’s most celebrated satirical series, "Tash Ma Tash" or "No Big Deal", a take-off of social prejudices shown annually during Ramadan.

The central character takes four husbands, explaining herself using the conventional arguments Saudi men use to exercise their legal and religious privilege of marrying four times. Another sketch shown recently on the show depicted Muslims being warmly surprised by the respect they feel towards a Christian priest.

Predictably, the show has been criticised by the usual Wahhabi Islamic clerics, but the fact that it was able to get airtime at all in the draconian sharia state of Saudi Arabia is very encouraging. I have little hope at the moment that it will lead to any serious self-reflection and critical scrutiny of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, but this adoption of Western-style self-deprecating satire is extremely welcome indeed.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Obama Stands With Sharia


It was expected, but it has now come to pass: President Borat Obama yesterday endorsed the Islamic supremacist inititiative, headed by a sharia-supporting imam, to build a gigantic mosque near the sacred ground of New York's Ground Zero - the place where Faisal Abdul Rauf's evil ideological brethren murdered thousands of innocent people nine years ago.

In this article, Frank Gaffney laments the President's dhimmitude, and reveals the vile "guest-list" at this year's Iftar dinner, which included:

- Ingrid Mattson, head of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terrorism funding case.

- Salam al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and supporter of Hizballah and Hamas.

- Dahlia Mogahed, adviser to Obama on Muslim affairs and advocate of sharia.

Gaffney concludes by framing the issues in terms of whether one stands for or against sharia, the former being a mark of shame and the latter being a stand in support of democratic secular governance and human rights - and his conclusion about Obama is shattering but unquestionably accurate:

"For Barack Obama, the answer is now pretty clear: He stands with shariah."

Those Pesky "Scholars"

The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America is a non-profit organisation that aims to issue and clarify sharia rulings based on questions submitted to the organisation by lay Muslims.

Given that Islam is unquestionably a Religion of Peace (*snicker*), one would think that this prestigious centre for Islamic scholars - who have devoted their lives to the study of Islam and its sacred texts - would be a place to witness the peaceful, tolerant teachings of "mainstream Islam".

Instead, many of the fatwas issued on the group's website espouse so-called "radical Islam", and succeed in furthering the cause of said "radical Islam" in America.

Advocacy of sharia law (in all it glory) can be found all over the website, including open acceptance of its brutal "hudud" punishments. These include the ruling that "repentance does not lift up the set punishment for cursing and insulting the Prophet, i.e. execution." Regarding, apostasy away from Islam, the site says:

As for the Shari`ah ruling, it is punishment of killing for the man with the grand Four Fiqh Shari`ah scholars, and the same with the woman with the major Shari`ah scholars, and she is jailed with Al-Hanafiyyah scholars, as the prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said: 'Whoever [sic] a Muslim changes his/her religion, kill him/her', and his saying: 'A Muslim`s blood, who testifies that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, is not made permissible except by three reasons: the life for the life; the married adulterer and the [sic] that who abandons his/her religion'. "

During a fairly brief search I also found the undeniably sexist command that "if a woman’s face is pretty, attracts men and thus causes temptation, then she is required to cover her face." AJMA have also been relatively consistent in advising Muslims not to join or cooperate with the Western military and law enforcement. Egyptian cleric Khatem al-Hajj also wrote on the website that non-Muslim countries "are subject to man-made laws, which Islamic law [shari'a] does not recognize, either fully or in part" - a definitive roadblock on the path to successful Muslim integration in the West.

Why does this keep happening? Why do Muslim scholars, who have spent so long studying Islam, keep "misunderstanding" their faith's peaceful teachings, and disseminating them, to widespread acceptance, among the ordinary people of their communities? After all, AJMA's isn't the only site like this. There is also Islam Q & A, a mainstream Muslim website that provides fatwas intended, in its own words, to "teach and familiarize Muslims with various aspects of their religion", via "only authentic, scholarly sources based on the Quran and sunnah, and other reliable contemporary scholarly opinions." It has in the past endorsed jihad against unbelievers, hatred of unbelievers, the veiling of women, and the murder of homosexuals, among a host of other things.

Then there is Islam Online, a massively popular site co-founded by a supporter of suicide bombing, which has posted incendiary Qur'an-inspired antisemitism as well as justification of the sharia death penalty for apostasy.

Meanwhile, the website of the British Islamic Sharia Council (a terrifying title if ever I heard one) states unreservedly that anyone - including moderate Muslims - who dares to suggest that sharia law is barbaric or out-of-date in the modern world is an unbeliever and will burn in Hell for all eternity.

All of this "extremist" material is freely and openly available, without restrictions, to any Muslim with the will to find it. As President Obama heaps ridiculously lavish and unwarranted praise upon the Muslim world to mark the start of Ramadan, he would do well to remember this fact.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Muslim Innovations In Anti-Gravity

Just a normal day in Mecca

In this Telegraph article about the Islamic supremacist inititiative to replace Greenwich Mean Time with Mecca Time (which includes the construction of a triumphant "mega-clock" in Saudi Arabia that dwarfs Big Ben), we are treated to some of that world-renowned Islamic science we're always being told about (you've heard the story, we learned everything we know from them).

We're told by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi that Mecca is in line with the Magnetic North Pole, while Abdel-Baset al-Sayyed of the Egyptian National Research Centre insists that people in Mecca are "less affected by the earth's gravity".

Anti-gravity in the heart of the Muslim world? It appears that we still have so much to learn from these enlightened folks.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Talibanisation or Islamisation?

In this widely circulated article in the Daily Mail, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, the chair of British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD), sounds a rare note of Muslim protest against the "extremists" in the midst of the umma.

Providing example after example based on her personal experience with fellow Muslims, she paints a disturbing picture of a culture and society that is totally incompatible with secular British values, which enshrine individual liberty and human equality and rights. She highlights an important Islamic cultural attitude that explains much about the intolerance of many Muslims, as well as why Islam itself deprives its followers of the basic philosophical structure they need to fulfill their full potential as human beings:

Teachers, community, youth and social workers have told me many stories of the suppression of simple childhood pleasures in the name of Islam.

Of course, apart from the direct quotation above, most of what I have just written is paraphrasing. In fact, while the author's condemnation of cultural backwardness among British Muslim communities is noble, her piece does very little, if anything, to address the core issues at play here.

Take the issue of "the suppression of simple childhood pleasures in the name of Islam." It was the Ayatollah Khomeini who said: "Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious."

Renowned, credible academics and scholars of Islam have described it as a religio-political ideology that is inherently totalitarian in nature. Bertrand Russell compared Islam to Communism. And G.H. Bousquet, a leading twentieth-century expert on Islamic law, wrote:

Islam first came before the world as a doubly totalitarian system. It claimed to impose itself on the whole world and it claimed also, by the divinely appointed Muhammadan law, by the principles of fiqh, to regulate down to the smallest details the whole life of the Islamic community and of every individual believer...

Totalitarian systems by their very nature strive to eradicate "fun", which is a means of provoking unregulated human emotion - something that cannot be tolerated under the rules of the strict, all-controlling political ideology.

Ms Alibhai-Brown could have admitted that Islam itself, at least as it has been institutionalised by the most respected Islamic scholarly and spiritual authorities throughout history, is a totalitarian belief system that contributes to the disturbing trends she outlines in her article, and articulated a plea for a grass-roots reform of Islam that would eradicate its political character and reject any assumptions - even long-held, cherished ones - that contradict modern constructs of democracy, freedom and human rights. But she does not do this. Instead, she blames Wahhabism - a "version" of Islam which has only existed since the eighteenth century, long after the aforementioned totalitarian impulse was institutionalised in the Islamic world.

She ignores other things, as well. She ignores the Qur'anic and hadithic teachings that are used to justify the banning of music and art, as well as domestic abuse and honour killing. The problem is that she ultimately has no valid explanation as to why so many Muslims end up becoming "radicals" when Islam is supposed to be a Religion of Peace, and she has no clear method in mind for making this trend change. That is sad, and while I wish her well, I also have little hope that she will succeed in modernising Islam when she fails to acknowledge where the problems are coming from in the first place.

Religious Freedom and the Leftist Double Standard

That statue could be a symbol of tragic irony in years to come

The reasons why we must oppose the Ground Zero Mosque Project in New York - which has just hurdled another barrier to its construction - are complex and multi-faceted, and over at Front Page Robert Spencer highlights another aspect of this controversial issue: the double standards of the authorities.

He points out the plight of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, which stood in the shadow of the World Trade Centre and was crushed by its rubble on 9/11. Today, attempts to have it rebuilt are mired in bureaucracy, with New York's Port Authority even going so far as to cut the proposed size of the building and insist that its dome not rise above a certain height. Meanwhile, building a thirteen-story mega-mosque - even one whose project leader is a liar and an advocate of sedition - is not met with any serious opposition at all.

In his most recent YouTube video, notorious atheist Pat Condell posits that the biggest threat to our Western freedoms may not be Islam itself, but the Leftists who appease and enable its totalitarian advance. There can be no better recent example of this in action than the mindless, but oh-so-tolerant, rush of New York's infidel leaders to surrender their land and their heritage to Islamic supremacism.