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How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years
While almost all other cultures changed from primitive and medieval to democratic and egalitarian societies, one culture managed to keep even its most brutal and backward traditions and values for 1,400 years until today. Still today, the majority of Muslims prefer to live by values that can be traced all the way back to the desert tribes in which the founder of their religion lived. Getting to know life in Muslim families and societies is like traveling back in time to the time of Muhammad. Here one finds shocking laws and traditions that are obviously criminal and inhumane -- but for some reason accepted -- in our otherwise humanistic culture.
While non-Muslim scientists invent new fantastic medicines and technologies daily, discover the most amazing things about the universe, its building blocks and inhabitants, and Western voters and politicians have created the most humane, rich and free societies in world history, most Islamic countries are still amputating limbs for theft, stoning women and homosexuals, heavily inbred, denying people free speech and democracy, and contributing absolutely nothing when it comes to science, human rights or peace.
What are the cultural psychological factors making Islam able to stay medieval for 1,400 years?
One main factor is that while all other religions allow their followers to interpret their holy scriptures, thereby making them relatively adaptable to secular law, human rights and individual needs, Islam categorizes Muslims who do not take the Quran literally as apostates. And according to Islamic law, the sharia, apostasy is to be punished with death. The sharia thus makes it impossible for Islamic societies ever to develop into modern, humanistic civilisations.
The fact that Muslims deviating from the Quranic world view are to be punished has the direct consequence that scientific facts conflicting with the naive and childish world view held in pre-Enlightenment cultures are suppressed. Together with massive inbreeding -- 70 percent of Pakistanis, 45 percent of Arabs and at least 30 percent of Turks are from first cousin-marriages (often through many generations) -- this has resulted in the embarrassing fact that the Muslim world produces only one tenth of the world average when it comes to scientific research, and are dramatically under-represented among Nobel Prize winners. Fewer books have been translated into Arabic in the last thousand years than the amount of books translated within the country of Spain every year.
Within Islam, faith and tradition is obviously valued far, far more than inventions and discoveries that would ease suffering and lead to a more reasonable understanding of the complexity of the universe and the potential of its inhabitants.
Another powerful defence mechanism within Islamic culture is found within Muslim child rearing. A very real threat of violence and even death is over every Muslim child's head, should he or she decide to choose another life style than that of its parents. Even if the parents allow their child to choose his or her own religion -- or none at all -- other Muslims are dedicating their lives to kill them. Together with the wide use of violence and even torture within Muslim families, the horrific amount of daily family executions of Muslim youth, this is enough to keep the vast majority from even considering escaping the way of the sharia. The Quran's and the Hadiths' many promises of hellfire to those who go against Muhammad's orders and example scares many from leaving the culture that brings them so much suffering. I clearly remember how several Muslim inmates at the prison I was working in as a psychologist expressed what seemed to be compassion, when I told them that I do not believe in Allah.
In order further to make sure that the children grow up to follow the same patterns as their family, many of them are subjected to mind-numbing repetitions of Islam's exceedingly violent scriptures, making many of them ticking time bombs where ever they live.
Muhammad's teaching that Muslim females can only marry Muslim males -- often within their own bloodline -- further bolster the culture of his followers against outside influence. The fact that the wives are kept like slaves in the way that they can only divorce if they are set free by an Islamic authority, keeps them from escaping the religion and and very often violent husbands, that leaves them with so few freedoms and rights. Should they chose to run away or divorce, they will in most case be cut off by their family, the often violent father is entitled to the children, and because they are categorized as outcasts and have had no or very little right to educate themselves, the possibility to sustain themselves is strongly limited. On top of that, many will live with a death sentence over their head for the rest of their lives for having insulted the family's honor.
Almost all Muslim women are thus threatened or even forced to fulfill their responsibility of continuing and passing on the Islamic culture, including its many misogynistic aspects. And the marriage rules within Islam makes sure that non-Muslim influence is not invited into the family.
View on non-Muslims
One basic principle within Islam is hating and harming non-Muslims. The Islamic scriptures are full of dehumanizing propaganda against us, and contain dozens of orders for Muslims to suppress, harm and kill atheists and followers of all other religions. The devaluation and demonizing of non-Muslims can easily be compared to the propaganda spread about the enemy by governments in wartime in order remove their soldiers' psychological hindrances that would otherwise keep them from attacking the opponent. Not surprisingly, Muslims are not allowed to take non-Muslims as friends.
Thus keeping a mental and physical distance to people from other cultures, Islam prevents its followers from being influenced and inspired by our less barbaric values.
Another cultural psychological factor enabling Islamic culture to remain unchanged in a globalised world with all its possibilities concerns Muslims' ethnic pride. No matter how ridiculous or embarrassing it may seem to the outsider, most Muslims are proud of being Muslim and a follower of Islam. According to Islam they are destined to dominate the rest of us, and we are so bad that we deserve the eternal fire. Working as a psychologist in prison, I heard how the Muslim inmates talk about their non-Muslim victims -- and their victims were always non-Muslims, unless it concerned women or rival gangs -- and I have no doubt that there exists a severe and widespread racism against non-Muslims among Muslims.
The cultural osmosis
Islamic culture thus has several defence mechanisms that prevents it and its followers from being influenced by non-Muslim values. At the same time, Westerners expressing pride in our country, culture or faith are immediately branded as racists, nationalistic or intolerant.
At the same time, we in the West have a longstanding tradition of tolerance and openness, together with the multicultural agenda pushed by the Left, the Media, EU and UN. The cultural osmosis can therefore go only one way: Islam stays where it is, while it drags the West back into medieval darkness, with its limitation of free speech and pre-enlightenment-style acceptance of religious dogmas and sensitivities.
Posted by Nicolai Sennels on October 30, 2013
1) Wives are considered the sexual property of their husbands.
Qur'an 2:223 Your wives are a tilth (cultivated land) for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and send beforehand for yourselves.
2) Muslim wives are to be totally dependent and obedient to their husbands.
Qur'an 4:34 Men are the maintainers of women, with what Allah has made some of them to excel others and with what they spend out of their wealth. So the good women are obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded. And those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the beds and chastise them. So if they obey you, seek not a way against them.
3) Men can divorce and remarry the same women many times.
Qur'an 2:230 So if he divorces her (the third time), she shall not be lawful to him afterwards until she marries another husband. If he divorces her, there is no blame on them both if they return to each other (by marriage), if they think that they can keep within the limits of Allah. And these are the limits of Allah which He makes clear for a people who know.
4) Men can marry up to four women if they can support them currently.
Qur'an 4:3 And if you fear that you cannot do justice to orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, or three, or four; but if you fear that you will not do justice, then marry only one or that which your right hands possess. This is more proper that you may not do injustice.
5) Childbearing Muslim women should be fully covered in public.
Qur'an 24:31 And say to the believing women that they lower their gaze and restrain their sexual passions and do not display their adornment except what appears thereof. And let them wear their head-coverings over their bosoms. And they should not display their adornment except to their husbands or their fathers, or the fathers of their husbands, or their sons, or the sons of their husbands, or their brothers, or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or those whom their right hands possess, or guileless male servants, or the children who know not women's nakedness. And let them not strike their feet so that the adornment that they hide may be known. And turn to Allah all, O believers, so that you may be successful.
6) Only old women can go out in public without being fully covered.
Qur'an 24:60 And women past childbearing, who hope not for marriage, it is no sin for them if they put off their clothes without displaying their adornment. And if they are modest, it is better for them.
1) Spending your money is considered as donations in Islam.
Qur'an 2:261 The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is as the parable of a grain growing seven ears, in every ear a hundred grains. And Allah multiplies for whom He pleases. And Allah is Ample-giving, Knowing.
2) Muslim charity is focused on Allah and self not others.
Qur'an 2:265 And the parable of those who spend their wealth to seek Allah's pleasure and for the strengthening of their souls is as the parable of a garden on elevated ground, upon which heavy rain falls, so it brings forth its fruit twofold; but if heavy rain falls not on it, light rain suffices. And Allah is Seer of what you do.
3) Muslim charity is best if seen by all.
Qur'an 2:271 If you manifest charity, how excellent it is! And if you hide it and give it to the poor, it is good for you. And it will do away with some of your evil deeds; and Allah is Aware of what you do.
4) Muslim charity is for Muslims only.
Qur'an 2:273 Charity is for the poor who are confined in the way of Allah, they cannot go about in the land; the ignorant man thinks them to be rich on account of their abstaining from begging. You can recognize them by their mark - they beg not of men importunately. And whatever good thing you spend, surely Allah is Knower of it.
1) Faithful Muslims cannot eat bacon or sausage for breakfast in the name of Jesus Christ.
Qur'an 2:173 He has forbidden you only what dies of itself, and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that over which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked.
2) Faithful Muslims cannot eat a ham sandwich for lunch in the name of Jesus Christ.
Qur'an 5:3 Forbidden to you is that which dies of itself, and blood, and flesh of swine, and that on which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked, and the strangled animal, and that beaten to death, and that killed by a fall, and that killed by goring with the horn, and that which wild beasts have eaten - except what you slaughter; and that which is sacrificed on stones set up for idols, and that you seek to divide by arrows; that is a transgression.
3) Faithful Muslims cannot eat pork chops for dinner in the name of Jesus Christ.
Qur'an 6:146 Say, I find not in that which is revealed to me nothing forbidden for an eater to eat thereof, except that it be what dies of itself, or blood poured forth, or flesh of swine - for that surely is unclean - or what is a transgression, other than the name of Allah having been invoked on it.
4) Faithful Muslims will starve unless the food is blessed in the name of Allah only.
Qur'an 16:115 He has forbidden you only what dies of itself and blood and the flesh of swine and that over which any other name than that of Allah has been invoked.
1) Allah changed his mind so it's OK to eat, drink, and have sex during Ramadan but only at night.
Qur'an 2:187 It is made lawful for you to go into your wives on the night of the fast. They are an apparel for them. Allah knows that you acted unjustly to yourselves, so He turned to you in mercy and removed the burden from you. So now be in contact with them and seek what Allah has ordained for you, and eat and drink until the whiteness of the day becomes distinct from the blackness of the night at dawn, then complete the fast till nightfall, and touch them not while you keep to the mosques. These are the limits of Allah, so go not near them. Thus does Allah make clear His messages for men that they may keep their duty.
2) Muslim employees will suddenly disappear on Friday afternoons for the mosque.
Qur'an 62:9 O you who believe, when the call is sounded for prayer on Friday, hasten to the remembrance of Allah and leave immediately for the mosque.
3) Muslim men must make a pilgrimage to Mecca regardless of hardship.
Qur'an 22:27 And proclaim to men the Pilgrimage: they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from every remote path.
4) Muslims are to perform animal sacrifices as a duty to Allah.
Qur'an 22:37 Not their flesh, nor their blood, reaches Allah, but to Him is acceptable observance of duty on your part.
Qur'an 108:2 So pray to your Lord and sacrifice.
1) Allah is the only true god and Islam is the only true religion.
Qur'an 3:82 Seek they then other than Allah's religion? And to Him submits whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they will be returned.
2) Islam will prevail over all religions, cultures, and countries.
Qur'an 9:33 He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists are averse.
3) Muslims are warned against converting to Christianity.
Qur'an 3:99 O you who believe, if you obey a party from among those who have been the Book (the Bible), they will turn you back as disbelievers after your belief.
Note: Anyone who abandons Islam faces the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.
4) Religious dialog with Muslims will be almost impossible.
Qur'an 61:8-9 They (Christian apologists) desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths (not with guns), but Allah will perfect His light, though the disbelievers may be averse. He it is Who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the true religion, that He may make it overcome the religions, all of them, though the polytheists may be averse.
Indulgence of Islam is harming society
Channel 4's decision to invite President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver its "alternative" Christmas message may have been offensive to many people, but no one can say the station is neglecting its obligation to cater for minorities. Muslim fundamentalists were thrilled by the broadcast.
By Damian Thompson
26 Dec 2008
Islam is the fastest-growing religion in Britain: the number of Muslims has grown from 1.6 million to two million since 2000. Moreover, every major public institution has changed its policies to accommodate the demands of Islamic "community leaders". The Government, the Opposition, the police, schools, the Church of England, the BBC and now Channel 4 are all helping Muslims construct a parallel Islamic state.
Early next year, the think tank Civitas will publish a survey of 100 British Muslim schools. Entitled When Worlds Collide, it will argue that some of them are pushing pupils into ghettos. Young women, in particular, are forbidden to pursue career opportunities. "Every year, an incalculable number of Muslim young women are lost to the wider world," says the report. One school website links to al-Qaeda; another directs pupils to a scholar who advocates the murder of Jews.
Until recently, these radical mullahs were blamed for turning disaffected youths into bombers. But, in August, a leaked MI5 report revealed that Islamist terrorists tend not to be obvious religious extremists. The Muslim community usually knows nothing about them.
For years, the Government has offered Muslim leaders self-governance in return for information about "dangerous" elements. But if terrorists cannot be accurately identified, this is a waste of time. Unelected community leaders extend control over Muslims, yet society is no safer.
Self-censorship is crucial to this growing separatism. The BBC's director-general, Mark Thompson, says that Muslims should be treated more sensitively than Christians.
In America, Random House cancelled publication of Sherry Jones's novel The Jewel of Medina, about Mohammed's six-year-old bride Ayisha. But Martin Ryna of Gibson Square in London did agree to publish. Three men were subsequently charged with conspiring to damage his home. Islamic groups have threatened Borders bookshops with violence if they sell the novel.
Although most Muslims do not condone such attacks, many support the proposal that Islam should enjoy privileged status. After the 7/7 terrorist murders, the Home Office commissioned reports from Muslim working parties. Their recommendations included "Muslim teacher accreditation" to ensure special treatment for Muslim children; Muslim oversight of policing methods; and a new verbal etiquette in which Islamist terrorism should be referred to as "criminal" rather than religiously inspired. There were also hints that British Muslims should be allowed an unofficial veto over foreign policy.
In the event, the Government backed away from the more extreme demands. Others have been quietly met. A National Association of Muslim Police was set up in 2007 and is regularly consulted by senior officers.
Government ministers rarely put the words "Islam" and "terrorism" in the same sentence. Conservative front benchers follow the same practice, except when addressing the Conservative Friends of Israel. "I have been told off by three members of the shadow cabinet for using the phrase 'Islamist terrorism' when I have appeared with them," says Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion.
The major development, however, has been the encroachment of Sharia law into public life. Last February, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, declared that British Sharia was "inevitable." In fact, instruments for expanding it already exist. A network of Muslim Arbitration Tribunals (MATs) has been set up with Home Office support. In theory, these bodies are just a form of "alternative dispute resolution". They are "unable to deal with criminal offences", says the MAT website. Yet it also confirms that they can "assist" the police with domestic violence, sometimes "with a view to reconsidering criminal charges".
MATs also deal with wills, where Sharia discriminates against females. The Government is also anxious to attract Muslim investment by regulating British Islamic banking; the only way to do that is to grant legal recognition to Sharia.
According to Murray, "what we are seeing is the state deferring to a seventh-century Arabian tradesman as a source for secular law". He was speaking on Christmas Eve. The next day, Ahmadinejad spoke to the nation. Yesterday it was reported that Baroness Butler-Sloss, one of Britain's most senior legal figures, wants Sharia divorces to be enshrined in law. For the first time in decades, religion is moulding public life in this country; but that religion is not Christianity.
A Culture of Hate and Death
“The Amman bombers have gone to hell, and the masterminds will be pursued without mercy. Now we have to focus on the ideologues among us whose teachings promote the killing. No greater degree of clemency should be afforded to these accomplices either.”
I’m going to be very frank. Self-delusion and fear of the truth had eventually cost us too many beautiful lives on that grim Wednesday night. But unless we face the distressing facts, we should expect more terrible surprises. My patient editor always advises me that readers of Living Well magazine generally don’t expect to read about religion or politics – and to her dismay, I have since found it almost impossible to write anything not related to either facets of our lives. I think this escapist Jordanian phenomenon is symptomatic of our dangerous head-in-the-sand attitude. Very few people are actually willing to acknowledge that religion and politics are, whether we like it or not, deeply intermingled in dominating every single breath we take in every second of our existence in this plagued part of the world. Even fewer are those ready to confront the lethal outcome of mixing the two by illiterate dropouts who believe they hold, and can bestow upon others, the keys to paradise. Until our 11/9, that is.
The sleeping tragedy had been ticking all along like a time-bomb. For too long we have tolerated elements in our society whose poisonous ideology had been tirelessly feeding a destructive culture of hate and death to schoolchildren and adults alike. For too long we have refused to admit that the seeds of hatred have been sewn in the classrooms and in the mosques by disturbed clergymen who have been let loose on our society to drown it in oceans of twisted interpretations of an otherwise great, compassionate religion. This is why the chickens have come home to roost. For more than two years the Iraqi people have been subjected to a daily routine of arbitrary murder with their morning coffee in a continuous horror story that has no parallel in human history (the closest precedent I can recall in terms of the absolute randomness of civilians massacred by members of their own people masquerading as friends of God is the campaign of slaughter by the Algerian Islamists in the 1990’s). Meanwhile, here in Jordan, very loud voices applauded these crimes as some perverted form of resistance irritating the American occupation by severely punishing any kind of unavoidable co-existence with it by the destitute, war-ridden Iraqi people. One writer sitting comfortably in peaceful Amman went as far as openly glorifying the frequency of the suicide operations in Iraq which he said would deter the would-be Iraqi collaborators and “draw in blood clear red lines to prevent political softness”. Tucked safely away from the bloodshed, he eagerly compared the regularity of these suicide attacks to the number of daily prayers, calling for the “heat of Iraq” to catch fire elsewhere – completely ignoring the fact that almost all the victims of these attacks have been non-combatant Iraqi civilians going about their insufferable daily lives in search of bread to put on their tables (the same writer even titled one of his obscene articles commenting on the London bombings and the execution of the Egyptian ambassador to Baghdad with the offensive headline: “Let them go to Hell!”). Numerous other Islamist and secular figures continued their brazen endorsement of the indiscriminate carnage of Zarqawi’s Al-Qaida in Iraq and elsewhere until, of course, it spilled over to our dear capital city.
What do they have to say right now? Well, their tactical lip-service condemnation should not fool any of us. The leopards have not shed their skins so easily. They are simply too embarrassed to peek their heads out of their holes. But rest assured that they still incubate the same vicious beliefs that molded the likes of Zarqawi and graduated his army of suicidal maniacs (thank you, by the way, George and Tony, for removing the sewage lid and unleashing on our region the most uncontrollable vermin known to mankind). These usual champions of terror in Jordan were just too disappointed that no Israeli or American targets could be identified so they can brush aside the collateral damage to Jordanians and start to rationalize the attacks by explaining their patriotic causes and by placing in a political context what can only be discussed in the realm of insanity. But they were not given such a chance – although some Arab stations shamefully reported that the hotels attacked were frequented by Israelis, a sinister linkage more disgraceful than the attacks themselves. Now listen to what these otherwise Al-Qaida sympathizers are saying today. The concentration in their discourse is on the fact that almost all those who were wiped out in the attacks were Muslims. Somehow for them, this is the element that makes these acts so repugnant. If the wedding that was literally crashed happened to be a Christian wedding attended by a few infidel westerners, I dare to guess, then the moral outrage would have been much milder, would it not? Do you see with me that the problem is still here with us? There are simply no clear moral lines that are strictly drawn against the taking of the innocent human life. It all depends on whose God the victims worshipped. This is the root of the disguised sickness secretly slipping through our back door and engulfing us these days.
To truly uproot these murderers and shut down the arenas of their indirect collaborators, we have to uproot their uncompromising dogma and hold accountable their spokespeople who are roaming freely in our midst, openly preaching hatred and death. It is not enough to say that the real Islam is innocent of their alien creed. We need to begin ourselves an enormous undertaking to re-interpret Islam and purify it from the tons of literature that cannot be reconciled with our tired cliché that it is in fact a religion of peace. This will not be an easy task against the crushing weight of the mountains of ignorance that has enveloped the minds of Muslims over the centuries. But it is a war that needs to be fought or we will all pay a dear price. So let the first battlegrounds be the blood-stained rubble of the Hyatt, the Radisson and the Days Inn, and let us not relent in this sacred fight. We owe it in loving memory to all those who were abruptly taken away from us on that day by the disciples of the devil. Indeed, let us recall their names and their smiles at every occasion. Let us build a monument to imprint their faces in our collective memory. Let them stare us in the face at every street and ever corner. For it is only us who can make their lives so invaluable and their loss so immeasurable. Our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers, our sisters and brothers, our husbands and wives were violated by cowards who put no value on human life and whose mentors are still bombarding us with their evil sect of death. Our counter onslaught should be no less vocal and our tools no less sophisticated. We should never forgive and we should never forget.
The great writer, the late Arthur Koestler – to whose work I have been belatedly but gratefully introduced – once wrote that “[t]he continuous disasters in man’s history are mainly due to his excessive capacity and urge to become identified with a tribe, nation, church or cause, and to espouse its credo uncritically and enthusiastically, even if its tenets are contrary to reason, devoid of self-interest and detrimental to the claims of self-preservation. We are thus driven to the unfashionable conclusion that the trouble with our species is not an excess of aggression, but an excess capacity for fanatical devotion”.
Indeed, such purposeless devotion reached new levels of cruelty and pointlessness when it was channeled to senselessly wipe out as many lives as possible in the heart of Amman. Everyone will remember where they were the moment they heard of the attacks. I happened to be driving in Amman when I got a phone call from my mother asking me to stay away from the Radisson because a bomb seems to have gone off there moments ago. It was as if I heard the advice the other way round. A few seconds later I found myself parked between the Radisson and the Hyatt, watching the tragedy unfold before my eyes. Amman felt so foreign to me that night. What we saw on TV in Iraq, Palestine and other unfortunate but seemingly remote locations, came home. The chilling brutality of death paid us a painful visit that evening and left a bitter aftertaste. Later on that night, destiny led me to be present with friends in one of the hospitals to assist the husband of Reema Akkad who had just arrived in Amman from Lebanon only to head straight to the hospital to search for his wife. The period of time between frantically checking the names of patients who survived and finally visiting the morgue on the fourth floor to realize that his two kids will never see their mother again were the longest and most heartbreaking in anyone’s life. Witnessing the apocalyptic situation outside the operation rooms, the multitude of similar moments of reckoning for my fellow Jordanians was overwhelming. I wished that every cold-hearted sympathizer with these murderers could be dragged to all the hospitals to look in the faces of those who lost loved ones. Standing speechless in the middle of that disturbing, turbulent sea of emotions, I realized that each single murdered soul is an unspeakable calamity in itself. It dawned on me that whether it is in Amman, Baghdad, Jenin, Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Gaza, Sharm El Sheikh, London, Casablanca, Madrid, Bali, Istanbul, New York or anywhere else, for every human casualty there is always an inconsolable family who is as human as all of us and whose lives will never be the same again because some demented individual thought that his God is better than theirs.
In the aftermath discussions that gripped a somber Amman, I heard people talking about how the blessed survivors who closely got away were meant to live. I would respectfully add that all the victims were also meant to live. Mus’ab Khorma was meant to live. Mustapha Akkad was meant to live. His daughter too was meant to live. For Almighty God’s sake, we are all meant to live. The only ones who are not meant to breathe our same air are those who take pleasure in these atrocities, justify them, explain them and bring them to our streets and hotels. Indeed, we shall never forgive and we shall never forget.
STANFORD — Riots that began on the outskirts of Paris have spread into the center of the French capital and to communities in other parts of the country. Thousands of cars have been set on fire and the police and even medical personnel have been shot at.
Like many other riots, whether in France or elsewhere, this one started over an incident that just happened and was then seized upon to rally resentments and unleash violence. Two local boys in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood tried to escape the police by hiding in a facility that transmitted electricity — and accidentally electrocuted themselves.
This was the spark that ignited volatile emotions. But those emotions were there, ready to be ignited, for a long time.
A substantial Muslim population lives in France but is not really of France. Much of that population lives in social isolation in housing projects away from the center of Paris, as unknown to many Parisians as to tourists.
Like housing projects in America, many of these are centers of social degeneration, lawlessness and violence. Three years ago, profound British social critic Theodore Dalrymple wrote of “burned-out and eviscerated carcasses of cars everywhere” in these projects, among other signs of social degeneration. This was in an essay, “The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris,” that is reprinted in his insightful book, “Our Culture, What’s Left of it.”
While Dalrymple called this Muslim underclass “barbarians,” a French minister who called the rioters “scum” provoked instant outrage against himself, including criticism from at least one member of his own government. This squeamishness in word and deed, and the accompanying refusal to face blatant realities is also a major part of the background for the breakdown of law and order and the social degeneration that follows.
None of this is peculiar to France. It is a symptom of a common retreat from reality, and from the hard decisions that reality requires, not only in Europe but also in European offshoot societies like Canada, Australia, New Zealand — and the United States.
European countries especially have thrown their doors open to a large influx of Muslim immigrants who have no intention of becoming part of the cultures of the countries to which they immigrate but to recreate their own cultures in those countries.
In the name of tolerance, these countries have imported intolerance, of which growing anti-Semitism in Europe is just one example. In the name of respecting all cultures, Western nations have welcomed people who respect neither the cultures nor the rights of the population among whom they have settled.
During the last election, some campus Republicans who were holding a rally for President Bush at San Francisco State University were harassed by Middle Eastern students, including a woman who walked up to one of these Americans and slapped his face. They knew they could do this with impunity.
In Michigan, a Muslim community loudly sounds their calls to prayer several times a day, without regard to whether that sound bothers the original inhabitants of the community.
The Dutch were shocked when one of their filmmakers was assassinated by a Muslim extremist for daring to have views at variance with what the extremists would tolerate.
No one should have been shocked. There are people who will not stop until they get stopped — and much of the media, the political classes and the cultural elites of the West cannot bring themselves to even criticize, much less stop, the dangers or degeneracy among groups viewed sympathetically as underdogs.
Not all Muslims, nor necessarily a majority of Muslims, are either a cultural or a physical danger. But even “moderate” Muslim organizations in the West who deplore violence and try to discourage it nevertheless encourage their followers to remain foreigners rather than become part of the countries they live in.
So do our own intelligentsia and political and cultural elites. Balkanization has been glorified as “diversity” and diversity has become too sacred to defile with anything so gross as hard facts. But reality is not optional. Our survival may in the long run be as menaced by degeneration within — from many sources and in many ways — as was that of the Roman Empire.
• Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and is a Creators Syndicate columnist.
Gang rapist blames culture
By Kim Arlington
A CONVICTED gang rapist has told a Sydney court he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl because he thought she was promiscuous and "had no right to say no".
The 27-year-old, identified only as MSK, said voices had commanded him to rape the girl, but also blamed cultural differences for the attack.
MSK, convicted of raping two girls aged 13 and 14, faced sentencing submissions today before NSW Supreme Court Justice Peter Hidden.
He is already serving a 22-year jail term for leading his three younger brothers in the gang rape of two more girls, aged 16 and 17.
All four attacks took place at the brothers' Ashfield home, in Sydney's inner-west, in June and July 2002.
The court was told the first rape, that of a 14-year-old girl known as T, took place four days after MSK arrived from Pakistan.
MSK took an oath on the Koran before telling the court his cultural background was partly to blame for his crimes.
T, who had visited his house with two female friends, was not wearing traditional Muslim dress, he said.
"She was not covering her face or wearing any headscarf," MSK said.
"Then she started drinking with us ... at one point she started touching my leg."
MSK agreed T had not consented to sex but said: "I go ahead with it because ... I believe that she was promiscuous".
"I believed at the time I committed this offence that she had no right to say no," he said.
"I believed I'm not doing anything wrong."
T had told the trial that before she was raped by MSK and his younger brother MAK, who also was convicted, she was a virgin and had never kissed a boy.
MSK said he believed that his 13-year-old victim, known as C, also was promiscuous.
Now 18, T shook her head as she listened from the public gallery, supported by C's mother.
MSK had visited Australia nine times, including a 10-month stint when he worked as a security guard, before his arrest.
He told the court he now had a "better idea and understanding of Australian culture" after being exposed to the country's media.
"I understand now that what I did at the time was wrong and (that) what I believed was wrong," he said.
MSK also said he was drunk at the time of the offences, and was not taking the anti-psychotic medication prescribed for him by his father, a doctor.
"I was not taking my medication so I was under the influence of voices," he said.
"I was commanded by voices to go ahead."
Crown prosecutor Ken McKay told Justice Hidden that MSK's explanation for the offences kept changing.
"One minute it's the voices, the next minute it's a cultural issue," he said.
Mr McKay said the question of mental illness was raised only this year when MSK's applications to adjourn his trial were refused, but a jury found him fit to be tried.
MSK apologised to his victims for the first time today, but interrupted his apology to tell T: "Don't shake your head - I'm telling you something."
Outside court, T rejected his apology.
"It wasn't a sincere apology. I don't accept it at all," she said.
MSK will be sentenced next year.
By DAN BILEFSKY January 8, 2006
COPENHAGEN - When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, including one in which he is shown wearing a turban shaped as a bomb with a burning fuse, it expected a strong reaction in this country of 5.4 million people.
But the paper was unprepared for the global furor that ensued, including demonstrations in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, death threats against the artists, condemnation from 11 Muslim countries and a rebuke from the United Nations.
"The cartoons did nothing that transcends the cultural norms of secular Denmark, and this was not a provocation to insult Muslims," said Flemming Rose, cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten, Denmark's largest newspaper, which has declined to apologize for the drawings.
"But if we talk of freedom of speech, even if it was a provocation, that does not make our right to do it any less legitimate before the law," he added in an interview from Miami. He spent months living under police protection in Denmark.
As countries across Europe grapple with how to assimilate their growing Muslim populations in the post-9/11 world, Denmark has become an unlikely flashpoint in the escalating culture wars between Islam and the West. The publication of the cartoons in late September has provoked a fierce national debate over whether Denmark's famously liberal laws on free speech have gone too far.
It also has tested the patience of Denmark's 200,000 Muslims. Many of them say the cartoons reflect an intensifying anti-immigrant climate that is stigmatizing minorities and radicalizing young Muslims.
In Norrebro, an ethnically mixed neighborhood of Copenhagen where the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard is buried and where kebab stands dot the tree-lined streets, Imam Ahmed Abu-Laban, a leader among Denmark's Muslims, bristles at what he calls the "Islam phobia" gripping the country. He asserted that the cartoons had been calculated to incite Muslims because it was well known that in Islam depictions of the prophet were considered blasphemy.
"We are being mentally tortured," Imam Ahmed said at his mosque, an anonymous building that looks more like an apartment complex than a house of worship. "The cartoons are an insult against Islam, an attempt by right-wing forces in this country to get a rise out of the Muslim community and so portray us as against Danish values."
Mr. Rose, once a journalist in Iran, said he decided to commission the cartoons for Jyllands-Posten when he heard that Danish cartoonists were too scared of Muslim fundamentalists to illustrate a new children's biography of Muhammad.
Annoyed at the self-censorship he said had overtaken Europe since the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered last year by a Muslim radical for criticizing Islam's treatment of women, Mr. Rose said he decided to test Denmark's free speech norms.
The cartoons were published amid the growth of an anti-immigrant sentiment in Denmark, reflected in the rise of the far-right Danish People's Party. The party, which holds 13 percent of the seats in the Danish Parliament, has helped to push through the toughest anti-immigration rules on the Continent, including a rule preventing Danish citizens age 24 or younger from bringing in spouses from outside Denmark.
Soren Krarup, a retired priest and leading voice in the party, said the Muslim response to the cartoons showed that Islam was not compatible with Danish customs. He said Jesus had been satirized in Danish literature and popular culture for centuries - including a recent much-publicized Danish painting of Jesus with an erection - so why not Muhammad? He also argues that Muslims must learn to integrate.
"Muslims who come here reject our culture," he said. "Muslim immigration is a way for Muslims to conquer us, just as they have done for the past 1,400 years."
Muslim leaders say that such talk helped create the atmosphere that allowed the cartoons to be published. And they contend that it is alienating the people the Danish People's Party says it wants to assimilate.
In a sign that some Muslims are becoming radicalized, Danish counterterrorism officials say more young Danish Muslims are being drawn to Hizb ut-Tahrir, or the Party of Liberation, which seeks the unification of all Muslim countries under one leader and Shariah, the Islamic legal code. The group, which distributes literature at mosques and on the Internet, is banned in most of the Muslim world, as well as in Russia and Germany.
But because its main weapon is ideology rather than explosives, Danish officials say, it is allowed to operate in Denmark under the same permissive rules that allowed the publication of the cartoons. Under Danish law, inciting someone to commit an act of terror is illegal, but spouting vitriol against the West or satirizing Muhammad is not. The State Prosecutor's Office investigated the group in spring 2004 and decided not to ban it because it had not broken the law.
The free speech debate and the concerns over Hizb ut-Tahrir swept through Denmark's public schools last month when the imam's 17-year-old son, Taim, was expelled from Vester Borgerdyd School, after teachers overheard him giving sermons calling for the destruction of Israel and assailing Danish democracy during Friday Prayer at the school. The imam said his son became radicalized after being recruited by Hizb ut-Tahrir.
He said he opposed his son's sermons and had told his son to leave the house for defying him. But he also criticized the ruling that followed: a committee of mostly Christian rectors banned Friday Prayer at public schools across Denmark.
"They are trying to turn Denmark into a banana republic," said Imam Ahmed. "How is it O.K. to publish the cartoons, yet my son is portrayed as an ayatollah?"
At Vester Borgerdyd School, where the walls are lined with photographs of smiling students in Muslim dress, the headmistress, Anne Birgitte Rasmussen, said that Taim Abu-Laban had attracted a following and that she had feared his sermons would raise tensions among the school's more moderate Muslims.
"The tone of the political debate in this country, the talk about Muslims and immigrants, is making it very difficult for us," she said.
Mr. Rose, the editor, said free speech, no matter how radical, should be allowed to flourish, from all varieties of perspectives.
"Muslims should be allowed to burn the Danish flag in a public square if that's within the boundaries of the law," he said. "Though I think this would be a strange signal to the Danish people who have hosted them."
Facing down a culture where they talk like crazies
March 26, 2006
BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
Fate conspires to remind us what this war is really about: civilizational confidence. And so history repeats itself: first the farce of the Danish cartoons, and now the tragedy -- a man on trial for his life in post-Taliban Afghanistan because he has committed the crime of converting to Christianity.
The cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were deeply offensive to Muslims, and so thousands protested around the world in the usual restrained manner: rioting, torching, killing, etc.
The impending execution of Abdul Rahman for embracing Christianity is, of course, offensive to Westerners, and so around the world we reacted equally violently by issuing blood-curdling threats like that made by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack: "Freedom of worship is an important element of any democracy," he said. "And these are issues as Afghan democracy matures that they are going to have to deal with increasingly."
The immediate problem for Rahman is whether he'll get the chance to "mature" along with Afghan democracy. The president, the Canadian prime minister and the Australian prime minister have all made statements of concern about his fate, and it seems clear that Afghanistan's dapper leader Hamid Karzai would like to resolve this issue before his fledgling democracy gets a reputation as just another barbarous Islamist sewer state. There's talk of various artful compromises, such as Rahman being declared unfit to stand trial by reason of insanity on the grounds that (I'm no Islamic jurist so I'm paraphrasing here) anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity must ipso facto be out of his tree.
On the other hand, this "moderate" compromise solution is being rejected by leading theologians. Let this guy Rahman cop an insanity plea and there goes the neighborhood. "We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," says Abdul Raoulf of the nation's principal Muslim body, the Afghan Ulama Council. "Cut off his head! We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left." Needless to say, Imam Raoulf is one of Afghanistan's leading "moderate" clerics.
For what it's worth, I'm with the Afghan Ulama Council in objecting to the insanity defense. It's not enough for Rahman to get off on a technicality. Afghanistan is supposed to be "the good war," the one even the French supported, albeit notionally and mostly retrospectively. Karzai is kept alive by a bodyguard of foreigners. The fragile Afghan state is protected by American, British, Canadian, Australian, Italian, German and other troops, hundreds of whom have died. You cannot ask Americans or Britons to expend blood and treasure to build a society in which a man can be executed for his choice of religion. You cannot tell a serving member of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Kandahar that he, as a Christian, must sacrifice his life to create a Muslim state in which his faith is a capital offense.
As always, we come back to the words of Osama bin Laden: ''When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature they will like the strong horse.'' That's really the only issue: the Islamists know our side has tanks and planes, but they have will and faith, and they reckon in a long struggle that's the better bet. Most prominent Western leaders sound way too eager to climb into the weak-horse suit and audition to play the rear end. Consider, for example, the words of the Prince of Wales, speaking a few days ago at al-Azhar University in Cairo. This is "the world's oldest university," though what they learn there makes the average Ivy League nuthouse look like a beacon of sanity. Anyway, this is what His Royal Highness had to say to 800 Islamic "scholars":
"The recent ghastly strife and anger over the Danish cartoons shows the danger that comes of our failure to listen and to respect what is precious and sacred to others. In my view, the true mark of a civilized society is the respect it pays to minorities and to strangers."
That's correct. But the reality is our society pays enormous respect to minorities -- President Bush holds a monthlong Ramadan-a-ding-dong at the White House every year; the immediate reaction to the slaughter of 9/11 by the president, the prince, the prime ministers of Britain, Canada and everywhere else was to visit a mosque to demonstrate their great respect for Islam. One party to this dispute is respectful to a fault: after all, to describe the violence perpetrated by Muslims over the Danish cartoons as the "recent ghastly strife" barely passes muster as effete Brit toff understatement.
Unfortunately, what's "precious and sacred" to Islam is its institutional contempt for others. In his book Islam And The West, Bernard Lewis writes, "The primary duty of the Muslim as set forth not once but many times in the Koran is 'to command good and forbid evil.' It is not enough to do good and refrain from evil as a personal choice. It is incumbent upon Muslims also to command and forbid."
Or as the shrewd Canadian columnist David Warren put it: "We take it for granted that it is wrong to kill someone for his religious beliefs. Whereas Islam holds it is wrong not to kill him." In that sense, those blood-curdling imams are right, and Karzai's attempts to finesse the issue are, sharia-wise, wrong.
I can understand why the president and the secretary of state would rather deal with this through back-channels, private assurances from their Afghan counterparts, etc. But the public rhetoric is critical, too. At some point we have to face down a culture in which not only the mob in the street but the highest judges and academics talk like crazies.
Rahman embodies the question at the heart of this struggle: If Islam is a religion one can only convert to not from, then in the long run it is a threat to every free person on the planet. What can we do? Should governments with troops in Afghanistan pass joint emergency legislation conferring their citizenship on this poor man and declaring him, as much as Karzai, under their protection?
In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of "suttee" -- the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:
''You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows.You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours."
India today is better off without suttee. If we shrink from the logic of that, then in Afghanistan and many places far closer to home the implications are, as the Prince of Wales would say, "ghastly."
lumads killed in Bukidnon tribal war
By Richel V. Umel
Sunday, July 02, 2006
-- At least five persons were killed in a tribal war Wednesday in Mirayun region
in Talakag town, Bukidnon province, Mayor Amado Noble said.
Noble said the clan war evolved within the Lumad tribe families of Luminda, Lumino, Libugan, and Ubaan.
family feud has been there for the last 20 years where it is carried from
generations to generations as part of the Muslim culture.
The Talakag Municipal Government has been initiating the so-called "Tampuda" a Lumad term to end the clan war or feud through series of dialogue and negotiations.
Noble said Northern Mindanao Regional Police Director Florante Baguio has already dispatched a team to neutralize the clan war and prevent further escalation that may affect the tribal community and nearby barangays.
Meanwhile, Bai Norhata Alonto, managing director of a palm oil plantation and wife of Abulkhair Alonto vehemently denied reports that 25 died in a shootout within the palm oil plantation in Tagoloan-2, Lanao del Sur last week.
Alonto said 40 fully armed men harassed their workers in the plantation bunkers. No one was killed during the attack.
Alonto tagged former plantation worker Almendras Amoran, a native of Talakag town as responsible for the attack of the plantation.
The case was reported to the Philippine Marines and police in Lanao del Sur. Personnel from Northern Mindanao Police Regional Office went in to restore peace and order in the area.
The palm oil plantation is a joint venture with the Malaysian investors for the past nine years, which comprise of 5,500 hectares, a log-over area, Alonto added. (Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro/Sunnex)
Son testifies about abuse in Mansa Muhummed case
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
TAMMY J. McCOY
A 26-year-old man testified Wednesday that he grew up in a family where his brothers were often forced to beat each other at their father's direction and where using the bathroom and eating were considered privileges.
Michael Boddie, the son of defendant Mansa Musa Muhummed, of Aguanga, said the degree of physical violence and food deprivation he and his 16 siblings suffered varied, based on his father's whims.
In his family, Boddie testified, children would go three to seven days without food while their father ate three times a day. When they were allowed to eat, they were given vegetables, not the foods they wanted. The children had a bucket in the room that served as a bathroom. The children were sometimes forced to stand in a corner all night long and were not allowed to use the bathroom, he said.
Boddie was called by prosecutor Julie Baldwin to testify during Muhummed's trial on torture and abuse charges at the Southwest Justice Center.
Muhummed, 55, has pleaded not guilty to charges that could result in a sentence of seven life terms in prison if he is convicted. The charges stem from the treatment of several of the 19 children and two of his three wives who lived in the home.
The charges against Muhummed include child abuse of 12 children, torturing seven children by depriving them of food, spousal abuse and false imprisonment of two of the wives.
Arrested in 1999
He was arrested in April 1999 after one of his wives sent a letter to Riverside County authorities saying she and another woman were being forced to live in the garage of the home in the foothills southeast of Temecula without regular access to bathrooms and with little food. The children, some from the wives' prior relationships, ranged in ages from 8 months to 25 years.
Boddie said the boys would beat each other at their father's behest.
"If we didn't do it the way he wanted it, he would have us all jump the other," he testified.
Defense attorney Pete Morreale asked Boddie whether a boy's teeth got knocked out during one incident.
"We were all told to jump him, so that's what we did," Boddie answered.
The children were also threatened with violence if they talked to anyone about family business, Boddie testified.
"He threatened to kill us. All the time my dad would say that," Boddie recalled. "He had a gun and threatened us with it."
After Muhummed's arrest, Boddie lied to police and told them that he was never beaten or abused.
Boddie explained that his father coached the children on how to deal with the authorities.
"We don't turn on the family no matter what," Boddie said.
About a year after authorities arrested Muhummed, Boddie told them the truth, he said.
Boddie's mother, Marva Boddie, was also arrested and charged with similar crimes, which Boddie said he believed was outrageous.
Marva Boddie never beat the children and often sneaked food to them, he said.
Morreale asked Boddie if his mother's arrest prompted him to talk.
"If there had to be a sacrifice between the two, you picked your mom?" Morreale asked.
"No, I was gonna stand up for what was right," Boddie said.
His mother often got beaten for trying to protect her children, Boddie testified.
Son Tells of Beatings
Boddie said he was 5 or 6 when his father began the practice of withholding food from him and his siblings after they moved from Virginia to Bakersfield.
Muhummed beat and withheld food as punishment when his children did not wake up on time, did not say Muslim prayers on time, or failed to do their chores, Boddie said.
"I probably got beat three or four times a day," Boddie testified.
His father would have the children extend their arms and make a fist, then he hit them on the knuckles with a boat oar, Boddie said.
"He would hit us as many times as he could and if we made him miss we get hit like three more times," Boddie testified.
Sometimes Muhummed would have the children lie on their stomach, put their feet in the air and he would hit the soles of their feet with the oar, Boddie testified.
Riverside County Sheriff's Department began its investigation of Muhummed days after one of his wives, Laura Cowan, passed a 13-page letter to a postal clerk chronicling the alleged abuse and the family's living conditions, according to witness testimony. The letter was sent to the Department of Public Social Services, then passed on to law enforcement.
Muhummed is a Muslim and told one of his wives that his faith permits having more than one wife, according to court testimony.
The trial resumes Monday at the Southwest Justice Center in French Valley.
Recommended reading: "Beyond Belief" by 2001 Nobel prize winner for Literature, V. S. Naipaul. The book details his travels, interviews, and observations in four non-Arab Muslim countries - Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, and Malaysia during 1995.
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