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A Muslim woman asks to be flogged in public for drinking booze

Sometimes it is the willingness of a person to be brutalised, rather than its enforcement as such, that chills me to the bone. Check out this story.

Of course, if the woman genuinely consents to such treatment, then I suppose it would be no different to that of a person who visited S&M bars and liked being beaten up, etc. But a lingering suspicion lurks that this woman, and many others, are not really acting with a great deal of control over their lives.

60 comments to A Muslim woman asks to be flogged in public for drinking booze

  • But a lingering suspicion lurks that this woman, and many others, are not really acting with a great deal of control over their lives.

    And another question: would she and others be willing to regain control over their lives? The answer is, some (maybe most) would, but some wouldn’t.

  • Laird

    Maybe. But another way of looking at this is that she wants the world to see the brutal reality of Sharia law. If she is caned in prison it can be ignored; if it’s public the video will be on Youtube and the worldwide media. Sounds like a pretty good strategy to me.

    Also, wouldn’t her upper torso have to be bare for a caning? And isn’t there a prohibition of Muslim men seeing naked women (other than their wives)? So might not this preclude them from actually carrying out the sentence?

    She has certainly changed what would normally have been a quiet travesty into a very public cause celeb. Good for her.

  • Laird: could be, of course, although I tend to doubt it. Anyway, I was just making a tangential point.

  • Laird:

    Why couldn’t they have a woman carry out the sentence?

    For some reason, I can’t help but think of Hope Emerson in Caged.

  • hovis

    Laird – I think you are projecting by saying it’s turning it into a cause celebre. She is quoted as saying

    “I hope the media will be allowed to cover it as well. I’ve brought shame to my family despite having received religious teachings from my parents since young. I hope the punishment will bring me back to the right path.””

    The desire to have this made public is to prove that she is repentant and gher family are good muslims, not to highlight the barbarity of sharia.

    Aside: I was under the impression the prohibition on alcohol is actually erroneous within islam but is so widespread now it isn’t really questioned.

  • Diogenes

    As Ayn Rand put it, “Evil requires the sanction of the victim”.

  • Laird

    I’m not sure how much credence I would give to her public statements, though. Of course she has to say those sorts of things. But that doesn’t mean her real motive isn’t something entirely different, something which if expressed publicly would ruin whatever chance she has for making this a public spectacle. The woman is, after all, a “former model”, which suggests that her values may be more westernized, or at least more secular, than her statements make her appear.

    Of course, as hovis says I could simply be projecting my own feelings onto this. We’ll probably never know.

  • Alsadius

    And even if her intent isn’t to point out the brutality of sharia, it might well accomplish that whatever her intentions.

  • Alice

    Some time back, there was a You-Tube phone camera video of the public caning of a woman in some Muslim corner of the world, maybe Afghanistan.

    The woman was fully clothed during the caning. She was held face-down on the ground, and repeatedly struck with a cane on her fully clothed bottom. The woman screamed during the caning. When it was over, she stood up and walked away.

    Really did not seem any more savage than the canings in old English private (“Public”) schools — which apparently gave those English boys the intestinal fortitude to establish dominion over a quarter of the globe.

    20th Century English explorer & author Richard Thessiger described in his autobiography being caned (unjustly, he thought) by the senior for whom he “fagged”, as public schoolboys quaintly called it. Apparently, Thessiger never forgave the bastard. Maybe the reaction to the caning depends on whether the individual feels guilty.

  • tdh

    There are people who explicitly believe that government should force them — themselves — to do something that they presume to be (and maybe is) in their better interest but that they would, for no particular reason and presumably without reason, not do otherwise.

    On the other hand, free aversion therapy (A Clockwork Orange?) would be a cheaper and might be a more-effective form of detoxification than either raw willpower or conventional programs.

    Or perhaps, for would-be celebrities, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

  • Paul Marks

    Only a few years ago it would have been unthinkable, in that part of the world, for drinking a beer.

    Perhaps Islam naturally reverts to wickedness (given the moral character of the man who founded it), but a more “positive” point of view is that this is one more fruit of Saudi (i.e. Wahabbi) money in influencing education and information in the Islamic world.

    In short one more fruit of the socialist/fascist (he was both) St John “Jack” Philby activities in Arabia almost 80 years ago – for it was he (against the wishes of London) who helped bring the House of Saud (i.e. the Wahabbis) to power.

  • John K

    The Philby clan must take the prize for inflicting the greatest damage to their country. Arguably, Kim did less damage than his shit of a father.

  • NJ.Dawood

    When viewed through Western eyes and the Western paradigm – which is ignorant of and misunderstands Islam – this report may seem something odd and worthy of discussion or debate.

    However, when viewed through the Islamic paradigm, the report makes perfect sense – whether the accent is on Wahabbi or not. (Wahabbi is the orthodox and true Islam.)

    I have to say that the ignorance of the commenters here astounds me, and the comment that runs:

    Perhaps Islam naturally reverts to wickedness (given the moral character of the man who founded it)

    – if it is referring to Mohammed (PBUH) – is nothing short of blaspemy and highly offensive to all Muslims.

    Mohammed (PBUH) was the last and final true prophet of Islam. He was a very holy and devout man and is the exemplar for all Muslims. He did not “found” Islam, he was instructed to give the people the word of Allah. There is nothing manmade about Islam.

  • highly offensive to all Muslims

    I certainly hope so, if by ‘Muslims’ you mean those who adhere to what you consider to be ‘true Islam’.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Mohammed (PBUH) was the last and final true prophet of Islam. He was a very holy and devout man and is the exemplar for all Muslims. He did not “found” Islam, he was instructed to give the people the word of Allah. There is nothing manmade about Islam.

    You believe what you want to believe, doofus. Islam, like all religions, is a form of philosophy, of Man’s attempt to make sense of the world. End of subject.

    In the meantime, I don’t give a damn whether my pointing out such disgusting stories is “offensive” to some people or not. The point is, the enforcement of a religious code against people by the use of such violence is an outrage. Deal with it.

  • NJ.Dawood

    Alisa, please be assured that I am not offended by your comment, as I consider that your remarks probably reflect the fact that you just simply do not know any better – not being a Muslim – and that you are probably ignorant of the Islamic faith. But why would you deliberately set out to offend an estimated 1.6 billion people on planet earth? Demographics confirm that the Islamic faith is the fastest-growing religion on this planet. That is no accident. It is here inexorably, according to the absolute and infallible word of Allah. Neither you nor I could resist such.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Alisa, please be assured that I am not offended by your comment, as I consider that your remarks probably reflect the fact that you just simply do not know any better – not being a Muslim – and that you are probably ignorant of the Islamic faith.

    We “understand” your faith only too well. That is why we tend to be hostile to it. As for its rapid growth in parts of the world, that is no proof of its objective truth, any more than the spread of any other ideology of greater or lesser degree of plausibility.

    If you detect hostility to your ideology at this blog, then you have guessed correctly. If you want to believe that your imaginary pal in your brain is telling you X or Y is justified, so be it. Just respect the rights of those who disagree with you.

  • NJ.Dawood

    I am sorry Mr Pearce, but I only saw your comment after making a reply to Alisa. I would have replied to both together if I had seen yours as well.

    You write:

    The point is, the enforcement of a religious code against people by the use of such violence is an outrage

    That is what I meant about using “Western eyes”. If you are unable to move your viewpoint position, you will remain unable to see how it is that others see the truth in Islam. They will always be “mistaken” in your world view.

    If you cannot see that truth, then it is not I, but you Mr Pearce who will have to “deal with it” – when you come face to face with Allah on your death.

  • Alisa, please be assured that I am not offended by your comment, as I consider that your remarks probably reflect the fact that you just simply do not know any better – not being a Muslim – and that you are probably ignorant of the Islamic faith.

    You are probably right that your knowledge of Islam is much more comprehensive than mine. However, what little I know of that religious ideology makes it absolutely unacceptable to me.

    But why would you deliberately set out to offend an estimated 1.6 billion people on planet earth?

    I would do that in the hope of getting them to think about (or re-think) the ideas upon which their faith is based. I can accept others following ideas I consider evil, but I want to do whatever I can to make sure that they are not doing so blindly.

    Demographics confirm that the Islamic faith is the fastest-growing religion on this planet. That is no accident. It is here inexorably, according to the absolute and infallible word of Allah. Neither you nor I could resist such.

    The difference between you and me is that you are not willing to resist it – which is fine by me, as long as you accept it with your eyes open (see above).

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The trouble with a character such as this NJ Dawood is that he – it probably is a he – is sincere in believing that his life is shaped and controled by a Supreme Being of some kind. Sincerity is a much over-rated virtue. Whether my own atheistic skepticism about all religions is a product of my Western origins is probably true, but so what? The point is, on logic and other grounds, I consider religion to be largely nonsense. But I don’t expect to enforce my views by say, flogging folk for breaking my moral values. You, on the other hand, clearly do.

    To say that a non-Westerner cannot understand a religion/ideology from another part of the world is relativistic nonsense. We can understand it from all points of the compass, and if need be, judge it accordingly, by reference to how well that belief system accords with reality.

    I have no wish to continue this further. Reiterating that Allah says X or Y has zero persuasive force on me, so you’re wasting your time.

  • If you cannot see that truth, then it is not I, but you Mr Pearce who will have to “deal with it” – when you come face to face with Allah on your death.

    Maybe so. In the mean time we can deal with you, Mr. Dawood.

  • Sincerity is a much over-rated virtue.

    No it isn’t, Jonathan. On the contrary, it is quite useful in recognizing your friends, and even more so in recognizing your enemies.

  • NJ.Dawood

    But a lingering suspicion lurks that this woman, and many others, are not really acting with a great deal of control over their lives.

    That is exactly true Mr Pearce, and your comments in response to mine would seem to illustrate that you have no objective idea why it is so true of Muslims. Islam means “submit” to the word of “Allah”. It is Allah to whom we give up control of our lives, as we are commanded.

    Just as you may believe (?) in the ideologies of atheism, liberalism, capitalism, liberty, democracy, freedom and such, you can perhaps see that there are alternative ideologies. The Islamic faith is one such, but – for believers – it sweeps away all of the others. It is complete in and of itself. It is a way of life.

    Who are you to deny us that, if that is what we choose? In your own words Mr Pearce:

    Just respect the rights of those who disagree with you.

  • Wolfie

    Just as you may believe (?) in the ideologies of atheism, liberalism, capitalism, liberty, democracy, freedom and such, you can perhaps see that there are alternative ideologies. The Islamic faith is one such, but – for believers – it sweeps away all of the others. It is complete in and of itself. It is a way of life.

    Pretty much a definition of totalitarianism there, then. As you acknowledge that your religion is such a movement which aims to sweep away freedom and democracy then you will understand why those of us who believe in such things will be justified in treating it like the totalitarian movement it really is.
    Islam will be defeated, just like communism and fascism before it.

  • Who are you to deny us that, if that is what we choose?

    Who is denying you that?

  • watcher in the dark

    The problem for many of us is the Dawood’s (if he is real and not a troll) of this world.

    These Dawoods see no problem in the hypocrisy of their religion and ignore the burning desire to impose that faith by force on others, often at the edge of a sword or laced with some threat. I am sure there are many good things in islam; however they are comprehensively buried (literally) by a range of misogynistic, petty, easily-offended, anti-gay and freedom denying notions, none of which may be examined or questioned.

    I do not know if this girl (who when all said and done was only drinking beer) really wants to be beaten; if she does that is her choice — at least one hopes so. But it was also her choice to drink beer. If in coming face-to-face with this Allah at some indeterminate point she is condemned out of hand with no kindness or mercy or understanding, you will forgive me and many others for not wanting to meet Allah at all.

    After all, if there is a God you have to presume he created the means to make beer. So for Him (or Her) to get angry or fail to understand that things happen shows a Supreme Being of remarkably little brain. Compassion isn’t, as we know from countless bombs and “honor” killings and barbaric acts (acid in the face of schoolgirls is just one wonderful example of the religion of peace in full flow) any part of Islam. Sorry to the Dawood’s of this world, but you have set your own stall out by the acts of your religion.

    If you can get like the Quakers for example and avoid inflicting pain and death and fear on others, you might be able to hold your head(s) up high.

    But yes, you are free to continue worshipping a set of ideas, however improbable, and equally can accept that billions of sane people choose not to follow that path.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    It is Allah to whom we give up control of our lives, as we are commanded. Just as you may believe (?) in the ideologies of atheism, liberalism, capitalism, liberty, democracy, freedom and such, you can perhaps see that there are alternative ideologies.

    If you want to live your life by the dictates of a religious book, then fine. I am not stopping you. I am only drawing a line when your belief system leads you to think that is okay to initiate violence against others and to interfere in others’ lives without their consent. Prattling about submitting to the Great Zog or whatever does not really cut it as an argument.

    Yes, there are alternatives to the ideas of liberty, capitalism, etc. They are generally very, very bad.

  • Neither you nor I could resist such.

    In your dreams, mate.

    If you cannot see that truth, then it is not I, but you Mr Pearce who will have to “deal with it” – when you come face to face with Allah on your death.

    This is a bit like threatening an atheist like Jonathan (and myself for that matter) with The Easter Bunny. You do not have us shaking in our boots with fear, I assure you. Believe what you like, certainly your god is no more daft that many other daft things people believe in, but do not expect respect or acceptance as the best you will ever get is tolerance… but you only get that if you reciprocate it.

  • michael farris

    NJDawood: “the Western paradigm – which is ignorant of and misunderstands Islam”

    “Wahabbi is the orthodox and true Islam.”

    let’s look at the news:

    bbc: “Saudi Arabia’s religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress”

    ny daily news: “the Saudi government convicted and sentenced the widow to 40 lashes and four months imprisonment for mingling with her late husband’s 24-year-old nephew and his friend, after she had asked them to deliver some bread to her house”

    telegraph: “A young Saudi Arabian woman was murdered by her father for chatting on the social network site Facebook, it has emerged.”

    I think this tells me all I need to know (or can stomache knowing) about Wahhabi Islam.

    If you support these NJDawood then you’re a horrible, evil person. If you want to mae excuses for it then you’re a horrible evil person, if you want to say that it’s not ‘true’ Islam then you’re a gullible fool.

  • NJ.Dawood

    I am sorry if it seems rude to say this, but for “watcher in the dark” to accuse Islam of hypocrisy is laughably ignorant – there is no falsely professing a belief and then not conforming to it in Islam. Islam is very consistent. The difficulty is for us as mere humans in submitting to and living by the word of Allah. We are imperfect and cannot get it right all the time, but still we must strive to do better and emulate Mohammed (PBUH).

    Then to say that there is a “burning desire to impose that faith by force on others, often at the edge of a sword or laced with some threat” is quite wrong. There is no such desire in true Muslims, but we are commanded by Allah to fight against blasphemy and to work for the Islamic faith to preside over all other religions and laws wherever we find ourselves. In these things, we may have to kill unbelievers – and it is permitted/commanded – if we are to do as commanded. This has always been so, before during and after the Crusades – which history describes very well. But what we do and what history sometimes does not show, is how Islam has worked peacefully within other societies to help them develop for the better and to adopt Islam.

    Islam is a religion of peace, and the existence of Islam brought an end to idolatry and lawlessness, and brought a growing peace amongst ancient tribal factions in the Middle East and much later spreading that peace into Europe. Muslims have no “burning desire” to go around killing people.

    Now look at michael farris’ news items:
    * Think how it must have felt for those policemen who had to perform their strict duty, and thus prevented those girls from leaving a dangerous building fire. In what ways, I wonder, would it have felt different to those US airmen whose duty obliged them to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? The scale is different, but it was two separate days of duty for the airmen, yet these policemen could face such decisions every working day.

    * The widow’s punishment – 40 lashes and four months imprisonment – is ameliorated from the old times, when she could (according to the presiding imam’s interpretation of Sharia law) have been stoned to death. At least she has been left alive, and can repent and regret her crime at leisure – and she would certainly have known it was a crime before she committed it.

    * Think how it must have felt for that father – who would probably have loved his darling daughter more than his own life – to kill his daughter because she had sinned. The sin would not be “for chatting on the social network site Facebook”, but for persisting to fraternize online with men. He probably begged her “please, please stop doing this, otherwise I shall have to kill you and it would break my heart”. It was a sin, and if the father knew of it, then by law he must force atonement or he and the family would be implicated in the sin, by association, and thus equally guilty.

    In Western society, putting this father on trial for murder would be confusing and inappropriate, because he is answerable to a much higher law – the law of Allah. He will have to live with what he had to do for the rest of his life, and that would be an excruciating torture.

    Your logic is flawed, michael farris, when you say

    “If you support these NJDawood then you’re a horrible, evil person.”

    I do not consider you to be “a horrible, evil person” just because your elected government deliberately decided to bomb the cities and inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to smithereens, but I do think that the US has built up not only a huge financial deficit but also a huge spiritual deficit, because of its collective actions over its relatively short history. As is the case with all deficits, repayments will have to be repaid at some stage. The financial bailiffs will come to collect eventually on the first, and I often wonder if it will not be the duty of Islam to act as the spiritual bailiffs for the second. I would not be the first to observe that the US sometimes exhibits signs of being generally spiritually and morally bankrupt.

    Nor do I make any excuses for Islam. I do not need to. It is. It cannot be wrong if it is in the word of Allah. Whether you or other non-believers “like” the faith or not, and if not, then for whatever perceived reason or ideological difference – it is all of no consequence.

    May peace be with you all of your life.

  • Nuke Gray

    Mohammedism is false, through and through! Therefore, we can ignore it.
    ‘Islam is consistent’- not! When Mohammed found his warriors drinking, and saw what this did to their fighting edge, he came up with a verse forbidding alcohol, and justified his change by the law of abrogation, where a later verse supercedes an earlier one. Therefore, the Koran has contradictions, but they are glossed over. And isn’t it interesting that when Mohammed had just a few numbers, Allah loved peace, but when mohammed had a large army, Allah told believers to wage war on the unbelievers!
    First, you must decide if a religion is true- then you can join it! But I find many examples that persuade me that Mohammed invented his religion. His taking a follower’s wife as his own, his consummation of marriage with an underage girl, his endorsement of polygamy- these are all classic signs of false prophets, like Joseph Smith, and David Koresh.
    And don’t you ever think that when God killed Mohammed’s only son, Ibrahim, that God disapproved of Mohammed? Why are there no direct male heirs?
    And what do you think about Israel’s existence? Since God decided who wins battles, and Israel has won continuously, doesn’t that mean that God MUST support it’s right to exist? Do you submit to that?

  • NJ.Dawood

    I am not sure what to say in the face of such powerfully reasoned argument as yours, Nuke Gray. My advice is to keep taking the pills and by morning you should feel better.

  • Laird

    I suppose we all owe NJ.Dawood our thanks for that explication. Now I understand: Islam is a religion of peace: for Muslims. For the rest of us, though, it is a religion of death. Muslims are “commanded by Allah” to impose their religion, their laws, their culture on whatever society in which they find themselves. Killing unbelievers is “permitted/commanded”. All those despicable actions against women and girls of their own religion are the sad but necessary duty of the faithful.

    This is chilling. The term “barbarians” is far too mild; I don’t know if there is a word in the English language which adequately describes the depth of this depravity. Islam is truly an evil religion, and its apologist NJ.Dawood is truly an evil person. If there is a Hell I have no doubt that Mohammed is roasting there now. We can only hope that the rest of his followers join him soon.

    There may never be lasting peace in this world, but it is an ironclad certainty that there will never be peace while the cancer of Islam remains. The only hope for the rest of us is its extermination. If there was ever any doubt about that NJ.Dawood has very kindly dispelled it.

  • Nuke Gray

    All invaders are peace-lovers; they want the other side to declare peace at any price, so they can enjoy the fruits of conquest.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Dahwood:

    Islam is very consistent. The difficulty is for us as mere humans in submitting to and living by the word of Allah. We are imperfect and cannot get it right all the time, but still we must strive to do better and emulate Mohammed (PBUH).

    We must do better to emulate a military commander who forced unbelievers to submit at the point of a sword? Is that what you are saying?

    Islam is a religion of peace, and the existence of Islam brought an end to idolatry and lawlessness, and brought a growing peace amongst ancient tribal factions in the Middle East and much later spreading that peace into Europe.

    Do you TV as well? Islam spread through military conquest; the “peace” enjoyed under it was the peace of groups who were given a choice to submit or die. It is true, that relatively speaking, some groups had a better time of it under the Caliphate than under Medieval Christianity, but that is not much of an improvement. Islam, particularly of the militant sort that this character favours, is totalising in its scope, and is aiming for world domination. His dismissive references to things like democracy, liberty etc tell us all we need to know.

    One of the things that this Dahwood character demonstrates is the utter impossibility of rational debate from those who go around saying we must all “submit” to some non-visible Deity who and that if we don’t bad things will happen, Wow, I am really convinced (sarcasm).

  • NJ.Dawood

    Laird, all I can say after your last comment is that you sound like an Islamophobe of the first order – right up there with those two British prime ministers, Edward Gladstone and Winston Churchill.

    Gladstone called the Qur’an an “accursed book” and once held it up during a session of Parliament, declaring:

    “So long as there is this book there will be no peace in the world.”

    Look familiar?

    Surprisingly – after that quote – it wasn’t the Muslims who subsequently kicked off two world wars. Over 15 million people are estimated to have been killed in WWI. In WWII, over 70 million people, the majority of whom were civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.
    If that does not define a set of ideologies that spells the potential violent death for everyone on the planet, then I don’t know what does. I have already mentioned the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    It says a lot for the character of Gladstone’s descendants that his great grandson has acknowledged and rectified his great grandfather’s bigotry and the great disfavor he did to Islam, by setting up an Islamic reading room at the library Gladstone founded near his home in North Wales.

    If anyone is burning in Hell, it would probably be Gladstone. Muslims know that it is certainly not the last and final true prophet of Allah – after Christ. Don’t forget that Christ is a foundation prophet in Islam.
    (It is the Christians who warped their creed so blasphemously with the Holy Trinity in 400AD – that was none of Christ’s doing.)

  • Johnathan Pearce

    it wasn’t the Muslims who subsequently kicked off two world wars. Over 15 million people are estimated to have been killed in WWI. In WWII, over 70 million people, the majority of whom were civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.

    In the case of WW2, the war was started by an expansionist, totalitarian anti-Semite who regarded whole swathes of the world’s population as little better than sub-humans, and his offer was: submit or be killed. There are various strains of evil in the world, of which National Socialism was but one; militant Islam, with its equally virulent hatred of Jews, of freedom, of the open society, is but another. Funnily enough, some of the original Muslim Brotherhood were quite keen on Hitler and aped his methods and those of other groups.

  • I do not consider you to be “a horrible, evil person” just because your elected government deliberately decided to bomb the cities and inhabitants of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to smithereens…

    You are a collectivist who therefore can have no rational moral theories. If a government who has power over me does something evil (and all governments do evil things), that does not make me culpable unless I agree with those actions, any more than the actions of a mafia which dominates a neighbourhood and extorts ‘protection’ money makes me culpable, because paying them money is the vote of force, not because I support them. But you do support the use of force against people who simply hold contrary views to yours and threaten no force against you if only you will do the same: but you will not do that:

    There is no such desire in true Muslims, but we are commanded by Allah to fight against blasphemy and to work for the Islamic faith to preside over all other religions and laws wherever we find ourselves. In these things, we may have to kill unbelievers – and it is permitted/commanded – if we are to do as commanded.

    So why should tolerance be extended to you when you will not extend it to atheist blasphemers such as me? Tolerance of intolerance is cowardice and I am not afraid of you people.

    But there is no avoiding the core issue here: your belief is centred on an imaginary entity with no more basis in objective reality than worshipping Mickey Mouse. That alone does not bother me (all that much) as perfectly atheist socialism is just as irrational when you dig down to the core values…

    …but the thing that makes you evil is that you do indeed intend to impose your irrational world view on others by force. I regard your god as laughable and your dead prophet as a psycho-sexually twisted dark ages barbarian and I demand the right to express that view whenever I please. What you call blasphemy, I call liberty and freedom of expression. You don’t have to like it, and in fact that is rather the point.

    Your religion simply cannot tolerate such criticism because it cannot survive in any environment where intellectual enquiry is permitted (just as Christianity and all religions are increasingly marginalised in the ever more secular west… and at least Christianity, and Judaism for that matter, attempt to make an intellectual defence of the rationality of its views, unlike Islam). Christianity and Judaism at least generally try to fight their corner without resorting to force, but it is a measure of Islam’s vulnerability to critical rationality that the threat of force is never far below the surface. The arrant absurdity of most religious views cannot survive outside the most narrow of religion based meta-contexts.

    50 years from now, mass immigration of Muslims into the west will be seen by the last few true Muslim believers as the most catastrophic strategic blunder, as far from making us more more you, we will end up turning you into us. It may not look that way now, but in the long run, your faith will be humbled by the slow, unsteady but inexorable tide of rationalism that no religion can survive.

  • tdh

    America’s use of atomic bombs as a warning greatly shortened WW2 and saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Japanese lives, not to mention the vastly more important, in that context, number of lives of American servicemen. America dropped leaflets on Hiroshima and Nagasaki warning the inhabitants to save themselves. We did everything we could reasonably do to save lives in those cities and in that country.

    Dresden would have made a better example of the apparently-wanton killing of civilians and the destruction of their homes, and would have been an obvious choice of example for anyone acquainted with history. But war is often messy; its pressures make suboptimal choices likely, since making no choice is often the worst choice. And WW2 was far from a foregone conclusion; despite their virtues it took a great deal of luck for the Allies to win.

    Turkey, a Muslim country, participated in both world wars. Muslims, not yet having benefited from the oil wealth developed by Westerners, were so backward at the time that they were otherwise largely irrelevant — as they are poised to be again, if the Wahhabis gain a Pyrrhic victory, once the one-time injection of oil wealth dissipates. I tried reading Lawrence of Arabia’s book, but found his allusion to the rampant homosexuality of the native warriors too unpleasant and pointless to bother reading further; it is worth simply taking as a given that they were not entirely irrelevant.

    The Qur`an and the Hadith tell us that Muhammad was an advocate and practitioner of mass murder and mass rape, if not child rape. (The closest counterpart in the Old Testament is Joshua at Jericho, but this account contradicts archaeological evidence.) If these books are telling the truth about the essence of Muhammad, he was an extremely evil man, despite his Jewish upbringing — roughly as evil as Alexander the Great. If they are not, there is no good reason to use them as the foundation of a religion. Take your pick: serve Satan, follow fiction, or forget it.

  • Laird

    I don’t accept the appellation “Islamophobe” only because the root of that neologism is “phobia”, which is defined as an “irrational fear” of something. My total disdain for Islam is hardly irrational (you are, after all, intent on killing me and destroying my culture), and I don’t fear you, I despise you and everything you stand for. So if you can come up with a better Greek root word I will gladly accept it. And, on this matter at least, I am pleased to be grouped with Churchill and Gladstone.

  • Gabriel

    Caning is not obviously less civilized than putting people in the heroin infested vice dens we call prisons. I’m not an apologist for Islam (my attitudes are in fact decidedly Gladstonian in this instance), but this seems a rather petty and un-self conscious criticism.

    What is disgusting about Islam is that, for example, in Iranian prisons female inmates are ritually gangraped in order not to transgress the prohibition on executing virgins. That’s bad, but a bit of the old birch … not really.

    That’s not to say that alcohol should be prohibited on anything, nor will I make the boneheaded argument that there’s no difference between banning beer and crystal meth, but I can’t see why it would be have been much better had she accepted a prison term, or even a fine.

  • Caning is not obviously less civilized than putting people in the heroin infested vice dens we call prisons.

    I agree.

    but I can’t see why it would be have been much better had she accepted a prison term, or even a fine.

    Which totally misses the point that she should not have been prosecuted at all. That simply drinking in an of itself incurs any penalties, let alone severe ones, is what is both preposterous and barbaric.

  • Nuke Gray

    The woman herself seems to think she should be punished somehow, so it is up to her, in this case. So long as she chooses to be an obedient muslim, it is none of our affair.
    If she changes her religion, of course, that would be a different matter, though I’m not sure if Malaysia allows Muslims to change faiths. I think the Government and
    Islam are entwined to an unhealthy degree.

  • michael farris

    I sometimes wonder if people here have ever dealt with Southeast Asians. In the linguistic life of East Asia*, utterances are seldom what they appear to be on the surface. Surface forms often serve only as plausible deniability (so that all parties involved can pretend that no request or threats have been made). The fact that a subject is brought up is often more significant than anything said about it.

    Having known a few Southeast Asians myself I interpreted her public pronouncements as calling the government’s bluff. Especially her request that the punishment be made public. It’s a classic tactic of giving the other side what they’ve said they want (but which they may not care about or want at all).

    And … so far it’s working. The government said the punishment cannot carried out in public, she accepted this and now the punishment has been put off until after Ramadan.
    Barring something else happening, I wouldn’t be surprised if it the whole case is dropped under some sort of technicality.

    *for the easily offended, please note that I’m talking about a purely cultural phenomenon, nothing deterministic or biologically based.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Gabriel, as Perry said, the idea that this woman incurred any form of punishment whatever is an outrage. It is not as if she was even guilty of the English Common Law offence of “being drunk and disorderly”. The whole business is an outrage, never mind the finer points of exactly what alternative punishments are better/worse, etc.

  • Michael Farris: that is an interesting point – thanks.

  • Gabriel

    Which totally misses the point that she should not have been prosecuted at all. That simply drinking in an of itself incurs any penalties, let alone severe ones, is what is both preposterous and barbaric.

    Well, what can I say, the Muslim world is a colossal dump populated by numnuts. Like, umm, duh. Some of us have been trying to point this out for a while and to little avail as this country runs around bombing Belgrade, pressuring Israel into concessions, pumping money into Pakistan and what not.

    I assumed that the interest value of this bit of news came from the public flogging aspect (taking my cue from the title) and assumed that had the story been about a woman accepting a prison sentence it would not have been commented on. Perhaps I was wrong. So, yes, Muslims prohibit alcohol, pigs are pink, Berlusconi is remarkably supple for an old chap etc.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    “I assumed that the interest value of this bit of news came from the public flogging aspect (taking my cue from the title) and assumed that had the story been about a woman accepting a prison sentence it would not have been commented on. Perhaps I was wrong. So, yes, Muslims prohibit alcohol, pigs are pink, Berlusconi is remarkably supple for an old chap etc.”

    Well, your assumption is mistaken. The flogging aspect clearly underscores the barbarism of this supposed “moral code”; but even had the woman been punished in a different way without involving physical violence but incarceration or a monetary fine, it is still an outrage, and worth commenting on. Like I said, it is not as if the woman herself committed a crime involving theft or initiating violence against someone else.

  • Nuke Gray

    To help others feel better, you can beat Islamonazies by pointing out that the Koran says Allah Never breaks a promise- except where he abrogates it as he wishes. Allah ensures that the Koran is unaltered- though he could have done the same for earlier pre-koran revelations, and somehow some varient Korans came into existence, which Caliph Umar ordered to be destroyed. how did the Koran get that wrong? Also Muslims reject the Trinity as an impossibility- so there seem to be some things that an omnipotent God cannot do….

  • Paul Marks

    Both much of the teachings of Mohammed (recorded in the sacred writings of the Islamic faith) and much of the life of Mohammed were evil.

    M.J. Dawood may deny the above, but it remains not “biotry” but, rather, the truth.

    The skill of Mohammed as a poet and his genius as a political and military leader do not justify his teachings or his behaviour.

    As for Mr Dawood himself – let him formally state that he would defend someone who renounces Islam and converted to another religion.

    I would defend someone who renounced Christianity and converted to another religion (or to none) – why can not M.J. Dawood (honestly) say the same about someone who converts from Islam.

    Would you fight to defend someone who renounced (and DENOUNCED) Islam and converted to Christianity?

    Yes or no?

  • michael farris

    “let him formally state that he would defend someone who renounces Islam and converted to another religion”

    Never happen. Didn’t you read? He thinks it’s better for young women to die in a fire than show their faces on the street and he runs behind false analogies to try to justify it. Morally reprehensible (like all who aspire to literal fundamentalism).

    Also his type (regardless of specific religion) doesn’t consider his own religion as a religion. In his way of thinking other people have religions, he has Truth.

  • NJ.Dawood

    I have been away traveling, and just now came online to read this discussion.

    A lot of what has been after my last post is blasphemy or critical of Islam or of me, and I shall not argue that, since Muslims are not to argue about the truth of the word of Allah. It requires no justification. We submit to that word, and that is all.

    Paul Marks says:

    let him formally state that he would defend someone who renounces Islam and converted to another religion.

    He would presumably know that my reply would be that apostasy is a sin and is punishable by death. This is not MY rule, this is Allah’s command.

    Perry de Havilland’s fervent belief in the religious ideology of atheistic rationalism can obviously not be changed. His comment that:

    50 years from now, mass immigration of Muslims into the west will be seen by the last few true Muslim believers as the most catastrophic strategic blunder, as far from making us more more you, we will end up turning you into us. It may not look that way now, but in the long run, your faith will be humbled by the slow, unsteady but inexorable tide of rationalism that no religion can survive.

    – will be shown to be quite the converse, as population censuses are starting to show. Demographically it has already become clear. Not only is Islam now the largest single and fastest-growing religion on the planet with 1.6 Muslims, but also population statistics show Muslim ethnic groups generally have the highest birthrate amongst those western countries – in Europe and the US – where Islam is becoming established.

    This is all part of a peaceful movement towards the dominance of Islam in those countries, where Muslims are moving from being in the minority to being a growing and sizable majority with the voting power to change the laws and constitution so that they are progressively brought into line with Islamic law. Such is the wisdom of Allah.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Nuke, I must admit I thought Dawood’s attack on the idea of the Trinity is quite hilarious. I mean, as Perry said higher up, it is a case of one person claiming that his Omnipotent Imaginary Friend is more “rational” than the other.

    I think the problem with Mr Dawood is that he is a bit of a thickie. Consider this:

    A lot of what has been after my last post is blasphemy or critical of Islam or of me, and I shall not argue that, since Muslims are not to argue about the truth of the word of Allah. It requires no justification. We submit to that word, and that is all.

    So you just bleat “blasphemy!” whenever your ideology is queried. You don’t actually believe in argument, only in domination, as your prattling about birthrates and endless invocations of “Allah” demonstrate. There is no space in that brain of yours for any awareness of the need for learning, for tests, for trial and error. That is why a liberal viewpoint must regard you as an enemy to be defeated, by violent methods if necessary. That is why people like you must be kept out of the UK if you are not willing to accept the supremacy of UK secular law and respect the freedoms therein. If not, then out and away you go, matey.

    No, as far as your are concerned, everything that ever needs to be learned is in this one book, that’s it, no more debate, just imposition of The Truth by violence. After all, what are you gonna do if lots of Muslims decide that they’d rather not continue to observe strict sharia with all its charming features, eh? Start organising some public executions? You think people will just stand by and put up with that?

    No compromise with such a mindset is possible. And as Mr Dawood has already accepted, the punishment for disagreement with such folk is death. Tell me, dear boy, are you prepared to carry out these punishments yourself, or do you leave that to deluded teenagers, like the cowardly motherfucker that you undoubtedly are?

    Oh, and atheism is not a religion, you dolt: it is the absence of a belief in religion.

  • I don’t think Dawood is a ‘thickie’ at all. I think he is a fanatic, which is quite a different proposition.

    I also think he misses my point about Muslim immigration and birth rates. I have met a great many ‘muslims’ in the west and most have assimilated quite well and that means adapting to us, not adapting others to them.

    Sure, a great many have not assimilated into the mainstream but 50 years from now, Islam in the west will be unrecognisable because in the long run (and not that long really), the sheer intellectual and (more importantly) material poverty of Islam will never have ‘mass appeal’ and we will make all those babies, well, us.

    Keep breeding, we need people, Dawood. You may think you are breeding ‘Muslims’ but being a fanatical puritan is not genetically hard coded, mate. Your grandchildren will be beer drinking miniskirt wearing technogeek consumer westerners with names like Abdul Smith and Fatima Macphereson. The current storm does not change the inexorable trend. The Huguenots also took while to vanish as a significant self identified group too.

    In truth the wonderful indulgent banalities of western technological civilisation will work its corrosive magic on the incoherent islamic soul just as it did with Christianity and all the other invisible imaginary friend cults. The only think people need to ‘submit’ to is their own self interests :D

  • NJ.Dawood

    Johnathan Pearce, you may have misunderstood what I wrote.

    The context is that of the punishment of a Muslim woman, who has committed a crime (more than one actually) under Sharia law. It would make sense to explain this from the perspective of someone in the Islamic faith, which is what I attempted to do. As a lone Islamic voice in this discussion I and Islam have been sorely attacked for my giving that perspective. Any points I made were not accusatory or critical, yet they have been seized upon in a narrow-minded fashion and quite irrationally turned into criticisms or insults of me or Islam.

    The Holy Trinity: I was not attacking the Holy Trinity, but merely pointing out that, to Islam, it is a blasphemy.

    I shall try and explain: The word “Trinity” does not appear in the Bible, and historical records show that the word was first used by Tertullian (c.155-230AD).

    The doctrine of the Trinity is essentially “One God, three Persons”, and was formally defined in the Nicene Creed (c.400AD), which declares Jesus to be: “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father.”

    The Trinity therefore is a man made creed which post-dates Christ (and therefore has nothing to do with him in reality) by some 400 years. It is a blasphemy because it divides Allah into three parts – yet Allah is one and is indivisible. It grossly compounds this blasphemy by making one of the thirds a human being (Christ). Whilst Islam recognizes Christ as a true prophet of Allah, he was a man nevertheless – as was Mohammed (PBUH). Neither of them were divine, and neither of them are to be worshiped. Such worship would be idolatry – another blasphemy and a sin – and which is why depicting pictures or statues of Mohammed (PBUH) is forbidden.

    This is why, if any Christian believes/recites the Nicene Creed, they commit a double blasphemy (sin).

    Atheism: I think your definition of the term may be off. I had used atheism to mean the negation, rejection, or absence of theism (which is the belief in at least one deity). Those who hold/believe that God exists are theists; those who hold/believe that God does not exist are atheists. Those who do not accept the religious ideology of theists may put forward their own counter-religious ideology as atheists. Perry de Havilland was espousing such a counter-religious ideology – in effect a religious ideology of atheistic rationalism. It all rests on belief in one thing or the other, but it is belief nevertheless. Just as I cannot prove to Perry or anyone else that God exists, Perry cannot prove that God does not exist. We each choose what we will believe, and what are our preferred ideologies.

    The difference is one of substantiation. Muslims submit to their faith (The Quran) – “religious ideology” – and having done so they do not attempt to substantiate it, whereas atheists and other non-believers attempt to build ideologies that can substantiate their beliefs. This latter is sometimes done quite irrationally – see the staggering agility of some of Nuke Gray and Perry de Havilland’s comments above, which seem to nimbly hop from random non sequiturs straight to passionate conclusions. Never mind the quality, feel the width.

    Argumentum ad hominem: I do not see that any points you may be trying to make are strengthened by your offensive personal remarks, which seem to reflect an underlying inability to rationally argue a point.

    In particular, amongst your crude insults, having suggested that I am a “thickie”, you then proceed to say “go fuck yourself, repeatedly”. Not only is this just plain vulgar, it is irrational – a physical impossibility – even if I were a hermaphrodite (which I am not). However, I do consider the distinct possibility that you may have special knowledge on this matter that others do not.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Mr Dahwood, we have done you the basic respect of actually treating you as sincere, not as a troll, although I suppose it is entirely possible that you are in fact a wind-up merchant.

    But it is no good, although I like to try and remain civil, I am not sure whether there is any real point in pretending to be civil or friendly to someone who has stated that the penalty for apostasy from Islam is death, or who has defended the horror of policemen preventing women from fleeing a burning building, etc. You are evil, and your version of your belief system is one that condones, even encourages, the carrying out of evil acts.

    As Perry has stated, a belief system that is so much at war with the most basic tenets of rationality, with life itself, cannot long endure, just as other forms of religious extremism, with their undercurrents of violence, cannot also.

    As to the Doctrine of the Trinity, I could not give a damn whether you think it is blasphemy, or not. The sight of theologians debating the pros and cons of their faiths leaves me, as an atheist, stone cold. You might as well trying and persuade me of the existence of the Spaghetti Monster. In fact your tortured reasoning about the definition of atheism gives the game away: it is not for me to prove a negative. I could, for example, posit the existence of all manner of gods and goddesses, which conveniently for my belief system, can never be seen by human eyes and hence tested.

    The burden of proof lies with the religious person to prove the existence of a god, not the other way around. Otherwise, I could posit all manner of beliefs and demand that anyone who is a bit skeptical prove me wrong. That is a licence for any snake-oil salesman in the realm of ideas. No deal.

  • NJ.Dawood

    A late response to Johnathan Pearce: I have just seen your last post, having been out of the country and without access to the Internet.

    Your insistence that the proof of the existence of Allah must be made and that it must be made according to your own manmade ideology of rationalism (which you believe in so strongly) would be laughable if it were not such an incredibly ignorant blasphemy. Who are you or any man to so place themselves above Allah as to say “prove yourself according to my terms”?

    Truly your soul may already be lost to hellfire.

    You do also unwittingly make a laughable statement where you blithely state:

    “As Perry has stated, a belief system that is so much at war with the most basic tenets of rationality, with life itself, cannot long endure, just as other forms of religious extremism, with their undercurrents of violence, cannot also.”

    You might have misquoted there. What Perry de Havilland actually said was:

    “…50 years…inexorable tide of rationalism that no religion can survive.”

    I am not sure how you measure time when you say “cannot long endure”, but Perry de Havilland’s estimate was 50 years. This was so stupid that it did not warrant a reply. This astounding non-sequitur is thrown into the face of a religious faith that has already lasted for 1,400 years, and which is now unarguably the fastest-growing religion and has the single largest number of believers (1.6 billion) on the planet.

    Perry de Havilland is clearly on another planet, but where have you been hiding that you seem unaware of this history and the demographics? They are not just inconvenient to your POV, they expunge it. Though I have been patient with you, I have to say that this means that your POV is not even worth further consideration. You need to do something about that.

    There are only two Middle Eastern religions older than Islam – Judaism, and Christianity. The hadith tells us that the followers of the first will have their day of reckoning and how they will be will be eradicated, including for example:

    “Ibn ‘Umar reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: You will fight against the Jews and you will kill them until even a stone would say: Come here, Muslim, there is a Jew (hiding himself behind me) ; kill him.”

    We are told that the souls of the Christians may at least be salvageable, if they submit to Allah and repent their blasphemies.

    There is thus only one true religious faith – Islam. Every Muslim who has read, understood and learned the Koran knows that Islam draws a clear distinction between the world of Islam (Dar al-Islam) and the world of heresy (Dar al-Harb).

    You are clearly festering in the latter, with no redemption in sight, and it looks as though your two laughable statements may mean that the last laugh will be on you.

  • What you fail to see is that even if Islam is “the fastest growing religion on the planet”, what has been growing faster is “no religion”. Most people who do not follow religion are not self-identified atheists like me who have examined the proposition and rejected it as preposterous, they are people who are simply secular and religion has not be ‘rejected’, it has simply not be ‘accepted’ because they can see no relevance (and indeed it has none) and thus it has no place in their life. Compared to just 50 years ago, this non-ideological collapse of religious belief and huge growth in entirely secular value has been breathtaking and dwarfs the growth of Islam.

    Perry de Havilland is clearly on another planet, but where have you been hiding that you seem unaware of this history and the demographics?

    You need to read what I wrote more carefully. I am well aware of the demographics and I am well aware how long Islam (and Christianity) have existed. But that long existence has not stopped the *demonstrable* collapse of Christianity throughout the First World, leaving it as a minor cultural institution rather than an institution that was once central to Western Civilisation. The same forces of secular modernity that have hollowed out Christianity will do the same for Islam and for all the same reasons, not in the Middle East (yet) but in the West for muslims here as they are the ones in contact with a successful secular civilisation.

    The reason I give a 50 year time frame is this: the current wave of muslim immigration (at least the true believers rather than the not insignificant number of merely ‘nominal’ muslims) and many of their current crop of children, retain the cultural views of ‘the old country’ and this is hardly surprising… but the longer these people stay in contact with the ocean of western secular values around them, they will, as all groups of immigrants have, become western.

    That is why the demographics are irrelevant… the children of religious muslims now may be religious, but with each generation, more and more will marry out (particularly the women, given how they are treated as second class human beings) or just be secularised by the logic of daily interactions with people who just do not give a damn about ‘god’ and care only about daily living in the real world and the pleasing banalities of a bourgeois capitalist existence.

    That is why I say “breed away” because in the end, as long as you live in the west you will just end up making more of *us* in the long run.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Mr Dahwood, can I ask you a personal question: do you ever think things through for yourself?

    Consider this paragraph – it is not so much an argument, as an attempt to shut it down:

    “Your insistence that the proof of the existence of Allah must be made and that it must be made according to your own manmade ideology of rationalism (which you believe in so strongly) would be laughable if it were not such an incredibly ignorant blasphemy. Who are you or any man to so place themselves above Allah as to say “prove yourself according to my terms”?”

    I insist that the proof of the existence of any non-visible religious Deity, be it Allah, the Christian god, the Jewish God, or whatever (insert as one wishes) be proven. People who go around claiming powers for such non-visible entities carry a burden of proof. My belief in human rationality is based on the evidence of my senses about the material world. In your case, your belief is based on the acceptance of a text written more than 1,00 years ago by a military leader of dubious morality.

    And your arrogant comments about Christians are, as we have said, the braying of a believer of one imaginary friend in his head against someone else’s imaginary pal. So what?

    And you can issue whatever bloodcurdling threats you like (which carry an undertone of violence, I notice), but do you honestly think, for one nanosecond, that we are impressed or scared of you? Who the heck do you think you are? Have you no respect for anyone else unless they adopt the position of a slug with his head lying on the ground?

    Learn some respect for others, and their freedoms. If not, then learn to take the consequences.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I also notice that Mr Dahwood makes the statement that because Islam has been around for 1,400 years, that somehow it can endure forever. Christianity has been around for 2,000; many other faiths for longer, and of course the teachings of the ancient Greeks – arguably the foreunners of the Western Enlightenment – for far longer. Historical endurance is no evidence of the truth or falsity of a belief system. In fact, isn’t it blasphemous to argue that something must be true simply because of its age?

    I also notice that this bigot refers, quite brazenly, to the threat to exterminate Jews. You’ve overstepped your welcome at this site, maytey.