Film on Islam’s attitude to homosexuality


by Sunny
18th November, 2005 at 3:46 am    

The Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali is planning to make a film on Islam’s attitude to homosexuality, BBC reports. Considering ‘Submission I’ got Theo Van Gogh killed, people will be watching this one closely.

“I examine the position of homosexuals in Islam in the film Submission II,” she told the De Volkskrant newspaper. “In the movie, they are called Allah’s creatures,” she added. The MP is an outspoken critic of Islamic values and describes herself as a “lapsed” Muslim.

I wonder if Qaradawi will have a starring role.


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  1. Film at Eleven » Submission II

    [...] Now, according to the BBC (via), the script has been completed. “I examine the position of homosexuals in Islam in the film Submission II,” she told the De Volkskrant newspaper. [...]




  1. Chris — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:00 am  

    Good for her.
    Hope Ken Livingstone is supportive :-)

  2. raz — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:39 am  

    There’s an interesting article from earlier this year which shows how many Muslim women’s rights campaigners have lambasted Hirshi Ali.

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20050627/scroggins

    It needs a subscription to view the whole article, but you can find the whole thing of Google’s cache of the above link.

    Some interesting quotes:

    “Karima Belhaj is the director of the largest women’s shelter in Amsterdam. She’s also one of the organizers of the “Stop the Witchhunt!” campaign against what she sees as anti-Muslim hysteria. On the day we talked, she was despondent. Arsonists had set fire for the second time to an Islamic school in the town of Uden. A few days later a regional police unit warned that the rise of right-wing Dutch youth gangs potentially presents a more dangerous threat to the country than Islamist terrorism. “The rise of Islamism is not the problem,” Belhaj said. “The problem is that hatred against Arabs and Muslims is shown in this country without any shame.” With her message that Muslim women must give up their faith and their families if they want to be liberated, Hirsi Ali is actually driving women into the arms of the fundamentalists, said Belhaj: “She attacks their values, so they are wearing more and more veils. It frightens me. I’m losing my country. I’m losing my people.”

    “If Belhaj was sad, another “Stop the Witchhunt!” organizer was angry. Like Belhaj, Miriyam Aouragh is a second-generation immigrant of Moroccan background. A self-described peace and women’s activist, Aouragh was the first in her family to attend university. She’s now studying for a PhD in anthropology. She scoffs at the idea that Hirsi Ali is a champion of oppressed Muslim women. “She’s nothing but an Uncle Tom,” Aouragh said. “She has never fought for the oppressed. In fact, she’s done the opposite. She uses these problems as a cover to attack Islam. She insults me and she makes my life as a feminist ten times harder because she forces me to be associated with anti-Muslim attacks.”

    Interesting how many in the anti-Muslim brigade have jumped on the Hirshi Ali bandwagon, ignoring the criticism from some of these Dutch Muslim feminists who , rather than making self-publicising movies have actually been doing something to help oppressed women e.g. setting up womens shelters.

  3. Chris — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:49 am  

    Point (possibly) taken.
    One reason though why people will join a ‘bandwagon’ in support of Hirshi Ali is because of the threats against her.
    I don’t know anything about ‘Stop the Witchhunt’ but would feel a lot better if it also contained something about ‘Stop the Death Threats’.

  4. Paul Brown — on 18th November, 2005 at 10:22 am  

    I am not sure how it is possible to reconcile being both a Muslim and a feminist. Where do these self-proclaimed feminists stand on arranged marriage; the hijab; the patriarchy of the Muslim family; homosexuality? Islam is based on the idea that husbands are head of the household and parents own their children. Hirsi Ali challenges such obscene ideas, and she is heroically courageous for doing so.

  5. raz — on 18th November, 2005 at 10:27 am  

    But then again, perhaps the supporters of Hirsh Ali should also be condemning the violence against Dutch Muslims (if you read the article, it mentions research that shows that although Van Goths murder got the headlines – the majority of religous violence in Holland directed towards the Muslim minority (e.g. Mosques burnt down, attacks in the street). If the Stop the Witchhunt people needs to have a Stop the Death Threats element, then maybe Hirshi Ali and her supporters need to start a Stop Violence against Muslims campaign.

  6. Chris — on 18th November, 2005 at 10:43 am  

    “You started it” – “No, you started it”
    Let’s not go down that road.
    We should be able to believe in
    (1) freedom of speech
    (2) freedom from attack
    for everyone

  7. j0nz — on 18th November, 2005 at 11:52 am  

    Raz,

    I totally agree! This islamophobia is really pissing me off aswell!!!!

    (You utter, utter prat).

  8. Siddharth — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:05 pm  

    jonz: no doubt you’re Dreaming of a White Phosphorus Christmas for Iraq.

  9. Siddharth — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:22 pm  

    Paul Brown: Why not? Its perfectly possible to reconcile being both. Except that of all the issues you mentioned, arrange marriage is not point of Islamic Faith but a cultural construct observed by cultures all over the world, irrespective of religion. The Hijab is not mandatory for Muslim women, and indeed, sanction is open to theological debate. Most Muslim cultures do without it. Homosexuality is not strictly a feminist issue. And finally, most Islamic cultures are actually matriarchial in practice, and especially in South and South East Asian countries.

    OP: Why would the Quran have to be re-written to accomodate Muslim feminists? Did the Judaeo-Christic texts have to be re-written to accomodate Feminism in the West?

  10. Siddharth — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:26 pm  

    J0nz, my comment was not>/ai> said in irony. You suck.

  11. Old Pickler — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:30 pm  

    Siddharth – Christianity in particular is not as disgustingly misogynist as Islam.

  12. Chris — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:31 pm  

    “Homosexuality not strictly a feminist issue.”

    Obviously no Muslim lesbians of course…

  13. Siddharth — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:35 pm  

    OP: And the answer to my question?

  14. j0nz — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:36 pm  

    Thanks!

    In answer to the question you posed

    Did the Judaeo-Christic texts have to be re-written to accomodate Feminism in the West?

    The answer is no. Several hundred years ago we experienced something known in the West as the ‘Enlightenment’. This happened because they had some called a ‘brain’ which they ‘used’ and worked out that bizzare religous dogma was not the answer to humanitys future.

  15. Siddharth — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:47 pm  

    Chris: You suggesting that you have to be a Feminist to be a Lesbian and vicé versa? And yes, there are Muslim lesbians. What an ignorant remark.

    J0nz: I’m not sure how you have phrased it was the net result of the Enlightenment, but I know what you’re struggling to say. But whats that got to do with Islamic praxis?

  16. Siddharth — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:48 pm  

    Sunny, is it just me or is your server timing out?

  17. Robert — on 18th November, 2005 at 12:55 pm  

    n outspoken critic of Islamic values

    It annoys me that religions (and cultures), and the people that criticise them, both present their ‘values’ as an “all or nothing” choice. The Abrahamic Faiths’ view of homosexuality is outdated, hateful nonsense. But does that discredit the values of peace and respect that are also a part of these religions?

    And by the way, when I see Shitney Spears getting spit-roasted in her preposterous music videos, I tend to think that a bit more respect for the female form would not go amiss. The hijab looks pretty dignified.

  18. Siddharth — on 18th November, 2005 at 1:02 pm  

    LOL Shitney. She’s a product of the Enlightenment, don’cha know.

  19. Bijna — on 18th November, 2005 at 1:04 pm  

    I have seen Submission I and it is junk.

    But with Van Gogh dead, not making
    a sequel is not an option.

  20. Mokum — on 18th November, 2005 at 1:09 pm  

    “Hirsi Ali is actually driving women into the arms of the fundamentalists, said Belhaj: “She attacks their values, so they are wearing more and more veils. It frightens me. I’m losing my country. I’m losing my people.”

    What rubbish. Don’t like her? Don’t listen.

    “She insults me and she makes my life as a feminist ten times harder because she forces me to be associated with anti-Muslim attacks.”

    What a cheap smear. Ali, of all people, does *not* support violence. And I loathe this bigotry of soft expectations. Ooh, the poor Muslims, if they are criticised, they will get mad and nasty… Bullcrap.

    If Muslims here in Holland want to be conservative, fine. Most of the rest of us want to be liberal and some of us, at times, want to be downright outrageous. Also fine if no one gets hurt.

    As for the creeps vandalising Muslim schools, I hope the Dutch law comes down on every single one of them like a ton of Gouda.

    Same goes for the would-be jihadis, and, yes, we do have a few. We could turn Holland into the NWFP and they’d probably still find a reason to hate us and murder us.

    A plague on all violent houses.

  21. Bijna — on 18th November, 2005 at 1:22 pm  

    The Dutch who burned Muslim schools
    have been punished severely.

    One non-Muslim had made a molotov
    cocktail, drove to a muslim school, but
    changed his mind and went home.
    So actually he did not do anything.
    Still he got full punishment.

    Meanwhile a Muslim found with weapons
    and a map of a nuclear power plant got
    no punishment as he had bought the
    wrong kind of fertelizer.

    Politics, media and law are very left wing
    (Muslim-hugging) in the Netherlands.

  22. DavidBruno — on 18th November, 2005 at 1:33 pm  

    Ms Ali is just exercizing her freedom of expression in a democratic society. People who bleat about their lives being made more difficult because other people exercize freedom of speech should learn to use the conventions of a liberal democracy to argue their own political case and not try to silence the ‘inconvenient’ opinions of others.

    Ms Ali also announced this week that she intends to start a prosecution against an imam in The Netherlands who said she she should be “blown away”. This is just one more example of the incitement to violence – which should be dealt with severely under the law – that Ms Ali is currently enduring.

    Violence against all people – Muslims and non-Musims – is inexcusable.

  23. DavidBruno — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:07 pm  

    Bijna,

    “Meanwhile a Muslim found with weapons
    and a map of a nuclear power plant got
    no punishment as he had bought the
    wrong kind of fertelizer.”

    LOL. But he managed to create a beautiful garden ;-)

    (I know it’s not funny really – that said, the Dutch have a VERY dark sense of humour).

  24. Tom A — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:17 pm  

    I find it very irritating when people try and compare Islamic to Western values by using an extreme example of something they don’t like about Western culture (i.e., Britney Spears getting spit-roasted). If it’s a choice between that and hanging gays or stoning adulteresses or executing rape victims, I’ll go for Britney every time (fnarr).

  25. Paul Brown — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:24 pm  

    It is not true that most Muslim cultures are matriarchal. Patriarchy and misoginy are integral parts of the Islamic faith. Look at the problems we have in Britain with our Msulim community that are deperately crying out to be tackled head-on: forced marriage; female genital mutilation; honour punsihments and honour killings. The three main reasons that young women have Muslim families have been victims of honour killings are wearing western clothes; going to college; and talking to a boy in the street. This was discovered by recent government research on the subject. Whenever there is a Muslim presence at public meetings on any subject, it is usually men only in attendance. Walk down the streets of a Muslim community – men are participating in public life; where are the women? There is a fatwa against the young Muslim tennis professional (whose name escapes me) because she wears unIslamic clothing while playing her sport!!!!!!!!

    Even Salma Yaqoob, who represents the liberal extreme of Islam, advocated complete separation between sexes, including separtate socialising, dancing, and swimming, when I saw her debate Susie Orbach at the ICA.

    And finally, there is no point in defending Islam by criticising Christianity. Who on earth is defending Christianity? The aim of any enlightened, thinking person is for secularism.

  26. raz — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:45 pm  

    “Forced marriage; female genital mutilation; honour punsihments and honour killings”

    All of which are happening in the non-Muslim community as well.

    BTW, British police say there are 12 honour killings a year in the UK – including Hindus/Muslims/Sikhs. You would think Asian women are being slaughtered in their droves the way some people harp on about honour killings. Of course, no White English girl is ever murdered by a member of her family, eh?

    ” Walk down the streets of a Muslim community – men are participating in public life; where are the women?”

    You’ve obviously never been anywhere near a Muslim community. Try walking down Wilmslow road in Manchester and see all of the pretty Pakistani girls (many of whom do NOT wear a hijab) walking along happily, mingling with men and NOT being attacked or molested by ‘honour killers’ as some of the anti-islamic fantasists on this board imagine.

  27. DavidBruno — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:47 pm  

    Mokum,

    “I hope the Dutch law comes down on every single one of them like a ton of Gouda.”

    LOL. What is it with you and food – particularly slagroom and kaas??

    Een fijn weekend!

  28. Sunny — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:52 pm  

    extreme example of something they don’t like about Western culture

    When did Britney Spears become extremist videos? How bizarre.

    female genital mutilation;

    Any evidence that this is a problem in the UK? AFAIK, that so-called report in one of the newspapers was largely hype.

    whose name escapes me
    Sania Mirza. That fatwa was then recinded by a more well known Muslim authority.

    Even Salma Yaqoob, who represents the liberal extreme of Islam
    Err, no she doesn’t. Who said she does? If you want more liberal Muslims, come to London town on a Friday night.

    Hirsi Ali should have the right to make any film she wants to, that is of course her right. What seems to me though is that ordinary Muslims are being blamed for the extremist threats of more violent groups, which I find unacceptable.

    Are white people asked to justify themselves everytime the BNP does something? Why are all Muslims then blamed because that Moroccon idiot killed Van Gogh (and quite rightly got sentenced).

    Also, someone made a point about Christinity. I would like to point out that many feminists still see some interpretations of Christianity as very sexist and regularly accuse The Pope of crimes against women. So “enlightenment” has come by abandoning religion in many cases.

  29. Paul Brown — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:52 pm  

    I have frequently been in Muslim communities in Tower Hamlets, Haringey, and Islington. And are these pretty Pakistani girls free to have sex with whomever they choose; wear any clothes they like; live anywhere they want in any way they want; be openly homosexual; go to mixed sex swimming pools, nighclubs, holidays, bars? Can they abandon their religion without being ostracised by their community? Are they free to go on the pill? Have an abortion? Are they free to express themselves? Can they go and live independently, maybe sharing a flat with a guy or in a mixed sex flat? If they are, that is one extraordinary Pakistani community, I would love to see it.

  30. Tom A — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:54 pm  

    Murder is illegal.

    In Islam honour killings appear to be merely frowned upon.

  31. Sunny — on 18th November, 2005 at 2:59 pm  

    Well, honour killings happen in Hindu and Sikh cultures too (see previous post about ‘idiot sets himself on fire’). It also happens in Latin American communities and France (crime of passion anyone). Its not a religious thing, its a cultural issue.

    But its its frowned upon. What would you like us to do? Kill someone who killed others in an HK?

  32. Paul Brown — on 18th November, 2005 at 3:09 pm  

    Sunny, FGM is a serious problem in the borough of Brent. Look at their website if you don’t beleive me.

  33. DavidBruno — on 18th November, 2005 at 3:09 pm  

    Sunny,

    “Hirsi Ali should have the right to make any film she wants to, that is of course her right”

    Agreed.

    ” What seems to me though is that ordinary Muslims are being blamed for the extremist threats of more violent groups, which I find unacceptable.”

    Not by Ayaan Hirsi Ali – if that’s what you’re implying. What Hirsi Ali rails against is politically and religiously-sanctioned oppression of certain minority groups under Islam in Islamic states.

    She was also appalled several years ago when working for the Dutch Labour Party when she was asked to undertake a report on the under-achievement of Muslim girls and women in Dutch society. She did her research and was shocked to find that – contrary to her (and her party’s) expectations – it was not Dutch racism that was generally holding back many of the under-achievers but religious and cultural attitudes in some Muslim communities themselves.

    The Labour Party then tried to shelve her controversial report.

    She eventually wrote the scipt for ‘Submission’ though perhaps she should not have collaborated with Theo van Gogh, the provocative enfant terrible of the Dutch media.

    Hirsi Ali is herself a shining example of how someone can rise against all the odds in THe Netherlands, having arrived as a peniless refugee from Somalia in her early 20s and working her way through university.

    Unfortunately, she does not have the right left-wing credentials of blaming capitalism/racism etc etc for some Muslim women’s under-achievement – this is probably why her ‘sisters’ do not support her.

  34. Nosemonkey — on 18th November, 2005 at 3:14 pm  

    “Christianity in particular is not as disgustingly misogynist as Islam”

    Eh? Not now (mostly), but how long has the CofE had female clergy for? Has the Catholic Church had women clergy yet?

    How about the millennium and a half (at least) in which women throughout the Christian world were kept in a subordinate position, largely based on the Bible’s descriptions of the first woman being responsible for man’s fall (underlined innumerable times throughout with untrustworthy women – Delilah etc.)? How about that because of this male-dominated, Biblically-supported western European society women were not even granted the vote in Britain – dominated by what is supposedly a “reformed” version of Christianity – until less than 90 years ago?

    (And as an aside, why did European culture shift from the Greek/Roman acceptance of homosexuality towards a revulsion of it during the centuries after the fall of the Roman Empire? Simple answer – the rise of the Church.)

    Most Christian countries have now moved on from the repression of women, granted, and have mostly made at least some progress towards gay rights – but have they moved on BECAUSE they are Christian? Doubtful – because otherwise surely they would have done it centuries ago?

  35. Sunny — on 18th November, 2005 at 3:16 pm  

    in the borough of Brent
    It is? Well, errr, its not even a Muslim dominated area. The biggest minority there are Hindus!

    DavidBruno.
    Not by Ayaan Hirsi Ali – if that’s what you’re implying.
    No, but def by some people who want to grind their own anti-Muslim agenda.

    I’m not supporting Van Gogh’s murder or the attacks against Ali at all. Hell, I’ve been harssed and threatened by fundies (though Hindu ones and the BNP), and would not wish that on others.

    As for cultural attitudes – I agree, and I’ve said the same applies in the UK too. I’m gonna be writing something on this over the weekend hopefully.

    the provocative enfant terrible of the Dutch media.
    Ain’t that the truth. Its annoying how some have held up an anti-semite as the shining example of free speech.

  36. Siddharth — on 18th November, 2005 at 4:44 pm  

    In the scheme of things, a man’s crimes, be they be anti-semitism or having a child porn collection, will be forgiven if he happens to get killed by some crazed lunatic. Especially if he lunatic is a Muslim.

  37. Robert — on 18th November, 2005 at 4:55 pm  

    I find it very irritating when people try and compare Islamic to Western values by using an extreme example of something they don’t like about Western culture. If it’s a choice between that and hanging gays or stoning adulteresses or executing rape victims, I’ll go for Britney every time.

    The problem, Tom, is that people seem to be declaring what other people’s values are, and then arguing against them. Just as I use Shitney Spears an example of something that brings shame upon my culture, the homophobia and mysoginy that we are attributing to Islam is rejected by the moderate Muslims we meet here at Pickled Politics. I was merely making a distinction between what they declare their values to be, and what other people tell them their values are.

  38. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 5:52 pm  

    I’ve been harssed and threatened by fundies (though Hindu ones and the BNP), and would not wish that on others.

    Sunny meboy pray tell me what are fundamentals of Hinduism?

  39. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 6:05 pm  

    Sunny Brent is indeed a Hindu dominated area but you give the impression that Hindus practise FGM which is untrue. There has been no instance of FGM in Indian or even Asians. Its prevalent mostly in North African Islamic cultures. BTW more I read into your comments, more convinced i become of your apparent Leftist leanings. Sunny your constant balacing of criticism of Islam by pointing out often-imagined similarities with your own religion/culture is indeed a leftists trait.. Indian leftist trait. For someone who said that India voted for palestinians at UN under Arab pressure, what can you expect, have balls to call it what it was.. “minority appeasement”. UPA isnt secular no Indian party is. You can be Hindu, you can be right wing still you CAN be secular.

  40. The Don — on 18th November, 2005 at 6:09 pm  

    Robert

    Quite agree. If the voices of the Muslims we meet on PP (with one notable exception) were the voices people heard when extremists grab the attention, there would be far less suspicion and Islamophobia (in the sense of fear of Islam, rather than a determined bigotry against it).

    Unfortunately, what people hear is silence, equivocation and grievance. This is largely, but not entirely, due to how the media and the government have chosen to define the muslim ‘community’.

    As an atheist and a secularist I regard all religions negatively, with Christianity ( the one I know best) and Islam ( currently the most assertive) heading the list. Does that make me an Islamophobe?

    Yes, there are those with a racist agenda who hitch a ride on the legitimate secularist criticisms of Islam. Can’t do much about that, they’re like fleas on a dog. Fortunately, thanks to good management, they don’t have a significant presence on this site.

    This is shaping up to be an excellent post. Just hope it stays on topic and we can avoid the tu quoque tendency.

  41. Vikrant — on 18th November, 2005 at 6:09 pm  

    Raz says:”“Forced marriage; female genital mutilation; honour punsihments and honour killings”

    All of which are happening in the non-Muslim community as well.

    BTW, British police say there are 12 honour killings a year in the UK – including Hindus/Muslims/Sikhs. You would think Asian women are being slaughtered in their droves the way some people harp on about honour killings. Of course, no White English girl is ever murdered by a member of her family, eh?”

    Can you point out any link showing honour killings by a Hindu or a Sikh family (not the ancient case involving canadian sikhs)? Yea Indian culture is indeed male dominated but i believe killing is something beyond us.

  42. Jai Singh — on 18th November, 2005 at 6:45 pm  

    There was one recent UK-based incidence of a Sikh honour-killing (or an attempted one, I can’t remember), but although most of the aforementioned malicious actions occur across all of the South Asian communities, it is a major exaggeration for anyone to imply that these things occur EQUALLY across all these groups — the vast majority unfortunately occur within the Muslim population.

    Fairness is one thing, and something I completely support; but it doesn’t mean one should (deliberately or unintentionally) distort or deny the hard facts as they stand.

    I don’t believe in making sweeping generalisations or especially in demonising entire communities; however, we mustn’t let our goodwill and wish to avoid unnecessary slander of individuals or groups cause us to be either in denial of certain unpalatable facts, especially if it prevents us from addressing the issues involved in such negative behaviour and mindsets.

  43. raz — on 18th November, 2005 at 7:37 pm  

    Certainly Vikrant, the most recent case is this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/4099053.stm

    ” Yea Indian culture is indeed male dominated but i believe killing is something beyond us”

    You’re deluding yourself:

    http://womensissues.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fsouthasia.oneworld.net%2Farticle%2Fview%2F76542%2F1%2F

    There are also thousands of similar style killings e.g. dowry murders. Violence against women is a serious defect in South Asian culture – Pakistani or Indian – Muslim or Hindu – we must confront it.

  44. raz — on 18th November, 2005 at 7:40 pm  

    BTW, the British police are now reopening hundreds of old cases which may have been honour killings, not just Indian/Pakistani/Bengali but Middle Eastern and European cases. Time to put an end to his mysoginistic practice.

  45. raz — on 18th November, 2005 at 7:47 pm  

    “The vast majority unfortunately occur within the Muslim population”

    It’s estimated that there are only 12 honour killings a year in the UK. The Muslim population is much bigger than the Hindu or Sikh population – I’d expect most of those killings to be from Muslims (note that Muslim does not equal Asian – there have been high profile Turkish/Kurdish honour killings recently).

  46. The Don — on 18th November, 2005 at 8:35 pm  

    Odd how so far no-one has addressed the actual topic; Islam’s attitude to homosexuality.

  47. Rohin — on 18th November, 2005 at 9:28 pm  

    The Don – you’re right. Although it’s not much of a discussion. Islam’s attitude towards gay people is, like all religions I can think of, bakwaas. (daft)

  48. Sunny — on 19th November, 2005 at 12:58 am  

    more convinced i become of your apparent Leftist leanings
    Lol, you only figured that out now? Proud to be liberal and lefty thanks, and that is stated right at the top of this blog. We don’t wear a conservative religious badge.

    By the way, in answer to your point. I never insinuated that Hindus were responsible for FGM, thats your touchiness getting the better of you. I know its an African issue, which is why I was surprised when Brent was mentioned.

    As for honour killings not taking place in Hindu/Sikh cultures. Well funny you should mention that – a bride is burnt every day in Delhi because of her dowry. Are you classifying that as something else are you? Playing this blame game is futile my friend – Asian societies have a lot to answer for when it comes to lack of gender equality and opression of women.

  49. Bikhair — on 19th November, 2005 at 2:12 am  

    I hear alot about what Islam is without any evidence from the Quran or the Sunnah to support what is being said. I didnt know the Sharia was nothing more than what Muslims do be it cultural or religious, as opposed to what Muslims were obligated to follow and live by.

    When a patriarchal family, arranged marriages, and the hijab are viewed as obsence by someone who is pro-abortion than that is a debate that isnt worth having.

    I would like to know how many women were killed during the time of Prophet Muhammed (sallalahu alaihi wa salam) due to honor? Since it is his example that set precedence in Islamic law, it should be discussed.

  50. Bikhair — on 19th November, 2005 at 2:14 am  

    The Don,

    The act of homosexuality, is punishable with death according to the Sharia. I dont have details but it is pretty unanimous amongst the scholars.

  51. Bikhair — on 19th November, 2005 at 2:20 am  

    Paul Brown,

    “There is a fatwa against the young Muslim tennis professional (whose name escapes me) because she wears unIslamic clothing while playing her sport!!!!!!!!”

    What is the fatwa that is isnt permissible for Muslim women to wear tennis clothing in front of non-mahram males? What is so controversial about that? Why would any Muslim women think that is was permissible to wear those kinds of clothes in front of everyone?

  52. Bikhair — on 19th November, 2005 at 2:27 am  

    Bijna,

    “Politics, media and law are very left wing
    (Muslim-hugging) in the Netherlands. ”

    So would right wing politics, media and law be fair or Muslim-choke holding?

  53. Sunny — on 19th November, 2005 at 2:36 am  

    Why would any Muslim women think that is was permissible to wear those kinds of clothes in front of everyone?

    Bikhair – because it is their choice.

  54. Eric — on 19th November, 2005 at 9:12 am  

    Since it is his example that set precedence in Islamic law, it should be discussed.

    Why on earth should what some man who came down from a hill after sufffering from hallucinations said or did have any bearing on how women should conduct themselves now?

    And before I am accused of Islamophobia, I would make exactly the same point to Christians opposed to homosexuality. Grow up and move on.

  55. Andy M — on 19th November, 2005 at 10:29 am  

    There’s a video of Britney getting spit-roasted?!

    Could somebody post a link?

  56. Tanvir — on 19th November, 2005 at 11:54 am  

    If the dutch were being genuine about it all, rather than hating, then maybe they would get progress on these issues.

    Islam upholds family values and historically was the first religion to grant women rights and respect. Stuff like Female Genital Mutilation is no part of Islam.

    The Dutch need to ask why their government has failed to discourage cultural inventions that are holding back muslim women.

    Instead an MP is making a sequel to a film that mocked Islam and promoted false conceptions….what a great way to improve community relations: have the host community who are already quite prejudice and ignorant upon the teachings of Islam to further hate it, whilst alienate the muslim population.

    Hirshi Ali needs to wake up and stop smoking so much dope. Im sure she is pissed off for her f***y being chopped out when she was a little girl but i reckon someone should do her a favour and tell her it wasnt the Koran, or God who did that to her, but it was some clown who just lied and made out it was a religious obligation.

    -in other words she needs to address the actual problems.

  57. Mokum — on 19th November, 2005 at 12:14 pm  

    Oh, so Islam is cool on homosexuality then?

    The way to improve “community relations” is to stand up for free speech and stand against violence and hatred, which is exactly what the vast majority of Dutch people do. If some Muslims don’t like free speech, well, tough.

  58. Siddharth — on 19th November, 2005 at 1:24 pm  

    Oh, so Islam is cool on homosexuality then?

    Very. For the past 150 years queer folk, from Byron to Joe Orton and so on, have travelled to North African Muslim countries to get their rocks off on a bit of, what is nowadays called, sex tourism. Why? Because they know that they would not be able to enjoy the same freedoms in the Europe. Unless they liked to get their sex in men’s urinals, the beaches of Tunisia were always more attractive.

  59. raz — on 19th November, 2005 at 1:25 pm  

    “stand against violence and hatred, which is exactly what the vast majority of Dutch people do”

    yeah, just like at Srebrenica. Funny how the death of a single Dutch filmaker produced such outrage, and yet 7000 muslims being slaughtered with Dutch complicty still hasn’t
    seen anyone held to account for their crimes more than 10 years on.

  60. Mokum — on 19th November, 2005 at 1:31 pm  
  61. Eric — on 19th November, 2005 at 1:32 pm  

    Come of it Raz, the idea that Srebrenica has been airbrushed from history like the Amrenian genocide is risible. The ten year anniversary was all over the media.

    As for holding people to account for the crimes, admittedly you could argue that the UN haven’t done a very good job with Milosevic, or chasing up smoe of the others involved, so you’ll be glad to see that other mass murderer and abuser of Muslims, Saddam Hussain, is being tried more effectively in Iraq.

  62. The Don — on 19th November, 2005 at 1:34 pm  

    Bikhair,

    Thanks. I did know that the Koran calls for the death penalty for homosexuals, but I was more interested in how a modern, educated muslim reconciles that with the fact that they may well have gay friends and colleagues. for example, if a muslim guy intervenes to stop a gay being kicked in by queer-bashers, has he acted wrongly?

    So someone who is ‘pro-abortion’ is unworthy of debate? Actually, I seriously doubt if anyone is ‘pro-abortion’ in the sense that they think abortion is a good thing in itself. Some people think abortion is best tackled by reducing demand (better sex education, more widespread use of contraceptives, etc.) rather than cutting of the supply, with the inevitable and well documented consequences.

    The fact is that people in ‘the west’ enjoy a large degree of sexual freedom, whether you like it or not. It comes with a downside, naturally, but if you are stuck in a mind set that believes – really believes – that millions of your fellow citizens are deserving of death for their choice of lifestyle then you are going to meet a lot of suspicion and hostility.

    Tanvir;

    The film has not been made yet, but do you believe it will misrepresent the subject? Hostility to religious strictures that advocate violence and death for personal sexual choices is not necessarily based on ignorance and prejudice. If a gay dutchman were fully and accurately informed on Islam’s attitude to homosexuality, would that make him feel more positively towards it?

    For the record, Britney Spears forms no part of my ‘culture’.

  63. Siddharth — on 19th November, 2005 at 1:36 pm  

    Saddam Hussain, is being tried more effectively in Iraq

    ha ha. Thats a good one, Eric.

  64. Vikrant — on 19th November, 2005 at 1:40 pm  

    Raz speaking of Srebrenica, havent your own “freedom fighters” exterminated 20000 Hindus and ethnically cleansed Kashmir valley of 1 million Kashmiri Hindus?

  65. Bijna — on 19th November, 2005 at 2:19 pm  

    > So would right wing politics, media and law
    > be fair or Muslim-choke holding?

    Lets take a look at the Dutch crime statistics:
    - 2% of the Dutch are of Maroccan descend
    - 33% of the juvenile delinquents are of Maroccan descend

    To say that crime is high among Dutch muslims
    is an understatement. A choke is indeed needed.

    Instead of dealing with the crime, the response of the media is not mentioning ethnicity of simply not reporting events at all and the response of the government has been advertisement campaings to improve the Muslim image.

    Both hopeless paths as the crime effects all outside the ivory towers.

    The only politician willing to deal with this, Pim Fortuyn,
    was killed just before he would be elected prime minster.

  66. raz — on 19th November, 2005 at 3:47 pm  

    Vikrant, glad that you’ve finally woken up to the atrocities the Indian army has been committing against its own people in Kashmir :)

  67. raz — on 19th November, 2005 at 4:01 pm  

    Dutch cowardice and complicity with facists can never be in doubt – we saw it in WW2 and we saw it in Srebrenica.

    Eric, I’m talking about Dutch people not Slobodan. As far as Saddy boy goes, I’m glad that the visionary abilites of Ayatollah Khomeni have been vindicated. He was able to understand in 1981 what America and Britain could not grasp until 2003 – Saddam must die :) Shame nobody listened to him – who knows how many hundreds of thousands of lives could have been saved.

  68. Bijna — on 19th November, 2005 at 4:30 pm  

    The Srebrenica massacre would not have happend
    if Mohammed had not decided to attack Byzantium.

  69. Vikrant — on 19th November, 2005 at 4:49 pm  

    Raz… i think u misunderstood me./ I was refering to the ethnic cleansing of Hindus by jehadis in Kashmir. Funny how every Muslim from Mecca to Malaysia thinks of Kashmir as “his” land but kaffir who’ve been there since 1000 BC and who share common ethnicity with Kashmiri Muslims have no right to live there.

    As for Bosniaks, they are no saints. Didnt the participate in Jewish Holocaust with the Nazis. They pepretrated atrocities of equal magnitude. Serbs hav been the ultimate loosers of Yugoslav war loosing substantial part of their terrirtory.

    BTW its shocking raz to see that self-proclaimed moderate Muslim like you supports Ayatollah Khomeni.

  70. Sunny — on 19th November, 2005 at 4:51 pm  

    The Srebrenica massacre would not have happend
    if Mohammed had not decided to attack Byzantium.

    Still making excuses eh Bijna?

  71. Bikhair — on 19th November, 2005 at 6:06 pm  

    Sunny,

    “Bikhair – because it is their choice.”

    I am not talking about choice. This topic is about Islams attitudes on homosexuality. What are talking about here is the deen of Islam which makes it very clear how a woman should adorn herself in front of certain people. She can chose to wear or not to wear but the Sharia will not compromise.

  72. Bikhair — on 19th November, 2005 at 6:07 pm  

    Bijna,

    “To say that crime is high among Dutch muslims
    is an understatement. A choke is indeed needed.”

    That will not work. The problem with these Muslims in Dutchland is that they dont have enough religion in thier life, and they have rejected the Sunnah as a straight way.

  73. raz — on 19th November, 2005 at 6:08 pm  

    Vikrant, it’s funny you’ve spent the last few weeks begging moderators to ban me and complaining about ‘trolling’, and now – despite my pledge to ease up – you still want to carry on the flaming. How did this thread suddenly go from Holland to Kashmir – oh it was you :) Let me remind you of what you posted about me before:

    “I’ve no interest in having flame wars”

    “Scroll by the troll” – funny, you keep replying to my posts!
    I told you you would miss me if I wasn’t here :)

    If you want to carry on the like this fine – but don’t go crying to Sunny for ‘moderation’ this time.

  74. Sunny — on 19th November, 2005 at 6:14 pm  

    She can chose to wear or not to wear but the Sharia will not compromise.

    No one is asking Sharia to compromise, but sharia, like any religious text, is all about interpretation.

    Regardless of that point, what you’re doing is condemning someone to death for their own choice which has not actually harmed anyone. That’s the sort of obtuse thinking that makes most Middle Eastern countries hell-holes to live in.

  75. Bikhair — on 19th November, 2005 at 6:14 pm  

    The Don,

    “Thanks.”

    De nada.

    “I did know that the Koran calls for the death penalty for homosexuals…”

    I am not sure if the Quran deals with it specifically but yes that is the Sharia.

    “but I was more interested in how a modern, educated muslim reconciles that with the fact that they may well have gay friends and colleagues.”

    Being gay isnt punishable but the act of homosexuality is. Having sex with a man when you are a man, or a woman if you are a woman is punishable.

    “…for example, if a muslim guy intervenes to stop a gay being kicked in by queer-bashers, has he acted wrongly?”

    If a Muslim sees an evil then he should stop it. Someone getting beat up on the street is an evil. People are punished for thier crimes by the leader of the Muslims. There is no mob justice in Islam.

    “So someone who is ‘pro-abortion’ is unworthy of debate?”

    My point was that someone who thinks the hijab, patriarchy, and arranged marriages are obscene but vacuuming a fetus from the belly of a woman isnt, is unworthy of a debate.

  76. Vikrant — on 19th November, 2005 at 6:20 pm  

    ok i got a bit carried away..sorry for that… btw raz are u based in britain or in pakistan?

  77. Vikrant — on 19th November, 2005 at 6:20 pm  

    btw raz lemme point out i havent made any unsubstantiated allegations against ur country unlike u.

  78. raz — on 19th November, 2005 at 6:58 pm  

    “btw raz lemme point out i havent made any unsubstantiated allegations against ur country unlike u”

    A matter of opinion. Just about every fact and statistic concerning India and Pakistan is disputed by someone.

  79. The Don — on 19th November, 2005 at 7:00 pm  

    Bikhair,

    May I ask a personal question? I know it has been raised before ( I think by Mokum) but are you a convert? Feel free to disregard the question if you find it inappropriate.

  80. Bikhair — on 19th November, 2005 at 7:59 pm  

    The Don,

    “I know it has been raised before ( I think by Mokum) but are you a convert? Feel free to disregard the question if you find it inappropriate.”

    Ask Mokum if Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radiyallahu anhu) was a convert. Then make the same conclusions about his conversion as you would about mine.

    ps. I am not comparing myself to this sahabah. please dont make that mistake.

  81. The Don — on 19th November, 2005 at 8:31 pm  

    Bikhair,

    You redefine ‘annoying’.

  82. Sajn — on 19th November, 2005 at 10:49 pm  

    “I am not sure how it is possible to reconcile being both a Muslim and a feminist. Where do these self-proclaimed feminists stand on arranged marriage; the hijab; the patriarchy of the Muslim family; homosexuality? Islam is based on the idea that husbands are head of the household and parents own their children. Hirsi Ali challenges such obscene ideas, and she is heroically courageous for doing so.”

    Perhaps you should clarify this by explaining what you understand by arranged marriages, hijab and the patriarchy of the Muslim family? There is nothing in any of these that is impossible for a feminist to reconcile with.

  83. Sunny — on 19th November, 2005 at 11:13 pm  

    but vacuuming a fetus from the belly of a woman isnt,

    Well, a pro-abortion stance would be that while abortion is not the preferable option, it is the woman’s choice if she wants the egg to be fertilised into a human being or not. Why should others be allowed to make a decision that essentially affects her more than anyone else?

  84. Bikhair — on 20th November, 2005 at 2:51 am  

    Sunny,

    Put a sock in it Sunny. Remember its a baby not a choice.

  85. Dr_AZ — on 20th November, 2005 at 3:45 am  

    Regardless of that point, what you’re doing is condemning someone to death for their own choice which has not actually harmed anyone. That’s the sort of obtuse thinking that makes most Middle Eastern countries hell-holes to live in.

    why is it always hell holes….

    anyway i like middle eastern countries i wouldnt mind living there. granted i have to change a few of my ways but those changes are good changes…

    anyway about this homosexuality yeah islam is pretty strick on homosexuals

    BUT did you lot know that clean shave was a sign of homosexuality in arabia 1400 years ago

    i dunno what thats got to do wiht anything but i thought i would just waste everyones time with my useless knowledge…..

    Carry on

  86. Hari Pota — on 20th November, 2005 at 9:11 am  

    ISLAM AND HOMOSEXUALITY

    Before the emergence of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, all kinds of sexuality was being experienced. Although we don’t have many documents related to the age, it is understood from the references in the Kur’an that sexuality was not a taboo. Actually Islam didn’t mention any strict sexual rules either. If we just take Kur’an as the reference, it may even be called a sex positive religion.The only reference to homosexuality is in the sections about Sodom and Gomorrah. But even in those sections homosexuality is not very clearly condemned. People are punished because of having done everything excessively. They don’t only sleep with men, they sleep with women too, they drink too much, they got involved in pleasure too much. “Much” is the keyword here.

    And the punishment for almost all crimes are mentioned in the Kur’an but there’s no specific punishment for homosexuality. But these sections in Kur’an have always been the defending point of homophobic Islamic people.What brings condemnation to homosexuals is not the Kur’an but the Islamic societies. Cultures also shape the religion as well as the society itself.

    During the first years of Islam, homosexuality was never mentioned as a crime. There are even rumors that Ali, one of the members of Mohammed’s family had an affair with Mohammed. And in the famous 1001 Arabian Nights, there are some stories which are openly about homosexual relationships. But this did not mean that there was a conscious homosexual community. If those people knew the word “homosexual” they wouldn’t call themselves so. It was just sleeping with men as well as with women.

    In Islamic cultures homosexual relationships were not very open. But they were not in complete secrecy either. Everything was all right as long as it was done behind closed gates and was not talked about. But with modernization, this changed in the Islamic societies. AS it is easy to comment Kur’an in the negative way, homosexuality started to be accepted as a crime and it is punished.

    Homosexuality is a legal crime and forbidden in most of Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.Whatever is forbidden is more attractive and homosexuality is not a habit that can be banned. So in all of these countries people are engaged in homosexual activity. As there are punishments for the act, everything is done in secret. Turkey is one of these countries where there is no problem when everything is done secretly.

    OTTOMAN CULTURE

    Ottomans ruled between 1299 and 1923 till the foundation of Turkish Republic. They had been Moslems long before and they didn’t have much from their pre-Islamic period. Things were organized according to Islamic system, from state system to social services. So the rules about sex were from Islam too. Men could marry four women and even the way he should treat them were mentioned in the Kur’an. But as there are only vague references to homosexuality in Kur’an, it has never been an issue.Sleeping with men who are usually referred as “boys” was very common.It was not something looked upon.

    The reputation of hamams (baths) in Turkey comes from this age. The “tellaks” (young boys who helped men to have a bath) did not only work for washing the men. They also served as male prostitutes. There is a book in the Ottoman archives called “Dellakname-i Dilkusa” (The Record of Tellaks). It tells about the most famous “tellaks” of Istanbul. The way they serve their customers, their price, how many times they can make you reach orgasm, the rate of their beauty and many more details are mentioned in this book.

    Literature is one of the areas where there is eternal freedom of homosexuality. ottoman Literature is called “Divan Literature”. In Divan Literature there are many poems written by male poets about their male lovers. These poems were about how beautiful these boy lovers were. None of these the poet talks about his boy lover and he complains that his beard is starting to grow and because of this his beauty is going away. Boys were maybe kind of substitutes for women who had smooth skin with no hairs. Those poems are in a very old fashioned, hard to understand Turkish which is called Ottoman and are in literature books for high school students.There was no pressure from the authorities on the poets for writing such poems about boys. Actually sex with boys were not legally forbidden and even the sultans were engaged in sex with male boys.

    Some of the sultans had famous affairs with boys. There was even a palace for boys in Bursa. In this palace sultan kept many young boys who served the men in the army. In the Ottoman Times the army was at war away from home for months and sometimes years. It was not something logical to take women with them.SO they took those boys from the palace. They could fight soldiers during day time and at night they visited the soldiers` tents for their special service.This tradition just like in other Islamic cultures was not conscious homosexuality. These men were engaged in sex with women too and sex with boys were just something pleasant for them and they thought they really needed women. Because one of the main orders of Islam is to breed.That’s why they needed women.

    This tolerance for homosexuality disappeared in the early 19th century with the adoption of western culture. The sultans went on some renovations and the source was France. With the changes in the governmental and social system, the ideas were adopted too. Because of Christianity, male to male sex was strongly refused in the European culture. This effected ottoman society too and those kind of relationships were started to be looked upon.But of course a tradition that had been going on for such a long time didn’t disappear. There is still a hamam culture which is still going on but not as common as it used to be. And extreme nationalists who take great pride in ottoman culture still deny this side of Ottomans

  87. Hari Pota — on 20th November, 2005 at 9:20 am  

    Homosexuality was and is widely practised in Islamic countries. There are scriptural references to pre-pubescent boys in Paradise.

    The relevant verses from the Koran are:

    Koran 52:24
    Round about them will serve, to them, boys (handsome) as pearls well-guarded.

    Koran 56:17
    Round about them will serve boys of perpetual freshness.

    Koran 76:19
    And round about them will serve boys of perpetual freshness: if thou seest them, thou wouldst think them scattered pearls.

    Famous poets in Arabia glorified homosexuality. As an example I am including a poem in ‘Perfumed Garden’ by Abu Nuwas:

    O the joy of sodomy!
    So now be sodomites, you Arabs.
    Turn not away from it–
    therein is wondrous pleasure.
    Take some coy lad with kiss-curls
    twisting on his temple
    and ride as he stands like some gazelle
    standing to her mate.
    A lad whom all can see girt with sword
    and belt not like your whore who has
    to go veiled.
    Make for smooth-faced boys and do your
    very best to mount them, for women are
    the mounts of the devils

    So, I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about a practise that many Muslim countires have been practising for centuries in private, but abhorr in public.LoL

  88. Old Pickler — on 20th November, 2005 at 2:01 pm  

    arranged marriages, hijab and the patriarchy of the Muslim family? There is nothing in any of these that is impossible for a feminist to reconcile with

    What a joke. Patriarchy in the Muslim family means subordination of the woman in that familiy. Hijab is a symbol of this. Arranged marriage (often, in practice, forced), perpetuates it.

    No feminist can reconcile herself with anything less than true equality for men and women. These so-called Muslim ‘feminists’ who witter on about these things being ‘liberating’ are just self-deluded, dangerous idiots.

  89. DavidBruno — on 20th November, 2005 at 2:58 pm  

    Tanvir,

    “in other words she needs to address the actual problems.”

    No. In a democracy, she is free to address the problem as she defines it. Others may argue with her and advance their own arguments based on their own definitions and interpretations. But no one may prevent her. That is the nature of democracy.

    It does the Muslim community a grave disservice when some of its community leaders indicate they are more interested in suppressing the expression of ideas rather than entering into the debate of ideas.

    Why should they – or any followers of other religions – believe that they are above the hard-won conventions of democracy including free speech, equality before the law and the vote?

    Ms Hirsi Ali regards the problems as follows:
    the unequal status of women and homosexuals (and other minority groups) in Islamic states where no distinction is permitted between religion and law, and where human rights suffer as a result.

    This is exactly what Submission 1 and Submission 2 deal with.

    She – in line with other genuine feminists like Irshad Manji (Canada) – regard these aspects of Islam as being highly problematic – both in Islamic states themselves and also when some of these religious/political views are advocated by Muslims living in the West and which result in exactly what we are debating here: the attempt to silence people who raise issues that are uncomfortable for some Muslims to face and which result in attempts at intimidating people like Manji and Ali into silence. This type of behaviour is incompatible with the norms of a democratic society, whoever is indulging in it.

    It is NOT the role of the State in a democracy to attempt to limit the freedom of expression that Ms Hirsi Ali will use – or that one of her Muslim opponents in The Netherlands may wish to use in the form of counter-arguments.

    It IS the role of the State to ensure – through good policing – that citizens in a democracy are able to exercise their birthright: freedom of expression – without being killed (NOTE: Ms Hirsi Ali is under police protection 24/7 due to death threats by Islamists – and her late collaborator on Submission 1, Theo van Gogh, was murdered last year by an Islamist).

    To state that the ‘Dutch are racist’ is as stupid a generalisation – and unhelpful – as stating ‘Muslims hate homosexuals’ .

    Muslims in The Netherlands are equal before the law as citizens of The Netherlands – as also are followers of other religions and women and homosexuals. That means that they too can use freedom of expression to convey their views even if these views are critical of women or homosexuals. Certain imamns in The Netherlands have refered to homosexuals and Jews as ‘dirty pigs’ and have not, to my knowledge, been subjected to death threats. Please note that Ms Ali does not sink to refering to Muslims in such terms. Ask yourself who is intimidating whom and whether such intimidation is consistent with the norms of democracy.

  90. raz — on 20th November, 2005 at 3:14 pm  

    Another despicable display of cowardice from the Dutch:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1880012,00.html

    We’ve seen them collabarate with Nazis during the holocaust, we’ve seen their soldiers shirk their responsibilites at Srebrenica and now we see the ‘mighty’ Dutch army running scared in Afganistan. What a cowardly nation.

  91. DavidBruno — on 20th November, 2005 at 3:36 pm  

    Raz,

    *some* Dutch may fit your description just as *some* Muslims/Jews/Chrisitians/Atheists might be murderous. By turning *some* into a generalisation about *all*, you are using exactly the same tactics as those who claim that *all* rather than *some* Muslims are murderous fanatics.

    Don’t you think a change in your logic might be advisable before someone hoists you with your own petard?

  92. blue mountain — on 20th November, 2005 at 3:39 pm  

    and Pakistan is bravest country in the world.

    Why the fuck would they die fighting for someone elses cause ?

    India and China never sent soldiers to either Iraq or Afganistan. I guess both are coward nations.

    The same minuscule Dutch took on defeated mighty Spaniards(hitherto undefeated) couple of centuries earlier

  93. Vikrant — on 20th November, 2005 at 5:17 pm  

    Hey raz,

    Before you go on accusing dutch of collaborating with Nazi (which is highly unlikely given the historic enemity between jerries and dutch) werent those your Yugoslav Muslim Nazi collaborators in the war? I’ve read that they helped Nazis round up few thousand Jews and Gypsies.

  94. Steve Davies — on 20th November, 2005 at 5:40 pm  

    What this raises for me is the question of whether beliefs that are religious or religion based should have a higher status and be given greater deference than others. The two women quoted clearly do think this, the implication is that it is somehow wrong to criticise or attack religious beliefs. Why though should this be the case? Nobody would expect that political beliefs (for example) should be treated with that kind of deference. For that position to be correct you would have to show that religious beliefs are different in their nature from other kinds of belief and that the nature of that difference is such that they should be treated in a way that other beliefs are not. As a secularist myself I don’t see that at all and I find it very annoying when believers claim this kind of protection.

  95. j0nz — on 20th November, 2005 at 5:56 pm  

    Muslim feminist? Isn’t that an oxymoron?! Bit like Islamic Human rights….

    And I’m suprised at the Dutch. And I thought they was trying to portray the image that their not a soft touch?

  96. raz — on 20th November, 2005 at 6:29 pm  

    140,000 Jews lived in the Netherlands before WWII. 100,000 were murdered. Jew or Muslim, Auschwitz or Srebrenica , Dutch collaboration with evil never ceases to appall.

  97. Vikrant — on 20th November, 2005 at 6:44 pm  

    Dude dutch were there on peacekeeping mission. If they were outnumbered by Serbs u cant blame them for not wanting to die in somebody else’s war. BTW Auschwitz is in Austria. And 5 million Jews from all countries under Nazi sway died. Its unfair to single out dutch. Collaborators are everywhere. Even your very own Bosniaks supported Nazis.

  98. The Don — on 20th November, 2005 at 6:51 pm  
  99. Sajn — on 20th November, 2005 at 8:13 pm  

    Auschwitz is in Poland not Austria.

  100. Dr_AZ — on 20th November, 2005 at 8:28 pm  

    umm hari pota i cant find your quotes

    can you check em agen

    in the mean time heres one

    “We also sent Lut : He said to his people : “Do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.” Qur’an 7:80-81

    in the past allah did not like gay practises so much so he wiped off whole communities
    like lut/Lot’s people

    there are many hadith that also go against homosexuals but there you can interpret them how you want heres two i can find:

    “When a man mounts another man, the throne of God shakes.”

    “Kill the one that is doing it and also kill the one that it is being done to.” (in reference to the active and passive partners in gay sexual intercourse)

    there is an islamic group that is supposedly pro homosexuals called Al-Fatiha

    but i only heard of them i dont know much about them

    they claim 4,000 homosexuals have been executed in Iran since their revolution in 1979. 10 public executions of homosexuals have been performed in Afghanistan by the Taliban army.

  101. raz — on 20th November, 2005 at 8:56 pm  

    “Auschwitz is in Austria”
    ROFLMAO :)

    Auschwitz is in Poland. Not only do you know nothing of history, it seems elementary geography is beyond you as well. It’s a sad indictement of the ignorance about the holocaust manifest within the younger generation that Vikrant could utter such a foolish thing. Of course, neither Srebrenica nor Auschwitz is in Holland (although that might be hard for Vikrant to understand), but that didn’t stop the Dutch people being responsible Jews and Muslims being slaughtered in those places.

    The percentage of Jews from The Netherlands murdered by the Nazis was higher than in any other Western European country. The number of Dutch Nazi collaborators during World War II exceeded the number of those active in the resistance. The Netherlands had the highest number of Waffen SS volunteers in Western Europe. Truly sickening.

  102. Mokum — on 20th November, 2005 at 9:24 pm  

    Anyone who is interested in the truth of what happened at Srebrenica rather than poisonous hatred from raz, the cheerleader for the Ayatollah Khomeini, can consult an entire web site dedicated to the topic.

    http://www.srebrenica.nl/en/a_index.htm

    “…Srebrenica was the unwanted child amongst these Safe Areas. At the end of 1993, no country was prepared to station its troops there after the Canadian government had announced its intention of withdrawing its forces. The Dutch government, which had been at the forefront of the international call for more decisive intervention, felt that it had no choice but to fill this vacancy in the UN’s plans.”

  103. Ramiie — on 20th November, 2005 at 9:45 pm  

    Call me whatever you you like, but I just can’t understand why so many mad mullahs and their alienated flock come to live in and/or stay in liberal western democracies if they so detest the way of life of these countries!!

    DUH!!

    As a African Briton who happens to be christian I am aware of the contradictions of being thus..but I have come to rationalise the legacy of history which affects my daily life. No I wont blow myself up. I would rather take a trip back to the heart of Africa and start again.

    Conversely, I hope every muslim who is plotting or enacting violence against free thinking and free speaking christian individuals be dealt with the full force of Sharia law , to wit, have their bollocks chopped off.

  104. Sunny — on 20th November, 2005 at 10:16 pm  

    Before the “we are better than you brigade start posting en-masse”, let me point out that this country wasn’t exactly the most liberating of places for women only about 40-50 years ago. Many strands of Christianity still have problems with sexual equality. Female bishops anyone? So please don’t come preaching about equality in religion – because there is none anywhere, fullstop.

    This is not a dick-comparing contest, so please puts yours away OP and j0nz, because it’s becoming tired and repetitive. And your dicks ain’t anything to look at.

    And raz – that Dutch link was just silly. Pakistan could do a lot more (before the earthquake anyway) to calm down Afghanistan but frankly didn’t. They were more concerned with keeping the Afghani refugees out.

  105. raz — on 20th November, 2005 at 10:29 pm  

    Sunny, I haven’t mentioned India or Pakistan in this thread. Didn’t you yourself ask for people to stop turning everything into an India-Pakistan flamefest? Now you do it yourself.

    Given the sanctimonious moralising from some Dutch people (including on this thread) , I make no apologies for reminding them of their own wonderful human rights record.

  106. Mokum — on 20th November, 2005 at 10:38 pm  

    Guess what, I’m not Dutch.

    Close to a million Muslims live here now. Most have settled in the Netherlands over the last 20 years or so.

    The record: one Islamist murder, lots of foiled terrorist bombing plots, and some dumbass vandalism against property by “Muslims” and “Christians”.

    Some racists the Dutch are, eh?

    How would Pakistan fancy European Christians and Jews immigrating and quickly making up 7% of its population? Seeing as churches and mosques are blowing up in Pakistan already, I know which country I’m more worried about.

  107. j0nz — on 20th November, 2005 at 10:45 pm  

    Mokum they don’t like to deal with facts here they prefer the emu approach or even worse, all out denial!

    Someone will come out with some moral equivalence crap, they can’t help it! Knee-jerk liberal loony shite…

    jonz

  108. raz — on 20th November, 2005 at 10:46 pm  

    Mokum pretty much sums the Dutch mentality up. 100,000 Jews sent to the gas chambers meant nothing to them. 7000 Muslims executed meant nothing to them. What a lovely nation.

  109. Mokum — on 20th November, 2005 at 10:47 pm  

    no, raz, you mean nothing.

  110. Sunny — on 20th November, 2005 at 11:11 pm  

    Stop crying raz, I wasn’t making this an Indian-Pak thing, I was saying that trying to point fingera at the Dutch, previously one of the most liberal countries in Europe, is stupid.

  111. raz — on 20th November, 2005 at 11:20 pm  

    Sunny, your point was completely wrong anyway. Pakistan has 80,000 troops deployed in anti AQ operations in Waziristan, which is CONSIDERABLY more than the entire US/NATO deployment to the WHOLE of Afghanistan. More Pakistani troops have been KIA in these operations then coalition fatalities in Afghanistan. No nation has deployed more manpower in fighting AQ in Asia than Pakistan. No nation has sacrificed more young soldiers in these battles than Pakistan. So, until the rest of the world grows the BALLS to match our committment in this area they can shut up.

  112. Vikrant — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:20 am  

    Raz shut the fuck up. One slip of tongue and u go around gloating victory! Your stupid criticism of Dutch shows ur ignorance of holocaust and the prevalent anti-semitism in all the European societies. BTW even ur fabled Haj Amin Huseini participated in holocaust. Why are you beating around the bush on Yugoslav Muslims?I know more about Srebrenica probably morethan you do… beeb has been bombarbarding on us about it every July.

    Btw wtf are you bleating about Srebrenica on THIS forum? Dude i got a feeling you kinda love flame wars. Hell its hard not to utter the K Word. Why isnt your “deep concern” for human rights extended to Darfuris and Kashmiri Pandits? Hell man we share a common ethnicty and ancestry but lemme guess you go around calling yourself a Syed isnt it?

  113. Vikrant — on 21st November, 2005 at 12:23 am  

    7000 Muslims executed meant nothing to them. What a lovely nation.

    And 60000 Hindus murdered mean nothing to you, a million Darfuris dead mean nothing to you, continued human rights abuses of non-muslims in Muslim countries mean nothing to you, a million Armenians murdered mean nothing to you…. if you wanna play this game be my guest.

  114. DavidBruno — on 21st November, 2005 at 8:46 am  

    Steve Davies,

    “The two women quoted clearly do think this, the implication is that it is somehow wrong to criticise or attack religious beliefs.”

    No – if you are refering to Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji, that is not the case. Both are staunch defenders of liberal democracy and do not believe in deference to any specific belief system, religious or otherwise. Neither belives in any special protection for Islam and they are both thorough critics of Islam.

    Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali is an apostate.

    Canadian writer, Irshad Manji, on the other hand, is a Muslim who believes that Islam needs to open up to debate and criticism and that moderate Muslims have a special responsibility for making this happen. She is also a lesbian and does not consider her pro-democracy, Western feminism to be incompatible with her private following of her faith. She believes in ‘Ijtihad’ – Islam’s lost tradition of critical thinking and has mounted her own personal camped to revive it. Her thoughts are contained in her book “The Trouble with Islam” which she has translated into Arabic and which she has made available to be downloaded free from her website.

    Both women are particuarly concerned about human rights issues – particularly with regard to women – under Islam. Both condemn the firebrand language used by some imamns in some mosques in the West.

    See more at her website:

    http://www.muslim-refusenik.com/

    Both women think that far too many Muslims in the West are in denial about the need for them to confront Islam’s reactionary tendencies and have allowed Islamists to hi-jack Islam as part of their own aggressively political agendas.

    Both women are under police guard because of their attacks – using only their free speech: something that they both acknowledge is something they could enjoy only in the West – upon some of Islam’s reactionary tendencies.

    In fact, both of their predicaments highlight well the “trouble with Islam”.

    They are both totally at odds with the in-denial “Islam is a religion of peace” spokespeople who too frequently present Islam and all Muslims as being totally blameless and victims of “Islamophobia” and “racism” and fail to acknowledge that a large part of the problem and solution lies with Islam and some Muslims themselves.

  115. DavidBruno — on 21st November, 2005 at 8:50 am  

    “personal camped ” should have read “personal campaign”.

  116. DavidBruno — on 21st November, 2005 at 9:39 am  

    Several writers, politicians and academics are now under police guard in The Netherlands, as a result of having exercized their freedom of speech in relation to Islam and Islamism:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1878650,00.html

    People who use such tactics are damaging the view that Islam and democracy are compatible and will be largely responsible for the sharp swing to the Right that Dutch voters may well exercise at the next elections.

  117. Steve Davies — on 21st November, 2005 at 9:47 am  

    David Bruno – sorry you misunderstood my comment, I was referring to the two activists who were quoted, Karima Belhaj and Miriyam Aouragh.

  118. Paul Brown — on 21st November, 2005 at 10:46 am  

    It is a nonsense to say that it is possible for a feminist to be in favour of the hijab and arranged marriage, let alone patriarchy. Feminists, like all rational human beings, do not believe that there are different values or rules for people based on their physical differences. Beyond the obvious physical differences there are no material differences between men and women. therefore, it is absurd to apply different rules or customs according to gender/sex.

    Therefore, logic says that women should not be covering themselves up, they are not there to please or satisfy men; they are not here to simply be wives and mothers; and they should not be obliged to marry. And no intelligent person would accept allowing a man to head ahousehold. These are primitive, pre-Enlightenment ideas, and it is time for the Islamic world to move beyond them. I think we are seeing this with the women’s movements in Iran and Iraq, and some of the recent expose’s of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia. I think the House of Saud shot itself in the foot by allowing a lot of women to study PhD’s and the like; if you want to subjugate women it is not a good idea to give them access to higher education!

    Why are people on this forum supporting clerical fascists like the Ayatollah Homeini?

    As far as the Ali/Van Gogh film goes, I am going to see it (and Ali) on Friday and i will reserve judgement til then.

  119. Bikhair — on 21st November, 2005 at 8:31 pm  

    David Bruno,

    She believes in “Ijtihad’ – Islam’s lost tradition of critical thinking and has mounted her own personal camped to revive it. ”

    She doesnt believe in ijtihad because there is no ijtihad on matters that have already been decided by the Quran and the example of Prophet Muhammed (sallalahu alaihi wa salm) and the above definition of ijtihad is completely incorrect. What this girl does believe in is making what is haram, halal, and making what is halal, haram. That aint ijtihad.

  120. DavidBruno — on 22nd November, 2005 at 7:26 am  

    Bikhair,

    Irshad Manji provides her thoughts on ijtihad here:

    http://www.muslim-refusenik.com/ijtihad.html

    Muslims in the West simply have to come to terms with their religion in the context of a Western liberal democracy and its inherent traditions and norms of freedom of expression (included critical comment) and intellectual enquiry. The only alternative is the conclusion that Islam is not compatible with liberal democracy.

    Some Muslims may already believe this.

    An increasing number of non-Muslims are also likely to come to this conclusion with a likely sharp swing to the Right among voters who will likely tire of the Orwellian “Islam is a religion of peace” meme trotted out by Muslims-in-denial.

    Ms Manji provides one suggested route for the opening up process that is sorely needed: the project ijtihad.

    This is highly relevant to this thread because those Muslims who have issued death threats against several writers, academics and politicians in The Netherlands, are actively working against the long-term interests of Muslims in the West, whereas Ms Manji and Ms Ali are raising legitimate questions about the nature of Islam and human rights within the conventions of western democracy.

  121. Jai Singh — on 22nd November, 2005 at 11:22 am  

    Good points by David.

    The conclusion of Islam being fundamentally incompatible with liberal Western democracies and the associated legal processes and rights (something some non-Muslims are already paranoid about, and which unfortunately is also being claimed by many of the fundies) could have dangerous consequences if it eventually becomes regarded as “fact” by both the general public and in political circles.

  122. bananabrain — on 22nd November, 2005 at 2:56 pm  

    The aim of any enlightened, thinking person is for secularism.
    isn’t this the point of view of a *gasp* fundamentalist?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  123. Paul Brown — on 23rd November, 2005 at 10:01 am  

    No, it is nothing to do ith fundamnetalism. And it is absurd to compare a committed secularist with somebody who is fundamentally committed to a superstition. To be a fundamentalist about science, rationalism, logic, facts, knowledge, and intelligence is not the same as being fundamentalist about something we know to be non-existent and imaginary, not to mention repressive and reactionary.

  124. j0nz — on 23rd November, 2005 at 10:19 am  

    And it is absurd to compare a committed secularist with somebody who is fundamentally committed to a superstition. To be a fundamentalist about science, rationalism, logic, facts, knowledge, and intelligence is not the same as being fundamentalist about something we know to be non-existent and imaginary, not to mention repressive and reactionary.

    Paul Brown you have hit the nail on the head. I sense I might be plaigarising this quote in the future! Very well said.

  125. Paul Brown — on 23rd November, 2005 at 2:14 pm  

    Thanks. I’m glad we’re on the same wavelength. Feel free to plagiarise as much as you like!

  126. Col. Mustafa — on 24th November, 2005 at 12:56 am  

    Mann, these threads just end up in chaos.

    Islam and homosexuals.
    hehehehe.

    Yeh, i have a feeling ill be dead by the time islam even partly accepts homo sexuality.
    Whether theres some offshoot groups out there that accept it doesn’t matter.
    Even with all the muslim repressed homo sexuals out there as well.
    It just doesn’t matter as islam is no where near coming to terms with it, infact they dont even see it as an issue to be brought up.

    Gays???
    What are they?
    I dont know…
    Who cares…

    Its funny as homo sexuals have been around ever since man and woman started exploring each other.

    Theres homo sexual insects as well, not just animals.
    That kinda tells you that the concept of going for your own sex, even though you know there aren’t any material benefits such as food, water or offspring, but simply for pleasure or boredom roots back many many millions of years back.

  127. Tanvir — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:19 am  

    I think people who attack homosexuals and other minorities they do not agree with, be it blacks or jews are first an foremost criminals.

    Those who blame Islam for this either are illogical, or have an underlying bias against Islam, looking at history and the attitude towards Islam from the west, i think its more likely to be the latter.

    To say “Muslims need to come to terms with their religion in the context of a Western liberal democracy” sounds like it is coming from a patronizing prejudiced point of view. However, the beauty of what has been said is, that this is very possible without the need for ‘reform’ in the religion, but greater education UPON the religion itself.

    What the likes of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other haters on this blog have failed to recognize out of their ignorance is that there are some very simple yet very Islamic solutions to these problems being discussed; and if implemented are much more likely to get success than trying to persuade muslims to convert to a western secularism culture where they are allowed to keep the tag of being a muslim for token. Particularly because their patronizing arguments show their underlying bias and ignorance through such transparency.

    How will the death threats against writers damage Muslim interests? Those who issue those threats are surely criminals first and foremost, and in the eyes of the prejudiced, the haters and anti-muslim, is another example why Islam is a bad religion.

    With regards to homosexuality, Islam is very clear on the subject. It is not allowed. People choose to be Muslims and to the disappointment of many on this blog, it cannot be stopped. Now there is absolutely no way whatsoever, through the teachings of islam, there can be any prejudice or mistreatment of homosexuals in Europe. Although I am a practicing Muslim, and my views on homosexuality (which is merely exercising my freedom and right to my own well-reasoned opinions shared by people of many other faiths in Europe) if I saw a homosexual being attacked on the street I would step in and stick up for him.

    The Muslims in Europe choose to live in Europe and the must adhere to the laws of Europe, that is based on Islamic teachings themselves. Even when they are faced with gross prejudice such as in France – with the banning of the Hijab, Muslims must adhere to the laws of the country they chose to go and live in. I guess it is easier for immigrants than native French muslims who must feel really alienated.

    It is interesting, and no longer surprising to find seemingly intelligent people carrying such heavy amounts of bias. Being at university, i have come across many seemingly bright people, who hold the view that the Hijab is a way Muslim men keep their women oppressed, being totally ignorant to the fact that the vast majority of Muslim women in Uk ( i can only speak for the Uk) take up wearing the Hijab usually in their teens or early twenties after sometime in university out of their on needs and accord.

    I noticed some clown posted: “Islam is based on the idea that husbands are head of the household and parents own their children”. What a confident statement ! Yet so much based on bias and ignorance. It almost seems to these people that it doesn’t matter really about the truth in the first place, there is plenty of people who share this ignorance so lets make it fact as part of the ammunition against Islam?
    -In a muslim family unit, the mother is actually said to be more important than the father – although 9in general) the father holds qualities the mother does not hold.
    -In the psychology of a family unit, mothers and fathers hold different roles, in guidance, and emotional development – that is due to the way human beings emotions are made, it is just being real.
    - In Islam men and women are not equal – but we all know that dont we?? At least islam is being real. Look at the state of the family unit in western society is changing… in Islam men and women are to complement each other… they have different roles… each precious in their own way. That is not to say such defined roles are to be absolute and nothing else is possible.

    Now when some crazy git decides to carry out acts based on grossly distorted and misunderstood religious guidelines, or often things that have no religious basis whatsoever…. why blame Islam? Like the first film of submission…that was basically a racist film… the islam haters, the war mongers and all other evils have a habit of mixing some element of truth in their concoction of lies… such as the fact that there is a problem of female oppression (but blames it on Islam rather than the lack of it)…

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali by jumping on the anti-muslim bandwagon may benefit her political career but is not going to solve any problems with her film, she is just going to create other ones.

    “Ms Ali are raising legitimate questions about the nature of Islam and human rights within the conventions of western democracy” – look at history and see which religion brought about the foundations of human rights….

    If immigrants in Europe, despite having lived here for decades have failed to grasp the notion of human rights – because they are from underdeveloped and economically weak countries – then it is the country’s fault for not having integrated them, not Islam’s. There are Muslim countries out there with better human rights than many non-muslim countries and the country in the media most recently for human rights abuses happens to be the daddy of western ideals – the USA.

    It is time the Dutch lived up to their own failures of integrating and educating their immigrants, rather than by alienating them by letting slip their sheer racism saying the immigrants lack certain virtues because of their religion. Britain is taking many positive steps with this issue by promoting the recruitment of well-educated religious leaders as opposed to importing ones which have a poor grasp of human rights or even their religion themselves.

    There is an interesting lecture by a former British Nationalist Party campaigner – turned Muslim tomorrow (Thursday 24th November) at 6pm, at the University of Sheffield, Arts Tower, Lecture Theatre 6.

  128. Paul Brown — on 24th November, 2005 at 10:27 am  

    Tanvir,

    I am the clown who said that the Islamic family was patriarchal. You say that in Islam the mother is regarded as being more important, but you mean more important as a chattel. More important because she takes care of the drudgery. More important because her role is to be mother and dutiful wife. What freedoms does Islam allow for women? None of the practising Muslims on this thread have yet answered me about whether women/girls in Islam are free to do whatever they choose, and that is because the answer is no.

    I am not here to defend the west’s attitude towards gender and sexuality. Having just read an article in today’s Independent about a 21 year-old rape victim who has had her case thrown out of court, I am vividly aware of the fact that we have a very long way to go. However, Islam has not even started to address the way it imprisons its women and girls through arranged marriage and domesticity. Domestic violence is being addressed openly now, but in the Muslim community it is still the great unspoken taboo. When is the Muslim community going to have its Enlightenment, and when is it going to have a feminsist movement?

  129. Jez — on 24th November, 2005 at 10:56 am  

    So Islam and Homosexuality . . how about religion and homosexuality . .

    Imagine bending over to pray and checking each others ass out.

    what’s running through your head Paul – who’s got a cute tushi ? :-)

  130. DavidBruno — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:02 pm  

    Jez,

    “Imagine bending over to pray and checking each others ass out.”

    Some homosexuals (of which I am one) are just as capable of taking religion seriously and behaving appropriately in a place of worship as some heterosexuals. And some Muslims are as capable as some members of other relgions of pracising their religion in the West in accordance with the norms of liberal democracy – though some are clearly not.

    However, I won’t respond to your comments with the silly allegation that you are “homophobic” because you clearly believe that all homosexuals ‘check eachother out’ when in a place of worship.

    Perhaps, in response to my comments about Muslims, I might be similarly spared the silly label “Islamophobe” which dedicated Islamists and some of their in-your-face but in-denial brothers love to bandy around while issuing fatwas.

    Anyone half intelligent knows that these ‘phobia’ labels have been invented by militants in pressure groups in order to silence and intimidate those who oppose their political ideology – as an increasing number of writers, artists, politicians and academics under 24/7 police protection in The Netherlands, are finding out.

    If you doubt this proposition, ask yourself how these labels have appeared only in the last 15 years in the history of human civilisation.

  131. Mirax — on 24th November, 2005 at 1:12 pm  

    Jez was not being homophobic, David, just sexo-centric. For many muslims, sexual tension is perpetual and inevitable. Thus the same attitude is revealed in their observation to mixed prayer- ‘but we men cannot focus on GOD if we have to keep looking at women’s bums in front of us!’

    It is a very narrow and limiting outlook.

  132. DavidBruno — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:04 pm  

    Yes, I know, Mirax.

    So many homosexuals (myself included) have had searing experiences of been shunned, marginalised, ridiculed, told we will suffer in hell etc etc by certain elements within all of the established religions that we have sometimes found it a very lonely journey towards that spiritual place of peace and understanding for which most humans at some point yearn.

    We therefore tend to miss the finer points of those humourous observations that are made – in passing – about the behaviour of heterosexual men – in recognition of their essential humanity and not really ‘against’ them – but which are often used against homosexual men, to prove their ‘pathologies’ and to reject them and keep them excluded, like sub-humans, from religious and spiritual communal gatherings.

  133. Chris M — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:56 pm  

    As an evangelical, I find militant secularists and homosexuals are the true ‘hate criminals’ .

    One time, a group of homosexual activists invaded the room and began chanting to interrupt the meeting. Shouting scatological and obscene insults, reminiscent of the men of Sodom banging at the doors of Lot’s house

    They advocate normalizing sexual perversion want to recruit our children into their debauched lifestyle. They cannot have children of their own, so they’re after ours.
    while homosexual activists allege the gag law Bill is ‘necessary’ to combat anti-gay violence, the number of straight-on-gay assaults is vanishingly small — while gay-on-gay violence is rampant. making homosexual ‘couples’ by far the most frequent scene of domestic violence.
    The self-styled ‘Gay Militia’ ought to clean up its own house, rather than trying to silence peaceful meetings of people who have gathered to discuss the severe social problems being caused by homosexual activists.
    Muslims have got it right – we musn’t give an inch to these anti-moralist.

  134. Tanvir — on 24th November, 2005 at 3:27 pm  

    Paul, I am sorry, for the fact that you really are the clown I suspected. Your narrow mindedness has kept you in the tiny constraints of weak stereotypes. What you are saying is rather astonishing, you sound more like a racist than a rational person who has actually researched his opinions. Although it is questionable whether it is worth replying to you, for the benefit of the other readers I shall briefly cover some of the points raised.

    First of all, arranged marriage is not an Islamic invention. It has been practiced in cultures across the globe, including western ones. Arranged marriage is widely practiced in South Asia, by Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs alike. What I can tell you about Islam is that marriages completely decided upon by parents, without the bride and groom’s absolute consent and agreement are invalid under Islamic law.

    Muslims are allowed to choose their partners and the examples we see of British Muslims being forcefully married to people they don’t want to, is criminal in both Islamic and British values, and it is upto the communities and as well as respective governments to tackle this.

    . . . anyway… go and look at Islamic teachings; rather than the foul practices seemingly carried out by your fellow British citizens.

    Women in Islam are free to do whatever they choose… there is a notion of free-will in Islam – but consequences for actions in the afterlife, particular restrictions are to do with sexual/intimate relationships outsides the bounds of a commitment. If they choose to get married… they have particular duties ….but it isn’t one sided, the husband in a marriage also has an array or duties and responsibilities usually more demanding than the wife’s. This is all guidance though. A couple usually come to terms to agreement before their marriage- a marriage contract, where they agree upon what is expected of each other (western secularism discovered the pre-nuptial agreement over a millennium later).

    You really should make you way to the university of Sheffield tonight, There is an interesting lecture by a former British Nationalist Party campaigner – turned Muslim tomorrow (Thursday 24th November) at 6pm, at the University of Sheffield, Arts Tower, Lecture Theatre 6. You may find things in common with him.

  135. Paul Brown — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:24 pm  

    I am not a racist and would address white Christians, such as all of the people I grew up with, in the exact same terms. You have not told me one single thing I didn’t know, so I don’t know why you accuse me of ignorance. My concern is for freedom – freedom for people to make choices based on information and independence. I do not want people to be indoctrinated in faith schools, and i do not belive that parents can choose a religion to foist on to their offspring, whether that religion be Islam, Judaism, or Protestantism. People have to decide their view of the world for themselves and it is abusive to bring up a child telling them that they belong to a religion and that they will be punished in the non-existent afterlife for enjoying sexual freedom.

    When a sixteen year-old girl is brought over to Britain from , for example, rural Pakistan or Bangladesh, to marry a western Muslim man she has no freedom whatsoever – she is a prisoner. I know that other equally absurd religions practice this type of abuse, but we are talking about Islam on this thread.

    Look at the Muslim wives stuck in our Muslim communities who don’t even learn the language because they are more easily controlled that way. there is masses of research done on this, I studied it for 5 years at university. This is the very point made by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Monica Ali, Maryam Namza, and so many other commentators from Muslim backgrounds.

    PLEASE tell me whether it is or is not the case that young women who reject their religion and choose to enjoy social and sexual freedom will be estranged from their community – does this or does this not happen? Is it not the case that a Muslim girl in a sexual relationship with a western guy faces rejection or punishment. Is this freedom? NO, it is theocratic tyranny and organised misoginy.

  136. raz — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:26 pm  

    Funny that a MAN like Paul Brown claims to be pro-womens rights, and then tries to tell feminists like Karima Belhaj what they are allowed to think. Disgusting sexist hypocrisy. I wonder if Paul Brown would have the guts to set up the largest womens shelter in Amsterdam?

  137. Paul Brown — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:49 pm  

    Being in favour of gender equality dosn’t mean that I can’t disagree with women. I disagree with all sorts of women all the time. I’m not telling her what to do, i am saying that emancipation will not come through commitment to religious superstitions. And if we want to support gender equality we would be better off trying to change the laws on rape so that we can convict all of our rapists, for example, or defend the 24 week limit on abortion. Anyway, I would like to hear from Muslims on this site about whether groups like MAB and individuals like Azzam Tamimi are talking from a genuinely Islamic point of view when they say, for example, that women ask for domestic violence. I admire your attempts to build a more liberal and enlightened Islam but I think you have to face the fact that religions are never progressive, they are mental slavery. Religion is the problem, not the answer.

  138. DavidBruno — on 24th November, 2005 at 6:06 pm  

    Chris M,

    I think from your use of English, that you must be writing from a US perspective.

    I agree with you in being totally opposed to gay rights activists preventing evangelical Christians from exercising their freedom of speech because I wholeheartedly endorse the values of a pluralistic democracy in which freedom of expression is the cornerstone.

    I therefore oppose ‘hate laws’ prefering instead just one law for all citizens – the one in the UK that outlaws ‘incitement to violence’.

    I hope that you equally would condemn those tactics that have frequently been used by American Christian evangelist preacher, Fred Phelps , who has on many occasions led large demonstrations at the funerals of homosexuals at which the mourners have been insulted through megaphones as they watch their dead relation being buried.

    Fortunately, gay rights activists and Christian evangelists in the UK tend to avoid the worst excesses of some of their American counterparts’ behaviour.
    In the UK, we have laws that protect people from harassment of this kind and I am surprised that there is no similar protection in the US from the likes of Fred Phelps and co or gay rights zealots. Surely, if there were, you would be using them to keep these trouble makers out of your private meetings.

  139. DavidBruno — on 25th November, 2005 at 9:58 am  

    Tanvir,

    “To say “Muslims need to come to terms with their religion in the context of a Western liberal democracy” sounds like it is coming from a patronizing prejudiced point of view.”

    Well, that might be your interpretation of what I wrote but it was not the interpretation that i hoped would be drawn from my words.

    What I meant by that sentence was more of a truism: there really is no option other than for Muslims residing in the UK to come to terms with their religion in the context of a Western liberal democracy for which the secret vote, the rule of law, individual and group rights and freedom of expression are cornerstones.

    These remarks were not intended for those Muslims who already accept these conventions.

    They were intended for those who believe in subverting these values through violence or by issuing death threats against citizens who exercise their freedom of expression to criticize Islam or Islamism or any other religion or belief system.

    “What the likes of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other haters on this blog have failed to recognize out of their ignorance is that there are some very simple yet very Islamic solutions to these problems being discussed”

    Hmmm…”Islamic solutions” that operate within the laws of the UK – or, in the case of Ms Ali – are permissable — but no others.

    “Haters” – what a ridiculous and inaccurate use of a word. People who disagree with your views or your belief system do not “hate” you or other Muslims. Ms Ali has used her *freedom of expression* (sorry to come back to that again, but it’s a birth right in a liberal democracy whatever a follower or Islam (or Christianity etc) or an Islamist may say to the contrary – in order to criticize the treatment of women who live in countries where there is no separation between Church and State and where Islamic law (not the rule of law deriving from a democratically elected assembly) is the only show in town. She has criticized the treatment of women in such societies in Submission 1. She now intends to turn the spotlight on the treatment of homosexuals in Submission 2.

    This is not “hate” – this is merely Ms Ali presenting her views on human rights deprivations of various categories of *individuals* who are denied their full human rights in Islamic states.

    I do not think that Chris M, the evangelist Christian above who disagrees with the tactics of homosexuals and some aspects of homosexuality, “hates” me because I am homosexual: he disagrees with my belief system, my lifestyle etc – but this is not “hate”.

    Equally, I do not “hate” Muslims because I disagree with certain aspects of Islam (even though Islam does not have a sympathetic approach to someone like me) and I do not think that individual Muslims “hate” me for my homosexuality.

    Can you not understand this?

  140. Jez — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:06 am  

    :-) David i suggest you let off some frustration and tension by hooking up with a “buddy” on gaydar (puke)

  141. Paul Brown — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:08 am  

    Incidentally, people who live in London will be able to hear Ayaan Hirsi Ali talking tonight at the ICA on these very subjects, and see a screening of her film.

  142. Paul Brown — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:11 am  

    Jez is obviously struggling with his sexuality and is unhealthily obsessed with homosexuality. Anybody who trawls the web searching for gay sites they claim to find disgusting has blatant sexual issues. Stop repressing that side of your sexuality, you are giving yourself away.

  143. Siddharth — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:18 am  

    Jez: If a Muslim were to make a comment as crass as that they would have the Islamist Morality Squad banging on their door with a 28 day detention order.

  144. Jez — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:19 am  

    ha ha , ASIF !
    My dad once told be ” arse is for shitting, don’t believe whatever they tell you son” . .

  145. DavidBruno — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:19 am  

    Jez,

    “:-) David i suggest you let off some frustration and tension by hooking up with a “buddy” on gaydar (pewk)”

    No thanks – I have a permanent life partner with whom I am extremely happy.

    I guess it’s you who needs to do a little kerb-crawling for some tarts in order to find a woman whom you can pay for some sexual and social communication (I guess on the evidence of your communication skills here that you’re unlikely to find one unless you’re prepared to pay…)

  146. DavidBruno — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:23 am  

    Jez,

    BTW, I don’t “hate” you – I know how excitable some of you young guys can get when someone disagrees with your every word and action…and how such ‘rejection’ is soon internalised, childishly, as “hate”…

  147. Jez — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:30 am  

    I have sense of morality and care about family values, every aspect of gay life style disgusts me. i don’t “hate” you either, i just hate the homolobby peddling their lifestyle on others and subjecting religious individuals to homosexual arrogane of reasoning.

  148. DavidBruno — on 25th November, 2005 at 11:15 am  

    Jez,

    Oh…you don’t like it when I imply that your morals are questionable although you are happy to inform me that my morals are the morals of “Gaydar” without knowing…

    That was a tactic on my part, in any case, to get to the bottom of what was bugging you and it has (partially) succeeded (ie your ‘I am moral” response).

    the truth is as follows:

    You are an adult and no-one can *force* you to think or behave in any way that you as an adult do not decide is how – within the laws of the land – you wish to live.

    Rather it is you who is assuming that your highly-selective view of how you think all homosexuals behave – gathered it seems from listening to some activists, visiting Gaydar or watching “Queer As Folk” or whatever – is representative, which it cannot possibly be because homosexuals are as varied (in their political views, career choices, social lives, voluntary work in the community, spiritual views) as heterosexuals and, on the whole, do not walk around the streets with “queer” branded across their foreheads so are usually undistinguishable – in much of daily life – from other people.

    And, the ‘arrogance of reasoning’ is what you get from all sides in a democratic society that attempts to balance individual rights and group rights and in which there are a multiplicity of ideas and ideologies which compete – through the pressure groups that represent them and their followers – for public approval.

    It’s called: living in a democracy. It is often inconvenient, irritating, built on compromises – but it is *freer* with better economic performance and better living standards and less human rights absuses – than living in a totalitarian state whether based on political and/or relgious one-party purism.

    Get used to it and quit trying to find gay scapegoats whom you imply directly interfere with your ability to lead your life in accordance with your morality and political views.

    At age 16 I could not love whom I chose because it was illegal because I was gay: now we are closer to ‘equal rights’ in every sense and have the freedoms that all citizens – regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality – should enjoy in Britain – that is all and nothing more.

  149. Jez — on 25th November, 2005 at 1:04 pm  

    BooHooo . .

    Everyone makes assumptions; maybe homosexuals have some assumptions about people of religion. However unrepresentative the assumptions might be, it still holds that the prevailing stereotypes are more prominent within that minority.

    Why mischievously are you attempting to stereotype me as being totalitarian, I welcome my right to exerciser my conservative values, my only qualms are that I’m not being listened to. My point was that arrogance of reasoning , without any limits will have detrimental effect on society in the long term e.g. gay surrogacy adoption – talk me through your moral interpretation of this phenomenon which is being pushed by the libertarian “ arrogance of reasoning”.

  150. Paul Brown — on 25th November, 2005 at 1:15 pm  

    Gay parent families can be perfectly happy families. Why couldn’t two gay people bring up a child successfully. They could scarcely do worse than the majority of heterosexual parents.

  151. Jez — on 25th November, 2005 at 1:30 pm  

    surrogacy ? buying babies ? – you have no shame ?

  152. sonia — on 25th November, 2005 at 2:12 pm  

    nope i dont think anyone could do worse than the majority of heterosexual parents..chortle chortle

    paul brown – actually you are probably right about what you say – i wouldn’t say it was theocratic tyranny more like social tyranny. across india traditionally one doesn’t marry or have relationships outside your own tight knit group – people still have a lot of such ‘tribal’ feelings nowadays.

    a lot of my ‘british-asian’ friends -muslim, and non-muslim were pretty condemning and had silly things to say about ‘goras’ ( which is supposed to mean ‘white’) with regards to having non-asian boyfriends. which i found highly offensive. i find anyone interfering with /commenting on anyone else’s choice of relationship quite illiberal in general but having to deal with silly comments from people of having become ‘white-washed’ really made me laugh. i mean there are clear attempts to define an ‘asian’ identity which frankly i think is rather totalitarian, but is definitely happening. i don’t think you can reduce that to religion , though i do think the religion identity thing can become a sub-set factor.

  153. Paul Brown — on 25th November, 2005 at 2:18 pm  

    I understand that these are cultural practices we are talking about and I understand everything you say here, but these practices would be far less easy to defend if they were not cloaked in religion. Simply saying “well, because your parents were born in Pakistan you should agree to arranged marriage/obey your father/obey your husband” etc would not carry the same power as telling young people that the Koran tells them to. It is using the fear of God that holds such sway over much of our Muslim community.

    I think that young Asians are at a crossroads and there is a danger that some are slipping backwards in to religion instead of forward to progress and secularism and pluralism.

  154. Mirax — on 25th November, 2005 at 5:41 pm  

    Ok, it is clear that this Jez fella is one homophobic asshole.

  155. Jez — on 26th November, 2005 at 9:01 pm  

    Have I scared both Paul and David off ? Well to cheer you two up here’s something : http://www.globalgayz.com/g-pakistan.html

    just to clarify , that it’s not all bad as it seems. and maybe one day gays in pakistan can be as happy as gay (happy) as you . .

    (no im not gay, not even curious and happened to find the link by accident. )

  156. DavidBruno — on 28th November, 2005 at 8:40 am  

    Jez,

    You are clearly confused over the terms “libertarian” and “liberal”. The hallmarks of a liberal democracy include equality before the law (which homosexuals are now nearer to having) and pluralism. Granting gays equal rights has nothing to do with “libertarianism”. You are conservative in your social and political views and you have every right to argue in favour of what you believe and – you seem not to have noticed – there is a Conservative Party (so much for your claim about not being “listened to”). You are also clearly a devout follower of religion and, again, in our liberal democracy, followers of religion are free to follow their religion.

    So, I am confused really, as to what exactly it is that you feel “aggrieved” about.

    It is also quite interesting to me when someone who claim to be ‘conservative’ and ‘moral’ so freely uses the language of “disgust” in graphic form…is this part of your conservative morality?

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is right to speak up for women and homosexuals in Islamic states who do not enjoy the rights to freedom and greater equality before the law of their counterparts in democratic countries.

  157. Paul Brown — on 28th November, 2005 at 10:33 am  

    Jez,

    Can I just point out that I am not gay. I don’t know why you assumed I am.

    I saw Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Friday and she was an exceptionally good speaker and her film on the treatment of women in the Muslim world was illuminating. As Timothy Garton Ash said, he felt he was on stage with Immanuel Kant or Voltaire. The fact that such an extraordinary intellectual has to live under armed guard and constant death threats is a damning idictment of Islam.

  158. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 10:35 am  

    No Paul Brown, the fact that such an extraordinary intellectual has to live under armed guard and constant death threats is a damning idictment of young unemployed immigrants sufferng from schizophrenia.

  159. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 10:43 am  

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is right to speak up for women and homosexuals in Islamic states who do not enjoy the rights to freedom and greater equality before the law of their counterparts in democratic countries.

    What about the countless numbers of people who are working selflessly in NGOs on behalf of Womens and Gay rights in Muslim countries? Not a jot of personal publicity for them. No round the clock shaven headed personal bodyguards for them? Has Tim Garton Ash has ever gone on record saying they are the Kants and Voltaires of our time? They will never be vaunted by the trendy ICA crowd and fawned over at book signings.

  160. Paul Brown — on 28th November, 2005 at 11:03 am  

    But it is not just mentally ill immigrants that are a threat to Hirsi Ali. It is a large number of fundamentalist Muslims. the reason security was so tight on Fridya is because it would have been easy for some idiot form al Muhajiroun or Hizb ut Tahrir to turn up and attack her. If they are willing to attack George Galloway, they would definitely have attacked Hirsi Ali. Nobody is criticising voluntary workers in Muslim countries. If they came to address the ICA I am sure they would be listened to and taken seriously.

    By the way, none of the bodyguards had a shaved head, and it wasn’t a book signing.

  161. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 11:10 am  

    There’s as much chance that some idiot from Muhajirun or HT to attack me for chrissakes. But then I’m not hitching my artistic career on the coat tails of some anti-semitic racist who was murdered by some poor idiot.

    According to Sharpener, her two body guards were shaven headed but who cares if was a book signing or a film talk. Its all part of the trendification of the Islamophobe.

  162. Paul Brown — on 28th November, 2005 at 11:24 am  

    Are you saying that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is pretending to be under constant threat? Are you saying it is all pretence? Hirsi ali is not an Islamophobe; she is an atheist who beleives in Enlightenment values. She is against faith schools and against religious indoctrination. She makes the very simple and logical point that parents have no right to decide their children’s religion. She beleives Islam must stop oppressing women. She wants Muslim women to have the freedom to choose their lives and careers and not be hidden away from public life. She wants western Muslims to confront domestic violence, rape, and arranged marriage. What exactly do you take issue with?

  163. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 11:34 am  

    Put a sock in it Paul Brown. Who’s doubting her message? Whats new about her message that isn’t being said and acted upon by countless nameless individuals?

    The fact is she is a self publicist and has an artistic career to develop. Thats her raison d’etre. She’s got her 15 minutes and she’s milking it.

  164. Paul Brown — on 28th November, 2005 at 11:54 am  

    She doesn’t have an artisitc career to develop; she has a political career to develop. she’s an MP not an artist.

  165. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 11:56 am  
  166. Paul Brown — on 28th November, 2005 at 12:23 pm  

    Yes, I know she is making another two films – the homosexuality one and then a third in which Allah replies to them. But the films are political propaganda; it is part of her political activism. She doesn’t have 15 minutes; she is now a confimred part of the intellectual landscape and she’ll be around as long as Noam Chomsky or any other prominent intellectual.

  167. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 12:38 pm  

    So will Nick Griffin of the BNP and her work is going to prove very useful to their dirty cause. She can have all the time she wants. But for people like T Garton Ash fawn all over her as to compare her to Kant and Voltaire is an embarrassing waste of superlatives that simply highlights this awful load of PR wank.

  168. DavidBruno — on 28th November, 2005 at 12:40 pm  

    Siddharth,

    It’s you know needs to put a sock in it. You seem to know nothing about the virulent culture of death threats against intellectuals and politicians who publicly fail to chant the Orwellian meme “Islam is a religion of peace” and actually dare to condemn some of the human rights abuses under Islam – particularly in Ms Ali’s adopted homeland, The Netherlands. Ms Ali is not the type to hang on anyone’s coat tails. She actually wrote the script for Submission 1 and professional media provocateur, Theo van Gogh (who believed in traditional Dutch bluntness as well as the black Dutch sense of humour) directed. She is an accomplised politician who rose through her own efforts from a very difficult start in The Netherlands as a Somali refugee. When investigating a few years ago for the Dutch Labour Party why Dutch Muslim women were having such a hard time in progressing in The Netherlands, she had expected to find that the main culprit was racism from the indigenous population. What she uncovered was that the reasons were just as often to be found in subjugation of some of these women by patriarchal attitudes and practices within the Muslim communities themselves. The Labour Party tried to suppress her report and she defected to the Liberals. This was her first brush with the school of thought that states that certain cultural practices of certain communities were beyond reproach – meaning Islam and Muslims in a Dutch context.

    Here is a list of some of those currently under police guard because of death threats by Islamists in The Netherlands:

    – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, politician who condemns Islamic human rights abuses yet argues in favour of immigration;
    – Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Dutch-Morrocan Amsterdam alderman who criticized those who refuse to integrate into Dutch political culture;
    – Job Cohen, Jewish Mayor of Amsterdam, despite his tireless efforts to build bridges with Amsterdam Muslim communities;
    – Professor Afshin Ellian, a refugee from Iran who is now a professor at Leiden University and has called for reform of Islam;
    – Rita Verdonk, Dutch Immigration Minister;
    – Geert Wilders, Dutch politician;
    – Theo van Gogh – now dead: van Gogh made a career out of insulting every minority group going (Jews, feminists, gays, you name it) but who was murdered by an Islamist (one of the terrorist Hofstadt Network);
    – Pim Fortuyn – now dead, whose original comments in respect of Islam were made after an imam at a Rotterdam mosque kept calling for death for “filthy pigs” Jews and gays and who was concerned about the large rise in street attacks on both groups in Dutch cities and could see no solution to protect the progressive values of Dutch democracy short of reducing immigration into cities like Rotterdam and Amsterdam where there is a very real culture clash threatening social cohesion (NB: the Amstedam Tourist Authority recently issued warnings to gay tourists to be aware of the need for extra vigilance because of the threat of “physical attacks from those who do not share their cultural values”. We know that this reference was not to Calvinists, don’t we?).

  169. Chris M — on 28th November, 2005 at 1:14 pm  

    Aids was sent by god !

  170. DavidBruno — on 28th November, 2005 at 1:30 pm  

    Yes, Chris M…that’s why millions of innocent children in the developing world are dying from it, itsn’t it? You heartless cretin.

  171. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 1:33 pm  

    It’s you know needs to put a sock in it. You seem to know nothing about the virulent culture of death threats against intellectuals and politicians who publicly fail to chant the Orwellian meme “Islam is a religion of peace” and actually dare to condemn some of the human rights abuses under Islam – particularly in Ms Ali’s adopted homeland.

    On the contrary, I have worked for years for advocacy groups for Gay rights and Violence against Women and related NGOs in Bangladesh. Some of the thankless commitment diplayed by people who worked there from young men who were victims of homophobia and young women who were the victims of Acid burning etc was simply heroic in the truest sense of the word. They make Hirsi Ali look like what she is: A cowardly and cynical careerist.

  172. Chris M — on 28th November, 2005 at 2:04 pm  

    lol , i was trying to be funny, sometimes my jokes just fall dead (no pun intended). I feel sorry for the innocent, but not for gays who go around buggering each other

    Now to clarify, which one of you is gay ?

    Hershi Ali an intellectual ? well it’s about the only somali i can stomach ! for a somali, she doesn’t look that ugly – you think she’s had plastic surgery ?

  173. DavidBruno — on 28th November, 2005 at 2:14 pm  

    Siddharth,

    Feeling admiration for the people who help the victims of such attacks in not incompatible with supporting Ms Ali’s battle for the kind of human rights regimes that would make these attacks far less frequent. I fail to see why she is “cowardly and cynical” to do this when the consequences of her actions to herself have been to deprive her of her own freedom (as she is unable to conduct her life without 24/7 police protection).

    She is also part of a wider effort by Dutch politicians and writers aimed at protecting traditional Dutch societal values from the attack that they are under from Islamists who do not believe in freedom of speech let alone for human rights – as free and equal individuals – for women and homosexuals.

    I think that some condemnation and punishment for those who attack women – and threaten Ms Ali – is what is called for – rather than more verbal attacks on Ms Ali.

  174. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 2:35 pm  

    Feeling admiration for the people who help the victims of such attacks in not incompatible with supporting Ms Ali’s battle for the kind of human rights regimes that would make these attacks far less frequent

    Ms Ali’s battles are not my battles nor are they the battles of people who are really fighting homophobia and VAW in Muslim countries. What regimes is she speaking of? She has never said. Instead she uses some blanket term, a lazy and venal convenience to indicate all Muslim countries and thereby tar all Muslims in the process. How was the crazy loon who killed van Gogh an Islamist? Was he member of a terrorist sleeper cell? If not then what? What is the definition of an ‘Islamist’ by Hirsi Ali’s standards? Anyone who happens to be a “goat fucker” by van Gogh’s definition?

    None of the people I have admiration for, whose efforts dwarf Ms Ali’s self serving PR projects, do it to for self serving publicity.

    She is also part of a wider effort by Dutch politicians and writers aimed at protecting traditional Dutch societal values

    Yes, they are called reactionaries. I’m sure that the public opinion generated from the killing of Van Gogh is serving them well.

  175. Chris M — on 28th November, 2005 at 2:55 pm  

    Y ou think Hershi’s had Plastic surgery ? i sure if somalia ever gets out of poverty, the number one industry will be plastic surgery ! and hell do they need it !

  176. DavidBruno — on 28th November, 2005 at 3:07 pm  

    Siddharth,

    Bouyueri (van Gogh’s killer) is an Islamist who believes – in his own words – in the imposition of Islam with Sharia law as the only law. He is part of the terrorist network the Hofstadt Network which was planning various terrorist atrocities in The Netherlands at the time of the van Gogh killing.

    The reactionaries in Dutch society are the kind of people who preach about ‘dirty pig’ homosexuals and Jews and the kind of street gangs who carry out their Jew-bashing and gay-bashing wishes on the streets.

    If you were *genuinely* interested in combating vicious attacks of this type you would be speaking out against them – and the extreme politico-religious narrative that underwrites them which is far more bigotted towards all non-Islamic minorities than anything the BNP could dream up – rather than attacking Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the other so-called ‘reactionaries’ who are also speaking out.

    Stop getting so wound up about van Gogh’s ‘goat-fucker’ comments….he said a whole bunch of equally nasty things about other minority groups.

    Maybe you can explain to me why no other representatives of minority groups in Dutch society are either assassinating or issuing death-threats against people who criticize their ‘culture’?

  177. DavidBruno — on 28th November, 2005 at 3:26 pm  

    Chris M,

    You are trying to provoke someone to call you a homophobic, racist bigot, no doubt, but I think you are actually just an immature jerk…..shouldn’t you, in any case, be studying for school exams rather than blogging?

  178. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 3:33 pm  

    DavidBruno:

    I am genuinley interested in combating all gay, Jew and Muslim bashers and the reactionary elements (of Dutch or any society) that encourage these mobs. But Hirsi Ali is not speaking out against these elements but rather against the weakest social group of them all in a language which is does not bother to nuance elements within that social group. Why is she doing that?

    Maybe you can explain to me why no other representatives of minority groups in Dutch society are either assassinating or issuing death-threats against people who criticize their ‘culture’?

    And what are those gay-bashing mobs? They’re bound to be white, working class yobs. I guess that don’t pose an ideological threat?

  179. sonia — on 28th November, 2005 at 4:23 pm  

    whats the big fuss about this hirsi ali woman. she’ll say what she thinks – and why are people so bothered? given her background its not surprising she thinks as she does!

    i think its the same sort of thing when anyone Jewish has to say something constructive abou the Israel question – the ‘self-hating’ Jew comment comes out.

    if a bunch of ‘islamic’ women don’t like what she’s saying then its their business to promote their own point of view.

    and why shouldn’t she be a ‘self-publicist’ for goodness sake! like its an ‘insult’..? anyone who wants to say anything has to be a ‘self-publicist’ to some extent..otherwise no-one’s going to hear… it always sounds to me like the kind of ‘insult’ aimed by people who’re jealous of the attention.

  180. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 4:35 pm  

    DavidBruno: looking over my posts, I admit I sound like a raving arse. That wasn’t my attention at all. I suspect we agree on more things than we differ on. I’m still not convinced by AHA’s motives, but the message is unquestionable.

  181. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 4:38 pm  

    yeah, spot the typo.

  182. Jai Singh — on 28th November, 2005 at 7:05 pm  

    Siddharth, what’s your own religious background ?

    This is a sincere question — so that the rest of us can understand where you’re coming from with regards to your own viewpoints on these issues.

  183. Sunny — on 28th November, 2005 at 7:08 pm  

    Why should his religious background matter? That really has no bearing on where he, or someone like me, comes from.

  184. Jai Singh — on 28th November, 2005 at 7:26 pm  

    It potentially matters because people’s views can be affected by their own religious beliefs (if they have any).

  185. Jai Singh — on 28th November, 2005 at 7:28 pm  

    Addendum — I’m referring to religious-orientated subjects in particular, obviously.

    Possessing a certain religious affiliation can influence one’s perspective on both one’s own religion and religious matters concerning people of other backgrounds (depending on one’s own affiliation and the interpretation of one’s religious tenets).

  186. Siddharth — on 28th November, 2005 at 10:52 pm  

    Jai, I consider religion to be a personal matter. It certainly has no bearing on my politics or the opinions I air on PP!
    If anything, my spiritual loyalties are in line with these folks, the Bauls of Bengal.

  187. Paul Brown — on 29th November, 2005 at 10:24 am  

    Sonia, you are always the voice of reason in these arguments.

    Siddharth, you are far too cynical about Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s motives and you have attempted to mock her bodyguards as if it is all a publicity stunt. I don’t want to flog this argument any further, but she is not doing any of her work in order to satsisfy her ego, any more than Maryam Namza is over here. What Ali is particularly concerned with is the way that Muslim communities in the west have cut themselves off from wider society in order to keep their wives and bring up their children within the customs and laws of their native countries. She believes that women in particular are suffering from hidden abuse because of this self-enforced apartheid. Does that make sense to you?

  188. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 11:00 am  

    I second Paul Brown’s view in his post above.

    Siddharth, interesting reading about the Baul sect. Assuming I’m joining the dots correctly, it does shed some light on your own statements, considering that some famous Baul composers have been of Muslim birth themselves.

    This was the reason behind my original question. Since you have consistently defended certain tenets of Islam and, at least in some of your more recent posts, you have simultaneously attacked some individuals who have spoken out against the excesses of orthodox Islam and the actions undertaken in the faith’s name, it did raise the question of to what extent you yourself believe in the divine origin of Islam and the various tenets of the faith in its entirety.

    In order to facilitate an effective two-way dialogue, it’s beneficial to have an understanding of the other party’s position and the motivations behind their actions.

  189. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 11:17 am  

    What Ali is particularly concerned with is the way that Muslim communities in the west have cut themselves off from wider society in order to keep their wives and bring up their children within the customs and laws of their native countries.

    Well we all know thats a phenomenon that happens in all immigrant minorities, and not just Muslim. Why is it OK for Greek mums or Sikh mums to behave like that but not Muslim mums?

    Also, do you have a link to a Hirsi Ali statement where she states that that this phenomenon is of her “particular concern”?

  190. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 11:29 am  

    =>”Why is it OK for Greek mums or Sikh mums to behave like that but not Muslim mums?”

    1. It’s not OK for anyone to behave like that, Sikh, Greek or otherwise.

    2. It depends on how conservative the religion and culture are. Some are more conservative than others.

    3. It depends on how much of a cultural clash there is between the customs of the countries of origin and those of the country of residency.

  191. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 11:36 am  

    It’s not OK for anyone to behave like that, Sikh, Greek or otherwise.

    It may not be OK, but thats how its panning out in reality.

    It depends on how conservative the religion and culture are. Some are more conservative than others.

    Thats a fundamentally wrong statement. All religions are equally conservative a priori. All religions have adherents who are exoteric and all religions have a an esoteric element which attracts the more spiritually minded (or contemplative) of its adherents.

    It depends on how much of a cultural clash there is between the customs of the countries of origin and those of the country of residency.

    There are 42 Islamic countries and an infinite number of classes and social divisions within them. Are you suggesting theres a commonality between these cultures apart from the Islam? The people of the Subcontinent share more culturally than they do confessionally.

  192. DavidBruno — on 29th November, 2005 at 11:44 am  

    Siddharth,

    “Why is it OK for Greek mums or Sikh mums to behave like that but not Muslim mums?”

    Because the practice and consequences of ‘cutting off’, and looking inwards are more severe in some Muslim communities, than in other immigrant communities, with sometimes disastrous results.

    Because Greek and Sikh mums tend to:

    – have more power in their families and communities than many Muslim women;
    – believe in the power of education as a force for advancement of their children – girls and boys;
    – not be engaged in a very difficult struggle with extremely reactionary forces from within their own communities who are encouraging their children to cut themselves off from their societies with attitudes and behaviour that make them unemployable and resentful towards those societies before erroneously blaming others for ‘racism’ or ‘Islamophobia’.

  193. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 11:47 am  

    DavidBruno: In one word – rubbish. Don’t presume so much. There are Muslims who comment on this blog who will freely tell you that you are talking bollocks.

  194. Paul Brown — on 29th November, 2005 at 11:52 am  

    She emphasised at the ICA on Friday that this was of ‘particular concern’ to her. She is concerned with FGM in Rotterdam and Amsterdam, for example, and the fact that the Dutch Labour party and social services have tiptoed on eggshells around this issue because they do not want to be seen as racist or insensitive. She also feels that the Muslim community has to accept partial responsibility for the riots in France recently; she doesn’t deny there has been racial segregation but feels that it has been mutual between the French establishment and the muslim community.

    The reason why the characters in Ali’s films have extracts of the Koran written on their bodies is because she wants to confront muslims with the fact that it is written in their holy book that men are entitled to beat their wives and that women are subordinate to men. What does link all of the Muslim countries is social and cultural conservatism and patriarchy, which may well be cultural tradition, but is reinforced by the koran.

    No Muslim country has a decent human rights record. The least bad is Jordan, ranked 100 in the Human Rights Index, but many of the world’s worst offenders are Muslim countries – Iran, Saudi, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Algeria. Development of any kind only comes when we empower women and give women control over their bodies and lives; the Muslim community here and abroad will only develop when we emancipate the women of these countries. This is why i support Ali. Does that sound reasonable?

  195. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 11:55 am  

    Siddharth,

    =>”Thats a fundamentally wrong statement. All religions are equally conservative a priori.”

    I have to very strongly disagree with you here — they are certainly not all “equally” conservative. Some religions are definitely more conservative than others, especially in relation to certain sexual matters, expectations of female behaviour, and the expectations and restrictions on interaction between the sexes (both platonic and non-platonic).

    =>”There are 42 Islamic countries and an infinite number of classes and social divisions within them. Are you suggesting theres a commonality between these cultures apart from the Islam?”

    Of course there are local regional variations but the common core is based on Islam, to a lesser or greater degree.

    “The people of the Subcontinent share more culturally than they do confessionally.”

    In some aspects Yes, in others No. Remember that South Asian “culture” — a vague concept in itself — has been shaped by a number of historical factors and events, including the influence of various dominant political/military groups over the past 1000 years and their own interpretations of their religion.

    Apart from that, I agree with David’s post above (no. 193).

  196. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:02 pm  

    I find DavidBruno’s blanket statement on Muslims (193) to be fundamentally “racist” (cue the ‘Islam is not a race’ meme). He complains of homophobia (as if its exculisively an Islamic phenomenon) but has no qualms to make a statements the role of women and education in Muslim communities.

  197. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:07 pm  

    Paul,

    =>The reason why the characters in Ali’s films have extracts of the Koran written on their bodies is because she wants to confront muslims with the fact that it is written in their holy book that men are entitled to beat their wives and that women are subordinate to men.”

    This is true, although to be honest with you, I think it would have been a more constructive (and less inflammatory) course of action for the relevant verses to have, for example, been projected on a wall behind the women, rather than on their semi-naked bodies.

    =>”What does link all of the Muslim countries is social and cultural conservatism and patriarchy, which may well be cultural tradition, but is reinforced by the koran.”

    This is also correct. Anyone who contradicts this statement is either well-meaning-but-misguided, or is lying.

  198. DavidBruno — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:08 pm  

    Siddharth,

    one word: denial.

  199. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:11 pm  

    DavidBruno:
    One slogan: Don’t believe the hype.

  200. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:18 pm  

    Siddharth,

    Again, a consistent pattern of behaviour on your part is emerging. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, we can assume that your intentions are good-natured and driven by compassion and a wish for fairness — rather than motivated any nefarious agendas.

    To what extent do you personally believe in the essential divine origin of Islam — as in the inalienable holyness and truth of the Quran in its entirety, the legitimacy of the Hadiths, the 5 pillars of Islam, and the divine origins of Mohammad’s revelations and his exaltation within Islam as a saintly figure par excellence who was being “guided by God” in absolutely everything he said and did ?

  201. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:24 pm  

    Jai –
    I fail to see what my beliefs has to do with the topic at hand or the need to pin down my religious “stripe”. I’ve already replied to you about this (187) so why the needling?

  202. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:34 pm  

    I don’t needle people. As you know from my prior messages on this blog, I have been nothing but diplomatic and polite towards everyone I have corresponded with.

    It’s a very simple and honest question; the Baul reference, while interesting reading, does not clarify your position. I can see some overlap with Sufis (and Sikhs to some extent) but the extent to which Bauls believe in the paramount authority of Islam, the Quran, Shariah Law, and the Hadiths was not detailed. This is especially pertinent as the sect appears to have historically had some Muslim adherents too.

    Again, to what extent do you believe in the supremacy of the Quran in its entirety, along with established Shariah Law, and the authenticity of the Hadiths ?

  203. blue mountain — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:38 pm  

    Jai Singh…..

    The Bauls ,whatever religion or practices they follow, call themselves Muslims !

    Now I hope it clears your confusion about Siddharth’s beleifs !

  204. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 12:44 pm  

    Blue Mountain,

    Thank you for your message. It would be better to hear Siddharth’s clarification in his own words, I think.

  205. DavidBruno — on 29th November, 2005 at 1:32 pm  

    Siddharth,

    in response to your inept and predictable name-calling:

    “He complains of homophobia ”

    Incorrect.

    Actually I have not complained about ‘homophobia’ anywhere on this site. I have indeed complained about ‘gay bashing’ and lack of equal rights for homosexuals – the first is a criminal offence and the second is not, I think, compatible with the values of liberal democracy in which I believe. I would equally condemn Muslim-bashing or lack of equal rights for Muslims.

    If the behaviour of some homosexuals/Muslims/Jews/etc etc as part of their *culture* impinges on the rights of others, then I will not shy away from stating this, regardless of the witterings of certain members of the ‘phobiaocracy’ who define all such comments as ‘phobic’ or ‘racist’ or whatever new term may soon join our vocabulary.

    Equally, as a homosexual, I will engage with those who dislike/criticize/discourage etc some aspects of homosexuality and gay lifestyles on the basis of whether their assessment is accurate or not. I will not brand them as ‘homophobes’ in order to shut them up or to try to intimidate them but will argue with them and sometimes concede that they have a point and that homosexuals are not beyond criticism and neither is the victim culture which always provides an excuse for inexcusable behaviour for any member of a designated minority group.

    I do not actually accept the paradigm upon which the term homophobia – and its come-lately sister, ‘Islamophobia’ – were framed. They are both artificial constructs crafted by activists, like you, and aimed at silencing those – with the insidious implication that they are suffering from mental disease – who demur from the line that said activists want toed in public for political purposes. These tactics – which you seem happy to employ – are utterly disengenuous and ultimately counterproductive. And many voters increasingly smell a rat when charlattans employ them.

  206. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 1:38 pm  

    DavidBruno: I’m afraid we’ll have to agree to disagree. But the non-nuanced treatment that A Hirsi paints all Muslims with to her adoring Islamophobic fans is racist pure and simple. But thats the way it goes.

  207. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 1:39 pm  

    Jai: I trust the sincerity of your question, but not sure if its relevent. But here goes: I am a Muslim by birth. My background was completely relaxed and non-didactic about matters concerning religion. So much so that by the time I was a young adult I found that I needed to find out more about religion which my parents were never too concerned about. My leanings were more spiritual than towards the exoteric Shariah-based stuff. I found that spiritualism is amazingly rich and vibrant in Islam and manifests itself in Sufism. I joined a North African Sufi tariqa of the Shadiliyya order. After living for a spell in Bangladesh, I met a Hindu guru who is a Baul. Bauls are “syncretic” (horrible word but it has to do), that is they can belong to any religion. Like Sufis they forgo the form for the Spirit. Muslim adherents attempt to transcend the letter of the law (the Shariah). Hindu adherents attempt to transcend their birth caste. If you hold any preconceptions about religion, the Bauls are bound to shatter them for you – if you want. As can the Sufis for that matter. I believe in the Transcendent Unity of Religion and the people who have written most intelligently about this in the West are Rene Guenon and Frithjof Schuon.

  208. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:05 pm  

    The Bauls ,whatever religion or practices they follow, call themselves Muslims !

    Explains why their bhaktic practices involve Radha & Krshna. Don’t let ignorance get in the way of posting your usual nonsense, will you now.

  209. DavidBruno — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:12 pm  

    Siddharth,

    “But the non-nuanced treatment that A Hirsi paints all Muslims with to her adoring Islamophobic fans is racist pure and simple.”

    Well, of course, I disagree with you…

    …and didn’t you change your attitude towards Ms Ali on a couple of occasions yesterday…?

    I seem to remember the following comment from you:

    “DavidBruno: looking over my posts, I admit I sound like a raving arse. That wasn’t my attention at all. I suspect we agree on more things than we differ on. I’m still not convinced by AHA’s motives, but the message is unquestionable”

    BTW, do you brand other reformers like the Muslim, Irshad Manji, (also under police guard) – “The Trouble with Islam” – with the same brush?

    And, are you saying that all people who criticize Islam, or Islamism – particularly in relation to human rights – are ‘Islamophobic’ ?

    How SHOULD moderate Muslims dissent, if they can’t criticize certain aspects of Islam or the culture of *some* Muslims?

    What is permissable criticism (if any) in your view?

    I have – and will continue to – criticize the actions of American Christian fundamentalists (like Fred Phelps) who turn up and picket the funerals of homosexuals and shout abuse at the mourners. This does not make me ‘Christianophobe’ – or, maybe in your book, it does?

    I have criticized the Catholic Church for some of its policies on birth control and its attitude towards homosexuality….does this make a ‘Catholicophobe’?

    I have also criticized Tory policies (a Toryophobe?), Labour policies (Labourphobe?)…

    You see, it gets ridiculous, doesn’t it.?

    Except, these seem to be the very same standards you are trying to hold other people to in relation to Islam, Islamisms and the cutural practices of some Muslims.

  210. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:16 pm  

    well jai singh the abrahamic religions are pretty all much the same theologically. if they’ve been interpreted differently its only cos people like to fight and keep their own interpretation to themselves and are generally silly. look at the different schisms within Christianity – they originated from the same place – no?

    therefore – simple proof that people are the ones who disagree about stuff. even if they had the same ‘message’ they’d disagree about what it meant! go to any literary debate and you’ll understand that. most people don’t even care about theology at the end of the day. its their own ‘groups’ they care about – national, ethnic, football club – religion is only a subset.

    what you lot are always going on and on about is debating the sociology of religion. no theological debate. why? because if it came down to it, pretty much all ‘religons’ started off as philosophies, pure and simple. its once people start their ‘interpretations’ and me is right and you is wrong stuff and if you’re with me or your’re against me business it all gets complicated.

    just look at the hoo-ha with ‘marxism’.

  211. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:21 pm  

    DavidBruno:
    You’re right, I do think AHA’s message is correct. There is the problem of the rights of women in Islam, there are utterly rigid ideas when it comes to updating Shariah laws to a modern context using the present theological apparatus – all woefully inadequate. I know all that. All intelligent Muslims know that and don’t think they don’t address them.
    But your comment on 193 is a dead giveaway as to what these ideas, via AHA, translates to. A broad brushstroke view of Muslims that takes no granularity into account. This is the danger and AHA knows it but she won’t address it.

  212. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:26 pm  

    yeah jai singh – religion should be a personal matter – the fact that its not is currently part of the problem. and you’re question assumes that we would fit neatly into ONE ‘religious category or affiliation’ – why not multiple? that’s the other problem. its about social conformity this shoving people into boxes.

    i can see why this Ayaan Hirsi person thinks the way she does – to be honest i havent read anything in depth – i can also see how easily the anti-islamic crew could jump on it and use it for their fodder. its quite a difficult path to navigate.

    Siddarth – way to go! Baul music is fantastic, and as far as i know -( which isn’t much!) they are a valuable cultural aspect of rural bengal. i personally think mysticism is the way forward for all ‘religious’ types. frankly if i were going to become religious – id f**ck off to a mountain or somewhere else and be quiet instead of telling other people how to live!

  213. Paul Brown — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:38 pm  

    Of course, Britain has its own Ayaan in the shape of Maryam Namazie, leader of the Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iran and recently awarded Secularist of the Year by the National Secular Society. Maryam and her group are doing very valuable work in exposing the fact that women are not going to do very well under the new coalition government in Iraq if the government continues to be dominated by Islamists, and also points out the hypocrisy of the totalitarian left in this country which pretends to be interested in women and in development but then act as apologists for totalitarian dictatorships such as the current Iranian government. In a society that had a genuine democratic left, Namazie would be a prominent spokesperson and would be widely known. It is a damning indictment of the British left that she is a relative unknown.

    Namazie represents many people who have fled theocracies abroad and come to Britain fleeing persecution. It is a crying shame that reactionaries like MAB and MCB are so often taken to represent British Muslims but the likes of Namazie and her comrades are seldom heard from. It will be very difficult to vote for Livingstone again after he played host to al Qaradawi, while ignoring the pleas from the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iran and their sister organisations.

  214. DavidBruno — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:41 pm  

    Siddharth,

    “All intelligent Muslims know that and don’t think they don’t address them.”

    Yes, OK, but, why then do some of them get death threats – and accusations of Islamophobia and even racism – when they publicly state them?

    And, why do you expect me to buy the argument that the problems of some Muslim communities – higher unemployment, greater integration difficulties – are all the result of variables external rather than internal to the Muslim communities in question?

    If the rates are higher and you believe that the factors are only caused by external variables, then why is the rate of unemployment lower among Hindus and Sikhs? Surely, they suffer from the same degree of prejudice as Muslims…so, what accounts for the difference?

    Or is it ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ to even raise these questions? And, if it is, how on earth will people ever be able to debate the issues in a way that tackles these issues head on and finds *solutions* (believe you me, I want to find solutions too, but do not believe that to be possible without facing difficult issues head on).

    I truly get the impression from your occasionaly inconsistent posts that you too are struggling with these issues too and how to address, discuss, and find solutions too.

  215. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:44 pm  

    I truly get the impression from your occasionaly inconsistent posts that you too are struggling with these issues too and how to address, discuss, and find solutions too.

    Yeah I am. As opposed to finding a spokesperson for your cause and not seeing anything inconsistent in their ideas? If only life were that easy.

  216. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 2:44 pm  

    About Namzie

  217. Paul Brown — on 29th November, 2005 at 3:23 pm  

    I’ve read that half-baked incoherent rambling before. what of it?

  218. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 3:39 pm  

    Pretty self-explanatory I would have thought. She makes the SWP look like a bunch of free-wheeling Capitalists.

  219. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 4:29 pm  

    Siddharth,

    Thank you for your response — it explains a lot., especially your vociferous defence of Islam and your often-outspoken attacks on anyone questioning the faith’s tenets.

    I am also aware of the precepts and somewhat unorthodox (compared to conventional Islam, anyway) principles of Sufism. As you may know, Sufism has some ideological overlap with Sikhism and indeed the writings of a number of historical Sufi saints are included in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji.

    I am also sure, however, that you are aware that Sufism is regarded as a heretical and blasphemous sect by many orthodox Muslims, both in the present day and indeed historically, going back centuries.

    In any case, although you may personally believe in the essential sacredness of the contents of the Quran and hold it above all others, it does not mean that people from other faiths (or none) will also do so — not necessarily with regards to the Quran in its entirety, anyway. This is of course stating the obvious. However, one should not resort to personal verbal insults — even if they involve the use of trendy words like “Islamophobia” — in order to impose one’s viewpoint on others. Reasoned arguments, preferably using verifiable facts and sources, is a more constructive way to reach a solution or at least an entente cordiale. “Getting personal” or indeed resorting to aggressive, emotionally-inflammatory methods aimed at beating the other party into submission is just psychological bullying, and it doesn’t mean the argument has been “won” even though superficially it may appear to be so. The facts should speak for themselves.

    Ultimately, regardless of which “side” of the argument one is on, the priority should be getting to the Truth of the matter, even if the conclusion is unpalatable. Which means total honesty in both one’s statements and one’s internal thought processes — hence, no verbal sophistry, no insults, no mind-games, no pushing of unspoken, hidden agendas, and no lies. One should speak the truth exactly as it is — nothing more, nothing less. Anything else, whether deliberate or accidental, risks becoming propaganda.

    This is also not a forum for religious proselytising, so any “subliminal advertising” is also inappropriate, especially if it involves distortion or denial of inalieable facts — whether they involve religious tenets or sociological/cultural issues.

    The truth has to be paramount.

  220. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 4:36 pm  

    Jai

    I knew you would accuse me of being an exoteric “nationalistic” Muslim in spite of my leanings towards Bauls and Sufism. This was why I was reluctant to bring personal religioninto it. If it helps you to categorise me so be it. But be aware that I don’t follow any faith nowadays.

    In any case, although you may personally believe in the essential sacredness of the contents of the Quran and hold it above all others

    I don’t – and I took pains to explain that.

    This is also not a forum for religious proselytising, so any “subliminal advertising” is also inappropriate, especially if it involves distortion or denial of inalieable facts — whether they involve religious tenets or sociological/cultural issues.

    LOL. What are you referring to when you say “subliminal advertising”? And where do I proselytise.

  221. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 4:42 pm  

    =>- religion should be a personal matter – the fact that its not is currently part of the problem. and you’re question assumes that we would fit neatly into ONE ‘religious category or affiliation’ – why not multiple? that’s the other problem. its about social conformity this shoving people into boxes.”

    Sonia,

    I’m assuming you have some knowledge of the origin, history and development of Sikhism and its adherents; I am therefore well aware of the idea of “not pidgeonholing people” religion-wise, it’s something which has been at the core of Sikhism for over 500 years.

    Sikhism also places great emphasis on mystical spirituality as opposed to rigid ritualism, which hopefully addresses your second post.

    However, it was worthwhile clarifying where certain parties on PP were coming from with regards to their religious beliefs, especially if their name is usually affiliated with “Religions A & B” but their arguments indicated a much stronger affiliation with “Religion C”.

    Also, it was worth raising the question if someone consistently and vociferously defends certain religious tenets which are highly objectionable (and indeed offensive) to others. Believing in ideas from multiple religions is fine, but after a certain point one has to ask WHICH religion (if any) the other party holds above the others, especially if there are certain tenets in the various religions involved which contradict each other and are mutually exclusive.

    People are of course free to believe whatever they want to, but beyond a certain point one has to be careful of not “making things up as you go along,” especially in religious matters. Not all paths lead to God and not all religious practices necessarily lead to an equal degree of spiritual awareness.

  222. Paul Brown — on 29th November, 2005 at 4:51 pm  

    She doesn’t make the SWP look like free-wheeling capitalists. She is a secular democratic socialist. Which is a good thing.

  223. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 4:52 pm  

    She’s a Trotskyist and a pretty rabid one at that.

  224. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 4:55 pm  

    well you’d better practise what you preach then jai why were you ( and no doubt whilst you may tell us all sort of things about Sikhism i guess you’re not implying YOU yourself are a perfect portrayal of that religion – are you?) trying to pigeonhole Siddharth. and anyway you seem to have missed my point. whilst Sikh-ism may be about mystic spirituality ( and in case you didnt know so are most other religions – that’s great so there aren’t any ‘significant’ differences then are there!) that doesn’t translate ( i.e. equal) any old random Sikh = mystic spiritual ( automatically) in the same way whilst Islam may have said one thing doesn’t equal to what a bunch of ‘muslims’ are doing. my point was in the process of humans ‘practicing’ or interpreting ideas they often transform it. so often there’s not much point saying ‘religion x this religion x that’ because there’s such a huge divergence between religioin x and interpretation of religion x by individual y and z and whomever.

    ever tried chinese whispers? thats your simplest sociological explanation in case you dont get what im on about. that[‘s my point.

    and in any case its not about people ‘defending’ ‘objectionable’ tenets – its about people having the freedom to practise their beliefs or non-beliefs whatever it may be and some of us defending that right/difference of opinion.

  225. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 4:59 pm  

    Siddharth,

    =>”I knew you would accuse me of being an exoteric “nationalistic” Muslim in spite of my leanings towards Bauls and Sufism.”

    I’m not accusing you of anything. One thing which is clear, however, is that you do need to figure out exactly which parts of the Quran and the associated Islamic tenets/practices you ultimately believe in and hold to be of divine origin, and which you do not. But as you said in one of your replies to another PP commenter, you are involved in an on-going process to figure things out anyway, so I do wish you all the best there.

    =>”I don’t – and I took pains to explain that.”

    With all due respect, No you didn’t. As you know, there are various Sufi sects which don’t follow Shariah (not in its entirety, anyway) but do hold the Quran as the ultimate source of divine revelation and spiritual truth, even if they differ in its implementation (compared to more orthodox Muslims).

    =>”What are you referring to when you say “subliminal advertising”? And where do I proselytise.”

    Your regular defences of the indefensible with regards to certain Islamic tenets are examples of this, along with what I am assuming to be unintentional-but-well-meaning denials of the obvious meaning of both certain Quranic concepts and the various social issues existing within certain quarters of the Muslim community (both Asian and non-Asian).

    You obviously have a great deal of respect and affection for Islam, and that’s good, but don’t let it distort your judgement or prevent you from objectively assessing the various issues which may result from both the accurate and inaccurate interpretation of Islamic tenets, both “orthodox” and Sufi-related. You are under no personal obligation to defend anything which is factually, historically or spiritually wrong, and certainly not anything which is grossly unfair or morally unethical.

  226. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 4:59 pm  

    jai singh the concept of ‘one’ truth is bound to be mult-faceted. ( dont want to go too much down the metaphysical and numerological route..) so you can’t go about saying ah this is truth and this isn’t. why? cos it depends on the context and who you are.

  227. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 5:02 pm  

    davidbruno – what funny reasoning. its like the sort of thing people say about black people in the states – oh well the asians go to university – so it must be something about their colour.

    doh.

  228. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 5:10 pm  

    there seems to be a big problem generally with ‘hardline’ religionists who are basically right-wing nutters getting mixed up with anyone who feels they should have the right to think what they want or sit and meditate or be mystic or whatever.

  229. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 5:12 pm  

    Sonia,

    I’m just a normal guy living a pretty typical semi-Westernised life here, so it’s not my place to say whether I am or am not a “perfect” portrayal of Sikhism, either in its conventional sense or its more liberal implementation in a Western context. I’ll let the facts speak for themselves and I’ll let other people be the judge of that.

    In any case, as far as I’m concerned the “perfect” portrayal of Sikhism is Guru Gobind Singh. I don’t even remotely begin to compare to the man he was, regardless of whether one views him as a genuinely divinely-driven saintly figure or just an “ordinary” human being.

    =>”and in any case its not about people ‘defending’ ‘objectionable’ tenets – its about people having the freedom to practise their beliefs or non-beliefs whatever it may be and some of us defending that right/difference of opinion.”

    Correct but one has to speak up if a) the party concerned is using unethical tactics — either deliberately or accidentally — to push their point, and b) if the beliefs concerned infringe on the human rights of someone else, at least if those beliefs are put into physical practice.

    You can believe whatever you want — the line is crossed when you subsequently start taking certain actions, based on those beliefs, in the “real world” which impact innocent/vulnerable/undeserving parties.

  230. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 5:20 pm  

    Jai

    Go back to my post 208 and I have already said that I believe in the Transcendent Unity of Religion. That means all religions, to be clear.

    You have to get one thing clear – I don’t claim that the validity or the spiritual efficacy of all religions is a mutual exclusive property. If I say that the tenets of Islam as described in the Quran are sacred that does not mean I am denying the sanctity of this or that other religion. Thats a common reaction, and you need to get over that as an emotional knee jerk.

    I have noticed that you have tended in the past drop Sikh references about the commonality of Sikhism with other faiths and its beauty and worthiness. Thats good, I respect that. I love Sikhism and have serious respect for the Gurus. But I don’t claim you to be prosletysing about Sikhism. Surely you have more security in your own beliefs than to accuse me of that!

    If I defend Islam its because as a Muslim I am qualified to. And in this day and age when Islam is public enemy number 1, why shouldn’t I? You would defend Sikhism if it were being attacked too by people who are reacting in an emotional way against it mainly because of disinformation supplied by any number of blogs and yes, subliminal crap. But there is another factor, as a Muslim I am dragged into Muslim politics whether I want to or not. So I do have an opinion. And if I argue stridently and call people names thats because thats my style and not because I follow the tenets of Abu Hamza. If anything, I have more against the Hamzas of the world than most other people.

    Fancy a beer? ;-)

  231. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 5:21 pm  

    =>”concept of ‘one’ truth is bound to be mult-faceted. ( dont want to go too much down the metaphysical and numerological route..) so you can’t go about saying ah this is truth and this isn’t. why? cos it depends on the context and who you are.”

    Correct — but certain truths, whether temporal or spiritual, are fundamentally, well, “the truth”. Not everything in life is “relative”.

  232. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 5:24 pm  

    well you might think so..oooh look..you could have your own ‘religion’ soon..heh hehe see how these things start??

    anyway Siddarth – what are you basing this view of this maryam namazie person? im curious- what have you been reading? it would be nice if we could make up our own minds. it sounds like she’s got her hands full fighting the mullahs so im not sure where the ‘worker’ focus comes in..do tell

  233. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 5:32 pm  

    Sonia,

    =>”well you might think so..oooh look..you could have your own ‘religion’ soon..heh hehe see how these things start??”

    I don’t need to start my own religion — this is another core tenet of Sikhism. It’s all there already.

    It’s also common sense.

  234. DavidBruno — on 29th November, 2005 at 5:47 pm  

    Sonia,

    “davidbruno – what funny reasoning. its like the sort of thing people say about black people in the states – oh well the asians go to university – so it must be something about their colour.”

    Could you direct me to where I actually said any such thing, smart Alexia, DOH

  235. Siddharth — on 29th November, 2005 at 6:03 pm  

    Sonia

    anyway Siddarth – what are you basing this view of this maryam namazie person?

    There was a spate of blog posts about here a couple of months ago following her being championed by one Nick Cohen. He’s the person who claimed the anti-war movement was a front for the SWP. Then he calls her a poster girl and gushes all over her, but ‘forgot’ to mention that she’s a Trotskyist. So basically he performs the same cultural relativism he accuses the Left of. Why? Because she’s anti-Mullah she’s a alright with him irrespective of being left of the SWP! Its all in that article by Yusuf Smith that I linked to.

  236. Jai Singh — on 29th November, 2005 at 6:05 pm  

    Siddharth,

    =>”If I say that the tenets of Islam as described in the Quran are sacred that does not mean I am denying the sanctity of this or that other religion.”

    That’s good to hear, but beyond a certain point it can become problematic when Tenet 1 from Religion A directly contradicts Tenet 1 from Religion B (for example). It obviously depends on the specific scenario and, well, tenet, but they can’t necessarily both be correct simultaneously.

    There is an old Indian adage about how one can’t navigate a river successfully if one has a foot in two different boats simultaneously.

    Also, not all facts as defined in various religious scriptures are necessarily correct or (more pertinently) of divine origin. This is my own independent view and also happens to be something central to Sikhism, which states that those “truths” which Sikhism promotes are from God irrespective of the religion of origin and the specific religious scripture — and indeed, if these spiritual truths are experienced by people in their daily lives directly, because of their own personal spiritual awareness and life-experiences. The source is the same. In that sense, Sikhism isn’t an organised, “separate” religion in the orthodox meaning of the term — one isn’t supposed to differentiate between people based on their religious affiliation (if any).

    Those tenets which Sikhism contradicts, either “by default” or explicitly — and the Gurus did specifically refer to practices and writings in a number of other religions, including orthodox Islam — are not regarded as being of divine origin.

    =>”would defend Sikhism if it were being attacked too by people who are reacting in an emotional way against it mainly because of disinformation supplied by any number of blogs and yes, subliminal crap.”

    Yes but that’s because I believe in the fundamental truth of Sikh tenets and scriptures in their entirety — and this is a conclusion I have reached over many years and as a result of my own objective analysis and life-experience. I don’t defend anything just because I feel I’m somehow “obliged to”, if I don’t agree with whatever is being attacked itself.

    =>”And if I argue stridently and call people names thats because thats my style”

    It’s still a counterproductive way to go about things, mate. One should still behave in a civilised way, even if the other party doesn’t — anything less is just bad manners, and, more pertinently, a) reflects badly on oneself as an individual and as a representative of whatever religion and/or ethnic background one belongs to in the context of the argument, and b) undermines one’s own credibility.

    There are ways of getting one’s point across without resorting to those kinds of typically-desi tactics ;)

    =>”Fancy a beer?”

    Thanks for the offer buddy, but I’m afraid I don’t drink ;)

  237. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 10:15 pm  

    davidbruno! sorry – my apologies..think i addressed my comment to the wrong person..oops.

  238. sonia — on 29th November, 2005 at 10:16 pm  

    what i would actually be interested in finding out more about is where the mullahs come up with half of their rules..it wouldn’t surprise me if they made half of them up!

  239. Sunny — on 30th November, 2005 at 2:01 am  

    There is an old Indian adage about how one can’t navigate a river successfully if one has a foot in two different boats simultaneously.

    It’s possible if the rive is wide enough. I don’t necessarily agree with all old Indian adages ;)

  240. blue mountain — on 30th November, 2005 at 5:09 am  

    Post no. 209 …Sidhhath

    The Bauls ,whatever religion or practices they follow, call themselves Muslims !

    Explains why their bhaktic practices involve Radha & Krshna. Don’t let ignorance get in the way of posting your usual nonsense, will you now.

    Thanks. I have met quite a number of singing and dancing Bauls. Believe me they are far away from your theoretical discussions on Baul and Bhakti movement.Involving Radha and Krishna in your beliefs can no way stop you from calling yourself a Muslim!

    I believe in the Transcendent Unity of Religion

    I am glad that you believe in the Transcendent Unity of Religion

    and the people who have written most intelligently about this in the West are Rene Guenon and Frithjof Schuon.

    I dont need to read Guenon and Schuon to understand unity of religions. Just pick up a copy of Upanishad and go through it.

  241. blue mountain — on 30th November, 2005 at 7:31 am  

    Its all in that article by Yusuf Smith that I linked to

    Explains a lot. Linking an article to that pseudo-scholar bigot Yusuf Smith !!

    Post no. 221

    But be aware that I don’t follow any faith nowadays.

    Post no. 231

    If I defend Islam its because as a Muslim I am qualified to..

    Does anybody notice the contradiction ?

  242. DavidBruno — on 30th November, 2005 at 8:05 am  

    Sonia,

    No problem…I couldn’t understand a comment like that from someone who normally writes things that I agree with ;-)

  243. Paul Brown — on 30th November, 2005 at 10:16 am  

    Maryam Namazie is not a Trotskyist. The Worker-Communist Party isn’t Trotskyist, it is a left-wing party that bases much of its economic policies on the basic tenets of Marxism, but it is a modern secular democratic socialist party that is extremely pro-feminist and anti-theocracy, and is concerned with building a new civil society in Iraq and oppposing the clerical fascist theocracy in Iran. I personally would not involve myself in a Marxist party, but they still feel that elements of Marxism are relevant to the situation in Iraq and Iran and can be a useful intellectual tool.

    I think people often get confused by the word communist because they mistakenly confuse it with the former Soviet bloc. People should bear in mind that Stalinism was not comunism, and in fact was no ideloogy at all, simply a reactionary bureaucracy controlling and repressing people through a police state.

    This is not what the WCI stand for; they desperately want to overthrow the Iranian government and create social democracy in its place. this is an admirable aim, and it is understandable that people in a potentially pre-revolutionary situation would want to use Marxist ideas.

  244. Jai Singh — on 30th November, 2005 at 11:01 am  

    Sunny,

    I don’t believe all (or even most) of the “old Indian proverbs” either, but I think the analogy in this particular case refers to balancing between 2 boats in parallel, with oneself hovering over the water in-between — which can obviously be a precarious position, even more so if the boats start moving in opposite directions.

    I think it’s a good example with regards to the religious scenario we’ve all been discussing here.

  245. Siddharth — on 30th November, 2005 at 11:03 am  

    BluM:
    Your ideas on religion seem as constrained and narrow as they can get. But given the glimpses you have given us of your ideas, its obvious you’re a Hindutva political type, so one can’t be surprised by that. But to glance over some of your retorts, the Upanishads does not delve into Unity of religion because it was written before many of the religions came into being! But then thats not its function. And finally, from what you say about Bauls, looks like your preconceptions got the better of you. Again. ;-)

  246. Jai Singh — on 30th November, 2005 at 11:12 am  

    Sonia,

    =>”what i would actually be interested in finding out more about is where the mullahs come up with half of their rules..it wouldn’t surprise me if they made half of them up!”

    That’s the whole damn point. We’re obviously not here on PP to “debunk” any particular religions (quick disclaimer before Sunny ambushes us), but — as far as I know — the clerics are predominantly basing their rules on the Hadiths, which are allegedly “sayings” of Mohammad along with examples of his behaviour in various scenarios. The Hadiths were not written by Mohammad himself. So what we’re talking about is a) second-hand accounts, b) writings which were not regarded as being “direct” divine revelations, c) highly subjective viewpoints & interpretations, and d) this issue is complicated further by the orthodox view that everything Mohammad said and did was divinely controlled — so they view the contents of the Hadiths as sacred even though only the Quran was claimed to be of divine origin by Mohammad.

    Shariah is of course also based on the Quran (along with the Hadiths), but the problem here is that Mohammad did not write the Quran himself — he dictated it to other people — and the fact that the various chapters are actually in a different order from the sequence in which he supposedly received his revelations.

    Anyway, like I said earlier, I’m not here to debunk anything or deliberately insult people; but hopefully this answers your question about the possible lack of authenticity.

  247. blue mountain — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:02 pm  

    Your ideas on religion seem as constrained and narrow as they can get. But given the glimpses you have given us of your ideas, its obvious you’re a Hindutva political type, so one can’t be surprised by that

    Nope. I am never bound by any “ism” or “va” or any political types.

    But to glance over some of your retorts, the Upanishads does not delve into Unity of religion because it was written before many of the religions came into being!

    As I have said earlier I appreciate your intelligence. But you are unfamiliar with Upanishadsand ancient history.Religion of Babylonians, Greeks, Persians and many other Indian Sects coincide Upanishad. It is never enimical to any religion or faith. The idea of Transdental Religion was non-existent before Upanishad

    And finally, from what you say about Bauls, looks like your preconceptions got the better of you

    Go and pick up any book on folk culture of Bengal. Your misconceptions will get erased permanently.

  248. Siddhartha — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:08 pm  

    I’m not here to debunk anything or deliberately insult people; but hopefully this answers your question about the possible lack of authenticity.

    Looks like you’re busting a gut at trying though. I could take on your points but these theological debates of the validity of one particular faith is bound to turn ugly and this is not the forum for it, as you yourself said earlier.

  249. Siddhartha — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:16 pm  

    BluM:
    Religion of Babylonians, Greeks, Persians

    And these religions are practiced by how many today? Where in the Upanishads does it say anything about the Unity of faiths? The fact is no religious text does. It has been the function of intelligent people in this day and age (people who you have proudly said you have not read) to see the parallels because all the major world religions have been “revealed”. This was not the case when the Upanishads were codified.

    As for your statements regarding the Bauls – the link to the wikipedia site itself will clear you of your illusions.

  250. Jai Singh — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:22 pm  

    Siddharth,

    =>”Looks like you’re busting a gut at trying though.”

    No, I was just trying to answer Sonia’s question objectively based on whatever knowledge I have on the subject. There are plenty of people around who no doubt know far more than I do about this issue, of course, and they should really be the ones to respond to her query.

    =>”in the Upanishads does it say anything about the Unity of faiths? The fact is no religious text does.”

    This is incorrect — Sikhism is explicit in the concept of the “Unity of faiths”. Read the 3rd paragraph on my post no. 237 again.

    =>”all the major world religions have been “revealed”.

    Again, this is incorrect. Sikhism is not a “revealed” religion in the traditional Abrahamic sense of the term.

  251. Siddhartha — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:30 pm  

    Jai

    You’re right, Sikkhism is the exception to the rule. And I agree with your statement ealier:

    In that sense, Sikhism isn’t an rganised, “separate” religion in the orthodox meaning of the term — one isn’t supposed to differentiate between people based on their religious affiliation (if any).

    Which is why it has the unique position to be able to refer to this Unity.

  252. blue mountain — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:32 pm  

    because all the major world religions have been “revealed”. This was not the case when the Upanishads were codified.

    Revealed and codified !!!!! You are a masterpiece.

    Where in the Upanishads does it say anything about the Unity of faiths? The fact is no religious text does

    Since you are a sophisticated version of Bikhair i wont quote anything. Go and read it.

    As for your statements regarding the Bauls – the link to the wikipedia site itself will clear you of your illusions

    Huh. You trust encyclopedias. Wikipedia at that .

  253. Siddhartha — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:35 pm  

    There are plenty of people around who no doubt know far more than I do about this issue, of course, and they should really be the ones to respond to her query.

    Yeah, they’re called religious bigots. There’s no end to them. But pointing to the differences of religions and the relative inconsistencies and invalidities is the easiest thing to do as well as the most retarded. Much more difficult is to recognise the metaphysical parallels between them.

  254. Siddhartha — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:39 pm  

    BluM:

    Acually, its been obvious since your first post that you are the Hindu version of Bikhair. But there’s room for everyone on this blog, I’m sure.

    As to whether I trust the Wikipedia or not – you must be unaware that it has become the de facto reference. Its entry on Bauls is the best I’ve seen on the matter given the space constraints. If I were you, I’d read it and bow to its superior knowledge on the matter.

  255. Siddhartha — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:49 pm  

    Oh yeah, and at least Bikhair is amusing – as opposed to the predictable drone that you generate.

  256. blue mountain — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:55 pm  

    Who the fuck told you that “wikipedia” is the de facto reference. Nonsense !!!

    Encyclopedias are only the beginning you moron. People refer Wikipedia because it’s free. As per as trustworthyness it’s anybody’s guess. I myself have seen that the article on “Alexander” changed a number of times.

    I am not anyone’s version. I am me. As for you i am pretty sure that you are the sophisticated version of Bikhair.

    Its entry on Bauls is the best I’ve seen on the matter given the space constraints. If I were you, I’d read it and bow to its superior knowledge on the matter.

    If that article is the best on Bauls then I salute your judgement.

    I always bow to superior knowledge

    hehe

  257. blue mountain — on 30th November, 2005 at 12:58 pm  

    Yes … Bikhair is funny

    But you are a joke

    A rude joke at that

  258. Siddhartha — on 30th November, 2005 at 1:01 pm  

    The cool thing about Wikipedia is if you think you know better then you’re free to edit it and it might even be used. So, knock yourself out.

  259. blue mountain — on 30th November, 2005 at 1:08 pm  

    Thanks for telling me that !!!!

    I never knew it !!!

    BTW…In which age do you live in ?Paleogene,Cretacious or Jurassic ?

  260. Erik — on 15th February, 2006 at 5:21 am  

    The new Malcom X.

    Don’t bow down to the beliefs of others. We all have a say, not just the ones with the big mouths.

    You go girl!

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