Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If they rock like Slayer....

It is very likely that some musicians you see on stage are stoned.
Not everyone, of course.

If people wear the same dress and read the same books, it is very likely that in some instances they will behave in a similar fashion.

Watch the video.
Is your neighbor in the same situation?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Europeans Warned to 'Repent before Allah Punishes You with His Hand and Ours'...

A leader of the Al-Qaeda Organisation in the Islamic Maghreb has threatened France and Spain in an audio message broadcast on jihadist Internet forums on Monday.
"To those that are involved in the war against Islam and have betrayed the Islamic nation, we say to them: Repent before God punishes you with his hands and with ours," said Abdel Malik Droukedel, who uses the name Abu Musab Abdel Wudud.
"This is because judgement day is close and punishment is imminent. And whoever among the treacherous apostates thinks that France is in a position to ensure its safety, we tell them they are wrong, because France will not be in a position to do it, and will be worried for its safety.
"In the audio message, entitled "Message to our nation in the Islamic Maghreb", Droukedel reminds his listeners about Spain and Morocco's territorial dispute over the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla.
"Dear nation, it is not conceivable for any Muslim that loves Islam to speak of the Maghreb without remembering Ceuta and Melilla, occupied by Spain without remembering the injustice suffered by our nation," said Droukedel.

More here at AKI-Adnkronos International

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Quran at face value

For those of simple minds, who take texts at face value, let's look at the Quran, without prejudice, just analyzing what the text says in an unscientific manner. The Quran is the main holy book of Islam. It opens (somewhat illogically) with sura 2:

[002.001] Alif-Lâm-Mîm.[Translators note: These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'ân and none but Allâh (Alone) knows their meanings.]
[002.002] This is the Book (the Qur'ân), whereof there is no doubt,

Hold it, right there: I am still in doubt what the first verse means! We are only 14 words into the text, and the first thing we're asked to do is to accept an obvious contradiction at face value, and thus implicitly to be willing to abandon logic and critical thinking, as if we were requested to leave shoes outside the door. 2:2 continues:

a guidance to those who are Al-Muttaqûn [the pious believers of Islamic Monotheism who fear Allâh much

The next thing the Quran asks for is fear. That's not a pleasent feeling. Other religions may choose to start with love, but this is Islam. Fear is also more useful for keeping adherents in a state of submission (the word 'Islam', literally translated, means 'Submission').

Now, Allah doesn't do much by himself, locked up in a corner of the Kaaba without means of communication to make his demands known. Thus, we instead have to use complex and frequently even contradictory interpretations of old books.

abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden) and love Allâh much (perform all kinds of good deeds which He has ordained)].

After requesting to abandon rationality, then stating that the pious are to be in a state of fear, the Quran moves on to declare Islam a guide to the life of all believers, regulating their lives. In other times and places, that would be called totalitarian. Detailed commands follow in sura 2:3:

[002.003] Who believe in the Ghaib (Note 1) and perform As-Salât (the prayers), (Note 2) and spend out of what We have provided for them [i.e. give Zakât (obligatory charity), spend on themselves, their parents, their children, their wives, and also give charity to the poor and also in Allâh's Cause – Jihâd].

A lot goes on here. Let's take it bit by bit:

[002.003] Who believe in the Ghaib (Note 1)

'Ghaib' means all kind of unseen and unprovable things – angles, miracles, books sent down from various places in the universe – and belief in this is a requirement in Islam. As is, according to the footnote, accepting everything in the Quran at face value, including the rather unusual shots at explaining things better left to science to take care of. Rational thinking would require evidence to make the claims to science credible, but the believers are requested to believe without that.

and perform As-Salât (the prayers), (Note 2)

As-Salât, as mentioned before, is the ritual prayer that shows submission and obedience to the 'divine' will. The footnote in the 'Noble' Quraan requests also gender segregation, forcing children to perform the prayers from the age of 7, and to beat the children into performing this religious duty from the age of 10 onwards. This is all explained by the representatives, who benefit from:

and spend out of what We have provided for them

Here's something easily missed: "We have provided"? The underlying principle here is that all things, material, immaterial and living beings, ultimately belong to Allah. This is a despotic point of view, where obedience to the ruler is absolute, including sacrifice of life if needed for the rule of the absolute despot. The contrary principle is that of private property, where individuals are the ultimate owners of what they have, not some abstract or even imaginary deity.

[i.e. give Zakât (obligatory charity),

Hardly surprising, parting with money comes early on the list of religious duties. Fascist regimes need resources to purchase loyalty and implement an effective totalitarian rule. Islam, as a political ideology, is similar.

For those who wondered how long it would be before this would point towards war, comes this:

spend on themselves, their parents, their children, their wives, and also give charity to the poor and also in Allâh's Cause – Jihâd].

First, a list of less important reasons (not 'excuses' according to Islamic tradition), and then comes what matters: Benefiting Islam (and by implication its representatives working for the 'Cause'). That 'Cause' is the expansion of Islamic rule, and 'Jihad' is the effort to do so. As to whether Jihad is violent or not, the best response might be "As required".

[002.004] And who believe in that (the Qur'ân and the Sunnah) which has been sent down (revealed) to you (Muhammad [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam]) and in that which was sent down before you [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injîl (Gospel)] and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter. (Resurrection, recompense of their good and bad deeds, Paradise and Hell).

Here it's worth noting that what is in parenthesis has been inserted by the translators to clarify difficult points in the text. Of which there are many, again contradicting the initial statement that this is a book free of doubt. Effectively, books like the Noble Quraan become Quran commentaries in themselves, removing ourselves somewhat from the original (supposedly perfect) text. Removing the comments can be interesting:

[002.004] And who believe in that which has been sent down to you and in that which was sent down before you and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter.


A lot of insight into Islam can be gained from the first few verses of the Qur'an. To read more click here..

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Holy Warriors force WHO to cancel polio jabs for Afghan children

Polio vaccinations for over a million Afghan children have been cancelled, the World Health Organization said Tuesday after two doctors were killed in a Taliban suicide attack.
"Campaigns in the southern region are cancelled," WHO spokeswoman Sona Bari told AFP.
The programme was due to start on September 21 and was intended to reach 1.2 million children aged under five in Afghanistan's southern regions, she said.
Two Afghan doctors working for the WHO were killed in a suicide car bombing in southeastern Afghanistan Sunday that was claimed by the Taliban.
The WHO said that a similar campaign in the eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Laghman was still likely to go ahead, as were future campaigns in the south in October and November.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mickey Mouse must die, says Saudi Arabian cleric

Mickey Mouse is a corrupting influence and must die, a Muslim cleric has declared.

Sheikh Muhammad Munajid claimed the mouse is "one of Satan's soldiers" and makes everything it touches impure.
But he warned that depictions of the creature in cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, and Disney's Mickey Mouse, had taught children that it was in fact loveable.
The cleric, a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC, said that under Sharia, both household mice and their cartoon counterparts must be killed.
Mr Munajid was asked to give Islam's teaching on mice during a religious affairs programme broadcast on al-Majd TV, an Arab television network.
According to a translation prepared by the Middle East Media Research Institute, an American press monitoring service, he said: "The mouse is one of Satan's soldiers and is steered by him.
"If a mouse falls into a pot of food – if the food is solid, you should chuck out the mouse and the food touching it, and if it is liquid – you should chuck out the whole thing, because the mouse is impure.
"According to Islamic law, the mouse is a repulsive, corrupting creature. How do you think children view mice today – after Tom and Jerry?
"Even creatures that are repulsive by nature, by logic, and according to Islamic law have become wonderful and are loved by children. Even mice.
"Mickey Mouse has become an awesome character, even though according to Islamic law, Mickey Mouse should be killed in all cases."
Last month Mr Munajid condemned the Beijing Olympics as the "bikini Olympics", claiming that nothing made Satan happier than seeing females athletes dressed in skimpy outfits.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Criminalizing Criticism of Islam

There are strange happenings in the world of international jurisprudence that do not bode well for the future of free speech. In an unprecedented case, a Jordanian court is prosecuting 12 Europeans in an extraterritorial attempt to silence the debate on radical Islam.
The prosecutor general in Amman charged the 12 with blasphemy, demeaning Islam and Muslim feelings, and slandering and insulting the prophet Muhammad in violation of the Jordanian Penal Code. The charges are especially unusual because the alleged violations were not committed on Jordanian soil.

Among the defendants is the Danish cartoonist whose alleged crime was to draw in 2005 one of the Muhammad illustrations that instigators then used to spark Muslim riots around the world. His co-defendants include 10 editors of Danish newspapers that published the images. The 12th accused man is Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, who supposedly broke Jordanian law by releasing on the Web his recent film, "Fitna," which tries to examine how the Quran inspires Islamic terrorism.

Jordan's attempt at criminalizing free speech beyond its own borders wouldn't be so serious if it were an isolated case. Unfortunately, it is part of a larger campaign to use the law and international forums to intimidate critics of militant Islam. For instance, in December the United Nations General Assembly passed the Resolution on Combating Defamation of Religions; the only religion mentioned by name was Islam. While such resolutions aren't legally binding, national governments sometimes cite them as justification for legislation or other actions.

More worrying, the U.N. Human Rights Council in June said it would refrain from condemning human-rights abuses related to "a particular religion." The ban applies to all religions, but it was prompted by Muslim countries that complained about linking Islamic law, Shariah, to such outrages as female genital mutilation and death by stoning for adulterers. This kind of self-censorship could prove dangerous for people suffering abuse, and it follows the council's March decision to have its expert on free speech investigate individuals and the media for negative comments about Islam.

Given this trend, it's worth taking a closer look at the Jordanian case.

Read on here at The Wall Street Journal

Friday, September 12, 2008

Palestinian father buries his daughter alive

A Palestinian woman died after her father buried her alive claiming he wanted to preserve the "family honor." The father, in his seventies, turned himself in and admitted to killing his 24-year-old divorced daughter.
After investigating the crime scene, the police discovered that the woman’s father had tied her arms and legs and muzzled her before burying her alive. According to press reports on Monday, the coroner was to examine the body to determine whether the woman was also beaten before her death.
The police also detained four of the victim's brothers to investigate their involvement in the crime.

Similar deaths in Pakistan

In a similar incident, tribesmen in western Pakistan buried three girls and two women alive for alleged honor crimes. The three girls, whose ages range between 16 and 18, hailed from the Balochistan province and had expressed their desire to choose their husbands themselves. The two women had supported the girls’ position. But the request, which goes against the tribe's customs, was considered by the tribesmen to be a violation of the tribe's honor.
Local authorities have not arrested any suspect in the crime. Pakistani MP Serdar Israr-Allah brought up the incident in parliament and expressed his resentment towards the crime.
He demanded that the authorities arrest the culprits who murdered the women.

from: Al Arabiyya News Channel

Monday, September 08, 2008


"A nine-year-old girl has the same sexual capacities like a woman of twenty and over". Thus reads a fatwa issued by Skeikh Mohamed Ibn Abderrahmane Al-Maghraoui, according to Moroccan daily 'Aujourd'hui Le Maroc'.
This immediately sparked off a hot debate, with most of the public opinion absolutely against this stance which is a permit for paedophilia, many say, among other things. Among the various stances against the fatwa (in the Islamic culture, a decree of religious character issued by Islamic experts which regulates issues of topical character), the daily reported those of extremist MP Abdelbari Zamzami and the president of association 'No one touches my children', Najia Adib.
Zamzami, referring to the fact that Al-Maghraoui wanted to make his fatwa unassailable reminding that Muhammad "married Aisha who was nine", reiterated that the sheikh used the event as a pretext for this "scandalous practice". "The era of our Prophet is completely different from ours," he said on the issue. "These days a marriage of the kind would be a true injustice towards the girl. A true aberration."
"Aberrant" was also the judgement of Najia Adib ('No one touches my children'), according to whom "this sheikh is simply encouraging paedophilia. If he is so deeply convinced of what he thinks, let's tell him to get his daughter married". But perhaps, she explains, this unknown sheikh was searching a little media attention. And concluded her interview with the Moroccan daily: "This type of people look at Islam from the point of view which is convenient for them. It is a restrictive vision of Islam. And it is bad. Fatwas like these show the lack of reasoning from those who issue them. I cannot understand via what intellectual road or for what mental construction they come to such aberrations".
The law in Morocco envisages the minimum age for getting married at 18 years for both men and women. Marrying below this age requires the consent of the parents and of a judge. But it refers to teenagers not children. (ANSAmed).

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Attempts to shut down criticism of Islam are still on the table at the UN

The National Secular Society, together with the International Humanist and Ethical Union, has been working over the past year to try to raise the alarm about the concerted efforts by Islamic groups to write blasphemy laws into international human rights legislation.
Our efforts seem to be paying off, as other countries and organisations begin to appreciate the profound dangers to free speech posed by proposals from the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).
The OIC has sponsored a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council entitled “Combating Defamation of Religion.” It has been approved by the UNHRC every year since 2005, and is coming up for renewal in the next couple of months.
But at last the United States and various human rights organisations have woken up to the fact that the OIC resolution is actually an attempt to make “defamation of religion” (and in particular Islam) into an international offence. “Defamation of religion” is a wide ranging concept and can be used to silence any criticism of Islam.
Now U.S. officials have said they hope to persuade “moderate Muslim nations” — among them Senegal, Mali, Nigeria and Indonesia — to reject the measure, which so far lacks the force of law but has provided diplomatic cover for regimes that repress critical speech. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
Religious rights groups say other U.N. measures, including statements by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, replicate the language of the resolution.
“Before, it was one resolution with no impact and no implementation,” said Felice Gaer, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, a bipartisan federal body that investigates abuses and proposes policies to advance freedom of thought, conscience and religion. “Now we are seeing a clear attempt by OIC countries to mainstream the concept and insert it into just about every other topic they can,” Miss Gaer said. “They are turning freedom of expression into restriction of expression.”
European governments are also concerned. The European Centre for Law and Justice filed a brief with the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in June warning that such anti-defamation resolutions “are in direct violation of international law concerning the rights to freedom of religion and expression.”
U.S. officials working on human rights said the resolutions are being used to justify harsh blasphemy laws in countries such as Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan and Afghanistan.
The American and European governments warn that the resolution — which specifically mentions Islam but no other religions — is “an Orwellian text” that has been used to shut down free speech.
The resolution “replaces the existing objective criterion of limitations on speech where there is an intent to incite hatred or violence against religious believers with a subjective criterion that considers whether the religion or its believers feel offended by the speech,” said the brief by the European Centre for Law and Justice. “In cases we’ve monitored, it’s minority religions — Christians, Baha’i, and non-conforming Muslims” — who are most at risk, Miss Gaer said. “People who want to interpret their religion differently than some of the more orthodox clerics would.”
“This [language] destabilises the whole human rights system,” said Angela Wu, international law director for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm in Washington. “It empowers the state rather than individual, and protects ideas rather than the person who holds them.”
Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the NSS, who has been particularly active in raising awareness in international forums of the dangers of the OIC resolution, said: “It is gratifying that others are at last taking on board the dire threat the OIC proposals pose to free expression. If they are approved and gain some kind of legal credence, we can expect to see prosecutions for blasphemy (or “defamation of religions” as it will be called) all over the world. The Islamist desire to stop all open discussion of Islam will have been achieved.”

From: National Secular Society