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Another Muslim Girl Decomposing
James Orr, with news services, writes for The Guardian:

The teenager Shafilea Ahmed was described as a bright and intelligent young woman who wanted to go to university and become a lawyer. But the 17-year-old was "torn" between her ambitions, and her family and religion, her inquest at Kendal county hall in Cumbria heard.

The young girl, who received a traditional Pakistani upbringing, confided in her teachers that she feared being forced into an arranged marriage.

She later went missing from her family home in Warrington, Cheshire, in September 2003.

In February 2004, five months on, her badly decomposed body was found on the banks of the Kent river at Sedgwick, in Cumbria.

Ahmed was most likely strangled or suffocated, according to pathologists. No one has been charged over her death and her parents, Iftikhar and Farzana Ahmed, deny any involvement in her disappearance.

Giving evidence, Ahmed's friends and teachers revealed how the teenager had once arrived at school with a cut lip and bruising on her neck.

She allegedly said one of her parents had held her down while the other one beat her. Her father denied the claim.

Contrast this with the commenters who pop in here (in between all the sane and rational commenters) to opine that Islam is "no worse" than any other religion. I'm no fan of the belief, without evidence, in god, no matter what flavor it comes in -- but my friends who grew up Catholic, and kids I went to temple with when I was growing up, all actually were allowed to grow up.

What's with these people who are so determined to believe in this "I'm Okay/Mohammed Atta's Okay" vision of the world? At what point do they wake up? Is there any hope of waking them up? And if so, how?

Posted by aalkon at January 19, 2008 10:23 AM


I think we are tapping into a basic human "self loathing" mechanism, that among other things gives us a high suicide rate. Do any other animals have such a thing?

It seems to cross over into cultural suicide.

Posted by: doombuggy at January 19, 2008 6:31 AM

White Guilt.

There's no other explanation.

Posted by: brian Author Profile Page at January 19, 2008 6:39 AM

Amy, Take a chill pill! Mohammed is Atta mosque near you... he might be lurking on your website. Not to fear though! Your Rabbi and the Pope love you! Oh, wait a minute, there is another of those "irrational beliefs". Oops!

Posted by: William at January 19, 2008 7:53 AM

There only 556 US kids killed by their parents in 2005 (can't find the latest stats). I can only find racial divisions within these stats, not religous.

Posted by: dan at January 19, 2008 8:35 AM

Amy, your last two paragraphs really nail it. Also, I agree with brian,

White Guilt. There's no other explanation.

Posted by: Jeff at January 19, 2008 8:48 AM

Why so many muslim apologists in the west?

Many people have the attitude of "I hate Bush, and radical muslims hate Bush, so radical muslims must not be so bad".

You could replace "Bush" with "Western civilization" or "Amerikkka" and it's the same idea.

Posted by: winston at January 19, 2008 8:56 AM

You're never going to get American liberals to condemn Islam because it would be defying their god of multiculturalism. They can never admit to anyone that all cultures are not equal. Some people are just plain screwed up. Islam has been on the warpath since it's coception hundreds of years ago. They tried to take over Europe before, this time it looks like they will succeed. They move into an area in large numbers, then when they become more than half the population, they go to war with the other half.

I don't buy Islam as a religion either. It is a cult. Anyone who can talk about a 'religion of peace' that causes people to kill their daughters, 'In the name of Allah' hasn't got their head screwed on right.

It irks me when I see Bush up their calling Islam a peaceful religion when, if he had any balls, would be up there condemning it as a death worshipping cult that is the main source of world terrorism. He won't even us the phrase 'Islamofacist' anymore. What a chump.

Posted by: Bikerken at January 19, 2008 10:29 AM

Well said Bikerken!

I think there's an awful western smugness too, a reluctance to accept that other cultures are capable of their own original, evil ideas, independent of the influence of we mighty westerners.

How many times have you heard the argument that "they" (whichever they we happen to be speaking of at the moment) hate us solely because of things we do, because of how we make no place for them at our wonderful table. If only we could extend a collective hand of friendship to them - show them that we are willing to accept them! How happy they'd be - how grateful!

Posted by: BerthaMinerva at January 19, 2008 1:48 PM

I agree w/your assessment of Islam, Amy. My only concern would be how do we ("we" meaning rational, Westernized people,) successfully condemn/eradicate/contain the Islamization of our culture without a situation reminiscent of Japanese internment camps during WWII coming up again? As much as I despise what that backwater death cult stands for, I also don't want to see normal, decent people that happen to have a Middle Eastern last name on our soil condemned for actions they had no part of. And no, I don't think you're advocating that at all, I just think that people in general tend to be rather stupidly extreme in situations like this, and I worry about how to avoid ugly racist ways of dealing w/an ugly, misogynistic death cult.

Posted by: Kim at January 19, 2008 4:21 PM

I don't know the answer to that. We can't "destroy the village in order to save it." We destroy our democracy along with eradicating those within who'd destroy it for their own purposes, and take us all down, too.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at January 19, 2008 4:24 PM


This story is of a different religious group but the [sick] theme is the same:

How can something like this not break your heart.


Posted by: Robert W. Author Profile Page at January 19, 2008 6:41 PM

There's a difference between fundamentalists and everyone else. Most religions--yes, christians, and Jews included--are composed of a majority of people who interpret the belief system loosley, rationally, and compassionately...and a minority of violent radicals on the fringe. Islam itself is not the thing that's evil--radical islam is the problem, just like abortion-clinic-bombing pro-lifers are the problem, just like fanatical, "I live in a tree" vegetarians are the problem.

And yes, there is a lot of mysogyny and violence against women in the middle east. Frankly, the same could be said about American culture. Mysogyny and violence against women is sadly more universal than many people would like to believe.

I'm not saying the above story isn't horrible. I'm just poitning out that there are a great many people who practice islam, and/or are of middle eastern descent, who somehow manage not to become daughter-strangling maniacs.

Posted by: JA at January 19, 2008 9:34 PM

>>>And yes, there is a lot of mysogyny and violence against women in the middle east. Frankly, the same could be said about American culture.

JA, this has got to be one of the biggest loads of horsepussy I have ever heard in my life. When is the last time we stoned a women for the crime of being raped in the US? If you have a link, please let me know. This is classic moral relativism from someone who is totally ignorant of the level of violence against women here at home and overseas and someone who holds their own country in contempt for no good reason. I know America is not perfect but jesus freakin christ, you have obviously never travelled to the middle east or you would not have made such an assinine statment. When was the last time an abortion clinic was bombed? Who was president then? Carter? What an dumb insult to a great country.

JA, could you point out the differences between what you call 'radical islam' and islam in general. The fact is that it is not 'radical' in islam to embrace the treatment of women as second class citizens or even see their value as being less than that of an animal. That is a general islamic belief practiced all over the world. The reason you don't have all daughters getting killed is that they submit to it. Some of them even learn to like it, much the same way that some slaves learn to make the best of their life and accept it as normal. I don't know what you have ever learned about islam, I have spent a few years in the middle east and I have seen it up close and personal. In Saudi Arabia, a woman doesn't even have the right to drive. This is law, not a few 'radicals' and again, that treatment of women by muslims is common throughout the world. I think the normal rational peaceful islam you cite does not even really exist. Sure, there are those who are not as fervent as others, but as a rule, they will follow and condone the actions of the crazies. When 911 happened, muslims in America were polled as to what they thought of it and 74% approved of the attacks. Now, while they may not all be mad bombers, the majority of them will certainly aid and abet such a thing if they are called upon by their mosque to do so. This is why they resist attempts by outsiders to listen to their services anywhere. And this is not just in the US, it is that way all over the world. I defy you to find a place in the world with a large islamic population that is not in conflict with it's neighbor. And do you hear condemnation of the 'radicals' by the regular peaceful muslims? No, not hardly a word. So I cannot agree that there are so many peace loving muslims out there, if there were, we would know it by their actions.

It's like Mark Steyn said, "There were a lot of good Germans who weren't Nazis. A damned lot of good it did us or them."

Posted by: Bikerken at January 19, 2008 10:27 PM

The kind of mysogyny that I've encountered is a bitter man at a club calling me a stuck up bitch because I ignored his advances. It's the same brand as oh....forcing me to marry said man that I wound find in the Middle East right JA?

Posted by: PurplePen at January 19, 2008 10:28 PM

there is a lot of mysogyny and violence against women in the middle east. Frankly, the same could be said about American culture.

There is a lot of water in the Pacific Ocean. The same could be said of Lake Tahoe. But one of these has a lot more water than the other.

Posted by: Rex Little at January 19, 2008 10:41 PM

You are absolutely right, Bikerken--stoning women to death is not a common culteral practice in the US. Culteral practices vary from region to region. My point was that violence against women is common the world over, and is not ONLY a product of Islam. Please see the link below as a reference for this point.

Some highlights:

"The bulk of (violent acts) occur in South Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and China, Unicef said."

You're right--America isn't included in that quote. But:

"Unicef says a third of women in Canada and Egypt suffer violence from their husbands at least once, and Russian women are two-and-a-half times more likely to be murdered by their partners than women in the United States.

But then again, American women are twice as likely to be killed by their partners as women in western European countries."

So, to sum up, yeah, we do have it pretty good in America, but the Western Europeans still have it much better, and violence is certainly not limited to people who practice Islam and/or live in the middle east; Russians, Canadians, Africans, and the Chinese were all cited as being chock full of violence against women.

My point was not to start some sort of "America is perfect" vs. "America is evil" debate. All I'm saying here is that I think we all lose when we try to boil this topic down into a "black and white" mindset vs. a "shades of gray" mindset. Why do we all lose?

According to Wikipedia, about 20% of the world's population follows Islam. This ranks Islam as the second largest world religion, coming in second only to Christianity's 33%.


I think it is naive to call Islam a 'cult', as Kim does, when in fact it is the second largest world religion. Does that statistic mean you have to be in agreement with their practices? No, but it does mean that Islam is not going to simply be 'wiped out', and therefore it would be in everyone's best interests to try to understand the complexities of culteral and religious differences. The knee-jerk "all middle-easterners are bad" reaction is not helping us move towards any semblance of world peace.

And for the record, I am half jewish, half middle eastern, and was raised in a non-religious household. My intent is not to rile anyone up, insult anyone, or claim any type of superiority for any one group. All i'm saying is, not all people who practice Islam or who are of middle eastern descent are evil, and automatically treating them as such (or speaking about them as such within a civilized debate) hurts everyone a lot more than it helps. That statement seems so simple and obvious to me, that I am honestly really surprised that anyone would find it enraging or inflamatory. But to each their own.

Posted by: JA at January 20, 2008 12:15 AM

JA, what you don't understand is what islam really is. I don't believe you can call any organization with such a long history and current record of unbelievable violence, not just against women, but against anyone who disagrees with islam, anything but a cult. Need I remind you about the Danish cartoon riots, or the beheadings of nuns in Indonesia, or the suicide bombings pretty much everywhere. There are just so many examples, I couldn't possibly list them all. When was the last time a Jehovahs witness blew himself up to take out a pizzaria full of kids? You say it's naive to call it a cult, I say it's naive not to. If you can't see an extreme difference between the domestic and civil violence associated with islam and other cultures, you are trying hard as hell not to.

>>>"The bulk of (violent acts) occur in South Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and China, Unicef said." I don't supposed you noticed this is where most of the islamic population resides??

What I'm trying to say is that when an American women is killed by her husband, it makes the news. In islamic societies, it's a part of everyday life. Nobody cares. That's what you don't seem to get. In Denmark, they estimate forty percent of the rapes are committed by muslim immigrants. They really don't see anything wrong with it because these whores are showing their ankles. Most of the killings in Darfur are muslims killing christians, but you don't hear that little tidbit on the news, they don't want to offend anybody. And I'll tell you right now, that is why nobody is raising a hand to stop it regardless of what those bozos at the UN say. People are afraid of islam.

I never said that all middle-easterners were bad. My best friend from work is Lebanese and grew up next door to Rafik Hariri, they were boyhood friends. I don't believe all muslims are evil, I know that most people would just rather raise their kids and live in peace. But if you can't see a pattern of aggression and violence and killing of innocent women and children associated with islam, you are in some serious denail. That's exactly what Amy was asking, when are we going to wake up and smell the coffee here? How can it happen? While I never said they should all be "wiped out", I think it is time for real civilized nations to have talks about what they will and will not tolerate with islam. There really needs to be a call for a world summit to discuss this. All the while you are talking about wanting to learn more about them and get along, they want to saw your head off. There are many countries in the world right now, Austrailia, England, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand etc. that are having a lot of consternation over what to do about their societies being inundated with an army of madmen. The Austrailian Imam actually went on the news to say raping white women was Ok because they did not deserve any respect and muslims applauded him for it! This little incident caused rioting and clahes between muslims and aussies. And by the way, have you ever been to a muslim country? You have no rights, as an infidel, they could literally kill you in the street with no consequence. You hear very little about what goes on in these countries because nobody would dare to print it.

They are trying to live by a set of rules from the seventh century and insist everyone else does. That is why they are in conflict with everyone who doesn't.

JA, there are different kinds of people in the world, there are those who when attacked by a stranger will fight back, then there are those who will just run, then there are those who will take fifty punches in the face while wondering why they are being attacked. At some point it should sink in, It doesn't matter WHY you're being attacked, it matters THAT you're being attacked and that you must do something about it.

I want you to think about this long and hard JA, at some point, when the jews we're walking into the nazi 'showers', some of them had to think, how on earth did we get here? I'm sure you don't see any similarity in these situations, neither did the massacred Bosnians, or the Sudanese christians, or any one of the many mass grave occupants in Iraq, or Turkey etc, etc.

You are of course entitled to your opinion JA. But I think you need to learn a lot more about islam before you go dismissing it as just a little wierd religion.

Posted by: Bikerken at January 20, 2008 1:56 AM

And by the way JA, women have it better here than just about anywhere else in the world by a looooonnnggg shot. I say that as someone who has visited over 40 countries on five continents. I know a lot of people don't believe that, but I would bet most of them have never left the US.

Posted by: Bikerken at January 20, 2008 1:59 AM

Thanks, Bikerken, for doing the cleanup above. Exactly right.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at January 20, 2008 2:46 AM

Rock on, Bikerken.

JA writes:

**My intent is not to rile anyone up, insult anyone, or claim any type of superiority for any one group.**

I find your flawed use of statistics insulting.

Posted by: doombuggy at January 20, 2008 6:29 AM

Excellent comments Bikerken.

I think that one of the biggest problems we have facing Islam is our Western ethnocentricity. The guys in charge seem to think that Muslims are "just like us" and want all the same things that we do. Bush's Texan Methodist version of Christianity is about peace and tolerance, so he thinks that all religions are about peace and tolerance. The secular liberal thinks that religion is ridiculous, and thus cannot comprehend anyone really killing in the name of religion (oh, it must be poverty, etc.). Free traders seem to be of the opinion that if we give Muslims Levis, coca cola, and ipods, they will be happy. But Islam is a philosophy that covers all the bases: social, political and religious; it is strong and getting stronger, and we need to respect that some people are more devoted to their cult than their bank balance, multiculturalism, or whatever secular gods one worships. Religion, especially one that calls itself "submission" is heavy stuff, and should not be blown off. I wonder what Camille Paglia would have to say about this.

So yes, I think that the West needs to understand Islam better indeed. We need to understand that killing and opressing infidels is a religious duty to Muslims, as is beating your wife if she misbehaves, as is violent prostelytization. We need to have enough respect for Muslims to learn exactly what they believe and enough courage to ask ourselves if these beliefs are broadly incompatable with Western culture, and, just as importantly, if Western culture is broadly incompatable with Islam.

In my opinion, it has nothing to do with whether one culture is better than the other. What I cannot abide is the enthusiasm people in the West have for trashing their own civilization while oohing and ahhing over the exotic traditions of Islam. It is stupid, smug and paternalistic.

Posted by: liz at January 20, 2008 6:38 AM

"I think it is naive to call Islam a 'cult',..."

What else would you call a "religion" that mandates execution for anyone who tries to leave?

"how do we ("we" meaning rational, Westernized people,) successfully condemn/eradicate/contain the Islamization of our culture without a situation reminiscent of Japanese internment camps during WWII coming up again?"

With knowledge. As much as I dislike Islam, Muslims have a 1rst amendment right to practice their religion. As non Muslims we must educate ourselves to what Islam is all about and resist attempts at Islamization. The voluntary social and legal retreats from Islam are more dangerous than terrorism in the long run.

For example; If a checkout person refuses to check out pork products at a supermarket they are fired (Jews don't get this indulgence). If a taxi driver refuses to pick up a passenger with a seeing eye dog they lose their hack license. Etc.

But most of all, by jettisoning this suicidal cultural relativism. We have a society and a culture that is not perfect but still worthy of pride and worth defending.

Posted by: winston at January 20, 2008 8:19 AM

"Good cleanup?" "Flawed use of statistics?" Where are your quotes and statistics coming from? Oh your gut -- well now I know the truth! Thank God you opened my eyes that ALL Islam is radical and extremist and are depraved individuals who "mandate execution for anyone who tries to leave?"

I was so confused before thinking that there were radicals and moderates and now I know that we're totally justified in killing Islamic children and women because they have different beliefs from us. Lets go so far -- why not? Put them in internment camps -- we've can't have these degenerates on the loose.

God forbid we have any free discussion or interchange of ideas.

P.S. Good job shutting up anyone with a differing opinion from yourselves. Your flawed logic is insulting.

Thank God, Allah and Buddah we still have some J.A.s left on this Earth

Posted by: S.H. at January 20, 2008 2:57 PM

S.H., Nobody here condones the killing of islamic women and children. The only people that I can think of that do are.........islamic men, come to think of it.

Posted by: Bikerken at January 20, 2008 5:00 PM

I am someone who believes that political Islam is a serious problem and that the cultural imperialism of Islam is a threat to the freedoms we enjoy in Western countries, particularly with the idiots on the far Left aiding and abetting the jihadists and those pushing for sharia. However, many of the claims you make are incorrect. For example your statement about rapes in Denmark. Can you supply the statistics and the sources to back up your claims? These stories are much repeated and the stats go up and down but where is the actual evidence. I can assure you that there was no violence between Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia as a result of the ignorant comments about uncovered meat made by Sheik Al-Hilaly. I can also assure you that with very very small Muslim populations Australia and New Zealand are not quaking in their boots about the invading savage hordes. Every now and then some nutter of another religious persuasion stirs things up but to date, apart from the Cronulla riots attack on Muslims and the Lebanese reaction, there has been no clash between Aussie Muslims and the rest of the population.

Posted by: GMan at January 20, 2008 7:39 PM

Also SH when Jerry Falldwell said 9/11 was gods punishment most cristians ignored him, when Pat Robertson predicted tidal waves and nuclear attacks chritians ridiculed him, when Jim Baker stole money from millions chritians CONVICTED him

When muslim girls wind up dead for whereing the wrong clothing . . .
Muslims say nothing

In fact there was a new article I ran across a while ago. Some soccor offical was getting death threats because he prevented a muslim girl from playing because she wasnt wearing the poper protective gear.

Kind of ironic dont you think, more fuss from the muslim comunity over her not being able to play for saftey reasons then the dozen or so honor killings the previous year

Posted by: lujlp at January 20, 2008 7:43 PM

GMan, if won't don't want to take my word for it, then fine, count me as a liar and don't listen to me, I couldn't care less. Why don't you do the research and show me where I'm wrong. I am not going to spend any time doing homework for you to prove anything to you as I doubt you would believe it if it was in front of your own eyes. Google Muslim Rape Denmark or Sweden or any other european country and see what you come up with. And don't give me that they didn't have fights in the street over that Autrailian Imam's remark, It most certainly did happen! It wasn't that big an event like the LA riots, but it did happen. Just because something doesn't show up in the NYT doesn't mean that it didn't. I know people who live in New Zealand and Austrailia, they usually come and visit up here for the winter. They are well off people and not quaking in their boots, but they are starting to have real problems with muslims who will not assimliate or accept the lifestyle of the locals. Are you seriously going to try to say that they are not? I see in Holland now, they are actually making new immigrants watch a video about Holland lifestyles and telling them, accept it or don't move here. Good for them.

Facts are facts, muslims have a problem with killing their own wives, children and non-believers. Do you dispute that or do you think that it is just a small problem? How many killings are a small problem GMan?

I assume from your name that you work in govt. I could be wrong. I have been in the military and govt jobs almost my whole life and I have met many who have gone overseas to the middle east or some other muslim land and come back sympathizing with them. I never caught that illness. I notice you use the phrase, 'Political islam'. What exactly is that to you? Is that what caused this teenage girl to be killed? Or the two sisters in Texas recently? The whole point of the original conversation here is that it is unacceptable for people to be killing innocent woman and children because they don't conform to the fathers idea of their religion. Is that concept odd to you? It is AMAZING to me how many stupid, foolish god damn Americans will jump up and argue any part of that point or throw in a 'yeah, but'!

Posted by: Bikerken at January 20, 2008 8:26 PM

Just in time, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli has a six part series on Muslim Women Behind Wall of Silence in Germany

Iranian-born Mina Ahadi heads the council of ex-Muslims — a group founded in February that has since spread to other European countries. She has received death threats and is under police protection. She believes Germany has allowed the construction of too many big mosques.

"We want to show to the people that people from the Islamic countries do not have religion as their main identity," she says. "What we want to achieve is that politics acknowledges that there is no alternative to human rights, to women rights, and this is what we are fighting for."

German Policies and Islam

In March, a Frankfurt judge rejected a Muslim woman's request for a fast-track divorce. The woman said her husband beat her, but the judge ruled that the Koran sanctions such physical abuse.

Ahadi says this is an example of German condescension.

Under the guise of religious tolerance, she says, German institutions turn a blind eye to women's rights violations.

Her group's main goal is to fight against both political Islam and German policies that strike compromises with Islamic institutions at the expense of women's rights.

It will be telling to see how Poggioli's series is covered in the net's top tier feminist blogs.

Amy, if I had a suggestion for your blog's template, it would be to change the title tag of each page to include the title of the post itself. I use a browser that supports tags, and having the title in the post does two things:

1) Helps me find the right tag
2) When I drag the tag into a text field (like the one I am typing in) it pretty much creates an "a href" tag correctly filled out with the post's title.

(Thank you!)

Posted by: jerry at January 21, 2008 6:33 AM

Thanks - not sure how that would work, technically, or if it's possible on MT. Will ask mon Gregg.

And thanks for what you posted. Amazing that Germany shuts out the Scientologists, who only want your brain and your money, but leaves out the welcome mat for Islam.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at January 21, 2008 6:40 AM

Amazing that Germany shuts out the Scientologists, who only want your brain and your money, but leaves out the welcome mat for Islam.

Not really amazing, no. Acceptance of a religious community in Germany (and probably in Europe in general) has a lot to do with age and size.

There isn't really a word for cult in German, used for groups like Scientology is Sekte, sect. It is per se not derogative. The definition of sect is that it split off from something. It relates to religion as dialect relates to language. When groups like the Hare Krishnas turned up, they were called Jugendsekten, youth sects.

Adventists, Mormons, or Jehova's Testimonies are viewed as sects, not religions, somewhat frowned upon, but left alone.

Now add to that that traditionally there has been great sympathy for Islam in Germany. Especially 19th century historians tended to extoll its virtues over Christianity in general and Catholicism in special, mainly because it has no organized, privileged clergy and no arcane theology and therefore never saw fit to burn people at the stake over question like those whether people actually or just symbolically eat their god at mass or whether Jesus Christ had a human soul or not, and never had systematic witch-hunts either.

This sympathy has decreased somewhat since it became an immigration issue, but I guess there's still a huge difference to the States where it never was there to begin with.

Posted by: Theodor at January 21, 2008 9:38 AM

There is an outstanding you tube video by british comedian Pat Condell linked on Hot Air right how. He's talking about the Canadien Human Rights Commission, (which has been discussed here recently) and it's a hoot. It's called 'O Dhimmi Canada' AMEN bro!

Posted by: Bikerken at January 21, 2008 10:47 AM

Er, actually Bikerkan, I'm an Aussie, living in the land of Oz. I even live about three street blocks from a mosque. Still, what would I know? But look, you believe what ever it is that feeds your anger and resentment. What I mean by political Islam is that which is practised by those trying to subvert our Western laws and ways of life - as opposed to the hundreds of millions of Muslims just going about their daily lives and not spending all day every day thinking of how they can make your life a misery. I'm sorry but you're the one making the claims about the rape stats, so it's up to you to back up your claims, and I don't mean by repeating the statistics passed around between angry bloggers. You know what they say, 75% of statistics are made up on the spot ;-)

Posted by: GMan at January 21, 2008 10:59 PM

I don't think Islam is any worse than any other religions.
I just don't think much of any of them either. I think being a member of one should generally count as a strike against your right to vote.
I get very worried about my countries, the UK if you were wondering, attitude to Islam as we've got really good at ignoring every other religion in sight.
But for some reason we take them seriously, even their woefully inept mass murderers. Ho hum.

Posted by: Simon at January 23, 2008 8:43 AM

Islam absolutely is worse than other religions.{2B5A1078-50C9-4749-88D0-1B3EA93D1C42}

In the Muslim community, the holy war [i.e. jihad] is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense... They are merely required to establish their religion among their own people. That is why the Israeilites after Moses and Joshua remained unconcerned with royal authority [e.g. a “caliphate”]. Their only concern was to establish their religion [not spread it to the nations]… But Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations (The Muqudimmah, vol. 1 pg. 473, emphasis added). Even when juxtaposed to their Old Testament counterparts, the sword-verses are distinctive for using language that transcends time and space, inciting believers to attack and slay non-believers today no less than yesterday. Yahweh commanded the Hebrews to kill Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—all specific peoples rooted to a specific time and place. At no time did Yahweh give an open-ended command for the Hebrews, and by extension their descendants the Jews, to fight and kill gentiles. On the other hand, though Islam’s original enemies were, like Judaism’s, historical (e.g. Christian Byzantines and pagan Persians), the Koran rarely singles them out by their proper names. Instead, Muslims were (and are) commanded to fight the people of the book—“until they pay tribute with willing submission and feel themselves utterly subdued” (9:29) and to “slay the pagans wherever you find them” (9:5). The two conjunctions “until” and “wherever” demonstrate the perpetual nature of these commandments: there are still “people of the book” who have yet to be “utterly subdued” (especially in the Americas, Europe, and Israel) and “pagans” to be slain “wherever” one looks (especially Asia and sub-Saharan Africa). Aside from the divine words of the Koran, Muhammad’s pattern of behavior—his “Sunna” or “example”—is an extremely important source of legislation in Islam. Muslims are exhorted to emulate Muhammad in all walks of life: “You have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern [of conduct]” (33:21). And Muhammad’s pattern of conduct vis-à-vis non-Muslims is quite explicit. Sarcastically arguing against the concept of “moderate” Islam, terrorist Osama bin Laden, who enjoys half the Arab-Islamic world’s support per a recent al-Jazeera poll, portrays the prophet’s Sunna thus: “Moderation” is demonstrated by our prophet who did not remain more than three months in Medina without raiding or sending a raiding party into the lands of the infidels to beat down their strongholds and seize their possessions, their lives, and their women” (from The Al-Qaeda Reader).

In fact, based on both the Koran and Muhammad’s Sunna, pillaging and plundering infidels, enslaving their children, and placing their women in concubinage is well founded (e.g. 4:24, 4:92, 8:69, 24:33, 33:50, etc.).
While law-centric and legalistic, Judaism has no such equivalent to the Sunna; the words and deeds of the patriarchs, though recorded in the Old Testament, never went on to be part of Jewish law. Neither Abraham’s “white-lies,” nor Jacob’s perfidy, nor Moses’ short-fuse, nor David’s adultery, nor Solomon’s philandering ever went on to instruct Jews or Christians. They were merely understood to be historical actions perpetrated by fallible men who were often punished by God for their less than ideal behavior.

As for Christianity, much of the Old Testament law was abrogated by Jesus. “Eye for an eye” gave way to “turn the other cheek.” Totally loving God and one’s neighbor became supreme law (Matt 22:38-40). Furthermore, Jesus’ “Sunna”—as in “What would Jesus do?”—is characterized by passivity and altruism.

Is your head out from your cheeks now?

(I still can't get over "Ho hum" from your comment above.) You'd better wish for more people like me, sounding the alarm about the reality of Islam, and fewer people like you, yawning all the way to your conversion to Islam or eventual death, as the Muslim population explodes in Britain.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at January 23, 2008 9:02 AM

As for "ignoring every other religion in sight," you've perhaps had Jews recently tell you you weren't allowed to drive from Friday after sunset until sundown on Saturday? It's not the other religions who want to convert, subjugate or kill you...or hadn't you noticed.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at January 23, 2008 9:03 AM

Islam absolutely is worse than other religions.

I would disagree. Take, for example, the Jewish community of Jerusalem and how it was treated by the various rulers of that city:

Hadrian had originally expelled them. None of the Christian emperors ever reversed that edict. They could return during the rule of the (still Zoroastrian) Persians. When Heraklios took the city back, he expelled them again. Only with the Muslim conquest they could return for good.

When the Crusaders came, the Jerusalem Jews gathered in their synagogue. The Crusaders burned the synagogue down, killing everyone inside.

Or, take the fact that after more than a thousand years of uninterrupted Muslim rule, the Coptic Church or the Syriac Church are alive and well (there are about ten million coptic Christians in Egypt). There are no Muslims left in the only two regions reconquered by Christians before 1800: Sicily and Spain. In both cases, the last ones were expelled 120 years after the reconquest.

Posted by: Theodor at January 23, 2008 9:55 PM

Uh, Hadrian lived quite some time ago. We're talking about today, modern times -- except for Muslims who are still slaying the infidel.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at January 24, 2008 12:04 AM

I think western civilization is suffering from the undue influence of "Jewicide" being promoted in the media, law and gov't. Every major pro-Dhimmi organization in the US seems to be run by Jewicidal Jews. What's up with that???? Where are the "Never Again" Jews? Where are the Christians to stand up to both the Muslims and those who agitate daily to become Dhimmis? Oh yeah, they are the ones who get called racist, white-supremecist, xenophobic, anti-semitic etc. They are the ones subject to hate speech laws.

Posted by: Smarty at January 24, 2008 6:10 AM

We're talking about today

I was responding to the argument that Islam is absolutely worse than other religions. Obviously it is pointless to judge something that has existed for more than thirteen centuries by the last 30 or 50 years only.

Posted by: Theodor at January 24, 2008 9:58 AM

Everyone in this forum should read The End of Faith, by Sam Harris. I despise all organized religion and see it as the brainwashing of fools, but I recognize that Islam is the absolute worst among them. Try opening the Koran and randomly pointing to a line. There is one non-violent, non-oppressive verse in the entire book. Read the whole Koran to find it, and then tell me that Islam is not necessarily violent and oppressive. Best of luck.

Posted by: Jessica at January 24, 2008 2:11 PM

Obviously it is pointless to judge something that has existed for more than thirteen centuries by the last 30 or 50 years only.

Actually, it's pointless to go back and dwell on the witch burnings of the Catholic church, to name just one. I have nothing to fear from historical wrongs. In general, I think religion is silly, and belief without evidence that there is a god is backward and ridiculous. I'd leave it at that and think about other things, but for the danger from Islam.

Again, in saying who's "worse," this isn't fodder for a top 10 list, it's a speculation as to whether Muslims will manage to drop-kick the rest of us back to the middle ages. Those of us who live, anyway.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at January 24, 2008 5:00 PM

I think that this is just racessem!!no one has any evadice that her mum and dad did this to her. I am a muslim myself and a perant and none of you know anything about islam. you just are accusing her perants becuse they are muslem.""THAT IS PLAIN RACESSEM!!!""

Posted by: Eman at February 2, 2008 12:09 AM

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