Islamic hypocrisy or just plain ignorance?

The papers are full of the story of Gillian Gibbons, a 54-year old mother and teacher, who was jailed for several days in Sudan for allowing the children in her school class to name a teddy bear ‘Mohammed’. She was shopped to the authorities by a fellow school teacher. But that was only half the story: the local imams were calling for her execution and inciting crowds of people to demonstrate for the death penalty. Shamefully, the Sudanese government seems to have decided to play the situation for all it was worth, now deciding to release Mrs Gibbons to general grovelling and bowing from the British MPs who went to Sudan to beg for her release.

The subtext to all of these shameful shenanigans is the central issue of “respect” for Islam and its related superstitions and cultural hang-ups. Ms Gibbons was quoted as saying, “I have great respect for the Islamic religion…”. Quite. She knew that at heart the issue was about paying due respect to the authorities in the Sudan.

And all of this follows hot on the heels of stories about a rape victim being given 200 lashes as punishment for her part in her own gang rape.

No right thinking person can have “respect” for religions that rely on bizarre and draconian laws to enforce their will. No one in the West can truely respect their attitudes to women, homosexuals, science, apostates, writers or artists who “defame” Islam, and myriad other groups of unfortunate minorities. While doing all of this, Islamicists simultaneously adopt the endless mantras: that Islam is a religion of peace; that Islam respects women; that Islam is a force for good. Yada yada.

It is not a force for good. It does not promote peace. It is backward, medieval, stupid, crude, fanatical, and plain wrong on just about everything. They keep their subject people’s in thrall using propoganda, mass brain washing, the execution of apostates as a matter of policy, and extreme laws. Rule through ignorance and fear.

I may be accused of Islamophobia. If that word means, literally, “fear of Islam”, then I am guilty, I am Islamophobic. If it means that “I hate Islam”, then I am also guilty. But I am not personal about it: I pass Muslims in Dublin everyday of the week. I buy food in their shops and coffee in their cafes. I neither bear them a grudge or harbour a hatred of them, as people. Indeed, I have found them to be uniformly helpful and friendly. But their official religious beliefs are what horrify me.

And it goes without saying that I do not, i) demonstrate in the street for the murder of Muslims, or ii) advocate that they be killed, or executed, or otherwise punished for their beliefs, or iii) that I advocate any kind of cultural war or West vs. East WWIII kind of situation.

But I do think it is high time that Western culture stands up for itself and stop the hand-wringing and apologies and showing “respect” to Islam. We’ve given the world everything from classical music, Shakespeare, the mobile phone, the Internet, the chip, television, democracy, modern laws, freedom of speech, women’s emancipation, soccer, and the car. And what do we get from Islam? Everytime that question is asked, there follows the usual litany of medieval architecture, Islamic art, mathematics and chemistry (via algorithms and alchemy, both Arabic), and so on. But all of these developments happened hundreds of years ago. What have they given us recently? Nothing but fatwahs and death threats and repressive governments and mass killings on September 11th. Their culture is bankrupt. They cannot lead the world on any science or art or music or literature, because it is bankrupt of new ideas.

So before we go further, let’s ask the Muslim’s themselves what they’re about. Find out what they do with apostates, or raped women, or evolution (that last is no more whacky or ridiculous than Christian creationism, but so what?).

The basic truth is that any paternalistic, medieval, book-based religion is bound to be wrong on just about everything that matters. Life is too complex to be looked at through the prism of a book of inherently obscure writings handed down through the generations from revered prophets. When combined with poverty, exclusion, and the sense that their culture is headed for oblivion, it is a toxic brew. It is a disaster. The only hope is for a gradual period of containment followed by the slow withering and dying out of these beliefs. Otherwise, the world may have to confront the ultimate threat of nuclear war with fanatics, from Iran, Pakistan, or some other nuclear-armed regime in the Middle East. 

Worst of all, it makes me feel like George Bush or Dick Cheney. And that is awful.  

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16 Comments

  1. Debt_collector said,

    December 3, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    you forgot oil! If God forbid Muslims stopped oil wouldn’t the west be sent back to stone age? Isn’t that why Bush and Brown are tyring to take over Iraq and Afghanistan to secure oil? Frankly, if Musilms decided to stop oil the West would go back to dark ages.

    I am sorry you are wrong, the West depends on Muslim world and thats why it has to take alot of crap from them. Can’t believe you missed that one out. lol

  2. samaha said,

    December 3, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    “So before we go further, let’s ask the Muslim’s themselves what they’re about. Find out what they do with apostates, or raped women, or evolution (that last is no more whacky or ridiculous than Christian creationism, but so what?).”

    1.) apostasy – I’ve always been a firm believer that apostasy is something that should be judged by Allah – it is not for me to declare someone an apostate and I go as far as to not consider those who are self-proclaimed apostates as apostates. I have two sisters-in-law that were for most of the 19 years we have known each other self declared apostates. I have loved, respected and appreciated them always. If you take a look around throughout the Muslim blogs – you’ll see a grave concern in regards to the subject of apostasy.

    2.) Rape – If you go beyond the so-called Islamic state sentences and look at how their citizens actually feel in regards to this subject, you’ll see that their is outrage over this – their are activists that are working on this. You can see regular citizens of these countries actively showing their disgust for the matter. Again – if you look at Muslim bloggers reactions to this – you’ll see that they are taking action in terms of the particular case you have pointed to. On my blog – I have an action alert and a small sample of posts in regards to the matter. The activism that has occured and has brought action from the Saudi Prince guaranteeing an appeal for the young woman. While I initially believed that overruling the sentence may have been better – providing precedence in such a case in a supposedly changing Saudi legal system may be the better route.

    3.) Evolution – I’ve always believed in evolution and feel that it doesn’t contradict my faith. Islamic countries teach evolution without the chaos that we tend to see here in the US – there’s no push to teach creationism in science classes. That’s not to say that there aren’t those that preach that evolution is not compatable with Islam but I think that evolution is more of a non-issue when it comes to most Muslims.

    Earlier in this post you stated: “While doing all of this, Islamicists simultaneously adopt the endless mantras: that Islam is a religion of peace; that Islam respects women; that Islam is a force for good. Yada yada.”

    I don’t think that “Islamists” are preaching that Islam is a religion of peace. (I’m under the assumption that you are differentiating between moderates and extremists and that when you refer to “Islamists” you are referring to extremists.) While yes, they are claiming that Islam respects women (and show us the exact opposite) and that Islam is a force for good (only for Muslims) I think that “Islamists” have to rely heavily upon not making Islam a religion of peace and justifying the extremes that they are willing to go to.

    When I read this: “I may be accused of Islamophobia. If that word means, literally, “fear of Islam”, then I am guilty, I am Islamophobic. If it means that “I hate Islam”, then I am also guilty. But I am not personal about it: I pass Muslims in Dublin everyday of the week. I buy food in their shops and coffee in their cafes. I neither bear them a grudge or harbour a hatred of them, as people. Indeed, I have found them to be uniformly helpful and friendly. But their official religious beliefs are what horrify me.”

    We’re human beings – we are inclined to be fearful and fear is a human quality that we can not just dispell from our lives as it serves to protect us – it’s a reflexive that serves in terms of fight or flight. However, hate is something that we can control. It is absolutely necessary for us to do so and to instill in our children the absence of it and replace it with tolerance if we as a human race are going to evolve into decent human beings. It is something that is common to everyone whether we are religious or non-religious, just as is greed. To think that the absence of religion would be the end of all conflict is a mistake. Hate, greed and the human tendency towards nationalism/tribalism will still create an atmosphere in which conflicts will arise. ie – you can take religion out of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and you will still have two culturally different groups that will want division on the basis of nationality – you will still have a greed aspect in terms of who should have how much land – you will still have a hate aspect in terms of what each has done to the other over the long history of the land. While greed and the human tendency to tribalize may be qualities of the human race that will be more difficult to address and to recognize, hate is a trait that we are quite adapt at recognizing within ourselves and we should be compelled to cast it out of our lives and instill within our children the absolute necessity to keep it out of their lives.

    I love that you stated that we should ask Muslim what they think when you wrapped up your post as it opens a door to dialogue but I’d love to see you ask these questions of the Muslims in Dublin that you have found to be helpful in your every day life – you just may be surprised at the answer you recieve.

    Also, I thought you might like to read this post as it addresses thoughts in regards to apostates, fear and hate – through some of my own experiences in life: http://samaha.wordpress.com/2007/10/12/responding-to-ayaan-hirsi-ali-abandoned-to-fanatics/

  3. shazgood said,

    December 4, 2007 at 12:10 am

    Good posting Samaha, you seem very reasonable. Your points are well made too. I will read your posting to learn more, thanks.

  4. December 4, 2007 at 6:00 pm

    Samaha: However much the person on the street may feel, the powers that be are a significant force. Whenever religion and government are mixed, it only serves to corrupt the religion and negate any good it may serve. That is what’s so scary.

  5. samaha said,

    December 4, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    shazgood – thank you. I think you may enjoy looking over my blogroll – there are many Muslim blogs that you may find interesting.

    Liquid Egg Product – I agree. Although, I think that within the Muslim world that government and religion are going to mix for quite a while .. that’s the reality of it. Right now government has entered Islam and not the other way around which affirms your statement that it serves to corrupt religion and negate any good it may serve. It’s such a complex topic but I think that in the long run .. the Middle East will sooner turn to religion to turn the government around .. as democracy can be compatible with Sharia. That’s just one reason why it is important to consider what the person on the street thinks .. moreso amongst those that actually live within these Islamic states.

    If I may suggest some reading on the matter – there is a book called “The Great Theft, Wrestling Islam from the Extremists” by Khaled Abou El Fadl which is an easy read that explains how Islamic jurisprudence used to work and how it has changed over the past hundred years or so. It goes into detail in regards to the wahabi influence.

    I’m not a fan of mingling church and state and also find it scary but in the case of Islamic countries I think separation of church and state will have to be a process of evolving and of being something that that society will have to choose for itself. I think we’ve allready seen that we can’t shove a democracy down a societies throat. So, I think it is important to look at what would be the quickest way to speed up this evolution while ASAP getting these countries to abide by human rights guidelines.

  6. December 7, 2007 at 1:51 am

    Very good post and the reply from Samaha was amusing and yet so predictable.

    We have an articulate and seemingly “educated” muslim trying earnestly to assure us that as usual all these aberrations do not represent the true nature or meanings of ISLAM.

    Put simply I do not need to be “educated” about the workings and or meanings/machinations of ISLAM thank you very much. From what I have already seen and observed of ISLAM I for one am in doubts about its utter stupidity and absurdness.

    As with most religions it makes all manner of crazy claims. For those either stupid enough to believe them or those unfortunate enough to have been born into such cultures and thus indoctrinated from birth there is little chance of a free thinking independent mind.

    Hence the hordes of “moderates” who try appear “reasonable” or even “rational” are ultimately delusional and in total denial. The thing is that this would be and is all fine if it was just something that was kept private and not imposed upon others but sadly that is not how religion works.

    Still in the case of christianity it has for the most part managed to sideline itself to the extent that most people are culturally christian but actually indifferent to its so called theology.

    In the case of ISLAM this is not the true and in fact at best ISLAM tends towards relatively benign fascism or in the case of more pronounced versions of ISLAM totally pernicious and vile forms of facism as evidenced by both the SHIA brand in Iran [with all manner of barbarity and savageness] and the Sunni brand of Whaibism [again with all manner of barbarity and savageness]

    Then we have the wonderful “secular” Turkey in which writers are facing jail for well, for what they wrote or published! Thats only the tip of the iceberg as we all know that for all the supposed secularity of Turkey it is about 98 percent muslim [ a percentagewhich is a common feature in so called islamic countries] This same nation has ambitions to be part of of the EU and the fools in the west actually indulge this dumb idea all the time.

    This idea by the way instead of the far more reasonable and sane idea of embracing Turkey as a friend but just not a marriage partner [no union-ever] for the obvious reason that we are not compatible, at least not for another few hundred years anyway.

    While it is important to see that muslims are people first and not just indoctrinated slaves to ISLAM and its nefarious and mind numbing nonsense which is so stultifying as to hold backmillions of people all over the world. We must also accept the fact of this great evilin the world [ISLAM] and find ways to render it irrelevant and marginal.

    As for the assertion that the west depends on the oil of the “muslim countries” that is just nonsense too. If the west was ever in such a precarious state then you can be sure that it would no be long before the west would be overcome by its own needs to morph into different regimes something akin to Nazi germany or British or French colonialism from the past all waiting to be practised by a military giant like the USA which would not be long in destroying the muslim countries if its needs where so badly put at risk.Not a nice thought but just the awful reality of the way the world works.

    In a sense it is not a million miles from the truth to suggest that if there ever is a major and sustained conflict of interests between the west and the muslim world then the muslim world will be the ultimate loser and be wiped off the face of the earth as a meaningful presence. I dont say that it right or good just that it is the only end result of islam becoming ever more political and the tragedy of the holocaust will be nothing compared to waht the muslims would suffer in a world transformed by polar extermes along the lines of anti west and pro islamo conflict.

    The west will be civilized and peacful [relatively anyway] so long as it can sustain its own interests. When the situation comes that threatens all this then the west will morph into something very ugly and dangerous politics and civilization are very fragile and in the right [wrong]circumstances can take a major step backwards in order to continue to go forward. ISLAM and the muslim world gets in the way of that at its own peril. Morality will have little to do with it.

    We will all be losers but none more so than the muslim world.

  7. samaha said,

    December 7, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    “Put simply I do not need to be “educated” about the workings and or meanings/machinations of ISLAM thank you very much. From what I have already seen and observed of ISLAM I for one am in doubts about its utter stupidity and absurdness.”

    Why not? You make statements such as these:

    “In a sense it is not a million miles from the truth to suggest that if there ever is a major and sustained conflict of interests between the west and the muslim world then the muslim world will be the ultimate loser and be wiped off the face of the earth as a meaningful presence. I dont say that it right or good just that it is the only end result of islam becoming ever more political and the tragedy of the holocaust will be nothing compared to waht the muslims would suffer in a world transformed by polar extermes along the lines of anti west and pro islamo conflict.”

    Don’t you think it is of the utmost importance that we do understand how it works so that we can come up with alternative and productive approaches so that it would never come to this? If you don’t, well then – after taking into account the sum of your whole comment – I find you no different than the Islamic extremists that would curtail my American freedoms for the sake of their own agenda. You only prove my points that without religion human nature will still exists and we’d be no better off.

  8. December 12, 2007 at 5:29 am

    You have it all wrong Samaha.

    Your freedoms will only be curtailed because of islam and its effects on nationas and peoples.

    Islam is so absurd and silly that people really need to stand back and actually think about what it claims are. At least with the Christian thing most people are more or less immune to its actual so called theology. In other words people dont take it seriously and it is just the cultural practices and rituals that are so a part of the western society and values. The importance of the individual and the more progressive notions of “christian tolerance” which is more often than not pretty ok.

    By contrast islam implores people to “submit to the will of god” while on a practical level it finds it way into almost every aspect of peoples lives,that stupidity about praying 5 times a day and having people being called to prayer is so silly and dated.

    Islam is just a far worse version of the Judeo Christian tradition but with plenty of bad bits added.It stems from a region and people whose circumstance and nature is or was essentially very bellicose and primative.

    All that would be fine if Islam was able to be just a private set of beliefs, instead it is a whole set of beliefs and values which impinge on everyday life to a corrupting and degrading effect.

    I would say that Islam is worse than Nazism by far as with that it was mere ideology and it can be tried and tested and then exposed with all its failings whereas when the same all enveloping fanaticism is the case with islam there is no reason or rational thought. As then people just invoke a super natural being and start saying really dumb things like it is the will of god etc etc

    Whether you like it or not the evidence for islams nefarious and pernicous nature on human being is overwhelming overall. It is a dead end religion that has no future and as muslims become ever more rich and free then islam will go the same way as the other crazy religions.

    it just might take a very long time and a great deal of suffering by mostly muslim people before it starts to turn a corner and becomeas irrelevant to peoples lives as it badly needs to be.

    The Koran is an even sillier book than the bible and the whole bronze age mindset that sees people even indulge let alone take heed of what is in these ancient holy books or scriptures which should be seen in the context the ignorance that abounded in their time.

    Mohamed was a crazy bastard who was also a horny and somewhat perverted man who nowadays might be classed as simply sick in the head or and TOTALLY BONKERS.

    Jesus by comparison was merely a harmless hippy type fool who meant well and from what can be guessed at had his heart in the right place and wished for peaceful things. Mohamad was just a dangerous nutcase either doing far too many drugs or just a sick bastard with a very twisted mind.

    Marrying a 6 yearold girl and then “consumating” the marriage is prety sick even when you allow for the different morality of then and now. Humans are now far more moral now than they ever were then. [which is not saying perhaps too much considering our current world with all its injustice and ills]

    Get with reality- forget all the nonsense you have been brought up to believe- think for yourself and try work things out logical and independently and then you will leave all the wasteful superstition behind you and be a far more rounded person.

  9. December 12, 2007 at 5:35 am

    The consummating took place apparently when the girl was 9! Even allwing for the girl being post pubescent it says a lot about what a dirty old man mohamed was – In my humble opinion of course

    other might find it ok for such conduct so long as somewhere there is a holy book or scripture to excuse or explain away such sick behaviour

  10. samaha said,

    December 12, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    Okay billy boy – I guess you know my religion far better than I ever could. I guess you know Muslims far better than I ever could. I give up. I’ll just once again go from a Muslim back to believing that there is no god, maybe dabble once again in all the scriptures and maybe this time the outcome will be different.

    ~rolling my eyes~

    God, how I love the selective wannabe scholars….

  11. December 12, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Actually you dont need to “not believe in god” [I certainly dont] BUT you could consider rising above the truly infantile nonsense that is Islam – and for that matter all religions- and instead live a good life and consider, if you prefer, that yes there may well be a supernatural being such as a god and there is nothing stupid about wanting to believe in a deity or some divine source of all that we know or could ever know of the universe or multiverse -in case a multiverse is the reality too?

    It is far more important to be an ethical person as best as you can and do to others as you would like them to do to you. If you do this ALONE then all else will be fine.

    if you wanted to be really free then you really need to reflect upon how you came to be a muslim in the first place and then try to imagine if you had been brought up in China or Thailand or Japan or even Sweden and consider how much of your religion is based on on mere circumstances as opposed to any innate value of the beliefs handed down to you by other who in turn had their beliefs handed down to them etc etc.

    This is not to suppose that you could not be a muslim in any of the countries I have listed here as they all have muslim population [which by the way can all too often be short hand for: muslims = problems.

    We will just assume that you were brought up in the default beliefs sytem that pertains in each of those countries and then try to imagine how different your whole world view might be.

    When you can do that and be honest with yourself that you can break free of your own indoctrination you will then be free to evaluate the relative merits of any belief system so much better than before and be able to thibk in a more rational and objective manner.

  12. samaha said,

    December 12, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    I was born and raised in America and lived in ex-Yugoslavia (the region that is now known as Bosnia) for one year…

    I allready do unto others as I would have them do unto me and am the best person I could be – so what’s the problem that I am doing it as a Muslim?

    Not only that but it was required of me by my father to read the bible, jewish scriptures and the Quran, philosophical works, theological works, to trust in science as well as trust in faith. I’m NOT Muslim because of “mere circumstances”.

  13. December 13, 2007 at 2:51 am

    Well it is nice to hear that you already do as is universally suggested as best practise for a good life = do onto others etc etc.

    But you are indeed a muslim because of mere circumstance. Had the ottoman empire not reached so far into Europe as to cause many orthodox christians to convert to islam and establish an islamic population in what we know now as the ex yugo and other places like bulgaria and albania/kosovo then you would have been bosnian or and serbian depending on the various historical happenings throughout time of course.

    Point is, at least being a European you have the advantage of that cultural heritage as opposed to the more looney and backward [lets say in this case Turkish culture/experience – its all relative. I got nothing against Turkey or the Turks but the fact is they are more backward as a nation and have been for quite a while now.] There are many different levels to this topic of course so it is hard to to be misunderstood or pegged into a particular groove when trying to make some points.

    Being a muslim or someone of “Faith” is intellectually a dead end- it simply cannot be justified and is, as the term that is all the rage now says DELUSIONAL it really makes no sense and cannot be squared with inteligent and independent rational thought. Which is not to say that there are a great many inteligent people who have the knack of being able to compartmentalize to the extent of being able to say they “belief” and have “faith” etc etc.

    Like do you really believe that “GOD” Spoke to this guy Mohamad and then offered dictation to the extent claimed? Never mind the Angel gabriel and his magic powers and special abilities which are remarably similar to the super magical powers of Jesus before him.

    Come off it! The whole thing is an elaborate concoction that got out of hand and was invented by frail and ignorant human beings who hardly knew any better.The problem with muslims is that they actually allow islam to be taken seriously and then all the so called precepts of this faith become like law [well we do have such a thing as sharia law] and something by which people not merely have a private belief in but something which like nazism has an angel and an answer for everything, Or at least reference everything back to this faith when it comes to how they conduct their lifes.

    You being a good daughter took the “advice” of your father and thus have been indoctrineated effectively.

    How could it be otherwise? Now had you not been encouraged or brought up as a muslim and in fact had merely been aware of it as a subject of academic interest along side many other religions and then been told at 18 to choose you coud at least make a case for really “choosing” islam but in reality this was never the case. as sad and unfair as it is to say it Islam does = problems. In China they cause problems in Thailand, In Malaysia and yes in Bosnia etc etc.

    Now we know that the serbs were the bad guys in the yugo wars but anyway just imagine if there had nit been any issue if islam and you can see that is terrible hinderence to human progress. At leats with the christianity it can be more easily marginalised and sidelined. Islam does not allow for this and you only have to look at any place/country where islam is the majority religion and you see how it hold people back.

    It is all well and good being a muslim in a liberal demcracy where the majority of people are practically indifferent to religion, as such societies ironically are generall far more tolerant of any muslim country.

    Simple question for you then.

    Do you wear a hijab or any other clothing that is particular to your muslim “faith”?

  14. samaha said,

    December 13, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    1. My father’s motto was that I would be Muslim by choice and not by birth and hence the reason for his having me read other scriptures and philosphical works. So – yes – I was encouraged to choose.

    2. I’m going to just stay off the topic of what I honestly believe because there is no sense to us debating whether there is a god or not or whether certain things are possible. That was not the point of me posting to this thread nor does it reflect any productive conversation. To each his own.

    3. Your statement of knowing that the serbs were the bad guys but then turning it around to what if Islam hadn’t been an issue is utter bullshit. I’m sorry but that’s just pathetic. Let me tell you what if .. if there were no Islam blah blah blah .. they would have been slaughtering the Catholics that would have lived en masse in the region. If there was no Catholocism they would have been slaughtering whoever lived there that wanted democracy over communism. It was a nationalistic territorial dispute which used religion and political aspirations as an excuse.

    4. Do I wear Hijab or any other clothing that is particular to my muslim faith? I do not wear a scarf. I basically dress in a t-shirt and jeans when at home and in suits when at work. However, I have a daughter that has chosen to wear a scarf and generally wears a head scarf and jilbab. On occasion she’ll wear baggy jeans and baggy shirts but always wear a scarf. This was her own choice – it was a choice she made knowing the debate that goes on in terms of what is hijab and for now she has chosen this. She is free to cover or uncover her hair as she pleases.

  15. December 14, 2007 at 4:24 am

    sad

    your daughter would certainly not be doing the hijab stuff if she did not see her self through the prism of the religious upbringing or heritage.

    Whether there is a god or not is indeed an open question but the lack of any evidence suggests far more likely that thee is no such thing but it is not by any means impossible – we just can know.

    Personally I dont mind people who say they are agnostic or believe in some sort of a deity but RELIGION is a different matter thus all these crazy religions which claim to know there is a god and even know the mind of god and its sensibilities on any range of topics [like wearing a hijab!] are ALL STUPID AT THEIR CORE though naturally there is plenty of practical well thought out concepts in all religions too if seen from the perspective of each brand of religion.

    Why intelligent people like you cannot see the reality of religion and in your case Islam for what it is and living your life and define yourself as a muslim so much is beyond me,

    Surely you can see that by being so preoccupied in defining yourself and presenting yourself as a muslim your effectively brand yourself and create your own stereotype.

    Why can you just be YOU and you may happen to have various beliefs that pertain to you and your own perception of the world. I mean I am Irish but really such a tag is only but a small part of who I actually really am on the intellectual level. I dont claim to know or have the answers to questions about issues of god or such like but I know rubbish and nonsense when I see/hear it.

    Christianity is complete nonsense too as are all the religions but I dont mind appreciating all the wonderful by products of the culture be it muslim christian or any other. The good is far out weighed by the good but still I can be quite happy to celebrate chrsitmass coz that is a tradition and its harmless enough. In the case that I lived in an islamiccountry then Id be happy to celebrate whatever festival that is going on so long as I dont have to get involved in any of the religious stuff in a literal sense.

    I had a look at your blog and it struck me the amount of links to islamic stuff which underlines my point about being so preoccupied with it. My discomfort is that it suggests that you define yourself through the prism of islam instead of just being an inteligent person with your own views and perspectives on things. which is not to suggest one need deny ones background, rather that while identity and a sense of beling to a particualr tribe or group is universal mostly it is not needed.

    I would be just as critical of a person with plenty of of links to a christian websites and who in fact more likely regard such a person as a nut far more quickly compared with you because people in the christian countries adn the west generally have a far more likelyhood that they are more free of their religion and exposed to more alternate ways of thinking.

    In your case it is great that your dad suggest that you check out other religions but it seems funny to consider you “choose” the very one that would be most convenient and simple for your own emotional sustanence and comfort.

    Goodness forbid you would have ever have turned around to your dad and said to him one day- OH BTW dad yeah that ISLAM thing seems to be clearly a load of nonsense to me and I wont be wasting any time on that crazy stuff- but of course thats just my take on it dad and if it works for you then fine?

    Well this would not be a big dealone way or the other in my family and my father or mother may or may not agree but they would care less as they love my sisters regardless. The usa is a bit backward in this regard compared to europe but the chances of a western person being able to do this compared to anyone in the muslim world is far greater.

    People can believe whatever they like but when it comes to religions they come with so much baggage that we have to be \very careful of people who invoke their religious beliefs in any public domain.

    Your daughter is clearly suing islam as a way to mark herself out and or perhaps a form of rebellion or expression. In of itself it could be harmless but sadly all too often the us and the them becomes the defining set of relationships which emerge
    Imagine

    It is also

  16. David said,

    December 18, 2007 at 1:27 am

    Sorry, my ten foot pole is on backorder.


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