Documenting the very real dangers of the global jihad.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Sweden's Nyamko Sabuni - A Swedish Ayaan Hirsi Ali?
A fighter for women's rights, and an opponent of the the oppressive practices of Islamic extremism, Swedish Minister for Integration and Equality Nyamko Sabuni is often compared to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Both were African immigrants to Europe, both are fighting for women' rights . . . and both have received death threats for their efforts:
In a tall, blond government, a small black woman like Nyamko Sabuni was always going to stand out.
It is, though, the former refugee’s outspoken views that have demanded attention in her adopted Sweden, where she wants a ban on the veil for under-15s and compulsory gynaecological checks for all schoolgirls to protect against genital mutilation masquerading as “female circumcision”.
Her views have led to death threats and round-the-clock protection in Europe’s most tolerant country.
"I will not be scared into silence. I will never accept that women and girls are oppressed in the name of religion.”
Egypt's Mubarak: What's standing in the way of an Israeli-Palestinian peace
Mubarak expressed great concern over the increasing strength of Hamas. He said Egypt is making great efforts to end the Hamas government and support PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah.
"With Hamas no way," he reportedly said.
Mubarak painted a dark picture of the situation with Hamas and said there was no chance for peace with the organization. "Hamas will never sign a peace agreement with Israel if it stays in power," the Egyptian president said.
When the Palestinians elected Hamas to run their government they elected an admitted terrorist organization-- who's purpose is the destruction of Israel, and who's policy includes the use of violence to achieve its political ends. No matter what concessions Israel may make, there can be no peace as long as this terror organization is in power.
Why Don't More Muslims Speak Out Against Islamic Extremism? Part II
Moderate voices Farzana Hassan-Shahid, left, and Tarek Fatah are named explicitly in a hate message left on Muslim Canadian Congress voicemail. The caller warns of "slaughter" unless the "smearing of Islam" stops. (Photo is from the Toronto Star)
Moderate Muslims Farzana Hassan-Shahid and Tarek Fatah have been speaking out against Saudi and Iranian extremist influences on Canadian mosques. As is so often the cases with Muslims who dare to speak up against extremism, they have received death threats:
OTTAWA–Toronto police have launched a hate crime investigation into a phone call from a man who vowed to "slaughter" members of a local Muslim group unless they stop speaking publicly about Islam.
A message left Monday on the voice mail of the secretary general for the Muslim Canadian Congress warned that organization members must "cease from your campaign of smearing Islam" or "I will slaughter you."
The message mentioned congress founder Tarek Fatah and current president Farzana Hassan-Shahid by name. Both have openly criticized the politicization of Islam and alleged influence of Iran and Saudi Arabia in Canadian mosques.
It's not the first time they've been threatened. Hassan-Shahid said since publishing her book Islam, Women and the Challenges of Today, she has been heckled and had her home vandalized.
"But swearing by God that `I will do this and slaughter all of you,' that's pretty chilling," Hassan-Shahid said yesterday.
Fatah says both he and Hassan-Shahid will continue to speak out but are frustrated with the lack of public debate and the inability to air their views without the threat of violence.
"It's the youth I'm trying to reach out to with respect to providing a different perspective on Islam and women's rights and progress in general and nobody seems very interested in even entertaining another viewpoint," Hassan-Shahid said yesterday. (cont'd)
Why Don't More Muslims Speak Out Against Islamic Extremism?
Photo: Norwegian-Somalian Kadra, critic of Imams' support of female genital mutilation
People often wonder: "Where are the Islamic 'moderates'?" Why don't the "moderate" Muslims speak out against the extremists? One reason may be what happens when they do.
When Muslims actually do speak out against Islamic extremism, they receive death threats-- and, in many cases they are actually physically attacked by Muslim fundamentalists.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali was a devout Muslim, born in Somalia. As such, as young girl, she was forced to undergo the cruel practice of "female genital mutilation". She eventually emigrated to the Netherlands, and left Islam.
She is an outspoken critic of Islamic extremism (and had a good platform for expressing her views as she was elected to the Dutch parliament). She teamed up with Theo van Gogh to make Submission, a short film critical of the Islamic abuse of women.
Van Gogh was brutally murdered, and Hirsi Ali is still under constant guard due to the death threats she has received.
Unfortunately, these are not unusual examples. It seems that whenever Muslims speak out against the extremism so prevalent in their religion they become subject to the threat of violence. The Danish cartoonists who published the "Mohammed cartoons" all had to go into hiding. (In the riots and embassy burnings following the publication of the cartoon, over 140 people were murdered-- all over some relatively mild cartoons satirizing Mohammed!)
Kadra is the latest victim of this ongoing violence against critics of Islamic extremism:
Norwegian-Somalian Kadra, who became famous in Norway for exposing imam support of female circumcision, was beaten unconscious on Thursday
Kadra was attacked and beaten senseless by seven or eight persons of Somali origin, newspaper VG reports.
"I was terrified. While I lay on the pavement they kicked me and screamed that I had trampled on the Koran. Several shouted Allah-o-akbar (God is great) and also recited from the Koran," Kadra told VG.
Kadra linked the attack to recent remarks in VG where she said that the Koran's views on women needed to be reinterpreted.
Kadra's role in a 2000 hidden camera TV documentary revealing the positive attitude of Muslim leaders to female circumcision had a massive impact on Norway, and sparked new legislation. (complete article)
For more about FGM ("female circumcision", or "female genital mutilation"), some fascinating information about the life of Ayaan Hirsi Ali , and a video interview of a panel discussion about Islam with Hirsi Ali, Bill Maher and others, click here.
George Bush and the "Neo-Cons," while taking traditionally conservative positions on many issues, have also taken many positions that are the exact opposite of traditional Conservatives, including: allowing a large budget deficit; allowing open borders and illegal immigration; an activist foreign policy; and increasing the role of the federal government (on several social issues, as well as in the War on Terror). Conservatives are changing their traditional positions on many issues.
There has been a lot of recognition of the changes on the "right"-- but not much about changes on the "left". There has been a lot of discussion of Bush' policies, as well as the "Neo-cons" in general, so this post is not about the "new conservatism".
While there has been a lot of attention paid to changes on the political right, I believe that there are significant new trends in the political left, many of which are also the opposite of traditional leftist views-- but this has not received the same amount of attention as those changes on the opposite side of the political spectrum.
Traditionally, the left has considered themselves to be tolerant and open-minded-- currently there seems to be a large movement in the opposite direction. (To cite one example: in the past, when someone who's views they disagreed with were to speak somewhere, leftists would picket and hand out literature. More and more now, the trend has been to disrupt the speaker in an attempt to totally silence him).
In the past, leftists were strongly in favor of freedom of expression-- now many are taking the lead in arguing for the suppression of free speech, as well as being in support of other forms of government censorship.
Traditionally, the left has defended the rights of minorities-- recently there has been quite a bit of anti-Semitism expressed in leftist circles...and it is becoming more and more acceptable there. In addition, other forms of bigotry are beginning to appear.
It seems that there is a large part of the left that is abandoning traditional liberal positions, and becoming increasingly hypocritical.
While not much has been expressed publicly about this, I have seen two unusually perceptive commentaries-- one from a liberal, one from a conservative.
Peter Tatchell is a British human rights activist He has unusually good insights into what is happening, and doesn't let "political correctness" stop him from mentioning it:
WHY HAS THE LEFT GONE SOFT ON HUMAN RIGHTS?
Large sections of liberal and left opinion have gone soft on their commitment to universal human rights. They rightly condemn the excesses of UK and US government policy, but rarely speak out against oppressors who are non-white or adherents of minority faiths.
There are no mass protests against female genital mutilation, forced marriages, the stoning of women and gender apartheid in the Middle East. A perverse interpretation of multiculturalism has resulted in race and religion ruling the roost in a tainted hierarchy of oppression.
In the name of "unity" against Islamophobia and racism, much of the left tolerates misogyny and homophobia in minority communities. It rejects common standards of rights and responsibilities; demanding that we "make allowances" and show "sensitivity" with regard to the prejudices of ethnic and faith communities.
This attitude is patronising, even racist. It judges minority peoples by different standards.
Some liberals and left-wingers mute their condemnation of intolerance when it emanates from non-white people; whereas they would strenuously denounce similar prejudice if it was being vented by whites against blacks or by Christians against Muslims. They argue that we have to "understand" bigots from racial and religious minorities; yet few of them ever urge the same "understanding" of white working class bigots.
We have long experienced the hypocrisy of the political right. In the name of defending "freedom", many conservatives defended the very unfree regimes of Franco's Spain and Pinochet's Chile. Alarmingly, this selective approach to human rights is now echoed by sections of the left, with their lack of protests against the murderous regimes in Iran, Zimbabwe and Sudan.
President Mugabe has massacred more black Africans than PW Botha in South Africa. In contrast to the global anti-apartheid movement, there are no worldwide protests to support the Zimbabwean struggle for democracy.
Why does a black tyrant murdering black people merit less outrage than a white tyrant murdering black people?
He has many more perceptive observations. I highly recommending that you read it all.
The second commentary I have recently come across is a talk by Evan Sayet, a conservative and former former speech writer for Bill Maher. Not surprisingly, as a conservative he is quite critical of liberals, but I believe he also has some keen insights into the "new liberalism".
While I don't necessarily agree with all that he says, I believe he makes some excellent observations-- this guy is really sharp. (In fact, some of what he say is amongst the most perceptive commentary I've heard on the issue).
The video is fairly long and get off to a slow start, but really picks up after the first minute or two:
Unfortunately, Wahhabism, the Saudi type of Islam, is full of bigotry and intolerance.
This rather shocking video shows the type of hatred towards the kufr (infidels, or "non-believers") being taught in the King Fahd Academy in England and, in fact, by Saudi sponsored institutions throughout the world. (Btw, notice the attempt at taqiyya, the Islamic practice of deception, by the spokesperson for the school):
In addition to using their oil wealth to indoctrinate children in schools, the Saudis are also the main contributors to mosques worldwide. (cont'd here)
Disturbing news has emerged that Baha’i kids in primary and high schools in Iran are being bullied and vilified by their teachers and school administrators.
Young Baha’is are being forced to identify themselves as Baha’is. They then have to endure a catalogue of abuses. Among other thing, they’re insulted and degraded in front of their classmates and pressured to convert to Islam.
One Baha’i reports that children in Kermanshah were called to the front of the classroom and reduced to tears by being forced to listen to insults against their Faith.
A Baha’i student, accepted for study at an art institute, was followed and seized by the authorities. This student was blindfolded and beaten. Not once. Not twice. But three times. (Read it all)
Al-Qaeda Now Threatens to Assassinate the Dalai Lama!
Koran 3:85 "Whoso desires another religion than Islam, it shall not be accepted of him". Ingenious ways to torture: A Baha'i being executed in Iran 19th Century. (This picture is from an excellent collection of pictures at the Faith Freedom site: Learn About Islam Through Pictures.
Many westerners assume that the worldwide jihad (holy war) is only against Jews and Christians. However, Islamic fundamentalists feel that following any path other than Islam is an abomination. The Australian reports on a recent al-Qaeda threat to assassinate the Dalai Lama:
Terror Group's Threat Raises Dalai Lama Alert
SECURITY surrounding the Dalai Lama has been tightened after reports of an attempt by the al-Qa'ida-linked terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba to assassinate the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader. A three-tier security ring has been thrown around the 72-year-old Buddhist head, who lives at Dharamsala, in the Himalayan foothills, Indian police spokesman Prem Lal said.
All those approaching the exiled Tibetan chief will be closely watched by highly trained Tibetan security guards as well as heavily armed deployments of Indian police.
Visitors are being body-searched before being allowed to approach him.
The Dalai Lama is scheduled to make a widely anticipated 11-day visit to cities and regional centres across Australia in early June, making both free and ticketed appearances at public lectures, blessings and teaching sessions. Before that, he will visit the US.
In a recent document, Osama bin Laden denounced "pagan Buddhism" as part of his general attack on anything not Islamic." (Full Article)
This shouldn't come as a surprise . . . Islam not only believes that it is the only true path, but the Koran has many verses explaining Islam's views on infidels (non-believers), and specifically how they should be dealt with. For example:
Koran 8:12 “I shall terrorize the infidels. So wound their bodies and incapacitate them because they oppose Allah and His Apostle.”
Koran 8:39 “Fight them until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”
Koran 9:5 "Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, lie in ambush everywhere for them".
There are numerous fundamentalist Islamic groups worldwide perpetrating horrendous acts of terrorism in the name of jihad-- Al Qaeda is one of the better known ones. Here's an online Flash presentation of Al-Qaeda attacks since 1998-- how many do you remember?
(The Gates of Vienna weblog has a really excellent article about how almost all the destruction suffered by Buddhist culture has happened through Islam)
On the front lines against global jihad - women of the IDF
Israel is a tiny country, about the size of New Jersey. Because they are surrounded by hostile neighbours who wish to annihilate them, they find themselves on the front lines in the fight against global jihad.
As such, they must devote extraordinary time and energy towards merely surviving. This include the necessity of drafting women to serve as soldiers in their army (the Israel Defense Forces, or "IDF" ).
Israel is such a mall country that no place is far from the borders of unfriendly neighbours. Most people are not aware of just how tiny this country is. To get an idea of Israel's small size, here are two maps comparing its size with two neighbouring countries:
Click the picture for more Israel size comparison maps. (If you're wondering how all this came to be, here is a really excellent online slideshow that explains it: History in a Nutshell).
Video (above)- collection of photos of Israel's female soldiers. (Hattip: Vital Perspective )
Video: Ayaan Hirsi Ali & Bill Maher - Panel Discussion of Islam
Is Islam a religion of peace? A panel discussion (shown in this Youtube video) has some people who know a lot about Islam (and several people who don't!) all expressing their opinions: Steven Weber, Bill Maher, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). They discuss terror, religion, and freedom. Hirsi Ali outshines them all-- her presentation is quite knowledgeable, clear and to the point.
Watching the video, I was very impressed with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She really has an in depth understanding of Islam, having been raised as a Muslim.
In contrast, it amazing how some of the others on the panel really don't know much about the subject and are obviously merely repeating politically correct cliches they've heard. (Actually, I think a lot of people in the media don't really know a lot about Islam, so they repeat politically correct things, and try to sound like they know what they're talking about).
Here are some brief excerpts from this article about Ayaan Hirsi Ali:
Born in Somalia, her family lived in Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya. As a young Muslim girl, she was forced to undergo the cruel practice of female genitalmutilation (AKA "FGM", or "female circumcision").
Later, following Saddam's invasion of the fundamentalist Islamic Republic of Iran, she sympathised with Iran and the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and also wore a hijab. She supported the fatwa against British writer Salman Rushdie following the publication of his controversial novel The Satanic Verses.
She moved to the Netherlands in 1992, where she worked as an interpreter and translator for Somali women in asylum centers and hostels for battered women. She saw firsthand the way certain practices she thought she had left behind in Africa continued in the West, as well as the workings of the Dutch immigration system, and became severely critical of the way it handled asylum seekers.
Inspired by The Atheist Manifesto she renounced Islam and became an atheist writing a book called De Zoontjesfabriek (The Son Factory) that criticized Islamic culture, which is a dangerous thing to do. Not surprisingly, after its publication she received death threats for the first time. (cont'd)