Prager U Video: Why Don’t Feminists Fight for Muslim Women

silence

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on why this matters more than ever.

Truth Revolt, June 27, 2016:

Are women oppressed in Muslim countries? What about in Islamic enclaves in the West? Are these places violating or fulfilling the Quran and Islamic law?

In Prager University’s newest video, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an author and activist who was raised a devout Muslim, describes the human rights crisis of our time, asks why feminists in the West don’t seem to care, and explains why immigration to the West from the Middle East means this issue matters more than ever.

Check out the short video above. Transcript below:

Culture matters. It ‘s the primary source of social progress or regression. Nowhere do we see this more clearly than in the status of women. The Judeo-Christian culture — and perhaps a more apt word is civilization — has produced over time the law codes, language and material prosperity that have greatly elevated women’s status.

But this progress is not shared everywhere.

There are still hundreds of millions of people that live in a culture  — the Islamic, for instance — that takes female inferiority for granted. Until recently, these cultures — the Western and the Islamic — were, for the most part, separated. But that is changing. Dramatically so.

Large numbers of immigrant men from the Middle East, South Asia and various parts of Africa have brought a different set of values to the West, specifically Europe.  More than a million arrived in 2015 alone. More are on the way.

As a result, crimes against girls and women — groping, harassments, assaults and rape – have risen sharply. These crimes illustrate the stark difference between the Western culture of the victims and that of the perpetrators.

Let me be clear: not all immigrant men, or even most, indulge in sex attacks or approve of such attacks, but it’s a grave mistake to deny that the value system of the attackers is radically different from the value system of the West. In the West women are emancipated and sexually autonomous. Religiosity and sexual behavior or sexual restraint is determined by women’s individual wishes. The other value system is one in which women are viewed as either commodities (that is, their worth depends on their virginity), or on the level of a prostitute if they are guilty of public “immodesty” (wearing a short skirt for example).

I do not believe these value systems can coexist. The question is which value system will prevail. Unfortunately, this remains an open question.

The current situation in Europe is deeply troubling: not only are Muslim women within Europe subject to considerable oppression in many ways, such norms now risk spreading to non-Muslim women who face harassment from Muslim men.

One would think that Western feminists in the United States and Europe would be very disturbed by this obvious misogyny.  But sadly, with few exceptions, this does not appear to be the case.

Common among many Western feminists is a type of moral confusion, in which women are said to be oppressed everywhere and that this oppression, in feminist Eve Ensler’s words, is “exactly the same” around the world, in the West just as in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

To me, this suggests too much moral relativism and an inadequate understanding of Shariah law.  It is true that the situation for women in the West is not perfect, but can anyone truly deny that women enjoy greater freedom and opportunities in the United States, France and Finland than they do in Iran, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia?

Other feminists have also argued that non-Western women do not need “saving” and that any suggestion that they “need” help from Western feminists is insulting and condescending to non-Western women.

My perspective is a practical one: any efforts that help Muslim women — whether they live in the West or under Islamic governments should be encouraged. Every effort to pressure these governments to change unjust laws should be supported.

Western feminists — and female Western leaders — have a simple choice to make: either excuse the inexcusable, or demand reform in cultures and religious doctrines that continue to oppress women.

Nothing illustrates this better than what happened in Cologne, Germany on New Years Eve, 2015. That night, during the city’s traditional celebrations, numerous German women (467 at the last count) reported being sexually harassed or assaulted by men of North African and Arab origin. Within two months, 73 suspects had been identified — most of them from North Africa; 12 of them have been linked to sexual crimes. Yet, in response to the attacks, Cologne’s feminist Mayor Henriette Reker issued an “arm’s length” guideline to women. ” Just keep an arm’s length distance between you and a mob of Arab men, she advised Cologne’s female population, and you will be fine.

Mayor Reker’s comments underline the seriousness of the problem: a culture clash is upon us. The first step in resolving it is to unapologetically defend the values that have allowed women to flourish. Feminists with their organizations, networks and lobbying power need to be on the front lines on this battle. Their relevance depends on it. And so does the well being of countless women, Western and non-Western.

I’m Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Harvard University for Prager University.

SIGN THE PETITION! Demand that feminist activists fight for Muslim women! https://goo.gl/MmS1kq

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Steve Coughlin drills down on the facts of Islamic law that Islam apologists either aren’t aware of or, in the case of stealth jihadists, purposely try to hide.

Responding to Muslim deceptions 1 Honour killings and innocence MRCTV:

Published on Jun 29, 2016 Vlad Tepes

Feminists Need To Know — Islam Kills Women

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Breitbart, by  ANNE MARIE WATERS, April 9, 2016:

I used to be a feminist, but I gave it up so I could speak out for women’s rights. Even before the “intersectional”, “how many genders are there?” lunacy took over, feminism was filled to bursting with types who think men are misogynists who all secretly want to rape us (this despite the fact that men are among the greatest supporters of women’s rights) and a happily married mother is some kind of traitor.

The kind of people, in other words, who nobody in their right mind could possibly get along with.

While I will always speak out for women to maintain our just civil rights, I do want Sharia Watch to spend significantly more time on freedom of speech (we will run an autumn campaign ‘Islam Kills Free Speech’) and the impact of Islam on children, but before I do, I intend to spend the summer doing something very important – informing the ludicrous feminists of today of something they desperately need to know: Islam Kills Women.

Islam Kills Women is a joint effort between Sharia Watch UK and Examine-Islam.org  It aims to do one thing and one thing only, show the world just why it is that women are treated so utterly appallingly in every Muslim society on earth.

As well as producing articles from various writers and information packs and videos, I will challenge every feminist organisation in Britain to debate me, so that they can attempt to prove me wrong.  When they realise that they cannot do this, I invite them to stand alongside me at the culmination of this campaign – a protest rally to be held outside Parliament on August 20th.

Islam kills women not only physically – although of course it does – but it kills the spirit of far greater numbers.  From birth, girls are degraded and humiliated, most often by their own mothers.  These girls accept their status and then pass it on to their own daughters in an endless cycle of what can only be described as evil.

Often forced in to marriage, forced to live with domestic violence, and enslaved under a system of ‘honour’, life can be sheer misery for girls unfortunate enough to have been born in to Islam.  To top it off, many will have their clitoris cut off so that sex will be painful and they can suffer the further humiliation of incontinence and other side-effects.

All of this, but all of it, is maintained and sustained and justified by Islam.  That is a matter of fact. I will prove it right now.

One of the most contentious is FGM so let me start there.  FGM is sanctioned by Islam. Fact. There are several hadiths which justify it.  You can read these here, but I shall recount just one which should be enough to ring a few bells: “Abu al-Malih ibn `Usama’s father relates that the Prophet said: “Circumcision is a law for men and a preservation of honour for women.”’ Ahmad Ibn Hanbal 5:75; Abu Dawud, Adab 167.

While it is true that some Islamic “scholars” have condemned FGM, many others promote it and use hadiths to do so. The Muslim Brotherhood for example pushed for FGM when it took over Egypt, and in  “moderate” Indonesia, where somewhere between 80 and 100 per cent of girls suffer this mutilation, 100 per cent of women interviewed believed it to be an Islamic obligation. According to ‘Stop FGM Mid East’ the practice did not exist in Indonesia until the introduction of Islam.

Let’s move on to forced marriage.  Child marriage is rife in the Muslim world, and it is not, as some suggest, simply a consequence of extreme poverty.  The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, for example, has endorsed it on Islamic grounds for the simple reason that Mohammed married a six year old, therefore it must be permissible.

The relevant hadith is this: “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)” (Bukhari 7.62.88)

Iran allows the marriage of nine-year-old girls based on these same hadiths, and recent attempts in Pakistan to prevent child marriage were stopped by the Council of Islamic Ideology who deemed it “blasphemous” and “un-Islamic”.  The chairman of the council helpfully explained: “Parliament cannot create legislation that is against the teachings of the Holy Quran or Sunnah.”

Stoning to death sounds just too terrible to be true.  It sounds like something from pre-history that couldn’t possibly be happening today, but it is – in one kind of society only, Islamic society.  It is a punishment used almost exclusively on women accused of committing adultery.  I say ‘accused’ because that is all it takes, she has no defence.

Remember that under Islamic law, a woman’s word is worth half of a man’s, so if her husband accuses her, her denial is worthless and she will be found guilty on his word alone. This is brilliantly illustrated in the hard-to-watch movie ‘The Stoning of Soraya M’, a true story about the stoning of a young mother in Iran on the word of her husband only; he simply wanted rid of her. Her father and sons joined in with the stoning.

Stoning for adultery occurs under Islamic law for a reason that you may by now be able to guess: it was endorsed by Mohammed. There are several Islamic sources to back this up. I will recount just one part of Sahih Bukhari 3:50:885 which reads: Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, I will judge between you according to Allah’s Laws. The slave-girl and the sheep are to be returned to you, your son is to receive a hundred lashes and be exiled for one year. You, Unais, go to the wife of this (man) and if she confesses her guilt, stone her to death.” Unais went to that woman next morning and she confessed. Allah’s Apostle ordered that she be stoned to death.

Domestic and honour violence can be banded together as I believe they emanate from one verse of the Koran – Sura 4, verse 34, which reads: “Men have authority over women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them.”

Could this verse be any clearer?  Women must obey and if they don’t, you may use violence against them. This can, and in practice does, justify all kinds of horrors against women. It is very clear that if the men in her family don’t approve of her conduct, they can beat her for it.

I have not even scratched the surface. The oppression of women in Islamic countries is by far the cruellest in the world. No other major societies treat their women in this way and that is not an unfortunate coincidence, it is the direct result of these and many other teachings in Islamic scripture.

With all of this evidence in front of them, my challenge to British feminists is this: will you admit the truth in what I have written, and do you want this religion to have more or less influence in countries where women have fought and died for their freedom?

If, like me, you want to see a religion like this have zero influence, will you stand with me and oppose its import via mass immigration as Sharia Watch and Examine Islam intend to do on August 20th?

My guess is that you will not. You will not even respond to my requests, and you certainly won’t have the courage to debate me. You will continue to pretend that the truth is bigotry and that the lie is moral, and you will continue to deny the most pertinent truth about the treatment of women in the Middle East, Africa, and increasingly in Europe – this abhorrent treatment of women has everything to do with Islam.

To donate to the Islam Kills Women campaign, please visit www.shariawatch.org.uk and click the ‘Donate’ button.

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Sesame Street unveils Afghan puppet to empower girls amid Muslim rape epidemic

Sesame Street introduced a new character: Zari, an Afghan girl, to promote female empowerment in a Muslim nation where women's rights are almost nonexistent. The rollout occurs as a Muslim rape epidemic sweeps across Europe.

Sesame Street introduced a new character: Zari, an Afghan girl, to promote female empowerment in a Muslim nation where women’s rights are almost nonexistent. The rollout occurs as a Muslim rape epidemic sweeps across Europe.

The Examiner, by Samantha Chang, April 8, 2016:

Sesame Street has unveiled a new puppet, an Afghan girl named Zari, to empower girls in an oppressive Muslim nation where women’s rights are almost nonexistent.

Zari, age 6, will be featured in Sesame Street segments about health and exercise as she aspires to become a doctor. The Afghan version of Sesame Street, called “Baghch-e-Simsim” (Sesame Garden), is the most popular children’s TV show in Afghanistan.

Sesame Street executives say they hope Zari will open people’s minds about the importance of encouraging schooling for girls in a country where many women are excluded from education.

“Debuting a confident, inquisitive, and sweet Afghan girl character is a perfect opportunity to engage both boys and girls with lessons supporting girls’ empowerment,” Sesame Street executive VP Sherrie Westin said in a press release.

Zari will wear a hijab (the traditional Muslim headscarf) during some segments, and casual clothes in others. In reality, Zari could be beaten or killed for not wearing a headscarf at all times, so Sesame Street is taking some creative license with this move.

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Robert Spencer comments,

This puppet is apparently intended for the Afghan version of Sesame Street, “Baghch-e-Simsim,” and thus represents yet another naive and well-intentioned but foredoomed effort to improve the situation of women there. The plight of women in Afghanistan stems from Islam, and so isn’t going to be changed by a TV show. And if Zari is introduced on the U.S. version of Sesame Street, she will without any doubt direct her energies to dispelling “Islamophobia.”

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Also see:

Law Against Beating Wives Challenged by Sharia Council in Pakistan

Pakistani women

by CounterJihad, March 8, 2016:

March 8th is International Women’s Day.  On this occasion, we would like to draw attention to a story out of Pakistan, where legislators in the Punjab have tried to improve the status of women.  Taking note of the abusive nature of many traditional family arrangements there, the legislature passed a law that would establish a 24-hour hotline for women to call if they were abused by their husbands.  Those calling the hotline would be rescued and removed to government shelters without their husband’s permission.  Sometimes — but not always — the husband might even be forced to leave his own home for beating his wife.

Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology declared the law to be a violation of sharia.  They demanded that it be submitted to them for a formal review before it could be put into practice.  If lawmakers fail to do so, they threatened to issue a formal finding that the lawmakers were engaged in blasphemy — an offense punishable by death.

Even where the council does not formally rule that blasphemy has occurred, their informal charge that a political figure is blaspheming Islam is often enough.  The governor of Punjab was assassinated following such a confrontation with the council.

The danger is real enough that an earlier attempt to protect women from becoming child brides by raising the age of consent to 18 was abandoned after the council declared it to be blasphemy.

The Islamic Council says that the protections of sharia are enough for women in Pakistan.  Statistics show what those protections really mean:

In a report last month, the British Home Office noted Pakistan has been ranked as the “the third most dangerous place in the world for women,” referring to a 2011 Thomson-Reuters survey.

In 2014, more than 600 Pakistani women were killed in so-called “honor” killings, including 362 in Punjab province, the Home Office noted.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which supported the bill approved by the Punjab Assembly, has  estimated as many as 70 percent of Pakistani women are victims of domestic violence.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan are activists, of course, and one may question their statistics as it is in their political interest to inflate the figures.  However, a similar group of activists in the United States puts the number of women suffering from domestic violence at 1 in 3, or 33% — less than half the rate claimed by the group in Pakistan.  In part that is because the United States has clear laws opposing such violence.  The United States also has domestic violence shelters and a host of legal protections ensuring that women are free to leave an abusive relationship.

Groups aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic organizations are doing their best to seduce Western powers into accepting Islamic standards on blasphemy.  Western protections for women can only be undermined if they succeed.

‘Gender Apartheid’: NYT Op-Ed Calls Obama Mosque Visit a Setback for Muslim Women’s Rights

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Breitbart, Feb. 3, 2016:

A New York Times op-ed argues that Obama’s visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque “demonstrates tacit acceptance of a form of gender apartheid.”

From the New York Times:

As President and Michelle Obama argued decades ago in the context of the U.S. civil rights movement, separate is indeed unequal. To Muslim women’s rights activists fighting for equal access to mosques as part of a broader campaign for reform — from equal education for women and girls to freedom from so-called “honor killings” — the president’s visit to a mosque that practices such blatant inequity represents a step backwards. While it may be meant to convey a message of religious inclusiveness to American Muslims,  the visit demonstrates tacit acceptance of a form of discrimination that amounts to gender apartheid. For that reason, we will be standing outside the mosque on Johnnycake Road, as close as the Secret Service allows, to protest the separate and unequal standards inside and advocate for equal rights.

We believe it is the role of government to protect women’s rights within religion, if a place of worship gets federal nonprofit benefits, just as it protects civil rights in the secular space. Places of worship in the U.S. would not be allowed tax-exempt status if, for example, they were to seat African Americans in segregated spaces. To condone the mosque’s gender segregation is particularly ironic coming days after the White House announced efforts to win equal pay for women and increased workplace benefits for women in the military.

President Obama should be aware that on any given day a woman or girl worshiping in the mosque would be dispatched away from the musallah where he will stand to speak out against “Islamophobia,” to the “prayer room for females,” as one worshipper described it. In much the same way that he wants to mitigate Americans seeing Muslims as the “other,” we have to challenge the Muslim systems that segregate women as the “other.” He should know that promoting women’s rights in mosques is a key part of fighting the ideology of extremism — a fight that he asked American Muslims to help wage in an address to the nation in December. A theology of Islamic feminism is our best answer to the extremism of ISIS, al-Qaeda and other Muslim militant groups. Even the most conservative of Islamic scholars acknowledge that, in the 7thcentury, the sunnah, or tradition of the prophet Muhammad, was to allow women to pray in the main hall of his mosque in Medina without any barrier in front of them.

“While the free world awaits a Muslim reformation, the leader of the free world shows blatant disregard for gender equality by visiting a mosque that treats females like second-class citizens,” says Raheel Raza, a Pakistani-Canadian activist, author and cofounder of the Muslim Reform Movement, a new initiative that we support, advocating for peace, women’s rights and secular governance.  “This makes our work as activists extremely difficult because equality is one of the main tenets of our reform movement.”

The president has an opportunity to shine light in a place once associated with the darkest extremes of Islam. His motorcade will re-trace the path of al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki: FBI surveillance notes document that al-Awlaki, then a local imam, drove down Johnnycake Road to enter the Islamic Society of Baltimore at 5:56 p.m. on the evening of November 11, 2001. (A copy of the notes was released under the Freedom of Information Act).

Today, in an estimated two-thirds of mosques around the United States, women and girls are segregated in dark basements, sparse balconies, separate rooms and even behind shower curtains in the “sisters’ section,” listening to Friday sermons piped in through shaky sound systems and watching them, if we are lucky, via TV screens. It’s too often only on “interfaith” occasions like the president’s visit that women and girls get to step forward into the “brothers’ section.”

Read the rest of the story here.

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‘Not Who We Are’: At Mosque, Obama Laments ‘Inexcusable’ Anti-Muslim Rhetoric (insider.foxnews.com)

Also see:

Ignored by US Media? Sharia Law’s Conflict With Rights of Women

Women in Afghanistan (Photo: © Reuters)

Women in Afghanistan (Photo: © Reuters)

Clarion Project, Daniel GallingtonJuly 13, 2015:

Earlier this year I wrote a short article on the political, societal and legal tensions associated with the large-scale Muslim immigrations to Europe in the late 1960’s and early 70’s – a period when I lived in both England and Germany.

I wrote the piece because I disagreed fundamentally with the suggestion by some of our senior political leaders that violent incidents – such as the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris – could have been avoided had Europeans worked harder to “assimilate” their Islamic immigrants.

The article included discussion of traditional Muslim “proprietary” doctrines toward women and girls. I wrote, “We still have brutal ‘honor killings’ of women – even in the United States – and young girls are murdered, raped and enslaved (in the name of religious law) throughout the more ‘modern’ Muslim world” and explained how such doctrines and practices were fundamentally inconsistent with the law in Western democracies.

Shortly after the article appeared, I was surprised by an email from my editor at the time – who had previously declined to run the piece – saying: “I have reached the unfortunate conclusion that your views on the matter are well outside the spectrum that we are willing to publish…”

I also wondered, was this “conclusion” a clear example of our “big media’s” reluctance to publish on the negative aspects of Islam? Was such critical coverage, whether reporting or commentary, “well outside the spectrum that [they] are willing to publish”?

Here’s another example: After my article appeared, a scholarly report on the practice of “female genital mutilation and cutting” (or “FGM/C”) of some Muslim women and girls was published by the independent American Population Reference Bureau (PRB). 

The findings of this report are shocking:

“Girls under age 18 made up one-third of all females at risk…. While some of these girls were born in countries with high prevalence rates, the majority are U.S.-born children of parents from high-prevalence countries. Anecdotal reports tell of U.S.-born girls being cut while on vacation in their parents’ countries of origin and of people traveling to the United States to perform FGM/C on girls here.” 

Mainstream American media has simply ignored this report. Is it because even totally objective factual coverage of the report could somehow be considered “Islamophobic” — an editorial descriptor for all things critical of Islam?

In a larger context, has U.S. big media learned anything from the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, the killings in Copenhagen, the brutal attack at a Kenyan university and the recent mass shootings in Tunisia? Doesn’t our media see these vicious acts as a direct threat to their – and our – basic freedoms of thought, press and expression — the very fundamentals of a democracy?

This is not a new tension in the West. More than a hundred years ago, Sir Winston Churchill observed – in reference to the conflict between fundamental Islam and democracy – that “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.”

In short, an Islamic reformation is long overdue, as I wrote, “…Muslim integration into Western cultures – especially ours – requires the abandonment of laws, rules and practices inconsistent with living in free societies. This is nothing radical or new – most other organized religions have done it for the past few hundred years, some far more than others.”

Whether one agrees or not with this conclusion is perhaps less important than the willingness to address it, and therefore it must remain an important concern for Western lawmakers and our legal scholars.

Yet, some of our media continues its reluctance to publish on the anachronistic and negative influences of Islam and sharia law – especially as it affects women – and this while attempting to “assimilate” itself into Western democracies and modern legal systems.

And, the idea that media criticism of Islam or sharia law is somehow off limits  – especially as it teaches or condones violence toward women  – is also fundamentally inconsistent with our democratic values. This is an aspect of Islam or Sharia Law that can never be “assimilated” in Western democracies.

Daniel Gallington is the Senior Policy and Program Adviser at the George C. Marshall Institute in Arlington, Virginia.

Documentary Exposes Islamic Abuse of Women

honor-diaries

Religious Freedom Coalition, By Andrew Harrod, PhD. June 1, 2015:

“Women under the Islamic rules” are “slaves to a dictatorial, theocratic regime that does not consider them human,” states Iranian-American women’s rights activist Manda Zand Ervin in the documentary Honor Diaries.  While Ervin decries that “Muslim women are being ignored” in their plight “by the whole world,” Honor Diaries, now entering an international screening campaign, gives voice to these often overlooked victims.

Jasvinder Sanghera, a British Sikh woman, opens the film with her personal history and indicates thereby that misogyny worldwide originates not just in Islamic culture.  At age 14, her family kept her home for weeks until she agreed to a marriage already arranged when she was eight, similar to many of her six adolescent sisters forced to leave school and marry.  One burned herself to death to escape a bad marriage in a culture where divorce is not honorable.  Sanghera elaborated how she ran away from home at April 20 and April 23 Washington, DC, presentations of the film at Georgetown University’s Mortura Center and the Rayburn House Office Building respectively.  Since this flight 35 years ago her family has disowned her and does not have any relations with her children.

Honor Diaries, however, focuses almost exclusively on Muslim females in examining what the Afghan-American women’s rights activist Zainab Khan describes as “one of the most alarming human rights issues in the world.”   The film cites statistics such as the World Economic Forum’s listing of the ten countries worldwide with the worst gender disparity, nine of which are Muslim-majority.  Canadian human rights activist and author Nazanin Afshin-Jam points particularly to the “gender apartheid” in her ancestral Iran, a country that became an “instant theocracy” in the 1979 Islamic Republic’s founding.  Before the 1979 revolution, recounts her American colleague Nazie Eftekhari, Iranian women like her mother and grandmother were unveiled professionals, but after a “100 year journey forward…overnight they took that step back.”

Honor Diaries highlights specific abuses faced by Muslim females such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child marriages.  “These marriages are consummated through rape,” states Iraqi-American Sherizaan Minwalla of the Tahirih Justice Center.  A Yemeni girl personifies this brutality by recounting her “husband” simply covering her screaming mouth during sex at the age of eight.

Such issues are not merely far away in Muslim-majority societies, but also affect free countries like the United States.  Tahirih estimates as many as 1,500 forced marriages occur here annually and the Center for Disease Control considers 150,000-200,000 American girls at risk for FGM.  “No doubt in my mind you have a big problem,” Sanghera states, but America’s “victims are hidden” (at the Mortura Center she discussed having already heard of forced marriage threats in America after only nine days here).

The women’s rights activists in Honor Diaries like the Pakistani-Canadian Raheel Raza discuss as well how they face hostility for addressing Islam’s women’s rights controversies.  While calling “Islam…my spiritual journey,” she analyzes how “‘Islamophobia’ is a recent construct…to deflect any criticism of Islam and Muslims,” a “manufactured term…used to just silence people.”  The American Muslim Raquel Saraswati, meanwhile, is “afraid all the time” in the face of physical threats, “but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be courageous.”

Similarly mentioning physical threats, Sanghera at the Mortura Center additionally cited canceled meetings during her American visit, amounting approximately to a “50/50” open/closed doors ratio.  Indicative of this unwillingness to hear, the ubiquitous grandstanding Muslim gadfly Saba Ahmed left during the middle of Sanghera’s presentation and Honor Diaries extract screening.  Raza at the Rayburn presentation also mentioned intimidation against her agenda of “expose, educate, and eradicate” from organizations like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), but abuse victims appear at Honor Diaries screenings with thanks.

Saraswati in Honor Diaries raises a “very difficult question to answer” about the women’s rights abuses therein profiled, namely “is this Islam.”  Pakistani-British Muslim Qanta Ahmed states that FGM, something that “does not appear in the Quran,” is “not advocated in Islam in any way, shape, or form,” yet overlooks various non-Quranic Islamic canons supporting FGM.  The Iraqi-American Christian Juliana Taimoorazy notes that her coreligionists “did not adapt to honor killings” in their Iraqi Muslim surroundings, but Raza counters that these murders also exist, for example, among Indian Hindus and Sikhs.

Interviewed at Rayburn, the Sikh Sanghera also stated that the “experience of honor abuse is actually the same” among British Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh South Asian communities, yet noted other Islamic variations.  In her experience the “absolutely barbaric” practice of FGM occurred in “predominately Muslim communities.”  The United Kingdom’s Bangladeshi Muslims also exhibited a “higher prevalence” of marrying girls under the age of 10.

At the Rayburn presentation, though, Arizona police detective Christopher J. Boughey, an adviser to Honor Diaries and the AHA Foundation of former Muslim and film participant Ayaan Hirsi Ali, had a more singular focus on Islam.  “All of these cases are almost identical,” he said of his work with honor killings, something that for him in North America had been a “completely Muslim experience,” he elaborated in an interview.  These murders formed along with forced marriages and FGM a comprehensive “control situation” and “systematic breaking down of someone’s will.”

Amidst such bleak analysis of Islam’s treatment of women, Raza’s Rayburn interview offers cold comfort with her theological analysis.  Questioned about support for FGM and child marriages in the canonical biography of Islam’s prophet Muhammad (hadith) and Islamic law (sharia), she responded that “I really don’t give that much precedence to hadith and sharia.”  She dismissed much of this Islamic orthodoxy as “man-made created stuff for the benefit of the men” and argued that “there is so much garbage in hadiths” given their often contradictory and dubious nature.  Abuses like FGM are “tribal practices that have existed long before Islam.”

For spiritual guidance on abuses of women “I go back to the word of God,” Islam’s “source and it is not in the source,” Raza declares with reference to the Quran, even though Quran 65:4 indirectly references child marriage.  Contrary to almost all Quran translations, she asserts that female Quran interpreters like her find no support for wife-beating in Quran 4:34.  Such interpretations come from the “mindset of the male elite who have been translating the Quran.”  Referencing the Quran’s oft-(mis)quoted verse 5:32 (“whoever saves one—it is as if he had saved mankind entirely”), but not the following brutal verse 5:33, she proclaims that “I take the higher law.”

Honor Diaries is essential viewing for investigating Muslim misogyny and those brave women, both within and without Islam, who combat it on the basis of bitter personal knowledge.  Yet the film at times contradicts itself and its feminist activists with what could be called pious hopes that all such abuse is an aberration from, and not anchored in, Islamic doctrine.  Objective observers will have difficulty finding in Islamic canons Raza’s understanding of a merciful “God of all human beings.”

Andrew E. Harrod is a researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School.  He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies.  He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.

ISIS’s Nazi-Style ‘Jihad Bride’ Propaganda an Alluring Trap for Western Girls

Veiled-Women-Reuters-640x384

Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler, April 8, 2015:

Foreign girls who are lured via the internet to join ISIS are being misled by a glamorized vision of women posing with AK-47s and in martial arts positions—in essence, a vision of women performing forbidden, male-only holy mission tasks.

ISIS propaganda is capitalizing on the allure of such adventure coupled with a girlish desire for love, marriage, and children. Quilliam Foundation think tank researcher Charlie Winter notes that “this is a false image based on targeted obfuscation and exaggeration.” He quotes Glasgow runaway, Aqsa Mahmood, who writes that “the women you may have seen online are all part of propaganda.”

The reality for ISIS “brides” is dull, domestic, and dangerous. Food and electricity are minimal, there are no schools, but there are constant air strikes and gun fights. Women police and punish other women. They do not engage in battle.

The all-female Al-Khanssaa Brigade holds an anti-feminist ideology in which women’s rights are seen as part of a corrupt and material West and as having led to the emasculation of men.

According to ISIS internet recruiter and former Australian Dullel Kassab, “Reality hits  propyou when u celebrate a walimah (marriage banquet) and console a widow on the same day.”

Then, there is the scarcity of medical care. The wife of an ISIS fighter was totally ignored as her blood pooled on the hospital floor during a painful miscarriage. According to Kassab: “She wasn’t offered a chair or a bed and nobody even returned to check on her… The muhajireen (migrants) are also subjected to mistreatment and discrimination by the locals.”

The Syrians do not want to live under Sharia law. They are, in fact, “angered by… the imposition of an extreme form of sharia on their daily lives.”

In February of 2015, ISIS released a Manifesto which states that girls can marry at nine; their education, which must consist mainly of Koranic Studies and home economics, must end when they turn fifteen; they must be fully face-, head-, and body-veiled; and motherhood is the sole purpose of female existence.

This is reminiscent of Hitler’s Nazi “Bride Schools” in which office workers and career women were taught how to be wives. Propaganda photos consisted of smiling group of women in a hayfield, carrying baskets of flowers, “chopping vegetables in a kitchen, and singing along to another woman’s accordion playing.”

This country idyll promoted a six-week course in which women learned household skills such as cooking, ironing, gardening, child care, and interior design. They were taught how to clean a husband’s uniform, to pledge their loyalty to Hitler “until death,” and to raise their children “in accordance with Nazi belief.” This meant they would “promote racial values in the family.”

Traditional domesticity: confinement to the home, child care, and to a political religion (“Kinder, Küche, Kirche”) was presented as a warrior’s task.

ISIS may have taken a page from Hitler’s playbook—but they are also following the harshest and most traditional interpretation of the Koran: “A woman’s highest achievement is motherhood;” “Women must be veiled;” “The majority of inhabitants in Hell are women;” “Women are less intelligent and spiritually inferior to men;” “Women are an affliction to men.”

Most telling, “Women are not to be involved in Jihad”: “When Aisha requested of Mohammed that she be allowed to participate in a jihad, he said that a woman’s jihad is the performance of the Hajj pilgrimage. It is even important for a husband to forsake a jihad campaign to accompany his wife on a Hajj.”

A concerted effort must be made to reveal this reality to young Western girls who actually have choices. The problem is that girls in the West also want adventure through romance, love through bondage. Think of the popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray. Western girls have also been brought up on fairy tales and believe in Happy Endings. They do not understand that they are walking into a very tragic kind of danger from which there may be No Exit.

UK: Sharia Courts Abusing Muslim Women

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, April 8, 2015:

The report shows how the increasing influence of Sharia law in Britain today is undermining the fundamental principle that there must be equality for all British citizens under a single law of the land.

“I feel betrayed by Britain. I came here to get away from this and the situation is worse here than in the country I escaped from.” — Muslim woman interviewed for the report.

The report concludes by calling on the British government to launch a judge-led inquiry to “determine the extent to which discriminatory Sharia law principles are being applied within the UK.”

“The government’s response will be a litmus test of the extent to which it genuinely upholds the principle of equality before the law or is so dominated by the fear of ‘giving offense’ that it will continue to allow these women to suffer in ways which would make our suffragettes turn in their graves.” — Baroness Caroline Cox.

Muslim women across Britain are being systematically oppressed, abused and discriminated against by Sharia law courts that treat women as second-class citizens, according to a new report, which warns against the spiraling proliferation of Islamic tribunals in the United Kingdom.

The 40-page report, “A Parallel World: Confronting the Abuse of Many Muslim Women in Britain Today,” was authored by Baroness Caroline Cox, a cross-bench member of the British House of Lords and one of the leading defenders of women’s rights in the UK.

The report shows how the increasing influence of Sharia law in Britain today is undermining the fundamental principle that there must be equality for all British citizens under a single law of the land.

The Arbitration Act of 1996 allows parties to resolve certain civil disputes according to Sharia principles in such a way that the decision can be enforced in British courts.

According to the report, however, many Muslim bodies are using the Arbitration Act to support the claim that they are able to make legally binding decisions for members of the Muslim community, when in fact the law limits their role to that of being a mediator to help reach an agreement. “The mediator is not a judge or an arbitrator who imposes a decision,” the report states.

The report shows how Sharia courts often fuse the concepts of arbitration, in which both parties agree to submit their dispute to a mutually agreeable third party for a decision to be made, and mediation, in which the two parties voluntarily use a third party to help them reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides.

On top of this lies the problem of “jurisdiction creep,” whereby Sharia courts are adjudicating on matters well outside the arbitration framework, such as by deciding cases relating to criminal law, including those involving domestic violence and grievous bodily harm.

 

Haitham al-Haddad is a British Sharia court judge, and sits on the board of advisors for the Islamic Sharia Council. Regarding the handling of domestic violence cases, he stated in an interview, “A man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them. Leave them alone. They can sort their matters among themselves.” (Image source: Channel 4 News video screenshot)

As a result, Muslim women, who may lack knowledge of both the English language and their rights under British law, are often pressured by their families to use Sharia courts. These courts often coerce them to sign an agreement to abide by their decisions, which are imposed and viewed as legal judgments.

Worse yet, “Refusal to settle a dispute in a Sharia forum could lead to threats and intimidation, or being ostracized and labelled a disbeliever,” the report states, and adds:

“There is a particular concern that women face pressure to withdraw allegations of domestic violence after they make them. Several women’s groups say they are often reluctant to go to the authorities with women who have run away to escape violence because they cannot trust police officers within the community not to betray the girls to their abusing families.”

The report shows that even in cases where Muslim tribunals work “in tandem” with police investigations, abused women often withdraw their complaints to the police, while Sharia judges let the husbands go unpunished.

Meanwhile, most Sharia courts, when dealing with divorce, do so only in a religious sense. They cannot grant civil divorce; they simply grant a religious divorce in accordance with Sharia law.

According to the report, in many cases this is all that is necessary for a “divorce” anyway; many Muslim women who identify themselves as being “married” are not in marriages that are legally recognized by British law. Although a nikah (an Islamic wedding ceremony) may have taken place, if the marriage is not officially registered, it is not valid in the eyes of civil law. The report states:

“This creates a very serious problem: women who are married in Islamic ceremonies but are not officially married under English law can suffer grave disadvantages because they lack legal protection. What is more, they can be unaware that their marriage is not officially recognized by English law.”

This places Muslim women in an especially precarious legal situation when it comes to divorce. In Islam, a husband does not have to follow the same process as the wife when seeking a talaq (Islamic divorce). He merely has to say “I divorce you” three times, whereas the wife must meet various conditions and pay a fee. The report cites women, when speaking of their own talaqproceedings, who referred to their lack of legal protection after discovering that their nikah did not constitute a valid marriage under English law.

The report cites Kalsoom Bashir, a long-time women’s rights activist in Bristol, who discusses the added problem of polygamy. She notes:

“There is an increasing rise in polygamy within Muslim families and again the women who are involved are not in a position to be able to challenge the situation or get any form of justice. They find it difficult to obtain any maintenance as the marriages are not registered legally. Polygamy is used to control first wives who are told that if they are a problem the man has the Islamic right to take another wife. Sometimes just one of the marriages is registered leaving one wife without any legal protections.”

Overall, the report includes excerpts of testimonies of more than a dozen Muslim women who have suffered abuse and injustice at the hands of Sharia courts in Britain. One woman said: “I feel betrayed by Britain. I came here to get away from this and the situation is worse here than in the country I escaped from.”

The report concludes by calling on the British government to launch a judge-led inquiry to “determine the extent to which discriminatory Sharia law principles are being applied within the UK.” It also calls on the government to support Baroness Cox’s Private Members’ Bill — the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill — which would “create a new criminal offense criminalizing any person who purports to legally adjudicate upon matters which ought to be decided by criminal or family courts.”

Baroness Cox originally introduced the bill in 2011, but it went nowhere due to the lack of support from the main parties. She re-introduced the bill in 2013 and 2014, but it continues to languish, apparently because the main parties are afraid of offending Muslims. Cox has vowed to re-introduce the bill in the next session of Parliament, whose members will be elected on May 7.

The bill aims to combat discrimination by, among other restrictions, prohibiting Sharia courts from: a) treating the evidence of a man as worth more than the evidence of a woman; b) proceeding on the assumption that the division of an estate between male and female children on intestacy must be unequal; or c) proceeding on the assumption that a woman has fewer property rights than a man.

The law would also place a duty on public bodies to ensure that women in polygamous households, or those who have had a religious marriage, are made aware of their legal position and relevant legal rights under British law.

In a letter, Baroness Cox wrote that her recommendations “can by no means remedy all of the sensitive issues involved, but they do offer an important opportunity for redress.” She added that her bill “already has strong support from across the political spectrum in the House of Lords as well as from Muslim women’s groups and other organisations concerned with the suffering of vulnerable women.”

But it remains to be seen whether the next government will agree to support the bill. On March 23, British Home Secretary Theresa May pledged that if the Conservative Party wins the general election, she would launch a review into whether Sharia courts in England and Wales are compatible with British values.

But the Conservative government’s track record on confronting Islam has been patchy at best. In November 2013, for example, the government rejected an amendment offered by Cox to the Anti-Social Behavior, Crime and Policing Bill, which would have protected women who are duped into believing that their marriages are valid under British law when in fact they are not.

More recently, the Conservatives quashed a “politically incorrect” inquiry into the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain.

While Cox welcomed May’s commitment to investigate Sharia courts, she also expressed concern that politicians will once again bow to political correctness. It is important, she wrote, that such investigations “do not fall at the first hurdle, as appears to have happened with previous, similar government-led reviews. Without powers to subpoena witnesses, any independent review — no matter how well intentioned — will be another lost opportunity.”

Cox summed it up this way:

“The government’s response will be a litmus test of the extent to which it genuinely upholds the principle of equality before the law or is so dominated by the fear of ‘giving offense’ that it will continue to allow these women to suffer in ways which would make our suffragettes turn in their graves.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali fights radical Islam’s real war on women

In early April of this year, Brandeis University, under pressure from student activists and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reversed its decision to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a global advocate for women’s rights. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)

In early April of this year, Brandeis University, under pressure from student activists and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reversed its decision to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a global advocate for women’s rights. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)

By Ashe Schow:In early April of this year, Brandeis University, under pressure from student activists and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, reversed its decision to give an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a global advocate for women’s rights.

The decision was triggered by Hirsi Ali’s outspoken criticisms of Islam. The Somali-born activist has sounded alarms about the prevalence of extremism in Muslim countries and the misogyny that pervades even mainstream Islam.

During the Brandeis controversy, a CAIR spokesman called her “one of the worst of the worst of the Islam-haters in America.”

But Hirsi Ali’s warnings about Islamic extremism were quickly supported by world events, as just a week after Brandeis rescinded her honorary degree, the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls in the first of many such abductions throughout the summer. A few months after the kidnappings began, news spread that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another terrorist group, was selling Yazidi women into sexual slavery.

Related: Seven horrific examples of the real “war on women”

In recent years, as part of its efforts to leverage its historical electoral advantage with female voters, Democrats in the United States have promoted the idea that Republicans have been waging a “war on women.” At various times, the term has been associated with politicians who oppose late-term abortions; conservatives who defend the right of religious business owners to decline to provide contraception coverage to employees; and those who question the assumptions behind the statistic that women on average earn 77 cents for every dollar that men earn. During the 2014 midterm election season, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz even claimed Tea Party Republicans were “grabbing [women] by the hair and pulling us back.”

Many on the Right have responded to this campaign either by mocking the idea that a war on women exists or by challenging many of the claims liberals make to perpetuate the narrative — pointing out, for example, that nearly all of the gender wage gap can be explained by the career choices women make. But the truth is that there is a war on women. It just isn’t occurring where American liberals claim it is, but rather in countries where women are forbidden to leave their homes without a male escort; seen as nothing more than chattel to be sold or abused; killed if they disobey their family’s wishes; mutilated to prevent them from having sex; and attacked with acid when they try to escape.

If American liberals were as concerned about women’s rights as they claim to be, they would have to shift their focus to other countries, but that would mean giving up a cherished narrative about conservatives here at home and acknowledging the threat radical Islam poses to women worldwide.

From Earlier: Ayaan Hirsi Ali slams modern American feminism’s “trivial BS”

The real horrors facing women in the world aren’t discussed in America, where those who try to point out what is going on in other countries or criticize the trivial nature of feminist obsessions are sidelined from the public debate.

But recent events have cast a glaring light on the brutal treatment of women by those claiming to act in the name of Islam, posing a challenge to the American Left by creating a conflict between the liberal desire for women’s equality and a multicultural reluctance to criticize other cultures. This philosophical tension gained national attention in October, when HBO’s liberal host Bill Maher noted the connection between Islamic ideology and violence, igniting a bitter argument with celebrity guest Ben Affleck.

Bundled up and fearful of shaking hands because of a cough, Hirsi Ali sat down with theWashington Examiner in November before being presented an award by the Independent Women’s Forum at its Women of Valor Dinner in Washington. She noted that where extremist ideology spreads, death and mayhem flourish.

“That consequence you see today in parts of Iraq and Syria,” Hirsi Ali said. “You see it in what Boko Haram is doing. You’ve seen it with the Taliban and al Qaeda. Everywhere where that idea is implemented it has a sudden pattern.”

Critics have attacked Hirsi Ali as Islamophobic and have argued that the portrait she paints is not representative of Islam at large. But her disagreements with Islam are rooted in her own East African upbringing.

Hirsi Ali was subjected to female genital mutilation at the age of 5 in her home country, Somalia, while her father, who opposed the traditional practice, was in prison. Her father escaped and moved the family to Saudi Arabia, then to Ethiopia and finally to Kenya when Hirsi Ali was 11 years old.

MORE: The real “war on women”: A victim speaks

She grew up as a Muslim woman, reading and accepting the Quran and its teachings. But when her family prepared to force her into an arranged marriage, she fled to the Netherlands. She eventually became a translator, speaking on behalf of Somali women who, like her, were seeking asylum.

Hirsi Ali discovered many women continued to suffer under Islam even in the secular, liberal Netherlands. She decided to enter politics to bring attention to the plight of Muslim women and girls, and in 2003 she was elected to the Dutch parliament.

Her charisma and criticism of Islam as a member of parliament gained the attention of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. She wrote and narrated his film “Submission” about oppressed women in Holland, a film that outraged Dutch Muslims. On Nov. 2, 2004, an Islamist shot and stabbed van Gogh to death in Amsterdam as he rode his bicycle to work. A letter was pinned to van Gogh’s dead body with a knife, a letter that included a death threat against Hirsi Ali.

She moved to the United States in 2006 following her resignation from parliament amid accusations that she lied on her asylum application. But even in America, a security detail accompanies her wherever she goes.

Hirsi Ali has a reputation as a fearless critic of Islam, but she spoke quietly, almost timidly, even though her security detail was on alert just outside the secluded room where our interview took place.

Liberals, she said, protect Islamic extremists partly because the Left has no idea what really goes on in Muslim countries.

“They feel all religions are the same, and they’re not,” she observed. “I think if I adopt the position in good faith to multiculturalists and leftists, I would say [they take the position they do] because they see them [Muslims] as victims. They see them as victims of the white man and so they think: ‘Let’s protect them from the white man. Let’s protect them from capitalism.’… That is misguided at best and malicious at worst.”

One need only remember the tragic shooting at Fort Hood in 2009 to see such indifference to extremism in action. U.S. Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded many more after becoming radicalized and corresponding with Yemeni-American terrorist leader Anwar al-Awlaki. Despite evidence that Hasan’s rampage was religiously motivated — he shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”) before opening fire — the Obama administration classified the attack as “workplace violence.”

The Left’s kid-glove treatment of even radical Islam exposes the logical flaw at the heart of multiculturalism. How does one tolerate the murderous intolerance of another culture? Is someone really a principled supporter of diversity, of women’s rights, of gay rights, if he refuses to resist or even acknowledge the mortal threat that is posed to those causes by a different culture?

Read more at Washington Examiner

Also see:

The West’s Dangerous Enchantment with Islam: Muslim Women Thrown “Under the Bus”

Gatestone Institute, by Uzay Bulut, Nov. 9, 2014:

There are no women’s rights in Islam; there are no women’s rights in most Muslim countries. And there is no freedom of expression in these countries; people have become virtually voiceless.

To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly, without putting one’s life at risk, and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain.

If one is called “racist” or “Islamophobe,” the answer is that these are the accusations bullies always use to silence those who disagree with them. The real Islamophobes are those who degrade, abuse and kill their fellow Muslims.

If oppression of women is rooted in the culture, shouldn’t one be asking, ‘what makes a culture that misogynous?’

There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries. The worst thing any Western progressive or feminist can do is to stay silent.

The loudest voices in the West now seem to come from many progressives who say that criticizing of Islam is racist, intolerant, bigoted and Islamophobic. Injustices, they claim, take place all around the world, not just among Muslims or in Muslim countries. The criticism, they go on, comes from wrong interpretations of Islamic teachings. They say that Islam respects women, and that there are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad people in all religions.

In just seven years, however, between 2002 and 2009, the rate of murdered women in Turkey has increased by 1400 percent.[1]

There are also more than 181,000 child brides in Turkey.[2]

When those figures are provided by state authorities, they are based on factual statistics. But when they are expressed in a critical manner by Canan Arin, a lawyer and women rights activist, they are, apparently, a “crime.”

Canan Arin, 72, is a feminist lawyer who has dedicated her life to women’s rights struggles in Turkey.[3]

The Antalya Bar Association, in December 2011, invited her to its newly founded Women’s Rights Enforcement Centre to give training to the lawyers on violence against women. There, she delivered a speech about early and forced marriages, and gave two examples — one from the 7th century, the other from the 20th century — to clarify her point.

The first example concerned Muhammad, the founder of Islam, who married a girl of seven. The second was about Abdullah Gul, then-President of the Turkish Republic, who became engaged to his wife when she was 14 and married her when she was 15, in 1980.

Although both of those examples are supposedly based on the truth, speaking the truth in Turkey now seems to constitute a crime. A year later, therefore, a warrant was issued for Arin’s arrest, and on December 12, 2012, she was brought to court for “insulting religious values adopted by a part of the society” (Turkish Penal Code Article- 216/3) and for “insulting the President” (Turkish Penal Code- Article 299/1).

On May 30, 2013, the court declared its final decision, which was the adjournment of the trial. According to the ruling, if Arin commits a similar crime in three years and receives a punishment for it, her case will be reopened.

“If I do not open my mouth for three years, and do not engage in [discussions of similar] subject matters, this trial will be ignored. Their ruling is like running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. But this trial should have never been opened in the first place,” Arin said to the Turkish newspaper, Hurriyet.

It is bewildering that any prosecutor actually considers child marriage a “value.” According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, in 2012 alone, the rate of parental consent for legal marriage under the age of 18 increased by 94.2%. This increase is not taking place in a country ruled by Islamic sharia law, but in Turkey, the only so-called “secular” Muslim country.

There are no women’s rights in Islam; there are no women rights in most Muslim countries. And as there is no freedom of expression in these countries, people have become virtually voiceless.

Yet many people, especially the so-called progressives, seem to find limitless excuses for fundamentalist Islamic atrocities against women. These include beheadings, stonings, domestic violence, honor killings, female genital mutilation, official legal inequality, home confinement, child marriages, and Saudi Arabia’s prohibition against women driving, to name a few.

Statements that come up with “multicultural” excuses to provide cover for the practices of fundamentalist Islam, however, never have, and never will, help to liberate women who suffer under Islamic misogyny, gender apartheid and jihad.

To make a positive change in Muslim countries, we need to be able to speak openly and tell the (too-often criminalized) truth about what Islamic teachings and traditions actually contain. Yet in Muslim countries, it is impossible speak openly about what is in these Islamic teachings and traditions, without putting one’s life at risk.

There is a situation even more frightening. It now seems to be difficult to speak openly about fundamentalist Islam even in Western countries, in part thanks to the dangerous enchantment of Western progressives and feminists who romanticize Islamism.

Women in the Muslim world desperately need the voice of Western progressives and feminists. But when it comes to finding excuses to neutralize critical questions about Islamic violence, Western progressives seem endlessly creative. Known by an increasing number of women as “Excuses for Abuses,” these include:

Criticizing Islam is racist and reveals “intolerance,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia.”

For the record, Islam is not a race. Moreover, if you discuss the violent and misogynous teachings of Islam, it does not mean that you hate or are intolerant of Muslims, just of violence and misogyny.

It does mean that you care about Muslim women; that you do not want them to be forced to find four male “witnesses” to “prove” they have been raped, or to be punished by Islamic courts as adulterers if their rapists do not confess. It means you believe that their testimony in court, or their inheritance, should be valued as highly as a man’s; that you do not want them to be the victim of honor killings or child marriages at the hands of their Muslim family members, and that you do not want their husbands to be able beat them with impunity.

It also means that you want children to grow up to be honest, informed, compassionate adults, filled with love for life and fellow human beings, and who can speak up for rights and liberties that can never be taken for granted — all gained as a result of centuries-long wars, struggles and social movements.

It means you do not want to see children blowing themselves up on a bus, or people buying or selling women, or killing their sisters for not wearing the hijab. And finally, it means that you do not want children getting married at the age of seven, especially to men they have never met, or to be hypocrites who have to say, “Islam is a religion of peace” to defend themselves every time another Muslim commits a crime justified by proclaiming Islamic beliefs.

“Injustices against women take place all around the world, not just against Muslims or in Muslim countries.”

If the oppression of women is rooted in the culture, shouldn’t one be asking, ‘what makes a culture that misogynous?’

What is progressivism if its objectives do not include helping emancipate women from Islamic oppression, such as honor killings, child marriages, stonings, flogging and punishing rape victims (while releasing rapists) — all of which are employed in the Muslim world, in line with Islamic teachings, allegedly to “protect” and “respect” women and to keep them “pure,” but more probably to keep women in their place?

“What you are seeing is not the real Islam; Islam has been hijacked.”

The problem with this view is that Islam actually does teach that a woman is worth less than a man. Many teachings in Islam are misogynous — from wearing veils; requiring four male witness to prove rape; issues of inheritance; court testimony; rules of marriage; rules of divorce and remarriage; a man’s “right” to marry up to four women and then beat them, and so on.

If Western progressives and feminists care at all about their Muslim sisters, they need to protest against the actual roots of this injustice: these Islamic teachings.

Many progressives, however, seem not even to want to learn about them, let alone speak out against them. Perhaps they fear that if they knew more, they might actually have to speak out. Or perhaps they remain silent from indifference or inertia. But if all they really care about in the West is their (understandable) ability to get abortions and equal pay for equal work, they have badly failed to grasp the consequences of a theocracy on everyone, not only on women.

If they wished to inform themselves, they might read just the verses of the Quran relating to women and glance at the hadith sunnah literature — all easily found on the internet. Then — if they sincerely wished to raise future generations with humanitarian values, equal justice under law, and a respect for human rights — they might educate others about those teachings, while basing their opinions on knowledge, not on wishful thinking.

“If you accommodate Islamic misogyny,” says the writer Pat Condell, “you legitimize it and you invite it into your own life and into the lives of your children … because it’s coming your way. You also help to ensure that the woman in Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, who gets beaten every day, will continue to be beaten and treated as a piece of property, as will her daughters and granddaughters all the way down the line.”

“It is not about Islam. Crimes were committed and are being committed in all places throughout history.”

The world is no paradise, but in the West, if economic, political or social causes of injustices are freely discussed, why should religious, or Islamic, causes be exempt from discussion?

In many Muslim countries, where only Islam — but not the people — has the right to survive, such discussion is impossible without extreme risk. Even in Turkey, considered one of the most “liberal” of Muslim countries, if you dare to discuss or criticize the teachings of Islam, you can be killed, arrested, attacked, exposed to social and psychological lynching campaigns, brought to court and given a prison sentence.

Do progressives not oppose supremacy and oppression? Why then do they turn a blind eye to Islamic supremacy and oppression?

In Gaza, for instance, for whom Western progressives claim to have so much sympathy, women are systematically murdered in honor killings, and the Hamas government does not protect them. Appeals court judge Ziad Thabet, told Al-Monitor that “during his time in the judiciary, he had noticed that honor killing defendants were usually given light sentences. Three years in prison was the harshest…. Life sentences or execution were never a consideration.”

Al Jazeera also reported that “the number of so-called ‘honor killings’ in Palestine doubled in 2013 from the previous year. … For the past three years, the number of women killed has increased each year.”

Can Western feminists not stand up even against a terrorist group, Hamas, on behalf of Gazan women, who cannot speak up for themselves for fear of reprisals? Or would this not be as pleasurable as condemning Israel, the only Middle Eastern country where Muslim women do have equal rights? Or can these progressives only parrot propaganda, such as, “Palestinian women are exposed to honor killings by angry Palestinian men due to the Israeli occupation”?

“Not all Muslims are the same. There are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad people in all religions.”

First of all, thank you very much for this genius discovery. But how can it help reduce the Islamic violence around the world?

Of course it is true that there are many good Muslims, whose values do not follow Islamic teachings verbatim, but also include humanitarian values. They do not wage war on other religions or try to bring them under submission to Islam. In the eyes of jihadis or Islamists, however, who live by the harshest interpretation of most doctrinaire Islamic teachings, such a quality makes them “bad Muslims.”

“All religions are essentially the same.”

Well, not quite. Biblical values are far more benign than Islamic ones, and generally descriptive rather than proscriptive. Furthermore, the most violent of them were long ago abandoned.

No religion, for instance, other than Islam, has ever commanded that those who insult or leave it should be put to death. (See Surahs 6:93, 33:57, 33:61)

On September 24 after being found guilty of “heresy” and “insulting prophet Jonah,” Mohsen Amir Aslani, 37, an Iranian psychologist, was hanged in a prison near the city of Karaj west of Tehran, according to the Human Rights Activists News Agency. Aslani, it seems, had given religious classes where he provided his own interpretations of the Quran. In one of his classes, he apparently told his audience that Jonah could not have emerged from the whale’s belly; it was this statement that led to his charge of insulting the prophet Jonah, the Iran Wire websitereported.

Left: Canan Arin, a feminist lawyer arrested in Turkey for “insulting religious values adopted by a part of the society” and “insulting the President,” after she mentioned that the Muslim prophet Muhammad married a 7-year-old girl and the President of Turkey married his wife when she was 15 years old. Right: Mohsen Amir Aslani, an Iranian psychologist who was hanged in Iran for the crimes of “heresy” and “insulting prophet Jonah,” after he said that the biblical prophet Jonah could not have emerged from a whale’s belly.

How much time will pass until Islam is reformed or reinterpreted? How many people will be killed, attacked or enslaved until that happens? How many Muslims have the free will or courage to speak out? Will Islamists even ever allow them to, without threatening retaliation? Are the Islamists so uncertain that what they are preaching can stand on its merits — as the Quran instructs, “without compulsion” — that they cannot even tolerate even a single comment about one of their prophets?

What Western progressives and feminists are doing for the sake of political correctness — or a well intentioned, if misguided, “multiculturalism” — does nothing to help Muslim women. On the contrary, “political correctness,” silence, or making excuses for atrocities caused by Islam, can only add to the suffering of women in the Muslim world.

If progressives truly want to protect Muslims, they cannot achieve this goal by “protecting” Islam from criticism.

If one is called “racist” or “Islamophobe,” the answer is that these are accusations bullies always use to silence people who disagree with them. The real Islamophobes are those who degrade, abuse and kill their fellow Muslims.

The worst thing any Western progressive or feminist can do in the face of the suffering caused by Islamic teachings, is to stay silent.

Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist based in Ankara.


[1] According to the Turkish Ministry of Justice, 2009.

[2] According to the data of the Turkish Statistical Institute in 2012.

[3] Arin co-founded the Purple Roof-Women’s Shelter Foundation, the Association for the Support of Women Candidates and the Women’s Rights Enforcement Centre of the Istanbul Bar Association. Between 1994 and 1997, she acted as an expert on violence against women for the Gender Equality Commission of the Council of Europe.

New Prophet of Islam Jimmy Carter Says Mohammed’s Sexism was Wrong


muslim-feminismFrontpage, By Daniel Greenfield:

Jimmy Carter, the Preacherman of Malaise, moving his bankrupt creed of big government and big beheadings down to ISNA began Muslimsplaining Islam to his Muslim audience.

“I hope all of you will use the principles of Allah to bring peace and justice to all.” Carter told a crowd of about 1,000 who had paid $200 a plate to attend the fundraiser luncheon.

“One thing that all men can do is to be sure that you treat your wife as you would like to be treated yourself,” Carter said, amid cheers. “My hope is all Christians, all Muslims, all people of other faiths, even those who don’t have one, will join in this crusade to end the plight of our wives, our sisters, our daughters.”

He spoke at length about prostitution, rape on college campuses, female genital mutilation and parents in some countries strangling their daughters because they want to have sons.

Christians really need to stop strangling their daughters and cut out the genital mutilation. This is the 21st century after all. Jimmy Carter didn’t strangle Amy and we can all take an example from that.

“Men and women are created equally from one soul,” Carter said. “If you were taught by your parents or you believe you’re superior to your wife just because you’re a man, Allah says your wrong.”

Is Jimmy Carter announcing that he’s the final prophet of Islam? Because he’s contradicting Mohammed, the official final prophet of Islam.

Mohammed asked some women, “Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half that of a man?” The women said, “yes,” He said, “This is because of the deficiency of the woman’s mind. ” Vol. 3:826

Mohammed to women: “I have not seen any one more deficient in intelligence and religion than you.” Vol. 2:541

Mohammed said, “I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women. ” Vol. 1:28, 301; Vol. 2:161; Vol. 7:124

Mohammed said, ” Bad omen is in the woman, the house and the horse.” Vol. 7:30

This is what you get when you follow the “Principles of Allah”. I’m not even going to mention Mohammed’s rape of a little girl.

*********

Published on Sep 1, 2014 by Acts17Apologetics

Jimmy Carter, former President of the United States, recently spoke at the national convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), where he encouraged his listeners to donate to ISNA and to use the “principles of Allah” to bring justice to oppressed people. Of course, ISNA has ties to both the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, so we can only wonder where the funds will go. And since Muhammad commanded his followers to oppress women and non-muslims, it isn’t clear how the “principles of Allah” will help anyone except groups like the Islamic State.

The War on Former Muslim Women

Ayaan-Hirsi-450x270by :

It is a tragedy and a shame that it had to take the mass kidnapping and sexual enslavement of 300 Nigerian girls by Muslim jihadists for the world to finally express its outrage over Sharia’s evil deeds. Similar stories of Christian girls being kidnapped, forcibly married and converted to Islam by their Muslim captors, have been a reality for decades. But unfortunately, and tragically, they have been ignored by our mainstream media. Only a few “Islamophobic” journalists have cared enough to report on such atrocities in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere — until reality exploded to such a great magnitude that it awakened the world’s conscience.

Former Muslim women like Wafa Sultan, Ayan Hirsi Ali and myself have been writing and speaking about the oppression of women in Islamic society for a long time now. I have written a book dedicated to connecting the dots between Islamic law and such kidnappings, rapes and other forms of oppression of women. But instead of helping our voices be heard, the leftist media and academia have ignored us, called us names and done everything in their power to silence us. They have treated the American people like children who are told they should not be outraged about far away cultural practices — because all cultures are equal.

Advocates of cultural relativism who are brutal in judging conservative and Christian Americans, and call them slanderous names, have no problem in tolerating Islamic tyranny over women and other minorities.

After 9/11 Americans asked: “Where are the voices of Arab Americans who condemn Islamic terrorism?” This question led a few brave former Muslim women to stand up and speak. But when we did (at our own peril), the leftist media and academia called us “Islamophobes” and “racists.” What is Islamophobic and racist about warning America about the tyranny of the barbaric religious legal system that we lived under and came to America to escape from its vicious clutches?

Muslims have convinced the leftist elites that criticism of Islamic doctrine is a hateful phobia equal to hating all Muslim people. Students who wanted to learn the truth about Sharia and its implications on women, jihad, the Arab Israeli conflict and terrorism, have been intimidated and forced to withdraw their invitation to former Muslim women speakers.

Not only have Muslim Brotherhood front groups and the Left succeeded in silencing speech critical of Islam, but reports about Islamic atrocities around the world have been suppressed — until now, when one horrifying story of an Islamic crime against humanity could not be contained.

And so now, with the Nigerian kidnapping story, Islam’s dirty little secret has been exposed: Sharia legalizes the taking of female hostages as sexual slaves in the jihad battle against non-Muslims. And since the jihad battle against non-Muslims is taught as a permanent institution, the kidnapping, rape and enslavement can happen at any time. In fact, the Islamic Nigerian mass kidnappers, who are experts on Sharia, are bragging on camera about their actions because they are told by their books and Islamic education that what they did is holy and legal under Allah.

Read more at Front Page

Where Does Naomi Wolf’s Hypocrisy End, Or Does It?

nwFront Page, by :

Naomi Wolf has joined the Hamas chorus by attacking feminist hero Phyllis Chesler with being a Zionist agent. How facilely Wolf has adopted the language of Jew-haters the world over — an even more bitter irony coming from someone who has written an entire book comparing democratic America to Nazi Germany.

And Chesler’s sin? To have dared to challenge the Left’s party line of defending the Islamic mutilators of adolescent girls, and practitioners of gender apartheid. But then again, this isn’t anything new for Wolf, seeing that she is on the record as finding the burqa sexy.

In her recent article, “Brandeis Feminists Fail the Historical Moment,” Phyllis Chesler criticized Brandeis’ phony feminists for their complicity in the University denying an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.  In a response on her Facebook page, Wolf joined the anti-Semites of the Mearshimer-Walt-Blumenthal set, claiming that Chesler has no mind of her own but is merely a puppet of the organized Jews:

“She is funded these days by pro-Israel advocacy organizations that support journalists and writers to advocate ‘the party line’ in terms of hardline anti-Islam and right-wing policy outcomes regarding Israel.”

This is pretty crude even for a brain-dead Marxist.

Wolf goes on to complain that Chesler,

“has made some outlandish, grossly factually incorrect attacks on me whenever I write anything that encourages Western readers to have a deeper understanding of Islam.”

What she means is a more grovelling supine attitude of appeasement towards barbaric Islamic attitudes and practices. When Wolf encourages people to have a “deeper understanding” of Islam, she is not alluding to caring more about the horrifying Islamic practices of female genital mutilation, honor killing, forced marriage and veiling, acid attacks practices against Muslims in the name of a perverse view of Islam. Chesler has already answered Wolf’s sick attack with a little tongue in cheek acidity:

“Naomi: Are you on the payroll of the public relations crisis management team Brandeis has reportedly hired? Are you now or have you ever been funded by George Soros? Or merely by the Democratic Party? Is Al Gore, for whom you once consulted, and who sold his cable channel to Al-Jazeera, backing you? Is he supporting your Woodhull Institute? Or are the Jordanian royals helping you? I know you visited with them and wrote about them very favorably.”

Wolf’s attack on Chesler is an extension of the collision that occurred between the two a few years back, after Wolf went on a political pilgrimage to the Muslim world and returned singing the praises of the burqa. Chesler dismantled Wolf’s embarrassing fairy tales of the female gulag that Islam has constructed for nearly a billion women with such precision that one wonders why Wolf is now even bothering stepping back into this mismatch. Unlike Wolf, Chesler is a true scholar of Islam and as the former bride of a Muslim in Afghanistan, she has first-hand experience of the horrors of Islamic gender apartheid.

Naomi Wolf is a sad emblem of the pathetic state of the Left and of its pseudo feminist wing: ignorant, arrogant, bigoted, anti-Semitic, anti-American and an embarrassing fifth column for the Islamic barbarians of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Islam and Human Rights

militants1n-3-web-450x343 (1)by :

Recently, I met a Syrian Salafist while speaking to Leaders of Democracy Fellows about Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Islam and human rights violations in Syria.

The individual who lives in Syria, and who seems to sympathize with Jubhat Al- Nusrah (Al-Nusrah Front) drew several distinctions between Islamic objectives of the global Jihad movement, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Jubhat Al-Nusrah.

The argument was that these powerful movements in Syria and beyond attempt to create an Islamic state anchored in Shari’a law, the teachings of Islam, Muhammad, and Allah. But the difference between Jubhat Al-Nusrah and ISIL, according to the person, was that the mission of the Jubhat Al-Nusrah aims at only establishing Islamic social order and an Islamic state in Syria. Whether this mission spreads to other countries is not a part of their objectives, though other countries can adopt this political Islamic platform if they desire.

On the other hand, the objectives and mission of ISIL is a return to the Caliphate system and establishment of an Islamic state throughout the region. In other words, creating an Islamic state and Shari’a law-based government in Syria or in Iraq is not sufficient and will not fulfill the desire of God, Muhammad, and Islamic teachings.

Currently, we can contend that Syrian oppositional groups are functionally dominated by Jihadists from around the world, other Islamist groups, and external groups attempting to create an Islamic order and pursue their own ideological goals.

Regarding these Islamic movements, my major question is on where human rights stand for them, regardless of the minor or significant differences between these Islamist oppositional groups?

Recently, a seven-year-old boy died because fighters believed him to be an apostate. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a 15-year-old Syrian boy was also killed in the northern city of Aleppo in front of his parents because the Islamist groups believed what the boy said was heretical.

Some of the proponents of Islam and Islamic laws would point out that the ideology and religion of Islam sit at the heart of human rights standards and are totally compatible with the modern notion of human rights.

But when I delve into the issue, and going into the nuances and details of the question, they seem to dodge answering. How can Islam be compatible with a modern notion of human rights and gender equality, when social and legal laws of Allah’s words in Quran, depict women as inferior to men in every aspect?

Article three of the universal declaration of human rights, states that ” Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person”. But in Islamic countries, a person who rejects and abandons Islam has no right to life. According to Islam, unbelievers commit the gravest sin in Islam.

While article four of the universal declaration of human rights says “one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms”, slavery is officially recognized and accepted in Quran.

Article five states that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Cases of stoning, lashings, and other violent acts, are rampant in Islamic countries.

How can Islam be compatible with human rights when, according to Muslims and the Quran, Allah specifically states in the Quran that a woman’s testimony in a court of law is considered half the value to that of a man?

Read more at Front Page