Known for his reformist views »« Moderation and tolerance

Those who are wanted by their countries of origin

Malaysia today is defending its extradition of Hamza Kashgari back to Saudi Arabia where he could easily be executed for saying he has questions about Mohammed.

International rights groups have slammed the deportation but Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysia was not a safe haven for fugitives.

Jiddah-based newspaper columnist Hamza Kashgari, 23, was detained Thursday at the Malaysian airport while in transit to New Zealand. He was deported Sunday despite fears from rights groups that he may face the death penalty if charged with blasphemy over remarks he tweeted that many considered offensive.

“I will not allow Malaysia to be seen as a safe country for terrorists and those who are wanted by their countries of origin, and also be seen as a transit county,” Hishammuddin said.

“Those who are wanted by their countries of origin” is it. What if they are “wanted” by their countries of origin for being gay? For being critical of their government? For leaving the religion of their parents? For marrying without the permission of their parents? For not wearing the hijab? For using an electrical switch on “the sabbath”? For laughing at the wrong moment? For not bowing low enough?

Is there any reason too stupid, too vicious, too trivial, for a country to “want” people and Malaysia to obey that “want”?

Probably not, given the profound triviality and viciousness and stupidity of Saudi Arabia’s reasons for “wanting” Kashgari.

He said the deportation followed a request from the Saudi government. Allegations that Kashgari could be tortured and killed if he was sent back home are “ridiculous” because Saudi Arabia is a respectable country, he said.

Oh is it. Is it really. Tell that to foreign domestic workers there. Tell it to people executed for “adultery.” Tell it to women arrested for driving cars. Tell it to convicts sentenced to having their hands and feet amputated. Tell it to everyone who has been hassled by the Mutawwa’in.

Local rights group Lawyers for Liberty said Kashgari arrived in Malaysia on Feb. 7 from Jordan and was leaving the country two days later to New Zealand to seek asylum when he was detained.

“The cold hard truth is that Malaysia has bent over backwards to please Saudi Arabia, breached international law by not allowing (Kashgari) to seek asylum and instead handed him on a silver platter to his persecutors,” it said.

Comments

  1. Roger says

    “I will not allow Malaysia to be seen as a safe country for terrorists and those who are wanted by their countries of origin, and also be seen as a transit county,”
    It would be intersting to see what would happen if- say- the return of an Uzbek or Khirgiz opponent of their government was demanded of Malaysia. Would they return them? If they did, they would at least be consistent in their depravity.

  2. Upright Ape says

    Stupidest thing here is that fascist Malaysians sell themselves as an example of “moderate” Islam.
    And maybe they are right. Maybe islam can never get better than this.

  3. bananabrain says

    For using an electrical switch on “the sabbath”?

    you see, this is what annoys me. is this lack of proportion supposed to show how even-handed you are or something? it comes across simply as mean-minded and downright mendacious. are you actually suggesting that such things happen? when you say things like this, you reveal how little you actually understand about judaism, let alone the difference between judaism and islam. of course, you don’t care, why should you, it’s all sky fairies to you, but doesn’t it bother you that you’re including in your accusations a group of people that have never attempted to act in the way that the saudis do? even the most unpleasant amongst ultra-orthodox jews have never exploited the international legal system to pursue their dissenters that have left the fold. once you’re out, you’re out. it may not be easy for you to leave their community, particularly for your family, but it is perfectly possible to do so and there are organisations that will support anyone who feels it necessary.

    look, i abhor the behaviour of some of my co-religionists in terms of their unnecessary stringencies and their own lack of proportion and perspective when dealing with anything out of their comfort zone; i protest in the strongest possible terms their exploitation of the israeli political system to feather their own nests and undermine the rights of other israelis, but this is simply yet another example of unwarranted overgeneralisation – you are using muslims as a stick to beat jews. when the feck did we ever piss in the multicultural soup in any other country but our own? liberal democracy has been good for us. but no, muslims take liberties and you’ve got to come after us, to be “fair”. we don’t deserve this – and you play straight into the hands of those who say “we told you so, the goyim bla bla bla”. thanks a feckin’ lot.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  4. says

    bananabrain – are you nuts? Of course I’m not saying that happens; that was the whole point. It’s a reductio ad absurdum. It’s a hypothetical. That’s completely obvious when you read the whole passage –

    What if they are ”wanted” by their countries of origin for being gay? For being critical of their government? For leaving the religion of their parents? For marrying without the permission of their parents? For not wearing the hijab? For using an electrical switch on “the sabbath”? For laughing at the wrong moment? For not bowing low enough?

    Those are all ridiculous, tyrannical “reasons” for a country to “want” a citizen in the sense of wanting a citizen extradited for prosecution.

    I don’t know how you managed to think I meant anything else.

  5. bananabrain says

    no, ophelia, i’m not “nuts”. i’m just fed up of being lumped in with nutters just so you can make your big point about how evil religion is. some of us, y’know, actually try and make the world a better place without treating others like crap.

    my point is this: your reductio ad absurdum locates me, yet again, on a spectrum which assumes that i am giving aid and comfort and support to loony islamists by merely existing and going about my life in a religious way. it’s like saying that a renewable energy company is no different from big oil, because, hey, they’re both part of the same exploitative energy generation system which encourages people to use natural resources!

    perhaps i’m not as clever as you, but perhaps you might also understand that the message you constantly send is that you think my culture is simply evil and must be eliminated. if you had your way, nothing about the way i live my life would be allowed and i would no doubt be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. of course you’re entitled to your opinions, but it seems to me that you either don’t realise or simply don’t care about what always, always, always, happens when jews get punished for being jewish.

    now, come on and tell me how stupid i’m being and how i’ve misunderstood your argument. don’t worry, though – i can hear the tone just fine.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  6. says

    So it’s all about you, bananabrain. I didn’t realize that. Do you really want to come across as that self-absorbed?

    Anyway –

    my point is this: your reductio ad absurdum locates me, yet again, on a spectrum which assumes that i am giving aid and comfort and support to loony islamists by merely existing and going about my life in a religious way.

    No it doesn’t. It does no such thing – unless you in fact think people should be executed for using a light switch on the sabbath, which judging from what you say, you absolutely don’t.

    That’s such an unreasonable conclusion to draw, when my whole point is that killing people for trivial or meaningless infractions of arbitrary religious “rules” is reprehensible. You apparently think exactly the same (except for thinking the rules are arbitrary) so why on earth are you saying I’ve implicated you? At most I’ve implicated some of the “rules” of your religion. Well guess what: I’m allowed to do that. This business of taking any criticism of a religion personally is the theocratic bullying de nos jours, and it sucks.

  7. bananabrain says

    “self-absorbed”? i didn’t *ask* to get drawn into a discussion which was presumably meant to be critical of the saudis. you decided to include an example of a jewish transgression which, if you knew the first thing about how judaism operates, is basically between humans and G!D anyway and so, from your PoV can be safely ignored.

    likewise, we don’t *ask* to get drawn into the very real fight that militant islam and liberal democracy are conducting – we are in no doubt about which side our bread is buttered there; we are certainly not on the side of people who actively try to kill us on a regular basis; and yet, apparently, people like you now see people like me as the enemy!

    That’s such an unreasonable conclusion to draw

    well, guess what – it’s also pretty unreasonable to take a slap at us when we’re not part of the problem. you’re pretty sensitive about things that other people say and i’ve seen you draw plenty of your own “unreasonable conclusions” when it’s an issue close to your heart. that’s up to you, of course.

    This business of taking any criticism of a religion personally is the theocratic bullying de nos jours, and it sucks.

    look, if it was criticism of religion, that would be fair enough, but you don’t seem to understand what is actually going on in a number of countries – secularists (and bear in mind that secularism has always protected minorities and that is part of why i defend it) are defending themselves against militant muslims, but in order to camouflage the fact that it’s muslims they really have a problem with, they invariably target us as well, when we have done nothing to deserve it and, to top it all, we also have to defend ourselves against militant muslims, the far right and the far left!

    personal? let me tell you, it’s pretty fecking personal when i have to import my meat, or i have to hide who i am, or i can be persecuted for how i look or dress. you understand that, i’m sure. i can’t stop being jewish any more than you can stop being a woman and neither of us should have to apologise for it. why don’t you care about telling the difference between the malignant and the merely different?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  8. says

    You can’t be serious.

    You didn’t “get drawn in” – you chose to comment. I didn’t exert any kind of sucking power on you merely by mentioning light switches and the sabbath. I’m allowed to mention religious rules, I don’t need your permission, and you’re entirely free to ignore me.

    So yes: self-absorbed. You did say “i’m just fed up of being lumped in with nutters” as if I had actually mentioned you when I neither mentioned you nor thought of you. You talked as if the post were about you. That’s self-absorbed, to put it mildly.

    It’s utter nonsense to say that transactions between humans and god can be safely ignored. The hell they can! They’re fraught with danger.

    “and yet, apparently, people like you now see people like me as the enemy!”

    It’s all about you again! I don’t know anything about you, so I don’t know what you mean by “people like me” – and unless you do in fact think people should be executed for turning on a light, I don’t see people like you as the enemy.

    “it’s also pretty unreasonable to take a slap at us when we’re not part of the problem.”

    You’re not paying attention! Who is this “us”? I don’t know who you are! You seem to think you’re world-famous and everyone knows what religious grouping you belong to. I don’t know that. I gather you’re Jewish, and observant, but I have no idea what kind. I don’t particularly care, either.

    “in order to camouflage the fact that it’s muslims they really have a problem with, they invariably target us as well”

    Don’t you dare. I’m sick of this shit. One it’s not “Muslims” I have a problem with; two I’m not trying to camouflage anything, and don’t you dare accuse me of things you pull out of your ass. I’ve had way too much of that lately and I’m sick of it. I despise authoritarian religious “rules” of all kinds. Period.

    “i can’t stop being jewish any more than you can stop being a woman”

    That’s complete bullshit. If you really think that it’s tragic.

  9. bananabrain says

    You talked as if the post were about you. That’s self-absorbed, to put it mildly.

    i’m genuinely astonished; as if there’s something wrong with pointing out to you the actual implications of what you’re saying.

    It’s utter nonsense to say that transactions between humans and god can be safely ignored. The hell they can! They’re fraught with danger.

    *my* interaction with G!D can safely be ignored by *you*. i don’t really see that it’s anyone else’s concern.

    It’s all about you again! I don’t know anything about you, so I don’t know what you mean by “people like me”

    people who think that anything religious is not only indefensible and stupid, but actively harmful.

    and unless you do in fact think people should be executed for turning on a light, I don’t see people like you as the enemy.

    then can i safely assume that though you disagree with them, you would not criminalise kosher slaughter, circumcision, ritual baths or religious courts, y’know, like in the soviet union as was?

    I’m sick of this shit.

    you’re not the only one.

    One it’s not “Muslims” I have a problem with;

    in your case, i’ll let that one go, as you are an equal-opportunities hater of religion, but generally speaking, jews are far safer to upset than muslims are.

    That’s complete bullshit. If you really think that it’s tragic.

    plenty of us found from the C19th onwards that complete assimilation and disowning our jewishness was no protection: if they can’t get us one way, they’ll get us another. it’s tragic all right and it’s tragic that you have so little empathy.

    despite what you may think, i’m not trying to guilt-trip you. i am genuinely saddened by my inability effectively to communicate how this stuff makes me feel.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  10. says

    bbrain – really – try harder.

    You have no right (cognitively speaking) to be astonished. You went beyond pointing out implications by using the first person pronoun repeatedly. As I said, you made it about you. I’m tempted to go through your comment and Bold all the ego pronouns.

    Yes, your interaction with god can be ignored, but that’s not relevant, since the subject is rules and punishment for violations of rules.

    You think that “anything religious is not only indefensible and stupid, but actively harmful”? That’s “people like you”? I thought you were saying the opposite.

    Do I think “kosher slaughter, circumcision, ritual baths or religious courts” should be legal? No, no, yes, and no. I think all of them should be energetically opposed.

    “in your case, i’ll let that one go”

    Yeah see that’s not what I was demanding. I was demanding a withdrawal. I won’t get it, but I do get to say you’re not in a position to “let” anything “go” when it comes to what I say.

    Assimilation – ok, I misunderstood what you meant by “stop being jewish” – I thought you meant the religious part as opposed to the ethnic part. As you know, the word is ambiguous that way. In that sense, agreed, you can’t stop – and shouldn’t be expected to or pressured to, and shouldn’t want to.

  11. Rrr says

    Ophelia: I sincerely apologize if my silly comment earlier has provoked this prolonged derailing. The intuitive analysis, however, I can basically stand for, now that we has gotten a little bit more meat upon those bare bones so to speak.

    Banana: Please do not forget this started as a very serious discussion about States’ criminal abuse of extradition for “religious crime”. Nobody wants to find themselves on the sharp side of that stick — but the solution cannot be to kowtow to the religious regimes, since they are also locked in deadly combat. And are all wrong. So there. Just cut it out, ok.

  12. bananabrain says

    bbrain – really – try harder.

    i don’t think you need to be quite so aggressively patronising.

    look – my point is that you can’t ignore the practical implications of the positions you’re taking for myself and people like me, so i thought i’d spell it out to you as it perhaps it wasn’t clear. i hardly think it’s a matter of ego, as i’ve mentioned a number of times that getting dragged in (no, you, personally, haven’t actually dragged, physically, me in, i get that) is a big issue right now – it is extraordinarily unhelpful for every aspect of every religion to be treated as if it were al-qaeda. no minority group enjoys being essentialised, especially by hyperbole or odious comparison.

    You think that “anything religious is not only indefensible and stupid, but actively harmful”? That’s “people like you”? I thought you were saying the opposite.

    aargh, i can’t believe i did that. by “people like me”, i mean “jews who are also highly concerned with ethical and moral behaviour”. for some reason i thought your “people like me” (i.e. bananabrain) referred to “people like you” (i.e. ophelia). d’oh!

    Assimilation – ok, I misunderstood what you meant by “stop being jewish” – I thought you meant the religious part as opposed to the ethnic part. As you know, the word is ambiguous that way.

    it is pretty much that we have found that assimilation is no defence against people who object to our very existence, so people like yourself (note precision) who would (i assume) probably be satisfied with assimilation would be better advised to focus on integration. unfortunately, even the assimilated continue to experience ongoing attacks from people who identify themselves as non-racist.

    In that sense, agreed, you can’t stop – and shouldn’t be expected to or pressured to, and shouldn’t want to.

    unfortunately, the things that you think should be illegal and /or energetically opposed are central to our ability to be jews. you can’t be a (male) jew without circumcision. you can’t be a jew without some way of addressing and resolving correct action in accordance with Torah, which ultimately requires religious courts. so, effectively, your agenda destroys any other form of judaism other than the purely ethnic or political, but don’t worry, the far left and islamists will be along to deal with the political and the far right and islamists will be along to deal with the purely ethnic shortly.

    are you sure you’re happy with your role in this? i mean, when was the last time someone jewish did you any harm because of their religion?

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  13. Rrr says

    D’oh! So immensely sorry, Banana, I must have totally missed the implication of the location of that Brain of yours: It’s at the end of your “banana”! But of course! How could we all not see the earth-shaking importance of that? In this, we are indeed deeply humbled by your great “mind” fockus.

    Meanwhile, Banana has — again — completely misunderstood the current topic.

    Here’s a sikrit hint: (it’s not all about yourself, this time)

    Allesame, have a good one, ok?

  14. says

    b.b. you’re probably right about the being patronizing, but you are so energetically missing the point.

    You’re arguing with things I didn’t mean and didn’t say. I don’t know what else to tell you.

  15. bananabrain says

    ok. you may be right that i’m “missing the point”, but i think we’re getting closer to how this post disturbed me:

    You’re arguing with things I didn’t mean and didn’t say.

    i think that might be because you aren’t totally clear what the implications of your stance actually would be for me and mine. i’ve tried to point this out. you may say i’m reading in, or that i’m drawing unwarranted conclusions, or that i’ve misread or misunderstood or am overreacting – and, you know what, it would be nice if i was wrong. but, i’m afraid, i don’t think i am. i can see where this is going. when it comes right down to it, i don’t think jews can count on the protection of a secular society if it is run according to your way of thinking.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  16. says

    You know – that is both ridiculous and disgusting. That’s an absolutely disgusting accusation – and you offer not one shred of support for it.

    You’re also (though this is a comparatively minor matter) back to talking as if I should be thinking of you (and yours) when I write things. I can’t be thinking of you when I write things because I’m not even aware of your existence except when you remind me in this way. No of course I’m not totally clear what the implications of my stance actually would be for you and yours, because you and yours are not something I think about.

    Anyway, the sly implication about genocide renders you beneath contempt. So many theocrats have that problem…

  17. bananabrain says

    fine, be self-righteous if you like. i’m sure everything makes 100% sense and can be backed up with any number of rational justifications and so on. what do i know – i’m only someone that has to pay for private security for my kids’ school because secular society doesn’t seem able to find the moral courage to action the very sensible laws it has put in place, to oppose the graffiti, threats, assaults, intimidation, vandalism and, in some case, petrol bombs. yes, yes, i know, it’s other sky-fairy fans doing it this time, but your response? “i’m only interested in a one-size fits all approach, so you don’t deserve any special consideration, so why don’t you just hide in a cupboard and pretend to be someone else? (it’s really your fault anyway for sending them to a faith school and sharing some of the same views and anyway, you’re probably just being hysterical and how disgusting and ridiculous you should bring it up.)”

    i think i’ve heard enough, so i won’t bother you with any more importunate egoism.

    b’shalom

    bananabrain

  18. says

    Good. You’re a bullying creep. You put words in my mouth, you blame me for problems at your children’s school (in a country 6000 miles away from me), you attribute views to me that aren’t mine. You’re a very nasty piece of work.

  19. Rrr says

    Will you go away now? Do something else please. Thank you.

    In my eyes you are only hurting yourself and yours by showing what great fools “you and yours” can be, when you so perversely persevere. I suspect that is not the image you want to project to the rest of the world.

    Not that there will be many eyes left un-glazed-over by now…

    Or are you actually some kind of Saudi Poe? No, I’d rather not know.

  20. Josh Slocum says

    You’re really full of it, bbrain, and you’ve got the wrong end of the stick. If you think your “being Jewish” is something that can’t happen unless your Rabbis are allowed to cut foreskins off baby boys your moral compass is severely broken. How is it that your right to “be Jewish” includes enabling the “right” to cut foreskins off babies who can’t consent? Surely as a humanitarian type of guy, you’d object to this and point out that such decisions should be made when a person reaches the competent age of majority, right? And you certainly wouldn’t want to endorse religious courts that enforce unequal rewards and punishments based on the sex of the parties, right?

    Because you don’t mean to actually defend those practices as what it means to be both an authentically Jewish person and a decent human being, right?

  21. Rrr says

    Yes, Josh, only you see this discussion was originally about the utterly crazy immoral and illegal deeds done by the officials of other sovereign states, in order to persecute some guy who had the unfortune to utter aloud his thoughts that he was not much worse than some other Mohammad guy, and as a consequence of that misstep he had to flee for his life only to be illegally extradited from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia in order to have his fuckin’ head cut off. And this time we’re talking about the one usually adorned with hair, ears, brains etc.

    Into this quite serious debate frolicks Mr BananaBrain to kvetch endlessly, relentlessly, erroneously and without any sense of proportion whatsoever, about how “he and his kind” are sooo persecuted since Ophelia happened to mention one of his precious rituals as one example (amongst many others) of stupid, irrelevant to outsiders, superstitious taboos.

    That is what makes me begin to seriously suspect his motives, and/or general sanity.

    I swear — because I’ll never again be able to enjoy a Banana Daiquiri. Damn you, Mr Brain Mush in Spirits! (Well, you stated a preference for insult. Suck it up.)

  22. Jack Napier says

    BB is a well known, arrogant, narcissist. He is, for all intent and purpose, what one would call a ‘Jewish supremacist’. One only need read is tiresome, self absorbed, and pseduo intellectual nonsense to undestand what he is really about. Oh how he looks down his nose at anyone that dare have a view, that is not his. In the end, you want me to tell you how it really is? Israel are a terror state. Always were. From the Irgun to the Stern Gang. There is only one ‘jewish state’. It has existed 60yrs. And it has proven to act above all law, international law, the UN, Geneva convention, etc.

    They will never abide by these laws, and the bulding of settlements will go on and on, that IS the Zion Nazi end game, and there is NO DENIAL. They don’t want a ‘peace process’. They want to steal, more, more, more, more, just as they never TIRE of bleeding money from Americans, and extoring it from Germans. ‘Jewish state’. Do. Not. Make. Me. Laugh.

    It’s not KOSHER.

  23. Jack Napier says

    Ophelia, that is what he is.

    A creep.

    A control freak.

    And a Class A interet bully.

    Behind his PC, of course…

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