Punished by angels from dusk to dawn


Sara Khan of Inspire has an eloquent piece at the Telegraph on the Trojan Horse affair and its implications for Muslims who are not fans of bigotry and hatred. Sara of course is one such Muslim.

One of the most shocking findings, from both Birmingham City Council’s report and from the Government’s own investigation into the Trojan Horse affair, was the incredulous hate peddling promoted to young children by fundamentalist Muslims who attempted to infiltrate a number of schools. Children had been told not to listen to Christians because they were “all liars”; and how they were “lucky to be Muslims and not ignorant like Christians and Jews.” Schools put up posters warning children that if they didn’t pray they would “go to hell” and girls were taught that women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be “punished” by angels “from dusk to dawn”. One of the ringleaders of the Trojan Horse plot told an undercover reporter that “white women have the least amount of morals”, white children were “lazy” and that British people have “colonial blood.”

Read that passage slowly and think about it. Can you imagine schools – state schools – teaching that to children? It’s appalling. It’s a horrendous thing to do to children – to shape them into hate-filled fanatics.

And imagine being a liberal Muslim like Sara, seeing people actually defending it in case it would be “Islamophobia” not to.

These bigoted views are exactly that – bigoted. As a Muslim I object to those hardliners who aggressively suggest such views are Islamic. They are not. Yet this hate peddling was done in the name of Islam. I have seen over the years how sexist, homophobic and intolerant Muslims deliberately manipulate my faith to justify sexism, homophobia and intolerance to other faith communities. They hide behind the excuse of “Islam”, and argue they are within their religious rights to hold such bigoted views – and British society too often acts as if these are the natural rights of all Muslims. Such an attitude was seen, frustratingly, in the Muslim Council of Britain’s statement in response to the Trojan Horse findings, but also from Birmingham City Council, who did little to stop such practices as there had been a culture within the council which was more concerned about potential allegations of “Islamophobia”. This paranoia incredibly took precedent over the welfare and well-being of children in our schools.

That wouldn’t happen if people didn’t think the nastiest stuff was somehow the most authentic. Why not treat people like Sarah as more authentic, instead?

Take the Muslim Council of Britain. In their statement they complained that Mr Clarke was “conflating conservative Muslim practices to a supposed ideology and agenda to ‘Islamise’ secular schools.”

For the record, I’d like to know: what exactly does the MCB define as conservative Muslim practice? Does the MCB believe homophobia, sexism, intolerance and the “inferiority” of other faiths are conservative Muslim practices? The religious conservative Muslims I speak to tell me they are offended that this could ever be justified as such.

So let’s here a lot more from people like Sara and a lot less from the MCB.

Comments

  1. says

    Usual objection is usual.

    Glad she’s out there, but she’s yet another religious person claiming others are “manipulating their faith” as if faith were one thing. Another religious person wanting their cake and eating it too. I’m going to guess that if one were to press her for evidence of her faith, she’d refuse, because she doesn’t need evidence for faith. But then why should we take her word that these people are manipulating her faith if she can’t provide evidence that this is true?

    I guess I hate platitudes with a passion. Or it’s probably more that it depresses me how eagerly people gobble up platitudes.

  2. says

    @!1: she’s yet another religious person claiming others are “manipulating their faith” as if faith were one thing.

    Yes, exactly. I mean, I’m ecstatic (OK, maybe not *that* happy) that there are moderate Muslims saying that the fanatics don’t speak for them. Ditto Christians, Jews, Hindus, etc. But I assert that none of them have adequate grounds to claim that their version of their faith is the authentic One True Tradition, and the rat-bastards are all heretics. It’s not like we can actually ask Mohammed or Jesus or whomever their opinion.

    OTOH, I also wish atheists would stop claiming that Islam is inherently and irredeemably violent and extreme. Yes, there are Quranic proof-texts you can quote to that effect, but real people (as opposed to cardboard Others) are most inventive at rationalizing away stuff they don’t like and really, most people don’t much want to be violent; they know that what goes around tends to come around. It seems like a bad strategy — for a number of reasons — for outsiders to argue that extreme strains of a religion are the “real” ones, and the fundamentalists the true representatives thereof, and that the moderates don’t exist or don’t count.

  3. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    women who refused to have sex with their husbands would be “punished” by angels “from dusk to dawn”.

    If there really is a god angels and they spend their time doing that they have obviously got a very odd set of priorities.

  4. RJW says

    If Kuffars treated Sara Khan’s Islam as somehow more ‘authentic’ it would probably be counter-productive, I doubt that an infidel-approved version of Islam would be very popular.

    @1 Leo Buzalsky
    @2 Eamon Knight

    Yes, the members of ISIS and Boko Haram are all good, pious Muslims however they probably wouldn’t recognise Sara Khan’s version of Islam. Basically this is another variation of the silent ‘Muslim majority’ line, if the majority of Muslims were moderate, majority Muslim societies wouldn’t such as they are, usually violent and oppressive. I wish Sara Khan and her sympathisers good luck in converting her co-religionists to her version of the ideology, the fact is that Islam is a totalitarian system and inimical to liberal democracy.
    As to Islam’s inherent violence, the religion was spread by the sword from its invention in the 7th century.

  5. says

    @4: Well, I’m thinking of Muslims in the West, many of whom seem to have accommodated themselves to liberal democratic values. Majority-Muslim societies, not so much.

  6. RJW says

    @5

    “Well, I’m thinking of Muslims in the West, many of whom seem to have accommodated themselves to liberal democratic values.”

    Well we can hope that’s the case, however, I’d add ‘so far’ to the comment. The real test is, if Muslims become a substantial proportion of any liberal democracy’s population, how would the so-called ‘moderate’ Muslims behave, the precedents are cause for pessimism. I haven’t noticed many of these ‘thousands’ of moderate Muslims protesting against the barbarous excesses of their co-religionists.

  7. Omar Puhleez says

    It is IMHO possible to be a liberal-democratic and tolerant person, and at the same time a religious believer and practitioner. Most believers in whatever religion are so because they were born into it, and it forms an important part of their social support network, particularly at the family and tribal levels.
    .
    The Puritan and Calvinist variants of Protestant Christianity contained ideological seeds that on germination produced many of the modern liberal democracies, thanks inter alia to the ideas that all are equal in the sight of God, and that there should be strict separation of church and state, with religious office carrying no temporal power. One of the key biblical quotes which nobbled the Catholic priests and their confessionals was “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” (Timothy 2:5 King James Version). The conscience (and by implication consciousness) of the individual was a private matter between that individual and God.
    .
    The political implication of this sort of thing was liberal democracy. Catholic countries and societies had their problems with this, which problems show up in their histories. (Hitler was a Catholic by birth; never excommunicated.) Democracy and liberalism do not fit well with traditional Islam anywhere in the world, perhaps with the exception of Turkey.
    .
    Sara Khan of Inspire appears to be in the vanguard of an Islamic reformation.

    (From linked article in Birmingham Mail): ‘School chief Shahid Akmal told an undercover reporter from Birmingham Mail sister paper the Mirror, that “white women have the least amount of morals”, white children were “lazy” and that British people have “colonial blood”.
    ‘”They want to keep us suppressed. It’s easier to control. If you get education you get a mind. When you get a mind, you ask questions. They don’t like that.”’
    ..
    Sara Khan is displaying a mind of her own as well here. It might not go over too well with the likes of Shahid Akma

    .
    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/trojan-horse-report-reveals-school-7472330

  8. jesse says

    @RJW– I wouldn’t say Islam is inimical to democracy any more than Catholicism is — after all I can name at least three Christian-majority countries in Europe that when I was born were fascist dictatorships. All three are EU members now. (This In the 70s). The winners: Spain, Portugal, and Greece. The first expressly gave power to the Catholic Church over many, many areas of life (the old Spanish peseta coins had “Francisco Franco Caudillo de Espana por el Gracia Del Dio” on them).

    Heck, democracy wasn’t all that common in “the West” until the 20th century anywhere.

    Oh, and Latin America, with a 90 percent Catholic population wasn’t exactly democracy-friendly for a long while either. I can remember the folks running from a long list of countries where presumably Catholic military governments were the rule. You want violent? Talk to a Mayan about Rios Montt. Or to pious, pious Pinochet about what all those bodies were doing in the stadium.

    Remember Yugoslavia? Catholics and Orthodox Christians decided it would be OK to rape and murder people by the train-load. That wasn’t so long ago. What is it about those Christians anyway?

    I mean, after all, it was the Christians of the world who invented industrialized genocide. It was in the US that we thought slavery was A-OK — at a time when almost nobody else in the world, including Arab countries practiced it — certainly not on anything like the scale we had here. (Even Brazil had a fraction of the number of slaves per 1,000 people that we had, and slavery was explicitly outlawed in every other Latin American nation). The total population of slaves in the US was greater than the total population of whole Arab nations at that point; our percentage of slaves was way above anything else on the planet in 1859–there was simply no other nation on earth that depended on slave labor the way we did at that point.

    The claim that Islam is uniquely bad is where it gets dangerous, because you start essentializing. Imagine if I said “Well, you Christians seem to have a cultural thing about killing Jews, so I can’t trust that you will maintain democratic governments.” In 1973 I could have amended that to “Well, you Catholics/Orthodox seem to have a cultural thing about killing Jews, so I can’t trust that you will set up democratic governments.” Because after all, Europeans had just done that.

    That’s pretty stupid, as I think you’ll agree.

    Religion and culture interact in all kinds of ways. There’s just so much more to it than that. Christianity was used to justify slavery in the US and was used as a weapon against it. Which one is “real?”

    Turkey, Indonesia, Albania and Malaysia are all Muslim-majority nations. None of them is in much danger of becoming Saudi Arabia-like. Nor is Michigan. The Islamic world is a big place, and <8% of it is in the Levant and Arabian peninsula.

    Which touches on a problem that has been brought up before. Most westerners think of "Islam" and "brown Arabs" as the same thing. They aren't. Just like Christians aren't all white people. But if we only acknowledge Islam via what is a very small minority, then that grants the extremists more legitimacy than they deserve. That was the huge mistake of going after Al-Qaeda with the military rather than treating them as criminals — we collectively handed them a gigantic political victory. (If you don't think this is so ask why the Brits fought so hard against calling IRA men POWs and why the IRA was demanding that).

    This isn't a "silent majority" argument — all one needs to do is take a cursory look around. Heck, listen to Al-Jazeera English and the English-language stations and translate Al-Hayat. That will give a much better feel for what most people in that world are thinking (just as say, CNN and the local news in the US will give you a better feel for what Americans are like than Glenn Beck). If you can read/understand French I’d suggest a look at the outlets in Morocco or Algeria as well. The majority is quite loud. The problem is that many in the West refuse to listen or simply dismiss them — or worse, take action that is just about guaranteed to marginalise them.

    You can’t shoot or jail ideas. You have to fight with better ideas– and give people a reason to follow them. There are all kinds of reasons for the radicalization of Muslims populations in Europe, just as there are all kinds of reasons for similar radicalizations of Christians in both Europe and the US. Look at it the way you would mount a campaign against bigotry in a conservative area of the US. What would you do? I doubt you’d tell them that their churches are inimical to democracy and they were all a bunch of ignorant rubes. Not a winning strategy, that.

    Until we’re willing to acknowledge that Muslims have motivations as complex and varied as Christians do, when the radicals come we’re going to lose, because we’ll be stuck in the essentializing mode and unable to engage people where they live. And if we can’t do that why should any Muslim (especially a non-white Muslim) listen to us?

  9. RJW says

    jesse@8

    “RJW– I wouldn’t say Islam is inimical to democracy any more than Catholicism is — after all I can name at least three Christian-majority countries in Europe that when I was born were fascist dictatorships.”

    Yes, however the difference is (1) that they weren’t theocracies, but dictatorships supported to some extent by the institutional church, I wasn’t suggesting that Christian societies are somehow immune to fascism, (2) Islam, because of its totalitarian ideology is inherently anti-democratic. (3) I’m sure there are wannabe Christian theocrats who, given a chance, would return Western society to the 16th century. (4) I was describing the ideology of islam itself not necessarily advocating a generalised hostility to all its adherents.

    Islam has never experienced a Reformation whose influence spread far beyond religion and religious institutions, an Enlightenment, a Scientific Revolution, an Industrial Revolution or the development of secure liberal democracies. Significantly there’s no “Render unto Caesar’ in Islam.

    “Turkey, Indonesia, Albania and Malaysia are all Muslim-majority nations. None of them is in much danger of becoming Saudi Arabia-like. Nor is Michigan.”

    Actually, most of those countries are Islamising rapidly, particularly Turkey and Malaysia, there are many reports of the erosion of secular institutions, Indonesia perhaps, might retain democratic institutions, despite increasing Islamic pressure. I don’t know anything about Albania or Michigan.

    Although I disagree with some of the implications you’ve drawn from historical references, I have no dispute with the characterisation of US and Western policy towards Muslim countries as brutal and counterproductive, America has committed a series of war crimes in the ME and central Asia, and, of course, unconditional support for Israel is one of the most egregious examples. US strategists have learned nothing from the war in Indo-China where present generations are still paying the price of American imperialism.

    “Until we’re willing to acknowledge that Muslims have motivations as complex and varied as Christians do”

    Of course, I’m not some right wing loony who is deluded into thinking that the West is in an existential war against Islam, therefore the end justifies the means.

    I’m old enough to remember the Vietnam war.

  10. Omar Puhleez says

    jesse: RJW puts it well: “Islam has never experienced a Reformation whose influence spread far beyond religion and religious institutions, an Enlightenment, a Scientific Revolution, an Industrial Revolution or the development of secure liberal democracies.”
    .
    Islam and any sort of democracy do not sit well together. The ideal Islamic form of government is a top-down world-wide universal Caliphate. Separation of church and state is anathema, and I have no doubt that many an imam has preached many a sermon in many a mosque on that subject.
    .
    But also, the ‘democracy’ we have these days in large modern nation-states can only amount to representative government: government by a constitutionally elected oligarchy subject to periodic electoral re-endorsement. It cannot be participatory even on the limited Athenian model (which gave no votes to women and slaves) because the modern citizen base is too large. But its great virtue is the simple fact that it provides the citizenry a means of getting rid of an unpopular government without having to resort to civil war: the sort of thing routinely taking place these days across the Islamic world.
    .
    So the best I think we can expect is elected oligarchy, and the saddest fact about that is the pronounced tendency for those who seek democratic election to be not themselves democrats or inclined to support democracy as a matter of principle. (Indeed, many of them would not have the faintest idea what a principle was.) Thus, long after they became ‘democracies’ in terms of their own propaganda and proclamations, Britain, France, Belgium and Holland were running dictatorships in the colonies of their respective empires, the US was supporting dictatorships all over the world, and being cheered on by Australia, Canada, New Zealand and others.
    .
    Thus the Vietnam War was never a war for democracy. Rather, it was a war aimed at preventing it.
    .

  11. Al Dente says

    Omar Puhleez @10

    Thus the Vietnam War was never a war for democracy. Rather, it was a war aimed at preventing it.

    Actually American participation in the Vietnamese civil war was to support one dictatorship over another one.

  12. Omar Puhleez says

    Al:
    “Actually American participation in the Vietnamese civil war was to support one dictatorship over another one.”
    Not exactly true. Like colonial governments everywhere, the French one in Vietnam was never democratic; not by anyone’s definition. But the French had emerged from WW2 flat broke, and with an unfortunately battered image, having been defeated in Vietnam by the Japanese. The French fought the Vietminh in an attempt to preserve their colonial rule in Vietnam, and the US bankrolled them. So the French war was not for democracy. The US was understandably concerned about ‘godless’ communist expansion into the ‘Third World’, which included most of humanity.
    The 1954 Geneva Agreement which ended that first phase of the war, provided for the people of both N and S Vietnam to participate in a nation wide reunification plebiscite:
    “Northern and southern zones were drawn into which opposing troops were to withdraw, to facilitate the cessation of hostilities between the Vietnamese forces and those that had supported the French. Viet Minh units, having advanced to the far south while fighting the French, retreated from these positions, in accordance with the Agreement, to north of the ceasefire line, awaiting unification on the basis of internationally supervised free elections to be held in July 1956.”
    But Eisenhower’s intelligence told him that if that election were held, Ho Chi Minh would get around 80% of the votes. So the US torpedoed it, setting up the puppet Diem Government in South Vietnam instead.
    Colonialism brought forth an armed anti-colonial movement along similar hierarchical lines, with a enough guerrilla soldiers to defeat the mightiest army in the world. Though no successful army has ever to my knowledge been a democracy internally, at the same time nobody can bring such a force into being against the will of the very people making it up. Certainly not in the conditions of colonial and post-colonial Vietnam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Conference_(1954)#Indochina

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>