INTERPOL, you have done this before… »« But you cannot shut us up

Malaysia must pay for this and Saudi Arabia too: Hamza must live

Police have confirmed that Hamza Kashgari was sent back to Saudi Arabia on Sunday despite protests. A friend has emailed to say the Malysian authorities refused to allow a lawyer to talk to him.

Malaysia’s home ministry has said that ‘The nature of the charges against the individual in this case are a matter for the Saudi Arabian authorities’. Which basically means that any asylum seeker or refugee must be returned as it is a case for the government in question!?

Malaysia must be made to pay for this heinous act of returning someone to their possible death (something that Western governments also do all the time by deporting asylum seekers).

And Saudi Arabia must feel such rage that it dare not touch a hair on Hamza’s head.

Saudi Arabia be warned. We will not let you kill Hamza. Be warned.

A campaign for Hamza will be announced shortly.

(via Sigmund)

Comments

  1. mirax says

    I was out all day and just got this news. The bloody fucking Malaysian government played very. very dirty with this one. I am speechless with anger.

      • mirax says

        I had sent emails out to people in KL begging for help and advice on early on Saturday morning and before they could even reply, the bastards had deported him. They sidestepped the legal manoeuvres deliberately.
        Despicable but exactly what you’d expect from a home minister- Hishamuddin- who held aloft a knife/kris at his political party’s annual convention and warned that blood would flow if nonmuslims and non-malays questioned the supremacy of race and religion in malaysia. Bet most of you dont know that right? Or that he instigated his party thugs to defile a hindu temple with a cowhead demonstration. Literally. They walked brandishing a bloody cow’s head and ‘warned’ their fellow hindu citizens. On another thread in FTB, someone is actually mentioning Malaysia as a moderate muslim country. Yeah, once upon a time.

        • Steersman says

          Mirax (# 1.1.1),

          Bet most of you don’t know that right? Or that he instigated his party thugs to defile a Hindu temple with a cowhead demonstration.

          Gives a lot of credibility to claims that Islam is a religion of peace and brotherhood. Not to mention illustrating their hypocrisy, their crocodile tears, over being offended about some cartoons.

          I’m beginning to think that Muslims have just about worn out their welcome in Western democracies.

          • mirax says

            >>I’m beginning to think that Muslims have just about worn out their welcome in Western democracies.<<

            No, dont conflate separate issues.

          • Martyn N Hughes says

            Steersman, for me, this isn’t about Muslims versus non-Muslims, West versus East etc, it is about modernity versus regressive values.

            I do believe that if we stick to this thought we cannot go too far wrong and falsely charge ordinary Muslims, Jews and christians as being enemies.

          • Rafiq Mahmood says

            Then, Steersman, you become part of the problem. You conspire.

            Hamza is, as far as I know, still a Muslim. He is a young man who has not yet learned to be a hypocrite. He took his Islamic teachings at their word: Muhammad is just a man, don’t make partners with Allah. That is what he expressed in his Twitter messages.

            Confused that when he was expressing what he had been taught should cause so much offence, he tried to seek refuge in New Zealand – a “Western” democracy. If he had managed to reach that haven you would have him turned back there too because you were “fed up” with Muslims.

            Muslims are the victims. Who are being blown up daily in the market and mosques places of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan? Who are being tortured and killed in Iran? Who are still being killed in Iraq and Saudi Arabia? Who, indeed, were most of the victims of the Rushdie affair? Muslims killed during demonstrations in Muslim countries.

            I live in a Muslim majority country. Most of my friends and colleagues are Muslim. They are normal, intelligent, ordinary people. They say their prayers because they were brought up that way. They never questioned their belief because there were more important things in their life to be getting on with. It is the wallpaper in their lives. They don’t actually know that much about their religion. They only know the “good stuff”.

            The people who are evil are those who are professional believers. They actually know what the teachings are. They know it is unjust, inhuman and cruel and yet they still persist because they know which side their bread is buttered. They are the people we are right to have no truck with. Those are the people we must fight – the politicians and the leading clerics who manipulate and use the people.

            Please don’t get tempted to follow the BNP line. That is just so wrong. They are our enemies too.

          • Mriana says

            Steerman, I think the difference between Muslims and Islamists is like the difference between extreme Evangelical Fundamentalists (Religious Reich, as I like to call them) and Episcopalians. Both are Xians, but one is more extreme and if I had a choice between the company of an Episcopalian and an extreme right wing Fundamngelical, I would chose the Episcopalian any day, because I know, almost without a doubt, the Episcopalian would be on my side concerning women’s rights, abortion (pro-choice), supporting gays and their rights, Civil rights, etc. Where as, the Religious Reich would sooner make laws to oppress and dehumanize women (like myself), degrade and condemn me because I had a relationship with a Black man, deny my right to women’s health care, and prevent gays, like George Takei and Greta Christina from marrying the person they love, sometimes with violence.

            Of course, Islamists are even more violent and dogmatic about their religious superstitious dogmas than the Religious Reich is, thus it’s almost like comparing a cantaloupe to a watermelon with this analogy and eventually it breaks down, but I think that might help you understand what Maryam is saying. Muslims, from what I gather, are less extreme than Islamists and don’t necessarily share the same superstitious dogma and like a less extreme Xians don’t share the same views as the Religious Reich, and probably would not dream of killing someone who disagreed with them.

            It’s matter of different sects within the same religion (Sufis v Sunnis or Sunnis v Shi’ites for example). I hope that helps you some to view it like that and get an idea of what Maryam is talking about.

          • Steersman says

            mirax said (#1.1.1.1),

            No, don’t conflate separate issues.

            Which issues? Some being offended and threatening murder and mayhem over some cartoons on the one hand, and, on the other, the values of most “moderate” Muslims? Seems to me that the crux of the matter and the common and very problematic feature in both cases is the extent to which Islam in general rejects Western democratic principles such as universal human rights, the separation of church and state, and free speech.

            To attempt to deal only with the “Islamists” is to address the most salient symptoms, not the disease.

          • Steersman says

            Maryam Namazie said (# 1.1.1.2),

            This is not about Muslims BUT Islamists.

            Surely, you must have read Ibn Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim? [If not then I can’t recommend it highly enough, adding my own vote to those of such as Hitchens, Daniel Pipes and Anthony Flew.] He argues with some though not total justification and credibility that “there is no difference between Islam and Islamic fundamentalism”. While I might quibble a bit on that point as the Pew Forum report on religion in America indicates some 8%of Muslims think the Quran was written entirely by men – no divine entity in the loop, that still means that over 90% do think it is largely or entirely literally true – a rather fundamental if not fundamentalist tenet I would say.

            I remember someone talking about the problematic nature of gun control – rather its lack – in America by comparing it with the standard plot of murder mysteries: you buy a gun in the first act and you have to use it by the third. Similarly, as most Muslims have bought the central premise that there was an Allah behind the scenes, behind the smoke and mirrors, talking to Muhammad they are obliged to act in accordance with whatever “painful verses” happen to be in it – which can be painful indeed if the wickets get any stickier. As long as the Quran is accepted as being literally true – in whole or in part and by significant percentages of the population – so long will it bedevil and hinder your very commendable efforts to curtail its worst manifestations.

            The actions of Islamists only point to the fundamental and systemic problems within Islam itself; they are only the tip of a very large iceberg.

          • Steersman says

            Martyn N Hughes said (#1.1.1.3),

            Steersman, for me, this isn’t about Muslims versus non-Muslims, West versus East etc, it is about modernity versus regressive values.

            Agreed. Although my contention – and largely that of Ibn Warraq in his Why I Am Not a Muslim – is that Islam is itself essentially regressive and totalitarian, and inimical and antithetical to the principles of democracy.

            I do believe that if we stick to this thought we cannot go too far wrong and falsely charge ordinary Muslims, Jews and Christians as being enemies.

            To the extent that “moderate” Muslims, Jews and Christians don’t speak out against the overtly crazy they are part of the problem and not part of the solution. Christians – many of them anyway – at least give some lip service to the idea of separation of church and state – “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”, although most of the front-runners in the Republican horse race seem to be unclear on the concept. But Islam with its reliance on law based on the interpretation of supposedly divine revelations by a privileged class of priests is inherently theocratic and totalitarian. Warraq again:

            Indeed autocracy and Islam are far more natural bedfellows than Islam and democracy. Democracy depends on freedom of thought and free discussion, whereas Islamic law explicitly forbids the discussions of decisions arrived at by the infallible consensus of the ulama. The whole notion of infallibility, whether of a “book” or a group of people [or an individual such as the Pope], is profoundly undemocratic and unscientific. [pg 181]

          • August Pamplona says

            … as the Pew Forum report on religion in America indicates some 8%of Muslims think the Quran was written entirely by men – no divine entity in the loop, that still means that over 90% do think it is largely or entirely literally true – a rather fundamental if not fundamentalist tenet I would say.

            I’d love to see the exact wording of that.

            I suspect if you repeated that poll in the USA and it was worded anything like that the poll & substituted the Bible for the Quran in a survey of Christians you would not get much higher than 10% (in fact, you might not hit 10%). I’d love to know if this was done. Now, if you worded it differently, you probably could come to the conclusion that the percentage of people believing the Bible is literally true is much, much smaller than that 90% you would be deducing from the original wording but that’s probably not what that poll was trying to show with the Islam poll.

            Trying to get a Christian to say that the Bible is written entirely by men is just not going to fly, most of the time. At the very minimum, a Christian is going to always want to leave some room for “divine inspiration” and they might not find comfortable room in that particular wording. I would not expect any less for a Muslim.

          • Steersman says

            August Pamplona said (# 1.1.1.9),

            I’d love to see the exact wording of that.

            Pew Forum Report: “http://religions.pewforum.org/comparisons#”

            [Select “Beliefs and Practices” and then “Literal Interpretation of Scripture”; I can’t provide a “hot” link as it puts my posts into moderation. Also note that the PDF doesn’t open properly with Internet Explorer 8 under Windows XP – at least on my machine, although that might be due to the Acrobat version I’m using.]

            As a brief summary, it indicates that, at least in America, some 50% of Muslims think the Quran is the “Word of God, literally true word for word” while some 36% think it is still the “Word of God, but not literally true word for word” – no indication which words in particular qualify as “non-literal” and, in any case, likely to be a somewhat academic difference if push came to shove. And that, as you suggest, is quite similar for “Evangelical Churches” and “Jehovah Witnesses” [59/29 & 48/45 respectively] but quite different from Buddhists and Hindus.

          • August Pamplona says

            Yes, that Pew survey paints a much more complex than what was suggested by your comments and it is also not nearly as simplistic as one would have guessed based on them. It does seem rather interesting and it does seem to show real differences (which is not unexpected). Thank you.

          • Steersman says

            Rafiq Mahmood said (#1.1.1.4),

            Hamza is, as far as I know, still a Muslim.

            Maybe. But he also seems to be one who thinks for himself and refuses to follow the party line. More power to him as his presumed doubts are an important beginning, the pulling on a loose thread by which the whole odious superstructure – at least in his own mind – will start to unravel. As put by some of the early heretics and freethinkers in Islam that Warraq quoted: “the first, necessary condition of knowledge is doubt”.

            If he had managed to reach that haven you would have him turned back there too because you were “fed up” with Muslims.

            Don’t think so. For one thing, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. And for another I’m getting fed-up with literalists of all stripes, particularly Muslims. And fortunately according to the Pew Forum report there are at least some 8% of Muslims who don’t believe that there is any literal truth in the Quran, presumably that which relates to any divine entities.

            Muslims are the victims.

            Some Muslims are certainly victims, although it seems that there are more than a few who are the victimizers. Although it seems there is some justification for considering the victimizers the victims of previous generations – very similar to etiology of the sexual abuse of children. But Warraq starts off with a relevant quote of one E. Renan:

            Muslims are the first victims of Islam. Many times I have observed in my travels in the Orient, that fanaticism comes from a small number of dangerous men who maintain the others in the practice of religion by terror. To liberate the Muslim from his religion is the best service one can render him.

            But those who are “maintained” in their practice also contribute to the problem as well. As Richard Dawkins put it in his The God Delusion:

            The take-home message is that we should blame religion itself, not religious extremism – as though that were some kind of terrible perversion of real, decent religion. Voltaire got it right long ago: ‘Those who make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.’ So did Bertrand Russell: ‘Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do.’ [pg 345]

            They say their prayers because they were brought up that way.

            Aye, there’s the problem, the belief in literal entities for which there is not a single solitary shred of solid tangible evidence: the absurdities that lead to the atrocities. What about all of the literally thousands of other gods that mankind has worshipped over the millennia? What happened to Zeus and Hera and Thor and Woden and Ahura Mazda (a god of rotation)? Disappeared like Puff the Magic Dragon when people stopped believing in them? Silliness compounded on silliness. Time to grow up boys and girls.

            Please don’t get tempted to follow the BNP line. That is just so wrong. They are our enemies too.

            Don’t know very much about them at all, although I saw a few comments by one of them on Islamic Awakening which didn’t look totally off the wall. Someone else who was getting fed-up and maybe not without reason.

          • Steersman says

            August Pamplona said (# 1.1.1.11),

            Yes, that Pew survey paints a much more complex than what was suggested by your comments …

            Definitely a complex issue – as someone said, when you go to change something you find it connected to everything else in the universe. And, unfortunately, I only have a limited amount of time and space and knowledge – I’m lucky if I can hit the relevant high points.

            But you’re welcome; my pleasure.

          • Steersman says

            Mriana said (# 1.1.1.5),

            Steersman, I think the difference between Muslims and Islamists is like the difference between extreme Evangelical Fundamentalists (Religious Reich, as I like to call them) and Episcopalians.

            “Religious Reich”. I like it J.B., I like it. :-) Can I use it? “Sieg Heil Mein Fuhrer! Oh, sorry Pope, didn’t recognize you in that fancy red dress and entirely fetching hat.”

            But I’ll agree that there is a difference between Muslims and Islamists. However, as I’ve argued in previous posts here, those differences are largely superficial, that as Warraq put it “there is no difference between Islam and Islamic fundamentalism”. Seems to me that as long as one believes in the supposed literal truth of the chain of Allah to Gabriel to Muhammad to ulama – as seems to be the case for some 85% to 90% of all Muslims in America – then one has seriously crossed the Rubicon into some dangerous and pretty bizarre country.

            However, that there are some 8% of those Muslims who don’t buy that schlock is, of course, encouraging, although one might reasonably ask whether they could even be considered such. Warraq quotes a Sir W. Muir [The Life of Muhammad] on that point:

            A reformed faith that should question the divine authority on which they [the institutions of Islam] rest, or attempt by rationalistic selection or abatement to effect a change, would be Islam no longer. [pg 187]

            More than a few authors I’ve read have talked of the necessity for and possibilities of an Islamic Reformation akin to the one started by Martin Luther. But in Muir’s view that would certainly seem to be a stretch if not an impossibility like trying to square the circle. But maybe – even Luther didn’t reject the existence of god, apparently only its supposed representatives which probably promoted an increasing rejection of theism.

            Of course, Islamists are even more violent and dogmatic about their religious superstitious dogmas than the Religious Reich is …

            Agreed, but I think that most Muslims are far closer to the Religious Reich than they are to the Episcopalians. Although I periodically wonder about the reason for that difference. Maybe partly because Christians have had an extra 600 years of bloodletting to temper their enthusiasms. And for the saner members of the larger community to find methods of keeping them out of government.

            It’s matter of different sects within the same religion (Sufis v Sunnis or Sunnis v Shi’ites for example).

            I’ve read a little about Sufism and some of it seems quite reasonable if not profound. But that is, apparently anyway, a more philosophical branch of Islam if not a heretical one; quite some distance from the very problematic literalism and entirely bogus emotionalism of the mainstream.

      • Mriana says

        Whatever you do, please don’t hurt the rat. I would hate to see what Ingrid Newkirk (Pres. of PETA) and A.L.F. would do to you. I won’t protect you from them if you hurt the rat. Anyone else I might. lol

  2. Rafiq Mahmood says

    I cannot contain my anger.

    This young man has been kidnapped by the state. He was not seeking asylum in Malaysia – he was en route to New Zealand. This is the same as when fleeing Jews were turned back to face the concentration camps or fleeing Russians were turned back to face Stalin’s gulags: all because of diplomatic expediency. And it seems that the name and facilities of Interpol were hijacked to effect this illegal chicanery.

    Visiting Malaysia from the chaotic indiscipline of Indonesia I was always struck by how much like the best of Britain the country was, relatively clean and well organised; English spoken and written correctly; square three pin plugs; familiar shops and food. Now I feel sick to the heart. It is like seeing those pictures of the Channel Islands under NSADP occupation during the Second World War: the familiar banks and shops with the Wehrmacht tramping by.

    If this sounds like an emotional rant, it is, and with good reason. This is a tipping point. Something has snapped. I feel personally at war. It is a struggle now, an all-out struggle using all effective means to prevent the world becoming enveloped in a “new and terrible dark age” as Churchill put it when Britain had her back alone against the terror from Europe.

    I do not want to sound like the BNP and their ilk who are ever ready to wrap themselves around the flag when they spout their vile nationalist nonsense. They too are part of the terrible dark age that threatens us. I am not a monarchist and I am not nostalgic for whatever “British values” are supposed to be. But I do feel a great sense of betrayal by people who should be better educated and should know right from wrong. And this illegal kidnap is wrong. It is an act of profound treachery and evil against a young man of only 23 years who, like all young people, had not yet learned to be afraid of their own thoughts.

    I cannot feel anything except profound despair for Kashgari. It is like seeing a dead man walking.

    I hope the world will wake up now. For me it is like a slap in the face. I will fight this evil with everything I have in me and even when all is exhausted I will continue to fight with nothing except anger. And my anger will never die.

    Let the world know that I, Rafiq Mahmood, will fight to the end of my life against the insanity of political religion, and Islam in particular. I will face prison, torture, the noose, the firing squad or the headsman’s sword but they will never crush my anger. I do not use an alias, except the one that I adopted 45 years ago when I stepped into foolishness and which I continue to use now as a proud ex-Muslim.

    Some of us will continue to fight in the shadows and their fight is none the less for that. But these young men, Alexander Aan and Hamza Kashgari, have set an example. They are pioneers. We have to start coming out and saying as eloquently as we can, “We are not afraid. Freedom of thought shall prevail.”

    Rafiq Mahmood
    Bogor,
    Indonesia

  3. Martin says

    I hope Hamza knows he has friends on his side. It must be a desperately lonely state he is in. The youtube vid showing a call for his execution by a Saudi Sheikh and some similar sentiments by some Muslims on popular online forums have really sickened me. I hope something big can be done to spread awareness of his plight. They won’t care what outsiders think if only a tiny minority are aware.

  4. elisabetht. says

    The media and those apologists (sadly from the left in most cases) that push Malaysia as an example of ‘moderate’ Islam should take note what that means in practice. Of course this is just one of Malaysia’s many human rights abuses signalling contempt for freedom of conscience. Malaysia after all outrageously classifies all native Malay speakers as Muslims in in its constitution. A country willing to go to that ludicrous extreme is capable of anything.

  5. says

    Maryam and the council of Ex-muslims of Britain is the best.
    I am with you.
    I think we should start very urgently and start with Malaysia, how can we let its govenment pay? they really have to pay a lot, also to frighten Saudis if they kill him which they may do very soon to render any international campaign worthless in saving his life.
    HOW CAN WE PUNISH MALAYSIA?

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      I agree. They must pay a heavy price.

      Britain is very heavily involved in Malaysia and there may be pressure that can be brought to bear there.

      I think the Interpol connection is interesting. Were Interpol facilities used? Can Saudi and Malaysia be suspended from the organisation for misusing its facilities?

      Sadly I agree that the sword will swing quickly, particularly because the king demanded Khashgari’s arrest.

  6. says

    Maryam, I couldn’t agree more. I will help with whatever you come up with. This idiotic nonsense has to stop. Tweeting about how mohammed (curses be his name) makes you feel falls squarely withing the human rights of every individual on this planet.

    Can we boycot the shit out of Malaysia? What do they produce? The same as the boycot of the Danes, for the cartoons.

    Boycotting Saudi will be harder. All oil will be sold, and comingled on the markets. What does Saudi produces except for oil and gas?

    Rafiq, kudos to you. Tell me what I can do to help you too.

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      You cannot boycott them because they produce raw materials: petroleum, tin, rubber and above all that nasty palm oil which is destroying the ecosystem of South East Asia. They do have a tourist industry which they promote very heavily, that is if anyone can afford to go on foreign holidays from the UK now?

      Perhaps someone could do a spoof advertisement: Malaysia: Truly Awful.

      • Mriana says

        I don’t buy palm oil and I take public transportation. Now if more people did that, it might hurt the Middle East economy. Of course, it wouldn’t hurt it as much as to go to electric cars or other forms of alternative energy in which we would not have to rely on Saudi Arabia.

        • Rafiq Mahmood says

          How do you manage not to buy palm oil? It is in almost all packaged food products (labelled as “vegetable oil”).

          • Mriana says

            I don’t fry foods and I’m a vegetarian. So I hardly ever use oil, except what comes naturally in vegetables.

  7. grahammartinroyle says

    This is appalling news. His guilt has already been decided in S.A. He will not get a fair trial. I am disgusted with malaysia (I have deliberately not capitalised the name of the country as an insult) for their actions in this matter, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  8. Mriana says

    Why are they always so dead set on killing people for everything and anything? How many people do they need to kill before they figure out that something is not only wrong with their system and beliefs, but that is barbarically primitive and emotionally void of anything for fellow human beings? A woman steps out of her house, they kill her. A man says they don’t believe in Ah-yah, they kill him. Two people fall in love, they kill them. Etc etc etc. Everything is blasphemous, which is really ridiculous. It’s insane.

    • Nayef says

      That is sadly the fundamental problem in Saudi. They don’t care if they look bad or barbaric as long as they think they’re obeying their god. To them obeying their god makes them happy and saves them from hell and god’s wrath. Part of the culture is to have extreme respect for the prophet and they think that being silent about his insults will make their god angry. It’s only natural for them to put god’s happiness, no matter the cost, over their image because to them after they die they’ll be judged for whatever they did or didn’t do in their lifetime. So with that thinking, they won’t care about pissing off the world or ruining their image because god doesn’t care about those things either as long he is obeyed. Many of the things they obey is their clerics who, since there’s nothing about cursing the prophet or god in the Quran or Hadith, have gotten together and decided and decided those were grave insults that would make them cry, shake them to the core, and those who do it should be killed.

      • Steersman says

        Hey asshole. It is our business, the people’s business, the nature of democracy, the right to freedom of expression regardless of what your fuck-witted “Bombhead” (t.m.) prophet thought up in his fevered imagination to justify his hate and self-aggrandizement.

      • Rafiq Mahmood says

        You are right, Steersman. It is everyone’s business to fight for freedom.

        Hamza did not say anything derogatory about Muhammad. All he said was that he disagreed with him on some things and that he would not pray for him on his birthday. So what? For that the 23 year old must die? And this makes Islam attractive?

        To shout and scream and call for people to die for “insulting” their prophet is behaving just like a two year old having a tantrum. If our anonymous troll (who calls for me to show myself) really believes his own epithet then he must face the bitter truth himself and think and argue reasonably instead of hurling capitalised nonsense at us.

        But the fools who argue with the sword and steel noose do not know how to argue using their brains. It is they who are afraid and they who are desperate.

        It is our business. It is everyone’s business because we do not want the Islamic Inquisition to spread and snuff out the best thing we have – human thought.

        • Steersman says

          It is everyone’s business because we do not want the Islamic Inquisition to spread and snuff out the best thing we have – human thought.

          Exactly that, the very fundamental Islamic rejection of free thought, the use of reason and the virtual abjuration of anything that smacks of even the least bit of innovation – which I note is tantamount to heresy in Islam.

          Been doing a fair amount of reading on the topic lately – motivated in part by an indirect recommendation of Ibn Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim – including on the Islamic Awakening and SalafiTalk.Net sites. And one thing that is somewhat amazing and somewhat disconcerting is all of the convoluted dialog on abstruse points of dogma – byzantine logic chopping with nary a fact in a boxcar load – along with all sorts of huffy, pretentious and ridiculous accusations and counter-accusations of being heretical kuffars or takfiri. Reminds me of Irshad Manji’s The Trouble With Islam Today in which she notes:

          Many Saudi youth won’t touch manual work, yet their intellectual skills don’t keep pace because their schools remain poached in religious studies.

          Poached, simply poached. A point that was emphasized by a relatively recent Jesus & Mo cartoon which observed:

          What do you think of this Mo? In a single year, Spain translated more books into Spanish than have been translated into Arabic in the last 900 years?

          Such a profound, willful and pig-headed commitment to ignorance – a sleep if not a drugging of reason – is a danger to both them and to the rest of the world. Reminds me of something from Sir Martin Gilbert’s book, Israel, where he quoted another writer’s [Herzog’s] comments on the “religious fanatics” responsible for the assassination of the Prime Minister. Which I think can stand for the necessary response of humanity to religious fanatics in general:

          If the murder of such a man [Rabin], of a Prime Minister, does not set the very fibres of our national being atremble, if it does not shock us to our very foundations; if we have not vomited out the curse, and uprooted the cancer, and not done away with that group of insane zealots – that badge of dishonour for our people – we are, God forbid, in danger of seeing this nightmare recur. …. The fires of destruction are burning at the edge of the camp. If we do not together, hasten to extinguish them, they will destroy our entire house” [p599].

          • Mriana says

            Unless their schools change and stop leaning heavily on their book of mythology, then they will continue to become further and further behind in the world. Of course, this maybe one reason they want to take over the world with their myth. Hopefully the world is smart enough not to fall for it and strong enough to fight against it.

      • Mriana says

        As a humanist, compassion for other human beings, which is something you obviously don’t have, IS my business. Why don’t you come into the 24th century and stop being a barbaric superstitious caveman?

  9. Hassan Radwan says

    We must make as much noise and stink about this as possible. The Saudis don’t like issues like this getting wide media attention. They like to quietly punish/imprison/execute. The more noise we make – the harder it will be for them to execute Hamza.

        • Mriana says

          He’s one sick puppy, that is for sure. He’s not even a puppy. To call him that insults dogs. Sorry about that. He’s sick, mentally ill, for sure.

          • Achrachno says

            He just seems like bitter person. I always wonder in cases like this (usually dealing with Xian fundamentalists) if the person was always so twisted, perhaps due to a history of child abuse, or if their religion somehow curdled their humanity. Whatever — a sad case, but a danger to others.

          • Mriana says

            Achrachno, I consider religion, not only a death cult, but because it can be very abusive, a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

  10. cag says

    allah must be quite a weakling, unable to exact its own revenge, much like the christian god.

    Quran 46:9 Say: “I am no bringer of new-fangled doctrine among the apostles, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. God is the ONLY one who can judge humans.

    The preceding was from islamforpeace and represents a “modern” interpretation. There seems to be a lot of judgment being done by true believers illiterates.

  11. Rafiq Mahmood says

    A candle in the darkness:

    Facebook group (English) Free Hamza Kashgari: 1,789 members
    Facebook group (Arabic) Saudi People Demand Retribution from Hamza Kashgari: 20,671 members.

    The insanity of the mob has taken over again. We are back in the 1930s. This will be a long and terrible struggle. But we will never surrender. Our anger will never die until every human being is free to think and to express their thoughts. And they dare to call us Kafir! They are the ones who cover up the truth. They are the ones who would snuff out every candle that dares to flicker and expose their hideous lies.

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      In Defense of Hamza Kashgari

      On the birthday of the Prophet (February 4th), Hamza Kashgari, a 23-year old Saudi journalist, posted the following on Twitter:

      “1- On your birthday, I will say that I have loved the rebel in you, that you’ve always been a source of inspiration to me, and that I do not like the halos of divinity around you. I shall not pray for you.
      2- On your birthday, I find you wherever I turn. I will say that I have loved aspects of you, hated others, and could not understand many more.
      3- On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.” (Translated from Arabic)

      The Saudi public reacted vigorously, thousands of Internet users calling for his arrest, trial and execution for blasphemy. Hamza Kashgari immediately posted a retraction and an apology on Twitter. A Facebook page entitled “The Saudi people want the execution of Hamza Kashgari” was created (it boasts today, February 12th, more than 18,000 members).

      On February 5th a famous Islamist activist, sheikh Nasir al-Omar, dedicated his regular lesson (watched on youtube by hundreds of thousands) to the issue and called for the eradication of blasphemy and the execution of Hamza Kashgari. Thousands of faxes and telegrams were sent to the Saudi Royal Court while thousands of lawsuits were filed against him within Saudi Arabia. Dozens of thousands of angry Twitter and Facebook users were calling for his death, posting his address online and disclosing details about his family. The scale of the campaign is explained by the fact that, according to several witnesses, organized Islamist activists were following Hamza Kashgari’s writings since many months, waiting for an opportunity to get at him.

      On February 6th, Hamza Kashgari left Saudi Arabia for New Zealand via Kuala Lumpur. While looking for a connecting flight at Kuala Lumpur airport he was arrested and detained. Later that same day, the Saudi King, Abdallah bin Abdelaziz Al Saud, ordered Hamza Kashgari’s arrest and interrogation.

      On February 7th, the Saudi Permanent Fatwa Committee convened under the presidency of sheikh Abdelaziz Al al-Sheikh, General Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and published an official communiqué describing Hamza Kashgari as an apostate and a heretic – an accusation that in Saudi courts carries the death penalty. The Saudi minister of Culture and Information banned Hamza Kashgari from publication.

      The Kashgari case has mobilized human rights organizations, fellow journalists, academics and the general public worldwide. More than 4,000 people have signed a petition asking the Malaysian authorities not to deport him to Saudi Arabia, where he would face an unfair trial and the perspective of a death penalty. Many more have signed an open letter to Malaysian Prime Minister to the same effect.

      Hamza Kashgari has been detained incommunicado by the Malaysian authorities, which refused him the right to consult a lawyer. He has been handed over to the Saudi police on the morning of February 12th despite a court order obtained by his lawyers to prevent his extradition.

      Hamza Kashgari’s only chance not to face a harsh punishment is the recognition by the highest Saudi authorities of the benign nature of his posts on Twitter and of the hateful campaign waged against him by Islamist extremists – a campaign that jeopardizes the image of Saudi Arabia worldwide, the image of Islam, and the peace and security of Saudi society.

  12. says

    A candle in the darkness:

    Facebook group (English) Free Hamza Kashgari: 1,789 members
    Facebook group (Arabic) Saudi People Demand Retribution from Hamza Kashgari: 20,671 members.

    I see no signs of the Free Hamza Kashgari group on Facebook. Is it gone?

    The retribution one sure isn’t.

  13. Rafiq Mahmood says

    Maryam – URGENT: I want to edit one of my posts (post No 16) and remove the second paragraph of the quotation from the Free Hamza Khasgari facebook page. If not, can you please delete it so that I can repost as amended.

    Thanks.

  14. Abu Hamzah says

    HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH

    WHO THE HELL YOU GUYS THINK YOU ARE? LOL! FEEL SUCH RAGE? IDIOTS..

    HAMZAH WILL BE KILLED. LET THIS BE A WARNING TO ALL THOSE WHO INSULT THE PROPHET (S.A.W.).

      • Mriana says

        lol I just got a picture in my head on that little cartoon boy who pees on everything from Chevy to the Xian cross in my head. Not sure if you’ve seen it or not, but you just gave me the image of that cartoon boy “pissing on the Mo-ham-mad”.

        • Steersman says

          :-)

          Seems that this Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes fame and he has peed on an awful lot of icons; can’t find one for Muhammad but I feel a creative urge to Photoshop one myself. But that reminds me of something I’ve quoted fairly extensively recently and which seems entirely apropos here as well:

          The importance of blasphemy is in providing a language of power. To decree certain views, certain ideas, certain practices, even certain thoughts, as taboo is to demand that certain forms of power cannot be contested.

          And that is the whole motivation behind Muslims’ demands to not insult, to respect, their pissant Prophet; they really do need to recognize that respect is earned and not bought with threats and intimidation and abuse of basic universal human rights. Slow learners those kids.

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      Oh we heed the warning very well. But who is it who is “insulting” this long dead warlord? Who is it who is driving people away from Islam and showing it to be barbarous and stupid and cruel? When someone cannot question, how are they to find out about this “exemplar to mankind”? Do you think for a moment that your swords will silence our anger at this barbarity? Hamza did not “insult” your “prophet”. You insulted him yourselves by showing that you have no brains, no wit to argue or discuss. If you are true Muslims then you follow the example of your prophet. That is what sunnat is, isn’t it? So when you behave with such cowardice as to kidnap a 23 year old poet and journalist and howl for his head because he merely said that he wanted to treat Muhammad as a human being, who share the strengths and weaknesses of all human beings and not bow before him like a god what is the world to think?

      If you follow the example of the prophet then you become the reflection of him. So it is you who are insulting the prophet if anyone is.

      We heed the warning. There are thousands of poorly educated deluded people with minds enslaved by their power hungry religious and state leaders. You may well be in the majority. But if you think for one moment that will silence us or persuade us to relinquish the fight for freedom to think and talk you are gravely mistaken.

      You call us kuffar. Yet it is you who are so desperate to cover up the truth and the light of argument and discussion that you kidnap a young man and fly him back to Saudi in a private plane to silence him with your sword. Yet you are the fools! His tweets have now bounced all across the world in news items. By trying to silence him you have made his voice echo across the globe.

      You not only insult your prophet but you insult Allah too if you think that Allah was the creator of everything. According to you he gave you brains. And you are insulting him most assuredly by not using them.

      • Abu Hamzah says

        What? Logic fail lol. The scholars of all 4 schools of thought within Islam have stated that even insulting the Prophet (S.A.W.)’s button warrants execution.

        Insulting our Prophet (S.A.W.) is not an expression of ideas. Are you too stupid to understand? You can talk about Shari’ah but once you’ve slandered the Prophet (S.A.W.) you’ve crossed a very thin line.

        If you give yourselves the freedom of speech, then we give ourselves the freedom of action.

        • NC says

          If your prophet demands violence for insults, your prophet has no claim to holiness.

          If you return words with violence, you are lower than an animal.

          • Steersman says

            If you return words with violence, you are lower than an animal.

            But! But! Consider: they is just poor babies and they’s feelns’ is hurt ….

            And not a goddamn bit of evidence to even justify allowing the case to go to trial, much less persuade any rational jury. But I forgot, jury trials aren’t a big thing in the Muslim world, just hearsay and political and religious opportunism.

            What a bloody joke. No wonder the religion and Muhammad are such large, easy and tempting targets for ridicule and satire and that are entirely deserving of all of the ordnance one can unload on them. Reminds me of one along that line told by Bill Maher to the effect that all that Muslims want to do is to be left alone to subjugate their women –all under cover of sharia. Not on my watch, nor on most of those here.

        • Rafiq Mahmood says

          I know nothing about the fellow’s button so I cannot comment. He might have had very fine buttons, for all I know. Indeed I expect them to have been of the finest quality that could be bought or stolen as caravan raiding booty.

          Now if it is true that all four schools of Muslim thought said that to insult Muhammad bin Abdullah’s button deserves death then that tells me a great deal about the worth of Muslim thought and the wisdom and justice of the so-called scholars. What are the assumptions and the chain of reasoning that could have led them to that bizarre conclusion? It is you who are doing more damage to your own cause by raising such arguments. Authority does not come from the size of hat that you wear or how many of you that believe the same bullshit. It comes from the strength of the evidence and the logic of your hypotheses.

          If I “insult” a long dead warlord’s button I do not deserve death. My existence poses no threat to anyone. The only person who “deserves death” is someone who is killing people and cannot be stopped by any other means.

          No. Freedom of speech is not the same of freedom of action. My freedom of speech is limited, I agree. I cannot plagiarise other people’s words and claim them as my own. I cannot stir up a mob to anger with the likely result that they will commit harm. I cannot shout, “fire” in a crowded theatre where there is no fire. I cannot say untrue things which could damage a living person’s reputation. Other than that, I am free to say what I like. Freedom of action is also limited. I cannot hurt anyone except in self-defence or in defence of others’ safety and even then my action must be proportionate. I cannot take that to which I have no right. My actions must not damage others.

          But actions and speech are not the same. If I say something which is wrong you have the right to correct that by saying something else. You do not have the right to attack me physically. If I attack you, you have the right to restrain me. Everything must be proportionate.

          If you call me an idiot, fine. You have that right. But your words would bear more weight if you attempted to justify the epithet by counter argument to my argument. If you do not then you are in danger of the epithet reverting to yourself through your own inaction.

          • Abu Hamzah says

            If you’re really interested in finding out the fiqh behind the ruling maybe you should read Ibn Taymiyyah’s book as-Sarim al-Maslul ‘ala Shatim ar-Rasul but you probably dont even know a word of Arabic, most apostates since all of you are driven out of Islam by your ignorance and their doggy like desires in this world..

            Says who? Who are you to decide if you deserve death or not? Did you create yourself? No, therefore you dont get to decide when you die.

            Again, says who? Who made up those rules? Why should I conform to these rules?

            The fact is your claim to “freethinking” since your very much a slave. A slave to Western thought, you cant seem think outside of your dark egoistic hole.

          • Rafiq Mahmood says

            If you want to make the case, then make it. Explain it to me. To me it is bizarre. Why should I spend time looking up something which seems silly? Instead of which you make assertions about things of which you know nothing. If the logic of the fiqh is so compelling it is up to you to explain it not me to search for it.

          • Mriana says

            Abu Hamzah, you can’t seem to think outside of your violence. Instead, you are the one deciding who dies and who lives, no one else, which is wrong. Humans are doing this. No one or nothing else is deciding this and it is humans who are doing the violence, killing, and depreciating life. Dogs are better than that, thank goodness, and are willing to serve their human, even give them love. Freethought is not slavery, but religion and it’s dogma is. You are a slave to your religious dogma, which I find very sad. I’d take a dog’s company, over yours, any day and I understand and appreciate him or her far better than your barbaric and primitive ways. I certainly feel safer around a dog than you, placing him or her in far high esteem too. The same goes for a pig or another breed of ape too. IMHO, you are the lowest of apes and trust me, humans are apes. You shriek louder than a gorilla and a chimp put together. The clown can stay, but the Ferengi in the gorilla suit has to go ~ Geordi LaForge, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Guess who’s the Ferengi in the gorilla suit in this case.

        • Steersman says

          What? Logic fail lol. The scholars of all 4 schools of thought within Islam have stated that even insulting the Prophet (S.A.W.)’s button warrants execution.

          Well, who the fuck are they? Bunch of idiots trying to prove that the Emperor’s new clothes are the height of the latest fashion. Besides which some 30% of all Muslims [at a guess] – the Shia – seem to think that drawing images of Muhammad is no big deal.

          Insulting our Prophet (S.A.W.) is not an expression of ideas. Are you too stupid to understand?

          Looks to me like you are the idiot-child here – along with the some 80% of Muslims who think the Quran is literally true. The idea intrinsic to the cartoons about Muhammad is that your religion is largely a pile of junk that a bunch of fascists try to use to intimidate the rest of the world. No sale.

          There is no more justification or evidence for thinking that Muhammad was talking to God – or rather that God was talking to Muhammad as the insane asylums are full of people who talked to God and went around the bend at the deafening silence – than there is for thinking that Moses or Joseph Smith were doing likewise. You do know that the latter is quite certain that the latest revelation from on-high came from the angel Moroni (an apt name if I ever heard of one)? As that happened in about 1830 I would say that you guys are out to lunch, having lost favour with the Big Guy Upstairs.

          You can talk about Shari’ah but once you’ve slandered the Prophet (S.A.W.) you’ve crossed a very thin line.

          No; you have crossed that line in rejecting the right to freedom of speech, the separation of church and state, and universal human rights notably for women who you treat as less than second-class citizens. You were the ones who have discredited Muhammad; the cartoons are only the icing on the cake.

          If you give yourselves the freedom of speech, then we give ourselves the freedom of action.

          We didn’t relinquish that latter freedom either. You might want to take a look at the history of the expulsion of various fractious ethnic and religious groups over the last 500 years. For three examples among a great many, there were the expulsions of Jews and Muslins from Spain in 1500, the transfer of several million Greeks and Turks in 1923 and the expulsion of several million Mexicans from America in 1930 and 1950. People who insist on repeating the mistakes of the past are condemned to experience the same consequences.

        • Steersman says

          Abu Hamzah (#19.2.1),

          [Repost to remove links as apparently in moderation]

          What? Logic fail lol. The scholars of all 4 schools of thought within Islam have stated that even insulting the Prophet (S.A.W.)’s button warrants execution.

          Well, who the fuck are they? Bunch of idiots trying to prove that the Emperor’s new clothes are the height of the latest fashion. Besides which some 30% of all Muslims [at a guess] – the Shia – seem to think that drawing images of Muhammad is no big deal.

          Insulting our Prophet (S.A.W.) is not an expression of ideas. Are you too stupid to understand?

          Looks to me like you are the idiot-child here – along with the some 80% of Muslims in America [Pew Forum report] who think the Quran is literally true. The idea intrinsic to the cartoons about Muhammad is that your religion is largely a pile of junk that a bunch of fascists try to use to intimidate the rest of the world. No sale.

          There is no more justification or evidence for thinking that Muhammad was talking to God – or rather that there was any God present while Muhammad was talking as the insane asylums are full of people who talked to God and went around the bend at the deafening silence in response – than there is for thinking that Moses or Joseph Smith were doing likewise. You do know that the latter is quite certain that the latest revelation from on-high came from the angel Moroni (an apt name if I ever heard of one)? As that happened in about 1830 I would say that you people are out to lunch, having lost favour with the Big Guy Upstairs.

          You can talk about Shari’ah but once you’ve slandered the Prophet (S.A.W.) you’ve crossed a very thin line.

          No; you have crossed that line in rejecting the right to freedom of speech, the separation of church and state, and universal human rights notably for women who you treat as less than second-class citizens. You were the ones who have discredited Muhammad by your actions; the cartoons are only the icing on the cake.

          If you give yourselves the freedom of speech, then we give ourselves the freedom of action.

          We didn’t relinquish that latter freedom either. You might want to take a look at the history of the expulsion of various fractious ethnic and religious groups over the last 500 years. For three examples among a great many, there were the expulsions of Jews and Muslins from Spain in 1500, the transfer of several million Greeks and Turks in 1923 and the expulsion of several million Mexicans from America in 1930 and in 1950. People who insist on repeating the mistakes of the past are frequently condemned to experience the same consequences.

  15. Saudi ex-muslim says

    Hamza story is a hope that burnt down. Now there is a stigma campaigns on twitter where fundamentalists are trying to get more Saudi freethinkers in the same slot with Hamza, now most freethinkers are cautious, some changed the name they tweet with or locked their accounts, some will refrain from using social media. Myself I’ll have to be more hypocrite than anytime than before.

    I believe this case was utilized used by the government to stop the spread of Arabspring and by fundamentalists to stop any liberal influence and mobilize their powers

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      Don’t despair.

      I know they are trying hard to find anyone with “an intellectual connection” with Hamza. But once you have let the genie out of the bottle it is hard to get him back. Remember, you are not alone. When there is no twitter, there is facebook. When there is no facebook there is the internet. When there is no internet there is paper. When there is no paper there is word of mouth. You cannot silence people with fear. Stalin tried it. It didn’t work. Hitler tried it. It didn’t work. McCarthy tried it. It didn’t work. Mao tried it. It didn’t work. You cannot suppress the curiosity of human beings.

      I have no illusions. This will be a long hard struggle. There will be many more deaths and much more hardship, frustration and feelings of despair. It may well come to global conflict on an unimaginable scale. That is certainly what the Islamists want and expect.

      The worse the repression the stronger and more determined will be the resistance to it. Our numbers will assuredly grow in proportion to the stupidity and barbarity of our opponents. We may not live to see the victory, but it will come and it is worth fighting for, even though, as in all human conflict, there will be no “war to end wars”. We will always have to fight for freedom.

      • Steersman says

        We may not live to see the victory, but it will come and it is worth fighting for, even though, as in all human conflict, there will be no “war to end wars”. We will always have to fight for freedom.

        “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

      • Martyn N Hughes says

        You’re absolutely right Rafiq.

        Men may be able to beat a dog into submission but the human will is inherently hard to break, as many despots have found out.

        Considering Islam means submission and the human spirit refuses to, the outcome of this battle has already been determined in the long term.

        Not that I advocate complacency or denial of current events, but we should remember this, when feeling down.

        However, back to our short-term goals. I am going to draft a letter to our local MP, to see if we can get Hamza Kashgari’s situation discussed here in the UK.

        I don’t pretend to know what or if it’ll achieve anything, but I am going to give it a try.

  16. Rafiq Mahmood says

    I have posted the following report on Interpol’s Report a suspected fraud and abusive use of INTERPOL’s name or distinctive signs page:

    The use of Interpol facilities for “any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character” is prohibited by your Constitution.

    On 12 February 2012 Mohammad Najeeb A. Kashgari, otherwise known as Hamza Kashgari, a 23 year old Saudi Arabian citizen was detained by the Malaysian police at Kuala Lumpur Airport as he was in transit to New Zealand. It is alleged that his detention was facilitated by the use of Interpol’s red notice system. Mr Kashgari was wanted by the Saudi Arabian authorities in connection with one or more messages posted on the Twitter system which it alleged contravened the Kingdom’s blasphemy laws. He was held incommunicado by the Malaysian authorities before being handed over to Saudi Arabian police in Malaysia and flown back to Saudi Arabia where he is now being held. He was not allowed access to a lawyer, although lawyers acting on his behalf did make a successful application in the Malaysian courts for an injunction preventing his removal from Malaysia. It is not known whether the injunction was granted before or after Mr Kashgari’s removal from Malaysia.

    The alleged offence for which Mr Kashgari was detained and extradited is of a purely religious nature and it would have been a manifest breach of the permitted use of Interpol facilities if information leading to his detention and removal from Malaysia had been obtained thereby or been used with that intention.

    The action by Saudi Arabia and Malaysia in detaining and returning Mr Kashgari to Saudi Arabia is unlawful and a number of criminal offences have resulted including, inter alia:

    Unlawful detention by the State of Malaysia;
    Conspiracy to kidnap by Saudi Arabia and Malaysia;
    Kidnapping;
    Conspiracy to pervert the course of justice;
    Subversion of the facilities of an International Organisation contrary to its Constitution;
    Prevention of a person seeking asylum or refuge for political or religious reasons contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

    If the alleged misuse of the Interpol red notice system is proved both states should be subjected to censure and suspension from the use of Interpol facilities, in particular the red notice system.

    This is a most serious threat to the good name of Interpol and its effectiveness in fighting crime free from political, religious or other untoward influence.

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      …to which their reply was, in effect, bugger off we don’t talk to the public. If you’ve got a crime to report tell your local police.

      Oh right. Polisi Negara Indonesia. Yah, OK.

      “I’ve got a crime to report,”
      “What?”
      “Unlawful detention, conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping, giving false information to lawyers, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, denying the right to make an asylum application, abuse of the Constitution of an International Organisation…”
      “That’s quite a list you’ve got there. When did all this happen?”
      “On Sunday,”
      “Were you the victim?”
      “No. A guy called Hamza Khasgari,”
      “Where is he now?”
      “In Saudi Arabia,”
      “Err.. Is he related to you?”
      “No,”
      “What is he doing in Saudi Arabia?”
      “He is in police detention,”
      “Oh.. We’ll come back to that in a moment. Where did all this happen?”
      “Mostly in Kuala Lumpur, but also in Riyadh,”
      “So why are you talking to us about it?”
      “Interpol told me to,”
      “They did, eh? You haven’t come from the mental hospital, by any chance, have you?”
      “Oh course I haven’t. I’m telling the truth,”
      “Hmm. OK, so have you any idea who might have done these crimes?”
      “Sure. The Royal Malaysian Police and the Fatwa Committee of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,”
      “OK. Now why don’t you come right through here and have a nice cup of tea while we make some phone calls…”

  17. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ Abu Hamzah
    You are an abused and abusive troll. Do you not see what has happened in Saudi Arabia? The Saud’s made a devil’s bargain with the Wahhabists to control the people and the wealth of the country. It is not about your imaginary deity at all. It is about social control and material gain. Your words betray just how badly you have fallen for the ruse.

    Now the Saud’s must throw fresh meat to the monster that they have created to assuage it’s bloodlust. You are living a life of smoke and mirrors when you do not see that what is going on is all driven by human agency. If your god existed it would be able to intervene on its own behalf without human agency.

    Rather than poring over antiquated propaganda, learn your own history.

  18. Mohd Ibn Juferi says

    I think it is good that he will be punished by death sentence. It will act as a deterrant for others. There is a good reason why in shariah law, apostasy or leaving Islam carried the death penalty. Imagine what would happen in this day and age of internet and mass communication…there would be large number of people wanting to leave Islam so they can live their lives the way they choose to, not as chosen for them by Allah and his messenger.

    It is a crime to leave the Muslim ummah in the lurch and join some other faith, and in some cases, no faith at all(as Atheists)

    We should be glad that even in the face of all these “western” ideals, there are a handful of countries who have adopted the shariah code. It remains to be seen whether they will implement it.

    Allah knows best.

    • says

      Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error. (Qur’an 2:256))

      You think it’s good to compel people to belief with threats of execution. I guess you know better than the Prophet. So you turned away from Allah’s messenger and followed bloodthirsty sheikhs who think they are gods. I guess you’re an infidel too.

      Allah knows best.

      I think you mean, “Saudi Sheikhs know best.” They are your gods now.

      • Rafiq Mahmood says

        Well said!

        “Surely Allah will not forgive that a partner be associated with him…And whoso associates partners with Allah has indeed devised a very great sin.” 4:48

        Which is precisely what is happening with this excessive reverence for Muhammad ibn Abdullah. Indeed it was the ubiquitous use of diptychs showing the names of Allah and Muhammad with equal size and weight throughout Indonesia that finally shook me to my senses.

        Indeed, this is all that the poet, Hamza Khasgari was saying. Muhammad was a man – he would shake his hand as a fellow but not kiss it or bow to him as a god. And that is entirely consistent with the teachings of the book of Islam.

        Belief at the point of the sword is no belief at all. Indeed it breed festering resentment and drives away any love or attraction there might have been.

        Poets have always been allowed licence. To capture and threaten the life of a poet seems to me to be the lowest possible form of human debasement and desperation. It is the ultimate admission of defeat: the last surrender of morality.

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      “Imagine what would happen in this day and age of internet and mass communication…there would be large number of people wanting to leave Islam so they can live their lives the way they choose to, not as chosen for them by Allah and his messenger.”

      Quite so. Quite so. And what is wrong with that? That means that the arguments of Islam do not stand up under modern critical analysis.

      There is something you have to realise, Ibn Juferi, and that is that in order to believe something you have to be convinced of it. If you are not convinced, or are no longer convinced, then you cannot believe. It is not up to you. It is not your fault. If the arguments and the evidence no longer stands up for you, no matter how hard you try, belief will no longer be there. You can pretend, you can even try to pretend to yourself, but belief will have evaporated or not become established in the first place. It is not something you can avoid. It is not something to be guilty of.

      As children we naturally believe our parents because they are there to protect us and teach us until we have acquired critical analytical skills of our own. If often comes as quite a shock for a child to realise that their parents are wrong on some things and have their own human weaknesses, but that is part of growing up.

      Now if you say that you have to cut people’s heads off because they have thought for themselves and might make other people think then you have conceded that Islam cannot stand up any other way.

      Thank you. You have argued the case against Islam more eloquently than any non-believer could have done.

      Now what we are left with is a state that clings to power by fear. It argues with the sword over the pen. And that, dear friend is where you came in. The first chronological verse of the Quran is supposed to be “By the pen and the inkstand and that which is written.”

      You are betraying the method laid down at the outset of your own creed. The pen (or keyboard) is mightier than the sword and so it is proving to be.

    • says

      @ Mohd Ibn Juferi

      I think it is good that he will be punished by death sentence.

      What a revolting excuse for a human being you are to wish such harm to others. This hateful god that you claim to worship exists only in your own head. Its wishes are your wishes, are they not?

      It will act as a deterrent for others. There is a good reason why in shariah law, apostasy or leaving Islam carried the death penalty.

      Islam works for you because you happen to have a penis and happen to have been born into a community that tolerates your pathological hatred for people different to yourself. You are averse to changes in society, because these changes can only expose you for what you are, an antisocial, narrow minded bigot.

      Imagine what would happen in this day and age of Internet and mass communication…there would be large number of people wanting to leave Islam so they can live their lives the way they choose to

      This is going to happen sooner or later whether you like it or not. Unlike yourself, people are communicating with each other and learning to think for themselves. Move with the times or you will remain the sad specimen you are, becoming more and more irrelevant with each passing year.

      not as chosen for them by Allah and his messenger.

      People created these fairytales. They created them nasty, because that is the way they themselves were. Gods have always reflected the characters of their believers. Why is yours any different?

      It is a crime to leave the Muslim ummah in the lurch and join some other faith, and in some cases, no faith at all(as Atheists)

      Rather, it would appear that the only crime is to disagree with a vindictive troll called Mohd Ibn Juferi.

      We should be glad that even in the face of all these “western” ideals, there are a handful of countries who have adopted the shariah code. It remains to be seen whether they will implement it.

      Fuck “western ideals”. It is basic human decency we are talking about.

      Allah knows best.

      Whose ideas are miraculously and exactly mapped to your own? Since when did you declare yourself a prophet? Why does your god need haters, like yourself, to do its work?

      • theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

        @ hyperdeath

        Is this parody or not?

        If this is the same Mohd Ibn Juferi that considers posting revolting comments on websites critical to his narrow world view – as a form of jihad fi sabilillah (ie: jihad in the name of Gawd ™ ) – then sadly it is not a parody. The guy is actually trying to collect money to support his efforts in this regard. (I pressume there must be some competition and brinkmanship in the industry. Whoever is the most vindictive gets the cash.)

  19. steve says

    Shame ,shame to Malaysia and she will and must be made to pay for this barbaric act of returning someone to their possible death.
    I am speechless ! how could you do it? how could you do it Malaysia? shame on you !

  20. whatever says

    hello ,,

    it wouldn’t matter to me if he’s dead or not

    he made a crime against the islam
    and there is a punishment i guess it must be done

    u guys saying he’s young and and .. well he knew the risks

    whether u like it or not he is going to be dead anyway

    so i hope u all learned ur lesson

    it’s like ” u break it u buy it ”

    that’s all

    • Mriana says

      Do you just blindly follow whatever religious authorities tell you? If so, I feel sorry for you, because you cannot think for yourself and see what is wrong with all of this.

    • Mriana says

      And no, this is not the same thing as “you break it, you bought” it either. We are talking about person’s life, not an object that can be bought and sold.

    • Steersman says

      whatever says (#27),

      so i hope u all learned ur lesson

      The only lesson to be learned is that Islam – at least as it practiced by far too many – is barbaric, savage and ignorant. And that the only thing the Quran is good for – apart from a history of one particular delusion or to the extent that its devotees reject literalism – is toilet paper.

    • theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

      @ whatever #27

      it wouldn’t matter to me if he’s dead or not

      And that is precisely why you godfappers can never win. You kill off the very people who give you the edge. The thinkers, the intellectuals, the people who care and who seek to develop their communities. The west is also full of stupid goddists spouting their ignorant uncaring bullshit. But the difference is that they do not murder the very people who give them the leading edge.

      You don’t care now, that a caring and thinking Muslim is threatened with a horrible death? The very type of person that would make his community stronger is attacked. Your callousness is a crime against decency, our shared humanity and your own Islamic community.

  21. Steersman says

    My own efforts to rattle a few political cages on the issue; just-sent this e-mail to my MP here in Canada:

    Dear [MP],

    I am writing once again to bring your attention to another issue which I think the Conservative Party should be addressing in the House of Commons – and with some urgency as a young man’s life is at stake. I’m referring to the case [relevant links below] of a Saudi journalist, Hamza Kashgari, who was deported from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia on Sunday for what the Saudis consider blasphemous statements and for which the penalty may be execution.

    Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees a right to freedom of religion and that even though most Islamic countries have rather egregiously not signed that declaration Islam itself still seems to provide some lukewarm support for the idea that there is to be no coercion in matters of religion, such threats and actions on the part of the Saudi government seem to be a flagrant and odious violation of those principles. In addition there is some indication that they abused the mechanisms of Interpol to apprehend and deport Mr. Kashgari from Malaysia.

    However, the most problematic aspect of this issue is that it raises, or should raise, some uncomfortable questions about the role and status of Muslim communities outside of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, particularly those which have any connections to Saudi Arabia. If significant portions of those communities believe that criticism of religion and various practices of it justify threats, executions, murder (as in the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy), mayhem and attempts to limit free speech then many reasonably argue that Islam itself may be intrinsically and inherently inimical and antithetical to the principles of democracy and universal human rights. As such conclusions and the actions which might reasonably follow from them are in no one’s best interests it seems prudent to protest to the Saudi government in the strongest terms possible that their actions can not at all be construed as characteristic of civilized countries.

    Thank you for your earliest attention to this matter, particularly as time is most definitely of the essence.

    Sincerely,
    [signed].

    Story links:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17001900
    http://news.malaysia.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5878254
    http://news.malaysia.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5878266
    http://news.malaysia.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5878259
    http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2012/02/hamza-kashgari-twitter-blasphemy-interpol-saudi-arabia-denis-macshane/
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/06/usama-hasan-london-imam-death-threats-evolution
    http://www.pen-international.org/newsitems/saudi-arabia-fears-for-writer-hamza-kashgari-after-extradition/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jyllands-Posten_Muhammad_cartoons_controversy
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2012/01/17/you-can-expect-threats-if-you-discuss-sharia/

  22. Steersman says

    My own efforts to rattle a few political cages on the issue; just-sent this e-mail to my MP here in Canada (repost minus the links):

    Dear [MP],

    I am writing once again to bring your attention to another issue which I think the Conservative Party should be addressing in the House of Commons – and with some urgency as a young man’s life is at stake. I’m referring to the case [relevant links below] of a Saudi journalist, Hamza Kashgari, who was deported from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia on Sunday for what the Saudis consider blasphemous statements and for which the penalty may be execution.

    Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights guarantees a right to freedom of religion and that even though most Islamic countries have rather egregiously not signed that declaration Islam itself still seems to provide some lukewarm support for the idea that there is to be no coercion in matters of religion, such threats and actions on the part of the Saudi government seem to be a flagrant and odious violation of those principles. In addition there is some indication that they abused the mechanisms of Interpol to apprehend and deport Mr. Kashgari from Malaysia.

    However, the most problematic aspect of this issue is that it raises, or should raise, some uncomfortable questions about the role and status of Muslim communities outside of Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, particularly those which have any connections to Saudi Arabia. If significant portions of those communities believe that criticism of religion and various practices of it justify threats, executions, murder (as in the Jyllands-Posten cartoon controversy), mayhem and attempts to limit free speech then many reasonably argue that Islam itself may be intrinsically and inherently inimical and antithetical to the principles of democracy and universal human rights. As such conclusions and the actions which might reasonably follow from them are in no one’s best interests it seems prudent to protest to the Saudi government in the strongest terms possible that their actions can not at all be construed as characteristic of civilized countries.

    Thank you for your earliest attention to this matter, particularly as time is most definitely of the essence.

    Sincerely,
    [signed].

    Story links:

  23. says

    This is indeed an appalling case. One can only hope that the mounting international pressure will sway the Saudi government (ultimately the King), as it has been known to do. Saudi blasphemy charges are very muddy affairs, while it’s far from certain that he would get the death penalty (unlike some media outlets seem to insinuate), it seems to be mostly up to the judge how to interpret the shariah wrt the charges brought (and of course the King).

    I’m not sure though how people here want to make Malaysia pay for this. Has any western government signalled anything to that effect? A Saudi citizen was deported from Malaysia to Saudi Arabia. I’d be interested to hear if third countries would actually have legal standing at all. There is a line of proud Malaysian politicians, starting with infamous Dr. M, which would take criticism from the West as a badge of honour.

    That said, I’ve been following the political developments in Malaysia with great concern over the last few years. In many ways the country seems to be more polarised than neighbouring Indonesia, which also isn’t without its problems and which also has some radical religious groups.

  24. theophontes, Hexanitroisowurtzitanverwendendes_Bärtierchen says

    @ pelamun #30

    I’m not sure though how people here want to make Malaysia pay for this.

    There are ways. Malaysia likes to present itself as a tourist friendly place and has spent millions to promote itself as such. But now it has gone and stabbed a guest in the back. What happens if I am there and tweet a like comment?

    We can hammer back against their window-dressing and subvert their messages. Here is a (sketchy) example of the kind of thing we can do (click linky):

    Malaysia Truly Asia!

    Feel free to use anyhow you wish. Parody, mock and hound them for the ghastly thing they have done. Communicate the message. These guys are not worthy of our support.

    • says

      having been following Malaysian politics for years now, it’s never had that tourist-friendly feel to me.

      But have a look at the Malaysian tourist statistics, they’re mainly getting visitors from neighbouring counries and other Asian countries, like China, where the issue probably won’t receive any attention. That said, I like your graphic and it’s worth a try.

    • says

      Malaysia stabs plenty of guests in the back, especially if those guests are Hindu, Buddhist or Christian asylum seekers from India, China, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand…

      Arabs, on the other hand, are usually treated like gods in Malaysia – because Arabs are the Pure Chosen Muslim Race(TM), and all Malaysian Malays desperately wish they were Arabs, even to the extent of inventing elaborate Arabic ancestries for themselves and denying those of their ancestors who came from China or India…

      But this young Arab gentleman (God bless the Arabs!!!11 Allahu Akbar!!11 *falls down in a fit of piety, weeping tears of devotion*) committed the grievous sin of Disrespecting Islam, thus turning his back on his glorious Arab heritage. As such, all decent Malay Malaysians will agree that he is a filthy dog, lower than an Indian, Chinese, Christian or Hindu, and therefore the Malaysian government had to ship him back to Saudi Arabia in order to keep kissing the arses of their Arab Muslim overlords.

  25. Mriana says

    @Steersman Be my guest. The more people who use “Religious Reich” the more change they MIGHT take the hint or get ticked off. Who knows.

    OK, I’ll give you that many Muslims might be closer to the Religious Reich than to Episcopalians, As I said, the analogy starts to break down along the way, but tell me this, IF all Muslims are blood thirsty barbarians, then what explains Maryam’s parents, who were apparently in the same house with her, visiting her, and more than likely know she is an atheist and an apostate Muslim? What prevented them from doing an honour killing? I know of another person, in the U.S., who is an ex-Muslim and I think an atheist. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. long before she denounced Islam. Yes, her father became abusive and she had to move out on her own, but her parents didn’t kill her. It’s been a couple of years and she’s still alive. Yes, this second case is in the U.S., but our laws on murder didn’t stop the radio show dude in N.Y. from killing his wife.

    OK, so maybe Maryam’s parents evangelized to her while they were there. Maybe they begged and pleaded with her to become Muslim again. Or maybe they are beyond begging and pleading with her, seeing her as a hopeless case, but still care about her. Or maybe they never took Islam very seriously to begin with and are Muslims in name only. I don’t know, but my point is, if her parents were any threat to her, I doubt she would still associate with them and would be doing more than just taking a few days off from her blog and alike.

    Maybe they are part of the 8% you are talking about. Who knows. I would be interesting to hear how Maryam deals with her family and how they are taking all of this, but she hasn’t said, even when I asked her.

    Islamic Reformation. That would take a lot of ignoring a lot of violent, hateful, and dehumanizing passages in the Quran. Personally, I would like to see there be an end to religion, but that’s not going to happen, so short of that I’d say the best we can hope for is an enlightenment among Islamists and get them stop being so barbaric. If there is a minimum of 8%, as you say, that are not murdering barbarians, (I think they might be more than that and some who are Muslims in name only due to forced “belief” or death) then it’s something to work with. Honestly though, given that one must say they are Muslim or face death, do you really believe they ALL believe it? Imagine how difficult it is for many ex-Christians to come to their family as atheists. That’s hard enough because of all the guilt and shame imposed on people to believe the myth. Imagine growing up Muslim in a country that insists you must give at least lip-service or be killed. It has to be hard- death or lip-service? Seems to me, many maybe just giving lip-service under such circumstances.

    • says

      in many moderate Muslim countries, there is also a considerable segment of the population I’d call cultural Muslims, akin to cultural Catholics. They see it as a part of their heritage and partake in the rituals, usually also don’t eat pork, but that’s about it.

    • Steersman says

      Mriana (# 32),

      IF all Muslims are blood thirsty barbarians, then what explains Maryam’s parents ….

      I wouldn’t say that all of them are that and I don’t think I have said that or anything close to it. What I had in mind with that quote of Warraq’s about there being no difference between Islam and Islamic fundamentalism was that the essential elements were the same in both cases: the fundamental belief in the existence of Allah and the communications he supposedly had with Muhammad. And which undergirds and justifies the “violent, hateful and dehumanizing passages in the Quran” you referred to. Don’t know if you’ve heard of this book – The Painful Verses” – (haven’t read it yet myself, only a review or two), but it describes an imam, a priest and a rabbi discussing those types of verses in their respective “unholy” books.

      As for explaining Maryam’s parents I’m sure there are a great many “cultural Muslims” for whom Islam is, as I think you or Rafiq argued, little more than wallpaper in the background. But the point is that one has, I think, some degree of responsibility for what is done in one’s name or by those claiming membership in the same group, particularly when they derive some aid and comfort from that group to which one has contributed time, money and effort. It is an extreme analogy but all Germans must take, and have taken, some responsibility for Treblinka and Auschwitz.

      Maybe they are part of the 8% you are talking about. Who knows. It would be interesting to hear how Maryam deals with her family and how they are taking all of this ….

      Definitely some interesting questions there; maybe they’re part of the 36% of Muslims who accept that the Quran is the “Word of God, but not literally true word for word”. Unfortunately that Pew Forum report isn’t all that clear on what it intended by that question and on what the respondents thought it meant.

      But relative to that segment, I’ve been re-reading bits and pieces of Irshad Manji’s The Trouble With Islam Today [highly recommended; if you can read Persian, Urdu, Malay, Indonesian or Arabic you can get a free copy on her site – “https://www.irshadmanji.com/” – which Wikipedia indicates has been downloaded over a quarter of a million times in Arabic alone – put that in your pipe and smoke it King Abdullah]. And it seems that for all her criticisms of Islam she still buys at least some of the central premises, although I think that is still problematic and must engender some significant “cognitive dissonance”. For example she talks of “Yossi Klein Halevi, an Israeli journalist, devout Jew, and a good friend”:

      Yossi himself tells of a story of meeting a Palestinian who would gladly coexist with Jews as long as they’re subject to Islamic rule – such rule is the natural order, this Boston-educated Arab believes. It’s a prejudice, I believe, that saturates the mainstream Muslim psyche. [pg 237]

      While she makes great efforts to repudiate that and similar views, which is certainly a very large step in the right direction, it still seems she insists on the fundamental premise of Allah talking to Muhammad which is still going to run smack dab into some “inconvenient truths” – not to mention making for some strange bedfellows. For example I see that she has been promoting a “Reformist Quran”, a “21st-century translation”, which is available for download there and which is no doubt pissing-off a great many full-throated Islamic fundamentalists. But apart from a whole raft of cosmological claims that aren’t going to hold any water at all, not surprisingly, that translation still, from the brief scan I made, rejects the Christian Trinity:

      Whoever sets up partners with God, then God will forbid paradise for him, and his destiny will be the fire; [5:72]

      As long as those different faiths insist on the literal truth of mutually contradictory and mutually exclusive claims all the good will in the world is not going to prevent their adherents from being at each other’s throats. A pox on all their houses.

    • Steersman says

      Mriana (# 32),

      [Part II]

      I’d say the best we can hope for is an enlightenment among Islamists and get them stop being so barbaric.

      God helps those who help themselves. I think we have to take a more proactive approach, as we are doing I think, or, paraphrasing Herzog, if we do not together, hasten to extinguish the fires created by a bunch of irresponsible and pathological arsonists, or at least the beliefs that motivate them and their fellow-travelers, they will destroy our entire house.

      Honestly though, given that one must say they are Muslim or face death, do you really believe they ALL believe it?

      Maybe not. But one hell of a religion if it is driven by fear in this life and a fear of a possible next one. But in any case I don’t see how that obliges anyone else to pander to such fears.

      Imagine how difficult it is for many ex-Christians to come to their family as atheists.

      Never had that problem as I grew up with a bunch of godless heathens, but I can imagine. Both Richard Dawkins and Irshad Manji describe any number of such cases – as do many others. I’m sure it is a rather traumatic experience and they are to be commended for their courage and honesty. And to be given every assistance.

      • Mriana says

        I’m glad you never had the problem of growing up in an Evangelical Fundamentalist home, Steersman, but many people have and leaving isn’t always easy. People lose friends and family sometimes, esp after they come out and say they don’t believe it. It can be a real psychological trip which has driven some people to suicide. Islamic fundamentalism is even worse psychologically than Xian Fundamngelicalism. Islam, in general is psychologically worse than Xianity IMO.

        Here is Marlene Winell’s articles in the BABCP concerning Religious Trauma Syndrome: http://www.babcp.com/RTS/ This could give you an idea of how difficult it is to leave religion and if it is that difficult for those born into Xianity, think about how much more difficult it could be for Muslims. Religion is a death cult and IMO a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

        Maybe Maryam does have some left over baggage from growing up in an Islamic religion, but personally, I cannot fault her for that, esp with knowing what I know about leaving religion. If you are right, then it may take her some time to see that, for whatever reason, but IMO, it behoves people to have some compassion for her.

        However, if she is right, then it’s all the more reason to help those Muslims, Hamza, and not play the blame game, in which one says they are just guilty of the crimes of Islam against humanity too.

        Knowing what I know about the psychological number religion can play on people, I find it difficult to blame everyone within a given sect of religion. Christianity imposes a LOT of fear, guilt, and shame, esp if you are born into it, but it seems to me, that Islam does an even worse number, esp on those who are born into the religion.

        Even Andy Thompson, did a lecture, found on Youtube and called “Why We Believe In Gods”, in which he shows just how religion, esp if you are born into, hijacks various developmental stages. Not to mention, Darrel Ray and Valerie Tarico showed how religion can also use various external stimuli to trigger our neuro-chemistry that gives us those feelings of “spirituality” in their books, “The God Virus” and “Trusting Doubt”, respectively.

        The truth is, religion does a serious psychological number on people and makes it very difficult to leave, esp after one is indoctrinated. One might physically leave, but there are still some things that religion left behind in their psychic that they need to work on in order to recover.

        And it seems that for all her criticisms of Islam she still buys at least some of the central premises, although I think that is still problematic and must engender some significant “cognitive dissonance”.

        What you are saying is true (cognitive dissonance and all) then it also behoves us to have some compassion in how we go about helping people, including and esp those who have left a given religion, see these things. We cannot beat Maryam or anyone else over the head with what we think of Islam, esp when she find the killing of others, because of “blasphemy” or alike, just as abhorrent as we do. To say that all Muslims are to blame, is to throw in people Maryam loves too and you’re probably going to end up with what you perceive as cognitive dissonance and the more you push, the more you push the worse it will get, unless you can find a way to point it your view with compassion.

        Of course, if you have never been religious, then it can be very difficult to see and understand the psychological number religion does on a person, as well as affects various developmental stages and therefore make it harder to have compassion for those coming out of it or been out of it for a while. A person’s religious indoctrination can affect them for many years after leaving religion, esp in areas that were affected the most. It’s nothing more than cult brainwashing and deprogramming completely can take a lifetime. So what you see as Maryam having cognitive dissonance, might be that or she maybe telling it like it is. You can’t know for sure and you can’t always go in with a proactive approach, no matter if they are an Ex-Christian or an Ex-Muslim or still religious, yet moderate to liberal.

      • Steersman says

        Mriana (# 32.3.1),

        Here is Marlene Winell’s articles in the BABCP concerning Religious Trauma Syndrome:

        Reminds me of Richard Dawkins’ article on “Gerin Oil” which equates religion with heroin and other such addictive drugs. [http://richarddawkins.net/articles/122-gerin-oil] As you suggest, the hijacking of various physiological and developmental stages that have some pathological manifestations.

        But excellent site and interesting articles, even though I haven’t read all three yet – thanks. One or two points she made leapt out at me:

        But mind-control and emotional abuse is actually the norm for many large, authoritarian, mainline religious groups. The sanitization of religion makes it all the more insidious. When the communities are so large and the practices normalized, victims are silenced.

        Child Protective Services will aggressively rescue children who are physically or sexually abused, but the deep wounding and mental damage cause by religion, which can last a lifetime, does not get attention.

        A big part of the reason why I think it should be illegal to be indoctrinating children with religion. As you may know the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that they also have a right to “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” – which every country in the world has ratified with the noteworthy and rather shameful exceptions of Somalia and America.

        Maybe Maryam does have some left over baggage from growing up in an Islamic religion, but personally, I cannot fault her for that …

        I wouldn’t think there would be a lot of that baggage as she is on the Council of Ex-Muslims. Although I can appreciate that even those who have made it out or at least most of the way out of religion have some concern for the feelings of relatives still in thrall to it. Something that Irshad Manji also makes several references to, this last comment to her Mum probably illustrating that along with both of their positions on Islam: “Please don’t confuse angering imams with angering God”. [pg 257]

        … I find it difficult to blame everyone within a given sect of religion.

        Maybe not all to the same extent. But the cultures that produce the Anders Breiviks and the Timothy McVeighs and the Mohamed Attas – and even the “Bowlers for Columbine” – have to take some responsibility for their acts. You might want to take a look at a post by Eric MacDonald which quotes the following and discusses it in some detail [http://choiceindying.com/2012/02/14/islamophobia-bigotry-and-rational-discourse/]:

        The survey’s findings [of American mosques], explored in depth below, were that 51 percent of mosques had texts that either advocated the use of violence in the pursuit of a Shari‘a-based political order or advocated violent jihad as a duty that should be of paramount importance to a Muslim; 30 percent had only texts that were moderately supportive of violence like the Tafsir Ibn Kathir and Fiqh as-Sunna; 19 percent had no violent texts at all.

        Now in the face of that, unless it is a plant by the CIA or Mossad or is an unwarranted conclusion, it seems a bit of a stretch to argue that Islam itself, along with a great many of its adherents, isn’t culpable to a greater or lesser extent for the events at Queen Mary College, the discussion with Manji interrupted by Sharia4Beligium I linked to elsewhere here, the suppression of free speech at UCL and LSE, the deaths due to the Jyllands-Posten cartoons, and a great many other incidents far too numerous to list.

        [End Part I]

        • Mriana says

          I personally don’t compare her to Richard Dawkins, but she does have a good handle on what religion does to people psychologically and I’m not going on just that article. The truth is, just about every religion on the planet is capable of producing violent individuals, not just Islam, but Islam does have the majority in part because their book is more violent then the Bile and I think taken even more literally. I also think Islam does the most psychological damage too.

          • Steersman says

            Mriana (# 32.3.2.1),

            I also think Islam does the most psychological damage too.

            I would agree with that. Largely because its “submission to the will of Allah” seems tailor-made to be abused by demagogues of one sort or another. Allowing others to do the thinking for oneself seems a sure-fire recipe for disaster, an Orwellian nightmare of one sort or another. The sleep of reason is bad enough but when it is drugged into submission the result is truly hell on wheels.

      • Steersman says

        Mriana (# 32.3.1),

        [Part II]

        We cannot beat Maryam or anyone else over the head with what we think of Islam, esp when she finds the killing of others, because of “blasphemy” or alike, just as abhorrent as we do.

        I’m not quite sure why we can’t do that, particularly when the context is in fact the killing of others because of blasphemy and the supposed reasons for it – it’s not like we were talking sports or the weather and all of a sudden veered into crucifying someone for their religious beliefs. Just saying “Tsk, tsk, ain’t it shame” and then going on about other business – although that certainly seems least applicable to Maryam – is not any way that I can see of rectifying the problem. Since Maryam’s masthead argues that “Nothing is sacred” I would think that if following the tracks of the culprit leads to one’s own neighborhood if not home then that principle should still carry the day.

        … the more you push the worse it will get, unless you can find a way to point [out] your view with compassion.

        Don’t know if you’ve been exposed to this directly or indirectly but it seems to me that there is a useful analogy between that and what many parents have had to deal with in cases where their kids are heavily into drugs. Seems that the “tough love” technique – drawing a line in the sand and saying that these are some fundamental rules the transgression of which will put the kids on the outside looking in, or the inside looking out as the case may be – has some degree of applicability in both cases. Compassion really isn’t an absolute and people shouldn’t expect to trade unreasonably on that forever or without consequences.

        So what you see as Maryam having cognitive dissonance, might be that or she may be telling it like it is.

        I don’t think I said anything about Maryam experiencing cognitive dissonance and I would think it unlikely as she seems to have self-identified as an ex-Muslim. Who I was referring to with that phrase was Irshad Manji who, for all of her commendable efforts to humanize Islam – a Herculean task if ever there was one, still seems to be retaining some desperate grip on some literal features of Islam, the nature of which is inherently problematic and the cause of that dissonance.

        You can’t know for sure and you can’t always go in with a proactive approach, no matter if they are an Ex-Christian or an Ex-Muslim or still religious …

        From my understanding of cognitive dissonance I would say that the Ex-Christians and Ex-Muslims are least likely to be experiencing it as they have jettisoned the contradictory precepts and values that were the source of that. In which case the proactive approach – ridicule and criticism for examples – seems applicable only for the religious, although I’ll agree that it may not always be appropriate or called for.

        • Mriana says

          My younger son has substance abuse problems and I really do not see it as comparable to what we are talking about and it seems totally ridiculous to compare the two unless you are talking about people not being able to get enough of religion, as in “Religion is the opiate of the people”. Other than that, I don’t see how you can use such an analogy.

          • Steersman says

            Mriana (# 32.3.3.1),

            My younger son has substance abuse problems …

            Sorry to hear that. My youngest sister had to deal with the same situation with one of her step-kids and it sounded traumatic. And I saw a documentary that described the similar experiences of more than a few other parents and children. But, as I mentioned, it seemed that the general consensus was that a “tough love” stance has some utility, even if it has an Old Testament flavour to it.

            … and I really do not see it as comparable to what we are talking about and it seems totally ridiculous to compare the two unless you are talking about people not being able to get enough of religion …

            I think that “not being able to get enough religion” and “the opiate of the people” is precisely the point and which is underlined by your own references to “neurochemistry” and to the “hijacking of various developmental stages”. And likewise with Dawkins article on “Gerin Oil”, not to mention Winell’s description of the “withdrawal symptoms” experienced by many trying to get out of religion – or trying to get it out of their system. Don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie The Man with the Golden Arm [with a young Frank Sinatra] on the problematic nature of heroin addiction, but I would say that the parallels with the testimonials on the BABCP site are rather stark, significant and persuasive.

          • says

            Mriana,

            sorry to hear about your son. All the best to him.

            I think “opiate for/of the people”, which is an expression that has been around since the 18th c. (apparently came up first in France, but was later further popularised by Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin) is more about the mind-numbing poison-aspect of religion rather than about addiction.

  26. light says

    TO EVERY PERSON THAT THINKS MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS !!!!!!
    Who started the first world war ? Muslims ? Who started the second world war ? Muslims ? Who killed about 20 millions of Aborigines in Australia ? Muslims ?? Who sent the nuclear bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ? Muslims ?? Who killed more than 100 millions of Indians in North America ? Muslims ?? Who killed more than 50 millions of Indians in south America ? Muslims ?? Who took about 180 millions of African people as slaves and 88% of them died and was thrown in Atlantic ocean ? Muslims ?? No , They weren’t Muslims!!! First of all, You have to define terrorism properly… If a non-Muslim does something bad..it is crime. But if a Muslim commits the same..He becomes a terrorist… So first remove this double standard…then come to the point!

    • Mriana says

      Actually, there were Muslims involved in the slave trade and even today, there are areas where Islam is predominant and there are slaves. So I really don’t think that is a very good example. African governments, even sold some of their own people into slavery, when the slave trade was very big. The question is, back then, how many African countries were Islamic? Some northern countries on the continent of Africa were, so you really cannot say that Muslims were not involved in the slave trade.

    • Mriana says

      Light, I’m going to blame your bad English on it not being your first language, so moving on, I care more about people than what they believe or don’t believe. I really do not care if one believes in a god or not, the point is, religion is psychologically damaging and can cause people a LOT of trauma, which we see a lot of these days, esp in Islamic countries. I’m sorry you don’t have a good grasp of the English language, because if you did, you might be able to read the article on the link I posted and comprehend better. I don’t believe you are stupid or uneducated, but I do believe you do not know English very well. I cannot fault you for that, because I only know two languages fluently (English and American Sign Language) and I know some Spanish. However, the fact is, religion does a great deal of emotional and mental harm, with or without a death sentence, but that does not have a thing to do with disbelief, despite the fact you would like to believe that. It does have a lot to do with mental health though.

  27. light says

    @Mriana

    i have some Christian friends and i love them

    i have some muslims friends and i love them

    i have some Jewish friends and i love them

    so please respect islam as they respect us

    yea it’s kinda hard to hear that they will execute him

    but that will never happen

    i know it ,, it’s hard for them also my friends saying that to me

    he sayed bad thing to islam and we both KNOW IT

    so please don’t be against me ,, that’s what every buddy saying right ?? :)

    or in another way

    u hate saudia arabia and u looking for somthing on them

    ,,

    P.S about the thing above it has NOTHING to do with muslims

    i’m sure of it

    :)

    • says

      what are you even trying to say.

      They will execute them, they won’t.

      who is “us” here? You do realise that this is an international blog.

      Don’t say bad things about people who want to execute a blasphemer? While some people in the west might frown upon blasphemers, their understanding stops when severe punishments, especially the death penalty, are involved. How you can ask for understanding in such a matter is beyond me.

      • Mriana says

        Pelamun, s/he’s a deluded troll, who has been brainwashed into thinking Islam is peace, love, and harmony, which it is not, nor do Islamic respect humans and their life, but since s/he believes it, s/he wants us to believe it too. S/he’s just that deluded and brainwashed. I kind of feel sorry for her/him, but the thing is, s/he hasn’t even tried to educate her/himself about religion, what it can do to people, or anything else. Instead of thinking for him/herself, s/he just takes everything on face value, calling it open-mindedness. In reality, it’s being so open-minded, that his/her brains have fallen out of their skull.

        • says

          I agree, as long as they don’t seem to be able to express themselves, which is not their fault, this will impede communication so much as to render it pointless..

    • Mriana says

      I am giving Islamists more respect than they give other humans. I am giving them more respect than they give Xians. In reality, they do not respect anyone, esp when they go around chopping people’s heads off or stoning them like our primitive ancestors did.

    • Mriana says

      Oh yeah, and P.S. “about the thing above”, if you are talking about Religious Trauma, it has a LOT to do with Islam and Muslims. People can be more traumatized by the Islamic religion than people are from Xianity. If that is what you are referring to, you really need to get a clue.

    • Steersman says

      light (#35),

      so please respect Islam as they respect us

      I respect your right to believe whatever claptrap you wish. But that most emphatically does not extend to what you believe. To insist on the latter, particularly when it is accompanied by threats and acts of violence, is to cross the line into illegality.

      Which will, or should be, dealt with to the fullest extent of the law – for example some of the Muslim assholes from Sharia4Beligium who apparently made threats of murder at a recent public discussion and who were subsequently arrested. And hopefully deported.

      [http://europeandemocracy.org/media/european-media/we-will-not-leave.html]
      [http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/2012/01/shouty-shout-shout]

      he said bad thing to Islam and we both KNOW IT

      Ever hear of the schoolyard aphorism about “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? You might want to give some thought to that idea as a lot more people are going to be saying a lot worse things about Islam until it changes its principles and values. And in Western democracies, at least for now, that is entirely legal.

    • Steersman says

      As long as you insist on closing your mind and letting other people do your thinking for you.

      But if you want to rectify that somewhat, although not doing so only justifies a judgement of being ignorant and dogmatic at best, then you might want to take a look at Irshad Manji’s The Trouble With Islam Today. Her website [“https://www.irshadmanji.com/”] has free downloadable copies in Persian, Urdu and Arabic, among others. And you might want to consider that the Foreword is written by an American imam and that both he and she start off with a salient quote from the Quran:

      O you who believe! Be upholders of justice, witnesses for God, even if it be against yourselves, or your parents and kin …. [4:135]

      And, by that, if you think there is a lot of justice in executing someone for expressing an opinion, particularly one that wasn’t even very critical of Islam, then I can’t see that you’re even a very good, knowledgeable or honest Muslim.

      • Mriana says

        Given that it is not in English, from the way I understand your description, s/he’ll probably have no problems reading it. Understanding it might be another issue for him/her, given s/he doesn’t seem to know how to think. I have no issue with reading it if there is an English version.

        • Steersman says

          Mriana (# 36.1.1),

          Unfortunately not for free download but there is a paperback version in English – the original I’m sure – available at a pretty reasonable price at least 9 years ago when it first came out. But highly recommended, although it could have used an index as I refer to it frequently:

          “This could be Osama bin Laden’s worst nightmare” – United Press International [although he may have bigger problems than that one at the moment]

          “I was deeply surprised by what she had to say. And deeply grateful” – Hesham Hassaballa, Muslimwakeup.com

          “A book that challenges the reader to ask questions and think. It is the duty of the silent Muslim masses to join in this conversation about Islam.” Winnipeg Free Press

          And Oprah Winfrey gave her a “Chutzpah Award” for “audacity, nerve, boldness and conviction”.

          I think she is still giving too much credence to some of the literalist bits in Islam but I figure it’s an important step forward.

          • Mriana says

            Well, when I can, I’ll see if my local library has it. I don’t know if it is a book that I would want to buy and keep, but the only way to find out is to check it out from the library.

    • nemothederv says

      If there can’t be agreement then what exactly are you trying to accomplish by posting? Are you just slaking your bloodlust?

  28. August Pamplona says

    If you look at your notification message there should be a note at the bottom which reads “Want less email? Modify your Subscription Options.” with a link to modify your subscription options.

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