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Dec 06 2012

Your Muslim Friend

After every talk, there is always that one person that will challenge what I have said about Sharia courts by – wait for it – saying: “I have a Muslim friend who says Sharia is not at all as you say.” I heard this for the umpteenth time at the two-day symposium on theism in public policy at Rice University in Texas just this past weekend.

And this “argument” usually follows my talk outlining Sharia’s abuses and my criticism of the essentialising of the ‘other’…

Also, it’s usually made by humanists and skeptics who are quick to question religion’s role in the public sphere (if it’s not Islam of course)…

This argument is as silly as someone telling you “I have a Catholic friend who says Catholicism is not as you say” when you have just finished a talk criticising Ireland’s abortion laws and outrageous cases like that of Savita Halappanavar who was refused a termination and died.

In case you haven’t noticed, who your token friends are does not an argument make.

Clearly, the point though is not to make an argument but to use any means necessary to defend Sharia as the “choice” and “rights” of a minority.

Freedom and equality is only good for you lot then is it?

10 comments

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  1. 1
    kim

    When someone tells me that I am quick to point out that that one “peaceful, moderate Muslim” does NOT represent Islam. There are at the very least 235 Million Muslims who support Bin Laden/Khomeni/Arafat’s words of commiting violence to the infidel. That is a lot of people not including any youths. They represent true Islam from what we read in Qur’an and life of Muhammad.

    1. 1.1
      Maryam Namazie

      This is the other side of the coin – where all Muslims are still considered a homogeneous bunch but rather than it being seen as a positive it is deemed negative. As I have said a million times Muslims are not necessarily Islamists just as British is not synonymous with the BNP. There is no regard for the immense resistance taking place day in and day out by many Muslims… After all Khomeini alone has killed more “Muslims” than anyone else.

  2. 2
    david middle

    Well said Myaram. In a world where there are a myriad of religious philosphies only secular law should be applied in general. Heresay is never evidence of good practise.

  3. 3
    Adrian Bailey

    I think you’re too negative, Kim, and your attitude is not going to help. A lot of Muslims are reasonable people because of their normal human nature, and would be able to express that reasonableness more openly if it weren’t for the oppressive nature of their society. After 9/11 you could see that most people in Muslim countries did not support that atrocity, and if we can build bridges with those people we can begin to disarm (figuratively and literally) the religious zealots.

    1. 3.1
      left0ver1under

      Wrong. Just as so-called “moderate” christians turned a blind eye to anti-abortion extremists who bomb abortion clinics, so-called “moderate” muslims turn a blind eye to extremists blowing up buildings. When they’re getting their way on some things, “moderates” will happily support certain crimes.

      http://www.atheistcartoons.com/?p=3370

      Extremists can’t get widespread financial support if it only comes from other extremists. A lot of support for crimes comes from the mainstream.

  4. 4
    Becky

    It’s usually humanists saying they don’t want to be culturally imperialistic…but they still are being culturally imperialistic when they tell ex-Muslims what Islam is really like!

  5. 5
    left0ver1under

    “I have a Muslim friend who says Sharia is not at all as you say.”

    Hypocrisy and dishonesty aren’t just expected from religious types, they’re SOP.

    Whenever a christian commits a crime (be it Adolf Hitler or Geoffrey Dahmer), the inevitable christian response is, “He’s not one of us!”

    Whenever an atheist commits a crime (be it Stalin or…I can’t think of any), the inevitable christian response is, “All atheists commit that crime!”

  6. 6
    JohnM_0

    I’m Irish (raised Catholic, now Atheist/Humanist) and Catholicism in Ireland is not as it once was. In recent polls of regular mass goers, most disagree with the teachings of the church in areas of the ban on married priests, condemnation of homosexuality and the ban on women priests. Most regular mass-goers (>80%) said that they would not follow the church’s teaching on matters of sexuality.

    In the last few decades we have constitutionally voted to introduce divorce, available contraception (embarrassingly not until ~1992), abortion in special (admittedly very restrictive) conditions.

    Non-religious wedding now account for ~30% of all marriages here now.

    However, it is important (for me at least) to separate the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar from the campaign for legislation to implement our constitution right to limited abortion and the further campaign to introduce a more general availability of abortion in this country rather than forcing Irish women (~4000 a year) to travel to the UK away from their support networks, families and friends.

    The particular medical circumstances and details of Savita’s last days are not fully known to me. An inquiry has been set up and it is plausible that it may find that a termination would not have prevented her death. This is why I am cautious about linking Savita’s case directly with the pro-choice campaign.

    Certainly, this case has acted as a trigger to re-focus pro-choice campaigners but the campaign is (and should be) independent of the circumstances of this one tragic case.

    It has also been suggested that when asked why abortion was not available, the Halappanavars were answered with “It’s a catholic country”. Without knowing the exact context, I find it hard to condemn that statement. It is a pretty good 4-word summary of the complex and fraught history of abortion rights in Ireland for the last 4 decades. It may have been said in resignation rather than malice.

    1. 6.1
      sweetcaroline997

      I completely agree with leftover1under.
      Muslims are hypersensitive about the criticism of any aspect of their religion. Eg: bombing of Dutch embassy over cartoons, assassination of US diplomats in Lybia over a youtube video. The list is neverending.
      I tend to know more about Islam than most people because I am married to a Christian who was born and raised in the middle east, who immigrated because living with Muslims is despicable. I have learned Arabic and spent several weeks in the middle east, in four different countries. True Islam is not peaceful, it is not tolerant, it is not loving.
      The silence and denial of the Muslim communities in the democratic west on matters such as extreme violence and terrorism is quite troubling. However, when Muslims feel that thier rights have somehow been violated, the whole world hears about it in a matter of hours. The only reason why our societies have gone along with the notion that “Islam is a religion of peace” is because we are so afraid of offending them, free speech is dead, even fear of muslims is now branded as “hatred” (islamophobia).
      There are 1.6 muslims in the world, experts conservatively estimate 10% are dangerous extremists. How much is 10% of 1.6 billion ppl? It is a horrifying reality that Islam is gaining so much power in Europe. Undercover spies attending mosques have conveyed, on too many occasions, that when they get strong enough they’re planning a major jihad to take over the west. It’s only a matter of time, they’re immigrating by the millions and breeding like mosquitoes. Governments cater to them to keep them from causing trouble and going on killing sprees.
      There are many moderates who are not terrorists. Listen to this. I have made several Arabic females approach me to make friends because they think it’s cute that I’m a European gal who speaks Arabic and married to an Arab and have been to the middle east. However, when they find out that I’m not one of those gullible westerners who swallows society’s lies about Muslims, they become intimidated and offended because I’m very outspoken on the issue. I’m not aggressive, but I don’t avoid the subject and I don’t sugar coat. They try to tell me that I’m “misinformed” but when they see that I know what the hell I’m talking about, you should see how they avoid me now.
      If we don’t raise our voices now, we can kiss our freedom goodbye. 20 years from now we’ll all be either converted or killed-make no mistake about it. IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP!

  7. 7
    nathanaelnerode

    Well, given the existance of Shi’a, I’m sure each branch of Islam has its own definition of Sharia, and I’m sure the Bahai (who claim to be Muslim) have their own definition.

    (This contrasts with Roman Catholicism, which is explicitly defined by the authority of the Pope in Rome. If someone says “Catholicism is not like that”, the correct response is, “I assume you’re referring to some Catholicism other than Roman Catholicism”.)

    This does not change the fact that all the most COMMON versions of Sharia are archaic, bigoted material which should never be allowed to be used as a basis for law in a just society. The correct response to “Sharia is not like that” is “Well, the versions of Sharia pushed by (long list of Islamic groups) are like that. If your obscure little group is different perhaps it should repudiate those groups.”

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