Who is allah?

Who is allah?

Your poor unsuspecting children can find out for the bargain price of $1.82.

This book is designed to help parents and teachers in their efforts to encourage young children to ask questions and to assist them in exploring answers together. It makes the sharing of a basic knowledge of Islam simple, clear and enjoyable. This lays the foundation on which greater understanding can be built and learning enriched as young students grow older. And, whatever our age, reviewing the basic in this way can be very beneficial, in that it re-kindles our awareness and glad acceptance of the beautiful message and wondrous knowledge of Islam: we are then the better able share our renewed enthusiasm with others. May you benefit greatly from reading this book.

Whilst the book pays lip service to children asking questions and exploring, which is very useful for the pro-religious education lobby, it has the requisite veiling of girls (which is child abuse in my opinion, the sexualisation of girls at a young age and a physical and constant reminder of sex apartheid), and the very ‘objective’ views on Islam, the world and creation. It also manages to oh so subtly remind the reader that its aims are to ‘rekindle our awareness’ and ‘glad acceptance of the beautiful message’. So much for objectivity.

The only thing missing is the ‘or else’ but don’t worry, the child will learn that soon enough.

Once your child’s done with this book, there are plenty more to choose from – like ‘I Love Islam – Level 1′ and the ‘A to Z of Akhlaq’ or moral behaviour. Here’s one your child will need to know and very soon:

Enjoy.

Unveiled women are like buses

This is my final blog for Secular Student Alliance blogathon. I can’t believe I managed to post a blog every half an hour from 9am-3pm GMT! But all for a good cause.

I leave you with some pearls of wisdom – not mine of course – but of an Islamic ‘scholar’ and Friday prayers leader.

He says:

“An unveiled woman is like a bus – everyone gets to ride her.

“A woman who is not wearing a full-chador (all encompassing covering) but wearing a head-scarf and manteau (overcoat type covering) is like a taxi – a limited number get to ride her.

“But a woman wearing a chador, like my wife, is like a donkey – only one person gets to ride her.”

 

 

 

Ahh bless, now I wonder how the defenders of religious education are going to explain this one. Oh let’s just stick to the mantra of golden rules and all religions preach love and peace (albeit only for those who agree with them).

Now if this has been useful to you – or more likely not – then go and donate to the SSA.

It’s  the best revenge.

Here’s a link to the official SSA Week page, which has lots of information about the SSA as well as an easy-to-find donation widget.

Here’s a list of quotations collected by Greta on why the SSA is worth supporting.

(Clipping via Afsaneh Vahdat)

 

Let Islam go out of business

…The person who wants to modernise Islam is like that forgetful genius who wants to invent a machine in his/her garage, which can turn copper into gold! Is it good for Islam to become modern? The first question is why should Islam be modernised and why do they insist on this? If someone says that slavery can also become humane, I will ask them why they insist on making slavery humane; is there a lack of modern and humane schools of thought? One should ask persons promoting modern Islam, whether they themselves are modern Moslems? If not, then why are they paving the way for oppressive and historically backward monsters to continue their existence in new forms? Let’s assume that Islam can be modernised; why are they helping it to do so? Leave it, let it be as it is and let it go out of business. Notwithstanding this, in my opinion, their depiction of ‘modern’ is limited, which is why they says Islam can be modern. Probably, if Islam allows a woman to go to school with a knee-length skirt or to become a judge as long as she does not speak of her sexuality, then Islam is modern from their point of view. Now this won’t do.

Islam has no place in what I call modern (in fact this word is also relative) nor in the society that I would like to live or in the modernism that I think we deserve. Islam must be uprooted. Just as some people believe in fascism and still strongly believe in patriarchy, some also believe in Islam. Islam’s track record is much more apparent than that for anyone to attempt its rescue…

Elsewhere in the interview, Mansoor Hekmat says:

…as I have said before, we are witnessing an anti-Islamic revulsion and a popular cultural struggle against Islam in Iran. As far as the ideological battle against Islam and exposing the foundations of this religion are concerned, for a free-minded human being, religion is part of the ‘lumpenism’ in society, which must be put aside. If this struggle is taking place now, it is thanks to communists like us, and even that is limited to what is available to a political organisation. In Iran, we do not have a large-scale social and national movement of enlightened intellectuals loudly proclaiming, ‘we do not have a religion; we are atheists,’ whereas Europe was full of intellectual giants who stood up to the powerful church and expressed their views. They criticised superstition at scientific, philosophical and social levels and many paid a price in doing so. We do not have intellectuals in Iran with the same political and intellectual courage. Today, Mr. Khatami’s friends are called ‘alternative thinkers.’ Consequently, perhaps it is up to the Iranian working class and the Worker-communist Party of Iran to bring this struggle to its end.

- Islam is part of the lumpenism in society, Mansoor Hekmat, June 1999

 

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I’m blogging every half an hour from 9am to 3pm GMT in support of the Secular Student Alliance blogothon. The SSA is trying to raise £100,000 by 16 June.

Try to support the SSA if you can. If we’re going to beat the religion industry, we need to support organisations promoting secularism and reason.

Atheists needs to be more critical of Islam

Seth Andrews of the Thinking Atheist who I met at the Kamloops Imagine No Religion conference a few weeks ago has put together his reflections on the conference and also my talk.

He hits on an important point – that atheists need to be more critical of Islam.

Yes please!

He’s really wonderful to listen to. Here’s the podcast from the conference:

Listen to internet radio with TheThinkingAtheist on Blog Talk Radio

(Link via Jim)

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I’m blogging every half an hour from 9am to 3pm GMT in support of the Secular Student Alliance blogothon. The SSA is trying to raise £100,000 by 16 June.

Try to support the SSA if you can. If we’re going to beat the religion industry, we need to support organisations promoting secularism and reason.

Repent and get a good husband

I’ve already told you about an article on me in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ‘press’ entitled ‘Meet this anti-religion woman’. (I translated it anti-Islam in my original piece on it because that is what they mean when they speak of religion but it is more accurate to translate it anti-religion.)

Anyway since its publication, I’ve been receiving more than my usual share of emails from nutjobs (though I get hundreds of times more emails in support so it’s not that bad really) but some – though they’re not meant to be – are quite hilarious.

There’s one below from a Vahid Habibi doing the regime’s bidding. I’m not going to translate all of his email, well because I just can’t be bothered translating pure nonsense but am translating one funny line just for you.

His piece of advice to me at the end of his email is:

‘Repent, get a good husband, follow the principles of Islam and return to Iran.’

توبه کن یک شوهر خوب گیر بیار واین اصول  اسلام رو رعایت کن وبرگرد به ایران

Err, no thanks.

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By the way, I am blogging every half an hour from 9am-3pm GMT to support the SSA blogathon. You can donate to the SSA by clicking on box on the right hand side.

 

Mickey Mouse must die

It seems the Islamists are running out of people to kill so they are now targetting the seemingly much deserved Mickey Mouse. Don’t even ask about the Three Little Pigs…

It may seem funny but it is all serious stuff. Did you hear about the Egyptian who was accused of mocking Islam after tweeting the below photo last year?

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, I’m blogging every half hour today from 9am-3pm London time for Secular Student Alliance’s ten day fundraising blogathon. You can donate to the SSA by clicking the box on the right hand column.

(Video link via Anne Marie Waters)

Meet this anti-Islam woman

A large number of major Islamic Republic of Iran ‘media’ and hundreds of other websites have published an article about me entitled: ‘Get to know this anti-Islam woman’ in what seems like a coordinated effort.

Clearly the regime has become so desperate that it is moving away from its usual behind the scenes assassination attempts, threats and intimidations of exiles to more public forms of renunciation (once again) – hence the recent fatwa against rapper Shahin Najafi and this ‘exposé’ on me, amongst others.

It lists my various organisational affiliations and says that I am ‘noticeable’ for my ‘enmity’ and ‘widespread activities against Islam and the Islamic Republic and in areas such as the defence of women’s rights and refugee rights’, and that I am ‘in charge’ of those ‘who are effectively apostates’. It adds that I have shamefully opposed Islamic totalitarianism during the Danish cartoons fiasco and quotes someone asking how ‘ugly and deformed [nude] bodies [can] be seen as a form of protest’. It goes on to say that my actions are so appalling that even some ‘ex-Christian Muslim’ writing on an Islamic website has come to understand how ‘those who used to be Muslim can be used to do anything to destroy Islam’…

Of course there is much that can be said about the ‘article’ but this is neither time nor place.

Suffice it to say that you vile lot are – sooner or later – on your way out and that nothing could make me prouder than being part of an immense human movement that will bring you to your knees.

Below are some more links to the absurd piece:
Asre Emrooz
Bardasht News
Sabze Nabavi
Ruzegar e No
Zane Farda
Jahan News
Neda Online
Nedaye Enghelab

Yes to profiling of Muslims?

The atheist author Sam Harris says:

We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks like he or she could conceivably be Muslim, and we should be honest about it. And, again, I wouldn’t put someone who looks like me entirely outside the bull’s-eye… But there are people who do not stand a chance of being jihadists, and [airport] screeners can know this at a glance.

In his addendum addressing the uproar, he says that those who ‘don’t see the link between Islam and suicidal terrorism’ might object to this but that it is a fact that ‘suicidal terrorism is overwhelmingly a Muslim phenomenon.’ He adds:

To say that ethnicity, gender, age, nationality, dress, traveling companions, behavior in the terminal, and other outward appearances offer no indication of a person’s beliefs or terrorist potential is either quite crazy or totally dishonest. It is the charm of political correctness that it blends these sins against reasonableness so seamlessly…

I suppose Sam Harris has a point – that is if you believe that one’s ethnicity, dress, gender and nationality (very different things from behaviour) can give some indication of one’s potential.

If so, we might take him up on his suggestion and profile Christians in order to avert the real risks of far-Right extremism in Europe and the USA. Of course this is absurd because – in most instances – you can’t tell who is Christian, atheist, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, animist, or humanist just by looking at them. And even if you do manage to herd all the Christians into one special screening area (maybe after an interview as this information is not on one’s passport) how can you assume that they (or Norwegians for that matter) are potential Breiviks or far-Right terrorists?

You can’t.

It’s the same with Muslims.

Harris will find my example of profiling Christians incomparable because he will say that Islamic terrorism is a greater risk. Of course it is today but the first victims of Islamic terrorism – and for many decades and long before September 11 – are Muslims themselves or those deemed to be such. In any case, which threat is greater is irrelevant if we agree that profiling is an absurd and racist way to address far-Right political movements like Islamism.

This is exactly what I keep banging on about when I speak of what can happen if you allow the far-Right to have hegemony on the debate on Islam, terrorism, and Sharia law because the post-modernist left and many liberals are too pathetic to stand for social justice, citizenship rights and equality.

Sam Harris’ argument shows clearly how far-Right discourse has crept into the language and politics of some atheists and secularists.

Like Harris, the far-Right conflates Islam, Muslims, terrorism and Islamism so as to make it seem as if they are all one and the same. And like them, he blames all Muslims for Islamic terrorism. Profiling can only be an acceptable response if one allocates collective blame.

If you want to know more about the distinctions between Muslims and Islamists you can read my speech on the Islamic inquisition though I talk about this in many speeches, articles and blog entries but it’s basically the difference between Christians and far-Right extremists.

As an aside, it’s interesting how the concept of profiling always and only comes up with regards to minorities. Harris says he doesn’t mean that non-whites alone must be profiled but now he is the one who is being totally dishonest.

Fatwas cannot be questioned

A new law passed unanimously in Kedah, Malaysia says that any fatwa issued by the State Mufti ‘cannot be challenged, appealed, reviewed, denied or questioned’ in any civil or Sharia court.

Yeah so what’s new?

In all this, some women’s rights groups are spending their energy to say that the Mufti’s statements go against Islam’s tenets. But isn’t that religion for you – a set of tenets and dogma that cannot be challenged, appealed, reviewed, denied or questioned?

Whilst I understand why these groups take this position (though I couldn’t disagree more and find it self-defeating), it may be better worth their while to stop wasting their time on theology and instead arguing for secularism and religion as a private affair.

At the very least, it would be more helpful to their work as women’s rights campaigners…

Human rights have no place in Islam

Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s religious advisor (like he needs one) and member of the regime’s Assembly of Experts said in a speech: ‘human rights and the rights of citizenship have no place in Islam.’

He added that there is no room for freedom of speech and thought in Islam; Muslims and those who convert to Islam must only adhere to the opinions of the leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and that ‘until a person has converted to Islam, he is free — but democracy and human rights have no meaning within Islam. Everything must be under the surveillance of the government, even the way people dress. And if some people say otherwise, they don’t know Islam.’

Well, isn’t that what I’ve been saying all along?

Of course the ‘International Organization to preserve Human Rights in Iran’ rejects Mesbah’s claims not because (as one would imagine) they want to defend rights but because they want to defend Islam.  They say his speech contradicts the teachings of the Koran, which is ‘based on the high value of each human being’.

Really?

Yes most definitely very highly valued – as long as the human being is not a woman, gay, socialist, freethinker, apostate, secularist, political dissident, labour activist, campaigner, unveiled, religious or ethnic minority, atheist, ex-Muslim, and only if the human being in question does not listen to music, sing, mix with the opposite sex, laugh out loud, think or breath…

In case you don’t know the worth of women’s lives and men’s testicles

Just in case you didn’t know how much you were worth under Islamic Diyeh or blood money (paid to the victim or victim’s family), here’s a reminder:

Article 300:  The blood money for first or second degree murder of a Muslim woman is 50 camels.

Article 435:  The blood money for a Muslim man losing his left testicle is 66 camels and his right testicle is 34 camels. Loss of both is 100 camels.

Yup, you read right. Even a man’s testicles are worth more than a woman’s life.

By the way, in case you don’t have camels, not to worry. The regime in Iran has calculated cash equivalents to assist you…

(Photo of laws via Bahman Abnekar on Facebook)

Hamza Tzortzis lies again!

Islamist Hamza Tzortzis has been bragging that he is to debate me on the 15 February on his Facebook page. I was more than happy to oblige especially since his gang looked so foolish the last time they tried to debate me at my talk on the Islamic Inquisition in Dublin.

Today, though, I was told by the Atheist Society of the University College of Cork that the event was postponed since a topic couldn’t be agreed upon with the ‘Muslim Cultural Society’ (is that what they are calling demands for the Caliphate nowadays?) leaving no time for publicising the event.

Anyway it seems that Tzortzis is now bragging that I have cancelled the event. Please, don’t flatter yourselves. It is usually your lot that goes about cancelling events because you don’t like free expression and what have you – not us.

When Tzortzis suggested debating ‘Islam and Secularism: What is more rational’ I merely said that the comparison made no sense.  Islam is a belief; secularism is a principle for the separation of religion from the state and public institutions. I suggested that the debate could be ‘Theocracy and Secularism: what is more rational?’ but it seems any suggestion of a political nature were deemed ‘Islamophobic’ (go figure) or ended in a denial of the existence of theocracies.

More interestingly, Tzortzis said he wanted to stay out of politics… Yeah right! Pull someone else’s leg please. I think it’s more likely that he doesn’t want to debate me…

By the way, Hassan Radwan says he couldn’t resist responding to one of the sneering remarks about me on Tzortzis Facebook Page:

Mayra Khaleeq said: ‘Maryam Namazie really has no rational philosophical and scientific arguments against religion. I am afraid that her talks border insanity. No offense to her, she has the right to be insane, but I have the right to reject insanity.’ [Read more...]

What about all those leaving Islam

I am meant to be working rather than blogging right now (it’s getting addictive). But I just got this email, which of course I must share with you.

makahar@gmail.com on behalf of getmak@gmail.com writes:

I was just wondering how it feels that despite all your propaganda on Islam, tens of thousands of people (especially Christian women!!) convert to the faith every year??

I guess we can just sit back and relax whilst watching your labour bear no fruition, ahhhh :-)

As I’ve said before in my speech on the Islamic Inquisition, Islam matters to us today because we are living through an Islamic inquisition and not because it is becoming more ‘popular’ as its proponents like to argue. They call it the fastest growing religion. I’d personally like a count of how many people are leaving it, or would like to leave if they could without being killed. I can’t begin to tell you the numbers of men and women, including wearing the hijab or burka, I have met who are closet atheists…

And by the way whoever you are, their leaving Islam in their multitudes (even if not publicly) has nothing to do with my labours (though I would be happy to take credit for it if you like).

It has everything to do with Islam and Islamism.

The sooner we get rid of Islamism, the sooner you will be able to save Islam from its rubble.

LSE Student Union supports criticism of religion – just not Islam

One way that people in Iran survive under the Islamic Republic of Iran is by making fun of its leaders and the clergy. Mockery can be a form of resistance too. Such jokes can be considered blasphemous, particularly since the regime’s leaders represent god’s rule on earth. Free expression, including mockery, though, is sometimes all that people have at their disposal to refuse and resist.

But please don’t mention it to the LSE Student Union as they will soon be issuing resolutions against the people of Iran… They will do anything to defend Islam and Islamism, and I do mean anything. They have just issued a resolution on Islamophobia most likely in order to try and silence and censor the LSE Atheist Secularist and Humanist Society for posting a Jesus and Mo cartoon on their Facebook page.

Of course the resolution states very clearly that the LSE Student Union supports free expression and criticism of religion – but only if the religion is not Islam…

(Link via Mike Tobin)

Only after I review evidence for Santa

I recently got this email asking to look at ‘evidence’ that ‘the Quran is supernatural’. I’ll do that after I review ‘evidence’ from my 6 year old that Santa Claus really exists but in case any of you are bored out of your minds, you might want to have a go. If not – gasp, horror – he will note on his website that the ‘ex-muslims declined’. Please, please don’t let it get to that point. Here’s his email:

The reason why I am contacting this exmuslim council is because I would like to get your opinion on our claim that the Quran is supernatural due to the scientific, prophetical and archaeological evidence… which proves that a mere man could not have written it. [Read more...]

Not an urban legend to ‘thigh’ babies

In comments about my post on religiously sanctioned paedophilia, it has been said that the practice supported by Khomeini of ‘thighing’ or placing a penis in between thighs of weening babies is an urban legend. I’ve explained how with brutalities such as these, there is no need for such legends; the realities are much bleaker. Here’s a video on the practice:

Here’s link to Khomeini’s Book in Persian. [Read more...]