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.

I have a gripe

This has got to be one of my all time favorite songs. It’s by Dariush and called Ahay Mardom -e- Donya or Oh people of the world. Here are some of the lyrics.

Oh people of the world
I have a gripe
With everyone and everything
I have a gripe
Also with god.

Those who broke the sanctity of love, extinguished affection and put a price on the heart
My scream is an objection from a restless soul
Weary of all the wounds of the world
My gripe is not on my behalf alone

If there is no love, there is no humanity
If there is no humanity, there is no life
Don’t ask me what happened to love
My response is only that of shame…

You can find a better version on youtube but this one is fun as it is at a concert where the crowd sings along.

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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. This post is a little late but blame it on my ancient computer.

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.

Religious education is an oxymoron

Good quality’ ‘Religious Education’ (RE) in schools is seen as important and valued by the public, research commissioned by the Religious Education Council (REC) has indicated. According to the research, 53% of adults in England and Wales think that RE should remain a compulsory subject in state funded schools. A greater number (58%) think it is beneficial for pupils to study RE.

REC of England and Wales brings together fifty professional organisations and religion and belief groups with an interest in promoting good quality RE.

Err, good quality religious education? I think that’s what’s called an oxymoron.

Religion and education are at two opposite ends of the spectrum. One is dogmatic, prescriptive and punishes free thinking and reason. Education is *meant* to be the opposite.

I’m really not sure why anyone who is not part of a religious group would be glad that adults recognise the importance of religious education.

And if it’s so important for children to be force-fed their parents’ religion – which is what this is all really about – why not have political education classes too? It is also very helpful in raising obedient robots.

I know, I know, it’s all about exploring the ‘many varied ethical and religious perspectives to promote understanding and to assist in the personal development of each student’, blah, blah, blah.

But religion is the last thing that can help in anything to do with promoting understanding and children’s personal development.

Maybe it would be best if the ‘professionals’ started looking at it from a children’s rights perspective rather than from the perspective of religion.

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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.

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.

 

Stupid shit that somebody made up

Thanks to Jimmy Harkin for sending me the following clip of George Carlin on the Bible, religion and more:

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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.

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.

Christianity stinks too

I often hear people saying that Christianity is better than Islam. And I’m not talking about the far-Right that thinks the fight against Islam is a fight for Christianity and a new crusade but I often hear it from skeptics and atheists too.

As you may know even Ayaan Hirsi Ali had recommended that Muslim women become Christians rather than remain within Islam if they want to carry on believing in god. My response is that it’s a racism of lower expectations. If Ayaan and I can become atheists, so can other Muslim women.

But nonetheless there is this perception that Christianity is better.

But that’s a perception only.

As I’ve said before, Christianity only seems nicer because to some extent it has been pushed back by an enlightenment. A ‘better’ religion is generally one that has its back to the wall and has no political power.

And the minute it has access to some form of power, it rears its cruel and ugly head for all to see.

The US Christian Right, the abuse and violence faced by children deemed witches in Nigeria, the lack of accountability of the Church for it years of paedophelia and sex abuse are all current day examples of how Christianity is fundamentally no different. and that’s not even looking at the Spanish inquisition and the like.  Of course there are many more current days examples but the most recent case is the complaint by the Mumbai Catholic Archdiocese against Indian Rationalist Sanal Edamaruku.

Following his exposure of a supposed miracle at a Catholic Church in Mumbai in March 2012 as nothing more than a leak, a complaint has been lodged against Sanal by local Catholic organisations with the police, who are now able to arrest him. He has been denied ‘anticipatory’ bail which means if arrested he faces a long term in prison merely for explaining the science behind yet another fraudulent claim by religion.

It is important to defend Sanal and also the many facing such charges by Islamists across the globe.

Here’s a petition you can sign on Sanal’s behalf.

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I am blogging every half hour from 9am-3pm GMT to support the SSA during its 10 day blogathon. Support the SSA if you can; it’s important!

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.

 

Add your message of support for the Council of Ex-Muslims

As you know, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is celebrating its 5th anniversary on 23 June. We’re asking people to attend the fundraiser luncheon if they can, donate, and send messages of support to mark our birthday. Here are some messages we have already received. Add your below or email it to us at maryamnamazie[@]gmail[dot]com.

To become an “Ex” of any religion needs intelligence and education. To become an Ex-Muslim needs courage as well. Maryam Namazie has the additional ability to inspire others to follow her admirable example. Many congratulations on the fifth anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.
Richard Dawkins FRS, University of Oxford

The Council of Ex-Muslims performs a vitally important service to the cause of liberty of conscience and all the human rights involved with it. I applaud it’s courage, humanity, determination and persistence.
A C Grayling, philosopher, UK

Congratulations to the Council of Ex-Muslims on your fifth anniversary. You have defied threats and intimidation to stand up for the freedom of all to think and believe as they wish. These are easy principles for we humanists to uphold, but ex-Muslims take their life in their hands when they proclaim themselves non-believers. Maryam Namazie herself deserves special praise for her bravery.
Polly Toynbee, President, British Humanist Association

Dearest Maryam, congratulations on the survival and continuing growth of the Council of Ex-Muslims. It’s a desperately needed group and community for people who want to escape one of the most binding and demanding communities that humans have ever created. From a community where the punishment for leaving is death to one where there is no punishment – what a hopeful inspiring journey for anyone, and how wonderful that it has achieved five years of existence.
Ophelia Benson, Author, USA

On behalf of the Token Skeptic podcast, I congratulate The Council of Ex-Muslims for their continued bravery and efforts in the face of enormous challenges. As an educator and friend of former Islamic students, I am proud to hear of your fifth birthday and know that there are many Australians who wish you the very best.
Kylie Sturgess
Token Skeptic podcast

CEMB,
Good luck with your celebrations of the 5th anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain on Saturday 23 June 2012.
Public awareness of the CEMB is growing which is encouraging for all. Please keep up the good work.
Cheers,
Dave, Kingston upon Thames [Read more…]

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)

Blogging for Secular Student Alliance

I’m blogging every half an hour from 9am to 3pm UK time in support of the Secular Student Alliance blogathon. The SSA is trying to raise £100,000 by 16 June. I’m not quite sure what I’m meant to write about so I’ll start writing about some of the things that I’ve been meaning to comment on but haven’t had the chance. If there is anything specific you want me to address, please feel free to comment.

And don’t forget to support the SSA. If we’re going to beat the religion industry, we need to support organisations promoting secularism and reason.