Heed the warning of the Holy Father

LeftSidePositive pointed out yesterday that when Catholic archbishops prate of freedom of conscience they are bullshitting, because they don’t believe in or promote other people’s freedom of conscience to have nothing to do with Catholic rules.

This needs to be mentioned more often.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on religious freedom last April. It is of course that kind of bullshit from beginning to end. [Read more…]

Come back a different person

So clearly the guilty verdict on Nechemya Weberman, unlicensed “therapist” to rebellious young girls, presents a problem for people who need to control rebellious young girls. What to do, what to do. Export them!

Embarrassed by the sex abuse trial of a Hasidic counselor, leaders of Williamsburg’s pious Satmar sect are considering a different way to deal with rebellious teens: shipping them out of the country for treatment.

For “treatment”? Rebellion isn’t an illness. [Read more…]

Pakistan tells the world

Via Paul Fidalgo’s Morning Heresy – the Prime Minister of Pakistan says the UN “should frame laws to stop blasphemous acts.”

Oh, yes, absolutely, because that kind of thing is working out so well in Pakistan. Asia Bibi for instance, accused of “blasphemy” by a petulant neighbor. Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, murdered for attempting to help Asia Bibi. A homeless man beaten to death by a mob after he was accused of “blasphemy” and arrested. A Christian girl arrested for “blasphemy” and a few days later an imam arrested and charged with framing the girl for a “blasphemy” that never happened, and a whole neighborhood full of Christians in Islamabad is emptied as a result. [Read more…]

Giles Fraser versus human rights

Giles Fraser strongly disapproves of the idea (and the judicial finding) that non-medical circumcision is what it is: genital cutting of an infant for religious reasons.

Generally, the logic behind these moves is that circumcision is an act of unnecessary violence against a child and that it is imposing a belief system against a child’s will. If an adult wants to be circumcised, so be it. [Read more…]

He battered her about the head

A squalid little story out of Manchester Crown Court.

A Muslim preacher who tried to strangle his 16-year old daughter after she refused to enter into an arranged marriage with her cousin has escaped jail.

Abid Hussain, 56, grabbed the neck of Rabiyah Abid and said: ‘If you don’t follow my rules I will kill you’ after she rejected his plans for her to wed.

Hussain also left the teenager in fear of her life as he battered her about the head at the family home above the mosque he runs at Longsight, Manchester.

A man of 56 assaulted a girl of 16. A father assaulted his daughter, after trying to force her to marry someone she didn’t want to marry.

At Manchester Crown Court yesterday Hussain was convicted of assault and making threats to kill. He admitted his daughter’s conduct had ‘brought shame’ on his family and caused him ‘mental torture’ but denied wrongdoing.

His two sons Nawab Uddin, 23, and Bahaud Uddin, 21 were also convicted of assaulting the teen.

Henry Blackshaw, prosecuting said Rabiyah lived in a ‘very male dominated, patriarchal household’ where she was left ‘exhausted’ by cooking and cleaning.

In accordance with Islamic tradition she had been ‘betrothed’ by her father to his sister’s son in Pakistan at just 15 years old.

In other words, “in accordance with Islamic tradition” her father had attempted to lay out the rest of his daughter’s life according to what he wanted, without consulting her or allowing her the right of refusal.

Her two brother knocked her around some too.

Abid Hussain received a suspended sentence of nine months suspended for 12 months, with 100 hours unpaid work.

Nawab Uddin received a suspended sentence of three months suspended for 12 months, with 100 hours unpaid work and a supervision order for 12 months.

Bahaud Uddin received three months suspended for 12 months, with 200 hours unpaid work.

All via the Daily Mail. Sorry to cite the Daily Mail, but I couldn’t find a single other source.

Women are told to sit in back

Theocrats at it again – in Williamsburg (Brooklyn) this time.

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish business owners are lashing out at customers at dozens of  stores in Williamsburg, trying to ban sleeveless tops and plunging necklines  from their aisles. It’s only the latest example of the Hasidic community trying  to enforce their strict religious laws for everyone who lives near their New  York enclave.

“No Shorts, No Barefoot, No Sleeveless, No Low Cut Neckline Allowed in the  Store,” declare the English/Spanish signs that appear in stores throughout the  Hasidic section of the hipster haven. The retailers do not just serve Jews — they include stores for hardware, clothes and electronics.

“We’re not concerned about the way women dress in Manhattan — but we are  concerned with bringing 42nd Street to this neighborhood,” said Mark Halpern,  who is Orthodox and lives in Williamsburg. [Read more…]

The ministry of truth

Kausik Datta has an incisive post on Ayesha Nusrat’s op-ed in the New York Times about how liberating it is to submit to a religious obligation to wrap your head and neck in a large bandage.

Clearly, to Ms. Nusrat, the hijab is merely a few yards of cloth. For far too many women in far too many countries (for instance, the Middle East, North Africa, Far East and the Southeast of Asia, not to mention, Europe), the hijab is an obligatory article of indenturement that permits no choice, but is to be worn on pain of punishment and/or death; to them, it is a symbol of systematic oppression.

A symbol and the reality, which is why it’s so infuriating when people try to dress it up as the opposite. A putative religious obligation can’t be liberating.

Has Ms. Nusrat ever considered how/why Islamic fundamentalists (be it Taliban, or Boko Haram, or the regime in Iran) ALWAYS impose the hijab, burqa or niqab on women at the first opportunity? Why does she think that is?

Because Islamic fundamentalists want to liberate women! Wait…

I find it odd that it seems to have never struck Ms. Nusrat that these inviolable mandates to cover up reflect the bleak reality of so many women’s lives. She glibly talks about a ‘misconception that Muslim women lack the strength, passion and power to strive for their own rights’; she frames it wrongly. As women, the Muslim women lack nothing; they are just as strong and passionate about striving for their own rights as women anywhere else. But Islam is something else. Islam, especially fundamentalist Islam, actively denies them the power, and would rather beat the women into submission than relinquish control – and that is not a misconception, judging by the experience of many, many women in the world. If Ms. Nusrat continues to dismiss their experience because of her beliefs, she is being dishonest.

Read the whole thing. It’s admirably indignant.

Marry the nice rapist, dear

Oh, human beings, sometimes I despair of you. The arrangements you come up with! Do you just get shit-faced drunk one night and decide all the rules, or what?

There’s this idea that letting a rapist avoid jail by “marrying” the young girl he repeatedly raped, for instance – that’s a real dud. I’ll tell you why. You forgot the girl!! It’s about the man who did the raping, and the men who own the girl. This means a shit life for the girl! Did you just not notice that, or what? Pay attention, ffs.

In April, the unidentified girl was shopping in the northern city of Zarqa when a 19-year-old man kidnapped her, took her to the desert where he had a pitched a tent and raped her for three consecutive days, judicial sources said.

She’s 14. [Read more…]

Delusions of choice

And now I’ll spell out exactly why I think the Collective Response is so wrong and bad.

The hijab is a statement of female subordination, and it’s also a statement of loyalty or obedience to a ferociously misogynist and coercive religion. Some people are “offended” to be told that. It doesn’t follow that it’s not true.

Women who wear the hijab without being forced are making a mistake, just as nuns are making a mistake in being nuns. Both sets of women are endorsing a religion that systematically and explicitly bars them from leadership positions in the religion and declares them subordinate and inferior overall. That’s a mistake. It’s not “racist” to say that. [Read more…]