Monday, March 29, 2010

Barbara Kay: English Canada misses the point on the veil (Burka - Nigab)

Most folks don't get the real issue of patriarchal oppression of women by highly rigid men involved almost always with Islam with respect to the body bag known as a Burka or the face veil known as a Nigab.

The analogy, Ms. Kay, in her below column uses of masks is good. I could just as easily put on a Burka and walk in any female only restroom, gym, change room in Canada and if someone ordered me out create a fake HRC complaint I had no notion of attending. it would have caused the owners a great deal of grief though.

It may just take a situation involving a male, especially a white male, using one to feed feminist paranoia about men as abusers to shake every one out of their tree. The pedophile is a good example. Under current rules he could put on a Burka and walk in any playground hiding in plain sight.

Getting the male oppressors is a difficult area because of the cult like movement behind these medieval practices.  No child or female would dare "out" the men for fear of ostracization and even death. You have to understand the immersive depth of these practices are manifested visibly when you see them together.
The male walks a few paces ahead while the females are behind, invisible as humans but highly noticeable as assets.

I am constantly amazed at how perceptually blind we are in the name of tolerance. I am also amazed as one of Canada's leading critics of LifeBoat/Victim Feminism how it is me who can see it is oppressive and not they. Its an interesting look at ideology versus perception.

It is not a choice for these women as we know it. If it were, and they had real choice rather than coercion, those who continued to wear  it might be viewed as paranoid rather than anything else.
Its roots lie in irrational and extreme distrust and fear, two essential ingredients in the definition of this mental health issue.MJM

Barbara Kay: English Canada misses the point on the veil
Posted: March 29, 2010, 4:30 PM by NP Editor

Those famous two solitudes of Quebec and the Rest of Canada – the ROC – were evident in the results of a cross-Canada Angus Reid poll revealing very disparate attitudes to Bill 94, Quebec’s proposed legislation to ban the wearing of face cover when giving and receiving tax-funded services.

In total, 95% of Quebecers approve of the bill, a quite astonishing consensus. Across Canada 75% of those polled support the bill. The chasm widens far more, though, when you look at those who “strongly approve”: in Quebec 83% and in all of Canada 59%.

I’m not sure what surprises me more: how na├»ve the ROC is, or how isolated in my opinion I seem to be in the English-language press. Not only was I the sole opinion writer at the Post to voice approval of Bill 94 in my column of Mar. 26 – the same day the editorial board came out against it, as well as two other commentators – I was informed by a radio host whose show I appeared on that I was, as far as he could see, the only English-language commentator in all of Canada to support the bill.

The sticking point to understanding why Bill 94 is a good thing seems to be a single word: “wearing.” A ban on people’s choice of clothing upsets liberal-minded Canadians. Again and again one sees the same ill-considered argument that in a free society, women must be free to wear what they want.

I hadn’t planned to write on the subject again so soon, but I was piqued by a casual dismissal of my views by Chris Selley in his March 27 FullPundit column, where he describes my support for a ban in tax-funded institutions on the niqab as “over the moon,” followed by the accusation that I was denying women the right to “wear” what they liked.
That nettled me, as the central point of my column, a point I have made in the past several times, but which he chose to ignore in his criticism, is that the niqab is not a garment, and is not “worn,” but “borne.” The niqab is not clothing, it is a bag thrown over clothing, and is therefore an identifying “article,” but not an article of clothing.

Let me simplify this for Chris and the editorial board and everyone else who can’t get past this idea that the niqab is clothing.

Cast your minds back to those cowboy movies of yore. Remember the scarf around the neck they all wore? It was useful in a sandstorm for keeping dust out of the mouth and nose. But sometimes they would pull the scarf up over their face to rob a train. And that’s when the scarf stopped being clothing and became a *mask*.

The niqab is a mask. It is never used for anything else except to prevent the face from being seen. For what positive purposes does one apply a mask? There are two: one, to ward off the elements, like the afore-mentioned dust, or in the case of ski masks, cold; the other is when used for play – for a theatrical effect in safe, controlled settings like a theatre, Halloween parties or parades, occasions where everyone is in on the rules of play, and has given permission to each other to “deceive” his fellows.

When is it put to negative purpose? When the mask is symbolic of a chattel relationship with a man, and is applied to deprive a woman or girl (one reader reported seeing a five-year old child in a burka in Niagara Falls on a hot July day; ponder that, libertarians) of spontaneous or meaningful social interaction with the world beyond her immediate kinship circle; and finally, when it serves for men or women as a means to hide one's identity out of fear, shame or nefarious intent. 

If a mask is deemed an article of clothing, and if a woman may wear it simply because it is her right and because she feels like it (it has been well established that the niqab is not a religious obligation), then you cannot deny the same right to men. If for whatever reason – let’s say a few men decide their reason is to test the libertarian limits of pundits like Chris Selley and walk masked through a children’s playground – men choose to wear this “clothing” on their face, claiming it under the rubric of “freedom of choice,” women would be freaked out, and rightly so, and there would be a law the next day banning masks outright in all public spaces. So I see a great deal of intellectual hypocrisy in all this talk of freedom of choice. We limit choices all the time to satisfy community standards of social comfort. Try wearing a bikini into a courtroom and you will find out soon enough how much freedom of choice you have.

The issue, as I have said many times, is not religion. It is one of social decorum: whether or not you have the right to hide your identity in an open society. The consensus evidenced by the poll reflects a constant in human nature: the need for social reciprocity in order to trust the strangers we walk amongst.  That’s human nature, and that’s democracy.

National Post

Monday, November 16, 2009

Did political correctness help Maj. Hasan murder?

We are progressing it would appear in the MSM given the contents of this article. I note with interest not one mention of the oppressive form of dress called the Burkha or its derivatives and its observable symptoms of rigidity and intolerance of our traditions. Always keep in mind this medieval garb is prescribed by the same patriarchal system discussed in the column and those who require their females to wear it are the same zealots who are not more than a step away from other forms of oppression.

Those who call it freedom of expression act as apologists for a system of beliefs so rigid it cannot compromise and
is anathema to Canadian values. Be watchful of extreme religious rigidity no matter the source - it could be trouble. Take note as well of how religious orthodoxy seems to be impacting multi-national giant Intel in Jerusalem. Islam does not have a monopoly on extreme orthodoxy but they do constitute almost 25% of the world's population. As a result their numbers make it worthy to maintain close scrutiny focusing on the above zealots who cannot adapt to other cultures.MJM

Political correctness is cloying, stupid, stifling, hypocritical and a whole host of other pejorative adjectives, but in the case of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is charged with 13 counts of murder in the Fort Hood, Texas, shootings last week, could political correctness also have indirectly proven fatal?

There now seems to be a whole slew of people stepping forward to recount how Hasan's allegedly radical Islamist rants made them uncomfortable. And when you read about these incidents, and you see how little or nothing appears to have been done as far as inquiring further into his potentially dangerous mindset, you have to wonder if the fear of being perceived as anti-Muslim in general led those around Hasan to sidestep all these issues and let them go by.

Former classmates say Hasan was supposed to be giving PowerPoint discussions about health, but he instead talked about the justification for suicide bombings. The classmate said while complaints went to supervisors afterward, the audience didn't voice loud objections to what he was saying. Nobody appeared to have stood up and said, "There is no justification for suicide bombings." Why not? Would it have been considered discourteous to challenge someone's radical views? Would his views have been challenged without hesitation if he hadn't been a Muslim?

Hasan allegedly also claimed he was loyal to sharia law, rather than to U.S. law, according to two classmates. Nor did his peers in class perceive him as mentally ill. No surprise there. One needn't be mentally ill to espouse radical and dangerous views; the two are not connected, for if they were, it would have to be concluded that the members of Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations all suffer mental health problems. They don't. Fanaticism and hate are not symptoms of mental illness; they are manifestations of perverse and dangerous thinking.

Here is a guy justifying suicide bombings, the premeditated mass killings of innocent others, and it appears no alarm bells went off anywhere? Did everyone just conclude that Hasan was merely exercising his freedom of speech, which he was certainly entitled to do, but without any concern for the content of his speech whose underlying message posed an insidious danger to the freedoms of others and runs counter to the military oath that he took?

What is so suffocating about political correctness is its underlying assumption that if you say something critical about someone else's belief, regardless of how wrong or dangerous that belief is, you are tarnishing an entire cultural, racial or religious heritage. Nothing could be further from the truth. We must be free to challenge individuals who espouse radical Islamist views like Hasan, and doing so must never equate to smearing everyone who follows Islam. Thousands of Muslims have immigrated to both the U.S. and Canada to escape the kind of oppressive beliefs that Hasan allegedly has openly championed; these people are loyal citizens and very appreciative of the freedoms they've found here. I've never understood why it's assumed that criticizing radical Islamist beliefs and practices is any reflection on them at all.

That's why it was good this week to hear Immigration Minister Jason Kenney say that "multiculturalism doesn't mean that anything goes. Multiculturalism means that we celebrate what's best about our backgrounds, but we do so on the basis of common Canadian values and respect for our laws." Good for Kenney for not pussyfooting around with political correctness. His straight talk was so refreshing, especially when he listed "honour killings, forced marriages and . . . female genital mutilation" as "barbaric cultural practices." That's exactly what they are and westerners should not be timorous about saying so.

Multiculturalism most definitely does not mean "anything goes." It does not mean westerners are obligated to keep quiet when people of a different culture propose that sharia law exist on a legitimate basis side by side with Canadian law. Sharia law oppresses women, and anything that compromises the equality of men and women under law in this country must not be tolerated. Multiculturalism doesn't mean wasting time pretending that honour killings fall into the category of domestic abuse, in futile attempts to make them look generic across all cultures when everyone knows they are particular to certain tribalistic customs endemic in some patriarchal cultures. Domestic abuse is violence between spouses; honour killings involve male relatives killing daughters and sisters for committing the crime of thinking for themselves, and that's not something that happens outside of certain cultures.

If there's one lesson that can be learned from the Fort Hood tragedy, it should be that people have a right and a duty to challenge vociferously those whose extremist views pose a potential threat to a democratic society. Keeping quiet out of some misguided, overweening sense of courtesy and respect for diversity is a cop-out. It also does a tremendous disservice to the tenets that the West holds most dear.

nlakritz@theherald. canwest.coM

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Barbara Kay, "Discover Canada: The rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship" is a watershed moment for the policy of multiculturalism and a banner d

It cannot be repeated enough and we are starting to see the corner turned with this new edition by Mr. Kenney. No one gets into this country unless they swear allegiance to the secular nation called Canada and not their religious or barbaric cultural practices.

Those already here who cannot conform to Canadian values represented by a major modern secular democracy need to be observed. They are by their very inability to conform showing they are brainwashed by a dogma that may present a danger to this countries, values and ideals. Someone wearing a Burkha for example is by the PC definition exercising freedom of expression.

I, however, see an oppressed woman cow towing to a rigid male patriarch who cannot be flexible enough to conform to the overwhelming vast majority of Canadians - yet Libs and socialists cannot see the dichotomy it represents. This man's rigidity, in and of itself, is a sign of inelastic intolerance toward the majority and he needs to be watched.

Another good example is in the G&M where Wente is finally coming to grips with honour killings being a horrendous practice that victimizes women. The interesting thing is the G&M, as usual, won't allow comments for legal reasons. What a cop-out. They are afraid the HRC might pick on them for having a discussion about these primitive cultural practices or some of the comments might ruffle their legal advisers feathers. Its that kind of MSM self-censorship that got us to this point in the first place. Read about it here

Maybe the clueless ideologues over at Status of Woman Canada will spend some of those tax dollars to deal with these real primitive religious patriarchs who really do abuse and kill their women as a cultural practice rather than keep up the infamous misandry of all men are violent all women benign.

Why don't they set up a fem-stalker program to observe all the husbands/fathers who make their women wear Burkhas. There are your potential terrorists and women killers who deserve to be watched and "cured". An ounce of prevention you know!!! :)

November 12, 2009, 5:50 PM by Jonathan Kay

I'm sure many Canadians rubbed their eyes in disbelief when they saw the news that Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney had launched a new guide for immigrants wishing to become Canadian citizens, a guide informing new arrivals that "barbaric" cultural practices which physically harm women are not tolerated here. The guidebook, called Discover Canada: The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship, will be required reading for newcomers, and contains a special section on "The Equality of Women and Men" (note the word order). It says: "...Canada's openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, 'honour killings,'...or other gender-based violence."

Barbaric? Barbaric? But, but, but that means our government is making, you know, a judgment on the cultural practices of other people, some of them people of colour! I think we have arrived at a watershed moment in the history of multiculturalism. Indeed, this may be the "tear-down-this-wall" moment when open discussion of multiculturalism's failure as a national policy does not automatically confer the charge of racism.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Multiculturalists diminish 'rough beast' ravaging Islam

Last Updated: 31st October 2009, 4:35am

Among post-modern multiculturalists, it's commonplace to suppose that all cultures are of equal moral worth. Salim Mansur, professor of political science at the University of Western Ontario, emphatically disagrees.

In an illuminating collection of essays entitled Islam's Predicament: Perspectives of a Dissident Muslim, he maintains Islam is afflicted with "a terrible malady," which "reflects the irreparable breakdown of the civilization's centre . . . which at one time in history was co-equal, if not briefly superior, to Christendom."

Paraphrasing William Butler Yeats, Mansur contends that Islam is in the grips of a "rough beast" that has let loose anarchy upon the world. He traces the problem back to the earliest days of Islam, when perverse Muslim rulers renounced the peaceful teachings of the Qu'ran by slaughtering each other in a bloody struggle for political power following the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632.

"The Prophet's immediate family members were the most conspicuous massacre victims," writes Mansur. "Ever since those early blood-lettings, Muslims have been the primary victims of Muslim violence."

That's still all too evident in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Within the past week, Islamist suicide bombers have killed more than 240 Muslims in three massive blasts -- the first two in Baghdad and the third in Peshawar.

Mansur charges that while Osama bin Laden and the Al-Qaida network are "the modern faces of the beast" set loose in Islam, "Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders such as Tariq Ramadan and Sheikh al-Qaradawi serve the beast as apologists and propagandists." That's disturbing.

Qaradawi is no minor figure. Mansur explains that for Sunni Muslims, he is "the face of institutionalized Islam. He is the closest to what might pass for a titular head of Muslims akin to the Pope. Qaradawi's words, now broadcast by television network al-Jazeera, are taken as authoritative pronouncements of Islam."

In a sermon broadcast earlier this year on that Arabic news network, Qaradawi declared: "Oh Allah, take the Jews, the murderous aggressors. Oh Allah, take this profligate, cunning, arrogant band of people . . . . Oh Allah, do not spare one of them. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them, down to the very last one."

Ramadan is hardly less prominent than Qaradawi. A Swiss-born Arab Muslim academic, he has taught at the University of Fribourg, Oxford University and Erasmus University in Rotterdam. In 2004, he was offered a tenured position at Notre Dame, but could not take up the post because he was barred entry to the United States.

On Aug. 18, Ramadan was fired from his posts as a professor at Erasmus and an "integration advisor" for the City of Rotterdam because he continued to host a show Islam and Life on Iran's Press TV despite the shooting down of protesters in the streets of Tehran in June. In a joint statement, the city and university said Ramadan had "failed to sufficiently realize the feelings that participation in this television program, which is supported by the Iranian government, might provoke in Rotterdam and beyond."

In the face of Islamist terrorism, Mansur deplores the "appeasement mentality" of liberal-left multiculturalists in the West as well as the "deafening silence of Muslims, except for lonely voices of feeble opposition."

He likewise denounces the "double-speak" of Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders in mosques who say "contrary things in English or French and then in Arabic, or Farsi or Urdu."

Mansur, of course, is a courageous exception: No Muslim has been more outspoken than he in unequivocally denouncing the Islamist terrorists who defame Islam.

As a Muslim, Mansur laments, "We keep assuring ourselves and others that Muslims who violate Islam are a minuscule minority, yet we fail to hold this minority accountable in public. We regularly quote from the Qu'ran, but do not make repentance for our failings as the Qu'ran instructs, by seeking forgiveness of those whom we have harmed."

He concludes, "We Muslims are the source of our own misery, and we are not misunderstood by others who see in our conduct a threat to their peace."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why are Islamic extremists obsessed with female bodies?





Alaa Al Aswany

Why are Islamic extremists obsessed with female bodies?

Best-selling author of The Yacoubian Building, Alaa El Aswany, is a dentist who was trained in Chicago.

Fanatics view women as objects - of pleasure, temptation and sin - and use strictness toward them as an easy form of religious struggle

Alaa Al Aswany

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail 
Published on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 12:00AM EDT  
Last updated on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009 7:47AM EDT
The Shabaab movement in Somalia controls large parts of the south and centre of the country, and because officials in this movement embrace the Wahhabi ideology, they have imposed their views on Somalis by force and have issued strict decrees banning films, plays, dancing at weddings, football matches and all forms of music, even the ring tones on mobile phones.

Some days ago, these Islamic extremists carried out a strange operation: They arrested a Somali woman and whipped her in public because she was wearing a bra. They announced clearly that wearing bras was un-Islamic because it is a form of fraud and deception.

We may well ask what wearing bras has to do with religion, why they would consider them to be a form of fraud and deception and how they managed to arrest the woman wearing the bra when all Somali women go around with their bodies completely covered. Did they appoint a special female officer to inspect the breasts of women passing by in the street?

One Somali woman called Halima told the Reuters news agency: "Al-Shabaab forced us to wear their type of veil and now they order us to shake our breasts. ... They first banned the former veil and introduced a hard fabric which stands stiffly on women's chests. They are now saying that breasts should be firm naturally, or just flat."

In fact, this excessive interest in covering up women's bodies is not confined to the extremists in Somalia.

In Sudan, the police examine women's clothing with extreme vigilance and arrest any woman who is wearing trousers. They force her to make a public apology for what she has done and then they whip her in public as an example to other women.

Some weeks ago, Sudanese journalist Lubna Hussein insisted on wearing trousers and refused to make the public apology. When she refused to submit to flogging, she was referred to a real trial and the farce reached its climax when the judge summoned three witnesses and asked them if they had been able to detect the shape of the accused's underwear when she was wearing the trousers.

When one of the witnesses hesitated in answering, the judge asked him directly: "Did you see Lubna's stomach when she was wearing the trousers?"

The witness gravely replied: "To some extent."

Ms. Hussein said she was wearing a modest pair of trousers and that the scandalous pair she was accused of wearing would not suit her at all because she is plump and would need to lose 20 kilograms in order to put them on.

The judge convicted her anyway and fined her 500 pounds or a month in prison.
In Egypt, too, extremists continue to take an excessive interest in women's bodies and in trying to cover them up entirely. They advocate not only that women wear the niqab, but also that they wear gloves, believing they will ensure that no passions are aroused when men and women shake hands.

We really do face a phenomenon that deserves consideration: Why are Islamic extremists so obsessed with women's bodies?

Some ideas might help us answer this question.
First, the extremist view of women is that they are only bodies and instruments for either legitimate pleasure or temptation, as well as factories for producing children. This view strips women of their human nature.

Accusing the Somali woman of fraud and deception because she was wearing a bra is the same charge of commercial fraud that the law holds against a merchant who conceals the defects of his goods and makes false claims about their qualities in order to sell them at a higher price. The idea here is that a woman who accentuates her breasts by using a bra gives a false impression of the goods (her body), which is seen as fraud and deception of the buyer (the man) who might buy (marry) her for her ample breasts and later discover that they were ample because of the bra and not by nature.

It would be fair to remember that treating women's bodies as commodities is not something found only in extremist ideologies, but often happens in Western societies, too. The use of women's naked bodies to market commercial products in the West is merely another application of the idea that women are commodities. Anyone who visits the red-light district in Amsterdam can see for himself how wretched prostitutes, completely naked, are lined up behind glass windows so that passersby can inspect their charms before agreeing on the price. Isn't that a modern-day slave market, where women's bodies are on sale to anyone willing to pay?

Second, the extremists believe women to be the source of temptation and the prime cause of sin. This view, which is prevalent in all primitive societies, is unfair and inhuman, because men and women commit sin together and the responsibility is shared and equal. If a beautiful woman arouses and tempts men, then a handsome man also arouses and tempts women. But the extremist ideology is biased in favour of the man and hostile to the woman, and considers that she alone is primarily responsible for all sins.

Third, being strict about covering up women's bodies is an easy and effortless form of religious struggle. In Egypt, we see dozens of Wahhabi sheiks who enthusiastically advocate covering up women's bodies, but do not utter a single word against despotism, corruption, fraud or torture because they know very well that serious opposition to the despotic regime (which should really be their first duty) would inevitably lead to their arrest, torture and the destruction of their lives. Their strictness on things related to women's bodies enables them to operate as evangelists without any real costs.

Somalia is a wretched country in the grip of famine and chaos, but officials there are distracted from that by inspecting bras. The Sudanese regime is implicated in crimes of murder, torture and raping thousands of innocents in Darfur, but that does not stop it from putting on trial a woman who insisted on wearing trousers.

It is women rather than men who always pay the price for despotism, corruption and religious hypocrisy.

Fourth, the extremist ideology assumes that humans are a group of wild beasts who are incapable of controlling their instincts, that it is enough for a man to see a bare piece of female flesh for him to pounce on her and have intercourse. This assumption is incorrect, because humans, unlike animals, always have the power to control their instincts by willpower and ethics. An ordinary man, if he is sane, cannot have his instincts aroused by his mother, sister, daughter or even the wife of a friend, because his sense of honour and morality transcends his desires and neutralizes their effect.

So virtue will never come about through bans, repression and pursuing women in the street, but rather through giving children a good upbringing, propagating morality and refining character.

According to official statistics, societies that impose segregation between men and women (as in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia) do not have lower rates of sexual crimes than other societies. The rates there may even be higher.

We favour and advocate modesty for women, but first we advocate a humane view of women, a view that respects their abilities, their wishes and their thinking.

What is really saddening is that the Wahhabi extremism that is spreading throughout the world with oil money and gives Muslims a bad image is as far as can be from the real teachings of Islam. Anyone who reads the history of Islam fairly has to be impressed by the high status it accords to women, because from the time of the Prophet Mohammed until the fall of Andalusia, Muslim women mixed with men, were educated, worked and traded, fought, and had financial responsibilities separately from their fathers or husbands. They had the right to choose the husband they loved and the right to divorce if they wanted. Western civilization gave women these rights many centuries after Islam.

Finally, let me say that religious extremism is the other face of political despotism. We cannot get rid of the extremism before we end the despotism. Democracy is the solution.

Alaa Al Aswany is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Yacoubian Building and Chicago, and is a regular contributor to the Egyptian newspaper Al Shorouk. 

Latest Comments

10/28/2009 10:52:10 AM
Looks like the Globe have their Islamophiles censoring today.You can say what you like about Catholics and Jews but giving an honest opinion that these jerks are stone age and are being allowed into Canada where they continue in their ways immediately gets your post removed.

10/28/2009 10:50:50 AM
Amna. An interesting post. Apologizing is the operative word, in two respects.

In Islamic apologetics (like parts of this article) Islamic theory is compared to Western practice. In Islam, in theory, women have rights. From some angles these rights are superior to those actually allowed women, in the past, in the West some places. In fact, if you compared general practice to general practice you'd end up with, on the one hand, a man who disapproves of abortion on demand; and on the other, a Father who beats the living bejesus out of his daughter for refusing to drop out, cover up, and go to Pakistan to marry her first cousin. Me, I can see the difference.

I find the battle internal to liberalism fascinating. We are talking about a practice which could not be more anti-thetical to so much of what constitutes liberalism. On the other hand, you have cultural relativism (a recent addition to the Liberal canon) floated on a lot of talk about 'choice' and 'tolerance'. The thing for conservatives is easy. The word 'barbarism' just about covers it, but that's what they expect.

I've mentioned Theodore Dalrymple as a must read. This is in part because he's a confirmed and practising liberal. When he isn't writing, he's working in clinics and volunteers as a prison doctor.

Here's his take on talk of 'choice' and 'tolerance'. Amna, you'll find this interesting, as he discusses the issues you bring up. Executive summary: its all BS. How can you ask for what you refuse to grant? To pretend that Muslim women want this in nonsense, when the reality is that violent brothers don't given them any choice at all, nor demonstrate any tolerance either for their sisters or for other ways of looking at the issue --

10/28/2009 10:43:04 AM
I have never understood people who defend existing primitive and obviously barbaric practices in other cultures (in this case, backwoods fundamentalist Islamic cultures and their obscene and irrational view and treatement of women) by attempting to negate it by pointing out an equally ugly component of Western and/or Christian culture... if an article is written about some Muslim cultures treatment of women; someone MUST point out how repressive Christianity is or was or how our media-obsessed, consumer culture degrades and oppresses women. Why? How does that contribute to the debate? Are you trying the "don't-throw-stones-in-a-glass-house" bit? If so, to what end? If an article is written about violent practices associated with terrorism and political dissidence; someone will inevitably mention the Crusades or Guantanamo. Why? Sure, the Cruisades were violent and barbaric. Sure, Guantanamo is a wretched, evil place with appalling practices and human rights standards but pointing that out contributes nothing to the debate aside from attempting to stifle it. I am genuinely asking: What value does contrasting "ugly-with-ugly" bring to an otherwise intelligent debate? There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with rational examination of another country, culture, group or person's actions and expressing dissent. Just as they may choose to accept, consider or entirely disregard that dissent. Lastly, commenters should consider accepting that everyone - officially! - knows that, when articles like this one are written, they aren't referring to all Muslims. The need to pipe in with a feeble "not-all-Muslims-are-like-that" is no longer necessary and, where it would be necessary (Fox News viewers), it will not help in any way.

10/28/2009 10:30:49 AM
This repression of, and violent reaction to women's sexuality, in an individual would be easily diagnosed as insecurity,the sort of symptom one sees in a male who has grievious doubts about his own sexuality and masculinity.

Institutionalized in a religion or culture, it allows men to cloak their insecurities in the group dynamic.

It's also a clear indicator in the practitioner of tiny, limp genitals.

Why do these small people fear the power of women so?

Embrace it, it's the most beautiful thing in the world.

10/28/2009 10:29:13 AM
About time Muslims stopped justifying and apologizing for these idiots. The same thinking that women are sexual objects applies to wearing of niqabs and burka. Women 'choose' (ha-ha) cover their faces because they believe Islam recommends it for modesty. What does that mean? Are they telling men who are SO sexually hungry (seriously?) to leave them alone and go after women who are slu**y enough not to cover their head or face.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Barbara Kay: Honour killing is not 'domestic' violence

Posted: July 29, 2009, 1:00 PM by NP Editor

Following news of the arrest last week of Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and their 18-year old son, Hamed, for the alleged murder of four female family members, a case exhibiting several earmarks of a culturally motivated crime, I steeled myself for the usual media scramble to deplore all acts of “domestic violence.” I was therefore pleased that Saturday’s Post instead featured plain-spoken anti-Islamist Tarek Fatah’s vigorous denunciation of the practice of “honour killing.”

No doubt ruffling many multi-culti feathers, the fearless Mr. Fatah, a distinguished scholar of Islam and religious hypocrisy’s scourge, categorically stated that “man-made shariah law, which has been falsely imputed divine status, does allow for the killing of women if they indulge in pre-marital or extramarital consensual sex.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

Imported evil of honour killing

Comments left on Antonia Zerbisias' Blog related to the topic.


I did say other religions. Most are male centric and, therefor in your view, patriarchal. I agree with you on the RC's but there are lots more.

I recall being perplexed why my mom had to wear a hat, back in the day, but dad did not. I was also perplexed at why women can't be priests and priests can't marry. Still am! I have great experience from the inside on Christian religion, so much so that I am now agnostic, but my observation of Islam based on research is it is one of totality. It ascribes a lifestyle and even though all religions rely on brainwashing to have its flocks become autobots, this one is superbly effective in ascribing supremacy to men and inferior status to women. You want to deal with really dangerous and overt patriarchy - there you have it. Its alive and well in Canada and McGuinty almost let sharia law into this province. In other countries Sharia Law will allow stoning and death to women. I wasn't asleep at the time and made my concerns well and loudly known.

Don't you be asleep at the wheel with this religion. It can be dangerous to women's health whether it is killing or wearing the hideous walking coffin called a burka. Check Afghan women's health reports on the results for prolonged wearing and you will know that those doing the same in Canada will be affected similarly.

We can talk about the Pope, the infallible patriarch, another time. His religion needs improvement as well but at least women don't get killed nearly as often simply because of their gender.

Calgary Herald, EDITORIAL
Sunday, July 26, 2009

If it is proven that Afghan-Canadian Mohammad Shafia, his teenage son and wife are guilty of killing Shafia's three daughters and his alleged first wife, they will face the maximum penalty of life in prison without a chance of parole for 25 years. The promise of this type of sentence should signal to would-be perpetrators of so-called honour killings that such evil acts are intolerable. Hopefully, others will come to realize that spending a large chunk of their lives rotting in a cell is too high a price to pay for upholding this regressive, patriarchal tradition.

The deaths of Zainab, Sahari and Geeti Shafia, along with Rona Amir Mohammad -- whom Mohammad Shafia originally described as a cousin--at first appeared to be a tragedy caused by youthful exuberance. The bodies of the four were located in a car submerged in the Rideau Canal near Kingston, Ont., on June 30. The girls' bereaved parents were quick to advance the theory that Zainab, the oldest, had taken the car for a joyride despite lacking a driver's licence, and crashing as a result of inexperience. In interviews, they appeared to be genuinely grief-stricken.

However, inconsistencies revealed by a subsequent police investigation and allegations from a relative suggested that the deaths were not an accident but rather premeditated murder. According to police, Shafia felt somehow disgraced by his daughters' behaviour in Canada and, with the help of his wife Tooba and son Hamed, allegedly began to plan their murders as early as May.

If the deaths of the Shafia girls are found to be honour killings, they would not be the first in Canada. There have been perhaps six others in the last decade, all among families of Middle Eastern or South Asian stock.

These alarming occurrences among immigrants to Canada shows more action is needed to reshape ingrained attitudes which can lead to murder.

This is not just a matter for the justice system but one for community leaders and the clergy. The latter two groups have a key role to play in heading off the potentially lethal intercultural and inter-generational disputes which sometimes lead to the murder of children from these cultures by their parents. They also have the authority and the linguistic capabilities to approach and educate recent arrivals about life in Canada, and to make them aware that in this country, women and girls are autonomous individuals, free to live their lives as they please.

This last bit is especially important. Immigrants are welcome but must realize they are expected to internalize Canadian values and leave behind repugnant archaisms such as this utterly skewed understanding of what constitutes male honour, and the obligation of feminine submissiveness.

Failing to do so may result in incarceration and loss of the chance to experience life in this great country.

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