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Tears for Aqsa Parvez

December 12, 2007
by

I’m angry.  The only thing I can say is that we have to stop this.  We’ve lost another daughter and for what?

So, I’ll leave you with this repost to think about it:

To the daughters that I turned my back to, the 15 daughters that died in March of 2002 a horrific death in the face of flames, in the name of a man-made Islam, to the three daughters Allah had gifted me, to all of my daughters reading this, and no I will not call you my sisters, as sisters grow up and we let them be women, daughters remain daughters forever under their mother’s protection, my dear daughters I apologize to you.

I apologize for not standing up sooner. I apologize for sugar coating it. I apologize for being sensitive to you and our culture. I apologize for being complacent to a man-made Islam. You deserved better of me.

We turned our back to Averroes and embraced Al-Ghazali. We suffocated when we closed that door as a window never opened. We have allowed ourselves to be taken back in time, back to the days prior to the Quran, prior to the prophet Muhamed, prior to Aisha. We have bid farewell to the likes of Fatimah bint Qais who argued with Umar and Aisha over a legal point and refused to change her opinion. We have shamed Umm al-Darda who was considered to be superior to all of the other traditionalists of the period including masters of hadith such as al-Hasan al-Basri and Ibin Sirin. Mostly Allah, we have through our own fear of an unmerciful Allah, a fear of change and of man failed you, failed Islam.

If these words:

“Our society allows no scope for the development of women’s talents. They seem to be destined exclusively to childbirth and the care of children, and this state of servility has destroyed their capacity for larger matters. It is thus that we see no women endowed with moral virtues; they live their lives like vegetables, devoting themselves to their husbands. From this stems the misery that pervades our cities, for women outnumber men by more than double and cannot procure the necessities of life by their own labors.” – Averroes

Made me feel worthless then, today they shame me as I haven’t made many changes since.

No longer can I watch another daughter die because of a literal translation. No longer can I just sign these petitions calling for an end to stoning or pleading for a female life that killed in self-defense. No longer can Islam afford one literal translation while analyzing the rest. Allah gave me freedoms and rights and man took them away while I aided and abetted. No longer can I can I stay quiet.

Today, my dear daughters I promise to demand of you what you are afraid to demand of yourselves. I demand of you to realize your self-worth. I demand of you nothing less than to know that you are equal with your counterpart. I demand of you to analyze and reanalyze your choices. I demand this of you my dear daughters out of love for you. You, my dear daughters are the future of Islam.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2007 9:46 pm

    Beautiful post, well said sister!

  2. December 13, 2007 2:16 am

    yes we all all agree it is awful that we hear of this sort of thing and it is to be welcomed that you speak out against this but still you say Allah this or Allah that and go down the usual line of islam is juts being corrupted etc etc.

    It is actually not! it is just being strictly interpetated and the people who sheepshly follow are just slaves to their own ignorance and indoctrination. Nt to mention stupidity and backwardness.

    Lets call a spade a spade here. ISLAM IS PLAIN NUTS! It is not much better to suggest the jesus nonsense either but at least somehow the “christian world” has been able to emancipate itself from silly religion and all its sick and twisted dogmas and get on with trying to build a progressive society in any nation which that is the predominant culture.

    Lets drop the childish religion and get back to just trying to be decent people

  3. December 13, 2007 5:12 am

    You are a prick to exploit this poor girl’s death to spout out your hateful drivel.

    Get the fuck out of here, worthless vermin.

  4. December 13, 2007 8:26 am

    This is a very sad story, and her murderers deserve no sympathy from anyone, but blaming Al-Ghazali is meaningless.

  5. December 13, 2007 6:22 pm

    Hi Daniel
    Nice to meet you too! Your brain manages to come up with

    YOUR A PRICL
    FUCK OFF
    YOUR VERMIN

    not to mention that I am “exploiting” the fact that someone indoctrineated into islam has YET AGAIN committed a disgusting crime and immoral act because of their backward religion!

    Sorry mate I am not the one you need to direct your anger towards. I only spoke facts and that is no doubt what makes you mad.

    Islam is basically a form of facism and it takes many forms- some are relatively benign while others are lethal. If people want to believe the nonsense of islam then of course they have the right to belief in anything they wish, however it would be best if it was restricted to their own home and even better their own countries.

    As much as I hate to say it ISLAM is NOT COMPATIBLE WITH PROGRESIVE AND ENLIGHTENED DEMOCRACY OR GOOD GOVERNANCE. Therefore muslims should NOT emigrate to the west at allunless they are willing to keep their religion private and STRICTLY CONFORM WITH THE CULTURAL AND LEGAL NORMS OF THE COUNTRY THEY GO TO.

    If they are not willing to do so then they SHOULD STAY AT HOME AND NOT TROUBLE THE WEST WITH ITS PROBLEMS.

    NOBODY IS FORCING MUSLIMS TO EMIGRATE TOTHE WEST.

    IF THEY DO DO SO THEYARE WELCOME JUST SO LONG AS THEY REPSECT OUR LAWS CUSTOMS AND VALUES.

    THIS GIRL WOULD BE ALIVE WERE SHE NOT MUSLIM! IT IS TRAGIC BUT ALL TOO FAMILAR

    HOW MANY TIMES TOWE HAVE TO READ AND HEAR ABOUT THESE CASES?

    Just be a human being first and leave the religion for the prvicay of your own mind.

    There is nothing hateful about my message but yes I do indeed HATE THE EFFECT THAT ISLAM HAS ON THE WORLD AND PEOPLE TOO IGNORANT AND CLOSED MINDED TO KNOW ANY BETTER THAN BE FOOLS TO ITS CRAZY TEACHINGS

  6. December 13, 2007 6:50 pm

    Blah blah blah, quit it with the semantics.

    It doesn’t change the fact that you’re exploiting the poor girl’s death for your own personal gain, and that makes you a disgusting piece of shit.

    Btw, if Muslims should not immigrate to the West, then perhaps Westerners should not go to Muslim countries on the basis of business by that logic, correct?

    It takes two to tango. It’s not a one-way street. Face it, you clowns are no different from Islamic supremicists, with your “my way or the highway” bullshit rhetoric.

    On another note, you never seem to condemn Sikhs and Hindus who also engage in these types of acts. Do you remember an incident in British Colombia back in 2003 where a Sikh man murdered his sister because she chose to move in with her non-Sikh boyfriend?

    Yeah that’s what I thought.

    By the way, cupcake, do you hear of incidents like this occurring amongst Balkan Muslims or East Asian Muslims and such? Nope, it’s all coming from the Middle East and South Asia.

    And domestic violence is a psychological problem, regardless of faith or ethnicity. Sports stars are reprimanded by authorities for beating their girlfriends, and comedian Phil Hartman was a victim of domestic abuse by his own fucking wife, who ended up shooting him in the head before taking her own life in May 1998.

    Explain that, jackass.

  7. December 13, 2007 8:19 pm

    Daniel – thank you and thanks for pointing out the hypocricies of my visitors temper tantrum.

    Islamophobes_R_Us – Let’s just drop the childishness altogether and have some civil dialogue. If you can’t handle the fact that I am a human being that happens to believe in God, that happens to be a Muslim then you really have no business entering into dialogue with me. Drop the bullshit and we’ll talk because I’m not going to sit here entering into dialogue with someone telling me what Islam is by someone who seems to be afflicted with tunnel vision when it comes to Islam. As I’ve allready said elsewhere you only continue to prove that the absence of faith is not the savior to humanity.

    Thabet – I’m not blaming Al-Ghazali for this. Hell, I’m not even blaming Al-Ghazali for anything – I’m blaming us.

  8. December 14, 2007 4:17 am

    What is funny is that I have not done any name calling!

    Yet I am the one with tunnel vision? LOL!

    I dont mind people who “happen to believe in god” seems reasonable to me as a philosophical notion though less so when people then start to tell me they actually believe in a personal god and then I just dont see any point in indulging people who start saying they are Christian or Islamic etc etc

    Comparing these two idiotic cults it is clear that Islam is the greater evil and makes even less sense. But to be honest thats just splitting hairs. What counts is the comparison of the whole civilization built up around these of many centuries.

    Clearly again ISLAM is the worse of the two by far, but really this does not come down to the difference in the respective theology. It is more on the practical level of comparing the cultures of the WEST and the “islamic world”

    While it is less than ideal or particularly desirable to make such crude comparisons they do need to be noted owing to the problems that are so clearly associated with “islamic beliefs” and the direct consequences of these upon the western world and societies cannot be ignored.

    “Muslims” do and have been emigrating to the western countries in very large numbers for many years and this is essentially a one way thing.

    It should be noted that the populations of the western countries do not emigrate on masse to non western countries generally. Where they do emigrate to say the likes of Saudi Arabia they conform to the laws and customs of that nation, likewise if they go to China or Malaysia.

    When they dont – we condemn them for being bad tourists or visitors their “religion” has nothing to do with it! We just dont make their “Christianity” an issue fullstop. If they do make an issue then they are being bad guests and should be told to piss off back home! [more politely of course]

    Anyway If we could all just be nice to each other and not invoke personal beliefs in the supernatural or religion.

    As for “exploiting” …. Are you mad? I was reacting! And I made the point that there has been countless such cases and examples in which ISLAM has played a part in the story.

    Like 9/11 or Theo Van Gogh = very specific to islamic nuts.

    When was the last time we heard of a buddishts terrorists?

    OH BTW the SIK religion is even far more insane than the Muslim religion though as mad as their “religion” is – and it is truly bonkers! They are actually very good at integrating- with the sole major pitfalls of stupidity being the rubbish about Turbans and their unreasonable and idiotic demand and even expectation that they can impose this norm on other countries by way of “special exception” to them.

    My message would be that if they want to be able to practice every aspect of their religion unhindered then they should not go to live in the west, but if they are willing to keep their religion and its cultural norms private then fine.

    We have our own ways of doings things and it is too bad if they done all suit.

    Of course the great weakness and strength of the west is the stupefying way we try to bend over backwards to “accommodate” all manner of difference in the name of “multicultural” crapola.

    While the sentiment of tolerance is a noble one the practice is too often abused or and misused to render it actually stupid and totally counter productive. The US and the THEM world created only prevents people being as harmonious and cohesive as healthy and functional society.

    I admit I am going on about ISLAM in particular but I do so because it is the single greatest evil in the world and most dangerous thing facing mankind at the moment [which is pretty amazing when you consider all the other ills]

    Islam as I say is basically the same as fascism only worse because it has never been able to embrace the separation of church and state on any worthwhile level. It keeps finding it way back into the personal lifes of people who in turn invoke it for all manner of things.

    Allah says this or Allah says that? etc etc

    If I do something I will give reasons! I will never turn around and say oh its what it says in the bible or koran etc etc

  9. December 14, 2007 4:36 am

    Oh as for the Serbs being the bad guys? Well that is true in the sense of the situation that pertained but not because they were Serbs but rather they were the dominant grouo with the power and means to try impose their will after being misled down a road of rabid nationalism. If it was not muslims ur right it might have been the catholics etc etc but perhaps less so given the less difference factor.

    Anyway the Bosnians acted no better and were just as savage and barbaric, such traits are actually not about the religion or ethnicity as any people are capable of this in the wrong circumstances.

    The Bosnians just happened to be the weaker force in this situation and so they became the victims in that unfolding mess. It could have been the other way around but we still have to deal with the fact of the Serbs being the bad guys in the situation that was there.

    The Croats did not act any better towards the muslims when they were certain situations, and on it goes in circles

    Most people in the west couldnt care less about the fact that the victims were muslims they just saw them as victims and wanted to help. Clearly they did far too ittle far too late which is a badge of shame on the west. Likewise today in Darfgur. But the world is not run along moral lines as much as we try for it to be.

    We can only try strife for the best. The lesson is that identity and ethnicity and a sense of nationalism or tribal affinity is all too much a part of our make up still.

    By denying it we close our eyes to the real world change is best when it is slow and evolving rather swift and in revolution, yet sometimes it is unavoidable?

    Eventually there will be no ISLAM and no other Religions but that might take a very very long time. We may well have blown ourselves up by then as a species?

  10. December 14, 2007 4:40 am

    The only person to be blamed for the death of that Girl is the murderer who done it.

    As for the reasons and circumstances well that is something which Muslims have to address themselves and honestly evaluate how and why it is that such things happen within their “community” with far too much regularity.

    No belief system is worthy of this sort of end result. Which is why people do shine a light on ISLAM in these circumstances.

  11. December 14, 2007 5:43 am

    There was apparently domestic abuse in the houshold already, and the hijab was another excuse for male anger. It ended in the poor girls murder, but such domestic abuse is common to all big mouthed and small brained violent and angry men, no matter what their religion.

    May Allah bless her soul and grant her peace. Amin.

    Ya Haqq!

  12. Anna permalink
    December 14, 2007 3:47 pm

    THANK YOU.

    I am with you in this crusade. As a human, as a woman, as a muslim, as an afghan, as a daughter.

    WE ALL MUST UNITE.

    CANADA MUST BAN ALL RELIGIOUS ATTIRE THAT OPPRESS & DEHUMANIZE ANYONE’S RIGHTS.

    & No we are not exploiting an innocent victim, we are waking up & uniting in her name, to stop this injustice.

    Aqsa Parvez will be remembered & honoured FOREVER, because we as a society let her down.

  13. December 14, 2007 4:10 pm

    Anna – you misunderstand me. I’m a strong advocate for freedom of religion. I’m not looking for a ban on religious attire. I’m only asking that we Muslims stop insisting that this is a religious obligation. That we stop forcing this on women. That we take the time and effort to critically analyze this aspect as we do in analyzing the rest of our rules .. such as Jihad, apostacy, inter-faith, who can and can not recieve zakat, etc. The apology goes further than attire to basic equalities.

    Attire does not symbolize an oppression unless that attire is forced upon a woman.

    Irving – I know it’s about the abuse. I know abuse stretches accross every ethnicity, religion and region equally. In this case though .. I can’t help but be more angered. I think this should be a wake-up call that we need to provide some counseling services and safe houses through our mosques and such that are geared towards providing help to those that are abused in a way that the abused feels safe and not judged. Not only that but it seems that we should possibly be looking at programs that help families deal with culture shock .. what to expect .. how to deal with it…

    Billy – I’ll have to come back to you – it’s going to take more time than I have right now.

  14. December 14, 2007 9:51 pm

    Keep in mind this is a single instance of a crime. Comapre it like the video that pops up now and again of a stalker abducting a young woman who is later found dead. Aqsa Parvez’s death is NOT a normal “islamic event.” I remember a kid in 1st grade whose Christian mother forced him to kneel in rock salt when he was bad until his knees bled. When he was 12 she beat him so badly he lost hearing in one ear. Parents are sometimes overprotective, sometimes STUPID, like the woman who created the phony MySpace page that led to the suicide of Megan Meier. But that’s another story…

    http://dave-lucas.blogspot.com/2007/12/double-life-of-aqsa-parvez.html

  15. Keith permalink
    December 15, 2007 4:07 pm

    Another victim of the “religion of peace”.

  16. December 15, 2007 5:10 pm

    Another victim of the “religion of peace”.

    *yawn, one trick pony we got here.

  17. December 15, 2007 5:13 pm

    Anyway the Bosnians acted no better and were just as savage and barbaric, such traits are actually not about the religion or ethnicity as any people are capable of this in the wrong circumstances.

    Oh really? When did Bosnians raid Serb villages and raped their women and children? Where did Bosniaks committing crimes that were not seen in the European continent since the Holocaust?

    Yes, the Bosniaks and Croats have their share of blame, but don’t you dare try to accuse Bosniaks of being barbaric when the Serb militias showed no mercy towards those different to them.

    Serbs killed Bosniaks and Croats alike, and Serbs still don’t like Croats because Croats adopted Catholicism as opposed to staying with Orthodoxy. Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks still hate each other, and I don’t see any reconciliation efforts to occur in the near future. It’s hard to forgive when you lost so much back then.

  18. raven permalink
    December 16, 2007 2:01 am

    I am trying to understand your post.

    you say:
    “I apologize for being complacent to a man-made Islam. You deserved better of me.”

    and this

    “No longer can I watch another daughter die because of a literal translation”

    you see a different Islam to that is now. different to the one that you blame for the loss of the daughters, but is true Islam closer to your vision or the current prevailing one.

    Why are you critical of literal translations. Would such translations not be closest to the word of god?

  19. December 17, 2007 8:24 pm

    Okay, Billy – I’m back.

    Did you not say:

    “Islam is basically a form of facism”
    “There is nothing hateful about my message but yes I do indeed HATE THE EFFECT THAT ISLAM HAS ON THE WORLD AND PEOPLE TOO IGNORANT AND CLOSED MINDED TO KNOW ANY BETTER THAN BE FOOLS TO ITS CRAZY TEACHINGS”

    Get off your high horse – you wanted a reaction and you got “tunnel vision.” wooo hooo – what a bad person I am for it.

    “If it was not muslims ur right it might have been the catholics etc etc but perhaps less so given the less difference factor.”

    Not might have – it most definately would have. Again – this started with Slovenia and Croatia but since the Serbs were not able to gain access to the military might within those countries they were disuaded easily. Bosnia was a different story because the Serbs had in the interim of what was going on in Croatia and Slovenia secured all of the military equipment within Bosnia – so you had an uprotected population. If that population was not Muslim it would have been Catholic and a population of a group called “Bogomils” (another Christian based religion) which is the religious group that predominantly converted to Islam, the group that constantly provided a buffer between Serbs (Greek Orthodox) and Croatians (Catholics) and you most definately would have seen the mass slaughter of Catholics and Bogomils as opposed to Muslims. On both sides exists a strong territorial tie and drive for the region – get some history books out and take a look at what these groups did to each other regardless of the fact that they were both Christ based religions – difference factor had nothing to do with what went on. Let’s not even get into the fact that Bosnian Muslims were so secularized and integrated within the socialist structure of the region that you would not be able to differentiate a Muslim from a Catholic from a Greek Orthodox person. Our skirts were as short, our pants as low and our bikinis as skimpy. Our mosques were empty and what you know here as a Christmas tree – adorned our living rooms during the new year’s festivity season. Our children were photographed with father time (santa) and there was supposed to be no difference between us.

    I don’t know how it was in your neck of the woods, but here in the US all we ever heard was “Bosnian Muslims”, Serbs and Croats. The fact is that Bosnian Muslims were just Bosnians and Serbs and Croats that did not want to equate themselves with a Bosnian nationality were Serbs and Croats – there were Serbs and Croats that called themselves Bosnians during the whole ordeal and fought with “Bosnian Muslims” but you didn’t see much of that reported. Instead it looked as though Muslims were being killed for being Muslim which would be fine but then I have to ask why is it that we didn’t label the Croatians as Catholics and the Serbs as Greek Orthodox? I want you to think about that a little bit.

    Do you know that most people who find out I am Muslim are shocked that there are fair skinned, blonde haired, fair eyed Muslims? Even when I say that I am Bosnian they still say that they thought that Bosnians had darker complexions.

    Additionally, making these statements that you have been making is somehow like making the statement .. well, imagine if the jews never ended up in Germany.

    The irony of it all – we were hardly Muslim before the war but now we are Muslims because the world made us that. Thank you.

    Daniel – Actually – yes even the Bosnians commited atrocities although I must admit I haven’t heard anything of the likes what the Serbs were doing in terms of rape and genocide but the difference is that we acknowledge that. If you go to Bosnia today, you’ll hear us criticizing some of what our own did in that war. The difference is that we do acknowledge that those situations happened, that they were wrong and we are punishing our own. We’re not hiding them. The fact is that we had no way of defending ourselves .. couple that with the psychological damages that occured with an ongoing campaign of attempted genocide and people will do some extreme things.

    Also – I’m not sure that I would say that we still hate each other. We don’t trust each other – that’s for sure.

  20. December 17, 2007 9:13 pm

    Raven – Your comment was in my spam box and I just saw it. I’ll elaborate a little later – running low on time

  21. Islamiswrong permalink
    December 18, 2007 2:55 am

    What Mohammed Parvez’s father did is incomprehensible. Even more outrageous is the way the moslem society is handling the issue. They and we all know why the girl was killed. I hope for the sake of humanity, all moslems feel the same despair, sadness and shame that I feel knowing that something of this nature will happen today.

    I cannot belive there were people in the household that stood by and watched the girl murdered. She supposedly had a mother and what a failure she might feel. The whole family can will never be the same. Taking a life is the ultimate thing to do and humans that take a life or aquise with it in no doubt end up living a life of missery.

    There has never been anything in life that I have held so much disdain for. The teachings of the muslim religion is crude, incomprehensible, shameful and immoral. For those who defend this murder, I view as only brain washed people who have chosen to follow a man who took a 9 year old for a wife.

    Mohammed Parvez should be cursed and sent to an eternal hell of fire.

    I pray for you…….

  22. December 19, 2007 9:17 pm

    @ “Islamiswrong”; So you are going to pray. How nice. To whom will you be praying?
    The God who killed the first-born in Egypt?
    The God who ordered that ALL “the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites” be destroyed, even the women and children?
    The God who created the Inquisition?
    The God who inspired the Witch Hunts of Europe and Salem?
    The God who led the Klu Klux Klan?
    Or to the watered-down version of God which is so popular today? A God who only damns to a possible eternal hellfire after death?

  23. Islamiswrong permalink
    December 20, 2007 4:13 am

    TO: archiearchive FCD

    The fundamental difference is that we evolved. Comparing something that happened hundreds of years ago to something that happened last week is foolish.

    When was the last crusade been called vs. when was the last jihad been called?

  24. December 20, 2007 7:36 am

    @ Islamiswrong; So you are saying that the Christian God, Jehovah, has changed? Wow, some eternal godlike attributes there, mate! The last crusade was called by men, as was the last jihad (Not that the two are comparable.) From the words of the Book you hold as Holy, does it claim that God changes? Or that man’s view of God should change to suit the social mores?

    It is much more likely that your Holy Book claims that God is eternal and unchanging! Those who believe otherwise are apostate and condemned to Hellfire.

  25. December 22, 2007 11:11 am

    Samaha

    The points you make about the situation and issues relating to Bosnia are well made and interesting.

    The point I was making about it and the Serbs was that the Serbs although clearly the bad guys in this situation and even today they are still more backward than many other tribes in the region. They were the “dominant” group in a particularly bad situation and as you say they had the means to do the damage they did wherea the Bosnians did not have those same means or resources available, thus they were effectively the primary victim in this affront to humanity and the dignity of people. If the power balance had been inverted then the results would hardly be much different. To suggest otherwise to the same as saying that the nazi crimes were unique to german people when we know full well that all races peoples and creeds are capabe of all manner of awful deeds. There still must be a resonsibility for those who do these awfukl deeds and yes that means the serbs have more to answer for by far. it is just that war is so evil in its nature that it brings out the very worst in human beings. The whole yugoslavia situation should never have happened and it was truly disgusting that it was allowed to unfold as it did. The Europeans have a lot to answer for in terms of blame for allowing the situation develop in which all the worst elements on the fringe extremes became the main influence within the society. It could all have been so different and the great tragedy that was [and still is] the Yugoslavia/balkans calamity is a real blight on the west and europe in particular.

    Your comments about life as it was are very good and no surprise to me at all. Yugoslavia when it worked was a wonderful place? No? At least that was my impression?

  26. December 24, 2007 4:12 pm

    Raven – I don’t think I see a different Islam than the majority of Muslims see. The literal approach combined with selective methodology and abbrogation is the approach used by extremists.

    What the majority of Muslims understand is that the Quran is more than just a literal reading – one needs understand the additional historical aspects and the circumstances that were going on during the revelation – hence the footnotes. This is quite clear when reading all of the verses that stress peace – that stress God’s dislike of war and then the few verses that speak of war (in conjunction with battles that took place during the revelation). It takes quite some stretching the verses and denial of all of the “peace” verses to actually justify jihad on the part of the extremists.

    Now – as far as women in Islam – the Quran stresses equality. Verses that talk specifically about inheritance came about when women demanded changes to their cultural practices but when you look at those verses they are relevant to what was typically earned by women in those times. In other words – it was meant to set a precedence for the time but not to be the end all to the subject.

    So when we forego the general messages such as no cumpulsion in Islam, peace, equality, humanity and search the texts for what we want it to say then we are practicing what I label as a “man made” Islam.

  27. raven permalink
    December 24, 2007 11:02 pm

    samaha –

    so the key question and indeed challenge is to distinguish between the core message and the historically and culturally contextualized one.

    but how to judge what is core – surely there is no definitive answer to that and hence the struggle.

    you talk of the majority. Currently the majority is way to silent.

    one last point, on extremism. Extremism can rationalize the message of peace, equality and humanity with war, in-equality and in-humanity by relying on an extreme notion of ‘others’.

  28. December 25, 2007 5:26 pm

    raven – it’s not exactly what I call a challenge as scholars have ever since Islam began been doing this (I haven’t pulled any of this out of my head, rather have read works of scholars) – the problem lies more within the ideology that is being pushed via certain influential countries in the ME. That’s not even to say that these Muslims within these countries want this (and I’m not talking about Jihad – rather issues in regards to gender equality).

    In regards to judging what is core – I’m combining this with your last statement of extremism. Extremism can not in Islam rationalize the message of peace, equality and humanity with war. Even in the case of suicide bombings – extremists acknowledge the act is not Islamic.

    As for the majority – what do you want us to do? Tell me what your expectations are of the majority of Muslims.

  29. Sam permalink
    December 26, 2007 2:11 am

    Hey Samaha.

    ~“As for the majority – what do you want “US” to do? Tell me what your expectations are of the majority of Muslims.”

    I think I mentioned it a couple of times earlier. Let go of the ‘us vs. them’ ideology. I sincerely doubt your position to represent any majority of Muslims other than, possibly, those within your household. Muslims are a disparate set at the personal level. It would be to your credit not to presume to think or act on their behalf. Specially when they have been shown to harbor mentalities quite unlike yours [Ref. Pew].

    Grand collectivist illusions of Islamic unity and brotherhood seem to afford non-introspective Muslims (those unlike yourself) immunity to the suffering of the ‘them’ they ‘face’. Immunity to the suffering of others, methinks, is the first step to radicalization…

    Leave the ummah-ghetto behind…🙂

    Eid Mubarak by the way..

  30. raven permalink
    December 26, 2007 1:17 pm

    samaha, I agree with many of what you say. But I am of the view that Islam, and for that matter any other religion, is defined by how it is practiced – whatever is written and however a religious scholar has interpreted it. It is the Islam of Islamists and it is the Islam of Samaha.

    voices like yours are few and far between, the majority does not maintain a rage, and does not articulate the Islam you espouse.

  31. Islamiswrong permalink
    December 27, 2007 3:35 am

    TO: archiearchive FCD

    You know, this is another example of where people and probably some moslems like you, get confused. Such a classic case of misunderstanding! probably the same way the Quran has been misinterpreted by people like Asqa’s family. The basics is that God does not change but humans do change. We humans evolve, so get on board!

  32. December 27, 2007 7:55 pm

    Sam – Nice to see that you are still stopping by as I would really like to continue our earlier discussion after New Year – things became a bit hectic around here.

    “I sincerely doubt your position to represent any majority of Muslims other than, possibly, those within your household. Muslims are a disparate set at the personal level.”

    One of the reasons that I had to pause with our earlier discussion is because this very blog has caught the attention of the Chicago Muslim community. One particular post titled ISNA: Invasion of the Deaniacs caught the attention of an organization called The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and after further reading of my blog they met with me and I have had discussions with peoploe at the council in regards to having a platform where I can actively make an impact within the community. Currently I have been invited to become part of The Crescent publication and am now news editor and also a writer for The Crescent. The publication has a circulation of 15,000 copies every month which gets distributed throughout the Chicagoland Muslim community. The CIOGC has a formal membership of 50 organizations. (Thanks for blowing my big announcement post which i’ve been too busy to write🙂 )

    Still – I’m not making claims that I represent the majority of Muslims. What I am saying, is that I am being supported by my own community and I think that says a lot considering that this blog has mostly criticized those elements that you and I and Raven and Billyboy all find to be dangerous and has done very little of the type of posts that brought you to my blog.

    Anyway – the us vs. them mentality is going to have to continue later at the other post if you are still game.

    Raven – Are you sure that voices like mine are few and far between? I think you should take a look at my blogroll and see what you might run into. Saudi Jeans is a blog run by a Saudi – you just might be surprised by what you see there – he’s also been featured recently on CNN. I have a recent post in regards to the Qatif girl which was sentenced to 200 lashes (and now been pardoned by the king ~rolling my eyes~) after having been gang raped – there may be more than one post but there are links on those posts that lead to other Muslims that were outraged by the events and also wrote about them (those are just blogs I was familiar with – I didn’t bother searching out other blogs.)

    Ali Eteraz’s blog will lead you to commentors galore (and links to their blogs) who come to criticize and argue what goes on in the Muslim world.

    Islamiswrong – lol – maybe you should go take a look at Archie’s blog. As for Bosnia – I sincerely doubt that it would have played out the same if the role was reversed in terms of military might (that Bosnians would have done the same to serbs). Every time I landed in Belgrade I knew that Serbs were not a friendly people to anyone that wasn’t Serb. Bosnians were different. We weren’t looking at Serbs as Chetniks and Croats as Ustase but Serbs (many) did considered Muslims to be Turks (even though Bosnians looked more anglo and Serbs seemed to look more Turkish). It’s very complex but the way history was taught and the way that Serbs were nationalist prone and the Bosnians were not it is quite apparent at least to me that we were not prone to the same acts.

    Yeah – what I’ve told you sounds nice of how it was but honestly there’s no way I’d ever get yugo-nostalgia. Like I said – I lived there for a year, I was 14 and I was there to learn the language so that I could attend the madrassa in Sarajevo (which didn’t happen). I don’t think you even want to know how difficult my life was made by teachers because everyone knew that I was religious. I haven’t yet told you about being warned (by authoritive figures) to watch what I say in terms of capitalism/socialism debates that I was carrying on with my friends. I haven’t told you about a guy slapping a girl for saying “Fuck Tito”. You seem to not know about people being jailed for authoring religious books. No thanks, man – I like my freedom and Bosnians are the same wonderful people that they have always been and they still make the best coffee and the chevapchichi are to die for – they haven’t changed much (even as far as dress goes). Now it’s just a matter of fixing the mess that has been left behind – getting rid of the mafias, fixing the economy, kicking out the businesses that come in to make a quick buck (never paying out for labor), controlling the wahabis and getting the serbs to turn over their war criminals, and a truly democratic system instead of the bs that keeps us from getting into the EU.

  33. Sam permalink
    January 8, 2008 8:19 pm

    ~Samaha
    I’d love to hear from you on that earlier discussion but I’m fairly sure it will lead to an impasse. Dawood there put up an ardent “defence” against my posts which involved entirely skirting the issues I raised. His entire chain of reasoning seemed to revolve about his refusing to accept that there exists a basal ideology that Islamic religion and mores are built upon. Whether that was intentional bigotry, or whether he is incapable of comprehending logical arguments that undermine the ideology he defends, is an open question.

    As I said before, I have known two types of people to defend Islam. One is the type who is too brainwashed or drenched in emotion to see the plainly visible flaws and fallacies in Islam. The other type is the bigot who sees them but can’t reconcile them to his/her beliefs, motivations, society and family. People who fall under the latter category are often unaware of their bigotry and are often driven to deny plain logic by a fear of losing their identity.

    NOTE: I must restate that I defend Muslims’ right to believe even in a medieval falsity, and must reiterate that ‘Muslim’ is different from ‘Islam’.

    All said and done, I don’t want to damage your optimism about Islam being compatible with civilized liberal democracy either. While Islam definitely isn’t compatible with liberal secular democracy, Muslims are. We need people like you to help the majority step out of their regressive mindsets and I commend your efforts towards the same.

  34. Sam permalink
    January 8, 2008 8:20 pm

    Sorry for the repeated comment. You could delete it.

  35. dawood permalink
    January 8, 2008 9:43 pm

    Sam you are going round and round in circles. My whole chain of posts in the last discussion was simply to get you to admit that Islam is a) an ideology like any other human ideology and b) that as such, the ideology is defined and delineated by those who adhere to it. You use the term ideology above, yet somehow do not treat Islam as you would any other ideology (including atheism etc. under this rubrick too of course).

    As Dr. Atran said previously:

    Core religious ideas serve as conceptual signposts that help to socially coordinate other beliefs and behaviors in given contexts. Although they have no more fixed or stable propositional content than do poetic metaphors, they are not processed figuratively in the sense of an optional and endless search for meaning. Rather they are thought to be right, whatever they may mean, and to require those who share such beliefs to commune and converge on an appropriate interpretation for the context at hand. To claim that one knows what Judaism or Christianity is truly about because one has read the Bible, or that what Islam is about because one has read the Qur’an and Hadith, is to believe that there is an essence to religion and religious beliefs. But science (and the history of exegesis) demonstrates that this claim is false.

    Again to reiterate that which I stated in the previous discussion: Islam, according to Muslims themselves, does have a set of “core beliefs” which cross all sectarian boundaries, except they are the broadest possible and only a handful. These are: belief in the Oneness of God, the notions of Prophethood and Revelation, and the concept of a final judgement based on actions. Beyond that, there are also the “five pillars” which are actually actions that most Muslims agree upon as practice: verbal testimony to the belief in God and the Prophethood of Muhammad, performance of daily prayers, fasting the month of Ramadan, paying charity each year and the performance of pilgrimage once in a lifetime if possible.

    As I challenged you before: show me where any of these “core beliefs” that cross Islamic belief/Muslims as a whole (and not simply specific sectarian opinion) show Islam to be the anti-“democratic” and anti-“human” ideology that you assert. The fact that you can’t and only have recourse to the interpretive tradition supports Atran’s assertion above. Furthermore, his recent “reality check” regarding terrorism/terrorist ideology and its relation to religion is well worth watching.

    Again, you mention above that “Islam” is different from “Muslims”, yet you cannot posit a single incident of Islam ever harming anyone or anything – it is Muslims who do that.

    Call me a bigot if you like – everyone learns in kindergarden about sticks and stones. All it shows is that you have no data to respond to the simple questions I ask you about – so you attack the respondant and not the response.

  36. January 9, 2008 7:32 pm

    Sam,

    “I’d love to hear from you on that earlier discussion but I’m fairly sure it will lead to an impasse.”

    Well, if we consider that I just like to argue for the sake of arguing – playing devil’s advocate half the time and take into consideration that you seem to like to argue as well and we both are firm in our principals – then sure on the surface it would naturally lead to an impasse but in the greater scheme of things we do share some concerns and have a common base goal of addressing elements that are a threat to humanity. Where we differ is in our opinion of how we should be addressing these issues to achieve the greater good in the quickest possible manner.

    You stated:

    “As I said before, I have known two types of people to defend Islam. One is the type who is too brainwashed or drenched in emotion to see the plainly visible flaws and fallacies in Islam. The other type is the bigot who sees them but can’t reconcile them to his/her beliefs, motivations, society and family. People who fall under the latter category are often unaware of their bigotry and are often driven to deny plain logic by a fear of losing their identity.”

    So which category are you placing me under? And how is this statement and categorization not “us vs. them”?

    Sam – the vast majority of the world’s population is not a scientist or educated in philosophy or a history buff but even of those that are .. you still find amongst them religious people .. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Bhudists etc. I had once ran accross a med student that was so mesmerized by the perfection of the cell that he went from being atheist to agnostic, seeking out religion as “nothing so perfect could be an accident.” I’m not referring to this as some sort of proof for my statement but rather that religion is not always about following an ideology/dogma but that religion is for some people a grounding, a comfort, a moral compass and I don’t believe that those qualities have to stem from a person being too emotional. Then you have religion in a pure spirtual sense in which religion serves as a connection to something greater than the self in which a person is/wishes to be humbled by the existence of God to the extent that he loves all of God’s creations as they are the creation of God.

    In the end – it’s my opinion that human nature dictates actions that people take regardless of their belief in a God/Gods. In the broader scheme of things it requires understanding psychology to figure out how to come to solutions. Ridding the world of Islam or religion, even if it is through intellectual means as you have argued in the other thread is not going to magically bring this world to a better place and quite frankly I think your way of dealing with things is not realistic (refer to previous paragraph) not to mention that that method would take far too long to implement as opposed to using religion to get to human rights goals.

  37. dawood permalink
    January 10, 2008 3:02 am

    Something like this shows the real “core beliefs” and teachings of Islam and Islamic law and its implications in the West far more eloquently and comprehensively than ranting. Shock horror – they are actual Muslims who are actually trying to impliment Islam in their lives and contribute to society.

    Yet you would not and could not even engage scholars and academics of this calibre to discuss Islam and the Islamic religious tradition (regardless of if they are Muslim or not – there are plenty on both ‘sides’) and instead suggest Ayan hirsi Ali to debate the findings of the likes of Scott Atran?

    There is absolutely no comparison – what statistical, empirical or intellectual data/evidence does she (or anyone like her) have that could possibly respond to any of Atran’s studies and findings? It is like he said to one audience member during his presentation – random anecdotal evidence is not actually “evidence”, it is an anecdote and one personal statement against the tens and perhaps hundreds of thousands of documented cases Atran and others have studied and have hard data on.

    The shocking part of his presentation for me was that he could almost exactly pinpoint the location, number and extent of “Al Qaida” – one wonders why the media and news services continue with their bluster if US intelligence is so clear on this issue that he can make a definitive statement like that. More shocking still, was that he repeatedly states that religious knowledge and observance is a negative-indicator of capacity to perform terrorist acts.

    I simply cannot understand how one can say that they agree with 90% of the data/findings, yet reject entirely the conclusions drawn from it. It is illogical.

  38. January 10, 2008 8:11 pm

    Dawood – thanks for those links. I just started reading the Nawawi Foundation (Chicago based?) paper and it occured to me that we often forget about how much reason is stressed in the Quran and Hadiths. It’s just amazing to me that this has been so instilled within me in my religious lessons/studies as a basis in faith that I often find myself subconsciously turning to reason without even thinking to explain to anyone that I do so out of religious teachings.

    Anyway – thanks again for the links – the other one was quite interesting as well

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