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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sam Harris on Islam

The following is a partial transcript of a speech given in 2007 by philosopher Sam Harris regarding the mainstream muzzling of those who speak out about the very serious threat of Islam. We are extremely fortunate to have someone as eloquent, measured and persistent as Sam Harris to talk sense to the world at large during this very dangerous crossroads of human civilization. Harris could not be more correct in his assessments. We ignore his words at our own peril.
"Consider how we as atheists are constrained to talk about Islam. And Christians often complain that atheists balance - and the secular media, generally - balance every discussion of Islam with a discussion of extremist Christianity. The usual mode is to say, 'Well, they have their jihadists, but we have people who kill abortion doctors.' I think our Christian neighbors, even the craziest of them, are right to be outraged by this pretense of evenhandedness. The truth is that Islam is quite a bit scarier and more culpable for needless human misery at this moment than Christianity has been for a very, very long time. And we have to point this out.

"You might remember that Thomas Friedman recently wrote an op-ed from Iraq noticing that some Sunni militias were fighting alongside American troops against al-Qaeda, and he asked a Sunni militant why he was doing this. And the militant said that he had recently seen an al-Qaeda member decapitate an eight-year-old girl, and this convinced him that the American crusader forces were the lesser of two evils. Okay, great, so even Muslims, even Sunni militants, can discern the line between ordinary crazy Islam and the utterly crazy, once it is drawn in the spilled blood of little girls. This is a basis for hope of sorts.

"We have to be clear, unremittingly clear, about what is on the other side of that line. This is what we and the rest of the civilized world, and the semi-civilized world, are facing: Utter religious lunacy and barbarism in the name of Islam, with, I'm unhappy to say, some mainstream theology to back it up.

"To be evenhanded, as we are constrained to be as atheists, when discussing the problem of Islam, is to misconstrue the problem. The refrain that all religions have their extremists is bullshit - all religions don't have these extremists. Some religions have never had these extremists.

"A recent poll in the UK showed that a third of young British Muslims say they want to live under sharia law and think that anyone who wants to leave the faith should be put to death for apostasy. This is a third of British Muslims. 68% of British Muslims think that their neighbors who insult Islam should be arrested and prosecuted. 78% think that the Danish cartoonists should be brought to justice. These people do not have a clue about what constitutes a civil society.

"It seems to me that reports like this coming out of Muslim communities living in the West should concern us before anything else about religion concerns us."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Saves Civilization

In her autobiography Infidel, the brilliant and beautiful freethinker Ayaan Hirsi Ali cuts through the irrational rationalization of the world's most brutal and oppressive ideology: Not "radical Islam," but ISLAM, period. And Hirsi Ali should know, because, as she explains in her book, she was for many years a very devout Muslim. As an outward expression of her ardent devotion to Islam and its god Allah - even before it became more "fashionable" where she lived in Africa - Hirsi Ali covered herself from head to toe in a baggy cloak so that her femaleness would not be revealed and endanger her to the ubiquitous perils for women in her culture. As we should already recognize from seeing the abuse with our own eyes, the fervent claim that Islam does not oppress women - frequently quite violently - represents one of the biggest deceits in the world today, and those who constantly put forth this palpably false assertion dismissing gender-apartheid within Islam should be loudly denounced. But the highly important work of Hirsi Ali goes much farther than simply denouncing the incredibly hideous treatment of women within Islam, as Ayaan undoubtedly represents one of the greatest voices of reason of all time in a battle for the very existence of human civilization.

Horribly mutilated at the age of five at the harsh hands of her stern grandmother and a local barber with a pair of scissors who cut off her genitals like a slab of meat, Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaks out loudly and clearly that such atrocities in her native Somalia are done not only to virtually every female of a certain age, but also IN THE NAME OF ISLAM. In fact, it was surprising for her to discover that there are claims - many quite frantic and unconvincing - that Islam does not call for female genital mutilation or "circumcision," as this despicable "cultural tradition" is euphemistically and flaccidly termed. Of course, not only Muslims practice this heinous savagery, but the majority of women and girls with disfigured genitals - an estimated 140 MILLION worldwide at the time of this writing - ARE Muslims, and such oppressive barbarism goes hand in hand with an ideology that without a doubt considers women as second-class subhumans designed mostly for sexual release, baby making and household slavery.

Needless to say, someone with such intelligence and wisdom as Ayaan Hirsi Ali was not content to spend her precious life merely as a piece of meat and slave. Hirsi Ali escaped this oppressive and dreadful future - and found a liberating and exquisite non-Muslim world that she could barely have imagined, based on the virulent infidel-hating dogma she had been taught since childhood. Although she does not opine that the non-Muslim world is perfect by any means, Hirsi Ali's vivid and disturbing descriptions of the contrast between what she left behind and what she discovered must give serious pause to the myriad and often trivial complaints against Western civilization. As she has said in interviews, you may spit upon the freedoms you were born with, but she cannot be so unappreciative and disrespectful, because she has literally experienced and witnessed real hell on Earth, and she is extremely grateful to have gotten out. By contrast, Western values at this current time seem like paradise - this notion is precisely what Hirsi Ali has attempted to impart over and over again in her writings and interviews. In other words, we've got it not just good but great. And this greatness is well worth fighting for - nay, it is essential we fight for it.

Despite the denials and justifications by those who cannot or will not face the horrible truth, the threat against the very survival of Western civilization is real, large and growing. If we do not wake up to this threat quickly, we will very likely find ourselves living in a world of submission and enslavement that we cannot even conceive. Hirsi Ali knows these facts to be true, as she has already lived through such a nightmare - and SHE DOES NOT WANT TO GO BACK. We who are enlightened cannot blame her at all, as we absolutely do not wish such a future for our own children - a perfectly dreadful thought straight out of our worst fears.

Do yourself and the world a favor - buy this book, read it, digest it, pass it along and support the efforts of the handful of individuals such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali in saving human civilization.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Violent Oppression of Women in Islam

It is an utter disgrace that more people the world over - including and especially human rights and women's organizations - are not speaking out loudly against the hideous, violent treatment of women within Islam. This abuse has been going on for centuries, and little has changed over the past decades since the non-Muslim world began to take notice of Islam. In fact, Muslim apologists - including non-Muslim defenders - are very vocal in DENYING that women are abused and oppressed within Islam, an assertion that is patently false and mendacious. All of the apologies and apologetics in the world will not make these facts of violence against women go away, and day in and day out women and girls are treated abysmally in the Muslim world, simply because of their female gender - and because the wanton abuse of women is endorsed by the Islamic holy book, the Quran/Koran, as well as various commentaries thereon, such as the Hadiths, to the evident exultation of misogynists worldwide.

The silence of the non-Muslim world in not criticizing Islam and its proponents especially in regard to the vicious, widespread and ongoing oppression and abuse of women and girls is deafening - and shameful.

Please read the booklet linked hereto by Robert Spencer and Phyllis Chesler, and pass it along to all those who love life and justice. We need many more voices like these hard-working individuals who are risking their necks to expose the harsh realities behind Islam.

The bottom line is that MILLIONS OF WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE SUFFERING EVERY DAY WITHIN ISLAM, and not doing anything about constitutes a tacit endorsement of such suffering.
The Violent Oppression of Women

By Robert Spencer and Phyllis Chesler | Friday, October 05, 2007

The booklet that you are about to read details some of the principal ways in which women suffer in the Islamic world - often with religious and cultural sanction. Many of these crimes against women, such as wife-beating, are ordained by the Qur'an itself; others, such as female genital mutilation and honor killing, are praised by Islamic clerics and hallowed by Islamic culture. That feminists in the West remain silent about this deeply ingrained and institutionalized mistreatment of women, and even ally with groups that have devoted themselves to the spread of Islamic law that justifies this mistreatment, is one of the unconscionable scandals of our time.

This article is a segment of a series being run as part of our nation-wide campus effort, Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, which will be held on 200 university and college campuses on October 22-26. Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week is a national effort to focus on all the victims of Islamo-Fascist Jihad -- as well as to counter the lies of the academic Left, which seeks to deny the evil, and even the very existence, of our enemy in this terror war. In this way, Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week hopes to educate American students and to enable them to rally to defend their country.

In terms of the booklet of our subject today, its cover is a still photograph that epitomizes Islamic oppression of women, and it has come to also epitomize the Western feminist non-response to it. The picture comes from a Dutch film called De Steen (The Stone), directed by Mahnaz Tamizi, and features the actress Smadar Monsinos. The Stone dramatizes the barbaric treatment of women in Islamic countries. It accurately depicts the reality of Islamic Sharia law regarding adultery: when a couple is caught in adultery, the man is jailed while the woman is stoned to death.

It is a telling indication of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the Left that it has fastened upon our use of this picture to try to discredit Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, since the photo does not depict an actual event - as if women weren't being stoned to death under Sharia law in Iran and some other Muslim countries today. In reality, eight women are currently in prison in Iran awaiting death by stoning for the crime of adultery. A mother was sentenced to be stoned to death in Iran for adultery just last week. It is typical of the Left to try to cast opprobrium not upon those responsible for these harsh realities, but upon us who are trying to draw attention to them in the name of human rights.

It may have seemed inconceivable that feminists and their allies would defend those who bury women in the earth and kill them by throwing large stones at them, but that is the ultimate thrust of the Left's outcry against our use of this picture and against Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week in general. Such are the ironies of our troubled age.

In this booklet are realities that should be of paramount concern not just for feminists in the West and their allies on the Left, but of all those who are concerned with the universality of human rights and the dignity of every human being.
Final note from Acharya: I don't usually engage in the politics of "right v. left," but I have to say that, in the case of Islam, the lefty liberals have driven me and many others straight into the Neocon camp. For those who are bothered by the "staged stoning" of the pic above, please see this disturbing video of a real stoning - albeit of MEN, who likewise suffer horribly under the sadistic fascism called Islam.

The rest of the images here are unfortunately quite real, including the blood pool from a victim of female genital mutilation, the hanging of an Iranian woman from a crane, and the Iranian victim of a severe beating because she was not properly covered up (reproduced here with permission from Dr. Homa Darabi). I hesitate to post here some of the worst images, including that of the genital area of a victim of female genital mutilation.