2003 December 11 Thursday
Headscarf Bans In Schools Coming To France, German States

If Islam is so innocuous and Islamic immigrants are so compatible with Western European society then there would be no need to ban Islamic hijab headscarf wearing by teachers and students in European schools. Yet French President Jacques Chirac told a group of secondary school students in Tunis Tunisia that headscarfs and veils are "aggressive".

Jacques Chirac hinted strongly yesterday that France will soon introduce legislation banning Muslim girls from wearing headscarves to school, saying most French people saw "something aggressive" in the veil and that the secular state could not tolerate "ostentatious signs of religious proselytism".

Chirac says the behavior of a small minority can create problems for the rest of society.

"In our public schools, a veil has something aggressive about it which presents a problem of principle, even if only a small minority wears it."

A French government commission has just recommended banning of the headscarves without actually referring to these garments by name.

A government commission appointed by President Jacques Chirac recommended Thursday, December11 , issuing new law to ban "conspicuous" religious signs, including Hijab, in state schools.

A source in the20 -member commission, chaired by former minister Bernard Stasi, told IslamOnline.net that the50 -page made no reference to a specific religious sign to avoid antagonizing the Muslim or any other minority.

Bernard Stasi sees a threat that may destabilize the republic.

But he added: "We must be lucid -- there are in France some behaviors which cannot be tolerated. There are without any doubt forces in France which are seeking to destabilize the republic and it is time for the republic to react."

Well geez Bernard, if the threat is that big shouldn't you be doing more than just banning headscarves? How about something bolder like stopping the influx of Islamic immigrants and the deportation of illegal immigrants currently in France?

UPI Religious Affairs Editor Uwe Siemon-Netto provides some interesting insights into the headscarf debate including the fact that Muslims may choose to attend Christian schools in order to be able to wear headscarves.

France also has an extensive private school system, run mainly by the Catholic Church, where such a law would presumably not apply. This means that if it is adopted, children from strictly Islamic families might flock even more Christian schools, where veiled Muslim girls are already a frequent sight.

Clearly fearing that Christian and Jewish symbols, though usually more discreet than the "hidjab," will also be threatened, the leaders of the Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches warned against such legislation in a joint statement prior to Thursday's announcement; they were joined by grand rabbi Sitruk.

Saida Kada, co-author of a book defending hijab headscarf wearing, says headscarf wearing is a religious matter that has nothing to do with politics.

Mrs. Kada said hijab has nothing to do with politics, but is one of the rules of the Islamic faith.

She underlined that hijab was being used as a pretext to paper over some social ills inside the French society.

Here we start to get to the heart of the matter. Mrs. Kada strikes me as either naive or disingenuous. Islam is all about politics. An Islamic matter is a political matter because Islam does not separate the political sphere from religious sphere.

French philosopher Elisabeth Badinter sees headscarfs as a threat to equality for women.

"If we allow women to wear headscarves in state schools, then the republic and French democracy have made clear their religious tolerance but they have given up on any equality of the sexes in our country," says French philosopher Elisabeth Badinter

One fear is that if headscarves are allowed eventually fundamentalist male Islamists will start punishing any girls and women who do not wear them.

Many prominent French women have signed a petition for a ban on the headscarf.

DOZENS of prominent French women, including the actresses Emmanuelle Béart and Isabelle Adjani and the designer Sonia Rykiel, have issued a plea to Jacques Chirac, the president, to ban traditional Muslim veils as a "visible symbol of the submission of women".

The petition, which was signed by more than 60 of France’s most influential women and published in this week’s edition of French Elle, attacks the Islamic headscarf as "an intolerable discrimination against women" and calls for a law to reinforce the principle of a "lay" republic.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy favors appeasement.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has long opposed such a law, arguing that any ban would increase, rather than reduce, militancy among Muslims.

So Sarkozy is worried about Islamic militancy and opts for appeasement as the preferred response. Sorry Mr. Sarkozy, appeasement is not a solution that works in the long run.

Two German states are moving to ban Islamic headscarfs in schools.

Bavaria, after Baden-Wuerttemberg, is the second state to propose a ban.

Bavarian Education Minister Monika Hohlmeier said the headscarf was increasingly used as a political symbol.

"With this law, we are defending pupils against a potential fundamentalist influence and are respecting the wishes of the majority of parents," she said.

Christian and Jewish symbols are not included in the ban.

The Germans are not trying to pretend for the sake of an appearance of even-handed fairness, that Christian or Jewish religious symbols pose a similar threat.

Meanwhile, the battle over headscarfs continues in Turkey.

To Mazlumder, an Islamic human rights group that campaigns on behalf of women like Yilmaz, such figures are misleading. Worse, the military and police are putting pressure on women not to cover themselves, said Gulden Sonmez, the vice president of the group's Istanbul office.

Clashes between covered women and Turkish authorities have propelled the issue into the public eye. The Turkish president refused to invite the head scarf-wearing wives of Turkey's ruling party to a reception Oct. 29 commemorating modern Turkey's 80th anniversary. Most of the party's members stayed away in protest.

On Nov. 6, a female lawyer who appeared as a defendant before the Turkish Court of Appeals was ordered to leave the courtroom while her case was being heard because she refused to remove her scarf.

If Turkey is accepted as a member of the European Union my guess is that eventually a future Turkish government will relax and eventually do away with headscarf bans.

Update: For those who do not understand why the head scarf debate should even be a political issue decided by governments see some of my previous posts: John Tierney On Cousin Marriage As Reform Obstacle In Iraq, Consanguinity prevents Middle Eastern political development, and Muslim Hijab Worn To Protect Females As Property.

Update II: Stasi special commission secretary Remy Schwartz says Muslim girls are pressured into wearing the veil by fundamentalist Muslims.

Schwartz said Muslim girls said they were pressured into wearing veils by family and "outside groups" - a reference to activists officials say are promoting strict religious practices among French Muslims, who are of mostly North African origin.

Schwartz also says that Jewish children have had to leave some French public schools out of fear of their safety.

French chief rabbi Joseph Sitruk advises young French Jewish men to not wear yarmulkes in public in order to avoid being attacked.

"I ask them to replace the yarmulke with the baseball cap," he told Radio Shalom on Monday.

The official spin on the anti-Jewish attacks in France is absurd.

At five million and 650,000 respectively, France has the largest Muslim and Jewish communities in Europe, and government officials and most Jewish leaders argue that the rising inter-community tensions are almost invariably the consequence of political, rather than religious or racial, differences.

Police and court records show that almost all the perpetrators of the latest anti-semitic attacks are young Muslims.

How can the differences be only political and not racial or religious? Would these young Muslims be attacking Jews if the Muslims were not Muslims? Are there Christian immigrants to France who are attacking Jews? In Islam the political is religious.

Update III: The wearing of veils and chadors in France is not voluntary for many Muslim women.

The commission reported that many public schools have become cultural hot spots where Muslim students and families question the authority of women educators, forbid girls to play sports, assault Jewish students and disrupt classes about historical issues such as the Holocaust.

Personnel in public hospitals told the commission about Muslim men demanding that only women doctors treat their wives and daughters, and about other patients, whose ethnicity was not identified in the report, refusing to be treated by doctors "because of their perceived religion," according to the report.

The report described an alarming rise in sexist abuse of girls in schools and housing projects where young men, threatening ostracism and violence, intimidate girls into wearing veils and other religious garb. Islamic extremism — Chirac referred Wednesday to "fanaticism gaining ground"— contributes to a vicious cycle of discrimination and alienation of jobless youths of Muslim descent, who retreat into the refuge of hard-core Islam, according to the report.

...

"They say that if the youth weren't so aggressive, it wouldn't have come to this," the intelligence official said. "You have more and more girls wearing veils or chadors. And it's not their parents, it's their brothers who are demanding that they put it on."

People who think the headscarf/veil issue is just a matter of individual choice versus state power are missing the oppression of Muslim females by Muslim males.

The US State Department is predictably clueless about the problem the French are wrestling with.

Where people "are peacefully practising their faith, is it really necessary to be outlawing their manifestation of their own faith?" John Hanford, the US ambassador at large for international religious freedom, asked.

Does Hanford think that Muslim males should be free to practice their heartfelt belief that they must force females to veil themselves?

"Where people are wearing these with no provocation simply as a manifestation of their own heartfelt beliefs, we don't see where this causes divisions among peoples," he said.

Writing for the New York Times Christopher Caldwell sees the headscarf debate as a consequence of a larger set of problems with Muslims in France.

Last year, the sociologist Emmanuel Brenner assembled a 200-page book, "The Lost Territories of the Republic,'' recounting dozens of incidents in which students directed ethnic slurs at their teachers and ridiculed lectures on the Holocaust. The book reportedly made a deep impression on Mr. Chirac. A half-dozen Jewish institutions have been burned to the ground, most recently in November, when an Orthodox primary school was torched in Gagny, a Paris suburb.

Jews are eventually going to have to leave France if the Muslim population in France continues to increase.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 December 11 02:24 PM  Civilizations Clash Of


Comments
Bob Badour said at December 11, 2003 3:52 PM:

I wonder whether France will ban those fish symbols that say Linux inside them...

Reptoid said at December 11, 2003 8:54 PM:

Even though I'm not a fan of religion, the free speech implications are revolting. So what if someone is wearing a necklace with a crucifix on it or a woman wants to wear a yard of cloth over her head? As long as they're not badgering people and minding their own business, who cares what they wear.

Randall Parker said at December 11, 2003 10:24 PM:

Reptoid, One fear is that if some women are allowed to wear headscarves then, as I stated in my post, other women will be pressured and even attacked for not wearing them. This fear keeps many women covered in Afghanistan among other places. The head scarf issue is so important that Ataturk banned them in Turkey decades ago in order to create a secular society there.

Reptoid said at December 12, 2003 3:41 AM:

I hadn't thought about how such a law could actually liberate people from oppression, even though some part of me still finds the law scary. Wish I would've had that example about Ataturk when I had to defend Plato's argument that it's better to have a "philosopher king" than a democracy. Oh well, the chaos of democracy, even a half-assed one, is better than having society micro-managed by some all powerful control freak.

Abu Mujahid said at December 12, 2003 5:48 AM:

What nonsense.

How does one make the argument that the Hijab is a political statement? It is very clearly an Islamic injunction.

Besides, the point of secularization is to prevent the mixing of religion in the LAWS of the country not to prevent any particular religious group from wearing whatever they see fit as their mandated Hijab. To follow this logic, why does not Frannce deconstruct Churches, Synagogues and Mosques, not to mention Hindu temples, Sikh gudwara's....the list goes on.

And who the hell asked those French women what THEY think about what the Hijab is - THEY are promoting the "Hijab is subjugation of Islamic women" by speaking on behalf of a community that is being ignored. The Muslim women in French are highly educated. They can speak for themselves and they overwhelming majority of them WANT the Hijab. Why do you say "freedom" on one hand and the with the other you impose upon them what YOU think is better for them? So who's doing the subjugation?

As for the silly argument that Muslim "fundamentalists" would punish girls/women who do not wear it - get real. That is ILLEGAL in France and those women have recourse to the law to prevent such actions.

It seems that the issue is more than the Hijab, it is indeed only a pretext. What benefit does any country get from banning the Hijab? I thought we want to rid the bigotry of thought - that girls should not be educated etc.

Seems like French will prevent the education of girls in the public sphere. Sounds much akin to the Taleban than western democracy!

AMac said at December 12, 2003 6:20 AM:

Good points, Abu Mujahid. If major schools of Islamic thought separated secular from religious matters, you'd have a winning argument.

As it is, your thoughts about the hijab will mean most to those who are ignorant of the challenges that fundamentalist Islamists intend to pose to secular, Enlightenment-based societies. Your words will also be taken at face value by the well-meaning if naive accomodationists who are unwilling to face the implications of these issues. Fortunately, that leaves you with a large and receptive audience in Western Europe and North America. Given your screen name--Abu-nom-de-guerre honorific; Mujahid-mujahedin, holy warrior--I suppose you know all that.

Here's a year-old article by Theodore Dalrymple that describes social conditions in the suburbs outside France's major cities, inhabited by angry and unassimilated North Africans: "The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris."

Bob Badour said at December 12, 2003 3:56 PM:

Holy Warrior,

Islamic injunctions are political injunctions and will remain so until Islam overwhelmingly embraces ecumenism and takes the enlightened position that secular law remains separate from and reigns over religion in the temporal world. Until that seemingly distant time, the Hijab will remain a political statement.

Recourse to the law will not protect a young woman before her mother beats her, her uncle rapes her or her brother kills her. Your suggestion is asinine. Sure, the police may investigate the crime (if ever reported,) and they may even achieve a conviction inspite of the family's attempts to impede justice. Not even a conviction, however, will unbeat, unrape or unkill the young woman.

Secular public education serves a number of functions including the provision of a safe environment for youth. While I believe in freedom of speech, I have no objection to placing limits on that right within a limited context--especially within a context limited to the care of minors. Adults enjoy many rights that children and youths simply lack, and I see no problem with this at all. Children and youths are not emotionally or cognitively prepared for the responsibilities or consents required by some rights enjoyed by adults.

If France and Germany resemble the other western democracies, I suspect that private religious schools must still meet certain curricular standards. Thus, those young women who choose to study in a private institution will still receive a quality education, which is quite different from the Taliban who simply banned young women from any kind of study.

bernie said at December 13, 2003 5:03 AM:

"The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris."

I have read the above article, and is typical of the style of writing one gets here in British papers about immigrants. Though our preferred term is "asylum seekers". This could have been written by a descendent of Enoch Powell who made a similar statement in the 1960s.
This is simple racist scapegoating of Paris's social problems to a so called outside group. And what of this Theodore Dalrymple : "I go to Paris about four times a year and thus have a sense of the evolving preoccupations of the French middle classes." Ah well of course then surely there are "barbarians" just waiting to attack the good proper Parisian peoples. But these "barbarians" also seem to share the Parisan middleclass's sense of the justice system failures according to Theodore. Well surely that is an issue which unites these two groups?
Indeed this able commentator on Paris life (remember he goes there four times a year folks) is able to lazily blame the people of the public housing projects without providing an analysis that may provide solutions.
And so we are asked:
"Whether France was wise to have permitted the mass immigration of people culturally very different from its own population to solve a temporary labor shortage and to assuage its own abstract liberal conscience is disputable" What is this "temporary" labor shortage Theodore refers? Who now services the low-paid jobs in Paris cities, shops, apartments?
Without looking at the logic of the economic situation Theodore does not "describe social conditions in the suburbs outside France". He merely perpetuates racist stereotypes, e.g. how vile these people are look at how the "gang rape" their womenfolk. Currently a court case of two mudered schoolgirls here in UK has ended. If a commentator applied Theodore's analysis to this case then there is something truely different about the world of school caretakers and classroom assistants. Something in their "culture" that makes them so.
I think I have wasted enough time on this so called article.
regards

AMac said at December 13, 2003 7:43 AM:

"The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris."

I am the one who cited the above article, to illustrate the broader social context that Abu Mujahid ignored in his post. I rather doubt it is typical of the style of writing one gets in British papers. Bernie seems to think immigrant communities are best described as populated by "asylum seekers". A curious euphemism.

This could have been written by a descendent of Enoch Powell
An ad hominem attack. For all I know, Powell once claimed that the sun rises in the east.

simple racist scapegoating, etc.
Bernie's mind is made up, and not to be confused with the facts.

Interested readers can follow the hyperlink to evaluate the article for themselves.
Googling the author's name gives a broader picture of Dalrymple's writing, on a variety of subjects. This may help readers decide whether Bernie's remarks are valid critiques of Dalrymple's actual perspectives. Certainly, creeping, de facto dhimmitude is more of a concern for some people than for others.

bernie said at December 13, 2003 11:06 AM:

Describing a group of people as "barbarians" is not ad hominem? My Powell remark was positively tame compared to that.

Immigrants are described in the British press mostly as "asylum seekers". Please refer to this link http://www.medialens.org under the latest section and look for
"ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION Comparing the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and The Independent".

I see that Theodore longs for the past where "They were better Frenchmen than either their children or grandchildren: they would never have whistled and booed at the Marseillaise, as their descendants did before the soccer match between France and Algeria in 2001, alerting the rest of France to the terrible canker in its midst." Ah yes, the past where the French had an identity, a colonial one; where French were French and the colonised knew their place.

The only interesting feature of the article is the section on Le Corbusier and the effect of one's environment on one's state of mind. This indeed is an aspect that deserves more attention.

regards

Randall Parker said at December 13, 2003 11:28 AM:

Bernie, So then there are no barbarians? I guess we should just remove the word from the dictionary.

France with colonial identity: Then France never had a national identity that existed independent of the colonial empire? I guess De Gaulle ceased to be a nationlalist the moment he pulled the French troops out of Algeria and immediately became an enthusiastic proponent of the death of nationalism. I guess we all need to go back and reread his speeches and find the secret code with which he attacked French nationalism as totally based on obsolete imperialism. Your two implicit alternatives of nationalist imperialist and non-nationalist amount to a strawman argument.

Holy Warrior Abu Mujahid: Why do you call yourself such a name? Sounds very political. Would you call yourself that name if you were not a Muslim? Me thinks not. There is no separation between the political and the religious in Islamic belief. You very well know that.

bernie said at December 13, 2003 12:14 PM:

"barbarian" is a very ironic term, considering that it was originally used to describe the tribes of North Europeans, one of which sacked Rome. During these "dark ages" the Muslim scholars were busy rescuing all the Ancient Greek knowledge, which were subsequently re-discovered in Europe's Middle Ages, that led consequently to Northern Europe's Enlightenment.

The idea that the secular policy was set up to discriminate against Islam, or disproportionately targets Muslims, is a red herring. The policy is completely neutral between religions. It was the display of Catholic symbols in public institutions of the state that was and remains targeted by this policy.

I do not claim to know much of French history, though I do understand that they are very protective of their "secular" nature. Then one could argue that "secularism" is a form of religion, i.e. based on certain values from the Enlightenment period of North European history.

The following is a quote from Media Lens (www.medialens.org)poster brcosin:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
In 1790-1 the French Republic made great efforts to adjust the Catholic Church to national bourgeois-democratic conditions, and these were supported by a great majority of the faithful and a sizeable majority of rank-and-file priests. The hierarchy and Rome however insisted that the international hierarchy must be preserved, and the problem of dealing with this anti-democratic body remained and even intensified with the First Vatican council of 1870 which condemned out of hand socialism, liberalism, indifferentism and Protestantism, while proclaiming the infallibility of the Pope when speaking officially (ex cathedra) on matters of faith and morals - a sphere which he and his church could define at will. The French hierarchy, reinvigorated since the defeat of the Republic and the Empire in 1815 remained opposedto any Fench republic and to all liberal and democratic movements (including that of 'modernism' in its own ranks). Celricals and militarists united with monarchists in the great Dreyfus fraud.
The secularists governments of the early 20th century made a firm attempt in the 1905 Act separating Church and State to reduce these enmities and to keep the state completely secular, while ensuring that the private practice of religion was unimpeded. The prominent display of any religious symbols, of whatever religion, in any state institution was forbidden as part of this package.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AMac said at December 13, 2003 1:09 PM:

Bernie,

A few thoughts, then I'm done and you can have the last word.

Describing a group of people as "barbarians" is not ad hominem?
Good policy can only come from honestly describing and evaluating reality. Is "barbarian" a fair description of a person who participates in group rape? Who denies freedom of religious practice to others? Who is free in intimidating and doing violence to others? Is it reasonable to describe a group of such like-minded people as "barbarians"? Your concern for the tender feelings of these nasty and brutish individuals is quaint, in a Panglossian sort of way.

If you are implying that Dalrymple uses "barbarian" to describe all French Muslims rather than those who engage in the uncivilized practices he describes, you are a careless reader or a disingenuous writer. Other readers can judge for themselves.

Immigrants are described in the British press mostly as "asylum seekers".
You linked to a site that proudly features Western-civ-hating John Pilger on its front page, warning enough. The only relevant page I could find was this Chomsky-praising screed by George Monbiot, one of Pliger's fellow-travelers. The peculiar notion that second- and third- generation Muslim residents of Britian or France are usually (or best) described as "asylum seekers" remains unsupported.

You quote Dalrymple, "They were better Frenchmen than either their children or grandchildren: they would never have whistled and booed at the Marseillaise, as their descendants did before the soccer match between France and Algeria in 2001, alerting the rest of France to the terrible canker in its midst."
Some readers of these comments may not realize that "they" refers to first-generation North African immigrants, not to the inhabitants of some mythical vielle France. Your mocking tone suggests that you might prefer to welcome immigrants who despise their adopted country rather than appreciate it. If so, your wish has certainly been granted for England (Brighton, etc.) and for France (the cite's). Chacun a son gout is altogether too glib to describe this tragedy in the making.

Yasmine said at December 18, 2003 3:50 PM:

I have to say, as a Muslim American, and yes, educated female who wears hijab whenever i leave my home (by choice), this issue has everything to do with religion. People who like to use the old and worn out arguement that the hijab represents some type of oppression are not the women who wear it, and therefore are not in a position to judge or regulate our reasoning and ability to wear it or not. Is the pro choice arguement that the same feminists are behind only limited to what a woman can do to her body and not what she chooses to put on it? What type of society celebrates the flaunting of flesh (under the guise of 'liberation') and condemns modesty? See how the many shades of hypocrisy and historic delusions of cultural superiority are revealed when we dont willingly conform. Nothing new. Call it repression, opression, backwards, fundamentalism, extremism, it is ours. Law or no law the hijab will stay.


Bob Badour said at December 18, 2003 4:19 PM:

Yasmine,

Nobody is taking away your right to express yourself. The proposals would only limit that right within a very narrowly defined context: public education.

If the hijab is more important to you than public education, seek private education and wear the hijab, or seek public education in a country governed by sharia law.

You may have come to the desire to wear the hijab without any coercion; however, you do not and can not speak for all women in muslim families. Since Islam explicitly and specifically prohibits the separation of politics from religion, your decision is a political as well as a religious decision. Unless of course, you reject that tenet of your faith.

I doubt the young women who were forcibly prevented from fleeing a burning school in Saudi Arabia would claim their modesty was uncoerced--if they had survived, that is.

Yasmine said at December 18, 2003 6:38 PM:

Again, i wore hijab all the way through public school, and it never caused a problem for me or anyone else. I come from a family of very successful female educators, physicians, and writers etc who did as well. My right to wear hijab cannot be LIMITED because the government says we dont like it Especially given the nonsense reasoning behind it. As for women who are forced to wear hijab, i dont speak for that cause because that is not islam, that IS oppression, i speak for Muslim women and for Islam. There is no law in France that makes women wear hijab, so its abt choice or lack there of, so again that oppression arguement is out of place here. And another thing, being that I am an American citizen i dont and shouldnt have to seek private school or leave the country because i choose to look differently.(unless we should change those laws too)
I ask what problem does my head scarf have within the educational process of myself and others. Dont speak for a group of ppl when they are openly speaking for themselves and attempt to tell them what is best for them. Yes my submission to God includes getting an education AND wearing hijab, one will not be sacrficed for the other and it hasnt yet nor will it ever.
Maybe only a muslim woman can truly understand my passion about the hijab, and why even in the "narrowly defined context" its not disposable. If its so damaging to French society, they should provide the money for them to attend private school or better yet transport them to islamic countries. We know thsts not the solution, so they sould just leave this issue alone.

Yasmine said at December 18, 2003 6:38 PM:

Again, i wore hijab all the way through public school, and it never caused a problem for me or anyone else. I come from a family of very successful female educators, physicians, and writers etc who did as well. My right to wear hijab cannot be LIMITED because the government says we dont like it Especially given the nonsense reasoning behind it. As for women who are forced to wear hijab, i dont speak for that cause because that is not islam, that IS oppression, i speak for Muslim women and for Islam. There is no law in France that makes women wear hijab, so its abt choice or lack there of, so again that oppression arguement is out of place here. And another thing, being that I am an American citizen i dont and shouldnt have to seek private school or leave the country because i choose to look differently.(unless we should change those laws too)
I ask what problem does my head scarf have within the educational process of myself and others. Dont speak for a group of ppl when they are openly speaking for themselves and attempt to tell them what is best for them. Yes my submission to God includes getting an education AND wearing hijab, one will not be sacrficed for the other and it hasnt yet nor will it ever.
Maybe only a muslim woman can truly understand my passion about the hijab, and why even in the "narrowly defined context" its not disposable. If its so damaging to French society, they should provide the money for them to attend private school or better yet transport them to islamic countries. We know thsts not the solution, so they sould just leave this issue alone.

Hamida said at December 20, 2003 12:09 AM:

Yasmine,
Your comments are strong and represent myself aswell,

The beauty of the hijab is undescribable. I am liberated because I do not need to expose my body for lustful men to gaze upon. I am liberated because I do not have to wake up 4 hours early in the morning before school starts so I can look like 'britney spears' and 'christina aguilera'. I am liberated because I am known for me, my character- I don't need a push up bra and mini skirt to express my opinions and be heard- unfortunately only ignorance will not understand this sort of liberation. I am a convert who has embraced Islam for 4 years now- and Islam and HIJAB are one of the greatests things that have happened to me- but what would a society that sells the feminine body know? They post bulletin boards and advertise on TV the very female image, degrading and immoralizing the very body they came out of when coming into this world. I tell you- what is wrong with modesty- even if it is covering the head??? Didn't their very own women cover their heads with huge hats and find it disrespectful when taken off in public????, I'm not even talking about nuns here! They say it represents aggression- they lie. It represents ISLAM- and when they are ignorant of ISLAM they are scared of Islam. Learn people- because only ignorance dissipates the foundation of humanity. Learn and explore with an open mind- why must we be so narrowminded and scared of things when we don't understand??? Why are people so scared of a piece of clot wrapped around a head when they don't even know about it!!! For God's sake are people going to ban hooded sweaters because they have hoods on them for people to use??? What is this world coming to- do people want to raise their children in a world where covering up now is a sin?? Only that day they will understand when something dear to them is taken away...hijab is not a political gesture people...it becomes a part of you - it makes up who you are- it makes you a BETTER person! Only I have seen its beauty cause I have also been without it- why make such a big fuss and use it against the women of Islam? whoever says it is not a rule of Islam- quit your ignorance you fools- and do some exploring. First of all, I would like to quote the verses in the Holy Qur’an that speak of the hijab. Please see verses 30-31 in Surah 24 of the Holy Qur’an, which give the meaning of:
*{Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. Lo! Allah is Aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands’ fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters’ sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigor, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed.}*

See also verse number 59 in Surah, which give the meaning of:
*{O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them [when they go abroad]. That will be better, that so they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.}*

The above verses very clearly show that it is Allah Almighty Himself, Who commands the women to wear hijab, though that word is not used in the above verses. In fact, the term hijab means much more than the covering of the body; it refers to the code of modesty outlined in the verses quoted above.

Look at the expressions used: “Lower their gaze”, “be modest”, “not to display their adornment”, “draw the veils over their bosoms” “not to stamp their feet” etc.

It must be clear to any thinking person what is meant by all the above expressions in the Holy Qur’an. Women in the Prophet’s time used to wear a kind of dress that covered the head, but not the bosom properly. So when they are asked to draw their veils over their bosoms so as not to reveal their beauty, it is clear that the dress must cover the head as well as the body. And hair is considered by people in most cultures of the world - not only in the Arab culture - as an attractive part of a woman’s beauty. Men don't even have the chance to gaze lustfully at women- what is wrong with this???? We want to be looked upon with respect and dignity like the nuns do, like the religious folks do- why use our very own shield against us? If it is so agressive 'looking' don't look at us, and move away from us- but don't interfere with it! I have one thing that keeps me going in this world, and it is the fact that I know I'm a good person, and that this only matters to me and God...but one thing for sure- for the muslims and I mean the "muslims" not the "yea i'm muslim, but I drink, oppress and gamble etc" if they had the choice to break the law of the Quran or the law of society- what do you think its going to be? I'd rather break the law of society...

shaha said at December 20, 2003 5:07 AM:

Randall Parker,
If the women you are referring to in Afghanistan who wear thier "burkahs" are wearing them out of fear as you say, consider the fact that the burkah, the all-covering one piece number that has been associated with the Taliban, was worn by the Afghani women decades before The Taliban, and continue to wear them now, by choice....
As i have said, and will say again, Dont continue to speak for a group of people who are speaking for themselves esp when its under the guise that you care abt their status in the world, it is a fear and ignorance of Islam that causes an opposition to the hijab amongst non-muslims and muslims alike.
Thank you sister Hamida for your words of wisdom and passion and for sharing the quranic verses.

Randall Parker said at December 20, 2003 8:43 AM:

Shaha, But it remains the case that there are many women in Afghanistan who wear the burkah out of fear. There are women in other countries who do so as well. In Saudi Arabia even fearless women could not remove their head covering because to do so is against the law.

You may wear a scarve or full body coverout out of choice. But there are many women in Muslim countries (including women who are not even Muslims) who wear that covering out of fear or because it is against the law to do otherwise.

Do you think it is okay or even good for Muslim governments to require the wearing of headscarfs or burkahs? Do you think it is okay for Muslim men in Afghanistan to punish women who do not wear burkahs? Are they being good Muslims when they do this?

Hamida, if Mohammed said to cover the bosom why do you say he said to cover the face? If he meant to say to cover the face he would have said to cover the face. What you think is obvious seems quite untrue to me.

saha said at December 20, 2003 1:30 PM:

Randall,
The one fact that you are not including in your arguement is that France does not have laws requiring hijab, so its not a rule that is based on oppression, it is in fact about choice, and taking that away. Also your view or opinion about hijab that you commented to Hamida about does not hold even an ounce of weight. Even if the hijab was up to interpretation, it certainly would not be up to yours, it would be for Muslim women to decide.(thats if it was) The commandment was for "the believing women" Whether you agree or think something "seems quite untrue" matters not.

I encourage the French Muslimahs to don their hijab ban or no ban. The laws of man are just that, and our ultiamte judge is not them.
I had an incident in which a principal told me i couldnt wear my hijab in class, as it was a "distraction" while my fellow classmates were allowed to wear short skirts, see --through and tube tops, as the teachers commented on how cute they looked (See the wisdom of the western 'emlightened" thinkers) Needless to say i wrote a 13 page paper to him, the superintendent, the teachers, students etc, and they had no choice but to allow me to wear it (as if I was going to remove it anyways)
** oh and It was GODS commandment for the women to cover in that manner, not Muhammad's, he was relaying that message to them. What was mentioned about covering the face that you disagree with and whats your real beef with hijab?

Bob Badour said at December 20, 2003 6:22 PM:

Yasmine,

My right to wear hijab cannot be LIMITED
Well, I would say it cannot be limited any more than anyone's right to expose their genitals in public can be limited. Rights are not absolute.

As for women who are forced to wear hijab, i dont speak for that
By denying the issue, you do speak for it. According to my religious beliefs, denial is the single absolute evil in this world--for all evil hides behind denial.

i speak for Muslim women and for Islam
... Dont speak for a group of ppl
Your hypocrisy underwhelms me. I have never claimed to speak for anyone but myself. As I mentioned previously, you do not and can not speak for all muslim women. You speak for yourself and for your own experience.

they are openly speaking for themselves
Those who suffer coercion and threats do not speak openly. The absurdity of your non sequitur is asinine. You make a very poor ambassador for your faith.

There is no law in France that makes women wear hijab
So? Nobody claimed France does. Do you have a point?

being that I am an American citizen i dont and shouldnt have to seek private school or leave the country because i choose to look differently.
Plenty of Americans already do seek private school or home schooling for religious reasons, and the public school systems in the US already prohibit many forms of expression. The Satanists often have their religious garb prohibited in public schools in the US.

Here is a thought experiment: Suppose a hypothetical creed believes God created man in God's beautiful image and that God has deemed it blasphemy to cover God's beauty for any reason other than warmth or protection. Adherents of this faith demand the public school system allow their children to attend classes in the nude. Does the school system have the right to insist these children clothe themselves in public schools? If not, does this also apply in Islamic countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia?

one will not be sacrficed for the other and it hasnt yet nor will it ever
I find your histrionic bravado absurd. I suppose you would prefer to have been one of those Saudi girls who were sacrificed in agony for both education and modesty by being burned alive as they fought desperately to escape the flames? ?

Maybe only a muslim woman can truly understand my passion about the hijab
That's quite a conceit. Maybe only NAMBLA members can truly understand their passion about pederasty. Does that mean only NAMBLA members are allowed to express opinions regarding prohibitions of pederasty?

why even in the "narrowly defined context" its not disposable
In that case, you would have to dispose of the narrowly defined context. I have no qualms about requiring you to make that choice, and I fully support your right to choose freely among the options allowed by law without fear or coercion.

they should provide the money
Why? You should cover the costs of your own religious conceits. I cover the costs of mine.

so they sould just leave this issue alone
Who died and elected you Queen of France?

You seem to suffer under the delusion that education is a right. Education is an obligation. (Just ask the Mennonites around here after the truant officers hunt down their kids and cart them off to school.)

Bob Badour said at December 20, 2003 7:56 PM:

Hamida,

The beauty of the hijab is undescribable.
That's very convenient. It lets you off the hook in the event anyone else cares about its beauty.

I don't need a push up bra and mini skirt to express my opinions and be heard
Believe me: Attractive young women in push up bras and mini skirts are often noticed but never heard. In fact, I am not sure whether it is possible to prove or to disprove the conjecture whether any have ever expressed an opinion. I think the conjecture falls into the category of Zen-like questions such as one hand clapping or a tree falling in the forest or something.

unfortunately only ignorance will not understand this sort of liberation.
Good thing we all understand it then.

I am a convert who has embraced Islam for 4 years now
Why should anyone care about the fickle opinions of a self-admitted apostate?

what would a society that sells the feminine body know?
Um... Might they know how to make lots of money without much effort? [Don't you just hate it when they answer the rhetorical questions? -Ed.]

They post bulletin boards and advertise on TV the very female image, degrading and immoralizing the very body they came out of when coming into this world.
I say "idolizing" and you say "degrading". I say "revering" and you say "immoralizing". I say tomatoe and you say tomatoe. As a hedonistic idolater, I resent your public denigration of my religious observances!

tell you- what is wrong with modesty- even if it is covering the head???
Nothing is wrong with true modesty. Forced and coerced modesty is oppression, and oppression is just wrong.

It represents ISLAM
Um, would that be the political and religious movement founded by larcenous, genocidal pedophile? Would that be the political and religious movement whose religious texts grant second-class human status to Christians and Jews but consider devout Atheists like myself vermin suitable only for extermination? I just want to make sure we are talking about the same thing.

when they are ignorant of ISLAM they are scared of Islam.
While I am far from being an Islamic scholar or theologian, I am also far from ignorant about Islam. I know more than a little about the history of Islam, and I have read its core religious texts. I suggest to you that only those who are ignorant of Islam have no fear of Islam. It fills me with the kind of fear that instills caution and resolute determination--like seeing a poisonous snake or recognizing the symptoms of a deadly contagion.

They say it represents aggression- they lie.
If you claim that Islam's history from its inception to the present day is anything less than aggressive, you lie.

Learn and explore with an open mind- why must we be so narrowminded and scared of things when we don't understand???
If I have learned and have failed to conform to your strict and limited view of your faith, which of us is narrowminded? Am I allowed to fear things I do understand? Or does my fear of a poisonous snake or of a deadly contagion indicate narrowmindedness?

Why are people so scared of a piece of clot wrapped around a head when they don't even know about it!!!
Your assumption of ignorance is closeminded ad hominem. Your attribution of fear to a piece of cloth is absurd and suggests further ad hominem.

What is this world coming to- do people want to raise their children in a world where covering up now is a sin??
Sin is an issue of religious belief and of morality. Public school dress codes are issues of law and of administration. I suggest a narrowminded interpretation of your faith leads to your confusing the two. Nobody has claimed that modesty is a sin, nor would the proposed laws prevent any muslim woman from educating herself while preserving her modesty according to her faith.

Only that day they will understand when something dear to them is taken away...hijab is not a political gesture people
The proposed laws would not take anything away from anyone. I have already explained why the hijab is a political statement, and your proclamation of denial does nothing to change the actual facts.

it becomes a part of you - it makes up who you are- it makes you a BETTER person!
I suggest that taking one's identity from a garment indicates neurosis and psychological vulnerability. Nobody can strip me of my identity.

Only I have seen its beauty
That's quite a conceit.

use it against the women of Islam?
Indeed. By banning it in public schools, the French and German governments seek to prevent anyone from using it against women of Islam. There is little risk of anyone using the Hijab against women of Islam by allowing them to remove it, and the risk of fundamentalists using it against them by forcing them to wear it is well documented and quite serious.

whoever says it is not a rule of Islam- quit your ignorance you fools- and do some exploring.
Nobody has claimed it is not a rule of Islam. In fact, the risk comes from those who would use force against young women to enforce it as a rule of Islam. I suggest you take your own advice and quit your ignorance.

Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and be modest. That is purer for them. ... bosoms...adornment...
Well, then the proposed laws pose no problem to the faithful. The believing men can lower their gaze and the issue is resolved. The Hijab prevents Muslim men from achieving purity. Since nobody is requiring muslim girls to expose their bosoms or requiring they wear any adornment, I see no textually supported argument against the proposed laws.

The above verses very clearly show that it is Allah Almighty Himself, Who commands the women to wear hijab
Some book says something, and some guy once claimed the book expressed God's words. But I don't see anything in the quoted verses insisting that anyone wear any specific garment.

Look at the expressions used: “Lower their gaze”, “be modest”, “not to display their adornment”, “draw the veils over their bosoms” “not to stamp their feet” etc.
Indeed. I see no incompatibility between the proposed laws and any of those expressions. The proposed laws do not compel Muslim boys to gaze in any particular direction nor do they compel Muslim girls to wear any adornment or to stamp their feet. Muslim girls' clothing could become as plain, shapeless and frumpy as they want without them wearing the Hijab.

It must be clear to any thinking person what is meant by all the above expressions in the Holy Qur’an.
If that is so, I suggest thinking people will not understand your objection to the proposed laws.

what is wrong with this????
What is wrong with fundamentalist family members threatening young women with violence if they fail to conform to the family's demands? Do you honestly have to ask?

If it is so agressive 'looking' don't look at us, and move away from us
Moving away from you is all the proposed laws would do. If wearing the Hijab is so important to you, you will be happy to seek your education at home or in a religious school--away from those who find the garment aggressive. Since your religious texts allow Muslims to knowingly ignore religious observances when the cost of conformance is prohibitive, those who lack the means to acquire an education anywhere except in the public school system are explicitly released from the Hijab requirement by your faith. Apparently, so says Allah, if you believe in Allah and in his recited word, that is. I know, I know, I know: I am a hypocrite if I dare to express any opinion regarding Islam.

I have one thing that keeps me going in this world, it is the fact that I know I'm a good person
I have lots of things that keep me going, and one of them is the fact that I know I'm a good person. Nobody is trying to take that away from either of us.

if they had the choice to break the law of the Quran or the law of society- what do you think its going to be? I'd rather break the law of society
I have no problem with that as long as you accept the consequences of doing so.

Bob Badour said at December 20, 2003 8:11 PM:

Saha,

The one fact that you are not including in your arguement is that France does not have laws requiring hijab
Nor will it have a law prohibiting hijab. It will have a law allowing hijab everywhere except in a narrowly defined context related to the education and care of minors.

so its not a rule that is based on oppression
You seem unable to think logically and clearly.

it is in fact about choice
Indeed. It is about the choice of whether to remove the hijab.

and taking that away.
Nonsense. Muslim girls will still have the choice whether to remove the hijab and attend public school or to wear the hijab and attend school elsewhere.

Also your view or opinion about hijab that you commented to Hamida about does not hold even an ounce of weight.
Since your religious texts prohibit you from thinking about, considering or giving an ounce of weight to anything Randall or I say, I do not find your statement surprising or at all informative.

Even if the hijab was up to interpretation, it certainly would not be up to yours
Nor would it be up to yours. How do we resolve this?

it would be for Muslim women to decide.
Each for herself, which is exactly what the proposed laws would allow.

The commandment was for "the believing women" Whether you agree or think something "seems quite untrue" matters not.
To believing women, I agree. If a woman believes my children are little more than vermin suitable for extermination, I don't want her near my children in the public school system in the first place. Presumably, women who so believe will go elsewhere for their education.

I encourage the French Muslimahs to don their hijab ban or no ban.
As do I. I encourage them to don their hijab while homeschooling or attending a religious school.

The laws of man are just that, and our ultiamte judge is not them.
Indeed. If you care about your everlasting soul, you will move somewhere ruled by sharia law. It is your religious duty to live according to the command of Allah.

Amy said at December 20, 2003 11:29 PM:

Wow...athiests speaking for the religious women of Islam....lol...says alot doesn't it

Daryl said at December 20, 2003 11:32 PM:

If they want to wear it- let them wear it- if they don't they don't. It is hypocritical to say the ban on hijab is a positive approach in decreasing it's oppression when you are oppressing the desires of those who want to wear the headscarf....its a bunch of bullshit that comes from ignorance and racist folks out there- It was the jews- and now its the muslims...ridiculous

Goldberg said at December 20, 2003 11:44 PM:

Bob Badour- your comments are baseless and discriminating. Support the food bank, or homeless shelter if you want to be a good citizen. If it "really" is the oppression of women you are concerned about....
"what is wrong with this????
What is wrong with fundamentalist family members threatening young women with violence if they fail to conform to the family's demands? Do you honestly have to ask?"

Give me the evidence - a few situations do not do and DO NOT represent the majority- but ofcourse there are hidden intentions to this ban and you and I know it.... and no one has the right to ask another to leave a country- they are citizens of a country- and their view must be respected and considered, the Hijab is harmless and to say people are forced to wear it is a pathetic reason to ban this religious requirement....Islam is not a threat- it is the minds of people like you that pose a threat to others. As for your knowledge on Islam- you have no knowledge about Islam- your knowledge is based on racist emotions and the regurgitated views of the opponents of Islam....

Randall Parker said at December 21, 2003 12:32 AM:

Saha/Shaha (who are the same IP address),

The one fact that you are not including in your arguement is that France does not have laws requiring hijab, so its not a rule that is based on oppression, it is in fact about choice, and taking that away.

There is oppression in France coming from Muslim believers who are, in some cases, intimidating women into wearing headscarves. It is the same pattern seen in some Musliim countries. The French rationale for banning the headscarves is in part the same as the Turkish rationale: If some women are allowed to cover their heads any women who do not do so will be intimidated into doing so in any area with a sizeable Muslim population. Given that France has about a 10% Muslim population it is not surprising that the intimidation by fanatical believers is beginning to become a problem.

Governments are not the only sources of oppression. Fanatical followers of intolerant religious doctrines can be just as oppressve as governments.

Also your view or opinion about hijab that you commented to Hamida about does not hold even an ounce of weight. Even if the hijab was up to interpretation, it certainly would not be up to yours, it would be for Muslim women to decide.(thats if it was) The commandment was for "the believing women" Whether you agree or think something "seems quite untrue" matters not.

If Hamida wants to offer a verse from a religious text to justify a position then it makes perfect sense to point out that the offered verse doesn't even order women to do what Hamida is claiming is a religious obligation.

I encourage the French Muslimahs to don their hijab ban or no ban. The laws of man are just that, and our ultiamte judge is not them.

God is not appearing in public before us all to tell us what his judgements are on these questions. So it really is left up to men and women to make their own judgements.

I had an incident in which a principal told me i couldnt wear my hijab in class, as it was a "distraction" while my fellow classmates were allowed to wear short skirts, see --through and tube tops, as the teachers commented on how cute they looked (See the wisdom of the western 'emlightened" thinkers)

An argument can certainly be made for requiring students to dress in ways that are less distracting. An argument can also be made for requiring students to dress in ways that are less political (and of course Islam is a religion that is inherently political).

Needless to say i wrote a 13 page paper to him, the superintendent, the teachers, students etc, and they had no choice but to allow me to wear it (as if I was going to remove it anyways)

They had no choice? They certainly did have a choice. They just decided to let you wear it.

Currently in Iran women must cover their heads. It is the law. Do you support that law? It is the law in Saudi Arabia too. Are you in favor of that law?

** oh and It was GODS commandment for the women to cover in that manner, not Muhammad's, he was relaying that message to them. What was mentioned about covering the face that you disagree with and whats your real beef with hijab?

If is your very human opinion that it was God's commandment. You can't prove that it was God's commandment. There is no scientific evidence to show that it is. You can't even prove that God exists.

Bob Badour said at December 21, 2003 8:02 AM:

Amy,

I do not speak for anyone but myself. I expressed an opinion in support of the right and of the responsibility granted to the representatives of the peoples of France and of Germany to pass and to enforce whatever laws seem necessary to provide a safe and productive environment for learning in their public school systems. I have expressed further opinions regarding the quality and the validity of the arguments presented by three young women who seem unwilling to recognize the scope of the issue and who seem to ignore anything inconvenient to their unthinking obedience to their religious masters.

Daryl,

Nothing in the proposed laws would interfere with a Muslim girl's choice to wear the Hijab. The only difference is her choice would now imply a choice to attend her education outside the public school system. By removing the visible manifestations of her choice from the public arena, the peoples of France and of Germany would diminish the political imperative of the choice and free the young woman to make the choice more for religious than for political ends.

In the sense that the proposed laws would allow young Muslim women to wear the Hijab in public everywhere except in a narrowly defined context of public school education, the proposed laws are far from an outright ban of the Hijab. Since devout young Muslim women would have plenty of other educational opportunities allowing the Hijab, I fail to see how the laws would oppress them in any way.

I find your unsupportable, knee-jerk exclamations of racism and ignorance needlessly inflammatory and unconvincing ad hominem. I ask you to ponder seriously whose ignorance those knee-jerk reactions truly demonstrate.

Goldberg,

your comments are baseless and discriminating
Where possible I have tried to provide the basis of my arguments, if I have failed in one or two instances, you are free to point those specifics out and to request an explanation for the basis of my statements. Demanding I prove a negative, however, is nothing more than transparent sophistry of the lowest sort.

If by discriminating you mean, "perceptive" or "exhibiting the ability to draw fine distinctions" or "showing fine judgement or fine taste" or "analytical" or "serving to distinguish, distinctive", then I thank you for the compliment. If you mean "prejudiced", then I must simply dismiss your ad hominem as further unconvincing sophistry of the lowest sort.

Give me the evidence - a few situations do not do and DO NOT represent the majority
Are you suggesting we prohibit murder because the majority would otherwise commit murder? Are you suggesting we limit a person's right to yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater because the majority would otherwise do so? Are you suggesting we prohibit the torture of non-Catholics because the majority of Catholics believe torturing the heathens into repenting their sins will grant them entry to paradise? I find your demand nothing more than absurdly petulant sophistry.

but ofcourse there are hidden intentions to this ban and you and I know it
I am not sure what intentions you believe are hidden. The openly stated intention to hobble a dangerous, aggressive, hostile political movement seems reasonable and sufficient to me to justify the proposed laws. The submitted arguments against the law do not seem valid to me. I admit France is less forthcoming about the intention, which I assume is driven by their surrender to the pressures of political correctness. I suggest to you that constant speculation regarding hidden animus reveals an untrustworthy person, because most people see in others what they know of themselves.

no one has the right to ask another to leave a country- they are citizens of a country
Nobody has asked them to leave any country. I presented several options for young Muslim women to gain a valuable education while maintaining their modesty according to their beliefs. One of those options involves a choice to move to an area governed by Sharia law, but I leave the choice to the believers. I find their reluctance to make that choice very telling.

view must be respected and considered
I see no reason to believe their view received insufficient consideration or respect. Are you suggesting that Christian fundamentalists in the US who choose to homeschool their children receive any lack of consideration or respect?

the Hijab is harmless and to say people are forced to wear it is a pathetic reason to ban this religious requirement
For those forced to wear it against their own wishes, I would say the cloth Hijab is about as harmless as a cloth Mogen David. For those confronted with this political symbol in their classrooms, I would say the Hijab is about as harmless as a brown shirt.

If the Hijab were truly about modesty, I doubt we would ever see one in our public schools. The truly modest young religious devotee would seek education in a religious school that segregates the sexes. The truly modest young woman would insist on it.

I, personally, see no reason to encourage a dangerous ideology to conscript young women to its front lines. Do you think such conscription is fair to the young women?

Islam is not a threat
Have you read the base texts of the Islamic faith? I have read them, and I reach very different conclusions from you.

it is the minds of people like you that pose a threat to others
I have never flown a plane with hundreds of innocent victims into a building with thousands of innocent victims. I have never condoned, admired, celebrated, congratulated or excused any similar act. I have never funded any organization that has condoned, admired, celebrated, congratulated or excused any similar act. I have never apologized for any individual or organization that has condoned, admired, celebrated, congratulated or excused any similar act. You have an odd perspective on relative risk.

As for your knowledge on Islam- you have no knowledge about Islam- your knowledge is based on racist emotions and the regurgitated views of the opponents of Islam
Your unsupportable, unthinking, knee-jerk ad hominem underwhelms me. Please cite the specifics of what I have said that lead you to this "conclusion". When I know what you object to, I will cite you chapter and verse.

P.S. As a good person with a sound understanding of basic economics, the last things I would support are food banks and homeless shelters. I think it takes a perversely selfish arrogance and conceit to seek one's psychological solace by fostering an environment of growing dependence among a growing underclass. I prefer to work toward ending the uncontrolled immigration of unskilled workers that depletes one country of a relatively valuable resource while debasing and devaluing the like resource in another country.

saha said at December 21, 2003 1:10 PM:

Bob,

Your OPINION about what Muslim women wear or dont wear is not up for debate. Its not even up to French government. Ok so you have read about Islam and call yourself an expert. Its obvious you dont agree with Islamic teachings,(and quite obvious you have bias based off some of the comments you have made) and thats fine too, but what you have not attempted to just accept is that no matter how well you pick apart anyones comments and express your own Opinion abt what was said or what was lacking or how illogical cerain statements are to you, it DOESN't MATTER. As long as there are Muslims on the earth there will be people who dont agree with it and some who wish to eradicate it all together, and we know and accept that, thats a battle obviously worth fighting according to us. Maybe it is a threat to your way of life, that doesnt matter much either. The Sept 11th arguement is one of the worst in giving proof as to how much of a threat Islam is. Maybe you should consider devoting your time to a cause that you can actually do something about.

Bob Badour said at December 21, 2003 4:33 PM:

Saha,

Your OPINION about what Muslim women wear or dont wear is not up for debate.
I have not anywhere above expressed an opinion about what Muslim women wear or don't wear. I expressed an opinion regarding the appropriateness of the representatives of the peoples of France and of Germany to limit freedom of expression within a narrowly defined context related to the care and education of minors.

Its not even up to French government.
Correct. It is only up to the French government what dress code the people of France will enforce in their public schools, which says nothing about anyone's attire at home or in other public venues.

Ok so you have read about Islam and call yourself an expert.
Please do not put words in my mouth. I am quite capable of doing that myself. At no time have I called myself an expert on Islam. Your continual retreat to sophistry is disappointingly unimpressive if somewhat typical.

Its obvious you dont agree with Islamic teachings,(and quite obvious you have bias based off some of the comments you have made) and thats fine too
We all have bias. As an atheist, I read the Qur'an with different eyes than an apologetic believer. You read with eyes that deny most of what the text actually says. If all Muslims were so inclined, we would have no problem. Unfortunately, the Bin Ladens of the world read the texts quite literally as I do.

what you have not attempted to just accept is that no matter how well you pick apart anyones comments and express your own Opinion abt what was said or what was lacking or how illogical cerain statements are to you, it DOESN't MATTER.
It doesn't matter to you. You will continue to support terrorists in subtle and indirect ways. It doesn't matter to the people of France who will decide these issues for themselves. Have you considered how little your comments matter when they are so obviously illogical and irrational? To whom do you think your comments should matter? Just curious.

As long as there are Muslims on the earth there will be people who dont agree with it and some who wish to eradicate it all together
I am not sure who you think wants to eradicate the earth of Muslims. That's quite a leap from prohibiting a single political symbol in the classroom. (kookoo) On the other hand, many Muslims have openly and aggressively pursued the eradication of Israel, and the founder of your faith actually engaged in open, unapologetic acts of genocide. Or do you deny the history of your faith?

we know and accept that, thats a battle obviously worth fighting according to us.
It's this kind of backward logic that makes you and your brethren such a dangerous scourge. No matter how peaceful and loving your neighbours, given enough time, you will always find some excuse for waging Jihad against us. Are you trying to convince Randall's readership that you are a clear and present danger? You are doing an excellent job.

Maybe it is a threat to your way of life
The core religious texts of Islam command those who submit to Allah to seek to end my actual life and not just its way. Somehow you find this instruction acceptable yet find a minor inconvenience related to public school dress some kind of abomination. Please forgive me for finding your value system wrought to the ends and means of evil.

The Sept 11th arguement is one of the worst in giving proof as to how much of a threat Islam is.
I don't recall giving a Sept. 11th argument per se, because I included similar acts, which I assume would include things like genocide in Africa, suicide bombings, genocide in Indonesia, bloody clashes on the subcontinent, fatwas calling for the extermination of the Jews and the eradication of Israel, serial sniping in Virginia, driving tanks over homosexuals, beating women with sticks for dress code violations, the genocide of the Banu Quraiza ... I'll stop here because I just don't have all day.

What did you think of the argument based on the content of the core religious texts of Islam and of Islam's well-recorded history?

Maybe you should consider devoting your time to a cause that you can actually do something about.
I have a number of causes. What makes you think this is a cause I can do nothing about?

Bob Badour said at December 21, 2003 4:44 PM:

Randall,

I just noticed your third update to the article. If I were a Jew in Europe, I would have fled by now or at least have started making visa arrangements by now.

To Israel, to the US--or even to Canada. I wonder what the political environment is like for Jews in New Zealand and Australia?

saha said at December 21, 2003 7:49 PM:

Ok Islam is a threat to you. No arguing with that.

saha said at December 21, 2003 7:49 PM:

Ok Islam is a threat to you. No arguing with that.

Bob Badour said at December 22, 2003 7:41 AM:

Saha,

A touch of honesty--how refreshing!

Hamida said at December 22, 2003 10:14 AM:

Randall,
"Hamida, if Mohammed said to cover the bosom why do you say he said to cover the face? If he meant to say to cover the face he would have said to cover the face. What you think is obvious seems quite untrue to me."
How did you get this impression? I did NOT say he said to cover the face. Please do not put words into my mouth- Thank You.

"If is your very human opinion that it was God's commandment. You can't prove that it was God's commandment. There is no scientific evidence to show that it is. You can't even prove that God exists."
An atheist ofcourse does not believe in any 'commandments' of any faith....You can't prove that it wasn't God's commandment and YOU can't PROVE that God does not exist....

Bob Badour said at December 22, 2003 12:11 PM:

Hamida,

I am the atheist. Randall does not suffer from such silly superstitions. As far as I understand, he is agnostic, and he is absolutely correct that none of us will know the truth of the matter in this life. That does seem to make it only your opinion that it is God's commandment, which was Randall's exact point.

Hair, face, neck -- whatever, none of those are the bosom.

I really don't understand your objection to these proposed laws. Nobody is telling you that you cannot or should not wear the Hijab. The proposed laws would only require you to choose which is more important to you: a public education or the Hijab. If you prefer the Hijab, seek a private education. Christian fundamentalists in the US do exactly this every day.

What are your thoughts on having someone calling himself "Holy Warrior" speaking for you? Do you agree with his representation and his demeanor? Does that mean you consider yourself at war with the Kafr? You certainly have not voiced any objection to having such bellicose representation. What are we to conclude?

Hamida said at December 22, 2003 11:15 PM:

Just because I have not voiced my opinion to having such "bellicose representation" does not mean I agree with it. I have to say, a kafr is an unbeliever, and in Islam to call someone a Kafr can be a great sin- afterall what does anyone know about what someone's heart contains? Someone can be a christian, and be a far greater person than a "muslim", so to generalize that all muslims think this way is from ignorance.

I find this whole issue to deal more with the knowledge that non-muslims seem to have or should I say lack. I understand that there are muslims out there that take things to the extremes and bring down the name of Islam, but most muslims practice Islam- but are moderate, meaning they do not interfere with how others live, are surely not aggressive (if they are really trying to be muslim) and yet are religious at the same time. Some say that if a women is so religious as to cover her head- she should then go to a private school and practice her faith religiously. Covering the head may be a requirement- but for someone that wears it, it doesn't mean that she would love to stay indoors and not ever look at a man (exaggerating here). Now, when I say this I wouldn't be surprised if it is used against me- but myself, I am a student, an employee and a daughter all in the public sphere- and the hijab has never posed a threat to anyone...There are many more like me..and it seems like these people are being ignored.
Yes- I understand that this ban is just in public schools, but this is how it really starts. First its in public schools and the workforce, then it just crumbles down from there. If young children are not exposed to such differences, what are they being taught in school? Women in hijab are very alienated- creating an even more tense situation...When I say these things I'm not saying these to offend anyone- I'm voicing a concern not just for the religious peoples- but for the children attending those schools and their upbringing in such a society.
With regards to your comment. Head,neck or face- ofcourse they are not the bossom- If you maybe had read the whole paragraph you may have understood what that whole subject was about.
"Women in the Prophet’s time used to wear a kind of dress that covered the head, but not the bosom properly. So when they are asked to draw their veils over their bosoms so as not to reveal their beauty, it is clear that the dress must cover the head as well as the body."

I find it hard to believe a society is coming to this...I'm just very glad I'm in Canada...

Bob Badour said at December 23, 2003 3:46 PM:

Hamida,

Just because I have not voiced my opinion to having such "bellicose representation" does not mean I agree with it.
Your outrage has driven you to speak out on rather trivial matters. Even when asked, you have refused to make any statement explicitly stating "Holy Warrior" does not speak for you. The message in your actions is clear enough to me.

Perhaps, this time you could answer the questions instead of trying to avoid them: What are your thoughts on having someone calling himself "Holy Warrior" speaking for you? Do you agree with his representation and his demeanor?

I have to say, a kafr is an unbeliever, and in Islam to call someone a Kafr can be a great sin- afterall what does anyone know about what someone's heart contains?
As a publicly self-proclaimed atheist, I suggest you take my word for it when I say I am a Kafr. If it is such a sin to call anyone a Kafr, why are your core religious texts so full of this word? Being quite happy to be me, I take no insult in any term you can dream up that means me.

Again, please answer the question instead of trying to avoid it: Do you consider yourself at war with the Kafr?

Someone can be a christian, and be a far greater person than a "muslim", so to generalize that all muslims think this way is from ignorance.
What do muslims think about atheists? As a devout Atheist, I care little what muslims think about christians. There goes that ad hominem again. Believe me, I am far from ignorant about Islam. Perhaps you could address my points directly instead of dissembling and resorting to sophistry?

I find this whole issue to deal more with the knowledge that non-muslims seem to have or should I say lack.
You and your "sisters" show a tremendous amount of bigotry and prejudice in what you write. Not every Kafr is ignorant of your religion. Your repeatedly and explicitly stated assumption that we are all ignorant only exposes your bigotry.

If I am so ignorant, what do your core religious texts say about me as a devout Atheist and as a hedonistic idolater? Many muslims have recently claimed that Islam favours freedom of religion.

it doesn't mean that she would love to stay indoors and not ever look at a man (exaggerating here).
Attending a private school means none of the things you allege. Perhaps you could stick to what people actually say instead of attacking absurd fantasies.

and the hijab has never posed a threat to anyone
You are in no position to judge what poses a threat to someone else. The peoples of France and of Germany have clearly stated they find it threatening in the public school system. Perhaps, you could allow them to speak for themselves.

If young children are not exposed to such differences, what are they being taught in school?
Perhaps you should address the question to people from Saudi Arabia or Iran or Yemen or Afghanistan where children are protected from any kind of difference. Your suggestion that children in western democracies have no exposure to other cultures is absurd and completely backward.

Women in hijab are very alienated
For many, that is a self-imposed alienation. The others were forced into the alienation by their relatives. I grew up with one boy who used to wear a baseball cap over his yarmulke.

I'm voicing a concern not just for the religious peoples- but for the children attending those schools and their upbringing in such a society.
Their proper guardians and custodians already speak for them, and the reach contradictory conclusions. I suggest you accept the judgement of those specifically charged with overseeing the care and welfare of these children. They are in a much better position to judge what is best for their kids.

you maybe had read the whole paragraph you may have understood what that whole subject was about.
With all due respect, what consideration should we give to a lame rationalization invented by a human being 14 centuries after the fact when we are asked to consider God's own word?

Other religions point to the timelessness of their core texts and teachings as proof of divine inspiration. Some of them would consider Islam the work of the devil specifically for being stuck in the seventh century.

I find it hard to believe a society is coming to this...I'm just very glad I'm in Canada...
You are very welcome. By any chance, are you of first nations' descent? You did mention your apostacy, but you did not explain your ethnicity.

Saha said at December 23, 2003 4:24 PM:

Bob,
An Answer to the "holy warrior" questiom:
I dont mind if someone calls themselves this, a warrior does not have to be someone who goes to war physically. Jihad, a term commonly used to mean just actual fighting, is not only a violent war, but a greater internal struggle for the believer. Are both necessary, def. so. Perhaps you prefer to focus on one meaning of these words.

Yasmine said at December 23, 2003 5:07 PM:

Bob,
IT's quite obvious that you have no respect for Islam as seen in the following responses:

"With all due respect, what consideration should we give to a lame rationalization invented by a human being 14 centuries after the fact when we are asked to consider God's own word"

Herein we find the true motives behind your seemingly passionate debate for the right of the French Govt, and or the french ppl who find the hijab too scary for their school children. This "lame rationalization" as you call it is what you clearly have a problem with, and so anything coming from it (hijab for ex) obviously rubs you the wrong way. How dare you call someone a bigot sir or maam?
Yes I agree you are a kufr (and all that applies to that) and yes i agree with the idea of someone calling themselves a -holy warrior- representing me. I find it necessary being that there are ppl that are willing to fight to take my right to practice my religion(which includes wearing Hijab in and out of school) away, and yes i would fight in order to ensure that right for myself, present, and future generations of Muslims. Its a reality, no need to sugar coat it.

Maybe your disbeleif in God is too offensive for me, i think i shall try to get your right to post notes on this message board taken away. Its a Joke no need to


Bob Badour said at December 23, 2003 6:14 PM:

Saha,

Islamic history shows that the predominant Islamic views briefly emphasized spiritual Jihad (in the eighth or ninth century if I recall correctly.) That particular sect of Islam was quickly quashed by more bellicose varieties and for the other thirteen centuries of Islamic history has been marginal at best. Overwhelmingly throughout Islamic history, the unqualified term Jihad has referred to the expansion of Dar al Islam by violent means both by Muslims and by their victims.

You ask me to ignore the predominant meaning of the word to focus on marginalities. Apparently, you think me a fool.

When someone declares himself both a warrior and my enemy, I reserve the right to kill him, to imprison him or to otherwise strip him of any and all rights for my own self defense and the defense of my family and my neighbours. I will worry about semantic quibbling after I send him to damnation.

Hamida said at December 23, 2003 6:51 PM:

Bob Badour- ok so you are athiest (kafr) AND Racist =)

Bob Badour said at December 23, 2003 7:11 PM:

Yasmine,

How exactly do I show disrespect for Islam by suggesting one give greater weight to the alleged actual word of God over a lame rationalization of human origin and recent invention? I find your illogic remarkable.

Herein we find the true motives
I don't recall saying anything about my motives in that sentence. Are you suggesting you can read my mind or something?

This "lame rationalization" as you call it is what you clearly have a problem with
I merely suggested we give greater weight to the alleged actual word of God. What, exactly, is your objection to giving God's actual word greater weight?

How dare you call someone a bigot sir or maam?
I suggest you reread what you and your "sisters" wrote and examine the apparent assumptions. Such as the assumption that anyone who disagrees with you is automatically ignorant.

  • only ignorance will not understand this sort of liberation

  • when they are ignorant of ISLAM they are scared of Islam

  • why must we be so narrowminded and scared of things when we don't understand???

  • they don't even know about it!!!

  • quit your ignorance you fools

  • it is a fear and ignorance of Islam

  • to generalize that all muslims think this way is from ignorance

  • I find this whole issue to deal more with the knowledge that non-muslims seem to have or should I say lack.

  • in Islam to call someone a Kafr can be a great sin
(consider what that last one says about your true opinion of Kafrs)
How, exactly, does your behaviour differ from the behaviour of a bigot? How, exactly, do you justify your open and explicit prejudice?

Yes I agree you are a kufr (and all that applies to that)
By "all that applies to that", do you mean you accept your religion's doctrine that I am vermin suitable only for extermination?

to fight to take my right to practice my religion
How exactly is anyone doing that? You seem to object very strongly to a minor limitation in a narrowly defined context related to the public education of minors in a foreign country. What are your opinions on the religious restrictions in Mecca, Medina, Teheran, Aden and Khartoum?

yes i would fight in order to ensure that right for myself, present, and future generations of Muslims.
Are you suggesting it would be appropriate for the Kafr to do the same to ensure religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, for instance?

Its a reality, no need to sugar coat it.
Then why the apparent reticence to reveal it?

Bob Badour said at December 23, 2003 7:26 PM:

Hamida,

Of course, I am a devout Atheist. Your accusation of my atheism strikes me as superfluous -- like me accusing you of being a muslim.

I am not a racist, and your accusation of racism I find a despicable slur and sophistry that is lower than low. How do you face yourself in the mirror? Or do you cover your face to escape your conscience?

I repeat the questions you so steadfastly avoid and apparently find uncomfortable:

  • What are your thoughts on having someone calling himself "Holy Warrior" speaking for you?
  • Do you agree with his representation and his demeanor?
  • If it is such a sin to call anyone a Kafr, why are your core religious texts so full of this word?
  • Do you consider yourself at war with the Kafr?
  • What do muslims think about atheists?
  • If I am so ignorant, what do your core religious texts say about me as a devout Atheist and as a hedonistic idolater?
  • By any chance, are you of first nations' descent?
Are you able to respond to even a single question without resorting to sophistry?

Hamida said at December 24, 2003 12:47 AM:

My thoughts on having someone calling himself "Holy Warrior" doesn't really stand out to me. I really couldn't care less what people are calling themselves. As for your comment on the representation of muslims through this one title- Sure we all are Holy Warriors. And I have absolutely no problem with this representation. We are all Holy Warriors-when we are being attacked, when our religion is being attacked. We are defending our religion - and if this makes us "Holy Warriors" no shame in that. The brothers of Afghanistan who fought against the soviets were Holy Warriors- fighting to defend their country. As for "Abu Mujahid's" demeanor- isn't this pathetic of you to pick on a person and use this person as a subject of your reasoning? However, because again you insist- I agree with this person 100% so what?
As for your thoughts on the word 'Kafr' and its use in the Qur'an. Maybe you don't understand this- but In Islam- GOD is ALL-Knowing- he knows who the kafrs are and who are not.He can use this word as much as he wants to. Although we may use this term- it is not in our knowledge to give such a title to someone..so we use it cautiously and therefore can be sinful if we use this term freely all the time especially with our brothers and sisters.
A kafr is a disbeliever- meaning they have the knowledge regarding the faith but due to pride and selfishness they insist on ignoring this knowledge and attack the principles of this faith. So if you are asking me if I find myself to be in war with Kafrs- Sure- anyone that attacks my faith and prevents me from carrying out my religious duties are against Islam - Yes I am at war with them. In Islam creating wars is a sin- but defending ourselves in war is a blessing. =)
I'm not sure what all muslims think about Athiests. But I'll tell you what I think- Athiests have gone astray- and according to Islam those who have gone astray are punished. However saying this one has to keep in mind that God is All knowing and All merciful - and the supreme Judge. I treat atheists the same way I'd treat anyone else around me- UNTIL they interfere with my beliefs.
And No I am not of First Nations descent- and If I were- why does it matter?
By the way- I'm sorry If I've offended you by calling you a racist- but at times I feel your comments to be rooted from a long history of hate towards Islam and muslims.
PS. I have a conscience- but I find those who oppress the religious rights of others because they do not understand it to have none...and Can you please tell me how covering one's face one is able to escape their concience? =)

Yasmine said at December 24, 2003 9:18 AM:

Bob,

Since when has recognizing a person's Ignorance, or lack of knowlege, meant that you are a bigot? Every comment, by the 'sisters' you use to support this claim refers to the ignorance of non-muslims about Islam. Even if you yourself are not lacking in knowledge about this religion, do you deny the fact that much of the 'rest' of the western world that share your same opinion in this matter, is in fact very limited in their knowledge about Islam? My experience living here tells me different. Is there something wrong with being ignorant, yes, is it a sentence to death, NO. Much of my own family (outside of my immediate), didnt know much about my religion, until we shared and encouraged them to know more about it. Which is what we are doing here. We are all ignorant about something or another and thats not the problem here. The problem is when people don't admit and accept the alternative when its being given to them. In this case, it seems to be the ignorance, or plain out denial that the french Muslimahs insist on wearing the hijab in and out of school and work.


You said to my reply;
"How exactly is anyone doing that? You seem to object very strongly to a minor limitation in a narrowly defined context related to the public education of minors in a foreign country"

The "ignorance", if i may use the word, in this statement is that after being told repeatedly that Islam does not make exceptions to its laws to satisfy people, you AGAIN make this remark. Islam is a faith that requires its followers to submit to Gods commandments, not those of man, and cannot be adjusted beacuse it appears offensive to the public. Whether you or anyone else agrees that Muslims are valid in our claim to follow Gods laws and not some 'lame rationalization" as you call it, does not matter in this case.

I said:
"yes i would fight in order to ensure that right for myself, present, and future generations of Muslims."
You reply:
"Are you suggesting it would be appropriate for the Kafr to do the same to ensure religious freedom in Mecca, Medina.... for instance?


Consider the fact that they, (the places listed) clearly define who and what they do and dont want there. (good for them!) See how its clear. (What religious freedoms would they be fighting to ENSURE there???) Whereas in France they clearly give ppl these rights of religion. The word ignorant is given to a person who goes there (saudi or the like) under the assumption that they can for ex., preach Christianity or atheism publically etc. Again ignorant meaning they dont know the law in this case. If they know and openly challenge this, they would not be ignorant, they would in a sense be a "holy warrior" as well. (Would you like to go there and have the right to define yourself as an athiest publically? If you do, more power to you, at least you have a cause) If the US attempted to take the right to hijab within the public setting away as well, it would be a contradiction of the right to religous freedom that the US clearly allows, and desires to 'share' with the rest of the world, and should be challenged. See how it works? The civil rights movement was not about necessarily changing the law, but ensuring the law is actually protecting all peoples freedoms and not just those of one group. Did the efforts of that movement become match those within a revolution, yes, thats because the Us has a long history of hypocrisy too. If you (not meaning you as an individual) are going to promote freedom, make sure its really being upheld, and not there to serve the interest of just one group. If a foreign country elsewhere does not wave that same banner of freedom, what can you say, at least there is no contradction within the law. If they want Islamic laws in these places, then they have the right to employ them. If they dont want religious Freedom in France, that should be clear too. Maybe they should take a lesson from those countries.
Again, We are not arguing opinions, as i said before, its very clear through YOUR words how u feel abt Islam (And no i dont read minds, i read words) We are discussing rights and the laws. This is where the battle lies, not in what ppl think should be considered or validated as Gods words. Thats not what this is about.

I said:
"Its a reality, no need to sugar coat it."
You reply:
"Then why the apparent reticence to reveal it?"

LOL, i didnt know I had to respond to the message board in a timely manner that would satisfy each and every remark and question you have. Comments like these dont belong in an intelligent debate. I dont attempt to make Islam seem less threatening or more 'comfortable' for the people. It is what it is. And yes like you and I said you are a Kufr, you obviously understand that title well, there needs to be no more time, effort,or emotion WASTED on that particular topic if you are comfortable having it.


Bob Badour said at December 24, 2003 1:06 PM:

Hamida,

Is it fair to conclude from your embrace of Holy Warrior's representation that you embrace aggressive, belligerent representation provided such representation agrees with and attempts to further your religious goals?

Given that Holy Warrior at least dissembles if not outright lies when he implicitly denies Islam's religious injunctions against seperating politics from religion or morality from law, is it fair to conclude you embrace dishonesty and deceit to advance your religious cause?

If we can conclude you lack credibility and that you embrace aggressive, belligerent representation, can we assume you embrace the young men who murdered thousands of innocent victims on Sept. 11, 2003 or the seemingly countless terrorists who strap bombs to themselves or the men who patrol Afghanistan beating women who do not satisfy their male standards of female modesty? Even in spite of any denial?

Holy Warrior asks "Who is doing the subjugation?" As Randall's third update demonstrates, in many cases, the young women's brothers are doing the subjugation. (As an aside, one wonders when Islam ceased to be a religion about subjugation to Allah.)

We are all Holy Warriors-when we are being attacked, when our religion is being attacked.
With all due respect, neither I nor the French government nor the German government are attacking you or your religion. The source of aggression and intolerance is invariably young men of your faith in France, in Germany, in Montreal, in Tonawanda, in Boston, in New York, in Paterson and in Florida (not to mention Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt etc.).

Your perverse, twisted logic uses Islamist aggression and violence to justify your own aggression and violence. Shame on you.

The brothers of Afghanistan who fought against the soviets were Holy Warriors- fighting to defend their country.
Do you mean the same men who are attacking and killing members of your armed forces for trying to protect the rights and religious freedoms of young women in Afghanistan right now?

As for "Abu Mujahid's" demeanor- isn't this pathetic of you to pick on a person and use this person as a subject of your reasoning?
Holy Warrior is a self-declared belligerent, a self-declared enemy to liberalism and an unabashed liar. Is it not pathetic to defend and apologize for these obvious character defects? Again and again and again, you and your "sisters" have leaped enthusiastically to ad hominem attacks picking on me and using some fantasy of me you concocted as a subject of your reasoning. Does that mean you find yourself and your "sisters" pathetic? Or do you apply a double standard here as well?

I agree with this person 100% so what?
Thus, in spite of your attempts to draw a cloak of western liberal vocabulary around your illiberal intolerance, you encourage young thugs in France and in Germany to beat and to threaten their female relatives into frightened submission, and you oppose any mild action by the state that attempts to protect these young women and their classmates from such intimidation. You support the public denial of your faith's true nature and teachings to use western liberal values against western liberals. At least, that is if you agree with this person 100%.

[Allah] knows who the kafrs are and who are not.
I really do not care what you believe about this mythical beast. What I find repugnant is your assumption that anyone should find the term insulting. Such prejudice reveals deep and abiding bigotry and intolerance. That you find "Kafr" an insult and "Muslim" an honorific boggles my mind.

A kafr is a disbeliever- meaning they ...
Let's just leave it as meaning they disbelieve. I reject Islam out of horror, repugnance and compassion -- not out of pride or selfishness, which is only a fantasy concocted by your prejudice and bigotry. According to Islamic history, when one strips away the apologetics and rationalizations, Mohammed was a larcenous, genocidal pedophile and a ruthless tyrant. He was in all aspects a completely vile man, and I find his religious teachings (or schizoid rantings) equally vile.

Since you are a Muslim, you must be accustomed to apologizing, rationalizing and denying Mohammed's vile nature. I do not find it surprising to find you apologizing, rationalizing and denying the vile nature of many of your co-religionists today.

anyone that attacks my faith and prevents me from carrying out my religious duties are against Islam
Nobody has attacked your faith in several centuries; although, your co-religionists attack every other faith across the whole globe. What, exactly, are you whining about?

Yes I am at war with them. In Islam creating wars is a sin- but defending ourselves in war is a blessing.
Get real. Your empty rationalizations are a scourge on this earth. Islam has created every war it has fought in fourteen centuries. It stretches reason beyond all credibility to ask people to accept that every religion on earth is aggressive toward Islam while none are aggressive to each other. The source of aggression is clear to any rational being who is willing to honestly examine the evidence. What is the common factor?

who have gone astray are punished.
And if I think Muslims have gone astray? Should they be punished?

I treat atheists the same way I'd treat anyone else around me- UNTIL they interfere with my beliefs.
In other words, it is perfectly okay for Muslims to interfere with other people's beliefs but not okay for Kafrs or for secular representatives to limit aggressive religious expression no matter how obliquely, gently, limited or justified the interference. That is quite a double standard.

And No I am not of First Nations descent- and If I were- why does it matter?
Then you are very fortunate that I am not a racist and that I reject all forms of collectivism and tribalism. Otherwise, I and my Algonquian brethren might feel justified in applying the instructions prevalent in your core religious texts to hunt you down and to drive you off our land. How do you justify living in Canada on the land stolen from me?

Isn't that kind of injustice to me an injustice to all mankind? Why do I not see you fighting to right that injustice? Do you choose your causes for your personal convenience? I stand for my principles no matter the inconvenience.

As it happens, I fully embrace western liberal values, and I think Canada is a much better place for my Algonquian ancestors having lost. Unlike you, I do not demand anyone apply western liberal values for my sake for whom I would not reciprocate. I fully reject the illiberalism and intolerance of your chosen value system.

My ancestors, their brothers and sisters, friends and neighbours fought and died for my religious freedom as well as yours. Most Muslims who have fought and died, have fought and died trying to deny my religious freedom. If you were a good and decent person, perhaps you would express more gratitude and less defiance.

I feel your comments to be rooted from a long history of hate towards Islam and muslims.
My comments are rooted in my earnest study of your vile creed's core religious texts and recorded history. Your feelings are rooted in your own prejudice and bigotry.

I find those who oppress the religious rights of others because they do not understand it to have none.
You are lucky I am more tolerant of your wanton oppression of the religious rights of others. I care naught whether you understand my religion or whether you even attempt to understand it. If you are to deserve religious rights, you must respect and sanctify my religious rights. Regardless, I respect and sanctify your right to practice your religion freely to the full extent allowed by law. Until Islam overwhelmingly embraces ecumenism and secular law in the temporal world, it will remain a vile and brutal political ideology.

Can you please tell me how covering one's face one is able to escape their concience?
Since I have no reason to desire to escape my conscience, I have no idea what might be effective nor any desire to find out.

Bob Badour said at December 24, 2003 3:01 PM:

Yasmine,

Since when has recognizing a person's Ignorance, or lack of knowlege, meant that you are a bigot?
It is not possible to "recognize" nonexistent ignorance in a learned man such as myself or Randall. Thus, your accusation does not come from any external evidence, but from your own internalized bigotry.

Every comment, by the 'sisters' you use to support this claim refers to the ignorance of non-muslims about Islam
Given that none of the non-muslims participating in this thread of discussion are ignorant of Islam, I politely suggest your knee jerk retreat to ad hominem reveals a deep and abiding bigotry.

do you deny the fact that much of the 'rest' of the western world that share your same opinion in this matter
Most of the rest of the western world are completely ignorant of Islam, which is why your strategy of cloaking your intolerance and illiberalism behind a mask of western liberal vocabulary has fooled them so effectively. You seem unable to extrapolate the effects of your dissemblance to the inevitable backlash it will cause after your co-religionists' next act of vile aggression on western soil.

Much of my own family didnt know much about my religion
Does that mean you are an apostate like Hamida?

Which is what we are doing here.
If that were true, you and your sisters would not accuse me of ignorance and racism for making accurate descriptions of your core religious texts and recorded history. I find it very telling that you do not try to deny any of those accurate descriptions. I am sure you find it very inconvenient that your history describes your religion's founder as a larcenous, genocidal pedophile and tyrant, and that your core religious texts specifically deny my religious freedom and label me little more than vermin suitable only for extermination.

You and I both know I am not ignorant. You and I both know I can support my statements using your core religious texts and recorded history, which is why you avoid the facts and retreat to such lame sophistry.

it seems to be the ignorance
How do you justify your accusation of ignorance when the evidence Randall supplied suggests anything but ignorance as the cause?
The wearing of veils and chadors in France is not voluntary for many Muslim women.

The commission reported that many public schools have become cultural hot spots where Muslim students and families question the authority of women educators, forbid girls to play sports, assault Jewish students and disrupt classes about historical issues such as the Holocaust.
...
The report described an alarming rise in sexist abuse of girls in schools and housing projects where young men, threatening ostracism and violence, intimidate girls into wearing veils and other religious garb.
...
And it's not their parents, it's their brothers who are demanding that they put it on.

Writing for the New York Times Christopher Caldwell sees the headscarf debate as a consequence of a larger set of problems with Muslims in France.
Last year, the sociologist Emmanuel Brenner assembled a 200-page book, "The Lost Territories of the Republic,'' recounting dozens of incidents in which students directed ethnic slurs at their teachers and ridiculed lectures on the Holocaust. The book reportedly made a deep impression on Mr. Chirac. A half-dozen Jewish institutions have been burned to the ground, most recently in November, when an Orthodox primary school was torched in Gagny, a Paris suburb.

You apparently defend the abuse of the French and of Jews in France and allege their restrained attempts to defend themselves are somehow evil. You disgust me.

You take part of the below out of context and suggest it has something to do with ignorance:

to fight to take my right to practice my religion
How exactly is anyone doing that? You seem to object very strongly to a minor limitation in a narrowly defined context related to the public education of minors in a foreign country. What are your opinions on the religious restrictions in Mecca, Medina, Teheran, Aden and Khartoum?
You then accuse me of ignorance because: Islam is a faith that requires its followers to submit to Gods commandments, not those of man, and cannot be adjusted beacuse it appears offensive to the public.
I direct you to my first remarks on Islam in this thread:
Islamic injunctions are political injunctions and will remain so until Islam overwhelmingly embraces ecumenism and takes the enlightened position that secular law remains separate from and reigns over religion in the temporal world. Until that seemingly distant time, the Hijab will remain a political statement.

I suggest my remarks and conclusions demonstrate a sound comprehension of Islam. Islam is an illiberal and intolerant religion that explicitly rejects ecumenism, denigrates the liberal values upon which our society is based, and prohibits the separation of politics from religion. Either adopt our liberal values or leave us to our own. I will not allow you to destroy the beautiful society and values my ancestors fought and bled to deliver to the world. Do not expect any of your neighbours to sit by and allow you to destroy freedom, beauty and every ideal we hold dear.

Do not confuse the fact that we are slow to anger with the foolish idea you are making headway in your campaign to destroy liberal democracy, secular liberalism and the separation of church and state. You will fail utterly, and in the backlash your wailing sorrow will fall on deaf ears.

Whether you or anyone else agrees that Muslims are valid in our claim to follow Gods laws and not some 'lame rationalization" as you call it,
Please stick to what I actually said. The lame rationalization was the invented story about the dress of women in Mohammed's time contrasted with what Mohammed actually claimed was God's own word. One of you criticized Randall for responding to God's own word while ignoring the lame rationalization of more recent invention.

Consider the fact that they, (the places listed) clearly define who and what they do and dont want there. (good for them!) See how its clear.
As clear as mud. France and Germany clearly define who and what they do and don't want there. Apparently, they don't want the Hijab in their public school system. Good for them! See how a two-way street works?

(What religious freedoms would they be fighting to ENSURE there???)
Oh... my religious freedom ?? The freedom to practice atheism without threat of oppression. The freedom of young women born to Islam to choose atheism or christianity or judaism or shintoism or buddha instead. The Jews' religious freedom--for instance, to make pilgrimage to the location where their brethren the Banu Quraiza were massacred in cold blood and the holy place where their bones remain to this day. Being the enlightened person fighting for liberal religious freedom you claim to be, you would not want to tolerate any kind of double standard. Would you? Of course not, that would be indefensible hypocrisy.

Whereas in France they clearly give ppl these rights of religion.
Oh, so it is okay not to give religious rights to anyone if you are in Islam, but it is mandatory everywhere else. That is indefensible hypocrisy.

The word ignorant is given to a person who goes there (saudi or the like) under the assumption that they can for ex., preach Christianity or atheism publically etc.
Well, then. You will have no objection to the people of France finding a person similarly ignorant for preaching Islam or practicing Islamic rites like the Hijab in a tradionally Christian society like France. You seem completely and profoundly ignorant of the fact that western liberalism is a two-way street. It would seem your arguments are based entirely on ignorance and hypocrisy--by your own apparent standards for determining hypocrisy and ignorance.

Again ignorant meaning they dont know the law in this case.
You mean like someone who is ignorant that western liberalism transcends the law? And who is ignorant of the fact that western liberalism is the means by which we judge the justness of the law in the temporal world?

(Would you like to go there and have the right to define yourself as an athiest publically? If you do, more power to you, at least you have a cause)
Because I actually value and embrace western liberal values, I would find it extremely hypocritical and arrogant to immigrate to another country and then demand the country reject its values in favour of mine. Just as I find you hypocritical and arrogant for trying to use my western liberal values as a weapon for the destruction of those very values.

If the US attempted to take the right to hijab within the public setting away as well, it would be a contradiction of the right to religous freedom that the US clearly allows, and desires to 'share' with the rest of the world, and should be challenged.
The US already limits religious expression. Human sacrifice, for instance, is not tolerated in the US. Many localities no longer observe the Lord's Prayer in the classroom. Canada severely restricts freedom of expression with its hate speech laws and with the fascist Bill 101 in Quebec.

See how it works?
Yes, indeed, I do. You have one set of standards for Islam and another set of standards for everyone else.

make sure [freedom of expression is] really being upheld, and not there to serve the interest of just one group.
Believe me, I support freedom of speech including the right of those whose politics I find vile and repugnant. However, I have no problem with placing limitations on freedom of speech within narrowly defined contexts especially narrowly defined contexts related to the care and education of minors. Do you think the freedom of expression is the freedom to wantonly yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater to cause mayhem? If you do, you are a fool.

If a foreign country elsewhere does not wave that same banner of freedom, what can you say, at least there is no contradction within the law.
Who cares about consistency when discussing an internally consistent evil? The consistency does not diminish the evil.

If they want Islamic laws in these places, then they have the right to employ them.
If other places want to prohibit some Islamic practices, then they have the right to prohibit them. Right? Or do you insist on a hypocritical double standard?

We are discussing rights and the laws.
When you accept that secular law is separate from and rules over religion in the temporal world, let me know. When you embrace ecumenism, get back to me.

This is where the battle lies
Have you considered what your vocabulary communicates to the world? Fight, battle, Jihad, Warrior. Apparently, you find a need to attack and to fight everyone around you. Why is that?

you obviously understand that title [Kufr] well
Neither Allah nor any of his followers have fought and died for me or for any of my ancestors. You and your sisters in this thread enjoy the benefits of my ancestors' blood, sweat, toil and tears. I show gratitude where it is due.


Knowing what your core religious texts have to say on the subjects, I delight in being the Kafr debating these issues with you the hypocrite and Hamida the apostate.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Randall Parker said at December 24, 2003 5:28 PM:

So many Muslims who never lift their voices to oppose compulsory veil wearing in Saudia Arabia and Iran still use the rationanlization of individual rights to oppose the proposed French law against hijab headscarfs in France. Muslims in the West use liberal Western language with terms like "rights" to argue for why they should be able to wear the hijab headscarfs or engage in other Muslim practices. Yet Muslim societies do not accord non-Muslims full legal rights or protections of their beliefs or of their ability to spread those beliefs. I for one am not fooled.

Islam is deeply illiberal and is not compatible with Western classical liberalism with its emphasis on individual rights and the protection of individual belief and free speech. When Muslims make arguments for religious freedom for their benefit and use concepts and terms from Western liberalism such as individual rights the arguments are insincere and opportunistic. Islam does not recognize individual rights. Worse yet, Islam holds that non-Muslims are second and third class citizens or worse.

Monica said at December 24, 2003 10:02 PM:

Your posts may be long but are quite repetitive and full of bs....
May Allah guide you all on the path of the blessed and righteous...ameen

Bob Badour said at December 24, 2003 10:29 PM:

What specifically do you consider bs?

My posts are long and repetitive because your sisters do not seem to comprehend concise and succinct, and your sisters resort to the same baseless ad hominem ad nauseum.

As an atheist, I believe you waste your breath on Allah.

Farah said at December 27, 2003 11:44 AM:

Look at the expressions used: “Lower their gaze”, “be modest”, “not to display their adornment”, “draw the veils over their bosoms” “not to stamp their feet” etc.
Indeed. I see no incompatibility between the proposed laws and any of those expressions. The proposed laws do not compel Muslim boys to gaze in any particular direction nor do they compel Muslim girls to wear any adornment or to stamp their feet. Muslim girls' clothing could become as plain, shapeless and frumpy as they want without them wearing the Hijab.

Hey Bob,I have a few things to say to you. "draw their veils over their bosoms" - the word "veil" is just a translation of what the actual text in the Qur'an is. "veil" here, really means "head-covering" and therefore we ARE commanded to cover our heads. Furthermore, there are numerous narrations that the Holy Prophet(s.a.w) further explained these verses, concluding that Muslim women are required to wear full hijab, which is the covering of the entire body except the hands,face and feet and the complete code of modest conduct.

THerefore there are grounds for the compatibility between the proposed laws and the expressions of sister Yasmin.

So if you dont know something enough to hold your argument, or you're not a scholar of the qur'an and the arabic language, or you're not a Muslim woman who's abused everyday, then maybe you should shut up until you are one of the above.

Bob Badour said at December 28, 2003 6:24 PM:

Farah,

What are narrations compared to God's actual word? I do not read arabic. If arabic scholars tell me "veil" means "Dress like a ninja", I'll have to take their word for it.

However, I do not recall anything in my readings saying that modest muslim women should demand a free education from the Kafrs. In fact, I recall reading quite a bit about ignoring everything we Kafrs say and teach. If there is a conflict between your religious texts and the rules your neighbours establish for paying for your education, you are free to decline the handout for the sake of your religion or for any other reason.

My ancestors fought and bled for my right to speak freely and for my right to contribute to the legistlative process on this continent. Did yours? Who are you to tell me to deny my birthright and to disdain my ancestors' sacrifices? Don't you think that would be just a tad disrespectful to them and more than a little ungrateful?

yasmine said at December 29, 2003 6:04 PM:

Bob Badour

"Neither Allah nor any of his followers have fought and died for me or for any of my ancestors. You and your sisters in this thread enjoy the benefits of my ancestors' blood, sweat, toil and tears. I show gratitude where it is due"

Interesting that you conclude with comments about how YOUR ancestors fought and bled for your rights. You also ask if im an apostate. To what?? My ancestors, of both South and North America, also fought and died for my very right to be recognized as a human being. The reason why the majority of my family is ignorant of islam because they were not allowed to practice Islam, and were forced to adopt christianity, the religion of their slave masters, in order to survive. We have finally taken it upon ourselves to learn our history and embrace that which was forbidden to us. What do you suggest I do, go back to....., or coninute to deny what belongs to me so everyone can be happy and comfortable? (or change in order not to 'disgust' people like yourself?)

"Have you considered what your vocabulary communicates to the world? Fight, battle, Jihad, Warrior. Apparently, you find a need to attack and to fight everyone around you. Why is that?"

Coming from people who have had no other choice but to fight for the right to exist, I dont feel any shame in the usage of them [these words] Its a reality, ask the poeple who made it that way if they do, but definitley dont ask me to care if people feel threatened by them. People are often threatened when reality is staring them in the face, im not going to lie or sugar coat it.


Again if you want this to be a Why Bob dislikes Islam debate( which is nothing new) make that clear, you seem more concerned with sharing this view than actually discussing the issue. Its apparent that you feel your liberalism is superior to religious governing. Consider for one moment that there is a Creator, and that this creator gave humans a blueprint of how to live, which (if u beleived that this exists) would you think is superior?? You can continue to debate and name call all day long, but compared to the knowledge that our creator holds, your's is less than a grain of salt, and should and will be treated as such. Now talk about something you can actually argue and stop using this as your personal anti-islam sounding board, or at least be honest. Muslim womens' rights in France. Do you want them to be free to choose religion, not to wear hijab, to go to school, while denying those same rights to those that choose to wear hijab? I think its a matter of restricting "certain" rights to "certain" people, which is discrimination.........
If its threatening to the little ones and needs to be restricted for safety reasons, what are these reasons?
Merry Christmas?? are you christian and atheist, or do you get some satisfaction out of being ignorant?
( Im assuming you know that Muslims dont celebrate that holiday here)

Yasmine

Bob Badour said at December 30, 2003 1:07 AM:

Yasmine,

On the issue of your apostacy, a simple "Yes" would have sufficed.

I find your broadly revisionist pen amusing. The chance any of your pre-slavery ancestors were Muslim is vanishingly small. Vastly more probable, Muslims hunted down your animist ancestors like wild animals, imprisoned them and sold them into slavery--a thriving Muslim line of business that continues in parts of Africa to this very day.

In the infinitesimal chance any of your pre-slavery ancestors were Muslim, the question is whether one of the Muslim slave traders raped one of your ancestors or whether some animist or christian ancestor was converted to Islam at the point of a sword when Islam virulently and violently swept across parts of the African continent.

If you genuinely believe you are learning your history, you are deluded.

The fact that you and your ancestors have had the unpleasant task of defending yourselves against tribalistic, ie. racist, violence makes your defense of the Muslim violence against the French and in particular against the Jews in France just all that much more disgusting to me. By your standards, the civil rights movement in the US was evil because it limited the free expression of traditional racist values. Or do you think Americans should tolerate students wearing white hooded robes in the classroom?

Given that the incompatibility between western liberal values and racist oppression is what ultimately doomed slavery and guaranteed the success of the civil rights movement, I find your rejection of western liberal values in favour of religious intolerance and oppression further disgusting still. Which of us is truly ignorant?

At least you are honest enough to admit that your need to fight and to attack everyone around you comes from your knee-jerk racist hatred and from your choice of victimhood as self identity.

Again if you want this to be a Why Bob dislikes Islam debate
If you had any intellectual honesty, I would suggest you go back and read this debate to see that it was Bob who discussed the issue. You and your "sisters" turned the debate to "Why Islam hates Bob" by your constant retreat to ad hominem and sophistry. Sophistry and ad hominem that continues even in the above.

That western liberalism is superior to alleged theocracy is empirically evident to anyone with the intellectual honesty to actually examine the evidence. Or do you think it is more appropriate to burn young women alive because they forgot their headscarves while fleeing a burning building?

There is no Creator. I am an atheist. Remember? Ockham already took care of God for me.

You ask me whether I think the fragmented and schizoid rantings of a larcenous, genocidal pedophile are superior to my own judgement regarding right and wrong?!? Obviously, as a good and decent person, my own judgement far exceeds those insane ramblings.

You can continue to debate and name call all day long
You have called me ignorant and a racist, but you accuse me of name-calling? You are pathetic. I truly feel sorry for you.

Now talk about something you can actually argue

Holy Warrior,

Islamic injunctions are political injunctions and will remain so until Islam overwhelmingly embraces ecumenism and takes the enlightened position that secular law remains separate from and reigns over religion in the temporal world. Until that seemingly distant time, the Hijab will remain a political statement.

Recourse to the law will not protect a young woman before her mother beats her, her uncle rapes her or her brother kills her. Your suggestion is asinine. Sure, the police may investigate the crime (if ever reported,) and they may even achieve a conviction inspite of the family's attempts to impede justice. Not even a conviction, however, will unbeat, unrape or unkill the young woman.

Secular public education serves a number of functions including the provision of a safe environment for youth. While I believe in freedom of speech, I have no objection to placing limits on that right within a limited context--especially within a context limited to the care of minors. Adults enjoy many rights that children and youths simply lack, and I see no problem with this at all. Children and youths are not emotionally or cognitively prepared for the responsibilities or consents required by some rights enjoyed by adults.

If France and Germany resemble the other western democracies, I suspect that private religious schools must still meet certain curricular standards. Thus, those young women who choose to study in a private institution will still receive a quality education, which is quite different from the Taliban who simply banned young women from any kind of study.

Are you suggesting that the racists who removed their children from American public schools after desegregation should have had their "right" to public education preserved?

at least be honest
I have been perfectly honest in everything I wrote; I have not tried to conceal anything. Sadly, you and your "sisters" cannot claim the same. Your continued retreat to ad hominem is really getting boring. You are not fooling anyone. Why do you bother?

[According to my religious doctrine, your knowledge] is less than a grain of salt, and should and will be treated as such.
That is beginning to approach honesty. You are beginning to admit that you do not actually think about this issue (or any other) but oppose the Kafr on the basis of unthinking adherence to religious dogma. You are also beginning to expose the true nature of your religion, its intolerance, its rejection of any form of ecumenism, and to expose the lie about it being a religion of peace.

Muslim womens' rights in France. Do you want them to be free to choose religion
Yes, I want the young women to freely choose and to choose for religious reasons. I do not want them intimidated by their brothers for political reasons. By removing the issue from the public arena, the proposed French and German laws would obviate the political payoff for the Islamists' violent coercion and free the young women to choose for themselves according to their own religious mores.

Given the events--documented by Randall in his article and the updates to the article--driving the French and German peoples to propose such laws, do you think it is acceptable for young Muslim men and for Muslim families to question the authority of teachers, to forbid girls from playing sports, to assault Jewish students, to disrupt classes about the history of the Holocaust (or for any other reason for that matter), to abuse girls in schools intimidating them into wearing veils through threats of violence, to direct ethnic slurs at teachers, or to commit arson?

Do the peoples of France and of Germany have a right to defend themselves against such intolerance and violence? Would you prefer the peoples of France and of Germany respond with similar acts of violence? What is your solution? Or do you prefer to remain part of the problem?

On the one hand, you rant about the illegitimacy of the authority of secular institutions (and supposedly of teachers in those institutions) and on the other hand, you demand the right to have those secular institutions pay for your education. Your hypocrisy astounds me--especially considering what your religious texts say about hypocrites.

I think its a matter of restricting "certain" rights to "certain" people, which is discrimination.
If it is discrimination to restrict adult rights from children, then it is discrimination. However, I doubt many people would agree that children have those rights in the first place. Children lack the emotional and cognitive development to consent, which imposes limitations on their ability to function as rights possessing beings. It is the responsibility of parents and of society as a whole to give children boundaries, for their own protection, which again necessarily imposes limitations on their rights. Or do you disagree it takes a village to raise a child?

While I am a devout lifelong atheist, Christmas is a culturally important holiday and festive time for me and for everyone around me. As they say, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." I would not go to a predominantly Muslim culture and take offense at anyone greeting me with "Allahu Akbar". Nor would I walk down the street eating a Big Mac in a predominantly Muslim city at 2pm during Ramadan. Unlike you, I have some measure of grace and propriety.

Given your demands for religious freedom, what are you doing to end religious oppression and intolerance in Saudi Arabia? In Sudan? In Iran? In Afghanistan? In Indonesia? In Egypt? In Syria? In Jordan? In Yemen? etc?

Daniel said at January 6, 2004 9:14 AM:

one word ....RACIST

Bob Badour said at January 6, 2004 7:31 PM:

two words ...knee jerk

yasmine said at January 7, 2004 7:32 AM:

BOB,
Its quite evident that you believe your intellet and knowledge of "facts" as you call them, superior. You continue on about MY history as if you've done the research and findings on mine in particular and then go so far as to call me 'deluded' as if i have not. All that after stating that i am an apostate. My upbringing was Islamic because i was raised in a Muslim household BECAUSE my family is in fact Muslim. When i say argue something you actually are knowlegeable about, it covers these matters as well. And Yes, you do resort to name-calling quite consistently, as if these entires are in some way damaging to your ego, and always invoke some type of personal judgement of charactar from you. (If youre ignorant, you dont know something, thats not an insult) All this from a person who identifies themself as an atheist, but still accepts an obvious religious practice beacause the people around you do it. Maybe its you who is deluded or are you so conforming you would throw out your own principles for the sake of not disrupting the flow. Its no wonder you hold the opinion you do about the hijab issue, as you said "when in rome do as the romans do". According to what u wrote, there is no need for conviction, you dont seem to comprehend that, just do what the masses do.( maybe thats why aetheism is so fitting for you, just a thought) Is this correct? Furthermore you are responding to my entries based on what other posters have written.

I think its quite obvious I disagree with you in your thinking that western liberalism is superior to Islam. I know both, having been born and raised in the United States, while being guided through it with an Islamic identity, and also having traveled to Islamic lands. Being that I was in fact born within a society that is not Islamic, i have to understand and respect the people's rights to choose their faith other than Islam, whether it be atheism, christianity, etc. Thats the law of the land here, we have the right to freedom of religion to a certain extent. Being that i am surrounded by non-muslims,( alot of whom i consider good people), and muslims from all points of the earth, I see the superiority of Islam over the obvious 'other' in theory but more so in everyday practice. I dont beleive one group automatically superior to the other, just their way of living. In no way do i consider myself a victim, I knowingly represent myself as a Muslim in a non-muslim society where i could easily just be whatever is most acceptable. If in fact I am in a situation where I am forced to defend my faith and fellow Muslims, on paper, verbally, physically, I accept that too. I definitley am not in NEED of attacking everyone or anyone around me, like you suggest. If and when the opportunity to live and raise children in an Islamic society presened itself, i would have no problem leaving, as many of my fellow American-born muslims (in my community) have done. For now the opportunity to share Islam with fellow Americans who are actually interested in it, far exceed the number of times ive had to defend it. I am content in being what I am, even though its not always easy or popular. You can waste your time feeling sorry for me, but its truly a waste of time. Although i disagree with you,I dont feel sorry for you either. We are adults who have CHOSEN certain directions, there are no victims here.

YOU WROTE:
"The fact that you and your ancestors have had the unpleasant task of defending yourselves against tribalistic, ie. racist, violence makes your defense of the Muslim violence against the French and in particular against the Jews in France just all that much more disgusting to me."

I have in no way defended any violence against any people. I wasnt aware that the French people were victims of a long history of tribalistic, racism from Muslims. (Wasnt it the French who colonized Muslim lands??)What I am in defense of is the MUSLIM WOMENS RIGHTS TO PRACTICE ISLAM, WHICH INCLUDES WEARING HIJAB wherever they are. Lets try to stick to the subject and stay away from the personal attacks,assumptions, and baseless claims. My questions to anyone who would like to respond are:

1.If in fact the practice of wearing hijab is causing or contributing to this violence against the non-muslim French people, id like to know how exaclty it contributes

2. I would also like to know how the absence of the hijab due to a ban in classrooms or in the workplaces of France will in any way help to settle this problem. Or do you agree that this is most likely a step in the direction of a larger goal>>trying to eliminate by conforming the Muslim population there which will in fact cause this problem to worsen.

Do i support religious tolerance within those countries listed? If that means non-muslim minorities should be allowed to live there and worship according to their beleifs peacefully, yes. There are many non-muslims in those lands that have a birth right to be there. If the laws do exclude non-muslims who were not born there from living there, i support that too.

I'll end this post with a quote from The Quran (or muslim Holy book)

Al-Birr,or righteousness, as mentioned in QURAN , surah Baqarah is
"the quality of one who believes in God, the last day, the angels, the Book, the Prophets, and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to the poor, and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, perform prayers (salat), and gives Zakat and who fulfil their covenant when they make it, and who are patient in extreme poverty and ailment, and in times of battle, such are the people of the truth and they are the pious"

Also in surah Baqarah it says of the hypocrites of mankind:
" And when it is said to them, Make not mischeif on the earth, they say " We are only peace-makers" Verily! they are the ones who make mischeif, but they perceive not. And when it is said to them "Believe as the followers of Muhammad(pbuh) have beleived' they say "Shall i believe as the fools believed?" Verily, they are the fools, but they know not "


Yasmine

Bob Badour said at January 9, 2004 5:06 PM:

Yasmine,

Its quite evident that you believe your intellet and knowledge of "facts" as you call them, superior.
Superior? Superior to whom? Superior to almost all random samplings of the general public? Yes. Superior to an expert in these matters? No. Regardless, my knowledge of your faith suffices to expose your mendacity.

You continue on about MY history as if you've done the research and findings on mine in particular and then go so far as to call me 'deluded' as if i have not. All that after stating that i am an apostate. My upbringing was Islamic because i was raised in a Muslim household BECAUSE my family is in fact Muslim.
I never stated you are an apostate. I asked whether you are an apostate, and your "answer" certainly seemed to indicate it. If you are not an apostate, a simple "No" would have sufficed instead and would have avoided any miscommunication. Since your primary efforts here are evidently to camouflage the truth, I guess it is unreasonable to expect you to write anything without wrapping it in illusion.

Does this mean your parents or grandparents are apostates? I am just curious how most of your family came to have no knowledge of Islam. Have you convinced any of those family members to embrace apostacy?

Which of your Muslim ancestors was sold into slavery? By whom?

When i say argue something you actually are knowlegeable about, it covers these matters as well.
How does asking a question constitute an argument? I can see how trying to avoid a question constitutes an argument, and I find it very ironic when those who accuse others of ignorance consistently avoid answering questions.

And Yes, you do resort to name-calling quite consistently, as if these entires are in some way damaging to your ego, and always invoke some type of personal judgement of charactar from you.
I remind you that you accused me of name-calling, and I did not deny the accusation. I only observed the pathos in the apparent hypocrisy of your accusation, and I expressed my pity. You and your sisters have called me ignorant and a racist, when neither name actually applies. Noting that self-admitted apostacy makes one an apostate or noting that demonstrated hypocrisy makes one a hypocrite and then observing the irony of those facts is not quite the same as your own name-calling, is it? Laying out the evidence of your apparent bigotry is hardly the same as ignoring what you write and just attempting to dismiss you as a bigot.

Your writings demonstrate hypocrisy and bigotry. In fact, your religious dogma demands your hypocrisy, bigotry and mendacity, which is why I observe that the core texts of your religion pose a real problem for humanity. I am a kafr, and I am happy to be me. Hamida is an apostate to her previous faith as having a previous faith implies. I suppose calling a spade a spade is name-calling, but it's name-calling the spade by its proper name. If you want to name-call me "Bob", go right ahead. I don't mind. If you want to name-call me "racist" or "Muslim", go right ahead. While I might consider it a slur, I know it's a slur that doesn't really apply to me. While I might find it tedious having to point out the fallacy of the slur, the slur does not hurt me.

Does your armchair psychology apply equally to Mohammed? After all, we are talking about the names he uses in his fractured and incoherent rants: hypocrite, apostate, kafr etc. I count 30 hypocrites in the Qur'an (including the name of one entire chapter), at least two verses on apostacy and well over 100 kafrs. Oh wait, my mistake: Does your armchair psychology apply equally to Allah? I forgot you believe those fractured and incoherent rants are the actual word of God.

I am not exactly sure what you mean by "entires" above. Are you referring to uncastrated horses? The word doesn't seem to fit contextually.

Damaging my ego lies beyond your ability and beyond your mythical god's ability; although, it is well within my power.

If youre ignorant, you dont know something, thats not an insult
I did not take insult from your feeble arguments; I merely debunked them. If I am not ignorant of the matters discussed, it makes your accusation inaccurate and totally unimportant to me. Regardless, the accusation as an argument is nothing more than ad hominem. You ignore the content of what I write because you find my points valid and unassailable. Instead you attack me and my character, of which you know nothing. Ad hominem is the basest sophistry. No thinking person will find it persuasive. Of course, too few people think, which means you will find a somewhat receptive audience -- for now.

Since you seem so stuck on my alleged ignorance and the widespread ignorance of non-muslims, perhaps you could try to rectify the situation by answering the questions I have asked you? Here is a list:

  • Would the school system have the right to insist the children of a hypothetical creed wear clothes in the classroom?

  • If not, does this also apply in Islamic countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia?

  • Would you prefer to have been one of those Saudi girls who were burned alive than to compromise between modesty and education?

  • Are only NAMBLA members allowed to express opinions regarding prohibitions of pederasty?

  • Why should anyone else cover the costs of your religious conceits when we each cover our own?

  • How does giving greater weight to the alleged actual word of Allah over a lame rationalization of human origin and recent invention show disrespect for Islam?

  • You suggested you could read my motives when I said nothing about my motives. Are you suggesting you can read my mind or something?

  • What is your objection to giving God's actual word greater weight?

  • How do 1) your automatic and knee jerk dismissals of me as allegedly ignorant and racist, 2) your presumption I would find insult in my own religious beliefs, and 3) your assumption a 1400 year old book has perfect knowledge of my mind differ from the behaviours of a bigot?

  • By "all that applies to [kufr]", do you mean you accept your religion's doctrine that I am vermin suitable only for extermination?

  • How is anyone taking away your right to practise your religion?

  • What are your opinions on the religious restrictions in Mecca, Medina, Teheran, Aden and Khartoum? (What might have been your answer was quite obfuscated and an apparent attempt at dissemblance. Did you mean to say you wholeheartedly agree with those restrictions?)

  • If it is appropriate for Muslims to fight to ensure religious freedom in Dar al Kafr, which rights--thanks to my ancestors--they already have, do you mean to suggest it would be appropriate for the Kafr to fight to ensure religious freedom in Dar al Islam? (Or did you mean to answer that question with "Would you like to go [to Saudi Arabia] and have the right to define yourself as an athiest publically? If you do, more power to you, at least you have a cause." Incidentally, would you remain so confident of the result if the four or five billion non-muslims in the world took you up on the offer all at the same time?)

  • How do you justify your accusation that the proposed laws are based on ignorance when the evidence Randall already supplied suggests anything but ignorance as the cause?

  • If Saudi Arabia and Yemen define who and what they do and don't want in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, do you allow that France and Germany define who and what they do and don't want in France and Germany?

  • Being the enlightened person fighting for liberal religious freedom you claim to be, do you fight for the Jews' religious freedom to make pilgrimage to the holy gravesite of their slain brethren, the Bany Quraiza? Or do you apply a hypocritical double standard?

  • When you suggest we are talking about ignorance of the law, do you likewise suggest we are talking about the ignorance of those who do not realise that western liberalism transcends the law and provides the means to just the justness of law in the temporal world?

  • If you object to limitations on freedom of expression with narrowly defined contexts, do you think the freedom of expression is the freedom to wantonly yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater to cause mayhem?

  • If Islamic places have the right to impose their values on non-muslims, do you agree that non-Islamic places have the right to impose their values on muslims? Or do you apply a hypocritical double standard?

  • If France and Germany must tolerate students wearing Hijab in the classroom, do you think Americans must tolerate students wearing white hooded robes in the classroom?

  • Do you think an Islamic theocracy that forces young women to burn alive because they forgot their headscarves while fleeing a burning building is superior to western liberal democracy?

  • By demanding that France and Germany allow Hijab in the classroom to preserve muslim girls' alleged "right" to public education, are you suggesting that the racists who removed their children from American public schools after desegregation should have had their "right" to public education preserved?

  • Why do you bother with ad hominem that doesn't fool anyone?

  • Do you think it is acceptable for young Muslim men and for Muslim families to question the authority of teachers? (Or did you answer that question with "Islam is a faith that requires its followers to submit to Gods commandments, not those of man, and cannot be adjusted beacuse it appears offensive to the public" ?)

  • Do you think it is acceptable for Muslim families to forbid girls from playing sports required by the public school curriculum?

  • Do you think it is acceptable for young Muslim men to assault Jewish students?

  • Do you think it is acceptable for young Muslim men to disrupt classes about the history of the Holocause (or for any other reason?)

  • Do you think it is acceptable for young Muslim men to abuse girls in schools intimidating them into wearing veils through threats of violence?

  • Do you think it is acceptable for young muslim men to direct ethnic slurs at teachers?

  • Do you think it is acceptable for young muslim men to commit arson?

  • Do the peoples of France and of Germany have a right to defend themselves against such intolerance and violence?

  • If you object to the laws proposed to diminish this violence, would you prefer the peoples of France and of Germany simply respond with similar acts of violence?

  • What is your solution?

  • Do you prefer to remain part of the problem? (Or should we infer that answer from your silence on these questions?)

  • Do you disagree it takes a village to raise a child?

  • What are you doing to end the rampant religious oppression and intolerance toward non-muslims in Dar al Islam?

Instead of complaining about the world's ignorance of Islam, here is your chance to do something about it! Answer our questions with direct answers and relieve us of our ignorance.

All this from a person who identifies themself as an atheist, but still accepts an obvious religious practice beacause the people around you do it.
I am a devout atheist, and all atheists are highly religious. I accept on faith that no gods exist and that the universe exists without a creator. As any agnostic will point out, my faith has no credible basis in the temporal world just as your faith has no credible temporal basis--at least, no basis that anyone has yet discovered. A good agnostic will point out that could change at any moment.

I also observe the May 24 weekend and the Civic Holiday in August, and neither of those cultural and social observances have a religious tradition (unless you count my hedonistic idolatry as a religious tradition.)

Perhaps, if you honestly, fearlessly and searchingly examine the question of which of us truly speaks without knowledge or understanding, you will draw different conclusions on the topic of ignorance. I clearly understand the nature of your faith as evidenced by your complete impotence to compose a convincing counter to anything I write. You have yet to write anything demonstrating comprehension or tolerance of my faith--or anything demonstrating acceptance of my right to my faith or of my right to practise my faith. Western liberalism is a two-way street.

Maybe its you who is deluded or are you so conforming you would throw out your own principles for the sake of not disrupting the flow.
I have yet to throw out a single of my principles; I stick to them even when they are extremely inconvenient to me. If you had any knowledge or understanding of my principles, you would recognize that fact for yourself. Sadly you have no such knowledge or comprehension, and you have no apparent desire to learn.

According to what u wrote, there is no need for conviction, you dont seem to comprehend that, just do what the masses do.
Are you suggesting I should take offense at anyone greeting me with Allahu Akbar? Or that I should walk down the street in a predominantly Muslim country at 2pm during Ramadan eating a Big Mac? Should I also wave the Big Mac enticingly in front of every fasting Muslim I meet? Are you suggesting that grace and propriety are immoral?

Conviction is fine. I respect anyone who can accept the consequences of their convictions just as I do. Thus, I have tremendous respect for those devout Christians who homeschool their children due to the necessity of their religious and moral convictions. I have tremendous respect for the local Mennonites I see plowing their fields behind their horses just as I respect their pacifist and their "live and let live" convictions.

I have no respect for brutality such as the brutal violence and threats some young muslim men in France and in Germany use to oppress their sisters, their teachers and their neighbours. You appear to defend their brutality in the name of holy war. Why would you even risk that appearance if you do not actually defend it?

Is this correct?
No, it's anything but correct. You and your co-religionists remain obstinately ignorant of my faith and instead assume that fractured, incoherent rants from a larcenous, genocidal pedophile represent better knowledge of my mind than my own--perfect knowlege, in fact. Or do you grant me a "grain" on the topic of my own mind?

Furthermore you are responding to my entries based on what other posters have written.
You are free to point out specifics if you want. Are you the same Yasmine who wrote: "i speak for Muslim women and for Islam" ? Are you the only one who can speak for Muslim women and for Islam? Just curious.

I think its quite obvious I disagree with you in your thinking that western liberalism is superior to Islam. I know both,
I know both too, and I compare them solely by rational criteria. You reject one and embrace the other on the basis of dogma.

i have to understand and respect the people's rights to choose their faith other than Islam, whether it be atheism, christianity, etc. Thats the law of the land here
Are you the same Yasmine who wrote:

Islam is a faith that requires its followers to submit to Gods commandments, not those of man, and cannot be adjusted beacuse it appears offensive to the public.
? Just curious.

freedom of religion [exists in the West] to a certain extent
To what extent is that? And how does it compare to the extent of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Jordan etc.?

I dont beleive one group automatically superior to the other, just their way of living.
As they say and I wryly observe: "That's mighty white of you." I personally lack the requisite arrogance to consider any person's way of life inferior to my own. I just don't think in terms of superiority and inferiority when it comes to people and how they choose to live. I think in terms of compatibility, tolerance, acceptance, comfort, ease, happiness etc.

When I compare the foundations of law and governance, I do think in terms of superiority and inferiority, and I evaluate those as some weighted average of humanity, dignity, liberty and economy. Western liberalism is evidently superior to alleged theocracy on all four counts. Theocracy is tyranny.

In no way do i consider myself a victim, I knowingly represent myself as a Muslim in a non-muslim society where i could easily just be whatever is most acceptable.
What, then, was the point in mentioning your slave masters instead of answering a simple yes/no question?

definitley am not in NEED of attacking everyone or anyone around me, like you suggest
Why, then, did you falsely accuse me of ignorance and racism? Why do you apparently defend and attempt to perpetuate the actions of young muslim thugs in europe? Why do you embrace such bellicose vocabulary: Fight, battle, Jihad, Warrior ?

I have to take back my earlier statement ceding recognition of some honesty on your part.

If you have no need to attack, stop attacking.

For now the opportunity to share Islam with fellow Americans who are actually interested in it, far exceed the number of times ive had to defend it.
That's rather unkind of you--attempting to doom them to dreadful penalties, to have their souls taken and to have their faces and backs smitten.

You can waste your time feeling sorry for me, but its truly a waste of time.
I don't feel sorry for your embrace of your faith; I feel sorry for your rejection of your intellect. And I agree, it is a waste of time, but I waste time in lots of ways so why not waste it pitying you? Are you suggesting I should consider you beneath pity?

We are adults who have CHOSEN certain directions, there are no victims here.
The victims attend public school in France and in Germany or look sadly on the burned ruins of their synagogues there. The young muslim women who want to wear the Hijab are not victims with or without the proposed laws.

I have in no way defended any violence against any people.
Why, then, do you oppose such a restrained and effective response to the violence perpetrated by their brothers against some young muslim women in europe? When you fail to answer direct pointed questions like "What is your solution?", you will have to accept that others will make mistakes interpreting your position.

I wasnt aware that the French people were victims of a long history of tribalistic, racism from Muslims.
What relevance does the length of history have to current and ongoing tribalistic violence? The tribalistic violence being perpetrated by young Muslim men is current and ongoing; we have to address the violence in the present. Would you prefer to ignore your Muslim brethren's present violence while dwelling on the actions of those long dead?

Wasnt it the French who colonized Muslim lands?
Wasn't it the Muslims who violently attacked and conquered those same lands? Do you really want to dwell on history? Would you care to address Mohammed's history of larceny murder, genocide and pedophilia?

What I am in defense of is the MUSLIM WOMENS RIGHTS TO PRACTICE ISLAM, WHICH INCLUDES WEARING HIJAB wherever they are.
None of the proposed laws would strip that right. Young women in France who choose that right will simply choose not to be in a public school wherever they choose to be. Nobody forces them to accept a handout or the conditions that come with the handout.

Lets try to stick to the subject and stay away from the personal attacks,assumptions, and baseless claims.
I am still waiting for you to get to the subject, to abandon your ad hominem, to cease your ignorant assumptions and to avoid making your baseless claims. I haven't operated on assumption, and I can provide the basis for each of my claims.

If in fact the practice of wearing hijab is causing or contributing to this violence against the non-muslim French people, id like to know how exaclty it contributes
Your question ignores the violence perpetrated against some young muslim women to force them to wear a garment they prefer not to wear.

How did the practice of wearing a white hooded robe cause or contribute to violence against blacks in America?
How does the practice of wearing a red bandana cause or contribute to violence against people in neighborhoods where members of the Crips live and congregate?
How does shaving one's head and tatooing a spiderweb over one's elbow contribute to violence against blacks in America?
How did wearing a brown shirt contribute to violence against Jews in europe?

How does flying one's colours ever contribute to tribalistic violence?

I would also like to know how the absence of the hijab due to a ban in classrooms or in the workplaces of France will in any way help to settle this problem. Or do you agree that this is most likely a step in the direction of a larger goal trying to eliminate by conforming the Muslim population there which will in fact cause this problem to worsen.
Your question does not seem to make any sense. Since it is very difficult to respond coherently to that which is incoherent, I apologize in advance should I fail:

Young muslim men will have no incentive to harm their sisters to compel Hijab in public schools if public schools disallow Hijab. Since young muslim men will not have a political incentive for violent compulsion in a less public arena, I think the proposed laws would at least diminish the problem.

If the larger goal is living peacefully with one's neighbours including muslims, atheists and Jews, then I agree this is most likely a step in the direction of a larger goal. I am not sure what you are suggesting the goal seeks to eliminate. If you mean to suggest the goal seeks to eliminate violent aggression perpetrated by muslim men, then yes, I think the goal is to eliminate the violence. If conformity to common decency and to mutual respect would eliminate Islam, then I say "Good riddance!"

Do i support religious tolerance within those countries listed? If that means non-muslim minorities should be allowed to live there and worship according to their beleifs peacefully, yes. There are many non-muslims in those lands that have a birth right to be there. If the laws do exclude non-muslims who were not born there from living there, i support that too.
Are you saying that Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Jordon, Syria, Afghanistan etc. should tolerate the evangelism of non-muslim minorities whose evangelical religious beliefs require they proselytize? Does this right exist? What are you doing or have you ever done to guarantee this right?

Keep in mind when answering the last question above that my ancestors fought and bled for your religious freedom on three continents, and keep in mind that not one of my ancestors ever imported, bought, sold or owned an african or caribbean slave. Nor did a single one of my ancestors ever benefit from the african or caribbean slave trade in any way.

Are you suggesting the French should specifically limit their proposed law to Algerian girls in the public school system? Would that make the proposed law just in your mind? I assume from your reply that you would have no objection to an American ban on travel and immigration from Muslim countries and no objection to a ban on Muslim non-citizens immigrating or travelling to the United States.

Since you ended with quotations from the Qur'an, I'll supply one of my own:

But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war);
Does 'every stratagem' include mendacity and ad hominem? Does it include the fire bombing of synagogues and schools? Does it include the undermining of secular authority in schools?

And I'll end with a quotation from my own personal religious text:

Fool me once, "Shame on you!" Fool me twice, "Shame on me!"

Yasmine said at January 13, 2004 9:18 AM:

I apologize for not answering every single question, as i am responding in between classes ( By entires, i meant entries)


The solution is either going to be some political action from the Islamic community there that will fight to ensure this right,and or placing of muslim girls who wear hijab in a setting where it is allowed (thats if the ban is put into place). My personal suggestion is to "fight" in the courtrooms of France, continue to show support through peaceful demonstrations and petitioning, and to continue to wear it, as a sort of boycott, as i would do here if the same propasal was suggested. The greater goal of any Muslim community in any setting is to ultimately build schools in which muslim children can be educated in an Islamic setting, by Muslims. Maybe this will be a push in that direction or at least it should be. As far the students who are muslim who disrupt the classrooms there in France, they should be punished according to the rules of the schools there, with no exceptions. Again Muslim women, those who "choose" to wear hijab are the ones i am defending. They are the ones who recognize it as a religious duty and obligation. As for the other girls whos families make them wear it, thats life, we have to things we dont want to do all the time, no matter what our families' religion.(Not through violence of course)
The ultimate goal of the muslims should be SEPERATION if all else fails. Many things about Islam are viewed as threatening to non-muslims, i think ive already shared how i feel about that. if hijab is one of them, let it be, im not in the business of trying to conform my ways for others comfort level, obviously thats not the Muslim way.

Yasmine said at January 14, 2004 4:29 AM:

Bob,

I will atttempt to answer all or most of the questions you posed.

No I dont support any violence inflicted upon muslim girls by anyone, No I dont think anyone should call anyone an ethinic slur, no I dont think anyone should comit arson. Yes i do think students' families should be able to question the people who are educating their children. Yes, families can forbid their children to play sports. No i dont agree that people should be burned alive, no i dont think western liberalism is superior to islamic 'theocracy"..... have to answer the rest later

Natalya said at January 14, 2004 7:02 AM:

I've read some of your comments and skimmed others, and i'd just like to offer one piece of advice-whatever happens with the banning of the headscarf and the different view points on the hijab, it will happen for a reason.

i am a christian, and although i dont agree with what france is saying, i think that the only way that it will be sorted for you islamic women out there is to pray to God for guidence and support through whatever happens-after all, this is what its all about isnt it? religion. and although some people (mentioning no names) want to ban the headscarf for racist and pathetic reasons, they have not yet come to realise that God loves us all, and if you pray for them to be shown the light and understanding of peace and getting along, that is the only way that what is happening will be right, whether it be that they are banned in public sectors or not.

i hope that this is not an argument for who can have the last word, but for what is correct for those women in french society under the eyes of God.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Yasmine said at January 14, 2004 8:36 AM:

Natalya,
Thankyou for your words of advice, I agree that what is correct in any society under the eyes of God is what is most important.

Bob,
....continuing with my answers to your questions, No I dont fight for all rights of all people of all religious groups or of any group because I dont beleive in all of their causes, of course I am biased in regards to this matter. I wont support all peoples rights to do whatever they please just for the sake of saying i am pro-freedom. For example I wont support the building of a statue of Buddha next to the Kaaba, or the building of a church in Saudi Arabia, or the destruction of a masjid in the US in order to build a I do support A Muslim womans right to wear hijab and a right to be educated in all settings among other religious rights. The determining factor is what is Right and Just according to what God's teachings are, and given the fact that you among others dont believe in our [Muslims] claims to be following God's commandments, What really is the point of arguing that further? Isnt that really a matter of belief?

Me respecting other peoples rights to practice their religion in the US does not interfere with my practice of Islam, its rare to find people of other religious groups here who are not willing to conform their own practices. However, if it did, and im sure it will eventually, i would have to make the decision to either stay and fight it or leave it. Which is ultimately what the French Muslimahs who wear hijab will have to decide if the ban is put into place. As for your comment about me "dooming" those that I meet that are interested in Islam, thats absurd. Consider the fact that many converted muslims, or apostates as some like to call them, actually do it completely out of personal choice, with no insistance from any evangelical Islamic group, no widespread movement to convert people, no family force. In other words its a personal choice for many, and its an increasingly popular one, especially among women. I am not dooming anyone, according to you they are dooming themselves. I DO think in terms of superiority and inferiority, thats why I choose Islam as my religion, it is a superior way of life over all others [ways of living]. The seperation I mentioned in my previous post does not mean total seperation from all non-muslims, but from those who obviously dont respect Islam and Muslims. As long as there are muslims in France, or elsewhere, people outside of it will feel uncomfortable and maybe even threatened by its very existance. Personally, I dont see a point in trying to integrate with those that truly dont want you there. Building Islamic schools and communities, as i said before, should really be the ultimate goal. The headscarf is not what the problem is, its quite clear theres a larger goal behind it is. Observe a group of drunks amongst a recoverd alcoholic, or one who doesnt drink at all, they [the drunks] are often times both angered and threatened by their very presence. How often to people enjoy having their way of life challenged, Islam does just that, and does not apologize for the inconvienences along the way.

razib said at January 15, 2004 5:56 PM:

would you support the *RIGHT* to build a church in saudi arabia?

shaha said at January 16, 2004 6:32 AM:

WHATS A mohammedan?

shaha said at January 16, 2004 6:32 AM:

WHATS A mohammedan?

Iz said at January 29, 2004 6:33 PM:

Lets get something clear, Islam is a religion of barbarity. When in the history of the world did it produce anything of any social value?? come on!
what wonderful social institutions or positive cultural values have developed under its influence?? judicial systems? etc.. Is there one?
Maybe genital female mutilation??
Based on its record should it have any rights at all? Would you give any rights to Nazis to wear the swastika?
Where does all this nonsense come from that islam is a religion of peace and tolerance??
Anyone who propagates such nonsense is a sandwich short of a picnic!
Sure let people worship whom they chose to worship, but lets not give it any public prominence. Get rid of its visible symbol.
I feel sorry for the jews who have had to endure antisemitism in the past and now have to endure it from one of their sworn enemies. (no I'm not Jewish).

Political correctness is for the birds!!

Bob Badour said at January 31, 2004 3:18 PM:

Iz,

Individuals have rights -- not groups. Thus Catholicism has no rights; although, individual Catholics have rights. Nazism has no rights; although, individual Nazis have rights. Islam has no rights; although, individual muslims have rights.

I am still waiting for Yasmine's answer to Razib's question. Clearly, she does not support the building of a church in Saudi Arabia, but does she support an individual Christian's right to build one should he so desire? Ie. Does she support the individual's right to freedom of religion and the individual's right of free association? Or does she only use the word to demand concessions from others?

yasmine said at February 17, 2004 4:33 PM:

Iz, your lack of knowledge of the history of Islam and Muslims is clear.

No i dont and wouldnt support the right to build a church, I dont support the right to gay marriage either for example. Do these individual people have the right to do so, sure.

abu bakr said at February 19, 2004 10:48 AM:

Is Bob still there. I come not in peace but with a sword.

abu bakr said at February 19, 2004 11:51 AM:

Okay Sisters and Brothers,

As salaam aleikum,
You have been doing a very good job of defending the one true faith. Now. Let's deal first with the sad case of Bob. Bob is excreting on this site a Satanic mixture of lies, prejudice and illogical reasoning. Bob needs to review his freshman notes on Logic. I am living in France and as a muslim (believing and practicing)I am aware that Bob and others are using this hijab situation to express a virulent hatred of Islam.

Like all of the prejudiced, what they hate is not the reality of the object itself, but their abstraction of that reality. In short, Bob has not been talking about Islam at all. As the Nazis constructed an image of the Jews and Jewry that they then choose to hate, Bob is projecting onto a construct that he chooses to call "Islam" all of the well-known categories of prejudice alive and incarnate in the sick Western soul. What are these categories of prejudice? As far as islam is concerned they have chosen to present their prejudices in a series of opposing dualisms that have reverberated throughout their histories.

We speak of labels that have been used against minorities in their own countries and civilisation of orgin (minorities of the same race) and then these same dualities were used against the peoples with whom they came in contact in foreign lands. These dualisms or binariesinclude "barbarian/civilised", "fanatical/moderate", "backward/enlightened", "mmisogynist/feminist" and now "homophobe/liberal"....

Bob, the pseudo intellectual is defending a civilisation that he also has transformed into a mental construct, totally divorced from the reality. It is a civilation that is forced, given its terrible human rights record to transform and project itself as an artificial construct. Its vaunted defence of freedom, liberty and tolerance may hide the fact that Bob's ancestors lit out from the Old World under the fire and sword of their white christian countrymen, ran down to America or wherever and thereafter lauched the worst example of genocide known to man. The elimination of the native peoples in the New World is a crime against humanity surpassing what the Nazis did to the Jews.

Bob's vaunted people then kept Red Injun and N..er in a state of such degradation for such a long time that he is in no position to compare his civilization with Islam's record in human rights. His is a civilisation unable to regard itself in the mirror after the centuries of serfdom and slavery and degradation of women.

His is a civilisation so anxious about its place in history and so horrified by its own record, repressed in the collective psyche, that it is desperate to find a villian on which it can project its own barbarities.

Bob is therefore in a dialogue with himself. His is an act of exorcism. Each time he convinces himself that his "other" the evil muslim is bad, it drives into the shadows the devilishly uncomfortable memories of his own history; So, brothers and sisters, understand Bob's condition. A psychosis of sorts. An alienation from himself, which is the only way he can stand himself. He is essentially a man cursing into the mirror. You reading and responding to him is therefore a sort of therapy for him. He desperately needs to convince himself that the superior rationality of the white man, which he vaunts, has and will save him from the demons that have had possession of his soul for the long centuries.

Bob, we understand you. Pray. Seek the solace of the Lord who can salve the most tormented of souls. As for your atheism, it is a pathetically ridiculous existential posture. Unsustained by argument or evidence. Just another example of the dereliction always present in your civilisation. You are the original barbarians remember. the pagans who paganised Christianty. The cannibals who consumed entire cultures and peoples. The hell hounds. The shrill irrationality of your despatches here, with their schizophrenic tension, the risible self-adulation of the faux atheist become his own God, the Satanic assault on all those values that exalt and protect the children of men.. suggest that something is desperately wrong Bob.

As to Iz, he or she needs first to get an education. Iz lacks the most elementary knowledge of islamic and world history. He:she also suffers the additional handicap of inadequate powers of reasoning . What emerges from the infantile mind is that putrid mix of ignorance and prejudice guaranteed to reduce any discussion to an exchange of imbecilities. Sit down to read any recognised scholar in the field of Islamic studies. Muslim or not. No one with half an education brings this follishness to a discussion. But you guys must be very young.

Make sure you come back to me, Bob and Iz etc. For, having now framed the discussion we may proceed to an examination of the lies you have regurgitated here. Stay around, you will find the exercise enlightening and salutary.

Abu Bakr Seifuddin (the sword of the true faith)

Bob Badour said at February 19, 2004 1:27 PM:

Abu Bakr,

Take care your medieval sword does not meet the shotgun of modernity.

Bob, the Algonquian Indian, wonders what the hell you are talking about when you refer to his Old World ancestors and their elimination of his red indian relatives.

Bob did not attack some abstraction of your faith. Bob made factual observations of your faith's core texts and the history of the founder of your cult. Instead of making baseless accusations of prejudice, perhaps you could address the specifics?

I never took freshman logic; however, I use predicate logic on a daily basis in my career. Can you point to some specific example of my failure to use logic correctly?

In any case, I think I will let this thread die on the note of Yasmine's explicit and voluntary admission that she rejects the constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of religion and of free association, which renders her previous arguments hypocritical and nothing more than self-serving cynical demands.

abu bakr said at February 19, 2004 7:00 PM:

Hey Bob,

Sorry to hear that you are planning to be gone. So Yasmine "rejects constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of religion and of free association". Apparently you find this reprehensible. How do you square your sterling advocacy of these rights with your defence of a politically motivated french attempt at their abridgement re: the head covering affair. Here is an example of your illogic. Christians need to enjoy these rights even in non-secular muslim countries which have clearly circumscribed and defined the rights on offer to non-muslims. Muslims may be denied these rights in Christian countries which hypocritically pretend to uphold them.

Remember, hypocrisy is the fundamental problem in the Euro-Christian world. It has been so historically. Now you wish us, muslims, to live the same type of contradiction/conflict between a faith on the one hand and, on the other hand, a practice entirely at the command of the opinion of the day, the politically correct of the moment. The west will continue to live its hypocrisies. They may one day come for you too. Hypocrisy runs deep in the culture and will resist all logic. Even if it means roasting all the "Algonquin Indians" who, in betrayal of their ancestors' blood, have now become the cunning scouts of the same wicked old settler army. Tracking the enemies of the Old Settler. Assiduous in the conduct of their duties. Gimlet eyed, mercilless, a savage essence one has trained, as a dog is trained, to serve...

Bob, your claim of Algonquin blood, if true, betrays, by your defence of prejudice and ignorance, an even deeper level of alienation from yourself. Wake up and pray Bob. The hour may be at hand. Before the Most High, your proud but pitiful "pilpul" (casuistry)will evaporate. Muhammad, paedophile? What was the average age of marriage or engagement of the European Monarchy or pesantry at a similar period in history? What is the average age of commencement of sexual relations by american girls? Here in France its fourteen. At what age did you have your first experience? Are you, by your own definition a paedophile too? Don't go now Bob. let's tango, as they say wherever you're from.

The ghost of many an Algonquin Indian grimaces in distaste from a place near at hand. The spirits of the ghost dancers turn, invisible, in an unending gyre, around your bed as you sleep. The shrivelled and blackened soul of the atheist, blind, quivers fitfully in the dirty little body. Life has gotten to you. But will you get it?

Have hope therefore my Satanic friend. All is not lost. Approach the throne of the Merciful humbly and with contrition. He will free you of the shackles of ignorance and sin. Bring out the best in you. The scales will fall from your eyes. You'll soon be volunteering for martyrdom when I'm done with you. Step lightly now. Let's see that spring in your step and that sparkle in your eye. Remember the stakes remain the green valleys and the virgins (never mind your sexual preferences now Islam will rid you of them). Or despair, darkness, and the lake of fire. Come back to us Bob. We here, in the other world.

Abu Bakr

Randall Parker said at February 19, 2004 7:25 PM:

Yasmine, From your answer I can conclude that you want the West to accommodate whatever Muslims want. But you do not actually recognize the individual right to freedom of personal religious belief.

Abu, I will not pretend to even suppose there is a possibility that you believe Western ideas about individual rights. You have made perfectly clear that your beliefs in your religion come before any recognition of rights of non-Muslims. So do not complain about French violations of your rights. You do not recognize the universal rights the French believe in.

As for less than perfect respect for various rights in Western countries: As Jesus put it "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God". You can judge the West mainly by its flaws. All governments have flaws because all governments are made by people. But what is impressive about the Western countries is just how far many of them have progressed in respecting rights of individuals.

Islam is not compatible with the West. That much is clear. Muslims use Western terms and Western values in order to pursue tactical advantages. But there is no recognition on the part of Muslims that non-Muslims deserve equal civil rights. Therefore do not complain to me about your headscarfs. You do not seek the right to wear them because of a desire to allow all to have religious freedom. You'd be happy to force many times worse restrictions on religious expression of non-Muslims if only you were in control in Western governments.

Bob Badour said at February 19, 2004 7:56 PM:

Apu,

Rights are not absolutes. Freedom of speech does not grant one the right to cause mayhem in a crowded theater.

What is clear is Yasmine absolutely rejects the above rights in whole cloth while making petulant and insincere demands of those whose rights she would outright deny. What is clear is you absolutely reject the same rights.

Both of you are hypocrites.

n:
  • A person who professes beliefs and opinions that they do not hold.
  • One who, for the purpose of winning approbation of favor, feigns to be other and better than he is.
  • I hold and practice my beliefs even when inconvenient to me.

    You claim that I defend prejudice and ignorance, but I am not the one defending your faith or any other faith per se. I am not the one making ignorant, bigoted claims about my ancestry. Any open minded person will find I have consistently condemned the actual prejudice and ignorance in this thread.

    The concepts of rights, of individual rights in particular and of government by consent of those governed, do not represent prejudice and ignorance. Those concepts represent reason and knowledge. Your posts, Apu, represent prejudice and ignorance.

    While I am Algonquian, I reject tribalism because it is brutish and evil. You embrace tribalism for reasons unknown to any rational being.

    Again, I will let this thread die by noting Yasmine's open and free admission that she rejects the individual's rights of freedom of religion and of free association, which makes her previous arguments hypocritical and nothing more than self-serving cynical demands.

    abu bakr said at February 19, 2004 9:21 PM:

    Thank you for your response Bob and Randall.

    I needed to be clearer. The case against the construction of Churches in Saudi Arabia has to be taken in comparison with a case for a Mosque in the Vatican, or an abbatoir in the sacral space of a hindu shrine. Each faith has defined spaces for itself, on its sovereign territory, that is consecrated. Each church, temple or synagogue, is sacred space. For Muslims, much of the space in saudi Arabia is sacred space. Also, do not forget we were an empire with devotees of a variety of religions within our territories. Their sacred spaces often(not always) was respected. We have a long history of cohabitation with other faiths.

    Did we, like the catholics, prescribe rules of dress for the Jews. In one case, a pope prescribes a yellow hat. In another case Jewish dress was banned. there is one case in Muslim history where a little despot in Bokhara legislated Jewish wear; But apart from setting the limits of decency in dress. Muslims are pretty tolerant. Demonstrate otherwise with concrete examples of widespread problems, not the exceptions you wish to elevate to the status of rules.?

    The idea of sacred space should be considered with reference to the works of Mircea Eliade.

    You guys need to look deeper at the way religions work and human space is segmented. Look also at the fact that in Coptic Egypt, Syria, Lebanon etc; countries with muslim majorities, Christians build churches.

    Let me set you guys a study assignment. Examine the issue of individual freedom as it pertains to dress, with reference to the Frennch agression against the head covering. Outline how the state may legislate minimum amounts of dress but is usually silent on maxima. Explain how the principle limiting the state to setting minimum limits is not violated by the use of the head covering.

    Situate the conflict in America, land of Freedom, and suggest ways in which the state may legitimately ban yarmulke, Jewish Lubavitcher head covering, hindu wear etc, in the interest of uniformity and to facilitate the integration of minorities. These, after all are the arguments the French use.

    Bob, I really don't know that you are Prejudiced. You certainly lack clarity on the issues. Randall, "All have sinned and come short of the glory." That is no excuse for continuing to sin. On the day of judgement Randall, when the argument will ring hollow.

    For your education. Why is individual freedom or human rights considered western concepts. At what precise point in time did they appear in western history. What were the new rights. What was the condition in the muslim territories with respect to those rights and at what time was "human rights" instituted in muslim or Jewish tradition or scripture.

    What is the Islamic position on individual freedom and human rights. What are the limits islam sets and what is its historical record on human rights compared to the west whose defender Randall pretends to be.

    Before I go further, let me congratulate you guys on a nice, very stimulating site. Whatever our diffences will continue to be the documentation is valuable to my own reading as here where we do not get the US papers.

    Keep up the good work. Islam is not against the logical examination of any of its precepts. This is encouraged. It is not against criticism. This is accepted. Keeps the believers on their feet. What islam is against is the lie, the irrationality, the prejudice. Guard therefore your souls against the works of the Devil. For Beelzebub travails to lead you into the lake of fire.

    Remember. Your Lord is the Mighty, the Merciful. The Sublime. The Supreme. And above all, the loving and the kind.

    Bob, my sword, sharper than Occam's razor, will lop the head off every lie and render in morsels the illogicalities that are daily brought before us here. Let this be for you a learning experience. On islam consult the works of Prof. Bernard Lewis and other non muslim scholars in addition to muslim writers, the Qur'an etc. After that, you will make a judgement.

    Bob Badour said at February 19, 2004 10:41 PM:

    With all due respect, the Vatican corresponds to the Kabaa and not to the entire Arabian peninsula. Are you suggesting Italy should ban Mosques?

    The constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of religion in the West came about by rational sober thought after observing several centuries of otherwise pointless tribal bloodshed. What the Catholic church did prior to that is pretty much irrelevant to an atheist like me.

    On the behalf of all who value enlightened thought, I declare Europe and both Americas sacred places for those who actually defend the right of religious freedom for everyone and not just their own faith. Does that make the french public school dress code now acceptable to you?

    Since the only lies, irrationality and prejudice have come from avowed Muslims in this thread, I have to wonder what you are talking about.

    I have already examined the texts, and I have already made my judgement.

    Yet again, I will let this thread die by noting Yasmine's open and free admission that she rejects the individual's rights of freedom of religion and of free association, which makes her previous arguments hypocritical and nothing more than self-serving cynical demands.

    Randall Parker said at February 19, 2004 11:20 PM:

    The irony here is that from a Christian religious perspective Jerusalem and Bethlehem are the most important sites. Yet of course there are synagogues and mosques in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Vatican City holds no special place in the hearts of non-Catholic Christians and Vatican City is a small place surrounded by the city of Rome which, in turn, is within Italy. But within Christianity there really is no theological basis for arguing that some plot of ground is sacred above all others. So holy sites just don't have much importance.

    As for Saudi Arabia: The Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia even force the Shias to worship in mosques that look Wahhabi.

    Copts in Egypt: Coptic churches are attacked in Egypt and the Egyptian government makes it hard to build or repair churches. Even when Copts get permission to build churches the authorities sometimes step in and destroy them.

    Christians are second and third class citizens in Muslim lands. Christian populations gradually or rapidly dwindled in lands that Muslims conquered because of forced conversions, persecution, higher taxes, and a lack of recognition of Christian (or any non-Muslim) rights in Muslim courts. The economic disadvantages alone were enough to prevent Christians from reproducing at the same rate as Muslims and so their populations gradually dwindled.

    Bob Badour said at February 23, 2004 8:16 AM:

    If Christians are second or third class citizens in Muslim lands, what are atheists like myself?

    abu bakr said at March 1, 2004 1:45 AM:

    Was away (in a muslim country). In response. The policies and politics of any dictatorship in the Middle East is not really what is at issue here. Don't talk to me about Western enlightenment. Remember that the Saudis, Saddam, Mubarak in Egypt etc. are and were western creations. Ignorant despots who oppressed their peoples (muslim or otherwise) with the full connivance and support of a west which enjoys the distinction of a hypocrisy that knows no bounds.

    Bob, what is this about the enlightenment being an access of "rational, sober thought". You forget that not only did the West not extend the definition of humanity on which it based secular humanism to entire categories and races of men in foreign lands, but that it limited the rights it had "discovered" to certain categories at home. Where was that rationality a mere fifty years ago where blacks or Jew faced extermination in the West? Point to a similar event in the Muslim world. As to the Saudi definition of their sacred space, that is for them to decide in all sovereignty. They do not pretend, as do the French, to a secularism. What we are debating is the inconsistency, as always, between the self-satisfying declaration of principle, and the prosecution of a foreign and domestic policy that emerges from the basest forms of self-interest.

    Second, Randall, have you visited a Christian community in a Muslim country to determine that worshippers of Jesus are third class citizens? After reading you, it is evident that, like Iz, you have absolutely no idea of the subject. A reflective silence accompanied by some basic research should disabuse you of the follies in your last post. Research the work of Prof. Selim Abou of the Catholic University in Lebanon. Yes, christians have their universities and other institiutions in Muslim lans. Clearly, you guys are poor students. You have not consulted the works I have recommended. Evidently, you guys wish to remain empty propagandists.

    .. From this day on, cite references and statistics. The shameless parade of prejudice, anchored in an ignorance of the facts, disqualifies you from making any informed comment on the matter at hand. What I am seeking here is not the repetition of vulgar cliches, but some level of analysis that goes beyond a demonisation of the Other and a deification of an "Us" that, as I have pointed out, is no more than an idealisation. Randall, what happened to the Muslim and Jewish population in Spain after the Christian -reconquista in 1492? Wiped, out§ Expelled! Forced conversions, and, banning of the hijab. Yes. the banning of the hijab has a long history. Read Frantz Fanon's "Sociolgy of a revolution". The French were working to ban the hijab, in Algeria which they conquered, since the 1930's. Is this enlightenment. The Christains were impôsing forms on dress on their Jewish minorities since the twelfth century. Pope Innocent III decided they should dress in a manner to distinguish them from Christians.

    in 1553, Pope Jules imposed a yellow hat.

    In the 19th centrury Nicholas I, the Czar, like Chriac, proscribed all forms of dress that reflected their ethnic and religious identity.

    Are you guys so uninformed of the western history that you vaunt, that you fail to see the ideological continuity between, anti-semitism, slavery, Gypsy servitude, French imperialism, the holocaust, and the French head scarf affair.

    Bobn since the history of the Catholics in Europe don't interest you, tell randall not to quote me Muslim history either. Lets deal with this simply as the ideology of now. Evidently, when we look at histroy, you people have nothing to teach the world. Barbarians.

    What do you guys hope to achieve by this s simple-minded islamophobia? Who is funding you and what is the objective. If it is anti-muslim propaganda, its crudity and ineficacity are obvious. I am disappointed.

    Randall Parker said at March 1, 2004 2:13 AM:

    Abu, There are plenty of Middle Eastern despots that are not creatures of the West. The Assad family has ruled Syria for decades without any US support. Saddam came to power and ruled for decades without US support. The US only finally gave him a small amount of support to prevent Iran from conquering Iraq. Nasser and then Sadat ruled Egypt as dictators for decades without US support and the US had little involvement with Egypt until the Camp David agreement. Khadafy has been no friend of the US and again is another dictatorial despot.

    The problem with the Middle East is that the dictatorships that have been unfriendly toward the United States have been no better than the ones that have been the ones that the US has had better relationships with.

    Simpllstic Islamophobia? Islam has simplistic phobia toward non-Muslims. We are just recognizing it.

    You are the empty propagandist Abu.

    Hamza Smith said at May 18, 2004 5:52 AM:

    FRANCE 2004

    Re: Headscarf Ban

    It is a matter of DRESS CODE and not church, state or Disneyland.

    In any real democracy freedom of dress is a personal matter.

    Choice equates to freedom.

    On the other hand fascism dictates dress code.

    France has forfeited any semblance of democracy by this act of restricting personal freedom of choice.

    And French fundamentalism now has the same result os that of the most primitive Mullahs, namely: denial of education to women.

    Shame on you.

    What is it you fear?

    Or are you trying to manufacture fear where none needs to exist?

    Feeble minded politicians should STUDY HISTORY instead of REPEATING IT!

    Would you ban trainee nuns their headscarf?

    If not why not?

    It’s tragic to witness the feeble minders, sheep like, tow the party line and fear what they cannot understand.

    And fail to respect the rights of women's choice of dress code.

    Worse; through this racist, bigoted, retrograde arrogance France, will now attract the attention of extremist fundamentalists of the opposite camp.

    Only idiots of the greatest proportions invent problems where no problem exists.

    Since all religion is bogus and, quite evidently no evidence of a “god” exists, why give credence to any symbol which means nothing other than to those who want it to?

    If there was a god why would such being go to the bother of creating a planet of so many ignorant, troublesome, psychiatric monkeys and then dress them in suits and allow them to form governments which preach freedom and practice suppression of freedoms and invent problems for their otherwise peacefully dumb populations?

    Would not the “almighty wisdom” come up with a better way than this pedantic folly in the hands of the mentally challenged i.e. politicians?

    Maybe “god” has a strange sense of humour or maybe he/she/it has not quite got the design right yet on this failed experiment in a remote corner of an insignificant and small galaxy who deign to call themselves humanity but behave dumber than cockroaches.

    Bit of a contradiction is it not?

    And good luck to anyone who wants to wear a headscarf or not or a miniskirt (now let a French male politico ban THAT, or the can-can and you may gain some degree of credibility) .

    If a dress code works for some people, then good luck to them, all well and good. Respect of culture is the human response.

    Quite obviously you don’t have a life or any real problems to contend with so you manufacture difficulties where none exist.

    Well, when the repercussions happen you will have no-one to blame other than yourselves.

    Secular bigotry is equally as mental diseased as is the “religious” variety. And all bigots are mentally unwell because you cannot solve anything by inventing more problems than your imagination manufactures where no real “problem” exists at all.

    What a dumb and expensive way of getting a few extra votes from right wing bigots. Will it be worth it in the end? Doubtful.

    Besides, what more idiotic apparel than the tie (cravatta) men politicians and others wear with a suit, proven by Scandinavian research to RESTRICT BLOOD FLOW TO THE BRAIN AND BRING ON EARLY DEMENTIA

    It would seem that in this case the dementia came earlier than usual!!!


    sofia said at January 12, 2005 10:09 PM:

    Bob if you are a atheist then why do you even care? I thought you don't believe in God.

    sofia said at January 12, 2005 10:19 PM:

    Iz, If the reason why that France is banning the hijab because it's a religious matter and it might show somehting bad , then why do people in France where crosses on their necks or tatoo them on their bodies? Don't you even say in your own words? "Sure let people worship whom they chose to worship, but lets not give it any public prominence. Get rid of its visible symbol." Well then if that's true then I think that France should ban males and females to wear crosses.

    ollie said at March 9, 2005 8:39 PM:

    oh my god you guys are all so naive. When you live in a city with like 20% muslims, and in your neighbourhood up to 95%, which is in all the major French cities because muslims concentrate in the cities, then you know how much a considerable percentage of muslims matters to your everyday feeling. I can tell you they destroy your feeling of freedom, it's one big push you feel everytime you walk out the door. They don't like you, they want to change everything you stand for. Muslims are a very strong group and they stick together. If you have a problem with one you'll have a problem with any bystanders.
    Muslims don't integrate like buddhists, jews or hindus. Of course the majority does quite well, but the overall result just sucks, the more of them are in your neighborhood.
    You can't express yourself the more muslims are around you.
    I'm not gonna stick on this site to look for replies to this post, this is just my feeling living in a neighborhood with 50%muslims. And ppl with no experience in this and with fancy opportunistic thoughts of how it could be, whatever guys. For muslims islam is just too much fun to adapt to the western culture, that's the cause of it all. But the problem is islam doesn't treat other cultures with as much respect, and wants to conquer others. Nuff said.

    Keith G said at December 12, 2005 8:11 PM:

    Hey Bob,
    Nice rebuttals to all the posts in this site. Please respond to all of Abu's sharp criticism of the way Western World has continually draws this illusion of a high moral standard, but then contradicts the very standard set. For example, exploiting third world countries to make resource gain is a big moral question. Where is the humanity and equity in this action?


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