Islamic State burned a woman alive for not engaging in an ‘extreme’ sex act, U.N. official says

May 24, 2015

Image: Reuters

By Ishaan Tharoor

Amid all the Islamic State’s  atrocities — its massacres of civilians, its beheading of hostages, its pillaging of antiquities — the systematic violence the jihadists have carried out against countless enslaved women and girls never fails to shock. For months now, we’ve heard appalling testimony from women who escaped the Islamic State’s clutches, many of whom endured rape and other hideous acts of violence.

Zainab Bangura, the U.N.’s special representative on sexual violence in conflict, recently conducted a tour of refugee camps in the shadow of the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, war-ravaged countries where the Islamic State commands swaths of territory. She heard a host of horror stories from victims and their families and recounted them in an interview earlier this week withthe Middle East Eye, an independent regional news site.

“They are institutionalizing sexual violence,” Bangura said of the Islamic State. “The brutalization of women and girls is central to their ideology.”

Bangura detailed the processes by which “pretty virgins” captured by the jihadists were bought and sold at auctions. Here’s a chilling excerpt:

After attacking a village, [the Islamic State] splits women from men and executes boys and men aged 14 and over. The women and mothers are separated; girls are stripped naked, tested for virginity and examined for breast size and prettiness. The youngest, and those considered the prettiest virgins fetch higher prices and are sent to Raqqa, the IS stronghold.

Read the full article by clicking the name of the source located below.

66 comments on “Islamic State burned a woman alive for not engaging in an ‘extreme’ sex act, U.N. official says

  • How does one possibly comment on this, pure hatred of women, I really do not know what to say, I am 65 years old, female, atheist, tired of all that religion has done and is doing to this world, I’m afraid I’m pessimistic and cynical and think that in the end religion will kill us all, if there is not a reformation from within the Islamic world soon and the cessation of the taboo of speaking out against religious ideology, not just Islam but all three Abrahamic Monotheistic Patriarchal Religions, I fear there is worse to come, and this is not irrational fear, but very real. What a mess religion has made. These poor women, my heart aches. And of course the pure hatred of women is at the very core of Islam, the prophet Muhommed (sp?) hated women.

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  • julie,

    How does one possibly comment on this, pure hatred of women, I really do not know what to say,

    I feel the same. I read the article and feel despair. The scale of the suffering is too much to take in. And then we have the inevitable comments that will show up claiming that feminists overreact to every hint of perceived insult.

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  • A religion which promises 72 virgins in an after life for martyrdom, in societies full of sexual repression, clearly motivates delusional brain-addled teenage “tribal” warriors, to capture a few virgins to be going on with in the meantime, as part of spreading the “faith”, for their theocratic caliphate masters!!

    The idea is not entirely new!

    For the perpetuation and service of the Ottoman Dynasty, beautiful and intelligent slave girls were either captured in war (mainly Christian Europeans in the Balkans), recruited within the empire, or procured from neighbouring countries to become imperial concubines

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  • 4
    NearlyNakedApe says:

    It is indeed a heartbreaking story and horrible beyond words. Meanwhile, Western liberal journalists are too busy accusing Ayaan Irsi Ali of being islamaphobic to even pay attention to what’s going on in the world outside of their little politically correct pseudo-liberal bubble.

    Commentators and political talk show hosts like Tavis Smiley who say things like: women are treated as badly in the West as they are in Africa or the Middle-East. Or people like Fareed Zacharia, Glen Greenwald, and Reza Aslan who say that criticizing Islam is bigotry. How can smart educated people can be so blind is simply baffling to me. These people must be getting their news from another planet.

    When women who were born and raised in those cultures find a way to escape and tell their story, we have a duty to STFU and listen. When these women need a security detail to ensure their protection 24/7 from very real death threats, that in itself says a lot more than any critique or commentary from any Western journalist or commentator delivered from the safety of their cozy little bubble.

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  • It’s not really “the people” who have this hatred, rather the bullies and thugs who look to terrorize where they can. Until “the people” decide they’ve had enough and no twisted ideas in the name of Allah are going to stop them cleaning up their mess, all we can successfully do is shake our heads in disgust and maybe keep them within their own borders. I say nobody in or out. As much as I appreciate multiculturalism and welcome diversity in my country, if the middle east is to be fixed, it’s up to the progressives in the region to do the fixing. They need to stay put and fight to usher the Islamic people into the modern world. I firmly believe nothing has slowed the process of progression more than the interference of the west. Ditto the African nations.

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  • The idea is not entirely new!

    It’s not new at all. I’m thinking that it’s quite an old idea now that you mention it. Older and more widespread than I’d like to think, from my comfy white middle class 21st century American female privileged perspective. But that would be speculation.

    ~slaps self on wrist~

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  • How can smart educated people can be so blind is simply baffling to

    In my young day, a very large part of the population of students/pretend revolutionaries and even the fringes of the mainstream left, were similarly deluded about communism, not usually that unimaginably brutal, but none the less brutal and repressive enough. I know that I was one of the deluded, probably I knew at the time that I was, but I have never quite worked out why or how.

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  • Perhaps it’s because the savage scum of IS are different from the Muslims living next door to you. Or the one driving your taxi or treating you in hospital. Or the one sending his daughter to the best grammar schools or encouraging her to go to university! Or any Muslim living in a stable state like the US or UK. Or indeed the Muslims living in the countries involved before IS invaded. Yazhidi women were living alongside Muslims for a long time before this after all.

    Or perhaps it’s because the sub human scum of IS are not doing anything that hasn’t been done before by non Muslim groups. Rape as a war crime is not new it’s as old as humanity itself. Genghis Khan was a serial rapist, sex slaves are not new either. It is a crime against humanity that hadn’t been recognised until recently but it’s been a part of many wars!

    And whilst the commentators who say that women are treated as badly in the west are wrong maybe they’re warning that some men’s attitudes aren’t that far removed from those of IS. Because I’ve seen men argue the toss about rape accusations in the comfy west and victim blame with impunity and support. That’s nothing like what IS are doing but maybe that’s just because the opportunity isn’t there. Any attitude to women that dehumanises women makes this behaviour more likely when states break down.

    This isn’t an Islamic problem it’s a combination of an attitude to women problem that goes beyond Islam and all religion, a dehumanisation problem, a problem that happens when inadequates get funding and then find political vacuums to exploit. It pre dates Islam and will continue after it’s gone.

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  • The problem is that IS is incredibly rich. Unlike other terrorist groups it is self sufficient. That funding is complex but some of it comes from our ‘friends’ in Saudi Arabia. Yet more comes from the captured oil fields and oil smuggled into Turkey which somebody must be buying. It is far wealthier than its opponents, progressive or otherwise, and it is getting access to arms with that money.

    I agree the interference of the west has slowed the process of progression. Not least where it halted it for political reasons in countries like Iran! So IS is now our mess. The mess the US has been creating for years! Yazidhi and Christian and Shia Muslim women did not play any part in that! Yet they’re the ones paying the price.

    Whilst it’s not really a major threat to the west it is also ruining the lives of young Muslims and converts in Europe with its very clever propaganda machine. Teenage girls have been conned into throwing their lives away by the promise of eye candy, hero husbands fighting for oppressed Muslims in brave new worlds rather than the reality of inadequate bullies who couldn’t succeed in the world or with women so have big guns to compensate.

    I’m not sure what the progressives can do when we’ve made the backward looking, oil wealthy sect of Islam so incredible rich.

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  • One can’t forget that the most important act of religion is the control of information – and they absolutely will try to extend that outside of their own religion in any way possible.

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  • It is an Islamic problem, and to pretend it isn’t is irresponsible apologetic bull. Yes, it is an old problem, before modern society and the Geneva convention realized “hey guys, this really is obscene, we’ve really got to stop this.” It is an Islamic problem because there is no excuse in today’s world to hold such backwards and barbaric ideologies. To think it will continue after Islam is gone (let’s “pray” for that day) is far more than pessimistic. The world would have to suffer apocalyptic conditions before modern society would regress to the level that Islamic fundamentalists want it to look like.

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  • ” And then we have the inevitable comments that will show up claiming that feminists overreact to every hint of perceived insult. ”


    I think Western feminists need to act on the treatment of women in other countries now. That barbarity one reads about in The Washington Post would be a good place to start.

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  • Neodarwinian

    I think Western feminists need to act on the treatment of women in other countries now.

    Western feminists should act on this? Pray tell, what should we do about it?

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  • The existence of the IS, alone, is the proof of the failure of the UN and of its leadership, and is the proof of the influence of the religions and of the petro-dollars on the UN.

    The great respect for the religions and the petro-dollars has conducted to the tolerance, and even to the admiration, of the IS, even in Western countries.

    Now also some Catholics and Hebrews are dreaming of a totalitarian State for each of them: a Catholic State (CS) and a Jewish State (JS).

    IS, CS and JS will lead the world to death: since the UN underestimates the dangerousness of the political use of the religions.

    The visit of the poor guy of Buenos Aires to the parliament of the United States, scheduled for next September, will certify the IS as a very good model of State: a model of State in which the religion is taken in the highest consideration. And so will be the CS and the JS (this insinuate).

    Maybe you remember the previous visit of the poor guy of Buenos Aires to the parliament of the European Union, November 25th 2014, and the official photo of the event: the poor guy of Buenos Aires in optic axle above a stiff soldier with a servile politician to their side.

    This is exactly what the religious leaders really intend when they ask for more spaces in the public affairs for the religions (their religion): a civil society more similar to the model of the IS, but each of them in his own version.

    And the incompetent politicians are ready to bow themselves to the religious leaders. Truly: to a religious leader of preference of their majority.

    That way the pluralism dies. And when pluralism dies: democracy dies, equality dies, freedom dies.

    Don’t allow the religious leaders to pronounce religious nonsense in the temple of the democracy!

    Otherwise you will pay it with the loss of your freedom and the humiliation of your intelligence.

    Will the US’s citizens be slaves of Rome?

    Yes they will be slaves of Rome!

    By exploiting the fear for the IS, the poor guy of Buenos Aires will ask for more freedom for the Catholic immigrants of the South America of entering in the US. And so, as Bertrand Russell forecasted, the Catholics will become the majority in US and US will be slaves of Rome in a wider CS.

    By exploiting the fear for the IS, Israel will reinforce its JS characteristics.

    And from this trend we can only expect much more bull-shit.


    “I never saw anything like this. I cannot understand such inhumanity.
    I was sick, I couldn’t understand.”

    Zainab Bangura said in the article of The Washington Post.

    Oh, really? Hasn’t she ever heard anything like this?

    What about thousands of children abused by Catholic cleric men (and women) around the world with the cover up of the Vatican? (As certified by a specific document of the United Nations: Convention on the Rights of the Child, CRC/C/VAT/CO/2, 31 January 2014).

    The IS certainly is the worse of the worse and we have to fight against it! But we don’t have to allow to the CS and to the JS, and to their defenders, and to the singers of the utility of the religions, including the moderate Moslems, and including our incompetent politicians, of exploiting the bestiality of the IS as excuse for the world-wide religious restoration!

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  • Any time the king of Saudi Arabia does something stupid in regards to women a 100,000 women protesting at the Saudi embassy would be a good start.

    Writing about transgressions like this, raising money and raising hell with your representatives and so on and so forth. I see nothing to this scale on this issue. These women wrote about above really could use anything in outside help and cultural relativism be damned.

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  • and still, women continue to wear the burqa when they don’t have to in the west. why aren’t western converts, and those lucky enough to have been able to migrate to the west not showing their protest by removing their burqas?

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  • 19
    Stephen says:

    I think its more a case of decades of western policy totally destabilizing the Middle East. We have created a situation where extremists are conveniently using passages from ancient scripture to support their ideology and exert power and control on poorly educated people without the resources to resist. I’m not religious myself, but I would very much doubt the absence of religion would make much difference as they would simply find other ways to achieve their aims, it is here my views depart from Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins.

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  • I simply cannot understand the resistance to put these religious ideas aside in favor of a more secular world. Any ideology that even remotely suggested that burning a woman alive for refusing any sex act extreme or not is not worth even a second thought. The only people that could even believe in this particular brand of lunacy are people that WANT to rape and shame and humiliate women, who need to do this to satisfy their need to feel powerful and superior. This is further evidence that religion is just a construct under which evil can flourish.

    When we look at the other apes that have evolved along side us, and we see that they don’t have a written language and they are only capable of basic use of tools, they can’t build complex machinery the way we can. Why don’t we marvel at the fact that this sort of behavior THEIR society would not be tolerated. Well I don’t marvel, because I know that they don’t have religion, and that makes all the difference.

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  • Neodarwinian

    The lack of rights for women in Saudi are not the same issue as women being raped and abused by IS. If I collect 100,000 women (that’s a stretch) and demonstrate on behalf of Saudi women, what do you think that would accomplish? And what will the Saudi women think of it? Are you sure they want the American infidel feminists to mess with their business? Honestly, I’ve had bad results just trying to talk about feminism with Muslim women. Try to get them to concede that their religion is a driving source of their own misery and that their favorite alpha male was far from perfect in his behavior towards women in his domain. Good luck with that. All I ever got in response from them are insults about American/Western women being sluts and prostitutes. “Our men respect us and that’s why we cover ourselves…blah blah”

    We can’t walk in there and change their world. If they start a grassroots movement from the inside they will find support from us from a distance. But when I hear from them that they want equal rights under the law and careers on equal footing with men and want to move independently on the world stage but that they intend to remain devout Muslims, that’s where we have the parting of the ways. I can’t help them.

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  • The Saudi thing was an example.

    So was raising hell with your representatives. Something you can do in mass.

    There are even points of view that claim that men are using this issue to detract from feminist issues in the West.

    I was surprised to see this stuff all over the web. Pages and pages of it. Now, is there something to it?

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  • People have a deep fear of being called a racist, and a conviction that other cultures are as valid as our own. This belief is deeply held, and not likely to change, even in the face of facts to the contrary.

    OK, IS is evil, but as long as I am speaking of facts, I have to also ask whether it is possible that a lot of the atrocities ascribed to IS may simply be made up? I see very little attempt to verify, or look for multiple sources of information, before getting busy condemning IS.

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  • We destabilized the mideast, ingnited several civil wars and are a very big player in supporting big militaries in the middle east (Isreal, Saudi Arabia, Eygpt). We had a lot to do with with what happened to the women.

    Insanity rules in a war. Insanity is required for a person to survive in a death cult. With just a taste of war over 90% of our troops develop PTSD. The fundamentl problem in this world is always a lack of a well rounded secular education from early youth until were about 40.

    Religion is but the loin cloth covering for the insanity in men. The truly fathful don’t think they can be seen as they imagine the loin cloth that makes up the substance of their beliefs to be a scepter, crown and robe. The narrative non critical thinking men adopt/inherit to cope with Reality is for the most part wishful thinking that has been given the imagined authority of an unlimited god.

    Trained Career Milirary Men without the overseeing existence of a ratioinal state government who are actively engaged in a very brutal war to the death will be angered to the nth degree. Anger drives insane responses. I think most of us have a tv version of what war is like in our heads. It is wrong. All wars are insane. They bring out the insanity in our species and theirs plenty of that bad guy in everyone of us to step forward should someone threaten our own children.

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  • How does one possibly comment on this, pure hatred of women,

    These poor women, my heart aches.

    my heart also aches for the boys and men over the age of 14 who are executed. Unfortunately I cannot feel selective grief, unlike the feminists of the world.

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  • Julie,
    You have articulated exactly how I feel.
    People are willing to go along with ridiculous stone age rubbish designed for tribal advancement. (The noticeable exception being scientology which is space age rubbish)..
    Is there a fundamental evolutionary inclination to follow a leader/leaders? Some charlatan who claims to know the answers? I don’t know. And always with the misogyny! I despair at times.

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  • True feminists are far from selective. Think “suffragette movement” . To those who want to waste time and selectively point to the inevitable mix of ideas in any movement as a negative, use that time to show how broad spectrum true feminism is. I am 63 years old and have 2 adult sons and an infant grandson. They are people first – regardless of gender. Feminists support that reality is the truth as experienced in the lives of the people – not a pronouncement from an external authority.

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  • Well, anything except “pray” would be a start. Will it take decades for change in these countries – how long did it take for women to achieve equality in western countries. Yes it is daunting, but nothing is accomplished until each person is doing their utmost to change their own prejudices.

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  • Just another example of the horrors that the followers of Mohammed are willing to inflict upon their fellow human beings. Any act no matter how terrible that you could possibly imagine these demons have thought of and long to use. Any way that it is possible to inflict damage on non-Muslims and Western society these islamists will employ, everything from setting fired to planting bombs or stabbing and shooting innocents.

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  • 30
    aroundtown says:

    Once again the Celestial slacker isn’t around to save the innocent but no one here would be surprised. This atrocity is just an example of low animals acting out against their own people with absolute depravity, it is not the first time, and it won’t be the last.

    Religion is a stain on humanity that cannot die soon enough but you will see these filthy afflictions perpetrated countless more times before it goes out for good.

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  • 31
    Lorenzo says:

    Another great example of religious morals at their adamantine purity. And of one of institutionalized religions’ most share trait: the heinousness of the behavior they inspire toward women, be that extreme segregation or open faced violence.

    And, please note: I’m not singling out one particular religion here. The exact same fire has burned several times in the past months in an Hinduist context: women who resisted raped ended up burned. And, why not, let’s remember witches burned at stake in Europe, or the modern sexist violence of the righteous christian men against his wife, when she decides that his alcoholic beating is enough -a phenomenon which is ever present and is being covered a lot over here.

    The demotion of a woman’s life is a common trait among institutionalized religions and, personally, I believe that’s one of the most prominent reason why all such religions are deeply immoral and should be rejected at once by all decent people.

    Gender equality is one of the best indicators of the development and the maturity of a society: the most it’s achieved, the healthier and the more accomplished the society is. The lack of gender equality is unequivocal symptom of disregard and subsequent violation of the most basic human rights. Any moral system that doesn’t support full gender equality steps away from the basic human rights -namely, article 1. of the declaration;- and, subsequently, can be used to condone or support heinous crimes against humanity (as I already posted on this site: segregation of women is as much a crime against humanity as a whole as any apartheid-like phenomenon) Religions, all of them, are such moral systems.

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  • It is an Islamic problem and it lurks in every corner of their psyche! – I have worked with (devout) Muslim men and their attitudes towards women belong in the 8th century CE (just like their religion) – One asked me why I let my wife wear a short skirt when we go out – I responded the same as Mr Dawkins did – I didn’t dress her – she chose the outfit herself! Then again his wife had to wear the burkha when she went out and maybe THAT was her choice as well, but I don’t think she really had an option to flash her legs had she chosen to do so!

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  • 33
    Pinball1970 says:

    We should not be surprised at this.
    IS have so far beheaded citizens, journalists and aid workers.
    They have raped women, buried children alive, thrown gay men off buildings and crucified and burned combatants alive.

    Now this.

    Question is how do we stop it abroad (and should we)? Iran is blaming the US for the capture of Ramadi by IS saying they did not do a “damn thing” to stop them.

    (This is the same Iran that usually objects to the US intervention in ME conflict for its own gains?)

    How we stop it at home? (for me this is the UK and this has to be stopped)

    No one has been burned alive in UK (yet) but in terms of abuses of young women/girls, these have been widely reported already.

    I suppose one has to define extreme/ extremist.

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  • The middle east is only wealthy in assets, starved of the social political, industrial and intellectual wealth that drives the economic power they weld. People that are poor, suddenly thrust into the presence of people more sophisticated in means and measures; that is, those who can do better they can do – in every way – will not take kindly to this. They will resist and tout their achievements overblown and take offense when they sense sympathy. We are living in an age of a meeting and merging of a people widely separated in achievement.

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  • rape has always been used as a weapon of war. Only the scale changes. My hypothesis is that the more prudish a society is the more likely it will be used systematically

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  • As a Man of Reasonable Conviction. As a man of high moral standing… everything in me burns to overturn the horrors we see. Perhaps it is time to throw aside the Geneva Convention, and start filling these jihadists with Sodium Penethal (Truth Serum), and systematically cut this cancer from the Earth. I am sick of war, but not as sick as I am of Injustice commited in the name of some damn deity that no one can give any bloody proof for. “Give me your poor, that I might sell them into slavery!” Is how this is really working. Women aren’t livestock. Children aren’t slaves, and these men need to be brought to trial for atrocities accomplished only by “the will of god.” (Any deity will do)

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  • Alarmingly, if you stand up to question the ideology that is so clearly at the basis of this (Yes, mohammad specifically allowed for sex slaves in the Quran and the hadith), you are labeled a bigot. Even as the news leaks out that this is not just happening in the Levant, it is happening in England, where thousands (thousands in one city alone, and perhaps ten times that overall.) of non-muslim girls have been gang-raped and sexually abused for periods of decades, while the police refused to become involved for fear of being seen as ‘islamophobic.’

    To call it sickening is to be a meaningless in understatement. All the while, or friends at CAIR are tweeting yesterday, to question how one can honor the soldiers who fought in an unjust war – soldiers who protect us from at least some of the ravages of these people – all the while while they refuse to acknowledge the common cause behind the workings of ISIS, Boko Haram… and CAIR. The list is endless.

    We can not change Islam, as it is probably one of the most uniquely reformation-proofed ideologies ever invented, but I’m convinced that the only way to defeat this threat, is to stop treating it civilly. It is an evil and dangerous cult, and anyone who espouses it should be made to hear the contempt that rational people have for such ideologies. It won’t help with those who already hold the beliefs… or worse, with those in the national media who are convinced that they know better than fourteen-hundred years of history, all the best ways to surrender our ideals and freedoms to the islamists and Jihadi. However, and just perhaps, there are a younger set, who will be able to more clearly see the distinctions held and offered by civilization over islam, and whom if exposed early enough, might come to see it for what it is. We should never show respect for this ignorant, and evil cult; but rather, only for people.

    Even if we do this, however, I am afraid that we are in for a bad century or so. Even if we don’t wind up in a new islamic dark age, I’m afraid we’ll have lost a lot of ground, and even more of ourselves, in the end. 

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  • Mike
    May 26, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Two words about barbarity being only an Islamic problem –

    Why not study more than two words, and look at the workings of an Islamic empire on the link on my earlier post!

    Barbarity is not exclusive to Islam, but is certainly a major historical feature of it.

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  • Well said – I get in trouble all the time for belittling morons who spout un-educated proof-less rhetoric – the conviction of the faith-heads should be met with an iron-fist of science based FACT !!!
    Unfortunately, the ONLY way to kill off an idea – is to wipe all those who believe it off the face of planet earth – Not to easily done when more than 70% of mankind believe in woo-woo of one sort or another….Education of the faithful masses will come far to late to save us from a another dark-age ! I am not advocating violence per-se – but how can IS be stopped other than with high-explosives and superior military might? All those people who would kill on the slightest slur on their imaginary prophet (and another majority who tacitly approve of such actions) are just waiting for sufficient numbers to turn the whole of Europe into a caliphate!

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  • I’m afraid, that much of Europe will be lost. Sad to say, the UN was of no help, whatsoever. Although I do not advocate violence, I can’t see any other outcome here. Sadly, the truth is, that when your own government is falling over itself… i.e., every politician from our presidents and prime ministers on down falling over themselves to declare what may well be the most violent, bigoted, xenophobic, misogynistic, and nonsensical sect on the planet today “the religion of peace,” we are in trouble. In the U.S., we have many failings related to guns, but on the day that someone sets up a grooming club of muslims that are attempting to snatch ten to sixteen year old girls off the streets, I’m pretty sure what will happen.

    Look at the evidence. The incident with Pamela Geller: The media is castigating her, and engaging in an orgy of questioning her motives and methods… and almost none have a thought for the other obvious conclusion, which is that anyone reading the texts in the core of islam, can come away with only one conclusion i.e., Jihad is the greatest get out of jail free card ever. Those texts are directly relat to the Fourteen-hundred year history of islam, which has been one of attacking whenever they had sufficient strength and numbers with which so to do. And… All that the president accomplishes by saying that it’s not true, is to marginalize those few people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who are speaking out against them. Or someone like Pamela Geller, who in the end (despite all the weeping and wailing of the liberal media. ), is actively defending the right to free speech, which is in the end, our only lasting defense against this nonsense – in the only way that has been left open to her by the cowardly politicians, who took an oath and whose job it was to defend it in the first place.

    The venial nature of the media pundits, who live under that very freedom, I’ll leave for a time when I’m less agitated. Suffice it to say, that islamists killed thousands of people this month, virtually none of them for drawing Muhammad. That is only one thing, on an endless list of offences, beginning with not being a muslim, and ending with the extinction of idiots like our liberal media.

    Sadly, on even the most rabid anti-islamist, Anti-Sharia, sites, even making the point that what we don’t need a a Christian Vs Islam debate, and that this is not an our team vs. their team issue, but rather it is a confrontation of civilization vs. the early and middle age baggage of our much overpopulated culture. Of course, such comments immediately lead to my having to point out that we have a secular government, as per the documents that founded it… which automatically leads to the immediate conclusion that as an atheist, I was far worse than any Jihadi on the planet… Oh well, theists always want you to just shut up, when you criticize the core values or canon, no matter what the issue at hand..

    We need to educate people. In schools, we need to hit hard that this is a secular nation, and that virtually every advance of note has been due to either secularism and/or science. And we need our citizens/voters/soldiers to be able to unpack very accurately the following example:

    About three weeks ago, ex-governor, Mike Huckabee, was on Fox News. He made a statement to the effect that… ~ Some people in this country decry the fact that they can’t order flowers where they want, or can’t order a pizza where they want, but in the middle east, they are murdering christians. ~ Apart from the fact that there is an actual genocide going on against Christians in much of the Middle East, this statement on the part of a former elected executive, is probably one of the most disgusting things that I’ve ever heard. Worse, not one person there had the brains, education, or courage, to point out that these examples are caused by the very same thing. Seventy-five years ago, the christians were gladly leading the jews to the showers, though no one says that was an extreme militant sect of Nazism, peopled by just a few extremists who got Nazism completely wrong. [At least.. until the neo-nazi cults get their act together, and take a page from the very successful Jihadi who are winning… with the rabid help of the media… hands down. but I digress.]

    We need to educate that every person in this country learns that it is a secular government; that everyone has the right to believe and voice opinions on any issue, so long as that does not cross the basic prohibition of doing actual harm by slander, or the incitement of real and imminent violence (not a free speech issue at all, actually.)… And, perhaps the most important of all, that in examples like Huckabee’s, to know that when you honestly believe that your delusional, and prehistorically immoral, moral code trumps the rights and the dignity of another human being, you have transgressed on the rules of a civil society, and on a protected human right, and that this can not, and will not, be tolerated.

    We will be alone for a very long time, because No one will be with us. Then again, it was always our Bill of Rights that made the US a great nation, a think that much of Europe is suffering for, even as we speak. Given that a quarter of students in England are Muslim, and given that the average birth rate for native versus Islamic immigrant populations is about 1.2 to 9, England will have a majority Voting Muslim Population in Thirty years? Anyone care to guess what they’ll vote for. Just ask CAIR, or better yet, go online right now, and read Suras Five and Nine.

    We will be alone, and a national education standard in Civics and Science, which are second to none, and the bill of rights are our only hope.

    Sorry to be so verbose. I don’t sleep much before wednesday, M27Holts. It is frustrating that in the twenty-first century, willful ignorance and burgeoning credulity, still trump actual knowledge, morality, and even simple self-preservation on the part of a far too large population.


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  • Neodarwinian how often have I heard that old chestnut. Western feminists – the root of all evil. Stopping you being mildly sexist when they should be tackling IS first. It’s a special favourite whenever women try to improve things in their own environment. I used to be part of a group called no more page three tacklng sexism in the western media. The number of times I heard that I should be fighting IS was incredible.

    So here’s a wake up for you. IS have 1.2 billion dollars and a lot of weapons. They have a slick propaganda machine. They have a war torn political vacuum to exploit. They are riding on the back of an instability created by years of living under puppet dictators. I am shocked and horrified at what they do. Like every other decent human being. This is the UK so I don’t even have a gun. I have a bread knife and can muster a fierce stare. So tell me what you think I can effectively do? As opposed to the Iraqi army they’ve just defeated? Cos I don’t think the petitioning that worked so well in getting rid of page three is really going to scare the pants of the beheadings sub human scum.

    Maybe this lot needs more support from everyone

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  • Since when did feminists feel selective grief. What an appalling statement. IS behead men and keep women as sex slaves. They are sub human scum. Every single life destroyed by them is a reason to grieve. It is just that this specific article is about rape as the specific crime against humanity. So everyone is grieving for the women in this specific story. Doesn’t mean they’re not horrified by the others.or that they wouldn’t grieve if the story were just about the men being brutalised and murdered by IS. Or even the treasures of our past being destroyed. The reactions are to this specific war crime in this specific story. They’re the same reactions of revulsion felt will be felt when the story is about the beheadings of boys and men!

    I’m amazed at the ability of some people to find any excuse to feminist bash. Modern Feminism is about equality. For both sexes. I know as many men that hold feminist values as I know women that don’t.

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  • Are you absolutely sure that it’s an Islamic problem and not a bullies with guns? Fundamentalist being the key word. I’m sure these horrors are enshrined in the Koran along with a lot of other stuff. But I’m pretty sure they’re also sanctioned by the Bible. And other ideologies as well. Nazism and apartheid didn’t need a Koran. Nor did Stalin. And the behaviour of the West in Guantanamo Bay was hardly an illustration of the best of the Geneva Convention.

    The behaviour of IS should scare the life out of us, not because of Islam but because it’s an indicator of how we can behave when society completely breaks down. Whilst I would hope that should my government and my legal system be overthrown and various warring factions take over we’d still be basically decent and that the ideals of the Geneva convention would stand I’m afraid IS looks the more likely model. It’s what happens when bullies get guns. They’ll attach it to any ideology but the result will be the same. The most brutal fighters with the least human feelings will win.

    Backward barbaric mentalities thrive regardless of which ancient backward book they’re drawn from.

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  • Alan4discussion it’s a major historical feature of nearly every ideology. Christianity had a brutal past. Communism, Nazism, apartheid even democracy I’d you look at some interventions by the US and their results.

    IS should scare us not because of Islam but because it indicates just how awful the world can be when everything breaks down. The strongest most sociopathic are the first to get power because they lack humanity,

    Back home the bullies of IS were the inadequates. To stop recruitment start mocking them. Not the prophet, not Muslims but the half wits that go to join IS. Take the P out of the IS recruits and make their propaganda a joke.

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  • M27Holts I work with a Muslim man whose wife is a doctor. She dresses as she pleases. I’ve just been tutoring his daughter to help her thru her a levels. So she can go do chemistry. His oldest daughter is earning a fortune in pharmaceutical sales and has just got divorced. His younger daughter is being tutored to get into the same grammar school his older two attended.

    I have a friend that works in a refuge for victims of domestic violence, women from Muslim and non Muslm backgrounds. Another is helping write documents to help teachers identify girls at risk of FGM. Mainly Muslim girls from specific parts of the world whose mothers mutilate them to make them more attractive to men. At the same time I read of the increase in the numbers of western women paying for equally painful and unnecessary labioplasty (or cosmetic FGM as I prefer to call it). Because they want to look like porn stars and more attractive to men.

    The only conclusion I can draw is no one religion or lack of has a monopoly on barbarism or enlightenment.

    One other point – your story would have carried more resonance had your wife chosen to go out in comfy track suit bottoms.

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  • Are you seriously suggesting that because my wife chose to go out with a very short skirt on – she is somehow – asking to be raped? Your assertion about labioplasty is completely irrelevant – because the woman chooses to do it, perhaps because she doesn’t like her vulva the way it looks to her!!
    and are you suggesting that all western women should be forced out in trakkie bottoms so that muslim men can’t be offended – get a grip of yourself!!!

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  • Sorry, Alice. I so do not want to be seen to approve of any post that states “Muslim men” are X. This is an insult to intelligent discussion. But you so muddle a key principle at issue I cannot let it pass. Muslim men are indeed hugely various. Some are decidedly more progressive than the average American male. The (Sunni) Kurds work exceptionally hard for co-equal political expression for women instituting the roles of male and female mayor for towns to help ensure gender fairness. On the front lines men and women fight side by side, etc. etc.

    The point at issue is one of coercion and abuse. Your distaste for elective body modification counts for nothing in this exchange. Non-elective adult-imposed-on-child FGM is the disgrace. Coercion over what to wear is the disgrace. Again your disapproval of dress is irrelevant.

    I don’t like seeing full face burkhas for a variety of reasons. I don’t like not being able to engage in eye contact. I don’t like the implication that I can’t be trusted. Rather more, I am uncomfortable (or was) when out with my young teen kids faced with women effectively wearing bondage gear. But…

    I argued strenuously against Burkha bans. Some women want to wear it and my coercion is no better than any other. Bondage gear is a choice. So too a submissive lifestyle. I may not like to see it, but I cannot coerce in the matter on a point of principle.

    Coercion- bad?

    Free choice- good?

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  • 51
    ad nauseam says:

    So…the west doesn’t like what is going on?…

    Then why doesn’t it go in and stop ISIS?…

    Maybe the west doesn’t care enough?

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  • Alice,

    This is the UK so I don’t even have a gun.

    Gee Alice, that’s too bad. Why don’t you just hop on a plane to Boston where in the timeframe of 24 hours we could amass an arsenal that would fill my whole house! I don’t know how to shoot a gun but seriously, how hard could it be? 🙂

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  • At the request of the Iraqi government the US is currently bombing ISIS positions. They have stated that it is their hope that this support helps Iraqis to take back their cities.

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  • Do you think the American Taliban is a threat to world peace? Those evolution denying guys who pressure the US government to support Israel no matter how atrocious their settler program is, because unless Israel is supported and encouraged to go to war, The Rapture won’t occur and the American fundamentalists can’t get to heaven. I see little difference between IS and the American Taliban. Not in their actions, which are currently different. But in the way they come to their world view. Identical. “Only I know the one true god. That god is only on my side. If everyone in the world believed as I did, it would be a good place. I must defend my god. I will never change. I will kill if pushed, to support my god.” The difference is the IS is killing now, but if you pushed these rabid gun toting American Taliban, they would kill also. They already have, but only in isolated events.

    The United Theocracy of America needs to do some home cleaning and declare the country an evidenced based rational society. Limit the influence of religion at all levels of decision making, all over America. ASAP

    While your vitriol is addressed at Islam, and while I am sympathetic to your views, you should also write the same things about Christian fundamentalists, who cause harm, not just in the Levant, but all over the world.

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  • Wow M27Holts what a weird assumption! Nobody deserves to be raped ever. No matter what they wear. And we all have the right to choose to wear short skirts or anything else with freedom from rape (and comments and whistles).

    What I’m suggesting is we all dress to impress others at times. Or look nice for them. I wear a short skirt so what. It’s to make myself look nice to other people! But if I was genuinely choosing what to wear without reference to what anyone else thought I’d live in scruffy jeans and jumper and my comfy brogues.

    Chill out and stop getting so worked up. Your wife dressed to look nice for you! That’s the point!

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  • Yes coercion is bad Phil Rimmer. But to be honest it takes many forms and a society where women feel so hung up on parts of their bodies that should be for fun that they risk losing that sensation is one that is seriously odd.

    No women should be forced into FGM. That is far worse only because of the force and extent. The physical harm and the being deprived of sexual pleasure forever. That’s not coercion that’s brute force!

    But no woman should have so much subtle pressure put upon her that she voluntarily mutilates herself and possibly risks depriving herself of sexual pleasure forever. That’s coercion! Not free choice!

    Is that how you want your daughters to feel about their bodies.

    You confuse brute force with coercion. And to be honest I did a little bit in that post. But the all Muslim men are bad all western men are good is really irritating when reality is more complex!

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  • Phil Rimmer there is also the fact that increasing numbers of young girls are being sucked in by IS propaganda. What that propaganda is offering them is an empowering image!

    My comments about cosmetic FGM are relevant there. You can only partly fight the propaganda of IS with its so called lion princesses, tales of equal part in a new world and images of string women with guns by trying to get them listen to the reality. You have to offer them more than just being judged for their looks here.

    Does it not disturb you how many are being conned by promises of empowerment that they should think they have as a right here?

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  • Thank you David R Allen for a balanced post. IS behave the way they do because they can. The US religious right only lack opportunity.

    Charles I’ve never read such nonsense about the UK in my life. Did you get it from Murdochs Foxperts? 4.4% of the UK are Muslims. So mathematically I’m struggling to get that to equates to 25% of students.

    As for education. Here in the UK we cannot believe that so few of you accept evolution! That is not a standard to be proud of.

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  • Alice
    May 28, 2015 at 10:31 am

    So mathematically I’m struggling to get that to equates to 25% of students.

    There were a small number of fake college courses, closed down for trying to work around immigration laws.

    There are also large percentages of overseas students at UK universities.
    They pay substantial fees to attend, and are restricted in any hours of part-time work they are allowed to do without falling foul of immigration laws.

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  • Demon Islam has been no more violent then any other culture

    Barbarity, genocide, ethnic cleansing, rape , slavery etc were the foundation stones of Western Civilisation. The list of such acts by Western civilisation is endless, from Australia to the Americas .

    Who deliberately targeted literally hundred’s of thousands of civilians at Hiroshima, Nagasarki and the deliberate fire bombing , burning alive thousands of women and children, in the fire bombing of WW2?. Who invented the Concentation Camp? Etc etc

    Again the list of such barbaric acts by Non-islamic cultures far far outweighs those done in the name of Islam.

    Slightly edited by moderator to bring within Terms of Use. Users are welcome to argue their position, but abuse or insult towards other users is not permitted.

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  • To say that IS represents Islam is akin to me saying that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis represent Western civilisation or that the Yorkshire ripper and serial killers represent men.

    Your notion that America is a “great” nation is purely subjective. I could be just as subjective and inform you that it is not, and that China is a great nation.

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  • 63
    khalid says:

    Hell to ISIS. These are insane who know nothing but barbarism and brutality. However ISLAM has nothing to with it. Don’t forget people who are being killed, raped, tortured and terrorised by these bloody isis are Muslims. in fact this isis is a zionist plot to defame Islam and has lot to do with the foreign policies of America and Israel to destabilise the Middle East. With due respect to your intellect “Julie” have you hever gone through the authentic sources of Abrahamic semitic Monotheistic religion before concluding that these religion are behind these problems. Your prejudicial views about religion, ISLAM in particular prompting you to get cynical and pessimistic. well don’t get me wrong you have all the right to criticise any religion but it should be logical and substantial. I wish you should go through Quran and traditions of Prophet Muhammad and then your opinion will change. I suggest you to watch a presentation on “women’s right in ISLAM” by Dr. Zakir Naik. May Allmighty bless you…..

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  • 64
    khalid says:

    Hell to ISIS. These are insane who know nothing but barbarism and brutality. However ISLAM has nothing to do with it. Don’t forget people who are being killed, raped, tortured and terrorised by these bloody isis are Muslims. in fact this isis is a zionist plot to defame Islam and has lot to do with the foreign policies of America and Israel to destabilise the Middle East. With due respect to your intellect “Julie” have you hever gone through the authentic sources of Abrahamic semitic Monotheistic religion before concluding that these religion are behind these problems. Your prejudicial views about religion, ISLAM in particular prompting you to get cynical and pessimistic. well don’t get me wrong you have all the right to criticise any religion but it should be logical and substantial. I wish you should go through Quran and traditions of Prophet Muhammad and then your opinion will change. I suggest you to watch a presentation on “women’s right in ISLAM” by Dr. Zakir Naik. May Allmighty bless you…..

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  • in fact this isis is a zionist plot to defame Islam and has lot to do with the foreign policies of America and Israel to destabilise the Middle East

    Your evidence please.

    Also. If you re-read Julie’s post, you will see that she was critical of “all three Abrahamic Monotheistic Patriarchal Religions,”, not just your particular brand. She is correct in her statements that all religion presents a threat to women. She is correct in her statements that it is not just Islam, but Zionism and Christianity that have the blood of women on their holy books.

    Khalid. Might I encourage you to consider the evidence, that your god exists. Think about your position, if there was no god. You can’t use the Koran as evidence. It, like the Bible, New (Christian) and Old (Jewish) Testaments, were written by men, not god. If you claim that god wrote them, then you’re god is a very poor literary student. Either your god is perfect and infalible, which means that men made all the mistakes and contradictions in the bible and the Koran. Or you god is a C- student, who doesn’t deserve your worship. Or, the most logical conclusion. There is no god.

    Khalid. If you are strong in your faith, then I challenge you to read Dawkins book, The God Delusion and Hitchens book, God is Not Great. If your faith is strong, you will continue to pray to Allah. But if you a rational person, you will see that Julie is right, and that all religions should be treated with disdain.

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  • I agree wholeheartedly with you David, and thank you for your insight, I am a 56yr British woman who has recently decided that I am an atheist, having explored most religions, I was married to an Iranian Muslim man for a brief time, also I lived in Saudi Arabia for awhile, and seen first hand how women are treated there, I have no time or respect for ignorant people, I think with the benefit of the internet, the young people of today stand a better chance of making an informed choice as to what they aspire to be, what religion, if any, they choose to follow. I am so pleased that I found out about the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, I have a passion for knowledge about our world, and more importantly, Astro Physics. I feel very lucky to live here in London, U.K. and feel pity for people who follow any religion.

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