Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know

Dec 14, 2016

by Pragna Patel

“We oppose any religious body – whether presided over by men or women – that seeks to rule over us.” So say more than 300 mostly Muslim women, but also others from different faiths who have been abused in their personal lives. These women are voicing their alarm, through a powerful statement published by Open Democracy, about the growing power of religious bodies such as sharia councils, and demand that their voices also be heard in the current debate.

From their own lived experiences, they warn against any attempt to normalise profoundly regressive religious codes of conduct as the basis of social interaction with, and policy development aimed at, minority women. They do so against the backdrop of Louise Casey’s report that warns of minority women who are trapped in abuse and isolation, and two ongoing inquiries into sharia councils: one initiated by the government and the other by the home affairs select committee.

The signatories to the statement have witnessed, experienced or fled from the horrors and degradations of “honour” killings, domestic violence, child and ritual abuse, forced marriage, polygamy, rape and sexual assaults. They speak out against religious impositions that exacerbate their daily struggles to live their lives as they choose. They reject the forces of fundamentalism and patriarchy that seek to divide and govern through surveillance and control of female sexuality.


Continue reading the article by clicking the name of the link below.

108 comments on “Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know

  • From the article above:

    Sadly, these warnings are necessary because fundamentalist demands are embraced by some in feminist circles who claim to speak from positions of faith while failing to recognise the political dimensions of resurgent religious fundamentalist movements in the UK. Disconcertingly, this form of faith-based feminism is also co-opted by religious fundamentalists. By using the language of female “agency” and “choice”, they strengthen patriarchal structures of power and subvert the emancipatory goals of feminism and human rights. Feminism in minority communities has reached a critical juncture, caught in the eye of powerful reactionary forces of religion and racism.

    Rather than oppose both in equal measure, the imperatives of religious identity politics appear to lead some faith-based feminists to align themselves with the religious right and thereby strip their politics of its progressive and ethical content. Such a stance is not any the less regressive simply because some Muslim women may refer themselves – or be referred by others acting on their behalf – to sharia councils.

    Excellent. So powerful.



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  • The presentation of these Sharia courts as arbitrations, is a pretence that religious bodies have some expert competence in dealing with family or business disputes.

    Arbitration is widely used as an alternative to courts, where expertise is an issue.

    For example construction contracts can have an arbitration clause requiring a dispute to go before an arbitrator who is a qualified architect or engineer from a professional institute, rather than in front of a judge who may have no understanding of the technical details, building codes, etc.
    These arbitrations are required to follow English law, but taking an expert view of the specialist practical details of the job in doing so.
    https://www.architecture.com/RIBA/Professionalsupport/Professionalstandards/Arbitration.aspx

    The Royal Institute of British Architects
    Many building contracts and contracts for architects’ services contain clauses that provide for disputes to be resolved by arbitration. Frequently, the president of the RIBA is named in these contracts as the appointer of an arbitrator. Such clauses normally provide that if the parties are unable to agree on a person to act as arbitrator within the 14 days following notice of arbitration, either party may apply to the president to make an appointment.



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  • Here’s a bit of faith based feminism-

    Hip Feminist campaigns like Free the Nipple only encourage a gullible behaviour of disrespect for our own bodies, leading to everyone else around us disrespecting our bodies as well. If we want to be respected as women and taken seriously in all our endeavours we should look to a new source; Muslim women. Muslim women, as well as Muslim men, see every body as a sacred temple, especially the female body.

    This horrible piece of illogic, turns simple reason on its head to serve its patriarchal master.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gabby-aossey/muslims-are-the-true-feminists_b_9877692.html



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  • Our past is not without serious fault but we have come a long way in recognising the disparate and unjust ways in which women have been treated and no doubt justified by biblical drivel. It is hard to see why we are permitting the practice of ‘laws’ which maintain medieval ideas about the position of women in society and how they should be treated. It can serve no good purpose and they have no place in the 21st century.



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  • Olgun
    What’s sensitive about it? I liked the article you linked to. Pot calling the kettle black, as we say. The quiet is just a coincidence. The Americans are all at lunch and maybe you Brits are having tea (and crumpets).



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  • When I was growing up in the fifties and sixties, Americans and Europeans had little understanding of Islam outside general notions that it was another world religion whose basic beliefs could be summarized in textbooks: the confession of faith, charity, prayer, pilgrimage and fasting during Ramadan. Westerners knew that founder Mohamed and his followers spread the religion through conquest in the middle east and North Africa in the early middle ages but that after several centuries of glorious civilization, Muslim countries declined into a backwater stagnating under the global hegemony of European powers. Largely forgotten except for fairy tales like the Arabian Nights and contemporary wars with Israel, sporadic acts of terrorism by Palestinian terrorists -Oil and OPEC, westerners overlooked the original and persisting -temporarily dormant- ambitions of Islam. They did not understand the totalitarian mandate of the faith whose momentum had been spread by militarized conquest for centuries to achieve divinely ordained world domination. During the middle ages, enlightened Muslim states tolerated Christian and Jewish minorities to mutual benefit but imploded inward to enforce a fanatical doctrine that both expelled the infidel from Muslim lands and forbade “good Muslims” from living outside those lands in foreign countries.

    Modern times have assimilated many cosmopolitan Muslims into modern western lifestyles adopting variously secularized, democratic orientations. In bitter reaction against the values of western civilization in general and westernized Muslims at home or abroad in particular, powerful factions of Islamists have risen to demand Islamic States, theocracies based on Sharia law derived from the Quran.

    Western nations, the UK under consideration here, naively believed that Muslim immigrants would simply practice “another religion,” enrich the nation with cultural diversity, and assimilate to the rule of law and democratic institutions. What Britains failed to understand is that Islamists despise secular values and institutions because they alienate the believer from total submission to the faith commanded by the Quran and therefore constitute a damning abomination in the sight of Allah. Islamist do not compartmentalize social interactions, family life, politics, law, and the state separate from religion. The secularized Muslim Women and their non-Muslim allies who present their case described in the article above do not comprehend the futility of arguing the issue with pious Islamists. Islam is not just “another religion” in the western sense. It commands total submission, total obedience, total submersion of individual identity in a Supreme Power.



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  • Olgun #10
    Dec 14, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    If we are to manage it, maybe a civilised version that abides by the law of the land can see a modern Islam influence those back home? + link.

    There are clear differences in the Abrahamic religions between the culturally religious and the fundamentalists.

    As your link points out the Jewish rabbinic courts and halacha are used to resolve all manner of civil disputes, which parallel the use of Sharia courts.
    Catholics also hold Cannon Law as trumping civil law.
    Evangelicals are similar.

    While the educated culturally religious, accept civil laws and some modern customs, the hard-line indoctrinated fundamentalists who are indoctrinated rather than educated, are literalist and inflexible.

    Many problems arise because under stress or pressure a kick back to fundamentalism and tribalism seems to operate in the indoctrinated mind.

    There are also problems of indoctrinated rebellious teenagers being preconditioned to be susceptible recruitment to extreme cults or causes.

    In all three religions, the closed community cults try to run the lives of followers and their families, independently of normal civil state laws, – with unquestioning submission to their leaders a requirement.
    The submissions can vary from recognising special days of the week, designated schedules of prayer and ritual activities, taboos on certain foods, peculiar forms of dress, or accepting cutting bits off genitals!



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  • Olgun (From the link): While clearly some Muslims do view sharia as a hegemonic political force, the vast majority of Muslims, especially those living in the West, view sharia no differently from the way Jews view the halachic system: as an overarching guide to ordering one’s life. Muslim jurists have always drawn on sharia to mandate that fellow Muslims obey the laws of the land in matters that sharia does not prohibit. In numerous instances (see Koran 5:11), Muslims are told to “honor their contracts” and so to honor the “social contract” represented by the law of the land. The Fiqh Council of North America, the leading interpreter of Islamic law in the United States, ruled as recently as September 2011 that “there is no inherent conflict between the normative values of Islam and the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.”

    Nothing could be further from accurate descriptions of divergent historical developments in social, legal, and political practices in Judaism and Islam. Assimilated moderate Muslims in the west may variously respect the law of the land…but they shouldn’t. Islamic states and Islamists regard the west as held captive by laws and political systems that promote degenerate lifestyles accursed of God. Constitutions based on western enlightenment values, what the American founders called natural law and the protection of inalienable human rights to life and liberty, including freedom of conscience, are abominations to the Caliphate that explicitly requires “submission” to divine law grounded in the Quran and Hadith superseding any human-made law. Sharia Law mandates punishments for blasphemy, adultery, apostasy, homosexuality, female “disobedience” from patriarchal oppression that turn the stomach. “Ordering one’s life voluntarily, within parameters of civil protections, ostensibly consistent with rules governing voluntary membership in a religious cult” and being subject without appeal to the absolute Law of the State dishing out harsh, unforgiving, sometimes capital punishments, often capriciously, to all citizens in violation of said laws are two different phenomena.



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  • Islam is not out-dated that’s why it the largest practicing religion and what Muslim do in their prayers: In the name of Allah (GOD), the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah (GOD), Lord of the worlds – The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

    Women were not allowed to inherit property before Islam. Many girls were killed shortly after being born (just like in India today). These are a couple of the improvements Islam bought to women. There are many more. Please don’t generalise from your ignorance.

    Shariah incorporates Islamic practice (prayers, fasting, pilgrimage, charity, shahadah), civil law, and criminal law. To what do you object? Prayer? Civil law (people are entitled to resolve their civil law differences by whatever means they like, in the UK)?

    Sharia Law is legal in the UK for Civil and domestic use. In 1996, Parliament passed the Arbitration Act setting out rules under which parties in a dispute have the right to go to an impartial tribunal to get justice without expensive litigation. Muslims lawyers interpreted this as meaning that sharia courts could act as arbitration panels under the Act, they began in 2007, and their decisions are legally binding under UK law. There are currently about 85 Sharia courts in the UK, mostly attached to mosques. Polygamous marriages are recognised by the UK authorities because there are several known cases where a husband is paid benefits for more than one wife. Under Sharia Law Muslims are allowed to marry more than one wife in the UK……and guess what, they can even claim benefits for the extra wife.

    No one is advocating the establishing of Sharia law in an non Muslim country . But should not Muslims like Jewish people be able to have their own religious weddings and divorces according to their own beliefs. It was Muslims in their own lands who first allowed non Muslims to be able to practice their own laws and this was enshrined in Islamic law nearly 1400 years ago . It was Muslims who gave shelter to the Jews when they were thrown out of Europe during the inquisition and during pogroms. Muslims never burnt people alive or tortured them for their beliefs. Islam is not associated with denial of human rights – actually historically Islam provided documentation for human rights.
    West is still racist, xenophobic and Islamophobia. It is unable to forget and forgive the siege of Vienna in 1683.

    The so called terrorism in Islam is just like a ‘mole-hill’, when compared to a mountain of ‘Western domination & terrorism’.

    The so called “Western” Society has much larger & serious questions to answer than any Islamic Mullah or Islamic Extremist. When I see that Islam is being targeted as evil and barbaric – I cannot help but find what the so called ‘Modern Western Civilization’ has to offer – the worst things packaged in attractive sheets !
    IA

    [Link to user’s website removed by moderator]



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  • The writer is a product of western education which makes a man stupid, selfish and corrupt. Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. Muslim children must develop their cultural, linguistic and spiritual identities before they are exposed to wider society, otherwise, they would be lost in western jungle.

    Muslims in the West are not asking for Sharia to be the law of the land. The Law of the land is the only law applicable and executable in affairs of the individuals.

    All they are seeking is to let Sharia be available as an alternative to resolve their spousal and contractual disputes between two individuals. That is their prerogative. Indeed, every human, no matter who it is, goes first to their family members and friends for seeking solutions to their problem some will go to their clergy (all religions) and some will appoint a mediator.

    When Muslims go to their clergy, he or she will look up similar situations in the past and guide the couple or business partners to find a solution, since the immigrant Muslims are familiar with the Sharia laws, they may accept it, and if they do, that is good for them.

    The problem is that of trust – when the parties agree to the terms per their Imam/clergy, and don’t abide by it, there is no way the aggrieved party can seek damages for the violations. This is what Muslims are asking, to make that binding.

    Indeed, it would be binding if they go to the judge and say, we have agreed to these terms and conditions per our religious conviction, and seek the judge to sign the order and the court order becomes executable. The judge looks to it as mediator resolved decision and signs it and it will become executable. The right wing Americans are downright stupid and making a bid deal about this, as if Sharia will become the law of the land.

    What Muslims have is Personal Sharia, that is a private relationship between the individual and God. How they pray, worship, fast, pay zakat, how they bury their individuals, marry per the requirement as a religious rite. All of that is a private matter and does not need any regulation or execution.
    IA

    [Link to user’s website removed by moderator]



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  • Hi Iftikhar. Welcome.

    I would like to respond to you at some length to talk about the golden age of Islam and possibly our colonial nadir which I hope we are now past, about the shame of Islamism and the wonderful Lion of Panjishir by contrast, but I have to travel just now.

    The moderators might not allow your website link (none of us are allowed such in the text) but if you identify yourself as from the London School of Islamics, that should do the trick.

    Understand though our concerns are for the free choice of individuals and not the free choice of communities. These latter have no legal standing as such.The experiences of the women exampled are to be noted and your plans to avert such experiences to individuals in future will be welcomed.



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  • The writer is a product of western education which makes a man stupid, selfish and corrupt.

    This is the problem. You literally are guilty of the exact transgressions you pin on me. I have had to erase multiple lines of text because of how caustic what i want to say to you is. How dare you defend your right to and your history of and your way and ask that it be respected and protected while you harbor clear prejudice and even hate. I am a product of western education and I would defend and fight for your right to freely practice the religion you choose. You do not extend the same to me but instead insult.

    The only thing you’ve said (outside of your accurate historical facts) that i agree with is in regards to this:
    What Muslims have is Personal Sharia, that is a private relationship between the individual and God. How they pray, worship, fast, pay zakat, how they bury their individuals, marry per the requirement as a religious rite. All of that is a private matter and does not need any regulation or execution.

    But, if this was in fact true, there’d be no need for societal sharia law, now would there? The fact is, this is about control and your clear disdain for your fellow man makes me distrust anything you say after the insults you so easily hurl at an entire culture.



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  • The writer is a product of western education which makes a man stupid,
    selfish and corrupt.

    This is the problem. You literally are guilty of the exact transgressions you pin on me. I have had to erase multiple lines of text because of how caustic what i want to say to you is. How dare you defend your right to and your history of and your way and ask that it be respected and protected while you harbor clear prejudice and even hate. I am a product of western education and I would defend and fight for your right to freely practice the religion you choose. You do not extend the same to me but instead insult.

    The only thing you’ve said (outside of your accurate historical facts) that i agree with is in regards to this:

    What Muslims have is Personal Sharia, that is a private relationship
    between the individual and God. How they pray, worship, fast, pay
    zakat, how they bury their individuals, marry per the requirement as a
    religious rite. All of that is a private matter and does not need any
    regulation or execution.

    But, if this was in fact true, there’d be no need for societal sharia law, now would there? The fact is, this is about control and your clear disdain for your fellow man makes me distrust anything you say after the insults you so easily hurl at an entire culture.



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  • Iftikhar #19
    Dec 21, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    The writer is a product of western education which makes a man stupid, selfish and corrupt.

    Really??? That must be why western science and welfare systems are so far ahead of the primitive backward countries dominated by Islam!

    Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools

    There is no such thing as a “Muslim child” or a “Christian child”, or a “Hindu child”! They are just children born of parents who follow that religion. Only after indoctrination do children become tied to particular religions.

    with Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. Muslim children must develop their cultural, linguistic and spiritual identities before they are exposed to wider society,

    I think that is what is known as isolationist indoctrination – associated with ghetto-formation!

    otherwise, they would be lost in western jungle.

    They may well be lost to fundamentalist Islam, but those with a secular education will undoubtedly have a wider and more balanced view of the world, with a much deeper understanding of its varied cultures.

    Muslims in the West are not asking for Sharia to be the law of the land.

    If it is being applied to citizens of the land as an alternative law, they certainly are asking!

    The Law of the land is the only law applicable and executable in affairs of the individuals.

    The law of the land applies to individuals, groups businesses and any charitable or commercial organisations, so if it conflicts with Sharia the law of the land takes precedence.

    All they are seeking is to let Sharia be available as an alternative to resolve their spousal and contractual disputes between two individuals.

    There is nothing to stop people seeking marriage counselling and mediation regardless of it being religious or not.

    @#18 – Sharia Law is legal in the UK for Civil and domestic use. In 1996, Parliament passed the Arbitration Act setting out rules under which parties in a dispute have the right to go to an impartial tribunal to get justice without expensive litigation.

    I think the key word is “impartial”.
    Professional expertise in the subject area is also usually required of mediators. (see#6)
    If a wife (in keeping with western standards and laws), sees treatment as repressive and abusive, it is unlikely that a religious representative advocating that treatment of women, will be “IMPARTIAL”!

    Muslims lawyers interpreted this as meaning that sharia courts could act as arbitration panels under the Act, they began in 2007,

    They did not think to ask unbiased secular lawyers, on what should be an unbiased expert answer to a professional question?

    and their decisions are legally binding under UK law.

    Really??? I can think of several areas of conflict with UK law which is THE over-riding jurisdiction.

    There are currently about 85 Sharia courts in the UK, mostly attached to mosques. Polygamous marriages are recognised by the UK authorities because there are several known cases where a husband is paid benefits for more than one wife.

    They are only recognised when the marriage was conducted in some other country where polygamy is legal.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy_in_the_United_Kingdom
    Bigamy is a statutory offence in England and Wales. It is committed by a person who, being married to another person, goes through a ceremony capable of producing a valid marriage with a third person. The offence is created by section 57 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861:

    Polygamous marriages may not be performed in the United Kingdom, and if a polygamous marriage is performed, the already-married person may be guilty of the crime of bigamy.

    Polygamous marriages legally performed in another country where the law allows it are legally recognised for the purposes of welfare benefits, but not for pension, immigration or citizenship purposes.[1][2] It is unofficially believed that there are up to 20,000 polygamous marriages in the Muslim community of the U.K.[3]
    There are also social media platform for polyagamous match-making such as SecondWife

    Under Sharia Law Muslims are allowed to marry more than one wife in the UK

    NOT legally when in the UK!

    ……and guess what, they can even claim benefits for the extra wife.

    See the above linked quote .
    Existing polygamous marriages of immigrants or visitors (only) are legally recognised.



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  • Alan4,
    I posted, edited, deleted…. three or four times….

    Iftikhar,
    When you say this:

    The writer is a product of western education which makes a man stupid,
    selfish and corrupt.

    I find it insulting and inflammatory. I then find it very hard to give a shit about anything you say afterward. The problems that all of you religious folks are having stem from your exact attitude and words. Shame on you.



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  • The writer is a product of western education which makes a man stupid,
    selfish and corrupt.

    This is purposely inflammatory. It is wrong and it is bigoted. I am very sorry but I tune you out once I identify you as hate filled. Shame on you. Shame.



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  • Iftikhar #18
    Dec 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    When I see that Islam is being targeted as evil and barbaric – I cannot help but find what the so called ‘Modern Western Civilization’ has to offer – the worst things packaged in attractive sheets !

    I think you will find, that on this site, posts are just as ready to objectively criticise reprehensible aspects of Western or any other cultures, as they are those of Islamic states.

    This recent comment of mine illustrates the point!

    https://www.richarddawkins.net/2016/11/women-could-pay-more-than-men-for-health-care-under-trump/#li-comment-215134

    Not to mention the Harvard estimate of $4 to $6 trillion Bush (mostly borrowed and) spent on “chasing Bin Laden around Afghanistan” – when he was actually in Pakistan, and attacking Iraq over fictitious “weapons of mass destruction” and imaginary involvement in 9/11 – to create on-going civil wars, refugee crises, and the casualties and disabilities among US troops and many others!

    Most of us don’t do cheerleading for particular tribalistic cultures or ideologies, – preferring a more balanced view across the history and cultures of many civilisations.



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  • I seem to be blocked from commenting here. Tried a bunch of times. It’s just as well. I did not have a nice thing to say about this [user].

    Moderator’s reply: No, you’re not blocked, Crooked. The system had put your posts into Spam for some reason, but we’ve retrieved and approved them now. It may happen again, but we’ll keep an eye open for it, and the problem should clear by itself soon.



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  • 28
    Pinball1970 says:

    @19 Hi Iftikhar

    Sharia is your law, Islamic law – this is not an Islamic state or theocracy and therefore this should not be recognized.



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  • 29
    maria melo says:

    “(…) Muslims lawyers interpreted this as meaning that sharia courts could act as arbitration panels under the Act, they began in 2007, and their decisions are legally binding under UK law. There are currently about 85 Sharia courts in the UK, mostly attached to mosques. Polygamous marriages are recognised by the UK authorities because there are several known cases where a husband is paid benefits for more than one wife. Under Sharia Law Muslims are allowed to marry more than one wife in the UK……and guess what, they can even claim benefits for the extra wife.”

    Yes it even seems funny, because if this person can even interprete sharia like this (a man can have as many spouses as he can afford for their wefare, that´s the correct rule), imagine that he can even interprete arbritation Law Act as it pleases him, and lie about everything, and that´s the case in this paragraph.



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  • Mods,
    Thanks! Everyone, sorry for the multiple posts when i couldn’t see my comments, I got a type of constipation that is partially embarrassing and should probably be scrutinized by a health professional….



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  • maria melo #29
    Dec 22, 2016 at 9:23 am

    imagine that he can even interpret arbitration Law Act as it pleases him,

    I think there was a clue to the “interpretation techniques” used on the study of academic, reference, or legal documents, here:-

    Iftikhar #19 – Dec 21, 2016 at 1:10 pm – The writer is a product of western education which makes a man stupid, selfish and corrupt.

    I think in Islam a man is limited to 4 wives – after that they are concubines!



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  • 32
    maria melo says:

    I don´t recall where I´ve read about what I ´ve mentioned, but you seem correct about the number four.

    The Quran says, “If you are afraid of not being fair [with your wifes, which may be four], keep only one.” (quoted from the Lisbon Mosque Imam).

    “I think there was a clue to the “interpretation techniques” used on the study of academic, reference, or legal documents, here:”

    Alan4discussion previous comment

    I didn´t get it.



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  • There was a report in the papers a few weeks back of the tragedy of Nigerian women trafficked to the UK and forced into prostitution. The people-traffickers, of course, promised them respectable, well paid work abroad with travel to be paid for later from their earnings, but set up a voodoo curse before they went to ensure their charges did not abscond from their contracts.
    How to stop it. The women, when helped, tend to disappear — voluntarily of course — whether rescued by authorities or charities. They are trapped by fear of retribution delivered by supernatural means.
    If only we could encourage more moderate voodoo practitioners to help. Maybe they would eventually persuade the extremists back home to pipe down and show respect.
    The only way to ‘stop’ extremist views is to drain the swamp of superstitions they feed in. A child of ‘moderate’ parents is still primed to go off the rails chasing a ‘purer’, ‘better’ more ‘authentic’ version of their parents’ superstitions with all the thrills that come with it.



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  • 34
    maria melo says:

    What Muslims have is Personal Sharia, that is a private relationship
    between the individual and God. How they pray, worship, fast, pay
    zakat, how they bury their individuals, marry per the requirement as a
    religious rite. All of that is a private matter and does not need any
    regulation or execution.

    One psychologist noticed how islamic state youngsters prayed (when they do so, even if they order others to do so), not in a traditional way but posing as a circle.
    How to weight the fact that they are young and informal ?
    or that they may not fit either sides or conform to the rules? (it is always important to evaluate the personality and predisposition for crime of youngsters as far as I am familiar with in my job), Associated with the fact that they are young and “informal”,, there maybe some predispositions not to fit, sometimes a boarderline personality?



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  • maria melo #32
    Dec 22, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    “I think there was a clue to the “interpretation techniques” used on the study of academic, reference, or legal documents, here:”

    . . . or western rational education!

    Alan4discussion previous comment – I didn´t get it.

    I was referring to the Humpty-Dumptyism of interpretations using the blinkers of “faith”!

    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Humpty_Dumptyism

    From the fictional character Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Caroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, who, when asked what he meant by “glory”, replies “I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!'”. Alice protests that this isn’t the meaning of “glory” and Humpty Dumpty replies “When I use a word it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.



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  • Kay #33
    Dec 22, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    There was a report in the papers a few weeks back of the tragedy of Nigerian women trafficked to the UK and forced into prostitution.
    The people-traffickers, of course, promised them respectable, well paid work abroad with travel to be paid for later from their earnings, but set up a voodoo curse before they went to ensure their charges did not abscond from their contracts.

    I think there are other problems for the girls – such as being illegal immigrants, having nowhere else to live, and possible threats to their families back home.

    Of course many are trying to escape the strife back home by leaving the country!

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/dec/21/nigeria-farmers-return-home-rebuild-lives-shattered-boko-haram

    In attacks on the village two years ago, the militants killed and kidnapped more than 20 people. The local school, medical centre and church were all destroyed, forcing hundreds of people to flee from Dabna and neighbouring villages. Across north-eastern Nigeria, millions of people have been displaced.

    But in the past 18 months, military success against the Boko Haram insurgency has encouraged many displaced Nigerians to go back home. More than 660,000 of those in camps in the north-east returned to their homes this year.



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  • Yes, they were escaping hardship back home and lured with the prospect of a good life elsewhere. These were not women fleeing terror attacks, just grinding poverty. The difficulty is that when the ‘good life’ turned out to be a hell they were largely impossible to rescue, even when supported, and with the prospect of remaining here, for fear of the curse their captors had put on them. Irrational fears but very effective handcuffs once supernatural forces (of any kind) are given credence.



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  • Apart from Iftikhars religious nonsense and the insults, the question I was trying to get to was ‘why them and not us’ is a reasonable one to ask. I don’t want either but how can it be explained. Melvins comparison is not one I recognise and Alan is right in what he says but is not answering my question…or iftikhars…and other muslims. The extreme version is of course not acceptable but a ‘european’ modern version like the Jewish one…the better ones anyway. Did people not realis that these things have existed for quite a while anyway?



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  • 39
    fadeordraw says:

    “Islam is not out-dated that’s why it the largest practicing religion and what Muslim do in their prayers: In the name of Allah (GOD), the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah (GOD), Lord of the worlds – The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray”.

    So Iftikhar begins entry # 18 on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science with the above. Some members of the foundation provided various comments on his unreasoned and unscientific challenges and explanations. And one has the impression that Iftikhar is no longer following the discussion.

    RD, of course, regards Islam as “one of the great evils in the world”. He also said that indoctrinating children into a religion is a form of child abuse. And he’s doesn’t think accommodating religions, particularly Islam, is a good idea.

    Anyway, this, for me, is like the question of the week about how does one manage radical Christians during Christmas time? Do we need a protocol for responding to an Iftikhar? For example, by quickly saying that our understanding is that religion, all religion, is the result of cultural evolution and we contend that its shelf life has past; that reason and science is the approach to be taken; and that understanding that we live on the planet the same as plants and animals is now paramount? Or do we ignore the indoctrinated ravings and bunk to find that observation worthy of discussion; in this case, for example, that religious-based pseudo adjudication is far less expensive than civil adjudication (as long as this economy continues, we can expect a market for for the former)?

    BTW, I looked up “the Day of Recompense” and I guess I’ll see you all then!



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  • “Islam is not out-dated that’s why it the largest practicing religion

    ???

    Here are the 12 most popular world religions and belief systems
    http://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/most-popular-religions-sects-images/2014/05/01/id/569022/

    Christianity (General) — 2.04 Billion Followers. ...
    Islam (General) — 1.226 Billion Followers. ...
    Catholicism — 1.142 Billion Followers. ...
    Hinduism (General) — 828 Million Followers. ...
    Agnosticism — 639 Million Followers...
    Buddhism (General) — 367 Million Followers....




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  • But, of course Iftikhar has gone.

    (My post #20 was made before seeing the appearance of #19)

    The blatant bigotry of #19 is unsustainable in reasonable discourse. At least though he comes clean in admitting the urgent need of Islamists like himself to indoctrinate children unhindered and comprehensively. Clearly choice is not for individuals to enjoy. Yet…

    “There is no compulsion in religion…”— 2:256

    “Allah” may wish for adherents to have chosen freely but Islamist bullies have no such decent expectations. They must surely be beneath their god’s contempt? There are undoubtedly far better Muslims than Iftikhar..



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  • fadeordraw #39
    Dec 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    So Iftikhar begins entry # 18 on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science with the above.
    Some members of the foundation provided various comments on his unreasoned and unscientific challenges and explanations.
    And one has the impression that Iftikhar is no longer following the discussion.

    Why would he – when he “KNOWS” all the answers from faith belief, and he has been told by indoctrinators in the type of schooling he advocates, that educated people are “stupid” ?



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  • 43
    maria melo says:

    “The writer is a product of western education which makes a man stupid, selfish and corrupt (…)”

    Usually the imam of Lisbon Mosque tells:” if you are not happy to live in a liberal country, get the the hell out of here and leave us alone”

    my free translation



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  • 44
    fadeordraw says:

    Yeah but, I’d really appreciate your comments on:

    “Do we need a protocol for responding to an Iftikhar? For example, by quickly saying that our understanding is that religion, all religion, is the result of cultural evolution and we contend that its shelf life has past; that reason and science is the approach to be taken; and that understanding that we live on the planet the same as plants and animals is now paramount? Or do we ignore the indoctrinated ravings and bunk to find that observation worthy of discussion; in this case, for example, that religious-based pseudo adjudication is far less expensive than civil adjudication (as long as this economy continues, we can expect a market for for the former)?”

    As what should one say to a Jehovah Witness at the door. I haven’t been too good at this.



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  • fadeordraw #44
    Dec 23, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    As what should one say to a Jehovah Witness at the door. I haven’t been too good at this.

    Talking to JWs at the door is a waste of time, as they only come to practice challenging rational arguments, reinforce their views and their faith, and press “re-set” as soon as they move to the next door!
    I usually say I am not interested, and will not be drawn into conversation.

    In town, I always smile, take one of their offered creationist magazines and thank them, so it probably only a matter of time before the waste bin along the pavement becomes a convert. 🙂
    That seems a better place for it than in the hands of some gullible innocent! Over the years I must have dumped dozens of them!



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  • fadeordraw #44
    Dec 23, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Or do we ignore the indoctrinated ravings and bunk to find that observation worthy of discussion; in this case, for example, that religious-based pseudo adjudication is far less expensive than civil adjudication (as long as this economy continues, we can expect a market for for the former)?”

    A fake or quack product is almost invariably poor value even if it is cheap!
    The cost of the unsatisfactory outcome, can be very expensive!
    Unfortunately the naive, gullible, and ill-advised often don’t know that!



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  • Iftikhar #18: In the name of Allah (GOD), the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah (GOD), Lord of the worlds – The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path – The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favour, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.

    Jesus said: “before Abraham was I am [God Incarnate]” – “He that believeth on me shall not perish but have ever-lasting life” – “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father [Allah] except through me.” It’s in the bible. Look up John 14:6. In the view of fundamentalist Christians, Iftikhar, you have lost the way and the truth and the life by worshiping a false prophet and a false God. Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. “Many are called but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)

    Do you see why we secular humanists would do nothing to harm another human being by compromising our intellectual and moral integrity, betraying our free exercise of conscience IN THE NAME OF GOD either on grounds of profession of faith – inerrant scripture, tradition, or authoritarian Divine law?

    The current civil wars and blood feuds raging in the Islamic world shed the blood of the Muslim heretic far more than that of the infidel. Arriving at 2017 isn’t it the better path to quit the slaughter in the name of an enlightened common humanity and relegate the punitive concepts of infidel and heretic to the shame of barbaric history?



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  • 48
    maria melo says:

    Why would he – when he “KNOWS” all the answers from faith belief, and
    he has been told by indoctrinators in the type of schooling he
    advocates, that educated people are “stupid” ?

    I guess you are being naive, you don´t really know who Iftikhar is, why he/she is commenting here like that, if he/she was indoctrinated or not.
    I ´ve heard from the imam of Lisbon mosque for instance that some of the actual islamic state portuguese youngsters contacted him before joining the islamic state (daesh), his thoughts here contrary to the imam and indeed the site of the mosque was hijacked by daesh after. The “school” some advocate is “war on values” at best, not peace and tolerance, it´s clear to me.



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  • maria melo #48
    Dec 24, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Why would he – when he “KNOWS” all the answers from faith belief, and he has been told by indoctrinators in the type of schooling he advocates, that educated people are “stupid”?

    I guess you are being naive,

    Not really!

    you don´t really know who Iftikhar is, why he/she is commenting here like that, if he/she was indoctrinated or not.

    While on limited information there is some uncertainty, it is a reasonable inference to make from interpretation of the posted comments!



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  • Hi Maria

    Hope you’re well.

    What you say about the Imam of Lisbon mosque makes me hopeful. I agree that there are plenty of moderate Muslims, some in leadership positions, that are opposed to the fundamentalists in their own religion. I know some of them too. I think they are very brave to speak out directly against the fundamentalists and what they stand for.

    Different mosques have different, how should I say, different degrees of moderation or conservatism about them. I suppose the Christian churches are the same. We have a number of mosques here in the Boston area and they all attract different crowds as regular worshipers.

    I support the moderate family oriented mosques that are concerned with socializing and raising money for good causes like medical assistance and help for incoming immigrants as some of them do. But we should know that many mosques are centers for recruitment of the young people for fundamentalists thoughts and behavior. The mosques, like the churches hold Sunday school classes for all ages of children where the goal is to instruct the students on the holy books and to impress upon them the requirement that they believe every word of those books without questioning any part of it. “I’ll do the thinking for you!!!” This is how indoctrination works.

    Mosques, synagogs and churches are centers of indoctrination of children and reinforcers of indoctrination for the adults who belong to them.

    Attendance on Sundays for indoctrination classes is bad enough for children, but the Islamic schooling that Iftikhar advocates in his comment above is a complete disaster for children and ultimately for society in general. These schools turn out individuals who view life through a filter of 2000 year old Middle Eastern desert values that have been petrified in their minds. Both Muslim and Christian kids who grow up in these environments are taught by the fundamentalist adults all around them that secular schools teach their students false ideas – like evolution and big bang, etc. When you think about it, they can’t make kids believe in their own ridiculous story if they also believe in science and progressive social ideas as well. They are totally in conflict. That’s where the motivation for the theology based “education” people to call secular education people “stupid” comes from.

    The first paragraph of Iftikhar’s comment marks him as an absolute, completely brainwashed idiot. People who lead off their conversations with that aggressive theological statement are pretty much announcing the state of their worldview. If Iftikhar indicates to us in a public way that his brain has been totally hijacked by an ancient cruel tribal ideology then I say that we need to believe what he says and realize every thing that he now stands for. Let’s not try to soften his statement. People who make statements like his should be confronted and held responsible for what those statements really mean.

    One statement that fundamentalists and some moderates from the Abrahamic religions can be counted on to say is that their religion totally respects women and protects them with their wonderful rules. Of course, predictably, Iftikhar immediately parrot-speaks this disgusting idea. This is a direct product of his indoctrination.

    Nothing holds women down in domestic and reproductive slavery like religion.



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  • 51
    maria melo says:

    While on limited information there is some uncertainty, it is a
    reasonable inference to make from interpretation of the posted
    comments!

    I don´t really think so, even if I´ve watched Faith School Menace whre Richard Dawkins interviewed some mulims and there were a few, if some, that didn´t show some how open (perhaps anglican schools were even more closed to their world), Richard Dawkins even was afterall invited to muslim schools.

    I would dare to disagree, not necessarly “indoctrination” is on the basis of criminal behaviour, (recentely I´ve watched a tv doc about a british girl who joined the islamist extremism, was she indoctrinated from an early age-at least? not at all, but of course one choses the groups that fit better to our character, I believe.



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  • maria melo #51
    Dec 24, 2016 at 8:51 am

    While on limited information there is some uncertainty, it is a
    reasonable inference to make from interpretation of the posted
    comments!

    I don´t really think so, even if I´ve watched Faith School Menace

    But we are discussing specific posts on this site (#18 and #19) – not the “Faith School Menace”.
    @#18 and #19, pseudo-schooling in isolation from modern knowledge by rote learning indoctrination is advocated, while the poster advocating this, shows the symptoms of having been indoctrinated in this manner, by people disparaging evidence-based reasoning and critical scientific thinking – calling the educated “stupid” because they do not participate in using indoctrinated preconceptions and circular thinking, to come to the same asserted antiquated conclusions which are being promoted.

    The fact that there may be some moderate imams and a diversity of Islamic views, has no bearing on this specific analysis of these comments.

    I think LaurieB has covered other aspects of this effectively.



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  • maria melo #51
    Dec 24, 2016 at 8:51 am

    (perhaps anglican schools were even more closed to their world)

    Or perhaps not!

    BTW: I have done teaching work in several Church of England and Roman Catholic faith schools in England, as well as working in Local Authority schools!

    I have also read the OFSTED reports on the Trojan Horse Church and Islamic schools, and those on the unregistered madrassas.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35252469

    An organisation of mosques says it “unequivocally” rejects government proposals to require madrassas in England to be registered and inspected.

    The Northern Council of Mosques, representing 400 mosques, says this “encroaches” on religious freedom.

    The Muslim supplementary schools would have to comply with plans for tighter scrutiny over “out-of-school education settings” if the plans were introduced.

    The government’s consultation on the proposals closes on Monday.

    And the Department for Education has indicated that it makes “no apology” for wanting to ensure children are properly protected.

    David Cameron has warned that “teaching intolerance” had to be stopped.

    But in a response, the mosque leaders say the plans are based on “the flawed assumption that radicalisation takes place within some madrassas” and that such “control and monitoring” over lessons would “effectively lead to a form of state sanctioned religious expression”.

    They say the registration and inspection plan “unduly encroaches on the legitimate right of faith providers to teach their children their faith”.

    The mosque leaders also take issue with the use of the term “extremism” saying it is vaguely defined and “potentially all-encompassing”.

    Given that examples of radicalisation and child abuse have been found in some of these establishments, regulation and inspection is overdue!



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  • 54
    maria melo says:

    Well I understand the reality out there- in UK schools- is not that one of a small world with 400 madrassas, and from diverse muslim communities, of course I know from experience that´s real (my sister reported a school mate of her daugther had severe disciplinary punishment, because the child-teenager girl-before the teachers and school mates, I think, made a hatred speech, and of course, I don´t think that speech was natural from her, but nurtered, so I see the interest on that inspection.

    The right wing politician Geert Wilder reports in a site of his own about books inciting extremism seen in Lisbon mosque (reported by ?), but sincerely, I don´t believe him.



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  • maria melo #54
    Dec 24, 2016 at 10:33 am

    The right wing politician Geert Wilder reports in a site of his own about books inciting extremism seen in Lisbon mosque (reported by ?), but sincerely, I don´t believe him.

    I think government inspection reports from a wide group of professional education inspectors, are a better information source, than odd items picked by right-wing politicians to promote their views.



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  • LaurieB #50: The first paragraph of Iftikhar’s comment marks him as an absolute, completely brainwashed idiot. People who lead off their conversations with that aggressive theological statement are pretty much announcing the state of their worldview.

    It marks him as a Muslim professing the Islamic faith cherished by millions. In the eyes of secularists he may not be the “right” sort of reformist Muslim moderate in the west, but more lethally back home he might not be the right sort of Muslim depending on his relative position in the heresy game played out in Sunni and Shia Islamist conflicts. Hundreds of thousands have wound up on the wrong end of a gun in this internecine death cult. Religion at its worse. The perfect marriage of theology with oppression, torture, abuse and oppression



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  • Melvin

    It marks him as a Muslim professing the Islamic faith cherished by millions.

    Do you think that your average Mo Muslim starts off conversations with each other like our visitor Iftikhar has done above? Nope. They start off with the same sort of phrases that we all do here. Good morning. How are you, your cousin, your parents, etc. Then on to the gossip of the day and complaining about the price of everything. Muslims, and those of any religion I can think of that lean right into a strong aggressive statement of allegiance to their personal God, Allah, Yahwey, Thor or whatever the F have lost all control of their own minds.

    There are plenty of tip offs that one is in the presence of a fundamentalist Muslim. Clothing, the greetings they choose, their immediate behavior around women, etc. Secular and moderate Muslims bear no resemblance to this guy. If there’s any doubt in your mind of the difference or if you like plenty of others don’t believe there is such a thing as a moderate Muslim then read about the civil war in Algeria where the fundamentalists and moderates were pitched against each other in a gruesome war over whether the country would descend into an Islamic state or whether it would continue with a secular (Military) government.

    Moderate Muslims feel pretty much the same way about the fundamentalists as moderate Christians do about their own pain in the ass fundamentalists. They cause a lot of problems for everyone and the moderates that I know say, “I don’t want to live like them”.

    But do your own research on this. Labeling all Muslims as Koran literalists is a mistake. I realize that the belief in the Koran being the word of Allah is required, etc, but there are plenty of skeptics in the Muslim “world”. They need to feel safe to discuss this. That’s hard to come by.



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  • 59
    Pinball1970 says:

    @58
    I disagree Laurie
    Islam is supremacist by definition, I take it you have read the “majority” view on homosexuality jews women etc on some of the recent polls in the UK held by muslims? Terrorism? Yes of course most muslims condemn it. On those other things the conversation and mind set is already there and it is all the backward crap that everyone is really concerned about.
    I little bit like entering a conversation with a Christian about whether jesus rose from the dead or was the son of god.
    Its not a conversation
    Whats the difference you ask? Mohammed being the last prophet jesus walking on water? You know the answer, Christians lead their life and pray to jesus thinking this is way to heaven.
    Islam IS a way of life, the way to lead your life (remember the Hadith features too). It is not just praying then going to work, its praying then doing everything else with this in mind.



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  • Pin, I do object to that statement of it being a way of life in all cases when millions of people in Turkey are in danger of losing the choice they had. Political decisions are forcing it on them and not the hadith as they have had the hadith all along. It is a way of life for all religions depending how much power the “agents of god” are allowed to wield. Not for nothing did Cameron utter the words that the UK lives on christian values.



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  • Laurieb #58: “Moderate Muslims feel pretty much the same way about the fundamentalists as moderate Christians do about their own pain in the ass fundamentalists. They cause a lot of problems for everyone and the moderates that I know say, “I don’t want to live like them”.”

    We join you in pursuing reformation of Islam followed by secularization where believers gradually reject theological fundamentalism as absurd and filter scripture only for benign symbolism mandating humanist empathy and altruistic practices.

    Currently Muslims are engaged in a great civil war at home centered in Syria but also infecting Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Bahrain with Saudi Arabia sponsoring Sunni armed forces and Iran those of the Shia. ( Christianity -Catholics and Protestants- fought its great “thirty-years” civil war between 1618 and 1648.) Muslims have piled up the bodies of their fellow Muslims to over the million notch on the wall of mass graves during the 21st century alone. The Crusades are over; ISIS, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, and the Ayatollah are HERE AND NOW.

    As with any war, “good” people who would normally talk about the weather or loan you a cup of sugar are enlisted on both sides, or more likely serve as collateral fodder with no dog in the fight. Until the inferno of homicidal fundamentalism burns itself out and civilized, tolerant democracies under the rule of law and public welfare rise from the ashes, Islam must be feared as the fountainhead for the geopolitical fascism of our times. Unfortunately, in western societies, security enforcement requires the ambivalent surveillance of Muslims and Mosques.

    Sharia law, denying defendants the human rights incorporated progressively into western civil and criminal law since the 18th century enlightenment, has no place in secular-humanist society. Believers paradoxically view Sharia law within the Umma as state law and outside the Umma as superior to any other state law, whose judgement has been fixed and made immutable by The Word of God for all time. In practice, there has always been wriggle room for interpretation even mercy, but too often there has been no court of appeal for the convicted wretch from the divine justice of the whip, the decapitating sword; and, for women, the beating and confinement of the father, her honor killing, and her dispossession of property, autonomy and opportunity.



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  • Yep, you are right Melvin. All muslims take their punishment with “it’s a fair cop” and offer their feet to be beaten!!! FFS!



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  • 64
    maria melo says:

    Islam is supremacist by definition

    Well, it´s not.
    Long, long before you know something about this kind of terrorism, part of a “civilized islamic world” knew it.
    I cannot make an exact quotation, but once reading about humanism in islamic world of centuries ago I found an astonishing quote, something like instead of matyrs you should care to know about science, and I got really astonished by the quote. More recentely I envisioned an interview with the King of Jordania and he referred indeed to this kind of “war” (whatever you call it) he said it reappears in history from time to time and is fought from time to time, by some part of the “islamic” world itself.



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  • Olgun #62: Yep, you are right Melvin. All muslims take their punishment with “it’s a fair cop” and offer their feet to be beaten!!! FFS!

    We hit a brick wall when we conflate the mixed pattern of attitudes and conduct loosely defined as individual character with an effective collective agreement to submit to the laws and governance of the state. For purposes of discussing the rulings of Sharia Law in family matters, especially the treatment of women, as they clash with progressive civil law, the human rights and due process protected thereby, Muslim communities are currently in a state of crisis. Muslim cultural norms and customs that oppress, enslave and sometimes brutalize women from the perspective of contemporary western morality and law, may be enshrined in the cherished authority of Sharia supported or opposed to various degrees by individual Muslims living in Islamic states in the middle East or in non-Muslim states in western Europe. The alarming reality is that Sharia Law has come to predominate by either majority or large minority rule in Islamic states or more clandestinely in some closed Muslim communities in the west. We take comfort that secularized Muslims oppose this arrangement but history has brought us to a place where it what it is. In my view, Sharia Law currently grounded in supreme Divine authority has no place in UK family law. I suspect that you believe mistakenly that all Muslims, or more precisely, all persons from Muslim countries, cultures, societies and ancestry are being singled out. Olgun, that is not the case nor is that the argument being made.



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  • Melvin

    Your scenario that you created above does not apply to every single Muslim majority country. Do you think that it does? Saudi Arabia and or Iran may be what you’re thinking of. There are vast differences in the balance between secular and sharia in all of those countries. It’s just too easy to paint all Muslim majority countries with a broad sharia brush. It’s simply not the case. North Africa Maghreb was colonized for more than one hundred years by France. No citizen of those countries knows what it’s like to live under sharia because their rule of law is secular, left behind from the French. This is what the Algerians were defending when they defeated the fundamentalists in a war of more than ten years. They don’t want to live like that and they don’t.

    I realize that you are stating the fundamentalist party line and how they require things to be but it’s much more complicated than that on the ground. There is strong secular resistance to fundamentalism in these countries but one must dig for information about them since it’s not on the radar of the average Westerner.

    Read Karima Bennoune.



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  • Olgun #60
    Dec 24, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Pin, I do object to that statement of it being a way of life in all cases when millions of people in Turkey are in danger of losing the choice they had.

    There are many features from Turkish and Islamic history which would be better not resurrected!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_slavery_in_the_Muslim_world#Slavery_in_the_Ottoman_Empire

    Slavery was a legal and important part of the economy of the Ottoman Empire and Ottoman society until the slavery of Caucasians was banned in the early 19th century, although slaves from other groups were allowed.

    Even after several measures to ban slavery in the late 19th century, the practice continued largely unfazed into the early 20th century. As late as 1908, female slaves were still sold in the Ottoman Empire. Sexual slavery was a central part of the Ottoman slave system throughout the history of the institution.

    In 1953, sheikhs from Qatar attending the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom included slaves in their retinues, and they did so again on another visit five years later.[68]

    In 1962 that all slavery practice or trafficking in Saudi Arabia was prohibited.

    By 1969 it could be observed that most Muslim states had abolished slavery although it existed in the deserts of Iraq bordering Arabia and it still flourished in Saudi Arabia, the Yemen and Oman.[69] Slavery was not formally abolished in Yemen and Oman until the following year.[70] The last nation to formally enact the abolition of slavery practice and slave trafficking was the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in 1981.

    Muhammad Qutb, brother and promoter, of the famous Sayyid Qutb, vigorously defended Islamic slavery from Western criticism.
    He contrasted the adultery, prostitution, and (what he called) “that most odious form of animalism” casual sex, found in Europe, with (what he called) “that clean and spiritual bond that ties a maid [i.e. slave girl] to her master in Islam.”

    In recent years, according to some scholars,[80] there has been a “reopening”[81] of the issue of slavery by some conservative Salafi Islamic scholars after its “closing” earlier in the 20th century when Muslim countries banned slavery and “most Muslim scholars” found the practice “inconsistent with Qur’anic morality.”[82][83]

    In 2003, Shaykh Saleh Al-Fawzan, a member of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Senior Council of Clerics, issued fatwa claiming “Slavery is a part of Islam. Slavery is part of jihad, and jihad will remain as long there is Islam.”[84] Muslim scholars who said otherwise were “infidels”.

    While Saleh Al-Fawzan’s fatwa does not repeal Saudi laws against slavery, the fatwa carries weight among many Salafi Muslims According to reformist jurist and author Khaled Abou El Fadl, it “is particularly disturbing and dangerous because it effectively legitimates the trafficking in and sexual exploitation of so-called domestic workers in the Gulf region and especially Saudi Arabia.

    There is much confusion and conflict over Islamic “theological interpretations”, but attitudes to women and non-Muslims are very clear in some places, and have been prominent at some times in the past history of caliphates, which some would wish to resurrect!



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  • Alan #67

    The slave trade had existed in North Africa since antiquity

    Further down

    In 1785 when Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to London to
    negotiate with Tripoli’s envoy, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, they
    asked him what right he had to take slaves in this way. He replied
    that the “right” was “founded on the Laws of the Prophet,

    Again using religion to justify an age old trade taken over.



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  • Melvin

    You may see from other posts that I am not the only one who reads your posts as they are. We have laws! If two people decide to use the people next door to witness a signed agreement, is that binding in law? Of course no one wants the worse parts of sharia law but if it has already been with us for a long time already, along with its Jewish equivalent, then incorporating it into British law will see it negotiated down or not at all. It might be an opportunity to show a recognised working system. I have, many times, shown my offence at Islam and religion as a whole but realise that it will not go away tomorrow. Waving your finger in the general direction is not good enough.



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  • That’s an interesting wiki article, Olgun. Check out the numbers of slaves that were brought into N.Africa during the slave period.

    The Ohio State University history Professor Robert Davis describes the White Slave Trade as minimized by most modern historians in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500–1800 (Palgrave Macmillan). Davis estimates that 1 million to 1.25 million white Christian Europeans were enslaved in North Africa, from the beginning of the 16th century to the middle of the 18th, by slave traders from Tunis, Algiers, and Tripoli alone (these numbers do not include the European people which were enslaved by Morocco and by other raiders and traders of the Mediterranean Sea coast),[1] and roughly 700 Americans were held captive in this region as slaves between 1785 and 1815.[2]

    Sixteenth- and 17th-century customs statistics suggest that Istanbul’s additional slave import from the Black Sea may have totaled around 2.5 million from 1450 to 1700.[3] The markets declined after the loss of the Barbary Wars and finally ended in the 1830s, when the region was conquered by France.

    Just told my (Algerian) husband that with numbers like that there must be a slave ancestor in every family in Algeria now. There’s a town in the west of Algeria that is extremely proud of their high number of blond, blue eyed citizens. They love to explain how they were residents of Andalusia in its hey-day but with the reconquista, they retreated south back to Algeria and settled in Tlemcen. Now I’m wondering if they aren’t all just descendants of a bunch of Northern European slaves. It’s not such a high and mighty family story as being related to the celebrated andalusian crowd, ha!



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  • Olgun #70
    Dec 25, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    Sorry forgot the link Alan

    Unfortunately many people who are shouting in the media about ISIS and “minorities of extremists” and “tolerance”, are particularly ignorant of some sections of history!
    BOKO Harem is abducting teenage girls by armed force at the present time in Africa, and ISIS is capturing and marketing women from “heretic religious groups” in areas it invades and dominates!

    These are people who need to be firmly kept in place by strong leaders enforcing secular laws – like Assad and Gaddafi, – not pussy-footing, fudging, apologists, with ideological notions of “liberating democracy”, who think they are clever negotiators!

    The corrupt involvement of big business and foreign arms dealers in these countries does not help either!



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  • 72

    These are people who need to be firmly kept in place by strong leaders enforcing secular laws

    Democracy hasn’t worked so well in that part of the world. Egypt, Palestinians and Algeria have all elected fundamentalists to government in the past.

    It isn’t unusual to hear a statement from someone there in recommendation of a “benevolent dictator”. Interesting debates always follow. 😉



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  • 74
    maria melo says:

    These are people who need to be firmly kept in place by strong leaders
    enforcing secular laws – like Assad and Gaddafi

    Sorry, but it doesn´t make sense to me.
    Gaddafi raped women every night.

    However, that´s how facism has worked out for 50 years, in Portugal as far as there was a great political caos (in one year 27 governments got to power and were desposed from power, perhaps I am not being precise in the number), I grew up listening to the same kind arguments.



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  • maria melo #74
    Dec 26, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Gaddafi raped women every night.

    I thought the allegations were also about civil war fighters, and that they were unsubstantiated propaganda!
    Do you have some evidence from a reputable source?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Libyan_rape_allegations

    In the 1970s and 1980s there were reports of Muammar Gaddafi making sexual advances toward female reporters and members of his entourage.[13]
    After the civil war, more serious charges came to light.
    Annick Cojean (fr), a journalist for Le Monde, wrote in her book, Gaddafi’s Harem that Gaddafi had raped, tortured, performed urolagnia, and imprisoned hundreds or thousands of women, usually very young.[14]
    Another source—Libyan psychologist Seham Sergewa—reported that several of his female bodyguards claim to have been raped by Gaddafi and senior officials.[15]
    After the civil war, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, said there was evidence that Gaddafi told soldiers to rape women who had spoken out against his regime.[15]
    In 2011 Amnesty questioned this and other claims used to justify Nato’s war in Libya.

    The 2011 Libyan rape allegations refer to allegations that arose in April 2011 that Gaddafi’s forces in Libya were committing mass rape during the 2011 Libyan civil war. In 2014, the new Libyan government has said that compensation should be paid for the victims of rape during the war.[1]

    Allegations arose in 2011 that Viagra and other impotency drugs were being distributed by Gaddafi to sustain the rapes.[2]
    The charges have been denied by Libyan diplomats as propaganda.[2]
    In June 2011, the International Criminal Court began an investigation into the rape allegations seeking to add the rapes to Gaddafi’s list of war crimes charges.[3][4]
    Amnesty international, Human Rights Watch[5] and Doctors Without Borders[6] failed to find first-hand evidence that mass rapes were occurring, this was confirmed by the UN’s investigator, M. Cherif Bassiouni.

    Ironically, in 2016 there were reports that African women were being raped by the same Libyan rebels who overthrew Gadhafi.

    ===========

    These are people who need to be firmly kept in place by strong leaders enforcing secular laws – like Assad and Gaddafi

    Sorry, but it doesn´t make sense to me.

    The comments which “don’t make sense to you”, were discussing the recorded history of centuries of Islamic trading in bought or captured sex-slaves in the Mediterranean area, and the modern Islamic fundamentalists (BOKO Harem and ISIS), who – with a bit of help from some Saudi clerics, – are resurrecting these abuses!



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  • 76
    maria melo says:

    I guess I was not discussing sex rape or slavery, again, it doesn´t make sense, even ONU blue helmets raped children, slavery was a normal practise in ancient world, (even to Aristotle) and unfortunetelly I consider it still exists in countries we´d call civilized.
    women would have to think the practise of rape as more general of male man (not christian, nor muslim, nor white, nor chinese, but almost universal among men) so, it does not make sense to me, and it doesn´t make an argument either, I don´t even care to know about all details about Gaddafi regime, and the sources…

    You have there a facist argumente I have said and that was my point.
    well I live already for 43 years in democracy and don´t really need any facist argument to have civil order.



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  • Maria, it’s very difficult to drag societies out of their strong tribal traditions. To form a unified society where the state acts in the best interests of a large number of diverse people can sometimes require a heavy hand to bring everyone together. Tribes are a very strong family unit that act (ferociously) in their own best interests. There are many negative aspects of tribalism that just work against a society that is trying to move toward egalitarian, humanistic values.

    We are not advocating a fascist dictator who crushes the citizens of that society just musing about how some tribal societies could transition in an acceptable way toward the sort of society that we would want for them.

    It was a ridiculous and ultimately very harmful strategy when American politicians and much of the public here believed that the American military could just march into Iraq and knock off Sadam and replace him with an American style happy democracy. They were not ready for that. They have reverted right back to their tribalism. The whole Middle East is heading in that direction too. Sorting themselves out based on religion and ethnicity.



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  • maria melo #76
    Dec 26, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I don´t even care to know about all details about Gaddafi regime, and the sources…

    That would rather create doubt as to the credibility of the information you are posting, and any claims to critical thinking which you are making!

    The links to the history from Olgun and myself, give considerable detail.



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  • 79
    maria melo says:

    Back to the OP: Well, at first I thought the the manifestation of the news confusing, then assumed there was A STRONG sign that people, including politicians as Boris Johnson (the one that actually used the term paralell judicial systems) are confused themselves in a way that seems they did not interiorised what they should in a society with strong order, in a way that I kind of made my analogy with “anomia” (a sociological term that means caos of social values after a revoltution), what does not make sense either far as Britain is not fertile in revolutions, then Alan4 discussion made it a clear explaining what arbritation is and what aim it has (mostly for commercial purpose which can become indeed a very expensive litigation, not for use in divorces). I really still think there´s a shame out there for all the caos of values, that seems a kind of “collective hysteria”.



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  • 80
    maria melo says:

    I don´t even care to know about all details about Gaddafi regime, and
    the sources… That would rather create doubt as to the credibility of
    the information you are posting, and any claims to critical thinking
    which you are making!

    Not really in my case, I had Journalism as subject at school ( I could become Jornalist, so I tend to presume there´s a strong ethics of the profession), at the same time, we live in a globalised world bombarded with information (counter-information), sometimes I make a note about some source, sometimes I don´t. For the case, if it really does matter, I have watched some tv docummentaries about Gaddafi actually.
    If it does matter some journalists even risk their lives for the news and then you can even ask what the sources are. Just presume the source was enough to me to believe., that doesn´t make the big Picture, it´s just a detail, I thought.



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  • Laurie

    We are not advocating a fascist dictator who crushes the citizens of that society just musing about how some tribal societies could transition in an acceptable way toward the sort of society that we would want for them.

    This transition is a major problem. Much as I despise ideologies it has often struck me that a route out of a religiously underwritten tribalism might transition via a more modern ideology like strong socialism. It seems rational to me that Kurds and Iranians etc. had at various times made good moral progress with Marxism and found its mutuality a good narrative segue from an oppressive religious patriarchy.

    I think it is no accident that those inside and out of “the tribe” and wishing for improvement like Malala Yousafzai and Maryam Namazie are both Marxists.



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  • maria melo #80
    Dec 26, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Just presume the source was enough to me to believe.,

    You run a very great risk of accepting propagandist garbage, if you simply uncritically accept news stories. – especially those branded as dubious by respected investigative bodies and official reports of investigations.

    @#75 – link – Amnesty international, Human Rights Watch[5] and Doctors Without Borders[6] failed to find first-hand evidence that mass rapes were occurring, this was confirmed by the UN’s investigator, M. Cherif Bassiouni.

    There are many newspaper and media sources, which have reputations (based on their past records) for producing hyped exaggerations, made-up nonsense, and reproducing false propaganda, fed to them by “think-tanks” and political organisations!

    Not really in my case, I had Journalism as subject at school ( I could become Jornalist, so I tend to presume there´s a strong ethics of the profession)

    It is laughable to suggest that what is commonly referred to as “the gutter press”, has ethics.
    They will promote ANYTHING for money or lazily accept free stories they can sell for profit!



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  • Yes Phil, that’s very interesting. I’ve found it fascinating to learn about how Algeria, post revolution, implemented their socialist reforms. My husband was a child during the revolution but by the time he was a teen he worked on the agrarian reform movement there. When I lived there for three years I went into the place having a preprogramed fear/disdain of Socialism as a product of this US mentality. Years later when I was having a meal with my parents in a cafe in Paris we argued bitterly when I told them that this Socialist model that the Algerians had in place was the best system for their transition to independence. This didn’t sit well with American super Capitalists. They saw me as a traitor and I saw them as myopic. Oh well.

    Algerian socialism is fraught with problems but I think they were headed in the right direction at that time. I wish my own country would lean in that direction a little harder!



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  • LaurieB #83
    Dec 26, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    preprogramed fear/disdain of Socialism as a product of this US mentality.

    The point has been made on this site before about the ideologically coached, mind-closing irrationality, of dismissing an evidenced argument, simply by sticking an invented political badge on it (socialism, fascism, communism scientism, etc), and refusing to look at it!



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  • 85
    maria melo says:

    I think my time is too precious to loose it with “gutter press”. I trust the OPINION of a historian, who I suppose has rigorous training to know what is an historical fact for instance and to make historical analisis, however, it still is opinion nontheless.

    It´s not fair to blame the media or the interpretation of events everyone makes of historical facts, once we are necessarly alive, belong necessarly to some social-economical status, gender, and necessarly have a personal interpretation of historical facts, so news and opinions are not necessarly manipulation but appear spontaneously.
    Gadafi, manipulated himself the media or tried to and was in fact a dictator (=historical fact), and political opinion too, how could I reason without stiking him to a category?.



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  • 86
    maria melo says:

    “The point has been made on this site before about the ideologically coached, mind-closing irrationality, of dismissing an evidenced argument, simply by sticking an invented political badge on it (socialism, fascism, communism scientism, etc), and refusing to look at it!”

    I did not refuse to look at it, really the contrary, almost forced someone to look at it, and Laurie B did it I guess.

    Well Laurie B, I ussualy liten to the same common opinion, I am not sure wether USA made a catastrophic interpherence in those countries (in Lybia am Isupposed to think USA did intervine too?) I am not quite sure.



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  • Maria

    I don’t know the details of the US interference in Libya but that place has huge oil reserves in the Sahara and I’d be surprised if the US kept their nose out of it!



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  • 88
    maria melo says:

    Reply to the previous comment of LaurieB
    Sincerely, hope we´ll no longer have this argument of oil in the future due to “the green revolution” (ah).
    Interesting quote:
    “The press is the expression of society and not the means of expression of a physical or moral person. In the case of an individual, owner of a newspaper, the newspaper is his and only expresses his point of view. Pretending to be the newspaper of public opinion is false and without any foundation, because in reality it expresses only the point of view of a physical person. It is not democratically permissible for a natural person to have a means of diffusion or information. “Socialist Thought of Gaddafi

    Historical fact: Gadafi wanted to finance a “leftish press” in Portugal.



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  • Olgun #69: Of course no one wants the worse parts of sharia law but if it has already been with us for a long time already, along with its Jewish equivalent, then incorporating it into British law will see it negotiated down or not at all. It might be an opportunity to show a recognised working system. I have, many times, shown my offence at Islam and religion as a whole but realise that it will not go away tomorrow. Waving your finger in the general direction is not good enough.

    We’re loosing touch with the proposition of the article under discussion: Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know. Whether you agree or disagree with the proposition, it says what it means and it means what it says. “Incorporating Sharia into British law” is a way of saying you believe Sharia has some role to play in UK family law. In my opposing view, negotiating it down after incorporation also invites negotiating it upwards to supersede the law of a sovereign state justified by Muslim belief that Sharia imposes the higher law of God overriding the rule of any human law. This is a recipe for civil, perhaps violent, conflict between some Muslim communities and sovereign democratic governments.

    We atheists -the label “secular-humanists” is more compelling in this context – believe all laws are human made and that no law has any authority external to the police and judicial (human) powers that carry out current enforcement and judgement on people under its jurisdiction. Civil and criminal law in the UK incessantly subjected to the process of revision and evolving amendments mediating dynamic historical challenges using the tools of reason, morality and science is superior to Sharia law anchored in the medieval delusion that Sharia enforces the absolute, immutable word of God revealed to Mohammad in the first half of the 7th century.

    Islam encompasses a huge body of diverse believers and nation states in various stages of moral, social and political development. The faith per se cannot and should not provoke criticism that paints 1.2 billion people with a common brush or demeaning stereotypes. Nonetheless the march of historical events, has brought Islamists to points of conflict where the ideological dynamics of the religion present a nemesis to democratic western civilization. As Laurie pointed out, the bad news is that much of the totalitarian, expansionist and murderous agenda is perpetrated by an Islamist youth movement. The good news is that the blood lust of [mostly] young radicalized males, along with ephemeral enthusiasm for the temporary “high” of fanaticism, burns itself out sooner rather than later. Punitive forms of Islam thriving today will almost certainly go the way of the crusades, the inquisition, and the religious wars of the past. In a generation or two the vast majority of Muslims will practice their faith, to the extent that they practice it at all, out of respect for shared cultural-ancestral traditions and out of vague sympathy for the platitude that “religion” makes one a better person in a secular, diverse and inclusive society.

    But today while millions remain in thrall to visions of hate and power driving the atrocities of pan-Islamism, Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know



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  • maria melo #85
    Dec 26, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    I think my time is too precious to loose it with “gutter press”. I trust the OPINION of a historian, who I suppose has rigorous training to know what is an historical fact for instance and to make historical analisis, however, it still is opinion nontheless.

    It´s not fair to blame the media or the interpretation of events everyone makes of historical facts, once we are necessarly alive, belong necessarly to some social-economical status, gender, and necessarly have a personal interpretation of historical facts,

    This is a science sites where we seek out and look at evidence and the validity of sources. It is entirely fair to blame the media for reports which are not supported by evidence – especially when they contradict reports which are supported by evidence.

    so news and opinions are not necessarly manipulation but appear spontaneously.

    Objectivity is the ability to distinguish spontaneous feelings, notions, and manipulated gossip, from properly researched information presented by reputable research organisations.

    Well Laurie B, I ussualy listen to the same common opinion, I am not sure wether USA made a catastrophic interpherence in those countries (in Lybia am Isupposed to think USA did intervine too?) I am not quite sure.

    Why not look up information? The evidence of foreign interference in the form of air-strikes is readily available.

    Having instigated revolution against the Gaddafi regime in a plot bring about regime change to get Libya’s resources, western powers launched military attacks on the Libyan armed forces to let their rebel puppets take over the country! That started the chain of events and the disastrous civil war which destroyed law and order, and is still wrecking that country!

    For a long time the western media repeated the propaganda reference to armed rebels as civilian “protesters”!

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/libya/2011/10/20111020104244706760.html

    February 20: Rebels take Benghazi. After several days of fighting, and hundreds of people killed, anti-Gaddafi fighters seized control of Libya’s second city.

    Cities further east, including Baida and Tobruk, were already under rebel control at this point. Doctors at Benghazi’s ill-equipped hospitals said more than 300 people were killed in several days of fighting , which included numerous attacks on funeral processions.

    The key event in the battle for Benghazi was the fall of the Katiba , the city’s well-stocked military garrison staffed by, among other units, the feared Khamis Brigade. Fighters armed with rifles and homemade bombs laid siege to the garrison for several days, and a reported suicide car bomber eventually blew a hole in the building’s gate, allowing the fighters inside.

    Gaddafi would continue to launch sporadic attacks on Benghazi in the weeks to come, but would never regain control of the city.

    March 10: Gaddafi bombs Brega; retakes Zawiyah, Bin Jawad. Further west, though, the early weeks of the war did not go well for the rebels.

    After an initial advance, Gaddafi began pushing the rebels back. His military shelled Ras Lanuf, a key oil port in eastern Libya, and seized the nearby town of Brega; there was also fierce fighting in Ajdabiya, another stop on the road to Benghazi.

    Residents in the “rebel capital” grew increasingly fearful of bombing raids from Gaddafi’s air force.

    A small revolt in Zawiyah, 50km to the east of Tripoli, was quickly crushed by Gaddafi’s forces; that early defeat made many Libyans in the east reluctant to oppose the government.

    Gaddafi delivered several memorable speeches on Libyan state TV in late February and early March. He often blamed the protests on foreign intervention , and threatened to hunt down the protesters – “alley to alley, house to house.”

    The rebel losses in the east were a major reason for the push for a no-fly zone over Libya.

    March 19: NATO starts bombing Libya.
    After a debate, the United Nations Security Council voted to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Ten of the council’s 15 members voted “yes,” while five – Russia, China, India, Germany and Brazil – abstained.

    The resolution called for international military action to protect civilians. It would be enforced primarily by NATO, with logistical support from several Arab countries, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

    French jets began bombing Libya just hours after the resolution was passed , with bombers from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries joining shortly afterward.

    Rebel commanders would frequently complain about the pace of NATO air strikes (they wanted more), and several of them missed their intended targets and killed rebel fighters instead.
    But the bombing campaign was undeniably a major reason why Gaddafi’s military advance halted in mid-March.

    So basically, foreign powers encouraged and supported groups wanting to rebel, and then destroyed the Libyan air-force and attacked its army under the pretext of “protecting civilians”, when the rebels started to lose the battles and the Libyan government forces were putting down the rebellion! Of course in armed uprisings, the rebels are civilians unless foreign invading armies are involved on the ground!

    It is a pattern which war-mongering neo-colonialist western powers have been carrying out for decades, recklessly starting civil wars and invasions against governments they don’t like.

    What is certain, is that conditions for the inhabitants of those countries are thousands of times worse as a result of foreign interference, than they ever were under the previous governments!

    Having had foreign air-forces defeat Gaddafi for them the rebels continue fighting each other in an on-going civil war!



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  • LaurieB #87
    Dec 26, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I don’t know the details of the US interference in Libya but that place has huge oil reserves in the Sahara and I’d be surprised if the US kept their nose out of it!

    Libya has been the subject of trade and monetary sanctions /economic warfare for some years via the UN and some western powers.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-35939788

    The UN has said it will consider lifting sanctions on Libya’s sovereign wealth fund if a UN-backed government can regain control of the country.

    The sovereign wealth fund contains an estimated $67bn but has been restricted by sanctions since 2011.

    The UN-backed unity government arrived in Tripoli on Wednesday but remains confined to the capital’s port area after reports of gunfire in the city.

    The new government is opposed by the coalition that controls Tripoli.

    Over recent days, the city’s airspace was intermittently closed to stop the new government, which has been based in neighbouring Tunisia, from arriving by air.

    In a televised address, the head of the Tripoli authorities, Khalifa Ghweil, said he regarded the politicians as interlopers and said they were not welcome.

    He urged “the illegitimate outsiders to surrender and be safe in our custody or to return to where they came from”.

    So it seems Libyans still don’t want flown in foreign puppets for a government – even if the foreigners who have seized their money offer to give it back!

    If the unity government can regain control of Libya, the UN’s 15-member security council has pledged to lift an asset freeze on the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).

    The freeze was imposed in 2011 to prevent former leader Muammar Gaddafi removing funds from the country.

    The security council unanimously renewed sanctions on Libya on Thursday and requested the new unity government confirm “as soon as it exercises sole and effective oversight” over the LIA, National Oil Corporation and the Central Bank of Libya.

    But it is not clear how the unity government will be able to take over state institutions in Tripoli, given the stiff opposition they face.

    Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of Gaddafi by Nato-backed forces.

    From 2014 it has had two competing administrations, one in Tripoli backed by powerful militias and the other about 1,000km (620 miles) away in the port city of Tobruk.

    Western powers have recognised the new unity government as Libya’s sole legitimate government but it faces opposition in east and west Libya.



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  • 92
    maria melo says:

    This is a science sites where we seek out and look at evidence and the
    validity of sources. It is entirely fair to blame the media for
    reports which are not supported by evidence – especially when they
    contradict reports which are supported by evidence

    Well I can give my source, which I doubt that will be published and like this I will not publish the link

    A Day in The Life of a Dictator (portrait of craziness in power) Documentary



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  • 93
    maria melo says:

    Why not look up information? The evidence of foreign interference in
    the form of air-strikes is readily available.

    Well I know there were military operations in Lybia, but not because of oil I suppose. To suppose it was for oil, that´s pure opinion.



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  • maria melo #92
    Dec 26, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    A Day in The Life of a Dictator (portrait of craziness in power) Documentary

    It seems the first two comments of the site detect bias!

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/day-life-dictator/


    Michael Douglas

    Sure these were crazy people but whenever a “documentary” dramatizes the events as this one does, it seems like little more than propaganda.

    Murad

    Come on, this is petty propaganda- it does not take a rocket scientist to see through the innuendo–but good luck!

    @~93 – Well I know there were military operations in Lybia, but not because of oil I suppose. To suppose it was for oil, that´s pure opinion.

    Really? Supposition is a very poor method of seeking information!

    @#91 – renewed sanctions on Libya on Thursday and requested the new unity government confirm “as soon as it exercises sole and effective oversight” over the LIA, National Oil Corporation and the Central Bank of Libya.

    I’m not sure why you are unable to make the connection to demands for a foreign approved “government” flown in from outside the country to control the oil, when the de-facto government in Tripoli calls them unwelcome illegitimate outsiders!

    Despite denials, there are similar on-the-record accounts of the Bush administration (you know with those “weapons of mass destruction”) working out (ludicrous mis-)calculations of covering the cost of the Iraq war from revenues from sales of Iraqi oil!



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  • 95
    Pinball1970 says:

    @olgun

    I replied to you Olgun on that point about supremacism in the koran.

    I am not sure if you read it before it went

    I am not posting anything long until I know my account is ok



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  • Laurie #71

    Similar customs and arts only separated by religion going backwards and forwards changing religion to suit your rulers of the time. Doesn’t bode well for ‘belief’.

    Melvin

    I don’t want it!!!! I see many programs trying to rethink our view of sharks and hyenas telling us that if we actually understood them we can control our fear of them. We manage them from a better position and can even swim them. I will not fall into the trap and regret it a later date. I am trying to take the short cut.

    The discussion can and has to be had. Can we reform the religion amongst us. It may not be possible but should we just slam the door on it? It is surely Islamaphobia when you pay more attention, just like the extremists themselves, to the book rather than its adherents. We have discussed many times the many interpretations of the quran and then people here post excerpts as gospel. Facts show this is not the case or the muslim world would be one. Can’t you see that you are forcing all into a corner and in effect, telling them what they are supposed to be believing? It works when arguing against all religion from a atheist perspective but not in the war against extremism. Two separate but linked issues to atheists at least. I get it that Islam is far behind as a whole but spikes of light appear here and there and are suffocated by the world of the west they are trying to get closer to. It is like saying to people whose crowded boat has sunk, ‘take off those robes and only then we will pull you out of the water’. So many better examples can be thought of but that will have to do. What do you want Melvin? A war? A religious war? Because that is what it will be.

    Pin

    I did not see it. Sorry.



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  • Sorry Melvin but I get frustrated when we use scientific facts and reason on every other problem we discuss on this site but cannot put together a reasonable plan to tackle this one. At the heart of EVERY religion is an ultimate pious essence. How it’s people actually behave is what needs changing.



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  • 98
    Pinball1970 says:

    @96
    Ok no problem
    I apologized (sort of) I know the difficult situation regarding Turkey and your connections
    I wont post it again
    @Mods-thanks for the mail- posts are back except xmas day – no issue with me unless you have an issue



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  • With the exception of morals, there is no sensible argument to have with the religious. Nor are they needed.

    The only arguments to have are about the quality of moral decision making, especially in how children are brought up and maximising their choices. That and the moral necessity of demonstrable and universally sharable truth. A moral society for all is founded in moral negotiation with all and an abstention, because heaven or hell or the supernatural, fails the living.

    er…thank you…. Carry on.



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  • There has been an advert on the run up to christmas showing a muslim cleric and a christian one exchanging presents of identical knee-pads. It shows them kneeling and praying at the end. Some people on face book are posting as an example of sameness and peace. I can dig that. I am always complaining on religions part in wars so peace is good. Very good. That is one side of me. The other thinks it should be used as a government information film, for the rest of the year, asking people who get on their knees every day to pray to an invisible something should protect their knees for the sake of the NHS and the rest of us.



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  • Olgun #97: Sorry Melvin but I get frustrated when we use scientific facts and reason on every other problem we discuss on this site but cannot put together a reasonable plan to tackle this one. At the heart of EVERY religion is an ultimate pious essence. How it’s people actually behave is what needs changing.

    I also feel a cringe of lameness when I privilege an argument with “[based on] Science and Reason.” The late pragmatist philosopher, Richard Rorty, put it honestly when he said (paraphrasing), “I’m ethnocentric” [in this case] I believe my system of law is better than your system of law.

    More to the point, in theory Sharia Law could work like the bylaws of a gardening club, a fraternal club or a private religious sect where membership is voluntary and the laws are more or less carefully monitored by the civil authorities when they drift into gray areas of abuse. We know that Islam pronounces sharia law to be sovereign over every citizen born into the Umma. It wields authority in alliance with religious beliefs over every aspect of behavior. It is both State Law in Islamic nations and subverts or displaces State Law among some Muslims living in separatist communities within infidel western nations.

    Islam is not only a world religion with over a billion adherents, but also the ruling power of nation
    states with geopolitical ambitions that have fragmented into militarized terrorist surrogates some cooperating some in opposition to the states that spawned them.

    Some Muslims honor Sharia as an extension of both Islamic state power but also Divine Power. We westerners cannot get our heads around this paradoxical concept because we have so deeply internalized the principle of separation of church and state. Simply put, Muslims cannot practice Sharia apart from their consciousness of anathema embodied by the infidel, the heretic, the apostate. Herein lies the crux of the challenge of permitting the practice of Sharia arbitrating innocuous customs, individual contractual promises, minor interpersonal conflicts and permitting Sharia to deprive human beings, especially women, of rights, autonomy, mobility, freedom of conscience, and opportunity that western democracies have enshrined in law subject to revision in the civic square. When a Sharia court abuses a women or justifies laying a hand on her that’s a deal breaker. Better to eliminate the abomination altogether.

    Muslim immigrants are guests in western nations admitted on condition of accepting a social contract to assimilate reasonably in all areas requiring tolerance, and strictly with respect to obeying the laws and supporting the integrity of the civil institutions that over time have may grant them the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship. For the time being, Europeans anxiously await the mixed responses of Muslim communities to this imperative.



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  • Melvin, I offered no final plan and therefore no ‘law’ of my own. I am asking greater educated brains than mine to find ways in scientific terms

    Melvin, you go from subject to subject refusing to change any small detail in your original statement no matter what ‘new’ information comes your way. Your description is alien to me in that I live with muslims every day and I can only view it is islamaphobic rhetoric in every sense of the word. If it stifles conversation, it is because you are saying nothing new. All the very different silly traditions I see, under the guise of religion, from various villages, let alone countries, only makes me see the inconsistency with what you are describing as a clear cut islam in your posts. The difference between the orthodox Jewish religion and Islam is slight in writing but you single out one as not having the ability to exist in a christian country. It makes no sense and would not feature in my plan to find a way forward.



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  • Olgun #96
    Dec 27, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I see many programs trying to rethink our view of sharks and hyenas telling us that if we actually understood them we can control our fear of them.

    This is an interesting analogy!
    Sharks I would have to be certain of identifying the correct species.
    Hyenas I would not trust at all!

    We manage them from a better position and can even swim them.

    I would be happy to swim with Whale Sharks or Basking Sharks (Plankton feeders), but would avoid most others!

    It reminds me a a survey in my student days when parties of biologists and geographers shared a coach trip to a mountain survey venue.

    After setting off across the boggy hillsides, the geographers were covered with peat and mud up to their knees, while most of the biologists only had mud on their boots!

    The difference was the botanical ability to tell aquatic marsh plants from terrestrial ones before placing a boot on the next piece of vegetation.

    I will not fall into the trap and regret it a later date. I am trying to take the short cut.

    Its a bit like that with identifying the species or sharks.
    Unfortunately even experts make mistakes sometimes, – and calculating the strength of religious adherence in individuals, is a lot harder to diagnose!



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  • What do you want Melvin? A war? A religious war? Because that is what it will be.

    Syria. The war has already been declared and pursued with a murderous intensity that beggars the imagination. Have you been watching? Why the accusation that I want a religious war?

    Melvin, you go from subject to subject refusing to change any small detail in your original statement no matter what ‘new’ information comes your way. Your description is alien to me in that I live with muslims every day and I can only view it is islamaphobic rhetoric in every sense of the word. If it stifles conversation, it is because you are saying nothing new.

    My recriminations are mutual. I’m addressing the topic under discussion: Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know How do I go from subject to subject and yet “refuse to change any small detail of my original statement? Perhaps it is because I’m staying on topic: Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know Please allow me to say something new: Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know

    The difference between the orthodox Jewish religion and Islam is slight in writing but you single out one as not having the ability to exist in a christian country.

    I never said this. I said exactly the opposite: I believe in freedom of religion, (the free but harmless exercise thereof) freedom of conscience and the freedom to renounce religion -its affiliation, constraints, and pseudo-legal punishments. That is why I have taken an affirmative position on the proposition under discussion: Sharia courts have no place in UK family law. Listen to women who know



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  • 106
    maria melo says:

    Perhaps I am too late to replying Alan4discussion on the subject Gadafi?

    To be accepted by the ICC the petition has to accomplish acceptable pre-requisites, so it did in case of Gadafi, it seems, the prosecutor of ICC wanted a warrant against Gadafi? (does it mean something to you other the issue with ICC other than propaganda?)
    A second remark would be that even if you don´t find evidence for a crime, the court does not necessarly call the petitioner a lier or prodagandist.
    (I believe you posted a different accusation o rape a a war crime, and I am not quite sure if these were all the accusations against Gadafi).

    Third, social and human sciences accept and need a great degree of subjectivity, you are dealling with a great degree of subjectivity but you seem to think that your conclusions are the same as “rocket science”´s conclusions.
    Well, I´m sure either if the crimes of Gadafi matter to you at all, as long as a secular regime is better, no matter the cost?



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  • maria melo #106
    Dec 29, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    Well, I´m sure either if the crimes of Gadafi matter to you at all, as long as a secular regime is better, no matter the cost?

    I did not say Gaddafi was a saint!
    I said that more, and most, of the people of Libya, were far safer and better off under his rule, than when western powers were bombing them, and armed factions are fighting a civil war around their homes! The personal cost to Libyan citizens is enormous!

    Here are few events:-

    (BTW;- Peaceful demonstrators don’t have mortars, artillery and tanks.)

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/20/world/libya-civil-war-fast-facts/

    February 15, 2011 – Libyan security forces crack down on protesters as anti-government demonstrations take place in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city.

    March 19, 2011 – Government and opposition troops battle with mortars, artillery fire, and tanks in Benghazi.

    March 20, 2011 – Gadhafi calls the countries involved in Operation Odyssey Dawn airstrikes terrorists, and “the new Nazis,” while promising a “long-drawn war.”

    April 6, 2011 – An oil tanker under the control of the Libyan opposition departs the port of Tobruk, bound for Qatar. It is the first known rebel oil export.
    – In a letter to President Obama, Gadhafi urges him to end the NATO bombing campaign.

    April 30, 2011 – NATO launches a missile attack on a house in Tripoli. The attack kills Gaddafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, and three grandchildren.

    May 6, 2011 – Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Russia will oppose any military ground operations in Libya.

    May 12, 2011 – NATO airstrikes target the Bab al-Aziziyah compound of Moammar Gadhafi. The Libyan leader is uninjured, but three other people are reported killed.

    June 14, 2011 – South African President Jacob Zuma charges that NATO is misusing the United Nations resolutions meant to protect civilians, in order to pursue regime change and assassinate Moammar Gadhafi.

    August 30, 2011 – Rebel commander Hisham Abu Hajer claims that more than 50,000 Libyans have been killed in the uprising.
    September-October 2011 – Fighting continues across Libya, concentrating in Sirte.

    September 1, 2011 – A British RAF C-17 transport plane delivers 280 million dinars (approximately $226,502,853 U.S.) to the Central Bank of Libya.
    – Interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil addresses supporters in Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli and says, “We aim to establish a state of law, a state of welfare, a state where Islamic Sharia law is the main source of legislation.

    September 20, 2011 – NTC Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, at the U.N. General Assembly, says that he expects Libya to have a new government within 10 days.

    After years of chaos, lawlessness, and bloodshed, at the end of 2016 they still have factions vying for power, and don’t have a government that actually governs!

    October 20, 2011 – Moammar Gadhafi is killed after being captured by rebel forces in his hometown Sirte, Libya.
    – According to Pentagon spokesman George Little, U.S. Defense Department costs for operations in Libya stand at about $1.1 billion as of September 30, which includes daily military operations, munitions, the draw down of supplies and humanitarian assistance.

    So $1.1billion plus the costs of other country’s military interventions, does not look like some spontaneous uprising of the Libyan people! – More like a failed foreign attempt to impose a puppet government!

    Whatever the politics, the informed opinion is that the whole operation was an ill-considered mess, which has caused huge suffering to the Libyan people, and massively destabilised the region!

    It also looks like becoming another Islamic State in place of a secular one as a result of western intervention!



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