Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Bigger Picture



"I left the world of faith, of genital cutting and forced marriage for the world of reason and sexual emancipation. After making this voyage I know that one of these two worlds is simply better than the other. Not for its gaudy gadgetry, but for its fundamental values"

-Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author Infidel


Long before the twin towers were felled by terrorists working in the name of Allah, I found myself somewhat familiar with Islam.


Working in the "Free Mumia" movement, I had met a number of Muslims of various sects and the MOVE supporter whom I lived with had a brother who was a convert to Islam.


But even before I was a supporter of Jamal I had been intrigued by the religion and the controversy that seems to perpetually surround it. As a child addicted to books and reading, I had followed, as much as I could understand, the madness that followed the publication of Salman Rushdie’s book, "Satanic Verses". The supposed offenses against Islam’s prophet had led to world wide calls for Rushdie’s murder that caused him to spend years in hiding.


I can still recall thumbing through Rushdie’s book at the mall and not understanding much from his fictional work, certainly nothing that would allow my mind to comprehend how words on a page could possibly mean the end of somebody’s life. The controversy was once again recently inflamed as Britain bestowed Knighthood on Rushdie, leading again to threats against his life as well as calls for the destruction of the United Kingdom.


Oh to be so naive again.


A few years later, as I started down the road of radicalism I watched Spike Lee’s brilliant cinematic adaption of "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" more times than I care to admit. And while I clearly could not identify with the racialist conspiracy theories of the Nation of Islam, my interest in orthodox Islam was piqued.


I wandered off to the public library one day while skipping school and snatched up the one copy of the Koran from the shelves and between sitting in the near empty library and reading while walking home, I got most of the way through it.


It was hardly impressive to me. Confusing, cruel, and riddled with contradictions, my flirtation with the "religion of peace" ended with my reading of it’s holy tract.


As the years went by, and I became more extreme in my thinking and acquaintances, I crossed paths with Muslims of various stripes on numerous occasions. One event that will forever be etched in my mind was a "political prisoner" conference held in New York City that I attended with MOVE members. All of the usual suspects were there giving there usual "down with the system" speeches. One speaker in particular stood out to me then, and stands out now. He was a representative of an Islamic group whose name escapes me, although I think he had something to do with the so-called "Blind sheik" who orchestrated the original attack on the World Trade Center. This speaker was clear that America would "soon" be made to pay for it’s transgressions against the Muslim world. His fiery oratory was met with the most rousing applause of the evening. Everyone was clapping, myself included.


I think about that speech by that angry young man when the subject of 9/11 comes up. I realize that on that day I had more in common with the terrorists than I did with their victims and the heroes who rose up that day to fight back.


It would be comforting to myself to pretend that as the towers where falling that I was swept up in the moral outrage that the terrorist’s attack deserved, but while I quietly mourned, I did not immediately toss my hat in with the people throughout the world who were awakened to the threat of radical Islam.


Only after leaving MOVE would I fully appreciate my own freedom and the nature of the threat against it by the proponents of Islam and their enablers on the far-left who have lost the ability to recognize fascism when they see it.


As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time reading the works of anti-authoritarian writers, the parallels between tiny, essentially inconsequential cults like MOVE, and terrifying entities like al-Qeda, can not be overlooked. Nor can I deny that the Islamic world in general is a threat to our values, our communities, and the freedoms that we hold so dear.


Although there are only a reported 2 million Muslims in the United States, the fact that this backward cult reduces women in it to veiled breeding machines, one can expect that even if there were a precipitous drop in immigration from Islamic nations this number will continue to grow, and so too the danger.


People like to make the comforting, but self-delusional argument that Islam has been "hijacked" by the extremists, that it is quite similar to the Bible and the Torah. It is true that the Koran is similar insofar as it is a poorly executed compilation of plagiarisms, but it is hardly the "religion of peace", as has been asserted by the President, and countless others.


Islam’s demands for complete submission by it’s adherents and an obsession with forcing non-believers to be disallowed from making criticisms make Islam fertile ground for theocratic despotisms.


It is a faith born of warfare, butchery, and terror, that we act surprised when Muslims act like they have acted since the inception of their religion only demonstrates our lack of knowledge about Muhammad and the teachings he left behind. The current "schism" between Shia and Sunni Muslims is not a result of British and American "imperialism", but is actually continuation of a conflict nearly as old as the faith itself.


Perhaps most egregious to me, for more reasons than I have space and time to write, is Islam’s treatment of women and female children. It is perhaps arguable that Islam was liberating at the time it was conceived by Muhammad, but as writer Ibn Warraq points out "Islam is the fundamental cause of the repression of Muslim women and remains the major obstacle to the evolution of their position." But after all, what can be expected by a religion made up by a man who enjoyed the "pleasures" of his female slaves and married to a nine year old child?


If anyone bothers to read the Koran itself, you discover that it considers women to be terminally inferior in every way imaginable, the repository’s of sin, and gateways to hell whose only worth is in that they are virtually property of their husbands.


More indicting than even the Koran is the Islamic hadiths or traditions which are based the Islamic laws or Sharia in which the nature and role of Muslim women is spelled out in excruciating detail. Even a hermaphrodite exists on higher level of Islam’s hierarchy than does a woman.


Modern apologists and Islamists when faced with the glaring reality of the centuries of brutal misogyny of their faith respond that Islam serves as a protectorate of women and point to the
sexual objectification of women in the West as a way to demonstrate Islamic superiority.


They do have a kind of point in all of this, but the notion that the West could solve this problem by forcing veils and second-class citizenship on women is patently absurd. Moreover, it is an argument that ignores the epidemic of horrific abuses of women that occur in Islamic countries.
Abuses that are codified in laws and the culture of many Islamic countries. In Pakistan for example, women who are victims of rape are often charged with adultery or fornication. In order for the woman to prove she has been raped, she must produce four Muslim men of good character to testify that not only did an attack take place, but that penetration occurred. If pregnancy occurs as a result of rape, it is taken as a sign from Allah that adultery or fornication has occurred and the woman again finds herself facing charges. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that one woman is raped very three hours in it’s country and one of every two of these victims is a child.


Like MOVE, the primary victims of Islam are it’s own adherents. For too long people who know better have turned the other cheek to these abuses under the guise of political correctness. This while women and children suffer untold abuses at the hand of a thoroughly backwards faith have been sacrificed upon the alter of multiculturalism.


There is a war. There are sides to be taken. I have chosen mine.

6 Comments:

At 11:26 PM , Anonymous Christian Peheim said...

One thought before I start. You really hit a nerve with this one article because it goes to the basics of how sects work.

„...the proponents of Islam and their enablers on the far-left who have lost the ability to recognize fascism when they see it.”

That’s not entirely true. In reality both of them, Islam and far-left, are living examples of fascism.

There are many visible parallels. In the 1930s and 40s free speech was suppressed, and so it is now by so-called hate speech laws which essentially have the same chilling effect. People have been jailed and fined for words (especially in Sweden but in the UK, as well) and a political party has been eliminated because they were politically incorrect (Belgium). Stories I've heard from my grandparent’s generation regarding encounters with GESTAPO are all too similar to encounters with the new thought police in Sweden, England, Belgium, or other countries. Left-wing fascism is really strong in Europe. The sad point is that Europe does not consist of free countries anymore.

Of course, these left-wing fascists have learned from the past and call their motives “political correctness”, “cultural awareness”, or simply “sensitivity”. I love newspeak. Either they don’t realize or they don’t care that they work together hand in hand with the religious form of Nazis. Islam is nothing else than the religious form of a master race, a violent sect that has become rather big. Control of its own adherents and hostility towards infidels (what an insulting word) is not different from fascists three generations ago. For them, outsiders have to be treated differently. Infidels are always enemies, even though the typical left-wing apologists will never admit. Therefore, violence against infidels can be justified and violence against adherents who want to leave this inhuman cult is a necessity. Maybe you experienced the same at the hands of MOVE because it’s not just a part of Islam only but typical for all violent and inhuman cults.

Short time after The Satanic Verses has been published, an Egyptian Christian who worked with me in the Middle East described the entire problem with one sentence: “Muslims have two faces.” A sentence which describes the untruthful nature of many sects.

Maybe nowadays Orwell would have written “Islam is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Power”.

 
At 8:52 AM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

Christian,

Mentioning Orwell could get me going all day long. Prior to physically "leaving" MOVE, I was devouring his works as I mentally extricated myself from the cultish way of thinking.

Anyways, I think you made a good point about the "far-left". A better way for me to have written it would be to say that people in general have lost the ability to identify fascism. How many so-called "conservatives" and neo-cons still run around blathering about the "religion of peace"?

Having known many on the far-left I don't think it fair to brand them all as fascistic. Many are too naive and ignorant to branded with such a title. There are many though who do in fact worship at the feet of authoritarinism. And those who make the world better for Islamists are trully the enemies of freedom. On that point we can certainly agree.

In MOVE, and observing Islam, I have come upon the same patterns of "submission" and anti-intellectualism. "Do not think, we will do it for you", seems to be the order of the day.

Recently, a friend of mind covered the "Islam Day" parade in NYC and her pictures offer a stark reminder of the mentality that we are up against.

I would encourage everyone to take a moment and take a look at her work and recognize that this parade was taking place in the city of New York, just days before the anniversary of 9/11.

She is at http://urbaninfidel.blogspot.com

Or just follow the link from this site to hers

 
At 1:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony, I must say this is one of your best posts. I have also "tried" to read the Satanic Verses and cannot understand how such a book could put a price on the author's head. Your posts are very interesting and to the point. Thank You

Jon Pisano

 
At 6:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tony, I'm not sure I understand your point correctly. Are you actually advocating the wiping out of one of the world's largest religions, exterminating about one-sixth of the world's population? Isn't that an argument that would have been more appropriate about sixty-five years ago?

I have worked closely with many women who have fled genital cutting, forced child marriage, execution on grounds of adultery, etc. (which, by the way, are hardly unique to Islam). Those women, however, never abandoned the profound faith that had sustained and guided them through all of their hardships. Not a single one of them blamed their persecution upon the religion itself, but only upon the dangerous mixing of Church and State. You, of all people, should be among the first to recognize that.

 
At 7:10 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

The above comment, not surprisingly posted anonymously is almost to absurd and intellectually dishonest to provide a response to.

But, in the interest of the subject I will give it a hand.

How the author of the comment can presume that I am arguing for geonicide based upon my criciticms is beyond my understanding.

If you proceed from the conclusion that religion is a by-product of the human condition, than you understand that it is the responsibility of rational people to mitigate the most extreme forms of religious atrocities.

It is not me who conforms to a religion that exhorts it's followers to slay non-believers where you find them.

If the person who commented truly does work with people who have suffered the abuses of genitial mutilation etc...than they must concede that although Islam is not the only religion that practices it, it is the largest.

Besides that, I don't really care for arguements from the bottom so to speak. I have been hearing such rubbish from the MOVE crowd for the past number of years.

And while I can appreciate a good anectdote about how "none" of the women "blamed" their faith, I would argue that many do and that they are right to do so. Islam is a fundementally patriarichal entity that stays that way not by playing nice or awarding women rights that they have in other places throughout the world.

The absurd notion that the collusion of church and state is to blame for these atrocities flys in the face of history and denigrates the victims.

Barbarism and Islam have been together since the ascendency of the prophet and one need to look no further than the Hadiths or the Koran to understand that.

I would encourage the commentator to look at the whole of the religion and not just the sanitized versions of Islamic history as offered by it's apologists

 
At 1:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The person that wrote the above comment needs help. Anyone that believes these women do not blame their religion needs help. Does anyone believe that these women would escape their country and then come here and say anything against their religion that could get them punished. They are just trying to stay safe. The government did not abuse the women. People in their own religion did it. Our country would not put up with it. I guess it is good that we have laws to help protect these abused women no matter what their religion is.

Anyone that wants to be in a religion that allows women to be treated like second class citizens needs help. I will pray for the above person. I hope they will wake up and look at the whole picture and run the other direction as fast as they can. If it is a women she would really needs prayers to help her see what she is doing to her life. Live free and do not ever let anyone dictate the way you live.

My prayers are with you anonymous. I truly believe you are in need and I pray you will see the light.

 

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