Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Don’t Ban the Veil: Why Peter Berkowitz is Wrong

In Clsh of Civilizations, Hijab on April 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

By  Alanna Shaikh

In the Wall Street Journal today, Peter Berkowitz weighs in on the controversy surrounding French President Nicholas Sarkozy’s call to ban the Muslim face veil. Berkowitz argues that France has unique reasons why it should ban women from wearing the Muslim face veil. He is right that France is in a unique situation. He’s wrong to think it means the country should ban the veil.

The crux of his argument is this: “Freedom is in special jeopardy when a substantial segment of the population embraces a way of life that fails to cultivate the virtues of freedom while teaching disdain for freedom’s practices and principles.In France as throughout Western Europe, the full veil, along with cousin-marriage, polygamy and sexual violence contribute to a culture that secludes women and creates sizable barriers to assimilation.”

That logic is problematic at best. Equating the veil with sexual violence is senseless. For many women, the veil – even the face veil – is a garment of empowerment.

Many women choose the veil freely, and see it as a protection that allows them to fully be part of the world. It is not inherently a form of seclusion. Nobody chooses sexual assault.

France is in a touch spot. Its Muslim minority is unusually angry and averse to mainstream French culture. I would suggest, though, that this may be due to the steady stream of discrimination they live with. French Muslims, and immigrants in general, face widespread discrimination, especially when it comes to education and employment. Perhaps limiting their options for religious expression is not the best way to respond to that?

Veiling creates a barrier to assimilation only if mainstream culture chooses to treat it that way. If everyone in France talked to women in veils just like they speak to everyone else, the veil wouldn’t be a factor in marginalizing women or preventing engagement with classic French culture.

It would just be a piece of cloth. Stigmatizing the veil, and the people who wear it, creates the very alienation that the French government is trying to combat.

Making the face veil illegal takes that stigma to the ultimate level.  If Sarkozy actually wanted to help Muslim women in France, he’d support things that actually improve their lives.

Better educational opportunities.

Employment programs.

Quality housing.

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  1. Hi,
    Thank you Kashifiat for bringing this article to my attention. It is well written and I found it interesting, even if I cannot fully agree with what the author is saying.
    Firstly, I don’t think Peter Berkowitz equated the veil directly with sexual violence, it was but one of the points he was making when he said that the veil, cousin marriage, polygamy and sexual violence ALL go to create barriers to integration.
    It is true that SOME women do choose to wear the veil, but what you did not say is that MANY do not, but are forced to by their husbands.
    I think it is general knowledge by now that the Quaran says nothing about subjugating women, and certainly nothing about women having to cover their entire body when in public. As to the veil giving women ‘empowerment’, this I very much doubt.
    You say “Many women choose the veil freely, and see it as protection that allows them to be fully part of the world.” Can they not be ‘fully part of the world’ without the veil as in other cultures?
    I do not know much about discrimination in France, but I know plenty about it in my country, England. There Muslims have unprecedented freedoms, even to the extent of being free to demonstrate and shout insults at soldiers returning from Afghanistan where they are fighting for the peace and security of the Afghan people. They are fighting so the people of Afghanistan may have the right to CHOOSE THEIR OWN DESTINY, and not have one forced upon them by the Taliban.
    The biggest failure of many Muslim people who have come to Europe, is not wishing to integrate. Instead of coming to these shores, living their lives while respecting ours, many Muslims want to turn Europe into a Muslim state. For example, they demand that mosques be built, whereas, if I, a christian were to demand a church in a Muslim land I would be beheaded, not because I want a church, but simply because I am a Christian!
    Islam it is often said is a religion of peace, but that only applies if you are a Muslim.
    I write many articles about Muslims in Britain on my blog, and I must admit I complain a lot, but I think with justification. I have little doubt that in thirty or forty years time Britain and the rest of Europe will be a Muslim State, purely because of the Muslim birth-rate versus the indigenous birth-rate (See my blog Swiss Minarets – Tip of the Iceberg 3/12/09) where it is all explained.
    Anyway, perhaps we must agree to disagree on many points put forward by the author but that is fine. I wish you well.
    Roy.

  2. Roy,

    You say it is general knowledge Quran doesn’t say anything about women covering her whole body.

    First, it doesn’t mean that if something isn’t mentioned in the Quran it’s not in Islam. Hadith, sayings of RasooluLLAH (saw) as you should know, are also an absolute integral source of Islamic jurisprudence.

    Secondly, Quran DOES mention that women have to cover their entire body when they go out.

    “O Prophet! Tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad). That will be better, so that they may be recognised and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. (33:59)”

    [Note that the exception is in paranthesis, it means this relaxation may have come from other parts of the Quran or the Hadith or other sources of Islamic jurisprudence]

    It’s important to learn fully about a topic before starting to write about it. It’s a pity anyone in west can become an authority on Islam just by writing a few articles with unauthenticated information.

    Whether veil liberates or subjugates women is an entirely different topic. Your concept of liberty is different from our concept of liberty. Your concept of subjugation is different from our concept of subjugation.

    And how ironic you have to mention British forces are in Afghanistan to defend the civil rights there. That definitely wasn’t the reason given to the world by GWB and his poodle TB. It’s funny that the longer the “OCCUPATION” is becoming, the more oxymoronic the reasons are. And besides, isn’t it the same thing as imposing your views on someone else. Is this liberty for you? Are you suggesting Afghan people are so stupid that they don’t know what’s good for them? Isn’t that subjugating??? It definitely is, to the extent of racism!!!

    BTW, that alarming birth rate of yours… that’s not at all a problem, that is a symptom that something somewhere was wrong.

    Please get your facts straight before directing others to learn to agree to disagree. There can’t be any agreement if facts provided are baseless!!!

  3. Hi Baigsaab,
    Its good to hear the views of a Muslim. Firstly let me apologise with regard to the Quran quote, I must admit I had not come across that one. Please let me add that I in no way wish to offend, but rather take part in an intelligent discussion about the general aspects of Islam from your side and from mine.
    I cannot however agree that I am misinformed on the majority of what I wrote. There are without doubt, many Muslim women who do not wish to wear the ‘veil’ but are forced to. This has, in part, led to the despicable horror of ‘honour killings’ across the world. The UN Population Fund figures show that as many as 5,000 women, and occasionally men, are brutally killed by their ‘loved one’s’ to preserve the ‘family honour’.
    Many are young Muslim women who do not wish to adhere to the strict Muslim dress code, exchanged a word with a member of the opposite sex without the obligatory chaperone, or refused an arranged marriage. For this they are often brutally murdered by their next of kin. I give you the following link which lists many cases:

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2009/03/honor-killing-islams-gruesome-gallery.html

    It is also fact that in March 2002 the Saudi Mutaween beat back young girls who were trying to escape a blazing inferno at a school because they were incorrectly dressed i.e. they had not had time to put on their abaya and scarves and were therefore offending the laws of ‘decency’. Many girls were burnt to death while their parents watched. The building was locked for the night and the watchmen refused to open the gates. People who tried to help the girls were told not to intervene because the girls were ‘sinful’. Is this what Allah demands of his followers? I think not!

    Link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1874471.stm

    As with most scripture writings, the Quran is open to interpretation, and the Bible is no exception. Many people have written to say that the current interpretation of the Quran on women and the veil is inaccurate. I refer you to the following link:

    http://islamicmyths.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/

    I believe we should not get lost on what it actually is about the veil that is so controversial. It has never been about Muslim women covering their hair, but more about the Niquab and the Burqa which cover the full face. Since the rise of Islamic terrorism and all that entails, there are obvious security concerns about anyone at an airport immigration desk, or who walks the streets with the face completely covered.
    It is a matter of record that Muslim women, dressed in a Burqa or Niquab have blown themselves up in crowded markets etc. in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a sad and unfathomable fact that their only victims have been brethren. Heaven forbid that such a thing should happen here.
    It is also a matter of record that the leader of Hamas was caught a couple of months ago at the Egyptian border trying to cross wearing a Burqa! With such evidence I am sure you can see the concerns people have with security.
    With regard to the French question, if Muslim women were really free to choose to wear a veil or not, I doubt such a fuss would be made. But it is a sad fact that, judging from what appears on the internet, many women are given no choice by their husbands.
    Despite what is claimed by many Muslims, women are not on an equal level with men in Islam, and certainly not in terms of their body. Verse 2.223: “Women are your planting place, come then to your planting place AS YOU PLEASE and forward good deeds for your souls and fear Allah.” I guess a woman’s feelings are irrelevant.
    Female genital mutilation is still practised widely in Muslim nations despite nothing appearing in the Quran to require it, because it is considered by many that women should not enjoy a sexual union, even with their husbands. They are nothing more than a means of pleasure for the man and a method of having children.
    Unless a woman can claim FOUR witnesses to the act of rape she is branded a temptress, and more often than not ends up on the wrong end of an ‘honour’ killing, or gets stoned to death.

    http://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/02/06/what-a-muslim-will-do-for-honour-you-may-find-this-blog-disturbing/

    Stoning to death is not mentioned as a punishment in the Quran, but rather one hundred lashes, (see Quran 24.2) but stoning is carried out in many Islamic countries even while it is a sin for a man to presume against the Quran. See link:

    http://www.mostmerciful.com/stoning-is-shirk.htm

    This is but one example of Sharia Law in action, but there are many more. One I found unfathomable is the following:

    http://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/in-the-name-of-allah/

    With regard to your comments on British Forces in Afghanistan, I agree to some extent with your thoughts on the original motives of George Bush and Tony Blair for entering the war. However, I must say that from a western prospective, after the attack of 9/11 it was known the Taliban were aiding and abetting Al Quada in their insurgency.
    With their brand of Sharia Law the Taliban were not doing any favours for the Afghan people who were living, for the most part, in fear. Since the intervention, many Afghans have come forward to say they were happy with their new found freedom.
    Think what you may of the Americans, but I can assure you it was neither the intention, nor will ever be, that the British force their way of life on Afghanistan. Once the insurgency has been beaten, the NATO troops will withdraw and Afghanistan will be free to choose its own destiny. The government and the people will be free to run the country as they wish, and not under the yoke of the extremism exhibited by the Taliban, and a safe haven for insurgency.
    The ‘OCCUPATION’ as you put it, and I find this a word used more often by Muslims who do not live in Afghanistan or Iraq, is nothing of the sort. I do not for one minute believe that either the Americans or the British are ‘imposing their way of life’ on the Afghan people. Far from it. All NATO countries participating in the battle against extremism can’t wait to get their troops out of there. If the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden gave up and surrendered tomorrow, the day after the troops would start pulling out. None of these nations WANTS to be there, but they have found it necessary for, among other things, their own security.
    So long as people like Bin Laden and the Taliban insist on waging war on western culture the problems will continue.
    If you wish to do something good for Islam and Muslims everywhere, stop the extremism and put an end to the bloodshed. If good Muslims, i.e., the majority, were to say; “NO More In Our Name” everyone could get on with their lives in peace and coexistence and no-one would care about the veil.
    On the question of birth-rates, I agree that is a failing on the part of western nations who have allowed their birth-rate to drop below a level for sustaining their culture.

    http://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/swiss-minerets-the-tip-of-the-iceberg/

    We are all brothers no matter what name we give to God.
    Roy.
    My apologies for the long diatribe!

    • Mr. Roy,

      First, let’s understand that whatever Muslims do may or may not be the teachings of Islam. To understand the original teachings of Islam we’ll have to go to the main sources, i.e. the Quran and the Sunnah of RasooluLLAH (saw). The fact that our main sources are still intact despite the lag of 14 centuries is a miracle in itself. You may procure a copy of Quran from your nearest shop and have it recited by a Qari in Egypt over phone. Or you may take that copy to Istanbul and compare it with the oldest copy of Quran there (the one recited by Hazrat Usman ra (third caliph and companion of RasooluLLAH (saw)) at the time of his martyrdom). Anyway, my point was, if our behavior is aligned to that, our acts are Islamic, otherwise they’re not. Simple!

      We must also understand that punishments are but only a small part of shariah. Where shariah tells to cut the hand of a thief, it also, at the same time, in fact before that, mandates a just society which provides food, shelter for all. If a person steals even after that, then it is rightly considered a crime and hence gets his hand amputated, even then it has to be swift and in one movement, not in a slow and torturous way.

      So, what Muslims do may or may not be Islam! And that Hudood are but only a part of the Islamic system.

      Secondly, it’s not about Niqab that’s the problem. Headscarves are just as despicable in the eyes of the French government, which has since long banned headscarves in schools. And it’s definitely not about security, it’s about culture. If France prides its “liberty” then is it the work of a liberal nation to force nakedness to those who choose to be covered?

      You’re absolutely correct to say many Muslim women don’t want to wear the veil. But aren’t those the same women who have been exposed to western education system? See, the west has for centuries worked on our education system, clinically cutting our connection to our main sources of faith and conditioning our minds to accept western values. Now that the west has succeeded in its efforts it’s proudly presenting them as fact, whereas it was “farmed” by west in the first place. Why else would the South Asians be able to talk in the language of a midsize European peninsula? On the other hand, you won’t find many Spaniards speaking Arabic today, despite that Arabs ruled them for 800 long years. I guess I’m able to make myself clear.

      But given that, even today if a person is exposed to the teachings of Islam, he/she invariably chooses to follow the proper dress code of Islam. Sister Yvonne Ridley is an example of that.

      Then, Rajm, stoning to death is most definitely in Islam. Whoever thinks it’s not is mistaken even if he’s a Muslim. There are some Muslims, mostly those affected and living in west, who question stoning. Here, let’s get another fact straight. Islam wasn’t invented by RasooluLLAH (saw). It was instead a continuation of the same religion that was brought by Prophet Nooh, Ibrahim, Moosa and Isa (Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus) A.S. (May ALLAH bless them all)… As is mentioned in Soora Ash-Shura.

      “The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah–that which We have sent by inspiration to thee–and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: namely, that ye should remain steadfast in Religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than Allah, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. Allah chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him). (42:13)”

      Believing in the prophethood of all of these holy prophets and to those not mentioned here is an integral part of our belief. In fact, the biggest annual congregation of Islam, the Hajj, has so many obligatory rituals that are reminiscent of the sacrifices of Hazrat Ibrahim and his family. So, as a matter of fact, stoning the married adulterer is in Mosaic law. Interestingly this puts it in Christian law as well, please check with an honest and knowledgeable priest.

      Next, the word “occupation” is indeed only used mostly by those out of Iraq and Afghanistan, because those who have access to Internet in these war-stricken countries belong to the affluent classes, mostly located in the NATO/ISAF/AF guarded capitals. Why won’t they praise the occupation? The “insurgents” aren’t recognized as first grade citizens by the west anyway. Hence no “true” voice from within the country. USA hasn’t, to this day, apologized on the fact that WMDs were a hoax and they invaded a country without proper intel. They haven’t still given the “hard facts” demanded by the Taliban government when they were asked to hand over Osama. It’s a pity that the west forgoes the same golden rules of justice when it comes to weaker nations.

      And if the west can’t stand dictatorship, then why is it courting with the Sultans of Gulf? Why is the House of Saud flourishing with huge American interests in Saudi Arab? Why was Musharraf such a blue-eyed boy for GWB when he came to power only by toppling a democratically elected government? And then, why isn’t Hamas accepted as a legitimate government if it’s democratically elected? I’m sorry but the western politicians are spinning it all the way. There’s nothing permanently good or bad, it’s just what suits them, that’s it!

      Then, you’ve mentioned the Dark Ages and the Inquisition as the dark scars on Christianity, stating that they’re things of the past and haven’t happened again. Please let me remind you that just in the last century, the holocaust was brought upon by a Christian zealot. And if that was the act of a German Nazi, what name would you give to the massacres of Srebrenica, Kosovo, Bosnia and so on. Karadzic has accepted Srebrenica was religiously motivated. What justification would you give for that? I’m sorry if my point disturbs you but I don’t think Christianity has learnt any lessons. The standards of equality and tolerance are a result of adopting secularism, not learning lessons!! And secularism has learnt those lessons from the Muslim universities of Andulus during the same dark ages which were the golden years of Spain.

      Islam doesn’t only boast a just system of life. Our forefathers have established this system across almost the entire world known to them at that time. Utopia is a fantasy but Khilafat is not. That’s why we believe the only solution to the problems of this world is by establishing the same system of social justice that we call Khilafat and which was successfully run by our ancestors. Muslims may do a lot of awful things but that may not be Islam. I invite you to study Islam from a non-biased view (which I’m sure a person like you can). Please let me know if we may be of any help to you, we’ll be utterly happy to assist you.

      I apologize if my tone has been harsh but it was never personal, I respect your interest in Islam and see it as a positive sign.

      Stay well!

  4. Dear Mr. Roy

    I would like to put forth a few questions on your kind remarks to baigsaab.

    1.

    What do we know/understand about Hadith. How is Quran different from Hadith? What do we know about the sources through which Muslim have gained the Quran, and the Hadith? Furthermore, what are Nasoos of Quran?

    2.
    Why do organizations and/or teams have a dress code? some organizations send their employees back if they are wearing inappropriate clothes, while some players are not allowed on field, isn’t that illogical?

    3.
    How did we learn about the incidents qouted here? were these incidents qouted by wertern media, who may have a certain ‘view’ of the incident and may have reported it in a certain ‘way’ or was it first hand information that was provided here.

    4.
    What context does Islam set for Humanity. Are we conversant with the culture that Islam is striving to acheive and the context of that culture? what is it?

    I would request you to please answer the above before we proceed to the next level of the discussion.

  5. Hi Ahmed,
    Nice to hear from you, although you do give me reason to ponder.

    Right! Question 1: So far as I understand Islam, and that is not to say I am an expert, The Holy Qur’an is taken as the Word of Allah as told to Mohammed, in much the same way as the Ten Commandments were given to Abraham for the Christian Faith. Both lay down basic rules of morality and conduct to be adhered to by followers of the said religion.
    The Hadith on the other hand is a collection of sayings and dreams of The Prophet Mohammed. They were passed down by word of mouth for at least a hundred years, but by around 900 A.D. they became so numerous that a group of scholars decided to put them under the microscope so to speak.
    Using a basic set of rules, based on the text, who said them etc they formed the Hadith of today which is followed in conjunction with the Qur’an and is an important part of the Islamic justice system.
    So far as I know, the Nasoos are the religious writings of Islam, although I may be wrong.

    Question 2: At first your question left me somewhat confused, but I believe I know what your point is. A dress code, or uniform is, as you know, a means of recognising someone in a particular job, for example a nurse or policeman, or for health and safety reasons as in the construction industry. In sport it allows people to know one side from the other. In religion a dress code or uniform is worn by clergy of the church. Even Bhuddists wear a particular colour robe to set them apart as religious men.
    In all of these cases this is purely voluntary, and no-one is forced to wear it if they do not wish to. If you will forgive me for saying so Sir, Muslim women do not have this choice. It is also a fact that no-one would be forced to forfeit their lives in such a disastrous way (the Saudi schoolgirls) because they did not adhere to the dress code when in fear of their lives. In the rest of the world this would be called cold-blooded murder.

    Question 3: Some of the articles I use have been written by Muslims, and many come from the western media. As you suggest, it does happen that a particular slant is put on the reporting, but when the same story is written by different sources many things can be checked. The most damning however is the photographic evidence that is given as with the eight-year-old boy who had his arm crushed. This came from someone at the scene and in my opinion cannot be denied. Photo’s were also taken at the Saudi school.

    Now we come to the most interesting question. Question 4: I admire many things about the Islamic religion in that it has been able to prevent the decay that has set in across the Christian world. Life in my world is not as I knew when I was a boy. Morals, integrity, and honesty have all been corrupted in the last fifty years, and it saddens me greatly. When I look around me today and see the corrupt governments, disgraceful behaviour (especially of the youth) and the greed of the people I truly despair at what the future holds.
    We have become nations where a few self-righteous individuals have the biggest say in what people must do and not do, we call them in Britain the ‘Goody Goody Brigade’ where we have perverted such originally noble ideals like Human Rights and Equality (for both races and women).
    I have often said on my blog that we, the West, could use some parts of Sharia Law to combat the ever increasing crime rates in countries like Britain. That is not to say I would have the arm of a child crushed for stealing a loaf of bread, or stone an ‘adulteress’ to death, or for that matter hold public beheadings or hangings from the nearest crane or tree, and there is more than enough photographic evidence to support this. It goes much to far for my beliefs, but I would not lose any sleep if a thief lost a hand, a killer was hanged or a pedophile or homosexual was castrated. I am sure that such punishment would cause a dramatic drop in the crime rate overnight!
    I have always believed however that there is much good in the teachings of The Qur’an and it is for sure that if we had the same ideals the world would not be in such a mess.
    However, having said that, it is my belief that in some areas the Muslim faith goes too far. Why are Muslims brought up to believe Islam will rule the world? Why does Islam need to rule the world? Why do Muslim states forbid any religion other than Islam to be practised in their countries? Why do countries like Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Iran persecute Christians and those who convert away from Islam? And last but not least, why are the women of Islam not given the right to choose whether or not they wish to wear the veil and why is female castration practised?
    Sorry it was not my intention to pose so many questions of my own, but this is just a sample.
    However, in all fairness, I cannot finish without mentioning the dark past of the Christian faiths. They have had their period i.e. The Dark Ages, when millions were massacred in the name of God and Jesus Christ, but in my opinion, Christians have learnt from this and I am sure such a thing would never be allowed to happen again.
    In conclusion, I am sure there is a great deal of good in the Words of Allah and Mohammed, and in many respects it tells us to live our lives in the same way as the Christian Bible, but is it not possible that many of the teachings of Mohammed have been corrupted, either over time, or by people such as the Taliban who wish to rule through fear? Are the acts of a group such as al Quada in keeping with the teachings of Allah?
    I leave you with this thought.
    Best Regards,
    Roy.

  6. I must say you have earned my gratitude. The fairness and prudence with which the questions were taken, depicts the clarity of thought, tolerance and fairness you possess.

    To clarify my motive of asking the questions in the first place, I would like to answer them myself

    1.

    It is indeed the belief of us Muslims that the Holy Qur’an the word of Allah as sent to Mohammad (Sallallahu Elaihe Wasallam), and it is our belief that the words, their arrangements and the arrangement of signs/symbols ( we call them ayat) as well as the arrangement of Surah of Qur’an are as per the Divine will, i.e. the will of Allah, the only God. We believe that Qur’an has been conveyed to us Verbatim by Mohammad (Sallallahu Elaihe Wasallam). Allah has promised to take care of Qur’an’s protection. The chain of narrators that has carried the Qur’an to us, is known and trusted.

    The Hadith are sayings of Mohammad (Sallallahu Elaihe Wasallam), his guidance provided to his companions in situation that the companions encountered. Since we Muslims believe that Mohammad (Sallallahu Elaihe Wasallam) did nothing of his own accord, we consider Hadith as a divine source of guidance; this is affirmed by various signs (Ayat) of Quran. The Hadith that were narrated to explain Qur’an to the companions of Mohammad (Sallallahu Elaihe Wasallam) by him, have been narrated with the Qur’an, and have been carried by the same channel through which the Quran reached us. The collection of other sayings of Mohammad (Sallallahu Elaihe Wasallam) followed, and reached us through the followers of the companions (whom we call sahaba) or the next generation; these sayings were the context setting guidelines by Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to his companions, which are helping us to understand the world around us, and our role in it.

    The ‘Nasoos’ (decree/ruling) of Quran and Hadith are the direct orders, that is to say, obligation setting statements /acts, which a Muslim ‘has to’ abide by. It is a great sin if a person defies a decree or as we call it, a Nass.

    The ayaat that Baigsaab quoted were amongst those that are called decrees/Nasoos. This has been the practice of the Islamic society, at the time when Mohammad (Sallallahu Elaihe Wasallam) was with them, and after him. People who are ignorant to the fact that the decree of veil comes from Qur’an would argue on the status of veil; knowledgeable people would follow the suit.

    2.

    Teams and organizations have cultures that prevail in them by what people do, say, act and wear. People are chosen in teams and organizations, and people chose to join them vice versa. These people are ‘the’ society of these setups per se.

    Islam means obedience; it is ‘the’ way of living harmony, as we Muslims understand it. This way requires Muslim Gents to grow their beards and shorten their mustaches, while it requires our ladies to contain their beauty to only a selected few, the policy of which can be found in Qur’an. Islam demands us to submit ourselves completely. If some people don’t want to submit, they are not following Islam, they are following their own religion, which they think is Islam. We submit to Allah’s will voluntarily, Islam is a choice!

    And if a Female is demanding this right from the government of France, is it voluntary or involuntary sir?

    3.

    We are living in the age of information; it is however ironic that information is nothing if it is out of context, and if it is misconstrued, it creates biases and prejudices.
    Pictures can be forged or animated; furthermore, what do you expect a camera to deliver, only a part of the picture…. Please correct me if I am wrong. The media that reported the incident of the inferno that was mentioned, why was the report one sided, you would notice that despite the fact that the images were showing a religious-policeman, his or any other official’s explanation was not added. Why was the guard not letting anyone else in, he was not amongst the policemen! Something that should be investigated. One thing that you must know about Muslims, we would never want to burn anyone or let be burnt… we fear the hellfire, it is in our belief.
    My experience is that the media is trying to sabotage the values of Islam. It is trying desperately to target these values, and it is creating this myth (about Muslims being brutal) in such a loud manner, that we are now virtually unable to tell other about them… so we aren’t explaining anymore…. Your choice if you want to believe them, or if you want to know the truth!

    4.
    Islam’s context for Humanity is simple: Islam is a system made for the mankind by Allah, the only true God, the benevolent, and the merciful. The system of Islam, as displayed by Mohammad (sallallahu elaihe wasallam), has the ability to convert the worst of the societies into the best. Whenever this system has been repeated, the society has flourished. All the systems made by man for mankind, are unjust by default; for example man cannot make a system for women (we fail to understand what they want) and so forth
    We say that the system of Islam has to be implemented over the world because we know that the decadent societies around the world need it badly. When we say that all the world should be Muslim, we are actually thinking of them as brothers and sisters, and not subjects.

    I hope the above have given you an idea why I asked these questions ….

  7. my post above was meant for Roy, sorry for the error

  8. Hi Ahmed,
    Thank you for your kind words, I must say you have broadened my knowledge of Islam and I thank you for that.
    While I can appreciate your position as a Muslim I still find it hard to explain many of the things that happen in the Islamic world. For me as a Christian, living in a democracy where free speech is a valued commodity, I find it hard to align the teachings of Allah with what some Muslims are doing in the world today.
    If I may take the case of Osama bin Laden and al Quada, what is his purpose in creating fear, and causing distrust towards Muslims by the West? You must surely admit that the wave of anti-Muslim sentiment started with the attack on 9/11, an event that shocked the entire world.
    I am sure some Muslims consider this action justified after the invasion of Iraq under admittedly dubious circumstances. But consider this; Is Iraq not better off without a dictator who had many attributes of Hitler and Iddi Amin? Was it not Saddam and his cronies that killed many of his own people with biological weapons and caused the sudden disappearance of his opponents? Totalitarian dictators wherever they are should not be allowed to flourish.
    The laughing, celebrating people filmed after the fall of Baghdad tells its own story. If it had not been for the sudden rise of insurgency immediately after war NATO forces would have left long ago.
    However, since the 9/11 attack Muslims and their world have come under increasing scrutiny from all sides, and the backlash of bin Laden’s action has been felt by the entire Islamic world. Not only that, but it escalated the violence to a degree where many in western countries look with suspicion at every Muslim they see.
    It is not fair, and it is not right that an entire civilisation should be treated in such a way because of the actions of a small group of men, but we are, after all, human.
    After the attacks on London and Madrid it became clear that no-one in a western nation was out of reach of this group of fanatics, and hence the fear factor, which led to widespread distrust.
    Osama tells us he is fighting for the Muslim cause, but is he? Do his actions fit in with the idea that Allah is benevolent and merciful? I believe you when you tell me Allah preaches goodwill and benevolence, so what does the average Muslim think of bin Laden’s actions?
    The sad thing is, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, suicide bombers are for 99% killing other Believers indiscriminately. Does that make sense to a Muslim? It is akin to a British suicide bomber blowing himself up in the middle of a market town, killing other Brits! To me it just doesn’t make sense. I do realise that part of it, in Iraq for example is partly ethnic, Sunni against Shi’ite but that doesn’t make sense either.
    With regard to the Taliban, was their reign of fear what the people of Afghanistan wanted? You must also understand with regard to this group, the fear of not only western nations but many Islamic countries also, of the growing influence they had achieved in Pakistan against a government that seemed totally inadequate in dealing with them. There was, quite rightly I believe, the dread that the Taliban would eventually take over the whole country, and with it it’s nuclear arsenal. Now if that isn’t a disaster in the making I don’t know what is.
    Which city do you think bin Laden would target if he got his hands on a nuclear weapon? Would such an act be supported by the teachings of Allah? I certainly hope not.
    I hope you understand that I am trying to find out why such acts can be perpetrated within the Islamic religion by believers.

    As I mentioned in my earlier comment, the Catholic faith went through a savage period in the Middle Ages with the Spanish Inquisition and the ‘missionary’ Conquistadors in South America. They were spreading Christianity to the heathens, telling them that OUR God was the one true God and you had better believe or else! But that was in the Dark Ages, not in the ‘civilised’ world of 2010. We are supposed to have grown out of that centuries ago.
    The point I am making here is, do you not see the parallels here between what you said in paragraph 4 i.e. the teachings of Allah and the Conquistadors? They use the same arguments to convert; our God is merciful, benevolent and the only true God! It all sounds terribly familiar. Sad to say, this attempt by Christians ended in the wholesale slaughter of entire civilisations.
    Considering that 71.75% of the world population is Christian and only 2.97% are Muslim I think Islam will find it difficult to conquer the world.
    I have previously written that I believe Britain and Europe will be Islamic nations by 2050, so how do you convert the population of an entire continent to Islam? Through nothing more than the birth-rate differential Muslims will outnumber Christians eventually, but that will still leave an awful lot of Christians. As Christianity is banned in most, if not all, Muslim countries how will conversion of theses people be achieved?

    Regarding your statement about the press and the BBC report on the Saudi school, I think you will find that even Muslim newspapers and TV news channels like Al Jazeera have time constraints when reporting the news. The item about the school fire may appear to be incomplete, or biased as you put it, but sometimes these people have to report what they have at the time. It is often days later that an official statement is made on events, and as we all know, the news cannot wait that long. I make no excuses for western journalism but state a fact that all news reporters have to contend with.
    But interestingly, I could not find any follow-up reports about what happened to the Religious Policemen and the caretaker after the incident. Was punishment handed out to these individuals for their callous disregard of the lives of the fifteen poor girls that died? I wonder!

    Ahmed, I am convinced that Islam has much to offer this insane world, but I do not believe the way has yet been revealed whereby this will be achieved. The current path of death and destruction by believers is not the way of Allah of that I am sure. In my opinion, America, Britain and all the armies of the world cannot stop this cycle of violence definitively, only Muslims can. Perhaps it is time for the Muslim world to tone down its anti-christian rhetoric and put people like al Quada out of business. I wish it were that simple.
    If people like the Taliban, bin Laden or even Iran get nuclear weapons there will be such death and destruction the world has never seen. I live in hope of a return to peace between our two cultures.
    Best Regards,
    Roy

  9. Respected Mr Roy !

    Please review two more articles on +/- same issue of Hihab in West on same blog

    Kashifiat

  10. Dear Roy

    Actually you are right; whatever is happening around us is indeed very confusing; at the best, I can explain what I have understood from the situation:

    A.
    With regard to every movement, there always have been three groups: Followers (believers), Adversaries (disbelievers) and Part-Followers (Confused, the people who subscribe to the ideology of the movement between 99.99% and 0.01%). Same is the case with Islam

    B.
    Al-Qaeda, in Arabic means, ‘The Order’ …….. there are certain groups of Muslims who think that there is no such thing as Al-Qaeda; there are others who think Al-Qaeda is working under the umbrella of the ‘New World Order’ – the framework of Global governance presented by US and Europe; It is however my thinking that Al-Qaeda is working against the new world order, i.e. working to put the things in the order these should have been. Allah knows the best.

    Regarding the violence that Al-Qaeda is alleged to ….. There is a group of Muslims that says that since there is no such thing as Al-Qaeda, everything is being done by the US/UK/European oppressors; another group is apologetic on what Al-Qaeda is doing; I am however sure that what Al-Qaeda is doing is the repercussion of the socio-politico-economic activity being done in the Muslim countries by mainly the US and partly other European Countries. US has been trying to control the Muslim world by employing many techniques, including infiltrating the leadership and implanting leaders favorable to US/Israel in Muslim Countries, sending ‘economic Hitmen’ to many Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia. If you go in detail, you would find that Al-Qaeda is the offshoot of a very peaceful and non-violent group ‘Ikhwanul Muslimoon’ that was crushed by the Egyptian Government with the help of US and Israel….. The list of socio-politico-economic crimes goes on for US.

    Sometimes people who are angry get carried away when they counterblast; this might have been the case in many situations with Al-Qaeda in the past, but Al-Qaeda is fighting the war of its survival in Afghanistan today, and its presence in other areas is only a myth…… America is trying really hard to eliminate Al-Qaeda but to no avail. This can only mean that either Al-Qaeda is winning, or there is no such thing as Al-Qaeda……. Both ways, Americans are losing.

    Regarding 9/11, my proposition is again different from the world. You would find people opining that it was not Al-Qaeda that did it, that Americans did it….. but what do you know about the back ground of Al Qaeda…. I think that Al-Qaeda did it with the purpose of saving Saudi Arabia from an eminent terrorist attack similar to 9/11 on the Holy places of Muslims, i.e. on Holy Kaba, and the Masjid of Mohammad (Sallallahu elaihe wasallam); Agencies like blackwater or mosad could do it with Muslims. The proposition of such attacks was made by some of the bright minds of the west………

    Regarding Iraq, please note that democracy is a foreign concept to the Muslim world. The style of Muslim leadership has been as such for ages that a ruler, who is also the leader of the army usually, leads the country. He is guided by a council, but he may veto the verdicts of the council if he wants to. I am using ‘he’ because the Muslim head of the state has to be a Male. Doesn’t that description sound like it’s a dictator that we are talking about….. Roy, please understand that it is a cultural issue altogether….. we have tried democracy and it deosn’t work for us… Further, Islam denies the basic theme of democracy that is sovereignty belongs to Allah only.

    Could you please have a look at the following argument regarding US attack on Iraq?

    Since X’s father was a bad person, Y invaded in X’s home, killed X’s Father, captured his money, married X’s Mom without her consent, and is now hoping that X is fine with it…..

    Your comment …… Totalitarian dictators wherever they are should not be allowed to flourish…… is again under the influence of western perspective… let us have a debate on this sometime later.

    The laughing, celebrating people filmed after the fall of Baghdad …. is a media gimmick, PAID PEOPLE….. all that glitters is not gold……What was the cause of the sudden rise of insurgency immediately after war, if the masses were happy??

    I cannot comment on the involvement of Al-Qaeda in the London and Madrid incidents, news that reached us was from the biased media….so no comments.

    Regarding the suicide bombers, let me tell you an interesting fact. Suicide bombers believe that if an innocent is killed in their attack, he will attain Paradise; while their main targets are defined, this keeps them away from the possible moral dilemma. I am equivocal on the issue of suicide bombing.

    With regard to the Taliban, you cannot imagine how misinformed the west is. Ms. Yvonne Ridley tried to make a report on Taliban oppression; she converted to Islam and embraced Hijab and Veil after having interaction with them, why????? The system that Taliban were following closely resembled the original system that Islam suggests, yet there might have been some errors, but the errors could have been rectified. Taliban are the only people in the world who have been called terrorists on their own land …. something you can achieve in the civilised world!

    Which city do you think bin Laden would target was your question…… my answer is ‘Megiddo’, the next battle is coming as per the Christian belief; Armageddon is coming, and the USA/Europe/Israel is arranging for it! To us Muslims there is hardly any difference between the Dark ages and the civilised world. The methods have changed but not the motive. If you want to know the truth, you have got to open your eyes and research…. And don’t rely on the results media provides you; try and process the information analytically, you will get the truth by the grace of Allah almighty.
    I hope you understand the perspective with which the war against ‘error’ is being fought

    The difference between us and the conquistadors, as you call them, is simple: It is a great misconception that the Muslims force others to convert. What Muslims do is preach, and practice. The level to which religious freedom is given in Islam is evident from the fact that the most powerful caliph of the Muslim world, Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) son of Khattab, was martyred in the capital of the Islamic Emirate by a Zoroastrian. The code of conduct of Islam prohibits attack on any kingdom before giving them three choices: 1 Believe, 2 Submit (not convert) and pay taxes, so you are counted as our alleys, 3 fight….. the people who chose option two were protected by the Muslim Armies! Did the conquestadors do that sir?

    And please don’t worry about the rate of conversion; it has always been slow in the beginning. The change has started already. After all it all started with the belief of one man, and the joining in of a few likeminded people, just wait and watch.
    It is a misconception that Christianity is banned in Muslim countries. If the claim is correct, can you please mention names of these countries?
    When I say media, I mean all the media. The media in Pakistan is no lesser an evil than that in USA or Britain. Regarding the inferno incident, I believe that the court spared the police and the guard because of some reasons that would have stood valid. The justice in Saudi prevailed till 2002, rest assured.
    I hope I haven’t been harsh while answering your queries; please forgive me, I have written the post with conviction and honesty.

  11. Hi Ahmed,
    Your comment has indeed intrigued me, even if I find it hard to truly accept all that you are saying.
    Firstly, do you HONESTLY believe that Al Quada (the group) is acting in the interests of the Muslim world? Secondly, In my opinion, any Muslim who refutes the existence of Al Quada is either blinded by propaganda or has shut himself off from the world.
    I have always known that the USA does everything in its own interests especially with its foreign policies. It is always the USA first, and the rest we will sort out later! However, for any Muslim to believe that the US Government would itself would recruit Muslims to hijack four planes and deliberately cause the death and destruction of 9/11 to make a point I find completely astounding.
    To suggest that the governments of Britain and Spain were behind the bombings in London and Madrid is equally so! To me, if this is what some Muslims believe, then it is propaganda, or ignorance, of the worst kind.
    I personally have no doubt that Al Quada exists, and they are nothing more than a terrorist group. It is fact that many young impressionable Pakistani’s have been recruited by unconscionable radical Islamic clerics in the Universities of London such a The London School of Economics, and after having been trained at Al Quada camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan, go on the commit attacks on innocent people.
    I refer you Sir to the following blog entry:

    http://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/britain-to-blame-for-extremism/

    It would seem to me that the Muslim world is angry first and foremost at America, which uses its money and power to get what they want, and I must admit, to some small degree with justification. As previously stated the Americans look always to their own interests when they take action. To many Muslims this seems to be reason enough to blame the USA for every single thing that goes wrong in the world, from its not raining when it should, to the internal struggles in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
    I have long believed the Americans made many grave errors in Iraq but that does not mean they should be blamed for everything that has gone wrong. I have previously stated that should the insurgency not have taken place in Iraq, begun I might add by the followers of Sadaam Hussain, all troops would have left the country years ago. No-one in the west is trying to IMPOSE democracy on the Iraqi people. Once the situation dies down and the troops leave, the people will be free to choose whatever system they desire. That Sir is my firm belief, and I might add, that goes for Afghanistan also. The quicker these insurgents give up the fight and return home the faster this will happen.

    America now has a President that is willing to listen and do something about the inter-racial problems we have at the moment. Perhaps it might be time for the Muslim world to give him a chance. I for one found his cairo speech illuminating for an American president.

    Muslims have at least one consolation with regard to America: History tells us that ALL great empires eventually fall, look what happened to the Ottoman and British Empires!

    With regard to my comment on the laughing happy people filmed after the fall of Bahgdad, I do find it strange that you should say they were PAID PEOPLE! If that is the case it must have cost someone an awful lot of money to pay off more than half the entire city.

    Your comments justifying suicide bombers leave me with one thought. Islamic teaching seems to have conveniently purged the conscience of the bomber, but what of the victims? Did anyone ask them if they wanted their lives shortened? Did anyone ask the wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, children if they wanted to sacrifice their husband, son or father/mother in the name of whatever it is the bomber was ‘fighting’ for? No! I thought not!
    I cannot for the life of me imagine why a Muslim would want to blow up fellow Muslims! If they were targeting foreigners that makes sense to me, but what in heaven is achieved in a struggle when you blow up your own people? I am sorry Ahmed, but it just doesn’t make sense to me, and I know I will never understand it.

    You tell me the Taliban practised closely the Islamic religion as it was originally intended. OK! You also say that mistakes were made. Those mistakes must be the images that flooded the world of people hanging from cranes, trees or any other structure that would support a noose for a mass hanging. That must have been the countless floggings of women that were filmed and broadcast on the web and TV, along with the public beheadings and stonings. But I guess that must have been western propaganda to most Muslims, and rectifying the ‘mistakes’ would not have brought back to life the countless souls lost under Taliban rule. To me the Taliban stand for little else than tyranny. Please excuse me for being so blunt, I mean no insult.

    If as you say, Muslims “Preach and practice” then how do they expect to rule the world? For the moment at least, I do not see Christians flocking to be converted to Islam, and to be honest, I can’t see it ever happening. Judging by the way Christianity is treated in Islamic countries I cannot see a Christian ‘surrender’ being enough for Muslims.
    I grant you, there is a major difference between the Conquistadors and Muslims, and it was not my intention to infer there was. I was referring more to the persuasive words used rather than the actions.

    You asked me for a Muslim country that does not allow Christians to practice their faith. The following link will suffice:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Saudi_Arabia

    As you say, Armageddon is surely coming, but whether it will be a religious war or a natural catastrophe, who can say. Neither the earth nor mankind can continue as we are for much longer. It is for sure that something somewhere has to give and whether it be war or not, cannot be predicted at this time.
    Should a terrorist group like Al Quada, or even Iran ever be so stupid as to detonate a nuclear weapon anywhere on the shores of the United States, you can rest assured the wrath meted out on the Japanese after Pearl Harbour will be totally insignificant compared to what those responsible for such an act will receive in this age. As Admiral Yamamoto said after the infamous attack, “I fear we have awoken a sleeping giant.”

    In conclusion, I hope you will forgive me for saying this, but it seems to me that many Muslims find it easier to blame the West for what is happening in their own backyard, and if people do that which goes against what Muslims think they SHOULD be doing, then they are paid lackeys of the west. The Muslim faith may be better in some ways to Christianity, but each religion has its faults and we should make allowances for each others failings instead of ‘being at each others throats’.

    My comments have been honest and without malice and I hope you will take them as such.

    May your God be with you.
    Roy

    P.S. I will be out of town for a few days, but I look forward to continuing this discussion when I return.

  12. Dear Roy

    Tolerance and empathy are the keys to peaceful solutions. I thought you are having trouble in understanding the situation, so I helped.

    Please note that Muslims do not despise Christianity; what Muslims despise is the clear cut paganism/neo-conism/free-masonry that Christian world has adopted. The level of respect that Jesus and Marry (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon them) have in Islamic world as human beings is unmatchable…. We love Jesus mate (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)… we name our children on them (both Jesus and Marry) and we are waiting for his re-arrival! He is ours and we are his…. Just that, we don’t agree with the Christian notion of him being God or son of the God. Allah is the only True God. Jesus is human and not God according to our beleif… As far as Bible is concerned, we think that the original book ‘Injeel’ is somewhere safe and will be re-discovered at the re-arrival of Jesus (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)…

    If you cannot foresee people converting, it is indeed not your fault; the system of Islam is nowhere to be found in the world at the moment. Once that is established, then you will yourself witness its bounties…… Then with Jesus coming and leading the effort (it is our belief!), at the moment, the catalysts of the startup of this system are fighting the war with the giant you mentioned, and having a good time playing around with it; we expect this war to conclude on the formation of a sound Islamic State.

    Your link on Saudi Arabia has enlightened me; in all fairness, I have to say that if what Saudi’s are doing is justifiable, then what French are doing is OK too… Muslims should migrate from places where they are unable to practice their obligations to places where they can…, and Christians should do that too. I must also say that Saudi Arabian Government is not a good example of a Muslim Caliphate. When Caliphate comes, you would see how it works! At best you can study the governance that was displayed by the early Muslim Caliphs

    Regarding Taliban, Roy, please allow me to remind you of the French Revolution and of the American Civil war. Gore is embedded in revolutions, isn’t it? Filming the revolution is another thing, but delivering it to the world in a biased manner is altogether another. One’s hero can usually be a terrorist to another!
    What if I told you that images that flooded the world, of people hanging from cranes and trees, were of those who were trying to yield poppy i.e. drugs and a warning was issued earlier, would it help, No! Because the media already has you. The countless floggings of women were done in Afghanistan to straighten up ‘their’ culture where they wanted to implement the laws of Quran, and wanted to punish people who publicly drank and fornicated. If it is not acceptable to you, would you invade their country? Fornication and drug business was minimized to a record level in Afghanistan…. harsh measures yes, but allowed measures, allowed per their understanding of Islam, and mine. Please allow me to explain what I call propaganda; it is to deliver a picture without explaining the point of view of the person who is looks odd in that picture….. it is called cribbing or backbiting, which is a moral disease, and become a social plague. To me Taliban are Heroes, and I am tolerant enough to appreciate the difference of opinion, especially when I know that media you use misinforms.
    My comments on suicide bombers only explain their creed, and that is it. I had already said that I am equivocal on their stance. What needs to be understood is that these are very angry people, and it is embedded in their belief that this life is only a preamble of the hereafter, they do the best they can for their people, and the people around them. The way they are reacting has a lot of room for improvement, yet, it is not justified for US to kill their relatives with the help of drones, and disapprove that they are using a similar mean to fight the oppression back…. and if I may ask you, does the media cover the mass destruction US is causing with these drones!!!!! You would be stunned to know the facts.
    Regarding the awful lot of paid people, Sir, it is a humble request that you please have a look first at the Hollywood film budgets and then the technology that they use… I am a 3-D animator and a Graphic Designer; I have a very fare idea how films are edited… Media gimmick is the word I have for after war Iraq coverage…..
    Please bear in mind that USA is a Masonic State from A to Z. Please read ‘Clash of Civilizations’, ‘The Money Masters’ and ‘The confessions of an economic Hitman’, you would be able to grasp a lot about what the Muslim world is complaining about US and Israel. Interestingly, none of the above mentioned books have been written by Muslim writer.
    Lastly on Al-Qaeda: I too believe that Al-Qaeda exists, I have already said that. The people, who refute their existence, say that USA needed another Pearl Harbor, and that the Al-Qaeda is only a facade. And they are not alone in saying that, 1/3 of the US populations thinks like that:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_conspiracy_theories

    Regarding the attacks in Madrid and England, I would not comment until I hear the full coverage of the incident from a reliable resource. I would refrain from making my mind on that until I get a clear picture. Although I have strong doubts on British and Spanish governments, for the sake of argument, we take that this was done by Muslims. Even then one thing I can surely say: it was not Al-Qaeda; it can be another Islamic Fundamentalists’ group, but it was not Al-Qaeda. As a writer, it is your obligation to understand the difference between Al-Qaeda and the rest of the movements of Islamic Fundamentalism.

    Lastly, the service that Al-Qaeda has provided to the Islamic world closely resembles that of a 3rd degree anti-biotic if you know what I mean. Muslims were sleeping and were in a severely drugged kind of state, they are starting to wake-up now.

    May Allah bless you, I will be waiting for your return

    Ahmed Abdullah

  13. As a quick addendum to my last comment you may find the following report interesting. It was released by the Pentagon today and describes, quite possibly, the reason for so many of the problems in Afghanistan.
    In my opinion, Karzai began as a puppet of the US but he did not by all accounts ‘win’ the election. There is without doubt massive corruption and fraud taking place here, but I have to ask; Is this the fault of the Americans, or is it a home-grown problem? Surely, within the strict laws of Islam such things would be against the law!
    The American’s may have considered this man to be a ‘friend’ but I don’t think they view him in that way any longer. To them, the West, and the Afghan people he appears more of an embarrassment now.
    Perhaps Muslims and the Afghan people should look closer to home for a solution to the problems in this sad country.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/7650216/Hamid-Karzais-government-supported-by-only-one-in-four-key-areas-report-finds.html

    Best Regards,
    Roy.

  14. Mr. Roy,
    You said above: “The most damning however is the photographic evidence that is given as with the eight-year-old boy who had his arm crushed. This came from someone at the scene and in my opinion cannot be denied. Photo’s were also taken at the Saudi school.”

    I think you are referring to the article “in the name of Allah” posted at

    http://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/in-the-name-of-allah/

    This article is not based on facts.

    Checkout snopes.com assessment of the same pictures.

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/gruesome/crushboy.asp

    Here is a snippet from snopes.com article:
    “These pictures originated with the Iranian news site http://www.peykeiran.com, who (along with persons who have witnessed similar scenes in other countries) confirmed that what the photographs actually depict is performers hustling money from onlookers by staging a common street act, one in which a subject seemingly allows himself to be run over by a heavy vehicle and then emerges unscathed. This a common act, variations of which are performed by many magicians and accomplished through a variety of means, with no lasting harm done. That the subject is a small boy who grimaces his way through the stunt is all part of the act, intended to elicit sympathy and extra cash from onlookers. (Despite his contorted facial expressions, the boy is not seriously or permanently injured by the process.”

    I haven’t looked into your allegation about Saudi School burning but you can imagine what I am thinking about your ability to do any serious research ;)

    Best of luck

  15. Hi,
    Sir I stand corrected! Thank you for bring the ‘snopes’ article to my attention. Never let it be said I do not admit to an error. I shall withdraw the blog immediately.
    You must realise that such a show would, in the first instance, never be allowed in my culture, and to western eyes such a thing, even as a hustle is outrageous.
    You should also know that research on the internet is also fraught with problems. There is so much information, that to find the one revealing article can be an impossible task. Had I found this article, the blog would never have been written, or at least the true nature of it would have been revealed. I hope you will not consider me a bad researcher for all time because I missed one article.
    So far as the Saudi school incident is concerned, I have already had confirmation and I do not think you will refute this international story so quickly.
    Best regards,
    Roy

    • Hi,
      I see you have deleted the article on your blog. But as the article was published in January, wouldn’t it be appropriate to add a new post to your blog announcing that you are retracting the article because it was based on faulty facts?

      Regards
      Tahir

  16. Hi Ahmed,
    Nice to be back home and my wife has now returned from University so all is well in the kitchen once more!!
    I read your latest comments with interest and can agree with much of what you say.
    There is little doubt the west has strayed from the path of religion, which in my day was still strong because we (the English) were taught about it in school. For the past thirty years or so this has not happened because the government decided the subject was superfluous. A big mistake in my opinion, and one of the reasons for the corrupt society we live in today.

    But surely, the message of Allah has also been partially lost over the years. For example, the reports of corruption coming out of Afghanistan, the rigging of elections etc. do not give the impression that all Muslims follow the teachings of Allah closely. More the ‘Lust for Power’. So what went wrong? All I am saying is that there are faults on both sides of the religious divide. If Muslims and Christians follow EXACTLY the teachings contained in these literature’s, we would both be living in a very similar manner.

    We are after all human beings, and the ‘Message’ is over two thousand years old. Both the Bible and The Quran are open to interpretation, and can be interpreted in many ways, especially by unscrupulous clergy who want to see domination for themselves and Islam over other cultures.

    There is little doubt in my mind that the teachings of Allah and Jesus Christ all stem from the same facts in history, but as is man-kinds want, they have diverged into different beliefs. The same can be said of the Hindu and Buddha faiths for example. There is only ONE GOD and one Prophet (I realise Islam is a little more complicated), we just give him different names depending on our faith. Your faith tells of the Prophet Mohammed and ours of Jesus Christ. Both served the same purpose in their respective religions by giving mankind a set of moral values to live by. I would not presume to place one above the other.

    It is a psychological necessity of man to believe in a power far greater than himself, because he does not know sufficient about his creation and that of the world in which he lives. The fact that these stories have stood the test of time we can put down to the superstitious nature of man and the teachings of our forefathers (who did not have the scientific knowledge of today), but whichever one you follow, it does not give anyone the right to impose his faith on another (Ref; Christianity and the Conquistadors).

    In the western world, many people see little reason for religion anymore, or believe but do not practice, much of this due to the advances in science that have begun to explain Man’s history. In Britain, which I obviously know more about, attendances in churches are falling with each successive generation. Today, the majority are those of my generation, but when they are gone there will be few to replace them.

    The saddest part of this whole scenario is that Christianity and the belief in God gave everyone a set of moral standards by which to live, but these are fast disappearing along with the belief. Hence we see the corruption, greed and lack of morality in the western culture.

    It is not for me, or anyone else to say that Islam is a better system, it is more the fact that Muslims have a stronger belief than their western counterparts, partly because the followers of Islam have not ‘ridden the rocket’ of technological and industrial advances that has driven the west since the British Victorians gave the world its Industrial Revolution. That is not to say Muslim states are backward, more that they are theologians rather than inventors (and I do not ignore the advances given to us by Islam). Islam had goat-herds two thousand years ago, and they still live the same way today. The same cannot be said of the West.

    With regard to the current state of the world, I am still of the opinion that once the insurgency has either been defeated, or given up, both Iraq and Afghanistan will return to being Muslim states with an identity of their own decided upon by the people.

    The main problem for these countries, and most Middle East Muslim states is they have but one basic source of income; Oil! It is a commodity that is by its very nature in great demand by the more advanced nations, but what happens when it runs out? Countries like the UAE are striving to diversify their income, much to the disgust of many devout Muslim nations who see this as ‘turning to western values’ when in effect, it may just be that they are more far-sighted than others.
    What will countries like Iraq and Iran do when the oil finally runs out? They have no industrial base and no amount of belief will put food in the mouths of the people without some means of bringing money into the country. I am well aware of the Muslim belief that ‘Allah will provide’, but at what cost: War! Is it the intention of Islam to solve this problem by taking over, or ‘converting’ countries that have a better economic future?

    Whatever religion tells us, mankind is inherently corruptible by his very nature. Everyone, from the Bankers of London, to the goat-herd in the desert of Iraq can be bought if he is offered enough. Strange though that Osama is said to be super rich but still chose the path of terrorism. I agree that Christians are at the moment more easily corrupted than Muslims, but perhaps that is because ‘our’ world has more to offer in the way of enticements.

    I find your comment on the Taliban; “Ones hero can usually be a terrorist to another” rather a simplified notion because heroes do not go around attacking innocent people! Terrorists do that! There is a difference, though I agree depending on your perspective, it is subtle. However, what you say is true with regard to the history of struggle, but it has never been waged in the fashion of the Taliban.

    As you say, I am sure suicide bombers feel justified in what they are doing, but it doesn’t make it right, and from my understanding of the The Quran and from what you say about it, it is not the way of Allah.

    I agree to some extent with your opinion on the American use of drones and the often indiscriminate death that follows the use of such a weapon. However, you must realise the kind of war that is being fought here. The Taliban tactics are those of the guerilla fighter which is very hard to combat. They have been accused, along with other groups like Hamas and Hezbollah of using human shields and taking sanctuary in mosques during attacks. It is without doubt a propaganda coup for the Taliban or any other insurgent group to cause the deaths of civilians by ‘infidels’, or have them shoot at a mosque when they themselves have no such respect, and they have used this strategy to maximum effect. The following items have been reported by Al Jazeera.

    http://blogs.aljazeera.net/asia/2010/02/18/human-shields-afghanistan

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/feb/17/taliban-human-shields

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/02/20102188502876279.html

    I hope you will not accuse Al Jazeera of being a western puppet.

    Your remarks concerning the Americans being a ‘Masonic’ culture are correct, and as previously stated, they wield their economic power around the world to suit their own purposes. This does not make them inherently evil however, more misguided, and perhaps in the past drunk with their own power since their emergence in the aftermath of WW2.
    I am of the opinion that they now have president in Barack Obama who is willing to listen to others and give peace a chance. I had hoped his Cairo Speech would be an inspiration to the Muslim world to end the cycle of violence and mistrust, but it was not to be.
    The Americans over-riding priority is their own security, and so long as they feel threatened by Osama bin Laden and the Taliban there will be no peace. These, and the important Israeli question, are in my opinion the real obstacles to world peace in this generation, and the sooner the Muslim world realises this and people like the Taliban, Hamas and the rest are willing to sit at a table and discuss peace with some form of compromise, the sooner it will be achieved. Muslims will then be free to continue its attempt to rule the world without insurgents and resorting to violence.
    I hope Sir I have given you, and fellow Muslims, ‘food for thought’. The way of peace is never easy and it is only with the co-operation of all mankind that such a thing can be achieved. It is my sincere wish to see that peace come in my lifetime and if it does, the question of the veil will no longer be relevant.

    Best Regards,
    Roy.

  17. Hi Ahmed,
    As an addendum to my last comment, and I promise it will not be so long, you mentioned the conspiracy theories that abound in the States. You should know that this is a typical American thing that goes all the way back to the assassination of JFK.
    As a race, they find it hard to have faith in what their government tells them, and the same government is so ‘cloak and dagger’ that this really is not surprising.
    With regard to the 9/11 attack, it has come to light that such an event was suspected by some agencies, and facts were known about the bombers by others. The American’s biggest trouble is they have so many police forces, both national and regional, plus all the security agencies like CIA and NSA etc., that it is impossible to get them to share information and work together. This has been a failing of the USA for time immemorial and probably will never change.
    I believe it is all to do with pride and ‘one-up-man-ship’ on the part of these agencies, and with each one trying to outdo the other things get missed.
    So, I do not believe for a moment that anyone in the government had any concrete knowledge sufficient to stop the attack.
    Best Regards,
    Roy.

  18. Hi Folks,
    An interesting news item which bears strongly on the subject of this blog was revealed today. It concerns the first fine of a Muslim woman for wearing a Burqa in Italy.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1271848/Woman-Italy-fined-430-wearing-burqa.html?ITO=1708&referrer=yahoo

    Yes I know; its a report from a western ‘biased’ newspaper that has probably twisted all the facts for its own devious purpose, but in particular I refer you to the very last two paragraphs. Most enlightening.

    Have a great day,
    Roy.

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