Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Moderate Muslim voices speak out - Updated

(Update at end)

Right beside the National Post's politically-correct editorial is a candid op-ed by Tarek Fatah and Farzana Hassan - The deadly face of Muslim Extremism.

Fatah and Hassan are members of the Muslim Canadian Congress, and have received death threats in the past for expressing their views.

They must feel that this message is worth the risk.


...If convicted, Aqsa's father and brother must be handed the strictest penalty available under the law. As for the imams and clergy of Canada's mosques, who constantly berate young women for not wearing the hijab or snub them for "violating Islam," they need to reflect on the consequences of their sermons.

Consider, as an example, the Montreal mosque that recently posted on its Web site a warning to the effect that if young girls took off their hijab, they could end up getting raped and having "illegitimate children." Other proffered risks included "Stresses, insecurity and suspicion in the minds of husbands" and "instigating young people to deviate towards the path of lust."

As if the threat of rape and the fear of illegitimate children were not enough, these pre-teen girls were told that if they took off their hijab, they would cease to be Muslims: "By removing your hijab, you have destroyed your faith. Islam means submission to Allah in all our actions." Little wonder then, that Canadian girls walk away from sports tournaments rather than remove their hijabs...


Fatah and Hassan suggest that this may put undue pressure on Muslim men to exert control over the women in their families:

Radical Muslim men consider themselves ultimately responsible for the conduct of the womenfolk. This outlook is rooted in a medieval ethos that treats women as nonpersons, unable to decide for themselves what they should wear, where they must go and what they must accomplish in life. If their conduct is seen as contravening this austere religious outlook, they are invariably subjected to abuse.



Today's Star discloses a disturbing tidbit that was alluded to in a Global newscast last night - that the brother may have had more to do with this than simply obstructing justice:


...Friends of the slain girl said Parvez's brother picked her up Monday morning from a bus stop, where she was waiting to go to school, and told her she'd better come home to get a change of clothes...


Yes, women from all different kinds of faith and cultural backgrounds have been the target of abuse and violence.

However, this does not excuse us from trying to consider all possible systemic causes of the tragedy, and focus on doing all we can to prevent this from happening again.

Anything less is an act of complicity.


* * * *
Update - Ont. man charged with killing daughter held in jail.

More family violence against women here.

CTV - Autopsy shows teen died from 'neck compression':

The United Nations estimates at least 5,000 women a year are killed for committing adultery, defying tradition, or for simply talking to the wrong man and thereby bringing shame upon relatives.

Exact numbers are impossible to know because the majority of such murders -- women are the main victims -- go unreported and the guilty unpunished.

United Muslim Women of Canada's Anisa Ali said the public shouldn't assume that honour killings only happen in the Muslim community.


Honour killings. Because the death of the female relative is preferable to the shame she would bring on the family if she were allowed to live...

Hard to comprehend.


29 comments:

Jason Bo Green said...

Hi Joanne, hope you are well.

These men are lower than pigs.

I'm no fan of most religions, but Islam comes in pretty near the bottom. "But not all Muslims are killers!" comes the tired retort. But I've never claimed they were, I reply after sighing - my feelings are that most Muslims are victims of an oppressive and domineering religion. Perhaps it's better to say the religion is in the hands of an oppressive and domineering gang of murderers - but to me, it's just splitting hairs.

If we're willing to condemn and routinely mock the Catholic religion for pedophilia and sexual repression and lack of opportunity for women, then we ought be willing to condemn and shun Islam for grotesque abuse of women and children, and more than a few men.

Yes, yes, I'm aware that Christianity led the Crusades. A) That's ancient history, and this was yesterday. There's no connection. B) I'm not a Christian and don't attend any church.

Looking forward to checking back in on you today.

Jason Bo Green said...

PS I hear that insufferable lunatic, the odious Kathy Shaidle, has called for a mass, hemisphere-wide "shunning" of all Muslims.

We should engage, not shun - Kathy Shaidle is blinded by an angry hatred.

I don't like Islam. Nothing to do with Muslims, I feel sorry for them for being so repressed and manipulated by Islam. My neighbour is a Muslim from Turkey and we've become good acquaintances - she's become friends with a great many Canadians, and (of her own choice and without suggestion from me or anyone else) stopped attending her mosque. She told me excitedly in June or July that she'd just come from the Gay Pride weekend parade downtown and had had a really fun time.

Would shunning her have helped her in any way???

Muslims should be befriended -- most people should be. Ostracizing them is never going to help them or anyone else.


(To be clear - I am in no way associating Shaidle's "thoughts" with our own, Joanne. Just found her perspective to be, er, "interesting" and worth bringing up)

Johnathon said...

Johnathan Kay says Canada is not like Europe.

Yes we are.

Both countries are importing massive amounts of muslims without thinking of the consequences.

We will see the failures of the Liberal immigration policy in the years to come.

Jeff Davidson said...

do you share the views of craig smith, co-founder of the site that directs all your traffic to your site?

in a forum thread found on the main page, smith invites readers to discuss islam. he begins his discussion with a blanket statement:

islam sucks.

complicity. indeed.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I'm not going to defend or attack other Blogging Tory's opinions.

These men are lower than pigs.

Jason, that is your opinion, and you are entitled to it. Anyone who kills their own daughter or wife is contemptible, as far as I'm concerned; especially if several male members team up to do the deed. It is the worst form of breach of trust and abuse.

I see moderate Muslims like Fatah and Hassan as extremely important in trying to instill some balance in all this.

There are certainly other faiths and cultures whose members commit equally reprehensible acts, and their community needs to get their heads out of the sand and take responsibility.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I want to know how many family members where in that home at the time of the attack, what were their ages and what did they do when they heard Aqsa's screams?

Gayle said...

Joanne

I posted this over at BCL and I think it bears repeating here:

"I think we should not rush to judgment here. While it may be true this girl was killed because she refused to conform to religious practices, it is also very possible this was about something else altogether.

A year ago in Edmonton there was a huge outcry about teen violence when four boys were charged with killing a man on a city bus. The media spoke with an ETS emplyee who reported there was blood everywhere and that the boys engaged in a prolonged beating, including kicking the man in the head. It turned out that the man attacked the boys, and they only hit him a couple of times while he had one of the boys in a choke hold. He died because of a fluke punch, and all charges against the boys, who were clearly acting in self defence, were dropped.

So let us not rush to judgment until the facts are in."

In my considerable experience dealing with children and youth from abusive homes, this type of violence has no colour or religion. It may be true that some Muslim men do use violence to exert control over the women in their lives, but that is not unique to Islam. I work with people from all races, religions and cultures who experience family violence.

So, by all means speak out against family violence, and speak out against using religion and culture to defend family violence. Just do not focus on one religion and one culture while doing so, because we should not ignore the many victims of this type of violence who are not Muslims.

Jeff Davidson said...

somebody might point out to johnathon that europe isn't a country.

i hate to split hairs...but if dear ol' johnathon wants to share his opinions, he might try getting a few facts straight first. it might help his credibility....not.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

because we should not ignore the many victims of this type of violence who are not Muslims.

Gayle, that's true.

Anonymous said...

We are such hypocrites. I respect Jason for his views, as I respect all others.

Why aren't we prying into the affairs of white anglo saxon teenagers and their parents? Do we know for a fact that home conflicts and abuses don't happen to that group? Of course not.

The question of the day, is when do we start demanding that our law makers and government make it clear that no matter who you are in this country, if you kill your kids, or abuse them in any, way shape or form, we'd rather you go somewhere else.

Leslie Roberts on CFRB this morning discussed how what's going on is a clear example of how Canada has failed in the multi-cultural department by not better defining what it means to be a Canadian.

We have no clue, so folks who choose our country have nothing to go by. We always seem to define being Canadian in someone else's terms.

What are we?
What does being a Canadian really mean?

Answer that and THEN we can start playing jr. shrink on families who don't ever acclimate.

Jason Bo Green said...

I hope it's clear, by the way, that when I said "these men are lower than pigs" I was referring specifically to the murderers in this story - not anyone who is a Muslim.

Why aren't we prying into the affairs of white anglo saxon teenagers and their parents?

I think we are - though certainly there may be many examples not followed by the media, true. Robert Latimer comes to mind - his actions spurred an important debate about euthanasia. This event will spur an important debate about religion.

I believe that if a girl was killed by a Catholic family for having an abortion, there would be an equally shocked and strong reaction. I believe Canadians have little tolerance for religious beliefs condoning murder - especially of one's children.

Jason Bo Green said...

I agree that just as Dan isn't responsible for what Cherniak says on Liblogs, Joanne does not need to defend Blogging Tories. There are total wastes and inspirations on both sites, and in both parties.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I hope it's clear, by the way, that when I said "these men are lower than pigs" I was referring specifically to the murderers in this story - not anyone who is a Muslim.

That's what I thought, JBG, but thanks for clarifying it.

BTW, I meant to say hi to you and I hope things are going well for you too. Long time no hear. So glad you decided to drop by.


There are total wastes and inspirations on both sites, and in both parties.

Absolutely. There are some Liberal blogs that I like better than a few BT sites. But I generally tend to ignore the ones I have a fundamental problem with.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I believe that if a girl was killed by a Catholic family for having an abortion, there would be an equally shocked and strong reaction.

That would be an interesting case. The ultimate irony.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find such an example.

I hear many arguments about the Crusades, as you say. And then there's the abortionist killers, which I haven't heard of happening in Canada...

But in every religion you'll find extremist wackos I'm sure.

Jason Bo Green said...

Hope you're equally well, Joanne.

Me, I find I read a fairly equal number of BT and L sites - but no NDP ones. I guess I should find a good one or two to add into the mix.

Ignoring the problematic ones is the best solution, for sure.

And the Crusades - to me, it's ancient history. I don't judge Italians based on the actions of Caesars Augustus or Tiberius or etc.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

but no NDP ones. I guess I should find a good one or two to add into the mix.

If you find such a thing, let me know. ;)

OMMAG said...

Murder of Doctors by Anti-Abortion fanatics..... sounds familiar!
Just to be clear Joanne ... there was discussion about this on your blog I believe:
James Kopp attempted to assassinate 3 Canadian Doctors!

Dr. Jack Fainman was shot and wounded while sitting in his kitchen at his Winnipeg home in November 1997.

But to the POINT of the story from Mississauga .... the vast majority of Muslims DO NOT publicly condemn the actions of these barbarians who share their religious and cultural heritage. Tarak Fatah and others like him are RARE exceptions and while they should serve as positive examples to their bretheren it is a fact that they are widely criticized, belittled and threatened instead. If anything they serve as examples to other muslims about what to fear if they dare to step out of line.

As for all these efforts to make arguments in moral equivalence ... as always this is the first and last refuge of the ignorant and the weak.
When a religion is consistently used to justify uncivil attitudes, actions and behaviors as Islam is seen to be..... then that religion plainly is the source of the incivility in it's adherents.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

OMMAG - Interesting about James Kopp. Thanks.

Do we know what religion this guy was? I think a person could be an abortionist murderer without belonging to any particular religion.

A true Christian would not kill anyone. Of course, many Muslims would say the same thing about their religion.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

When a religion is consistently used to justify uncivil attitudes, actions and behaviors as Islam is seen to be..... then that religion plainly is the source of the incivility in it's adherents.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the courts.

kursk said...

Jason Bo Green..the crusades were conducted as a backlash against Muslim expansionism into Europe, which would only be stopped by the defeat of the Islamists outside of the gates of Vienna.

Anonymous said...

read the koran. there no way out of this type of action unless you dispose if that book. the hadiths etc are equally as vile. you folks who like to apply western standards to islam are fooling youselves. there is no such animal as a moderate muslim. you are an apostate if you are moderate and sooner or later someone from the rop will take care of you.

Rob Wagner said...

There is not a single shred of evidence that this is an honour killing since there is no such thing as honour killing in the Qur'an or Sharia. So to suggest something that is not Islamic is irresponsible. Murder is murder, plain and simple. Islam doesn't make the distinction. Whatever the penalties are in Canada for murder, this person, if convicted, should receive it in the harshest measure.

http://13martyrs.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

So - United Muslim Women of Canada's Anisa Ali said the public shouldn't assume that honour killings only happen in the Muslim community...

Really? Name one, just one.

And as for so-called Christians murdering abortion providers: these are extremely rare - you certainly don't have 5,000 a year (the UN estimate of honour killings across the world). And people who condemn the murders of abortion providers do not get death threats from other Christians...

wayward son said...

Anonymous said..."So - United Muslim Women of Canada's Anisa Ali said the public shouldn't assume that honour killings only happen in the Muslim community...Really? Name one, just one."

You asked for just one, but I hope you don't mind if I give you more.

The Kurds. They are not muslim (in fact one of their main reasons for honor killings is because the girl was with a muslim or converting to muslim - men too, but mostly women) and it can be fairly certain that they have a much higher percentage of honor killing than any group. Honor killing is very widespread among the kurds - estimates are 1 a day - and these are sometimes mob events with hundreds of people attending or participating.

Sihk's is another not too uncommon example.

Honor killing was also legal in a couple Christian countries until just recently: Brazil, Haiti and Columbia. There are also stories about honor killing being part of the sicilian culture in the 20th century.

So the fault of honor killing can't be specifically attached to the muslim religion. However, when an honor killing occurs for what appears may be for religious reasons then the muslim churches MUST come out strongly against it. When so few do it creates a situation where honor killings are accepted as religious practice in some parts of the world.

Again, I can not blame honor killing on the Koran (I have read it, and although I am very critical of it I don't specifically remember any references to honor killing or the like), but until the muslim religious leaders make a stand against such dispicable acts, then they will continue and that implicates the religion of islam.

maryT said...

What language is the koran written in, has it ever been translated into another language. Every time I see something supposedly written in it, all I see are a bunch of scribbles. So, have all these people read it or just looked at the lines and been told what it says.
Reminds me of years ago when I changed high schools. Other student's couldn't figure out how I got every word of a lecture etc. Teacher accused me of doodling on my paper. It was Pittman Shorthand.
I knew what it said, but no one else did. It had been taught in my previous school.

maryT said...

The brother is out on bail and had to surrender his passport.

liberal supporter said...

What language is the koran written in, has it ever been translated into another language. Every time I see something supposedly written in it, all I see are a bunch of scribbles.

The Koran is written in Arabic. The Arabic language does look like "scribbles" at first, though you can see patterns, just as you might in Hebrew, Chinese or Hindi.

In computers, Arabic is difficult to render because it is a script kind of writing. The letters run together as they do in handwritten English, only more so. In some styles of English, you see certain letter combinations rendered differently in certain situations, such as AE or OE. Arabic does this as well, but more so, I think.

You can find an English translation (searchable too!) here



So, have all these people read it or just looked at the lines and been told what it says.

Many Christians "look at the lines" and then are told what it says. Or more importantly, what it means. Some denominations/sects think you should read the Bible in the original languages (ancient Hebrew for the Old Testament), otherwise you will not understand it as well.

I have read about certain parts, such as the Leviticus chapters with all manner of social rules, and even the translators do not all agree. This came up in a "God hates fags" discussion; the "man shall not lie with man as with a woman", in some translations, clearly refers to man not lying with man in a woman's bed.

I think anyone with a Christian faith should encourage the use of reason. We have these apparently barbaric passages in our Scriptures, and only our most fanatical fundamentalists actually take each and every one of them, in whatever translation they use, as absolute.

We need to give Muslims the same benefit of the doubt, and treat the individual fanatics as what they are. We must not allow the fanatics to rule. We must not allow the fanatics to hide behind and pervert the faith that many others follow.

Muslims Against Sharia said...

Most of the Western Muslim establishment is comprised of Islamist groups claiming to be moderates. True moderate Muslims reject Islamic supremacy and Sharia; embrace religious equality and democracy.

What is a moderate Muslim? According to a dictionary, a moderate is a person who is opposed to radical or extreme views or measures, especially in politics or religion. Yet, majority of the public seem to be struggling with the definition of a moderate Muslim. Perhaps we can make this task easier by defining a radical Muslim and then defining the moderate as an opposite of the radical.

Muslims Against Sharia compiled a list of issues that differentiate moderate Muslims from Islamic radicals. Hopefully you can help us grow this list.
http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/ 2008/01/what-is-moderate-muslim.html

Poll: Who is a moderate Muslim?
http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/ 2008/01/poll-who-is-moderate-muslim.html

Joanne (True Blue) said...

True moderate Muslims reject Islamic supremacy and Sharia; embrace religious equality and democracy.

This is a very insightful comment. Thanks so much.

Next time I post on this topic I hope to refer to it.