Saturday, August 13, 2005

PCUSA Ministers rush to defend al-Dhimmi in Pennsylvania.

Upon reading in the Islamic Flat Earth News that a fellow minister in Pennsylvania is suing the Joooos, Presbyterian ministers from around the USA today rushed to join him in a show of solidarity against the Evil Zionist Entity.

They arrived in Pennsylvania panting and sweating. "We aren't sure what the latest fashion is," said their spokesminister person, "So we came nearly naked."

"The important thing," said another, "is that we show our solidarity with our fellow anti-racist minister person in the right kind of fashion-statement clothing. Personally, I prefer a chic chiffon gown in stone-washed salmon, set off by a salmon moussed bouffant coif to give that subtle but daringly avant garde ambience to my persona." Asked about further Presbyterian fashion statements in support of the PEEE-PUL, he said: "I'll finish off my ensemble with green gaberdine and alligator spats."

In a late-breaking press release in Latin the Presbyterian Synod declared in support of innocent Palestinians babies: "Coito ergo sum."

Presbyterians everywhere, in rapidly diminishing numbers, press on to divest themselves from the Hated Zionist Entity that forces the Palestinian PEEE-Pul to commit murder by suicide bombing martyrdom.


Boy ready for martyrdom

Matthew B. Stannard, Chronicle Staff Writer

Friday, August 12, 2005

Netanya, Israel -- The series

Fifteen-year-old Abdel Kareem Mohammed Abu Habel sits in an Israeli prison after he tried and failed to martyr himself last year. Would he do it again? Without a doubt, he says.

Abdel Kareem Mohammed Abu Habel agrees with Israeli critics who say that next week's disengagement from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank will do nothing to stop Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israel.

Sitting in his jail cell in the Sharon Detention Center in central Israel, he also said he would never accept peace with the Jewish state, even if Israel eventually pulled back to its pre-1967 borders, behind the so-called Green Line. He doesn't even know what the Green Line is.

The only peace he wants "is to get back all our lands," meaning the entire state of Israel.

"We don't want the Jews on this world," he said.

Abdel is 15. He has a baby face that sharply contrasts with the cigarette sticking out of his broken teeth. He is in prison for strapping a bomb to his belly in the spring of 2004 and trying to kill Israelis by killing himself.

If he were released today, he said, it would not be long before he tried again.

"One month," he estimated. "I would want to see my family first."

Those who fear the consequences of Israel's disengagement cite teenagers like Abdel, who have been increasingly recruited into the ranks of suicide bombers by extremist anti-Israel groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

"I don't like Abu Mazen," he said, referring to the name Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is known by. "Abu Amar (the late Yasser Arafat) didn't want peace. Abu Mazen wants peace."

"When I was a little boy ... I saw people killed become martyrs," Abdel said, fidgeting in a cheap plastic chair in the cellblock classroom. "When I saw that, I started thinking I wanted to do an operation."

Growing up, he heard over and over again the stories -- true or not -- of how his family was driven from its home near Ashkelon during the 1948 Arab- Israeli war, and of a grandfather who died fighting the Jews.

"It is an honor for us to go and fight and throw stones," he said. "Every stone we throw is another step toward honor from God."

His older brother was shot in the legs, he said, and never walked properly again. Abdel proudly showed the scar on his own leg, where he said he had been shot by an Israeli soldier, and the scar from a bullet he said had grazed his head. He talked about seeing his own blood on his hands after that injury, about being taken to the ambulance as he recited the shahadah, an Islamic prayer: "There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is His Prophet," the words a Muslim tries to speak in the final moments before death.

Quickly, Abdel moved beyond stone-throwing in Jabaliya. In one incident, he claimed, he pressed the detonator to set off a bomb that blew up an Israeli tank.

That night, he said, he saw on the news that the explosion had injured three soldiers.

"I was very happy. The other people knew I had done it and were happy for me. And somebody had filmed me!" he said. "My family told me, 'This is what we want. We want mujahedeen.' "

The injured soldiers, or their families, he said, did not enter his mind.

He was arrested and released three times over the next two years, he said. On the last of those occasions, he was held for three months, he said. Israeli laws do not allow the review of juveniles' files, so his account could not be independently confirmed.

A week after he was released, Abdel made plans for martyrdom. He purchased the components -- explosives, belt, detonator -- to make a suicide belt, using money he had earned by making gold bracelets for sale. It cost about 1,000 Israeli shekels -- approximately $250.

Three friends helped him make a video of himself holding an M-16, with the Hamas flag behind him and saying some final words that he has since forgotten. Then, he donned the belt and went to a checkpoint manned by Israeli soldiers not far from his home.

He insisted the plan was his own idea, although Israeli officials have accused extremist groups in the West Bank and Gaza of recruiting young men like Abdel for terrorist acts.

"I was going to be dead," he said. "I was going to see God and defend Jerusalem. I was happy." He was 14.

He thought about his family -- about how his brothers would be interrogated, his family home demolished.

"They would be honored," he said confidently. "It's worth it. The most important thing is that the operation succeeds."

But there were problems. Somehow, the soldiers had a picture of Abdel. They ordered him to halt and disrobe. Surrounded, he said, by fellow vulnerable Palestinians, he removed the belt, watching in fury as an Israeli Defense Force robot dragged it away. Then, he was taken into custody.

His parents, brothers and sisters still live in Jabaliya in the same concrete home.... It is filled with photos of Hamas leaders and shaheed (martyrs) -- dead men with guns -- and a few photos of Abdel.

But the boy changed around his 10th year, she said, when he was hit in the knee by an Israeli bullet. He spent four months in the hospital, two more before he could walk on his own. He missed examinations, then refused to return to school, she said. He was angry. He wanted revenge.

"His father insisted he stay here, away from the soldiers and away from the kids who were throwing stones at the soldiers," she said. "The first time, he was hit in the knee. The second time, he might be hit in the head."

Abdel turned a deaf ear to the entreaties. He would reply, Besma said: "It's too bad that bullet hit me in the knee and not in the head. I would have been a martyr."

During an interview with The Chronicle, she first said her son's attempted suicide bombing was an Israeli fiction created in interrogation. Or a frame-up by older boys. But when told by a reporter that the story came from his own lips, she said something different.

"All the youngsters these days, this is what they talk about. Anywhere you go in this area. This is what they think about, the little kids. To blow themselves up," she said. "If you take the youngest kid, he'll say this is what he wants to do. Kill Jews."

"Of course I was proud that my son was fighting back. Not only him -- most kids his age," she said. "The parents are proud because the children are engaged in resistance. But we didn't think it would get to the point of suicide belts."

Had her son succeeded in his mission, Besma said, her feelings would have been mixed.

"Of course, yes, I would have been happy," she said. And proud. Even though it would be very sad for me to lose my son. But I would be very proud," she said.

"But of course, not when he was 14. This is for somebody older that him .. . 18 and up to 20 ... somebody this age, it would be OK," she said. "The first thing is to get them to higher education -- become doctors, teachers, educators. Then joining moqawama (resistance)."

As she spoke, Besma was surrounded by small boys, her sons and grandsons, ranging from toddlers to teens. Asked whether they wanted to become martyrs, the boys universally nodded yes. Besma smiled with a mix of pride and resignation.

"I'm still a mother. Of course this is hard for me," she said. "But when I think about the history of Palestinians, we got kicked from our land. We are even chased here. We are restricted from moving. ... It's obvious who started the attacks and who is the enemy. That's why they grow up learning revenge. Each martyr has a son or a brother or a daughter who misses them when they die. And they grow up wanting revenge."

Israel should release her son, and the other child prisoners, Besma said.

Abdel was pleased to hear that the fighting goes on. "Alhamdulillah!" he cried. Thank God, yes.

"I will not give up on one meter of Palestinian land," he said, dismissing any kind of road map or peace process. "If God helps us, we will destroy Israel."

And he went back to the Israeli cell he shares with another teenage prisoner to wait for the dubbed Japanese cartoons to end and hope to see one of his favorite action films on the television set he has in his cell.

Except he doesn't call them action films.

He calls them "killing movies."

E-mail Matthew B. Stannard at

IFEN has learned that it is only Red Necks who drive trucks, swear, and are skin-head yobs who do not understand that Islam is the Religion of Peace:

(UK), February 16, 2003
"The show was over, recorded for one of those nice liberal local American TV cable channels – this time in Texas – where everyone agrees that war is wrong, that George Bush is in the hands of right-wing Christian fundamentalists and pro-Israeli neo- conservatives. Don Darling, the TV host, had just turned to thank me for my long and flu-laden contribution. Then it happened. Cameraman number two came striding towards us through the studio lights. 'I want to thank you, sir, for reminding us that the British had a lot to do with the chaos in the Middle East, he said. 'But I have something else to say.' His voice rose 10 decibels, his bare arms bouncing up and down at his sides, his shaven head struck forward pugnaciously. 'Yeah, I wanna tell you that the cause of this problem is the fucking medieval Arabs and their wish to enslave us all – and I tell you that it is because we want to save the Jews from the fucking savage Arabs who want to throw them into the sea that we are about to fuck Saddam.' There was a pause as Don Darling looked at the man, aghast. 'And that,' cameraman number two concluded, 'is the fucking truth.' Darling called to the studio manager. 'Where does this man come from?' he demanded to know. The lady from the University of Texas – organiser of this gentle little pow-wow – advanced on to the studio floor in horror: 'Who is this person?' I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. All of a sudden, our nice anti-war chat had been brought to a halt by a spot of redneck reality ... The people with whom these liberal academics should be building bridges are the truck-drivers and bell-hops and Amtrak crews, the poor blacks and the cops whose families provide the cannon fodder for America's overseas military adventures. But that, of course, would force intellectuals to emerge from the sheltered, tenured world of seminars and sit-ins and deal directly with those whose opinions they wish to change."

IFEN has also learned that it is only smart people who know the Islam is the Religion of Peace:

"I am delighted that the leaders of the three major faith communities — Muslim, Jewish and Christian — have come to one mind on the importance of a two-state solution and on U.S. leadership for peace in the region," Kirkpatrick told the Presbyterian News Service. "This is clearly a moment of opportunity for peace in the Middle East, and I hope and pray that the Administration will seize the opportunity to join us in working for peace."

"Delay is not the way."

Majorities of Israelis and Palestinians desperately want the violence to end, not only because of the terrible toll on human life, but also because it is clear that peace with justice — that is, real security for Israelis and an end of occupation for Palestinians — can only be achieved by negotiations.

Smart people, Presbyterians in Pennsylvania, know that Islam is the Religion of Peace, and that moral equilevance is the only valid argument when dealing with stupid people.

Mr. Lou S. Nowasielski, writing on the same date, at least calls the barbaric acts "tortures," but implies in an astonishing leap of illogic that the killings in Munich over 30 years ago, the hostage-taking in Iran over 20 years ago, the downing of Pan Am Flight 103, and other bombings including the World Trade Center, all somehow combine to justify the shameful acts by our soldiers. He then quotes several verses from the Qur'an with which he paints all the prisoners as radical Muslims who deserve such treatment.
Dan Mertz
.Milroy, Pa.

There has been much discussion at the IFEN office regarding the sincerity of the writer above, whether he is mocking Islam and the Prophet, (PBUH.) If this is true, we will kill ten innocent by-standers.

Said Stewart, a Presbyterian minister from Pennsylvania, "Cut off my head if I'm wrong, but real security for Israelis and an end of occupation for Palestinians — can only be achieved by negotiations. 'Delay is not the way.'

"But enough of that. How do you like my shoes?"

[Shhh. There's a bum sleeping on the parkbench at this address. Let's not disturb him.]

Welcome to my park bench from which we can notice and discuss the traces and signs of God's presence and activity in the center of Tarentum, Pennsylvania. Have a seat. Relax and take a look around. Something big is happening, and you are invited to participate.

At Friday, August 12, 2005 12:41:15 PM, Anonymous said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.
Well, the writer above was probably a blogger in Pennsylvania who didn't like Stewart's shoes. Please be nice to him. Stewart wants world peace.

Otherness and the Hegemonic View

In our discussions on ideology of Left dhimmi fascism we have neglected to provide our readers with art blurbs. For shame! The following piece deconstructs in a dense yet vacuuous fashion how we of the West fail to understand the complexities of Otherness, and in our hegemonic ideological state of false consciousness misinterpret and devalue Otherness. Far be it from us to cloud any important issue with capitalist mystifications. No, dear reader, you can have a go at it yourself:

It is clear to those who are following the contemporary artistic production in the Arab world (or rather in certain Arab cities) that this production is more preoccupied with the seductiveness of ideas rather than the creation of (aesthetical) forms. There is a growing awareness among artists that critical ideas cannot be channeled by the not-so-old media (at least in this region of the world) of painting or sculpture, and that these engender a passive audience rather than active subjects. So in a way these works can be viewed as social utterances requiring, and shaped by, the answers they anticipate; their elements are interchangeable, be they photographs, drawings, diagrams, or texts.

That said, it would be useful to note that, on the one hand, mass-produced images of any "third-world" society have their references in the West, in an ever-expanding, globalized world, and that on the other hand, signifiers do not necessarily carry the same signified, as an essence encapsulated in them....

In that sense, when the work is "transported" to Europe (because of an interest that will eventually dwindle - no illusions here), a double effort must be made: it is no surprise to anyone that the "West" already has a "system of reception", a web of ideas about what the "East" is about, what it should be, and what it is expected to say; a web of ideas, I dare say, that is a direct descendant of the old Orientalist discourse that doesn't seem to subside. It is these ideas that prompted certain US scholars after the events of 9/11 to read or to recommend reading the Qur'an, truly believing that it would provide an insight into Arab societies.

These ideas also generate situations that are awkward, to say the least. The mild and badly concealed surprise on someone's face when an Arab artist makes a reference to Walter Benjamin, for instance; or the misreading of a particular work by the most well-intended person, because of the pre-supposition that a critical utterance articulated by a westerner vis-à-vis an Arab society (on the basis of Universal Human Rights for example) must necessarily coincide with the critical utterances articulated by a person actually living in that society.

Yes dear reader, you know now how Islamophobic we all are. After being so vividly exposed to the truth we understand that you will no longer care to soil your eye-beams by reading anything further at this blog. Well, we will continue because we're stupid and we're baby killers. No, not the kind who send children to explode themselves in public places, we mean the other kind, the Imperialist kind. We're just too evil to change our ways; and besides, it's the system we live in that makes us think the way we do. It ain't our fault, man.

Presbyterian Minister Tops Charts with Cover Tune.

In what was originally a karaoke session in a small, somewhat stinking church basement in rural Pennsylvania, a surprise phenomenon has burst out to take the West by storm. A Presbyterian minister, secretly taped by a non-member of the congregation, has made his way onto the Internet airwaves covering one of the anthems of Divestment of Portfolio rock.

Said the now-famous singer, known only as Heck, " I used to sit on my parkbench singing about the poor and bull-dozed, and this song was my favorite. I guess I just have a natural talent for singing this song. God knows, the other tune I sing sounds like nothing more than a shrill whine. I dedicated this version to the dead babies murdered by the Hated Zionist Entity. I can sign it for you if you'd like me too."

So here he is, ladies and gentlemen, Pennsylvania's very own-- HECK!

- February, 1993

When you were here before
Couldn't look you in the eye
You're just like an angel
Your skin makes me cry
You float like a feather
In a beautiful world
And I wish I was special
You're so fuckin' special

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here.

I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control
I want a perfect body
I want a perfect soul
I want you to notice
When I'm not around
You're so fuckin' special
I wish I was special

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here.

She's running out again,
She's running out
She's run run run running out...

Whatever makes you happy
Whatever you want
You're so fuckin' special
I wish I was special...

But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo,
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here.
I don't belong here.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Islamic Flat Earth News


PCUSA Sues Zionist Entity for Death of Prophet Brian

A minister from Pennsylvania announced today that the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America is sueing the Hated Zionist Entity for murdering Brian, a little known but important Muslim prophet.

Said the minister, Andrew al-Dhimmi, "First the Jews killed Jesus, then they started killing Palestinian children, and now they've killed Brian! We have had enough of them. We're going to sue. We're taking them to the World Court at The Hague, and we hope the Joooos find themselves in a cell next to Hitler and Stalin. Well, maybe not Stalin but other ucky-yicky people. They're rude, too."

Al-Dhimmi said he is not in touch with Hizballah members but wishes they would keep it quiet. He says the money coming for the court case is directly not from Prince Turki al-Faisal but from the peace-loving-peoples-of-the-world.

"The Joooos," he said. " The Joooos. They killed Brian!"

A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:
And here are some reviews and comments on said book:

The Grief Leeches

Whenever virtue declines and unrighteousness rises, I manifest Myself as an embodied being. To protect the Saints and Sages, to destroy the evil-doers and to establish Dharma (righteousness), I am born from age to age.
-Bhagavad Gita 4.7 and 4.8

It's our position here that Modernity is the best thing that's happened to Humanity in the past 5,000 years, since the beginning of the Argricultural Revolution. We feel that Modernity, its the triune revolutions of the American, French, and the Industrial Revolutions, must spread across the face of the Earth to the benefit of all people universally-- without exception. We argue here that the resistence to Modernity needs be countered by force until Moderity is triumphant.

We argue here that Modernist men and women must of their own volition colonize the primitive world and conquer its people, after the prior example of William Walker. Not everyone agrees. Some resist the very notion that Modernity is good. Some argue that Modernity is bad. Others argue that we not only should not invade other people's lands but that they should invade ours to make us behave acording to tribal customs of 7th century Arabia and Islam. Here, instead, one will find sympathy for our military men and women who defend us and our societies, those who further the defence of all people for the sake of freedom and personal security. We are, in short, in favor of our war. Others are not.

By David Pastor May, 26, 2005

As Cindy Sheehan is interviewed by Univision's reporter Xochitl Arellano, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan name is read aloud at Sacramento's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. When she hears her son's name Cindy Sheehan is overcome by emotion. Her hand covers her mouth, her eyes close in grief as her head turns down towards her son's very own boots, she stops talking to Arellano.

Sheehan, 47 from Vacaville, and the reporter are kneeling down amid 171 empty boots representing the armed services personnel from California killed in the Iraq war. California is the state with most casualties in Iraq.

The rank, name, and birth state of the 1, 529 US service men and women killed continues to be read as part of the Eyes Wide Open exhibition. The names are read one by one along the names of the identified killed Iraqis. The process will last for hours.

After pausing for a few seconds Sheehan continues the interview, one of the very many she has given since a year ago her oldest son Casey was killed in Iraq.

This image of Sheehan unfortunately has become a familiar one for many of you. You might have seeing her at Good Morning America in inauguration day, you could have seen her watery eyes in a picture at the San Francisco Chronicle, or in the front cover of The Nation magazine, or perhaps you have seen her addressing the President on her election time TV ad for

Arellano commented on the impression Sheehan caused on her. At first she didn't know why, at the middle of the interview, she suddenly stopped talking, fighting tears. But then Sheehan explained her that her son's name had just been read. Arellano said that she was emotionally moved when Casey Sheehan's mother told her, "wars will stop when women are in power."
Cindy Sheehan has also been traveling since late Spring last year. She has joined the exhibit in around the 10 occasions, when her other activism and public commitments allowed her. When the exhibit was in Northern California she had the opportunity of staying at home for about a week, the most that she has spend there for the last months. She had so many public engagement that she even lost her job due to her activism. She said about the reason why she speaks out. "To make sense of his death I have to try to stop the war."

[S]he has started a support organization called Gold Star Families for Peace - in reference to the Gold Stars awarded for the killed in action. The organization, that has more than 70 military families as members, is a resource center for the military and their families.

Sheehan has seen the local support for her family decline since she started being active against the war. She said that even though a couple of hundred people attended her sons funeral now their friends don't even call them. She also has seen opposition to her cause in local newspapers editorials and letters to the editor....

Patrick Sheehan, Cindy Sheehan husband, supports his wife in her activism, he participates in some events and drives with Cindy when he is not working as a sales representative. He spoke about the toll this work is taking in the family. "If she is not away traveling or speaking, she is home with her laptop, watching news, or talking on the phone…This is important, we try to continue to support her."

But he also understands that it is hard for her to be around the memories all the time. "Some times I am not sure if it is helping [the grief process] It might be delaying some of her grief, but it's also a very good reason to get out of bed, get up and get moving."

Once again Cindy Sheehan will surely fight back tears as she talks about her son and the war. This Sunday will be a very special day for her, a day no mother can ever forget. The day she saw her first son's face for the first time.

This is the very same day when 26 years ago Casey Sheehan took his first breath of air, starting the life Cindy had given him, one year ago last month he would take his last breath in Iraq.

You can find more information about Gold Star Families for Peace and Cindy and Casey Sheehan at


What One Mom has to Say to Bush

"That lying bastard, George Bush, is taking a five-week vacation in time of war," Cindy Sheehan told 200 cheering members of Veterans For Peace at their annual convention in Dallas last Friday evening. She then announced she would go to Bush's vacation home in nearby Crawford, Texas and camp out until he "tells me why my son died in Iraq. I've got the whole month of August off, and so does he."

Sheehan left the VFP meeting on Saturday morning and is now in Crawford with a couple dozen veterans and local peace activists, waiting for Bush to talk with her. She said in Dallas that if he sends anyone else to see her, as happened when national security adviser Steve Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin did later that day, she would demand that "You get that maniac out here to talk with me in person."
"And the other thing I want him to tell me is 'just what was the noble cause Casey died for?' Was it freedom and democracy? Bullshit! He died for oil. He died to make your friends richer. He died to expand American imperialism in the Middle East. We're not freer here, thanks to your PATRIOT Act. Iraq is not free. You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism," she exclaimed.

"There, I used the 'I' word – imperialism," the 48 year-old mother quipped. "And now I'm going to use another 'I' word – impeachment – because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail."

As the veterans in Dallas rose to their feet, Sheehan said defiantly, "My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a give my son back and I'll pay my taxes. Come after me (for back taxes) and we'll put this war on trial."

The co-founder of Gold Star Mothers for Peace objected to hearing that her son was among the soldiers lost in Iraq. "He's not lost," she said tearfully. "He's dead. He became an angel while I was sleeping."

One might well have sympathy for a grieving mother. One might have sympathy for Muslims commenting on the progress or lack thereof of Westernism in the world at large.:

From the Muslim point of view we get the following wit and wisdom, via

"Oh, this is my business."

No, it has nothing to do with you. That's one thing I can't stand about Americanos, they seem to think they know what is best for everyone. You mind your own business, oh arrogant one.

Help Africa, give back the things you stole. Free the slaves you have across the World, help those that live in the fattest city in the World, Houston, USA. Sort your own country out, there are areas of your country that are like 3rd world Countries. Do that before you make silly statements.

Posted by: ia786 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2005 02:24 PM

Again you dodge the issue and run in circles, look at what is happening in the World, look at the hate America has got for itself across the World, why?? What is the cause??

"Have you ever done any research on Islamic slave ownership, ia? It is still approved of by your clergy and your holey books."

Really, I'm glad I improved your day, God is Great.

Stop running in circles.

Now back to what I said, Americanos still have slaves, especially in the Far East. Slavery is alive today and the Americans are bringing only more and more misery to the vulnerable people. Why is America spreading White supremacy across the World, why does America aim to hold other non-White people back, please tell me.


"Why are Americanos so arrogant, why do you think you should dictate how others should live their lives. Tell me, I want to know.

Posted by: ia786 at August 12, 2005 03:05 PM

Answer the question.

Why should the rest of the World have to bow down before the US. I hate that American attitude, it makes me sick. You just mind your own business, sort your own country out. Oh yeah, while your doing that stop murdering, looting and poisoning the rest of the World, got that??

Posted by: ia786 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2005 03:41 PM

No, not everyone seems to apreciate the sacrifices our people make for the spread of Human decency. Some who've lost family members to war have turned toward hatred and express their grief in public. One can almost sympathize.

There is a mother grieving in the desert, crying for her dead child. Grief is as old as Humanity, and we'd be less than Human if we were to cease feeling it's pain. A mother grieves in a desert for her son who died in a desert far away. The man died in the land of Gilgamesh.

The world's oldest known book comes from the land where the young man died. The Epic of Gilgamesh in part tells the story of him and his friend Inkidu who fight the monster that threatens them. Inkidu dies from his wounds after the battle. Gilgamesh is stricken for the first time in his life by grief. He knows death. He looks at his friend's body and asks:

"Must I too, like my friend, lay me done, never to rise again?"

Gilgamesh wanders to the Cedars of Lebannon searching for eternal life, which he finds-- and loses. There's nothing good about dying young, nothing good in witnessing the death of ones loved-ones. It is ocassion for grief.

In the desert a woman is grieving for her dead child. Others have joined her. They are not with her to share her grief. They join her to hate those they feel have caused the death of a young man and many others like him, the deaths of many from the land of Gilgamesh, and the deaths of countless people across the face of the Earth, dead, killed by the hand of America.

But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all, "We died at such a place," some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of anything when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it.

William Shakespeare, Henry V

All the world's a stage, and a mother's son becomes a prop to mourn before an audience, chorus weeping, faces twisted, fists shaking, voices rasping: "Bush lied; people died."

"Root cause, root cause, root cause...."

Not a word for the man. No one says he died, like others died, like others will die, because life is for the living:

Go and tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
That here, obedient to their laws, dead we lie.

Simonides of Ceos (556-468BC) - Epitaph on the monument marking the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC)

We had a little bit of trouble with locals today. We are beginning to feel a little unwelcome here. One lady almost ran over a film crew that was filming a commercial today. She screamed at us that the neighbors are really mad at we moved down the road to our closest neighbor who is very sweet. Her husband is a medic who just got home from Iraq.

Again, I did tons of interviews. It looks like I will be on the cover of People Magazine. Time Magazine, Vanity Fair and Oprah's magazine will be interviewing me also.

Due to the generosity of you all, the Crawford Peace House has gotten over 30,000 dollars and GSFP has gotten a lot of donations too. I got about 2 and a half dozen bouquets of flowers from all over everywhere. I am so amazed and overwhelmed by the support and love we are getting from everywhere.

[Gorgo,]"when asked by a woman from Attica: 'Why are you Spartan women the only ones who can rule men?' said: 'Because we are the only ones who give birth to men.'"
Plutach on Spartan Women.

We have in our lives a sickness that is spreading across our lands, a sickness of ourselves. We have in us a hatred of life that is a death-worship. Some of us call it peace.

We are marching toward our civil war. Some of us will fight for life for the living, and some of us will choose the side of death. We who choose to fight, we who die in battle, we will fight and die for the lives of the living. If we perish from this Earth, still, I call it peace.

The Gettysburg Address

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Why do the young die while the fat cats and robber barons feast on oil and caviar? Why are young men and women, the people of Iraq and Palestine, dying by the thousands just so the rich can get richer? We are the people. It's rich men, white men, fascist men in the White House who send young men and women to kill and die for oil.

But I remember war, and none of my comrades died for anything like oil or another man's riches. No, as I recall it we fought for life, and not just our own. Some of our mates died. Some were maimed. Some got drunk. But maybe somewhere someone today goes to school because mine died. Maybe somewhere far away life is for the living and not the brutal bastards who killed with impunity for sport and madness. Maybe we did good. Because of the dead, maybe the living, living at all, live better.

The Supreme Lord said: I am death, the mighty destroyer of the world, out to destroy. Even without your participation all the warriors standing arrayed in the opposing armies shall cease to exist.

Therefore, get up and attain glory. Conquer your enemies and enjoy a prosperous kingdom. All these (warriors) have already been destroyed by Me. You are only an instrument, O Arjuna.

Bhagavad Gita, chapter 11, verses 31-33

A mother's grief is a hard load to bear. It bends the man. It can drive him to his knees. Mothers lose their sons to more than death. Mothers lose their sons to manhood.

"What will you do if Karna is able to kill me?" Arjuna asked Krishna. Krishna smiled and replied, "The sun will fall, the earth shatter into a thousand fragments, and fire lose its heat before he kills you. But if he does, it is a sign that the end of the world has come. As for me, I shall kill him with my bare hands."
-Mahabharata, Book Eight: Karna (P. Lal)

Some of us who've lost our friends are driven to our knees with nothing left to us to clasp but our bare hands. Must we too, like the men we killed, lay us down, never to rise again? Must we never raise our eyes and see the good we did for those who could do nothing for themselves? Must we forever walk through the field of the dead and hold our peace like a coin we fear to spend for fear we'll never earn another? I don't love my enemies. I don't love death. But I don't love life so dearly that I'm willing to deprive others of it because I fear for myself. No, like most men who know a need to fight for those who can't fight to save themselves we have a will to live to keep the living alive. Mine and our friends were plain men in just war. You mightn't know any one of them by name. Even their mothers won't recall them as well as the living do they saved. The dead didn't die like hereos, they didn't die for glory. They died for boring, silly things in the lives of others, for the simple existence of their fellows' simple lives, as boring and silly as they are.

Is it important who won and who lost? Won't it all happen yet again? Isn't it all pointless and inhuman? Isn't it all a plot to enrich the rich yet more?

Only the dead have seen the end of war.
George Santayana.

In the desert a woman sits mourning her dead son. If only he'd died for some reason. If only he hadn't died for the sake of Haliburton getting contracts to sell Iraqi oil to enrich the capitalists feeding off the blood of the workers!

Around that mother gather those who wish to wail for the cameras too.

The house where the dead dwell in total darkness,
Where they drink dirt and eat stone,
Where they wear feathers like birds,
Where no light ever invades their everlasting darkness,
Where the door and the lock of Hell is coated with thick dust.
When I entered the House of Dust,
On every side the crowns of kings were heaped,
On every side the voices of the kings who wore those crowns,
Who now only served food to the gods Anu and Enlil,
Candy, meat, and water poured from skins.
I saw sitting in this House of Dust a priest and a servant,
I also saw a priest of purification and a priest of ecstasy,
I saw all the priests of the great gods.
There sat Etana and Sumukan,
There sat Ereshkigal, the queen of Hell,
Beletseri, the scribe of Hell, sitting before her.
Beletseri held a tablet and read it to Ereshkigal.
She slowly raised her head when she noticed me
She pointed at me:
"Who has sent this man?"

Gilgamesh seeks eternal life. He wants his friend back. He doesn't want to die. He intrudes upon the realm of death itself looking for eternal life. And when he finds it, he loses it, because such is the lot of Man. Does he like it?

O woe! What do I do now, where do I go now?
Death has devoured my body,
Death dwells in my body,
Wherever I go, wherever I look, there stands Death!

No, death is not for the living.

For whom have I labored?
For whom have I journeyed?
For whom have I suffered?
I have gained absolutely nothing for myself,
I have only profited the snake, the ground lion!

Is that it? Is our death only to be used as a prop for actors in a play for television? Are the dead only food for the grief leeches?

Some of us, bowed down on our knees under the burden of grief and in a state of exultation, remember that today we fought, and tomorrow others will have to fight again for the same ground we won before them. Bitter though we might be, we will lay ourselves down, never to rise again. And that will have been us.

Whenever virtue declines and unrighteousness rises, I manifest Myself as an embodied being. To protect the Saints and Sages, to destroy the evil-doers and to establish Dharma (righteousness), I am born from age to age.
-Bhagavad Gita 4.7 and 4.8

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The Attitude of Whimmitude

The four creatures who beat and raped Linda and her friend are subjects for the police to attend to. Even if men had happened upon the rapists in the act and had rightly killed them on the spot it really isn't going to make any real difference in the struggle against fascist Islam and fascist dhimmitude. Our struggle isn't against Moslems: Our struggle is against fascist Islam and fascist dhimmitude. Our struggle is against attitude.
Our struggle is against men and women holding the idea that it's ok to rape and beat and kill women if the Koran says it's so, or if it's part of the culture, or if the moon is in Virgo that day, or one ate too many Twinkies. The attitude that everything is permitted means that some people do things that we cannot allow. And if we allow them to do the impermisssable with impunity they continue, they do more, they do worse, and they'll eventually get around to everyone in some way or other, probably just by making your life miserably insecure even if yu're never attacked personally. Some things are not ok. Some things are BAD.

Below we have four takes on the attitude women have about Moslem women. So long as Westerners think it's a matter of cultural difference that Moslem women are imprisioned, humiliated, beaten, raped, and murdered by virtue of the poligion of Islam, then women everywhere are subject to the same treatment regardless of their lack of complicity in the violence inherent in Islam. There is no Muslim exceptionalism. Those who claim there is, like the sociologist below, are whimmis and fascists who would and do deny basic Human rights to those they pretend to champion. The fact is, the poseurs on the Left care for no one but themselves and the look of their pose in the eyes of those they pose for.

Our first look is at the state of Moslem women acording to Islam.
Next we look briefly at a discussion of the female body according to Moslem women themselves. We continue with an essay that objects to the standard party line that Musleim women benefit from Islam, and that Islam is the Religion of Respect for Women in "Yes it is Islamic. Don't apologize for it." You will have guessed that there comes after that an essay by a Western woman who does apologize from Islamic treatment of women, and it's really your fault for stupidly following the dictates of the capitalist system. And finally, an essay by a woman writing about the conditions of muslim women in Sweden.

Yes, for all their smugness and sacntimony, Europeans do have capital punishment. But it's multi-cultural, anti-rascist, Euro-capital punishment. We'll conclude our comments here.


Apart from the deficiencies of the woman, she is also has ten 'awrat. The Encyclopedia of Islam defines 'awrah as pudendum, that is "the external genitals, especially of the female. [Latin pudendum (literally) a thing to be ashamed of]"[25]

"Ali reported the Prophet saying: 'Women have ten ('awrat). When she gets married, the husband covers one, and when she dies the grave covers the ten."[26]

And according to the following Hadith, women not only have ten 'awrat, but the woman herself is perceived as 'awrah :

"The woman is 'awrah. When she goes outside (the house), the devil welcomes her."[27]

(This Hadith is classed as 'Sahih' that is sound or faultless.) So going outside the house is a form of exposure of the 'awrah; a thing that delights the devil.


The Qur'an expresses the equality of the works of the sexes and the oneness of origin of the sexes in the following verses.

"And their Lord answereth them, 'I will not suffer the work of him among you that worketh, whether of male or female, to be lost. The one of you is the issue of the other." (Q. 3:195) Rodwell.

"Mankind fear your Lord, who created you of a single soul, and from it created its mate." (Q. 4:1) Arberry

So while the Qur'an holds the works of men and women in equal regard and acknowledges that they are completely interdependent as to their very existence, they are not regarded as having equal worth as people. The men are a step above the women and superior to them as is clear from the following two verses.

"And it is for the women to act as they (the husbands) act by them, in all fairness; but the men are a step above them."[7] (Q. 2:228) Rodwell "Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other."(Q. 4:34) Dawood.

Another eminent Muslim thinker, Hadi Sabzevari, in his commentary on Sadr al-Mote'alihin wrote:

That Sadr ad-Deen Shirazi classifies women as animals is a delicate allusion to the fact that women, due to the deficiency in their intelligence and understanding of intricacies, and due to their fondness of the adornments of the world, are truly and justly among the mute animals [al-haywanti al-sa^mita]. They have the nature of beasts [ad-dawwa^b], but they have been given the disguise of human beings so that men would not be loath to talk to them and be compelled to have sexual intercourse with them. That is why our immaculate Law [shar'ina al-mutahhar] takes men's side and gives them superiority in most matters, including divorce, "nushuz," etc. (Quoted in Soroush, Abdolkarim, _Farbehtar az ideoloji_, Sera^t, Tehran, 1373 A.H.S.). [A.H.S. = After the Hegira, in Solar years].

The above is consistent with the authentic Hadith that says women are deficient in intelligence and religion. This belief has been accepted by Muslim scholars and writers for the past thirteen hundred years.

The awrah of the Muslim woman amongst Muslim women
Posted byadministrator on Friday, August 20 @ 01:29:16 ??
Contributed by Anomynous

Compiled By :Abu Aqeela
Translated By : Abu Aqeela

All praises to Allah, we praise Him and seek His Aid and His Forgiveness, we seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our ownselves and from the evils of our actions. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah having no partners and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)

To proceed:

That which you have before you is an attempt to bring about some clarity in regards to the issue of the Awrah of the muslim Woman amongst Muslim women & the Dancing of women (at gatherings such as Eid,Weddings,etc).

You will find within this short treatise, selective fataawa in regards to these two issues. It has also been separated in to two parts.

The awrah of the Muslim woman amongst Muslim women.
This section consists of the kalaam of our shaykh, Saalih ibn Foazaan ibn Abdullah al Foazaan(may Allah preserve him) in form of questions and answers (fataawa).

[Truncated. Ed.]

Re: The awrah of the Muslim woman amongst Muslim women (Score: 1)

by f.zora ( on Thursday, December 09 @ 19:07:04 ??
( User Info | Send a Message)
Assalamualeikum and may Allah reward every muslims for spreading and reminding the Noble Path that is Islam.

I really want to say how deeply mooved i am from reading this article. For the subject is so important and the numbers of young women following these rules so few around myself. May Allah increase the numbers of Muslims , those who fear Allah and like only what pleases Him and Hate only what displeases Him. When i speak to some of my muslims friends about they clothing and the fact that music is harram, i often find myself laughed at.
And i had the hadiths that prooved what i advanced, as i tried to explain the reasons of these instructions about the awrah of women and why many activities that nowadays women do without fear of Allah th Almighty. Really he is sufficient to Hiself and the bad we do, surely we do it to our ownselves.
I as a young woman (i am 22) find it , so disgraceful and so lowstanding to wear tight clothes and to listen to music , or watch movies that are build on pure lies. About music and movies, i believe it can be a distraction that Shaytan can use during our Salat. And for that i protect myself. About tight clothes, to come back to our issue, i really don't understand what goes in some minds when ones are really aware of the gravity of their acts, saying they are fasting, praying and at the same time walking balancing there hips and showing off their awra. I will surely Incha'Allah, may Allah allow me to do so : try again to talk to the young muslims women i know about this very important issue. And this time take this article also as a support to my explanation.
because i know one can change, i used to wear such clothe when i was younger, but when i became aware of the facts, tried to change so much that alhamdulilah i began wearing hijab and large clothes so as to hide my body's shapes. i try to talk calmly about the way a muslim woman should behave, but some people are so arrogant i sometimes discourage myself.

May Allah Subhanna wa Ta�la bless the Prophet muhamed and his family, as well as the noble Sahabas that fought to protect and transmit the tradition of the messenger's(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Sunnah?

Wasalamualeikum warahmatul'Allahi wa Barakathuhu.

Sister Fatima Zohra Bint Muhamed Ali


Yes, It is Islamic. Don't Apologize for It!

By Azam Kamguian

In the last few weeks, the Swedish society has been touched by the brutal and calculated murder of Fadima Sahindal; a young courageous woman who chose to live according to her will and paid the price by her life. In the last two months, two other young women in Denmark and Britain were killed by their fathers because of the honor of the family. Honor of men and the family took their lives. Honor killing is a tribal and Islamic practice prevalent in Islam- ridden countries and Muslim inhabited communities in the West. Being killed deliberately and brutally is, in fact, a price that victims pay to practice their minimal human rights such as how to dress, talk to men other than their male family members, live, work and study independently, and marry at will, or have voluntary sexual relations.

Hundreds of women get shot, burned, strangled, stoned, poisoned, beheaded or stabbed every year in Islam ridden countries because their male relatives believe their actions have soiled the family name. They die, so family honor may survive. According to this tribal and religious practice, woman is a man's possession and a reflection of his honor. It is the man's honor that gets tarnished if a woman is 'loose'. The murderers and their defenders refer to this verse of the Koran that allows husbands to beat their wives: "As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill - conduct, admonish them, refuse to share their beds, beat them", the Koran, chapter 4, verse 34. Honor killing is a tribal practice that has been incorporated in the religion of Islam, because of its anti - women nature and misogynist philosophy. And the law is usually on the man's side, not only in the Middle Eastern and the Central Asian countries, but shamefully, in the Western countries too. They often letting murderers go unpunished or with a light sentence.

According to this Islamic concept and tradition, from the early childhood, girls are taught about "eib", which means shame, and "sharaf", which means honor. And everywhere girls go are reminders that their most important mission in life is to remain virgin until they marry. Boys are also taught to have "ghayrat", meaning to be ardent. All these concepts are Islamic concepts, and that is why the killers always defend their acts of murder by these Islamic concepts. According to the UN statistics, the majority of these murders occur in the Islam - ridden countries and Muslin inhabited communities in the West.

Though, honor killing may seem not much surprising in societies such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, its occurrence is indeed shocking and shameful in the heart of Europe in the 21st Century. And that is where the reactionary idea of Cultural Relativism is put into practice to justify women's victimization by excusing Islam and backward traditions. Unfortunately, until recently which some measures were implemented by the Swedish government, this government not only neglected to protect the lives and the rights of these women, but also justified their murders under the name of respecting 'other' people's religion and culture. While the murderers have repeatedly and openly defend their act by referring to Islam and the Koran, the majority of feminists, the mainstream media and intellectuals try to explain these murders as the prevalent patterns of domestic violence against women in the Western societies. While the murderers, whether in the Middle Eastern countries or in the Muslim inhabited communities in the West, openly state that their act of murder are "crimes of honor", and that they are merely following the directions set down in their religious beliefs, both in the Koran and in the Bible, the apologetic Western intellectuals repeatedly assure us that it is not Islam and the backward traditions, it is the common pattern of violence that is happening to the Western women too.

Swedish intellectuals should show the honesty that is required and expected from intellectuals, by telling the truth, by siding with those innocent young women who were victimized and continue to be brutally victimized because of the Islamic and backward tradition. It is not acceptable to apologize for Islam and backwardness.

And as far as the Swedish government is concerned, there shouldn't be a different basis for people's right in the one and same society; in the Swedish society. All should be considered as Swedish citizens and equal before the law. The Swedish society is duty bound to safe guard and protect the rights of women and girls from Muslim origins. This could be done only by abolishing all the respective discriminatory laws against these girls and women. This could be done only when there is no respect, excuse and legal interpretation for the misogynist Islamic and traditional beliefs and practices.



The image of Muslim women in the media is usually linked to Western imaginaries and reproduces the thinking necessary to perpetuate this perspective.

Women are often called upon to illustrate a preconceived cultural landscape that endorses the 'agreed paradigm of Islam in the West': distant, passive, exotic, victim, veiled, reacting to events instead of actively participating in them.

In the case of Muslim women there is a double prejudice, the product of an accumulation of contradictions: those derived from the differing media treatment of men and women, and those derived from a deep-rooted orientalist ideology about Islamic culture.

This situation creates and perpetuates negative stereotypes in public opinion, discriminating against Muslims settled in our countries, preventing our societies from experiencing solidarity with Muslim women. Hence, sometimes when we think we are supporting their emancipation, we are actually supporting those authoritarian powers responsible for their predicament as the targets of legal discrimination.

The result is that we are left with no understanding of modern lifestyles that do not necessarily depend on secularism for a delivery system. At times, our paternalism leads us to feeling sorry for women who are quite capable of defining themselves, despite their lives having been defined up until now either by Europe or by authoritarian regimes. At times, when we denounce the lack of equality for Muslim women, we forget to mention the way that men as well as women are deprived of their democratic rights in these societies. Sometimes we confine our sources of information to those who reflect our own cultural image or dress code. All this leads to a lack of understanding among most people, and encourages the formation of radical identity seeking among a minority.

Cultural plurality is based on the necessary knowledge of the Other as it is, not as we would like it to be. The media representation of women in Muslim countries, apart from its coverage of unacceptable acts of discrimination, mainly serves to perpetuate a set of cultural expectations that denigrate a vast and diverse cultural world. Irresponsible generalisations are made. Multi-dimensional realities are hidden. The forces for change that do exist are ignored. Testimonies and actors are very selective. And patriarchy in the Muslim world is presented as an extreme, immutable, almost exclusive case, the product of an irreversible cultural determinism.

But it may be that social change in Muslim societies, and the decline of patriarchal power, must spring from democratisation and development from within. Perhaps these societies must have the chance to define themselves, without having to be defined by the West.

Islam, Political Islam and Women in the Middle East

Maryam Namazie

March 18, 2002

The situation of women living in Islam-stricken societies and under Islamic laws is the outrage of the 21st century. Burqa-clad and veiled women and girls, beheadings, stoning to death, floggings, child sexual abuse in the name of marriage and sexual apartheid are only the most brutal and visible aspects of women's rightlessness and third class citizen status in the Middle East.

This is Nothing but Islam

Apologists for Islam state that the situation of women in Iran and in Islam-stricken countries is human folly; they say that Islamic rules and laws practised in the Middle East are not following the true precepts of Islam. They state that we must separate Islam from the practice of Islamic governments and movements. In fact, however, the brutality and violence meted out against women and girls are nothing other than Islam itself. According to the Koran, for example, the fornicator must be flogged a hundred stripes (The Light: 24.2). Those who are guilty of an 'indecency' must be 'confined until death takes them away or Allah opens some way for them.' (The Women, 4.15). 'Men are the maintainers of women' and 'good' women are obedient. Those that men fear 'desertion', can be admonished, confined and beaten' (The Women, 4.34). Wives are a 'tilth' for men, which they can go into their 'tilth' when they like (The Cow, 2.223). Veiling is promoted in the Koran: 'O Prophet! Say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they let down upon them their over-garments' (The Clans, 33.59).

Apologists for Islam say that these verses have been misinterpreted. They go so far as to claim that there is gender equity in Islam and Islam respects the rights of women. Regarding the verse in the Koran sanctioning violence against women, they say that Islam only permits violence after admonishment and confinement and as a last resort. They say, since men would beat their wives mercilessly at that time, this is a restriction on men to beat women more mercifully (Women Living Under Muslim Laws, For Ourselves Women Reading the Koran, 1997). In a Gender Equity in Islam Web Site, this verse is explained in this way: 'In extreme cases, and whenever greater harm, such as divorce, is a likely option, it allows for a husband to administer a gentle pat to his wife that causes no physical harm to the body nor leaves any sort of mark. It may serve, in some cases, to bring to the wife's attention the seriousness of her continued unreasonable behaviour.' On the verse that says women are men's tilth, they say the Koran is encouraging sexuality, even though women are killed for expressing theirs (Women Living Under Muslim Laws, For Ourselves, Women Reading the Koran, 1997). Regarding the fact that women are not to judge or consult, one mullah from Qom using a female pseudonym says: "Or, Let's suppose that in other planets, women are stronger and more learned than men, do we accept their custom or do we reject it totally?" (Zanan 4 and 5). On the Gender Equity in Islam Web Site it states that 'Islam regards women's role in society as a mother and a wife as her most sacred and essential one. This may explain why a married woman must secure her husband's consent if she wishes to work. However, there is no decree in Islam that forbids women from seeking employment whenever there is a necessity for it, especially in positions which fit her nature best and in which society needs her most.'

These 'Islamic feminist' interpretations are an insult to our intellect and cannot be taken seriously. Islam has wreaked more havoc, massacred more women, and committed more holocausts than can be denied, excused, re-interpreted, or covered up with such feeble defences. Misogyny cannot be interpreted to be pro-woman even if it is turned on its head just as fascism, Zionism and racial apartheid cannot be interpreted to be pro-human. These are mere justifications for reactionary people who want to legitimise their beliefs and religion or reactionary states and movements with a vested interest in maintaining Islamic rules and laws. They apologize because even they don't want to associate with the outrages committed by Islam throughout the world. Nothing can hide the fact that Islam, like other religions, is anti-woman and misogynist and antithetical to women's rights and autonomy. [essay continues at link below.]

These posts are long, and we realize you might not have all day to read through them. We do appreciate your interest, and wish you the best.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Dhimmitude, Whimmitude, Gang-rape, and FGM

A couple of stories on gang-rape that make the average non-Moslem angry don't seem to have the same effect on some Moslems. You decide if you want to continue supporting fascist dhimmis who support fascist whimmis and Moslems. A positive step is mostly a matter of mentioning these stories and others like them to your friends and co-workers, listening to them call you names for a while, and then hearing them later say what you said-- once they forget that they first heard it from you.

There's not a lot of room for editorializing here. The stories below either speak for themselves or you're definitely at the wrong site.

Today, two stories on gang-rape, one on FGM. It happens daily, and you can make it stop by not allowing people to pass it off as a matter of "cultural tradition." Speak up. Take some heat. Honestly, being ignored by people who don't like you because you won't put up with this vileness is a good thing. How good? Well, consider these two short quotations before you jump into the slime pit of Islam:

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done"… Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.

George Orwell


France - on Bastille Day

PM Chirac has officially raised the French terror alert from "Run" to "Hide". There are only two higher alert levels in France, which are "Surrender" and "Collaborate". The rise was precipitated by a recent fire at France's white flag factory - effectively crippling their military.

The following story comes with a selection of letters to the editor of the magazine.


In Gang-Rape Hell: Life in Islamic France

women against islamic misogyny | 10.08.2003 22:56

Here, young men try to rule their families and neighbors under a macho code drawn partly from Muslim tradition, partly from the violence and porn in the media. Women submit to men, they say. Good girls, good sisters, cover themselves and stay home. Otherwise they are putes, whores, who can be used and abused even if they say no.

GRIM AS SUCH crimes may be, they're becoming commonplace in the police ledgers of Paris, Lyons or Toulouse. The scene is almost always the same: the housing projects called cites on the outskirts of France's major cities. Built by socially progressive governments in the 1960s, they've since been taken over by a generation of mostly Arab immigrants—impoverished, cut off from their native lands and culture, ghettoized. Here, young men try to rule their families and neighbors under a macho code drawn partly from Muslim tradition, partly from the violence and porn in the media. Women submit to men, they say. Good girls, good sisters, cover themselves and stay home. Otherwise they are putes, whores, who can be used and abused even if they say no.
Such stories, then, are not just about urban crime and rough neighborhoods. They reflect a core issue of Muslim integration in Europe. Can the young men and women of the cites break out, or will they become ever more isolated, turning inward against themselves? Will they build their lives and relationships on egalitarian values, or on the worst of Islam and the Internet? Young men trapped in a world with no jobs and no future, and violently confused about sex, tend to make women the symbols and the victims of the frustrations around them. Ten years ago, the boys in these hoods burned cars in the streets. Today, they increasingly turn their anger against "their" women in the basements of their apartment blocks.
Recently, a few young women of the cites have begun to fight back. One organization in particular, Ni Putes, Ni Soumises, (roughly, Not Whores, Not Servants), has been organizing protests and speaking out so loudly that the French public and the French government have taken notice—and sympathized. In one grandiose gesture on Bastille Day, July 14, huge photographs of 14 women from the cites, posing as Marianne, the symbol of French liberty, were hung on the columns of the National Assembly looking out on the Place de la Concorde. Will these girls' fathers and brothers now show them as much respect?
That looks to be a longer fight. "Sexuality has always been a thorny issue in the quartiers ," says Safia Lebdi, 29, who is one of the first members of Ni Putes, Ni Soumises, and could be a poster girl for confident, in-your-face sexuality. The other day she was wearing a pink see-through top, low-rise cargo pants and soft, beaded slippers. Born into the cite outside Clermont-Ferrand, where Michelin makes tires, she knows what she's talking about when she says that "feminist thinking never reached the ghettos." Girls, for their own protection, have taken to wearing loose-fitting track suits or veils over their hair. "They're locked up in a world where their fathers have failed to break out of unemployment, where they have failed at finishing school or finding a job," says a young woman activist with another group, Female Voices, Rebel Voices. Lacking hope or the opportunity for a better life, she adds, "all the men have left is their virility." And some have savage ways of asserting it.
Late last year, two events galvanized the women of the cites. A young woman named Samira Bellil published a book, "In Gang-Rape Hell," recounting her experiences in the ghetto, including twice being subjected to the tournante —men taking turns using her, one after another. She urged her "sisters in suffering" to speak out before they lost all self-esteem. Then reports hit the press about another —incident even more gruesome than those before it. A 17-year-old woman named Sohane told off an old boyfriend, and he burned her alive.
So it was, earlier this year, that the eight young women of Ni Putes, Ni Soumises came together and began touring France to publicize their plight. They weren't sure what they were doing or where they were going. But they knew they were fed up. "We were f—-ing scared," says Lebdi. "We were heading for the unknown."
Unknown then, perhaps, but no longer. Today, all of France knows of them and their cause. They have been received in Paris by Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin. The government has promised that police stations would be more receptive to women in distress filing complaints, and that housing should be provided for women, whom these activists and the government agree, need rescuing from severe abuse. So far some 50 women have moved into such apartments, and Ni Putes, Ni Soumises gets a steady stream of abused and battered girls. "It takes time to make change happen," says Lebdi, "but we don't have time. Every single situation we deal with is an emergency and often even a matter of life and death."
The problem is that to help the women of the cites in the long run, you have to help the men—not only to find jobs and education, but to learn to live in Western societies. And precious little has been done about that.

women against islamic misogyny

Please Remove This Posting

11.08.2003 10:48

why is it that only muslims are attacked on this site..why not try attacking usa for a change? ive had enough of this nazi style racism


Not Whores

11.08.2003 14:06

Nazi style racism? Ha ha ha, priceless... so the gang rape of women is something Indymedia should be promoting now?

Not Servants

Please protect me from uncomfortable truths

11.08.2003 14:46

I refuse to accept that anyone other than WASP imperialists can ever do anything bad, and the above article is uncomfortably shaking my complacent ignorance.

I also belive that the rights of Muslim men are more important than the rights of Muslim women.


If a problem exists it must be addressed

11.08.2003 14:56

This is actually the first post I have seen on Indymedia directing critisism at a negative aspect of Muslim culture. In my opinion, the only factor that should determine whether or not this post is valid is whether it is the truth.

If it is the truth it should not be removed from Indymedia.

To the person who thinks that it must be a 'nazi' post, I suggest your extreme reaction betrays a sub-concious understanding that the post is probably true. Your narrow-minded brain can't compute how something could be politically-incorrect and true at the same time.

Try and get your head around it. If women are suffering, the problem needs to be fixed regardless of whether it clashes with your ideals.

Not everything is as simple as you would have us believe.

T McClure

racists playing on liberal guilt

11.08.2003 15:06

Yeah right. You're standing up for Muslim women, are you? Tell me, how many do you know?

Ever wondered what Muslim women make of the endless attacks on Islam in the media (including, sad to say, IMC)? You reckon we sit here thinking 'oh great, here they come to rescue us at last!'. Because, hmm, European imperialism has a great reputation for liberating us poor savages, that's for sure...

Killing my brothers will not make me free. You may conquer the whole of the Arab world if you want, but don't dare to pretend your bombs are in my name.

Angry (Muslim, gasp horror!) Sister

Unrestless antiarabic propaganda

11.08.2003 16:48

Stop your unrestless likudnik propagaganda against Arabs . The arabic women have our help for their Rights, laic help, and don't ask and nor need the help of guys similars to you.They recognize your style!

Spot on Maria V

12.08.2003 13:35

Well said Maria V. I agree that this original post is taking one thing and turning it for the purposes of another. I would like to have seen this removed because the language it uses and the angling of the meaning makes it racist, however with the replies I think it should stay.

PS just because something is 'true' does not mean it has a place on indymedia. Indymedia is a political project, openly stated, and is not free speech, though it may defend the right to free speech.

Censor This Islamophobic Article?

12.08.2003 14:14

Yes I agree the posting is *clearly* racist if not fascist. After all the only possible response, to an article about a group of working class muslim women not only affected by racism in France but rapes by men, *must* be one of applying hands over ears and screaming 'islamophobia'

Lets be real:
Do the men perpetrating this act any differently from other men in similiar situations?
Are the women wrong to stand up to rape?
Is it racist to say that we are against the sexist behaviour of men, without regards to their race, religion etc?

The question here isnt about islam, its about women defending organising themsleves against sexual violence. Those who have called for the removal of the peice should be bloody well ashamed of yourselves.


twisted agendas

13.08.2003 15:02

There are groups and networks out there doing serious work around womens' rights and gay rights in ALL communities and faiths. They deserve solidarity and support.

But I question the agenda of the spooks who post otherwise serious articles with rabid anti-Islam (and ALWAYS Islam) headlines stuck on top. Are they:

(1) Encouraging practical solidarity for groups and networks, or

(2) Trying to stir up fear and prejudice against Muslims and divide-and-rule between groups who might otherwise unite against repression, war and imperialism?

Answers on a postcard...


This story comes from The Guardian:

Revolt against the rapists

In deprived, out-of-town estates in France, teenage girls have become targets, victims of a code that labels them easy game for gang rape. Now the fightback has begun. Women are speaking out, refusing to lead lives circumscribed by violence and abuse. They tell Rose George why.

Saturday April 5, 2003
The Guardian

When she was 14, Samira Bellil made the dangerous mistake of falling in love. Dangerous, not because of teenage heartache, or pregnancy, or the usual adolescent pitfalls. But because where Bellil lives, falling in love can get you gang raped.

Her boyfriend was the handsome hard man on the estate. She decided to sleep with him, in a basement, and when she left, his friends were waiting for her. They started kicking and beating her, and the biggest dragged her by the hair to an apartment nearby, where she spent the night being raped by three young men. The sexual torture was so revolting, she still won't describe it, 15 years later. But maybe the worst thing about Bellil's gang rape is that, in the deprived suburbs of 21st-century France, it's not unusual.

It's not even called rape. They call it a tournante, or pass-round. The banality is deliberate: a joint, a girl - same difference. Sometimes, they call it a plan petasse, or slag-plan, because that's what any girl who sleeps with her boyfriend is, and that's why she's fair game. Sometimes, it's a basement-plan, because that's where it happens, as well as in garbage disposal rooms, schools, courtroom toilets.

Last year, the courts heard the case of Nadia, 15, whose rapes occurred in all these places. For months, she was repeatedly abducted and gang raped. She reported it only when a friend noticed her discomfort one day at school (after she'd been forced to fellate two boys during morning break). When some of her rapists came to court, they had a standard defence: she'd wanted it.

The tales are legion and horrific: Elodie, 14, who, on August 1 2000, answered the door when her parents were out, and found herself a minute later facing five boys in her dining room, and a minute after that with the first of five penises in her mouth. When she tells her story, on a video deposition, her hands never leave her face.

Solange, 17, whose boyfriend held her down while his friend raped her in a stairwell, and who between December 1997 and July 1998 was raped five times by 11 teenagers. (When she dumped her boyfriend and got a new one, he let his friends rape her, too.)

Nora, 14, who three years ago went to a station to meet her friend Pierre, who passed her on to two of his friends, who raped her in a dingy apartment and sent her home on a train bleeding. In her statement to police, she says, "He took his trousers off. He had nothing on underneath. And he asked me to touch his... "

But she can't say the word.

Annabelle, a 21-year-old student, was raped by four young men on a train near Lille. There were 200 people in the carriage. Another girl was raped 86 times.

Like their rapists, the victims are white, black and Arab. Usually they are teenagers. In the banlieue, or suburbs, which constitute France's deprived urban areas, to be a girl is to be a target.

The kids who live in the banlieue call them "the neighbourhoods". Or, in the outskirts of Paris, Neuf-trois (93), Neuf-deux (92), or the other postcodes that set them apart from the 75 of the city centre, and a whole other life. In official-speak, they are "difficult zones" or "sensitive areas", both of which are accurate for these huge, grim housing estates, thrown up in the 1950s to house immigrants - mostly north African, but also sub-Saharan or French Caribbean - and workers for the nearby factories.

The factories closed, and only poverty remained. Unemployment among young people here runs at 40%, compared with a national average of 9%. You put your 93 postcode on a job application, kids tell you, and your letter goes in the bin. If your name is Arab, it goes there even faster.

France prefers not to notice its banlieue most of the time. But occasionally it has to. Like in 1995, when Mathieu Kassovitz's film La Haine scandalised the country, with its portrayal of torched cars, violence against the police, deep-seated fury. "It was a kind of positive violence," explains Sarah Deflaoui, an 18-year-old law student and child of a difficult zone. "It was a way of crying out, of asking people to notice that things were going wrong." When the explosion didn't help, the banlieue imploded instead. The stronger minority - frustrated, furious young men - turned on the weaker: women.

But once again, France chose not to notice. Until last October, when Bellil's book about her experience of rape was published, and when a 17-year-old girl was killed in circumstances too horrible to ignore. Then, in February, women from all over the country found their voice, rallying for a five-week march through more than 20 French cities with the war cry Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Slags Nor Submissives).

Sarcelles high school is 20 minutes from Notre Dame. You get there by RER train. This is as banlieue as it gets; the low school buildings surrounded on all sides by housing estates, the wind appearing to blow chillier.

I get off at the station, and remember that this was where Bellil was dragged and raped for a second time by K, only a month after her gang rape. On her desk, headteacher Jeanne Sillam has a photocopied newspaper article. The headline reads:

"Nadia, 15, gang raped in a courthouse." And I think, what kind of school needs to keep its head informed about gang rapes? The kind of school where a girl wearing a miniskirt was attacked by 30 boys in the toilets. The kind of school where teacher Fabrice Genestal kept hearing the word "tournante" and didn't click what it meant, till he and Sillam sat the kids down in after-school workshops, and got talking.

The result was Genestal's 2000 feature film La Squale ("the tearaway"), made with real schoolkids, in real schools: it made as many waves as La Haine.

Genestal opened his film with a gang rape, a faithful portrayal of what the kids had told him. "Usually, it goes like this - a boy approaches a girl with his gang behind him." He might buy her a drink. He might persuade her to kiss him. "It's all premeditated. It's a hunt."

The girl will be fragile, or unprotected, or a runaway. Or she's just broken the rules of the banlieue. (One teacher reported his pupils as saying, "Nightclubs are full of slags because if they're in a club, they must be a slag.") She gives in, and the boy says, "Be nice or I'll tell your parents/friends/the neighbourhood." Then he says, "Be nice to my friends, too." "The trick is to isolate the victim," Genestal says. "Once she's seen as easy, no one will help her, not even the girls."

This is the code of the banlieue. At a family planning class, a teenage boy says, "French girls are for fucking and Arab girls are for marrying." The woman who told me this was shocked, not only because the boy was white and "French", but because all the girls in the class applauded. Being more macho than the lads is an escape route, explains Deflaoui. To the extent that girls act as touts. Nadia was delivered to her rapists by two girls she knew, who had been asked to find a "dick-sucker".

One day at the station, P put his hand in me. I asked why and he said, 'You can't say anything, we can do whatever we want with you.' He said it was to lubricate, but I don't know what for. I started going out less and less, but the boys kept coming for me'. Elodie, 14, in her statement to police

The shame of a gang rape is crippling: most girls don't dare speak for fear of reprisals - apartments burned down, threats to younger sisters. It's estimated that in France and the UK alike, police get to hear of only 10% of rape cases, and that's of those involving adults. In these areas, silence is even more tempting - for some Muslim families, in particular, premarital sex is taboo, and a daughter's virginity is honoured above everything.

Bellil didn't report her rapes at first. The police call gang rape victims "ultra-raped". So she was ultra-scared, ultra-disgusted and ultra-guilty. Her Algerian parents weren't easy to talk to. She said nothing, till three friends turned up, saying they'd been attacked by K - the man who had raped her twice - and would she report it? She did, and joined a tiny minority.

It is only in the past few years that girls have started reporting these crimes - that is, if they realise it was one. (Bellil didn't know that being raped, sodomised and forced to fellate three boys was a crime punishable by French law.)

"I don't know if the numbers of rapes have increased," says Hugues Lagrange, a sociologist and expert in adolescent sexuality, "but I think the ability to talk about it has." When Bellil became the first victim to write a book about her experience - In The Hell Of Tournantes - the taboo cracked a little further.

It was astonishingly courageous. Though K served two years for rape, he has long been back on the streets, Bellil's streets. She saw him three months before the book was finished. "My legs were like jelly. I expected him to pull my head off, to drag me by the legs. He could have done anything." But she still wrote under her real name, still put her face on the cover. "My editor said I had a nice face," she laughs. "I never considered being anonymous. I had to be credible. There are so many young women who have been suffering. They are so isolated. I want to give them some hope. God, they need it."

There are no firm statistics about tournantes. As in the UK, French criminal statistics don't differentiate gang rape from any other kind. A judge in the juvenile courts estimates that gang rapes constitute 10-20% of the cases he sees, though most of those are downgraded to sexual assault.

The anonymous hotline SOS Viol (SOS Rape) received 73 calls from juveniles between January and October 2001, more than in the three previous years put together. A police chief in one suburb north of Paris, with a population of 800,000, received five reports in a similar period. "If you take those figures," said one SOS Viol volunteer, "you'd think it was an insignificant problem. But it's not."

Anecdotal evidence makes that clear: social worker Richard Heyberger, who runs an emergency refuge for juveniles west of Paris, says that all the girls who come under his roof know at least one other girl who has been "passed around". Bellil, since her book was published, has received 20-30 letters a day, many from victims.

'My boyfriend told me I'd gone looking for it. But I don't think I did. After the second time, I finished with him and he laughed and said, anyway, there wasn't much chance I'd forget him'. Solange, 17, in her statement to police

"When I was at school seven years ago," says Deflaoui, "boys used to say, 'Calm down or you'll go down to the basement.' They meant you'd get raped." Deflaoui's sister, six years older, knew about pass-rounds when she was at school. Grassroots activists have been hearing the word tournante for about two decades. But it was Genestal's film, dark, brutal and truthful, that shocked the political classes into a reaction. Ministers proclaimed an end to sexual violence in schools. Committees were set up to combat it. The issue probably helped the centre-right government to win the elections, given their emphasis on "insecurity" as a campaign issue.

Perhaps such attention from the corridors of power is too little, too late. Fadela Amara, director of the grassroots organisation La Maison des Potes (House of Friends), has been working in the banlieue for two decades, with little help. "The public has no idea what's been happening. When they talk about the banlieue, they talk about crime. They never talk about women." She sounds as if she's said it too many times before. "All the rights feminism won stop at the gates of the banlieue."

Forged from traditional cultural prejudices about the inferiority of women, and a street code based on survival of the strongest, the law that rules the banlieue is brutal and inviolable. "Women are the guardians of honour," says Bellil. Girls have to be virgins. They have to study at home, look after the men, never go out. That makes them filles biens (good girls), and out of danger. Anyone else is a slut. "Once you're in the projects, you follow the rules. If you want a 'French' life, if you want to go out, wear make-up, you get a reputation." The reputation is irreversible.

It seems too extreme to be true - until I go to an after-school dance workshop at Sarcelles high school. Half a dozen teenage girls and one younger boy are swaying to African music.

Desirèe, 14, is wearing tight jeans, a tight-ish top and a bandana. She looks fabulous. "Could you wear that in normal class?" I ask. (The only boy there is her brother.) She looks at me as if I'm daft. "No! I'd get called easy."

A gym teacher tells me that, of the 300 girls in his school, in a "difficult zone" in Marseille, not one wears a skirt. Of course not, says Deflaoui: "Girls have to camouflage themselves. You can't show your body is growing, you can't show you're a girl. You put femininity to one side - it's for later." Wear a skirt, she says, "and immediately, you'd be called a slut. You'd have hands on your ass. Whatever you wear, it has to be baggy."

Everyday insults and lewd comments in the street don't help.

"You expect it," says one girl. If you see a girl in the banlieue, she's got her head down and is walking as fast as she can. "Girls look around and see every other girl is the same," says Bellil. "They think that's the way it has to be. There is such fatalism."

That mood changed on October 4 last year, when a girl was murdered in the suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine. The boyfriend of 17-year-old Sohane Benziane slapped another boy's girl in the face. Then, apparently in return, Benziane was set alight with lighter fuel, in a garbage room. Boys blocked her exit. She pushed past finally, in flames, and burned to death on the scrubby grass outside, a couple of stops from the Bibliotheque Nationale, the symbol of all that is progressive in the secular republic. A 19-year-old man from the Balzac estate has been accused of her murder.

And the taboo cracked some more.

On Valentine's Day this year, in a cold social club in Marseille, six young women from the suburbs are sitting behind a table, fielding questions. Their T-shirts read Ni Putes Ni Soumises, and they are part of the Women's March. Actually a roadshow (which included some men, too), the march began, symbolically, in Vitry, made more than 20 stops all over the country, and ended in Paris on March 8, International Women's Day, where it attracted a crowd of 20,000.

"We're sick of it!" says Loubna, from Clermont-Ferrand. "We're sick of cringing, of lowering our eyes, of being scared." "It's impossible to live there any more," says another marcher. "We're stifling. I want to wear what I want, I want to be able to say, 'I've got a sex life, what's it to you?'" She wants what other girls have, outside the banlieue. The debate is about love, and why it's a pipe dream. "You can't use the word 'love'," says Bellil, who has joined the march for a day. "It's a sign of weakness, and from then on it's scary." The slags/submissives slogan was carefully chosen. "It's shocking," says Amara. "But so is what's happening to young women."

'I sometimes think people think a gang rape is a cute orgy. They don't see the humiliation, the hours on end, the boys queueing up, the blows, the spitting, the objects, the insults, the times you faint from the pain. The 3 to 15 guys who are having a laugh, drinking, rolling joints, sending text messages to their mates telling them to come, too, taking pictures, filming. And when it finishes, you know it's going to start again, in two days, a week, two weeks'. An anonymous testimony on a banlieue forum at

How did it get this bad? There are 50,000 reasons, says Bellil, though she's more interested in what to do about it. Some French commentators blame the state of things on Islam, on cultural attitudes. It's dangerous ground, and not accurate.

"This isn't Islam," says Deflaoui, whose family is Muslim. "When I go to Tunis on holiday, it's not the same. Girls can go out, they can smoke, have boyfriends. I see when I go there that the mentality is evolving, but here it's not. Here, young people are regressing."

It's not about religion, Bellil says forcefully. It's about religion, and society, and biology, and education, and everything. It's about what happens when a Muslim culture rubs up against a western one, and the worst of both remain. There are reasons wherever you look and, usually, they involve the word "gap". A gap between home where boys are treated like kings, as is commonplace in north African and African cultures, and outside where they are delinquents and scum. A gap between boys and girls at school, where girls do better and leave boys behind. Boys drop out more often, or end up at technical schools, where their access to girls is limited. Girls who are known to them - sisters or cousins of friends - are off limits, because of the honour code.

There is, Sillam says, "no opportunity for meaningful social intercourse". Lagrange echoes this: "Flirting is impossible, and so are relationships." The views of the girls in the banlieue are more heartfelt. "We are dying for lack of love," Loubna says. "No one talks about love; everything is taboo." In the nation of Simone de Beauvoir and Simone Weil, slogans about progress and equality are dangerously irrelevant.

"The feminists have deserted the banlieue," reads the national appeal of the Neither Slags Nor Submissives campaign. I put this accusation to Julia Kristeva, one of France's leading feminists. Why hasn't anyone paid attention before now? She sent me back a one-page article she'd written a year ago - on "the damage to psychic space". "It'll be the same thing elsewhere," says Michelle Le Doeuff, a professor of philosophy and one of the few intellectual feminists willing to dirty her hands with practical issues. "It's frowned upon to do both practical and intellectual work." And even if it weren't, says film-maker Catherine Breillat, "there is no strong feminist movement today. Instead, there's a very strong misogyny. When the fact of the gang rapes came out, no one protested, because of fatalism. They said, It's cultural.' No, it's not!"

Breillat - one of France's more outspoken and notorious directors - doesn't mince her words. She hates France, the French, being French. She knows exactly where to lay the blame: her own culture. This is a macho country. It's partly Latin, partly Nordic, and the result is an incredible hypocrisy. We are a country of Tartuffes. We never confront our problems, and that's why we're helpless when faced with the gang rapes, because we're all complicit."

Unlike most politicians, she will not blame pornography, even though a recent survey found that, in a sample of 1,200 12-year-olds, all the boys and half the girls had already watched a porn film. DVDs circulate in high schools, along with homemade videos of pass-rounds. "There's no real sex education," says Deflaoui. "They tell us what spermatozoid is, but not how to treat a woman. So boys educate themselves with porn." And not only that: in the self-professed liberal society that is France, mainstream feature films show graphic sex Romance (directed by Breillat), Baise-Moi (Fuck Me), Irreversible (with its nine-minute rape scene).

But Breillat won't have it. "Pornography isn't the problem, and if it were it's too late to ban it, now there's the internet. The problem is that boys have no distance from it. They can't tell the difference between it and reality." Girls in porn films are often gang raped, and they always consent. (The British criminologist Ray Wyre found that 92% of rape narratives in films showed the woman enjoying it.)

In almost all gang rape cases that have come to court, the fruit of this sex education is chillingly obvious. At Nadia's court case last year, before sentences of between five and 12 years were handed down (including five years for the girl touts), one of the 18 attackers said, with a macabre play on words, "In our family, we're thieves (voleurs) not rapists (violeurs)."

In northern Paris, a police chief tells of a rapist who was in court for car theft the day before the rape trial. For the car theft, he was contrite. For the gang rape, he laughed and said, "No, she's forgotten, we did something else to her, too." (He went to jail for the rape, not the car theft.)

The morning after her gang rape, Bellil's rapist shined her shoes and made her breakfast, as if nothing had happened. Heyberger, who receives juvenile criminals at his refuge, says only one boy has ever recognised that what he did was a crime. "I ask myself constantly," he says, "whether they're actually repentant. And I've never persuaded myself that they are."

One of the lads said I shouldn't go back in because they were doing their thing. When I got downstairs, I said to myself that perhaps she wasn't consenting. But she's a slut. She wanted it.
One of Nora's rapists, 18, in his statement to police

Are these boys monsters? "It is commonly believed," wrote Sue Lees in her classic book on rape, Carnal Knowledge, "that men who gang rape must be pathological bullies, fiends or maniacs, and that gang rape is far less common than individual rape. Research refutes these assumptions."

In fact, gang rape arises from an "extreme need for normative masculinity", particularly in adolescence. All of which is borne out in the ghettos of Paris and other French cities (though there have been copycat tournantes in bourgeois schools, too). But what about elsewhere?

There have been several reported cases in the UK, including two notorious ones in London, in 1997 and 2000, and the Metropolitan police's rape task force, Operation Sapphire, says that rape by London gangs is on the increase. It's usually a form of initiation, says Commander Andy Baker, who specialises in street gang crime.

"The girls have to go along with it to join the gang. But there's the other kind, too, where a girl who has sex once is then tainted." Either way, it's called a "line-up": she stands there, they line up. "It's definitely out there," says Baker, "and definitely worrying. We're officially keeping an eye on it." Perhaps this is not surprising when many of the elements that led to the phenomenon in France are found here, too.

A recent NSPCC survey of the prevalence of sexual abuse found that approximately one in 10 young adults reported experiencing sexual abuse involving actual or attempted penetrative or oral sex before they were 16. Most victims were girls; the most common abusers were described as boyfriends.

In France, sociologist Lagrange thinks the Women's March was highly significant, but sounds a warning, too, for at least some of those involved. "The attitude of young women used to be, 'We'll wear a headscarf because we want to respect our tradition.' Because of the rapes, the attitude has been inverted. They're saying it's no longer acceptable."

But in today's climate - of tension between east and west, of Islam being used as a badge of rebellion - it's a dangerous time to break ranks. "People are going to say they are traitors, stabbing their community in the back, while the west is waging war on them."

"It's going to be heated, when we get home," says one marcher, jokingly. But it's not funny. On one banlieue website, there is serious discussion about which marcher will get "into difficulty" first, after the publicity has died down.

When I ask the marchers if they're optimistic, they say, "I have no solution, madame," one after the other. Some talk of more sex education in schools. Or schools for parents, so that they educate their boys to have respect, and do not defend them blindly if they are involved in gang rape.

But for now, Bellil's question - what to do about it - is being answered, in what Breillat would call a typical macho fashion, by France's conservative interior minister, Nicholas Sarkozy. A law passing through parliament will make it a criminal offence to linger in a hallway (but not a basement). He's also intending to make juvenile detention centres into prisons, following the British model. It's repression, not prevention.

"That's the last thing we need," Bellil says. "All I needed, after I was raped, was someone to hold out a hand to me. No one did. Nobody." She did not write her book to inspire pity, she says. "I wrote it so that girls will speak out. If they do that, I've won. But I can't be the spokesperson for this for much longer. I can't carry it all. There's just too much violence."

This final peice comes from an Internet magazine in which we read of the pros and cons of FGM. If you didn't know there were pros regarding mutilating little girls, then you must have missed the previous posts on the topic in our archives. Here's your latest chance to look into the minds of sick people. We can't change everything for the better, but there's a chance that if we at least talk about these things openly we'll bring the problem to light so that somewhere, someday, someone will say: "I've heard about that, and I'm calling the police." It's worth the try.

Female Circumcision in Islam- Part I

Fatou Badjie-Ceesay

In today's edition of Every Woman, we bring you a research by Sheikh Sedia Ceesay, the Assistant Principal of Tallinding Islamic Institute, made under the Gambia Islamic Union on Female Circumcision (FM) in Islam.

"Circumcision in Sharia is to cut the skin that covers the male genital end and/or to cut the upper end of the skin that covers the clitoris on the female genital part. Generally, the practice is to cut to a certain degree of the skin from both male and female sexual organs".

Historical background: the history as to when and who it actually started is not precisely known. Yet it is clear that circumcision was generally practiced all around the world.

Some scholars state that the practices started as far back as the generation of Adam, the father of prophets, Abraham (Alaihi Salam) by Allah's order. Some other scholars argued that prophet Abraham was the first to practice it by an order from Allah the Almighty. Allah says in the Quran: "And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled " suratul Bakara-124.

One thing to notice is that the practice was started by a very righteous man, which is by either of two above mentioned.

Reference of the practice from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah: Allah the exalted has tried Abraham to undertake certain commands as quoted above from the Holy Quran and these commands have been fulfilled.

Circumcision was among the other things that were included in the command. The Holy prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in the Hadith on the authority of A'isha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: "when two circumcised ends meet, then purification is compulsory". These circumcised parts or ends in this Hadith means that of the male and the female. The hadith means that when the two circumcised ends meet, purification is compulsory upon both of them, even if there is no ejaculation or sperm released.

The second hadith on the authority of Abu Hurera (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Holy prophet (SAW) said: "five things are fitrah: circumcision, shaving of genital parts, shaving of mustache, cutting of nails and shaving of hair of the armpits". Fitrah in this hadith means Sunnah narrated by Bukhari and Muslim.

In another hadith, Ummul Atiya (may Allah be pleased with her) "the female circumciser during the time of the Holy prophet (SAW) was advised to: cut a small part of it and not all because it makes the wife beautiful and makes the husband happy about the wife".

Additionally from Ahmad and Tirmizhi, the Holy prophet Muhammad (SAW) said that circumcision is a Sunnah for male and honour or generosity for female (i.e mustahab).

The Islamic judgement or concept about it:

Firstly, it has been considered by many Islamic judges that circumcision is compulsory on both males and females. Among the scholars who say so includes Ash-Shafae, Ahmad, Hambal, Ata'a, Al-Awzae, Shanoon Minal Malikia and Ibn Abbas, a well-known sahaba (i.e companion of the Holy prophet). Infact Ibn Abbas was further reported to have said, "There is no valid Hajj or salat for uncircumcised males and females".

Additionally, Imam Malick says that "the uncircumcised person should not lead the salat nor testify or witness in court cases", he further says that Muslims should not eat the animals slaughtered by such a person.

Secondly, many prominent Islamic scholars like Abu Hanifah, scholars of Malikia and Hassan Al-Bassry all agreed that circumcision is a compulsory Sunnah on Muslims, both males and females.

Some scholars of Shafae and Imam yahya of Al-Zaidiyyah said that it is obligatory on males and a strong Sunnah on females.

Additionally, some other scholars judged it as a strong Sunnah on males and a honour/generosity on the females (i.e mustahab and honour).

This means that the practice on females is an honour and therefore cannot be rejected. This group of scholars based their judgement on one of the above-mentioned hadith.

What did Islamic scholars say about it:

Scholars Hambaly term female circumcision as a very good Islamic practice and in fact a major one. This is because the Holy prophet (SAW) used it as a way of describing as and when purification is compulsory.

In narrating this, the Holy prophet (SAW) did not use one circumcised part to describe it but rather the two-both male and female.

Additionally, these scholars said that a husband should force his wife to be circumcised equally as he forces her to pray.

Once Imam Ahmad asked Abu Abdullaah about the convertion of a non-Muslim who was not circumcised. Abu Abdullaah answered that the person should circumcise. Again asked if he/she is too old? He answered even though.

Umar Ibn khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) during his time as the leader of the Muslim community once reminded the female circumciser in Madinah who was once advised by the Holy prophet (SAW). He told her "if you do it, don't deepen the cut, try to leave something for her sexual enjoyment". Scholars who are in line with Umar in this view cannot be mentioned in this pamphlet. The few among them in recent times include Shaik Muhammad Al-Banna, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Religious Affairs in Egypt; Fadilatu Al- Imam Akibar Shaik Mahamud Salatuta, a member in the Council of Supreme Scholars who served as referees in Islam have also discussed on this topic. At the end of their discussion, it was generally agreed that the practice is good. This happened on the 11th of September 1950 and the name of that society is called Daru al Iftaruw.

Locally, our prominent scholars, Ustas Umar Ibn Jeng, the Imam of State House Abdoulie Fatty, Alhagie Banding Drammeh, the president of the Supreme Islamic Council, Shaik Abdou Gitteh; Shaik Muhammad Basiru Camara, Muhammad Lamin Touray, Shaik Abdou Kadri Suwareh, Shaik Kandafe Kolley and many other scholars, are in line with this practice.




Osilama Osime (MBBS, MPH)

The Bill on "Female Genital Mutilation" (FGM) HB 22 sponsored by Hon. Janet Adeyemi in the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is one legislative process one cannot, in good consciousness, support. The bill desires to criminalize a widely practiced and accepted tradition of a people.

First, none of the nation states or nationalities that constitute Nigeria practices "female genital mutilation" - a term that implies that some barbaric natives deliberately set out to do harm to their female offsprings. It is the tradition in some parts of the country to circumcise children - male and female. In either sex, when surgery is performed, varying amount of the genitalia is excised. In the female, varying amount of the clitoris and or the labia are cut. In some communities, female circumcision is ceremonial and does not involve any surgery, at all. Most of the adverse effects of female circumcision are associated with the resultant scarification when surgery is performed.

This practice which has become associated with our people's way of life and has sustained from time immemorial should not be demonized, cast in criminal terms and legislated against. It is not the vogue among Nigerian woman to smoke cigarette. It is not popular and the society does not accept it as desirable norm. However, in some "civilized" societies, cigarette smoking by women (even during pregnancy) is accepted as "cool" and fashionable. This is in spite of the well-established cause-effect relationship between cigarette smoking and some deadly ailments. Basking in the sun for skin tanning exposes the non-black skin to a high risk of skin cancer with a high fatality rate. Where these issues are concerns there are no bills designed to legislate against them. They are considered public health issues and addressed as such through public health programs designed to enlighten and educate people of the risks of their choices.

The Sunday Boston Globe of March 18, 2001 in its "The Boston Globe Magazine" published a write up "Body Work" by Judith Gains. Part of this article reads:

"At the fringes of this phenomenon, some people are turning attention to body parts not previously considered in the aesthetic domain. Some doctors report a minor vogue in cosmetic removal of one or two bottom ribs to make a waistline look smaller. Others have been alarmed by a growing demand for genital surgery among women, who think the inner labia are too large or elongated."

The western culture of surgically remodeling any part of the body including tongue piercing, eyelid piercing, nose piercing and skin scarification are never considered as self abuse or body mutilation. At least not by those who practice it for whom it is "body modification" - fixing that part of the body you do not like.

It is unfortunate that our legislators would describe our values, culture and traditions in derogatory terms to enable them make such practices illegal. "Mutilation" is not it. For the people who practice it, "circumcision" is what it is and "circumcision" it should be called. The term "mutilation" has this negative bestial connotation that suggests willful and malicious infliction of injury. I am yet to know that Nigerian parent whose culture permits of deliberately harming his/her child (male or female). I mean "Nigerian parent" not 'African parent'. The term "mutilation" is unacceptable. Those opposed to female circumcision should tone down on their rhetoric and exaggeration aimed at winning the sympathy and approval of some western overlords. A very thin line separates insult from fancifully overstating a point. Why has it become such a shameful thing to be identified with the tradition and culture of our ancestors? Wait a minute! Our anti-female circumcision group will not want to be caught eating pounded yam cum ogbono or egusi
soup with their fingers. It is unfortunate that a cultureless people, because of economic and political advantages are the ones who would now set the standards and way of living for another people whose background is rooted in culture and tradition.

Nigerian children do not grow up alone, left to Prozac and other mood stabilizers. They have loving parents and family (extended of course) and each is registered as a family member before birth. They represent the ultimate and true blessing any family can receive. Our children are cute and truly adorable hence there is always an adult family member readily available to attend to their needs. Their being circumcised is part of the manifestation of the joy that comes with their arrival. In fact, some communities celebrate female circumcision with fanfare. It is a milestone in the child's growing up that the parents are delightfully and eagerly desiring to attain. It is a decision the parents have to make because our culture is inclusive, communal and collective. Grown up children, more often than not, have family members contributing to and or influencing some of their decisions if not outrightly making such decisions for them. That is who we are. By the reference above, what we find desirous to do for our children, some other culture learn to do in later life with so much excuses.

If we send our daughters to the "fattening room" for pre-nuptial grooming we are ridiculed. There are no statistics to support the insinuations that our fattening room culture exposes us to an obesity epidemic. When our damsels parade their beautiful ebony skins, it is primitive nakedness. But not such degrading and derogatory words for cultures that exploit their bikini-wearing women's bodies. In one culture nakedness is primitive, in the other it is fashionable and a show of wealth and well being. There is no female sport in the western culture that is not designed to expose and exhibit nudity as if the participating sportswomen's nakedness is part of the game. Polygamy where a man is held responsible and committed to his family is scorned at. Flip the coin and you have the "ideal" culture of flirtatious and irresponsible multiple marriages. Poly-marriage never gets derided as long as the previous and immediately preceding marriage ends in divorce and payment of alimony and child support including Prozac prescriptions.

Now it is time to make Nigerians feel self-pity for circumcising their daughters. Female circumcision (or male circumcision) is not an act of willful, malicious, dehumanizing brutalization of our children's genitals. It is perceived as a preparatory act towards initiation into later adulthood. No mother (or father at that) who has had seven (or more) boys will subject the eight and female child to any barbaric downgrading mutilation of any part of the body. That "Odegua" of a child is the precious female and circumcising her only increases the joy of having her.

There is no rule of thumb that stipulates that a tradition must be concern free. There is always going to be some fault with a people's way of life if an effort is made to take it apart. When a people's way of life, beliefs or tradition has unintended adverse effect, what to do? What not to do is not to legislate against the particular way of life, belief or tradition. A legislation against a socially accepted norm drives the behavior underground. Mary Slessor didn't arrive Calabar with a piece of legislation against the killing of twins. She lived among the people, campaigned, enlightened the people and so dispelled the beliefs that placed the lives of twins in jeopardy. The people became informed and their customs evolved. Attempts at changing a people's culture must first acquire a good understanding of the people's perspective of that culture with appropriate and due respect for the circumstances that produced and maintains the behavior.

The health hazards associated with female circumcision are no worse than those of bilateral episiotomy or symphisiotomy. But the dysfunction and crippling damage associated with the later are readily and conveniently rationalized. Female circumcision lives a scar like every surgery. The undesired effects of this are better addressed through public health campaign programs and not legislation. The cumulative benefits of a population-wide behavior change program are more effective and enduring than the process of criminalizing an acceptable behavior and legislating against it. Presently, in some parts of Nigeria, public health campaign programs are effectively counseling against marriages between couples that both have sickle cell trait (AS genotype). This is reducing the incidences of double sickle cell gene (SS genotype) births. Talk of eliminating abikus. Nigerians are capable of making positive choices for themselves and do not need to be led by the nose which is legislating against a tradition does.

When the people are fully informed in regards of the choices they have to make then the chosen behavior may be modified and adapted to meet any peculiar circumstances. For those who choose to continue smoking cigarette inspite of the associated health hazards, the cigarette industry offers low tar cigarettes with filters and the Surgeon General's warning on cigarette packets. For those who must stay under the sun, ignoring the risk of skin cancer, there are body creams and sunshade glasses. Similarly, for those who would not give up their ancestral heritage, the process of female circumcision should be standardized to be conducted under sterile conditions and environment. Unsterile procedure and environment makes even the innocuous male circumcision an unsafe surgery. Neonatal tetanus is a painful consequence of male circumcision that immediately takes it toll not because of the surgery per se but because of unclean environment and procedure.

The Nigerian woman having control over her body is not relevant to the subject of female circumcision. Nigerian women are not oppressed and unempowered as some negative press would want us to believe. Some Nigerian communities simultaneously have female traditional rulers (Omu) with significant authority and almost co-equal influence with the male rulers (Obi). Long before 1920, the area now defined as Nigeria had produced Queen Amina and Queen Idia among others. The Nigerian woman started voting along side their male counterparts from day one of introducing universal suffrage to us. The first Nigerian parliament had a female senator and a female cabinet minister long before some older democracies will allow their women run for such offices. Nigeria has her Alele-Williams and the Ransome-Kutis. Name the sphere of life and the Nigerian woman is significantly represented and competing on equal ground with their male counterparts for equal pay.

The Nigerian culture does not however make provision for a woman to have absolute control over her reproductive endowment. The reasons for this are not far fetched. Our concept of marriage and family differ widely from others where women are alleged to have absolute control over their bodies. It is not a matter of which is preferable or superior. But that is what the situation is. Our marriages are not just for companionship with pre-or/and post- nuptial agreements specifying who makes breakfast on what day of the week and how many times the couple must sleep in the same room before divorce. Across Nigeria, marriage is celebrated as the union of two families whose children have the commission to go and multiply. Hence , every unborn Nigerian child is not stuck with just a biological mother who has power of life and death over it but has a league of uncles, aunts, cousins and grand parents.

"Having control over their bodies" is a euphemism to disguise the right for women to singularly terminate the lives of their unborn babies. The unborn Nigerian child has a family that cares about it as well as care for the mother too. Neither is expected to put the life of the other in jeopardy as an indication of empowerment or being in control.

Genuine concern for the reproductive health of our women as it is impacted by female circumcision is best addressed through public health campaign and education programs. Female circumcision is not the result of a battle of the sexes with the victorious party electing to "mutilate" the vanquished. It is a people's way of life. It is these people who need to be fully informed of the consequences of their beliefs and practices and thereby empowered to make alternative choices, voluntarily.

It is unfortunate that our lawmakers have been stampeded into wasting legislative time and energy trying to curb a practice deeply rooted into our tradition and social ethos. A census of the legislative ills confronting Nigeria today will show that female circumcision does not feature among the first thousand. There are many more issues in Nigeria today that can be achieved by legislative fiat. Cultures evolve.

God bless Nigeria

God help us. But remember that all cultural revolution grows out of the barrel of a gun. What's important is who is pointing it.