C0nc0rdance: Individuality by Robert Ingersoll

Remember, I am posting this before setting off on my holidays:  it may refer to the 4th of July, but, in my never-humble-opinion, this piece is timeless!!!

 

Nigerian atheist deemed mentally ill in Nigeria’s Kano state for not believing in Allah – God

This is what happens when religionists run countries:

 

Magdi Khalil of Coptic Solidarity: treatment of Meriam is typical of Shariah Law

UPDATE:  Senator Cruz adds his voice:

If you have not of the plight of Dr. Mariam Ibrahim, blame the media who are unwilling to bring to light the worst kinds of suffering women must endure under Sharia.

An educated MD, she was raised Christian by her Christian mother – and married a Christian man.

But, because her father (who had abandoned the family when she was little) was a Muslim, under Sudan’s Sharia-based legal system, she is officially a Muslim.  And while a Muslim man may marry a non-Muslim woman, a Muslim woman may not marry a non-Muslim man.

Why?

It all goes back to Sharia.

Sharia states that under no circumstances may a non-Muslim be in a position of power and/or dominance over a Muslim.  (This, by the way, includes employment – which is why, in Sharia-compliant countries, non-Muslims may only hold the lowest levels of jobs in every profession, because they are not permitted to attain a higher rank than the lowest Muslim in the same workplace.

Sharia also states that a husband is in a position of power and dominance over his wife – she must obey him and submit to his will in every way.  Therefore, if the husband were non-Muslim, and his wife were a Muslim, that would put the husband, a non-Muslim, in a position of power and dominance over a Muslim – the wife.

Which is why a Muslim woman is, under Sharia, strictly forbidden from marrying a non-Muslim man.

Back to Mariam…

Mariam’s crime is that she married a non-Muslim, and she is a Muslim by the virtue of her father having been a Muslim (there is no right to convert under Sharia – if your father, whether he raised you or not, was a Muslim, then under Sharia, you and your children will also be Muslims….any conversion is not only legally not recognized, it is punishable by death.

As such, her marriage is not legally recognized.  But, mote than that – she is, according to Sharia, committing adultery every time she has relations with her not-legally-recognized husband.

For this crime of adultery, she has been sentenced to 100 lashes and then death.

Mariam – and her toddler son – were unceremoniously dumped into prison…a prison with a high mortality rate for toddlers and infants.

It gets worse…

When Mariam was tossed into prison to await her sentence, she was heavily pregnant – and gave birth to a daughter in prison, chained to the ground…

Atrocious!!!

But, really, not all that unusual…  That IS Sharia!!!

The twist to this story is that Mariam’s husband and the father of her children is an American citizen – which, of course, makes his children also American citizens.

Yet, the US Embassy personnel in Sudan is unwilling to lift a finger to help the father, the mother or the children…

What was it that Obama said about not leaving anyone ‘behind’?

What about ‘no child left behind’?

Oh, but let Magdi Khalil have his say on this:

Please, don’t forget Dr. Mariam Ibrahm!

 

Pat Condell: Sweden goes insane

 

The kidnapping of teenage girls by Muslims

Of course, not all Muslims will kidnap anyone, much less underage girls.

But, this episode with Boko Haram (or, as their full name is,Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad’ - and they are most definitely Muslims who are following the literal example of their prophet) has stirred up a lot of emotions in me, for reasons that, perhaps, it is time for me to share.

A distant cousin of mine was, just a few short years ago, working for an aid agency in Africa when he and several of his co-workers were kidnapped by Al Shabaab – they were later released under undisclosed terms, but, that is not my story and am not at a liberty to share it.

There is a much older story, which I can share, because it happened to me – personally.

This was my first encounter with Islam – but it was an encounter that had made a very deep impression on me and, as I was already interested in studying the various religions (on the other side of the Iron Curtain, I was only able to study ancient ones) and this encounter started my decades long study of Islam and Sharia…

I know, I know – thou shall not drink and blog is THE golden rule of blogging, but, I admit, I have had to have had a glass or two of wine to get my courage up to write about this….

First, a bit of background….

I went to a language school – 72 kids in a country of 15 million got picked every year to enter, based on a barrage of aptitude tests.  I was not supposed to be permitted to be tested, but, through an administrative error (and a signature forgery on my part – which had never been discovered), I managed to get myself tested.  I tested so high on the aptitude to learn languages that even my dad’s status as an only partially rehabilitated political dissident could not get me excluded, because the linguists on the admissions board insisted.  (I learned about this much, much later when one of my former teachers came to visit me in Canada.)  Suffice it to say – I was admitted to this elite language school where I learned a number of languages.

As part of this school, I was exposed to a lot more ‘foreigners’ than most other schoolchildren behind the Iron Curtain were.

I had ‘pen pals’ in few of the ‘brother socialist countries’ and even though our letters were supervised by the school, their letters (and especially the photos from my pen pal in the Irkutsk) were quite eye-opening.

In addition, when foreign dignitaries from other countries would come, or sports competitors would visit, we would be the schoolchildren paraded out and presented to meet them – as we could communicate in their language (or, in some cases, in Russian – which was the case with, say Cuban visitors, etc.).

For example, the town I was from holds world-famous horse races.  Even Dick Francis mentions having raced there.  When I was about 11, 5 of us girls were sent to officially ‘entertain’ the Cuban delegation to this race….with no adult to ensure our safety.  It was the first time I was kissed by a man….but I got myself and the other girls away before it got out of control!  (Some of the other girls were even jealous that I got kissed and they didn’t…we were so innocent!)

But, school was not the only place where I met ‘foreigners’.

Even though he was a political dissident, my father was also a world-class scientist who specialized in artificial intelligence.  By the time I was in the language school in the late 70′s, he had published a number of ground-breaking books on the subject.  And, even though they had to be published under his bosses’ name (my father’s name was deemed too inflammatory), he was  well known in scientific circles.  As such, he got sent to Moscow a number of times (whenever they stole some Western tech and needed him to reverse-engineer it).  In Moscow, he met other scientists sent there and visiting there from other countries.  He was well liked and respected – he is, after all, a smart cookie!

So, a number of these scientists (mostly from ‘brother nations’) had visited my daddy at our home – and he and I would take them sight seeing.  Sometimes, there would be several scientists, some speaking only English as our common tongue while others speaking only Russian.  As I was perfectly fluent in Russian, I would act as the interpreter for the Russian-speaking scientists while he translated for the English speaking ones.  Again, these were fascinating experiences that greatly broadened my horizons.

Thus, when I was 13 years old and we were in the process of escaping from behind the Iron Curtain, I was much more ‘worldly’ than an average child of my age.

Yet, nothing in my exposure to people from various lands and cultures had prepared me in the least to my encounter with Islam….

So, what happened?

We were escaping from The People’s Socialist Paradise – towards freedom!

My parents exploited some red tape to get visas for all three of us to Yugoslavia:  the one ‘socialist’ country that was not 100% compliant with the Soviet Union’s policy and thus gave some hope of getting out.  Nothing was guaranteed – we could have been caught and our lives ruined, or we could win the lottery and get out.  Our chances were about 70/30 in favour of success – if we avoided Serb-controlled border points (the Serbs were loyal to the Soviets and would send us straight to jail, the Croats would let us out just to spite the Soviets – we knew this and hoped to capitalize on it – excuse the pun!).

In order to get out of Yugoslavia legally – which was our wish, as breaking the laws of the country we fled to (in our case, Austria) would be contrary to the code of lawful behaviour.  After all, if we sought protection from a country, breaking their laws in entering it would have been unthinkable for us!

So, once we entered Yugoslavia (an absolutely awesome holiday place), we went straight to Belgrade to seek visas from the Austrian and German embassies.

Aside:  we had heard that the conditions in Germany were much better for refugees than in Austria, so we sought a visa to go there – but then we heard that the rules for seeking a political asylum required us to file in the first country we entered where we could seek political asylum, and that would have been Austria, so we abandoned the attempt to get German visas (even though they were willing to grant them to us) and decided to seek asylum in Austria.

When we got to Belgrade, we were too poor to stay in a hotel – we stayed instead at a campground just North of the city.  We had two pup-tents:  one for my parents (orange) and one for me (yellow).  It must be made clear that European campsites are nowhere near as private as North American ones – indeed, there is little or no privacy at all as one tent is very close to another, with no trees or bushes in between.

We set up our tents and went to the Austrian and German embassies to seek visas.  Both embassies were only open between 8 am and noon, and there were lineups outside the doors (so we did not get into the German embassy on the first or second day).

The second day of us staying at the campsite, a rich oil sheik with an entourage of several SUVs (armed men) and two air conditioned luxury tour buses (women and children) set up camp in the same campground that we were staying at – just under a steep slope that was too steep to set tents up on, but which formed a natural amphitheater.  In the evening, they started playing very exotic eastern music – and some of the women and girls were dancing.  It did not take long for many of us ‘other campers’ to gather and sit on that slope and watch in utter fascination something so very exotic and tantalizing!  It was beautiful!

It was on our third day waiting outside the German embassy that a shot, plump, smiling, 50-ish man approached my father.  He opened his wallet and pulled out a VERY thick stack of $100US bills – and, speaking broken English/German, he asked my father to sell me to him.

My father flatly refused.

The smiling man would not be rebuffed so easily:  he kept talking to my father, explaining that I was not for him – he wanted to buy me as a birthday present for his son!

Needless to say, my father did not sell me.  Like I said, he is a smart cookie and a good guy to boot!

That evening, at the campground, the sheik’s entourage put on another performance!  And, fascinated, we went to watch…

This evening, the women and girls dancing started inviting the gathered watchers to join in the dancing, teaching both women and men the moves.  Of course, I wanted to join in – but my dad, looking more grim than I ever remembered him, would not let me.

Then an 8-or-so year old girl came around, offering sweets to everyone – again, I was eager to taste it but my dad forbade me to take one.

It was then that he pointed out that down by one of those buses was that guy who had tried to buy me ‘as a birthday present to his son’.  Indeed, that was the very sheik who was the owner of this harem and entourage…and he kept staring at me.

That night, after everyone seemed to go to sleep, my dad poked his head into my tent and said that we were leaving – right now!!!

We packed in a huge rush – not even putting the tents into their cases – and drove out of the campground.  Two dark vehicles from the sheik’s spot followed us.  We drove at relatively high speeds through Belgrade – with the two dark vehicles on our tail.   I don’t know quite how, but, eventually, my dad lost them and we drove far, far away…

Back then, I did not grasp the full significance of what had happened.  Sure, I was frightened – but, well, not enough….I simply had no concept of how serious the situation was or just how drastically my life would have been altered had my father not had the foresight he did.

There is a very, very long tradition of hunting down Slavic girls for Islamic harems…something I was totally unaware of then.

Did you know that the very word ‘slave’ comes form ‘Slav’?

Because so many of us have been hunted down and sold into slavery in Muslim lands?

Way more of us were enslaved in the Muslim lands than there ever were black slaves sold to Europe or the Americas….

Mohammed himself had a Slavic Christian girl, Miriam, as a sex slave – given to him by the fathers of Constantinopole in the hopes it would appease him…

The hijab itself is indeed a variation of the Slavic head-dress – which so enchanted Mohammed that he imposed it on all of his ‘wives’!

After Mohammad’s example (a man ALL Muslims are ordered by the Koran and the Hadith to emulate), it became a ‘fashion’, a status symbol, for pious Muslims of means to own a Slavic Christian sex slave.

As in, Slavic AND Christian girl is the highest value sex slave, but a Christian of any race is acceptable…

And THAT is who Boko Haram consider it acceptable to capture, hold and sell Christian girls into sex-slavery – they are following the example set by Mohammed, which their religion, Islam, demands that they emulate.

I truly and honestly feel for these girls – but for my father’s wisdom, I would have been one of them!!!

 

Bill Warner on supporting Paul Weston and civil disobedience

I, for one, am ready.

A friend of mine and I are trying to get a group of like-minded, freedom-loving people together in The Freedom Community.

We are just starting to get this off the ground, but, please, do check it out and if you love freedom, please, join – and tell us what you think.

Once we get enough like-minded people in touch with each other, we can and will be able to stand together to protect our civil liberties.

My friend Elsa was told by some New Agers:

New Age Truth #1: You are where you are meant to be.
New Age Truth #2: Everything happens for a reason.
New Age Truth #3: You have chosen everything that happens to you.

These things were told her as ‘truths’ and, as an intelligent, thinking person, she found them, well, for lack of a softer yet sufficient term, idiotic.  They inspired this installment of “The This Is Not Reality’ show (remember the ‘Nicies’?), the ‘High Priestess’:

 

 

Pat Condell: A cure for Islamophobia

 

Dear Campbell’s Company Canada:

UPDATED BELOW!!!!

The following is a comment I have just submitted at the Campbell’s Company Canada’s contact page – if/when I get a response, I will be sure to post it here:

Hello Campbell’s!

I have always enjoyed your soups, especially Cream of Mushroom. I love cooking and used it a lot.

However, the last time I went to purchase it, I noticed that it had a ‘Halal’ certification marker on it. I am not sure if you are aware of this, but Christian and Sikh teachings strictly forbid the consumption of Halal food. Some of my Hindu friends also avoid it, because of Halal’s meat connotation of animal cruelty.

Sikh religion forbids Halal food explicitly.

Christian religion, in both the Old and New Testament, forbids the consumption of food that had been prayed over/sanctified to any religion/god other than its own. Since ‘Halal’ means ‘having been made ritualistically pure in the eyes of Allah’, that makes ‘Halal’ food sanctified to a non-Christian religion and thus forbidden for observant Christians to consume. As more Christians are becoming familiar with what it means for food to be Halal, more of them are becoming aware that it is indeed forbidden for them to consume it.

On the other hand, Sharia rules that in non-Muslim land, the consumption of Halal food is not compulsory, only recommended when easily available: ‘If no transgression is intended, then none is incurred, for Allah is merciful’.

As mine is a very inclusive home and I love cooking for my friends from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, I cannot, in good conscience, purchase Halal food and serve it to people for whom it may be religiously forbidden. Therefore, it will be more culturally sensitive for me to shy away from purchasing your brand of products from now on.

It saddens me greatly that I will not be able to include your products in my household in the future. If, however, you re-introduce your soups without Halal certification, please, do let me know and I will be very glad to become your customer once again.

Sincerely yours,

Alexandra Belaire

UPDATE:  Here are some additional comments submitted to Campbell’s:

Hello Campbell’s,

I have long been a Campbell’s soup fan.

But I have just noticed that you are doing Halal certification. As an animal lover, and supporter of the humane slaughter of animals, this means that I can no longer buy your products.

Please watch the Halal slaughter of animals. Animals that have been Halal slaughtered show high levels of stress hormones – unlike, for example, animals that have been slaughtered to be kosher. The traditional slaughterhouse methods are bad enough – Halal is far worse. Again, please watch.

Then, there are also religious reasons not to do Halal certification, as this is against Christian doctrine, and also other religious doctrines. I don’t know why you are doing something that is against Christian doctrine, but conforms to Muslim doctrine. Please let me know.

A friend who is more versed in religion has put together the following:

Christian and Sikh teachings strictly forbid the consumption of Halal food. Some of my Hindu friends also avoid it, because of Halal’s meat connotation of animal cruelty.

Sikh religion forbids Halal food explicitly.

Christian religion, in both the Old and New Testament, forbids the consumption of food that had been prayed over/sanctified to any religion/god other than its own. Since ‘Halal’ means ‘having been made ritualistically pure in the eyes of Allah’, that makes ‘Halal’ food sanctified to a non-Christian religion and thus forbidden for observant Christians to consume. As more Christians are becoming familiar with what it means for food to be Halal, more of them are becoming aware that it is indeed forbidden for them to consume it.

On the other hand, Sharia rules that in non-Muslim land, the consumption of Halal food is not compulsory, only recommended when easily available: ‘If no transgression is intended, then none is incurred, for Allah is merciful’.

As mine is a very inclusive home and I love cooking for my friends from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds, I cannot, in good conscience, purchase Halal food and serve it to people for whom it may be religiously forbidden. Therefore, it will be more culturally sensitive for me to shy away from purchasing your brand of products from now on.

It saddens me greatly that I will not be able to include your products in my household in the future. If, however, you re-introduce your soups without Halal certification, please, do let me know and I will be very glad to become your customer once again.

Best regards,

Elsa [redacted], PhD

And:

Dear Public Relations,
I disagree with buying anything that is ‘halal’.  Firstly, halal is cruelty to animals and standards of hygiene are less. Secondly, part of the money paid for halal supports supremacism and misogyny.
For those reasons, I will not purchase any halal product ever and will encourage all my family and friends not to buy them as well.
I hope Campbell’s will abandon their support for misogynistic totalitarianism immediately.
Cordially,
[name redacted]

An open letter to Minister MacKay

Today, I received this email:

My other written petition was presented in the House Of Commons on March 5th by My MP Gerald Keddy of Nova Scotia. We are asking if people could send a email to get ministers to support my petition. To stop funding facilities in Canada that allow discrimination towards women in the name of religion. Pleas email Minister of justice Peter Mac Kay email peter.mackay@parl.gc.ca and mister for the status of women Kellie leitch at Kellie.Leitch@parl.gc.ca and minister of immigration Jason kenney at jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca

Thank you

Michele

This message was sent by Michele Walsh using the Change.org system. You received this email because you signed a petition started by Michele Walsh on Change.org: “Canadian Government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper: Protect Canadian women rights from gender based religious persecution, and stop the erosion of the most important and fundamental RIGHT that we enjoy in a free and democratic society..” Change.org does not endorse the contents of this message.

View the petition

My response was to write an email to Minister MacKay:

Dear Minister MacKay,

Canada is a wonderful place where the rights of all minorities – down to the minority of one – are protected by law, respected by society and cherished by the citizenry.
However, lately, we have seen a very worrying trend of erosion of gender equality in the name of religion.  As Asma Jahangir, while acting as the UN’s special raconteur on the status of women and religion had reported, religious minorities demand special rights/privileges for themselves and, when they receive them, they immediately use these to oppress a minority within that religion, usually the women.
This is a global problem, but one that has been creeping into Canada and that is very troubling.
Recently, a member of parliament from Nova Scotia, Gerald Keddy, presented a petition in Parliament where concerned citizens were asking you, our lawmakers, to take steps to ensure that misogyny cloaked in religious garb will not be permitted to erode our cherished gender equality.  I would like to voice support for this and ask that you, as Minister of Justice, take steps to ensure that Asma Jahangir’s sad observation will not become fact here, in Canada.
Sincerely,
Alexandra Belaire
If you value gender equality in our society, I urge you most sincerely to add your voice to this call to prevent creeping misogyny camouflaging itself as ‘religion’.
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