Oy Bay!

"My heart is in the east, and I in the uttermost west." — Yehudah Ha-Levi

Three Cheers for Colonialism!

Posted by minsky on August 1, 2007

Feminist Colonialism that is.

 

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In case you haven’t noticed, western political elites are neither interested in protecting human rights abroad, nor yours – here locally. Draw a cartoon, which displeases a crowd of bigots and misogynists, and your president will make profuse apologies to them. Make a ten minute documentary about women in Islam, you will be stabbed to death, and no one will so much as come out into the street with a peace sign. Who cares about the Pulitzer prize? If you’re a writer, have some chutzpah, its the Fatwa prize your definitely after.


Just how far our leaders are willing to go to accommodate retrograde medievalism, is plain when the likes of the Baker Institute in Houston Texas, allows the likes of the Princess from Qatar to pronounce her commentary:

” the women’s [rights] movement has been co-opted for other political objectives, just as democratization has been co-opted. … women’s rights have become a cover for a secularist agenda to annihilate our identity and religion.”

Hm… what can I say, other than “I wish it were so dear”. Only trouble, is I can’t, because I’ve never heard of anyone batting for Muslim women, other than Ayaan Hirsi Ali who, after five strikes and a foul, is now living in exile. Some annihilation, eh folks?

Everyone is asking, where are the moderate Muslims? Where we leave them, in exile. Exiled from our discourse, our thoughts, and our preocupations.

While we play with268673942_58c3584e55.jpgTefillin Barbies‘, the likes of Ali are fleeing for their lives, for daring to question the logic of Muslim women wearing the veil in societies not party to the notion that a man is incapable of sexual restraint, nor that a woman is destined to Hell if her miniskirt leads to rape. Coincidentally (?), Ali has equally failed to please her female obsessed predators by exposing the degree of Holocaust Denial found in the mainstream Islamic communities of Europe. An infidel if there ever was one, a feminist colonialist set out to annihilate Islam.

Next time you ask where the moderate Muslims are, be careful, you maybe a Colonialist ™. In case you had the niggling feeling that Those women who voluntarily choose the veil are different. They seek to provoke, to intimidate,” put it on pause. Be doubly careful if the following sounds like having a ring of truth:

” Muslim women who veil in Western societies violate all these norms. They are being immodest and invasive. They will succeed only in creating hostility. To every woman who decides to walk out the door looking like Batman and then complains of being ridiculed, I say, you are inviting it. Bear it or shed it.”

Believe it? You’re an Islamophobe.

Not only according to Her highness of Qatar, but also according to her royal entourage of Western listeners; from James Baker, to Madeleine Albright and Colin Powel, who delighted in her presentation as Board Members of the Institute. Their presence reinforcing, whose side our leaders are on. Not mine. What about yours?

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39 Responses to “Three Cheers for Colonialism!”

  1. lchaimlover said

    You’re article was unclear, are you criticizing Ali or championing her?

  2. whitefrodude said

    I am also confused. Are you saying that a Jew wearing tzit-tzit out in public is also inviting people to harass them?

  3. minsky said

    I don’t get it. A jew wearing a tzit-tzit inviting people to harass him? Where’s the parallel with the burkha?

    As for harassment. Not even a burkha clad woman is inviting anyone to harass her. She is just intimidating her target audience, as the Ali article explains.

    As for the unclarity. That’s your business. Either you can subscribe to islamophobic ideas, or well, after reading Ali, you just consider the “islamophobia” a political canard. The clarity must come from your own positions.

    I thought I was rather clear, with my adjectives, where I stand. But maybe I’m better understood in conjunction with my earlier Isaiah Berlin post: oybay.wordpress.com/2007/07/18/840/

  4. minsky said

    Ok… just in case it really isn’t clear. The clarity is your issue, not mine. I am very clear where I stand. My problem is precisely that others are not.

    There are those who still can’t tell the difference between Human Rights and the rights of groups (minority or majority), to be savages.

    Period.

  5. BiggerLongerAndUncut said

    This article really is confusing.

    Are you trying to point out that in some countries a woman covering herself is forced and therefore violates her rights?

    But in the US it is womans right to cover herself if she chooses?

  6. PoliticalIdialogiesAside said

    Minsky,

    I have kept abreast of your recent postings and a common theme seems to arise. You have a variety of “points” and “sound bites” but no clear and concrete message to the overall posting. Furthermore, you seem to be mis-understanding the relationship between the contents of an article, its thesis, and most importantly its title. I have seen an improvement recently but must say that practice in general writing and the delivery of your overall argument must be partaken in. I, unfortunately, have to agree with the other comments in regards to the clarity of your writing and your message, and the attack of your critics only further undermines your point. I would suggest to consider those that approach you as your equals, and to at least make an attempt at “clarifying” yourself, or at least to make an attempt to understand where your critics issue is, so that you can gain their respect and stride to achieve mutual understanding and some form of a common ground.

  7. minsky said

    Granted Political IdialogiesAside. But, I really honestly did think, the adjectives made the stance clear. I agree that I failed to stress, that rading the Ali article is really central to what I “tried” to say.

    In fact, my intentions are not so much (but only partly) to argue a point, as to share some interesting article or view point, that I may or may not share. This goes for the AIPAC Waltz debate, or Adam Curtis/Berlin, or Ali.

    I will definitely make a greater effort. Promise. But keep in mind, I am just an amateur like most folks here. If I get too wild, I appreciate you letting me know.

    I do want to stress thought, I am not looking necessarily for common ground. Rather very much the opposite. I’d like to hear something very different, something very bitting. Not necessarily directed against me. I don’t see why it is so hard to simply say what you think about the Veil. Is it fit for Halloween, or do you take it seriously.

    I mean I did think that some folks may find it a bit daft, that we can parade about with Talit Barbies, and yet genuinly believe that womens rights in another country are off limits, because it implies Feminist or Democratic Imperialism.

    If anything, I really expected strong opinions… so if its my fault, I appologise, but I still get the feeling everyone prefers dodging the bullet and question, and its somewhat convenient to delve into my clarity, when if just give me the benefit of the doubt, as your “equal”, you could pretty much express yourself. I don’t know which it is, but as I say, sorry if it is a bad post.

    Hey, I am just learning, and I thank you for your input.

  8. lchaimlover said

    Dodging the bullet? Not at all, just attempting to discover your position so that I can present mine, you see in debate, those are the rules. But if you want my opinion on the veil, why then my friend I am more than happy to share.

    To be forced into the veil is not kosher. I like the utopian idea that all women have a choice. But in America, if you choose the veil, I as an American, will defend your right to that idea, even if I don’t agree with you. Why? Because, I believe that at some point, everyone has the ability to stand up and make a choice. If you choose to wear the veil, then so be it, and I do not believe that by doing so you are misrepresenting Islamic women in the Middle East, because you are choosing the veil in America, not in Saudi Arabia. I understand, maybe as many people wouldn’t, that if you weren’t here, you might make a different choice.

    As for encouraging trouble, the veil is controversial, and you must realize that if that is your choice, there may be consequences, as in if you choose to openly wear Nazi t-shirts, or the Confederate Flag, or a kippah and tzitzit (which minsky, in some parts of our great country certain things are an invitation for people to harass you, whether you intend it that way or not) but that is the beauty of doing what you believe in. Because even if it may be difficult, if you believe in it, you are allowed to do it here. Just think about the consequences.

  9. Oyster said

    Minsky:

    My view is that the same way that if a woman wearing nothing but a
    bikini would be practically lynched (raped first, of course) if she
    walked around like that in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a person of a foreign
    country should not be feigning shock that our culture also has norms
    and expectations that won’t match those of the country of origin.

    It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I think Americans are willing to
    accept a hijab / head-covering. Old-Tyme Mennonites do it all the
    time. But a very restrictive face-covering is very much rejected and
    considered sinister by our culture.

    I think Modern Orthodox Jews are a prime example of balancing
    tradition and religious values, with the reality that they cannot
    force their host culture to completely bend to their whims. A value
    that they must counter-balance with the value of tradition is the
    value of not provoking unnecessary hatred or suspicion by non-Jews.

  10. minsky said

    Finaly some positions. Many thanks. So maybe some debate?

    The precise point of the Ali article is that “no,” these women are not exercising any democratic or human right, they are are exercising their muscle, and sizing up yours.

    I am seconding her, by suggesting, that to accept the hijab, burkha, or abbaya is to betray fundamental human values.

    I don’t think we need to stand up for women who chose to dress like batman, and entertain a perenial Halloween. In the workplace, public transport, or at school, we have a perfect right to ask them to accept our norms, and remove such symbols of female oppression. In fact, the practice should be as discouraged as vaginal mutilation or slavery throughout the third (and when applicable first), world..

    I agree with Oyster. The Chareidi wig is the best example of adaptation. This needs to be asked of Islam. Islam needs to come in from the neolithic, upgrade, modernise, and get with it. Protecting Islam as it is, and any of its practices laden with medieval symbolism, amounts to defending just that, medievalism.

    BUT, Islam will not adapt, and will not modernise. The reason is simple. Our Elites think that defending medievalism is akin to defending human rights. Some agree with them, and think that Islam can opresss its women, in the name of Freedom Of Expression. More than any other factor, such logic stands between modern islam, and Al Qaida, Cartoon Riots, Riots in French Suburbs, Riots in Sidney, explosions in Bali, in Thailand, Chechnya, genocide in Darfur, masacres in Nigeria…

    Islam will be what we ask of it. If you ask it to remain medieval, that’s what you will get, jihad, dhimmitude, inquisitions, crusades, repressions, massacres, and appologist after appologist, cheer after cheer for Zawahiri, Zarkawi, Bin Laden, oh, and not to mention the prophet Mohammed, PBUH who began his stelar career with loot of Jews he annihilated for refusal to convert to his message.

    So some, will ask little of Islam, and will be complacent to accept its chewing up of all that has been faught for in the twenties, thirties, during WWII, the sixties… and hocking it out.

    I would personally like to see an Islam, that does not go unscathed in its “confronation” with the West. I want it scathed by womens rights, minorities rights, infidels rights, buddhists rights, hindus rights, secularists and atheists rights, and on a personal level gay rights.

    We will shape Islam. All we have to do, is become part of its process of formation. We need to begin discussing it, critically, openly, and without fear. Cartoons, pejoratives, stereotypes, all must be game. We are at a point where to engage Islam, we must enrage Islam. It is pathetic.

    But it is of our own doing! After all, what could be worse than Colonialism. Feminist colonialism?

  11. PoliticalIdeologiesAside said

    Minsky,

    Greate thanks for your last comment, it made your post much clearer, and i fully understand where you are coming from now. To summarize my point of view on the issue, I agree with you fully and completely.

  12. Lchaimlover said

    I completely disagree. In the melting pot of America, who is to decide the norms?
    It is betraying their right to fundamental American freedoms by disallowing the hijab or burka.

  13. biggerlongeranduncut said

    To you perhaps the hijab or burka represents women’s oppression but you don’t choose to wear one do you? It represents women’s oppression to you. In countries such as the United States and France I imagine it can be quite liberating to dress in the clothes of ones own culture. There are many places in the world where women are forced to conform their dress to the the norms of the land but just because we live in a white Christian state do we all have to dress the same?

    I don’t think we should be approving of a Muslim as long as they don’t act too Muslim. Too many times in my life I have heard someone say “I don’t mind gay people as long as then don’t act gay”. Who hasn’t heard the same thing about Jews? I never want to be told not to act Jewish and this idea that we should be directing Muslims in the way they dress based on our own prejudices is no different.

    Then again maybe if we killed their food source (Say we rub pork on all halal meat?) and left burkas with small pox at their mosques we could completely destroy their culture and then they would be just like us 🙂

  14. minsky said

    You consider the right to intimidate an American Freedom? These people are putting on burkhas to show you how little they care for the freedoms I enumerated, and what they would love to do with them. What you are saying is tantamount to condoning their radicalism. You are condoning medievalism, for which there is no room in a civilised society.

    From such a vista point Islamic hatred for Jews, and Israel, is perfectly acceptable, because hey, we are in a Melting pot, and hey, we just need it to get hot enough for us all to melt and meld?

    The abbaya, and even the veil in some contexts, is tantamount to wearing swastikas in public: at work, at school, in buses. Hey, if that’s ok with you… just don’t look back when you have no more room to tell these Freedomloving folks why shachids are unlikely to reach their paradise because surely the Prophet (PBUH)could not have imagined that civilians do not comprise legitimate targets of such martyrs. Or did he? I guess when we see those redundant PBUH, we aught to ask Peace of what?

    The irony here is, that many still don’t want to, refuse to, or just wish away the blatant implications of the Islamic worldview, which is fundamentally anti-democratic. Islamic symbols, such as the veil, are deliberately, absolutely deliberately, anti-democratic, anti-western, anti-american, anti-liberal, anti-gay, anti, anti, anti- Jewish, anti- infidel, anti-YOU.

    Strangely, there is an attickfull of romance for the Kufar-foe in the Muslim heart. The Muftis and Sheikhas and Bearded Preachers of Jihad, are impudent, impetuous, and reicheously feisty, because the infidel not only does not challange their perpetually hypocritical utterances, but he (never a She for a Muslim), even supports their right to a medieval world! Wife abuse, wife rape, and dispensing with a wife, or two or three or four (or ninety if you are a prince – and a friend of Western Elites) is done with no concern whatsoever to her Freedom in Islamic communities of London, Paris, Berlin…hey, maybe even Karachi?

    And of course you will just condone it. “Because, you know, its like, like their culture you know. ”

    Don’t kid yourselves. We encourage these people with our sophomoric compassionism, liberal-droopyism, and fake and moraly spacious relativistic richeousness.

    “Oh you poor rock-dwellers, of course blood vendeta should be legal in our country (USA, Holland, Israel)… we incorporate all laws in our democracy, no matter how cruel or inhuman…hey, if its your tradition to toss acid on women who fail to wear the veil… why buddy, we’ll subsidise it for you in the local Wallmart”.

  15. minsky said

    I do sense some confussion on some folks part. You keep on pushing the analogies of tzi-tzit and burkhas.

    Falacious. No relation. If you understand the explicit religious, cultural, and theological meaning of this dress, you will change your mind. Then recall what tzit-tzit stand for.

    Where is the connection?

    The only connection is between swastikas and burkhas, not tzit-tzit.

    Read the history books, listen to the theology, and if your still not convinced sign that petition for dem Burkhas and acid in your local Walmart.

  16. FriarYid said

    These people are putting on burkhas to show you how little they care for the freedoms I enumerated, and what they would love to do with them. What you are saying is tantamount to condoning their radicalism. You are condoning medievalism, for which there is no room in a civilised society.

    I think the problem here is that you (and Ali) seem to be suggesting that you can judge the ideology and motivations of an entire group of people simply by the clothes they choose to wear. I for one am suspicious that it’s really as clear-cut as you claim, particularly if we extend the category of “Muslim clothes” beyond the burka/abaya to the much less obtrusive headscarf or headscarf/poncho. I’ve had religious Muslim classmates who wore headscarves. If they were anti-Western, they did a good job of hiding it.

    Is there some correlation? Undoubtedly. A lot of anti-American Muslim jihadists are religious Muslims, therefore they will be likely to have their women wear hijab, just as some Arab-hating Jewish would-be terrorists are religious Jews, who would therefore wear yarmulkes. But not only is it not a 1-to-1 ratio, it’s also symptomatic, not causal. For the Muslim women (and their families) that are anti-American, etc, will limiting their ability to wear whatever the hell they want really be all that likely to temper their ideology? Does banning European skinheads from displaying the swastika eliminate antisemitism? Would banning kippot prevent Kachnik settlers from vigilante violence? The mindset is the danger, not the hat or hood they’re wearing. A jihadist in a clown costume is no less a threat.

    I get the argument that “it’s about a cultural showdown.” But frankly this doesn’t seem like that big of an issue, particularly since I’m not sure what one could actually do about it. Intimidation is a problem, sure. But I’m a hell of a lot more worried about bombs than burqas. And of course, I’ve got a fairly large problem with telling anybody how they can and can’t dress. I think the intent behind the clothing is what’s really significant. You need more information and context to know if the purpose of wearing a piece of clothing is really intimidation, or personal motivations, or maybe some kind of advertising. The same, I would say, applies to any piece of religious clothing. A cross, for instance, can be intimidating, or not. It can also be both. Maybe the person wearing it doesn’t think it’s intimidating but someone else, say an Orthodox Jew, doesn’t see it that way. This is all too subjective to take the line that, “oh, it’s cultural warfare, got it,” much less use that information to propose an actual enforcement against the practice. Incidentally, if we’re going to start cracking down on “intimidating” clothes, we’re going to get into a long damn list (Black leather? Spiky goth necklaces? Confederate flag belt buckles?). Who enforces this stuff?

    As far as “do you take the veil seriously?”: past a certain point, I’m a pretty huge cultural relativist. Sure, some Muslim women dress like Batman. By the same token, Jewish men walk around wearing tea cozies on their heads and zip line strings over their pants, and of course some Jewish women wear what sometimes look like roadkill wrapped in a bun. I don’t wear distinctive religious clothing, and at this stage probably wouldn’t choose to do so, but I do have respect for the idea behind it (insofar as relating to not being afraid to stand out, etc). Fundamentally, though, it is just folks doing what they’ve been taught they’re supposed to do.

    The question of human rights or savagery is an interesting one, particularly as family coercion is a lot trickier to nail down than something blatant like, “I don’t like honor killing.” If I had my way, controlling parents wouldn’t control their children’s decisions regarding education, clothing, sex or marriage choices. But I also can’t pretend that Christian and Jewish (and all sorts of other cultures) families don’t do this, too. Where do you draw the line? Does the fact that Jewish standards are laxer than some Muslim ones make them better? Aren’t they both still dealing with the same problem of parents and community norms restricting the individual decisions of young people?

    My bottom line is that I don’t like assholes, period. I don’t want to coddle anybody, I don’t want our leaders coddling anybody. I think Muslims rioting and wanting to kill people because of cartoons is damn idiotic. Killing or wounding people because you got your feelings hurt is unacceptable. But the specific problem with Islamic intolerance is the degree to which it’s put into action, because let’s be honest, there are some pretty unfortunate elements in a lot of other religions and cultures, too. I’m glad that Haredi Jews aren’t killing people over cartoons but I find it hard to single Islam out for being racist or misogynist when there are jackasses running around Jerusalem with bleach bottles.

    I don’t object to calling things as we see them. But I’m also not going to act like all the evil in the world is an Islamic problem. The problem is assholes; ideology (religious or otherwise) is the mechanism by which they get ideas and justify their behavior.

  17. minsky said

    If the problem was just assholes, then why bother with politics, or cultural relativism? Cultural relativism does not in any way assume culture away, it simply tries to accomodate it. But it is facile to assume that such relativism can accomodate militantly non-relativist, totalitarian cultures. In as much as cultural relativism accepts culture, it does so with the implicit understanding that culture is practiced, applied, and minimaly deterministic. That is to say, culture is not some vague vogue, it is a habit, a mindset.

    As such, the present Islamic mindset, from so called “moderates” to the de facto non-existant moderates, can legitimately, and must be legitimately questions on the merits of how it determiens the behaviour of its adherents vis a vis the culture of other peoples. I.e. of people in America, in Singapore, in Thailand, in San Jose.

    Yes, folks, we are a culture too. A culture of general tolerance. We are being asked, by a generally intollerant culture, to accept its form of intollerance. We are being asked, precisely what no-one here wants to give up, to give up modern forms of cultural relativism in order to accomodate one persons form of militant absolutism.

    Neither myself nor Ali, are “interpreting” the meaning of the Burkha. The interpretation is provided by Muslim theologians, and the absolute vast majority of Muslim in the world who choose to wear it. Their ability to sell you a different story, is no compliment to our alacrity. Alas some absolution comes from the figures. The double-digit billions the Saudis pump into Islamisist charities throughout the world.

    Speaking of interpration. Bull’s eye.

    Islam needs to be re-interpreted, and this is possible only by engaging Islam as frontaly as possible.

    Now there is some room for debate, and there are slivers with no room. What is not debatable is the oppresive meaning of the Burkha, and similar Islamicist dress. It is a fact at present. What is debatable, is the ability of Islam to change this interpretation, to reinterpret itself as it were.

    The KEY to this interpreation, is the ability of Islam, and nearly all of its followers (because there are abysmally few modern muslims),to introduce modern values of human rights, womens rights, political rights, into a liberal, modern and RELATIVIST, Islam.

    Again, the comparison of burkhas to tzit-tzits and Mennonite head-dresses, are falacious. Judaism as it stands today, has, alongside Christianity, and Buddhism, re-interpreted itself as a modern religion.

    Few readers here believe we need to stone anyone to death, nor do we have them running for cover in Levirite cities. We have moved on from the literalism of the Torah, into an intepretation which is generally modern.

    Even if you reach out for the Hareidi, as your punching bag, and mascot of Jewish medievalism, at some stage you must concede that Islam not only differs from most Modernised religions, but sadly, always differed from religions of its day.

    Crusades, Hindu nationalism, and Zionism aside, Islam’s textual emphasis on warfare is awe inspiring.
    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/Quran/

    The Old Testament may indeed be one of the most violent and cruelest texts out there, but you’ll be left dry if you try to find a strand of cosmic jihadism. Sure, there are entreatments to fight Canaan, but hey, there ain’t no imperative to streatch its borders from the Pacific to the Atlantic, regardless of what your take on Greater Israel is.

    In this sense, Islam, is between Irock and a hard place. But it has no choice… unless of course, some of ya’ still insist on having that burkha and can of acid in your local Wal-mart.

  18. ArchangelinAmerica said

    Wow Minsky! Quite the volley of words you got going on here.

    I have to say that I did find your initial post difficult to follow. I was sure that you had an opinion on the matter, but I was unsure what it was. I had not read the article by Ali, but I am familiar with her in general.

    But with your clarification on the matter, I am happy to say that it seems we finally agree on something. Although I would feel hesitant about legislating restrictions on traditional female Islamic garb, I do find it very unsettling. The burqa is designed to try and hide the wearer from the larger society. Furthermore, in the dangerous world we live in, they are potential covers for weapons. While there may be some traditional value in these garments, the value should be restricted to ritual. In public, it is an affront on our general cultural values. Let’s examine the opposite extreme. Would we allow people to walk around in public naked if that was part of their culture? If a group of people hate the values of our society and wish to reject them, why are they here in the first place? The answers to that question can be unsettling to say the least.

  19. Oyster said

    Head-covering? Okay.
    Neck-covering? Okay.
    Face-covering? Okay, if you’re a bank robber, a hockey goalee, or a masquerader.

    I’m sorry, but dem’s the breaks. Like ArchAngelinAmerica said; we didn’t “surprise” anyone with these norms after they arrived. They have always been.

    LchaimLover, the idea that the US is a melting pot is one on shaky ground. But even if it were so, in a melting pot, the Muslim immigrants would end up being a weighted average of all Americans. Instead, we have the so-called “Salad Bowl” analogy that is so en vogue now, where all groups retain their individual character.

    The point is that just because we accept immigrants doesn’t mean that the US is a blank slate with no culture, norms, or values. We have them. And just like we can’t expect other countries to bend to our whim, why should they not adapt in the face of our values, customs, and general culture?

  20. MM said

    What’s the difference between Hirsi Ali and ‘Maryam Jameelah’?

    http://madhabirfy.blogspot.com/2007/08/unreliable-narrator.html

  21. FriarYid said

    culture is not some vague vogue, it is a habit, a mindset.

    My problem is that you’re taking one extreme of the mindset and applying it across the spectrum. I accept that a lot of American Muslims may well be more radical than they appear or claim to be, but I’m sure not convinced that the dividing line is what they wear on their heads.

    Yes, folks, we are a culture too. A culture of general tolerance. We are being asked, by a generally intollerant culture, to accept its form of intollerance. We are being asked, precisely what no-one here wants to give up, to give up modern forms of cultural relativism in order to accomodate one persons form of militant absolutism.

    Well, sort of. Again, you’re operating from the starting point that the culture as a whole is intolerant. From what perspective? Using what benchmarks? Are we just talking about the hijab-wearers, or all Muslims in America? This “Islam as monolith” thing really isn’t doing it for me.

    The interpretation is provided by Muslim theologians, and the absolute vast majority of Muslim in the world who choose to wear it. Their ability to sell you a different story, is no compliment to our alacrity. Alas some absolution comes from the figures.

    Their ability to “sell” a story? You’re taking the interpretation of the clerics and saying that every Muslim woman that covers her hair consciously buys into their ideology and their symbolism. What about Muslim teenagers in America that just do it because their parents say so? Because of tradition, or modesty? Because of pride? There are all sorts of reasons they might cover their hair that don’t have to do with violent jihad. We have no way of knowing what their motivations are.

    What is not debatable is the oppresive meaning of the Burkha, and similar Islamicist dress. It is a fact at present. What is debatable, is the ability of Islam to change this interpretation, to reinterpret itself as it were.

    We agree on that point; I’m just claiming that there are those that may already be changing this interpretation themselves, on a small level, which is why lumping everyone with a headscarf-on-down as a female would-be-Taliban seems more than a little simplistic.

    Again, the comparison of burkhas to tzit-tzits and Mennonite head-dresses, are falacious. Judaism as it stands today, has, alongside Christianity, and Buddhism, re-interpreted itself as a modern religion.

    Indeed, but the comparison was being used to illustrate the fallacy of identifying someone’s tendency towards radicalism based on what kind of hat they wear.

    Even if you reach out for the Hareidi, as your punching bag, and mascot of Jewish medievalism, at some stage you must concede that Islam not only differs from most Modernised religions

    I’d say traditional Islam and Haredi Judaism have some unfortunate commonalities in ideology, but absolutely agree that the level at which ideology manifests as violence is drastically disparate. But it’s not all about violence- racism/misogyny exist in Judaism, too. I’m fine for condemning these things in Islam; from my point of view, they’re BAD things. But I also condemn them in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and wherever the hell else they manifest. Islam doesn’t have a monopoly on being repressive.

    Fundamentally Minsky, I’m still not sure what you’re proposing- burka awareness? Legislation? Protests? I think this comes back to the same old problem America’s having with Islam: how do we combat a religion whose values we don’t share without compromising our own? Within a democratic society, I just don’t see that many forceful options. We can make laws against violence and terrorism, but aside from restricting immigration or aggressively engaging with Muslims (especially the youth) to encourage liberalism, I don’t see how we can fight the culture itself.

  22. minsky said

    FriarYid, you ask good questions. Sound questions. Questions that raise more questions. You ask, what can be done. My personal answer:

    Three cheers for Feminist Colonialism!

    next target:
    Islam.

    Mission objective:
    The Sumbmission of Islam to Modern, Liberal, Values.

    translated into PeeSeeSpeak as “the integration of Islam into the Global System”

    How will we go about this objective?

    1) Draw cartoons.
    2) Protest when cartoonists’ lives are threatened
    3) Demand that our nations foreign policy protects the domestic rights of cartoonists
    4) Support cartoonists in their endavours (talk about them, defend them, promote them)
    5) Defend ourselves against cartoon-bashers (challange them, fight them, defeat them)
    6) Remove from office those, who undermine the rights of our cartoonists. (Bush, Blair, Chirac, Putin for appologising to extortionists)

    I’d say that since the twenties the world system is undergoing radical change. A purge of sorts, an inquisition against the inquisition.

    The first to fall were the Christians, then the Patriarchs, then Judaism, then European Nationalism and Western Colonialism and Racism. The timeline is recent, meaning that we do not, as Jews, as westerners, have any title to long-standing moral and ethical superiority over any other part of the world, except…

    Yes, there is an exceptions, liberals among us, do claim title to short term superiority. In choosing to pursue enlightened, modern democratic values, we have explicitly abandoned medievalism in the forms of discrimination, double standards, misogeny, racism, etc. We have lofty ambitions, and we are implicitly superior. We hide it, we disquise it, but it comes accross everytime you praise that Relativism of yours. That freedom of expression of yours. That choice you love to make between Chevron, Texaco, Arco, and Rotten Robbie. You all feel superior, when you call someone a racist, a bigot, haughtily look back upon Christopher Columbus, pronounce your disapproval of the KKK. I guess you climax when you deny the validity of your superiority, because that’s when the feeling of superiority is surest.

    From a historic perspective, what started as a trickle of secularims in the 18th century, is an avalanche of liberalism in the 21st. Your cultural relativism, your pluralism, multiculturalism, are the fruit of Voltaire and Marx, touched up, chrome shine, tuned up and reved up by Abbie Hoffman, Chomsky, Dershowitz (pick and choose, your in a Humanist Mecca).

    The West has chewed up its white supremacists (they have no access to the media), Catholic pedarasts (paying hundreds of millions in LA) and Episcopelian anti-semitic provosts (no more quotas folks). We have moved from a trickle of what was Neologue in Mitteuropa (Haskallah in Germany 19th century), to a majority of Conservative and Reform in mid-century America. From a Judaism dominated singularly by the Shulcha Aruch, demons, angels, charms and numerology, to one of historical criticism, feminism, and at heart, secularism.

    The same can be said of Christianity, of pater familias, of chauvinism, of Imperialism. It has all been quintessentially changed, altered, rendered obsolete. Folks, Pentacostalists are a television channel, not an intellectual force. Mormons are a curiosity, hidding polygamy in caves, or behind bars.

    Progress has been made by all means and efforst. Women vote, they sue, they even sow, if they want to. Our achivements are still lacking, and they will continue to be made, willingly, explicitly, responsively, and democratically.

    The same cannot be said for Islam. Islam is making no progress. It rejects it. Islamic countries are making no progress. They call it Feminist Colonialism. Neo-imperialism, Racism. Islamic immigrants are advancing at snails pace, noisily, unwilingly, half-heartedly. And dont pretend you even know what Muslims are going through in America. Only ten thousand have been known to defend gay rights, while several million maintain that Islam is largely misundestood by us. Its misundestood all right.

    Read the Zogby polls. We dont know our Muslims. They convert in Prisons, read their manifesto online. Give them that piece of coveted black-only land, sign their petition! We don’t know our Muslims, they are stressed out, nervous, many feel they cannot talk to us… honestly, how many of you have talked to them?

    Islam presents immigrants with a dilema. Literaly seven hundred years behind us, Islam cannot theologically square secular law with the word of Allah. Muslims, at present, have no golden path, no middle route. They have two extremes, keep Islam at arms lenght (a superficial relationship), or ignore CNN, MSNBC, Times, Newsweek.

    I disagree with the statement that I am generalising for all muslims and all of Islam. Just look at the above post from a certain MM! A lawyer, practicig in Austalia. It strikes me as the work of Ayman Zawahiri. Folks, you belive that Islamic propaganda consists of telling you rugged stories of Mohammeds exploits! The fact remains that Muslims at present, have absolutely no numerically significant moderate theology. My first post on Oy-Bay was about the Secular Islam Summit. Tell me, how many articles did you see in the media about it? Why? Answer: four letter word, begins with F:

    F***.

    My problem is, no one here is ready to deal with the problem. The Fear of enraging Islam by engaging Islam. There is an abysmal lack of knowledge about not only Islam, but the third world in general, not to mention the lives of immigrants, and the true nature of our melting pot and salad bowl. I mean when you tell me that you have Muslim friends, tell me what you’ve discussed with them? Tell me if you’ve ever visited their home, and if you are a man, commented on the good looks of their sisters? Or if female, how you were treated in their home by the men? What have you debated with them? What have you asked them? Am I wrong? Please, fill me in on it. I can tell you how many debates I’ve had. How many women I’ve met who have stories to tell. Believe me, you wont forget the look they’ll give you (the moderate ones), if you admit to approving of the Mohammed caricatures.

    I am tired of seeing Talit Barbies. Masturbation. We can’t fuck the real thing, afraid of premature ejaculation, or not getting that orgasm.

    There is world out there to be conquered, where women are still treated as cattle, and slavery continues unchecked (Dubai, Sudan, Pakistan). That world is being exported here… without anyone so much as taking notice. Just a lot of wishful thinking going on. The export comes through veils covering up a supreme disdain for our lascivious ways. Its the puritans again, get ready for Salem 2020.

    Anyone here can check wikipedia, about the niqab, about the Hijab, check out her highnesses chief ‘wat of Doha website accusing us all of racism and of framing, colonially, her religion and region.

    I suffer from dogmatism and myopia, because I simply cannot imagine, that deep down inside there are those among you here, who dont want to draw a picture of Mohammed shagging a camel… or, wont laught if you see him in the next Superbowl potpouri of commercials.

    I mean, are there people here that sincerely sympathise with the outrage and pain felt by Muslims throughout the world because of a newspaper publication? Do you honestly not feel that Bush’s appologies, and a boycot by Muslim countries of Legoland, doesn’t infringe on your rights?

    Common folks, you pick on Hareidi, who don’t so much as give a damn about you, and those who certainly care a hell of a lot, well, you give them exactly the opposite of hell!

    Its weird. And you then wonder why they hate us. Is it because they don’t understand why we are still standing? After all, according to Islam, gays should lead to our quick and sleasy extinction. Same goes for miniskirts, pornography, and booze. Compared to the ferwor of schachids, fayadeen, mujahedeen, our gas guzzling mug swinging diabetes ridden denizens, undermine the very promise of the Koran. Obey, be modest, restrain, wash, and conquer. Allah-u Akbar. Rewards in Paradise.

    Yah. Paradise TV. Satellite number 3445. Made in China, consumed in the USA. Driving down Islamic road, missed Paradise exit? We thought it was for Muslims only (thats what the signs say in Saudi Arabia)

    Imagine living with that picture in your head! Its easy, all you have to do, is take Islam to heart, and obey the Will of Allah, move to America, or watch that satellite TV. Bang, got your picture. Painful.

    What is to be done?

    Crayons. Pencil and Paper. Abu Dhabi, not far from Doha Qatar will have extensions of the Louvre, Guggenheim museums. It is being billed as the Art Center of the Arab World. Get your sketchbooks ready, they’ll need our art to fill their halls. Personal suggestion, Fatimah barbies, naked and exposed. GI-Ahmed, armed and ready to blow. The GI pronounced as “gay”.

  23. Oyster said

    Incoming links to this post:

    Be Careful, ‘You’ Just Might Be A ‘Colonialist’
    http://www.hyscience.com/archives/2007/08/be_careful_you_just_might_be_a_colonialist.php

    Tancredo Camp Defends Bomb Mecca Remark: “This Shows That We Mean Business”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-news/comments/2007/08/01/58763?load=1&page=5#

    (warning, a not-so-friendly site)
    Inside The Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) – Al Jazeera English
    http://www.mujahideenryder.net/2007/08/02/inside-the-red-mosque-lal-masjid-al-jazeera-englsih/#comment-49240

  24. FriarYid said

    Minsky,

    What I’m hearing from you is that the answer to radical Islam is for the West to be as unapologetically “ugly American” as possible. Pardon me if I don’t think this is either productive or smart.

    Yeah, censorship of cartoons is bullshit. So is violent protest of said cartoons, or toadying up to said rioters. But when you ask if I want to draw cartoons of Mohammed having sex with camels or if I’ve praised the hot ass of Muslim girls, the answer is, honestly, no- and why should I? Do I go around feeling up nuns? Do I paint swastikas on a pig and bring it to shul?

    There’s a line between fighting repression in Islam on its merits and insulting and offending Muslims for its own sake. I won’t challenge your observation that liberals consider themselves superior to, and free to offend the mores of, conservative religious groups like Orthodox Jews or Christians. But is that such a good thing? Do you really think that liberals that deliberately offend Christians do so because they imagine it’s a form of “engagement” that will create religious moderates? I certainly don’t, which is why I’m confused that you seem to think that pissing off Muslims accomplishes anything other than making them angry. Calling Muslims on their own bullshit is one thing. Stepping beyond that and offending them just to prove we’re not afraid to seems much less worthwhile.

    Understand me: I’m not afraid of making them angry. But I also don’t see how it helps anything. Is the goal simply to demonstrate that we don’t care about Muslims’ feelings? If so, fine, but it seems a little short-sighted, even, dare I say it, juvenile. I just don’t understand how it’s connected to the larger issue. Once we show them our upraised middle finger by showing Mohammed in the superbowl, where do we go from there? Is the object simply to piss them off so much they either leave or declare jihad outright?

    Protest violence, repression, sexism and misogyny? Fine. Fight against censorship and PC bullshit? Sure. But asking me to actively piss people off for the hell of it? No thanks. Drawing Mohammed cartoons aren’t my problem, and they aren’t worth my time. Sorry, but I’m not going to be an asshole just to show them how it feels.

  25. Oyster said

    A cross-posted copy of one of the links I already shared:

    http://www.freedomszone.com/archives/2007/08/be_careful_you_just_might_be_a.php

  26. minsky said

    FriarYid, I agree perfectly with you. Absolutely all for it. It is juvenille to tick ’em off just cause we can.

    Unfortunatelly, we tick them off with everything we can. Don’t we? There is a lot juvenille here. Obviously, on the part of Islam.

    After all, one trait of the Middle Ages, are witches, blood-drinking jews, heretics, and those who claim the world is far from being flat.

    The only reason I find our topic of value, is that we are not dealing here with banging nuns (which has been done zillions of times… they end up in lawsuits for it), or picking on poor Hareidi (which you did). We have done it, and some times regretted it. No one stoned us, no one threatened us, and the joke was over. So we regretted it. With Islam, there is nothing to regret, other than the pathetic ease with which we turn the other cheek.

    I agree with you, some assholes can be bad, hemerhoids and all. We don’t want to be ugly americans. Trouble is, Islam sees us that way. I think it is a logical fallacy, to place the blame squarelly on us. A fallacy, because the falsity of america being ugly, is self-evident. We are far from being ugly.

    I agree with you, on many points, except the fundamentals. We need a partner in Islam, that values America and the West, for who we are and what we represent. One that doesn’t interpret our traditions of farce and lampoon, or for that matter, global oil interests, as attempts to reconquer Muslim lands, humiliate Muslims, and declare Holy War.

    Presently, Islam is capable of little else. When I speak of shaggin camels, I am merely suggesting that our hunch of Islam is pretty much correct. We are delighted by the easiness of their ire, because it only proves our hunch. A forbidden fruit? Surely, and look just how?!

    Then we take a bite, its bitter. Boy its bitter. Too late, the Lord on High had warned you that if you violate the laws of Paradise Country (PC), you leave. We didn’t follow them. We ticked em off. We ate from the tree of knowledge, and the rest followed.

    Whose fault? The fruit was just too damn seductive, we just too damn hungry, and the rules, just too damn easy to violate. Everythign was skewed against us.

    I am saying, contrary to appearances, with Islam, the balance is against us. Entirely. We need their oil, we need their integration, and if we want it, they tell us to bend over. Well, we don’t have a choice, and neither do they. So who will be passive, and who active? If we want to follow PC, we get skrewed.

    If that’s your choice, which do you prefer?

  27. Friar Yid said

    I want to stand up for my democratic principles, including the right of self-expression and the right to not live in fear for living how you choose. But as tempting as it might be to be proactive or on the offense in going to bat over the culture war (in this case, West vs. Taliban, not liberal v. conservative), I have to be able to know that I am defending my line, not crossing someone else’s (or only doing the latter in the case of the former). My position can be summed up like this: Islam’s right to swing its fist ends where our nose begins. If we want to cross its space to defend its oppressed, I can get behind that, too. But there’s a limit to how far I’m willing to traipse into cultural “enemy territory.” Sorry but that’s the truth.

  28. […] Jewish?…JB on Why aren’t We Jewish?…JB on Jewish Heritage Night: Last Ca…Friar Yid on Three Cheers for Colonialism!…challahbackgirl on Jewish Heritage Night: Last Ca…Office Stuff on CBDYAG: A Blog of their […]

  29. minsky said

    You clearly support cartoonists. But the room remains, quiet.
    There is no noise, no din, no one willing to stand up to Islam, stand up for Democracy. The support is token.

    You clearly support cartoonists, and dislike the veil…dislike, but not enough to tear it off (legislation you claim somehow excessive, the French looked excesive, the liberal media here let them know about it)

    What about kids named Jihad?

    https://oybay.wordpress.com/2007/08/07/jihad/

    I genuinly feel, Islam has a special place in our Political Discourse. It is untouchable. Irshad Marji and the Secular Islam folks are a fringe, a minority, they were ignored by all mainstream media except Bret Stephens of the Wall Street journal with his occasional op-eds. This is absurd, considering how absurd Islam is.

    If it wasn’t so stone age, would it enjoy all the Cultural relativist protection?

  30. Friar Yid said

    Yes, I happen to think the French law was excessive (for the record, so did the Conseil d’Etat, their version of an Attorney General, in separate rulings delivered in 1989, 1992, 1994, and 1995- the 2003 recommendation under Chirac’s government was actually totally at odds with preexisting case law), and am curious as to whether any statistics back up the claim that making students remove their headscarves correlates to any practical result in the classroom- or whether, as I suspect, the radical students either stayed radical (or became more radicalized), and/or switched schools from public ones where they were exposed to the values of a liberal democracy, to private Islamic ones where they have plenty of opportunities to be indoctrinated. Again, the question must be “what is the goal” and, “does this achieve it?” What was the big picture goal of banning the headscarves?

    The liberal media wasn’t the only source of concern at the French ban- what about the fact that it also forced Jewish and Sikh kids to take off their hats. I’m glad the French are being even-handed but I can’t imagine there weren’t some Jewish and Sikh families that were more than a little put off by that.

    Then again, I’m not French. I accept that they have the right to deal with their problems and interpret their laws as they see fit. Vive la difference.

    Kids named Jihad? Again, I don’t see what the alternative is- it’s free expression. I don’t think that having banned baby name lists is all that productive or helpful in protecting society from evil names, particularly when Jihad, as opposed to say, swastika, actually has multiple meanings, not all of them involving wading through your enemy’s blood.

    I genuinly feel, Islam has a special place in our Political Discourse. It is untouchable.

    I don’t know what to tell you. I’m against sacred cows as a general position; I don’t think they’re healthy for democratic discourse, and certainly agree that there’s a big problem with people being afraid to speak their mind on the problems with Islam specifically. By the same token, I think the liberal/conservative divide is playing a significant role here- the “culture war” takes one’s views of Islam and terrorism as a major indicator of one’s political position. Combine that with some of the extreme rhetoric coming from the right and you get what I suspect is a sizeable number of liberals who, like me, don’t support violent riots because a cartoon hurt Muslims’ feelings, but also don’t think the answer is to kill or convert them all, a-la Ann Coulter. So they tend to drift further left, perhaps to the point that they actually do cease to view Islam in any real critical light. (The same thing, incidentally, happens in reverse- people from the center-right share some values with liberals but think they’re too weak or are downright appeasing Islam and overlooking its problems, so they want nothing to do with them.)

    If it wasn’t so stone age, would it enjoy all the Cultural relativist protection?

    Hard to say, not being a member of the mainstream media. I think it would be easier to play cultural relativism with Islam if the Jihadists didn’t keep moving the discussion away from the theoretical and into the concrete. You don’t have to agree with something to support/defend it under cultural relativism, but it’s a heck of a lot more challenging to do so when the people under the microscope are trying to kill you.

    Of course, yet another issue is how much the Jihadist wing of Islam can be viewed as representing the totality of the group/ideology…

  31. minsky said

    I am afraid, when all is said and re-read, it is difficult to see what you represent other than the kind of evasive liberal rhetoric which is fodder for the Islamists? Euphemisms, cliched formulations, and it all comes down to your nose> I don’t mean it meanspiritedly, but you said it was about your nose.

    Theodore Lessing redux. Secularized jews (half religious, half whatnot) vibrant and enthusiastic, bubbling with fancy, pointless thought. Always ready to take a stand for taking a stand, regardless of where they stand. Can the world really balance out on the tip of your nose?

    ***

    If the law was excesive in France, was it excesive in Turkey, where has been in effect since 1918? Quoting wiki is great, but do you know the issue? The Attorney Generals position was a give-away to Islamic impudent abuse of myopic Western notions of tolerance. It was a give away to hip liberals taking a stand for taking a stand, political capital gained at the expense of a declining state.

    Then there is the idea of secularism.

    Americas’ ideas of seperation of church and state are as quirky as they are outdated. Why else would both houses of congress have chaplains, and every single state constitution mention G-d? There is a seperation of church and state, but not G-d and state. Hence declaration of independence? Hence absurd debates about creationism in schools. The Monkeys haven’t climbed down from the Scopes Trial?

    To consider the French law excesive is as unoriginal as it is hostage to uncritical mainstream reporting.

    ***

    No, naming a child Jihad (Murderer, or Queer, or Cunt) shouldn’t be outlawed… his family needs to be promptly deported to whatever theocratic-retroactive Rock and Stan they choose!

    And that’s not discrimination or racism, its defence against a declaration of War. Jihad, remember? But of course, you still think Islam is nice and cuddly…

    “look at that nice teddy bear…”
    -em, that a woman in a Batman costume, sir.

    ***
    As for Islam, media, and freedom. Give me a break. You gotta be kidding?! Do you still refuse to admit that a drawing of Mohammed shagging a camel is potent because of its illicit nature? I mean are liberal incantations and substance oxymoronic?

    Where is the meat? I mention a fact, the Secular Islam Summit, where is the coverage? Irstad invited to CNN publicly, then privately rejected. Where is the outrage? Islam a religion of peace, where is the contra, the naysayer, the mainstream critic? Where? There are no mainstream critics of Islam! They are dwindling on the fringes!

    ***

    Islam is not about a Jihadi wing. It is about Ostriches. About the Quran, cultural superiority, and Western ignorance coupled with the Ostrich syndrome.

    ***

    I absolutely cannot understand your position FriarYid. It is as if you were refusing to see reality. Without offending you, what exactly do you know about Islam? Do you actually consider it equal to Hareidi interpreation of the Torah? Do you think it is equal to Christianity or Budhism, or more potently, do you think it has a right to impudence?

  32. Friar Yid said

    Hang on, you’re accusing me of euphemisms and cliched formulations while talking about the world balancing out on the tip of my nose?

    it is difficult to see what you represent other than the kind of evasive liberal rhetoric which is fodder for the Islamists

    To hell with the Islamists. Islam isn’t the prism through which I view the world. I believe in the necessity of human rights while also realizing the necessity of sometimes slightly curtailing those rights to keep security.

    Always ready to take a stand for taking a stand, regardless of where they stand.

    *shrug* I’m not sure what you want from me. Should I be waving a sign saying, “Jihadis go home?” (Or maybe just the ones named Jihad…)

    If the law was excesive in France, was it excesive in Turkey, where has been in effect since 1918?

    I don’t have an opinion about Turkey, knowing next to nothing about it. I know a little more about France. Off the top of my head, I think the idea of Turkey being a nation of Muslims (albeit under a secular government, like France) enforcing a law probably makes some difference in calculating my liberal sensibilities as opposed to France enacting a law that effects everyone except Christians. (And the Christians who wear life-size replicas of the cross on their necks, of course.)

    The Attorney Generals position was a give-away to Islamic impudent abuse of myopic Western notions of tolerance. It was a give away to hip liberals taking a stand for taking a stand, political capital gained at the expense of a declining state.

    You say tomato, I say to-maaah-to. If people wearing religious clothing is that big of a threat to France, it’s in more trouble than it thinks- and the Conseil knew that. And I’m still waiting to see if banning the scarves actually achieved anything.

    And that’s not discrimination or racism, its defence against a declaration of War. Jihad, remember? But of course, you still think Islam is nice and cuddly

    I think that deporting someone for naming their child a name you find offensive is bullshit. That’s what I think.

    Do you still refuse to admit that a drawing of Mohammed shagging a camel is potent because of its illicit nature?

    Help me out here- when did you ask that question?

    There are no mainstream critics of Islam! They are dwindling on the fringes!

    And? What would you like me to do about this? Go kick CNN’s ass?

    It is as if you were refusing to see reality. Without offending you, what exactly do you know about Islam? Do you actually consider it equal to Hareidi interpreation of the Torah? Do you think it is equal to Christianity or Budhism, or more potently, do you think it has a right to impudence?

    I think Islam has serious problems, most specifically with large amounts of people using it as justification to kill, rape, and intimidate. I also realize that these problems are not limited to Islam, or that it has a monopoly on them. Do I consider it “equal” to Haredi Judaism? That depends what you’re talking about- do you mean, do I have as many problems with the two religions? The answer is clearly no. There’s plenty to criticize about the Haredi world (and the non-Haredi world, for the record), but they aren’t going around massacring people. Their problems are on a substantially lower level. Even the religious Zionist crowd, which I have my share of issues with (more, in some ways, than with Haredim), while having some of the same kinds of disturbing ideology as Islam, seems to do a decent job of keeping it contained and within the realm of the theoretical. By the same token, I know that not all Muslims are sharpening their knives to do us in, even if their silence enables those who do. I can criticize them for not speaking out, but I’m not going to lump them all together.

    …You keep throwing around “equal,” and I’m not sure how you’re using it. Could you clarify?

    I think everyone should have the right to impudence. The problem comes, as I said, when you start getting your crap on other people. The issue then becomes which tactics are best in trying to stop it.

  33. minsky said

    About France. Yes, it is in far greater trouble than even the French imagine. It is a catastrophe. If you read some of the posts on US and Jihad, you’ll see what I mean.

    The name is simple. Imagine someone calling themselves Niggerkiller, or GayBasher. What do you think would happen at the moment the child is born?

    Are you familiar with how names are given and registered? Any indepedent minded registrar will refuse any offensive name, along with Social Security! Most civilised countries, have common sense rules about naming your child. viz http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/articles/2007/06/22/1182019319582.html

    It is a lot less far fetched than you think. Imagine in Israel, naming your child Shachid if your palastinian. How will the Israeli state treat you?

  34. Friar Yid said

    An interesting point. I’m not entirely comfortable with the precedent it sets and the potential it has to be abused (Franklin Graham says Mohammed was a killed and a pedophile- could he start a campaign to get that name onto the banned list?), but I see your point. I also think, however, that the problem runs far deeper than merely the names of these people’s children. While keeping them from naming their kids jihad (assuming, probably correctly, that they aren’t talking about the inner-struggle-kind) at least shows a willingness by the government to engage in a cultural challenge with them (and stop them from advertising their views by making their children walking billboards for terrorism- back to that intimidation thing you mentioned), I’m still concerned with the deeper problem: these parents are so nuts that they think naming their kids jihad is a good idea. The registrar can refuse them all he wants, but it’s not going to change their minds (or preclude them from calling their little tyke “jihad” around the house).

    From the position of a warning sign, I can see the logic of your statement that it should perhaps be ground for deportation (or similar punitive action perhaps on a smaller scale- imprisonment, fine, etc, sort of the way Europe punished hate speech. If nothing else, a big ol’ red flag). At the same time, I’ll be honest, I have a very hard time wrapping my liberal ideals around the proposal that naming your kid something people find offensive should be grounds for punishment by the government. So I guess I’m sort of stuck.

  35. minsky said

    Ditto. I also find it disagreable, the deportation, but you see how it is self-defence. I mean what can you do when there’s nothing you can do? There are confrontations, once in a while, and like you say, we can just hope that getting it out there, will help us all. That’s why I think freedom of speech, is crucial in this context. Keep in mind, most people will dislike the instance of naming someone Jihad, but will shirk from saying it publicly, because frankly, we are all a bit wimpy in this sense… further proof I dare say, of our own particular cultural achivement.

  36. minsky said

    Fabulous website: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com

    Fabulous new word, worth remembering:

    DHIMWIT. (check out website for clarification)

  37. Aliyah said

    I happened upon your blog entry by a simple google search and against my better judgment, I couldn’t resist commenting.

    Thanks for clarifying to me why I wear Islamic dress. I thought I was doing it out of love and obedience to God; rather it seems (in your opinion) I was doing it to give the bird to freedom and democracy. Oh, I guess that explains why I rarely leave the house because (apparently) I so love to provoke and intimidate – I don’t know about you guys but I was never intimidated much by Batman *shrug* LOL. *I* thought I didn’t leave the house very much because I was tired of getting spat on, abused and harassed (including being run off the road in my car while driving and having my house needlessly searched by police due to cowardly, false and anonymous tips)- I guess those people weren’t very intimidated by Batman either. Don’t worry; I come from a long line of survivors with thick skin: my Jewish heritage including my great-grandmother who escaped from Nazi-Germany/Holocaust. Yes, I know, “bear it or shed it”; hence, I don’t leave the house much. So much for pursuing my post-grad studies. I’ll continue the stereotype of the oppressed, uneducated Muslim woman – but note, my oppression and lack of (further) education is not by any means coming from my fellow Muslims or Islam, it is from some of the “civilized” members of my western society.

    While I respect your right to your opinion and point of view to which you are more than entitled; your (and Ali’s) presumptions of the whys and wherefores of Muslim women wearing hijab/niqab aka “burka”- I feel- is both inconsiderate and incorrect. You may have your view but it’s not mine.

    I don’t mean to come across as belligerent (oops, I forgot, I’ve already been tarred with that brush merely due to the fact that I wear Islamic dress, silly me) but have you ever stopped to think that us (vacuous) Muslim women have more on their minds than mere fashion (like education, raising a family, safe and secure living, healthcare, employment). Perhaps someone better tell that Ban Ki-moon so he can hold the General Assembly front row at the Vera Wang show during fashion week. Where does Peacekeeping rate on the scale compared to Victoria’s Secret’s new line in cleavage-boosting wonder bras. How about asking Muslim women what important issues are to them? I can guarantee the last thing they will complain about is the “burka”.

    Maybe we can agree that ignorance and angry hatred afflicts like a disease people from all religions and cultures (Muslims included) but it doesn’t mean it is right or that all their fellow members agree. Life is too short to waste on hating. We don’t all have to be the same.

    Just my views. I’m not a scholar or expert on neither Islam nor spokesperson for Muslims. I am just a Muslim; I am just me.

    Regards,

    Aliyah

    (Yes, I am fully aware of the irony of my name)

  38. alef said

    It appears, Aliyah… that you are either ignorant of why you chose to dress as you do, or deliberately evasive. From reading the post, it appears that neither Minsky nor Ali make any assumptions… which can’t be said about yourself.

  39. Aliyah said

    Try door number three, Alef: sarcasm. Re-read my third sentence; ‘thought’ was sarcastic. I guess with some people you have speak slowly and c-l-e-a-r-l-y for them to get it. I’ll simplify it for you without any sarcasm this time: I wear hijab to please Allah. I guess non-Muslims hate it when a ‘burka’ has an opinion. Sorry, sarcasm is in my genes (Jewish dad, very sarcastic).

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