UAC Interview With Geert Wilders

Jesse Petrilla and Tom Trento interview Dutch Member of Parliament Geert Wilders about the Islamization of Europe and its implications on America and the entire Western world

Islamic Extremists on Facebook

Recently I have been monitoring some facebook groups, both pro and anti Islam. What has suprised me the most is that the people full of hate are not those who disagree with Islam but those Muslims who disagree with any criticism of Islam.
Here are some comments which are notable:

Ahmed Wagdy Mohamed (Egypt) wrote
at 6:37pm yesterday
I will kill all of you blasphemers if I had the chance. Watch me make you disappear with force and the will of Allah. You cannot stop me from destroying you for insulting the prophet Muhammad (saw).

I will find your address and stab you blasphemers.

See ya
Don’t wanna be ya

This character, Ahmed Wagdy Mohamed seems to be the exemplary Muslim on facebook. Such abuse and hate has earned him the position of group administrator on the facebook group ‘Ultimate Muslim Warriors of Islam’ (UMW). This group prides itself on internet terrorism. Other than sending out threats to critics of Islam, spamming groups criticising Islam they also in groups report members who are critical of Islam. Another action taken by these cyber terrorists includes taking over anti-Islamic groups and blocking all the members.

They have no intention of creating a dialogue with non-Muslims. All they wish is to smash freedom of speech through force and threats.

A member of the group ‘UMW’ posted “we are muslims and proud to be” while sporting a NAZI Swastika flag as their picture. Another friendly member with an Arab family as his picture states, “i spit on you kaffir we dont need to listen to you unbelieving beast”.

One thing that really surprised me was the groups stance on Israel, the US and terrorism.
In regard to the 9/11 Terror attacks a prominent group member stated:

Now, I was not a muslim at the time, but if I was, the attack would have made me VERY happy.

This member goes on to calling for genocide against the state of Israel.

With the acquasition of nuclear weapons we can eliminate the zionists if we don’t destroy israel already by outproducing them.

Look, I know that the zionists are evil. I really do, but we are simply not strong enough to defeat them yet. We will soon and when we do we will kill every last one inshallah.

These are the Muslims of facebook and the Muslims residing worldwide and in the West that wish nothing but damage, destruction, violence and oppression onto it.

Geert Wilders: Prisoner of Islam

By Diana West

THE HAGUE, The Netherlands — Having run the polite-but-grim gauntlet of Dutch government security to gain access to Geert Wilders, I finally understood what the 24-hour security requirements of the man’s continued existence really mean: To make the survival of Western-style liberty in the Netherlands his political cause, this Dutch parliamentarian has to live under high-tech lock and key.

This stunning paradox, with no end in sight, illustrates how far political freedom in the West has already eroded. Think of it: For writing about the repressive ideology of Islam, for arguing against the inequities of Sharia (Islamic law), for making a video (“Fitna”) to warn about Islamic jihad, Wilders lives in his own non-Islamic country under a specifically Islamic death threat.

If it is politically incorrect to notice this, it is also indisputably true. True, too, is that, sans state security, this death threat could conceivably be carried out anytime, anywhere — from the picturesque streets outside the Dutch parliament, to the house Wilders hasn’t slept in since 2004. That, of course, was when, on an Amsterdam street, a Muslim assassin plunged a knife into Theo van Gogh’s corpse, thus attaching the Islamic manifesto threatening both Wilders and his then-parliamentary colleague, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with death.

Not long ago, political debate in the Netherlands met with, well, more political debate. Now, however, with a growing Muslim minority — and it’s politically incorrect to notice this, too — political debate sometimes meets with Islam-inspired political assassination. At least it has, traumatically, twice in recent years: once, with the 2002 murder of the anti-Islamic-immigration politician Pim Fortuyn by an animal rights activist who claimed Fortuyn was scapegoating Muslims; and the following year with the ritualistic Islamic murder of Van Gogh, director of “Submission,” a short video made with Hirsi Ali about Islamic mistreatment of women. In all, such Islam-inspired violence has been enough to chill Islam-inspired debate.

And that’s just the situation at home. This week, even as Amsterdam’s chief public prosecutor, Leo de Wit, announced that no charges would be brought against Wilders for “discrimination” or “incitement to hatred” related to Wilders’ writings or video, Jordan announced it is bringing a “Fitna”-related criminal case against the Dutch parliamentarian.

In other words, Jordan will indict a Dutch politician according to Jordanian (read: Islam-inspired) law. “Jordanian authorities are not aiming to arrest” the Dutch leader of the Freedom Party, Radio Netherlands Online reports. “They say the decision to prosecute was taken in order to send a signal to the Netherlands.”

A “signal”? How about a gag? Of course, like other Western peoples, the Dutch seem content to censor themselves, happily mouthing multicultural platitudes that effectively rationalize their own culture’s Islamization. Not Wilders.

I recently asked the 44-year-old Dutchman what was stronger in his country: Islam or multiculturalism.

“Unfortunately, they are both strong,” he replied, seated in his lightly furnished but heavily guarded office. “But cultural relativism is the biggest problem.” He went on to explain: “Multicultural society would not be that bad — I don’t really believe in it — but it would not be that bad if, at least, we would be strong enough to say that our culture is better and dominant. But when you combine multicultural society with a dominant sense of cultural relativism, you are heading in the wrong direction. You are committing suicide when it comes to your own culture.”

Hoping to preserve the primacy of Western culture in this Dutch corner of the West, Wilders advocates a halt to Islamic immigration. “I’m not saying that every Muslim in the Netherlands is a criminal or a terrorist,” he explains. “We know the majority is not. Still,” he continues, “there is good reason to stop the immigration, because the more we have an influx of Muslims in the Netherlands, the strength of the (Islamic) culture will grow, and the change of our societies will increase.” He sees his efforts as “a fight against an ideology that I believe at the end of the day will kill our freedom, kill our societies and change everything we stand for.”

He’s right — and, yes, it’s politically incorrect to say that, too. Everything the West stands for, starting with freedom of speech, is already changing as our institutions, up to and including, for example, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, increasingly proscribe critical references, or indeed, any references to Islam. While it’s clear that the European manifestation of Islamic ideology has already killed Wilders’ personal freedom in the Netherlands, the general impact on freedom throughout the West has yet to be fully appreciated.

“I have a mission,” Wilders said. “I believe very strongly in what I say, and my party fortunately shares this view. And nobody in the Netherlands is doing (what I do). And somebody should. And I pay a high price for it.”

What is the expression — freedom isn’t free? This is literally and acutely the case when it comes to this heroic Dutchman.

Islamic group attacks religious tolerance rally

Hundreds of members of a radical Indonesian Islamic group armed with batons have attacked moderate Muslims in the capital, Jakarta, who were holding a rally calling for religious tolerance.

Authorities say about 100 members of the National Alliance for Religious and Faith Freedom had gathered in central Jakarta to rally against a possible government ban on the minority Ahmadiyah sect.

About 500 members of the hardline Front for the Defenders of Islam infiltrated the protest, attacking demonstrators with batons until about 50 policemen intervened, but no arrests were made.

The Ahmadiyah group has about 200,000 followers in Indonesia and believes Mohammad was not the final prophet, contradicting a central tenet of Islam.

AFP

Boy Killed By Muslim Cleric for Not Memorising Koran (Pakistan)

A student of a religious seminary in Pakistan’s Punjab province has died after he was punished by his teacher, police say.

Atif, seven, was hung upside down from a ceiling fan by Maulvi Ziauddin for not memorising his Koran lessons, his fellow students told the police.

Atif’s condition deteriorated quickly and he died in the teacher’s room. Maulvi Ziauddin has been arrested.

Human rights organisation say Pakistani children are often exposed to abuse.

Arrested

The students told the police in the town of Vehari that Atif was punished on Wednesday by Maulvi Ziauddin who left him hanging from the fan for some time.

The son of a farm labourer, Atif lived in the seminary with about 20 other students, including a cousin.

“When his cousin did not see Atif on Wednesday night or the next morning, he informed the family,” a Vehari police official, Mohammad Afzal, told the BBC.

“Members of the family found Atif’s body in Maulvi Ziauddin’s room, but the cleric himself was missing,” he said.

He was arrested from a nearby village later on Thursday.

The police said they would file formal charges after an autopsy report is issued by the local hospital.

In a report published in January, Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid (LHRLA) – an organisation which monitors and compiles cases of child abuse and kidnapping – said children in Pakistan were increasingly exposed to abuse, kidnapping and violence.

The number of reported cases involving children has more than doubled from 617 in 2006 to 1,595 last year, the report said.

It blamed poor law enforcement and old social attitudes towards children’s rights as some of the reasons for the problem.

Christian Converts on Trial For Non-Muslim Prayer (Algeria)

ALGIERS, MAY 21 – For the first time in Algeria a trial against an Algerian woman converted to Christianity was launched yesterday in Tiaret (400 km west of Algiers). The woman was accused of having “practised a non-Muslim prayer without authorisation”. In fact, the girl was not arrested while praying, but on a bus and because of some gospels that she had with her. “The charge however is not for proselytism, for the first time,” daily El Watan writes adding “the liberty to practice freely the Christian faith is really brought into question”. According to the daily, Habiba, under 30 and converted to Christianity for four years, would not renounce her religion just to avoid the court. “Either it is the mosque or the court,” Tiaret’s prosecutor intimidated her during the first conversation, as El Watan writes. “Did they make you drink from the water which will carry you straight to paradise?”, the judge in court asked yesterday. Habiba was arrested on a bus heading to Oran. The police discovered in her backpack twelve religious books. The girl defended herself saying that these were personal texts and were not intended for other people. The Religious Affairs Ministry instituted a civil action and the prosecutor demanded yesterday a three-year prison sentence. The sentence will be pronounced on Tuesday. Together with the woman, another six members of Tiaret’s Christian community accused of proselytism will stand trial. (ANSAmed).

Afghan journalism student facing death over alleged Islam insult says he was tortured

KABUL, Afghanistan: An Afghan journalism student sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Islam told an appeals court Sunday he confessed to writing materials that questioned the religion’s treatment of women because he was tortured. He denied all charges against him.

During a packed hour-long hearing, a judge read a transcript of the proceedings against 24-year-old Sayed Parwez Kambakhsh on Jan. 22 at a lower court in northern Balkh province.

It was the first time that full details have been revealed of the closed-door trial, which reflected the influence of conservative religious attitudes in post-Taliban Afghanistan’s nascent justice system. The verdict sparked an international outcry.

Kambakhsh was studying journalism at Balkh University in Mazar-i-Sharif and writing for local newspapers when he was arrested Oct. 27.

The transcript said he disrupted his university classes by asking questions about women’s rights under Islam. It also said he distributed an article on the subject and wrote an additional three paragraphs for the piece.

The only people with him in the courtroom during the January hearing in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif were three judges, a court scribe and the prosecutor. Kambakhsh said he had no defense lawyer, and only three minutes to defend himself.

He was transferred to Pul-e Charkhi prison on March 27, and his case was moved to Kabul, where rights groups believed he would have a fair trial.

On Sunday, Kambakhsh spoke in the appeals court in Kabul, again without a defense lawyer.

“I’m Muslim, and I would never let myself write such an article. All these accusations are nonsense,” he said, standing before the judge and addressing the court through a microphone in an emotional 15-minute statement.

“These accusations come from two professors and other students because of private hostilities against me. I was tortured by the intelligence service in Balkh province, and they made me confess that I wrote three paragraphs in this article.”

He did not give any further details about the alleged torture.

Saied Ansari, spokesman for the intelligence service, said it had not received any official information on Kambakhsh’s allegations and declined comment.

According to the Balkh court proceedings, the prosecutor said Kambakhsh admitted writing three paragraphs of the article and had initialed them.

He also was accused of writing, “This is the real face of Islam. … The Prophet Muhammad wrote verses of the holy Quran just for his own benefit.”

Prosecutor Ahmad Khan Ayar told the appeals court that the primary court sentence was “the right decision” according to Islamic law and the Afghan Constitution.

“Kambakhsh has insulted Islam by writing these paragraphs, and he has insulted the Prophet Muhammad,” Ayar said. “I ask the appeals court today to uphold the decision of the primary court of Balkh and sentence him to death.”

A number of rights groups have demanded that the case be annulled and Kambakhsh set free. A U.S. State Department spokesman expressed concern that Kambakhsh was sentenced to death for “basically practicing his profession.”

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said it was concerned that Kambakhsh may have been targeted because his brother, Yaqub Ibrahimi, had written about human rights violations and local politics.

Ibrahimi said the family approached more than 10 lawyers who were initially willing to take on the case but later changed their minds.

A week after Kambakhsh was sentenced, lawmakers in the upper house of Parliament lauded the verdict. Conservative clerics and tribal elders have demanded that the government support the court’s decision.

More than 150 people — including several Western observers and more than 20 journalists — filled the courtroom Sunday to view the proceedings.

Kambakhsh said he did not believe he needed a defense lawyer for his appeal because he had not done anything wrong, but when pressed by the judges on the matter he said he would like to have one.

The head of the three-judge panel, Abdul Salaam Qazizada, adjourned the trial until next Sunday to allow Kambakhsh to meet a lawyer and prepare a written defense.

Afghan media have flourished since the fall of the hard-line Taliban regime following a U.S.-led invasion in 2001. Newspapers and TV and radio stations have opened nationwide.

But journalists face violence for news stories that criticize government leaders, warlords and religious clerics or challenge their often authoritarian views.

Al-Qaeda Operatives Kill 11 Policemen In Their Homes (Iraq)

U.S. and Iraqi sources reported that Al-Qaeda operatives who infiltrated into Iraq from Syria had penetrated a settlement in the Al-Anbar province and attacked the homes of 11 policemen, killing all 11 as well as the son of one of the policemen.

It was reported that the infiltrators wore U.S. military uniforms and that one, a Lebanese, was caught on his way back to Syria.

On May 10, the Iraqi government launched an operation to purge Ninewah province, which borders Al-Anbar province, of Al-Qaeda.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, May 16, 2008

Iraqi insurgents use eight-year-old girl as suicide bomber

An eight-year-old girl was strapped with remote-controlled explosives and used as a human bomb by Iraqi insurgents in a blast that killed an Iraqi commander earlier today.

An Iraqi captain was killed and seven other soldiers were injured in the explosion which took place in the town of Youssifiyah, south of Baghdad.

The explosives were detonated as the girl approached the Iraqi commander.

A curfew has now been imposed in the area, and American troops are said to be hunting for those responsible.

Iraqi soldiers inspect the site of a separate car bomb attack that targeted Abdul Karim al-Samarai, a member of Sunni Islamic political party in Baghdad’s Yarmouk district today

“I can confirm that a female suicide bomber attacked an Iraqi Army position,” said a U.S Army spokesman.

Involving women in fighting violates religious taboos in Iraq, but extremists are recruiting females and youths to stage suicide attacks in a desperate attempt to beat tightened security measures.

Women can avoid thorough searches at checkpoints because of Islamic sensitivities, and four have carried out suicide bombings since November.

In February, Iraqi insurgents used two women with Downs Syndrome as human bombs in a blast that killed 99 people in Baghdad.

The women apparently fooled into wearing explosive vests which were then detonated remotely by mobile phones as they mingled with crowds.

It is unclear whether this latest blast used the same method for detonating the bomb.

Source

Islam’s Shame: Lifting the Veil of Tears

By Ibn Warraq

Islam is deeply anti-woman. Islam is the fundamental cause of the repression of Muslim women and remains the major obstacle to the evolution of their position.[1] Islam has always considered women as creatures inferior in every way: physically, intellectually, and morally. This negative vision is divinely sanctioned in the Koran, corroborated by the hadiths, and perpetuated by the commentaries of the theologians, the custodians of Muslim dogma and ignorance.

Far better for these intellectuals to abandon the religious argument, to reject these sacred texts, and have recourse to reason alone. They should turn instead to human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted on December 10, 1948, by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris and ratified by most Muslim countries) at no point has recourse to a religious argument. These rights are based on natural rights, which any adult human being capable of choice has. They are rights that human beings have simply because they are human beings. Human reason or rationality is the ultimate arbiter of rights – human rights, the rights of women.

Unfortunately, in practice, in Muslim countries one cannot simply leave the theologians with their narrow, bigoted world view to themselves. One cannot ignore the ulama, those learned doctors of Muslim law who by their fatwas or decisions in questions touching private or public matters of importance regulate the life of the Muslim community. They still exercise considerable powers of approving or forbidding certain actions. Why the continuing influence of the mullas?

The Koran remains for all Muslims, not just “fundamentalists,” the uncreated word of God Himself. It is valid for all times and places; its ideas are absolutely true and beyond all criticism. To question it is to question the very word of God, and hence blasphemous. A Muslim’s duty is to believe it and obey its divine commands.

Several other factors contribute to the continuing influence of the ulama. Any religion that requires total obedience without thought is not likely to produce people capable of critical thought, people capable of free and independent thought. Such a situation is favorable to the development of a powerful “clergy” and is clearly responsible for the intellectual, cultural, and economic stagnation of several centuries. Illiteracy remains high in Muslim countries. Historically, as there never was any separation of state and religion, any criticism of one was seen as a criticism of the other. Inevitably, when many Muslim countries won independence after the Second World War, Islam was unfortunately linked with nationalism, which meant that any criticism of Islam was seen as a betrayal of the newly independent country – an unpatriotic act, an encouragement to colonialism and imperialism. No Muslim country has developed a stable democracy; Muslims are being subjected to every kind of repression possible. Under these conditions healthy criticism of society is not possible, because critical thought and liberty go together.

The above factors explain why Islam in general and the position of women in particular are never criticized, discussed, or subjected to deep scientific or skeptical analysis. All innovations are discouraged in Islam – every problem is seen as a religious problem rather than a social or economic one.

Profoundly Anti-Woman

Islam took the legend of Adam and Eve [2] from the Old Testament and adapted it in its own fashion. The creation of mankind from one person is mentioned in the following suras:

4.1. 0 Mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multiple of men and women.

39.6. He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate.

7.189. He it is who did create you from a single soul and therefrom did make his mate that he might take rest in her.

From these slender sources Muslim theologians have concluded that man was the original creation – womankind was created secondarily for the pleasure and repose of man. The legend was further developed to reinforce the supposed inferiority of women. Finally, the legend was given a sacred character so that to criticize it was to criticize the very words of God, which were immutable and absolute. Here is how Muhammad describes women in general: “Be friendly to women for womankind was created from a rib, but the bent part of the rib, high up, if you try to straighten it you will break it; if you do nothing, she will continue to be bent.”

God punishes Adam and Eve for disobeying his orders. But there is nothing in the verses to show that it was Eve (as in the Old Testament) who led Adam astray. And yet Muslim exegetists and jurists have created the myth of Eve the temptress that has since become an integral part of Muslim tradition. Muhammad himself is reputed to have said: “If it had not been for Eve, no woman would have been unfaithful to her husband.”

The Islamic tradition also attributes guile and deceit to women and draws its support from the Koran. Modern Muslim commentators interpret certain verses to show that guile, deceit, and treachery are intrinsic to a woman’s nature. Not only is she unwilling to change, she is by nature incapable of changing – she has no choice.[3] In attacking the female deities of the polytheists, the Koran takes the opportunity to malign the female sex further.

4.1 17. They invoke in His stead only females; they pray to none else than Satan, a rebel.

53.21-22. Are yours the males and His the females? That indeed were an unfair division!

53.27. Lo! it is those who disbelieve in the Hereafter who name the angels with the names of females.

Other verses from the Koran also seem of a misogynist tendency.

2.228. Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

2.282. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember.

4.11. Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females.

4.34. Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart; and scourge (beat) them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great.

Equally, in numerous hadiths on which are based the Islamic laws, we learn of the woman’s role – to stay at home, to be at the beck and call of man to obey him (which is a religious duty), and to assure man a tranquil existence. Here are some examples of these traditions:

  • The woman who dies and with whom the husband is satisfied will go to paradise.
  • A wife should never refuse herself to her husband even if it is on the saddle of a camel.
  • Hellfire appeared to me in a dream and I noticed that it was above all peopled with women who had been ungrateful. “Was it toward God that they were ungrateful?” They had not shown any gratitude toward their husbands for all they had received from them. Even when all your life you have showered a woman with your largesse she will still find something petty to reproach you with one day, saying, “You have never done anything for me.”
  • If anything presages a bad omen it is: a house, a woman, a horse.
  • Never will a people know success if they confide their affairs to a woman.

It will be appropriate to include two quotes from the famous and much revered philosopher al-Ghazali (1058-1111), whom Professor Montgomery Watt describes as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad. In his “The Revival Of The Religious Sciences,” Ghazali defines the woman’s role: [4]

She should stay at home and get on with her spinning, she should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbours and only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything; she must not cheat on him nor extort money from him; she must not leave her house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave surreptitiously. She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice or recognize her; she must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need. … Her sole worry should be her virtue, her home as well as her prayers and her fast. If a friend of her husband calls when the latter is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her and her husband’s honour. She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment. … She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment.

Such are some of the sayings from the putative golden age of Islamic feminism. It was claimed that it was the abandonment of the original teachings of Islam that had led to the present decadence and backwardness of Muslim societies. But there never was an Islamic utopia. To talk of a golden age is only to conform and perpetuate the influence of the clergy, the mullas, and their hateful creed that denies humanity to half the inhabitants of this globe, and further retards all serious attempts to liberate Muslim women.

What Rights?

The inequality between men and women [5] in matters of giving testimony or evidence or being a witness is enshrined in the Koran: sura 2.282 (quoted above).

How do Muslim apologists justify the above text? Muslim men and women writers point to the putative psychological differences that exist between men and women. The Koran (and hence God) in its sublime wisdom knew that women are sensitive, emotional, sentimental, easily moved, and influenced by their biological rhythm, lacking judgment. But above all they have a shaky memory. In other words, women are psychologically inferior. Such are the dubious arguments used by Muslim intellectuals – male and, astonishingly enough, female intellectuals like Ahmad Jamal, Ms. Zahya Kaddoura, Ms. Ghada al-Kharsa, and Ms. Madiha Khamis. As Ghassan Ascha points out, the absurdity of their arguments are obvious.

By taking the testimony of two beings whose reasoning faculties are faulty we do not obtain the testimony of one complete person with a perfectly functioning rational faculty – such is Islamic arithmetic! By this logic, if the testimony of two women is worth that of one man, then the testimony of four women must be worth that of two men, in which case we can dispense with the testimony of the men. But no! In Islam the rule is not to accept the testimony of women alone in matters to which men theoretically have access. It is said that the Prophet did not accept the testimony of women in matters of marriage, divorce, and hudud. Hudud are the punishments set down by Muhammad in the Koran and the hadith for (1) adultery – stoning to death; (2) fornication – a hundred stripes; (3) false accusation of adultery against a married person – eighty stripes; (4) apostasy – death; (5) drinking wine – eighty stripes; (6) theft – the cutting off of the right hand; (7) simple robbery on the highway – the loss of hands and feet; robbery with murder – death, either by the sword or by crucifixion.

On adultery the Koran 24.4 says: “Those that defame honourable women and cannot produce four witnesses shall be given eighty lashes.” Of course, Muslim jurists will only accept four male witnesses. These witnesses must declare that they have “seen the parties in the very act of carnal conjunction.” Once an accusation of fornication and adultery has been made, the accuser himself or herself risks punishment if he or she does not furnish the necessary legal proofs. Witnesses are in the same situation. If a man were to break into a woman’s dormitory and rape half a dozen women, he would risk nothing since there would be no male witnesses. Indeed the victim of a rape would hesitate before going in front of the law, since she would risk being condemned herself and have little chance of obtaining justice. “If the woman’s words were sufficient in such cases,” explains Judge Zharoor ul Haq of Pakistan, “then no man would be safe.” This iniquitous situation is truly revolting and yet for Muslim law it is a way of avoiding social scandal concerning the all-important sexual taboo. Women found guilty of fornication were literally immured, at first; as the Koran 4.15 says: “Shut them up within their houses till death release them, or God make some way for them.” However this was later canceled and stoning substituted for adultery and one hundred lashes for fornication. When a man is to be stoned to death, he is taken to some barren place, where he is stoned first by the witnesses, then the judge, and then the public. When a woman is stoned, a hole to receive her is dug as deep as her waist – the Prophet himself seems to have ordered such procedure. It is lawful for a man to kill his wife and her lover if he catches them in the very act.

In the case where a man suspects his wife of adultery or denies the legitimacy of the offspring, his testimony is worth that of four men. Sura 24.6: “If a man accuses his wife but has no witnesses except himself, he shall swear four times by God that his charge is true, calling down upon himself the curse of God if he is lying. But if his wife swears four times by God that his charge is false and calls down His curse upon herself if it be true, she shall receive no punishment.” Appearances to the contrary, this is not an example of Koranic justice or equality between the sexes. The woman indeed escapes being stoned to death but she remains rejected and loses her right to the dowry and her right to maintenance, whatever the outcome of the trial. A woman does not have the right to charge her husband in a similar manner. Finally, for a Muslim marriage to be valid there must be a multiplicity of witnesses. For Muslim jurists, two men form a multiplicity but not two or three or a thousand women.

In questions of heritage, the Koran tells us that male children should inherit twice the portion of female children:

4.11-12. A male shall inherit twice as much as a female. If there be more than two girls, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance, but if there be one only, she shall inherit the half. Parents shall inherit a sixth each, if the deceased have a child; but if he leave no child and his parents be his heirs, his mother shall have a third. If he have brothers, his mother shall have a sixth after payment of any legacy he may have bequeathed or any debt he may have owed.

To justify this inequality, Muslim authors lean heavily on the fact that a woman receives a dowry and has the right to maintenance from her husband. It is also true that according to Muslim law the mother is not at all obliged to provide for her children, and if she does spend money on her children, it is, to quote Bousquet, “recoverable by her from her husband if he is returned to a better fortune as in the case of any other charitable person. Therefore there is no point in the husband and wife sharing in the taking charge of the household; this weighs upon the husband alone. There is no longer any financial interest between them.” [6]

This latter point referred to by Bousquet simply emphasizes the negative aspects of a Muslim marriage – that is to say, the total absence of any idea of “association” between “couples” as in Christianity. As to dowry, it is, of course, simply a reconfirmation of the man’s claims over the woman in matters of sex and divorce. Furthermore, in reality the woman does not get to use the dowry for herself. The custom is either to use the dowry to furnish the house of the newly married couple or for the wife to offer it to her father. According to the Malekites, the woman can be obliged by law to use the dowry to furnish the house. Muslim law also gives the guardian the right to cancel a marriage – even that of a woman of legal age – if he thinks the dowry is not sufficient. Thus the dowry, instead of being a sign of her independence, turns out once more to be a symbol of her servitude.

The woman has the right to maintenance but this simply emphasizes her total dependence on her husband, with all its attendant sense of insecurity. According to Muslim jurists, the husband is not obliged under Islamic law to pay for her medical expenses in case of illness. Financial independence of the woman would of course be the first step in the liberation of Muslim women and thus it is not surprising that it is seen as a threat to male dominance. Muslim women are now obliged to take equal responsibility for looking after their parents. Article 158 of Syrian law states “The child – male or female – having the necessary means is obliged to take responsibility for his or her poor parents.” The birth of a girl is still seen as a catastrophe in Islamic societies. The system of inheritance just adds to her misery and her dependence on the man. If she is an only child she receives only half the legacy of her father; the other half goes to the male members of the father’s family. If there are two or more daughters, they inherit two-thirds. This pushes fathers and mothers to prefer male children to female so that they can leave the entirety of their effects or possessions to their own descendants. “Yet when a new-born girl is announced to one of them his countenance darkens and he is filled with gloom” (sura 43.15). The situation is even worse when a woman loses her husband – she only receives a quarter of the legacy. If the deceased leaves more than one wife, all the wives are still obliged to share among themselves a quarter or one-eighth of the legacy.

Muslim jurists [7] are unanimous in their view that men are superior to women in virtue of their reasoning abilities, their knowledge, and their supervisory powers. And since it is the man who assumes financial responsibility for the family, it is argued, it is natural that he should have total power over the woman. These same jurists, of course, totally neglect changing social conditions where a woman may contribute her salary to the upkeep of her family – power over women remains a divine command and “natural” or “in the nature of things.” Muslim thinkers continue to confine Muslim women to the house – to leave the house is against the will of God and against the principles of Islam. Confined to their houses, women are then reproached for not having any experience of the outside world!

According to theologians, [8] the husband has the right to administer corporal punishment to his wife if she

  1. Refuses to make herself beautiful for him;
  2. Refuses to meet his sexual demands;
  3. Leaves the house without permission or without any legitimate reason recognized by law; or
  4. Neglects her religious duties.

A hadith attributes the following saying to the Prophet: “Hang up your whip where your wife can see it.” There are a number of other hadiths that contradict this one. In those, Muhammad explicitly forbids men to beat their wives – in which case the Prophet himself is contradicting what the Koran, enshrining divine law, permits.

Case Histories: The Women of Pakistan

In Pakistan in 1977, General Zia al-Haq took over in a military coup declaring that the process of Islamization was not going fast enough. The mullas had finally got someone who was prepared to listen to them.

Zia imposed martial law, total press censorship, and began creating a theocratic state, believing that Pakistan ought to have “the spirit of Islam.” He banned women from athletic contests and even enforced the Muslim fast during the month of Ramadan at gunpoint. He openly admitted that there was a contradiction between Islam and democracy. Zia introduced Islamic laws that discriminated against women. The most notorious of these laws were the Zina and Hudud Ordinances that called for the Islamic punishments of the amputation of hands for stealing and stoning to death for married people found guilty of illicit sex. The term zina included adultery, fornication, and rape, and even prostitution. Fornication was punished with a maximum of a hundred lashes administered in public and ten years’ imprisonment.

In practice, these laws protect rapists, for a woman who has been raped often finds herself charged with adultery or fornication. To prove zina, four Muslim adult males of good repute must be present to testify that sexual penetration has taken place. Furthermore, in keeping with good Islamic practice, these laws value the testimony of men over women. The combined effect of these laws is that it is impossible for a woman to bring a successful charge of rape against a man; instead, she herself, the victim, finds herself charged with illicit sexual intercourse, while the rapist goes free. If the rape results in a pregnancy, this is automatically taken as an admission that adultery or fornication has taken place with the woman’s consent rather than that rape has occurred.

Here are some sample cases. [9]

In a town in the northern province of Punjab, a woman and her two daughters were stripped naked, beaten, and gangraped in public, but the police declined to pursue the case.

A thirteen-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped by a “family friend.” When her father brought a case against the rapist, it was the girl who was put in prison and charged with zina, illegal sexual intercourse. The father managed to secure the child’s release by bribing the police. The traumatized child was then severely beaten for disgracing the family honor.

A fifty-year-old widow, Ahmedi Begum, [10] decided to let some rooms in her house in the city of Lahore to two young veiled women. As she was about to show them the rooms, the police burst into the courtyard of the house and arrested the two girls and Ahmedi Begum’s nephew, who had simply been standing there. Later that afternoon, Ahmedi Begum went to the police station with her son-in-law to inquire about her nephew and the two girls. The police told Ahmedi they were arresting her too. They confiscated her jewelry and pushed her into another room. While she was waiting, the police officers shoved the two girls, naked and bleeding, into the room and then proceeded to rape them again in front of the widow. When Ahmedi covered her eyes, the police forced her to watch by pulling her arms to her sides. After suffering various sexual humiliations, Ahmedi herself was stripped and raped by one officer after another. They dragged her outside where she was again beaten. One of the officers forced a policeman’s truncheon, covered with chili paste, into her rectum, rupturing it. Ahmedi screamed in horrible agony and fainted, only to wake up in prison, charged with zina. Her case was taken up by a human rights lawyer. She was released on bail after three months in prison, but was not acquitted until three years later. In the meantime, her son-in-law divorced her daughter because of his shame.

Was this an isolated case? Unfortunately no. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in its annual report that one woman is raped every three hours in Pakistan and one in two rape victims is a juvenile. According to Women’s Action Forum, a woman’s rights organization, 72% of all women in police custody in Pakistan are physically and sexually abused. Furthermore, 75% of all women in jail are there under charges of zina. Many of these women remain in jail awaiting trial for years.

In other words, the charge of zina is casually applied by any man who wants to get rid of his wife, who is immediately arrested, and kept waiting in prison, sometimes for years. Before the introduction of these laws the total number of women in prison was 70; the present number is more than 3,000. Most of these women have been charged under the Zina or Hudud Ordinances. [11]

The Western press naively believed that the election of Benazir Bhutto as Pakistan’s prime minister in November 1988 would revolutionize women’s role not just in Pakistan, but in the entire Islamic world. Under Islamic law of course, women cannot be head of an Islamic state, and Pakistan had become an Islamic republic under the new constitution of 1956. Thus, Benazir Bhutto had defied the mullas and won. But her government lasted a bare 20 months, during which period Nawaz Sharif, who was the prime minister briefly in the early 1990s, is said to have encouraged the mullas in their opposition to having a woman as the head of an Islamic state. Benazir Bhutto’s government was dismissed on charges of corruption, and her husband imprisoned in 1990.

The lot of the Muslim woman was harsh before Benazir’s election, and nothing has changed. She has pandered to the religious lobby, the mullas, the very people who insist that a woman cannot hold power in an Islamic state, and has repeatedly postponed any positive action on the position of women.

Pakistan shows the same grim picture. Pakistan is one of only four countries in the world where female life expectancy (51 years) is lower than the male (52 years); the average female life expectancy for all poor countries is 61 years. A large number of Pakistani women die in pregnancy or childbirth, six for every 1,000 live births. Despite the fact that contraception has never been banned by orthodox Islam, under Zia the Islamic Ideology Council of Pakistan declared family planning to be un-Islamic. Various mullas condemned family planning as a Western conspiracy to emasculate Islam. As a result, the average fertility rate per woman in Pakistan is 6.9. Pakistan is also among the world’s bottom ten countries for female attendance at primary schools. Some people put female literacy in the rural areas as low as 2% (Economist, March 5, 1994). As the Economist put it, “Some of the blame for all this lies with the attempt of the late President Zia ul Haq to create an Islamic republic. … Zia turned the clock back. A 1984 law of his, for instance, gives a woman’s legal evidence half the weight of a man’s” (Economist, January 13, 1990).

Indeed a large part of the blame lies with the attitudes inculcated by Islam, which has always seen woman as inferior to man. The birth of a baby girl is the occasion for mourning. Hundreds of baby girls are abandoned every year in the gutters and dust bins and on the pavements. An organization working in Karachi to save these children has calculated that more than five hundred children are abandoned a year in Karachi alone, and that 99% of them are girls. [12]

Little did Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, realize how literally true his words were when he said in a 1944 speech: [13] “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners.”

But we do not need to leave with a completely pessimistic picture. Pakistani women have shown themselves to be very courageous, and more and more are fighting for their rights with the help of equally brave organizations such as Women’s Action Forum (WAF) and War Against Rape. WAF was formed in 1981 as women came onto the streets to protest against the Hudud Ordinances, and to demonstrate their solidarity with a couple who had recently been sentenced to death by stoning for fornication. In 1983, women organized the first demonstrations against martial law.

Notes

  1. Ghassan Ascha, Du Statut Inferieur de la Femme en Islam (Paris: 1989) p. 11.
  2. Ibid., pp. 23f.
  3. Ibid., pp. 29f.
  4. Ibid., p. 41.
  5. Ascha, op. cit., pp. 63f.
  6. G. H. Bousquet, L’Ethique sexuelle de L’Islam (Paris: 1966) vol. 1, p. 120.
  7. Ascha, op. cit., p. 89.
  8. Ibid., pp. 108.
  9. Kurt Schork, “Pakistan’s Women in Despair,” Guardian Weekly, September 23, 1990.
  10. Jan Goodwin, Price of Honor (Boston: 1994) p. 49-50.
  11. Schork, op. cit.
  12. Goodwin, op. cit., p. 64.
  13. R. Ahmed, ed., Sayings of Quaid-i-Azam (Jinnah) (Karachi: 1986) p. 98.

Excerpted from Why I Am Not a Muslim by Ibn Warraq (Prometheus Books, 1995).


Ibn Warraq, who was raised as a Muslim, now devotes himself to the scholarly examination of the beliefs and practices of Islam. He is the author of Why I Am Not a Muslim (Prometheus Books, 1995).