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Freedom is an illusion for many Muslim women - Britain is letting them down  

By Will Heaven UK Last updated: August 22nd, 2009

86 Comments Comment on this article

A Malaysian woman has been sentenced to caning for drinking beer, an offence according to Sharia law. Does that statement shock you? I suspect not. How about this one: she has now requested that Amnesty International stop asking the Malaysian authorities not to cane her, saying she is ready to face the penalty for her “offence”.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno will be caned six times (Photo: AFP)

Part of the problem with Western attitudes towards Muslim women is that their submission to Islam is often thought of as a subjugation: the women, many Westerners think, are forced by mean Muslim men to behave in a certain way. But it’s a wildly naive idea. When you begin to analyse the beliefs of Muslim women – and listen to them – you find that they are often just as devoted to their religion as the husbands, brothers and fathers who surround them. Sometimes more so: an Iranian girl who visited Tehran just before the elections told me that it’s the female members of the Basij militia who are the most officious – if they spot you with your shawl revealing too much hair, you’re in deep trouble.

But the problem escalates. Once you recognise that Muslim women are, on average, as devout as Muslim men – and, in the case of the Malaysian model, will accept punishments meted out to them under Sharia law – is it then wrong to criticise them and their beliefs? This is one of the many flaws of multiculturalism. It’s OK, multiculturalists might have to concede, for a Malaysian model to be caned for drinking beer, as those are the religious laws which she has chosen to submit to; it’s a personal decision, leave her alone.

A BBC Radio 4 documentary on Muslim women recently spoke to Munira Mirza, Boris Johnson’s “culture tzar”. Here’s what she had to say about the perception of Muslim women in Britain:

Muslim women don’t get tricked into staying at home. These are choices that they make. What you can’t do is dismiss entirely the kind of cultural background that Muslim women grow up in and say that it’s wrong.

There’s this idea, I think, that yes women are [generally] discriminated against but not as much as Muslim women, because they don’t drink and they can’t go out and be ballsy with the boys… The worst thing we can do is portray Muslim women as victims all the time.

The truth is, however, that the Malaysian woman is a victim. And so are Muslim women all over the world (read, for example, Dean Nelson on female voters in Afghanistan). Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno has chosen to be caned. But should Amnesty International stop protesting about her punishment because she has asked them to? Of course they shouldn’t. Amnesty has to accept that it is universally wrong to cane a woman (for drinking beer or for anything else), and stand by its position despite what the victim says. On a broader level - and especially in Britain - we must apply this idea to the Muslim practices which, according to British values, we consider unacceptable. When we allow Muslim women to choose cut-off and submissive lives, we are letting them down.

Tags: BBC Radio 4, Boris Johnson, Islam, Islamism, Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, Malaysia


August 23rd, 2009 18:04

17 Comments  COMMENTS

Let those women who wish to leave strict muslim rule do so. As it stands one who chooses to marry outside of Islam and against her families wishes is likely to killed and the act supported by the Muslim community as OK.

I suggest that the many of the muslim girls growing in England would not be ardent supporters of the faith they are forced to be.

1) safe refuges for any woman who is so threatened.

2) identification of perpetrators of honour crimes- if the evidence for conviction is not available use civil law (with its lower burden of proof) to deport as undesirable.

As to Johan- it is not the topic- and I severely doubt your generalisations and statistics.

Unsuprised on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 5:48 pm

Report comment“When we allow Muslim women to choose cut-off and submissive lives, we are letting them down.”


Who are ‘we’ to tell any other culture or religion how to behave.

Imagine the outcry if an atheist started an uproar over jewish boys being circumcised.

Or if Eskimos started to campaign about the treatment of the female Hilltribe people from the north of Thailand.

As I said, who are ‘we’ to say anything.

sshorts on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Report commentThank you Mr. Heaven for saying things that are true, but which so many are now afraid to even suggest in print.


In reply to sshorts, we should say when something is right or wrong. Following your train of thought, who are you to criticize Mr. Heaven or any of the rest of us?! Who are you to have any principles at all? That is the endpoint of your thinking.

egil on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Report comment@sshorts ‘As I said, who are ‘we’ to say anything.’ I think a young girl being subjected to genital mutilation in Rwanda because it’s their ‘culture’ would be very happy that ‘we’ said something against it. That’s the danger with cultural relativism, it’s used to cover the real issue: that human rights are being violated.

Another brilliant post from Will, as usual. However, I think the greater problem here is when multiculturalism seeps into a legal system. Take Indonesia, its legal system is based on Roman/Dutch law, but the integration of different cultural practices into custom law means that Aceh, in Sumatra, has adopted Shariah law. Once these cultural practices, stoning, whipping, etc, are cemented in law there’s no turning back and the victims are locked in a cruel legal system. There is a sliding scale to how severe multiculturalism can get; adopting Sharia banking or Sharia law in this country for example is absurd. So France has the balance right: keep cultural customs on a personal, not national level.

rumi on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Report commentI don’t think anyone should be physically or mentally abused as part of their religion. However, I am much more concerned with Islam in the west, particularly the UK, than I am with it in general terms. These types of things are happening here and elsewhere in the west everyday, with increasing frequency as the Muslim population grows through immigration and high birth rates.

I don’t want Islam in my country, in any form, and I strongly believe that the vast majority of westerners feel the same. On the whole, Muslims have shown that they are incapable of reshaping their religion to fit with modern western principles in the way other religions have had to. They think that religion comes before the law, and that they should be free to carry out punishments as they see fit.


Islam should be outlawed in the UK. I say that from a defensive perspective of preserving western values and the rule of law above all else. If people want to follow Islam outsides of the western world, I really don’t care. I wish it didn’t exist at all, but so long as it’s not in my back yard, I’ll be happy.

misterd on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Report incorrect regarding orthodox Hasidic Jewish women. Whilst he is correct about the hair, he is incorrect about the medieval style long robes. Their dresses are modest, usually just a few inches below the knee, and often in fairly bright colours, unlike the burka and the hijab. There are relatively few of this sect in Britain, and they tend to live in tight communities. Those that I know are industrious, ask just to be left alone, are law abiding, are not continually demanding special privileges, and have never been known to commit acts of terrorism in the land of their adoption.

Toboo on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Report commentYou do not surprise me after the France Sarkozy does to the Chador

I thank you

Firozali A Mulla

famulla on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Report comment@ egil

“who are you to criticize Mr. Heaven or any of the rest of us?!”

I didnt know I was, please point out my critisism

“Who are you to have any principles at all?”

I am me, one does not force my beliefs on others.

“That is the endpoint of your thinking.”

au contraire, thats just the start of the debate.

sshorts on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Report comment@ rumi

“I think a young girl being subjected to genital mutilation in Rwanda because it’s their ‘culture’ would be very happy that ‘we’ said something against it”

Maybe she would, but because some one is gratefull we said something does that give us the right to say it?

Should it not be up to this young girl to change her own culture when she is older, if she feels so strongly about it she would do im sure.

sshorts on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Report commentWill, this is sad event for her and when i hear some wrong and bad news from Muslim countries i’m greatful for living in Turkey and i’m praying for Mustafa Kemal ATATURK’s soul.


Johan de Meulemeester: Very interesting comments and i read them with a lthanks.

Metin YILMAZ on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Report commentToboo, not that I disagree; but your comment reminds me of a recent kerfuffle near where I live involving an Orthodox Jewish couple, who have threatened to lodge a human rights complaint against their apartment landlord for refusing to unplug the cctv security system in their building on the Sabbath. They say this makes them prisoners in their flat, because Talmudic proscriptions against using electricity on the Sabbath mean they can’t open their front door between Saturday and Sunday evenings.

johnhenry on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Report comment@ sshorts, you are criticizing Will Heaven’s argument when you say “Who are ‘we’ to tell any other culture or religion how to behave.”


Are you not suggesting that we should not tell someone of another culture or religion how to behave? It certainly seems to me that you are making a moral judgment, and telling us how to behave (us being Mr. Heaven, me, the other readers, etc.). It also seems to me to be a relativistic position that isn’t logical.

I don’t believe in cultural relativism. I believe that some cultures, religions and ideas are better than others. Hence I think it is justifiable to criticize aspects of other cultures as right or wrong. Otherwise we have nihilism, or else “multiculturalism” that is cynically used for the purposes of advancing a particular culture.

Thank you, though, sshorts, for your civil response of 7:21 pm.

egil on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Report commentOne of these days the sisterhood is going to fight back. Pure oppression. Subjugation. The days of being mere chattel I thought were over. Not the way they do this religion it seems. An anathema to decency.


swatantra on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 8:29 pm


“ incorrect regarding orthodox Hasidic Jewish women”

Has he ever been correct about anything?

alhamilton18 on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Report commentJ de M also forgets that Jewish women are not routinely killed by the husbands or other male memebers of their family.

flashbuck on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Report commentSwanny- I have always wondered at the mind set of the women who stay with brutal and abusive mates- even defending them- Is there not an element of this in the female acceptance of this religion?

unsuprised on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 9:28 pm

Report commentMr Meulemeester:Yes women get beaten in Britain by their partners but tell me where it is legal to do so or it is written in statute that a man may do it.That’s the difference.

davetherave46 on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Report commentIslam is an anti-Semitic, homophobic, misogynistic religion. It hates Jews, homosexuals and women. Their Koran tells them to hate Jews, homosexuals and women. Islam shouldn’t be given more respect. It should be given less respect, because it’s standards are inferior.

And these are the standards being introduced into UK thanks to HMG’s misguided policy of multiculturalism and appeasement.

jackthesmilingblack on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Report commentegil

You said “I don’t believe in cultural relativism. I believe that some cultures, religions and ideas are better than others… Otherwise we have nihilism, or else “multiculturalism” that is cynically used for the purposes of advancing a particular culture.”

Doesn’t the last sentence actually apply to the western world? Surely westerners support multiculturalism (through UNESCO, etc.), but, in fact, it is just a way to mask the westerner’s real intention: to subjugate non-reconcilable religion and to advance their own particular culture. When we say things about “international community” or “international law”, we are actually referring to westerners and their point of view, respectively, because they are the one who is/was in control, and they wrote the UN charter, etc. So, of course you don’t support cultural relativism; you will only rigidly abide the “international law” (a.k.a. western law).

If we look at history, we can see how this disarray originated. During European (and American) colonialism, some nations force non-European subjects to convert to Christianity (especially true in places colonized by Spain and Portugal and, to some extend, Britain, France, etc.). Although this forced conversion had mostly died down (in part because the average westerners themselves no longer adhere to their religion firmly, and some even become atheists), the idea that western ideas and way of life should apply to every individual is still a strong one among westerners. This is called “western universalism”, and it all started when Christianity became dominant in the Roman Empire, if not earlier than that.

It is funny how you want to stop Muslims from even desiring to adhere to Islam properly, but at the same time allow some people to actually DO the wrong thing (e.g. drinking alcohol). It is all about westerner’s point of view, isn’t it?

personalcare on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Report commentGrammar revision: it should have been “how this disarray HAVE originated” instead of “how this disarray originated”.

personalcare on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Report commentNo it shouldn’t!

11263 on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 10:43 pm

Report comment@ johnhenry: Whilst I am not jewish my wife is, and there is an orthodox rabbi in her family. My understanding of the position of the orthodox couple to whom you refer is, that whilst they may not switch on the cctv themselves on their sabbath, it is not against their religion that others to do so. Were they to follow this line of argument to its logical conclusion, then the central heating must be switched off prior to the sabbath, as would any lights in the communal areas, even down to electrically operated clocks. As with all religions, there are always the fanatics, with their own agendas.

Toboo on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Report comment…the Muslim practices which, according to British values, we consider unacceptable.

Well, here are a few of them. There’s halal slaughter (End ‘cruel’ religious slaughter, say scientists), wife-beating, restricting free speech (Dutch MP banned from entering UK), and inbreeding (Muslim ‘inbreeding’ in Britain is causing massive surge in birth defects).

As for wife-beating, this report from Amnesty International says, ‘According to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, over 90% of married women report being kicked, slapped, beaten or sexually abused when husbands were dissatisfied by their cooking or cleaning, or when the women had failed to bear a child or had given birth to a girl instead of a boy.’

With most British Muslims of Pakistani origin, it’s no surprise to learn that similar violence occurs here as well: ‘Fatima Husain, a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology, has told how she sees Muslim women coming for treatment with strangle marks around their necks and bruises on their pregnant bumps.’ (The original Telegraph article is no longer available.)

I guess that most British people consider these and many other Muslim practices unacceptable, but, what chance of them being banned when the mainstream parties are falling over each other to win the Muslim vote?

•Johnny Rottenborough•

Johnny Rottenborough on Aug 22nd, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Report commentI bet there is more fuss about this than when the Saudi Arabians hacked off the head of one of their princesses for having an affair out of wedlock. Then, from Lord Carrington (Foreign Secretary) down, I remember the reaction was largely, ‘That is their culture let them get on with it’; and they did, and do get on with it still and we make hardly a squeak of protest because we need their oil and we need them to buy our military hardware.

Why don’t we require that all our trade partners and our political allies abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We should surely do so if it is to have credibility and not be something we enforce only where it suits our agenda? And surely this is against the declaration?

I was beaten at school with a cane a few times and the lasting damage it did to me was a complete loathing of any automatic acceptance of any authority. I think that is a kind of British attitude but not the one the caners were seeking to instil. What will happen of course is that now this sort of behaviour will be used as a cane with which to beat Islam generally. It has started already with the usual suspects hot off the blocks I see. But British law does not allow schoolboys to be caned any longer and it does not allow women to be caned either whatever their religion and in nearby Indonesia with a much larger Muslim population such behaviour is illegal. So it is not a universal way of interpreting Islam and there is no reason why it should be interpreted in Britain in that way. Secret sharia courts in Britain, and any other kind of specialist court, must be made illegal; the ideas of the Archbish of Cant in the past and the legalising of 5 sharia arbitration boards recently in Britain is utterly against the experiences of countries like Indonesia with the use of sharia and should be revoked pronto.

johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 1:20 am

Report commentWell personalcare, Multiculturalism actually arose from those who hate the West. It was abetted by liberalism, and it is now used heavily by promoters of ethnic-identity politics. The New Left, writers like Frantz Fanon and other haters of Western values are the promoters of Multiculturalism, not Western colonialists. The cynical use of Multiculturalism that I refer to is actually within the USA, the UK and western Europe. I wouldn’t equate it with the universalism or internationalist efforts that you suggest. Multiculturalism supposedly means the equality and embrace of all cultures, according to its advocates, but in practice in the USA and the UK it is always the elevation of certain specific cultures at the expense of Western culture.

The great, valuable principles that came from Western culture include individual liberties, the rule of law, science and respect for property. These are the things that need to be defended against Multiculturalism. The West advanced because of Judeo-Christian beliefs and Greco-Roman thought and achievement, and by embracing useful ideas from other cultures. As you suggested, destructive forces have been at work for a while, such as the decline of Christianity and reason, and this certainly has weakened the West.

But would most people in India, Brazil, Singapore, the USA or Australia want to get rid of the beneficial legacies of Western colonialism in their countries? I don’t think so, if they have any sense. And yes there has sometimes been a universalism coming from the West, but there have also been multitudes of people from the outside wanting Western values for themselves. They weren’t hypnotized by western universalists.

I and many other westerners do not support the “UNESCO multiculturalism” that you describe. I despise the UN, and I think that much foreign aid is wasteful and counterproductive. I also think “international community” is meaningless, except that it is used as a nice-sounding cover when advancing some political agenda. Some international law and cooperation is useful and necessary–I think we can be grateful to Interpol for instance. But how could the UN be a general mechanism for pushing westernization, when it has become mainly a tool for dictatorial regimes to get a world stage, as we see with Ahmadinejad, Chavez, etc.?

egil on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:22 am

Report commentToboo:

Thanks for not laughing at my 7:46 p.m. misstatement as to the timing of the Jewish Sabbath. (and don’t tell your Rabbi in-law:)

johnhenry on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:34 am

Report commentjohnpitcher

Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Who wrote these things? Surely these people are westerners (or at least western-minded). They have never even considered what Islam is.

As I said, westerners are so paternalistic. They believe that any rules that they improvise should apply to every human on earth. This is a legacy of their Christian background and an attempt to restore their golden age–colonialism–or at least maintain their position as, theoretically, the leader of the world.

Today, with the rise of Islam in the modern world (terrorism doesn’t count), westerners feel what Muslims felt 200 years ago (at the height of European colonialism, which is probably the weakest moment for Muslims)–xenophobia.

personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:53 am

Report commentpersonalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:53 am

I agree with a lot of that and a lot of your previous post. I however am looking at things from the point of view of how to alter the worrying increase in the way Islam is demonized in Britain. The more babaric practices committed in the name of the sharia and, usually, Wahhabist style Islam (at leats ultra conservative forms)are unacceptable in most Muslim majority countries and a lot of these have signed up to the universal declaration or at least accepted certain clauses into their own declarationa of rights (see clause 39 of the 1999 ammendments to Human Rights in the Consitution of Indonesia).


What I have been saying on posts here on the DT recently is that a repressive and mysoginistic element in the Koran can be interpreted in such a way as to suppress and subjugate in autocratic regimes with Muslim majorities. This style is assumed by many to be the norm and therefore Islam is thought of universally in this way. These practices are so much in conflict with western values that where Muslim communities exist in Europe they are under siege as the majority accuse them of things they probably abhor as much as their accusers.


It seems to me to go without saying that immigrants should obey the laws and customs of the country to which they have immigrated. I do here in Indonesia but it is no struggle to do so because the laws are based on Dutch Common Law and are pretty much the same as in Britain (Indonesia with around 190-200 million Muslims). That such societies as Indonesia exist in the Islamic world is proof to me that an enlightened form of Islam is possible; or if you do not like the word enlightened then a form that is compatible with a western view of societal norms.


I think also that it if we believe that the public butchery of people is repulsive we should not trade with the people doing the butchery; whatever their religion. We can’t stop them short of invading and inflicting our sense of justice, and I don’t agree with that, but by doing nothing we encourage people to think that we approve, and I don’t know about you but I don’t approve.

johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:20 am

Report commentegil:

“The West advanced because of Judeo-Christian beliefs and Greco-Roman thought and achievement…”

I beg to differ. If we look at history, the west had only advanced when they deviate from Christianity. For example, Copernicus baldly stood against his religion when he wrote his idea about the Copernican system (which is actually a model developed earlier BY Ibn Al-Shatir, a Muslim). Galileo faced similar persecution when he supported Copernicus. Also, westerners may have never recovered the works of the Greeks and Romans if it weren’t because of the Muslims.

So, in fact, Christianity have always been declining, at least with the originality sense, with westerners gaining from it.

Notice that there are a lot of flaws in the Bible–discrepancies, incompatibility with modern scientific thinking, etc. Most importantly, however, there are a lot of human authors for the Bible (which explains why it is full of discrepancies). The Qur’an, in contrast, has, besides theology, numerous scientific facts written in it. For example, it gives us a clear picture of the stages of human development in pregnant women. This is about fourteen hundred years before the discovery was made in the west. You can never disprove anything said in the Qur’an, not even its sciences.

And, surely those countries your were talking about want to keep the BENEFICIAL legacies of Western colonialism, but they certainly condemn the idea of colonialism itself, among other major malpractices of it, which offset the benefits. They wouldn’t want to be colonized by Britain again (Brazil: by Portugal), would they?

personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:41 am

Report commentjohnpitcher:

Dutch Common Law? Don’t think there is any such animal. Common law is essentially judge-made law that has evolved over ten(+) centuries, whereas Dutch law has its origins in Roman decree/statute law. Could be wrong.

As for Indonesians, I’d be gob-smacked to learn they have ever heard of the doctrine of ’stare decisis’, let alone follow it, except in the breach.

But all this is by-the-by to what I really wish to say - which is: when you insinuate that Muslim communities in Europe, by and large, abhor the barbarism of their more unenlightened brethren, I do wish you would kindly lead us yokels by the hand to the corpus of that quarter within the Euro-Muslim intelligentsia actually evidencing that liberal shibboleth.

johnhenry on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 4:14 am

Report commentIn reply to personalcare, 3:41 am: Actually Christianity is responsible for much intellectual, moral and technological advance. Universities, hospitals and other educational and charitable institutions were started by Christians of the Middle Ages, long before Copernicus and Galileo were even born. Monasteries were places of refuge for lay-persons in addition to clergy. Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne and other great schools were begun as Christian universities. Scientific method was promoted by Christian scholars. Great Christian scholars included Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, etc. It is also untrue that westerners would not have recovered Greek and Roman works if not for Muslims, because Christian monasteries in Europe and lands conquered by Islam preserved and copied Classical works, and Christians introduced the writings of Aristotle to Arabic speakers.

The travails of Copernicus and Galileo against church authorities does not prove that Christianity was a force for ignorance. From the early period of Christianity to the present, Christian belief has also encouraged intellectual pursuit. Islam has not always been a force for intellectual inquiry. During the Medieval period in Europe, Islam included a great reaction against mathematical, philosophical and scientific thought.

The Qur’an states how, for all time to come, militant jihad against non-Muslims is required. It says that unbelievers should be converted, killed, or discriminated against, Jews especially should be attacked, women should be subordinated, etc. There are many seeming contradictions in the Qur’an, yet the Islamic principle of abrogation means that later verses which call for militant jihad against non-believers are now and forever in force for Muslims.


egil on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 4:58 am

Report commentWell said, Egil. The role of Islamic scholiasts who helped to preserve Classical learning during the Dark Ages is known; but the Mid-Eastern ‘Studies’ claque overstates their significance. Actually, the “Irish Saved Civilization”, as Thomas Cahill tells us in his popular(but knowledgeable) book bearing that title, and as my parish priest, formerly of Kildare, never ceases to tell/bore me.

johnhenry on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 5:29 am

Report commentegil on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 4:58 am

Just as I thought: egil (whoever you are) is a typical westerner who clearly did not study world history properly, if ever.

1. The oldest university (in the sense of higher education) in the world was established in China in 258 CE as then-called the Nanjing University (now the National Central University).


2. The first ever hospital (modern hospital, which include emergency rooms, segregation of patients according to the disease, etc.) in Europe was in France, which used Middle Eastern (Islamic) hospitals as its model.

3. The first experimental scientific method was developed by Muslim scientists, not Galileo. The method emerged with Alhazen’s (”father of modern optics”) optical experiments, among other things. It was served as a response to Aristotle’s and Ptolemy’s way of thinking within Muslim world.

4. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the entire Europe, including Eastern Roman Europe, went chaotic. Education was the last thing that the people want to pursue in the Middle Ages because they only focus on fighting each other (see one of those knight movies) and try on alchemy. All of the great achievements of the Greeks and the Romans were lost. Muslims, however, started to recover the classical works and eventually made their own contribution to science. A lot of English words such as sugar, alkaline, cotton, algorithm, algebra, check/cheque, tariff, and thousands of other words have originated from Arabic, all because of the advancements made by the Muslims. I think you should check the etymology dictionary or something.

5. For example, astrolabe, which was developed by the Greeks, was perfected by the Muslims. I remember one World History textbook stated that Christopher Columbus may have not reached the Americas if the astrolabe were not perfected by the Muslims.

6. Christianity had encouraged non-religious (such as science) learnings only during and after the “Renaissance” (note that this is a Eurocentric application of the term). Islam had been encouraging education since the very beginning, as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) stated which means: “Seek education, even if you have to travel to places as far as China.”

7. Buy a translated version of the Qur’an and see if you can prove anything you have said about it.

personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:12 am

Report commentBut surely, “in care”, there is no such thing as a translated version of the Koran…er Qur’an.

johnhenry on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:26 am

Report commentjohnhenry on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:26 am


1. My nickname here is “personalcare”, not “in care”.

2. Yes, there is such thing. You know what I meant. What I mean by “translated version” is the direct translation, with no such interpretation added, into English from its original Arabic version. If you don’t trust that the translated version will merely be an English (or whatever) language version of the Qur’an (i.e. if you think something is added, dropped, or modified from/to the content), learn Arabic and refer to the original Arabic version to prove your argument(s) against the Qur’an. I know egil should do that. If you don’t bother to do this, don’t bother to criticize Islam.

personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:39 am

Report commentThank you johnhenry. It seems that personalcare is a product of Multicultural curricula.

egil on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 7:32 am

Report commentAll reigion is superstition. You remember when you were a child and afraid to step on the cracks in the pavement for fear of something horrible happening. Most of us grow out of that superstition; its irrational, but a large proportion of the human race does not. And Groucho Marx was absolutely right when he said religion is bunk and the crack of the masses. Its how the religious authorities in Room 101 can control you and get their tithes.

swatantra on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 8:16 am

Report comment“Has (Jackass the Mule) ever been correct about anything?

No Al - he’s never even come close.

45govt on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 9:00 am

Report commentSwatantrum:

Oh, never mind.


johnhenry on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 9:15 am

Report commentJust one thing - most kids were never afraid of that. Unlike you, they knew it was what we now call an ‘urban legend’.


One more thing - Groucho never said that.


And one more thing - I’m told ’swatantra’ in Sanskrit means brain-free; but I’m open to correction.

johnhenry on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 9:28 am

Report commentWhen we allow Muslim women to choose cut-off and submissive lives, we are letting them down.

Allow? Choose?What next - a Nuremberg-style proclamation?


Mrs Trellis on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 10:26 am

Report commentjohnhenry on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 4:14 am


Your right it is based on Dutch-Roman Law (in Indonesia it is sometimes referred to as the common law being the law of all and having primacy); and be gobsmacked because ’stare decisis et non quieta movere’ applies and is applied.

As to the other stuff reeking of the lofty disdain of base ignorance posing as superiority: I could lead you if you wished; I could take you here to the Universitas Gajah Mada Law Department and introduce to a friend of mine’s brother who lectures in law there. I could show you round the mosques and the villages and the city areas of Jave. We could visit Sumatra and my contacts and family there. We could go to the Catholic schools with majority Muslim pupils. We could go to the Muslim hospitals treating sick Christians. We could walk from my house to the Churches in our area and worship all together and we could attend the mosques and do the same. We could do all this and you would still not believe me because your agenda has nothing really to do with Islam at all. You do not want to be convinced that Islam is capable of being moderate, that Muslims do ignore the bloodthirstier parts of the Koran; and that the Koran was written in an early form of Arabic that does not even translate well into modern Arabic and into English it is terrible. You do not want to believe any of this because you and others have a totally different agenda and if the group you had decided should be the new hate group had been Eskimos, it would make no difference to you as it is the hatred that is important to your agenda. And if you wanted you could meet the Muslims of Britain from the rabid fundamentalist to the moderats and engage with them in debate. They are easily located, you don’t have to be led. It would not be difficult. There are some on this thread even now. Why not believe at least a part of what they say? Are they all congenital liars? Am I? What have any of us got to gain by lying? Another step towards the stablishment of an Islamic caliphate in Europe? Is that what you think? Well from my own point of view and research I can find no support at all, not one tiny little hint of support even from the most rabid of the fire breathers I can dig up, for the kind of crazy rubbish talked by the ‘anti-Muslim above all else crowd’; not here, not amongst the 200 million or so (give or take) that get on with a normal existence and do not want to know anything about Europe let alone invade it with an ideology.


Far right objectives are the stuff of the last century, the nightmares created then will not be repeated but they could be and therefore you must be argued with.


johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 11:19 am

Report commentBut none of my last post attends to the core argument here which is a good one (in the article). Muslim women are in danger, as are groups of people in all sorts of societies that transplant to another country often in search of relief from the abuses they suffered, whether these abuses were conducted under the guise of religious rules or village law or tribal custom. If we are to have pride in our own traditions and our own law we should apply them in our own country fairly and equally for all.


If some groups hide themselves and maintain old traditions of patriarchy or misogyny how much they should be sought out and exposed and inspected to see if they are within British Law or not is a good question. I think they should be. I don’t like secrecy. I don’t like the Masons. I don’t like secret societies especially those that have an all male agenda.


A lot of sharia style courts are no better than the kind of ‘adat’ village court we have still operating here in Indonesia where village disputes are supposed to be handled. There is no written book of law covering the way in which decisions are made. In some cases it works because the people of that village are decent, or there is a high percentage that are. But if you strike a village like ours where there is a corrupt little cabal the ‘adat’ system is terrible and is rule by a Mafia. The same thing can apply in sharia. The written parts are all debateable and not applicable in a lot of cases to the modern world. The fairness or otherwise of judgements is down to the minds and the agendas of elders in the community. I find this very unBritish and very dodgy and would like to see all courts of this kind for all special groups outlawed.


johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 11:41 am

Report commentOnce you accept the principles of ‘multiculturalism’ under one roof all the attendant issues and problems discussed above are inevitable and irresolvable -the conflicts and contradictions are never ending and totally debilitating.


We are dealing not with communities who wish to integrate but with vociferous and powerful elements who want to change the host community to suit their own values.


Perhaps the multiculturalists who have run the country for twenty years should take a step back and review the consequences of the naive experiment they have forced upon us .The reality is that we can now do nothing about the enormous often undesirable changes we have brought upon our society.


For example,how is it possible that we are even discussing ’sharia’ religious law -the adat village court -as being applicable in this country? Could anyone have imagined this twenty years ago?


Interestingly in today’s news we are reminded that the ‘peace walls’ separating the communities in Belfast are still in place -when. one wonders. will they be going up in Bradford?


Davidjay on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 1:21 pm

Report commentWell god sanctioned wife beating is one of the perks a guy will get for following the Quran. Must give those fellas a nice warm fuzzy feeling, knowing god wants you to do this.

And, lets not forget all the many, many commands to kill ALL Christians and Jews. Can you imagine how superior one can feel, just knowing god wants everyone dead except your group? The delights are endless.

Not least in this book of treasures, is the no-guilt clauses. Pathetic us, having to learn to tell the truth and be honest. Well the no-guilt clauses COMMAND you to lie to and deceive Christians. Why can’t we have a god who desire is for us to be liars? Think of all the hours we have spent trying so hard to be an upright chap. All this is eliminated, just by following this god.

No doubt about it, this Quran sure does understand the baser parts of our nature.

1bonnie on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Report commentegil & johnhenry

You obviously can’t argue against me because you can’t deny the truth, right?? And egil tried to change the subject.


1bonnie on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Actually, Islam never lies. Islam always tells the truth. I can prove this by using the sciences of the Qur’an, in contrast to the pathetic western version of the Bible. Christians always try to “change” the truth by writing new “holy” books, Inquisition (Catholism), Copernicus, Galileo, etc. I can go on and on stating the flaws of Christianity.

Also, if we look at history, and to some extend the present, Christians tried to wipe out all other religion and culture in the world with force in a manner worse than what you regarded as terrorism, through Crusades and colonialism and stuff. In the Middle East, Christians, Muslims, and Jews have always tolerated each other, but westerners stirred the place up, starting with the Crusades.


johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 11:41 am

Loh? Ngapain dengan Indonesia? Anak Indonesia gak bisa berAdat ya?

In Indonesia, the Islam there is very shallow. It is merely a surface of belief, which, if you go deeper, you will find that it is basically composed of Hinduism and Buddhism. Proper (not “extreme”) education in Indonesia is very poor. For example, I’ve met one Javanese woman who said that a member of her kinsman did not circumcise till his voice had changed. Though such things don’t occur in Hinduism and Buddhism, it is still not fundamentally acceptable in Islam (and also maybe Judaism).

Actually, Indonesia is not entirely secular. Aceh has established its own sharia law, and I reckon that other territories sought the same thing. It is more that just “adat law” as you’ve mentioned. It is an actual Islamic law rather than Indonesian custom law or a puppet law from westerners. Sharia law mostly doesn’t apply to non-Muslims (like you, as a non-Muslim, can’t be punished by Sharia court for drinking alcohol, as we see this situation in countries like Malaysia).

Again, this is a question about western paternalism/universalism. Westerners, in an attempt to hide the fact that they do not tolerate any other religion besides their own sect of Christianity, they try to champion things like human rights and stuff that clearly contradicts what they did the day before.

In the case of Turkey, Kemal Ataturk did not promote secularity; he promoted atheism. He prohibited Muslims from practicing their religion instead of giving people the right/freedom to practice their religion. Ataturk was harsh to his opposition (probably treat them worse than Ahmedinejad and Mao Zedong treating their respective oppositions), but westerners did not condemn his acts in view of the fact that he subjugate Islam. Even if he had locked up (and/or executed or something) his opponents in a worse fashion than that of the ISA (”Internal Security Act”) of Malaysia, westerners wouldn’t protest against it because both of you have the same goal: to turn back the tide of the modern rise of Islam and to forcefully impose western culture on Muslims. Human Rights organizations did not even want to touch on this issue, simply because the leader supports westernization, no matter how barbaric he is. The situation of Islam in Turkey (and the Balkans, among other places) is so bad that some of their people in Mecca performing pilgrimage cannot even read Arabic letters; every do’a and Qur’an texts were transliterated.

By the way, the name Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno above sounds awfully (not in a bad way, of course) Indonesian (more specifically, Javanese, I think).

Also, if we look at the history of Aceh, the Acehnese may never have fallen to the Dutch if they had adhered to the ulema, and thus Islam, instead of getting persuaded easily by the Dutch. The fact is that Islam can NEVER be defeated if Muslims follow the religion properly (with sharia law and such). You label some of the most extreme Muslims as terrorists, but the fact is that European (and American) colonialists of each nation did worse things to the non-Europeans than all the Islamic “terrorism” and “jihad” combined (examples of European inhumanity: forced conversion, destruction of the ships on their way to the Haj pilgrimage, etc.).

Another important fact: the may have never been such thing as Arab-Israeli conflict if the British hadn’t started it. It all started when Palestine was double-booked by the British—the British promised the land to the Jews, but at the same time promised the land to the Arabs who sought independence from then-Islamic Ottoman Empire. Now, the British are trying to cover up this stain in its history, sort of what egil and johnhenry are trying to do.


personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Report commentNote: it should be Catholicism, not Catholism. My bad.

Islam may be the only sufficient civilization to counter western dominance of the world, and it looks like it has already started. Sinic (Chinese) civilization may also be one, but even if it is, the confrontation has not started yet.

One of my relatives said that westerners will never be satisfied unless EVERYONE embraces their way of life. Conversion to Christianity is no longer required by them, but embracing western culture and way of life (ideology, economy, prostitution–which is common in Indonesia–, etc.) is, in their point of view, compulsory.


personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Report commentAlso, what I meant about the education in Indonesia is the Islamic education, which is very poor.


personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Report commentpersonalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 1:59 pm


The sharia in Aceh is as far as I know the only area in Indonesia in which it is practiced and, I am waiting for an answer on this from a lawyer friend, but I think their is a provision for any finding of a sharia court to be subject to appeal through the civil or criminal courts of normal law. The Aceh sharia agreement is part of the deal struck to end about 450 years of strife there that started at the beginning of the colonisation period, and was brought to an end by the tsunami. Or at least that disaster got everyone talking to one another.


Again this gets away from the content of the article which as I have said makes a point I find hard to argue with.

I agree that the Islam in Indonesia is not as conservative as in many places but I would argue that it is still Islam. In Aceh it is much more conservative. My point is that Wahhabis do not even accept that Sufism is Islamic. Islam comes in many forms and is not a monolithic block. Ataturk may well have promoted Atheism, I have no idea but Turkey’s Islam is different from Indonesia’s and from the Islam in the middle east; and there the religion varies enormously too as you know better than me. All this leads me to argue with the absolutists, who despite these points being made (Bonnie is typical) return again and again to the old misrepresentations that are a clear attempt to maintain prejudice and ignorance, that Islam is capable of adapting to and being a part of democratic, modern, systems of government; it is so capable.


johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Report commentpersonalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:14 pm


Steady now. Prostitution is common everywhere. In 1997 I was in Dubai staying for a while at the Green Sands Hotel. I had to take the phone of the hook to get away from the Russian and other central and East European girls calling to see if I wanted company. In the supermarkets it was the same. You could get a girl for half an hour for 50$ or less. Even Indians and Pakistanis who were working there could afford the occasional bit of relief. Indonesia is not awash with prostitutes anymore than anywhere else so get back in your box and behave and lets keep the debate relavent.


The Islamic education in Indonesia may be poor by your standards, and non-existent by the standards of a truly conservative Wahhabi, say; but my point is that it is still Islam and it satisfies 200 million Muslims and is workable with a secular democracy and Indonesia is and always has been secular since the constitution was first framed in 1945. If you are saying that this flexibility is a bad thing then I have to disagree with you because it is the kind of thing that allows a country to develop and be a part of the modern world, whether that world is eastern or western, and the kind of strict and conservative Islam that you appear to respect more is without doubt a barrier to the integration of us all.


johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Report commentTo personalcare


And you are right about the name. It is almost the same as the name of Ratna Sari Dewi’s daughter Kartika. Dewi was married to Soekarno (Sukarno in modern spelling) the name of this lady looks to me like a crib of Kartika’s name. Kartika is now married to a Dutchman.


johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Report commentjohnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:28 pm

It was only recently in 2003, a form of sharia, or Islamic law, was formally introduced in Aceh.

I agree with you that Islam is still practiced in Indonesia besides Aceh (as long as a person believes in one God and Muhammad–peace be upon him–as his messenger, he/she is a Muslim). But it is not in its acceptable form in Indonesia and Turkey, as, for example, there are no sufficient sharia law to assure justice, peace, etc. for the Muslims.

Also, what you are doing in Indonesia is the same as what the Muslims are doing in Britain. Both you and them are trying to change the local laws and customs to suit your respective cultural needs. If Britain hadn’t been as conservative as the Muslims in the Middle East, the government probably would have dropped the Church of England from being the official religion of the country and goes ahead to become your ideal secular state, in the form that you want Islamic countries to be.

Here, you implied that democracy in the modern system is good. Why, then, do you oppose the woman in this article from allowing herself to be caned? Where did the democracy go? It just seems like you would dismiss democracy altogether when it favors Islam. Another example of this is the condemnation of HAMAS rule in Palestine, which was clearly elected by the Palestinians. This blatant double standard is practiced by the west: according to westerners, democracy is only valid if it is against Islamic values and champions western values.


personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Report comment@ personalcare (1:59 pm)—Actually, Islam never lies. Islam always tells the truth.


That statement is itself a lie, an example of the deception (taqiyya) used by Muslims as one of the weapons in their jihad against the non-Muslim world.


In the Middle East, Christians, Muslims, and Jews have always tolerated each other…


In Islam, the Sira is a biography of the Prophet Mohammed, who is regarded by Muslims as the ideal man and someone to be emulated whenever possible. This passage from the Sira tells how Mohammed dealt with the Jewish tribe of Quraiza:


Then they [the tribe of Quraiza] surrendered, and the Apostle confined them in Medina in the quarter of d. al-Harith, a woman of Bani al-Najjar. Then the Apostle went out to the market of Medina and dug trenches in it. Then he sent for them and struck off their heads in those trenches as they were brought out to him in batches. Among them was the enemy of Allah, Huyayy bin Akhtab, and Kab bin Asad their chief. There were 600 or 700 in all, though some put the figure as high as 800 or 900. As they were being taken out in batches to the Apostle they asked Kab what he thought would be done with them. He replied, ‘Will you never understand? Don’t you see that the summoner never stops and those who are taken away do not return? By Allah it is death!’ This went on until the Apostle made an end of them.


Johnny Rottenborough on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Report commentjohnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Well, is Dubai pro-western or not? Make some better examples, people!

About integration. If we look at history, Islam, no matter how “conservative” they are, has always tolerated other religions, so long as those religions do not interfere with Islam. In contrast, Christian Europe had been hostile to the Jews, especially during the Black Death, Crusades, Spanish Reconquista, Nazi Germany, and so on. So, in fact, from the point of view of adherent Muslims, westernization is a barrier of tolerance between Muslims and non-Muslims. This is in part because the west thinks that non-westerners (or at least the people who do not embrace westernization) are “half-devil and half-child”, and it is “the White Man’s Burden” to “civilize” (”westernize”) these people.

Just to let you know that a country or individual or whatever can fully modernize without such westernization.


personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Report commentSo your idea is to encourage Britian to become secular? Won’t happen, not even in another 1000 years. That tactic is old hat and easy to see through. You’ll have to find another way to impose your Islam on people. Islam has the most invalid book I have ever read. The fact that your even ask why not be caned, shows how much enlightment Islam has bestowed on you.

Thought it is impossible for you to comprend, many people in the world despise what Islam stands for. Your crime is knowing and still accepting.

Islam loves lies and liars. It’s called Tiqiya. Look it up sometime. I’m sure you have a copy in your home.

Then your can join JP in the crime of knowing and still accepting.


1bonnie on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:40 pm

Report commentJohnny Rottenborough on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:33 pm

The Quraish/Quraiza Jews were condemned by the prophet only because they tried to destroy Islam in Mecca and Medina. Most of other Jews and Christians were regarded as the “people of the book” and as spiritually superior to all non-Abrahamic religious adherents.

About the lies that you alleged. Well, like I said to johnhenry and egil, take a Qur’an (or a translation of it, but with no added interpretative statements), and see if you can disprove any content in it.


personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Report commentpersonalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:05 pm


I am condemning the caning of anyone anywhere for anything. I condemn capital punishment anywhere. I condemn female genital mutilation and sex with children. You have to have judgements on things or you would accept anything anywhere as long as your own society behaved in a way that suited you.


Muslims makes judgements on others and on other countries but my point is that the judgements they make change from place to place and there is no clearly defined standard of Islamic practice except the one that suits an individual’s view and priorities.


You seem pretty conservative in your approach to Islam. My view of democracy in this case is that if the democratic will of the whole of the population of Malaysia is that there should be caning for the ‘crime’ of having a beer then that is fine and those who want to be caned and those who don’t if they break the law they should be caned. I don’t like it and I doubt it would get by a democratic vote on the issue over all of Malaysia and all Malaysians. And to restrict it to a Muslim only decision is to provide the possibility of distorted decisions, which is the point of the article I think, because how does anyone tell if a woman is freely agreeing when her position in society is culturally lower than the men making decisions about her?


I think sharia is incompatable with democracy. I don’t think Islam is incompatable with democracy. I view sharia as the problem. You view it as an essential part of Islam. Sharia in my view allows despotic regimes to suppress and subjugate the population. The sharia in Aceh as far as I know was introduced in 2005 (after the 26th. Dec. 2004 tsunami and negotiations) and as I say is a truncated form and rather a one off that will possibly, and in my view hopefully, be revoked now that the Indonesian government has been elected with a strong mandate for democracy and the religious parties have again lost support. I have to point out that in a country where there has been every chance for a stronger and more conservative Islam with control of the political process and the law since August 17th. 1945 this option has been consistently and freely declined.


I agree HAMAS should have been accepted; that it wasn’t is all of a part with another debacle and not really to do with a conflict between conservative and liberal Islam but more to do with which terrorist organisation suited the agenda of outside influence the best.


johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Report comment1bonnie on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:40 pm

If you don’t want Britain to become secular, don’t ever bother to try to say that a Muslim (or Muslim-majority) country should be secular, which they shouldn’t.


personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:50 pm

Report comment1bonnie on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 3:40 pm


Then your can join JP in the crime of knowing and still accepting.


I don’t think you read what people write Bonnie. I am not accepting sharia. I think it is the problem. I have said consistently that it is used by despotic regimes against the populations. I have pointed out that it is not part of the life of the majority of Muslims who live under democratic governments around the world. That it is not a part allows these populations to be a part of a modern world and able to trade and move freely and develop alongside other eastern religions and religions in the west. You simply keep banging on about stuff you have found in the Koran which I have also said (in the other threads we were on recently) is a bloody awful read and god comes across as a jerk.


My interest is in trying to get people to understand that there can be a separation in Islam. Personalcare would not agree but he agrees that it is done. If it can be seen to be a fact, and it is a fact, then it surely opens the way for societies in Europe to begin some serious work on integrating their Muslim communities into the mainstream of their country and dissolving what people like you and the rest seem determined to view as a threat.


johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Report commentjohnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 4:02 pm

“My interest is in trying to get people to understand that there can be a separation in Islam.”

Is this another of your British-style “divide and conquer”? I think Muslims had enough of that in colonialism in the past.


personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Report comment@ personalcare (3:46 pm)—Most of other Jews and Christians were regarded as the “people of the book” and as spiritually superior to all non-Abrahamic religious adherents.


‘People of the Book’ or not, Allah still ordered the Muslims to fight Jews and Christians (and all non-Muslims), and only to spare their lives if they converted to Islam or consented to live in dhimmitude:


9:29. Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [Islam] among the people of the Scripture [Jews and Christians] until they pay the Jizya [tax] with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.


@ …take a Qur’an (or a translation of it, but with no added interpretative statements), and see if you can disprove any content in it.


The Qur’an is a work of fiction; I could no more disprove its contents than I could disprove the contents of any work of fiction. It was invented by the Prophet Mohammed to justify the way he wanted to live. Take the following passage, dreamt up by Mohammed so that he could marry as many women as he wanted:


33:50. Prophet, We have made lawful to you the wives to whom you have granted dowries and the slave-girls whom Allah has given you as booty; the daughters of your paternal and maternal uncles and of your paternal and maternal aunts who fled with you; and the other women who gave themselves to you and whom you wished to take in marriage. This privilege is yours alone, being granted to no other believer.


Mohammed craftily restricted the privilege to himself, making sure that he would always have an abundance of new partners. Incidentally, my copy of the Qur’an adds a footnote here: ‘At this time Mohammed had nine wives, apart from slave-girls.’


Johnny Rottenborough on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Report commentpersonalcare, 1:59 pm: I think I’ve already presented a sufficient argument against yours. I stand by my statements. Christian clergy preserved learning throughout the Dark Ages and afterwards. You were wrong to dismiss that when you said “Education was the last thing that the people want to pursue in the Middle Ages because they only focus on fighting each other (see one of those knight movies) and try on alchemy. All of the great achievements of the Greeks and the Romans were lost.”

While there was much violence in Europe AND the rest of the world at that time, sincere Christian practice and ideals continued and were a force for good throughout the Dark Ages. I suggest that you get the history of that period from places beyond movies and propaganda. You also need to remember that Islam was spread by the sword, throughout the Mediterranean area. And Charles Martel was not fighting shadows in the 8th Century AD. He was fighting Islamic invaders. And the Crusades were in response to Islamic military conquests.

The Christian emphases on charity, education and the value and rights of individual men and women came from Judaism, Christ and the Bible, and Christianity thereby greatly influenced world history. These Christian ideals were not dependent on Islamic influence, and they have had great benefits for the West and the world, whether or not you accept that.

I apologize for my personal comment against you at 7:32 am, but I think you need to read some things besides anti-Christian material. I pray that God brings you, me and everyone else in this discussion closer to Him.

egil on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Report commentLoad of crap,all the muslims interested in thier way of life,they have a choice ,leave, and live in a muslim country,all have a right to thier religion,but its is in thier place of worship,and family values,if they want national laws ,they in the wrong country ,this is a christain If parliment has decided, we are no longer a christain country ,then make it known by law.and advocate ,we are no longer a christain country.

joseph on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Report commentIt is always a pleasure to watch nature’s favorite snake in the grass. How you love to “slip” your words into people’s head. Islam and Sharia can not be separated. You know that. It is in England right now. Comes in like a lamb, until population increases, then turns into a rabid dog.

1bonnie on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Report commentJohnny Rottenborough on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:11 pm

“‘People of the Book’ or not, Allah still ordered the Muslims to fight Jews and Christians (and all non-Muslims), and only to spare their lives if they converted to Islam or consented to live in dhimmitude:”

That is not the case. It is normal for a government to tax its own people. Muslims have to pay about 2.5 percent of their income to the government for zakah (charity). Since this sharia law cannot be applied to the non-Muslims, Jizia, with a similar figure, is used as a tax law for the non-Muslims. Nobody can force a non-Muslim-born individual to convert to Islam. This is generous enough, considering the fact that Spain and Portugal literally lined the Native Americans up and shot them if they refuse to convert to Catholicism. But when a non-Muslim refuses to pay the tax, I would equate him/her to a bunch Islamic extremist, or even an Irish Catholic, living in Britain who is not willing to pay taxes.

“Mohammed craftily restricted the privilege to himself, making sure that he would always have an abundance of new partners.”

What? Absurd. He did not have many wives to “have fun”. If he did have fun, then why didn’t he even a single son?

egil on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:35 pm

I think you are far from correct.

Original Christian ideas do not encourage education other than the religion itself. As I said, western sense of curiosity and inquiry about education had only developed during the Renaissance.

The Crusades happened because the Christians wanted to take Jerusalem (that area in Israel that is currently under the control of the Jews) from the Muslims, not because of Islamic military conquest. The Catholic Pope tried to work with the Eastern Orthodox Church to reverse the Great Schism (which proved unsuccessful). There is a side effect: Christians think that if they are willing to go all the way to the Middle East to fight the Muslims, leaving the Jews (which Christians regarded as “the murderer of Jesus”) at home is unthinkable. So the Jews were persecuted in Europe during the Crusades, and native Christians in the area were the expense of westerner’s violence as it created mistrust between them and the Muslims. In the end, fortunately for the Christians, Saladin was generous enough to allow Christians to enter Jerusalem freely.

Christian theological ideas may be independent from Muhammad’s Islam, but Christians may have never progressed at any time after the fall of the Roman Empire if Muslims were not there to preserve earlier works. European Renaissance started in Italy because Italy is one of the only areas Europe that traded with the Muslim world. The first ever paper, a technology originated from China, mill in Europe was in Muslim Spain. A lot of ideas were passed on to Europe from the Muslim world (and actually some, but not most, of these ideas have its origins in Greece and Rome). For example, Avicenna, who was a pioneer of experimental medicine and was also an influential thinker and medical scholar, wrote The Canon of Medicine (1025) and The Book of Healing (1027), which remained standard textbooks in both Muslim and European universities until at least the 17th century.

Some western culture, such as wine-drinking, have disappeared from the cultures of the Muslim parts of the Middle East.

If you actually learn the history of Europe itself, you notice that there are no names like “Aristotle” or “Newton”. That is because Europe did not progress during the Middle Ages. The Muslim world, in contrast, have great names during the Middle Ages, with most of them Latinized in Europe, such as Avicenna, Geber, al-Khwārizmī, etc.

So I think you should buy one of those WORLD history textbooks to study REAL history. Even those western-biased ones praised Islamic achievements in the fields above.

Stop trying to cover your dirty history/past.

Insha Allah.

personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Report commentpersonalcare, you are also terribly wrong about Ataturk. To suggest that he was worse than or as bad as Mao or Ahmadinejad is completely false.

egil on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Report commentNote: when I said about the history of Europe, the names shown did not came in the MEDIEVAL period. If forgot to acknowledge that. My bad.

personalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Report commentpersonalcare, you need to remember that Jerusalem and the surrounding Holy Land were part of the Byzantine Empire and were Christian, before those lands were conquered by Muslims. In the 1050’s AD, before the Crusades started, Muslims expelled many Christians from Jerusalem and prohibited European Christians from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. When the Seljuks took over the Holy Land they murdered thousands in Jerusalem, and continued to attack Christians within their lands and among the Byzantines nearby. The Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Comnenus asked western Christendom for help, and Pope Urban II then called the First Crusade.

You cannot accurately claim that the Crusades were just conducted for cynical reasons. Scholarship confirms that many Crusaders were sincere in wanting to win the Holy Land back for Christendom. You regularly attribute immoral or cynical motives towards the West in your arguments, and you claim that Islam is pure. That is certainly not historical.

Islam has continually spread violently, from its very beginnings. And again, Muslims justify violent Jihad in the present day because of the long-standing Islamic principle of abrogation or naskh regarding Islamic scriptures, which claims to validate violent Jihad.

egil on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Report comment@ personalcare (7:50 pm)—…why didn’t he have even a single son?

All of Mohammed’s sons died in infancy: al-Qasim and Abdullah from his first wife, Khadija, and Ibrahim from his concubine, Mary.

Johnny Rottenborough on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Report commentMuslim claims to the intellectual or scientific world have been debunked all over the world by authorties in the subject matters.

It seems, they have been making untrue claims and have been unmasked as actually publishing papers and books of distortion.

All and I mean ALL claims in the Quran were at that time ‘borrowed’ from the real greats of the time period.

1bonnie on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Report commentpersonalcare on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Is this another of your British-style “divide and conquer”? I think Muslims had enough of that in colonialism in the past.

No; it is a situation that patently exists for the majority of Muslims and all who live under democratic governments and you have accepted that is true by acknowledging that Islam has syncretised well with the pre-existing Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms in Indonesia, and even more remarkably with the pagan and animist tradtions that were before them.

Britain has no wish to divide and rule and has no imperial ambitions any more. Its only objective, or the objective of the sane who are trying to find a way of integrating different cultures and faiths within Britain, is to help all concerned reach a compromise that reflects the pluralist nature of British society. And that is not a multi-cultural society which scheme has been a failure, but one where the traditions of the itinerant majority; their law system and their social behaviour, are the model that runs the country. I am saying the compromises needed on the side of the Muslim immigrants to Britain can be made besause they have been made all over the world and are working. It seems to me that the biggest hurdle to overcome is the one that splits sharia from the religion. Islam is not going to work as an ideology, as a blueprint, for complete social, legal, commercial and religious life any more than that other famous ideology that has many features of its understanding of society in common with Islam; Communism is ever going to work. Neither has the ability to unite humanity without the imposition of its will by force; however Islam, unlike Communism, has the ability to give communities a common method of reaching out to the one and only god that all monotheists believe exists.

johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Report comment1bonnie on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 6:36 pm

To Bonnie.

The lie to the theory that Islam comes in like a lamb and turns into a rabid dog is given by experiences in countries like Indonesia where Islam came in with traders and merchants and immigrants; as you say, like a lamb. Local populations were under no compulsion to accept Islam but did as long as it blended with their own historic beliefs. It did this and has never turned into a rabid dog. Again your rabid dog analogy is rubbish, emotive, and seems to be driven by a desire to demonise against the facts whatever is told to you.

As to the scientific inventions; honours are held evenly between many cultures and religious traditions and were mostly discovered well after the Koran was written so I think this is simply a further attempt to discredit Islam by continually dragging stuff up from a book most Muslims treat with respect but not awe; as Christians treat the Bible. We all compromise the texts and the instructions of ancient literature to find truths that are worth remembering today, and gently accept the rest relates to a world that no longer exists.

How many Catholics really think the Pope is omnipotent? It is a compromise. And what is your prescription for helping the Muslim community, and other communities, in Britain integrate with the rest? Remember that most of them are British citizens and some have been here for several generations. Is it to re-institute a milder form of the ‘Final Solution’? I don’t think so. You haven’t the nerve to suggest that. You habven’t the nerve to suggest anything. Your agenda I suspect is the same as JohnnyRottenburgh and others on here; it is to refuse to do anything but continually tout nihilistic hatred so as to increase fear and bring succour to marginal right wing elements who are seeking power in our legislature and in the EU. You have no interest in solving a problem because your ends are best served by creating a problem.

johnpitcher on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 11:39 pm

Report commentJohnny Rottenborough on Aug 23rd, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Isn’t it time that for once you addressed the issues rather than indulging yourself in a rolling condemnation of the Koran and the motives of Mohammad and his lifestyle? Here is an article that makes the relevant point that a woman is going to be treated in what in Britain (and here in majority Muslim Indonesia) is considered a barbaric fashion. The writer uses this to ask a serious question about western societies acceptance of such rulings by Islamic courts; and points out that if we allow the same kind of courts in Europe we are probably failing in our duty of care as a society to the Muslim women within our communities. Good question; so where are your ideas? Where are Bonnie’s ideas? Where are your ideas for the integration of immigrant communities generally? What are your answers to the problems posed by a religious faith that is also a legal, a commercial and a societal ideology to many as well as a religion? How do you answer that fact that this religion has in most cases around the world adapted and compromised and since this is the case how does a country such as Britain educate immigrants of all nations and religions into the laws and traditions of life in Britain, and help them to compromise?

Where is the sense in continuing to hawk prejudice when there are genuine problems that must be addressed? What is your purpose in doing this? Try and get away from the blind alley stuff and start to address modern realities.

johnpitcher on Aug 24th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Report commentYou are a man full of himself, JP. Since when, from the beginning of creation has any nation run on its own steam. EVERYTHING, is done by decree from the Most High. All His commands are implemented and excuted. You have not ears to hear. That also is decided at His decree. You are a small man, involved with the small deceits, that you derive your sense of importance from. You listen to the pride of deceit.

It is as old as the hills. Many times we have heard that, bs is top dog, only the strong survive, take what you can, terror will conquor, IT IS SO MUCH BETTER TO COMPROMISE.

Every sentence you write is a passive/agressive and always in hiding from the truth in your mind. Who gives a damm if bears shit in the wood. Bears do what bears are.

And you are a silly nit-wit if you think there is fear in the west from a bunch of incompetant fools. It is your inability to comprend that leads you to this false conclusion.

Your Quran claims you will be the Masters of Deceit. Seems to me, you are not.

1bonnie on Aug 24th, 2009 at 12:28 am

Report comment1bonnie on Aug 24th, 2009 at 12:28 am

I just don’t understand that at all Bonnie. I am not a Muslim so the ‘Your Quran’ stuff doesn’t figure at all.

And where in what I presume is a personal attack on me (it is pretty incoherent…. been at the sherbet have you dear?) is there any sign of the positive look at the problems of integrating immigrants into Europe and protecting women within Islam who are part of communities in Europe, that I mentioned you might like to have a pop at contributing? Nowhere is it? You have returned to the Bonnie Rotten school of punk theology and cod psychology and generalised insult like a child grabbing for its dummy. Waaah! You are a horrid deceiver and appeasement of terror is always wrong. Oh boy it doesn’t get any more nihilistic than that does it? Come on, get some sleep and come back sober enough to put together something that addresses the issues and not just drags up prejudice that several of us have shown is not supported by facts.


If you don’t like Islam that is fair enough (I don’t like Wahhabism. I don’t like the Masons. I don’t like the British monarchy; but all these dislikes are based not on historic stuff but the facts and effects they have on modern societies. How you live with Islam is important because live with some form of it you will have to in a minority of the community, so why not think how that might be sensibly achieved? It is what the article asked and for an answer it deserves something better than your muddled maunderings.


If you believe that Islam is represented by a bunch of incompetent fools then what the hell are you arguing about and why are you bothering to post all the ‘What the Quran says’ stuff? Your logic has gone and I suspect the ingestion of sherbet is to blame.


johnpitcher on Aug 24th, 2009 at 1:56 am

Report commentYou don’t get it, do you? I was born to deal with the fluff and crap that wannabe intellectual deceivers like you, think they can impose on the world. Do you believe yourself to be a first, or an orignial? Think again.

The very idea that a man whose mouth is full of baloney has anything to impart to even the simpletons of the earth is a joke.

Have you gone up to build the wall? It is a mandatory requirement to speak in the earth. I did this when I was three years old. You do not deceive me.


1bonnie on Aug 24th, 2009 at 2:54 am

Report comment1bonnie on Aug 24th, 2009 at 2:54 am


Put the top back on the bottle Bonnie. You have lost it. What wall? Speaking in what earth? I am not trying to deceive you; is that what the voices are saying? Don’t listen to the voices Bonnie they are not there.


And try to get back to the subject. You made some comments on another thread about the kind of situaion described in the article and the misogyny of Islam; here is a chance to expand your thoughts into a constructive pattern, why not give it a shot?


johnpitcher on Aug 24th, 2009 at 3:20 am

Report commentThank God this woman is not going to be caned….she is cute…from what I can see….btw…where is the husband\father(s) of the children? He has not been mentioned anywhere….he should be caned if he abandoned his children….now that is a crime!!!


richierichpeter on Aug 24th, 2009 at 6:04 am

Report commentIs drinking alcohol a freedom? Or

Waiting in a bar drowning endless beer and waiting for someone to partner with for the night a freedom?

Is commercialisation of naked woman a real freedom?


sarkozy on Aug 24th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Report commentIf you want to drink and party whuy don’t you do in the confines of your house rather than public space, when you know that the law of land prohibits that?


sarkozy on Aug 24th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Report commentI didnt think ‘British Values’ were considered anymore!!!


freddy66 on Aug 24th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Report comment@ johnpitcher (12:00 am)—To a Muslim, the Qur’an is the word of Allah. It informs everything that he believes and how he must behave. It cannot be ignored in any discussion of Islam. I’m more than happy to draw attention to the Qur’an as a means of alerting others to the threat that Islam poses to Europe. Many people probably think that Islam is just like Christianity but with mosques instead of churches; I’m trying to make them see otherwise.


Johnny Rottenborough on Aug 24th, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Report commentMuslim men don’t have to wait in a bar. They have the convienience of the 10 minute marriage. Or maybe the çontract would read for one or two days. That’s another muslim perk.

You know the ladies of the night would be interested in your theory JP. Just think, their pimps would get legal status by just having a written contract. I mean how can Britian proscute when sharia says its legal?

Maybe the pimps can call it the Ladies of the Night Belief.

Freedom? Yes, it is freedom. Freedom to choose which way you will go in life. Some people make bad choices, but they are free to do so.

You think you can FORCE everything to go the way you have decided is best. You have much to learn.

You think that by having a 10 minute marriage, while having 4 wives makes you any better than the pimp?

Not so. Get the log out of your own eye, before commenting on the speck in anothers eye.

1bonnie on Aug 24th, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Report commentThank goodness catholic women are protected by a secular state in the UK from the baleful effects of catholic teaching on contraception, abortion and divorce. It is important that the state resists absolutely attempts to “import” catholic law (e.g on adoption) into Britain.

 Peter51 on Aug 24th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Report commentFor all those who are interested to free their minds from fear and confusions and being in the shade of grey everyday. Please click on my name or go to

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Do U dare to know the truth, nothing but the truth about everything there is to know? I dare U. Don’t just be brave to attack and ridicule. Be brave to know the truth too. It would help you in becoming a better person and find peace with yourself, no matter what truth you chose to believe in. I have no power over U.

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srizals on Aug 25th, 2009 at 12:40 am

Report comment@srizal,

The only problem with your offer is that there is NO TRUTH in Islam. It would be a waste of time.

What ever the comments on this site, they have at least some honesty.

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