Saturday, April 29, 2017

Smokescreens in Islam: Confusing the Public about the Facts

In this mailing:
  • Denis MacEoin: Smokescreens in Islam: Confusing the Public about the Facts
  • Mohshin Habib: Saudi Arabia's 'Lavish' Gift to Indonesia: Radical Islam

Smokescreens in Islam: Confusing the Public about the Facts

by Denis MacEoin  •  April 29, 2017 at 5:00 am
  • Qadri's admirable take on terrorism conceals another large elephant in the room. Islam has for centuries used violence against non-Muslims in what is considered a legitimate manner: through jihad. It is not simply that Muslim armies have fought their enemies much as Christian armies have engaged in war. Jihad is commanded in the later verses of the Qur'an, is endorsed in the Traditions and the biography of Muhammad, and codified in the manuals of shari'a law. Qadri knows this perfectly well, and at times inadvertently reveals as much in several ways.
  • Qadri does not just insist that Islam is a religion of peace and security. By tucking all references to jihad in footnotes in transliterated Arabic, he never has to explain what it is about and how it relates to his rulings on what is and what is not permissible.
  • It is hard to be a reasonably knowledgeable Muslim and not know that calls for violence pervade the Qur'an and sacred traditions, or that Islamic armies have been fighting European Christians, Indian Hindus, and others since the 7th century.
  • Islam, after all, conquered Persia, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Spain and most of Eastern Europe -- until its armies were stopped at the gates of Vienna in 1863.
When Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri conceals important information and distorts Arabic vocabulary in order to drive home a narrative of Islam's deep connection to peace and security, he is engaged in setting up a smokescreen. (Image source: ServingIslam/Wikimedia Commons)
Following the terrorist attack outside Britain's Houses of Parliament on March 22, 2017, it was not surprising or wrong that many Muslims denounced the attack and declared it to be un-Islamic. Two days afterwards, Dr. Mohammed Qureshi, chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Shropshire Islamic Foundation, said:
We need to be united in this situation.
We should not give any religion a bad name and these people need to be dealt with in full force and there should be zero tolerance when it comes to dealing with them.
My heart goes out to these victims. And my heart goes out to the people's families and those who are injured. I pray they all have peace in their minds.
He added:
There is no place for these acts in the religion of Islam.
The people are being radicalised and the young and vulnerable people need to be protected.
We need to disassociate this with Islam, as Islam is a religion of peace.

Saudi Arabia's 'Lavish' Gift to Indonesia: Radical Islam

by Mohshin Habib  •  April 29, 2017 at 4:00 am
  • Prior to Saudi Arabia's attempts to spread Salafism across the Muslim world, Indonesia did not have terrorist organizations such as Hamas Indonesia, Laskar Jihad, Hizbut Tahrir, Islamic Defenders Front and Jemmah Islamiyah, to name just a few. Today, it is rife with these groups.
  • A mere three weeks after the Saudi king wrapped up his trip, at least 15,000 hard-line Islamist protesters took to the streets of Jakarta after Friday prayers, calling for the imprisonment of the capital city's Christian governor, who is on trial for "blaspheming the Quran."
  • In a separate crisis, crowds were demanding that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (known familiarly as Ashok) be jailed for telling a group of fishermen that, as they are fed lies about how the Quran forbids Muslims from being governed by a kafir (infidel), he could understand why some of them might not have voted for him. If convicted, Ashok stands to serve up to five years in prison.
President Joko Widodo of Indonesia (foreground, left) meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia (foreground, right), at Halim Perdanakusuma Airport in Indonesia. (Image source: Indonesian Presidential Palace)
Accompanied by a 1,500-strong entourage, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz arrived in Indonesia on March 1 for a nine-day gala tour. He was welcomed warmly not only as the monarch of one of the world's richest countries, but as the custodian of Islam's two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina.
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Why Is Female Genital Mutilation Still Happening in the U.S.?



Why Is Female Genital Mutilation Still Happening in the U.S.?

by Phyllis Chesler
Fox News
April 27, 2017
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Originally published under the title "FGM is Illegal in the United States. So Why Is It Still Happening Here?"

Knowingly subjecting someone to female genital mutilation (FGM), whether within U.S. borders or abroad ("vacation cutting"), is illegal under federal law.
Let's be clear: FGM (female genital mutilation) is illegal in the United States. That fact did not stop Drs. Humana Nagarwala, Fakhruddin Attar, and his wife Farida Attar, from allegedly performing these criminal and human rights atrocities against two vulnerable 7-year-old girls in the Detroit metro area. The physicians and Attar's wife have all been arrested. According to Fox 2 News in Detroit the three have been charged with female genital mutilation and conspiracy. The doctors are also charged with making false statements to investigators and trying to obstruct the investigation.
For years, many Muslims have insisted that the practice of FGM has nothing to do with Islam, that it is, originally, an African and pagan custom. This may be true. However, many Muslims believe it is religiously required.
Many Muslims believe female genital mutilation is religiously required.
Boldly, cleverly, the Detroit-area physicians are arguing that FGM is a "religious practice" and that to interfere with it is tantamount to religious discrimination. There is some proof that Mohammed allowed a female "exciser" to perform this mutilation -- but he advised her not to "overdo it."
In the Islamic world, FGM is practiced most widely in the in the Arab Muslim Middle East, both in the Gulf and in African states such as Egypt, Somalia, and Sudan; but it has increasingly spread to Muslim communities in Central Asia (parts of Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran) and to the Far East (Malaysia and Indonesia).
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is not at all like male circumcision. Not only is the capacity for sexual pleasure destroyed, but complications are routine and include bleeding, painful urination, cysts, and dangerous and recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections. The growth of scar tissue can make marital intercourse a nightmare and turn childbirth into an experience of danger and torture.
The New York Times opted not to use the term FGM in its article about the Nagarwala/Attar case. The paper's Health and Science editor later explained that the term is too "culturally loaded."
FGM also increases the likelihood of newborn deaths. In addition, some girls and women develop fistulas and become incontinent. They are doomed to defecate and urinate without control. Absent effective surgery, this is a life-long condition that leads to a woman being shunned by her family.
And then there is a life-long post-traumatic stress disorder that normally accompanies the experience of having been forced into such suffering, traditionally at the hands of a female butcher, usually the mother or grandmother.
In the West, misguided concepts of "multi-cultural relativism" and fear of offending an increasingly hostile Muslim and African immigrant population has condemned those girls and women who live among us and who deserve their rights under Western law.
Whether FGM is understood to be a religious or a tribal custom, like polygamy, child marriage, normalized daughter-and-wife battering, incest, and "honor killing," it has no place in the West.
Those who choose to live here should obey our laws; the freedoms for which we have fought should extend to all Americans, not only to some.
Phyllis Chesler, a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum, is an emerita professor of psychology and women's studies and the author of sixteen books.



Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Female genital mutilation and what we're really talking about beneath the weasel words 'genital cutting'

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Female genital mutilation and what we're really talking about beneath the weasel words 'genital cutting'



Ayaan Hirsi Ali, founder, the AHA Foundation
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, founder, the AHA Foundation  (Courtesy AHA Foundation)

The recent news that a grand jury in Michigan has indicted three people, including two doctors, for female genital mutilation is a welcome development. As the first ever prosecutions of this crime in the United States, the case shines much needed light on an underground human rights abuse that has been going on for too long. Female genital mutilation has been deliberately covered up by those practicing it here or sending their daughters overseas during summer break to be mutilated outside of the law.

Yet, ham-fisted attempts to appear culturally sensitive by the likes of the New York Times reporting on this story will push these issues underground once more. The newspaper’s Health and Science Editor wrote that referring to female genital mutilation as ‘genital cutting’ is less ‘culturally loaded’ and will help to bridge a gap between those who practice FGM and those who campaign against it. In her eyes it’s a case of Africa vs. the West.

As an African who was subjected to FGM, now living in the West, allow me to help bridge that gap by explaining what we’re really talking about beneath the weasel words ‘genital cutting’.

There are five types of female genital mutilation performed on girls from as young as five years of age. Four of them are unarguably mutilation, and the other is designed to symbolize mutilation. I will start with the mildest.

1. The ‘nick’: The girl is held down, her legs pushed apart and a needle is used to prick her clitoris. The incision is similar to a finger prick test for diabetes, blood comes out and the girl is considered ‘cleansed’. Often there is a ritual with a little party to celebrate the procedure.

2. ‘Female circumcision’: The second method in terms of severity is often compared to male circumcision. The hood of the clitoris is cut off, in some cases the tip of the clitoris is cut off, known as clitoridectomy. In this form, an otherwise normally functioning body part is sliced off and thrown out. Disfiguring a little girl’s genitals in this way cannot rationally be considered anything but mutilation.

3. Intermediate infibulation: In the third form of FGM, as much of the clitoris as possible is dug out and removed. The inner labia are cut off and the outer labia are sewn together leaving two small holes for urination and menstruation. In places where this is done without ‘medical intervention’ girls have been known to bleed to death. After infibulation is done it is imperceptible what has taken place when the girl stands up with her legs together, but in the obstetrician’s position it is clearly visible that parts of her genitals have been removed and sewn up.

Sadly, we are only just past half way and female genital mutilation gets worse. No doubt setting out these practices in detail is disturbing but it is crucial that we speak openly about what is taking place rather than shroud it in euphemism so as not to cause offence.

4. Total infibulation: In the fourth type of FGM the clitoris and inner labia are cut off and the outer labia are cut or scraped off too, then sewn up. When the girl stands, even with her legs closed, her genitals clearly look different.

5. Vaginal fusing: In the fifth type of FGM, which is rarely discussed, all of the fourth type is done and then the inner walls of the vagina are scratched to cause bleeding and the sewing is again done. The girl’s feet are tied together in an effort to fuse the two sides of the vagina with scar tissue to close it up. Children can die undergoing this.

It is hard for people outside of communities practicing FGM to understand what is taking place. One example that has stayed with me over the years was a woman in the Netherlands that I translated for.

I accompanied her to visit an obstetrician as she was having great difficulty with urination and menstruation. She showed the doctor her genitals after being subjected to the fifth and most severe type of FGM with her genitals completely removed. The stunned doctor asked if she had been burned. He could not believe that what had been done to her was deliberate, he assumed it must have been a horrific accident. But, it was no accident.

It’s for women like her that I started the AHA Foundation as a resource to help women and girls who are truly bridging the gap between worlds and cultures. They are living in the United States under the protection of our laws and Constitution but suffering human rights abuses imported from overseas.

The aim of FGM in all its forms is to control female sexuality. The clitoris is removed to take physical pleasure from sex and reduce the libido. In its more severe forms, involving sewing the genitals up, the aim is to ensure the girl is a virgin on her wedding night. Many women must be surgically re-opened (or simply with a pen knife or razor blade) in order to consummate their marriage.  The consequences of FGM are ongoing psychological and physical harms from infections to fistulas and even death.

Even in its most mild form, the ‘nick’ procedure involves a young girl being held down by her loved ones and a needle poked into one of her most sensitive body parts. The moment this is done the child becomes sexually aware, she can now be a temptation to men, she can destroy her family’s so-called ‘honor’ and must now behave in certain ways around boys to demonstrate her modesty.

The debate around nicking, which had been previously settled, was revived again last year by an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics. The authors argued that nicking the vulva or cutting out the hood of the clitoris (FGM forms 1 and 2 above) are less harmful and should be tolerated by liberal societies. These practices, they suggest, are ethically acceptable and not contraventions of girls’ human rights.

Indeed, like the New York Times, these academics argue that referring to modest forms of FGM ‘mutilation’ is culturally insensitive and demonizes ‘important cultural practices’. Yet the meaning of those ‘important cultural practices’ is not examined beneath their ‘ethical lens.’ Notoriously academics and politically correct apologists like them assume any claim of ‘culture’ is by rights a good thing and trumps other considerations.

Seeing as they are so reluctant to critique cultural practices, other than those of ‘powerful, white men,’ I will do it for them. The ‘nick’ symbolizes and communicates to little girls that their natural state is unclean and that pain must be inflicted on their genitals to make them acceptable to their communities.

FGM is the symptom of harmful cultural beliefs that girls and women must be sexually pure, modest and that their bodies exist to breed. Whether it’s justified by being a Muslim, Egyptian, Indian, Jewish, black, a woman or any other category venerated in the identity politics pantheon, these beliefs are not compatible with liberal societies that profess to ensure the human rights of their citizens.

I encourage anyone interested to stop this barbaric practice happening in the United States to contact us – www.ahafoundation.org.



Ayaan Hirsi Ali is founder of the AHA Foundation, which exists to protect women and girls from abuses of the sort described in this article. She is also a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Academic Malfeasance: U. of Arkansas Disinvites Phyllis Chesler


Academic Malfeasance: U. of Arkansas Disinvites Phyllis Chesler

by Winfield Myers
The Daily Caller
April 27, 2017
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Phyllis Chesler
The latest speaker to be "disinvited" from an American college is prominent feminist scholar Phyllis Chesler, whose participation in a University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, symposium on honor killing earlier this month was withdrawn days before the event. Behind the cancellation lies a sordid tale involving faculty machinations, threats from a dean, and at least one shattered window. Together, they offer a case study on the intellectual and moral corruption of academe.
Chesler is an emerita professor of psychology and women's studies at the City University of New York whose pioneering scholarship exposed the horrors of honor killing, forced marriages, and other brutalities women suffer in Muslim lands and beyond. She was invited to deliver a lunchtime lecture on "Worldwide Trends in Honor Killings" at a conference on "Violence in the Name of Honor: Confronting and Responding to Honor Killings and Forced Marriage in the West" on April 13-14, cosponsored by the law school and the Saudi-funded King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies.
Emails obtained by Campus Watch (CW) from University personnel who requested anonymity show that early on the morning of April 7, a triad of professors – Joel Gordon, Mohja Kahf, and Ted R. Swedenburg – pressured Center director Thomas Paradise to cancel Chesler's appearance. They were joined by a dean—the emails point to Arts and Sciences Dean Todd G. Shields as the likely suspect—who threatened to cancel the symposium and freeze funding for the Middle East Studies Program (MEST), a unit of the King Fahd Center, if Chesler spoke.
Ted Swedenburg (Photo credit MESA)
The professorial trio plotted to isolate and besmirch Chesler, should their efforts to disinvite her fail. The three demanded that a "qualified" speaker—i.e., one who disagreed with her—follow Chesler's remarks, that MEST "publicly withdraw its sponsorship," and that it provide copies of "Islamophobia Is Racism," a flagrantly biased, pro-Islamist bibliography "created by a collective of academics inspired by the Ferguson syllabus, for distribution at the symposium." To complete their virtue signaling, a statement would be read "condemning Islamophobia and bigotry, and affirming [MEST's] commitment to gender justice and diversity."
Chesler was charged with "Islamophobia," a verbal weapon created to question the emotional stability of its targets and silence all criticism of Islam rather than advance debate. Its use against Chesler, herself a psychologist, is not the last irony of this episode.
Some opponents also resorted to violence to silence an outspoken opponent of violence against women. According to emails dated April 7, a window was "shattered" at the private home of Fahd Center director Paradise further to intimidate him into cancelling Chesler's lecture. A faculty email that day states "the insurance co will replace it [the broken window] without a formal police report too which makes it all easier." How much easier is made clear by the fact that despite this first-hand account obtained by CW, the University of Arkansas Police and the Fayetteville Police Department informed CW that there are no records of broken windows either at Paradise's house or at a university building. No report filed means no investigation, no paper trail, and no publicity—smart moves if the goal is to shield the University from bad news rather than apprehend the perpetrator(s).
The university has a chapter of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), a Saudi-founded organization that promotes Islamist propaganda—including Islamic supremacism, opposition to women's rights, hostility toward America, and anti-Semitism—on campuses nationwide. That Islamists played a role in cancelling Chesler's talk is revealed in a professor's April 7 email stating that he anticipated "campus Muslim organizations would get involved" and "a Muslim RSO [Registered Student Organization] might be involved too." Later that day the same professor emailed a colleague that things were "getting heated," "really getting ugly and complicated," and that "it is getting ugly and they are rallying."
That bigotry triumphed in Fayetteville last week. Chesler's scholarship exposing the horrific crimes of honor killings and forced marriages sank her invitation not because she's "Islamophobic," but precisely because her work undermines the Wahhabi-funded cult of victimology. By its tenets, because all Muslims are victims of Western colonialism and prejudice, no exposure of systemic social problems in Muslim societies—including the brutal slaughter of women—can be allowed, much less supported.
An iron triangle of politicized professors, pusillanimous deans, and petrodollars won the day in Arkansas, a triangle that must be broken for freewheeling debate to be restored at American universities.
Winfield Myers is director of academic affairs and of Campus Watch at the Middle East Forum.
This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete and accurate information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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