Islam and Australian values

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Islam

What real Muslims think

This article was put together following interesting discussions with several Muslims on the OzPolitic forum. Follow the links for more information. This article has been criticised as being unrepresentative of the views of Muslims. However, surveys by the Pew society show that around the world, many Muslims support the most barbaric aspects of Islam. In many countries, the majority of Muslims support stoning people to death for adultery, the death penalty for apostasy, and believe that women must obey their husbands. [1][2][3] That is why Islam is the greatest modern barrier to freedom, democracy and human rights, and why the threat posed by Islam to these fragile [4] ideals must not be understated out of a misguided sense of political correctness.

Conflicts

This is a list I am putting together of apparent conflicts between Islam and Australian values, or between Islam and 'western' values. It comes from this discussion:

http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1215058243

Islam differs from what most Australians typically think of as religion in that it doubles as a system of government. [5] [6] [7] Islam holds that the legal standards developed in 7th century tribal Arabia are eternal and unchanging. [8] Islam is an outright rejection of concepts like freedom, democracy, and human rights [9][10][11], though it is rare for a Muslim to directly acknowledge this and they often attempt to create a different impression. [12] Muslims are commanded to live by the local laws if they are living in a non-Muslim state, but are also obligated to attempt to impose Shariah law. [13] [14] The appropriate mechanism for turning a non-Muslim state into a Muslim one is ambiguous (or at least, not openly discussed). [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] Hostility towards Islam is considered justification for conquest. [25] [26] [27] Such hostility seems inevitable if a large group of people try to undermine our values and system of government. Muslims are forbidden from voting in 'secular' elections, so the overthrow of non-Muslim governments is presumably by force, either external or internal, as soon as they are powerful enough.

The vast majority of the world's Muslims share the interpretation of Islam described below, even though it appears 'extremist' from our perspective.

Deception of Non-Muslims

Faith Ratchet

Islam

The list is currently split into three groups - Freedom and Human Rights, Justice, Sex, and Other.

Freedom and Human Rights

Freedom

Islam means 'submission'. It is a rejection of individual freedom and human rights. [28][29] [30][31] Islam is openly hostile to freedom and democracy. [32]

Slavery

Islam permits the enslavement of people captured through military conquest [33][34] and the children of slaves. [35][36] In addition, Dhimmis risk slavery for not following a complex and arbitrary set of discriminatory rules. [37] Female slaves become concubines. Slavery was gradually outlawed towards the end of the Ottoman Empire, partly due to pressure from Great Britain, though it still occurs in the Middle East. Not surprisingly, slavery of women has been the last form to die out. Several African states still practice slavery under Islamic law. Many Australian Muslims support slavery.

Freedom of religion

Islam has spread primarily through military conquest followed up by the denial of freedom of religion. [38][39] Islam is extremely intolerant of polytheism, non-Abrahamic religions, atheism, agnosticism, or new Islamic 'cults' that are based on Islam but claim new prophets since Mohammed. [40] Incorrect interpretations of Islam are not tolerated and freedom of speech is openly rejected. [41] 'Shirk' (idolatry, polytheism etc) is considered the worst possible crime in Islam. [42] Islam shows limited tolerance towards Christianity and Judaism. The construction or repair of churches, synagogues etc is banned. Islam encourages a parent to beat a child for not praying [43]. Blasphemy and apostasy attract the death penalty. The sections on apostasy, discrimination, justice, theocracy and blasphemy/free speech outline other ways in which Islam denies people freedom of religion. Any 'cultural heritage' associated with other religions must be destroyed on the grounds that it has no value and may encourage idolatry (eg the recent destruction of the giant Buddha statues in Afghanistan). Muslims consider this a favour to mankind. [44]

Blasphemy/free speech

The penalty for blasphemy is death by stoning. [45][46] Islam forbids criticism of God, Muhammad or Islam. It also restricts other areas of free speech. Phone sex lines for example would be illegal. The punishment for talking or acting gay is death by stoning (see section on homosexuality). Muslims often attempt to portray the death penalty for blasphemy, apostasy etc as being a different 'take' on freedom of speech, rather than an outright rejection of it. [47] Muslims have threatened to sue OzPolitic to get it shut down. [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] Even apparently progressive Muslims support the erosion of freedom of speech and consider it inevitable that Muslims will be violent in response to mockery of Islam or Muhammad in the west. [53] [54] [55] Blasphemy laws make any kind of progressive reform within Islam very difficult. [56]

Muslims will claim to be the standard bearer for freedom of speech [57] and western liberal morals [58] and that Muslims share our exact views on this issue, [59] while also mocking the Charlie Hebdo solidarity movement and insisting that the right to draw pictures of Muhammad, and the defence of that right in response to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks, is a 'distortion' of the true meaning of freedom of speech. [60] The Charlie Hebdo terrorist "attacks reflect genuine grievances felt by" terrorists and the broader Muslim community that should be addressed first, along with other grievances such as alientation (which causes terrorism). [61] Instead of considering the cartoonists martyrs for freedom of speech people should act more respectfully instead. [62] The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were hate mongers who were merely victims of their own bigotry and it is a distortion of freedom of speech to suggest it involves standing in solidarity with them. [63] The majority of Australians want to ban criticism of religion. [64] Anyone who supports the right to criticise religion is an extremist. [65] People being afraid to mock Islam is an "oversimplistic dichotomy". [66] The cartoons are "offence for offence's sake". This, and other unidentified forms of expression are "wrong and should be avoided." [67] This view "just happens to coincide with the terrorists campaign to force them to stop." [68] The theats posed by Islamic terrorism to freedom of speech represent "faux threats" and "fake, wishy washy western liberal morals" that are used to cynically smear Islam. [69][70][71][72] Muslims are intolerant of a "free market" of political and intellectual ideas, particularly from white people. [73] Self censorship is "absolutely" a reasonable course of action when it comes to Islam. [74] It is unclear whether existing laws make it illegal to mock Muhammad, or whether they should be changed to make it illegal. [75] When the media refrains from publishing Muhammad cartoons, it is because they are being "considerate and responsible" rather than because they might get killed, and it is hysterical and pointless to discuss the matter any further. [76] The Jews in the Australian Labour Party are trying to censor criticism of Israel. [77]

An organisation of Australian Muslim women who petitioned to stop Ayaan Hirsi Ali (a famous women's rights campaigner) visiting Australia called it a 'victory for free speech' when she had to cancel her visit due to threats to her life. [78] Her colleague Theo van Gogh was assassinated in response to a video they made together calling for women's rights in Muslim countries, and the assassin left a message pinned to the corpse threatening Ali, western countries and Jews. [79]

Muslims and their apologists will deny that Islam is he greatest modern threat to freedom and democracy without being able to identify a single other threat. [80]

Apostasy

The penalty for a Muslim who rejects Islam is death by stoning. [81] [82] [83] [84] [85] [86] [87] [88] [89] The term 'shirkh' encompasses many of the sins that are considered to put a person 'outside' of Islam and thus subject to this penalty [90][91], however it has been hard to get more details on this. For Sunnis, this includes Shiites and other 'heretics'. [92] Rejecting Islam is interpretted broadly. Acting gay for example is considered apostasy (see section on homosexuality). Some Muslim scholars tried to change this (most recently in 1839) so that the death penalty only applied to treasonous apostates. [93] However mainstream Islam still considers the death penalty for apostasy to be correct. Also, since Islam is both a state (or form of government) and a religion, many Muslims consider apostasy itself to be treason. [94] Muslims often portray the penalty as being limited to treason, even though they have a very broad interpretation of apostasy, [95] [96] [97] [98] [99] [100] [101] [102] [103] [104] or to attempt to justify the death penalty for apostasy on the grounds that some countries execute traitors. [105][106]

Women’s rights

Muslims see no contradiction in stating that men have authority over women and also claiming that men and women are equal under Islam. [107] [108] [109] Muhammad allowed men to beat their wives until they were 'green'. [110] [111] [112] [113] [114] According to Islam, all women are stupid, deficient of mind, like domestic animals, lack common sense, lie, fail in religion, rob the wisdom of the wise and should never be trusted. [115] Women make up the majority of people in hell (hanging by their breasts), because they were not grateful of the favours their husbands did for them. [116] Muslims often claim that the treatment of women in Islamic cultures is superior. It is frequently claimed that denial of basic rights such as freedom of dress [117] is liberating. Women are required to start covering their bodies from puberty, apparently to prevent the objectification of women. [118][119] Muslims often claim that the downsides associated with personal freedom in the west are actually the purpose of personal freedom – ie that women are only allowed to do as they please to facilitate men who want to take advantage of them. Women may be subjected to domestic violence (see separate entry). Wives are expected to ‘hasten to satisfy’ their husbands sexual appetite on demand. [120] The testimony of a woman in court is considered half that of a man. [121] Women are not allowed to mix freely with men who are not relatives and must have their husband’s permission to leave the house. Women may not travel without a close male relative or shake hands with a man who is not a close relative. [122] Islam stipulates the minutia of a woman's life, including how she must breastfeed her children [123] Women are discriminated against in inheritance law, getting half the inheritance of a man (on the grounds that some other man will look after her). Muslim men may marry four wives, including non-Muslims (Christians and Jews only [124]), but a woman can only have a single husband, who must be Muslim. In addition, Muslim men may take female sex slaves and have sex with ‘whatever their right hand possesses’. Islam rejects the concept of a man and woman falling in love and getting married. Rather, an old man may marry a child bride, who is expected to ‘grow to love’ him in humble servitude during the course of the marriage.

Economics

Islam has it's own peculiar economic system. When foreign governments set up regional monopolies within Australia to approve Halal meat for export (and charge extortionist prices for doing so [125][126][127][128]), Muslims attempt to pass this off as an example of how capitalism is supposed to work. [129] This money supposedly goes to educating children. Similar excuses are made when the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils siphons off millions of dollars from the Australian government that should have gone to educating their own children in private Muslim schools. [130]

Justice

Justice

Islamic courts consider the testimony of non-Muslims to be inferior, on the grounds that non-Muslims are inherently dishonest. [131] [132] Women are also considered inferior witnesses, and some crimes require male witnesses for a conviction, on the grounds that the witnesses must be reliable. [133] [134] A non-Muslim may not testify against a Muslim. [135] Islamic etiquette requires Muslims to extend to other Muslims the benefit of the doubt, to make excuses for them, and to conceal their faults. [136] [137] [138] [139] "Whosoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and the Hereafter. Allah will aid a servant (of His) so long as the servant aids his brother." This, combined with other forms of discrimination, would cause problems that further undermine justice and erode the rights of non-Muslims.

Equality

Muslims try to spin the various discriminatory aspects of Islam into a narrative of equality and social justice. [140] The reality is that there is only tentative equality and justice (of a sort) for male Muslims. Muhammad created a pernicious caste system in a society where Pagans, Jews and Christians previously interacted as genuine equals.

Death Penalty

Islam prescribes death by stoning, a particularly cruel punishment, to many crimes. [141] These include adultery, incest, prostitution, female genital mutilation (see clarification below), sex with a pre-pubescent girl, apostasy, heresy, paganism, banditry (see Theft) etc. Lesser crimes, such as fornication and masturbation, are punished by whipping. Homosexuality is punished the same way as adultery or fornication. Death by stoning involves burying men up to their chests and women up to their necks and stoning them to death. [142] There are rules regarding the size of stones and distance of throw to prevent a quick death. I have not been able to get a straight answer on which crimes invovle death by stoning and what the other methods for carrying out the death penalty are. Muhammad appears to have preferred decapitation by sword when a large number (hundreds) of people needed to be killed (see collective punishment - not usually the case with crimes of sexual nature).

Collective Punishment, Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing

Muslims_Promote_Genocide

Islam supports the collective punishment of non-Muslims, particularly Jews. [143] [144] [145] This includes slaughtering and expelling entire Jewish tribes in response to crimes against individual Muslims. [146] [147] [148] [149] [150] [151] Muslims will argue that neither the execution of every single man from a defeated Jewish tribe, nor forcing all the women into sexual slavery is an example of collective punishment. The sexual slavery is even described as "protective custody". [152] Muslims will argue that it was the Jews who were intent on committing genocide. [153] Muhammad "prophesied" the ethnic cleansing of all non-Muslims from the Arabian peninsula by his second successor Umar. He told Umar of this prediction in person. Umar partially fulfilled this prophesy, expelling all non-Muslims from the Hijaz area. Of course, all the non-Muslims brought this upon themselves by breaking covenants with Muhammad, and the harsh punishment was necessitated by the dire threats posed by the Jews and others to the Islamic state, and by the hostility of the Pagans. [154] [155] Muslims will also attempt to pass this off as 'voluntary' conversion to Islam by every single pagan on the peninsula. [156] Christians were also expelled as collective punishment, resulting in the population of a large area (around modern day Saudi Arabia) becoming 100% Muslim. [157] Geopolitical strategy is cited as an excuse for forced relocation from the Arabian peninsula, and Muslims consider that the people involved were lucky not to meet a worse fate. [158] Muhammad used pillage and murder as a form of punishment. Muslims justify Muhammad 'putting down' people by citing later examples where non-Muslims were the perpetrators. [159][160] Muslims will attempt to derail discussing of collective punishment under Muhammad into a debate about the meaning of the term, without offering an alternative meaning. [161]

Muslims will also try to justify Muhammad's career robbing Meccan caravans from his base in Medina as collective punishment of the Meccans. [162]

Torture

Muhammad often used torture and beating to extract information from people and to punish them (eg for consuming alcohol). [163] Muhammad ordered the torture (and then beheading) a Jewish man by lighting a fire on his stomach. The purpose of this torture was to make him reveal where the Jewish gold was hidden. Muhammad then married the man's wife as a "gesture of goodwill" towards the Jews (the woman was regarded as being very beautiful). The men of the tribe were then killed and the women and children sold into slavery. [164] [165] Muslims will often attempt to justify the decade or so in which Muhammad robbed caravans and then conquered the Arabian peninsula by insisting early Muslims were tortured and mistreated, however no details have been made available.[166]

Domestic violence

According to Islam, men have authority over their wives' (and slaves') bodies and do not need their consent to have sex with them. However this is not considered rape and Muslims will deny that Islam permits rape. [167] Muslims will also say that Islam permits them to slap their wife to keep them in line, but will deny that this is domestic violence. [168] [169] [170] There is disagreement over the extent to which husbands are allowed to beat their wives, ranging from wife beating being ‘permissible but not advisable’ to a husband being permitted to strike his wife with a miswak so as not to leave bruises, but in a sufficiently violent demonstration of anger and frustration to break the woman out of her ‘nasty mood’. [171] [172] Humiliation is also often stated as the goal of domestic violence in Islam. [173] Obviously, once you permit domestic violence, whatever moral limits that are placed on wife beating are bound to be breached in the heat of the moment even by a pious man, and completely ignored by others, especially as the wife must cover her body in public and may not leave the house without the husband’s permission. Absurdly, one legal recourse for a wife who has been beaten beyond ‘legal limits’ is to gain a court order to be allowed to beat her husband in retaliation. Muslims cite this as a demonstration of the fairness of Islam towards women.

There are several accounts of Muhammad beating his wives and laughing when other Muslims beat his (Muhammad's) wives. There are verses in the Quran the specifically permit wife beating. [174]

Discrimination

Islam preaches the superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims. [175] Islam's economy is essentially a protection racket targetted at non-Muslims. [176] [177] [178] [179] Non-Muslims must pay a special tax for the privilege of not having to slaughter other non-Muslims on Islam's behalf. This tax is applicable at all times, not just times of war. In Islamic society, Christians and Jews are referred to as 'Dhimmis'. Limited tolerance is extended to them, conditional upon a number of seemingly arbitrary discriminatory obligations in the economic, religious and social fields. [180][181] This is to force Dhimmis into a condition of humiliation, segregation and discrimination, so that even the lowliest Muslim may feel superior to them and thus not feel tempted by their material success. These rules extend to greetings, behaviour, clothing, transport, employment, trade, housing etc. [182] Dhimmis risk death or slavery for violating these requirements. Limited autonomy in the form of Christian and Jewish civil courts and administrations are allowed, but this is not extended to non-Abrahamic religions. All other types of non-Muslim people are treated far worse. Fellow Muslims who follow a different branch of Islam are considered non-Muslims and risk the death penalty for apostasy, especially if they promote their views in any way. [183] [184] [185] [186] [187] Non-Muslims face institutionalised injustice (see justice above).

Democracy vs Theocracy

Islam is openly hostile to freedom and democracy. [188] Islam requires establishment of theocracy. Democracy is forbidden. [189] [190] [191] [192] [193] [194] [195] [196] Secularism is forbidden. [197] [198] [199] [200] [201] [202] Islam combines what westerners typically consider to be religion and politics. [203] [204] Muslims may elect a representative to implement Islamic law, but this is not required and the representative has no mandate to implement anything other than Islamic law. [205] Candidates are limited to the most learned Islamic Scholars. Islam even forbids the 'Islamic' party of Australia and forbids people from voting for it. [206][207] Islam also requires the resurrection of the Caliphate, which would mean a return to the bad old days of expansionist military empires trying to take over the world.

Treason and national allegiance

There is currently no Caliphate, but as soon as one is (re)created, Muslims are required to abandon the countries they live in and move to the Caliphate, which is where their true allegiance lies. This is likely to be in the context of a war between the Caliphate and other nations. If Australia was at war with the Caliphate, Australian Muslims would be required to take up arms against Australia. There is no clear guideline for identifying when this should occur, however many Australian Muslims believe that the west has been at war with the Muslim world for over a century. [208]

War

Muhammad executed or oversaw the execution of approximately 700 prisoners of war from a single Jewish tribe after defeating them in battle. Muhammad and modern Muslims attempt to "wash his hands" of this extreme punishment. [209] Even apparently progressive Muslims will describe criticism of this episode as "cynically using wishy-washy western liberal morals as a tool to smear Muhammad and Islam", [210] as well as try to justify it as necessary defense of a (then non-existent) Islamic state. [211] Muhammad spent his last decade on earth robbing caravans then conquering the entire Arabaian peninsula. [212][213]

Islam requires its followers to establish an empire called a Caliphate. The religion itself is based on Muhammad's rule over his empire. All Muslims are required to return to this empire and to perform military service on its behalf [214], unless they can buy their way out of it. [215] [216] Islam’s history was dominated by the rise and gradual collapse of a Caliphate. It is only recently that they have been without a ‘homeland’. If an Islamic empire wins a war, it can take all of the land and possessions from the people. The victors get to choose, based on what is most beneficial to the empire, whether the conquered people have to flee their land with nothing, remain with no land or possessions, or become slaves to the invaders. [217] Situations like Israel and Northern Ireland, except more extreme, are the norm rather than the exception. [218] [219] Muslims often claim that the empire only spread through self defence, but this is clearly not true. [220] For example, at the height of the empire, Muslims crossed the Mediterranean to join in a war in modern day Spain. [221] After their initial victory, they turned on their one-time allies and slaughtered them also. They then proceeded to conquer the entire peninsula and send raids into modern day France. Muslims expect an Islamic empire to one day recapture Spain. [222] In dealing with prisoners of war, Islamic doctrine permits a ruler to choose the most profitable or beneficial of four options: killing them, enslavement and possible sale, ransom or pardon. [223] Many Muslims believe that the west has been in a state of war with the Muslim world since the 1920's. [224] Muslims oppose any 'surrender' by Palestinians after losing a war decades ago on the grounds that a military victory by Muslims is imminent. They support peace treaties in this situation, but do not see them as a form of surrender. Rather, they are merely an agreement to temporarily halt the war and restart it later. [225] [226] Any treaty can be broken in this context as Islam encourages deception. Islam only permits its followers to obey a peace treaty for a maximum of ten years, after which war must resume. [227] [228] [229] [230] Muslims even equate refusal to surrender with not actually losing a war. [231] Like the German people afer world war one, Muslims will also reject the legitimacy of any modern peace agreement. [232] Muslims consistently seek out historical military losses by Muslims to use as justification for past, current and planned future aggression against non-Muslims, no matter how disconnected the events are. [233]

Racism and antisemitism

Muslims believe that in historical conflicts between Jews and Muslims, the Jews were always to blame. [234] Muhammad set many examples of blaming Jews when he in fact was slaughtering or ethnically cleansing them. (See also Collective Punishment [235]) At the same time, Muslims will insist that Islam is tolerant towards Jews and even encourages the protection of Jews.

Racism is technically against Islam, yet it is widespread, especially among politically active promoters of Islam. Nazis toured the middle east prior to WWII to drum up support for Hitler's cause and win allies. They brought the fervent antisemitism with them, which proved very popular with the locals. While the west was repulsed by the consequences of Hitler's antisemitism, the middle east and Muslims held onto it. The middle east had suffered a similar defeat to Germany, being part of a once glorious empire that slowly crumbled and was eventually dismantled by foreign powers. As always, Jews were an easy scapegoat for their misery. Having a tiny corner of 'their' territory handed over to Jews after WWII fueled the antisemitism among Muslims all over the world, to a far greater extent than the amount of land involved would suggest. Modern conspiracy theories about Jews are rife in the Muslim community and have not progressed very far beyond the crude style promoted by Hitler. Muhammad himself used anti-Jewish propaganda to further his political career and slaughtered many Jews. The justifications that modern Muslims give for the historical slaughter of Jews by Muhammad and for modern antagonism towards Jews is eerily similar to Nazi propaganda. [236] [237] [238] [239] [240] [241] [242]

Many Muslims consider Israel's destruction to be inevitable and oppose any surrender to Israel for this reason (see war [243]). Muslims often portray Israel as being inflicted on the middle east by Europe and insist the Jews be sent back to Europe, however the greatest contributor to Israel's Jewish population were Jews that were expelled by Muslims from middle eastern countries - thus nearly completing Muhammad's prediction that this ethnic cleansing would happen. Those countries then attempted to invade Israel. [244][245]

Islam is not antagonistic towards Jews alone. Jews supposedly receive a measure of protection in Islam. Atheists, polytheists etc receive far worse treatment (see freedom of religion [246]), while Shiites and any other Muslim groups that stray outside of what is considered mainstream Islam receive the death penalty for apostasy (see above). Anti-white racism is also common and provides an easy way to blame non-Muslims for the collapse of the Islamic empire and the current state of affairs in the middle east. [247]

Muslims will also 'play the race card' to promote Islam. For example, they often insist that all criticism of Islam is based on racism, rather than a rational or moral objection to the teachings of Islam. [248] [249] [250] [251] The same Muslims will also insist that calls to move Israel's population out of the middle east, justified on the basis that "Arabia is for Arabs" (and a clip from Lawrence of Arabia to show us what proper Arabs look like) is not in fact racism. [252] The explanation for why this is not racist included the fact that 'Arab' is a reference to a linguistic (and not racial) group, that the ethnic cleansing of the middle east can be justified by its history, and that critics of Islam were not sufficiently critical of other instances of racism directed at Muslims.

Muslims often fuel existing or historical racial hatred in order to create a sense of solidarity with a group of people through a shared victimhood narrative. For example, Muslims have claimed that Australian Aborigines had universities, embassies and effective quarantine programs for imports prior to the arrival of Europeans, thanks to the influence of Muslim traders from Indonesia. These Muslims also taught the Aborigines to violently repel Europeans and inspired them to several great military victories over European farmers. Part of this narrative is that Aborigines should have been more violent and that this would have led to a better outcome for them. [253] [254] In the USA, the Nation of Islam is a racist Muslim 'black power' movement - ironic given that the biggest racism problem in Islam's heartland is against Africans.

The Jewish tribes of Medina

Early in his career, Muhammad was expelled from Mecca. He was later invited to broker peace in nearby Medina, a city with diverse groups that were frequently in conflict with each other. Muhammad was seen as being independent. However for Muhammad, Medina was of strategic military importance. It was a stronghold from which he could rob caravans trading with Mecca, and he wanted to obtain absolute control of it. At the time there were three powerful Jewish tribes in Medina. Muhammad saw them as a strategic threat. Muhammad soon started openly preaching hostility towards the Jewish tribes, [255] and within a few years had gotten rid of all three of them, on weak pretexts. After each major battle, Muhammad accused one of the Jewish tribes of some form of treachery and used this as an excuse to reneg on his agreement with them. The first tribe to be expelled were the Banu Qaynuqa, who as artisans and traders were in close contact with Mecca. After being strengthened by victory in the Battle of Badr, Muhammad publicly demanded they convert to Islam or meet the same fate. Muhammad besieged them and they surrendered after a fortnight. Muhammad wanted to slaughter them, but was convinced by a Muslim convert to be 'lenient' to them. This succeeded, however the convert was forever dubbed 'leader of the hypocrits'. Muhammad expelled the tribe, and kept all of their posessions. The other two tribes either remained neutral or supported Muhammad. After losing the battle of Mount Uhud, Muhammad accused members of the Banu Nadir of plotting to assassinate him (apparently an angel warned him of the plot). Muhammad expelled them also, again keeping their property. He became personally very wealthy by taking a large amount of their land for himself. The tribe initially agreed to leave, then refused, believing the third Jewish tribe would assist them. This help did not materialise and they surrendered after Muhammad besieged them for a fortnight. Muhammad later attcked them again, forcing them to become his subjects, hand over all the new land they had acquired, and pay 50% of what they grew as tax. In the battle of the trench, members of the third tribe (Banu Qurayza) assisted Muhammad, however the tribe entered into failed negotiations with the enemy. After the enemy departed, Muhammad was directed by an angel to attack the tribe, again besieging them for about a month. They surrendered, and Muhammad had all adult men in the tribe executed. The women were taken as sex slaves. Muhammad forced other Jewish tribes to pass the judgement and carry out the executions in order to distance himself from it and make it harder for the other Jews to hold it against him. Muslims will insist that the Jews were a borg-like, mindless collective in order to justify the collective punishment (see also Collective Punishment). [256] [257]

Thus, Muhammad established a pattern of behaviour of claiming victimhood while slaughtering Jews, taking Jewish women as sex slaves, confiscating their property, all the while while blaming Jews for their own mistreatment.

Muslims will attempt to 'flood' a discussion about the Jewish tribes a Medina with a long list of excuses and justifications. None of these justifications stand up to scrutiny, however Muslims will change between them rapidly in order to avoid detailed consideration of any one of them, in the hope that people will loose interest before gaining an appreciation of what happened. Some examples:

Jews were tribal and had no concept of individuality. The Jews were a 'mindless collective'. The fact that there were only 700 of them shows they had a collective mind. The Jewish tribe failed to act consistently as a collective. [258] [259] The 'tribe' was punished for it's actions. [260] The Jews were to blame for every conflict between Muslims and Jews. [261] Muhammad needed a 'permanent solution' and it was impractical to continue detaining them. [262] Cricising this action is 'cynically using wishy-washy western liberal morals as a tool to smear Muhammad and Islam'. [263] The actions of Muhammad are morally equivalent to modern punishments for treason. [264] [265] Current anti-terror and bikie laws also invoke guilt by association. [266] Their presence at the time of surrender proves their guilt, because they previously had the opportunity to commit treason by turning against their own tribe and joining the enemy that had laid siege to them. [267] [268] Muhammad had learnt his lesson about the dangers of letting Jews live. [269] [270] It is reasonable to ascribe collective guilt if they had the opportunity to distance themselves from the actions of other Jews. [271] The Jews violated a treated that compelled them to come to the defence of the Muslims. [272] [273] [274] The fact that many of them actually helped Muhammad and the Muslims defend themselves is irrelevant to their guilt, because the tribe also acted against Muhammad. [275] Their treachery had nothing to do with refusing to help the Muslims. [276] The tribe was judged by a Jew, according to Talmudic law and thus Muhammad was not responsible for the slaughter. [277] [278] There was an ongoing war and the Muslims were fighting for their very existence. [279] [280] One of the tribes had 'effectively declared war'. [281] The Jews and their allies were planning genocide of the Muslims, so it is only reasonable for Muhammad to commit genocide in anticipation of this. [282] [283] It is OK because Muhammad was not motivated by racism (he 'had Jewish friends'). [284] Hitler was much worse, even if you adjust for the number of Jews available for slaughter. [285] Hitler actually acted irrationally and undermined his quest for power by dedicating so many resources to slaughtering Jews, whereas Muhammad did it for more practical reasons. [286] You need to consider the historical context. [287] The enslavement of all the women after the men were slaughtered was actually a form of protective custody. [288] Sex slavery does not necessarily mean serial rape and there was a possibility of emancipation (eg by bearing a male child to their Muslim owner). [289] Other, more evil rulers, would have slaughtered the women and children also. [290] Only the Jewish POWs who had participated in fighting against Muslims were executed. [291] It just looks bad because of the holocaust, and thus Muslims are being blamed for the attrocities of Europeans. [292] The leaders had conspired against the fledgling Islamic State which had to be protected. [293] [294] By remaining in Medina, the Jewish tribe posed an ongoing threat to the new Islamic State, which was surrounded by enemies. [295] [296] The tribe was too powerful and autonomous and acted beligerantly. [297] Primacy of self preservation. [298] It was a serious situation and the Jews could not be handled with 'kid gloves'. [299] [300] It doesn't matter whether their actions were right or wrong. [301] It was not actually about punishment and it does not matter who was actually to blame. [302] It is irrelevant whether they deserved the punishment. It's like a Clint Eastwood movie. [303] The 'proper meaning' of collective punishment somehow excludes mass executions. [304] Collective punishment is an overly emotive term. [305] Collective punishment is a meaningless term. [306] There is no point discussing whether it was collective punishment. [307] Collective punishment has a different meaning today. [308] It was collective punishment, but it was justified. [309] Punishing a group collectively is not the same as collective punishment. [310] It has nothing to do with slaughtering POWs. [311] The expulsion/eradication of all three large Jewish tribes should be viewed as 'power-politics' rather than religious persecution. [312] Merely banishing two of the tribes instead of slaughtering them was a level of mercy previously unheard of. [313] Slaughtering 800 Jews in one day cannot be seen as intimidating. [314] There are significant differences between practicing and achieving ethnic cleansing. [315] Muhammad merely 'prophesised' the ethnic cleansing of Arabia, which is different from commanding it, and it was not completed until after Muhammad died. [316] Muhammad was 'forced' to remove all non-Muslims from the Hijaz. Non-Muslims were given a 'chance' to live in peace with Muslims. [317] Muhammad was committed to living peacefully with non-Muslims but was force to change for strategic reasons. [318] Only those who actually fought the Muslims were killed. [319] Punishing a group for a crime commited by their leader is perfectly consistent with punishing them for their own actions. [320] Muhammad offered to let them go if they promised not to do it again, but they refused. [321] It is not up to Muslims to back up any of the claims they make to justify the slaughter. [322] It's OK because they were not bona fide Jews.

Honesty

Muslims often attempt to conceal aspects of Islam that they believe their audience will object to, or to mislead them about it (see Deception_of_Non-Muslims). [323] Islam even forbids Muslims from making inquiries about Islam where they may feel uncomfortable with the answer. [324] Muslims will insist that lying is permissible in a very limited set of situations, such as war (Muslims refer to this as taqiyya [325]). They will attempt to argue that this means lying is not permitted in Islam, but also claim that they believe the west has been at war with the Muslim world for over a century. [326] Historically (during the Caliphate) Islam divided the world into two parts - the house of peace and the house of war (outside the Caliphate, where lying about Islam is presumably permitted). Muslims are also encouraged to deceive in order to achieve peace, in particular by inventing 'good' information. However such fabrications are considered by Islam to not be lies, thus allowing Muslims to lie about Islam at the same time as insisting Islam forbids lying, without actually lying. [327] Sunni Muslims will also claim that Shiites permit themselves to lie, but not Sunnis. [328]

Honour

Islam regards honour highly, placing it above truth, compassion, freedom etc. A key reason given for the standards of evidence and for the death penalty by stoning for crimes of a sexual nature is to conceal people and to "make societies avoid accusations against people’s honour and aspersions on their lineages." [329] This is taken to the extent of claiming that they are liars in Allah's eyes (an issue of truth) if they cannot produce witnesses to back up their claims of sexual indiscretion, even if they know the claim to be truthful. A Muslim's honour is considered to be of 'grave sanctity'.

Theft

The penalty for theft is getting your hand cut off. Kleptomaniacs would get their hand cut off. If a weapon is used, then the punishment for 'banditry' applies: "they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land". [330]

Although Muhammad forbade theft on a 'personal' level, he engaged in theft as part of his nation-building process, by robbing caravans. [331] Muslims justify this theft by arguing that they felt persecuted by the people they were stealing from. They will also insist Muslims were tortured and mistreated by the people they were stealing from, however no details are ever provided to back up these claims. In a broader sense, this theft was performed by the Muslim community as a whole (often by a few hundred men) against non-Muslims. Muhammad later commanded his followers not to fight Jews and Christians if they paid a special tax (jizya).

Sex

Sex slaves

In addition to their wives, Muslim men may have sex with female slaves (concubines [332] [333]). Islam "abrogates" the marriage of captured (non-Muslim) women to make this permissible. [334]

Rape

Rape is permitted in Islam in the same situations that sex is permitted. [335] Where sex is not permitted, rape is punished the same way as consensual sex. [336][337] Muslims reject the concept of 'consenting adults' and do not consider sex to be consensual unless God (ie Islamic law) permits it. [338] Islam requires a wife to satisfy her husband's sexual desires and does not recognise the need for consent based on the wife's choice. [339] [340] [341] [342] In other words, for a woman sex is either completely forbidden or obligatory at the whim of the man, depending on the context. Muslim men may have sex with slaves or 'whatever their right hand possesses', however Muslims distinguish between slaves that you have sex with and 'sex slaves', presumably on the grounds that only the owner of the slave may rape her legally. [343] [344] [345] [346] [347] [348] [349] Women caught through conquest may also be raped. Muslim's consider the rape of their slaves as a 'right' and even go so far as to describe it as liberating for captured women. [350][351] Rape of a non-Muslim woman under other circumstances is technically illegal under Islam, but the courts discount the testimony of non-Muslims as unreliable. In addition to the punishment for consensual sex, an 'illegal' rapist must also pay a dowry to the victim. If the victim is a slave, the rapist must reimburse for the reduction in value of the slave (presumably to the owner of the slave). This payment must be made regardless of whether the victim is a virgin (though this would presumably have an impact on the value of a slave). [352] Muslims often claim that the low rate of reporting of rape and pedophilia in Islamic societies is evidence of low occurrence, rather than legalisation of rape, the difficulties in achieving conviction and the barriers to reporting (many women who report rape often get convicted of sex related crimes). [353]

Pedophilia and child brides

Pedophilia was apparently common in Muhammad's time, and Muhammad is considered by Muslims to have been within his rights (according to the customs of the time [354]) to have sex with his child bride before she reached puberty. The most reliable sources explicitly state that she was 9 years old when he had sex with her. Despite numerous later references to her menstruating, there is no record in any Islamic texts of whether she had reached puberty at this time. Aisha possessed dolls at the time Muhammad had sex with her, but this is not proof she was prepubescent, as the ban on dolls for post-pubescent girls applies to playing with them, not possessing them. [355] The meaning of 'maturity' in terms of age of consent depends on the context. [356] In Muhammad's time girls were 'conditioned' to grow up quickly. Muhammad and Aisha were 'in love' when they married (when she was 6 years old and he was about 50). [357]

Although many Muslims insist that the age of consent in Islamic law is puberty, the concept of age of consent is not mentioned in any Islamic texts, despite for example puberty being stated as the age at which an orphan may be given rights to his property. [358] There are some verses regarding the withholding period for divorced women that condone sex with prepubescent girls. [359] These have been used by some Muslim clerics to specifically permit sex with pre-pubescent wives and even issue instructions on how to "deal with them" during the consummation. [360] Child brides, including pre-pubescent child brides, are still a big problem in many parts of the Middle East and North Africa where Islam has had a strong influence on the culture.

Even where Muslim leaders rule that a husband must wait until his wife reaches puberty to have sex with her, Islam still effectively institutionalises pedophilia in marriage. [361][362] A pedophile may have up to four prepubescent wives at any time, and as many slave girls as he can get his hands on. He does not have to marry the girls for life but can divorce them and get a new prepubescent wife as soon as they become too mature for his taste. The only caveat on this is that society trusts him not to actually have sex with them until they reach puberty. However, he may live with the girls and move wherever he wants. This, combined with the Islamic requirement for women to cover themselves from head to toe, the dislocation imposed on their lives, and the strict control that men exert over the women they own (eg, a wife requires her husband's permission to leave the house) means that institutionalised pedophilia is impossible to eradicate within Islamic law. Pedophilia outside of marriage is punishable the same way as consensual sex, however given the severe punishment for this and the pedophile-friendly marriage laws it is likely that many pedophiles will satisfy themselves within the confines of marriage. [363] Attempts to eradicate organised 'extra marital' pedophilia (ie, pedophile rings) would be hampered by the same laws that prevent the discovery of pedophilia within marriage.

Pedophile marriages among Muslim communities within the west can go largely unnoticed, due to lack of interest within the Muslim community in preventing it. [364][365]

Incest

Muhammad married his first cousin. In Islam's traditional heartland the practice is common and causes many problems - both biological, in terms of congenital abnormalities, and social, in terms of arranged marriages, child brides, women's rights, etc. Up to 80% of marriages in some places are blood related. The level drops for immigrant Muslim groups in the west, but can still be as high as 40%. [366] Muhammad's example no doubt makes it hard to advise people of the risks, given the inevitable hostility to the suggestion that Muhammad did something wrong and that his example should not be followed. The penalty for incest outside of marriage is the same as for consensual sex (death by stoning). [367]

Arranged marriages

Islam prescribes arranged marriages. [368][369]

Polygamy

A man may have up to four wives (at a time) in addition to sex slaves (see below). A woman may have only one husband. She only needs one, as he provides whatever she needs. A Muslim man may take a Jewish or Christian wife, but not an atheist one or one from a 'non-Abrahamic' religion. A Muslim woman may only marry a Muslim man. Muhammad was permitted roughly 11 wives. [370][371]

Love

Islam does not accept the conventional view of love, which is discarded as nothing more than infatuation, which disables reason and logic. Instead, women grow to love the husband who was chosen for them. This love is based around a belief in Islam as the one true religion. For this reason it makes no difference if a girl is married at the age of 6, 12 or 18, or how much older her chosen husband is. [372] Islam facilitates domestic violence, and women are expected to be subservient to their husbands. [373] [374] If she cheats on her chosen husband, she is stoned to death (see adultery below). Muslims believe that this facilitates 'normal and healthy relationships within the confines of marriage'. [375]

Adultery

The penalty for adultery (extramarital sex) is death by stoning. [376] [377] [378] [379] [380] No concessions are given in the case of organised marriage, which is the norm.

Fornication

The penalty for fornication (premarital sex) is 100 lashes. The penalty may be waived if the fornicators were not given the opportunity to marry before sex (eg because they couldn't afford it). [381] [382] [383]

Prostitution

The penalty for prostitution is death by stoning. [384]

Homosexuality

The penalty for acting gay or talking in an effeminate or gay manner by choice (ie excluding physical 'defect') is death by stoning. This is considered to be apostasy. [385]. The penalty for homosexual sex itself is the same as for adultery or fornication, depending on whether you are married. [386] Apparently, very few gays would actually be executed because homosexuality simply disappears under Islam. That is, it is not driven underground by the death penalty; rather men just stop having sex with each other because they are Muslims and they live under Shariah law. [387] [388] [389] This can be contrasted with modern Saudi Arabia, where men can often be found having sex with each other in public toilets. Apparently, this can be attributed to the laws governing the lives of women being slightly stricter than the correct Islamic standards. [390] [391] Such men are using other men as a substitute for women and are thus not gay, merely have gay sex. However the penalty for gay sex is the same regardless of whether you are actually gay. [392] An Islamic society that permits four wives per man, requires women to cover everything except their face and hands, to get permission from a man to leave the house and that bans unrelated women and men from interacting socially would apparently not run out of women and lead to the same situation as Saudi Arabia because not every man would have four wives. [393]

Masturbation

Masturbation is forbidden in Islam. [394] The punishment is of a broad category called "ta'zeer". In the later Ottoman times, ta'zeer punishments ranged from fines and mild lashings to short prison terms.

Bestiality

The penalty for bestiality is death by stoning. The animal must also be killed. [395] Some Muslims believe there is no punishment, except for killing the animal and selling it to a neighbouring village. [396]

Necrophilia

Necrophilia is permitted in Islam in the same situations that sex is permitted, with the added restriction that the corpse has to be fresh. The Arab spring gave birth to serious efforts to legalise necrophilia (with a 6 hour time limit) and reduce the age of consent in Egypt. The legislation is currently before parliament. [397]

Privacy

Muslims believe that what happens in the bedroom rarely stays in the bedroom and is harmful to society. They also believe that the law cannot be separated from morality on this or any other issue. [398]

Other

Art

Islam specifically forbids any depiction of any of the prophets (including Muhammad, Jesus, Moses etc). This includes pictures and statues. It also forbids any depiction of any revered person, or any person at all. Islam still permits art, but it is strictly abstract. [399]

Alcohol

All intoxicants are forbidden. [400]

Circumcision

Circumcision of both men and women is practiced under Islam, though there is disagreement over whether it is required, recommended or merely permitted. [401][402][403]. The extent of female genital mutilation is controlled and those who cut too much off are punished with death by stoning. [404]

Clothing

A woman must cover everything except her face and hands. Her clothes must not be too tight fitting, in case her figure can be made out. [405] Penalty????

Music

Musical instruments are generally forbidden, as they are 'pure evil'. Some Muslims consider singing to be illegal, while others will accept singing and possibly instruments provided the message of the song is acceptable, and also depending on the occasion (eg a wedding).

Personal hygiene

Muslims are required to remove all of their public hair, but no facial hair. [406] Islam provides detailed instructions on ablutions, wiping yourself with your hand, drinking camel urine etc.

Achieving Change

I am still not sure how 'hard' Islam requires its followers to 'lobby' for these changes. There appears to be some confusion on this issue. The general rule seems to be for Muslims to peacefully tolerate modern laws until they are in a powerful enough position to force the adoption of Islamic law.

Wikipedia has a series of articles on controversies related to Islam and Muslims. [407]

Can Islam Adapt?

It is important not to view Islam, or compare it with other religions, in a historical vacuum. The rampant conservatism in the middle east is no doubt attributable to the longevity of the Ottoman empire and recent western 'progressive' influence which has been just as negative as positive. The 'closure of the gates of ijtihad' (cessation of religious enquiry) some time during or after the 10th century no doubt played a role. However this closure was more by consensus than by Quranic decree, so ultimately there is nothing ruling out a reopening. Western society took a long time to adopt separation of church and state as a core value. Islam appears to rule this out, which poses perhaps the biggest barrier to reform. Islam requires its followers to contribute productively to any new society they move to. While this may be reassuring for the short term outlook, in the long term it does nothing to rule out a return to military conquest, terrorism and violent struggles for power.

On the upside, the abolition of slavery creates a valuable precedent for modern theologists to challenge what seem to be core tenets of Islam. Another factor in favour of change is that Islam has no generally accepted clerical hierarchy or bureaucratic organization. Thus, liberal movements can arise easily within Islam, as is currently happening. The same problem that allows extremists and terrorists to go relatively unchallenged also allows for progressive reform. Inevitably, Islam will undergo significant reform at some point in the future, or drag the rest of the world back into barbarism. It is crucial that the west allow this to happen, and not 'poison the well' by making the Muslim world associate western values with oppression and decadence.

European Court of Human Rights and Sharia Law

In 2001, nearly two months before the 9/11 attacks, the European Court of Human Rights determined that "the institution of Sharia law and a theocratic regime, were incompatible with the requirements of a democratic society."

http://www.ozpolitic.com/articles/European-Court-of-Human-Rights-RefahPartisi2001jude.html

On 16 January 1998 the Constitutional Court made an order dissolving the RP on the ground that it had become a "centre of activities against the principle of secularism". It also declared that the RP’s assets were to be transferred by operation of law to the Treasury. The Constitutional Court further held that the public declarations of the RP’s leaders, and in particular Necmettin Erbakan, Sevket Kazan and Ahmet Tekdal, had a direct bearing on the constitutionality of the RP’s activities. Consequently, it imposed a further sanction in the form of a ban on their sitting in Parliament or holding certain other forms of political office for a period of five years.

The Court considered that, when campaigning for changes in legislation or to the legal or constitutional structures of the State, political parties continued to enjoy the protection of the provisions of the Convention and of Article 11 in particular provided they complied with two conditions: (1) the means used to those ends had to be lawful and democratic from all standpoints and (2) the proposed changes had to be compatible with fundamental democratic principles. It necessarily followed that political parties whose leaders incited others to use violence and/or supported political aims that were inconsistent with one or more rules of democracy or sought the destruction of democracy and the suppression of the rights and freedoms it recognised could not rely on the Convention to protect them from sanctions imposed as a result.

The Court held that the sanctions imposed on the applicants could reasonably be considered to meet a pressing social need for the protection of democratic society, since, on the pretext of giving a different meaning to the principle of secularism, the leaders of the Refah Partisi had declared their intention to establish a plurality of legal systems based on differences in religious belief, to institute Islamic law (the Sharia), a system of law that was in marked contrast to the values embodied in the Convention. They had also left in doubt their position regarding recourse to force in order to come to power and, more particularly, to retain power.

OIC vs Freedom of Speech

In March, the 57 Muslim-state Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) prevailed upon the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution requiring the effective evisceration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Henceforth, the guaranteed right of free expression will not extend to any criticism of Islam, on the grounds that it amounts to an abusive act of religious discrimination.

A UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression has been charged with documenting instances in which individuals and media organizations engage in what the Islamists call “Islamophobia.”

Not to be outdone, the OIC has its own “ten-year program of action” which will monitor closely all Islamophobic incidents and defamatory statements around the world.

• Monitoring is just the first step. Jordan’s Prosecutor General has recently brought charges against Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders. According to a lawsuit, “Fitna” — Wilders’ short documentary film that ties certain Quranic passages to Islamist terrorism —

is said to have slandered and insulted the Prophet Mohammed, demeaned Islam and offended the feelings of Muslims in violation of the Jordanian penal code.

Mr. Wilders has been summoned to Amman to stand trial and, if he fails to appear voluntarily, international warrants for his arrest will be issued.

Zakaria Al-Sheikh, head of the “Messenger of Allah Unites Us Campaign” which is the plaintiff in the Jordanian suit, reportedly has “confirmed that the [prosecutor's action] is the first step towards setting in place an international law criminalizing anyone who insults Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.”

In the meantime, his campaign is trying to penalize the nations that have spawned “Islamophobes” like Wilders and the Danish cartoonists by boycotting their exports — unless the producers publicly denounce the perpetrators both in Jordan and in their home media.

• Unfortunately, it is not just some companies that are submitting to this sort of coercion — a status known in Islam as “dhimmitude.”

Western officials and governmental entities appear increasingly disposed to go along with such efforts to mutate warnings about Shariah law and its adherents from “politically incorrect” to “criminally punishable” activity.

For example, in Britain, Canada and even the United States, the authorities are declining to describe the true threat posed by Shariah Law and are using various techniques to discourage — and in some cases, prosecute — those who do.

We are witnessing the spectacle of authors’ books being burned, ministers prosecuted, documentary film-makers investigated and journalists hauled before so-called “Human Rights Councils” on charges of offending Muslims, slandering Islam or other “Islamophobic” conduct.

Jurists on both sides of the Atlantic are acceding to the insinuation of Shariah law in their courts. And Wall Street is increasingly joining other Western capital markets in succumbing to the seductive Trojan Horse of “Shariah-Compliant Finance.”

Let’s be clear: The Islamists are trying to establish a kind of Catch-22:

If you point out that they seek to impose a barbaric, repressive and seditious Shariah Law, you are insulting their faith and engaging in unwarranted, racist and bigoted fear-mongering.

On the other hand, pursuant to Shariah, you must submit to that theo-political-legal program. If you don’t, you can legitimately be killed.

It is not an irrational fear to find that prospect unappealing. And it is not racist or bigoted to decry and oppose Islamist efforts to bring it about — ask the anti-Islamist Muslims who are frequently accused of being Islamophobes!

If we go along with our enemies’ demands to criminalize Islamophobia, we will mutate Western laws, traditions, values and societies beyond recognition. Ultimately, today’s totalitarian ideologues will triumph where their predecessors were defeated.

To avoid such a fate, those who love freedom must oppose the seditious program the Islamists call Shariah —

and all efforts to impose its 1st Amendment-violating blasphemy, slander and libel laws on us in the guise of preventing Western Islamophobia.

www.rashmanly.wordpress.com/2008/07/09/7616/