Monday, December 05, 2011

Reprehensible practices

Under the influence of multi-culturalism many people think that all religions should be tolerated equally and noone should be prevented from carrying out their own religious or cultural practices. Of course, Jews feel that they should be able to continue the ritual slaughter of animals (shechita) as they have for thousands of years and not have this banned because they are told by enlightened liberals that it is animal cruelty. But, beyond such relatively harmless practices there are some that really go beyond the pale, and should be banned and some of them are in fact illegal in Western countries.

For example:
1. Honor killings. An Islamic women's group In the UK have recently estimated that 3,000 women were murdered and/or maimed last year by their own families (husbands, fathers, brothers) for dishonoring their family. The reasons vary, but they include having affairs, flirting with other men, reporting physical or sexual abuse to the authorities, preparing to run away or asking for divorce. In addition, other thousands of women and young girls are transported to Muslim countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. to be married or sold against their will. Such honor killings and abusive treatment of women are routine in Muslim societies and are sanctioned by Sharia law.

2. Female circumcision, although not required by Sharia Law, this is a practice that has spread from Africa throughout the Muslim world. It is customary for girls at puberty to have their clitoris excised in what is often a barbaric and agonizing ceremony, where the girl is held down by relatives and cruelly treated without any form of sedative of anesthetic. By contrast, male circumcision is relatively minor and does not prevent sexual feelings but is carried out in Islam at puberty (instead of at 8 days after birth as in Judaism). It is estimated that there are millions of women who have had this treatment and yet it is still being practised in Muslim societies (there is a large literature on this).

3. Child brides, are very common in certain Islamic societies and children are married at the ages of 5 upwards to adult men. This is one way for poor people to earn income by selling their young daughters and for men to have more than one wife.

4. Bigamy. It is accepted under Sharia Law that a man may marry as many wives as he can afford, although he is supposed to treat them all equally. However, this is rarely the case, since men usually replace older wives with younger ones, until they run out of money or energy. This is one reason why Muslims oppose western influence, because they are afraid they will lose their control over their women.

5. Persecution of minorities: In Western secular societies it is illegal to persecute or mistreat minorities, but under Sharia Law it is accepted because anyone who is not a Muslim is considered to be an infidel (kaffir). Thus, Jews and Christians are treated as dhimmi, second class citizens, while Hindus and other "pagans" are subject to either conversion to Islam or death. When the Muslims invaded India in the 17th century and beyond they slaughtered unknown numbers of people, mainly Hindus and forcibly converted millions, hence the Muslim nations of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Sikh religion, in which adherents are required to carry a knife, was formed as a response to this invasion of India and mistreatment by the Muslims.

6. Killing of apostates: Any Muslim who renounces Islam and/or converts to another religion must be murdered according to Sharia Law. Anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity or Judaism in any Muslim country is subject to arrest, torture and murder. Many people who support multiculturalism do not realize that the Muslims they tolerate would kill any of their adherants who might choose to change their belief system. Bahai and other minorities are treated so badly in Iran and elsewhere because they are regarded as heretical. In the West this kind of attitude has been superseded in liberal secular society in which we tolerate and protect freedom of belief.

7. Treatment of women; In strictly Islamic societies, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, women must be covered (usually all except their eyes) and are not allowed out in public except if accompanied by a male relative, even a young son. They must also have written permission to be out in public if going on a journey that requires travel, such as to another city or abroad. In addition women must not be seen to talk to any male stranger, such an action can result in women being punished and even physically abused. In some societies, such as Pakistan, courts administering Sharia Law can order women or girls to be raped by men of an opposing family or clan in order to satisfy their claims.

All of these practices are considered unacceptable in civilized society. Islamic society and laws must be changed to outlaw these reprehensible practices. However, with the victory of Muslim parties in north African countries, it is expected that Sharia Law will be applied as the law and this represents a regression for otherwise secular societies such as Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and even Egypt. It is ignorant and totally unacceptable that in a speech yesterday Secty of State Hillary Clinton likened the supposedly worsening situation of women in Israel to that in Iran.


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