The would-be last and only religion 3

The purpose of Islam, the 1400-year-old movement, is to subjugate the world. The aggressive process by which this must be accomplished is called “jihad”. It is surely no more possible to be a Muslim – a follower of Islam – without being dedicated to the achievement of this end, by this means, than it would be possible to be a swimmer who never enters water. 

Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum, tells this story at Quadrant (read it in full here): 

A petite, pretty twenty-four-year-old Bangladeshi named Momena Shoma arrived in Melbourne on February 1, 2018, to study linguistics on an excellence scholarship at La Trobe University. Describing herself as “an introvert and very shy in nature”, she spoke of an ambition to become a university instructor. Coming from an affluent and secular Dhaka family which considered her “brilliant”, Momena had been an A student at some of the capital’s elite English-language educational institutions: Loreto School, Mastermind School and North South University (NSU). She graduated from NSU with an honours degree in English language and literature in 2016, then enrolled for a master’s degree at NSU before switching to La Trobe. 

Like many newly-arrived foreign students, Momena turned to the Australian Homestay Network (AHN), “Australia’s largest and leading homestay provider”, to find a family with which to board. She quickly settled in a home in Bundoora, near the university. 

What could be more innocent? Anyone worrying about her being dangerous because of her Muslim faith would have been called out for racism, chauvinism, xenophobia, bigotry and (that most dreadful of accusations)“Islamophobia”. That she wore a burka (the black full-body Islamic covering) only made such suspicions the more heinous. 

But, as Momena took a twenty-five-centimetre kitchen knife to her Bundoora room and repeatedly stabbed her bed, she signalled the danger to come. In the words of a magistrate, “She did the practice run on the mattress with the first family that hosted her and they felt intimidated enough to go to AHN, saying, ‘We’re scared, we don’t want her to continue living with us’.” Out she went, facing homelessness.

Responding to her urgent need for accommodation, the Singaravelu family—husband and nightshift nurse Roger (fifty-six), wife Maha (forty-five)and daughter Shayla (five)—welcomed Momena into their four-bedroom house in the suburb of Mill Park on February 7 for a few days until she found more permanent lodgings. Maha explained her motive in accepting Momena: “I felt for her, being in a foreign country. I put myself in her shoes and her parents’ shoes.”

Themselves immigrants from Malaysia, the Singaravelus had come to Australia thirty years ago, Roger explained, “to seek opportunity”.They had hosted foreign students since 2014 in a spirit of multiculturalism, of giving back, and of teaching tolerance to their daughter. A neighbour, Neil Fitzroy, described the Singaravelus as engaging and open, taking in foreign students to give them “an Australian experience”. 

Matters started well enough with Momena, Maha recalls: “She was very pleasant to deal with. She even offered to babysit our daughter if we ever went out.” Roger concurs: “Shoma gave a good impression right up before the attack.” He found her “well mannered” and noted that she spoke betterEnglish than he did.

Growing up in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, Roger tells me, he and Maha “understand the norms that are embraced by Muslims”. But AHN had not told the family that Momena wore a burka, and her appearance, Roger recounts, “gave us a shock when she first arrived at our doorstep”. That she “was constantly lifting the burka during meal times” to get food into her mouth made the family feel “uncomfortable having meals together”. Much less did AHN tell the couple about Momena having been thrown out of her previous homestay due to her practice at stabbing. And no one knew she had stolen the knife from the first homestay host.

On February 9, after two days with the Singaravelus, Momena struck. At 4.25 p.m., with Maha out of the house and Roger napping on a mattress in the lounge with his child in his arms, Momena, wearing her burka,used her stolen knife to stab her host in the neck. But the under-five-foot woman lacked the strength to cut the much larger Roger’s jugular vein, getting the knife only superficially into his neck—enough to make him bleed “like a fountain” but not enough to do him fatal damage.

In his words: “I thought I was dreaming as I felt a sharp pain on my neck. I woke up and started screaming.” He tried to pull the knife out as Momena leaned over him and pushed it in, yelling all the while, “Allahu Akbar!” He noted that “her eyes were so intense”. Roger continues:

I reactively grabbed onto the knife and fought [her] off … I was pleading with her for a good four, four and a half minutes and said, “Please let go [of the knife], Shoma. Please let go. We will talk.” All she [kept] saying was “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,” while my daughter was screaming here, and I told my daughter,“Run, Shayla, run.” 

Finally, Roger prevailed and pulled the blade out. After that, he says:

I managed to grab hold of my five-year-old daughter out of the house and rang Mustafa Osmanoski from my mobile, and he came to my aid immediately. When I managed to open the garage door, the neighbour across the road came to help me too.

Mustafa, seventy-six, a retired security guard of Macedonian origins, and his wife Safia, watched over a sullen and immobile Momena for twenty minutes as she awaited arrest, slumped against the wall of the room where her attack had taken place. The neighbours recount her saying that “It was a mission and that she had to do what she had to do.” 

To the police, she calmly elaborated that she had come to Australia not to study but to kill “in the name of God”. She expected that a knife stab to the neck “would be fatal”. Seeing herself as a foot soldier ofIslamic State (ISIS), Momena had planned the attack; indeed, before leaving Dhaka, she had told her younger sister Asmaul Husna, twenty-two, of her murderous plan. …

Her motive? Momena acknowledged bearing no personal grudge against Roger (who had spoken barely fifty words to her) but attacked him out of a sense of duty to “trigger the West”: meaning, to spur non-Muslims to attack Muslims, possibly leading to the chaos that brings on the End of Days. She explained: 

I had to do it … it could have been anyone, it’s not specifically him. He just seemed like a very easy target since he was sleeping, so yeah, and I had to push myself. I wouldn’t even hurt a rat. This, I just felt like if I don’t do it I will be sinful, I will be punished by Allah.  

Charged with attempted murder and one count of engaging in an act of terrorism, Momena proudly and defiantly presented herself in the magistrate’s court in August, wearing a niqab, as an ISIS soldier. She refused to stand for the magistrate or to enter a plea.

At the Victorian Supreme Court in September, the judge compelled her to take off the niqab and show her face to establish her identity as she made her plea. This time, Momena pleaded guilty to engaging intentionally in a terrorist act “with the intention of advancing a political,religious or ideological cause, namely violent jihad”. (The attempted murder charge was dropped.) 

Her sentencing will take place in January; the maximum penalty is life in prison. An online poll asked if she should be deported or incarcerated: after running for several weeks, the vote was overwhelmingly (84 to 16 per cent) in favour of deportation. 

Roger suffered cuts to his shoulder, severed tendons in his hand, and a ruptured vertebra in the neck. He recovered after surgery for injuries to his shoulder and neck. Testifying in April, he described the attack’s “devastating effects” on his family. Shayla was traumatised by what she witnessed: “She continues to experience nightmares and flashbacks, and requires psychological treatment. She still sees blood on the wall and asks me to clean it off, although there is nothing there.” …

 [T]ree days after Momena’s attack on February 9, a Dhaka Metropolitan Police team from the CTTC [Counter Terrorism Technology Centre?] went to the Shoma family home at the Royal Aroma Garden apartment building to investigate. … Momena’s sister Asmaul Husna (also known as Sumona), who also attended elite English-language schools, was “very rough” in her attitude. Then, the CTTC reports: “when the police officers were leaving, Sumona surprisingly launched a knife attack, shouting Allahu Akbar. She also said, ‘You are Kafirs [infidels]. We must establish the rule of Islam in the country. We must do jihad if necessary’.” A press account says she added, “I will kill [Bangladeshi Prime Minister] Sheikh Hasina, I will kill [Syrian President Bashar] Assad.They are all infidels. One day everyone will join jihad and Islam will rule the world.”

The injured policeman was taken to the hospital and quickly released. The CTTC subsequently found that, before departing forMelbourne, Momena had ordered her sister to murder a policeman and instructed her on the use of a knife. 

Within three days, then, the two sisters, both inspired by Islamic motives, had stabbed two victims in two countries. … 

Why did the Australian authorities allow Momena into the country after the government of Turkey (and perhaps those of Tunisia and the United States) had rejected her visa application?

The intrusive and “most dreaded“ Australian Form 80, required of all applicants for permanent residence and some for temporary residence, asks, “Have you ever been refused a visa to any country?” and “Have you … ever been associated with an organisation engaged in violence or engaged in acts of violence (including … terrorism)?” What value have these questions? …

The case of Momena Shoma crystallises the need for Australia and other Western countries to develop fair but rigorous mechanisms to exclude Islamists [ie. jihadis – ed] from their countries. Note: Islamists, not Muslims.

Yes, distinguishing the one from the other is a challenge, but, given adequate time, skill and funds, it can be done. 

Can it really?

How? 

Posted under Australia, Bangladesh, Islam, jihad, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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The hubris and incoherence of the Left 14

The sheer incoherence of the Left must surely sink it eventually!

Feminists who claimed for decades to be fighting for women’s “liberation” defend the absolute subjugation of Muslim women. In their thousands, wearing silly pink baby hats, they bob about  Linda Sarsour, a Muslima in a hijab, cheering her every lying word as she tells them how much better for women Islam is than the Constitution of the USA.

Americans who worked passionately for years to keep the teaching of religion – Christianity in particular – out of public schools, are now letting Islam be taught in them. And not just allowing it but insisting on it. And what is being taught is not even the truth about that horrible religion. We would not object if the truth were being told. No; what the children get is a false, prettified version written by deceitful proselytizing Muslims. A supremacist, totalitarian, misogynist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, murderous, savagely cruel ideology is presented to young scholars as a kindly, gentle thing, full of good-will and brotherly love.

And this happened:

So, after being maligned and threatened, Councilman Tom Harrison retracted his objection to Islam being included in the school curriculum, apologized, and groveled.

The idea of the separation of church and state does not exist in Islam. And it will no longer apply in all public schools in the United States, despite the First Amendment of the Constitution. At least, not when it comes to Islam. Islam, a blood-thirsty intolerant creed, is excepted.

Tolerance. Inclusiveness. Diversity. Buzzwords of the Left. Yet Leftists passionately support the intolerance, exclusiveness, and dogmatism that characterize Islam. They ignore its doctrine  that everyone in the world must become Muslim or suffer dire consequences, including murder.

What the Left has never understood, not for a moment since the New Left prophets such as Herbert Marcuse changed the category of persons they declared themselves to be the champions and saviors of  – substituting Lumpenproletarians, convicted felons, hoboes, women, Third Worlders for Karl Marx’s romanticized workers – is that they are patronizing the subjects of their crusade. They are the most extreme of social snobs.

They claim to be acting out of compassion, but there is an awful lot of condescension in their compassion, and an awful lot of vanity in their condescension.

Very few of them ever leave their comfortable quarters in the schools or parliaments or penthouses or manors or leafy suburbs where they write their books, speeches and op-eds, to visit the unsafe regions of the world where the folks they have made their Cause actually struggle to survive. They know almost nothing about them, and do not want to know. How shocked would they be to learn that the most rabid hatred of other races, religions, tribes, or mere skin color, is to be found there, among the “oppressed”, the “deprived”, the “wretched of the earth”?

So yes, there is a privileged white patriarchy consumed with moral vanity. But it is not to be found on the conservative Right. Here no one cares what color a person’s skin is. We do not think with our skins.

The privileged white patriarchy is to be found where ill-informed women march in pink baby hats. Where self-righteous students scream out their opinions against citizens’ ownership of guns. Where George Soros signs his checks.

Ramadan – a month of murder 0

Today is the last day of Ramadan 2016.

Wikipedia says:

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad according to Islamic belief. This annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings of the crescent moon.

While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations. Muslims are also instructed to refrain from sinful behavior that may negate the reward of fasting, such as false speech (insulting, backbiting, cursing, lying, etc.) and fighting.

The excellent website ironically named The Religion of Peace keeps a daily record of Islamic terrorist attacks. Their toll of lethal attacks world-wide since 9/11 is reflected in our margin.

Here’s its count of terrorist attacks and murders carried out during this year’s month of Ramadan:

Ramadan-Bombathon-2016

In the last few days, Muslim terrorists have been busier than ever, as if to crowd as much terror and atrocity into the month as they could before it ended.

The following list shows that the victims of the attackers were mostly Muslims, although the Koran and the Hadith, while commanding the killing of non-Muslims,* forbid the killing of fellow Muslims:But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.” – Koran 4:93.

From a CNN report:

Multiple major terror strikes have occurred in recent days as the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches. Ramadan ends Tuesday evening.

ISIS either claimed responsibility or is suspected in each of them.

Jordan

At least six members of Jordan’s security forces were killed June 21 in a suicide car bombing launched from the Syrian side of the border. …

ISIS claimed responsibility through Amaq, its de facto media agency, saying the act was carried out by an ISIS fighter.

Lebanon

Six people died and 19 others were wounded following a series of suicide attacks in a mainly Christian area of northern Lebanon, close to the border with Syria.

According to Lebanon’s National News Agency the first incident happened at around 4.20 a.m. last Monday when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a house in the village of Qaa, in the country’s Bekaa Valley.

Three other attackers — with at least one wearing an explosive vest — then detonated themselves as rescue teams and locals gathered at the scene. …

Security analysts think ISIS could be responsible.

On Thursday, the army said it foiled “two major terrorist operation” planned by ISIS – one targeting a “large tourist facility” and the other targeting a densely populated area.

Five people have been arrested, including the mastermind of the operation, the statement said.

Yemen

At least 42 people, mostly soldiers and one child, were killed when attackers launched four suicide car bombings at security targets in a major Yemeni city …

The attacks occurred last Monday in Mukalla, a southeastern port city in Hadramaut province.

At least 30 people were injured — all security officers except for five civilians …

One of the attacks targeted a military compound near a government intelligence building. The others targeted military checkpoints. A child walking near one of the checkpoints was killed.

The attackers were from ISIS, [the] group’s media voice said.

Turkey

Terrorists stormed Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport last Tuesday, killing 44 people and injuring hundreds.

There has been no claim of responsibility, but hallmarks of the strike points to ISIS and the attack resembled the suicide bombings in March at the main airport in Brussels.

Reports have emerged about the identities of the suicide bombers as well as the organizer, … a top soldier in the ISIS war ministry.

Two of the three assailants in the terror attack at Ataturk Airport were identified as Rakim Bulgarov and Vadim Osmanov, according to Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu, citing an anonymous prosecution source.

That report did not identify the third attacker and did not reveal their nationalities. But officials have said they believe the three attackers are from Russia, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, and entered Turkey a month ago from Syria’s ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

Bangladesh

Gunmen in Bangladesh killed 20 hostages and two police officers late Friday and early Saturday before authorities raided the restaurant and ended the standoff.

The massacre occurred at the end of the day when Muslims would have been breaking their daily fast for Ramadan.

Authorities released the nationalities of the 20 hostages found dead … after Bangladeshi troops stormed the cafe early Saturday morning, ending a nearly 11-hour siege. …

The attack took place in the city’s diplomatic enclave, and those killed were from around the globe: Italians, Japanese, Indian, Bangladeshi and an American …

ISIS claimed responsibility, but  … all the attackers in the deadly assault on a cafe in Dhaka were Bangladeshi citizens.

In that bloodbath, the terrorists spared hostages who could recite the Koran.

Iraq

A suicide truck bomb ripped through a busy shopping district in Baghdad Saturday night, killing more than 200 people.

The strike in the Karrada neighborhood also left at least 175 people wounded.

Families had been gathering hours after they broke the fast for Ramadan and prepared for Eid al-Fitr – the day that marks the end of the holiday this week.

As people congregated, shopped and watched soccer matches, the bomb-laden truck plowed into a building housing a coffee shop, stores and a gym. Firefighters rescued wounded and trapped people in adjacent buildings.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the action …

For a video and many pictures of this atrocity see the Daily Mail here.

Kuwait

Kuwait security agencies foiled a number of ISIS plots in three preemptive operations on Sunday, according to Kuwait news agency Kuna.

Kuna reports the arrested ISIS members were planning to strike a Jaafari mosque in Hawali and a Ministry of Interior facility during the first days of Eid Al-Fitr, at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia endured a wave of suicide bombings over a 24-hour period ending Monday, a coordinated string of attacks analysts are linking to ISIS.

The strikes occurred near the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, and a Shiite mosque in Qatif. The holy city of Medina was also a target. The strikes failed in Jeddah and Qatif. Four people were killed in Medina.

There has been no claim of responsibility. But Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, said ISIS called for attacks during Ramadan and “now we have them”.

 

*eg. “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” – Koran  48:29. “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah” – Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 992.

Atheists who do as Christians do 11

Atheists of the Left – “Humanists” some call themselves – often reveal with unconscious irony how close Leftism is to Christianity: the same moral myopia, hubris, and sentimentality.

In order to enjoy the cheap emotional satisfaction of feeling they are “good people”, they go in for this sort of thing.

We quote from the Friendly Atheist at Patheos:

After the Daily Caller News Foundation posted a map of supposed “radical mosques” in the U.S., it wasn’t long before threats were made against them.

But in a wonderful gesture on Monday, the Humanists of the Palouse reached out to the Muslims, sending them a letter of concern and offering whatever help they could:

To our Muslim friends in the Moscow/Pullman area,

Recently, we have been made aware of threats to our community, centered on the Pullman Islamic Center and it and many other Mosques being mis-reported as “radical”. In today’s climate, these threats should not be taken lightly, and we certainly do not. We fully support your right to practice religion free from harm and harassment.

We recognize your members as valued residents of the Palouse. The Humanists of the Palouse want you to know that we will always defend religious freedom and cultural diversity, and threats against these are threats against our very way of life. We stand with you, and offer our support.

If you feel threatened, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to accompany anyone who feels that their safety is at risk (e.g. grocery shopping, on a walk around town, or just for someone to talk to). If we can advocate for you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, and know that you have friends and allies amongst The Humanists of the Palouse.

The Center’s Board of Trustees soon issued this heartfelt response:

The entire Board of Trustees of the Pullman Islamic Association joins me in thanking you and the Humanists of the Palouse generally for this powerful statement affirming civil rights in this country. We are especially moved that a humanist group so completely supports the local Muslim group, since Islam is the most disrespected group in this country. We have noticed that the correct way to define and appreciate humanist groups in general and yours in particular is as lovers and defenders of civil rights, individual and group democratic dignities and freedom of thought, not as haters of religion. Your group’s neighborly defense of freedom of religion in the Palouse demonstrates your focus on freedom and social justice. We are impressed by and thankful for your firm support and offer of assistance and solidarity.

One of our Board of Trustees members is meeting with an FBI agent today, which demonstrates that the federal police are taking this threat seriously. Given this sobering reality of threatened arson and violence your support will always be appreciated by the leaders and membership of the Pullman Islamic Association. We hope we will not need to ask for your offered assistance, but if we do need or want such support, we will indeed reach out to Humanists of the Palouse.

That’s how you do it, friends.

You can disagree on theological issues, but I’d hope local atheist groups around the country would be willing to reach out to Muslims who are actually being persecuted by overzealous conservatives eager to shut them down.

If they lose their religious freedoms, we all do.

Can they possibly not know that sharia law – inseparable from the ideology of Islam – condemns apostasy, which is what atheism is deemed to be? And prescribes death as the punishment for atheists? (Atheist men; women not always.) In some Islamic lands they are imprisoned rather than executed. But all risk their lives, and such freedom as anyone has in a Muslim majority country.

These are reports of atheists, apostates, free thinkers who have been sentenced to prison, and/or flogging, and/or death in Islamic countries recently – the crime of atheism often being euphemized into something else in court. And some who have been killed by their Muslim compatriots.

1. From the Economist, on Alexander Aan in Indonesia:

A MOB attacked Alexander Aan even before an Indonesian court in June jailed him for two and a half years for “inciting religious hatred”.

His crime was to write “God does not exist” on a Facebook group he had founded for atheists in Minang, a province of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Like most non-believers in Islamic regions, he was brought up as a Muslim. And like many who profess godlessness openly, he has been punished. …

Sharia law, which covers only Muslims unless incorporated into national law, assumes people are born into their parents’ religion. Thus ex-Muslim atheists are guilty of apostasy—a hudud crime against God, like adultery and drinking alcohol. Potential sanctions can be severe: eight states, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Sudan have the death penalty on their statute books for such offences. …

Most atheists are prosecuted for blasphemy or for inciting hatred. (Atheists born to non-Muslim families are not considered apostates, but they can still be prosecuted for other crimes against religion.) Even in places where laws are lenient, religious authorities and social attitudes can be harsh, with vigilantes inflicting beatings or beheadings.

Many, like Kacem el-Ghazzali, a Moroccan, reckon the only solution is to escape abroad. The 23-year-old was granted asylum in Switzerland after people found out he was the author of an anonymous blog, Atheistica.com. …

Nahla Mahmoud, a 25-year-old Sudanese atheist … fled to Britain in 2010. …

Ibn Warraq, the pseudonymous Indian-born author of “Leaving Islam”, a collection of essays by ex-believers, … lives in exile and has received death threats for campaigning on the behalf of apostates. … Arguments for the death penalty [he says] are usually based on a Hadith, one of the sayings which, along with the Koran, form the basis of Islamic law: “The Prophet said: whoever discards his religion, kill him.” …

Ibn Warraq says that the nub of the problem is that sharia makes atheism the number one sin, ahead of murder.  …

2. From the Guardian, on Ashraf Fayadh in Saudi Arabia:

A Palestinian poet and leading member of Saudi Arabia’s nascent contemporary art scene has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.

A Saudi court on Tuesday ordered the execution of Ashraf Fayadh, who has curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale. The poet, who said he did not have legal representation, was given 30 days to appeal against the ruling.

Fayadh, 35, a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia, was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court in Abha, a city in the south-west of the ultraconservative kingdom, in May 2014. But after his appeal was dismissed he was retried earlier this month and a new panel of judges ruled that his repentance did not prevent his execution.

3. From Patheos, the Friendly Atheist itself, on Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia:

December 26, 2013 by Paul Fidalgo [who is admirably scathing in his disgust – ed).

Saudi blogger and religious dissident Raif Badawi has been cruelly punished and toyed with by the Saudi legal system for about a year now, and things have taken a darker turn. According to Badawi’s wife, now living in Lebanon, the high court will try Badawi on the charge of apostasy. If convicted, Badawi could be executed.

This comes after a court opted not to charge him with apostasy in January, but did put him up on charges of “insulting Islam and showing disobedience”. How did they come to this decision? Badawi is the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, which is bad enough, but imagine the horror that washed over Saudi society with this kind of action:

The evidence against him included the fact that he pressed the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.

As a result of this heinous behavior, in July, Badawi was sentenced to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.

Which was horrifying enough. But now it looks like Badawi is being brought up on apostasy charges in earnest. Badawi’s case is one of many being watched by the Office of Public Policy at the Center for Inquiry, where I work, and our Campaign for Free Expression. Browse the cases we have listed there, and you’ll see that, sadly, Badawi’s case is hardly unique.

Cases like this need more international attention, and those who position themselves as “allies” of Saudi Arabia, such as the United States, need to discover their consciences. How can the civilized world refer to itself as such when an ally practices such barbarism, it looks the other way?

The judge in Badawi’s subsequent appeal stiffened the original 2013 sentence – seven years in prison and 600 lashes – to 1000 lashes, ten years in prison and a fine of $266,000. See our post, The punishment of reason, January 12, 2015, where there is an eyewitness description of the first of the series of lashings Badawi is being subjected to.

Badawi had written, “My commitment is… to reject any repression in the name of religion… a goal that we will reach in a peaceful, law-abiding way.”

This was interpreted by the judge as “insulting Islam”.

Badawi’s health is now frail. He is unlikely to survive the lashings.

4. From Poetry Foundation, on Hashem Shaabani in Iran:

We were saddened and horrified today to learn of the death of Hashem Shaabani, who was executed on January 27th by the order of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

From Radio Free Europe:

An Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal reportedly had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, last July on charges that included “waging war on God”. 

Press reports said Shaabani was hanged after his sentence was approved by President Hassan Rohani.

In a statement on February 5, Freedom House said Shaabani was subjected to severe torture and interrogation during his three years in prison.

Human Rights Voices also reports on the execution, writing:

To those who knew him, was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system … In one of his letters from prison, made available to use through his family, Shaabani says  … I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.” 

5. From the Guardian on Avijit Roy and Rafida Bonya Ahmed in Pakistan:

No one could have predicted that the Bangladeshi writer Rafida Bonya Ahmed would make it to London last week. …  In February, Islamist fanatics hacked her husband, Avijit Roy, to death with meat cleavers as the couple left a book fair in Dhaka. They nearly killed Ahmed too: slicing off her thumb and covering her body with wounds. …

Together, Ahmed and Roy ran a secular blog that promoted the writings of young liberal Bangladeshis They wrote on evolution and humanism; they condemned extremism fearlessly, as the title of Roy’s 2014 book The Virus of Faith makes clear. Seeing and fearing a courageous opponent, the enemies of free thought killed him for his ideas. …

6. From a Reuters report on Ananta Bijoy Das and others in Bangladesh:

Third Atheist blogger killed in Bangladesh.

A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding attackers in Bangladesh on Tuesday (May 12), the third killing of a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation in less than three months.

Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger who advocated secularism, was attacked by four masked assailants in the northeastern district of Sylhet on Tuesday morning, senior police official Mohammad Rahamatullah told Reuters.

Rahamatullah said Das was a 33-year-old banker.

He was also editor of science magazine “Jukti,” which means “logic,” and on the advisory board of “Mukto Mona” (Free Mind), a website propagating rationalism and opposing fundamentalism …

According to the monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group, Islamist militant group Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh said al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) had claimed responsibility for the attack. …

Imran Sarker, the head of a network of activists and bloggers in Bangladesh, said Das was “a progressive free thinker and a good human being”. …

Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years …

On March 30, Washiqur Rahman, another secular blogger who aired his outrage over [Avijit] Roy’s death on social media, was killed in similar fashion on a busy street in the capital, Dhaka.

Their deaths followed the killing in 2013 of Ahmed Rajib Haider, who backed calls to impose the death penalty on Islamist leaders accused of atrocities in Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.

Why do our fellow atheists – of the leftist “Humanist” persuasion – not burn with anger against the ideology that persecutes atheism, secularism, rationalism, and shun the company of its devotees?

If they think they are earning the goodwill and tolerance of the Muslims towards whom they’re making this gesture, they’re pathetically deluded. Their nice little letter is not going to change sharia law, or the minds of those who want to impose it on us all.

They seem simply not to believe that the Muslims they contacted might be members of “radicalizing” mosques – which is to say, mosques with imams who urge them to support terrorist groups or join ISIS. There’s no hint that they explored the possibility. In their minds, the accusation must be wholly unjustified.

And one more thing. When those poor persecuted Muslims “in the Moscow/Pullman area” whimpered that “Islam is the most disrespected group in this country”, they are lying. The president of the United States is the son of a Muslim and an Islam lover who has brought Muslim Brotherhood advisers into his administration – and has clearly formed policies on their advice..

At the time of this writing there have been 27,322 deadly attacks carried out by Muslims since 9/11. (See the tally in our margin, taken from The Religion of Peace.) Muslim terrorists do all they can to terrify non-Muslims, and then cynically accuse them of an irrational fear of Islam, calling it “Islamophobia”.

Muslims are the target of few “hate crimes” in the US. But they perpetrate more than any others do.

We quote from an article by David J. Rusin at Islamist Watch. His staistics come from a December 2014 report of 2013 figures. (We await the 2014 report this coming December):

New FBI Hate Crime Stats: Another Blow to Islamist Fictions

There were 1,031 incidents inspired by religion last year, 625 (60.6 percent) of which were anti-Jewish. Anti-Islamic ones constituted just 13.1 percent.

On April 15, 2013, Muslim terrorists murdered three and injured hundreds at the Boston Marathon, prompting familiar warnings about an imminent anti-Muslim backlash. The FBI’s findings are proof that such collective punishment did not materialize — as it almost never does.

How have Islamist groups greeted the FBI data? With silence. It is the sound of disappointment on the part of radicals who need Muslim victims, preferably real ones, to serve as human shields for the Islamist agenda. Bad news for Islamists is once again good news for the rest of us.

Heroic atheists 0

This article by Nick Cohen appeared in the leftist, anti-Semitic, Islam-loving Guardian. And yet – except where we have raised a few objections – it is an opinion we find we can welcome.

No one could have predicted that the Bangladeshi writer Rafida Bonya Ahmed would make it to London last week. That she is alive at all is a miracle – to use a word of which she would thoroughly disapprove. As I watched her deliver the British Humanist Association’s annual Voltaire lecture , I saw a dignified and principled intellectual it was our duty to emulate and defend. I could not understand why anyone would want to harm, let alone kill, her.

But many do. In February, Islamist fanatics hacked her husband, Avijit Roy, to death with meat cleavers as the couple left a book fair in Dhaka. They nearly killed Ahmed too: slicing off her thumb and covering her body with wounds. To hear her talk about her murdered husband made me long to have met him. He was a typical intellectual – hopeless with anything practical but in love with literature, science and free debate.

Together, Ahmed and Roy ran a secular blog that promoted the writings of young liberal Bangladeshis They wrote on evolution and humanism; they condemned extremism fearlessly, as the title of Roy’s 2014 book The Virus of Faith makes clear. Seeing and fearing a courageous opponent, the enemies of free thought killed him for his ideas.

Ahmed talked about how compromised the Bangladeshi state had become, and you could easily make the mistake of thinking her story had nothing to do with us. Yet there were guards at the doors of her lecture room, searching bags for bombs and guns. A widow, still recovering from the slash of meat cleavers, with no weapon to threaten anyone beyond the power of her thought, is as much a target in London as Dhaka.

The comparisons don’t stop there. Immigration has meant that Bangladeshi politics are British politics too. You will never understand why London’s East End returns politicians as grotesque as George Galloway or mayors as bent as Lutfur Rahman unless you know that Tower Hamlets is Jamaat-e-Islami’s British stronghold. Grasp that the party of Bangladesh’s religious right is always willing to lend its vote bank to politicians who bow before its prejudices and you will gaze on the East End’s fetid politics with less bewilderment.

A bit of an annoyance there: “Bangladesh’s religious right”.

Religious Muslims are intolerant. Islam is intolerant. It is not surely a matter of “right” or “left” in an Islamic country, but of religious or not religious, and so intolerant or tolerant.

Above all else, the fear that religious terror brings, the lies it makes people tell and concessions it forces them to make are as familiar here as on the subcontinent.

Ahmed was in despair about Bangladesh. Islamists had not only murdered her beloved husband, but two other atheist bloggers. As Bangladesh’s ruling party is officially secular, and as Islamists have opposed the state ever since Jamaat-e-Islami death squads collaborated with the Pakistani army in committing crimes that came close to genocide during Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence, the naive might assume that the government would be keen to fight her husband’s enemies.

Not so. After one prominent Jamaat activist was sentenced to death for his part in the 1971 war, Islamists responded by demanding that dozens of secularists who had allegedly “insulted” their famously thin-skinned religion be tried for blasphemy and condemned to death. The state did not reply that Bangladeshis had the freedom to believe what they wanted. It said the authorities would prosecute blasphemers under repressive laws that date from the British empire.

But were not made by the British!

Liberals in Bangladesh are therefore on both Islamist death lists and police arrest lists. If killers with meat cleavers don’t get them, cops with warrants will. To Bangladesh’s shame, the state has threatened friends and allies of Ahmed and Roy with prison for the crime of “hurting religious sentiments” and jeopardising “communal harmony”.

Lenin said: “The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” Islamists must feel the same about the “moderate” governments they want to destroy. Instead of taking extremists on and upholding human rights, Bangladesh justifies extremism by turning on the liberal critics of religion and treating them as criminals. In one of the most pathetic interviews you’ll ever read, Sajeeb Wazed, the son of Sheikh Hasina told Reuters that his mother had found it prudent to offer only private condolences to Roy’s family after his assassination. Although “we believe in secularism”, the wretched man explained, the prime minister could not make a public stand “because our opposition party plays that religion card against us relentlessly, we cannot come out strongly. It’s about perception, not about reality”. …

Avijit Roy lost his life because he wanted to change reality, not perception. He knew the dangers, but knew too that there are fights that cannot be ducked. “Those who think victory will be realised without any bloodshed are living in a fool’s paradise,” he wrote before his death. “We risk our lives the moment we started wielding our pens against religious bigotry and fundamentalism.”

Compare the bravery of Bangladeshi intellectuals with the attitude of the bulk of the western intelligentsia. Whole books could be written on why it failed to argue against the fascism of our age – indeed I’ve written a couple myself – but the decisive reason is a fear that dare not speak its name. They are frightened of accusations of racism, frightened of breaking with the consensus, frightened most of all of violence. They dare not admit they are afraid. So they struggle to produce justifications to excuse their dereliction of duty. They turn militant religion into a rational reaction to poverty or western foreign policy. They maintain there is a moral equivalence between militant religion and militant atheism.

We agree. There is no moral equivalence between militant religion and militant atheism. There is no moral equivalence between religion, which is the propagation of lies, and atheism which condemns the lies.

On occasion, they drop even that spurious attempt at evenhandedness and seem to suggest, as Professor Craig Calhoun, director of the London School of Economics, did recently, that the real menace facing universities is not students heading to Syria to rape and behead but secularists whose calls for free speech “challenge the faith and beliefs of religious students” and disrupt “campus harmony”. David Cameron will clearly have trouble taking his mission to “root out” extremism to the LSE.

For all the similarities, there is no moral equivalence between Britain and Bangladesh. They have thinkers of the calibre of Rafida Bonya Ahmed and Avijit Roy, while we have liberals whom Karl Marx might have looked at and said: “Religion is the opium of the intellectuals.”

But Marxism is another religion.

Posted under Bangladesh, Blasphemy, Britain by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

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