Saudi Arabia: Café Muslimah – For Women Only

Muslim women from Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world may not be able to get out of the house as often as they would wish for various reasons.  Yet they want to have friendships with other women and have questions answered as well as share tips and hints from cooking to child rearing to walking a straight path to Allah.  Café Muslimah, founded by Umm Talal is a place where Muslim women (ONLY) can virtually gather for their own special halaqah’s.  The following information was provided to me directly by Umm Talal and it is a pleasure to share with American Bedu readers:

I founded Cafe Muslimah back in 2008 after I had my son and found myself at home a lot. Cafe Muslimah is an exclusive forum for Muslim women or women who want to learn more about Islam. The forum is set to private so that each member is checked to have the best of intentions. Its really nice for women to have a safe and reliable place to go to on the net. Not only can you feel safe online but your fathers, brothers and husbands can feel safe about you being online as well. Many stay at home mothers find themselves yearning for friends. The women at Cafe Muslimah have became a close little family. Many of us have been online friends since before we even have children and we have watched one another’s family grow.

This is a place women can chat about everyday things, share recipes, learn a new hobbie and of course the main point of the forum is so that we as Muslims can learn more about our religion. ​I live in Saudi Arabia as well as many other women on the forum but alhumdullah we have women from all corners of the world on the forum. Its amazing to see how Islam has grown to everyone. We do not have an age requirement for the forum since the group is very clean. We also have many women that are not yet Muslim but are thinking about and we even have a few that just like our company. The man goal I had when creating the forum was to make a reliable place for women to learn more about Islam available. So many places just post any information without making sure that it is even reliable. This is something that is very hurtful for our ummah.  ​The main goal we have is get more women involved in Cafe Muslimah to please Allah and Allah alone.

UmmTalal (founder of Cafe Muslimah)

Asalamualaykunna Wa Ramatulah Wa Baraqatah

Inshaa Allah

Ta`alaa

you are all in the best of health and strong

Eemaan

.

Cafe Muslimah is an Islamic form it’s beliefs are  based on the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad Salallahu alayhi Wa Salam, the methodology and Aqeedah is that of the Salaf us Salah the righteous forbears, our goal is to teach the Sisterhood Tawheed, Aqeedah and Methodology and to make sure that the proper inforamtion is given and the authentic sources are taken from the correct Scholars of Ahul Sunnah wal Jammah, everything that is posted is checked for its authenticity and the correct websites and Ulema, we have a duty of care to make sure that our Dawah is based upon the Manhaj al Salafiyyah, when situations arise through disagreements within our form the dispute is taken to a  student of knowledge who is either closely connected with a Scholar, by phone or by sitting with them Alhamdulillah we have these facilities to contact the students personally. We strive to attain knowledge for Allah`s sake only and to pass it on, we believe strongly when dealing with differences that we have the proper Islamic adhab  that we adopt  from the sunnah when dealing with such issues, we take the Religion of Allah Subahana wa ta`alaa very seriously and knowledge is our first priority within the forum and we are are all striving for the same thing the Akhira, we live through this dunya as strangers yearning for the hereafter and doing things to please our Rabb we are hear to encourage each other to do good and forbid evil and want for others what we would want for ourselves, we have been blessed from our Merciful Rabb that he choose us to be Muslim this is the geatest blessing a person could ask for,  we should thank Him day and night for such a bounty and we should use the intellect that Allah bestowed upon us to seek the truth and act upon it inshaa Allah ta`alaa.

UmmHamam (Islamic Manager of Cafe Muslimah)

If you could like to Join Cafe Muslimah please do so here:

http://z3.invisionfree.com/Cafe_Muslimah/index.php?

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291 Responses

  1. Sounds nice, especially for women stuck at home. It also sounds like the sort of Halaqa I make trouble at 🙂

    I’m still looking for one that explores more fully the how UNreliable hadith often are, and how Sunnah is NOT the same thing as Hadith and how we really should question the whole science of hadith in all it’s inaccuracies. For example the whole innovation/fabrication of HIjab that has been put on women etc. And a whole lot more but you get the gist.

  2. “Not only can you feel safe online but your fathers, brothers and husbands can feel safe about you being online as well.”

    If one is an adult woman, presumably fit to be married and a mother- than ones “fathers and brothers” shouldn’t have anything to say about what you do online, and your husband should only have an interest if you have a really unhealthy marriage, and he has to make sure you’re not cheating or something. (and that would go both ways. Wife being uncomfortable with husband online).

    Given its apparent low opinion of women, I would have trouble accepting the reliabilty of the views within such a website.

  3. @Sandy,

    I see your perspective and understand. I also can see why the statement of safety and confidence of the mahrem was put in. If this gives some women an opportunity for socializing they otherwise would not have, I’m for it. Sadly there are still too many women who do not receive the opportunities to get out and socialize and have a mahrem who may play an active role in her online activities.

  4. Practically speaking Carol, you are certainly right. I just think whenever primitive thinking is catered to- it should be obvious that is what is happening. A spade should be called a spade. So maybe, ” if you are in a situation where your online time is being monitored by your mahrem, then your brother, father…etc should feel safe.

    However, if a site is “safe” for learning about Islam and also “safe” for medevial men- I still think it is medieval Islam being promoted. No mahrem would let his “woman” go to a site that really addressed Islamic issues. Only ones that repeat the Wahabi/Salafi patriarchal/tribal line.

    So perhaps a cooking/parenting site would be better. At least they aren’t being further indoctrinated.

  5. Well put, Sandy!

  6. Asalam Alaykum, Sandy this is Noor the owner of the site honesty I see no sense in what your saying. This is a forum FOR MUSLIM women and your obviously not one so it should be no concern what so ever to you nor should our religion and how we handle ourselves.

    You stated that a grown woman’s husband should have no concern in what she does. And that means they have a unhealthy marriage well that is quiet laughable to me seeing how that the man WHO WOULD not care what his wife does what so ever would be the one who has the unhealthy marriage. Any one who loves someone cares about what they do on or offline. I am sorry if you do not have someone who is concerned about you.

    NO ONE monitors me what so ever. BUT as Muslim women we do not WANT to meaning we CHOOSE NOT to mix with men. That is our choice and what we believe. Maybe that is okay to you and that is your choice but not ours.

    An ace should be called an ace right so just saw your anti-Islam. THANK GOD I was raised to accept all people and religions. People like who are so obsessed with Islam and spend your life talking about it are quiet odd. I have never been interested in something that I do not like that much.

    You will make NO TROUBLE in my group nor be put up with what so ever. We have ZERO tolerance for hate ridden people like you.

    Your not Muslim so stop being so concerned with Islam and try to get your own life and believes.

  7. Yes, I found that expression rather off-putting. Had it not been for that, I might have, at least, checked it out.
    It’s a rather Salafi leaning forum and I consider myself a non-sectarian Muslim, able to benefit from a wide range of scholarship.

  8. Salam Alaikum Noor and Sandy,

    I want to try and throw some water on these burning embers before there is a full blaze going on which spins out of control.

    When anyone or anything is put out onto a forum or blog, even if to inform of an opportunity, it also opens up the topic to discussion and comments. There will be disagreements.

    Please – keep the disagreements to the topic at hand rather than take personal stabs at individuals.

    I respect that Sandy readily speaks up and provides a point of view based on -her- experiences and observations.

    We all learn so much from each other by the way we react and respond to specific topics.

  9. @Umm Talal

    You post is quite filled with many assumptions so I will attempt to changed your ignorance of the truth here. Sandy (who I know can defend herself here) IS A MUSLIM and is also a MUSLIM married to a Saudi man living in Saudi Arabia. I hope you are assuming here she isn’t not because you think her beliefs do not fit your own narrow definition of what it means to be Muslim. That would be arrogant, uncharitable, and stupid.

    You said:
    “You stated that a grown woman’s husband should have no concern in what she does. And that means they have a unhealthy marriage well that is quiet laughable to me seeing how that the man WHO WOULD not care what his wife does what so ever would be the one who has the unhealthy marriage. Any one who loves someone cares about what they do on or offline. I am sorry if you do not have someone who is concerned about you.”

    Um, I’m sorry but if my HUSBAND (because as an adult women my brother and father really do not have a say on how I live my life) didn’t TRUST me enough to know that I can handle myself or that I am intelligent enough to make my OWN decisions then I would not want to be married to him. Quite simple and is not because I would not want him to be concerned about me or that I have no one “concerned” (there’s a difference when it’s really “concern” and not “controlled”) about me.

    You said:
    “An ace should be called an ace right so just saw your anti-Islam. THANK GOD I was raised to accept all people and religions. People like who are so obsessed with Islam and spend your life talking about it are quiet odd. I have never been interested in something that I do not like that much.”

    Why do people take ANY criticism of Muslims and what they do as anti-ISLAM? Your tolerance of other people is quite obviously NOT as great as you claim or you would not take offense to what Sandy said. As to not knowing why others take an interest in Islam/Muslims just because you do not want to broaden your horizons does not mean others do not.

    I’m quite sure that Sandy or anyone else for that matter wishes to join your small clique if you are going to be the example of the people there. You may want to at least TRY to present a better picture of yourself and your website. I will have to say that Carol has made a grave mistake in even endorsing your site.

    So feel free to call me an islamophobe or anti-islam if it makes you feel better but I will take it as a compliment you are lumping me together with the likes of Sandy.

  10. @Carol,
    I will try not to stab, but I do feel compelled to respond.

    @Um Talal,
    I am a Muslim, I am married to a Saudi man (neither of us has the time or inclination to monitor each others online time) and the mother of Saudi children. I am a resident of Saudi Arabia.

    I completely believe you, that you can make no sense of what I am saying- but I believe many other readers will know EXACTLY what I’m saying- especially given your very telling response, which speaks volumes more than anything I actually said.

    And I also believe you, that your group would have zero tolerance for someone like me. After all, I’m a Muslima with a different point of view. That would be way too uncomfortable, I understand and I promise not to try to join.

  11. @OnigiriFB
    Thank you. Sadly this was almost 100% predictable.

  12. Oops, sorry Carol… too late the genies is out of the bottle. Ah well that’s what makes your blog fun some times though 🙂

    *goes back to debate with those who can debate without getting all huffy*

  13. @Sandy

    Um, you are welcome, didn’t really mean to butt in…
    Yes I agree. However I try not to be Mr Darcy but more an Elizabeth if you know what I mean. (I’m sure you do, other’s not so bright might not.)

  14. 🙂 though Mr. Darcy has his uses!

  15. Oooohhh, still swooning over Darcy….

    I am trying to be more of a Ripley.

  16. And he’s so D*MN HOT!!!!!!! Well ok the Colin Firth vers. at least!

  17. Oh no, I have just made a new resolution, I will be trying to try to be more of a ehm, Cinderella.
    Cute, sweet, and un-confrontational.

  18. Onigiri, please, decorum! You are on a public forum! Ne vous déranger pas!

  19. I think many converts (as I suspect Umm Talal is) and even newly practising born Muslims go through a period of convertitis. If their first point of contact when entering Islam is with the brand of Salafism that concerns itself with who’s on or off the manhaj, converts can come across as obnoxiousand self-righteous. In worst cases,they can end up 3 or 4 months into being Muslim, dismiss other Muslims (who might have been practising for years) as some kind of heretic because they choose to follow Imam Abu Hanifa, for example.
    I think the holier han thou attitude that one fnds in some recent converts is one that they were already possessed long before they entered Islam. Following their conversion, rather than treat this attitude as a spiritual malaise like greed or envy, they instead retain it and allow it to find expression in pouring scorn on the “ignorance” of other Muslims (most of whom have far better characters than any of these recent converts). There is little introspection or self-examination and it’s only when they realise what hateful empty shells they’ve become that they start to realise that they have these hardened little egos…which is entirely at odds with the Islamic ideal.

  20. I think it’s awfully sad to present oneself masses in an attempt to *market, inform, whatever the intention was* and then throw an unwarranted punch at ones who may question various practices. As many have already stated, close minded “holier than thou” attitude of many Muslimahs is disappointing representation of our beautiful religion.

  21. I have a little online group like this that I’ve been part of for over 7 years. We have enjoyed discussing a variety of topics and seeing each other’s families grow.

    This sounds like a nice little community though I was a bit put off by the way UmmTalal responded to Sandy. I agree that the men in our lives shouldn’t have to monitor our access to websites. Are we not trustworthy? We are adults; not little children who have ask our men for permission.

  22. Oops Aafke pardon me francois (Sorry Daddy said I knew French when I was 3 but heck if I remember it.) 😛

  23. @Sandy:
    I am a Muslim Saudi man and a legal and Sharia scholar.
    I agree with your analysis and unfortunately the whole mindset of Mihram paranoia and male supremacy over females is a product of Wahabbism which many new converts are wrongly taught as a building block for their remaining Islamic knowledge.

    Even the scholars and Ulama that Umm Talal mentioned are most likely adhering to the Wahabbi school which adds to flawed understanding of Islam. Whether you call it Salafi or Sahawi are all falling in the same pitfall of Wahabbism and ignores the classical Ulama and 1400 years of scholarly and deductive reasoning by simply clearing the slate and starting all over from the time of the Salaf. By doing so, the original distinctions between beauty and ugliness are long forgotten and what remains is a cold mechanical look at Islam and Sharia.

    Mind you that these same Wahabbi scholars are the ones who forbid women from driving, education, travelling, working, …. etc. If I may suggest, you might want to add to your Islamic knowledge by reading the works of many moderate Muslim scholars such as Khaled Abou El Fadl, Al-Qaradawi, Hamza Yousif, …etc. I would suggest the books: Speaking in God’s Name by Abou El Fadl, Sharia: Theory Practice and Transformation by Wael Hallaq, The Search for Beauty in Islam by Abou El Fadl.

  24. @Cookie & Sussane430: Well said.

  25. @”Z Theory”
    I really like Khaled About El Fadl and have both books you mention. I am familiar with Hamza Yousef- though find him still too orthodox for myself, personally. I have heard of Al -Qaradawi and will look into the others.
    Thank you.

  26. Asalam Alaykum,

    I am sorry if my message was ‘off putting’ to anyone but it was my feeling that I was being attacked.I will be honest the comments took me back a bit. I was not expecting any of this.

    I am an American who has been Muslim for over 10 years now since I left highschool. I live in Saudi with my Saudi husband and son. NO ONE has ever influenced me to follow any certain way, etc. This is the following I decided after studying upon myself. I am SUNNI Muslim point blank and do not follow anything else. I do follow the ways of the salaf as we all should. For those who do not know.

    Salaf – literally means “those (from history) who precede, have gone before”.

    I am sorry if me adding that your husband, brother, fathers, etc could feel safe upset anyone as well. My ONLY point was that in a world where a lot is going online it is good for people to feel safe. I know many non-Muslim women who do not want their husbands on facebook and him her. So my point was that men who do worry (not ALL do) fo not have to. As YES some men may not let their wives online. My husband personally does not mine about me being online but lets wake up MANY DO and I think its fair to say its safe for those women whom do go through that, right?

    What is really just shocking is how Muslims are just teaming up again the Muslims.

    I am up for any dialogue but lets keep in adult like not childish if that can happen? And as I said the forum is simply for women who do follow the Sunni religion. No were not sufi, no were not shia. It is simply a Sunni forum. I am not going to not stick to my believes just like none of you should not.

    I am one of the most kind people you will ever met. I am not a mean person what so ever but I do not feel like statements I say need to be attacked. Please, discuss all you want but think about your words and how they may make others feel.

  27. “What is really just shocking is how Muslims are just teaming up again the Muslims.”

    Umm Talal,

    “What is really just shocking is how Muslims are just teaming up again the Muslims.”

    Why feel attacked? And I don’t see any form of teaming up here. I do see, however, a deep revulsion at what we as women, Saudi or Muslim or otherwise, perceive as the constantly casual way we are treated or referred to as minors in this culture, and inadvertently, you have touched a nerve, which I think you probably should be more understanding and accepting of. This is one of the many aspects of the burgeoning social or culture war here in Saudi. Honestly, one needs to have tough skin regarding these topics, as in, for example, my constantly having my faith questioned by Salafis/Wahhabis because I don’t believe that men and women should be totally segregated at work or in social settings.

    Frankly, as a Muslim, and as a Saudi, born into this culture, and raised mostly in this culture, I have to agree with Sandy and the Z theory. I have only read one of Khaled Abou El Fadl’s books and, it’s my deepest conviction that his work should be primary reading for Saudis – it might counter the tribal/chauvinistic indoctrination that men undergo all throughout their lives here.

    @africana
    As for ‘convertitis’, my God, I’ve just recently been in a chat conversation with a new convert who thought the guardianship system as it exists today in Saudi, where a man almost has the power to control a woman’s life or death, ‘wise’. I’ve been in a state of SHOCK ever since, and really, he sparked a deep outrage in me as a woman who, having lived here most of my life and SUFFERED the consequences of these laws, find it an abomination that a person who is new to the religion from a Western setting can so easily succumb to these extreme forms of Salaifsm/Wahhabism! This ‘puritan’ appeal is akin to fascism! Like you said, I regard his chauvinistic attitude as a character flaw which has found a home here. He even prided himself in telling me that this or that new Saudi friend shared his views! Can America please keep these guys away from Saudi, please? This country already has enough of this patriarchal mentality here as it is!!

  28. Asalamualaykunna,

    To the brother who states that he is a legal Shariah Scholar, and goes against that of the Sunnah of Rasul Allah Salallahu alayhi Wa salam by calling it Wahabism, this name was originally given by bthe Sufi are you Sufi brother, as there are many in Saudia so that would not surprise me and another thing if you are what you say you are brother funny how you are on a Womens blog hmmmmmm???

    No you are obviously A devout Aqwaani by the looks of the people you attain your knowledge from why not add Takfiri in there too with yusef Al Qaradawi who has been banned from Europe as he suggests that it is ok to blow yourself up and innocent women and children in the name of Allah, some Scholar you are, so you are all for the so called liberation for Muslim women to encourage Fitnah by letting them mix with men, i will tell you something my main Masjid is Aqwaani the administrator was sacked for sexually harassing women there i don`t mean 1 or 2 i mean lots, i follow the Salaf Inshaa Allah Ta`alaa and i also teach Tawheed and Aqeedah the Imam is very aware of my Manhaj and he is Aqwaani like you but he know the truth should be told yet says nothing, it is people like you that lie about the real Islam, we are supposed to be the opposite of the Christian not te same as the Aqwaan want us to be. Also Hamza Yesef is a Sufi Oh dear brother your beleifs seem to be corrupted by such people, there is no such thing as a Moderate Muslim when it comes to your corrupt ideology and then spreads it to the masses your degree in Shariah then means nothing , it is wasted.

    This is playground chit chat, and i will not tolerate anyone defaming our Religion Muslim or not, you do not need to join our site but to respond they way uo have towards Umm Talal shows your level of intellect when it comes to Islam and life in general, i blame the people like The Z Theory who deludes people from the truth from their corrupt ideology
    and spreading it on succh blogs May Allah guide him, and UmmTalal you do not need to justify yourself to these people Allah knows excactly who you are and that is enough thats why in do not come on blogs like this it`s simlpy a waste of time and effort.

  29. Just for the record I never said a man should be able to CONTROL his wife in anyway. I do not support this what so ever. A wife is her husbands equal as far as I am concerned as well this is what Islam teaches us.

    But Islam also teaches us not to freely mix so if any of you want to go against Islam or its teaching that is upon YOU.

    I personally do not want to mix with men as it seems you all do so each to their own right? Why should I feel so attacked your asking? Well, if you do not see why then I see no point in discussing it further.

    Look you all can say what you want and think what you want it is a free world after all. People are people and I do not expect anyone to change. This is ‘my’ personal views and if you do not agree with them okay go fly a kite as we say back home…

  30. @Occupied Brain,
    You are so right- gender apartheid is the other main issue perpetrated by the Wahabi/Salafi movement, thank goodness not mainstream Islam. And yes, they do continuously question your faith for daring to disagree with their “truth”.

    Sadly there is a whole “hijra” movement out of the US. These people want to immigrate to Muslim lands (preferably here) and live “real” Islam. There are websites etc. set up to help them find jobs etc. They are the most conservative, medieval types you could hope to find. And Saudi’s I know, that are aware of this movement, wish they would stay out of this country.

    @UmTalal,
    No one said anything about YOUR husband. But if your site is “safe” for women who are controlled by their owners then it probably won’t be discussing one of the most relevant social/religious issues regarding women. And all it’s views will be those that these types of men would approve of. I’m not sure why you are so suprised this is off-putting for many. Especially the way you referenced it as though it is a normal, acceptable thing.

  31. It is not so bad if a man wants to take care of his wife, daughter, sister and there is no doubt that in today’s world we are exposed to every kind of aggression

  32. THANK YOU Balqis finally someone pointed out that we can have two sides and two thoughts.

    I was not saying that you thought it was ‘My Husband’ but by the arguments here your saying that I am saying that it is okay for men to control women, etc which is nothing I ever brought up. I am not even sure where the statements you all are saying came from or where they came from with what I said.

    People read what they want to read.

  33. Will the Muslims dare argue with the Quran?

    “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because of what Allah has preferred one with over the other and because of what they spend to support them from their wealth.”

    [Sûrah an-Nisâ’: 34]

    Even the bible says:
    1 Corinthians 11:3

    But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.

  34. “But if your site is “safe” for women who are controlled by their owners then it probably won’t be discussing one of the most relevant social/religious issues regarding women. And all it’s views will be those that these types of men would approve of. I’m not sure why you are so suprised this is off-putting for many. Especially the way you referenced it as though it is a normal, acceptable thing.”

    Wow. First of let me say, no one is controlled by “owners”. Second, you said you are a Muslim woman, right Sandy? That surprises me very much because of how you’re speaking to Noor. If anyone is appearing to have a “holier-than-thou” attitude, it’s you. Where is your shame? You’re basically talking down to her and mocking her! This is not the behavior of a Muslim woman, so I suggest you check yourself and fear Allah.

  35. Yes. We dare argue with male-biased translations and interpretations and implementations here. Absolutely.

    What is said is that they have a degree of advantage. That is simply a fact, not an endorsement of male-ownership of women. If anything it is that they have a responsibility to help alleviate the inequity. And for myself, I don’t care what Paul wrote to the Corinthians.
    It holds no validity for me.

    You are being very misleading. Balquis agrees with you. That doesn’t mean she is the only one allowing two thoughts. You are the one who reacted so badly to my bringing up a different point of view. So don’t pretend now that you were always for multiple points of view. You were not at first.

  36. You are allowed to have any point that you want but I do not have to agree with them. And for any so called Muslim to say such a remark when I quote Quran

    Yes. We dare argue with male-biased translations and interpretations and implementations here. Absolutely.

    Then I am sorry in my book you are not Muslim.

    Anyway, I will not be discussing this post anymore as it is beyond any help from me.

  37. There is no need to fight as we are all Muslims or at least brothers and sisters in humanity as we all come from prophet Adham
    There is nothing wrong in being the maintainer and protector as long as it is done with and for care
    Men and women are different and that is a fact
    That is not a matter of superiority
    Personally many times when I started to use internet I ended up in trouble cause I trusted wrong people and to be honest as I am not married yet, I acknowledge that not having a Muslim mahram has more disadvantages than advantages

  38. @Balqis,

    there is a distinction between ‘taking care’ of someone and taking care of them as if they are still children incapable of thought or action.

    UmmTalal,

    Before I say anything, congratulations on your new forum and I wish you success. I may have forgotten to mention that in this exchange, but I actually find your endeavor commendable, contrary to what you might think. However:

    “But Islam also teaches us not to freely mix…”

    You have just used a straw-man argument right there. But I won’t rebut that argument, I will simply refer you to the following:

    may I ask then how you justify Omar ibn Al Khattab’s assigning a female to monitor the market of Medinah?

    http://www.mwlusa.org/topics/rights/polirights.html

    Or how women used to be nurses, warriors, spies, traders, during the time of the Prophet PBUH IN a mixed environment?

    Remember, Saifyya was able to protect the old men, women and children in the fort during the battle of Khandaq from an infiltrator? Did the old poet, Thabit Ra7imahu Allah, prevent her from doing so because he felt an obligation as a man to ‘protect’ her? Or prevent her from ‘mixing’ with him and shun her question to him? No, he said, as memory serves: I am an old man. This is not an exception, this is the norm.

    During the battle of Uhud, a woman was fighting as the Prophet PBUH described (again, from memory) left, right, in front, behind, of him to protect him. Did anyone tell her to leave the place because it was mixed? She suffered an injury all her life from this, and nobody berated her for stepping up to the plate and not running away.

    You will find many examples of such NATURAL occurrences of mixing.

    “I personally do not want to mix with men as it seems you all do so each to their own right?”

    Yes, and that is within your full rights, but then you miss the point as to why this specifically hits a nerve. When Arab News reports that professionals are calling for segregated hospitals, many do not have a problem with that choice IN ITSELF. The problem is when this is justified to impose segregation on the rest of society. I see that as threatening, because it is an excuse to open the doors on total segregation and the erosion of people’s ability to learn HOW to interact with the other gender in a respectful fashion. When a man or woman’s first encounter with the other sex, other than their immediate relatives, is their spouse, and they are conditioned to think of their role in a certain way, clashes ensue, marriages fail, men do not know how to relate to their daughters and women do not know how to relate to their sons in a way that encourages these children to grow up and respect the other, and lead responsible lives towards their future spouses. Instead, they try to impose the same roles that they have been traditionally exposed to: namely, a female is required to stay at home, and a male can do whatever he wishes, society will fault the former for deviating from her role and be blind or apologetic to the latter’s indiscretions.

    I’ll give you anecdotal evidence: the inferiority complex. I have personally experienced that with regards to men here because they perceive my success as a threat, and they have not been exposed to women who share ambitions similar to mine beforehand, and hence when I was married or engaged they kept trying to push me back into the role their mothers or sisters served. The social structure surrounding them supports this, and hence I am left on the defensive with regards to what I can or cannot do: My future is in his AND his mother’s hands.

    Another thing that is justified, contrary to what Islam dictates: I can sit hours and hours with a chauffeur who is a stranger to me, but I cannot drive myself anywhere. Please explain how this is justified under Islam?

    But like I said, I don’t see that anyone is attacking you per se, Umm Talal. You are free to interpret that text as you see fit, like I am free to interpret it as I see fit. Scholars in Saudi Arabia have lost the ability to think: When a Sheikh, like Al Fawzan starts rambling about how wearing blue contact lenses is emulating the ‘infidels’, I have to start looking at this as emblematic of a larger malaise that has entrenched itself in the scholarly establishment.

    “because of what Allah has preferred one with over the other”

    Namely, because of those characteristics that lend them a natural advantage over the traditional professions that would entail him to be the obvious breadwinner. I think things have changed in the last 1400 years, but I might be mistaken.

    * Typing is very difficult on my delicate fingers, where’s my brother so I can dictate!! *

    “because of what they spend to support them from their wealth.”

    Which naturally follows from the previous clause as the obvious result.

    Of course, it would be extremely simpleton-like and reductive of me to state my interpretation as somehow my final thoughts on the subject: I am merely touching on my POV. However, that is the problem with discourse in this part of the world: I could go on and on about my views on the above verse, and the opposing advocate would be stuck at the point that I am ‘against Islam’ somehow or ‘against God’s word’ or etc. Obviously,, this is why Carol has a section called ‘Debate’. I would gladly elaborate (though not now, I have something to finish).

    In any case, Umm Talal, like I said: You are not being attacked and your intentions are not misplaced, but the way you stated the above touches a deep-seated nerve (in me at least). Those are my thoughts, and I am stating that we are to expect MORE, because many women here are FED UP of ONE interpretation of our religion being used to PUT US DOWN.

    Salam.

  39. correction: *your intentions are not interpreted as being misplaced.

    I cannot read what’s in your heart.

  40. Assalam Alaikum

    I am member of cafe muslimah forum and alhamdulillah I am satisfied with it. I have got diploma in Islamic Studies and I can see whats going wrong or right, in my view I am feeling so lucky to find her forum and being a member there.Alhamdulillah everything is explained in the light of 2 authentic things>Quran and Sunnah. We learn to respect each other. My hubby is happy with me alhamdulillah as he know how am I spending my time and my sister is also a member here.
    UmmTalal ukhti, we are proud of you and thanks to this blog management for adding this article, its like a gift for us, the PROUD MEMBERS OF CAFE MUSLIMAH FORUM…

    Wassalam
    Mrs.Adeel

  41. I don’t understand why Muslims always think it is necessary, or of help, to cite passages of the bible to argue their point.
    After all, it is abundantly clear that the bible is heavily edited.

    And then Corinthians… those are the letters send to the Corinthians by Paul to keep them to a wholly new and misogynist belief system, and because Paul’s faction (being much more aggressive and nasty than the other Christian sects of the time) won the battle for control over Christianity, his nasty misogynist views got incorporated into what is now laughingly called ”the book of god”.
    So anything from Corinthians is only the opinion of a woman hating control freak, nothing to do with ”god”.

    And of course the same goes for the quran. Starting with Uthman, who used the same book burning tactics as the early christians to falsify the historic context of his preferred version. As the bible is refuted by finds like the Nag Hammadi writings, so the earliest Qurans ever, found in Yemen, prove the same with Quranic pages which have been wiped and rewritten.

    I really don’t see why religious people can never deal with those facts but utterly deny them in the face of historical proof? Actually going to the lengths of destroying proof?

    Anyway, naturally if one is of the ”Blind faith, don’t think, never use your brain” category, this is really a forum you don’t want to go to.

  42. Of course Allah has preferred one over the other, if he first makes up rules which make sure than women get only a pittance in inheritance, and that men have more rights than women, it is only a matter of time until you get the unnatural circumstance that women are almost completely helpless and have to sell themselves into marriage to get the bare sustenance of life.

    It’s a chicken and egg problem. First women are made poor and incapable to lead an independent life.
    That’s where it starts.
    The ”men are the providers of women” is the result of disempowering women, not the beginning.

    Why can’t men and women ”mingle”?
    there’s a lot of mingling, men and women attended prayers and seminars together, people seemed quite relaxed in divorcing and marrying anew, and women went to pee at night wearing their undies, women asked questions of the prophet, no problem, Kadisha could hire men for her international trading business. etc. etc.

    And as Saudi Arabia is in itself an example of how crazy people get when constantly segregated, with men mercilessly harassing women, the biggest porn hits on the internet, large number of homosexual relationships, etc, I think this gigantic social experiment gone wrong shows how humans were never meant to live in a sexually segregated society.
    Other countries don’t have these problems. Or at least not at the gigantic level they exist in KSA.

    So if we are made by a supernatural omnipotent being, that being can never have planned for us to live in a segregated society, otherwise we would have been made different.

    Or there wouldn’t be any sexes at all, we would be sex-less, we would just reproduce using another method.

    Oops, I hope I am not making people think again…
    So inconvenient…

  43. * but then you miss the point as to why this specifically hits a nerve

    Should read

    * but then you miss the point as to why the sentence “Not only can you feel safe online but your fathers, brothers and husbands can feel safe about you being online as well.” specifically hits a nerve.

  44. First part of the sentence was missing for some reason:
    *If you read the history of how people behaved in the time of the prophet, there’s a lot of mingling, men and women attended prayers and seminars together, people seemed quite relaxed in divorcing and marrying anew, and women went to pee at night wearing their undies, women asked questions of the prophet, no problem, Kadisha could hire men for her international trading business. etc. etc.*

  45. Looks like we are all having to re-edit our comments 😉

  46. @occupiedbrain

    Thank you for your comment and let me say you are 100% and I agree with everything that you have said. Somewhere everyone seems to have felt like I am all for men treating women like trash. When I am 100% against that.

    Yes, many women in Islam mixed when needed and still do. I am not trying to argue that.

    Never once Allah alim have any intentions of mine been bad. I am all for womens rights and I am tired of men thinking we are below them please believe that. I actually just wrote an article on that very topic about a week ago. This is something we women have struggled with ALWAYS and everywhere subhanAllah.

    THE forum which is what this post is all about seemed to stir up things that did not even have anything to do with it subhanAllah.

  47. Who says that women get no money as inheritance

  48. @Aafke-Art I can not agree with all you say but I do agree about Saudi being crazy about how they do not mix etc. Life here is differant from anywhere that I have been.

    For example most places in the world a family can go eat and its normal for other families to be in the same place. Everyone is eating, laughing, talking, etc okay this is normal right?

    Here in KSA NOOOOOOOOOOO this could never happen why everyone is SO nosey and would be trying to hear you or staring the entire time. Its rather WEIRD. Thank God things are not mixed I could not stand the weird way people act.

  49. @Aafke,

    I usually prefer to ignore your posts: You’re not the typical atheist I have had the PLEASURE of debating, you’re a fervent, dogmatic atheist. Hence, to you, those of us who hold our religion to be dear and at the same time think critically count as ignorant, unthinking zombies. Frankly that view of complete disdain is contemptible in itself, as it completely ignores swathes of history that prove how religion has served the role of enlightening the ignorant societies.

    In any case, if I have not mentioned this, Chris Hedges is a favorite of my authors. I do not agree with all of his views, but his book, “Empire of Illusion” is a recommended read. I look forward to reading his other books, especially “I don’t believe in Atheists”.

    Salam.

  50. I think it’s good to have forums for all tastes on the internet, and in case some hidebound misogynists think there is nothing which is ”safe” for Muslim women to pursue on the internet, it is a good thing to have forums like ”Cafe Muslimah”.
    Reading what it is about I don’t think anybody could protest the content.
    And internet is a wonderful medium to share and make friends.

  51. * is one of my favorite authors.

  52. Occupied brain, why bother addressing me?
    Doesn’t your brain have better things to occupy?

    Internet is also a great medium to make enemies.
    LMAO
    😈

  53. I do agree its great for everyone to find a forum which fits them. This is the great thing about the net.

  54. @Aafke,

    “Occupied brain, why bother addressing me?”

    Because, although I disagree with your tone and contempt, much of what you say I agree with.

    “Doesn’t your brain have better things to occupy?”

    Usually, I enjoy occupying Mondoweiss.net :),

    But since the Wikileaks posts, I’ve decided to ‘occupy’ this blog as well. Feel free to resist my occupation :P.

    “Internet is also a great medium to make enemies.”

    How do you figure? I’m not sure that the above exchange makes us enemies :S unless debate is something you cannot engage in without compartmentalizing those you debate with into the ‘friend or foe’ camps.

  55. * Because, although I disagree with your tone and contempt, much of what you say I agree with.

    Also, I respect your views, nonetheless, even if I cannot respect your attitude.

  56. @Aafke

    Cinderella, hon, Cinderella. *wink, grin*

    @Umm Talal

    I hope you realize that ANY TIME you release any info, talk to anyone, any where you are opening yourself up to having people DISAGREE with you. Unless you only talk to sycophants that is? There is a difference between being disagreed with and being attacked. As everyone has there bad day I am willing to ignore your bad behavior (my opinion only) and re-evaluate my opinion of you and your forum.

    This sentence:
    “Not only can you feel safe online but your fathers, brothers and husbands can feel safe about you being online as well.”

    The problem a lot of people may have with this statement is that it IMPLIES that woman are children. I would not find it remiss to see if this were a children’s forum and parents were monitoring their interactions with others BECAUSE it is their responsibility to make sure their children are exposed to what they want them exposed to and they are intelligent enough to deal with what is on the internet. So when you say the forum is safe and your “maintainer” can be worry-free it shows how your opinion or those your forum endorses reduces woman to children. An adult woman SHOULD and CAN be intelligent and trusted enough to make her own decisions and if her “maintainer” doesn’t trust her enough to do something as simple as join/be a part of an internet forum something is wrong with that marriage.

    Also I noticed a tendency in your replies of snap judgment. Even I, as a non-Muslim, was taken aback when you stated “you are not Muslim” because they disagree with the INTERPRETATION of the Quran you have espoused. As a Christian my first thought was who is she to judge. As a Muslim do you not hold the idea that it is only Allah’s place to judge who is or is not Muslim? Or do you arrogantly assume that you are equal or superior to Allah? If you submit to Allah as the main tenet of Islam suggest then I suggest your rethink your thinking or at least phrasing of your reply. So far you have not been a shining example of your forum or even as a Muslim. I have many discussions with many Muslims who have different interpretations of their faith who have at times make me more interested in becoming Muslims. Were you first one I had met I doubt I would even LIKE your faith let a lone convert to it.

    Last thing. If you desire to comment on this blog then you may want to develop a thicker skin. There are very intelligent and good debaters on this blog, Muslim and non-Muslim. In the course of a debate we have been down right nasty to each other BECAUSE many of here can not take it personally a lot of us actually like the other side. I.E. Aafke, many people dislike what she says at time (myself included) but find that as a person she is delightful, thoughtful, kind, intelligent, and generous with both her time and her heart. Or take Sarah who is Muslim from Saudi who has kindly answered my questions on another thread. We may hold vary different interpretations of faiths but we can still hold a conversation without constantly worrying of offending the other.

    @Occupied brain

    Well said. Um, my personal suggestion here. I wouldn’t bother with the corrections as they are kind of annoying. Like most adults I can read something and understand what you mean even if there is a typo or wrong word there. Up to you though.

  57. Asalam Alaykum,
    I have been a member of Cafe Muslimah for over 2 years. It is a wonderful place filled with wonderful women from all over the world, sharing thier knowledge of Islam, children, cooking, computers, marriage, women’s health, world issues and so much more. The fact that the forum does not have an age limit ties into what Umm Talal was refering to when she said “Fathers, brothers, and husbands” She was simply implying that it is a safe forum, for women of all ages overall. She works very hard in maintaing that safety and I think she does an amazing job.

  58. As-salam `alaykum

    What really bothers me is how some people calling themselves Muslims like “Sandy” and so called “scholar” Z theory try to “modernize” this religion of Islam. Who are you to criticize the 4 Madhabs??? Do you even know 1% of their knowledge??? Who are you to say that Muslims-Saudis are medieval???? If for you walking half-naked and chit-chatting with men left and right is normal for many it isn’t.

    ALLAH Ta`ala ORDERED us, men and women, equally to lower our gazes, does it mean you have to go and freely chit-chat with men outside coz you are so called MODERN MUSLIM???? It’s a shame you fall that low to criticize the Khulafa ar-Rashideen coz SALAFS are these people along with many Sahabah (radhia ALLAH anhum) and these people followed the Messenger (salla ALLAH `alayhi wa salam) closely and if only one of them was alive now we’d see how modern you’d be now.

    Alhamdulillah there are still people like UmmTalal and many others who guard their chastity and respect their husbands (including me) and not fall under such MODERN TEACHINGS like urs……..

    It’s a shame really to face people like you denying the teachings and going against orders of ALLAH himself thinking that u r better translators or interpreters…. make me wanna laugh at ur at times pathetic excuses not to follow the religion strictly ordered by ALLAH. it’s like in this verse

    3:7 …..So as for those in whose hearts there is a deviation (from the truth) they follow that which is not entirely clear thereof, seeking Al-Fitnah (polytheism and trials, etc.), and seeking for its hidden meanings, but none knows its hidden meanings save Allâh. And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: “We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord.” And none receive admonition except men of understanding. (Tafsir At-Tabarî).

  59. @onigirifb
    Thanks.

    Yes, well, typos are grating. Plus I hate being misconstrued. Even adults can misinterpret you. In any case you’re right.

  60. @UmmTalal

    You have criticised people for “attacking” you when they express another opinion. But when I express MY opinion you declare:

    “Then I am sorry in my book you are not Muslim.”

    Thank Allah, it’s not your call. But that is the typical way extremists try to shut up other points of view. Claim they are being attacked and then declare the other is not a Muslim. If it’s scholars doing it, they then claim a consenses when one doesn’t exist. Hypocrisy? Perhaps. And we all know what the Qu’ran says about hypocrites.

    Personally, when Muslims try to force others to conform or get thrown out, I call it the “little terrorism”. Anyway, you passed a judgement on me. It’s now yours to own. It doesn’t hurt me at all- but will, I suspect, one day hurt you.

  61. @Umm Talal,
    “am one of the most kind people you will ever met. I am not a mean person what so ever but I do not feel like statements I say need to be attacked. Please, discuss all you want but think about your words and how they may make others feel”

    The believer is not proud.. The one who is aware of their humility is proud, I’m afraid.

  62. Those who identify as Salafi’s are in agreement with other Muslims in regards to basic principles and the statements of their scholars are not that radically different to the other scholars of hadith after whom the thge 4 schools of thought (which Salafis reject) are named.

    But what is perceptible, in some of the self-identifying Salafis (many of whom are recent converts and or “born again” Muslims) is a certain harshness in their attitude to others and a willingness to brand as a heretic someone whith far more piety and or God conciousness than them. The attention of the salafi adherent is often turned outward at other Muslims and not inwards at their own faults. This means that whilst they are busy analysing the prayer, posture, prayer beads of a Muslim hanafi who’s never missed a prayer in 20 years, that man is earning good deeds whilst the heart of the pseudo-Salafi is growing harder still.

    I once had the misfortune to meet two self-proclaimed Salafi women in North Africa. After the customary greetings, they pointed to my sleeve and asked whether I knew that embroidery was forbidden.We then prayed the afternoon prayer together and once I had finished, the teeenage Salafi woman with whom I had been praying pointed out some supposed fault that I’d made in the prayer. Had she been as concerned with her own prayer as she was mine, she’d not have noticed what I was supposedly doing wrong.

  63. @OnigiriFB

    where you not that busy picking on words you’d have noticed the general meaning of that sentence and if you don’t have any jealousy it doesn’t mean others don’t as well…….

  64. @Africana

    I understand “convert-itis since it’s something experienced in Mormonism as well. What in your opinion is the reason for the arrogance, lack of self knowledge, judgmental stance of Salafis? Is it a teaching of the Salafi interpretation? Because it’s not just converts that I’ve run across but born and bred Salafis that have this attitude. It’s very off-putting and I can understand why some non-Muslims hate Islam if that’s the people who they are used to dealing with.

  65. @OnigiriFB,

    I highly recommend that you check out “The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists” by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl for a detailed analysis of what he terms as the puritan view, rather than Salafi. He gives a more historically nuanced accounting of the rise and usurping of the Salafi movement, and deconstructs the views of puritans vs. moderates, although like he mentions somewhere early in the book, the word ‘moderate’ and Muslim are redundant and many would cringe from having to resort to such an explicit characterization of their faith.

    “the reason for the arrogance, lack of self knowledge, judgmental stance of Salafis?”

    It’s simple: what’s the reason that anyone who thinks they’re always right and everyone else’s beliefs are wrong would be arrogant?

  66. to sandy

  67. Thank I’ll add the book to my ever growing Amazon list. I hope they have a kindle version because that’s all I’ve been buying recently.

    Hrm… well I think everyone’s answer might be a little different and was wondering what africana or any other Muslims opinion is. Personally I think it’s ignorance, stupidity, and lacking humility.

  68. @ sandy. i would just like to assume that you have been married and living in saudi for several years now…given by your character towards noor. i find you very rude, mean, and hostle. it is apparent that at one time in the begining of your saudi marriage that you converted to islam and was most likely soaking up every piece of knowglegde you could get your hands on. practiced it devoutly in the begining and then you just popped one day, because life is hell in the magical land for you, fighting the husband tooth and nail for you rights to have some kind of freedom because he most likely is or was the man noor discribes above….no doubt in my mind! because all saudi men are like that “overly concerned/controlling with there women family even though they all do very much love them. there is an obvious since of pain in you from living in this country that doesn’t fit your life style…i don’t like mixing with men either, and i like workking and being able to keep that money for ME! because in islam that’s how we do it. and as for the comment on noor being convertisis…hahaha what ever! SANDY, you have islam depression. gia.in jed

  69. Hmm, wondering what is missing in your lives that make you want to attack an innocent person and her believes on a small article she wrote about an Islamic forum for women.

    May God forgive you all.

  70. @ Everyone:
    Quoting Um Talal: “in my book you are not Muslim” This is exactly what is wrong with Wahabbism is that they abduct every other readings, methodologies and rationalism and claim the divine truth to be to their side, not only that but going further to say that everyone else is Kafir, EVEN OTHER MUSLIMS. They rely on strict textualism according to what they believe is right while discounting contextual reading and thus they exclude Shafie, Hanafi, Maliki, Mutazili, Murji’y, Sufi, Ash’ari, Matirdi, Juwani, …etc. and every other school of thought that existed in history as heretical Kaffirs.

    As history has taught us, this takfeery mentality is extremely unstable and will end up in ugliness because it was not built on beauty, as what happened with Ikhwan army in Mekkah and Madina and the Al-Qaida now.

    The Hadith of the Prophet ” to every Mujtahid there is a reward, even if his/she is mistaken” classical scholars have debated this Hadith to conclude that no one can claim to have the absolute truth since there is no single absolute truth or else we would’ve been ordered to search for it and only the Mujtahid who found it shall be rewarded. Hence, we should strive to reach the abstract notions of justice equality and beauty according to the main principles of Islam ans so as to construct this earth and see what good we do in it.

  71. Another hit an run….next?

  72. I give up.

    Impasse.

    Salam.

  73. innocent??? INNOCENT??? Good grief did I just read that right? Wow… I’m am for once at a lost for words. God save me from “sugar wouldn’t melt in my mouth” types. ralph.

  74. I have to admit I am floored that someone can play victim after what they said to me.

  75. @occupied brain, sandy, z theory, moq, et al

    Ok, I’ve been a regular reader and commenter on this blog since pretty much the beginning I think. I’ve seen commenters that seem to be Salafi attacking others here and then play the victim when others defend themselves. I’ve noticed a notable amount of them are thin-skinned, arrogant, and quick to only believe in their narrow version of Islam while claiming respect and tolerance for others, They hate not only non-muslims but their own muslim brethren who have either “westernized” (modern) or are “heretics” (ex. amalfi). I wonder if the ruling family of KSA worry about the religious-political alliance the founding King had to make to secure his throne from the Rashids and Ottoman Empire. I believe it’s in Dune by Frank Herbert that one of the characters talks about how scary it is when religion and politic travel in the same cart. Since Herbert based a lot of his desert world on the ME and oil I’m wondering now if he’s just a tad bit prophetic.

    Why do you all think there has been this conservative boom? Is it all about money and influence? What makes a once peaceful minority (in Western countries and some Asian countries) turn dogmatic, violent, humorless, and in some cases terrorist. It’s always been my stance that Muslims are no more good or bad than any other people, that Islam is perhaps not my cup of tea, and that the terrorist are twisted beings that merely use the guise of Islam to do what they do and gain converts.

    But it’s been almost 10 YEARS now since 9/11 and more and more Salafi Muslims keep popping up everywhere. We can no longer see Al Quaida as just a one in a million thing. Instead we see “muslims” killing one another over Quran burnings in the West THAT NEVER EVEN HAPPENDED! Or rioting and killing in “muslim” countries over cartoons no one cared about when they were FIRST published. I refused to believe ALL Muslims are bad just for believing in Islam. However, I can no longer ignore the various teachings that seem to permeate those “salafi” muslim or at least their actions/reactions as not being a problem. Is there nothing peaceful and tolerant Muslims can do?

    I cannot help but wonder if this world IS heading for a Nazi-style final solution or at least red scare type culling. We no longer live in a world where we can truly divide it as Muslim/non-Muslim anymore. As a Westerner I can honestly say I will NEVER (no matter what weapon I have to use to ensure that this never happens) live under Muslims yoke that many “muslims” seem to want. In the States I know people who are now currently “Islamophobe” who the mainstream considered wack-jobs a mere couple of years ago who’ve been gaining credibility with the general American public. What worries me more is you do not know who agrees with them and remain silent. How many people will quietly stand aside while the Islamophobes win? Once again it seems Europe has become the powerkeg that will ignite the world in war just like the last two world wars. Is there any way whatsoever to head this off? Or is history doomed to repeat itself with different players this time?

  76. This is just laughable now. YES poor me playing the victim HMM who started this entire mess? Sandy go to the very first post and read what you said and then think about that again. I replied and that really upset you all omg not someone with a different opinion.

    GO ahead say what you want I really do not care at this point and I did not even feel like reading all the comments. I never ‘attacked’ anyone BUT I did give my opinion. Since when is my opinion attacked. I think I am not the one with thin skin.

    Its so pointless for me to even waste my time trying to speak anymore some people will just never open up their eyes and see that HELLO the world is full of various people with different believes.

    Hey I NEVER expected the world to believe what I do. I know that many do not and I am okay with that. It does not hurt nor bother me. BUT when someone says things like in the first few comments Of course as a woman and Muslim I will give my opinion back.

    Its always the same Muslims who are against the other Muslims you know the ones that are Muslim by name and do not even pray. Those types are the worst for our ummah. I have said over and over that I am Sunni Muslim yet labels keep popping up. I can not make anyone understand that is not willing to even listen.

    And yes this was an innocent post that Carol posted. It was for Muslim women telling them about a forum POINT blank. If it was not for you okay just go your own way, maybe get a life and stop dwelling.

    Laughable very laughable.

  77. *sigh* now this is just getting boring…. and pointless. I’m done because it’s not worth my time anymore. Anyone else?

  78. where is my post? it was here, and now gone. i guess i struck a nerve with my words of the truth on sandy. so i leave you with “thank you for letting me know i am truely right on this matter. noor you go girl…sandy get a pill…gia

  79. @sandy<p.s. there are no victims in this site…why say that? gia

  80. This has to be the most amusing conversation, which makes no sense whatsoever. One feels attacked, counterattacks, rest point out the ones own flaws and immaturity in the counterattack, here comes the friends to reaffirm the greatness (nobody cares), then comes the defensive “I’m not bad, I’m good” talk, general analysis comes from various parties, attacked one exposes more immaturity.

    Hey, where’s Daisy when you need her? She’d provide some spice to already nicely simmering stew.

    all I’m missing is some popcorn

  81. I don’t know…I have been gone all day and just now reading the comments that have been left to this post now. It seems to me that folks with differing perspectives were all quick to jump and draw lines in the sand but based more so on descriptive wording rather on the intent of the actual online forum. I am surprised by such fervent opinions made without having ever seen the forum (although realizing that is probably a moot point for some). So in sum I think folks tend to reach judgments too quick and what could be constructive and informative dialogue instead becomes antagonistic and argumentative.

  82. Carol, you have a great analysis of situation. Even if many regulars here like Sandy or Afke may question the discriptives of the forum, UmmTalal missed the opportunity to inform or clarify with grace and patience. Afterall, that is the primary example of the Prophet Muhammad sallahAllahu alayhi Wa sallam, to handle critics or skeptics with patience and respect during dialog. In my opinion it was less about drawing the line on the sand, and more about voicing the gut reaction as fast as one can.

    And I absolutely agree with what Onigiri said on 12/12 @ 5:50pm.

  83. Hi OnigiriFB,

    That’s interesting that convertitiis affects some mormons, too.

    In regards to the tendency towards harshness observable in some pseudo-Salafi’s, I think some Muslims would tend to attribute this to the fact of the Salafi approach to Islam being more rigorous or that the rulings they follow are stricter, however I think this is far off the mark and that the explanation lies in the persobnalities of those who are drawn to this group.

    I don’t think harshness of attitude is the exclusive preserve of some within the Salafi movement. Some Sufi groups dominated by white converts such as the Murabittun, led by a Scottish convert who used to go by the name Ian Dallas, are known to display a rather haughty attitude towards other Muslims.This has been noted to a somewhat lesser degree with some of the other Sufi Tariqahs. I think it boils down to individuals thinking that sitting in the company of, or taking knowledge from someone whom they believe has a monopoloy on the truth, places them effortlessly on a higher spiritual level. I would describe it as a trick of the devil to lessen people’s ardour for the performance of sincere acts of worship which would necessarily lead to a more humble outlook.

    Salafi adherents, for example, will speak of their sect as being the saved sect and I think that for some this might lead to a certain complacency in improving themselves. Whilst the hadith about Islam dividing into 72 sects and only one of them being saved is well known, regular Sunni Muslims, who usually follow one of the four schools of thought, hold it to mean that those who will be saved will be anyone who believed in Allah and worked deeds of righteousness.
    Having said that, I do not think that some harsh self-identifying Salafis are representative of the scholars whose rulings they follow. I honestly believe that some of their favoured scholars were the embodiment of good conduct and humility.

    I have often wondered also as to whether temporary covertitis might be a subconcious defensive or compensatory act. Alot of converts and born Muslims who might have started practising later in life, during the initial stage might fear not being taken very seriously both by more established Muslims and by non-Muslims. Because the hard work of improving the self has not yet begun,this proving their Muslimness maybe comes out in the form of harsh denunciations of what everybody else is doing wrong rather than by being beacons of good conduct.

    I think most people do eventually grow out of it.

  84. A rather apt hadith!
    Prophet Muhammed (SAWS) said:
    “He who is deprived of gentleness is deprived of good.”

    @OnigirFB,
    You might find this rather lengthy blog post by Umar Lee (an American Muslim convert) an interesting read. It’s a real insider’s perspective.
    http://umarlee.com/rise-and-fall-of-the-salafi-movement-complete/

  85. Ok, I have opinions about this whole thing but I don’t feel the point on reiterating them. I just wanted to dispute one claim I saw above.

    Please realize that Al Qaida are not ‘salafi’ nor do they call themselves ‘salafi’. They are what is called by the muslim scholars ‘khawarij’ which is something else, a deviant sect. In fact, they considered some of the big salafi scholars outside of Islam and pronounced takfeer on them.

    As for saying who is muslim and who is not then the difference is this: The khawarij considered that sins could take you outside of islam; for example a person who drinks, commits zina…etc can become a kaffir as a result. The Muslim following Ahlus sunnah wal jamaa’ah believes that sins do not take a person outside of islam but the person must have aqeedah (basic creed). So for example, one cannot be a muslim and say ‘the saheeh hadith are not correct or made up or whatever’ because it is stated various times throughout the quran that the hadith are a partner to the qur’an and must be taken too and there is various evidences to support that the authentic hadith are wahy which is revelation. If you understood the detailed nuances of the science of hadith, you might understand that. I am not saying anyone is not muslim in specific in this case as ‘salafis’ are careful about not making takfeer for the most part, but I am saying one who willfully denies certain keys of aqeedah can be outside of Islam, yes. So maybe this is what Umm talal meant.

    Whatever your issues with the salafi minhaj, you should know that it does not condone or allow that ideology.

    Also, if you are going to spout (incorrect) information about the formation of Saudi Arabia with the king and relationship with religion then you should read ‘Biography of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab’ by Jalal Abualrub which compiles authentic and inauthentic historians’ reports on the origins of KSA.

  86. @Africana

    Thank you I find your reply really interesting in that there were a lot of things I have never heard in my years of speaking to Muslims (who if they think they can convert are sweet as pie and like to give the “standard” rehearsed answers or hate me because I’m “anti-islam”). You pretty much hit the nail on the head about convert-itis or at least how I observed it in Mormonism. I also noticed that even before the person convert the flaws of that person are the same but just get magnified in their attempt to appear holier than everyone else. Most of it to me stems from lack of self-esteem and self-doubt. I even found myself experiencing convert-itis to an extant when I joined Mormonism. I felt inadequate at not having the same memories/experiences as the other born in the covenant (a Mormon term that means born of two temple sealed Mormons) Mormons. So I tended to throw myself into learning as much as I could (if only i had done more BEFORE I got dunk…er baptized). I also tended to believe what anyone told me. Oh the “word of wisdom” meant no soda, no soda it is. When in actually the teaching is only against “hot” drinks which have been defined as coffee/tea but other Mormons have tried to explain that it’s the caffeine in the tea/coffee that the Lord is against. Thus we have Mormons who don’t drink caffeine who look down on the lesser Mormons for not following the “true” teachings of the Lord. I cannot stand the hypocrisy, sanctimonious, and ignorance of those who “know” they are right when in fact they are wrong. Oh, and tell them they are wrong and show them how they are wrong does absolutely nothing to deter them from being “holier than thou”.

    Can you see why I keep telling people that Mormons are similar to Muslims? That is one of the biggest reason why.

    So I was really interested in what you said about the saved. I have never heard of that hadith. Could you point it out to me please? Also someone earlier was critical of Z theory and him being a scholar because he Sufi? I know the Sufis are the ones with the whirling dervishes but have never had a Muslim really explain the sects to me or what’s so bad about them. I understand the shiite split and the amalfi.

    Also you are so optimistic that people grow out of it. From my experience they just get worse, they associate with the worse “holier-than-thou” clique and what’s worse is when a new person comes they make sure that the new person learns all the “real gospel”. Not! It’s worse than jr high. Or they just become paranoid loners (no one is good enough) that show up only to show off. Most of the time they are also super stressed, super unhappy, and can only keep up the facade before cracking. Then they either drop out (if they don’t have ties by then like a Mormon husband or children) or are left to themselves by others that can see their fakeness. Either way it’s unhealthy that they care so much about what others do but can not see the huge beam in their own eye.

  87. P.S.

    Sandy, maybe you should learn arabic. These “male-dominated” translations, while they may not capture the prose of the arabic translation DO have the meaning of the verses correct.

    – An Arabic Speaker and Reader

  88. I think any assumptions I may have made were certainly given more weight, rather than less with the subsequent posts.

    @Khadija,
    I’m not sure what you are going on about but it is clear you don’t know me at all. Yes, I live in this century if that is what you are trying to say- and I have no problem with that. And yes, I know a LOT more about modern times than scholars who died centuries ago. So, for that matter, do you.

    However you’re suggestion that I don’t guard my chasitity or respect my husband is inaccurate and nasty. But I guess that’s your way.

    @Gia,
    I am very happily married, with a non-controlling husband so I’m sorry if that dissapoints you. Also, I converted BEFORE getting married to my Saudi -by several years.

    Since you all know your religion so well, why don’t you find where it talks about slandering believing women. And enjoy your little “takfeery” bubble you live it. Thankfully for us all, your takfeers aren’t binding on Allah.

    @Everyone else,
    You all know how much time I have spent here- trying to convince people that Islam IS relevant for todays world and that it is not a brutal, angry, violence driven faith. I really do understand why you all don’t believe me much. I really don’t have much more to say about any of it. No matter what I say, there are too many Muslims to give evidence to the contrary.

  89. I just read the thread of comments. It is the typical salafi, wahabbi, sahawi, etc.(take your pick). They want to live by the old rules. I say let them. The issue is they also want everyone to give them a pat on the back for it.

    The fact is Sandy only said the forum is not for her and stated her reason as the message it sends by its vision of creating an environment that makes Mahrams accept the site. Her opinion brought in the wrath of the Umm’s. One even called her a none Muslim. Another, built an entire strawman about her life, her husband,, her family, how she converted to Islam, how she lives, how she became rebellious, etc. all of that with no knowledge about her. One statement is all it took for this genius to figure all of that.

    I do think this isolation these ladies have put themselves in has mad them see the world in a very narrow way. They simply lack the skills of understanding others.

    Now for some fun,

    Why is it that 80% of Salafi converts have an internet handle that starts with Umm?

    I want it to be known that I am a male, would this stop the assault of the Umms on the basis of their rejection of intermingling?

    Does anyone care to guess about the exchanges they are having about us in their private little world 🙂 They obviously have exchanged some ideas or you won’t see those new faces here.

    For the new comers. Welcome to the free world and the great forum Americanbedu created for us. Here we all exchange ideas, opinions, debate anything (even your sacred books), etc. Just remember, no one has to respect your opinions and what you chose to believe in. If you want everyone to agree with you or you get easily upset when someone voices an opinion, you should consider staying in your little isolated world.

  90. @Sandy

    No one accused you of not guarding of chastity, i guess it’s you way to think that all the world turns around you and not everything you read is about you, at least READ it well.

    And you don’t know more than ALLAH ta`ala and do u think that when He sent down the book it didn’t know how the world would change????

    It’s up to the people nowadays not to go with the flow and modernize themselves. no1 tells you to give up all u have and live a Bedouin life. what we were commanded to do was to follow the religion of Islam, the religion of peace, not terrorism as some people like OnigiriFB labelled it out of ignorance, but it’s fine, he has a lot to learn as many others.

    There’s no compulsion in religion 2:256. There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût and believes in Allâh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

    All what this post was about was to let other Muslimahs be aware that there’s this small forum for sisters to come and join and it will be up to them already to decide whether they’d like to stay or no.

    And what some of you did especially in the first posts was to shed some dark light on it without even seeing it, calling the owner or the members Wahhabis and extremists and many other words which u might not even know the meaning of.
    Thanks to your “comments” some people now have bad impression about Islam in general, so I leave on ALLAH Ta`ala to judge.

    May ALLAH guide you all and forgive the Muslims

  91. @Khadija,

    “And what some of you did especially in the first posts was to shed some dark light on it without even seeing it”

    You are mistaken. Sandy did not shed a bad light on your forum. She expressed an opinion. What shed a dark light on your forum are your responses starting with the insane comment from your forum owner.

    Sorry, ladies you are not presenting yourself and your forum well.

  92. Wondering how “hadith” can be promoted in the Quran as something Muslims are meant to follow when hadith didnt even exist at the same time as the revealing of the Quran…and not for another 200 years…

    the word “hadith” is mentioned in the Quran…but not in reference to the stories told of the prophet…but more in the line of …which hadith will you believe…this one (the Quran) or the false ones that will come later….wonder which ones those are? 😉

  93. First of all I would like to congratualate Umm Talal for the women’s blog. It is cute and friendly.

    However, I would respectfully like to remind Umm Talal as a sister that it is not a thing to say of a Muslim that he/she is not a Muslim because what is in the hearts is known only to God. I am sure you are aware of what the prophet said in this regard.

    I, too sometimes find Sandy’s words strong and do not agree all the time. But I do find her first remark not very friendly to another Muslimah when she said that this forum was a place where she can make trouble. You see Sandy, what Umm Talal did is her effort to bring women together and discuss their issues – something which you are always talking about. Remember weeks ago, I asked you if you had taken any step in improving the women’s conditions and at that time you said that I don’t know what the things you are doing. I do really appreciate whatever it is you are doing if its in favor of women. This is something we share (Except I work towards women of the world not only in KSA). But a forum such as Umm Talal’s could also be a part of your goals too. So instead of saying that it is a place for making trouble you could have taken the opportunity to voice your views about oppression. I know you do not need my guidance but just saying, you know.

  94. Khadija says
    “No one accused you of not guarding of chastity, i guess it’s you way to think that all the world turns around you and not everything you read is about you, at least READ it well.”

    Gee, maybe got that idea from your previous post directed at me, by name (not just my ego here) where you said: “(among other things)

    “Alhamdulillah there are still people like UmmTalal and many others who guard their chastity and respect their husbands (including me) and not fall under such MODERN TEACHINGS like urs……..”

    And I never said I knew more than Allah. If you are incapable of comprehending what I say it is not ok to just make stuff up.

  95. @Sarah,
    I was being tongue in cheek. When I have gone to Salafi/Wahabi type halaqas in the past I ask questions that make them hostile and uncomfortable. I do not go to intentionally cause trouble, but I have learned from experience. I no longer go to those kinds of halaqa’s and I would certainly not go to this website. That was all I meant. And it turns out I was right. They are exactly the type of women I guessed them to be. And of course they know what was said about pronouncing Takfeer- but they do it anyway. Really , what can be done with such people?

    Salafi/Wahabi strongholds are not someplace I would go. They don’t want me, and I accept that.

  96. Sandy,
    Yes I get what you are saying and I do not accept people calling names and creating divisions/labels. By doing so they are going against their own priniciples.

    What kind of image of Islam are muslims portraying here?

  97. I know you don’t Sarah. And in spite of our sometimes fierce disagreements you’ve never done such a thing. Thank you.

  98. @Sandy

    It’s said “and not fall under “MODERN TEACHINGS” like urs”,i .e. is what u propagate of NEW ISLAM and not following “medieval one” and it doesn’t mean ur chastity, (there’s and….and….and) Do i have to explain each word????? ur chastity is ur concern and ur husband’s concern so stop playing an accused victim here.

    I guess the only incapable of comprehending is you, judging by your conclusions of what’s said. If you stop your rude replies, you might start understanding what people mean.

    “…..Since you all know your religion so well, why don’t you find where it talks about slandering believing women. And enjoy your little “takfeery” bubble you live it. Thankfully for us all, your takfeers aren’t binding on Allah.”

    You just made up a label on people giving their opinions as you previously did.

    “Given its apparent low opinion of women, I would have trouble accepting the reliabilty of the views within such a website.”

    this is rather very low opinion to comment without even seeing the site…….

    “However, if a site is “safe” for learning about Islam and also “safe” for medevial men- I still think it is medieval Islam being promoted. No mahrem would let his “woman” go to a site that really addressed Islamic issues. Only ones that repeat the Wahabi/Salafi patriarchal/tribal line.”

    so now all the Muslims caring for their wives are medieval. And apparently you don’t even know what the term Salafi means.

    No one accused you of Kufr, you yourself put in doubt work of many renowned scholars and think yourself a MODERN MUSLIM. It’s ALLAH who’ll judge us not any other and stop labeling people wahabis without even knowing them

  99. @Coolred38

    hadith or ahadith(pl.) are the narrations about the life and character of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) narrated by his closest Companions. ALLAH Ta`ala ordered us to:

    4:59. O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allâh and His Messenger (SAW), if you believe in Allâh and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.

    33:21. Indeed in the Messenger of Allâh (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allâh and the Last Day and remembers Allâh much.

    That’s why Muslims follow the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Messenger pbuh) who explained what was not clear and showed the way to do it. And how else would that reach us? Only by ways of transmitting it from generation to generation. and these ahadith that are to be followed are authenticated and checked (i.e. the source, whether the transmitter is trustworthy or no etc) which are volumes and volumes of study.

  100. @Khadija,
    I’ll just let people read what you wrote and they can decide for themselves.

    Yes, needing your husbands “permission” or “monitoring” to use the internet is medieval.

    Um Talal, said I wasn’t a Muslim based on what I said. Everyone else read that even if you didn’t.

    Pretty much everything I said looks more and more accurate based on the behavior of members of the Cafe. I don’t think that is just my opinion.

    Wahabi/Salafi terms have come into being to describe the sort of Takfeeri pronouncing Patriarchal/Tribal sort of Muslims that need husbands to monitor their internet. I didn’t decide what these terms mean. Yes, this was not their original meaning, but it has now become the way they are used, and again, not just be me, but by people Muslim and non-Muslim around the world to distinguish an intolerant ideology from the rest of its membership.

  101. @Coolred,
    You are right. Hadith was only written collected in its written form 200 years after the prophet. And of course it is not the same thing as Sunnah. But you already know that.

  102. @sandy

    Sandy wrote “Sounds nice, especially for women stuck at home. It also sounds like the sort of Halaqa I make trouble at ”

    I think that sums up your intentions “entertaining yourself”, by starting a tornado from Tulsa into this blog, never the less other blogs as well, quite a hobby I must say!

    Anyone can easily start such a thing, to read between the lines and start a discussion, that’s for the people who have lots of time to kill. Especially on a Saturday, beginning of the week of working hours in Saudi, you caused this huge stir at 4:14pm, you wrote your first comment which was very welcoming to Um Talal!?!!! then 18 minutes later you came back and wrote another negative comment, so far 12 comments from you in 3 days. I means wow, you are really enjoying your self. While others are making them self useful by being productive and plays a big role in society, spreading Islam, advertising the message of Allah and his messenger Mohammed (PBUH), while you criticize people’s belief, and believing that “how Sunnah is NOT the same thing as Hadith and how we really should question the whole science of hadith in all it’s inaccuracies.” Just shows how chesty and unwitting you are.

    FYI: you think your a tough cookie now born with a shield of metal, since your all grown up and married! No one should ever care if your online surfing the net? On your own like a small fish swimming in the sea filled with sharks! Do you have any blessing clue of how many online identity thefts, criminals, sexual predators, pedophiles, including PC viruses.. that can harm your computer for weeks?!? No one ever mentioned the word “Cheating” but you! Stating of the obvious you were thinking of that, and mentioned it! Even if your brother, father, including husband was watching out for you doesn’t necessarily mean you were breaking one of their trusts in you. Um Talal stated that her Cafe Muslim-ah is a safe place to be for all the Women who are married, single, divorced, and young teenagers. In another words it is free from all what was mentioned above! Don’t twist things up and fabricate people intentions & have a discussion about it, just to jab into the Cafe Muslimah’s prestigious blog. Tricks are for kids hun, you don’t know what’s written in it, neither do you know the people who signed in & out of it. So please save your negative remarks & doubt’s in particular sects of Islam to your self. Start a positive message, pray for people, guide them, be a role model.. let’s not sit there all day anticipating for some attention & become a free spirited criticizer, shall we 😉

    @ everyone, good day 🙂

  103. @Umm Hamam,

    “To the brother who states that he is a legal Shariah Scholar, and goes against that of the Sunnah of Rasul Allah Salallahu alayhi Wa salam by calling it Wahabism, this name was originally given by bthe Sufi are you Sufi brother”

    Do you really know what you’re talking about. I suggest you read more.

    The term Wahabi existed from the time of Muhammad Ibn Abdulwahab. It started in Najid and by the local people who apposed Ibn Abdul Wahab not by Sofi’s. This included his own brother Suliman. Who wrote a book on the matter. It is called الصواعق الالهية في الرد على الوهابية if you happen to read Arabic. If not, it translates to “The godly thunderous replies to Wahabbism”. Look it up some time.

    It seems you have fallen pray to the teaching of Saudi Salfi’s (Wahabbis), who constantly vilify all other Muslims including Sufis and Shiiat. Be advised that you have joined a backwards cult, who is providing you with false information and hateful ideology towards others.

  104. This is getting more and more annoying because of people twisting the original meanings of the terms in general and the words said here.

    Let ALLAH Ta`ala judge between us, after all He knows what we conceal and what we reveal.

    @Carol Thank you so much for introducing the forum to the reader. It is highly appreciated! And thank you for your support

    @all Do not believe everything you read because these are only individual opinions and some might be deviant. You should see it first and then decide for yourself what’s right and what’s wrong.

    May ALLAH forgive me if i said anything wrong or hurt anyone that was not my intention. May ALLAH Ta`ala guide the Ummah and unite the Muslims under one true religion. Ameen

    Have a nice day!

  105. @MoQ

    Why on earth are you so concerned over a women’s blog, please don’t pretend as if your promoting peace or practicing psychological therapy for the Sisters, what are you Dr.Phill? are you looking for some entertainment as well? I believe that your barking at the wrong tree “Brother”!! I don’t care what sect your coming from, this discussion is between the Muslim sisters so kindly bark your insanity somewhere else, Jazak Allah Khair!

  106. @Pink-Husky,

    I have concerns for all humans and your brand of religion is dangerous. I state my opinions and I believe they are better than Dr. Phils.

    “I believe that your barking at the wrong tree “Brother”!! I don’t care what sect your coming from, this discussion is between the Muslim sisters so kindly bark your insanity somewhere else, Jazak Allah Khair!”

    This is a free forum, you cannot silence others. Take your argument somewhere else if you want to have it in private. I suggest email, or Cafe Muslimah 🙂

  107. @Pink Husky66
    you said
    “FYI: you think your a tough cookie now born with a shield of metal, since your all grown up and married! No one should ever care if your online surfing the net? On your own like a small fish swimming in the sea filled with sharks! Do you have any blessing clue of how many online identity thefts, criminals, sexual predators, pedophiles, including PC viruses.. that can harm your computer for weeks?!?”

    Seriously, I cannot believe someone even wrote that to me. No. No one should care about my online surfing. What is so hard to grasp about that? My husband is just as likely to get a computer virus as I am and I really, really doubt that any pedophiles are interested in me.

    Do husbands, brothers and fathers have special software that lets them know if a criminal is near? Is that why they get to monitor their women? Do they know more about all the criminals and the predators?

  108. @Pink Husky,
    This blog isn’t only for women. Carol is the moderator, not you. It is for her to say who can and cannot post here.

  109. @MoQ,
    I don’t think they can handle the concept of an open forum. They need a more protected environment.

  110. All Sandy did in the very first two comments is expressing the opinion that she does not fit well in the halaqa’s with this salafi mindset.
    Nothing more, and actually, that did show she was a Muslim. Non-muslims do not go to halaqas or even know the term.
    So calling her a non-muslim was actually a bit more nasty as I first thought.
    When you know somebody is a Muslim and then call her a non-muslim it means ”apostate”.
    Which in true salafi means you should be killed.

    PS, Do the umms realize who and what we are? definitely not halal entertainment. People like Sandy, MoQ and coolred know far too much to be diddled, and know a lot more than the members of café Muslima ever imagined about Islam. And they expect people to think, and they are spoken out about the rights of women, even in Islam

    Defenitely not a forum a salafi mahram would approve of…

  111. @Sandy,

    I know. They cannot be loose outside of their small world. If they do they present themselves in the worst light. They are the ones that are making themselves look bad with their aggressive comments.

    Happy surfing and watch out for the pedophiles, the barking atheists, and the internet cyber monsters 🙂

  112. I am reading back, I missed out on a lot!

    *it is apparent that at one time in the begining of your saudi marriage that you converted to islam*

    Oooooh! That is such a nasty little bit of backbiting!
    (I assume everybody here knows what the prophet thought about backbiting)

    *fighting the husband tooth and nail for you rights to have some kind of freedom because he most likely is or was the man noor discribes above*

    Yep, I have been getting the impression that Sandy’s husband is the controlling suppressing type. It’s a miracle he allows her un-supervised internetting.
    😈

    *There’s no compulsion in religion 2:256. There is no compulsion in religion. *

    Actually there is, because that nice early verse, the cow, has been obrigated by later ones which call for attacking ambushing and terrorizing ”the unbelievers” until they are killed or converted (of their free will) and meanwhile the women can be taken for slaves to be sold and/or raped as the salafi thought fit.
    And what follows it? verse 257:
    *Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into the light. And those who disbelieve – their allies are Taghut. They take them out of the light into darkness. Those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.*
    The way of Islam is all sweet and fluffy and peaceful, until you take up the book and read the rest of it.
    And lets not forget, verses which were written later obrigate verses which were written earlier.
    Meaning early verses are null and void if a later verse says something different.

    Moq said: *You are mistaken. Sandy did not shed a bad light on your forum. She expressed an opinion.*

    That says it all, there was no need accusing an obvious Muslim sister that she wasn’t ”Muslim”.
    Or ”Muslim” enough.

  113. @Sandy & MoQ,

    Aww you guys are cute together, cherishing every statement you read about your selves, we know you like the spot light! yes yes..more giggles, exchange e-mails 🙂 or even better how about broadening your horizon even further since you guys are mingling greatly like a hand in a glove, get a private chat room! No need for protection for the both of you since you guys are exposed to the big world, and open forums! Ouh La La, I see your concept clearly been there done that kinda thing huh 🙂
    We know where this is going, very classy! 😉
    It’s a free modern world after all, HELLO

    Wait..what’s the score now?

  114. OMG! pink husky actually read back several days into the past to comment on what Sandy wrote when and why and what, as well as commenting on the time Sandy spends here?
    And what about your own valuable time Pink Husk? Is this research worthwhile?

    And why go after Sandy? Sandy is nice and reasonable and actually Muslim!
    Why not go after me? I am so much more evil!
    or Moq?
    But he’s too far out of your league.
    Oh and I like Z-theory, but he’s too much for you too I bet.
    Oh well. Sandy is too much for you too.

  115. MY GOD.

    @U.M.

    “U.M., on December 13, 2010 at 7:35 am said:
    P.S.

    Sandy, maybe you should learn arabic. These “male-dominated” translations, while they may not capture the prose of the arabic translation DO have the meaning of the verses correct.

    – An Arabic Speaker and Reader”

    Who do you think you are? Being an ARABIC SPEAKER AND READER does not automatically entail that you have FULLY understood and reflected on the meaning of the Quran. Don’t KID yourself.

  116. Sarah YES thank you a million times you have said what I have felt this entire time. I admit that some of my choice of words have not been right in this dialogue but I am human and one that makes mistakes. Sometimes our anger astagfurAllah gets the best of us. I knew I lost my cool as you said her first words which was not nice fueled my anger. It was hard just like you stated why would a Muslim woman want to make trouble with other ones?

    Also, I have always put up 100% of what my forum believes and follows so that each woman has the choice to decide if it is for her or not. I never tried to hide the fact or to trick people.

    My goal was ONLY to have a place for women OF all ages like Feride said. And yes a place you can feel safe for your young daughters coming, your young sisters and your wives. WHAT is wrong with that? Do you all really not want the men in your life to not care about you that much? Men do you really want NOTHING to do with the women in your life that much?

    I think we should all think before we speak ME included. Bc as I said this post was just to inform women about a place to go to relax, to study, to just talk, etc.

  117. I really feel left out of things here….
    Why are there no pedophiles after me? What am I missing? What about all those evil PC viruses? As a woman I am sure that I can never have chosen the right firewalls and virus scanners 😦
    I wish I had my brother monitoring all my internet movements, I would feel so much safer!

    Or not: When I took over an old computer from him it was useless because it had about 99 viruses…. And he’s supposed to be a geek…..

    I was trying so hard to stay out of this and remain my sweet helpless adorable pearly little self but I couldn’t resist the temptation.
    I’m a small fish swimming with sharks! I am just a small a bird preyed on by cats!
    And there’s no man to lock me up in a cage!
    😦
    Help!!!

  118. After reading ALL the comments (good grief) I wanted to state that WE ARE NOT upset if you do not support the forum or you think that it is a bad place. BUT as the human population in 2010 I would like to think we have more of an understanding of others and that we know YES we have tons of cultures and tons of religions.

    IF Carol has posted a atheist forum up here. I would have read it but at the end of the day I would not have caused problems are said harsh words. WHY, because its simply not my cup of tea. SO when we see people who just want to fight for the fun of it well I think that can bother anyone?

    THANK YOU to each one of you that took time to stand up for me and that actually know me and the forum.

    To the rest of you I really hope you find something in your life that makes you not have to sniff around for drama.

    CAROL Thank you for posting the forum on your site SO MANY mashAllah sisters have joined and they are all so kind.

  119. Umm Talal,
    I perfectly understood what you meant by a safe environment. Internet is not a safe place especially for those at impressionable ages. There are so many softwares for parental control for example in chat rooms. And things can go wrong in places like Facebook.

    And yes of course people will only join if they like the forum or if it helps them. But I felt that alot of sects were named and calling names …etc. All these shows a negative view about Islam.

    As humans we make mistakes but what is the good thing about making mistakes is that we learn to forgive and forge better relationships. Inna Allah-ha ma’a sabireen. (Allah is with those who are patient).

  120. Yes there are some who comment just for fun and make fitna. They know who they are!

  121. JazakAllah Khair Sarah your a very wise woman May you always been blessed Ameen.

  122. Umm Talal, I think your forum is a good place for women, especially to talk and share recipes and stories about children etc.
    But I do think that when it comes to religion is is not good to limit yourself to only one little clique. A great many untruths have already come out in this threat, about the term whabbism, about sufis about verses inn the Quran which have been abrogated, and about the need for women to segregate themselves from men.
    I think it is a woman’s good right to choose not to interact with men, but the way I see it after reading up is that segregation wasn’t the custom in the time of the prophet.
    Neither was veiling, only elite Jewish women veiled, common women and slaves weren’t even allowed to cover. It was a dress code/fashion to denote social status. No religion involved and if there was it was Judaism.

    I think it is dangerous to get too hung up on all these details and to forgo looking critically at these things and the stuff modern scholars extrapolate. I always understood that self study was a key element in Islam, and limiting yourself to what you are comfortable with is not good.

    I think that is what Sandy meant in her very first comments and I agree with her.

  123. @occupied brain

    you said:: “Who do you think you are? Being an ARABIC SPEAKER AND READER does not automatically entail that you have FULLY understood and reflected on the meaning of the Quran. Don’t KID yourself.”

    I think that has been proven conclusively over the years. We have had Arabic speakers come up will all kinds of “real meanings”. It’s a classic way to try to discredit someone. What’s interesting is they have no idea how much Arabic I may know or what access I have to Arabic speakers.

    @Aafke,
    re Pink Husky66. Not worth attempting a reasonable response, Some people never emotionally or cognitively develop beyond Jr. HIgh. And they always expose themselves most when they think they are being clever saying things about others.

    @Um Talal,
    Because my husband does not feel it necessary to monitor my online time, in no way reflects his interest in, or care for me. In fact, I often talk to him about what I do online. I think it’s sad that you apparently think believing your spouse to be capable of managing themselves onlne is the same as not caring.

  124. @Umm Talal,

    I know you are proud of your forum. That is very understandable.

    However, a forum is a place for people gather. It is about its people. What I saw here from the people coming from your forum is not impressive. Every comment so far has been a direct attack on someone (including your own comments). Your last 2 comments, sounded like you are talking down to people. If you were sincere about discovering your mistake, then a simple sorry would have worked for Sandy. But you were not, because you repeated the same mistakes later by declaring that others are looking for drama.

    I mean seriously look at the last comment form Pink Husky and her type of childish accusations. Is this something you are proud of and want to represent you and the people of your forum.

    I think Carol gave you an opportunity to present an article about your forum in good faith. What occurred is the appearance of very aggressive people accusing others of the worst things. You and your members simply blew it.

    I sincerely hope you and the forum members are better than what I saw of you here.

  125. @Sarah,
    I am really surprised at what you just said. I don’t agree with everything all the regular posters here say- but I can’t think of one who posts for fun and fitna. Over time most of us get a sense of how the others think and why they post how they do. So how did you arrive at such a judgement?

  126. @sarah,
    How exactly is a brother or husband more capable of evaluating the safety of a website than a sister or a wife? I’m really curious here. I can understand a father (but why not mother?) when it comes to monitoring children, but why?

  127. Oh yes, i am definitely fitnah.

    I wonder about religious people, and especially those who choose to follow only the most restrictive tenets of their chosen religion.
    There is a lot of good stuff in the quran hadith and Sunnah which Muslims, the saudi government, and salafis choose to ignore.

    1 Women conduct business
    2 Women own big international businesses
    3 women have honour and dignity equal to men
    4 men are employed by women and have no problems following their orders
    5 women are trusted
    6 be married to one woman and stay faithful to her
    7 go to your wife for advice and follow it
    8 women make their own decisions about their own lives
    9 women propose to men for marriage
    10 women choose whom they want to marry
    11 women put into their marriage contract that they don’t want their husband to marry more wives. Men keep to that promise
    12. women don’t pay back their mahr if they instigate divorce
    13. women ride/drive their own means of transport
    14. Women and men divorce if they are totally unhappy and marry again without having stigma’s attached to them
    15. Men marry divorcees, or widows with children and treat them well
    16. men marry women who are older then they are
    17. women don’t have to be virgins to be regarded with respect and desired as good marriage partners
    18. women fight in battles
    19. women lead armies in the battlefield
    20. men help women in their household chores
    21. men clean their own clothes, milk their own sheep, and do their own chores
    22. answer an insult with a humorous remark instead of chopping heads off or burn stuff
    23. men treat women with respect and never, ever, ever, beat them
    24. women go out where they want, whenever they want
    25. give water to a starving dog (and get a free ticket to heaven)
    26. own a dog
    27. let your dog eat out of your own soup bowl then clean it well afterward
    28. own a cat
    29. don’t disturb sleeping cats
    30. be kind and considerate to animals, all animals
    31. men and women pray together in the mosque
    32. men and women attend seminars and discuss stuff (together)
    33. people who have sinned but have truly repented will not be punished
    34. actions are but intentions, and this is between you and God. humans cannot see what’s in other humans hearts and minds
    35. when you smile it is charity
    36. laugh often, smile much
    37. have fun, make lots of jokes
    38. you can sing
    39. everybody in the Ummah (community, ummah al-Dawrah) is equal, regardless of their race, colour or origin
    40. be kind and indulgent to children, the prophet used to even shorten the prayer when he heard a child cry
    41 love overcomes hatred, forgiveness overcomes aggression
    42 speak a good word, or else be silent
    43 Moderation in all: charity, eating, dressing and worship. Avoid extremes.

  128. Sandy,

    I was defintely not meaning you. For sure not you.
    Hey, come on now ….

    It is easy to make out one who posts just with no meanings and one who is serious in trying to carry their message across.

  129. Of COURSE not me Habbibati.(not sarcastic)
    But really haven’t noticed regular posters who do that 🙂

  130. Sandy,
    I do not agree that someone should monitor what others are doing online. Its invasion of one’s own privacy. I am talking about adults.

    What I mean there was about kids who are of course not adults and can make mistakes online. There are tons of real cases of pedos and men tricking into meeting girls/boys …etc. Not to mention those fake emails going around about widows needing to transfer money to your banks, prmosies of employment …etc. Cases of girls running away from home to meet some stranger they met online – in another country.

    Parents (both of them) need to monitor their children while online but not to the extent they are hovering over their shoulders all the time. Kids need their privacy too.

  131. who is making posts with no meanings here?
    Seriously? Give a list!

  132. @ Sandy funny you said this:

    Not worth attempting a reasonable response, Some people never emotionally or cognitively develop beyond Jr. HIgh. And they always expose themselves most when they think they are being clever saying things about others.

    Because this is what everyone thinks of you with what you think is your clever comments. The things your saying just make no sense to anything going on.

  133. You all KEEP bringing up women and the rights we have. I have no idea where or why this has been a topic. These are all things we know and that I personally believe. IF A WOMAN chooses something for herself like MY FORUM why does it bother you so bad that you spend DAYS talking about it?

    I think were all adults and can take up for ourselves when we feel we need to. Maybe I should have stood by and read and never said anything I am sure then you all would have been happy. BUT when we stand up for something we believe in then people are mad.

    KHALAS we do not agree THE end. PLEASE try to get over it.

    NO ONE ever said you need a ‘man’ to monitor your activity. I am online now and my husband at work. I mean it is just NOT making sense. My husband never goes through my things or ask about certain things. I have my own business, forum and website. MY HUSBAND has nothing to do with any of them nor would he even care to.

  134. @ Aafke-Art

    your just making these things up. I live in Saudi and MANY men put the wives names on property, homes. MANY women here have a business. I even know American women who do. Any gender and culture can own a business here as long as they have the resident which many obtain after a certain number of years.

    YES, women have a LONG way to go in this country and I agree with that. But we do in many countries.

  135. @Umm Talal,

    “IF A WOMAN chooses something for herself like MY FORUM why does it bother you so bad that you spend DAYS talking about it?”

    I do not think anyone has ever talked about stopping people from going to your forum. Most people on this blog believe in liberties, even the liberty to do stupid things.

    No one have actually talked about the forum in days. Most of the comments have been about the behavior of yourself and the people from your forum. Some other comments were related to correcting comments that were not factual, like the term Wahabbi was invented by sofis.

    You have said many times that you are done with these discussions, yet you keep coming back for another round of attack against Sandy. If you really want this to end then just go and enjoy you forum.

  136. @MoQ

    You wrote ” Every comment so far has been a direct attack on someone (including your own comments).”
    Your deceiving your self, It just makes me sick to my stomach that people like you still exist & love to play double identity’s to save them selves from any embarrassments, especially the fact that you think your “words of wisdom” that you wrote directly to others on here were not so aggressive!! What a joke! I would be mortified and humiliated if I were you. Do your self a favor, go to Amazon.com and buy your self a book thats called “Manners for Idiots” you might learn a thing or two. Then you can pass it on to your “Sister” Sandy. I’ll pray for you to change your self from within! P.e.A.C.e!

  137. @Pink-Husky,

    I am really sorry that our existence causes you such pain and sickness.

    I hope you get better….

  138. @Umm Talal
    If you really think what I say makes no sense to what is going on why keep responding to it? What’s it to you? I’ll never come to your site. Everything you rant back at me seems to confirm rather than refute my opinion.

    The comments on my personal life, my marriage, my faith… what do you really think people are thinking when they read that stuff from you? I’m not sure what you hope to accomplish with it. Do you think somehow it will silence me?

    Clearly I am an uppity woman and you can’t stand it. Can’t stand that I don’t know my place. So why keep directing the conversation back to me?

    Clearly some of you really do need monitoring when on the internet.

  139. @sandy>I am very happily married, with a non-controlling husband so I’m sorry if that dissapoints you. Also, I converted BEFORE getting married to my Saudi -by several years.

    ohh..i’m sure you did convert first (it looks better on your part, so called know it all) then you went looking for that wahabi saudi to change him or fight him on your ideas of modern islam..oh, no, excuse me, that happen in the after shock of living in the magic kingdom that you so desperately wanted to live in because it is the land of ISLAM…and if you were sooo happy in your marriage, you would not be so MEAN! about religion.
    i don’t know noor, but i went over to her blogs and read them all day, and i must say she sounds very sweet… and her blogs are “TERRIFIC”! A.B. gave her an interview….try to control your emotions, she might give you one too.? you o.k. with that? like amal said “check yourself’, and i add “before you wreck yourself”. gia in jed

  140. @MoQ
    I’m not completely sure about this but I think Pink-Husky has changed her insinuations and your “double identity” is me. I think we have become the same person. That’s how you can pass the book to me when you’re done and why she is so mad at me. Because I think I’m actually the one she most mad at.

    Once again one of these ladies(perhaps a child in this case?) making a huge assumption about me.

    Anyway, you are way nicer than me. I’m not sure I’m much bothered that she feels so “sick”.

  141. Gia,
    You are a nasty wench who knows very little about me but doesn’t mind making up what she doesn’t know. You are pretty much wrong about everything you said.

  142. Well Sandy, I always feel sorry for people that are so brain washed by the dogma that even every day interaction makes them so sick. It is called the Wahabbi virus.

    Regarding us being the same person and what other insinuations Pink Hussy made, it just shows how people that want to hate build all these assumptions in their heads to justify it.

  143. @sandy<You are a nasty wench who knows very little about me but doesn’t mind making up what she doesn’t know. You are pretty much wrong about everything you said.

    oh, i hit it right on the button..i got you figured out at the first comment. you need to apologize for being rude….and im sure this is feeding your fire…gia in jed

  144. Oooops sorry typo, I meant Pink Husky.

    My keyboard did this wigi board trick on me, where my fingers were guided to the wrong letter subconsciously. Damn Iblees is always playing his tricks…

  145. Waw! It’s getting nasty here!
    Sandy, Moq, just leave it. Don’t feed the trolls.

  146. It amazes me that people who call themselves Muslim will flat out LIE about someone they don’t know. Just for the record everyone- I don’t know Gia and she doesn’t know me. So take her comments as you like with that in mind.

    Not feeding my fire much. It is personal and won’t hurt anyone else, and it is so wildly inaccurate it really doesn’t matter. I admit to a certain pleasure in watching someone I’m not that fond of make a fool of themselves. Because even if everyone here believed you, Allah would not, because he knows the truth. And I know that one day- you will have to answer for things that are not a misunderstanding, or difference of opinion, but a bald faced lie. So have at it. You are really only hurting yourself.

  147. @Aafke-Art, on December 13, 2010 at 1:48 pm said:

    “There is a lot of good stuff in the quran hadith and Sunnah which Muslims, the saudi government, and salafis choose to ignore.”

    I tend to agree with that statement, except for the blanket generalization on all Muslims. This is however how this monarchy has brought upon its own country men and women many of the social ills that currently plague it, especially the brutal way in which many men feel they can treat women, or parents can treat their children….again, I hate generalizing, but there is not enough emphasis on forgiveness, mercy, compassion, love…

    “فبما رحمة من الله لنت لهم ولو كنت فظا غليظ القلب لانفضوا من حولك”
    آل عمران 159

    “It is part of the Mercy of Allah that you deal gently with them, were you severe or harsh hearted they would have broken away from you”
    Al-Emran 159

  148. @Aafke,
    I’ll try to stop. It is simply ridiculous now. So I’ll try to let everyone fire their final round at me so they can feel they’ve “won”. At this point they’ve certainly exposed themselves for what they are, and many people here already know what I’m about and won’t (or will!) believe their crap anyhow.

  149. @Sandy,

    I told you.

    Impasse.

    Just give up already. There is no point trying to talk to an ideologue.

    You only end up hurting your head when you keep repeatedly banging it against the keyboard.

  150. @occupiedbrain
    You are right! Thank you 🙂

  151. @MoQ

    I think you’re subconsciously teaming up with Iblees a.k.a Sandy or should I say the Virus herself. Quick everyone let’s turn this discussion off for a second, maybe it’ll terminate it from spreading….any second now… … it’s working people 🙂 Oh wait your husband won’t mind you infecting others, since MoQ is by your side for comfort, that’s what friends are for how Ironic that your husband approves of this giggly relationship.
    Where did you get the impression that you have an uppity character? Or is that what your husband can’t stand? It makes total sense that your deprived from his attention in a conservative country, your stuck in a dark, lonely hole waiting for MoQ to give you a little tickle… Boohoo 😦
    Chew on both of your hearts gently or your Viruses might erupts on here again! we don’t want your “wigi board” to give you anymore tricks 😉 Ciaooooo ^-^

  152. Carol, or moderator, this is really getting too nasty and personal here.
    All these accusations, groundless coupling Iblees and virusses to commentators who ahve always behaved with wisdom and kindness here no less!
    This is getting beyond nasty.
    I don’t know if all ladies groups of salafis turn into nasty backbiting witches covens, but I think you should draw the line at having your own blog being used for this kind of character assassination.

    I think it’s high time for some reprimands followed by moderating out of bound comments.

  153. Occupied brain, you were right, that should have been ”some Muslims” of course.

  154. Its a FORUM… that’s all… there’s 100’s of them all over the internet fr various causes and groups. So people chill and if you like it go for it, if not ignore, get a nice cup of tea , get a good book ( i have a hankering for alistair mclean 🙂 and a warm blanket and settle down byt he window and have fun…
    ( that’s my desire for this monday coming out – unfortunately i have rounds in 30min and will be on my feet for the next 7hrs.) — where is that rich prince when you need one. the one that will keep me in my lovely tower and feed me cakes 🙂

  155. OMG, I can’t believe this! How can people call themselves Muslims and call another sister with such nasty backbiting and reamarks – its really beyond me.

    That is going tottally againt Islam! It is wrong to accuse another woman in that way with no witnesses! Totally wrong.

  156. Radha, you like alistair mcClain too? What’s your favorite?

  157. All,

    This is really expected. Let’s recap what we know about this forum:

    1) it is exclusive Sunni only (no Shiiat No Sofi’s)
    2) they say it is OK for none Muslims to be there. To convert them. Notice these people call themselves Muslim, but they prefer none Muslims as part of their forum over Sofi and Shiiat.
    3) One of the commentators from that forum, called a person they do not like a Sofi. She also used a derogatory term to describe Sofi’s.
    4) It is very obvious this forum is full of people following Wahabbi teaching. It is apparent from their intense hate of Shiiat and Sofis. This is one of the strongest messages Wahabbi’s indoctrinate converts into. The hate for these other sects of Islam and the people that follow them. These converts adapt to hating others so quickly without question.
    5) They are so quick to judge. The first comment the owner of the blog made about Sandy was an assumption that she is not Muslim. She saw a western name (not an Umm) and quickly assumed that she is not a Muslim.
    6) The owner of the forum actually hopped to promote her forum. She could have achieved that, except for the fact that she has this rage against others. It showed so quickly and went down hill from there.
    7) I would have stopped there and could have said she made a mistake in anger. But even after she realized that she was angry, she continued on the same path of attacks. She never showed any remorse for her mistake. It was just words to try to improve her standing.
    8) Additionally we had all these nutty women coming from the forum. The first few sounded like attack mongers, but they were relatively mild.. The quality of the people just kept getting worse. We finally got 2 of the nastiest characters I encountered on this blog in the form of gia and PINK-HOSKY.

    I think if anyone to blame for the bad impression every one has of the forum, it is the members that delivered that impression. They all sound full of rage against the outside world. I really feel sorry for them and how joining a religion have made them into unthinking hostile people. What concerns me even more is many of them are parents (given the Umm title) and they are responsible of raising a new generation.

  158. I think quite often women (such as the owners of Cafe Muslimah) purport to speak for men. They make assumptions about the men in other women’s lives, which might be far from the truth, and end up policing other women far more effectively than any mahraham could hope.

    Women enforcing patriarchal norms is a pattern that repeats itself in myriad different situations.

  159. mahrahm, rather.

  160. @Aafke
    the one about the siege on golden gate 🙂

  161. LOL. Omg! I go to bed and come back to a three ring circus. I have to say reading the comments it’s been hilarious. Not only the main umm we now have her sycophantic friends popping up now too. Fun, fun, fun! Keep at it ladies I’m having a blast watching the er…. (female dogs) further dig themselves a hole. I can in no way understand how they think their behavior on this blog in anyway is a good example of that forum or of Muslims in general. Aafke I’ll try not feed the troll but is just too amusing. I’m frankly surprised that one of them hasn’t posted a “picture” of Sandy whereby she has grown horns.

    Unlike some who say they are done I will stand by my word and truly be done. Thus will no longer address my comments to the umms since it does no good anyways. Ostriches…. lovely! I really wish those people who wish to be ostriches realize that the image they present when they go head deep in sand is of their ass.

    I will clarify my position that has been banded about by them and is incorrect. I have NEVER said Islam=terrorism/terrorist or that All Muslim=bad/evil. I DO have my doubts as to how peaceful Islam is if it spawns those such as these Salafis or the terrorist we’ve had to deal with. OH and I am also a SHE not a he.

    @Carol

    My apologies. I didn’t help matters here. I’m sure you have a better opinion of Umm Talal because of what you know of her and thus endorsed her forum because of that. I can only however base my opinion of her and her representation of that forum by the comments she’s made here. Not a shining example and I can’t but help wonder if you’ve made a mistake on this one. The rest of the merry band of umms have not changed my opinion but worsened it.

  162. Ok, wow. This has just gotten way out of hand. EVERYONE CHILL OUT.

    If you are a Muslim (here’s looking at you, Sandy), I am so disappointed in your behavior as a Muslim woman. We are supposed to be kind to our fellow sisters, not attack them like barbarians and insult them. Cafe Muslimah is a nice, simple forum where Muslim women can get together and just discuss whatever we want and be friends and everyone is gets along. It’s as simple as that. For all of you assuming it’s some Al-Queda training ground, you’re being so ridiculous, it’s laughable. And for you MoQ, to say we are so quick to judge, stop for a second and think about what you’re doing because that whole big post you did…you judged everyone on Cafe Muslimah. Don’t be a hypocrite. Calling people names such as “terrorist” or “extremist” and then saying WE are judging you… Just wow. And yeah I assumed Sandy was not Muslim at first. It has NOTHING to do with her name…It had to do with the fact she immediately insulted Noor’s post and appeared to be mocking Islam. Noor (UmmTalal) was only defending herself and I think she had every right to. Everyone has the right to defend themself when they feel attacked. As Muslim women, you all should have nipped this is in the bud before it ever got this far. It crossed the line with people calling others “terrorist”. Seriously, whoever said that (I’m too lazy to scroll up lol), do you not fear Allah?? How can u talk to another woman this way? Whether she is Muslim or not, as a Muslim you should have haya and respect.

    So, in conclusion, we are not children, we are women. Let’s all compose ourselves and act like it.

    God bless.

  163. Ah! I like ”When eight bells toll” ”the Satan Bug” and ”Athabasca” and ”Bear Island” and ”The golden rendezvous” and ”The guns of Navarone” and ”Seawitch”
    And definitely ”Ice station Zebra”
    Ehm, I think I like quite a lot of them…

  164. UmmTalal, great forum!

  165. Hi OnigiriFB,

    I just thought I’d let you know that I read your response and I appreciate your taking the time to give me the insider scoop on Mormonism. I wil try and respond a little bit later.
    This has turned really nasty but not entirely surpriing give the focus of some Salafi women on assuming the outward trappings of a Muslim woman over that of working on the inner (and before anyone says anything, no, I’m not a sufi or a soofi, as the Islam of double vowels would have it)It’s sad to see Muslims ganging up on others, making provocative statements and supporting one another irrespective of the level of pride and ego displayed.

  166. Wow, is this what Islam does to women? Where are those who return good for evil like Muhammad is reported to have done when the Jewish neighbor threw trash on him?

    Noor, I understand that you were defensive in the beginning when Sandy voiced her opinion, but couldn’t you have countered in a nicer way instead of insulting her? I would have loads of respect for you if you apologized, but instead you brought your forum friends into this thread and they turned it uglier. I would not have expected this from women who claim to follow God.

    If you follow God and act like this, what hope is there for the rest of us? This world is doomed.

  167. As someone highly interested in religion, generally speaking, I was somewhat interested in checking out the blog. However, after the personal attacks made in the comments on here, I am a bit put off by the idea. I am not looking to convert and am quite comfortable with my beliefs as they are now (. I am a bit concerned that I would not be respected on such a blog. However, if I have misjudged, then I apologize. I would love the chance to learn more about other religions!

    Currently, I am trying to learn more about Islam but am more interested as to the original intentions of Islam during the time of the prophet and what exactly he was trying to achieve. Currently, I am reading a book called Islam:A Short History by Karen Armstrong. However, I plan on reading more books in the future. This is just what the library had at the time. 😛 Does anyone have any input on books they’d recommend or an opinion on this one? After this it’s on to learning more about Buddhism! 😉

  168. @Amal,

    ” And for you MoQ, to say we are so quick to judge, stop for a second and think about what you’re doing because that whole big post you did…you judged everyone on Cafe Muslimah.”

    Actually I was restrained. I deferred my judgement until i saw enough data. There were 10’s of comments and the commentators from that forum kept getting worse. I even analyzed all the comments to draw these conclusions. To tell you the truth, I would not have cared about the forum one way or another, but you ladies really put out a very bad show. You should think about the comments you made here, including the Takfiri ones, the ones that assumes things about others, the slander of Sandy,etc. All of this is because someone expressed an opinion you did not like.

    Note none of my 7 points were made up, they came out of the comments. It is not a judgment, these are facts from your members writings.

    I am really not impressed with the character your team displayed here and I hope you are not converting others to your way of thinking.

  169. @Amal,

    “Calling people names such as “terrorist” or “extremist”

    Tell me where I called anyone a terrorist or extremist. Look up and find it.

    It is amazing how sensitive you and your group are. You have a sense of inadequacy that brings all these defensive behavior that result in strawman arguments to make people feel you are a victim here.

    You know smart people will actually look at their behavior and learn. You and the other ladies blew this, pure and simple. You should learn from this bad experience and hopefully next time you won’t make such mistake.

  170. Strange One, I liked “No God but God” by Reza Aslan. It’s from a Shia perspective, but very good.

  171. @ MoQ: Nobody is converting anyone to “our way of thinking”. I mean really, this is all a big misunderstanding. If you were to see the forum, people talk more about getting married, their daily life, and things like that than Islam. It’s just a simple forum for Muslim women to chat on…

    Also, I meant Sandy is the one calling people terrorists and a “nasty little wench”. You are sticking up for her, tho and saying people from Cafe Muslimah are so quick to judge. Really do you think it’s ok Sandy is calling a woman a nasty little wench? I dunno if you’re Muslim, but she said she is and that is disgusting behavior of a Muslim women to be so hateful towards other Muslimahs to call them such a thing.

  172. To clarify:
    I only called someone a nasty wench when they made up a story, entirely a lie, about my marriage and posted it on a public forum. It’s just a fact. If you think it’s ok to tell lies about someone’s marriage publically, but it’s “disgusting behavior” to call them a “nasty wench” for such public behavior, they your morals are very different than mine.
    And I’m ok with that.

  173. Strangeone,
    The intention of Islam was to complete the message and this final message was conveyed to us through the prophet.

  174. I do not even know pinkhusky nor or they member on my forum just for the record. I do not even know if they are Muslim? Like you said this is an open discussion and people can discuss just bc someone does not choose one side over the other does not mean they are friends, etc.

    Everything seemed to fine with the rude comments coming onto me but when other people took up and stated their opinion everyone was upset. Open discussion you said right?

    I stand by everything that I have said and do not retract anything but maybe I made a bad choice in thinking this was a proper place to have an article about an Islamic forum. I should have not typed what I thought out I will say that. When dealing with such childish and insulting behavior it is better to keep quiet. That was my mistake and I do know that.

    I see you all have been bickering on amongst yourselves the entire day and I am sure you can go on for much longer have fun.

  175. @sandy< yes, everybody, i do not know sandy, personally.
    but i know this was noors moment and she put herself in the frontline on purpose and im not the only one here that sees this considering the most of the comments above…and still no apologies…tisk tisk, and you talk at being a good righteous person, and this has nothing to do with your inocent husband that has nothing to do with this hoohaa going on here…only you.

    @aakhe< what are trolls to you?…i don't get it???
    maybe go brew a stew…LOL. just needed to post a smarty comment to you…i know you like ithehe..gia in jed

  176. @aafke< accidently mispelled your handle,sorry….how do you pronounce it? gia in jed

  177. I think the problem with the Cafe Muslimah forum being promoted here is that it is run by and moderated by a sector of the Muslim community who are a) not representative of the worldwide Muslim community and b) consider other sunni Muslims who don’t identify as salafis as misguided and in need of correction.
    Therefore, despite the claims of it being a friendly place and having some previous expereince of salafi clubs (remember the old days of yahoo clubs?) I would imagine that dissent on any topic covered by religious law or to even make mention of how much you have benefitted from Imam Al-Ghazali’s works ot how much you enjoyed Imran Hosein’s latest lecture would go down like a lead balooon.

  178. ..and would probably lead to immediate a warning, followed by expulsion for allegedly stirring up fitna.

  179. I don’t understand why everybody is going after Sandy (and Moq), when I called the umms a coven of witches, that’s the worst yet in this thread. Sandy and Moq are always very reasonable and quite polite.

    Although I consider a ”witches coven” to be euphemistic considering the childish backbiting lies, and aggression shown by the pious.

    It’s really amazing how some women here have been going on attacking others and calling them ”childish” while the comments themselves sounded as if they were written by a high school drop out.

    I do think it’s pity the tone of the thread became so negative right from the start, it doesn’t seem necessary considering the topic, but I have to admit I enjoyed the insight into true religious humility and charity we witnessed today.

    And umm Talal, if you don’t know Pink husky, that’s very bad luck, she did not help in giving a good impression of your forum while we thought she was a regular there.

  180. Heh. It’s always the same with these clique-y types. Again I guess the maturity level is that of people in Jr. High. Amusing though…. to just sit back and watch people implode, post nastiness and then sit back and cry woe is me I was the attacked one. Again not an shiny example of someone who would like to “invite” people to her forum. Thank God I have Muslims I know who are a better example of the faith then those who have posted here otherwise this world would probably have another “islamophobe”.

  181. @Amal,

    ” Nobody is converting anyone to “our way of thinking”. I mean really, this is all a big misunderstanding. If you were to see the forum, people talk more about getting married, their daily life, and things like that than Islam. It’s just a simple forum for Muslim women to chat on”

    Great, it was my hope you are not.

    Regarding the misunderstanding, I really think it would have been good if you talked about your forum in simple terms like you did in the last sentence above, there would have been no misunderstanding. I would not support an execlusive club that discriminates against Shiia and Sofis, but the least you and your members could have achieved would have been some debates about these finer issues.

    I really think you and the members of the forum did not present yourself well. Now you can think that is highly critical or can take it for what it is as an observation. If you want to make a good impression on others, you need to be gentle and less combative in your first introduction. Just marketing 101 there.

  182. @the nice Muslims et all

    I was a little confused when I read about this:

    http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2010121389172

    If her father is MERELY her “maintainer” could you explain those whole adhab/uqooq (sp?) to me? This article has just left me confused as to why that is even possible if a mahrem is just a maintainer as stipulated by the Quran? Does this not obviously mean that Saudi law makes a mahrem more of a “controller” of women? I understand other countries to not use mahrems except for marriages so where did the whole Saudi verion come from? A hadith? Just evolved from tribal rules?

  183. la howla qota la billah…..

    I have not even finished reading all the comments that have come in today but what a roller coaster ride everyone seems to be having!

    I believe that for those women who were not aware of Cafe Muslimah and follow my blog are now certainly aware of it! I’m sure that there have been some new memberships as a result.

    There is no doubt that as a result of the post some interesting personality traits of individuals has come through. That is all I will say on the matter.

    What is clear is that Cafe Muslimah may not be for everyone. American Bedu is not necessarily for everyone either!

    However I do appreciate the opportunity of reading and how responses have been crafted. It’s been …do I say enlightening, entertaining or both?

    I will add that I do see Sandy’s point of view, Pink’s point of view, Umm Talal’s point of view, Sarah’s point of view, Occupied’s point of view, Coolred’s point of view and even MoQ’s point of view. They are all entitled to their views too. The best part is I do not have to agree with all or any of them yet I can still dialogue with any of them.

    Well…guess I better catch up on what else has transpired ….

  184. @ Carol:
    This just goes to illustrate the deepening schism between Muslims that resulted when one party claims to hold the absolute truth and the divine inspiration while excluding every other view and even going further to say they are not Muslims (even worse if it comes from a new convert who might not comprehend the whole history of Islamic law).

    Takfeery sects in Islam is not a new phenomenon but it has never prevailed in history except in the modern age through Al-Qaida and similar mentalities.

  185. OK…just gotta jump in here…haven’t been to the website becasue I am not a muslimah…but I have to say to the ladies from the cafe who are on here arguing…as a non muslim watching the way you are behaving when you are supposedly the “true embodiment of Islam” there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I, as a nonbeliever, would EVER be attracted to islam the way you are presenting it…you might want to think about that…you are really showing the worst possible side…

    BTW…Sandy gives a much more positive image of islam than any of you ladies do…

  186. @Pink Husky (that sounds like a porn star name, fyi)

    “Just shows how chesty and unwitting you are. ”

    You are calling Sandy chesty like it’s a bad thing? Women around the world spend thousands of dollars on chest augmentation surgeries every day.

    Or did you mean something else?

    No worries. Thousands of women around the world enroll in English 101 everyday.

  187. @NN

    OMG I almost snorted my dinner reading your comment…. grin

  188. @Carol,
    You see Pink’s point of view? Well, if she’s entitled to say those things on this blog, then this blog probably isn’t suitable for me.
    @NN
    That WAS funny.

  189. Pink Husky doesn’t sound genuine and might be Gia’s sock puppet. Why? The name is odd for a start. How many Muslims, never mind Salafis have an affnity for dogs?
    Then there was the fact of Pink Husky ending one of her coments with the word, ciaoooo which implies a knowledge of Italian which someone with a name like Gia (Giovanna) sounds like she might know. What’s more, if you used a term of address like ciaooo in a salafi forum you’d probably get thrown out.
    So, yeah, trolling and sock puppetry ahoy!

  190. @Sandy,

    I need to expand on what I meant…I see or rather can understand how many readers (even Pink) will react emotionally and quickly with a response sometimes…in addition to trying to see and understand where a reader is coming from. That does not mean in any way that I may agree but I will acknowledge the difference in point of view.

    I do enjoy your comments and participation. Some may not like what they read but if II may say so, I see you as a “straight shooter.” You say what you have experienced and believe whether others are going to agree or not. You are not afraid to stand up in the face of diversity.

  191. Hi Carol,
    Would you mind removing my details,please?
    They must have turned up in error.
    Thanks.

  192. @ oby>
    OK…just gotta jump in here…haven’t been to the website becasue I am not a muslimah…but I have to say to the ladies from the cafe who are on here arguing…as a non muslim watching the way you are behaving when you are supposedly the “true embodiment of Islam” there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell that I, as a nonbeliever, would EVER be attracted to islam the way you are presenting it…you might want to think about that…you are really showing the worst possible side…

    BTW…Sandy gives a much more positive image of islam than any of you ladies do

    go figure that comment…as you are a nonmuslim, oby, and sandy leans toward the liberals. easy does it, whoa girl.

    and no im not in anyway connected to the husky…but i do love the beauty of these dogs…maybe her dog has a pink collar…sweet! gia in jed

  193. @Africana

    *sigh* I have to say this is one sad puppy here. I have finally just finished reading about the Rise and Fall of Salafi Islam link you gave me earlier. All I can say is I feel truly sick to my stomach reading about these so call Muslims. I’ve ALWAYS wondered who these Muslims the Geller/Spencer crowd are referring to since the people I knew IRL were so not the picture they were painting to the teabagger crowd (a wonderful Somali woman who can’t even seem to wear black clothes let alone a black tent and mask), the wonderful Muslims I’ve known here and on other sites, and mostly the wonderful, always smiling, entirely peaceful Thais who but for their white cloth hijab (as the Malays/Indonesians wear) you would not know were any different from Buddhist Thais who they lived with in peace and respect. I can almost understand the hatred of the Geller/Spencer sector if all they knew were these so called American Salafis. Almost. My conscious cannot in good faith ever consider Muslim=evil as they do. I’m just disgusted right now and if anyone says they are Salafi to me right I’ll apologize in advance for what I will probably say to you. I’ve always thought that the “muslims” I’ve met online who spoke great English but with all these Arabic words thrown in with the worse backbiting, arrogant, self-righteous, holier than thou attitudes were just Saudis posing as American Muslims. (My apologies to Saudis on this one.) Just…. wow.

    The poster left off something really important to me though. What happened worldwide after 9/11 because for all the pop ups here and there I can’t help but see the UK, France, Germany, and Saudi/Yemens (from which I think the Al Quaida faction comes from correct me if I’m wrong) are the ones we need to worry about in terms of jihadist. So what happened to the Muslims after 9/11. Who are the ones we are now dealing with in America at least.

    That blog post has given me a lot to think about….. and has truly made me sad. I can only hope that the ones I know, the truly peaceful ones who simply want to live their lives in worship of Allah not political Islam, win the war between Muslims. Actually I’m beginning if us non-Muslims have stepped in at the wrong time thus giving the Muslims a common enemy to unite against. Things to think about…. definitely.

    Er… btw I now have an even worse opinion of those on this thread since they embodied the worse of the salafiyyah I read about. When even Saudi doesn’t want them I wonder what they would do (King Abdullah obviously wants something different fro his country then for it to return to a medieval society.)

  194. @Carol,
    I understand emotional reactions. Hell, I was declared not a Muslim and I understand why that was said- that WAS a point of view. Incorrect from any standard of manners Islamic or otherwise, BUT a point of view.

    Pink and Gia did not express a point of view, other than fabricated lies about my life, and nasty insinuations. There is a big difference in my point of view.

    Anyway, that’s all I have to say. It is your blog and I respect that you get to set the standards here. but I choose to spend my time where it’s not ok for people to say things like that about me, my husband and my co- posters.

    PS. To others: Um Talal, says she doesn’t know Pink Husky and that is probably true at least under this name. But I still think she’s from that forum, probably using another name because it must be personal for her to get that worked up about it otherwise. Or perhaps she’s simply a troll.

  195. Assalamu Alaikum.
    Umm Talal.I am one of your recent members. Sister you will never win with some of the members on this forum,Turn to Allah to help them and give you patience InshaAllah.
    Remember this, ignorance is a disease that leads to arrogance which is like a cancer that stagnates the body mind and soul. May Allah help protect us all InshaAllah.
    P.S I see there is another Sarah on this forum,nice reading your comments!!!

  196. @OnigiriFB,

    “That blog post has given me a lot to think about….. and has truly made me sad. I can only hope that the ones I know, the truly peaceful ones who simply want to live their lives in worship of Allah not political Islam, win the war between Muslims. Actually I’m beginning if us non-Muslims have stepped in at the wrong time thus giving the Muslims a common enemy to unite against. Things to think about…. definitely.. ”

    i.e. “Pure US vs. Troubled THEM”

    You’ve just thrown in Salafis, Al Qaeda, resistance fighters, Islamophobes like Geller/Spencer, and the Muslim minorities in foreign countries all in one mix. I haven’t had my morning coffee so bear with me. I woke up hoping this whole hubbub has died down, but I feel the obligation to leave you with this thought:

    1) I’m sorry to say but I have to use an argument that might be misconstrued as tu quoque:

    The Evangelical and Dominionist Christian right in the US has done their fare share with their own dogmas. You don’t recall how some actually tried to blow up abortion clinics? I suggest that you attempt to look at the threats from within as well as those you perceive to be coming from the ‘other’. For more, Max Blumenthal’s book “Republican Gomorrah” might offer some perspective, although he does appeal to partisan sentiments, some of the things he talks about are downright eerie and recall the issues we are currently struggling against here in Saudi.

    Imagine me saying:

    ” I can only hope that the ones I know, the truly peaceful ones who simply want to live their lives in worship of God not political Christianity, win the war between Christians. Actually I’m beginning if us non-Christians have stepped in at the wrong time thus giving the Christians a common enemy to unite against. Things to think about…. definitely..”

    Hagee comes to mind, and Geert “Immigrant-Free-Europe’ Wilders.

    OR

    ” I can only hope that the ones I know, the truly peaceful ones who simply want to live their lives in worship of Hashem not political Judaism, win the war between Jews. Actually I’m beginning if us Goyim have stepped in at the wrong time thus giving the Jews a common enemy to unite against. Things to think about…. definitely..”

    (for more, Rabbi Ovadia Yousef’s random outbursts or Blumenthal’s coverage on the Torat Ha’Melech http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7t_LxpCY2G8 comes to mind)

    When’s the last time you’ve stood up to and denounced Glenn Beck?

    Do you still beat your wife? 😉

    2) Colonialism and authoritarianism have been a massive driver in spawning these extreme movements. Of course, don’t take my word for it, Abou El Fadl has that covered in his book.

    3) Suffice it to say that there are cracks in the wall like the following that demonstrate how you cannot blame the appeal of these dogmas only on those who permeate them: I’ll leave it to general Petraeus to demonstrate Western hypocrisy and the race for subservience to the MIC and Cold Hard Cash.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/petraeus-fed-his-pro-israel-bona-fides-to-a-neocon-writer-including-pathetic-recitation-of-meeting-wiesel.html

    Off-topic: Even anti-war activists are now being targeted: THREE MORE were served SUBPOENAS in Chicago. Some of those are people I know. From Norman Finkelstein:

    http://www.fightbacknews.org/2010/12/3/fbi-delivers-new-subpoenas-more-anti-war-solidarity-activists

    http://www.stopfbi.net/petition/dear-colleague/professors-and-academics

    FINKELSTEIN comments:
    It happens that I personally know two of the three activists now being subpoenaed by Mr Change You Can Believe in. They are former students of mine and genuinely wonderful human beings who were there for me during my hours of trial. I would strongly urge visitors to this web site to support them.

    Back on topic:

    Of course, NEVERMIND the ‘shock doctrine’ that the US has been following all over the world (see book by the same name). The only person in the media I’ve seen challenge this is Amy Goodman on Democracy Now and Helen Thomas.

    The power structures that dominate the world have straight-jacketed many of those who are conscientious and do not want to have atrocities perpetrated in their name. See Craig Murray’s story and how he was forced to shut-up because the powers that be did not want him talking about torture and massacres in Uzbekistan:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_Murray

    In summary, my objection to your characterization stems solely from your quote above and your usage of the cliched ‘us vs. them’ perspective. The world is moving on and issues of justice are cutting across ethnic and religious lines like you would not believe, on a global scale. I would stand up to those who attempt to spread hateful ideologies no matter what they call themselves, be they royalty, media pundits, or ‘democratically-elected’ leaders.

    I’ll leave you with Charlie Rose and Budrus:

    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11238t

  197. Sarah, (the last one) if you find that you have the same name as another, already established, commentator on a blog you should choose a different name here, add some letters or numbers to your name.

    Otherwise nobody will know which comment belongs to whom.

  198. “The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding”

    – Albert Camus

  199. Pink Husky could just as well be a man, the stupidity of the ”cries” in capitals remind me of certain men we have seen here. The remark on ”chestyness” also seems male. As men are the ones obsessed with breasts.
    And then the porn name…
    Probably inspired by his evening entertainments…

    I am really sorry this thread turned out into such an aggressive circus of imaginary nasty strawmans and high school level maligning.

    This being the third time something like this has happened I now think that salafi covens are following this pattern:

    The private, closed blog or forum is the natural habitat for the salafi woman. There they feel comfortable and superior surrounded by other superior women, the ”chosen”, they who are ”elevated” above those sluts who do not follow the most restrictive version of Islam.

    Every now and then they come out of the woodwork into the real world to present their superiority to other women. And when they find out that some people have critical remarks they loose their mental equilibrium. How dare anybody question their superiority!
    And then you get the nasty remarks and accusations, and the backbiting, and the strawman attacks. After all if you do not agree with them completely you must be a kuffar, non-muslim, or even an apostate!

    Friends are being called into the discussion for support. This support is usually shown with many more strawmans, allegations against the true faith of their antagonists, doubts about the reason for their conversion.
    Sorry that should be ”reversion”. Salafis never convert, they ”revert”.
    And then the bad mouthing ,character assassination and taunting starts for real.
    Followed by complaints about how they, the righteous, are the victims and are badly treated.

    When several people have called them out on obvious doctrinal mistakes, the bad words, the fallacies, the lies and bad disposition they have shown, they start crawling back to their natural habitat where they go on for many days backbiting, reviling, maligning and imagining their adversaries burning in hell, while they lick each others wounds and try to re-establish their hurt sense of utter superiority.

    I bet we are at stage three now.
    The ”reverts” will revert to their natural habitat where even now calls are going out to fellow black cloaks to sympathise about how they were misused and how evil everybody is who doesn’t belong to their little clique.
    And how ”them” are not ”true” muslims, or straight out kuffar, and how they are having illicit relationships, etc. etc. we have seen several of these imaginary tales already on this thread.

    So while I am sorry that this didn’t turn out to be just a friendly discussion about a forum for Muslim women, it was good to see the mental level of some of the participants, this way it is easier to make a decision whether one wants to enter the forum or not.

    So this whole thread is actually a real improvement on the post. A simple post about the forum could never have explained the mental level, the charitable level, the intelligence and the powers of adult conversation of the members like they have been displayed here on the comments.

    And of course it is interesting to see that there are actually people to whom this display was so attractive that they decided to join!

    There is a congenial group for everybody on the internet! You only have to look around you a bit.

  200. Susanne,
    Thanks for the book recommendation.

    Sarah,
    Thanks for your input. 🙂 I am aware of the basic beliefs of Islam but would like to learn more surrounding the circumstances of the time in order to make better sense of why certain things occurred during that time in history.

    All,
    I am aware that the comments from some of the regulars of the blog in question may not have made the best decisions regarding the comments they posted on here, but we all make mistakes. Maybe those who have made inappropriate comments should apologise to the people they have insulted unnecessarily?

    People will have different ways of interpreting their religious beliefs, and this should be respected whether one belongs to a certain sect or not, and whether one belongs to a certain religion or not- as long as it is not hurting anyone else. What I do not understand is why one Muslim would criticise another for how they choose to interpret the Qu’ran but in the Prophet Muhammed’s time Muslims lived alongside Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians. If such seemingly drastic differences in religion were allowed then, why are smaller differences made to seem so large now? I’ve watched Christians do the same thing, too, so it’s not just here and it’s not just Muslims. And for the record, I don’t have a specific religion. I just happen to believe in one creative life force that is known as God/Allah/etc.

    The website may be a good idea for those women wishing to connect with others through the internet who may have certain restrictions placed on what sites they can or cannot view (either by themselves or by others). Since there is no age restriction, then it may be something that some would feel safe letting their younger daughters view.

    The recipe sharing portion of the site sounds interesting to me as I am always up for learning how to cook new, different, and better foods! I would also be interested to hear some of the examples of hobbies the women in the group are interested in.

  201. Um Talal,
    Because my husband does not feel it necessary to monitor my online time, in no way reflects his interest in, or care for me. In fact, I often talk to him about what I do online. I think it’s sad that you apparently think believing your spouse to be capable of managing themselves onlne is the same as not caring

    sandy, you say you often talk about what you do online to your husband, …well, that is the same thing as checking in with hubbie on your daily activities whether you realize it or not…try not informing him on what you do online for a month…sparks will fly…let me know what happens. does your husband spend as much time on the computer as you?, my husband does get CURIOUS about what im looking and reading at, by letting him know i prevent jealousy…get it?
    please don’t go all hog wild on the word jealousy

    aafke, i still want to know what is considered a troll..what do you mean by that? my sister is married to a brit, they both have similar thoughts as you…interesting

    and sandy, you call me a bleep wench…it’s o.k., i’ll take a slap if that’s what it takes to speak the truth..and i am an american girl born and raised so you know the old saying, “sticks and stones” gia in jed

  202. neuro surgeons, phsyco dr..ect..this blog would be a great guinnea pig for a doctor studying the female brain…gia in jed

  203. Strange one,
    *I am aware that the comments from some of the regulars of the blog in question may not have made the best decisions regarding the comments they posted on here, but we all make mistakes. Maybe those who have made inappropriate comments should apologize to the people they have insulted unnecessarily? *

    And who would those regulars be?
    Where have any of the ”regulars” made any comment in this thread they should be sorry for, even apologize for?
    As far as I can see it is only some of the new visitors have put up some comments which can be classified as: unjust, aggressive, outright lies, character assassination attempts, infantile rantings, suppositions, logical fallacies and paranoia.

    I am interested where you have seen anything of the kind written by any ”regulars” here, and why you think anybody should apologize for the aggression directed at them, instead of those who actually made the real nasty comments.

    Please explain in more detail.

  204. @Sandy

    “Anyway, that’s all I have to say. It is your blog and I respect that you get to set the standards here. but I choose to spend my time where it’s not ok for people to say things like that about me, my husband and my co- posters.”

    I hope this does not mean you will stop commenting here regularly. IMHO Carol, being Carol, is being diplomatic when she talked about understanding some of the reasons behind this thread turning as nasty as it did. I will say I was a bit taken aback also since I did not see how Pink Hussy or Gia had contributed anything besides making absurd wild speculative comments on your private life, husband, marriage, etc which in my book is beyond the pale. I also agree that the Hussy and Gia is someone knowing to the Umms since it’s highly suspect that they would be defending her so vehemently without even knowing her.

    I hope that you do not mean to stop commenting here as I know I highly value the input you have (and I am not alone). I think all of us go through cycles of regularity and if you need a break for a bit I hope you will come back.

    @StrangeOne

    I’m sure you mean well but if anyone deserves an apology then it’s Sandy. She merely stated an opinion only to have the forum owner attack her as if she had written a full fledge critique. Things like “you are not a Muslim” is definitely not something a good Muslim says to another because Allah is the one who judges.

    @All

    I reread some this entire thread to make sure there wasn’t anything I missed (I did, dumb google reader). Did anyone notice how the Umm faction tended to sneer at wisdom? When did it become a sin to be smart and intelligent? Er, it reminds me of the African Americans in the US who take about a brother being “white” (a criticism) for speaking proper English, graduating from school, and getting good paying professional jobs which stems nothing more from envy. Sad.

  205. @StrangeOne

    I forget you mentioned earlier that you wanted to study Buddhism next. I recommend you start with Theraveda Buddhism as we do not have as much of the idol worshiping that many people assume. We do not believe that people becomes lesser ‘gods” so to say like the Mahayana (Tibet, etc) and return to the Earth to help their fellow man achieve enlightenment. We also rely on very little ritual and our main text is the Pali Cannon. Good luck.

  206. @aafke>just because you make a post on a comment doesn’t mean you are a regular….the readers/nonposters are regulars too. check out the number of visitors…these numbers are not just you guys….ugh gia in jed

  207. @OnigiriFB,

    I thought you’d find it an intersting read. And yes, the situation is very sad but I remain hopeful.
    @Afafke,

    “the ”chosen”, they who are ”elevated” above those sluts who do not follow the most restrictive version of Islam”

    I can see why someone would view the Salafi group/cult in this manner but I honestly believe that many have actually sought an identity through Salafiyyah and use it as an opportunity to lord it over other Muslims. The harshness of many Salafi’s is, at base, a problem of the personalities who find a home in an isolationist group.

    I don’tknow know how familiar you are with the main four schools of thought in Sinni Isam, but if you were to leaf through any of the works of jurisprudence authored by scholars who adhere to one of these schools you would find rulings on matters of daily life similar to those followed by the Salafis. The difference is that Hanafis don’t see their way as susperior to that of any of the other schools of thought. The idea that a follower of Maliki jurisprudence from Nigeria is any less correct in his practises than a Hanafi from Turkey or a Shafi from Malaysia is totally alien to the normal Sunni Muslim. Furthermore, unlike at the Salafi mosque, which is peopled mostly by 20 and 30 something converts(often from harsh backgrounds) and newly practising born Muslims who are trying to forge their own path, at the traditional mosque you will find a range of ages, from the very young right through to the very old.

  208. @occupied brain: ‘Can America please keep these guys away from Saudi, please? This country already has enough of this patriarchal mentality here as it is!’

    Can Saudi Arabia PLEASE keep their ‘wahabbi’ Islam from MY country and people? We have enough social ills without adding that sick patriarchal mentality to the mix! 😉

  209. @umm Talal – ‘I am tired of men thinking we are below them please believe that. I actually just wrote an article on that very topic about a week ago. This is something we women have struggled with ALWAYS and everywhere subhanAllah’

    I do not agree with that statement since I have NOT struggled with that problem. We can thank the women’s liberation movement for that.

  210. @Aafke,
    I think you are right that Pink Husky is a man. I’m pretty sure I know him from another blog. The writing er..style…is pretty unique. Though I suppose there could be more than one of them.

    @OnigiriFb
    Thank you. At minimum I’ll be taking a break.

    @Gia
    I can already answer your question. I often go weeks without telling my husband about my doings online. And even then I don’t tell him everything. Only what I think might interest him-not a rundown of everything to help prevent jealousy. Do you think he would be interested in this nonsense? I doubt it.

    You know nothing about my marriage on which you continue to speculate- however your comments give great insight into yours.

  211. @Lynn,

    at least in the USA they are bound by the laws of the country and can get jailed for beating up their wives. It might even be a learning experience.

    American’s lunatics actually find a HOME for their sickness here.

  212. My exhusband not only curtailed my time spent on line…but blocked anything even remotely interesting to me (like islamic sites he didnt agree with) and even went so far as to reroute everthing I sent out or received through him first. I found this out when I had a rare conversation with my sis and realized he was pretending to be me and sending her emails…we messed with his head after that….good times.

  213. I personally think the advent of the internet sent shockwaves through the much entrenched patriarchal culture that pervades too damn much of this world through religion. Controlling abusive men who use religion to keep women in line ….are still shaking in their shoes at the very thought their women might actually get access to the net and discover some REAL truths about the BS they have been fed.

    The internet should be free to the world…its the least thing men can do that have spent so much of our shared history trying to KEEP information from the masses…especially women.

  214. im confused with all the similar comments on different ways to practice islam [wahabi, salafi ect..]

    from some of you, im understanding it like you just went from trying to find yourself in one religion [reading book after book after book… lost not sure] to finding islam, only to go searching again [reading book after book ect..ect.]

    i met girls like that and they just are not satisfied inside. i think whatever you believe in just relax…i grew up in a family full of hippies and we practiced thirtyone flavors of religions…even the witch thing…that was not my fav though, but hay, my parents perpared me for whatever religion i want to choose, and i love islam, and i don’t read book after book comparing them on how i should worship..seems silly to me, and i married a saudi. he would thing i was annoying doing that. anyway…absolutely no attack on anyone here, im just making a comment and i don’t want to offend..for real. gia in jed

  215. @coolred> i so admire your writing… nice to read..feel free to comment on my comments, good or bad. i like your thoughts. gia in jed

  216. @sandy>im going to apologize for my comments that i said, all of them towards you. i do not know you and i don’t want to hurt you either. and to anyone reading this, it does not feel good [rather toxic] to write negative comments about people, like what i did. so,i do sincerely apologize to you, sandy.
    gia in jed

  217. ‘at least in the USA they are bound by the laws of the country and can get jailed for beating up their wives’

    CAN get jailed BUT if she is indoctrinated to believe that bullshit that it is his RIGHT to beat her in order to make her comply then she will not tell the police but will just don her niqab to cover her bruises and get on with her life and try not to displease him (and Allah) again. AAARRRRRGGHHHH!!!

  218. @Sandy,
    If you take a break, please don’t be gone for long! You are absolutely one of my favorite commentators!

  219. @Lynn,
    It’s feature of an abusive relationship, any abusive relationship,that the victim will blame herself (himself, in some cases) for the abuse she suffers.

    http://muslimmatters.org/2010/11/30/10000-muslim-men-against-domestic-violence/

  220. @africana

    Yes I liked it… though I’m not sure if I should thank you for the info or not. Still very raw feeling right now….

    Er, I think what is taught as Islam to some people ALLOWS women to think Allah is all for men beating them. While all women may go thru a denial stage I think using religion is far more dangerous. I have seen the same prolem in the Mormon community. What is worse that if a true believer goes to her religious leader they are often told “oh don’t go to the police, it’s just a “phase”, he’ll repent and change, etc” since the leaders are often male and close rank. Same with the pedophila and abuse that happens. It’s sick and disgusting but I think a lot of people take the Quranic/Haddith verse to heart about “beating” woman or how a wife has not say sexual but must submit to her man so therefore a man can not rape his wife. SIck!

  221. @onigiriFB,
    This may also be of interest.

    “This phenomenon, which we might label ‘salafi burnout’, is a recognised feature of many modern Muslim cultures. An initial enthusiasm, gained usually in one’s early twenties, loses steam some seven to ten years later. Prison and torture – the frequent lot of the Islamic radical – may serve to prolong commitment, but ultimately, a majority of these neo-Muslims relapse, seemingly no better or worse for their experience in the cult-like universe of the salafi mindset”
    http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/ahm/fgtnrevo.htm

  222. ” seemingly no better or worse for their experience”

    Wish we could say the same for the unfortunate victims that crossed their paths.

  223. @occupiedbrain

    I can’t help but wonder if your lack of coffee also made you defensive. I am fully aware of the terrible things “Christians” are doing to my political system and the horror they perpetuate in the name of God. I’m also aware and also do not LIKE Israel for the conservative political stance they have now. While I fully accept Israel being a country (unlike some Muslims) because I understand the history of what happened I am not giving snap judgment in a them vs us mentality ala Glenn Beck and find that insulting by the way. I take EVERY opportunity to deride Glenn Beck and his lackeys, the Republican party and their lackeys, the Teabaggers (oh sorry Tea Partiers) and their lackeys as well as the the environmental terrorist of the far left in the US. However I do not do them OFTEN on this blog merely because this is a blog about SAUDI ARABIA and by extension Islam, woman’s issue, etc.

    Don’t assume (ass*u*me) that I do not say stuff against other wrongs when I see them just because you see ONE blog I happen to post on (and go read the wikilinks post whereby I deride all sorts the US included). What I said was in direct correlation of the blog post Africana linked for me tracing the history of Salafi Islam IN America which I have to say I have always possibly wrongly attributed to Saudi Arabian influences. The fact you even link me to the Geller/Wilder/Spencer faction shows you have no understanding of my position (which I STATED in the post you are replying to) about Islam or choose to conveniently ignore what I said above to argue one sentence I used in closing. IF you had bothered to read the blog post linked by Africana perhaps you would see where I was drawing my conclusion from hence my reply to her. The poster stated that there was a humongous amount of infighting within the Muslim community (and which seems to also be born out around the world with other “conservative” Muslims against “moderate” Muslims)in the US. What I extrapolated from that was that there IS a fight going on between the so-called conservative I-want-to-live-like-a-7th-century-bedoin but oh of course still have all the modern conveniences that kuffir invented (including I guess taking the welfare paid by kuffirs because Allah forbid a “Muslim” work beneath a Kuffir but being a “holy whore” on welfare was ok) and their more tradition (I believe in the 4 schools) Muslims around the world who we (yes us kuffar) would like to think are against the terrorist, jihadist, “salafi”, and whatever else the Muslims (cause sorry if you go by the strictest definition other Muslims have told me that a Muslim is a person who has said the Shahada) that ARE terrorist/wanna-be terrorist (the Portland boy, the NY guy, the Christmas bomber… shall I go on?) all claim to be. The mere fact that “moderate” Muslims have remain silent (either because we the West do not give them a voice or not) and DO NOT DO ANYTHING or play the victim or say “oh those aren’t really Muslims” (gee, sound familiar?) some of us (and no not the true Islamaphobes who cannot even separate Muslim and terrorist) begin to wonder if 1.) what the hell is wrong with Islam/the interpretation of Islam or 2.)are those so called “moderate” Muslims tacitly agreeing with their more LOUD brethren/not brethren.

    It’s called an opinion based on observation of the world we live in now, which while you do not have to agree with or even like I have just as much right as anyone else to voice. (Keep in mind that with wikileaks that embarrasses not only the US but also Saudi there has been analasys that KSA is STILL funding Al Quaida/terrorist even while two-facedly perhaps begging the US to nuke Iran.Wow very Muslim of Saudi to want the shaytan US do its dirty work against OTHER Muslims). So yes there is a sense of US (the kuffar, the West, the non-violent Muslims, the etc) and THEM (the terrorist et all) going on here. We did not draw the line your fellow Muslims did. You can choose to believe it’s all the fault of the great satan USA but I have to beg to differ. I fully admit the US foreign policy is not the greatest, we are a bully without another country to check our might, our CIA has done some really short-sighted things such has fund the Taliban in the first place, and many more. But don’t try to play the “butter won’t melt in my mouth (no human being is pefect myself included) Muslim or Muslims do no wrong card with me. AGAIN being Muslim to me does not mean all good no more than it means all bad. So are you trying to say there is NOT a schism going on within the Muslim Ulema? I’m sorry but other Muslims give a different picture. Muslims like to boost how different they are but then take offense when someone uses that same difference-ness they use. Sorry but if the logic applies to the West/Christians/etc it applies and can be used against Muslims as well. So unless you have NEVER stereotyped/lumped together Westerners/Americans/or any other group you have really no room to talk.

    Again yes the US is hypocritical, yes we’ve stuck our finger in too many pies, yes we perpetuate a class system around the world while supposedly believing in equality for all amongst others. Is there anything else you would like me to admit to? Perhaps you can start criticizing your own faith group, countries, group you belong to. While it’s nice to think that labels do not matter in this world unfortunately some people still use them and I refuse to turn a blind eye to that. I also refuse to give Muslims a free get out of jail ticket for what part THEY HAVE PLAYED! Just like Muslims/Saudis/just about every fricking country hates and labels Americans on what we often have no control over. Sorry but I didn’t get to elect the CIA. However, hypocritically, non-Americans just LOVE to mock, insult, lump us together with people we have no clue of, etc of Americans as well. Do not ignore the beam in your (generic) eye because you are too busy looking at the mote in mine (generic).

    The Patriotic Act was and is IMO one the worse laws in our modern country that truly erodes our civil rights. I, in NO WAY, endorse or even protect my fellow Americans (who voted for the Bush/Cheney ticket as I did not) about that one. I will remind you that the reason that even passed congress IMO is because of 19 Saudi “Muslims” that decided to fly 2 planes into the Twin Towers and one into the Pentagon. Can you do the same for those labels you and others use for you? Or will you give the pat answers that many Muslims do, “those people weren’t Muslims, we are just being the victim of Islamaphobia, the verses of the Quran are NOT violent (ignoring of course the violent history that IS in the Quran or lying about it)” and whatever else Muslims (be them ones you think are or not) like to spout anytime some “Muslim” tries to bomb a Christmas tree seller, the Times Square, other Muslims ala Pakistan/Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, etc, etc, etc hits the news. This IS one of the biggest problems true Islamaphobe have with ALL MUSLIMS. But without something changing and changing soon I cannot help but wonder how many non Islamaphobes will quietly stand aside and let the Islamaphobes win in a Final Solution/Japanese-Americans during WWII/McCarthy type communist culling situation. I’m not blind and neither should you be.

    Again I am firmly in belief right now that not ALL MUSLIMS=BAD and I really take offense to you even hinting that I may be an Islamaphobe because honey you don’t know what a true Islamaphobe is if you think I’m one. Nor am I blind to the sad fact that the “jihadist”/”Muslims” have killed more of their own brethren than anyone. I also in no way am the only one that lumps together Muslims/etc (by situational more than anything) but that Muslims also see themselves as a ulema against/ as opposed to (us) non-Muslims. Since I have never ever claimed to be a Muslim (and the more I interact with them I’m beginning to wonder if I ever will) I am in many Muslim’s eyes an American, part of the West, a non-human (a Saudi “moderate” said this, and whatever else Muslims like to call us. You know like the blanket statement and gross stereotype Saudis/Muslims/ME/etc like to blame and accuse the West of.

    I used to play a game with TBMs (true believing Mormons equivalent to “Salafi” Muslims in holier-than-thou attitudes) about what if their secret and not so secret wish where this entire world population (nigh 7 billion) became Mormon. What would this world loose. So imagine what true Islamaphobes think asking themselves “what if this world was mostly Muslim with a very small minority of non-Muslims be like” and try to understand their fears. It’s the least you can do if you also would like non-Muslims to try to understand Muslims. Not everyone is ignorant like you like to claim. MoQ, Sandy, Aafke, and many others here are just as knowledgeable if not more than those who defend Muslims or Saudis on this blog alone.

  224. @OrnigiriFB,

    I think perhaps you’re conflating being religiously conservative with extremism.

  225. @africana

    At this point, it’s truly difficult to draw a line between the two.

  226. I agree, Madelenas

  227. @OnigiriFB

    I don’t believe you’re an islamophope, contrary to what you think. I’m not even hinting at it, I’m simply asking you to look at that statement and think about how it would feel as a Christian or a Jew to substitute those words.

    I am a dual citizen. I vote. Trust me, I don’t have much of a high opinion of either the US or Saudi: Both countries are equally heinous to me. Wish I could claim citizenship on Mars.

    “While I fully accept Israel being a country (unlike some Muslims)”

    Israel has a de facto, not a de jure existence, until it rectifies the crimes of 1948. There are many Israelis who have left Israel and recognize this, think Ilan Pappe or Avi Shlaim. Again, the ‘unlike some Muslims’ ignores the very fact that this issue has cut across ethnic and religious lines.

    “I take EVERY opportunity to deride Glenn Beck and his lackeys, the Republican party and their lackeys, the Teabaggers (oh sorry Tea Partiers)…”

    The question was not meant to explicitly ask you whether or not you have denounced Glenn Beck. Chill.

    If you looked at the second line, I even added a wink and all.

    The point I was trying to make is that we all have our lunatics.

    “Don’t assume (ass*u*me) that I do not say stuff against other wrongs when I see them just because you see ONE blog I happen to post on …”

    Nope, you’re right about that. I am not ‘assuming’ anything. I am addressing that quote, nothing more. Like I said, I didn’t assume you’re an Islamophobe. In fact, far from it. I just think that that statement is not nuanced enough, IMHO.

    “The fact you even link me to the Geller/Wilder/Spencer….”

    I didn’t.

    “IF you had bothered to read the blog post linked by Africana perhaps you would see where I was drawing my conclusion from hence my reply to her.”

    I have to admit, I didn’t bother to read it.

    “The poster stated that there was a humongous amount of infighting within the Muslim community (and which seems to also be born out around the world with other “conservative” Muslims against “moderate” Muslims)in the US…”

    This is not only exclusive to the US, and it is not only exclusive to Muslims.

    “…other Muslims have told me that a Muslim is a person who has said the Shahada) that ARE terrorist/wanna-be terrorist (the Portland boy, the NY guy, the Christmas bomber… shall I go on?) all claim to be…”

    At least one of those if not more guys in court said that the main reason he did what he did was US policy in Pakistan and around the world….as I recall. Not justifying it, just saying that claiming this is the product of Islamic extremism only explains one part of the story.

    “The mere fact that “moderate” Muslims have remain silent (either because we the West do not give them a voice or not) and DO NOT DO ANYTHING or play the victim or say “oh those aren’t really Muslims” (gee, sound familiar?) some of us (and no not the true Islamaphobes who cannot even separate Muslim and terrorist) begin to wonder if 1.) what the hell is wrong with Islam/the interpretation of Islam or 2.)are those so called “moderate” Muslims tacitly agreeing with their more LOUD brethren/not brethren.”

    There’s the crux of it.

    1) Muslims have denounced terrorism. As for the interpretation, thanks to the financing of extreme ideologies, which in no way I exculpate the Saudi gov of, that still explains only one part of the problem.
    2) in terms of tacit agreement, think about it this way: I denounce the act, there is no justification on this earth that can make me agree to endorse it. But I would not go so far as to keep whining “why are you attacking America” because I already know the answer to that one, and the powers that be aren’t listening, OrnigiriFB, neither are they listening to Michael Sheuer, nor are they listening to Walt and Mearsheimer, ….

    “It’s called an opinion based on observation of the world we live in now, which while you do not have to agree with or even like I have just as much right as anyone else to voice.”

    Nobody is challenging that.

    “(Keep in mind that with wikileaks that embarrasses not only the US but also Saudi there has been analasys that KSA is STILL funding Al Quaida/terrorist even while two-facedly perhaps begging the US to nuke Iran….”

    You think I don’t feel VINDICATED by those wikileaks? Trust me, I’m in love with it: it opens up a whole new door of possibilities….:D. Yes, I might be an anarchist at heart, just a little bit.

    “Wow very Muslim of Saudi to want the shaytan US do its dirty work against OTHER Muslims). So yes there is a sense of US (the kuffar, the West, the non-violent Muslims, the etc) and THEM (the terrorist et all) going on here.”

    You guys JUST NOW woke up to the fact that Saudi Arabia, JUST LIKE ISRAEL, wants the world to do it’s dirty work so that it can continue NOT being challenged in the Muslim world? You guys JUST WOKE up to the fact that most of the stuff the US is doing is NOT in its citizenry’s best interests and only serves the interests of other governments or the elites in the US?

    MANY in the Muslim world already knew that KSA is siding with Israel and the US, i.e. the global hegemony. You know when even the most clueless started feeling it? When they couldn’t issue a denunciation of Hamas like they did of Hezbollah (claiming we should not support the Shia) but didn’t even voice support…..until Turki penned that op-ed that was clearly an attempt at dispelling anger and damage control, NOTHING MORE.

    “We did not draw the line your fellow Muslims did.”

    huh?

    “You can choose to believe it’s all the fault of the great satan USA but I have to beg to differ.”

    I don’t. I mentioned it in some post, there is a malaise entrenched in the scholarly establishment in the Muslim world, and in particular Saudi Arabia.

    “I fully admit the US foreign policy is not the greatest, we are a bully without another country to check our might, our CIA has done some really short-sighted things such has fund the Taliban in the first place, and many more. But don’t try to play the “butter won’t melt in my mouth (no human being is pefect myself included) Muslim or Muslims do no wrong card with me. AGAIN being Muslim to me does not mean all good no more than it means all bad.”

    I think I’ve answered that above.

    “So are you trying to say there is NOT a schism going on within the Muslim Ulema?…..”

    That’s not what I said, though it would really help if the US stopped bombing the heck out of Muslim countries.

    “Sorry but if the logic applies to the West/Christians/etc it applies and can be used against Muslims as well. So unless you have NEVER stereotyped/lumped together Westerners/Americans/or any other group you have really no room to talk.”

    I hate stereotyping, but yeah I engage in it. And I do get called on it :).

    “Again yes the US is hypocritical, yes we’ve stuck our finger in too many pies, yes we perpetuate a class system around the world while supposedly believing in equality for all amongst others….”

    OrnigiriFB,

    I think we are both on the same page here, but you are over-reacting. My post above was meant to call you out on a perceived generalization. If you misconstrued it as my somehow, shifting the entire blame on someone else, that’s not what I intended. I think of it as a cycle of violence, and there is a starting point to that cycle.

    “Is there anything else you would like me to admit to?”

    The Sharon Tate murders?

    “Perhaps you can start criticizing your own faith group, countries, group you belong to….”

    TRUST ME I DO. I’ve gone through 2 laptops and an iphone because of the exhausting and angry arguments with crazy loons.

    “While it’s nice to think that labels do not matter in this world unfortunately some people still use them and I refuse to turn a blind eye to that. I also refuse to give Muslims a free get out of jail ticket for what part THEY HAVE PLAYED! Just like Muslims/Saudis/just about every fricking country hates and labels Americans on what we often have no control over.”

    Ummm, who said anything about giving Muslims, or even Christians or Jews for that matter, passes or not on anything? Why should I blame a child in Israel for the crimes their grandfather committed? Why should all Germans today be held responsible for the crimes the Nazis committed? Why should I blame every American for the crimes that their government has committed IN THEIR NAME? Logically, why should every Saudi be blamed for the fuck-ups perpetrated by a crazy monarchy and it’s stupid on-off relationship with the extremist religious establishment?…. are you getting my drift here, or do I need to spell it out further?

    “Sorry but I didn’t get to elect the CIA. However, hypocritically, non-Americans just LOVE to mock, insult, lump us together with people we have no clue of, etc of Americans as well. Do not ignore the beam in your (generic) eye because you are too busy looking at the mote in mine (generic).”

    No.

    I think that America, and that is equally applicable to Saudi, is zombied out. Maybe things are changing now, but I think that for far too long the populations of the world have been singing ‘lalalala’ while bombs have been falling. Like I said, I am American, I pay my taxes, and I have the right to criticize the US, just like you. I am also Saudi, and I cannot criticize this government without being jailed, and I think that America is heading that way and that’s why I said you need to focus on the threats from within, those warmongers and torturers who have taken away many of YOUR freedoms.

    “…Can you do the same for those labels you and others use for you? Or will you give the pat answers that many Muslims do, “those people weren’t Muslims, we are just being the victim of Islamaphobia, the verses of the Quran are NOT violent (ignoring of course the violent history that IS in the Quran or lying about it)” and whatever else Muslims (be them ones you think are or not) like to spout anytime some “Muslim” tries to bomb a Christmas tree seller, the Times Square, other Muslims ala Pakistan/Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, etc, etc, etc hits the news.”

    There’s the mix that you need to slowly unfold.

    1) I don’t believe in terrorism.
    2) Those people were Muslims who sadly did not understand their religion and understood the stripped-down and extreme version.
    3) Violence and the Quran is something entirely different. That in itself requires a long post that I have no intention of writing right now (remind me later to address this)
    4) Like I said, even before 9/11 people were warning of the extreme blowback, think Sheuer or Johnson.

    “This IS one of the biggest problems true Islamaphobe have with ALL MUSLIMS. But without something changing and changing soon I cannot help but wonder how many non Islamaphobes will quietly stand aside and let the Islamaphobes win in a Final Solution/Japanese-Americans during WWII/McCarthy type communist culling situation. I’m not blind and neither should you be.”

    I am not blind to that, but you have to look at those financing this hate as well. You very well know that the idiot Prince Talal is the second largest shareholder of News Corp….think about that one for a sec.

    “Again I am firmly in belief right now that not ALL MUSLIMS=BAD and I really take offense to you even hinting that I may be an Islamaphobe because honey you don’t know what a true Islamaphobe is if you think I’m one.”

    Answered above.

    “Nor am I blind to the sad fact that the “jihadist”/”Muslims” have killed more of their own brethren than anyone. I also in no way am the only one that lumps together Muslims/etc (by situational more than anything) but that Muslims also see themselves as a ulema against/ as opposed to (us) non-Muslims. Since I have never ever claimed to be a Muslim (and the more I interact with them I’m beginning to wonder if I ever will) I am in many Muslim’s eyes an American, part of the West, a non-human (a Saudi “moderate” said this, and whatever else Muslims like to call us. You know like the blanket statement and gross stereotype Saudis/Muslims/ME/etc like to blame and accuse the West of.”

    Like I said, I try my best NOT to engage in stereotyping. So, I don’t care what others have said. If they have said that then they are sorely in need of a re-education.

    As for ‘jihadist Muslims’ etc … I think it’s safe to say that most of that is a direct result of the divide and conquer strategy that has engulfed the Middle East. I’ll point you to this lovely paper: http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/pdf/A_strategy_for_Israel_in_the_Nineteen_Eighties.pdf

    And I think that is a false statement. I am reading a book by Nir Rosen titled “Aftermath”. Depressing read.

    “I used to play a game with TBMs (true believing Mormons equivalent to “Salafi” Muslims in holier-than-thou attitudes) about what if their secret and not so secret wish where this entire world population (nigh 7 billion) became Mormon. What would this world loose. So imagine what true Islamaphobes think asking themselves “what if this world was mostly Muslim with a very small minority of non-Muslims be like” and try to understand their fears.”

    Co-existence is something I call for all the time. But it doesn’t matter what I call for, these fears are unfounded not because of the fact that Muslims could out-number non-Muslims. Think about the history of shared existence between Muslims, Jews and Christians in Andalusia. Think about how Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in Palestine before the advent of Zionism. True, the beating heart of Islam has been taken over by dictators that the US is in cahoots with, but the fact that the US cares not one bit about the reaction to its unconditional support for Israel is what you should be worrying about. It’s ALL about the money. The more Muslims see this, the more radicalized some become and the harder it is to engage in a coherent dialogue.

    “It’s the least you can do if you also would like non-Muslims to try to understand Muslims. Not everyone is ignorant like you like to claim. MoQ, Sandy, Aafke, and many others here are just as knowledgeable if not more than those who defend Muslims or Saudis on this blog alone.”

    I don’t claim ANYONE is ignorant. Show me where I did, pretty please :).

  228. @occupiedbran

    First I would like to apologize your comment caught me when I had just returned home from a 10 hour day where I had spent mostly trying to explain to stupid providers (the people who would think should know stuff) how insurance works or patients who think that reading WebMD qualifies them as a drs or “know” how’s insurance works or why we should just give them payment because they are x,y,z ala I know this person and can get you fired *snort*. So I came home tired hungry and irritated. I read your comment and saw red because I truly thought you were hinting that I was an Islamaphobe aka Spencer/Geller/Wilder like.

    I agree with M because right now in middle of America (look up stupid Oklahoma law barring Sharia being used in OK) conservative religion and extremism isn’t a line they are even considering. Nor to the rank and file Americans do the various sects (salafi, hanabali, whatever the A-Q/Anwaki/terrorist wanna-bes believe in) sorry to say in general the American public doesn’t really care. That’s for all you Muslims to deal with. We deal with our (Christianity’s ex. KKK) annoying extremist or at least try to by making them marginal and quick condemnation. So when your rank and file American gets on a plane this holiday season and is assaulted by the TSA they tend not to think oh damn you you extremist, jihadist US governmetn etc they think damn you stupid Muslims (in whole) why are you all terrorists. Without Muslims who can say LOUDLY that the extremist/jihadist are Muslims and I’m sorry because they are like the US’s KKK no one is going to believe them. In actually the glaringly loud silence from the so called “moderate” Muslim faction is what the Islamaphobes are using to further anger the rank and file Americans While I understand the differences (maybe?) and the past’s political/social wrongs that have led to what we as a world have had to deal with these past 10 years others do not. Frankly I truly believe the Geller/Wilder/Spencer faction has been waiting for Muslims to get on their knees and apologize for the stupid extremist. Though I doubt if even that would appease them. But if Muslims cannot even seem to admit what is wrong with their religion/sects/etc then all they are doing is drawing a line for hatred to be perpetuated and anger to grow.

    If there is one (if I had to pick one) fault I give American’s about the US foreign policy is that Americans tend to be too American-centrist.So yes some of us are JUST waking up now to the evil Israel has done that has fueled the anger of the middle east for more than fifty years. To be perfectly honest if you had asked me about Israel 5 to 10 years ago I would have been firmly on their side. My excuse is that I have never cared about the whole Israel/Palestinian cat-fight and thought both sides were stupid. However, I AM tired of the US (and by extension the rest of free world non ME) coddling BOTH sides (we give a LOT of money to the Palestinians as guilt money IMO). I am tired of our Presidents devoting HOURS of times working on a solution that has none unless Palestinians are willing to give on SOMETHING you know like the existence of Israel in the first place. Israel IMO has ridden on the coat-tails of the Holocaust for far too long. It also has played the poor victim while behind our back (or not) brutally crushing opposition or taking land they have no place taking. I will have to defend Israel on one thing in that of all the Camp “whatever” talks they were the ones giving conssesions while the Palestinian camp only demanded this and that. I personally do not see the US government being wholly ignorant to the crimes that Israel does. Though I can see why it has such a reactionary stance since many ME countries they are in the middle of don’t even think it should exist in the first place. So the ME and by extension Muslims are not a shining example of diplomacy and “let’s all get along and sing koombaya my lord” type peace. Hrm, I would like to point out here that in reality I think Israel gave the ME a rallying point and temporarily stopped the insane bickering the ME engages in hence the us vs them line. The ME and Muslims by extension seem to want to keep the focus on Israel so that they can ignore the human rights violations, poor government, poor infrastructure, poor education, lack of scientific/technological innovation, etc that a rank and file American sees as “no way jose am I EVER letting the US/free world become “Muslim” if our examples are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Palestine and that’s what the US/West is going to turn into with a Muslim take-over. What you don’t seem to be addressing is the REAL fear Islamaphobe have with the soft invasion of Muslims into the West good or bad. Pre 9/11 Muslims could live quietly in their little pockets and no one really cared. Now that is not the case and EVERY single time a jihadist does ANYTHING terrorist-like the image of Muslims get more and more tarnished. If Muslims who are not jihadist do not DO ANYTHING LOUDLY then they are also responsible for the evil perpetuated in their name. It’s called guilt by association and no it’s not nice to do but it’s reality.

    All the West has really heard from Muslims about the Muslim terrorism is excuses like “Islam is not a violent religion. (perhaps, perhaps not) Those jihadist are not Muslims (ignoring what part the actual faith played in the violence unlike Christians who have long had to deal with religious criticism an its extremist). Our faith is perfect and we do not idol worship a raping, whoring, pedophile, 7th century barbarian (maybe maybe not and not my opinion of Muhammad) and feel he is an example of how to live (i.e. going raping whoring etc). These are some of the BIGGEST problems Islamaphobes have with Islam/Muslims in general. I’m sorry but the pat answers and slogans (Islam is a religion of peace. tm) Muslims have aren’t really working to change the tide of anti-Muslim hate and ignorance. It is in fact flaming the fuel in middle America, France, Denmark, the UK, Canada, etc. The symbols of Islams (niqab, hijab, long beards, thobes) are actually popping up with more frequency in the West. So I can understand why the West considers Muslims the “other”. It’s Muslims themselves that are drawing the line in the sand and saying Look, Ma I’m different not the West. And while Muslims can probably link the whole Israel/keep the Muslim down ME etc to the terrorist the West thinks look what Muslims did 9/11 in a you pushed me first childish playground game. That’s not even counting the further terrorist acts around the world that get the news press in last 10 years.

    You will have to understand I also have never said that it’s exclusive to Muslims. Nothing is. Humans are imperfect, rash, war-mongering beings. We have since been that way ever since God created us. Think Abel Cain if you believe the Judao-Christian religions. Or think evolution whereby we the weak species had to claw and fight our way to the top for us athiest/agnostic/don’t believe in organized religion people.

    “That’s not what I said, though it would really help if the US stopped bombing the heck out of Muslim countries.”

    It would really help if Muslims (as seen by rank and file Americans) would stop bombing/attempting to bomb the US and stop doing the soft invasion of conservative Muslim symbols. When Muslims in the US dare to take defend the rapes his wife had to endure FROM HIM using the excuse that Islam gives him marital right (as if his wife was a masturbatory item) something is wrong. When Muslims get defensive and refuse to even let non-Muslims criticize Islam, Muhammad (riots anyone? What’s ironic is the book burning of the Quran NEVER EVEN HAPPENED!!!!), or anything else deemed sacrosanct by Muslim there is a problem. What’s worse is Muslims issuing death threats to those who dare to criticize Muslim idols (Muhammad but strangely not Allah? weird) something is really wrong. So I’ll show my immaturity (I’m five maturity wise :P) here and say “you started it!”.

    Again I agree that the US and the Patriot Act which is how the FBI, CIA, NSA have so much power (it’s reactionary more toward the terrorist but like any power has corrupted). Er, who’s financing the hate? Well who’s financing the hate on the Muslim side? How much blood money does the US have to pay to it’s two faced allies (KSA, Pakistan)? Let’s see the US writes a billion dollar aid check to Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine, Yemen, various countries in Africa and for what? To have them denounce us on one hand while spending our (taxpayer money)money on the other. “We hate you American/US, give us money!” Heh. If you read the wikileaks thread you would see I’ve already voiced the opinion that it’s time we let other countries sink or swim and who gives a damn about the “humanitarian” needs around the world. Maybe we should make it a foreign policy clause of if you hate us/work against us/send terrorist to bomb us you do not get any money and your citizen (ex. Pakistan’s flooded victims) can just die. But then people would hate the US for that too (and so would I actually). Can’t win for losing can we?

    I think people seem to misunderstand how patriotic/nationalistic Americans can be since you see a lot of bickering between the government factions. I am an American and yes tend to see my government as doing good around the world. You are dual national ed do you not favor one? Do you not favor Muslims against non-Muslims? In all the time I’ve spent talking to Muslims it’s as if Muslims can do no wrong (oh that’s just ignorance) and the West can do no right when in reality humans are humans across the board.

    Finally please to not dismiss the fears of the Islamaphobes so flippantly. Or you may be looking at a Final Solution where good people remain silent while your brethen are “dealt” with. France’s ban on niqabs and angry minority, Denmark’s disgust with the Muslim bully tactic to silence critics, the UK’s fight between Western and Sharia law, the German minority powder keg of Muslim Turks, and the US’s soft invasion of conservative Islam are just the tip of the iceberg. If we as a world do not stop it somehow then I can only see WWIII.

    On a lighter note. I get really wordy and pendantic don’t I? I’ll admit to that fault of mine. I like to talk *shrug* Thankfully you don’t always have to listen *wink* 😛

  229. Oh and I admits it I killed Sharon Tate. Who’s that again? I don’t think I was even born yet but perhaps my evil past life did it?

  230. “On a lighter note. I get really wordy and pendantic don’t I? I’ll admit to that fault of mine. I like to talk *shrug* Thankfully you don’t always have to listen *wink* ”

    Just read your comment. Boy, do I need the better part of today and tomorrow to answer every paragraph.

    BUT, I’ll have to admit, big, BIG improvement over the last comment :P. Now at least I won’t have to fortify myself with robitussin to get through it!

    ttyl.

  231. I have been a member of Cafe Muslima for a number of years now, having heard of it on another forum.

    I am female but NOT a Muslim. I first joined as part of my exploration into the Middle East in general and Islam. My interest stemmed initially from waiting to understand my government’s decision to join America in Iraq and later broadened as I became engaged to an Muslim man for a time.

    I have to say that in all that time, I have never seen a ‘flame war’ there nor any bad feeling that was not the result of an accidental faux pas with language by ladies whose first language was not English.

    Umm Talal has always answered my questions with consideration and love even though I’m sure I must have run the risk of sounding dim at best or downright offensive at worst.

    Obviously I can’t comment with knowledge on any Islamic school of law bias, but I do know that whenever I’ve expressed concern over the posts in that section, the Islamic members have taken pains to answer me in the spirit my questions were asked. That is kindly and honestly.

  232. is saudi not a sunni islamic country… what up with this wahabi comparison stuff…i thought everyone is the same[sunni] …who’s making sect out of the sunni? sounds like a repeat in history.

  233. Onigiri I think both you and occupied brain have brought up some very good points…I do however, “feel” where you are coming from…I think what you say about the West and this whole Islamic thing in the West coming to a head is a very real possibility. When I think to the multiculturalism of the USA I have to ask myself “why Muslims”? What makes them so different? You mentioned the clothes that they wear, yet many many different nationalities came with their clothing…think Orthodox Jews, Africans of all stripes, Indians with their Saris and Kurta pyjamas, Amish with their funny hats and suspenders, Hispanic ethnic clothing, not to mention some of the truly whacko things native born Americans wear either on their body, in their hair, tattoos of all sorts, ear holes the size of napkin rings and on and on…why are most of these things tolerated and yet the Islamic clothing raises flags and a sense of fear? I think the thing is that it isn’t the clothing per se…it is what that clothing represents and what many extemist Muslims have said and what non Muslims have absorbed. That is a feeling that the goal of Islam is to enforce itself over the West and by sheer numbers turn it into another Middle East…and we all know how well non Muslims fare there. They see the ME remaining Muslim majority and not opening it’s doors to others and discriminating against non Muslims while at the same time demanding rights for themselves in the West. They opened their doors willingly to foreigners of all types not just Muslims. Yet it is the Muslims (and I by no means all or even a majority) who claim world dominance and that scares the crap out of non Muslims…if it were the Japanese or Indians saying it I think it would be the same reaction for them. I also think you are right in that Muslims have a group mentality…For example you won’t find Christians committing terrorism on a large scale due to the atrocities Christians face around the world in non Christian places… (think the bombings of the church in Iraq). There was verbal condemnation but for the most part not so much as an angry fist from Christians about it…that is because Christians for the most part don’t have a collective, “i’m part of the club” mentality. It would be a foreign concept for a normal Christian citizen to go to the ME and bomb some people there who had NOTHING to do with the bombing of the church in retaliation…it is practically unthinkable. But Muslims think of themselves as Muslims first and as part of a community worldwide and THAT trumps everything…nationality, education, human rights…and I am NOT saying the average Muslim would commit terrorism, but I am saying that this collective mentality allows Muslims to get upset about other Muslims who they have nothing to do with, they don’t know and whom they have no connection in any way with EXCEPT they are Muslim, but who are being treated unfairly. Whereas an American Christian would tend to be upset that an AMERICAN despite their religion is being treated badly. For Muslims it is about the “ummah” and that is why they can get worked into a frenzy about an injustice done to another they don’t know. And Non Muslims see this and instinctively know it…maybe they can’t articulate it but they observe the actions and understand it on a gut level.

    that is why I don’t think they have clothing issues with other faiths…other faiths are not threatening to rule the world very loudly. The clothing represents (rightly or wrongly) to the non Muslim that the Muslim doesn’t want to be part of the society and that they will, if push comes to shove, go along with Muslims. It represents a symbol of domination. In this I blame the Muslims because many of the extremists have made no bones about the fact that they think the West should be Muslim.

    Not to mention that Islam is the only faith that I can think of that is not only a religion but a form of governance and non muslims see how well that has worked out for the ME and as you said think “no way Jose…over my dead body.” If Islam remained in the realm of spirituality like all religions generally do most people would have zero issues with it…it is the sense of domination/we are better than you and the Salafi movement that scares the pants off of people. I am older than you and I lived BEFORE the salafists came to town…Islam was not thought of in any way bad…it was thought of as just another religion that existed in the USA. It is due to the slafist movement that is bringing this very conservative, can’t mix with kuffar, etc that is causing a great deal of concern and, yes even hate, sadly…people are not going to take the time to “figure Islam out”. If it feels like a threat they will treat it like a threat. The bad part is a lot of people without bad intentions will get lumped in there.

    I hope I explained that in an understandable way…

  234. @Oby

    I don’t have the time to do a full reply but I think you’ve got the jist of it. One thing I was wondering were you trying to figure the reason for the terrorist/jihadist acting the way they do? Or the raison d’ etat so to say? I have an opinion of what it is but it’s probably totally just that from someone who in not educated fully in the field of international relations/politics yet. One of the biggest reasons I truly think is the sense of inferiority found in the ME (they still talk of colonization when the rest of the world has pretty much moved on and proved themselves as capable of functioning in the modern world. (No I am not saying Muslims are backward since Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunai, etc all Muslim majorities and also dealt with colonization from the “white” man.)

    So early 1900 the world started really taking a look at the ME (not the Levantine Crescent so much per se) and that area became the protectorate of Britain and France. Britain and France divided the countries up into what we pretty much know as the ME minus Iran (if I rightly recall Iran was never colonized but went thru it’s own CIA backed hostile takeover by it’s own King). Ok so here come these “white” men who have better armies, better military, better science, better technology, etc. Muslims IMO are raised with a superiority complex, i.e. Allah protects and guides them, they are the “chosen” not the Jews. So I’m sure it was a hit to the pride that these Christian people one-upped them so to say. Think back that these are the people who see Saladin as a hero who defeated Christian crusaders and sent them packing (for the most part). So in many Muslim minds I bet there is a question of “why isn’t Allah blessing us with this X, Y, Z? Do we not pray 5 times etc?” Even Saudi whose pride has turned to arrogance owes it’s beginning to Lawrence of Arabia and the British.

    So after the whole division of governments the ME tried to modernize itself but failed miserably. During this time nationalism became more of something in the conscious of the ME (including this time the Levant and Egypt). So here comes the US and it’s search for water that turns in to black goid. Suddenly the ME can be proud of… well at least having the money to finally join the modernized West. But all that oil really did was make Americans and the elites of the ME rich men. The citizens for the most part remained poor (I believe it wasn’t until the 50s? that KSA’s subjects got to reap the benefits of oil money) and needed someone to blame for what they see as change to their way of life (Islam or culture it’s all the same to them). There was some respected known Muslim that talked about radio being of the devil and would lead the good Muslims astray. Yup a radio.

    Then throw in the Iranian Revolution wgere a Ayatollah overthrew a US backed Shah. I’m willing to bet some Saudis were waiting for their “messiah” to get it rid of it’s royalty and return the KSA to a caliph style theocracy. It didn’t happen. Anger turn to Hate, Hate turns to the Dark Side Oby 1 Kenobi. 😛 Everything the West now does is a slight to Islam (more like the Muslim’s collective pride) is seen as a rejection of all things Islam good or bad (which a lot of time it is). What makes it deadly in my eyes is that Muhammad IMO is NOT the greatest example of humanity. For a seventh century desert lord he wasn’t too bad. But contrast him to Jesus or to modern man who truly believes in the UNs Human Rights declaration and he loses out (MY OPINION ONLY!!!) Also Islam has moved very far away from critique and free flowing ideas to dogmatic. So nationalism plus religion (when politics and religion ride in the same cart bombs tend to go off to mangle Herbert’s Dune quote.)

    Christians have become for the most part immune to the criticism it has faced for the last 300 years. Islam in its dogmatic form has not. If you put it in a straight Christianity vs Islam then you can constrast Jesus “turn the other cheek” with Muhammad’s “It’s ok to kill, main, burn, rape, pillage, etc because THEY did it first or they spied on us or whatever.” So if you think about it it’s a vastly different mindset. For the most part violence in the West has been something looked down upon and reason for serious punishment. Islam has serious punishments that ARE violent. Different mentality. Muslims seem to have taken eye for an eye to an extreme with hands chopped off, blood money, same punishment deserves (the wheelchair guy who wanted the person who did that to him to get injured too). To the West violence means evil UNLESS in defense. Even when we do put our wrongdoers in jail we often still treat them humanely. That I think is one of the biggest reasons for the violence of the jihadist. It’s what they know and violence is the norm for them. Not so much the West so yes when the West sees people who are willing to die for, kill for, bomb for, etc then they fear. Fear turns to Anger, Anger into Hate padawan. 😛

    Ok enough for now since I’ve probably offended every Muslim here. Sorry but this is based on my observation only , neither fact nor fiction but speculation.

  235. @Gia,
    Thank you. I saw your post and I appreciate it.

  236. Onigiri…

    To be brief…I agree for the most part with what you said. I am traveling today to see family so I can’t write a long explanation but I would like to think about it and when we stop tonight en route (2 day drive) I would like to come back to this question…thanks for your patience.

  237. Oby and Onigiri, your conversation is interesting.

    You might like this article called “We Hypocritical Muslims” by Dr. Manzur Ejaz.

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20101215story_15-12-2010_pg3_3

    Here is a small portion:

    “While Muslims enjoy such liberties in the western world, they are intolerant towards minorities in their own countries. Religious parties take the most hypocritical positions at home and abroad. They agitate for equal rights in the west and demonstrate to maintain the Blasphemy Law and hang a poor rural Christian like Aasia Bibi in Pakistan. Religious parties want democratic freedom when it comes to their own interests but become fascists when it is someone else’s right. …

    “Aasia Bibi’s case does not make much sense. Having lived with many rural Christians — who are mostly very poor and are considered untouchables — I know that these poor souls are incapable of committing the crimes they are accused of. Most of the time, the grudging ‘Muslim masters’ register such cases to punish them for disobeying or refusing to do free work. Muslim organisations are up in arms to free Aafia Siddiqui for violating US laws but show no compassion for Aasia Bibi. Obviously, this is a crude example of double standards.”

    Oby, I think you are right about what Islamic clothing has come to represent for many. I actually like cultural clothing and such,but for too many who have now been conditioned to think Muslim = potential terrorist, they are more cautious when they see clothing such as this. So sad since the vast majority of Muslims are wonderful, gentle people! But it’s these few idiots who ruin it. Like the Iraqi guy in Sweden … Sweden? Why try to terrorize a tolerant country like this?

  238. I am also finding the discussion between Oby and Onigiri very interesting.

  239. If Islamic terrorist were really killing and destroying in the name of Islam…defending Islam….upset with OUR govt (or any other govt) for perceived oppressions etc…wondering why they turn all this hate outwards anyhow? Their own countries…their own govt are SUPPOSED to be Islamic…profess to be Muslim…claim they follow Sharia etc….and yet obviously have corrupted Islam beyond recognition….and yet it is the Big Bad West (and other countries) that get the full force brunt of this misplaced hate and anger.

    Not that I wish them to start killing and bombing at home…but if that is the excuse/reason they are using…then it doesnt make sense cause they have more excuses/reasons to kill in the name of Islam right in their own back yards. Just my opinion.

  240. @Coolred,
    They are bombing in their own countries all the times. Nearly every day it seems in Iraq, alot in Palestine, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia went through quite a spate, but it’s calmed down. Egypt, Turkey, etc. It’s all very depressing.

  241. @OnigiriFB,

    Finally. Bear with the long post:

    “Without Muslims who can say LOUDLY that the extremist/jihadist are Muslims and I’m sorry because they are like the ….. others do not.”

    Again, there are many Muslims who have and are LOUDLY denouncing the extremist factions in the Muslim world. Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of them.

    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_2/

    I think you should ask yourself this question: why are Muslim voices being selectively heard? Why aren’t there MORE Muslims being heard in the media? Why was Octavia Nasr fired? Why is it that the mainstream media not magnifying those voices calling for peace?

    The reason I frequently bring up the Israel/Palestine issue is that it is intricately bound to the larger problems facing the Middle East and the US. It also glaringly shows the hypocrisy of Arab leaders and the power struggles, namely with the Israel lobby in the US, that are bullying those voices attempting to shed light on the matter, such as Ali Abunimah, Rashid Khalidi, Walt and Mearsheimer, Edward Said before he died, and Norman Finkelstein.

    Tell me, why is it that the US citizenry been largely blind to the atrocities of the Israelis for the past 60 years? This is one of the CENTRAL questions that you don’t seem to get. If the people in the United States do not see the cause and effect of their foreign policy, even pre-9/11, then their view of Muslims and Arabs is predisposed by what those in the upper-echelons of media dictate, who are largely pro-Israel. Likewise, if Muslims see that the US is condoning the oppressive occupation and the propping up of dictators like Hosni Mubarak and his billions in aid to keep the peace with Israel in effect, the perception of the US is that of a global hegemony adamant at controlling and protecting its resources to the detriment of the local population. That’s why the Shah was overthrown. Just the other day, a Saudi was thrown in prison for a paper he wrote about the fate of Saudi’s people if Abdullah dies. Has the US denounce that act? And yet, Iran’s human rights abuses are being denounced ad infinitum.

    Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People by Dr. Jack Sheehan.

    Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6604775898578139565#

    The Israel Lobby

    It is in their service that the image of Arabs and Muslims be continuously tarnished in the eyes of US citizenry. Frankly, what’s surprising to me is not that this lobby exists, but that an equally entrenched and powerful counter-lobby has not spawned itself over the past 60 years, especially with all that oil money.

    Interesting article by Patrick Seale “Wealth but no Political Power” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19932.htm

    And then they waste their time on Iran warmongering.

    “Frankly I truly believe the Geller/Wilder/Spencer faction has been waiting for Muslims to get on their knees and apologize for the stupid extremist. Though I doubt if even that would appease them. “

    Don’t think it would. They’re shills. Geller, for one, is an Israeli-firster.

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/08/pamela-geller-the-looniest-blogger-ever/
    http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/02/pamela-geller-watch-5-israel-should-nuke-tehran-mecca-and-medina/

    “But if Muslims cannot even seem to admit what is wrong with their religion/sects/etc then all they are doing is drawing a line for hatred to be perpetuated and anger to grow.”

    Image of Muslims in the US
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/295260-1

    We do ADMIT that there is something wrong with the different radical interpretations of our religion. AGAIN, if the US MSM is being controlled by those whose ideologies it does not serve to promote the voices of reason, where else is the population going to hear of Muslims DENOUNCING terrorism?

    It is for that reason that I provide measly financial support to some projects and media outlets that counter the propaganda heard in the US. It is also the reason I am daily challenged to counter the fallacies that those people around me believe of their own religion. My own family dismisses me as a shia and jew lover.

    “If there is one (if I had to pick one) fault I give American’s about the US foreign policy is that Americans tend to be too American-centrist.”

    Nope, media and politics are in lockstep. It serves those in power if Americans are largely ignorant about what their government is doing in the world. Although the US has laws that prevent propagandizing like that of Voice of America being used against its own population, that has sadly being circumvented especially under the Bush administration. If foreign policy was American-centric, you would not have a liability like Israel as one of the US’s closest allies in the region. Walt and Mearsheimer broke that taboo back in 2006 with their publication of the Israel Lobby in the LRB. I’m halfway through Goodman’s book, Standing Up to the Madness.

    http://www.scribemedia.org/2006/10/11/israel-lobby/

    It serves the Israel lobby in the US if Israel is at perpetual war with its neighbors, a ‘Spartan nation’, because it can remain relevant to US interests and continue to take on aid and freebies, and they can remain its sole spokespersons.

    “So yes some of us are JUST waking up now to the evil Israel has done that has fueled the anger of the middle east for more than fifty years. To be perfectly honest if you had asked me about Israel 5 to 10 years ago I would have been firmly on their side. My excuse is that I have never cared about the whole Israel/Palestinian cat-fight and thought both sides were stupid.”

    Not a cat-fight. An Ethnic Cleansing and a Perpetual Occupation.

    Read Illan Pappe, one of Israel’s new historians, on the “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”. I’m also currently in the process of reading Avi Shlaim’s Iron Wall (in addition to Nir Rosen’s book).

    “However, I AM tired of the US (and by extension the rest of free world non ME) coddling BOTH sides (we give a LOT of money to the Palestinians as guilt money IMO). I am tired of our Presidents devoting HOURS of times working on a solution that has none unless Palestinians are willing to give on SOMETHING you know like the existence of Israel in the first place.”

    The existence of Israel is accepted by the Palestinians. Even Hamas accept Israel’s existence (don’t take my word for it check wikipedia for one). The problem is two-fold:

    1) Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state and dropping the rights of refugees.
    2) Israel’s ignoring of the Arab peace initiative in 2002 that called for the normalization of relations with Israel in return for the just resolution of the refugee question and the 1967 borders.

    Statement by Abbas:

    “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that it was none of the Palestinians’ business if Israel wanted to call itself a Jewish state or anything else.

    “If the Israelis want to call themselves any name, they should address the international community and the United Nations because this is none of our business,” Abbas told reporters after meeting with the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, in Ramallah.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=191423&R=R2

    Also Zvi Sela’s reporting of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/haaretz-sheikh-yassin-would-have-cut-deal-for-statehood.html

    Other observations:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/zionism-and-peace-are-incompatible-israeli-generals-son.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/what-the-demand-to-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state-means-to-palestinians.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/pas-challenge-to-israel-set-your-borders.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/barack-obama-israels-lawyer.html

    “Israel IMO has ridden on the coat-tails of the Holocaust for far too long. It also has played the poor victim while behind our back (or not) brutally crushing opposition or taking land they have no place taking. I will have to defend Israel on one thing in that of all the Camp “whatever” talks they were the ones giving conssesions while the Palestinian camp only demanded this and that.”

    Will have to disagree with you on that one. For more, check out Clayton Swisher’s book “The Truth About Camp David”. Also, check out Robert Malley’s statement, who participated in the Camp David talks, a year after all that spin from Clinton & Barack to save face, admitting to the real reasons behind the failure of peace talks:

    “Mr. Malley, as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, was a member of the US peace team and participated in the Camp David summit. Mr. Agha has been involved in Palestinian affairs for more than thirty years and during this period has had an active part in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
    In accounts of what happened at the July 2000 Camp David summit and the following months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we often hear about Ehud Barak’s unprecedented offer and Yasser Arafat’s uncompromising no. Israel is said to have made a historic, generous proposal, which the Palestinians, once again seizing the opportunity to miss an opportunity, turned down. In short, the failure to reach a final agreement is attributed, without notable dissent, to Yasser Arafat.
    As orthodoxies go, this is a dangerous one. For it has larger ripple effects. Broader conclusions take hold. That there is no peace partner is one. That there is no possible end to the conflict with Arafat is another.
    For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow. It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer. Worse, it acts as a harmful constraint on American policy by offering up a single, convenient culprit—Arafat—rather than a more nuanced and realistic analysis.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2001/aug/09/camp-david-the-tragedy-of-errors/

    “I personally do not see the US government being wholly ignorant to the crimes that Israel does. Though I can see why it has such a reactionary stance since many ME countries they are in the middle of don’t even think it should exist in the first place.”

    Answered above.

    “So the ME and by extension Muslims are not a shining example of diplomacy and “let’s all get along and sing koombaya my lord” type peace. Hrm, I would like to point out here that in reality I think Israel gave the ME a rallying point and temporarily stopped the insane bickering the ME engages in hence the us vs them line.The ME and Muslims by extension seem to want to keep the focus on Israel so that they can ignore the human rights violations, poor government, poor infrastructure, poor education, lack of scientific/technological innovation, etc that a rank and file American sees as “no way jose am I EVER letting the US/free world become “Muslim” if our examples are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Palestine and that’s what the US/West is going to turn into with a Muslim take-over.”

    You’re absolutely right. It WAS in the service of Arab dictators that the Arab population be united in their focus on the conflict. HOWEVER, this conflict has done more damage to the legitimacy of these dictators by highlighting the increasing hypocrisy of Arab governments LIKE Mubarak’s closing of the Rafah crossing during the Gaza war. That’s why there’s a gulf delegation headed by a Saudi prince (too late) now doing damage control and visiting the Gaza strip, trying to counter the increasing popularity of Iran.

    (Off topic, see Beware of Small States by David Hirst, also see: Iranophobia by Haggai Ram)

    “What you don’t seem to be addressing is the REAL fear Islamaphobe have with the soft invasion of Muslims into the West good or bad. Pre 9/11 Muslims could live quietly in their little pockets and no one really cared. Now that is not the case and EVERY single time a jihadist does ANYTHING terrorist-like the image of Muslims get more and more tarnished. If Muslims who are not jihadist do not DO ANYTHING LOUDLY then they are also responsible for the evil perpetuated in their name. It’s called guilt by association and no it’s not nice to do but it’s reality.”

    Which is why Jon Stewart was one of the sanest voices of reason during the whole Mosque fiasco. And it helps that his viewership is large, and that (cynical as it may be) he’s Jewish.

    “All the West has really heard from Muslims about the Muslim terrorism is excuses like “Islam is not a violent religion. (perhaps, perhaps not) Those jihadist are not Muslims (ignoring what part the actual faith played in the violence unlike Christians who have long had to deal with religious criticism an its extremist). Our faith is perfect and we do not idol worship a raping, whoring, pedophile, 7th century barbarian (maybe maybe not and not my opinion of Muhammad) and feel he is an example of how to live (i.e. going raping whoring etc). These are some of the BIGGEST problems Islamaphobes have with Islam/Muslims in general.”

    The problem is that Islamophobes have a base to work off of. They have a population who has had 40 plus years of programming wrt Muslims and Arabs. Also, the current economic problems are only worsening this.

    “I’m sorry but the pat answers and slogans (Islam is a religion of peace. tm) Muslims have aren’t really working to change the tide of anti-Muslim hate and ignorance. It is in fact flaming the fuel in middle America, France, Denmark, the UK, Canada, etc. The symbols of Islams (niqab, hijab, long beards, thobes) are actually popping up with more frequency in the West. So I can understand why the West considers Muslims the “other”.”

    Right, and that there’s now such organizations as the Virginia Anti-Sharia Taskforce. No I get it, it is a problem I hear ya. Like they say, ‘follow the money’. Those fueling this hatred of Muslims, ala Daniel Pipes, or Ayan Hirsi Ali, or PAID SHILLS. It’s like a hypothetical ex-Christian going around the Middle East getting paid to quote excerpts from the Bible out of context and denouncing Christians as barbarous and ignorant. They are being paid by those whose agenda it serves to make sure Muslims are always slandered.

    “It’s Muslims themselves that are drawing the line in the sand and saying Look, Ma I’m different not the West. And while Muslims can probably link the whole Israel/keep the Muslim down ME etc to the terrorist the West thinks look what Muslims did 9/11 in a you pushed me first childish playground game. That’s not even counting the further terrorist acts around the world that get the news press in last 10 years.”

    History did not start on 9/11. But you’ve already mentioned that. Think Clinton’s containment strategy wrt Iraq/Iran. Think the imposition of the Shah. The reason the population thinks of it that way is that the MSM likes to repeat the same old tired lines. Republicans and Democrats alike are milking this for all its worth.

    May I ask, why did the 9/11 responders bill die in the senate?

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/jon-stewart-rants-republican-filibuster-911-responder-bill/story?id=12422872

    “You will have to understand I also have never said that it’s exclusive to Muslims. Nothing is. Humans are imperfect, rash, war-mongering beings. We have since been that way ever since God created us. Think Abel Cain if you believe the Judao-Christian religions. Or think evolution whereby we the weak species had to claw and fight our way to the top for us athiest/agnostic/don’t believe in organized religion people.”

    Agreed.

    “It would really help if Muslims (as seen by rank and file Americans) would stop bombing/attempting to bomb the US and stop doing the soft invasion of conservative Muslim symbols.”

    Yes, but you’re still not looking at the cause and effect.

    That’s what I’m saying, and you’re not following me: The continued presence of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq is FUELLING this rage. The media is largely silent on the atrocities being committed in Iraq and Afghanistan that fuels this hatred. You don’t see it, so you don’t see how this affects Muslims.

    “When Muslims ……….here and say “you started it!”.”

    Oh sure, we have our crazies going around attributing their sick behavior to the religion. And in that regard, there should be louder voices condemning these acts.

    Look at Saudi Arabia, though, if most Muslim scholars in the heart of Islam’s holiest capital do not advocate for the rights of people given under their own religion, where exactly are you expecting there to be a louder voice?

    As for the sensitivity to Islamic symbols, may I ask if in there is a similar treatment of Jewish symbolism in the media?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/exhibit-a-muhammad-cartoons.html

    And if there were, the ADL would have been quick to issue its edict, and the offending entity would be suffer retribution in the form of losing their job, etc.

    Instead, those offending Muslims are given awards.

    Re you started it → Err, no. Pick up Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”. Makes for an interesting read.

    “Again I agree that the US and the Patriot Act which is how the FBI, CIA, NSA have so much power (it’s reactionary more toward the terrorist but like any power has corrupted). Er, who’s financing the hate? Well who’s financing the hate on the Muslim side? How much blood money does the US have to pay to it’s two faced allies (KSA, Pakistan)?

    “Let’s see the US writes a billion dollar aid check to Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine, Yemen, various countries in Africa and for what?”

    To keep dictatorships pockets lined so that US interests are served without question. And now China’s challenging that.

    “To have them denounce us on one hand while spending our (taxpayer money)money on the other. “We hate you American/US, give us money!” “

    Or, in other words:
    To the local population “We hate America and are not subservient don’t overthrow us”
    To the US “We love America keep it coming”

    “Heh. If you read the wikileaks thread you would see I’ve already voiced the opinion that it’s time we let other countries sink or swim and who gives a damn about the “humanitarian” needs around the world.Maybe we should make it a foreign policy clause of if you hate us/work against us/send terrorist to bomb us you do not get any money and your citizen (ex. Pakistan’s flooded victims) can just die. But then people would hate the US for that too (and so would I actually). Can’t win for losing can we?”

    That almost makes it sound like killing people or having them oppressed and then paying their rulers/dictators hush money is humanitarian.

    “I think people seem to misunderstand how patriotic/nationalistic Americans can be since you see a lot of bickering between the government factions. I am an American and yes tend to see my government as doing good around the world.”

    There is some good that the US has done. That largely gets wiped away when the killing starts.

    “You are dual national ed do you not favor one?”

    Really wish I did, but I have no patriotic notions whatsoever to either country. I used to believe in the US and I voted for Obama, but it saddens me to see it spiral down this self-defeating, unholy alliance with its MIC and its continued egging-on of wars in the region and ensuring its global hegemony goes unchallenged while its citizenry continue to be blind. It saddens me to continue being treated as a perpetual minor in Saudi Arabia and the fact that this country continues to brainwash its citizenry into accepting it as a benign dictatorship.

    “Do you not favor Muslims against non-Muslims?”

    No.

    Such tribal notions of belonging have not made their impact on me, for better or for worse, I don’t know, and to the perpetual frustration of my family.

    It’s un-Islamic to side with those who are doing injustice to others, Muslims or not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilf_al-Fudul

    “In all the time I’ve spent talking to Muslims it’s as if Muslims can do no wrong (oh that’s just ignorance) and the West can do no right when in reality humans are humans across the board.”

    Haha! By no means does being Muslim entail that you are blameless of any wrong. I am Muslim and one of my biggest icons is a secular humanist, Norman Finkelstein. I see myself as a Chomskyist with a healthy dose of Walt & Mearsheimer.

    “Finally please to not dismiss the fears of the Islamaphobes so flippantly. Or you may be looking at a Final Solution where good people remain silent while your brethen are “dealt” with. France’s ban on niqabs and angry minority, Denmark’s disgust with the Muslim bully tactic to silence critics, the UK’s fight between Western and Sharia law, the German minority powder keg of Muslim Turks, and the US’s soft invasion of conservative Islam are just the tip of the iceberg. If we as a world do not stop it somehow then I can only see WWIII.”

    Sure, it is alarming the rise of Neo-Fascism in Europe, akin to the rise of such rhetoric pre-WWII. But that is also accompanied by the eurozone crisis and the continually abysmal US economic figures, in addition to the rise of emerging market economies and China.

    My view on this is that there is an elite set worldwide, even in Saudi Arabia, whose interest it is that this violence is perpetuated, that this rhetoric is continuously shrill. It is generating money. That is why I don’t see this as a Muslim vs. West problem, I see it as class warfare on a global scale. If Saudi Arabia really cared about how it is conducting itself as a Muslim country, it would have cut off this Wahhabist threat and discarded it long ago. But no, this other unholy alliance has caused so much trauma and strife in the Muslim world that I am beginning to wonder if it is not serving someone’s interest to keep these flames fanning. If not the monarchy, than who?

    This is the LAST frontier, the Middle East. Any resistance to global hegemony is slandered as inherently evil. Why does Israel have nukes and not sign the NPT, just like Pakistan and India, while Iran is being reviled continuously as a regional threat?

    “On a lighter note. I get really wordy and pendantic don’t I? I’ll admit to that fault of mine. I like to talk *shrug* Thankfully you don’t always have to listen *wink*

    Good post, OnigiriFB, lots to consider.

  242. Thank you Carol Suzanne. Please keep in mind this is all based on just my under-educated speculation. Coolred- It’s easier to fight the “others” than it is to fight the man. Agree with sandy.

  243. @OnigiriFB,

    Finally. Please bear with the long post:

    “Without Muslims who can say LOUDLY……….10 years others do not.”

    Again, there are many Muslims who have and are LOUDLY denouncing the extremist factions in the Muslim world. Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of them.

    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_2/

    I think you should ask yourself this question: why are Muslim voices being selectively heard? Why aren’t there MORE Muslims being heard in the media? Why was Octavia Nasr fired? Why is it that the mainstream media not magnifying those voices calling for peace?

    The reason I frequently bring up the Israel/Palestine issue is that it is intricately bound to the larger problems facing the Middle East and the US. It also glaringly shows the hypocrisy of Arab leaders and the power struggles, namely with the Israel lobby in the US, that are bullying those voices attempting to shed light on the matter, such as Ali Abunimah, Rashid Khalidi, Walt and Mearsheimer, Edward Said before he died, and Norman Finkelstein.

    Tell me, why is it that the US citizenry been largely blind to the atrocities of the Israelis for the past 60 years? This is one of the CENTRAL questions that you don’t seem to get. If the people in the United States do not see the cause and effect of their foreign policy, even pre-9/11, then their view of Muslims and Arabs is predisposed by what those in the upper-echelons of media dictate, who are largely pro-Israel. Likewise, if Muslims see that the US is condoning the oppressive occupation and the propping up of dictators like Hosni Mubarak and his billions in aid to keep the peace with Israel in effect, the perception of the US is that of a global hegemony adamant at controlling and protecting its resources to the detriment of the local population. That’s why the Shah was overthrown. Just the other day, a Saudi was thrown in prison for a paper he wrote about the fate of Saudi’s people if Abdullah dies. Has the US denounce that act? And yet, Iran’s human rights abuses are being denounced ad infinitum.

    Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People by Dr. Jack Sheehan.

    Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6604775898578139565#

    The Israel Lobby

    It is in their service that the image of Arabs and Muslims be continuously tarnished in the eyes of US citizenry. Frankly, what’s surprising to me is not that this lobby exists, but that an equally entrenched and powerful counter-lobby has not spawned itself over the past 60 years, especially with all that oil money.

    Interesting article by Patrick Seale “Wealth but no Political Power” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19932.htm

    And then they waste their time on Iran warmongering.

    “Frankly I truly believe the Geller/Wilder/Spencer faction has been waiting for Muslims to get on their knees and apologize for the stupid extremist. Though I doubt if even that would appease them. “

    Don’t think it would. They’re shills. Geller, for one, is an Israeli-firster.

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/08/pamela-geller-the-looniest-blogger-ever/
    http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/02/pamela-geller-watch-5-israel-should-nuke-tehran-mecca-and-medina/

    “But if Muslims cannot even seem to admit what is wrong with their religion/sects/etc then all they are doing is drawing a line for hatred to be perpetuated and anger to grow.”

    Image of Muslims in the US
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/295260-1

    We do ADMIT that there is something wrong with the different radical interpretations of our religion. AGAIN, if the US MSM is being controlled by those whose ideologies it does not serve to promote the voices of reason, where else is the population going to hear of Muslims DENOUNCING terrorism?

    It is for that reason that I provide measly financial support to some projects and media outlets that counter the propaganda heard in the west. It is also the reason I am daily challenged to counter the fallacies that those people around me believe of their own religion. My own family calls me a shia and jew lover.

    “If there is one (if I had to pick one) fault I give American’s about the US foreign policy is that Americans tend to be too American-centrist.”

    Nope, media and politics are in lockstep. It serves those in power if Americans are largely ignorant about what their government is doing in the world. Although the US has laws that prevent propagandizing like that of Voice of America being used against its own population, that is now sadly being circumvented especially under the Bush administration. If foreign policy was American-centric, you would not have a liability like Israel as one of the US’s closest allies in the region. Walt and Mearsheimer broke that taboo back in 2006 with their publication of the Israel Lobby in the LRB.

    http://www.scribemedia.org/2006/10/11/israel-lobby/

    It serves the Israel lobby in the US if Israel is at perpetual war with its neighbors, a ‘Spartan nation’, because it can remain relevant to US interests and continue to take on aid and freebies, and they can remain its sole spokespersons.

    “So yes some of us are JUST waking up now ……. My excuse is that I have never cared about the whole Israel/Palestinian cat-fight and thought both sides were stupid.”

    Not a cat-fight. An ethnic cleansing and a perpetual occupation. And the fact that the US doles out billions in aid should make you care.

    Read Illan Pappe, one of Israel’s new historians, on the “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”. I’m also currently in the process of reading Avi Shlaim’s Iron Wall (in addition to Nir Rosen’s book).

    “However, I AM tired of the US (and by extension the rest of free world non ME) coddling BOTH sides (we give a LOT of money to the Palestinians as guilt money IMO). I am tired of our Presidents devoting HOURS of times working on a solution that has none unless Palestinians are willing to give on SOMETHING you know like the existence of Israel in the first place.”

    Yes, pay Israel to buy weapons to shoot them with, then pay the Palestinians.

    Have you checked out the lastest humiliating sketch?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/americans-are-catching-a-clue-i-tell-you.html

    The existence of Israel is accepted by the Palestinians. Even Hamas accept Israel’s existence (don’t take my word for it look it up. Even wikipedia states that with resources and all). The problem is two-fold:

    1) Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state and dropping the rights of refugees.
    2) Israel’s ignoring of the Arab peace initiative in 2002 that called for the normalization of relations with Israel in return for the just resolution of the refugee question and the 1967 borders.

    Statement by Abbas:

    “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that it was none of the Palestinians’ business if Israel wanted to call itself a Jewish state or anything else.

    “If the Israelis want to call themselves any name, they should address the international community and the United Nations because this is none of our business,” Abbas told reporters after meeting with the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, in Ramallah.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=191423&R=R2

    Also Zvi Sela’s reporting of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/haaretz-sheikh-yassin-would-have-cut-deal-for-statehood.html

    Other links on the now defunct talks:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/zionism-and-peace-are-incompatible-israeli-generals-son.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/what-the-demand-to-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state-means-to-palestinians.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/pas-challenge-to-israel-set-your-borders.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/barack-obama-israels-lawyer.html

    “Israel IMO has ridden on the coat-tails of the Holocaust for far too long. It also has played the poor victim while behind our back (or not) brutally crushing opposition or taking land they have no place taking. I will have to defend Israel on one thing in that of all the Camp “whatever” talks they were the ones giving conssesions while the Palestinian camp only demanded this and that.”

    Will have to disagree with you on that one. For more, check out Clayton Swisher’s book “The Truth About Camp David”. Also, check out Robert Malley’s statement, who participated in the Camp David talks, a year after all that spin from Clinton & Barack to save face, admitting to the real reasons behind the failure of peace talks:

    “Mr. Malley, as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, was a member of the US peace team and participated in the Camp David summit. Mr. Agha has been involved in Palestinian affairs for more than thirty years and during this period has had an active part in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
    In accounts of what happened at the July 2000 Camp David summit and the following months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we often hear about Ehud Barak’s unprecedented offer and Yasser Arafat’s uncompromising no. Israel is said to have made a historic, generous proposal, which the Palestinians, once again seizing the opportunity to miss an opportunity, turned down. In short, the failure to reach a final agreement is attributed, without notable dissent, to Yasser Arafat.
    As orthodoxies go, this is a dangerous one. For it has larger ripple effects. Broader conclusions take hold. That there is no peace partner is one. That there is no possible end to the conflict with Arafat is another.
    For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow. It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer. Worse, it acts as a harmful constraint on American policy by offering up a single, convenient culprit—Arafat—rather than a more nuanced and realistic analysis.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2001/aug/09/camp-david-the-tragedy-of-errors/

    “I personally do not see the US government being wholly ignorant to the crimes that Israel does. Though I can see why it has such a reactionary stance since many ME countries they are in the middle of don’t even think it should exist in the first place.”

    Answered above.

    “So the ME and by extension Muslims are not a shining example of diplomacy and “let’s all get along and sing koombaya my lord” type peace. Hrm, I would like to point out here that in reality I think Israel gave the ME a rallying point and temporarily stopped the insane bickering the ME engages in hence the us vs them line.The ME and Muslims by extension seem to want to keep the focus on Israel so that they can ignore the human rights violations, poor government, poor infrastructure, poor education, lack of scientific/technological innovation, etc that a rank and file American sees as “no way jose am I EVER letting the US/free world become “Muslim” if our examples are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Palestine and that’s what the US/West is going to turn into with a Muslim take-over.”

    You’re absolutely right. It WAS in the service of Arab dictators that the Arab population be united in their focus on the conflict. HOWEVER, this conflict has done more damage to the legitimacy of these dictators by highlighting the increasing hypocrisy of Arab governments LIKE Mubarak’s closing of the Rafah crossing during the Gaza war. That’s why there’s a gulf delegation headed by a Saudi prince (too late) now doing damage control and visiting the Gaza strip, trying to counter the increasing popularity of Iran.

    (Off topic, see Beware of Small States by David Hirst, also see: Iranophobia by Haggai Ram)

    “What you don’t seem to be addressing is the REAL fear Islamaphobe have with the soft invasion of Muslims into the West good or bad. Pre 9/11 Muslims could live quietly in their little pockets and no one really cared. Now that is not the case and EVERY single time a jihadist does ANYTHING terrorist-like the image of Muslims get more and more tarnished. If Muslims who are not jihadist do not DO ANYTHING LOUDLY then they are also responsible for the evil perpetuated in their name. It’s called guilt by association and no it’s not nice to do but it’s reality.”

    Which is why Jon Stewart was one of the sanest voices of reason during the whole Mosque fiasco. And it helps that his viewership is large, and that (cynical as it may be) he’s Jewish.

    “All the West has really heard from Muslims about the Muslim terrorism is excuses like “Islam is not a violent religion. (perhaps, perhaps not) Those jihadist are not Muslims (ignoring what part the actual faith played in the violence unlike Christians who have long had to deal with religious criticism an its extremist). Our faith is perfect and we do not idol worship a raping, whoring, pedophile, 7th century barbarian (maybe maybe not and not my opinion of Muhammad) and feel he is an example of how to live (i.e. going raping whoring etc). These are some of the BIGGEST problems Islamaphobes have with Islam/Muslims in general.”

    The problem is that Islamophobes have a base to work off of. They have a population who has had 40 plus years of programming wrt Muslims and Arabs. Also, the current economic problems are only worsening this.

    “I’m sorry but the pat answers and slogans (Islam is a religion of peace. tm) Muslims have aren’t really working to change the tide of anti-Muslim hate and ignorance. It is in fact flaming the fuel in middle America, France, Denmark, the UK, Canada, etc. The symbols of Islams (niqab, hijab, long beards, thobes) are actually popping up with more frequency in the West. So I can understand why the West considers Muslims the “other”.”

    Right, and that there’s now such organizations as the Virginia Anti-Sharia Taskforce. No I get it, it is a problem I hear ya. Like they say, ‘follow the money’. Those fueling this hatred of Muslims, ala Daniel Pipes, or Ayan Hirsi Ali, are PAID SHILLS. It’s like a hypothetical ex-Christian going around the Middle East getting paid to quote excerpts from the Bible out of context and denouncing Christians as barbarous and ignorant. They are being paid by those whose agenda it serves to make sure Muslims are always slandered.

    “It’s Muslims themselves that are drawing the line in the sand and saying Look, Ma I’m different not the West. And while Muslims can probably link the whole Israel/keep the Muslim down ME etc to the terrorist the West thinks look what Muslims did 9/11 in a you pushed me first childish playground game. That’s not even counting the further terrorist acts around the world that get the news press in last 10 years.”

    History did not start on 9/11. But you’ve already mentioned that. Think Clinton’s containment strategy wrt Iraq/Iran. Think the imposition of the Shah.

    “You will have to understand I also have never said that it’s exclusive to Muslims. Nothing is. Humans are imperfect, rash, war-mongering beings. We have since been that way ever since God created us. Think Abel Cain if you believe the Judao-Christian religions. Or think evolution whereby we the weak species had to claw and fight our way to the top for us athiest/agnostic/don’t believe in organized religion people.”

    Agreed.

    “It would really help if Muslims (as seen by rank and file Americans) would stop bombing/attempting to bomb the US and stop doing the soft invasion of conservative Muslim symbols.”

    Yes, but you’re still not looking at the cause and effect.

    That’s what I’m saying, and you’re not following me: The continued presence of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq is FUELLING this rage. The media is largely silent on the atrocities being committed in Iraq and Afghanistan that fuels this hatred.

    “When Muslims in the US dare to take defend the rapes his wife had to endure FROM HIM using the excuse that Islam gives him marital right (as if his wife was a masturbatory item) something is wrong. When Muslims get defensive and refuse to even let non-Muslims criticize Islam, Muhammad (riots anyone? What’s ironic is the book burning of the Quran NEVER EVEN HAPPENED!!!!), or anything else deemed sacrosanct by Muslim there is a problem. What’s worse is Muslims issuing death threats to those who dare to criticize Muslim idols (Muhammad but strangely not Allah? weird) something is really wrong. So I’ll show my immaturity (I’m five maturity wise ) here and say “you started it!”.”

    Oh sure, we have our crazies going around attributing their sick behavior to the religion. And in that regard, there should be louder voices condemning these acts.

    Look at Saudi Arabia, though, if most Muslim scholars in the heart of Islam’s holiest capital do not advocate for the rights of people given under their own religion, where exactly are you expecting there to be a louder voice?

    As for the sensitivity to Islamic symbols, may I ask if in there is a similar treatment of Jewish symbolism in the media?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/exhibit-a-muhammad-cartoons.html

    And if there were, the ADL would have been quick to issue its edict, and the offending entity would be suffer retribution in the form of losing their job, etc.

    Instead, those offending Muslims are given awards.

    Re you started it → Err, no. Pick up Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”. Makes for an interesting read.

    “Again I agree that the US and the Patriot Act which is how the FBI, CIA, NSA have so much power (it’s reactionary more toward the terrorist but like any power has corrupted). Er, who’s financing the hate? Well who’s financing the hate on the Muslim side? How much blood money does the US have to pay to it’s two faced allies (KSA, Pakistan)?

    “Let’s see the US writes a billion dollar aid check to Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine, Yemen, various countries in Africa and for what?”

    To keep dictatorships pockets lined so that US MIC interests are served without question. And now China’s challenging that.

    “To have them denounce us on one hand while spending our (taxpayer money)money on the other. “We hate you American/US, give us money!” “

    Or, in other words:
    To the local population “We hate America and are not subservient don’t overthrow us”
    To the US “We love America keep it coming”

    “Heh. If you read the wikileaks thread you would see I’ve already voiced the opinion that it’s time we let other countries sink or swim and who gives a damn about the “humanitarian” needs around the world.Maybe we should make it a foreign policy clause of if you hate us/work against us/send terrorist to bomb us you do not get any money and your citizen (ex. Pakistan’s flooded victims) can just die. But then people would hate the US for that too (and so would I actually). Can’t win for losing can we?”

    That almost makes it sound like killing people and then paying their rulers/dictators hush money is humanitarian?

    “I think people seem to misunderstand how patriotic/nationalistic Americans can be since you see a lot of bickering between the government factions. I am an American and yes tend to see my government as doing good around the world.”

    There is some good that the US has done. That largely gets wiped away when the killing starts.

    “You are dual national ed do you not favor one?”

    Really wish I did, but I have no patriotic notions whatsoever to either country. I used to believe in the US and I voted for Obama, but it saddens me to see it spiral down this self-defeating, unholy alliance with its MIC and its continued egging-on of wars in the region and ensuring its global hegemony goes unchallenged while its citizenry continue to be blind. It saddens me to continue being treated as a perpetual minor in Saudi Arabia and the fact that this country continues to brainwash its citizenry into accepting a benign dictatorship.

    “Do you not favor Muslims against non-Muslims?”

    No.

    Such tribal notions of belonging have not made their impact on me, for better or for worse, I don’t know, and to the perpetual frustration of my family.

    It’s un-Islamic to side with those who are doing injustice to others, Muslims or not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilf_al-Fudul

    “In all the time I’ve spent talking to Muslims it’s as if Muslims can do no wrong (oh that’s just ignorance) and the West can do no right when in reality humans are humans across the board.”

    Haha! By no means does being Muslim entail that you are blameless of any wrong. I am Muslim and one of my biggest icons is a secular humanist, (wait for it…) Norman Finkelstein.

    “Finally please to not dismiss the fears of the Islamaphobes so flippantly. Or you may be looking at a Final Solution where good people remain silent while your brethen are “dealt” with. France’s ban on niqabs and angry minority, Denmark’s disgust with the Muslim bully tactic to silence critics, the UK’s fight between Western and Sharia law, the German minority powder keg of Muslim Turks, and the US’s soft invasion of conservative Islam are just the tip of the iceberg. If we as a world do not stop it somehow then I can only see WWIII.”

    Sure, it is alarming the rise of Neo-Fascism in Europe, akin to the rise of such rhetoric pre-WWII. But that is also accompanied by the eurozone crisis and the continually abysmal US economic figures, in addition to the rise of emerging market economies and China.

    My view on this is that there is an elite set worldwide, even in Saudi Arabia, whose interest it is that this violence is perpetuated, that this rhetoric is continuously shrill. It is generating money. That is why I don’t see this as a Muslim vs. West problem, I see it as class warfare on a global scale. If Saudi Arabia really cared about how it is conducting itself as a Muslim country, it would have cut off this Wahhabist threat and discarded it long ago. But no, this other unholy alliance has caused so much trauma and strife in the Muslim world that I am beginning to wonder if it is not serving someone’s interest to keep these flames fanning. If not the monarchy, than who?

    As I said before, when I posted the paper on Israel’s strategy in the 19th century, taking advantage of the ignorant and the greedy to continuously fuel sectarian violence in the region is the key to dominating this region.

    This is the LAST frontier, the Middle East. Any resistance to global hegemony is slandered as inherently evil. Why does Israel have nukes and not sign the NPT, just like Pakistan and India, while Iran is being reviled continuously as a regional threat?

    “On a lighter note. I get really wordy and pendantic don’t I? I’ll admit to that fault of mine. I like to talk *shrug* Thankfully you don’t always have to listen *wink* ”

    Thanks for the post. Lots of things to consider and they are by no means light issues.

    Salam.

  244. @OnigiriFB,

    Finally. Please bear with the long post:

    “Without Muslims who can say LOUDLY……….10 years others do not.”

    Again, there are many Muslims who have and are LOUDLY denouncing the extremist factions in the Muslim world. Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of them.

    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_2/

    I think you should ask yourself this question: why are Muslim voices being selectively heard? Why aren’t there MORE Muslims being heard in the media? Why was Octavia Nasr fired? Why is it that the mainstream media not magnifying those voices calling for peace?

    The reason I frequently bring up the Israel/Palestine issue is that it is intricately bound to the larger problems facing the Middle East and the US. It also glaringly shows the hypocrisy of Arab leaders and the power struggles, namely with the Israel lobby in the US, that are bullying those voices attempting to shed light on the matter, such as Ali Abunimah, Rashid Khalidi, Walt and Mearsheimer, Edward Said before he died, and Norman Finkelstein.

    Tell me, why is it that the US citizenry been largely blind to the atrocities of the Israelis for the past 60 years? This is one of the CENTRAL questions that you don’t seem to get. If the people in the United States do not see the cause and effect of their foreign policy, even pre-9/11, then their view of Muslims and Arabs is predisposed by what those in the upper-echelons of media dictate, who are largely pro-Israel. Likewise, if Muslims see that the US is condoning the oppressive occupation and the propping up of dictators like Hosni Mubarak and his billions in aid to keep the peace with Israel in effect, the perception of the US is that of a global hegemony adamant at controlling and protecting its resources to the detriment of the local population. That’s why the Shah was overthrown. Just the other day, a Saudi was thrown in prison for a paper he wrote about the fate of Saudi’s people if Abdullah dies. Has the US denounce that act? And yet, Iran’s human rights abuses are being denounced ad infinitum.

    Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People by Dr. Jack Sheehan.

    Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6604775898578139565#

    The Israel Lobby

    It is in their service that the image of Arabs and Muslims be continuously tarnished in the eyes of US citizenry. Frankly, what’s surprising to me is not that this lobby exists, but that an equally entrenched and powerful counter-lobby has not spawned itself over the past 60 years, especially with all that oil money.

    Interesting article by Patrick Seale “Wealth but no Political Power” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19932.htm

    And then they waste their time on Iran warmongering.

    “Frankly I truly believe the Geller/Wilder/Spencer faction has been waiting for Muslims to get on their knees and apologize for the stupid extremist. Though I doubt if even that would appease them. “

    Don’t think it would. They’re shills. Geller, for one, is an Israeli-firster.

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/08/pamela-geller-the-looniest-blogger-ever/
    http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/02/pamela-geller-watch-5-israel-should-nuke-tehran-mecca-and-medina/

    “But if Muslims cannot even seem to admit what is wrong with their religion/sects/etc then all they are doing is drawing a line for hatred to be perpetuated and anger to grow.”

    Image of Muslims in the US
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/295260-1

    We do ADMIT that there is something wrong with the different radical interpretations of our religion. AGAIN, if the US MSM is being controlled by those whose ideologies it does not serve to promote the voices of reason, where else is the population going to hear of Muslims DENOUNCING terrorism?

    It is for that reason that I provide measly financial support to some projects and media outlets that counter the propaganda heard in the west. It is also the reason I am daily challenged to counter the fallacies that those people around me believe of their own religion. My own family calls me a shia and jew lover. The thing is, MY generation

    “If there is one (if I had to pick one) fault I give American’s about the US foreign policy is that Americans tend to be too American-centrist.”

    Nope, media and politics are in lockstep. It serves those in power if Americans are largely ignorant about what their government is doing in the world. Although the US has laws that prevent propagandizing like that of Voice of America being used against its own population, that is now sadly being circumvented especially under the Bush administration. If foreign policy was American-centric, you would not have a liability like Israel as one of the US’s closest allies in the region. Walt and Mearsheimer broke that taboo back in 2006 with their publication of the Israel Lobby in the LRB.

    http://www.scribemedia.org/2006/10/11/israel-lobby/

    It serves the Israel lobby in the US if Israel is at perpetual war with its neighbors, a ‘Spartan nation’, because it can remain relevant to US interests and continue to take on aid and freebies, and they can remain its sole spokespersons.

    “So yes some of us are JUST waking up now ……. My excuse is that I have never cared about the whole Israel/Palestinian cat-fight and thought both sides were stupid.”

    Not a cat-fight. An ethnic cleansing and a perpetual occupation. And the fact that the US doles out billions in aid should make you care.

    Read Illan Pappe, one of Israel’s new historians, on the “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”. I’m also currently in the process of reading Avi Shlaim’s Iron Wall (in addition to Nir Rosen’s book).

    “However, I AM tired of the US (and by extension the rest of free world non ME) coddling BOTH sides (we give a LOT of money to the Palestinians as guilt money IMO). I am tired of our Presidents devoting HOURS of times working on a solution that has none unless Palestinians are willing to give on SOMETHING you know like the existence of Israel in the first place.”

    Yes, pay Israel to buy weapons to shoot them with, then pay the Palestinians.

    Have you checked out the lastest humiliating sketch?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/americans-are-catching-a-clue-i-tell-you.html

    The existence of Israel is accepted by the Palestinians. Even Hamas accept Israel’s existence (don’t take my word for it look it up. Even wikipedia states that with resources and all). The problem is two-fold:

    1) Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state and dropping the rights of refugees.
    2) Israel’s ignoring of the Arab peace initiative in 2002 that called for the normalization of relations with Israel in return for the just resolution of the refugee question and the 1967 borders.

    Statement by Abbas:

    “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that it was none of the Palestinians’ business if Israel wanted to call itself a Jewish state or anything else.

    “If the Israelis want to call themselves any name, they should address the international community and the United Nations because this is none of our business,” Abbas told reporters after meeting with the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, in Ramallah.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=191423&R=R2

    Also Zvi Sela’s reporting of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/haaretz-sheikh-yassin-would-have-cut-deal-for-statehood.html

    Other links on the now defunct talks:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/zionism-and-peace-are-incompatible-israeli-generals-son.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/what-the-demand-to-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state-means-to-palestinians.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/pas-challenge-to-israel-set-your-borders.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/barack-obama-israels-lawyer.html

    “Israel IMO has ridden on the coat-tails of the Holocaust for far too long. It also has played the poor victim while behind our back (or not) brutally crushing opposition or taking land they have no place taking. I will have to defend Israel on one thing in that of all the Camp “whatever” talks they were the ones giving conssesions while the Palestinian camp only demanded this and that.”

    Will have to disagree with you on that one. For more, check out Clayton Swisher’s book “The Truth About Camp David”. Also, check out Robert Malley’s statement, who participated in the Camp David talks, a year after all that spin from Clinton & Barack to save face, admitting to the real reasons behind the failure of peace talks:

    “Mr. Malley, as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, was a member of the US peace team and participated in the Camp David summit. Mr. Agha has been involved in Palestinian affairs for more than thirty years and during this period has had an active part in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
    In accounts of what happened at the July 2000 Camp David summit and the following months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we often hear about Ehud Barak’s unprecedented offer and Yasser Arafat’s uncompromising no. Israel is said to have made a historic, generous proposal, which the Palestinians, once again seizing the opportunity to miss an opportunity, turned down. In short, the failure to reach a final agreement is attributed, without notable dissent, to Yasser Arafat.
    As orthodoxies go, this is a dangerous one. For it has larger ripple effects. Broader conclusions take hold. That there is no peace partner is one. That there is no possible end to the conflict with Arafat is another.
    For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow. It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer. Worse, it acts as a harmful constraint on American policy by offering up a single, convenient culprit—Arafat—rather than a more nuanced and realistic analysis.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2001/aug/09/camp-david-the-tragedy-of-errors/

    “I personally do not see the US government being wholly ignorant to the crimes that Israel does. Though I can see why it has such a reactionary stance since many ME countries they are in the middle of don’t even think it should exist in the first place.”

    Answered above.

  245. @OnigiriFB,

    Finally. Please bear with the long post:

    “Without Muslims who can say LOUDLY……….10 years others do not.”

    Again, there are many Muslims who have and are LOUDLY denouncing the extremist factions in the Muslim world. Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of them.

    http://www.theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/muslim_voices_against_extremism_and_terrorism_2/

    I think you should ask yourself this question: why are Muslim voices being selectively heard? Why aren’t there MORE Muslims being heard in the media? Why was Octavia Nasr fired? Why is it that the mainstream media not magnifying those voices calling for peace?

    The reason I frequently bring up the Israel/Palestine issue is that it is intricately bound to the larger problems facing the Middle East and the US. It also glaringly shows the hypocrisy of Arab leaders and the power struggles, namely with the Israel lobby in the US, that are bullying those voices attempting to shed light on the matter, such as Ali Abunimah, Rashid Khalidi, Walt and Mearsheimer, Edward Said before he died, and Norman Finkelstein.

    Tell me, why is it that the US citizenry been largely blind to the atrocities of the Israelis for the past 60 years? This is one of the CENTRAL questions that you don’t seem to get. If the people in the United States do not see the cause and effect of their foreign policy, even pre-9/11, then their view of Muslims and Arabs is predisposed by what those in the upper-echelons of media dictate, who are largely pro-Israel. Likewise, if Muslims see that the US is condoning the oppressive occupation and the propping up of dictators like Hosni Mubarak and his billions in aid to keep the peace with Israel in effect, the perception of the US is that of a global hegemony adamant at controlling and protecting its resources to the detriment of the local population. That’s why the Shah was overthrown. Just the other day, a Saudi was thrown in prison for a paper he wrote about the fate of Saudi’s people if Abdullah dies. Has the US denounce that act? And yet, Iran’s human rights abuses are being denounced ad infinitum.

    Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People by Dr. Jack Sheehan.

    Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6604775898578139565#

    The Israel Lobby

    It is in their service that the image of Arabs and Muslims be continuously tarnished in the eyes of US citizenry. Frankly, what’s surprising to me is not that this lobby exists, but that an equally entrenched and powerful counter-lobby has not spawned itself over the past 60 years, especially with all that oil money.

    Interesting article by Patrick Seale “Wealth but no Political Power” http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article19932.htm

    And then they waste their time on Iran warmongering.

    “Frankly I truly believe the Geller/Wilder/Spencer faction has been waiting for Muslims to get on their knees and apologize for the stupid extremist. Though I doubt if even that would appease them. “

    Don’t think it would. They’re shills. Geller, for one, is an Israeli-firster.

    http://www.loonwatch.com/2009/08/pamela-geller-the-looniest-blogger-ever/
    http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/02/pamela-geller-watch-5-israel-should-nuke-tehran-mecca-and-medina/

    “But if Muslims cannot even seem to admit what is wrong with their religion/sects/etc then all they are doing is drawing a line for hatred to be perpetuated and anger to grow.”

    Image of Muslims in the US
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/295260-1

    We do ADMIT that there is something wrong with the different radical interpretations of our religion. AGAIN, if the US MSM is being controlled by those whose ideologies it does not serve to promote the voices of reason, where else is the population going to hear of Muslims DENOUNCING terrorism?

    It is for that reason that I provide measly financial support to some projects and media outlets that counter the propaganda heard in the west. It is also the reason I am daily challenged to counter the fallacies that those people around me believe of their own religion. My own family calls me a shia and jew lover. The thing is, MY generation

    “If there is one (if I had to pick one) fault I give American’s about the US foreign policy is that Americans tend to be too American-centrist.”

    Nope, media and politics are in lockstep. It serves those in power if Americans are largely ignorant about what their government is doing in the world. Although the US has laws that prevent propagandizing like that of Voice of America being used against its own population, that is now sadly being circumvented especially under the Bush administration. If foreign policy was American-centric, you would not have a liability like Israel as one of the US’s closest allies in the region. Walt and Mearsheimer broke that taboo back in 2006 with their publication of the Israel Lobby in the LRB.

    http://www.scribemedia.org/2006/10/11/israel-lobby/

    It serves the Israel lobby in the US if Israel is at perpetual war with its neighbors, a ‘Spartan nation’, because it can remain relevant to US interests and continue to take on aid and freebies, and they can remain its sole spokespersons.

    “So yes some of us are JUST waking up now ……. My excuse is that I have never cared about the whole Israel/Palestinian cat-fight and thought both sides were stupid.”

    Not a cat-fight. An ethnic cleansing and a perpetual occupation. And the fact that the US doles out billions in aid should make you care.

    Read Illan Pappe, one of Israel’s new historians, on the “Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine”. I’m also currently in the process of reading Avi Shlaim’s Iron Wall (in addition to Nir Rosen’s book).

  246. “However, I AM tired of the US (and by extension the rest of free world non ME) coddling BOTH sides (we give a LOT of money to the Palestinians as guilt money IMO). I am tired of our Presidents devoting HOURS of times working on a solution that has none unless Palestinians are willing to give on SOMETHING you know like the existence of Israel in the first place.”

    Yes, pay Israel to buy weapons to shoot them with, then pay the Palestinians.

    Have you checked out the lastest humiliating sketch?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/americans-are-catching-a-clue-i-tell-you.html

    The existence of Israel is accepted by the Palestinians. Even Hamas accept Israel’s existence (don’t take my word for it look it up. Even wikipedia states that with resources and all). The problem is two-fold:

    1) Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state and dropping the rights of refugees.
    2) Israel’s ignoring of the Arab peace initiative in 2002 that called for the normalization of relations with Israel in return for the just resolution of the refugee question and the 1967 borders.

    Statement by Abbas:

    “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that it was none of the Palestinians’ business if Israel wanted to call itself a Jewish state or anything else.

    “If the Israelis want to call themselves any name, they should address the international community and the United Nations because this is none of our business,” Abbas told reporters after meeting with the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, in Ramallah.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=191423&R=R2

    Also Zvi Sela’s reporting of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/haaretz-sheikh-yassin-would-have-cut-deal-for-statehood.html

    Other links on the now defunct talks:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/zionism-and-peace-are-incompatible-israeli-generals-son.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/what-the-demand-to-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state-means-to-palestinians.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/pas-challenge-to-israel-set-your-borders.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/barack-obama-israels-lawyer.html

    “Israel IMO has ridden on the coat-tails of the Holocaust for far too long. It also has played the poor victim while behind our back (or not) brutally crushing opposition or taking land they have no place taking. I will have to defend Israel on one thing in that of all the Camp “whatever” talks they were the ones giving conssesions while the Palestinian camp only demanded this and that.”

    Will have to disagree with you on that one. For more, check out Clayton Swisher’s book “The Truth About Camp David”. Also, check out Robert Malley’s statement, who participated in the Camp David talks, a year after all that spin from Clinton & Barack to save face, admitting to the real reasons behind the failure of peace talks:

    “Mr. Malley, as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, was a member of the US peace team and participated in the Camp David summit. Mr. Agha has been involved in Palestinian affairs for more than thirty years and during this period has had an active part in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
    In accounts of what happened at the July 2000 Camp David summit and the following months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we often hear about Ehud Barak’s unprecedented offer and Yasser Arafat’s uncompromising no. Israel is said to have made a historic, generous proposal, which the Palestinians, once again seizing the opportunity to miss an opportunity, turned down. In short, the failure to reach a final agreement is attributed, without notable dissent, to Yasser Arafat.
    As orthodoxies go, this is a dangerous one. For it has larger ripple effects. Broader conclusions take hold. That there is no peace partner is one. That there is no possible end to the conflict with Arafat is another.
    For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow. It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer. Worse, it acts as a harmful constraint on American policy by offering up a single, convenient culprit—Arafat—rather than a more nuanced and realistic analysis.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2001/aug/09/camp-david-the-tragedy-of-errors/

  247. “However, I AM tired of the US (and by extension the rest of free world non ME) coddling BOTH sides (we give a LOT of money to the Palestinians as guilt money IMO). I am tired of our Presidents devoting HOURS of times working on a solution that has none unless Palestinians are willing to give on SOMETHING you know like the existence of Israel in the first place.”

    Yes, pay Israel to buy weapons to shoot them with, then pay the Palestinians.

    Have you checked out the lastest humiliating sketch?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/americans-are-catching-a-clue-i-tell-you.html

    The existence of Israel is accepted by the Palestinians. Even Hamas accept Israel’s existence (don’t take my word for it look it up. Even wikipedia states that with resources and all). The problem is two-fold:

    1) Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state and dropping the rights of refugees.
    2) Israel’s ignoring of the Arab peace initiative in 2002 that called for the normalization of relations with Israel in return for the just resolution of the refugee question and the 1967 borders.

    Statement by Abbas:

    “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that it was none of the Palestinians’ business if Israel wanted to call itself a Jewish state or anything else.

    “If the Israelis want to call themselves any name, they should address the international community and the United Nations because this is none of our business,” Abbas told reporters after meeting with the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, in Ramallah.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=191423&R=R2

    Also Zvi Sela’s reporting of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/haaretz-sheikh-yassin-would-have-cut-deal-for-statehood.html

    Other links on the now defunct talks:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/zionism-and-peace-are-incompatible-israeli-generals-son.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/what-the-demand-to-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state-means-to-palestinians.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/pas-challenge-to-israel-set-your-borders.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/barack-obama-israels-lawyer.html

  248. “However, I AM tired of the US (and by extension the rest of free world non ME) coddling BOTH sides (we give a LOT of money to the Palestinians as guilt money IMO). I am tired of our Presidents devoting HOURS of times working on a solution that has none unless Palestinians are willing to give on SOMETHING you know like the existence of Israel in the first place.”

    Yes, pay Israel to buy weapons to shoot them with, then pay the Palestinians.

    Have you checked out the lastest humiliating sketch?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/americans-are-catching-a-clue-i-tell-you.html

    The existence of Israel is accepted by the Palestinians. Even Hamas accept Israel’s existence (don’t take my word for it look it up. Even wikipedia states that with resources and all). The problem is two-fold:

    1) Netanyahu’s insistence that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state and dropping the rights of refugees.
    2) Israel’s ignoring of the Arab peace initiative in 2002 that called for the normalization of relations with Israel in return for the just resolution of the refugee question and the 1967 borders.

    Statement by Abbas:

    “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that it was none of the Palestinians’ business if Israel wanted to call itself a Jewish state or anything else.

    “If the Israelis want to call themselves any name, they should address the international community and the United Nations because this is none of our business,” Abbas told reporters after meeting with the President of Finland, Tarja Halonen, in Ramallah.”

    http://www.jpost.com/Israel/Article.aspx?id=191423&R=R2

  249. Also Zvi Sela’s reporting of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/haaretz-sheikh-yassin-would-have-cut-deal-for-statehood.html

    Other links on the now defunct talks:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/zionism-and-peace-are-incompatible-israeli-generals-son.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/what-the-demand-to-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state-means-to-palestinians.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/pas-challenge-to-israel-set-your-borders.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/barack-obama-israels-lawyer.html

    “Israel IMO has ridden on the coat-tails of the Holocaust for far too long. It also has played the poor victim while behind our back (or not) brutally crushing opposition or taking land they have no place taking. I will have to defend Israel on one thing in that of all the Camp “whatever” talks they were the ones giving conssesions while the Palestinian camp only demanded this and that.”

    Will have to disagree with you on that one. For more, check out Clayton Swisher’s book “The Truth About Camp David”. Also, check out Robert Malley’s statement, who participated in the Camp David talks, a year after all that spin from Clinton & Barack to save face, admitting to the real reasons behind the failure of peace talks:

    “Mr. Malley, as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, was a member of the US peace team and participated in the Camp David summit. Mr. Agha has been involved in Palestinian affairs for more than thirty years and during this period has had an active part in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
    In accounts of what happened at the July 2000 Camp David summit and the following months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we often hear about Ehud Barak’s unprecedented offer and Yasser Arafat’s uncompromising no. Israel is said to have made a historic, generous proposal, which the Palestinians, once again seizing the opportunity to miss an opportunity, turned down. In short, the failure to reach a final agreement is attributed, without notable dissent, to Yasser Arafat.
    As orthodoxies go, this is a dangerous one. For it has larger ripple effects. Broader conclusions take hold. That there is no peace partner is one. That there is no possible end to the conflict with Arafat is another.
    For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow. It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer. Worse, it acts as a harmful constraint on American policy by offering up a single, convenient culprit—Arafat—rather than a more nuanced and realistic analysis.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2001/aug/09/camp-david-the-tragedy-of-errors/

  250. Also Zvi Sela’s reporting of Sheikh Ahmad Yassin:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/haaretz-sheikh-yassin-would-have-cut-deal-for-statehood.html

    Other links on the now defunct talks:
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/11/zionism-and-peace-are-incompatible-israeli-generals-son.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/09/what-the-demand-to-recognize-israel-as-a-jewish-state-means-to-palestinians.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/pas-challenge-to-israel-set-your-borders.html
    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/barack-obama-israels-lawyer.html

    “Israel IMO has ridden on the coat-tails of the Holocaust for far too long. It also has played the poor victim while behind our back (or not) brutally crushing opposition or taking land they have no place taking. I will have to defend Israel on one thing in that of all the Camp “whatever” talks they were the ones giving conssesions while the Palestinian camp only demanded this and that.”

  251. “Israel IMO has ……all the Camp “whatever” talks they were the ones giving conssesions while the Palestinian camp only demanded this and that.”

    Will have to disagree with you on that one. For more, check out Clayton Swisher’s book “The Truth About Camp David”. Also, check out Robert Malley’s statement, who participated in the Camp David talks, a year after all that spin from Clinton & Barack to save face, admitting to the real reasons behind the failure of peace talks:

    “Mr. Malley, as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs, was a member of the US peace team and participated in the Camp David summit. Mr. Agha has been involved in Palestinian affairs for more than thirty years and during this period has had an active part in Israeli-Palestinian relations.
    In accounts of what happened at the July 2000 Camp David summit and the following months of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we often hear about Ehud Barak’s unprecedented offer and Yasser Arafat’s uncompromising no. Israel is said to have made a historic, generous proposal, which the Palestinians, once again seizing the opportunity to miss an opportunity, turned down. In short, the failure to reach a final agreement is attributed, without notable dissent, to Yasser Arafat.
    As orthodoxies go, this is a dangerous one. For it has larger ripple effects. Broader conclusions take hold. That there is no peace partner is one. That there is no possible end to the conflict with Arafat is another.
    For a process of such complexity, the diagnosis is remarkably shallow. It ignores history, the dynamics of the negotiations, and the relationships among the three parties. In so doing, it fails to capture why what so many viewed as a generous Israeli offer, the Palestinians viewed as neither generous, nor Israeli, nor, indeed, as an offer. Worse, it acts as a harmful constraint on American policy by offering up a single, convenient culprit—Arafat—rather than a more nuanced and realistic analysis.”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2001/aug/09/camp-david-the-tragedy-of-errors/

  252. “I personally do not see the US government being wholly ignorant to the crimes that Israel does. Though I can see why it has such a reactionary stance since many ME countries they are in the middle of don’t even think it should exist in the first place.”

    Answered above.

    “So the ME and by extension Muslims are not a shining example of diplomacy and “let’s all get along and sing koombaya my lord” type peace. Hrm, I would like to point out here that in reality I think Israel gave the ME a rallying point and temporarily stopped the insane bickering the ME engages in hence the us vs them line.The ME and Muslims by extension seem to want to keep the focus on Israel so that they can ignore the human rights violations, poor government, poor infrastructure, poor education, lack of scientific/technological innovation, etc that a rank and file American sees as “no way jose am I EVER letting the US/free world become “Muslim” if our examples are Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Palestine and that’s what the US/West is going to turn into with a Muslim take-over.”

    You’re absolutely right. It WAS in the service of Arab dictators that the Arab population be united in their focus on the conflict. HOWEVER, this conflict has done more damage to the legitimacy of these dictators by highlighting the increasing hypocrisy of Arab governments LIKE Mubarak’s closing of the Rafah crossing during the Gaza war. That’s why there’s a gulf delegation headed by a Saudi prince (too late) now doing damage control and visiting the Gaza strip, trying to counter the increasing popularity of Iran.

    (Off topic, see Beware of Small States by David Hirst, also see: Iranophobia by Haggai Ram)

  253. “What you don’t seem to be addressing is the REAL fear Islamaphobe have with the soft invasion of Muslims into the West good or bad. Pre 9/11 Muslims could live quietly in their little pockets and no one really cared. Now that is not the case and EVERY single time a jihadist does ANYTHING terrorist-like the image of Muslims get more and more tarnished. If Muslims who are not jihadist do not DO ANYTHING LOUDLY then they are also responsible for the evil perpetuated in their name. It’s called guilt by association and no it’s not nice to do but it’s reality.”

    Which is why it is a good thing that Jon Stewart was one of the sanest voices of reason during the whole Mosque fiasco. And it helps that his viewership is large, and that (cynical as it may be) he’s Jewish.

    “All the West has really heard from Muslims about the Muslim terrorism is excuses like “Islam is not a violent religion. (perhaps, perhaps not) Those jihadist are not Muslims (ignoring what part the actual faith played in the violence unlike Christians who have long had to deal with religious criticism an its extremist). Our faith is perfect and we do not idol worship a raping, whoring, pedophile, 7th century barbarian (maybe maybe not and not my opinion of Muhammad) and feel he is an example of how to live (i.e. going raping whoring etc). These are some of the BIGGEST problems Islamaphobes have with Islam/Muslims in general.”

    The problem is that Islamophobes have a base to work off of. They have a population who has had 40 plus years of programming wrt Muslims and Arabs. Also, the current economic problems are only worsening this.

  254. “I’m sorry but the pat answers and slogans (Islam is a religion of peace. tm) Muslims have aren’t really working to change the tide of anti-Muslim hate and ignorance. It is in fact flaming the fuel in middle America, France, Denmark, the UK, Canada, etc. The symbols of Islams (niqab, hijab, long beards, thobes) are actually popping up with more frequency in the West. So I can understand why the West considers Muslims the “other”.”

    Right, and that there’s now such organizations as the Virginia Anti-Sharia Taskforce. No I get it, it is a problem I hear ya. Like they say, ‘follow the money’. Those fueling this hatred of Muslims, ala Daniel Pipes, or Ayan Hirsi Ali, or PAID SHILLS. It’s like a hypothetical ex-Christian going around the Middle East getting paid to quote excerpts from the Bible out of context and denouncing Christians as barbarous and ignorant. They are being paid by those whose agenda it serves to make sure Muslims are always slandered.

    “It’s Muslims themselves that are drawing the line in the sand and saying Look, Ma I’m different not the West. And while Muslims can probably link the whole Israel/keep the Muslim down ME etc to the terrorist the West thinks look what Muslims did 9/11 in a you pushed me first childish playground game. That’s not even counting the further terrorist acts around the world that get the news press in last 10 years.”

    History did not start on 9/11. But you’ve already mentioned that. Think Clinton’s containment strategy wrt Iraq/Iran. Think the imposition of the Shah.

    “You will have to understand I also have never said that it’s exclusive to Muslims. Nothing is. Humans are imperfect, rash, war-mongering beings. We have since been that way ever since God created us. Think Abel Cain if you believe the Judao-Christian religions. Or think evolution whereby we the weak species had to claw and fight our way to the top for us athiest/agnostic/don’t believe in organized religion people.”

    Agreed.

  255. “It would really help if Muslims (as seen by rank and file Americans) would stop bombing/attempting to bomb the US and stop doing the soft invasion of conservative Muslim symbols.”

    Yes, but you’re still not looking at the cause and effect.

    That’s what I’m saying, and you’re not following me: The continued presence of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq is FUELLING this rage. The media is largely silent on the atrocities being committed in Iraq and Afghanistan that fuels this hatred.

    “When Muslims in the US dare to take defend the rapes his wife had to endure FROM HIM using the excuse that Islam gives him marital right (as if his wife was a masturbatory item) something is wrong. When Muslims get defensive and refuse to even let non-Muslims criticize Islam, Muhammad (riots anyone? What’s ironic is the book burning of the Quran NEVER EVEN HAPPENED!!!!), or anything else deemed sacrosanct by Muslim there is a problem. What’s worse is Muslims issuing death threats to those who dare to criticize Muslim idols (Muhammad but strangely not Allah? weird) something is really wrong. So I’ll show my immaturity (I’m five maturity wise ) here and say “you started it!”.”

    Oh sure, we have our crazies going around attributing their sick behavior to the religion. And in that regard, there should be louder voices condemning these acts.

    Look at Saudi Arabia, though, if most Muslim scholars in the heart of Islam’s holiest capital do not advocate for the rights of people given under their own religion, where exactly are you expecting there to be a louder voice?

    As for the sensitivity to Islamic symbols, may I ask if in there is a similar treatment of Jewish symbolism in the media?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/10/exhibit-a-muhammad-cartoons.html

  256. And if there were, the ADL would have been quick to issue its edict, and the offending entity would be suffer retribution in the form of losing their job, etc.

    Instead, those offending Muslims are given awards.

    Re you started it → Err, no. Pick up Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine”. Makes for an interesting read.

    “Again I agree that the US and the Patriot Act which is how the FBI, CIA, NSA have so much power (it’s reactionary more toward the terrorist but like any power has corrupted). Er, who’s financing the hate? Well who’s financing the hate on the Muslim side? How much blood money does the US have to pay to it’s two faced allies (KSA, Pakistan)?

    “Let’s see the US writes a billion dollar aid check to Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine, Yemen, various countries in Africa and for what?”

    To keep dictatorships pockets lined so that US interests are served without question. And now China’s challenging that.

    “To have them denounce us on one hand while spending our (taxpayer money)money on the other. “We hate you American/US, give us money!” “

    Or, in other words:
    To the local population “We hate America and are not subservient don’t overthrow us”
    To the US “We love America keep it coming”

    “Heh. If you read the wikileaks thread you would see I’ve already voiced the opinion that it’s time we let other countries sink or swim and who gives a damn about the “humanitarian” needs around the world.Maybe we should make it a foreign policy clause of if you hate us/work against us/send terrorist to bomb us you do not get any money and your citizen (ex. Pakistan’s flooded victims) can just die. But then people would hate the US for that too (and so would I actually). Can’t win for losing can we?”

    That almost makes it sound like killing people and then paying their rulers/dictators hush money is humanitarian?

  257. “I think people seem to misunderstand how patriotic/nationalistic Americans can be since you see a lot of bickering between the government factions. I am an American and yes tend to see my government as doing good around the world.”

    There is some good that the US has done. That largely gets wiped away when the killing starts.

    “You are dual national ed do you not favor one?”

    Really wish I did, but I have no patriotic notions whatsoever to either country. I used to believe in the US and I voted for Obama, but it saddens me to see it spiral down this self-defeating, unholy alliance with its MIC and its continued egging-on of wars in the region and ensuring its global hegemony goes unchallenged while its citizenry continue to be blind. It saddens me to continue being treated as a perpetual minor in Saudi Arabia and the fact that this country continues to brainwash its citizenry into accepting it as a benign dictatorship.

    “Do you not favor Muslims against non-Muslims?”

    No.

    Such tribal notions of belonging have not made their impact on me, for better or for worse, I don’t know, and to the perpetual frustration of my family.

    It’s un-Islamic to side with those who are doing injustice to others, Muslims or not.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilf_al-Fudul

    “In all the time I’ve spent talking to Muslims it’s as if Muslims can do no wrong (oh that’s just ignorance) and the West can do no right when in reality humans are humans across the board.”

    Haha! By no means does being Muslim entail that you are blameless of any wrong. I am Muslim and one of my biggest icons is a secular humanist, Norman Finkelstein. I see myself as a Chomskyist with a healthy dose of Walt & Mearsheimer.

  258. “Finally please to not dismiss the fears of the Islamaphobes so flippantly. Or you may be looking at a Final Solution where good people remain silent while your brethen are “dealt” with. France’s ban on niqabs and angry minority, Denmark’s disgust with the Muslim bully tactic to silence critics, the UK’s fight between Western and Sharia law, the German minority powder keg of Muslim Turks, and the US’s soft invasion of conservative Islam are just the tip of the iceberg. If we as a world do not stop it somehow then I can only see WWIII.”

    Sure, it is alarming the rise of Neo-Fascism in Europe, akin to the rise of such rhetoric pre-WWII. But that is also accompanied by the eurozone crisis and the continually abysmal US economic figures, in addition to the rise of emerging market economies and China.

    My view on this is that there is an elite set worldwide, even in Saudi Arabia, whose interest it is that this violence is perpetuated, that this rhetoric is continuously shrill. It is generating money. That is why I don’t see this as a Muslim vs. West problem, I see it as class warfare on a global scale. If Saudi Arabia really cared about how it is conducting itself as a Muslim country, it would have cut off this Wahhabist threat and discarded it long ago. But no, this other unholy alliance has caused so much trauma and strife in the Muslim world that I am beginning to wonder if it is not serving someone’s interest to keep these flames fanning. If not the monarchy, than who?

    This is the LAST frontier, the Middle East. Any resistance to global hegemony is slandered as inherently evil. Why does Israel have nukes and not sign the NPT, just like Pakistan and India, while Iran is being reviled continuously as a regional threat? Taking advantage of the sectarian tensions and fueling this violence is one of the central strategies that Israel is pursuing in the region, and the US is a stooge when it is rallied to wage war on Iraq through Israel’s spokespersons in the US. It is taking advantage of the ignorant and the greedy.

    “On a lighter note. I get really wordy and pendantic don’t I? I’ll admit to that fault of mine. I like to talk *shrug* Thankfully you don’t always have to listen *wink* “

    Enjoyed your post. Lots of heavy issues to consider.

  259. Sorry, this should read

    * That almost makes it sound like killing people or supporting oppressors and then paying their rulers/dictators hush money is humanitarian?

  260. Whoa,

    my first post is awaiting moderation, but all the others went through. Why is that?

  261. * The thing is, MY generation is starting to grow wise to the lunacy.

  262. Also, sharing a couple of links:

    “Mr President, answer Matthew Lee of the AP: ‘Why is it beneath the United States to come out and say something about this practitioner of nonviolence?’”

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/matthew-lee-of-ap-why-is-it-beneath-the-united-states-to-come-out-and-say-something-about-this-person-who-is-a-practitioner-of-nonviolence.html

    Also, regarding your comment to Oby. I don’t feel offended in the least as a Muslim, though I am curious as to your views on the following:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124494788

  263. @Occupied,

    comments with a lot of links will often get placed in moderation or spam. If you notice that a post is not showing, please do let me know!

  264. @Carol,

    thanks. Damn, I have too many repeated comments. Quote disorienting.

    Sorry folks!

  265. @occupiedbrain

    I have to say you are one of the rarest Muslims I’ve met. I really don’t have time for a full reply but why are Muslims not responsible for their own countries government run BY muslims? Why blame the US only for the lame treatment various muslim countries citizens get? Iran managed to overthrow by revolution it’s US backed Shah? Why not anyone else?

    Why is Israel ONLY the culprit according to your reply? Why are Muslims ONLY victims of hate/bigotry? What is driving that bigotry/hatred? It’s not just Geller’s crowd. AGAIN every single time a “muslim” tries to detonate a bomb or create terrorism in a Western country why not BLAME THE DAMN MUSLIM???? All we seem to hear is excuses for evil behavior. And sorry 1 blog? 1 site? 1.5 BILLION Muslims and you’ve got what one site? I’d settle for even half of the 1/5 BILLION speaking out against terrorism. Why do the Muslims of various Muslims countries run by corrupt men not speak up against THOSE men? WHy only the West?

    Israel, India Pakistan not signed treaty. They aren’t threatening to wipe another country off the face of the earth! While I agree there has always been a one sided American/Israel stance against the ME it’s BECAUSE the ME didn’t for a long time want to even admit that Israel had a right to exsist (though the Palenstinians didn’t seem to care that the BRITISH/FRENCH were the colonizers in the first place. The minute the Jews show up it’s “it’s our country go to hell” is the attitude? Right…. as if Muslims have not done ANYTHING to in a way deserve the bigotry/hatred? WRONG. I don’t want to hate Islam or Muslims but again it’s the Muslims who refuse to even accept a compromise.

    More later.

  266. “I really don’t have time for a full reply but why are Muslims not responsible for their own countries government run BY muslims? Why blame the US only for the lame treatment various muslim countries citizens get?”

    I actually blame 4 things:

    1) Muslims who dissent and are NOT hardliners are thrown in jail or made silent. The healthy political base for discourse and dialogue is stripped of its main thinkers.

    2) The working/low-class, the majority, is still not educated enough to understand how religion/media is being used as a tool to manipulate them. The elite class (which I shamefully belong to) is detached and apathetic, only cares about their next weekend in Paris.

    3) The petrodollars are still flowing. As long as the monarchy continues to be able to gain a large chunk of its revenues from oil, the people will not be taxed. No taxation, means no outrage, and no real representation. Of course, the monarchy has recognized this and keeps chanting the mantra ‘diversification!’ in preparation for the day oil dries up. On the one hand one thinks its real progress what has been done with the money, but on the other hand you look at how much more of it is going to guns rather than butter, or financing a Princess’s weekends in Paris (exaggerated, I know, but you get the picture: much of it goes into a black hole) and you feel sickened to your stomach.

    4) Now, when you look at all of these, in addition to worrying about global warming, what do you think about the USA’s (and now China’s) OVER-RELIANCE on oil? Next time you’re at the gas pump, think about how we’re not being taxed. Why isn’t the USA/world buttressing renewable energy alternatives (which reminds me need to get Hermann Scheer’s books)? This is not only about unholy alliances, this is the belly of the beast.

    “Why blame the US only for the lame treatment various muslim countries citizens get?”

    Because of the convenient criticisms aimed selectively at certain countries and again, the USA’s ostensible aversion to authoritarianism while at the same time buttressing the worst dictators. Again, this is not new, and not unique to the ME.

    Why should “human rights” be used as a bludgeon against certain countries while ignoring others? You really think that the Green Party movement was grassroots and genuine? There was no teensy bit of nudging? You’re telling me that there aren’t instances of the US violating rules of engagement that we don’t of?You’re telling me that the US is not turning a blind eye to violations in countries that are its allies?

    “Iran managed to overthrow by revolution it’s US backed Shah? Why not anyone else?”

    Because that was a one-time mistake that the US has since learned from, that and the oil-crisis.

    There’s a book called “Confessions of an Economic Hitman”. It can come off as sensationalist, but it does explain a lot.

    “Why is Israel ONLY the culprit according to your reply?”

    Simple. Because they started a conflict, an open wound that has not been dealt with. You think if reparations are paid to those who were displaced, and a peaceful resolution in a two-state solution (which looks less and less likely) the ME as a whole would not be more peaceful and perceptions for the West would change?The real reason the US keeps trying to broker peace because this is a grave security threat, and a way that Iran could use to rally support. Of course, the fact that this time around Dennis “Israel-firster” Ross AGAIN was given center stage and Mitchel sidelined helped these talks fail, in addition to the challenge of the Republicans (check how many are pro-Israel) taking over during the mid-term elections which weakened Obama’s ability to put pressure on Israel without the risk of losing the ‘Jewish vote/money’, although he seems to be out of touch with the landscape because as I see it, increasingly younger Jewish kids are coming out against Israel’s occupation.

    Also, because before Zionism, there was a community of coexisting Muslims, Jews and Christians. Read Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews Vol I by Alan Hart.

    “Why are Muslims ONLY victims of hate/bigotry? What is driving that bigotry/hatred?”

    The actions of some Muslims, the continued usage of 9/11 as a rallying point against Muslims by the likes of Pamela Geller et al (who are paid shills), the economic crisis, the ignorance of many Americans about the intricacies of politics in the Middle East, the historical sidelining of ‘Arabists’ in politics, the main stream media (which is largely pro-Israel).

    “It’s not just Geller’s crowd. AGAIN every single time a “muslim” tries to detonate a bomb or create terrorism in a Western country why not BLAME THE DAMN MUSLIM????”

    Who says the ‘Damn Muslim’ is not blamed? You’re just not hearing it (as are the majority of people tuned in to Fox News).

    “All we seem to hear is excuses for evil behavior.”

    Sign.

    “And sorry 1 blog? 1 site?”

    I gave you a total of 4 sites in my post, but that one site is unique in that the co-founders are Jewish. Check out their stated goals (I’m being deliberately dense here, it’s almost 5).

    I have many more sites that I read on a daily basis 😀

    DemocracyNow.org
    http://thehasbarabuster.blogspot.com/
    TomDispatch
    CodePink
    Ha’aretz
    AxisofLogic
    anti-War.com
    IfAmericansKnew.com
    NormanFinkelstein.com
    I’ll provide more later.

    If you’re worried about the number of Muslim blogs condemning terrorism, you have only to search about statements from PROMINENT organizations, governments, religious scholars and people. The fact that YOU don’t know about them doesn’t mean they’re not out there. I’ll provide another post with a list of them. AGAIN, just because the US MSM selectively projects what the powers that be want you to hear doesn’t mean these things aren’t happening.

    “1.5 BILLION Muslims and you’ve got what one site? I’d settle for even half of the 1/5 BILLION speaking out against terrorism.”

    Why aren’t half of the 301,000 Americans speaking out against Israel’s occupation? or speaking out against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Apply the same standards across the table, please.

    “Why do the Muslims of various Muslims countries run by corrupt men not speak up against THOSE men? WHy only the West?”

    Above.

    “Israel, India Pakistan not signed treaty. They aren’t threatening to wipe another country off the face of the earth!”

    Wrong. First off, Ahmadinejad was mistranslated. You can look that up. Of course, the Hasbaranics have been playing it in your media over and over again.

    Wrong. Second off, Israel threatens to wipe off one country after another every 10 years or so. It is the only power with nukes. It is the country that keeps all these dictators in check. Just in case one of them became a populist and stopped taking their marching orders…..Hitler was the Grand Mufti, then it was Gamal Abdul Nasser, then it was Saddam Hussein, now it’s Ahmadinejad and Erdogan. Next it will be some hapless country with no nukes to protect it. That’s just my observation.

    “While I agree there has always been a one sided American/Israel stance against the ME it’s BECAUSE the ME didn’t for a long time want to even admit that Israel had a right to exsist (though the Palenstinians didn’t seem to care that the BRITISH/FRENCH were the colonizers in the first place. The minute the Jews show up it’s “it’s our country go to hell” is the attitude?”

    No country has a right to exist. Again, countries EXIST. They have certain rights under international law.

    There’s a difference between the British mandate (or even the Ottoman rule before) and actual TRANSFER and DISPLACEMENT of an indigenous population. If you read Alan Hart’s book, the Arabs of Palestine were promised the right for self-determination, by the British, no less.

    OnigiriFB, I’m not going to sit here and recite the history of this conflict (Although frankly I don’t mind. It’s 5 am and I can’t sleep but I must.) If you wonder why this conflict evokes a visceral reaction in many Arabs or Muslims, maybe you should do some research. I have listed numerous sources that I think would help shed some light. It’s too flippant of you to dismiss this as some sort of inferiority complex or harking back to romantic notions of Islamic supremacy. However, the problem here lies in the fact that there are mendacious opportunistic political/religious figures who do exploit this conflict to rally people under their banner, which causes a further radicalization that you seem to attribute simply to Islamic extremism. The fact that there was a void that these people could fill speaks volumes of the existing structures that have been largely detached from the wills of the people.

    Forget the Arab armies, …. they did NOT help protect the Palestinians during the 1948 war until it was too late. Like I said, check out Ilan Pappe’s books, and even some of Benny Morris’s books. Those are the ‘new’ historians who have based their analysis on ISRAELI archives. Predating them are some other notable historians but none have had an impact on the discourse as they have.

    “Right…. as if Muslims have not done ANYTHING to in a way deserve the bigotry/hatred?”

    Oh no, many do. My ex-husband, to name at least one.

    “WRONG. I don’t want to hate Islam or Muslims but again it’s the Muslims who refuse to even accept a compromise.”

    You’ve done it again with the generalizing. I’ve given you a copious number of links showing you Muslims compromising on a number of issues. I hope you do check them out.

    Seriously, onigiriFB, after all of that the least you can do is follow some of the links I’ve posted.

    Ciao. Salam.

  267. * 2) The working/low-class, the majority, is still not educated enough to understand how religion/media is being used as a tool to manipulate them. The elite class (which I shamefully belong to) is detached and apathetic, only cares about their next weekend in Paris.

    And we are in a rigidly stratified society, even though things like going to the mosque and praying should theoretically help people come together, freedom of assembly is forbidden, and everything you say is closely watched.

  268. sign = sigh.

    sorry, goodnight.

  269. I’m pretty sure most Muslims are not in any doubt as to the impermissibilty of blowing yourself up…I mean even if your penchant for French patisseries resulted in a mille feuille induced death, you’d be considered to have committed suicide, for which the reward would be Hell.

    I have condemned terrorism on numerous occasions. Why, only the other night, I condemned the actions of that guy in Stockholm and in fact all of the Muslims I know are incredulous at anyone blowing themselves up like that.

    I am utterly opposed to it but I can’t reasonably be expected to condemn terrorism on the hour, every hour, now can I? Should I go up to random Muslims and ask them whether they’ve condemned terrorism today? Or should all Muslims get kitted out with “I condemn terrorism” bumper stickers and T-shirts?

  270. i am any governments dream civilian…”mind your peas and ques [hehe]…”just work, family, sleep, shop, and repeat again the next day….i’d rather be daydreaming about love…sorry case of a citizen…gia in jed

  271. @gia,

    used to be like that. Now I can’t bring myself to close the valve.

    I like knowing where I fit in the grand scheme of things.

  272. @africana,

    besides that.

    This oft-repeated question: Where are the MODERATE [ARAB/MUSLIM] GROUPS THAT ARE DENOUNCING TERRORISM? Is a loaded question that does nothing except tar the person/group that is being asked the question, even if unwittingly. There is an implicit assumption of guilt everytime that question is asked. And the MSM in the US is unrelenting in making sure that Muslims are always tarred with same brush as terrorists. It’s always connected in people’s minds, not the complex reasons why there are such reactions. The media does not really analyze and expose anything anymore, it is espousing a certain POV and keeps hammering it over and over and over, just like Goebell’s big lie, until the person watching, who might have NEVER met a Muslim in their lives, is left thinking ‘those awful arabs/muslims are so inherently violent’.

    In contrast, I have met and worked with Israelis. What does it say about me that I admire Yonatan Shapira or Uri Avnery or Gideon Levy or Neve Gordon or B’tselem etc? And yet, I am not compelled to tell random Israelis/Jews WHERE ARE THE MODERATE GROUPS DENOUNCING RABBI OVADIA YOUSEF? WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU HAVE DENOUNCED AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN? Because I READ and SEE that there are people and groups emerging/prominent denouncing the hateful rhetoric AND more voices denouncing the occupation, even from the Zionist camp. And even if the MSM is NOT even covering these sorts of statements/gaffes, AND, I understand the politics of paranoia and brainwashing.

  273. i love it…..that’s so true…gia in jed

  274. @occupiedbrain

    i love it…..that’s so true…gia in jed

    forgot to label who i wrote at..lol

  275. @africana,

    I just realized something.

    1) I make the mistake of conflating Saudi’s and the Gulf’s/Arab world’s politics with the overall Muslim world’s. Here I should be explicit.

    2) “And yet, I am not compelled to tell random Israelis/Jews….”

    Of course, that doesn’t mean I haven’t engaged in dialogue or asked questions about the current right-wing leanings in Israel or elsewhere. It also doesn’t mean that I think all of us as human beings should not stand up to injustice, wherever it happens and to whomever (cue hasbara talking point #88:Darfur).

    @OnigiriFB

    As an aside, you can also check who some of the largest donors are to Israeli settlement and occupation: Christian Zionists, i.e. those who want Israel to be ‘Rapture Ready’.

    Do a search on Max Blumenthal. (I could be disingenuous here and ask WHERE ARE THE MODERATE CHRISTIANS DENOUNCING PASTOR HAGEE AND CUFI but I know that they’re out there )

    http://maxblumenthal.com/2008/07/209/

    “Rapture Ready: The Unauthorized Christians United for Israel Tour”

    On July 16, I attended Christians United for Israel’s annual Washington-Israel Summit. Founded by San Antonio-based megachurch pastor John Hagee, CUFI has added the grassroots muscle of the Christian right to the already potent Israel lobby. Hagee and his minions have forged close ties with the Bush White House and members of Congress from Sen. Joseph Lieberman to Sen. John McCain. In its call for a unilateral military attack on Iran and the expansion of Israeli territory, CUFI has found unwavering encouragement from traditional pro-Israel groups like AIPAC and elements of the Israeli government.

    But CUFI has an ulterior agenda: its support for Israel derives from the belief of Hagee and his flock that Jesus will return to Jerusalem after the battle of Armageddon and cleanse the earth of evil. In the end, all the non-believers – Jews, Muslims, Hindus, mainline Christians, etc. – must convert or suffer the torture of eternal damnation. Over a dozen CUFI members eagerly revealed to me their excitement at the prospect of Armageddon occurring tomorrow. Among the rapture ready was Republican Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. None of this seemed to matter to Lieberman, who delivered a long sermon hailing Hagee as nothing less than a modern-day Moses. Lieberman went on to describe Hagee’s flock as “even greater than the multitude Moses commanded.”

    Throughout CUFI’s Israel Summit, videographer Thomas Shomaker and I were hounded by PR agents seeking to prevent us from interviewing attendees about the End Times. The conference, we were told, was about “one message” – evangelical Christians supporting Israel. We were instructed to only interview CUFI leaders capable of sticking to the talking point that their support for Israel has, as Hagee declared, “nothing to do with the End Times.” But I was forbidden from asking Hagee about statements he made in his book, “Jerusalem Countdown,” that appeared to blame Jews for their own persecution. After doing just that during a press conference, I was removed from the conference by off-duty DC cops summoned by members of Hagee’s family.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/max-blumenthal/rapture-ready-the-unautho_b_57826.html

  276. @occupiedbrain

    Ok, I’m not sure if your last responce to me was because you were irritated and sleep deprived or if I didn’t make myself clear in that I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO FULLY REPLY TO YOUR LONG COMMENT meant. To clarify I didn’t not give a full break down point by point debate is because I SKIMMED your response and the questions I had were based on the GLARINGLY absent reponse to ANY POINT I raised besides to point out how IGNORANT i am on Israeli/Palestinian problem that has been a LARGE but not ENTIRE problem for the MIDDLE EAST (because frankly no Muslim I have EVER spoke to from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Brunai, or non ME Muslim has EVER brought up or even seemed to care about in a more than as a “oh that sucks for our ME Muslim” because they lack the knowledge you have shown of the whole conflict here). To give you some background I AM NOT your average American with his American-centrist we can do no wrong around the world attitude. While I will FULLY admit to the being wrong and woefully under-educated in MEs politics/social/religion problems because my FORMAL EDUCATION in International Relations/Political Science has never been focused on the Middle East. Sorry the Middle East is no means the center of the universe as some ignorant Saudis want to make Mecca out to be. *cue eye rolling here*

    Also the views I am expressing are NOT completely MY views. They are the views that my fellow middle of the road average Midwestern friends express EVERY time a new terrorist attack or attempt is made. While they MAY only get their news info from FAUX News I (capital!! emphasis here on I) do NOT! So to rant on about how ignorant I am shows your glaring arrogance and condescension and frankly unprofessional in a formal debate your replies are becoming. So please at least give me the common courtesy of at least debating with me on a a fair level. I have complimented you on being one of the rare Muslims that are intelligent enough to even get to this level of debate. Please do not let your emotions get the best of you here. I fully realize that what I am saying CAN be insulting. Which is WHY I put caveats in many of my comments that what I express is SIMPLY an opinion. So far you have not given me any pat answers or slogans created by the persecuted “victims” of your religion often do. I thank you for that because for ONCE I feel I am getting somewhere with at least ONE (or hopefully more) Muslims. Since my opinion is not based on mainstream (umm mainstream is one word not two btw) US media your comments about me merely spouting propaganda of the US’s right wing political faction. While some of the claims and views I have made are based on what the Islamaphobe have been shouting quiet loudly for the last 10 years it is by no means the ONLY thing I thing I know about the whole Islam/Muslim terrorist/Middle East etc. I am merely trying to force SOMEOME (Muslim) to answer the claim made by them without giving me the pat answers or slogans (“Islam is a religion of peace. TM” said with the glaringly blind spot Muslims have about why their own faith (which many Muslims are peaceful) can be used to drive the terrorist into doing what they do). Because unless SOMEONE steps up and LOUDLY answers the claims Islamaphobes are making with answer that are backupped the Islamaphobes claims are still just that a claim. Nothing more, nothing less. It could be a pure lie (which actually I think is) or it could have SOME merit (which I also think it is). BTW I take my knowledge of Islam etc FROM MUSLIMS not from the corporate shills of the US military industrial complex and it’s government lackeys the far right Republican party. I also take get my info from well respected and well research professors who have studied the whole Muslim terrorist problem from the root of it’s conception (which btw is NOT the Israeli COUNTRY not “occupation” as you claim). Israel played a huge part and is not an angel but It is in no way the ONLY reason behind the Muslim terrorism problem. So unless you now think the BBC, Reuters, Arab News, the Wall Street Journal, the London Times, AP, and many other media OUTSIDE the US is bought and paid for and could be what you term as the “shill” for anti-Muslim hate. Muslims need to wake up the fact that their terrorist in the name of Islam has tarnished it’s collective image badly and do some kind of PR campaign BEFORE this turns into another Final Solution because AGAIN for evil to triumph good people only have to remain silent (yes I know it’s misquoting). While I do NOT deny that there ARE Muslims out there speaking out against terrorism done in the name of Islam it has NOT been enough or loud enough to drown out what the jihadist have done AROUND THE WORLD (US, Europe, Africa, Asia for certain) to cause terror (oh gee American people FEAR Muslims for NO APPARENT REASON AT ALL beside believing what the WHOLE WORLD non Muslim believe. Gee wonder where the REST OF THE WORLD WHO DO NOT WATCH FAUX NEWS gets that idea of being fearful from?) To flippantly dismiss the FEARS of the entire non-Muslim population of this world (wow who knew terror would cause such fear) daring of you and is something I expect from a less intelligent Muslim that you have already shown you are NOT.

    I will address right now some of the GLARING errors I found in your rant… oh sorry reply. HALF if not more (3 quarters) of the AMERICAN people voted for a Democratic President with Muslim ties and families and a majority of Democratic Congress IN PART because we American were sick of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan being a drain on our taxes and frankly not worth our time, effort, or money. There in the MAJORITY of Americans (who can legally vote and did) who HAVE been VERY vocal about disagreeing with the US’s Iraqi war. Afghanistan mostly ran off the US’s and MOST countries of the world’s anger, disgust, sadness that Afghan used to harbor the person that masterminded the whole 9/11 thing. If you can recall practically ALL of the countries of this world (minus some very nasty Muslims who CHEERED about it) were very upset by what ONE jihadist managed to accomplish which is to terrorize the Western world for his own personal reasons. Personally I feel with the help of Pakistan (two faced @)()#&^) and SAUDI money Osama bin Laden has done quite well for a one man shill for the Muslim religion in escaping the “mighty” US military with mainly Pakistan’s hide and seek game it’s playing with the US government. (It helps that we have SOME standards when it comes to dealing with our “allies” because frankly if we (the US) truly hated MUSLIMS then we can just nuke Mecca without warning and take over the Kingdom of Saudi for its oil. Thankfully we are some what smarter than that I hope you realize and NOT really against Muslims as a whole but the sect of your religion that I feel Muslims SHOULD be angry at and are NOT.)

    If you do NOT understand how BIG 9/11 is to the American people (keep in mind our citizen rarely blow each other up to make a political statement nor have we been attack on our own soil as much) then you are truly blinded by your Muslim bias.

    After the entire world got a chance to step back and take a deep breath your fellow Muslim (by his proclamation) kept terrorizing many of the free countries of this world. So gee I guess that is why the jihadist chose to bomb other countries because those countries are what the US? And part of the problem that has been created by the whole Israel/Palestinian conflict? If your theory is correct the the jihadist do what they do JUST because of that then you would THINK they would target the US MORE???!!!!?????? Or is just that the West is the US now? I’m sure Europeans would like to know that. Or the even Asia (India attacks) would probably like to know it’s been absorbed by the US government. God I hope they pay their taxes to us cause we need the revenue to fund all of our HUMANITARIAN causes and give blood/guilt money to those poor never did anything wrong Muslim who then proceed to stab us (the US) in the back.

    I am aware that there are MANY causes for the jihadist to terrorize the world and the inferiority complex is ONLY ONE of the reasons behind it. Just like Israel is ONLY ONE of the reasons behind it. AGAIN I truly feel that Israel is merely a rallying point for ME Muslims to unite so they can ignore their own corrupt government, poor education system, lack of science/technological advanced, etc. I will point out to you that while I may agree about the unethical creation of Israel ME Muslim countries got into TWO wars with Israel in its infancy and got their royal asses kicked back to the backwards countries they came from thereby showing EVERYONE Israel included how poor their countries military might was. Even NOW with all the billions of dollars KSA makes from the sale (or as I like to put it holding the world pretty much hostage) of oil it has not done nearly enough for the poor Palestinian people.

    Which brings me to my last point I want to make before I go back and do a full point by point critique of your reply. If you are a country’s government who exactly do you expect to speak to when you need to “make friends and influence people”? Er, was the US government supposed to get down on the street level and get a average opinion from the ignorant (your words not mine here) citizens? Again like ANY country the US government works MAINLY for it’s (the US’s) good not the good of OTHER countries and while the US has it’s ideals it’s also VERY practical when it comes to what it wants. Also for the most part I truly believe that the US does not want to overtly influence dictators/royals/etc around the world it WILL covertly influence many governments (corrupt or not) if it chooses to (i.e. you have something we want). Do not make the mistake in thinking the US is a NGO or charity. Also it is NOT the place for the US government to create revolutions (it I will admit has done) for the benefit of other countries citizens. Eventually MUSLIMS (in this case) and the various MUSLIM countries to get rid of its corrupt dictators/royals even if its in a “death to America” Iran type hardliner theocracy. So Muslims AROUND THE WORLD need stop blaming so much on the US and wake up to the fact that they are 1.) ignorant and uneducated 2.) they have on the whole contributed very little besides oil to the world ME countries mainly and 3.) realize that ISLAM does share some of the faults of why jihadist do what they do. I asked Sarah this on another thread and didn’t get much of a reply so I will ask you. What has Islam and Muslims as a whole contributed to the greater modern world? Science? Philosophy? Technology? A great political system? Modern medicine? ANYTHING?????? Because I am sure you are aware of this as you sit and use your computer and use the internet to make your reply to me on a former US diplomat’s blog who happens to have converted and lived IN Saudi Arabia that everything is because of direct contributions the US (alone) has made to the modern world (no not freely as we not that stupid).

    In closing my whole argument is that I truly feel that Muslims as a collective whole need to wake up and take some responsibility for why Islam’s image has been tarnished. And do you know how many times you will probably need to repeat your self LOUDLY and FREQUENTLY? That number is a number far greater than I can type here. I really wish Muslims would quit playing the victim “oh you big bad meanie US government and heartless American Islamophobic population. tm” that as a collective whole Muslims seem to like sprouting every time a jihadist attempts or succeeds in terrorizing the rest of the free world. BTW UNTIL the jihadist are marginalized and quickly condemned by a LARGE majority of Muslims the true Islamaphobic faction (Geller et all shill that she is) wins. And to be honest with you I DO NOT want the peaceful and good Muslims I know to have to die (aka Final Solution anyone?) because they remained silent (and I will agree that the US mass media does a poor job of highlight but then I guess so do the BBC non US shills do too.

    Because I respect you enough I will say that this is your first warning regarding the condescension, fallacy, and straw man arguments. If this conversation is going to turn into a catfight (which believe you me I am quite capable of giving if I choose) then it’s going to be over. However, I am enjoying the opportunity of debating with an obviously intelligent and well read but slightly biased person. It broadens my mind immensely and I thank you for that.

    When I have time (it’s the last weekend before Christmas and my in at the mechanic’s AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!) I will do a full point on point critique of your post at a time where I am not swamped with living my LIFE. I apologize for some of the harsh tones, condescension, and downright rudeness I may have exhibited in this reply. I can only blame a VERY bad week of 50+hrs, lack of sleep, general holiday “uncheer” etc for my behavior. I will just simply say I am sorry.

    OnigiriFB

  277. Hoo wee…tempers are running high and I have been wanting to get back to this debate. Sorry for my late return..2 day drive has turned into three (stopping along the way to wish friends Merry Christmas and was too exhausted last night to reply.)

    While my answer will lack any of the sparks and passion of either onigiri and occupied brain I hope I can give a third opinion.

    I think both of them are correct and have good points. Without question Occupied brain has far greater information and knowledge about some of the jihaidist problem from a MUSLIM perspective than I do. I think it is vital to see both sides of the coin. However, I think in some ways we are talking about two different problems. Yes, I think that there is overlap in the cause and effect and yet I think there are two distinct camps here or stratas…

    On the one hand we have the government elites of ME, USA and Israel (not to mention others) who are playing their elitist games and sleeping with each other in copious amounts and it seems pretty evident that there is enough blame to spread around liberally. Looking at it it seems that everyone has their own interests at heart. I think some have more to gain on a personal level (such as the vice president of Afghanistan who lined his pockets with $52 million) than others (Obama not likely to walk off with $52 million to put into his personal bank account). I think Obama is likely more about interests for the whole of the USA rather than like Massoud who was only out for himself. And if we want to slice it in grades of right and wrong I prefer that Obama is out for the USA than his own personal gain…but I digress.

    All the elites are sitting in their Ivory towers and arguing about what to do about the jihadist problem while all are contributing to it at the same time. Ie: middle east peace talks, crazy fundamentalists praying fervently for the Rapture,( whom I find as bat shit nuts as the jihadists but that is a personal opinion), back door deals etc. And they can rage and argue and deny and point fingers and and and…one can intellectualize it as much as one wants and it is an issue that needs to be solved.

    However. there is another problem separate from this one and IMO the more serious one. It is the one that will not be fought in the Ivory towers of the world but rather in the streets and towns of western countries. Because most Westerners are not Muslim and have a mindset of equal coexistance, they value that ideal quite strongly. Extremists have made it very clear that Islam should rule the earth and everyone should be Muslim…there is no room for coexistance or secular law in their world

    I am of the opinion that even though Joe Average Western is very concerned about terrorism he is far more concerned and motivated by salafist/conservative Islam creeping more and more into his every day life in such an insidious way that it is hardly noticeable. He is concerned that Islam is not just a religion that can remain in the realm of spirituality like most other faiths and seeks to live peacefully side by side making room for each other, but rather to bend Joe Average to ISLAM’S ways…He is concerned by a people who don’t APPEAR to want to fit into the society, who want special rules for themselves, who want dispensations that others don’t get, who don’t want any critique of their faith in a world where critique of anything is taken as a given. He is concerned by a people who follow a faith that in it’s supposed purest form (Middle East) makes absolutely very little room for other faiths and thrives in countries that don’t espouse equality for all, rather has the motto “Muslims first”. He worries that Muslims in a foreign country will riot and threaten death and mayhem when Muslims in HIS country are not treated the way muslims in OTHER countries who have absolutely no connection to his country or the Muslims in question feel they should be treated…it feels like blackmail to him because it IS blackmail. Who the heck are these Muslims who are not a part of the Justice system of Average Joe’s country where the Muslim in question lives and WHY do they feel they have a right to threaten STRANGERS on behalf of a native Muslim who IS GOVERNED by the laws of that country NOT sharia? Please don’t think that they don’t notice and extrapolate that and see average (not government officials) Muslims trying to force the government to treat the Muslim in question with a different set of rules. Understand that in a country where people have a belief system that the rules should be applied fairly to all, that is a threat of the highest order. It is a slippery slope that they cannot even think of going down.

    IMO Salafi Islam that has been actively spread through out the world is the Islam that MOST non Muslims think of when they think of it. The salafists have done an amazing job of spreading their ideology and have also done an amazing job of alienating people toward Islam. I have said a million times that it was not like this 30 or 40 years ago. People really had no issues with Islam. Why? Because when it wasn’t being spread by the salafists, when women were not wearing total black head to foot which feels like repression or “I don’t accept your society” to non Muslims, when they didn’t see people issuing death threats over every tiny thing, Islam felt like a normal religion…now it feels like a THREAT to a normal way of life in the west…People will react to threats by trying to protect themselves…and the sucky thing about that is that it doesn’t have to be an actual threat…it merely needs to be the PERCEPTION of a threat. All you need is enough extremists to holler and yell and threaten death etc and people will start to associate that with the faith and people will view others who haven’t said anything but APPEAR to be extreme with that message.

    My parents, who are generally republican but voted for Obama they were so upset with Bush, were about the MOST pro Palestinian/anti Israeli Christians you would ever want to meet. I remember 30 years ago my mother ranting on and on about how unfair the situation was for Palestinians. My parents were so passionate about what was happening to the Palestinians that we would sit around the table at dinner time and discuss what was happening. they were very pro Muslim for most of the time I can remember. But they aren’t now. The salafist/back to the basics/fundamentalist movement has managed to sour their opinion and these were people who were totally FOR Muslims for as long as I can remember. I can only ask “why”? There is something very definitely problematic going on if they can be turned against Muslims. Now, they are still anti Israel in the sense they still feel the Palestinians need a fair shake, and they are pro Palestinian in that they want them to get a fair deal, but they no longer think of Islam as the peaceful religion that they used to. They feel it is a threat too. NOT all islam but this very strict interpretation that seeks to dominate…

    Ironically, people get up in arms about campaigning and how it sways peoples opinions on the issues and yet that is exactly what has happened here. Extremists have done such a fabulous job of campaigning for a “violent, retribution, Islam or nothing, totally salafist Islamic view” that people have come to believe the campaign. In the deafening absence of any other very visible form of Islam what else can they believe? Yes we can blame the media on both sides of the fence (the ME is not innocent of reporting slanted news that frames America in the worst possible light.) But the news reporters didn’t make up the guys on the corner in NY who were calling for jihad and handing out flyers to other Muslims. They didn’t make up the guy trying to blow himself up on Christmas flight.

    This is the problem that will be dealt with among the common people, not by the guys in the government buildings. People opened their arms to Islam but they are not anymore because it feels threatening to their culture…and they are going to protect it at all costs…maybe not in the next year or two but I feel a groundswell that has got me worried.

    Even if the Palestinian problem were solved and America were out of all Muslim countries tomorrow that is not going to change this threat that they feel in their won countries…

    So you see, while they may be related they are very different issues that will not be resolved by resolving one side of the equation.

    Consider this:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20101217/wl_time/08599203743300

    On the one hand I don’t blame the Greeks for taking action against all the immigrants…they need to take care of their own first and they are struggling themselves. All those immigrants will make it worse for the native Greeks and I don’t think this situation is going to stay quiet for long.

    The flip side of that is I feel PISSED that these people who are looking for a better way of life as anyone is are forced to leave their native homelands due to extreme poverty and corruption. That is just plain wrong IMO. I imagine how I might feel having to do that. Everyone loves and is proud of their homeland. It is a traumatic situation for anyone to start over again…why should they not have a decent life in their home country? Why are these people not directing SOME of their anger to their own leaders? The problem can’t be solved by pouring over the borders into another country. And they are all Muslims bringing with them their very different culture and faith. Are they willing to be governed by European law? Are they willing to live by European standards? Are they willing to blend with the host society as much as possible or are they only seeking to make money and retain their old culture? Will they become a burden on the social systems of the host countries and if so do you think it not normal that the native people be angry about that? After all it is their taxes that are going to support more and more people and less and less to the infrastructure they are used to. Would it not be normal for people to be resentful? Why should they be the sponge that absorbs all the worlds poor( figure of speech). Some OK, but not floods of them…no country can handle it. They don’t want to lose their societies and the fear is VERY real that given enough foreigners that may not have their values as a society and instead have very different values that conflict directly with their own, that can happen.

    Plus there is a growing sense among westerners that Muslims want to keep their countries (ie: the Middle East) Muslim yet want to come to ours and demand lots of rights…sort of “our country is ours and your country is ours too.” mentality. It feels very unfair and again very threatening and as I said before human nature is if it feels like a threat people will treat it as one. Westerners want to be fair and yet they can’t help what they feel and it is causing a lot of discomfort and internal and external conflict which I think will get worse…

    Solve the Middle East issue…it needs a solution but that isn’t going to change the feeling Westerners have of people coming to their countries to have a better life and yet biting the hand that feeds them…

    As I see it two very separate issues…

    Sorry for the really long reply.

  278. Hoo wee…tempers are running high and I have been wanting to get back to this debate.

    @OnigiriFB,

    I’m in the process of constructing a point by point reply to your post. I’ll probably put it up sometime soon. But before that let me just say I don’t usually get angry at discussions like this because it’s a waste of time. Plus, there is lots of room for misunderstanding. This is one random, albeit unique, blog in a vast sea of blogs. Who cares. Sometime in the future I plan on creating a blog based loosely on the tolerant spirit of the book ‘The Ornament of the World’ by Maria Rosa Menocal, with multilingual contributions from all over the ME and the world. So it is in that spirit, OnigiriFB, that I will reply to your post. And I’ll also wait your more elaborate reply.

    @Oby, I actually think you’ve helped better affirm OnigiriFB’s point, so I’ll also include a reply.

    In the meantime, happy holidays.

  279. I avidly look forward to all the replies and have no objection to the long comments!

  280. Oby said:

    “I am of the opinion that even though Joe Average Western is very concerned about terrorism he is far more concerned and motivated by salafist/conservative Islam creeping more and more into his every day life in such an insidious way that it is hardly noticeable. He is concerned that Islam is not just a religion that can remain in the realm of spirituality like most other faiths and seeks to live peacefully side by side making room for each other, but rather to bend Joe Average to ISLAM’S ways…He is concerned by a people who don’t APPEAR to want to fit into the society, who want special rules for themselves, who want dispensations that others don’t get, who don’t want any critique of their faith in a world where critique of anything is taken as a given. He is concerned by a people who follow a faith that in it’s supposed purest form (Middle East) makes absolutely very little room for other faiths and thrives in countries that don’t espouse equality for all, rather has the motto “Muslims first”. He worries that Muslims in a foreign country will riot and threaten death and mayhem when Muslims in HIS country are not treated the way muslims in OTHER countries who have absolutely no connection to his country or the Muslims in question feel they should be treated…it feels like blackmail to him because it IS blackmail. Who the heck are these Muslims who are not a part of the Justice system of Average Joe’s country where the Muslim in question lives and WHY do they feel they have a right to threaten STRANGERS on behalf of a native Muslim who IS GOVERNED by the laws of that country NOT sharia? Please don’t think that they don’t notice and extrapolate that and see average (not government officials) Muslims trying to force the government to treat the Muslim in question with a different set of rules. Understand that in a country where people have a belief system that the rules should be applied fairly to all, that is a threat of the highest order. It is a slippery slope that they cannot even think of going down.”

    Agreed. I have one thing to add though in I the Salafi movement ALSO include a high number of converts from various Western countries who seem to be even WORSE then their migrant brethren. I’m sure you know what I mean as we see it on this blog all the time. The Umms up above are a perfect example of the rigid thinking, quick to label, wants to have THEIR rights and be damned to anyone else’s rights and religion, etc. My personal feeling is if they really want to live like a 7th century desert man with questionable morals then GO TO KSA!!!! Though from what Sandy said earlier many Saudis don’t want them dragging the them back to the a time when ignorance, dogma, inequality for woman and etc. I’m sure the liberals of KSA who are JUST getting to voice their desires for human rights and dignities often denied to them really wish the hijra (return to the promised land) would stop by these I want to return to a barbaric time Salafi converts. It’s bad enough for them having to deal with their OWN fellow Saudis who have no concept it seems of true sharia (because what KSA DOES NOT practice it so say many Muslims). One thing I did find amusing in the wikileaks I’ve read so far is that King Abdullah seems to have a real dislike for his subjects that want to regress instead of progress. He is trying to create a KSA that will still be prevalent when the world no longer needs oil (God, please let that be soon!) such as KAUST, the ban of embarrassing fatwas, stepping in when the world condemns the evil done in his country, the interfaith dialogs with other faiths, entering into International organizations such as the UN women’s rights commission and more I believe. KSA is lucky to have him as King BECAUSE I think he can see the writing on the wall that KSA will NOT fair well when it can not use oil as a leverage to get what it wants and the revenues KSA relies on the run the country dry up. I’m sure Saudis can talk to the grandparents to find out what the KSA will become when that happens. Think about it this year alone we will have I believe 3-4 ELECTRIC cars coming out in the US market alone. There are 300 million people here if we can just change half of our country to hybrids or electric cars think of the effect that will have on the income of oil producing countries especially when their GDP only consist of that (dates only bring in so much money you know). And where the US goes so does the world (though perhaps not for long since China sleeping panda has been woken up but honestly from all that I hear coming out of China is that they do NOT want to return to the strict communist past and want to be more Americanized good or bad). If the KSA thinks they can rely on China to take up US’s slack then they are going to be in for a rude awakening. China is MORE likely to want an empire (ala the various dynasties in China’s history) and you already see the increased Chinese interest and influences in the countries where the US is still weak. Muslims would probably like to think that the Chinese will not be Islamaphobic but they need to look at how quickly, quietly sort of, and severely they have crushed China’s minority Muslim population to see how they will be treated under a Chinese led hegemony.

    Ok sorry I went off on a slight tangent there as the Far East has always been the focus of my international relations/political science education. Oh just wanted to add also China has REALLY ramped up the scientific and technological education in that country. Look at their space program where you can measure a countries true scientific (I love hot rocket scientist *wink*) knowledge. So in this world we have Russia, US, Japan, Europe, and possibly soon India if I remember right. Ok ok… back to topic. I watched a great documentary that really made me love my country last night. It’s called the Naturalized and was on the History Channel. Did you know the US has ONE MILLION people from around the globe who are naturalized? For those who don’t understand that term it means people who renounce their former countries and swear allegiance to the United States, it’s constitution, and government. These are the people who will now be citizens of the US with all the rights of those who are naturally born on US soil. I saw a grown man (and many others) cry as the swore the oaths of citizenship and then got a chance to vote for or against Obama in this last election.

    I’m not sure btw if people outside of the US really understand what it means to be a minority (not white anglo saxon protestants) and what it means to have a mixed raced blended family (christian and muslim) President who lived the American Dream and obtained the HIGHEST position he could in this country. I cried when I heard he won and I cried tears of joy when he swore the oath of office (that is actually VERY similar to the ones naturalized citizen do). I bring this up because I learned that ONE MILLION per YEAR are choosing to become Americans and all that entails. These are our soldiers, our doctors, our scientist, our working poor, our future. It made me very humble (and embarrassed that I missed a couple of the citizen questions oops hey civic class was a LONG time ago) and appreciative of who we as Americans really are. We are the brave, the heroic and the best of many many many countries. The poor and huddle masses that other countries discarded are who have made us the strong country it is now and will continue to be in the future.

    What Salafi Muslims do is threaten that peaceful melting pot that the US truly is. Europe has a slightly different problem as it is JUST now dealing with multiculturalism when the US was built on it. I cannot deny though that for all that the US if for freedom of religion it is also a Christian based society. I.e. we celebrate as a nation Christmas, Easter, etc which a true secular country would not. So now we have this minority group who is under enormous scrutiny due to the terrorism wanting the US to be a Muslim based society where they still get their rights and then some. I see average non-Muslim Americans slowly becoming less and less tolerant of the increased symbols of a, in their mind terroristic, regressive, inequality for women, yadda yadda religious minority group. They see more and more FORCED acceptance of a culture alien to the US. Like the Muslims who demand to get EID off (which btw I have no problems with if they take EID off as a personal holiday and choose to work Christmas instead as many Jews often do with their religious holidays), demand to have their children taught that pork is evil, demand to live sharia in a country where EQUAL rights are the law of the land, demand segregation of men and woman when the US has fought long and hard to be the equal opportunity (key word there) for women, woman, LGBT, and the like, demand that Americans respect their idols the Quran and Muhammad while deriding the idols of the rest of the world (non-human breathing machines anyone?) amongst others. And when this minority does NOT get what it wants it plays the victim of “oh you are all Islamaphobic. TM”, So sadly I can really understand where the not Islamaphobic but fearful Americans feel the way they do. I think Muslims here have forgotten that yes they are welcome to practice their faith but it MUST be within the context of the US Constitution and NOT against the law. So men who take their raped wifes to court DO NOT get to use sharia/Islamic based laws that states he gets to use his wife as a masturbatory doll without her consent. Men, who perhaps grew up in countries that keep its women covered from head to toe, DO NOT get to harass, rape, or in any way treat a woman badly without facing some problems be the legal or not. Nor do they get to kill homosexuals, chop off hands, stone adulterers (why is it usually women who are stone but not the adulterous men?) or whatever else Sharia dictates as violent punishment. I have no problem with minority (I am one) who want to live as if they are back in the old country but I would hope they realize that they are in the US often BECAUSE those old countries were corrupt or offered a lower standard of living. It is still not uncommon for a I-have-nothing-to-my-name immigrant to go from that to a millionaire. And that is BECAUSE the society and opportunities the US Constitution allows for. It actually scares me because for the first time it seems that the US as a whole has become fearful of a religious minority. The Jews were welcomed because of what they faced in Europe. They have been absorbed into the great melting pot and have contributed greatly to our strength (many are drs, scientist, etc as education is highly valued in Jewish culture). So yes there is a LARGE Zionist loving American population that has helped drive the US’s Israeli policy. Yeah I don’t like the nutjob “rapture” crowd either. So in US history we often dislike the latest immigrant group to come here (Hispanic currently) but like anything that’s new it becomes common place as soon as the second generation show no real difference from other Americans beside cultural differences. Muslims tend not to (or at least in this time period do not seem to) blend into our society. Right now they want to be different but then cry bigotry when those differences are disliked. I hope you read Africana’s like that she posted for me about the Rise and Fall of the Salafi movement as it’s a disturbing eye opener and makes a LOT of sense as to why a once quiet sleepy minority no one cared about is now the most hated minority (or maybe second to the Hispanics?) in the US . And this is NOT even accounting for the jihadist who keep trying to blow themselves up around the country. All I can see is a slow burn that is similar to the slow burning fuse that created a Final Solution in Germany. All Germany needed to create the world’s most horrific violent solution to a hated religious minority was ONE charismatic man. Just ONE. Think about that for a minute. Yes, he was surrounded by others who thought as he did but he also managed to convince a good amount of Germans that he was right and good. So if a charismatic Robert Spencer-type man or woman gains the highest seat of the land or even the Congress Muslims around the world are in DEEP trouble. Please God I hope to never EVER see that in my lifetime. I will get down on my knees until I develop callouses if that meant we (the US and by extension Europe and Far East Asia as those are our allies) never go the route of Nazi Germany. I can only do what is in my power though but I sincerely hope see through the, what may seem insulting comments, how much some of us DO CARE. Not just for their sakes but our own.

    @occupiedbrain

    It may take a while for me to reply since I want to read the links you gave me and also look up the books you recommended so I can make an educated reply to your claims. Happy Holidays to you and yours as well. Thank you.

    @ Carol

    Hehehe, I’m glad you like LONG comments since I can’t seem to make short ones. 😛

  281. Oh forgot to add but sorry Sandy you can keep the hijra people because I don’t think we need them to come back to the US with it’s current tensions and make MORE trouble.

    See I can have short comments. *wink*

  282. China might have technology…but they are still failing dismally in their human rights arena.

  283. @Coolred

    True. That disregard for human rights is what enables China to deal brutally with their dissidents and minorities like the Falun Gong, the Tibetans and the Muslim Chinese.

  284. @Coolred

    Yes, China IMO has been given a pass because of its economic might right now on all the human rights of the Xin Jiang (Muslim), other religious minorities, and of course Tibet. I’m a huge fan of the Dalai Lama so I HATE that my government has ignored the issue. I understand why we don’t do anything (logistics of a war on the roof of the world, waking the then sleeping panda, no money/oil/gold/etc) I still HATE it. Before anyone wants to use Tibet as a reason for the suckiness of the US gov you can stop before you even start. I am well aware that the US gov. hasn’t done a damn thing for many causes I feel it SHOULD have such as Sudan, Rwanda, Tibet, and any other David vs Goliath situation around the world. Again nothing we want…. though we ideals say we we should have did something. I brought up China because it’s strengths are not JUST economy anymore. The fact it can put a man in orbit says a LOT about where its focus truly is (ok, Brain what are we going to do today? Well, Pinky, I think it’s time to take over the woooooorrrrrrrrld. Hahahahahahhahaha :P) As a world we can no longer look at China (20 years ago) as only having economic might due to having tapped the US (largest in the world still) market like India who still enjoys only a niche (tech) appeal for the world. China has now in the last 10 years (more so in the last 5 yo) stepped up to practically being the world’s second superpower. The only thing we have yet to see is China’s overtly influencing places via military might. Which I truly believe we will see in the next 5 years (Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma area) because the panda has been searching to expand the old territory. China also REALLY needs more oil before its citizen start look at the government with real revolutionary intent. So China who has been getting most of its oil from Iran (hence being slightly on their side) and KSA who has been looking at China will come hither eyes is trying to take the Iranian oil away or at least make it too cheaper to get it from KSA. As much as I tend to dislike the KSA virtual monopoly on oil I as an American hope they do get China’s business as that means China may tow more of a US line. (I don’t have to draw the line of influence for anyone here I hope.)

    http://www.theworld.org/2010/12/15/
    what-wikileaks-reveals-about-saudi-arabia/comment-page-1/

    Right now China has become the new oil druggie that without its drug (oil) will be pretty nasty to deal with. So right now the panda has been desperately re-reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. The sheer amount of citizens (1.3? BILLION if I remember right even with its one-child policy) already means quite a bit, the fact that its infrastructure needs a LOT of investment that the government is willing to fund, add that the Chinese have ALWAYS been VERY good business men (VERY!!!! don’t believe me go look up Hong Kong business, Thai businesses, Vietnam business, you get it right? Majority are Chinese ethnic run) small or large or worldwide. This all means that the Panda is on a course that I’m not sure the Chinese communist party really understands where it’s going to go. China btw can no longer be called truly communist but more perestroika era Soviet Union with MUCH more control than the USSR had over it’s de-communisming era. China I think watched the USSA implode and will be keeping a FIRM (very firm at times) hand on the government situation. The powerkeg of 1.3 BILLION people is frightening though. So I do not expect that social control (human right etc) will be lifting any time soon if the Chinese communist party has its way. It will continue to try to quiet the dissidents such as the newest Nobel Peace prize winner. Its internet control is still VASTLY held in check by what the Chinese government wants its citizens to know. The US has NO control whatsoever really over what its citizens do (we listen in though stupid Patriot Act and NSA) so cannot control what its citizen know (no matter how stupid American can be *cough* tea party *cough*). The mere fact that the US is VERY open about its ills (societal, economical, etc) has led the rest of the world to watch the soap opera and make loud comments on. IMO no matter how bad the soap opera gets if things come to a head (ex. 9/11) the American people become VERY patriotic and close rank against the world (Afghanistan at that time) and are VERY dangerous (we still have the most nukes no matter how many Obama wants to get rid of). So to the rest of the world who knows that we (Pres. Obama really) have our finger on the button of the nuke aimed at where ever we want PLUS our space weapons (the military goes up there for a reason) they criticize us BUT its governments will toe the line (at least to our face). So to all those who think well ALL the US needs to do is x, y, z well yeah true but since we truly do not want to RUN other governments we don’t. If you even look back at our history of overt influence (wars) then you see we tend to hand the colonies back over (Japan, Iraq, eventually Afghanistan etc) with some REALLY good treaties. Unlike Britain, France, the Dutch, the Germans. the Spanish who stayed and ran the colonies it created.
    Hate us if you want but at least be educated hatred for f**k’s sake.

    To all of the countries who are DYING to see the US government topple from its 1st place standing in the world I think “you ain’t seen nothing yet, baby” we’ll still be there thought we MAY have to share the podium with China. What people forget is that the US population (sometimes government) can be VERY innovative and all we need is the next great modern thing (i-whatevers, computers, internet, etc) to once again stand solidly on the podium. We (the US) are truly made up of the best and brightest of the World’s discarded people. Our business/economic system is set up to allow for bright people to get ideas to the market (start up are great, facebook twitter, etc) where as many countries of the world either limit this or its non-existent (KSA is sorta in the newbie arena since its government does not truly make it easy to go from idea to market like the US).

    Sorry for the rant/history and political rant. Can’t help it its like stress relief for me since it forces me away from the mundane problems of my life.

    @Oby

    One thing I forgot to mention is that is REALLY concerns me that people, like your parents, are the ones who no longer trust Muslims (as a whole). These are people I am afraid will be the silent ones when the true Islamaphobes get their way. Think pre Nazi era Germany. The rumblings are there. I would like to believe in my fellow Americans though (even the damn Republican ones) and PRAY that what i’m see is NOT what is going to happen. So unless some charismatic Muslim apologist can capture the US’s general publics attention or even Europe’s general publics attention we are looking at Final Solution part duex in I think the next 20 years if the jihadist do NOT stop what they are doing and Muslims do NOT rein in its Salafi brethren. All we (oby, me, others here) can do is give the American general public with those Muslims we know. Something has to change because that is the only constant in this world; change. I was so looking forward to Obama= change and hope. So far I’m a little blase about the change but still have the hope at least. I know there was TOO much of a seesaw of him getting elected that the backlash would not be pretty but for the most part now that the economic meltdown and rebuild is powering on for the most part on its own I am looking forward to what his next two year are. Though I know it’s pre-2nd term election time. (Some days I hate our politics!) I truly with those Muslims with the chips on their shoulder who say “Americans hate Muslims and keep trying to bomb us until Islam dies out in this world” (bullshit btw say I cause again that finger be on the nuke buttons) would understand truly what it meant for us to elect a half-white half-black Christian American with Muslim family. I was very proud of my fellow Americans who voted for Obama because it showed that the Republican Party election tactic of racism failed horrible. We as a general public CAN be smarter than the lowest common denominator. Muslims in general IMO need to grow up and stop listening to the chip it has on its shoulder. 1.5 BILLION and there is NO charismatic voice that is willing to speak up and speak against the Salafi sect or jihadist (yes there are some but no one must be that great at public speaking cause I’ve listening and its damn quiet especially after ANY terrorist attempt ANYWHERE in the world). Too bad… and I will hate myself for this if its true but I may be the silent majority that watches the Islamaphobs “win friends and influence people”. Cause honestly all I have to do is sit back and watch and do nothing. The fact I even care at days make me wonder about my sanity.

  285. Oh and everyone please keep in mind this is only the opinion of a wanna-be diplomat armchair opinion; ME. (Carol you don’t know any diplomatic friends you can speak to on my behalf do you? Email me if you do and are willing to be a fly in someone’s ear since I should be done with my formal education I hope soon. This new one not the old one, please.)

  286. I think this link is appropos of the comments here. WHY are Americans so much more fearful in the last two years. What has driven that fear? Why are AMERICAN (who are generally Muslims) with all the rights of an American and all the opportunities resorting to terrorism? I would also like people to read the comments where it SHOWS that normal American DO AND HAVE criticized our foreign policy, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is a direct responce to the criticism occupiedbrain stated early as to “where are the Americans who are against the Iraqi and Afghanistan war”. Americans as a whole tend to be very vocal about the ills of our country. Not all Americans are stupid and complacent. Just because we do not happen to agree about Israel does not mean we do not understand and empathize with the Palestinian people. Personally I would like to see a two state system put in place with international condemnation if either side goes against the treaties they sign. However, from all that I’ve read it’s always the Israelis trying to give a little to get a little mentality. It makes me mad that Arabs want to sit on their collective rears and just criticize the US policy without actually doing anything to actively help the Palestinian people. Unless you count Iran and it’s funding of Hezbollah.

  287. Onigiri

    Where is the link and you mentioned a link from occupied brain…did you mean that one? I am interested in reading what you did.

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