Archive Debate


Sometimes readers will have vast differences of opinion or comments that are not in alignment with a post.  So rather than have threads get hijacked or someone not have the opportunity for their say, I have created this special page for them.

Here is where readers can debate with one another.  My only request is to please try and keep dialogs with one another civil.  It is okay to disagree but profanity is not tolerated.

That’s all I ask…otherwise, have fun.

1,077 Responses

  1. Dear Official Body,
    First of all please accept my salaams for yourself, family members and colleagues.
    May I please turn to you for your kind advise:- how do I search for my father’s side of the family root in seventh century’s Arabia.
    I believe, our ancient ancester had left their home land to spread the call of “Monolthesim” to the populations of non- Arab lands.
    Do you hold any official documents on family histories of Seventh Century’s Arab pioneers or I would need to accept that, my fore-fathers were expert inventers of fiction which helped their own importance and fiancial advantages in a fertile country.
    Please to donot leave me in any further suspenses.
    I look forward to your kind suggestions and help.
    Thank you.
    Ishrat.
    (An ordinary searcher of family root).

  2. Hi Ishrat,

    I’m not sure what entity your query should be addressed; hopefully one of the Saudi readers will respond.

    Regards,
    Carol

  3. I think almost every Muslim either has family that claims to be related to the Prophet, especially Gulf Arabs (my wife’s included), or claims to come from the land of the two holy shrines.

  4. Whoever keeps dogs as as pets- without any valid reason to- is a real dingbat. There. I said it.

  5. Bless you WM for bringing your topic to this page! I salute you.

    Well, it may be debatable as far as what are valid reasons to have a pet (whether dog or cat)…but when thinking of a dog, I suppose you may believe as a seeing eye-dog or a guard dog to be a valid reason. I also view if a pet (even a dog) brings a person joy and comfort and companionship, then that too is a valid reason!

  6. *cringe*

    Please tell me if you’ve made your mind up and that nothing I say can change it.

  7. WM,

    With all due respect, I think the questions is not whether others made up their mind as that is their choice. The question is why do you think it is necessary to judge them as dingbats?

    I think you need to make some observations about dogs and the joy they bring to people to understand the attraction some have to them. Have you ever watched a boy play with a dog? Have you met an elderly lady that does not have a companion other than a dog and how that companionship keeps her happy? Cats are cool, but they are not as interactive and obedient as dogs. Some people like those traits in their pets.

    I like all animals dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and even lizards. It is a choice for people to own any pet they like. We had a small zoo when the kids were growing up 🙂 It is really helpful to have animals around kids, it does a lot for their sense of compassion and has educational benefits.

  8. I used ‘dingbat’ light-heartedly. I was trying to imply that such people are being silly.

    And I ask them if they have made up their mind so I can move on and stop wasting our time. If they aren’t open to convincing or to changing their line in the first place, there is no point in discussion, right?

    I’ve never seen the ‘joy’ that drugs or alcohol bring to others either, alhamdulillah- and there is no doubt that they bring many joy. The point is that they are haram- as is keeping dogs purely for purposes of ‘companionship’. Whether or not things that are immoral to do bring joy or not is, ultimately, irrelevant. If we restricted ourselves to that which brought us ‘joy’ and refused to restrain ourselves, we would be little more than animals.

  9. Are you Saudi in US or American in Saudi? I get confused 😀

    You’re a Muslim/ah, right?

  10. I am a Saudi born and raised. However, I lived outside the country most of my adult life.

    I really do not have issues about your decisions. I just find handing out judgments on people like candy as distasteful. Muslims in general need to do less of that. We are quick to judge everyone. Let Allah judge people and just respect their choices that is part of the teachings of Islam that we forget about.

  11. I was judged myself, but you didn’t seem to notice that. The problem is that people ascribe something to Islam, and Islam is innocent of it. Your philosophy is right, but it has limits. One of them we have already discussed: the issue of apostasy.

  12. WM,

    I read my posts very carefully to see if i judged you in anyway, in which case i would have apologized. However, all I found is that I asked questions, made recommendations and shared opinions.
    Regarding the apostasy discussion, I really do not want to get into a debate about that. I will just leave you with my opinion and you can choose to accept it or not. Many Muslim radicals use the charge of apostasy as a means to bully others that have different opinions. That is equivalent to threatening a person with death. If you wonder why there is no freedom of expression in some of the Islamic world, do not just look at government oppression, you should also look at the Takfiri attitude that some of the locals have.

  13. I’m afraid your opinion is too ambiguously expressed for me to accept or reject it.

    “Many Muslim radicals use the charge of apostasy as a means to bully others that have different opinions.”

    True- but what do you mean by ‘different opinions’? And when I mention hadd ar-rid.da, most of the time I mean: a person who left Islam for another religion. Do you agree that such a person, if he refuses to repent, deserves the hadd? This is a simple question and insha Allah I’ll receive a simple answer.

    Takfir is a part of Islam. Some people mis-apply it, either by going to excesses or by falling short. Look in any of the (longer) books of the four schools and you’ll find a section on rid-da, on takfir etc.

    In fact, I will post the section on rid-dah from Nuh Keller’s translation of `Umdat as-Salik here. This book is a summary of rulings extracted from the Majmu’ of an-Nawawi. The other schools are similar. Let me know what you think:

    “o8.0 APOSTASY FROM ISLAM (RIDDA)

    (O: Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst. It may come about through sarcasm, as when someone is told, “Trim your nails, it is sunna,” and he replies, “I would not do it even if it were,” as opposed to when some circumstance exists which exonerates him of having committed apostasy, such as when his tongue runs away with him, or when he is quoting someone, or says it out of fear.)

    o8.1 When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to he killed.

    o8.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A: or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.

    o8.3 It he is a freeman, no one besides the caliph or his representative may kill him. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined (def: o17) (O: for arrogating the caliph’s prerogative and encroaching upon his rights, as this is one of his duties).

    o8.4 There is no indemnity [diyyah] for killing an apostate (O: or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die).

    o8.5 If he apostatizes from Islam and returns several times, it (O: i.e. his return to Islam, which occurs when he states the two Testifications of Faith (def: o8.7(12))) is accepted from him, though he is disciplined (o17).

    o8.6 (A: If a spouse in a consummated marriage apostatizes from Islam, the couple are separated for a waiting period consisting of three intervals between menstruations. If the spouse returns to Islam before the waiting period ends, the marriage is not annulled but is considered to have continued the whole time (dis: m7.4).)

    ACTS THAT ENTAIL LEAVING ISLAM

    o8.7 (O: Among the things that entail apostasy from Islam (may Allah protect us from them) are:

    (1) to prostrate to an idol, whether sarcastically, out of mere contrariness, or in actual conviction, like that of someone who believes the Creator to be something that has originated in time. Like idols in this respect are the sun or moon, and like prostration is bowing to other than Allah, if one intends reverence towards it like the reverence due to Allah;

    (2) to intend to commit unbelief, even if in the future. And like this intention is hesitating whether to do so or not: one thereby immediately commits unbelief;

    (3) to speak words that imply unbelief such as “Allah is the third of three,” or “I am Allah” — unless one’s tongue has run away with one, or one is quoting another […] for these latter do not entail unbelief;

    (4) to revile Allah or His messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace);

    (5) to deny the existence of Allah, His beginningless eternality, His endless eternality, or to deny any of His attributes which the consensus of Muslims ascribes to Him (dis: v1);

    (6) to be sarcastic about Allah’s name, His command, His interdiction, His promise, or His threat;

    (7) to deny any verse of the Koran or anything which by scholarly consensus (def: b7) belongs to it, or to add a verse that does not belong to it;

    […]

    to reply to someone who says, “There is no power or strength save through Allah”: “Your saying ‘There’s no power or strength, etc.’ won’t save you from hunger”;

    (10) for a tyrant, after an oppressed person says, “This is through the decree of Allah,” to reply, “I act without the decree of Allah”;

    (11) to say that a Muslim is an unbeliever (kafir) (dis: w47) in words that are uninterpretable as merely meaning he is an ingrate towards Allah for divinely given blessings (n: in Arabic, also “kafir”);

    (12) when someone asks to be taught the Testification of Faith (Ar. Shahada, the words, “La ilaha ill Allahu Muhammadun rasulu Llah” (There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah)), and a Muslim refuses to teach him it;

    (13) to describe a Muslim or someone who wants to become a Muslim in terms of unbelief (kufr);

    (14) to deny the obligatory character of something which by the consensus of Muslims (ijma’, def: b7) is part of Islam, when it is well known as such, like the prayer (salat) or even one rak’a from one of the five obligatory prayers, if there is no excuse (def: u2.4);

    (15) to hold that any of Allah’s messengers or prophets are liars, or to deny their being sent;

    (n: ‘Ala’ al-Din ‘Abidin adds the following:

    (16) to revile the religion of Islam;

    (17) to believe that things in themselves or by their own nature have any causal influence independent of the will of Allah;

    (18) to deny the existence of angels or jinn (def: w22), or the heavens;

    (19) to be sarcastic about any ruling of the Sacred Law;

    (20) or to deny that Allah intended the Prophet’s message (Allah bless him and give him peace) to be the religion followed by the entire world (dis: w4.3-4) (al-Hadiyya al-‘Ala’iyya (y4), 423-24).)

    There are others, for the subject is nearly limitless. May Allah Most High save us and all Muslims from it.)”

    End quote—

  14. As for ‘threatening those who disagree with them with takfir’, if you are talking about so-called intellectuals like the following, all of them, according to one author, have filled their works with kufr, and they are famous for it:

    [Egyptian author] Naguib Mahfouz, [Syrian author] Adonis, [Egyptian intellectual] Hassan Hanafi, [Egyptian author] Jaber Asfour, [Syrian poet] Nizar Qabbani, [Palestinian poet] Mahmoud Darwish, [Iraqi poet] Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab, [Egyptian poet] Amal Dankal, [Libyan poet] Muhammad Al-Fayturi, [Yemenite poet] ‘Abd Al-‘Aziz Al-Maqalih, [Saudi intellectual] ‘Abdallah Al-Ghadhami, and [Moroccan author] Mohamed Choukri.

    Algerian intellectual Mohammed Arkoun, Egyptian poet Salah ‘Abd Al-Sabur, Palestinian poet Ahmad Dahbour, Palestinian poet Samih Al-Qasim, Syrian author Ghadah Al-Saman, Egyptian author Nawal Al-Sa’dawi, Lebanese author Hanan Al-Shaykh, Egyptian author Taha Hussein, Egyptian author Qassem Amin, Palestinian poet Mu’in Bsisu, Palestinian poet Tawfiq Ziad, Egyptian intellectual Nasr Abu Zayd, Palestinian author Ghassan Kanafani, Palestinian author Emil Habibi, Egyptian intellectual Rifa’a Al-Tahtawi, Egyptian intellectual Sa’id ‘Ashmawi, Egyptian author Yusuf Idris, and Sudanese author Al-Tayyib Salih.

  15. “different opinion” is not ambiguous, it means a) opinion, b) any opinion 3)every opinion, pick one. It means verbal or written expression not physical action. Does this clear it up. If you subscribe to the ideology that killing people for that is sanctioned, then that is an opinion you are entitled to. I just hope you do not put it to action.
    Like I said earlier, I am not going to debate you on this topic. I find debates like this a waste of time. I am just clarifying what I meant since you did not get it the first time.

  16. Well, Christianity is a different opinion. But do you say a Muslim who becomes a Christian and does not repent is ‘someone with a different opinion’- does this fit into what you say?
    Or do you mean, one who calls himself a Muslim(i.e. remains one, does not call to another religion), whatever opinion he holds- and that is what you meant?

  17. If I understand correctly, your opinion is that:

    – no-one who claims to be a Muslim can be made takfir of, regardless of any opinion that he holds

    or is it that

    – no-one guilty of such opinions can be executed for refusing to repent.

  18. I have three questions.

    Many people believe Islam is a religion of violence. I don’t honestly believe Islam preaches violence because no religion preaches violence and any sane human with any morals would not accept one that did. However, reading the punishments dished out for certain sins, especially apostasy, makes me believe Islam is violent towards its own followers. Am I wrong?

    Second, having said I believe its non-violent, why did many people in various countries cause such destruction and death because of Mohammeds caricatures being printed in a newspaper? Is the religion so ultra-sensitive that any wrong remark or act can set people off at any moment?

    Third, why dont high ranking muslims, those in positions of influence and public figures denounce publicly terrorist acts more often? Or am I getting a one sided picture? (IE they do denounce it, western media just doesnt report it).

    Ok I’m sure I’ll get some passionate responses now

  19. Ryan,

    You ask good questions. Islam is preached as a tolerant and peaceful religion but all too often is alluded as the religion of violence these days. I mean how often does one now hear about the term “islamic terrorists?” And think about the images one sees in movies and the press…it will show muslims praying and then immediately after pray commit an act of violence which further perpetuates the notion that Islam = violence.

    Also when you think about so many of the world conflicts, many were based on religion on the desire to invade and conquer and build empires.

    I believe many many muslims (and non-muslims) denounce acts of terror but it is usually the act itself which continues to receive the media coverage for that is what draws viewers.

    Just my two cents worth…

  20. Ryan,

    I will try to explain from my prospective. I am sure there are others that will take another line.

    Your first question is regarding apostasy. To start you should know the word that is used in Islam which creates the controversy. The word is Irtidad which means “turning away from”. This is really a different meaning than apostasy in Christianity, which means switching religion. There is a historic prospective behind all this. After the prophets death there were many tribes that turned away from Islam and were fought (i.e. their death was justifiable for what you may look at as treason). There are many current researches that view that the death penalty does not apply to everyone that changes religion, but only in situations where it does harm to the Islamic nation as in the case for that historic period. They also site that the Quran did not define a punishment for someone that leaves Islam, but left it to Allah to hold such judgment in the afterlife. All of the death penalty references come from Ahadeeth and some countries like Saudi adopted these as Sharia laws. Since, ahadeeth are collections of many of the prophets acts and are in some cases situational, there is room for a scholarly debate on this specific topic.

    The second question regarding the ultra sensitivity. Please note that those violent protest happen in the poorest and most uneducated places in the Muslim world. The people have been brain washed over the years by radicals that promote controversy theories about the West’s intent on destroying Islam. Whenever any issue comes up it proves that theory for them and the get set off. This is not an excuse, I really think educated Muslims have failed in combating the radical voices that spread such poison.

    The third question regarding high ranking clerics actions. The Islamic world is in an intellectual crisis. We are at a place now where our religious leaders are either following the money (in a TV evangelist style), have to take aggressive positions to get noticed, or get marginalized. The ones that speak the loudest are often the ones that get heard in the age of satellite TV. However, I think there has been a positive change over the last 2 years at the urging of governments like Saudi Arabia which allowed some religious leaders to come out with more tolerant messages.

  21. Ryan, My explanation of the apostate issue is very short and may have not captured the complexity. The link below offers a very good analysis of the issue. It starts just after the half way point of the page.

    http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/abdulaziz_a_sachedina/2007/07/a_crisis_of_interpretation.html

  22. Saudi in US, thanks your response is enlightening. I do agree the most uneducated and the poorest in the world are the worst perpetrators for starting stupid violent actions and reactions regardless of their religion. One reason why I believe education should be at least in the top three priorities for all countries to sort out – through all stages from pre-school to university.

  23. I am not encouraging vigilante violence, nor am I uneducated in the sense you mean it. Executive power belongs, in the case of the apostate, to the state.

    Saudi in US, I thought you weren’t interested in debate? Anyway, everything in your argument is false and derives from an ignorance of history.

    First of all, it is an ijma’ of the sahaba that ridda, apostasy, is punished with death, and none of them mentioned treason or other subversive activity as a condition. It is also the ijma’ of the four schools- and you saw in the quote I put up, treason is not a precondition. You are also a hundred percent wrong in implying that the punishment for ridda somehow began with the wars of apostasy- it did NOT. It is an order from the sunnah; it is explicit in the sunna- ‘whoever changes his religion, kill him’. For that reason there has been a consensus on the issue for the last many, many hundreds of years. Some people tried to ascribe the opinion that ridda is punishable only when accompanied by ‘treason’ to scholars like ibn Taymiyya, some of the salaf etc- I guarantee you they received this lie from Kamali’s book, and as one author has shown, the quotes are extreme distortions of the words of those scholars. There is no doubt at all that ibn Taymiyya considered that ridda was punished by death; remember his book ‘asSarim alMaslul’? It said, killing the murtadd is MORE obligatory than killing the kafir who insults the Prophet, sal Allahu `alayhi wa sallam- the latter was the reason why the book was written (the title of it is: the unsheathed sword on the one who reviles the Prophet, sal Allahu `alayhi wa sallam- ‘as.Sayf al-Maslul `ala Shatim ar.Rasul’).

    The only thing that has been differed over is: the ruling on female apostates (hanafis say gaol them until they repent, jumhoor says, kill them) and the issue of how they are asked to repent if they retract their repentance- are they killed or are they asked to repent again etc.

    w’Allahi, the only ‘difference’ in opinion is a ‘modern’ one i.e. a few people were influenced by the mores of the non-Muslims and so they changed their religion accordingly.

  24. Sorry, the title of the book is as.Sarim al.Maslul, not as.Sayf al.Maslul, but it’s just another word for sword.

  25. And ‘Saudi in US’, the very least you can do is acknowledge that you are in a historical (tiny) minority, in fiqhi terms (and going against the ijma’ if we are talking about the first centuries), and not to describe your opponents (i.e. basically every scholar you can name, including modern ulema like Qaradhawi, the Najdi scholars etc etc) as ‘extremists’.

  26. WM,

    I was answering 3 questions from someone else. You have to show some maturity and accept that I can respond to others here without necessarily engaging you in a debate. You can refute whatever I write, but for you to think I was debating you is a delusion that your ego created. There are many people with hatefully ideology. I cannot fix them all. You just simply fall into that category in my way of thinking.

    This is my last reply to you. If you think posting more about this topic makes you feel accomplished then do so.

    Have a good life….

  27. Saudi In US, excellent comment. Made a lot clear to me.

    WM, Why don’t you like dogs? what is your problem with dogs?
    I have a BIG dog. Absolutely nessecary for: My peace of mind, Mental support, Protecting the home, Protecting me in dark and lonely places, Comfort for my lonely heart.
    She also makes sure I don’t sit idle by shedding hairs all over the house and occasionally distributing the contents of the wste-bin all over my house.

    And you closed your blog after one post because you had too little time? Dude!
    And I was só looking forward to your blog!

  28. Saudi, I asked you a few questions above that you didn’t answer, it was the answer to those that I was looking for.

    Aafke: I like dogs, they’re very useful, I just don’t keep them as pets.

    It wasn’t the time factor as such, LOL, I just didn’t see the benefit anymore in keeping it up. There is plenty of material online already anyway.

  29. delhi4cats, do you ever feel as though you want to express your opinions more intensely on your blog than what you do but fear the wrath of the Saudi Oberkommando der Wehrmacht?

  30. I was wondering who may choose to ask that question, Ryan!

    It’s not so much as I fear what I would like to express but I purposely avoid certain topics as they are viewed as sensitive and depending on who or how one may comment, could have repercussions

    And I try to be non-biased and be informative rather than impose my views on others…most of the time.

    However if speaking of the Royal Family, the law, Shariah and Islam one must be careful. That’s just a fact of life here.

  31. I wonder if I can get any comments out of this article:

    http://www.gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi_arabia/10220417.html

    Or as I like to see it, “Giving mentally unstable people more power to control your life”.

  32. Interesting article, Ryan and I’m glad you posted the link. Of course what we typically hear about when it comes to the muttawa is negative. I’ve yet to see a series of positive articles about the muttawa. If they were to use their influence in a positive manner towards changing the attitudes of youth, I’d have no objection (remember the recent post I wrote about youth and fueling Riyadh road rage). But all in all, I’m not surprised that the article states the negative view of the muttawa is increasing among the youth of the Kingdom. But will that equate to their role is over and finished? Probably not.

  33. Ryan,

    That article was posted by John Burgess of the Crossroad Arabia blog. There is an interesting discussion thread about the topic. You may want to read some of the comments.

    At the minimum more arms for the group will be insanity at this point.

  34. Yeah, that’s right, I’ve put up an increadible intelligent comment there myself…

  35. This isn’t specific to Saudi, as I live in the UAE, but is specific to the region. My opinions of sex segregation, sexual apartheid, gender apartheid or whatever you want to call it.

    Women in the UAE are constantly, CONSTANTLY, stopped, harassed, unwanted signs, comments, whistles, propositions and requests in public, in the streets, in the middle of the day. Don’t even ask how unsafe it is for them at night. My partner suffers from this constantly when I’m not with her, sometimes when I am. 100% of the time it is done by Arab nationals, locals or South Asian men. It makes me angry and I have now come to question the stupid purpose of this, apparently “islamic requirement” of segregation. I feel that it creates perversion far more than it prevents it. I know hardline islamists will feel there is no argument here as usual so I’ll ignore those responses. I see other annoying consequences of this religious order in the UAE when the Dubai Police Chief declares that transexualism and cross dressing is caused by mixed gender schools (yes, he really did say that and if you search Gulf News you may find the article). I cant remember any cross dressers in my 12 years of mixed schooling in Australia. Nor have I heard any stories of this occursing from my mother, a school teacher of 30 years mixed-sex schooling.

    If mixing genders is such a bad thing, why do western countries have successful and happy citizens? Before coming here I didn’t have to worry about my partner everytime she was alone! The catholic church is just as sexist but you dont see a burgeoning population of catholic men in catholic countries leering and harassing women as their main source of entertainment!

    For reference I dont believe in organised religion but I do believe sex segregation in islam is a bad bad thing and muslims have got it wrong.

  36. I will admit that I also have a problem with the segregation issue and believe that one side effect (of many) is that it does indeed encourage inappropriate behavior and unusual fixation on women (and sometimes men) when opposite sex accustomed to segregation see one another. If you search my blog you will find I have done several posts over the few years about segregation and its impact. It’s not only segregation but the manner in which men and women will also look uniform and so much alike..the MIW nad WIB (Men in White and Women in Black). It is as if the society and culture try to de-personalize people as individuals….

    you touched a raw chord with me Ryan and I’m sure others will share their views too. I’ll try to find some of my other posts on the topic and link them in.

  37. https://delhi4cats.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/the-impact-of-segregation/

    I’ll stop with this one…there are a few more and for anyone interested, just do a search on the key word segregation.

  38. Thanks for those links. It seems most people share similar opinions. Fingers crossed things change for the better one day.

  39. Yes indeed Ryan. Thanks for bringing up the topic and I hope we hear more views and thoughts as well.

  40. Just wondering if anyone wants to comment on how they see the Syro Aramaic readings of the Koran and if they have any links to pass on with analysis along the lines of this topic?

  41. Hi, interesting quiz, i had 2 wrong answers,ive been in the kingdom for about 10 years now, also married to a saudi, really love ur blog,may Allah reward you on ur efforts in making this.As for ur battle with cancer, as one of ur avid readers we will be with u.Youre included in my prayers.

  42. Sorry, my previous comment should go to the quiz comment, had problem with the mouse.

  43. Welcome Um Mohd! Are you in Riyadh?

    Thank you for the lovely comments and I am feeling great!

  44. Here is another take for the debate. Why do you put KSA flag under USA flag especially seeing that the KSA flag has the Kalimah written. Have you ever considered this at all?

  45. Actually Muktar when hunting for an appropriate Icon to signify my US-Saudi ties I believe the one I have chosen was the most appropriate of those available. If you find other ones you’d like me to consider, I’d love to see them!

  46. Ok,

    What would be a good topic of debate is why would it matter 🙂 There is this constant issue of taking offense at seemingly benign symbols such an icon that is obviously intended as a sign of friendship.

  47. I can see where some would take offense in saying “why should the US flag come first?” Is that to indicate dominance? Or as Muktar remarked, why does the US flag cover the Kalimah.

    Now for me, because I am an American I believe when it comes to symbolism the US flag should be first as it is representative of who I am with the Saudi flag interjoined to indicate where I am now.

  48. Thank you bedu and before I forget to say it: keep on with the good work. You are a real genius …
    Offended? I was not. But lets not dwell on this issue as I am satisfied with your explanation. It is obvious you did not consider things from the Kaleemah perspective and at any rate it was not covered.
    Perhaps having the Kaleemah on the flag is the real object of debate. I dread the day when someone somewhere will decide to desecrate it for political or whatever reasons. As they do with flags of other countries. For example by wiping their shoes with it or dragging it around in dirt or doing something nasty with it. But may be this is not the place to debate this….

  49. Muktar,

    You’re welcome. And I very much agree that the Saudi flag especially with the Kaleemah should be treated with the highest respect. I remember one of Bush’s earlier visits to the Kingdom (not the most recent) and I was surprised that the flag was draped over him and King Abdullah. Let’s hope he understood the honor he received.

  50. Carol,

    I stumbled across your blog a couple of months ago and have enjoyed very much your insights into Saudi culture from the perspective of one who seems to have acculturated very well – thanks!

    It seems that Saudi Arabia represents itself as an entirely Muslim nation (culturally for sure, but religiously as well), but I have heard of other growing religious traditions inside the Kingdom. I’d love to see a post on this topic!

    Keep up the good work!

  51. Nicolette,

    Thanks for your compliments and the suggestion. That is indeed an interesting subject but one which will take a lot of thought. Sadly that is the kind of post which could shut a blog down if the wrong person read it. Sad, but true.

  52. Very interesting views, I must say! It’s fun reading everyones opinions and the debate that go on. I just joined 2 days ago, although I had read some of your articles here and there as I was trying to find information on Saudi. I have found your articles to be very UNbiased. Thank You! Keep up the good work!!

  53. Thank you very much simplyme. Glad to have you hear and expressing your views too.

  54. While in KSA for the next 2 years I will have to set aside my dearest wish (among many). I want a GIGANTIC Great Dane, and a teeny tiny Miniature Yorkie. I’m going to name them Pomp and Circumstance. Haven’t decided which combo of dog to name will be properly hysterical, for me, but I have 2 years to decide. And plenty of boyfriends and friends (past and future) to ditch abruptly if I find out they’re puppy haters… I personally believe there should be “pounds” and enthanasia more for people than pups. Cats? Blech.

  55. Andrea,

    If you really want a Great Dane and mini Yorkie while in KSA, it can be possible contingent on where you live. I like your choices of names – cute!

    Well, I’ve had cats all my life and for me they’ve been much more than “blech.” I love how when I come in from work they are there at the door greeting me with their mews and they also know if I’m not feeling well or feeling down to curl beside me and occasionally lick my hand or arm!

  56. I’m not allowed pets in the compound single apartment. oh well.. I think my cat issue is mutual animosity. With most I have to carry a spray bottle around because they’re generally trying to eat my achilled tendons… (hmmm, maybe I just have tasty tendons..), and I’m allergic. Truly, it’s unrequited love (like I’m the little boy and they’re the pig tails I pull on the playground) My friends blue point hymalayans draw me, viciously tempting little fluffy big eyed gorgeous monsters.. sigh

  57. Enjoyed your comment, Andrea.

  58. I enjoy reading about peoples’ passions re pets. I love all animals, so am a veggie, and am hoping I’ll find plenty to eat when I go to Riyadh in a couple of weeks’ time (I’ll only be there for two weeks working at Kind Saud Uni).

    Does anyone know if I’ll be able to smoke tobacco while I’m there? (I’m a western woman, and I think I’ll be in a hotel).

    By the way, if you see any truck loads of half starved, sick looking sheep in Saudi, they’ve probably come from where I come from Western Australia, where, to the country’s shame, millions of live animals are shipped every year to the Middle East.

    dd

  59. Welcome DD!

    You will find plenty to eat in Saudi even as a veggie!

    I’ve seen Western women smoke but usually in a controlled or confined environment; not open in the public. Unless you are in a non-smoking room, you probably would be able to smoke in your room.

    Oh yes…I remember when my husband was posted to Australia and immersed at the time in a trade dispute over Australian sheep! (LOL)

  60. Thank you for your message and your welcome. I’m happy to hear about the food, and tobacco, but I’ve just heard that I’ll be there in Ramadan, so I guess I’ll be waiting for night-time to sample Saudi goodies.

    Yes, the live animal export trade is a big issue in Western Australia, as well as other states, but as usual no Prime Minister has had the guts to stop it …

    On a brighter note, I’ve been looking at pictures of King Saud Uni where I’ll be teaching for two weeks, and it looks like an amazing construction … can’t wait to see it for real.

    Cheers,
    Dee-Dee

  61. Ohhgh, I can’t help myself right now… (and it is called debate page)

    There are some wierd Chrisians out there who believe that unless you believe in blah blah blah, you’re going to hell. And I always ask – so.. hut people in Irian Jaya, who’ve never seen a white man. You want me to believe God knows about them and, like, wants them to die? I highly doubt it.. at least, not my God.

    So, my argument about anti-animal-eating runs along the same lines. Aaaaalll those populations around the planet which have thrived (mongolia) on yak and yak milk and yak skin and essentially no veggies, for thousands of years. They deserve to have their thousands of years of genetic adaptation thrown out the window, forced to eat salad only (which would probably make them intensely unhealthy), all because someone cringes at the idea of baby sheep being eaten? India and asia thrive on veggies, and have for millenia probably. but not eveyone in the world is india or asia. It’s called a “Food Chain”, for a reason.

    Oy, I need a steak now. Rare. Believe it or not my genes say I will thrive on it.

  62. DD,

    Yes; daytime will be rather quiet in the Kingdom during Ramadan with the restaurants and many other places closed, but just wait until night! It goes through a transformation. FYI, most of the larger hotels will continue to serve non-muslim guests during daytime hours but in may need to be through room service.

  63. Rationalone,

    Welcome and thanks for your comment.

  64. Thanks American Bedu (is that what I should call you??!).

    I’ve been hanging out with some of the Saudi (males) students here in the UK where i’m working for a couple of weeks before coming over. Boy, do they like to party hard! I guess they let their hair down when they’re out of their country.

    An English woman here said she worked for a few days in Saudi and got off the plane and went to her hotel uncovered and without an abaya, is that okay do you think?

    Cheers for now, Dee-Dee

  65. Hi Dee Dee,

    In regards to your question I will provide you with my point of view which may differ from others. I believe that as a guest in the Kingdom where the tradition and expectation is to wear an abaya, then one makes a better first appearance if able to arrive with an abaya. Yes; there are some foreign women who have arrived without abayas and if you choose to do that, it would likely go okay for you. In regards to covering, there is no need for you to cover your head.

    And you call me American Bedu or Carol!

    Best Regards

  66. Im curious ….if there is no need to cover my head…is that just for non Muslim women going into Saudi…or muslim women too? Ive been considering going to Saudi again for some medical treatment…but completely balk at the idea of putting the hijab back on my head again after removing it nearly two years ago….long personal story there….but the basic issue being…my need for treatment up against my deep seated angst about wearing hijab for whatever reason really has me hesitating…thats how deeply it affects me. But if I dont have to wear it …then no problem…Im there.

  67. Coolred – while there will be those who disagree on this perhaps, I see covering of the head here as a choice for muslim and non-muslim, for Saudi and non-Saudi. I have Saudi friends here who choose not to wear a hijjab. I have many many non-Saudi friends here who choose not to wear a hijjab. I wear one 50/50 depending where I’m going and who I’m with.

    The muttawa seem to focus more on Saudi women or arab looking women or a woman accompanied by an Arab man and not covering. Western women by themselves do not seem to be hassled as much by the muttawa wanting them to cover.

    Hope this helps and if you are planning to coming to KSA, let me know in advance.

  68. Hi Carol,

    Unfortunately my visa was denied, probably because I’m an ‘unaccompanied woman’ trying to come during Ramadan. Hmmm. Next month apparently …
    In the meantime, I was wondering if I’ll be able to ramble around Riyadh (the interesting streets, with stalls etc) by myself. Or is Riyadh not a rambling sort of place? (I do know it’ll be hot … but I thought the evenings would be nice.)

    I’ve been given so much varying info by a) Saudi men in England (who seem to drink, smoke, and oggle women more than any other nationality I’ve ever met … even Aussies!!!) and b) by non-Saudis who have lived there. No two people give the same story, unless they are talking about ‘chop chop square’ that is …

    By the way, I got my abaya … thick, heavy polyester (hideous) … I’m going to stink within 10 minutes of wearing it! Any idea why they aren’t made of cotton?

    Cheers,
    dd

  69. Hi DD,

    It would not be surprising that your visa was denied during Ramadan…and the University’s are closing down next week until 11 October as well for the Ramadan (Eid) holidays.

    Yes; you can ramble around Riyadh on your own. Olaya Street is like the Via Venicci of Riyadh with exclusive shops and malls. Stop at a bookstore or a Tamimi grocery store and pick up a copy of Riyadh today which will give you some ideas. Alternatively also do searches on my blog about things to do in Riyadh, shopping, etc and it will give you suggestions and addresses too.

    Actually the abayas are made of various fabrics. I recently bought one that “breaths” and it does make a world of difference.

    Regards,
    Carol

  70. Carol, when I get my laptop online I will definitely send you a picture I took at Jarir. It’s priceless.

    Thank you for posting the SW KSA tourist information. It’s a pleasure and a relief to come to this site and be reminded that there will be SOMETHING worthwhile to do here eventually.

    I didn’t get out of bed this morning until 11:30 because I realized I was depressed that there was no place to go, nothing to see, nothing to experience that didn’t require an absurd amount of inconvenience (paying for a taxi EVERY time I need tampons?!) and restriction (yes, that’s interesting, but you’re not allowed to see or do it).

    I realized something fundamental yesterday after being told to sit in the smoke filled womens section of my “work place” cafe which, by the way, I had to get to by walking THROUGH the mens only non-smoking and mens only smoking areas (being checked out the whole time)….okay I’m going to digress.. this in a work space that FUNDAMENTALLY shouldn’t allow smoking… in a workplace that’s entirely co-ed, and a cafe that is only for employees, I wasn’t allowed to sit to lunch with the male coworker from the next cubicle.. And I had to breathe that disgusting smoke the whole time.

    anyway, I realized why I’m reacting the way I am to the women’s issues here. I prepared for months to come here and knew what to expect, but for the first time in my life I wasn’t able to control, and wasn’t prepared for, my reaction.. and now that I’m re-reading the Davinci Code again it’s finally come to me. I was raised Catholic. (I’m over it, though.) I have a wider and more sane view of the world. And, I don’t feel protected.

    I feel and am controlled, restricted and oppressed. I don’t feel or believe that as a woman I’m being protected here or respected by the traditional place for women here. I have less options, less control over my own life, and less rights, especially as a single woman, than anyone else here. And I’m supposed to appreciate it. I was literally told to be thankful for it.

    I’ll get over it, or rather accommodate to it, because I’m self aware and not stupid, and as long as I understand where I’m coming from and why I’m seeing things this way, I can adapt. But I left home because of stupidity being in charge and I just wish there was one place on this planet where I wasn’t subject to other people ignorant blind FAITH (in broken systems, and intolerance of everyone else).

    UGH.

  71. Anonymous – your feelings are understood. It really is one thing to hear and read about the distinctions in culture, tradition and practices but another ballgame entirely once thrown into it.

    Now I’m assuming from your comments that you are working at a hospital. And I am surprised that you have no option but a womens only smoking area! Now granted, I can speak only from Riyadh and Jeddah experiences but normally the hospitals have the least enforced segregation. My husband actually enjoys meeting me for lunch at work since it is very much a “westernized” environment where we do not have to sit in an enclosed cubicle.

    I can assure you that as you get settled you will find your “like minded” friends as well as learn more about options and activities in your area. I am convinced there are many “somethings” for everyone here but sometimes it just takes a while to find them.

    It would be helpful if readers from the Eastern Province would comment on the variety of things to do and places to go. I can say that not too far from Al Hassa is an area with caves and ancient drawings on the walls that is certainly worth going to go and see.

  72. I could list a few things to do, but for the most part if you don’t have family and friends here – they will get old really quick. Even so, most of the things to do are not availasble untyil after 4pm, so that will not help with her depression and resulting late sleeping.

    Honestly, I would not ever recommend for a non-Muslim to live here. I know most come for the money but it is not worth the misery. The happiest peoiple I know, who move here, are the western converts who made the intentions to move here for the sake of Allah. Even some of them have issues.

    I personally love it here and can not think of another place I’d rather be. That said, it’s because I am Muslim and enjoy living in a Muslim dominated land. I love how easy it is to practice Islam here. If you are here for any other reason, then honestly you can’t complain. The situation back home must not have been that great in the first place if you are willing to move here knowing that you will hate it. I just can’t imagine why a person would do that to themself. Well, I take that back. I know why a 3rd world national would, but why a westerner. i guess the same reason…MONEY! I sure hope it’s worth it.

  73. Immersion in another language, immersion in another culture (and by this i mean art, architecture, literature, historical sites, and food), easier proximity to all the “overseas” places I’ve wanted to visit, and a job that is light years beyond my professional options in the states in my specific field, the opportunity to write my book without the constant stress of running my own business, and hopefully the side benefit of losing weight because of the loss of those stresses.

    The only thing about the money that’s different for me here is the regularity of payment.. not the amount. And I never expected being forced to willingly shut down my brain for days at a time because I have 4 walls and a television as my (acceptable) universe.

    I don’t even see, as a woman, how being here because of islam is so freeing. You’re not even allowed, as a woman, to go to the friggin mosque ! Even at the Vatican I’d be allowed to wander. I mean.. you could literally lock yourself up in a room in your home and NEVER leave, and noone would find that unusual.

    I apologize for my tone. I respect your preference ummadam, and can understand why (from my previous experiences with people of solid faith). It’s not the religious aspect of life here that boggles my mind, it’s the traditional suppression of women, and women’s cheerful acceptance of it because ‘that’s how it’s always been’.

    wake up chicks. get in your cars and drive. and refuse to stop.

    (just venting.. really)

  74. al ahsa is over an hour away. I’ll get there eventually. By camel if I must.

  75. I have written earlier on this subject but think it’s prudent to mention it again here… I believe many expats come here and will suffer from “delayed culture shock.” When first arriving everything is new and exotic but after being here a while and if that like-minded friend support network is not in place depression can set in.

    I regret not knowing more about the EP for I can say that in Riyadh and Jeddah I have a very active (almost too active at times) social life which includes all the activities that I enjoy doing such as horseback riding, sports, movies, reading groups, playing cards with friends, socializing, etc.

    If there are certain activities you enjoy but haven’t found, ask yourself if you can create your own interest group such as book club or card club or something.

    If you are not already, do be a member of the expatsinsaudiarabia@yahoogroups.com newsgroup. You’ll likely have a better chance of finding others who are already in your area.

    Unlike Umm Adam, I have found activities which take place both during the day and evenings. It could be because of my Riyadh location.

    People come to the Kingdom for various reasons and expat “guest workers” remain very much needed in the Kingdom. Therefore it is important to offer support and welcome rather than discouragement regardless of faith and circumstances.

  76. i understand your position. Different strokes for different folks. Personally the driving is no biggie for me. If I did not have a husband it would be frustrating. I actually have a car. I can drive where I live. Since you are in the EP come on over to my house and drive when you get the urge! I took the kids to school everyday last week but I will be putting them on the bus for now on insha’Allah. Not being able to drive can be inconveniet at times, but for me once my dh bought me the car I knew that that would mean he was going to try to get me to run more errands.

    As far as women going to the masjid, allow me to give you another perspective. i see this as a mercy. women are not banned from the masjid in islam or saudi. it is obligatory on men to pray all of their 5 prayers in the masjid. this duty has been lifted from weomen alhamduillah. i find it difficult enough trying to perform my 5 prayers on time in my home because of the distractions of the children. can you imagine the stress women would be under if we were obligated to drag all the kids out to the masjid 5x a day and pray?!

    most of the big masajid have women’s sections. it is the smaller newighbor masajid that u may find with no women’s section or with the women’s section locked outside of ramadan. this is because the women in the neighborhood are praying at home and it is not in use. if the women were coming out i’m sure it would be made available, but trust me the women are not trying to pray all therir praywers in ther masjid outside of ramadan. these same smaller neighborhood masajid do not have the jumauh prayer (friday sermon and prayer). this is because it is encouraged to pray jumuah in a bigger congregation, so the go to a main masjid. these bigger main masji usually have a women’s section. again most women would rather pray at hoime and only pray at the masjid if they just so happened to be out of the house. if a woman wants to pray here then there are more than enough masajid that have women sections. sure they all don’t but they can be found.

    have you been to rashid mall or mall of dharan yet? i’ll be going after the next prayer insha’allah. if u like u r invited to join me. i’ll show u the prayer rooms 🙂

    call me
    050-211-2608

  77. carol, i know of a few day activities as well but most are for muslims, like quran school. if she can make some friends at aramco or the other western compounds she may find more. carol, u probably know of more day time activities because u don’t have small children. once mine are all in school then watch out…i’ll be in knitting and quilting clubs, book clubs, bloggers anonymous meetings, etc. insha’allah 🙂

  78. I love the new banner! Saudi Cat!

  79. When it was brought to my attention, I knew I had to have it displayed….

    It is purrfect and also representive of my purrsonality!

  80. Jim Crow Laws Family Law Law School Rankings…

    I didn’t agree with you first, but last paragraph makes sense for me…

  81. I’ve been curious about hobbies in the KSA ( and everywhere else ). Do Saudi women like to do craftwork? Do Saudi men have workshops where they like to design and build things? Are there places where people can take their stuff to show them off and sell them (like our flea markets and craft shows here in the U.S.)?

  82. Hi Solo and welcome to the blog. In my own experience I can say that Saudi women do like to do craftwork and are very talented. Usually at special occasions and functions there may be displays of unique crafts on sale. Good question about the Saudi men… I do know some Saudi men who very much enjoy designing, building and “tinkering” but not sure if they are in the minority or not.

    The concept of American flea markets and craft shows has not caught on as much here as in the USA….yet.

  83. What is with women doing ”crafts” and men are supposed to have workshops and built stuff?
    I was really deeply dissappointed when I found out that my increadibly stupid backward school forced me to do knitting, while the boys got carpentry and metalwork! I’m só much more into building stuff and metalwork than bloody knitting!
    (refused to learn knitting) (my father felt for me and gave me the use of his tools and taught me carpentry, and helped me with some very ambitious projects I had thought up)

  84. I agree Aafke. I remember pushing when I was in school way back to get to take shop!

  85. Schools don’t keep shop class just for boys anymore. Shoot, there’s even girls on the football teams now.

  86. See how times have changed in the US….so there’s hope for Saudi Arabia too!

  87. had to laugh at the idea of a saudi man tinkering with wood work on the weekends.. it is just so much easier to hire someone to do it!

    There are some crafty women, especially wedding things and new baby things and sewing. Painting and caligraphy is also a big thing. There is also a small saudi female crowd into quilting in various areas.

    The traditional crafts are more like weaving, sewing, and basket making. which women still do and sell at open markets in smaller towns.

  88. The comparisons in culture are amazing, but it also took a long time for those changes to take place here. Women are doing things today that 20 yrs ago would not have been possible or at the very least very difficult. I think competence is more important than gender. Always did like a woman that walked beside me, not behind me ; ) As for women driving in Saudi Arabia, isn’t the driving there notoriously bad?

  89. Solo – notoriously bad is a mild understatement to describe driving in KSA!!

  90. Hehehe, so I hear ;D

  91. I would like to have a choice on whether or not I could drive but in all actuality, I doubt I would drive here in KSA (at least in Riyadh) unless it were an emergency. It’s not only the drivers are maniacs but then there are the logistical issues too such as lack of available parking which also makes it very convenient to have a driver or just be dropped off somewhere.

  92. Well, I would venture to guess that driving would be an issue all over. I live in a small town here in KSA compared to Riyadh or Jeddah or just about anywhere else and they also drive like maniacs. When I asked my students about driving many of them said they’d like to drive, but not in Saudi Arabia.

    My husband is bothered that he has to take me everywhere. When we go back to the states for the summer he says that I have to drive for the whole vacation, lol.

  93. Amal, if it is any consolation whenever we are out of the Kingdom my Saudi husband always insists on me doing all the driving so he can take a well-deserved break!

  94. Yes, it is a consolation. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  95. Many Saudi wives I know tend to do the driving once out of the Kingdom!

  96. I’m an American convert to Islam and I have heard both sides of the picture. I’ve heard that Saudi Arabia is a great place because its a theocracy in a sense and you’re safe from fashion industries, fitna, drugs and alcohol and what have you versus the West. On the other hand, i’ve heard that Saudi Arabian women are controlled by chauvinistic men and are harshly scruntinized and punished for one false move or look. I’m deeply interested in actually going because I know that Saudi Arabia has something great to offer.

  97. Muslimah – welcome and thank you for your comment. Saudi Arabia has a little bit of everything I think! And success and happiness in KSA really comes down to the individual and their expectations, wishes and desires. Not everyone is cut out to settle and live here. I suggest anyone who is considering coming here for whatever reason to do as much advance research as possible.

    You will find pockets in Saudi Arabia where Saudi Arabian women are more fashion conscious than women in Rome, Paris, Milan. You can find in Saudi Arabia pockets where fitna takes place along with drugs and alcohol. Yes, some women are controlled by chauvinistic men and others are happily married to men and have a balanced relationship. It’s all here!

  98. Muslimah,

    “I’m an American convert to Islam and I have heard both sides of the picture. I’ve heard that Saudi Arabia is a great place because its a theocracy in a sense and you’re safe from fashion industries, fitna, drugs and alcohol and what have you versus the West.”

    I think these are misconceptions about Saudi. Yes drugs and Alcohol are not found as easy to get as in the west, but they are available. Saudi does have a drug problem, which is not discussed enough. Alcohol is available in many forms. The locally made and the smuggled.

    Regarding Fitna, it all depends on your definition. Some Saudi youth have been recruited by radicals to fight in many wars (like Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan). By some definitions including mine, radicalizing the youth is the ultimate of FItna. I think this issue has improved over the past 2 years, but it is still an issue. Fashion exposure is actually more in Saudi than in the West. Saudi’s both women and men are more focused on wearing the latest designs than most Americans (as an example).

    Regarding, women issues. I think this blog provides plenty of information for you to develop your own understanding.

  99. Bedu- your cute episode with your SS wa a hoot in my opinion- the revrse happended when my son returned from Iraq- my husband was tickled pink over how his expressions were peppered with Enshallahs, mashallahs, qulshi zains…though when he is at his most excited my son will go into fluent Japanese because he spent most of his adult life there.

    My mom when speaking with my husband will change the ojalas, si Dios quiere and Gracias a Dios for insha’allah and Alhamdulillahs because to her and us it is a sign of respect that my husband has always reciprocated by saying these phrases in spanish…those two have a special bond…like my father in law who learned to say yes, no, ok and maybe to pepper his conversations with me- he’s so cute when he does…

    But I draw the line and get a bruised metaphorical nose when Muslims won’t salaam another muslim because the person doesn’t fit their ethnic group! To date haven’t met a Bangladeshi who will salaam me back; nor a Palestinian- even though we are in a Masjid…

    My son jokingly says its is the perenial distrust of Moors- we have a phrase that means there are spies among us (though I am sure wasn’t the original meaning) – “Hay Moros en las costas”!

    Cest la vie!

  100. Inal – glad you enjoyed! And so did I. I’m glad that we have a relaxed relationship and can joke as such.

    I agree with you – whether muslim or not or salaming or saying simple hellos, it is rude and discourteous to just ignore one like they are invisible!

    Appreciate the background information and atmospherics!

  101. Thanks Bedu- its the background noise that tells you who’s in the house. We are not simple creatures- we are God’s most complex creation and we for some reason or another belittle our complexity and instead aim for a perfection that is not part of our realm…

    The phrase “simply perfect” does not apply to humans…

  102. Huh. Wrong page?

  103. Anonymous, on January 16th, 2009 at 12:45 am Said:
    BRAVO! BRAVO! UmmAdam, thank you, thank you, thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for showing everyone your true colors girl!! It has been a long time and finally you did it!!!!

    You see, most of the stuff you said is a clear reflection upon yourself (especially the part about psychotic drugs)!! Sweet heart, you truly need to get a life………………

    You can always take the girl out of the ghetto but you will never take the ghetto out of the girl………………….PEACE!!!!

    You see, most of the stuff you said is a clear reflection upon yourself. You secretly, sat and waited for me to leave off the rememberance of Allah, good speech and the enjoinment of good and forbidden evil. You never once bothered to comment in the months that I have said nothing insulting, rather just called the people to the truth. Now that I stooped real low (to make a point), showed my weakness, and ignorance- you are pleased to see me FINALLY do it. So whose true colors that that show?

    Saudi In US: I do not want to ask the obvious about the quality of character showed there. It was expected. I am just wondering how do you watch the movie Scarface without listening to the “Music” Sound track.

    That ‘s amazing that a one time post shows my obvious character. It just shows that I’m just as influenced by the vices of weakness and ignorance and capable of the rest to listen to the whispers of Shaytaan. it shows that i have been patient and not cussed you guys out a long time ago. It shows that others like to sit back and wait for the eminent downfall of others.

    People are free to express themselves anyway they want here. They can say what they want about Allah, His Messenger, The religion of Islam, and the Muslims – and nobody shows the least bit of concern. Now all of a sudden what I post is a outrage. Nobody cared about offending Allah. Heck if those Tony Montana quotes were posted towards me by anyone else you guys would have thrown a party and nobody would have considered it inflamatory or offensive.

    and by the way. How old is scarface? How long ago did I see that movie?

    Do you people honestly think that I did not expect you to react this way? I know your type better than you think you know mine. Abu Sinan screamed boring boring after my last few post and as soon as I bring it on then you guys are like…I knew it! Did you not think I knew that would happen? You people are predictable. Just like those who Allah says are the mischief makers, “Truly they are the agents of corruption, but they perceive, this, not.”

    You people remind me of the Zionist, who provoke the Palestianians and when they throw a mere rock at them out of frustration then they sit back smile, and say see now we have the perfect excuse to destroy them. Then they play the victim and villify the other.

    How far removed are we from what Allah says we should be :God says”All of you believe, observe your duty to God with right observance and die not except in a state of submission to Him and hold fast all of you together the rope of God and do not get disunited and remember, God’s favor on you how you were enemies and He made friendship and love in your heart so that you became brothers by His grace and how you were on the brink of fire and He did save you from it. Thus God makes clear His revelation to you that you may be guided and let there be from you rise a nation which invited people to goodness and enjoins right conduct and forbids indecency. Such are those who are successful” (3:102-104).

    All Praise is for Allah whom I do not plead to anyone but Him, for if I pleaded to others, they would not grant me. All Praise is for Allah who dignified me by becoming the Disposer of my affairs, instead of making me rely on others who then would humiliate me. All Praise is for Allah who treats me with clemency, just as if I have no sin. So my Lord is the most praised by me of all, and most worthy of my praise.

  104. Anonymous, on January 16th, 2009 at 12:45 am Said:
    BRAVO! BRAVO! UmmAdam, thank you, thank you, thank you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much for showing everyone your true colors girl!! It has been a long time and finally you did it!!!!

    You see, most of the stuff you said is a clear reflection upon yourself (especially the part about psychotic drugs)!! Sweet heart, you truly need to get a life………………

    You can always take the girl out of the ghetto but you will never take the ghetto out of the girl………………….PEACE!!!!

    You see, most of the stuff you said is a clear reflection upon yourself. You secretly, sat and waited for me to leave off the rememberance of Allah, good speech and the enjoinment of good and forbidden evil. You never once bothered to comment in the months that I have said nothing insulting, rather just called the people to the truth. Now that I stooped real low (to make a point), showed my weakness, and ignorance- you are pleased to see me FINALLY do it. So whose true colors that that show?

    Saudi In US: I do not want to ask the obvious about the quality of character showed there. It was expected. I am just wondering how do you watch the movie Scarface without listening to the “Music” Sound track.

    That ‘s amazing that a one time post shows my obvious character. It just shows that I’m just as influenced by the vices of weakness and ignorance and capable of the rest to listen to the whispers of Shaytaan. it shows that i have been patient and not cussed you guys out a long time ago. It shows that others like to sit back and wait for the eminent downfall of others.

    People are free to express themselves anyway they want here. They can say what they want about Allah, His Messenger, The religion of Islam, and the Muslims – and nobody shows the least bit of concern. Now all of a sudden what I post is a outrage. Nobody cared about offending Allah. Heck if those Tony Montana quotes were posted towards me by anyone else you guys would have thrown a party and nobody would have considered it inflamatory or offensive.

    and by the way. How old is scarface? How long ago did I see that movie?

    Do you people honestly think that I did not expect you to react this way? I know your type better than you think you know mine. Abu Sinan screamed boring boring after my last few post and as soon as I bring it on then you guys are like…I knew it! Did you not think I knew that would happen? You people are predictable. Just like those who Allah says are the mischief makers, “Truly they are the agents of corruption, but they perceive, this, not.”

    You people remind me of the Zionist, who provoke the Palestianians and when they throw a mere rock at them out of frustration then they sit back smile, and say see now we have the perfect excuse to destroy them. Then they play the victim and villify the other.

    How far removed are we from what Allah says we should be :God says”All of you believe, observe your duty to God with right observance and die not except in a state of submission to Him and hold fast all of you together the rope of God and do not get disunited and remember, God’s favor on you how you were enemies and He made friendship and love in your heart so that you became brothers by His grace and how you were on the brink of fire and He did save you from it. Thus God makes clear His revelation to you that you may be guided and let there be from you rise a nation which invited people to goodness and enjoins right conduct and forbids indecency. Such are those who are successful” (3:102-104).

    All Praise is for Allah whom I do not plead to anyone but Him, for if I pleaded to others, they would not grant me. All Praise is for Allah who dignified me by becoming the Disposer of my affairs, instead of making me rely on others who then would humiliate me. All Praise is for Allah who treats me with clemency, just as if I have no sin. So my Lord is the most praised by me of all, and most worthy of my praise.

  105. My appreciation for moving this thread to the debate page.

    AMERICAN BEDU

  106. My apologies for getting carried away. I honestly found it amusing.

  107. Plus, Carol when you said, “halas” and went Saudi on me (wink) I wouldn’t have dared to (be the first one) comment after that 🙂

  108. Very true…when I “go Saudi” the diplomatic gloves are off!

  109. I don’t think this technically a debate–but quoting lines from a movie is not the same as cussing someone out which is usually more “freestyle.” It was a very creative rhetorical strategy, masha Allah.

  110. Quotes from Aummadam in reply to a one line sentence:

    “Do you people honestly think that I did not expect you to react this way? I know your type better than you think you know mine.”

    “…. mischief makers, “Truly they are the agents of corruption, but they perceive, this, not.”

    “You people remind me of the Zionist….”

    “How far removed are we from what Allah”

    This is just a few of her rants. I am totally convinced now that I am not talking to a person that accepts criticism as she claims.

    Regarding knowing my type, I really think you are clueless about me, because you are quick to judge. You have found away to always look for negatives. With that perception of the world, you will never find goodness in others.

    Ummadam, you really should re-evaluate how you are perceived. There is a reason people take offense to what you write and you find yourself into these escalating arguments. You introduce religion in every argument and start calling others sinners based on your interpretation of Islam. Note I am not a Salfi, so if you use Salfi perceptions of Islam, you are missing the point.

    You can cuss people out as much as you want, that is your prerogative and the freedom the internet provides you. However, do not expect it will reflect well on you.

    You should try to stop this finger pointing in every post. Try to extend your view out without vilifying others. I really think you will have a different experience here if you follow that. I am all for debates of different ideas, but when you question people’s intent, religion, call them sinners, etc. right out of the gate, you will get a strong argument back. At the end of the day, if what is important is the message you are supposed to bring across, why weaken it by having people view it in a negative light.

    Also, I think you should try to make your messages shorter. So people can get to your point easier. This is not a major issue, but of you want to be heard, short is better.

    I hope you take this seriously as an advice.

  111. Saudi in the USA,

    There is a reason that the advance of the Islamic faith owes more to the Sufis than the holier than thou Salafi types. The holier than thou personality does not lend well to Dawah. No one likes it, it is repulsive. 99.99% of those approached with this attitude would be offended, the other .01 certainly wouldnt be the cream of the crop.

    When you look at very large Muslim nations like Indonesia, it wasnt the Salafi that brought Islam, it was the Sufi. I venture to say that if the Salafi types had tried the country, as a whole, would have rejected Islam.

    I firmly feel that most of the people involved in these backwards movements and sects have little or no intelligence, they want to have everything dictated to them. It is so easy to just point and condemn everyone who isnt like you. It doesnt take thought, it doesnt take contemplation. The people who fill these movements are the modern witchhunters.

    You can see what happens when like minded people come to power. When they dont have power they proclaim music haram. When they have power they kill you if you listen to music. It will be like this on any number of issues, that is why we, as Muslims, must do everything we can to keep them from gaining power.

  112. Hello Mr Anonymous. From what ur saying, it seems like you are hailing Sufi efforts in spreading Islam throughout the world. Though I agree with you, a large portion of the Muslim world owes much to efforts made by Sufis in the past, but I would caution you not to take this out of historical context. Salafi movements in the 17th and 18th century did not resemble what we have today, they were also active in reviving the Muslims nation from irreversable decadence.

    It is also impossible to make sweeping comments about Salafis and Sufis. These groups exist in the western world and often have a more radical flavor over there than in Muslim countries. Muslims in the UK, US and Canada, unfortunately have deep division over these issues. Your tone and terminology used here reminds me of the endless discussions I used to have in Canada. Spending practically all of my life there with the exception of the last 4 months, I can tell you that both Sufis and Salafis marginalize regular decent muslims who seek only to practise their religion to the best of their ability without affiliating with these cultish groups.

    Salafis have a tendency to activate a vigorous and overzealous attitude and people, but Sufis will simply passify the Muslims. Muslims are suffering all over the world, but you will find prominent Sufis leaders in North America advocating passive responses and shunning worldwide demonstrations – ie. the recent assault on Gaza.

    Yes, today in Saudi Arabia there is a serious problem with the scholarly class and their rigid and suffocation interpretation of Islam. Let’s not simplify it into an ideological clash between Sufis and Salafis.

  113. If only you had a dog….. in our country every household will have a dog up to 3! Dog is God spelled backwards. They love unconditionally, they teach children to care and be responsible. They wait for you to get home, always happy to see you. You don’t know love if you have never had a dog. You will have a friend for life xx

  114. There’s a well-known saying here in our part of town, “If you want a friend in Washington DC, get a dog.”

    And I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read “I strive to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.”

  115. I am an animal lover but from a practical point of view, I’ll take a cat any day over a dog! I do like dogs but just find their required care more than I want to take on. And my 2 kitties are always waiting at the door for me when I come in and do give so much unconditional love.

  116. Carol, there’s yet another saying:

    When God created Adam, He put him in the garden, before He created Eve, but man was getting lonely. So the animals came to God and asked him to help keep man company.

    So God created the dog, who followed man everywhere, played, obeyed all his commands, was so giving in unconditional love that man got a little haughty.

    The animals came again to God, and said that while the creation of the dog was wonderful, it was a very good animal, that man was getting a little full of himself with all the unconditional attention.

    Thereby God created the cat ….

  117. We just had one of ours pass away, a cat — more like a dog-cat” very loving, sweet, she was a little welcome wagon every day, not only to us but anyone who came to visit, she was very social … fantastic cat, no doubt.

    After a beautiful life, she passed away at age 17 … and we are grateful that she went “on her own terms” …

    No doubt she and our German Shepherd are now playing together again as they once did here with us …

    Both are greatly missed.

  118. I do enjoy your story Susan!!

    As you can see from my flikr photos, i have two kitties in Riyadh. I’ve had them both for 12 years and they are part of my family!

  119. Does Saudi Arabia pay for individuals to promote propoganda?

    “The following is a comment from Aafke directed to Susan:
    Susan: *Aafke, you stated the Dutch “Have a history which taken on the whole stands out very positively in a humanistic view, from other countries on the planet.” You’re sure about that?*
    Yes, I’m sure about that.

    Susan I am really wondering at you strange comments, I cannot figure you out.
    Obviously your knowlege of Saudi Arabia, or any foreign country for that matter, is sketchy at the extreme!
    And yet, when you are corrected in your mistaken views by people with actual knowledge and personal experiences, you refuse to accept their superior knowlege.

    We all have solutions for the problems in KSA, to be able to implement them is a different matter. The most important one would be: Write a system of law, and get trained judges. They had 80 years to do that for pete’s sake!

    I am wondering what you are about, your comments on this thread are completely off topic. Your comments are always brainlessly pro Saudi Arabia, it is as if you equate Saudi Arabia with a ”Devine Utopia”!
    And if anybody tells you different, you put up some mindless, brainless uninformed attack.
    I am getting the very strong impression you are a paid writer, You have no passion about any of the subjects under discussion, you try to derail the discussions away from any negative comments on Saudi, You keep plugging King Abdullah.
    We are talking about the Death penalty here and you haven’t even alluded to it once!

    You are a fraud, that’s why you have no personal opinion, you only write in praise of Saudi Arabia, and it’s king, without true knowlege insight, or even interest.
    It’s pure, mindless propaganda!
    How much does your job as a propagandist pay???
    And it’s a waste of money, you’re not doing a good job…”

    with all due respect as I usually am on the same side as Aafke and some others, I’m not sure if I buy into the paid propagandist theory…For example, I know that the Saudi embassy in Washington as well as various ministries in Riyadh have indeed engaged very well known, prestigious and reputable international PR firms to get their messages and views across. I just find it unlikely that someone would be paid to surf blogs and always say something good about Saudi Arabia whether there is substance or not… But it is an interesting topic to discuss such as whether one believes there are paid proprogandists and if there is a need for such…. Of course the US government did it in Iraq and did it through very lucrative contracts to defense contractors as well as in Afghanistan and other places….they like to call this “winning the hearts and mind” or in military terms “psyops” (psychological operations) and they can be very effective.

  120. yeah, I find it very unrealistic too. But then, it’s so strange: somebody who doesn’t seem to be a religious nutter, or a real fan of the country itself, yet is constantely promoting a certain country and it’s ideology without any apparent knowlege of the place, without experience living there, and yet constantely refuting those who do have personal knowledge, and are even nationals of that country????

    Why???????

    I’d love a job like that btw. If anybody’s reading this: I’d be really good at it! Hire me!!!!!
    :mrgreen:

  121. American Bedu

    Regarding Paid Propagandists:

    I have seen two accusations of “paid commentor” or “paid writer” on this blog, one referencing a tactic of using paid commentors to drive up numbers, and this one regarding a paid propagandist. In both instances I’ve interpreted the accusation as a particularly angry attack on another commentor with whom one disagrees.

    I certainly trust American Bedu is not paying anyone, and even with all the respect I have for this blog, I doubt Saudis need to pay a propagandist here.

    Psyops are very powerful when they work, and they are a commonplace of war (lots of interesting info now on British psyops during WWII for example) Certainly it is now common to engage high end PR firms and marketing companies to “sell” one’s country, war, political view etc. Funding prestigious university departments, chairs, scholarships, conferences, research institutes, publishing houses etc. also are highly effective means of getting credible proponents of one’s view.

    As I discovered from the beautiful poetry Susan contributed as her comment to the Valentine’s Day post, she has her own very beautiful poetic/ artistic/ theological/ philosophical website at:
    http://www.annakhal.org

    I assume this is not a secret, since I discovered it easily when I wanted to compliment her on the poetry. As I wasn’t sure she herself was the poet (it wasn’t clear from her comment), and I wanted to be sure of the correct attribution, I googled the first lines.

    Somehow I doubt Susan is a paid propagandist. I also doubt Aafke, for example, or anyone else here, is being paid by AIPAC to make negative comments about Saudi.

    The personal attack comments are unfortunate and distracting in my opinion. One can almost always address the issue without attacking the person, and if the person is the issue one can address them in a constructive way– or defer to the highly capable blog mistress!

    In terms of the tactics of being off topic or derailing a post to either distract from negative Saudi attributes or find a way to laud Saudi, I think most perceived derailings are something the person sees as legitimate, or else that strays inadvertently far because of the additional comments made. A few are short, pithy, sometimes inflammatory, attempts to get someone else one is not a fan of to “take the bait”.
    These too seem to me lamentable.

    Thanks for the opportunity to address these issues, and for pulling back on the comments that get too far off, or the exchanges that get too personal.

    Disclaimer–my views are coloured by my sincere desire to believe there are no paid propagandists on this blog, and my aversion to psyops while believing they are sometimes “un mal necessaire”. 😀

  122. @Aafke,

    “I’d love a job like that btw. If anybody’s reading this: I’d be really good at it! Hire me!!!!!”

    You can be the Minister of Misinformation for the Republic of BedulLand. The job will come with better bonus program and in many ways more lucrative than the ceremonial VP position

    Regarding, paid blog commentators and writers, I think it is quite possible that governments would insert writers to promote a country’s position. I actually think that would be even wise of a country like Saudi Arabia with so many negative stories coming out almost on a weekly basis. Now if Susan is indeed working that role, I would agree it is quite a waste of resources…..

  123. Chiara – I may complain at times on your lengthy comments but wanted to let you know I am in complete agreement with you on this one!

    Aafke, Saudi in US – I like the nomination for Aafke. It reminded me of Al Sahab (may not be spelled right). He was the Minister of (dis)Information for Iraq under Saddam. I remember him denying there were no US/coalition forces in Iraq when in fact US forces had already taken control of Baghdad airpot! (LOL)

    Now if Saudi Arabia wants to hire someone to present stories on the Kingdom they should hire me! And I promise to try and be fair and biased….(smile)

  124. I’m gonna let you all just keep going …

  125. Carol, just a question. If you live in Saudi Arabia, have a Saudi husband, why do you mind if I say something good about Saudi Arabia or that I think King Abdullah should be nominated for the Nobel Prize?

    Why do you care that I hope someday soon because of the initiatives the King and others including Prince Saud al Faisal are putting into place for the betterment of the country, charting their own destiny in accordance to mutual consensus and Islam?

    I would think a blog focusing on life in Saudi Arabia would be welcoming and appreciative to others saying things they appreciate about the country and its people.

    It’s a pity Carol.

    And if you or anyone likes what I write on my website, take it, feel free. It’s yours … fisabilallah. So many have seen it, including the embassy … and some in Saudi … so help yourself..

  126. Carol,

    I guess I can offer a small bit on this. The Saudi Embassy here in DC certainly does monitor what is said on some blogs. Whether this is part of an organised campaign or just the work of some individuals I cannot say.

    I know this is fact first hand. I was having an issue, as always, with the Saudi Embassy here in DC. I made a post about it on my blog and mentioned the individual by complete name that had lied to my SIL.

    Within an hour or so of the post being published on my blog my same SIL got an angry e-mail from the person whose name I mentioned, who happens to be the brother of the Ambassador and married to a friend of hers.

    Now my blog, when I posted regularly, had a thousand or so hits a day. I havent checked recently, but I know it is down to nothing now. But it is VERY clear that someone from the Embassy was keeping tabs on it. Within an hour a so they noted a post and a major figure at the Embassy was able to respond by sending an e-mail to my SIL.

    My wife is friends with the wife of the man involved. This lady also is the daughter of the former long standing Cultural Attache there who ran the Saudi scholarship program. She made it clear that the Saudi Embassy does have spies that are paid to gather information about students in the USA. They gather information, both in person and via the internet.

    I think it would be safe to say that if they monitor the internet usage of students on the scholarship, and they clearly monitor the blogs and websites of people critical of the government of Saudi, then they have a paid group of IT workers who do this. Now whether or not they’d extend monitoring into actual posting and the trying to change stories and blog posts is another thing.

    However, if they did so, I doubt they’d do it as ham fisted as Susan attempts to do so here.

    Anyway, I wish my FIL was still alive. He was a military attache/diplomat here in DC with the Saudi government for more than two decades. Given the fact that military attache jobs and position are nutorious as spots for spies and military intelligence, I think it is more than likely he might have had some first hand information about this…………..if he’d admit it.

    I find it odd that Susan thinks Carol’s unreceptive to positive stories about Saudi. Her blog is full of them, I often think she is overly optomistic and positive about Saudi.

    The fact that Susan thinks she is over negative means that she is clearly unbalanced in her thinking!

  127. Abu Sinan: That’s my point exactely: Bedu is a goodwill ambassador for KSA, bringing to light so many good things about country and inhabitants…. That she sometimes has a more critical post makes the positive ones only the more acceptable to the discerning mind.
    If you can denounce Bedu for being negative about KSA while she actually is giving such a positive view of the country, you must be pretty blind.

    Saudi in US: I’d love to be minister of dis-information! Sounds far more interesting as VP: just the job for me! And I can take all sorts of bribes as well :mrgreen:

    So, anybody out there who needs a ”yes-man” on the net: I am available, and unscrupulous: As long as I get lots of dough I will spin whatever is required.
    (Until somebody else pays me more)
    Also: I would do it really well and intelligently :mrgreen:

    And meanwhile, while I am still free to speak my mind, I will denounce which my conscience tells me is evil, and I will praise what I like and admire. as I have always done while commenting on this blog.

  128. You all would not be good at cards, you have too many “tells” – it’s too easy to pick up the direction and origin of your assertions.

  129. Cards? Cards????? Like… Poker?????? GAMBLING?????? I don’t know what you are doing in your spare time, but don’t accuse us of entering into kaffir fitnah!!! I’m keeping well away from this invention shaytaan brought to the kaffirs to induce zina!!!!!

  130. Aw Aafke, beloiut is one of the most popular games played in Saudi! (smile)

    Susan – I’m puzzled by your comment and while I may not always agree with your opinion you certainly have every right to voice your views.

    Abu Sinan – I enjoyed your example. Yes; I’m sure your late FIL could likely have shared many interesting experiences (if able).

  131. Carol, I’m sorry you’re puzzled about it. But am too heartened that you don’t mind my expression of support and positive encouragement for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as it continues to grow productively, while still being so very young as a country.

    It’s something to which many Americans can actually relate, we are not as different as the Saudis.As an American, I recognize and appreciate that.

    I am not inclined to the political, despite understanding its mechanisms, and despite living in Washington, DC.

    I am however seemingly and perhaps at times obviously inherently inclined with a somewhat theological and ecumenical underpinning.

    I completely and wholly understand the significance what Saudi Arabia is … even into Magan. And if it is as I think it is, they’ve every right to proceed as cautiously as they do.

    Yes, some things need to be improved, come more in line with the kindness the Prophet effected, but I would not just extend that concept to Saudi Arabia.

    And I wonder if at times, it would break his heart to see how it is now. But I can’t be about the rancor and political fist pounding of political Islam … I’m not cut from that cloth, I’m reminded by other things.

    This is what I think:

    In Islam, Muslims are called upon to accept the Books – the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospel, and of course – the Qur’an – as revelations from Allah to mankind. At times, it’s asserted that the previous Books – the Torah and the Gospel – have been "tampered" with, are no longer representative of the revelation(s) of Allah and should therefore be omitted – ignored.

    I disagree. If this were the case, they would never have been placed in the directives to which Muslims adhere.

    The Qur’an is a tool toward discerning and redirecting those who read it toward the message of Allah. It confirms the previously revealed texts. The first revelation to Muhammed was “Read!” Where we take what we read within – precisely as with the texts of the Torah and the Gospel (I tend to include some of the Gnostic texts) and how it affects our “world” becomes the measure of whether – I think – it’s heard well or not. Something akin to the water taking on the color of its vessel.

    Is it possible that if we hear in a way that results in hatred and division amongst ourselves and creation, it be construed as a true message from Allah?

    In my perception of Allah, hatred and division certainly don’t come from Him. I do think it’s time – and He would want us to enjoin in earnest conversation toward resolution of this murkiness. Didn’t He say that He wishes ease for us – but we make things so complicated – keep it clear. In the Qur’an, Allah tells us:

    “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)." (49:13)

    Whether the Books have been tampered with or not? Does this argument really matter in continually perpetuating a sticking point where we neglect our responsibilities toward engaging in positive dialogue and effective resolution?

    While all caution to the wind should not be thrown, there still remains the true guidance within – tampered with or not. Just like us – even though the breath of Allah exists within our sounding clay.

    Or is it that we’re simply sounding clay until we go through certain stages and then the breath of Allah is breathed into us? I don’t know. Either way, even we get tampered with and we tamper with others ourselves. Then comes the weeding out period.

    But sometimes, a few weeds are good and can help keep a healthy and very human perspective. Sometimes – as far as people are concerned – it’s our little weeds that can add our unique flavor, making us who we are. I like that.

    Were the texts tampered with? – it’s certainly a plausibility – if so, then too the possibility of there being excerpts that mislead, amongst those that point out well the direction one should traverse, is quite likely. Doesn’t it then become even more important to get together and sort it all out.

    Will we hear well enough the vibration of that inner thunder and welcome His Light that guides us to that perfect mind?
    Is it there we glimpse the unknown name? The one-hundreth name?

    “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you”(a saying of Jesus (Isa) from the Gospel of Thomas).

    We bring it forth, and we reconcile it to right guidance. There’s a Hadith concerning a Muslim named Hanzalah who asked the Prophet: “When we are with you, you remind us of the Fire and of Paradise, and it is as if we are seeing it with our eyes. Then when we depart from you and attend to our wives, children and business, then much of this slips from our minds.”

    “So Allah’s Messenger said: ‘By Him in whose Hand is my soul if you remained continually as you are when you are with me and in remembering (Allah), the angels would come and shake hands with you upon your beds and upon your roads. But O Hanzalah, (there is) a time for this and a time for that, (there is) a time for this and a time for that, (there is) a time for this and a time for that.” (Muslim)

    This hadith is wonderful – life is so easy. It flows, and Islam flows with it, through it, and around it, expanding and contracting, breathing in and out. Islam is not at the expense of the previous messages, it is inclusive of them.

    It comprises the inner work that may lead to a progression of faith – of belief. To me, when a person accepts Allah’s call to Islam, it is not a conversion, it’s certainly not a reversion, it is a natural step – a progression – forward.

    There’s a reason why the Qur’an is the completion of the revelations to humanity. There’s a reason why Muhammad is the seal of the Prophets. There is an order to things.

    Allah knows into which family a child will be born. He knows the tradition of the family the child will be raised through – if there is a tradition at all. Each child is born in the purest sense of “muslim” – in the verb – not the noun.

    Who doesn’t notice when a baby will coo and smile looking upward as if at nothing at all. Some say it’s their ancestors, some say the baby smiles with the angels. Allah knows … and if and when the time is right, and if Allah has decreed, then that child grows, learns, and may come to accept the call of Allah and will step forward into being Muslim – in both the verb and the noun. And they will bring with them the lessons of their life.

    This takes time – His time – not ours. We learn to believe in our hearts, what we profess with our lips. And it takes time, patience, and understanding. A child does not become an adult overnight. Neither does an adult become a human being overnight.

    If we hold that Allah is All Knowing, is well acquainted with all things, is the best to guide, knows well the hearts of all humanity – then Allah knows. Guide with Allah knowing all things, defer to Him, for He is the best in whom to defer.

    While we have our free will, when it comes to the matters of the heart, the soul, the Spirit – these belong to Allah. And when you recognize this in the heart, soul and Spirit of another – value it well. Love them well, give of yourself well, seek Allah’s pleasure in making light the heart of another you cherish and respect.

    Which of the favors of our Lord, would we then deny?

    There are many prophets and messengers. Within our own traditions, we’ve all schools of thought – and if we have, do we deny Allah the same? In the lessons of the natural world there is a great variety – all have the same Creator.

    We’re made of the same components of the earth – but our Spirit is bestowed upon us by Allah – from Allah – and if He bestows this to us – how great a gift it is – who best to guide it? The Spirit belongs to Allah, so we have to be careful, not to harm it – either in ourselves or in another. Heal hearts with the best words.

    Jibril (Gabriel) was pointing out the followers of Allah’s revelations to Muhammad – who first thought one group was his, but Jibril said, and I’m paraphrasing, “no, these belong to another prophet – look here – these are of your group.”

    There are those who are muslim – in the verb, even though they may not be Muslim, in the noun. They hear and respond to the root of the word, Islam, they hear and respond to the root of the word, muslim.

    We learn to recognize this heart, this soul, this Spirit of a Believer – not only a Muslim.

    It is within this concept and through the efforts of positive dialogue and resolution, that the scattered pieces will be gathered, the recognition of Allah will be unified, and the time of pouring out can begin.

    Yes, it’s a convenient assertion to rely on the Books being ‘tampered with” – so forget about them. While this assertion can be a catalyst toward seeking out knowledge, it can also be derived from the desire to control, to confound – to set divisions – to set alienation.

    Allah is unity. And His unity pours forth goodness on the earth and within ourselves.

    Are we supposed to arrive at our own conclusions? In some things, I think so. If we’re doing the best we can, in the most positive way seeking Allah’s pleasure, we do to some degree arrive at our own conclusions.

    To some extent it becomes a mercy – the collective knowledge of the whole community being greater than the knowledge of one (human that is). And it’s difficult, because there’s a great and weighty responsibility in dispersing this knowledge.

    The Prophet was *acutely* aware of this and would practice tacit approval in some matters. Doesn’t right guidance bring good things, not enmity? Doesn’t it bring patience, understanding, and sound direction – not hostility and division? Doesn’t it bring our recognition of Allah in the larger picture, rather than His being relegated to a tribal/socio-political entity?

    Maybe it’s a bit of seeing the vastness, the expanding and contracting. We bring that vastness within, bring out from within toward its being reconciled to right guidance in Allah – ongoingly – like an inner weeding out period.

    This process is demonstrated in the holy days of each faith comprising the “Big Three.” Ramadan is certainly this.

    Don’t we feel that creational vibration during Taraweeh prayer, when the prayer’s motion becomes fluid – we clasp our arms over our center core during Al Fatiha – The Opening – and feel it?

    It’s a beautiful thing.

    The path is pointed out. There are bridges. Following is simply – or sometimes not simply – having the strength and courage, despite social/political pressure to the contrary, to finally stand up and follow.

    But again, we have to also be careful who and what we follow. Remembering Allah brings good. – Allah brings good – even if He does at times clean out our cluttered closets, Allah brings good.

    Submitting to Allah is in knowing His love and mercy are tremendously vast. It is about trust in Him. It’s about the simplicity of a positive belief, and releasing to Him. It’s in appreciation and gratefulness to Him, that I endeavor to bend not only my knee, but that I continually work to submit my whole self to Him and try to reflect that to others.

    It’s a work in progress. It isn’t always easy because I am far from perfect and there are times I could certainly have done better.

    Untying these knots will take time, and while Allah can and does lay a person flat out to help them see again, Allah is Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. He corrects, but He does no harm. There is absolutely no doubt of this whatsoever.

    Islam – and “islam” – is not austere or cruel. It breathes – lives, grows and reveals itself to us most fully through the entirety of the messages, sent from a high place, as if from the highest mountain. See it like the precious thing it is, let it visit and walk freely.

    While words place the framework, words do not – cannot possibly – ever hope – to contain its entirety.What other color can Islam be but the verdant? What other material could the first masjid in Madinah be built with but the palm tree?

    How else could the location be found and situated, except through the manner in which Muhammed designated? Where else is this masjid more greatly found, but in the masjid of the heart?

    When you find yourself – when you are gradually brought – through each of the gates – to a place where all symbols fall away, within that microcosm, where you finally begin to release as each one opens, and the eventuality of when you finally submit, in the verb, to Allah – all words fail you – because then, there are no words. Something can happen, and you will feel completely, so utterly and completely humbled and extremely unworthy to have been gathered, as seems by wings and brought before – a place – where all things become new – your heart is consoled.

    How can I tell you, how can I put into words what words are so unable to express. There is the soul’s recognition. The “God’s Eye”of the mind opens. And when words do come, they aren’t the ones you’d expect them to be. But are those that reach into and emerge from the soul’s seat in antiquity. But I think you must know this is true.

    To be sure – Allah exists,

    Though the storms will come and your roof is open, though you will feel and it will be as if everywhere you turn you’re being hit and covered with mud – you walk through the city mud-stained, heart-broken, struggling your way back to Allah, seeking His Light that you have always known – is there.

    Then know, that through it all, you will emerge. Allah will not forget you. He knows you, lost as you feel you are – you’re not. He will remind you – isma – He will gather you, He will redeem and restore you.

    Allah is Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

    Believe in Him – for there is nothing placing limits on the Most Incomprehensible, the Most Unfathomable.

    Tend the heart well. Tend it with love. Forgive yourself for your own humanity and for the humanity of others. Know that we are all so very human, so very needing of love.

    Want for and give to others the same good as you would want for and give to yourself. Take care to use the good things that yield positive and sustaining fruits.

    For as you seek, so will you find.

    Susan W.
    Rabi l – 12, 1429
    March 20, 2008

  132. Chiara, to answer your question, yes, the topics on my website (the topic “Roots” is what is posted just before this one) Reflections, Intermezzo, Roots, Acceptance, Philanthropy, and poetry, I wrote it.

    It’s just my way of how I feel about things.

  133. The more I have been in KSA the less I choose to write about Islam as it is not practiced there by too many as one would associate with the true Islam as stated forth in the Quran. My observation…

  134. American Bedu–thanks for your first comment after mine, and I agree with your choice to focus on culture, rather than uniquely Islam. In my experience Islam is far more diverse in practice, because of cultural and socio-historic influences, than many non-Muslims realize, and many Muslims wish to believe.

    Abu Sinan–thanks for making the distinction between monitoring and paid propaganda clear–they are indeed different. Your father in laws death seems to have been a great loss in many ways, personal, and social (to his family including yourself), and professional (to Saudi).

    Susan–after finding your site, An Nakhal, I was aware that you are the author of the poems and much else. I included the link here because I do think you have a beautiful site (style and content), and because I think it might help others here to understand your comments better if they realized you sometimes think and write like the poet you are, and like the well-rooted in Christianity Muslim that your biography, “Along a Winding Road of the Straight Path”, describes. Also, the seriousness with which you take charity, zakat, or philanthropy is commendable.

    Susan–PS far be it from me 😉 😉 to comment on the length of anyone else’s comments, but assuming the link to your site is not blocked in Saudi or by Saudi, it might have been more effective or readable in your comment at 4:02pm to give a brief summary, and then link to your reflections on the “Roots” of Islam. 🙂

  135. OMG Susan, your comment is wayyyyy tooooooo looooonggggg!

    And I don’t get it? Saudi-Arabia is only 80 years old, but Arabia has existed thousands of years before that, and used to be rich in culture, especially in the hijaz. The Wahhabis have succesfully destroyed that culture and have used those eighty years to devalue Saudi Arabia, as it is called now, to it’s current impoverished barbaric state.
    No culture, no music, no art. All haraaam!
    They have forced women all over the peninsula to wearing the abaya and hijab in it’s current,. modern, repressive form, and adding niqab to make it even worse.

    And what’s with the long comment?
    You suddenly start skipping from one subject to the other!
    Ye Gods! what are you doing????
    Paste copying from various sermons at random????
    The comment is schizophrenic to the extreme!
    Get Help!

  136. You know, people who are new to blogging: There are certain rules of conduct.
    It is only polite to the blogger whose blog you like, to keep to these rules. And if you really think your thoughts and knowlege are of such mindboggling importance to humanity at large that you can’t stop the urge to spawn it all over the internet, you should write your own blog!!!

    * Thread hijacking: Don’t start writing very long comments, and put your own opinion across, act as if all posts are meant for you alone.
    * Don’t write very long comments, keep it under 100 words, be short and concise. Longwinded comments tend to get skimmed over by other readers.
    * Don’t swamp a thread with your own comments so that other peoples comments dissapear under your onslaught.
    * Don’t go off topic!!! If you feel the constant need to put forward your own thoughts and ideas: Start you own blog!
    * Repeating the same comment multiple times is spamming.

  137. Chiara, thanks for your comments, yes it was long, and I appreciate the moderators indulgence in allowing it.

    Aafke, I appreciate your and other comments of its same sort. As much as I would have been distracted by them before, happily for me, though perhaps unhappily for you, I’m glad to report, no effect whatsoever. I guess this is where a much further eastern approach has come in handy. Ultimately taking it in stride and disallowing to not be effected or deterred by hecklers. :mrgreen:

  138. Thank you for keeping it short.

  139. Happy to oblige. But I do reserve the right to embellish ad nauseam at a latter date, though with reason for easy reading.

  140. Aafke – thank you very much for posting some of the protocols of blog etiquette. I’d actually been meaning to do something similar and with traveling and meeting my Grandson had not gotten around to it.

    Yes…the ongoing trend to thread-hijack has been irritating to me and I had decided to be more blunt in asking for it to stop…

    and for those who do feel a need for long comments, many links and off thread, then that’s what this page is for!

  141. @Aafke, Yes 80 years is a long time. There are some basics like creating a constitution and a system of law. The Saudi government has not got around to doing that until now. Civilization is as good as its system of law and that is behind many of the issues of Saudi.

    Another consideration is that countries like Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, etc. all with similar tribal heritage to Saudi and only gained their independence in the 1960’s (i.e. far younger as nations than Saudi), but they managed to develop more advancements in all fronts than Saudi. So the excuse that Saudi is a young country does not pass the logic test.

    I also agree that regions like Hijaz and Al Hassa, had rich heritage and culture that would have developed quite nicely if left on their own, without the influence of the ultra conservatives that took over the country’s education system, religious foundations, judicial system, policing of morals, etc.

  142. saudi in US- yes Saudi should be more together, but than I have to consider that unlike say UAE, Oman Bahrain etc that Saudi has a larger population, a larger land mass, and a history of division that may not be as much as a problem in the other GCC countries. For many years saudi was still fighting get take control over parts of Saudi, if not outright surely by the sentiments of the people which may also contribute to Saudis delay in advancement.

    I would also suggest the means in which they have established power and sought to keep it (i.e unquestioned education, limiting voice of the people to oppose those in rule, and the support of more hardline groups to control such a large area) all contribute with the countries inability to move forward on many issues.

  143. Nzingha,,

    I agree that size is a difference, but we are talking 80 years since the country was united and 100 years since most of the country was under control.

    Don’t you think most of this was self inflected threw purposely refusing to create a constitution and codify laws, promotion of tribal divisions, too much royal control and divisions, demolishing all religious and cultural institutions in existence with exception of the most rigid Islamic scholars, investing in very radical Islamic teaching and even importing it from places like Egypt, the creation of the CPVP introducing a police like state, etc. The list of mismanagement and promoting the wrong ideology is long I am just listing a few.

    By the way size was not even an issue since the country had only 8 million people until the 70’s. There isn’t enough management thinking that went on to even introduce population control education programs to halt the explosion in the population, which is making Saudis poorer and less educated.

    It is no accident Saudi is the way it is today. It took a lot of work to get us in this mess.

  144. Saudi- I think we are agreeing on many issues just saying it a bit different. Although I would say that size and amount of population, even the mass increase over the years, are an issue that other GCC countries don’t have for the most part.

    I don’t know if most Saudis are even unified till this day which is an issue that will continue to hinder their growth. than there is issue of governance, education, lack of voice for the people, ect ect which I’m sure we will both agree on that causes issues in Saudi and will keep it from progressing at least beyond a snails pace.

    And I’m not fan of population control at all so I think we will disagree there 🙂

  145. Actually, I am not for population control either. I am for population control “Education”. There isn’t much of that that goes on in Saudi. Some people have kids by the dozen, without regards of how they will be cared for and educated.

  146. Saudi-.. ya know Allah provides and all.. so says my BIL and his wife who just had their 7th 🙂 acording to some things I read the average number although still a bit high 6.5 is going down. And most families I know have a smaller number of children. Unlike us westerners married to saudi guys.. we tend to have 5 and more lol

  147. Hmmm. “Population control” sounds so Darwinian LOL. 🙂
    Maybe Saudi needs more education about family planning and birth spacing, given that many interpret the “Allah provides” as a reference to not committing female infanticide.

  148. Most of the Saudi families I know have an average of 6-8 children.

  149. It’s ridiculous! there are 6 billion people on this planet… It’s not as we are in danger of extinction or something…..

    We are not in the process of ”re-populating the Earth” after a major Hollywood galactic disaster…..

    There is no need to ”save Humanity”

    Actually 6 billion people is too much! We are swamping this planet, we are using it’s resources and destroying its riches.
    We don’t need to breed: we need to tone down!!!!
    people should have one child, or two at most. And if those children happen to be inferior second grade ”girls” then incha’allah! Deal with it. But stop acting like demented sex craved rabbits.

    Especially in Arabia you wold think people would be aware of stuff like sustainability, and population control.
    There is a substantial history of famines in Arabia! At the rate Saudi is going there will be over 100 million people by the end of this century. And oil will run out!
    And it’s not as if these children are currently educated to compete in an international market or be actually productive at all. I know some very serious professional saudis, but I also know they are quite rare.

    I have the impression that most extended Saudi families live of one or two responsible kind hardworking members, and the rest are just freeloading. Saudis are getting poorer. High time to rethink the mindless breeding policy.

  150. Aafke- ‘breeding’ we aren’t animals last I checked. And who gives the power and position to another to decide for a couple how many children is right for them? 1-2 children at the most?? I have 5 what does that make me? A mindless breeder?

    Than there are the ideas of population control to the extreme, can we all say China? Talk about girls being killed off in uteru I won’t even talk about the children born with disabilities who are killed or dumped on the street like garbage.

    The issue really isn’t about how many humans walk this planet but what they do to it. How much resources they choose to use. The birth of humans isn’t that much of an issue, it is how we live that is. Even a small family with 1-2 children at the most can make a much larger footprint on this planet than a family with 6-7 children.

    Your post just reeks of anger and hatred. you’ve reduced saudis to sex feend mindless breaders who are uneducated freeloaders. What is with that? Why do Saudis bother you so much? Offend your senses so much? I mean what daily impact do they have on your life that you can belittle them like you’ve done above? I mean considering they are bunch of ignorant freeloading demented individuals who will ‘run out of oil’ and be left uneducated in their bakward ways at the end of the day anyway.

    sorry bedu but I can only take so much of someone slapping my family in the face and not get tired of it.

    …. with that.. do you notice the younger generations having smaller families? That is the case in the EP even many families my own age in the EP have smaller families. even in my family several around our age braket tend to have less children. Except for my BIL who just had #7 last night a boy. At that number no one is all that excited anymore.. its like yea.. ok.. mabrook 🙂

  151. Carol,

    You write:

    “The more I have been in KSA the less I choose to write about Islam as it is not practiced there by too many as one would associate with the true Islam as stated forth in the Quran. My observation…”

    This is the best statement I have read in some time. Thanks!

  152. Nzingha,

    Regardless of the terms used or specific individual choices. I do think population growth is a major issue for Saudi. My generation did have many advantages with higher incomes and better access to opportunities. That has changed quickly for the younger people of the country. Although, the country did well by expanding petrochemical industries (one of the bright spots by the way) instead of just selling crude, the unemployment rates keep growing (estimated at 20% currently). The major difference is the explosive population growth. If that does not get managed, future generations will have a very difficult time.

    Regarding education, the public education system has been sliding in quality and is not handling the growth well. All the children in my family attend private schools now based on the quality issues. This was not the case before. Additionally Saudi universities are ranking among the worst in the world. See the link http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2006/November/middleeast_November283.xml&section=middleeast&col=

    The country’s economy and systems cannot keep up with doubling its population every 30 years or so. I would like to see a program that improves on the education in this area, These issues are very worrisome for anyone that cares about the future of the country.

  153. Saudi- I don’t think population growth is that much of an issue if certain things are done.

    take for example unemployment how many workers are imported into saudi? I’m not just talking street cleaners here I’m talking every day decent paying jobs. Are there enough jobs in the Kingdom for the unemployed population? The answer to that is a definite yes. So why is there an unemployment issue? It isn’t about population growth or opportunities because they import workers to fill jobs. The opportunities for employment with a decent pay not some low level pay that are insulting and don’t account for the cost of living in Saudi either.

    Education is a farse in Saudi. I pulled all my children out of saudi, uprooted half of the family to Bahrain just for better education. And there is no reason why Saudi can’t have it. The private schools are a farse as well, my goodness mandated parroted education is not going to help the society succeed. there are no critical thinking skills taught, no true accountability, high marks are given to children that shouldn’t recieve it. I had one daughter pass 1st grade and she didn’t know a lick of arabic. And not much in grade school education has changed sine my husband went to school.. but the society has changed by leeps and bounds.

    So yes, we can both agree that education is a major key in all of this. however I don’t think focusing on the population growth, which every other country is facing the same issue, and how to reduce it, limit it or stop it. I just think better education all aound is the key. When the unemployed citizens of Saudi become educated to take over the jobs that Saudi imports millions of people are year to fill and hence doesn’t rely on them it will put less of a strain on their economic system. And in fact it will strengthen the economy because the billions of riyals that are sent OUT of the country with a foriegn work force will be no more for Saudis will put it back into their own economy.

    As you can see I have put some thought in this 🙂 And I do very much care for this country. I want it only to advance and the country and its citizens to have the best that it has to offer. But I don’t agree that over population fears are all that much founded for a society that continues to import people.

  154. I agree that 6 billion people is way too much for this earth. I cannot however be the judge of how many children each family should have,, it’s their choice, but footprint or otherwise, having 8-10 kids is a large family any way you see it. Maybe 100 yrs ago in agrarian societies with a high mortality rate it was ok, but inthis century and advanced age having 8 kids !!!!
    Again each to his own, alli can say is the pressure to have many children in saudi is tremendous, You are literaly hounded by family – it’s always poised in cultured polite tones but the underlying accusation is there of you choose to keep your family to 1 or 2 kids. why is that? why is it rude to say 8 kids is too many buy not rude to comment on the fact that someone chooses to have just 1 or 2 kids? If you are married to a saudi and decide to have just 2 kids heaven help you. I speak with some experience since i not only faced this extreme questioning but also as a urologist saw it in many facets of life, very few men would limit their ability to have kids even though they know it’s not safe for their wife to have more kids, and this is after #4. c’mon you don’t care even that much for your spouse, especailly even after she’s provided the requisite no of BOYS . Choice should be both ways you should have the freedom to have as many or as little kids as you choose and as for the environmental impact- educate the masses before you set them loose is my policy. They will then do fit as their conscience speaks to them. But in my experience quite a few saudi male and female to a certain extent feel it’s their purpose in life to procreate constantly and v large families seem to be the norm.

  155. During Eid’s when famiilies get together all I can say that with my husband’s siblings and their children the number is close to 200….I am not used to such numbers when it comes to immediate family and frankly I feel overwhelmed. I’m trying to remain quasi neutral on this issue so choose to refrain from saying more!

  156. radha- but why not a large family? Who is to judge what is supposed to be a couples choice? And yes I whole heartidly agree that it is a couples choice both ways. To have a few children, which many more are doing or many. Freedom of choice .. gotta love it 🙂

    I placed pressure upon myself going through infertility but it was never an issue or pressure from inlaws. Sure they ask.. you done? You going to have more?? things like that but is that so wrong? Same things are asked in the US, same pressures of a ‘ticking clock’ ect. It is just all wrapped in a different way and the numbers are different. In the US large families OH MY. ..what an insult… but to who? Here small families and an insult .. but to who??

    again choice one can’t dictate choice no matter how the door is swinging.

    Bedu- I come from a family of four, parents and my brother so I know what you mean about being overwhelmed at times.

  157. I agree and am thankful that we have the choice. lots of women don’t . Again maybe because i was foreign i was treated a lot differently in my extended saudi family, but i was distictinctly aware that the blame to have just 2 kids ( actually only 1 planned) was placed on me. Maybe different families react differently. Yes there’s pressure inthe US and elsewhere regd the “ticking clock” however it’s not consistent or limited to close family, every 2 and 3rd cousin we happened upon in saudi seemed to have an issue with us having 1 kid . I’d chalk it up to personal experience. however i also did see a large number of my spouse’s relatives who could have done much better by limiting their children. some could not provide the attention that 7 or even 8 kids required. A few managed fine somehow ( super man and woman) but quite a few of the kids could have certainely done with more attention from their parents. afterall they are kids only once and you get only 1 chance to instill good values in them. I was curious ( i hope in a non-judgemental way) as to why have so many when they couldn’t provide enough for them ( i mean pscyologocally and in some cases financially too) We get any a requests from his saudi family for support, why have so many? any specific reason ? i’m just curious not critical. we choose to have just 2 cause we both were in involved medical fields which neither of us wanted to leave. so we figured that’s all the kids we could handle. I for one am not big on the nanny culture there. If one is striggling to cope with 6 kids ( tine oness) @ home why go for #7 is my question, what drives the need to have more and more kids, not everyone i met loved kids 🙂 so what else, society pressure/ nochoice what. just curious, does not require and answer.

  158. My theory is that there is the underlying emphasis which is also at times voiced in the mosques to procreate and have more muslims in the world. And too many women may not be aware or know how to use birth control. It is allowable (to my understanding) but culturally still frowned upon among those lesser educated.

    Also many children is of course a symbol of both the man (and woman’s fertility). And I think for some women, the more children she bears the more secure she may feel in her marriage. If she has a lot of children, then how could the husband ever afford another wife…

    Then it is also easy for many to have more children since domestic help is readily available and overall affordable. Let’s face it, so many of these children are basically raised by the housemaids.

    Saudis do love their children but in my observations do not always spend the same kind of caring and bonding time with them as western parents. The children will be very cherished and pampered but lax on discipline.

  159. Nzingha,

    I also thought about my comments 🙂 When you are talking population growth issues, you should be thinking 20-30 years down the line at minimum. Second I am talking about sustaining a quality of life for a population. Yes people will survive even in over populated areas, example Bangladesh, Egypt, etc.

    Regarding Saudi economy needing workers today, there are roughly 7-8Million expats in Saudi.

    – Roughly half of that number can be eliminated as not necessary and those jobs are not likely to be held by Saudi’s or produce enough income to care for the large families. Those are domestic workers, drivers, street cleaners, etc.
    – The government and owned entities (like Saudia Airlines) artificially increases the workforce it employs. This is almost like a welfare system. This is the primary reason why a city like Riyadh went from 1M to 5M population in a matter of 30 years. These jobs should not be there in a competitive environment of the future (i.e. when the government cannot afford to be so generous)
    – Many jobs in Saudi are temporary to support projects. These are the massive construction projects whether it is building city infrastructure or manufacturing. Currently we do not have the skills for this work and by the time we develop them the jobs will likely not be there.
    – There are many jobs that I think Saudi’s can take over with minimal training, like shop keepers, mechanics, technicians, etc. These can produce some relieve, but I think it is lower than the over capacity employed by government today. And definitely lower paying.
    – Industrial growth can not be relied on to produce huge numbers of jobs. Saudi can only compete effectively in petro-chemical industries. These are usually process driven and produce very little demand for labor, relative to other industries.

    If you add another 20M to the Saudi population by 2050, which is the low estimate, you will have a huge impact on the quality of life in Saudi. By the way the quality has already dropped down from the peak of the 80’s and major cities like Jeddah are experiencing expansion of slumps at an alarming rate.

  160. It seems there are 2 different but connected issues: 1) social ie population growth; 2) individual ie a couple’s family planning and birth spacing.
    Saudi seems to have had difficulty in social planning, eg. education, to keep up with its population explosion, and Saudis to move faster toward industrialized lower numbers of children per family.

    There are good medical reasons for spacing births, and sometimes for no longer having (or not originally having any) more children, and couples should feel freer in all cultures to make these decisions. Based on my personal and vicarious experience, the pressures to have children are there in all cultures but the expected timing, total numbers, gender complement , and who feels it is a right/duty are different and harder to handle for not being practised in the ways of the other culture.

  161. Saudi needs to understand that the oil will not last forever. They have failed to build up any sort of industry that will serve the country and the people when the oil is gone.

    In 100 years when there is no oil and tens of millions of more Saudis, if things do not change, they will become like Yemen, only on steriods. A receipe for great suffering and social unrest.

    If the Saudi royal family were forward thinking they’d realise that their rule probably cannot last through such an issue. I think some see it, but they arent putting nearly enough effort into finding a solution.

  162. But Abu Sinan…go back to my post on tourism…. the Saudi government expects to replace its oil reserves with tourism! (so she says tongue in cheek)

  163. saudi- I’m going to go point by point as i want to make this kind of short. I need to sleep 🙂

    1.I’ll go ahead with the 7-8 mil expat population although I think that is low balling it a bit. But trying to get hard figures on saudi.. well ya know how that is going for me.

    But I’ll disagree with negating half of that because domestic workers aren’t included in expariate working stats. For saudi doesn’t consider them under labor laws, statistics ect. Not even drivers unless they work for a company. And I won’t discount street cleaners or any other seemingly low paying workers. because of several reasnos

    1. its jobs saudis can do
    2. they are generally over staffed jobs.. street cleaners you can easily count 5-7 workers doing the job of one man.
    3. the resources they use- housing, food, electricty, water ect which all account in the economy
    4. even if a pay is on a lower level other monetary resources need to be accounted for

    I did some math with my husband one day in the car we counted over 7 street cleaners who were doing the job of 1 man. Typical, so very typical.

    7 guys @ 400 SR a month = 2800 SR
    7 guys @ 3000 sr for bringing them is 21,000 SR
    7 guys @ 200 sr a month for housing is 1400 sr
    7 guys @ 200 sr a month for food allowance is 1400 sr
    7 guys @ 2000 sr to send back home is 14000 sr

    over a two year contract the salary for one saudi worker a month would be 7000 SR a month. Not so small when you get to it. Add in progressive ideas like modern machines to help with the street cleaning besides a broom and a cardboard box. Littering fines (don’t laugh) to help pay for the services and other things which can easily be implamented would all help saudi overall.

    I think a real big mistake is to minimize the impact of the foriegn work force as just ‘minimal’ low scale jobs which don’t account for much. They send BILLIONS out of the country every single year. And they have an impact on the community services of saudi, water, food, electricty, health care, transportation, ect ect. that is even a bigger impact on the country.

    2. government owned companies or government jobs are not to the end all we agree. I would have hoped that saudi overall learned this lesson but obviously not. One has to look towards the private sector as well which of course goes back to education.. can’t get away from that.

    3. building, infrastructure ect I don’t think will go away any time soon. At least not quick enough for saudis to become educted and or trained in the various things needed to be employed. But once again we have to get real w/ the standards of ‘acceptability’ when it comes to working labor jobs. Skills are needed that don’t take long to train for.. building, carpentry, electrictian, mechanic, welding, and way to many for me to list. Things that would be hands on training or votech training. Than you have engineers, architecs, formens ect ect ect.. that may require more education but not to the point wher the job will be no longer once it happens.

    4. retail markets, service industry, and the like.. lower paying as compared to what?? the 1500 SR a security guard makes? Every shop I see it is a non saudi. What one Bahraini woman does in the same retail outlet it takes at least 3 foriegn workers to do in saudi just across the border. Again they are costly, moreso than we realise. And these sectors can also lead to other jobs within franchises so it shouldn’t be so quickly discounted. Although I would prefer to see women fill many of these slots 🙂 I won’t even go there in this discussion.

    5. Industrial- actually saudi has a lot of room for growth if they were a bit creative. But I think this goes back to education and learning critical thinking skills as the foundation. If one can’t think critically one can’t evnision the possiblities.

    Honestly there is soooo much saudi can do within saudi for positive growth that will support their own population growth. Even if it continues in the numbers that it does. I do think overall saudi needs to get real about many issues and fast. When it does that I think the GCC can work together as they are as a whole highly dependent on a foriegn work force not realizing the overall impact it has on its societies. They think “low pay” but don’t really pay attention to the numbers nor how to generate income to support immediate job growth in some of the most simplist of ways. And with some planning and vision they can cointinue to support its population growth.

    nope not everyone will live in a mansion… not every woman will have a coach bag.. but do they now?

    I remain optomistic to possiblities.. doesn’t mean I’m not pessimistic to the reality.

  164. radha- I want to respond to some of what you said but I fear taking over this section and being accused of bad blogging manners. Some of what you ask.. why have when they can’t provide.. is simply the belief of Allah Kareem. I have this discussion all the time with my Mother in law. Many families will say Allah provides, ok fine that is true. But we are also told, as muslims, to tie our camel. Mr. Man (the husband) thinks that many are living the fantasy life of the oil boom where money seemed endless. Which is also true.

    Than there are issues with contraception.. the beliefs about the pill here drive me batty. Mr. Mans nephew told me how his wife was told by the other women n the family to not take the pill because it would do her great harm. So their suggestion in order to counter the affects of the pill was to take clomid (ya know meds to increase egg production) for several months. I nearly had heart failure right there.

    I think there are many factors that play a part in the desire for more children. I think parents can be suck butt with 1 or 2 children and than others with 7 can be the most wonderful parents in the world who raise well balanced healthy (in every way) loving children.

    and with that I’m done.. sorry bedu.. bad blogging manners but i”m done 🙂

  165. Nzingha–
    BCP + clomid = singleton, twins, triplets? Agh…Many Muslims don’t realize how permissible contraception (pill, barrier methods, some IUDs) is in Islam, but this bit of advice is particularly dangerous.

    Regarding “Allah provides” it seems some misinterpret the injunction against infanticide (Surah 17: 31; Surah 6: 151) as a type of go forth and multiple as many as you can biologically (rather Catholic really LOL 🙂 ), although there are other counterbalancing arguments.

  166. Nzingha, well I’m Dutch, so pardon my french. Anyway In my opinion some people are breeding like rabbits without any thought about the future of the progeny they pop out. And what’s wrong with animals? I like animals on the whole a lot better as humans.

    It is typical that everybody here is again only looking at themselves, and their wishes, and their family, and at the most their country. While my comment was meant more on a global level. It’s pity that most people are too self centered to have any forethought towards the future of their children , grandchildren, or any feeling of responsibillity towards the planet.

    Who is to judge you should not have large families? That would be yourself. Your own responsibillity, your own recognition that the world cannot sustain this constant population increase. In the case of Saudi Arabia, you live in a place almost wholly unsuitable for sustaining human life, and certainly in the quantities your children will experience when they are grown up. You should think about the revenue of oil being finite, the money made by it will be taken out of the country by the Saud family when things start falling down, and the unavailabillity of jobs in the future, I hope you will be able to educate the whole brood to a university level accepted by the rest of the world, in jobs which will ensure them employment elsewhere. And i hope the girls will not be trained to view themselves as breedingvessels only sure to get married in the future and ready and willing to add yet more hungry mouths to the overcrowded planet.

    Radha, the Earth really is estimated to be able to sustain 4 to 5 billion people. We are allready way above that.

    Abu Sinan, Yeah I agree.

    Bedu: I’m sure we could market Saudi Arabia, but unless people are actually let in there’s a small obstacle….. :mrgreen:

  167. and I’m going to step in it here but with the tendency to marry first cousins (whose parents and grandparents were also first cousins) coupled with the tendency to have large families, I’m wondering where KSA ranks on number of individuals with genetic problems, deformities, disabilities and other afflictions?

  168. High–because of multiple generations of intratribal, intrafamilial marriages, otherwise marrying a first cousin does not carry any more risk than the slightly increased risk of have children at the gynecologically senescent (their term not mine) ages of 35 and up (senescent eggs is the exact term, and now senescent sperm ie produced fresh but by an older man).

    Dr Ahmed S Teebi is the pioneer and leader in this field.
    Genetic Disorders among Arab Populations
    by Ahmad S. Teebi (Editor), T. I. Farag (Editor)

    from the blurb:
    High but variable rates of inbreeding prevail in all Arab countries … Genetic disorders that cause major health problems include hemoglobinopathies, neurogenetic disorders, inherited metabolic diseases, and inborn error of morphogenesis. Because of their characteristically high prevalence, some of these disorders are considered markers for Arab populations. …

  169. Waw Chiara, serious and scary stuff! Actually considered genetic markers…. that should shake people up!

  170. I wish I could read the entire article/book

  171. Aafke–I left out the most gruesome bit, but genetics fans might like:

    “Arab populations have high frequencies of autosomal recessive disorders, homozygosity of autosomal dominant and X-linked traits, and a wealth of new syndromes and variants, the majority of which are autosomal recessive.”

    Or

    “Disorders that have increased tribal occurrences or are limited to large kindreds, as well as small geographic or religious isolates, are highlighted to facilitate their recognition, study, and management.”

    In other words: Zut alors!

  172. sorry…but can that be repeated in English that I can understand!

  173. American Bedu–probably available in a university library (or a hospital one! 🙂 ) or :

    http://www.amazon.ca/Genetic-Disorders-among-Arab-Populations/dp/0195093054
    Has a complete Table of Contents.

    The top researchers in their fields have written each chapter. I have read some of the chapters and they are excellent.

    Some of it is available online:
    http://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=6K_fj4Oicm8C&oi=fnd&pg=PA6&dq=dr+ahmed+s+teebi&ots=ugdEKQmc11&sig=xF-lngto1KkFuSbhyBk1_b0Z7-Q

    And Google Scholar has many of his other articles. Warning: unhappy syndromes abound.

  174. American Bedu–Sorry, the downside of this writing is that it is aimed at other geneticists, and the ilk (and psychiatrists who wish they didn’t have a niece die age 5 of a mystery disorder). Some chapters are easier to read than others.

    Very Rough translations:

    The different types of all combinations of genetic patterns of inheritence are present, though most are autosomal recessive:
    ie if both parents have the genetic marker each child (whether boy or girl) has a 25% chance of getting the illness, and the normal ones have a 66% chance of being a carrier of the defect. New mutations are happening all the time ie new genetic diseases, and most are also inherited this way.

    The book also has chapters on genetic disorders that occur in specific tribes only, or large family groups only, so that others can better learn about them and study and treat them.

    Zut alors X2 !

  175. Chiara- BCP are available here they aren’t hidden. The problem is what people may think of them. I’m actually against IUDs and wouldn’t get one. It is a more common method of BC here as it is pushed by doctors, because there is less chance of a woman forgetting. But the device has failed many women here not to mention the beliefs of causing miscarriages.

    aafke- that you like animals a whole lot better than humans tells me a lot. No wonder you speak of humans with such disdain. No worries about my family as they won’t affect your life in one single way.

    Bedu- One doesn’t have to just factor in first cousins one also needs to factor in a lack of eugenics in the cultural thinking here. So the lack of abortions would also account for higher numbers of individuals with genetic problems, disabilities, ect.

  176. actually what i have observed on an overall lack of discipline, to me that says birth control pills would not necessarily be the most reliable form of contraception.

    Nzingha – you bring up a whole different subject which is islam and abortion. I realize that under certain circumstances islam allows terminating a pregnancy but this is a very controversial issue — not just in Saudi Arabia but globally.

  177. AB – I agree BC pills willprobably not work 100% there. I see nothing wrong in IUD’s i’ve recomended that a time or 2 there when i’ve met resisting men 🙂
    They are very safe and reliable.I’m not a gynae hence i’ll keep quite on the matter, however i feel strongly that if one’s family is set what’s wrong with permanent methods.. god try explaining that to saudi men and actually managing to convince them.
    being a urologist in saudi is not a fun thing. believe me..

  178. Bedu- No I’m not bringing up abortion and Islam I’m bringing up abortion and Saudi. You can’t get one, unless under extreme circumstances.

  179. Nzingha– I think we are in agreement that the problem re BCP is knowledge and perception by women (and men). Current IUDs are much safer and more reliable than the original models and are “Islamically correct”. The biggest risks are pelvic inflammatory disease (promiscuity and untreated sexually transmitted diseases), and ectopic pregnancy (early pre-natal care and intervention deal with this).

    American Bedu–Once a day dosing and gizmo packaging helps compliance/discipline with BCP, as well as storing them in the most important place you visit at least once daily (make-up case? LOL 🙂 )

    Regarding genetics and disability, abortion is Islamically permissible (usually up to 120 days gestation), though many Muslims are also unaware of the details for their type of Islam (Sunni, Shia, which legal school) and of their country’s laws. Overall, infinitely better at protecting the life of women , and thus their future reproductive capacity and current mothering capacity, than the official Vatican position.

    Abortion is often controversial, but much less so than contemporary American politics makes out.

  180. Radha–as you know better than I, most men fear/misunderstand that vasectomy affects libido (sex drive), erectile function (potency), and virility or psychological manliness, whereas it affects fertility and some people’s psychology. If one is sure one never wants to reproduce again, and expects the surgery not to be reversible (even if it sometimes is), I agree that this method is very safe, and highly reliable. Culture dictates psychology here more than in some other situations.

  181. In compliance with this Blog’s author suggestion/polite request, I am re-posting the following piece….
    Loves n hugs n stuff,
    PC

    I am writing a report for my interdisciplinary studies course on Saudi Arabia and its economy and have been having some difficulty in gathering information on a variety of subjects. I am hoping that someone might point into the right direction.

    The subjects I must cover are:

    1. Social Security Laws. I am aware that such laws do not (no longer) exist for foreigners and have been abolished by royal decree (correct me if I am wrong). However, does a legal framework exist for Saudi citizens? Can a citizen expect to have a pension when he (she?) reaches a certain age? Or is this concept foreign to the Kingdom? Are tribal practices such as the Majalis considered an alternative to the social net of the industrialized countries?

    2. Pension, but that is included in #1. However, if anyone wishes to elaborate or mention literature on that subject, please feel free to do so.

    3. The all too painful subject of Foreign Labor; does the government-established Human Rights Commission have any influence on that matter? Is the situation worse/better/same as the neighboring Gulf States? What about the general mentality within society towards people doing menial or even complex work? I have heard that foreigners are referred to as “Ajnabi Chalb”, is this a sign of a wider disrespect towards foreigners? Any kind of legal protection under the Sharia?

    4. WOMEN! Where can I find literature on Saudi females within the workforce? Most of the literature I find is either idealized, misogynistic or simply sensationalist in nature?

    5.I have read several comments by Saudis claiming the state health system to be crumbling. Many consider it to be highly inefficient and were openly happy by the appointment of the new health minister. ANY info on that subject is more than welcome.

    6. Politics and its discontents. What are the most reliable sources on the political system in Saudi Arabia? How are political activists faring? Again, feel free to mention any objective sources on any of the subjects mentioned here, either in English or Arabic.

    Love and Salamaat,
    PC

  182. okay ya’ll…can any of you help PC out here and voice some views?

  183. Okay, I’ll bite.

    PC

    Hope these are helpful and not already obvious to you. They are objective, or at least reliably, predictably, academically acceptably biased, and may provide insights or references.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sa.html

    http://www.transparency.org/regional_pages/africa_middle_east/middle_east_and_north_africa_mena

    http://www.who.int/countries/sau/en/
    http://www.who.int/countryfocus/cooperation_strategy/ccsbrief_sau_en.pdf

    http://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/publication.asp?country=44 not free online but might be available in a university (faculty of business library)

    Good luck!

    Chiara
    Not Saudi, not living in Saudi, never visited Saudi (yet)
    Married to a non-Saudi Arab/Muslim, cannot read Arabic (yet)
    Academic Interdisciplinary research expertise in a variety of subjects, not Economics 😀 😀 😀

  184. PC–I’m awaiting moderation, hope the comment helps 🙂

  185. while many times I may roll my eyes and think “oh gawd…all those links in one of her posts…again” this time I tip my hat and say “Thank you very much!”

  186. Thank you American Bedu. I’m sure we all 🙄 over something, I know I do :mrgreen:

    *All emoticons are courtesy of Aafke’s excellent tutelage.

  187. Chiara, you really need to get your computer fixed as it happens to often and tends to flood my blog! And I don’t have time to delete like this, thank you.

  188. Dear Chiara,

    I am impressed and very grateful. To sooth any worries; no, not all of them were known to me. My search was too detail- oriented thus I misses many valuable pieces available in your links.

    Thank you (Shukran Jazeelan)…

    PS. anyone with more Info is more than welcome to elaborate/add/suggest etc.

  189. PC
    Afwan!!

  190. American Bedu–changing computers, and thanks.

  191. Hello American Bedu, not quite sure where to put this.

    Did you notice that the Saudi News section today seems to be including San Diego news with the Saudi News?

  192. Jerry,

    Can you send me a link? I’m presently blogging from the States at the moment so not necessarily seeing the regular Saudi dailies.

  193. Big news network seem to have lost any Saudi News. I am posting headlines for the stories on your blog and the links to the top 3

    Saudi Arabia News
    GM says 7,500 hourly workers decide to leave March 26, 2009
    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/mar/26/gm-buyouts-032609/

    17 injured after tornado rips through Mississippi March 26, 2009
    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/mar/26/severe-weather-032609/

    Stocks rise on fresh economic, corporate data March 26, 2009
    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/mar/26/wall-street-032609/

    Ariz. firm buys Xpress Shuttle service March 26, 2009

    Pakistan spies support Taliban March 26, 2009

    Administration unveils financial system overhaul March 26, 2009

    Stores in county checked in sweep March 26, 2009

    Investigators say food tracing system full of gaps March 26, 2009

    I also clicked on the top link and it showed the same stories:

    http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/cat/84856ec8d48070cb/

  194. Thank you Jerry! Not sure what is up with Big News in that the Saudi news is not there…can’t imagine a day without something newsworthy in KSA!

  195. Hello Carol,

    A few days ago, there was either a programming or database issue with Big News. At that time the headlines appeared but the links went to a generic page with an error message on top. So, I guess what was going wrong isn’t corrected.

  196. Hello Coolred!

    I’m posting a response to your response (lol) on the Saudi girl and too much time post here as I’m taking it off-topic!

    I believe it’s about the search, the seeking, the doubting, the everlasting journey leading to the orchard of Truth. Humankind at times (or shall we say at most times!) is not kind at all! They twist and corrupt themselves, sometimes knowingly, most times unknowingly and I think it has nothing to do with God. For whatever purpose there was creation, and within that, the natural physical, chemical and biological laws govern and most people sway whichever way the wind blows. A lot of it makes no sense. Why create an earth that quakes from time to time and terrorizes those on it? Why can we hate? What’s up with the congenital diseases? The list really is endless.
    We can’t think like God. God does not even think. I don’t know what or who or how or why He is. I’ve been blessed with the ability to question (or maybe cursed) and that is how I know answers exist, but maybe not in the form I wish to perceive.
    I’d always joke about how Islam came to guide baby girl burying savages from the depths of their darkness and after all these centuries it’s done but a little. But then there’s enough Light for those who wish to see. I think religion is a journey of knowledge we undertake as soon as we can read and write until the day we breathe our last. It’s a continual battle between unadulterated knowledge and biased information and Islam is not for Arabs but for the world, although the state of most of the worlds people is quite depressing, those that live their lives in Truth do exist. There will always be people who will misinterpret, twist and corrupt Divine law but then there will always be those who don’t. I know what you’re saying cuz I’m just as sick at the state of the Muslim world. But God-willing things change for the better, hopefully people read more, research, investigate, question, and continue doing so for life!
    Sorry, I just went on!

    It’s just a touchy topic, why we continue to live in ignorance. But again, I’m hopeful 🙂

  197. Re: Fastest Growing Religion in the US

    There are so many disputes as to what religion is fasted growing that I decided to add my 2 cents here. In the US many people move from traditional Christianity to various Evangelical type churches. Most Muslims disregard Christian to Christian conversions in their discussions, but if you include that as a conversion (as I do), Evangelical Christianity and the modern megachurch movement are both very fast growing religions in the US and unlike Islam, they are something affecting native born white Americans (the bulk of the population even today).

    http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/

    “Most of the growth in the Christian population occurred among those who would identify only as “Christian,” “Evangelical/Born Again,” or “non-denominational Christian.” The last of these, associated with the growth of megachurches, has increased from less than 200,000 in 1990 to 2.5 million in 2001 to over 8 million today. These groups grew from 5 percent of the population in 1990 to 8.5 percent in 2001 to 11.8 percent in 2008. Significantly, 38.6 percent of mainline Protestants now also identify themselves as evangelical or born again. ”

    Other non-traditional religions such as Wicca and even Buddhism are growing in the US. The numbers are small but growing. The fastest real religious change in the US is the move from Christianity to the non-religious category. That is by far the fastest growing ‘religion’ in the US today.

    “In broad terms, ARIS 2008 found a consolidation and strengthening of shifts signaled in the 2001 survey. The percentage of Americans claiming no religion, which jumped from 8.2 in 1990 to 14.2 in 2001, has now increased to 15 percent. Given the estimated growth of the American adult population since the last census from 207 million to 228 million, that reflects an additional 4.7 million “Nones.” Northern New England has now taken over from the Pacific Northwest as the least religious section of the country, with Vermont, at 34 percent “Nones,” leading all other states by a full 9 points.

  198. Jerry M–Thanks for the nuance and “Up with secular humanism!!!” LOL 😀 (nb this is a joke, no offense is intended to any believers including secular humanists)

  199. Historically estimates of Muslims in the US were taken from estimates for immigrant populations. Those estimates were often innaccuate because the immigrant population in the US from Muslim countries did not mirror the population in the home country. Most ‘Syrians’ or ‘Lebanese’ in the US were Christians (just think of the late commedian Danny Thomas). In my home town the Arab food stores were run by Christians who have been here for a generation or more. Today that is less and less true because education has encouraged Muslim Arabs to take jobs in the US.

    As a rough guess I would say that in my area there would have been no Muslim Arabs in the 1950s but by the 1970s there was a real Arab Muslim population (and a Turkish Muslim population).

  200. Jerry – thanks for bringing the topic here and I think it is a good one to discuss. Ironically I remember several of GW’s speeches also citing the fast growth of Islam…but I’m not enamoured of Bush so I will take that simply at face value!

    I did not realize my little short post would generate such lively discussion! It’s funny as it started by traveling with two Saudi family members and on checking in at our room, the first comments they made were “There’s no Quran and what direction is Makkah.”

    I’m not an expert on this topic so I am going to look forward to reading the comments generated here.

  201. It did occur to me that “Islam is the fastest growing” religion could have been part of the war propaganda, but since my Muslim friends tell me the same thing with pride (and a reminder they are about to overtake Roman Catholics) I tend to believe it (they are all scientists and rigorous about numbers). There is a good summary of numbers and rates at:
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/worldrel.htm

  202. Hello Chiara,

    I don’t know if your friends were talking about Islam worldwide or Islam in the US. In the US, Islam is growing but hardly was fast as religions like Wicca (and other forms of neo paganism).

    One thing that I will say is that Islam is not something that is having any religious impact on the American religious consciousness, certainly not in the way Buddhism or Hinduism have impressed themselves on the American consciousness. You don’t read references to Islamic thought in religious discourse. I was raised Catholic and in the 1960’s our religious studies included references to other religious thought (in particular Buddhism). Islam’s impact on America is entirely secular.

    There are very few Muslim converts once you remove spouses. (That is not a criticism just a fact. I was raised Catholic and Cathollcism is still despised by many Americans. Very few people converted into Catholicism except for marriage.)

  203. Wicca is certainly very fast growing, and has the advantage ofcourse of being very female-friendly, something you can’t really claim for the Abrahamic religions. But I also wonder if it isn’t a bit of a fad, and will peter off again when it gets out of fashion.
    And the number of Agnostics and Atheists in America is far larger than most people realise. And most people wouldn’t bandy that about anyway.

  204. I think both sides want to talk up or talk down numbers. I think those numbers spouted by Jerry M are as deflated as the numbers by many Muslim organisations are inflated.

    Everyone seems to have their own agenda in wanting to play with the numbers.

  205. As for hindus growing in numbers , for the past decade a few educated souls in india seem to be seeing light and limiting their reproductive capabilities. The only way i see hinduism growing is if the population of india increases rapidly and we all don’t want that do we 🙂 i think we have populated earth quite enough .

  206. Hello Abu Sinan,

    In the case of Wicca there are no official organizations pumping up the numbers (in the US the theme of Muslim organizations is to say that they outnumber the Jews).

  207. Jerry M–they were talking about North American statistics, as well as world wide ones. Whatever the rates of growth, the numbers are still very small as a percentage of the total US or Canadian population and the ability to impact the broader culture is limited by a number of factors (demographic, political, economic, cultural, recent immigration). In Canada for sure growth is by immigration/refugee status (Pakistani, Somali, other African, MENA, Bosnian).

    The site I referenced is reliably ecumenical and provides a good accounting of the numbers worldwide, which are reported consistently from a variety of trustworthy sources (the problem is with self-reporting within this).

    Grosso modo numbers % of world population: Christianity 32% (dropping); Islam 19% (growing) Hinduism 13% (stable) no religion 12% (dropping); Buddhism 6% (stable); atheists 2%; Judaism 1%, others (including Wiccan, and tribal etc) < 1% each

    Ironically, after publishing this online they received a number of emails from Christians, Muslims, and Hindus all thinking their numbers were highest and their rates fastest.

    Specifically on worldwide growth rates Christianity (2.3%) and Islam (2.9%):
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/growth_isl_chr.htm
    All sources agree Islam is growing faster, but disgree on if and when it will overtake Christianity later in the century.

    Growth rate within Christianity worldwide: Roman Catholics, at a rate of 1.3% are barely replacing themselves, and doing poorly in the world “market share” since humanity grows at a rate of 1.4%.
    Pentecostals: 8.1%
    Evangelicals: 5.4%;
    All Protestants: 3.3%

    Total % per religion within the USA:
    Prot 61; RC 23; Orthodox 1; Jewish 1; Muslim 1

    Total % per religion within Canada:
    RC 43 (growing); Protestant 29 (dropping) Jewish 1 (growing), Muslim 2 (really growing–by immigration mostly, and baby making)

    Enough stats for/from me! 😀

  208. The very nature of “Wiccans” would make them a hard lot to count anyways as they arent so big on rules, or making guidlines as to define just who is, and who isnt, a “Wiccan”.

    Besides would you group Odinists ( or the wider Asatru community) as “Wiccans”? How about various adherants to American Indian religions?

    As to organisations for Wiccans, there are more than one might think, and I am sure they inflate their numbers just like all organisations do.

  209. PS my economist friend tells me Jews are 2% of the US population and own 12% of the wealth–part of the difference in political impact.

  210. Just a quick message to PC:

    Ummm…no we don’t refer to foreigners as “Ajnabi Chalb” 0_o

  211. Radha, interesting, I never see Hindu ”evangelists” going door to door, trying to convince people to become hindu… Non of the Hindus I know has ever said: ”Have you ever considered becoming a hindu?”’ 😀

    Abu Sinan, you are right, You can’t really count ”Wicca’s” except those who are very clear on calling themselves Wicca. Besides, A lot of Wiccas are not out of the broom-cupboard, nor ever will be… While some organisations might make public their number, or even enghance it, there will be some gruips who will not make themselves public at all.
    One problem is, one of the characteristics of modern Wicca, or in a broader sense Paganism, is that they don’t like boundaries or labels.
    And ofcourse there is the rather vague New-Age movement as well, and there are people who are into crystals, or angels, or fairies, all these seem to overlap anyway.

    Odinists would count as pagan I suppose. Like druids. And native American religions should be called ”Native American religions”.

  212. I know a Jewish Wiccan. I wonder what she answers on census questionnaires? Maybe it depends on whether she is asked at Passover or Rosh Hashanah, or Hallowe’en (yes she does celebrate but not in the cliche way) or the solstices!? I’ll ask next time I see her 😀
    Even if the pagans/wiccans/tribals etc are hiding there numbers must still be low given all the others declaring a religion.

  213. Aafke – From what i know , Hinduism is an identity that can only be had from birth, some quite the vedas that say that anyone who follows Hindu beliefs and practices is a Hindu.
    Most hindus do not seek converts because Smriti’s say that the goals of spiritual life can be attained through any religion, as long as it is practiced sincerely. A few sects accept those who have a desire to follow Hinduism.
    It’s either this or they are too lazy to go door to door.:-)
    again – i’m no authority on the vedas.

  214. Hello Chiara, as far a Jewish Wiccans go, in the US there are no religion questions on the census.

  215. Radha,

    There is a long history of Western converts to Hinduism, so like Judaism, there can be converts to Hinduism without being born to it.

    I suggest you read a book called “White Mughals”. It is an excellent book I read some time back about the early British presence in India and how some of these early Brits became “more Indian than the Indians” and converted to Hinduism and Islam, married local wives, and even took to wearing local dress.

    This practice is much different than the later British presence in India where the Brits remain aloof and had a great disdain for the Indian masses.

    http://www.amazon.com/White-Mughals-Betrayal-Eighteenth-Century-India/dp/014200412X

  216. Chiara, lots of interesting stats. Thank you for sharing.

    You wrote: “Ironically, after publishing this online they received a number of emails from Christians, Muslims, and Hindus all thinking their numbers were highest and their rates fastest.”

    and

    “All sources agree Islam is growing faster, but disagree on if and when it will overtake Christianity later in the century.”

    I wonder why this is such a huge deal. Are we all in a numbers race to see who will have the most followers? Are the religions planning to take over the world?

    These are how people self-identify themselves, correct? Well, babies cannot say, “I’m a Muslim,” yet those born in Muslim households are considered Muslim. And I’m sure even among self-identified Christians and Muslims, others within those categories would say, “Those are definitely NOT Christians or Muslims because they do not follow the teachings of Jesus (Christians) or Muhammad (Muslims.)”

    Like some would say nominal Muslims are truly not Muslims at all. Yet, they are counted in these stats. Osama bin Laden probably made the Muslim list as did whatever liberal Muslim you all can think of and don’t truly consider a “real” Muslim.

    And some who say they are Christians, simply are cultural or nominal Christians and truly do not follow what “being Christian” meant in the early church. We all know many (most???) who say they are “Christian” do NOT follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    So, while the world stats on religions are interesting, they don’t truly reflect people’s spiritual beliefs.

    Just my two cents. Interesting discussion.

  217. Jerry M–Good thing she is Canadian then 🙂 . Apparently the US official census only can ask for voluntary information about the membership of any religious body with more than 60, 000 members. Other voluntary individual surveys are also taken.

    In Canada it is part of the official individual (by household) Census although you could decline to answer that particular question. In the US you just have to identify your race on university employment forms (for affirmative action purposes) or not get paid. LOL 😀 😀 It happened to a biracial Canadian friend who didn’t want to take a position from an African American and didn’t want to say she was white only (she passes) so finally volunteered to put down Asian and they accepted.

    Susanne–glad you enjoyed the stats. ‘
    The problem is indeed with self-identification as a methodology (although there would be other problems with deciding for someone else what their religious identification is/should be based on family, race, name, language, geography, whatever). The stats are compiled by groups considered reliable (enough) like the UN but still on this basis, although in some countries there is census data that records information for a household.

    It does seem like some feel they are in a race (especially the proselytizers of any group), or that it gives them psychological comfort to think they may be in a minority, in the US for example, but come from a numerous group growing in power worldwide as well as “doubling” in the US.

  218. I agree 100% with susanne, the numbers serve no useful purpose. As for Hindu converts, i only speak of what the samaveda says – which our family follows. We went to lengths to find if my husband could convert 🙂 hence the little bit of research and were told he could follow hinduism and be considered hindu but there was no formal process..
    Anyway i’d say my identity is more indian than Hindu. just like my kids would identify themselves as asian american ( with an emphasis on american 🙂 )rather than hindu/muslim.

  219. Radha–the usefulness probably depends on the purpose, and the reporters of the numbers are well aware of the limits of their methodology.

    I like your phrase “which our family follows” since for marriage, and family purposes, as well as medical ethics, that is the most important aspect of the particular way of following a religion (although sometimes it helps to know there are other ways within the religion to follow it).

    Glad to hear your children are jacking up the positive stats on “Asian Americans” (an eclectic group indeed!) 😀

  220. Also, the real question behind the stats and the bragging rights is: which religions are growing through reproduction and which through conversion?

  221. Well addressing the top 3 and the 3 Abrahamic ones:

    Christianity–Prostestant conversion (with kudos to evangelicals for baby making as well), RC falling down badly in the baby making and the conversion departments

    Islam–conversion and baby making

    Hinduism–baby making

    Judaism– baby making for Hassidic, conversion for Reform, and increased recognition of non-Halakal Jews (eg. children with a Jewish father but non-Jewish mother)

    I really haven’t experienced anyone claiming bragging rights except in what seems to me as psychological self-defense, but then I tend to avoid proselytizers.

  222. The numbers seem to be important to lobbying organizations. CAIR, for example, views successful Jewish groups as a model, without seeming to understand the basis of their success. Politics is all about mutual action. You support me, I support you. Jewish people vote. I also think Jewish people are far more unified than Muslims are in the US. It took a long time for Jewish groups to achieve that success.

    There is no perception that there is anything like a Muslim vote yet.

  223. Muslims do not yet, and may never have, the long- established, monied, united front, Lobby savvy, Biblical narrative support that the Jews do. The latters’ clout surpasses their numbers which will be, or have been, surpassed by the number of Muslims.

    Canada doesn’t have the same type or degree of lobby system that the US does (just a former Prime Minister who goes to hotel rooms without Qurans to take payoffs–haraam activities, indeed!); and the Canadian Arab Federation has done and published research on electoral ridings where Arabs/Muslims can determine the election (given our recent spate of minority governments).

  224. While I agree that the Muslims do not yet have the same sense of political unity like the Jews in the US but I think it is in the works.

  225. Demographics in the USA is working in one direction. The traditional support base of Israeli lobbies is always the white American Protestant.

    As this country becomes less white, so the traditional base of Israeli support dwindles. If they want to hold onto this they will have to find a way to court African American and Hispanic voters, who traditionally, do not rally around Israeli causes.

    In the next hundred years or so this nation will no longer be a majority white country. When this happens it will shift the power structure in DC in a lot of ways, including the monopoly of the Israeli lobby on Middle Eastern issues.

  226. American Bedu–I hope so, but without some of the rigidity that makes official Jewish organizations in the US more univocal and less tolerant than those in Israel. The unifying force of Holocaust survival guilt is absent for Muslims, but may be substituted for by a healthier sense of union. The Biblical narrative support from Christians will be harder to come by.

    Abu Sinan–it is hard to predict what way future African American voters will go (I guess the debate about who is winning the numbers race, evangelical Blacks or the NOI, would be relevent here), and they are now in a minority in relation to Hispanics (more likely still to be RC and tend to stick to the New Testament), and will likely continue to be in the immediate future. On the other hand, if the southern border war in the US escalates, and the economic crisis deepens, the Hispanics may start losing their vote share.

  227. Abu Sinan

    “The traditional support base of Israeli lobbies is always the white American Protestant.”

    That has only been true in the years after the 1967 war.

    Other than that, what you are saying makes sense.

  228. Jerry,

    I dont get where you are going. Are you saying that before 1967 the Israeli support base in the US included signifcant numbers of non whites?

    That is what is at issue here. As the numbers in this demographic fall, so will support for Israel.

    Support for Israel in these communities is nowhere near where it is in the white, especially church going community.

    Ask your average Afrian American if they think Israel should get billions of dollars in cash every year, billions in loans and billions in arms and you get a much different answer than you will if you ask their white American counterpart.

  229. It reminds me of the story of the two mothers coming before Solomon, each claiming the child to be theirs. The real mother said just give it to her …

  230. This Debate Page need to be organised , like to be structure in a time hybrid or to be pertain to that topic that the debate was initiated from……..I start to read some opinions and I just wonder If those opinions represent their Holder now or they changed their mind ……….who knows

    through time………Opinions dissolved
    through time………Issues can be solved

    through time………wounds heal
    through time………doubts become real

    through time………my life grew less
    through time………I got hopeless

    through time………I became weak
    through time………others help, I tend to seek

    through time………I’m going to be stubborn
    through time………I’m going to be lonely and worn

    through time………”like whom before me” I’ll be forgotten
    through time……… that what will happen

    through time……… regrets begotten
    throught time…….. ye the one who decide: hell or heaven

  231. Hello Abu Sinan:

    “I dont get where you are going. Are you saying that before 1967 the Israeli support base in the US included signifcant numbers of non whites?”

    No I am saying that there was not much support of Israel among Christian communities (at least based on theology as it is today). It wasn’t about black and white. In the first 20 years of Israel’s existence, many Jews were suspicious of all Christians, for good reasons. Conservative Christians were more interested in converting Jews to Christianity than anything else.

  232. Jerry,

    Conservative Christians STILL are interested in converting Jews, the difference is that not they think that it might just have to wait until Jesus comes. At that point if they dont convert to Christianity Jesus will just cast them all into Hell anyways.

    The Zionists use conservative Christian support, they are playing with fire. Conservative Christians dont support Israel because they love Israel or respect Judaism, rather because they think the destruction of Israel is a part of their end times.

    Conservative Christian support for Israel is ultimately about Israel’s destruction.

  233. Hello Abu,
    I agree with you that Zionists who seek support of conservative Christians are being foolish.

  234. @american bedu

    Do Saudi citizens get a stipend/salary from the government whether they work or not?

  235. @Jerry,

    That is a good question!

    If a Saudi citizen is a gov’t employee then there can be circumstances
    when he or she may not work per se but continue to receive stipends.

    I also know individuals who are on government contracts and will
    receive a stipend whether they work a particular month(s) or not but
    if on the contract they receive payment.

    University students also receive stipends as long as maintaining
    acceptable grade averages and completing their studies in the
    acceptable time period.

    I hope that answers your question.

  236. @american bedu,

    Thanks, I was under the impression that the KSA distributed some money to all citizens, but I guess I am wrong.

  237. @Jerry,

    If that is the case, I am not aware of it. I believe we have enough
    Saudis following this blog so I am optimistic we’ll receive further
    input on this topic.

    Regards,
    Carol

  238. @Jerry,

    I think you might have a misunderstanding here. All members of the royal family receive a stipend from the state. How much depends on where they are on the pecking order.

    It is my understanding that there is basically three strata within the royal family.

    What I read sometime ago said that the lowest member of the family gets around $20,000 a month. So that would be around 75,000-80,000 Saudi riyals a month.

    Of course that is the lowest member, so imagine what the top members get? Anyway, this article was also from about 10 years ago.

    However, I think in many cases the month stipend is dwarfed by profits from bribes and the usual 5% plus members of the royal family get for facilitating contracts in the Kingdom.

    Do the math quick. There are about 10,000 members of the royal family. The lowest gets $20,000 a month. Lets be nice and just use that number instead of the higher numbers.

    That works out to $200,000,000 a month and $2.4 billion a year. Of course we were being very conservative.

    So that is more than $2.4 million dollars a year paid out to people for doing nothing more than being lucky enough to have a fortune accident of birth!

    Of course even those numbers dont explain how a former high ranking Saudi diplomat can afford TWO houses here in the USA, together worth somewhere around $200,000,000.

    But I’ll let you think about how someone could come up with $200 million for two houses not even located in their own country.

  239. PS Jerry,

    No, not all Saudis get montly stipends. Even with the $2.4 billion plus shelled out to “accidents of birth” every year there are still Saudis that are dirt poor.

  240. @Abu Sinan,

    You’re right, I did have a misunderstanding. I am sure I have also conflated the lack of income tax with everyone getting a stipend.

    I have read articles about the size of the royal family and those have pointed out how much money they suck out of the economy (to spend in London, Paris or somewhere else).

  241. @Jerry,

    What you were talking about reminds me more of Alaska. I lived there for a couple of years.

    Every Alaskan citizen gets a check once a year. It can range from $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the oil profits. And, of course, there is no income tax.

  242. I had never heard before of the Royal Family members getting such stipends.

  243. Carol,

    Of course there isnt much out there about this. Considering how insane the practice is it is no surpise it isnt advertise.

    I forget where I read about it first, but there is some stuff on the net about it. The excerpt below lists some 7,000 princes, but I have heard that the real number is closer to 10,000. Interesting link as it is an Israeli site. I first read about it in a Western publication.

    “Challenges for Prince Abdallah
    The royal family was lucky to have Prince Abdallah at the kingdom’s helm at a time when Saudi Arabia’s economy was in decline and criticism of the corrupt and privileged Saudi princes was widespread. Only the conservative and highly respected crown prince could attempt to reform the Saudi economy and reduce the kingdom’s expenditures on subsidies and other perks, among other things, aimed at buying the support of lower class Saudis, whose standard of living had sharply declined. Abdallah also had the moral stance that enabled him to meaningfully reduce the costly stipends paid to 7,000 royal princes and attempt to minimize this corruption. ”

    http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=380&PID=1866&IID=799

  244. The one below has different numbers than what I have read elsewhere, but it is all guessing as the Saudi government wont release the numbers.

    “Today there are over 10,000 Saudi princes who receive monthly stipends ranging from $800-$270,000 per month. At the same time, these princes are involved in numerous shady business deals to support the lifestyles to which they have grown accustomed. ”

    http://www.globalengage.org/issues/articles/security/593-a-saudi-house-of-cards.html

  245. Whoo Hoo! I just discovered this page so I will let it out a little.
    -Polygamy is used by men to control women & have their mini-paradise on earth;-)
    -Misyar “marriage” is a form of legal/organized prostitution 😛
    -I think men in Thobes are a turn on! I am glad thats out 😛

    I will be back if I have more.

  246. @Gloria — LOL!

    Looks like you are going to have a grand time with this page!

  247. Carol, I wasn’t sure where else to post this question. Where did you get that picture on your banner from? Anything you can tell me about it would be appreciated. Very interesting piece of art.

  248. lol@Carol: Yes, I have a feeling this is a good outlet for my “Fitna” sessions. 😉

    But now that we are at it, I really hate it when men wear their thobes with socks & white shorts. Long trousers are fine & I like’em in sandals. 😛

  249. @sabiwabi – there is a wonderful website called “Deviant Art”
    http://www.deviantart.com/ where one can find magnificent images and
    art.

    This banner is an image of a painting of Saudis performing the
    traditional sword dance.

  250. @Gloria – If you have not done so, I think you need to read my posts
    on “What do Saudi Men Wear Under a Thobe” and What are Sunna
    Underpants…. (smile)

  251. @Carol: What? Sunna underpants? Are you kidding?!!! I will read them right NOW. Thanks for the info. 😛

  252. @Gloria – I look forward to your comments!!

  253. oooh, like the sound of that, “deviant art”…thanks!

    😉

  254. @sabiwabi – the name is definitely contradictory to the beautiful art
    you will discover there! I look forward to hearing what you think of
    the site.

  255. @American Bedu

    I noticed your new banner. What does it depict?

  256. @Jerry,

    This banner is an image (made to fit) of a painting depicting Saudis
    in very traditional dress doing the national sword dance.

    Regards,
    Carol

  257. Thanks I thought it might be the sword dance

  258. Wondering what folks on this site think of the recent NYTimes article: “Christians in Mideast Losing Numbers and Influence.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/13/world/middleeast/13christians.html?_r=1&hp

    Naturally, I think its a shame that any native culture would die out of its native home, but others who have lived in the region may feel differently.

    Thanks

    Tanya

  259. Tanya–interesting article. Thanks.

    Christian Arabs have been emigrating for decades but there is a recent increase it seems. One local coffee with an outdoor patio shop was dominated by Iraqi Christians last summer, all recent arrivals. I know many Egyptian and Lebanese Christians who came to make their lives here over the last few decades. As they are all professionals they represent a real brain drain on the Middle East.

  260. PS Or, in readable English: “One local coffee shop with an outdoor patio was dominated last summer by Iraqi Christians, all recent arrivals.”

  261. There are so many things one can blame for the end of Christianity in the Middle East . The Israelis have tried to manipulate the different elements that already existed. (The Israelis helped encourage Hamas as a balance to the PLO.) One can blame the Israelis, but one also has to blame the Arabs who kept the refugee situation simmering, rather than resettle the original refugees into the countries they were living in. There might be justice in keeping the Palestinian cause alive but the existence of unsettled Palestinian groups in various countries has been a source of strife for many years now. Let us not forget the US invasion of Iraq didn’t do the Christian Iraqis any favors.

    I don’t see any real sign that the Muslim Arabs miss the Christians. Let them leave and come to a society in which they can thrive and live normal lives.

  262. @Jerry – thank you for bringing up such an interesting topic for discussion. I look forward to following the comments!

    Regards, Carol

  263. Is there any reason why the debate page is no longer linked on the site in an easy to find place?

  264. @Jerry – I need to investigate this…thanks.

  265. @AB

    I just noticed that the debate page was moved to the ‘Important Blog Links’. It had been on the top where it was easy to see, I never noticed it until now.

    So, I apologize for being a crank!

    Jerry

  266. @Dxb regarding discussion under article “Islam and owning a dog”

    “Yup when it comes to Islam i don’t have ‘personal views’”

    Yes because when you start having personal views you do not submit to every thing your Ulema tell you. You will start understanding that statements like
    “Please stop picking at hadith. Its a sin….”
    Are illogical. Here is a simple reason, what that statement says is Bukhari was living a life of sin, since he dedicated a large portion of it to researching Hadith (i.e. picking at it). However, if you’re not thinking you just take that statement as is and continue repeating it. Can you say BAAAAAAA again.

    re, “‘Benefit their class” – would you care to elaborate ?”
    Let’s see, we have a set of scholars that explain to you that the only way to be a good Muslim is to conduct your life in a manner they have defined as following the Sunna and Salaf. Then they tell you how the prophet and Salaf behaved in full details. All of this is based on a collection of hadiths, which they tell you are sacred and unquestionable (show me where in Islam Hadith was deemed sacred and that the writing of Bukhari and others were protected from debate). Once you stop questioning everything they tell you, you end up with this group controlling your actions, laws, judicial system, education system, etc. Now how they benefit from this is your assignment. Try something novel for once and go figure it out for yourself.

    Peace

  267. Lol- Im not up for debates on the deen will leave that to people that have alot of time on their hands. Reminds of me of people with no knowledge and wisdom banging their heads together lol

    You can insult my manhaj and the way I follow Islam…Its ok if you dont wish to respect youre fellow muslims…it happens when youve been brainwashed in the states 🙂 I doubt you know the hadith about 73 sects in Islam..youll probably start debating that aswell!

    Anyway youre posts were most amusing especially the baaaa bit and you kept me entertained eventhough I’ve learnt absoloutely zilch from mr think for youself .
    (im assuming youre a male coz you sound very aggressive- then again women also want to be men in the west!)

    I was hoping I could actually learn something here but clearly thats not the case Lol but you were funny 🙂 Jokers in Islam are not to be taken seriously but please please say Baaaa…..hahaha would sound so much more appropriate coming from you 😉

    Its Waasalamualaikum not Peace (ooops forgot youre in the states now 😉

  268. @Dxb,

    You still have not answered “How the writtings of scholars have became sacred and unquestionable under Islam?”

    All you did in your last post is reference a Hadith that puts 72 out of 73 sects of Islam in hell. The Exception is your sect of course. Then you talk about aggression, like there is any thing more aggressive than telling your fellow Muslims that they will go to hell, for not believing exactly in what you believe in.

    Also you want respect for yourself when you have not shown any ability to think reasonably. Respect has to be earned and you are not even close to earning it.

    Go back and join the herd. This type of discussion makes your head hurt because it requires you to think for once.

  269. @Saudi in the USA,

    The reason that the Islamic world today is so backwards and dominated by tyrants is directly because of this lack of critical thinking.

    The Islamic world, hundreds of years ago, was the central for the entire world when it came to the sciences, astronomy, medicine and technology.

    The religious movement that Dxb is a great product and example of removed from Islamic and Arabic culture this respect of critical thinking.

    This movement is the same movement that saw the Middle East and Islamic world fall behind the West and other cultures around the world.

    That is why the Islamic world is so far behind the west today and it is only getting worse as the best and brightest leave these countries and go somewhere where intelligence and critical thinking is valued.

    Their loss is our gain I guess. I work with many Muslim born engineers and scientists who were forced to move to the West to be able to have anhy hope of really contributing to the modern world.

    Let DXB and his type regress further and further as they close down their minds. When the oil and gas runs out the Middle East will be as poor and forgotten as sub Saharan Africa, but at least the currupt leaders of these “Islamic” nations will have their riches whilst their people starve.

    The entire Middle East will look like Yemen in 100 or so years.

  270. Saudi US and Abu sinan- Like i said in the above post ‘reminds me of people with a lack of knowledge and wisdom banging their heads together’..

    Lol Saudi US you proved my point you did exactly what I thought you would do! You started talking about the hadeeth regarding the 73 sects and saying I believe I am from the saved sect. Did I say I am from the saved sect??? And why did i refer to the 73 sects!?!? Lol and here you are telling me I need to use my brain..oh dear 🙂

    When did i say the writings of scholars are sacred and unquestionable! Even they say themselves that they make mistakes!!!! They are human just like us lol And who said what they say is unquestionable..Lol are you having a debate with yourself? SubhanaAllah may Allah guide you and inshaAllah open up your heart and brain 😉 to knowledge.

    Respect..hmmmm I believe everyone has the right to be respected, regardless of colour, creed and religion. We may not agree with one another but that doesnt mean we cant respect one another?
    Tut tut double standards im afraid, here you are telling me to baaaa away and go back to my herd..talk about being intolerant and not to mention full of contradictions…hmmm

    Abu Sinan-you need to read up on Islamic history before you send in your long posts. Do you know what a caliphate is lol (and dont get offended i didnt ask that in an intimidating manner, man you westerners get easily offended) Read up on the last caliphate 🙂

    The aggression here is amusing..Lol…keep banging your heads together 🙂

  271. You know “DXB”, I have been reading the back and forth here and it’s funny you have been saying like several posts ago that you are DONE. So why do you keep on coming back if you believe you are the righteous one???

    Honestly, you sound pretty pathetic! Not just as a Muslim unfortunately, but as a human being in general! I don’t know you and I don’t want to know, ALHADMULILLAH!! But seriously, GET A LIFE with you and your “LOl’s and smiley faces”………..what the heck is that all about??? I sense some inferiority complex, perhaps???

    @Saudi in USA……..hada mush kharoof. hada homaroon kabeeron. wala agool, taaison kabeeron!!! LOOOOOOOOOL

  272. Manal- Whats wrong with Lol’s and smiley faces..is it a crime to be happy now??
    LOL inferiority complex? Why on earth would i have an inferiority complex around people here like yourself ?
    But im loving your psyhcho analysing, an aspsiring psychiatrist perhaps??
    When did i say i was ‘the righteous one”???????
    But yeah I have to agree i do keep coming back here, more from the amusement aspect of it actually. Its hilarious watching people getting fired up here 🙂 Exactly what happens when personal opinions are given on the deen..gets messy messsy and messier
    Manal, youre not the one to judge a muslim just like I shouldnt be judging you as a muslim. Only Allah does that im afraid 🙂 and its bad bad manners to send messages to your friend in arabic when there are hundreds here that dont have a clue what you just said 😉
    Oh and you look very pretty in your photo. Loving the hijaab 😉

    Have fun 🙂 🙂 🙂

  273. Manal- Whats wrong with Lol’s and smiley faces..is it a crime to be happy now??
    LOL inferiority complex? Why on earth would i have an inferiority complex around people here like yourself ?
    But im loving your psyhcho analysing, an aspsiring psychiatrist perhaps??
    When did i say i was ‘the righteous one”???????
    But yeah I have to agree i do keep coming back here, more from the amusement aspect of it actually. Its hilarious watching people getting fired up here 🙂 Exactly what happens when personal opinions are given on the deen..gets messy messsy and messier
    Manal, youre not the one to judge a muslim just like I shouldnt be judging you as a muslim. Only Allah does that im afraid 🙂 and its bad bad manners to send messages to your friend in arabic when there are hundreds here that dont have a clue what you just said 😉
    Oh and you look very pretty in your photo.

    Have fun 🙂 🙂 🙂

  274. Ooops lol

  275. Just noticed this article in the Arab News today! LOL Was he reading this blog?

    Grand mufti calls for acceptance of other viewpoints
    Walaa Hawari | Arab News

    RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh said Saturday that cooperation and acceptance of other viewpoints and not forcing a singular point of view are necessary if society is to benefit.

  276. @Lynn – what great timing!

  277. @Dxb, You cannot have it both ways. When you are asked for opinion you defer to scholars. Then you comeback and claim intelligence.

    Manal is also right about the smiley faces, over using them makes you sound like a child.

    By the way you say you cannot argue against a hadith even.if it contradicts quraan. Last I checked Bukhari was a scholar not a prophet, which means you have made the scholars sacred. Oh I just realized this takes 2 steps to reach that logical conclusion. Something you’re not capable of, so we have to draw the conclusion for you to get it.

    Obviously, debating with you is a waste of time, because you have no ability to analyze. You have to be spoon fed every little detail.

    @Manal, good points. He/she is just not smart enough to even talk to. There is no debate here, just circular arguments with a mad person.

  278. Lynn–thanks for the reference. The whole article merits reading: on the importance of dialogue, the value of dialogue in Islam and in an Islamic society, the roles of dialogue amongst scholars, and between scholars and non-sholars, as well as modalities of dialogue. So much more elegant an expression than psychobabble, bullying, tag teaming, and fatuous “inside jokes”. It seems like good news for Saudi, assuming/hoping the intent is genuine. Thanks again.

    Dxb–I assumed you were a woman. I’m not sure why. If I was wrong, I apologize. Consider it a tribute to your “feminine side”. If I was right, well then, consider it a tribute to your feminine side. LOL 🙂

  279. Dxb sounds like a teenager newly into the whole “scholars are mini gods” belief system. His/her writing is very juvenile and scattered…very teenage-ish.

  280. About the history of the planet Earth and women and men and religions:

    Chiara: I have a problem with ”feminist” archeology as well, I would just like to have an unbiased view, now the whole world and history and archeology as well, are very much man-centered. To a degree that even in recent history women’s achievements are almost routinely filtered out. For example in art you can notice how the few women who have made it against all odds to become very fine and well-known artists are largely forgotten 100 years later, and their art-works are ascribed to their male associates, teachers, family or their students.
    So while I do think that any unbiased look at history will inevitably unearth a much more female version, I don’t like to call that a feminist version, It isn’t: it would be a true version. Not a ”femisist” one.
    And i certainly don’t like to go the other way and make the same bad mistake and forcefully change history into a female history only.

  281. Aafke–agreed the “feminist view” provides a necessary corrective, but it is self-labelled that way in academia. All scholarship has a built in openness to further illumination as other approaches or evidence come into existence.

    The women who do make it against all odds in their fields, have been subject to male critics keeping their work alive or not, by creating the canons of study and curating the exhibitions. As well as being ignored or misattributed they are often the subject of more attention to their personal lives than their work. Fortunately some men gave/give them their due, as do some women. Camille Claudel comes to mind, as do Berthe Morrissot, and in literature Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Mary Shelley.

    So you didn’t send the lightening bolt, or you’re not telling? LOL 🙂

  282. Im reading the headlines over on the right side of the blog and its written that the Saudi man who bragged on tv about his sex life has “scandilized” Saudi…hmmm?

    The stealing of womens rights in a Muslim country is not scandalizing?

    The complete disregard for hired help (housemaids, construction etc) that includes rape, non payment of salaries, and accusations of immorality in order to force deporation is not scandolous?

    A group of thugs masquerading as religious police who feel they can terrorize the population all in the name of God is not in the least bit scandolous?

    All that is normal and accepted…but talking about having sex is SCANDOLOUS!!!

    Very sad.

  283. @coolred – it is strange…sex is not haram but culturally it is something that is not to be talked about. I swear many men in Saudi probably believe they are a product of immaculate conception…

  284. @coolred,

    I agree with you. One man no matter what he does cannot scandalize an entire nation. He is responsible for his own actions.

    What is disturbing is that people are not viewing the systematic issues you mentioned as scandalous when they are supported by official government line. Also, when government officials are involved in major bribery cases no one in Saudi talks about it as a scandal.

  285. ‘He is responsible for his own actions’

    Are you sure about that? Isn’t it the woman who is at fault if a man gets excited and acts inappropriately upon seeing her hair or her flesh?

  286. All of the things coolred mentioned are scandalous, but so is what he did.

  287. @American bedu – immaculate conception, lolol..

    @coolred – agreed. but seriously, culturally it’s a shocker.

  288. It might be scandalous to himself, his family, his inner circle of friends etc…I dont understand how it can be scandalous to an entire country…especially considering if he harmed anyone it was himself…meanwhile the things I mentioned harm other people….which generally should mean more when people are deciding what to be scandalized over.

  289. My interpretation is that it is scandalous because he spoke out on subjects which are not to be publicly discussed.

  290. Because not talking about something means we can pretend it doesnt happen?

    I notice when reading the Saudi papers that whenever a nonSaudi commits a crime…his name and country etc are published right along with his crime…but when the name and country of the perp is not published…we are to assume the criminal was a Saudi…so that his family etc werent scandalized by having it known a family member was arrested and jailed etc?

    Funny enough (not) the victims name etc is just about always in the paper.

  291. Some great posts and debates here Carol. As you know, I am western, non-Muslim, didn’t move here to convert, but because I like exploring the world and this is one place relatively few people will ever get the chance to explore.

    What really struck me the most (as I didn’t really go through a cultureshock per se, having lived in Kuwait before and under no illusions about what Saudi would be like) and what I like is the genuine devotion of most Saudis. Religion is alive here (and though non-Muslim, I do believe there is a higher being, you are judged by the life you lead, and there are rules you should be following) and people are genuine in it. When my friend was offered a bribe to get me to sign some accident papers he told his coworkers about it. They were honestly shocked (and these are educated 20-something Saudis I am talking about). “That’s haram,” they said. “How can he do that and be Muslim?” they said. Then there are the Saudis who have stopped when I have had flat tires and offered assistance. Yes, there are lots of imperfect things, but why dwell on what you can’t change instead of appreciating the things that just “are”?

    Keep up the great blog!

  292. Shad – thank you so much for sharing. Just a thought…would you consider allowing me to interview you for my blog? If so, please email me at admin@americanbedu.com

  293. Shad…great comment but Im wondering about your “why dwell on things you cant change” statement…what exactly is it that you feel cant change about Saudia? Nothing is unchangeable but God according to Muslims so thats an interesting comment…lol.

    Every nation in the world changes…by hook or by crook…its the way things are…nothing can ever possibly stay the same…some just take a little more time than others…thats not necessarily a good or bad thing..it just is.

  294. coolred38:
    I think what Shad meant (and please Shad, correct me if i’m wrong) is things you can’t change immediately. Why dwell and nag about things that takes time to change. Some changes are a process.
    And in the same spirit, i find it very destructive and counter productive to constantly nag about what’s wrong and need change. I find that trait in some cultures/countries more than others. And when i do, it always makes life much…glummer. Should it always be so?

    Shad::
    I am truly glad to hear your perspective about Saudis and their genuine attachment to faith. I am myself a Muslim living in the west. And when i make the same comment to people in debates about Saudi Arabia or Islam, it generally doesn’t have the same sway. People see it as bias because i share the same faith. Here, in the west, we like to indulge in that old 70’s cliche of some wealthy Saudis, conservative and pious at home, and corrupt on Champs Elysees or 5th Ave. The old time most unfair and unjust guilty by association mind set.

    Indeed, Saudi Arabia has its share of bad apples, like any other country. But i agree with you, the Saudi people is in general very attached to its commitment to God, certain values and principles, long forgotten and derided in other countries.

  295. @Bruno – Welcome to the Debate Page!!

  296. Bruno-‘Why dwell and nag about things that takes time to change. Some changes are a process’

    Bruno, can you share what you would consider steps in the ‘process’ if one of the steps is not discussing/debating what one thinks is wrong?

  297. Lynn:
    Of course when you see something wrong or evil, it is our duty to at least speak up.

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, let him change it by his hand (by action), and if he cannot, then by his tongue (by speaking out), and if he cannot, then by his heart (by feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of faith.” (Al-Bukhaari, Fath, 1/51).

    But as illustrated by this Hadeeth, before discussing/debating a situation, there is proper actual action one might be ale to take to redress it. And i’m sure we’d both agree on that one, no matter our respective faith, or lack of.

    Then you can discuss and debate. But here comes my question: how long can you debate or discuss any given situation you want to change? especially one over which you have no control !? At one point there ought to be a time when you have explored all possible discourse, rhetoric or analysis? Or are you going to just keep repeating endlessly the same speech?

    It’s like the tribal issue in the Gulf. How many times have i heard about it? too many. How many times have i heard someone or an article offering a solution? ziltch!

    An other example: the female circumcision issue in some countries in Africa. For how long had it been a serious issue in Egypt for example. From times immemorial. And then the only solution it appeared was: “let’s liberate women (meaning, let’s throw in the towel, sorry the Hijab) and become westernized! That ought to work!” Except, it didn’t. Only when some women decided to get constructive and include religious scholars and their support against this horrible mutilation did the practice start disappearing from traditional customs.

    When it comes to the Arabo-Islamic world, people tend to dwell a lot, whine a lot, criticize a lot. But most of the time no constructive, efficient adaptive solution is provided. Most of the time the solution to people is simple: “copy the west? copy the foreigner. They seem to be doing pretty well. So why not?” When realities dictate other recourse.

    So what Shad or at least I was saying by but why dwell on what you can’t change instead of appreciating the things that just “are”? is merely the idea that we need to learn to recognize when is a time for action, when is a time for debate and when is a time for contemplation as suggested by the saying of our beloved Prophet.

    Wisdom that is also illustrated by this prayer i learned in the US:
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

    bdg

  298. I think Shad simply meant that we shouldn’t only criticise; we should also appreciate the positive aspects of Saudi-A – or any other place for that matter. Having said that, I think we should not only appreciate the positive aspects, but seriously think about the problems of any place under discussion and see what can be done to change things. Of course there are problems everywhere in the world and self-criticism is the most constructive and positive criticism. But since this site is about KSA and a lot of problems have been raised about that country here, perhaps instead of calling names to each other, we should genuinely think about what the way out is – without defending the indefensible in the KSA and without overlooking the fact that there may be social/historical/political reasons for these problems. Yes restriction on women IS a problem – but not if a woman can veil herself and be as mobile as anyone else. In my country, the Muslim women see the veil as a mechanism that allows them to go out in public, because there is no law that they can’t go out alone or that they can’t talk to unrelated men alone etc. I’m not saying here that all women must veil, but only giving an example of how the veil may not be all that restricting in all situations – in the KSA it’s the kind of restricting laws the State has made that makes the veil an extra burden – and of course there are lots of Muslim women in my country who don’t wear the veil – they have the choice not to do so. So ultimately, it’s not the veil that is restricting, it’s the question who decides that the woman should wear it – does she decide it herself or does the State/society decide it for her? Also, is it only treated as a modest garment which actually allows the women to go out and mix with men, or is it a political tool to keep the women in a virtual prison? I have said this elsewhere and will say it again, in a political atmosphere such as the KSA, it’s really not possible for the women to make the change by themselves, even if they get together and try to do something about it. They seriously need the support of their fathers, husbands, brothers to bring the change but more often than not, it’s these men who let the women down – the people making the laws in the KSA also happen to be the fathers, brothers, husbands of some women but that doesn’t seem to make any difference.

    Bruno,
    That prayer from the Alcoholics Anonymous has been my favourite prayer too for a very long time, only I’m beginning to question the “accept the things I can’t change” bit now.

  299. sumi: i agree with Daisy that the issues in Saudi require all members of its community to collectively recognise and move forward as a nation.Fingerpointing won’t solve anything.In Islam all human beings are regarded as equal in the eyes of Allah! Mashallah, very informative debate.

  300. Welcome Sumi to the blog and thanks for sharing your view too.

  301. Sumi,
    Thanks for appreciating.

  302. Greetings of peace.iam an expat having lived in Saudi for the last four years.My family & I have travelled in the MiddleEast for more than 12 years.In all this time it is here that I have come to understand the meaning of true respect for women as well as the importance of family. I no longer consider,seperate banks,or queues; or a “family section ” as strange or oppressive, like i did before.Actually, I feel priveleged That all This was done for my convenience and ease.I can also go to the front of a “mens queue” and be helped immediately.
    When I asked one of my Saudi friends how she felt about not being able to drive , this is what she said…”if my King wants me to be a Princess…. then thats what I will be!” I never looked at it that way. The more I think about what she said the more i realize that, not everyone submits themselves to people’s jugdement .
    p.s: you’re welcome Daisy.

  303. Sumi,

    I appreciate your comment and sharing on how you view the experiences of living life in Saudi. I do have to agree with you that if a queu is mixed (men and women) it is nice that the culture expects/requests the woman to go to the front of the line!

  304. for more info about apostasy visit http://www.faithfreedom.org

  305. Anybody got any information about this place The Cove? Good to live there?

  306. riddle me this.. do people here KNOW how intolerably insulting it is when they shove islamic literature upon us..usually secretively by leaving it outside our doors or on our buses to work..but often simply to our faces?

    I even had a patient give me a bag w/a teddy bear. Behind the bear was “a guide to islam” and (I still want to slug her for this) “the dress code for women”.. GAH!!! It’s infuriating. Back off already!

    It was sick enough when a Christian in the US told me it was sad that I wouldn’t be in heaven with them when I die (WTf?!), but it’s even more insulting here.

    Clearly there’s MASS CONFUSION about the difference between right and wrong..no? Especially when co-workers try to assure me that they do it because they care about me.

    I specifically DON’T say what people need to hear here to improve their lives, despite caring, because I know how utterly insulting it would be.. Where are the MANNERS, and where is the TOLERANCE, people?!

  307. @Andrea,

    Where are you receiving this Islamic literature? In Saudi? I think it is very natural in an Islamic nation such as Saudi for non-muslims to receive more exposure and proactive measures by muslims wishing to introduce Islam.

    In Saudi there is less likelihood of backing off or away from opportunities to introduce Islam. In the West it is more culturally accepted when someone requests not to receive or discuss certain subjects that the issue is dropped.

  308. Yes, in KSA.. But the fact is that if someone wants to discuss Islam with you they should start a conversation with you, LEARN what you believe and then express their own opinion.

    Handing me books or leaving them outside my door says one thing. “We disapprove of you. You’re bad. YOU have to change. We’re right. Here’s a book telling you how you should behave..”

    It’s intended as an insult. It’s insulting, period. There’s nothing wrong with me. Tend to your own, I say, and if you don’t like what I’m wearing or who I am.. don’t look.

  309. HI Andrea,

    So what about Gideon’s Bible? Wouldn’t that irritate all the non Christians who travel in the USA? Or is it all about freedom of speech? In the slave days of the old South in America, no one would think to have left a book outside the slave quarters because it was against the law to teach a slave to read. If they read, they would start using critical analysis, God forbid.

    I too have had that feeling of being insulted when Jehovah’s Witnesses show up outside my door or leave a pamphlet. For that matter, I find the brochure under the windshield wiper irritating because I generally don’t it and do not want to litter my car or the street or waste paper.

    I am trying to train myself not to get offended or be upset when others are offended by me when I do not mean ill. It just makes me sick and isn’t about me anyway.

  310. Andrea..have to agree with the insulting nature of those little brochures…especially when “womens dress code” is almost always the first one pushed on u. Ugh!!!

    God seems to care an awful lot about what we wear.

  311. @Daisy, Susanne,

    In Islam the bride is required to give her consent and she should not be married without her approval. However, the Islamic Nikkah is a very simple ceremony. It is a public announcement where the dowery is announced and the birdegroom and a representative appointed by the bride are asked ‘do you consent to the marriage of x with y’. This is all there is – as well as a silent prayer and a recitation of some specific verses of the Quran.

    The bride can appoint anyone as her representative. Normally it is the father but it does not have to be. Technically a marriage is Islamically valid even if the parents haven’t given their consent. Muslim or not Muslim.

    I know some Islamic countries such as Saudi may have different laws but they are not technically required in Islam. How many of the early Muslim women had their parental approval – I am not sure they all did.

    Susanne, as for why the couple you knew were sneaking around I am not sure why they did that. It seems to me that they may have been afraid of her parents (or his) but to conceal the marriage was not legally required in order for it to be Islamic. You do not have to be an ordained minister either to conduct a ceremony.

    My personal opinion is that the parent’s should be involved and told of the marriage. It is very hurtful – whatever someone’s religion – to exclude a mother from that knowledge.

    However, Daisy is wrong to assume that some Islamic laws were violated (moral codes maybe) but it is the choice of the bride whom she appoints to speak on her behalf.

  312. Actually I would also like to correct sara where she said that a non Muslim cannot be a wali. I know of several cases where the father or uncle of a convert was the wali in their daughter/niece’s nikkah. Their only role is to voice the bride’s consent. There is no spiritual job attached to it as there would be with a godparent for example so the religion is not really the most significant factor.

  313. @Susanne,
    Sorry for the extra reply but in answer to your question about lying – no it is not ok to lie about matters such as these. The prophet Muhammad despised openly spoken lies and was once asked a question to which his reply was ;’never tell al lie’. He repeated it so many times that the narrator says we wished he would stop!

    So no, lying is not ok, even in the case of marriage and it’s not really a good start to married life. I know of cases of converts parents who did not attend the wedding (these were ‘Muslims’ not Ahmadis) but they were always told of the marriage in advance and invited to come.

  314. @Daisy

    I do think you are overreaching here. First, there is no blanket requirement for parental permission for marriage in Islam. A divorced or widowed woman does not need permission. In Shia doctrine, a “Rashida” woman, i.e. someone who is sane and in full command of her faculties, is required to be married. At my Nikah, my Mom was present but I did not need a guardian. At pre-wedding meeting the imam asked me if I will have a representative at the ceremony, and I informed him I don’t want one. That was the end of it.

    Secondly, people inform you correctly that one of the tenets of Shariah is that a non-Muslim cannot have guardianship powers over a Muslim. Typically, a non-Muslim cannot act as a Muslim person’s guardian. Now you and I can argue whether that’s a nice thing to say, but that does not change the facts.

    Finally, I think you are allowing your dislike of these events as told to lead you to believe it must somehow be criminal. Now, I would agree with you that it was hurtful, shameful, painful for the parents, inappropriate, what have you, but the fact that you dislike it does not make it illegal.

    And it is specifically NOT illegal to convert to any religion at any age. The state does not regulate in the U.S. who can and cannot convert and to what religion, and there is no minimum age requirement for any of this. If a 12-year old wants to convert to anything, they are free to do so. Now, if they were coerced, kidnapped, robbed or otherwise abused “in the process of conversion”, that would be illegal. But a mere act of conversion to a religion does not require a person to be of a certain age, so long as the conversion is voluntary.

  315. Sarah,
    Please understand that I have attended many Muslim marriages and am familiar with them. I mix with Muslims on a daily basis.

    The bride doesn’t appoint anyone as her representative as you say. It is a requirement of Islam that the father or another male guardian give consent verbally for the marriage. The bride can’t appoint just anyone she likes. The primacy in this matter goes to the father. No other person can give consent for her if her father is alive.

    In Lynn’s case the girl was not an adult when she was converted – that’s where all the trouble began. This is not a normal case of born Muslims so I don’t see why you are discussing the normal procedure. This is not a normal case.

  316. NN,
    I’m quite sure Lynn will be able to argue that this was not a normal case of “conversion” but an act of planned plot to lead a minor into extremism under the pretext of religious conversion.

    If only people like you won’t try to judge Islamic extremism by the yardstick of religious freedom, we’ll have much less trouble in the world.

    Lynn,
    If you can prove this, the case is yours, as far as I can see. You of course will have to seek good legal help.

  317. @Daisy

    Let’s not get personal. You don’t know me. So language like “people like you” is unwarranted. Debate the argument, not the person.

    I feel for Lynn very much. I understand how painful these events must have been and continue to be for her. But I repeat that our dislike of this is not enough to make it illegal.

    So the imam was inconsiderate dimwit. I doubt that his disregard of non-Muslim parents’ feelings can serve as evidence that he is somehow Bin Laden’s errrand boy. If Lynn wants to lodge a complaint of extremist actions, she’ll have to provide evidence, apart from her daughter converting against her mom’s will. And I do think that it will make a rift between her and her daughter more irreparable than ever.

    Lynn, I’m sorry I’m talking about you as if you’re not present. I feel for you very much. I just don’t think the law will be of much help to you here. Whatever happened between you and your daughter is not up to the police to fix.

  318. @Daisy,
    You have yet again misunderstood what I said. Yes, normally a father is the wali but not always. We are not discussing what is ‘normal’ we are discussing what is allowed in Islam. If a bride’s parent’s are opposed to her marriage she can appoint herself a wali to act for her. As long as a nikkah ceremony is performed and her own consent is given it is legally islamic.

    I have attended a nikkah where my English friend married and her father wanted to be her wali and so he spoke for her in the ceremony even though he was not a Muslim. He was her father and therefore he was perfectly entitled to perform this duty and did so very happily.

    And what you say about another person giving consent if the father is alive is also wrong. What about the case of converts then?

    I think that your attitude is a bit unballanced given that you dont know all of the circumstances which were relevant here.

    If this were a Muslim girl who had decided to marry a non Muslim man and not tell her parents would anybody really care?

    Ans as for your statement that I support extremism you are once again speaking without knowledge. I clearly said that the Imam should have told the parents but technically he did not have to. Islamically, a child should inform their parents themselves.

    I don’t think that when I have seen the results of extremism against Ahmadis and have family members who were in the mosques in Lahore at the time of the bombings that you can say I have any inclination towards extremism. Please do not stick labels to me of your own invention when they do not apply.

  319. @NN – ‘Whatever happened between you and your daughter is not up to the police to fix’

    I absolutely agree with you.

    Daisy, I commented already on the other post that I do not think that this was ‘an act of planned plot to lead a minor into extremism under the pretext of religious conversion’.

  320. Correcting myself:

    In Shia doctrine, a “Rashida” woman, i.e. someone who is sane and in full command of her faculties, is required to be married.

    Should read:

    In Shia doctrine, a “Rashida” woman, i.e. someone who is sane and in full command of her faculties, does not require guardians of any sort to be married. Approval of family is commendable, but not required.

  321. @Oby,
    You asked a very interesting and profound question. Let me first say that I am by no means any kind of scholar so this is just my personal opinion.

    Clear rules did exist before Islam. Moses was given the 10 commandments and the Jews made a convenant with God but they eventually drifted from these and added their own interpretations so Christ was sent to reform them. Later on (a Muslim woul argue) followers drifted from the original message towards addittions and new interpretations. The same has happened to Muslims nowadays (from my prespective as an Ahmadi). So something suggests to me that this is part of the pattern of religious contact between God and people. People will always need reminding no matter how clear the message.

    People will and do twist the Quran to mean whatever they want it to. But Islam teaches that Islam is not the only path to God. I may think it is the best path but it is not the only one. God is the Creator of all and can talk to all should He so chose. Perhaps this twisting for our own ends is due to ego or vain desires – if it is twisted to abuse or marignalise some specific people.

    So perhaps a further part of your question could be how do you know what the right interpretation is?

    That’s more tricky to answer but I guess the key is to have a relationship with God. I believe God to be a living entity who will respond when I call. As such, if I have a question or a doubt I read around, examine it from all angles, see different points of view and if I am still not clear then I pray to God for guidance. This can come in the form of a dream or from a conviction of the heart. (Perhaps to most people this sounds insane but not to me). But an overriding consideration is that God is always described as ‘Al Rahman’ Al Raheem’ (Gracious and Merciful). These are His two oft most repeated attributes. If it is our duty to reflect God;s attributes as best we can in our lives then these should be the two which are foremost in our own personalities.

    Yes, punnishment has a place but only at a particular time when it is deemed all other methods failed. Compasion and kindness are what Islam teaches so I favour these interpretations rather than narrow biggoted ones.

    Unfortunately, many Muslims today do not do this and as an Ahmadi I know exactly how bigotted they can be. As I said, people must be free to follow their opwn beliefs as long as it does not harm others, and let God be the ultimate judge.

    That’s just my 2 (or 50) cents.

  322. ‘If this were a Muslim girl who had decided to marry a non Muslim man and not tell her parents would anybody really care?’

    I would hope so.

  323. @Lynn,

    I am sure some people would care but in general you have to admit that there is a double standard which exists for many – particularly in some parts of the media. It is ignoring facts to say that there are not people who would congratulate a Muslim who stood up to her parents and left her faith because many people resent Islam. Perhaps this is somewhat justified given the actions of Muslims but for Daisy to be so self righteous about this whole issue seems to me that it is Islam itself with which she does not feel comforatble. She has clearly said that she thinks even I am an extremist and even those Muslims who seem moderate secretly support extremism.

    I was just trying to get her to see that she was over reacting somewhat.

  324. Sarah, thanks for answering my earlier question. For what it’s worth, I find you moderate-to-liberal on many issues and generally appreciate your perspective very much. 🙂

  325. Sarah…

    I agree with Susanne about you. One can ask a question and you don’t take offense. I appreciate that because not everyone is islamophobic and even if they ask a question or express an opinion it doesn’t mean they are seeking to wipe islam out…so thank you very much for being moderate enough to have a discussion.

    I think for me as a non Muslim looking from the outside in it is very confusing what Muslims actually believe. I guess all must believe in the 5 pillars, but after that it seems to take on many many interpretations. When trying to figure out what it is EXACTLY it is almost like trying to catch clouds(if you’ll permit a metaphor). Just when you think you have a grasp on it someone else comes along and says something contrary and the chase is on again for the elusive meaning. That leaves the outsider confused and gives the impression that Islam is a hodgepodge of conflicting statements and beliefs and that it really doesn’t have a true interpretation outside of the Shahada…but even then (and I admit I am totally not up on this aspect) as I understand it Shia Islam does not believe in the Mohammed as the prophet and I think it was/is his brother in law????? that they follow. (I may be waaaay wrong about that so correct me if I am) So even within Islam there are fractures and disagreements.

    Having said that I don’t think Christianity (and I will stick to that since that is what I am most familiar with) is totally on the same page either. Some sects think that Music is the devils work and makeup is sinful. Amish are very simple and humble and eschew modern convenience so that everything that they do is an offering to God. Within Protestantism there are many sects such as Baptists, Southern Baptists, Methodists, Lutheran, Episcopalian, Presbyterians, and on and on. Then there are the Catholics which is more “organized” for lack of a better term. They have the Vatican to look to . Catholics are not considered a branch of Protestantism. they are a group by themselves. All of the groups I have mentioned are Christian. Though they have some differences in practice they all believe that Jesus is Lord and Savior. They all believe in the crucifixion of Jesus and His resurrection on the third day. We don’t have a prophet like Muslims do although they believe Jesus was a Prophet and we believe him to be God manifest on earth. (ALL you Christians if I have it wrong from what you believe give a shout out)

    So although there is disagreement in Practice, there is no disagreement in Jesus and overall (with the possible exception of some Catholics) I don’t think that there is a huge disagreement in what the bible says either…perhaps Susanne who is far more biblically aware than I can chirp in on this. 🙂 The VAST majority of Christians have jettisoned the negative hateful stuff in the Bible (meaning it is there but virtually no one takes them to heart) and focus on the good stuff. Except perhaps the evangelicals and here I would say they are the Christian version of Salafis/orthodox Islam. I also don’t feel that there is a lot of confusion in the bible and that might be because we don’t have the tradition of abrogation. what it says is what it says…we don’t have one verse replaced by another that is later. Not that I am aware at least.

    So in some ways Christians are different from each other but in many ways they are clear on what the faith says…I don’t get this feeling with Islam. I wonder if a lot of that has to do with cultural practice.

    Anyway…that is my POV. I like the way you approach Islam and here is why…because your approach leaves room for me to exist in the world with my approach to God. It makes room for me to believe my way even though it differs from yours and leaves God to be the judge. Meanwhile, it allows us to coexist. I get the feeling a lot of strict Muslims don’t have this approach and that is what makes them scary.

    As for Daisy…I have been blogging with her for a long time and she was always pretty moderate about most Muslims because the example she had in India was in general, peaceful coexistence. I can honestly say she was praising Islam/Muslims in India due to her experience. My husband is a Hindu and he felt the same way…generally they get along. In my view in the last 6 months or so she has become very concerned about KSA and the extremist form of Islam that is found there. By that I mean the more rigid interpretation and the active spread of this form of Islam around the world through books, tapes, rapid building of mosques and therefore the teaching of a more salafi Islam which is not as tolerant as Islam in other parts of the world. She feels that Saudi/Arab Muslims are a small percentage of the Islamic world (about 20%) and yet they are becoming the dominant form of Islamic practice around the world in her view and unduly influencing Islam worldwide and not in a good way. (meaning tolerant) She worries that it will impact the peaceable Muslims all over the world slowly but surely as more and more people adopt a stricter form of Islam. She is concerned this will affect relations between the people of different faiths around the world who live together peacefully now. Of course Daisy can speak for herself, but this is the impression I have of why she is so hard on KSA after reading her on the blogs for so long.

  326. Oby,
    Thanks for that. You have got me right.

  327. @Lynn,

    If you wanted additional advise or perspectives about your daughter’s marriage, wali and any other issues, you may wish to contact Karamah. http://www.karamah.org I’ve interacted with them in the past and the individuals their are great resources and advocates for rights and justice.

  328. @oby

    Shias do believe in Prophet Muhammad.

  329. @Oby,

    Thanks for your comments. I think that in some ways you are correct in that culture plays also a large part in Islam for many Muslims and it is difficult for people to define what is culture and what is religion. Essentially the Quran is meant to be the key document and as for my personal perspective I see the writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a commentary of the Quran so my interpretation comes from that. BUT it is so important for people to think for themselves and to form their own ideas. I see too many Muslims these days taking the word or opinion of someone else rather than considering their own thoughts.

    So yes, culture is one of the main reasons why there are differrent interpretations. As for Christianity, in my understanding there were more diverse view in the past than there were nowadays. Originally there was a great debate about which parts of the Jewish laws must be kept and this specifically impacted the gentile converts because they did not feel it was necessary for circumcission, etc. Even at the Council of Niceia there was a debate about the exact nature of Christ and his divinity but over time (starting with that conference) one view became dominant.

    So I can only say ‘I see this in the Quran’ and explain my perspective other than that I have no authority to insisit my view is correct.

    As for Daisy’s remarks, most of the time I find her to be fairly reasonable but when she becomes personal or starts to make assumptions about people’s thoughts then I think she has crossed a line. She is right that Wahabiism is spreading and in general the Muslim clerics are heading towards becoming less not more tolerant of others and I not one of those who believe anyone who has an objection against Islam must be attacked but I also find some of her statements to be factually incorrect. Where I see a factual error I will try to correct it and if I make a factual error I will admit it.

  330. A Muslim woman cannot take anyone as her guardian as Daisy correctly said. The guardian cannot be a non-muslim. If the woman does not have any male relatives who can be her guardian, the muslim ummah will have to appoint her one. An authoritative figuger or even the imam himself can be her wali. The hadith says : “No marriage contract can be concluded without the presence of a wali. A Sultan (authority figure) can act as a wali for those without one.” (Sahihi)

    If the woman knows of a good muslim with good character and is known for this, then she CAN appoint him as wali.

    The imam is not the one to covert anyone. The conversion is the choice of the person and the person alone. The imam can be a witness, yes – and any muslim can be a witness. So if someone approaches the imam and says that he/she want to convert, then the imam will agree/disagree to be the witness. The imam’s position has nothing to do with the conversion. As for solemnizing the marriage, yes he should ask who the guardian is and if he is present. He should be more responsbile and not marry anyone who comes to him without knowing the case.

  331. I forgot to add that if the wali does not approve of the marriage but the woman wants to get married to the man, then the judge will see why the wali is against this. If it is a valid reason, then for the protection of the woman, the marriage cannot take place. But if the reasons are not valid and not worthy to stop a marriage, then the judge will give the woman the right to marry.

    No one can force a girl to get married to anyone she does not want to and no one should stop her from marrying someone she wants to unless there is a valid reason.

  332. “The imam is not the one to covert anyone. The conversion is the choice of the person and the person alone”

    Great words, Nas! I agree that conversion is an individual’s choice and is one reason I do not understand people who have to remain Muslim when they were born into a Muslim household. (I don’t believe people are “born Muslims” or “born Christian” rather it’s a CHOICE, a personal decision to follow Muhammad or follow Christ.) You seem to agree with me by your conversion statement.

    So I don’t like when people threaten death to apostates if those people want to follow GOD’s leading them and not what some pastor or sheikh tells them to do. A person’s spiritual beliefs (or lack of) should be between an individual and God. After all each of us stands before God on Judgment Day for ourselves…not because mom or dad or society told them they had to be this or that religion. Agreed?

  333. @susanne430

    Yes, I agree it is a personal choice. A Muslim born into a Muslim family may not want to change, again that is his choice.

    Killing of apostates is again something that people go to extremes with. Why does Islam say that Muslims have to kill an apostate. The reason is that they will inform the “secrets” to the enemies. What secrets? When Islam is trying to spread the Word if Islam, then what secrets? It is clear from this exchanging of secrets means that it was battle related secrets. Those Muslims who abandon the army and go to the opposite sides – these should be killed as they will inform the enemy of the secrets.

    I do not beleive it means killing any Abdullah, Ahmed and Ali.

    Our duty is only to inform and educate and spread the Word of God. The rest is upto the individual.

  334. @Nas…

    “Killing of apostates is again something that people go to extremes with. Why does Islam say that Muslims have to kill an apostate. The reason is that they will inform the “secrets” to the enemies. What secrets? When Islam is trying to spread the Word if Islam, then what secrets? It is clear from this exchanging of secrets means that it was battle related secrets. Those Muslims who abandon the army and go to the opposite sides – these should be killed as they will inform the enemy of the secrets.”

    Yes! Yes! Yes! I totally agree that in the context of a battle it makes sense. the new convert OUT OF Islam will feel allegiance to his new faith/tribe/group/whatever and naturally spill the “secrets” and thereby give the enemy an advantage. But that is what Sarah means about using your brain (not you personally)…HOW is a conversion nowadays a threat? It should not be taken literally and IMO should be taught that way if it is not already. And I have always thought that any faith that loses a believer to another faith should be left to go with blessings. Who needs a disgruntles trapped ex-whatever in their ranks???

  335. @Sarah…

    Sorry if I seemed to be a supporter of personal attacks…I am not. I think you are right to point out misinformation because it helps those of us less knowledgeable to understand better!

  336. @Oby,

    I am not actually worried or offended about anything anyone has said but I just think the whole tone of Carol’s blog is much better without people getting personal about other commentors. It’s interesting to hear other people’s opinions and experiences though.

    As for the whole apostacy thing even here I don’t agree fully with Nas comments. In the treaty the prophet Muhammad made with the Meccans in the year before he went for Ummrah they made an agreement that no harm would come to any Meccan who came to Medina and he would actually (even if a Muslim) be sent back to his family. Conversley, any Muslim arriving in Mecca would not be sent back.

    When the companions questioned the prophet about this he said that if someone was returned and kept the faith they may help spread it further and if they renounced their faith then they were of little benefit to the Muslims anyway (as they would no longer have the same allegiance).

    So anyone who advocates stoning for apostacy has to question why the prophet would agree to this measure if he thought stoning was an appropriate punnishment?

    Also this incident (any many others) shows that the companions constantly questioned the prophet and discussed many issues. On many occassions they expressed anger or dislike over some issues. On this treaty they felt that the prophet had surrendered some honour and appeared weak to the Quraish and they told him so. So any Muslim who thinks you have to just ‘accept’ Islam without thinking about it is going against the traditions upon which the religion was founded.

  337. Thanks for the link Carol but since we live in the US the wali or whether the ‘Islamic’ marriage is valid doesn’t really matter.

  338. @Sarah

    thanks for the explanation. So what are the secrets that Nas is referring to? Her explanation seems to make sense as well.

  339. There is nothing in quran which says apostates should be killed. On the other hand it repeatedly talks about of people going back to unbelief after believing, but does not say that they should be killed or even punished. The Quran does talk about punishment by death for some other situations e.g.a murderer is punished by death; but for leaving Islam, it never provided death sentence.

    “And if any of you turn back from their faith (Islam) and die in unbelief, their works will bear no fruit in this life and in the hereafter; they will be companions of the fire and will abide therein.” (2:217)

    God talks about punishment in the hereafter but does not order us to kill those who leave Islam. And again in 5:54

    “If any from among you turn back from his faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him lowly with the believers, Mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproachers of such as find fault. That is the Grace of Allah which He will bestow on whom He pleases. And Allah encompasses all, and He knowes all things.”

    Here God says that if anyone leaves Islam, don’t be disappointed as there will be many who will be entering the faith.

    Again in 3:90
    “But those who reject faith after they accepted it, and then go on adding to their defiance of faith never will their repentance be accepted; for they are those who have (of set purpose) gone astray.”

    None of these verses talks about death to apostates.

    But now look at this verse :
    “And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.” (2:91)

    Some Muslims and critics of Islam use this verse to “prove” that apostates should be killed but this verse does not even talk about aposates but about the pagans who declared war on Muslims and who were fighting against them.

    Even till the last verse was revealed where Allah says that Islam’s message is not completed and perfected, still the killing of apostates is not mentioned:

    “…..This day those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: Yet fear them not But fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your (complete) religion….”. (5:3)

    Allah even says to “Leave them alone, to enjoy (the good things of this life) and to please themselves: let (false) hope amuse them…” in 15:2-3

    And there are more verses…

  340. @Oby,
    I don’t know specifically Nas is refering to but the principle is something which still exists today about keeping secrets during war. There is a famous pster from the UK WW2 about ‘careless talks cost lives’ and ‘even the walls have ears’.

    But the thing which makes me wonder is that because of the conditions of the time the attacks of the Muslim army were fairly well known. When an army was approaching they were usually spotted before they reached a battle point. I actually agree with Nas post above and feel that she has expressed this point really well.

    So as for what secrets – I am not sure- perhaps Nas could better explain.

  341. =======================================
    Apostasy, Islamic State, Freedom – A Response

    ========================================

  342. By secrets, I mean the war strategies or plans or any war tactics that Muslims employ in their battle with enemies.

    The apostate is looked at as a traitor and he can be a spy. This is harmful to the Muslims. Isn’t this the same for any army – to kill traitors or commits treason (as the video says above).

  343. Nass..”.No one can force a girl to get married to anyone she does not want to and no one should stop her from marrying someone she wants to unless there is a valid reason”

    I lived in the middle east for 23 years..and even I know that is not correct. I lost count of the number of girls who were FORCED to marry their cousins…or marry period simply because they had reached the age their parents thought was marriage age. That includes girls that were still in school…and then were no longer allowed to go to school because they are now married women. When I asked my friend why they were no longer allowed to go to school…she said…because they are now viewed as “sexual beings” and the unmarried girls in school could be influenced…God forbid.

    Forced marriages are still alive and well in the Islamic world…its no big secret.

  344. Coolred38
    I am saying that is what should be. What people do is something else. I know its only in ME, people do things they should not be doing. I know myself many who are forced.

    People should not be forced in marraige. That is a fact. You cannot say it is not true. But what happens in realty is something else – anywhere in the world.

    Of course there many forced marriages, even in the cities of Asia. Babies are matched as soon as they are born. But what I am saying is that this should NOT be happening.

  345. @Coolred38,

    I agree what u say. I think its so rampant in middle east or Muslims world not Islamic world. U will not hear such cases very rampantly in coutnires like Malaysia, Indonesia.

    Its more of culture not Islamic.

    Here is the video which distinguish between Islamic state and Muslim states and also mentions abt apostacy again:
    MARRIAGE WITHOUT GIRLS’ CONSENT IS INVALID

    Narrated Khansa bint Khidam Al-Ansariya: that her father gave her in marriage when she was a matron and she disliked that marriage. So she went to Allah’s Apostle and he declared that marriage invalid. (Book #62, Hadith #69)

    GIRLS’S PERMISSION AND ACCEPTANCE ON MARRIAGE:

    Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, “A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! How can we know her permission?” He said, “Her silence (indicates her permission).” (Book #62, Hadith #67)

    WOMEN CAN PROPOSE MEN SHE LIKES IN ISLAM

    Narrated Thabit Al-Banani: I was with Anas while his daughter was present with him. Anas said, “A woman came to Allah’s Apostle and presented herself to him, saying, ‘O Allah’s Apostle, have you any need for me (i.e. would you like to marry me)?’ “Thereupon Anas’s daughter said, “What a shameless lady she was ! Shame! Shame!” Anas said, “She was better than you; she had a liking for the Prophet so she presented herself for marriage to him.” (Book #62, Hadith #53)

    sahih al bukhari.

    Forced marriage is completely “NO” in Islam but I dnt know if some Muslims do:

  346. @MoQ,

    Actually Meccan’s tolerated him for all these 13 years without harming him,

    This also is not an accurat statement. The treatment recieved by Bilal and others? Tying rocks to them and dragging Muslims across burning sand? There were no attempts on the life of the prophet? Hadhrat Umar did not try on several ocassions to kill the prophet? The woman who gave the propeht the poisioned meat? The treatment of Hind? Where was the aggressive and war mongering prophet when he forgave these people their crimes and excesses?

    Why were so many battles nearer to the vicinty of Medina and not Mecca? Because the Meccans were following the prophet there determined to harras the Muslims.

    Let’s examine the charter of Medina.
    Some of the important points of this charter were:

    1. All parties signing this charter will form a common nationality.

    2. All parties to this agreement will remain united in peace or in war.

    3. If any of the parties was attacked by an enemy, others would defend it with their combined forces.

    4. None of the parties will give shelter to the Quraysh of Mecca or make any secret treaty with them.

    5. The various parties to this agreement will be free to profess their own religion.

    6. Bloodshed, murder and violence will be forbidden.

    7. The city of Medinah will be regarded as sacred and any strangers who came under the protection of its citizens will be treated as citizens of Medinah.

    8. All disputes will be referred to the Holy Prophet for decision.

    Doesn’t quite fit your description accurately. If the Meccans were so tolerant why did they send a delegation toAbsynia to ask the King to expell the peaceful Muslims who had migrated there?

    Please do not only give a onje sided account of the life of the prophet. You are ignoring many, many facts because they do not fit your perception.

  347. @sarah,

    Let’s take this one at a time.

    – Billal was a slave. I never said slavery is ok. But at the time he was a disobedient slave and the people of the time could beat their slaves. It did not matter if he believed in Islam or he disobeyed out of spite. He had an owner who was not tolerant of disobedience. The issue here is that you are expanding this to include free Muslims being tortured.
    Note although the prophet was against slavery in Mecca, because he wanted slaves to join him. He did not have an issue with taking slaves once he had power in Madina. Further proof that he was acting like the average warlord of his time. I would like you to address these issues at some point. So far all what you do is find spots in my arguments that you think you can attack, but never address any of the issues of aggression in Islam. Why would a prophet of peace, raid tribes and takes slaves? How do you reconcile this with the idea that he was tolerant of others?

    – You never addressed the issue of why would the Meccan’s not have had an issue with someone that preached against their God’s. Did the prophet of Islam act like a good citizen of the city, which was a center of religions of the time? Why did he not accept the fact that he can have his own religion and tolerate others to believe differently?

    -The prophet was protected as a member of a strong clan up to the point of signing the treaty with the tribes of Yuthrobe which under the tribal rules lifted his protection.There is specific evidence that the leaders of Mecca offered teh prophet protection through out the time he was in Mecca. For a period Umar was a proponent of killing the prophet and talked about it openly. He was not successful in lifting the protection off. Further proof that Meccan’s were rational in treating a minority, who’s religion was specifically asking for elimination of all other local religions and gods.

    – Regarding fighting happening in the vicinity of Madina. I explained that before and you chose not to even address that. Muslims were raiding Meccan Caravans in their way to the north. This is from the Islamic writings of abu Ishag. No trading city will accept such conditions. It is a declaration of war. Do you care to address, this issue? Note ibn Ishag was the first biographer in Islam and his writings were taken from people that had first hand accounts of the incidents. Much closer to the action than anything found in Bukhari. Further, he was considered one of the top Islamic scholars of his time.

    – Regarding the treaty of Madina, let’s examine how that held under actual actions of the powerful leader. The prophet gained absolute power in Madina 2 years after the Hijra. Look at the actions he took against the Jews of the area. Specifically, the Banu Quraizah example, where 700 men and boys were executed in one afternoon after their capture. So much for no bloodshed. I raised this issue many times on this blog and so far there are no takers in trying to reconcile killing of captured men against the idea of the peaceful Islam of the time. may be you care to give it a shot? Note do not use the idea that I get my information from Jewish sources. This story is authenticated in Islamic Hadith…

    Again, you are still avoiding the main argument. Why does the text and history of Islam have so much violence? Why do expect Muslims emulating the prophet with all his wars would be peaceful? How do you treat this issues? So far all what I saw is deflection of the issues and going on and on about how Muslims were prosecuted and ignoring the big picture of how Islamic history and text is used for violence. Muslims need to change their perceptive from constant defending to accepting the issues and working on fixing them to gain peaceful co-existence.

  348. Hi all!
    So, basically, as many of you are aware, I am an American female with a Saudi boyfriend (or however you would like to phrase it). While I am aware that there are women’s rights issues in Saudi Arabia, I am also aware that there are women’s rights issues in many other countries, though perhaps not as severe.

    I am really trying to learn from different perspectives as to what life is like in Saudi Arabia, particularly those who are from there as it seems to be a hard culture to understand if you’re not from there. I really don’t want to sift through personal arguments of people yelling at each other. (Yes, I realize I’ve done this before on here. I will do my best not to in the future. I really would just like to see a more (if not neutral than at least) calm tone to everyone’s posts.

    I remember trying to read perspectives on a particular post on here (with 300 comments mind you) and most of the comments weren’t even relevant to the subject! o_O How in the world is that supposed to help any of us learn more about Saudi Arabia, which is the point of this blog?! I would like to ask that you read through the comments you have left on each blog. What would a newcomer to the site think of your (not anyone else’s) posts on this blog? Just something to think about….

    As I said I would, I am leaving a comment on the debate page. Please, by all means, debate with me to your heart’s content about this or anything else you don’t agree with that I’ve posted. I am okay with debating, but I’d prefer to keep it off the individual postings unless it is relevant to the topic being discussed. It just gets too confusing for people looking for relevant information later.

  349. Just to add:
    In my opinion, for two cultures (Arabic and American) that seem to share a lot of common values (even with vast differences in law, dress, etc.), it amazes me that people from one seem to have so much against people from the other. I feel very at home with people from the gulf countries, more so than with many other cultures. (Obviously, I am most comfortable around Americans.) Maybe it has just been the high quality of people I have met here, though, and they are all exceptions to the rule? I find that very hard to believe, somehow.

  350. Actually, I should probably change that. I feel most comfortable around some Americans. Some Americans I feel extremely uncomfortable around because they were raised much more differently than me.

  351. @strangeone,
    I think people like you can adjust with the Saudi culture. You sound to me that you are not rebellious. There is something that may become a big problem for you in the Saudi. It is that you want to be yourself in the sense that you do not want to live according to what others say, expect etc. Life in Saudi Arabia is to live according what others expect from you in public. At your home, you are a queen there and you can do whatever you like. But in public, you are not free but restricted by the social norms. So, this is the only one problem that you may face. And I agree with you that some people have negative predisposition against specific group and they are raised this way for many different reasons: politics, culture and maybe just envy because of economy, hence, that is why there is what they called, xenophobia.

  352. Aww, when anti-Saudi from Aafke, Daisy et al comments go off-topic Mother hen Bedu doesn’t step in – but forbid if anyone else does. Carol don’t get upset, you should be much happier as you have been reuniting with your kitties. Feel free to repost comments here – but there are so many off-topic ones, everything from the Taliban, to prostitution in Netherlands and how liberating it is, to Turkey, to citizenship issues – how is that related to Iman and her awful experiences?

  353. By request, taken to debate page from this thread:

    http://americanbedu.com/2010/07/25/saudi-arabia-iman-shares-her-experience/#comment-47218

    Aafke-Art, on August 10, 2010 at 3:14 am Said:
    Oby, I said much the same when we had a discussion about women driving. One Saudi bloke claimed his mother never drove and didn’t want to drive etc.
    But the opinion of somebody who doesn’t know what she is talking about isn’t valid. If you have never experienced the great feeling of driving a car (and driving well) and being able to go where you want, when you want, the freedom, ease and range a car gives you, then your opinion is meaningless.

    If you don’t know how good it feels to be independent, make your own money, go wherever you want, dress how you want, meet whom you want, vote, study, travel, etc. etc. etc. then your opinion is meaningless.

    me, on August 10, 2010 at 4:09 am Said:
    Aafke you said: ‘If you don’t know how…then your opinion is meaningless’ ?! And ‘But the opinion of somebody who doesn’t know what she is talking about isn’t valid’

    You of all people are denying somebody to make their mere opinion known? You, Aafke, who has an opinion on almost everything? So does that mean you are an expert on everything?

    Aafke, so by your own reasoning until *you* are born and raised in Saudi as a Saudi woman, then your opinion must be meaningless also.

    me, on August 10, 2010 at 4:14 am Said:
    But lemme guess, you (et al) are the ones who need to teach the ‘ignorant’ Saudi women because they can’t even think or be allowed to have opinions.

    Wait.

    Perhaps they are only forbidden (by you) to make opinions when those opinions contradict yours.

    You sound nothing better than a European colonist (‘Those ignorant savages! We need to save them from themselves!!)

    me, on August 10, 2010 at 4:17 am Said:
    Correction, obviously I was talking about your opinion on being a Saudi woman, not in regard to other things.

    American Bedu, on August 10, 2010 at 4:18 am Said:
    ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    TAKE IT TO THE DEBATE PAGE. NOW.

    I am ready to start deleting irrelevant comments from this post.

    Mother Hen Bedue

    oby, on August 10, 2010 at 4:21 am Said:
    @NN…

    “And let’s not forget another question regarding religious minorities of the Middle East: whatever happened to once-thriving and wealthy Jewish communities of Middle Eastern Muslim-majority countries? Why are there very few of them left in the Middle East? Were they toleranced out of the country?”

    Thank you excellent point. what DID happen to them indeed? In turkey (Constantinople) where Christianity got started it has been almost wiped out there. The heart of Christianity…the church is begging for help and is getting none. EVEN IF the government didn’t help them financially I am sure that they could get enough donations from the worldwide community to run their churches, train their priests and take care of their needs. they need not even be a financial burden. But talk about violated rights! It is hard for me to feel bad about a cultural thing such as niqab that has no religious basis, when an an entire cornerstone of the beginning of the christian faith and the Turkish citizens who are a part of it are getting no help at all. They have been thrown out of the coutry first 1.5 million and then another huge group due to persecution and are being denied their basic rights of continuing their faith. I feel that the government sees the longterm consequences of their actions and either doesn’t care or wants the end result.

    But of course, this is a conspiracy naturally! All cooked up to make Turkey look bad.

    “I also think it is high time Muslims show some respect for western countries and cultures and act accordingly, instead of whining whenever their disrespect for our cultures impede on newly minted ”cultural” misogynist restrictions on women”

    Yes…said very well.

    me, on August 10, 2010 at 4:21 am Said:
    Honestly, sometimes I think your venom stems from jealousy of the Saudi woman. Were you jilted from a Saudi guy who went back and married from Saudi or something?

    me, on August 10, 2010 at 4:46 am Said:
    Let me say firstly that Iman has had an awful experience and no one denies that. But:

    Aww, when anti-Saudi Aafke, Daisy et al comments go off-topic Mother hen Bedu doesn’t step in – but forbid if anyone else does. Carol don’t get upset, you should be much happier as you have been reuniting with your kitties. Feel free to repost comments here – but there are so many off-topic ones, everything from the Taliban, to prostitution in Netherlands and how liberating it is, to Turkey, to citizenship issues, not to mention conspiracy theories about ‘the jews’ lol @ that- how is that related to Iman and her awful experiences?Again, no one is denying that what happened to her was awful, but it’s just that these topics (hijab, mahram, polygyny, divorce etc) seem to generate most of the anti-Saudi sentiment from the I-hate-Saudi club. Just seems hypocritical to me that’s
    all.

    Again, mother hen Bedu you’ll have to delete a whole lot of comments from that thread, not just mine but most of the comments actually.

  354. In response to Sarah MD’s charges –

    I have suggested you two relevant books rather than telling you to find out yourself.

    This is a subject of extensive research and all of it can’t be written here. Ultimately you have to go to a good Archaeology library to read about it, which doesn’t exist in Saudi Arabia.

    I have simply told you the reality about Archaeological research in KSA.

    As for my – and of others like me – criticism of Saudi “beliefs”, we have only been talking about the social practices which deal with human rights issues.

    We have never criticised how Muslims imagine Allah, as it doesn’t concern us.

    At least I don’t have an issue with in whichever form Muslims imagine Allah and I feel it’s none of the business of anyone to pass judgment on how any group of people imagine the divine power.

    Your comment about how a religion imagines its divine forces smacks of ignorance and racism of the 18th-19th century imperialistic ideas – it shows what kind of backward education you have got.

    Please note that I am not criticising you here.

    It’s not your fault, but your misfortune.

    I suggest you to read another book –

    Much Maligned Monsters by Partha Mitter.

  355. @Daisy…

    I do think when I debate mostly it is about the cultural parts of KSA…women’s rights or things that are cultural called islamic. I don’t ever put donw allah as Allah or God is not the issue.

    Off topic a bit…if you get a chance see the link I posted about Turkey…they very briefly show a document “written” by Mohammed declaring that all religions of the area have peace and harmony. It is signed with his handprint which I thought was very interesting considering he was illiterate. It does seem the way an illiterate person would sign a doumet if they can’t write their name. Speaking of research I think that would be very interesting.

  356. @Daisy …

    Here is a link too. It is more direct if you prefer rather than watching the full program whihc was about 15 minutes.

    http://www.yursil.com/blog/2009/12/prophet-muhammad-as-letter-to-the-monks-of-st-catherine-monastery/

  357. Oby,
    I missed your Turkey link. Can you please send it to my mail?

    Yesterday I was reading that Muhammad may not have been all that illiterate as he is made out to be.

    For one, he was a trader before becoming a Prophet and trade had brought literacy to Makka merchants.

    Besides, the verse which is often cited to show his illiteracy calls him al-nabi al-ummi. Here, ummi has been often taken to mean illiterate. But this article I was reading suggested that ummi doesn’t mean illiterate but a group of people who were ignorant about Allah’s guidance.

    Moreover, in those days much of the knowledge was transmitted orally – not only in Arabia, but all over the civilised world.

    Hence, it’s reasonable to believe that Muhammad may have learnt writing, but mainly engaged in oral discourses which were the norm in those days.

  358. Oby,
    Thanks, I saw that letter. It could have been written by his secretary – he had several to write the verses of the Quran.

    The hand sketch seems to contain some prints of hand, which may be from Muhammad – their date has to be ascertained, though Muhamamad’s finger prints can’t be identified now, but if they could be ascertained to be of 7th century, they could be authentic.

    The contents of the letter are interesting too, as they show that in the earlier part of his Hijra he was in a reconciliatory mood with Christians as also with the Jews, with whom also he had a treaty.

  359. Daisy,

    So the topic of worshipping human private parts is an intensive study and none of it is on the net… strange. And this intensive study is in 2 books which are not available in KSA. wow! And how, may I ask, do you know what is and isn’t available in KSA?

    “As for my – and of others like me – criticism of Saudi “beliefs”, we have only been talking about the social practices which deal with human rights issues”

    Really? Wasn’t you who have been harping on wahabbism and their ideologies? How soon you forget! And who is “we”? Are you including the mosquito sitting on your head?

    “it shows what kind of backward education you have got.”

    Here you are again, acting all smart and know it all. What do you know about me and where I got my education from?

    Aafke,
    I will dismiss your comment as its too childish and not deserving or reply. No offence. Kinda feel sorry for you. Oh well…

    Oby,
    You said that alot of “rights” are taken away from you too such as praying, because someone might get offended. You see, this is exactly what I mean by conspiracy. It is just a mask that “people will get offended”. It actual fact THEY DO NOT WANT YOU TO PRAY. They want to remove religion from the hearts of people – any religion that beleive in one God. Another of their plot is to irradicate hijab and niqab; the mask here being the security reasons. It is just one big plot. Please do undertand that.

    “When all one know is chocolate ice cream how can one say they don’t like vanilla? They like chocolate”

    It seems that people think that KSA is such a closed cage. It is not like that at all. Thats what they want you to think. If women are content, why change. Freedom has caused religions to be infilterated and their books to be doctored. Keeping things under strict rule while maitaining the religious aspects keeps things more in tact. I drive, have a license, I have my own car, I go for long drives alone; I used it to go to mosques, parks, shopping, functions, work, fun rides …etc. I learnt driving when I thought I wanted to learn, I chose my own career, applied for jobs ..etc. My mahrems did not interfere and respected my wishes as long as I did not do things outside of my religion. I understand that many are not in this postion (but many are), but that is not islam and that is not ksa – that is the PEOPLE concerned. When I wanted to buy a particular car which I liked it so much, one of my mahrems objected to it. Not because he has a right and wanted to restrict me but because he thought it was not suitable for me as it was a huge Merc but he did not object to buying another one that I liked. I attribute all good things to God alone.

  360. @Me
    Your words to Aafke:
    “Honestly, sometimes I think your venom stems from jealousy of the Saudi woman. Were you jilted from a Saudi guy who went back and married from Saudi or something?”

    Funny, I always had the same impression. She sounds like a scorned woman.

  361. Saudi desperately trying to close down the Blackberry smartphones now…doesnt like all that inaccessible information flying around from its devoted subjects I guess. I hope they fail in that endeavor.

    People need their secrets and SOME sense of privacy.

  362. Well, some of it is online, but I don’t find it rational enough to recommend to anyone.

    A lot of online material is dubious as it is.

    In any case, I find from your response it’s not worthwhile to engage with you.

    You are free to think whatever you like. I have no interest in carrying out this argument with you. I have other important tasks to attend to.

  363. That was for Sarah MD

  364. Daisy
    This is your usual strategy, you come up with some huge claim and then when you are cornered, you say you do not want to “engage with you”. I have observed this pattern with others also.”

    I have no interest to discuss the matter with you because you know as well as I do that your claim is just hot air and there is no substance to it. So my advise to you – next time, do your homework. Good luck!

  365. Me, you were just stupid enough to keep posting off topic comments right after Bedu said she wouldn’t have it anymore.
    .
    Don’t put blame on Bedu for your own willful ignorance.

  366. And no, I have not been jilted by a Saudi man, but I do have some Saudi friends who do give me a lot of information about the reality in Saudi Arabia.
    And of course I do not ”hate” Saudi Arabian people. I don’t even know them all. But I do hate oppression and injustice, both are abundant in Saudi Arabia.
    Not my fault, I do not make up the injustice in KSA, go where the blame truly lies.
    Of course my honor does not allow me to remain silent when I see oppression and injustice, and I understand this must be irksome to the people who support it.

    I also get irritated sometimes by really stupid people, (Wherever they come from), if their lack of knowledge is paired with a nasty disposition and a bad heart. People who use cheap and easy ruses. People who like to backbite and call names, and imagine stuff about others whom they do not know, just to put them in a bad light.
    Stupidity paired with a nasty and evil heart makes for a very bad combination.
    Unfortunately such people frequent this blog quite often.

  367. @Coolred,

    I’ve been following the Blackberry ban news but confident that one will not stick in Saudi (or elsewhere). But the news media is going to play it right up to the hilt for sure!

  368. Blackberry will be open again in KSA. It was banned only for security measures and according to the media, this step will be followed by others in the region including India.

  369. Yes and India is worried only because of the militants from across the border, who have been trained by the Saudi extremist “Islam”.

    If only Saudi Arabia would stop exporting its extremism around the world, especially to South Asia, India wouldn’t be bothered about Blackberry –

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5ibjXpMwHNSgZfUqO1ql9a92VN5uA

  370. OK and because of China as well.

  371. Sarah MD…

    OK..your last post to me intrigued me. How if you are in KSA can you drive? I know women can own cars but have to have a mahrem or a driver to drive them.

    I am very very happy (sincerely) to know that you have had a pretty big taste of freedom/decision making because it feels great to have control over your own life…but as you stated you are a lucky one. So many women don’t have the magnanimous mahrems you do. So many have no freedoms due to their mahrems and me personally, that is what I feel bad about. You have had freedom and you are fine with a mahrem, but that is becasue the mahrem was good, and open minded and fair in allowing you to make a lot of your own decisions so in your case it works.

    Because of the law of the mahram some women who have lousy mahrems…ones who are not open minded or thoughtful or kind will never ever be able to decide for herself or break out of the cycle EVEN IF THEY WANTED TO. If she wants an education to pull herself out of poverty she can’t. If she wants to work to put some money aside to help her children later in life she can’t.she can’t, she can’t ,she can’t if the mahrem says she can’t. Her life is determined by the man in her life and if he is a louse or a bum or bad she is not able to change her situation legally. I think that is where most of us are coming from. If a mahrem says yes to what a woman wants and he does not stand in her way in anything (provided it is halal) then a mahrem is not an issue. He in essence is your best friend but if he is cruel etc, he can be a woman’s worst enemy and she has no legal recourse. Here in the states if a man beats his wife or holds her from doing anything she can go to the authorities and they will not allow him to keep her from getting an education, or working or exercising her ability to decide for herself.That is what I have issues with…I hope I explained that well.

    As for prayer not being allowed I don’t see it as a conspiracy…I see it as a country that has gone overboard with “political correctness”. People have brought lawsuits against the Board of Education about such matters who say that religion is a private matter (which most Americans do agree with..that is why NO ONE will ever ask your faith…well a muslim might…but generally no one will ask) and doesn’t belong in school. So if the Christians pray then the atheists are annoyed and perhaps the Muslims or Jews feel left out. It is about political correctness and trying t make everyone happy. As I said when you have a country filled with hundreds of different religions and nationalities you can never make everyone happy. You do one thing for one group another group won’t like it. Someone’s toes will always be stepped on. It is impossible not to. that is why I say it is all about give and take…if one group has most of what they ask for but has to give up some little right here or there, then that is what has to happen…it is negotiation just like in a family. No parent would give every kid everything they wanted especially if it conflicted with some of the other family members. Most people can have a LOT of what they want but not all. There are too many different groups to balance.

  372. I thought American schools now had a time for ”reflection” or ”meditation” in which you can do whatever you feel is necessary; pick your nose pray or whatever. Which I think is ok. I would not want my kids to be forced to pray to an invisible sky daddy in whatever religion has the majority at school.
    I wholly support the American constitution. religion is private and free and should remain so. It has no place in a school.
    You can pray before, after, or during breaks as much as you like. No need to force it or somebodies personal belief system upon others.yes

  373. @Aafke..

    they might have breaks and f they do I have not heard of it. Not saying they don’t I might be a bit under informed, but the most recent poll I took among friends with kids in public school there was reflection time. Might be up to each school. Not that I have such an issue with that one because it is generally thought of as private, but I do miss the Pledge of Allegiance and all kids can take part in that because by and large all of them are American citizens. My daughter’s school which is private does it (doesn’t pray as it is a secular rather than religious school except for the big holiday programs and then it is done in a way everyone can join in no matter the faith…sort of interdenominational) and I don’t think that is a bad thing.

  374. Above should read “there is NO reflection time.” sorry.

  375. I do wish the pledge of allegiance were brought back into ALL US schools. I have no objection to prayer either. I remember back in “my times” (wry smile) school did not commence until after the Lord’s Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance.

  376. @Carol…sigh…yes I remember those days too…when one could freely say the Pledge of Allegiance and it was considered a good and patriotic thing…not something bad…and prayer too. I think the kids of a different faith said it privately to themselves and that was fine. In India a lot of kids go to Christian schools and have prayer and the ones I have met who were educated in that mellieu were fine with it.

    I think kids nowadays don’t have the sense of pride in their country that we did as kids…30 seconds to remind ourselves who we were and to feel proud of that in a tiny way each day…it was something that tied kids together and all kids had in common if they were in the school system. I wonder if kids even know the Pledge of Allegiance anymore.

  377. @Oby,

    I do agree that the Pledge of Allegiance certainly reinforced that sense of patriotism and honor to the flag and for which it stood. Now America has really become such a mish mash! Who are We by Samuel P Harrington (or Harrison) is a good read.

  378. Oby
    A saudi women can drive in other countries in the region. Her license is valid. So driving is not a problem.

    Having many marhems is not a rare case. In fact most of the women have many and large percentage of them are same like me. They are flexible and allow us to make our own decisions. It is only a few who face problems and these are the ones that come to be known. And as usual some people make such a big hue and cry about this that it spreads like wild fire. People who just love to bash KSA will then take it from there and weave evil stories.

    It is not like that at all. There are Muslim business women who make all the decisions; employees, managers, teachers …etc Media likes to paint a controversial picture and that is so common. Maybe they are just doing their “job”.

    You seem to have a picture too about Saudi women – that they so cruelly treated. Do you think a women will stand up to it, if it was so? As I said, a few are mistreated. It is not matter of conditioning. Humans can only take so much. And even if some are abused, its not part of Islam or KSA, its just those people who happen to be like that. And there are those kind of people anywhere in the world.

    You know, the mahrem system is so much part of the cutlure that people do not even think about it. Men are preoccupied with their own problems and their own lives that they do not want the burden of making decisons of the women folk too. They are just happy that they can think for themselves and all they have to do is just follow it up.

    “As for prayer not being allowed I don’t see it as a conspiracy…I see it as a country that has gone overboard with “political correctness”.

    That is all a show. Please try to look around you. Have you not observed how they are trying to remove religion away from the hearts by making it polically correct? Who introduced that anyway? It is all just a plan. They simply do not want religion. Why do you think the entertainment business is full of sexual material, the pop culture too. Listen to the words of the movies and songs that they churn out. Most of them have sinsiter meanings. They have brainwashed the people into thinking that this is the right way making it seem like “not wanting to hurt the sentiments of others”. Since when did they care. If they can kill 3000 people at the same time in their own country, then what makes you think they care about you or your neighbors. Look at the background of your leaders and you will see who is “taking care of you”. And it is the same with their foreign policies. There is a pattern. Its all so plain and obvious that we can even predict what is their next move.

    So what is the problem if different people pray in different ways? Why should anyone stop that either in school or anywhere?

  379. The mahram system is relativly new. It is not old, it has no reason to be ”ingrained” except due to constant brainwashing which starts at school.

    ”They are flexible and allow us to make our own decisions.”

    This makes me sick. No woman who has been allowed to develop her metal capabilities, and who has been taught by her responsible parents to be independent needs a ”mahram” to ”allow” her anything
    It is really wrong, it’s evil, and a lot of Saudi women know it is wrong to force 50% of humans into a position of eternal dependency and in-equality.

    Khadisha did not need a mahram to allow her to choose a penniless orphan who was her employee to marry him and make him rich and influential. And gave him the opportunity to start his new religion.
    If she was a slave of a mahram as Saudi women are today she probably would not have been allowed to marry beneath her. She would not have had her inherited money and her riches, she would not run her own international trading business, she would not have the self possession to ask Mohammed for his hand in marriage, and there would not have been Islam and all Saudis would have been Jews or Christians now.
    And even some of the commentators here would be walking around ”naked” as they like to call it, have education and jobs and their own money, drive their own cars and be worshiping another ”true god”.

    Don’t you wish they had invented this mahram-nonsense 1500 years ago???

  380. A nice quotation to ponder:
    *Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion*

  381. @Oby,

    “As for prayer not being allowed I don’t see it as a conspiracy…I see it as a country that has gone overboard with “political correctness”.”

    Haven’t you noticed everything is a conspiracy to Sarah Md.. Her latest reply to you is hinting at 911 as a conspiracy also (the 3000 of their own people killed reference). There is no debate with this person, she thinks at a different level than the average mortal here. She has risen to a troll status 🙂

    Regarding Prayer in public school, I do not think the issue here is about political correctness. It is about our constitution. The US constitution is the greatest document ever written and has served us well in guarding the country from politicizing religion. The rulings of the supreme court over the years have affirmed the spirit of the constitution, that Government officials cannot favor any religion, neither disfavor it (neutral position). Teachers or staff in public schools are government officials and cannot lead prayers as part of their duties. So prayer does not belong in the practices of public schools. However, students are not disallowed from conducting their own prayers as it is their constitutional right.

    I think the proponents of prayer in school are the ones politicizing this issue. Politicians use is as a pet issue to gain votes with the religious right, even thought it has been settled by the supreme court. This comes at the expense of more relative issues.

  382. School is for learning.Prayers have no place in school.
    Anybody can pray as much as they like before or after school, or even during school if they don’t mind missing out on learning stuff. There is no need and more over it is against the constitution of America, to introduce prayers in school.
    I agree completely with MoQ’s comment.

  383. Sarah MD…

    Thanks for the explanation. One question…you sound through your language as if you are not a natural born Muslim…I have a sense you might be a convert. If that is the case did you have a hard time going from a free woman to one under a mahrem? Or have you always had a mahrem? Just curious how you adapted if you had to.

    MoQ…

    Yes I understood her point about the 3000…it isn’t even worth arguing about because I find the Muslim world in general is not able to believe anything other than the conspiracy theories…I am continually surprised by that since there is abundant evidence terrorism is alive and well in the world and Muslims kill other Muslims regularly. I don’t understand why it is such a stretch mentally to conceive that it was bin Laden and crew that did it or Muslim terrorists. Someone once told me 9/11 had something to do with the computers in the buildings and Israel…they didn’t have the whole story, but even then my question is wouldn’t it be FAR easier NOT to blow up the Pentagon, or crash planes into the buildings and close the world trade center on pretext of contamination or something and strip all that stuff down to the bare studs in the wall, destroy all the computers etc…???? Why have planes crashing in fields and into the pentagon? Why coordinate 5 flights to simultaneously destroy to get rid of some information???? There are FAR easier ways of doing that if it were the case. Anyway…I don’t get why they deny that when they accept other terrorist incidents. What makes this one so special? YET, they are willing to believe anything about the USA that comes down the pike. I am sure some of it is true and the USA is no perfect angel…but some of it is just kind of crazy. Even I have enough common sense to know that the media (depending on the venue) does it’s best to fan flames of rhetoric here. But I guess everything they see in the Middle East is true. No chance that they would fan the flames of propaganda right? wink wink…

    As for prayer in school it is true years ago that is was allowed as Bedu said above. I do agree with you about the constitution and I used that case to illustrate a point about not having all one wants and how rights can change over time. From what I read political correctness started with civil rights but the prayer thing was brought to the forefront by a woman named Madeline Murry O’Hair. She wasn’t the first to challenge the practice but she was the most vocal and became famous for it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O'Hair

    http://www.answers.com/topic/madalyn-murray-o-hair

    while I don’t decry the loss of prayer necessarily it was the start of a sanitizing of schools to the point where some schools (a former one my daughter was at) wouldn’t allow any recognition of holidays and removed all books like that from the library…we no longer have Christmas break but winter holiday,,,no Easter vacation but Spring Break. Can’t depict any kind of Santa Claus or candy canes or Christmas themes in school etc…That was not in the constitution but done to be inclusive….even though the vast majority of the country is Christian. I have mixed feelings about it because when I was a kid it was a very exciting thing to do some activities leading up to Christmas…I think Canada might have a better grasp on how to handle the diversity rather than sanitize it for all. I personally would like to see all faiths that have celebrations around that time touched upon so kids can know more about the kids they might go to school with…but as you mentioned MoQ that is getting into the area of religion. But as one who lived through it, until the 60’s early 70’s schools were allowed to have Christmas parties etc. No more…unless it is a private school.

  384. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madalyn_Murray_O'Hair

    sorry didn’t get it all the first time.

  385. Actually the conspiracy idea is not my own but from Americans themselves. There are plenty of evidence for that. Any bright mind can see that. Dim wits will seek the easy way out.

  386. @Sarah Md,

    There are Americans who are nutty and come up with conspiracy theories for everything. It is a sport for some people here. The 911 conspiracy theories have been debunked.

    So they are Nutty, what is your excuse for joining them? Do you actually believe everything you read without researching the claims? So far I heard you promote at least 5 conspiracy theories, while expecting us to believe you are a sane person.

  387. SaraMD,
    *Actually the conspiracy idea is not my own but from Americans themselves. There are plenty of evidence for that. Any bright mind can see that. Dim wits will seek the easy way out.*

    What the hell does that mean?
    Try to get some proper English sentences together at least.

    Are you trying to make out that everybody who doesn’t agree with you is a dimwit???
    That would probably come to 99,999% of the human population on the planet Earth!!!

  388. All,
    The way I see it, is if it’s something there is no way of knowing the truth about, and if I did know the truth it wouldn’t affect my current situation much, then it’s great to think about but doesn’t really change my life any. If there’s no way of knowing, then there’s no way of knowing. I can make an educated guess, but when you throw people into the mix people aren’t always logical, so it makes it difficult to say or guess what really happened. Strange, unexplainable things also occur which have to be taken into consideration as well.

    Who knows how world would be different without Islam? How does knowing what politics may/may not have been involved in 9/11 change the fact it happened? Maybe if conspiracy theories about possibilities of going back in time and changing the past were true, then things could be changed, but other than that I do not see how it matters much. I wonder what the world would be like if every conspiracy theory was true? o_0 That would be a jumble of inconsistency, that’s for sure! 😀

    In the US, there is separation of church and state, so I believe prayer should not be allowed in schools. In countries like KSA where religion is the basis for laws, then religion should be taught in schools because it is what the country is founded on.

    I personally prefer separation of church and state, but not everyone will agree. This is not because I value God any less, but that in the US people are allowed to believe what they want about God. It’s okay for one to be atheist, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, etc. and practice openly, generally speaking. I like this freedom ’cause I believe in one God, but not a specific religion. When I was Christian, I didn’t like other Christians forcing their views on a “proper life” down my throat, particularly when their “version” of Chrisitianity went against the teachings of the Bible. Not all Christians are this way, though.

  389. strangeone…

    Yes I agree that all religions have their obnoxious side Christianity included. If everybody worried about their OWN relationship with God no matter the religion this world would be a much less judgmental place. And really, does God need us to run the show for HIM??? I think he can handle anything and doesn’t need us mere mortals pointing our fingers at others saying how wrong they are in their version of faith…it is really up to God to decide. Not us…but people just can’t seem to resist the temptation to “one up” everyone else every chance they get.

  390. Well, I was quite perplexed to know that Sara MD could drive in KSA! I considered several options of how it could be done –

    was there a way to bribe the religious police? Did she know the specific timings when they are not likely to be on the roads when she could drive? Did she dress up as a man and drove – may be adding a false beard as well?

    Finally, today morning I came up with – perhaps she goes outside the KSA and drives in neighbouring countries. But that means someone drives her till the boundary of KSA.

    And certainly, she came up and said she drives outside the KSA – which is a non-argument against the restriction on women’s driving in KSA, since the fact remains that she can’t drive in the kSA.

    But it seems that having been raised in an environment where the main discussion in the family seems to be about whether to buy a huge mercedes or another plush car for her and the entire freedom issue seems to be divided along the brands of plush cars, I can see that women like Sara MD can’t care less what happens to the women whose life choices revolve around survival issues like how to escape an abusive family, how to get a proper education outside the KSA, how to escape polygamy or an abusive spouse, how to make ends meet if divorced and why there should be a Mahram at all to decide what she should wear, when she should go out of the house, what she should buy for herself and a range of other such issues.

    As long as they get their luxuries of life the rest of the world can suffer for all they care. So, there is no problem in Saudi Arabia and we are only believing in conspiracy theories by listening to the narratives of women who have suffered in KSA and we should never ask if there are more women suffering in KSA, because women like Sara MD can drive a plush car outside the KSA, never mind that their education hasn’t trained them to even want to read books.

  391. Oby,
    Sara MD responded to my query once that she comes from mixed parentage – I guess one Western parent and another Saudi. That explains for the language and her Islamic ideas combined together.

  392. The Pledge of Alligence is or was perfect…except the “one nation under God” part….America is a melting pot with many “gods” serving its people…just which god is our One Nation under when referring to that particular line?

  393. Daisy, Dasiy, Daisy,,,(or should I call you Arch…) tut tut tut, I can only laugh at you. I do feel sorry for you!

    I think you did not read my reply in this thread to Oby about driving in KSA. I live in two countries in the region. I cross over ALONE by Saudi Airlines. I can take a taxi ALONE to the airport.

    The main discussion in my family is not about buying a second have Merc. That was only a one hour discussion … lol. You seem to think that I am living a luxury life. I just drive a 1997 Corolla. (in need of repairs).

    Yes I do care about , not only people in Saudi, but anywhere.

    Aafke,
    If you do not understand a sentence then you really need to go back to the drawing board. Sorry.

    Yes the conpiracy about 9/11 is a fact but people who do not want to believe in it are in denial. They just cannot beleive that such a huge huge thing can be done on their own soil. But you have to face the truth. You people feel comfortable just to blame it on others and fold your arms and wait.

  394. Coolred38
    You made a very valid comment … exactly!

  395. Coolred, the ”one nation under god” bit was added much later, it is against the constitution and it’s high time it is removed again.

  396. The words ”under god” were never originally in the pledge of allegiance , it was added in the 50s as a result of religious lobbying combined with a fear for communism.
    That was also the time when ”in god we trust” was added to the money.
    These changes are unconstitutional and in fact the supreme court already ruled so in 1971.
    The supreme court has also ruled several times against prayer in schools, or at the beginning of sports games.
    They have to rule so because these references to god and religion are against the constitution. In my opinion it’s the best constitution ever drawn up.

    The supreme ccourt ruled in the 70s that it is unconstitutional to allow prayer, even non-denominational, in public schools.
    When president John F Kennedy was asked about this unpopular ruling he answered that he knew many people were angry, but that the decisions of the court had to be respected. He added that there was “a very easy remedy”—not a constitutional amendment but a renewed commitment by Americans to pray at home, in their churches, and with their families.

    And that is the crux of the matter isn’t it. It isn’t about ”christian” children praying at school, they already do so at home and in church.I

    It is about indoctrinating non-christian children with the Christian faith and hopefully turning them into Christians.
    And that is exactly why it should never be allowed. The American constitution promises freedom from religion. Any religion.

  397. Now that you had done a little research, when was “so help me god” added when the president swears in? Which god is that? Which god is he serving? Do people swear in the courts?

    Also you bought the topic of the dollar bill. Why does the dollar bill have one eye on it and the pyramid? What are the significance of those? And the new world order?

  398. “School is for learning.Prayers have no place in school”

    In my school, prayer was very important. We started the day with prayers and it was very refreshing to do so. At the beginning of the academic year, we were given a book of prayers. I remember there was even the song of “Morning Has Broken”.

    Oby
    “And really, does God need us to run the show for HIM???”
    God is not in need of our prayers. We prayer for ourselves and not for Him. If all the world stops praying, God will not lose and iota of His Kingdom, it will not give Him increase or decrease. We are the losers.

  399. Yes, the 9/11 conspiracy that’s suddenly a fact, the one-eyed dollar bill, the pyramid, the new world order…

    Yes, Sarah MD, it’s the Joos taking over the world while you and I are asleep in our beds. Evil evil Joooos.

  400. The eye is the all-seeing eye of the reptile zionist conspirators who rule the world. The pyramid is because it was actually the Zionist reptiles who, together with aliens from outer space and zethans built the pyramids, and, unbeknown to us, they are actually space beacons for the aliens, and in case of an all out invasion of our planet they will act as docking stations for alien spaceships.
    They ahve not been used as such for over 3000 years because the Alien Zionist Reptiles have been so successful in keeping the human species down with their best tool: ”religion”.

    You see the concept of a male ”god” has also been invented by the Alien Zionist Reptile Invaders, because it is very convenient in keeping the humans occupied, keeping them back from developing their cultures and technology, and religion is the basis of the conspiracy of keeping all humans subject to the Alien Zionist reptile Invaders.

    And if a distraction is needed the Alien Zionist Reptile Invading Oppressors, make grateful use of ”Religion” to start a few never ending wars.
    This also helps to keep us backward and to spend our energy and lives on idiotic wars.

    So you see in these discussions the difference between those who have been successfully brainwashed and do the Alien Zionist Reptile invading oppressor’s bidding, And the rational thinking humans who the Alien Zionist Reptile Invading Oppressing Inventors of ”religion” dislike so much.
    😈

  401. I actually think the under one
    god statement is still valid…at the time it was meant a Christian God of course because that is who drew up the documents…but I think it is brilliant in that it doesn’t mention any one particular God and therefore can work for whoever is saying it. It applies to all…whomever your God might be.

  402. @aafke…

    “It is about indoctrinating non-christian children with the Christian faith and hopefully turning them into Christians.

    I am not sure if you are saying this tongue in cheek…Prayer in school goes back to the beginning of the nation. There wasn’t a broad government policy of praying in school but many many schools traditionally did it in keeping with the values of the time and opened the school day with a prayer or a reading from the bible…in a country that was almost exclusively Christian at the time that would not seem to represent a difficulty or a conflict of interest. But as the country grew and more faiths became part of the culture it began to conflict more and more with faiths other than those of the Christian one…and hence prayer in school …led by public employees paid by the peoples taxes stopped. A student still has the right to bend his or her head and say a prayer if they chose as long as it doesn’t disrupt the class.

    A friend from Canada explained once how there the schools have learned how to balance the different faiths by offering different options. So at Christmas time if the kids are having a Christmas party and a Muslim kid doesn’t want to participate they have activities elsewhere that they can participate in. I thought that was a good option. For example now is Ramadan…they must have some option for non Muslim kids to do. Or perhaps they provide activities during Ramadan for the Muslim kids away from food while the non Muslims eat lunch.

  403. But the whole idea of Ramadan is to suffer. And to see other people eating while you are not allowed to is good for you: makes you suffer more, and gain you more brownie points with Allah. Besides, such religious duties are for grown ups, not children.
    It’s very unhealthy and I think it very unwise to force it upon children. It’s ok if they want to try a few days but I think it’s child abuse to expect children to fast.

    And as far as religious feats are concerned; I always think you should participate in as many parties as you can
    And even Muslims can participate in other peoples parties. They were allowed to join the Zoroastrians in celebrations and accept presents, as long as they were not meat.

  404. Aafke,
    I’m not in favor of religious fasting because I have seen it taken to an extreme in the form of anorexia (related to perfectionism). That said, I have mixed feelings about Ramadan because in the evening, there is meal together with friends/family/etc. I am curiosity as to the psychological health effects of fasting during Ramadan. Is there a higher and/or lower rate of eating disorders among people who fast during Ramadan? Is this in direct relation to Ramadan, or does it have to do with religious practices as a whole? I would honestly have to look at more health benefits & negatives (both physical and psychological) to make have an educated opinion on this one. Have you (or anyone else for that matter) come across any articles on the health benefits/negatives of fasting during Ramadan or this type of fasting in general? I know that generally speaking, it is supposed to be healthier to eat 5 meals a day.

    I often wondered if maybe Ramadan started during a time when food was limited and it was a way for everyone to share what they had rather than for the poor to starve? But then, I am probably way off base here and need to go read up my history, which I haven’t made time to do yet. *attempts to ‘pull foot out of mouth’* I do think that appreciating the things we take for granted is an important lesson to learn.

    Having to eat Ramen for 2 out of 3 meals with maybe a little veggies or meat on the side (if I was lucky) for a few months really helped me to appreciate the fact that I CAN eat healthy now. (There was a time when I could buy 10 packs of ramen for 1 dollar. It was like hitting the jackpot at the time. It was a treat to be able to sift through all the different flavors and pick my favorite. And of course, Korean & Thai brands were a real treat as they were priced 2or 3 for 1USD!) Although, I think I ate a little more fruit at the time ’cause it was cheap there (but usually about to go bad), so it wasn’t completely unhealthy. I can actually afford enough to go and buy quality vegetables, fruit and meats now. I don’t have to eat junk like ramen for my main meals. I don’t have to order off the dollar menu (which sometimes makes it hard to eat healthy, though I’ve learned how to make the most of it) at fast food places any more, although I usually prefer to cook at home these days. I sometimes eat ramen now, but usually with bunches of veggies and a form of protein in them, rather than usually plain like before. I realize others have experienced way worse than this, but I’m just giving an example from my personal life.

    What age limit are you putting on “child”?

    My brother once made the comment that he is going to be whatever religion is having the biggest feast at the time. LOL. I am up for partying, too. ^_^ The way I see it, a lot of holidays (whether religious or otherwise), birthdays, etc. are just an excuse to throw a party. (And by partying, I am NOT referring to stereotypical university student partying. I AM referring to a group of people getting together to celebrate something.)

  405. Oby

    The majority of the country was Christian…only if you neglect to count the native americans that were a major part of the country at the time. Just a thought.

  406. strange one, ”child” is a human being which is still in a state of development, mentally and physically, and for whom a full month of fasting would have a bad effect on that development.
    Personally I think a fast is good for most people, but then I mean a real fast, only water for two or three days, not the Ramadan fast which deprives the body of necessary nutrients and water during the day, and then feasting and stuffing on many unhealthy foods at night. just before sleep too, the worst time to eat anything anyway.
    Or even the night becomes day lifestyle some change to at Ramadan. Very unhealthy.
    Now for fully grown humans that maybe manageable, but for a body still in a state of development I consider it extremely unhealthy.

    The colonists, or invaders, depending on the viewpoint, were predominantly ”Christian” but they were mostly from deviant Christian sects, who considered their own view on religion as different from each other as Christians and muslims do today. Also they mostly moved to America to escape persecution in their country of origin.
    Because of this religious persecution, which was already poking it’s ugly head up in AMerica amongst majority versus minority religious populations, the founding fathers were very serious about drafting a constitution which build a very strong wall between state and religion. It made sure that religion has absolutely no place in government, and that all people, whatever their religion, are free to follow their chosen religion, and are free from religion as well.
    Now this was not very popular with the very religious, but as they all did not want to be persecuted for their chosen form of religion again, they all agreed.

    Now the world has become more mobile, and even more form of religion, all thinking they are the only ones who’ve got it right and ready to force their views on others, have entered the United states it is even more important to keep any form of religious infiltration out of government.

  407. @Aafke
    Thanks for the explanation of the dollar bill but I have a better answer to that. But you have avoided replying to my other questions:

    “so help me god” added when the president swears in? Which god is that? Which god is he serving? Do people swear in the courts?

  408. @NN
    “Yes, the 9/11 conspiracy that’s suddenly a fact, the one-eyed dollar bill, the pyramid, the new world order…”

    Yes it is a big plan. Actually it is an evil plan. The one eye represents the ancient sun-god (Horus) who was the son of god born on 25th Dec. This is why the one eye has a sun behind it. Horus had one eye. He was egyptian god worshipped on SUNday. So what is it doing in the dollar bill? Because the worshippers of Horus have been misleading good-meaning people for centuries. They have succeeded in bringing him into Christianity deluding them. The new world order is a world governed by them – at least this is their aim.

  409. Great comment Sarah Md.

    See this is better than asking us questions and arguments on the other thread. Just keep enlightening us.

  410. Thanks, more to come … stay tuned.

  411. Coolred…

    Good thought and certainly you are right…however, the native Americans were not likely to be taking classes side by side with the settlers so those who attended school for all intents and purposes were Christians therefore the prayer applied mostly to them…

    The shaft the native Americans got by the “white” man is a whole other topic…

  412. Saramd, Yeah, sure, everything is a conspiracy. I am not going to do your googling for you. Look it up yourself. I am not beholden to answer your questions. You believe in every conspiracy theory around, and you want me to waste my time looking up stuff which is old hat anyway.
    I am not going to waste precious time on silly arguments with silly people on silly conspiracy theories.

  413. PS all information SarahMd spewed on Horus is wrong.
    Very old conspiracy stuff, and completely wrong.
    Read up on the Egyptian pantheon before you copy some lunatic conspiracy site….
    Sheesh!

  414. So, Aafke, this is the old trick you are playing. If you cannot answer, you give the “google it” reply. You seem to come up with strange replies but you help with “so help me god”. Ok so you cannot attack any repltiles to that and it a “silly” thing (a president makes a “silly” statement when swearing in???)

    And now Horus us all “wrong”. So where is the “correct” info then according to you. Yes it is certainly old stuff that is still going on.

  415. @Sarah Md,

    You have been going on about this God and the oath of office of the president of the US. For your information the US does not require the “So Help Me God” phrase.

    Here is what is required:

    “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    The president can even use the word affirm instead of swear as the word affirm is not religious in nature. A president can say, so help me God if he chooses. It is a tradition not a requirement and it was never added to the oath of office.

    People do not answer your silly questions, because they are just that. You are going around the internet reading every conspiracy theory out there and think they are facts. It will take books worth of arguments to straighten out all the misinformation you believe in.

    Your arguments sound like the blind squirrel, who found a piece of dung and thinks she has a nut.

    Cheers

  416. It is “silly” for those who cannot digest it. My questions are difficult to answer and that is why it is not answered. When intelligent people are faced with dififcult situations, they either challenge it or discuss the matter but the weak ones run away from it. So you can see what is happening here.

    A discussion is exactly that – we discuss, debate without throwing fires at each other. So if there is a theory, would it not be good to discuss it so that all involved will learn something. We are not perfect and we are not all fully knowledegable. One of the ways to learn and see the others’ point of views, is by discussion. If is fine that you do not agree with me, then all you have to so is tell me in polite manner.

    Thanks for the info about the swearing in but I have never heard a president saying “I affirm”. I would appreciate if you could share the link, where you got that info from.

  417. @Sarah Md,

    You actually never discuss your theories. You throw hints about them. I am familiar with all of these conspiracy theories, so I spot them easily. In none of your writing did you even discuss the details of these theories just a scattering of statements or strange questions. Now that is not worthy of debate If you want to debate something that you think is true, then specify some details and provide your evidence. Otherwise it just sounds like a scattering of statements.

    Regarding the oath of office. Wikepedia has a summary of the issue all you have to do is write “Oath of office president” in the search box.

    If you want in-depth information then look up the constitution of the US Article II, section 1.

    Also look up president Hoover’s inauguration. He did not use “help me God”, but simply said “I do”.

    Enjoy…

  418. Yes you are right, I do not discuss the theories and just throw hints. Actually I do this as a feeler to see the reactions. I feel that if someone is really interested to discuss may start commenting. Maybe my approach is wrong.

    Wikepedia is not a good source of information. But I will look into it.

    Thanks

  419. @Sarah Md,

    Wikepedia is not a definitive source, but a good source to get started because of the summary of the issue, then you can research the points you find interesting.

    There is no more definitive source than the constitution. The oath is listed there in its full text. That is the ultimate guide for US law.

    Note the constitution of the United States does not have the word God in it. And when the word religion is listed, it is used to either limit the influence of religion in governing or to provide freedom for individuals to practice their own religion.

    The US constitution does not provide religion any powers and does not prescribe to a God.

  420. That is what I was saying from the start. They do not want to involve religion.

    More than that they also want to remove religion in all other aspects of live.

  421. @Sarah Md,

    No the US government does not want to remove religion from every day life. The constitution protected religious expression for all religions. This is why Muslims get full rights in the US. Even more than Islamic countries. Example Shiiat get more rights in the US than in Saudi and Sunni’s get more rights in the US than they do in Iran.

    The difference is religion can not interfere with governing and the laws of the country.

    Just yesterday, the president along with the governor of NY supported Muslims rights to build a mosque close to the World Trade Center site. This is a controversial position, since there are groups who appose the building of teh mosque. They are both taking political risks to affirm the rights of a religious group (Muslims in this case).

  422. No, you said or implied that the constitution , and the inauguration of the president, etc, does refer to ”god”.
    You have no idea what you are saying so how the hell is one to keep up any kind of discussion with you?
    Even at the most infantile level?

  423. MoQ, wasn’t that mosque already there anyway?
    I don’t see why they shouldn’t have a mosque there still, and anyway, it’s several blocks away I believe. So how far does it needs to be not to ”offend” anybody? and what about some idiotic megachurch minister or something wanting to build and agressivly Christian center there?
    How is that suddenly not bad? You can equally say ”religion is responsible for ground zero”, so not religion should have a base within a certain perimeter there.

  424. This is what I like about Obama, he doesn’t shy away from difficult statements. It’s really good to hear he backed up the people who want to build a mosque.

  425. 911 was an inside job. All evidences are there. And it was planned a long time ago. Some in authority have even admitted to it. The way the building collapsed shows that there were explosives already inside the building. And there are so many clues to believe in this.

  426. @Sarah Md,

    So where is all this evidence? Have you seen it? Did you read the peer reviews of the evidence?

    Who are those people in the authority that admitted to it?

    The way the buildings collapsed, was studied by multiple teams of structural engineers and it was deemed consistent with multiple member column failure due to the extreme heat.

    Now the question you need to ask yourself. Why would the conspirators crash a plane in a building, then demolish it with explosive? Wouldn’t they have already accomplished their conspiracy goals by simply crashing the planes into the buildings without taking the risk and the effort of the explosives?

    The conspiracy theory fails just by applying that logic.

  427. Good questions.

    The plane crashes are for the world to see and to make them believe that the buildings collapsed because of that. It was the “reason” but the complete collapse was due to the explosives. It if just fell down – “just like that”, the world will be wondering how did it fall and why? So there need to be a stage set up for the world.

    The reaction of Bush when he heard the news was very calm and he said that he watched it on TV when it was not even aired. Even BBC reported the collapse 28 minutes before it actually collapsed.

    It was the CIA who admitted that it was a fake, including major general Albert Stubblebine who said it was a fraud (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Stubblebine)

    There are many more but got to run now. Will post later.

  428. One more thing I want to say before I go is that people in the West, for centuries, have been under the impression that they have freedom , but in reality everything is hidden from them, they are not really free.

    There are things going on behind the scenes. For example: anyone know about the Bohemian Grove? Why do all presidents go there for the annual gatherings? Why is it so secretive and why do they keep an owl idol there. These are actual facts and there are secrets photos taken of these gatherings.

    I do not believe that the intelligent people of America will vote for a man like Bush. The press was never free and especially not these days. People who “talked” were removed. Listen to the radio talk given by JFK. (Don’t have link now)

    Another link :
    http://world911truth.org/major-general-albert-stubblebine-towers-fell-down-because-of-explosives/

    More later …

  429. You’ve left out the Bilderberg group.

  430. @Sarah Md,

    So your evidence is a youtube video of a general, who retired in 1984. A full 17 years before the incident. Your definition of evidence is very weak. The Genral’s opinion about how the buildings fell does not count since he is not a structure engineer. same for the hole in the pentagon. They are just claims. Further he did not provide evidence that gave his thoughts.

    Carl Sagan said “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” . The conspiracy theory of 911 is an extraordinary claim. Your evidence does not pass even the simplest scrutiny. A man with a laptop and google was able to dismiss it in less than a minute.

  431. Here are the conspiracy theories for 9/11: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_conspiracy_theories

    Please see the bibliography for more links (for those who don’t trust Wikipedia). Once again, I am still trying to figure out how any of this matters. How does it change our lives any? Let’s say for the sake of argument that it was arranged by the government (pick one), what can you do about it? How do you plan to change the situation? Are you going to fight against a huge government all on your own? Doesn’t make any sense. Sometimes, it may be better not to know.

    It was a huge tragedy in either case, so why not just try to help the people whose lives were affected by it and go from there?

  432. Well, that was just an example. there are awhole lot of evidences from scientists and engineers. In fact I did give a link previously. There is a German/dutch scientist also who said that it could have happened within. Maybe you should see the link, I gave you; there are other stories there too.

    911 is not an extraordinary theory anymore. It is well known.

    Strangeone,
    What if it was all staged and it was an inside job, how will the americans deal with it? Yes it is a huge tradegy but what is more, is that who can you trust? Who is lying?

  433. There are cronicles written and documentaries about the conspiracy of 911.

    Is it not a coincidence that 911 is also an emergency number in US – or is it?

  434. “it could have happened from within”

    That is evidence of absolutely nothing. Could have? A lot of things “could have” happened.

    There is a really good BBC documentary about the hijackers. They know quite a bit about them and the time line leading up to the tragedy.

    And omg. At MOST it’s a coincidence that 911 is also an emergency number. Are you seriously suggesting that they planned this whole staged attack and that it mattered to them it was on Sept. 11 so that it would match the US emergency number???? Really?????

    Anyway, Usama and Al Qaeda have taken credit and I see no reason not to believe them in light of their whole modis operendi.

    Did people in the US government use 9-11 as an opportunity to implement their preexisting wish to invade Iraq? Yes. That isn’t evidence of anything except they took advantage of the situation.

  435. @Sarah Md,

    But I have reviewed all these controversies before and I have not seen any evidence for them You are assuming I did not do my homework. It is a bad form in debates to say look at all the stuff out there. You need to present specifics if you want me to respond.

    If I go on trying to write evidence against every generic claim made, I will fill Carol’s blog with 100’s of pages. You made the claim, then provide your evidence that is how things work in a debate.

    As an example when you made a specific claim that the US government promotes a God. I presented you with specific evidence on the contrary. Then you switched 180 degrees and said the US government wants to eliminate religion. I presented you with specific evidence to

    Note you asked for a debate on this, but you have not measured up to it so far. I even went off from just dismissing you as a believer of nutty ideas, so you understand we are being fair to you. Now step up and show us what you got.

    Sorry but you sound like you have not thought these issues completely yet.

  436. By the way if a claim is well known that does not make it less extraordinary. The reference is referring to the extraordinary mistreatment of the facts relating to the incident.

    I hope we do not get into these long drawn discussions, where I have to explain simple semantics for you.

  437. On another post NAS had made the same claim about 9/11 being an inside job and I had posted a link there which shows why this conspiracy theory is not true.

    I have heard many Muslims saying this, which shows how widespread this kind of brainwashing is in the Islamic world. I wonder what kind of mechanism is used to spread it across such a wide area. I think his should be researched.

    Here is the link I had given on the other post –

    http://america.gov/st/webchat-english/2009/May/20060828133846esnamfuaK0.2676355.html

  438. Daisy,
    Just because you have heard many Muslims say this does not make it widespread or an issue of brainwashing. You look for this sort of stuff- maybe it’s a conspiracy too??? and all the problems in India too are the fault of the Wahabi’s? Because Indian Muslims never ever do anything violent without first being the victims of the great Wahabi mind control mechanisms?
    Talk about pot calling kettle black.

  439. Sandy,
    I find your comment out of context.

    I came across Indian Muslims saying it then I came across Pakistanis saying it and now I have across Muslims in the Arab world saying it, so it shows the geographical expanse of this conspiracy theory.

    I really don’t see why you find my comment offensive. I didn’t say all Muslims believe in it, but its geographical expanse is certainly very wide.

    I do feel this needs to be researched as to how the people in such a wide area have been brainwashed by this kind of nonsense.

    Perhaps it will throw light on how extremism itself spreads across a wide range of people.

  440. And yes, it is true that if only the Wahhabi mechanism won’t brainwash the Indian Muslims with the nonsensical crap it spreads, the Indian Muslims will be fine by themselves.

  441. Daisy, just wanted to say Hi and let you know that I just got back from Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Cambodia and Singapore). Very interesting places – a real eye-opener. Many people of all types, shapes, faiths and colors. Did meet one very nice Indian-descent gentleman in Singapore, a few Malays and many ethic Chinese – Many opinions, but all of us agreed on one issue – the old USA is in serious trouble. Those Hindu temples are really really colorful, a feat for the eyes. The Buddhist also are very elaborate. Both make the Christian and Muslim temples look like dumps (my opinion). You take care and I’ll look for you at Xroads.
    John

  442. Ok here are some of the evidences:

    THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE SET OF CLUES BUT A FRACTION OF THEM

    Chain of Command
    Now officials topping the chain of command for response to a domestic attack – George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Myers, Montague Winfield – all found reason to do something else during the actual attacks, other than assuming their duties as decision-makers. You must have seen Bush’s reaction to the news. There was NO reaction of shock, surprise or anything of the sort.

    Who was actually in charge? Dick Cheney, Richard Clarke, Norman Mineta and the 9/11 Commission directly conflict in their accounts of top-level response to the unfolding events, such that several (or all) of them must be lying.

    Air Defense Failures
    The US air defense system failed to follow standard procedures for responding to diverted passenger flights. WHY?

    Timelines: The various responsible agencies – NORAD, FAA, Pentagon, USAF, as well as the 9/11 Commission – gave different explanations for the failure (in some cases upheld for years), such that several officials must have lied; but none were held accountable. If they were true, then why the delay, why the mystery.

    Pentagon Strike
    How was it possible the Pentagon was hit 1 hour and 20 minutes after the attacks began? Why was there no response from Andrews Air Force Base, just 10 miles away and home to Air National Guard units charged with defending the skies above the nation”s capital? How did Hani Hanjour, a man who FAILED as a Cessna pilot on his first flight in a Boeing, execute a difficult aerobatic maneuver to strike the Fishy! Why did the attack strike the just-renovated side, which was largely EMPTY and opposite from the high command?

    Wargames
    US military and other authorities planned or actually rehearsed defensive response to ALL elements of the 9/11 scenario during the YEAR PRIOR to the attack – including multiple hijackings, suicide crashbombings, and a strike on the Pentagon. Hmmm!

    The multiple military wargames planned long in advance and held on the morning of September 11th included scenarios of a domestic air crisis, a plane crashing into a government building, and a large-scale emergency in New York. If this was only an incredible series of coincidences, why did the official investigations avoid the issue? There is evidence that the wargames created confusion as to whether the unfolding events were “real world or exercise.” Did wargames serve as the cover for air defense sabotage, and/or the execution of an “inside job”?

    Flight 93
    Did the Shanksville crash occur at 10:06 (according to a seismic report) or 10:03 (according to the 9/11 Commission)? Does the Commission wish to hide what happened in the last three minutes of the flight, and if so, why? Was Flight 93 shot down, as indicated by the scattering of debris over a trail of several miles? Officials admitted to it being shot down by “slip of the tongue”.

    Did cell phones work at 30,000 feet in 2001? How many hijackings were attempted? How many flights were diverted?

    Demolition Hypothesis
    What caused the collapse of a third skyscraper, WTC 7, which was not hit by a plane? Were the Twin Towers and WTC 7 brought down by explosives? (See “The Case for Demolitions,” the websites wtc7.net and 911research.wtc7.net, and the influential article by PHYSICIST Steven Jones.)

    I can continue …

  443. And if you need proof of explosives, check out :

    http://thematrixhasyou.org/911-fraud.html

    @Daisy,
    It is spreading because people are coming to know the truth and how people have been decieved and you know, truth will always find a way out of the debris of lies and deceit. Do not always put the blame om Muslims and cover your eyes on others. (Who is giving instructions to Indian Muslim terrorist hiding in UAE? No one but a Hindu terrorist in India!!!)

    Al Qaeda was created by the Americans at the time when Afghanistan was at war with Russia and they have been funding it. Bin Laden was working with USA. His code name was Tim Osman. Did he suddenly turn against americans or is he merely a piece in the chess game? USA trained thousands of mujhideen in anti soviet war. It went underground with this aid.. For more info on this. read The Outlaw Bank , A wild Ride into The Secret Heart of BCCI, (1993). One of the author is the investigative reporter and the senior correpondent for Times Magazine, and the other one was Times Ecomonic editor and author of Selling Money.

    Can you beleive that all all the powerful armies of the allied forces can dig up Saddam from a hole but not one from a cave? Do you think that is possible. Why is it that no one can find Bin Laden. All those videos tapes of Laden, does not look like him at all. A thin nose is turned into a fat one and a thin kidney-diseased man is 10 pounds heavier with a healthy glowing look! A man in a cave has satellite devices to broadcast videos but these signals cannot be detected by all the sateliite stations by USA – these same sgtations can catch anything else except those coming from a cave?!!

    Look at who stands to gain from the 911? Bin Laden, Qaeda, the new owner of the twin towers, top people in gov… think about it and if you cannot guess, I will help you next time.

    if the “official story” of 911 is true then why doesn’t the mainstream media give us the FULL STORY on Bin Laden.

    So what is the thing on Bohemian grove and Bilderberg group. Why are ALL past presidents having secret meetings there with owl idol and what is the owl doing on the dollar bill?

  444. And if its architects and engineers you need, MoQ, take a look at http://www2.ae911truth.org/flashmov11.htm and see if you can refute that.

  445. @Sarah Md,

    It seems it takes very little to convince you of any theory. You also seem to be copying and pasting mindlessly form sites. LOL

    I am not going to respond to each of the many questions you posed. It will be too boring for everyone else. I am just going give you a sampling so you will have a taste of how many crazy claims are out there in the internet. None of them constitute evidence. Just crazy suspicions. You need to do your own homework on the rest.

    – Dick Cheney was in charge of operations for the simple fact the president was not in DC and Cheney can be physically in the Presidential Emergency Operations Center. What the president had as a reaction when told about the attack,speaks more to his competence rather than a conspiracy 🙂

    – Regarding scrambling fighters in NY after tower 1 was hit.. At the time there was no procedure for the air traffic controllers to alert the military of planes changing course. Procedures were not broken as they did not even exist.

    – The pentagon was his at 9:41, first plane hit tower 1 at 8:46. that is 55 minutes difference not 80 minutes. If your source depends on time to make the case and cannot get the math right, it is unreliable.

    – Regarding flight 93 – You say that the military did not intercept the flight heading to the pentagon as evidence of foul play. Then later you say they shot down flight 93 as also evidence of foul play. Don’t you think that is contradictory. Further, flight 93 has plenty of evidence of hijacking and the passengers taking over. This is from calls by the passengers. and Cockpit recording of the struggle between the passengers and the hijackers.

    – Building 7 had a fire as a result of the towers collapse.The fire caused structural damage and it took hours for it to come down. It had major structure damage all you have to do is google the case and you will find the details on the structural damage. There are even recordings of fire chiefs pulling their crews out when the building was determined unsafe. Are you telling me a building was on fire for hours and the explosive did not go off? Further, why would the conspirators plan demolishing the building with explosives hours after the towers? Do you do any analysis on what you read? These are very simple questions you should be asking yourself.

    Ok Enough of this craziness. I am not going to respond any more to your silly arguments. You are predisposed to believe in conspiracies. I cannot help you any more except for a small advice. Do more analysis and review multiple sources. Each one of your claims have been debunked by researchers and the data is out there for you to find easily.

    As far as I am concerned you can stay loony. I am going back to my listening mode and read the rest of your comedic conspiracies. Keep them coming 🙂

  446. Your response made me really laugh as it is so typical. First of you did not give any reference on your views and it makes you look like you are some authority on 911. Anyway that is besides the point.

    You asked me for references and when you get them, what do you do? You pick the easy way out by bashing them and then saying you will not discuss them. This is the way of those who cannot reply.

    Yes I did copy and paste that long reply with some changes of my own, Did I not mention that? – oops maybe I missed that. That is not the point is it. The point is for reference and evidence. It does not matter if I wrote it or someone else wrote it.

    You did not make a single reference of what you are saying and you are ignoring the mighty evidences lying all around you because you choose not to think that maybe you could be wrong as you assume, as usual, that you are NEVER wrong. That makes you loony bin.

    It is a condition of human that when they cannot bear it, they will take the easy way out and that is what you are doing. For many others who are clever enough, can stomach the truth and are willing to see both sides of the story and they do not cover themselves with a blanket and hide.

    For your information, the evidences are too vivid and clear cut that it is NO MORE a theory. This is why many americans are out of the street demanding an answer. You cannot hide for long.

    Have a nice day.

  447. “It seems it takes very little to convince you of any theory”

    I am still laughing from this. Little? loooooooool.
    There are tons of theories but I do not care for them but something as monsrtous as this? It is hardly “little”

    LOL.

  448. @Sarah Md,

    The point of the cut and paste reference is that you are relying on scruples web sites and it was obvious from the wording. It was also clear that you have not analyzed the info, nor looked at alternative sources.

    Now regarding support. You are the one making the claims and they have many issues:

    – They are suspicions not evidence.

    – Even as suspicions most are illogical and I pointed that out to you.

    – You have not produced anything as far as evidence is concerned. Videos and links to cooky sites is not evidence. Strong evidence in a case like this has to come in the form of peer reviewed papers and investigations. You have not provides such information. You have the burden of proof here, since you are the one making the claims.

    – For my side of the story all you have to reference is the reports by the National Institute of Standard and Technology on the collapse of the buildings. You can find it here http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201.pdf for the towers and for building 7 here http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf . These are by engineers, scientists, investigators, etc. From multiple government organizations, independent institutes and companies. The reports are fully peer reviewed and a result of multi-year effort.

    Happy reading.

  449. And what makes you think that your references are correct and others are cooky? Proofs from architects, scientists, physicists are all cooky but your reference, just because it agrees with you is the most accurate one.

    By the way, I have tons of info on this and I cannot show you all here and I am just giving piecemeal for you to digest. I have analyzed it of course and have read books, reports and watched documentaries from various sources. And this is not something I got overnight.

    Good luck

  450. @Sarah Md,

    Yes, there is tons of information out there. The point is in the internet anyone with a keyboard can type whatever they like. When you are looking for evidence look for the right sources, their method for researching, their analysis techniques, their review process etc.All the sources you provided are weak in this regarding.

    For example one of your references was a general that retired 14 years before 911 and you listed him as an insider.
    The second was an architect looking for fame with a 2 hr lecture about building demolitions. The man is not a building demolition expert and he has been debunked by experts in the field (you did not bother researching that part). Further, he never wrote any reviewed paper about the topic of demolitions. Now he passes himself as an expert and you believed him.
    A third one was a reference that could not do simple arithmetic on time. ETC.

    And drop this line about you providing us with information piecemeal like you are educating us :). There is nothing you provided so far that I have not read before. The difference is I analyze what I read and do not believe everything on the internet.

    I am really trying to be fair to you. However, you have shown a lack of simple understanding of what constitutes evidence in a major case like this. This is key to why you are a willing victim to anyone who wants to sell you a conspiracy. You have listed 5 so far, which is way too many for any reasonable person to believe in.

  451. The reference you cited : Who does that site belong to? You can see from the link. Secondly about this pdf, there are so many inconsistencies. You can read more on this from :

    http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/official/nist/index.html

    These are some of the points from that site for those who do not want to click and read the whole page.

    1.NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Commerce Department’s Technology Administration … there is clear evidence that the agency has been hampered in its investigation by a lack of access to evidence

    2. NIST’s investigation was funded by Congress (so what are we saying here? – my comment) … However, NIST’s investigation would not even start until virtually all of the steel had been removed from Ground Zero and recycled.

    3. It is apparent from reading NIST’s website that its investigation was conducted strictly within the confines of the official story — that the collapses of the Twin Towers and Building 7 resulted from the jetliner impacts. A presentation about NIST’s response to the disaster claims there is a “critical and urgent national need” to “establish the probable technical causes of the collapses and derive lessons to be learned”, but, prior to the publication of their Final Report on Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers in late 2005, none of the materials on the NIST SITE EVEN MENTIONED THE possibility that the collapses were caused by controlled demolition. (Emphasis my own)

    4. NIST allowed only 30 days for public comments on its report. A group of sixteen researchers, including scientists, architects, and engineers, submitted this letter to NIST’s WTC Technical Information Repository before the deadline. The letter points out numerous inconsistencies, unsupported conclusions, and failures of investigation in NIST’s Report.

    5. The Final Report shows that NIST avoided physical testing altogether. Instead, it created a computer model that it claims supports their collapse theory, but won’t even release that model for inspection by the public.

    6. To support its new theory, NIST apparently resorts to fabrication, claiming — in contradiction to its earlier reports — that girders lacked shear studs and had only two seat bolts per connection.

    This are just a few … go to the link to get the complete picture with references.

    Thank you.

  452. Nothing wrong in being retired and sharing his years of experience …

    And now you personally know the engineer to make judgement on him – and you are really trying to be fair.

  453. Moq,
    It’s a waste of time to argue with completely brainwashed people who don’t want to argue rationally or have never been taught to argue rationally.

    Do you really want to convince her of anything after the crazy comments she has made recently?

    Hindus giving instructions to Muslims in UAE and why would the Muslims take instructions from Hindus in terrorist activities, even if the Hindus had any interest in such collaborative inter-faith terrorist projects?

    I didn’t know terrorist projects were getting inter-faith in nature – that too between Kafirs and the followers of the “only true religion of the world!”

    No wonder Saudi government wants to have inter-faith dialogues – to further broaden the scope of funding and popularising terrorism across the world?

    Not to talk about what she says about the 9/11 conspiracy theory after I posted the links showing why these conspiracies are wrong.

    But it really shows what kind of brainwashing process these people in the Islamic world go through, so that they remain unaware of where the world is going, which keeps the autocratic governments in power.

    As I said, it’s not her fault, it’s her misfortune to be situated like that in life.

  454. Seems like Daisy reads only from the surface and is too innocent. I just feel sorry for her. Its not her fault. Its her way of reading things so narrowly. We have seen her preferred reading books. Don’t have much to say to her.

  455. Jay,
    Yes, Hinduism and Buddhsm have produced some of the most exotic monuments in the world, but you should see the Indian versions as well.

    However, if you come to India, don’t restrict yourself to only Hindu and Buddhist monuments – India is home to all the major religions of the world and the Churches, synagogues and the Islamic monuments of India rival any of their counterparts in the world!

    I’ll give you the list when you come here, just tell me when you are coming.

    I notice you have now been signing off as “John” – don’t tell me you are the alter ego of John of Crossroads! 🙂

  456. Sarah MD,
    Well, I’m not the only one who is saying that about you.

  457. Those others perhaps are just like you – shallow readers and too innocent.

  458. @Sarah MD

    I am curious…given your belief that 9/11 was a conspiracy, please explain to me the hijackers. In your view, did they hijack and crash the planes due to a belief of bin Laden’s theology or do you think they were recruits of America?

    I will state that I agree to disagree with your perspective. This dialogue that has been going on reminds me of the movie ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ produced by Moore. There was a rebuttal produced using clippings from the same footage that produced a completely different perspective. I apologize that I can not remember the name of the rebuttal but it made interesting viewing watching one after the other.

  459. MoQ,
    You are missing the biggest piece of evidence. 9-11! It’s the same as the US emergency number! How can that not convince you? They actually forsaw that the might of the American media would get the whole world to call it 9-11, when of course the rest of the world actually records dates the other way around, ie. 11-9.

  460. Would also like to point out that this CIA beacon of reason, general Snugglebum or whatisname, actually believes people are capable of walking through walls. Just google Stubblebine.

    This is too good to even interrupt, I’m gonna get some popcorn and enjoy the loony tunes streaming in.

  461. Just back and a it late t the discussion…

    I am a native born American who grew up in the shadow of the World Trade Center and went to bed each night seeing it through my bedroom window. I had family there who were thankfully no where in the area on that day but could stand on their front stoops and watch the smoke they lived so close. It was very personal to all of us…

    I just wanted to put in my opinion…I am unclear why anyone would think a Mosque would be a better choice than a church for that space…I actually don’t think either should be built there.

    New York City is perhaps one of the most multinational cities in the world. The World Trade Center was mostly full of Americans who died on that day, it is true, but there were people of other faiths and nationalities who also died. 9/11 is perhaps the most widely known and arguably the most disturbing face of extremism in the world today. Extremism (in this case Islamic but ANY kind of extremism), either political or religious, and the consequences of that is tearing our world apart and polarizing us all…nations and people and IMO it is going to get worse rather than better.

    I would like to see the WTC site be a place where everyone, no matter faith, race, gender, nationality can come and spend time and reflect on the damage extremism is doing to our world. Perhaps make it interactive so that each person who visits can reflect a bit on how their own prejudices, preconceived notions and personal pride etc. is, in it’s own little way, fueling the wider forms of extremism.

    3000 people died on that day but I think they can be symbolic of all the many hundreds of thousands who have died because of extremism…ALL extremism throughout the world.

    NYC is so multicultural/mutinational that many many people of all different countries can see it and visit and reflect and hopefully take away the message that extremism begins with each one of us and we all contribute to it in our own way. I would like to see the place be a place of hope, of reflection and personal growth,I would like people to be moved to consider how they can help avoid extremism in their own attitudes and lives. It begins with one person…that person being each one of us.

    I think it should be free to the public so that cost is no barrier to the experience. At most, have a box(es) available if people would like to make donations to it’s upkeep…I am sure it will be very costly to the city to maintain…

    I think at the most if one wants to have a religious flavor to it, it should be quiet place of reflection…perhaps a lovely garden, or a reflection pool or something of that nature. If we put a mosque or a church or a synagogue there I think that defeats the purpose of the place…that it is a place for EVERYONE from any part of the world to come and be welcome to take a sobering look at the effects of radicalism in all it’s forms…not just religious but political and other forms too.

  462. @Sarah Md,

    Please continue with your copy and paste. Do you actually understand what you’re copying?

    Please continue educating Caro’s shallow innocent readers. I am just going to sit back and enjoy my favorite hobby “Bird watching”. Loons are beautiful species.

  463. @Sandy,

    Yes I agree about the 911 numeric evidence. It is so appealing I could not respond to it. The fact that they chose Sept 11 proves it must have been Americans who did it. No one puts the month ahead of the day except Americans to produce those numbers matching the emergency call number.

    If you follow the logic it will lead you to the truth. Now please start to understand. She is helping you open your mind to the possibilities 🙂

  464. I am also interesting in hearing the views of American Bedu readers on whether a mosque or any religious place should be built at Ground Zero.

  465. I do not see a problem with building maybe a prayer-type room; something where people of any faith can go to pray/meditate/etc. So I guess I agree with oby on this one.

    If a mosque or other religious place is built at ground zero, then it would only be fair to allow other religions to also have a religious place built at ground zero. I don’t see how it would be feasible to accommodate every faith in their own building (or area), and it’s likely to cause a lot of bickering later over which one should be, or is, built the closest/largest/etc. For the pure logistics of it, I think it is best to have a simple inter-faith room that all people are welcome to visit.

  466. I like the idea of a true interfaith memorial/facility since individuals of all faiths and nationalities perished in the Twin Towers.

  467. I don’t think it is wise to build a mosque at ground zero- but it is certainly legal.

    I have noticed the media’s need to make things sound other than they are. Ie. Obama is “for” a mosque at ground zero, rather than “for” upholding the law.

    Is the mosque really at ground zero? How close is it? Or are they just making something out of nothing?

    It seems to me there should be some sort of memorial non-religious in nature at the actual ground zero site.

  468. I agree with the strangeone about the prayer rooms and I personally, would not want a “prayer” space dedicated to each faith…people of each faith will naturally head to “their” space to reflect which I think takes away the unity of the experience. I envision it (perhaps naively) with many peoples of many countries experiencing it together which forces people out of their normal comfort zone. Maybe not talking due to language barriers, but being in a space together even if they are in their own headspace might get people thinking more about those “other” around them. I feel that lends something to the experience. I think division is some of the problem.

  469. A place of silence perhaps for all?

  470. Carol,
    I am curious…given your belief that 9/11 was a conspiracy, please explain to me the hijackers. In your view, did they hijack and crash the planes due to a belief of bin Laden’s theology or do you think they were recruits of America?

    I do not believe that what we believe to have happened is not what actually happened. There are far too many inconsistencies. And evidences pointing to a staged crashes are too revealing. We do not have to be engineers, physicist, architects or rocket scientists to see clear facts. Bush’s reactions which was shown on the news, the swiftness at which Afghanistan was attacked, the lack of capability of finding one sick man in a cave who is sending video tapes to news stations whose signals cannot be detected by modern high tech devices, and most importantly – no response to the average americans who are demanding answers. Why the secrecy? This is only from a layman’s views

    Firefighters, police officers, medical personnel and even reporters, including eye witnesses did report explosives going on inside the buildings but these were not mentioned in the MAINSTREAM media. This is what auxillary lieutant fireman Paul Issac said: “There definately bombs in those buildings. Many other firemen know there were bombs in the buildings but they are afraid for their jobs to admit it because the higher up forbid discussion of this fact”. More recently Issac has said: “I know 911 was an inside job, the police know that it was an inside job and firemen know it too”. We have not heard this in the media.

    And there are so many other coincidences and inconsistencies…

    I have not watched ‘Fahrenheit 9/11′ but heard that it was good.

    MoQ
    That is okay. As will all debates there are 2 sides. And you take one side and I the other. There will be no end to it. I am stating my opinion and you are doing the same. Its all fine. I do not understand why people have to be rude to discuss a topic. I do know what I am writing and reading. In fact, I have been researching on this for a while. But I guess you are too tired now to refute all those clear evidences. Thats fine.

    Regarding the number 911 – that is a bigger part of the whole jigsaw puzzle. Keep laughing.

  471. About the mosque, as far as I know there is this building which has been housing an islamic center for many years, they now want to buy it and make a mosque out of it.
    As far as I know it is several blocks from the actual ground zero.
    How far away does a building have to be then not to be considered ”at ground zero”? How many blocks would that be?

    As I have heard in response the leader of some mega church wants to build a huge church there now.

    So as the building is not at ground zero, but quite far away, and has been an Islamic center all along anyway I don’t see the fuss.

    American Bedu, I think no religion should have any place at the real ground zero as the tragedy was the result of religion. Islam in this case, I don’t see why that is suddenly ”politically incorrect” to mention that fact.
    But all religions carry the means to make people behave like evil mad mass murderers.
    So no religion at ground zero.

    I vote for a center for ”Rationalism and peace”!

  472. I don’t think it’s a good idea to bring religion into this site. For one, religious practices of all religions are not harmonious with each other – they may even be conflicting and opposite. This will only accentuate further the conflict based on religion.

    Besides, I don’t see why a mosque after the attack was perpetrated by those who thought of themselves as “true Muslims fighting against the infidels.” Whether their claim is justified or not is not the issue, but there is a large section of Muslims who get hurt if we criticise the Wahhabis and who even go as far as to say the attack was made by the US itself!

    I think it should be the place for a modern, secular education centre which has no place for religion. If at all religion is included in its curriculum, it should be a rational, secular criticism of all religions of the world – and by all religions I really mean all religions, without any single exception.

  473. How about a center for Peace with an admission charge and proceeds go to the fund to help the families and children of those who perished?

  474. how abouot a nice bit of green — and mabe a lake and some trees and benches for those wishing to sit quietly andreflect. why does it have to be of any faith. people didn’t work at twin toweers because of their religious affiliations, they all did what they had to doto get by . so why bring religion into it.. and if a mosque existed near the towers what’s the issue. it’s their place let them do what they want.. it’s not on the site is it?
    as for if it was a conspiract, who ever did it, irrespective of religion or cause is rotting n hell.. no virgins, no paradise, no nothing.. just boiling oil and that give me great saisfaction. i just wish theloonies inte worlld who kill for religion got to see these boiling fanatics and then they would realise there’s no paradise for killing anyone…

  475. If a scene of peace was erected on every site that was first a site of destruction caused by humans…I dare say the earth would have a hell of a lot more such places then it currently does.

    If people can make an argument over what should be created as memorable at this particular site…what hope is there that peace will ever truly reign?

  476. As far as ground zero is concerned, I would have built the twin towers exactly as they were, so that by now nobody would have seen the difference.

  477. Radha,
    The thing is they are not in hell yet, they are still planning and plotting.

  478. Aafke…I wouldnt build them exactly as they were…since apparently it takes very little “fire” to bring them down.

    More safety needs to be built into the design it seems. Plot or not…those buildings came down way to fast way too soon regardless of what the initial cause of destruction was.

  479. Sarah MD…

    Since you are arguing most vociferously for it being an inside job, committed by Americans on Americans, can you please tell me WHY in your opinion they did that? The reason I ask is that it must have been one hell of a reason for America to damage itself so severely. It not only killed 3000 Americans/people, it damaged the aviation industry for years and it is now recovering, it shut down Wall Street for awhile, It hit at the heart of the financial district, it cost millions of untold dollars in health care problems for all the people that survived the attack (firemen etc) who now are on disability that the city will have to pay for life, not to mention those cleaning up the area immediately following the attack. I think if you add up all the collateral damage to businesses in the USA and around the world it would almost assuredly be in the trillions or very high billions, and that is only what I can think of off the top of my head. Why strike the pentagon and why head for the White house? Wouldn’t the WTC alone be enough of a stimulus to get Americans on the side of the President if that was the aim…I’m thinking it would be.

    If Bush wanted to invade Iraq and needed an excuse don’t you think he could have come up with something that would be far less damaging to the USA and still be able to invade Iraq? Americans didn’t get to vote on the Iraq invasion and everyone says he needed Americans behind him to do it but I don’t fully buy that story. I find that the government does things without the support of the American people. Look at health care in the USA. No matter what side one was on, there was a hell of a fight among Americans for it and against it. In the end no one put it up for a vote to the people. The congress decided it by vote. It was VERY unpopular among the people and the country was very much divided. Did Obama need us behind him…not really. Half the country was against it and they still passed it. My point is Bush didn’t need such a huge display if he wanted to invade Iraq…all he needed was Congress to say yes. We didn’t get a vote on that one.

    So WHY would America shoot an arrow into it’s own heart and damage itself so badly? WHAT was so important it had to take such drastic measures.

  480. correction “It was VERY unpopular among the people”

    should read it was very unpopular among some people.

  481. coolred, I meant looks wise. I also seem to remember the structure, or the structure around them wasn’t handy. So that should change.

    But really, I do not think any building in the world can withstand the impact of a big commercial plane?
    It’s lucky they came down so neatly, or the damage and carnage would have been greater.
    I do not think you could build anything, especially not a high rise which can beat off the impact of a commercial airplane.
    Look at what happened to the Pentagon, the plane plowed right through it, and that is supposed to be build like a bunker.

  482. I am one who has never fully understood the need to invade Iraq and especially the timing…made no sense to me!

  483. SarahMd,
    sorry dear , per general consensus and my theory they are indeed rotting in hell. I’m talking about the evil idiots who crashed the plane. As for someone planning and plotting, i’m sure they’ll find dumb brainwashed morons to carry out their next plan.

    I’ll just stick to the original plot of islamic terrorists crashing planes into buildings taking numerous lives nd breaking families for no reason– oh i forget for 72 virgins 🙂

  484. AB…I agree. I think for whatever reason Bush wanted to (and I am not sure why) and saw an opportunity and took it. It made me mad as hell and I felt like the Americans were being sold a bill of goods about WMD…I don’t know about anyone else, but I can remember arguing with the TV like a lunatic saying “show us one shred of evidence for the WMD”. I felt Americans were railroaded and Iraqis too. Not to mention it was ill conceived…that is why I think he took an opportunity that he saw and used it…the execution was so weak and sloppy. If they had planned all of the attacks to lead up to this, the whole invasion should have been better planned, better executed, tighter, cleaner, less collateral damage etc. It felt like a rush job with substandard planning.

  485. Radha,
    Don’t forget – these Islamic terrorists are being remote-controlled by the Hindus from India!

    It’s amazing what kind of nonsense the Islamic world fill up its citizens’ minds with.

    The atheists and the agnostics of the world should be thankful they have not been blamed for instructing the terrorists so far!

    I feel it’s absolutely insensitive and heartless of the Saudis to first assist in carrying out this kind of tragic and destructive activity and then also brainwash its people into thinking that everyone from the Hindus in India to the Americans themselves were responsible for it – everyone except the Saudis/extremist Muslims that is.

    This is not some crazy babble from a stray commentator on a blog, but it shows what kind of destructive plans some (or many) Saudis have in their minds – in terms of spreading violence and hatred and also spreading lies about their own terroristic plots.

    It doesn’t matter how sweet they appear on the face of the “people of European ancestry” as we are told by a Saudi himself on this very blog.

  486. Oby

    You asked the question that no one asked and that is “why”. The reply to that is very long and complicated. I did not imply that the Americans did this. The average americans are just normal people but they are not aware what is really going on.

    It was a plan which took a long time. So it was not the president at that time, he was just someone who signs papers. Who are the ones who did this? The very ones controlling the media, politcs, the banks, the businesses, hollywood, pop culture … etc – the zionists. I am not talking about the jews but zionists. There are jews who are protesting against the zionist cruelty against the Palestians.

    But why was the question. The answer is that they have an agenda – an evil, sinister plan. The new world order which is there in your dollar bill, a world built on illusion and materialism. Total control.

    As I said it is too long so I will direct you to two sites which might makes things either too complicated or make it clearer.

    http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20070227235042773

    “What was this agenda? It was, in essence, that the United States should use its military supremacy to establish an empire that includes the whole world–a global Pax Americana. Three major means to this end were suggested. One of these was to make U.S. military supremacy over other nations even greater, so that it would be completely beyond challenge. This goal was to be achieved by increasing the money devoted to military purposes, then using this money to complete the “revolution in military affairs” made possible by the emergence of the information age. The second major way to achieve a global Pax Americana was to announce and implement a doctrine of preventive-preemptive war, usually for the sake of bringing about “regime change” in countries regarded as hostile to U.S. interests and values. The third means toward the goal of universal empire was to use this new doctrine to gain control of the world’s oil, especially in the Middle East, most immediately Iraq”. – From that same site.

    This is not just an opinion but a reality and this “agenda” has been in progress for a loooong time. Rockfeller even said in the interview that he was told about WTC long time before. Check this video where Nick Rockefeller explains that 911 was told to him 11 months before it happened and all the other evil plans including invading iraq, afghanistan and war on terror… he was told “that an unexpected “event” would catalyze the U.S. to invade Afghanistan and Iraq”

    As I was saying the “freedom” is not really free, It is a mask. I know it all sounds incredible but the more I studied and looking into, the more sense it all seems. Pieces of jigsaw puzzle are fitting into place. There is so much more and my mind is thinking faster than what I can type …

  487. it is very interesting for me that what Iranian regim preach in his media has more influence on arab countries than Iranian people.

  488. [I have posted this before but it did not appear – maybe because of the links; posting again with changes to the links. comment may appear twice]

    You asked the question that no one asked and that is “why”. The reply to that is very long and complicated. I did not imply that the Americans did this. The average americans are just normal people but they are not aware what is really going on.

    It was a plan which took a long time. So it was not the president at that time, he was just someone who signs papers. Who are the ones who did this? The very ones controlling the media, politcs, the banks, the businesses, hollywood, pop culture … etc – the zionists. I am not talking about the jews but zionists. There are jews who are protesting against the zionist cruelty against the Palestians.

    But why was the question. The answer is that they have an agenda – an evil, sinister plan. The new world order which is there in your dollar bill, a world built on illusion and materialism. Total control.

    As I said it is too long so I will direct you to two sites which might makes things either too complicated or make it clearer.

    911truth.org/article.php?story=20070227235042773

    “What was this agenda? It was, in essence, that the United States should use its military supremacy to establish an empire that includes the whole world–a global Pax Americana. Three major means to this end were suggested. One of these was to make U.S. military supremacy over other nations even greater, so that it would be completely beyond challenge. This goal was to be achieved by increasing the money devoted to military purposes, then using this money to complete the “revolution in military affairs” made possible by the emergence of the information age. The second major way to achieve a global Pax Americana was to announce and implement a doctrine of preventive-preemptive war, usually for the sake of bringing about “regime change” in countries regarded as hostile to U.S. interests and values. The third means toward the goal of universal empire was to use this new doctrine to gain control of the world’s oil, especially in the Middle East, most immediately Iraq”. – From that same site.

    This is not just an opinion but a reality and this “agenda” has been in progress for a loooong time. Rockfeller even said in the interview that he was told about WTC long time before. Check this video where Nick Rockefeller explains that 911 was told to him 11 months before it happened and all the other evil plans including invading iraq, afghanistan and war on terror… he was told “that an unexpected “event” would catalyze the U.S. to invade Afghanistan and Iraq”

    youtube.com/watch?v=7nD7dbkkBIA

    As I was saying the “freedom” is not really free, It is a mask. I know it all sounds incredible but the more I studied and looking into, the more sense it all seems. Pieces of jigsaw puzzle are fitting into place. There is so much more and my mind is thinking faster than what I can type …

  489. My last comment was in reply to Oby.

  490. @Sarah Md,

    Can you post another link instead of the first one you had in your comment. When i looked at the page it was blank. I think my implanted chip is interfering with the download of those pages.

  491. You do realise that the X-files and the Matrix are fiction???
    Not documentaries???

  492. Moq,
    Both the links are opening on my laptop here.

    Perhaps some problem with your server.

  493. MoQ
    The link seems ok; try again, maybe it was slow in opening.

  494. Some of the chips interfere with both the logic and the humor circuits of the brain.
    I had mine removed of course.
    It’s an advantage when you become part of the reptile conspiracy.
    Oh, and btw? they’re not reptiles, but an alien race called Taelons.

  495. Sarah MD

    wow! that’s a lot of reading. I have been gone all day yesterday and haven’t had a chance to read it. Since you have could you indulge me on a few questions?

    Why if the idea is for America to take over the world and become the greatest military strength bar none, did it attack itself at the Pentagon which is the heart of the military? Doesn’t that seem a little counterintuitive to you?

    Why if they were to be the world’s greatest strength and control the world did they shoot themselves in the foot to the tune of several trillion dollars? Conduct two wars, one on the basis of a lie (WMD) and piss off all their allies who also put themselves on the line for the “cause”? Why would they weaken themselves financially in such a huge way? To take over the world would require quite a bit of money I would think…why did the USA squander it in two useless wars if it was the grand plan?

    And I guess the biggest question would be who the heck would want to take over the whole world? Yes I know you have said the zionists, but what for? Do you have any idea how difficult it would be to manage a world full of pissed off governments and people? What would be the advantage of that? There is only so much oil that the USA can use. Besides, there aren’t enough tax dollars in the whole USA to support such a plan…
    World dominance is expensive. And since we would control the world and I guess piss off everyone including the Indians and Chinese which together have a third of the world’s population who is going to help us financially? I’m thinking no one since we are trying to control everyone.

    I have to tell you, if the USA raised our taxes to such a level as to even get the plan off the ground do you think Americans are going to sit by and let that happen? How much taxes do you pay? 2.5% zakat perhaps? There is still a lot of wiggle room there for raising taxes for you. In America the taxes are MUCH higher. My husband and I pay 40%+ of our income in taxes. How much more can they take before people will be revolting?

    I don’t know Sarah MD…not to sound cynical but I find it hard to believe that a handful of Jews (comparatively speaking to the rest of the world) will control the world ultimately. I can’t imagine anyone that ambitious, can you?

  496. Oby
    “Why if the idea is for America to take over the world and become the greatest military strength bar none, did it attack itself at the Pentagon which is the heart of the military? Doesn’t that seem a little counterintuitive to you?”

    Do you know if the Pentagon was hit? The video of penatagon with all its CCTV and most securely guarded building in the world, was not released untils days later and in none of the videos was there a plane in sight. But how convenient to hit a section of the building that was that not important – just an area that was being repaired or reconstructed. And how convincing to the world that it was not an ‘inside job’.

    “Why if they were to be the world’s greatest strength and control the world did they shoot themselves in the foot to the tune of several trillion dollars? Conduct two wars, one on the basis of a lie (WMD) and piss off all their allies who also put themselves on the line for the “cause”? Why would they weaken themselves financially in such a huge way? To take over the world would require quite a bit of money I would think…why did the USA squander it in two useless wars if it was the grand plan?”

    Hey, what allies? They are all one and the same with the same agenda. Money and lives mean very little when you have such a huge selfish, evil plan. What is your aim, you want it hook or by crook. The zionists are not in need of americans, they just use them as their base. They have the control of the banks and the money. They do not care about the losing dollars.

    “And I guess the biggest question would be who the heck would want to take over the whole world? Yes I know you have said the zionists, but what for? ”

    Because to spread evil and control the people is what they desire, to be away from God. It is not difficult when you have the world under your control. Who would want it? Someone with big ambitions.

    “World dominance is expensive.”
    Not to the people who are obsessed with it.

    “I have to tell you, if the USA raised our taxes to such a level as to even get the plan off the ground do you think Americans are going to sit by and let that happen? How much taxes do you pay? 2.5% zakat perhaps? There is still a lot of wiggle room there for raising taxes for you. In America the taxes are MUCH higher. My husband and I pay 40%+ of our income in taxes. How much more can they take before people will be revolting?”

    We are thinking on our layman terms and how the current situation is. According to them, after they brainwash the people, things are very easy.

    “I don’t know Sarah MD…not to sound cynical but I find it hard to believe that a handful of Jews (comparatively speaking to the rest of the world) will control the world ultimately. I can’t imagine anyone that ambitious, can you?”

    Dear, it is not handful, they are a mighty mighty BIG group spread all over the world. I don’t know if you are follower of bible or Quran but it is predicted in both. I know that we can only think on how we see it now but when we consider wha has been happening all these years and years, we can see a picture emerging.

  497. The comedy never stops. Hilarious!!!

    “We are thinking on our layman terms and how the current situation is. According to them, after they brainwash the people, things are very easy.”

    That was my favorite line…

    Sarah Md, so you talk to them. Can you please introduce me to your invisible friends? I want to be in on this world domination thing. Just a little Wasta for me please..

  498. You may laugh and joke but you are living the reality. It is all around you. But I understand that is it is difficult to grasp. I was like that too. But the more I looked into it (with disbelieve of course), the more I saw a pattern.

    And we have been brainwashed for a looong time. Its time to see the reality.

  499. Sarah MD…

    OK…but just one question…how is it that everyone in the world except the Muslims are brainwashed. How is it that the Muslims have the inside track? Or are they as oblivious as the rest of the world?Just curious…

  500. Sarah MD..

    You do know don’t you, that many non muslims believe the same thing about Muslims taking over the world.

    After all the Muslim majority countries actively discriminate against non Muslims and non Muslims aren’t allowed to grow their numbers and share their faith with Muslims…

    they keep having many babies to increase the Muslim population.

    Terrorists are attacking the West to show their strength and to drain the finances of the West because the West won’t come to it’s senses and see the true light of Islam. Instead, they are going to try to force us “by the sword” to accept Islam if we won’t accept it peacefully.

    Muslims in the West aren’t REALLY a part of the West…they are subversives there to convince the non Muslim people that Muslims are peaceful all the while working behind the scenes to have more and more children and slowly impose Sharia law on the West. After all we (the West) are tolerant and therefore will swallow anything in the name of pluralism.

    That Muslims of the world really want a world wide Caliphate and though it may take a really long time, slowly they are infiltrating the West and will have us outnumbered and therefore outvoted and can vote in Sharia.

    Should I believe that about Muslims?

  501. Sarah,

    I repeat Oby’s words: “After all the Muslim majority countries actively discriminate against non Muslims and non Muslims aren’t allowed to grow their numbers and share their faith with Muslims…”

    This is the heart of the matter. Until Muslims change, there is no reason to respect them or believe that they are nice people.

    You ask why people don’t ask “why”. Good question. Why don’t Muslims ask why about islam? Why don’t they consider the ‘why’ of Islamic societies? Why must they alwways blame everything on others? Why do they have so many abuses and so few human rights? Why do they preach so much hate and violence? Why is the Quran so complicated and contradictory, not to mention confused and full of stupid errors? Why do Muslims love and respect Mohammad, even much more than Allah? Why does the Quran have so many little exceptions just for Mohammed? Isn’t that kind of suspicious?

    Tell me, do you really understand what the ahadeeth say about your dear prophet’s life and actions? Have you read them? Did you notice anything at all? Say, for example, that an American soldier (Joe Smith) attacked Muslims – lied to them, tortured and killed them, plundered their possessions, enslaved men women and children, murdered opponenets, had pregnant women ripped open, let his men rape the captives – Would you say this is ok? Would you say ‘praise be unto him’ after Joe Smith’s name? Would you trust those that follow Joe smith and say he is a great moral example?

    You are intent and serious about discovering a 9-11 cover-up but seem to miss the obvious in front of your nose.

    Just asking…

  502. Oby
    “OK…but just one question…how is it that everyone in the world except the Muslims are brainwashed. How is it that the Muslims have the inside track? Or are they as oblivious as the rest of the world?”

    I do not really understand this question but if you mean why only muslims can see the conspiracy then you have not really viewed the links I cited. Non of them were from or by muslims. And if you mean why Muslims can “see” the conspiracy – well I did not say it was only Muslims who saw, in fact all the info I have on the subject are from Americans themselves. The Muslims I talked to only started looking into it seriously after the information started spreading. Yes they are just as oblivious.

    “You do know don’t you, that many non muslims believe the same thing about Muslims taking over the world.”

    Yes I can understand your point of view.

    “After all the Muslim majority countries actively discriminate against non Muslims and non Muslims aren’t allowed to grow their numbers and share their faith with Muslims”…

    I don’t think this is true. A Muslim is encouraged to spread knowledge as much as he can. Muslims cannot control the growth of non-muslims as they believe that it is in the hands of God.

    “they keep having many babies to increase the Muslim population”.
    Lol, yes they can do this. And non muslims can do this as well. No one can stop that except the gov when they assign 1.2 babies per family or 1.25 babies …etc. not sure how one family can have 1.25 babies. But there is no limit set by Islam.

    “Terrorists are attacking the West to show their strength and to drain the finances of the West because the West won’t come to it’s senses and see the true light of Islam. Instead, they are going to try to force us “by the sword” to accept Islam if we won’t accept it peacefully.”

    This is how the average west see it. Those terroriats are merely puppers and pawns. Do you think that Bin Laden cannot be captured? Those “terrorists” are made to look like Muslims. And Islam is not spread by the sword because “there is no force in the faith”. Islam tells us to only give the word about the religion and spread the knowledge and that is ALL.

    “Muslims in the West aren’t REALLY a part of the West…they are subversives there to convince the non Muslim people that Muslims are peaceful all the while working behind the scenes to have more and more children and slowly impose Sharia law on the West. After all we (the West) are tolerant and therefore will swallow anything in the name of pluralism.”

    Do the people in the west think along this line? Or maybe you are saying this to make me see another point of view. Yes from where you are standing, you can think in this way and if that is true, it is new to me.

    “That Muslims of the world really want a world wide Caliphate and though it may take a really long time, slowly they are infiltrating the West and will have us outnumbered and therefore outvoted and can vote in Sharia.”

    The world wide caliphate is already predicted. Muslims are not planning for that as it is already planned.

    “Should I believe that about Muslims?”
    Yes you can absolutely think this way but where are your evidences and clues for your thinking. I do understand what you are trying to say but if that was true then there needs to be some kind of proofs.

  503. JJ & Oby
    What I am talking about here is not about being Muslim or non muslim or being a saudi or american; I am talking about a group of people who are having an agenda – not against muslims only. You are I and on the same side.

    And JJ, your perception about the Prophet is not accurate. Think for a second about Gitmo and Abu Ghuraib and think how the Prophet handled the situation. Yes we can say peace be upon him.

  504. Sarah,

    Oh yes, Sarah, my perception is very accurate, taken from the most authentic hadith. These are not hard to find, much to the contrary. Not only that, those actions I refer to all all specifically permitted in the Quran.

    What is it, do Muslims just tell each other stories about Mohammed, without actually reading their own sources? Do they skip pages? My guess it is pre-determined blindness based upon the principle that everything Mohammed did was good so that anything that appears to be evil or or difficult is because he was forced to do it by others and so it wasn’t really bad because Mohammed did it and he is a great moral example and eveything he did was good because he is a great moral example and if he did do something or “ugly” it is because we don’t really understand the circumstances because, as the Quran says, he is a great moral example and so everything he did was good and we should not ask about these things because that is unbelief and doubt and the faithful should never question or think.

    Is that it? Is it about the narrative, that is, Muslims saying what the Quran and ahadith say, or what tyhey would like tyhem to say, instead of what they actually say?

    One last thing, think about comparing murder, torture, rape, plunder and slavery with Gitmo and Abu Ghuraib… Are you sure you want to go there? So you think that making a man wear women’s underware is the same as a pregnant woman’s belly being ripped open? You thing that attacking a village at dawn to kill men, take their possessions and then drag crying women and children off in chains to a life of rape and slavery is the moral equavalent of putting someone in a cage for violent acts in time of war?

    Is that what you are saying? Or are you saying that Mohammed’s actions are justified by what happened in Gitmo and Abu Ghuraib?

    No Sarah, we are not on the same side. I stand for justice and freedom. I don’t make excuses for killing, torture, slavery, rape, plunder or anything else. If Americans or Christians do wrong, I have no problem with condeming and/or prosecuting them. You have to be consistant or else all is lost.

    K

  505. Sarah MD…

    Whether it, the zionist plan, happens or not I most likely will not be here to witness it. As for the caliphate…it depends on which side of the fence you stand. For you the caliphate is a slam dunk; a done deal because your Qur’an says so but for many of us that is not the case and of course we don’t believe it is predicted. That is where the trouble will come in…those who are of other faiths will not accept Islam (or any other faith) being forced on them and there will be no peace.

    As for Muslim Majority countries I meant that large numbers of other peoples of other faiths cannot immigrate nor can they share with Muslims their faith whatever that is because it is illegal to prostylitize in any of these countries and you can face a serious fate. But the thing I have always wondered about is if Islam is the true religion why is it against the law to share with Muslims any other sort of faith? There should be no threat that anyone would take it up if Islam is true…so why bother outlawing it? By outlawing it, these countries are not following their own directive in the Qur’an…that there should be no compulsion in religion.
    They, by making this illegal are going against the spirit of the Qur’an. In this sense I feel the West is far more what the Qur’an says…One can share here if one chooses and perhaps that is the point. Maybe it is outlawed because the governments are worried that people might actually convert. Just a thought.

  506. @coolred: You are a brave woman. Are you truly considering returning to KSA? I wouldn’t worry about covering your head. I only cover mine during religious holidays and simply pretend I am deaf when approached by the mattawa. 🙂 So far no problem.
    @dd: I have a wonderful driver. Very dependable. He has left me in various Riyadh locations with the instruction to return in an hour or two and I have never had a problem. I have explored many souks, malls, streets, etc. with only the occassional rebuke from the mattawa that I can’t hear anyway because, remember, I am deaf. ;P

  507. In regards to a mosque near Ground Zero: Hopefully, Muslims and Non-Muslims will learn to live together in peace one day. This will require a certain amount of sensitivity from everyone. While there are no laws preventing the building of a mosque, the more sensitive thing to do in an effort to promote peace and acceptance would be to look for another location.

    @Sarah MD: It is rhetoric like yours that will keep the above sentiment a hope and never a reality.

  508. Regarding my mahrem: God bless him. What would I do without him?

    “Honey, would you bring me a cup of coffee before you go to the supermarket. I’m busy with American Bedu.”

    😉

  509. i just came across this arab news article and was disgusted by it.

    http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article121567.ece

    Some Saudis and a so called Sheikh Salmaan Al Oudah are lobbying Obama to release the rapist and maid abuser Homaidan al Turki who thankfully has been incarcerated for 28 years in Colorado for his crimers.

    Homaidan probably thought that he can get away with raping and abusing his maid in US just like in Saudi, and thankfully justice caught up with him there.

    Now i am concerned that Obama being gullible at times as he is may buy into this Saudi Lobbying, so i suggest people go on this youtube page setup for lobbying and leave their comments.

    Thank you

  510. *If Daisy, Abu Sinan, Sandy or anyone else who wishes to continue threads not specific to the post, go to the debate page. Any comment directed at a person and not the subject of the thread, go to the debate page. *

    I think this is unfair to Daisy, she was being attacked by AbuSinan right from the start and she said nothing in that particular thread which warranted attack.
    I do think when a person is attacked they have the right to defend themselves.

    I regret this constant harping on what Daisy has or may have said on other topics as it wholly destroyed a potentially interesting discussion.

  511. I do agree that it is an interesting discussion…Let’s try to keep it on track each time she is attacked as I think other than the off shoots it is quite an important discussion and as long as everyone doesn’t get too personal then it can continue to flow.

  512. I promise to stay over here if it sidetracks again. I should have moved here once I realized I had answered on the wrong thread. Though I think I’m done.

  513. @Aafke,

    You had BETTER believe I am gonna have a go at Daisy at every opportunity. Not only did she personally attack me and others by using our children, she and the Islamic militants out there are a REAL threat to our nations and our freedoms.

    When she used my son to attack me she made any further interactions between us personal. Just because she doesnt get personal in every post doesnt mean I am EVER going to forget how she tried to use my son in such a manner.

    She CONSTANTLY advocates limiting our removing the rights of Muslims.

    I remember the Aafke who would come on this blog and would defend Muslims and defend Islam. That Aafke wouldnt have liked Daisy at all.

    This new Aafke? I have no idea who she is. She doesnt even resemble the person I talked to on the phone. It is really sad that a couple of personal interactions you had with Muslims caused you to completely change your outlook on Muslims and on Islam.

    If you are able to change your beliefs so quickly, so completely, then I dont think you really have any solid beliefs at all. If you did they could not be so quickly, so completely changed. Your opinion will be decided by whomever you like and are associating with at the moment, decided by whomever has wronged you at the moment. Now you are anti Islam whereas 2 years ago you fought tooth and nail for Islam here. Who knows, you’ll get treated badly by an Atheist…..maybe you’ll be a full on Hindu next?

    Please bring back the old Aafke. This new Aafke sucks.

  514. Test……a lengthy reply to Aafke’s accusations was sent by myself that isnt showing.

  515. Maybe you used too many links.
    I change all the time, or not at all, depends on the point of view. I will defend what i think is right and condemn what I think is wrong. When I was new here I was learning about Islam because I wanted to know what is supported by the ”book” and what isn’t. Because everybody, whatever they do, always claims they are supported by ‘the book”. So when I started out and met a lot of very nice people, especially muslims, I got to learn a lot of nice things about Islam and was very positive about it. It is also the way you put it of course. But you can’t put stuff like ”Men are a degree above women” and ”Women are only half as reliable as men as witnesses” into anything else but a divine message that men are ‘better’ than women which we all know is bs. So something or somebody is wrong there.
    Then I read on, and I came to the evil bits, and even learned that the evil bits obrigate the nice bits because in later times Mohammed had more power and he could do all these evil things unpunished. Moreover, he then claimed all this was a command from God. Something I question the existence of in the first place. The fact that the Quran changes it’s tune as Mohammed gets more power and leeway to follow his nasty desires makes it impossible for me to believe there is anything divine about it at all.
    So yes, naturally, I have changed my opinion.
    And looking around in the real world, and see where the Muslim countries stand in the world as regarding human rights, freedom, ”friendly” relations to others, peace, etc. I am not impressed. I have come to the conclusion that Islam has a very bad influence, that it is inherently unfair and causes evil and suffering.
    Sorry about that.
    Of course if all Muslim countries and political groups would suddenly change, respect women and minorities, and those of other religions, and stop fighting with all and sundry, and stop whining about being ”insulted” at every corner and calling out for death murder and blood of writers, artists, cartoonists, or anybody who dares to speak their minds, if they would give women equal rights, stop enclosing them into swathes of fabric and call it God’s wish and their way to heaven, If they would forbid little girls to be sold like cattle into sexual slavery to 80 year old men, if they would allow women to make their own life, to divorce and keep their children, to have equal shares in inheritance, etc. etc.
    Guess what?
    Then I would change my mind again.

    Meanwhile it is your free right to be pissed with all and sundry and to call them out whenever you plese, but you should do so here, on the debate page.
    Not mess up any chance of meaningful discussion on every thread you find somebody you don’t like.
    Really i don’t gve a s***t about who you like or dislike, but I am getting very tired of you messing up every thread on this blog whenever you have spotted a commentator you don’t like.
    You pursue them, attack them, dragging old cows out of the ditch, try to enlist others in your support, and that’s an end to the discussion on another thread. It also has a really negative effect on the atmosphere, everybody starts getting riled up and stops being amenable.

    I am damned if I am going to look up and link all discussions which you ruined because you decided to go after your pet-dislike of the moment, but you have been doing this for a considerable time now.

    i in return long for the old Abu Sinan with whom one could have a fun and interesting discussion about many subjects.
    So let’s bury the hatchet and be friends.

  516. ” This new Aafke sucks…”

    Boy thats not personal at all!!!

    Uhmmm….moderator?

  517. @Coolred,

    Stop the whinging. We were TOLD to come here to continue the conversation, as it was, from the other thread. The moderator herself said it,so stop moaning. You are a bit old to be crying mommy.

    @Aafke,

    I had typed a lengthy response to your all over the place nonsense but for some reason the computer turned off. Naseeb.

    Anyway, I’ll make it short. You said “bury the hatchet”. No need, I’d have to care to have a hatchet. You said be friends again, but when I look back on it, I dont see in what way we were ever friends anyways, aside from a phone call and a few e-mails. Nothing there.

    I will be here to see where you land when the next wind blows. Good luck.

  518. Abusinan…*personal attack here*…you are an ass. Period.

  519. Oh yeah…forgot to add…the old and new Abusinan sucks. No change there.

  520. Aafke-Art,
    I appreciate and understand the points you are making but I wanted to add a few points from my humble opinion.

    1) Not all Muslims believe in abbrogation. I personally do not, I accept all the verses of the Quran and do nto believe that any cancel any other at all.

    2) Men do not have a degree of rank above me in spiritual terms. Men and women will be judged according to the same yeardstick and the moral qualities of forgiveness, kindness, charity, etcc will stand for good works. Men have a degree in material terms only because they are duty bound to provide for their wives and children and MUST spend their money on their family, If I work i can chose to share my income or not. A man does not have this choice. If I have a child the father must provide our food, clothing and shelter for two years after the birth regardless of divorce or seperation. So he hs more responsability towards his family financially that the woman, hence the verse in question. In the eyes of God a man is not worth more or less than a woman, they are equal.

    3) The female witnesses are only for financial dealings. This is to protect the woman who, if sole witness, and having to testify in court against her own relative or friend, may be vulnerable to coercion or intimidation. It is for the womans protection because money matters bring out the worst in some people (regardless of religion) and is not an indication that she is deficient or lacking in intelligence.

    Also, there is no real truth to the asssertion that Muhammad changed his character or behaviour after he became ruler of Mecca. He continued to attract new converts not out of fear but love and admiration. After the fall of Mecca non-Muslims united with Muslims to defend the city from outer attacks of other tribes in battle. They did this of their own free will and were not forced. The Prophet lived an austere lifestyle and continued to do so after his victories.

    But, i do agree with some of the observations made about Muslim countries in the world today. There are many areas for improvement and items of shame. But these are based only on someone’s idea of Islamic values and are not necessarily a true reflection of how the early Muslims lived.

    I understand your criticisms but I just wanted to say that there are the picture you described above of Islamic development is a classical orientalist argument which glosses over a much deeper reality and ignores several important facts.

  521. I was wondering, what ever happened to Maggie and Inal? I miss their commentary. Also, any news on what happened with the the person whose family was going to host a saudi student’s family indefinitely? How did that pan out?

  522. It would be good to follow the rules of the host blog. I you have a axe to grind with someone do so on your own blog or the blog of the person you wish to target. I don’t remember seeing on this blog any derogatory comment directed at someone’s kids that should provoke needless attacks on a person. If this bad blood is trickling here from someother place (if at all – though that seems highly unlikely) then people should continue with the discussion there.
    People shut down their blogs or make it private because they first write something and then are unable to cope with the criticism they receive. That is fine, but at least don’t ruin someone else’s home by bringing dirt here. It is not easy to open your house to one and all. At least here people voice their opinion without fear of being censored. The least we can do is follow basic blog rules such as no personal attacks.

  523. @Coolred,

    LOL! Take a look in the mirror recently? Speaking of ass…..look at the image.

    Get all offended now I am sure, but you started the ball rolling so dont start crying now.

  524. Don’t think anyone said anything about anyone’s kids here to provoke this kind of backlash. Maybe this bad blood is trickling in here from somewhere else and had has nothing to do with comments on this blog. So then maybe instead of using someone else’s home to do throw dirt on others, people could take this squabble where it initially started – that is to their own house.
    It is not easy to open your house to one and all. Many bloggers have tried and failed and subsequently shut down or made private their blogs because they could not handle criticism or for whatever reason. Let us respect this space and host blog rules by not attacking anyone personally.

  525. Maggie has been very busy getting not only children settled in to school but a child into University too!

    Inal has not been well since her return from holiday and has been in prayers. Your prayers are welcomed too.

    Now in regards to personal conflicts, my own view is ‘hey people…lighten up!’ Forgive and move on, whether it is forgive yourself or forgive the individual who has upset you. There are much better things in life than backbiting.

  526. @Breathing entity.
    It doesn’t matter what you “think”. Daisy did say things about my kids. “this kind of backlash”? Unjustly knocking my kids is the thing I get most upset about.. If that doesn’t bother me, what would? And Carol invited us to speak here, on the Debate Page if we liked.

    @Carol,
    I am a very forgiving person, but not when a person isn’t sorry. And I don’t think explaining the issue, publically to her face, is the same as backbiting.

    I mostly have moved on. Only when I come into contact with her on blogs, and she once again assumes unflattering charactaristics of Saudis- simply because they ARE Saudi am I reminded. And I will never think it is ok to assume negative things about a person based on their nationality.

  527. All personal exchanges, since Carol’s comment have been sent to the trash can. Carol can review and release them if she wishes to.

    This is turning real ugly. I expect everyone to clean it up from now on or find his/her comment at the same place . If any commentator wishes to have a go at anyone, please take it somewhere else.

    Thank you and try to be kind,

    Blog moderator.

  528. Well I cant help but notice not ALL ugly comments were sent to the trash…typical of the moderating on this blog.

  529. Fairplay “blog moderator”. I will remove my comments to Coolred and keep the comments below which address another commenter.

    Thanks.

    @Breathing Entity,

    You may not have kids so you might not be aware of just how terrible it is to have someone attack your children. Anyway, I have forgiven a lot of stuff done to me in my life, some some pretty grave stuff, but I will NEVER forgive anyone who seeks to attack or use my children in any way.

    Daisy has done this more than once to more than one person. If it was a “one off” done out of anger, I could see a little bit of an excuse. The fact that she has done it more than once means it is a part of who she is, it is her character.

    So between her and I it will be personal, always. That is what someone gets when they attack a parent’s child. At that point it becomes some real “Hatfield and McCoy” sh** then.

  530. Coolred,

    You assume there is someone watching this blog 24 hrs a day and seeing every comment as it is written. This feud has been going on for hours now and needs to stop at some point.

    I have to make a decision on where to stop deleting to get the proper effect. That decision was to remove the last exchange between you and Abu Sinan. The 2 comments were removed to stop this negativity.

    I hope you understand that moderating these ugly exchanges is a balance of trying to maintain some civility while not over censoring. We will never get it to the complete satisfaction of everyone, but we can always try to be fair.

    Have a good day.

  531. Ive been unfriended on Facebook…from all the things I have suffered in my life…THAT just might be my tipping over into the deep end point.

    I think I need a support group for that one. 🙂

  532. AB (blog moderator)

    I dont assume anything at all about this blog since it isnt my own. I just dont see an even handed sense of fairplay when it comes to reprimanding some commentors while allowing others to have free reign.

    And no..not speaking specifically of Abu/sinan just now…

    btw…it wasnt a fued…that would indicate a long term vested interest in the eventual outcome. I already know the outcome…despite his best efforts he is still an ***. 🙂

    and becaus the comment in which he calls me an *** in kind is still up there…I feel free to use it again…though will lighten the impact by starring it.

  533. Coolred,

    Seriously, this is not an attempt to reprimand anyone or even having complete just outcome. The aim is to dial it down and may be some better exchanges result,

    I hope this explains it.

  534. We have seen someone plunge into new depths here.
    It’s sad.

    But then who am I?
    I am but another breathing machine….
    Breathing Entity, I assume you are a fellow breathing machine, I like you comment.
    We breathing machines should support each other.

  535. It would seem that Coolred just cannot handle herself. Settle down, it isnt that big of a deal, get a life or something.

    @Aafke,

    Plunge to new depths? I am thinking you are talking about me without coming out and saying it. Sorry, but it means very little to me. You are unstable and all over the place. Defending Islam last year, hating it and attacking it now. Next year, who knows where you will be?

    I dont care either way.

    Sad, I dropped it but the two shrieking harpies cannot leave it alone.

  536. Abu/ser….every single one of your comments boils down too…oh just a bunch of shrieking harpies…or…I bet your screaming into your computer now…or…or…or….

    You seem to imagine that in some fantasy world in which u are a god…that what u say affects me in a very emotional way. I will reply to ur asinine comments…but there is no shrieking…no screaming…no tears….ok maybe a few giggles but thats IT!!

    A girl cant help but find the humor in what men say….they are such funny creatures.

  537. Can someone please explain or direct me to a site that explains the use of Umm+first child’s name and Abu+ first child’s name to determine level of friendship / acquaintance? There was a post here on this, which made me think of the following:

    When you use Umm/ Anu + first name of child, it’s an honor and denotes respect. For lack of a better comparison, I’d liken it to Mr. / Mrs. in English. Or the use of the first name + “vous” in French. Is my assumption then correct, that close friends would not call each other Umm/ Abu . . . but would use a person’s first name?

    Also, what are nicknames in Saudi Arabia usually based on? In some places I lived they seemed to be based on something a person did (preferably something embarrassing), in others it was more to do with a physical attribute. So it would be interesting to know how this works in KSA, broadly speaking of course.

    The more I read here, the more it makes me think that KSA really is one big, gigantic family, that decides who can do what. If you’re in, it really works, if not, you really feel left out. I’m not very coherent today. What I meant to say is, you can see the close-knit element, going back to the tribal society aspect. For some people that works, for others it doesn’t. Same way for some people the mentality in Northern Europe is preferable to the Mediterranean and vice versa.

    Thanks in advance.

  538. Sandy, I have no idea what you are talking about and why you took my comments personally. My comments were in general, and definitely not targeted at you. I have no knowledge of what transpired between you and anyone else. So as i said it was not directed at you.

    We all have our own sensitivities. Some people may think that an attack on their children is unforgivable, But to another person, an attack on their faith is the most unforgivable thing. Yet for someone else, belittling and downgrading them to sub human level and call them breathing machines maybe the most unforgivable act. What riles one person maybe shrugged off by another.
    If everyone were to go after one another for what they believe is unforgivable then what will be the state of this blog? It will be reduced to a petty marketplace with every one shouting on top of each other’s voice. Or is that what some people would like to see happen?
    So the best is to follow blog rules and take the squabbles elsewhere.

  539. @Breathing Entity. I was on another thread. I was asked, by Carol to come here- so here is where I came. I am not “going after” anyone. But I am stating what my issue is. And the reason I took your comment personally is because you said you didn’t think anyone had said things about others children. Well, the only people saying that were me and Abu Sinan. And just for the record- I remember the remarks pertaining to his children as well- I know it happened.

    At any rate, if anyone feels attacked unjustly- I believe they are allowed to address it. If it is off-topic, then on this thread that Carol has so graciously set up for us.

  540. Hope ya’all like my Halloween Shrieking Harpy avatar :mrgreen:
    Click my link for my latest Wicked Cartoon.

  541. You look maaa-va-lous Aafke!

  542. Thank you Sandy 😳

  543. @Sandy,

    Thanks. It wasnt like I go around looking for a grudge.

    @Breathing Entity,

    Insulting my religion isnt a big deal. It has been around 1,400 years, if some idiot wants to insult it, fine.

    Attacking someone’s children is much worse. Children are innocent and cannot protect themselves. In this case my son, at the time, was 4 and he Autism. Using a 4 year old boy with Autism to attack his father, it doesnt get much lower than that.

    @Coolred,

    You fancy yourself a bit too much if you think I would yell at anything or get anyways worked up over you. I might type some words here, but rest assured what you say or do in no way has any impact on me outside of this forum.

    As to men, lol, I dont think you like us much for a variety of reasons.

    }:>)

  544. @Coolred,

    LOL, I just caught the Abu/ser comment. You know, I came from a situation that was very similar to the one in which you and your kids are in. Throwing around an accusation like “abuser” just shows again how much out of line you are, that you’d make light of children and situations where children are sexual, physcially and mentally abused.

    As the victim of such abuse the fact that you could point that term at me without a clue just shows me what a looser you are.

    Amazing when the victims of abuse ended up getting called and abuser. You are little different than Daisy.

  545. Actually Abusinan..I didnt do that on purpose…just a typo that I didnt notice until you pointed it out. Believe me or not…there it is.

    I do NOT make fun of abuse…period. I apologize for the typo…but nothing else.

  546. Perhaps it is time someone sees a therapist about his paranoid delusions of persecution?

  547. I might also add. ABUSINAN…that you made an awful big assumption based on one little word…talk about jumping on a high horse. I would like you to show one instance in which I even came close to making fun of anyone much less abused people/children. Seriously dude…your assumptions are worthy of a good head scratch and a heartfelt hmmmmm?

    What sort of mother would I be if I actually thought it ok to make fun of abused children? That is just a sick assumption to make about anyone much less a mother of abused children…not to mention one myself.

  548. It must be a full moon out tonight. All the witches are here. }:>) All in the spirit of Halloween and all!

  549. You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  550. I appreciate the debate page being used for issues and subjects not related to blog posts. However I am saddened that individuals want to rehash grudges and grievances instead of move on. Think about it…what would the Prophet (PBUH) have done? What would Jesus have done? This bickering and finger pointing is coming across like a lot of work of shaytan (Satan) to me.

  551. Funny thing is the main protagonist is MIA !! He He!

  552. What would a witch have done?
    :mrgreen:
    What would a witch do? 😈 I mean, what with halloween and all..
    The veils between the worlds are at their thinnest…
    Quite inspiring…

  553. Daisy, why did you come under another name? Is it because you feel you will get better treatment or better understanding or the people you are commincating with? Interesting…

    All shaitans are out .. (Referring to the holloween)

  554. Aafke, that cartoon is very funny! I like it. Its not just the humor but the details in the picture!

  555. Sarah, Sarah, Sarah, No, no, no. You really need to read up on your own history. The story of Islam and its prophet is one battle after another. It was raid after raid after raid, with battles in between. All of the 26+ raids which Mohammed personally led were attacks on others as well as the 44+ other he sent out but did not go himself. Of the dozen or so battles, on 2 were in self-defense (near his home, that is). After capturing Mecca, the violence and wars did not end, much to the contrary. There is no other way to read the the traditions or early biographies (Tabari, Hisham, Kathir, etc). Your prophet was a warlord, but with a religion to back him, up. Certainly he was a smart man, creative, eloquent, a good tactician, a very able leader and I think he also had a sense of humor. Last of all, he didn’t care much for money or possessions but liked women a lot, but not as much as power. When reading the hadith it is clear that as Mohammad grew older and more powerful be became much more intolerant and belligerent. That in a nutshell is the life of your prophet, as I read it.

    Once again, it would be nice if Muslims, particularly those that claim the words ‘moderate’ and ‘peaceful’ would be honest about these things. It matters! It matters a lot and I’ll tell you why. 1. Because the radicals use these things to prove Muslims are supposed to attack non-Muslims. 2. because there is a moral element that makes all so-called moderates very suspect. It Muslims cannot be honest about very clear things in their own writings, why should we believe anything they say? If they will not recognize the violence in Islam, how will they prevent it?

    You can’t say “there is no truth to…” when there is obviously a lot of truth. Just because you don’t want it to be that way doesn’t mean it isn’t. This is just another case of Muslims ignoring the obvious.

    Sarah, like it or not your attitude is that makes things like the church massacre in Iraq this weekend possible. Dozens were killed by Muslim fanatics because Muslims don’t want to talk about the inherent violence in the Quran, hadith and sunnah. Well, its not going away because Muslims pretend the monster is not in the room when it is there right beside you, almost in your lap.

    Here are two quotes from news articles on this tragedy:
    1. Mona Abdullah Hadad, 62, was in church with her family when the gunmen started shooting. “They said, ‘We will go to paradise if we kill you and you will go to hell’,” she said. “We stood beside the wall and they started shooting at the young people. I asked them to kill me and let my grandson live, but they shot him dead and they shot me in the back.”
    2. “The Mujahideens raided a filthy nest of the nests of polytheism, which has been long taken by the Christians of Iraq as a headquarter for a war against the religion of Islam and they were able by the grace of God and His glory to capture those were gathered in and to take full control of all its entrances,” the group said on a website, according to CNN.

    As horrible as it is, it is not different from hundreds of other bombings done by Muslims in weddings, mosques, hospitals, hotels, buses, trains, market and street corners. The fact that they were Christians is just a small matter – because these people don’t need much of an excuse to do evil. They kill Muslims and non-Muslims alike because they see it as Islamic and permitted. This blindness is made possible to the ambiguity and lack of clarify in Islam and its theology. It is made possible by silly statements like that you made above.

    Worse yet, Muslim don’t want to see. I have been looking for a generalized outrage about this horrible thing in Muslim sites – so far, very little, almost nada. So in the last week we have had bombs on planes, people trying to blow-up subways, bombs in streets and now cold-blooded murder of men women and children in a church – and and…

    Now compare these to the outrage about burning a few pieces of paper, or not wearing a scarf or drawing a silly cartoon that really doesn’t look like anybody. Or what is if a bunch of Christians fundies had attacked a mosque in the US? Can you imagine the outrage?

    Sarah, do you understand what I am saying? These is something very sick here that reaches beyond the radicals into the very heart of the so-called peaceful, moderate Muslims. This sickness blinds them to that things that should be simple and obvious. In some way, don’t ask me how – Muslims have exempted Islam from all moral scrutiny or logical analysis. They exempt Islam, its teaching, the actions of Mohammed and even their own actions from the principles they demand from others. Just like you, Muslims don’t want to think about these things.

    Let me put it in these terms, since Mohammad sent his men to attack a mosque full of women and children, on what basis can Muslims condemn an attack on a church?

    I hope you understand this issue. I know it is hard for you because it requires that Muslims think the unthinkable, accept the unacceptable, it means going against everything you know and believe. Or you can just go on telling yourself and others that these evil have nothing to do with the ‘real’ Islam and that the message of Islam and its prophet is all about peace and love for others.

    I have been down this road before, Sarah, and it is very lonely. You take care.

    A fine mess this is, Watson.

  556. here if the article…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101101/wl_afp/iraqunrest_20101101061108

    “The Mujahedeens raided a filthy nest of the nests of polytheism, which has been long taken by the Christians of Iraq as a headquarter for a war against the religion of Islam and they were able by the grace of God and His glory to capture those were gathered in and to take full control of all its entrances,”

    They were after two wives of coptic priests who had supposedly converted to Islam and had been hidden away in a monastery.

    First, lets say that the women did convert and the story is true…is it worth killing all those people for two women who were still MARRIED to their husbands? Wouldn’t that be a private issue between the husband and wife? Or is it because a non Muslim man has no right to be married to muslim woman and once she converts she becomes the property of the Ummah? supposedly they say they have not converted…but even if they did it is stuff like this craziness that cause he world to regard Islam with suspicion. Not everyone is on a blog talking and learning. They see this insanity and figure it applies to the whole faith! Is it a wonder there are problems?

  557. What did these poor Christians do? Worship in their church? One of the best friends I ever had was an Iraqi Christian…it breaks my heart that this comes to people simply trying to worship…this is one of the reasons it bothers non Muslims so much when they hear “racism” over the most minor things and they see how the countries close ranks on those not Muslim…

  558. @oby

    That is horrendous. Not enough for them to have Muslim-on-Muslim violence but also target the miniscule Christian population too?. I know this sort of tension is increasing in Egypt as well which has 10% of its population as Coptics and who are officially discriminated at by their government. Patterns indicate that there won’t be too much outrgage in the Middle East over the church bombing because it’s *Musims killing non-Muslims. If it was the other way around, woe-betide!

    *To be fair, the Middle Eastern street doesn’t seem to care much either when Muslims kill other Muslims. Only when non-Muslims even just slightly offend the sensibilities of Muslims do the protestors come storming out to the street.

  559. yes it is funny how that works…for me killing is killing no matter religion…but it does seem that when Muslims do it to either Muslims or non it is not a big deal…only when non Mulims do it to muslims does it become offensive. Not sure why they view it so selectively. As if their killing is OK but any one who dare to do it the other way is an invader, horrible, against Muslims and Islam etc. I think when everything is wrapped in religion then anything that one does seems like an offense to that religion even when it is nothing offensive. For example…if a person who were a non muslim, let’s say Christian, were going to kill a muslim and I was in a position to stop it and had to kill the Christian to stop them…their religion would play ZERO role for me in whether I killed them or not to save the Muslim…it would be one human about to hurt another and for me religion is not the determining factor. I view it from a humanistic point of view…I am not confident that if the situation were reversed…a muslim having to kill another Muslim to save a non muslim …that they would do the same for me. Because for Muslims religion is everything it seems and might trump the fact that I was in danger. It might be more important to save a bad Muslim from harm than a good non muslim from harm…I would hope not but it seems like that, sadly.

  560. Why do so many think the world is headed for its ultimate destruction? Why not hope that the world is going to get better throughout history and live accordingly? If I wanted a doom and gloom scenario, I’d watch bad Sci-Fi movies. That’s what so many are about….

    The truth is that murder, rapes, robberies, prostitution, cheating, exploitation of others, and other immoral and/or unethical acts have been going on for a very long time. Just because they get more publicity now doesn’t mean that there is more crime than before. If anything, I’d like to think that there is less crime than before because more people are aware of it, societies have evolved, and more preventive measures are taken.

    ….k…just needed to vent…but seriously…why????

  561. @StrangeOne,

    There is a very important reason for concern. Religious based wars have been with us for thousands of years. All religions participated in killing others equally. The issue we face today is increased effectiveness of weapons and the global reach.

    Theocracies with apocalyptic view of the world not only have weapons that can kill people by the thousands, they also have weapons of mass destruction and some are pursuing Nuclear bombs.

    Having such power in the hands of people that think they are on a mission that is justified and with no way to loose, because their specific version of a God is supporting them, should give everyone concern.

  562. Jay, what you said is totally wrong and I could see your bias against Arabs and Muslims in every word you said. I know MY people and I know how disgusted they are with the kind of crimes that al-Qaeda and other terrorists do against innocents and civilians. The number of Muslims they killed is far more than the number of non-Muslims and this is enough for them to consider them as enemies who should be fought relentlessly. I do not think you have the right to accuse others and preach them when your side is involved in horrible crimes that were not condemned or cared for by anyone.

    You see this is the difference between my people and yours. We always condemn our terrorists but I never saw any of you having the courage to condemn your terrorists. Your former leadership tolerated many awful crimes in Iraq and covered them up. This was known to the whole world and no one of your people cared. If they knew that their president hid the raping of an American woman done by his secret service, you all would revolt the next day and ask for his resignation and prosecution for treason against your country, however, when your leaders hid their crimes against us, this was tolerated by all of you and no one of you cared because we are nothing to you all. We are cheaper than dirt. According to you, we do not have any rights.

    And after all of this, you come here and accuse us like this? I recommend you to atone for your own sins and then you might have the right to preach others about righteousness.

  563. Jay, Thank you for taking the time to reply to a comment addressed to someone else but I have to say that I am not convinced by your arguments. I have a previous experience where you misquoted a hadith and implied a context which was not correct so I do not agree with your analysis of my religion or the miilions of members of it.

    You tar all Muslims with the same brush. You assign assumptions to millions of the world’s population with little fact and great prejudice. Muslims dont care of non-Muslims are killed in violence? What an absurd and offensive generalisation.

    If you want to persuade me of the soundness of your argument and your main point that Islam is inherently violent in its doctrine then you must do so from a factual and objective viewpoint. Your general dislike of Muslims and gross misrepresentation of Islam has not convinced me that your points on this issue are accurate.

    I am sure that in the History of Christianity I can also find violent dogma and teachings as well as racism and mysogyny. So I am not sure that your ‘moral scrutiny’ is reliable or valid.

    I can relate more to the manner in which MoQ argues his point. He sticks to factual analysis. I do not always agree with his opinion and I certainly feel that we view the issues in different lights but I do not get a sense that he is any kind of bigot. Unfortunately, I think you are several centuries too late for the Crusades but good luck to you in removing the world of the ‘sickness’ which you consider Islam to be.

  564. Samer, I am biased against Muslims. If an Arab is not a Muslim (there are a few) I give him/her a clean pass on that one. I don’t care if you are black, white, red, green, blue, young or old, male or female, if you are a Muslim and older than, say, 12 or so, I have a problem with you and your beliefs. I might cut some you some slack if I think you are ignorant or unable to exercise freedom of choice. That is my position. I believe that adult Muslims have a serious moral deficit. Period.

    And you you know why I say this? Because I have taken the time to read the Quran, ahadeeth and many of your historical books. I am no genius but think I am old enough and smart enough to understand what is written in those books. I am also well informed of current events, and so many of the the tragic events I see can be directly linked to passages in Islam’s writings. Oh yes, I have found that in discussions of this type I have an advantage because, as mentioned, I have actually taken time to read things (it is an old habit that has proven useful). Not only that, Muslims have been very kind to me by putting most of that stuff online so I can link to it. I really really appreciate it (I just wish all 30+ some volumes of Tabari were online, although Googlebooks does have parts available. Have you ever read Tabari?).

    If you want to continue this, I will ask you to be more specific as to what crimes you condemn. Or tell me exactly what crime you want condemned and I will consider it. If I think it is evil I will say so. Is that fair? Of course I will give you names and events and likewise ask you to judge those involved. Fair?

    As to rights… Samer I want you to have the same rights that I do, no more no less. I want Muslims to have the same rights and freedoms that non-Muslims do. Now here comes the tricky part… I want non-Muslims to have the same rights as Muslims, specially where they dominate. Do you have a problem with that? Do you want the right not to be offended? So do I, but I am offended by verses in the Quran that say that I am lower than an animal. Now what? There are a lot of things about Islam that offend me — and would probably offend you if you weren’t Muslim. Now what?

    Samer, I don’t think I am any better than you except for one small thing: honesty – I think the same standards should apply to all and I don’t make excuses for anybody including myself.

    As to my own sins, they are many…. drink, stealing, watched porn, lies, speeding, pinching a few butts that I shouldn’t have, voting for idiot shameless politicians, hitting my wonderful wife a few times (a long time ago). Yes, I have done bad things and some of them I regret, a lot. Some, not at all.

    If you want righteousness, don’t come to me – but also don’t pretend that others deserve it when they don’t.

  565. Well said Jay.

  566. Sandy,
    I am not defending human rights abuses, I am defending a culture. Sometimes, they overlap and in that case, I would be for correcting the human rights abuses first. However, culture is something that if changed drastically, may result in a worse scenario than what is currently happening. This is my view.

    The topic we were commenting on was about if people on here are too harsh on KSA, and I was trying to stay on topic. There are other topics I may comment differently on.

    You know absolutely nothing about my relationship, me or my love so please don’t assume things. He’s not the only guy in the world and I am well aware of that. I could have another quality boyfriend tomorrow if I decided that was what I wanted. I’ve got plenty of options, believe me. I just happen to like this one quite a bit as I mentioned. I have no idea where I’ll be living a month or two from now, let alone how I’ll feel about living there or where I’ll live after that. Like I said, I am an optimist, so maybe it’s “polyanna glasses” with a slight twist.

    I prefer peaceful discussions and avoiding conflicts if at all possible. I am good at debating if I need to, just prefer a more casual conversation.

    I am no such kind of woman that you described. Do not use the “either or” fallacy. People are not “either or ” cases. When bad things happen to me, I mourn whatever I’ve lost, pick myself up and move on. I don’t give up easily and am willing to fight for what is important to me if it’s truly that important to me. I’ve done it before and I can do it again.

    “There are many criticisms I could make about the US but they are not relevant at all to this discussion about Saudi Arabia.” There are many criticsims about KSA that could be made, but rather than discuss them individually, I was trying to stay on topic. I deliberately avoided saying that you all were too harsh on the laws and government system in KSA; I just said that you were too harsh on its people and culture.

    I am not trying to discuss other perspectives on abuse, I was trying to discuss better ways to prevent people abusing the system. Short term solutions are important, but a long term solution is more important and there are multiple way to go about it. Rather than be upset about it, do things to change it.

    I guess you are free to think what you want of my character. Although I would like you to understand who I am so you understand where I am coming from and why I say what I say, I do not think it is easy for you to understand things that are different from what you are used to. I am sorry it is this way, and I am sorry I can’t explain in such a way to help you understand who I am, but I really tried.

  567. Who said laws and government were off topic? The topic was are we too harsh on Saudi Arabia. My response was no, we are not in terms of the laws. That is completely on-topic, and you wanted to avoid it.

    ” I do not think it is easy for you to understand things that are different from what you are used to.” -and interesting observation on your part. I am one of the few people that has been able to adapt to Saudi culture, and that is what you think?

  568. Sandy,
    I didn’t say they were off topic. I just felt others had commented enough on them. I did comment on them some, too.

    I apologise for jumping to conclusions then. I am aware that many have a hard time adjusting to other cultures and am happy for you that you don’t seem to have this problem.

  569. @StrangeOne. There is no need to apologize. It was your opinion based, I’m sure on my total focus and lack of tolerance for the situation of women here.

  570. Sandy,
    I don’t know if you have time for it or not, but have you thought about starting your own website and/or blog related to the situation of women in KSA? It seems very important to you and if it’s this important to you, then why not help your voice be heard more? You write on here (and I imagine other sites as well) as a regular. Why not start your own? IDK. Just a thought…

  571. @StrangeOne,

    I just want to give you a perspective on cultural change in Saudi.

    Saudi went through major changes, where a great majority of the people of the desert moved to large cities. The issue is not cultural change, it is adapting to new style of living. What happened in Saudi is that the religious clerics have artificially inserted themselves into managing the culture. Thus not allowing the culture too adapt to the changes required to live a 20th (now 21st) century life style .

    There is also a movement supported by the clerics called Salafism, which reverts back to the life style of the prophet and his followers (i.e. a life style suited for 1400 years in the past). Trying to adapt that to days living has been an issue for Saudis.

    Further, the people of the coastal regions like Hijaz and Hassa, who were adjusted to urban living and were more liberal, were also forced to adapt to the conservative rules of central Saudi.

    The cultural issue for Saudi is not about adapting to change, it is about the clerics doing social engineering by controlling change and slowing progress. I hope you read up on this topic so you understand the issue clearly.

  572. MoQ – Great points to make.

    This is the debate page after all so folks can speak on a multitude of issues (civilized please) whether on or off topic.

  573. Moq…

    Please don’t forget the aspect of Saudi spending billions of dollars to export this salafism to all reaches of the world whereever Muslims may be and how it is starting to polarize people in other cultures that up to this point for the most part, had no issues with adapting Islam to the modern day. We are now seeing cultures like Indonesia and Malaysia that traditionally had an easy going relationship not only among themselves as Muslims but with their non Muslim neighbors become more intolerant. Places like Aceh indonesia that for centuries has not had issues with their practice of Islam has adapted salafi sharia and it is causing lots of problems among the once easy going Indonesians. Read the article…it is eyeopening. For example in Indonesia where sharia has NOT taken hold the head scarf is common and recommended but not required by law. In Aceh it is the law and punishable if one does not comply.

    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/shariah-in-aceh-eroding-indonesias-secular-freedoms/391672

    Not only that but it is spreading to places in the west where 7th century Arab culture is foreign and doesn’t belong!…and causing problems. It has no place in a secular world and yet it and it’s practice is being foisted on westerners and friction is the result because people don’t want ancient tribalism in their modern world.What th heck is a culture that existed in KSA 1400 years ago doing in a modern secular world and a non Islamic one at that? I don’t think that most people have issues with mainstream islam…but this fundamentalism is a problem…even Muslims are having issues with it.

  574. Well Said Oby,

    No one has a problem with groups who want to live a simple life from the past. A good example is the Amish in the US, who exist peacefully among others who choose to live a modern life.

    The problem here is a group that insists on exporting it to others and in the case of Saudi force it on the people that live there. Force often comes with violence and imprisonment of anyone who does not comply with their rules. Until the Saudi government takes a strong stand against the control of reverts to the dark ages, the issues of Saudi will not be resolved.

  575. Sandy, *based, I’m sure on my total focus and lack of tolerance for the situation of women here.*
    Snort!
    :mrgreen:
    I for one am glad you take the trouble to comment here, where your voice is heard by many, your comments are always wise and caring as well as founded on real experience and insight.

    Oooh, Moq, I think you nailed it here!!!!
    It is very important to realize that the current ”culture” of Saudi Arabia is not a natural or even indigenous to the whole country!!!
    Saudis current ”culture” is artificial, it is not indigenous, It is social engineering it is forced on the people of Saudi Arabia, original cultures of the Eastern province and Hijaz have been destroyed and replaced by this artificial engineered suppressive fake culture.

    Your comment is brilliant. I did realize this, I knew how the government and religious authorities changed and indoctrinated the original cultures in Saudi Arabia, but you made it clear in my head!

  576. @Oby, From another page, you asked

    “Considering that the USA is selling KSA Arms, does that mean we will get pulled into yet another war? They being allies and all…*sigh*”

    I think if royals begin to fight over power, the US can take one of a few positions:

    1) throw their weight behind one of the parties. This may settle things fast, but may have longer term consequences as middling in the country.
    2) Take over parts or all of the country and start a nation building program similar to Iraq. Again this will have even more long term consequences like #1
    3) Deploy troops to protect oil resources and industrial areas until the dust settles. The US has the capability to do that quickly with its current bases in the region, Qatar, Iraq, etc.

    I think all the scenarios have applicability, depending on who is president and the regional dynamics of the time. If the US thinks there is an eminent threat that a religious government may emerge, if no serious action is taken they may chose one of the top 2 options. However, I think the third option is the most likely and wisest option. I also think the US has been preparing for such scenario for a long time.

  577. MoQ, You touch on something important. If a power struggle DOES break out, almost certainly one of the contenders would align themselves with the religious faction. It’s a quick way to many supporters, and the endorsement of the almighty himself. THey don’t even need to be sincere to do it.

  578. Sandy…

    I can’t envision a scenario where the USA aligns itself with the religious side…there by earning themselves powerful enemies within the Muslim world.

    I think that the USA should not engage in ANY fighting,take sides or have anything to do with it except perhaps as Moq said to guard the oil and have ONLY a defensive role around that perimeter. The LAST thing the USA should do IMO is be seen as offensive occupiers…even then, I am not so sure we would protect the oil…that is what has caused so many wars to begin with. Maybe the USA can find another role without actually being there. I think that would endanger the USA immeasurably. But I am no military strategist.

  579. The US is aligned with the religious side now….
    I agree the US should stay out. But practically speaking they won’t because of the oil. And so they will probably become embroiled because you can’t guard the oil and stay neutral. Cause you’re not neutral when your only for people who will sell you the oil.

  580. “The US is aligned with the religious side now….”

    Ok…then I am totally lost because I thought that they were cozy with the monarchy…

    I see this as a MAJOR problem. Personally I think the better solution to that would be to spend what ever money will be spent on a war on developing alternative sources of energy and keep our nose OUT of the fight. If it happens at least the USA won’t be labeled occupiers, lives will be saved, we won’t further inflame Muslims who think we are out to destroy Islam. Let people work out problems for themselves without the USA sticking their nose into it. Isn’t that what inflamed bin laden…that KSA let us use their airspace and regroup on saudi soil? I mean are Americans jsut compltely stupid?

  581. The monarchy is cozy with the religious folk. It’s a power sharing arrangement from the beginning.

  582. Kitty…

    I would disagree with you about Oprah…I don’t think she is loathed by a large majority in USA. I think she is LOVED by many if not most…especially women and including me! I think she is great and brings up good topics and isn’t afraid to talk about things that should be talked about. And I agree that Jerry Springer is a laothsome character and she isn’t even in the same galaxy…I was using the two of them as a comparison to say that it is reality TV. Oprah is loved very true, but she still does topics that are sensational in their own way…but that doesn’t mean that it applies to the majority of Americans…some do but many don’t.

    You said that Americans have open relationships and invite people in and the spouses agree to it or don’t care. That they are not moral or upstanding and your response said it was a majority… That statement is utterly and absolutely false not to mention offensive precisely because it isn’t true…if it was I would be the first to say it is…are there those people in the USA and the WEST..heck yes! Is it a majority? Heck NO! I know of two, only two… marriages where the spouse cheated on the other. In both cases it was the woman who did the cheating. One woman did it one time only…not with one man for a long time but one instance of cheating and felt so desperately guilty and unhappy she never ever did it again. Now I agree that she shouldn’t have done it at all, BUT if she was a moral whore she would have not cared and had little problems with it. the other was having severe problems with her marriage and the man was treating her very badly in terms of communication and her feelings (he did not cheat)…she left him intending to file for divorce. She became involved with a friend and became pregnant. Her husband found out and asked her not to have an abortion and he realized that he loved her deeply and wanted his family back. They already had a daughter together. They worked it out and the baby was born he adopted it and loves that child as if were from his won flesh and blood…after that they had twins together. When I last talked to this woman she told me that what they went through together was the best thing that could ever happened to them because it woke her husband up and he realized how close he came to losing his family. She says that things are fantastic now and he is a changed man. They are one of the happiest families I know. Very tight, very together. Both thee women cheated because they were desperately unhappy in their marriages and each of them worked it out with their spouses although with two very different outcomes. Now I know that that is unimaginable for a man to forgive a woman something like that is saudi, But it can end well as it did for this family. Beyond that there is no one I know that cheats on his her spouse and certainly not into swinging!

    As for facts, KSA can’t give facts as to their bad behavior because they don’t keep facts. The USA does. Maybe that is the difference…we know there is bad behavior and we don’t try to hide it.

    As for “swinging” which is the term used to bring in other couples into a relationship by consenting adults,
    the stats that I could find are this:

    “Estimates of the prevalence of swinging amongst U.S. couples range from 0.5% [18] to 2% [13]. This is roughly consistent with McGinley’s total estimate of 3,000,000”

    HARDLY the majority that you were indicating. And even then, although I don’t agree with it, the people are OK with it themselves.

  583. Kitty again…

    As far as my agreeing with Aafke…to be honest I don’t remember that exchange between you and she, but if she is right about something I will agree with her. She is right that you have got your facts wrong about your statement about westerners. I didn’t say you were an awful person because i don’t know you… what I am finding a bit unsettling, however, is that the way you express yourself. It seems as if English is your mother tongue (if not congrats you are great at it!). That being the case you most likely come form a Western country and should have a better grasp on the situation. It feels and sounds as if you are letting your relationship with a Saudi color your thoughts and as if you are coming from a Saudi POV. I don’t know if you are a convert but if so it feels to me that you have gone too far in the other direction away from your western roots to compensate for your Saudi involvement.

    If I have missed my mark about your being a Westerner my apologies.

  584. Sarah md, About hijab, I haven’t heard about any country forbidding it, only niqab which makes non-entities of women, and is also a security risk. I may remind you that many Muslim countries also forbid the ancient Jewish custom of hiding women’s faces.

    And what is your problem with gay marriages? Why shouldn’t people marry if the love one another? And if god made them in such a way that they love a same sex person why shouldn’t the be allowed to marry that same sex person?

    I rally don’t care if people are neurotic and think their hair is a sexual object and they need to to hide it from view, what I care about is when other people who have a personal agenda make up stuff which isn’ t even in their holy book and tell little children they will go to hell if they don’t cover their hair because hair is genetalial.

    As far as I am concerned I don’t care if adults choose to live in a polygamous marriage out of their own free will.
    And that includes getting out of that marriage, or if one of the women doesn’t get enough sex or lacks attention then she should be able to add another partner to her part of the bargain.
    And that means that any woman could decide to be in a polyandrious marriage if she finds a couple of men who are willing.

    I really do not care what adult people choose to do as long as they don’t bother other people.

    What I do care about is when the freedom of choice is taken away, and especially when small children are forced against their will.
    I also object to women being sold as cattle.
    I also object to women being branded as incapable morons and treated as such.
    I object to women being denied a meaningful existence.
    I object to women being denied to decide for themselves what they want to to with their lives.

    In Saudi Arabia all these things are being done to women. In effect they have been made into slaves.
    Now it may work out for you, you may have a kind master who allows you stuff and luxuries, and for you these luxuries might be more important than freedom and being regarded as sentient and independent, but that is your personal preference, that counts only for you yourself, that gives you no right to defend a system which routinely strips human rights from 50% of humanity, against their will.

  585. Susanne,
    Medina cannot know what saudi women think, because he is not allowed to talk to any woman in Saudi Arabia except his most immediate family members not eligeble for marriage. That means he can’t even talk to his cousins. So his purported ”knowledge” of Saudi women is extremely limited, and confined to the women who are under his control and power.
    So basically he has no idea at all what Saudi women think.

    The nice Saudi men I know want this injustice to women to stop.
    They want women to be treated as adults, they don’t want to be in a polygamous marriage, nor do they want any woman to be in a polygamous marriage.
    They want women to be educated and to be full free citizens.
    They want women to work, have their own money and drive cars!

    Medina, No woman needs ”securing” unless she is of feeble mind which most really are not.
    What a woman needs is a proper education, a driving license, and independent economical means. What women need is to be regarded as the fully sentient intelligent human beings they really are.
    An important extra to a woman’s education would be martial art classes so she can beat up men.

    Give a woman these things and she can protect herself one hundred times better than how they are ”protected” now in Saudi Arabia.

  586. Kitty/Sarah MD/whoever…if Americans were busy having all that swinging adulterous mistress related sex your going on about…I dare say there wouldnt be much time to do anything else.

    For your info…Americans work on the average of 60-80 hours a week…some at more than one job…then work at home raising families or doing whatever else they need to do. Polls show over and over that sex is rather down on the list of things they’d rather be doing or have time for or or or…in other words Americans are too damn tired to be having any sex much less ALL that sex you seem to think we are having.

    But I will keep my eyes open for swingers here in Wyo…sounds interesting…I had to look up the word and see what it meant…just curious…did YOU have to look up the word? LOL

  587. Sodomy, an english word describing homosexuality, comes from the ancient town ‘sodom’. To religious believers, this town earned the wrath of the creator due to their strange act that was never before documented. In arabic and to muslims, it is called Lowat, in reference to LUT the prophet ( i think you may know him as Luthar) who tried to spread the word of God amongst those people but failed. Any religious person would never want to propagate such behaviour that is against religion.
    So even though homosexuality actions ARE a reality in ALL countries, yet they are not accepted legally or socially by basic religious standards.

  588. Lut is known as “Lot”

  589. @Sandy,

    regarding you comment found here
    http://americanbedu.com/2010/11/19/saudi-arabia-why-is-the-west-viewed-as-so-immoral/#comment-52982

    1) The interpretation by Ibn Kathir regarding the Jews (earned the anger) and Christians (are led astray) in the Fatha is not just reliant on Hadith, whih on its own can be strong enough. It is also reliant on those same words being used in reference to Jews and Christians in other places in the Quran. Those other references name Jews and Christians with the same words attached and more detailed cursing. As an Example refer to Surah Al Maida verses 59-80.

    2) Most Muslims who want to be educated about the religion know of these facts. The idea that ignorance makes these things go away is not a very logical argument. The ugliness of intolerance is always there. All it takes is a slick scholar in one of the Satellite shows to give the ignorant access to it.

    I know you want what you call your religion to be peaceful, tolerant, just and compassionate, but you have to ignore the Quran and all its hostile verses (not just the Hadith or scholarly works) to make that argument stick. I do not think you are prepared to do that.

  590. No I don’t have to ignore those things. They were written in a specific context addressing specific events. I grew up reading the Bible. I never thought all those stories as literal examples of what I was to do either. Of course for Muslims who still strive to, or actually do live in the 7th century (not really but that culture) they see it differently.

    Point 2_ I”m not saying ignorance makes it go away. I’m saying I don’t believe most Muslims are refering to Christians and Jews in their prayers. Many critics here have claimed that it isn’t necessarily what Islam says- but what Muslims do. So that should work both ways for them.

    But yes, they are susceptable to being “enlightedned” in an unhealthy manner.

  591. @Sandy,

    on #1, oh yes the famous context argument that explains all that hate in the Quran as based on wars of the time. I guess you missed verse 64 about the Jews, where it refers of enmity and hatred until the day of judgement.

    on #2, you know that I always said here that people of all religions are kind despite their religions. So in a way ignorance of the religions makes people more tolerant. My argument is Abrahamic religions, which include Islam, are inherently intolerant of others. The fact that people are ignorant or chose at times not to follow the teaching, does not dismiss the fact that a time bomb is sitting out there in the dogma for the right time and right conditions where religious leaders can use them to stir believers into becoming violent. Islam as a matter of fact is going through such period as we speak. Same for Judaism, where stories of massacres from the old testament, make the ill treatment of Palestinians more palatable. The logic goes,if Yahweh ordered the killing of entire tribes of those buggers, then what we are doing today is really mild and is in accordance with his wishes.

    Sorry Sandy, but I think you wear your rose colored glasses when you read the most violent text. I understand your need to keep your faith in tact, but you cannot explain such hatred as moral whether it is situational or not.

  592. That’s ok if you think I were rose-colored glasses. It’s less offensive than what some Muslims think of me! And I don’t necessarily describe the hate as moral- more like a description of the reality of things. I do think the stirring up of people in the name of religion is more a function of human sheepleness than any religious doctrine. And in the absence of a religious doctrine, power players just create or exploit another “ism” for their needs. I do hope mankind evolves out the need for hate, intolerance and violence, but I don’t see it happening soon.

  593. I think that many people really want to believe and to be faithful to their chosen belief system, but cannot deal with the nasty bits because they are too good people to do that.
    This makes for a huge moral dilemma, and the only way you can get around that without denouncing your religion is to make yourself believe it must be seen in an ancient context which is not valid today, or it is meant ”metaphorical”.
    I find this choice to be especially popular with believers from a western background where both the ”context” and ”metaphor” have been used for a long time to deal with the evil titbits of Christianity and all other religions.

    For myself the ”context” and ”metaphor” tactics are not an option. So my personal choice was to give up on man made religion. It was clear to me that religions are made up by people of very questionable morals and that I cannot follow such nasty books and immoral teachings.

    I wrote about the religious metaphor on my blog, for anyone who wants to read it:
    http://clouddragon.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/the-religious-metaphor/

  594. Aafke,
    I don’t know how much of what we believe is a choice. I can’t say I “choose” to interpret it that way. It is the only way that makes any sense unless it is 1) manmade or 2) was only intended for the people specific to that time.

    I think it is more commen in those not so much of a western background as an educated one. Second factor would be how scared people have been made to think on their own. The education and the fear battle each other. I believe only the uneducated or the very fearful-or both- are capable of believing the medieval types of thinking in these stories. And it’s not just “context” or “metaphor”. Sometimes it is just a historical story of something that happened.

  595. For what it is worth…

    As a kid growing up and hearing all the stories of the bible that is exactly how I understood them (even as a kid)…they are stories of things that happened in a time and place far far in the past…no more or less than stories that might have happened in everyday life to everyday people back then. And that it was written down by scribes/apostles/followers who probably believed that the person they wrote about was who they said they were…including any contextual frame of reference that they had of the time. Unless they were mind readers which of course they weren’t they couldn’t put it into future reference… If they wrote about bombs and planes and other things no one would listen to them as it would be out of their contextual understanding and the person would be viewed as crazy rather than divinely inspired. Fast forward 2000 or what have you years and the world looks so different, but I think the lessons (at least from the Bible) are relevant. I always believed that Jesus used parables to get a message across a message of love,tolerance,caring,belief etc. I mean would the parable of the Good Samaritan still look like it did back then? (well maybe in some parts of the world it would! LOL!) No, but the message that the story tells is still very relevant.

    Then gain, maybe man did invent religions and we (the world) are all twisted about absolutely nothing!

  596. Bible verses Quran, Islam verses Judiasm against Hinduism and so on and on we go. We are the best and they are the worst. We against them. Or as Bush said “Either you are with us or against us”. Genetics had propagated its gene pool in the past. Mankind also seeks to propagate ideas. We live in an age of infowars which are being conducted over the internet. How about the end of the time the day of reckoning, The Day of judgment. Most religions talk about it. If however there is no life after death then all of your talk above is as the Americans say is “hog wash.”

    Try:
    http://www.endphysics.com
    http://www.timephysics.com
    http://www.devilsmatrix.com
    http://www.whizmd.com

  597. ‘if man invented religion’ … then who invented man?

  598. @ MoQ
    It appears that you have read into islamic religion, so to be balanced on what you choose to quote as regards christians and jews, read ‘Baqara 62’ (cow verse 62) and ma’eda 69 (the table verse 69).
    The verses need to be taken in context and not to disregard one verse and choose to highlight another.

  599. PERSONAL ATTACK ON AAFKE

    Rosemary,

    Your personal attack on Aafke was uncalled for. Calling her names such as “much too busy being snarky”, “less concerned with clarity”, finding her comment to be “rude gibberish”, and suggesting to her to “review the blog rules dear”. And finally threatening Aafke by telling her “…. I’ll give you a pass just this once so long as you do not offend me again in the future!” and “consider yourself warned”. Of course, putting a smiley at the end of your posts (and other posts where you put multiple smileys) may sound cute and sarcastic to you, but to others it may come across as doubly hypocritical and highly childish on your part.

    Aafke is one of the longstanding and respected members of the american bedu forum. Her postings are simple and logical. From my observation, she is full of knowledge about triology/trinity of islam (koran, hadees, seera). She is direct and doesn’t mince words in expressing herself. She makes excellent use of logic in all of her postings.

    I have gone over most of your postings and found your rants full of idiotic gobblydook and gibberish. I don’t find any rhyme or reason or rationality or logic in any of your postings. I have no idea where you are from or where you got your education. I will make an educated guess anyway. Looks like to me you were educated in wahabi-run or wahabi-influenced madrassas, where learning is by the rote method, and shykhs and imams have never heard of critical thinking or rationality or simple logic skills to teach to their students. Or barring that, perhaps you were brainwashed by these imams/shaykhs before/after you reverted, not to use critical thinking nor the use of simple logic skills in everyday life, since it is forbidden by your koran and your prophet.

    Rosemary, perhaps you need to review the blog rules yourself before you accuse Aafke or anyone else of breaking those rules. There are quite a few blog rules concerning attacking other forum members, rudeness etc, but so as not to make my post too long, I have cut and pasted here just a couple of rules pertaining to you:

    **Be polite both in your comments, and in responding to the blog-owner, or other visitors.

    **Some visitors may feel they are ‘invisible’ when posting to the blogosphere. However attacking individuals and or characters will NOT be tolerated. It is okay to disagree with what another visitor has commented upon but do so in a respectful manner.

    Rosemary, You broke these rules big time not only on the thread in question, but many many times in your other postings. Go back and review your postings (I certainly have!) and look at your postings with an unbiased mind.

    You and a few of your fellow muslim reverts have called me hypocritical, a nutter, islamophobe, drunk on hateraid, etc. etc. etc. I never complained to anyone about you and many of your fellow muslim reverts breaking the blog rules. Nor did I ever respond in kind (so as not to get to the same gutter level) but simply tried to explain to such folks to learn to differentiate between “hatred” and “critique”. I simply followed my own golden rule because I feverishly believe in our blessed freedom of speech, our noble bill of rights and our great constitution. Obviously, you and many of your fellow reverts perhaps don’t believe in all that. Or that Islam is perhaps incompatible with terms like freedom of speech in particular and democracy in general.

    On a more personal note, I have never disrespected the koran, the hadees, the seera on this forum. I have never hated islam. Yes, I dislike its doctrine. I have merely critiqued islam. That is not hatred. All I have ever done is critique and analysis. I have no agenda except learning from others on this forum, since I am a lifelong student.

    Muslims who are trying to stifle freedom of expression on this forum are performing high-tech lynchings and beheadings of unbelievers. No different than many muslims who, when a few pages of koran are burnt or a few cartoons of prophet are made, they go on a rampage burning churches and synagogues and embassies, slaughtering innocent unbelievers, and beheading kafirs who didn’t have anything to do with koran burnings and cartoons of the prophet. They are perhaps doing dawa to earn extra brownie points with allah? Also, they have tried unsuccessfully (so far) to influence UN to pass a universal charter law banning any and all criticism of Islam and its Prophet.

    Rosemary, you owe Aafke a big time apology for your not following the blog rules, being rude, and calling her names. Be a brave muslimah and offer her a sincere apology in the spirit of what your Koran and your Prophet has taught you!

    Harry

  600. Harry..

    Rosemary is not a muslimah. She is a Methodist living is Saudi…I am assuming an expat…she stated so in her first comment.

  601. Rosemary,

    I would like to take back my posting above. After reading Dania’s recent posts, I just realized that my posting was far too “aggressive” and “volatile”. My sincere apologies and I hope that you will accept my apology in the same spirit that it is offered.

    Hopefully, everyone will see a new improved Harry, and far less aggresive and volatile in his postings and responses. Thank you, Rosemary!

    Harry

  602. This is not Harry…
    What happened? Found a large pod beside your bed this morning????

  603. LOL Aafke. I bet it’s an imposter!

  604. If any of my posts ever start sounding like a Stepford Wife could someone please come and check on me? Thanks, appreciate it 😉

  605. Oh Noooo, The Dania virus is invading the blog!!!

    I hope I do not get infected and start supporting a long beard and a Miswak, Muswak, Messwak…..

  606. Harry & Aafke…this argument is inane!

    I will repeat what I’ve already posted on another thread:

    Harry this has nothing do to with you. There was no personal attack. Unlike you, I do not attack anyone when I leave comments. Never. I was teasing her, nothing more, nothing less.

    And to add: I REFUSE to offer an apology because I honestly feel I’ve done nothing wrong. I may have a dry, sarcastic sense of humor that I use on occasion but I fail to see how anything that I’ve stated, EVER, is any different than what some others may have posted in good nature and in good fun. There is nothing wrong with seeing the lighter side of things sometimes.

    My word, I have read countless attacks by Aafke against others that would make anyone’s mother blush and I have also read her being cheeky. That’s all there was to my last comment to her; cheekiness. Yes adults are allowed to be cheeky from time to time without being considered ‘childish” as you put it. Perhaps you should give it a go one day, maybe you’ll actually smile…*gulp*!

    I believe you Harry and Aafke owe ME an apology for OVERREACTING to my harmless comment. YOU BOTH ATTACKED ME over a silly comment that was merely made in jest. I simply carried over Aafke’s original playfulness from the Blog rules thread to another thread. There was no ill intent in anything I wrote and it’s unfortunate my joke didn’t read well.

    Rather than brush my poor joke aside, as many of us are capable of doing, both you and Aafke insult my intelligence, question my education, dismiss every comment I made on this blog as tosh and reduce me to a non-thinking Muslim revert. Thank you for that. You really do know how to win me over.

    I swear for the life of me I will never understand how EVERYTHING ON THIS BLOG must be debated, even someone’s harmless joke. Not everything needs debating. Not everything needs to be so damned difficult. Yet people like you make it difficult and very unpleasant.

    I suggest you both get over it and lighten up. There are better things in this life to get upset over. I promise you my sarcasm and poor jokes will not scar you for life, unless you allow it that is. 🙂

  607. Just noticed your apology Harry. I won’t hold my breath for an apology from Aafke Not feeling very forgiving at the moment. Sorry. Talk is cheap; action is louder than words.

    I really wish you both could see how you overreacted. If you knew me in person you would know my sarcasm is harmless and all in good fun.

    The lesson I will take from this is that perhaps my sarcasm doesn’t read well on blogs. And perhaps you and Aafke need a vacation? 🙂 (sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    And don’t give me grief over the smileys and emoticons. I don’t use them excessively. Many people use them here on this blog and all over the Internet. They’re cute and they’re free, so why not?

    Please lighten up.

  608. By the way, I just noticed MoQ’s little quip above about Dania. See, that’s what I mean, good natured fun. Now, what I find strange is that he and others can say such things, sarcasm included, yet I’m called out for my sense of humor when it’s just as harmless.

    I sense double standards here. So don’t give me the “they’re highly respected among this forum, so they can get away with it rubbish”. Just admit that you give some posters more passes than others. I will never understand why you singled me out .

    The dynamics of this blog are very strange indeed.

  609. @Oby: Sorry but you must have mistaken me for someone else. I am not Methodist. At the moment I am a bit on the fence at what I believe in. Maybe I’m having a mid-life crisis or at the very least a spiritual crisis. 😦

  610. I said it on the other post but since it moved over here i will repost it here

    ‘Oh, Aafke, stop being so mean. I thought that she was probably just messin’ with ya. and Harry was just lookin’ for some trouble (I think that post was pre-body being snatched).
    Now, {{{GROUP HUG}}}’

  611. Sorry Lynn, not in the mood for hugs. Would you be if someone continuously insults your intelligence over a joke that fell flat? And what is it with people harping on about emoticons and smileys? Arrogant, arrogant, arrogant!

    Aafke, not sure about your video, it’s blocked here in Saudi but knowing you it’s just another way of insulting me or perhaps a cowardly way of apologizing. I bet on the former. Not really a fan of Louis. I prefer Otis Redding.

    http://otisredding.com/

    Now, go try Otis on for size and let’s leave it at that. Love we are both too old to keep bees in our bonnets for too long.

  612. @Rosemary,

    So you write a comment that others think is an attack. You do not think they understood you. Now the natural order of things is if a person is misunderstood, then it is up to that person to apologize for coming across negative. All who matters in that equation is the person who received the comment and her interpretation. She did not get your joke for obvious reasons.

    What you have done so far is play victim and argue insistently how you are misunderstood but never accepted your mistake. Note having an angry face avatar after a very negative comment that sounds like an attack does not help make your point that it was a joke. It actually looked like a threat for many people that read that comment.

    To be honest as a reader of that comment I did not think it was funny neither it came across as being in good spirit. It looked like an attack.

    You cannot be so heavy handed in a joke with people that you do not know well. It is in bad form as a joke and will result in people taking it as an attack 90% of the time.

    So instead of continuing to argue about how others owe you an apology in multiple comments over many threads. Admit that your writing was not good. And move on….

    Regarding the double standard. I am going to tell it to you straight with no political correctness. People get my sarcasm, because I review my comment and read it from multiple angles to insure the sarcasm in not misunderstood. It is not double standard, it is people knowing how to write. Sarcasm is a double edge sword. It can easily be misunderstood.

    Just my 2 cents. I am only writing my opinion, because you chose to drag me into this argument. I hope you take the comment in the right spirit and move on.

  613. Well, Moq, thank you for your opinion but I was not really dragging you into this. I just noticed your quip went unnoticed and wondered why. Thanks for explaining your brand of sarcasm is accepted here. I agree sarcasm can be tricky and I stand by what I said earlier in that if any of you knew me you would know I don’t have an evil bone in my body. Quick tempered, yes but evil, no.

    I most certainly am not playing victim to this banal mess happening here. Harry was the one that was going on about me apologizing to Aafke so I just turned that around on him demanding the same. I have already stated that the lesson I took from this was that my brand of sarcasm isn’t reading very well on this blog. And you’re right, I chose the wrong emoticon, so sue me.

    I did not post on multiple threads. My poor joke was made on one thread and then I was actually invited to the debate page by Harry. Thank you for the invite Harry but really couldn’t you have chosen a better topic then my lame joke?

    As I stated earlier, I never actually said I was funny. I made a lame joke, it’s finished. End of. Now that this is over everyone can brush up on the correct usage of sarcasm and emoticons! 🙂

  614. Quit whining. No sarcasm intended.

  615. So much more interesting to read then my psychology text book…oh wait…nearly the same thing…but with emoticons.. LOL 🙂 (that is my actual expression right now)

  616. Whining? Now, that’s a bit uncalled for.

    Moq, you’re not helping. Drop it already. I only responded because you responded to me. What, now I’m not allowed an opinion about anything? 🙄

  617. ooooh! I need an EYE ROLL how do you do that? LOL

  618. 50% of your comments on this blog sound like a continuous screech, similar to long nails on a blackboard. Sorry just being honest.

    And you are still whining 🙂

  619. You can Google WordPress smileys but they only have a limited few. And yes I knew about this page before I made this gaffe. Obviously they’re giving me hell for using the wrong emoticon as well as my misguided sarcasm. I suppose I deserve some slack. Note I said some.

    (Too bad WordPress doesn’t have a peace sign emoticon)

  620. Lynn, ”roll” in between ” : ”
    🙄

  621. Well, now that’s interesting because I do not comment very often on this blog. Why would you say that Moq? I enjoy sharing my perspectives on some of the topics Bedu writes about. I may not be as good of a writer as some here but I do try to participate when I feel I have something to add.

    Honesty can be a double edged sword too you know. I see you are relentlessly giving me slack about anything and everything now. 🙄 Thanks for that.

    Actually, wait a minute, give me an example of why my very few comments screech to you? Maybe this will serve as a good writing lesson for me. I always enjoyed writing in school…those were the days. Ok, give me what you got…(or should I say in Arabic ‘tahaddak!”) 🙂

  622. But Moq I should add my challenge is all in good fun. I will not respond to insults or misguided sarcasm. 😉

  623. “Well, now that’s interesting because I do not comment very often on this blog.”

    Exactly my point. You have very few comments and most of them are whining and/or negative. It does not make you look good. Now you are at 55% screech level 😉

  624. Oh, now come on I was looking for something a bit more clever than that Moq! 😉

    Most of my comments are not whining or negative. You must remember my comments within the context of Bedu’s original posts. I try to share my opinions very honestly but I could actually care less who agrees with me. And I am not interested in looking good to others. I do not purposefully try to harm people with my comments. I believe I have a fairly reserved approach actually. If people want to judge the screen name “Rosemary” based on a few of my harmless comments well then to each their own. Life will go on for the lot of us I promise.

    Well, I suppose this game was pointless. We’re all going to have our own opinions and writing styles to express them. There’s nothing wrong with my comments, maybe there’s something wrong with your ears. Better get that checked out love. Now, nice chatting with you but you’ll have to go find someone else to play with. I’m sleepy now, good night. 😉

  625. “roll”

  626. I’lll never be able to do it 😦

  627. I think that was an official whine

  628. Lynn use :—: not ”

  629. Emoticons are always between colons.

    :-roll-:

  630. *sniffle* I’m a virus?? 😉

  631. 🙄

  632. omg I did it! yeah! thanks Aafke!

  633. Are we officially at 60% or is it just me!!!!

  634. my goodness….I’ve been away from reading comments for the past week and have no idea what the ruckus is all about here! I am pleased that American Bedu receives different views, perspectives, emotions and humor.

  635. There is a new rule in Saudi Arabia announced that expatriates have to leave the country after 6 years . How you people would like to respond on that ?

  636. It’s not often you hear loud and public support for Jews in Arab newspapers, which is why Egyptian journalist Sharif ‘Abd Al-Ghani’s recent article in a Qatari paper is cause for celebration. Al-Ghani attacks Muslim preachers for their hateful language toward Jews. How, he asks, can preachers lead hateful discussion of Jews, yet venerate Moses?

    Why does our sheikh – and we behind him – shower all these curses on the Jews, but then add the expression ‘peace be upon him’ when speaking of their prophet Moussa [Moses]? Are the Jews not people of the Book and among those whom the Koran orders us to treat kindly so long as they do not fight us? And how could Allah have created them so impure and damned if they are the disciples of a prophet?

    He also points out that many inventors and scientists who have changed the world with their work were Jewish. Muslims have benefited from these scientific and medical advancements, he argues, yet Jews are attacked with violent rhetoric in mosques across the world.

    The absurd thing is that after cursing the Jews, the preacher never forgets to urge the attendees to donate [money in order to establish] a dialysis unit in the village… which will treat thousands of patients… But it doesn’t occur to him, or to any of the attendees who say amen after the curses and curse the Jews themselves – many of whom suffer kidney failure – that the man who invented the treatment for this condition is the Jewish doctor and scientist Willem Klofkim [sic, apparently Kolff]!

    O you, those who curse and besmirch the Jews, do you not know that the ‘impure and damned’ Jew Baruch Blumberg discovered the viral liver disease Hepatitis [B] and the treatment for it – a disease that afflicts 12% of Egyptians?

    It’s always worth pointing out advancements in religious tolerance, especially of Muslims toward Jews in the Middle East. Via Meadia hopes that Al-Ghani’s common sense, intellectual honesty and tolerance prove contagious.

    It seems to be a general law of modern life that those who hate and fear Jews are condemned to backwardness and irrelevance: not, as anti-Semitic loons pathetically imagine, because Jewish cabals manipulate capitalism to frustrate their enemies, but because without intellectual clarity and a sincerely tolerant worldview, it is very difficult to prosper in a world like ours.

    In Libya, unfortunately, Al-Ghani’s message hasn’t been received. According to Hadeel Al-Shalchi (@hadeelalsh), on hearing news that a Libyan of Jewish origin was trying to rebuild a synagogue, a mob of ignorant haters assembled outside the hotel in which he is staying, baying for blood in the traditionally chilling and evil (but also pathetic and contemptible) way that they have.

    When I think of the potential of the Arab Spring, it is to courageous voices like Sharif ‘Abd Al-Ghani and Hadeel Al-Shalchi. Political problems with Israel are one thing; unreasoning hate of a people is something else.

  637. The strong sentiments in the region are against Israel Zionism which would equate western sentiments against the Nazis. However Judaism has been tied up with Israel and Zionism (against the will of several Jewish groups), and it is those ‘jews’ that the curses appear to be directed at.
    There is a Quranic verse chapter one verse 62: “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”
    To my mind cursing any person or group of people during the Friday prayers stands in strong contrast to the essence and teachings of the Islamic religion.

  638. This is so frightening to me…the islamists are succeeding in quashing freedom of speech. Why can’t they give then the heave ho and tell them to take a hike? Got the heads up from Crossroads Arabia website. Interestingly, some muslim countries are opposing the restrictions this would enforce.

    “So far the most vocal opponents of the OIC have been an impressive alliance of NGOs and human rights activists including some from Muslim countries such as Indonesia, Bahrain and Egypt.

    If a number of brave Muslims have the courage to defend free speech against the nefarious agendas of their own governments and the repressive interpretations of their own religion, so should the political leaders of the West.”

    Again, the damn PC west too afraid to stand up for it’s own rights.

    http://www.cepos.dk/publikationer/nyheder/single/artikel/defending-free-speech-at-the-united-nations/

  639. MoQ:

    Fine, I accept that from your perspective that you see that Harry is using ideology for a racist agenda. If that is the case then no I don’t support the stance. If that is what you are stating. However, from my perspective he has just brought up the ideology. It still doesn’t address the big issues on your going to the extreme side when a discussion comes up. You immediately go to the extremes and go on attack mode. What is that all about? Why do you do this stuff?

  640. @bigstick,

    No I do not go to extremes. I did not jump to my conclusion on Harry over night. I have been reading his comments for over a year. Is that what you call jumping to conclusion? A year is a long time to be in a jump position.

    “What is that all about? Why do you do this stuff?”

    Again asking me why I behave a certain is a personal thing. Stick to the facts and direct arguments. I do not allow discussion that try to psycho analyse me.

    Now I may have a hint about why you are in this argument to begin with. It is because I called your theory about Mohammad existence a conspiracy theory. Well the fact is conspiracy is by definition a number of people conspiring to fool others. You stated that you believe that a number of people made up the character of Mohammad to fool people. That is a theory of yours and it describes a conspiracy. I do not know why you are so upset about my statement a week later.

    Perhaps you should explain why you do not think it is not a conspiracy theory.

    Note I stopped that debate, because I saw how upset you were and thought it was not worth it. It turned out I was wrong, since we are a few days later and you are commenting forever trying to get at me.Even calling me names.

  641. @ MoQ

    You started it.

    Go back and read what I stated. It started with my addressing the racism comment. It was not a bad comment. Just one of clarification. You decided to go down this path.

    The issue has been discussed by numerous scholars that this timeline is flawed. Go back and read the information that I discussed. Instead of just having a discussion about it your go off and claim conspiracy. The same thing can be said about Jesus if you want to discuss that. There is nothing but the bible and gospels to support his existance. There is nothing but the koran and hadith to support Muhammed as well. Many of those battles you dicussed were addressed only in hadith or stories about mohammed.

  642. @Harry,

    I did not have issue with you arguing the point about Harry. What I had an issue with is you questioning my motivation. I truly believe when you question people’s motivation you are making an attack on the person not their argument. I made a comment that is within the boundaries of reasonable reply. Which is to state that my motivation is none of your business. Seriously, there is no other way to put it.

    Now that was followed with a long rant from you full of strawman arguments and personal attacks. My advise if you do not like people telling you “none of your business” then do not get into personal decisions discussions. It is that simple.

    I seriously hope you grow up. I just saw how you called me extreme in the other thread while hiding it under a nice apologetic comment to Carol. You are low!!!

  643. OOPS that was BigStick

  644. @ MoQ

    Whose hiding I called you extreme in several of my comments today. What you didn’t read them. You are taking it to this point. I never hide anything. Read the comments on the other thread. You note I called your taking the argument to it’s immediate extreme end prior to that. You apparently didn’t read it. Your right. We are not coming to any middle ground so this conversation is done.

  645. Exactly bigstick, because every time I try to be civil with you or Lynn. I see attacks. even when the thread was over, you hide your attack in an apology to Carol.

    Note every time we had one of these arguments it is because you take offense to someone attacking your arguments. You very quickly turn that into a personal attack. Really get some maturity. When I call your argument a conspiracy theory I am not calling you an extremist.

    However, when you turn a debate from discussion about positions to personal attacks, you will get the same back from me. I do not let people bully me as a matter of policy. It is something I have held all my life.

    Now if you keep discussions on the topic and do not get offended that someone attacks your positions. Then we can have great debates. Seriously, that is all it takes. And stop calling for Mama Bully to help you. It just makes you look weak 😉

  646. @MoQ

    You are the one that went there first my friend. You don’t discuss topics. You side step them and find some trival thing to constantly bring up and beat it to death. Anytime I bring up a topic you go to an extreme end, such as conspiracy theory, superstitution, something. You just can’t stop doing that. Maybe it is you who are weak as you want to find the insignificant points to focus on and not the actually topic of the discussion. Then you go into extremism mode. Maybe you are just incapable of actually addressing the true points and can’t get past the fluff. It doesn’t really matter at this point. As you are not going to get off the fluff and move on.

    Just have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  647. @bigstick,

    I did not want to have a discussion with you to begin with, I was addressing Harry. Since then every comment I make is met with a comment 2 times as long. Goes in circles, full of attacks, etc. And somehow I am supposed to make a position to reply to from that. So really there was no topic to discuss to begin with. Just answers to your attacks.

    The one point you made was addressed in the other thread. Very simply with 2 sentences.

    Note I have a rule when I run into people like you. I let them have the last word 1 time. You have exhausted that opportunity in our last encounter. I won’t let you go on and on this time without addressing your attacks.

    You are becoming like a sticky piece of gum at the bottom of my shoe. It does not serve any purpose other than annoying and attracting dirt.

    Merry Christmas…

  648. Just to clear the air here, there is NOT an army of moderators on this blog. If someone is assisting me to moderate when I am away or debilitated, then that person is a trusted family member. An attack against a moderator is the same as an attack against me.

    Part of blog etiquette is keeping topics on track and relevant to the post. Queries or remarks unrelated to a post should be taken HERE. Otherwise the comment risks being removed.

    If you do not like these words…tough. You can have your own rules on your own blog.

    Bad Mood Bedu

  649. Gwen:

    Have you thought of counseling? You are all over the place. Seriously why don’t you join a freethinkers group to have some meaningful conversations for a while.

  650. Actually, I speak only about what I have done and seen. Many on the internet cross the boundaries of decency because they know that they can get away with it. Some of the people who get so nasty simply prove my point because they are from a certain place, and my friend from KSA who I encouraged for years, and finally was just this May able to come to Portland said these things about his own countrymen. He had a real time of it trying to deal with the fact that Americans are so nice, not like his countrymen. Some of you lie so much that you would not know the truth if it drug its big flat wet sloppy tongue across your face like a dog would.

    If some of you are really that hot on the internet, you could easily identify me and verify that what I say is truth. I can not help your ineptitude. You lie so much that you do not believe the truth when you hear it.

    Bigstick, Ha, what a silly name. I really don’t need some jive punk telling me I need counseling. It is you who could use a dose of humanity.

    I am so done with you. I came here to make conversation and to support American Bedu and you have to stroke your own male ego.

  651. @Gwen:

    You can take the comment however you want. I seriously think you are all over the place and lost. From what I have read you go to the extreme side of religion. I just would like you to think about looking at some less extreme religion or just a group outside of religion for a while. Better yet just find a group that might be able to give you some focus as I don’t think the type of religion you have been in or even entertaining is helping you. Maybe some counseling, apparently you have had some hardships in religion that sound as though you are struggling with yourself.

  652. I’ve been told that the Amish practice the closest to Islam in the US. However, I have not heard of anyone converting to Amish. The thought occurred to me as I was reading the recent comments.

  653. With the exception of the Amish making a mean Pork Chop with Sauerkraut 🙂

  654. @American Bedu: My stepfather was Amish but all he remembered about made him a very bad man. When I was living in Ohio last year, I had a chance to see and talk with some. At place I visited, a furniture store on a farm, there were several men and women standing outside when I got there. As I got out of my car, one of the men said, “You women go inside”. They all did.

    If you are in the Mid West, it is not hard to find X-Amish. Some of them become Mennonites, and some dump religion. They will allow you to convert to “Living Simple”, but from what I hear, most converts do not last.

  655. @Bigstick: I have spent my life doing things, not sitting in my apartment. I love to do research, and I am not afraid to try new cultural things. Some people just want to stick in their comfort zone and to them an adventure is going to the pub and swaping lies with their drinking buddies.

    I can see how a woman living in KSA would think that my normal experiences seem wild or fantasy. I feel sorry for people who lead such restricted lives. You can not rock climb, ski, swim or go scuba diving, dance to swing music, or ride a motorcycle in a Niqab. Too bad, so sad.

    Yes, sure I lived through some really hard times, but most of the perps are now dead. I chose not to be a victim but to do my best to shrug it off and get on with life.

    Counseling? I did that once. Most of those folks are in bigger trouble than me. And I am happy. I will live my life as well as I can, and some of you will just die mean.

  656. @AB – I love the amish quilts and furniture and i love Amish patients, don’t come seeing drugs, don’t clog the ER’s , No insurance but band together nd pay cash and always pay on time !!!!
    trust me if i had to set up private practise i’d be seeink the amish heartland. 🙂

  657. @Radhaa – very impressive. The Amish really are self-contained with their own schools, own faith and not being influenced by modern conveniences or technology. I had Amish neighbors growing up and so enjoyed the Amish cooking and baking.

  658. @ab – i agree, i don’t know how good or bad they treat women wtc., or even if it’s oppresive , i speak only from a health care perspective and initially was apprehensive since they seem to usually not have Insurance , so i’d wander around looking for help trying ot order tests and wonder who to call 🙂 and then realized it’s a community type thing, they support each other in times of crisis and always always pay on time 🙂 with cash. no insurance haggling, no unnecissary law suits either , it’s kind of fun to treat them and a few i have seen have a very high tolerance ot pain and very low incidence of drug seeking 🙂 from my end it’s all win-win.

  659. Msm11:

    I going expand a little then let Jay answer the rest of your question as apparently your are satisfied with mine. I will tell you this that I don’t care what religion it is and what culture it is or the combination of both. When it is getting out of control then get together and get the beast under control before it controls you and all your finger point at something else won’t help you when those who interpret as such comes for you.

    That is what all religious people should be doing when their religions is they think is wrongfully being used. As far as I am concerned Abrahamic religion (all of them) can be said to condone such acts by their scriptures. FULL STOP. Cultures that use passages from these religious books exist all over. They are partners in crime. Your interpretation is different from those who interpret it as justificationfor killing others based upon their understanding of islam or for that matter any other religion and its cohort called culture. They are both guilty. I don’t care which religion does it. It is guilty. As far as I am concern if it states anywhere in the scriptures such items then it lends itself to be interrupted as such and that it is. It is inflicting harm. If there is even the slightest remote possiblility even crazy that can justify this type of harm THEN IT IS GUILTY of it in WHATEVER religion/culture there is. Stop pointing fingers at others when it is your religion that is currently being used in many ways rightfully as all of the abraham religions are full of murder, honor (modesty which honors no one), bigtory, hatred, apartheid, and subjugation.

    Religion has always been a tool that is easily used to inflict pain on others. Islam, Christianity, Judaism, etc.

    If you want iman how about the one in Australia that stated that women should expect to be raped due to the clothing choice as they are walking meat. How about the government of Cheneyna in Russia that is going around shooting women with paintballs to force them to wear veils and headscarfs. When the leader say that they better do it before they are honor killed for improper dress. How about women who have the legs blow off in the same area on beaches because they were not properly dressed. Look it up it is in Russia. Why is it that when you honor kill a woman or girl that you barely get anytime in jail or you may not get time at all. All of this is how Islam is being practiced in numerous countries. This is Islam as it is being practiced whether it fits with your definition of Islam is irrelevent. It is what is being done and it is killing people. It needs to stop.

    That goes for all the other religious killings as well. Whoever is doing them.

  660. Yes, most religion is beyond bizarre now. Rather, most religions have a full abundance of loose cannons that make the rest of us look bad. I think that those who really do love God and want to serve him really need to get off their duffs and deal with these spit balls that make life so hard.

  661. @ Al-Zuhayyan

    Your g-string analysis is overboard. The fact is in the US women can wear just about what every she wants. Of course it helps to keep it appropriate in certain sittings. By the way nuns here haven’t worn the habit in 30 years or more. I know numerous women with tattoos and many are proud of them. As far as I know there is no social stigma. Never even heard that on wigs. Pants have been worn in public by women far longer than the 70’s. In the 50’s women had capri pants, then there was the entire 60s era and they wore just about whatever they wanted. The hippi era.

    As far as some restraunts its is no shoe, no shirts, no service. Odd never seen one that mentions pants or underwear. There could have been some government offices that refused workers to work in pants but I cannot think of any that refused women the right to enter and conduct business in the 60’s or 70’s. In fact, I believe Jackie Kennedy, JFK’s wife many times wore pants.

    The difference is this women in most places don’t get arrested, harassed for not wearing prescribed clothing in many countries. They are not seen as awrah either. Just humans with certain rights to govern their day to day business they are a grown up who can handle themselves with little to no regard to assistance for men to help them. That is called being a grown up and independent. I am teaching my daughter this concept early on. Along with numerous activities such as self-defensive, shooting, cross bow, track, ice-skating, swimming, etc.

    I am also teaching that men are not knights in shining armor to take her away in a fairytale life. As there is no such thing. I am teaching her that her first line of protection is herself, education and to insure she is independent and capable before she gets married. That of course is if she ever wants to get married as it is her choice. I will however, never teach her that a prince will come along and sweep her off her feet carry her off and protect her etc. It is an unrealistic message and it sets women up for failure. The best protection any women could be given is to be strong, independent, and capable of protecting herself. If she finds someone who she feels fits into her life, great now it is a partnership which people share their joys, happiness, sorrow, etc.

    Being treated like a queen is great only if the queen has any power to rule over her life which includes the right to drive, the right to pursue your own career, the right to choose whether you want to be married or have children, the right to determine what you wear, the right to leave the country without permission, the list goes on.

    Funny, the line you present is so overused by men. It is typical of a man who has limited to no experience with women. It is this type of line that my daughter will be told about on what men to avoid. I listen to this line it is like car saleman trying to sell me a lemon. First, thought upon hearing this is BS (crap).

    I don’t even know were your going with the prison comment. It is almost unheard of that people are put into prision over clothing in the west. In some cities you can actually go nude such as San Franscisco. Women are allow to go topless in a large number of cities across the US with no restrictions other than entering business that require a shirt. Not that that happens. Of course, I have seen women in men’s clothes and never though a thing of it. That actually happens a lot in the US. I have even seen men in more female clothing however, society here takes far more dim view of it for the men than women. However, they are allowed to do it without persecution legally. They might get some ribbing by some but most leave it be. There are a few who do harass them however, the harasser should be careful as they can be the ones going to jail for such an activity. Harassment is illegal. Heck I know of guys with mohawks, earrings, tats, nose rings, etc. Nobody really cares for the most part.

    Sandy:

    It might be norm in Saud but it is a double standard as I have seen men in shorts, short sleeve shirts etc. Plus you will go to jail for not wearing it or be fined.

  662. Big Stick,

    You are talking while holding your big stick telling people what they should or should not do or say according to your views and standards.

    You have some sensible views regarding the facts of life that you teach your daughter to bring her in touch with reality, and I would teach my daughter almost the same facts, especially how to be independent whether she is single or married.

    However, I would not teach her to wear whatever she likes, because I know what boys or guys in Saudi Arabia or the US would think of her or say about her, and most mothers in any society are aware of this.

    My line is not the issue her as I am not trying to pull any woman’s leg, I am only responding to your question. So, the debate should not be personified.

    On the other hand, you are talking about the United States and the American people as if it is a society with no law and order and with no social norms, giving the impression that Americans are a bunch of primitive zombies. You talk about the United States exactly like those of people of Third World countries when they talk about the freedom granted to people living on its soil without having been in the US.

    Yes, you may wear “mohawks, earrings, tats, nose rings, etc. Nobody really cares for the most part.”, but you have to accept the social consequences. American judge you and stigmatize you for what you wear and what you put on your body at the same time you are free to do whatever you like as long as you don’t break the law. It is a responsible freedom.

    Wake up Mr. Big Stick, the United States would never be what it is today without “Law and Order and Valid Social Norms.” Be ware you could be imprisoned for that Big Stick you holding, it is a deadly weapon by LAW.

  663. Al-Zuhayyan:

    I live in the US. What are you going on about in that last sentence. It does not make sense.

    How could I be imprisioned? Clarify.

  664. Big Stick,

    The sentence does make sense if you live in the US. By the US Criminal Law, a Big Stick is considered as a deadly weapon if used and caused the death of a person, and you would be imprisoned. So, don’t use it, or let any body use it.

  665. Well so is a firearm. But people are allowed to carry them even concealed. It also depends on how you use them as they are perfectly acceptable weapons for self-defense.

  666. Al-Zuhayyan:

    So what is your point with the statement to begin with, it has no relevance to the conversation?

  667. Big Stick,

    Your sentence has neither a point nor any new idea.

  668. Big Stick,

    I am straight to the point. The debate is about “Socially Accepted Clothing or Dress Code” and you diverted the debate to a different issue. A mentioned the Big Stick to make a point that Law and Order are the basis of progress. Hence, the Big Stick that is an alias you hold is marginal.

  669. Al-Zuhayyan:

    Women can wear whatever they feel is appropriate for them based upon their decisions. It really isn’t up to me to tell them differently. However, when such a choice taken away then it is oppression. When women are forced to wear items that they would rather not then it is imprisionment.

  670. Al-Zuhayyan:

    What you call law and order is called oppression. Your progress has driven you back to being wild animals that tell the world that men are incapable of controlling their sexual needs. Bull shit and you know it.

  671. Big Stick,

    This is a chauvinistic view and biased. It is chauvinistic view because it encourages women to wear little or nothing on so men can enjoy their presence next to them in the work place and in the public domain, everywhere, so you are looking at women as sex objects.

    And it is a biased view because women with less physical beauty can not wear little or nothing on their bodies to show chauvinistic men like you.

    We have to be fair and consistent with all women by giving them the opportunity to show us their bodies in public, those with bodily physical beauty and those with no bodily physical beauty.

    Therefore, you point view is not valid.

  672. Big Stick,

    By saying these words, you just exposed your ugly naked body and brain exactly in the same manner you desire to expose women.

    You are not worthy of responding. You just don’t have it.

    Debate is closed.

  673. Al-Zuhayyan:

    Oh that argument. More bull shit.

    You know what is best for women because they are incapable poor little things. Incapable of knowing their own mind and having control of their own bodies. I think it is you who exhibit the chauvinistic view. As you dictate what you think women should wear and your expectations. From my point of view so long as she wants to wear it then it is her decision.

    I look forward to the day American women will tell you to shove that aspect of what you think they need to wear up your butt. Most American women are not pushovers. They are damn fiesty and will tell you off. That’s what I like about them, they have a mind, a choice and freedom to use both.

    Oh, by the way. Most American women are extremely good wholesome hardworking intelligent independent women who are damn adept at knowing what they want.

  674. @Bigstick,
    Almost every year there are stories in the US especially in the summer of European women getting in trouble ON THE BEACH for being topless. Women in the US cannot go topless most places. In fact, they are still battling at times for the right to breastfeed their babies publically. What you said here is simply not true.

    Men do get in trouble for wearing shorts or “immoral trousers” as the authorities sometimes call them. It is a very similar process to what happens with women. Does it happen often? It goes in waves. Personally, I don’t even cover my head. I can go years without anything being said- and then someone may say something. Or sometimes I get shouted at in more than once within a short time frame. I”ve never complied and I’ve never been arrested. Yes there is more emphasis on what women wear but it is a mistake to think there aren’t issues for men. They have to wear certain things for school they have to wear them for passport photos etc.

    All this said the Saudi dress code ABSOLUTELY sexualizes women more than the western one. But they are masters of that here.

    @Al Zuhayyan,
    You might want to be aware that Saudi men treating their wives as “Queens” is generally code for justifying ownership and servitude. They treat them like Queens and “protect” them by controlling everything- and then buy them a pretty necklace.

    I am not saying you mean it in this way. You sound like you don’t- but you should just know what reaction it might provoke.

  675. Sandy:

    Women actually can go topless in a lot of places they just don’t know it.

    The federal law states that a women can breastfeed and just about every state actually has put it into their legislation for that right. Other states just deferred to federal law.

    It is people who don’t know the law that trys to enforce it mostly on what they think is acceptable that actually get in a legal bind afterwards and it doesn’t happen that often. On occassion. Then they get slapped with a lawsuit or it gets fought and they lose.

    Yes, there are beaches that are specifically designated for certain dresswear in Europe Most people are told to put on their tops that is it or get dressed.

    Here is a website that women fought back and won:

    http://gotopless.org/news.php?item.3.1

    Here is the federal laws on breastfeeding and a state by state breakdown.

    http://www.ncsl.org/issues-research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx

    Here is a group of nudist in San Francisco fighting to keep the right to eat nude in restraunts.

    http://thedailyedge.thejournal.ie/nude-in-protests-in-san-francisco-over-public-nudity-restrictions-236483-Sep2011/

    Do women go out with no shirts covering, no not often unless they do so to exert rights of their bodies such as in protests. New York City has women going in Parades topless when they want to make a point.

    Now the information I provided was factually information.

    Saudi has oversexuallized everything and that is what their society is based on and quite frankly stuck on. They have made it into an unhealthy venue and created an oppressive atmosphere. They have criminalized the human body.

  676. My late Saudi husband did treat me as a Princess and called me his Queen. He never made me feel like he was “lording” over me. While cherishing me (which I adored) there were never any questions about freedoms. Our time together was waaaaaaaay too short but I will never ever regret it.

    I think that many American parents do monitor what their daughters wear. I never had any daughters but I know that friends who did would not allow their daughters going out in clothes which could give the wrong impression or perhaps lead to trouble. In fact, I was not allowed to wear any eye shadow until I was 16, for example.

  677. Sandy,

    I understand the symbolic meanings of oppression, obedience, and servitude that conveyed to Westerners, including myself, by a covered woman from head to toe, especially in the manner done in some regions of Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and other countries.

    Some women figured how to go around the abayah that covers them in that manner and made it so it shows their bodies more than it covers, and ultimately sexualized the abayah. However, some addressed wearing abayah as if it the oppression and ignored the real oppression exercised by the religious and social forces in the Saudi society.

    You know it and I know it, women anywhere if they want to show some glimpses of their body, they would find away, and it is a natural tendency. Again, the issue is not the abayah, it is the oppression.

    I accept the idea that claiming or practicing the treatment of a woman as a queen or princess may be used to numb and manipulate a woman. But the very idea underestimates the brains of Saudi men and women; they know the difference between manipulation and genuine romance.

    Saudi men and women are humans like you and other people around the world, they like to love and be loved.

    Dear American Bedu,

    Your feedback points to the fact that there is a universal value shared by all people that that one cannot go around doing whatever he/she pleases. For example, walking naked or topless in the streets, that goes against any norms of any society.

    Some comments with respect to dress code in the US make American look as if they have no norms, and that is not true because it defies common sense.

    Perhaps those comments were stated with abayah in the background that generates negative symbolic emotional feelings in the head and heart of some. But the world is not the Islamic World, specifically Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

    To prove the norms of these Islamic societies with respect to wearing abayah should not be blinding to the extent insinuating that the US society – despite of all of its personal freedoms – has no dress code and any one could walk around naked or topless. This way way way out of the realm of rational argument.

  678. Al-Zuhayyan:

    Since you addressed it again I will post here as well.

    Actually, it does mean just that. A person can actually walk down the street topless or nude so long as the local laws allow. There are several cities across the US that allow it. Far more for being topless than nude. Most people don’t do this. However, legally in the US in many places it can be done. There is nothing law enforcement will be able to do legally as it is not against the law to walk around in this fashion so long as it is written into an ordinance/state law or makes no reference to a minimal dress requirement.

  679. Big Stick,

    I hold great respect for American Bedu.

    The social and political discourse distinguishes the Western civilization, specifically the United States, and it also characterizes the US democratic process.

    To play democracy in the US, any politician must accept social and political stances that normally do not accept to accumulate the votes of specific groups that are crucial for winning a seat. For example, marriage between the same sex, adoption, abortion, immigration, etc.

    These social issues are the most sensitive and the outcomes of dealing with them are the most unpredictable and can fire back against a candidate unexpectedly. These issues have no solid rational. But is a democratic process, it is a give-take to reach agreeable common ground.

    The main stream America has adamant biblical views about marriage between the same sex and abortion that shape the entire political scene. Those in the minority have their views about the same issues. The political process, however, goes on.

    The majority of the cities do not allow nudity, some minority cities allows controlled nudity. These minority cities do not represent the entire US society and it is not the face of America. People in Third World country would see nudists and say look the Americans are decadents; they walk nude in the streets and on beaches. They do not separate the democratic process from the US standard social norms.

    In other words, I still believe that the US society has restricted dress code.

  680. Mainstream America also has adamant tolerance-based views about separation of church and state, same sex-marriage and abortion. Abortion is legal because it is a majority position and the legality of same sex-marriage is becoming more widespread as it becomes more accepted. It will eventually be allowed everywhere I predict.

  681. Kinda nice to see that Z and Big have toned it down. Was worried there for a minute.

    Just for fun I posted a comment about “reponsibilophobia” on a Pakistani Muslim woman’s blog. Here is the link.

    http://aayjay.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/shafia-murders-and-the-muslim-community/#respond

    A good blog but given too much to blame those vile infidels for everything. As usual, I left a few comments that she may not like. I got the old “Awaiting moderation” warning so my words may not see the light of day. Too bad, because I think Muslims need to hear voices, reasonable moderate voices like mine (ha!), to understand our point of view and maybe change (ha!).

    I wish I could find an Islamic blog in which a Muslim recognizes the hate and violence in the Quran and is willing to accept that this causes serious problems. I would also like to find a Muslim blog that factually questions Mohammad’s wars upon his neighbors. Fat chance, but still I look.

  682. Jay:

    Those are called ex-muslim blogs.

  683. @bigstick1

    Not necessarily, My husband thinks there is a lot of garbage in the hadiths.. he agrees that the koran is not a peaceable book either.

    so there you go Jay he accepts that 🙂 but he’s probably not capabale of doing much else … too busy with work and his wife and kids own his spare time 🙂

  684. Hey Radhaa:

    I know there are Muslims that do agree that there are issues in the koran and the hadith. There are some that take some of it as allegory but I am not aware of any blogs that go on about it in such a manner except those who claim to be ex-muslims.

    Jay is looking for such a blog where an active muslim is actually questioning some issues with the hadith and koran.

  685. Jay:

    Any luck finding that elusive blog?

  686. Carol:

    Here is my take regarding free speech and one reason why I chose to use Muslims as the primary sources that are trying to impede freedom of speech for the most part. Now what I have gathered from some sources is that many muslims feel, as snowman feels, that the mere offensive is enough to curtail freedom of speech in the western world. Quite frankly that is not the case. It has a much higher threshold for good reason. Muslims particularly from the middle east have a difficult time understanding this and desensatizing themselves on the level of free speech and often times they want to curtail it.

    Now many muslims who come into the western world don’t care for freedom of speech as this is something that they simply haven’t had experience with or for some critical thought skills as it is discouraged.

    Now the reason snowman’s questions are great is he is trying to understand it and that it is alright to offend, it is alright to voice an opinion counter to someone else. He is actually sitting back and thinking about this now and asking good questions. This is the process that leads to critical thought, voicing opinions, having people disagree with you and it is an example of how to go about it. It is the beginning.

    So, I am more than willing to answer any questions by him and provide examples of the what freedom of speech is and why it is so very important. Also to get him to understand that this right goes beyond just being able to offend, you can actually do actions so long as they are not physcially harmful to individuals such actions that are acceptable are burning books or flags or draft cards.

    In his trying to grasp the extent of the freedom of rights as we understand it and for the purposes of what is truly meant for; it opens the door to an understanding for him. That understanding lends itself to allow for freedom of information and ideas that are contrary to our internal belief system or our current understanding of the world. Sometimes a good row of words shakes out to great solutions or better understandings. It also shows a process that occurs to people who have rarely been asked to examine or defend thier position with words. In other words, it makes you think and define your position. In this your are exploring critical thought and exchanging a different form of speech by means of the written word. This process requires you to question your position and has one questioning their position as they now must defend it. It is growth of critical thought and understanding.

    Above all I think this is critical in understanding Hamza and his position and that his text was nothing more than freedom of speech that allows one to question their surroundings and understanding. Critical thought and sharing of opinions don’t aways lead you away from a belief. However it may change your perception or allow a different understanding of the belief system than that which was initially taught and for some may bring them closer to their belief system.

    However, I think for Snowman he is questioning the concept of freedom of speech as he understands it and that is a good thing since before he was far more rigid in his views of freedom of speech. So I hope he continues to ask questions. As always I will probably be a pain the the butt.

    So that is my stance on the whole freedom of speech issue and how it folds into Hamza.

    Now you can say Bigstick you are a pain in my butt. 🙂

  687. Al dude:

    You had me all hype up over possible royalties off all those books you could write about me. Now you want to nuke me.

    Where is the fun in that. 😉

  688. Al,

    Truly sorry to hear about your mum. 😦

    I hope someone else can help your time of need. Aunt, Sister, Brother? Anyway. Here’s hoping someone will step up to assist you.

  689. Oh please. Carol, I know you like freedom of spee
    ch and all -but this blog is also your home. Must we really have this pervert here? Most of us would never associate with someone like this in real life. Please consider some standards.

  690. The debate page if for debate. Spirited debate is fine, insults and name calling is not.
    Al-Zuhayyan is in moderation and all offending comments are deleted.

    moderator

  691. Peace on to those who honor it.
    @ Sandy, i have been following the ‘debate’ that turned sadly turned sour. One way is to ignore the offending remarks totally and continue the discussion in a more decent manner, the other is to completely ignore the offender as if non-existent until he/she finds it less tasteful to be abusive and chooses a decent and civil understanding of a discussion.

  692. I realise this may be the wrong spot to ask for the following information, but as a new reader to this blog I have spent several hours catching up on the issues discussed on this debate page over the last couple of years.

    It has been very inormative to say the least.

    I recall someone mentioning a child with autism.

    My son is almost 4 and has autism.

    We will be relocating to Riyadh at the end of this year in order to join my husband who is on contract there.

    We are South African.

    I am a Registered Nurse and Midwife by profession, but have not worked fulltime since my son’ diagnosis.

    To cut a long story short…I would love to meet up with or be in contact with anybody in Riyadh who also walks the autism journey.

    If anyone can help….I would be most grateful.

  693. Thank you so much Bedu! Much appreciated!

    Regards,

    Liezel

  694. @Moq,
    What you consider to be “dogma” is not as fixed at you would like it to be. It does make an easier argument however. A Sufi and a Wahabi would disagree on what dogma is decidedly part of the faith. Some Atheists have at times tried to make other “isms” and books as guides for humanity. They ended up with just as much violence etc. People need to learn to be tolerant- or there will be ugliness.

  695. @Sandy,

    Yes the Dogma of Islam is fixed. There is a book called the Quran, it is written and copied billions of times with the highest quality of standard to insure not even a word or a letter of the book can be changed. Further there are other books like the collections of Hadith by Bukhari and Muslim which have been accepted by most muslims as a source. You cannot get more fixed of a dogma than that!!!

    Now regarding atheist. There is no such thing as an atheist dogma. A person can choose to accept a political dogma or ideology, like Russian Communist party membership. However, this is no difference than a Christian joining the Communist party. i.e the person does not accept these ideologies because he/she is an atheist. Atheism has nothing to do with these ideologies as it is the lack of belief in a God. It is a simply a fallacy to say lack of belief is the equivalent to having an ideology.

    “People need to learn to be tolerant- or there will be ugliness.”

    Great. For people to be tolerant they have to also reject the dogma of intolerant. I reject all books that teach intolerance. Can you reject the dogma (i.e. books) of religion which is full of intolerance?

  696. @Sandy:

    I know you are a nice person, however that is inspite of your religion not because of it.

    Let me ask what part should I tolerate.

    Is it women are to be beaten?
    Women are deficient in intelligence and religion?
    Women are to be property of men?
    Women are to remain in the four corners of their home unless a man allows them out?
    Women are to have not public identity or say?
    Women can be subjected to their home until death for a lewd act where a man is let go if he repents but not a women?
    How about raping slaves?
    Killing homosexuals?
    Killing infidels?
    Killing adulturiers?
    kIlling witches?
    Killing apostates?
    Killing Heretics?
    Killing children?
    Just plain killing because you are not like us you are a them?

    At what point should I stop being tolerant?

    When a known system that has been around for so long is a known failure with documented hate, intolerance, murder, torture, contradictions, deception, etc. has been deemed to be responsible for so many deaths, suffering and misery, at which point do we as humans stop tolerating such miserable dogma?

    At what point do you finally state that religion is a human failure and try to adopted a better and humane system. One which doesn’t have the thousand or so years of dismal failures?

    Just wondering. When can the tolerant finally say enough to the intolerant?

  697. @ MoQ
    The only thing that is fixed is that there is no god but Allah- and Muhammad is a messenger of Allah. And the Quran. How you chose to interpret it etc. is not. And just because the majority of Muslims have fixed more than that- has very concrete consequences on the world- I understand that- but it doesn’t make it dogma. I suspect we’ll have to agree to disagree on this.

    Atheism is more than just an absence of belief in God when it becomes the official stand of the state. When State Atheism happens all the same kinds of nasty stuff comes out, as when religious authorities rule. I am very much for secular states- but not for Atheistic ones in the same way I am not in favour of theocracies.

  698. @Bigstick,
    You believe in the same description of Islam as all the most extreme, ignorant, evil, badly behaving Quran, hadith and fatwa quoting -Muslims out there. I think their whole approach is so off and so many of their sources suspect I really don’t have anything to say to them. They have no sense of context (yes- you may not like that word- but it does matter) and no basic sense of any kind.

    So given that I understand Islam completely differently that you do- I don’t believe any of those things are correct or Islamic. And I don’t think anyone should tolerate them. And if I may say. You’ve done a good job of researching what extremists and people educated by extremists quote- and you can quote with the best of them. But you seem to have no knowledge of why some Muslims reject some of those sources and transmitters etc. There are reasons.

  699. “Atheism is more than just an absence of belief in God when it becomes the official stand of the state.’

    Not really. The US actually has a stand of not having religion involved in making Laws, but it does not have intolerance codified in its laws. What you are talking about is when a state becomes a dictatorship, then all kinds of bad things can happen. I view communist teachings as Dogma in the same manner as I view religion. Both are invented by men to control others. The fact you call yours inspired by God does not make it any different. With the exception of us giving it a title of religion.

    Now regarding the Quran interpretation. The book is full of 100’s of verses of intolerance. You cannot change what they are. Language has a purpose and these verses are written in a language called Arabic. Anyone that understands the language will understand that the Quran says none believers are deserving of the worst punishment including eternal life in hell. Yes, I understand someone like you can pass by such passages and leave it as it is god’s judgement or that may be somehow we do not understand etc. However, such position is like sticking your head in the sand. It is not a matter of interpretation Sandy. It is a matter of you not coming to terms with the violence and intolerance of the religion.

  700. The US is secular, not Atheistic. Atheistic states have historically brutally cracked down on religious practice. This is a fact. You can say they weren’t real Atheists- but they say they were.

    And no my head isn’t in the sand and no I haven’t failed to come to terms with my faith just because you disagree with me. And if you think interpretation has nothing to do with it- that is as rigid and as unreasonable a position as some of what you insist is “dogma”.

    I think we’re beating a dead horse here. We disagree. And I have neither the time nor inclination to go over it all again- with someone who thinks my head is in the sand because I believe something that makes no sense to them.

  701. @Sandy,

    Yes we disagree. Especially on the basic illogical statement you make which is “Lack of belief is a belief in itself”. This is like saying baldness is a hair color.

    Now regarding secularism and atheism, when it comes to law they are the same thing. Atheist advocate for separating religion from governing (hence secularism). Communism is as dogmatic as religions and in the case of countries like the Soviet Union the select few applied these dogmatic rules to control the masses.

    I know you tried to avoid the central argument which is: do you think a book that threatens Billions of people with eternal torture is tolerant? Do you think such descriptions of torture do not influence the majority of believers into becoming intolerant themselves?

  702. “Lack of belief is a belief in itself”. Where did I say that? That doesn’t sound like something I would say- and I cannot find it. I will correct it at once and clarify because I must have been very sloppy saying that.

    If Atheism becomes law- it is not the same as secularism. Some Atheists may view it that way- but certainly not all – and history attests to that. Some Atheists want to suppress all religion and outlaw it because they believe it is such a bad influence on society.

    The book threatens a much smaller group of people than you seem to think. And I’ve been through this before and you don’t except my understanding of it.

  703. Sandy:

    Please clarify that statement: “The book threatens a much smaller group of people than you seem to think.”

    Who is the smaller group that would be threaten by what book?

  704. Sandy:

    Why don’t you provide a text/book to me that discusses your understanding of the Quran. Besides the Quran of course.

    I will be more than happy to read it and add it to my collection.

  705. Sandy:

    Let me ask you if Jesus is a penacle to Islam, what happens when even Christians start to see him as a fable or no longer a real person?

    Let me ask you since the Exodus has been found to not occur as historians have determine what happens to the old testament or to the Quran when the events no longer apply to the books as a real event?

    When even many Jews now see Moses and Abraham as a myth due to archeological digs changing the concepts of the old testament and thus weaken the foundation of which the Quran bases itself upon.

    Can the later versions stand the test when the foundation of Yahweh/Allah/God is being eroded and the characters are becoming fiction?

    Curious, how do you balance the discovery of the Sanaa manuscripts and the many know variants of the Quran against the what has become the first standardized publication of the Cario Quran in July, 1924 or the new edition with minor changes in 1936 also known as the Faruq edition. All of which was never intended to be text-critical nor was it meant to seek to reconstruct the ancient form of the Quran but was to preserve one of the canonical qira-at. During this time it was stated that there were seven, ten or even fourteen equally valid qira’at. So early in the 20th century the Quran would have been anything but clear. In fact, scholars often times cannot give you a definitive ruling on numerous words only a likilhood or strong indication or a god knows best.

    Here is an interesting article detailing aspect of Jesus and what some many are pondering.

    http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/marshall_gauvin/did_jesus_really_live.html

    All interesting aspects of religion I think. Religion has a place Sandy. It’s place is in history. It is to learn from it and to stop making the same mistakes of following texts that clearly were meant to harm others. Religions place is in history just like studying the history of bablyonia, assyria, persia, crete, greece, romans, etc. It’s place is best left in the past history and not our future. It is there I hope mankind one day leaves it and learns from one of our great human failures and biggest impediments to the human race and our intellectual abilities.

  706. Dear Sir ( big stick)
    I have been following the ongoing discussion, for sometime, and as the Quran says you have your religion and i have mine. However when it comes to false information one cannot but comment:
    The Quran as