by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
SOCIAL CONTROL BEGINS AT HOME
How the Injunction to Command Right and Forbid Wrong Keeps Muslims in Line
When I was a teenage girl growing up in Nairobi, I wondered aloud in our house why the ritual prayers had to be said five times a day. Why not cut the number down to once a day? My half sister overheard me talking and almost immediately launched into hours of lectures, not just on that day but on many subsequent days, about my failures to perform my sacred duty as a Muslim. Nor did she confine herself to lecturing me. She also went about lobbying my extended family to have me "sent away" to be treated for "madness" because I had dared to ask a question about our faith and its practice.
This illustrates how the practice of commanding right and forbidding wrong functions in Islamic society. Debate and doubt are intolerable, deserving of censure, with the questioner reduced to silence even inside her own home. My half sister believed it to be her duty and obligation to correct me: to command me to do right and forbid me to do—or even think—wrong.
This is only part of a larger truth about Islam. It is almost always the immediate family that starts the persecution of freethinkers, of those who would ask questions or propose something new.
(Exactly how "cults" work - those closest to you report on you - Keith Hunt)
Commanding right and forbidding wrong begins at home. From there, it moves out into the community at large. The totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century had to work quite hard to persuade family members to denounce one another to the authorities. The power of the Muslim system is that the authorities do not need to be involved. Social control begins at home.
(All cults work this way; and Jesus said they of your own house will betray you, report on you….. and so tribulation comes from the cult - Keith Hunt)
The constant personal and intellectual unease that many of the Muslim students in my Harvard seminar felt with any discussion of the political organization of the Islamic world is directly connected to this overarching concept of commanding right and forbidding wrong. When the Qatari man challenged me on the first day of class, he was following these principles. He was not the last to do so. I had a male student from Nigeria who claimed to be an expert in sharia, among other things. He, too, repeatedly rose to "correct" me, each time calling me "sister," to emphasize the kinship element— although I was no doubt an apostate to him—and thereby also attempt subtly to nullify my role as the seminar leader. Women and men have very specified roles in Islamic society. It is spelled out exactly how each sex should act. And a man has an unequivocal right to command a woman, even if that woman is purportedly his teacher.
In short, taken together, commanding right and forbidding wrong are very effective means of silencing dissent. They act as a grassroots system of religious vigilantism. And their most zealous enforcers find in these words an excuse not just to command and to forbid but also to threaten, to beat, and to kill. I think of it as the totalitarianism of the hearth.
Origins of Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong
As far back as the philosophy of Aristotle and the Stoics in ancient Greece, Western civilization has understood the concept that the law must "command what should be done and forbid what should not be done." Thus the underlying concept of commanding right and forbidding wrong is not completely unique to Islam. The historian Michael Cook even speculates that "this ancient wording, like the owl on Athenian coins, found its way to pre-Islamic Arabia" from ancient Greece.1
Whatever the origin of the phrase, however, Muhammad's interpretation of it is explicit and novel. The Quran itself spells out the concept in three different places:
"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity" (3:104).
"Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah" (3:110).
And later: "The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil" (9:71).
(It's the old old way of all cults that want to dominate your life; people tattling on others; and it starts indeed in the home - Keith Hunt)
Some scholars have argued that these Quranic definitions might mean little more than separating believers in Islam from nonbelievers, "right" entailing choosing the faith of Allah and "wrong" the decision to worship anything else. But that is not how the injunction has usually been interpreted.
Of course, all religions have rules. Some Protestant sects were especially intrusive in policing their members, as the early history of New England confirms.
But the comprehensive nature of commanding right and forbidding wrong is uniquely Islamic.
And because Islam does not confine itself to a separate religious sphere, it is deeply embedded in political, economic, and personal as well as religious life.
As Patricia Crone explains, "Islamic law obliged its adherents to intervene when they saw other believers engage in sinful behavior and to persuade them to stop, or even to force them to do so if they could."
The importance of this function was even comparable with that of jihad, because for the Muslims of that era, "fighting sinners and fighting infidels were much the same."
In its practical application during the medieval era, commanding right and forbidding wrong entailed the Islamic ruler hiring a censor and market inspector who "would patrol the streets with armed assistants to ensure that people obeyed the law in public," whether it was attending Friday prayers, fasting during Ramadan, maintaining modesty in dress, forgoing wine, or segregating men and women.2
Remarkably, more than a thousand years later, little has changed. The religious police in Iran and Saudi Arabia, who beat women for displaying an ankle in public, the followers of the British-born lawyer and imam Anjem Choudary who carry out vigilante Muslim patrols in London,3 chastising women for refusing to cover up and knocking alcohol out of adults' hands, and the sharia brigades cracking down on alcohol consumption in Wuppertal, Germany,4 are the twenty-first-century commanders of right and forbidders of wrong. Today, as much as in medieval times, the concepts of commanding right and forbidding wrong entail telling individual Muslims how to live, down to the most intimate aspects of their lives.
Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Practice
At its most extreme, the concept of commanding right and forbidding wrong provides the justification for fathers, brothers, uncles, and cousins who carry out honor killings of female relatives they believe have committed irredeemable transgressions.
In many parts of the Islamic world, any behavior deemed immodest is reason enough to kill a daughter or female relative. And immodesty is extremely broadly defined: it could include singing, looking out a window, or speaking to a man who is not a relative. Marrying for love, in defiance of one's parents, is also a frequent justification.
No one knows the exact number of honor killings that happen around the world every year. Five thousand is the most commonly cited estimate, but that number illustrates only that the practice is underreported. The practice has certainly become more prevalent since the late twentieth century as more and more nations have formally adopted sharia. Almost a thousand honor killings occur annually in Pakistan alone.5 The problem is that honor killings are often not reported, or are ignored, or are disguised. There is often little or no incentive to bring them to the authorities in countries where the authorities sanction them.
HONOR VIOLENCE IN ACTUALITY
What does honor violence look like in practice?
In Lahore, Pakistan, a twenty-five-year-old woman who married against her father's wishes was stoned to death outside a courthouse.
Also in Pakistan, a girl was shot dead while doing her homework because her brother had thought she was with a man.
A Pakistani father and mother doused their fifteen-year-old daughter with acid because she had looked twice at a boy who passed by on a motorcycle, and from that they "feared dishonor." Her mother said that her daughter cried out before she died, "I didn't do it on purpose. I won't look again."6 But the mother added, "I had already thrown the acid. It was her destiny to die this way."
When seventeen-year-old Rand Abdel-Qader's father killed her in Basra, Iraq, because she had allegedly fallen in love with a British soldier stationed there, local officials commented: "Not much can be done when we have an honor killing case. You are in a Muslim society and women should live under religious laws."7
Farzana Parveen was three months pregnant when she was stoned to death in Pakistan in 2014 by her father, brother, and a family-selected fiance whom she had declined to marry. Farzana had married against her family's wishes, the family felt shamed, so they killed her in broad daylight outside a courthouse in the city of Lahore. Even more appalling, she was the second woman to die in this case. Her husband had strangled his first wife so that he could marry Farzana. He paid blood money, it was deemed an honor killing, and so he was free to wed again. When Farzana was killed, her stoning was also deemed an honor killing.
A young mother of two in Punjab province was stoned to death by her uncle and cousins, using stones and bricks, on the order of a Pakistani tribal court simply because she had a cell phone.
Even though stoning is supposedly illegal in Afghanistan, 115 men stood and cheered the stoning of a twenty-one-year-old woman accused of "moral crimes."
Commanding right and forbidding wrong can also justify the murder of homosexuals and Muslim apostates—even Muslims who are insufficiently devout. When the governor of Punjab acted to protect a Christian woman who was charged with blasphemy, it was his own bodyguard who killed him. Afterward, thousands of Pakistanis, including numerous clerics, lauded the killer, showering him with petals and celebrating his steadfastness and courage.
Dawood Azami of the BBC's World Service explains the dangers of apostasy in Afghanistan:
For those who were born Muslim, it might be possible to live in Afghan society if one does not practice Islam or even becomes an "apostate" or a "convert." They are most probably safe as long as they keep quiet about it. The danger comes when it is made public that a Muslim has stopped believing in the principles of Islam. There is no compassion for Muslims who "betray their faith" by converting to other religions or who simply stop believing in one God and the Prophet Muhammad. Conversion, or apostasy, is also a crime under Afghanistan's Islamic law and is punishable by death. In some instances, people may even take matters into their own hands and beat an apostate to death without the case going to court.8
Yet while these are striking examples, the practice of commanding right and forbidding wrong is subtler and more pervasive than they imply.
In a 2013 profile of King Abdullah of Jordan, the writer Jeffrey Goldberg recounted a visit he made with the king to the Jordanian city of Karak (Abdullah flew his own Black Hawk helicopter), "one of the poorer cities in a distressingly poor country." The king was going to have lunch with the leaders of Jordan's largest tribes, which in Goldberg's words "form the spine of Jordan's military and political elite." It is a long-standing symbiotic alliance between the Hashem-ite kings and their kingdom's clan chiefs. The tribal leaders expect the king to help safeguard their power and privileges, in part by keeping Jordan's Palestinian population in check. In return, the tribes help to safeguard the king.
This particular trip was designed in part for Abdullah to make his pitch for developing viable political parties among the tribes before upcoming parliamentary elections. Having watched the chaos engulfing his neighboring nations and having seen the bloody overthrow of established (albeit nonroyal) rulers in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia, Abdullah was hoping to mobilize the tribal leaders to stem the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and prevent it from "hijack[ing] the cause of democratic reform in the name of Islam." Still, his expectations were not high. Goldberg quotes the king as saying: "I'm sitting with the old dinosaurs today."
The meal was a traditional Bedouin one, eaten with forks (a small concession to modernity) at a long, high communal table, a hallmark of tradition. Then, with the ceremonial lunch complete, it was time for the tea and talk. Goldberg writes:
The king made a short plea for economic reform and for expanding political participation, and then the floor was opened. Leader after leader—many of whom were extremely old, many of whom merely had the appearance of being old—made small-bore requests and complaints. One of the men proposed an idea for the king's consideration: "In the old days, we had night watchmen in the towns. They would be given sticks. The government should bring this back. It would be for security, and it would create more jobs for the young men."9
"I was seated directly across the room from the king," Goldberg adds, "and I caught his attention for a moment; he gave me a brief, wide-eyed look. He was interested in high-tech innovation, and in girls' education, and in trimming the overstuffed government payroll. A jobs plan focused on men with sticks was not his idea of effective economic reform. As we were leaving Karak a little while later, I asked him about the men-with-sticks idea. 'There's a lot of work to do,' he said, with fatigue in his voice."10
But here's the rub: employing men with sticks is not some quaint old idea; it is a central component of Islam. Commanding right and forbidding wrong is in many ways all about men wielding sticks, enforcing correct behavior.
The Zone of Privacy Is Now a Dead Zone
Part of what makes commanding right and forbidding wrong such a menace is that, unlike the term "jihad," it sounds so virtuous. What could be wrong with living a moral life? Isn't that the primary aspiration of all major religious teachings? And what could be more reasonable than a devolved discipline, with norms of behavior enforced by family rather than some external power?
The problem is that these questions expose some fundamental differences between Islam and Western liberal thought.
A core part of the Western tradition is that individuals should, within certain limits, decide for themselves what to believe and how to live.
Islam envisages the exact opposite:
it has very clear and restrictive rules about how one should live and it expects all Muslims to enforce these rules. In its modern conception, commanding right has become (in the words of Michael Cook) "the organized propagation of Islamic values."11
As Dawood Azami puts it, if you depart from the basic (and time-consuming) requirements of the faith, you had best "keep quiet about it" if you hope to survive unscathed even by your own family.
It was not always this way.
In the medieval period, there were disagreements about how far commanding and forbidding should extend. Behind closed doors, in private lives, without witnesses, there was more latitude. As Patricia Crone notes, "Freethinkers could discuss their views with like-minded individuals in private salons, in learned gatherings at the court, and to some extent in books and even more so in poetry, where things could be put ambivalently." There was even an entire Islamic literary style, the mujun, which allowed its practitioners to push the boundaries of what was acceptable in society, allowing them to teeter on the edge of the blasphemous, the pornographic, the scurrilous. "In short," Crone concludes, "freedom lay essentially in privacy. The public sphere was where public norms had to be maintained, where there might be censors or private persons fulfilling the duty of 'commanding right and forbidding wrong' who would break musical instruments, pour out wine, and separate couples who were neither married nor closely related. But their right to intrude into private homes was strictly limited."12 There was even a way to say, to those who sought to enforce the Quran's dictates, "Mind your own business."
The idea of a zone of privacy and the concept of "mind your own business" have eroded in our time. As modern Islamic communities have become radicalized, there is a kind of arms race of commanding right and forbidding wrong. This means that a closet atheist is quickly outed because he is soon caught not praying five times a day, not fasting in the month of Ramadan, not praising Allah constantly, not saying "Inshallah" every time he refers to the future.
While we in the West have surrendered our privacy to our credit card companies, website cookies, social media networks, and search engines, in the Muslim world the zone of privacy has been eroded by other means.
How Does This Doctrine Take Root?
Universal human rights also play no part in the conception of commanding right and forbidding wrong; there are only the rules of Islam.
This phenomenon is at its most extreme with the so-called Islamic State, which demands that anyone living within its "caliphate" convert to its extreme practice of Islam and follow its rules. When IS fighters rolled into the city of Mosul, hanging out of car windows or off the backs of trucks, video footage captured one fighter aggressively wagging his finger at a woman on the street. He was signaling to her to cover up. Next would come the order for women not simply to cover, but to stay in their homes. Clothing stores in captured cities and towns could no longer sell anything but Islamic dress and all mannequins were to be veiled and covered. How can formerly progressive cities and regions, or at least fairly modern ones, allow the clock to be turned back to such an extreme degree? The answer is that the central elements of this type of fundamentalism are already present in Islamic politics, albeit in diluted form. The IS agenda is in some respects not so different from that of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Saudi Wahhabist teachings; it is just that their methods are more exposed.
IRAQ WITHOUT HUSSEIN
A particularly unfortunate legacy of the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein was the rise of sectarian political parties and militias in the wake of the collapse of the single-party Ba'athist authoritarian state. What is clear in hindsight is that the Ba'ath party had not eradicated these beliefs; it had merely driven them underground. Once freed and unleashed, these groups and their clerics proclaimed honor killings to be a legitimate religious means of "policing" women's behavior. Islamists in Basra scrawled graffiti that read, "Your makeup and your decision to forgo the headscarf will bring you death." Years before 2014, in other words, the fundamentalist seeds were already there.
(I BLOGGED THAT THIS WOULD HAPPEN AFTER THE USA AND ALLIES PULLED OUT OF IRAQ; SO IT HAS INDEED - Keith Hunt)
SYRIA ALSO…..BUT MORE
Syria, too, was widely regarded in the West as relatively secular. But the secularization has melted in the heat of civil war. In Raqqa, the Syrian city that became IS's capital, the insurgents have tested a sort of "Taliban 2.0" style of female repression. As in other fundamentalist states, women who go out without a male chaperone, or who are not fully veiled, are arrested and beaten; but in Raqqa, these arrests and beatings are frequently committed by other women.
IS has invented something new in the history of commanding right and forbidding wrong: an all-female moral police, the Al-Khansaa Brigade. The philosophy behind the brigade is simple, according to Abu Ahmad, an IS official in Raqqa, who said in an interview, "We have established the brigade to raise awareness of our religion among women, and to punish women who do not abide by the law. Jihad," he added, "is not a man-only duty. Women must do their part as well."13
For the modern-day jihadists, embracing the doctrine of commanding right and forbidding wrong also provides an opportunity to expand their ranks and incorporate more individuals outside of a purely combatant role. The practice creates many more soldiers for Allah and, in the case of Al-Khansaa, creates new ways to manage women who cannot go off to traditional war. (At least not yet—the Norwegian Islamic terror expert Thomas Hegghammer foresees a gradual shift to give women "more operative" roles in the jihad fight, explaining: "There is a process of female emancipation taking place in the jihadist movement, albeit a very limited (and morbid) one.")
A teenage girl in Raqqa described to the publication Syria Deeply how the female IS brigades function in practice. She was simply grabbed from the street by a group of armed women. "Nobody talked to me or told me the reason for my detention," she told the reporter. "One of the women in the brigade came over, pointing her firearm at me. She then tested my knowledge of prayer, fasting, and hijab." This girl's "crime" was walking without an escort and with an improperly worn headscarf.
When life is dominated by the fear of small infractions, how little thought can be given to the bigger questions? For want of a properly tied headscarf, a woman is beaten. It is the theological counterpart of the American policing theory of fixing broken windows and getting panhandlers off the streets as a way to prevent petty crimes from leading to larger, more serious violent transgressions. In the theory of commanding right and forbidding wrong, every small act, every minor infraction has the potential to become a major religious crime. Who can think about rights or education or economics when a trivial sartorial lapse can have such monumental consequences?
In Iraq, too, the current political tumult has created:
opportunities for vigilantism dressed up as religious policing. The dangers for gay Iraqi men are far greater today than they were under Saddam Hussein's regime. As The Economist notes, "Men even suspected of being gay face kidnappings, rape, torture and extrajudicial killing" by self-appointed sharia judges and squads that deem themselves to be the enforcers of commanding right and forbidding wrong. One gay man who was kidnapped hoped that his kidnappers would not reveal his sexual orientation to his family, the shame of which would force him never to see them again. But hundreds of others have suffered a far worse fate at the hands of religious death squads that patrol the streets of Iraq's major cities looking for "effeminate men."
As reported by Der Spiegel, "In Baghdad a new series of murders began early this year, perpetrated against men suspected of being gay. Often they are raped, their genitals cut off, and their anuses sealed with glue. Their bodies are left at landfills or dumped in the streets." In the words of the head of Iraq's leading lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization, Iraq "is the most dangerous place in the world for sexual minorities." Even Turkey, where homosexuality is legal and where many Iraqis and Iranians ultimately flee, has seen a gay honor killing, which was carried out by one unfortunate young man's father. (There is of course a rampant hypocrisy at work here because there are significant gay and lesbian populations in all Islamic nations. Because affairs with women are so logistically difficult, for example, Arab men have long turned to other men to satisfy their sexual needs. In Afghanistan, too, wealthy tribesmen are known to purchase young boys for their personal pleasure.)
Many religions have difficulties with accepting homosexuality, needless to say. Some mainly Christian countries in Africa have become appallingly homophobic in recent years. But even they do not prescribe the death sentence for gay people.
Honor Crimes in America
The practice of commanding right and forbidding wrong is not simply a problem for Muslim majority countries. It is increasingly a problem inside Muslim immigrant communities in the West.
I never cease to be amazed at how reluctant ordinary Americans are to believe that honor killings happen in the United States, too.
In October 2009, for example, twenty-year-old Noor al-Maleki was killed by her father in suburban Phoenix, Arizona. He ran over her with his Jeep in a parking lot, crushing her body beneath its wheels. She did not die instantly, but lay gasping for breath as blood flowed from her mouth. What had she done in her father's eyes to merit such a death? The answer is that she liked makeup, boys, and Western music, and hoped to be able to support herself. She also refused to submit to the marriage her father had arranged for her to an Iraqi man who was in need of a green card. Noor wanted to choose her own fate. Instead, her father chose it for her. Others in the local Iraqi community defended Noor's father's actions. A thirty-something mother praying at a local mosque told Time magazine, as her daughter translated, "I think what he did was right. It's his daughter, and our religion doesn't allow us to do what she did."14 (An Arizona jury found him guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced him to thirty-four years in prison.)
Or consider the case of the Egyptian-born taxi driver in Dallas, Texas, who shot his seventeen-and-eighteen-year-old daughters, Sarah and Amina, a total of eleven times for dating non-Muslim boys. At a vigil commemorating the two girls, their brother took the microphone and said: "They pulled the trigger, not my dad."15
Or Fauzia Mohammed, who was stabbed eleven times by her brother in upstate New York because she wore "immodest clothing" and was "a bad Muslim girl."
Or Aiya Altameemi, whose Iraqi-born father held a knife to her throat and whose mother and younger sister tied her to a bed and beat her because she was seen talking to a boy near their home in Arizona. Several months before, Aiya's mother had burned her face with a hot spoon because she refused to be married off to a man twice her age. Fauzia and Aiya survived, but they are scarred for life.
Similar crimes are being committed in Canada, too. The multimillionaire Afghan immigrant Muhammad Shafia killed his first wife and three daughters by locking them in a car and pushing it into a canal (the women may already have been drowned elsewhere) because the girls were becoming "too Westernized."
Aqsa Parvez was a sixteen-year-old Toronto girl who wanted to be a fashion designer. Her father and brother strangled her to death for not wearing the hijab.
There can be no excuse for such foul acts. There can be no acceptable cultural defense. It should never be any woman's or girl's destiny to die at the hands of her own family—very often, in the documented American cases, her own father's— for the sake of some antiquated notion of family honor. Nor can any community be permitted to hush up the crime in the name of faith or cultural tradition.
In the West, honor violence is all too often conflated with domestic violence. Indeed, that is often how law enforcers and local media report cases of honor violence, sometimes out of a kind of self-censoring impulse.
Underreporting of such cases encourages people to believe that honor violence "doesn't happen here" or, if it does, is no different from a drunkard punching his wife in the eye or menacing his son with a firearm.
But unlike domestic violence or abuse, where women and children (and sometimes also men) are nearly always brutalized in private, honor violence does not have to happen behind closed doors. Instead, the perpetrators often have the open support of family and community. There is no stigma because of the belief that the perpetrator is in the right. There is no need to leave bruises only where they will not show. Indeed, there can be social vindication and even redemption in a mutilated body, in a trail of blood. To escape a grisly death, a potential victim of honor violence must leave not only her abuser, but often her entire family and cultural community.
Whenever the apologists for honor violence say, "It is our religion," there must be an uncompromising reply: "Murder— and above all infanticide—cannot be sanctioned by any religion, by any faith, by any God."
Consider the case of the Pakistani man in Brooklyn who beat his wife to death with a stick because she made him a meal out of lentils rather than the goat meat he had requested. Though he was seventy-five and she was sixty-six, he left her body "a bloody mess." His defense attorney opened with the proposition that it was a culturally appropriate act because "he believed he had the right to hit and discipline his wife." At sentencing, the same attorney argued that prison would be a "hardship" because the man would not have access to Pakistani food. The New York judge sentenced the murderer to eighteen years to life.16 But in a sharia zone, would the incident have even been reported, let alone come to trial?
In 2010, in the British city of Derby, Kabir Ahmed and four other Muslim men passed out a leaflet entitled "Death Penalty?" and stuffed it through local mail slots.
Illustrating the leaflet was a picture of a mannequin, hanging by a noose, with the message that homosexuality is punishable by death in Islam: "The death sentence is the only way this immoral crime can be erased from corrupting society and act as a deterrent for any other ill person who is remotely inclined in this bent way." It continued: "The only dispute amongst the classical authorities was the method employed in carrying out the penal code," and then went on to propose burning, being flung from a high point such as a mountain or building, or being stoned to death as suitable methods of death. Two other leaflets, entitled "Turn or Burn" and "God Abhors You," were also given out.
At his 2012 trial for stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, Ahmed argued that he was in fact only spreading the word of God as taught through Islam: "My intention was to do my duty as a Muslim, to inform people of God's word and to give the message on what God says about homosexuality." According to the BBC, Ahmed also told the court he felt it was his duty as a Muslim to inform and advise people if they were committing sins, and that he would be failing if he did not. "My duty is not just to better myself but to try and better the society I live in," he added. "We believe we can't just stand by and watch somebody commit a sin, we must try and advise them and urge them to stay away from sin."17
Ahmed was sentenced to fifteen months in prison. After his release, he left his wife and three small children and joined IS. On November 7, 2014, he drove a truck laden with explosives into an Iraqi police convoy north of Baghdad, killing himself, an Iraqi general, and seven policemen, and injuring fifteen others.18 A few months before he had told a Newsweek reporter, "It is for the sake of. . . religion and . . . honor. We are not for this life, but for the afterlife."19 This is the doctrine of commanding right and forbidding wrong in action.
Ahmed's case is very far from unique. Consider this 2011 broadcast from a Muslim radio station in Leeds, England, during Ramadan. Speaking in Urdu, Rubina Nasir told listeners to Asian Fever's Sister Ruby Ramadan Special: "What should be done if they [practice homosexuality]? If there are two such persons among you, that do this evil, the shameful act, what do you have to do? Torture them; punish them; beat them and give them mental torture. Allah states, 'If they do such a deed, punish them, both physically and mentally. Mental punishment means rebuke them, beat them, humiliate them, admonish and curse them, and beat them up. This command was sent in the beginning because capital punishment had not yet been sent down.'" 20
The following day Nasir was back on the air, talking about what happens when a Muslim man or woman gets married to a Mushrak—one who associates God with another (Jesus), i.e., a Christian.
Listeners! Marriage of a Muslim man or woman with a Mushrak is the straight path to hellfire. Have my sisters and brothers, who live with people of bad religions or alien religions, ever thought about what would become of the children they have had with them—and the coming generation? Where the filth of shirk [the sin of following another religion] is present, where the dirt of shirk is present, where the heart is impure, how can you remove apparent filth? How many arrangements will you make to remove the apparent filth? We are saying that Mushraks have no concept of cleanliness and un-cleanliness.21
For these comments, the radio station was fined £4,000 (around $6,000), but there was no move to suspend its broadcasting license.
Confronted with such flagrant acts of intolerance—such abuses of the freedom of speech—a free society must surely do more. For intolerance is the one thing a free society cannot afford to tolerate.
Only when Muslims—particularly those in Western countries—are free to say what they want, to pray or to not pray, to remain Muslim or to convert, or to have no faith at all; only when Muslim women are free to wear what they want, to go out as they want, to choose the partners that they want—only then will we be on a path to discover what is truly right and truly wrong in the twenty-first century. Commanding right and forbidding wrong are fundamentally at odds with the core Western principle of individual freedom. They, too, need to be removed from the central Islamic creed.
FROM THE ABOVE, IT MUST MAKE ONE WONDER IF THE WESTERN WORLD HAS MADE A MISTAKE IN ALLOWING ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS PEOPLE INTO ITS COMMUNITY. MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN WESTERN NATIONS ARE REVOLTED TO READ WHAT YOU HAVE JUST HEARD. WE HAVE A WAY OF LIFE THAT ALLOWS FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR NO RELIGION, BUT NOT TO THE POINT OF "HONOR KILLINGS." SUCH A WAY OF LIFE IS FOREIGN TO THE WESTERN MIND. WHILE IT COULD BE ARGUED THAT THE MAJORITY OF RELIGIOUS ISLAMIC PEOPLE DO NOT ACCEPT HONOR KILLINGS, OR GOING OFF TO FIGHT FOR ISIS, THE FACT IS A PERCENTAGE OF STRICT ISLAMIC FAMILIES, WILL PRODUCE CHILDREN THAT WILL GROW UP TO BECOME ISIS MINDED, AND SO PRODUCE VIOLENCE NEAR OR FAR. THEN YOU DO HAVE TO WONDER WHY STRICT ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS PEOPLE [PARENTS, INDIVIDUALS] WANT TO COME AND LIVE IN WESTERN NATIONS [PREDISPOSING NOT COMING TO PLAN ON KILLING PEOPLE] IN THE FIRST PLACE. SURELY YOU WOULD THINK SUCH PEOPLE WOULD BE MUCH HAPPIER LIVING IN AN ISLAMIC NATION.
FOR CHRISTIANS, LET ME MAKE IT VERY CLEAR, CHRISTIANS ARE NOT ALLOWED BY THE GOD OF THE BIBLE, ESPECIALLY UNDER THE NEW TESTAMENT, TO TAKE THE LAW INTO THEIR OWN HANDS!!!
WE AS CHRISTIANS MUST STAND FOR THE TRUTHS OF GOD, WE MUST PREACH AND TEACH THE BIBLE, PAYING SPECIAL ATTENTION TO WHERE THE NEW TESTAMENT OVER-RIDES THE OLD TESTAMENT IN CERTAIN WAYS. PAYING ATTENTION TO THE EXAMPLES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT, WHERE TAKING PERSONAL VIOLENCE ON PEOPLE IS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. CHRISTIANS TEACH THE TRUTHS OF GOD, BUT LEAVE PUNISHMENT OF SIN TO GOD, IN HIS TIME. CHRISTIANS ARE TO HATE SIN, BUT LOVE THE SINNER. CHRISTIANS ARE TO HAVE NO HATRED FOR ANYONE PER SE. OF COURSE UNDER A SITUATION OF A "HITLER GOVERNMENT" CHRISTIANS WILL NOT IN ANY WAY CONDONE SUCH EVIL; THEY WILL SPEAK OUT CONCERNING EVIL; THEY WILL EITHER STAND UP AGAINST SUCH EVIL AND TAKE THE CONSEQUENCES, EVEN UNTO DEATH; OR THEY WILL FLEE THE SOCIETY AND/OR THE NATION, AND SPEAK OUT ABOUT ITS EVIL FROM AFAR. THEY WILL NOT TAKE THE LAW INTO THEIR OWN HANDS, AS UNDER SOME "HONOR KILLING." THE CHRISTIAN CAN USE SELF-DEFENCE IF IN THE SITUATION HIS FAMILY [WIFE, CHILDREN] ARE UNDER PERSONAL ATTACK [ A CHRISTIAN MAN, NAY ANY MAN, CAN NOT STAND-BY IF FREE OF RESTRAINTS, AND DO NOTHING IF HIS WIFE IS GOING TO BE RAPED ETC.]. BUT OUT AND OUT VIOLENCE HAS NO PART IN THE CHRISTIAN HEART, AND THAT IS VERY EVIDENT FROM JESUS, THE APOSTLES, AND ALL THE EXAMPLE OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
TRULY THE ISLAMIC RELIGION HAS TO HAVE A REFORMATION ON ITS TEACHING OF VIOLENCE, WHATEVER FLOWERY NICETY-NICE LANGUAGE IT MAY BE WRAPPED UP IN. UNLESS THAT HAPPENS THE WEST WILL BE FOREVER PLAGUED WITH SOME ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISTS, WHO WILL TAKE THE "VIOLENT VERSES" OF THE QUR'AN AND LIVE AND ACT BY THEM. THE ONLY OTHER WAY WOULD BE TO EXPELL ALL RELIGIOUS MULIMS FROM THE COUNTRIES OF THE WEST, AND NOT ALLOW ISLAMIC PEOPLE TO LIVE IN WESTERN NATIONS, AND THAT NOW SEEMS TO BE A POSITION THE WEST WILL NEVER TAKE.
HENCE WE NEED TO PRAY ISLAM WILL HAVE A REFORMATION ON HOW IT LOOKS AT THE ANCIENT MAN CALLED MUHAMMAD AND THE BOOK CALLED "THE QUR'AN."