Archive for the ‘Islam and females’ category

Report: Hundreds of Islamic State Sex Slaves Face Honor Killings if They Escape

November 25, 2017

Report: Hundreds of Islamic State Sex Slaves Face Honor Killings if They Escape, BreitbartEdwin Mora, November 24, 2017

AFP/File DELIL SOULEIMAN

Akram reportedly indicated that Turkmen “families are so deeply ashamed that they often don’t want their abducted girls to come back for fear they were violated. If they do escape and return, they face being honor killed.”

The Iraqi Turkmen community, the third-largest ethnoreligious group in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds, identifies with either Shiite or Sunni Muslim traditions.

“Many girls won’t return,” Hasan Turan, an Iraqi lawmaker from the Turkmen Front Party, told Fox News. “Many girls were held as slaves. … I can only hope families accept them if they return. They are the victims.”

While the ISIS kidnapping of thousands of women and girls from Iraq’s ethnoreligious minority group known as Yazidis (or Yezidis) has been well-documented, the abduction of females from other ethnic minorities has been underreported by members of their community out of shame, reports Fox News.

According to the news outlet, an estimated 640 Turkmen girls and at least another 59 women and children from the Shabak minority group remain missing after ISIS swept them into sexual brutality.

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The estimated 640 young girls from Iraq’s Turkmen minority community who remain under the shackles of sexual slavery at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) face honor killings if they escape and return to their families, a former Iraqi lawmaker representing the ethnic group told Fox News.

“We are very conservative. If our wife or sister was raped, we cannot talk about it,” Fawzi Akram, the former Iraqi member of parliament (MP) who now serves as a prominent aid and community leader, told Fox News.

He revealed that “640 of our girls—some younger than 12—are missing by ISIS.”

Last year, the Knights of Columbus, the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, and the nonprofit In Defense of Christians unveiled a detailed store-like price list maintained by ISIS for selling sexual slaves as young as 1-year-old “in the name of Allah.”

Honor killings across the globe often involve Muslim males murdering or mutilating a female family member accused of bringing shame and dishonor to their families and Islam.

Akram reportedly indicated that Turkmen “families are so deeply ashamed that they often don’t want their abducted girls to come back for fear they were violated. If they do escape and return, they face being honor killed.”

The Iraqi Turkmen community, the third-largest ethnoreligious group in Iraq after Arabs and Kurds, identifies with either Shiite or Sunni Muslim traditions.

“Many girls won’t return,” Hasan Turan, an Iraqi lawmaker from the Turkmen Front Party, told Fox News. “Many girls were held as slaves. … I can only hope families accept them if they return. They are the victims.”

While the ISIS kidnapping of thousands of women and girls from Iraq’s ethnoreligious minority group known as Yazidis (or Yezidis) has been well-documented, the abduction of females from other ethnic minorities has been underreported by members of their community out of shame, reports Fox News.

According to the news outlet, an estimated 640 Turkmen girls and at least another 59 women and children from the Shabak minority group remain missing after ISIS swept them into sexual brutality.

About 2,900 Yazidi women and girls remain missing, Vian Dakhil, a female representative for Yazidis in the Iraqi Parliament, told Fox News, echoing testimony from Yazidi survivor and human rights activist Nadia Murad before a congressional panel in June 2016.

“The scale of the sexual violence extends far broader than many Iraqis previously documented,” notes Fox News. “The minority Shabak—who reside mostly in villages east of Mosul, their faith and rituals centered on Christian, Yazidi and Islamic adherences—are also suffering in silence.”

Hunien Kaddo, an Iraqi MP who represents the estimated 35,000-strong Shabak community, revealed that ISIS raped at least 28 Shabak women and subsequently poured gasoline on them in cages before setting them ablaze in Mosul.

As ISIS lost Mosul to the U.S.-led coalition and its allies late last year, the jihadist group abducted an additional “59 Shabak women and children” from the surrounding villages, revealed Kaddo.

“I have been visiting displaced and devastated families in recent weeks,” he told Fox News. “They’re daughters are missing. Sadly, there is a lot of shame.”

He pointed out that many Christian women and girls remain in captivity as ISIS sex slaves.

The Yazidis requested help in recovering their missing women and children, Fox News learned from northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Meanwhile, the other minority groups stayed silent.

The United Nations and the United States have determined that ISIS committed genocide against minority groups in Iraq and Syria, including Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen, and Shabak.

American Islamists’ Silence on Tariq Ramadan Rape Allegations Speaks Volumes

November 7, 2017

American Islamists’ Silence on Tariq Ramadan Rape Allegations Speaks Volumes, Investigative Project on Terrorism, November 7, 2017

(Please see also, Tariq Ramadan’s Fans Insist He’s Not A Rapist: It’s The Women’s Fault. And the Jews’ and Girl Forced to Walk Naked to ‘Restore Honor’ [Pakistan]

Armed men forced a girl to parade naked through her village in Pakistan to “restore the honor” of their family.

The girl was targeted after her brother had an affair with the wife of one of the men. She was taken in broad daylight by a group of men, who cut off her clothes with scissors and forced walk through the streets of in the village of Chaudhuan, according to local residents.

— DM

It’s never fun when one of your favorite celebrities gets accused of wrongdoing. The home team quarterback faces a DUI, or a politician gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar. You can choose to face reality that the hero may not warrant your devotion, or try to pretend you never saw it.

When it comes to Tariq Ramadan, heir to modern Islamist thought and one of the world’s most recognizable Muslim scholars, American Islamists seem intent on looking the other way.

At least four women have accused the Oxford University professor of sexual assault or harassment – making him one of the latest high-profile men to be accused of past misconduct after Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s fall last month. Oxford announced Tuesday that Ramadan is taking a leave of absence “by mutual agreement.”

Compared to Weinstein and others, there are few voices taking up the cause for Ramadan’s accusers. Some of it may be cultural: Ramadan often has urged Muslims to treat controversial religious issues such as stoning adulterers and female genital mutilation as an “internal discussion.” But there’s also the fact that Ramadan has been quite helpful to American Islamists over the years.

He addressed the two largest gatherings of Muslim Americans last year, speaking to conventions organized by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and a joint Muslim American Society-Islamic Circle of North America (MAS-ICNA) gathering. That September, he spoke at California’s Zaytuna College with its founder Hatem Bazian.

The subject? “Resistance: Combatting Oppression, Inspiring Action.”

Rape is a form of oppression.

Ramadan was the keynote speaker for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Chicago chapter fundraising banquet. He served the same role for CAIR National’s 2010 fundraising banquet.

Last month, he spoke at a conference organized by Georgetown University’s Saudi-endowed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

Center Director Jonathan Brown, Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Chair of Islamic Civilization in the School of Foreign Service, also spoke at the conference. Brown generated attention earlier this year with a lecture that argued it isn’t “morally evil to own somebody” and that sexual consent is a bit of a myth because no individual is genuinely autonomous.

In the wake of the Ramadan allegations, Brown linked without comment to a Huffington Post op-ed on his Facebook page emphasizing that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

Beyond that, leaders from Georgetown, CAIR, ISNA, ICNA or MAS have had little to say about the possibility Ramadan may be a sexual predator. Some were less reticent when it came to judging people in similar cases.

For example, Zainab Chaudry, CAIR’s Maryland outreach director, praised Netflix’s decision to end its popular series “House of Cards” after star Kevin Spacey was accused of assaulting a teenage boy 30 years ago.

“Hopefully the first step in justice for the survivor(s),” she wrote Monday. She has not expressed concern for the women who say Ramadan assaulted them.

As the Weinstein scandal unfolded, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab took to Facebook to call out the powerful producer as “Another bloated old predator creep – to add to the list alongside Roger Ailles [sic] and Bill O’Reilly – fawned over by society and rewarded with wealth and fame, even as he luxuriated in sociopathic predatory behavior for decades with no accountability.

“Well, it is time for liberals and those on the left to quit the double standard. The same outrage rightly shown to the fallen icons of the right better be shown to this trash human.”

He urged people to “Pay close attention to what happens to Weinstein if anything, and how the mainstream media and Hollywood deal with this.”

Five days later, Rehab noted that three women accused Weinstein of rape – one accuser fewer than Tariq Ramadan has today – and blasted the “hundreds of enablers, including the biggest stars…” A news outlet called 26 actors and directors to ask about Weinstein. “None responded,” Rehab wrote.

Rehab has made no direct comment about Ramadan. On Oct. 28, however, he reposted Ramadan’s statement announcing his plans to sue one accuser for slander. In an exchange with a commenter, Rehab predicted “the truth will eventually prevail in such a way that will be indisputable.” While he generally believes a woman accuser, “the specifics of any case take precedence for me over the generally speaking.”

Weinstein threatened to sue the New York Times after it published a story detailing the number of women he paid to stay quiet about abuse allegations.

At least in the initial claim against Ramadan, those who sided with him were quick to argue that his accuser disagrees with them politically, so she must be making it up. Henda Ayari is described as a former Salafi Muslim who left the faith and became a secular activist.

Ahmed Bedier, a former CAIR chapter director who still helps the organization raise money, called Ayari a mentally ill Islamophobe and “a hero to the anti-Muslim movement and Israeli groups in Europe.”

In a New York Times profile, Ayari does acknowledge losing custody of her children for two years following a nervous breakdown. But Bedier failed to provide the context: it was brought on by the stress of fleeing from an abusive Salafi home that was described by a social services worker as a prison. She wore the jilbab and niqab – full body coverings – with the story describing her husband’s view that it was “the female garb that most pleased Allah.” She rarely was allowed out of the home.

In a related exchange that same day, Bedier said he would normally give the accuser the benefit of the doubt. But in this case, blaming her is okay because “the accuser is an anti-Muslim activist accusing the leading Muslim figure in Europe.”

He does appear to have weighed in on subsequent accusers.

As we showed Monday, Ramadan’s European fans reacted similarly, attacking the accuser and buying into conspiracy theories.

After trying to discredit the alleged victim, Ramadan may be targeting one of the messengers. His lawyers say they may sue French journalist Caroline Fourest for “witness tampering,” she wrote Friday, adding that she met alleged victims as far back as 2009.

A self-described Muslim feminist has stayed mum about the prospect a leading Muslim voice, and the grandson of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, could be a rapist. Linda Sarsour is a leader of the Women’s March movement.

As the number of Weinstein accusers increased, the March’s Twitter feed expressed appreciation and admiration for their courage. “You are not alone,” it said.

Tuesday morning, after the New Yorker published Ronan Farrow’s follow-up detailing Weinstein’s use of private investigators, including one company comprised of ex-Israeli security officials, to try to thwart investigations into his sexual predations, Sarsour wrote that the story “literally gave me chills.”

Neither the March nor Sarsour has expressed similar solidarity with Ramadan’s accusers. He defended Sarsour in January, when she faced criticism from liberals who were uncomfortable with her leadership for the Women’s March. “There is nothing bigots fear more than strong Muslim women,” he wrote, “and that this community will not stop standing up for itself and all the marginalized in the face of hatred and bigotry.”

What about sexual assault?

Tariq Ramadan remains innocent until proven guilty. But public judgment changed dramatically with other men as more accusers emerged and a pattern of behavior became clear. A former French official has acknowledged that Ramadan long has had a reputation for womanizing, and that it sometimes included violence. At least four women say that they can attest to that.

At some point, attacking the victims or imagining it will all go away no longer works.

Tariq Ramadan’s Fans Insist He’s Not A Rapist: It’s The Women’s Fault. And the Jews’

November 6, 2017

Tariq Ramadan’s Fans Insist He’s Not A Rapist: It’s The Women’s Fault. And the Jews’, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, November 6, 2017

Tariq Ramadan’s many fans – more than 600,000 people follow him on Twitter and he has more than 2 million Facebook followers – have had plenty to say. He is innocent, they are certain. In their comments on both social media sites, they assure him that Allah will protect him. The women are liars, or part of a conspiracy: against Muslims, against the Muslim leader himself, against Islam – all the insidious, but entirely predictable, work of the world’s Jews.

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From the moment news broke of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual aggressions, men and women alike rushed to express their disgust and disappointment. As the number of accusers mounted, so, too, did the number of those who condemned him. From actors to producers, film festivals to the Oscars and dozens of politicians, the once-celebrated movie mogul has been disparaged and denounced.

Compare that to the response to women who accuse Islamic scholar and guru Tariq Ramadan of similar, even more violent behavior – four at last count, with more rumored to be preparing to step up. In France, where Ramadan faces charges of sexual assault; in Switzerland, his birthplace; and in England, where he lives and teaches at the University of Oxford, his fellow Muslim leaders, as well as Muslim and civil rights groups, have yet to say a word against him. Even the Ligue France des Femmes Musulman – the French League of Muslim Women – has failed to speak out, although three of Ramadan’s alleged victims, including French writer and activist Henda Ayari, are French Muslim women. (The fourth is Belgian.)

Even the French authorities, it turns out, have kept quiet. “That he had many mistresses, that he consulted sites, that girls were brought to the hotel at the end of his lectures, that he invited them to undress, that some resisted and that he could become violent and aggressive, yes, but I never heard of rapes,” Bernard Godard, who worked in the French Ministry of the Interior from 1997 to 2014, told the French magazine L’Obs. It is hard to understand how Mr. Godard knew that girls “resisted” and that Ramadan became violent, and did not somehow understand that there might be rape involved, or that violence against young girls might be worth reporting. And so he said nothing.

New allegations continue to emerge, including from four Swiss women who say he came on to them when they were teenagers.

On the other hand, Tariq Ramadan’s many fans – more than 600,000 people follow him on Twitter and he has more than 2 million Facebook followers – have had plenty to say. He is innocent, they are certain. In their comments on both social media sites, they assure him that Allah will protect him. The women are liars, or part of a conspiracy: against Muslims, against the Muslim leader himself, against Islam – all the insidious, but entirely predictable, work of the world’s Jews.

Of course that’s somewhat to be expected. Ramadan is vehemently anti-Israel, so it comes as no surprise that his fans and followers would be, too. Besides, the charges against him describe such heinous behavior – dragging a woman by her hair through a hotel room, repeated beatings and sexual assaults, sexual abuse of a disabled woman and more – that only the Zionists, the Jews, could have come up with them.

Which is why one fan posted on Ramadan’s Facebook page (translated from Arabic) “One of the ways of the Zionists is to use women as a sexual commodity to pressure their enemies and threaten to expose them to become their servants.” Another added, “The Muslim asses are waking up and can see clearly why these accusations are launched against Muslims and especially one who is a proponent of the Palestinian cause.” And yet another wrote from Canada: “[the episode stands in the center] of the whole Emirati war on Qatar, and the war of the Zionist and secular lobby in France.”

Even after the revelations of another rape came to light, Ramadan’s minions remained unmoved. While one admitted that “I don’t believe and I won’t believe what they invent about you even if it happens in front of my eyes, I will lie and believe you,” another posted: “The Zionist lobby realized that the first complaint was not enough to smear Mr. Ramadan’s reputation and integrity, so they fomented another story with a more violent accusation in order to shock the public…. We know Mr. Ramadan and we know as well the Zionist lobby and its Zionist dogs (media and politics) who struggle since long ago to smear Tariq Ramadan’s reputation and academic work… in vain. Mr. Ramadan, we will NEVER let you down, no matter how loud the Zionist dogs’ barking is.”

Others have pointed to the “immodesty” of his accusers: what were they doing going to his hotel room? (He invited them when they requested spiritual guidance.) And why did they not wear hijabs? After all, as Ramadan has taught, women should always remain covered, as protection against the unbridled lust and weakness of men. On Twitter, one follower posted: “France is the capital of vice and prostitution where hookers are cheaper than a cup of coffee. Its [sic] probably lies to sell her book.” And in a diatribe defending Ramadan on Facebook, Mohamad H. Elmasry, an Egyptian-American activist and political analyst, criticized Ayari’s opposition to the hijab, of which she has written, “It is not for women to hide because of sexual and perverted frustration that is unable to control themselves [sic] by the beauty of a woman!”

And yet, covered women are also raped, both in the Middle East and in the West, where Shaista Gohir, the chair of a UK-based helpline for Muslim women, told the Independent, some “have been fully dressed. Some have been wearing the headscarf, [full robe], and even the face veil. The offenders have included family friends, family members, and also respected religious leaders in the community.” As Claudia Landsberger, a former colleague of the late Islam critic and filmmaker Theo van Gogh, wrote in an e-mail, such incidents demonstrate “how the whole issue of modesty, or chastity, in order not to make men go wild, does not make any difference in the heads of these men. So first they imprison these women in their hijabs, burqas, or whatever, making them even believe it is for their own benefit – and double-betray them.” Van Gogh, the producer of “Submission,” a film that criticized the treatment of women in Islam, was murdered by a Dutch Muslim extremist in 2004.

For his part, Ramadan has filed a countersuit for slander against Ayari, who claims that he attacked her in a hotel room in 2012. “He choked me so hard that I thought I was going to die,” Ayari told a French newspaper Oct. 30. Ramadan had tried to convince her to be his sex slave, she said. When she refused, he threatened to harm her children. It was this threat, she claims, that kept her from speaking out earlier. Only in the aftermath of the Weinstein scandal, as women around the world joined the social media “#MeToo” campaign, did she find the courage to come forward.

Her example, in turn, gave courage to his three other accusers. It is not clear whether Ramadan plans to sue them as well. For now, he has said on Facebook, his attorneys have advised him to keep silent on the case.

But what all this shows is that in the court of Muslim public opinion – even among so-called civil rights groups that act in the name of Islam – Tariq Ramadan is not just innocent until proven guilty. He is innocent, and the others guilty: the Jews, the Zionists, the secularists, the unveiled women.

This is not a new refrain: we’ve heard similar chorales legitimize terrorist attacks like the Charlie Hebdo shootings, or the attempted murders of others who have dared to lampoon Mohammed. They echoed, too, in the response of many Dutch Muslims to the slaughter of Theo van Gogh. Ramadan could, of course, intervene. He could say that no, this has nothing at all to do with Jews. No, rape is not the fault of women. Instead, he is silent. This, his silence, is his assault. And of this, he alone is guilty.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

Tunisian Religious Reforms Challenge Egypt’s Al Azhar

September 19, 2017

Tunisian Religious Reforms Challenge Egypt’s Al Azhar, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Hany Ghoraba, September 19, 2017

(Please see also, Look Who’s Fighting Extremism. — DM)

Essebsi is implementing reforms he deems necessary for his country’s social progress. These reforms already are having a ripple effect in the region and might lead to further social progress. Essebsi has done what al-Sisi called for about for more than two years ago, but never took any tangible steps to implement. These reforms may be not exactly what al-Sisi wanted when he called for a complete change of Islamic rhetoric that shuns all forms of extremism and violence. Nevertheless, Essebsi’s reforms are a bold step forward for total social and religious reforms that the Middle East desperately needs.

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Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi marched straight into a battle with Egypt’s highest Sunni authority, Al-Azhar’s mosque and university, when he proposed social and religious reforms giving women more freedom in marriage and guaranteeing them equal inheritance rights.

A substantial part of that agenda became law last Thursday when Tunisia’s parliament ended the ban on Muslim women marrying non-Muslim men. It is a direct result of controversial reforms Essebsi proposed, ending a ban imposed in 1973.This was done while proposing new law to secure gender equality in inheritance rights.

Egypt’s Al Azhar has ferociously condemned these reforms as un-Islamic, contradicting what it called the “Fundamentals of the Faith.” Marriage to non-Muslims may harm Muslim women due to differences in faith and traditions and could lead to women being prohibited from practicing their faith freely, said Al Azhar Deputy Imam Abbas Shoman.

Essebsi’s proposals mark the first time the leader of a Muslim-majority nation personally announced critical social reforms, which also include giving women equal inheritance to men despite traditional Shari’a-based laws. These reforms aim for gender equality in Tunisia.

Al-Azhar also opposes the inheritance changes, Shoman said, saying they contradict the Quran’s guidance. “Allah instructs you concerning your children: for the male, what is equal to the share of two females,” it says.

Though not wielding the same influence as the Vatican Pope’s over Catholics, the moral authority wielded over Muslims by Al Azhar’s grand imam is recognized in all four corners of the globe. Al Azhar once represented a pillar of modernity and moderation in the Islamic world, but that changed when ultra-conservative Wahhabism and Muslim Brotherhood Jihadist doctrine ascended during the 1950s. More radical Salafi doctrines became part of the core curriculum.

Opposing Modernity

Essebsi’s call for gender equality is a step toward a secular path, which is a radical departure from most predominantly-Muslim countries. It’s not surprising, therefore, that it generated a storm of protest and condemnation from the Al Azhar sheikhdom (administration). To them, Tunisia’s reforms counter straight-forward Quranic versesconcerning the distribution of the inheritance between women and men and marriage to non-Muslims.

Those verses dictate that a man receives twice as much inheritance as a woman. That’s because men traditionally pay for the expenses of the house that includes the family’s women until they get married and move into their own homes. Thus, a man should acquire twice as much as his sister or women counterpart to carry on with his duties. That mayhave made sense 1,400 years ago, but in the 21stcentury that is hardly the case anymore.

Women have attained huge milestones in the past two centuries and even in the Muslim majority nations. For example, Egypt’s feminist movement started in the early 20th century, and by the 1950s, Egyptian women had voting rights even before women in Switzerland. Egypt has a major representation of women in all political, economic and social fields. Countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, and Turkey had a female presidents or prime ministers.Today, more than a third of Egyptian households are financed by women, the Egyptian National Centre for Social and Criminological Research (NCSCR) reports.

The issue of Muslim women marrying non-Muslims has been a source of debate and conflict for centuries. Advocates of Tunisia’s reforms argue that the Quranic verses governing marriage outside the faith apply to men and women. The only prohibition is marrying an atheist or a follower of polytheistic religions.

Nevertheless, for more than 1,400 years it became the norm that Muslim women are prohibited from marrying non-Muslim men. Scholars argued Muslim women who married outside the faith might not be free to practicing their religion. Reform advocates believe that 21st century women freely choose their own life partners and are aware of any consequences.

Renouncing Al Azhar’s criticism, Essebsi condemned “foreign interference” in internal Tunisian affairs. Tunisian religious bodies, including the Diwan of Fatwa, support his reforms.

Counter-Reform Syndicate

Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb was reputed to be a moderate Sufist who many in Egypt hoped would counter the growing influence of the university’s radical alumni. Alas, he has faced criticism from liberal Egyptian intellectuals and secularists for blocking any tangible Islamic reforms. During his reign, Al Azhar has waged witch hunts against Egyptian Islamic reformers such as Islam Al-Beheiry. Al-Beheiry spent a year in prison for blasphemy because he dared to condemn some major Islamic traditionalist scholars’ works, calling them the source of modern terrorist ideologies. He was later released after being granted a presidential pardon.

More than two years ago, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made a historic call for a religious revolution targeting interpretations and misconceptions of religious scripture that drives jihadist ideologies. Al-Azhar’s sheikhdom met the call with defiance, despite displaying fake enthusiasm for the government and the media. As a result, no new laws have been introduced and no curricula have changed with Al Azhar’s influence on Egyptian state affairs is growing stronger.

Yet al-Sisi is not challenging the religious institution enough out of fear that the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian Salafists might use the pressure to restore their influence in Al-Azhar. However, a confrontation with Al Azhar seems inevitable since it has already been infiltrated by the very Salafists and radicals whose influence al-Sisi wishes to eradicate.

Ironically, Tunisia’s Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Ennahda Party has been mostly vague about the social reforms. Despite the protest of some of its main leaders, no official statement has been issued Ennahda vice President Abdel Fattah Mourou said that marriage is a matter of personal freedom under Tunisia’s constitution.

Ennahda, which rose to power after the 2011 Arab Spring, was voted out just three years later. Now it is trying to appear as moderate as possible to regain its strength and weather the storm of anti-Islamist sentiment prevailing in many Middle Eastern nations.

Essebsi is implementing reforms he deems necessary for his country’s social progress. These reforms already are having a ripple effect in the region and might lead to further social progress. Essebsi has done what al-Sisi called for about for more than two years ago, but never took any tangible steps to implement. These reforms may be not exactly what al-Sisi wanted when he called for a complete change of Islamic rhetoric that shuns all forms of extremism and violence. Nevertheless, Essebsi’s reforms are a bold step forward for total social and religious reforms that the Middle East desperately needs.

Hany Ghoraba is an Egyptian writer, political and counter-terrorism analyst at Al Ahram Weekly, author of Egypt’s Arab Spring: The Long and Winding Road to Democracy and a regular contributor to the BBC.

Europe’s Cities Absorb Sharia Law

August 2, 2017

Europe’s Cities Absorb Sharia Law, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, August 2, 2017

London Mayor Sadiq Khan banned advertisements that promote “unrealistic expectations of women’s body image and health”. Now Berlin is planning to ban images in which women are portrayed as “beautiful but weak, hysterical, dumb, crazy, naive, or ruled by their emotions”. Tagesspiegel‘s Harald Martenstein said the policy “could have been adopted from the Taliban manifesto”.

The irony is that this wave of morality and “virtue” is coming from cities governed by uninhibited leftist politicians, who for years campaigned for sexual liberation. It is now a “feminist” talking point to advocate sharia policy.

To paraphrase the American writer Daniel Greenfield, the irony of women celebrating their own suppression is both heartbreaking and stupefying.

Within days after the Islamic State conquered the city of Sirte in Libya two years ago, enormous billboards appeared in the Islamist stronghold warning women they must wear baggy robes that cover their entire bodies, and no perfume. These “sharia stipulations for hijab” included wearing dense material and a robe that does not “resemble the attire of unbelievers”.

Two years later, Europe’s three most important cities — London, Paris and Berlin — are adopting the same sharia trend.

Paris has said au revoir to “sexist” ads on public billboards. The Paris city council announced its ban after the Socialist Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the move meant that Paris was “leading the way” in the fight against sexism. London Mayor Sadiq Khan also banned advertisements that promote “unrealistic expectations of women’s body image and health”. Now Berlin is planning to ban images in which women are portrayed as “beautiful but weak, hysterical, dumb, crazy, naive, or ruled by their emotions”. Der Tagesspiegel‘s Harald Martenstein said the policy “could have been adopted from the Taliban manifesto”.

The irony is that this wave of morality and “virtue” is coming from cities governed by uninhibited leftist politicians, who for years campaigned for sexual liberation.

There is a reason for this grotesque campaign banning these images. These cities host significant Muslim populations; and politicians — the same who frantically are enacting mandatory multiculturalism — want to please “Islam”. It is now a “feminist” talking point to advocate sharia policy, as does Linda Sarsour. The result is that, today, few feminists dare to criticize Islam.

It is happening everywhere. Dutch municipalities are “advising” their employees to not wear mini-skirts. There are women-only hours at Swedish swimming pools. German schools are sending letters to parents asking children to avoid wearing “revealing clothes”.

The first to suggest calling for a ban on posters or advertisements that “reduce women or men to sexual objects” was German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, a Social Democrat.

“To demand the veiling of women or taming of men,” said Free Democratic Party leader Christian Lindner, “is something known among radical Islamic religious leaders, but not from the German minister of justice.”

In 1969, Germany was overwhelmed by a debate on introducing into schools the “Sexualkundeatlas”, an “atlas” of sexual science. Now the effort is to desexualize German society. The newspaper Die Welt commented:

“Thanks to Justice Minister Heiko Maas we finally know why on New Year’s Eve, at Cologne Central Station, about a thousand women were victims of sexual violence: because of sexist advertising. Too many eroticized models, too much naked skin on our billboards, too many erotic mouths, too many miniskirts in fashion magazines, too many wiggling rear-ends and chubby breasts in television spots. It is another step in the direction of a ‘submission'”.

Instead of nipples and buttocks, Die Welt concludes, “should we urge the use of burqa or veil, as Mrs. Erdogan does?”

The same German élites who suggest banning “sexist” billboards censored the crude details of the mass sexual assaults in Cologne. Meanwhile, a liberal Berlin mosque, which banned burqas and opened its door to gays and to unveiled women, is now under police protection after threats from Muslim supremacists.

Europe’s élites have adopted a double standard: they are proud to host an exhibit of a Christian crucifix submerged in urine, but quickly capitulate to Muslim demands to censor cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. The Italian authorities went to great efforts to spare Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani a view of nudity on ancient sculptures in the Capitoline Museums of Rome.

The Western public appears fascinated by Islamic veils. Ismail Sacranie, a founder of Modestly Active, the manufacturer that designs burkinis, told the New York Times that 35% of their clients are non-Muslim. Aheda Zanetti, a Lebanese woman living in Australia who invented the burkini, claims that 40% of her sales are to non-Muslim women. The Western public, which has been romanticizing Islam, is apparently absorbing the pieties of Islamic law. The Spectator called it “a new puritanism” and “why some feminists make common cause with Islam”.

To paraphrase the American writer Daniel Greenfield, the irony of women celebrating their own suppression is both heartbreaking and stupefying.

Europe might soon have to apologize to the Mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker. She was criticized — denounced — for advising women to keep “at an arm’s length” from strangers to avoid sexual harassment.

If the West keeps on betraying the democratic value of individual freedom on which Western civilization is based, Islamic fundamentalists, like those who imposed burqas on Libyan women, will start imposing them on Western women. They may even begin with those feminist élites who first created the sexual revolution to emancipate women in the 1960s, and who are now infatuated with an obscurantist garment that hides women in a portable prison.

If the West keeps betraying the democratic value of individual freedom, Islamic fundamentalists, like those who imposed burqas on Libyan women, will do the same to Western women. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

 

NO groping, Damn it!

July 23, 2017

NO groping, Damn it! Power LineJohn Hinderaker, July 22, 2017

The Perchtoldsdorf signs are out of date in one respect. Here in the U.S., it is no longer true that men should stay out of women’s showers. The “enlightened” view of such matters is that men are perfectly welcome to shower with teenage girls and adult women, as long as they say, if asked, that they are “trans.” Watch for this sign of social progress to make its way to Austria before long.

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American liberals want to take in lots of Islamic refugees from the Middle East and Africa, presumably because that policy has been so successful in Europe. This is, of course, a dubious premise, as we have noted many times.

This story comes from Austria, and it must be legit because it is reported in the Sun. Heh. As best I can tell, though, it is authentic:

A swimming pool has stuck up signs targeted at migrants telling them not to grope women or enter the female changing room.

The signs were posted in a swimming pool in Perchtoldsdorf, a market town a short distance from the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Here is the sign, click to enlarge:

Apparently the signs have been posted because some Islamic refugees don’t understand–or, more likely, pretend not to understand–that men shouldn’t enter the ladies’ shower, and you’re not supposed to fondle women to whom you haven’t been introduced:

One sign shows a man entering the women’s dressing room with the word “STOP!” and “entry is forbidden in non-designated areas” written next to it.

Another sign show a picture of a young teen in a bikini with three hands seemingly wanting to grope her.

It reads “NO!” and explains that “physical contact with other guests is forbidden”.

And while the signs featured English, French and Arabic text, there was no German translation, with the sign clearly not intended for local visitors.

The Austrians assume, apparently, that their natives already understand that you aren’t supposed to fondle strange women.

The Perchtoldsdorf signs are out of date in one respect. Here in the U.S., it is no longer true that men should stay out of women’s showers. The “enlightened” view of such matters is that men are perfectly welcome to shower with teenage girls and adult women, as long as they say, if asked, that they are “trans.” Watch for this sign of social progress to make its way to Austria before long.

In the meantime, it is reasonable to wonder whether copying Angela Merkel’s refugee policy is a good idea for the U.S.

Kamala Harris Goes Silent When Confronted with True Sex-Based Oppression

June 24, 2017

Kamala Harris Goes Silent When Confronted with True Sex-Based Oppression, Power LinePaul Mirengoff, June 23, 2017

Last week, Sen. Kamala Harris became the left’s designated victim of the month because she was interrupted by Republican Senators during a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Harris kept interrupting the witness, Attorney General Jeff Session, so it’s debatable whether she had a genuine grievance. Nonetheless, the Democrats and their media allies were quick to level hackneyed allegations that, once again, sexist patriarchs have tried to silence a woman “speaking truth to power.”

The next day, two women with genuine grievances of sexism testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, of which Harris, regrettably, is a member. The women were our friend Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Q. Noman.

Both were born into deeply conservative Muslim families. Ayaan is a survivor of female genital mutilation and forced marriage. Asra defied Shariah by having a baby while unmarried.

Both have been threatened with death by jihadists for things they have said and done. Ayaan cannot appear in public without armed guards.

You might have thought that Sen. Harris would show considerable interest in what these victims of sexism had to say. If so, you don’t grasp that Harris’ slavish adherence to the left’s taboo against calling out Islamists trumps any real commitment she may have to women’s rights.

Here, as told by Ayaan and Asra in the New York Times, is what happened:

The Democrats on the panel, including Senator Harris and three other Democratic female senators — North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill — did not ask either of us a single question.

This wasn’t a case of benign neglect. At one point, Senator McCaskill said that she took issue with the theme of the hearing itself. “Anyone who twists or distorts religion to a place of evil is an exception to the rule,” she said. “We should not focus on religion,” she said, adding that she was “worried” that the hearing, organized by Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, would “underline that.” In the end, the only questions asked of us about Islamist ideologies came from Senator Johnson and his Republican colleague, Senator Steve Daines from Montana.

Ayaan and Asra nail the meaning of what went down:

[W]hat happened that day was emblematic of a deeply troubling trend among progressives when it comes to confronting the brutal reality of Islamist extremism and what it means for women in many Muslim communities here at home and around the world.

When it comes to the pay gap, abortion access and workplace discrimination, progressives have much to say. But we’re still waiting for a march against honor killings, child marriages, polygamy, sex slavery or female genital mutilation.

They will be waiting for a long time.

Ayaan and Asra continue:

[W]hen we speak about Islamist oppression, we bring personal experience to the table in addition to our scholarly expertise. Yet the feminist mantra so popular when it comes to victims of sexual assault — believe women first — isn’t extended to us. Neither is the notion that the personal is political. Our political conclusions are dismissed as personal; our personal experiences dismissed as political.

That’s because in the rubric of identity politics, our status as women of color is canceled out by our ideas, which are labeled “conservative” — as if opposition to violent jihad, sex slavery, genital mutilation or child marriage were a matter of left or right. This not only silences us, it also puts beyond the pale of liberalism a basic concern for human rights and the individual rights of women abused in the name of Islam.

Why aren’t leftists willing to call out Islamic extremism? Ayaan and Asra offer this explanation:

Partly they fear offending members of a “minority” religion and being labeled racist, bigoted or Islamophobic. There is also the idea, which has tremendous strength on the left, that non-Western women don’t need “saving” — and that the suggestion that they do is patronizing at best. After all, the thinking goes, if women in America still earn less than men for equivalent work, who are we to criticize other cultures?

This is extreme moral relativism disguised as cultural sensitivity. And it leads good people to make excuses for the inexcusable.

The silence of the Democratic senators is a reflection of contemporary cultural pressures. Call it identity politics, moral relativism or political correctness — it is shortsighted, dangerous and, ultimately, a betrayal of liberal values.

Ayaan and Asra have said it all. Almost. Another point needs to be made.

Sen. Harris and her fellow female committee members are cowards. If they believe Ayaan and Asra are presenting a misleading picture of Islam, based on their “exceptional” experiences, then take them on. Make the point by asking probing questions, the way Harris’ cheerleaders think she did with Jeff Sessions.

Harris wouldn’t do it. She probably recognized that Ayaan would have carved her up to the point that even her cheerleaders couldn’t have declared her the victor. So the supposedly fearless ace ex-prosecutor took the coward’s way out and tried to minimize the extent to which Ayaan and Asra were heard.

Ayaan and Asra conclude:

We believe feminism is for everyone. Our goals — not least the equality of the sexes — are deeply liberal. We know these are values that the Democratic senators at our hearing share. Will they find their voices and join us in opposing Islamist extremism and its war on women?

This is the only off-key note in their article. The goals and values of Ayaan and Asra are not the goals and values of Harris and most of her fellow Democrats.

As for the voices of Harris and her colleagues, what you hear, or in this case didn’t hear, is what you get.