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Posts Tagged ‘misogyny’

Punishing Christian speech, embracing Sharia law

Posted by Richard on November 11, 2010

Publicly professing a belief in Christianity or inviting others to learn about it are punishable offenses in more places than you might think. But the severity of the punishment varies considerably.

In Pakistan, they sentence you to death. And sometimes just shoot you on the spot.

In Dearborn, Philadelphia, and Wichita, they just throw you in jail for a while. Don't count on the ACLU and other human rights organizations to help.

Any statement suggesting that Islam is not the one true religion or that Islamic law shouldn't govern everyone everywhere is considered either "blasphemy" or "defamation" by the Islamists, and they're waging a worldwide campaign to criminalize (or silence through intimidation) such statements. They have the UN on their side.

Last week, Oklahoma voters — 70% of them — adopted a constitutional amendment barring judges from relying on Sharia or international law for court rulings. They were perhaps motivated by the Islamists' war on free speech and the growing trend in Europe of bending to Sharia, as evidenced by:

  • court decisions in Italy and Germany acknowledging the right of Muslim men to beat their wives and daughters.
  • the establishment in Britain of a Sharia court system parallel to the English courts and supplanting them for members of the Muslim community.
  • the criminal prosecution of Geert Wilders (Netherlands), Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolff (Austria), Jussi Halla-aho (Finland), and Brigitte Bardot (France), among others, for criticizing Islam. 

The will of Oklahoma voters has been thwarted for now by a restraining order granted to the Islamist group CAIR (an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood and unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorist funding case). Ironically, this ruling protecting the right of Muslim men to claim that Sharia law authorizes them to beat women — and to silence those who criticize them for that — was issued by a judge who was once a prominent women's rights advocate.

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Honor killings

Posted by Richard on September 9, 2010

I've often defended the superiority of Western Civilization and the values of Reason and the Enlightenment against the prevailing liberal dogma of "multiculturalism" — the misbegotten insistence that all cultures are equally valuable and worthy of respect. Nothing proves my point more forcefully than Robert Fisk's four-part series, "The honour killing files," in The Independent this week. Part one begins thus:

It is a tragedy, a horror, a crime against humanity. The details of the murders – of the women beheaded, burned to death, stoned to death, stabbed, electrocuted, strangled and buried alive for the "honour" of their families – are as barbaric as they are shameful. Many women's groups in the Middle East and South-west Asia suspect the victims are at least four times the United Nations' latest world figure of around 5,000 deaths a year. Most of the victims are young, many are teenagers, slaughtered under a vile tradition that goes back hundreds of years but which now spans half the globe.

Fisk goes on to provide a lengthy catalog of specific examples of honor killings, mostly from the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, but some from the West. Read it. Steel yourself and read the entire gut-wrenching, horrific, and disturbing thing. Then, if you can, read the other three parts and related stories (linked in part one). 

Then ask yourself if all cultures are really equally valuable and worthy of respect. 

To understand the belief system in which such barbaric acts are not just defensible, but natural and noble, you have to understand the difference between shame cultures and guilt cultures. An excellent introduction is Dr. Sanity's 2005 essay, "Shame, the Arab Psyche, and Islam." ShrinkWrapped's 2006 post, "Guilt vs. Shame," is also worth reading. 

In his series, Fisk goes to pains to point out that honor killings aren't exclusively a Muslim phenomenon, and that's true. There are other shame cultures besides Islam, and it predates Islam in the Arab culture. Although, as Dr. Sanity pointed out, "it is only in the fairly recent history of Islam (e.g. in the last century) that Islam appears to have fully embraced the subjugation of women under the guise of 'protecting' them and preserving honor." Interestingly, that's about the same time period over which modern Islamofascism (Wahabbism/Salafism) came to the fore.

It's telling, too, that this most barbaric manifestation of shame culture has followed Islam around the globe — wherever Islam went, it brought this vile Arab tradition with it. And those that adopted Islam embraced honor killings as well.

It's also clear that the vast majority of honor killings around the world are by (and of) Muslims. Fisk dug up a Sikh example here and a Coptic one there, but almost every horrific story he relates is about Muslims. 

It's often been said that not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims. The math of honor killings is similar. Not all Muslims are misogynistic, murderous barbarians, but almost all misogynistic, murderous barbarians are Muslims. 

Make of that what you will. What I make of it is that not all cultures are equally valuable and worthy of respect.

UPDATE (10/9): It's natural for shrinks like Dr. Sanity to focus on the personal, psychological aspects of shame. But I want to emphasize something that's hinted at, but not focused on, by Dr. Sanity and ShrinkWrapped (and that's true of other discussions of shame culture I've looked at).

I think the critical point to understand about the difference between the two kinds of cultures is that a "shame culture" focuses on people's perceptions, while a "guilt culture" focuses on objective reality — what is the truth? Did you do that bad thing, or didn't you? What is reality?

Some discussions of this issue suggest that "guilt cultures" are somehow the consequence of Judeo-Christian values. I don't think that's true (although there is a vague, indirect connection, via St. Augustine, Aquinas, etc., leading to the Enlightenment). A culture's advancement from shame-based to guilt-based is a consequence of its embracing of reason and objective reality, and its abandonment of faith, whim, and perception. 

That's why Western "guilt cultures" produce more scientific advancements, innovations, patents, etc., in a single year than "shame cultures" have produced in more than a millennium.

Reason works. Objective reality exists. Until you recognize these facts, you're a primitive barbarian. And you're of no consequence to the rest of us, except to the extent that you represent a threat. 

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