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September 2007
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November 2007

Who Is A Real Muslim?

Tariq Nelson:

A question that I have been asked with increasing frequency by non-Muslims because of my stance against terror, extremism and irrational thinking: €"œAre you still Muslim?"€ or "€œAre you thinking of leaving Islam?"€ or "€œPerhaps you didn'€™t understand the religion you embraced"€

To me, this is only a sign of how bad things have gotten: A ("€real"€) Muslim - in their minds HAS TO BE a person that is pro-terror, narrow, extreme, irrational and has a blood fetish.

It is very sad that some of these people seem to be trying very hard to make the case for the anti-Muslim bigots that we are what they say we are.

Here are only a few events from the life of Muhammad -- the moral gold standard for every Muslim for all times:

(1) He banned interest on money.
(2) He objected to the use of pictures that depicted humans or animals and refused to enter the premises where such works were present.
(3) He married a six-years-old girl and had sex with her when she turned nine.
(4) He approved the killing of all the post-pubescent males of a Jewish tribe called Banu Quraiza.
(5) He then took all the young males and women of that tribe as slaves and distributed them among his companions.
(6) He married multiple times and kept sex-slaves.
(7) He loathed dogs and ordered that they be killed.

Here's how a modern Westerner would likely describe the above.

(1) Idiotic
(2) Irrational
(3) Pedophilic
(4) Genocidal
(5) Monstrous
(6) Misogynistic
(7) Heartless

Is it bigoted to think that a follower of this man is likely "pro-terror, narrow, extreme, irrational and has a blood fetish"?

Note: Of course, not every Muslim completely follows the example of Muhammad. He or she would be an utter moral degenerate if they did. Though, Westerners do have a cause for concern when Muslims passionately parrot the "perfection" of Muhammad.

The numbered items above regarding Islamic canon also lead to a burning question. Why are you still a Muslim?

Islam is not what you individually think it is. It's defined by Muhammad, fourteen hundred years of history and the majority views of Muslims today. Face it, most Muslims do pine for a grand theocracy and a free people would prefer to not live under the nirvana that is sharia -- where Irrationality, Immorality and Intolerance vie for hegemony.

The Phobia That Never Dies

Russell Blackford:

In People Like Us, liberal Muslim intellectual Waleed Aly spends a whole chapter attacking the idea of a separation of Church and State, and defending Islam from the charge that it is incompatible with secularism. He argues that the separation of Church and State makes no sense from a Muslim perspective, because Islam (or at least Sunni Islam) has no established hierarchy that could be called its "church" and no official doctrine that it could impose through the powers of the state. He is scathing about secularists in way that I find disquieting.

You don't say.

Later Blackford goes to the heart of the matter:

[...] the impression has been created by many Muslim leaders that Islam seeks to control all aspects of individuals' lives and does not shrink from using secular power to achieve its aim. We are all well aware of extreme examples in recent history, such as Afghanistan under the benighted Taliban regime. Until that fear is laid to rest, it is quite rational for the rest of us to fear Islam's political ambitions - which is one reason why the word "Islamophobia" is so stupid. A phobia is an irrational fear, but secular Westerners actually have perfectly rational reasons to be at least wary of Islam, as Aly himself fully appreciates and acknowledges.

Link via Samizdata.

The Two Titans

Nvidia rules the current GPU arena. It just released the GeForce 8800GT at an awesome price point. AMD/ATI will be screwed for the Christmas rush if they don't release a better product in November.

Intel is king in the CPU arena. It will debut a smaller, efficient and technically superior Core 2 Duo next month:

Instead of producing MOSFET transistors inside the CPU via the conventional silicon-oxide technique in use since 1960, Intel now fabricates the transistors using a new High-K Dielectric technique. As a result, the Penryn core has improved over the previous CPU generation in several ways.

Read this:

We were amazed - in fact, couldn't believe our eyes - when we first measured the power consumption of the QX9650. We repeated our measurements several times to ensure their veracity and rule out errors on our part, but we kept coming up with the same result. In idle mode, with the CPU's four cores running at a reduced frequency of 2 GHz thanks to Intel's Speedstep technology, the meter only indicated 310 milliamperes. The system voltage lay at 12.216 Volts, which means that our 45 nm Penryn has a sensationally low power consumption of only 3.79 Watts.

Take a look at the chart here to see just how impressive that number really is. Such a powerful and power-efficient processor will be great for laptops.

Still, I'm holding out for Nehalem.

The Quran, Again.

An illuminating post.

Yesterday as I walked into our apartment building the door to the ground floor flat was open. I could hear a male voice reciting the Quran followed by the voice of a small child. The child made a mistake and the male voice sounded agitated. He recited again and the little voice repeated – wrongly. Then smack. Sniffle. Recited. Repeated correctly. Suddenly the door shook a little and I further froze in my already frozen state. Behind the door was another little boy I had met many times before – hiding from the tutor.

Later, Achelois talks about her childhood experience.

Mr. Abdul Rahman never explained the Quran to me and at that age I didn’t understand Arabic at all except for the few Arabic expletives my mum would pronounce in utter frustration with us. He never even highlighted the verses that can potentially teach young children concepts of morality or consciousness about God. I now see that a small indication towards the stories of the prophets of Islam could have been very interesting for children which could be supplemented by various books on the lives of the prophets. Needless to say I finished reading the Quran in Arabic when I was 9 and my younger sister was 7 years old but we learnt zilch. The day we finished the Quran we felt liberated. No more Mr. Abdul Rahman and those sleepy, boring evenings endlessly repeated verses in a language that was completely alien to us.

This leads to a question: If you could only read the Quran but not comprehend it, then what kind of Islam did you follow?

I was almost 28 years old when I found out about concubinage in the Quran. A few years before that I had learnt about inheritance issues, status of men in Islam, divorce, polygamy and other similar prickly concepts. I was raised with a different set of morals [...]


Finding out that men could have sex with slaves without marrying them was the biggest bombshell for me. I also learnt that if I had a brother he would have been more equal as a child than I could be; he would inherit more and would be the patriarch, the ‘maintainer’, even if younger than all the sisters. I also found it extremely hard to accept that men were allowed to strike their wives; it really doesn’t matter to me if they are allowed to beat them black and blue or if its with a toothbrush – striking is striking and even a soft slap is injurious to the fragile ego of a woman which hangs in the balance of marraige. Then I learnt women could only ask for divorce and can never give divorce. Polygamy is still the sore spot for me as you all may know by now.

Finally learning about Islam sparked a self-conflict. She could listen to her humanity and continue with her haram thinking or distressingly follow a religion that presented her with immoral and, often, asinine prescriptions.

Her decision, so far, has been different than mine.

Harder Than Chinese Algebra

Muslims consider the reciting of the Quran to be a "good" act in the sense that one gets bonus points towards heaven. Any parrot can do it. Some consider the recitation to be melodious. I prefer nails on chalkboard.

On the related matter, this reminds me of a, fake but accurate!, story:

Habib loved to watch the weekly show in which Muslims of various ages recited the Quran. One day when he was doing so, his friend entered the room.

Habib, stunned, stood up awkwardly.

"What are you doing?" the friend asked.

"Watching this, er, Islamic program."

"Why are your pants down?"

"Because I like the Quran ... a lot."

". . ."

Karima Sahiba

Karima Hamdan:

Although the motion to be debated was "We should not be reluctant to assert the superiority of Western values", there was no doubt that the moderator, the defence team and the majority of the audience thought it should be "We really hate Muslims...let us tell you why".

Isn't she cute?

Ibn Warraq kicked off the proceedings with a carefully rehearsed polemic about Islam. He didn't actually address the topic in any way aside from a sycophantic listing of all the wonderful things that white people have done, which was quite frankly embarrassing to listen to. He is after all what can be best described as a professional apostate who has written venomous tirades against Islam in his books, authored essays used by Christian evangelicals on "How to debate with Muslims", founded the "Secular Islam" website and has stated on the record that he does "not accept some spurious distinction between Islam and 'Islamic fundamentalism' or 'Islamic terrorism'. Their (Muslim terrorists) actions reflect the teachings of Islam".

I listened to his opening remarks. He said a lot more than what is being relayed here. By the way, how does his "profession" contradict in any way what he said?

It gets worse:

Ibn Warraq's main problem is that he is a pukka "Brown Sahib". As anyone with links to the Subcontinent will testify, these intellectually defeated individuals are usually found residing in an over-chintzified drawing room pontificating on how Islam is backward and the occupation of the British was the best thing that ever happened to India whilst trying to eat a samosa with a fork. However, what distinguishes Ibn Warraq is that he is an Islam-hater who enjoys the patronage of some Neocon allies.

The content of Ibn Warraq's remarks is promptly dismissed as "embarrassing" and then an entire paragraph is devoted to the color of his skin!

These bulls are quick to jump at opponents for being Muslim-haters or for harboring deep, mythical racism. Yet, look how quickly, openly and cavalierly they use the skin-color of a person against him / her.

"Light Blows"

Force-feeding the Quran into the young is a favorite activity of many Muslim households. This becomes uglier when the first language of the family isn't Arabic. The kids have to memorize an entire book of asinine words without understanding a single sentence. If they don't or if they make mistakes, then a heavy stick reminds them of the peaceful nature of Islam.

On this matter, MEMRI recently did a translation of an Al Jazeera TV show.

Interviewer: "Fatima, have you ever been beaten to make you memorize the Koran - you or any of your classmates?"

Fatima Abd Al-Hamid, a student at a Koran school: "No, but sometimes the teacher punishes me. If I make a small mistake, for example, she says that I must concentrate on this. Sometimes, she tells us to concentrate on it again."

Interviewer: "How are you punished?"

Fatima Abd Al-Hamid: "She tugs our ears or strikes us with a ruler."

Interviewer: "What about you, Luqman?"

After a few more questions:

Luqman Abd Al-Hamid: "He hit me on the hand."

Interviewer: "With a ruler?"

Luqman Abd Al-Hamid: "No, he hit me lightly with his hand."

Interviewer: "Can you show us how he hit you?"

Luqman Abd Al-Hamid: "He has a strong hand, Allah be praised, and he hit me."

Reread that last sentence and let it sink in.

Later an audience member states that he was beaten with a rod.

Member of the audience: "Doesn't beating run counter to the religion of Islam?"

Interviewer: "He is referring to the beating of children."

Dr. Arabi 'Atallah Al-Qweidri: 'Do you mean beating as a punishment at school?"

Member of the audience: "In school and in Koran memorization schools."

Dr. Arabi 'Atallah Al-Qweidri: "This beating does not run counter to Islam. It is permitted for the sake of education. But by 'beating,' I mean light blows, light punishment, so that the child or student will learn a lesson, and will serve as an example to others. If the student is left unpunished, there will be chaos."

There is no reason -- only naked power. This occurs in every Muslim-majority nation in all kinds of schools. (If you're in the West, then go ahead and ask any first-generation Muslim acquaintance about his/her "academic" experience.)

One can't help but ask: If Muslims treat their own kids and kind in such a vicious manner then what kind of treatment would they mete out to those they profess to hate?

The Kafir Cabal

Umar Lee is gaining a lot of fame or rather infamy.

Here's his latest post:

The title of this article may sound alarmist in tone and befitting of someone who subscribes to any number of conspiracy theories in our community; but I can tell you I do not believe in conspiracy theories and I do not seek to raise a false-alarm, rather I am seeking to share with Muslims who may be too busy with their everyday lives, or just too intellectually dead and in a state of amazement at Tyson’s Corner or the latest shopping mall to realize, that we have a coalition of enemies in this country that will not rest until our community is totally vilified and then disbanded.

Booga booga!

No Justice in Yemen

Awful news from Armies of Liberation: Does the US Approve of the Pardon of USS Cole Bomber, Al-Badawi?

It's says a lot about the lax, even friendly, attitude to Islamists in Yemen that a terrorist of such magnitude was set free.

The reason the Yemeni administration is partially co-opted by al-Qaeda is that the Afghan Arabs fought for Saleh in the 1994 civil war, after they returned from fighting for bin Laden in Afghanistan. They were later rewarded with state positions. These Bin Laden loyalists are currently in the PSO and the military and in a variety of high level positions, governorships for example.

Ergo, they will not punish their own.

Colossus Constructs Tinier Chips

The Associated Press:

In the latest display of its manufacturing might, Intel Corp. is opening a new $3 billion factory in Arizona, widening its lead over rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in the industry's switch to a new chip-making technique.

A major update to the Core 2 Duo line will be released in the next few months. They'll all be 45 nanometer processors. How small is 45 nanometers?

The transistors on such chips are so small that more than 30 million can fit onto the head of a pin.

Whenever I read of such marvels, a questions pops up. Where will it stop? We'll hit a brick wall with scaling and move on to constructing special materials (which likely don't even exist yet) that will continue to improve raw performance.

Death to Logic

David Sforza:

Just look at the events sponsored by Horowitz: Dennis Prager and the movie “Obsession” will be the highlights of the week. That’s like a guy sponsoring Jewish Money-Grubbing Week stating that greedy Jews are ruining Judaism and he is going to bring a Ku Klux Klan member to talk about it.

The mindless charge of racism never ceases.

Prager, a conservative columnist, will talk about Islamic abuses of gays’ rights after he calls gay marriage destructive to the institution of marriage.

I know, if Prager doesn't recognize a gay union as a marriage then, really, his efforts to see gays not get beaten or hanged are utterly hypocritical.

“Obsession” will show you thousands of Islamic fascists shouting “Death to America!” and killing Americans, but will probably not show them shouting “Death to moderate Muslims!”

Go ahead, Sforza. Bring forth those buried videos in which Islamists talk about moderate Muslims as "filth", call them the "sons of apes and monkeys" and swear that it's the duty of every Muslim to rhetorically, financially and physically support an eternal war with the "moderate mussulman".

I'll wait.

Are You Phony?

Sarah Baxter: Where do you stand in the new culture wars?

My own test for spotting a phoney liberal is as follows. If you think Bush is a fascist and Castro is a progressive, you are not a democrat. If you think cultural traditions can trump women’s rights, you are not a feminist. And if you think antisemitic rants are simply an expression of frustration with American and Israeli policy, you have learnt nothing from history.


Christopher Hitchens is a rock star among atheists, most of whom oppose the Iraq war. Last weekend, he travelled to Wisconsin to receive an award from the Freedom from Religion conference for his book God Is Not Great.

“In my acceptance speech I upbraided the audience by saying I could easily have got the impression that they thought the only threat to our society came from the Christian Coalition and possibly the odd Israeli settler,” he says. “You would not have known from anything on sale, any T-shirt, any peaked cap, any book or pamphlet, that there was such a thing as Islamic fundamentalism.”

They didn’t like it.

Oh, I bet they didn't.

Myopic liberals find it impossible to believe that radical Islam may have a dynamic of its own that threatens their values. “You cannot stand for multiculturalism if you represent a group that wants to kill all the Jews and Hindus. Shouldn’t that be obvious?” Hitchens asks.

It ought to be.

Link via Done with Mirrors.

Breaking the Shackles II

Shire News Network:

This week sees us talking again to two free thinkers who have rejected the teachings of Muhammad and chosen another path. Adil Zeshan and Sheila are concluding their conversation with Tom about what it is like to move away from Islam and face, at best, disapproval and, at worst, death threats from ones own community and family.

Download the podcast here.

Also see Breaking the Shackles from last week if you missed it.

Lunches Getting Expensive

Greg Mankiw:

Employer-provided health insurance is just a form of compensation that happens to be provided in kind rather than in cash. What the Times seems to be saying is that because companies like General Motors have promised levels of compensation too large to make them competitive in the international marketplace, we should shift the responsibility for some of that compensation from the companies to the taxpayer.

The Times agrees that this policy of providing health insurance has made GM less competitive in the global market. Doesn't it follow then that by shifting this burden to the taxpayers the US economy would, in the long run, become less competitive? Furthermore, why should workers of sensible companies pay for the awful policies implemented by GM?

The Difference Between Oil and Water

Max Dunbar:

What to make of these writers (who appear in popular liberal newspapers and magazines) who say that critics of religious fundamentalism are no different from religious fundamentalists…just because they are quite passionate in their views? These pundits (shall we call them ‘anti-secular fundamentalism fundamentalists’?) are telling us, in essence, that people who are for free speech and human rights are the exact same as people who are against these things.

Isn't moral equivalence grand? Just say that A equals B and game over. One doesn't even need to think!

The moral equivalence betrays a lack of knowledge, a lack of empathy and a lack of imagination. It is intellectually lazy (because it can’t be bothered to look into its two comparators and find out the difference) and intellectual cowardice (because it doesn’t have the courage to recognise what is worth fighting for, and to make a commitment to fighting for it).

That's the problem: Fighting is bad. Period. We should always try to talk to each other about our differences over tea and biscuits and perhaps even exchange a few gifts. Surely, we can reach a delightful compromise with the freedom-loathing, Jew-hating, women-oppressing, gay-murdering Islamists?

The Sweet, Syrupy Islam

Tariq Nelson:

When Islam was presented to me, I was presented a religion of worshiping One God alone and as a practical solution for mankind’s social ills. It was a road map for improving our lives. I was told about an Islam that is about togetherness, sharing, caring and strengthening familial bonds. An Islam that was about creating communities, doing business together and uplifting people.

This fellow has likely never lived in a Muslim-majority nation.

Later in the post:

I find it very strange that I would be criticized by any Muslim for my rejection of throat cutting, rape and murder as being a part of Islam as if it were a pillar of some sort.

He likely hasn't heard of Banu Quraiza.

Those Villainous Capitalists!

My heart bleeds:

The price of staple foods has increased by up to 100% this Ramadan in Muslim countries. Countries such as Jordan, Egypt and Qatar have all experienced many price rises at the supermarket over the past month causing poorer families to bare the brunt.

Salem Saeed, a school teacher in the Jordanian capital Amman, explains, "I have five children and had to borrow money to cope with a sudden jump in food prices during Ramadan".

I look at it differently. It's not that he has too little money for his kids, it's that he has too many kids for his money. If you're borrowing money to cope with the doubling of food prices for 30 days, then you're being irresponsible. (Imagine, if this guy got laid off and couldn't find a job for a few months. How would he pay for the essential food, shelter, and utilities for his family?)

Moving on, the resident economist at the Ummah Pulse explains:

Many Muslim countries - Syria being one - have large debts with the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank, which in exchange for loans set conditions on the borrowing country.


The loan conditions have been heavily criticised by those that claim that such policies open up markets in poor or developing countries to large multi-nationals that are usually owned by wealthy individuals in first world countries. These multinationals can then exploit the countries' natural resources and often cheap labour for the production of goods. With this domination in the market and reduced powers for the government to intervene, multinationals can manipulate prices with little intervention from local or national governments.

And here I thought that demand for food went up and the supply slacked (because starving workers don't perform at an optimal level) which led to higher prices. Silly me.

Achelois Goes for Fitna

She is quite mad:

Yesterday my sister and I shared an elevator with a local couple (we deduced from their conversation that they were married). The woman was dressed in black from head to toe. She wore gloves, socks, and a face veil. When the lift stopped the man pushed back his wife (?) and said, “beautiful ladies first”! Any woman who doesn’t veil her face is seen as free property. She could be Muslim; it doesn’t matter. She is not a free woman; she is a slave of male desire. Incidentally my sister and I were coming from the mosque so we were both wearing hijab which we don’t wear usually. I found the man’s comment deeply insulting but it was worse when he gave my sister his visiting card.

Muslims players are so smooth.

The Mindless Charge of Racism

Esam Omeish:

During the week of October 22-26, 2007, right-wing and neo-conservative political forces led by the David Horowitz Freedom Center are calling for “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week” events on campuses across the U.S.


If this event is coming to your campus or neighborhood - and even if it’s not - speak out against this racist assault on Muslims, Arabs, Arab-Americans, South Asians and anyone viewed as sympathetic towards those communities.

The funny thing is that Omeish never bothers to elaborate just how this awareness event is racist with respect to ... Muslims. Which race would that be? Omeish lumps in "Arabs, South Asians and anyone" into the group being assaulted. So, again, how exactly is it racist?

It's quite simple: David Horowitz and company are criticizing a religion and an ideology. Instead of putting up a counterargument, Omeish and his co-religionists cry like a girl and point to phantom races and racists.

Hegazy Fights For His Right

Compass Direct via Dhimmi Watch:

Conservative Islamic lawyers came out in support of the Egyptian government last week at the opening court hearing of a Muslim convert to Christianity.


In a move that has caused national uproar, former Muslim Mohammed Ahmed Hegazy is suing Egypt to change the religion listed on his identification papers to Christianity.

Islamist lawyers associated with radical cleric Youssef al-Badry attended the October 2 hearing in Cairo and legally joined the case on the government’s side, Hegazy told Compass.

Apparently this cleric is not familiar with the peaceful nature of Islam.

Al-Badry was one of several clerics who called for Hegazy’s death in Egypt’s national media, following the announcement of the case in early August. The radical Islamist also filed charges of inciting sectarian strife against Hegazy’s original lawyer, Mamdouh Nakhla.

Reread that paragraph to fully appreciate the dementia.

“It’s quite sensitive,” Hegazy’s new lawyer, Rawda Ahmad, told Compass through a translator. “It would be the first time that someone who converted to Christianity would be able to change his ID card.”

Though Egyptian law does not forbid conversion from Islam to Christianity, it provides no legal means to make the change. Converts to Christianity usually hide their identity to avoid torture and forced recantation at the hands of family members and security police.

Of course, the Jews are involved:

Egyptian media have criticized Hegazy in recent months, claiming that his conversion was motivated by money, blackmail, and foreign forces hoping to destabilize Egypt.

It says a lot about the hollow nature of Islam to know that one murtad could be a catalyst for destabilization.