Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Putin: Only armed force keeps Russia's territorial integrity

I am quoting a TASS report which I find amazing:

"ST. PETERSBURG, April 28. /TASS/. At the end of the 1990s Russia was pretty close to following the Yugoslav scenario but the unity and integrity of the country was preserved after all, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a media forum of the All-Russia Popular Front, as he commented on the documentary The President, the Rossiya-1 television channel aired last Sunday.

"We preserved the unity and territorial integrity of the country. We must be grateful to the ordinary guys, our military, who in those very complicated conditions were taking the necessary military measures in the North Caucasus. That’s who really deserves greater publicity. They protected the country with their own bodies," Putin said. 

"It was not just a local conflict. That local conflict could have caused the situation in Russia to follow the Yugoslav scenario."

"We were very close to that," Putin believes."

In a word, the Russian dictator openly admits that compact groups of de jure Russian population in the Caucasus (and presumably elsewhere) do not identify with their nominal state and only the force of arms prevents them from splitting off Mother Russia together with their land.

Of course, it is not that unusual for a state to keep regions by force because of inability to win the allegiance of their residents by any other means. Talking of the Caucasus in particular, we all remember how Russian troops exterminated tens of thousands of Chechens in order to convince the rest that life in Russia is good for them.

But to boast about such a thing, you must really be Putin!

Friday, April 24, 2015

100 years since the Armenian genocide

Today we mark with sorrow the 100th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

This remember-me flower has the message "I remember and demand" (image source: Armenian General Benevolent Union - Plovdiv).

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

US Muslim organizations: Don't dare to call a genocide done by our Muslim brothers a genocide

The text below is copied from the site of the US Consul of Muslim Organizations and is not edited in any way.


(Washington, DC, April 20, 2015) -- The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) the largest umbrella group of mainstream Muslim American organizations is aware of the painful history of over 30 nations fighting for over 4 years and the loss of over 37 million lives in World War I, including those of the Armenians.

As April 24 comes near, we share the pain suffered by Armenians during this period. We also believe that any acknowledgment by religious or political leaders of the tragedy that befell Armenians should be balanced, constructive and must also recognize Turkish and Muslim suffering.

In this respect, characterizing the events of 1915 as genocide without proper investigation of these events by independent historians will not only jeopardize the establishment of a just memory pertaining to these events, but will also damage the efforts aimed at achieving reconciliation between Turks and Armenians.

As Americans, we are concerned about alienating a key ally, Turkey, through one-sided declarations that political and religious leaders have made on this subject. The events of 100 years ago should be based on a consensus among historians and academicians with access to archives and documents from that era.

As the only Muslim-majority member of NATO and current President of the G-20 Summit, Turkey has taken on a unique regional and global leadership role in ensuring peace and prosperity for all. Our government has been closely cooperating with the Turkish government on defeating ISIS while also alleviating the suffering of Syrian refugees.

While Muslim Americans sympathize deeply with the loss of Armenian lives in 1915, we also believe that reconciliation must take into honest account the broader human tragedy of World War I. Muslim Americans expect our leaders to act accordingly to ensure that American-Turkish strategic relations are not damaged by a one-sided interpretation of the 1915 events."

This is the way US Muslim leaders have chosen to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. These same people also have the audacity to complain of Islamophobia!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Surprise, surprise! Quacks want money

From today's Vox:

"New WikiLeaks documents reveal the inner working of the Dr. Oz Show

Dr. Mehmet Oz often appears on his popular show to promote new health products and devices. Most viewers are likely under the impression that he's doing this because he's closely considered their merits and decided the products are widely beneficial.

But newly leaked emails suggest that business considerations — not health or science — can be a driving factor in which products Oz decides to promote."

I am scratching my head at what passes for news these days. It is common knowledge that, while many ordinary snake oil salesmen genuinely believe the nonsense they are selling, high-profile quacks like Dr. Oz or ex-Dr. Wakefield are invariably in this business for money. For big, dirty money. Who needs WikiLeaks or Vox to inform him about this? It is funny how the name of the good doctor reminds me of the Wizard of Oz.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Why the good Muslims make little difference

Charles Steele left the following comment to my previous post Muslim illegals throw Christian fellow passengers into the sea:

"America's "National Public Radio" headlined this story as "conflict between Christians and Muslims turns bloody." I was expecting to hear how some street confrontation between two groups got out of hand. But the subsequent report detailed how some Muslims unilaterally murdered some Christians just for being "not-Muslim", and the remaining Christians formed a human chain to peacefully thwart the continuing attempts of the Muslims to murder them.

Never mind the Muslims who committed the murders, why did the other Muslims stand by and watch? I think it is because that's just what Muslims do when other Muslims commit evil acts.

The last two lines of this comment touch something so important that I wish to devote this post to it.

I wouldn't blame the other Muslims on the fateful boat who stood by. I don't know how I would behave if I were in their shoes. It is very likely that I would have been petrified from fear and only later would regret that I haven't done anything to stop the murders. Because those Muslims who try to defend the non-Muslim victims of Islam are routinely killed along with those they are trying to protect, sometimes even before them. Steele himself gave an example: "An impoverished illiterate woman, Aasiya Noreen (a.k.a. Asia Bibi) languishes on death row in Pakistan for blaspheming the so-called prophet Mohammed... Noreen, a Christian, was working as a farmhand with a number of other women, largely Muslims... Since she's a Christian and therefore "unclean," the members of the "religion of peace" began berating her and insulting her religion, to which she replied "I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind?"... She was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death. Multiple appeals to higher courts have all failed to date. The governor for Punjab Province, Salmaan Taseer, spoke up on her behalf, for which he was subsequently assassinated.  Pakistan's Minister for Minorities Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, spoke up on her behalf, for which he was subsequently assassinated." (Emphasis mine - M.M.)

As the end of World War II was coming near, Ludwig von Mises wrote in his Omnipotent Government: "The Kellogg Pact outlawed war. Germany, Italy, Japan, Hungary, and Romania signed this document. If there was any meaning at all in this compact, then it was that aggressors are guilty of an illegal act and must bear the responsibility for it. Those citizens of these nations who did not openly oppose the dictators cannot plead their innocence." This otherwise great author implies that openly opposing the dictators was trivial decent behavior, while in fact it was a heroic, self-sacrificing behavior that would doom the opposing citizen to death. It is unfair to demand from others to be heroes, even if you are one yourself. And Mises wasn't. Instead of openly opposing the dictators from their territory, he fled: "In 1934, Mises left Austria for Geneva, Switzerland... In 1940 Mises and his wife fled the German advance in Europe and emigrated to New York City."

Once a totalitarian ideology takes hold over a society, it is almost impossible to be defeated from within. Many if not most Germans in the 1930s and early 1940s were good people; after all, Hitler was elected by a minority. However, these millions of good Germans were unable to make a difference. The millions of good Russians who love their children did not make a difference under Lenin, Stalin and their successors, and do not make a difference under Putin now. The millions of good Iranians cannot make a difference, either (perhaps they could if the free world had supported them when they were struggling in 2009).

Only those who are outside the totalitarian realm can make a difference, by relentlessly opposing its ideology. Only this way the free world can save first itself and then the subjects of the totalitarian societies, often by forcibly subduing them for some period. So the good Muslims should not be offended when Westerners look at them with suspicion... and Westerners should not allow their healthy suspicion to grow into outright blame. Because the Muslims have not chosen where to be born.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Muslim illegals throw Christian fellow passengers into the sea

The rush of Africans to reach the Promised Land of Europe at any risk often leads to tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea. News of drowned immigrants-to-be are becoming depressingly familiar, but today's reports stand out because the tragedy was a result of an outrageous crime: When 15 Muslims (from  the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Mali and Guinea Bissau) learned that their fellow passengers on the boat were Christians (from Nigeria and Ghana), they started throwing the Christians overboard. Twelve people were drowned, the rest successfully resisted by forming a "human chain".

This lynching illustrates what the Islamists want to do with all non-Muslims: namely, to throw us into the sea. Palestinians have been trying to throw the Israeli Jews into the sea for decades; and clueless native Europeans keep supporting them, oblivious to the increasingly real danger of being thrown into the sea themselves. Thinking of the drowned Nigerians Christians, I suppose that some of them may have tried to emigrate exactly for this reason - to escape violent persecution by Muslims.

I found the first report of the mass murder by browsing Yahoo! News. It was titled Police: Muslims threw Christians overboard during Med voyage. I decided to write about this, but had a lot of more urgent work. When I finally got to blogging, this report was buried under more recent ones, on various subjects. Only one of them covered the same event - by AFP, titled Migrants 'throw fellow passengers overboard' in religious row.

I mentioned that the title didn't mention the fact that the alleged murderers were Muslims and their victims were Christians. An analogous title about the Holocaust would be, Six millions killed in Europe over religious differences. I decided to dig into this and launched a Google search using muslims throw christians boat as keywords. The image above shows two merged screenshots. The top search results are:

Muslim migrants threw Christians overboard, police say ... (CNN)
African Muslim Migrants Throw Christians Overboard - Arutz ... (Israel National News)
Muslim refugees arrested in Italy for throwing Christians into ... (International Business Times)
Migrants killed in 'religious clash' on ... - (BBC)
Muslims threw Christians off migrant boat from Libya to Italy ... (Haaretz)
Migrants killed in 'religious clash' on Mediterranean boat ... (BBC - duplicate of the above)
Muslims allegedly throw Christians overboard on migrant boat (UPI)
Italian police arrest migrants alleged to have thrown ... (Guardian)
Police: Muslims threw Christians overboard during Med ... (AP - this was the first report I had read, therefore it is purple in the screenshot.)

Do you see a pattern? While US and Israeli media have duly included in their titles the religious affiliation of alleged perpetrators and victims, as must be done when reporting a suspected religiously motivated hate crime, European sources have tried to muddy the waters by composing politically correct titles about "migrants". One has to scroll 4 more results to reach the first European title mentioning "Muslims" - Updated: Italian police say Muslim migrants threw Christians ... (Independent). It seems that the European elites will indeed return to their senses only when "migrants" grab them and throw them into the sea!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

World Health Organization succumbs to "natural birth" woo

A victim of the quest to bring down c-section rate at all costs: Five years ago, Alexandra Campbell died in Britain at age 3 days as a result of being delivered by forceps instead of Caesarean section. Source: Daily Mail.

Quoting from yesterday's post by Dr. Amy Tuteur World Health Organization's warning on C-sections is ideology masquerading as science:

"In 1985, Marsden Wagner, then head of Maternal and Child health in the European Regional Office of the WHO, convened a conference that declared that the optimal C-section rate was 10-15%. Wagner and colleagues simply made that up, thereby elevated their strongly held ideological conviction, unmoored from science of any kind, into policy.

In 2009, the WHO was forced to acknowledge that there is no optimal C-section rate and that there had never been any scientific evidence of any kind to support an optimal rate.
"Although the WHO has recommended since 1985 that the rate not exceed 10-15 per cent, there is no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage … the optimum rate is unknown …"
For 24 years the World Health Organization touted a C-section target that was an utter fabrication, created to suit the prejudices of its creators, without any evidence to support it.

Pretty embarrassing, no? Apparently not, since the WHO has just done it again... In the wake of exposure of 1985 optimal C-section rate as a fabrication, the WHO has done it again, albeit this time with greater sophistication. In 1985, Wagner and colleagues merely conjured the “optimal” rate out of thin air; this time they’ve disingenuously, and without any scientific justification, applied the optimal rate for low and middle income countries to high income countries."

You can read the new WHO document here. It states that the rate of Caesarean sections should not exceed 10%.

I recommend you to read the entire post by Dr. Amy to see her arguments why this is ideology and not science. I'll add another argument of my own: To be science rather than ideology, recommendations about a medical procedure such as c-section should state not percentages but indications and contraindications. So the WHO should state that, based on outcome of c-sections vs. vaginal birth (references should be cited here - WHO cites none), it recommends c-section in cases of narrow pelvis, large fetal head, breech presentation... (list other indications) and does not recommend c-section in cases of severely compromised maternal status...  (list other contraindications).

If percentages are recommended, it is ideology and not science because, even if the rate looks good, there is no guarantee that it is "filled" with the correct patients. A mother and her baby may have every single indication for Caesarean section but if doctors are told that decreasing c-section rates is more important than lives of mothers and babies (which is the essence of the WHO statement), it is likely that the mother will be forced to have a vaginal birth, with all the risks. The quest for vaginal birth at all costs has already taken many lives, not even mentioning the disabled survivors. An example is the beautiful baby whose photo is shown above, a baby who will never grow up. Quoting from the Daily Mail:

"With her long eyelashes and black hair, Alexandra was, says her mother Beatrix, ‘the most beautiful thing I could imagine’. The newborn, who weighed 9lb 4oz, had been conceived through IVF after five years of trying (which had involved both parents undergoing surgery) and was a much longed-for child. So her arrival last June should have heralded a time of joy. Yet her parents are grieving for their daughter, who died when she was just three days old...

Alexandra died as a result of severe injury to her spinal cord inflicted during a forceps delivery that went wrong - ten hours after her parents had repeatedly begged the obstetric team to deliver the baby by Caesarean. 

The couple were later told by their doctors at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh’s Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health that Alexandra had been ‘unlucky, very unlucky’. However, they believe she was the victim of medical arrogance and a determination to reduce the rising Caesarean rate. 

As a result, thousands of babies every year are being delivered using forceps - yet this instrument is deemed so risky many obstetricians no longer use it. Unfortunately, few women are told of the potential dangers... Experts are particularly concerned about a type known as Kielland’s forceps, which were used to deliver Alexandra...Yet at least 31,500 babies a year are delivered by forceps - that’s one in 20. Some hospitals continue to use Keilland’s forceps; at the Royal Infirmary, where Alexandra was born, there are 170 such deliveries a year...

But the Campbells knew none of this when Beatrix was two weeks past her due date and went to the hospital to have the labour induced. She met all the criteria for a ‘difficult case’ - though no one told her that. ‘As well as being past my due date, the baby was lying sideways and was large considering I am a slight 5ft 2in,’ she says. 

Thirty hours after induction started, exhausted and barely dilated, Beatrix told the midwife she wanted a Caesarean. As the hospital later admitted, this would have saved Alexandra, but the request was refused...

The consultant obstetrician was in the [operating] theatre for a few moments, then left to go to another patient. She left a junior doctor with a Libyan medical degree in his second year of training to carry out his first unsupervised delivery using Kielland’s forceps. ‘He didn’t say a word: he just inserted the instrument and started rotating the baby. I was petrified,’ says Beatrix. As the hospital later acknowledged must have happened, the forceps turned Alexandra’s head, but not her body, injuring her spinal cord...

Eight months on, they [Beatrix and her husband Craig] are hoping there will be an independent investigation into Alexandra’s death. They have begun their own investigation into forceps, discovering that deaths or serious injury are far from rare. ‘We were horrified to discover this is a frequent occurrence that no one seems to be monitoring,’ says Beatrix. ‘Craig has found local newspaper reports of ten examples of babies dying or being damaged during forceps delivery, with the coroners’ reports in many cases saying that a Caesarean should have been performed earlier.’ 

Maureen Treadwell, of the Birth Trauma Association, believes some hospitals are becoming dangerously focused on holding down the rate of Caesareans. This is because they cost twice as much as natural deliveries, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has also recommended that hospitals keep the Caesarean rate at 15 per cent (the national average is 25 per cent). ‘There seems to be a belief that telling the truth about risks of forceps and the relative safety of Caesarean might push up the rates of expensive surgery,’ says Treadwell, a member of NICE’s Intrapartum Care Guideline committee."

Don't you think that national health authorities, as well as WHO, should be worried by these predictable and preventable poor birth outcomes and should work on bringing their rates down? Instead, they are obsessed with bringing c-section rates down, as if this medical procedure is something intrinsically bad, like car accidents or crime.

Let me share a little personal experience: Both my births have been vaginal. Doctors had said unflattering things about my connective tissues when I was 12, but I never received any diagnosis, so I can say that there were no indications for c-section before my first birth. It produced severe lacerations and was followed by episodes of incontinence. This was not considered an indication to have a c-section next time, and my second vaginal birth produced more of the same. I think I am likely to resort to reconstructive surgery at some later period in my life. I wouldn't blame my doctors, or our health care system in general. On the contrary, the doctors were great, and the system worked quite well in my case. Bulgaria is a poor country, many life-saving treatments are not covered by the National Health Care Fund (even for children), so the Fund simply cannot afford sending mothers to c-section because of some lacerations. What troubles me is that the decrease in my quality of life that resulted from vaginal birth (and which is a very common complication of this birth) hasn't been indicated in any medical record. I think that wealthier individuals and countries could consider c-section not only when safety requires it, but also to preserve the mother's quality of life.

When I am engaged in a discussion in medical matters (e.g. about vaccines), my opponents often say, "You want us to read only articles supporting your thesis!" I reply, "No, I'd advise you to read documents of the best medical authorities we have - CDC, national physicians' associations, WHO." Now, I think I shouldn't refer people to the WHO. People there have a wrong ideology. They don't care about babies and mothers. Whom do they care for? Probably stray dogs.

The West promotes its enemies

Quoting from the article New Atheists and the Economy of Outrage by Muqtedar Khan:

"The recent discursive assault on Islam and Muslims by the so-called "new atheists" is another moment in the sequence of never ending vilifications of Islam that Western culture seems to have an insatiable appetite for. There is a perverse quality to this culture and discourse of contempt... Most philosophers of ethics would describe their methodology as intellectual hypocrisy. Consider this for example. Dawkins tweeted that: "All the world's Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge." The point he was trying to make is that all Muslims in the modern age are backward, less rational and less scientific than just one western institution. Well, if that is an argument then how about this. Muslims won six Nobel peace prizes in the past twenty years, more than Americans, the Brits and Israelis. Does that mean that in the past 20 years, Islam has been more peaceful than Judaism and Christianity or the west? Probably."

This "masterpiece" may seem sarcastic, but it is not. It was published first by Turkish Agenda and then by the far-leftist and hopelessly Islamophilic Huffington Post, where I found it via Yahoo! News. Of course I have no problem with publishing such stupid and hateful rants, this is what freedom of speech is about. What I have problem with is the occupation and position of the author. As indicated just above the title, Muqtedar Khan is Associate Professor of Islam and Global Affairs at the University of Delaware.

Who has made this Islamo-Nazi Associate Professor at an American university? It turns out that US youths are taxed sky high for college and begin their adult lives with debts so that universities can give tenures and tribune to sworn enemies of civilization! (I've written before about Prof. Angela Davis, but this is even worse.) And then, some of these students will be forced to listen to Prof. Khan's lectures (presumably extensions of the above quote), to learn this garbage and to recite it at exams if they want to continue their study.

I seriously doubt that the West will survive - it seems to be happily digging its own grave!

Friday, April 10, 2015

The West betrays Ukraine, Georgia and its own values

The text below is from Melik Caylan's article Putin Prepares Spring Offensive Against Ukraine published today in the Forbes:

"Russian forces busily resupply for Ukraine ahead of a Spring offensive, according to numerous sources including a former head of Nato.  According to my own sources in Ukraine, where I was two weeks ago, Russian military assets have spread broadly all along Ukraine’s eastern border formed up in three waves in order to stretch and overwhelm Ukrainian defences across an entire front. While the world wrangles about Iran’s nuclear ambitions in the future, the one country that can physically obliterate the West in the present, the same sole country that openly threatens to use nukes, gets a free pass as it invades and occupies parts of Europe – repeatedly.

This column has oft noted how Putin can’t resist the cover of a distracting global headline for launching or relaunching his incursions: Beijing Olympics and Georgia, Sochi Olympics and Crimea, FIFA World Cup and Donbass etc. What we deduce above all, what we should know by now, is that the operations were planned long in advance to coincide with those distracting occasions. Logistical challenges dictate it. You don’t unleash hundreds of armored vehicles across borders without months of preparation.

So it’s not anyone else’s fault, not Mikheil Saakashvili’s provocation in Georgia, not Ukrainian ‘fascists’ in Crimea or Donetsk. Nothing ‘triggered’ the aggressions. Mostly, the apparent justifications for aggression (“provocations”) were equally pre-concieved along with the blizzard of disinformation that muddied the world’s reaction post facto.

By now, none of this should need saying, but it does alas. Saakashvili’s ‘wild and crazy’ actions didn’t cause the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia. The Kremlin’s tanks were already rolling in through the Rokhi Tunnel into South Ossetia. Intercepts from that time, subsequently made public, then published everywhere and conveniently ignored by a feckless West, reveal the timeline indisputably. In fact, President Saakashvili had ordered his troops to refrain from engaging as they came under intense fire. They objected, as did the overrun Georgian villagers. For an elected President not to respond at all to aggression would result in just what Moscow wanted: regime change. That’s how it works. Putin unveiled the game plan for all to see. You fight back, you lose – you don’t fight back, you lose.

Not everybody ignored it. The Ukrainians understood the warning. They had a choice: either to live under a suffocating web of post-Soviet corruption, endlessly postponing a full and free sense of citizenship in a genuinely democratic society, or rise up and perhaps be invaded by Russia. They decided to risk the latter...

In Ukraine, the process of achieving full rejuvenation continues apace. The internal grass-roots popular revolution hasn’t surrendered goals or momentum, even as the larger forces outside want it to quiet down and subside. Here we have the exhilarating spectacle of the West’s deepest principles being espoused despite threats of destruction. Ukraine has invited unimpeachably honest and super-competent Georgian technocrats to take over key parts of the anti-corruption campaign.

Dwell on that a moment: a country voluntarily invites foreign political figures to guide its national destiny, so determined is it to live impartially by its avowed ideals. Mikheil Saakashvili serves on Poroshenko’s Presidential Advisory Council. Former top public servants of his historic Georgian administration now work in equivalent Ukrainian positions. That’s because Saakashvili’s Georgian reforms became an international brand. Over the years, countries as far afield as Surinam met with members of his team to see how to transform governance in the same way.

In Ukraine two examples will suffice. Georgia’s wildly popular top cop, the quietly charismatic and formidably incorruptible Ekaterina Zguladze-Glucksmann, now works as Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Interior... Similarly, the staunchly honest and quietly workaholic David Sakvarelidze, formerly the Chief Prosecutor in Tbilisi then parliamentary MP in Saakashvili’s party, is now Ukraine’s Deputy Prosecutor General... Both are young, seasoned, selfless idealists in their thirties. They could be pulling down huge salaries and living the good life anywhere in the world. Instead they’ve chosen to work round the clock as civil servants for the people of Ukraine.  Both spoke to me of living up to the ideals of Maidan, delivering on the hopes of national rebirth still alive and palpable in the air.

As Western values are confounded and compromised everywhere, not least in the West, the one place where they pulse with conviction they’re threatened with outside obliteration. Putin understands: The last thing the West wants, it seems, is to be reminded of them."

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Young woman tells why she left Islam

This post is a blog action against Islamism after the April 2 Islamist attacks against the Garissa University in Kenya that killed 142 students and 6 soldiers and policemen. Christian students were separated from their Muslim peers and then massacred.

The text below is copied from a letter titled Why I Left Islam and published at Faith Freedom site. I omitted some parts but I am warning readers that it is still very long. I like it because there is nothing "intellectual" in the text, it is written by an ordinary young woman for ordinary people like her.

"My conversion, of as Muslims deceptively call it “reversion” to Islam began with a fascination for Islamic dress. However, before I go into that, I will give a little bit of background about me. I was born into a Christian Mennonite family who I love very much. My family was very loving and generous and while I admire the Mennonites for being a very simple and hard-working people I just cannot bring myself to agree with the religious aspect especially when it comes to their less than flattering views on women. In my opinion, all religion is just a pathetic excuse to oppress and control women and even if it was changed to suit the modern day in regards to the full equality and citizenship of women, I still wouldn’t buy into religion because the very fact that it can be changed is just further proof that it is made up by humankind in the first place and based on virtually nothing concrete.

However, I was very much into Christianity until reading a small, green book about Atheism at age 21 that I was fortunate enough to stumble upon at an eclectic, uptown boutique. At the time, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as having no religion but the book just made so much sense to me.
So anyway, I became super interested in Islam because I thought that the headscarf and long skirts that Muslim women wore were very beautiful so I looked deeper into the religion and even went to Mosques and talked to other Muslims and Imams. I studied Islam in depth for about five months before converting.

I was very active on Facebook in chatting with other Muslims and learning as much as I could about the faith. I was told things like “Islam liberates women” and that it is the most peaceful and tolerant religion. I was told quite a few other inaccurate things about Islam that at the time, I didn’t question.

I was told to “be careful” what I read about Islam and to not read books written by non-Muslims (biased much?) because it might not be accurate or may not portray the “true Islam” and therefore, may confuse me as someone new to the faith. All of the books I was given to read about Islam painted it in a very positive light. Now I realize that I was told to be careful about what I read about Islam on my own and given these one sided books about Islam in order to protect the faith from criticism and not me from confusion because just recently (nearly two years after my conversion experience) I did read a few books that didn’t portray Islam in such a positive light (which I will get to later in this article) and the book not only cleared up my confusion, it probably SAVED! me from it!

Another thing I was told was not to believe everything I hear about Islam in the media especially when it comes to violent groups of Muslims.

However, while I do not believe everything I hear and see in the media, I wonder what made those particular stories about Muslim groups engaging in violence for the sake of Allah so appealing to be publicized in the first place...

In the course of my journey, I was also told that Muslims aren’t perfect but Islam is. For a long time I tried to make sense of that but then I realized that that statement really made no sense because how could God expect imperfect human beings to follow a perfect religion? If you ask me, that is just a recipe for failure.

I also learned that Muslim women are not allowed to work out in front of men in order to “protect” themselves from being gawked at even though they are already covered from head to toe. This bit of information prevented me from losing 50 lbs until the year after that I desperately needed to lose because of being slightly overweight. I finally realized that if Islam truly sought to protect women from the stares of men while she is working out, it would not bar her from the gym just because men are present nor would it expect her to cover herself from head to toe during an extremely intense and sweaty work out. What the religion would do instead is make the penalties within it harsher for men (rather than rewarding them for this shameful behaviour by giving them the whole fitness facility to themselves...) who are immature enough to violate women’s bodies by staring and even coming on to them... In all truthfulness, many women suffer by losing their basic rights such as the right to basic health (in this case) under the guise of the Islamic obsession with modesty as if that is more important than individual autonomy and choice. What if someone doesn’t care about being modest?! The notion of modesty within the Islamic context sounds more to me like a clever ploy to make sure women are not able to be full members of society by controlling what they can and cannot do in front of the opposite sex... Another excuse for women to stay at home and not be seen in public since the home would be the only suitable place for her to work out in within the stifling constraints of Islam...

Then there were a few questionable experiences I had with the Muslim community. Don’t get me wrong. I met a lot of incredibly nice people who happened to be Muslim and I am not here to say that all Muslims think the same way or have the same mentality as their fellow Muslim might have. I am just simply writing about the less than satisfying experiences I had in some aspects because I think that it is important to bring these issues to light.

One questionable experience I had was when I asked a fellow Muslim sister who I already thought was a little off her rocker, why God would allow so much suffering in Syria and Somalia and other places ravaged by war and political unrest. She said that it is because God is punishing those people. I immediately lost what little respect I had for her. Muslims tirelessly claim that their God is merciful so why would He punish innocent children, innocent mothers, innocent families for political unrest and senseless violence that is totally beyond their control? More importantly, why wouldn’t this alleged merciful God put a stop to all suffering in the world in the first place? That doesn’t sound very merciful to me - it sounds psychotic and tyrannical and leads me to conclude that God is either a sadistic sociopath and immensely enjoys our suffering or more accurately, that He doesn’t exist. In another situation, I even asked a Muslim on Facebook if God might not be so merciful after all. She told me to be careful what I say because God is in fact merciful. If that is the case, then why should I have to be careful about what I say?!

It is compelling to note that there are many verses in the Koran that state horrible punishments and hell that await the non-believers (Sura 2:39, 8:36-37, 9:49, 9:63, 9:73 17:10, 18:100, 98:6) rather than mercy and love for all no matter what belief system one chooses to follow. How can God send people to hell for simply not believing in one ideology if He is said to be so merciful? I am also quite curious to know why people have to even bother repenting their sins in the first place (Sura 7:153, 11:90, 17:8 [refers to disbelievers in hell and repentance]), if Allah is supposed to be so merciful?

On another occasion, I was at the house of a family with three kids. The oldest daughter who was only 11 at the time was telling her mom how afraid she was of hell and she was even crying. Rather than comfort her, her mother began to tell her how terrible hell was and how the girl had to pray five times a day or else terrible things would happen to her (no compulsion in religion my ass [Sura 2:256]). Then the mother went into detail about what would happen to her daughter in hell though I forget what exactly she said and the poor girl was becoming more and more upset. I really wish I had said something such as “there is no hell” or “stop mentally abusing your child” but for much of my conversion experience, it was like I was trapped in some bizarre, not to mention terrifying, Islamic brainwashing trance (I wonder if other Muslims are caught in this trance also and either don’t realize it or refuse to admit it?)...

On a side note, I don’t think that any religion that uses fear as a way to get people to follow it is worth my time. Just recently, I received an e-mail from a Muslim asking me what I think is going to happen to me if I die and what my purpose in life is especially since I am not religious. That question in itself is just another way that Islam and all other religions plays on people’s fears so I didn’t even respond because I can proudly say that I don’t buy into that anymore.

I no longer worry about what will happen to me when I die or what my purpose in life is because the unfortunate, harsh truth is that when we die that’s it and there is no magical kingdom or place of torture that we go to because it has never been proven. Therefore, it is much better and more life affirming to be living the best life we possibly can now so that when we are on our death beds, we don’t regret wasting our lives on frivolous things such as whether or not we are going to hell or whether or not God will accept our prayers. We as the human race should be worrying about how to alleviate and put an end to worldwide poverty, suffering, war, rape, murder, misogyny, racism, homophobia, greed, and any other kind of human misery that befalls us rather than wasting energy worrying about strange rituals such as bending over for God five times a day... or memorizing more often than not, violent verses in the Koran that are basically both irrelevant and unhelpful in today’s world.

In terms of what my purpose in life is, I prefer to be honest and say I don’t know rather than disillusion and lie to myself by blindly adopting a religion, but what I do know is that it is important to be a good person and help others when one is able to do so. I also know that all religions use this largely man-made concept of divine purpose as a way to entice people (especially those who feel lost or confused in the path of life) to follow them by implying that they need to have some kind of supernatural purpose in life besides just being. I think it is pretty pathetic how religion preys on the lost and those who are so desperate for any shred of hope as a tool of manipulation like this by telling someone that they must have a purpose in life and that purpose is Islam, Jehovah’s Witness, Christianity, etc. I am more at peace with the fact that we just simply exist and that life is what we make of it...

During my conversion experience, I ended up reading the entire Koran in hopes that when I finished it I would immediately have some sort of revelation and have everything all of a sudden “make sense and fall into place like some converts have claimed happened to them. However I ended up feeling deeply appalled by most of it which I will explain in more detail a bit later. However, I managed to convince myself that with time, I would soon begin to “understand what the Koran actually says” as opposed to what was right in front of my nose the entire time which is a common theme among most religions to have their text say one thing but claim that it somehow means another no matter how far reaching that claim may be...

Islam is full of strict and more often than not, pointless, petty rules and regulations about what one can and cannot do even if it doesn’t harm others. I mean why is it evil to listen to music if it brings you enjoyment or what is wrong with owning a dog?! I am sure that an all-powerful, all-mighty God has much more important things to worry about than petty things like that - and if that is in fact what He does worry about, then maybe He needs to get a life and stop trying to micromanage His creation to such an impossible extent. If anything, Islam is difficult, inflexible and seems to take pleasure in controlling every single minuscule aspect of people’s lives from what one wears to how one uses the toilet...

Eventually, I finally decided that there was more to life than bending over for Allah five times in my day and furthermore, that I was more likely to go to hell (if there were such a thing which I don’t believe there is), for murdering and harming innocent people. I just cannot believe that if I don’t pray in a certain way that I will go to hell. Not to mention, that I never really knew what to say when I prayed because I didn’t know Arabic and apparently, the prayers are only valid in that language. Wouldn’t an alleged God who created everything know all languages?

In relation to the five daily prayers and sawm (fasting) a secular pen pal of mine recently wrote to me and basically said that fasting, all night prayer (deprivation of sleep) and repetition (praying five times a day at certain times and having to wash in a certain manner [taking wudu]) are manipulative tools used in religion to keep people in a weakened state of mind and distract them from realizing what is truly going on which therefore, renders them easier to control. I also add that the prohibition and demonizing of music is another tool since it would distract one from their repetitive prayer and starving. I was blown away by my pen pal’s statement; it just made so much sense especially in light of my experience because I spent an entire Ramadan with Muslims and there was something surreal about the whole experience - like I was in a different world. I wasn’t fasting, but everyone else around me was and the atmosphere just seemed incredibly conducive to unclear thought and mind altering states. When I stopped obsessing over planning my day around the five daily prayers and managed to get over my fear of hell, I felt free and like I was no longer in a trance! I feel like the key to maintaining a strong mind is to stay away from religion, especially one that uses deprivation of basic needs (food and sleep) while demonizing entertainment and employing the use of repetition in order to keep people feeling stuck and confused and then thinking they are confused because they can’t understand the religion when in reality, it is the religion itself, that is confusing them! If you think about it, it really is genius on religion’s (and the Prophet’s) part - they have found the perfect way to control people in this manner by manipulating the emotions of people through removal of food, enjoyment and sleep. Think about it - if you haven’t eaten in days, have to pray at certain times of the day no matter what you’re doing, have no creative outlets and are constantly up all night, would you be in a completely clear state of mind?...

When I tried to leave Islam the first time, I posted on Facebook that I needed to go back to being myself and could no longer carry on the way I was. A few Muslim sisters saw this (one of which wore the Niqab), and they must’ve put two and two together because they inboxed me and told me that they were going to be at my place in ten minutes. I guess I could’ve just not left my apartment, but curiosity has always been my downfall.

The sisters took me to a nearby Dawah Center and convinced me to stay in the religion. I don’t remember what they said except that I needed to be saved from hell, but I came back home really upset and it scared me more than ever because I realized shortly after that incident, that the deeper I got into the religion of Islam, the more difficult it might be for me to leave.

The second time I left the faith, the sisters didn’t come to my “aid.” They must’ve decided that there was no hope for me. However, I got a lot of really nasty comments on one status on Facebook (over 150) about how I am going to burn in hell and one girl even said that Muslims are humble and I am not. I swiftly replied that no self-respecting humble person would proclaim their humility to the world in such a manner but I never got a response. Through this comment chain, I even received a death threat. I swiftly replied that they knew where I lived and if they wanted to kill me they should come on over and do it because I would rather die than subscribe to a set of beliefs that are so violent and abhorrent especially toward women.

Even after I apologized to everyone involved in that comment chain through a mass Facebook message, I was still met with unfathomable nasty and vile responses for doing nothing more than leaving Islam. I just couldn’t win and the only unfortunate solution I saw was to block every single person who attacked me on Facebook in order to maintain what shred of sanity I had left. Needless to say, nothing happened in terms of the death threat, but the experience shook me up for two years and it only occurred to me to tell my story recently and I need to do so in order to heal and move on or else I fear that my unhealthy obsession with Islam will never cease.

The sister that wears the Niqab who I mentioned above, once sent me an e-mail with an article attached detailing how God is vengeful and will punish the disbelievers in an effort to try to get me to reconsider my decision of leaving Islam-I guess she was trying to scare me into it which is a typical religious tactic. I responded that I would rather believe in a merciful and loving God and she said in her reply that everything I say to her sounds like “blah, blah, blah” but she still had hope for me so she sent me another article to read as if that would help the situation at that point. I was incredibly hurt because she expected me to listen to what she had to say but somehow what I said wasn’t valid. Then I realized that she was actually being honest because anything that contradicted her belief in God probably did sound like “blah, blah, blah” to her since that was how far gone into the religion she was. I replied to her that everything SHE said to ME also sounded like “blah, blah, blah” and to not contact me anymore. However, I guess she really did just read a bunch of blahs in my response because she did e-mail me back but I did not open the e-mail and deleted it forever because I finally realized that she expected me to take her opinion as law but she didn’t have the same respect for what I had to say and that is actually a very common theme among Muslims; they can say what they want but Allah forbid that somebody contradicts them or has a difference in opinion that doesn’t promote hate and intolerance. In fact, Ibn Warraq, in his book Why the West is Best quotes author Geert Wilders who was on trial for doing nothing more than criticizing Islam states “there is reason for concern if the erosion of our freedom of speech is the price we must pay to accommodate Islam” (196). No religion, especially that of Islam, should ever be allowed to infiltrate on someone’s right to expression and freedom of speech because that will just serve to open up the floor for other rights being taken away such as the right to equality (especially for women), right to all types of education and not just Islamic, and the right to freedom of belief and religion. It could very well happen here in the West if people like Geert don’t put their lives on the line and speak up for what’s right...

The “blah” incident no longer hurts my feelings; it just makes me feel incredibly sorry for this sister who is so misguided and even believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that if a woman is beaten by her husband, it is somehow HER fault for choosing the wrong man as if she should’ve seen it coming or something!...
All the above being said however in terms of holding on to religion when one is in a state of misery and despair, I myself even went through a period in my life recently where I felt suicidal and considered going back to the faith because I felt hopeless and decided Islam was the only way to regain this hope. Then I read something in a book entitled The Happy Atheist by P. Z. Myers that probably saved me from both suicide and from the cage of Islam: “The hard question, though, is why women ever fall for women-hating religions in the first place…religion is a kind of parasite of the mind that promotes its own disease. Where does religion have its greatest success? Among the miserable and the oppressed, because it is very good at promising (but not delivering) hope. If you are among the downtrodden, magical answers have a great appeal… These answers do nothing but make the believer feel better about his or her problems. In fact, they actually increase the misery by encouraging believers to shun productive solutions in favour of non-answers. Misery leads people to turn to religion, which can make the misery worse, because religion doesn’t address the material causes of the misery, and the increasing despair leads to more and more succor from religion which makes it even worse…And who has been slapped down consistently throughout human history? Women. It’s not surprising that the segment of society that is oppressed is also one that often turns to faith to gain the illusion of relief” (89-90).

This quote was just what I needed because I could not figure out why me, a Canadian born and by all respects, liberated woman, would be so obsessed with such a misogynistic religion. The answer that it was because my misery was getting the better of me should’ve been obvious due to my suicidal thoughts, but I clearly wasn’t thinking in a rational manner at the time.

I still wear long skirts and dresses on a daily basis when I am not in the gym (I am a fitness buff), but I don’t associate it with any kind of religion. That is just my style and I feel comfortable that way. In fact, now that I am finally able to be completely honest with myself, if it weren’t for the clothing in Islam (the long dresses and skirts, beautiful scarves, etc), then I probably would have had zero interest in the religion and I can dress up however I want without having to be a Muslim whether it be a long skirt or a pair of tight jeans. I still have a deep fascination for Muslim fashion, but I am never going to let this fascination go beyond that again.

The one item of Muslim clothing that I no longer feel right wearing is the headscarf because I don’t want to be mistaken for a Muslim when I am out and about since it would just be awkward having to explain to other Muslims when they say “salaam alaykum” to me and I just don’t want to associate with the Muslim community anymore in general. I guess right now, I just don’t want to draw attention to myself in that sense. I even went through a period where I called myself an “Atheist Hijabi” wearing the headscarf though I had no intention of converting at that time, and some Muslims took unwarranted offense to this...

Because it is women who are usually victims of rape, shouldn’t it be the men learning how to control themselves whether she is covered or not? I guess in Islam it is easier to coerce women to cover up than it is to expect men to act like human beings. When you think about it, it is actually really immature and doesn’t give men much credit as human beings capable of offering love and protection regardless of a woman’s fashion choices. Men should be insulted that the religion even remotely portrays them in this manner as primal beings who cannot control their sexual thirst if they happen to see a woman’s naked arm...

There are days where I deeply miss being Muslim because of the community it gave me since I was lonely, but in the end, I would rather be lonely than subscribe to such a violent, hypocritical, dishonest, misogynistic and confusing belief system...

It appears as if Islam will never evolve to the point where it can just see people as human beings in their own right rather than people whose rights solely rely on whether they possess a vagina or a penis, the latter guaranteeing basic rights, and even luxuries beyond this, the former being more subject to debate, control and subjugation to the latter. If I am to be true to myself in terms of my solid belief that women are complete equals to men and that freedom of thought and expression are basic human rights, then only a secular viewpoint can offer this freedom and equality because Islam is directly incompatible with even the smallest notion of freedom, free speech, and the complete liberation of women especially in Muslim countries, and therefore, has no place in my life or the lives of anyone else. Philosopher Friedrick Hayek, as quoted in Why the West is Best, declares that “individual freedom cannot be reconciled with the supremacy of one single purpose to which the whole society must be entirely and permanently subordinated (205). Islam, as I have stated above, is a direct threat to the type of unconfined freedom that both Hayek and myself are referring to because it places dinosaur-age dogmas and relentless ruthlessness before modernism and individual human rights.

In addition to The Happy Atheist and Why the West is Best, I recommend to anyone to read the book Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out also by Ibn Warraq. It inspired me to write my story about leaving Islam and has probably been the single most helpful book to me in this difficult, long and confusing journey. We need more people like Warraq to speak out on these issues so that others who are seriously considering converting to Islam will not do so under the guise of ignorance, lies and hidden information that seem to be so commonplace in within the religion...

Did you know that in Islamic countries, if a woman is a political prisoner to be killed, she is raped first so that she doesn’t get to Heaven because of the belief that only virgins (if they are unmarried) go to Heaven. I mean doesn’t that just sound like a convenient excuse for men to justify acting like tyrannical, inhuman monsters? Also, did you know that the Prophet (I refuse to wish him peace) stated that a man should not have to give explanation as to why he beats his wife (Abu Dawud 11:2142) and also married a six year old girl and started fondling and having sexual relations with her at the age of nine (Bukhari 6:298) just because she had started her menses so that somehow made it OK?! I don’t care what the time period is; it is still straight up pedophilia.

The Prophet also stated that women should be beaten for being opinionated (Abu Dawud 11:2141) and to submit to the sexual desires of men even if they are beaten (Bukhari 72:715). There are many more Hadith and Koran that prove just how much the Islam hates women (Muslim 9:3506, Abu Dawud 11:2126, Ibn Ishiq/Hisham 969, Maliks Muwatta 41:16B, Bukhari 82:828, Ibn Ishaq p.496, Ibn Majah 9:1986, Koran Sura 2:223, 38:41-44,24:31)...

Muhammad also states that the majority of hell’s inhabitants are women because they have not been grateful to their husbands for not mistreating them. NO self-respecting woman should have to be grateful for that because as a human being, she is entitled to it and should even demand it because she is a full person in her own right deserving of respect and care. Not to mention that a husband can beat his wife in Islam for disobedience. It is in the Koran Sura 4:34. Of course Muslim apologists will either argue that it is not in the Koran at all even when you are holding it right in their face which basically proves to me just how much denial and mental blocking is needed to believe in such a violent religion in the first place, or they will argue that it is actually a verse against wife beating or they will say that the original translation in Arabic doesn’t really say that when in fact, most Muslims cannot even read Arabic and furthermore, based on my research, it does actually state to beat your wife for disobedience in a much harsher manner than the English translation. I read about four different English translations of that one verse because it is the one that most disgusts me and they ALL say “beat.” So are Muslims telling me that all of those professional Arabic translators are wrong when they cannot even read Arabic themselves?! The word used for beat in Arabic is “daraba” in that verse. It does in fact mean beat or strike and some translations even try to “soften the verse” by inserting the word “lightly” in brackets beside the word “beat” even though the “lightly” part is not found in the Arabic at all. So if anything, the original Arabic is actually much harsher than the English and no, it is not dishonestly translated that way by English scholars just to discredit Islam as some Muslims have claimed, especially because many of the translators are in fact Muslims themselves. Why would they discredit their own religion and why would ALL of them use the word “beat”?

However, my favourite justification for this verse, is that it is somehow “taken out of context” even though the Koran itself IS the context and even claims within its very own pages that it is mean to be a clear book (Sura 5:15, 2:99, 6:104-105, 22:16) so how can anything ever be taken out of the context of the Koran in the first place? The Koran is actually a lot more straightforward than Muslim apologists care to admit and basically, what it says is very difficult to portray as anything other than what the verses actually state in terms of endorsing violence, gay-bashing, anti-semitism and monumental misogyny (the worst one in my opinion because when women aren’t liberated, everyone on earth suffers because women are our future and the backbone of our entire planet).

In terms of women being somehow “liberated” by Islam their very own Prophet didn’t have a very high view of them and in fact, sanctioned the raping of them in the Hadith (Bukhari 34:432, 62:137). Please tell me how permissible rape is liberating and don’t give me the argument that it’s a “weak Hadith.” This is the argument I encountered as a new convert and I finally realized that certain Hadith are kept in circulation in order to justify the actions of those in power while telling new Muslims and people who are ignorant of Islam in general, that it’s an inaccurate Hadith in order to protect their pathetic excuse for a faith. It just seems far too convenient to me. The plain fact that it is even part of the Hadith at all within a religion that claims to be peaceful, is enough to make me sick.

When it comes to gay-bashing, there are numerous verses in the Koran that condemn homosexuality (Sura 4:16, 7:80-84, 27:54-56, 26:165-166 29:27-33) in contrast to only one short verse in the Bible (Leviticus 18:22)-and the Koran is at least five times shorter in length! It is amazing how so much hate and violence can be crammed into such a small book.

I even had a Muslim friend... declare to me that gay people ruined the rainbow for her. In utter disbelief, I told her that there was nothing wrong with being gay and her response was “that’s because you just have a different opinion.”... For me, those who identify as anything other than straight, have made the rainbow that much more meaningful and diverse... One cannot help their sexual orientation any more than they can help their skin colour. Is God so petty and immature that He cares what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own bedrooms especially since He was the one who created them that way in the first place? I want nothing to do with that sadistic God.

This same friend... is African American and is super against racism... So my friend who I know for a fact is against the slavery of her own people, is ironically following a religion that not only has its roots and history based in slavery some of which was done on her very own continent but also sanctions slavery in her very own holy book (Sura 16:75) and Hadith (Bukhari 34:351, 41:98, 47:765, 52:255, Muslim 39:01). Slavery is actually deeply embedded within the Islamic tradition both for work (labourers) and for sexual conquest (sex slaves)

This same friend also texted me recently to ask me if I heard the shocking news that three Muslims were killed in North Carolina. While I sympathize with the plight of my fellow human beings who just so happen to be Muslim, I wonder if my friend would’ve been as shocked and heartbroken if these three people who were killed weren’t Muslim? There are countless non-Muslims out there who are slain in the name of Allah but it seems that Muslims only get enraged when it is their own kind who are slain for being Muslim. Islamically, it is somehow perfectly fine for people to be slain for NOT being Muslim. It is ironic to note that on Sunday February 15th 2015, Saudi Arabia officials declared the sense[less] murder of those three unfortunate Muslims a “heinous terrorist act” but yet, fail to (or refuse to) acknowledge the brutal slaughter of non-Muslim that takes place in their very own country. Later on, I will mention just some of the numerous verses in the Koran that endorse the killing of non-Muslims for the sake of Allah (even though Allah created these people in the first place!)

Speaking of the Koran, there may be Muslim apologists out there who argue that this “holy” book does have some good verses that promote peace and tolerance in contrast to killing and brutality, but I had a very difficult time even finding one Sura about peace without it being in the context of ruthless violence, intolerance and misogyny because the simple truth of the matter is that the violent and barbaric verses in the Koran far outweigh the peaceful, tolerant ones...

I am beginning to become more and more convinced every day that the Prophet made up the entire Koran to serve his own agenda...The Prophet Muhammad is the Joseph Smith (Mormonism) of Islam in that he used people’s fear of a non-existent deity to further his own agenda and therefore, should not be revered as a hero but shunned as someone who plays on people’s vulnerabilities and mercilessly abuses women for his own personal satisfaction just to get ahead in life. Not to mention that if God wanted to reveal His final word to people, why not do it now in this day and age with all the technology we have? It sure would’ve reach a lot more people than just those wondering around in 7th century Arabia with no clue why the sun set at night or why it rained other than to attribute it to a vengeful, deceitful deity in the sky that watches their every move...

I have finally come to terms with being an Atheist again and it feels utterly amazing and brings me immense joy and satisfaction that no religion ever could. In fact, religion, especially Islam, and all its stuffy rules limits us as human beings by taking all of the joy and fun right out of living and what kind of a life is that anyway?! Now I no longer have to contemplate leaving my non-Muslim husband or limit what I can and cannot do based on some obscure belief system...

I really wish I had read Warraq’s books before I converted because it gives one a taste of what true Islam actually is as opposed to the watered down, just peachy version of it that is taught in Western Mosques and schools. As Warraq notes in Why the West is Best, “in recent years, Saudi Arabia and other Islamic countries have established chairs of Islamic studies in prestigious Western Universities, which are then influenced to present a favourable image of Islam” (174).

I guess I was so mesmerized by the beautiful clothing in Islam that I wasn’t thinking very clearly and at the time, did not even think to study beyond the books I was given that said nothing but good things about Islam and the inaccurate statements of other Muslims. Don’t let that be your story and always remember that misery is big business for religion. Don’t ever buy into a system of belief that exploits your misery for its own gain especially the evil, intolerant, scary, abhorrent, vile and hateful religion (dare I say cult) of Islam! In NO way does it liberate women by any stretch of the imagination nor is it even remotely a religion of tolerance and peace (and in fact, encourages Muslims in over 109 verses in the Koran to kill, fight or viciously harm non-Muslims in the name of Allah [see Sura 2:191-193, 2:216, 5:33, 8:12, 8:59-65, 9:5, 9:29-30, 9:123 33:60-62, 40:25, 47:4, 48:25, and, the most vile graphic, and disgusting verses in terms of slaying non-Muslims in my opinion, Sura 22:19]). Remember that.

I guess in light of the above mentioned verses on killing non-Muslims, it makes sense that this is what the Koran teaches because it also states in Sura 2:217 that temptation is worse than taking someone’s life. Also it is very shocking to note that Sura 9:111 states that those who fight in the name of Allah will kill and be killed. I am just speculating, but could this be the verse responsible for 9/11? In any case, I wonder how Muslims expect anyone in any part of the world to see their religion in even a remotely positive light while they continue to endorse the killing and torture of non-Muslims?...

I don’t want anyone else who may be miserable and looking to religion (especially one as violent and intolerant as Islam) to offer them some kind of false hope to go through the utter, seemingly endless confusion and agonizing fear that I did. If my article can save just one person from this unfortunate fate, then sharing it is worth it to me. Religion, especially Islam, is nothing more than mental abuse and there is no greater loss than that of the mind and the ability to think freely... Just as recently as February 2015, a gunman in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, thought to be inspired by Islamic radicalism, shot up a group of people at a free speech event. This unfortunate event could happen to us in the West if we don’t stand up for our rights as set by the constitution. The loss of free speech is the beginning of the loss of freedom in general. I call on everyone to wake up and unveil Islam for what it truly is - relentless and violent oppression of free thought and speech and therefore, stifling even the most basic of human freedom in the name of Allah."

Monday, April 06, 2015

Russia cannot imagine herself prosperous without destroying others

Excerpts from Stephen Blank's opinion Putin’s Ukraine War Is About Founding a New Russian Empire published today in the Newsweek:

"According to Vladimir Putin, Crimea and Ukraine are where the spiritual sources of Russia’s nationhood lie. And he “always saw the Russians and Ukrainians as a single people. I still think this way now.”

People observing the crisis triggered by Putin’s aggression against Ukraine therefore ought to understand what these words mean... If no Ukrainian state has the right to exist, the entire settlement of 1989 to 1991 in Eastern Europe, and especially in the former Soviet Union, is illegitimate and a standing threat to the Russian state. Thus Putin not only aims to overthrow the entire post–Cold War order in Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, he is also saying that the Russian state as such not only cannot tolerate an independent Ukraine, it can only survive as an empire...

Even if the Ukraine war devolves into a so-called frozen conflict, that logic will still be operative. We already have seen how quickly frozen conflicts can become unfrozen and how they corrode civility and democracy throughout their regions. Beyond that, a renewed Russian empire essentially reincarnates the idea that Russia is not safe unless everyone connected to it, and not only its immediate neighbors, is unsafe or insecure...

This is what is at stake in Ukraine. It is not just a quarrel over the fate of Ukraine. It is a war for the future of Russia and beyond that for the long-term future of European and Eurasian security. And to the extent that we hide behind rhetoric that masks a deeper inaction or complacency about Russia and Ukraine, we are only storing up for ourselves and future generations a larger continental crisis..."

(Emphasis mine - M.M.)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

These touchy Saudi rulers

Copying from Medium:

"A Translation of the Saudi Statement regarding Raif Badawi

07 March 2015- Saudi News Agency

An official source at the Saudi Foreign Ministry made this statement: Saudi Arabia expresses its strong surprise and dismay of what is being said in some of the media on the issue of citizen/Raif Mohammed Badawi and the verdict against him. And while the Kingdom regrets these media outlets’ attacks against the Kingdom and its Judiciary, it emphasizes at the same time that it does not accept any form of interference in its internal affairs, and rejects the encroachment on its sovereign right or the compromising of its judiciary independence and integrity, where there is no power over the judges in their rulings. The Kingdom also stresses that all court cases are handled without distinction or exception. The source also added that the Kingdom does not accept at all any attack on her in the name of human rights, especially when its constitution is based on Islamic law, which guarantees the rights of human and preserved his blood, money, honour and dignity.

Saudi Arabia was one of the first countries that supported human rights and respected all international conventions in accordance with the Islamic Sharia. However, and in spite of these obvious visible efforts, some international agencies and some media unfortunately emptied human rights from its high implications, and drifted into the attempt to politicize and exploit them in the infringement and attack on the sovereign rights of States according to standards that can only be described as selective and duplicated to serve political goals; and this is something that the Kingdom does not permit nor accept at all."

You cannot make this stuff up!

My comment on it: Dear Saudi rulers, if you behave like savages, the civilized world will consider you savages, and ridiculous documents like the above one can only validate this opinion.

(To any troll who would ask what parts of the world I call civilized, I can offer a working definition: Those parts of the world where people are not imprisoned and publicly beaten for expressing their thoughts.)