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Islam Under Scrutiny

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Islam In Vogue

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Jemina KhanIslam In Vogue - Is Islam In Fashion?

British Vogue, November 2008, featured an article about female converters to Islam by Jemima Khan, herself a woman who converted from Judaism for the sake of her  marriage to Imran Khan over ten years ago. An excellent choice for a first husband, her father said at the time, although I would say not an entirely excellent choice of religion to be married to, for if she has chosen to leave the religion, she has been quieter about that than about her divorce – understandably, as she might well prefer to live a pleasant life with her children rather than risk being on the receiving end of a bit of anti-apostate Islamic activity.

Interviewing three enthusiastic converters to her assumed religion did not evince a correspondingly excitable tone in Ms Khan’s writing.  Indeed I detected a tone that could be interpreted as subtle cautioning regarding the leap these women had made, which  cannot fail to be seen alogside her personal decision to return to England and a “Western” lifestyle after ten years in Pakistan; this was despite her assertion, several years ago, that the "superficialities" of a Western woman's lifestyle, which she had fully enjoyed, had "little to do with true happiness". 

In spite of JK’s view about British converts (about 50,000, she believes), that  “inhabiting two seemingly conflicting worlds, they are uniquely well-placed to understand the perspective and prejudices of both”, it is the prejudices of Islam which appear to have won out in the hearts and minds of the women interviewed: there is little of the “seemingly" when it comes to the “conflicting worlds” of Islam and the West. As Muslims, their loyalties are not as fluid as they might like to portray them, and as women their worth cannot be considered independently of their value in the eyes of men, because “purity”, or at the very least secrecy and hypocrisy, are essential for a woman who wants to be seen as a true Muslim.

Jemina - A devout Muslimah
A blogger on a website posts pictures of Jemima Khan with her former boyfriend Hugh Grant and kissing Kate Moss - and then comments on her credentials as a Muslim

The first woman is Kristiane Backer, a German-born convert. Predictably – this magazine is not dedicated to the lives of frumps, after all – her life before conversion was one of  fashion, rock-star parties and hedonism. Her “prejudices” at the time came from the media – she did not elaborate, unfortunately, but I wonder if she meant news about, say, suicide bombers - but “when I looked behind the headlines and stereotypes, a fascinating new universe opened up to me.” The Muslim boyfriend had something to do with it, of course; how many Western women have succumbed to the charm and flattery of dark-eyed Muslim men, if only temporarily?

It all happened: Sufi poetry, the Koran with its “clarity and logic”, the desire to “feel the religion…experience the beauty”, the prayer mat. Down she went, and now she is happy. Well, maybe not completely happy. She was married to an Egyptian Muslim man, but the marriage fell apart “for cultural reasons”. Nothing to do with Islam, of course, just Egyptian culture, and now she wants to find a man who, like her, can “bridge both worlds”, not a “conservative born-Muslim who wants a virgin from his own culture”.

Maybe she read Sufi poetry more than she read the Koran, or maybe some of the “clarity and logic” of the Koran escaped her. And Kristane Backerperhaps she has not noticed that it is not only “born-Muslims” but also male converts who want virgins, preferably “born-Muslim” virgins. For now, however, despite her self-professed "purity", she is forty-two, single, and presumably childless, so I would imagine that despite her good looks she is unlikely to be on many Muslim men’s wish-list, except as one of a collection of wives. Furthermore, as the Islamisation of Britain continues apace, she might find her status in this “fascinating new universe” diminishing as the years pass.

Not that I want to be pessimistic. If “maintaining her purity” is her passion, then it is all worth it – purity is her reward. She has even done the hajj – what more could a modern woman want?

The second woman is one Myriam Cerrah, who – naturally – before converting also  indulged in a free-and-easy life, “like any young girl of my class and background, clubbing  at the age of fourteen, drinking…” She also happened to be a beautiful model and actress, just the type we Vogue-readers adore. But she “traded it for something far superior”, including the hijab, which, judging by the pictures, does nothing to detract from her naturally glamorous beauty. She became a Muslim at Cambridge; at twenty-five, she is following an MA in Arab Studies with  a PhD on the subject of “Islamism”, something that impresses JK as displaying a “formidable intellect… it’s hard to cast her as either naïve or repressed”.    

While I am not certain that one needs a “formidable” intellect to gain a PhD from Oxford these days, one would need a formidable degree of intellectual delusion to come to the conclusions Myriam did. She read the Koran in French (we are talking big intellect here) “one evening”, found it “mind-blowing” and converted that night. Can the Koran be read in an evening? I must say, when I read just some of the Koran one evening for the first time, I also found it “mind-blowing” but in a completely different way; I was shocked and horrified, could not sleep properly, and took a few days to recover.

Myriam CerrahShe, however, found that “Islam…helped me to understand my life in the grander scale of things. It answered all the existential questions raised in my teens studying philosophy. It has given me strength, direction and stability and above all a relationship with our creator in which I find solace.”   Ah, existential questions; all that teenage clubbing threw up so many existential questions…and if she can find “solace” with Allah, capricious, vengeful, violence-inciting Allah, who bestows legitimacy on all the worst sins of mankind, then I confess to being dumbfounded, but then, maybe mind-blowing Koran-reading is but one strangely possible legacy of excessive drinking at fourteen.

One thing sadly missing from her life is a Muslim family. It would be just so nice, she sighed, if she could direct all those Muslim men who come up to her in the street, and ask if she is married, to them. Just ask her family? Is she joking? She would  consider, for even a moment, marrying some absolute desperate who approached her in the street? That her formidable intellect would permit such a way of thinking seems peculiar, to say the least, but there appears to be a strongly attention-seeking aspect to conversion, especially to a religion as controversial as Islam. It is likely that the idea of “negotiations” taking place between her many street-suitors and indulgent dream-family, the settling of a price perhaps, appeals to such a type. 

The third woman, Sarah Joseph, was, yes, yet another escapee from a life of “superficiality” in the fashion world; her mother had a modelling agency  and Sarah grew up “surrounded by models.” A world of “trauma…so much pain for the girls. I can still remember the weekly weigh-ins.” It must have been so terrible; not like life for Muslim girls in Muslim countries, where all is sweetness and love, no competitiveness between the girls, just wonderful home life and marriage at a suitable age  to a man carefully chosen by prudent parents with only their daughters’ interests at heart. No dieting, no exercise, no traumatic weigh-ins, just a steady, comfortable progression to a very fat middle age, and all those years in a nice uniform, so much more convenient than having to worry about horrid, superficial fashion.  

{What’s that? Female circumcision? Trauma? Don’t ask, Jemima! Anyway, it’s a cultural thing, nothing to do with Islam, just stick to the nice bits about Islam, the positives...)

Sarah, living in her (formerly) shallow world, before Islam lightened her life about twenty years ago, had developed a “prejudice” about Islam which neatly corresponds, still and indeed increasingly, to much of its reality. “Seventies Palestinian terrorists, the two women in yashmaks who squashed me in a lift near the agency, and an Arab playboy husband of one of the models, who once rushed into the office shouting; ‘I divorce thee, I divorce thee, I divorce thee!’”  Strangely, Palestinian terrorism seems to have ceased by the end of the seventies in her mind, and only exists for her as an expression of “prejudice”, rather than an ongoing manifestation of Islamic, Koranic teaching and a source of agony and death which appears regularly and from which no non-Muslim culture or country is deemed by those invariably Muslim terrorists to be  allowed exemption.
Sarah Joseph
Neither did women in yashmaks, (whatever they are, but a yashmak is bound to be a lot bigger and less pleasing to the eye than, say, a Prada or a Karl Lagerfeld outfit),  shoving her out of the way, deter her. Only “prejudice”! And divorce by public shouting and humiliation, okay in Islam, which she saw for herself; yes, it existed, but somehow this experience only amounted to “prejudice”.

But this was a girl with a “sophisticated social conscience”, just the type to embrace Islam, the religion of peace and justice above all. When just a girl, she had aspirations to be a nun, a “Mother Teresa” figure, but found the idea of “papal infallibility and original sin problematic.”  While not countenancing the notion of an infallible pope, she has surely had to become more credulous with her conversion. Meanwhile, there is yet to be an Islamic “Mother Teresa” figure: somehow, there is no allowance for nun-like lives for Muslim women, that is, not until they are dispensed with and replaced with younger models (we are talking about a different kind of model here…), when they are free, not to mention required, to live like nuns, not from choice but by rejection.   Young women, on the other hand, are quite simply needed for marriage service, not wasted on celibacy; the idea of nuns is unthinkable in a culture of polygamy.

(What’s that? Polygamy? Come on, that is nothing to do with Islam, not modern, enlightened Islam, not really; well, okay, sometimes, but it’s culture, not Islam. Better not mention it in Vogue. And if you really have to, say that the women love it, they live like sisters…Vogue is nothing if not politically correct. But luckily, for now at least, polygamy isn’t an issue with this trio of happy young converts.)

The hijab is of course a central issue. The first woman declines to wear it, saying it is not culturally appropriate in Britain, (She wears her hijab “on her heart”), while the second wears it with pride (and more than a little vanity, perhaps) and the third just looks like any chubby-faced Muslimah. But JK herself described it as “seemingly innocuous” and “not dissimilar to the scarves often worn by our own Queen”. If I were the Queen, I would write to Vogue and protest. The Queen wears a scarf to control her hair when she is out riding or walking in the wind, not as a symbol of submission to Allah and all men  and a show of superiority to and separation from women of despised lesser religions! “Associated with patriarchy”? “Associated with the control of female sexuality”? Too right, JK, it makes non-Muslims angry, and Muslim converts are being both ostentatious and disingenuous when they wear the hijab in a Western culture which, less than any other “Muslim” culture, does not consider it compulsory. 
Muslim Glamour
For Myriam, it is about “choice”. Good old choice, and what would we in the West do without it? But she does add, rather darkly, that “I’ve always thought…oppression works in far more pernicious ways than clothes.” And, incredibly, she says that she “would rather [people] assessed me on what I have to say than what I look like.” So is that why Muslim women are covered up; because everyone cares about what they think and say, not what they look like? It is all becoming clear…the hijab exists because Muslim men, more than any other men in the world, want to concentrate fully on what their women have to say. This is true equality, Islam-style, and Western women just don’t get it: if they would only cover up, and to extenuate the logic best of all through a black cloth on their faces, they could probably rule the world, because men would sit up and really listen.

(Of course, we women, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, are on the other hand frankly sexist, and highly sexed too. We want to see men’s faces. We don’t care one bit what they have to say, just what they look like. Otherwise we would insist on them covering up!)

But Myriam is a true aficionado, earnest about everything to do with Islam. At first she would not even shake hands with men – a sign of a true attention-seeker – and still believes it is “sinful” to socialise with people when they are drinking alcohol, actually going “to the loo” at weddings she is invited to while her friends drink, rather than “ask for a separate table.” One must imagine she takes a good book with her to the loo…

Despite these little problems, all to do with non-believers, of course, not with Islam, these women, according to JK, “share a sense of calm and spiritual fulfilment, in stark contrast to the way they felt as young women… the real battle they face now is with the way they are perceived.” Thus they have taken on the Islamic neurosis, the problem with “image.” They want to ignore the unpalatable truth about the history, the world view, the ambitions, the terrorism-slavery-looting-raping details, the fate of apostates, the creeping Sharia which threatens to restrict, bit by bit, the lives of themselves and any daughters they might have, the erosion of democracy and the  possibility of civil war if their fellow countrymen finally decide to stand up for themselves, their own fate when tolerance of foolish conversions such as theirs falls away.

They worry about image, and have no inkling of how they are going to cope when their “image”, together with the growing “prejudice”, that is, acceptance of reality, by  others who are not so romantic about Islam,  explodes into an image, a reasonable image, of cowardly collaboration with the enemy. For now, they are safe behind a curtain of political correctness, but when England is finally and possibly irrevocably impoverished by multiculturalism, mass immigration and particularly Islam, or even if Sharia finance props England up but imposes  unsavoury cultural costs along with the money, these women might find life on the prayer mat not quite so cool.  And I doubt that “Vogue” will be interested in how they feel any more.   
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 January 2009 14:51  

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Islam Kills

History - Articles

Lest We Forget the Battle of Tours

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History - Violent Jihad

Australians celebrate and revere Anzac Day on April 25th each year in remembrance of our brave soldiers who fought in two great world wars to secure our freedom. Every Australian identifies with the slogan “lest we forget” and in services held around the country people reflect on the battles and men who died to secure our freedom. Yet across the world in France, there is one remarkable battle which helped form the Europe we know today and allowed the development of civilization based on Judeo Christian principles. This one famous battle has become known as the battle of Tours and effectively stopped the Muslim advance into Europe. After the death of Mohammed in 632AD, Muslim armies exploded out of the Arabian peninsula to conquer much of the Middle East, expanding across north Africa. From there they crossed into Spain in 711AD and eventually controlled much of al-Andalus by 715AD. It was the victory at Tours by Charles Martel that stemmed the tide and eventually the Muslim marauders were expelled from Spain in 1492 when the last outpost at Granada fell to King Ferdinand of Spain. 

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Shivaji’s Coronation Laudatory Landmark

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born, lived, fought and won battles against religious and social oppression in the 17th century Bharat or India. He was a shining star in the Indian firmament and is renowned as a champion of the downtrodden and depressed masses. He was and continues to be an icon for the classes and masses alike and is seen as a rallying point for peasants oppressed by foreign rulers, Pathans and Moghuls alike. Sexually exploited women found in Shivaji Raje a protector, a benefactor and flocked to his Hindavi Swaraj to find solace and feel liberated under his saffron flag. 

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Ransomer of Captives from the Muslims

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History - Tolerance Myths

Perhaps some readers might be interested to know that January 28 is considered a feast day among Catholics – actually 2 feast days are celebrated on the same day – one is of ST Thomas Aquinas, the great medieval theologian and philosopher who adapted Aristotle to the western Judeo-Christian worldview. . It is also the feast day of a lesser known person – St Peter Nolasco, the great ransomer of captives from the Muslims.

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Islamic Pirates

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History - Violent Jihad

Barbary Corsair
Somalian Islamic Pirates & Lessons from History
 
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The Battle of Broken Hill

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Battle of Broken Hill Logo
 
The First Islamic Terrorist Attack on Australian Soil
 
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Jihad Galore

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History - Tolerance Myths

Jihad Galore and the Toledo Whore

Battle of Higueruela

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Arabs Hated The Quran

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History - Stolen Heritage

 
How the Arabs Hated The Quran
 
Old Quran

Wh y are you a Muslim?
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Lepanto Anniversary

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History - Imperialism

Decisive Victory for the West

At this time of year, it is timely to remember one of the greatest victories of the west against the Islamic world. On the 7th October in 1571, Don Juan and the Holy League, led by Admiral Doria, defeated the larger Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto, saving Europe from the Turks and militant Islam. The Holy League was a coalition of different armies - of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and some others.

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Muslim Jerusalem

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History - Stolen Heritage

Jerusalem - Coat of ArmsWhy do Muslims insist that Jerusalem is their Holy City?
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Killing of Banu Quraiza

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History - Imperialism

Did Prophet Muhammad order Killing Surrendered Jews of Banu Quraiza and Khaybar?  A historical Analysis

In the post 9/11 era of this modern-world, Islamists around the globe are busy with ‘damage control utopia’ in order to correct the image of religion Islam. We all know that the nucleus of Islam are: Quran, Hadiths (Sunnah) supported by Islamic histories and biographies recorded by various famous Islamic scholars and historians.

What Mecca?

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History - Early History

A great tragedy of the Islamic control of our universities and political correctness plus the fear of extreme violence if anyone dares question the roots and claims of Islam is ...that nobody dares question the roots and claims of Islam!!!  I want to stimulate interest and offer this summary of information on Mecca from (LINK) which discusses some problems with Muslim claims in a comparison of evidence supporting Islam/Christianity. 

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Yahweh or Hubal

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FlagThere is a very strongly entrenched view among majority of Westerners today that the three main monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam share one common God and therefore despite the obvious differences, the core foundation of these three religions is the same. 

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