Australian Islamist Monitor

Islam Under Scrutiny

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Killer Veil

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It is fortunate that we are constantly reminded how Islam liberates women and how the veil is a symbol of freedom. Otherwise, we might jump to erroneous conclusions.

Three cases in Australia since Christmas (oops sorry, Winterval!) nearly misled me into thinking Islam was bad for women. So I am indebted to Wal and Sherene for setting me on the straight path.

Wal, in Behind the hijab of a gender jihad, explains:

 ...no article of clothing so controversially evokes hostility and revulsion in Western societies as the hijab, worn by many Muslim women.

Any hijab-clad Western Muslim can confirm it with painful, personal experience. A report in 2004 by Australia's Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission reported several distressing personal accounts from hijab-wearing women of the kind of abuse they had faced in the years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

With these social dynamics in place, and with the West's long history of obsession with Muslim women's attire, the veil was always going to find its way into political discourse.

The most famous example is the French law that bans students in state schools wearing overt religious symbols... By 2005, Australian federal MP Bronwyn Bishop had warmed to the idea, advocating a headscarf ban in Australian public schools.

Here, she was clearly coming from a place of hostility, as her comments made apparent.
..."this has really been forced on us because what we're seeing in our country is a clash of cultures and, indeed, the headscarf is being used as a sort of iconic item of defiance (by) the sort of people who want to overturn our values," and that hijab-wearing women were "in a position of being a slave".

...the political fixation with Muslim female dress... has little to do with a dress code. The Muslim woman has become merely a symbol. Bishop was most explicit on this point.
"What I was saying was not about headscarfs, per se, it's about a clash of cultures where extremist Muslim leaders are calling for the overthrow of the laws that give me my freedom and my equality."

Whenever John Howard seeks to evoke the spectre of Muslim incompatibility with Australian society, he is sure to place gender equality in the conversation...he suggested Australia was "contemporary and progressive" when it came to "the equality of men and women". His concern for women and what they wear seems exclusively reserved for Muslims. It is an appropriation for a cultural battle.
 
It is a battle many preachers in the Muslim world are all too happy to join...women are appropriated as symbols of Islamic identity, purity and resistance to Western cultural hegemony. And, just as in the West, the hijab has become the central, obsessive fixation of the discourse.

This finds its most contemptible expression in attempts to draw a connection between revealing clothing and rape.. former Australian mufti Taj Din al-Hilali asserted that, in the case of adultery, "the responsibility falls 90% of the time with women" because they possessed "the weapon of seduction".

...several female Muslim voices managed to find their way into the public space in protest. Saara Sabbagh remarked that Hilali's comments demonstrated he was "truly out of touch with ... the reason we wear a head-dress. It has nothing to do with conservatively dressing to prevent men from targeting (women)". Sherene Hassan, of the Islamic Council of Victoria, insisted "men do not enter the equations".  Her hijab was primarily about her "devotion to God". Maha Abdo reiterated: "The hijab is not a tool to be a deterrent for sexual assault or any assault, for that matter. It is a spiritual connection between myself and God."

In purely Koranic terms, there is little justification for popular sexualised rationalisations of the hijab. It is true that the verse widely considered to mandate the hijab explains that it is for women's protection, so they are "not harassed". But it also explains that the prescribed dress code is designed so that Muslim women will be known. This indicates that the Islamic modes of dress were introduced as a means of identification.

...while it is often claimed...that the oppression faced by Muslim women is a product of culture, not religion, it must frankly be acknowledged that a considerable portion of this misogyny is perpetrated in Islam's name.

...but honour killing... is found among Sikh and Hindu communities in the subcontinent, Christian communities in the Middle East, and even Greek and Italian migrant communities in Britain. These communities span a broad range of religions but tend to have poverty and ghettoisation in common. Clearly there is more to misogynist brutality than religious, cultural or ideological identification. It is a sociological phenomenon, too.

Only when Muslim women are treated as human beings whose views matter and who are valued in their own right will we have cause for optimism. As long as they remain symbols, and as long as those symbols are invoked by opposing sides in obnoxious rhetorical wars of culture, they will continue to be little more than a battlefield.
(source)

Sherene Hassan also sets us in straight in MUSLIM WOMEN - LIFTING THE VEIL
.

Muslim women hosted a fashion parade...to promote harmony between Muslim and non Muslim women. The women dressed in sensational and colourful flowing gowns...The only difference between these exotic models and those displayed in fashion magazines was that only their faces and glimpses of their toes were revealed. All wore the “hijab” the headscarf they choose to wear and considered the Islamic dress code.
“It always amazes me that a simple piece of cloth can generate such interest and in some cases anxiety” Sherene Hassan, said “The only reason the vast majority of Muslim women wear the hijab is simply because it is an act of worship...Many Muslim women wear the “hijab” because it’s a feminist statement. Dressing in this manner I’m urging people to judge me on the basis of my intelligence and personality, not by the shape of my legs, my waist or other parts of my anatomy.”

“Many Muslim women feel liberated, empowered and most importantly fulfilled by the
hijab; however their greatest challenge is to overcome the prejudice.”
  (source)

How reassuring to know that women choose how to dress and that this liberates them.
Armed with this knowledge, I can now assess these cases of women's empowerment!

Case 1. Man used wife's veil to kill her

A MAN used his wife's veil to strangle her in their Melbourne home after threatening to kill her if she tried to leave him...prosecutor Peter Rose, SC, said Marzieh Rahimi told community workers in the months leading up to her death that her husband was physically abusive towards her.

The workers thought Ms Rahimi seemed interested in taking shelter in a women's refuge, but later told them her husband Soltan Azizi had changed for the better and was helping her with their five children.

Ms Rahimi told the workers that Azizi had warned her: ''If you get a divorce from me or tell anyone what is going on in the house I will kill you because I can't carry the shame.''

Ms Rahimi married Azizi when the couple arrived in Australia as Afghan refugees in 2005.

Police attended the family home after Azizi phoned 000, telling the operator: ''I killed my wife.''  Azizi told police he had punched her to the ground then choked her with her veil.
  (source)

Well, Sharene, this poor woman's veil certainly liberated her from a life of hell, but it's hard to see how it empowered her, trapped as she was in an abusive relationship and prevented from leaving by death threats. And Wal, although you assert that honour killing is the product of poverty and ghettoisation, it's odd how prevalent it is in Islamic families, even wealthy ones.

And Maha Abdo's words "The hijab is not a tool to be a deterrent for sexual assault or any assault, for that matter", were tragically apt.

2. Marriage proposal led to a Lebanese jail

WHEN Sydney timber merchant Imad Bseiso asked Miriam Ward to marry him, she resisted his proposal at first - not because he had two other wives at the time but because the pair had never met.
"This is not the way people get married any more," she told Bseiso though an intermediary from her home in the Ein el-Helwi refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

An Australian-Jordanian of Palestinian descent, Bseiso had been put in touch with Miriam by her Sydney-based cousin Muhammad Ward. While keen to marry again after her husband had been killed in a gunfight between Palestinian factions, Miriam insisted Bseiso fly to Lebanon so they could find out if they actually liked each other.

But if it was a journey that confirmed their compatibility and resulted in marriage and a child, ultimately it was one that landed Bseiso in the terrorist wing of Lebanon's notorious military-run Roumieh prison.

Lebanon's Military Court sentenced Bseiso to two years' hard labour for his role in a heavy-duty terrorism network that smuggled men and weapons into Iraq to fight US and coalition forces.

Bseiso also has a wife of Syrian descent in Australia, with whom he has three children, and another wife and two children in Jordan. But under Sharia law, he felt he was entitled to marry again.

"He's known to be a polygamist," his lawyer Abu Saad said. "It's not just that he likes women but he likes to be legal and marry them."

Miriam, Bseiso's third wife, insists her husband is innocent, claiming he travelled to Lebanon only to meet her.

Bseiso had rented the room from another of Miriam's relatives - Rami Ward, who was suspected of being the ringleader of a terrorist group...While Rami and fellow Palestinians Nader Khalife and Toufic Alta were sentenced in absentia to imprisonment for life, Bseiso's initial three-year conviction was cut to two years after it was accepted he was not an active participant in the smuggling operation. He was found guilty of forming an organisation with the intention of carrying out a terrorist act.

Whether Bseiso is guilty or not, this timber merchant has found himself at the centre of a brutal internal battle in Lebanon.

While historically the government has been prepared to accommodate Hezbollah - the Lebanese army shows no sympathy for anyone it believes is involved in a Palestinian terrorist network populated by Sunni Muslims.

As for Miriam, she is simply longing for the day they can be together. She can still recall the comfort she felt when they first met, and the hours spent reading the Koran together as a prelude to their union.

But she admits she doesn't know much about her husband's life in Australia. She gave birth to a baby one month ago, shortly before her husband's conviction.

She still looks forward to one visiting Australia, if not living here permanently - "Inshallah", From what I have heard it is very beautiful and the people are very generous and it has peace, no war," she says. 
(source)

Now Wal and Sherene, explain how this devout Muslim woman is liberated by her hijab as the 3rd wife of a man jailed for terrorism offences, and left to care for a baby while he is in jail.

Case 3. Mother forced to leave her children

A MELBOURNE woman trapped for years in Saudi Arabia has been deported and forced home without three of her children, who remain with her allegedly abusive former husband.

The Australian consul and embassy officials surrounded the 33-year-old Muslim convert, Jennifer Birrell, as she collapsed outside her Riyadh home and pleaded with her ex-husband: ''Please, don't take my kids from me.''

The children, all born in Australia, wept as they were separated from their mother before she was escorted to the airport with her two other children and flown to Melbourne.

After a long struggle to obtain exit visas for her family, Ms Birrell, who had been the director of English at Al-Yamamah University, says she was suddenly told she was being deported without charge or explanation - and with no right to the three children fathered by her ex-husband.

Her present husband, Mohammed Ahmed Nagi, the father of her baby son, languishes in jail in Riyadh where he has been sentenced to three years' incarceration and 300 lashes for ''destruction of the family''.

Ms Birrell says her ex-husband, a Yemeni-born Australian citizen with a Saudi passport, allegedly renewed his sponsorship of Ms Birrell illegally after their divorce, falsely stating they were still married. He defied a judge's order to relinquish that control, which meant she could not get an exit visa.

Ms Birrell married her former husband in Adelaide in 1998. They moved to Saudi Arabia in 2004 with her eldest daughter and his three children, all Australian citizens. She left him almost two years ago after he allegedly threatened to kill her and bashed her with a candle stick, caving in her forehead.

Last month, she says the Australian ambassador in Riyadh, Kevin Magee, called. ''He said  … you and all of your children can leave and go back to Australia.''

Emergency passports were approved. But the Australian consul, Benjamin Van Eldik,  was told the original order for her exit visas was at a police station. After visiting the station, Ms Birrell says: ''He told me: 'Jennifer you just have to accept it. You are being deported without your children.'''
(source)

Mrs Birrell had a good job in Saudi and would have worn a hijab, which Sherene claims is a feminist statement, enabling women to be judged on the basis of their intelligence and personality, not by the shape of their legs, waist or other parts of their anatomy. If she was so empowered, why did her ex-husband have total control over the children, despite them being Australian citizens?

I'm truly puzzled by all 3 cases. As a feminist, it seems to me these women were all exploited and oppressed by Islam. Yet Wal and Sherene assure me that Islam and the hijab empower women, and they know Islam better than I do.

After all, I'm only an infidel!

Last Updated on Monday, 08 March 2010 13:33  

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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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History - Infidels' Resistance

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
 
On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, armed themselves with rifles, an homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill.

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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?
Musli ms in general love to hear the above question because it has a simple and readymade answer in their minds besides it gives them the opp or t u nity to propagate their religion and talk proudly about Islam.

 

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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?
When Mohamed and his faithful followers moved from Mecca to Medina, they found themselves among three Jewish tribes/clans (BANU-L-NADIR, BANU KAINUKA and BANU KURAIZA)  which settled there some time after their expulsion from their homeland and also living there were  two Arab, pagan tribes.

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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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