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The Injustice of Sharia in Saudi Arabia

Most of you have probably see the video below of Maajid Nawaz trying to get some of his fellow Muslims admit that some of the punishments in Sharia are inhumane. For whatever reason, they simply won’t say that punishments like stoning to death are wrong. Sometimes, they won’t even admit that those are the sort of punishments that are handed out by a judge who rules via Sharia.

Badawi, Raif BBC

Raif Badawi (Source: BBC.com)

Most of you also probably know about Raif Badawi, who is currently in prison in Saudi Arabia for, basically, expressing an opinion the theocratic rulers of his country don’t agree with. It has made Badawi the face of the international End Blasphemy Laws campaign I wrote about here. Several news outlets and websites, including the Canadian Atheist website, are now reporting that Badawi’s wife has received credible information that attempts to retry her husband for the apostasy charge he has already been found not guilty of are being made. Badawi’s current punishment is 1,000 lashes plus 10 years imprisonment. (The extreme hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia was demonstrated by the Saudi Arabian ambassador to France taking part in the Unity March following the Charlie Hebdo massacre on the same day the first fifty lashes were administered.) If Badawi is found guilty of apostasy, a crime that shouldn’t even exist, he will face death by beheading.

Another case has come to my attention today, although the events surrounding it occurred back in 2006-7. However, it appears there has been no improvement in Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women, even those who have suffered the trauma of gang-rape since then so it is still relevant. The law there is unbelievable in it’s unfairness, and if anybody tries to tell me that Sharia really honours and respects women again, this is the only example I’ll ever need to shut them up.

As The Middle East monitor reported in 2006, a 19-year-old woman was been sentenced to six months imprisonment and 200 lashes following being violently gang-raped.

The young woman had driven to meet a male friend as he was to return a photo to her. Two more men got in the car and forced it to be driven to a remote place. There, she was viciously raped by seven men, three of whom also raped her friend. The men received light custodial sentences for kidnapping. The court considered there was not enough proof to convict them of rape despite a cell phone video of the incident. However, as the women was out without her husband (she is married) or a male relative in opposition to the law, she was sentenced to six months imprisonment and 90 lashes. Her male friend was also convicted of what’s known as “illegal mingling” and similarly sentenced to imprisonment and whipping. His rape was also not prosecuted.

The woman described her ordeal to Human Rights Watch:

At the first session, [the judges] said to me, “what kind of relationship did you have with this individual? Why did you leave the house? Do you know these men?” They asked me to describe the situation. They used to yell at me. They were insulting. The judge refused to allow my husband in the room with me. One judge told me I was a liar because I didn’t remember the dates well. They kept saying, “Why did you leave the house? Why didn’t you tell your husband [where you were going]?”

Her lawyer, Abdul Rahman Al-Lahem, a leading Human Rights lawyer, appealed the sentence to the Saudi General Court as being obviously too harsh, especially in light of what the woman had suffered. The response of the court? To more than double the number of lashes to 200. Further, as Al-Lahem had reached out to the media, they banned him from having any part in the woman’s case in future, confiscated his licence, and summoned him to a disciplinary hearing. “The decision to ban the rape victim’s lawyer from the case shows what little respect Saudi authorities have for the legal profession or the law in general,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch describes the situation of the law in Saudi Arabia thus:

 There is currently no rule of law in Saudi Arabia, which does not have a written penal code. Judges do not follow procedural rules and issue arbitrary sentences that vary widely. Often, judges do not provide written verdicts, even in death penalty cases. Judges sometimes deny individuals their right to legal representation.

Saudi Arabian Ministry of Justice defended the woman’s sentence to international commentators by re-iterating she was at fault for being out without a male family member.

In another case in February 2009, the Saudi Gazette reported:

A 23-year-old unmarried woman was awarded one-year prison term and 100 lashes for committing adultery and trying to abort the resultant fetus.

The District Court in Jeddah pronounced the verdict on Saturday after the girl confessed that she had a forced sexual intercourse with a man who had offered her a ride. The man, the girl confessed, took her to a rest house, east of Jeddah, where he and four of friends assaulted her all night long.

The girl claimed that she became pregnant soon after and went to King Fahd Hospital for Armed Forces in an attempt to carry out an abortion. She was eight weeks’ pregnant then, the hospital confirmed.

According to the ruling, the woman will be sent to a jail outside Jeddah to spend her time and will be lashed after delivery of her baby who will take the mother’s last name.

al-Ghamdi, Lama and al-Ghamdi, Fayhan l-r Independent

Lama al-Ghamdi and her father, Fayhan al-Ghamdi (Source: The Independent)

The worst story though is the one that was two years old last month. In February 2013, celebrity imam Fayhan al-Ghamdi was arrested for the rape, torture and murder of his five-year-old daughter Lama. The Independent reports Lama “… suffered multiple injuries including a crushed skull, broken back, broken ribs, a broken left arm and extensive bruising and burns. Social workers say she had also been repeatedly raped and burnt.”

Lama’s mother took her still alive daughter to the hospital. She told Saudi Arabia’s Albawaba News that the hospital said Lama’s rectum was torn wide open and someone had tried to burn it closed. Lama took ten months to die.

During the trial Fayhan al-Ghamdi apparently repeatedly confessed to using cables and a cane to inflict the injuries. He suspected she had lost her virginity and this was his response.

And it gets worse. You won’t believe this. Here goes.

Initially sentenced to eight years and 800 lashes, after serving a few months in prison, the judge ruled that Fayhan al-Ghamdi had been in prison long enough and the prosecution could seek “blood money” in compensation. He paid Lama’s mother £31,000 ($US 46,600, $NZ 63,300) and was released from prison. (Other sources say 1 million rials/$US 270,000.) Such payments are allowable under Sharia. The payment for a female child, however, is only half of that payable for a male child.

The Saudi king Abdullah intervened at this point and al-Ghamdi was later returned to prison. He tried to modernize his country during his lifetime in opposition to the Salafi clerics who give Saudi justice such a bad name, and the new king is thought to be of a similar mindset. So, to date, al-Ghamdi remains in prison and looks set to serve his full sentence. Which, of course, is only eight years.

However, the royal family still has a long way to go to improve the Saudi justice system, especially as it applies to women, LGBT people, and those who seek freedom of speech. They’ve managed to secure women the vote, which they will be allowed to exercise for the first time later this year. Let’s hope they can have more success in reforming their justice system too. Women voting may see more candidates sympathetic to women’s issues being elected too, so we may see some improvement in the next few years. Here’s hoping.

Update: An open letter was sent to the UK Prime Minister on 9 March to free Raif Badawi, his lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Kahir and other human rights activists who are also in prison in Saudi Arabia. On 20 February 2015, Walwwd Abu Al-Kahir’s sentence was confirmed as 15 years imprisonment. Anyone from anywhere in the world can still add their name to the letter here. I have. I hope you will consider doing so too.

Ssaudi Suffrage

Saudi Suffrage by David Fitzsimmons of the Arizona Star

13 Responses to “The Injustice of Sharia in Saudi Arabia”

  1. AU says:

    First of all, Maajid Nawaz isn’t a Muslim – he is as much of a Muslim as Richard Dawkins or you are a Christian. Just because you are born into a religion, doesn’t make you a follower of that religion.

    Secondly, he seems like an opportunist who just likes being part of the crowd – when he was young, he wanted to be part of the crowd and so he joined extremist Islamic groups. When he became older and became disenchanted, he saw there is a huge market speaking out against Islamism, and so he became part of that. Of course, you might say I have no proof of his motivations, and that is true, but then again, the likes of Dawkins, Harris and Coyne often also do not have proof of things, yet they still like to give their opinion …

    Do you also not find hit disturbing that Nawaz asks the first guy “yes or no”? This is intellectual dishonesty on Nawaz’s part – the guy has clearly said that he wouldn’t chop the hands off of a thief in normal circumstances, but Nawaz wants to find a situation where he might, and then say “look, barbaric!”.
    This is a bit like asking someone “Is it ever ok to kill civilians?”. Most people in the West would say “No”, but that’s only because we currently do not need to. So here’s a thought-experiment, imagine ISIS developed some really powerful biological weapon, and they started using it to attack us in London and New York and Wellington. And say we knew the Head of ISIS loved his family, and we knew that if we started killing members from his family, it might stop him from attacking us. If you then asked people in London, New York and Wellington whether it is ok to kill family members of the Head of ISIS, you can bet your bottom dollar that most people would agree to it even though they are civilians who have killed no one. In other words, despite what people say, the majority of them actually believe killing civilians is ok in special circumstances. So imaging how intellectually dishonest I would be if I asked someone “Is it ever ok to kill civilians, yes or no?”.

    I think Sharia is a vast topic, and some aspects of it are very disturbing, like most of the orthodox schools say a Muslim who kills a non-Muslim cannot be killed, and only one says that Muslim should also be killed. I don’t think either you, me, or most others therefore know what Sharia actually means, we just choose the interpretation that suits us, so if you’re a “New Atheist”, you will simply choose the most intolerant aspect of Sharia and pass it off as “normal Sharia”.

    Anyway, here’s something to think about. People like Bernie Madoff and Allen Stanford have been sentenced to life for their Ponzi schemes – they will die in prison. If say a 45 year old billionaire was found to have siphoned off billions, he too would die in prison. Under Sharia, however, the criminal would have had their hand chopped off, and then been able to go free. Now I don’t know about you, but if I was given the choice of spending the rest of my life in prison with both my hands, or, having one hand amputated, but being a free man, I would choose the latter. In other words, in this instance, Sharia is less “barbaric” than our legal system.

    • I would say killing the DAESH person’s family members was wrong, and I think a majority would agree, although the number that wouldn’t would be disturbingly high.

      The article is specific to Saudi Arabia, the judges of which have almost complete discretion and are almost all extremely conservative. To me, a big part of the problem is that no-one knows where they stand for sure in Saudi as there is no penal code. I would say the same whatever the religion or non-religion of any country where that was the case. I don’t think I have passed off anything as “normal Sharia”. There are laws in my own country I oppose too, such as our Blasphemy Law, which, of course, is also a religious law forced on everyone whatever their beliefs.

      As for Ponzi scheme operators, they might prefer life with one hand, but I’m not sure how their victims would feel, and they have to be taken into account too imo. America sends far too many people to prison though, their sentences are mostly too long, too many of their prisoners are in solitary confinement, and they still have the death penalty, so personally I wouldn’t use them as an example of good judicial behaviour. This is a good documentary on what I think are model prisons:

      http://youtu.be/HfEsz812Q1I

  2. AU says:

    >> “I would say killing the DAESH person’s family members was wrong, and I think a majority would agree, although the number that wouldn’t would be disturbingly high”.

    I totally disagree with you there – the vast majority of people WOULD say we should kill the family members of ISIS if that was the only way to stop ISIS from continuing bombing London, New York and Wellington.
    I mean, seriously, look at us – two people get killed in Sydney, seventeen in Paris, and we’re hysterical. We lose all sense of perspective, we have endless discussions on what we need to do against terrorism etc. Do you really think that if bombs were going off daily in New York, London and Wellington, and the only way to stop the attacks was to attack the family members of ISIS, people would say “no, we don’t attack civilians”? Seriously? If your best friends were blown to bits, if your family members were lying in hospital, if children you knew were killed by ISIS bombs, and the only way to stop these attacks was to bomb Baghdadi’s home and kill his wife and kids, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the overwhelming majority of people in the West would say we should kill his wife and kids. The logic would be “we don’t like killing civilians, but this is the only way to stop ISIS”. In fact, we saw something very similar during WW2 – it was called the firebombing of Dresden, Japanese cities, and atomic bomb attacks on Hisroshima and Nagasaki. And we justified these attacks by saying “we had to kill civilians to stop the war”.

    Even Sam Harris has talked about killing civilians. He has talked about how if some group like ISIS obtained nukes and the means to deliver them, then we have a right to nuke them first. His logic is that it would be terrible as civilians get killed, but it is the lesser of two evils.

    So I think we need to be honest with ourselves here – we are not different to them because they kill civilians and we do not. The majority of them would not kill civilians if they were technologically far superior to us and had the weaponry to attack our armed forces, and the majority of us would kill their civilians if we were technologically inferior to them and the only way to stop them from taking over our countries was to kill their civilians. If tomorrow ISIS was on the English Channel, and was about to invade and take over the UK, and force everyone to be Muslim, and we did not have the military capability to defeat them, I can bet you everything that Richard Dawkins would consider fighting back by attacking civilians in ISIS held territory justifiable.

    • There’s no such thing as a civilian to DAESH – unless we accept them, we’re enemy combatants so arguing what they would do if they were in the same position as Germany during WWII doesn’t work for me. I think if they had more, and more sophisticated, weaponry they would just kill more of what we, not they, term civilians.

      You’re probably right about how people would react, but I hope not. I see a lot of people protesting civilian casualties all over the world. I think these days things are a bit different because we see the suffering in a way we didn’t in WWII because of media coverage. Also, back then a lot of people thought of people from different countries, including Germany, as “not the same as us”. Not so many people still think like that.

      If DAESH was as strong and active as a WWII combatant, I’m sure your assessment would be correct though. I don’t think you need to bring Dawkins and Harris into the conversation for that situation – there are plenty who would be saying it long before they did – UKIP and the GOP would be first on board. In fact the GOP are already saying it openly – I’ve heard it several times on Fox News.

      There are literally tens of millions of conservative Christians in the US (and elsewhere) who think we’re in the End Times and DAESH’s activity presages the return of Jesus. Which is what DAESH thinks too. It’s just that the two groups expect a different final result. Thankfully neither are in charge. We’re probably in more danger from the Christian Right than DAESH because they have more chance of gaining power.

      • Mike Paps says:

        Not so many people still think like that.

        I don’t know that that is as true as you’d like to think. I suspect if rockets were regularly being lobbed at Miami from Cuba, as they are at Israel, the American public would demand that any means necessary be used to put an end to it. And any current president, or presidential candidate who didn’t commit to doing just that wouldn’t have a chance in hell of being elected, or re-elected. Most Americans I know beyond we enlightened liberal citizens of the world see one American civilian life as being worth 1000 foreign civilian lives, particularly third world civilians, and don’t feel we have any obligation to protect them from themselves, their government, or their families actions. We might sacrifice soldiers to a degree to that end, but not civilians. Just look at the number of civilians we were willing kill largely to avenge the 2400 that died on 9/11.

      • AU says:

        I don’t think you need to bring Dawkins and Harris into the conversation for that situation

        Bu I think we do. They have cult-like status amongst their “fanboys”, and their fanboys have argued endlessly that the likes of Harris and Dawkins are enlightened liberals who care about civilian life. Which I am sure they do, but would they care about civilian life if it meant the survival of their belief. No. They wouldn’t. They would say killing millions of civilians was a necessary evil – something which many Islamic terrorists say. So this whole debate about “we are better than them because we don’t kill civilians” is nonsensical – it’s like a rich person looking down on a poor person who was caught shoplifting to feed his family and saying “Send him to jail, he steals, I don’t steal” … yes, of course the rich person doesn’t steal, because he doesn’t need to.

        There’s no such thing as a civilian to DAESH

        Do you have any proof for this? Do you have any fatwas issued by Baghdadi, or any of the spiritual teachers of ISIS, that have said there is no such thing as a civilian?

        • They have announced that they don’t acknowledge the Geneva Convention. These names prove they don’t think there is any such thing as a civilian:
          James Foley
          Steven Sotloff
          David Haines
          Hervé Gourdel
          Alan Henning
          Peter Edward Kassig aka Abdul Rakhman Kassig
          Haruna Yukawa
          Kenji Goto
          Muath al-Kaseasbeh
          Kayla Mueller
          21 Egyptians murdered by beheading
          Gay man thrown off roof, survived, stoned to death
          and many more.

          They had no justification for killing these people except their religion. There is no argument that can convince me that these murders were justified.

          Atheism isn’t a belief system. All it means is a lack of belief in any god or gods. Dawkins, Harris et al are not responsible for what others do. They are responsible for their own actions. If they were calling for any form of violence, I would agree with you, but they don’t.

          I don’t agree with the way you have characterized the argument into who’s better. I think it’s worse when a rich person steals because they do it from greed, not need. Personally, if a poor person has to steal to eat, depending on who they steal from, I think that’s justified. I think society should work so there isn’t anyone who needs to steal to eat.

          There are definitely some who would say killing millions would be a necessary evil – those a-holes are already saying it, and they mostly come from the Christian right. Obama could send the whole American military in now and wipe out DAESH within a week. He isn’t doing it, partly because he knows many innocents would be killed and the action would do more harm than good.

          • AU says:

            They have announced that they don’t acknowledge the Geneva Convention

            You could perfectly reject parts of The Geneva Convention, yet still believe there is such a thing as a civilian.

            These names prove they don’t think there is any such thing as a civilian

            No, these names just prove that ISIS know that by killing hostages, they will get MASSIVE airtime in the Western media. If no one actually cared about Western hostages being killed, if there wasn’t anything to be gained from killing them, then you can be pretty sure ISIS wouldn’t have killed most of them.

            They had no justification for killing these people except their religion

            But Kassig was a practising Muslim convert who wasn’t fighting against them (unlike the Jordanian pilot). Why would they kill him because of his religion?

            There is no argument that can convince me that these murders were justified

            I am not justifying them – but I am interested in understanding them. You sound very much like the British politicians and media right now – they have gone absolutely mental, anyone who tries to understand what might have driven someone like Emwazi to the position where he is now is immediately labelled as as “apologist for terror”.

            Atheism isn’t a belief system. All it means is a lack of belief in any god or gods

            I have never said otherwise. Where we do however disagree is you do not believe New Atheism can be described as an ideology, whereas I, and many other intellectuals, believe it can.

            Dawkins, Harris et al are not responsible for what others do. They are responsible for their own actions

            Well, they are. I am sorry, you cannot have it both ways, if a Muslim scholar who is a pacifist, is finding the worst behaviour of secular people and portraying it as this is what secularism is about, you would rightly say that this Muslim scholar is intellectually dishonest, and whilst he isn’t directly responsible for the actions of some Muslim who listens to his speeches and starts thinking secularism is terrible and therefore secular people must be attacked, he would be indirectly responsible because it was his intellectual dishonesty that influenced that Muslim to start thinking so badly of secular people.
            Similarly, Harris and Dawkins are intellectually dishonest. They find the worst of Muslim behaviour that supports their view that Islam is bad for the world, and they harp on about it. They look over the nuances and simplify things. As an example, Dawkins was quick to tweet about Graeme Wood’s article that said ISIS is very Islamic. Since then, there have been numerous very well written articles that have completely taken Wood’s article apart. Dawkins hasn’t tweeted about any of these articles – I am sure he is aware of them, but these articles say that whilst it is true that radical Islam does play a part in the ideology of ISIS, there are many other external factors. Now if someone reads Dawkins and Harris and they constantly hear that Islam is really bad for the world, and this individual decides that something must be done and he decides to bomb a mosque, then Dawkins and Harris ARE partially responsible for what this individual had done, because if they had presented things in context when in came to Islam, this individual would not have ended up having such a fear of Islam that it would cause him to carry out such an act.

            I don’t agree with the way you have characterized the argument into who’s better

            I think you misread what I wrote. I was simply saying that if you are rich and don’t have a need to steal, it is very easy to look at someone who is poor and does steal and act sanctimonious and say “look at me, I don’t steal, look at him, he does”. Similarly, it is very easy for people from countries who have huge armies and don’t have a need to attack civilians from the enemy to say “look at us, we don’t attack civilians, look at them, they do”.

            There are definitely some who would say killing millions would be a necessary evil – those a-holes are already saying it

            Sam Harris has said it too. Does that make him an a-hole too?

            Obama could send the whole American military in now and wipe out DAESH within a week. He isn’t doing it, partly because he knows many innocents would be killed and the action would do more harm than good

            No he couldn’t! Please, this is the kind of bravado I expect to hear at some right-wing trashy site like The Daily Mail, you’re supposed to be an intelligent liberal, let’s keep things in perspective and not get carried away by jingoism – the entire US military CANNOT wipe out ISIS within a week.

          • Hi AU. I’m addressing your comments out of order, so I’ll try not to miss any.
            1. If a pacifist Muslim scholar was mischaracterizing atheists and secularists I wouldn’t blame him if some of his followers became violent, as long as he himself was teaching only peaceful methods of resistance.
            2. I’ve written about misconception of what Sam Harris said before here.
            3. I agree that killing hostages is a media tactic as much as anything else, but that doesn’t change that all except Muath al-Kaseasbeh were civilians. I feel like I know you well enough to know you weren’t justifying the murders, but many others would see what you said as an excuse.
            4. If you think the US couldn’t wipe DAESH out in a week, you don’t realize just how big their military is. The graph here of their spending will give you some idea. They’re huge. They could physically overwhelm DAESH easily, although not the idea of course. I sincerely hope they don’t resort to that – I think it would be a massive error of judgment. I really hope the situation can be sorted in some way before the next US presidential election because if a Republican gets in, the world could be in major trouble.
            5. Some people I agree do see atheism as a belief system. That is, imo, because they start from the assumption that Yahweh/God/Allah etc is real. As atheists do not make that assumption (we would change our minds if there was proof), our lack of belief cannot be a belief system. To us, it’s like calling “off” a TV channel. I’ve written about that a bit before too, and included the views of a few fellow ordinary atheists here.
            6. I think you’re right with your sanctimony of privilege argument. All I was saying, badly, is it’s an attitude I personally try very hard to avoid.

          • AU says:

            Hi Heather,

            1) I am a computer scientist, logic is my forte, and I still stand by my claim that religion wasn’t the reason ISIS killed the hostages. The fact that most of them were non-Muslims has no relevance. If some guy goes out on the street and randomly starts firing, and he hits and kills 20 black people, it doesn’t imply that he killed those people because they were black – it might just have been that the people walking past at that time happened to be black. Similarly, the majority of hostages they have are non-Muslim, if they had Muslim Western hostages too, they would also kill them.

            2) You wrote in a previous article (in the comments): I really don’t like the idea of silencing anybody, but with freedom of speech and a public platform comes responsibility. Hasan is extremely intelligent and knows the effect what he has to say will have on some people”. And I agree with you, when you are someone who others listen to, then you have a responsibility to ensure that what you say isn’t used to breed hatred. Why then should Dawkins and Harris also not have the same responsibility? Why are they happy to promote ideas that are biased, and simplified to such a degree, that one can actually classify them as factually incorrect?

            As for Sam Harris, what you wrote doesn’t address the misconception. There is no “misconception” – Harris said that if ever Islamists acquired nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, then a first-strike against them with nuclear weapons would be justifiable even though it would be a crime as it would kill tens of millions of civilians. Even Jerry Coyne doesn’t deny that Harris said this – what Coyne writes is “Another philosophical thought experiment, as are most of the statements that Savage uses to paint Sam as a genocidal maniac”.

            You said you share this view – but this is however extreme apologism on both you and Coyne’s part. Firstly, Harris is using the term Islamist interchangeably with terrorist – this is simply nonsense. You can have genoicdal Islamists and you have have pacifist Islamists. Secondly, thought experiments are extremely important when it comes to judging what we really believe in. You can only truly judge what principles someone stands for when they are put in positions they do not come across every day. Most people in the West say they do not believe in the deliberate killing of civilians – but as I said, this isn’t true. Most people in the West don’t believe in deliberately killing civilians because they don’t need to deliberately kill civilians to ensure their survival. If however their very existence was in threat, they would say the deliberate targetting of civilians is justifiable … just like Sam Harris has done.
            Of course, many people don’t want to say that killing civilians can be justifiable, because then it shows that we are not THAT different from terrorists, because what you will find is that many terrorists find the only way they can ensure the survival of their people is by killing civilians. So, yes, I can see why so many of us are happy to be so dismissive of thought experiments.

            3) I have also just noticed that you wrote something totally wrong about Mehdi Hasan. You wrote in your article: “That would be the same Mehdi Hassan who wrote that journalists should face sanctions if they write articles that criticize Islam”. This is completely untrue – he has said absolutely nothing of the sort. Go and read the article you linked to again – in the article, he talks about sanctions against journalists who MISREPRESENT portrayals of MINORITIES. So say for example, a non-practising Muslim male goes and rapes a woman, and the article is referring to him as a Muslim male, even though his religion doesn’t have any relevance here – he doesn’t even follow it. This is a form of hate-speech, and Hasan thinks this should be penalised. This is absolutely not the same thing as saying journalists who criticise Islam should face sanctions.

            Now I don’t think you were intentionally dishonest, I just think this shows how our judgement of people can be clouded depending on whether we agree with their way of thinking or not.

            4) I have an active interest in military, so I know very well the capabilities of the US military, and knowing this capability, I can say with 99.9% conviction that it is impossible for them to wipe out ISIS within a week unless they resorted to using nuclear or chemical weapons.

          • Many people mischaracterize what Sam Harris said at the beginning of End of Faith, and it’s understandable because many haven’t actually read the book. Also, the quote they pick on is fairly near the beginning. Around page 194, he gets into the subject again, and it’s clear he doesn’t support this stuff. Also, with the millions of words he’s written and said, it’s the only thing people can find. There is nothing from Dawkins at all that promotes violence. Hasan, on the other hand, has not been so circumspect in his statements. There is a lot of what I consider hate speech from him. There is good stuff too, which I freely acknowledge.

            Also, all journalists misrepresent, deliberately or otherwise, all the time. The answer is to call them out, show where they’ve gone wrong etc, like the way Werleman has been destroyed because of all his idiocies and plagiarism. Hasan thinks there should be a special case when it is Muslims who are misrepresented. The penalty for such journalists is that if they keep making such errors, they won’t be able to find a job. None of us like it when a group we’re associated with is misrepresented, and it is wrong that it happens, and it is a form of hate speech, but the sort of regime Hasan wants instituted is not the way to go imo.

  3. Conn Suits says:

    Stunningly horrible. Thank you for this. No penal code!

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