View Thread

Atheists Today » Religion » Islam
Who is here? 1 guest(s)
 Print Thread
Honour Killings in the West
willie
Oh Neil. Have you really fouled your own well to such an extent that you can't even broach such obvious brutal crimes without preemptively wheeling out tried old straw men, again. The only objections to your constant highlighting of the evil doings of theists have questioned the factual inaccuracies and logical fallacies in your presentation. Denigrating alternative opinion with the hollow charge of political correctness does nothing to support your own weak claims.

The sadly ironic thing is this; the people you've most misrepresented and vilified in recent weeks are the people working to challenge these issues head on, not least those within the wider muslim community.
The Muslim Arbitration Tribunal wrote:
It is clear that the process envisaged by MAT will not give an absolute solution to the problem of forced marriages. However, in proposing the process of MAT alongside the parameters of the Forced Marriages Act 2007, at least the message will be absolute to the perpetrators. The message shall be that such hideous acts of forcing people to marry without their consent shall find no sanctuary within the English legal system and more importantly within the community that they hope to live in.

Emphasis mine. 'Process envisaged...' here.
Forced Marriages Act 2007 overview here.
Forced Marriages Act 2007 here
Other positive action abound --while you, Condell and others (the BNP) pontificate from your ivory towers.

While others work toward solutions, you attempt to claim the morale high ground by simply professing to be most outraged and highlighting how much work still needs to be done. Worse, in your eagerness to claim moral superiority you generalise others as amoral, or by religious association immoral. To the extent, I might add, that you completely falsify the position of others and the facts in general.

Do you think you'll ever have the integrity and honesty to face up to the fact that many theists, driven by their (flawed) religious convictions, are streets ahead of you in making this world a more just and tolerant place.
 
willie
JohnH wrote:
A small comment. The opening paragraph alludes to connections to terrorist groups. Nothing in the article indicates any connection to terrorist groups.

The link to terrorists comes from comments made in the File on Four report, that Neils link refers to. Thankfully the good old BBC provides transcripts
for many of it's programmes. I recall hearing the programme at the time and it seemed odd to me that so much focus was put on 'why' honour killings happen. One contributor, Nazir Afzal, lead on honour crime for the Crown Prosecution Service, blamed terrorist (actually extremists, linked to terrorism), the spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, Dr Reefat Drabu, blamed cultural practises. The reporter tended to lean toward blaming Islam.

As if killing another person was not challengable as a wrong as of itself.

What the programme did do was show how people strive to distance themselves from heinous acts by apportioning blame elsewhere and how poorly that serves justice and truth. Both Afzal and Drabu freely admit, in agreement, that muslim individuals do kill other people, yet both seek to qualify 'why'. The problem with this behaviour is it often unfairly represents 'other'. Put simply (and probably inaccurately), as a muslim Drabu seeks to put muslims beyond reproach, but dumps whole cultures in the shit. Afzal tries to be more candid and blames extremist muslims, effectively letting culture off the hook. Stickler gets his story across regardless and heads down the pub. Neil holds atheists aloft as the protectors of moral virtue, condemning good theist and ignoring bad atheists. And people continue to suffer and die. As a humanist that baffles and saddens me.
 
willie
JDHURF wrote:
Outrageous. It's heinous shit like this that makes me sway on my opposition to the death penalty.
Putting people to death, in cases of murder that involve a cultural element, should definitely be part of our culture. Wink

derF wrote:
And now it seems some countries are turning a blind eye to these so called honor killing because they fear inflaming their now quite large Muslim populations.
Actually, that 'turning a blind eye' charge has never gone beyond vague assertions. Like Neil's assertion that Indonesians are turning a blind eye to child abuse. I am not suggesting honour killings don't happen, to answer Neil's question 'how many cases does it take to make an issue?' I would say one. However, 'turning a blind eye' is another thing all together, you'll need to provide something else other than assertion to support that claim --though I doubt you will.


JDHURF wrote:
Neutral vessel implies just what you said, which I agree with, that "people's behavior is more a reflection of themselves than their religion."

Religion acts as a neutral vessel in and of itself, it is the person who embraces religion who makes it either positive or negative.
'Neutral vessel' I've not heard before, I like it. The term succinctly sums up my feelings on the subject.

derF wrote:
No JD I didn't say anything about all Muslims being violent or evil. Reread the post. Unless I am losing command of the language my wording was very clear. I said that I thought the religion promotes
violence.
This is a bizarre position to take, especially as an atheist. The religion is the people, there is nothing else, no god or divine message.

derF wrote:
Most of these honor killings are committed by normal non radical Muslims. They see it as their duty and act accordingly.
That of course is the complete opposite of what Neil's link suggests. Which is
fine, that you both agreed was presumptuous on my part. Although I've got to say, as much as I disagree with Neil, I think he is nearer the truth than you with that statement.
Edited by willie on 11/17/2008 18:08
 
derF
Willie you are certainly entitled to your opinion. And as always there may be some truth to both sides but I didn't just sit down one evening and decide that I would arrive at this conclusion just because I thought it would be good fodder for debate. There are plenty of other people who see it as a growing problem and estimates to the number of young women killed grow yearly.

http://www.sfgate...llwell.DTL

http://www.indepe...16649.html

http://www.gender...onour.html

http://www.stopho...lings.com/

Yes I have read much more than this and as the last link shows I am aware that there are efforts to stop this insanity. Grab your brushes and spray guns and cover me with the paint of being anti Muslim people or whatever conclusion you decide to arrive at.. But the truth is that most honor killings take place in countries where Sharia is the law. The killings are allowed to continue and the government condones it by allowing it. Roast Neil and I on the spit but you will never convince me that in a country where mercy killings occur that is controlled by Muslim Law that the religion is not responsible for this atrocities. I don't hate Muslim people but i do hate the laws that allow it to continue. And for this I hold Islam guilty. And please don't throw that old stale argument out that other religions are guilty of as bad or worse feats. I KNOW that. We are not TALKING about other religions here. And stop judging on the assumptions you make on my posts. If we were talking face to face and emotions and expression were at play I wouldn't mind. But sometimes I wonder how you guys arrive at the conclusions you do sometimes.
Edited by derF on 11/18/2008 02:05
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
JohnH
willie, at the risk of your ire I must say something directly to you. I would argue with you that the presumption of islamists being given more leeway in their behavior is not correct. I would argue with you that presuming that theism can lead to violence without violence being in the heart of the individual to begin with is not possible. Please make your points without being personal. I think that two of your last three posts were far more angry than they needed to be. As a consequence I think some might have missed what you were saying which I tend to agree with.

Thank you for the link. As I presumed the connection to terrorism was tenuous at best. I am not so naive as to believe that someone who could murder their daughter does not have a higher possibility of strapping a bomb to themselves, but it is different.
 
catman
Empathic, decent people will still be empathic and decent with religion, and shitheads will still be shitheads with religion too. Religion may be a 'neutral vessel', but it is a very dangerous one because the contents that it holds for certain people can be so extreme, and yet justified by the religion using the time-honoured cherry-picking technique of selected 'sacred' verses which justify the behaviour.

Religion is the only element in societies which gets a pass from the rational consideration given to everything else, being above criticism by and large, and certainly so in theocratic societies. I'm not singling out Islam; one can find equally reprehensible directives in the Bible. Ethical people will consider ethical passages, while violent psychopaths can find what they are after too.

So, I think that 'neutral vessel' can contain everything from universal love to the worst sort of deliberate cruelty. It's too dangerous, being based on irrationality.
Edited by catman on 11/18/2008 02:15
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
derF
One or your most lucid and viable posts in some time, Catman. Very well said. And thank you.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
catman
derF: I appreciate it. IMO, it doesn't make sense to pick on one religion; certainly not between Xianity and Islam. The Western world colonialized the Middle East and sucked all the oil we wanted out for many decades, dealing with the local despots and installing some of our preferred ones, so I can understand to a point the feeling of liberation the followers of Allah have. I only wish they could show it in a more enlightened way.

I doubt that humanity will ever get past the point of trying to redress past wrongs (i.e. 'getting even'), but that's what it's going to take to get off this stupid merry-go-round.

(I only hope the Germans don't ever decide they want Alsace-Lorraine and East Prussia back. )Wink
Edited by catman on 11/18/2008 02:44
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
neilmarr
Thanks, Willie. Thought provoking as always -- and I do carefully examine myself even more closely than usual for ultrior motive when I post anything against Islam these days, partly because of your suggestion that I might be biased against one particular religion.

However, I've found that I have a clear conscience. I'm not biased or Islamophobic. I detest all religions equally as my posts have always shown. I'm afraid I don't agree that religion is a neutral vessel. Atheism is the only vessel that can possibly be neutral.

I'll continue to mention stories that show the more obvious dark side of any religion and comment on them, inviting comment from all here, including from you and others who might well disagree with my own take; I can hardly be blamed if Islam currently provides so many examples of the harm religion can cause.

And please don't mention me in the same sentence as the utterly deplorable and nazi BNP. That is below the belt, and quite uncalled for.

Best. Neil
 
seeker
Catman - Nicely said.

I think that a big part of the problem is that religion puts a bunch of different behaviors into the por and stirs them all together into a soup of moral equivelance. People can pick whatever behavior they want to justify, whether its ethnic cleansing, treating women as chattel, slavery etc. Religion gives every sort of behavior an excuse.

Where it becomes problematic is when bad people get ahold of all that justification because they end up painting everyone who uses that belief system to justify their behavior as justifying the same behaviors. Thus, even though most Muslims consider honor killings as abhorrent the ones that do commit honor killings end up painting all Muslims as advocates of that behavior.

What makes matters even worse though is repressing beliefs because then you put extremists, those most willing to stand up to repression, into positions as spokesmen. One of the largely ignored problems Israel has created is that they pushed Palestinians to the point where they have few public moderate voices vying for attention amidst a sea of extremist voices. This is a condition that has spread throughout the Muslim world and is not helped by US intervention in propping up despots thoughout the Middle East.

Then all of a sudden we are surprised that Muslims produce so many extremists and seem to reject our principals. Our response to that was to invade one of their countries and try to steal its oil, sure, that'll calm them down.

My point is that we (meaning the west) have been creating these problems and allowing them to fester. Complaining about them now is just disingenuous when the reality is that we continue to force ourselves on them.
 
willie
derF wrote:
Willie you are certainly entitled to your opinion.
Not all opinion is equal. Claims have been made that are flat wrong. I have pointed them out ( I can list them again). The only argument made against my position has been the fallacious charge of me defending islam etc. I will again point out those instances... and hope we can address what I have said. The rallying to Neil's defence is touching, but not really relevant to the facts.
derF wrote:
There are plenty of other people who see it as a growing problem and estimates to the number of young women killed grow yearly.
Straw man. I have never denied these things happen. That is not my argument.

That said, I'd be surprised if there are more cases now than in other periods of the religion. I think it likely that barbaric acts by muslims feature more in western minds since 9/11, but I've never seen evidence that actual numbers of honour killings are increasing. That's your claim, you'd need to back that up.
Regardless, as I said before, one case is too many.
derF wrote:
Yes I have read much more than this and as the last link shows I am aware that there are efforts to stop this insanity.
And my only argument, primarily with Neil, has been against factual inaccuracies denigrating the people making those efforts --the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal for example. No one has yet countered my challenge.
derF wrote:
But the truth is that most honor killings take place in countries where Sharia is the law. The killings are allowed to continue and the government condones it by allowing it
Again, I am not suggesting honour killings don't happen, 'turning a blind eye' is another thing all together. We have recently had yet another brutal killing of a baby in the UK, following others in very similar circumstances. Would it be right to suggest Brits condone killing babies?
derF wrote:
Roast Neil and I on the spit but you will never convince me that in a country where mercy killings occur that is controlled by Muslim Law that the religion is not responsible for this atrocities.
With that attitude you are wasting everybody's time with a facade of open debate.
derF wrote:
I don't hate Muslim people but i do hate the laws that allow it to continue.
Who makes the laws? People do. There is no god and no divine scripture. It's worth mentioning at this point that sharia law is a system of law, not a fixed set of rules.
derF wrote:
And please don't throw that old stale argument out that other religions are guilty of as bad or worse feats. I KNOW that. We are not TALKING about other religions here.
Straw man... and calm down. Nowhere have I used that as a argument. Please try focus rationally on what is being said.
derF wrote:
And stop judging on the assumptions you make on my posts.
Sorry, I do try not to assume, but I can only go on my understanding. To which assumptions do you refer? Lay them out and I'll try correct them.
Edited by willie on 11/18/2008 17:49
 
willie
JohnH wrote:
willie, at the risk of your ire I must say something directly to you. I would argue with you that the presumption of islamists being given more leeway in their behavior is not correct.
I am not sure I understand what you are saying. But it is important to me that I do understand, could you please clarify.

JohnH wrote:
I would argue with you that presuming that theism can lead to violence without violence being in the heart of the individual to begin with is not possible.
Again, I'm not clear what presumption you refer to, or whether the presumption or statement that follows is 'not possible'. To make clear my position, I do not think it possible that theism can lead to violence without violence being in the heart of the individual to begin with. Although I wouldn't put it quite like that. I think that is the same as you said.

JohnH wrote:
Please make your points without being personal. I think that two of your last three posts were far more angry than they needed to be. As a consequence I think some might have missed what you were saying which I tend to agree with.
I'm not sure you know me well enough. Anger is really not a factor, anything personal stems from others damaged pride, I can do nothing about that. It would be a grave disservice if falsehoods and fallacious arguments went unchallenged because of some perceived loyalty to the clan. That's not how I work. My points have not been missed, they have been ignored in favour of who's a muslim lover, who is not and political correctness straw men. I tend to respond as appropriate, for example, I'm happy to find common ground with a person who is honest in their debate. Neil sulks for a bit, then pops up and pretends other debates haven't happened and that he was never wrong, but rather the victim of a politically correct backlash. I make no apologies for pointing out how pathetic that is.

JohnH wrote:
Thank you for the link. As I presumed the connection to terrorism was tenuous at best. I am not so naive as to believe that someone who could murder their daughter does not have a higher possibility of strapping a bomb to themselves, but it is different.
As I say, I'm not even sure what significance it has. It seems to me some things are self evidently wrong. File on Four can be a little inconsistent in it's reports, but I think time restraints are to blame rather than any thing more sinister.
 
willie
catman wrote:
Empathic, decent people will still be empathic and decent with religion, and shitheads will still be shitheads with religion too. Religion may be a 'neutral vessel', but it is a very dangerous one because the contents that it holds for certain people can be so extreme, and yet justified by the religion using the time-honoured cherry-picking technique of selected 'sacred' verses which justify the behaviour.

Pretty much my view as well. The problem is with using the extremes of religion against religion in general, is one runs the risk of a] validating scripture as valid logic. b] misrepresenting good people with good intentions by association with extremist stereotypes. c] Ignoring that mankind has the ability to do immense wrong without religion.

catman wrote:
Religion is the only element in societies which gets a pass from the rational consideration given to everything else, being above criticism by and large, and certainly so in theocratic societies
I'm not sure I agree. Capitalism is not questioned, millions die needlessly. War would never pass truly rational analysis. In just about every culture male dominance of power is the norm, yet not necessarily most advantageous to all society. Many specific example spring to mind too.

catman wrote:
Ethical people will consider ethical passages, while violent psychopaths can find what they are after too.
Very true, and it's most galling to me when atheists do it, they should know more than most that religious text and dogma is irrelevant, good or bad.

catman wrote:
So, I think that 'neutral vessel' can contain everything from universal love to the worst sort of deliberate cruelty. It's too dangerous, being based on irrationality.
Yes, I believe that was the point, except it's what one puts into the vessel that is either rational or not. The vessel is neutral.

derF wrote:
One or your most lucid and viable posts in some time, Catman. Very well said. And thank you.

Arselick. Grin

catman wrote:
IMO, it doesn't make sense to pick on one religion; certainly not between Xianity and Islam. The Western world colonialized...
Absolutely. I believe the best we can do as modern positive atheists is get on with making our communities better places for all, and leave the irrelevant theistic point scoring to the theists.
Edited by willie on 11/18/2008 18:03
 
willie
neilmarr wrote:
Thanks, Willie. Thought provoking as always -- and I do carefully examine myself even more closely than usual for ultrior motive when I post anything against Islam these days, partly because of your suggestion that I might be biased against one particular religion.


[whistles][bells][flashing lights][troupe of can can girls]STRAW MAN[/troupe of can can girls][/flashing lights][/bells][/whistles]

Never have I argued that you have a bias against one particular religion. You may, but that has never been been my issue. Many, many times I have stated that is a straw man. You need to get beyond that, because the more you repeat it the more pointless and silly your role in these discussions becomes.

neilmarr wrote:
I'm afraid I don't agree that religion is a neutral vessel. Atheism is the only vessel that can possibly be neutral.
OK. This neutral vessel concept is a new one for me, my gut feeling is that it is. Let's discuss it.

I would say that theist are as capable of seeing (filling) their religious identity with compassion and love as they are of filling it with hate. Do you not agree? Assuming we agree on what 'neutral vessel' means. That is not set in stone at this point.

neilmarr wrote:
I'll continue to mention stories that show the more obvious dark side of any religion and comment on them, inviting comment from all here, including from you and others who might well disagree with my own take; I can hardly be blamed if Islam currently provides so many examples of the harm religion can cause.
Fine. It's your hole, you carry on digging. Don't get upset if you get buried. Oh... and the last bit is that straw man again. This is not about islam per se, it is about you misrepresenting facts, quite possibly without knowing it, I'm still happy to discuss that sensibly, with no hard feelings, any time you want.

neilmarr wrote:
And please don't mention me in the same sentence as the utterly deplorable and nazi BNP. That is below the belt, and quite uncalled for.
Your sharia post and the BNP one are next to identical (and equally factually inaccurate), sorry if it's not politically correct to dump your views in with extremists but you are singing, on this issue, from the same hymn sheet.

See what I've done?
Edited by willie on 11/18/2008 18:07
 
derF
I had prepared a long post of quotes and rejoinders for a lot of Willies points and views but after rereading his posts I erased the entire preparation. I don't mind a discussion but I can do without the insult and innuendo. Some of your responses to Neil, myself and others was just deplorable. Arselick? Oh please, that is something I would expect from one of the Fundie Fanatic visitors not a member here.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Skeeve
willie wrote:

Arselick. Grin



Looks like it was said in jest to me.

Everyone take a breath.
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
catman
willie: We atheists may know that "religious text and dogma is irrelevant, good or bad". The problem is that theists don't consider it irrelevant and attempt to put it into practice.

derF: Yes, I think the 'arselick' comment was made in jest. But your comments on my post were accepted with appreciation by me.Wink
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
derF
All right, I will assume that the smiley absolves Willie from any attempt at being derogatory. And as for you, Catman, you're welcome.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
seeker
derF - I don't think willie was trying to be offensive but sometimes humor doesn't come across well in discussions like this one. In fact, considering the divisive nature of the subject, all of you have been remarkably polite and it has resulted in a good discussion.
 
derF
We should change Seekers title to Administrator/Diplomat.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
 
Jump to Forum:

Similar Threads

Thread Forum Replies Last Post
Boston and West, Texas The Rant Room 4 04/29/2013 18:30