Black Shards Press – Electronic Gumbo is Our Specialty

Pakastani Actress Veena Malik Magazine Cover Causes Death Threats

12.12.2011 (11:12 pm) – Filed under: Islam,Pakistan ::

Should this magazine cover cause Muslim religious leaders to call for the execution of actress Veena Malik?

While this shot stretches the usually PG-rated theme that reigns here at Black Shards to the breaking point, the answer has got to be a resounding “No!”

First, it’s Malik’s body – she can do what she wants with it, regardless of whether her claim that editors’ airbrushed out a thong she may or may not have been wearing.

Second, Pakistan’s mullahs have no legitimate authority over Malik nor the right to issue any sort of fatwah against her, as they so famously did against author Salmon Rushdie, thus all but silencing his voice of dissent.

Third, Pakistan’s ISI is hardly a force for internal or international good and Malik and other Pakistani citizens should speak out against the organization and demand its reform at every opportunity, even if it means baring arms.

As beautiful as Malik’s pose is, the purpose in showing it here is not to admire her femininity but to hold this space in reserve against a day that hopefully will not come – the day the mullahs take their revenge on another woman to dared to defy them.

The world is watching.

h/t ZionsTrumpet

In Response to Honor Killings

26.12.2010 (8:23 am) – Filed under: Islam,Religion ::

Christmas Day seems a strange day to write about the horrific, all-too-common practice in Islam of male family members murdering their female relatives in the name of honoring their religion. Then again, today is a celebration of the day the Way, Truth, and Light was sent by God to mankind. Why not tell the truth, today above all days?

I recently received a comment on a long-past post on this subject.  For the purposes of discussion I’ll include it in its entirety here:

It is disgusting to read or to hear of such cases occurring in some minority muslim circles. Such incidences or so called honour killings is a deeply cultural practise that predates Islam. It is a violation of human rights and has absolutely NO place in ISLAM the religion.

Unfortunately, still these events occur in muslim countries and sometimes non-Muslim countries, as was the case above. The men behind these events are ignorant chauvinists who have been influenced deeply by their culture. They have nothing better to do than to lord around authority over their women.

The problem here is not Islam, but rather lack of education about Islam and women’s rights, poverty, deeply rooted cultural practises and the lack of women’s rights being actively implemented in some Muslim countries. For example, in Islam, the act of calling a women ‘unchaste’ without producing 4 witnesses to prove this, earns the man 80 lashes (the one who made the false claim) and his evidence is rejected from there onwards in the court of law for as long as he lives. Unfortunately, this in such Honour killing cases, this is not implemented. But rather, it is the woman’s family, namely her male relatives who go out of their way to ‘cleanse’ the family name and honour by eliminating the victim! This is ridiculous, and unjust to anyone who has any brains, but this happens because of a very strong cultural mentality and belief that a woman upholds the honour of the house. To add to this, when males are convicted of unseemly behaviour before marriage, their actions are completely overlooked. Even though in Islam, the punishment for a proven fornicator is the same for the male and the female! The sad part is this sort of thinking gets transferred from generation to generation, to the point where even the women accept this mentality! No one bothers to consult Islam about it, no, culture to these men is taken as first priority. Oh, but when it comes to upholding men’s rights, say for e.g. their rights in marriage, oh no, goodness me, there is no breaking that. The woman must grant his rights. They must be implemented.

I am a muslim woman, and a practising one too (I am not a feminist) and when I hear of these events, it makes my blood boil. The key to women’s liberation in muslim countries is not fleeing Islam, but rather women need to learn their God given rights, granted to them over 1400 years ago and demand these rights. We need to educate ourselves about Islam and our rights. We need sisters to stand up and say "NO" to these sorts of events. Unfortunately, in theory it sounds easier than in practise.

My knowledge is limited and I don’t claim to be a scholar of Islam. So, if I have said anything wrong above, may God forgive me.

The commenter, who calls herself Nargis, makes several interesting points. Forgetting everything I have written on this subject, I wish that all Muslim women could read her words, a statement that reveals much about a primitive, obsolete school of thought, one that has no place in our world, let alone one to be practiced in the name of the Creator.

Much as I admire Nargis’ brave statement, there is a couple of essential points that I must make in rebuttal. First, women (and men, for that matter), were not given their inalienable human rights 1400 years ago in Mohammed’s time. These rights have always belonged to mankind, despite our consistent inability to respect each other’s bodies, property, and faith, these rights are inherent to each of us, male and female alike. It is false to state that Islam, or any other religion, grants us these rights; rather, they are innate in us as a result of the power of conscious, rational thought, as inspired in us by God at the beginning of mankind’s existence on this world.

Second, I must challenge her assertion that the key to women’s rights is not leaving Islam. In a sense, Nargis is correct: A mass exodus of women from Islam would serve to make the lives of those left behind a living hell. Yet there are few human rights more precious than that of the freedom to adopt a faith of one’s own choosing (or even, paradoxically, to reject the idea of a Creator entirely). Unfortunately, Muslim women are denied this choice by threat of rape, beatings, torture, and death, all at the hands of so-called pious men and a certain number of female enablers.  Culturally, Muslim apostasy is considered a great crime rather than the elemental expression of one’s most deeply-rooted personal freedom. Until this changes, there will be no true liberty for Muslims, whether male or female, nor true worship, which can only be given freely, from one’s heart, with no motivating purpose other than respect and love for our Creator.

In conclusion, it must be stated clearly that such changes, though fundamental to human liberty and true faith in God, will not be easily obtained. Like all freedoms, it seems these must be won at great expense, paid for in blood and tears, and maintained the same way.

This, I believe, is the Truth on which a little Light has now been shone.  In the interest of Peace, then, can we, men and women of all faiths and nations, simply examine our beliefs critically, weighing each one as John suggested would be necessary, and discard those that do not make sense? Of these, the murder of women to as a salve to the injured egos of their male kin, men who should love and revere them, must surely be among the most heinous and least worthy of practice, to say nothing of admiration and emulation.

Sad Day in Iran

28.09.2010 (7:23 am) – Filed under: Iran,Islam ::

In Iran, Canadian/Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan has been sentenced to 19.5 years in jail for his unsanctioned writings about the state of Iran.

It’s a sad day for him, of course, but also for the Iranian people, who, governed by a grotesque set of fascist thugs masquerading as representatives of God, are no more free than Derakhshan is.

God willing, their sentences will be commuted and the mullahs’ reign of terror ended. Pray for Iran. The people there deserve freedom, liberty, and individual rights every bit as much as you and I do.

Things Americans Must Not Do

26.08.2010 (3:22 pm) – Filed under: Islam,Society ::

A) Commit crimes against Muslims for no reason; i.e., no stabbing cabbies, etc

B) Burn Korans for no reason. Yes, it’s your right, but don’t be an ass with your freedom

C) Allow Islam to gain influence over American policy or law. The U.S. was founded by Christians for the freedom of everyone, whereas Sharia destroys freedom

D) All of the above.

What’s your choice?

Just Say No! (We can still do that, right?)

20.08.2010 (4:14 pm) – Filed under: Islam,Terrorism ::

image

What Americans Think of Ground Zero Mosque

19.06.2010 (4:51 pm) – Filed under: Islam,Terrorism ::

And rightly so.

Islam. Got Questions? Yep.

16.04.2010 (10:10 am) – Filed under: Islam ::

Islam bus ad

Yeah, I have a question: Is a religion that denies Jesus’ divinity able to to provide a way live his way of life?

And another: Is the murder of so-called apostates who leave Islam an honest way to gain peace?

h/t Pam

Is America Addressing Terrorism Correctly?

05.01.2010 (10:09 pm) – Filed under: Islam,National Security,Terrorism ::

Barack Obama has admitted that the homeland security apparatus failed in the case of Nigerian terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He had no choice, really – nearly 300 people are still alive only because passengers aboard the flight took matters into their own hands. He went on to say that he wasn’t going to tolerate any finger-pointing – another over-the-top assertion he cannot back up short of having feds arrest me and a few thousand other bloggers. Goes to show where the thought process is heading, I think.

Unfortunately, the Abdulmutallab case isn’t going to be the last of its kind. Not by a long shot. As Abdulmutallab himself said, Islamic terrorists will keep coming and coming and coming until they are given sufficient incentive to stay in their homelands.

As with any motivational question there are two ways to make that happen: make home a more attractive place to be and make America more dangerous for terrorists. Unfortunately religious zealotry is what motivates Abdulmutallab and his ilk rather than poverty or any misbegotten sense of entitlement. These causes liberal Democrats made their own long ago. But Islamic terror doesn’t fit the pattern Dems call their plays from and no amount of foreign aid or glad-handing – read “carrot” – will bring an end to the new Islamic jihad.

The other mechanism for discouraging terrorism – the stick – probably won’t work either for the same reason. What many Americans, including too many of our national leaders, fail to fully understand is that these young men truly want to die in the service of their so-called prophet. Certainly some of the weaker ones can be scared away, but not all and, in my opinion, not even most. They will keep coming until an end is made of the war they’ve declared on western society, one way or the other.

Understanding this is essential to formulating a response. It becomes clear, therefore, that the Democrats have not accepted this unpleasant bit of reality when one looks at their policies. Trying KSM, et al, in civilian court is a mistake because it legitimizes the actions of mass murderers and puts our national security community on the defensive while achieving precisely nothing in terms of a carrot/stick to terrorists. Neither KSM nor Abdulmutallab deserve to plead their case in a public courtroom. Their war crimes preclude this right reserved for civilian offenders.

The Obama administration got it partially right by slapping travel restrictions on Nigerians, albeit too late, though I have to wonder if it will do any good. Yes, Nigeria is one hotbed of Islamic terror, but radical Muslims there have largely confined themselves to murdering their own countrymen until now. It’s still more likely that terrorists will come from Saudi, Yemen, or Pakistan, this incident notwithstanding. Meanwhile, the traveling public feels safer because they are forbidden to pee during the last hour of their flights.

Alejandro J. Beutel, the government liaison with the Muslim Public Affairs Council, makes a good point when he says that Americans can’t allow themselves to lose trust in their Muslim countrymen. The U.S. has a sizable Muslim population, the vast majority of whom are willing to obey our laws and behave as responsible members of society. We must keep that fact firmly in the back of our collective mind.

Nevertheless, such generosity must be a two-way street. Muslim Americans must recognize that their sons, brothers, cousins, and uncles are disproportionately engaged in treasonous, anti-American acts when compared to the population at large. It therefore stands to reason that Muslim Americans must be subjected to scrutiny in proportion to the probability of terrorism emanating from their sliver of society.

Beutel doesn’t believe this. Instead he defends Muslim hostility toward recent police investigations of domestic terrorists, including Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the young man who attempted to blow up a skyscraper in Dallas last year, claiming that local community and religious leaders would have stopped Smadi if they hadn’t been “worried that they, too, would become subjects of an investigation”.

Perhaps, though it’s speculative to say the least to claim either that Smadi could have been turned from his purpose or that any local leader would have answered the call even in a perfect circumstance. In the final analysis, Smadi did commit the act of terrorism he is accused of and no one save the FBI did anything to stop him.

Sarah Palin today identified the elephant in the room that the White House and other Democrats have been tiptoeing around as if hoping it would go away. It won’t.

We are at war with radical Islamic extremists and treating this threat as a law enforcement issue is dangerous for our nation’s security. That’s what happened in the 1990s and we saw the result on September 11, 2001. This is a war on terror not an “overseas contingency operation.” Acts of terrorism are just that, not “man caused disasters.” The system did not work.

There is a very serious downside to treating them as criminals: terrorists invoke their “right” to remain silent and stop talking. Terrorists don’t tell us where they were trained, what they were trained in, who they were trained by, and who they were trained with. Giving foreign-born, foreign-trained terrorists the right to remain silent does nothing to keep Americans safe from terrorist threats. It only gives our enemies access to courtrooms where they can publicly grandstand, and to defense attorneys who can manipulate the legal process to gain access to classified information.

Palin was been judged unworthy to be president in the last election cycle, but she’s reached the correct conclusion with regard to the right way to handle terrorism cases. We are in a war of attrition with a small but implacable enemy utterly unlike anything we’ve faced before and treating foreign enemies with respect they do not deserve only serves to lessen our security and long-term prospects for peace.

Moreover, it it long past time to move past political correctness and recognize that our national security depends on addressing foreign and domestic threats based on actual facts, without respect to whose feelings might be hurt. This means acknowledging the reality that most terrorist threats to this country originate from Islam and that our national counter-terrorism, immigration, and foreign relations policies must be shaped accordingly.

Unanswered Questions About Fort Hood Madness

05.11.2009 (11:38 pm) – Filed under: Crime,Islam,Military,National Security ::

The story of the day is one of madness, for what other word can describe the actions of a man who guns down dozens of innocent people in a purposeless act of rebellion? Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed at least 12 of his fellow soldiers today at Fort Hood and no one really knows why.

Perhaps he was, as reported, fearful and resentful about an upcoming deployment to Iraq. Apparently Hasan’s loathing of the Army’s mission in that country was so great that he hired an attorney to help him get out of the military.

Frankly that explanation doesn’t pass muster. Anyone who works, in any line of business, has to do things that he or she doesn’t want to do, often for months at a time and under difficult circumstances. Although the stresses of most of our daily 8-to-5s can’t compare to those experienced by our deployed military personnel, the comparison is still a useful tool.

Considering it’s unlikely that a trained psychologist like Hasan would be put into a front-line situation, it seems that he would have had relatively little to fear in terms of his personal safety had he been sent overseas.

What then could Hasan’s motive been in attacking his fellow soldiers? Josh Marshall jumped in early on this point, noting that Hasan’s heritage contains Islamic elements.  Scott McCabe confirms this assertion, writing:

Hasan attended the Muslim center for about six years and seemed like a good person, [Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring President Ishtiaq] Chughtai said.

Hasan exhibited a dark side at work, however, as noted while he was an intern at Walter Reed:

Hasan had some “difficulties” that required counseling and extra supervision, said Dr. Thomas Grieger, who was the training director at the time.

Grieger said privacy laws prevented him from going into details but noted that the problems had to do with Hasan’s interactions with patients.

Moreover, Hasan made anti-American, pro-Muslim statements to officers at Fort Hood, including now-retired Colonel Terry Lee:

“He was making outlandish comments condemning our foreign policy and claimed Muslims had the right to rise up and attack Americans,” Col Lee told Fox News.

“He said Muslims should stand up and fight the aggressor and that we should not be in the war in the first place.” He said that Maj Hasan said he was “happy” when a US soldier was killed in an attack on a military recruitment centre in Arkansas in June. An American convert to Islam was accused of the shootings.

Col Lee alleged that other officers had told him that Maj Hasan had said “maybe people should strap bombs on themselves and go to Time Square” in New York.

As Marshall says, things may get very dark indeed with regard to Hasan’s true motives if Lee’s assertions about Hasan’s Muslim sympathies prove true. Previous cases indicate that this is a line of questioning that should be scrupulously followed up on.

For if Hasan’s fear of being deployed to a war zone is, as I believe, insufficient to explain his cowardly, murderous actions, his motivations must have come from a deeply rooted personal sense of vengeance. While it is premature to conclude that Hasan’s religious and social beliefs caused him to commit mass murder, it’s nevertheless obvious that this should be a primary line of inquiry, wherever it leads on the path to the heart of darkness.

Darker still are the larger questions about whether followers of Islam can truly belong in a democratic society. Millions do fit in successfully, just as Nidal Hasan did, to all appearances, prior to today’s shooting spree.

There is a tension between religion and government in democratic societies. Despite founding the first modern democracy here in the United States, American Christians feel it. I suspect that Muslims feel it more keenly yet what with the demanding, legalistic nature of their path to salvation.

Can that tension be resolved to the benefit of democratic society? Or is Islam inherently detrimental to democracy? This is the darkest question of all: Must Islam always seek to undermine secular government in order to gain power, as it has in Turkey and, to a lesser extent to-date, in many European countries? 

Certainly it has in the past and still does in the present. But must it? If the answer is Yes, that democracy and Islam are oil and water, never mixing, always distinct, constantly fighting, then hard times and hard choices lie ahead for the citizens of western democracies.

A man can only serve on master. One wonders what Nidal Hasan served.

Highlighting a 1st Amendment Hero

25.09.2009 (6:34 am) – Filed under: Free Speech,Islam ::

Mike Adams says that Dr. Indrek Wichman is a First Amendment hero and proceeds to prove it using Wichman’s own words:

Dear Moslem Association: As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intend to protest your protest. I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called “whores” in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France. This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile “protests.” If you do not like the values of the West–see the 1st Amendment–you are free to leave. I hope for God’s sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans. Cordially, I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Predictably, Wichman’s letter was followed by the expected coercion and legal threats against his free speech rights and his career.

Michigan’s CAIR Executive Director Mr. Dawud Walid said it was “unconscionable for a professor to use his university e-mail account to foster a hostile learning environment for Muslim students.” He added, “The University needs to take appropriate disciplinary action in this case to demonstrate through its actions that anti-Muslim bigotry will not be tolerated on campus.”

Adams had this to say:

CAIR and MSA’s public call upon MSU to take “disciplinary action” against Wichman’s “Islamophobic” email was a classic example of Muslim cowardice.

I’d like to agree, but I cannot.  It’s important to realize that the Muslim groups’ actions, while cowardly, do not originate in cowardice.  Rather, these strident demands for special treatment are carefully designed strategies intended to force outcomes favoring their special interests at the expense of ordinary Americans, including true heroes like Dr. Wichman.

It is therefore imperative that these groups be resisted at every turn, including the legal and electoral: Exercise your right to free speech, even when it’s inconvenient; refuse to let your jury give in to un-American demands; vote for judges and representatives who will uphold the existing rules of law, common sense, and American values; at all times remain vigilant in your defense of the American way of life.