Your Muslim Friend

Maryam Namazie with a piece from her own blog which first featured on 6 November 2012

After every talk, there is always that one person that will challenge what I have said about Sharia courts by – wait for it – saying: “I have a Muslim friend who says Sharia is not at all as you say.” I heard this for the umpteenth time at the two-day symposium on theism in public policy at Rice University in Texas just this past weekend.

And this “argument” usually follows my talk outlining Sharia’s abuses and my criticism of the essentialising of the ‘other’…

Also, it’s usually made by humanists and skeptics who are quick to question religion’s role in the public sphere (if it’s not Islam of course)…

This argument is as silly as someone telling you “I have a Catholic friend who says Catholicism is not as you say” when you have just finished a talk criticising Ireland’s abortion laws and outrageous cases like that of Savita Halappanavar who was refused a termination and died.

In case you haven’t noticed, who your token friends are does not an argument make.

Clearly, the point though is not to make an argument but to use any means necessary to defend Sharia as the “choice” and “rights” of a minority.

Freedom and equality is only good for you lot then is it?


  1. Maryam.

    Its common knowledge this happens at most open events,seminars, public speeches, you will always get one or two who try and bring the speaker down by making a statement instead of asking a question, Freedom and equality is for whoever wants it, Have you ever thought, those who oppose your stance on sharia law are paid to disrupt or dispute your views. I have the utmost respect for your stance on this issue.

  2. 'Freedom and equality is only good for you lot then is it?'

    That surely is the point in a nutshell. If people in a country want it, who are we to insist otherwise? Don't bloody go there if it doesn't take your fancy.

    Democracy? There used to be a 2/3 Unionist majority in the north and that justified a 'mini-me' nazi state. Now democracy is undemocratic when a vote is taken on the unionists wee 'fleg' and they don't like the result.. oh dear!

  3. Maryam.fuck the whole lot of them.the laws of god and the laws of man were not made for the benefit of the ordinary man/woman..

  4. marty

    Do i detect a withdrawal of deference?

  5. Talking about sharia law and freedom and equality.

    watched a tv programe last night about the USA not labelling GM foods (Genetically-Modified). So the producers are covered from litigation as any ill effects can't be traced to source.

    But i was wondering do people not have a right to know? It's the USA for goodness sakes! Not the Pakistani tribal areas. Also, is this GM subject a gender issue too?Just wondering coz there are programs on tv also about people going to Thailand to recieve GM surgery...

    Genitally-Modified surgery.

    Should these trips be covered by the dole do ya think or tax deductable? Just a thought. Or am i getting confused with the GM debate.

  6. The biggest problem with Islam today is they are 500yrs behind in their thought process than the 'western world' is.

    I'm inclinded to go along with 'itsjustmackers' that the people who opposed your views on sharia law were paid to go and disrupt your talks.

    The Savita case refused a termination becasue Ireland is a catholic country!!! The same catholic country who's religious leaders covered up systemetic abuse of children for yrs. I don't know much about the 'Savita' case. But on face value she was around 17weeks pregnant, married and everything going for her. She goes to hospital complaining of pains and cramps in stomach. Isn't it possible that she was having a misscarrige? I'm not a doctor and can just about put a band aid on a small cut. But isn't it a least possible???

  7. Frankie; the biggest problem with people like you is that you obviously don't understand what Islam is.

    This argument is as silly as someone telling you “I have a Catholic friend who says Catholicism is not as you say” when you have just finished a talk criticising Ireland’s abortion laws and outrageous cases like that of Savita Halappanavar who was refused a termination and died.'

    But surely we're not assuming that Catholicism is only about abortion?

    I find Maryam Namazie often writes like this... She puts all possible arguments to her points out there first - usually in a very flippant/derogatory way in an effort to deflect any potential responses to the points or arguments she tries to make.

    In case she hasn't noticed advocating for anything like this does not win over anyone.

  8. Belfast Bookworm...

    Frankie; the biggest problem with people like you is that you obviously don't understand what Islam is.

    Bookwork, I can take you a place in the leafy suburbs of Paris an introduce you to at least 300 Algerians (I call them the local Taliban, they call me l'irlandais)...

    I have had more heated talks with them on religion than I care to remember.

    First time I read the Qur'an was in Camden Town around 1991/2 and to me it was nothing else than an amalgamation of the Tanakh and the Bible.

    The local Taliban (trust me I earned the right to call them that) are as bad as any christian sect you (or anyone care to mention). I'd watch the getting stoned on mellow yellow, getting drunk and banging 20 euro hookers in between. Apart from Fridays when they'd all trun up at the local mosque and ask Allah for forgiveness.

    Most of the muslims I know are in France illegally and have to dodge the local police for fear of being locked up and deported. I've also watched them being exploited in the building trade and work for a lot less than than their French/European colleague's.

    I also know muslims from Senegal and Mali who look down on the Algerains as second class people (and the Algerain Muslims think the same of their muslim brothers)

    I'm not doubting you that there are Muslims who take Islam for what the word means (peace).

    But the vast majority don't think outside the box and like christians believe the propoganda they are fed as the truth.

  9. Frankie; I take on board what you're saying here.. But my reply was to your earlier very sweeping comment about Islam being 500 years behind. Some/many fundamentalists may choose to act like they're still in the dark ages, misinterpret their bible for their own ends, but there are many who dont. Many who live by the true meaning and ethos if their book; peace, kindness, equality.

  10. .Bookworm..
    My statement about Islam being 500yrs behind the wertern world is based on what I've read and seen for my own eyes. and also talking to them.

    Most (not some) or at least the ones I know personally are as indoctrinated in their beliefs as christians. They are on the whole either afraid to think out side the box or don't know how to for fear of being called an infidel.
    Islam is largely based on a book written approximately 1,500 yrs ago. And is (as I've said) a morphed version of judeo-christian beliefs. And the leaders of islam today still hold the teaching of the faceless one as 'gospel'.

    A book written by what we today would call a paedophile. And the leaders of Islam what the world to follow that religion.

    How can a faith that allows for women to be stoned, people getting hands cut off, be headed....forced marriages even forced to marry the person who raped you (just to protect the family name) not be 500yrs behind the western world?

    I'm not saying the western world is more civilized that the islamic world but it [western world] has a lot more going for it than any muslim country you care to mention.

  11. Frankie;

    "How can a faith that allows for women to be stoned, people getting hands cut off, be headed....forced marriages even forced to marry the person who raped you (just to protect the family name) not be 500yrs behind the western world?"

    I suppose a faith that covers up child sexual abuse, one that deplores love if the love happens to be of two people of the same sex, one that forbids divorce - even if domestic violence or adultery is present, one that says women are being punished by the pain of childbirth because of the sins of the fictional Eve in the garden, one that says its a god given right to return to a fictional promised land and ethnically cleanse its inhabitants, one that says Catholics are bad/dirty/subhuman, one that operates a caste/class system.

    Have I covered every religion/faith there?

    My point is that Islam isn't bad - or certainly it's as bad as the rest, but I fervently believe that all religions have good and bad people so to slamming Islam alone isn't a fair argument.

  12. Bookworm,

    The thread/article was about Islam. I understand topics sometimes go off on tangents and take a life of their own..

    What you said a the catholic church is correct. How a priest who preaches about a god of love, forgiveness etc denies two people of the same sex the same rights as hetro couples smacks of hypocrisy by anyones standards. Personally if two consenting adults from the same sex decide to give each other one for the team, thats their life not mine. Now considering the people who make the rules within the catholic church are some of the lowest people ever to have walked this planet. Islam is the same..Jews have similar beliefs. They all try to control what you should and shouldn't do, say or think..

    I have no doubt that there are very good people within Islam, the Catholic church or other [all religions]. But they'd be good people without being involved with their 'church/following a religion'.

    My personal views on religion (apart from it being a money making exercise) is they are a form of brain washing.

    They all talk about treating your fellow human with dignity, respct, love but take pleasure in killing each other and fighting not only among themselves but with each other.

    If anyone wants to believe that because they follow one religion or another will get them through the pearly gates quicker than myself. Guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

    If there is a God, chances are he'll look at everyones 'CV' individually and not what religous sect people belonged to.

  13. Frankie I was trying to squeeze something in there from as many religions as I could think of.. bible bashing Christians of all shades, Judaism, Sikhism. When I mentioned the gay bashers I was thinking of the Free Presbys for example. Funny that you assumed I was only talking about Catholicism.

    My point was to illustrate how all religions are backward in a lot of it's teaching.. Not just Islam.

    Religion isn't really my thing. I pick wee bits that I like and I use it to bring me solace when I need it but that's as far as it goes. I don't however believe that I've the right to knock anyone else for being religious or having faith. Certainly I'll challenge bigotry borne of religion but I'm of the mind that it is unfair for me to ridicule something I know little of, or others hold dear.

    I think Muslims get a hard time. This is evident even in the flippant and patronising title of this post.

  14. Frankie, also on a point of information, forced marriage is forbidden under sharia law. Forced/arranged marriage is more cultural than religious and is much more prevalent in India, Pakistan etc.

  15. Bookworm....

    I think Muslims get a hard time. This is evident even in the flippant and patronising title of this post.

    They don't do themselves any favours. I don't know how many of the local taliban you know personally but the ones I know are afraid to think outside the box.

    The islamic faith has real problems in coming to terms with science. Why did science take off in Europe during the middle ages but not the muslim world? It wasn't because Europeans were more intelligent than their muslim brothers. There was somthing else holding them back then and the same reasons today. They are afraid to think outside the box. I know some have but the vast majority haven't.

    They still think by and large that Allah woke up one day and made the human race from clay!!!

    Part could be simply unlike christain sects (and other sects) there is no central comand within the muslim faith to show any form of guidence.

    The point we both touched on about forced marriages not being part of sharia law while true, in practice it's a different story. All you have to do is look at what happens in the Indian sub continent. Or the treatment of women in the middle east.

    We both could list flaws within any religion.

    But one of the difference between the Islamic faith and most others is the 'others' move with the times (some slower than others<--but they move none the less)..While Islam is kinda stuck in a big rut.

  16. Frankie; I know loads of Catholics that still believe we humans were made from the rib of Adam! And does George Bush and co not argue that there's no such thing as global warming? I've lost count of the many people I've met who literally believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale and that Noah saved all the animals after a flood!

    Islam isn't the only religion that's behind or stuck in a rut.. We're just fed that shite by an anti Islam media.

    Now you, and all at TPQ have yourselves merry Christmas wherever you are in the world.

  17. Frankie,

    I have enjoyed your grounded take on Islam. I don't mind any religion that minds its own business and stays out of places where it is not wanted, not practicing its beliefs on other people.

  18. Bookworm,
    Like yourself I know loads of creationists (I'm not one). I personally believe we are some form of genetic experiment and now the genie is out of the bottle, it can't 'corked'. In a nutshell, I don't think we are alone in this universe. To think otherwise seems egotistical to me..(Why has the Vatican pumped millions into star gazing?)..

    Getting back to Islam/Muslims I stand by opinion that they are afraid to think outside the box..And they are as hypocritical as most other religions. I reckon the native Americans had it right (or close to)..

    @Anthony..I could take you to a hostel in the leafy suburbs of Paris that has 260 beds but there is something like 500+ people living their, mostly Algerians. The rooms aren't much bigger than the cells in the H Blocks..most morning they wake up with cockroaches over their clothes, beds...persons. Then they go to to work and get exploited by other Muslims (most don't have 'papers'<----right to work legally) and have to work for peanuts. It reminds me of a piece I first read in the Blanket that Brendan Hughes said, he argued about laborers
    and builders getting exploited on building sites in west Belfast while developers had prawn cocktail sandwiches with the board of directors of the PRM...

  19. I'm missing something. One woman goes to a hospital in the republic having a miscarriage and needs an abortion. And in the 6 counties it seems women are being refused abortions even though everyone konws their babies are either dead in the womb or will die very shortly after birth.

    I'd like to think if I was a doctor and a woman came to me under extreme circumstances like above, I'd take the law into my own hands and give them the abortions. It is the most humane thing to do IMO.