Sunday, February 27, 2011

Taliban-Style Sharia Almost Became Law in Canada

Taliban-Style Sharia Almost Became Law in Canada
Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere in the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam...If the Muslim Party commands adequate resources, it will eliminate un-Islamic governments and establish the power of Islamic governments in their stead."
- Abul Ala Maudoodi, Sunni Pakistani, father of modern Political Islam and the Jamaat-e-Islami political party (1903-1979)

Wait, it gets worse before it gets better.
A few years ago (2003), Islamists in Canada boldly attempted to get Ontario (Canada's most heavily populated province) to pass laws allowing provincial laws to be set aside and Sharia law to apply to all Muslims in the province who were charged with offences against the law. They almost succeeded.
Canada takes pride in its many cultures that have found places within its communities, even proclaiming itself officially "multicultural" in an effort to encourage its various cultural groups to make themselves at home in their new country. In some parts of the country, its First Nations (Canada's term for its aboriginal Indians) people had persuaded governments to allow First Nations youth who had been charged under the law to be tried and sentenced in native-operated courts rather than provincial courts.
The thinking behind allowing these native courts to become legal was that First Nations youth would have more respect for First Nations courts and would take their sentencing (that better fit the culture they had grown up with) more seriously, thus lowering the recidivism rate. The program was more successful than many expected. The radical program worked.
Muslims are those who follow Islam, aspire to follow the teachings of their Prophet, Muhammed, and the holy Qur'an, which the Prophet committed to print. Muhammed was the Messenger who brought the Word of God (Arabic: Allah) directly to the people, though the Prophet himself was not considered (did not consider himself) a deity.
Islamists have politicized the religion, wanting to make every state in which Muslims are in a majority into a legal Islamic State. Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mauritania are examples of nations that have officially declared themselves Islamic Republics.
The biggest problem with Islamic States, as pointed out by Tarek Fatah in his book Chasing A Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, is that no Islamic State in history has ever succeeded in terms of being peaceful and embracing respect and human rights for its people. The concept of an Islamic State did not begin with Muhammed (in fact he discouraged it, never set up any mechanism for it, didn't want his family members to be part of one), but immediately after his death when rulers known as Caliphs became, effectively, dictators.
Islamists point to what they call the Golden Age of the Islamic State, which supposedly comprised the years of the first four Caliphs (known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs) after the death of the Prophet in 632 CE. Islamists do not mention this, but it is a fact that Islam in those days was a tribal religion (with all the primitive brutality that entails). The first Caliph died of natural causes two years after becoming the ruler and religious leader of Muslims. However, the next three were all murdered by other tribal leaders who wanted supreme power. This is the period that Islamists point to as the ideal period to follow for Islamic States. Muslims killing Muslims, or enslaving them, was a way of life.
This was what Canadian Islamists wanted to launch in Ontario in 2003. Canadian governments, not wanting to offend Muslims, considered adopting Sharia for their Muslim citizens, as they had cut slack for their First Nations people. Islamists gained greater purchase in Ontario when Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed former attorney-general Marion Boyd to study the issue and make recommendations to the Legislature. Boyd shocked many (not the Islamists, who were ecstatic) when she recommended that "Muslim principles" be allowed to hold sway for Ontario Muslims in place of the Family Law Act. She didn't use the word Sharia.
After consultation with many Muslim leaders and groups, Premier McGuinty's Liberal government dropped the whole idea. Here are some examples of what Ontario missed out on by avoiding adopting Sharia law:
(1) The Head of an Islamic State cannot be punished under Islam's Hudhood (Islamic criminal and family) laws that govern acts of murder, rape, and thievery. [Law #914 C in volume three of the Codified Islamic Law] How long would it have taken for a criminal Muslim leader to claim immunity from prosecution because of his religious beliefs?
(2) If the husband's body is covered with pus and blood, and if the wife licks and drinks it, her obligations to her husband will still not be fulfilled (as a female must be totally committed to her husband by Islamic law). [from Imam Ghazali's classic Ihya ulum al-din] I had trouble even writing that for others to read.
These are but two components of Sharia law. Can an ordinary human like Imam Ghazali create Sharia law? Alas, every part of Sharia law was written by ordinary humans who made no claim that they received guidance directly from Allah.
In fact, there are five different versions of Sharia codified laws, written by five different imams [Imam Abu-Hanifa (699-767), Imam Jaffer Sadiq (702-765), Imam Shafi'i (767-820), Imam Malik (712-795), Imam Hanbal (778-855)]. As you can see, Imam Ghazali is not one of them. His laws were added later, as were the laws created by other imams of their respective times.
The compilations of the sayings of Prophet Muhammed, which are considered by Muslims to be as important as the Qur'an itself, were complied over 200 years after the death of the Prophet. Who could be certain of the accuracy of word of mouth after 200 years?
Imams, over the years, perverted the words of the Qur'an to encompass polygamy, wife-beating, men's right to have concubines, and slavery, via Sharia. Many of those slaves were Muslims, often black-skinned ones from Africa, as slavery existed in the Islamic heartland long before Europeans adopted the practice. The Qur'an explicitly forbids slavery and strongly advocates equality of all Muslims. However, imams wrote Sharia law. The Qur'an forbids suicide and murder as well, but Sharia finds a way around these as well.
What about Muslims who disagree with Sharia, who oppose or who ignore the imams who hold the power of Sharia? Anyone who even disagrees with such an imam could be declared an apostate, banished (a few lucky ones) or killed (most, as Islam has traditionally detested those who "lost their faith"). Using officially sanctioned Sharia law, imams and ayatollahs literally hold the power of life and death over their subjects, with the official legal system of the state holding less important status.
Let's not forget those women who were raped or who committed adultery. Adulterers were often stoned to death (a penalty exacted even today in some cases in Pakistan and Iran, even when the accusations cannot be proven). Under Sharia law, a woman who is raped must provide five eye witnesses who will testify in court against the accused or the case will never go to trial. How many instances of rape do you think have five eye witnesses?
Most people reading this will have enough knowledge of examples of inequality of women in Islamic States that I need not go into detail. It's the same for girls. Recall that when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan it eliminated all education for girls and forced all woman to wear burkas. The theory behind burkas is that women should not show any parts of their body that men could find titillating. Science has proven that the more of a woman's body that is hidden, the more titillating men find them. That evidence means nothing to Islamists. Let's not get started on the subject of female circumcision for girls in some Islamic states.
These are the kinds of situations that come with Sharia. Not all at once. But remember, even in a democratic country like Canada, Islamists have great experience and expertise in propaganda, in dirty-trick debating and in destroying the reputations of enemies, enough to put advertising executives to shame.
This is what Ontario avoided. Islamists still live and work in Ontario, in Canada, indeed in every democratic country in the world. Though no Islamic state in history has ever been successful, Islamists continue to fight for Islamic states around the world. Moreover, the kind of states they want are like those of the Middle East in the 7th and 8th centuries. Like where the leaders were assassinated and enemies were slaughtered or beheaded. That's the Golden Age of Islam the Islamists want.
Let's take particular note that millions of good Muslims around the world must try to live in the same countries where their perverted and mentally unbalanced (often brainwashed) Islamist neighbours make life miserable for decent Muslims. And let's remember that Christianity and other religions have histories no less tragic or violent than Islam.
If the 21st Century is to be better than previous centuries in humanist terms, we must be prepared to keep governance out of the hands of extremists, be they religious extremists or political extremists. We have seen what has happened in the past when leaders who base their popularity on fear in their followers have been allowed to take over. Inevitably, in the past, many have suffered and many have died.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to know what their children need to learn beyond what is taught in school (and in most homes).
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wars Are for Making Money or Gaining Power

Wars Are for Making Money or Gaining Power
'All the reasons which made the initiation of physical force evil make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.'
- Ayn Rand, Russian-American writer and philosopher (1905 - 1982)

No doubt the pivotal word in Ms. Rand's quote is "moral." Every leader who proposes war--who advocates violence of any kind to others--does so on moral grounds. "It's the right thing to do under the circumstances before we have big problems." Moral response to offensive physical force always has a religious connection. Seldom is the more secular ethics explanation (excuse) given for revenge.
Islamists--not Muslims, but former Muslims who perverted the words of the Prophet and the Qu'ran to something political and violent--claim that everything and everyone they don't like is a threat to Islam or an insult to the Prophet. Few (if any) of such claims are valid references to the Qu'ran, most are concocted lies designed to deceive the innocent (who never check the facts) into committing acts of violence, including suicide bombing and killing that solidifies membership in such perverse groups as the Taliban or Al Qaeda.
Former US President George W. Bush went to war with Afghanistan and received support from American people and the governments and militaries of many countries by claiming that revenge was necessary after the events of 9/11. The undercurrent of his revenge speeches always pitted Islam against Christianity in the USA. Though both the Taliban and Al Qaeda have continued and flourished since the war began, not a single act of violence is known to have occurred since September 11, 2001 on US soil. Precautions were taken to prevent them, which could easily have been done without beginning a war. Will Mr. Bush's oil investor friends profit when a pipeline is run over Afghan soil from oil-rich former Soviet states to the sea from where it may be shipped to any part of the world? Certainly.
President Bush also took his country to war with Iraq (with less support than for Afghanistan) by claiming it was morally right to attack a country that had Weapons of Mass Destruction (which the US had sold to Iraq, but which Iraq had used up in its war with Iran). He claimed that it was the moral duty of Americans and any right thinking people of other countries to eliminate the repressive regime of Saddam Hussain (remember the Axis of Evil?). He could have made that claim about any Arab country, as we are now learning, but most of the others do not have huge oil reserves underground.
Though the Tutsis and the Hutus of Rwanda had lived together in tense harmony since the departure of German imperialists, the minority Tutsis ran the government while the majority Hutus were considered (by the Tutsis and the Germans before them) inferior and incapable of being employed in government service. Hutu leaders pleaded moral outrage at the prejudice against their people. When war between the two began, it was brutally violent. It turned into a genocide because the Tutsis did not have the power to fight back with equal measure. The Tutsis eventually gained allies and weapons sufficient to bring the war to a close in a stalemate. It was the moral claim by the Hutus of prejudice and repression by the Tutsis that fired up what became the genocide. Nearly a million people died, countless survivors will never get over the emotional scars.
A more recent example of genocide happened in Kosovo where the Christian Serbs were morally outraged at the Muslim Albanians for [insert the excuse that suits you, the Serbs used many, none of which were valid--it was a religious war and everyone knew it except the Serb fighters].
Americans still claim that everyone in their country would be speaking German if the US had not entered the Second World War in 1941. As unsupportable as this claim is--such language migrations have never happened successfully in history--it was moral infuriation of Americans against Hitler that resulted in the declaration of war. World domination would not succeed any better for Hitler, if he had been left to his own plans, than it had for the British with its empire that encompassed nearly one-quarter of the land mass of the planet, or the Roman Empire or the empires of any self-appointed world emperor because military domination requires far more cash than any country can produce no matter how many allies it might have. (Big empires cost too much to support--see the history of the USSR.) But the fear of Hitler brought moral rectitude into play until enough countries destroyed Hitler and his Nazis.
Since its creation Israel has received enormous financial help from the US. Conspiracy theorists claim this happened because of the huge influence Jewish industrialists and media barons have over the US government. While this theory is largely unsupportable (no one claimed the Jews were taking over the US when they controlled the garment industry, for example), it continues to exist for reasons that are mostly based on religious prejudice. The US supports Israel due to guilt over its not taking action against the Nazi genocide of Jews, which results in millions of deaths in Europe. Guilt always has a religious (moral) base.
While many people die and more suffer in any war, on both sides, a few always become rich (or richer). Those few always lead the charge of moral outrage against the enemy they intend to plunder. While Germany and Japan lost the Second World War and neither had any oil to speak of, both were physically destroyed in war and rebuilt later into economic giants as a result of investments and loans from wealthy people in the "winning" countries.
In today's world, those with money have power. While this has been the case throughout human history, it is more true today when rich people can buy influence over elected decision makers. The wealthy don't need to hold power when they can buy it.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want their children to grow and develop in all ways necessary, not just intellectually and physically. Social problems in our cities (and the taxes they cause) demonstrate the urgent need for change.
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Is Our World Getting Worse, Or Maybe Better?

Is Our World Getting Worse, Or Maybe Better?
You make the road by walking on it. 
- Nicaraguan saying

The world changed on February 11, 2011. You may have considered it a minor news item as you went about making a life for yourself. But the incident may have marked the beginning (or at least a major step) of a change in human history. Life on our planet may be different--may last longer and be more peaceful and cooperative--as a result of what happened.

Hosni Mubarak, president of Egypt for the past three decades, resigned and left his country. True, presidents leave office around the world frequently. This departure was different.

It began with demonstrations in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, Cairo. Eighteen days of noisy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of people. Without violence or anyone being trampled to death, almost unprecedented in demonstrations of this nature.

Most world watchers consider the Middle East the most likely place for a Third World War to begin, an area where peace seemed to suffer at the hands of an endless parade of violent protesters, demonstrations, wars, oppression and repression. You and I lived through an occasion that may prove that all of the political forecasters have been wrong.

Not only did Egyptians find a way to enact change using peaceful demonstrations, the rest of the Arab world watched, cheered and agreed that change is possible by methods other than violent ones.

When forecasters saw the president of Tunisia leave office as a result of demonstrations, they expected the rest of the Arab world would burst into flames--into revolutions and insurrections--in similar demands by average people. It didn't happen. In almost every Arab country the people have begun to agitate for change toward better political representation, better treatment by the police, legal and penal systems, better human rights and the departure of leaders who prevent such changes from happening.

Demonstrations--peaceful ones--have happened in Algeria, Jordan and Yemen. The regime in Syria has banned all demonstrations. Demonstrations happen regularly in Iran. The independence vote in Sudan--relatively free of violence by Sudanese standards--should see the south of the country become a new nation within a few months. Some of the most unsettled parts of the world are in change.

If your only source of information about our world is the media, you must feel that life on our planet is much worse now than it was when you were younger. The problem is not our planet, but your sources of information and the fact that you know more now about the world than you did years ago. The media focus on bad news because they have persuaded us that bad news is what we want to hear. Extremely few provide good news. The media have brainwashed themselves as well as many of us.

Fewer wars are underway in the world than ever before, according to the United Nations. Humans are doing more good work around the world today than ever before in human history. Individuals are helping individuals, groups are helping individuals and groups. Schools are opening where they have not existed before or where they had been closed due to war or repressive regimes.

To provide a few examples would be shamefully insufficient. However, I would refer you to two if you wish to look further.Development Action Awareness Nationwide , in Rajasthan, India, has a short interview with its founder and director  on YouTube. In Africa you could learn more about Putumaya Kids at  No doubt these organizations are distant from your location. Phone your local city hall or elected representative to find out what is happening in your own area.

Don't bury yourself in the bad news spread by the media. Learn about the good things that are happening all over the world, including in your own community.

When you do, the world will look like a much better, more peaceful, more valuable, more progressive worldwide community of people helping people than you ever imagined.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents, grandparents and teachers who want to teach children the knowledge and skills they need beyond school curriculum in order to become healthy and well balanced adults.
Learn more at