Sharia councils: unjust, unequal and consequence of failed integration policies | Left Foot Forward

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Nahla Mahmoud is an environmentalist and human rights activist


Personally, I wasn’t surprised watching the Panorama on ‘Secrets of Sharia Councils in the UK’ broadcast on the BBC last week. I am aware of these dangerous practices by similar courts adopting the same Islamic constitution elsewhere outside the UK.

However, the main issues to be addressed here aren’t only the discriminatory nature and inequality of these councils, but also the broader context of the failed integration polices of the current government. The failure to integrate migrants and refugees and the government’s pro-faith agenda has resulted in the demand and justification for such parallel systems to fulfil the needs of those who feel they are ‘different’.

There is a common argument that a right to Sharia councils are part of an individual’s rights to their own religion and beliefs. It is important here to link the establishment of Sharia councils in the UK with the rise of Islamism internationally. Muslims have lived in the UK and Europe for centuries and didn’t need an Islamic court to provide them permission to adopt, worship or practice their religion.

The rise of political Islam

However since the early eighties, political Islam rose following the Iranian Revolution and the spread of  Wahhabism sponsored by millions of dollars of Saudi oil money. Political Islam then spread to take on state power in a number of east Asian, Middle-Eastern and some African countries.

As a result, a demand for Islam in power has grown in the UK and Sharia tribunals have been established. Sharia courts, which are wrongly perceived to be part of a Muslim’s ‘right to religion’, are in actual fact part of the political battle and fight for power by Islamists.

A major concern here is the government’s role in ensuring accessibility of public service to everyone. It is highly questionable that these bodies should be responsible for providing mediation services while the legislation they rely on (Sharia law), is fundamentally gender biased.
 

Written By: Nahla Mahmoud
continue to source article at leftfootforward.org

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    • In reply to #1 by kbala:

      Hussh! Be quite about it. Or you might end up being called a racist or a fascist or an islamaphobe(what ever that means)

      I would have thought the meaning of Islamaphobia was obvious but it is analgous to homophobia. People who have an irrational fear and hatred of a certain group of people. In one case the out-group is distinguished by the way they have sex in the other by their religion. Just because Muslims do some really terrible things doesn’t mean that no one has an irrational fear and hatred of Muslims. After 9/11 I read countless stories about people verbally and physically attacked for no reason but that they were perceived to be arab muslims. I know one guy personally who is actually neither but looks like one and had such an encounter.

      However, I do agree with you about these courts. They are an abomination and inherently sexist. They should be abolished in the UK and the Jewish versions that exist in the US should also be abolished. A free secular nation can only have one system of justice and it can’t be tied to any religion.

      • You are confusing between Islamophobia and Muslimophobia.
        Fearing any person who is “partly” Muslim is irrational.
        Many Muslims are moderate because they ignore certain bad parts of Islam.
        I agree that Muslimophobia is bad.
        But Islamophobia is justified! It’s an ideology that in it’s “pure” form drives people to violence.
        By pure form, I mean the BS written in Islam’s religious books.
        In contrast, the idea of having sex with another person of same gender does not in itself drive people to violence
        How can you put them in the same compartment?

        In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #1 by kbala:

        Hussh! Be quite about it. Or you might end up being called a racist or a fascist or an islamaphobe(what ever that means)

        I would have thought the meaning of Islamaphobia was obvious but it is analgous to homophobia. People who have an irrational fear and hatred of a certai…

      • In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

        I would have thought the meaning of Islamaphobia was obvious but it is analgous to homophobia. People who have an irrational fear and hatred of a certain group of people. In one case the out-group is distinguished by the way they have sex in the other by their religion

        Yep. That’s the keyword, “religion”. If we know anything about the welfare of sentient beings, that would be a healthy sex life is good while xenophobic, homophobic, misogynist & murderous delusions are bad for consenting adults. To deny this is to accept that you know nothing about morality or the well being of sentient life form!

        After 9/11 I read countless stories about people verbally and physically attacked for no reason but that they were perceived to be arab muslims. I know one guy personally who is actually neither but looks like one and had such an encounter.

        Spare us the lecture on racial profiling please. I am South Asian who is too lazy to shave. I have had my share of being “profiled”. I do whinge and moan sometimes about this, but let us be honest about it. I have come across 80 year old white Europeans being asked to take their shoes off so as to not be seen as prejudiced even in remote airports across Europe. Once a Polizei in Munich apologized for asking for ID.

        And on the other hand, while passing through middle east to visit India, I have seen unspeakable cruelties inflicted on Indians and Chinese by the Arab states. What goes on there, in these resorts and hotels and constructions site, is just slavery. I have spoken to countless fellow country men and women who have been physically and mentally abused by the “sheiks” and “mullas” they worked for.

        Get off your friggin moral high horse and look at the life of billions of people that are affected by these third world cults. Your next door neighbor at Orange County, California gets annoyed when profiled and you get self-righteous about that? While his fellow countrymen treat women and minorities as properties and we are not supposed to criticize that world view. We are supposed to consider every culture as equal?

        Everything does not revolve around Americans and the fragile sensibilities of bleeding heart liberals!

        Every major faith sucks and science alone works. Deal with it, bitches*!

        *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OtFSDKrq88

      • Homophobia is irrational because homosexuals don’t fly into office blocks or strap high explosives to themselves. “Islamophobia” doesn’t exist because fear of islam is not irrational.

        In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #1 by kbala:

        Hussh! Be quite about it. Or you might end up being called a racist or a fascist or an islamaphobe(what ever that means)

        I would have thought the meaning of Islamaphobia was obvious but it is analgous to homophobia. People who have an irrational fear and hatred of a certai…

        • In reply to #15 by Aber ration:

          Homophobia is irrational because homosexuals don’t fly into office blocks or strap high explosives to themselves. “Islamophobia” doesn’t exist because fear of islam is not irrational.

          A Christian blew up a truck full of fertilizer in a government building. Atheist Marxist Tamil Tigers invented the suicide vest. To infer from those facts that its OK to hate all Christians, atheists, or Marxists is as irrational as to say its OK to hate all Muslims because a few of them perpetrated 9/11.

          • In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

            A Christian blew up a truck full of fertilizer in a government building.

            Probably true. If faith of any flavour causes individuals to act in a destructive way, we are justified in criticizing that faith. But bombings and mindless violence hasn’t been the case with christianity for a while now. And cases like IRA bombings rarely target civilians.

            Atheist Marxist Tamil Tigers invented the suicide vest.

            I, being an atheist and a Marxist and a Tamil but a bipedal ape, am surprised by the fact that you would call LTTE as atheist and marxist. Some californian arm chair sociologist told you so? Most Tamil rebels were and are Hindus. They weren’t Marxist by even the most basic measures. The struggle wasn’t built around egalitarian ideals. It was a Tamil nationalist and separatist struggle, geographically limited to Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu in India. I am not aware of attacks on civilians around the world or even in India by Tamil tigers. Their jingoism has back fired and lots sympathy amongst many Tamils across the globe. So atheism and Marxism has nothing to do with the struggles for a Tamil Elam.

            To infer from those facts that its OK to hate all Christians, atheists, or Marxists is as irrational as to say its OK to hate all Muslims because a few of them perpetrated 9/11.

            To sum it up, Christianity might have been a war mongering violent religion. Having been put through the age of enlightenment and empiricism, it is in most parts of the world just a repugnant, mysogynistic and homophobic dogma. Might even cause unnecessary suffering. And let’s face it, if there are any group endangering Christianity, that would be new atheists of Europe and US and Canada and Australia and so on. So yes, we do blame christianity for its evil and combat it where ever and when ever possible. And I don’t think any one calls us Christianophobe for doing that. And there is no logical path about being an atheist or a marxist (like Christopher Hitchens or Noam Chomsky or Arundhati Roy) that leads to killing innocent people. But there is a logical from most faiths – monotheistic and polytheistic – to kill and subjugate others.

          • In reply to #18 by kbala:

            In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

            I, being an atheist and a Marxist and a Tamil but a bipedal ape, am surprised by the fact that you would call LTTE as atheist and marxist. Some californian arm chair sociologist told you so? Most Tamil rebels were and are Hindus. They weren’t Marxist by even the most basic measures.

            I call them Marxists and atheists because that is what they are. Read any discussion of them in political science analyses of terrorism such as Dying to Win:The Strategic Logic of Suicide terrorism by Robert Pape. (University of Chicago so not a California arm chair socialist). From Wikipedia:

            “The ideology of the Tamil Tigers emerged from Marxist-Leninist thought, and was secular. Its leadership was atheist”

            that is from this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_tigers

            and they have 3 sources for that quote, one from Pape book which I’ve read and would encourage you to read. It contradicts the preconceptions you have about suicide terrorism. Pape shows very convincingly with statistical analysis of modern suicide terrorism that the primary cause for such terrorism is large scale occupation by a foreign power, not religious differences. He does also show that religious difference is a primary secondary factor.

          • In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #18 by kbala:

            In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

            I, being an atheist and a Marxist and a Tamil but a bipedal ape, am surprised by the fact that you would call LTTE as atheist and marxist. Some californian arm chair sociologist told you so? Most Tamil rebels were and are Hindus. They weren’t M…

            Pape shmape. Pape is just an Islamic accommodationist and apologist. You don’t need empirical research when you have instinct. Take your evidence and facts someplace else.

          • In reply to #18 by kbala:

            In reply to #17 by Red Dog:

            A Christian blew up a truck full of fertilizer in a government building.

            Probably true. If faith of any flavour causes individuals to act in a destructive way, we are justified in criticizing that faith. But bombings and mindless violence hasn’t been the case with chris…

            Then why did Velupillai Prabhakaran say that he followed the cause of ‘Revolutionary socialism and the creation of an egalitarian society’?

            http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/SriLanka/Profile-of-Velupillai-Prabhakaran/Article1-402963.aspx

        • In reply to #15 by Aber ration:

          Homophobia is irrational because homosexuals don’t fly into office blocks or strap high explosives to themselves.

          I feel a new meme coming on: “Mohammed Atta was a Fag!!!!”

          Somehow I doubt it will survive in the wild, but in case it does, you heard it first on this site.

  1. Governments nor any other institution can ‘integrate’ anyone- integration is voluntary, passive. And of course integration is forbidden by the koran.
    Such talk is nothing but leftist, politically correct bullshit.

    (5:51) (“Seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper” (4:89), “Believers, do not make friends with any but your own people.” (3:118)).

    • In reply to #4 by Nodhimmi:

      Governments nor any other institution can ‘integrate’ anyone- integration is voluntary…

      This is probably true, but policies adopted by governments can help or hinder the integration process. The policies pursued in the UK have almost certainly been a hinderance; this is what Nahla Mahmoud is getting at.

  2. Sharia law is by nature, sexist, raciest, and whatever-the-word-is-for-anti-everything-other-than-islam. The British legal system does everything better than sharia law, So for what possible reason should Sharia law exist Britain other than to practice sexism, racism, and the-other-one. (will someone please invent a new word).

    Or perhaps I have got it wrong, Maybe it all just about a bunch of uneducated, selfish, ignorant sadists trying to control as many others as possible, just to satisfy their own egos.

  3. Integration is voluntary yes, and governments can’t force it but they can make the progress easier but still if society rejects people who want to integrate the result will be disappointing. In some countries you can be an atheist, humanist and show interest in the culture and still you’re a fu***** foreigner. Well, this is not a popular subject to discuss with Europeans because we all know you’re good people and who gives a sh** about the rest of us…..

  4. The alarming thing is that our politicians and church leaders are so ignorant and complacent and passive on this issue.

    And why has the rest of my comment just disappeared up the spout when I entered a line space?

  5. Nodhimmi makes a good point with “Governments nor any other institution can ‘integrate’ anyone” but to be fair this country doesnt have a clue how to integrate people. We arent tough enough of things involving people taking the piss with their culture while they live in ours because the label of “racist” is brought out far too often. And to stand up for what is right seems to be a thing of the past here these days.

  6. I’m totally flabbergasted by the issue of Sharia courts in the UK. How is it possible that a parallel system to the formal system is allowed? There should be one legal system for all. What would happen if Protestants, RCs, Jews, Rastafarians, Buddhists, etc, etc were to have their own courts? I’m sure this would be the perfect road to chaos. Now one single question: if I’m sued by a Muslim citizen or vice versa, which court will prosecute the complaint, the British Courts or the Sharia court?

  7. How ignorant and stupid do our leaders have to be to accept Islamic law in the UK?

    How many centuries of struggle and sacrifice were required to acquire the basic human rights that we now have?

    Yet we are supposed to accept gender inequality without a squeak of protest?

    Well, it’s time we all squeak (or shout) out against this.

  8. “The failure to integrate migrants and refugees and the government’s pro-faith agenda has resulted in the demand…”

    There are many minorities in UK, none is feeling a need to have a court but the muslims. What surprises me is the fact that UK allows these discriminatory and sexist practices on its’ soil. what next?

    • In reply to #20 by philip.smeeton:

      Islamophobia is a positive quality, anyone that is not afraid of Islam must be wilfully ignorant.

      So you are saying its a “positive quality” for people to verbally and physically harass strangers they see on the street because they look like Muslims? Because if you say that such behavior doesn’t happen you are the one that is willfully ignorant. And if you don’t condemn it you are no better than homophobes who think its OK to harass people because they look gay or racists who think its OK to harras black people who venture into the wrong neighborhood.

  9. Sharia courts operate with or without state approval. An Islamic woman will generally be granted divorce by state law, but will still seek approval by a Sharia court, recognized or not.

    Sharia courts need to be outlawed by state law, that is the only way they will go away. The only other possible way is for Muslims to stop feeling compelled to use them, which is not very likely.

  10. In principle, it sounds reasonable. For dispute resolution, you use a common framework of belief. The catch is females are not really consenting to this, and the system is highly biased toward males. It is simply unfair. It is plausible for male-male disputes, but not male-female. It could be thought of a school of dispute resolution.

    • In reply to #24 by Roedy:

      In principle, it sounds reasonable. For dispute resolution, you use a common framework of belief. The catch is females are not really consenting to this, and the system is highly biased toward males. It is simply unfair. It is plausible for male-male disputes, but not male-female. It could be though…

      I don’t know enough about how these courts work to say for sure but in principle I’m even skeptical it makes sense for male to male conflicts. Even with men I don’t think you can say that use of these courts is completely voluntary. My impression is these Muslim communities are fairly closed and self contained little groups. In such a society to go against the perceived norm to not use such a court is essentially declaring yourself outside the group and virtually impossible even for most men.

      And in any case it seems to me a basic contradiction of a fundamental principle at least of US law (and for once an idea I think the world would benefit from importing from us) that there is one and only one system of justice. That it applies the same to everyone and that its secular not religious.

  11. …Now one single question: if I’m sued by a Muslim citizen or vice versa, which court will prosecute the complaint, the British Courts or the Sharia court?

    Odalrich, I would like to see them try! If you were sued by a Muslim citizen, it would have to be via the British courts, as the Sharia courts have no power of enforcement. And if the British Courts found a Sharia Court trying to enforce anything that is against current law (thereby violating Parliamentary sovereignty), there would probably be attention generated that all sides would want to avoid… The London Beth Din already operates arbitration of Jewish civil disputes in England. As official arbitral tribunals, they can seek state help to enforce awards.

    Sharia courts need to be outlawed by state law, that is the only way they will go away. The only other possible way is for Muslims to stop feeling compelled to use them, which is not very likely.

    The point about compulsion to use such services is that sometimes they are so compelled. Jewish Law says those of the community ‘cannot ‘ use the civil courts (http://www.theus.org.uk/the_united_synagogue/the_london_beth_din/litigation/). I suppose it would be a double whammy to both air one’s dirty laundry and appear to be a bad adherent

    • “Odalrich, I would like to see them try! If you were sued by a Muslim citizen, it would have to be via the British courts, as the Sharia courts have no power of enforcement. And if the British Courts found a Sharia Court trying to enforce anything that is against current law (thereby violating Parliamentary sovereignty), there would probably be attention generated that all sides would want to avoid… The London Beth Din already operates arbitration of Jewish civil disputes in England. As official arbitral tribunals, they can seek state help to enforce awards.”

      Thanks Docjitters, your reply has reassured me quite a lot. I was wondering how I was going to defend myself, I’m not Muslim, in a Muslim court convened to judge a complaint made against me by a Muslim.

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  13. In reply to #30 by kbala:

    In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

    What an arrogant imperialist response! Reeks of ignorance and incompetence!

    Do you know the definition of imperialism? How can you call what I said in my previous comment imperialism? Or was that just supposed to be funny?

    Here is Sam’s rebuttal on Pape’s appalling research and conclusion on Tamil tiger,

    Marxists in the real world are seldom ideologically pure zealots. They often combine ideologies from the local culture and form alliances with people that in other circumstances they would consider the enemy. There is a whole movement in South America called liberation theology that combines Marxism and Christianity.

    But nothing in my argument requires that we consider the Tamil Tigers as atheists. For the sake of this discussion I’m willing to concede your point. They certainly are Hindus and their Marxism tries to leverage Hindu myths to motivate people (its not easy to recruit people to wear suicide vests). My original argument which you have ignored is that (and I’m amazed I even have to say this on a web site supposedly devoted to reason and critical thinking) just because you can find some Muslims who did heinous things (that was the original point I responded to about 9/11) doesn’t mean its rational to condemn all Muslims. Whether the Tigers are Hindus, Marxists, or some hybrid they certainly aren’t Muslims and they are responsible for a great deal (possibly the majority not sure what the current stats are) of terrorist acts committed in the modern world.

    My other point is that people who say there is no such thing as Islamaphobia are also either willfully ignorant or bigots. There are examples that happen all the time. Here is one today from this site:

    http://www.richarddawkins.net/news_articles/2013/5/1/muslim-cabdriver-alleges-assault-by-passenger-who-cited-boston-marathon-bombing

    • In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

      In reply to #30 by kbala:

      In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

      What an arrogant imperialist response! Reeks of ignorance and incompetence!

      Do you know the definition of imperialism? How can you call what I said in my previous comment imperialism? Or was that just supposed to be funny?

      Here is Sam’s rebu…

      I have to say I found that response from kbala baffling. He calls others ignorant and yet immediately dismisses a book that he evidentially hasn’t read as appalling and irrelevant. It is odd that someone would regard an extensive study on suicide terrorism as irrelevant to discussion on the Tamil Tigers. What is even more bizarre is that after criticising the research as appalling because it is not based on research in the ‘combat zone’, he goes on to try and refute the research by citing Sam Harris, a man who has undertaken no field work on the Tamil Tigers. Wacky.

      • In reply to #35 by The Grapes of Roth:

        In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #30 by kbala:

        In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

        What an arrogant imperialist response! Reeks of ignorance and incompetence!

        Do you know the definition of imperialism? How can you call what I said in my previous comment imperialism? Or was that just supposed to…

        That is argument from authority. What is the evidence? Just because it says so in a book? Please do read the pamphlets and listen to propaganda tapes from LTTE. And then make a claim whether they were motivated by their faith or not. It says so in a book doesn’t cut it. And the fact that you have to travel across the globe to a geographically limited civil conflict to find something to justify your point of view, shows how weak it is.

        People do kill other people for reasons other religion. As Carl Sagan reflected, “Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.”

        We all accept that people kill under the guise of nationalism, racism, homophobia and of course, religion. Religion serves as another marker for in-group & out-group separation. And human history is littered with religious conflicts spreading across the globe – Belfast to Bosnia to Beirut to Bombay!

        Just because you find few other reasons as to why people kill each other, does not mean religion isn’t the biggest source of conflict and misery on the planet.

        • In reply to #36 by kbala:

          In reply to #35 by The Grapes of Roth:

          In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

          In reply to #30 by kbala:

          In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

          What an arrogant imperialist response! Reeks of ignorance and incompetence!

          Do you know the definition of imperialism? How can you call what I said in my previous comment imp…

          Oh dear, this is clearly a waste of time. Pape lists and examines LTTE public propaganda statements. He also makes similar points to your’s about religion serving as another marker for in-group & out-group separation.
          I really do think you should read the book before commenting further on it. Also, have a read of Miranda Alison’s interviews with female LTTE members, where they talk about their motivations if you have the time.

          • In reply to #37 by The Grapes of Roth:

            In reply to #36 by kbala:

            In reply to #35 by The Grapes of Roth:

            In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #30 by kbala:

            In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

            What an arrogant imperialist response! Reeks of ignorance and incompetence!

            Do you know the definition of imperialism? How can you call what I said…

            How is that even relevant? I just accepted that there are reasons other than religions why people kill other people. That still does not exonerate any faith and in particular Islam of its atrocities. Is that difficult for you to understand?

            And please list what those “atheist”/”marxist” propaganda statements. And quote them verbatim as I dont need Pape translating it for me. Please do go ahead…

            Meawhile, are you denying Human Rights Watch report, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2006/ltte0306/4.htm

            The majority of Tamils are Hindu. For many members of the Tamil diaspora, Hindu temples provide not only a place of worship, but also a focal point for social and community activities and an avenue for charitable giving. The Toronto area has approximately forty Hindu temples attended by Sri Lankan Tamils; London has twenty-two. Because the temples provide both ready access to the Tamil community and to a potential source of funds, the LTTE has sought control over temple events, management, and revenue.

          • In reply to #38 by kbala:

            In reply to #37 by The Grapes of Roth:

            In reply to #36 by kbala:

            In reply to #35 by The Grapes of Roth:

            In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #30 by kbala:

            In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

            What an arrogant imperialist response! Reeks of ignorance and incompetence!

            Do you know the definition of i…

            Well, here is Velupillai Pirabaharan:

            “Revolutionary socialism is my political philosophy. By socialism I mean the construction of an egalitarian society where there is no class contradiction and exploitation of man by man; a free, rational society where human freedom and rights are protected and progress enhanced. Che Guevara is the guerrilla leader who inspires me the most.”

            http://tamilnation.co/ltte/vp/interviews/8603%20week.htm

          • In reply to #43 by The Grapes of Roth:

            In reply to #38 by kbala:

            In reply to #37 by The Grapes of Roth:

            In reply to #36 by kbala:

            In reply to #35 by The Grapes of Roth:

            In reply to #34 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #30 by kbala:

            In reply to #26 by Red Dog:

            What an arrogant imperialist response! Reeks of ignorance and incompetence!

            Do y…

            As for antireligious statements, in Prabhakaran’s 2000 Hero’s Day speech:

            “It is a historical fact that the Tamils lost their sovereignty over their homeland as a
            consequence of foreign colonial penetration. But a calculated systematic oppression
            against the Tamil nation began soon after the island of Sri Lanka gained independence from British colonialism. Sinhala Buddhist racism was the main perpetrator of this oppression. The Sinhala Buddhist racist ideology, with its roots buried in Sri Lankan Buddhism, has perversely spread throughout the Sinhala social formation and penetrated deep into the Sinhala political system. The constitutions that were made by Sinhala politicians are nothing but institutional forms of this ideology.”

            http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/shrilanka/document/papers/annual_heros_speech_by_prabhakaran.htm

          • In reply to #37 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Pape lists and examines LTTE public propaganda statements.

            Here is Pape, in his own words,

            But they are not religious. They’re not Islamic. They’re a Hindu group. They’re a Marxist group. They’re actually anti-religious.

            Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104391493

            I can see at least two contradictions in that statement. I will spell that out for you, How could a religious (Hindu) grouping be a grouping based on anti-religion?

            And this is your expert witness, seriously?

          • In reply to #39 by kbala:

            In reply to #37 by The Grapes of Roth:

            Pape lists and examines LTTE public propaganda statements.

            Here is Pape, in his own words,

            But they are not religious. They’re not Islamic. They’re a Hindu group. They’re a Marxist group. They’re actually anti-religious.

            Source: http://www.npr.org/templates

            Jesus wept. The motivations and aims of the group are non-religious and secular. They have some Hindu members. They are anti-Sinhalese Buddhism. Got it?

          • In reply to #40 by The Grapes of Roth:

            They have some Hindu members

            After all that posturing, that is your rebuttal :)

            Fine, I will take the bait, you said “some”. What percentage would that be 50-50? 80-20? 90-10? Any facts to substantiate that?

            And could you please list those atheist/marxist propaganda statements in Tamil please? I am still waiting…

            Is it wrong to ask for evidence? I hate argument from authority. List those statements verbatim, please…

      • In reply to #35 by The Grapes of Roth:

        I have to say I found that response from kbala baffling. He calls others ignorant and yet immediately dismisses a book that he evidentially hasn’t read as appalling and irrelevant. It is odd that someone would regard an extensive study on suicide terrorism as irrelevant to discussion on the Tamil Tigers. What is even more bizarre is that after criticising the research as appalling because it is not based on research in the ‘combat zone’, he goes on to try and refute the research by citing Sam Harris, a man who has undertaken no field work on the Tamil Tigers

        I agree. And I think your criticism applies to Sam Harris and even Richard Dawkins to a great degree. Its one thing I find most dissapointing about Prof. Dawkins is that he seems to often ignore the social sciences. Its not that I think people like Pape and Atran are completely right or have all the answers. But I would like to see the issues debates in a scientific manner, with data and theoretical claims. Instead Harris and Dawkins make almost completely unsubstantiated claims about (for example) suicide terrorists being Madassa brainwashed losers that according to the data is seldom true in reality.

        And its not that they use bad data. They use no data. They just say things like “can’t you imagine a lonely jobless man being brainwashed by dreams of virgins?” Yes, I can imagine a lot of things but you need to do more than just thought experiments if you claiming to be rational and scientific.

        • In reply to #42 by Red Dog:

          But I would like to see the issues debates in a scientific manner, with data and theoretical claims. Instead Harris and Dawkins make almost completely unsubstantiated claims about (for example) suicide terrorists being Madassa brainwashed losers that according to the data is seldom true in reality.

          Quite contrary. They rely on factual evidence as opposed to the denial and self-deception that some of the bleeding heart liberals indulge in. Sam Harris has discussed this in depth in Moral Landscape and End of Faith.

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