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Qur’an: Read It Yourself

qur'anThe Qur’an is the base text of Islam, which is today followed by approximately 1.2 billion people.

Most people know about the activities of so-called Islamic extremists, operating in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and, most prominently and gaining the most attention, in the Levant conflict zone, principally Syria and Iraq. But how extreme are they? Do they have justification for their behaviour from the Qur’an, as they repeatedly claim to?

Just this week, new reports arrived of how the Islamic State in the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS or Daesh) murdered 19 Yazidi women by burning them to death in steel cages because they refused to become sex slaves. In Pakistan a mother burned her daughter to death for marrying without consent. These are but the tiniest tip of an iceberg of atrocities that never stop.

Naturally, any thinking person must be repulsed by such evil; but not a week goes by now without some example of completely intolerable behaviour, carried out by Muslims, frequently on women, somewhere in the world. In fact, hardly a day passes.

quran-sex-slaves
Yazidi women captured as sex slaves under Qur’anic authority

Saudi Arabia, which has gained for itself the reputation of being the most sadistic and barbarous legally constituted state on the planet, routinely carries out ‘punishments’ — better described as tortures, many ending in death — all the time. We now know that at least 14 million Africans are held as slaves by Muslims. 14 million. In 2016.

But many of us in the West know Muslims; we eat in their restaurants, shop in their convenience stores. Clearly, these Muslims are good, decent people. So the bombers, the beheaders, the immolators, the lapidators, the slavers and kidnappers must be misunderstanding Islam, right? They must be misreading the Qur’an? Continue reading Qur’an: Read It Yourself

Sharia: Halal and Haram

sharia-codebook
The Reliance of the Traveller — the Sharia codebook

The Muslim legal code called Sharia specifies everything that is ‘mandated’ and ‘forbidden’.

In Arabic they are ‘halal’ and ‘haram’. Sharia — contained in a manual called The Reliance of the Traveller actually extends to over 1200 pages of text which specify every imaginable action or aspect of life. Everything from how to brush your teeth or how to put on your clothes, to how to beat your wife or kill your enemies. It is, literally, not just unnecessary for Muslims to think for themselves, it is haram (forbidden).

Muslims are obliged to follow Sharia all the time. There are punishments for transgressions ranging from fines to floggings to forced amputations to death. To reject Sharia wholly is de facto to become apostate, which demands a punishment of death.

Sharia is, by far, the most pernicious ideological evil that afflicts the world today.

Please do not take my word for this; I would rather you researched it yourself, for then you will know what Islam, with its debased code of Sharia, really is: the most anti-human and totalitarian ideology the world has ever seen.

So that you can do this research I have made a full copy of the Sharia code available HERE. Please download it and read for yourself. Be warned though, it’s a big file. At present I only have it in .pdf but I will try to make a conversion into .epub, which will be much smaller and easier to read.

A tiny selection of examples, comparing haram (forbidden) with halal (permitted), is below. (You may have to click the ‘Read More’ link.) If you are one of those duped by the platitudes of Islamic apologists or the ridiculous ‘regressive left’, they may surprise you. They certainly give the lie to the fallacy that Islam is a ‘religion of peace’. Sharia is much, much greater than the tiny number of examples below but I have made this list to show that it is more than not eating pork.

I originally made this list using the words ‘haram’ and ‘halal’ but it seems to me that this is a form of dissembly, in using foreign, unfamiliar words. So I have used English translations instead. While ‘forbidden’ is a decent translation of ‘haram’, halal is more difficult. In all cases it means that the action is permitted, but in many it also means that the action is mandated or even obligatory. I have used ‘permitted’ and ‘mandated’. The latter means that it is  something that Muslims should do, rather than that which they may do.

(A deeper analysis of the gradations of ‘haram’ and ‘halal’, and the minor differences in the interpretation of Sharia in the various sects of Islam can be found in this excellent piece by Bill Warner, published in 2009.)

Continue reading Sharia: Halal and Haram

Christopher Hitchens’ Finest Moments

christopher-hitchens
Christopher Hitchens. Pic: The Montreal Gazette

Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011) was one of the greatest English-language commentators of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.  His style was avuncular but this disguised a razor-sharp intellect and an incredibly wide base of knowledge.

Hitchens was a true man for all seasons; he could be funny, eloquent and incredibly gracious. But at the same time he was erudite and staggeringly well-read, with a brilliant mind. Enraged, as he often was by religious hypocrisy, he could focus a righteous anger on his adversary  that was truly spectacular to watch.

Hitchens, throughout his life, was a passionate atheist. Not just convinced or committed, but passionate. He saw religion as fundamentally anti-human. His low opinion of it was fairly universal but he reserved his most scathing attacks for the Abrahamic cults of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, sparing or favouring none. They were, as far as Hitchens was concerned, offensive to the conditions of being human in general and to being a thinking individual in particular.

Christopher Hitchens was never cursed with false intellectual modesty and he suffered fools very badly indeed. He made no attempt to hide his own intellect or grasp of the subject to hand, in order to entrap his opponent. On the contrary, he adopted a thoroughly Nelsonic approach to debating which, like the great admiral’s view of the duty of a naval officer, was ‘to seek out the enemy and destroy him.’ Occasionally, you do have to love the English and producing a man like Hitchens is a good reason to. We shall but rarely see his like again.

So to celebrate the great man, journalist, raconteur, bon viveur and atheist, I give you Part One of a collection of his finest rapier-thrusts, posted on YouTube by Agatan Fnd. Part Two will surely follow.

 

 

The Duterte Phenomenon

rodrigo-duterte
Rodrigo Duterte Pic: Rappler.com

The Duterte Phenomenon: the Philippines does politics a little differently.

This month the Philippines elected Rodrigo Duterte, a tough-talking maverick largely unknown outside his own country, as President.

The Western media has been completely wrong-footed by Duterte, and has even compared him to Donald Trump. But Duterte is a far more complex character and if he reminds me of any politician, it is Alex Salmond of Scotland’s SNP. The two men play the politics game very alike — something the rivals of both have come to rue.

Despite the ignorance of the outside world, Duterte is by no means an unknown quantity in the Philippines. Over the last four years, in my travels there, I have become used to the affection with which ordinary people — living hundreds of miles from his bailiwick — speak of him. He is ‘Rody’ or ‘Digong’ and in text, sometimes D30.

Duterte’s city, Davao on the southern island of Mindanao, is one of the three largest in the Philippines, with a population greater than several European nations. He has proven himself a skilled manager of the city’s finances over the decades of his rule. He has fought and won eleven elections — not a bad score for any political animal. While claims for the security and low levels of crime in Davao may be exaggerated, people there regard him as a true defender of the peace. Continue reading The Duterte Phenomenon

The Man Who Would Be Queen

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This book caused its author, J Michael Bailey, to be accused of child abuse and to receive death threats. Why?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J Michael Bailey’s seminal book, The Man Who Would Be Queen (TMWWBQ) sparked huge controversy when it was published in 2003. The furore it caused, while small in focus, was spectacular in its incandescent rage at the author. This was categorically different from the conservative reaction to works of other controversial authors like D H Lawrence, or even Vladimir Nabokov’s deeply unsettling study of male attraction to pubescent girls. In those,  the hostility was principally against the work; not so here. It was J Michael Bailey in person who was vilified.

And to cap that, TMWWBQ is not a work of fiction, but of popular science. It is well written, in non-scientific language, is easy to read and deeply sympathetic to its subject. So what on Earth happened, to provoke such a furious backlash? It included entirely spurious attempts to end Bailey’s career, personal slurs and threats of violence against him. His attackers even accused him of sexually molesting his children.

The campaign against Bailey, coordinated by a small group of internet bullies, amounted to nothing more or less than a blatant attempt at censorship associated with a virulent personal attack on the author. It’s time, now, to revisit this book and see why it caused such a storm in a latte cup. Continue reading The Man Who Would Be Queen

The Genie of Aspiration

genie-of-independenceThe thing about aspiration is that it’s a tough genie to get back into its bottle.

This must be the conclusion of any mythical, dispassionate, possibly extra-terrestrial viewer when examining the current state of political affairs in the disUnited Kingdom. Less than two years ago a referendum was held which was explicitly intended to slay the Scottish nationalist monster for once and for all — sentiments reflecting those of the spectacularly unforesightful George Robertson when this whole journey began and his party found itself obliged to offer Scots a parliament of their own. Yet the genie is far from banished and if anything is more bumptious than ever.

The ‘wee pretendy parliament’ just growed and growed and now its roars — if still distant and ill-understood — have begun to frighten the gentle people of the far south, the colonial overlords of the disUnited Kingdom. Yes, frighten: for the first time since Churchill sent tanks and troops to quell the people of Glasgow, the English establishment has been rattled by events in Scotland.

For them the Scots’ discontentment is a profound mystery, one which they will probably never grasp. For the southern English, the Union is indeed a great thing. It achieved most that it was intended to. It established a militarily secure platform upon which the British Project — to make the world England — could be built and for centuries that project was a success; the Anglo-Saxon patriarchy was spread across the globe by it, taking, somewhat unfortunately, all the prejudice and insecurity of the English middle class with it.

Then again, for the southern English — and not a few Scots who have joined them — London and the south-east of England is the finest place in the world to live. It is a land of fabulous opportunity where all one has to do is work hard and one’s personal streets will be paved with gold. And they are not mean with their largesse: why anyone, from whatever uncultivated backwater of the disUnited Kingdom, may move to London and there spend their days serving the Great British Project, to the betterment — so their apologists attest — of all. Why, look at the money these people can send back to their poor relatives still living in frightful places like Inverurie or Campbeltown.

And this arrangement ideally suits the southern English who are approaching the end of their working days. London’s economic primacy over the disUnited Kingdom means that they can sell their ridiculously overpriced two-bedroom maisonettes and with the money thus liberated, buy a manor in Dunkeld or Aberfeldy. After all, the poor indigenes of these places have not the resources to compete. And if they should complain, then they must come to London, where they may, after a lifetime of slavery to the British Project,  earn enough to buy homes for themselves in the places they were born and raised. That is the free market. Yes, the system is equitable and works for the benefit of all.

Look you, the English even build roads and railways so that the impoverished Scots can travel south to where they should be, and there serve the British Project. How could anyone complain or deny this generosity? Continue reading The Genie of Aspiration

Stand up and be counted

My partner, a TS woman
My partner, Angelica; a transsexual woman

I am in a relationship with a transsexual (TS) woman. This places me in a position of responsibility, because my girlfriend, like all her sisters, is in danger. Transsexual women are abused, insulted, and disrespected; but worse, they are beaten, falsely arrested, harassed by authorities that should protect them and frequently murdered.

This means that men like me must stand up and be counted.

Although on the surface, things are getting better, the improvements are largely cosmetic and there are misconceptions still. Many of these confuse the public understanding of what transsexual women are, for they are all too often conflated with fetishistic transvestites like Bruce ‘Caitlyn’ Jenner, who claim to be ‘transgender’, or, on the other hand, with ‘gay men’. The former — a tiny minority — have so dominated the media that it has become commonplace to think of a transsexual as being a middle-aged man in a dress with a wife and children. Nothing could be further from the truth: true transsexuals (Blanchard HSTS) are never attracted to women, because their feminine sexuality is what makes them transsexual; and they are clearly not men.

Most of the trans-attracted men I know are not gay. Essentialist issues like the nature of genitalia do have validity; for example in the lesbian rejection of fetishistic transgenderists, neatly symbolised by the ‘Cotton Ceiling’ fiasco. But trans-attracted men are less concerned about this essentialism than about gender. This probably has to do with differences in male and female sexuality. Whatever, men like me do not see the presence of a penis on our lover as making her any less of a woman. Gender, not genitalia, makes the girl.

‘Gay’ may be acceptable as a term of inclusion, but not when social conservatives use it as a term of abuse or the regressive Left to enforce conformity to their notions, and both of these are commonplace.

LGB people cannot simply ‘claim’ trans-attracted men as part of LGB. We’re not. We do not accept a role or position within that umbrella because we are not part of it.

Continue reading Stand up and be counted

Restroom rights again

restroom varmit
Does this man have the right to use a women-only space just because he claims he ‘identifies as a woman’?

Restroom rights again

The issue of ‘transgender’ access to female-specific spaces continues to boil up. So let’s look again at what is being said and why it is a problem.

While women-only toilets and other similar spaces may have originally been invented out of misogyny and male entitlement (more intended to keep women out of male spaces than men out of women’s), the fact is that they have come to be seen as a place of refuge, safe havens for women who spend all their lives enduring the proprietorial gazes and more, of the men around them.

The United Sates of America, as we have noted here before, has an appalling track record of misogynistic as well as transphobic and homophobic violence. A woman’s rape, according to recent data, is reported once every six minutes there and the level of under-reporting may be as high as 80% or more. Women in patriarchal cultures are under constant threat of rape, and that is why the safe spaces issue has become important.

The regressive left, with typical stupidity, has seized on this as an issue of ‘transgender rights’ and nothing else. This is a lie. There are two issues here. One is whether women have a right to safe spaces where they can perform private functions without interacting with men, and the other is whether a person born male who ‘self-identifies’ as a woman, can simply overthrow any such right. In other words, does just saying he is a woman allow a person who is externally identifiable as a man to enter a space reserved for women who were born female? Continue reading Restroom rights again

Happy Easter

angelica-garing
Angelica Garing

It’s Easter. In fact, this is the 60th Easter I have passed on Earth, although I don'[t remember the first few. Or, for that matter a good selection of those that came after. However, Easter is an important time. It is the beginning of Spring, officially defined as the first full moon after the Spring Equinox and, perhaps more importantly, the moment when the year comes into bloom. I know this might not be apparent in Canada and suchlike airts, but still. You should have left them to the Indians.

As the beginning of the year of fertility, Easter is a great Goddess festival and was such, long before it was hijacked by Christians. Indeed it was celebrated in ancient Sumer, 7,000 years ago, when the High Priestess would take a young man as consort for the year. We do not know what his fate was at the end of it. Still it is a time of giving thanks, when we should express our gratitude. And so I do.

I am grateful firstly for my four wonderful children, without whom my life would have had no real meaning. I am grateful that I am still here myself, with all my faculties intact and even a full head of hair; so I must also thank my Martin forebears, who all went to their graves with luxuriant thatches. (The Flemings are all bald as coots by 40; I am grateful to have avoided that particular gene.)

I am grateful for something else too. I came to the Philippines in December to meet a particular woman, who regular readers might recall. However it was not as I had hoped and on Christmas Day 2015 we parted forever. For some weeks I dated girls here and really enjoyed it. It was like being at college again, only better. As a mature and sophisticated man, I have confidence that I lacked back then. Dating was a real pleasure and had you asked me in early January I would have said that I would have been happy to go on doing it as long as I had breath.

But at the end of that month I met a girl — well, she met me, to be honest. And the upshot of that is that now, on this Easter Sunday, I am grateful that I am passionately and completely loved by an incredibly beautiful young woman, with the face of an angel and the body of Botticelli’s Venus rising. She asks nothing of me; I even have to persuade her to go shopping for clothes. All that she asks is that I have time for her and return the love that she so willingly and generously extends to me. And I am very grateful for that.I do not know where this will go but I can tell you that I have never felt so loved by a woman in my life.

Any man who, in later life, finds himself alone and yet desires not to be, will discover, as I did, that there are many beautiful women who will make themselves available. Young, glamorous and sexy. And as long as the flow of money towards them is maintained, they will remain so. Some people call these women ‘high maintenance’.

But the fact is that not all women are like that at all. And the harpies who preach from the wings about ‘age appropriate’ relationships are wrong. There are no ‘age appropriate’ relationships. There are only people. If you love someone, that’s it. As I wrote in The Warm Pink Jelly Express Train, your soul is as old as the hills and as young as the dawn; and even curmudgeonly old atheists like me have soul, though we know we don’t have souls.

So my advice is this: ignore the Politically Correct whingeing of bitter old people whose lives long since ceased to have meaning, who are winding down into their long wait for death and seize the day. Yes, you’ll meet gold-diggers, but even that’s not all that bad, you know. The rewards can be considerable. Even if she only sees you as a way to have a better life, or to provide for the children fathered by another man, that does not mean she won’t be good to you, nor does it mean that you will not enjoy the experience. In the end, she might love you too.

Then again you might, just might, run into the real thing, as well: a woman who really loves you, who doesn’t care that the years have taken their toll and who will nurse you when you’re sick. Who never asks for money, and who says her old clothes are fine, she doesn’t need new — but who will be gracious when you insist. Who goes to market and shops thriftily, so that you and she can eat well together without spending a fortune. Who is as happy to stay home and watch a movie as she is to be dined out — as long as she is with you. Who is smart and will talk about religion and philosophy with you, if you so wish; or whatever you want to discuss, because whatever interests you, interests her. Who is so mesmerisingly beautiful that just looking at her brings tears to your eyes, and who refuses to go to sleep at night without caressing your face with her fingertips. Who even, incredible though it may seem, says she likes to hear you snoring because it reminds her that you are there, beside her, in bed. Who will turn your sexual dreams into reality and enjoy doing so. Who will staunchly defend you against all criticism and be your protectrice in the face of life’s travails.

If you are so lucky as to find a woman like this, then I advise you to give thanks. There is no ‘god’ and even the Goddess is a metaphor; but there is love, and it is precious. Happy Easter.

And thank you, Jelly.

Arayat Escapade

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Mount Arayat at sunrise

A couple of weeks ago I went to Mount Arayat National Park in Pampanga, here in the Philippines.

I’d been invited by some friends to spend the day, with a walk in the mountain park in the morning followed by socialising later. This meant first taking a bus to San Fernando and then another, local bus. We wanted to be there for sunrise, which is why I found myself sitting in a taxi at 3.30 am, hurtling through Quezon City at speeds in excess of 100 kph. It was a good adrenaline rush to start the day. Continue reading Arayat Escapade

Non-Politically Correct Writing and Photography by Rod Fleming and Guests