Category Archives: Religion

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I originally made this list using the words ‘haram’ and ‘halal’ but it seems to me that this is a form of dissembly, in using foreign, unfamiliar words.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

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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.

 

 

Evolution observed in trout

evolution-trout-salmo-truttaYou have to be brain-dead to deny the fact of Evolution these days. Well, these last 150 years actually… Apparently though, at least 40% of USians (other Americans are smarter), are indeed just so cerebrally demised. Hopped the neurological twig as it were. Zombified the gray matter. Deceased the thinking apparatus.

Now why would we worry? These are sister-shagging Bible belt rednecks who still think the South actually won the Civil War, aren’t they? ‘Oh no man we just kinda took a time out for a mint juleps n some grits n shit them gaddamn Yankees done called time on us!’ So who cares what they think?

Well the trouble is, they get to elect the Preseedunt of the Yewnited States (of America, not Mexico), and unfortunately, given the performance of some of the incumbents, that is the most powerful office in the world. I mean they elected Dubbya. (Well they didn’t really, but he still got the job.) And there is a risk they might elect another scion of the Terminally Religionard House of Bush next year.

‘Howdee do Jebby boy! Done shot any coons lately? I do mean raccoons now, y’all. Maybe one o them Afreecan Geeraffes? Or a Liahn?’ Continue reading Evolution observed in trout

Why Islam must embrace Secularism

word-cloud-secularismThe only way for the Muslim community, insofar as it can be referred to by such a homogeneous term, to resolve the problems caused by the rise of Islamic extremism and the predictable reaction to it, is at once to accept secularism and to reject shari’aa and the primacy of Islam over other cults.

The issue is not between a Christian majority and a Muslim minority, it is between a society founded on democratic principles and reason, an arch crowned by the keystone that we can change the laws that govern us by electoral mandate, and a religious minority that refuses to accept this, and instead insists that no part of the law, as expressed through shari’aa — because it is ‘god’s’ law — can ever be altered, even in one word.

As a lifelong liberal, inclusionist, respecter and promoter of minority and other human rights, I am thoroughly weary of the complaint of those who consider that our secular democracy does not do enough for them, while themselves refusing to recognise that all religions, whatever their individual merits and demerits, within a multicultural environment, must defer to secular democracy and secular law. Continue reading Why Islam must embrace Secularism

We live in a world of terror.

world-of-terrorTerror comes in many forms. There is state terror; organised terror which is not state-promoted (NGO terror if you like); and individual acts of terror which are nevertheless encouraged by religion. All of these have one end: to reinforce the patriarchy’s grip on society and they are almost all sanctioned by religion. While a half-century ago, Communist terror was a problem, with the collapse of the Soviet Union that died away: nearly all terror, in every form, present in the world today, is inspired by religion.

Individual acts of terror are where one or a small number of individuals, usually from a majority of some kind, kill, maim, beat, insult, deny service to or otherwise harm persons of another group in order to intimidate them. A good example would be violence against LGBT people. This is frequently a spontaneous act of terror by private individuals with little or no coordination. Yet it causes the deaths of hundreds of transgender women every year. We see the same in beatings of minority races, persons of colour and those who dare to speak out for freedom.

Most of this terror is encouraged by the rantings of deluded religious demagogues preaching hate against gays, trans people, blacks, Jews, women, you name it. What are the recent atrocities carried out in France but religious terror designed to suppress legitimate criticism of Islam? We saw it in Charleston but lately. We see it in the killings of doctors assisting women to assert their rights over their bodies. It is pervasive and religion is the cause of it. Continue reading We live in a world of terror.

Probability? Get off my doorstep.

what-are-the-oddsI had an unusual experience last week here at Mission Control in Darkest France. I was door-stepped by Evangelists. We don’t see too many of those round here. They were working a nice formula; he was older and avuncular, she was young and very attractive. She was chosen to hook the guys, he because he was not threatening to women.

Having the kind of debate one has with Evangelists is a little harder in French than it is in English, at least for me, but I think I did OK. She seemed to like the bit about stardust…it’s nice and romantic.

He, however, brought up the ‘statistical probability of Earth being where it is etc etc’ canard. This is meant to show that the probability of Earth’s existence is so low that there must be magic, or as they would prefer, Divine Intervention, involved. Richard Dawkins debunks this in ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ very nicely and I recommend it.

It’s a bogus argument because it proceeds in the wrong direction: we are already here. There is no probability about it. The actual probability of the Earth being where it is, is 1:1 or 100% because that is where it actually is.

But this got me to thinking and I did a little thought exercise. What would the probability of any one of us being born when and where we were? Continue reading Probability? Get off my doorstep.

The Goddess in The Philippines

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Pic: Rod Fleming

The Goddess is a big deal in the Philippines and goddesses are out in strength there this week. The occasion is the closing rounds of the Universities Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament, held at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. Teams with names like De La Salle Lady Spikers and Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles, the Tigresses, the Lady Warriors and the Lady Bulldogs battle it out in front of huge, enthusiastic and thoroughly partisan crowds. And these girls aren’t kidding; this is serious stuff.

 The audience is mainly young – but everywhere in the Phils is mainly young. That’s only to be expected in a country where the population has increased by a factor of ten in fifty years. And there are as many men here as women. Filipinos are as passionate about volleyball as Scots are about football.

 This is hard sport, and women are seen as true warriors. Continue reading The Goddess in The Philippines

Muslims we Must Support: Maajid Nawaz

maajid-nawaz
Maajid Nawaz

Last week, Maajid Nawaz, a United Kingdom Liberal Democratic Party parliamentary candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, became the centre of an attack from the Islamic fundamentalist right wing because he stood up for free speech. This is not, in itself, unusual; fundamentalists of any religious persuasion detest free speech. Nor is the chorus of death threats raised against Nawaz in any way uncommon from Islamic fanatics. However this case is important because it illustrates a divide which we must not only recognise but decide on which side we stand.

Nawaz’ crime? After taking part in a BBC debate in which two students were seen wearing ‘Jesus and Mo’ tee-shirts, Nawaz tweeted the image, saying, “As a Muslim, I did not feel threatened by it. My God is greater than that”.

For most people, that would not seem anything other than a reasonable point of view. Continue reading Muslims we Must Support: Maajid Nawaz

Word of the day: Religionard

word-day.smI’m going to do a series on words and phrases. Some of these will be ones I made up, others will be borrowed. I’ll tell you which ones those are. First up, one of mine :-

Religionard

Now before we go any further, let’s make something clear: I don’t hate all religious people, in fact I’m very fond of quite a few of them, even though we will never agree about this. I do have serious issues with some religious people, though, and that’s why I need a new word, to differentiate between the nice people I know who happen also to be religious, and the nutjob fruitcake headbangers whom I would cheerfully strangle if only I were allowed to, in order to get them to shut the fuck up. And stop them trying to interfere in my life, or anyone else’s, because of their absurd delusions. Continue reading Word of the day: Religionard

Pursuing the Goddess

aset-isis
Aset or Isis, Egyptian Queen of Heaven

Since 2002 I have been researching into something that I felt more than anything else. Something was nagging me. At the time I lived, as I do now, in France, and the signs of Goddess-worship were all around me. Cathedrals were full of images of the Goddess, the art replete with them. I could see this but I couldn’t define it, I couldn’t understand what it meant.

When I returned to Scotland I was a very busy man for a long time, building a house and trying to make ends meet from my freelance work, and also my own mother became ill and died, so the research went on hold. But it was always there in the back of my mind, and as I travelled round Scotland, that epicentre of dry Presbyterianism, I saw again and again the unmistakable mark of the Goddess all over the architecture and in the symbolism.

The Goddess was the principal focus of my Masters’ Degree research and even though I came a long way, I didn’t reach the answer I sought. When I came back to France I began to write, but in April of 2012 I had to stop. I was getting too confused. Continue reading Pursuing the Goddess