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Escape or betrayal. - Comments

gcdavis's Avatar Comment 1 by gcdavis

Western women too often remain in abusive or violent relationships so it is not religion per se that is the reason but the lack of self esteem that women who are oppressed by any means invariably feel. The solution is to offer women the means of establishing their personal self worth independent of a man, a family or a religion so that they can make decisions free of intimidation from any source.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 11:11:00 UTC | #206288

Naturalist1's Avatar Comment 2 by Naturalist1

This posting brings to mind Ayaan Hirsi Ali. All she has endured and all she has given up for her convictions. She has said in the past she can never contact her family again.
I so admire her courage.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 11:20:00 UTC | #206300

radiohead's Avatar Comment 3 by radiohead

Hmmmmmm I don't like the tone of this article. It seems to me to be a masterpiece of politically correct obfuscation. If this happened in a secular white community there would be howls of protest, front page condemnations and politicians falling over themselves to scorn it. But white guilt has stopped us--well most of us from criticising this institutional and divinely sanctioned misogyny.

The author does raise some interesting points about the emotional blackmail prevalent in it and how their families can suffer if they (the young women) decided to seek their freedom from being sexual livestock.

The fact that this is so is even more reason we must destroy Islam as a supposed valid and ethical belief system in the 21st century.


Best and be well.

Michael Faulkner.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 12:06:00 UTC | #206367

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 4 by rod-the-farmer

For several years now I have suggested one small way we in the west can individually contribute to changing this situation. Many of us have heard of the so-called "green" investment funds. These purport to invest your savings only in those companies which are environmentally sensitive, and practice this sort of thing in whatever industrial processes they use to run their businesses. I suggest now is the time for a "gender equality" fund. Monies sent to whoever operates it will only be invested in organisations and countries where gender equality is the norm. Those countries who do not offer women equal access to education, to travel, to clothing, jobs etc. will find the managers of this fund will tell them

"Sorry, our members do not support your policies re gender equality. Under our rules we are forbidden to invest money in your country."

This works at a secondary level as well. Company A may indeed be gender neutral. But if they OPERATE in a non-neutral country, the fund manager would say the same thing.

"Sorry, our members do not support that regime due to their inequality of sexes. We can't invest our money in your COMPANY because you have offices there, AND sexual equality is not present in those offices."

Those countries who want our investments, would have to start changing their policies re sexual equality. No one is forced to, as these are sovereign states. Who knows, it may even become a badge of honour, to be able to say (in addition to ISO9001, for example) that your company/country is on the gender equality "approved" list.

I suspect a great many women would direct their investments to such a fund, and maybe many men. A simple rationale for doing so is that with only 50% of the population participating fully in society, they would seem to be less efficient than a country with women playing a full role. Anyone with any familiarity with the female of the species knows full well they bring a different insight to problem solving. And in the west, it has become obvious that women control a growing piece of the financial pie, both as single women and in a marriage.

Are there any fund managers on this site, who could set up such a scheme ? I would contact my financial advisor if one were to become available.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 12:21:00 UTC | #206390

fizhburn's Avatar Comment 5 by fizhburn

It would be interesting to see where the specifics of Islam come apart from institutionalized misogyny in majority-muslim cultures, and where they don't. Surely someone knows where this research is even now being carried out?

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 12:25:00 UTC | #206392

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 6 by Border Collie

This is not just an (middle) Eastern issue. There are millions of American women (and men) in horrible, abusive, life-threatening relationships which they are afraid to leave because of social/cultural, religious, financial, family, whatever pressure ... Why don't they just leave? Fear.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 12:49:00 UTC | #206405

amalthea's Avatar Comment 7 by amalthea

Rod. Erudite as ever. Definitely a long term solution, but I have a friend who's sister may be stoned to death because she was raped by a cousin. Yep, I know, it's harsh, and all I can see is that religion (chooose a name) is just control, mostly by men, mostly to control other men, but especially women.

So, for these women, what is the way out? There won't be a sexual revolution in Iran anytime soon. The 'West' won't agree not to buy oil or embargo these countries, so what is the answer?

We have the luxury of the internet, we watch Ayaan Hirsi Ali and admire her courage. But there are thousands, if not millions, of women who have no way to see that they are not the only ones in this predicament.

The only real path is to completely and utterly destroy faith in religion, to make it acceptable for a child to go to school and not be preached at, To make it practically illegal to indoctrinate children, and ro make door-to-door preaching a crime.

Sorry if I sound a little bitter, but my friend's sister may be dead soon, just becasue a 'man' couldn't keep it in his pants. So much for civilisation.

A

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 13:22:00 UTC | #206436

theantitheist's Avatar Comment 8 by theantitheist

Very enlightening article in my opinion.

Amalthea, Words can't be found for the situation, hope things work out for the best.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 13:55:00 UTC | #206478

ibelson's Avatar Comment 9 by ibelson

Islam is obviously not the only religion wherein emotional blackmail is used to keep people within the true faith. Most dogmatic or fundamentalist religions will threaten social isolation from freinds and family if a person begins to stray from its rigid rules. In Orthodox Judaism for instance social ostracizing an errant family or community member who might consider nonwork related social fraternizing with a nonJew is routinely practiced. The whole concept of Kosher is for the purpose of building a "fence around the Torah, the individual and the Jewish community. It is probably one of the elements responsible for Judaim's long survival but has also had a devistating effect on emotonal lives of many individuals. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and emotional strength to break away from your social support network and strike out often totally on your own. That is why nonreligious social and financial networks such as Rod is suggesting are so critically important.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 15:08:00 UTC | #206539

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 10 by kaiserkriss

Farmer, While I think the sentiment of your argument is good, the reality is, it won't work that way.

I would much rather invest in a company that has a policy of providing free education to women for example in a Muslim country. Work the system from the inside until the stupidity of the current situation is realized. Women are potential mothers, educated women will put up less with fuundies clap trap, and educate their sons accordingly. It might take a couple of generations, but eventually, this approach will work. jcw

PS I am about to put MY money where my mouth is on this issue.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 16:22:00 UTC | #206582

Godfree Gordon's Avatar Comment 11 by Godfree Gordon

Border Collie and iblesen

The more I read the more I understand that these systems of mysogyny pre-date Islam/Judaism/Christianity. (For some good reads try also Elephant Walk and The Bookseller of Kabul as well of course as Ayaan Hirsi Ali). But as always, the opportunist religions will adopt any control system to suit their means and ends.

The Koraniacs therefore are just doing as the Mor(m)ons do and the Jews do.

For us middle aged white folk its like trying to understand the horrors of the Great Wars never having been in one, or lived through their consequences. We can easily say "just leave".

Try leaving Earth, and living on the Moon.

Lets take Rods lead and come up with some strategies to help.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 16:46:00 UTC | #206599

NakedCelt's Avatar Comment 12 by NakedCelt

Are you getting this, Fanusi? This is point #13 from our little exchange.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 17:36:00 UTC | #206637

funflower's Avatar Comment 13 by funflower

Enlightenment comes to a society through education. Since the internet is the beset educational tool I can think of, my personal favorite idea for a charitable effort that would help bring enlightenment to primitive societies and subcultures, is a nonprofit that would fund translation of internet sites (such as this one)into Arabic and other languages that can be read by people in especially oppressive cultures.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 18:43:00 UTC | #206673

Black-Mamba's Avatar Comment 14 by Black-Mamba

I'm sick of these lies but lying scumbag media hungry anti islamists.

Women have much more rights in islam today than they ever had. They can leave whenever they want. I'm tired of people only focusing on the beliefs of the radicals. The majority of muslim people do not find the behavior of radicals acceptable. You just want to fit it in your own little box so that you have an excuse to be atheist or whatever other religion you follow.

I find it amusing how people who aren't in a religion think they know it all.

Stop focusing on the bad in islam and start focusing on yourselves. Get your own lives together, you godless blasphemic heathens.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 20:11:00 UTC | #206726

dlitt's Avatar Comment 15 by dlitt

If this article were in a Canadian publication it would incur the wrath of our Human Rights Council.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 20:56:00 UTC | #206772

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 16 by Enlightenme..

14. Comment #218021 by Black-Mamba on July 24, 2008

"I'm sick of these lies but lying scumbag media hungry anti islamists"

Follow the link to the article, you dolt.
Then you can follow the further link in the first sentence of her article (if you can bear to read it)

Nesrine Malik is not an 'anti islamist'.
The previous article by her for the grauniad was;

Jul 14 2008: Nesrine Malik: We certainly need more freedom to question our faith without being accused of rejecting it ..

Oh, and by the way, we do not need "an excuse" to be "godless blasphemic heathens".
:)

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 23:07:00 UTC | #206830

epeeist's Avatar Comment 17 by epeeist

Comment #218149 by Enlightenme..

Oh, and by the way, we do not need "an excuse" to be "godless blasphemic heathens".
Isn't a little difficult to blaspheme if we are godless any way.

Thu, 24 Jul 2008 23:42:00 UTC | #206831

Paul42's Avatar Comment 18 by Paul42

Comment by "black-mamba...

"Moderate" Muslims do not exist.
"Moderate" Christians do not exist.

Either you follow your "holy" book and the rules of your "holy" men to the letter or not... If not, then you are not a part of that religion.

ALL religion is false, harmful and MUST be stopped.
No apologies, no concessions.

Your argument is just the old and very tired "that's not MY Islam they're talking about"

Women can be trapped in abusive relationships in any culture... But when men can invoke a "divine" rationale for the abuse, such as fear of hell, surely this is far worse.

The key to killing religious belief is freeing children and women from indoctrination.

Sounds easy when you say it quickly...

Love.

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 00:04:00 UTC | #206837

Enlightenme..'s Avatar Comment 19 by Enlightenme..

^^ Oh, please don't be a spoilsport!, can we still be heathens?

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 00:05:00 UTC | #206839

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 20 by DamnDirtyApe

14. Comment #218021 by Black-Mamba on July 24, 2008 at 9:11 pm

I will stop thinking poorly of religion when people who identify themselves as religious stop doing awful things in the name of religion, and stop using their religious organisations to cover their own tracks when they do something grossly unethical.

Good luck with that.

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 00:11:00 UTC | #206840

PJG's Avatar Comment 21 by PJG

I find it amusing how people who aren't in a religion think they know it all.


Interesting. My experience of the non-religious is that they are the quickest to acknowledge that, not only do they most certainly not "know it all", but they accept that they cannot know it all. What they do not do is fill in the gaps with magic.

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 00:32:00 UTC | #206845

LaTomate's Avatar Comment 22 by LaTomate

It is a pretty well known fact that many women who suffer from domestic abuse, be they Muslim or not, have a very difficult time severing their bond with the abuser. It is very hard to help them get out of their situation as well.

One of my good friends who suffered for years (her daughters also got beaten sometimes) is divorcing and is now fighting back. She is not a Muslim at all, rather a "secular catholic". I wish her all the best.

What is sure though is that in the Muslim world it is a lot harder to get out of the situation, since most Sharia courts would grant custody of the children to the abusive father.

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 00:48:00 UTC | #206851

Communist's Avatar Comment 23 by Communist

Black-Mamba wrote:

I'm sick of these lies but lying scumbag media hungry anti islamists.

Women have much more rights in islam today than they ever had. They can leave whenever they want. I'm tired of people only focusing on the beliefs of the radicals. The majority of muslim people do not find the behavior of radicals acceptable. You just want to fit it in your own little box so that you have an excuse to be atheist or whatever other religion you follow.

I find it amusing how people who aren't in a religion think they know it all.

Stop focusing on the bad in islam and start focusing on yourselves. Get your own lives together, you godless blasphemic heathens.


This response is so typical and tiresome. I propose what I like to call the Aleister Crowley test. The Aleister Crowley test goes as follows: Take any point of view that religious or culturally intensive people have, and then imagine that a secular spokesperson og movement expressed that same point of view, and imagine the public reaction.

Black-Mamba claims that women in islam can leave whenever they want. The fact is that even moderate islamic scholars think that it is too easy for women to get a divorce in secular sosieties. And the lack of academic progress, the lack of gay liberation and the lack of good female athletes in the islamic world as well as in muslim communities show that it's not just a problem among a small number of 'radicals' (who ought to be called reactionaries instead).

And does Black-Mamba really think I need an excuse to be atheist? Then what is his/hers excuse for being a muslim?

I don't think I 'know it all' about islam. I don't think I know everything about the ancient religion of my viking forefathers either. I nevertheless haven't seen anything that has impressed me so far, and Allah is for me is exactly as probable as a real entity in the universe as Thor with his hammer is.

And the last sentence in Black-mamba's post is just an evasive move. Secular people (and marxists in particular) are in general much more capable of self criticism than religious people are.

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 02:06:00 UTC | #206858

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 24 by hungarianelephant

Maybe I'm missing something, but what does this have to do with Islam? Forced marriage, culture of "dishonour" etc. are aspects of a stupid, backward cultural construct, not a stupid, backward religious construct.

If we wanted to talk about the political fudging of these issues, including by the writer, I could see the point.

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 02:15:00 UTC | #206860

Duff's Avatar Comment 25 by Duff

Black Mamba,
Another "its not my religion you're talking about" response. If your religion weren't so dangerous, you would be rib-cracking, bloody hilarious!

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 02:20:00 UTC | #206861

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 26 by DamnDirtyApe

Well, Honour killings are probably more cultural than explicitly religious (edit - although it IS in holy books of the big 3 religions), same with FGM. But I have heard of cases where the two really blur.

You can attribute bad culture as maybe even a more overbearing issue than religious denomination. Religion isn't really much of a threat when the culture instigating it doesn't take it literally. Tradition is fine if its benign (hey i did a rhyme).

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 02:26:00 UTC | #206863

Ygern's Avatar Comment 27 by Ygern

Comment #218151 by epeeist

Isn't a little difficult to blaspheme if we are godless any way.


Only if you insist on being rational about it :)

Blasphemy is in the eye of the beholder.

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 02:46:00 UTC | #206866

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 28 by irate_atheist

14. Comment #218021 by Black-Mamba -

I find it amusing how people who aren't are in a religion think they know it all.

- That the universe was 'created'

- That it was created by an omnipotent creature (unevolved).

- That this creature intervenes in the minutiae of that Universe.

- That the thoughts and opinions of this creature are documented in a book cobbled together from the writings of ignorant, superstious, uneducated animal-sacrifing primitives between 1500 and 3000 years ago (depending on the book)

- That believing the above should be afforded any respect whatsoever in an age when we have:
a) Walked on the moon.
b) Split the atom
c) and can pinpoint devices to within a few metres anywhere on the surface of the Earth using - you guessed it - scientific principles including Einsteins Theory of Relativity.

Want to try playing a 'spot the fucktard game'?

Yep, that's right, well spotted. You are the fucktard.

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 02:49:00 UTC | #206867

Christopher Davis's Avatar Comment 29 by Christopher Davis

Black Mamba,

I'm currently in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. Can you please send me the names and addresses of these liberated Muslim women that you speak of. So far the only one's I have seen are either herding goats or hauling enormous bundles of shit on their heads while the men sit and pick their asses.

I am over here working to improve the quality of life for the Pashtun people, but as I am not "inside the religion" I am sure there is something I am missing. Your help would be greatly appreciated, as I hope to quickly aid these egalitarian peace-lovers so I can go home.

Sincerely,
Christopher Davis

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 03:00:00 UTC | #206870

epeeist's Avatar Comment 30 by epeeist

Comment #218189 by irate_atheist


and can pinpoint devices to within a few metres anywhere on the surface of the Earth using - you guessed it - scientific principles including Einsteins Theory of Relativity.
If you look at differential GPS you get even better accuracy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_GPS#Accuracy

And of course, Quantum Field Theory, one of the great physical theories of the 20th century, gives even better accuracy, using Feyman's analogy it is like "measuring the distance between New York and Los Angeles to the width of a human hair."

Fri, 25 Jul 2008 03:00:00 UTC | #206871