This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Arab women protesters – not free, just figureheads

Arab women protesters – not free, just figureheads - Comments

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 1 by aquilacane

If these women really want to make their point. Strip naked, then march. The world will watch that and the slaughter to follow.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 14:54:14 UTC | #610788

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 2 by SomersetJohn

How many of these women would be beaten for indecency if they carried machine guns at all times?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 15:15:32 UTC | #610807

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 3 by Neodarwinian

So these people dress like this every day? A ramped up by modern technology 13th century demonstration. Sharia is certainly a solution, but so are many bad decisions in the world.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 18:41:52 UTC | #610895

green and dying's Avatar Comment 4 by green and dying

'Virginity tests' were inflicted by the army on those arrested.

Someone remind me which century this is.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 18:44:39 UTC | #610897

Geoff 21's Avatar Comment 5 by Geoff 21

I'm hoping these women's perceptions of themselves will have been improved and that, for those with cash, smartphones and the net will help. Maybe pandorasbox.org ?

Power to our sisters.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 18:50:29 UTC | #610900

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 6 by Vorlund

"Amnesty International called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate "virginity tests" inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square."

Unbelievable! Virginity is only prized by the twisted sick men who wish to possess it or destroy it.

You wouldn't credit people who do these things want their religious and cultural views to be respected in the 21st century!

Anyone for Sharia?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 20:08:48 UTC | #610939

AfraidToDie's Avatar Comment 7 by AfraidToDie

Sharia law. What is wrong with out governments to allow these idiots to immigrate? Those poor poor women are nothing more than slaves.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 20:11:33 UTC | #610943

Mee Peestevone's Avatar Comment 8 by Mee Peestevone

One would think this would help.

In Saudi Arabia, they have segregated places in public and in malls where women can "socialize" amongst themselves, but that can have risks. Some women will rat out another to their husband if something/someone might be perceived as subversive or simply because they don't like the person. I wouldn't doubt that the religious police have spies amongst them. These poor women aren't even safe amongst themselves.

It would be better than what they do now amongst themselves in segregated areas for women in malls and public places in Saudi Arabia.

Comment 5 by Geoff 21 :

I'm hoping these women's perceptions of themselves will have been improved and that, for those with cash, smartphones and the net will help. Maybe pandorasbox.org ?

Power to our sisters.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 20:24:30 UTC | #610947

Mee Peestevone's Avatar Comment 9 by Mee Peestevone

I often wonder how this can be and not in other Western nations.

The Muslim Canadian Congress was opposed to all religious tribunals that trespass the public domain including sharia law back in 2005. Also the Canadian Council of Muslim Women and the United Muslim Association have been vigorous in their opposition to any introduction of sharia into the Canadian justice system.

Is this because more liberal and progressive Muslims are more attracted to more progressive places like Canada?

Could the way of Canadian life and education have some influence on their beliefs?

Is it because the government doesn’t interfere much with what they teach in publicly funded Islamic schools?

Or is it just too damn cold a place for an extremist?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 20:40:01 UTC | #610956

Philoctetes                                        's Avatar Comment 10 by Philoctetes

It seems entirely inappropriate for democrats to demand that liberation be bestowed on moslem women. They have to seize their rights in the same way as British and other suffragettes did in the early 20th century. That meant sacrifice: loss of standing in their middle class community, loss of freedom through jail sentence, loss of dignity through forced feeding and loss of life under the hooves of the King's horse. Their cause would have been weakened not strengthened if (say) Russia or Germany or our colonial arab estates had incited them to action. But I am mindful that "suffrage" was about gaining the vote in a democratic system and that there are few democracies in the moslem world at the moment. But that could be changing and it might change for the better if western democratic leaders didn't perceive there were votes to be had in sabre-rattling speaches endorsing intervention to impose our democracy. By all means influence and educate but further steps are almost certainly counter-productive.

Lessons can be learned from the aftermath of WWI and the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The West tried to shape those middle eastern territories, mainly with bombs as practice for the new Air Force toys - the bomber, but left Turkey; the head, to reconstitute iself. The result was a long lasting democracy in Turkey and dictatorships in all the states formed with our "help" from its former empire.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 21:56:11 UTC | #610989

green and dying's Avatar Comment 11 by green and dying

Comment 10 by Philoctetes :

It seems entirely inappropriate for democrats to demand that liberation be bestowed on moslem women. They have to seize their rights in the same way as British and other suffragettes did in the early 20th century. That meant sacrifice: loss of standing in their middle class community, loss of freedom through jail sentence, loss of dignity through forced feeding and loss of life under the hooves of the King's horse.

What if that doesn't work?

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 22:25:00 UTC | #610998

El Bastardo's Avatar Comment 12 by El Bastardo

Comment 11 by green and dying :

Comment 10 by Philoctetes :

It seems entirely inappropriate for democrats to demand that liberation be bestowed on moslem women. They have to seize their rights in the same way as British and other suffragettes did in the early 20th century. That meant sacrifice: loss of standing in their middle class community, loss of freedom through jail sentence, loss of dignity through forced feeding and loss of life under the hooves of the King's horse.

What if that doesn't work?

You mean when that doesn't work. This is the worst thing about having "god" on your side, reason and rationale doesn't work. The suffragette movement was helped by reasonable men, and those who emphasized with the cause, this empathy will be greatly lacking in moslem males.

They do seem to be quite happy languishing in the 15th century, so long as it's the women doing most of the languishing

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 22:33:16 UTC | #611005

green and dying's Avatar Comment 13 by green and dying

Comment 12 by El Bastardo :

You mean when that doesn't work.

Yes.

Sat, 02 Apr 2011 22:46:12 UTC | #611011

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 14 by nancynancy

For me the most chilling aspect of the photo at the top of the page is year old infant girl wearing the same backward, head to toe covering as her mother and the other women. It saddens me to think of this tiny child being subject to the whims of her brainwashed father and mother -- the FGM, the superstitions, the narrow controlled life. It would be better not to be born at all than to have to live a life like that.

Sun, 03 Apr 2011 01:13:40 UTC | #611066

goddogit's Avatar Comment 15 by goddogit

Some of the comments here are alarming, frankly, especially those offering "advice".

I may be a free-thinking atheist, but these people are not my nor any reasoning person's allies, much less friends.

Sun, 03 Apr 2011 05:28:30 UTC | #611135

PERSON's Avatar Comment 16 by PERSON

Isn't this saying that all Muslims secretly think in the same way, even when their behaviour differs? That radicals in Islington are the same as indifferent greengrocers in Cairo? Seems a bit paranoid. Beware the International Muslim.

Sun, 03 Apr 2011 06:10:45 UTC | #611146

godsbelow's Avatar Comment 17 by godsbelow

Comment 16 by PERSON :

Isn't this saying that all Muslims secretly think in the same way, even when their behaviour differs? That radicals in Islington are the same as indifferent greengrocers in Cairo? Seems a bit paranoid. Beware the International Muslim.

But see this video (also by Think Africa Press) of the other protest outside the Libyan embassy, by self-professed secular muslims. I suspect the latter are actually Libyan expats, whereas the bearded misogynists, I would guess, are mostly "home-grown" fanatics.

Sun, 03 Apr 2011 07:16:51 UTC | #611159

lackofgravitas's Avatar Comment 18 by lackofgravitas

The whole concept of the burkha is as misunderstood as the r.c. nun's habit (and celibacy) or catholic priests dress (and also celibacy). All three were originally supposed to be a sign that the wearer had retired from secular life, engaging in contemplation as they neared the end of their own lives. With the exception of the priest who was a 'father' to his flock. Not sexist at all, as you can see.

Go back a century, or even half, and you will struggle to see any woman wearing a full burkha, even anything covering her face. Her hair, yes. This is a basic Abrahamic prohibition, but no less idiotic.

This is undeniably a pre-religious phenomenon. It has been adopted by some of the Abrahamists, not others. It then becomes a cultural item, badge of identity, in some circles. Then it becomes a weapon of fear and intolerance, perpetrated by those who thrive on fear and intolerance, but claim persecution. The religious.

In this 'particular' case, the religion is Islam. In many other cases, such as the widespread molestation of children by the despicable catholic church, the blame falls upon the 'man' who thinks he is infallible. Talk about wishful thinking.

The burkha, or the nun's habit, or the preist's big white dress are all based upon a common precept. Renounce worldly affiliations and do charitable works. Or get people to trust you so you can take advantage of them and, if you're lucky, molest their children.

Who can now say that any of these is of any worth in the 21st century. The burkha becomes a political statement, confused with religion by both left and right, but still political. The nun's habit is a rather pallid comparison, but nevertheless a comparison. Everything with these uniforms is black and white, like their mythology. And equally as dangerous.

All religions are anathema to free-thinking people, as they should be. Any rational person should shudder at the thought of pre-Enlightenment times. Unfortunately, we have to now contest with religious folks from both before and after the Enlightenment. Those who never knew it, and those who know, but don't care. Both of these are our enemies, the ignorant and the wilfully ignorant. Neither should be an excuse.

Sun, 03 Apr 2011 20:26:20 UTC | #611436

green and dying's Avatar Comment 19 by green and dying

Comment 18 by lackofgravitas :

The whole concept of the burkha is as misunderstood as the r.c. nun's habit (and celibacy) or catholic priests dress (and also celibacy). All three were originally supposed to be a sign that the wearer had retired from secular life, engaging in contemplation as they neared the end of their own lives. With the exception of the priest who was a 'father' to his flock. Not sexist at all, as you can see.

That's just not true.

The burkha becomes a political statement, confused with religion by both left and right, but still political.

Now the burkha has nothing to do with Islam? Seriously? Is there actually anything in the world (that isn't peace and kittens and rainbows) that we're allowed to attribute to Islam?

Sun, 03 Apr 2011 22:32:05 UTC | #611485

mtmoriah's Avatar Comment 20 by mtmoriah

"How many of these women would be beaten for indecency if they carried machine guns at all times?"

I very much like this idea. I propose this as the next great action undertaken by NBGA. Perhaps that is too extreme though.

Sun, 03 Apr 2011 23:13:03 UTC | #611518

kamiarzani's Avatar Comment 21 by kamiarzani

I come from a country like that. Iran Believe me when I say it's all, like Prof. Dawkins has repeatedly said, from lack of proper education; and also the fact that parents impose their religion on their kids. Most of these people are illiterate and even if they aren't, they don't even bother to read the quran which is by the way in Arabic and not really readable to non-Arabs. What the parents and the clerics say, is the ultimate authority. Only if they bothered reading that idiotic book thoroughly for themselves, we would be living in a much better world. Muslims are not even allowed to question the quran or the clerics.

Mon, 04 Apr 2011 14:14:07 UTC | #611710

Dagan's Avatar Comment 22 by Dagan

We actually have no freedom of speech. Of course if the government ever tried to silence political discourse then there would be total outrage, but it's nice to have a government that has the power to reflect the "common decency" and "common sense" of it's population, by telling some groups that they ought to shut up (eg: westboro baptist church) or that they cannot poison the minds of children with this genre of brainwashing.

Also it is just way to F****ing cold.

Comment 9 by Mee Peestevone :

I often wonder how this can be and not in other Western nations.

The Muslim Canadian Congress was opposed to all religious tribunals that trespass the public domain including sharia law back in 2005. Also the Canadian Council of Muslim Women and the United Muslim Association have been vigorous in their opposition to any introduction of sharia into the Canadian justice system.

Is this because more liberal and progressive Muslims are more attracted to more progressive places like Canada?

Could the way of Canadian life and education have some influence on their beliefs?

Is it because the government doesn’t interfere much with what they teach in publicly funded Islamic schools?

Or is it just too damn cold a place for an extremist?

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 03:04:10 UTC | #611899

Mee Peestevone's Avatar Comment 23 by Mee Peestevone

Freedom of speech for us is just something on a signed piece of paper with "exceptions". However, there is a lot to be said by a government's actions and attitudes especially when it recognizes and apologizes for past injustices or as you mentioned; reflects the attitudes of the electorates in regards to common sense and common decency, not irrational zealots and bigots.

Comment 22 by Dagan :

We actually have no freedom of speech. Of course if the government ever tried to silence political discourse then there would be total outrage, but it's nice to have a government that has the power to reflect the "common decency" and "common sense" of it's population, by telling some groups that they ought to shut up (eg: westboro baptist church) or that they cannot poison the minds of children with this genre of brainwashing.

Also it is just way to F****ing cold.

Comment 9 by Mee Peestevone :

I often wonder how this can be and not in other Western nations.

The Muslim Canadian Congress was opposed to all religious tribunals that trespass the public domain including sharia law back in 2005. Also the Canadian Council of Muslim Women and the United Muslim Association have been vigorous in their opposition to any introduction of sharia into the Canadian justice system.

Is this because more liberal and progressive Muslims are more attracted to more progressive places like Canada?

Could the way of Canadian life and education have some influence on their beliefs?

Is it because the government doesn’t interfere much with what they teach in publicly funded Islamic schools?

Or is it just too damn cold a place for an extremist?

Tue, 05 Apr 2011 06:43:06 UTC | #611930

highbrow's Avatar Comment 24 by highbrow

Give their children a proper education and shield them from their parents religions. Then let the parents and their ideas die out with time.

Wed, 06 Apr 2011 13:50:09 UTC | #612605

Odalrich's Avatar Comment 25 by Odalrich

I remember back in the sixties, Algerian women contributed with their struggle to the Algerian independence from France. Later, when their services were no longer needed, they were sent back home. Eastern Pakistani women hid in their homes independence activists and guerrillas, many were tortured and raped by the Pakistani army to get information. Later, when the new independent state of Bangladesh was formed, these women were severely criticized for having hidden men in their homes, and those who were raped were repudiated for being impure. I fear that something similar will happen to the revolutionary women of today’s Arab uprisings.

Tue, 17 May 2011 22:28:36 UTC | #627671