Some Items

Right. As promised, some further evidence. I’m just going to shove some things in here in a not particularly organized way, for now. I’ll do a more organized version later, for In Focus. This will be part of the rough draft.

There is this from the Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society for example:

I am talking here as a veteran women’s right activist, as a political activist that has defended freedom and equality, and has fought against a religious dictatorship i.e. the Islamic Republic of Iran. I am talking here as the first hand victim of religious suppression and tyranny. I am talking here as the first hand victim of political Islam…How many cases of honour killings are enough to say ‘stop’ to religion? How many beatings and actual house arrests of girls will be needed for us to say stop? How long and to what extent must girls be deprived of equal opportunities, of equal access to a joyful and happy life for us to put a halt in religion’s meddling with children’s lives, and women’s rights? We are duty bound to defend women and children from religion’s rule, from religion’s influence and from a mafia-like hierarchy – the mullahs, or the so-called religious leaders of the community, that profit from this situation.

That’s Azar Majedi’s view of the French ban on the hijab. And then there is this from No to Political Islam on human rights and Islam, and the difference between the UN Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights of 1981:

Many Islamists claim that the UDHR is an attempt to force western standards and ideals on to others who do not share them. But abuse of human rights cannot be excused by cultural relativism. If we believe that everyone has the right to life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness then we must oppose any system that seeks to deny those rights to others. To accept religion, culture or tradition as a justification for human rights abuses is to discriminate against the abused and to send the message that the victims are undeserving of humane consideration.

And there is this from Ibn Warraq’s Why I Am Not a Muslim page 176-177:

It is clear that Islamic militants are quite aware of the incompatibility of Islam and the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights, for these militants met in Paris in 1981 to draw up an Islamic Declaration of Human Rights that left out all freedoms that contradicted Islamic law. Even more worrisome is the fact that under presure from Muslim countries in November 1981, the United Nations Declaration on the elimination of religious discrimination was revised, and references to the right “to adopt” (Article 18) and therefore, to “change” one’s religion were deleted, and only the right to “have” a religion was retained.

Only the right to have a religion – not the right to refuse to have one. Here is item e. from Article 12 of the Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, with bracketed annotation by No to Political Islam:

No one shall hold in contempt or ridicule the religious beliefs of others or incite public hostility against them. [To criticise verbally or in writing any aspect of the Law shall be deemed to be inciting public hostility to the religious beliefs of others.] Respect for the religious feelings of others is obligatory on all Muslims.

So non-theism is not an option. So is this ‘free’ choice that we’re always being told Muslim girls make to wear the hijab – really a free choice? When the religion itself is not optional? I can’t help having my doubts.

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