Sunday, May 21, 2017

SIGNS OF REVELATION 12???

IF  YOU  ARE  WATCHING  SOME  OF  THE  FUNDAMENTAL  PROPHETS  ON  YOUTUBE  ETC.  YOU  WILL  SEE,  THERE  IS  HUGE  TALK  ABOUT  THE  FIRST  VERSES  OF  REVELATION  12.....CONNECTED  WITH  SEPTEMBER  23.

YOU  CAN  SEE  HOW  THEY  INTERPRET THE  FIST  PASSAGES  OF  REV. 12.

YOU  CAN  SEE  THEM  TRY  AND  USE  THE  STARS  AND  PLANETS  TO  JIVE  WITH  REV. 12.

YOU  CAN  SEE  THE  "CHARTS"  SOME  PUT  OUT  TRYING  TO  CONNECT  ALL  WHAT  THEY  SEE,  READING  REV.  12  AND  HOW  THESE  HEAVENLY  SIGNS  THEY  GIVE,  AND  CONNECT  IT  ALL  WITH  SEPTEMBER  23  2017.

THE  FUNDAMENTAL  PROPHETS  IT  SEEMS,  JUST  HAVE  TO  FIGURE  SOMETHING  NEW  EACH  YEAR,  TO  LATCH  ON  TO  ANOTHER  IDEA,  BECAUSE  THEIR  2016,  2015,  2014  AND  ON  BACK..... YES  EVEN  BACK  INTO  THE  1980s  DECADE,  ALL  FAILED.

THEIR  TEACHING  OF  REVELATION  12  IS  THE  NEW  TEACHING  FOR  2017.

I  TELL  YOU  THIS  NEW  TEACHING  IS  A  HUGE  5  GALLON  DRUM,  OF  GOODIDY-POODIDY-PIGGY-MUDY  SLOP!!

THESE  FUNDAMENTAL  PROPHETS  ARE  ABOUT  AS  DUMB  AS  YOU  CAN  GET  IN  UNDERSTANDING  BIBLE  PROPHECY!

THEY  JUST  DO  NOT  HAVE  A  CLUE  WHAT  THEY  ARE  TALKING  ABOUT!

SEPTEMBER  23 [TWO  DAYS  AFTER  THE  FEAST  OF  TRUMPETS]  WILL  COME  AND  GO  LIKE  OTHER  DAYS  -  UNEVENTFUL!

THE  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH  WILL  STILL  BE  ON  EARTH;  THE  "SECRET"  RAPTURE  WILL  NOT  TAKE  PLACE.  HOWEVER  THE  STARS  AND  PLANETS  LINE  UP  WILL  MEAN  NOTHING - A HUGE  FAT  NOTHING!

THE  BEGINNING  OF  THE  LAST  END  TIME  GREAT  TRIBULATION,  WILL  NOT  START  ON  SEPTEMBER  23.  THAT  EVENT  WILL  NOT  START  IN  2017  PERIOD!

YOU  HAVE  BEEN  TOLD  WHAT  WILL  NOT  HAPPEN  ON  SEPTEMBER  23.

MARK  IT  ON  YOUR  CALENDAR.  NO  SECRET  RAPTURE.

ALL  I  HAVE  LISTEND  TO  ON  THIS  PROPHECY,  HAVE  NOT  A  CLUE  WHAT  THEY  ARE  TALKING  ABOUT.....BLIND  LEADERS  OF  THE  BLIND  AND  ALL  WILL  FALL  INTO  THE  DITCH!

THE  FIRST  VERSES  OF  REVELATION  12 HAVE  NOTHING  TO  DO  WITH  ANY  PLANETS  AND/OR  STARS  OUT  THERE  THAT  WILL  LINE  UP  A  CERTAIN  WAY  ON  OR  NEAR  SEPTEMBER  23  2017.

THE  ONLY  THING  SIGNIFICANT  ABOUT  THIS  COMING  SEPTEMBER  APART  FROM  GOD'S  FEASTS,  IS...... I  AM  75  ON SEPTEMBER  11.

THE  BOOK  OF  REVELATION  IS  EXPOUNDED  FOR  YOU  ON  MY  WEBSITE  UNDER  "THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  BIBLE  STOREY."
.......... 


Saturday, May 20, 2017

TRUMP COZING UP TO ISLAM NATIONS!

PRESIDENT  DONALD  TRUMP  OF  THE  USA  IS  OFF  TO  SEE  OTHER  LEADERS  OF  OTHER  NATIONS,  AS  OF  MAY  20TH.

HE  WILL  COZY  UP  TO  SAUDI  ARABIA  AND  OTHER  MUSLIM  NATIONS!

HE  REALLY  SHOULD  HAVE  NOTHING  TO  DO  WITH  THEM;  THE  USA  SHOULD  HAVE  NOTHING  TO  DO  WITH THEM!

IF  TRUMP  AND  OTHER [MAYBE  ALL]  REPUBLICAN  AND  DEMOCRATIC  POLITICIANS,  WOULD  READ  ALL  THE  BOOKS  BY  THE  ONE  TIME  ISLAM  GAL  CALLED  AYAAN  HIRSI  ALI [BORN  AND  RAISED  MUSLIM],  MAYBE  THEY  WOULD  ALL  DISTANCE  THEMSELVES  FROM  ISLAMIC  NATIONS.

THE  ISLAMIC  RELIGION  IS  A  CULT  THAT  FOLLOWS  THE  CRAZY  RANTINGS  AND  DISGUSTING  TEACHINGS  OF  THE  KORAN.  AND  YES  I  HAVE  READ  THE  KORAN.

ISLAM  IS  DEMONIC  IN  ITS  TEACHINGS  TOWARDS  THE  FEMALE  SEX.

IT  IS  THE  ANTITHESIS  TO  THE  CHRISTIAN  GOSPEL.

TRUMP  IS  OUTWARDLY  AT  LEAST,  TRYING  TO  SAY  TO  THE  AMERICAN  PEOPLE,  THAT  HE  BELIEVES  IN  GOD  AND  THE  CHRISTIAN  RELIGION.  IF  THAT  WAS  REALLY  TRUE,  AND  IF  HE  WAS  REALLY  EDUCATED  IN  THE  ISLAM  RELIGION,  HE  WOULD  WANT  THE  NATION  OF  AMERICA  TO  HAVE  NOTHING  TO  DO  WITH  ISLAMIC  NATIONS;  IT  FACT  HE  WOULD  CALL  THEM  OUT,  ON  THEIR  FALSE TEACHINGS,  ESPECIALLY  TOWARDS  GIRLS  AND  WOMEN.   

I  CALL  ALL  LEADERS  OF  THE  WESTERN  WORLD  TO  READ  THE  BOOKS  BY  AYAAN  HIRSI  ALI,  AND  GET EDUCATED  ON  THE  RELIGION  OF  ISLAM.
..........


MY WEBSITE IS DOWN - MAY 20

THE  SERVER  I  HAVE  BEEN  WITH  FOR MANY  YEARS,  IS  PRESENTLY  DOWN.

THIS  IS  NOW  TWO  WEEKS,  BUT  THEY ARE  A  HUGE  SERVER.

THEY  OBVIOUSLY  ARE  DOING  THINGS TO  THEIR  MACHINES  ETC.  THAT  IS  A  LARGE  MAINTENANCE.

WITH  CYBER  "HOLD-UP  ATTACKS"  AS THE  WORLD  WENT  THROUGH  A  WEEK  AGO,  MIDDLE  OF  MAY,  IT  WOULD  BE  VERY  IMPORTANT  FOR  A  LARGE  WEB  HOSTING  SERVER,  TO  HAVE  THINGS  IN  PLACE  TO  PREVENT  A  HOLD-UP.

PLEASE  PRAY  FOR  THE  SAFETY  OF  MY  WEBSITE  AND  THE  SERVER  I'M  ON.

CLIMATE CHANGE !!!!!

YOU  NEED  TO  GO  TO  SAY  YOUTUBE  AND  OR  NATIONAL  GEOGRAPHIC

AND  WATCH  THE  DOCUMENTARY  CALLED......

BEFORE  THE  FLOOD

GET  THE  WORLD  VIEW  NOT  JUST  SOME  NUTTY  PROPAGANDA  GUYS
WHO  TRY  TO  DENY  IT,  SO  BIG  INDUSTRY  PEOPLE  CAN  CONTINUE  TO FILL  THEIR  BANKS,  AND  PEOPLE  LIKE  THE  POLITICAL  KOCH  BROTHERS  CAN  MARCH  ALONG  TO  DO  AWAY  WITH  GOVERNMENT  COMPLETELY.

DO  YOURSELF  ANOTHER  FAVOR:  READ  THE  BOOK  DARK  MONEY  BY  JANE  MAYER,  AND  UNDERSTAND  A  SIDE  OF  USA  POLITICAL  MOVEMENTS  -  THIS  BOOK  WILL  BLOW  YOU  AWAY,  AND  REVEAL  TO  YOU  DARK  POLITICAL  PEOPLE  LIKE  THE  KOCH  BROTHERS  AND  HOW  THEY  INFLUENCE  PEOPLE,  FOR  THEIR  AGENDA  TO  DO  AWAY  WITH  GOVERNMENT  ALTOGETHER.
..........


Thursday, May 18, 2017

ISLAM NEEDS SELF-REFLECTION

From  the  book  “A  CAGED  VIRGIN”  by  Ayaan  Hirsi  Ali

All  black  lettering  and  capitals  are  mine  -  Keith Hunt


The Need for Self-Reflection Within Islam


[This is Ayaan's answer to a critical reaction to Submission: Part I, that was published in De Volkskrant.]


My parents brought me up with the idea that Islam is the most beautiful way of life—morally, socially, and spiritually. Years later I realized that there are ugly blemishes that spoil the beauty of Islam. These imperfections, however, are invisible to those who share my parents' religious convictions and who justify the wrongs of Islam by repeating over and over that it is not that the religion is at fault, but the faithful who have made a mess of things.

Islamic morality demands that the individual subject himself completely to the will of Allah through the Shari'a, the code of law derived from the Koran, and to the religious community. 

The Muslim as an individual can do nothing individually: he even has to sit, eat, sleep, and travel according to strict rules; he cannot freely choose his own friends and is expected to have (and avoid) certain thoughts and feelings. Anything that has not been covered by Allah and His Prophet becomes the domain of the religious community, which comprises the immediate family to the worldwide Muslim community For example: if a Moroccan Muslim were to behave improperly after a few beers, it would be fine for a person from, say, Sudan or Afghanistan to call him to order—in the absence of other Moroccans—for no other reason than that this bystander happened to be a fellow Muslim.

Nowhere is the denial of Muslim individuality felt more strongly than in the relationship between the sexes. 

Islamic sexual morality places a heavy emphasis on chastity. Sex is only allowed in a marital context. In practice this puts more of a restriction on women than on men. It is all right for men, for example, to marry four wives, but not the other way around. The position of Muslim women, compared to that of many of their non-Islamic sisters, is, frankly, bad— they are powerless, subjugated, unequal.

THE  CHRISTIAN  BIBLE  ALSO  TEACHES  THAT  SEXUAL  INTERCOURSE  IS  FOR  MARRIAGE  AND  NOT  BEFORE.  THE  CHRISTIAN  BIBLE  ALLOWED  POLYGAMY [MORE  THAN  ONE  WIFE]  IN  THE  OLD  TESTAMENT  AGE;  IT  DOES  NOT  ALLOW  POLYGAMY  UNDER  ITS  NEW  TESTAMENT  [A  FULL  INDEPTH  STUDY  ON  THIS  QUESTION  CAN  BE  FOUND  ON  THIS  WEBSITE]  -  Keith Hunt

Like the rest of the world, however, Muslims take advantage of modern scientific progress. Those who can afford to do so make extensive use of technological developments, such as cars and airplanes. They live in modern buildings and work with machines and computers. However, the moral framework of Islam, unlike that of Christianity and Judaism, has not changed with the times. Every Muslim, from the beginnings of Islam to the present day, is raised in the belief that all knowledge can be found in the Koran, that it is wrong to ask critical questions, and that every Muslim (even in 2004 as Ayaan wrote) should strive to imitate the life of Islam's founder Muhammad. In practice, of course, few manage to organize their lives in perfect agreement with the principles of the seventh-century prophet.

As a result of this restrictive upbringing, basic human curiosity in Muslims has been seriously curtailed. Any new step a Muslim dares to take will be rejected by the rest of the community on the grounds that it is unfamiliar and not in line with the Koran. Islam is a static faith.

After the events of 9/11, people who deny this characterization of the stagnant state of Islam were challenged by critical outsiders to name a single Muslim who had made a discovery in science or technology, or changed the world through artistic achievement. There is none. 

In a community of over 1.2 billion faithful, knowledge, progress, and prosperity are not primary aspirations. Poverty, violence, and decline are widespread. To reverse this situation, we need to change the moral framework of Muslim upbringing.

It is in the interests of Muslims themselves to open a critical discussion about Islam, but it is also crucial to the rest of the world. 

Almost all current political conflicts involve Muslims. The majority of Muslims live in dire circumstances: starvation, disease, overpopulation, and unemployment are widespread. In their native countries, Muslims are the victims of oppressive regimes, which are usually based on the Shari'a. Most Muslims have no access to any education of reasonable quality; many are illiterate. It can no longer be denied that Muslims themselves are often (without meaning to) responsible for this misery. 

A thorough analysis of Islam and the amendment of a great many Islamic dogmas, which presently keep the faithful trapped in a cycle of violence and poverty, would give Muslims the chance to end individual oppression and to achieve a sexual morality in which men, women, and homosexuals are treated as equals.

THE  READER  SHOULD  NOTE  THAT  AYAAN  ALI  IS  AN  ADMITTED  ATHEIST,  SO  BEING  TREATED  EQUAL  IN  HER  MIND  WOULD  NOT  BE  EXACTLY  THE  SAME  AS  IN  THE  MIND  OF  A  CHRISTIAN.  LET  ME  EXPLAIN.  IN  OUR  EVERY  DAY  LIFE,  MEETING  PEOPLE,  TALKING  TO  PEOPLE,  WORKING  WITH  PEOPLE,  MOST  OF  THE  TIME,  WE  CHRISTIANS  WOULD  NOT  KNOW [UNLESS  THEY  FREELY  TELL  US]  THAT  THEY  ARE  PRACTICING  “GAY” PEOPLE,  OR  IN  A  SAME  SEX  UNION OR  MARRIAGE. THE  APOSTLE  PAUL  SAID,  “AS  MUCH  AS  LIES  IN  YOU,  LIVE  PEACEABLY  WITH  ALL  MEN.”  WE  CHRISTIANS  IN  OUR  DAILY  LIFE  SHOULD  BE  TREATING  ALL  PEOPLE  ALIKE,  WITH  FRIENDLINESS,  POLITENESS,  KINDNESS,  AND  LOVE.  WITHIN  THE  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH  THERE  ARE  BASIC  STANDARDS,  AND  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  CHURCH  DOES  HAVE  A  “DISFELLOWSHIPPING  DOCTRINE” [WHICH  I’VE  ALSO  WRITTEN  ABOUT  IN  AN  INDEPTH  ARTICLE  THIS  WEBSITE  UNDER  “CHURCH  GOVERNMENT”].  CAN  THE  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH  ALLOW  SAY  A  PERSON  IN  ITS  FELLOWSHIP,  WHO  USES  FOUL  LANGUAGE,  AND  PROFANITY  IN  THEIR  TALKING,  AS  IF  “WELL  THIS  IS  NOTHING  REALLY,  IT’S  JUST  A  WAY  OF  TALKING  TODAY,  YOU  HEAR  IT  ALL  THE  TIME.”  I  DO  NOT  THINK  A  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH  CAN  ALLOW  THAT,  IT’S  BREAKING  A  COMMANDMENT  OF  GOD,  IT  IS  SIN!  THE  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH  HAS  THE  RIGHT  TO  KNOW  WHAT  GOD  CALLS  SIN.  HE  HAS  REVEALED  IT  IN  THE  CHRISTIAN  BIBLE.  PRACTICING  HOMOSEXUALS  AND  LESBIANS,  SAME  SEX  MARRIAGE  PEOPLE,  ARE  PRACTICING  SIN.  SUCH  OPEN  SINS  CANNOT  BE  ALLOWED  IN  THE  CHRISTIAN  CHURCH  FELLOWSHIP.  IN  THE  “CHRISTIAN  CHURCH”  CONTEXT,  THERE  IS  A  CONTEXT  WHERE  PEOPLE  PRACTICING  CERTAIN  THINGS  CANNOT  BE  TREATED  AS  EQUALS  IN  CHRISTIAN  FELLOWSHIP.  I  THINK  THE  WAY  AYAAN  ALI  USES  “TREATED  AS  EQUALS”  IS  IN  THE  CONTEXT  OF  THE  GENERAL  WORLD,  THE  ATHEISTIC  WORLD,  BUT  IT  IS  TRUE  THAT  SOME  CHRISTIANS,  AND  SOME  CHRISTIAN  ORGANIZATIONS  DO  ACCEPT  ALL  PEOPLE  IN  THEIR  FELLOWSHIP  REGARDLESS  OF  THEIR  LIFE-STYLE  -  Keith Hunt

This critical appreciation will have to come from within, from the very people who were raised in the Islamic tradition but who were not blinded to the flaws that undermine the beauty of their culture—people who have had a decent education and the chance to meet people outside the Muslim community. These people have pursued their individual happiness and know how difficult it is to combine being a good Muslim with following the human inner need for freedom. They live in free countries and can openly declare their views without immediately feeling their lives are in danger. Nonetheless, these critics of Islam will have to understand that a culture that dates back many centuries and has never been through a period of self-reflection is not going to welcome their insights. They will be regarded, as other dissenters have been, as traitors and deserters who foul their own nests.

How exactly should this Muslim self-reflection be expressed? I believe that every form of self-expression should be allowed, except for physical and verbal abuse. 

Use words (novels, nonfiction, poetry, cartoons), images (film, animations, paintings, and other art forms), and sound. Submission: Part 1 the short film I made with Theo van Gogh, expresses my aspiration to question the morality central to my upbringing. 

I do not aim to transform Muslims into atheists, but I do want to expose the blemishes of the culture, particularly its cruel treatment of women. 

I have observed firsthand the undeniable connection between the rules of the Koran, which state that a disobedient wife should be beaten, and the violent practice of wife beating. The account of this practice is in the hadiths (sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad), and violent Muslim men quote from the Koran whenever anyone confronts them about their behavior in everyday life. Even the victims of physical abuse themselves cite the Koran to justify the violent actions of the men, and often return to their husbands, promising they will be more obedient and improve their behavior in the future. So, on top of their physical suffering, these victims are so brainwashed that they "willingly" subject themselves to the very doctrine that is at the root of their deplorable circumstances.

When Submission: Part I was shown as part of the television series Zomergasten [Summer Guests] it sparked many critical reactions. 

Many people were pleased to see the oppression of Muslim women confronted, although they questioned the effectiveness of the strategy I had chosen. 

One group, which includes the Amsterdam historian Lucassen, thinks that criticism of the shadowy aspects of Islam is unnecessary doom mongering. They believe critics of Islam are unnecessarily pessimistic and give the example of third-generation Muslims who no longer spend most of their day in the mosques and whose daughters happily combine headscarves with cropped tops. They believe that this evolution will continue without the need for criticism.

I am not a defeatist. I am an optimist. But a critical approach will humanize Islam, and it is necessary. Lucassen and his cronies confuse those who follow the faith with the faith itself. Islam is a way of life, a system of ideas, Every believer is taught to accept the system as immutable, unshakeable. 

By pointing out that a merciful God who authorizes the abuse of women is inconsistent, I force Muslims to face a shortcoming in their faith and to discover the meaning and importance of secular morality, which will enable them to adapt their faith to the real world. 

Criticism of Islam does not mean that the faithful reject it. But it does mean that the faithful examine particular ideas and teaching that, when applied in real life, lead to brutal behavior with unacceptable consequences.

Others warned me, after seeing Submission, that my criticism of Islam was counterproductive, that Islamophobes would be eager to use my views to discriminate against Muslims and to place Islam in an evil light. This may be true, but it was never my intention to play into the hands of Islamophobes. My intention was to challenge Muslims, through thought-provoking texts and images, to think carefully about the extent of their own responsibility for their deprived circumstances. The risk that Islamophobes or racists will misuse my work will not stop me from making Submission: Part II. A journalist who rightly demands openness of affairs in a liberal democracy (think of Guantanamo Bay), is not going to let himself be stopped by the government's fear that providing that information could be used by the enemies of the free world. I have to make the same type of decision as journalists and champions of civil rights. Exposing the wrongs of the world (including religious wrongs) outweighs the possible risk of misuse by third parties. 

I  UNDERSTAND  WHAT  SHE  IS  SAYING,  BUT  THE  BOTTOM  LINE  IS:  EXPOSING  THE  THEOLOGICAL  ERRORS [SOME  BLATANTLY  VIOLENT,  OTHERS  NOT  SO,  BUT  DENY  MUSLIMS  FROM  HAVING  FRIENDS  OF  JEWS,  CHRISTIANS,  AND  UNBELIEVERS].  SO  SHOWING  THIS  TRUTH  FROM  THE  KORAN,  WILL  PUT  YOU  IN  THE  EYES  OF  SOME,  AS  “ISLAMOPHOBES”  -  Keith Hunt
  
Some of my critics said that Muslims would be offended and troubled by a film like Submission and would only dig their heels deeper into the sand, resisting change. 

They also believed that my confrontational methods would be counterproductive, and that I should modify my strategy. 

Typically, this group of critics, which includes the Muslim Labor Representatives Arib and Al-Bayrak, fails to offer a more effective, alternate strategy. They concentrate too much on the pain felt by smooth talkers such as the Arab-European League leaders and people like Mr. Ayhan Tonca, chairman of the Contact Group for Muslims and Government, but ignore the extreme, continuing, daily pain of the victims of violence. Yet these Islamic "social democrats" would rather defend and preserve a doctrine that subjugates women than attempt to enlighten people.

They do not want change—and they do not want a light shone on the ugly results of their "faith." 

They turn their eyes away from a Muslim woman who, at the age of twenty-three, cannot read or write and spends her days curled up in the corner of a shelter for abused women. Less than three years ago this woman was snatched from her family in the remote countryside of a Muslim state and found herself living in an apartment in a squalid housing development in a big city, sharing her life with a stranger she had been forced to marry. When this man began to beat her regularly, the police moved her to the women's shelter. There, she sits listlessly in a corner, passively watching her baby crawl around restlessly. She barely responds to the irritated looks of the other women or the repeated reminders from members of staff that she must take care of her child. This woman is homeless. She can no longer return to her family in her native country because she has become the property of her husband. When I question her about her own and her child's future, she answers that her faith is in Allah: "Through Allah I ended up in these circumstances, and if I am patient He will get me out of this misery. I only have to obey Him." 

In Submission: Part I, I try to show how this kind of submission to Allah works out in real life.

Yet the Al-Nisa organization of Muslim women believes that since 9/11 Muslims have come under heavy pressure. They feel pushed into a corner, unfairly held responsible for the actions of people who are up to nasty things in faraway countries and call themselves Muslims. The organization's chair thinks that criticism of the position of Muslim women is in itself a good thing, but that my timing in making the movie was unfortunate and that Muslims must not be hurt.

This argument is incorrect. Muslims in the Netherlands are not cornered. On the contrary, they fully enjoy the freedom of religion that prevails in this Western secular country and its enormous prosperity. The fact is: as long as Muslims here are not in charge of the country, they will go on feeling hurt.

Many Muslims react with outrage when flaws in their religion are pointed out to them. 

Some threaten physical violence, or become verbally abusive. 

Here are comments about Submission; Part I, from some official spokespeople for Dutch Muslim organizations (although nobody knows exactly who they represent):

"Hirsi Ali's film defeats the object. Discussing the position of women in Islam is a good thing. But this is a terrible shock for devout Muslims, many of whom will immediately feel the need to become defensive. This spoils the debate in the Netherlands. Right now it would be better if we focused on restoring a normal relationship. I have no idea what her motives were, but I regard it as pure provocation.”

These are the words of Mohamed Sini, chairman of the Trust for Islam and Citizenship, who says he respects, above all, the freedom of speech.

The chairman of the Netherlands branch of the Arab-European League (AEL) says: 

"The discussion about the position of Islam is weakened by Hirsi Ali's confrontation. It comes as no surprise that Theo van Gogh does this sort of thing; he never has a constructive thought about anything. But she is a member of the Dutch House of Representatives. I cannot think why she wants to offend millions of Muslims in the Netherlands." He says that—except for some extreme cases—there is little wrong with the position of women in the Islamic world. "Dutch people who would like to find out a little more about this should not listen to Hirsi Ali only. She projects her own bizarre experiences onto the whole group."

Having ranted on like this, he then admits that he never even saw the film: "I'm not going to waste my time on this madness."

Just before the film was broadcast on television, a spokesperson for the Contact Group for Muslims and Government commented, "I am not in the least bit interested in that little film, and I don't want to see it. It will be a distortion of the facts, anyway. I find it absurd that Hirsi Ali does nothing but provoke. It's time for her to keep her mouth shut." 

He chooses to "ignore" Hirsi Ali and Van Gogh completely: "That is the best strategy; sooner or later they'll stop. They simply don't deserve a reaction."

The chairman of the Turkish Muslim organization Milli Gorus said, in the Rotterdam daily, "If Hirsi Ali wants to wage a religious war, that is her business; I have decided not to comment on it [the film]."

The chairman of the Netherlands Muslim Council responded to Submission: "For the Islamic community this is one step too far. The more orthodox Muslims will certainly not accept this."

Driss El Boujoufi of the Union of Moroccan Muslim Organizations in the Netherlands (UMMON) had the following to say: “Ayaan Hirsi Ali wants it to be a competition, and she is looking for opponents. But we're not playing her game, because as soon as it becomes a contest, you attract spectators, and that is the last thing we want."

YES  OF  COURSE  THEY  DO  NOT  WANT  ANY  KIND  OF PUBLICITY,  THAT  WOULD  BRING  OUT  THE  FACTS  ON  THE  NITTY-GRITTY  TEACHING  OF  THE  KORAN  OR  MUHAMMAD  -  THE  WORLD  WOULD  SEE  THE  CULTIC  MIND-SET  OF  THE  ISLAM  RELIGION  -  Keith Hunt

A spokesperson for the Netherlands Muslim Broadcasting Network says: "Hirsi Ali has a problem with these verses from the Koran. But it is not the Koran that incites men to abuse women, it is the men themselves. She should address them directly and invite them to discuss the matter. Emancipation begins from within. If you attack what people value, you will lose their trust."

All these reactions were fairly predictable. 

It does not matter whether the person commenting has actually seen Submission. It does not matter whether the critical reflections on Islam are expressed in the form of a short film, a text, or something else. These people just want to deny Islam's biggest weakness: the way in which women are regarded and treated. 

Leaders of Muslim organizations warn that the Muslim community will not accept the images of women whose bodies have been painted with verses from the Koran. But the fact is that Muslim organizations, and Muslims in general, have for centuries gone along with what actually happens when the message contained in these verses is applied to the bodies of the actresses in Submission: 

the lashing of "unchaste" women, the systematic mistreatment of "disobedient" women, the rape of married women by permission of Allah, and the ostracizing, or even murder, of girls and women who have become the victims of incest. All this is followed slavishly, thoughtlessly to clear the family name of shame.

Representatives of Muslim organizations deny the message contained in Submission and also deny the fact that large groups of Muslim women are forced to take refuge in women's shelters, that many are dumped by their husbands in their country of origin, with all their children and no money. 

The Department of Justice has actually been stopped from keeping a systematic record of the number of honor killings that occur each year, because sophistic spokespeople for Muslim organizations warn that this would upset the people whose interests they protect. 

Yet the regional institutes for mental welfare and other mental health care services are aware that many Muslim girls become the victims of incest and forced marriages and are taken away by their fathers to be murdered in the family's country of origin. Whose interests are being protected by the government here? Murderers are being protected.

The hidden agenda of the conservative spokespeople of Muslim organizations is the same as the agenda of Muslim schools: 

Western Muslims want to be free to decide how they treat the female members of their family. These are organized enemies of women, and they endorse the unspoken consensus that prevails in Islamic countries: how women and girls are treated is a private family matter. If any female behavior seems remotely threatening to the family honor, then fathers, brothers, and any other male relatives may intervene as they think fit. Verses in the Koran are used to justify male violence against women, and also to appease the perpetrator's conscience and that of any witnesses. By exempting the holy text from all criticism, the leaders of Muslim organizations everywhere successfully preserve the system that underlies the oppression of women. And so they perpetuate its practice.

In fact, the majority of Muslim men do not regard the way they treat women as "oppressive," "abusive," or "murderous"; they feel that violence is a fair response to the way women behave. 

As one Muslim spokesperson said, "Muslim women know the rules. If they choose to overstep the mark, they will be punished," and "with the exception of some extreme cases, there is little wrong with the position of women in the Islamic world." 

Doesn't that speak volumes?

Yet Muslims think I place too much emphasis on the negative aspects of Islam. They ask why I do not make a fuss about the intolerance among Christians or Jews and believe that I am more interested in putting Islam in a bad light than in improving the position of women……..

THE  ARGUMENT  IS:  THERE  ARE  CHRISTIANS  AND  JEWS  INTOLERANT  OF  OTHER  CHRISTIANS.  IT’S  AN  ARGUMENT  OF  “LOOK  OVER  HERE,  THERE  ARE  OTHERS  INTOLERANT  OF  EACH  OTHER  AMONG  JEWS  AND  CHRISTIANS.”  IT’S  AN  ARGUMENT  OF  “WHY  PICK  ON  US?”  OR  “YOU  ARE  AGAINST  OUR  RELIGION,  AND  YOU  DON’T  REALLY  CARE  ABOUT  OUR  WOMEN.”  THE  TRUTH  OF  THE  MATTER  IS,  MANY  CHRISTIANS  WRITE  BOOKS  AND  ARTICLES  THAT  HAVE  A  PURPOSE  IN  EXPOSING  THE  ERRORS  OF  VARIOUS  TEACHINGS  BY  OTHER  CHRISTIANS;  I  HAVE  DONE  IT  ON  THIS  WEBSITE  MANY  MANY  TIMES, WITH  A  CHRISTIANITY  I  GREW  UP  WITH,  EXPOSING  ITS  ERRORS  AND  FALSE  TEACHINGS. WHY  SHOULD  NOT  A  BORN  AND  RAISED  ISLAM  PERSON,  TAKE  THE  TIME,  AND  HAVE  THE  RIGHT,  TO  EXPOSE  THE  FALSE  AND  SOMETIMES  BRUTAL  TEACHINGS  OF  THE  KORAN  AND  THE  HORRID  CULTURAL  PRACTICES  OF  ISLAM,  SUCH  AS  FEMALE  CIRCUMCISION.  AYAAN  ALI  HAS  ALL  THE  RIGHT  TO  EXPOSE  THE  FALSEHOODS  OF  ISLAM  AS  I  DO  TO  EXPOSE  THE  FALSEHOODS  OF  CHRISTIANITY  -  IT  IS  CALLED  FREEDOM  OF  SPEECH  -  Keith Hunt


But if these critical Muslims took their comparative analysis a little further, they would discover that the number of "word nazis" in the Christian and Jewish worlds is far smaller than in the Islamic world. The God of the Christians and Jews has been tamed by reasonable people and largely moved to the believer's private conscience. Nowadays, God is referred to as "love" or as "energy," and those who believe in Him have done away with the concept of hell. 

IT  IS  TRUE  THAT  TODAY  MOST  CHURCHES  DO  NOT  TALK  ABOUT  “HELL”  AS  WAS  DONE  50,  100,  200  YEARS  AGO,  TO  FRIGHTEN  PEOPLE  INTO  CONVERTING  TO  CHRISTIANITY,  AND  SO  BEING  SAVED  FROM  HELL-FIRE [WHICH  WAS  TAUGHT  TO  BE  EVERLASTING  PHYSICAL  AND  MENTAL  PAIN]  -  Keith Hunt

Christianity and Judaism have lost their grip on the individual, although the priests, ministers, and rabbis have not allowed this to happen of their own free will. The prevalence of freedom of conscience, the search for knowledge, and the individual control over human nature in the West were hard-won conquests, all of which began as a battle of words.

AYAAN  ALI  IS  LOOKING  AT  THE  POPULAR  CHRISTIANITY  OF  CENTURIES,  WHERE  IT  WAS  A   BATTLE  FOUGHT  AMONG  THE  ROMAN  CATHOLICS  AND  PROTESTANT  CHURCHES,  WHERE  PRIESTS  AND  MINISTERS  WOULD  RULE  WITH  AN  IRON  HAND  OVER  THE  PEOPLE.  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD  WAS  NEVER  A  PART  OF  THE  FALSE  TEACHINGS  AND  IRON  HAND  OF  CATHOLIC  AND  PROTESTANT  CHURCHES.  TRUE  ALSO  IS  THE  FACT  THAT  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  OF  GOD,  HAD  TO  BE  CORRECTED  AT  TIMES  AND  PURGED  OF  WRONG  TEACHINGS,  WRONG  TRADITIONS,  AND  EVEN  SOME  IRON  HAND  MINISTERS, THAT  DID  AT  TIMES  FIND  ITS  WAY  AMONG  GOD’S  TRUE  PEOPLE.  BUT  CHRIST  AS  HEAD  OF  HIS  CHURCH,  HAS  ALWAYS  HAD  HIS  FAITHFUL  DISCIPLES  FOLLOWING  THE  TRUE  WAYS  OF  THE  HEAVENLY  FATHER  -  Keith Hunt

Most women born in what were originally Jewish-Christian states can safely go out in the streets on their own, have equal access to education, reap the rewards of their labor, and choose with whom they want to share their lives. They are in charge of their sexual needs, the decision to get pregnant, and the number of children they want, Most of the women of Jewish or Christian descent are free to travel around the world, buy a house of their own, and have their own possessions. Not all of them, but the majority. 

Only a tiny fraction of the women in Muslim families can do any of these things. They have virtually no right of self-determination.

Jews and Christians have achieved this in the West by criticizing their holy texts, by ridiculing things that are said in the Bible and Talmud, and pointing out that many of these things are wrong. The ancient texts have survived, but our ideas about how the sexes should relate to each other have moved on. When Jews and Christians discovered the power of words and images, they used them to shine a light onto their belief and culture, to find inconsistencies, to stop harmful practices, and to promote merciful, humane ones. Time after time, those who wanted to preserve the status quo complained that the texts, images, and behavior of their critics were "hurtful," "sinful," and "radical." For centuries the church encouraged the faithful to ignore its critics. It held inquisitions. It ignored priests who behaved immorally and illegally until the people would not allow it anymore. 

AGAIN  AYAAN  ALI  IS  TALKING  ABOUT  THE  POPULAR  CENTURIES  OLD  CHRISTIANITY,  THAT  BATTLED  ALONG  ITS  WAY,  OUT  OF  VARIOUS  DARKNESSES  AS  HISTORY  SHOWS  US.  A  TIME  WHEN  THE  AVERAGE  “PEOPLE”  COULD  GET  COPIES  OF  THE  BIBLE  AND  READ  IT. HENCE  LIGHT  CAME  TO  CERTAIN  ASPECTS  OF  CHRISTIANITY.  THE  TRUE  CHURCH  ALWAYS  HAD  MORE  LIGHT  AND  TRUTH,  BUT  JESUS  STILL  HAD  TO  CORRECT  ERRORS  FROM  TIME  TO  TIME,  AS  REVELATION  2  AND  3  SHOW  -  Keith Hunt

The same must happen in Islam. The people who truly love the beauty of their faith must act to stamp out the ugliness.

The history of the West is the search for enlightenment through self-reflection. This is the source of its democratic practices and its power. I have borrowed my strategy of criticizing Islam from the Jewish-Christian insurrection against the absolutism of religious faith. 

I made Submission: Part I in this context. How effective my controversial strategy can be will be known to anyone familiar with the struggle between the churches of the West. As I say, I am an optimist.

………………..

HOLINESS BOOKS....KORAN and the BIBLE

From  the  book  “THE  CAGED  VIRGIN”  by  Ayaan  Hirsi  Ali


The Holiness of Secular Books

Andrew O'Hagan stated in his opening address to the tenth Sydney Writers' Festival:

If we are truly alive, we have a role to play—every one of us—in the realization of peace and tolerance in our time. If we are truly alive, and if we know what the imagination can do, it will not be in us to sit dormant whilst the planet is ruined by unfettered commerce or whilst thousands are killed by the preemptive and ruinous urges of Christian or Islamic fundamentalisms. If we are civilized, we imagine our way past political coercion or selfish pride. We speak truth to power. We question our feelings of superiority, we teach our children the truth of our culture and what it has done and what it has failed to do. And we never forget that we are moral beings and not machines. This is what we do if we are truly alive. This is what we do if we live close to our imaginations. And how do we do that, how do we keep company with our imaginations, what do we do to be so alive? It is easy—we read books.

It seems to me that Andrew's "we" refers to those of us in the West. We come from places scattered all over the globe, but as a group, this collective "we" of the West represents a community that enjoys—for the most part—a fair degree of personal, political, and economic freedom. This "we" has an imagination. This "we" lives with books and writers. For this "we" literature is not lifestyle, it is life.

But there is another "we." This other "we" is also scattered across the globe. My family belongs to that "we." I used to belong to it, too.

This community's imagination is not opened by a multitude of books, but is captured by just one: a best seller among the wealthy and distributed free of charge to the poor. For those who can't read, it's available in audio. It is learned by heart. It has no copyright, and photocopies are welcomed. It is a book that is considered to be above critical review. It is a book that should not be put on the ground, a book that should not be touched by a menstruating woman. It is a book that can inspire one man to put his forehead on the ground in piety and rouse another to war. It is a book that contends that the greatest act of worship to which an individual can aspire is committing suicide as he takes the life of a sinner.

It is not a book by Chaucer, Shakespeare, or J. K. Rowling. It is not a book by Dan Brown. The author has ninety-nine names, but not one of them appears on the cover. This book demands total submission by its readers. It captured the imagination of more than a billion people who believe that is the infallible word of God;

This book is the Koran.

I first encountered it as a young girl. It impressed me even before I could read. To touch the book, I first had to wash my hands, then my face and mouth, then my arms all the way up to the elbows. I had to run some water over my hair and ears and wash my feet. This book was always up high, always beyond a mischievous child's reach.

Everything about it was sacred: the words, the letters, the cover. A piece of paper or a wooden board would itself become sacred as soon as words from the book were copied onto it.

The main message in this sacred book revolves around one day. The day that separates this life from the next.

My father would recite from this book when I was about eight years old and we were living in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. We were in the land of Allah and his prophet. We were living in a land that my mother never wanted to leave.

At the same time every day my father would pull us close and recite:

On the day that separates this life from the next, some faces will be joyful. On that day, those joyful faces will be rewarded in a garden on high; where they shall hear no word of vanity. Therein will be a bubbling spring; therein will be thrones of dignity. Goblets will be placed ready, rich carpets generously spread out and cushions will be set in rows.

My father would bare his beautiful teeth in the sweetest of smiles, his face full of exuberance. Ma would watch with a look of happiness in her eyes—so very rare for her. She would watch as her husband educated her children in piety. We would nod in awe.

Then my father's face would take on an ominous look. His voice would become a low roar, and with a growl, he would continue:

This is the day of Al-Ghashiyah or The Overwhelming Event. When some will be humiliated, laboring hard. Weary, they will enter the fire. They will be given to drink from a boiling hot spring. No food will there be for them, but a bitter Darit which will neither nourish nor satisfy hunger...

My awe turned to fear. I dreaded being burned and having to drink the disgusting Dari from the boiling hot spring. I would be reminded of that day every time I was naughty—which was quite often. My parents' penalties were nothing compared to the punishment I would get from the anonymous writer of the book. Imagine that: being punished by He who raised the sky high; He who fixed the mountains firm; He who spread the earth out wide.

If you did anything against Him and His will, He would make your life on earth a living hell. He would cause you great pain on this earth. On that day, when the sun would rise from the West and all mankind would stand naked before God, I hoped that I would be with my mum, my dad, my brother, and my sister. And also, I hoped that I would be close to Allah and his messenger. So, I learned to recite the ninety-nine names of the author of this Holy Book.

I learned to pray five times a day.
I learned the sequence of rules: the forbidden and the permitted.
I learned to submit and to view those who did not with hostility.
I learned not to question the motives of the author of the Holy Book.
I learned that thoughts and deeds that deviated from the rules of the Book 
would lead to unimaginable punishment.
I learned to repent.
And I promised to be a good girl again.

But over the years, this submissive child grew into a rebellious teenager. My mother was not prepared for this change. She feared that my younger sister, Haweya, and I would stray, come under the influence of sinful people; that we might befriend boys and even touch them. Ma's approach was radical. She bought three padlocks, large ones, with a base in the color of gold, and a steel bolt. I can still remember the click of those awful things. Every evening and weekend, as our peers went out roaming the streets of Nairobi, Haweya and I watched the padlocks, and Ma watched us watching them. We tried to stretch our rare moments of freedom by lingering on the way home from school; or, if Ma was out running errands, and Grandma was left in charge, we even tried jumping over the wall. But every attempt at flight was physically punished.

So we looked for pastimes while we watched the padlocks. We would chat, we would play games, and of course we would annoy Grandma and Ma, too. It was then that we discovered the power of words. Books had the power to make us forget the padlocks.

Haweya and I would sit still for hours. The only noise we made was turning the pages of those books.

In time, Ma became suspicious. You would think she would have enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere that her prison had taken on. Instead, she demanded to know what we were reading. As Ma could not read or write, she would simply judge our books by their covers. Some of the books we read had no covers, for they had been in too many teenage hands, but those with covers generally showed a man bending over a woman, with his mouth on hers and their bodies entwined. We deliberately tore these covers off, and if questioned, would claim that they were required school reading.

But Ma was not easily fooled, and she soon developed a talent for judging books not just by their cover, but also by their size and appearance.

Science books tended to be heavy and filled with diagrams. Math books were filled with charts and numbers (Ma could tell the difference between letters and numbers). History and geography books were full of maps and colorful illustrations. None of these books looked like the small ones with the torn-off covers.

Ma then decided that all compact books were dangerous and would corrupt us. She called them book-haram, or the forbidden books. Unfortunately, it wasn't just the silly romance novels that were small; all forms of literature fell into this category.

So now, schoolwork aside, books were off-limits. The only book that had a proper place in our house was the Holy Book.

Haweya and I were so bored. Our teenage hormones and the appeal of the book-harams impelled us to overcome our fear of violating the sanctity of the Holy Book. We devised a brilliant plan. After smuggling book-haratns into the house, we would tear out pages and sandwich them between the pages of the Holy Book. Within these sacred covers, foreign writers would transport our imaginations to faraway lands. We would chase spies into Russia, help solve mysteries with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. We would read about wars between the North and South in America. Within these sacred covers, we discovered a life beyond our padlocked prison. Not wanting to draw attention to ourselves, we would begin by chanting loudly from the Holy Book like this:

Ya ayyuhal-muddathir...

Then, as we had expected, Grandma would curtly suggest that we recite quietly. And so we did.

Every now and then, one of us would burst out laughing at a funny scene and Ma or Grandma would ask sternly: What has the world come to? Does Allah make you giggle?

In hindsight, I think there was always an infidel in me. The more important point is that this ruse wasn't just an escape from my mother's world; it was an introduction to the endless possibilities life had to offer.

These stories made me worldly in a way that the Holy Book never did. I learned, for instance, to empathize with the characters as they suffered, yearned for love, endured oppression, or celebrated freedom. I was introduced to the gray areas of life, the nuances of virtues and vices; and the specificity of their contexts. The characters spoke to me in a way that the Book that I was violating did not.

But I could not escape the black-and-white terror of the Holy Book and its author. Besides Ma and her padlocks, everything and everyone around me seemed to be pointing to the Book and the Day of the Overwhelming Event.

At school, Sister Aziza, my new Islamic Religious Education teacher, was clad beguilingly head to toe in black. Only her face was bare. She told us about the author of the Holy Book: what pleased him and what displeased him. And what he would do to those who strayed from the straight path.

At the mosque, Boqol Sawm {an imam whose name means he who fasts for a hundred days) repeated at the top of his voice that the sinner would burn if he did not repent.

And I was sinning. I was sinning big-time.

Every time I put sheets of hook-harams in the Holy Book, I was offending. Every time I allowed myself to be tempted by Satan to erotic thoughts, I was offending. Whenever I fell for American comedies and movies, I was offending. In this my internal struggle, fear began gaining the upper hand. So I found myself repenting, I found myself avoiding the distracting books. And I returned to the Holy Book with fervor.

Ma was willing to remove the padlocks as long as I didn't roam the streets and did not befriend boys. I went to Boqol Sawm's lectures and dressed like Sister Aziza. When the author of The Satanic Verses was condemned by Ayatollah Khomeini, I joined in the unison of voices that called for his death. A part of me was tempted to read his book. There was a certain appeal to discovering for myself the verses of Satan. But for my own salvation, and to escape impending hellfire, I—like those around me—blindly supported the Ayatollah.

I was doing everything that was expected of me. I lived by the Book, for the Book. The only things that were missing were a husband and children. Soon after my father returned home, a distant cousin was selected to be my husband. This would mean submission not only to Allah, but to him as well.

The hell at the end of life for me seemed abstract, but the hell of being forced to submit to this man was immediate, and final.

This would be the hell of never feeling love, the hell of never choosing my mate, the hell of spending my life with a stranger.

A man from whom I would have to ask permission before being allowed to exercise my everyday freedom. A man who could take my body without permission. This stranger had my father on his side. He had the Holy Book on his side.

I—fortunately—had my imagination on my side. I allowed myself to be swept away. I suppressed my fear of the Day of Judgment and the pressure of the Holy Book, and I fled. I fled to Amsterdam and asked for asylum from my family, from my God, and for my life.
And I got it.

I arrived in a new land where there were no clans, no tribes, and not one but several holy books. I avoided contact with people from home, people who reminded me of the Holy Book. I avoided them because of the fear of burning in hell that had been ingrained in me as a child. They carried the same paralyzing fear.

Instead, I spent time with the "we" of the West. I learned their language and I read their books; I read about how religious they had been; how they had evolved toward secularism. How they had pushed God from the public life. I recognized myself in how Maarten 't Hart (the brilliant Dutch novelist and author who also wrote the classic book of atheist thought) had been shaped by stifling rituals and the fear of the hereafter—not with Ma's padlocks but with padlocks on his imagination.

I read Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, and Descartes; Augustine and Thomas Mann; Machiavelli and Hobbes; Rousseau and Voltaire; Locke, Bentham, and Mill.

One after the other these philosophers expanded my imagination. But they frightened me, too; for each of them made me think of how different they were from the Holy Book.

Discovering Freud put me in contact with an alternative moral system. I had never once imagined that a moral framework could exist that wasn't based on religion. In my world, if you didn't accept God, you couldn't have morality. And yet here was psychology with no religious roots and with a clear explanation of the sexuality that had tortured me so much as an adolescent.

Sometimes it seemed as if almost every page I read challenged me as a Muslim. Darwin said creation stories were fairy tales; Freud said we had no power over ourselves. Spinoza said there were no miracles, no angels, no need to pray to anything outside ourselves; God is us and Nature. Emile Durkheim said humans fantasized religion to give themselves a sense of security.

To read these books of Western thought was sinning in the eyes of Islam, Even the history of how modern states were formed confronted me with contradictions in my belief in Allah. The Holy Book says there can be no government without God; the Holy Book is Allah's book of laws for the conduct of worldly affairs.

Drinking wine and wearing trousers were nothing compared to reading the history of ideas. I repeated to myself that one day, when I was back in a Muslim environment, I would once again fully obey God's laws. Meanwhile, in the West I would be honest. I would try not to harm anyone. I would not adopt the ideas I was reading about, but I would keep on reading.

Then, on a day of overwhelming events, on a bright Tuesday morning in New York and Washington and western Pennsylvania, planes full of people flew into buildings full of people. I could no longer escape the Holy Book. It had caught up with me in the West.

I screwed my eyes shut and thought to myself, in Somali, "Oh Allah, please let it not be Muslims who did this."

I had to make a choice.

War had been declared in the name of Islam, my religion. Where did I stand? I picked up the Holy Book and found bin Laden's words of justification. I didn't want to question God's word, but I needed to ask: did the attacks stem from true belief in true Islam?

The little box at the back of my mind, into which I had stuffed all my dissonant thoughts, snapped open, and it refused to close again. I had to make the leap to believing that the Holy Book was relative—not absolute, not the literal syllables pronounced by God, but a historical record, written by men 150 years after the Prophet Muhammed's death.

In other words, it was just another book.

I cannot deny that I have been formed by the Muslim culture in which I was raised. When people ask me now if I am a Muslim, I can only say that I am a Muslim and yet I am not a Muslim.

I am a Muslim because I empathize with the man who removes his daughter from school. He is afraid that she might lose her virginity, afraid that everyone will jeer at him because of it. He is scared that she might never find a husband, afraid that God will punish him for not having made the effort to find a husband before she reaches puberty.

I empathize with this man because he and his fears remind me of my family. In his mind's eye, all he is trying to do is to be a good father and a good Muslim.

I am a Muslim because I identify with the girl at school who does not report her friend's absence from school to the authorities. This girl is torn between loyalty to her friend and loyalty to her family, her clan, and her God. This girl is too young and too weak to alert the teachers and the police. I understand her actions becatfSe I was a witness in Nairobi when so many girls were removed from our school and forced to marry. I felt sorry for them but I told myself at the time that there was nothing I could do for them.

I am a Muslim because I understand why the mother in Palestine ululates when she learns that her son has blown himself up in order to kill jews. Just as I had in Sister Aziza's and Boqol Sawm's preachings, this mother would have learned that a child who dies for the sake of God is rewarded for eternity. That is what she is celebrating: her child's closeness to God. I know that her hatred of the Jews goes beyond the conflict of territory. I had no Jewish neighbors and Israel lay far away, but I used to hate Jews because that is what Ma, Grandma, our neighbors, peers, imams, and preachers taught me to do. Hating the Jews would please Allah.

I understand why so many young men and women leading modern lives are reverting back to lives of submission. They can't ignore the reminders of the Holy Book and its author: audio and video recitations, televised and cybersermons. All these reminders point in one direction: bow to He who raised the sky high; He who fixed the mountains firm; He who spread the earth out. Have you forgotten the day of Al-Ghashiyah. When all mankind stands naked before God. When those who forgot the hereafter will be put in fire and When they will be made to drink Dari from a boiling hot spring.

It is the fear of this day that makes girls in their late teens and twenties throw away their makeup and their perfume and replace their miniskirts, trousers, and trendy bags with headscarves and burkas. It is the fear that has been ingrained in us as kids through the Holy Book and its author with the ninety-nine names, that has us throwing away our records of jazz, pop, and blues, turning away from the pubs arid rushing back to the prayer houses. It is the horror of what Allah will do to us in the hereafter that pushes some of us over the edge. I empathize with the bearded man and the veiled girl because I know what that fear feels like.

I am a Muslim because I understand why so many Muslims are silent when the Holy Book is invoked to behead captured aid workers, journalists, and other Western wanderers. They are silent because silence is less terrifying than an argument with the author of the Holy Book, who has given the command to behead infidels.

I am a Muslim because I feel the deafening collective mania that sends men, women, and children to the streets when the Holy Book is allegedly flushed down a toilet or when cartoons of Muhammad appear in a newspaper. Anyone who violates the sanctity of the book, its author, or his messenger, must be killed, and believers who do not condemn the violators are themselves sinners and Will be denied entry into heaven.

At the same time, I am not a Muslim, because I have lost the fear of the Holy Book. I have lost the terror of being burned alive after I die and being forced to drink the bitter Dari.

My empathy now lies with the girl who cannot finish school, who Will spend the rest of her life locked in with padlocks. Not the gold and steel padlocks of my mother but padlocks on her intellect.

I am not a Muslim, because I lost respect for the book and its author and his messenger. I lost respect for them because of their bloodthirsty demands to kill and hate. I now feel the common humanity with those whom I once shunned: the Jews, Christians, atheists, gays, and sinners of all stripes and colors.

I lost respect not for Muslims, but for what they fear, I am accused of hating Muslims and vilifying their Holy Book and their prophet.

I do not hate Muslims.

But I do detest the submission of free will.

In a democracy, unlike a tribal society or a religious community we do not acquire loyalty through fear and threats of being ostracized. A mature democracy grooms its members to become citizens through education in freedom, in responsibility, in tolerance, and in generosity There are no promises of heaven or hell. In a democracy this life is to be celebrated.

For a democracy to thrive, the freedom of imagination of all of its members is a must. Only the ignorant and the naive cannot see that societies built on tribalism and religious dogma are destined to fail.

I would like to pay tribute to democracies in general and the Sydney Writers' Festival specifically for creating important forums for the free exchange of ideas, concepts, discussion, and debate. Where there is no disagreement there will be no growth.

Did you know that Australian doctors are struggling to treat victims of female genital mutilation? Little girls who tell the doctors that it hurts to urinate; teenagers who tell the doctors that menstruation hurts; and girls of twelve, thirteen, and fourteen who are married and have difficulty giving birth. Yes, you heard me: these are child brides, not in Saudi Arabia but in Australia!

Why, in this wealthy nation, do you allow Saudi Arabia to finance schools here? The kids who attend these so-called Muslim schools are Australian citizens. Should they not be groomed to become Australians with Australian values of life, and freedom, and tolerance? Why abandon them and look the other way as their hearts and minds are filled with the fear of the Day of the Overwhelming Event?

Those who think of a book as holy and of a man as infallible will claim to be offended, shocked, and disturbed when the claim of absolute truth in that book is questioned and the infallibility of its prophet is challenged. But isn't the freedom of expression vital, even if it may offend, shock, or disturb? Isn't freedom of thought and expression the most important pillar of a free society? Those of us who are offended by the teachings of the Koran do not call for it to be banned. Those for whom the Koran is holy should learn to accept that their book is not above criticism.

We Muslims come from collectives. We come from tribes. We missed the Enlightenment. You give us your compassion, your medicine, your money But instead of your wealth, share with us your values. Protect us from the bearded men in long robes from Medina and Mecca. It is up to you to communicate your beliefs louder than those of Islam and of those in the Koran.

Let us use our imagination and compete with the agents of Islam for the hearts and minds of our youth.

Islam is not a race; it is a religion.

No book, not even a holy one, is above review.
………………..

CHRISTIANS  CALL  THEIR  BOOK  THE  BIBLE  -  HOLY!  FUNDAMENTAL  CHRISTIANS  SAY  THE  BIBLE  IS  INSPIRED….. THAT  IT  IS  THE  INSPIRED  WORD  OF  GOD.

BUT  THIS  INSPIRED  WORD  HAS  COME  UNDER  CRITICAL  INSPECTION  IN  THE  LAST  400  YEARS  OR  SO.

SOME  PEOPLE  SAY  ITS  FULL  OF  CONTRADICTIONS;  SO  OTHERS  HAVE  WRITTEN  BOOKS  ON  THE  SO-CALLED  CONTRADICTIONS  OF  THE  BIBLE,  AND  ANSWERED  MOST  IF  NOT  ALL  OF  THE  PASSAGES  THAT  SEEM  TO  CONTRADICT  EACH  OTHER.

THE  CHRISTIAN  HOLY  BIBLE  HAS  COME  UNDER  OTHER  ATTACKS  BY  SCEPTICS  AND  ATHEISTS.

THE  CHRISTIAN  BIBLE  IS  OUT  THERE  TO  BE  RIDICULED,  CHALLENGED,  INSULTED,  SCOFFED  AT,  LAMPOONED,  MOCKED,  SCORNED,  AND  JUST  NOT  TAKEN  SERIOUSLY.  OVER  TIME  IT  HAS  ENDURED  ALL  THE  PREVIOUS  ATTACKS.

IN  THE  LAST  100  YEARS  OR  MORE,  CHRISTIANS  HAVE  NOT  WAGED  WAR  ON  INDIVIDUALS  OR  GROUPS/NATIONS  OF  PEOPLE  WHO  DISMISS  THE  BIBLE  WITH  A  WAVE  OF  THE  HAND.  THIS  IS  NOT  TO  SAY  A  FEW  INDIVIDUALS  HAVE  TAKEN  SOMEONE’S  LIFE  BECAUSE  THEY  RIDICULED  THE  BIBLE.  SUCH  ACTED  WITHOUT  ANY  BACKING  TO  DO  SO  FROM  THE  BIBLE,  AND  CERTAINLY  THE  NEW  TESTAMENT  OF  THAT  BIBLE.  CHRISTIANS  AS  A  WHOLE  HAVE  LEARNT  TO  DISMISS  ATTACKS  OF  EVERY  KIND  ON  THE  BIBLE,  AND  JUST  LET  PEOPLE  SAY  WHAT  THEY  WANT  ABOUT  THE  BIBLE,  WITHOUT  CALLING  FOR  THEIR  DEATH.

SUCH  CAN  NOT  BE  SAID  ABOUT  ISLAM,  AND  ATTACKING  THEIR  BOOK  THE  KORAN,  AND  THEIR  PROPHET  MUHAMMAD.

IF  SOMEONE  FROM  THE  ISLAMIC  RELIGION  WOULD  READ  WHAT  I’VE  WRITTEN  AND  SAID  ABOUT  THE  KORAN,  MUHAMMAD,  AND  THE  ISLAMIC  RELIGION……. I  WOULD  PROBABLY  GO  ON  THEIR  “HIT  LIST”  TO  BE  PUT  TO  DEATH;  WELL  ON  THE  HIT  LIST  OF  FUNDAMENTAL  ISLAMIC  PEOPLE.

AT  THE  PRESENT  CHRISTIANITY  OF  ALL  SECTS  DO  NOT  OPERATE  IN  THAT  MIND-SET.  THAT  WILL  CHANGE  AT  THE  END  OF  THIS  AGE,  BUT  FOR  NOW  CHRISTIANITY  IS  NOT  SEEKING  OUT  THOSE  WHO  OPPOSE  IT,  SO  THEY  CAN  BE  PUNISHED  WITH PHYSICAL  HARM,  EVEN  DEATH.   

BUT  AS  OF  THE  PRESENT  TIME [MAY  2017]  ISLAM  DOES  NOT  ALLOW  ANY  CRITICISM  OF  THE  KORAN,  AND  THE  PROPHET  MUHAMMAD,  WITHOUT  DEATH  THREATS  UPON  THOSE  WHO  WOULD  VOICE  SUCH  NEGATIVE  COMMENTS  ON  THEIR  HOLY  BOOK  AND  PROPHET……. WELL  THE  FUNDAMENTAL  MUSLIMS   WOULD  BE  OF  THAT  MIND-SET.

Keith Hunt

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