I get a lot of petitions sent my way and I sign the ones I care about while ignoring all others. A healthy percentage of these concern basic human rights for women in the Islamic world, the freeing of “prisoners of conscience” and those left Islam or criticized it, and whether or not religion should be taught in public school or the various holidays publicly acknowledged. In short, a lot of people are bucking a system that puts its nose in where it doesn’t belong and tries to dictate to people what they should or shouldn’t be. So I ask you (in no particular order)….
1. Why shouldn’t men and women have equal pay for equal work? Only religion has ever said we weren’t equal.
2. Why aren’t reproductive choices up to the fully realized individual(s) involved?
3. Why the hell shouldn’t people say “Merry Christmas” to each other at Christmas time in the Western world? And don’t start wanking about the touchy sensitivities of foreign born newbies here. They’re in our culture, we’re not in theirs. If they decided to come here, they should be expected to put up with our cultural habit or go back to where they came from. And why can’t non-Christians put up with it either? We can give one another’s holiday greetings to one another. What’s the harm in that? It’s all about good will to one another, not suprematism. Heck, I’m not even a Christian and I not only “put up” with Christmas, I LIKE it. Leave it alone!
The above are some of the simpler issues. The tougher ones are more peculiar to religion. Not saying the above aren’t but the following wouldn’t even be issues if it weren’t for a certain religion being involved:
4. Peace between Palestine and Israel. Never mind the fact that Palestine was never a nation in the first place. It’s only the fact that its ruled by Muslims who say they won’t stop attacking Israelis until every last Israeli Jew has been killed. Israel is forced to constantly defend itself and get criticized for doing so based on Palestine’s bogus claim of nationhood and Palestine very clearly does not want peace. GAH. Note here the Arabs, even Muslims, have all the basic human rights when they live under Israeli rule but Palestinians grants basic human rights to no one, not even their own.
5. The right of women to drive in Saudi Arabia. It’s not because cars are considered evil there. It’s because women never reach legal majority in Islam there and therefore can’t be trusted not to get into trouble if they go running around too freely as driving would make possible. Also, the veils they are forced to wear due to men “owning” them, makes driving hazardous by limiting their ability to see the road, pedestrians, other traffic, and road signs.
6. Female circumcision. Islam isn’t the only religion that encourages this. Others do too under certain circumstances, but it is most common in Islamic countries because the degree to which this mutilation is practiced is directly proportionate to the position of women in that religious culture. It is meant to curtail female enjoyment of sex while increasing enjoyment of the male that “owns” her. And this is very much about ownership. Women are property in Islam and their sexuality is considered dangerous. Never mind that female circumcism causes them pain and can be a serious heath hazard besides.
7. The right to leave your religion and/or convert to another. This is a capital offense under Sharia but this is one law that applies only to those born or converted to Islam. Crucifixion or being vertically pierced on a pike is the normal punishment.
8. Criticism of religion. As far as I know, only Islam is so insecure that it can’t take criticism of any kind. Question it, and it will get you killed if you happen to live in a Muslim community.
9. The right to dress as you please so long as you are dressed. Certain religions are very dictatorial about this, especially for women. But Islam tops the chart in being dictatorial.
10. Refusal to convert to this religion or that has historically always been something that could get you beheaded, but these days, only Islam practices that ridiculous level of barbarity. This is others telling you what you can and cannot believe.
11. The practice of mind skills or rituals commonly known as magic. Many religions attack the practice of religion even while magic of a sort is practiced by most of them under the context of religious practices. The laying on of hands, speaking of tongues, exorcism, blessings, and rituals involving potent symbology. Abrahamic religions in particular work very hard to limit the practice and understanding of magic outside of religion. What this results in is a distinct stunting of spiritual growth and understanding.
12. The Heaven and Hell teachings and, along with them, the injurious notion that “beliefs” trump knowledge and that failing to believe “correctly” will get you damned. blatant mind control and very spiritually unhealthy.
13. Refugees starving because (a.) the food relief crews offer them doesn’t meet with their religious requirements and (b.) they keep having babies because their religion doesn’t allow birth control of any kind and their men are, in accordance with their religion, not taught to control themselves around women… or females of any sort for that matter.
14. Why is a woman’s word and inheritance only half of what a man’s is in Dar Islam? I’ll tell you why: The Koran says so. If you follow the Koran, you just have to accept that. It’s part of being Muslim.
Anyway, enough of my ranting. I only meant to say that fighting for rights for people who are without them because of their religion is pointless as long as they belong to the religion that did it to them. I’m not going to sign any more petitions for rights or freedom of Muslims living in Dar Islam because it’s pointless. They need to recognize that their oppression is a direct result of their religion and only they can do something about it. Not us outsiders. They don’t like us anyway. Hopefully, they will learn to like themselves enough to slip free of the bondage they’ve put themselves in.