Pakistani Taliban: wear hijab, or be disfigured

Good news: Congratulations to The Hijab Blog and Hijab Style on their feature story in the Toronto Star. I’m excited about the additional coverage being given to women who are pushing the envelope. In challenging expectations about Muslim women, they’re not only educating the West – but also empowering Muslim women worldwide.

Think their work is all superficial? You’d be wrong. Many women – including a hefty number of Western feminists – refuse to openly condemn human rights abuses that have some sort of “cultural” underpinning. Even if the excuse of culture is obviously rubbish. Many of them don’t have the guts. Imaan of The Hijab Blog does. She is “infuriated” about what I’m about to share with you – and I am too. 

Very, very bad news: Yesterday, the Pakistani unit of the Taliban announced not only that it demands “unislamic” businesses to close (CD shops, cable service providers and internet cafes) – they also warned women that they have 15 days to start wearing hijab – or have their faces maimed with acid. These guys claim to be out to destroy the “traitors of Allah” – while they go against every Qur’anic command to respect human rights.

Disfiguring women’s faces with acid has a long, scary history. See this story about women being burned in Kashmir, this account of acid burning in Pakistan, not to mention Bangladesh, Uganda, Vietnam, Cambodia, Ethiopia, the UK, Turkey, Colombia, Thailand, and the United States.

In some cases, like this one in London, acid is used to destroy DNA evidence after a woman has already been brutalized by rape.

While acid attacks do happen most frequently in Muslim-majority countries, this crisis doesn’t plague Muslims alone. It is vitally important to understand just how widespread these kinds of attacks are.

These acts can do much more than maim someone’s physical appearance. Blindness, loss of speech and even death can result. Many, after losing significant amounts of skin, are unable to survive the infections that ravage their bodies after an acid attack.

UNICEF once reported a story about a baby girl whose father poured acid into her mouth because she was not the boy he wanted his wife to bring into the world. She grew up unable to speak or hear.

Receiving the threat of an acid attack is alarming – but to see the pervasiveness of this horror is petrifying.

Now, an acid-maiming campaign is being launched – openly – against Pakistani women. Unlike when communities have been taken by surprise, the Pakistani Taliban has stated their gruesome, disgusting mission publicly. We cannot claim shock this time around.

BBC)

Kamilat Mehdi, Ethiopia (photo: BBC)

What can you do?

* Get involved with groups like the International Campaign Against Honour Killings. Acid attacks are often used in instances where a woman is seen has having “dishonored” her family, community, or religion. The ICAHK works against this brutality.

* Learn more from Amnesty International, and join their campaign to protect women’s rights.

* Educate yourself and take action. Start by watching videos like this in their entirety, and learn about the organizations you can become involved with. An example is the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which releases yearly reports on violence against women.

We cannot claim ignorance or justify inaction.

Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

Asha, India (photo: Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images)

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~ by raquelevita on August 1, 2008.

101 Responses to “Pakistani Taliban: wear hijab, or be disfigured”

  1. oh my goodness this is absolutely awful! i read your myspace bulletin and couldn’t believe it but the pictures speak a thousand words!!! i honestly cannot understand WHY these men think they have the right to disfigure these beautiful women and shatter their self-esteem!! it truly is abhorrent!

  2. I completely agree with your sentiment, and I encourage you in your efforts.

    You do understand, however, that your desire to continue to cover your hair will merely encourage these evil people. God does not care about your hair – this “fashion” was created by demented MEN. You are buying into it and encouraging them further.

    Islam is nothing more than an Arab cult bent on enslaving the world. Your ancestors were NOT Muslims, but they were likely abused, beaten, raped and murdered into Islam.

    Carry on, but at some point, everyone needs to stop being Muslims. Or Christians. Or Jews, etc.

  3. unbelievable

  4. And this is a religion of peace. Wake up!

  5. There’s a few points to ponder upon. First, this usually happens in Afghan-Paki-Indo area (also in some parts of MEast).I am living in Malaysia and we dont have this issue (Muslim majority). So does Indonesia(80% Muslim). While Islam address the women folk to cover their hair, forcing them upon with acid/rape/torture is a grave sin; a criminal act. However, the article also misguide readers that Islam is at fault. This is not a Muslim way of teaching but article puts it as a Islam is at fault. This goes against the teaching as a whole. While tribal laws (not Islamic law) are much prevalent is these areas, I do hope readers would have an open mind before making any comments.

    • Sorry but you are pondering on the wrong points..It does not usually happen in the area you are talking about, it usually happens in many different areas…
      To day, A journalist from Colombia came to visit Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Unit, because acid violence is now also ocuring in Colombia and she wanted to make a documentary to show how evil it was and how Colombia should act immediately to stop that…
      I will be advising ASF organisations in Uganda and Cambodia to set up some projects as they need technical assistance to adress the acid violence issue : Bangladesn and Pakistan have already gone quite ahead in the matter…So you see, things are not that simple, are they?

      Best regards, Valerie Khan Yusufzai, ASF chairperson.

    • i also from malaysia.
      in malaysia , muslims are not exactly following islam.most of them are modifying it according to their needs ..so i think muslims in malaysia will not understand what there pakistani and bangladeshi muslim women are going through …so stop comparing malaysia and pakistan…
      the issue is not about islam or pakistan or malaysia.this is about a woman’s right. no matter they are muslim ,christians or hindu ,the basic thing is they are human who has feelings….
      stop talikg …if can do something for them…
      i’m tired of malaysians who are acting like a saint…
      there are so many discrimination in malaysia too.
      majority people are taking all the advantages and living behind the minorty people…
      so to all my fellow malaysians, we are not in a proper track so stop telling malaysia is a heaven…

  6. THE WORK OF SOME TRUELY SICK BASTARDS!THATS WHAT CENTURIES OF SEXUAL REPRESSION DOES FOR PEOPLE.THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELOEVE THEYRE GOING TO GET 72 VIRGINS IF THEY KILL THEMSELVES FOR ALLA.I GUESS THATS WHAT TRYING TO LIVE IN THE STONE AGE DOES FOR YOU

  7. Dear “No Dhimmi”:

    I thank you for your support and encouragement. However, I would like to challenge you on a few points – points that make your support sound disingenuous.

    My blog posting highlights cases of violence against women all over the world – often at the hands of Muslims, to be sure. I will never sanitize that. However, what I also will not sanitize is that this is happening in all cultures, and all religions. I illustrated that point in several ways here. If you watch the video I’ve linked to, for instance, you will hear a number of tongues being spoken, see a number of religions represented, and myriad cultures shown. In your rush to condemn all religions, and Islam in particular, you have quite severely missed this vital information.

    As an only slightly tangential piece of information – acid attacks have occurred often in Southeast Asia, for instance, in cases where religion is not at all at play. In Vietnam, there have been periods of time during which women considered especially beautiful have been maimed with acid – through taxicab windows, in the streets, etc. This is not a religion-based issue but a gender-based one.

    “No Dhimmi”, you inadvertently insinuate that atheist women are free from being targeted with violence. For starters, this delegitimizes the traumas faced by the women in your own community. Further, and most obviously: to act as if abandoning religion protects women from violence is no better than a fundamentalist blaming an unveiled woman for having been raped.

    I am the last Muslim to ever say that because violence against women is universal it isn’t something that plagues the Muslim community in a particular way. However, this “practice” of maiming women with acid – or with anything else – is not close to being a “Muslim issue”. It is an issue for all people. Including those who choose to believe in no religion at all.

    What really bothers me about your comment is this: you have been presented with the opportunity to take a real stand against violence against women. What did you choose to do instead? Engage in an attack on faith and also make some quite presumptuous statements about me. I don’t wear the hijab for men. My choice to wear the hijab has nothing to do with men at all, in fact. Not any more than my wearing jeans has to do with the context in which dungaree material was first made into pants (for laborers who needed more durable material). My hijab, for me, has nothing to do with other people at all. It is something I have reflected on significantly – and struggled with significantly. This choice is something between me and my Creator. It is not about my hair, it is not about sex, it is not about beauty or hiding it. I do understand that it, like all choices about appearance, sends a message. A shaved head would send a very different one, but a message nonetheless, depending on the context in which it is viewed and the experience of the viewer.

    By your logic, the historically oppressed should reject all accoutrements of their oppressors. That philosophy would then presumably say that African Americans should prefer segregated schools and communities, and that those with Native American ancestry should reject anything that speaks to the post-Mayflower way of life. Nonsensical, right? I’m sure you’d agree that both of these groups can – and DO – find ways to empower themselves and be successful in contemporary American society. I argue that Muslims have every capacity to be positive contributors to all socities without abandoning our faith. In fact, our history proves it possible. Our present proves that many of us are.

    Religion isn’t going anywhere. Taking a missionary stance against it is counterproductive. To be logical, to be reasonable, one must also be a realist. And realism – for people of all faiths and none – tells us that humans will always believe and disbelieve. The question becomes how to take the best of our traditions and our beliefs to combat the worst of our legacies. Including those that have manifested in the horrors we see happening today. Muslims have this capacity. So do Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Baha’is, atheists, etc.

    I am willing to take heat from the more fundamentalist individuals in my own community to defend your choice to disbelieve. Can you not also recognize that religion is a valid choice for a good number of us? Quite a few reasonable atheists – some of whom have commented on previous blog posts of mine – understand and accept that.

    Finally, I am also willing to, and have, learned about the reasons why people choose atheism over religious faith. It isn’t a choice that works for me, but I respect that it is what makes sense for others. I pray five times a day, fast during Ramadan, etc – and have no interest in converting you (much less enslaving anyone!). You’ve made some rather confident statements about Islam’s intent with the world. Have you engaged with enough Muslims personally – and learned enough about Muslim dissidents – to really back up your claims? Many who have expressed views like yours to me are people who really are concerned with human rights. However, unless you are willing to forego the fantasy of “imagine there’s no religion” – for there always will be – you are pedaling backwards. It is much more constructive for those of us on all paths to join together against the ill-treatment of other human beings. Unconditionally.

    So, in the interest of being constructive rather than divisive, what will you do to ensure that women of all backgrounds, colors and faiths are protected from this kind of thoughtless brutality?

    In peace,

    Raquel Evita Saraswati

    • Dear Raquel,

      Thank you for clarifying some essential points. What truly amazes me, as you also mentioned it, is that male and female Muslim activists who are fighting for human rights and who have dedicated a big part of their life to spread peace and democracy find themselves facing a court and bound to justify their spiritual choices…
      In spite of all the documentaries, the researches clearly demonstrating that acid violence is unfortunately widely spread all over the world and has NO RELIGIOUS, CULTURAL OR GEOGRAPHICAL boundaries, people are still blind and get engaged in a anti islamic crusade that is simply unacceptable from any human rights perspective!
      Our survivors in Pakistan are proud to be Muslim and Pakistani, most of our supporters, board members and change agents are Muslim men and they have been taught tolerance and love and are appalled by such treatment being inflicted on any human being ad not only on women by the way…….
      Since we are all fighting for a humanist cause, I would appreciate that the ones ready for war and obscurantism should simply switch to other forums,it seems they are clearly following a totally different agenda…
      Most of the mollahs, priests, rabbin philosophers, etc..would simply condemn such an horrendous act, as any sesible human being would!
      AS far as the prevalence of acid violence in a region is concerned, again, careful before switching quickly to conclusions :it is very present in Asia (in many various religious contexts)but it is also very present in Africa (South Africa, Uganda, Yemen…)and most probably in South America.
      ASTI (Acid Survivors Trust International) is currently doing some research in the matter but the big number in Asia (apart from the fact that the biggest human population is there)may also be because this is the region where people are doing something against it instead of hiding it, and where the reporting is therefore more relevant….

      I would please like to see some positive and constructive energy for the cause instead of message of hatred: acid survivors got enough of it…talk to them, you will understand.

    • Bastards do this to woman. Men who don’t care about women and feel that they are superior to women. The reason they get away with it is because the courts are made up of men who think the same, that women are inferior and, probably, they deserved whatever treatment was handed out. Until men are taught that they are NOT superior humans and that we are all equal in Gods eyes, women and men, acid throwing, and other horrible crimes againts women will continue, no matter what bloody religion we all choose.

  8. Muslim men are cowards. They have no idea how to treat women. They are right from the stone age…..unbelievable! This must be stopped!

  9. Do you think the Taliban who are doing this are really the Taliban? I have read so much lately about CIA troublemakers disguising themselves as Kuwaitis (to provoke the Iraq invasion of Kuwait and therefore start the first Iraq/US war) and that Cheney suggested dressing them up as Iranians and causing trouble to start a war with Iran – I don’t know, but as this is so opposed to real Islam, could it be the people doing this don’t know real Islam? That they are trying to make another Muslim ‘monster’?

    I lived in Iran many years ago when there was a western influence – I was told by the Savak that I would have acid thrown at me by extremists..but do you know I never saw or heard of any extremists in the small town we lived in – and we used to get to know EVERYTHING about such people. The people were absolutely wonderful, friendly, kind, supportive – I always thought the Shah’s security people were after all the US security people, the biggest terrorists in the world.

  10. Maybe we (the world society) should go into these areas and just take the women out of there. I know it sounds preposterous, but if they do not wish to respect them, we should let them live without them. Eventually, they would get the hint that what they are doing is unacceptable, or they will simply die out.

  11. I’m not naiive, and I know that human cruelty has no limits. But when I see this and read about it, I am left wondering how anyone can do this to another human being. There is no justifiable reason in any religion or philosophy to do this. And how can someone bring themselves to actually carry out the act?

  12. Miss R, great reply you wrote there!!!!!

  13. This type of thing is bestial but I feel that to frame this thing as a gender issue is somewhat wide of the mark. Men are also brutalized in many ways and in far greater numbers than women.

    Mother is first teacher .. and if they refused to allow their sons to have their genitals mutilated (circumcision) or to be sent to war then that would be a good start.

    It is a self evident truism that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

  14. All of this cover up or else, when the base need for the coverup of all women is to prevent a man from raping them.

    Talk about an out of control mind set.

    A mans self esteme is increased with the fraternal religious insanity. Using bridesas barter and trade,,, nice values = sarcasm. What other excuse can they get away with.

  15. Reid, “Meatwad”: What are you both doing to protect women’s rights in your OWN communities?

  16. My Girlfriend grew up Muslim and was disowned because of loving me. She left her hijab at the house that abandoned her. I literally burst into tears and raised my head to the sky asking why God why when i read this. My heart is burdened. I am full of anguish. You must know that this is to suppress the power that women have. The makeup of a women has frightened this world since the beginning. If it were not so there would be no need to humiliate or maim our women. Raquel please let me know what i can do to protect women please. I felt this overwhelming call to action for a long time. I am a friend on your myspace so let me know what i can do. Thank you for this blog and your mission.

    myspace.com/scoobieyahee

  17. i wonder if the womans rights groups will gather and protest there for the women who are being abused ? thats the least they can do to support the movement ! i am all for it …. but for some reason i have a feeling that this issue will not be addressed ….

  18. exterminate the bastards..NOW

  19. I’m a man, but i don’t feel the need to have women covered up. men and religions who ask for that have obvious serious flaws and weaknesses. I don’t want to insult any one but the creator of Islam most likely was a loser. Islam may have its good points, but the bad clearly outweighs them. I encourage the abandonment of all faiths.

  20. It’s terrible to think we’re in the 21st century and brutality against women still exist. Education is the key and being proactive and helping out organizations you’ve listed is probably a good steop to hopefully eliminating such violence in the future. Thank-you for enlightening us all.

  21. Soon Muslim immigrants will be attacking white girls in the West in the same way. Maybe then white people will finally wake up and reclaim their culture from political correctness.

  22. the scum who do this to women are psychopaths who hide behind religion. their initial impulse is pure hatred – which motivates them to harm others – then, they need an excuse, and find religion a convenient cover to hide behind. they are pathetic. and i love that you point out the dissonance western PC liberal fascists must be confronted with – their bleating of respecting other cultures and religions, only to be faced with the fact that some participants of some such cultures and religions preach the brutal disfigurement of women if they do not submit- they are strangley silent on such matters. they too are pathetic.

  23. Muslims talk about peace a lot (see Raquel above), but they continually pull crap like this. They really don’t belong among civilized people.

  24. I, RJ as a man, personally condemn these horrible/terrible attacks on women for whatever purpose they have been done for, for whatever period of time these crimes will be carried out or have been carried out, whereever in this planet/realm they have been carried out, are being carried out or are being planned for the future. I respect the rights of women and their dignity not to conform to violent views of their sexual practices, morality ( including outlawing and punishing having sexual intercourse before marriage, having multiple partners and etc..), or other manufactured perceptions of their clothing, style and ethics. I personally use all my power and will to stop violence and lack of understanding that is used as a sword against women and their rights. And I from all of my hearts do call upon those in the know, those who lead the banks who support religious terrorism and extremism of whatever kind and also my very distant bloodline relatives, who like to think of themselves as in the minority to do something to stop this – since my example might not be enough. I was not picked by the Divine before I was even born to rule over others and to say to them what to do, but clearly I am not a peasant who will stand by the sidelines and watch one of the few pure sources of joy in my personal life be abused. Since harming women is harming me as a man.

  25. Ms Saraswati’s post and her reply to the comments (and the comments after her reply) make one wonder, sadly, whether people don’t actually read what is written and simply react according to pre-programmed responses.

    These attacks on women – or analogous ones (just because acid is not being thrown in the face doesn’t mean something equally horrific isn’t being done) do, indeed, occur in many communities around the world not simply certain Muslim ones. What is being done actually has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, and Islamic Law properly applied has very condign punishments for these sorts of assaults. This is tribal custom and is at variance with the Shariah.

    Making such a big deal about women covering themselves is changing the emphasis of the Quranic directives.

    In the Quran (Suratu-n Nour), God addresses the men first, then the women. If the men will not wear libasu-s sunnah, they have no right to expect it of the women. The hadiths give very general advice on how women should dress and what should be covered; they give very specific commands to men on how they must dress (e.g. sima’u-l muslim al ‘imamah ‘ala qalanis – the sign of a muslim is a turban over a cap).

    The much referred to (and seldom quoted) verse from al-Hujarat about hijab (“a curtain”) is actually addressed to men talking to the wives of the Prophet. It begins “Oh Wives of the Prophet you are not as other women” (with the obvious corollary “Oh Other women, you are not as the Wives of the Prophet”); it then admonishes men that when they talk to them they must do so from behind a curtain (hijab).

    It is the role and responsibility of imams, shaykhs, scholars, and political and government figures to lead and give relevant advice to those they are responsible for for the time and situations we are living in. If they will not do this, then they are betrayers of their trust the consequences of which we see meted out to such as these poor women.

    If people are genuinely concerned about these atrocities then they should be demanding that the appropriate authorities take appropriate action against the perpetrators – they often know which of the birarderi elders sanctioned these attacks. How about putting them in prison? How about putting the person who actually threw the acid in prison for a very long time? This would be quite acceptable under the Shariah, although the classical punishment would have been even more severe.

    There is no tribalism in Islam (“la ‘asabiyyah fi-l Islam”) is a well-known hadith. “The best of you are the best of you to your womenfolk…” (akhyarukum akhyarukum li nisa’ikum…) is another.

  26. These acts are those of cowardly animals who know nothing of Islam. May they burn in hell.

  27. Your statement that this sort of things happens ‘in all cultures’ is plain wrong, and an insult to civilised peoples everywhere. I’m a Swede, and I guarantee you we had never even heard of honor killings, acid attacks, genitalia mutilations and the like until Sweden unwisely opened the floodgates to non-European immigration.

    These immigrants then promtly introduced us to a whole slew of new (to us) crimes that weren’t even mentioned in our Law books, because no man or woman had ever performed them throughout our entire history. We just aren’t inclined that way.

    So when you try to turn this into some kind of universal ‘male behaviour’, you piss me off. Swedish males don’t do this crap. Ever. Neither do males from a number of other reasonably evolved cultures.

    There are only certain barbaric cultures on this planet that produce people this twisted and evil, and the fact that many of them are muslim should indeed tell you something.

    I’m not saying this is strictly a muslim problem, since it also happens in for instance India. But I am saying it is strictly a problem among barbarians.

    Don’t try to paint the rest of us with the same brush.

    • Acid violence was very much present in England, France and Italy during 19th century, and it is also present nowadays in Malaysia, in Hong Kong and in England : perpetrators are not necessarily immigrants.
      By the way, may I know the stats regarding domestic violence in Sweden??? Sexual abuse?It seems you do not have cases of acid violence (as an anthropologist, I will consider it a scientific certainty only after a research is performed by the way, as more and more countries seem to appear on the world map of acid violence,,,UNFORTUNATELY…).
      You see, getting into a debate regarding the level of civilisation is very close to sterile polemics and obscurantism. I belong to a country that also calls himself very civilised and I am also working against child abuse ad child trafficking…Dear friend, you cannot imagine what is happening in our so civilised countries…

      Deep inside, there is an animal in each human being and yes, education and legal systems, political stands are probably the key to stop any kind of violence, horrendous violence…

      That might surprise you but I suggest you read race and History from Claude Levy-Strauss and you will see how close we are to each other in spite of our so many differences…

  28. Fuck em all…

    1789

  29. Amazing that the Taliban was a welcome guest to Texas, greeted by Washington bigwhigs and oil barons. I wonder how many womens shelters are needed in the “Muslim world”?..We sure need then by the thousands in North America. I mean the number one cause of death of pregnant women here is….spousal MURDER.

    Just ask Lee. ( if she’s not busy issuing delusional and radically broad-based antiLiberal fatwas)..Dont go shooting uo any churches now..y’heaw.

  30. By the way Lee, would you consider the Taliban more closely aligned to rightwong conservative concepts…or liberal concepts.

  31. correction that was to the poster “me”

  32. ISlam teaches men to be kind to women!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ‘ISlam is the most peaceful religion there is.. Women wear the hijab for the sake of Allah not for the sake of other people…
    I also got the impresion , while reading this, that you blame islam for this.. What they do is NOT ISLAM, is not what the QUr’an teaches, and not how Muhhammed (peace be upon him) acted…
    I feel sorry for these men, ALlah is the judge.. Yes , these “cultural”; things, or something should be stopped, i agree.. Something has to be done… Someone should give them lectures about ISLAM!
    May Allah have mercy with us all..

  33. Almighty Allaah has revealed His law and the Way to please Him. If you feel it is important to do those things that please your loved ones and likewise avoid those things that displease them, why do you find it strange that believers endeavor to do the same thing for their Creator? If disbelievers do not like to live according to those laws, then fine. But please stop moaning about the consequences. In civilized countries adultery is still punished. And the rights of men are considered to be equally important to the rights of women. As for mutilation, Islaam is clear on this matter and it for this reason that Almighty Allaah curses those who pierce the body or have tattoos. At the battle of Uhud inspite of the mutilation of the bodies of the dead Muslim fighters (including Hamza, Uncle of holy Prophet Muhammad – who had his intestines taken out and chewed on by the wife of Abu Sufyan) by the pagan Arabs it was forbidden to do the same in revenge. This behavior by the Pagan Arabs is exactly the same behavior at Guantanomo and Abu Ghraib not to mention what the Israelis do in their torture chambers! Contrast that to how Terry Waite was treated. Was he ever tortured? No. So non-muslims are in no position to preach to muslims on these issues. Abuse of women and men is common in the UK. Lawyers thrive on it!!! Peace. AJ.

  34. Dzenana –

    A.A.W.R.W.B – Thanks for your comments, but I did want to take a second to ask you to review the post again. You’ll see that I said that these people *claim* to be working for God but are in fact disobeying the Qur’an’s commands to respect human rights.

  35. It is difficult to say *why* a person would make the decision to throw acid in another’s face. We can definitely all agree that it came from some large degree of hatred towards fellow human beings.

    Regardless of religion, race, or national identity, the sub-cultures of hatred and violence that brutalize and kill women (and men!) need to be spoken out against and stopped.

  36. Thank you for taking a stand against this horrible hatred. And thanks for the direction on what to do about it.

    Again the Taliban mystify me. With their hatred in the name of God. It’s so wrong. It’s insane.
    Wishing you well,
    Sharon

  37. Mz. Raquel,
    Thank You for your ever-courageous, gracious and stunning intellect. The fact that you pour yourself fearlessly into so many issues such as this one is inspiration for us all.

    I encourage all of us to take a deep breath and acknowledge that blaming the whole of Islam for the unspeakable crimes of the demented few who carry out such torture does nothing but spread more hate and distrust.

    We are all human beings on this planet together. As Raquel stated so well, there will ALWAYS be those who believe, and those who choose not to, and there will always be Vast cultural and religious differences between us. However, the opportunity exists for us to see that as our GIFT rather than our burden.

    Imagine the way the ocean looks underwater….with all it’s immeasurably huge array of shapes, colors and all kinds of different creatures making the rainbow of life that exists there beneath the surface. If we were all meant to be the same, we would have been born, all of us, with the same color skin, eyes, hair, etc.

    But we are not. It is in our differences that so much opportunity to come together exists. Stretching our hearts to be able to love the “other”, even when we don’t understand them, is perhaps one of our greatest accomplishments of this life.

    So when we set about working, in any & every way we can, to fight for human rights, let us take care to respect ALL people, ESPECIALLY those from regions the world media consistently colors with negativity.

    Furthermore, those men becoming defensive about the fact that this is a crime largely carried out by men against women misses the point – Injustice such as this is abhorrent, and is a crime against humanity as a whole. It is so severe and sad, let us consider that any person tortured like this is a loss for ALL of humankind, all gender,culture and religious beliefs aside.

    The best, most constructive question I can think to ask is, “What can I do to help?”

  38. Why is it so hard for most of you people commenting here to see that there are certain cultures where these acts are a problem, and certain other cultures where they are not?
    This is not a racial thing, and not a matter of religion either.

    The great cultural divide in the idea of self-worth and of the worth of others involved here comes instead from the different economic bases of the cultures.

    Acid attacks happen among people who are traditionally primarily shepherds.

    Acid attacks do NOT happen among people who are traditionally primarily farmers. Many ills and evils do happen among these peoples too, but acid attacks aren’t one of them.

    This is because there is a fundamental difference in the value systems at work here.

    A man from a farmer culture measures his ‘worth’ in how many acres he owns, and in how productive he has managed to get them. A woman is valued for her ability to be a partner in utilizing and improving the land.

    A man from a shepherd culture on the other hand, measures his ‘worth’ in how many cows/sheep/camels he owns, and in how many waterholes he controls. A woman is really just another form of livestock, as can be seen firstly from the fact a wealthy man can have several wives, and secondly from the fact a woman is literally priced in the equivalent number of cows/sheep/camels!

    This are the deep cultural divide which cannot be abridged.

    To all you muslims here I say this:

    Understand that Islam is based on a shepherd’s value system. It is a religion created by shepherds for shepherds. If Islam is directly revealed from your God, fine, then your God is a shepherd!

    Shepherds are naturally attracted to Islam, farmers are not, because the God a farmer is attracted to, is of course a farmer, a God who prices a farmers’ values!

    You may deceive yourself into believing Islam is destined to conquer the world, but this will never ever happen. Islam is indeed conquering all parts of the globe where people are culturally shepherds, or where they still have the soul of a hunter/gatherer.

    But the ‘unstoppable wave’ of Islam stops dead in its tracks when it reaches the shores of the cultivated lands of the farmers.

    If you want Islam to rule the entire world, you’ll have to exterminate every last member of the farmer cultures first, because we will rather die than submit to ideas and ideals which are foreign to our very souls.

    Which incidentally the Quran instructs you to do.

    Well, when the day comes, I guess we’ll just have to see whose God is the strongest.

  39. Mutilation is evil no matter the cause.

    That said, it would be wise to wear the hijab until further notice.

  40. Mikael: I’m a white, “gentile” Muslim…what does that do to your racist and intolerant ideas about the world?

  41. THE FACTS ARE THAT THESE MUSLIM MEN THAT CARRY OUT THESE DEEDS ARE UNEDUCATED, IGNORANT, AND JUST PLAIN STUPID. TO THINK THAT ALLAH (GOD OR IT MAY BE THE DEVIL IN THE CASE OF MUSLIMS) PRAISES WORKS OF EVIL, WELL, IF ALLAH IS THE DEVIL, THEN THESE DEEDS WOULD MAKE SENSE.

  42. All of the stabbings that have recently occurred in the UK; has the media ever mentioned the religion or belief system of those responsible. I think not! If they were Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Athiest etc etc, is it ever mentioned by the Media. Different story of course when it happens to be a Muslim. And so far as I am aware none of the murderers in this recent stabbing frenzy in the UK were actually shepherds Mikael! Peace. AJ.

  43. Good points, Abdul. My reason for posting stories about acid-attacks in non-Muslim contexts, including attacks made by non-Muslims, was to show that brutality against women is a reality the world over. It is something we must combat regardless of the perpetrator.

    Any individual in any society (yes, that includes Sweden) who acts like their culture is immune from injustices against women is living in denial. Maybe acid attacks aren’t the barbarity your women contend with – but what of men beating their wives? What about rape? These, Mikael, absolutely plague your country. So, I ask the same question to you that I’ve been asking of contributors all along:

    Mikael, how are you helping to protect women’s rights? Further, are you willing to critcize and take action against Swedish men who disrespect and harm the women in their lives?

  44. Abdul- You may think reaction to Muslims unjustified, but to non-Muslims the terrorist attacks done by Muslims on behalf of their interpretations of the Koran are very significant.

    Raquel- In the USA feminism has been carried to such an extreme as to be almost nonsense in some of it’s splinter groups and extremists, yet there is nothing close to the attacks you have posted here. At best changing cultures on any point is difficult and slow, even when reaction to some form of extremism.

    If you embrace extremists (over the top feminists, called “femnazis”) to fight extremists (sects who confuse acid attacks, or for that matter terrorist attacks, against innocents with honoring God) you may become lost yourself.

  45. Who said anything about embracing extremists of any creed? No thanks!

  46. Well, here’s the thing: there are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world. If we were all terrorists, the world would have imploded years ago. The truth is that the majority of us are kind, normal people. The radicals, like the Taliban, Hamas, Al-Qaida etc etc are the ones doing all of the speaking through their actions.

    I have said for a long time that it is time for moderate, peaceful believers in Islam to *speak up for ourselves* and say NOT in the name of Allah, of OUR God do you do these heinous things.

  47. To umpazumparoo, the white muslim:
    You’re a rare exception, and the existance of a rare exception doen’t make the general statement I made less true, namely that people from cultures originally based on farming are generally not very attracted to Islam.
    This is a cultural thing, not a racial one, so this holds for non-white people with a farming culture like the Japanese and others too. Islam doen’t fly in Japan, any more than it does in Sweden.
    The cultural aspect means that Islam’s presentation of what God is like, what holyness is like and so on, just doesn’t say ‘click’ for everyone.
    For instance, Islam promises you 72 virgins to use as your personal sex slaves when you die. To some people this obviously sounds like pure Heaven, sex being the greatest thing they can imagine.
    To us others it just sounds ridiculous, catering to the baser nature of man rather than the higher. For us who aren’t easily enticed by any amount of willing virgins, the idea that God rewards especially faithful people with unlimited sex is preposterous.
    Islam’s image of Heaven is a joke to me, plain and simple.
    This is because women are not mere cattle to me, which means I don’t think offering a full herd of them as a reward for my earthly duties is something God would stoop to.

  48. To Abdul Jabbaar:
    I’ll cite a snippet of what I said about us “whites” earlier on.
    ‘Many ills and evils do happen among these peoples too, but acid attacks aren’t one of them.’
    So you see, I never claimed murder, rape and other forms of violence doesn’t happen in my culture. Of course they do. These are all fine examples of ‘ills and evils’.
    But there are a certain distinct class of crimes that are non-existant among us, namely honor killings, acid attacks and other form of mutilations with a sexual overtone. The common thread in these crimes is a special form of cruelty towards women, a complete lack of respect for their status as human beings.
    Men in my culture don’t do those kinds of crimes. At all. I merely offered an explanation model to explain this curious fact, by dividing cultures along a shepherd/farmer axis.
    Why do shepherd cultures result in especial cruelty towards women? It must be because men in these cultures view women differently, less like fellow humans and more like livestock. What else could it be?

  49. To raquelevita:
    Thanks for at least acknowledging that ‘maybe’ acid attacks don’t occur among Swedes. They really don’t, I can assure you of that. It may seem strange to some that the peoples of this world aren’t all the same, but there you go.
    Regarding your question, I have never beaten my wife. I have never seen anyone else beat his wife either. I have never even talked to anyone who has heard of anyone’s wife being beaten. If someone did beat a woman when I was around, I’d certainly intervene, as I would if someone beat a man, for that matter. I would try to hold the perpetrator down while someone calls the cops. Beating people is a crime in this country, plain and simple. Women are people, as are men, so anyone beating a woman or a man is a violent criminal, and violent criminals need to be taken to justice. It’s not complicated at all. Does this answer satisfy you?
    While I’ve never experienced violence myself, I admit it does exist.
    According to statistics, alcohol is generally involved when women do get beaten in this country, as it is with other forms of violent crime. I don’t drink myself, but a sad thing about my fellow countrymen is the do like to drink a lot, and their behavior deteriorates heavily when they do. Swedes certainly aren’t perfect.
    The single most effective way to fight all sorts of crime in Sweden, is to fight the drinking culture, which I do. Swedish men don’t beat their wives because they feel they have a right to do so. This is not in our culture. If they do it, its because they are in a drunken rage, and have lost control of themselves.
    So fighting violence = fighting alcohol consumption.
    With very few exceptions, sober Swedes are quite harmless.

    • You area very lucky indeed to have led a life only filled with good people, but you see I faced a diffreent experience even in Western Europe…kindly check with Unifem network and the Eradication of Violence Against Women network :it does include Sweden indeed…

  50. Sexism, woman hatred in all its forms, originates from birth trauma – fear of death in the birth process projected onto women and their genitalia and acting like a survival instinct. Deep breathing accesses the subconscious where the infantile and prenatal memories are stored. Consciously identifying them deactivates their subliminal influence. “Ye must be born again in water and spirit.” “Spiritus” is Latin for “breath”. The subconscious is the Kingdom of Heaven, which is within. Promoting deep breathing for all, starting at puberty, or now for those older, is something “we can do”. Read The Trauma of Birth by Otto Rank and Rebirthing in the New Age by Leonard Orr and read Stanislov Grof (on the internet) for more understanding.

  51. Hamas I hear were originally started by the Israelis as a means to exert some control over the PLO. Although they no longer have control of this organization. And as for the so-called Al-Qaida was that not the name of the CIA database of all their operatives in Afghanistan. And the Taleban well again supported by the Pakistan intelligence services, which is basically another way of saying the CIA. And I wonder who those 4 israelis arrested by the FBI on 911 were working for? No prizes for the right answer! These same israelis stated on Israeli TV that they were “in the US to document the events”. Assuming this to be true: Why were they wearing Arab dress?

  52. Lets take a little look at the 7/7 attack in the UK. Of the alledged attackers one of those I knew personally known by his English name as Germain Lindsay (we knew him as Jamaal). Myself and ALL the other converts from the town Huddersfield do not believe that this individual would have been influenced by “jihaadi” persons. Myself and other brothers who did not share his own particular Islaamic understanding showed him evidences that contradicted his understanding: He would not budge an inch! This man was not a man to be easily influenced. There is more and more people in the UK who do not accept the official version of what happened that day. This increasing number includes many non-muslims aswell as muslims. Why? The known facts do not match the official version. There are discrepancies. Most importantly among them is the Train Timetable of actual Train arrivals and departures which prove that the Train they were supposedly on was actually cancelled. And the next train was late. And what does this mean? It means that the official version is actually untrue. As it is impossible for two of the alledged attackers to have been on the trains that exploded. I believe that Germaine Lindsay’s wife (who was an Irish convert), mother and children deserve to know the truth, not to mention the families and friends of all the victims in those most cowardly act.

  53. Well, in the state where I come from in the US, according to the US Dept of Justice:

    A call is made every 96 minutes to the hotline for domestic violence.

    65% of women killed were killed by an intimate partner.

    4% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend, or date. (including me, by the way, by a white, agnostic man)

    1 in 3 teen relationships are abusive.

    Women of all races are about equally vulnerable to violence by an intimate partner.

    It is estimated that 1 in 4 men will use violence against his partner in his lifetime.

    In 2003, the police reported that 95% of the people who domestically assaulted someone used their hands as a weapon. (Maine Department of Public Safety).

    In a national survey of more than 6,000 American families, 50 percent of the men who frequently assaulted their wives also frequently abused their children.

    So for those of you who really believe that the only evil men in this world are Muslims, I guarantee that isn’t the case. Men brutalize women everywhere, in every creative way you can think of (like the pregnant woman tortured to death by 4 men in the US this year).

    Mikael, domestic violence occurs in Sweden. Not acid-in-the-face, sure. But if seeing women brutalized bothers you, then do something about it, don’t just blame the infidels.

  54. Before I converted to the Islaamic Faith I had girlfriends. Of those girlfriends at least two had been raped. One of them had been raped by several men in my hometown. And the second had been raped by a Greek man while she was on holiday in Greece. Neither had told their respective families either. Not to say that men are not abused in relationships, I myself have been a victim of that. But I think the point is that this is not a problem that exists only in the Muslim community. And as the previous post points out abuse is rampant in non-Muslim communities also. Which of course is perfectly correct. Now I ask when these abuses occur is the religion of the person an issue? So why is it always an issue when the person is supposedly Muslim? Gross hypocracy! Nice to see that some here appear to have their thinking hats on and are aware of the importance of not justifying the prejudice we may or may not have. Peace. AJ.

  55. And you may ask how exactly was I abused. Let me answer it in this kind of amusing way. I get involved in big argument with a group of Pakistani youth when I walk home from a regular run I do. They block my way on the pavement and act in very arrogant and intimidating way. Kind of common round where I live. Anyway on this particular day I have enough and all the various swear words were exchanged in anger between us. This was out on the streets. Anyway, I think to myself this is getting a bit silly there are 6 of them and 1 of me and this could get a bit serious. Anyway I decide to walk away. Two of these lads decide to follow me. One of them blocks my path and then hits me very hard twice – martial arts style. Anyway I manage to get back on my feet! I play rugby when I was young so used to getting knocked about a bit. Also as Muslim convert you kind of get used to being knocked about a bit also. Anyway after I get these really hard punches. They very nearly knock me out, the other lad come behind me and smash a brick over my head! Well at this point I decide maybe its time to have a go back. So they then decide to leave! Surprise, surprise. And well the funny part is that I would have much preferred my wife had done this rather than what she actually did. I am not justifying abuse that may include acts of violence. What I am saying is that people are not only hurt in this way. Women have their own way at abusing men. And they abuse men just as much as men abuse women. And I think men probably talk about it even less than women do. Peace, AJ.

  56. To see the sheer scale of acid survivors which already exist in Pakistan see http://www.acidsurvivorspakistan.org.

    What worries me is the increase in acid attacks on women under the disguse of “Taliban Attacks”

    • The increase in acid attack in Pakistan is not linked to religious extremism (this is a minority among the reason for attacks)but to the various elements:
      1) reporting is increasing (many cases were hidden and not reported before: Acid Survivors Foundation has elaborated a notification unit that links up with different entities such as hospitals, journalists, community members, NGOs and police officers, doctors, social workers). The awareness and sensitization of the community as well as several severe punishment and the media support has enabled more victims and their families to start reporting the attack.
      2) The main cause of acid attack in Pakistan is not islamic terrorist threat but domestic violence in very poor household in rural environment or in city environment within families from rural origin : it is a social issue and a education issue.
      3) we cannot certify that as a survey would be needed but our anthropologists and psychotherapists seriously wonder if the stress generated by poverty, victimization due to feudalism, war and political instability and economic crisis around is not additional element that would facilitate the development of highly violent behaviours : acid is cheap, available, efficient, difficult to be traced from a court balistic perspective…

      SO the real worry here, is the legal implementation of acid sale regulation and monitoring as well as the education and the socio-economic development in those rural feudal areas where frankly speaking the abusers do not give a damn about Taliban or islam…..the powerful ones do not do anything against it because a frightened underdeveloped community is easier to control and because they are not human enough. Only two things motivate them : money and power. We are fighting against that, we are fighting for the local citizens to build up their capacities and ask for a proper human, anthropologically relevant democratic system to be put in place.

  57. [...] Time to confess something to you: I’m more than a little disturbed by some of the responses to my post on the Pakistani Taliban’s threats to maim women with acid. [...]

  58. Am i the only one thinking beyond the obvious?
    there is no taliban and there is no al’queda.. these acid threats are part of a bigger campaign to encourage “anti-islamic – backward culture bashing – all men in pakistan are bigots” – discourse. and as you all have demonstrated.. such a campaign succeeds.
    pakistan is an issue the USA have assured a many they will deal with. as afghanistan and iraq alone do not seem to be enough for the fighting machines, determination is eminant within the USA administration that a feminist mission in pakistan is now also a must!
    We know that the USA government have become more and more interested in the tribal lands of Pakistan, and have got an agenda to “root out the taliban/ al’queda”. Consequently I have a feeling that such threats to women will not stop yet — by creating and stirring up a discourse suggesting the timeless traditions of islam in pakistan, the agenda may be to gain support for military missions masked as yet another US rescue mission.

  59. heres my take:
    I MEET A MUSLIM (MAN) I WILL KILL HIM END OF DISCUSSION.

    -CHRISTIAN WITH A GUN

  60. Ya, you go, promote Christian values ‘KILL HIM’
    Badger Badgerism, you SUCK.

  61. All such matters should be judged within their respective cultural habitats. That is why I am particularly incensed when I see a veiled woman in North America. The practice is abhorrent when outside of its cultural and religious strongholds. To North Americans and other Western countries it is a sign of the degradation of women, it is an insult to our open way of life, it is a repressive gesture that nullifies equality of the sexes. It also has the opposite effect in open society than in closed societies, in other words it draws unwelcome attention to a woman who is attempting supposedly to be modest. It simply doesn’t belong in the West.

  62. So, Archie, cultural parades and festivals (Irish, Italian, Greek, etc – often religious in nature, and based in relgions where equity between the sexes doesn’t always exist either) also have no place in North America? Don’t they highlight separate cultural enclaves? Don’t they draw attention to themselves? Your logic is lacking here. Only when North America becomes homogenous (which isn’t ever going to happen) would your vision become a possibility.

  63. raquel-

    You are kidding yourself with Archie.

    A veiled woman in the USA is automatically offensive, deeply so, and has zero to do with women’s rights or degradation.

    I saw one a very few times, was instantly and involuntarily offended without any reasoning behind it, just gut reaction, and very surprising to me.

    In a Muslim country, in the Middle East, it is not offensive, it is their country, and while interesting at first, quickly becomes ignored mentally as you walk down the street.

    In the USA it offends, deeply, inescapably, and automatically and does not stop offending.

    You underestimate the depth and breadth of the offense, and nothing you can say or reason out will make that different- it is a fact.

    “Only when North America becomes homogenous (which isn’t ever going to happen) would your vision become a possibility.”

    You are also in error on this- the USA was very homogenous, a Christian nation, and the vast majority still are.

    I am following your blog here trying to get understanding on your perspective, but I see you have some vast blind spots as to the culture, history, and norms of the USA.

    If you are in the USA, as any person living in another culture and language, it is first wise to learn the culture as quickly as possible and as broadly as possible, to decrease your own frustrations at the differences.

    You cannot apply some US norms to Muslims and then apply some Muslim norms to Americans without boxing yourself into a very unhappy and nonfunctional corner.

  64. Batguano:

    The USA was very homogenous … when? After the brutal annihilation of the native peoples? Charming. Have you missed the past 200 years of history? Though the United States is a Christian-majority country, it never has been a single-color one.

    Too bad you’re offended. I’m offended by your gross ignorance, especially to the extent that you define the USA as homogeneous. I was born in the States. I am an American, familiar with “the culture” – which is, sorry to burst your bubble – anything but homogeneous. Even conservative politicians admit this fact. Thank goodness I grew up in a diverse America: my being offended doesn’t make me want to force my views on you. I recognize it as my own offense to deal with. I also recognize that plenty of people here in the US aren’t at all offended by the hijab. You, batguano, don’t speak for all Americans any more than I speak for all Muslims.

    If I may also remind you – it’s not democracy that outlaws offense. It’s not democracy that demands a homogeneous society. The societies that demand these things are the very ones that hate our freedoms.

    And, frankly, I’m doing something very, very American: I’m speaking my mind freely and exercising the American liberty that is freedom of religion. I’d be jailed for doing so elsewhere. However, I’m free to do so here. That is a blessing and a gift I will not forsake.

  65. Batguano,
    Do not paint me with the same brush as you have apparently painted the rest of America. I do not automatically take offence at those who wear the hijab. My first reaction is curiosity. I wonder to myself if the woman in question wears it by choice, as Raquel does, or if she is forced, whether by tradition, culture or an overbearing male authority figure.
    I have sworn an oath to support and defend the constitution of the United States of America. That Constitution includes the 1st Amendment which states quite clearly that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise there of…. What I find OFFENSIVE is, people like you who allege they speak for me and say things I’d never say.
    I personally, have a deep and heartfelt respect for Raquel and the people like her who have chosen not to allow people like you to intimidate and browbeat them into conforming to someone else’s ideals of what this country is all about.

  66. It is amazing to me to view such ignorance of fellow Americans. But then we are a nation mostly composed of narcissistic ignorant beings. Do not misunderstand, I am proud to be an American born and bred. Yet daily we witness thoughtless acts of self-service. Our politicians use their power to lead us in directions where they profit while our fellow countrymen struggling at “minimum wage” jobs while their children go hungry, naked and homeless. Our beer swilling rednecks open their mouths to speak their mind (as is their right) but to merely succeed in removing all doubt thus proving a serious lack of real knowledge of what is happening on their own doorstep. My apologize here as not all beer swelling rednecks are ignorant beings. But I digress.

    Archie1954 says he is insulted and repulsed at the sight of a woman wearing a Hijab. That it has no place in our society. Shall we take a moment to reflect how many sociably acceptable norms have been brought here by our ancestors through religious practices. The ceremonial mutilation of a 6-day old baby boy. I refer to the Judaica practice of the bris (a very common practice in America called a circimsion). Shaving and trimming of a man’s sideburns. This was originally done to distinguish one religious sect from another in ancient times. Boring a hole into the earlobe of the female, I believe this custom became acceptable in many nations, including America, from religious tribal customs in Africa. As so on with other body piercings, skin art (tattooing), and the list goes on.

    How ill-conceived to state that one is bringing attention to themselves by the wearing of a particular garment. But then I would not be surprised that you are one who would wear a beer hat to a sports event and then get into a fight with someone who tells you how dumb it looks.

    And to Batguno, I have not much to say, other then this (sorry but I just can’t pass up the opportunity, you make it so easy). You state “in the USA it offends, deeply, inescapably, and automatically and does not stop offending”. I actually feel sympathy for you. Yes, I feel sorry for you that you would feel so offended without justification. It would seem to me that your lack of compassion and love for other people is what prohibits you from accepting others for who they are. “A Christian nation”… you state this yet completely ignore the very basics of your religious foundation. “Love thy neighbor”, “judge not yet ye be judged”, “god loves all his children”. And how about our own statute of liberty “Bring me you’re tired, your hungry your huddled masses…” Your statements only close these nations’ doors to others as well as close the minds of its citizens. Teach our children to hate everyone and everything that is different. The other item I wish to address is how ironic that your name describes your brain’s ability to think and rationalize. Thank you for the advanced warning.

    By the way, if anyone cares to know: I am a 48 year old white male.

  67. [...] blogged about some of the most grievous things one human can do to another. Women in Pakistan have been threatened with acid attacks. Kobra Najjar, an Iranian woman, is facing imminent execution by stoning after having already [...]

  68. Found this blog via muslimahmediawatch….I have always felt that so called religious (and some non religious men) are just plain afraid of women…of the power we hold over them. They hide this fear by making religious laws sanctioned by God in order to control and limit our capabilities….a woman free to live her life as she pleases is a danger to prideful egotisitical men everywhere…and must be stopped at all cost. I also feel that countries like Pakistan etc in which there is very little else for the men to control(being economically unsound etc and the govt is crap) then controlling the women is all theyve got to feel manly about. Women will always be abused as long as men feel inadequate and ineffectual against anything at all…and whens that likely to happen?

    very nice blog

  69. In the Islaamic tradition freedom is something attained through the submission to Almighty Allaah and His law. The opinion that this is really a mask for bigotry from men is not new. The Pagan Arabs also accused Holy Prophet Muhammad of masking his real intent. I would encourage people to judge their fellow humans on the basis of what they have said and done. And remember many a lie has been attributed to another in order to misrepresent. It is well known for example among the Islaamic scholars of the Prophetic traditions, the extent of fabrication of traditions attributed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Often times because of the financial rewards thus gained or as was also often the case the hatred for the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his tradition. It must be remembered that the Islaamic state destroyed much that went before. Most importantly it destroyed the financial bondage through interest bearing loans. And it destroyed much of the abuse that women suffered under that oppressive system. New born babies that were born female were considered an economic burden under the old system and so were buried alive! Islaam changed all that. However it did not take long for these evil forces of oppression to reassert themselves. A detailed study of history demonstrates this. These same forces exist today although they may try to mask the true nature of their oppressive intentions and actions: A simple bit of research demonstrates to those who wish to “find out for themselves” the difference between the reality and the propaganda. Now I ask you who was masking their real intent in the war of Iraq: The invaders or the invaded? Who was lying? The slogan of “freedom” was in reality a mask, was it not? Real freedom is secured through sacrifice. The freedoms men and women enjoy in the UK were secured by the sacrifices made during WW2. The people who made those sacrifices would be disgusted at how impotent people have become in defending those same freedoms. Imaam Ali’, the cousin of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be with them) stated “for oppression to exist requires two types of people. 1.) The oppressor. 2.) Those people who accept that oppression.” Also to illustrate the same point an old English saying, “to do nothing in the sight of oppression is to side with the oppressor!” Peace, AJ.

  70. Thanks for blogging about this! I’ll do my best to make this news in Finland too.

  71. I mistook this for an open discussion of serious and timely issues related to Muslims and the USA.

    The rhetoric is political correctness of a subculture rather than actually discussion- flame session based in Anti Christian, Anti American rhetoric is how you come across to anyone outside your subculture.

    Flame out, flame in, attack any real discussion, thereby avoiding it.

    Flame on then. Ta tah.

  72. Thank you for this entry. Unfortunately I was too late for the discussion of pastoralism versus agriculture and the effect that distinction has on notions of gender. I think, were its advocate more interested in having a real, informed, academic discussion that it could have been interesting.

    Unfortunately, as an anthropologist I can smell an uninformed troll drunk on his own righteous anger a mile away, particularly when they’re brutalizing my discipline. Many of the comments on this entry have been shameful (and I mean that literally: I find their ignorance embarassing), but the entry itself is a thoughtful, nuanced, evocative, and most of all helpful addition to the dialogue on this issue. I’m glad you posted it because it means that you care and you have enough faith in your readers that you expect us to care as well.

    And we do. Thank you.

  73. It is a shame that people have the habit of bending scientific data to fit with their opinion. Also it is a shame that people like to disguise what is in reality a “slave to man” dogma, with the mask of science. Close inspection of the statements normally exposes the hidden reality and whether it corresponds with the outer. The deceivers know that many people can either not be bothered to look beyond the surface of things or simply do not have the time. People after all generally are far to busy trying to “make ends meet”. 30% increase in Gas bills in the UK! Not to mention the other increases in the various expenses. To catch a train now costs “an arm and a leg”. Keep people busy, so that they do not have the time to think! Financial mismanagement and economic slavery keeps the masses in their place. The price of something should correspond with it value! Or put another way the value we attach to something can be represented by the price we attach to it. How far we are from where things justly belong. Peace, AJ.

  74. no religions!, morals are better!

  75. [...] post on acid attacks in Pakistan was viewed 4,000 times in less than 24 hours. No post of mine has ever gotten that much traffic so [...]

  76. [...] her mind and is not afraid to put her toes in the water. When she blogged about cases whereby women were forced to wear hijab or else they were going to be disfigured (read: acid), her blog received overwhelming response from all over the world and she was bombarded by both [...]

  77. Raquel tu eres mas valiente y su palabras reflejar su corazon.

    You are valiant, and your words reflect your heart.

    Thank you for speaking up for what is right and telling the stories of these women, and so much more. Sometimes it seems such a catch 22. You sure do catch heat from all sides eh? The heart of the matter is people, humanity, protecting the weak, innocent and exploited.

    That said, it’s hardly worth debating or arguing with people who either can’t hold a logical argument or cannot understand the difference between culture and tribal practices vs religion.
    Peace,
    E.A.

  78. sorry, meant to add that sometimes when we speak from the heart it’s like speaking another language to some folks.

  79. Well in liberal Canada it wont be to long before we have people of eastern descent throwing acid on eachother, afterall in such a liberal country as ours everybody has a right to maintain their traditional cultural values.

  80. [...] These attacks also happen in places like Vietnam, Cambodia, Colombia, the UK and the United States. Here is more coverage and some tips on what you can do to help. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Pakistan: acid attack victims find beauty – in [...]

  81. Sorry to post so late but I just found this. I’m amazed at what people can get away with. Even more amazed, (though that is not the word I would use to describe how I truly feel about these actions, however out of respect for the author of this blog I’m going to keep this clean), I’m more amazed that someone has it in them to do this.

    What the hell would be gained from this? This need to control every single aspect of these women’s lives is ridiculous. I can’t put into words how angry I am just hearing this and seeing these mild pictures. I call these photos mild because I know it gets worse.

    Does anyone have any idea what, if anything, our government is doing to combat this? Is there anyway for us to put pressure, collectively, to get the government to act?

  82. Well in liberal Canada it wont be to long before we have people of eastern descent throwing acid on eachother, afterall in such a liberal country as ours everybody has a right to maintain their traditional cultural values

  83. Mikael very interesting article! I quote “This are the deep cultural divide which cannot be abridged”. Would that really be the fundamental reason for the incredible level of sadism and cruelty towards those poor women, not even surpassed by the most hideous deeds of notorious serial killers? Even when considering that women are viewed less than men (or perhaps equal to camels/cows and other property owned by men), this does not explain the level of cruelty. A man would never mutilate an animal (kill it yes, if he thinks it is worthless), so there is something more to it, and for the time being I consider those men (most of whom are Muslim) extremely dangerous psychopaths who must be severely punished for their deeds. What to do about it? Besides new legislation, I would be interested to know in more detail the psychological disturbances in those men.

  84. I would like to throw acid in the faces of all those men who did thisw to their wifes and ex-eifes. How can anyone help me to find these men????!!!Please contact me at markvincent1970@yahoo.co.uk so that I can do the same thing to those faggot guys who aren’t man,but reall “Faggot’O Felia” from Hell!!! I want to throw acid in the faces of these men and after that I want to put a big dry stick in their asshole and rape them with that in order to make them feel how it is to shit every day with a bleeding ass with hopefully a cancer growing in their stomach. These men are the biggest losers of the planet and so they deserve to suffer like this!!! I so intensely hate them!!!PLEASE TELL ME WHERE I CAN FIND THESE BASTARDS???!!!! Peace and a long and happy life to all woman who are great!!! Mark-Vincent.

  85. I know a few trouble making bitches near my house I’ d love to do this to

  86. [...] went to see the owner of the salon and asked her about the women there. This is how I learned about acid violence in Pakistan.  The owner had an NGO and said she was working to get treatment for these patients. Subsequently, [...]

  87. This is March 2010 – Cambodia has seen over 11 attacks this year; Bulgaria wishes to pass a law against acid attacks on its turf – an African American female (non muslim) suffered horrific attacks on her face blinding her – on the streets of New York. In the East we are brave enough to tackle it – the west is just waking up to it. Civilisation and culture roots from humane behaviour. Wake uo from your pre-programmed media inflicted bias against the Eastern cultures and their religions. Human beings do terrible things to other human beings just unite to stand against it stop blaming anybody but the perpetrators – I’ve listed 3 non muslim lands that have a serious problem with violence against women. Blaming a race or religion only eases your own conscience it does nothing for the cause

  88. [...] I have been in regular touch with Valerie and the staff of the Acid Survivors Foundation of Pakistan since the 2010 floods, which have affected over 20 million people – including survivors of acid violence. [...]

  89. [...] Evita Saraswati reports on the victims of acid attacks, giving great information for how to get involved against them.The Star profiles hijab style. CBS news gives their take on female suicide bombers. So [...]

  90. [...] and parade her through the streets for converting to Christianity ^ She wasn't so lucky Jos. Pakistani Taliban: wear hijab, or be disfigured. Pakistan: Muslims torture woman, shave her head, and parade her through the streets for converting [...]

  91. [...] acid attacks and girls’ school bombings later, it became clear that would not be the case. The [...]

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