May 15, 2015

Expert: Islam is finally starting to reform, but Obama isn't helping

Gavin McInnesRebel Commentator
 

I'm angry about the Omar Khadr situation, too, but KT McFarland says there are reasons to be optimistic that Islamic terrorism might be on the way out.

She's a veteran foreign policy expert and insider who says the Islamic community is finally starting to reform.

Powerful Muslims have acknowledged that "they have a problem" and are calling for change.

McFarland adds that that's exactly why we need to label terrorism "Islamic." This is completely contrary to Obama's misguided policy of separating one from the other out of either respect or fear.

PS: I share what I learned from my time in prison when it comes to dealing with bullies.

 

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commented 2015-05-25 21:34:52 -0400
Obama is the absoute best President that the USA ever had——
If you want to destroy the Country.
commented 2015-05-19 14:09:43 -0400
Terry, I’m not sure you have an argument that’s relevant to the topic. If you do, I have no idea what it is. Culture and religion are two different things. Religion exists within a culture, religion may influence and inform culture but religion isn’t culture. It’s a declaration about what one believes to be objective truth. As such, it’s either right or it’s wrong; it’s either true or it’s false. And again I repeat: Christianity that denies the Bible isn’t Christianity, Buddhism that denies Buddha isn’t Buddhism, Hinduism that denies the millions of Hindu gods isn’t Hinduism, and, Islam that doesn’t believe in the Qur’an and the Hadiths isn’t Islam. Since the founding documents of Islam call for world domination and the subjugation of all non-Muslims, the only reform of Islam that would be compatible with a civilized society and modernity, is an Islam that rejects Islam. Therefore it would no longer be Islam. How the rest of the world perceives that is irrelevant, it would not be the Islam handed down by Mohammad therefore it would not be Islam. Truth is not relative, it’s absolute.
commented 2015-05-19 06:47:04 -0400
Maurice:
“Terry, to accept your perspective is to embrace relativism and reject the concept of objective truth. To embrace relativism and reject the concept of objective truth is to embrace ciaos reject logic.”
Sorry, that’s not a response to the substance of my argument.
“As far as Catholics having to follow and believe everything the Pope says… either true or false.”
I am quite aware of that. You missed my point, which was the prevalence of the erroneous perception of Vatican domination.
“I believe the one true religion is Christianity.”
Yep.
The rest of your response, while articulate and interesting, doesn’t address my argument either.
commented 2015-05-18 14:00:43 -0400
Terry, to accept your perspective is to embrace relativism and reject the concept of objective truth. To embrace relativism and reject the concept of objective truth is to embrace ciaos reject logic. As far as Catholics having to follow and believe everything the Pope says, that only ever applied when the Pope spoke “ex cathedra”, which is very rare. The last Pope to do that was Pope Pius XII in 1950. Catholicism is one denomination in Christianity, and all other denominations originated and sprang out of Catholicism. However, what’s relevant is that each of those denominations has their own unique doctrine, and each tenet with those doctrines are either true or false.

You speak as if religion is strictly cultural, as if it was purely of human origin. If that’s true then, then as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:19 “we are of all men most pitiable”. It’s either Divine truth or it’s useless self-delusion. And my contention is just that: most religion is useless self-delusion. That’s because, while two contradictory beliefs can both be false, they can’t both be true. Since all religions contain within them dogmas that contradict at least some of the claims of every other religions, only one religion can possibly be objectively true. I believe the one true religion is Christianity. In that, I’m either right or I’m wrong, just as Muslims are either right or wrong.

The popular spirituality of this age can be summed up in the following statement; “I’m a very spiritual person, but organized religion is narrow-minded and intolerant. We should all look inward to discover our own spiritual truth”. This philosophy rejects the possibility of an objective spiritual dimension, and implies that each one of us exists entirely within our own unique and subjective spiritual Universe.

The main reason this philosophy should be dismissed as pure nonsense was neatly summed up by eighteenth century French philosopher, Jean-Jacque Rousseau. He said “Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being”. This is self-evident, but for reasons beyond my ability to comprehend, it doesn’t seem to be recognized as such in western thought. Deductive logic and reason affirm that everything that exists in nature, apart from our own subjective perceptions, is objective. It simply is what it is. There are seven billion people on this planet, but the Universe did not come into existence seven billion different ways. Since there’s only one Universe, objectively the Universe and all creation could only have come about one way, whatever that way might be. Who’s to say that this “way” might not very well be accurately described by one, and only one, of the world’s organized religions?

So the real question we should be asking is not if one religious claim can be exclusively true, but rather which religious claim is exclusively true; Is it Atheism, Secular humanism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, etc., and that can only be determined by a thorough investigation of the evidence supporting the claims of each religion. While the definitive, objective truth of any religious claim can never be proven with 100% certainty, mathematical probability can be calculated based on supporting evidence. From that evidence we can make an informed decision about what to believe.

I, in no way, fail to recognize that religion is only one part of a culture, but if religion is only cultural, if it is man-made and not a true reflection of the God who created the Universe and everything in it, then it is useless self-delusion and we are, as Paul said “of all men most pitiable”. And I repeat: Christianity that denies the Bible isn’t Christianity, Buddhism that denies Buddha isn’t Buddhism, Hinduism that denies the millions of Hindu gods isn’t Hinduism, and, Islam that doesn’t believe in the Qur’an and the Hadiths isn’t Islam.
commented 2015-05-18 11:18:56 -0400
Maurice, with respect, your argument is precisely the same as that employed for generations in the United States to exclude Catholics immigrants from many public offices. It was argued (by the Ku Klux Klan, the Know-Nothings, and other nativist groups) that Catholics were bound to the very depth of their souls to accept direction from the Pope of Rome, and could therefore never be trusted to act in the interests of the American people. That belief was so deep, and so widespread, that JFK had to address it directly during his campaign. But it ignores the fact that religion is only on element of culture, and informs beliefs and behaviour to a greater or lesser degree.
In theocracies and homogenous, isolated populations (e.g., a shtetl in the Ukraine or a village in Pakistan), religion is probably THE defining cultural force. Because of its geographic insularity, Islam until the last century avoided modernity and the wave of philosophical, political and economic change that for centuries have drawn both Christianity and Judaism into modernity, and enabled them to function and remain relevant in a pluralist and increasingly secular world. But there ARE no islands anymore, and the reform of Islam is inevitable and, as even many conservative commenters acknowledge, occurring.
Will it remain “Islam”? Depends on your perspective. I have spoken to conservative Catholics who feel that all non-Catholics are no longer “Christian”.
commented 2015-05-18 03:52:05 -0400
Joan, I admire your optimism, but I fear it is misplaced…. or perhaps it’s just a grasping at straws?? I acknowledge that there are many peace loving Muslims who work tirelessly to bring peace and reconciliation between the Islamic faith and other world religions, and between different factions within Islam, people like Malala Yousafzai and Tarek Fatah to name just two. I admire these people greatly. They are true heros; They bravely continue their outspoken fight under the threat of death ever day. There isn’t a single freedom fighter from within Islam that doesn’t have a Fatwa on their head. But you will notice that they are all SINGLE freedom fighters. I’m not saying they don’t occasionally find one anther and compare notes, but there is no organized Islamic freedom reform front as there is that of Islamic hegemonic organizations bent on World domination.

Individual Muslims can be reformed or “converted”, and many are, but how far can one stray away from the orthodoxy of a particular religion and still name that religion as their own? Can you call yourself a Christian and deny the deity of Jesus? Many people do. They may call themselves Christian but that doesn’t make it so. They can also call themselves ducks, bicycles, large furry interstellar cosmic muffins; they can call themselves anything they want, but objective truth is still going to be objective truth, and there’s only one of those.

I suppose it depends on how one define Religion: Is it a cultural tradition, a family tradition, a philosophy, a way of life, or, is it a deceleration of what one believes to be objective truth? If it’s a deceleration about objective truth, as I believe it to be, then the only civilizing reformation of Islam is the rejection of Islam. There is no reconciling of Islam with Christianity, as the Jesus of Islam is definitely not the Jesus of the Bible.

I get your point about Ishmael and God’s promise to him. God did keep His promise. Ishmael has become a great Nation. He didn’t promise it would be a righteous Nation, just a great Nation. However, I believe God loves the Muslims just as much as He loves everyone else. And I believe Jesus died for their sins just as much as He died for mine. However, God is too much of a Gentleman to force Himself on anyone. Before Jesus’ Substitutional death and payment for their sins can do them any good, they first have to acknowledge their need of it. God’s not going to force anyone to accept Him.

In summary, Christianity that denies the Bible isn’t Christianity, Buddhism that denies Buddha isn’t Buddhism, Hinduism that denies the millions of Hindu gods isn’t Hinduism, and, Islam that doesn’t believe in the Qur’an and the Hadiths isn’t Islam. There are many today who are leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, very brave souls who are doing so, not just at the risk to their very lives, but also losing all family, friends and everything that they held dear, when they convert. Perhaps that’s the real reformation of Islam.
commented 2015-05-17 11:20:47 -0400
Ron Zager – your sarcasm is so thick its toxic intention barely drips.
commented 2015-05-17 01:36:45 -0400
The violent passages in the Koran are mainstream in Islam and they abrogate or cancel out the more tolerant passages in the Koran because they were written later in the life of the prophet. The hope in the west of a reform of Islam will do nothing but buy the terrorists more time before the west will strike back.
commented 2015-05-16 22:43:32 -0400
Joan no one can compete with you.
commented 2015-05-16 21:40:50 -0400
James Sutton – “… that is not Islam”. Okay, so what about Muslims? Are they all the same too? Complete write-offs because, according to you, Islam makes them all exactly the same?

I too have read various translations of Sunni, Shia, Ahmadiyya and Ishmaeli Qur’anic texts. Yawn. Who hasn’t? I know the meaning varies widely depending on translation. And depending even more on interpretation of the various translations.

But I’ve also listened to Raheel Reza, as I’m sure you have. And Dr. Zuhdi Jasser. And Hamza Yusuf. You must have listened to these scholars too…right? I mean, you know so much, and have concluded you understand far more than the reformers whose families have studied Islamic texts for generations.

Come on. Have a little humility. Give the highly-knowledgeable Islamic reformers a chance.
commented 2015-05-16 21:39:01 -0400
Thanks JAMES SUTTON for putting this naive notion to rest. MAURICE POTVIN, I agree with you, “There is no moderate Islam because there is no moderate Qur’an” as well as your more extensive explanation, “When we talk about religious reform…. that’s any religion, we have to start with the understanding that all religious belief is a personal declaration about objective truth…..”.
Islam is what it is and hasn’t changed in 1400 years. The naive notion that co-existence can be achieved by reforming Islam to create a modern, moderate liberal Islam that renounces jihad (which can be financial as well as violent) is nothing more than wishful thinking. In fact, I would say, to think that way is dangerous because it lulls us into complacency. No war in history has ever been won by people engaged in wishful thinking and fantasy and self-deception about the motives and goals of the enemy, ever. To base our foreign policy, our domestic policy, and our immigration policy holding out for such a highly unlikely change would put the future of our nation and our children at great risk.
We can sit back at our peril, much like Britain, under the ‘guidance’ of “peace in our time” Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, for a time, complacently sat back and ignored the advancing Nazi peril.
commented 2015-05-16 21:29:41 -0400
Ron Zager – my point in mentioning my Muslim friend at U. Windsor was not to compete with you over who knows the most Muslims but to cite American Imam Hamza Yusuf who said Muslims’ first loyalty is NOT to either Muhammad NOR to the Qur’an, but to Allah.

So, no, Muslims do not listen to Allah by staring at Qur’anic words with variable meanings but by prayer, meditation and conscience. Just as we do … or should. We pray as Jesus taught us to not by quoting words no one can agree on the meaning of.

Sallahuddin did NOT rule the whole world after the Crusades. He ruled Egypt.

That historical period of peace falls in with our God’s promise to Ishmael, half brother of Isaac, to make of his descendents “a great narion”. Sallahuddin got a reputation for being fair in trade with Brtain during peace time. But that doesn’t mean he conquered and ruled Britain. He didn’t.

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/Saladin.htm

If you don’t think Jesus will honour God’s promise to Ishmael but insist on a supremacist Christian dictatorship, then you do not know the same Jesus I do, the Jesus who loved all good regardless of diversity.
commented 2015-05-16 20:30:46 -0400
Joan. I would like nothing more than peace and coexistence, of all peoples, but that is not Islam. I am no expert by far, but have spent the past two years learning as much as I can, having read the Koran in full (yes a translation into English, like many books are, and there are reliable translations, N J Dawood,) listened to full university course on the Sahih Bukhari Hadith and a lot of reading, and I still have a lot to learn.
Yes Muhammad is the messenger, the perfect man to be emulated, above all but Allah, Muslims will say the name Allah, but Mohammad must be followed by “Peace be upon him”
For Muslims, the Koran is infallible, as Allah’s direct word, and as such, cannot be interpreted. -

Some Koran texts:

9:30 Sahih International
The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, “The Messiah is the son of Allah .” That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded?

8:39. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.8:67. It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.

9:29. Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

9:33. It is He {Allah} Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).

2:256. There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut {idolatry} and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

2:106. Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We {Allah} abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?

THE KORAN

The Qur’an, or Koran, is for Muslims, Allah’s Holy Word, as revealed to Muhammad, through various supposedly divine revelations. These revelations occurred over a period of 23 years, commencing when Muhammad was 40 and lasting until his death at age 63. -— For Muslims, the Koran is infallible, as Allah’s direct word, and as such, cannot be interpreted. -——— This is just as well, since for well over a thousand years, not even the most studious and brilliant scholars, of Islam as well as infidels, have agreed as to the exact meanings of many of its passages. In the words of the German scholar, Gerd-R. Puin, “About a fifth of Koranic passages make no sense at all!” He further says, “If the Koran is not comprehensible, not even understood in Arabic, then it isn’t translatable.” Today, even the most educated Arab speaking Muslims would need some sort of translation to make any sense of the Koran. However, for Muslims, any attempt at an objective analysis of the Koran is considered as the most heinous heresy, and in numerous instances, has led to the death of the analyst.

A lot of modern apologists just don’t get it, and we will all suffer, and don’t bring up the Crusades, the is so much misinformation, and BS about these, I have also studied into these, + Christian texts and the Jewish culture/faith.

Over and out.

• “I will cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, so strike [them] upon the necks [behead them] and strike from them every fingertip’” (Koran 8:12).
• “Fight those among the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] who do not believe in Allah nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and who do not embrace the religion of truth [Islam], until they pay the jizya with willing submissiveness and feel themselves utterly subdued” (Koran 9:29).
• “Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever you find them—seize them, besiege them, and make ready to ambush them!” (Koran 9:5).
• “Fighting has been enjoined upon you [Muslims] while it is hateful to you” (2:216).
commented 2015-05-16 20:08:34 -0400
Joan how do the Imans listen to the counsel of Allah? Is it not through their holy book? I don’t think any scholar or cleric would cut and paste from the religious writings. Like you I know quite a few Mohammedans. I will give you some random anecdotes. I know several businessmen who have been to Mecca more than once. Several times they have told me we have so much in common. One fellow said “Ron we are the same we both are worried that our children will reject our ways and become hedonists”. One guy from Malawi who I knew from work in southern Africa met Jimmy Carter on one of his junkets and was invited to Plains Georgia. He went and after words excitedly told me “see we are the same we want peace”. Another friend I met in Mozambique told me he was a Muslim at birth. He was born in India and he rejected Islam as he said “it is the religion of the masses and is for the Arabs”. His family no longer speaks to him. I was talking to a young Muslim a few weeks ago here in Canada at a dinner. He told me we are the religion of love and peace and meant it. History tells me that Muslims, Christians and Jews lived in peace for several centuries after the Crusades. However one group was in control of the politics and taxed the others. So peace is achievable and for that to happen the Muslims will have to be in charge. Tony Blair after leaving power was tasked with merging the main religions of the world into one so peace would reign. He has come up short so far. Obama when he leaves office will probably be given a mandate to do that by the UN. My travels to Africa tell me he is unbelievably popular. However as a Christian I believe peace will only come when Jesus reigns.
commented 2015-05-16 18:09:38 -0400
Ron Zager – I don’t think it’s true that only “the” messenger, as spoken to by Allah, can reform the teachings. My Muslim contact at University of Windsor sent me a video of a very prominent Americam imam, Hamza Yusuf, in which he explains that every Muslim’s first allegiance is owed to Allah, his/her second allegiance to Muhammad, her/his third to the local imam, etc.

Accordingly, if respected imams listen to the counsel of Allah and of prophecy, including that of Christ Jesus (:-)), and put it into the context of today’s world, they may well succeed to reform Islamic ideology. They don’t need to reject Muhammad, just place him in context, according to the Muslims’ allegiance to Allah and the fulfillment of his Word (as delivered to modern seers).

Similar to how Christ Jesus fulfilled the old law with new meaning.

According to shared Abrahamic history, God promised Ishmael, from whom Muhammad descended, that he would make of his offspring “a great nation”. Not a global caliphate as is the ambition of too many of today’s jihadis. But there is no reason why a modernized Saudi Arabia and a modernized Iran could not, with an ideological reform that respects God’w will of prophesied tribal reconciliation, fulfill God’s promise to Ishmael.

And allow Israel to fulfill Jewish prophecy.

Tarek Fatah says the idea of a global caliphate is refuted by the assumption of tribalism in the Qur’an. It is possible, I think, to build a world in which there is peace.

Possible, I said.

Having said that, I think all that is required of us all is to be open to peace. To give it a chance. Not to submit to tyrrany to do so but to be open to the idea that maybe we don’t have all the answers.

Maybe God will send Jesus in the form of a new prophet to Muslim leaders or fill with the Holy Spirit a council of Muslim leaders. Maybe the Prince of Peace will deliver them from jihad.

I acknowledge the veracity of what you say about peace. History is of war. But that is where faith comes in. In the face of all indications to the contrary, maybe God will work a miracle.

It’s possible …

If we work with the shared ideology of the birth of man and the loss of paradise through sin, we also look forward to the redemption of paradise when all humanity returns to the Creator.

You may say I’m a dreamer … but I’m not the only one. :-)

http://youtu.be/rhyiqGIJQus
commented 2015-05-16 17:33:47 -0400
Joan is it not true that only the messenger as spoken to by Allah can reform the teachings? I think the clerics and mullahs from time to time debate the topic but at the end the jihadists go on the war path. It seems to me that is the way it has always been. Joan I don’t think peace ever works as someone always has to be in charge. Whether it is the British Empire, American exceptionalism , Stalin, Saladin or Napoleon that is how it is. From my Christian point of view only Jesus can bring peace and at the moment most of the world has rejected Him.
commented 2015-05-16 17:04:38 -0400
Cathy – it isn’t just one imam.

Ever hear of Malala?

How about Dr. Zuhdi Jasser? Raheel Reza? Raid Badawi?

The list is really rather long and stretches all over the world.

Give peace a chance.
commented 2015-05-16 17:01:25 -0400
James Sutton – the Qur’an is not “the unalterable word of Muhammad”.

You must have heard; Muhammad is just the messenger.

In fact, Muslims believe Muhammad was just the scribe who recorded the message of Allah delivered to him by the Angel Gabriel.

Talk about hearsay!! Lots of wiggle room for reform of a message delivered third hand.

Don’t turn your back but peace a chance.
commented 2015-05-16 15:11:08 -0400
This has to be shared as much as possible.
commented 2015-05-16 09:11:09 -0400
These people don’t get it, they think Islam with reform like their misunderstanding of the Christian reformation movement. The problem, both reformations are doing?did the same thing. Christianity reformed because they believed the Catholic Church had moved away from the original text, and got political, so they went back to reading the Bible as literal text, the Islamist to day are reforming exactly the same way, they are going back to the original unalterable word of Mohammed. These people asking Islam to reform are asking for them to tear out and throw away 25%+ of the Koran, 50%+ of the Hadith’s, yup this is going to happen, right!
commented 2015-05-16 02:02:01 -0400
" there is no moderate Qur’an" That is where I get stuck.
commented 2015-05-16 00:33:24 -0400
Sorry, Peter. I’m skeptical of any reform of Islam that equates to moderation and freedom. There is no moderate Islam because there is no moderate Qur’an.
commented 2015-05-16 00:13:17 -0400
There are indicators that this reform is starting, however, the MSM and the left ignore this completely. One reason may be that it would expose to everyone, that their support of the radicals was ill conceived and wrong. They hate to be proven wrong, just look at the man made global warming scandal for proof of that truth, so they pretend that these reforms aren’t happening. Because naturally, reforms aren’t needed, they just need to be understood, talked to, served tea and cookies, and left alone.
commented 2015-05-15 19:27:53 -0400
Right on Cathy. This expert is a Kissinger clone and a member of the CFR. Kissinger sees the world as a giant chess board and he enjoys making moves that sometimes take years to accomplish. A brilliant mind and genius and also an idiot.
commented 2015-05-15 19:05:08 -0400
Yeah, I’m not buying her comment that they are starting to reform. There is no proof whatsoever of this statement, none, zilch, zero. She is only saying that one Egyptian imam said that islam has to change and did so knowing he’ll have a big mark on his back or whatever. Doesn’t sound too promising to me. Meanwhile the death tolls are rising daily by the Islamic mass murderers, thousands of imams are boasting and screaming about the jihad and caliphate, people are being killed by muslims for drawing a picture of Mohamed, muslim lawyers and politicians are pushing for sharia law in democratic nations etc etc. Show me proof of any Islamic reform, like when they stop burning down churches and stop all the slaughter, then I’d begin to believe not when one person says they heard one imam speak of it. BS
commented 2015-05-15 18:46:55 -0400
Maurice thanks for your essay on the reformation of Islam.
commented 2015-05-15 17:48:36 -0400
BZ – there are apps you can use on your phone to scan barcodes to see which products are halal. I boycott all that are halal.
commented 2015-05-15 17:33:34 -0400
In the meantime we will keep our guard up so Iran does not drop a surprise on us when we decide they are becoming part of the good guys.

Hussein Oblahblah is one of the bad guys as well – but most in Canada do not know this.

Yet.

In the meantime someone in Canada is putting money into the mosques who sending funding overseas – usually those nice quiet folks who work in the cubicle next to you

And Canadians pay the halal fees every day at the grocery store to send money out of country to support terror – albeit unknowingly for the most part – every time you buy Campbells Soup of Liptons or whatever – that little fee is tacked on and we all pay it.

Yup – islam is going to become our friend some day – ask the folks in London or Brussels if they are happy.

The only islamic I will support after living with them for many years is one who openly and staunchly:

Denies armed jihad
Denies apostasy
Denies under age marriage
Denies honour killings
Denies halal
Denies female genital mutilation
Denies the killing of homosexuals
Denies the beating of a wife
Denies the stoning of women
Denies sharia law supremacy
And much more…

To do all the above is a death sentence under sharia

Those of you with islamic friends ask them to stand up and publicly state these things – it is unlikely they will

Off to see how things are outside in the desert – starting to cool down here – at last.