by, Robert Spencer
Umar Lee, a convert to Islam from St. Louis, was once enough of an Islamic supremacist to write to a rival: “I could cut your neck with the sword of islam and watch you squeal like a bitch like daniel pearl.” In an email exchange with me, he endorsed the death penalty for apostasy.
But now he has left Islam and returned to Christianity. Watch the video; in it he makes many, many important points about how converts to Islam are lied to, and how Islam establishes an empire of fear.
Note especially this, starting at 4:04:
“We can talk about the grievance industry, CAIR, etc., trying to hype up the threat of Islamophobia. Islamophobia is very minor. You want to talk about religious bias? You convert to Christianity in Saudi Arabia, you’re murdered. You convert from Islam in so many Muslim countries, it’s the death penalty. Why are Muslim societies so afraid of missionaries? Why are Muslim societies so afraid of freedom of speech? Why are Muslim societies so afraid of the Gospel? Why are Muslim societies so afraid of the message of Jesus Christ? If you believe Islam is the truth, why don’t you believe Islam can compete in the marketplace of ideas? Obviously you don’t, or you wouldn’t kill people that convert to Christianity and put missionaries in jail.”
Clearly they don’t believe Islam can compete in the marketplace of ideas. Just yesterday I offered to debate UC-Berkeley’s professor of “Islamophobia,” Hatem Bazian. He responded: “Racist are not to be debated they are to be shunned.” (Yes, this university professor wrote “racist are.” He didn’t explain what race jihad terror is. They never do. This “racism” business is just a cover for what Umar Lee says: their knowledge of and fear of the fact that they know their ideas can’t compete, or hold up to scrutiny.
Federal Judge Issues Ruling: “Suppression of Christian Speech Allowed..”
A federal judge has issued a startling ruling that suppressing Christian speech is allowed when Muslims threaten violence because they’re upset over the message.
The ruling from Judge Patrick J. Duggan in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted Wayne County’s motion for summary judgment of a lawsuit brought by a team of Christians who were badgered, bullied and targeted with garbage thrown by Muslims who disliked their message at last year’s Arab Fest in Dearborn, Mich.
Officials with American Freedom Law Center, who have been arguing the case on behalf of the Christians, also said the judge denied AFLC’s motion requesting that the court issue an order preventing the Wayne County Sheriff and his deputies from restricting the Christian evangelists from displaying their banners and signs on the public sidewalks outside of this year’s Arab Festival.
It is scheduled for June.
In his ruling, Duggan said, “The court finds that the actual demonstration of violence here provided the requisite justification for [the Wayne County sheriffs'] intervention, even if the officials acted as they did because of the effect the speech had on the crowd.”
The case had been filed by the AFLC after several Christian evangelists were violently assaulted by a hostile Muslim mob while preaching at the festival last year in Dearborn, which has the largest concentration of Muslims in the United States.
The lawsuit, which will be appealed to a higher court, alleged the county, sheriff and deputies refused to protect the Christians from the attack, and they threatened to arrest the Christians for disorderly conduct if they did not halt their speech activity and immediately leave the festival area.
Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, said, “The First Amendment was dealt a severe blow today as a result of this ruling. Indeed, this ruling effectively empowers Muslims to silence Christian speech that they deem offensive by engaging in violence. And pursuant to this ruling, the Christian speakers are now subject to arrest for engaging in disorderly conduct on account of the Muslim hecklers’ violent response to their speech. In short, this ruling turns the First Amendment on its head.”
David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, added: “This fight for our fundamental right to freedom of speech does not stop here. We have filed an immediate appeal of this ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. While Judge Duggan may have been the first judge to rule on this issue, he won’t be the last. Indeed, we are prepared to take this case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary because it is imperative that our free speech rights not be subject to mob rule. This is the United States, not Benghazi.”
The violence developed at the 2012 events when Christian evangelists walking on public sidewalks surrounding the event while carrying signs with biblical messages were assaulted with stones, bottles and debris by attendees of the festival.
The signs that brought on the attack included “Know the God of the Bible” and “Trust Jesus.”
Several of the Christian demonstrators walked away bruised and bloodied from the attack. Ruben Israel, the leader of the group, pleaded with law enforcement officials to intervene so that the demonstration could continue peacefully.
However, the officer refused and demanded the Christians leave the premises or face arrest for disorderly conduct.
Shortly after, Israel contacted AFLC, which filed a federal lawsuit against Wayne County and several officials from the Wayne County sheriff’s office. AFLC charged that the officers failed to uphold their constitutional duty to protect the Christians.
A video has been released of the 2012 confrontation that explains authorities not only failed to protect the Christians, they ordered them to leave the Arab festival under threat of arrest for “disorderly conduct.”
However, not one Muslim was arrested for the attack, which left several members of the Christian group injured, the video says.
The video, and a related complaint, showed the crowd – reminiscent of a rock-throwing “intifada” scene from the Middle East – hurling a dizzying barrage of objects at the Christians, who were standing passively with their signs.
WND later learned that the Christian crowd had been carrying a pole with a pig’s head attached to the top, further angering the Muslim crowd. At the beginning of the video, Christian street preachers shout, “God is good, and God is not Allah!”
A the 2:17 mark of the video, the mob can be heard screaming: “You want to jump ‘em? C’mon, let’s go!”
One boy yells, “Let’s beat the sh-t out of them!”
A girl shouts, “Go home! Do you understand English?!”
Despite the attacks the Christians endured, a man identified in the video as Deputy Chief Dennis Richardson of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office tells them, “You’re a danger to the safety right now.”
Officers claim they don’t have the manpower to protect the Christians at the festival.
“Your safety is in harm’s way. You need to protect everybody,” said Deputy Chief Mike Jaafar of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office. “You do have the option to leave. I just want to make that clear.”
Israel replied, “You have the option to stand with us” as Jaafar walked away, leaving the Christians to the mob.
When police leave, the crowd continues harassing the Christians and screaming profanities.
Then police begin escorting the Christians away from the crowd.
Richardson tells Israel: “We have the responsibility of policing the entire festival, and obviously your conduct is such that it’s causing a disturbance and is a direct threat to the safety of everyone here. Someone could get hurt. You already have blood on your face. One of the festival people, one of my officers, anybody can get hurt. Now we’re going to escort you out.”
Israel explains that the mob throws things and becomes more aggressive when police leave the scene.
“Part of the reason that they throw things on someone is because you tell them stuff that enrages them,” Richardson argues.
AFLC said the Christians were wearing shirts with Scripture quotes and Christian messages.
By Jim Kouri
Members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Boko Haram allegedly assassinated a Christian leader on Tuesday in Nigeria’s northeast Borno State, according to an Israeli police intelligence analyst who monitors African Islamist groups.
According to the Rev. Ayo Oritsajafor, a spokesman from the National President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Faye Pama Musa was shot dead at about 7:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday at his residence in Maiduguri by Boko Haram jihadists.
“The Borno secretary has been killed. We’ve got the report and the national president received it with heavy heart. It is very sad,” the spokesperson added in a statement.
The Israeli police source said that there were reports that the deceased Christian pastor had “attempted to run away but his assailants caught him and they “shot him at close range.”
The killing of the popular Christian pastor occurred shortly after Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the most troubled states in the northeast part of the country where Boko Haram is believed strongest.
The states most at risk for Boko Haram attacks are Yobe, Adamawa, and Borno, the source noted.
Also on Monday, the Boko Haram sect claimed responsibility for the recent major assault on Baga and Bama, in Borno state, in which up to 200 people, including soldiers, policemen, prison warders and civilians, were massacred.
Meanwhile, last week Nigerian police and security forces reported that upwards of 60 people were fatally wounded when suspected al-Qaeda affiliate Boko Haram Islamists attacked security formations in Nigeria’s terrorist-infested Borno region, according to Jorge Vega, an international counterterrorism and security expert.
A Nigerian spokesman for the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno, Col. Sagir Musa, reported that the gunmen attacked Bama, a commercial town about 200 miles away from Maiduguri, which is the Boko Haram-controlled region.
“Suspected Boko Haram terrorists in 18-seater buses and vehicles mounted with anti aircraft machine guns, attempted an attack on 202 Battalion Barracks in Bama, about 10 insurgents were killed during exchange of fire. We lost 2 soldiers during the attack,” Col. Musa said in a statement. “They came in army uniforms pretending to be soldiers but were able to detect them,” he added.
According to Jorge Vega, the Boko Haram terrorists also executed 14 Nigerian prison officials in cold-blood and they freed more than 100 Islamist prisoners, who will probably return to the battlefield.
The suspected terrorists also torched a police station and its adjoining police barracks, as well as a local courthouse and Bama’s government complex where some of the buildings were totally destroyed.
During the attack, the terrorists perpetrated extensive arson on the divisional police station and police barracks. More than 20 police officers lost their lives, while three Children and a woman were burned to death.
In April, a fierce battle in Baga, Nigeria between security forces and Islamic terrorists left at least 200 Nigerians dead in that nation’s northeast coastal region, an Israeli terrorism analyst who monitors jihad in Africa said.
The source said that the terrorists initiated the attack with rocket-propelled grenades and soldiers retaliated with intense machine-gun fire in Nigerian neighborhoods and many of the casualties were civilians.
The fighting in Baga forced civilians to flee into the surrounding community adjacent to Lake Chad.
After the violence subsided, government officials were able to view the destruction firsthand, and their inspection revealed homes, small business establishments, and automobiles and trucks were torched as a result of the intense battle, according to local media.
The terrorists living in the northeast part of Nigeria, including Baga, are said to be armed with military-grade weapons, according to the Africa Daily.
The Islamic jihad in Nigeria started as a riot in 2009 by members of an Islamist group known as Boko Haram. That first encounter turned into a full-blown gun-fight between Boko Haram and its supporters and the police and the military.
Since 2010, Islamists have perpetrated drive-by shootings and suicide bombings that have killed 1,548 people. Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sacrilege,” has said it wants its imprisoned Islamists released and for the current Nigerian government to institute Sharia law throughout the nation.
DOSWELL, Va. — Officials in the county where the remains of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev have been buried say they were stunned to learn of the burial and they are looking into whether the law was followed in the process.
“As long as everything was done legally, there’s really very little we can do,” said Floyd Thomas, chairman of the board of supervisors of Caroline County. “What we would do is make sure that all of the laws regarding this particular burial were adhered to. If they were not, then I believe we would have to look at undoing what happened.”
Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa Jr. said he had alerted Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli about the incident, and was told Cuccinelli was looking into whether all laws were followed.
Tsarnaev was buried in a small Muslim cemetery in Doswell, a community about 15 miles from Richmond, the state capital.
Tsarnaev’s remains are interred at the Al-Barzakh Cemetery, the first Muslim cemetery in central Virginia, according to the Virginia woman who helped arrange the burial and to Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia.
The burial was coordinated by Martha Mullen, 48, who saw news reports about the protests outside the Worcester funeral home where Tsarnaev’s remains languished for nearly a week, and decided to help.
“It portrayed America at its worst,” she told the Globe this morning in a telephone interview. “The fact that people were picketing this poor man who was just trying to help [funeral director Peter Stefan] really upset me.”
The cemetery was tucked away, off a gravel road and around a wooden fence when a Globe reporter visited this afternoon. Forty-seven marked graves were each designated with a small green sign, the person’s name, and the date of death. The dates range from June 21, 1993, until April 16, 2013. There were also four unmarked plots, one of which presumably contained Tsarnaev’s body.
One of the unmarked plots had a half dozen red roses atop it that seemed like they had been there for several days. Three dusty wheelbarrows leaned against a nearby shed.
It was quiet. Birds chirped and traffic was light. Only a few local news trucks sat nearby.
But word was beginning to spread. One man heard it on the news and drove out near the site. Still, he didn’t want to see the grave, saying if he did, he would spit upon it.
“They should have burned him and sent him back to his mama,” said Wayne Pierce, a 61-year-old restaurant owner. “I just can’t believe this. I don’t know how they slipped him in like this.”
Asked about how he felt about his county becoming Tsarnaev’s burial place, Thomas, the county official, said, “We probably feel about this the way the rest of the nation does.”
“The reality is this was … a horrific event in Boston,” he said. “We sympathize with all the people in Boston. We do not necessarily wish to be the home of the remains of one of those perpetrators.”
“This was a horrific act. This was a terrible crime,” Thomas added. “We don’t want the county to be remembered as the resting place for the remains of someone who committed a terrible crime.”
The cemetery is licensed by the county, but the county does not routinely get involved in burials. Some county officials didn’t even know there was a Muslim cemetery in their jurisdiction.
Lippa has stationed a deputy sheriff at the cemetery, but Lippa wouldn’t say how long the deputy would stay there. He noted that defaming a plot in a cemetery is a felony. “Are we taking security measures?” Lippa said. “I can assure you we are.”
He said the area had already become a public safety issue, given traffic and aggravated neighbors. But the county has no money in the budget for cemetery protection, and it is unclear how long a police officer will be stationed there.
Lippa and Thomas said at an afternoon press conference that they had not been able to confirm or deny that Tsarnaev was buried in their county. They had not seen a death certificate, and had not been able to reach the owner of the cemetery. (A death certificate released by the city of Boston today listed the Virginia cemetery as the place of burial.)
The only thing they had confirmed was that there was a burial. They emphasized that they were not consulted, were not aware, and provided no permission for the burial.
“I know of no Virginia law enforcement agency that was notified of this event,” Lippa said. He said he learned of the burial from news reports. “It caught all of us off guard,” Lippa said. “None of us know anything about this. Had we known ahead of time, it would have raised other questions.”
Mullen, the woman who stepped forward to arrange the burial, said that she had reached out to Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia, which is associated with the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond. The Islamic organization secured a burial plot in the cemetery and coordinated the body’s secret transfer Wednesday night.
“What Tsarnaev did is between him and God,’’ the Islamic organization said in a statement. “We strongly disagree with his violent actions, but that does not release us from our obligation to return his body to the earth.’’
On the official Virginia tourism webpage, Doswell is described as a village once known as Hanover Junction because two railroads lines that played a role in the Civil War are located nearby. Doswell is part of Hanover County, which is listed as the birthplace of Triple Crown winner Secretariat.
Tsarnaev’s body was removed from the funeral home without any public notice. Only after it was buried did Worcester police publicly announce both the removal of the remains and their entombment somewhere outside Worcester.
Tsarnaev, 26, died April 19 after a shootout with police in Watertown, four days after prosecutors say he and his brother, Dzhokhar, allegedly detonated two bombs that killed three people and injured more than 260 near the Marathon finish line.
Dzhokhar, 19, allegedly drove over his brother as he fled the scene. He was captured about 18 hours later. He faces federal charges that could bring the death penalty. The brothers also allegedly killed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.
Since last Friday, when Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s remains arrived at the funeral home, the cities of Cambridge and Boston and cemeteries in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey had refused to accept Tsarnaev’s remains.
On Tuesday, a proposal to bury him on the grounds of a Massachusetts state prison fell apart. Worcester Police Chief Gary J. Gemme then publicly appealed for someone to come forward and provide a burial site for Tsarnaev.
Worcester police said Thursday that Gemme’s public appeal was successful and a “compassionate individual” had agreed to resolve the stalemate that had forced police to guard the funeral home, which was besieged by protesters and the media.
After Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death, his widow, Katherine Russell, waived her right to decide where her husband should be buried and handed that responsibility to Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, a Maryland resident who conducted Muslim burial rites on his nephew.
Police barred Jews from entering the Temple Mount after Muslim groups threatened violence over a planned visit by Jewish children.
By David Lev
Police barred Jews from entering the Temple Mount on Thursday, after Muslim groups threatened violence in the wake of a plan to bring Jewish children to visit the site. The plan, organized by groups encouraging Jewish visits to the Mount, was meant to be an educational program that would demonstrate rituals associated with the Temple, such as the bringing of bikurim (“First Fruits”, the gift to the Temple brought on Shavuot).
Over the past few days, chatter on Islamic web sites indicated that the groups would be met by rioters. Instead of seeking to defuse the situation or defend the groups of visiting children, police chose to capitulate to the threats, and announced that they were closing the Mount to all non-Moslems out of “concern for public safety.”
The decision came only a little while before the tour was set to begin, at 8:30, and after dozens of children and their families – many coming from far distances – had already gathered at the Kotel.
Groups sponsoring the visit strongly criticized the police for their decision. In a statement, the groups said that the police decision was “unfair, and gives a prize to violent attackers who threaten the victims – simple, peaceful families whose only desire was to visit the Temple [site] with their children and observe the special rituals of the Shavuot holiday. We look forward to the day that Israel will have more worthy security organizations, and to the day that police will understand their role, and stop avoiding it,” the statement said.
Over Shavuot itself, the groups reported, hundreds of Jews were able to visit the Mount – but they were a small percentage of the thousands who sought to get in. Police severely limited Jewish access to the Mount, with visitors being allowed to enter only in small groups beginning on Tuesday, the day before Shavuot. In several instances, dozens of Muslims sat and blocked the entrance of the Mughrabi Gate, used by non-Muslims to ascend the Mount. Those Jews who did manage to run the Arab gauntlet – with little, if any, police assistance – were followed and harassed by Muslims, and verbally assaulted the entire time they were on the Mount.
Police intervened only after a riot broke out – with their response to close the gates of the Mount to Jews altogether, evacuating the Jews who had managed to enter via a side exit.
CHURCH IN BANGLADESH UNDER THREAT AMID VIOLENT ISLAMIST PROTESTS
Barnabas Aid has received requests for prayer and practical help from Christian leaders in Bangladesh as the Church is endangered by a violent uprising by Islamists who are demanding that the country become an Islamic state.
Christian homes have been torched and churches threatened as increasingly volatile protests have rocked the country.
Scores of people have been killed in the clashes, which erupted in February. At least 37 died earlier this week as police tried to quash protests in the capital, Dhaka, where 70,000 Islamist demonstrators took to the streets on Sunday (5 May), calling for the introduction of an anti-blasphemy law.
This was the deadline that one Islamist group, Hefazat e-Islam Bangladesh (HIB), had given the government to implement its demands, which include sharia rule, virtual segregation of women and the death sentence for those who insult Islam or Muhammad.
An anti-blasphemy law would be disastrous for Christians in Bangladesh. Their counterparts in Pakistan suffer grievously as a result of the blasphemy laws there, under which they are vulnerable to malicious, false accusation. Devotion to Muhammad is a particular feature of South Asian Islam, and the Pakistani law specifies a death sentence for anyone who insults him.
Jama’at-e-Islami (JI), the largest Islamist political party in Bangladesh, has threatened to “kill all the Malauns [infidels]”. Muslims view Christians and other non-Muslims as “infidels”.
In 2010, a constitutional amendment that had allowed religion-based politics was declared null and void, a move intended to underline the secular nature of the state. The government has, however, indicated, that the ban on religious parties will not be strictly enforced, giving groups like HIB and JI a platform ahead of the general election due early next year.
by Ibn Warraq
Islam is deeply anti-woman. Islam is the fundamental cause of the repression of Muslim women and remains the major obstacle to the evolution of their position. Islam has always considered women as creatures inferior in every way: physically, intellectually, and morally. This negative vision is divinely sanctioned in the Koran, corroborated by the hadiths, and perpetuated by the commentaries of the theologians, the custodians of Muslim dogma and ignorance.
Far better for these intellectuals to abandon the religious argument, to reject these sacred texts, and have recourse to reason alone. They should turn instead to human rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted on December 10, 1948, by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris and ratified by most Muslim countries) at no point has recourse to a religious argument. These rights are based on natural rights, which any adult human being capable of choice has. They are rights that human beings have simply because they are human beings. Human reason or rationality is the ultimate arbiter of rights – human rights, the rights of women.
Unfortunately, in practice, in Muslim countries one cannot simply leave the theologians with their narrow, bigoted world view to themselves. One cannot ignore the ulama, those learned doctors of Muslim law who by their fatwas or decisions in questions touching private or public matters of importance regulate the life of the Muslim community. They still exercise considerable powers of approving or forbidding certain actions. Why the continuing influence of the mullas?
The Koran remains for all Muslims, not just “fundamentalists,” the uncreated word of God Himself. It is valid for all times and places; its ideas are absolutely true and beyond all criticism. To question it is to question the very word of God, and hence blasphemous. A Muslim’s duty is to believe it and obey its divine commands. Several other factors contribute to the continuing influence of the ulama. Any religion that requires total obedience without thought is not likely to produce people capable of critical thought, people capable of free and independent thought. Such a situation is favorable to the development of a powerful “clergy” and is clearly responsible for the intellectual, cultural, and economic stagnation of several centuries.
Illiteracy remains high in Muslim countries. Historically, as there never was any separation of state and religion, any criticism of one was seen as a criticism of the other. Inevitably, when many Muslim countries won independence after the Second World War, Islam was unfortunately linked with nationalism, which meant that any criticism of Islam was seen as a betrayal of the newly independent country – an unpatriotic act, an encouragement to colonialism and imperialism. No Muslim country has developed a stable democracy; Muslims are being subjected to every kind of repression possible. Under these conditions healthy criticism of society is not possible, because critical thought and liberty go together. The above factors explain why Islam in general and the position of women in particular are never criticized, discussed, or subjected to deep scientific or skeptical analysis. All innovations are discouraged in Islam – every problem is seen as a religious problem rather than a social or economic one.
Islam took the legend of Adam and Eve  from the Old Testament and adapted it in its own fashion. The creation of mankind from one person is mentioned in the following suras: 4.1. 0 Mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multiple of men and women. 39.6. He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate. 7.189. He it is who did create you from a single soul and therefrom did make his mate that he might take rest in her.
From these slender sources Muslim theologians have concluded that man was the original creation – womankind was created secondarily for the pleasure and repose of man. The legend was further developed to reinforce the supposed inferiority of women. Finally, the legend was given a sacred character so that to criticize it was to criticize the very words of God, which were immutable and absolute. Here is how Muhammad describes women in general: “Be friendly to women for womankind was created from a rib, but the bent part of the rib, high up, if you try to straighten it you will break it; if you do nothing, she will continue to be bent.” God punishes Adam and Eve for disobeying his orders. But there is nothing in the verses to show that it was Eve (as in the Old Testament) who led Adam astray. And yet Muslim exegetists and jurists have created the myth of Eve the temptress that has since become an integral part of Muslim tradition. Muhammad himself is reputed to have said: “If it had not been for Eve, no woman would have been unfaithful to her husband.”
The Islamic tradition also attributes guile and deceit to women and draws its support from the Koran. Modern Muslim commentators interpret certain verses to show that guile, deceit, and treachery are intrinsic to a woman’s nature. Not only is she unwilling to change, she is by nature incapable of changing – she has no choice. In attacking the female deities of the polytheists, the Koran takes the opportunity to malign the female sex further. 4.1 17. They invoke in His stead only females; they pray to none else than Satan, a rebel.
53.21-22. Are yours the males and His the females? That indeed were an unfair division!
53.27. Lo! it is those who disbelieve in the Hereafter who name the angels with the names of females. Other verses from the Koran also seem of a misogynist tendency.
2.228. Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. 2.282. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember. 4.11. Allah chargeth you concerning (the provision for) your children: to the male the equivalent of the portion of two females. 4.34. Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart; and scourge (beat) them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great. Equally, in numerous hadiths on which are based the Islamic laws, we learn of the woman’s role – to stay at home, to be at the beck and call of man to obey him (which is a religious duty), and to assure man a tranquil existence.
Here are some examples of these traditions:
• The woman who dies and with whom the husband is satisfied will go to paradise.
• A wife should never refuse herself to her husband even if it is on the saddle of a camel.
• Hellfire appeared to me in a dream and I noticed that it was above all peopled with women who had been ungrateful. “Was it toward God that they were ungrateful?” They had not shown any gratitude toward their husbands for all they had received from them. Even when all your life you have showered a woman with your largesse she will still find something petty to reproach you with one day, saying, “You have never done anything for me.”
• If anything presages a bad omen it is: a house, a woman, a horse.
• Never will a people know success if they confide their affairs to a woman.
It will be appropriate to include two quotes from the famous and much revered philosopher al-Ghazali (1058-1111), whom Professor Montgomery Watt describes as the greatest Muslim after Muhammad. In his “The Revival Of The Religious Sciences,” Ghazali defines the woman’s role: 
She should stay at home and get on with her spinning, she should not go out often, she must not be well-informed, nor must she be communicative with her neighbours and only visit them when absolutely necessary; she should take care of her husband and respect him in his presence and his absence and seek to satisfy him in everything; she must not cheat on him nor extort money from him; she must not leave her house without his permission and if given his permission she must leave surreptitiously. She should put on old clothes and take deserted streets and alleys, avoid markets, and make sure that a stranger does not hear her voice or recognize her; she must not speak to a friend of her husband even in need. … Her sole worry should be her virtue, her home as well as her prayers and her fast.
If a friend of her husband calls when the latter is absent she must not open the door nor reply to him in order to safeguard her and her husband’s honour. She should accept what her husband gives her as sufficient sexual needs at any moment. … She should be clean and ready to satisfy her husband’s sexual needs at any moment. Such are some of the sayings from the putative golden age of Islamic feminism. It was claimed that it was the abandonment of the original teachings of Islam that had led to the present decadence and backwardness of Muslim societies. But there never was an Islamic utopia. To talk of a golden age is only to conform and perpetuate the influence of the clergy, the mullas, and their hateful creed that denies humanity to half the inhabitants of this globe, and further retards all serious attempts to liberate Muslim women.
The inequality between men and women  in matters of giving testimony or evidence or being a witness is enshrined in the Koran: sura 2.282 (quoted above).
How do Muslim apologists justify the above text? Muslim men and women writers point to the putative psychological differences that exist between men and women. The Koran (and hence God) in its sublime wisdom knew that women are sensitive, emotional, sentimental, easily moved, and influenced by their biological rhythm, lacking judgment. But above all they have a shaky memory. In other words, women are psychologically inferior. Such are the dubious arguments used by Muslim intellectuals – male and, astonishingly enough, female intellectuals like Ahmad Jamal, Ms. Zahya Kaddoura, Ms. Ghada al-Kharsa, and Ms. Madiha Khamis. As Ghassan Ascha points out, the absurdity of their arguments are obvious.
By taking the testimony of two beings whose reasoning faculties are faulty we do not obtain the testimony of one complete person with a perfectly functioning rational faculty – such is Islamic arithmetic! By this logic, if the testimony of two women is worth that of one man, then the testimony of four women must be worth that of two men, in which case we can dispense with the testimony of the men. But no! In Islam the rule is not to accept the testimony of women alone in matters to which men theoretically have access. It is said that the Prophet did not accept the testimony of women in matters of marriage, divorce, and hudud. Hudud are the punishments set down by Muhammad in the Koran and the hadith for (1) adultery – stoning to death; (2) fornication – a hundred stripes; (3) false accusation of adultery against a married person – eighty stripes; (4) apostasy – death; (5) drinking wine – eighty stripes; (6) theft – the cutting off of the right hand; (7) simple robbery on the highway – the loss of hands and feet; robbery with murder – death, either by the sword or by crucifixion.
On adultery the Koran 24.4 says: “Those that defame honourable women and cannot produce four witnesses shall be given eighty lashes.” Of course, Muslim jurists will only accept four male witnesses. These witnesses must declare that they have “seen the parties in the very act of carnal conjunction.” Once an accusation of fornication and adultery has been made, the accuser himself or herself risks punishment if he or she does not furnish the necessary legal proofs. Witnesses are in the same situation. If a man were to break into a woman’s dormitory and rape half a dozen women, he would risk nothing since there would be no male witnesses. Indeed the victim of a rape would hesitate before going in front of the law, since she would risk being condemned herself and have little chance of obtaining justice.
“If the woman’s words were sufficient in such cases,” explains Judge Zharoor ul Haq of Pakistan, “then no man would be safe.” This iniquitous situation is truly revolting and yet for Muslim law it is a way of avoiding social scandal concerning the all-important sexual taboo. Women found guilty of fornication were literally immured, at first; as the Koran 4.15 says: “Shut them up within their houses till death release them, or God make some way for them.” However this was later canceled and stoning substituted for adultery and one hundred lashes for fornication. When a man is to be stoned to death, he is taken to some barren place, where he is stoned first by the witnesses, then the judge, and then the public. When a woman is stoned, a hole to receive her is dug as deep as her waist – the Prophet himself seems to have ordered such procedure. It is lawful for a man to kill his wife and her lover if he catches them in the very act.
In the case where a man suspects his wife of adultery or denies the legitimacy of the offspring, his testimony is worth that of four men. Sura 24.6: “If a man accuses his wife but has no witnesses except himself, he shall swear four times by God that his charge is true, calling down upon himself the curse of God if he is lying. But if his wife swears four times by God that his charge is false and calls down His curse upon herself if it be true, she shall receive no punishment.” Appearances to the contrary, this is not an example of Koranic justice or equality between the sexes. The woman indeed escapes being stoned to death but she remains rejected and loses her right to the dowry and her right to maintenance, whatever the outcome of the trial. A woman does not have the right to charge her husband in a similar manner. Finally, for a Muslim marriage to be valid there must be a multiplicity of witnesses. For Muslim jurists, two men form a multiplicity but not two or three or a thousand women.
In questions of heritage, the Koran tells us that male children should inherit twice the portion of female children:
4.11-12. A male shall inherit twice as much as a female. If there be more than two girls, they shall have two-thirds of the inheritance, but if there be one only, she shall inherit the half. Parents shall inherit a sixth each, if the deceased have a child; but if he leave no child and his parents be his heirs, his mother shall have a third. If he have brothers, his mother shall have a sixth after payment of any legacy he may have bequeathed or any debt he may have owed. To justify this inequality, Muslim authors lean heavily on the fact that a woman receives a dowry and has the right to maintenance from her husband. It is also true that according to Muslim law the mother is not at all obliged to provide for her children, and if she does spend money on her children, it is, to quote Bousquet, “recoverable by her from her husband if he is returned to a better fortune as in the case of any other charitable person. Therefore there is no point in the husband and wife sharing in the taking charge of the household; this weighs upon the husband alone. There is no longer any financial interest between them.” 
This latter point referred to by Bousquet simply emphasizes the negative aspects of a Muslim marriage – that is to say, the total absence of any idea of “association” between “couples” as in Christianity. As to dowry, it is, of course, simply a reconfirmation of the man’s claims over the woman in matters of sex and divorce. Furthermore, in reality the woman does not get to use the dowry for herself. The custom is either to use the dowry to furnish the house of the newly married couple or for the wife to offer it to her father. According to the Malekites, the woman can be obliged by law to use the dowry to furnish the house. Muslim law also gives the guardian the right to cancel a marriage – even that of a woman of legal age – if he thinks the dowry is not sufficient. Thus the dowry, instead of being a sign of her independence, turns out once more to be a symbol of her servitude.
The woman has the right to maintenance but this simply emphasizes her total dependence on her husband, with all its attendant sense of insecurity. According to Muslim jurists, the husband is not obliged under Islamic law to pay for her medical expenses in case of illness. Financial independence of the woman would of course be the first step in the liberation of Muslim women and thus it is not surprising that it is seen as a threat to male dominance. Muslim women are now obliged to take equal responsibility for looking after their parents. Article 158 of Syrian law states “The child – male or female – having the necessary means is obliged to take responsibility for his or her poor parents.” The birth of a girl is still seen as a catastrophe in Islamic societies.
The system of inheritance just adds to her misery and her dependence on the man. If she is an only child she receives only half the legacy of her father; the other half goes to the male members of the father’s family. If there are two or more daughters, they inherit two-thirds. This pushes fathers and mothers to prefer male children to female so that they can leave the entirety of their effects or possessions to their own descendants. “Yet when a new-born girl is announced to one of them his countenance darkens and he is filled with gloom” (sura 43.15). The situation is even worse when a woman loses her husband – she only receives a quarter of the legacy. If the deceased leaves more than one wife, all the wives are still obliged to share among themselves a quarter or one-eighth of the legacy.
Muslim jurists  are unanimous in their view that men are superior to women in virtue of their reasoning abilities, their knowledge, and their supervisory powers. And since it is the man who assumes financial responsibility for the family, it is argued, it is natural that he should have total power over the woman. These same jurists, of course, totally neglect changing social conditions where a woman may contribute her salary to the upkeep of her family – power over women remains a divine command and “natural” or “in the nature of things.” Muslim thinkers continue to confine Muslim women to the house – to leave the house is against the will of God and against the principles of Islam. Confined to their houses, women are then reproached for not having any experience of the outside world!
According to theologians,  the husband has the right to administer corporal punishment to his wife if she
1. Refuses to make herself beautiful for him;
2. Refuses to meet his sexual demands;
3. Leaves the house without permission or without any legitimate reason recognized by law; or
4. Neglects her religious duties.
A hadith attributes the following saying to the Prophet: “Hang up your whip where your wife can see it.” There are a number of other hadiths that contradict this one. In those, Muhammad explicitly forbids men to beat their wives – in which case the Prophet himself is contradicting what the Koran, enshrining divine law, permits.
Case Histories: The Women of Pakistan
In Pakistan in 1977, General Zia al-Haq took over in a military coup declaring that the process of Islamization was not going fast enough. The mullas had finally got someone who was prepared to listen to them.
Zia imposed martial law, total press censorship, and began creating a theocratic state, believing that Pakistan ought to have “the spirit of Islam.” He banned women from athletic contests and even enforced the Muslim fast during the month of Ramadan at gunpoint. He openly admitted that there was a contradiction between Islam and democracy. Zia introduced Islamic laws that discriminated against women. The most notorious of these laws were the Zina and Hudud Ordinances that called for the Islamic punishments of the amputation of hands for stealing and stoning to death for married people found guilty of illicit sex. The term zina included adultery, fornication, and rape, and even prostitution. Fornication was punished with a maximum of a hundred lashes administered in public and ten years’ imprisonment.
In practice, these laws protect rapists, for a woman who has been raped often finds herself charged with adultery or fornication. To prove zina, four Muslim adult males of good repute must be present to testify that sexual penetration has taken place. Furthermore, in keeping with good Islamic practice, these laws value the testimony of men over women. The combined effect of these laws is that it is impossible for a woman to bring a successful charge of rape against a man; instead, she herself, the victim, finds herself charged with illicit sexual intercourse, while the rapist goes free. If the rape results in a pregnancy, this is automatically taken as an admission that adultery or fornication has taken place with the woman’s consent rather than that rape has occurred.
Here are some sample cases. 
In a town in the northern province of Punjab, a woman and her two daughters were stripped naked, beaten, and gangraped in public, but the police declined to pursue the case.
A thirteen-year-old girl was kidnapped and raped by a “family friend.” When her father brought a case against the rapist, it was the girl who was put in prison and charged with zina, illegal sexual intercourse. The father managed to secure the child’s release by bribing the police. The traumatized child was then severely beaten for disgracing the family honor.
A fifty-year-old widow, Ahmedi Begum,  decided to let some rooms in her house in the city of Lahore to two young veiled women. As she was about to show them the rooms, the police burst into the courtyard of the house and arrested the two girls and Ahmedi Begum’s nephew, who had simply been standing there. Later that afternoon, Ahmedi Begum went to the police station with her son-in-law to inquire about her nephew and the two girls. The police told Ahmedi they were arresting her too. They confiscated her jewelry and pushed her into another room. While she was waiting, the police officers shoved the two girls, naked and bleeding, into the room and then proceeded to rape them again in front of the widow.
When Ahmedi covered her eyes, the police forced her to watch by pulling her arms to her sides. After suffering various sexual humiliations, Ahmedi herself was stripped and raped by one officer after another. They dragged her outside where she was again beaten. One of the officers forced a policeman’s truncheon, covered with chili paste, into her rectum, rupturing it. Ahmedi screamed in horrible agony and fainted, only to wake up in prison, charged with zina. Her case was taken up by a human rights lawyer. She was released on bail after three months in prison, but was not acquitted until three years later. In the meantime, her son-in-law divorced her daughter because of his shame. Was this an isolated case? Unfortunately no. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in its annual report that one woman is raped every three hours in Pakistan and one in two rape victims is a juvenile.
According to Women’s Action Forum, a woman’s rights organization, 72% of all women in police custody in Pakistan are physically and sexually abused. Furthermore, 75% of all women in jail are there under charges of zina. Many of these women remain in jail awaiting trial for years.
In other words, the charge of zina is casually applied by any man who wants to get rid of his wife, who is immediately arrested, and kept waiting in prison, sometimes for years. Before the introduction of these laws the total number of women in prison was 70; the present number is more than 3,000. Most of these women have been charged under the Zina or Hudud Ordinances. 
The Western press naively believed that the election of Benazir Bhutto as Pakistan’s prime minister in November 1988 would revolutionize women’s role not just in Pakistan, but in the entire Islamic world. Under Islamic law of course, women cannot be head of an Islamic state, and Pakistan had become an Islamic republic under the new constitution of 1956. Thus, Benazir Bhutto had defied the mullas and won. But her government lasted a bare 20 months, during which period Nawaz Sharif, who was the prime minister briefly in the early 1990s, is said to have encouraged the mullas in their opposition to having a woman as the head of an Islamic state. Benazir Bhutto’s government was dismissed on charges of corruption, and her husband imprisoned in 1990.
The lot of the Muslim woman was harsh before Benazir’s election, and nothing has changed. She has pandered to the religious lobby, the mullas, the very people who insist that a woman cannot hold power in an Islamic state, and has repeatedly postponed any positive action on the position of women. Pakistan shows the same grim picture. Pakistan is one of only four countries in the world where female life expectancy (51 years) is lower than the male (52 years); the average female life expectancy for all poor countries is 61 years. A large number of Pakistani women die in pregnancy or childbirth, six for every 1,000 live births. Despite the fact that contraception has never been banned by orthodox Islam, under Zia the Islamic Ideology Council of Pakistan declared family planning to be un-Islamic. Various mullas condemned family planning as a Western conspiracy to emasculate Islam.
As a result, the average fertility rate per woman in Pakistan is 6.9. Pakistan is also among the world’s bottom ten countries for female attendance at primary schools. Some people put female literacy in the rural areas as low as 2% (Economist, March 5, 1994). As the Economist put it, “Some of the blame for all this lies with the attempt of the late President Zia ul Haq to create an Islamic republic. … Zia turned the clock back. A 1984 law of his, for instance, gives a woman’s legal evidence half the weight of a man’s” (Economist, January 13, 1990).
Indeed a large part of the blame lies with the attitudes inculcated by Islam, which has always seen woman as inferior to man. The birth of a baby girl is the occasion for mourning. Hundreds of baby girls are abandoned every year in the gutters and dust bins and on the pavements. An organization working in Karachi to save these children has calculated that more than five hundred children are abandoned a year in Karachi alone, and that 99% of them are girls. 
Little did Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, realize how literally true his words were when he said in a 1944 speech:  “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners.”
But we do not need to leave with a completely pessimistic picture. Pakistani women have shown themselves to be very courageous, and more and more are fighting for their rights with the help of equally brave organizations such as Women’s Action Forum (WAF) and War Against Rape. WAF was formed in 1981 as women came onto the streets to protest against the Hudud Ordinances, and to demonstrate their solidarity with a couple who had recently been sentenced to death by stoning for fornication. In 1983, women organized the first demonstrations against martial law.