• No Place In The 21st Century

    No Leggings here - Photo credit NIQABITCHES
    No Leggings here –
    Photo credit NIQABITCHES

    In a recent interview on CNN, Muslim apologist Reza Aslan made it clear that barbaric practices like female genital mutilation and the treatment of women in “a few” Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran has no place in the 21st century. However, he doesn’t think this has anything to do with Islam. The fact that so many countries ruled by Muslim theocracies also just so happen to treat women horribly must be a coincidence.

    Christians aren’t off the hook here either. Aslan mentioned a few other African nations that are ruled by Christian theocracies that also engage in female genital mutilation. See it isn’t a Muslim thing, he concludes. Check out the whole clip:

    Okay, Reza got me. Islam isn’t the only religion that treats women horribly. This however doesn’t absolve Islam from treating women horribly. In fact, it just further emphasizes the fact that religion has no place in the 21st century. The fact is that the holy books of all of the Abrahamic religions advocate for the mistreatment of women. It is just that more Muslims take their religion more seriously than most Jews and Christians do… although there are plenty of Jews and Christians who take their religion somewhat seriously too.

    In North Dakota, there is a news story about a school that has banned women from wearing leggings and tight pants because the school feels that girls wearing such clothing are too distracting to the male teachers and male students. While this isn’t nearly the same as what happens in many Muslim controlled countries, the mentality is strikingly similar. Maybe the school would be happier if the girls would just wear something a little baggier and that covered their entire body – like, I don’t know; a Burka!

    Jesus did say that if a man looked at a woman with lust in his heart, he would be committing the sin of adultery. He also said that it was better to pluck out your eyes than to allow them to cause you to sin and be tortured for all eternity in Hell. Maybe, we can avoid “lusting in our hearts” by forcing women to wear ugly clothing that completely covers them up. That’s how most Muslims countries do it and it seems to have worked out for them so far… oh wait – not so much.

    We live in the 21st century and yet a surprisingly high number of people claim to get their morality from holy books written well before we as a species recognized the immorality of slavery and well before most civilized countries acknowledged the equal right of women to vote.

    The Torah, the Bible, and the Koran are not good sources for morality in the 21st century. Those books advocate for treating women as mere property at best and as the cause of man’s sin at worst. But there is another way. We can just admit the obvious fact that all these religions are bullshit and that our morality isn’t derived from ancient holy books, but rather from our evolutionary sense of empathy, which manifests itself through compassion. We identify with other people and therefore feel compassion for them and seek to increase the general well-being of others.

    Category: AtheismfeaturedFemnismIslamMorality

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    27 comments

    1. This piece was clearly writen by an idiot.

      If anyone thinks that sexual taboos need an origen in “holy books”, i suggest they google the word “taboo”. Please engage brain before writing.

      1. Thanks for the insult instead of a substantive reply. For the record, I didn’t say that sexual taboos NEED an “origin” in holy books, but the fact does remain that holy books are a pretty large source of sexual taboos. Dismissing holy books as fiction won’t magically solve the problem of sexual taboos, but it would make a hell of a dent.

        Let me put it this way, cancer won’t be cured if people stopped smoking cigarettes, but if people stopped smoking cigarettes, it would decrease the cases of cancer quite significantly.

          1. Thanks, that actually supports my point.

            “The fact that it is also practiced by Christians and other groups with ancient beliefs makes it hard to say the practice is particularly Muslim, she said.”

            My point is different from Maher’s point. As I stated, it isn’t a Muslim problem; it is a religion problem. Your article supports my view. Thanks for sharing.

            1. You are very welcome. Please answer a question in return: do you honestly believe that no athiests indulge in FGM? Because if you don’t, if you beleive that not all muslims do it, but some do, not all christians do it, but some do, not all athiests do it, but some do, then it is not a problem with religion, it is a problem with people doing stupid mean shit to other people.

            2. Here is the difference, there is no atheist doctrine inspiring people to indulge in F or M GM. That is because there is no atheist doctrine at all. All atheism is, is a lack of belief in deities. It isn’t a system of belief. On the other hand, the Torah, Bible, and Koran all demonize sexuality (especially for women). People who perform GM do so because they believe their deity of choice commands it.

              So while I can’t say with 100% certainty that no atheist has ever or will ever perform GM, I can say with reasonable certainty that they didn’t do it because they believed that the atheist God demanded it.

            3. Funny how that works.

              Outside of people that others readily recognize as “extremists” or “radical”, (a small minority), religious people take a buffet approach to religion, accepting some parts and ignoring others.

              The same Bible that is so harsh towards homosexuals is even harsher towards eating shellfish and has rebelious children stoned to death at the city gates. And yet while there are laws against homosexuality in certain countries “on religious grounds” those laws are silent on shellfish.

              So, when people so freely choose which rules to follow, it seems a tad simple to blame the rulebook (however stupid) for their bad behaviour.

              As for your lack of certainty that no athiest ever genitally mutilated, well, that’s ok. Few things are 100% certain. I am not 100% certain that it happened either, only about as certain as I am that the Sun will rise tomorow.

              What makes GM bad is not “why” it is done, it is “that” it is done. The fact that it is a Christian for Christian reasons or a Jew for Jewish reasons or an athiest for athiest reasons is no consolation to the victim whatsoever.

              P.S. I realise that this post must be sending the spelling krout up the wall with all it’s mistakes, but I’m feeling too lazy to spellcheck…sry

            4. Really, you wouldn’t put any blame on the rule book for listing ridiculously immoral rules? I would. I do give credit to all religious believers for putting their moral decency ahead of the ridiculous rules of their rule book, but that doesn’t mean that they have an awesome rule book. If anything, it shows just how bad their rule book actually is.

              That’s my point; there are no atheist reasons for GM!!! There is no atheist doctrine. No atheist rule book. However there are religious rule books and they instruct some religious believers to perform GM.

            5. When people freely choose which rules in the rulebook to follow or ignore, the rules in the rulebook are no longer a reason for behavior, they are an excuse for it.

              Let us bravely go into “splitting hair” territory and explore this a bit further.

              Genital mutilation (and sexual repression) is not a problem of Islam. Leaving aside for the moment the problem of identifying what “Islam” is, not all Muslims do it
              and not only Muslims do it. To use your analogy, saying FGM is a problem of Islam is like saying cancer is a problem of smokers (or AIDS is a problem of gays).

              There ARE atheist reasons for FGM just like there are atheist reasons for being nice to others or for having kids: although there is no one unified atheist doctrine or rulebook, an atheist reason (for anything) is any reason an atheist comes up with to do anything.

              Atheists can be sexually repressive too; see the homosexuality laws (and prostitution laws) under the atheist Soviet Union. Conversely, Religious people may be sexually permissive and adventurous.

              Making sweeping statements about hundreds of millions of people is a fool’s game.

              http://stevedeace.com/news/swingin-jesus-christian-couple-swaps-partners-ministry/

            6. “To use your analogy, saying FGM is a problem of Islam is like saying
              cancer is a problem of smokers (or AIDS is a problem of gays).”

              Smokers are forced into smoking as gays are forced into sexual unsound practices? Interesting.

              “There ARE atheist reasons for FGM ”

              Tell me about them. Having been atheist since age 16, I like to learn from an authority on the subject.

            7. “under the atheist Soviet Union”

              http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/archives/anti.html
              “After Nazi Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union in 1941,
              Joseph Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church to intensify
              patriotic support for the war effort. By 1957 about 22,000
              Russian Orthodox churches had become active. But in 1959 Nikita
              Khrushchev initiated his own campaign against the Russian
              Orthodox Church and forced the closure of about 12,000 churches.
              By 1985 fewer than 7,000 churches remained active. Members of
              the church hierarchy were jailed or forced out, their places
              taken by docile clergy, many of whom had ties with the KGB.”

            8. “What makes GM bad is not “why” it is done, it is “that” it is done”

              more bullshit from the utterly clueless. Not even mentioning the spelling.
              If GM is bad thousands of years of animal and plant breeding is bad

              STOP EATING THAT FUCKING CEREAL YOU MORON – IT WAS GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FROM DINKEL OR EMMER….OH, DON’T EAT THAT PIG, TOTALLY UNNATURAL, NO FUCKING PIG GROWS THAT LARGE NATURALLY YOU ARE GOING TO DIEEEEEE.

              If you refer to GM as in General Motors – I concede they are bad.

            9. “If GM is bad thousands of years of animal and plant breeding is bad”.

              Ho dear, Krouty, I see the source of your confusion. You took “GM” to mean “Genetically Modified”; yes, interpreting acronyms while disregarding context can be quite tricky.

              Although everyone is proud that you are using your words, there is really no need to go on a caps tantrum whenever an opinion arises that you don’t agree with, especially when it all happens inside your head.

              You see, the “GM” being discussed is “Genital Mutilation”, not “genetically modified” like you thought. And although it is nice that you have learned to use analogies (comparisons), the one you used in correcting the mistake you thought was being made is not very good. If you think about it really hard, you will find that genetically modifying animals bears a similar relationship to husbandry (I know
              it is a hard word; use Google) that artificial insemination bears to fucking (yes, I know it is a bad word dear, but you must hear it sometime).

              It is cute that you are trying to participate, but now I must ask you to turn off the caps lock, take your happy pills and go play in the carpet with your little friends; the grownups are trying to have a conversation.

      2. And before you write and call someone an idiot – check your spelling.

        writen by origen
        otherwise you prove yourself to be an incompetent arsehole.

        BTW – you do actually not recommend to engage the brain – unless your brain resides within google. Your capacity to make coherent arguments is at the level of your writing skills.

        Further – if you actually posses the capacity to follow an argument:

        “A taboo is a vehement prohibition of an action based on the belief that such behavior is either too sacred or too accursed for ordinary individuals to undertake, under threat of supernatural punishment”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taboo

        now let me ask you utter dimwit: where do you think following this description the impetus for prohibition of certain actions or behaviour stems from? Does the term ” supernatural” punishment might, even to a pea brain like yours, suggest a religious ORIGIN? Or the term sacred? I assume in your vocabulary (if such exists in a mind the size of a peanut) there is no connection detectable between religion, sacredness, supernatural etc? Ok – I give you that the ORIGIN does not necessarily have to be found in a holy book, maybe it was written on holy bark or just the teachings of some rambling shaman, but the origin of taboos stems from a belief system and not a system based on critical observation and testing.

    2. If men are being distracted by the sight of women and can’t control themselves, why is it the womans fault? Surely it is up to the men to do something, maybe they should be going around with bags over their heads so that they cannot see and therefore won’t be distracted.

      1. Sure, that sounds reasonable.

        After all, clothing is just a way to protect yourself from the environment. It in no way,
        shape or form communicates intentions or coveys emotion. It is utterly devoid
        of semantic content, and the choices of shapes, colors and patterns, of
        materials and styles are empty of social meaning.

        This is why the sight of a 12 year old girl in fishnet stockings, stiletto heels, a black
        leather micro-skirt and a lace push-up bra is only disturbing to idiots. And
        walking into a synagogue wearing an SS uniform or into a black church in a KKK
        outfit will only provoke an emotional reaction in those that cannot control
        themselves.

        …..You idiot.

        1. What a childish response. If that’s the best you can do, I won’t waste time with you. Come back to me when you’ve grown up.

        2. Publius, I know Im going to regret throwing myself into this discussion, but…

          Your theoretical 12 year old girl and the example in the article have two major differences. Little children cannot buy their own clothes, they must be purchased by parents. The school in question is high school age 15-18. In your first example, I have to ask ‘wtf are the parents thinking”. In the example from the article, it is representatives of the State telling individuals what they can and cannot wear. What is in question here isn’t social norms, but should we let the State be the enforcer of those norms.

          1. Dude……

            If you think that no 12 year old girl chooses her own clothes, I hope you have nothing but sons. They may not pay for them, but quite a few (most) pick them. In any case, yes, the state should intervene unless the “state” is happy to accept the consequences.

            Right or wrong, there is an inferred correlation between age and wisdom, and people younger than X are deemed to be unfit to determine what is good for them. Hence statutory rape laws. If you think about it, dress codes and statutory rape laws are two points in the same spectrum of inhibiting sexualized behavior in people
            deemed unfit to have it. Or if you broaden things a little to include the 21 age limit for alcohol and the driving and voting age limits, the category becomes “preventing people from having behaviors whose consequences they are not equipped to handle (due to age)”.

    3. There has been a lot of push and pull since Aslan did this piece. When I watched it, I heard him saying really obvious things that the hosts were missing. I instantly thought that what was really missing was someone pointing out that the Christian and Muslim atrocities, or even the secular atrocities by Mao and Pol Pot, are avoidable by abandoning any ideology that has a ‘truth’. Modern atheism seems to have embraced the concept of ‘probably true’. You don’t kill people or enslave a nation because you ‘might’ be right, you only do it when your’e firmly convinced of your rightness, or righteousness.

        1. Ya, I’d read that before, nicely written. That was my point in bringing them up. The problem isn’t with Islam specifically, or any religion, but simply assuming that your own view is 100% correct, and that all other views are therefore false. I’m fairly sure that if everyone took a little humility and admitted they could be wrong about most things, if not everything, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

          1. Actually, I phrased that last bit wrong. I should have written

            “I am 100% absolutely and completely sure, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that if everyone took a little humility and admitted they could be wrong about most things, if not everything, the world would be a much more peaceful place.”

    4. ……..Back to our regular programming. There are a lot of bad ideas out there but when those ideas are codified by a religion then they can become very destructive. On the subject on Muslim attire I find it ironic that, apparently, Muslim women are not susceptible to lustful thoughts about men! Wouldn’t it be more fair if men had to wear Burkas too?

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